Burning Spear News
Cheers to the new year 2021: the period of the ascendancy of the slave!
© The Burning Spear newspaper
The end of a year is a time to reflect...to sum up and to look ahead.
We are taking this opportunity to have a collection summation as African people. To understand where we are as the African Nation, almost 2 billion strong, and to unite with and participate in the process of moving us forward toward total liberation.
Toward reclaiming our right to be a self-determining, self-governing people. Toward a future of Black Power.
Many people celebrated as 2020 came in, declaring it the year of perfect vision. And in many ways it has been JUST that.
2020...the year the entire planet was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. A never before seen, novel virus of curious origin. A virus that attacks the whole body, not just the respiratory system, as doctors and scientists initially thought.
An airborne virus. A virus that has run rampant throughout the U.S. and Europe in particular, ravaging the African populations living there. A colonialvirus, as Chairman Omali Yeshitela has summed up.
Coronavirus exposed as the ‘colonialvirus’
From the very beginning of the pandemic, the virus exposed many of the colonial contradictions that come along with being an African in America. We are the ones with the high rates of “pre-exististing” medical conditions as a consequence of the lack of good food, health care and overall low quality of life that has been imposed on us.
We are the so-called “essential workers,” those who do all of the work required to keep the world capitalist economy from grinding to a halt. We are the grocery store and food service workers who weren’t even given masks and other protective equipment in the early stages of the pandemic, but who were expected to work in the middle of a pandemic for long hours for almost no pay.
We are the ones who can’t work from home. Who live in multigenerational households with our vulnerable elders. Who can’t afford to take off work when we do get sick. Who don’t have childcare when the schools are closed.
We are the ones who couldn’t get COVID testing when testing sites and drive-throughs were only in white communities. We are the ones who were turned away from emergency rooms, ignored or discharged early, returning home to die.
Some of our families have been almost totally destroyed, having lost multiple family members within days or weeks of each other.
We are the parents, family, friends, and loved ones of little sister Skylar Herbert, the first child to die in Michigan after spending two weeks on a ventilator.
One in three Africans living in the U.S. has lost a loved one during this pandemic. More than 50,000 of us have died in the U.S. alone. We have died unnecessary and untimely deaths, from the colonial coronavirus.
Now, as COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out, we are the ones stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Our history and current relationship to this colonial-capitalist system, which is full of examples of African people being used as guinea pigs for a foul, for-profit medical system and pharmaceutical industry.
Our collective experience of inhumane treatment from generally arrogant medical professionals who often hold deadly and unscientific beliefs like black people feel less pain than white people, the fact that we live in a society, in a world whose political economy is based on theft of land, genocide, rape and all sorts of unspeakable acts committed against African and other colonized people almost requires us to resist any vaccine campaign targeted at our people.
Whether or not the vaccines work or are safe is not something we have as African people the ability to independently verify, so we are understandably weary of taking any vaccine, even as the rulers and many members of the white, colonizer population line up to get what could turn out to be a life-saving medical and scientific breakthrough that could potentially end the pandemic.
2020 vision: seeing the world as it really is
That being said, if 2020 has underscored anything, if it has helped us to see, with perfect vision, anything at all, it is the absolute necessity for African people to unite in our historic mission to once again become a self determining, self-governing people!
It is clear that there is nothing but sickness, poverty, uncertainty, fear and death for African people under continued colonial white domination.
If we look at the way that the rest of the world has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see that not all governments are created equal. The negligence, ineptitude, the clear and total disregard for human life that generally characterizes the U.S. government, and imperialist governments as a whole have created a crisis where now there are almost 20 million confirmed cases in the U.S. with 344,000 deaths and almost 18 million cases in Europe.
Compare that to 87,000 cases in China where the virus was first found. There are more than double the number of cases per day in the U.S. now than in all of China from the beginning of the pandemic!
Cuba, with its revolutionary government and people, and despite a U.S.-led embargo that attempts to starve the Cuban people and undermine the tremendous gains they have made in the quality of life for their people since the Cuban Revolution, has not only had less than 150 total deaths from the virus, but has sent thousands of medical personnel and medicines around the world to fight the virus, saving countless lives! Cuba, with its thriving biotech industry and world class scientists has even created four vaccines of their own which will be in clinical trials soon.
Achieving the power to govern ourselves
We must see that African people, living as colonized subjects no matter where we are, have no government anywhere working explicitly to meet our needs. We are living at the mercy of the colonizer nation and governments, sometimes even in black face, that never have and never will work to solve our problems, problems that they themselves created!
So, it is for us to do it for ourselves! African people must organize ourselves toward self government. We must be working even now, to create all of the systems our future independent African government would be responsible for.
This is the work that the African People’s Socialist Party, the African Socialist International and the organizations that make up the Uhuru Movement have been doing for more than 50 years.
It is the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party in this era of COVID-19 that is providing the leadership that is not only giving us direction and hope, but that is building the dual power programs and institutions that are laying the foundation of the independence that we will one day enjoy!
It is the All African People’s Development & Empowerment Project, under the leadership of the Party that is calling on and winning African doctors, nurses, mental health workers, scientists, teachers and other skilled people to contribute our skills toward the African Liberation Movement; toward building a united, socialist Africa.
A united Africa, that with control of its vast natural and human resources, would train the doctors and nurses, build the scientific institutions, create the medicines and protocols, make the PPE, initiate the public health measures, and yes, perhaps even develop the vaccines that would ensure the health and safety of African people around the world!
We have the opportunity, today, to join the movement that is changing the world.
To join a process of building this positive future for African people. To join the organization, the movement actively building our own independent capacity to meet the health care needs of our people as AAPDEP has done through our international COVID-19 telehealth program.
As we have done with our work to respond to the ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone in 2014, as we have done to respond to the need for African people to organize our skills to build clean water systems, community health workers programs, maternity centers, community farms and gardens, youth and adult educational programs and more as a part of the process of building our own Black Power that negates the influence and necessity of the colonizer’s institutions in our lives.
In this new year, let us take from the lessons, not only of 2020, but from the last 600 years of colonial domination of African people.
Chairman Omali and our theory of African Internationalism informs us that we are now living in the era of imperialism in crisis. We are living in what can be, if we make it, the period of the ascendency of the slave.
Join the Uhuru Movement, wherever you are and whoever you are!
Let’s kick this beast while it’s down!
Happy New Years African people!
Cheers to a dying imperialism!