The corporate / military / prison apparatus
rulers of the U.S. Empire are quick to tell those they rule
to take responsibility for being exploited. This is of course
the ridiculous and hypocritical irony of ironies. And it is
It is not particularly unusual these days to
hear some liberal and/or so-called progressive vociferously
demanding that the U.S. Government pay reparations to the
horribly pillaged nation of Iraq,
while utterly ignoring the reparations that are due
Black and Red peoples on this North American continent. Politically
conscious Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White peoples must
address this matter directly and uncompromisingly.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines the
word reparations, in relevant part as:
1) The act or process of repairing or the condition
of being repaired
2) The act or process of making amends; expiation
3) Something done or paid to compensate or
The components, consisting of repair, amends,
and compensation, are integral to what reparations
means and fundamentally is all about.
Self determination, i.e. the ability to determine
one’s own economic, political, and social destiny in a very
real and practical sense, is yet another aspect of human existence
that has been, and continues to be, denied Black
people collectively in the U.S.,
since the very inception of this nation. The American Heritage
Dictionary defines self-determination in relevant part thusly,
the “Determination of one’s own fate or course of action without
compulsion; free will.” Without genuine self-determination,
real people’s democracy is an utter fraud, which of course
in this nation, it most certainly is: an utter fraud.
United States of America,
was brought into existence through the massive, brutal enslavement
of Black people and genocide of the Indigenous Red peoples.
No amount of waffling or attempts to revise history can change
this despicable reality. Moreover, even the continued
existence of this nation is, in fact, based upon the deliberate
maintenance of a massive system of racial, economic, judicial,
and social exploitation - coupled with huge doses of hypocrisy
As Black political activist and former Oakland,
California, City Council Member Wilson Riles so poignantly
wrote in his brilliant piece titled, Unpaid
Debt=Anger, “Any talk about gains through merit rings
hollow when folks luxuriate in gains earned through
genocide, theft, slavery, and discrimination.” Nothing could
be more accurate in this regard.
The right to reparations and self-determination
are not, and cannot be ameliorated or made to
go away by the occasional meaningless and self-serving
apologies for slavery, etc., especially in view of the ongoing
collective disenfranchisement and subjugation of Black people
in the U.S.
Nor do the pious and hypocritical pronouncements about America’s supposed “greatness” do anything but
further this corporate / military / prison apparatus’
sham of democracy in the United
States. It’s time to stop being accomplices
in perpetuating this sham.
The rights to reparations and self determination
are, in fact, human rights that continue to be, and
have too long been, systemically denied Black America
collectively. This is yet another urgent and important reason
as to why we must organize, build, and work outside the
corporate / military / prison apparatus of the Democratic
and Republican Parties [i.e. the Republicrats].
Politically conscious Black, Brown, Red, Yellow,
and White peoples in this nation and throughout the world,
know that there can be no real forward movement
without forthrightly addressing and supporting the human rights
to and of reparations and self determination - beginning right
here in the United States of America.
systemic change outside the Democratic and Republican
Parties, the physical murders and judicial lynchings (as in
the case of the murdered Sean Bell in New York City and so
very many others) will continue unabated, unaffected by hypocritical
and meaningless feel-good rhetoric. It is the people - we
ourselves - who are the only ones we can or should
count on to bring about serious and real economic, political,
and social justice and change in this nation. It will not
happen unless we make it happen.
For the sake of the peoples of this nation
and the entire planet, we must remain steadfast in our active
commitment not only to the attainment of reparations and
self determination but concomitantly to building and organizing
for real justice and equality for all peoples, all
our sisters and brothers throughout the world; for we are
comrades and until we all have our human rights - none
of us do.
We are comrades in this most important struggle.
We are struggling for fundamental systemic change,
not meaningless cosmetic reform. Our ancestors are
smiling upon us in this quest. The time is now. Onward
then…the future beckons and the struggle continues…
member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party,
the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa,
a former political prisoner and the only American to have
successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case
to the United Nations under the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights. In connection
with his political organizing activities in opposition to
voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on
the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century
Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click
here to read excerpts from the book) Click
here to contact Mr. Pinkney.