On September 10, 2001, thousands of people from numerous countries
were en route back to their homes from Durban, South Africa, where
they had attended the United Nations World Conference Against Racism,
Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. In Durban,
remarkable unity had been negotiated among peoples of African descent,
indigenous peoples, South Asians, Palestinians and many others on fundamental
issues of economic, political and social justice. And out of the gathering
had come understandings about historical and contemporary patterns
of oppression, as well as mandates for action to redress grievances
on all continents. The glow of Durban, however, would soon be extinguished.
B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber
What a difference a day made. Events of the next morning, September
11, propelled us into a new era – the most fateful yet, for the planet
Earth, in the evolution of the United States empire. On one cloudless
day, horrific suicide attacks on New York’s World Trade Center created
conditions for the totalitarian corporatizing of U.S. domestic and
foreign policy under the direction of an extreme right wing clique.
The stated goals of these new robber barons are "freedom" and "liberty":
that is, freedom for private industry from the few ties that have bound
it since the 1930's to control the world’s resources by any means necessary,
and corporate liberty from any responsibility whatsoever toward humanity
or the natural world, anywhere on the planet. The George W. Bush White
House, under cover of waging an endless "war against terror," is
now the headquarters of a wealth-accumulation system more concentrated,
predatory and global in its embrace than ever before.
The through-line of the new order is old: racism, discrimination,
imperial domination, exploitation. Its most striking features are the
roll-back and the roll-out.
Roll back affirmative action, Social Security, welfare, environmental
protections, overtime pay, anything public that can be privatized,
anything that cramps the corporate sector’s drive for profits.
Roll back the responsibility of government to provide for the public
Roll out new surveillance systems and new anti-immigrant policies.
Roll out Patriot Acts and other legal restraints to bring society
under near militaristic control.
Roll out black and brown co-imperialists in high office to confuse
those who haven’t yet figured out that "everyone who is my color
isn’t necessarily my kind."
Roll out media whores of all colors to insure that government propaganda
will saturate the airwaves.
Roll out the Big Lie to disguise intentions and cover all tracks.
Roll back diplomacy and roll out war – war against any state that
refuses to bow to the military supremacy of global capital's U.S. agents.
Roll out the Marines to stage coups d'etat, such as that against Jean
Bertrand Aristide in Haiti, who tried to hold out against ceding his
nation's resources and people to U.S. control.
Roll back cooperation and roll out covert action, such as that against
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, under whose leadership that nation's
oil wealth is benefiting Venezuelan workers and the poor for the first
The Bush Administration’s criminal destruction of the most developed
state in the Middle East, Iraq, must be seen for what it is: a rich
man’s war fought by the poor – disproportionately, by the children
of black and brown Americans. At this writing, Iran and Syria loom
as the next possible targets of naked aggression. All of which is creating
a world of instability, chaos, violence, environmental pollution and
We, of the African Diaspora, cannot lie down for the sacrifice of
our children's future to bad schools, bad health, prison and death
as soldiers in imperialist wars. Neither can we fail to notice, in
the harsh glare of Bush extremism, that injustice – racial, economic,
social, sexual and political – is a many-headed hydra known to millions
of people everywhere. Thus, never have we been more aware of the need
to work with others to link our multiple struggles across lines of
color, class, cultural and ethnic difference, across borders and oceans.
International solidarity and action were key to the defeat of apartheid
in South Africa, and before that to African nations' successful fight
for independence from colonial subjugation. Another world IS possible,
if we think internationally while working locally, forge unity within
cultural diversity, and seize this time, not only to strengthen resistance
but to set a new liberation agenda.
The Black Radical Congress wants YOU to be a part of this effort by
coming to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Black Radical Congress 2005: Confronting
Empire: The Fight For Global Justice, June 17, 18 and 19, 2005.
At this Juneteenth gathering, we will not merely sit and listen to
talking heads. Workshops and plenaries will be interactive and inclusive.
We will speak out, think together and work towards achieving:
Joint actions for change across the spectrum of the "Black rainbow" – Africans,
African Americans, Afro-Canadians, Afro-Latinos and Caribbeans – within
the U.S. and internationally.
Stronger tools of advocacy for the rights of Black working people,
who are losing economic ground daily as the public sector shrinks,
wages erode, jobs disappear and all of the poor get poorer.
Greater commitment of skills to, and active support for, progressive
struggle from Black people in the media, academe and faith communities.
Closer cooperation among young and veteran activists and ongoing development
of, and support for, young leaders.
A bigger and better BRC
These are only a few of the issues we will address. How to fight militarism,
neo-liberalism, AIDS, Black conservatism and homophobia, as well as
building coalitions in pursuit of reparations, peace and sexual equality,
will also be tackled. Atlanta on Juneteenth weekend is the place to
be. We look forward to seeing you. Check details and updates for the
Congress 2005 program at www.blackradicalcongress.org.
Black Radical Congress • Jamala Rogers, National Organizer
national office • p.o. box 24795 • st. louis, mo 63115
314.307.3441 • email / [email protected]