The Black Commentator: An independent weekly internet magazine dedicated to the movement for economic justice, social justice and peace - Providing commentary, analysis and investigations on issues affecting African Americans and the African world.
Feb 10, 2011 - Issue 413

Storming the Bastille - in Egypt
Represent Our Resistance
By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD Editorial Board


When they tell you
I’m not a prisoner
don’t believe them.
When they tell you
they released me
don’t believe them.
They’ll have to admit
it’s a lie
some day.

-Ariel Dorfman from “The Last Will and Testament”

I do not know what it is like to believe in “my” government without question. I would have to believe not so much that my government was innocent but rather that what stands outside of my government and me is danger, chaos. I would not be deceived, but as dangerous as the fox at Fox News, for I would fear the world beyond my government!

Recently, I spoke with someone who has all the solutions to solve the world’s problems. With confidence and authority I was informed that the first order of business for the Egyptian people should be to issue birth control throughout the country! There is no shame in limiting the mind to the size of a prison cell; limiting knowledge to a fraction of the world, and, without a history of peoples’ resistance, a history of change led by the people, without a history of American’s indulgence in terrorism, tyranny, imperialism, without a clue about oppressed peoples’ understanding of “freedom” and “democracy” - utter with confidence and authority - “birth control” for a nightmarish world too populated with “colored” people!

What confidence - in the possession of so little self-knowledge!

My grandmother advised, when purchasing any item of clothing, make sure it is of quality, good and not for show but to serve you well. Whether you have a dime in your pocket or $10, 000 dollars in the bank, if clothing becomes worn, toss it out. Toss it! Maintain your dignity: Know you can do better!

But we are not talking of clothing but of governments - worn governments, governments of no value to the people.

The Egyptian people, fed up with their own apathy and unwilling acceptance of a 30-year dictator, Hosni Mubarek, and his regime - the people, the people in one voice shout: The Mubarek regime must be tossed out!

Goliath is not so big and bad after all. Here, we can relate: The Crazy Horses and Lumumbas have returned again echoing Malcolm’s call to rise and struggle for human rights. To emperors and dictators: “…today your bag of tricks have absolutely run out. The whole world can see what you’re doing.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is startled! Night has arrived in Egypt where all is made clear. “Made in the U.S.A.” tear gas canisters become clear. In the darkness, we see what the Egyptian and other oppressed peoples everywhere have known for so long. Venture out of America’s daylight. Walk out of the bright-lighted narrative it has created around itself. Take a walk in the long night of American history the limbs of trees and ground itself speak:

Indigenous guides and sleeping families and hidden resistance fighters! Enslaved Africans and whips in hand and emptied spirits! Colonial puppets and the flow of U.S. dollars! They are openly serving capitalist regimes as dictators now but emperors exposed in the darkness. Naked!

And Clinton is startled!

Twenty-three years of Ben Ali in Tunisia and 30 years of Mubarek in Egypt is too long for a people to submit to tyranny at home and forced to witness these “leaders,” year after year grow rich while more repressive, yet maintaining their “good standing” with the U.S. It was too long for the people to witness U.S. corporations receiving huge pay offs from the U.S. government while poverty and unemployment expanded among the people. It was too long for the people to delay the toss off of the monster on their backs.

Looking into the American bag of trick slogans, President Barack Obama reaches in and grabs at anything that comes up: The United States will stand up for human rights everywhere! Ah, we stand for the right to protest! Yes! …But it had not for 30 years recognized the shipment of $15 million dollars of funds to corporations in Egypt to purchase weaponry and establish Egypt’s police/security state. Under its tyrannical regime, workers earn $2 dollars a day and spend their evenings in terror. And the U.S. said nothing regarding the rights of the people to protest in those 30 years!

And protest, here, results in FBI raids in Chicago and Minneapolis and the intimidation, arrest, and imprisonment of political activists. This nation’s neglect of its children results in their imprisonment of young adults. FBI wiretapping and surveillance devices, cameras everywhere keep protesters, all Americans - under the watchful eyes of Big Brother.

The sudden issuing of birth control pills among the Egyptians or Africans or Latin/Caribbean Americans, Asians, or Black Americans will not change this fact: It is capitalism - and the people are poised to crush capitalism!

On December 17, 2010, the 26-yearold unemployed graduate, Mohammad Boyazizi did not die in vain. The Egyptian people with or without banners or posters, without feeling it was an accomplishment just to arrive at a fence before the seat of government, and without securing mementos at the event, and without reporting to work on Monday and announcing to co-workers that “the march” of a few hours went well - a few hundred attended.

For the Egyptian people, the protest is a call to toss out the worn and useless capitalist system. It is a call to an uncertain life but life nonetheless that cannot be recalled on a Monday because it will continue until, as Dr. Martin L. King would say, “freedom rings” in Egypt - and everywhere! Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.