Click here to go to the Home Page "Hope & Change" Or the Rope & Chain? - Keeping it Real By Larry Pinkney, Editorial Board

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"I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don't think it will be based on the color of the skin..."

- Malcolm X [el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz]

"Those who do not move, do not notice their chains."

- Rosa Luxemburg

If everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in this nation and throughout the� world are to enjoy the fruits of their labor and a life of dignity, it must first be recognized that they/we are in fact psychologically, economically, politically, and socially enslaved by a U.S. corporate / military political system whose very existence is dependent upon how skillful it is�at manipulating, dividing, and exploiting the vast majority of humankind.

The words of Malcolm X and Rosa Luxemburg, quoted above, bear reiterating andinternalizing; as do the paraphrased words of Harriet Tubman, who said of her work in the�anti-slavery Underground Railroad, "I freed a thousand slaves; I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves." Today, in the 21st century, slavery has taken on an even more insidious role as it permeates and plagues ordinary, everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people; and the sooner this is recognized the sooner we everyday people�will engage in the necessary collective actions to systemically free ourselves.

Back in the year 2008, Barack Obama claimed that he represented and stood for "hope and change." Now in the year 2011, it is becoming increasingly clear that he represents the same�old metaphorical rope and chains. Obama knew that without fundamental, systemic change his rhetorical usage of the the words "hope and change" would prove to be politically effective while concomitantly utterly meaningless. But he also knew that the pain of�woefully uninformed everyday people could be cynically manipulated by the combination of�his slippery tongue and his non-white pigmentation.� This first nominally black, head of the�U.S. Empire, has accomplished on a larger scale what his predecessors could not. He has�ensured that the elite Wall Street barons have reaped enormous profits while simultaneously gutting�� the U.S. Constitution as he continues and expands U.S. wars abroad.� And of course�the incessant systemic yammering by the talking heads of the corporate-stream "news" media endeavors�to keep the 'American' people fastidiously uninformed, and in so doing provides political cover for both the Democratic Party foxes and the Republican Party wolves.� Meanwhile, the economic and social pain of the people in this nation, and indeed worldwide, steadily and horrifically increases.

The people of the United States, and the world, are the political recipients of the rope and� chain, all in the cynical name of "hope and change." The time has come to move beyond the rhetoric of the so-called left and right to a sustained, actualized redefining, in word and deed,�of what effective people's struggle means if much-needed fundamental systemic change is to�be brought about of, by, and for everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people.���

Much of the leadership of the so-called left in this nation has demonstrated that it is out of touch with the very language of everyday people, while all of the leadership of the right has shown itself� to be absolutely callous often bordering on insane. It is time for an actualized redefining in the plain, down-to-earth, everyday language of everyday people. We must become, and quickly, collective learners and collective leaders simultaneously; learning from one another and� from history - even as we collectively make it. This process needs to cross�both color and gender differences, etc. This is extremely challenging but it must be done if we are to break free from the very real human ping-pong cycle of the systemic metaphorical foxes and�� the wolves of the Democrat and Republican parties. The Democrat and Republican�� parties, along with the current Obama/Biden regime demonstrate, more perhaps than�anything else, that they are the systemic pimps of everyday people, and only we ourselves�can break free from this terrible and debilitating cycle of manipulation and servitude. We�must take note of our chains so that we can break free of them!�

Much of what we must do in this 21st century is to be found in politically unchartered waters, but we have two important assets in this actualized process of redefining. We must utilize history and be principled. With these as our guide we cannot and will not fail. As Malcolm X correctly noted, "Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward all research." An understanding of history, combined with firm, clearly defined principles will serve we everyday people well, even as we define and redefine our own narrative, and creatively engage in this everyday people's struggle for uncompromising systemic change.� This is a WE thing, not a ME thing. Time to make, as Howard Zinn might say it, "A People's History!" Yes, an everyday people's history!

Onward sisters and brothers! Onward! Editorial Board 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 News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. 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.

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Apr 14, 2011 - Issue 422
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