When the bully dies, few mourn
Today there is not much out there that’s not grim and anxiety-producing for the average American.
The headlines scream the reality:
Foreclosures are skyrocketing. Unsold houses multiply by the tens of thousands even as prices plummet. Tent cities for the homeless are springing up all over the country.
The dollar hovers at its all time low. Oil is courting $150 a barrel. Gas prices are the highest ever on an express elevator to $7 and even $10 a gallon. A half million jobs have been lost so far this year. Private debt of Americans is about $14 trillion.
Food costs are increasing. The stock market is seeing its greatest losses since the 1930s. The highways and infrastructure of this country are in a state of deterioration. Forty-eight million people have no access to health care.
The U.S. war against the Iraqi people has no end in sight and things are escalating in Afghanistan. The threat of an attack on Iran looms on the horizon. Even the weather is in a state of upheaval as the devastation of floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and global warming dominates the news.
Most of us in white America have not come to terms with this reality. We are waiting for everything to get back to normal after a momentary annoyance. We still anticipate being able to fire up the SUV again for family outings anytime we want.
But as a recent article in the Los Angeles Times stated, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!”
Things are predicted to get much, much worse. Articles comparing the current situation in America to the fall of Rome abound.
This is life in America now. This is the crisis of imperialism, the death throes of capitalism, the end of the empire. Neither Obama nor McCain have answers. Someone has suggested that the candidates should choose economists for running mates, but it won’t help. This downward spiral can’t be reversed.
The party’s over. Cheap oil, the sense of entitlement to use and waste massive resources, instant gratification, the world of the mall and vacations and dinner out is finished for most of us.
This crisis is the natural, predictable outcome of a system African People’s Socialist Party leader Omali Yeshitela likens to a tapeworm, born and maintained by sucking the blood of African and other oppressed peoples on the planet.
It’s a system birthed through the stolen labor of enslaved African people along with the genocide of the Indigenous people and theft of their land and resources. It’s maintained through sheer terror, repression, poverty, war and starvation imposed on the majority of human beings.
This is the crisis of a system that has given us, as white people, bright futures and the promise of unlimited opportunity. We consider that good jobs, meaningful employment, nice housing, cars, education, recreation and leisure are our birthright.
But life on this pedestal has come to us at a terrible price, a price that has cost us our humanity. We have jobs and gas and diamonds because people in Africa, from whose land 80% of our resources are extracted at the barrel of a gun, must subsist on a genocidal dollar a day or less. Our babies have had a future because millions of babies in Iraq and other places must die of poverty, war, starvation on land so rich that resources pour out of the ground.
Many of our sons and daughters assume they will go to college while millions of African sons and daughters in this country must go to prison, fueling a multi-billion dollar two-tiered prison industry that has helped to keep the ailing U.S. economy afloat for the past 20 years.
Dancing in the streets of Africa, Asia and Latin America is likely as the big hulk of America goes under. Bad times for us is excellent news for those in the colonized world. Now they can begin to use their own resources to feed their own children, live past their 40s, realize their own dreams, develop their own countries as they see fit.
Seizing control of peoples’ own resources, land and sovereignty away from the hands of imperialism is the basis of most resistance, whether it has been from the people of Vietnam, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela or Iraq.
People just want to be free. The Uhuru Movement is leading the struggle to unite and liberate Africa and African people under the leadership of African working people. They are uniting Africans worldwide as one people whose birthright is Africa and all its resources. African people are very serious about retaking Africa as their own. This is what leaders from Marcus Garvey to Malcolm X to Kwame Nkrumah have fought for over generations.
If we can look beyond the myopia our own self interest we can see that a world in which the various peoples of the planet have control of their own land and destiny, no one at the expense of others, is the only basis for a world of peace and harmony. Only by righting this historical wrong will the collective genius of the world be unleashed to solve our most difficult problems: hunger, disease, global warming, alienation of culture from culture.
Five hundred years of an empire based on white power in the form of slavery, genocide and colonialism benefiting a tiny minority of the world’s population is coming to an end.
Now is the time for we white people to jump down off this pedestal sitting on the backs of others. Let’s join in solidarity with most of the rest of the world in building a positive future on a foundation of liberation, justice and human rights.
This is not the end. This is a new beginning.
by Penny Hess of Uhuru Solidarity