“I Have a Dream”: A Return to Militancy! Down With Imperialism!

On this Martin Luther King day I am remembering how devastated my mother and father were when they found out Martin Luther King had been killed in Memphis while standing in solidarity with sanitation workers there. I didn’t understand at the age of 7 why my parents were so upset. As I grew older I did begin to understand clearly that my parents had been active in the desegregation movement at the time and they cared about King and the future of the movement. They were right to be concerned about the future of the movement.

We now know that the CIA, FBI, and all of the US government’s intelligence wings were working overtime to destroy Malcolm X,  Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, the Brown Berets and every other group responsible for the quest for justice in this illegal settler state built by slaves and settled by invaders.

We now know that this government works overtime everyday to make sure there is not a return to the militancy of the 60’s and 70’s. They did away with the draft to make the anti-war movement go away. They met a handful of demands in Indian country that have not delivered real power. They allowed Barrack Obama to get elected president and then bomb Libya give weapons to fascists in Syria, and use drones to wage war killing hundreds if not thousands of innocent people around the world. So has justice been served? 2 million Americans in jail, mostly for nonviolent crimes point to a vast injustice. Poverty in Indian country would tell us, NO! The failure to pass a comprehensive immigrant rights law points to insidious injustice. We have a lot of work to do.

I do not write this to presume that I know what the African American movement in this country needs to do at this point to address the historic and current injustices affecting that oppressed nation of people. Given the fact that Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Kwame Ture, and other historic African American leaders were engaged in taking on issues of war, poverty of all people, imperialism, and the dismantling of capitalism I will give my views on where we need to go from here in regard to taking down the beast of imperialism.

Kwame Ture left the United States for Africa in 1969, shortly after King’s death to begin building the Al African People’s Revolutionary Party. He no longer felt he could spend his life force in the USA, after the assassination of King and X he knew that the US government would not be happy until the father of the “Black Power  movement” Kwame Ture was dead as well. He felt that by building a militant movement against imperialism in Africa would be time better spent. I personally feel he was right. Most of the players in the civil rights movement had abandoned lofty pursuits of toppling capitalism.  A goal King had spoken to before he died.

Martin Luther King Marching Alongside Black Power Leader Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael)

Martin Luther King Marching Alongside Black Power Leader Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael)

We know that King worked with Kwame and Malcolm to develop a strategy of fighting in the mainstream and holding out the possibility of the militancy of the Black Panther Party and others to hold the US government’s feet to the fire. King had declared war on poverty, condemned the Vietnam war, denounced capitalism, and was embracing the union movement.

They killed him for it. Malcolm was even more strident in his condemnation of US imperialism. They Killed him. Kwame lived out his life fighting for an anti-imperialist Africa. He died of Prostate cancer he believed the CIA had poisoned him with. He knew the leadership of the African American civil rights movement was not up to the task of continuing to wage the militant struggle that was needed. He moved on.

Malcolm X had a lot of respect for Martin Luther King and had worked together to coordinate a strategy of basically demanding peacefully civil rights but then holding out the threat of militancy to force the Kennedy and the Johnson administrations to deliver the Voting Rights Act and other demands. It had worked brilliantly. They then began to set their sites on the Vietnam War that African Americans were disproportionately dying in.

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King

The movement was at a fever pitch at the point King was killed and then Malcolm X. The strategy was clear, it was working, it was effective. The FBI stepped in and began to neutralize it’s enemies first King, then X, then utilizing operation COINTELPRO they began to take apart the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, the Puerto Rican independence movement, the Brown Berets (Chicano) and even the white Students for a Democratic Society. They were never going to be happy as long as anyone was left breathing air who advocated the destruction of capitalism and imperialism.

Let’s be clear. The gains of the 60s’ have been under attack ever since they were won. The Voting Rights Act had hardly been put into place when white politicians began to try to dismantle it. In 2013, the Republican Supreme Court struck down the voting rights act. Affirmative Action also under attack from it’s beginning fell under the knife of the Supreme Court.

Almost everything King and his militant cohorts had won was dead and gone by 2013. So where are we now? What should we do now? We must fight back!Every year I watch as Martin Luther King celebrations roll out on January 20th. That is nice and I have no problem with remembering Dr. King. He was a great man. So was Malcolm X, so was Kwame Ture, so were many of the people the FBI and CIA assassinated great men and women. We should celebrate them all. The government set aside a month for black history and we are supposed to be happy? They killed, jailed, and destroyed the lives of thousands and never were held accountable for their role in it.

Why are we supposed to be happy? Because the Voting Rights Act was dismantled by the Supreme Court? Because Affirmative Action is dead? Well I for one am not happy. In honor of Dr. King I am pissed off! Pissed off that the civil rights movement has largely been destroyed by the FBI. Pissed off that we are in so many military conflicts I cannot remember them all, pissed off our government assassinated Gaddafi, pissed off they are still taking Indian land without a shot fired! Pissed off at so many things.

I cannot help but argue that we need to pick up where King, X, Kwawe, Bellecourt and others left off and redouble our efforts to topple this capitalist system of governance. For my part I will fight for the indigenous people, our lands, and our rights till the day I die. I will stand with my African American brothers and sisters when they are fighting against racism and this unjust system, I will stand with my Latino brothers and sisters to demand the US get their hands off Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and all nations standing against US imperialism. I will stand with my sisters fighting for women’s rights. I will continue to stand as long as I have breath to see capitalism and imperialism are dead.

Where we need to be as a radical movement is unapologetic and demanding. We need a movement that is not centered on one or two leaders that can easily be killed, bought off, or silenced. We need a new movement that does not have a stopping point. That keeps fighting, keeps going forward. Dr. King had a dream. A dream that capitalism would be done away with. A dream that imperialist wars would cease. That poverty would be ended. I will honor that dream by fighting against imperialism.


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