The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is an organization comprised of otherwise independent groups and institutions that fit within the general anti-imperialist, self-determinist tendency of the African community.
While the immediate cause of our organizing has been the escalation of the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, we are representative of a people whose introduction to the U.S. and to imperialism in general has been our own experiences as victims through the attack on our African Motherland and the subsequent enslavement and colonization from which we still suffer today.
It has been our own historical experiences as victims of imperialism that help to inform our views of imperialist aggression by the U.S. and others against the peoples of the Middle East, including Palestine and the Persian Gulf; It has been our own experiences that help us to recognize imperialist aggression by the U.S. and others against the people of South America, especially Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and the growing anti-imperialist bloc.
These experiences have also made us opponents of U.S. and other imperialist involvement in Africa and the African world at large, especially the economic quarantine of Zimbabwe, the proxy wars in Congo, Ivory Coast and other places and the imposition of Africom as a means to guarantee the never-ending profit taking emiseration of African people.
We recognize the current imperialist involvement in Africa and the African world as continuation of the initial assault on Africa. In addition, the colonization of the African continent that transformed Africa into a source of stolen labor and resources, resulted in the export of African misery and colonization to the far reaches of the earth that include North and South America and the Caribbean where Haiti continues to be a glaring example of the consequences of this relationship.
In fact, the current expression of capitalist exploitation and oppression, known as imperialism by some, is but the development of capitalism and the relations of exploitation that were born of the first accumulation of capital stemming from our enslavement and colonization and the accompanying rape of Asia and what is now known as the Americas.
This why the Black is Back Coalition is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in the struggle against the current expressions of U.S. imperialist aggression being directed against the struggling peoples of Afghanistan Pakistan and Iraq. This is why we stand in solidarity with the Mexican people, the indigenous people of the U. S., the people of Cuba and Venezuela, etc.
It is because we recognize their struggles, like our own, are simply efforts to reverse the verdict of imperialism that requires the vast majority of the world’s peoples to live in perpetual misery and poverty for its success.
It is because we know that the prisons of the U.S. are filled with the masses of our people because U.S. imperialism recognizes us as an internal colony and since the formal emancipation of our people, has maintained a public policy of police containment, most often with the democratic consent of the general white population.
This is why the brave men and women who organized themselves and boldly struck out to win our happiness and the return of our stolen resources have all been victims of character assassination, forced exile and murder. This is why scores of such men and women are now rotting in prisons or living furtive existences as hunted prey even as the U.S. preens on the world stage pretending social equality, having hidden its historically recognized white power behind a black face in the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.
Unemployment and an imposed drug economy, the ongoing theft of value through home foreclosure and other means, reveal the use of our people as a reserve labor force as well as a reserve source of capital accumulation. The police murder of our young men and the denial of any meaningful health care – all of these factors contribute to our ability to characterize our status in the U.S. as subjects rather than citizens.
While many have been moved to protest the U. S. foreign and domestic policy agendas for a variety of reasons, the Black is Back Coalition is motivated by a genuine hatred of imperialism that is responsible for most of the misery being experienced by the majority of the peoples within the U.S. and around the world.
We protest the wars and injustices directed at the peoples of the world by U.S. imperialism, but more important, our existence represents the reentry of our people into public life as an organized, conscious act of anti-imperialist resistance that has its basis in circumstances similar to those that have motivated the peoples of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Our coalition is uniquely positioned and has a special responsibility to provide leadership in the resistance against U.S. foreign and domestic policies. The fact that Obama represents the latest, most desperate ploy of imperialism by allowing the oppressor to represent himself in the guise of the oppressed would have confused and paralyzed many opponents of imperialism if not for our intervention.
We have not simply called for “peace” as much of the U.S. anti-war opposition has done. More importantly we have been able to express solidarity with those who resist U.S. imperialism, to the victims of imperialism.
Our list of demands do not assume that peace and social justice can be conferred on the world by simply demanding the resources going to make imperialist war be diverted to “domestic” use. We are opposed to imperialism itself. Our existence as a coalition marks the initiation of united resistance to imperialism, a resistance that advances the interests of oppressed and exploited African people within the U.S. and worldwide.
Ours is a resistance for Bread, Peace and Black Power. Obviously the demand for bread calls for self-serving employment that contributes to the development of our community and a return of all the recently stolen resources due to our people from U.S. actions that accompanied and followed the catastrophe of Katrina and other Gulf region weather systems. We want restitution and repair for the sub prime mortgage fraud that resulted in the greatest theft of African wealth since slavery. But the demand for bread also means reparations for all the stolen wealth that has accumulated to the coffers of U.S. imperialists from slavery up to now.
Nor should the demand for peace be interpreted to an imperialist peace, the type of peace that the slave master can appreciate as long as the slaves are not resisting and the system of slavery goes unchallenged. When we say peace we mean the peace that accompanies social justice, a peace that can only come through fierce uncompromising resistance designed to overturn the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressor.
We want Black Power, self-determination. And, while we may have differences among ourselves within the coalition about what that self-determination should look like, we do all agree that the fate and future of our people should not be determined independent of the will of our people whose conditions of existence owe themselves primarily to the fact that this critical democratic requirement has been forcibly appropriated by our oppressors.
We are approaching the consolidation of our coalition conscious of the historical basis for our unity, but also aware that there are some political and ideological differences among us. Some of us are self-declared revolutionaries, while others do not harbor a criticism of imperialism or the U.S. that would lead to revolutionary conclusions. Moreover, there may be differences among us concerning the nature and objective of revolution even when we agree that revolution must be on the agenda.
For some of us religion has been a major incentive to become organized as a part of the resistance against war and injustice. We are black nationalists, Pan Africanists, communists, social democrats, African Internationalists and just plain fed up black folks who recognize that united action among our people is a must.
It is this diverse character that gives our coalition its strength. For, such diversity is representative of the character of our community and offers us the opportunity to build a real, genuine, social movement such as those that existed in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s.
For this reason we recognize that the Black is Back Coalition must be one that respects the ideological and political differences among us, even as we participate in the most serious discussions to advance our cause. While we do not require any group participating in the coalition to abandon its belief system as a condition for participation, we do require all its member organizations to advance the agreed upon principles, goals and actions of the coalition without relinquishing their right to independent actions, ideological and political expressions outside the coalition itself.
For a coalition such as ours to be successful and victorious in its objectives it must be based on democratic principles. This is why we must be open to serious political discussion and debate and not struggle that degenerates into personal insults and slander, and all disagreements must be resolved through majority vote.
On November 7th, 2009 the newly-formed Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations violated all notions of conventional wisdom by organizing the first national mobilization in opposition to U.S. actions domestic and abroad since the inauguration of the country’s first black president. Hundreds of mostly African People answered the call by our coalition to rally in Washington, D.C and march on the White House under the slogan:
Resist U.S. Wars and Occupation in the U.S. and Abroad! Reparations Now!
The principles of unity that united our coalition and facilitated our ability to organize our rally and march proved themselves in practice and should be maintained as the foundation for any further discussion at our conference. This is also true of the revolutionary national democratic demands around which the coalition was initially organized. These principles and demands fundamental to our unity, but they are also principles and demands that confront imperialism; they indicate the initiation of a new social movement, a new period of resistance from a historically oppressed and exploited people. They state for our people and the world that despite the recent bloody past that has resulted in the imprisonment and assassination of our leaders and destruction of our freedom-seeking organizations; despite the establishment of a black U.S. president that has proclaimed a post-racial U.S., Black is Back and the struggle for Bread, Peace and Black Power is on.