The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is calling on African people and our allies to join us in our annual National Conference in Newark, New Jersey on August 18, 2012.
It is a conference to plan for our political future and to get organized to achieve victory. The Black is Back Coalition is an organization of various organizations that are united around common principles of unity and demands. The power of the Coalition is its organizational unity that allows each of the participating organizations to work collectively with others while preserving its individual identity, ideology and political orientation.
With the theme of “Obama, the election and the struggle for peace, prosperity and black power,” this year’s Coalition Conference will be one of the defining events for African people this year.
This important conference will address the question of whether historically it was the vote that brought us change or whether it was change created by masses of organized African people in motion that brought us the vote.
Do elections work well for us anywhere?
The question is whether elections work very well for us anywhere.
There are different views on this issue within our movement and within the international African community. Some of us see elections and the electoral process as the only way to advance our cause. For this sector the election of Barack Hussein Obama represents evidence of the heights to which we can ascend by voting.
Others see the election of Obama and his subsequent actions as evidence that elections cannot possibly serve our interests, that they only serve to reinforce the very system responsible for our oppression and exploitation. For this group their position is substantiated by events in the world where the people have seen their dreams crushed to the earth by imperialist powers without regard for the peoples’ aspirations demonstrated by elections.
In Haiti, U.S. direct and indirect military intervention led to the overthrow of the popularly elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide on more than one occasion. In Ivory Coast, French occupation troops were used after elections to install a puppet president friendlier to French interests.
Millions of Africans mobilized around the world when the imperialist-supported Kabila regime retained power through rigged elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The people are also quite conscious that the only real legitimate election to have ever occurred in Congo resulted in Patrice Lumumba becoming head of state and deposing Belgium colonial rule in 1960. The murder of Lumumba by U.S., France and Belgium clearly demonstrated the respect of these imperialist powers for the sanctity of elections.
Meanwhile the election of Francois Hollande as president of France has not contributed to any positive changes for Africans in France or in the French dominated Francophone “states” of Africa that continue to pay colonial tribute to France at the expense of the economic security of African workers and peasants.
In the U.S., along with the election of Barack Obama, there are nearly 10,000 black elected officials and the actual material conditions of our people continue to deteriorate, most often with their blessings.
Nevertheless, the election of Obama as U.S. president has encouraged even more Africans to pursue elections as the road to power.
Clearly it is time for us to make a dispassionate investigation of the issue of elections and what, if any, use they have in our struggle for freedom at this critical moment in human history.
If elections are useful, then it is our responsibility to determine just how they are useful. We must use the occasion of the Black is Back Coalition National Conference to bring this discussion to our entire movement and international African community.
What should we expect and demand from anyone running for office in order to get the support of our people? What must we do to unite the African community around a common electoral agenda, a fight for public policy and a revolutionary national democratic program that can be fought for using the electoral process as one, among the many means available to us?
Black conditions worsen after Obama election
The hope that millions of people had in the Obama election to bring peace to the world and justice to African people has been illusionary. Moreover, the issue of reparations has been deliberately swept under the rug.
There is no peace. There is no justice.
Obama has shoveled trillions of dollars into the already bulging coffers of the bankers and corporations that are the mainstay of the parasitic capitalist system that was born of our enslavement and the colonization of Africa and the world.
At the same time our people have been pushed deeper into the social poverty that characterizes our existence throughout the world. Home foreclosures stemming from the sub prime mortgage scheme created by Obama’s Chicago pal and former campaign financial chairwoman Penny Pritzker have resulted in the loss of billions of dollars of black wealth.
And, while the economists talk about a growing recovery for the bankers and corporations, joblessness stalks our communities and increasing numbers of our young people can only look forward to a future of violence, imposed ignorance and prison.
AFRICOM, representing the U.S. centralized militarization of the entire Continent of Africa, is the primary vehicle currently being utilized to protect U.S. imperialist interests. But specific acts of aggression by the U.S. and traditional imperialist powers are spreading chaos throughout — in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Ivory Coast, Libya, Egypt, and Uganda, to name only a few places.
The devastating earthquake in Haiti was followed by an unremitting plague of cholera, a disease never seen on the island before its introduction by the U.S. led United Nations. The consequences of both disasters are with us still today, two years later despite the contribution of billions of dollars that never went to relief for our people in Haiti or even to the Haitian government.
Black is Back Coalition uniting Black Liberation Movement
On August 18 the Black is Back Coalition, created to give African people a united, organized ability to respond to these and other contradictions that victimize African people worldwide, will host our conference to give coherence and organization to our efforts everywhere — in every city, village, town and country.
This is our opportunity to unite our entire Black Liberation Movement around a common strategic trajectory that is based on science and that does not rely on personalities. It gives us an opportunity to deal with the election and performance of Barack Obama or any other candidate within the context of the role of the electoral process in any bourgeois system, regardless of the candidate or electoral position sought or attained.
The Black is Back Coalition offers our people the best organizational vehicle since the revolution of the sixties. It gives organizations and individuals an ability to unite around a common set of principles and demands without having to sacrifice our unique identity and ideology. Its existence and practice destroys forever the idea that Africans cannot overcome ideological and political differences to unite for the greater benefit of our people.
The Black is Back conference will firmly unite our struggle with African people around the world and with those of millions of people on every continent that are overturning the policies and structures of the past that were built and are sustained by misery and brutality.
The road to social justice, peace and reparations leads to the August 18 National Conference in Newark, New Jersey. It is a path once taken will forever change the course of history.
Forward to Newark!
Black is Back!
For more information on this mobilization, go to blackisbackcoalition.org