What Blacks in America can learn from the uprisings in Libya, Egypt, and Iran.
First, let me say that evidence shows that these uprisings are ENGINEERED. They are not popular uprisings by the people, but of so called “rebel” groups. Even the media was confused in the beginning of the Libyan uprising, asking “who are these rebels?” (indicating the media didn’t think they we’re Libyan nationals). For the sake of this article, we will assume that these are legitimate uprisings (which, I repeat, they are not).
Debates are welcome in the comments section.
Some most Black men and women in America don’t think we need a revolution. Well if you remember from Blueprint for Revolution Part 1, I wrote that the first two factors to Black revolution are favorable pre-conditions and individual motivation – and damned if we don’t have both here in America! Let me elaborate:
The International Criminal Court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi, his son, Saif al-Islam, and Libya’s intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity. They claimed that Gaddafi killed off a bunch of prisoners in his custody. America’s government was quick to back up the charges.
According to a 2007 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice), from 2003 through 2005 at least 2,002 people died during their arrests by state and local law enforcement officers. The Bureau of Justice Statistics report also shows that those who are killed by police are primarily young Black and Latino men. More than half of the victims were Black or Latino, even though Black and Latino people make up only 27% of the U.S. population. Over 50% of those killed were under 35 years old. And almost half of those killed—by the cops’ own admission—were not committing a violent offense. (Shouts to Walker Tisdale III over at Healthyblackmen.org for this info)
So Blacks in America are being shot in the back while face down and handcuffed by government officials (see BART Police shooting of Oscar Grant; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BART_Police_shooting_of_Oscar_Grant) and the best we can do is tear up some streets. That alone should be enough individual motivation for all Blacks in America – if it can happen to him, it can happen to you. But as a result of this crime against a human, there has been no change in law enforcement policies or government regulation. No accountability for those officials responsible or those that sit on their hands and let Black genocide rip. No rebel uprising against a Prison-Corporation Complex. Did the family even get any restitution? At least New York City agreed to pay more than $7 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the family and two friends of Sean Bell, a 23-year-old black man who was fatally shot by the police in 2006 on what would have been his wedding day.
Anyone who disagrees with the fact that there must be a revolution right here in America – a Black Spring, if you will – is blind to the fact that we live under a truly oppressive regime of catch-22 laws and corporate imperialism. Even law abiding citizens can find themselves slapped with felonies over breaking a law they didn’t even know existed – such is the nature of this regime we live under. (see: As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared; Wall Street Journal, Jul 23, 2011).
So now that a few points have been made on the necessity for revolution, we can continue with the three most critical factors for sustaining a social movement after it has begun.
1. A means of coordinating efforts towards a specific objective
Young people in Iran used Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook to coordinate protests against their authoritarian regimes, and groups of pissed off teenagers in the U.S. and the U.K. used the same technology to wreak havok.
In Germantown, Maryland, it took less than a minute for a flash mob of teenagers to descend on a 7-Eleven, ransack shelves and make off with hundreds of dollars worth of stuff. “We had always thought flash mobs happen in big cities. We are unprepared. We don’t have anyone who has social-media expertise,” said county police spokeswoman Janelle Smith. “Even if we did, our budget looks like every other law enforcement agency in the country. It’s not pretty.” – see: Police scramble to fight flash-mob mayhem
As a unified force, with “one aim and one destiny”, social media could be leveraged that would make the civil rights mass movements of last century pale in comparison. Imagine if the Montgomery Bus Boycotters had Facebook to coordinate pickups and alternate routes? Imagine if Marcus Garvey had an eBay Africa! Imagine if the Black Panther Party had all the knowledge of the planet at their disposal via the internet?
We have the technology that would empower a coordinated effort, but to what ends?
Those ends would be, as Malcolm X advocated, the complete separation of African Americans from white people and the establishment of a separate country for black people. With all the diasporic groups in America coming together with the power of social media to achieve those ends, a productive revolution would be at hand.
2. A transitional plan, government, and system
Once a revolution has begun, its important that the groups behind it have a solid plan in place for when the dust settles. Lets return to the Middle East for some examples:
Shortly after then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted, the country fell into disarray. Religious factions battled each other for no apparent reason, and the police disappeared from the streets. The economy imploded; GDP crashed, falling by 4% in the year to the first quarter. Manufacturing declined by 12%. Revenues from tourism collapsed, putting pressure on the balance of payments and starting a slide in foreign reserves. Official reserves have fallen by $9 billion this year, and the real figure may be higher (Egypt is thought to keep some reserves hidden). The government has estimated that it faces an external-financing gap of about $11 billion in the second half of this year and the first half of next. Flawed elections leave the future stability of the country in question.
Before Gaddafi in Libya was even sweating the rebels, they had captured and started exporting billions of barrels of oil on their own behalf – thus making money, had appealed to the west for humanitarian aid to feed themselves and cities that they “liberated”, and were setting up a transitional council in Doha, Qatar. As of this article, Brother Gaddafi hasnt given up yet, but as he is overwhelmed, these so-called rebels (ahem…..EU/American implants) will kick off business as usual. This is an example of a good transitional plan and system. Economic support and basic human needs (food, etc) were priority for the “rebels” (other than not getting killed in the process, of course).
In the case of Blacks here in America, what was the result of the Sean Bell riots? The Rodney King riots? The WATTS riots? Nothing but more arrests and the continued decimation of what was left of a Black community. How was the civil rights movement sustained? What was the organizing body? How did these different factions cooperate with one another?
Even if there was a Black Revolution today, and the states of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia were handed over as reparations to Blacks, without a system and plan that addresses all the above questions we would find ourselves in a continual state of turmoil with the Black Panthers overthrowing the government one day, the Nation of Islam overthrowing the next, the Five Percenters the day after that.
We had dozens of opportunities to transition from this Corporatocracy that we find ourselves enslaved by: the United Negro Improvement Association in 1929, the parallel government established by the Black Panther Party in 1966, the ground-breaking 1972 National Black Political Convention. But without a vision that unified the range of Black ideologies, there were no real gains.
There was an incident in the 1960s when marchers in Canton, Mississippi began to set up their tents for the night on the grounds of an all black school. Permission to use the school grounds had been granted by the black school board but was later revoked by white city officials. When MLK and Stokely Carmichael refused to disperse the camp, police attacked with teargas and weapons fire.
“It was like a scene of hell with the smoke rising and people vomiting and crawling around and choking and crying. And then there was a kind of an eerie silence and the one thing you could hear over and over again was this thug, thug, thug sound. And what it was was Mississippi troopers kicking people on the ground or hitting them with their rifle butts.
Those marchers throughout the movement had no protection, and so all the gains made came at an unneccessarily high cost and the movement was nearly crushed.
In Iran and Syria, the story was completely different: since the government held all the power and weapons, those who tried to rise up were summarily slaughtered. Without NATO intervention in Libya, the same thing would have happened.
If a revolution is to see itself to the end, the people participating in that revolution must be protected by force of arms held by a militia. This isn’t some Black power ranting; the right to bear arms is as American as it gets:
“The people have the inalienable right to keep and bear arms without fear of Government persecution or prosecution. To restrict the right of the people to obtain arms, any arms, infringes upon the right to keep and bear arms, in effect disarming the militia; that action is unconstitutional by any definition. A militia is very distinct from a regular army. Since the militia is created from private citizens (the people), it is generally armed with privately owned weapons, acquired with private funds, and not restricted by Government bureaucracy, funding or uniformity. A militia’s role is also very distinct from a regular army in that “it can serve to supplement the regular army, or it can oppose it.” – Arms to Armor
These are the means by which successful revolutions meet their ends. And make no mistake, nothing is more glorious than when a people rise up against an oppressive regime to ensure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for themselves and their descendants. Likewise, nothing is more pitiful than a people who allow themselves to remain enslaved, comfortable and apathetic in their malaise.