The annual month-long holiday hasn’t quite made its presence felt in Baltimore though many comrades believe it would turn things around if a revolution was declared in Charm City
“Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done; discover your humanity and your love in revolution.” – George Jackson, ‘Blood in my Eye’
Those who know anything about the days of ‘the struggle’ know that two of the most hailed and celebrated revolutionist of the 20th century would certainly have to be George and Jonathan Jackson, aka the Soledad Brothers. Along with freedom fighter Angela Jackson, these impassioned black leaders – who embraced the principles of unity, self-sacrifice, political education, physical fitness and/or training in martial arts, resistance and revolution – transformed a nation of savages into a refined class of self righteous and learned leaders.
They became known to African Americans worldwide as heroes, fighting for the rights of blacks and political prisoners against an oppressed system of society; yet, was targeted by the government as Public Enemy #1. On August 7, 1970 – some 42-years ago – a young teenager by the name of Jonathan Jackson led a ‘Courthouse Slave Rebellion’ to free his older brother George from the chains of the oppressed which ultimately led to almost the entire team being shot dead that day. George, who was never freed from that attempt, was killed one year later inside the walls of the San Quentin prison industrial complex located in California on August 21st. It is primarily because of these two unfortunate and untimely deaths, along with other martyred freedom fighters such as Khatari Gaulden, James McClain and William Christmas, that we celebrate this month in what is known as, ‘Black August’.
George Jackson, was the Black Panther revolutionist who has was sentenced to a 1-99 year sentence for a reported theft of less than $70, was the founder of what is known as the Black Guerrilla Family – a prisoner protection unit of soldiers protecting themselves from the violent actions of white correctional officers. It is within this month of August that we recall the loss exacted by our ancestors revolutionary movements, while celebrating and mourning the assassination of George and Jonathan at the hands of ‘the man’. Celebrated freedom fighter Mumia Abu-Jamal said it best when he noted that, “August is a month of meaning, of repression and radical resistance, of injustice and divine justice, of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and break the chains that bind us!”
And if these leaders were alive today, living in the City of Baltimore; they would certainly have the revolutionary brothers and sisters take up arms against the oppressive governmental system we have witnessed come from our own, coming from the city’s own White House – City Hall. The racist overtures of targeting failing and closing recreation centers, the obvious horrific school conditions in our neighborhoods, coupled with the increasing police-related slayings of our young black men and women, would certainly have been enough to start a revolution. Today’s social problems are far worse than they were 40-years ago and are threatening to worsen, as the economic disparities of this country are greater than ever with one percent of the world’s population owning 80% of the wealth and the 99% of America living in poverty. Add to that the lack of adequate health care – which now is known by everyone as Obamacare – education and unemployment, the proliferation of drugs and guns while the homeless remain hungry as the majority of the recipients on social welfare programs no longer have dark skin. The result is the destruction of black and brown families and communities, social isolation and/or alienation from those that have, continued and growing drug addiction, child abuse and neglect that leaves our children to fend for themselves through the likes of violent video games that lead to massacres like Colombian or even the most recent tragedy at Perry Hall High in Baltimore. For with violence turned inward as manifested in random, senseless killings of oppressed people by other oppressed people will only lead to the oppressors left to receive the spoils of our hard earned work; blood, sweat and tears!
Given those facts and today’s harsh realities, the need to organize a revolutionary movement is greater than ever. Yet, while our people run around trying to solidify and secure the re-election of a President who has no control over our, or his own future; we remain handcuffed with a mentality that continues to keep us blind, deaf and dumb to the reality of what is happening right before our eyes! As George Jackson once said in his book, ‘Blood in my Eyes’, that there is only two possible ways by which societies can ever be governed and organized for production of their needs; various types of totalitarian methods (as reflected in many countries America controls across in the Eastern hemisphere of the world) and the egalitarian method. ‘Egalitarianism is the people’s government, and the people’s government and economics is socialism, dialectical and materialist. There must be hierarchies or the elimination of such hierarchies which then becomes that of a true people’s government!’
So next time you wonder why your young and so-called progressive elected officials decided to vote against the ‘will of the people’, remember that they also are answerable to a system – hierarchy – that got them elected in the first place; which they are now answerable to whether they like it or not! If today doesn’t represent the best possible time to start a revolution, to begin a movement for, of and by the people – then what date would be best for you?
“All political parties, as things stand, will support the power complex. Any individual elected will either be a supporter of the established politics — or an ‘individual.’ What would help us, in fact, is to allow as many right-wing elements as possible to assume ‘political’ power. …The fascists already have power. The point is that some way must be found to expose them and combat them. An electoral choice of ten different fascists is like choosing which way one wishes to die. The holder of so-called high public office is always merely an extension of the hated ruling corporate class. It is to our benefit that this person be openly hostile, despotic, unreasoning. We are not living in a nation where left-wing parties hold eighty out of two hundred seats in a congressional body…This is a huge nation dominated by the most reactionary and violent ruling class in the history of the world, where the majority of the people just simply cannot understand that they are existing on the misery and discomfort of the world.” (‘Blood In My Eye’, p 71-72)
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