Living for the Oppressed: A Journal Entry (2011) December 9, 2011 | Filed under: Articles, News and Updates and tagged with: Red Onion State Prison Conditions/News *This “article” is an entry made into a journal I was keeping in 2011 – a sort of prison diary – which only lasted a couple of weeks. A typical day. Had a good one-on-one exchange with KB today. Although he’s housed in the cell next to me, we hadn’t talked for about a week. He expressed frustration with me. Feeling years in segregation has affected my mind – negatively – in that . . .
It now seems to be a ritual: when a new movie is announced with story, cast, and production crew primarily made up of Africans, a boisterous debate ricochets around the Blackest parts of social media: who made this, who’s in it, and is it for us? For many African people living in the US, the response is always a resounding “I’m rooting for everybody Black.” (Credit to Issa Rae) For as long as we’ve been captives on this territory the majority of our people have expressed some form of intrinsic nationalism – a kind of instinctual proto-African nationalist sentiment. Certainly . . .
“As long as I’m alive I’ma live illegal, and once I get on I’ma put on all my people” -Prodigy “The fugitive nature of Blackness, the inherent outlawing of our bodies by the state and our positionality as being already outside of the law, gives rise to a Black illegalism where extralegal activities to further our survival are foregrounded.” – Anarkata: A Statement What a crime it is to be Black. To have the police be called on you for sitting in a restaurant, for grilling at a cookout, selling water, going to the pool, taking a nap, standing on . . .
“While the earth is enslaved, none of us is free. While the earth is ‘a nigger,’ … so are we.” Alice Walker, Everything is a Human Being “My turn to state an equation: colonization = ‘thingification.’” Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism This piece looks at the issue of ‘climate control’ versus ‘climate change’ in the hood. There is separation in our communities around what exactly has caused the rampant, more severe, more frequent superstorms, earthquakes, monsoons, and wildfires we are witnessing across the planet. Some people embrace the idea of climate change, which typically states that levels of wasteful overconsumption . . .
“…imperialism negates itself after laying the foundation for communism, and communism will eventually negate itself because of its internal contradictions, and then we will move to an even higher state. So of course there will be contradictions in the future. But some contradictions are antagonistic and some contradictions are not antagonistic.”-Huey P. Newton “First, I rejected their materialistic interpretation of history. Communism, avowedly secularistic and materialistic, has no place for God. Humans are not and have never been one-dimensional, class-based, economic creatures… …What I’m saying to you this morning is communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life . . .
What does organizing look like when Black radicals are being pushed out of spaces for ‘progressiveness’ that makes uncontested room for the centrist, right-wing and fascists narratives driving most platforms? When examining the conflicts between those fighting oppression under capitalism and the capitalist state’s ruling class alongside those who subscribe to “success” and riches obtained at the expense of the oppressed, few things strike me as obvious disconnects and contradictions. I am often asked about my relationship with the analytical science of Marxism- Leninism as it pertains to my studies, teachings, and praxis because it’s somehow shocking that a Black . . .
Settler-Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism It is impossible to understand capitalism without first understanding settler-colonialism and neo-colonialism – the dominant forms of colonialism still remaining in the world today. The earth’s most dangerous imperialist power – the United States of America – is itself a former British (but also in some regions such as the southwest and southeast, Spanish and French) settler colony turned independent settler state and it’s constellation of junior imperialist allies – which include Azania (South Africa), Canada, Australia, and the illegal state of Israel – are settler-colonies turned settler states as well. Every imperialist and junior imperialist European . . .
“The prison, therefore, functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers. This is the ideological work that the prison performs—it relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.” Angela Y. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the American criminal justice system currently holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 109 federal prisons, 1,772 . . .