On color, ethnicity, and the necessity for a 21st century Revolutionary People’s Party

“What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but who is ‘sitting in’—and who is marching outside of the White House, pushing for change.”—Howard Zinn

“History shows that it does not matter who is in power . . . those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.”—Dr. Carter G. Woodson

There is but one ‘race’ of people on this planet and it is called human.

The human race is full of different and beautiful colors, including diverse ethnicities. Unfortunately, however, therein can be found the cynically and artificially contrived basis for color and ethnic contention as well as economic exploitation.

Historically, some White people have enslaved and/or economically exploited other White people as well as others, just as some Black people have enslaved and/or economically exploited other Black people as well as others. This is not unique to any particular color or ethnic group of people, but is nonetheless utterly reprehensible and there is no denying this.

Human exploitation, by the powerful few of the downtrodden many, has constantly been rationalized by, among other things, the application of artificial, maniacal nonsense pertaining to so-called “racial” or ethnic superiority. Thus, terms were created to reinforce the aforementioned rationalization process.

Connotatively derogatory terms such as “nigger,” “chink,” “wop,” “gook,” and “spic,” etc., were contrived to rationalize the forced servitude, dehumanization, and/or economic exploitation of people on the basis of color or ethnicity. This of course also served to manipulate, divide, and control humans. Everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people of both genders have been systemically and artificially programmed to mistrust, despise, and fear one another on the sole or fundamental basis of color or ethnicity. Likewise, and equally as debilitating, everyday people of all colors have concomitantly been systemically and artificially programmed to trust, respect, and honor one another on the sole or fundamental basis of color or ethnicity. This has been, and continues to be a systemic trap. It was, and remains, a deliberately induced and perpetuated pathology which afflicts this nation, and many people throughout the world.

In the context of Black people, particularly in the United States, the words “Colored” and “Negro” for example, were in fact not negative. These words were originally used to combat the misapplication of the term “nigger” to mean Black. Indeed, even today, these words (i.e. “Colored” and “Negro”) are not, in and of themselves, negative. Rather, it is the negative connotation of betrayal and/or systemic complicity, etc., that came to be associated with them that has seen them fall from grace. Nevertheless, the word “Colored” is, to this day, still used in the organizational name of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.). Nor is the power, relevance, and eloquence of the classic book, The Mis-Education of the Negro, by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, in the least bit diminished by the use of the word “Negro” in its title.

Nevertheless, there are today those historical revisionists and jadedly mis-educated 21st century Negroes [in this instance your writer is deliberately utilizing the negative connotation associated with the word ‘Negro’], who lack a direct, definitive and/or experiential understanding or appreciation for what the intense cultural and political struggle to be defined as ‘Black’ was actually all about. [Reference The Burial of the Negro & 21st Century Negrodians]. These mis-educated persons are oblivious to, and/or outright ignore, the obvious contradiction of being supposedly (mentally and biologically) Black, while simultaneously being systemically complicitous, at home and abroad, as the head facilitator of and for this ongoing bloody U.S. Empire. [Reference TO BE BLACK & HEAD OF THE U.S. EMPIRE: A Contradiction in Terms]. Such pathetic, ahistorical pontificators are ‘absent the badge of honor’ [Absent the Badge of Honor] even as they insist, for example, that Barack Obama—this nominally black, austerity-at-home/war-abroad, murderous head of the U.S. Empire, be respected as being something other than a ‘House Negro,’ or worse (and no doubt more accurate), an articulate war criminal and convenient face for the U.S. Empire. They would have us abandon our humanity and principles in the distorted name of being, in this instance, supposedly ‘Black.’ We must remember this: That irrespective of our color or ethnicity, etc., our pride in pigmentation or gender, etc., must never trump our humanity and our principles. Pride in, and revolutionary love for self (no matter what our color, ethnicity or gender) is essential; but it must also be extended to humanity as a whole. This requires a continual internal and external examining and re-examining of ourselves; and to be sure, it is a struggle—a very necessary and arduous one. We must, each one of us, be critical thinkers, even as we act collectively.

Onward in this COLLECTIVE People’s Struggle

In the national and international context of history’s continuum, the enormous sacrifices made by Nat Turner, John Brown, Tecumseh, Harriet Tubman, Joe Hill, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Paul Robeson, Fred Hampton & Mark Clark, Rosa Luxemburg, Samora Machel, Amilcar Cabral, and so very, very many more women and men were not in vain, and remain an integral part of today’s developing 21st century revolutionary consciousness, and the everyday people’s struggle in the United States and around the world. The late people’s historian Howard Zinn put it this way, “I wonder how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own.” To do such a thing requires the conscious development of a revolutionary, critically thinking, thought process.

What is a revolutionary?

Perhaps one of the best definitions of what a revolutionary is can be found among the words of the former ‘fugitive slave lecturer’ Frederick Douglass, when he said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.

Revolutionaries are women and men who are about the “struggle” of politically “plowing up the ground,” i.e., tilling, challenging, overturning, and replacing the deadly toxic systemic political soil with the fresh and rich soil from underneath. A revolutionary is both a tiller and a planter; both a critical thinker and a doer; and it is the everyday, ordinary Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people who are the fresh and rich soil, presently laboring underneath the weight of this toxically unredeemably corrupt and inequitable political, economic, and social system in the 21st century United States. A revolutionary is the truest ongoing expression of conscious and positive human growth. This century, right NOW, calls for revolutionaries and revolutionary actions, but do not under any circumstances romanticize what it means to be a revolutionary—for it is a life of “plain living and hard struggle,” full of pitfalls and systemic ensnarements. Yet, in addition to being a life of commitment, being a revolutionary is also a life of endless mental growth, development, and challenge. In the final analysis, that alone can make it worthwhile.

What of ‘third’ parties?

In the United States, there have existed and still exist, so-called ‘third’ [political] parties separate and apart from the corporate-controlled Democratic and Republican Parties. Notwithstanding the often valiant efforts of some of these political parties, a truly revolutionary party is nonetheless needed by everyday people collectively. In other words, being separate and apart from the Democratic Party foxes and the Republican Party wolves is not enough. We must also be systemically independent.

The time now has come for the formation of a revolutionary, multi-ethnic, national political party that rejects and dismisses, in its entirety, this corrupt, intrinsically rotten, and unjust system in the United States. No more beating around the bush. We must be truly revolutionary in both vision and action. It is time to seriously break free of the poisonous systemic umbilical cord. We, in this nation, must become the revolutionary and collective creators of an entirely different model of human interactions here and abroad.

In the immortal words of Joe Hill, “Don’t mourn. Organize!”

Dare to struggle! Dare to win! Onward then, my sisters and brothers! Onward . . . !

Intrepid Reporter Associate Editor, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil / political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, the San Francisco BayView newspaper, the Black Commentator, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.)

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