(March 2006) A 7-year-old prodigy unleashed a firestorm when she recited a poem she wrote comparing Christopher Columbus and Charles Darwin to “pirates” and “vampires” who robbed blacks of their identities and human rights.
Autum Ashante, who is home-schooled and lives with her father in Mount Vernon, was invited by a music teacher to present her poetry during a Black History Month program at Peekskill Middle School on Feb. 28. She has written her own poetry and performed in front of audiences since she was 4.
Before reciting a poem, Ashante asked only the black students in the audience to stand and recite with her the “Black Child’s Pledge” by the Black Panther Party’s Shirley Williams. According to Newsday, when white students also stood during her recitation of the pledge, Autum asked them to sit down. It begins, “I pledge allegiance to my black people. I pledge to develop my mind and body to the greatest extent possible. I will learn all that I can in order to give my best to my people in their struggle for liberation.”
Here’s the poem:
White Nationalism Put U In Bondage
White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirate and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
Drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel, tricks and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look in our streets
The mis-education of she and Hegro — leaves you on your knee2grow
Black lands taken from your hands, by vampires with no remorse
They took the gold, the wisdom and all of the storytellers
They took the black women, with the black man weak
Made to watch as they changed the paradigm
Of our village
They killed the blind, they killed the lazy, they went
So far as to kill the unborn baby
Yeah White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirates and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
They drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel laden feet, throw in the tricks alcohol and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look at our streets.
according to the Daily News, in June of 2011, at 12 years old she was accepted into UConn
but then in July, UConn said she supposedly was never accepted.
There is a lot of confusion and strife among people fighting for justice surround the legacy and character of the Soviet Union and other states that existed/exist which were/are striving towards socialism.
In order to correctly analyse the significance of these attempts at socialism, we can’t rely on our gut feelings, general consensus, and particularly not on what US capitalist media tell us about the Soviet Union or other worker’s states.
We need to base our analysis in a materialist point of view, looking at the class character of these states — which classes did they serve? Which classes did they work against and undermine?
Here’s a great example of such an analysis. It’s an excerpt from Workers World Party founder Sam Marcy’s book, “The Class Character of the Soviet Union”, published in 1977:
The class character of the Soviet Union has been at the bottom of the most heated political controversies in the left-wing movement virtually since the birth of the Soviet Socialist Republic. It is, at least in part, the fundamental axis of the world political struggle today, and it is impossible to construct a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist program in any single country without taking into account the class character of the USSR.
We, of course, believe neither that there is a new exploiting class in the Soviet Union, nor that there has been a return of the bourgeoisie to power there under the guise of Marxist-Leninist phraseology. We firmly adhere to the position that the USSR is a workers’ state, although it has undergone a severe strain, deterioration, and erosion of revolutionary principles, and is moreover headed by a privileged, conservative bureaucracy which limits, distorts, and has on many occasions endangered the very existence of the socialist forms of organization in the USSR. This bureaucracy arose under the desperate conditions facing the newborn workers’ state in its early years, but was held strongly in check during Lenin’s time. After his death, however, it began to assume more and more ominous proportions.
However, the underlying social system of the USSR is infinitely superior to that of the most developed, the most “glorious,” and the most “democratic” of the imperialist states. Whatever the drawbacks of the Soviet Union, whatever its trials and tribulations, whatever false policies have been imposed on the USSR by its leaders, it has nevertheless been able to achieve tremendous social, cultural, and material progress for the masses which no capitalist state could possibly have accomplished in the circumstances under which the USSR was originally founded and developed.
Indeed, the USSR is rooted in a social system superior to the capitalist system. It is our fundamental political position that, regardless of the Soviet bureaucracy, the USSR contains a new social formation, based on a historically superior mode of production, and is progressive in relation to monopoly capitalism in the same way that capitalism was a superior system in relation to feudalism, as indeed feudalism was a higher social system than slavery.
I hope this inspires debate — post any questions or comments you have please!
Read the entire work here:
|—||Stephen Burd (via chileanstudentmovement)|
By Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have chosen sides in the Washington-backed belligerency – the side of Empire. Faced with the certainty of superpower-backed attack under the guise of ‘protecting’ civilians in ‘liberated’ territory, Syria has no choice but to secure every square foot of its territory.
Manifesto of the Communist Party
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1948)
A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot,
French Radicals and German police-spies.
Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?
Two things result from this fact:
I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European powers to be itself a power.
II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a manifesto of the party itself.
To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London and sketched the following manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.
(Original text from marxists.org.)
The “spectre of communism” has been “haunting” the world ever since Marx and Engels’ wrote these words and gave vision to the working class movement. In their time, all the various representatives of the ruling classes of Europe stood together in opposition against communism: the Pope was/is the patriarchal head of the Catholic Church, the Tsar was the absolute monarch of Russia, Prince Metternich was Austria’s reactionary foreign minister, Guizot was a moderate French politician, and the French Radicals opposed monarchy but supported capitalism.
The same has been true since then. The history of the twentieth century is the history of the global capitalist class fighting tooth and nail against revolutionary peoples’ movements for socialism or national liberation all across the world. Right after the 1917 October Socialist Revolution, troops from 11 different imperialist nations invaded Russia in an attempt to reverse the revolution! Fascism was the method the capitalist class used to brutally crush the working class wherever a strong revolutionary socialist movement had come close to taking power, but had fallen short. World War II (or from a communist perspective, The Great Anti-Fascist War) was a struggle among imperial powers for supremacy and resources, and at the same time an attempt by certain imperial powers to destroy the Soviet Union, which lost more lives than any other combatant in the war – 20 million people. Wars in Korea and Vietnam, the invasion and embargo of Cuba, support of fascists in Indonesia and Chile, a proxy wars in Nicaragua, and countless other acts of aggression are part of the US capitalist class’s contribution to turning back the global revolutionary movement.
From Marx and Engels’ time right up to today, communism — the threat of the working class taking all the power and wealth away from the ruling class and running society without them — has been the “boogeyman,” everything we are taught to fear, the ultimate political dirty word in the mainstream media. Even though Obama is a imperialist, capitalist politician to the core, don’t the conservatives call him a socialist? In the United States, we’ve been subjected to more than a century of intense anti-communist propaganda from every angle, coupled with labor union purges, anti-communist congressional hearings, blacklisting, assassinations, imprisonment, and all other kinds of repression against communists. Today, a new red scare is currently under way. In 2011, the FBI raided anti-war and international solidarity activists homes (many of them communists), and currently (as of 2012) Obama’s justice department is aggressively trying to land them in jail for as long as possible (check out StopFBI.net for more information.) The US maintains a criminal blockade against socialist Cuba despite strong opposition from the entire world. The war against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has never ended, as no armistice has ever been signed – thousands of US troops remain in the Republic of Korea, ready for war.
Clearly we need the ideas contained in the works of Marx and other communist revolutionaries now more than ever!