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Tu wa moja watu (We are the people)

February 5, 2010

by Ikemba S. Mutulu

A father holds his baby as he watches and waits for opportunities to ensure his family’s –and his people’s – survival nine days after the Jan. 12 catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti. – Photo: Reuters
Dear Bay View readers, and especially my fellow convicts throughout the country, I send this call out to you to join with me in showing some love to the Haitian people. Yes, we all have problems. I too have many of my own. But they all pale in comparison to what’s happening in Haiti: over a hundred thousand estimated dead and missing after a 7.0 earthquake destroyed what little infrastructure the people had. Tens of thousands more injured, left with no medical support, and forced to sleep in the streets with no food or water.

Long before this great tragedy, though, the Western world has been shitting on the people of Haiti. And Amerika has ignored the plight of Haiti long enough. We in Amerika, especially Blacks and Browns, have a responsibility to stand with our Haitian brothers and sisters.

For the young Gs and Sistas who don’t know, because the schools lied to you and hid the truth: Prior to the European invasion – or arrival – of Christopher Columbus in 1492, a single island nation occupied the island of Hispaniola, now shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It was inhabited by the Carib and Arawak Native tribes who were all but killed off after welcoming the Europeans, who staged brutal massacres, during which they raped and murdered both women and children.

As in Mexico and South America, African slaves were brought in by European colonists to supplement the enslaved Natives, sick and dying from European diseases. They were brought to dig for gold and cultivate crops etc., which were then shipped out to the European rulers.

Under the leadership of African and Native warriors, they were able to break their chains and escape into the mountain jungles, where they organized raiding parties to free the people and to build an army. Best known of these leaders was an African named Toussaint L’Ouverture. Together the Africans and Natives waged war, over many years, to eventually repel these European invaders, defeating their great armies and declaring independence from European rule in 1804.

And if not for the blood and courage of our ancestors there in Haiti, we here in the U.S. would not have our freedom today, as it was the example of Haiti defeating the great powers of Europe that sparked numerous other rebellions against slavery and oppression – in Mexico, South America and here in the U.S. Nat Turner knew about Haiti, David Walker, Harriet Tubman and countless other freedom fighters knew of and were empowered by our people in Haiti.

The schools tell you Abraham Lincoln is the father of freedom, that he freed the slaves. But if you want the real, look at Haiti. And in solidarity with our brothers and sisters there today, all of us – convicts and comrades reading these words – donate what you can. If you have no money, write to your loved ones and ask them to donate. You can send your extra stamps to the Bay View and they’ll make sure they go to the cause. I personally am pledging $40 and will be organizing a stamp drive here in my unit.

In the Nevada prison system, 10 percent of any monies we receive is taken and placed in a savings account up to $200. We are not allowed to spend this money, as it is used to bury us when we die, or it is our gate money when we leave. But if you are broke and you wanna donate to a known nonprofit charity to help the brothas and sistas in Haiti, per A.R. 258 (page 2), you may submit a DOC-515 form for approval to do so. I’ve asked the Bay View to list the name and address of a legitimate charitable organization for you to donate to.

Tu wa moja watu (we are one people)!

Editor’s note: The Bay View heartily recommends the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, which was founded by Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover and attorney Walter Riley, who heads its board and, incidentally, is the proud father of Boots Riley of The Coup. HERF has a long track record of aid and solidarity with the people of Haiti’s grassroots, who are often passed over by other organizations. Make your check or money order payable to “Haiti Emergency Relief Fund/EBSC” and mail it to East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, 2362 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704. Or donate online at All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged.

Send our brother some love and light. Write to: Ikemba S. Mutulu, s/n Marritte Funches, #37050, ESP, P.O. Box 1989, Ely, NV 89301.

2 thoughts on “Tu wa moja watu (We are the people)

  1. twf

    Of historical interest — You can see a clip of Toussaint’s last moments in prison from the award-winning new short film “The Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture” at This film is the basis for a new feature (not with Danny Glover) that is in development.

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