Register, vote (y)our interests and continue organizing for power!

A young protester supports striking MacDonald’s workers at the beginning of the march at Oakland’s Mosswood Park. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at

6260 AAAK/ September 2020 JC-PG

Africans Deserve Reparations! Cause, Black Lives Truly Matter!

Blessings of IMANI (FAITH) Esteemed G-o-ds, Elders and Sister and Brother Leaders,

May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All – and incredible Ancients and Ancestors from millennia past, yesteryears and yesterday – find you and (y)our extended Family staying healthy and keeping positive spirits. 

Yes, i know it’s difficult to do during this ongoing deadly coronavirus pandemic; deepening imperialist monopoly capitalist economic depression; worsening corporate abuse of Mama Nature and increasingly devastating climate catastrophes; all the result of the ongoing European and american “white” terrorist wars against African and Indigenous nations, and working people, including those under lock-down behind bars, and so many who are unemployed and/or without shelter. Asé.

Please continue sending your sacred-most thoughts for the healing of our long-time Bay View Editor, the beloved Mother Mary Ratcliff. She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and she and Baba Willie Ratcliff deserve our full support at this critical time. At the same time, WE are also welcoming to the Bay Area, our incoming Editor, Comrade Malik, European enslavement name Keith Washington, who is joining us straight-outta the torturous prisons in Texas. Please, please be as generous as you can in helping this critical FREE publication thrive by making a much-needed donation of any amount at 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/invest-in-liberation. Asé.

Honoring Our New Ancestors

As always, WE offer some precious moments to pay our immense gratitude for several notable humane beings who recently transformed to the Ancestral realm. First and foremost, i/WE honor C.T. VIVIAN and JOHN LEWIS, two major contributors to our continuing movements for full human dignity and civil rights. Asé. To my dear neighbors here in OHLONE/Oakland, Queen DESIREE DUPREE, as well as our Pan-Africanist and CommUNITY networker Queen DENISE GUMS. Asé. (See Queen Mother Wanda Sabir’s remembrance of Queen Denise in the July-August 2020 edition at https://sfbayview.com/2020/08/wandas-picks-for-august-2020/ ). 

To our beloved Brother KALI O’RAY, who, in partnership with his powerful wife and Co-Director Katera Crossley, stepped up to continue the magnificent San Francisco Black Film Festival, after the transformation of his Queen Mother AVE MONTAGUE (who founded the SFBFF). Asé. And, to BRUCE WATKINS, JR., a friend, former little league baseball team-mate, high-school football opponent and whose family’s funeral home business buried many of my relatives and friends in Kansas City, Missouri. Asé.

As WE go to print in late Black August, a white terrorist fascist police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has just received a typical “vacation of administrative leave.” His act: shooting an(other) innocent, peaceful African, Jacob Blake, in the back SEVEN TIMES! IN FRONT OF HIS THREE YOUNG NOW TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN! And, an outraged African community! 

In addition, WE mourn two brave allies – JOSEPH ROSEBAUM and ANTHONY HUBER – murdered while bravely trying to wrestle a weapon from a 17-year-old terrorist fascist racist. Another ally, Gaige Grosskreutz, who was volunteering as a medic that night, was also shot and is currently in intensive care. May Baba Blake and Brother Grosskreutz recover and heal completely. Asé.

Long Live the Spirit and Contributions of these new, and All our incredible, Ancestors. Asé. Asé. Asé-O. 

Register, Vote Early and Continue to Organize for Power

As i have done for nearly half-a-century, even at the ridicule of some of my movement comrades, i encourage EVERYBODY who can … to register, vote early and continue to organize with others for power! Asé. On the one hand, some are already criticizing, saying “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are no different than Trump and Pence.” i respectfully, disagree. Believe me, i have no Faith whatsoever in either the corporate Demokkkrats or Republikkklans. Both parties are instruments of capitalism and imperialist exploitation, racial oppression, unjust wars and extreme benefits for the wealthy. 

But, between now and October-November, i do think WE need to step it up, mobilize and use our voices and votes to get rid of the ever more dangerous fascistic Trump-Pence regime; as well as the completely wrong (not “right”)-winged” Republican (McConnell) controlled Senate. As well as their supporters on the ballot at the local and state level. And, once WE to push them out, use that momentum to beat back what would likely be a very status-quo Biden and Harris administration. That is, unless WE continue to advocate for a true people’s agenda and build our collective power to push them forward … until WE have built an independent mass political party to assume and implement our authority. Asé. 

Protesters take knee for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, striking McDonald’s workers by Jahahara

WE must not do what quite a few in our labor, peace, reparations, environmental justice, prisoner and immigrant rights movements did more than a dozen years ago, during the first campaign and administrations of our former Chicago community-labor organizing colleague, President Barack Obama. Too many were so desperate to get rid of the similarly fascistic George W. Bush, and so enamored with a person of African ancestry as the official leader, they demanded WE “slow down, give him a chance, don’t be so critical” and other nonsense.

And, what did ya’ll get? Same ole brutal imperialist wars, more tax breaks for the rich, police abuse and murder, no reparations, increased budgets for the military and police, rampant homelessness, refusal of pardons for wrongfully-held political prisoners like Iman Jamil Al-Amin, Leonard Peltier and others … and plenty of stylish declarations and empty rhetoric.

So, again, i encourage each of you to check on your registration now, regardless of where you live. As you should already know, voter removal and suppression is widespread. Re-register if you have to. If you don’t like the candidates for national office, research those running locally – from congress to city councils to state legislatures to judges) and important referendums. Therefore, WE all have something to vote for. At the least, being a registered voter is one way to potentially qualify to serve on a jury which can help administer some much-needed justice. Asé. 

Destination REPARATIONS

i/WE are so grateful to everyone who took time to participate in the 31st Annual Convention of our National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), from 30 July to 1 Black August. Due to the multitude of crises facing us all, this year’s gathering, originally scheduled for Selma, Alabama, was forced to move online. Even though WE missed seeing each other in the flesh, WE had more new and young participants, than ever before. 

i want to particularly express my thanks to N’COBRA members in our West Region, which stretches from Colorado to Hawaii and Alaska, for stepping up. Yes, WE have had Africans in those areas who were members. And, offer my special appreciation to our Bay Area and Southern California leaders for displaying their wisdom, contributions and powerful energy. Asé. 

Though she’s not a member of N’COBRA, yet, Dr. Shirley Weber deserves some special recognition, for taking time to participate in our Convention. As WE have noted in our recent columns, Dr. Weber is a retired university professor of African American Studies, former public school board member and current California State Assemblywoman from San Diego. 

. . . vice-presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, as well as most-recently Dianne Feinstein (who previously dismissed our righteous claim and called us “divisive”) are now endorsers of our Reparations legislation.

She has authored, introduced and is passing several important articles of legislation that have received our full attention and support. Most notably, AB 3121, “The Task Force to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans” in California, recently passed the Assembly by a vote of 60-14. It now awaits hearings in the California Senate, before going to the Governor’s desk soon. So, WE will need everyone to take necessary actions over the coming months to help make Reparations a reality, in the State of California. Asé. 

In that same Spirit, i want to say Asante Sana (Many Thanks, in Swahili) to members of N’COBRA, and our true allies, who contacted members of Congress and helped convince them to endorse and push for hearings on our national legislation, H.R. 40 and S.1083, our “Commissions to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act.” You all made it possible that not only are nearly all of our Bay Area representatives now on board, your calls, letters and emails convinced Senator, and now vice-presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, as well as most-recently Dianne Feinstein (who previously dismissed our righteous claim and called us “divisive”) are now endorsers of our Reparations legislation. 

As of this writing (in late Black August 2020), WE now have 147 endorsers in the U.S. House of Representatives, more than ever before, and just three short of our target of 150 to begin official hearings (which WE are demanding include YOUR VOICE and SOLUTIONS to more than 400 years of government-sanctioned terrorist wars of enslavement and colonialism, kidnapping of millions, rape and breeding life-long workers, for-profit selling of humans with Black skin, mass murder, unpaid labor, robbery of intellectual property, apartheid, lynching, convict leasing, share-cropping, wide-spread poverty, stealing of Black-owned land, mis-education, medical malpractive, mass incarceration, police murder, denial of basic human rights and numerous other crimes against our humanity). 

WE invite you and your organization to become a part of our all-volunteer, fully people-funded N’COBRA. You can get involved by going to ncobraonline.org or in our West Region c/o support@africansdeservereparations.com. Asé.

Condemnations

WE condemn the murderous and objectively racist former President Bill Clinton for his attack on our beloved, brave and bold revolutionary Pan Africanist and Ancestor KWAME TURE, European enslavement name Stokely Carmichael, at the recent funeral of JOHN LEWIS.

While currently seeking more details, WE condemn the new leaders in Zimbabwe – including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF – for agreeing to pay nearly 4 billion U$ to former white colonizers for the land righteously seized by the people of that independent nation nearly two decades ago. FREE THE LAND! REPARATIONS RIGHT NOW FOR AFRICAN NATIONS AND DESCENDANTS! Asé.

CONGRATS!

INVEST by DE-FUNDING THE POLICE mural in OHLONE/Oakland. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

CONGRATULATIONS to our growing Defund the Police/Invest In Our Communities efforts in many cities, including here in Oakland! Led by the powerful Anti-Police Terror Project, Black Organizing Project and a number of other courageous groups, the Oakland Unified School District Board voted unanimously to remove dangerous police from our schools. And, after members of the Oakland City Council dishonestly passed a budget which mostly avoided the issue, widespread outrage and protests forced them to change their position. The result is a Task Force, that includes community representation, is being set-up to reduce the police budget by 50 percent over the next two years. You can learn more at https://www.antipoliceterrorproject.org/blog-entire/oakland-lays-groundwork-073120

“The Graduate,” a powerful mural in Oakland’s Black Arts Movement Business District

CONGRATS (!) are also in order for the mostly-immigrant workers at the MacDonald’s store in Oakland’s Temescal area. In August, an Alameda County Judge ruled that the franchise owner must provide safe working conditions, including adequate personal protective equipment, such as proper masks, gloves and body coverings. This past spring, 35 people connected to the restaurant, including children of workers, became sick from the covid-19 virus. Then, in late May, the outlet was shut-down when 20 of the workers refused to show up for work based on these unhealthy and unsafe working conditions. The workers received major support from many groups including immigrant rights organizations, the Poor People’s Campaign, labor groups like SEIU, gig workers such as Black Workers at Amazon and Uber and Lyft drivers, religious institutions and political organizations. Our long-time motto of “An Injury, or Illness, to Any Worker… Is an Injury to All Workers!” has never been more appropriate than it is today. Asé.

CONGRATS to our continental African nation of Namibia and President Hage Geingob for turning down Germany’s pitiful offer of compensation for genocide of over 100 THOUSAND Indigenous Herero and Nama people. If it’s in Divine Order, I will speak more on this next month. Asé.

Belated CONGRATS (!) to the courageous organizers, past and present, of our Black August yearly commemorations; as well as MARCUS GARVEY and Pan African gatherings. Many were moved online or put on hold due to the dangerous “rona.” And, CONGRATS (!) to Baba Marvin X, Queen Mother Ayodele Nzinga and participants and supporters of the Black Arts Movement Business District (BAMBD) on the Annual BAMBDFEST in Oakland. To review go to http://www.bambdfest.com/About.php

Every Black August, lovers of Marcus Garvey, who was born in August, and of Marcus Books, the historic Black-owned bookstore still standing at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland, just two blocks from the MacArthur BART Station, gather around the bookstore’s “Abundant Knowledge” mural to recognize the many contributions of this great leader and read Garvey’s profound words and wisdom. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

Amen-RA Hotep!

#BlackLivesMatter #AfricansDeserveReparations #BringOurEldersHomeNow #AbolishPrisonsandPolice #LoveandDefendMotherEarth #BlackNewDeal

Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at is a Baba (Father), Pan Africanist, socialist, internationalist, “FREE-tired” community-labor-environmental and justice organizer, writer, musician, yogi, martial artist, vegan and author of several books, including “Many Paths to Kujichagulia (Self-Determination).” He is also a Life Member, former National Male Co-Chair and recently-assigned Acting West Regional Representative of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA). Take a listen to a few songs from his musical catalog at, https://soundcloud.com/search?q=jahahara Invite Baba Jahahara to present at your group, school, spiritual temple or event c/o support@africansdeservereparations.com or FONAMI, P.O. Box 10963, Oakland, CA 94610.