Amend the 13th: The need for New Afrikan self-sufficiency in Amerika

by Joka Heshima Hinsai, Executive Director, Amend the 13th

Greetings sisters and brothers,

When Amend the 13th: Abolish Legal Slavery in Amerika Movement was first conceived of in the bowels of Corcoran SHU, it was a direct outgrowth of our analysis of the origin of crime and criminality – the “gateway” to modern slavery in Amerikkka. 

It is an inescapable order of operation: Violation of the law, or “crime,” invokes the legal slavery provision of the 13th Amendment once an individual is convicted of an offense. Crime and criminality originate in the disproportionate distribution of wealth, privilege and opportunity in society – a fundamental component of the race-class arrangement in capitalist Amerikkka.

The only way to end the modern-day slave industry is to reverse – to the greatest possible extent – the poverty, social containment and economic disenfranchisement of those communities disproportionately impacted by this scheme: New Afrikan communities. 

The initiatives of the Autonomous Infrastructure Mission (AIM) were developed to work toward that reversal.

The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Afrikan communities across Amerikkka coupled with the gross inability of U.S. capitalism to meet the people’s needs underscore the absolute necessity for the implementation of AIM in our communities now more than ever. 

The primary function of the AIM is to provide for the basic needs of the people without having to rely on the inadequate institutions of capitalism, government or any force outside that of the community and people themselves.

Across this nation, the inability of our people to earn a living wage due to necessary stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines has resulted in miles-long lines at food banks, rapidly depleting such resources. 

Simultaneously, the logistics involved in moving corn and other staple crops from fields to food distributors during a pandemic just don’t exist, creating a situation where these vital commodities cannot be replenished. Ironically, farmers with bumper crops of the very foodstuffs we all need are being forced to plow these crops under rather than allow them to rot on the stalk.

The widespread establishment of Sustainable Agricultural Communes (SACs) could not only help meet the need for fresh produce right in the communities where food is now so sorely needed, but surpluses – usually sold to raise additional income for the community – could be used to replenish food banks in and around the communities where these SACs are organized.

The Emergency Response Network, specifically designed to meet the needs of the people in case of disaster, in concert with the New Afrikan Math and Science Centers Initiative, could have ensured that our communities had not only sufficient PPE stockpiles but also the manufacturing capability to produce additional PPE and train local, medically competent personnel capable of acting as reserve nursing and home care staff.

Closed Circuit Economic Initiatives (CCEI) organized in our communities could be repurposed to provide supplemental income grants to community members to ease the burden of unemployment, while the Community Safe Zones Initiative could be retooled to ensure enforcement of social distancing guidelines and that community members have ready access to masks when they venture into the public.

I could go on, but my point should be glaringly apparent: Our continued inability to meet basic needs in a society which has historically oppressed and socially contained New Afrikans has left us vulnerable, yet again, to disproportionate human misery and death. 

No one is going to rescue us from our national oppression but us. We are our own liberators.

Political pundits and so-called experts have put forth incomplete or baseless theory after theory as to why our people continue to be disproportionately impacted by one social ill after another, when in truth the origin of our woes is simple: We have failed to organize ourselves and our communities to meet our basic needs, and we continue to look upon our own interests as secondary considerations while we blindly and blithely compete against one another in this capitalist arena, languishing under the same fascist authoritarian mass psychology originally responsible for our collective oppression.

The AIM, and other organized self-sufficiency initiatives, are purposely designed to eradicate this flaw in our national character. Make no mistake: When I speak of “national character,” I am speaking of our New Afrikan national character. 

U.S. capitalism and its interests have woefully and criminally mismanaged the development of our communities to the point of intentional sabotage. Any argument or analysis which fails to acknowledge this concrete fact is either suffering under a capitalist delusion or being intentionally dishonest. 

We cannot continue to act as though someone else is going to save us, generation after generation. No one is going to rescue us from national oppression but ourselves. We are our own liberators.

The AIM serves as a foundation for that collective liberation; a way to meet our own collective work and responsibility. The Autonomous Infrastructure Mission (AIM) consists of:

  • The Sustainable Agricultural Commune (SAC)
  • Closed Circuit Economic Initiative (CCEI)
  • Youth Community Action Program (YCAP)
  • New Afrikan Math and Science Centers Initiative (NAMS Centers Initiative)
  • Emergency Response Network (ERN)
  • Community Safe Zones Initiative (CSZI)
  • Secure Communities Mandate (SCM)

Upon these seven initiatives the basic building blocks of a new culture of self-sufficiency and self-determination can be built. I encourage all of you who would see us shake off the yoke of dependence upon which our national oppression is based to join us. 

No one is going to rescue us from our national oppression but us. We are our own liberators.

Become not only an advocate of the AIM, but an active member. Become a local coordinator for one or more of its initiatives. Find like minds and kindred spirits in your community, come together and let us seize our destiny with the strength of our minds, our backs and our dedication to purpose. 

We have it within us to be mighty again and to transform our communities and our people into what we truly are: strong, self-sufficient and free men and women.

Go to amendthe13th.org and review the seven initiatives of the AIM. Join the Amend the 13th working group on Facebook and direct message us or write me directly and we can begin the vital work of organizing our communities to serve our own interests. 

The alternative is that our communities continue to suffer, beg and die in a system which cannot, and will not, meet the needs of our people, because doing so is simply not in their interests. 

Think on these things – they are cause for great meditation.

Send our brother some love and light: J. Heshima Jinsai, s/n H. Denham, J38283, KVSP B2-128, P.O. Box 5102, Delano, CA 93216.