by Joe A’jene Valentine
I am directing this particular piece towards the brother-prisoner who submitted the article, “Asking for my critique like I’m somebody,” in the May 2021 San Francisco Bay View Newspaper. This article appeared in Behind Enemy Lines and was composed by one Terrell Young, aka F.M. Shabazz.
What I’ll here assert is definitely to be taken by those brothers and sisters of Terrell Young’s quite unevolved political perspective as a vehemently oppositional critique as regards the impoverished and contradictory positions or conclusions drawn by Mr. Shabazz.
I take personal offense as to his profoundly incorrect ideas and arguments, even as the brother is all over the ideological spectrum. That is why I emphasize his contradictory positions, which are indicative of him not really being committed to New Afrikan liberation and communalism. To be honest, I perceived what he stated as evidence of an individual who is greatly misinformed.
On the ideological and philosophical planes, I practice and subscribe to New Afrikanism and Radical Pan-Afrikanism, i.e., I adhere to Revolutionary Nationalist and Communalist-based principles.
I’ve embraced these ideologies and worldviews not due to somehow being angry or full of hatred, nor for reasons of possessing some damn insatiable drive to perpetrate violence, as Mr. Shabazz seems to believe is the primary motivation for imprisoned revolutionaries like myself for committing themselves to struggle.
I ask, was or is Assata Shakur and others of her deep New Afrikan revolutionary commitment really bent on sacrificing our people by placing them in a position whereby they’re slaughtered by the United States’ military power?
Was this the actual motivation and political objective of komrad-ancestor Huey P. Newton’s and Kathleen Cleaver’s Black Panther Party? What about those sisters and brothers who gave dignified and indeed obligatory sacrifice – blood and death! – for the protection or defense of our communities known as the Black Liberation Army, some of whom remain in our enemies’ tombs after many decades?
One fights a monster and doesn’t recoil in trepidation.
Political violence is never an easy or simple military matter in which to engage via revolutionary organizations. However, unless you’re residing on planet lunacy, the basic and inevitable fact is that it is a necessary or essential tool to be deployed for purposes of both securing a people’s political and human rights as well as to provide military security for one’s nation.
The human right to exercise political violence, violence related to the strategic objective of realizing a people’s right to live free of colonial and imperialist domination as well as to resist racist-based genocidal programs, is actually upheld and recognized by the U.N. and other international bodies.
Yet, it isn’t violence which hardly motivates New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalists, but rather it is the fact of grasping our political priorities or interests and thus the required corresponding, and constantly evolving, strategies and tactics to be advanced towards the eventual realization of national liberation as the ultimate and truly only condition for our security.
To my mind, the fact that we’re surviving in the belly of the beast in and of itself ought to be sufficient evidence to support the argument that as a subjugated nation, we are sanely and wisely obliged to ever be prepared to engage in effective measures towards our security and securing our national interests. Again, it’s the belly of the beast in which we are consumed and which we must constantly resist being devoured.
One fights a monster and doesn’t recoil in trepidation.
This is precisely why Malcolm X emphasized the crucial necessity of relying upon and employing an array of strategies and tactics towards the realization of protecting our folks as well as to secure our political objectives: “By Any Means Necessary!”
These necessary means are not hardly limited to and only conceived of as violent measures. Yet, neither is political violence naively and irresponsibly ever dismissed and certainly nor feared. It is certainly one of a myriad of elements contained in the toolbox.
Why is it ever the case that those brothers and sisters who obviously don’t have a vague grasp of revolutionary science are those who invariably restrict our political struggle to violence, i.e., have a conditioned tendency to associate revolution and by logical extension revolutionaries with matters related to a purely violence-motivated program?
Perhaps it is due to the enemies of national liberation being the predominant influence, ideologically and philosophically, on their hearts and minds?
To reiterate, Malcolm X actually stood for and indeed defended our natural and human rights to secure our political interests on the basis of military strategies and tactics just as every other nation and people on this planet have the right to exercise and in fact do exercise.
Mass incarceration is ultimately about political repression of Black people.
I’m ever amazed and perplexed by those amongst us who fear sacrifice, while everywhere around us from the enemies’ prisons and jails – where so many play nice – to the repressive forces of the genocidal new Jim Crow machine and to the hoods of Amerika, we regularly suffer and die by the deprivation and extreme oppression of this white supremacist, patriarchal and capitalist-imperialist beast!
Death and violence inflicted on the New African or Black community
• Death and violence via a high rate of diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, cancer, liver failure, asthma etc.
• Death and violence via a high rate of infant mortality, maternal neglect, suicides, drug overdoses etc.
• Death and violence via the racist-fascist law enforcement agencies and Department of Corrections.
• Death and violence via the high rate of state and federal executions.
• Death and violence via high rate of loss of Black life in foreign wars of domination.
• Death and violence via a high rate of gang activity.
• Death and violence caused by COVID-19.
• Death and violence caused by malnutrition, exposure to the elements due to being homeless etc.
• Death and violence due to lack of healthcare.
Each of these forms of death and violence, which our folks endure disproportionately, are, in point of fact, largely the result of and directly related to our colonized status in this country. A correlation will be discovered between the inordinate forms of death and violence in our community and the genocidal programs of colonial-racist oppression inflicted towards our ruin and destabilization.
Thus, we are already doing most of the suffering and dying. As such, why do so many of the Mr. Young type fear “goin’ hard” and advocate that we “bow down?”
It is self-determination, independence and state power which New Afrikan revolutionaries struggle to achieve and not the overthrow of the United States government.
In their unevolved strategic-tactical military understanding, “Black people will be slaughtered in a situation involving a revolution,” even as we already have in fact been the ones being slaughtered via various genocidal methods, and any revolution will surely consist of folks of every race and nationality in the United States, to include white folks.
Finally, it isn’t hardly devils, as the brother defines white people, whom we’re engaged in a war against, but that of bleeding and dying human beings, particularly and especially that of the White male ruling class and those subordinate to their exploitative and oppressive programs – White, Red, Brown, Yellow and Black agents of capitalism-imperialism and neo-colonialism.
The last time I checked, the Prison Industrial Complex is actually part and parcel of Amerika’s genocidal programs. That is, mass incarceration is ultimately about political repression of Black people.
Yes, containment and control are geared towards national oppression and are based on calculations rooted in the political struggle of our nation and the United States. Have y’all of Mr. Shabazz’s outlook and orientation not perused and more importantly grasped the very serious and instructive political implications in the book “The New Jim Crow?”
If in fact y’all have, then it should be understood that our disproportionate incarceration rate is by design and not about crime; it is a political attack. Economic and social neglect and exclusion is at the root of most of the criminality, and in turn criminality is definitely produced and relied on via the rulers of Amerika or our oppressors to foster the conditions for imprisonment of large swaths of Black and Brown folks as a tactic of political repression.
Yes, poverty, low wages, high levels of unemployment, systematically produced illiteracy, deprivation of necessitated skill sets, ghettos, job displacement etc. are the primary and ultimate cause for much or most of the criminality in our community. So, it ain’t simply a matter of assuming responsibility, as far as economically motivated crime goes.
The true and greatest responsibility lies in our developing a revolutionary nationalist, not a Black consciousness, and a deep sense of commitment towards our human right of national liberation.
Indeed, it is self-determination, independence and state power which New Afrikan revolutionaries struggle to achieve and not the overthrow of the United States government as Mr. Shabazz asserts is the motivation of imprisoned New Afrikan revolutionaries.
Also, it is quite natural for our folks, in or out of Amerika’s prisons, to harbor hatred and anger towards their oppressors, just as it is natural for a child who is molested by a Catholic priest to harbor hatred and anger towards that priest and the oppressive Roman Catholic Church, which is his master.
Get back to the books – study and apply revolutionary New Afrikan science and revolutionary science generally as you live free of fear and ever … unbroken.
Oh, I forgot to mention that no true revolutionary struggles to ascend to the oppressors’ position of domination and exploitation.
Dare to Win!
Send our brother some love and light: Joe L. A’jene Valentine, C-47779, Centinela SP, A4-232, P.O.Box 921, Imperial, CA 92251.