Africans in Haiti, by the tens of thousands, broke their chains and though penniless, hungry and scarred by the ravages of bondage, found weapons and the will to fight for freedom against the defenders of slavery: France, Britain, and Spain. They did what no “slave” army had ever done in modern or ancient history. They defeated an empire.
From March 29th through the 31st, the National Urban League brings its fight for urban jobs to Capitol Hill with its 2011 Legislative Policy Conference. This year’s summit will make the case for targeted action to tackle the persistent unemployment crisis in Black America.
What would happen if 34.5 percent of White men did not have jobs? According to new U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old Black men has reached Great Depression proportions – more than three times the rate for the general U.S. population. Some African Americans are asking: “Will it take a revolution to spark economic change in Black America?” “All eyes are on the uprisings playing out in Egypt and Tunisia, yet America systematically turns a blind eye to the oppression in its own backyard.”
What can po' folks learn from the revolutions in North Africa? Lessons in revolutions not dictated by non-profit industrial complex agendas and philanthro-pimps but revolutions guided by angry mamaz, hungry babies, houseless elders, jobless fathers, profiled and criminalized migrants and gang injunctioned youth of color.
As the 20th year passes since the West waged war against the late Saddam Hussein and the state of war slips into greater violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is another war being waged today, one which gets little coverage on TV, radio and newspapers. This war has been essentially a class war – a war against the poor and working classes.
“This system treats us like throw-away people,” says Carolyn Brown, a Seattle volunteer with prison reform group Justice Works! An African American with a record, her effort to find a job is deeply frustrating due to systemic racism.
A new report released today finds that African Americans and Latinos are experiencing the brunt of the economic recession, from joblessness to foreclosures, and that targeted economic policies are required to address the racial economic divide in the U.S.
When I heard about the revolutionary resistance of our South African brothers and sisters in Abahlai baseMjondolo (The Shack Dwellers Union) in South Africa, who successfully overturned the Slums Act, which would have given South African police the ability to legally demolish, destroy and evict poor people from their shacks without notice, I cried.