Today, African people inside the borders of the United States face conditions as brutal, violent and life-threatening as perhaps any time in their history.
It is incredible to know that one out of every eight people in prison in the entire world is an African person in this country; or that in the city of Boston, the average white family has 31,000 times the resources of an African family ($250,000 vs $8); or that due to staggering death and imprisonment rates there are 1.5 million African men “missing” from African communities so that for every 100 African women in the U.S. there are only 83 African men.
What is commonly accepted by the international community as genocide is alive and well and fully in effect right here before our eyes.
From the 1950s to the early 1970s, though, the heroic resistance and revolutionary struggle of African people inside the borders of the U.S. inspired all of humanity and gave confidence to anti-colonial movements for national liberation on every continent.
The fight, the strategy, the revolutionary articulations and moral high ground, not to mention the brilliant military strategy of the African Revolution of the 1960s inside this country gave leadership to their comrade African revolutionaries in their homeland, the continent of Africa and in the Caribbean.
The Black Revolution was upheld by the Vietnamese, the Chinese, the Cubans and so many others, knowing that their enemy, the greatest imperialist military force on the planet was being besieged and weakened from within by the poor and oppressed African working class on the streets in places like Detroit, Los Angeles and St. Petersburg, FL.
The African Revolution forced the U.S. to defend themselves both at home and abroad.
As African People’s Socialist Party’s Chairman Omali Yeshitela wrote of this period:
“We know that the Black Revolution, once unleashed, gave rise to virtually every other progressive entity that sprung up in this country. It was the Black Revolution that took white women out of the kitchen and homosexuals out of the closet. It was the Black Revolution that energized the movements of other oppressed peoples, including Indigenous people in this country. It was a powerful and profound movement that shook this country to its very foundation…”
So what happened to that earth-shattering movement?
As Chairman Omali Yeshitela sums up in his brilliant book, Vanguard – the Advanced Detachment to the African Revolution:
“Contrary to the ruling class lies, the African working class did not suddenly develop a preference for heroin and crack cocaine, poverty, homelessness, police murder and years in prison over self-determination and political power. We did not abandon our children or willingly turn them over to their kidnappers in the U.S. foster care and prison systems. We did not gladly give up our power and leadership to the African petty bourgeoisie, the neocolonial class.”
Where no one else could explain what happened to the African Revolution of the 60s, Chairman Omali Yeshitela made it clear.
It was counterinsurgency, the murderous military response from the U.S. government that crushed the movement and that counterinsurgency is still very much in force today.
The Chairman writes in Vanguard, “We [the African People’s Socialist Party] are the singular voice that waged tireless political struggle and fierce on-the-ground campaigns showing that the demise of our courageous movement of the 60s was brought about by a violent and devastating U.S. government counteroffensive, known in military terms as counterinsurgency.”
What is counterinsurgency?
Insurgency is the U.S. military term for a revolution against colonial domination.
As the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency manual defines it: “insurgency is an organized, protracted politico−military struggle designed to weaken the control and legitimacy of an established government, occupying power, or other political authority while increasing insurgent control.”
Because the revolutionary forces do not have the ability to directly engage the U.S. military with all its bombs, missiles, arms, soldiers and drones, guerrilla or irregular warfare is used to wear down the enemy and make the oppressors lose their will to struggle.
The anti-colonial fighter has only two advantages over the imperialists and must use them to the max: the revolutionary must be based firmly in the masses of the oppressed people, to that the entire people and the revolutionaries are one; and the revolutionaries must be tied to the winning political line manifested in iron-clad organization.
The political theory of African Internationalism and the democratic centralist discipline of the African People’s Socialist Party, grounded in a half century of tireless struggle in the African working class, is what makes the Party the revolutionary Vanguard, the true revolutionary force capable of liberating Africa and African people and destroying imperialism once and for all.
Revolutionaries exploit the weaknesses of imperialism, creating dual and contending power that shows the oppressed workers they can govern themselves. They polarize the entire colonizer population from the ruling class to the working people, forcing the oppressor nation to stand in solidarity or run for cover.
They attack and disappear, never engaging in a fight they can’t win. In short revolutionaries drive the colonial forces crazy. This is why guerrilla warfare is called “the war of the flea,” an analogy to clusters of tiny insects that can bring down a big powerful dog.
The only thing the colonial state can do to fight the anti-colonial revolution is to impose drastic, vicious measures on the entire population to try to salt the earth to make sure the people will never try to rise up again.
The U.S. manual defines counterinsurgency as “military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to defeat insurgency.”
In other words, there is no adherence to the Geneva Conventions or any protocols for the taking of prisoners and the protection of civilians that are used in wars between Europeans. Counterinsurgency is a war without terms.
As the introduction to the 1960s book The War of the Flea: How Guerrilla Fighters Could Take Over the World, by Robert Taber summed up, “There is only one means of defeating an insurgent people who will not surrender and that is extermination. There is only one way to control a territory that harbors resistance and that is to turn it into a desert. Where these means cannot, for whatever reason, be used, the war is lost.”
Counterinsurgency is a war on every aspect of the lives of African people. Counterinsurgency programs came from the FBI (COINTELPRO) and the CIA (Operation Chaos including its MK-Ultra mind control program) as well as the Department of Defense, National Security Agency and National Institute of Health, among many others.
The U.S. government stated in its COINTELPRO documents: the Black Revolution of the 60s was “the greatest threat to the internal security of the U.S. since the civil war.”
The opportunist white left didn’t get it; the neo-colonialists didn’t get it, but the U.S. government was crystal clear about the fact that the leadership of the revolutionary thrust inside this country was poor and oppressed African workers rising up from coast to coast.
The government placed agents in the District Attorney’s office, the police and sheriff’s departments and probation offices, in the courtrooms, law firms, universities, churches, in neighborhoods, precincts and on draft boards.
Agent provocateurs were assigned to infiltrate every African organization, large and small. The CIA and FBI assigned operatives and recruited informants in impoverished African and Mexican communities in the mid-sixties. Their tactics were to “engender a fundamental change in basic moral, religious or political matters” — in other words to make African workers carry out horizontal violence even in violation of their beliefs.
Counterinsurgency used massive slander and spread disinformation, fomenting hostility between organizations. It manufactured charges against African leaders and politicians and regularly executed highly visible brutal and demoralizing assassinations of beloved leaders including Patrice Lumumba in Congo and Malcolm X in the U.S.
It locked up political leaders until death. Black Panther leader Sundiata Acoli is still in prison today along with Jalil Abdul Muntaqim who has been locked up for 48 years! Assata Shakur, who escaped to Cuba in the 1970s still has a $2 million bounty on her head.
Counterinsurgency scorched the ground with the well-documented imposition of deadly drugs–heroin and laboratory-created crack cocaine crafted to serve a particularly destructive chemical purpose in the brains of African people and to break down the infrastructure of African society.
There was a frenzy of prison building and expansion of police forces to accommodate the flood of government-imposed drugs with mass arrests of African people.
Thousands of African people are still serving mandatory life sentences in the colonial prisons–up to 500 times greater than those given to white people.
As Chairman Omali Yeshitela has made clear, counterinsurgency includes the destruction of the African community’s economy substituting it with an imposed drug economy. The only way to put food on the table or pay the rent is with drug money.
It also involves “urban renewal,” gentrification, imposed poverty with no way out creating conscious conditions to engender horizontal violence, self-destruction and despair.
It includes “integration” of colonial public schools which are now filled with cops and brutal teachers and federal grants to maintain failing grades.
Counterinsurgency is centered around police programs such as HOPE IV, community policing, Opportunity Zones, Neighborhood watch programs, snitch program and militarized police and SWAT forces that act like what they are, an occupying army, gunning down another African person every 18 hours.
A people under counterinsurgency means every African parent lives in dread of what could happen to their children at the hands of the killer cops.
The counterinsurgency includes the endless slander on TV, in newspapers, movies and shows, demonizing, criminalizing and vilifying African people on every front.
It is Wells Fargo’s “ghetto loans” doling out subprime mortgages to millions of African homeowners sending them into mass foreclosure and the greatest loss of wealth in the last hundred years.
Counterinsurgency is administered and profited from by neo-colonialists, white power in black face who carry out the interests of parasitic capitalist white power and who are backed and often funded by the white left and liberals to maintain the imperialist status quo.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the multi-faceted counterinsurgency waged against African people every day of their lives.
Only Chairman Omali Yeshitela has single-handedly defined this military assault on the African Revolution of the 60s, naming it for what it is: counterinsurgency, the military and ideological defeat of the African Revolution that must continue to be fought and which must win if African people are ever to know happiness, independence and socialist power.
Chairman Omali has struggled around this question of counterinsurgency for his entire political life and throughout the 48-year history of the African People’s Socialist Party.
He took on powerful ideological struggles with African forces who collaborated with the counterinsurgency and ideologically defeated the white left who collaborated with and opportunistically built itself at the expense of the African Liberation Movement.
The Chairman has single-handedly fought to “Complete the African Revolution of the 1960s.”
In his lifetime!
The Chairman was able to do that because his theory of African Internationalism shows that African people are colonized inside the U.S.
The Chairman has proved that the U.S. imposes counterinsurgency on a struggle against colonialism anywhere in the world–not on a struggle against racism. As Chairman Omali has made clear, “African people are not a race, but a nation of people forcibly dispersed around the world.”
Informed by his political theory of African Internationalism, the Chairman created a revolutionary strategy way back in 1977 still in use today and it IS winning!
He kept revolution alive in the whole world. He exposed and pushed back the counterinsurgency; he built the African Socialist International, alive and growing on the continent of Africa and throughout the world; he fought for every inch of political space; built countless African working class-led economic institutions and mass organizations.
He extended the African Revolution into the belly of white society by building the African People’s Solidarity Committee. He made reparations a household word, defining it as a revolutionary demand used to indict the colonial U.S. government in the First Tribunal on Reparations for African People in 1982.
Chairman Omali and the African People’s Socialist Party have struggled as “the primary custodian of the African Liberation Struggle. We have summed up all the lessons and contradictions of our revolutionary movement to reunite the African Nation and liberate and unite Africa and African people worldwide under the leadership of the African working class.”
The Party has ensured that this time around African people will win. Indeed they are winning!
White people have the opportunity to be part of this incredible historic trajectory of the final defeat of imperialism and parasitic capitalism that will usher in the liberation of Africa and all oppressed peoples!
Be part of creating a world without war, injustice, oppressors and the oppressed by getting organized under the leadership of the African working class Party.
Unity through Reparations!