Memorial Day: A colonial holiday

Memorial Day is celebrated every year on the last Monday in May.

The colonial holiday celebrates the lives and sacrifices of U.S soldiers who have died fighting to protect the United States and to fulfill its ruling class’ imperial aims abroad. 

Millions of Africans across the country will attend Memorial Day celebrations, wear pro-U.S. apparel and hold family cookouts and other celebratory gatherings in celebration of the holiday.

From the time we are forced into the colonial education system at very young ages—as young as four and five years old—we are indoctrinated with U.S. patriotism.

We are taught to be blindly loyal to the United States, its government, its military, its symbols and its interests.

We are taught that the United States is the greatest country in the world because it is the freest and most democratic; and because it is “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Yet Africans remain some of the poorest, least educated, worst housed, most incarcerated and policed and sickest people in the United States.

Unlike those who immigrated to the U.S., we did not come here in search of a better life.

In fact, we lost a better life as a result of being kidnapped, enslaved and forcibly brought to this country.

Despite our present conditions and history in this country, we are the most loyal subjects of the U.S. ruling class because many of us are still not clear about the nature of our relationship with this country.

Africans join the military because we are colonized

The U.S. military is an arm of the State that wreaks havoc upon the oppressed peoples of the world.

Africans—12 percent of the population—constitute around 17.8 percent of active duty military personnel.

And while a slight part of our overrepresentation in the military is attributed to the fact that some Africans love this country and feel it is worth protecting, the primary reason why many of us join is because we are poor, hungry, ghettoized and want to escape our terrible conditions.

The State knows that, by and large, working class Africans are desperate for a way out of our circumstances, which are worsening each year.

So the military is sold to Africans—especially African youth—as a viable way to earn a steady income, access education, secure health insurance, gain discipline, and, of course, avoid imprisonment.

Because we are so downtrodden, the ruling class can effectively conscript working class Africans into its military.

Enlisting is almost compulsory because working class African youth see no other options.

In many cities the African youth unemployment rate is as high as 40-50 percent.

Nationally, only 59 percent of African males will graduate from high school, and in some places like Pinellas County, Florida only 21% of Africans graduate.

Thousands of working class Africans cannot afford college, are underprepared for college, and only have the options to either work as service food workers making a paltry wage or slave away in a factory for a higher yet equally unsatisfactory wage.

So, for many, criminal activity or enlisting in the army become the only two options.

Africans should not celebrate colonial murderers

The U.S. military bombed continental Africans in Somalia and Libya and other colonized peoples around the world.

The United States is an enemy nation to the African people and we should not support its interests abroad.

We fight and die for this nation while it keeps the African working class locked into a state of poverty and desperation.

We have no future as supporters of the State..

Instead, we should celebrate and memorialize the lives of our true soldiers, those who have fought and died from the liberation of oppressed peoples.

We honor and celebrate the lives of the Vietnamese soldiers who resisted and defeated U.S. imperialism during the Vietnam War and the African revolutionaries who died to liberate African people from U.S. imperialism.

Africans should resist enlistment and join the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) in order to free Africans in this country and around the world.  

The Party is our only pathway to realizing freedom.

Forward the African Revolution!

Join the vanguards of the African Working Class, the African People’s Socialist Party!

Subscribe to The Burning Spear newspaper! 


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