“Omali Yeshitela Speaks” is released and people are speaking back! pt.4

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Ernesto Bustillos, Chairman of Unión del Barrio

”Omali Yeshitela Speaks” is a remarkable collection of revolutionary analysis and thought. After reading this book, one must conclude that, without a doubt, the Chairman — as Omali Yeshitela is known to many of us — is one of the major revolutionary theoreticians in the world today.

Unión del Barrio, a Mexican-Indigenous liberation organization founded in 1981, first came into contact with Omali Yeshitela and the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) in 1985. Some members had picked up a copy of The Burning Spear and brought it back to share with our membership.

In The Burning Spear, we found the most profound analysis of the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressor, and most importantly, what can and must be done if there is to be a liberation of the masses. The author of these analyses was the Chairman.

As we studied the writings of the Chairman, it became more and more apparent that his political theories applied to our struggle as well. The ideas and practices of the APSP became guides and shining examples from which we would learn and struggle and grow.

In “Omali Yeshitela Speaks,” with the exact precision and clarity that is characteristic of his writing and speaking (he is the best speaker I have ever heard), the Chairman puts forth his political philosophy.

It is a philosophy based on the point of view of the oppressed. A political science that correctly — through historical-dialectical materialism — upholds the truth: that liberation must come from and be led by the oppressed.

Moreover, his philosophy points out the fact that for all oppressed peoples on the planet earth, the principle struggle is one against capitalism and imperialism and for socialism. And that capitalism and imperialism manifest themselves in the form of white power.

Not an armchair revolutionary, throughout the pages of “Omali Yeshitela Speaks,” the Chairman urges and motivates us to destroy the dialectical relationship that exists between the colonized and the colonizer, the oppressed and the oppressor. As he explains in this book, “I believe that practice is primary. If we get to work, we learn, share and sum up our experiences.”

This book also expresses the fundamental necessity for the creation of true revolutionary internationalism. The Chairman clearly exposes to us the existence of an international-global unity among capitalists in their vicious exploitation and oppression of the world’s masses. That, in most cases, borders are imposed upon us by our oppressors. In true revolutionary internationalist form, the Chairman explains to us, “We are convinced that there is no future for us within the borders that have been defined for us by imperialism.”

Time and time again, within the pages of “Omali Yeshitela Speaks,” the Chairman expresses unity with the Mexican-Indigenous, Filipino, and other oppressed people. But it is not any ordinary unity. It is a type of unity that respects and unconditionally supports other people’s right to self-determination.

This is something that the “White Left” or multi-national socialist organizations within occupied America (known to some as the United States) have never done; and in “Omali Yeshitela Speaks,” the Chairman correctly and rightly jams them up for it.

The Chairman’s experiences and ideas are not only written in the pages of “Omali Yeshitela Speaks,” but are alive in the world; alive and moving forward the liberation process. They are alive in the African People’s Socialist Party and the African Socialist International.

They are also alive among the masses — the workers, poor, students, and prisoners of all nationalities. And they are certainly alive within my own organization, Unión del Barrio.


Tierra y Libertad!



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