Saturday, November 23, 2013

The letter Huey P. Newton to the Republic of New Afrika

This is Huey P. Newton at Los Padres, California 1969, September 13. Greetings to the Republic of New Africa and President Robert Williams. I’m very happy to be able to welcome you back home. I might add that this is perfect timing. And we need you very much, the people need you very much. And now that the consciousness of the people is at such a high level, perhaps they will be able to appreciate your leadership, and also be ready to move in a very revolutionary fashion.

Some time ago I received a message from the Republic of New Africa with a series of questions concerning the philosophy of the Black Panther Party; and very detailed questions on certain stands, and our thinking on these positions. At that time I wasn’t prepared to send a message out. I’ve had to think about many of the questions, and due to the situation here it’s very difficult for me to communicate, so this explains the lapse of time between question and answer. I won’t be able to expound on all the questions but I would like to give some general explanations of the Black Panther Party’s position, as related to the Republic of New Africa.

The Black Panther Party’s position is that the Black people in the country are definitely colonized, and suffer from the colonial plight more than any ethnic group in the country. Perhaps with the exception of the Indian, but surely as much even as the Indian population. We too, realize that the American people in general are colonized. And they’re colonized simply because they’re under a capitalist society, with a small clique of rulers who are the owners of the means of production in control of decision making. They’re the decision making body, therefore, that takes the freedom from the American people in general, and they simply work for the enrichment of this ruling class. As far as Blacks are concerned, of course, we’re at the very bottom of this ladder, we’re exploited not only by the small group of ruling class, we’re oppressed, and repressed by even the working class Whites in the country. And this is simply because the ruling class, the White ruling class uses the old Roman policy of divide and conquer. In other words the White working class is used as pawns or tools of the ruling class, but they too are enslaved. So it’s with that historical policy of dividing and ruling, that the ruling class can effectively and successfully keep the majority of the people in an oppressed position; because they’re divided in certain interest groups, even though these interests that the lower class groups carry doesn’t necessarily serve as beneficial to them.

As far as our stand on separation, we’ve demanded, as you very well know, a plebiscite of the U.N. to supervise, so that Blacks can decide whether they want to secede the union, or what position they’ll take on it. As far as the Black Panther Party is concerned we’re subject to the will of the people, but we feel that the Republic of New Africa is perfectly justified in demanding and declaring the right to secede the union. So we don’t have any contradiction between the Black Panther Party’s position and the Republic of New Africa’s position it’s simply a matter of timing. We feel that certain conditions will have to exist before we’re even given the right to make that choice. We also take into consideration the fact that if Blacks at this very minute were able to secede the union, and say have five states, or six states, it would be almost impossible to function in freedom side by side with a capitalist imperialist country. We all know that mother Africa is not free simply because of imperialism, because of Western domination. And there’s no indication that it would be any different if we were to have a separate country here in North America. As a matter of fact, by all logics we would suffer imperialism and colonialism even more so than the Third World is suffering it now. They are geographically better located, thousands of miles away, but yet they are not able to be free simply because of high technological developments, the highest technological developments that the West has that makes the world so much smaller, one small neighborhood.

So taking all these things into consideration, we conclude that the only way that we’re going to be free is to wipe out once and for all the oppressive structure of America. We realize we can’t do this without a popular struggle, without many alliances and coalitions, and this is the reason that we’re moving in the direction that we are, to get as many alliances as possible of people that are equally dissatisfied with the system. And also we’re carrying on, or attempting to carry on a political education campaign so that the people will be aware of the conditions and therefore perhaps they will be able to take steps to controlling these conditions. We think that the most important thing at this time, is to be able to organize in some fashion so that we’ll have a formidable force to challenge the structure of the American empire. So we invite the Republic of New Africa to struggle with us, because we know from people I’ve talked to, (I’ve talked to May Mallory, and other people who are familiar with the philosophy of the Republic of New Africa), they seem to be very aware that the whole structure of America will have to be changed in order for the people of America to be free. And this again is with the full knowledge and full view of the end goal of the Republic of New Africa to secede. In other words, we’re not really handling this question at this time because we feel that for us that is somewhat premature, that I realize the psychological value of fighting for a territory. But at this time the Black Panther Party feels that we don’t want to be in an enclave type situation where we would be more isolated than we already are now. We’re isolated in the ghetto areas, concentrated in the north, in the metropolitan areas, in the industrial areas, and we think that this is a very good location as far as strategy is concerned, as far as waging a strong battle against the established order. And again I think that it would be perfectly justified if Blacks decided that they wanted to secede the union, but I think the question should be left up to the popular masses, the popular majority. So this is it in a nutshell.

As l said before, I don’t have the facilities here to carry on long discussions. I look forward to talking with Milton Henry [later known as Gaidi Obadele–Rashid] in the near future, if it’s possible, (I know that he has his hands full now) or representatives of the Republic of New Africa, so we can talk these things over. There are many things I heard, things I read, I’m in total agreement with. I would like for the Republic of New Africa to know that we support Robert Williams, and his plight at this time; that we support him one hundred per cent, and we’re willing to give all services asked of us, and we would like to find out exactly what we can do that would be most helpful in the court proceedings coming up, what moral support we could give. Perhaps we could send some representatives, and we will publish in our paper, “THE BLACK PANTHER,” the criminal activities that he’s been victim of for some eight or nine years. I would also like to request of the Republic of New Africa to give us some support to Bobby Seale our Chairman of the Black Panther Party. Bobby Seale is now in prison as you know in San Francisco, he has a case coming up in Chicago, and one in Conn., and we invite the Republic of New Africa to come in support. We would like this very much, and whatever moral support they could possibly give, we would welcome it. We should be working closer together than we are and perhaps this would be an issue that we could work together on. The issue is the political prisoners of America, and people as one to stand for the release of all political prisoners; and this might be a rallying point where all the Black revolutionary organizations and parties could rally around. Because I truly believe that some good comes out of every attack that the oppressor makes, so perhaps this will be a turning point in both our organizations and parties. So I would like to say, “ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE, AND MORE POWER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NEW AFRICA, ROBERT WILLIAMS.”

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SANYIKA SHAKUR contemplates Thug Life (Writes on Tupac Shakur)

Soul Invictus

SANYIKA SHAKUR contemplates Thug Life

This, the shooting death of my dear friend Tupac, is beyond being explained away with a simple cliché such as "Live by the sword, die by the sword." These sorts of excuses are invoked by the tepid in order to overstand (fully realize) the actuality of our existence here in amerika - and, subsequently, the virtual stranglehold that this entails.

Collectively, we are dying a slow, agonizing death, almost as if by strangulation. Such a death as strangulation, ending with suffocation, is a terrible way to die. So, rather than face forward, seemingly leaning into the clutching palms of this hostile force, we tend by some atavistic character defect to turn and run backwards, We run headlong in the direction opposite of progress towards some nonexistent nostalgic Utopia. And in order to attach some sense of logic to this abnormal behaviour, we parrot inane cliches which consequently (supposedly) absolve our foolishness - cliches such as "the good ol' days","back in the day", etc. This form of dementia was coined "colonial warfare mental disorder" by Dr Franz Fanon. As a colonized nation, we suffer en masse the effects of such conditioning.

In his material, Tupac did not so much prophesy his own death as the slow, agonizing death of us all. On fist glance it would appear that Pac, with his lyrical fusillade, had the uncanny ability to foretell coming events, as if indeed he were an adept of some esoteric theosophy. And, in all honesty, he did tend to buzz about as if he alone were privy to some deep secret that would soon unveil itself. However, upon closer examination of his material and indeed his actions, it would appear that he was just in tune to the maniacal machinations of this menacing society. And, as a consequence of his overstanding this, he chose to be a formidable menace himself. A menace to the society - of which he was keenly aware - that activated thuggery on every level.

Tupac was, and recognized himself to be, an outlaw. Every colonial subject must reconcile themselves with one day becoming an outlaw; it is the nature of the threat to create laws to exclude us. Pac functioned outside of established law because he overstood that amerika as an empire was founded on gangsterism - that, in fact, amerika is a gnagster nation headed up by international thugs. He had no respect for them, for to recognize their legitimacy or even the legality of the amerikan empire would be tantamount to condoning. Our national oppression, therefore - every law the empire instituted - Pac clearly, often violently, opposed.

And to further antagonize the already tenuous relationship between the colonizer and the colonized rebel. Pac began his own peculiar form of thuggery and called it Thug Life. Thus by dint of practicality and symolistic activation, millions were awakened to its existence. Unlike the amerikan thugs, who veiled their criminal activity in well-to-do cloaks of "democracy," etc. Pac flaunted his, and the people responded with overstanding.
Without a doubt, Pac was a rider, a courageous young brother and a street soldier who represented what he wrote about. He was not simply a "camera" which recorded a scene and relayed it. He was a practitioner of his prose. Perhaps if he had been butr a studio gangsta, a wax banger like most, he would still be among us physically. However - and ironically - his death is testament to his authenticity. A most unfortuante way to prove a point.

Languishing here as I do, having incurred the extreme disfavour of my captors, there is no access to electronic appliances, newspapers, magazines, etc. It is utterly frustrating, therefore, having to rely on unsure sources of crucial data. Although Pac was shoth on the seventh of September, it wasn't until the 11th that a corrections officer came to me and said, "You know they shot your boy, huh?" I asked whom he was referring to and he said, "Tupac Shakur." When I pressed for details, he had none to offer. I slid back into my darkened cell and paced the curt space. Like most, my thoughts went to the East Coast and I knew, just like in the early ;80s when another lethal conflict took my youth, that I'd have to administer some of my military expertise to quell this threat. And it's ironic, really, in two ways, because I told Pac that this thing was getting too hostile - that either he had to smash his foes or they'd smash him. Now it seems, however, that Pac was shot by some indigenous Westerners. Crips, the word is. Is there then a possible connection with the earlier brawl in the MGM parking lot, which was with some South Side Compton Crips, and Suge Knight's Piru affiliation? Did Pac underestimate the nature of indigenous Westerners thru some Death Row-orchestrated illusion? We are left to contemplate these issues.

Although Pac was a bona fide street soldier, it's obvious that his actions as of late in conjunction with Death Row had taken him out of his element. Most, if not all, of his former connections with Cato and Mental's homies from the Inglewood Village Crips had been cut. And it was obvious - even before he'd gotten the MOB tattoo - that he was leaning dangerously close to the Piru Mob in Compton. The initial clash (and here I'm merely speculating) could have occured as a consequence of Red and Blue rivalries, which again would have taken Pac out of his element.
As it happened, I was notified of his death about 10:30 pm. The C/O simply said, "Oh, yeah, Tupac passed away today at 4:03 pm." I sent my thoughts for his spirit to the ancestors and felt comfortable in their infinite wisdom to accept him warmly.
I'm hurt, yes. He was my friend. He an I, along with Mike Tyson, exchanged many letters while we were prisoners. We had plans of constructing a youth organization of which he was the progenitor. Just Us is what he called it. Now, more than ever, Mike and I have to work to make this, his vision, live. In closing, I'm reminded of the last conversation I had with his mother, Afeni. She said, "Sanyika, it's strange, 'cause we've been having such good luck lately. We're just hoping it lasts; but at the same time we are bracing ourselves for whatever." None of us could have envisioned it to be this hard. To Sista-Mother Afeni, your immediate family and the whole Shakur Tribe: "Keep ya head up."