MALCOLM X: A REMINDER OF WHY THEY OWE US!
By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (April 15, 2005)
On Thursday, May 19, 2005 the National Black United Front Chicago Chapter will present its Malcolm X 80th Birthday Commemoration and Celebration in the auditorium of South Shore High School located at 7529 South Constance Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the program begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. The keynote address for this special event will come from a dynamic father and son duo. Attorney Lionel Jean Baptiste who is the lead attorney on the Corporate Reparations Lawsuit and his student organizer / activist son, Ayinde Baptiste will “Speak On Malcolm” because Brother Malcolm reminded us often that they owe us!
Malcolm X was born May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. The growing African Reparations Movement in America and worldwide is gaining momentum and Malcolm's spirit helps us in our work as the Reparations Movement continues to develop. Malcolm made the following profound and concise statement on Reparations that we should continue to use in our organizing work:
If you are the son of a man who had a wealthy estate and you inherit your father’s
estate, you have to pay off the debts that your father incurred before he died. The only reason that the present generation of white Americans are in a position of economic strength...is because their fathers worked our fathers for over 400 years with no pay...
We were sold from plantation to plantation like you sell a horse, or a cow, or a chicken,
or a bushel of wheat... All that money...is what gives the present generation of American whites the ability to walk around the earth with their chest out... like they have some kind of economic ingenuity. Your father isn’t here to pay. My father isn’t here to collect. But I’m here to collect and you’re here to pay!
Malcolm X, November 23, 1964, Paris, France
Day-by-day, African people in America are becoming more familiar with the concept of reparations and what it means to our continued struggle in America for self-determination, liberation, independence, and freedom. Therefore, we must be clear that reparations means repair for the damages inflicted on a people or a nation. In pursuit of this repair, we are conscious of the fact we must engage in the process of assuming responsibility for repairing ourselves that includes: changing the way we think, supporting our own institutions, particularly financially, supporting our families, supporting our own Black business enterprises, cleaning up our own communities, and changing the way we relate to, and think of, each other as a people. These are just a few of the internal repairs we must constantly work on.
In this connection, part of our internal repair is to struggle, fight, mobilize, and organize to demand external reparations from those governments, corporations, and institutions that are responsible for our historical and continuing state of oppression. Just as Jewish people proclaim “Never Forget,” African people should do no less.
We should “Never Forget” that “They Owe Us!” Part of our internal repair is to consciously understand that, “We Are Owed” and have a historic responsibility to demand reparations from those forces of white supremacy that continue to benefit from what they did to us that lingers on as part of the vestiges of our enslavement.
As we prepare for our participation in the next reparations lawsuit hearing, we should be clear that They Owe Us For:
1. The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery- The United Nations World Conference Against Racism declared that the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery were Crimes Against Humanity. Crimes against humanity have no statute of limitations.
2. Expropriation of Our Labor- For more than 250 years, we were forced to work for free. Our free labor was a major ingredient in the building of America and its wealth as a nation. Also, the thousands of white individuals and their families’ accumulated wealth that continues to benefit them as a result of our free labor.
3. Slave Code Laws- The slave owners developed their own codes of what they could do to enslaved African people in America that permeated throughout the emergence of this country. In many ways, informal slave codes exist today (racial profiling).
4. Destruction of the African Family- The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery had a devastating impact on destroying and dismantling African families.
5. Raping of African Women- Our capture and enslavement provided white men with the power to rape African women and girls by the thousands without reprisal.
6. Fugitive Slave Laws- When our enslaved ancestors resisted their enslavement and fled plantations, the government of this country sanctioned laws and policies that supported the capture and return of so-called runaway enslaved Africans. The Dred Scott Decision should be consulted to fully understand the implications of the Fugitive Slave Laws.
7. Colonizing of Our African Culture- Created systems by law and societal practices that forbade African people, in our captured state, to engage in our traditional spiritual cultural practices.
8. KKK Night Riders and Lynchings- The Ku Klux Klan was established in the late 1860s as a secret society whose mission was to exterminate, by any means necessary, African people in America. They were known to have been responsible for the lynching and murdering of thousands of African men, women, and children.
9. The 13th and 14th Constitutional Amendments- The abolishment of slavery was really a constitutional scam and the 14th Amendment that allegedly made African people citizens of America was imposed on us. We were never asked if we wanted to be citizens.
10. Denied Our 40 Acres and a Mule- We didn’t get it! It was sold down the river and the land was given to white confederate soldiers.
11. Jim Crow Laws- The Jim Crow Policies of America became the fabric and foundation of American society after the period of Reconstruction. Jim Crow Laws and Policies reinforced the foundation of white supremacy and Black inferiority in every aspect of American society.
12. Fighting and Dying In Imperialist and White Supremacist Wars- We fought and died for the freedoms of others and were denied our own freedoms and civil rights.
13. Assassination of Black Leaders- Malcolm X, Dr. King, Fred Hampton, and Mark Clark to name a few.
14. COINTELPRO- This was a government program, established by the FBI, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, designed to destroy the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and 70s.
15. Crack Epidemic- Research reveals the United States Government, through the CIA, targeted Black communities for the dispensing of Crack Cocaine.
16. Criminalizing Our Youth- It should be obvious that the aim of the Prison Industrial Complex is to Criminalize Our Youth to insure a young and viable work force for this multibillion-dollar industry.
17. Jailing of Freedom Fighters- The incarcerating of our Freedom Fighter thus, making them Political Prisoners.
18. & 19. Centuries of Mis-Education and Mental Atrocities- This has caused serious damage to our people, which continues to cause much mental confusion about our true reality as an African people in America and around the world.
Join us for Malcolm’s 80th Birthday Commemoration and Celebration on May 19th in the South Shore High School auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public. Remember, “They Owe Us!”
National Black United Front (NBUF)