Published in Issue 273 of The Black Commentator on April 17, 2008
By Larry Pinkney

So you want change, do you?

It is the year 2008, and while the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States incessantly prattle on about everything but the serious, substantive and much needed systemic change in this nation, the corporate / military / prison elite apparatus sucks the economic and political life blood out of the peoples of “America” and the world. This is a deadly and outrageous farce, and it is wholly unacceptable.

The fastest growing class of people in the United States, is more than ever, the most exploited in this nation. Many of those who were once in the middle class have now been relegated, along with many of their / our Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White brothers and sisters into – the living from pay check to pay check syndrome or the no check at all – underclass.

It is time that we people in this nation understand and acknowledge that there can be no revolution without the hard work of making revolution real and the concomitant sacrifice entailed in so doing. To believe otherwise would be tantamount to a farmer expecting to have crops without carrying out the physically grueling revolutionary process of tilling the soil, etc.

To state what should be the obvious: No candidate/s of the Democratic and Republican parties can nor will bring about the kind of change in the United States needed by this nation and world. Choosing the so-called “lesser of the evils” is like making a choice between strangulation or suffocation. In reality, it is no choice at all. The real option is to get rid of the hang man: the Democratic and Republican parties.

Notwithstanding increasing homelessness in America (many of whom are veterans and children), the millions in America who are losing their homes, and the many millions more enduring sky rocketing food and gas prices, are facing only the beginning obvious symptoms of this empire’s failed promises to its citizens. This, while the bloated wealthy become even wealthier. But just as importantly, what this really means is that the U.S. Empire will become increasingly barbaric and vicious, both at home and throughout the world. Thus, the need presently by the “American” empire in the year 2008, for the current fake “hope and change” rhetoric currently being dished out to the people of the United States by the Democratic and Republican parties; the Republicrats.

There will be no real systemic change unless it is a revolutionary one, which has nothing substantively to do with mere color or gender, but rather, everything to do with dismantling and replacing this entire capitalist system, which is fundamentally based upon enticing and encouraging an insatiable human greed – instead of building, nurturing, and fulfilling human needs, and our positive potential for political, economic, and spiritual growth and development on this planet.

Up until recently when a significant number of Black Americans, nationally, threw their political lot in with the pro (apartheid) Zionist, Wall Street-backed Barack Obama for U.S. president; Black Americans could, with enormous legitimacy, say to the peoples of the world that they were fundamentally different – that they generally did not support apartheid, Zionism, and blood sucking U.S. corporations. However, for the moment at least, it would appear that this may have all changed.

Even as I pen these words the government of the United States of America is feverishly looking for its next enemy to be vilified and attacked. The thousands of dead U.S. troops in Iraq is not enough, and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead simply do not matter to the greedy corporate/military capitalist elite of America. Will it be Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, or China? Until this capitalist political system itself is changed, America will be in perpetual search for enemies and in perpetual warfare, under one pretext or another.

The U.S. empire’s corporate / military / prison apparatus correctly saw and see in the U.S. presidential candidacy of Barack Obama the opportunity to, at least historically momentarily, ensure that Black Americans are seen by the world as significantly complicit in our own political, social, and economic systemic oppression, and that of peoples around the globe at the behest of the United States. What will a significant portion of Black America say to the peoples of the world when they say, “But you supported the candidacy of those from the very system that you say is oppressing you as its victims. Why did you not say no to that racist, oppressive system?” Why, indeed.

Despite the fact that de facto racism in the United States is rapidly increasing for the vast majority of Black people, and other peoples of color (and will continue to do so); Black Americans will now be hard pressed to say with any degree of congruent legitimacy to the world that they oppose such exploitation at home and abroad, for their significant support of the pro (apartheid) Zionist, Wall Street-backed Barack Obama may seem to say otherwise. As painful as it might be for some to accept, it is absurd to expect that Barack Obama or any other candidate of the Democratic or Republican parties, will be anything other than what the war mongering capitalist machinery that produced them intended. To believe otherwise is, quite frankly, delusional.

The atrocities such as what occurred to James Byrd in Texas, and Megan Williams in West Virginia, are continuing and increasing throughout the United States. Moreover, the national economic and political atrocities by this filthy, cynically racist, capitalist system against all of the people in this nation – be we Black, Red, Brown, Yellow, or White are in fact increasing despite the omissions about this by the so called main stream media. Make no mistake about it.

We are not helpless.

The adage that says: “If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention” is correct. More to the point however: If we simply change the person heading the system without first changing the system itself, then it is we who have acted outrageously for in reality nothing of substance will have been changed.

We are not helpless.

It’s time for critical thinking. It is time for systemic change in our quest to keep it real.

Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, and more recently on the nationally syndicated Alex Jones Show. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, San Francisco BayView newspaper, Black Commentator, Intrepid Report, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), 107 Cowgate (Ireland and Scotland), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). He is in the archives of Dr. Huey P. Newton (Stanford University, CA), cofounder of the Black Panther Party. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.)


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