Published in Issue 473 of The Black Commentator on May 24, 2012
By Larry Pinkney

“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
– Frederick Douglass

The single most potent and effective form of slavery is mental. It is this slavery that suffocates the potential and the aspirations of everyday Black, White, Brown, Red and Yellow people in the United States. It is perpetuated by the most hypocritical and violent corporate government on the planet of Mother Earth – that of the de facto Empire of the United States.

The power elite of this nation is one, that under the obfuscated guise of progress; thwarts, disfigures, and subverts the very best in humankind both here and abroad. It is a manipulated and greedy form of insanity that systemically keeps ordinary people in a perpetual state of political, social, and economic slavery.

Institutional ‘education’ in this nation is overwhelmingly nothing more than a veneer of mythology and half-truths constantly reinforced by the lies, distortions, and omissions by those who own and control the corporate-stream ‘news’ media. ‘Democracy’ in this nation, in real terms, means dictatorship by the tiny corporate elite; embodied in the slimy machinations of both the Democrat and Republican parties. The so-called election process, particularly on the national level, is a complete and shameless farce.

In reality, the majority of people of all colors in the United States are well trained Pavlovian slaves, who have been systemically ingrained to salivate and perform self-destructive tricks at the ringing of the euphemistic corporate/military bells of endless government and media propaganda. Without fail, the every four year corporate ‘election’ cycle rings the bell, and the majority of mental slaves retreat to their respective Democrat and Republican party mental/political plantations and reservations; repeating yet again another cyclical tour de force of salivating insanity. The shame of it all is that it does not have to be this way.

The only way in which a slave can free himself or herself is to first recognize one’s bondage. This is what Rosa Luxemburg meant when she said, “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains…Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently…Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters.” This is also what Harriet Tubman meant when she said, “I freed a thousand slaves – I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew that they were slaves.” To reiterate: The only way in which a slave can free herself or himself is to first recognize one’s bondage.

The everyday ordinary people of this nation and world are who we must pay heed to, not the so-called “leaders.” The everyday people are the leaders. The others are usurpers and blood suckers of the people.

It is this corrupt, hypocritical, blood sucking, and demeaning political system that continues to make us salivate in this cycle of insanity. We must first and foremost free our minds of and from this system. Then we can and will make enormous collective leaps in this, humanity’s long and protracted struggle, for economic, social, and political parity. We must first get off the plantation, or at the very least, mentally divorce ourselves from it.

This is our choice: To remain slaves or to be free and regain our humanity. Think about it. What will your choice be?

Surely, we all know what is at stake: It is our very humanity and the nurturing and existence of our Mother Earth. Free your minds and regain your humanity.

Onward, then, my sisters and brothers! Each one reach one. Each one teach one. Onward, as a part of humanity’s collective struggle! We can do this thing. We must do this thing – together.

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. 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), 107Cowgate (Ireland and Scotland), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). 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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