Chicago Communities Under Siege! Violence and Occupation in the African Communities!
by Daphne Jackson, InPDUM Chicago
CHICAGO– On October 5, 2013 the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) will hold a one day conference to address the question of violence within our community. The conference will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 E. 26th Street, Chicago. Featured speakers for the conference will be world renown Revolutionary and activist, Omali Yeshitela, Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and founder of the Uhuru Movement and Diop Olugbala, International President of InPDUM.
Africans within the City of Chicago have been pondering ways to combat this plague of Horizontal Violence (so-called black on black crime) which has taken hold of our communities and lifestyles. Just on September 19, 13 Africans, including a 3-year-old child were shot during one incident due to this colonialist induced violence.
But even with the horrible numbers we see in deaths contributed to horizontal violence, it would take thousands of years and more to even approach the tens of millions of Africans who have been murdered by white power slavery and colonialism.
In order for us to effectively deal with this problem, we must first take a look at the conditions that exist in our community that is responsible for not only this problem, but for every problem we have as a colonized people inside the United States. Our problems here in Chicago are no different from our people Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Kingston, Jamaica; and all over the world where African people are located.
The violence faced within African communities is a direct result of slavery and colonization. The colonizers don’t have to depend on the “illegal drug trade” as the dominant economic activity within their community as it is a major employer inside the African community. Those who enslaved us enjoy the peace and tranquility that comes with being economically and socially secure.
Economically secure with jobs that provide the white working class with homes with two car garages and a boat; and socially secure that decent heath care and police violence is not issues in their communities as they are major issues in South Chicago.
The mortuaries, Cook County Jail, and the prisons throughout Illinois are bursting at the seams with young Africans who have been caught up in a Drug Economy that is controlled by the big bankers who never go to jail and who never die early deaths due to their participation as rulers and financiers of the drug trade.
Our environments have evolved to a state which is under constant attack of violence while being controlled and directed by the violent overseers, namely the police and uncle Tom politicians, who guard and protect the interest of the white ruling class.
Many factors of oppression have attributed to the social breakdown of the African community. And we must be clear that the social breakdown of the African community begin with the first African kidnapped from homes in Africa, brought to the shores of North America and worked for 400 years without pay and family. We are still working for nothing at prisons at Pontiac and through Illinois.
The lack of life-sustaining wages and livable employment or lack of employment period; sub-standard schooling designed to mis-educate us and keep us loyal to our colonial masters that is devoid of any contributions of Africans to world development in medicine, science, agriculture and even politics; inadequate housing where children suffer lead, pest and insect poisoning and other ailments associated with indecent shelter provisions in harsh and sometimes unbearable weather conditions; consistent police harassment, murder, and brutality, in and outside of our homes; and improper and/or inaccessible nutritious and healthy food sources are all contributing factors to horizontal violence within our oppressed and exploited communities. Yet they question the anger and the rage?
We cannot and should not ignore but instead address the psychological, sociological and economical tolls that have become the burdens of the African communities in the US. To give a few examples; The pain and embarrassment of a father who cannot feed his family because he can’t find work or even utilize his entrepreneurial skills to produce income, the confusion and heartbreak of an African woman who has to raise her children alone with some even suffering the consequences of rape and abuse. The consistent disenfranchisement of our rights, our lives, and honor by the military occupation forces known as the police. In addition, the media, all of it, play a major role in the mis-education of the African.
I recall as a young girl, a sister from Chicago, told me of the housing projects and her take on them. I remember she said they were developed and named the projects because they were just that, a project. A project to “stack” a mass of Africans on top of each other in a centralized and contained area and see what happens.
I can’t verify fact to that statement, but as I stated, it was her take on the matter. And although I was not a politically conscience sister at the time, now I don’t put anything past the U.S. Government in its quest to maintain colonial control of Africans. Certainly they have experimented on us with other projects in the past.
I recalled that story as I was writing because it depicts the usual actions of imperialist rule toward Africans and African communities around the world as they have always been; to ravage, rob and destroy the African of our identities for their economic and political advantage.
We as Africans and other oppressed people cannot continue to wait or request the assistance of anyone else to solve this problem. It is our duty to protect and defend our own against the oppressive state which breeds the hostile environment of immense horizontal violence.
The state and its apparatus’ in Chicago have implemented the harshest, unjust and demeaning processes that they have camouflaged as “crime prevention”. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois lobbied with the federal government to secure funds ($19 million) to “round-up” over 100,000 assumed members of Chicago’s various street tribes whom they refer to as gangs by federal offices of the FBI, ATF and DEA and charge them all with murder and drug sales because “that’s what they do” according to Kirk. His proposal included the initial “round-up” of 18,000 alleged members of the Gangster Disciples. Kirk’s proposal is that these majority African men and women be housed in a federal facility downtown that is not currently in use. Kirk was challenged on this proposed legislation by Congressman Bobby Rush, a former member of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party who currently serves as a liberal politician that works totally within the system with the rest of the African petty bourgeois politicians.
Rush called Kirk’s proposal an “upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem [Kirk] knows nothing about” which led to the convening of a meeting between the two to discuss “proper” solutions to the so-called crime problem in Chicago. Rush and Kirk toured one of Chicago’s most downpressed areas, the Englewood neighborhood, then met on what they say they observed. No solutions or recommendations have been brought to the public as a result of the meeting. But the $19.5 million to imprison more Africans was approved. This is what they do.
In addition, the Chicago Police Department has claimed to have identified 450 individuals whom that say are responsible for the inflated crime rate in Chicago. These 450 men will be located and detained to deter further escalation of the violence according to so-called police officials of the city. These two later examples represent only a couple of the foul processes of occupation being forced into the African communities of Chicago. This is nothing but containment and counterinsurgency war against our communities.
Deployments of at least two dozen military style police at once are now being placed in the communities to “patrol” along with actual tanks and assault weapons. This is no different from the US led military occupation that is happening in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, the southern part of Korea, and AFRICOM forces deployed throughout Africa.
On October 5, 2013, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, along with National Coalition Of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA), will host a one day conference to address the horizontal violence and occupation of the African communities of Chicago. This conference, “Communities Under Siege: Violence & Occupation in the African Communities” will feature keynote speaker Chairman Omali Yeshitela, founder of the African People’s Socialist Party and the organizations of the Uhuru Movement, and InPDUM International President Diop Olugbala.
Panels featured as part of the conference include; Building the African economic base and Reparations, Hip Hop meets Black Power, Horizontal Violence and Occupation, Fight for Human Rights and How do we heal. Speakers will include Zenobia Spencer of Chicago InPDUM and the Zulu Nation, Nate Gillium of the All African Peoples Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), Willie Flemming Jr. of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Anumbus Rah of Ghuttahouse Records, Darius Lightfoot of Fearless Leading by the Youth, Kamm Howard and Barbara Baker of NCOBRA, Marissa Brown of OTSS and many others.
We must create a culture of peace in the African communities of Chicago. And in order to obtain that peace, we must organize as One People to gain control and governance over Our communities and lives. We must resist the occupation and continued degradation of Our people.
To register for this enlightening, educating and enriching conference, visit Us at uhurumidwest.org and join Us to revive and restore Our Communities!