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A Message to Our Fellow 'Whites' upon the Inauguration of President Barack Obama

Hope and the Central Contradiction
A Message to Our Fellow 'Whites' upon the Inauguration of President Barack Obama

From the Executive Board of Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation

People of all races, ages, ethnicities and nationalities are celebrating today with high hopes for the Obama Administration. They look for their own best selves within the Illinois Senator, asking him to change what is wrong with America and rescue a way of life they believe was founded upon worthy ideals.

In our own lifetimes, we've seen that those who work for a more just future do sometimes experience a step forward. When we come together, resolute in putting our lives on the line to effect change, change has been possible. Many now see the election of Barack Obama as one of those successes. It is a bold step, one that many of us did not imagine we would live to see.

However bold, it's not the arrival of the 'post-racial world' as our TVs would have us believe. The ideology of white supremacy -- the idea that white people are 'more human' than others -- was built into our Constitution, and continues to be part of our lives. It is as blatant as the untimely deaths of African-Americans years before their white counterparts, and as insidious as subtle images in the media. It is as powerful as the tenfold difference in wealth between black families and white ones.

Yet many of us 'whites' cannot imagine what step we could take to end this legacy -- just as once most of us could not imagine an end to Jim Crow, or even an end to slavery, that did not seem to invite chaos and social disorder.

As we have in the past, we can look to the black community for an idea of how to proceed. When no one could see an end to slavery, enslaved Africans found their own ways to undermine it and bring it to crisis. When Jim Crow seemed like a permanent fixture, the black-led Freedom Movement brought it down.

The long-standing movement for slavery reparations, deeply rooted in Black America, is a next step that directly reflects the noble ideals of liberty and equality. Reparations can bring the change that so many hunger for to complete our unfinished American Revolution.

The financial institutions that today clamor for $700+ billion bailouts are heirs of those that financed slaving ships and plantations and insured the human 'property'. The desire of the landed to increase their family wealth framed the desire of children of peasants to enslave Africans and 'settle' Native people from their land. It seems that every issue we face today, if we do so honestly, returns us to the central contradiction: a country that values freedom and liberty has been built on stolen land by enslaved peoples.

The reality is that we cannot save ourselves by saving only our family or 'our kind.' Facing global risks, we must learn we are one humanity sharing one planet, and act with the morality and mutual respect that requires.

The good feeling that many enjoy as we watch Barack Obama take office is only a taste of what we could know if we worked to transform not just today's changing of the guard, but the underlying direction of the nation over which he now presides.

The righteous demand for reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans is key to this re-direction. It deserves our support, not our dismissal. Indeed, it would be far better to dismiss the propaganda of those made fat by exploitation, and seek instead a path for redeeming the soul of our nation.

We call on young people, particularly, to make this the challenge of your generation. Just as generations before you ended Jim Crow and the war on the Vietnamese people, now you can end this nation's war on people of color, both at home and abroad. Real repair of the damage done by the system of white supremacy would inaugurate not just one man, but a transformed world.

---------

Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation is an organization of white Americans and their allies, which supports and advocates reparations proposals put forward by Black leaders. In the organization's Statement of Beliefs, the group calls "upon the families of the white American aristocracy that directly benefited from slavery to voluntarily pay their fair share of the reparations debt with wealth gained from slavery, the slave trade, and slavery related enterprises." Your comments are welcome at http://www.reparationsthecure.org.

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Comment by Mickel Hendrix aka Nat Turner on January 21, 2009 at 4:21pm
hetep,

would the same c.u.r.e. group be willing to do some john brown shit and pick up gunz for the liberation of afrikans-n-amerikkka? we should ask ourselves that before we go giving them pats on the back for their pro-reparations stance. this would mean that white folk would have to kill white folk outside the fact that there will be some negroes who would be willing to kill their own kind, because of the white hand that feeds them with material luxury.

the point is is that the well-meaning white folk, no matter how much they talk that shit about giving black people their just due, ain't gonna kill their own, since deep down inside the average caucasian, there is an urgent sense of white self-preservation in the face of a planet that's majority black and brown.

all the white folk that parade around as radical, progressive, and whatever else, and have dupped afrikans-n-amerikkka into thinking that they're cool ass white folk, wouldn't dare give up their white privilege for our black asses, no matter what. even chris said it best, that there ain't a cracka that would trade places with him and he's rich. and i really ain't no fan of chris rock.

another question we should ask ourselves is can there ever be justice on stolen land? either way it goes, white folk are screwed. damned if they don't and damned if they do. they know that they are in a quagmire up to their stinking necks. so, in order to get themselves out of the mess that their foreparents made, they resort to the tactics of mass psychology, where they place muzzles over their beaty lil eyes, in order to pretend to not see the seeds that have been sown, with violence at the base of their so-called civilization, while at the same time, their religious heads of state pay homage to the part in the bible that you will reap what you sow. therefore, there are those white folk like c.u.r.e., who have hurried to the fountain of forgiveness and have dredged up reparations, as a way to repent for what their violent and immoral ancestors have done-committing crimes against humanity in the name of afrikans-n-amerikkka.

yeah, i say reparations too, but without the land to go along with it, with the absence of black nationalism, just like white jewish nationalism (in which no one ever complains), reparations can also be seen as another attempt, perhaps the last one in the white ruiling class bag of tricks, to lull afrikans-n-amerikkka from thinking like the mau mau, castro and che guevara, chairman mao's freedom comes through the barrel of a shotgun, and vo nyugen giap and the vietcong.

uhuru!

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