Saturday, December 19, 2009
Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party USA
P.O. Box 941 Knickerbocker Station
New York, New York 10002-0900
Phone: 866-841-9139 x2670 E-Mail: email@example.com
December 26, 2009
We’re nearing the end of a year that has been marked by war, crisis, misery and unspeakable brutality. The year to come needs to be one of hope, based on a solid foundation, for a radically different world where the indignities of today have been ended. The problem is that for most people revolution is off the map. They don’t think there’s anything that could be done to fundamentally change things, and this reduces them to working on the margins of this rotten set up in futile efforts to achieve incremental change. I have spent much of the past year, and will spend the coming year, throwing myself into the efforts of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) to break humanity out of this situation. Revolution needs to be put back on the map and people need to know there’s leadership for this revolution. (There’s more on this below.) This is something I feel passionately about. I’m writing you to let you know what I’ve done this past year and what I plan for the year to come to help achieve these goals.
The opening of 2009 found many people filled with hope that America's election of a Black president signaled turning the corner on America’s legacy of aggression around the world and oppression at home. Yet on New Years Day 2009, police in Oakland, California, gunned down Oscar Grant – a foul murder caught on cell phone video and seen round the world. And the wars continued in Afghanistan and Iraq. I opened the year writing two articles for Revolution Newspaper: "Don't Be a Buffalo Soldier" and "Condemn the Police Murder of Oscar Grant – Enough Is Enough." Go to Revolution Online at www.revcom.us to access these articles.
In the spring, Dr. Cornel West and I had a talk over dinner. We discussed the situation in the U.S.and around the world. In this context, we dug into what role we saw the Obama administration playing in relation to the foreign policy thrust and the domestic agenda of the Bush regime. Through the course of discussion we discovered we had a good bit of unity on this assessment, and Cornel suggested we have this conversation at a public event.
That suggestion led to the important dialogue Cornel and I had in July on the campus of the City College of New York in Harlem. Our theme was: “The Ascendancy of Obama … And the Continued Need for Resistance and Liberation.” This exchange broke the ice on a question too many people who yearn to see an end to the injustice the U.S.inflicts on humanity had held back from addressing – Does Obama represent a way to deal with this injustice, or a way for this system to cover up the crimes it commits worldwide? In this Dialogue, I addressed the way Obama has continued the foreign policy thrust of the Bush regime and how his “tough love” speeches blame Black people for what the system does to them. The DVD of this Dialogue has just been released. You could get a copy of it by contacting Revolution Books in NYC. (Website: www.revolutionbooksnyc.org. Or you can contact them by phone: 212-691-3345.)
In the fall, as Obama planned to escalate the war in Afghanistan, I began a national speaking tour titled: “From Buffalo Soldier to Revolutionary Communist.” So far this tour has stopped at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Atlanta and Houston. On it, I speak of my personal history, refusing to go to Vietnam and being imprisoned in Leavenworth Military Penitentiary. And I bring out how this, and a desire to get to the root of the war of aggression in Vietnam and the hell the U.S. was inflicting on Black people, led me to become a revolutionary communist. I also bring to today's youth an important message: Don’t Be Modern Day Buffalo Soldiers. Don’t fight in this system’s wars for empire. And, the world doesn’t have to be this way. We could end once and for all the wars, the starvation and disease, the way women are seen as either breeders of children or sex objects, the oppression of Black people through revolution. You can view the YouTube promo for this tour at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ03EIBgTwI
Obama’s recent announcement that 30,000 more troops will be sent to Afghanistan makes this message even more timely. In the year to come we will see even more death and destruction rained down on the people of Afghanistan, and we will continue to see people all over the world subjected to the misery and deprivation imperialism means for the majority of humanity.
I will be continuing and expanding my tour, going to more Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other campuses. I will be going on the airwaves, getting in print and into the blogoshpere with this message that this is not the best of all possible worlds, that a far better world is not only necessary but possible. I believe this is a key thing that’s needed right now. Helping people see that they don’t have to limit themselves to working for incremental changes on the margins of this rotten set up.
This brings me back to a theme I opened this letter on—that people need a source of hope that is based on a solid, scientific foundation tht a radically different, and far better, world could be brought into being. The work of Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) can provide that foundation. He has reassessed the revolutions in the Soviet Union and China, before both those revolutions were overthrown and capitalism was restored in both those countries. Through doing this work, through identifying what these revolutions did right and fearlessly identifying their weaknesses, he has re-envisioned communist revolution and how to bring it about. People need to know about this. Which is why I’ve thrown myself into the effort of the RCP to put revolution back on the map and to introduce people to Bob Avakian. The Revolutionary Communist Party issued an important statement on all this titled: “The Revolution We Need … And the Leadership We Have.” You can view this statement by going to: www.revcom.us/a/171/statement-en.html
I’m also in the process of writing a response to the controversy around the movie Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire. One of the most disgusting features of US society is the brutality and degradation women are forced to endure in this so-called “best of all possible worlds.” This movie – Precious – comes out which concentrates some of the ways Black women are subjected to abuse in the US, and the response is to condemn it as “ghetto porn” that “demonizes Black men.” This reminded me of the storm of condemnation heaped on the movie and book, The Color Purple; and I thought I had to speak to it. (I wrote “Thoughts on The Color Purple” to address that controversy. It’s available online.)
I’d welcome hearing from you on what you’re thinking, how you look at the past year, and what you’re looking forward to in the year to come. And what you think of what I’ve had to say here.
With Love, and In Struggle,