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[New Afrika] [Theory] [First World Lumpen] [ULK Issue 76]
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Get the Sleep Out Ya Eye

A comrade responded to the article “Oh So You Woke” in ULK 73:

“In this article the author criticizes the likes of Angela Davis and John Lewis. neither Ms. Davis nor Mr. Lewis were agents of propaganda for the bourgeois as the author implies, but rather they were committed to the struggle and spent many years on the front lines. As far as penetrating the police and other arms of state imperialism/control, someone is going to fill those roles. Is it better us or them? WE must attack the status quo from multiple fronts – from the inside as well as the outside. WE need more Angela Davises and John Lewises.”

I do agree with the comrade that WE do need to attack the status quo from multiple fronts but when one of our own lumpen falls into the lines of reformism and revisionism while on the road of revolution or liberation, instead of being a die hard non-compromising, non-settling, give-me-death-if-I-can’t-have-real-life-liberation revolutionary like Fred Hampton, Bunchy Carter and the many fore Fathers and fore Mothers of our lumpen communities, who died and were imprisoned so that the eternal fire of Freedom, Justice and Equality will never lose its light and intensity in the surviving generations and their children. So they can fight on until that day comes in entirety. Then one has to ask the question … who do you work for?

If WE as a First World lumpen and Third World proletarian revolutionaries have more individuals like Angela Davis & John Lewis, We’ll never fulfill the S.O.P.’s of the UFPP. We’ll be in a state of Reformism and Revisionism, being closely intertwined with imperialism/capitalism instead of overthrowing it.

First and foremost Angela Davis is a major reformist, she was a part of the Communist Party, U$A, where the CPU$A was about that Real Life revolution before the 1940’s but by the 1960’s all their members that took inspiration from Mao Zedong had left the party. After the attempt of Jonathan Jackson of freeing his older brother George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette (Soledad Brothers) at Marin County Courthouse in San Rafael, CA, was then Angela Davis charged with aiding the attempted escape and placed on the FBI’s most wanted list due to her close correspondence with George Jackson. She was found not guilty after her case was severed from the other defendants like Ruchell “Cinque” Magee who is still locked up in these Koncentration Kamps, while the rally call of the masses at the time was “Free Angela Davis and ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!” Then in 1973 she founded the CP front the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression that REFUSED to come defend Black Liberation Army members facing prison time.

Later on in her “revolutionary” life she got back into academia while still being a huge influence for the CPU$A, where she ran twice for Vice President of the U$A. She supported Democratic presidential candidates, like Joe Biden, to pressure them when in office to the CPU$A’s Khrushchevite peaceful transition into socialism agenda or the Pac-Man politics (biting away at imperialism until it collapses on itself). She also co-founded the Committees of Correspondence with a moniker that points to the CPU$A’s notion that “Communism is 20th Century Americanism.” In her writings and university lectures in the academic realm, she promoted the CPU$A’s reformism and postmodern politics, the basis of this day and age concept of “Abolition,” and not the dire need of armed revolution.

John Lewis is basically the same in the sense with the Pac-Man politics, Abolition reformist movement and post-modernism. Also one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and a leader in the peaceful nonviolent strategy of protest and civil unrest. The “Woke” U.$. leftists, who are the petty-bourgeoisie, praises Angela Davis and John Lewis as saints and the imperialist aided in placing them on those pedestals to be praised by the masses, because they knew with the ideologies and concepts that these two individuals promote will do no real harm to their oppressive establishment. Point proven in the last summer series of protest after the murder of George Floyd and many others.

What real change came from that civil unrest in a real revolutionary way? It’s because of Angela Davis and John Lewis that We have to re-educate and un-brainwash the masses from the concepts and ideologies of Reformism, Revisionism, Postmodernism and the Pac-Man politics with the concepts and ideologies of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism to gain liberation from imperialism through armed resistance and revolution. Reason why it was stated that they are agents of the imperialist propaganda in the article “Oh, So You Woke.” Whether it was intentional or not they step out of the realm of being First World lumpen to the realm of the petty-bourgeoisie and benefited from the transition also. It pays to be famous and in the limelight of the pop culture revolutionary contest, right? Even after being on the front lines where they witness first hand so many of our souljas and leaders lose their lives, placed in exile and/or imprisoned, they settled for positions of comfort for self and appeared to be in the struggle still, instead of being ten toes down in the mud with WE overthrowing imperialism/capitalism to establish socialism, and later communism, nation- and world-wide.

DON’T FALL FOR THE POP CULTURE REVOLUTIONARY HYPE COMRADES.

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[First World Lumpen] [United Front] [ULK Issue 75]
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NC UFPP Statement

This will be the official statement of the North Carolina United Front for Peace in Prisons. We will contribute to accomplishing these goals:

  • Peace. We must first find peace within, then help those around us to understand the tactics of divide and conquer; the true reason they’re in the system and how and why making peace within thy-self and with those around us is what real men/wimmin & L.O.’s represent.
  • Unity. Unite to achieve common interests; justice & peace and safeguarding our communities. Brothers of the faithful will continue efforts to restore peace among NC L.O.’s. All within the USW may join our branch of the UFPP.
  • Growth. Study MIM Assignment 1 on dialectical materialism & MIM structure & organization study pack. Then continue to study in whatever fields are appealing. To be successful we must learn to organize and (in certain matters) learn from the past (dialectical materialism). We spread our message and ULK to interested convicts and outside supporters. Books will be cyphered among comrades.
  • Internationalism. We will support the liberation programs of the oppressed nations internationally.
  • Independence. We plan to use a clothing company to promote political art. Some of us will also learn to become independent from government, which allows you to also make citizens arrest. Further abolishment.
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[First World Lumpen] [Connecticut] [ULK Issue 75]
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The Anatomy of Capitulation

Each day, I observe my fellow captives. I then sit back, and contemplate the “why’s” of our collective ills.

Firstly, the CT captives do not get basic prison protocols; i.e. Do’s and Don’ts! In my now, 2+ years of being imprisoned in CT, I can truthfully say that I now know what “defeat” looks like! A majority Afrikan & [email protected] populace whom have given up any thoughts of changing their conditions – content to work for a shower! As their fellow captives languish in cages during facility lockdowns! No empathy for their oppressed kindred. The individualist ideals supercede any/all “collective” ideals in CT: “As long as I get mines, fuck them.” Perfect conditions for reactionary/collaborator classes to regenerate among the ignorant masses.

I was always taught that no convict worked during a lockdown making the pigs do everything to shorten the lockdown as pigs are lazy by nature. So having to feed, collect trash, walk through garbage and bird-bath soaked tiers, etc. stress them out. Here in CT however, the prisoners have willingly acquiesced to being divided into 3 groups: (1) prisoners who work (2) apathetic individualists (3) collaborators. Daily, I am bombarded with “ideas” of what so called struggle entails and how to fashion a movement in CT; forgetting that a critical piece of any conscious progressive movement is ideological cohesiveness! How do we forge a movement with cats who see: working during facility lockdowns to the detriment of the rest of their class, or standing at the pig station talking as if such behaviors are socially acceptable norms?! Apparently, in CT this is how new age progressive movements are created. This is the working prisoner class.

The apathetic individualists are exactly that: adverse to everything! These types have grown weary from years of being in prison here in CT. Tired of trying and tired of being ratted on: tired of fighting! These types tend to have a million excuses as to why they’ve never participated in any anti-system activities. Typically, their past activities involve reactionary political actions. Cats who sow doubt among the uneducated and aiding the enemies in ignorance forgetting that “conditions” create ideologies, and from those ideologies correspond actions. The apathetic types want success without doing the necessary groundwork. It is our job to sow seeds amongst these cats, change their pessimism to optimism!

The collaborator groups in CT seem to crave the attention of the pigs. Whenever you look up, they are smiling and “jeffing” with the pigs. I have never seen cats so comfortable just kicking it with pigs. Cats who find a million reasons to dislike a fellow captive, but can’t find one to hate a pig. Being seen as “cool” by the pigs has never been a desire of those whom identify with progressive politics. So I’m quite uncomfortable being in an environment where the pigs and their captives have more in common than I do with captives. The “dragon” that I earned in blood sweat and tears coupled with the portrait on my arm of comrade George! It speaks volumes on how my comrades and I view the pigs and the oppressive system they represent. Question is: can the collaborators be co-opted/brought to a revolutionary state of mind? I shall stand firm regardless, even if it must be walking alone!

Take care and maintain! Can’t stop won’t stop!

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[Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [First World Lumpen] [ULK Issue 72]
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King Von's Passing and Lumpen Hip-Hop Culture

King Von

King Von’s Passing

Recently, rising Chicago rapper King Von has been shot and killed in an Atlanta nightclub at the age of 26.(1) Born as David Daquan Bennett, King Von was associated with the lumpen organization “Black Disciples” and was close childhood friends with other notable Chicago figures such as rapper Chief Keef and Lil Durk. While there were rumors that he was the grandson of David Barksdale, the founder of the Black Disciplies, there have been no notable proofs confirming this fact.(2) However, he was given the nickname “Grandson” amongst older B.D. members while he was in prison due to his demeanor reminding the older prisoners of David Barksdale.

The shooting happened when King Von and Quando Rondo’s affiliates started to confront each other in the nightclub. Sooner or later, a fistfight occurred which resulted in guns being drawn. There was also two off-duty police officers that were present in the shooting.(3) Alongside King Von, two other men were killed with many others injured.(4)

Due to the news and social media’s coverage of this shooting, both camps – the Georgia L.O.s affiliated with Quando Rondo and the Chicago L.O.s affiliated with King Von – have publicly threatened each other on social media. Quando Rondo – who survived the altercation – has had his concerts canceled while social media gossip has poured fuel into the fire.

What we aim to do with this article isn’t to take sides on which party was in the right or wrong. While our articles like to point out that lumpen organizations have revolutionary potential, we also emphasize the dual nature of the lumpen class and the reactionary side of these organizations. “Gang” conflicts have done immense jobs in sowing divisions among the oppressed. With Hip-Hop music and “Gangster rap” becoming a nationwide phenomena, the music and culture of the oppressed nation lumpen have added fuel to the fire. We encourage our readers to go beyond the diss tracks while also not falling for the trap of individual survival and apathy – ultimately, they will return the oppressed back into chaos.

While serving as fuel of lumpen violence, these expressions also show the righteous resentment to society harbored by the most lowest sections of the oppressed – especially the youth. The fact that the amerikan patriarchs are so adamant that mere music infecting white children into delinquency and drugs shows an interesting trend in youth of all nations in the U.$. expressing their alienation towards capitalism.

Drill Culture in Inner Cities

Hip-Hop as a genre started in the east coast cities in the late 70s and early 80s. It wasn’t just simply a genre of music like the amerikan music critics would like to believe, but a mass expression of oppressed nation lumpen youth who dominated the Hip-Hop Scene. From the clothes, the hairstyles, graffiti, and dance all the way to the rapping has become a form of expressing the fear, anger, and righteousness that the Black/Puerto Rican youth who lived in the police state-like conditions in the inner cities.

What was called “Reality Rap” reflected the early pre-scientific consciousness of these lumpen youth. The bleak portrayal of amerikan cities flipped the idea of the amerikan dream and the bourgeois ubermensch making profit and “getting theirs” on its head. After all, if the “founding fathers” and the “captains of industry” could become the revered mega-rich through criminal acts such as slavery and thuggish exploitation, why can’t the corner boy dealing dope one day become a CEO of a mega corporation one day? Would it be so much more wrong to sell drugs to get a head start compared to selling people?

This also sheds light on how the hip-hop industry is a big way for the lowest section of the masses to become a national bourgeoisie or even a comprador bourgeoisie in the oppressed nations. Former street rappers turned CEO of record labels often end up being the one exploiting the oppressed nation masses in the ghettos and barrios themselves. In some cases, these musicians will end up exploiting the international proletariat in the Third World.(5)

While hip-hop in general has been becoming a bureaucratized multi-million dollar industry for the amerikans, the “drill music” scene has arisen from urban areas – notably Chicago. Lumpen Organizations in the country’s murder capital have often used music videos and rap lyrics to diss their rivals and the dead. The lingo that was used only in certain blocks and neighborhoods of Southside Chicago can now be heard from all major cities in the United $tates from Atlanta to Los Angeles. There is something to be said that social media and the internet has made the culture of Oppressed Nation diaspora – in this case Lumpen “drill” culture – more interconnected. New Afrikan L.O.s in Chicago now have a strong hold in the deep south in cities such as Atlanta and L.O.s who previously have never made contact with each other might start to form beefs.

NGO Tactics VS Building Independent Political Power

Peace treaties, alliances, and betrayals between lumpen organizations have been going on forever. Organizations from the Nation of Islam to the countless Non-Governmental Organizations have attempted to build peace in the ghettos and the barrios. However, building treaties can only go so far unless the root of the problem is attacked and made aware by the masses. The conflict of the L.O.s are bigger than individuals and sets. They are a bloody symptom of amerikan capitalism. Even if every Blood and Crip individual goes through psychological rehabilitation and shake hands with each other, more “gangs” will rise with the next generation. Oftentimes, the “rehabilitated” individuals end up back to the lumpen life within a year due to the political-economical instabilities in these areas; and many “peace treaties” are more so ceasefires to have the dope business in a more stable control.

Despite decades of these peace treaties, we are still in the very early stages of being able to unite the lumpen masses. Leaders within prisons working to push the United Front for Peace in Prisons can speak to this from experience. The story of the state isolating the conscious leader and the masses returning to oppressed-on-oppressed violence is all to common. Others have tried to revolutionize their whole L.O., and failed. While the leadership is there, we have not yet created the conditions that make this a viable path for the masses as a whole. That is the challenge we face as we continue to build revolutionary leadership that has a plan to end capitalism, and find ways to offer incentives for the masses to abandon the current system and risk their lives for a new tomorrow.

Notes:
1. Alex Zidel, November 06, 2020, “King Von Reportedly In Critical Condition After Shoot Out With Quando Rondo’s Crew,” Hot New Hip Hop.
2.Olivia Olphin, December 01, 2020, “Was King Von David Barksdale’s grandson? Rumour explained,” The Focus.
3. Emmanuel Camarillo, November 6, 2020, “Chicago Rapper King Von Killed in Atlanta Shooting,” Chicago Sun Times.
4. Rebekah Riess, November 7, 2020, “Rapper King Von shot and killed outside Atlanta nightclub,” CNN.
5. Sirin Kale, May 17, 2016, “How Much It Sucks to Be a Sri Lankan Worker Making Beyoncé’s New Clothing Line,” Vice.

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[Elections] [National Oppression] [New Afrika] [First World Lumpen] [Environmentalism] [Economics] [ULK Issue 69]
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Jackson-Kush Plan builds Independent Institutions in MS

Cooperation Jackson

A modern-day example of New Afrikans building independent institutions and public opinion for socialism is the groups carrying out the Jackson-Kush Plan in Jackson, Mississippi and the surrounding area. There are a number of different organizations involved in, and evolved out of, this Plan, and its roots go back to the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PGRNA) in the 1960s. It is directly built on the long history of New Afrikan organizing for independence, going on since people were brought to the United $nakes from Africa as slaves. The Plan itself was formulated by the New Afrikan People's Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement between 2004 – 2010. (1, p. 3)

The project has gone through many different phases, all focusing on attaining self-determination for people of African descent in Mississippi and the surrounding region. Sometimes the organizing has been more heavily focused on electoral politics,(2, 3) sometimes more on purchasing land, and currently the Cooperation Jackson project appears to be at the forefront of pushing the Plan forward.

Cooperation Jackson's mission is to develop an intimate network of worker-owned cooperatives, covering all basic humyn needs, and more: food production and distribution, recycling and waste management, energy production, commodity production, housing, etc. The main goals of Cooperation Jackson (C.J.) are to provide sustainable livelihoods for its organizing base, which includes control over land, resources, means of production, and means of distribution. Currently C.J. has a handful of cooperatives in operation, and is building the Community Land Trust to have greater control over its target geography in Jackson. This is just a snapshot of the work of Cooperation Jackson, which is explained in much more detail in the book Jackson Rising.(1)

The Jackson-Kush Plan is being carried out despite big setbacks, repression, harassment, and roadblocks from the government and racist citizens alike, for decades. This is the nature of struggle and the folks working with the Plan are facing it head-on. C.J. and the other organizations involved are doing amazing work to establish what could be dual power in the state of Mississippi.

While the MIM has congruent goals with the Jackson-Kush Plan (at least including the self-determination of New Afrikan people; control over land, economy, and resources; environmental sustainability; an end of capitalism and imperialism), there are some notable differences.(4) We're holding out hope that the Plan is being intentionally discrete in order to build dual power, but the ideological foundations of some of its structure point instead to revisionism of Marxism.

Cooperation Jackson's plan includes working with the government in some capacity. It needs to change laws in order to operate freely and legally. This itself isn't wrong – MIM(Prisons) also works on and supports some reforms that would make our work of building revolution much easier. But because of its relationship to the state, C.J.'s voice is muffled. MIM(Prisons) doesn't have this problem, so we can say what needs to be said and we hope the folks organizing for New Afrikan independence will hear it.

Cooperation Jackson's structural documents paint a picture of a peaceful transition to a socialist society, or a socialist microcosm, built on worker-owned cooperatives and the use of advanced technology. Where it aims to transform the New Afrikan "working class" (more on this below) to become actors in their own lives and struggle for self-determination of their nation, we are for it. So often we hear from ULK readers that people just don't think revolution is possible. Working in a collective and actually having an impact in the world can help people understand their own inherent power as humyn beings. Yet it seems C.J. sees this democratic transformation of the New Afrikan "working class" as an end in itself, which it believes will eventually lead to an end of capitalism.

"In the Jackson context, it is only through the mass self-organization of the working class, the construction of a new democratic culture, and the development of a movement from below to transform the social structures that shape and define our relations, particularly the state (i.e. government), that we can conceive of serving as a counter-hegemonic force with the capacity to democratically transform the economy."(1, p. 7)

This quote also alludes to C.J.'s apparent opposition to the universality of armed struggle in its struggle to transform the economy. In all the attempts that have been made to take power from the bourgeoisie, only people who have acknowledged the need to take that power by force (i.e. armed struggle) have been even remotely successful. We just need to look to the governments in the last century all across the world who have attempted to nationalize resources to see how hard the bourgeois class will fight when it really feels its interests are threatened.

Where C.J. is clearly against Black capitalism and a bourgeois-nationalist revolution that stays in the capitalist economy, we are in agreement. Yet C.J. apparently also rejects the need for a vanguard party, and the need for a party and military to protect the interests and gains of the very people it is organizing.

"As students of history, we have done our best to try and assimilate the hard lessons from the 19th and 20th century national liberation and socialist movements. We are clear that self-determination expressed as national sovereignty is a trap if the nation-state does not dislodge itself from the dictates of the capitalist system. Remaining within the capitalist world-system means that you have to submit to the domination and rule of capital, which will only empower the national bourgeoisie against the rest of the population contained within the nation-state edifice. We are just as clear that trying to impose economic democracy or socialism from above is not only very problematic as an anti-democratic endeavor, but it doesn't dislodge capitalist social relations, it only shifts the issues of labor control and capital accumulation away from the bourgeoisie and places it in the hands of the state or party bureaucrats."(1, p. 8)

As students of history, we assert that C.J. is putting the carriage before the horse here. National liberation struggles have shown the most success toward delinking populations from imperialism and capitalism. Yes, we agree with C.J. that these national liberation struggles also need to contain anti-capitalism, and revolutionary ecology, if they plan to get anywhere close to communism. But C.J. seems to be saying it can dislodge from capitalism before having national independence from imperialism.

The end of this quote also raises valid concerns about who holds the means of production, and the development of a new bourgeoisie among the party bureaucrats. This is one of the huge distinctions between the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, and China under Mao. In China, the masses of the population participated in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which attacked bureaucrats and revisionists in the party and positions of power. These criticisms were led from the bottom up, and the Cultural Revolution was a huge positive lesson on how we can build a society that is continually moving toward communism, and not getting stuck in state-capitalism.

Another significant difference between the line of the MIM and of Cooperation Jackson is our class analysis. Cooperation Jackson is organizing the "working class" in Jackson, Mississippi, which it defines as "unionized and non-unionized workers, cooperators, and the under and unemployed."(1, p. 30) So far in our exposure to C.J., we haven't yet come across an internationalist class analysis. Some pan-Africanism, yes, but nothing that says a living wage of $11 is more than double what the average wage would be if we had an equal global distribution of wealth.(5, 6) And so far nothing that says New Afrika benefits from its relationship to the United $tates over those who Amerikkka oppresses in the Third World.

We can't say what the next steps for the Jackson-Kush Plan should be. There's still opportunity for people within the project to clarify its line on the labor aristocracy/working class, the necessity of armed struggle to take power from the bourgeoisie, and the significance of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. MIM(Prisons)'s Free Books for Prisoners Program distributes many materials on these topics. Some titles we definitely recommend studying are On Trotskyism by Kostas Mavrakis, The Chinese Road to Socialism by E.L. Wheelwright and Bruce McFarlane, and Imperialism and its Class Structure in 1997 by MIM.

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[First World Lumpen] [United Front] [ULK Issue 69]
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Gangster Mentality Can Transform to Revolutionary Communist

Is it possible to defeat gangster mentality in ourselves? The short answer is: Yes. There is plenty of solid individuals who have turned their back on the thug life and criminal thinking. But, is that what is needed when building a revolutionary cadre organization? Instead, perhaps we should attempt to harness and direct our vision of revolutionary social force into a hammer to first shatter the old imperialist system. And then from the ashes and rubble shape a new and better society that will serve the masses free of exploitation.

As members of the revolutionary cadre organization, each of us has to be a leader, a teacher, an activist, a soldier and represent the future by our conduct. Individual members must take the initiative to bring together various organizations for a united front. For this to happen our members have to think beyond their neighborhood, set or clique. All of us are already soldiers of battles that take place right under the nose of pigs. The system does not care if we kill each other. Actually they encourage warfare between lumpen organizations. When we fight each other we do their job for them.

Fight the imperialist system by making peace in prison and on the street. Educate the young, think on an international level, and lead by example. Evolve from a gangster into a hardcore communist revolutionary. Consider your time fighting for your neighborhoods as basic training for the real battle yet to come.

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[First World Lumpen] [ULK Issue 69]
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Damus Agree: A Gangsta Uses Intelligence not Oppression

I want to touch base on the fellow Damu comrade April 2019 "Konfused Gangster Mentality" in ULK 68.(1) I am in total agreement with that author. We as Damus who are incarcerated as a whole are oppressing ourselves, people, and nation. For two decades I've been a Damu under the UBN and for the last 10 years the Damu nation has been watered down. Askaris not fully overstanding the concept of our way of life. There's no way we override oppression and in the same sentence we oppressing the oppressed.

Leaders of the Damu tribes are recruiting but not fully teaching. We bang 5 watts and I see so many askaris falling prey to the trick tyrants are creating. We as Damus must get organized and truly contribute to our Uhuru by any means necessary. I agree with the askari "Damu on Damu is a Double O Banga" not just beef within our nation but with others as well.

The United Front for Peace in Prisons is a structure for unity to stand against imperialism. Damus aren't oppressors, we are Black leaders, therefore we must lead ourselves, people, and nation. To the many Damus askaris in imperial-Amerikkka we must unite within our nation and come together to assist with those who are making changes. Oppression works by turning us against the oppressed, never against the oppressor. A gangsta is one who uses his intelligence. Peace.

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[First World Lumpen] [ULK Issue 69]
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Re-defining Toughness

bookmark69

First we must begin with asking why do we have a gangster mentality? It is because we know we are under attack, and the form of warfare is oppression and prejudice. We act in a way of gangster mentality because we know we must defend ourselves, and our minds from such attacks. Therefore, we are defensive. That is where the mind frame stimulates from.

We are active in battle on these streets because we are no fools, we know survival is at stake. Although street and hoodlum affairs keep every gangster blind to which war we should really be fighting; our focus should not be going against a gangster’s mind, our focus should remain on ending all attacks so that a gangster no longer has to pay any mind.

The best way to begin re-defining toughness, is through understanding; by first accepting every man for who he is, as he is. It isn’t the gangster that needs to change, what needs to change are the threats against us that have made us what we are.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade raises a good point about the system of oppression that breeds the gangster mentality. Understanding where people's mindset comes from is a good first step to changing that mindset. And as this writer reminds us, we shouldn't blame people for the culture that created them. The next step is transforming this lumpen outlook into a revolutionary outlook. And that's the long-term struggle that we're taking on in prisons right now. Conscious comrades behind bars can step up and build by educating others. We can focus on building peace between lumpen organizations through the United Front for Peace in Prisons. And through this peace we can turn our warfare on the real enemy, the criminal injustice system.

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[Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [First World Lumpen] [ULK Issue 68]
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Transition to Become a Better Man

Part 1

I am personally connected to this topic, being an active high-ranking individual of an organization. I have struggled trying to make the transition to become a better man. 22 years young, growing up I was never exposed to positive black New Afrikan role models, or anyone older I could look up to who defined what it meant to be a man. Everyone I hung around was in a 5 years span older or younger and everyone who was successful was either an athlete, entertainer or criminal.

So when basketball or rapping didn't work out I turned to the street where toughness was defined by aggression and fearlessness. Fighting and shooting. I turned to my organization for the loyalty and love and the brotherhood. Being a gangster to me was being heartless to anybody who was not with you, and if they cross you, deal with them like an enemy.

Being incarcerated I learned that leaders and high ranking members need to revolutionize our organizations and get back to the original principles that we were founded on. Having influence is great power, we need to use this influence for education and fighting oppression. It is easy to talk about, it’s a learning process. I can't define toughness or what it means to be a man, but I can explain personally why I am the way I am and what it takes to prevent another from falling victim. Unity is key. Changing your values so you cannot be controlled by privileges and understanding if you are not part of the solution, then you contribute to the problem. Most people care what people think so they let that stop them from acting on what they really feel. But you can’t be for the revolution in mind but not in action.

Education and unity! Use the "negative" organizations as a vehicle for positive influence and change. It starts from the top O.G.s teach the Y.G.s. Teach them how and they will fall in line.

Part 2: What is a man? What defines a gangster?

A lot of New Afrikan brothas like myself have no idea because no example was taught by any positive New Afrikan role models. All we know is what the white-washed media portrays to us. We listen to rap music that glorifies violence and objectifies our women. Our role models being dope dealers and our definition of gangster is Scarface, Larry Hoover, Pistol Pete...

Being fearless and cold, making money by any means makes you a man, not tolerating disrespect, toting guns and how many women you had sex with all define your manhood. I sit here explaining that mentality and see the flaws in it.

Now let's talk about the cycle. Every parents' purpose should be to make the world a better place for the generation coming next. Speaking from my mind, the older generation kills me complaining about the younger generation and in order to solve a problem, first things first, you must start at the root. I will not deflect or place blame but this older generation, our own fathers, uncles, brothers start the cycle by failing to educate and expose their children to something different, something positive. They allow their children to be influenced by white imagery of what a Black man is: violent, or supernaturally talented, only good for white man's entertainment.

I won't sit here and talk about it with no solution, so how do we fix it? Everything starts with the children and what we teach them and what they are exposed to. New Afrikan men must learn the most important part of parenting is presence. Just being available is so important for a child growing up. We need to expose our children to successful business leaders and entrepreneurs that look like us, not only athletes and movie stars or entertainers. Teach them to be financially literate. Teach them about this racist society and how to be prosperous in it. Only way to break the mentality is to replace it. A man is responsible, reliable, self-sufficient, wise, a man does not make mistakes. A man takes care of his children and family. Now that's Gangsta!


MIM(Prisons) responds: Everyone makes mistakes, and they are our source of empirical knowledge. So we should not fear them. What we think this comrade means here is that we should not keep making mistakes and not learn. We shouldn't live a lifetime of mistakes. If we listen to what society tells young New Afrikan men, not living a lifetime of mistakes means going against the grain.

Each One, Teach One! Whether a child or an adult. We all have things to teach. And only by learning from each other does our collective knowledge grow. While we can learn from our mistakes, most knowledge is history. So we don't need to make all the same mistakes the people of the past did to learn the lesson ourselves, empirically. We can leap frog ahead by building on the lessons from the past. It is this collective, historical knowledge that gives humynity the power to reach much greater heights.

Growth is key. We all go through many different stages of the learning process at different times. As long as we are moving in the same general direction, of liberation, then we can unite in our growth.

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[Economics] [First World Lumpen] [ULK Issue 68]
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Whites Can Be Lumpen Too

I strongly disagree with the exclusion of whites from the ranks of the lumpen within the United $tates. (see the tenth paragraph of Wiawimawo's article "Sakai's Investigation of the Lumpen in Revolution" in ULK 64) Although most whites in the United $tates. enjoy "white privilege" there are also whole communities of disenfranchised, impoverished whites. These communities are heavily reliant on government support systems to survive (i.e. food stamps, SSI, welfare, section 8 housing, etc.) They are also rife with crime, drugs, and street gangs.

For example, take the lumpen organizations (L.O.s) from Chicago (i.e. the Gaylords and the Simon City Royals). Both of these organizations were started by disenfranchised, impoverished communities consisting of mostly whites. They were originally founded to protect their communities from outside forces.

By stating that only oppressed "minorities" can be considered lumpen, Wiawimawo is engaging in paternalist politics that causes divisions within the movement. The truth is that any people that fit the political, social, and economic profile are lumpen. Disenfranchisement is not unique, nor immune, to any nationality. In solidarity!


Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: We are sending you a copy of "Who is the Lumpen in the United $tates?" so you can better understand our position on this question. First let's look at the quote from my article that you are responding to:

"This is why, in our work on the First World lumpen in the United $tates, we excluded white people from the model by default. We did this despite knowing many white lumpen individuals who are comrades and don't fit the model."

Note i say that we know "many white lumpen individuals who are comrades," meaning we agree with you that there are white lumpen, we just excluded them from the model presented in the paper cited. So why did we do this? Well, it is mostly based in our assessment of the principal contradiction in the United $tates being between the white oppressor nation and the oppressed nations. In the paper we do write:

"White men [who are currently/formerly incarcerated lumpen] number about 1.3 million, but are much more likely to find employment and join the labor aristocracy after release from prison. While in prison white men do fall into the lumpen class but lack the oppressed nation outlook and so often join white supremacist groups rather than supporting revolutionary organizing. This is just one factor contributing to a national outlook that leads us to exclude whites overall when discussing the revolutionary potential of the First World lumpen."

We also point out that historically the settler nation made up of Europeans has always been a petty bourgeois nation, while the oppressed nations have histories that are largely proletarian, but also lumpen-proletarian. History affects our national and class consciousness, so we can't just look at a snapshot in time. But the point of the paper was to show the size of the First World lumpen in the oppressed nations of the United $tates and a snapshot of how their conditions differ significantly from the white nation.

We'd say the examples you provide are exceptions that prove the rule. It takes some digging to come up with them, but certainly they exist. And in the context of the topic of this issue of Under Lock & Key we can certainly agree with you that they should not be ignored.

Most often, in U.$. prisons, when we talk about white L.O.s we are talking about white nationalist groups of some type. In our study, white supremacist organizations that are promoting fascism in this country today are made up of three main groups: former military, members of lumpen organizations/prisoners, and alienated petty bourgeois youth gathering around racist subcultures on the internet. The first two are the more dangerous groups, though the third gives the movement more of a feeling of a mass base of popularity. In our work it is with the second group that we can have the most impact. And we've had a number of former hardcore white supremacists become leaders within United Struggle from Within, and many more have participated in progressive battles for prisoner rights. It is in such alliances with the oppressed nations around the common interests of the imprisoned lumpen that we can really win over potential recruits who were initially drawn to fascism.

We welcome reports on examples of white lumpen organizing in the interests of ending oppression, and further analysis of the white lumpen as a base for progressive organizing.

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