Understanding George Jackson
[CORRECTION: This article was published stating that Yogi was Puerto Rican, when ey was actually of Nicaraguan descent.]
Peace Comrades. Recieved the latest issue of the newspaper & passed it off to one of my comrades who just recently got into some trouble. So if possible, I would like to receive that issue & the one before it. Thanks with much love in revolution.
I’m writing this as an article that I’m hoping will get published for the Black August Memorial in hopes that my earnest effort could perhaps clarify things a bit further in terms of matter of perspective & also to educate brothers/sisters on the legendary history of fallen comrade George Jackson.
I read an article that began somewhat vacariously about the fallen comrade & his connection to Hugo Pinnell who was also BGF & how because of George’s wide encompassing views on race & its place in standing to building political/military cadre’s, that this somehow means that we need to abandon the rhetoric that is connected with groups who are primarily concerned with fixing the “Black issue”.
I strongly disagree with the content of that article & not because my views are just so diametrically different, but because I too have wide encompassing views concerning race. However, I’m not under the impression that we need to abandon our quest in building the support that is needed to eliminate the black problem altogether. My first reason for this is largely because I see that Blacks are the only group who is told to forget about the monumental issue that we faced & are still facing. But its also because of the fact that before we can ever hope to build in the concept of global Asiatic unity & eventually begin to merge our support with Europeans, we must first unify among ourselves & use that unity to destroy the Black problem & then we can go on to build with others & help others in their quest for the same sort of thing.
You see, revolution is tied to long range politics. This is so because revolution is so complex due to the fact that everything – places, people, religion, economics, and sociology – will be impacted in a major way. It’s not as simple as a government takeover & let’s be real, if you cannot make revolution into a transmitter that spreads through all cultural variations, then a government takeover here & abroad will never be possible.
George was a people’s revolutionary & by people’s revolutionary I mean people in terms of all humanity. However, even he had to develop into that sort of personhood. Let’s not forget either that George Jackson was a huge history major & for those who really know about George, they attest to the fact that he loved being Black & even wanted to be Blacker. That is not proof that he ever abandoned his concern for his people’s plight nor did he have a lack of pride what comes from a lack of knowledge. Through his studies on Afrikan history as evidence through both of his books, I know he saw the connection between the Original man globally. That means that he saw the black, brown, yellow, red (a variation of brown) as Asiatics & all being the same people, & the fact that we suffered at the hands of the same forces & people was largely his reason to connect with these people.
The Black Guerrilla Family was initially started to combat racism within the confines of an openly oppressive prison system designed against Blacks. Yeah, sure, George did overcome the counterproductive effects of racism that would have surely stunted his growth as a communist revolutionary. But when did the Black Guerrilla Family ever become a family that forgot about the Black issue?
I think for a lot of people who became politically aware, they became like Utopian anarchists in a way. I say this because a lot don’t see the fact that whatever issue they faced like slavery here and abroad is what fueled their passion to become revolutionaries in the first place. I get that we cannot stay blinded by that issue alone, but how do you walk on a broken leg? You have to heal that leg first. It’s like Malcolm said “You can’t stab a man with a 12-inch knife and pull it out 3 inches and ask him why he’s still complaining.” One issue doesn’t trump the next one, however until we get free completely its righteous for brothers to complain and use that concern to solve their problems.
Also as revolutionaries, it’s supposed to be our aim to help others to eliminate their problems, not to beat them over the head for doing so.
I also disagree with the fact that August 21 and the Attica uprising were not events solely about George. Even if you believe the bullshit “story” that the state concocted to assassinate George, this still means that the events that took place and led up to the assassination were about George and this means that the San Quentin 6 coming together was for George. Perhaps it was solidarity across “national” lines but, if Hugo Pinell was Puerto Rican, then how wasn’t he Black? Now I agree that the revolt of Attica was already brewing, however George’s assassination was the match that struck an already heavily gasolined situation.
If anything, no one needs to forget the Black issue, but I mean this in a global sense, not an Amerikan sense, because the original man is everywhere and everywhere he has come into some form of struggle. Read the history books, don’t just get immersed into revolutionary theory. How can you say that you agree with George or any other revolutionary leader if you don’t understand their philosophies which are the result of history and the masterworks of theorists who came before them? I don’t think those who are excited about Juneteenth are wrong at all. But it’s an Amerikan tragedy & that’s what Juneteenth should be about.
For Black August, we shouldn’t be bickering over Black this, Puerto Rican that, we should be trying to show how we all the same people and use that to connect with each other. Globally the Black man is 11 to 1 there’s no reason to argue over why brothers should deviate from Black revolution. If you don’t understand that either you didn’t go through the process of going from A to Z or you understand revolution only as its all inclusive, which is good, but there’s a process to inclusion.
So if you really champion George, then try to understand the core of his philosophy, not by separating Blacks from other Asiatics, but seeing them collectively as one globally.
Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade writes, “Blacks are the only group who is told to forget about the monumental issue that we faced & are still facing.” We hear this a lot from people of different nationalities, that they are told to, or that their own people fight for the liberation of others but not themselves. So I would say this is a misperception that probably stems from the overall lack of revolutionary nationalism among all nations entrapped by the United $tates at this time and a result of oppressor nation chauvinism telling the oppressed to essentially “stop complaining.”
We wholeheartedly agree with this comrade on the need to unify within oppressed nations in order to build strong alliances between the oppressed and especially with forces in the oppressor nation (who are most likely to lead us astray). USW has a slogan, “Unity from the Inside Out”, and this is one of the many meanings of that slogan. Like this comrade states, we find the work of prisoners (and oppressed nations in general) finding unity and inclusion amongst each other to be of great important work. We also find it important for two oppressed groups to 100% understand/accept each other’s qualitative differences while building unity as blind unity is bound to fall apart. Malcolm X used the term “Black Revolution” as happening in Asia, Africa, and Latin America; so from that angle we see the positive and internationalist application of this model of thinking.
As we explain in another response on single nation organizing, the main reason we think this is true is because imperialism is the dialectical contradiction between oppressor and oppressed nations. To resolve that contradiction, and to end oppression of all forms in the world today, means prioritizing the struggles of the oppressed nations to overcome the oppressor nations and end imperialism.
As to the term “Asiatic”, we don’t subscribe to the ideas of a differentiation between original or aboriginal people and white people being a demonic derivation of that. And i’ve never seen any indication that George Jackson did either. We would use the term Third World oppressed nations, as the Black Panthers did. It is the contradiction between nations, which is an historical phenomenon, not a biological difference.