3. THE CAUSE
The Atlanta child murders were not simply the act of a few "crazed" klansmen. The klansmen were not acting on their own. They were provided with weapons by the government and have been protected from prosecution. The murders, therefore, were essentially a pogrom, that is a massacre directed against an oppressed people with the sanction and active collaboration of the government.
This gruesome murder of children is an example of the extraordinary national oppression faced by the Afro-American people. It is the continuation of years of horrendous torment and lynchings. It shows the extent to which the U.S. ruling class is willing to go in its persecution of the Afro-American people.
The Murders Stem From the System of National Oppression
The klan massacre of Black children in Atlanta has its source in the continued enslavement of the Afro-American nation by the U.S. imperialist state. The 30 or more killings of Black youth were not accidental; they were a necessary result of this national oppression.
The Afro-American people in the Black Belt South, the old plantation region, constitute an oppressed, captive nation within the borders of the U.S. Afro-Americans of the Black Belt are a stable community of people with a common language, economic life and psychological make-up, who have resided in the plantation region since the days of slavery. Welded into a nation after the Civil War, the Afro-American nation has been subject to a most excruciating and painful yoke of oppression, humiliation, super-exploitation, discrimination and chauvinist attacks.
Most importantly, this nation has never been able to determine its own destiny. It has never had the freedom to take possession of state power in the Black Belt, to govern itself, or to choose whether or not to secede from the U.S. All state power in the Black Belt and the border region has been the sole possession of the Anglo-American billionaires and semi-slave landlords who control this land with an iron fist. The white bosses decide all governmental questions. Consequently, the Black masses are confronted with an alien, semi-slave, semi-fascist state power.
Things have been so unbearable for the Afro-Americans of this area that millions of them have been forced to leave for the North, East and West where they now form national minorities. And there, too, they are subject to an unbearable yoke of white chauvinism. This was most dramatically expressed in the recent police bombing of the M.O.V.E. headquarters in Philadelphia and the vigilante murder of Michael Griffith in New York City.
Super-exploitation dominates life in the Black Belt South and has always been enforced by the hangman's noose, pogroms and police terror. These violent pogroms against the Afro-American nation have two related purposes: first, to intimidate and hold in check the Afro-American people; second, to foment national hatred between the Black and white working people. The rich wish to prevent the formation of a united front of labor against capitalist exploitation and white chauvinism. These were precisely the aims of the Atlanta child murders.
The heart of the problem, therefore, is the system of national oppression under which the Afro-American people live. The solution is the liquidation of this special yoke.
Liberal Lies About a Reformist Solution
The liberal reformers try to convince us that the oppression of the Black nation in the Black Belt South has been and is disappearing through reforms and by the election and appointment of some Black officials. They ignore the counter-revolutionary national and class stand of these officials who continue the system of national oppression with a democratic decoration. Moreover, even these officials hold only a minor fraction of the important governmental posts and their nominal authority has been watered down by higher-ups. The liberal-led voting rights drives (which were put together for the sole purpose of electing Democratic Party hacks, etc.) have only been diversionary frauds. Instead of fighting for voting rights in a determined and uncompromising manner as by-products of the revolutionary class and national struggle (as is done by genuine Marxist-Leninists), the reformist demagogues, such as Jesse Jackson, have capitulated to the Democratic Party machine.
Virtually all real political power still remains in the hands of the wealthy white capitalists and landowners. Afro-Americans remain powerless, super-exploited, hemmed in from all sides and restricted to the worst jobs for the lowest pay. Extreme poverty, poor education and high infant mortality continue to bear down on them. The Atlanta murders are the most horrible demonstration of how little has changed and the failure of reformism. These small changes could not and have not touched the fundamental base. Therefore, the basic system of national oppression remains unchanged.
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