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- A Letter from Our National Organizer
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(English) “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom, & Justice” by Movement for Black Lives
Hi family and new friends,
My name is Cazembe Murphy Jackson. I am a commitment to loving myself so deeply that others are inspired to love themselves just as deep. I am a commitment to authentic and compassionate leadership that meets people where they are and helps them find their own interest in liberation. I am a Black, southern, queer, non-binary, socialist, trans man. Austin, TX made me. Chattanooga, TN rebirthed me. And Atlanta, GA is where I found home. I went to a rally in Chattanooga, TN after Trayvon Martin had been killed by George Zimmerman. There were about 700 hundred people who came to rally and march. One of the organizers of that march told us that Tennessee also had a “Stand Your Ground Law”. She said that if we wanted to do more than march. If we believed in having a plurality of tactics, to stick around after the march. I stayed after and my whole life changed. I immediately agreed to help reactivate Concerned Citizens for Justice, Chattanooga’s oldest Black led organization addressing police violence. With CCJ I helped to mobilize communities across race, class, religion, gender, ability, immigration status and sexual orientation. I grew up missionary Baptist. I read about all kinds of revolutionaries who loved God and who explained Jesus as a revolutionary who was executed by the state. Through my work with CCJ I discovered Freedom Road Socialist Organization and started doing political education with some local members. Since becoming a member I have participated in building and implementing curriculum for political education for all types of learners, writing organization documents, and serving on our National Executive Committee. Strategy and tactics are the most alluring parts of organizing to me. They are the two components that made me want to join a revolutionary organization. While I have seen and felt the power of prayer many times in my life, I do not think that prayer alone will cure oppression. These systems of oppression like white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, ableism, capitalism, have been expertly designed to kill us. I believe in FRSO’s strategy to defeat who we have identified as the main political enemy to marginalized people in this country.
As the new National Organizer for Freedom Road Socialist Organization I will be responsible for the administrative duties of the organization. I will be building stronger relationships with districts and commissions nationally to help implement a national project. I am overjoyed to be chosen to do this job. I am committed to this organization and I really do believe that when we win, all of my people will win. In “Uses of the Erotic” Audre Lorde asks the question “How often do we truly love our work even at its most difficult?” She suggests that the way to truly loving your work is questioning how acutely and fully we can feel while doing it. When I am having organizing conversations, canvassing, phone banking, performing revolutionary spoken word, singing freedom songs, even just hanging out having conversations about how we can change the world, it is when my body feels the most alive. I was born to do this work. Every experience that I have survived or celebrated has played a role in making me the leader and organizer I am today. I am commitment to disciplined study, integrated action, consistent communication, giving and receiving constructive assessments, and to loving myself as much as I love Black people.
In Solidarity and Love,
Cazembe M. Jackson
BLACK POWER IS THE SOLUTION FRSO/OSCL Statement on Black Movement, Police Violence, and the Dallas Shootings
Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organización Socialista del Camino para la Libertad (FRSO/OSCL) stands in solidarity with Black activists, protesters, organizers, and communities in the fight for Black Lives. These days, horrifying videos of police violence against Black people come fast and furious. Even before we’ve finished mourning one attack, even before we’ve completed one protest, the news of another assault, another shooting, another murder is exposed for the whole world to see. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement has uncovered that a Black person is killed every 28 hours by police or other actors protected by the government of this country. Meanwhile, Black people endure other forms of violence, perhaps less visible but no less real in their power to deprive Black people of the full potential of their lives: divestment from public schools, lack of access to healthcare, the colonization of Black neighborhoods (aka gentrification), super exploitation at poverty-wage jobs….The list goes on and on.
We therefore support Black struggle and Black anger as affirmations of life–affirmations of Black Life–in the face of each and every attempt to dehumanize Black people. We reject all attempts to use the killing of police officers in Dallas to discredit the movement for Black lives or to characterize Black protest as the source of violence. As the Black Lives Matter network has stated, “There are some who would use these events to stifle a movement for change and quicken the demise of a vibrant discourse on the human rights of Black Americans. We should reject all of this. Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it. [The Dallas] attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible.”
In the face of the ongoing brutality against Black people by the police and with deep feelings of grief, rage, and determination, FRSO/OSCL re-affirms our commitment to the building of Black Power as the only real solution to the policies and pattern of Black death that saturates this country. We believe that the ultimate solution to the oppression of Black people and to the inequity and injustice of this society must be the building of Black Power: the power of Black people to determine their own lives and futures, the power of Black people to govern. The ongoing violence against Black people is a brutal reminder of the vicious and cold-blooded power that we are up against. If we want Black liberation–indeed, if we want liberation for any of us–we must get ferocious about building the power to dismantle anti-Black racism and the system of racial and class exploitation that it flows from. The success of Black movements in this country has always played the leading role both in abolishing institutions of anti-Black racism and in opening the way for the radical reconstruction of the country as a whole. This was true for the abolition of slavery and Jim Crow and will be true today.
At its heart, building Black Power requires the organization and mobilization of massive numbers of everyday Black people. Over the past two years, we have celebrated and supported the uprising of thousands of Black people in the movement for Black lives. This uprising has commanded the attention of the entire country. Today, FRSO/OSCL re-commits to building and supporting an even greater movement and organization of Black people. We re-commit to the unleashing of Black rage and Black hope, the forging of Black organizations and the nourishing of Black leadership. Historically, the Black women, Black trans people, Black immigrants, Black disabled people, Black queer people, and Black men who make up the Black working class have been the greatest mass force for freedom, dignity, and authentic democracy that this country has ever known. Today, as revolutionaries and as socialists, we re-commit, above all else, to engaging the Black working class in the powerful, life-saving, and liberating work of mass organizing and collective action.