The message on this sign was a major
theme in Saturday’s march. Many
marchers carried printed signs saying,
“Military recruiters lie, our children die.”
I am back jack
From an illegal occupation
Invasion ... colonization
That is totally whack
Done kilt, and spilt
With no thought to who
To’ up with guilt
And now I am back jack
With a mixed-up mind
Wanting to know
Who I should blame
And what should I do
- from “Kilt and Spilt” by Corporal P
‘Kill all you can see’
A PNN Youth in Media report on the selective slavery system and military recruitment in schools
As I walked home from the powerful anti-war, anti-colonization march and rally on Saturday, the words of my friend and poet, Corporal P, who just returned from Iraq, began to flood my mind. “Watch out, brutha. They’ll get you next.”
My friend spoke in his deep, foreboding voice, which makes him seem a lot older than his 19 years. He was trying to scare me about an upcoming draft, which he is convinced the current Amerikkkan government has in the pipeline.
At first I didn’t listen, but recently, my editor suggested I look at the Bigga Pikcher, i.e., the impact of what my editor refers to as the No Child Left Alive Act (No Child Left Behind) on the youth of Amerikkka. Upon examination of this messed-up “act,” which was co-opted by Bush Cheney Inc. for their latest coup, it requires that parents who enroll their children in public schools automatically register them with Selective Service.
Selective Service spends every hour of every day planning for the heinous crime of conscription. That is who they are. It is what they do. They are like the Terminator; they would draft your grandmother if the order came down.
In my research for information on the draft, I discovered www.draftresistance.org, which refers to the Selective Service system as the Selective Slavery system and lists seven reasons why you should never register for Selective Service, including the fact that the more people register, the more it appears like Selective Service could actually launch a successful draft.
Personally, as a very low-income young African Descendent man who is trying to come up and out of poverty by getting an education, I ended up registering ‘cause I thought I had to, but through this website I learned that that too is another fallacy. They gave an alternative resource for college funding. The Fund for Education and Training (FEAT) will give you money for college if you refuse to register. So don’t register! Contact FEAT at 1830 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20009-5732, (202) 483-2220, fax (202) 483-1246.
And of course, all of this draft mess will, like all military recruitment, have the worst impact on poor folks. Last week, College not Combat, an anti-military recruiting coalition, held a protest in front of an army recruiting office in downtown San Francisco. The main point of their campaign is kicking out all army recruiters from Bay Area schools, because the military systematically targets for recruitment those most harmed by the misplaced priorities of the political establishment: working class children and people of color. And more often than not, like in the case of my now homeless Iraqi veteran friend, the promises of financial support amount to nothing.
As I got on the BART to return to Oakland, filled with truth from the day and the strength to resist the pervasive pro-military lies, I couldn’t help noticing a pile of military recruitment brochures emblazoned with the oldest lie of them all: “Be all you can be,” or, as my friend re-named it, “Kill all you can see.”
For more work by PNN youth in media, go on-line to www.poormagazine.org.
More anti-recruitment stories are inside this issue of the Bay View.
Blacks are the catalyst
in anti-war and other movements
by Roy Walker
“(T)he catalysis which political action introduces into social evolution represents an economy of time, life and talent,” wrote Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-Colonization.”
History bears this out. The actions of African people have repeatedly stimulated reflections among other elements of society. The Million Man March and the Million Woman March led to last fall’s Million Worker March against the war and U.S. domestic policies and to similar “Millions” (i.e., Mass) actions across the globe. In point of fact, the Million Worker March was initiated by African longshoremen in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Other examples include the electrifying effect of the Nation of Islam – particularly as expressed by Omowale Malcolm X Shabazz – SNCC under Kwame Ture’s leadership, and Dr. King’s opposition to the war against Indochina in the last century. Of course, these positions were built on the opposition to imperialist wars expressed by Marcus Garvey’s UNIA in 1923 in its Declaration of Negro Rights and other phenomena such as the Nation of Islam’s refusal to be drafted in the second imperialist war (World War II), leading to the arrest of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and many other Nation brothers.
The Civil Rights, Black Power and Black Studies movements also stimulated other peoples, as in the wake of our struggle, activists and organizations from other nationalities began to insist on their civil rights. There was a proliferation of slogans such as Red Power, Chicano Power and even Italian Power, whatever that was supposed to mean. And as we forced some concessions on the matter of Black – or African – Studies on the campuses, we saw the rise of Native American Studies, Chicano Studies, Women’s Studies and so forth.
As Kwame Ture, the primary organizer for Dr. Nkrumah’s All African Peoples Revolutionary Party, often reminded us, we must protect and safeguard the dynamism of our culture, especially our political energy, as it is our culture that is a leading element – in the vanguard if you wish – of what other people do in society.
Thus we understand the vital link of revolution to social evolution.