Black State of the Union: Harry Belafonte
Let a man come out of America. And let him speak truth to power.
Let's go after the common enemy, which is capitalism in America in the hands of imperial tyrants. [mov link][Hattip: WRH. Related: Red ridinghood for our times. Let the oppressed define terror]
I have said that George W. Bush is a terrorist. I did not say that to be a "name caller." I did not say that to step out and quote, unquote, "disrespect the office off the presidency." I said that because I see that we have not taken charge of how we define our subjugation. We are living in terrorism as black people in America and it has been that way since the dawning of slavery.
If we are as oppressed as we are. If we're having the experiences we have in Katrina. If we're having the experiences we're having with our youth, with over 2 million in the prisons of America, the largest prison population in the world. If we're having problems with healthcare. If we're having problems with schools. If we're having problems with finding our own inner souls and dignity, to live out a life that is honorable. What is it that has put us in this position? We didn't volunteer for it.
And those who have put us here and [have resolved] to keep us here are people who deal in terror. And I think we need to not listen to how they see terror. We have to talk about how we see terror. And broaden the definition.
Murdering Dr. King was an act of terror. Murdering Malcolm X was an act of terror. The murdering of Edgar Meavers was an act of terror. The murdering of Emmet Till was an act of terror. Sending young men and young women, sons and daughters of America, to murder people in other nations is an act of terror. To have medicine that can heal the sick and comfort the dying and abstain from giving it generously is an act of terror. To keep our young men and women unemployed and buried in ignorance is an act of terror.
So I say, let us redefine terrorism. It is not just Bin Laden sitting in Afghanistan, if it is in fact he who did what they say he did.
It is how we as African-Americans, as people of color, as people who are ground under, it is how we choose to name the game. It is how we choose to create the definitions about our experience that must be recognized and honored. And the only way that can be done is for us to take charge of these facts. No oppressor has ever given freedom. Those who are oppressed have been required to take it.