BLASTING OFF THIS WEEK! 3/7/2010

8 03 2010

Ayo,

This week is off and running.

We have our weekly meeting poppin off on Monday we will be discussing the Black Panther Party’s 10 Point Program and developing and adapting some of those points for the current situation of Blacks in the United States today.

For those who don’t know about the program’s points here is a refresher:
http://www.marxists.org/history/usa/workers/black-panthers/1966/10/15.htm

We also have a special screening of a radical movie, Angela Y Davis: Radical Pedagogy (by Oakland native, Angela Carroll) this Wed at 1pm in the Richard Oats room. That is in Cesar Chavez so roll through.)

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A Letter to the White Student Movement by deluche.

1 03 2010

The following is a piece written by a BLAST member in response to the recent activity of the student movement against the budget cuts to education in California. While this is not representative of the opinions of the entire BLAST body, it does serve as a decent analysis of the situation from the perspective of a Black student militant.

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The following is an open letter to the student movement in California. It is not meant to be taken in a confrontational spirit, but that may be inevitable. The letter is meant to challenge the action that has happened and to reflect on building a bigger movement. The title “An Open Letter To The White Student Movement” does not mean that the actions described have been taken by the entire body of white students, nor does it mean that their have not been dissenting voices of white students. It also does not infer that all the students taking part in the rebellions have been white, there have been a number of students of color that have rebelled, however the letter is targeted at the attitude and spirit of the actions, which has come from a place of societal privilege.
To The White Student Movement,

I have watched you on your so called “battlefield” for months and wondered why I desired to have no part in this movement.

I have sat and wondered why my passion for the student struggle continues to decrease.

I have wondered where the people who look like me belong amongst the chaos and I have decided that if the face of the student movement is occupation then I want no part in it. So, while it is true that I value the opportunity I have in the University, and it is also true that I wish to stand beside you and fight for education, I have tremendous reservations about the tactics that have been deployed.

“We have chosen not to die” has been the motto of the occupationist. As he storms buildings, as he rushes into battles in street against police, as he damages property in a drug induced haze, he screams “we have chosen not to die”. In the morning, when the dust settles and the sun rises he lays bruised in bed. Looking onto a new day.

“we have chosen not to die” seems to be the rallying cry that kept them through the night.

He lays with a smile, oblivious to the fact that the threat of his death was never a reality. Privilege, class and race have proven to be buffers from true oppression. His white skin has kept him through the night and the politics that he believed he risked his life for now are now over shadowed by the mountain of over turned trash cans and broken glass on Telegraph Ave. Adventurism is the privilege of the white college student and the burden of the Black college student seeking to unite people of color in the struggle.

Oddly enough, I too have also uttered the words “we have chosen not to die” many times in my life
I too have made that vow to myself as a traversed the ghetto.

When the police beat my friends for standing on the corner. . .
When I was told that there were not enough books for the entire class. . .
When I would look out onto a playground filled with dope fiends and not children. . .
When I forced to empty the contents of my backpack before attending middle school daily. . .
When I would come home to my mother, back bent from work, crying about her inablity to come up with rent money. . .

I vowed as many of my comrades in the ghetto do: “I have chosen not to die, because my struggle cannot end here! I will go forth and get the knowledge to change my community.”
For those of us from oppressed communities the cuts to education mean more than prolonged graduation, these cuts are yet another strike from a brutal system that seeks to murder and imprison us. We understand that the brutality of this system is unyielding and cannot be fought through brass action and individualistic politics but true communal struggle with the working people who raised us. We have the understanding that these cuts strike the entire community of working class and underprivileged people and thus must be fought with them. Perhaps this is a form of understanding that comes from knowing that the Capitalist system seeks to use us for maximum profit and that for Black youth that means either imprisonment or militarism. Those who do not adhere and seek to create a better system or a different one are met with the violence of the state, that is the true threat of death that looms. This is not meant to give the state god like character but instead to express that revolutionary struggle against the Capitalist system, especially by those most exploited by it, is bound to be met with the fist of the state. Does this mean that they cannot resist? No, but state repression is an inevitable fact when the working people challenge the state. Perhaps you privilege has prevented you from seeing this.

The student movement thus far has been led by white students with no real world understanding of their caste in society and the repercussions of their actions. They compare themselves to the struggles of the Greek people, when they couldn’t be any further from the truth. While confrontation with the state is inevitable for any would be revolutionary, it must be done with the strength of an organized community behind them.

They publish over sensationalized writings about their experiences, drawing on the struggles of working class people, who are engaging in real class war against the elite; these are the people who face death. They make bold and incongruous comparisons. They make a mockery of true struggle with a-political ramblings. This is the movement I have observed.

This semester the universities received funding for education at the expense of health care and the further privatization of the prison industrial complex. This is not a victory. As I sit in a less crowded classroom, my mother sits in a more crowded clinic wondering if she will be seen. It is crucial to demand that the state takes this funding from the rich, from the oil, from challenging the military budget of the state and not from the poor, the oppressed, the sick, the very community that I come from. As a student of color, from an impoverished neighborhood, I see it as essential that I do not gain my degree at the expense of my community. My degree is for my community.

Thus, the focus of my struggle is with them. I do not seek to preserve the ivory tower of education as it stands. I seek to destroy that tower and build a more inclusive, more open experience for all of society. I fight not for myself, I know very well that the fight may not be won in my time at the university; I fight for the youth after me. I fight for their dreams, and their rights. I understand, as many of my comrades do, that the struggle is much grander than I. The struggle is much grander than the university. There is difficult work to be done and cannot be done if things continue down this path.
I do not desire to join in with irresponsible children who riot in the streets, abandoning politics in lieu of the opportunity to have unprincipled havoc. I do not desire to join in a movement led by a Left that seeks to alienate people of color from discussion by rushing head first into irresponsible action. A Left that is filled with self interested parties billing unproductive spaces as democratic safe havens only with the intention of recruiting tokens of color to spread dogma. A Left made up of almost entirely white student activist that find it more pressing to get their political rocks off before ultimately assimilating seamlessly back into the oppressive tapestry of America than to reach out to students of color and allow them to take positions of leadership and help to direct the movement.

I see this issue as a systemic problem of a corrupt system attempting to salvage itself. The vicious nature of the Capitalist system means the people are forever bound to the labor power that they can produce for the ruling class. For those who are not of use to the system through legal wage slavery for whatever reason, the Capitalist solution lies in the prisons and the military. At the university, class serves as a factory built to reproduce the work force, there is the connection between the community and the class room. So, while it is possible to struggle, we must approach our task organized and united.

I ask you.

What is a movement against oppression that is not led by the most oppressed in a meaningful way?
What is a movement against oppression that leads it’s people head first into unnecessary danger?
What is a movement against oppression that recreates the same prejudice that it claims to fight?

This letter is not meant to be an antagonistic slam of the work that has been done. It is a reflection on the events of the past few months in hopes that we can move positively and concretely into the coming actions. I have seen this to be a problem in the Bay Area and I now understand that we are not alone. In hopes of creating true solidarity, not just the phrase that is used meaninglessly, I wish to offer some suggestions. In coalition spaces it is necessary to listen and not speak for people of color and women. Deconstructing white male privilege doesn’t mean submitting your freedom but instead challenging and analyzing that freedom. It means that you allow oppressed people to take the lead and work in true solidarity by asking what needs to be done. We must not shy away from uncomfortable discussion or outreach into communities that have been adversely impacted, only then can there be a true assessment of the conditions.

I say this with the most sincere of thoughts and intentions. I say this in the hopes that these words reach some of you; one’s willing to build a better movement.

Striving Towards Solidarity,
Deluche.





Weekly B.L.A.S.T reading.

12 02 2010

Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed is our weekly B.L.A.S.T. reading. Get into Chpt One and stop by our Monday meetings. Mondays @ 7pm. In the BSU room of the Cesar Chavez bldg at SF State

http://www.marxists.org/subject/education/freire/pedagogy/index.htm





The Opinion: Freedom in the age of Obama – Kofa T.

8 02 2010

The Opinion is a section of the B.L.A.S.T Blog that is dedicated to members of the B.L.A.S.T organization discussing pressing concepts. This week’s topic is “Freedom”. What is it and are Black people in this country really free?

Here is Kofa  T. on “Freedom”

Freedom is the power to choose one’s own destiny. Black people across the globe, but specifically in America have been stripped of this fundamental right. Proof of this injustice was obvious during slavery, Jim Crow and now the Prison Industrial Complex. Yet, as we enter the Age of Obama the question of freedom arises. Are African Americans free based on the fact that we can now be president? Have we achieved King’s Dream? Have we fully integrated into American society? My response to these and any other question in this genre would be HELL NO! Who is Barack Obama and how does he affect my individual freedom and the freedom of my people? Most people would agree that Obama is a symbol; a symbol that African Americans have arrived. We can be anything we choose to be, even the head of a racist, sexist, homophobic state. This is not freedom and in fact I would venture to say it is a step back from the freedom we fight for daily with our lives. Obama, the captain of a sinking ship, gives me no hope for change. He hasn’t changed anything, except that he has increased the pacification of Black people. He certainly gives me no hope or promise for a better future. We are still locked up and stripped of our rights based on skin color. We are still murdered at record rates by police officers, arms of the state. We are still highly mis-educated in the schools run by this disgusting government. And the United States continues to terrorize the people of Africa, Latin and South America and the Middle East. This all goes on while Obama hands out welfare checks to the wealthy, fights unnecessary wars, and turns his back on his Black constituents. So then if this is not it, then we must ask, what is freedom and how do we attain it? First, revolutionaries must understand that freedom is not something that can be handed to us. Freedom is taken. It is snatched back from those who steal it. Huey P. Newton says that, “freedom is won through the barrel of a gun”. Meaning, we will not have freedom until we go to war to defend ourselves and our families from the constant attack we live under. The Age of Obama is not a time to celebrate a symbol but a time to arm ourselves in self-defense. When we speak of arming ourselves, we do mean with weapons, but first we mean with truth. It is a time to educate and reeducate, to organize and mobilize, and to come together as one community ready to assert the rights and power of the proletariat. So, I say after one year of Obamanation, it is time for us to raise the sleeping giant. It is time for us to honor the spirits of Malcolm X, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, David Walker, Nat Turner, and George Jackson. This is our time to take back our freedom and stand tall with dignity, intelligence and pride. Do not let Obama be just an image for success. Let us have true victory by fortifying our communities against this attack.

–  Kofa   T.





The Message: P.E.

31 01 2010

Class Is In Session

This Monday @ 7pm in the BSU room of the SF State Cesar Chavez Center, B.L.A.S.T. begins it’s weekly political education sessions.

B.L.A.S.T. seeks to raise the collective consciousness of the Black student body on campus through reflective study of past liberation struggles and the revolutionary pedagogy. It is crucial that we recreate an atmosphere of communal learning and political development. B.L.A.S.T. sees this as an essential part of creating a well informed Afrikan, one that can step forth in their community and make real change.

We extend an invitation to any and all peoples that want to attend. If you do not know where the BSU room happens to be then you can meet of our members in the Malcolm X Plaza at 7. See you there.

Revolutionary Love.





Pass It On

29 01 2010

B.L.A.S.T. is now on the book of face. (FACEBOOK) Drop us a line & join the group!

http://www.facebook.com/Deluche?v=feed&story_fbid=275111832006#/group.php?gid=295711973382&ref=nf





WE ARE HERE!

26 01 2010

We Are Here!

We are the B.L.A.S.T!

The B.L.A.S.T. is the political arm of the Black Student Union at San Francisco State University. We see a lack of militant/political development amongst the Black student body on campus and seek to reignite the flames of Black militant struggle both on campus and off. It is our goal to re-define self-determination and revive collective efforts. By doing so we will also protect our legacy of resistance and struggle and reignite the fire for justice. We will perform the duty of organizing the masses for constant, militant struggle. We will do this by providing direction for the study of political theory and pedagogy along with providing examples for the application of such to current movements. We will engage in education, service, and direct action mobilization. We are against anything that may halt the unification of the campus and the Black community including, but not limited to; racism, gentrification, sexism, homophobia, and careerism. We are for any action that successfully establishes a positive connection between student and community. We are committed to the advancement of Black Liberation and are dedicated to shaping this through student involvement and leadership.

We reject the ideas of rugged individualism, careerism, homophobia, and patriarchy that have led to division and unproductive dispute in the Black community.

We  declare that now is the time for Black people to start a global revolution. A Black Revolution.  An organic movement that seeks to unite and uplift Afrikans, encouraging them to thrive and overthrow the current establishment. We do not accept the lies that have long sense bogged down the people and forced them into the figurative fetal position. We seek to expose those lies, create a true and open world. A militant world. A revolutionary world. B.L.A.S.T. sees the problems of the current method of thinking of society in general, and the left  in specific. We do not denounce the two but encourage new theory in both. What is a militant struggle without Blacks and how far can a movement go without the acceptance of divergent views? These are the questions at the center of B.L.A.S.T.

As Amerikkka enters into what B.L.A.S.T believes to be a new wave of struggle between the working class and ruling class being led by the Budget Justice movement in California and the Gay Rights front, we challenge the methods and thoughts by which the left has orientated itself and sees how easily communities of color, Blacks in particular, may be funneled out of the movement. Blacks often, the most revolutionary of all peoples in Amerikkka should be involved in the discourse of the left at all times and B.LA.S.T. seeks to bring the discourse to Blacks and Blacks to the discourse.