Revolution #145, October 19, 2008

To our readers:

Talk back on the special Revolution issue: The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need

From the holds of the slave ships to the locked-down penitentiaries and desperate street corners of today, the bitter oppression of Black people, and the struggle against that oppression, has been central to the history and current-day reality of this society. But now some claim that this is all a question of the distant past. Some go so far as to say that the nomination of Barack Obama signals the “transcendence of race” in America. Others may acknowledge the desperate straits of the majority of Black people, only to then blame the masses themselves for this situation. And meanwhile, the grinding and horrific oppression of the African-American people continues. To take but one outrageous example, one in nine young Black men are locked down in prison—while crises like the collapse of the housing market and the new epidemic of homelessness hit hardest in minority communities.

Issue #144 of Revolution is a special 20-page issue on the emancipation of humanity and the struggle for the liberation of Black people. It goes deeply into the history from slavery through the struggles of the 1960s to the present-day reality of Black people in the oppression and brutal exploitation of Black people is rooted in and a pillar of this criminal system...and it makes the case for the necessity…and the possibility…of revolution.

Many people have been reading this...talking about it...debating and discussing it. This needs to get in the hands of many, many more people, of all nationalities.

And Revolution newspaper wants to hear about people’s experiences: What do people think about this issue? What are we finding out when we take this out to others? What questions are we encountering...and what are the debates and controversies...and what creative ways have people found to get this issue into the hands of different kinds of people? How is this issue getting taken up in the prisons and to the families of prisoners? What insights can prisoners add to this discussion? What kind of arguments is it provoking in barber shops? What about on the campuses?

Let’s go all out to get this important issue out to many more people.... We know there are a lot of people out there who have strong feelings and thoughts about these questions and we want to hear about this. Write to Revolution so everyone can learn from positive experiences, and let’s collectively wrangle—including in the pages of the paper—with the sharp questions people raise and the debates this issue touches off and dig into these questions deeper.

These are tumultuous times. Millions are worried about the very future of society and the planet. Many are wondering if capitalism really is “the best of all possible worlds” or if maybe things could be another way. In such a situation, it is even more urgent to get this special issue of Revolution: “The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System, and the Revolution We Need” out in the world. And every week this newspaper needs to be read by many, many more people—out in the mix of all kinds of scenes, stirring up the debate and spreading revolution.

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