NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Saturday June 24th 2017

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Black Lives Matter

By Peter Molenaar

Note: “Motherless Child” is title of a traditional Negro spiritual, dating back to the era of slavery when it was common practice to sell children away from their parents.

The following, written in 1952, is taken from the work of William Z. Foster:

“During the three-and-a-half centuries since the first English colonies were planted along the Atlantic Coast, the landowner and industrialist rulers of this country, to further their own greed, have committed many monstrous crimes against the growing American people. They barbarously stripped Indians of their lands, broke up their social institutions, and slaughtered them. The rulers relentlessly exploited the immigrant wage workers and their children, forcing them down into poverty and ignorance, mangling them in unprotected industries, and hurrying them off to premature graves. Time and again, these predatory vultures have cynically sent off the sons of the nations to reactionary wars, to be killed in the interest of the profit grabbers.

“But the WORST OF ALL THE CRIMES of expanding capitalism in this country has been the centuries-long outrage it has perpetrated against the Negro people… stolen from their African homeland and compelled to submit, generation after generation, to a chattel slavery which was a measureless tragedy… [and then] during three generations of ‘freedom,’ the Negros have been lynched, pillaged, Jim Crowed, and generally mistreated as being less then human…

“[Even so] the long and heroic struggle of the Negro people…carried on in the face of heart-breaking difficulties, has brought the Negro people to real heights of heroism and splendid achievement. They have broken many shackles and won their way to the front lines of our national artistic, athletic and intellectual endeavor…”

“STILL WE RISE,” Maya Angelou’s poem, was the theme of last year’s annual Mother’s Day March. Powderhorn Park was witness to a glorious sea of red flags. Smile, proud people.

Note: William Z. Foster (Scotch-Irish, 1881-1961) was for many years a prominent leader of the Communist Party USA.

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