MLK Day Celebration Statement

by Sundiata Acoli-New Afrikan POW

Thank you SCLC for again selecting me as a Co-Chair of the Kansas City MLK Day Celebration whose theme this year is “Adversity or Diversity: Which Will You Teach?”

MLK said, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say in reality.” He was also fond of quoting James Russel Lowell’s “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.” i agree, so with respect to the question “Adversity or diversity, which will you teach?”, my response is “Teach truth.”

The unadulterated truth is that the only solution to the problems we’re faced with today is to change the structure of the system we live under or break away to form our own independent nation(s).

Diversity generally means an “inclusive” process that provides people the opportunity for meaningful participation in all aspects of society that determine the quality of their lives. The problem is that we live under a racist capitalist system. Its very nature/existence dictate that there always be a certain percentage of people who are “excluded,” locked-out and without access to decent jobs, schools, housing, healthcare, etc. Otherwise the system couldn’t keep us competing and fighting with each other instead of it. There always has to be enough poor, hungry and wretched people living hand to mouth so that those of you who are a little better off can exploit, despise and persecute them in order to feel good about yourselves because you’re not them.

You see it happening daily in the whipping up of hysteria about Blacks, immigrants, crime, welfare, terrorism and who knows what tomorrow. And you know it’s a con game, a little truth mixed with a lot of lies, to cover the fact that a war is being carried out against people of color and increasingly against the poor period. Yet many of you and our leaders keep quiet about it because none or few have the heart to stand up to the government like MLK did against the Viet Nam war and say that it’s wrong. So even though Diversity’s aims are noble, it’s not possibe to obtain a truly “inclusive” society under a racist capitalist structure. It’s a contradiction in terms — if a society is truly inclusive then it’s not, or can’t be, racist capitalist.

Does that mean i’m anti-diversity? No, because it’s a move in the right direction, and where successful it will provide selected benefits to selected areas. But the powers that be will never let a Diversity Movement include all the people who would benefit from it because that in itself would change the structure of the system.

MLK warned that “Structures of evil will not crumble by passively waiting. If history teaches anything it is that evil is recalcitrant and determined, and never voluntarily relinquishes its hold short of almost fanatical resistance.”

So what i’m really saying is that if Diversity plans to extend until it includes all the people then at some point it must be prepared to confront this evil structure we live under with “almost fanatical resistance.” And if that be true, then either way it comes down to revolution as the solution, or breaking away to form our own nonracist noncapitalist and humane independent nation(s).

Free Mumia and all PP/POWs!

Sundiata Acoli – New Afrikan POW
USP Allenwood, White Deer, PA
January 15, 1999