Racism, Militarism and Materialism = AFRICOM

A year before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered, he declared the United States was the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet.

Some people today focus on the moral implications of this statement, disconnected from the groundings Dr. King also provided that helped to explain why the United States was addicted to war and violence. He correctly connected the drive for profit and capitalist exploitation—materialism—with the means to enforce individual and national plunder—militarism—and the racialization of the peoples of the Global South that historically has been used to dehumanize them and thereby justify the seizure of their lands, lives and independence.

On October 1, the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) will highlight the latest expression of colonial hubris and white supremacist arrogance by organizing an International Day of Action on AFRICOM.

Officially launched on October 1, 2008, AFRICOM (the U.S. Africa Command) is just one part of the U.S. global command that covers the planet—and as of 2019, the United States has colonized outer space, too, with the U.S. Space Force.

However, very few ordinary people in the United States know about AFRICOM or the other command structures.

This lack of knowledge about what the U.S. state is up to outside its borders extends even to Congress. When four U.S. military personnel were killed in Niger last year, members of Congress were shocked to learn the extent of U.S. military involvement in Africa. Even in this election season, almost no attention has been given to U.S. foreign policies and global activities. The lack of conversation stems primarily from this fact: No real, fundamental differences exist between the two major political parties because both are firmly committed to the U.S. imperial project.

This is why BAP focused on AFRICOM as part of our work as a member organization of the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, which BAP helped co-found.

BAP’s Africa Team explains in the call for support for the International Day of Action on AFRICOM: “The U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM campaign is demanding the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa and the demilitarization of the African continent. The campaign is an integral element of the Black Alliance for Peace’s general opposition to U.S. global militarization, with its offensive command structures, approximately 800 to 1,000 overseas bases, and the United States’ status as the number one arms merchant on the planet. The International Day of Action on AFRICOM (October 1, 2020) aims to raise the public’s awareness about the U.S. military’s existence in Africa, and how the presence of U.S. forces exacerbates violence and instability throughout the continent.”

BAP launched on April 4, 2017, the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s famous speech, in which he broke his silence so he could come out in opposition to the Vietnam War. With our launch, we pledged to fearlessly take up the fight to end the scourge of racism, materialism and militarism against what remains to be the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet.

Organizations are invited to endorse the International Day of Action on AFRICOM.


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