By: Phatse Justice Piitso
Today is declared a Black Friday, and I wish President Donald Trump wakes from his deep sleep in the White House, and join the great march of the people of the world, in memory of the life of our heroic son, George Floyd. We are yet to see how he joins the marches of solidarity throughout the streets of the cities of our America.
We did not see it coming in our modern day era, what martyrs of generations of man have seen, but even our brother, George Floyd, did not see it coming, that his mortal remains, would be a source of the flames of the revolution to ignite the struggles of the many generations of humanity to come. He did not know that the ashes of his mortal remains would be a shrine for all the memorial struggles of the people of the world.
The brutal death of this young American man, of Afro American origin, stands true to the solemn words of the great ancient philosopher Socrates when he said:
“I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet in law ought any man use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death, if a man is willing to say or do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness, for that runs deeper than death.”
Indeed, George Floyd died having spoken in his manner, than to speak in their manner and how they live. He has died having declared his innocent soul before the wrath of his persuers, for he was deeply convinced, that no evil could happen to a good man, for today, his mortal remains, have become the pilgrimage of all humanity.
To the heartbroken family, friends and relatives, neighbors, the peace loving people of the United States of America and the world, our commitment will be to celebrate his untimely death as the harbinger of a new society. His eternal soul has become an embodiment of the struggle of the people of the world for the rejuvenation of human solidarity and internationalism.
But listening to the power that prevail, in the person of the President of the imperialist empire Donald Trump, the obvious became the opposite, and the opposite became the obvious. His loudest word over the weekend was to try to smash the violent demonstrations in his country. As he ruffled his lips, little did it come to his racially closed mind that he should speak about the valuable life of a young martyr, whose heart ceased to beat at the hands of a racist police officer.
Instead he went for the jugular, with his lack moral consciousness, of how his government has done so much for people of color. As if it is a favour, for the overwhelming majority of the Americans, I mean the people of the Afro American origin and other minorities, to live well in the land of their birth. For Donald Trump does not realize that the USA is, and must be, the USA for all humanity.
It is indeed unprecedented that in our modern day era, we still have such demagoguery which can glorify racism, when the overwhelming majority of the human race is determined to build a new world social order. Shouting like a despot at his subjects, his terrible populism over the weekend, was a demonstration of the highest form of arrogance. About how he holds in his hands, the apparatus of the modern bourgeois American state.
As the world rumbles from horrendous acts such as the brutal killing of George Floyd, we ask ourselves when this will come to an end. But also how this will end, because we are living during this historical epoch of capitalism. We ask ourselves the fundamental question as to when will this indeed come to an end, and whether it is possible, that in the lifetime of our generations of humanity, in the final triumph of our human struggle, we shall achieve a peaceful world of prosperity and harmony.
However, what I know is that such an ideal world – the future world of abundance we all wish to build – cannot just fall simply to us like an apple from a tree. In our lifetime, we must be the architects of its foundations, difficult as it is, it is possible, that in our today and tomorrow, the new world must be the walls of the foundations we shall have built.
Whether such an ideal world we seek to achieve will come from the East or from the West, is neither here nor there, but where we are, in the heartland of our mother earth, in our lifetime, distance as it may seem to be, we shall certainly achieve it.
Many have walked through the swamps of this odious long journey, which George Floyd became part of its history, of which many of us are still to be part of for the East if our lives.
Referring to the West I do not talk about the former West Germany, or referring to the East to the former East Germany, but to the world of the working class internationalism and solidarity. This is the essence of the footprints of this long journey, of which today, George Floyd and many others across the world, have become part of its history.
What the American people must understand, is that their tears are our tears. Together we stand as one, we shall turn its streams of tears on our faces, into the fortunes of our future generations. All what we need to do in George Floyd’s memory is to work together, and not to be fooled by the world of imperialism.
The wounds of George Floyd are the wounds of our freedom and our dignity. His wounds have brought closer to all of us the hopes of human freedom and dignity.
We must understand that great empires have been there before, and indeed they will come and go, but what remained throughout history, has been the determination of our people to build a better world. Surely, even the world of imperialism will also come and go, and this is how it should be, as we move from the lower to the higher order of things, in our battlecry, for our freedom and dignity.
We shall not wonder if the American people have become the real grave diggers of capitalism, and therefore the organisers of the new society we all dream about, for their actions have become part of the actions of the people of the world, of the dream come true, that it is possible for the people of the world to stop the horrendous acts perpetuated by the few. By this I mean the Oligarchy, and that it is possible that we ourselves can work together, to combat all the crimes against humanity.
What they must know, is that it is not only in the USA, but it is everywhere in the world, for the world of capitalism has become the world of racism and super exploitation, it is in its bloodstream and soul. In is in the East and West, in the North and South, in former colonies and semi-colonies, in the heartland of the capital cities of the world, and it is everywhere, where there is capitalism.
The death of George Floyd should bring to the fore, the important question as to what kind of the world social order we want to build. What kind of a world we are determined to build for future generations. We have to ask this question because we are part of this world, and it is part of us.
Our foremost responsibility, in memory, is to demand from the Empire, to stop the carnage of wars raving the world. We have to do so in his memory, for the reason that human life is as peaceful as the horizons of the world we see.
In his memory, it is time, to demand from the Empire to stop the wars in Yemen, Syria, Libya, South Sudan, Central African Republics, Iraq, Mozambique, and many other parts of the world. Doing so we shall be part of those who would have made the Empire appreciate the necessity of peace and progress.
George Floyd has departed this world of the living, in the midst of the disastrous pandemic of the Coronavirus. He has departed the world of the living at the time when the people of the world needs solidarity more than ever before.
It is therefore for this reason, in memory of his gallant life, that we must with determination impress upon the President of the empire, Donald Trump, to use the opportunity, to be part of our battlecry, by making sure that he uses the power vested in his hands by the people, to change the world for the better. He has the power to make this dream come true.
In memory of George Floyd, our battlecry is to demand of Donald Trump to stop the illegal sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe. What he must know is that the sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe are sanctions against the people of South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Angola, Tanzania and all the people of the African continent. In memory of George Floyd, he can indeed make this dream come true.
In memory of our titanic son, we demand of Donald Trump to stop the illegal sanctions against the people of Palestine. We must make him understand that there is noting more worthy, than to give this heroic people their independence and territorial integrity.
In memory of our brother, we demand from Donald Trump to stop the illegal sanctions against the people of the great nation of Venezuela. We know that they are a great nation of peace and hope and must allow them to use the wonders of mineral wealth that nature bestowed on them, to build a better world which the founder of their nation Simon Bolivar, dreamed to be part of. It is our revolutionary duty to make him understand that the glory of the people of this great nation is to defend what is theirs, and the destiny of their motherland.
In memory of all the martyrs of our people, we demand from Donald Trump, to stop the illegal sanctions against the people of Cuba. We must force him to allow the heroic people of Cuba to assist the people of the world with their humanitarian crusade to fight the coronavirus pandemic. He needs to be told that the world needs more of the caliber of the Cuban Henry Reeve Medical Brigade (the ‘Army of the White Gowns’), than ever before.
The best tribute to George Floyd we can sustain, is to defend the legacy of the ideals he died for. His journey of life is a demonstration to the people of the world that if we cannot live as a free people, we must rather die as people fighting for our freedom.
In his memory, we shall be living true to the great words of philosopher Socrates when he said:
“We shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is a good, for one of two things: either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and a migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if you suppose there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by the site of dreams, death will be an unspeakable gain.
For if a person were to select the night in which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to compare with this the other days and nights of his life, and then were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I think that any man, I will not say a private man, but even the great king, will not find many such days or nights, when compared with the others. Now, if death is like this, I say that to die is gain, for eternity is then only a single night.
But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O friends and judges, can be greater than this?. Above all, I shall be able to continue my search into true and false knowledge, as in this world, so also in that, I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not.
What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking them questions. For in that world they would not put a man to death for this; certainly not. For besides being happier in that world than in this, they will be immortal, if what is said is true”.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE
Phatse Justice Piitso is now the Chief of staff in the office of the Secretary General of the African National Congress. He wrote this article in his own personal capacity.