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Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh ¡presente!

This editorial first appeared on on May 18, 2018.  

We celebrate on May 19 the birthdays of two world-bending revolutionaries, Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X.

Born in 1890 in central Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh was the Marxist-Leninist communist who forged and led a people’s movement and army that defeated the invading imperialist might of both France and the United States and ultimately liberated Vietnam from colonialism.

Born in 1925 in the U.S., Malcolm X was the African-American leader who raised to global attention the concepts of Black nationalism, Black self-defense and the right of self-determination of Black peoples. Malcolm X also made a major contribution to the global movement for Pan-Africanism.

Neither met the other, yet their deeds and words intertwine, and together they continue to inspire us toward revolution.

At this moment, as the U.S. ruling class fans the deadly fires of racist hatred, Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh unite to give a profound lesson in building international solidarity with oppressed people and nations.

In 1924 — the year before Malcolm X was born — at the Fifth Congress of the Communist International in Moscow, Ho Chi Minh made a presentation during a session on the “National and colonial question.” He emphasized the importance of support for the Black liberation struggle in the U.S., saying in part: “It is well-known that the Black race is the most oppressed and the most exploited of the human family. It is well-known that the spread of capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate result the rebirth of slavery. … What everyone does not perhaps know is that after sixty-five years of so-called emancipation, [Black people in the U.S.] still endure atrocious moral and material sufferings.” (

Forty years later, in 1964, Malcolm X, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, put the Black liberation struggle in a worldwide context, saying: “It is incorrect to classify the revolt of [Black people] as simply a racial conflict of Black against white, or as a purely [U.S.] American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter.” (Malcolm X Speaks)

And he acknowledged the centrality of the national liberation war led by Ho Chi Minh to that global rebellion, saying: ”Viet Nam is the struggle of all third-world nations — the struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism.” (1972 interview with Yuri Kochiyama,

The voices of both these revolutionaries ring out with the clarion call of SOLIDARITY as the path to a future of justice and liberation.

They remind us that we of the multinational, multigendered, global working class have a common oppressor in imperialist capitalism.

We can resist its racism, its anti-woman and anti-LGBTQ bigotry, its anti-immigrant hatred.

We can — and must — rise up in resistance.



source: Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh ¡presente!

U.S. global prison model: white supremacy on display

U.S. global prison model: white supremacy on display(Emory Douglass)

The United States has institutionalized white supremacist violence at home and abroad through its use of police and prisons. This does not come as revelation, but as a call to action. Whether we examine photographs coming out of El Salvador’s prisons, or surveillance software used by U.S. police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, we must be resolute in our international aims to tear down these active monuments to white supremacy.

Prisons have divided and dehumanized vast swaths of the population. Prisons disappear people after police round them up and put them there.

Police in the U.S. have been used to break up liberation movements at home and abroad for centuries. The Los Angeles Police Department and the New York Police Department in particular have sent their officers to train and be trained in places like Brazil,  the Dominican Republic, Israel, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the U.S., police began as slave patrols to capture escaped enslaved African people. A notorious policeman explained that “control, not correction, is the key. Our job is to apply emergency treatment to society’s surface wounds. We deal with effect, not causes.” (“Badges Without Borders” by Stuart Schrader) The capitalist state attempted but failed to permanently quash the revolutionary spirit of movements like the United Farm Workers and the Black Panther Party.

El Salvador: U.S exports repressive model

The U.S. model of physical social control, perfect for maintaining white supremacy and U.S. empire, was exported to other countries. This connection is on full display in shocking photographs of prisoners piled on top of one another in El Salvador during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. has had a hand in shaping El Salvador’s policing and subsequently its prison system since the early 2000s. The imperialist violence in the decades preceding this punitive export helped lay the groundwork for its prison project. Currently, El Salvador has the second highest incarceration rate in the world.  For every 100,000 people, 590 are locked up. The world’s top cop, warmonger and jailer — the U.S. — has 655 out of 100,000 incarcerated. (U.S. News & World Report, May 13, 2019)

“In 1989 School of the Americas (SOA) graduate-led massacre at the University of Central America in El Salvador shook the earth,” according to SOA Watch. “The SOA, renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in 2001, is a U.S. military training school based in Fort Benning, Georgia. The school made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Despite this admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, no independent investigation into the facility has ever taken place.” (2017)

In 2002, U.S. officials chose Costa Rica to host the next branch of the International Law Enforcement Academy. A broad coalition of Costa Rican labor and human rights groups pushed for transparency and accountability clauses to be included in the deal. Instead of agreeing to these clauses, the U.S. packed up and headed for El Salvador where the U.S. State Department quietly established an ILEA in San Salvador in 2005.

The academy is part of a network of ILEAs created in 1995 under President Bill Clinton, who envisioned a series of U.S. schools “throughout the world to combat international drug trafficking, criminality, and terrorism through strengthened international cooperation. There are ILEAs in Budapest, Hungary; Bangkok, Thailand; Gaborone, Botswana; and Roswell, N.M.” (NACLA, March 6, 2008)

These police academies have been used by the U.S. all over Central and South America to further imperialist foreign policy by backing governments that allowed them to plunder as they pleased. Regime changes were extremely violent and murderous.

The destabilizing of a region politically is one of the root causes for migration to the U.S. Another cause is acceleration of the climate crisis through destruction of the environment in pursuit of profit. After migrants and refugees make the long and perilous journey, they are met with militarized U.S. law enforcement agents who were trained alongside the same forces that pushed them from their home countries.

White supremacists and policing: a despicable history

Militarized law enforcement bodies in the U.S., like local police or ICE, use surveillance tactics and technologies from companies with direct ties to white supremacists. Damien Patton, CEO of the surveillance start-up Banjo, was involved with both the White Knights and The Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Patton helped shoot up a synagogue. At his trial he testified, “We believe that the Blacks and the Jews are taking over America, and it’s our job to take America back for the White race.” (Banjo,, April 24) He has since denounced his past actions, but software he helped create and similar products are used by police and ICE for rounding up people to be caged.

White supremacist collaboration with police maintaining order is not new. According to Edwin Black in his book “IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation”: “In the 1930s and 40s, IBM — through its German holding Dehomag — provided Hitler’s regime with electronic data processing machines and support. The Nazis used the machines to efficiently conduct censuses and identify ethnic populations.”

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network “was a U.S. government-funded project that provided the origins of today’s internet. It was designed to provide a network for the U.S. Department of Defense’s computers, until it was decommissioned, in 1990, to allow for the creation of a global network.” (, Nov. 2, 2016)

Legal professor James Q. Whitman details in his book, “Hitler’s American Model,” how the Nazis in Germany were inspired by Jim Crow segregation and U.S. laws surrounding “race-based immigration, race-based second-class citizenship, and race-based anti-miscegenation laws.” Scholar Zoé Samudzi explains that “Nazism was a colonial production of racialized space from Jewish ghettos to Lebensraum’s always imperial intentions.” Lebensraum was the German concept similar to U.S Manifest Destiny. (@ztsamudzi on Twitter, March 5, 2019)

The U.S. empire has the most violent history of institutionalizing and codifying white supremacy. This is exemplified in this moment of global pandemic, where the rapidly accelerating and completely preventable deaths of people in prisons are an act of genocide.

Logical endpoints of white supremacist discourse are mass extermination. Prisons are concentration camps for the poor, oppressed nationalities and dissenters.

The global vacuum pump that is the maintenance of imposed colonial, capitalist order is sucking all the oxygen out of us and our planet, literally and figuratively. The first to suffer and pay the steepest price are the people most oppressed by white supremacist ideology — which is designed to divide and conquer.

Abolitionists: part of historic movement

Our collective existence depends on remaking ourselves and the world around us. Abolitionists are part of the historic movement of people fighting for a new world. As one of the many political prisoners of the U.S. empire, Mumia Abu-Jamal, says, “Abolitionists are, simply put, those beings who look out upon their time and say, ‘No.’ They want to abolish state policies that they cannot abide. Slavery. Mass incarceration. The death penalty. Juvenile life. Solitary confinement. Police terrorism.” (, June 17, 2015)

Abolitionists fight against the devastating and long-lasting effects of fatal state inventions of police and prisons. They raise up the long and colorful histories of prisoners’ resistance to brutal, ongoing conditions — that have mutated from the early days of domination and destruction of land and people. Abolitionists respond to repression with a myriad of tactics and levers for social change.

They fight to redirect stolen resources toward human needs like health care, housing, safe water and food, and transforming the root causes of suffering. The Earth — and all life on it — depend on our collective ability to rapidly shift away from current oppressive structures.

Abolitionists know there is a war at home and a war abroad. They see the way the empire cages and deploys militarized forces against people here, in the same way it militarizes fictional borders and funds police and prisons in other countries. It’s the same struggle, same fight against the further codification of white supremacy. As scholar Naomi Murakawa has said, “U.S. elites built the arsenal of oppression against subversives and revolutionaries by working across national boundaries. Liberation will require the same.” (Quoted in “Badges Without Borders”)

It is incumbent upon us all, beyond our borders and within, to tear down the walls!



Holding High the Banner of Revolutionary Intercommunalism (By Chairman Shaka Zulu, NABPP and Tom “Big Warrior” Watts, National Chairman White Panther Organization of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter) 5/30/2019)

“Because the Black Panther Party is not embarrassed to change or admit error, tonight I would like to accept the criticism and say that those critics were absolutely right. We are a collection of communities just as the Korean people, the Vietnamese people, and the Chinese people are a collection of communities-a dispersed collection of communities because we have no superstructure of our own. The superstructure we have is the superstructure of Wall Street, which all of our labor produced. This is a distorted form of collectivity. Everything’s been collected but it’s used exclusively in the interest of the ruling circle. This is why the Black Panther Party denounces Black capitalism and says that all we can do is liberate our community, not only in Vietnam but here, not  only in Cambodia and the People’s Republics of China and Korea but the communities of the world.

We must unite as one community and then transform the world into a place where people will be happy, wars will end, the state itself will no longer exist, and we will have communism.” Huey P. Newton, “Speech at Boston College” (1970)

In 1970 the leadership of the original Black Panther Party made a qualitative leap on the ideological-political front-a leap from revolutionary nationalism to Marxism-Leninism and further to what Comrade Huey dubbed “Revolutionary lntercommunalism.” But it did not make this leap successfully. It did not hit the ground running. It did not consolidate as a Party around this more advanced ideological-political line organizationally. Instead, what it did was split apart into reformist and left-adventurist factions, and eventually liquidated itself as a party. We won’t say it ceased to exist, because there have continued to be Black Panthers, particularly inside the prisons, which is where the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (PC) was formed in 2005.

The NABPP (PC) was founded of the basis of revolutionary nationalism, though from the start we were conscious of Huey’s “Theory of Revolutionary lntercommunalism,” and made a serious study of it before making the leap from revolutionary nationalism to full adoption of it in 2010. Revolutionary nationalism is a “two-into-one-ism,” that is an eclectic mix of contradictory elements. In this case nationalism and socialism. They are like oil and water, and inevitably, one will divide into two. But it is how most people make the transition from bourgeois nationalism-what Huey used to call “pork-chop nationalism”-to proletarian internationalism. Generally speaking, a frog can’t sit on a lily-pad, because it won’t support his weight, but a frog can leap from one to another to reach a rock where he can perch.

Nations and nationalism belong to a specific era of history, the bourgeois (capitalist) era. There were empires under feudalism; the Spanish, the Portuguese, the French, the Dutch, the English, and so on, but not nations as such. With the rise of the bourgeois class there came the emergence of nation states. They were the product of liberal bourgeois democratic revolutions that overthrew the old feudal order. As Marx and Engels explained in the Communist Manifesto:

“The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralized the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralization. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest , one frontier, and one customs-tariff.”

But even as nations were being formed, the development of a world market undercut the foundations of nationalism. Lenin explains: “Developing capitalism,” says Lenin, “knows two historical tendencies in the national question. First: the awakening of national life and national movements, struggle against all national oppression, creation of national states. Second: development and acceleration of all kinds of intercourse between nations, breakdown of national barriers, creation of the international unity of capital, of economic life in general, of politics, science, etc.

“Both tendencies are a world-wide law of capitalism. The first predominates at the beginning of its development, the second characterizes mature capitalism that is moving towards its transformation into socialist society” (see Vol. XVIIpp. 139-40). In other words the transformation of independent national economies into a globalized world economy with a global ruling class renders nations and nationalism obsolete. Huey dubbed this “reactionary intercommunalism.” More popularly it is known as “late capitalism” or “the Era of Neoliberalism.”

What Huey recognized was that People’s China, Vietnam, the emerging socialist countries in Afrika, etc., were not really “nations” but temporarily “liberated zones.” They could exist only as “rear areas” in a global “people’s war” in which the decisive front was here, inside the “belly of the beast.” And the decisive issue was black liberation. Mao recognized this as well. As he stated in 1963, in his “Statement Supporting the American Negroes in Their Just Struggle Against Racial Discrimination by U.S. Imperialism,” and again in 1968 in “A New Storm Against Imperialism”: “The evil system of colonialism and imperialism arose and throve with the enslavement of Negroes and the trade in Negroes, and it will surely come to its end with the complete emancipation of the black people.”

Comrade George Jackson came to the same conclusion in 1970 stating: “International capitalism cannot be destroyed without the extremes of struggle. The entire colonial world is watching the blacks inside the U.S., wondering and waiting for us to come to our senses. Their problems and struggles with the Amerikan monster are much more difficult than they would be if we actively aided them. We are on the inside. We are the only ones (besides the very small white minority left) who can get at the monster’s heart without subjecting the world to nuclear fire. We have a momentous historical role to act out if we will. The whole world for all time in the future will love us and remember us as the righteous people who made it possible for the world to live on.”

“The capitalist Eden fits my description of hell. To destroy it will require cooperation and communication between our related parts; communion between colony and colony, nation and nation. The common bond will be the desire to humble the oppressor, the need to destroy capitalist man and his terrible, ugly machine. If there were any differences between us in the black colony and the peoples of other colonies across the country, around the world, we should be willing to forget them in the desperate need for coordination against Amerikan fascism.

“We must accept the spirit of the true internationalism called for by Comrade Che Guevara….We need allies, we have a powerful enemy who cannot be defeated without an allied effort! The enemy at present is the capitalist system and its supporters. Our prime interest is to destroy them. Anyone else with this same interest must be embraced, we must work with, beside, through, over, under anyone, regardless of his or her external physical features, whose aim is the same as ours in this. Capitalism must be destroyed, and after it is destroyed, if we find we still have problems, we’ll work them out. That is the nature of life, struggle, permanent revolution; that is the situation we were born into. There are other peoples on this earth. In denying their existence and turning inward in our misery and accepting any form of racism we are taking on the characteristic of our enemy. We are resigning ourselves to defeat. For in forming a conspiracy aimed at the destruction of the system that holds us all in the throes of a desperate insecurity we must have coordinating elements connecting us and our moves to the moves of the other colonies, the African colonies, those in Asia and Latin Amerika, in Appalachia and the south-western bean fields.

“We must establish a true internationalism with other anticolonial peoples. Then we will be on the road of the true revolutionary. Only then can we expect to seize the power that is rightfully ours, the power to control the circumstances of our day-to-day lives.

“The fascist must expand to live. Consequently, he had pushed his frontiers to the farthest lands and peoples. This is an aspect of his being, an ungovernable compulsion. This perverted mechanical monster suffers from a disease that forces him to build ugly things and destroy beauty wherever he finds it.

“We must fall on our enemies, the enemies of all righteousness, with a ruthless relentless will to win! History sweeps on, we must not let it escape our influence this time!!!!”

(Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson, p 202-204, Bantam Ed., pub. 10/70)

This is the essential kernel of “Revolutionary lntercommunalism.” It is not as a disjointed collection of national liberation struggles but as a united struggle to end (by overthrowing) capitalist-imperialism that we can achieve worldwide revolutionary intercommunalism as a stepping stone to world communism. This spear must have a point and one that is right up against the throat of the beast. Together with the strength of all the oppressed people of the world we must ram this spear home and slay the monster.

With the collapse of the original BPP, a lot of revolutionary nationalist comrades slid backwards into “cultural nationalism,” and other forms of bourgeois ideology, and in general adopting a bourgeois political world view dressed up in militant posturing. It is time to end this “chicken shit” behavior and stop pretending it has anything to do with Pantherism! We should still be holding high the panther banner founded by Huey. You can’t be a black nationalist without being a white nationalist (and vice versa), and you can’t be either without being an integrationist into the bloodsucking capitalist system.

All the militant posturing in the world can’t hide that truth!

When Malcolm X said: “Show me a capitalist and I’ll show you a bloodsucker!” he was speaking the hard, cold, liberating truth! There is only one kind of capitalism and one capitalist system, and its headquarters is on Wall Street. Capitalism has only one law and that is to seek out the highest rate of profit on investments, and the “big dawgs” will eat up the “little dawgs” to concentrate wealth into ever fewer hands until the inequality of wealth is negated by socialist revolution. There is no other endgame possible and anyone who tells you different is a fool or a liar. It is late in the game now, and wealth is already well concentrated. If we’re not talking about socialist revolution, we are not revolutionaries. There are only two options, private ownership of the means of production or social ownership of the means of production. There is no third option.

National Socialism is fascism, and fascism is just the ruling class dispensing with the pretext of liberal democracy. It’s still capitalism, just no Bill of Rights.

Social Democracy is still capitalism, just with some liberal concessions. Fascism and Social Democracy do a dance number to keep the masses distracted but real revolution is not on the playbill. You can’t vote away the dictatorship of the rich, you can only overthrow it with the dictatorship of the proletariat. When we say: “All Power to the People!” this is what we’re talking about. We’re not talking about another Liberal Democratic Revolution, not even where there has yet to be one. There we are talking about a New Democratic Revolution-under the leadership of the proletariat, and then only to clear the way for Socialist Revolution and in the context of World Proletarian Socialist Revolution.

Revolutionary lntercommunalism is the recognition that we need to put the emphasis on globalized struggle and overthrow of the global capitalist empire. The system is too integrated already to do otherwise. We can’t have another American Revolution outside the context of overthrowing the global monopoly capitalist empire the U.S. has become.

Where is the U.S. military? It is in 500 military bases around the world. If we’re serious about revolution, we need to have plans to build the United Panther Movement on those bases and in the countries where those bases are located, and on the continents where those countries are located. We need to build people’s power wherever people are concentrated. We need to create revolutionary literature in every language people speak.

We need to be Pan-Afrikanists, but we also need to be Pan-Americanists, Pan-Asianists and Pan-Europeanists too. We need to apply Pantherism to all the World! We need to unite Black Panthers, Brown Panthers, and White Panthers! As Huey said: “We have two evils to defeat, capitalism and racism.” And we need to address the oppression of women and gender oppression in general! We need to end caste oppression and religious oppression! To end child exploitation and the neglect and abuse of elders! We need to create “Serve the People!” programs and “Survival Programs” that address all of the people’s needs no matter what color the people are, what language they speak or where they live. Only in this way can we defeat capitalist-imperialism and create global revolutionary intercommunalism.

Talking about doing less than this is “chicken shit!” It is saying “I only care about ‘y people,”‘ which is really saying “I only care about myself”-which is the ideology of the bourgeoisie. It is what we must defeat if anybody is going to be liberated. When it comes to honoring heroes, history is full of worthy examples of people we should honor and teach our children about. We can people’s pride forgive people for having human failings and weaknesses, but their contributions should outweigh their negative aspects. Most importantly, we should strive ourselves to be people that will inspire our children by our actions and how we represent the bright future in the struggles of today. We should be humble and honest and strive to be the “people’s pride.” That’s what being a Panther is about!



Ho Chi Minh Through the Eyes of Martin Luther King Jr.

by  Brandon Do

Ho Chi Minh Through the Eyes of Martin Luther King Jr.
Ho Chi Minh Through the Eyes of Martin Luther King Jr.

They linked the destinies of Black America and Vietnam with one another and with the anti colonial struggles of Africa and Asia.

“The two revolutionaries saw themselves as global citizens, as people who in their initiative to change the world also evolved into full beings.

It is easy for us to become trapped in a perpetual state of hopelessness and despair when we haven’t realized there is a great world beyond us and the responsibility to change it rests in our hands. We have yet to be awakened to our responsibility to eliminate injustice and false values. A culture of identity politics weaponized by the ruling establishment continues to impose a narrow and self-absorbed worldview on our youth. Individual freedom comes first, even at the expense of the enslavement of humanity. We find ourselves paralyzed within our fear of taking up the great task of evolving into new human beings. Thus, the propaganda of the ruling class scares us into a state of passive acceptance and pessimism. With our worldview made significantly smaller, there is no way to reach the soul of another person. Accepting this version of ourselves prevents us from seeing who we can be as free people.

The legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Ho Chi Minh show us a different model of being human. The two revolutionaries saw themselves as global citizens, as people who in their initiative to change the world also evolved into full beings. They linked the destinies of Black America and Vietnam with one another and with the anti colonial struggles of Africa and Asia. They bridged the gap between Asia and Black America to form a new synthesis of values that defeated the imperialist war against Vietnam. Their legacies show us that another life is possible if we commit ourselves to inheriting their great responsibility to create a more peaceful and beautiful world.

“Their legacies show us that another life is possible.”

Howard Thurman, theologian and Martin Luther King Jr.’s advisor, posed the crucial question necessary to laying the foundation for a revolutionary vision in his book, Jesus and the Disinherited. He says:

What must be the attitude toward the rulers, the controllers of political, social, and economic life? This is the question of the Negro in American life. Until he has faced and settled that question, he cannot inform his environment with reference to his own life, whatever may be his preparation or his pretensions.” 

Although he uses the story of Jesus as an example, we can conclude that the rulers and controllers of political, social, and economic life is white civilization — still existing today, anchored in the historical degradation of Africa and Asia and its peoples through murder and theft. Knowing the true enemy of mankind makes clear to us what we stand against and lays the foundation for us to imagine the world we are fighting for. To know the enemy of humanity shifts our attitude from self-blame to courageously taking up the responsibility of destroying individualism and building a new future for mankind.

“Knowing the true enemy of mankind makes clear to us what we stand against.”

Martin Luther King Jr. stood against the American war in Vietnam in his 1967 speech, “A Time to Break Silence”. He called the United States government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” for committing atrocities against the people of Vietnam and across Asia and Africa. He urged Black American troops to rebel against the orders to kill Vietnamese people on behalf of their common enemy, who was also oppressing Black people in the United States. He furthermore said that we need a revolution of values. King says:

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death…A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing — embracing and unconditional love for all mankind.”

Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole.”

Ho Chi Minh indicted the culture of the west and embraced the responsibility for revolution and spiritual uplift. During his journey as a youth around the world, he immersed himself in the anti colonial movements from Africa, Asia, and Latin-America, and the United States. In 1924, he published “A Civilization That Kills,” an article identifying white civilization as the cruelest enemy of mankind for destroying Africa. He writes:

“If lynching-inflicted upon Negroes by the American rabble is an inhuman practice, I do not know what to call the collective murders committed in the name of civilization by Europeans on African peoples. Since the day the whites landed on its shores, the black continent has constantly been drenched in blood.”

The slave trade which degraded the people of Africa and imposed a European ideal of freedom and manhood on all people’s triggered the dark descent of humanity.

Ho Chi Minh beared witness to the suffering of Black people in the United States during his stay in Harlem during the 1910s. He studied the lynchings of African Americans and later wrote:

It is well-known that the Black race is the most oppressed and the most exploited of the human family. It is well-known that the spread of capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate result the rebirth of slavery. What everyone does not perhaps know is that after sixty-five years of so-called emancipation, American Negroes still endure atrocious moral and material sufferings, of which the most cruel and horrible is the custom of lynching.”

“The spread of capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate result the rebirth of slavery.”

While correctly understanding the history of African Americans, Ho did not see himself as a passive observer. He took responsibility to undo their suffering as he did with the Vietnamese. During the height of the imperialist war against Vietnamese independence, he assured that the Vietnamese people were fighting for all of the oppressed. “Our people have fought and made sacrifices not only for the sake of their own freedom and independence, but also for the common freedom and independence of the other peoples and for peace in the world.”

Like King, Ho Chi Minh uncompromisingly stressed the importance of a new human culture that synthesized the best of the world’s traditions. To wipe off the selfishness of white culture, a new one must be created by drawing upon the ancient values of the Vietnamese people and infusing them with the world’s greatest ideals. He writes in his poem:

We will fight and fight from this generation to the next.

 Today the locust fights the elephant, but tomorrow the elephant will be disemboweled. 

Our rivers, our mountains, our men will always remain. 

The Yanks defeated, we will build our country ten times more beautiful.

Uncle Ho secures the foundation of his spirit in the destruction of the greatest enemy of mankind. A new realization of life and purpose replaces passivity. The connection between building a new civilization, beauty, and defeating the United States implicates that beauty only grows from the desire to bring justice to all of the world’s people. 

Ho Chi Minh anchored the unity of the civilizations of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in the common basis of being part of the global anti-imperialist movement, bringing them out of the shadows of colonialism and guiding them into a new age of moral and universal values. His founding of the Indochinese Communist Party in 1930 served the specific function of bringing the Southeast Asian anti-colonial struggle closer to the world socialist movement. The Vietnamese Revolution ushered the people of Indochina out of the ideological propaganda of French and U.S. colonial rule, which stoked sentiments of narrow cultural nationalism to divide and conquer Southeast Asia, and inevitably brought them closer to the Black Liberation Struggle. In 1970, Pham Van Dong, the prime minister of North Vietnam, said to a delegation of Black Panthers who attended as guests of honor at the international day of solidarity with Black people of the United States, “In the west, you are Black in the shadow, in Vietnam, you are Black in the sun!”

“The Vietnamese Revolution ushered the people of Indochina out of the ideological propaganda of French and U.S. colonial rule.”

King and Ho Chi Minh created the conditions for Black people to see themselves in the anti colonial movements of Asia, and for Asia to see themselves in the struggle to free Black America. They completed each other. Even though they were far in distance, they united in spirit to move Black troops in Vietnam to reject orders to kill Vietnamese people, crumbling the infrastructure of the barbaric U.S. military, ultimately putting an end to the war. Their courage lived on in movements in Asia and Africa fighting the forces of wrong and in the Vietnamese who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of humanity.

Knowing how King and Ho Chi Minh lived, we can now define our lives differently. We must engage critically with the popular culture of our time and correctly address its function and whose interests it is ultimately serving. King and Ho Chi Minh realized the large potential of the human spirit to make the world peaceful and beautiful. They embraced a vision for humanity based on the universal love of mankind. Their places the ultimate meaning of committing ourselves to forming a new culture of peace and harmony. The foundation for a true love and a purposeful life can only be built on fighting against the evil of white civilization.

We can only envision a new future when we recognize the purpose of the vilification of our heroes, who stood up to the destructive nature of the west and continue their legacy. We must bridge the gap between our history and our present to fulfill the promise of a new and complete future for humanity. Let us then revive the spirit of King and Ho Chi Minh to strive toward our endless possibilities. Let us fight for a revolution of values and universal love for mankind. Let the spirit of King and Ho Chi Minh entrench themselves deeply into our hearts so that we can make the world “ten times more beautiful!”



source: Ho Chi Minh Through the Eyes of Martin Luther King Jr.