December 3, 2015
Dear U.S. government, corporate conglomerates, and devil’s advocates:
As you well know, this nation finds itself tortured by a disturbing epidemic of domestic violence. This takes the form of gang warfare and other community predatory behavior, anti-Black police brutality, suicide, sexual assault, and mass shootings. This tumultuous scenario has yourselves and we citizen-residents predictably alarmed.
This is especially true in the arena of mass shooting/killings. The San Bernardino shooting yesterday marked 352 mass shootings in only 336 days of 2015.
What you don’t know – or at least do not acknowledge – is the primary role you play in these debacles. Truth be told, all of the aforementioned transgressions are but symptoms of your collective mismanagement, corruption, avarice, indifference, and malfeasance.
Leaders, we are told, command respect through their own exemplary policies and practices. Suffice to say that you fail immensely in this regard. Rather than providing education and resources for your most vulnerable and dispossesed citizens/residents, you coldly castigate them for being sick, elderly, poor and ignorant.
You could admit and apologize for your past and present violations against indigenous Americans, Africans, Asians and others. You might even consider making restitution to them as well. Instead, you develop selective historical amnesia regarding your past sins against humanity and accuse those you’ve mistreated of being too “sensitive,” lazy, entitled, uncomfortably nostalgic, or unforgiving.
Then there are the blatant contradictions and hypocrisies you mouth with forked tongues and manifest with ridiculous laws, policies and priorities:
- Reluctance to place “unfair” tax burdens on the rich.
- Imprisoning melanated bodies in cold privatized dungeons for selling drugs that addicts willingly buy. Yet you exonerate white-collar thugs who terrorize taxpayers with ponzi schemes, serial-kill consumers with exorbitant interest rates for rapidly depreciating goods, and suffocate other countries with debilitating trade agreements.
- Mass-producing and selling weapons of mass destruction to your imperialist allies but trying to prevent non-alligned nations from acquiring those same weapons.
- Crying broke concerning public education, healthcare and social services, but spending lavishly on military equipment, weapons and foreign invasions.
- Attempting to micromanage and control all areas of citizen life while allowing mega-corporations to function with minimum regulations.
You who knowingly sell “medications” that expedite death, branzenly falsify and censor news,…
…who mischaracterize and kill authentic and progressive world leaders only to replace them with wealth-hoarding, American-controlled, dictators and butchers of their own people…
…Who appoint yourselves the guardians, judges, and gatekeepers of foreign nations, while your own citizens suffer from chronic unemployment, inadequate healthcare and paltry education…
In an effort to promote lasting, peace, happiness and prosperity for all citizen-residents, I humbly suggest you implement the following policies and practices. I and many like myself believe these steps will ssignificantly decrease or possibly even eliminate the mass shootings and other national transgressions currently plaguing this nation/empire.
- Pay reparations to the descendants of those African people victimized by chattel enslavement.
- Relinquish land stolen from Native Americans and provide grants for them to develop that land.
- Eliminate the Federal Reserve. Place the monetary system back on the gold standard.
- Immediately end all military “interventions” in other countries and eliminate all U.S. military bases in other countries, except for small units to protect U.S embassies abroad.
- Demilitarize police departments and hold corrupt police legally responsible for their acts.
- Make quality education, vacation time, healthcare, employment, housing, electricity, heat, and food free and equally accessible to all citizens.
- Redraw political district lines to represent fair and accurate demographic political representation across the country.
- Dismantle the unilateral power of mega-corporations. This includes regulating their campaign contributions, protecting union rights, and prohibiting them from establishing manufacturing plants overseas.
- Make usury (adding interest to loans) illegal.
- Eliminate the practice of imprisoning nonviolent offenders.
- Deprivatize prisons. Pay prisoners market value for their labor. Amend the 13th Amendment and remove the clause making imprisonment a new form of slavery. Transform the penal system (all jails, prisons and correctional facilities) into a system of rehabilitation providing the educational, mental health and life management resources people need to be functional and empowered citizens.
You will likely (and unfortunately) deem these measures too radical, expensive or impractical. You may ask, “How can we afford to do these things?” We will respond, “How can you afford not to?”
In conclusion, never forget what history teaches us about the demise of “civilizations.” Their fall is sometimes facilitated by external factors, but always primarily by internal negligence and decay. As it stands, your continued indifference, brutality and pathological behavior will continue to harvest the same from citizens.
With Humanity and Urgency,
Agyei Tyehimba is an educator, activist and author from Harlem, N.Y. Agyei is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. In 2013, he wrote The Blueprint: A BSU Handbook, teaching Black student activists how to organize and lead. In April of 2014, he released Truth for our Youth: A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens. Agyei has appeared on C-Span, NY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, “The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Currently, Agyei is a member of the Black Power Cypher, five Black Nationalist men with organizing backgrounds, who host a monthly internet show addressing issues and proposing solutions. He runs his own business publishing books, public speaking, and teaching Black people how to organize and fight for empowerment.
Agyei earned his Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from Syracuse University, his Master’s Degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and his Master’s Degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.