The Usefulness of Racism

They have Black people, and white poor people, and red poor people, and Puerto Rican poor people, and Latin American poor people, poor people of all descent. They have them caught up in their movements based on racism. The Black Panther Party stood up and said, ‘We don’t care what anybody says. We don’t think you fight fire with fire best; we think you fight fire with water best. We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with Black capitalism, but we’re going to fight it with socialism. We’ve stood up and said we’re not going to fight reactionary pigs and reactionary state’s attorneys like this and reactionary state’s attorneys like Hanrahan with any other reactions on our part. We’re going to fight their reactions with all of us people getting together and having an international proletarian revolution. And that’s saying all power to the people. That’s saying that no matter what color you are, you go into two classes. That’s saying there’s a class over here, and a class over there. And the reason that this class over here has never done anything to get this class off its back, because this is lower, this is upper, this is the oppressed, this is the oppressor, this is the exploited, this is the exploiter, and these people in this class have divided themselves and said ‘I’m Black and I hate white people.’ ‘I’m white and I hate Black people.’ ‘I’m Latin American and I hate hillbillies.’ ‘I’m hillbilly and I hate Indians.’ So we fighting amongst each other. And here you heard the testimony of the pigs here, and you got pigs of all colors, you know that. You got pigs that are white, you got pigs that are Black. You’ve even got pigs that are Black and white. Propagating the same kind of madness that this buffoon Hanrahan would be propagating if he were here himself. And why? Because they want to keep you believing that I’m your enemy. And that everybody else that’s Black, and that wears a lot of hair on his head, and hair on his face, they want you to keep thinking that he’s your enemy. Why? Because if you were ever to disregard him, and overlook him for just a minute, and throw away the cause of the racist, and start to dealing with a little logic, then they can be beaten. There would be no one else you could attack. Other than Hanrahan. Other than Daley. And other than ‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon.”

– Fred Hampton

(Born August 30, 1948, Murdered by the Chicago Police Department and FBI, December 4, 1969)

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