Bashir Akinyele is one of those veteran revolutionaries that Newark is proud to consistently produce. He is a grassroots activist, a committed public high school history teacher, and a serious thinker.
He sent the following out this afternoon. It’s about why he thinks Newarkers should re-elect Ras Baraka as mayor.
The Meaning of Mayor Ras J. Baraka
On May 8, 2018, Black people, Brown people, and Newarkers of all races will go to the polls for the Mayoral election in Newark, NJ.
The two candidates are Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins and incumbent Mayor Ras J. Baraka.
Hands down, Mayor Ras J. Baraka is the most progressive candidate of the two. In fact, he is the most progressive elected official in the state of New Jersey.
Although many of my progressive, revolutionary, pan-Afrikanist, Afrocentric, Black nationalist, and liberal brothers and sister have not come forward on a mass level to give our people a proper analysis of what Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s campaign for re-election in Newark, N.J. means to Black people, oppressed people and for Newarkers, I am not like them, family.
I have been taught and trained better than that in this struggle for self-determination, liberation and power. I understand what a Black leader and a Black elected official is and is not, and the science of electoral politics are in this world.
If you are a progressive, revolutionary, pan-Afrikanist, Afrocentric, Black nationalist, and liberal brother and sister, you still understand that liberation will not come from an elected official or electoral politics! Liberation only comes organically from the masses of the oppressed!
When we have real Black leaders, they lead in the battle to help Black people and oppressed people struggle independently for power. Real Black leaders continuously keep Black elected officials and the system of electoral politics accountable to the people. However, like Malcolm X taught us, we only use Black elected officials and the science of electoral politics as a tool to protect Black and oppressed people’s interests period (e.g., controlling the school board, controlling the police department, controlling city hall, controlling the fire department, etc.)! But Malcolm X also taught us that if we do not have a mass movement to force a Black elected official and the electoral system to support us, then the Black elect official and the electoral system will sell us out whole sale!!! And for the record, many Black officials and the electoral political system have sold Black people and oppressed people out. But Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka has not sold Black and oppressed people out, family!!!!
You see, you must understand something about brother Bashir Muhammad Akinyele: I am a well studied Blackman and Muslim. I have been a community activist for over 30 years. I know that Newark was home to the following: two Black Power conventions, the Black and Puerto Rican Convention, the Congress of Afrikan People, the Committee for a Unified Newark, Black Nia F.O.R.C.E, and the Hip Hop Political Convention. Many of these movements were organized by the Barakas (Daddy, Momma, and sons).
I also know that Mayor Ras J. Baraka has said over and over again, ” Please hold me accountable.” And some people in Newark have done just that, family. But others have gone overboard with their criticisms of the mayor. Why? Because they do not care about the masses. They are not connected to a movement! These people only care about themselves, family! At the same time, I know that some of these people, who are overly critical people, are very misinformed about the issues. On the other hand, others are straight-up informants and government agents!!!
In conclusion, I have met some of the greatest Black and Muslim leaders in the world! I know a sellout from a stand up Blackman or Blackwoman.
Let’s be clear: Mayor Ras J. Baraka is not a Black leader any more, fam. He is an elected official now. However, his ideology and elected office are rooted in helping to provide resources, support, and the protection of our Black and Brown, and Newark’s interests!
Therefore, based on his track record thus far, he has demonstrated that he is not a sellout. He is good for Muslims, Christians, Jews, Black people, Latino people, poor people, gay and lesbian people, poor Whites, working class people, union members, and all Newarkers.
Black Power! All Power to the People! Free the Land! Uhuru! Habari Gani! Hotep! As Salaamu Alaykum!
Bashir Muhammad Akinyele
Educator, Community Activist