An excerpt from Dr. Maulana Karenga’s annual Kwanzaa Message, published in the L.A. Sentinel (December 22, 2022).
Again, this year in this our season of celebration, we find humanity and the world are in severe and continuing crisis, including: the resurgent pandemic of COVID-19, constantly producing deadly variants; failed and predatory economies and expanding hunger, famine, homelessness and suffering; continuing conflicts and wars; massive displacement of peoples; unjust and irrational immigration policies; and continuing environmental degradation through plunder, pollution and depletion.
And all these oppressive practices and impositions are carried out by the rich and powerful, the obscenely armed and aggressive, who are irresponsibly and immorally unmindful and uncaring about the cost and consequences they savagely impose on humanity and the world and all in it, especially the most vulnerable among us.
Indeed, we live in a world of domination, deprivation and degradation of every kind, in a word, a world plagued with the persistent and pandemic pathology of unfreedom. And thus, there is an urgent need for us to engage in self-conscious, righteous and relentless struggle on every level and at every site to lessen and eliminate it.
Here we remember and reaffirm in struggle Nana Paul Robeson’s teaching that “the battlefront is everywhere. There is no sheltered rear.” And so, it is with Nana Haji Malcolm’s parallel instruction that “wherever a Black person is, there is a battle line.”
Thus, we in the organization Us say, “Everywhere a battle line; every day a call to struggle.” And that struggle is always a dual struggle to be ourselves and to free ourselves.