Q351 Transcript

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(Editor’s notes: This tape was transcribed by Connor Ashley Clayton, who also contributed to the summary. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.)

(This tape begins with a reading from an article in the March 1972 edition of Reality: A Journal of Liberal Opinion written by Steve Biko entitled “Black Consciousness and the Quest for True Humanity”. Jones reads the article almost verbatim, changing details pertaining to South Africa to be about the United States, and inserting additions throughout. Verbatim excerpts within the reading are noted in green type below.)

Jones: Attention. Attention. Attention. Some news that is highly essential of the state of minorities of USA. Ruskin writes: The overall success of the white power structure has been– has been managing to bind the whites together in defence of the status quo. By skilfully playing on the imaginary bogey – black, minority, Indian – peril, they have managed to convince even die-hard liberals that there is something to fear in the idea of the black man assuming his rightful place at the helm USA integration in leadership. Thus, after years of silence, we’re able to hear the familiar voices of Jensen, leading economist Dr. Alan Paton in Britain, as far away as London, saying, perhaps apartheid is worth a try in USA and in England, and the Labour movement – present government of England – said as much today. At whose expense, said the black columnist? Dr. Paton asked this intelligence black journalist – this very moderate black journalist who has been selling out for such a long time. Hence whites in general reinforce each other, goes on the black columnist to say, even though they allow some moderate disagreements on the details of subjugation schemes. There is no doubt that they do not question the validity of white Christian values. They see nothing anomalous in the fact that they alone are arguing about the future of 26 million blacks in the land which has been made primarily by black people, and stolen from the Indians, to whose– the people wh– it was their natural back yard. Any proposals for changing – or change – emanating from the black community or minority community are viewed with great indignation today in the USA, as racism has never been worse. Even the so-called opposition has the serv– has the nerve to tell people of colour that they are asking for too much since the Bakke decision. Editorial after editorial across the nation, in all– most every newspaper in every community, is saying the poor blacks and Indians are asking for too much. A journalist from the liberal newspaper, like The New York Times, describes a black student – he’s– who is only telling the truth – as a militant, impatient, radical young man. It is not enough for whites to be on the offensive, so immersed are they in prejudice, that they do not believethat blacks can formulate their thoughts without white guidance and trusteeship. Thus even those who– those whites who see much wrong with the system – capitalism – make it their business– he doesn’t elaborate the system, but that’s what weknow it is– all of this is– down– boiled down economics like the cliometric theory that’s being promoted by a lot of blacks, that’s saying blacks will have to realise their place in society as the– the robot slave, more or less– that’s not their words, but, p– to do the p– the servant work that every community has to have. And blacks are even promoting this damn concept. Even those whites who are see– see much wrong with the system make it their business to control the response of the blacks or Indians to the provocation. No one is suggesting that it is not the business of liberal whites to oppose what is wrong. However, it appears to this writer as too much of a coincidence that liberals, few as they are in USA today, should not only be determining the modus operanda – the method of operation – of those blacks and Indians who oppose the racist class system, but also leading it, in spite of their involvement in the system. To us it seems that their role spells out the totality of the white power ruling structure. The fact that the whites are our problem– it is still other whites who want to tell us how to deal with that problem.

The basic problem in USA has been analysed by liberal whites as being one of unemployment. They argue that in order to oppose this kind of second-class citizenship that causes unemployment, less pay, inadequate housing, poverty, stench-ridden, crime-ridden streets, we have to form non-racial groups. Between these two extremes, they claim, lies the land of milk and honey for which we are working. The thesis – which is a Marxist concept, you know, the triangle of [Georg] Hegel – the antithesis, and the synthesis, have been mentioned by some great philosophers as the cardinal points around which any social revolution revolves. For the liberals, the thesis is today: racial separation, class distinction. The antithesis is non-racialism. But the synthesis is very feebly defined. They want to tell blacks that they see integration as the ideal solution, in a community that will always be racistic, because blacks and Indians are outnumbered twenty to one.

Black consciousness defines the situation differently. The thesis is in fact a strong white racism, and therefore the antithesis to this must ipso facto be a strong solidarity amongst the people of colour on whom this white racism seeks to prey. Out of these two situations we can therefore hope to reach some kind of balance, a true humanity, where power politics, racist politics, will have no place. The concept of integration, whose virtues (pause) are often extolled in white liberal circles, is full of unquestioned assumptions that embrace white values. It is a concept long defined by whites and never examined by blacks, in the Uncle Tom environment. Now, this is a black liberal, at best, and he’s talking about Uncle Tom-ism, and he really is concerned about racial genocide, though he’s not a socialist. It is based on the assumption that all is well with the system apart from some degree of mismanagement by irrational conservatives, racists at the top.

This is white man’s inte– integration, an integration based on exploitative values. It is an integration in which blacks will compete with black and other people of colour like Indians and Chicano, using each other as rungs up a step ladder leading them to white values. It is an integration in which the black man, man of colour, will have to prove himself in terms of these values before meriting acceptance and ultimate assimilation, and in which the poor will grow poorer and the rich richer, in a country where the poor have always been people of colour, black, and Indians. We do not want to be reminded that it is we, the indigenous people, who made this nation, such as the Indians and the blacks, who were the willing – and sometimes unwilling, mostly unwilling – slaves, who are the poor and exploited in the land that should be, actually by birth, the Indians’. These are concepts which the black consciousness approach wishes to eradicate from the black man’s mind.

Black consciousness is an attitude of mind and a way of life. The most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time, its essence is the realisation by the black man that people of colour have the need to rally together with his brothers and sisters around the cause of their oppression – the blackness of their skin or the brownness of their skin – and to operate as a group to rid themselves of the shackles that bind them to perpetual slavery, uh, servitude. It is based on a self-examination which has ultimately led them to believe, that by seeking to run away from themselves, and emulate the white man’s Christian values, they are insulting the intelligence of whoever created them black and brown. Philosophy of black consciousness therefore expresses group pride, and the determination of the black – people of colour – to rise and attain the envisaged self. Freedom is the ability to define oneself with one’s possibilities, held back not by the power of other people over one, but only by one’s relationship to God and to natural surroundings. Of course, this is a– a believer, you know, one who believes in deity, and– and the basic free enterprise system. Has up ‘til now. On his own, therefore, the black man wishes to explore his surroundings and test his possibilities, in other words to make his freedom real by whatever means he deems fit.

Seems like they now talking Malcolm’s [Malcolm X] language, some of the moderates are seeing what’s happening. Why? Well, there’s good reason. Housing discrimination. Exclusionary zoning laws. Eighty-one cities last week had burning cross– burning crosses of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis in their neighbourhood. White cobs– white cops have clubbed black teenagers in eighteen cities in the past days. Anti-bussing demonstrations are in every city as the school year approaches again this fall. Blatant instances of racism, all over USA, but racism can also take subtler forms, as with exclusionary zoning laws in the suburbs which ban now all low-income or multi-unit housing, effectively barring all minority people of colour, Indians, Chicano, Asians, and blacks, and to a lesser extent even the working-class white people. Two studies written for, but refused to be endorsed, by the Department of Housing – even though it’s headed by an Uncle– an Aunt Jane – and Urban Development, revealed last week that zoning laws in Connecticut are in–

(tape edit)

–The Suburban Action Institute Report noted that Connecticut’s Hispanic and black populations, Indian populations, are concentrated in the central cities, while job opportunities are expanding only in the lily-white suburbs. This no wel– The no-welcome signs are evident everywhere to national minorities and the poor working-class families, reflects fears of uncontrollable influxes of any people of colour into the domain of surban– s– suburban areas or– uh, in the country areas of USA, the study said. The State Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, which issued the second report about Connecticut, reflected on a study of housing discrimination it made ten years ago and noted that, with the proliferation, the spreading of exclusionary zoning zo– uh, zoning laws all– all over the USA, only the techniques of discrimination have changed. They’re more severe. It’s a f– system of apartheid, where blacks and Indians are forced to live in the central decay– decaying areas of the cities, according, and set up beautifully, for annihilation, the Human Rights Commission said. They even mentioned it, in uh, Connecticut, set up beautifully, in other words to be bombed out with a neutron bomb and eliminated, because they can spell down the neutron bomb to within so many square yards, and thus effectively kill every living thing and have the property saved for business interest. According to the Commission Report, in Connecticut, Human Rights Commission, 149 municipalities in Connecticut alone, remain totally white. On the other hand, twenty of the largest cities with the largest concentration of old housing contains (emphatic) 85 percent of– uh, 85 percent black, and 95 percent of Third World population, Indians, Hispanic, uh, Puerto Rican, that is, so forth and so on. The State Commission surveyed 160 Connecticut cities in detail and found that 30 banned multi-unit housing under anycircumstances, only three allow such housing for the elderly, and that only. Local governments in 114 cities and towns prohibit trailer homes, and 77 municipalities require single family homes to be constructed on lots of more than 20,000 feet, which costs at least 70,000 [dollars], and bar any person of colour or the poor whites from owning it. Who can afford 70,000 dollars, minimum, USA? The two reports, according to the Commission, do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing Department, US federal government, went on to say they will not be adopted, they’re unrealistic and unworkable. Well, that’s where it is.

Now, Alabama has asked the Commission to preser– to Preserve the Peace and State Sovereignty Commission. Colorado has closed down agencies overseeing boxing, licensing, sanitarians and short-hand reporters. The elimination of these state agencies came after the respective state legislatures adopted sunset laws, a new, horrible form of racist reaction. These laws mandate the periodic review of state agencies, and the automatic termination of these departments unless renewed by state legislatures. Twenty-seven states have passed sunset laws, since Colorado pioneered the concept last year. A Maryland bill is awaiting the governor’s signature right now. Two proposals are currently before the U.S. Congress, and President [Jimmy] Carter has endorsed the idea.

What are the ramifications of these sunset laws? They are reactionary. As with some other so-called reforms, such as fixed prison sentences for example, it depends on how the sunset laws are implemented, and they’re all being implemented against people of colour. And the danger signals are very evidently emerging. The Colorado branch of Common Cause postponed [proposed] the first sunset law in 1975 as a means of pressuring for more agency accountability. “All we ever said was that Sunset could make government more accountable, and efficient.”[1] Conservative lingo, or racist, practices. But since that time, both conservatives now and liberal fiscal hardliners have united behind the sunset concept as a method of curbing so-called Big Government, which they mean government aid to the poor – the blacks and the minorities – as the state of California, Oregon, and Michigan have absolutely cut back all such services. And education, now. There will be– uh, education’s a farce. Having to conduct their schools in basements of churches and other places, even in San Francisco, 3000 students.

And, say these liberals and conservatives, supporting the sunset laws, they’re reducing what they deem to be excessive bureaucracy. But what they really mean is all the programs, job trainings, and job centres, and all of the various, uh, I’ve forgotten the name of it that was uh, in San Francisco, that’s now been killed by the– the– the law, the people’s will, the referendum. All of those, uh, what is it, opportunities– what, what is the name of that– I– I can’t think of it. Someone wanna fill me in? John– my John senior– would know. And a number of activists have warned that business forces may turn the sunset concept to further weaken regulatory agencies and to gut all social services to the poor, and particularly black and Indian, Chicano. In Colorado, for example, the state sunset provision afforded the division of insurance and opportunity to emphasise to legislators, that it did not have enough staff to adequately keep tabs on the insurance industry. But instead of building up the regulatory body, the legislature cut the insurance division’s workload by deregulating much of the insurance industry, allowing again for racist practices in insurance, where whole neighbourhoods will not be insured, and they form racial lines, directly correlating with the Indian and black community. Well, that’s the goddamn state of things. It’s a bad situation.

And I want to tell, you repression against labour is very evident. Workers were fired for striking. A three-week strike by 1000 copper miners in the Oak Flat Mine in Superior, Arizona, ended a few days ago when the company fired the 350 instigators.[2] The strike was over new work schedules that allowed workers only one weekend off every three months, with only half-days off, every six or seven days. The strike was opposed by the local leadership, for Christ’s sake, of the United Steel Workers, and naturally the AFL-CIO, that’s always been the– one of the puppet-bosses for capitalism under [George] Meany. And district and international officials of labour opposed this strike, but the union said it would take the dismissals through the grievance procedure which normally takes at least two years. Two years. And nothing will be done about it. (Slower, more emphatic) Nothing will be done about it. Well, that’s the kind of situation you have, of the repression that is growing in USA, as the capitalist economy is more and more threatened.

Back to the news, that we are now listening to, under the library. It should’ve continued. You didn’t need to stop it. But I just wanted to give you an idea of what the hell is going on, back there, along racial lines. Now I’ll continue with the rest of the news. And please, please listen because you will be evaluated, you will be tested tonight, people–

(tape edit)

say. To you who look at the capitalistic glamour, I can’t imagine how you’re doing any thinking. I know you can’t start caring until you do thinking. Well, let’s do some thinking. Since the first part of this year, just to take one thing, the price of meat – all beef products – has gone up 79 percent, almost double, since the first part of this year. Lettuce has gone up 30 percent. Potatoes nearly the same. And there’s a general 17 percent rise in food prices since the first of this year. But the president is mouthing off for wage controls all the time. And to set an example, the big corporate leaders have said, none of their executives will receive more than a five percent wage increase. But that– it doesn’t mean much, you see, when these big corporate sell-out executives are making 200- to 800,000 dollars a year, a five percent increase is considerable. That would mean if they were making 200,000, they would get 210,000 dollars a year. And if they were making 800,000, their increase would be 45,000 dollars a year.

But Carter has obviously decided that there is only one way to control inflation. And the Voice of America is ringing it out loud and clear: cut back on expenditures. And so that’s what’s happening. The only way they’re going to stem their inflation, even to a little degree, to keep capitalism from falling apart right now, is to cut the purchasing power of the people by deliberately creating massive unemployment, and holding down wages that way. He’s already making noises – Carter is – very loud and clear. He said, with promising assurance, there’ll be ceilings on the budget next year, and a drastic budget cut next year. And the Federal Reserve bank is letting interest rates rise. These are the standard first steps in the capitalist trade-off for less inflation by having far more unemployment. Already we’ve been hit in the belly, you who are black. Where are you going? We had over half of our black youth unemployed. Say, well, you always got a job. Yeah, and you had something behind you. Jim Jones. Movement. Connections. And then a certain miraculous thing that’s been very good for us. Been very good to us. Where are you going?

California has prop– passed a Proposition 13 that cuts out all job services for minorities. All those programs you knew, CETA [Comprehensive Employment and Training Act] and so forth, they’re gone. Eight hundred people lost their job one Friday afternoon. That’s what they told us right over the radio. Jim Ingram’s boss, who voted for Proposition 13, lost his job. It’s a hell of a mess.

Now if you’d pull together here, instead of wasting so much time, and the administrators will naturally bring it about, but we’d like to see it brought about cooperatively. Here I’m bringing in six months’ food supply, on our freighter, at a cost of what, 675,000 dollars. Nearly two-thirds of a million dollars. Now where in the world could you be more secure than that? And don’t talk to me about you’ll come to fight a war and liberation, when you are still an egotist, and you still glamorize your relatives who beat women and who pass dope. When you talk about being like people in that sick, filthy, Uncle s– Tom sell-out environment, don’t talk to me about that. You’re not ready for guerrilla action. You just want romantic notions of jumping from place to place.

NAACP just closing their convention today, in Portland, Oregon, has said to the president unanimously, you must get on nationwide television and dispel the notion that blacks are to be cut out of U.S. society, that blacks have already had too much done for them. Already, just days after the Bakke decision, NAACP convention has declared that there’s an attitude of racism prevailing all through the country, that Bakke, the decision was saying, the highest court of the land was saying, to the U.S. people, cut back on blacks, Indians, poor whites. Some of you who are poor white, you are foolish. You’re not more talented than the miners, more trained. Didn’t they last 115 days, till their babies were nearly starving? And nobody gave them any help. And they’re still on their bellies in the mines. You’re a nigger just like me. You’re a field worker, just like your Father. So, you too need to identify. And you who are Jews, you should listen to the radio.

Secretary of State [Cyrus] Vance indicting Israel. Over and over again, because Israel’s getting to be a heavy burden. Sure, they catered to the Jews in USA for a while, but do you think that possibly five, six million Jews are going to affect national policy when Arab oil is buying up the greater bulk of property? One state alone, two-thirds of the property is in the hands of the Arab oil-rich nations, who hate Jews. Surely, my friend, you’re forgetting who you are. You’re forgetting how bad anti-Jewish feeling was. Let– A perfect set-up in USA, according to sociologists, who were gathered at a recent Antwerp meeting in Europe, a perfect set-up for genocide in USA, because there’s no national heritage. There’s no sense of national unity. There’s no sense of national loyalty. US is fragmented in hundreds of different ways. Never has known imperialist domination, in the colonial sense, that they can remember. Yet there’s only one patriotism: the domination of the cut dollar. The domination of capital. And loyalty is based on that alone. Not that you love your neighbour or do good will for your neighbour, but you must protect property. That’s the law of patriotism in USA, that you must give your lives on the battlefields for property. This is the dreadful reality.

If you can’t identify with what’s going on in South Africa, the voices that’ve been stilled in the past days, like Steve Biko, and now all of his family jailed, as I said, in a nation that’s got a lot of black consciousness because of 17 million blacks. Yes, 17 million blacks in a land which is their natural back yard, of the black people. It belonged to them. You only got just less than a million whites, my child. Don’t you see something very discouraging in that fact? That they are arguing, still, whether 17 million blacks that outnumber whites 14 to one– ‘cause I think there’s something wrong with my statistics, but I do know that there are 17 million blacks, and they outnumber whites 14 to one, but they can’t even get self-respect in their own back yard.

And the whole world is viewing USA with great indignation, and yet our tax dollars– our tax dollars put a billion dollars, a billion dollars – that’s a thousand million dollars – already now this year, when blacks are wandering around without jobs. Already we had fifty percent unemployed when we left. God only knows how many now, with the cutbacks and the white racist reaction of passing all these Proposition 13’s throughout the United States beginning in California, sweeping up to Oregon now. Stopping all property tax. Getting more property tax denied, cutbacks in property tax, ‘cause the white people say openly on their placards that show in Time magazine: We’re tired of supporting niggers, Chicanos, Indians. And those middle-class whites are also saying they’re tired of helping the poor whites, which all of you were, who were white here, who never made it. You’re very, very stupid. We have a family, a unitary movement, with a leader who looks after every one of you like his own baby. And yet you won’t give a helping hand to sustain that, to help put leadership in yourself that can carry on the great ideals that he has put upon his shoulders. How much of a prisoner he has been all these years, ‘cause every minute on this phone, reading material, answering someone’s problem.

And if your problem’s not being solved, it’s only because you’re not writing me about it. Because I always work to correct every injustice. But some of you are persistent in an idea of narcissism, that the grass is always greener on the other side. You’ll never have– get grass as green as this. You’ll never again have this chance. This is the best possible place to be.

The Guyana government is moving carefully in a non-aligned position. Thus, USA will give assurances that there will be no invasion from Venezuela, or Brazil, or from Suriname. Yet the nation’s moving on with cooperatives, and it’s allowed us to live as we please. And there’s no change in sight for that. We’ve had that double assurance. No matter what happened, there would be no change in sight for us to have the right to live as we choose. What a privilege, to be in this fertile, rich part of the world, the only place that anthropologists like Margaret Mead said can survive. What a privilegethat our children have that right. Say, I don’t want to live. But how selfish you are. Why don’t you look at yourself? All these years you’ve been talking about socialism, and you want to be true to a revolution. Why don’t you love the little children that are right here, in our hands, a little better than that? To you that wants Guyana to become militant, and to be pro-Soviet, let’s just look– let’s just look at ourselves. When you can’t even love children enough to keep from looking back to USA, to hamburgers and relatives and the wretch– wretching stench-ridden streets of violence that killed Malcolm X.

All must see Malcolm X someplace, and I think we’ll see it again tonight, and all must see it. Everyone must see it again, ‘cause I’m going to test you over it thoroughly. I want you to look at it square in the teeth. I don’t care what you think won’t work. I don’t care how many problems you think you see here. I want you to look at that television tonight, and see Malcolm X, and see how he tried. Not even a socialist. He just tried to bring black people, working class people, together, in a religious sense. And how they wasted him. And the utter despair and hopelessness, and nobody’s ever taken his position.

Not only have they taken away the militant voices of black leadership now, but down go– (short laugh) down go even the Uncle Toms. Senator [Edward] Brooke, who’s whiter than I am, but he’s black and they don’t want one black senator in the USA. You’re forgetting, some of you young Turks. You say you’re a socialist, you want to be a guerrilla. Some of you wanted to be the– left in the States even, to take care of mopping up the enemies. That’s very strange. When you’re not prepared to get all that lust, to identify with your family, and whatever you thought was tasty back there, that you still find yourself openly speaking about it, which should be considered an absolute taboo in this community. That should be reported immediately.

That when a society can castrate six young black boys – a mob of whites can do that – and when in today’s news, Nazis cause physical harm to many blacks and Jews in Chicago, as the elaborations come in. Jewish property broken up, and the Nazi leaders were not– even the ringleaders were not put in jail? Oh, come on, child. And the NAACP calling for a nationwide speech by the president to dispel the notion that blacks have had too much already. That’s wishful thinking. He’ll never do it. Because the climate of race hate and anti-semitism and anti-black and anti-Indian feeling was whipped up by the establishment. Why in the hell else have they divided us all these years? It’s worked in their interest to keep only one patriotism: the patriotism to the dollar, to U.S. capital. So you’re– you’re just following a dream, which will turn into a nightmare, if you were back there. Because you’re so narcissistic, you never have liked routine, you really don’t want to be a guerrilla. Hell, you even become a good socialist because you don’t want to follow a routine. I don’t think I like this routine that I’m in. When I think of my good comrade, Steve Biko, I think of Malcolm, shot down before his baby’s eyes. When I think of Martin [Luther King]’s children who had to grow up without a father figure image, and still living wondering when they’ll be next, because no one who is black or Jewish or poor white knows whether they have another day. And I’ve not even yet discussed nuclear war, which hangs over their head like a sword of Damocles, USA sabre-rattling now and telling the Jews even if they do have a bomb, you’re endangering the whole world.

And yet the USA is following a policy that is so dangerous, they’re involving themselves in public attacks every hour on the Soviet Union for the handling of two political prisoners, they call them, [Natan] Sharansky and [Alexander] Ginzburg. Who were Zionist. They’re involved in this, not because they’re concerned about Jews, because with the one hand, they’re whipping Israel and absolutely determined that Israel is going to give up the land that she has, and she will be bottle-necked, ‘cause she has no oil. And that’s all that’s going to count in the final analysis. But to trick a few Jews, Carter’s making all kinds of pretences about his concern about two Zionist agitators in the Soviet Union. And the Soviet Union called his bluff. He said, well, there’ll be no further negotiations, even on arms. The Soviet Union today called his bluff and said, we will persist in our own right to rule, to govern our people, to establish our own laws, and our courts will punish those who violate loyalty to the socialist system in the Soviet Union. So, now what is it– what’s going to be done? No negotiations on nuclear weapons as they proliferate. Thirty-five countries going to have them before you can snap your finger?

Oh, you are guessing, you are dreaming, you are foolish, and I hope that you hear your Father’s heart. I don’t know how to get a consciousness, a Jonestown consciousness, more than a black consciousness. God, surely you can see that. Everyone should have a black consciousness here. You’re poor white, you’re Jewish, you’re black. All like us. You in one bag. And you can see the thesis. In fact– (Chuckles) in fact, it’s a very, very clear thesis in that dialectical triangle. White racism on one side. And therefore, the antithesis to the must– must be, a strong solidarity among all people of colour on whom this white racism in USA has preyed so long. But there is no solidarity, not even amongst the blacks. Only in that possibly could you hope that a situation would come, would reach some kind of balance, a true humanity, where power politics would have no place. I don’t mean just blacks would have to be the antithesis, against that horrible thesis of white racism and brutal capitalism. It would take a solidarity of all the working class. You haven’t even got blacks together, child. You listen to Malcolm tonight, and you’ll see the man openly say, and I’m proud of being an Uncle Tom. Well, one after another, they’ve killed off our good leaders, and now they’re not even satisfied to have figurehead leaders around. They’re chopping them down. But I have some who are white, some who are Jewish, some who are black. You constantlyidentify with that system.

To quote one sociologist, in Antwerp, Johanna Voyim (phonetic). Her statement was, the genocide that USA will go into, because of the contradictions and the social antagonisms, will outdistance anything that has ever seen– been seen before. [Adolf] Hitler’s Germany, the murder of Armenians, and even Attila the Hun. Because there is no sense of loyalty, there is no sense of sensitivity, there is no sense of humanity in USA.

Now USA can fight with mercenaries, can move people for a while before the nuclear war comes and pounds us into the dust, back there. Burns like the scorching of the sun. It can manipulate others, so we don’t have to worry. The only time we ever got worried in Vietnam was when white sons were dying. Too many of them were dying in Vietnam. That’s not a problem anymore, you see. You can hire starving blacks from t– South, or Northwest Africa. You can still hire a few of those, till the final countdown comes of nuclear hell.

No, I can’t appeal to some of you about what your tax dollar’s doing in South Africa, to dehumanise. I can’t reach you to say what’s happening in South Korea at this time. South Koreans won’t even allow any contact with their loved ones in North Korea. And one-third of the nation is imprisoned. One-third of the nation is either under house arrest, in trial proceedings, or in prisons, in a nation that had a 5000 [year] history of being unified. And USA promised, Carter promised, with so– such whispering sounds of assurance that the troops– the thirty thousand troops, and the US nuclear weapons would be pulled out of that fascist dictatorship, that bought off so many white congressmen, through the KCIA.

And yet not one of them has gone to jail, yet Congressman [Charles] Diggs – has never taken a bribe – faces 37 different felony counts and 175 years in jail because he’s black. Rich black, too, owns several funeral parlours but he’s– he’s black, child. You’re poor, or last I looked. All of you here, Jews, whites, and black. You’re poorer than Diggs. But he couldn’t make it, you see.

You say, well, I can make it. In your mind, you must think so. What were you gonna do? Close your heart off against what all’s being done to black people? The political prisoners, that are being held right now, like the Wilmington Ten? I could name a hundred others. The 90 percent of the prisons and jails in USA that are filled with black people, Indian people? And if you wanna be a Jew and stand up for your real identity, you’ll go there too, because the radical Jew, he had to leave the country. You gotta be a sell-out. You gotta be an ass-kisser. How are you gonna live with yourself? Please don’t give me anymore talk about how you came here to want to fight a guerrilla revolution, that you wanna step here, from this outpost, and move to other places to fight for liberation in Africa. And that’s possible, down the road. My dear, until youhave lost all the lust for the corrupt society that you left behind, the Babylon, the fleshpots of Egypt, the murderous USA, the streets that killed so many of our youth. The conspirators that– even some of them s– came right out of our own nest, that murdered a good guy like Chris Lewis. Yeah, he made mistakes, but he was spunky enough to stand up for his Father. But some of you would re– would’ve retired and wouldn’t’ve been there. And how cruelly they killed him and orphaned his child. We have it first-hand. How many more experiences do we have to have? How many, many, many young blacks are being killed? If we have one we can pinpoint. That conspiracy still rages. But we can be protected from it, if we’d only work, if we would only attempt, to try to find ideas how to make this place successful. Since [Dick] Tropp took a look at himself, I’ve had only two people that’ve submitted statements to me statements about themselves, besides him. And the two most thorough, that looked at themselves, were Laura Johnson [Johnston] and Mike Prokes. Where are all of you people at? That you’re ready to fight a revolution, you wanna be right out, gung-ho, take your line for international socialism, take our stand right out on this hill. Well, maybe it’s time to wait. Maybe it’s time to be non-aligned, like Guyana is doing, receiving the Chinese, who’ve done good things on the domestic scene, and receiving the Soviets, who are doing great things on the international scene. One thing, whatever questions you may have about the perfectibility of human beings under communism, a communal form of government is working here that’s given you more guarantees than anybody on this damned Earth has today–

(End of side 1)

Q351 (B) Transcription

(The tape begins with some overlap from the previous side)

Jones: –right out on this hill. Well, maybe it’s time to wait. Maybe it’s time to be non-aligned, like Guyana is doing, receiving the Chinese, who’ve done good things on the domestic scene, and receiving the Soviets, who are doing great things on the international scene. One thing, whatever questions you may have about the perfectibility of human beings under communism, a communal form of government is working here that’s given you more guarantees than anybody on this damned Earth has today. Six months food. Six months that you’ll eat. And if you don’t care about eating, you should care about our babies. Say, well, we can’t feed all the babies. No, no, don’t give me that tripe. You’re not worried enough that some of you are still looking back to USA, you won’t carry the workload here to feed the ones you have. Don’t talk to me about how concerned you are about liberating Africa, or helping poor people el– elsewhere, when you won’t eventouch a child here, you’ll jump out of a relationship and forget the children. Never go back– Don’t give me no shit. Father’s not a fool. You don’t care about other children. Don’t give me such rationales to excuse yourself. To really want to be back to suck on that– that awful, awful beast of US life. But you won’t get by, it’s not there. It’s not the same USA you left. The racism has doubled and tripled since you left. Your opportunity of getting a job is nothing. Your suspicion for being a socialist and with this movement too long put you in great trouble. That’s why some of them in the conspiracy can’t even get work. So, they pooled together with people they formerly hated each other’s guts. There’s no place left for them. They’re suspect. They’re not trusted. And the only way they can prove themselves, and it never works, they’re stillnot accepted. Most of the papers in San Francisco won’t give them a– even a line. They don’t trust them. Why? And they’re trying hard, they’re lying, telling such terrible wicked things, trying to even get the doctor’s l– uh, credentials [Larry Schacht] so the babies can’t treated here. They think– which won’t stop the treatment at all because we have Joyce’s [Touchette] credentials already. But no matter how wicked they get, and how white they try to act, how subservient to the willing– to be willing to be real slaves of the capitalist system, speak about God, flag, and even the old Bible, they can’t dress themselves up enough. Nobody trusts them. Remember. You’ve been in Peoples Temple. You followed a courageous leader. They know what he is, they know his dedication. They also know that he’s not a fool, he won’t throw a thousand of you to the wolves. So this is not a time for me to listen to anyone talking about getting involved and doing various– various guerrilla actions, until I can see you involved with the day-to-day process of feeding our babies, touching them, loving them, caring for our seniors, being warm to your companion. Some of you barely give me kindness, and I’ve died for you for so many years. ‘Cause I’m dead. You’re the only thing alive in me. I stay alive, to protect you. You say, well, don’t need to. Well, my child, you haven’t yet come up with a plan that can take care of a thousand people honorably or surely, without hurting other loved ones that we have elseplaces– elsewhere in the world.

So let us be realistic, and don’t sound like you know more about internationalism than Jim Jones, when you can’t even begin socialism on the level of taking care of your babies properly. I don’t raise my voice to my children. And to all the children that sat with me when I interpret these movies when my throat is so raw. Sorry I went to sleep in the one last night, but I’m so tired, so tired, that I can’t possibly communicate how tired I am. But I will endure.

Why don’t you give me some help instead of glorifying USA’s system? Coming out only for filthy tommyrot movies. Why don’t you try some of these good movies. You want to avoid all the movies connected with any pain. Because you don’t want to care. You want to be able to walk by – right by – a gas chamber, even if it’s some of your own black brothers, or Jewish brothers. You’re like capos, like real Toms, or some of your own white brothers. You wanna be able to walk by that gas chamber and not have to smell it. That’s what it boils down to, you see. I know me. And that’s how I became so pure. To be trusted. To be your responsible leader.

Why don’t you try being like me? Why are you carrying on this competitive game? Try to identify. ‘Cause that’s something I’ve got to offer every one of you. The highest principles in the world. Living them the best of anyone in the world. Not seeking sensation, glamour. Most revolutionaries, you can’t trust them because they want glamour. I’ve been in this little prison for over a year – no name, made no prestige – because the best way I could serve you was to stay out of the news, even in Guyana, and not be forging ahead in the limelight. But see, I care about you. You can’t know a better person than Jim Jones. This is not my cup of tea. I’m a speak– I’m a speaker. Not to the same people. I’m a revolutionary tactical leader, a strategist. But that’s not what’s needed right now. That would endanger my babies, our seniors, and what we can, in the long run, make as a contribution to the international scene.

All must understand what I’ve said. It must be reviewed. If I can’t reach you with all of the terror that USA is doing with y– money you paid your taxes with. The money you put in through the years, everything you bought, there were taxes connected with it. Every time you dial a telephone, as I’ve said till it’s almost redundant. (Tape edit) If I can’t reach you with the feeling of guilt that I have, that our money murdered Doctor [Salvador] Allende. And I see him looking into the skies in surprise and bewilderment, that goodness like him could be– being bombed with our tax dollars, our USA planes overhead. I think of Victor Jara and his hands cut off, still singing the songs of working-class solidarity. I think of the millions that were killed in concentration camps just because of their race or their politics. I think of the crowded– overcrowded jails where 14 people are even in every jail [cell], now at the best. Fourteen in rooms that were meant– they’re– they’re, in other words, crowded 14 times over their capacity. I think of the Wilmington Ten with 500-year sentences, when even the witnesses now have admitted they lied, that the prosecution threatened them, and they lied. And yet President Carter will do nothing to intervene. I feel that guilt, but obviously some of you don’t feel it enough, or you’d be kinder to our children, you’d be kinder to your companions, you wouldn’t say things that show that you’re looking back to the most evil system. You may not have a perfect system intellectually that you can say will work, but you knowwhat that system did. You know the babies it destroyed in Vietnam and Korea. You know the evils it did in Indonesia, that murdered people, the minority people, the darker people, a half million of them, and a half million socialists and communists. Murdered them by our US tax dollars. The CIA put the man in power – Suharto – they put him in there, in Indonesia. How much do I have to tell you? Laos, Africa, Zaire, villages plundered, women raped and killed, little babies innocently bombed, from Mozambique, all through Angola, Zaire, how much more – South Africa – how much more do I have to tell you the torment of our people who have to be in by dark and have a number imprinted on their arm like an animal. Why don’t you feel it and practice it before it’s too late. You have this one opportunity, the greatest opportunity in the world.

Now, everyone must understand what I’ve said. That must be. If you have to repeat it several times under the library or wherever. Everyone here that does not have this down fully on their test, and relate in your test to your own faults, which will probably be coming up tomorrow night, at the Peoples Rally. Opening up yourself, like I saw Tropp, and I’ve seen Prokes, which were the most thorough, and Johnson, and then they were white. Unless you can open yourself up like that– there’s not enough just to open yourself up, but to be like Prokes, who said, that’s not enough, I make my commitment that no matter what weakness in me, I will stick, I will go through. He was the only one that said that, that I will never turn back. Not enough just to look at myself, said he, but I must correct it. Not just feel good that I’ve been honest. I must feel sickened over my elitist attitude.

And I want to see that searching inside of you, because I want you to be saved. It’ll save you – I love you by asking this – it’ll save you and your loved ones, if you have any loved ones, and you should, if you’ve got any humanity in you, it’ll save our babies and our seniors from all kinds of pain and guarantee a good future, if each of you will pass this test and then pour out yourself in the deepest analytical way about the worst things you see in yourself. I love you. (Pause)

(tape edit)

Jones:– died every day. Something I do in a dimension that we’d none understand, but I know confidently, when the little baby, when little Shirelle Evans was laying in a coma, shoulda been brain damaged, I prophesied, I am confident twice that she’ll be all right in the morning, and I put it on the PA system. She’ll be all right. Now that kind of protection, which we can go over– Isaac Rhodes and all the brain-damaged people and the ones that were blind. You can’t buy that anywhere. That comes in a package deal called the love of (pause) the family that Jim Jones has.

And don’t talk about great theories that don’t begin in little ways, if you can’t love the people around you. Don’t bother me about being concerned about all the babies that are starving in the world, until you do something to guarantee that our own collective here will not suffer the horror of not being equipped with sufficient food or medicines. No, we’ve got a great and wonderful programme, and let us realise it, and all get ready for the analysis– part of analysis of your test can be done ready to be handed in tomorrow. You must hand it in tomorrow night. Because you can do that at home, not in class time. And you should take a lot of time looking at your faults, seeing how you compare to the others that I’ve shown that poured out about their elitism, even with so far as Tropp to say, when our usefulness is over, we should be shot. Well, that’s not Father’s style. He’s a nonviolent person. But you should be able to relate to it, because all that have written said they felt the same way. And then they went into very vivid detail about how they make exceptions for themselves, take advantage, don’t utilise their time well, and entertain wrong attitudes, but still out of that awful mess able to say, I will stick. I will never turn back. I will be better.

With that kind of resolve, we cannot help but save our people from more pain than you can imagine. And that’s our duty, to save, socialistically, the people right here, now, and then the great opportunities for liberation will go on. And some things go on now that you don’t know about that would be glamorous– too glamorous, though, because some of you’d want to volunteer, and you’re not ready to do some things until you can love your children at home, under your care, and love the seniors around you, your own companions better, and be more principled to follow your Father’s example and your Mother’s [Marceline Jones] example. Then, there’s no need to talk about volunteering for the romantic kinds of things that we are doing. Not yet, not yet.

Thank you. So People Steering will be postponed, and all people not in the meetings that I just announced will be under the dining– I mean under the theatre pavilion– to see, study, understand, Malcolm. Malcolm X. We’ll go through it thoroughly. Now if I’ve done it several times to teach from it, and willing to do it again, you can be willing to listen and watch. It’s required, everybody, to get that sensitising. It’s just a very brief programme, it’ll start right at dark, it’ll be over with, and the people in the business can do it afterwards. I’ll go through it again for them, if necessary.

But we cannot get anything done until we get sensitivity, and concern, and mutual solidarity. It’s the only way people can survive. That’s why black America, and Jewish America, are finished – Indian America – because there’s no solidarity. That’s why there will be a cliometric theory, ethnic weapons, genocide, concentration camps, and the horror of nuclear war, because people don’t have a willingness to override their nationalism, their own ego-centrism, and even with the great strides of China, in terms of domestic communism, nationalism hindered them from solidarity, and now they are following policies that are as certain as hell to bring nuclear confrontation. So, my friend, let’s show that we have resolve to be socialist. Thank you, and much love.

(Tape cuts)


Part II

Jones: If I took an honest vote tonight, it’d be same old hands go up. I wanna go back. Mm-hmm, hmm [yes]. (Voice rises sharply, angrily) Same old shit, I could preach it for 88 years, and some of you hiding in the closet!

Crowd: Affirmation, shouts

Jones: We won’t know it till you try, over the hill. But remember, we’ve been pained too much, so (short laugh) (pause) we are anticipating, this time.

Crowd: Responds

Jones: You might say, we are anticipating, aren’t we?

Crowd: Affirmation

Jones: I told you, don’t fuck with our people’s rights or freedom anymore. (Cries out) They can get here, and you can go to hell! If you want to die in Babylon, if you want the– the– the blood on your hands of America, you can go back there and die with that blood on you. But don’t fuck with us till our people are here, safe and sound!

Crowd: Calls, applause

Jones: (Moderates) I’m telling you, don’t do it. Don’t you do it. Peace.

Crowd: Applause ceases

Jones: By God, there some people deserve that chance. Some of the best folk in the world are back there–

(tape edit)

Jones: (loud and confrontational)– You wanna have something to do with the system, that has no more mercy than to scam out and to put ‘em out for 45 minutes and no goddamn police, or fire department that would come, I’ll c– ‘cause you see, I listen. I’ve seen this son of a bitch ‘till I’m tired of seeing it. But I’m gonna keep myself sensitive– I’m not gonna look at folk who don’t give a shit, who won’t give the leader respect. (Voice calms, still intense) I wish you was the leader. You’d never see me turn my head away from you. (Pause) Wish to hell that’s the only way it’ll be ever be done around here. We need a change, but there nobody wants to come up to the responsibilities of leaders! Change your face because you’re so theatrical and narcissistic. You want a younger person. Well, why don’t the young people get what I’ve got? ‘Cause I’m tired, I need to– I need retirement! Shit, young people can’t push themselves like I do. I– up until yesterday it was three or four nights that I hadn’t had any sleep. Jesus Christ. But I cannot possibly get any feeling, I’ll never have any relaxation, as long as folk lean on poles, down on their chin. What were you doing? You weren’t looking at me. Don’t stan– stand there and lie to me.

Unidentified male: I was tired of standing up, and I was leaning.

Crowd: Scattered heckling

Jones: I still don’t mind fighting, and you’re tired? Goddamn it, look around at some of these black people that are standing. You can’t identify with me. Look at somebody. They helpin’ to feed you, some of those folk you’re looking at right there.

Crowd: Scattered affirmation

Jones: (Speaking quickly, forcefully) Do you think– if they, if they got tired, your ass’d be really complaining, I’m sure you’d be complaining then. And your ass is what caused us to get tireder, ‘cause we have to be up here talking why you’re disrespectful? Don’t you understand, man, you can’t have folk doing what they want to do, leaning on their chin, going to sleep, closing their eyes, looking away. (Cries out) If everybody did that, this fuckin’ movement would be destroyed tomorrow, and babies would be killed and wasted all over this fuckin’ property.

Crowd: Applause, calls

Jones: Goddamn it. It’s so sensible. It’s so fucking sensible. I’m not asking you to look at me, I’m trying to get you to see a principle. The moment anybody can talk like me, walk like me, live like me, I won’t have to be removed, I will resign!

Crowd: Scattered response

Jones: (Calms) Sit down. ‘Cause I deserve to resign. And there’s other things I can do, too, you see. But right now I gotta do what I’m doing, so don’t take it as a personal matter, don’t be affected in a personal way. Try to hear what’s behind the– the body and the mouth. Try to listen to what’s coming out of the heart. And so, (sighs) tonight, I’d– you gonna analyse yourself real well tomorrow. You better analyse yourself real well. ‘Cause I see progress, I’ll s–

(tape edit)

Jones: (Conversational) –FBI, because everyone of you read in the papers, that were back there, the FBI, two of the people that killed Malcolm, it may– hit front page, was FBI agents. So, if two FBI agents– They found the shit in their houses, and their apartments, and they kept it from the public all these years. If two FBI agents killed him in front of his babies, and two FBI agents tried to kill his babies, the government was the one that made ‘em do it. The government to whom you pay your taxes. (Increasing intensity) I don’t wanna go back if there was only one Malcolm, they did that to. If it was only one Malcolm, I don’t want to go back. But, honey, it’s every goddamn day. Those fuckin’ police are doing this every day and every night. The fucking Nazis are marching strong in Chicago ‘till it’s on– all over every radio broadcast, about how many black people they intimidated and marched through Jews’ neighbourhood, and the Jews didn’t even come out and raise a finger. Fuckin’ swastikas, Heil Hitler, and mobs of them gathered. And the leaders are still not in jail. It was just a few blacks that re– resisted them in Chicago, and a couple of white folk that went to jail. No Nazis went to jail. Goddamned America. Every time I see those police on that fuckin’ screen, I’d rather live in a swamp, I’d rather be eaten up slowly by ants. Goddamn it, every time I see one of those helmeted son-of-bitches standing there, we’ll shoot to kill, put your hands up, want to blow you away, nigger? They’re doing it every night! It’s not stopped with Malcolm, it didn’t stop with Martin [Luther King], they’re killing people like you, you–

(tape ends)


[1] Here, it seems Jones is adapting another document to suit the purposes of his propaganda: certain phrases seem to be taken directly from The United States, Congress, Senate, Committee on Rules and Administration, “Program Evaluation Act of 1977 and Federal Spending Control Act of 1977: Hearing Before the Committee on Rules and Administration, United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, First and Second Sessions, on S.2 … and S. 1244 … September 28, 1977, April 19 and June 8, 1978″ (U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, 1978). Direct phrases such as: “All we ever said was that Sunset could make government more accountable, and efficient” appear on page 404, the list of “boxing, licensing, sanitarians, and short-hand reporters”, among other details, also comes from page 403 of the document– although it is likely Jones could also be reading from an editorialised version.

[2] Here it looks like Jones was referring to a strike at the Magma (Superior) mine, described as a “three-week wildcat strike in April and May” on page 13 of Michael N. Greenley’s “The Primary Copper Industry of Arizona in 1977-1978: Special Report Number 3” (Arizona Department of Mineral Resources, Dec., 1979). I haven’t been able to find news articles specific to this strike, as it seems there were other strikes in Virginia during the same period.