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Archive for March, 2009

Sawubona! It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted on the wordpress site; that is going to change however!

 

 Getting off the Treadmill and Moving into a Movement: An African-(in)-America(n) odyssey.

There is not a stark difference in the respective experiences of Africans in America and the African-American, formerly known as the American Negro. There are however, striking, if not
monumental differences in the respective perceptions of their role(s) in the given Euro-American society. Few people take the time to realize that these types of divisions exist (along with a multitude of others within the black community), and even fewer overstand the multilateral plights that ensue because of these ever-increasing sub-divisions that we perpetuate in our everyday lives. It is imperative that we overstand the origins of this terrible and self-oppressive pathology and reverse this trend in order to truly progress as a people.

The author is not going to spend fruitless energy debating the authenticity of the infamous “Willie lynch speech”, for that debate is neither relevant to this essay nor to actualizing our aspirations for liberation. He is however, going to use the concepts of this document as a foundation to show the reader how they have been implemented in this society. This letter comes into context as the primordial “smoking gun” and/or blueprint for the successful enslavement of millions African people during (and after) the trans-Atlantic slave trade and can be summarized in the following sentence;

“strip a people of their culture and then set and dictate a system of division on all levels of human interaction to those people until those divisions are embedded within their sub-conscious thought, and by virtue of time they will give birth to generations that slowly deviate from their original cultural, historical and humanistic selves”.

Numerous people have spent countless hours trying to prove or disprove the authenticity of the speech, but Regardless of what one’s opinion is of the speech in terms of accuracy; one who claims to be a scholar of the African world cannot legitimately argue against the reality that there has been a systematic tradition of the exploitation and subjugation of African people by Europeans. That axiom surpasses the academic rhetoric and causes one to look at society from a fundamental, if not elementary vantage; from which one sees that the very society we reside in today continues to purport this age old white superiority/black inferiority complex. Furthermore, the divisions that we as black people (in the aftermath of physical slavery) place upon ourselves, such as but not limited to: the color complex, the disconnect between the older and the younger generations, and brewing dissension for varying religious philosophies, are but mere tools that the ruling elite use to keep us fighting amidst ourselves while they continue to bear the fruits of our labor. None of the aforementioned divisions were created by our people, nor do they have any origins within our pathology; however, in contemporary times these same… afflictions have been perpetuated on our people by our people under the umbrella of white superiority. We kill ourselves with guns that we don’t manufacture, become addicted to and overdose on drugs that we neither produce nor import, we eat food and drink water laced with mind depressants and toxins (i.e.: fluoride and high fructose corn syrup) that we don’t inspect or question; yet we constantly inherit the destructive side-effects of the above mentioned.

We have been reared in a society that is severely handicapped for a lack general of knowledge about by our people about our people, and furthermore a lack of desire to obtain and implement that knowledge. This is by no accident. In the worlds of mainstream media and education; both culture and societal shaping mediums, we (Afrikan people) have been constantly and consistently regarded as a sub-human people; incapable of critical thinking concepts or holding positions of “importance” in Euro-American society. Our contributions to civilization (actually the birth of civilization) never seem to make it to the public arena. Our Great thinkers go unmentioned, and leaders omitted from the pages of special interest-funded history books. We are told the same stories during black history month annually, as if twenty-eight and one-quarter half-assed days are equal compensation for the daily terror that is being an African in America. We are a dark skinned people; we are inherently different from any other race of people on this planet, and by that conviction alone we are a threat not only to the Eurocentric paradigm, but the European Existence; and in their minds the reality of that serves as justification enough for their actions… That is why it is of the utmost importance to them that for them to remain in power that they continue to purport the aforementioned white superiority/ black inferiority complex at any cost (on a large scale: imperialism/globalization/neocolonialism). What they fail to realize is that (prior to the Europeanization of our minds) we have never been a divisive or vengeful, nor have we had the desire to oppress another people.

To begin to comprehend the magnitude and extent of this psychological impediment, Take a minute and flip through any English dictionary; look up the definitions of white and black. The connotations associated with both are conveyed in this quote by AFRO-Caribbean author Frantz Fanon,

“Moral consciousness implies a kind of scission, a fracture of consciousness into a bright part and an opposing black part. In order to achieve morality, it is essential that the black, the dark, the Negro vanish from consciousness. Hence a Negro is forever in combat with his own image.”

We are portrayed only as the comedic relief, the entertainers, or the criminal so that we only see ourselves as being the comedic relief, entertainer, or criminal on a conscious and sub-conscious level, or to again quote Fanon,

“A feeling of inferiority? No, {it is} a feeling of nonexistence. Sin is Negro as virtue is white.”

We reside in an environment in which we indoctrinate ourselves with the reality of media perception and allow the ideals instigated by it to manifest in our surrounding environment.We get the vast majority of our information, education, food, clothing, pathologies, behaviors, perceptions of beauty, likes, dislikes, and are governed by the same people and concepts that have oppressed our people (and the world) since their inception…This applies to not only the experiences of the African in America, but also in neo-colonial Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin and South America ; Yet we never ask where these ideals and concepts are coming from, nor do we ask what is the purpose, or bigger picture of these ideals and concepts? Too often we simply oblige for the sake of false comfort and temporary acceptance by our peers. This is why as brother Samori Sekou Camara states,

“The essence of power resides in the hands of those who control reward and punishment. In this society, Afrikans continue to be rewarded for exhibiting anti-Afrikan/[pro]European characteristics.”

We celebrate European Holidays, send our children to European Schools, Work in European Corporations, partake in European rituals, celebrate and worship European Gods, think European features are superior to African features, and even go by a European calendar without question because we haven’t organized and collectively sought, or attempted to actualize our aspirations for liberation, and therefore truth, on our own terms. The solutions are there, as are the people necessary to lay its foundation; for our identity has never really gone anywhere; we just have been trained for so long not to recognize it and/or demean it.

The point the author is attempting to make here is that assimilation within the euro-centric/American society is not conducive for any people that are not European (even for Europeans that’s not a beneficial system), and in actuality it is a detriment to the aspirations of a people who claim to desire true freedom. No matter what face is put on white power… if it acts like white power, works with white power and perpetuates the ideologies of white power; it is inevitably, white power. European concepts cannot be used to solve African issues, for the collective mentality of the European as it pertains to the African race is inherently oppressive and fundamentally corrupt. It is paramount to overstand that this pathology is not only detrimental to African people, but on a larger scale the world…Multi-national entities based on these Euro-centric concepts, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations (U.N.) continue to systematically instigate conflict and administer poverty to our people across the Diaspora, but because we feel as if we need these entities to have even the opportunity to move forward, or that there is no other viable option, (such as ourselves), we inherit the necessity to depend on people who have oppressed us to do for us what we can, must, and should be doing for ourselves. Separation from institutionalized oppression and a correlating implementation of a sustainable, self-dependent system is what leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Patrice Lumumba, Huey Newton, Malcolm X, Toussaint L’Overture, Kwame Ture, and Mangaliso Sobukwe overstood. The concepts of Self-Determination, Black Nationalism and/or Pan-Afrikanism were all born out of our people recognizing the need to re-establish a uniform framework in which we could break free from our oppressors and create an environment that is conducive to the holistic progress of our people. Take a second to contemplate what we lost because of integration in the decades that followed the passage of the civil rights act of 1964. Scores of black schools lost teachers and in turn students who we’re under the belief that white institutions were so much more superior to their own, that when the opportunity presented itself, they went for it without regard for what they could potentially lose. But as James Baldwin aptly noted,

James Baldwin
“Public education is indoctrination if you’re white-subjugation if you’re black.” This is but one of the many examples that embody the truth that “change, isn’t always progress.” Being pro-black, or being for the advancement of one’s own people is not being anti-white, anti-American, or anti-anything, it is however, the direct determination of a people to take back control their collective mind, body and spirit, for the benefit of the world.

In these times it is critical that we instigate a new movement, a new system in which our people overstand the necessity to participate in Sankofa, and furthermore work consciously with the intent to actualize that in which we so desire; collective prosperity, cultural awareness and appreciation, and global tranquility. We have to reform our value system, and take the steps necessary to correct the way we treat ourselves and each other and not stand for anything less. We are kin, we are a family, a unit, and most importantly a state of consciousness and that cannot be overstood enough. As Kwame Ture often stated… we must “Organize, Organize, organize!” We can no longer wait for the unification of a society at the expense of the liberation of a people.

“Even The trees weep for those who don’t know their roots.”

-Tafari Melisizwe

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