Pt. II: Africa, Obama and AFRICOM

US President Barack Obama recently made a visit to Ghana. In his first official trip to Africa, he left a strong impression on the world. An analysis of his remarks and policies regarding Africa itself is in order.

We have Obama’s most hard hitting remarks: Africa should stop blaming colonialism for its problems; Africa should stop relying on foreign aid and do for self. We also have Obama’s policy, a continuation of Bush era militarism in the form of AFRICOM, the US Africa Military Command. This policy presents the most severe plan related to structural readjustment.

Of course a direct link to structural readjustment and AFRICOM cannot be suggested without understanding the economic challenges faced by African states. The relationship of these states to capital has alienated them from the masses. Nigeria and Kenya, for instance, have felt snubbed because Obama by-passed them. At the same time, these countries have governments whih have failed to move their societies forward in a way that reflects the best use of their own natural and social resources.

This is not to say that Africa has to develop along Western industrial methods. However, it does mean that certain infrastructure deficiencies from health care to water purification and agriculture have gone neglected. This contradiction prevails in nearly all African states.

Nkrumah is very instructive on this period. When he described neo-colonialism as the last stage of Imperialism, his critique was mainly confined to conditions in our Motherland. Yet we now have to apply that analysis to the United States and its relationship to the world. The current president was elected because of his mantra of “change”. Increasingly, we see Obama as rescuing all the most odious forms of US political culture: militarism, international finance, and expansionism. Which means he represents just a mere changing of the guard.

AFRICOM is a plan to place military bases in Africa. Now Obama has already made comments about US policy, in comparison to Cuba. In those comments he compared Cuba favorably, noting that Latin American leaders have stated that while the primary form of aid they receive from the United States is weapons shipments, they really could not survive without the medical aid and physicians that Cuba has sent them over the years. Obama expressed his intention on changing that imbalance.

Africa, being a destitute region, has its share of problems. Parasitic worms plague people; women daily walk miles to carry drinking and cooking water home to their families; war, rape and AIDS have intensified during the post-colonial era. It does not seem as tho AFRICOM can provide any answers for African people.

Some folks might point this out as a form of selective memory but, clearly, the black prez suffers from Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) as do many of his African counterparts.

The strategic importance of AFRICOM to the US does not concern the people of Africa, except to the extent that it will be imposed upon them. As an African born in America, my black consciousness is primary. It means more to me to see the rise of our people at home than the continuation of a durable Imperialism. The US continues to produce strong expressions of racism in media, in culture, economics and in politics. Police murders of blacks have become outrageous since the Obama election. Obama was elected because people, white and Latino and black, have become disgusted with the policies in American political life. Yet he has miserably failed to take any strident steps and turns away from this. His rhetoric often says one thing, as in the words he spoke to the Organization of American States, tho the policy continues to maintain the historical status quo.

Indeed, even his rhetoric often belies his genuine stance. Following his Ghana visit, Obama met with AIPAC (American-Israel Political Action Committee). Brother president did not tell them to stop blaming the Holocaust for their problems (?) nor did he suggest that Israel cease relying upon US foreign aid — which amounts to over half the US foreign aid budget — and do for itself. Still, that is what he said while in Ghana. Obama said Africans must stop blaming colonialism and begin to depend upon their own devices, even while pushing AFRICOM. His statements in Ghana are reminiscent of last year’s Fathers Day speech, wherein he castigated absentee fathers in the black community, while ignoring conditions like unemployment which cause social disintegration and black family instability.

While the US GDP is about $13 trillion, the current military budget is $969 billion. The US maintains 737 bases around the world. It seeks to ring bases around Africa (AFRICOM) to guarantee access to oil. By 2015, it is estimated the US will receive 25% of its oil imports from Africa, which has already become the main supplier to the United States. Other strategic resources that AFRICOM will defend include coltan, gold, platinum, diamonds, timber, agriculture, political allies and labor.
African does not need foreign troops on its soil. While Obama says stop blaming colonialism, he forgets how the former colonial powers have behaved in the post-colonial period. This involves the overthrow of Nkrumah, Azikwe, Tolbert and others. During this period, history records the overthrow and physical liquidation of Patrice Lumumba for the long-term destabilization of Congo for Imperialist interests. Agents killed Cabral, Neto and Mondlane in newly independent Portuguese colonies, severely the path of development for Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique, respectively. Apartheid South Africa waged war against neighboring countries and its black population right up thru the Nineties, routinely invading Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola.

The US has had its own sordid background in Africa, hunting down Somali President Mohammed El Aidid and flying vicious sorties over Mogadishu neighborhoods. The US has sent gunships to Liberia and Sierra Leone. CIA agents have played a role in many coups in Africa. The US benefits from the destabilization of DRC, backing the occupiers of Eastern DRC, Uganda’s Yoweri Musaveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. The effects of a US military presence are already obvious to anyone with a critical eye.

The solution for Africa’s problems is not AFRICOM. It is not foreign aid. It is in what Kwame Nkrumah stated and so tirelessly worked towards, the unification of Africa under a singular socialist state. That is not on the agenda for the majority of African leaders, who seek to maintain their despotic grips on power to control fiefdoms for Imperialism. Such leaders maintain the status quo, with Africa remaining a begging bowl ravaged by guinea worm, schistosomiasis, AIDS, war, malnutrition, rape, and ignorance. Cheik Anta Diop, John Henrik Clarke and other great historians had great suggestions for redeeming our Motherland from the chokehold of capitalism. We have to accept their advice to free our people.

When Obama attended the OAS conference a few months ago, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave him a book, Eduardo Galeano’s prosaic, polemic tour de force, The Open Veins of Latin America. Had Obama read it, that would signify the beginning of real change in the United States White House.

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AFRICOM, Peace and Obama

Pushing AFRICOM while preaching that war is a millstone around Africa’s neck, US Prez Barack Obama made a historic journey to Ghana this past friday. Among Obama’s controversial statements, he also said that Africa should stop blaming colonialism for her problems. Obama, black on the outside, imperialist on the inside, arrived in Africa like somewhat of a conquering hero handing down his edicts to the disheveled subjects of his realm.

Tho destabilized, Africa is a community more than a continent; our historic Motherland represents for us a nation, tho fragmented. It is the unfulfilled aspiration of African people to become internationally united and to break the unprincipled relationships that Imperialism has imposed upon us.

Jubilation seems to rise across the African continent as the first black president of the United States made a visit to Ghana. A bout of jealousy tempered this jubilation as Kenyans and Nigerians expressed their feelings of having been snubbed. At the same time, the broad masses of Africans remain emotionally detached from the Obama visit. However, they cannot remain politically detached, because Obama’s visit brings the worst kind of news for every day toiling people.

According to Patrick Morris, Chief Executive Officer of Gold Star Resources Corp. (TSX-V; GXX; OTC Bulletin Board: GXXFF; http://www.goldstarresources.com), “The U.S. Department of Energy has already confirmed that the United States will be importing over 770 million barrels of African oil annually by the year 2020. The U.S. National Intelligence Council is projecting that 25 percent of U.S. oil imports will come from West Africa by 2015 compared to 15% today. My own professional experience tells me that the political stability of Ghana’s government, a credible democratic political party system, and a positive investment environment all favor closer ties to Ghanaians by the Obama White House.”

Oil production has stagnated the economies of countries like the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and others. While those countries are cash rich, they have little infrastructure development and rely almost entirely upon imports for everything from low-tech to hi-tech to basic food stuff and even water. This is what is known as monoculture, the development of a single cash intensive resource as a sector burdened with sustaining an entire national economy.

With Africa now becoming the number one exporter of oil exports tot he US, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) becomes increasingly important for this country to stave off or monopolize competition from China, India and the EU.

Monoculture branded the slavery of Africa, from that of the colonial/slave system to the post-colonial era. Neo-colonialist micro-states provide nothing except raw material to the West, at the expense of IMF/World Bank debt and a massive brain drain. What Africans on both sides of the Atlantic fail to understand is that neo-colonialism in the greatest seat of power on earth is still Imperialism.

Flogging the Willie Lynches

Defeat Neo-Colonial Ideology!

An African patriot, a brother from the DR Congo, recently stated on his Facebook page that he had just crossed the James River (Virginia), where Willie Lynch supposedly delivered his infamous speech. This young brother, a steeled freedom fighter for the Congolese African people, has obviously been exposed to the mythology of the black middle class. Willie Lynch never delivered any speeches in Virginia on how whip crackers need to manage their slaves. Yet he did not kno this, and mistook the urban legend as fact.

Needless to say, this myth has been made famous by people like Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to name a few. Today, it is often used to explain the “self-inflicted” disasters within the ghetto, the African colony inside the United States.

The ghetto, as a colony or neo-colony, whichever you prefer, is a destabilized zone. Capitalism destabilizes class forces across the social spectrum.

This is the character of Capitalism. It destablizes the producing classes as a matter of policy, by creating dependency. At the same time, Capitalism destabilizes the middle class (petty bourgeoisie) because that class resides between the ruling class (capitalist class, or bourgeoisie) and the producing classes. African people produce everything society needs for its existence. We do not need the bourgeoisie or its managerial base, the middle class, but currently we maintain this relationship.

The Capitalist class is also currently experiencing widespread destabilization because of the currency manipulation by the international finance sector, the ones who have come out on top economically and politically. Before we panic at what has happened to the Big Three, the banks, and other business entities, we must see corporations as mere tools for concentrating capital (money) in the hands of as few as possible.

Of course, this accumulation of capital assets (land, mines, slaves, machinery, factories and money) began with two horrific, genocidal crimes, the Transatlantic African Captivity (the Maafa) and European settlements in North America (Turtle Island) and elsewhere. This became the origin of capitalist wealth as well as that of destabilization.

The Willie Lynch Speech reflects back to this period (1712, allegedly). Prof Manu Ampim has thoroly debunked Willie Lynch. He has showed how it is out of context with history, as well as submitting sources which lead Africans out of the self-absorbed fascination with their colonial identity and towards a genuine history of struggle.

Jelani Cobb and others have also debunked the Willie Lynch Speech as well. Willie Lynch is an urban myth. It came out of prolly the Seventies and was a middle class reaction to the Black Liberation Movement of the Sixties. Willie Lynch is just an excuse for people to hold onto the old ways Malcolm X, the Panthers and others have worked so tirelessly to vanquish.

There is no better antidote to the colonial mentality, if we may buy into Frantz Fanon, than a firm grasp of history, your accomplishments, the battles we have fought and the causes we have raised.

So the black middle class has no analysis of the financial meltdown and no scientific analysis of class relationships. Without an analysis of economics, how can Farrakhan or Jesse or Sharpton provide leadership? Farrakhan, for one, totally ignores the economic conditions inside our community, except for citing the mantra, “do for self”. Jesse and Sharpton cannot use Willie Lynch to define capitalism, unemployment, regentrification nor any other ill afflicting African people.

The black petty bourgeoisie as a whole cannot solve its own problems. Despite all their education, statistically, they trail white workers in stacking long-term assets such as real estate and retirement funds. Petty bourgeois ideas are inadequate for the purposes of an oppressed nationality. Neo-colonialism is an inadequate exchange for the liberation and unity of African people. Inadequate! The ideology of neo-colonialism keeps us locked in an unprincipled relationship to Capitalism, a relationship which needs to be broken.

Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) is the way AZAPO Cde Mongezi Sifika Nkomo has described the black middle class. That is a more accurate description and definition than Willie Lynch Syndrome. Here is how PAIDS is described:

…Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) …
A negro does not believe any other system will ever exist in our lifetimes.
A negro will never work for the Revolution.
A negro may try to convince you that capitalism is forever, that it cannot be destroyed, and that nothing better can possibly exist+
Negroes will work for Imperialism under any circumstances, and will work against the liberation movement in one way or another.

….PAIDS is the trouble with negroes.

Once people understand how alien is the profit-motive for African people, nay, all people, they will aim to break with Capitalism. The working class does not make any profit on its labor; that is impossible. Otherwise, there cannot be profits for the capitalist classes to distribute amongst themselves.

Thus, the question for African people is who shall we follow, our ne(gr)o-colonial leadership, or the revolutionaries who have striven against the Capitalist system? Those of us in the belly of the Beast must make a decision, whether to remain within the System and be digested and excreted thru its bowels or to forge resolute unity and come out thru its heart!

The Bottom Line About the Economy

Now the latest hype about the global economic situation involves the debate about what has caused it rather than what is actually taking place. Working class people must exercise some critical thinking, because this ruse intends to keep them in the dark. Since black folks are linked into the global economy just like anybody else, we need to get our heads out of the soaps and churches and anywhere else that does not help us gain clarity and substance on this issue.

The economists are inventing red herrings like the “global savings glut”. This is nonsense. Who believes that money can be earned thru saving? In terms of working class folks, it makes little sense to save, since inflation eats up savings. The annual 3% inflation rate results in only a 1% yearly savings on your money, if banked. Outside of the industrialized countries, there is no return because inflation is much steeper. If you are a middle class person trying to save, your higher education is not paying off.

Not only that, but the Savings & Loans crisis of the Eighties and Nineties definitely scared the US public away from savings and stampeded them towards more sophisticated types of swindles, such as retirement plans based upon 401k and KEOGHs. Just because an activity is approved by Congress, and filled with volumes of small type that only a lawyer can understand, does not make it honest. No black worker has any business playing the stock market without knowing the dollar value of one point on the DJIA or having $250k to throw away in a money-manager fund. ‘Investment’ means only fools leverage all their assets on a gamble.

So if the economists were discussing stock-based retirement funds as a form of savings, consider that misinformation. The New York Review of Books and PEN World Voices presented a symposium on the world economic crisis at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 30. At that time, the idea was proposed that savings had driven down interests rates when, in fact, the Fed and the European Common Bank (ECB) themselves dictate interest rates. Not only that, North America and Europe in no way represent the globe.

It is important to repudiate any notion which dismisses the theory that the ruling class manipulated the financial system for their own benefit. The theory proposed by the symposium flies in the face of every scandal from Enron to Bernie Madoff. It contradicts the events which demanded welfare (bail outs?) for the banks.

Folks must not be duped by the highly esteemed panelists at that event, former senator Bill Bradley, Niall Ferguson, Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini, George Soros, and Robin Wells, and Jeff Madrick as moderator. Not one of them has an analysis which serves the interests of the millions of people who form the basis of the US domestic economy; not one of them even speaks the language of every day people.

When the banks pressed the Fed to raise interest rates, this became the primary trigger for the financial meltdown. While most folks think of the banks as finance institutions, the bank is a tool for making money. It is an instrument for concentrating money. Concentrated money becomes capital. Working class people lack capital. They sell their labor for a wage. Capitalists do not earn wages. They make money not thru labor or savings but by skimming value from what labor produces.

If ten laborers in a gold mine work together to extract one ton of gold daily which has a value of $900 per ounce, not one of them makes $900 per day, or even half of that. Even if their combined labor only extracts ten pounds of gold a day, who gets the money? The workers do not earn enuf to save. The value of the gold gets concentrated at the top of the chain, by people who trade paper with a value printed upon it, in exchange for the real value that has been extracted from the mine. This practice prevails thru out the bloodsucking capitalist system, where a few people live exorbitantly upon the backs of five billion working people worldwide.

This paper money has a value assigned to it. This value can be manipulated easier than anything else. After all, the paper has no real value! Today, one dollar may be as strong as yesterday’s ten dollar bill; tomorrow, that same one dollar note may be devalued so that it is only worth five cents. Entire societies remain at risk as a worker in this type of system.

So the monies the panelists claimed were tied up in savings actually were being poured into a volatile market, the stock market, another place ruled by paper tigers. Over the last thirty years, real wages failed to keep pace with inflation and the cost of living. Working people lacked the ability to save. However, amid the fears that Social Security would dry up before they could retire, they put a few hard earned extra dollars into stock-based retirement funds. Human relations managers and other company officials pulled their workers off assembly lines to sell them pyramid and ponzi schemes called a KEOGH or IRA or 401k Plan. These talks sounded something like the average MLM hustle, where the guy at the top of the chain makes all the money and the suckers who bought into it are left holding the bag. That is precisely what happened in instances such as MCI-Worldcom, Tyco, Enron, and others all the way thru the  Madoff scandal. These were all multi-billion dollar scams.

Now, this symposium happened in April. Do not forget, several weeks earlier, pretty much the same crew had called for the goverrnment to nationalize the banks. Their analysis continues shifting, while the causes for this period of voodoo economics involve financial manipulation, pure and simple. Prior to the curveball idea about interest rates being dictated by savings, the pundits said that the financial crunch happened because people were living on debt, another shattered theory.

People were indeed living on debt, yet that is not the reason for the crisis. People were forced to live on debt because wages did not keep pace with rising costs. Remember the old adage: “When creditors enforce collections, that results in market corrections.” So for folks living in debt, their very existence has become manipulated by those who control wages and prices. Stay tuned to the media, because within the next few weeks they will cook up a new rationale for the problems they continue heaping on the backs of poor and working people.

Father Gerard Jean-Juste

LIBERTE
28 MAY 2009

Reverend Gerard Jean-Juste, a tireless advocate for justice for Haitians in Haiti and the U.S., passed away Wednesday, May 27, 2009.

http://www.haitiaction.net/News/about/FrJJ.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9rard_Jean-Juste

REMEMBERING FATHER JEAN JUSTE
(Photos)
http://www.ijdh.org/articles/article_recent_news_5-27-09menuc.html

GERARD JEAN-JUSTE
(Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn4Mx6k0dNI

Paraphrased from Social Edge:
Gérard Jean-Juste, a human rights activist and priest from Haiti, helped refugees fleeing persecution under the Duvalier regime in Miami in the ’70s, then returned to Haiti in 1990 to become pastor in Tiplas Kazo.

As a result of his activism, he was imprisoned for months at a time without access to due process of the law.

In this three-minute interview with Global X, Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste explained how he made the decision to start “une cantine” (a soup kitchen) in Haiti. A young boy, part of a family of ten children (“the father was dead, the mother was very ill”) went to him to complain that he was hungry.

“It was like a cry in my heart. I had to perform a miracle.”

He did.

————————–—————
STATEMENT BY HAITIAN LAWYERS’ ASSOCIATION

Haitian Lawyers Association

Press Release

May 27, 2009

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/more-info/story/1069219.html

We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a man of integrity and courage, who by his grace, his generosity, his compassion, and his love has touched the lives of millions, regardless of color, class, race, and national origin. Indeed, he was a staunch advocate for civil rights, equality, racial and economic justice. His clarion call for freedom, democracy, justice, and equality in our mother land— Haiti has reverberated in all corners of the Haitian Diaspora.

He was so much more than those images that are emblazoned in our minds. By his example, he has brightened our lives and has reinforced our unflinching commitment to promote the common good, cherish our common humanity, and protect the universal values of mankind.

This man has devoted all his life to the cause of the poor, the powerless, and the voiceless. He strived to do good, seek justice, and foster change in a world where injustice, poverty, racial discrimination, and inequality dominate many governments and institutions around the globe. Now that he is no longer with us, may his legacy serve as a moral compass to us all as we continue our journey in this world. Although his passing will inevitably cause deep sadness and anguish, it is somewhat comforting to know that his legacy will endure for generations to come.

The Haitian Lawyers Association including its members, staff, and affiliates express their deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We urge you to keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers in this time of sorrow. As much as we lament his passing, it helps to remember that his journey in this world has been one of great accomplishments and success. Certainly, he earned the right to be in the pantheon of reverential men. Thus, his passing, though heartbreaking, is also a celebration of the life of a “great one”. His passing affords us an opportunity to reflect as a community about the socioeconomic problems that have plagued our communities and mother land for decades. Let’s follow his foot-steps to meet our true destiny as a people, the Haitian People. Let’s embrace his legacy as our moral compass when dealing with one another. Let’s open our hearts to his teachings of brotherhood and fraternity. Finally, let’s us work together and reject division and discord to fulfill his vision.
————————–————

UNPROTECTED: Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste protests the 2003
U.S.-backed coup in Haiti.
PHOTO: DANNY HAMMONTREE
http://www.indypendent.org/2009/05/14/news-analysis/
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – APRIL 30: Father Gerard Jean-Juste
holds up a fruit at Saint Clare’s church rectory April 30, 2008
in Port au Prince, Haiti. The church, headed by
Father Gerard Jean-Juste served about 1,000 people a day.
http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Popular-Haitian-Immigrant-Rights-Activist-Dies.html

For those of us who speak, read, and understand Kreyol, the following is a message from Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide. It can be heard audibly as well at

http://www.hayti.net/tribune/index.php?mod=news&ac=commentaires&id=360

Reveran Pè Gérard Jean Juste
Triyonfe sou lanmò

Pè Jean Juste triyonfe
Paske nan pòt lanmò a,
Sèl paspò e sèl viza
Ki konte se LANMOU.

E se la! Wi , wi, se la!
Se la, nan pòt lanmò a
Nou tout gen pou pase.
Se la, sèl paspò e sèl viza
Ki konte se LANMOU.

Se la, nan vil Jerizalèm,
Anndan jaden Jetsemani,
Arestasyon Jezu te fèt
Nan blakawout lahèn.

Se la, nan Petyon Vil,
Anndan legliz Sen Pyè,
Arestasyon Pè Djeri te fèt
Nan menm blakawout la.

Se la, sou tèt tèt mòn kalvè,
Tout bouji lanmou te etenn
Pou mechan yo sakrifye Jezu.

Se la, nan kacho prizon lakay,
Yo te deja sakrifye Pè Jean Juste
Sou lotèl kidnapinn 29 fevriye a.

Se la, akoz lanmou ki nan kè l,
Jezu te ofri tout san ki nan kò l
Pou wouze tout jaden delivrans.

Se la, nan swiv Jezu ke l renmen,
Pè Jean Juste ofri dènye gout san pa l
Pou Ayiti tounen yon tè delivrans.

Se la, nou ka dekouvri aklè
Pa gen pi gwo prèv lanmou
Pase lè ou sakrifye lavi ou
Pou moun ou renmen yo.

Se la tou nou dekouvri
Mouchwa konsolasyon
Pou siye dlo nan je moun
Ki renmen Frè nou an.

Onè pou ou, Pè Jean Juste!
Respè pou ou, Frè nou Djeri!
W ap toujou ret byen vivan
Nan lespri moun ki renmen w.
Se la ou triyonfe sou lanmò !

Plis nou rale zetwal konpliman
Pou ofri w kouwòn rekonesans,
Plis nap kontinye toujou sonje:

Se la, nan pòt lanmò a
Nou tout gen pou pase.
Se la, sèl paspò e sèl viza
Ki konte se LANMOU.

Dr Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Pretoria, 28 -05- 2009

RIP: TAJUDEEN ABDUL RAHEEM

A GIANT IS LOST ON AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY

Firoze Manji

Pambazuka News
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/56535

25 May is Africa Liberation Day. What a day to learn the terrible news
that one of the leading proponents of Africa’s liberation – Tajudeen
Abdul Raheem – should be so tragically lost in a senseless car
accident in Nairobi. Messages have been pouring in from across the
world as we all fail to hold back our tears at this loss.

Tajudeen led Justice Africa’s work with the African Union since its
early days. He combined this with his role as General Secretary of the
Pan-African Movement, chairperson of the Centre for Democracy and
Development, the Pan-African Development Education and Advocacy
Programme, and was a fighter in the struggle to get the UN’s
Millennium Development Campaign to support meaningful programmes.
There was hardly a pan African initiative that took place without
Tajudeen’s inimitable presence, support, humour and perceptive
political perspectives. Quite how he managed to combine all of this
with writing his weekly ‘Pan African Postcard’ that were published
regularly in Pambazuka News and in several newspapers including The
Monitor (Uganda), Weekly Trust (Nigeria), The African (Tanzania),
Nairobi Star (Kenya) and the Weekly Herald (Zimbabwe), has always been
a mystery to us. You could always rely on Tajudeen to draw our
attention to the most significant aspects of the latest political
event in Africa – just as you could rely on him to provide guidance
and encouragement during hard times, restoring in us the courage for
the longer struggles ahead for emancipation of the continent.

Tajudeen’s departure leaves a massive hole in all our lives. We all
need to grieve the loss of this giant of a man. But if his life is to
mean anything, we must follow his call in the signature line of his
every email – ‘Don’t agonise, Organise!’

As part of our tribute to Tajudeen, comrade, brother and fighter of
Pan-Africanism, Pambazuka News invites you to send messages of
condolence and tributes, please send these to edi@pambazuka.org or
comment online at http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/56535

******
Also see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8067260.stm

Neo-Colonialism in the Racist US Police State

In this period of Obama-ite neo-colonialism, our colonial experience as Africans reminds us that we have previously traveled this road. To qualify this as a colonial experience clarifies the fact that African history does not begin with slavery or any relationship with Europeans. Therefore, any statements or feelings that the presidency of Barack Obama is in any way history-making or even “the end of racism” grossly misrepresents reality. It smears our role as a people in the vast interwoven social fabric that produces history thru COLLECTIVE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERACTION.

So some racist ideologues continue to say that “your own people sold you into slavery”, and if it weren’t for slavery we could not enjoy freedom, etc. These views, all too often backed up by negro preachers and politicians at some level or another, derive directly from colonialist self-justification rather than any message that will liberate our people from the bondage of colonialism and Imperialism.

True, the seeds of ne(gr)o-colonialism took root when the first slatees received handfuls of beads in exchange for capturing their fellow Africans and selling them to white slavers. Hence, the guilt of neo-colonialism – beyond being an emotional game but embedded in a criminal activity – requires that the crooks engaged in this enterprise maintain their grip on the minds of a people sold out and eviscerated. In hand with slavery, neo-colonialism justifies Imperialism and obstructs our community from elevating critical issues like reparations, prisons, the war-of-drugs, health-care, and so forth.

It must be said that Obama is a neo-colonialist who speaks very differently from any prior US president. Obama seems to support the unions; he points out how Cuba’s relates to Latin America by sending physicians, while the US has historically sent weapons. If Obama wants to place a human face upon Imperialism, that will fail in the long run. He cannot dismiss any of the deep-seated hostility of a racist system, which presses down upon our community.

Thru out our colonial experience, those wielding power whose faces remain indistinguishable from ours have typically remained unable or unwilling to diminish the State monopoly on violence. Obama has yet to discuss critical issues relating to the State’s conduct in its operations, policies, and undue weight of forces on the black community. The apparent diluting effect of Obama-ite neo-colonialism, on the concentrated class question better known as racism, so far has failed to dilute anti-black police State repression.

For this reason, Africans must recognize the realities of Imperialism. The State continues to display naked aggression against the black community. Arizona’s Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio recently expressed his admiration of the Ku Klux Klan in a broadcast interview. This same official imposes the worst work camp conditions on detainees, and recently fired NBA law and order slatee Shaquille O’Neal.

Former US congressman turned Oakland mayor, Ron Dellums attempted to intervene in a demonstration protesting the recent police murder of Oscar Grant. Officers involved in the execution of Grant, a New Year’s Day reveler, in full view of scores of people on a BART platform, had remained at large. The State dragged its feet, despite more than ample footage captured by camera phone users, plus eyewitness accounts. For some reason, Dellums obviously believed that protests were uncalled for and people should never take to the street. Well, the demo turned int a rebellion when the mayor disappeared and the pigs moved in to arrest San Francisco Bay View activist/reporter JR Valrey.

Following that day’s uprising, the State finally arrested the trigger man, tho his two accomplices – who accessorized the crime by confiscating camera phones – have not been charged. Meanwhile, Valrey continues to fight charges for participating in a demonstration.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, another journalist, has spent 26 years on Pennsylvania’s death row for a wrongful murder conviction. He steadfastly continues to write about the plight of poor and disorganized working people. The State refuses to not only recognize his innocence, it refuses to review exculpatory testimony from witnesses, and ignores established legal precedents where Mumia’s rights have been violated.

One of two orgiastic statues on the Pennsylvania State Assembly

One of two orgiastic statues on the Pennsylvania State Assembly

Indeed, across Pennsylvania more political prisoners waste away in prison than in any other state. Maroon Shoatz has been on 23-hour lockdown since 1991. The MOVE Eight cannot receive a fair and lenient parole hearing for a crime that they did not commit.

A group of human rights activists traveled to Harrisburg on April 22 to discuss with state lawmakers the conditions that prisoners face inside the state prison system. These people complained of sons, friends and contacts who were on 23 hour lockdown, had urine and other contaminants in their food, denied medical attention, and subjected to other horrendous problems. Some of the lawmakers or their aides seemed concerned, while a few appeared nonplussed. In any event, the struggle for prisoner rights will not stop there, let alone the struggle for those wrongly convicted to serve as fodder for the Imperialist system.

These are the conditions which real freedom fighters face, and our community must not wait for anybody else to speak for these oppressed sisters and brothers. Four percent of the world population, the US accounts for 25% of all prisoners worldwide. Of that number, fully two-thirds are colonized workers, being Latino and African. Together, these two groups make up one-fourth of the US population. FBI crime states have consistently stated that crimes are committed fairly evenly across populations, meaning that white commit the same crimes at the same rate as anybody else, which means that white prisoners should out-number blacks or Latinos by eight-to-one. But they do not because law enforcement and the prison system are based upon colonialism and racism.

While any number of somebodies still need to justify the State by pleading for balance when conditions demand mass uprisings, that blind lady with the sword and scales comes from mythology. Our mistress for justice is Mama Assata Shakur, living in exile in revolutionary Cuba with a $1 million bounty on her head by this same injustice system.

Cuba, the embargoed country which sends doctors to Latin America while America sends guns. Cuba, a land where people took up arms and joined the fight against apartheid South Africa ten thousand miles away, while America deepens African oppression. Negroes want to become doctors and politicians not to help their own people but to help capitalism. Yet African people need revolutionary physicians, revolutionary politicians and journalists, and revolutionary thinkers and doers who will help liberate our people. We must not believe in neo-colonialism no matter how well it works; we must pick up on revolution.