“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by those whom they oppress.” - Frederick Douglass
The above quote is powerful, and deserves some meditation. In short, it tells us that we can only be oppressed up to the point that we allow it. We can only be mis-educated, dis-empowered, disenfranchised, and destroyed to the point that we allow it to take place.
African-Americans are the only group of American immigrants whose ancestors came to these shores involuntarily. Of course, there is evidence that we had already been here ( see They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America by Ivan Van Certima), but for the most part, Africans were captured or kidnapped then brought to the Americas where the slave making process was completed.
Many slaves were first taken to the West Indies before being brought to the United States of America to undergo a process called “seasoning”. For two to three years, “raw negroes” were subject to forced labor in excess of 16 hours per day, very basic language instruction, and education from “seasoned” slaves on how things should be done (remember the Monkey Story?) Using this seasoning method, the vast majority of African POWs were either murdered or made into slaves.
We already know that slave owners used a variety of tactics and strategies, from physical violence, terrorism and brutality to family destruction, forced miscegenation and mis-education, to transform Africans and their descendants (including us) into slaves. What we apparently don’t realize is that we are still enslaved, psychologically and emotionally, to the children of our former masters as evidenced by our complete political and economic dependency on European Americans and their institutions. Don’t think so? What is the ethnicity of your boss? What is the ethnicity of the owner of your bank? What is the ethnicity of those who hold the title to the land beneath your very feet here in the United States and Europe?
Slavery in the U.S. may have ended in 1863, but the African-American people are still suffering from Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder.
Breaking the Chains: The Warpath to Sovereignty
“Our next assignment in history is nation management and nation structure.” - John Henrik Clarke
If we want to change our current state of affairs (which is arguably worse than it has been since the days of lynch mobs), we will need to go to work on reversing the “seasoning process”. Not an easy task, since our current state of affairs is the result of systematic terrorism, methodical brutality, and deliberate mis-education. For the most part, we have accepted our second-class citizenship. But before we were second class citizens, we were sovereign Africans. Indeed, we were (and still are) the descendants of the greatest men and women ever to walk and build upon the Earth. And that is where we must return; national sovereignty is our one and only destination.
Luckily, great minds have determined a well-defined path that will lead us to that end. Along that path are several landmarks that serve as signals to let us know that we are indeed making progress and headed in the right direction.
This is where we are now. We are willing participants in our own destruction. Turned against one another, rejecting Pan-Africanism and Black Power, immersed in a rotten culture that promotes destruction (of both self and others) and an adoration of the worst of the worst. We are willing and steadfast participants in capitalism, European models of academia, and white culture. Protectors and defenders of the very system that keeps us psychologically impotent. And while we celebrate, we are mass incarcerated, infected, overworked and underemployed, marginalized, and gunned down in the streets by police officers.
Stage I: Consciousness
Once we are made aware of where we are, and our need to do something about it we begin to naturally reclaim our history and our culture. We begin to ask questions, seek out Black scholars and thinkers, and we honor our glorious achievements prior to being ingested into the bowels of white supremacy. We begin to cast off European values systems, and start to critically evaluate the world around us. We begin to wake up to the matrix.
Mwalimu Shujaa, author of Too Much Schooling, Too Little Education: A Paradox of Black Life in White Societies, provided us with a method for changing our Euro-centric values system and ultimately rebuilding the world around us. His method, called the DRC method, (DRC being an acronym for deconstruction / reconstruction or rehabilitation / construction) is a critical element of achieving African-centered holistic re-education.
Deconstruction deals with recognizing the pervasive destructive influence of European based cultural structures on African people, whether it is language, laws, or religion. Here, we deconstruct issues with articles like
- Gay Marriage and Other Weapons of Mass Distraction
- The Feminization of Black Men is Soft Genocide in Action
- The Truth (and threats) Behind Interracial Dating
Reconstruction/Rehabilitation is the act of correcting the thinking errors discovered during the deconstruction phase. Reconstruction/Rehabilitation is consciously and deliberately committed to the development of knowledge and practices dedicated to promoting the welfare of African people. In other words, construction is devoted to education and, therefore, knowledge that works to counter the forces that created the problems in the first place.
Construction is the application of lessons learned with the building of long term strategies and solutions to reinforce our new directions.
Stage II: Resistance
Self-emancipated from all forms of psychological slavery and its long-term effects, centered in the best of traditional African philosophical belief systems and world views, empowered by an indigenous African religion and speaking at least one African language, the 21st century Maroon actively works for African-American national sovereignty through service in Pan-African nationalist organizations.
We begin to fight against those who resist our commitment to the restoration of truth, justice, order, harmony, and balance, and set about destroying the cancerous system that has thus far impaired us. Scholar-Warriors rise up in our midst to lead the masses to the heights of triumph. The struggle begins, not chaotically, but methodically, and is completed by any means necessary.
The soft-hearted would like to skip over this stage, or pretend there is no need to actively resist, or urge alternatives. I would remind them of the words of Frederick Douglass:
Without a struggle, there can be no progress.
A man who will not fight for himself, when he has the means of doing so, is not worth being fought for by others… For a man who does not value freedom for himself will never value it for others, or put himself to any inconvenience to gain it for others.
Such a man may lie down until he has sense enough to stand up. It is useless and cruel to put a man on his legs, if the next moment his head is to be brought against a curbstone.Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.
Stage III: Liberation and the Re-Establishment of Sovereignty
Our struggle now complete, and sovereignty re-established, we set about constructing our own system of government without any apologies to the powers that be. For power respects, and only concedes to power. We restore ourselves, our families, Africa, and the world to its place of Ma’at. This is the great task that our history and this century places before us. It is not a commitment for the faint of heart.
But let’s be realistic. Right now, millions of African-Americans are permanently seasoned. Many would rather keep singing, dancing, prancing, fucking, entertaining, and working themselves to death. These Black men and women will resist Pan-Africanism by any means necessary. Only the complete collapse of the European world order would shake them out of their lethargic, myopic dependency, and even that might not be enough.
Just as in the days of our Great Enslavement, many are called, but few are chosen. Only the boldest, the baddest, and the bravest dared to reach out for the freedom and the responsibility that life as a sovereign man and woman guaranteed.
Victory is ours when the 21st century conscious Black men and women form trans-national family-based alliances to harness the political, military, and economic power inherent in our historical vision of total African emancipation.
Marcus Garvey knew this. Malcolm X knew this. Newton, Lumumba, Nkrumah, and so many others knew this.
You know this.