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NATION-BUILDING:

RECONSTRUCTING AFRIKAN
POLITICAL PRAXIS
12TH ANNUAL MARCUS GARVEY CELEBRATION
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
9/9/05
KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
DR. AMBAKISYE-OKANG DUKUZUMURENYI
[DOCTORATE OF PHILOSOPHY-PUBLIC POLICY]

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA

INTRODUCTION

As we assemble here today under the


watchful eyes of a Just God and in the Spirit of
the Ancestors in commemoration of the Afrikan
and Afrikan Diasporan Nationalist Socio-
political Program as it is embodied in the life,
philosophy and policies of the Honorable
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, we are only a few days
removed from one of the most catastrophic
natural disasters to strike the United States of
America and in particular the southern United
States. In viewing the emotional,
physiological, psychological, and spiritual
destruction, as well as the material upheaval in
the devastated areas one is able to see plainly
the necessity of social reconstruction [which is
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the rebuilding of a societies infrastructure-
social, political, religious and economic
institutions, following some traumatic event,
such as a war or natural disaster]. However,
when social reconstruction is mentioned and
debated throughout the mainstream,
Eurocentric White controlled media, the
emphasis is upon rebuilding the economic
infrastructure of a social system that has
served to enrich the few Whites and their
Afrikan, Asian and Hispanic tokens, at the
expense of the many in the impoverished
masses.
Furthermore, since this is the United
States, a country with a long history of racial
terrorism perpetrated by persons primarily of
European descent, the racist dogma of White
Supremacy, which advocates the White
administration and control of the socio-political
and socioeconomic positions of power and
social domination, is ever present. As El Hajj
Malik El-Shabazz so often stated, America has
a political, economic, and social atmosphere
[patterns of behavior/interaction] that
automatically [both consciously and
subconsciously] nourishes a racist psychology
in its White participants. This racist psychology
manifests itself in an overt/blatant or

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covert/subtle manner. He noted also that
“...Here in America, the seeds of racism are so
deeply rooted in the White people collectively,
their belief that they are 'superior' in some way
is so deeply rooted, that these things are in
the national White subconsciousness. Many
Whites are even actually unaware of their own
racism, until they face some test, and then
their racism emerges in one form or another.”
We ourselves have often noted from our
study of our historical experience in White
dominated countries that the socioeconomic
and socio-political atmosphere nourishes the
same racist psychology in the Afrikan and
Afrikan Diasporan sycophants. These
sycophants are individuals who were known
during the Maafa, [“The Great Suffering” or
Period of Enslavement & Colonizing of Afrikan
Peoples] as House Niggers. They were
described by Brother Malcolm X as House
Negroes and the Caribbean psychiatrist Dr.
Frantz Fanon spoke of them as men and
women with Black skins, but wearing white
masks. Today we even recognize them as
White "selected" not Afrikan elected, public
officials, persons who are dyed in the wool
patriotic Americans until it is time to receive
government funds that are earmarked for so-

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called minorities. When the government grants
and special loan programs are presented they
transform themselves miraculously into
Afrikan-Americans. Or we see these same
sycophants as apolitical entertainers, clowns
and buffoons- the athletes, actors, musicians
and comedians that remember themselves to
be Afrikans only when the mirage of
assimilation dissipates violently beneath the
truncheons, tanks, gases and automatic
weapons of the Police, who liberally distribute
American style justice upon them regardless of
name, status or so-called social rank.
The racist, elitist nature of social
reconstruction as presented in the mainstream
media to society may be immediately noted in
the manner in which the media presented the
events that occurred in New Orleans in the
aftermath of the Hurricane. The lethargic
response on the part of national government
officials, such as the American President Bush
flying over in Air Force One and surveying the
damage, then later spending extended time in
Mississippi is a case in point. The Presidential
response only reached a state of urgency when
so-called acts of “looting” began to occur and
when “law and order” supposedly broke down.
Always ask yourself when you hear that phrase

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“law and order”, whose law? And what order?
The media presentation of these events was a
lesson in racial contrasts. White persons were
presented as having “found” bread and soda in
a local grocery store. Few if any media reports
were concerned with Whites who were carrying
away appliances, clothing or weapons. Does
this mean that it didn't occur? No, but that is
the perspective of the average mainstream
American. After all the media was replete with
images of Afrikan Americans carrying DVD
players, Televisions, microwaves, designer
shoes and clothes. Few if any images were
provided which consisted of Afrikan Americans
who had “found” food. The Afrikan Americans
were delineated as looters, Whites as “finders”.
Images were carefully presented so that this
would be the perspective that the passive,
uncritical viewer of the news would leave with.
But now lets take a look at this word loot.
It is defined by the Random House College
Dictionary Revised Edition as “spoils or plunder
taken by pillaging, as in war. To despoil,
plunder, ransack or pillage a city, house, etc.
as in war.” The word is derived from the
Sanskrit term luntati, which means “To steal or
take away in the aftermath of war.” In
Germanic history during the era of the Roman

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Empire [200 B.C.E. - 476 C.E.] and for
extended periods thereafter, the tribes that
became the current nations of Western Europe,
were known to wreak havoc upon a place, to
loose destruction and plunder upon those they
came into contact with who were not
necessarily their enemies. The word loot has
since this time retained its meaning as an act
carried out by an aggressor upon a vanquished
enemy. It was seen as the last act of
humiliation as it were, for by taking his most
prized possessions which he could no longer
protect you crushed his very ideal of manhood.
Gold, cattle, livestock and all other valuables
were looted as well as children to serve as
slaves and women to serve as slaves and
concubines. Men of fighting age and the elderly
were generally put to death. Looting was
viewed as the action of an uncivilized and
barbaric horde, a blood thirsty army of
uncouth, inhuman beasts lacking in all
understanding of human decency.
Another term used to describe our people
in New Orleans is thug. Now a thug is defined
as a brutal ruffian or an assassin, a gangster, a
killer. It is derived from the Hindu term thag,
which literally means a thief, but which was
applied specifically to the members of a group

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of professional robbers and murderers active in
India from the 16th to the 19th century, who
strangled their victims. We also find our
people in New Orleans being called vandals.
The Vandals were one of a group of Germanic
people over running Gaul, Spain and Northern
Afrika in the 4th and 5th centuries C.E. In 455
C.E. they sacked Rome. They name came to
be used to describe someone who willfully
destroys, damages, or defaces public or private
property.
The media also labeled us refugees. A
refugee: is an exile who flees for safety; a
displaced person; a stateless person; a person
forced to flee from home or country. The
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952
defines "refugee as: "Any person who is
outside any country of such person's
nationality or, in the case of a person
having no nationality, is outside any country
in which such person last habitually resided,
and who is unable or unwilling to return to,
and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or
herself of the protection of, that country
because of persecution or a well-founded fear
of persecution on account of race, religion,
nationality, membership in a particular social

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group, or political opinion…" To label us as
refugees is obviously a Freudian slip.
For the Ancestors were refugees, displaced
persons, a stateless people; people who were
forced to flee from their homes and country in
a vain effort to avoid enslavement; and we
today continue to be treated as a stateless
people; a people persecuted because of race.

We have spent the better part of our


existence in the United States as an enslaved
people an then as so-called "second-class
citizens", a term which has no legal standing
whatsoever. Here in the year 2005, there is
still a need for the Voting Rights Act, to fight
for so-called equal education, and equal access
to public accommodations, regardless of
socioeconomic standing. If we were citizens by
birth, we would not need Civil Rights
Legislation.
Our communities are in areas where we
are forced to live as a result of socioeconomic
segregation and Marginalization and they are

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occupied by a paramilitary force. Today's police
are as highly equipped as the standing military
of the United States. We are for all intents and
purposes, as much a stateless people, a
displaced people as are the Kurds of Turkey
and Iraq, the Tibetans of Chinese occupied
Tibet or the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and
West Bank of Israel.
We must be careful when we blindly accept
terms used to describe us from the mouths of
those who have perpetually shown themselves
to collectively be against our best interests. In
calling us looters, vandals, thugs, we have
been labeled as killers, murders, thieves,
persons who intentionally, deliberately or
voluntarily engage in perverse and barbaric
human and property destruction. All words
which justify in the minds of the passive media
viewer the acts of so-called law enforcement
officials. Police barbarity, or so-called brutality
is now justifiable and acceptable when the
recipient is an Afrikan. Instead, let us consider
the following question: is the only way to view
the actions of the mass of poor and stranded
persons in New Orleans as the act of thuggish,
lawless and chaos loving, vandals or is there
another manner in which to view the situation?

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The elite who control the media use the
press to set the stage for your acceptance of
whatever actions that they intend to pursue.
Your reaction to the actions of Afrikans in New
Orleans was programmed by past media
coverage of Afrikan people. The media
created the image of the Afrikan as a criminal
long before what occurred in New Orleans.
Nightly we are bombarded with statistics of a
high Afrikan crime rate, a large proportion of
Afrikan men and women in penal institutions or
juvenile detention centers. There are daily
news stories in the print and electronic media
of some crime being committed by so-called
Afrikan criminals. Television shows,
commercials, sports coverage, and movies
present a predominant image of Afrikans as
thieves, drug sellers and users, pimps and
prostitutes, abusers of women, possessors of
illegal weapons, and sadistic murderers.
You are aware of what is being implied
when they put up images of Afrikans with
illegal weapons who been imprisoned. The
implication is that all Afrikans have guns;
they're all violent, etc. This was even
emphasized in the coverage of so-called
looting in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. It
was reported that in certain areas of Jefferson

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Parish, people went into stores and took food
and water. Their actions were condoned in the
most compassionate manner. Since they had
lost everything and were without electrical
power, what they were forced to do was
understandable. These persons were White.
Then the very next scene shifted to New
Orleans and the reporter said that there the
looting was unjustifiable and that the people
mainly stole guns. The people pictured were
Afrikan. So now they have set the stage for
the in-discriminant shooting of Afrikans in New
Orleans. Why, because thats who they showed
you as “looting” and the media added that the
Afrikans primarily stole guns. So now they
have subtly indicated that the poor in New
Orleans are bent on violence and destruction.
So when they later told you that the
government was sending in troops who have
orders to shoot to kill, why you go along with it
and so does the White public. Because you see
the government always wants the public,
especially the White public on its side. They
know that there are some good and bad
meaning Whites , so through a sophisticated
use of media propaganda they shape the public
mind to support their actions. A very sly and
malicious con-game.

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Now the real criminal is the society that
creates the conditions that produce a person
who is forced to resort to such means. Please,
think for a moment that your model of sanity
and normalcy are the most genocidal, blood
thirsty, violent rapist the world has ever seen.
So what you call criminal is actually an
imitation of your model of sanity: the
European. They called the Afrikans looters,
vandals, and thugs, and by doing this they
took the burden off the society and placed it on
the victim. They skillfully ignored the
conditions which created the person and even
ignored the cause of those conditions, which
are sustained by a society, which caused the
actions.
Now here is something that many will
dispute: those were not the actions of ignorant
persons only interested in chaos. You see
those were all businesses owned by Whites or
Bourgeois Afrikans who have a condescending
and contemptable attitude toward the
impoverished; and when life threatening
situations occur they are gone: they have the
means to get the hell out of dodge. The poor
are still there and they are aware of having
been exploited. They now at some level in
their psyche that their condition is not of their

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own making, even if they do not verbalize it in
a way that is considered meaningful to
mainstream society. They know that they have
been over charged for food, clothes and
appliances. Prevented by a silent long standing
customary ban from obtaining weapons legally.
Locked out of receiving loans for homes and
cars by poor credit or red-lining; unable to get
descent jobs to enjoy that American Dream
that is presented day in and day out to them in
the media. Their poor employment prospects
hampered by a slanted educational system
that ensures their low status. And their own
efforts at self-help, conveniently labeled as
illegal.
So when opportunity presents itself, like
good, enterprising capitalist applying supply
and demand logic: they get the goods that
mainstream society values dearly, when there
is the least cost to themselves. They get their
reparations in the best way they know how
from the persons who have been robbing them
deaf, dumb and blind; and enacting laws which
perpetuate the theft. Now we as Afrikan
peoples in America used to have a
customary law during enslavement and
colonialism, that YOU WERE A THEIF, IF
YOU TOOK SOMETHING FROM ANOTHER

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AFRIKAN PERSON; HOWEVER, IF YOU
OBTAINED SOMETHING FROM A WHITE
WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION OR
KNOWLEDGE, IT WAS JUST RECOMPENSE
FOR THE FRUITS OF YOURS AND
ANCESTRAL LABOR: AND WASN'T
CONSIDERED STEALING.
So you see, the press was used to make
the criminal, the creators and maintainers of
society, look like the victim and made the
victim, the impoverished, look like the
criminal. So yes there is another way of
viewing this political reality. The
programmatic objectives of Pan-
Afrikanism as contained in the policy
goals of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah
Garvey suggests that there is. The very
theme of tonights program NATION-
BUILDING: RECONSTRUCTING AFRIKAN
POLITICAL PRAXIS & ACTION implies that
there is another way of viewing the
situation. And its is this new way of
perceiving the world that is the subject of
this lecture.
[Before I continue I would like to clarify
some of the terms that I have used will be
using. When I say Afrikan, I am speaking of
all Black people who were born on the

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continent or born outside of the continent.
Also when I say Afrikan Diaspora, I am
speaking of peoples of Afrikan descent who
were born outside of the continent. You will
hear me say on occasion Afrikans of the
Continent and Diaspora or Continental Afrikan
and Afrikan Diasporan, so I want us to be clear
as to who am I speaking about.]

MARCUS MOSIAH GARVEY

Now this is a program designed to honor


Marcus Mosiah Garvey and to motivate and
equip us to continue the work that he was
involved in. So lets make sure that we are all
on the same page in our understanding of this
Afrikan great. Born in 1887 in St. Ann's Bay,
Jamaica, the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey
dedicated his entire life to the socioeconomic
and socio-political development of Afrikan
people. A powerful theorist, orator and
organizer Marcus Mosiah Garvey constructed
the largest mass movement ever of
Continental and Diasporan Afrikans. Active
early in his life in Jamaica's first nationalist
movements which pressed for Jamaican
independence from British colonial control,
Marcus Mosiah Garvey traveled extensively

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throughout Central America, and lived for a
time in Britain where he worked with the
Sudanese-Egyptian nationalist Duse Mohamed
Ali.
To further his political and economic goals,
in 1914 he organized the Universal Negro
Improvement Association and African
Communities League. The motto of the UNIA &
ACL was “One God, One Aim, One Destiny.”
The purpose of the organization was to redeem
Afrika from European colonization and to carry
out the socioeconomic and socio-political
upliftment of the Global Afrikan population.
The organization emphasized racial pride,
group solidarity, self-reliance and the socio-
political and socioeconomic independence of all
Afrikans, where ever they may be.
In 1916 he came to the United States at
the invitation of Booker T. Washington to study
Washington's program for Afrikan economic
development, but arrived just after
Washington's death. His interest in
Washington's program stemmed from his
analysis that the industrial economic program
of Washington was one cog in the grand plan
for Afrikan redemption. The other components
were a Pan-Afrikan political program designed
to free all Afrikans from European domination

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and a Pan-Afrikan military apparatus which
would support and protect Afrikan political
goals from European counterrevolutionary
actions. Marcus Mosiah Garvey sought to
resurrect in the Afrikans of the Continent
and the Diaspora the basic tenets of
Nation-building SO AS TO ALLOW ALL
AFRIKANS TO ENGAGE KNOWLEDGABLY
AND SUCCESSFULLY IN THE SOCIAL
RECONSTRUCTION OF THE NATIONS AND
COMMUNITIES OF THE AFRIKAN ON THE
CONTINENT AND IN THE DIASPORA.
After traveling extensively in the Americas
and Europe, the Honorable Marcus Mosiah
Garvey established a branch of the UNIA & ACL
in the United States. The purpose of his
foreign travels was to study firsthand the
conditions and causes of those conditions of
Afrikans on the Continent and throughout the
Diaspora and to design, implement and
evaluate for further corrections, a proper
course of action for Afrikan development. To
support the programmatic objectives of the
UNIA & ACL Garvey established the Black Star
Line, which was an international shipping
company; he organized international
conventions on Afrikan Continental and
Diasporan development and published a

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weekly newspaper, the Negro World. No other
Afrikan organization on the Continent or in the
Diaspora in contemporary times has had the
impact of the UNIA & ACL. At it's height the
UNIA & ACL had branches throughout North,
South and Central America, the Caribbean,
Africa, Europe and Australia.
The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, was
a twentieth century link in the long Afrikan
chain which stretches back into antiquity to the
first nation-builders of the earliest civilizations
in the world in Classical Afrika: Kemet and Ta-
Nehestu [Egypt and Nubia] beginning in 8000
B.C.E. [some scholars and archaelogists
postulate a date before 10,500 B.C.E.] and
continuing through the Classical Empires and
states of West Afrika [Ghana, Mali, and
Songhai, 300 C.E. - 1591 C.E. ] to the Maroon
communities of the Americas [Afrikans who
escaped from enslavement and founded states]
and the founding of the Haitian Republic during
the Maafa [1444 C.E. - 1888 C.E.].
The tradition of nation-building of which
Garvey is but a link reaches us today through
the programs, policies and speeches of such
Afrikan greats as Brother Malcolm X of the US
assassinated in 1965, Brother Walter Rodney
of the Caribbean assassinated in 1980,

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Mwalimu Julius Nyerere former President of the
East Afrikan nation of Tanzania from 1964 to
1985 and Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
former Prime Minister of the West Afrikan
nation of Ghana from 1951 to 1960 and then
President of Ghana from 1960 to 1966 and
Afrikan American historians and social
scientists, such as Drusilla Houston, Dr.
Chancellor Williams, Dr. John Henrik Clarke
and Dr. John G. Jackson [all who have passed
on and joined the Ancestors] But what exactly
do we mean when we use the term nation-
building?

NATION-BUILDING

World-view

Any word, thought or social, political,


economic and religious aspect of reality is
filtered through the lens of what is called a
world-view. A world-view, which is a group as
well as an individual phenomenon,
encompasses mental pictures of reality, that
rest upon the use of shared assumptions about
how the world works; the information for such
images being created by the elite members of
any society. As people interpret everyday

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experiences in light of these assumptions, they
make sense of their lives and their lives make
sense to other members of the society. A
world-view shapes how you view yourself, your
morals and understanding of what is right and
wrong, your conceptualization of what is
beautiful and what is valuable and so forth.
Multiple world-views may coexist in a single
society.
In essence, a world-view is a Cognitive
Culture, or the mental organization in each
individual's mind of how the world works. The
common aspects of our individual cognitive
culture make up the cultural world-view of the
group, which shapes the social culture, which
is the way people relate to one another in daily
activities, and how they cooperate together for
the perceived good of society. For our
purposes we will focus on two different world-
views: the Afrocentric or Afrikan-Centered
world-view and the Eurocentric or European-
Centered world-view.

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Afrikan-Centered World-view

The Afrikan-Centered World-view is


centered around the following assumptions:

1.The highest value of life lies in the


interpersonal relationships between
men.

2.One gains knowledge through


symbolic imagery and rhythm.

3.One should live in harmony with


nature.

4.There is a oneness between humans


and nature.

5.The survival of the group holds the


utmost importance.

6.Men should appropriately utilize the


materials around them.
Appropriately being defined in
regards to how the use affects the
well being of other members of
society.

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7.Society exists, thus the individual
exists.

8.One's self is complementary to


others.

9.Spirituality and the indwelling


presence of the Creator hold the most
significance in life.

10.Different aspects of the Creator are


manifested throughout creation.

11.Cooperation, collective
responsibility, and interdependence
are the key values to which all should
strive to achieve.

12.All men are considered to be equal,


share a common bond, and be apart
of the group.

13.The Afrikan-Centered World-view is


a circular or holistic one, in which all
events are tied together with one
another.

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Eurocentric World-view

The Eurocentric World-view is centered around


the following beliefs:

1.The highest value of life lies in the


object, or in the acquisition of
material possessions.

2.One gains knowledge through


counting and measuring.

3.One should control and dominate


nature.

4.There is a dichotomy, or
separateness, between nature and
humans.

5.The survival of the fittest holds the


utmost importance.

6.Men should have an unlimited


exploitation of the materials around
them.

7.One's self is distinct from others.

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8.The individual exists, thus society
exists.

9.Change occurs to meet the


immediate objectives, and is quite
arbitrary.

10.A distant, impersonal god holds the


most significance.

11.Competition, independence,
separateness, and individuals rights
are the key values to which all should
strive to achieve.

12.All men are considered to be


individualistic, unique and different.

13.The Eurocentric World-view is a


linear one, in which all events are
separate and there is no
togetherness.

Many people of the world as a result of


European ownership and control of national
and international institutions of socialization
have a Eurocentric World-view.

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Eurocentric Nation-Building

From the Eurocentric World-view Nation-


Building is a process of constructing or
structuring a nation using the power of a state.
This process aims at the unification of the
people or peoples within the proposed
geographic area so that the territory becomes
and remains politically stable and viable to
Western economic interests in the long run. It
involves the use of propaganda and major
infrastructure development to foster Western
oriented social harmony and economic growth
with the geographic area serving as an
appendage to the global market economy
centered in the Western or Western Oriented
countries of the United States, the United
Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan and
increasingly today China.
Historical and current examples of Western
nation-building are the American
Reconstruction following the U.S. Civil War
from 1865 to 1877; the American invasion and
occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934 and its
continued domination of the Haitian nation into
1956; along with its current nation-building
exercise there today with the reoccupation; the

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Marshall Plan of the 1950s, which sought to
rebuild the devastated nations of Western
Europe following the European peninsular tribal
war [WWII]; the United States actions in South
Vietnam from 1950 to 1975; and the current
United States and United Kingdom invasion,
occupation and rebuilding of Iraq.
The steps involved in Western style nation-
building begin with the establishment of
security. Previous security having been
destroyed by Western military and economic
violence, but to the Western passive media
consumers the lack of security is presented as
the result of dictatorial, tyrannical, barbaric
totalitarian practices of the former leaders of
the conquered nation. The security being
established however, actually focuses on
providing protection for the Western directors
of the nation-building exercise from grass roots
or mass level revolutionary violence of the
occupied people, who like any sane person do
not wish to have any uninvited guests in their
home. The establishment of security is also
presented to the western populace as
necessary to ameliorate the humanitarian
crisis, which actually follows on the heels of
the overthrow the previous government, what
the U.S. and U.K. label regime change.

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Western humanitarianism operates in a
peculiar way, for it installs, pliant locals as
leaders and implements economic policies that
continue the pattern of elite benefit at the
expense of the masses. To aid in the aversion
of a “humanitarian crisis” supposedly created
by the previous regime a new civil
administration is constructed.
This civil administration is based on
American/Western style democracy instead of
on the cultural practices of the conquered
people. The myth of the all powerful franchise
[vote] is passed off onto the masses by their
elite and through a strong propaganda
campaign by the invading forces. In the west
we know this propaganda campaign as the
news from our “free and independent” press;
where believing that the American way of life
is the best, we think it right and proper that it
should be extended over the world. Never
mind the fact that as Edward Bernays stated in
1928 “The conscious and intelligent
manipulation of the organized habits and
opinions of the masses is an important element
in democratic society. ...We are governed, our
minds are molded, our tastes formed, our
ideas suggested, largely by men we have
never heard of.” Incidentally, Bernays is apart

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of the required reading for college students at
those Universities where men and women are
being prepared to rule the world, as opposed
to the fact he is unheard of at those
Universities where men and women are being
prepared to be ruled.
After the establishment of the civil
administration so-called reconstruction begins.
Where efforts are set in motion to develop a
socio-political and socioeconomic apparatus
that will allow heavy military investment by
the United States to support it's national
interests, which are focused on Western based
multinational corporate elite economic
concerns. Tokenistic programs are established
for the masses based on the Western
individualist myth and Social Darwinism
repackaged for modern eyes. Successful
Western Nation-building is measured in terms
of troops, money and time. These are
considered to be its greatest factors. It is held
that the larger the occupying force the lower
the postwar casualties.
As astute and analytical persons, we all
know that Western Nation-Building is nothing
more than a euphemism for colonialism. For
as we see daily the actions Western
governments and multinational corporations

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lead to economic genocide, which in many
ways is far more lethal than genocidal warfare.
For economic genocide kills and maims for
generations and strikes through health care
policy, employment policy, educational policy
and foreign trade policy. After all poverty,
which is a murderous killer, is manufactured
not by the poor but by the elite, just as wars
are the result of elite actions. The current
socioeconomic and socio-political order that is
advocated by Western Nation-Building
proponents purposefully breeds injustice, and
ignorance among the masses and has created
a global socioeconomic system that consigns 4
billion people to short lives hampered by
squalor, disease and painful death.
In the words of the Honorable Marcus
Mosiah Garvey “Poverty is a hellish state to be
in. It is no virtue. It is a crime. To be poor,is
to be hungry without possible hope of food; to
be sick without hope of medicine; to be tired
and sleepy without a place to lay one's head;
to be naked without the hope of clothing; to be
despised and without possibility of
comfort. ...No one wants to be poor.” And
what causes poverty? Is it an individual
affliction? No, for what sane and civilized
person would blame the child who is born to

29
impoverished parents. And I use the term
impoverished for people are made poor by
social institutions that are designed to meet
the needs of the few. And the impoverished
are educated that their poverty is the result of
personal deficiencies. The social system,
through its socialization institutions makes a
person a cripple and then blames that person
for being crippled. It makes a person a drug
addict, a prostitute, a drunk: things that are
done to forget the pain of life, or to obtain the
means for survival; and then the social system
punishes that person for being as they are.
No, poverty is not a necessity it is the result of
the current social organization.

Afrikan-Centered Nation-Building

Nation-building from the Afrikan-centered


perspective refers to the utilization of the
resources of culture [language, cognition, art,
myth, ritual] to improve the human condition
by structuring social organizations [social
institutions, political institutions and economic
institutions] and systems of collective
relationships [kinship, marriage, family,
religion] so as to enhance collective power in
the shaping of the world system. In the

30
Afrikan-centered context nation-building is the
essence of Manhood and Womanhood. Its
focal point is on what some Afrikan Diasporan
and Continental Psychologists call the Ori-Ire,
or Properly Aligned Consciousness. The
Properly Aligned Consciousness is a
conscience, which is aligned with or attuned to
the precepts and commandments of God as
taught by the Ancestors. To be aligned with
God is to be what is known in the Afrikan
Continental and Disasporan religious traditions
as Righteous.

Four Steps of the Ori-Ire

There are four steps in the Pathway to the


Ori-Ire. The first is Self-Exploration. This is
the process of examining one's life and
relationships. This usually follows an
experience in which an Afrikan begins to
examine their function in their community.
Questions one asks are: Am I the person I
want to be? Am I the person that my
community needs? In what direction is my life
going? Do I like the direction of my life's path?
The second step is Self-Cultivation. The
process of weeding out negative thoughts,
ideas, people and activities. Negative

31
attributes encumber movement towards
humanenss or what is known in East Afrika as
unbuntu. In the Americas we find it
represented in the our musical and religious
tradition as being true to self through the
service we render to others; being perfect in
words and deeds, even as the Creator is
Perfect. This is the initial process of making
one's total self and reality conducive to
planting seeds of power, prosperity, and
positive thoughts and deeds.
The third step is Self-development. The
process of planting positive seeds of positive
growth in the mind. One draws in those things
that will move one towards desirable goals.
Studying, meditating, praying, participating in
reading groups, and surrounding oneself with
people who are complimentary to ones destiny,
are the activities one engages in. The fourth
step is Self-Government. The period marked
by one ascribing to the Higher Self. One lives
to uphold the ideals of MAAT (Righteousness)
and Iwa Pele (Gentle Character). Here the
concern is to view the things of others as if
they were your own and to be as concerned for
the welfare of others as you are for yourself.
The four steps of the Ori-Ire are summed up in

32
the following Afrikan Continental and
Disaporan proverbs:

“A Human Being is Human Beings.”

“A person is a person because of


neighbors.”

“It is through people that we are people.”

“We are our relationships.”

“Every one is the image of his neighbor.”

Ten Cardinal Virtues

The very basis of the Afrikan philosophy of


nation-building is thousands of years old and
was first developed by our Afrikan Ancestors of
Kemet, who utilized them in their educational
curriculum. Known today as the Ten-Cardinal
Virtues they list ten prerequisites for successful
Nation-building. They are:

1) Control of one’s thought;

2) Control of one’s actions;

33
3) Steadfastness of purpose;

4) A personal identification with higher


ideals and moral standards.

5) An understanding of one’s mission or


purpose in life;

6) An understanding of ones place in the


Higher Order of life;

7) Freedom from resentment;

8)Confidence in the ability of one’s


instructor to teach;

9)Confidence in one’s ability to learn;

10)Psychological and physical preparation


for success in all that one does.

34
Afrikan Manhood

As the essence of Afrikan Manhood and


Womanhood the Ori-Ire and the Ten Cardinal
Virtues define the relationship of Afrikan
Manhood and Womanhood to Nation-building.
Seen in this light Afrikan Manhood can only be
viewed in the context of our success or failure
to uplift, educate, liberate and ensure the
independence of all Afrikan people. As Men we
must do everything in our power to heal the
psyches of Afrikan people scarred by hundreds
of years of domination and racism. We must
create an Afrikan society which supports and
protects us, nurtures and empowers us, uplifts
and educates us. We must maintain the
highest standards of Afrikan morality and
ethics, providing a crystal clear alternative to
the decadence of western values. We must
hold competence and excellence in the highest
esteem. We must always demand more from
ourselves than others demand of us. We must
face problems resolutely; setbacks are a
challenge to our intelligence and
determination, not an excuse to quit. We must
never value men who talk over men who think,

35
nor men who think over men who act; but we
must reserve the highest honor for those men
who take thoughtful action.
There can be no place in the hearts and
minds of our people for intolerance or
prejudice among ourselves. We must never
divide Afrikan people on the basis of skin color,
sex, age, religion, national origin or education.
Instead we must judge ourselves against a
single standard: do our actions contribute to
the independence and well being of Afrikan
people? We must oppose without reservation
the use of addictive or narcotic drugs by
Afrikan people. These drugs are an insidious
weapon whose victims finance the destruction
of their own minds, lives and communities.
We must create the economic structures which
will give us control of our communities and
take us from blind consumption to community
production.
The Afrikan Man must by word and deed
support the stability of the Afrikan family. We
must strengthen the bonds of love between
Afrikan men and women, and be stable,
nurturing parents to Afrikan children. Afrikan
Men must form supportive, loving and
permanent relationships with the Afrikan
Women we choose to make our partners in life.

36
We must make an emotional and economic
commitment to the families for which we are
responsible. The Afrikan Man must revere
Afrikan People and Afrikan Culture. As Afrikan
Men, we exist to protect and defend all that is
Afrikan from anyone who seeks to subvert,
subjugate or destroy us.

Afrikan Womanhood

From the nation-building perspective of the


Ori-Ire and the Ten Cardinal Virtues, the
Afrikan Woman is the bearer and nurturer of
the race, the counselor of the nation, providing
leadership, purpose and vision for her children,
and stability for her family. She is a
companion of her mate and peers, and gives
respect and humility to her elders. She is
honest, receptive, loving, compassionate,
analytical, self-sacrificing, and supportive. Her
relationships are expressions of reciprocity.
Her humility and self sacrifice are examples of
her strength. She is nurturing and bonding and
in all ways a complement to the Afrikan Man in
general and to her Husband in particular. The
personality of the Afrikan Woman is a calabash
of many attributes, among them:

37
instrospection, spirituality and faith, humanity,
intuition, initiative and leadership, creativity,
ingenuity, courageousness, resourcefulness
and determination. She is the living
embodiment of Justice, Truth, Harmony,
Reciprocity, Righteousness, Balance and
Order. The Afrikan Woman provides political
leadership and economic support in
combination with the Afrikan Man; and goes to
war for the Afrikan family and Afrikan nation.

Afrikan-Centered Nation-building begins


with the family for it is within the family that
true nation-building begins. As Brother
Malcolm X stated, “The Black man in the
ghettos ...has to start self-correcting his own
material, moral, and spiritual defects and evils.
The Black man needs to start his own program
to get rid of drunkenness, drug addiction,
prostitution. The Black man ...has to lift up his
own sense of values.” As Afrikan Men and
Women, we must remember the Bibilical verse
that the Ancestors never forgot throughout all
of the toil of enslavement, and Jim Crowism,
but that we have turned our backs on in our
drive for material satisfaction and the desire to
be more American, or rather more like White
Anglo-Saxon Protestants; that verse is “ENVY

38
NOT YOUR OPPRESSOR AND CHOOSE NONE
OF HIS WAYS.”
You see, when envy rises up in you heart
and you seek to be one with that which you
know to be against your own good, you will
only be as your enemy; and you will hate your
Afrikan self just as he does. You will denigrate
your Afrikan self and insult your women and
children just as your oppressor does. Your will
heap contempt upon you own just as he does.
You will manifest an internal racist sentiment
against yourself which will be even more
powerful than the external racism that he
gives. By sowing the seed of imitating your
oppressor your will reap a thousand fold more
horrors against yourself than the Ancestors
ever experienced during enslavement. Always
remember you may plant one kernel of corn.
One small seemingly insignificant kernel of
corn. However, you will not reap only one
kernel of corn, but instead, you will reap a corn
stalk filled with hundreds upon thousands of
kernels, a far greater return on your
investment, no matter whether good or bad.
The Afrikan-Centered conceptualization of
Nation-Building stresses a need for a
reorientation of the Afrikan mind and a return
to your cultural center. As Dr. Frantz Fanon

39
stated so aptly, “Let us waste no time in sterile
litanies and nauseating mimicry. Leave this
Europe where they are never done talking of
Man, yet murder men everywhere they find
them, at the corner of every one of their
streets, in all corners of the globe. For
centuries they have stifled almost the whole of
humanity in the name of a so-called spiritual
experience... That same Europe where ...they
never stop proclaiming that they were anxious
for the welfare of Man: today we know with
what sufferings humanity has paid for every
one of their triumphs of the mind... Come then
we must find something different. We today
can do everything so long as we do not imitate
Europe, so long as we are not obsessed by the
desire to catch up with Europe. ...Let us...
create the whole man, whom Europe has been
incapable of bringing to triumphant birth ...Let
us not pay tribute to Europe by creating states,
institutions, and societies which draw their
inspiration from her. Humanity is waiting for
something from us other than such an
imitation, which would be almost an obscene
caricature.”
To attain this new vision there must be
social change, revolutionary social change.
Complete structural change in Afrikan society,

40
a new socialization from an Afrikan-Centered
world-view; the construction of a new social
system with social institutions which meet the
needs of Afrikan peoples, and the destruction
of the means of social control maintained by
the dominant group. But how do we do this?

AFROCENTRIC
SOCIOECONOMIC/POLITICAL ACTION

We begin to shape our existence by


understanding politics. When we understand
politics we then can begin to reconstruct
Afrikan Political Praxis & Action. Praxis is the
set of conventions, habits or customs which
are grounded in the world-view of the political
participant. The world-view of the participant
is shaped by a historical consciousness which
informs their actions through the examples
provided from their past which serve as guides
for current practice. Unlike the Eurocentric
conceptualization of praxis, the Afrikan
perspective views praxis as being informed by
and informing theory or ideas. Right praxis is
the foundation for right political action.
The postulates for doing politics are
grouped under three topics the Creation,
Maintenance and Decay of the political system.

41
Creation

1.Politics begins with an idea.

2.Politics means perceiving a common


need and sharing it.

3.Politics is talking toward action.

4.Politics is social action to satisfy


human needs using social facts.

5.A political act repeated becomes a


social relationship.

6.A social relationship that lasts is


made an institution by the
perceptions of the many.

7.Elites are formed when a few


monopolize access to values.

8.Legitimacy of elites comes from


deference produced by force and
awe. Thus Sovereignty lies with the
elite because of this relationship.

42
9.Political men seek to maximize their
values.

10.Political Organization is done to


protect what you have and to get
more.

11.Class and status are often based on


the distribution of knowledge.

12.Names make social relationships


more real.

13.Force helps to keep relationships


real.

14.Reification turns social relationships


into things. [Example: a Corporation
is nothing more than a social
relationship between its owners and
employees, by giving it a name such
as IBM, it becomes real in the minds
of the people. This is reification, to
make a thing of the unreal.]

43
Maintenance

15.In reified society people stay in line


and love it.

16.Elites in a stable society define


behavior, distribute roles, and
allocate rewards.

17.The meaning of a social event


depends on who looks at it; and the
elite dominate the defining of reality.

18.Perceptions of Us and Them begin


with the presence of an other.

19.Identification of self with national


interests becomes nationalism in an
international context of “Others.”

Decay

20.Revolution occurs when legitimacy


is undermined with visions of a new
social order.

44
Definition of Politics

Politics is a social act that attempts to


resolve the tension between human needs and
social facts. Needs such as food, security,
love, self-esteem, self-actualization. Social
facts are conditions that limit or support the
satisfaction of needs. The perception of
tension is political consciousness. Acting out of
this consciousness is politics. Politics begins
with an idea and must be understood through
ideas and the assumptions underlying those
ideas that fit political behavior. Therefore, be
aware of assumptions and take all of them
with a grain of salt. Once a relationship is
initiated by two or more persons to solve the
tension between social needs and social facts,
institutions which are nothing more than
patterns of behavior continued over time to
regularize an repeat problem-solving will be
formed. Politics thus is everywhere, wherever
people trade in human needs or package social
reality [Television, Sports, Music Industry,
Educational Institutions, Male/Female
Relationships].
Much of our conditioning is not in our
interest; it prevents us from recognizing our
human needs and using our own political

45
power to fulfill them. Such conditioning is in
the interest of people who already have
political power. Through family, the schools,
and official politics they impose their world-
view on us. Such training is called
“socialization”. It is the handing down of ways
of getting along in society. Such ways are so
designed so as not to challenge the powerful,
who already have the most of what any society
considers worth getting. To escape your
conditioning understand that there is no such
thing as a nonpolitical event. Next, know this:
WHAT YOU THINK IS WHAT YOU SEE.
WHAT OTHERS TEACH YOU TO THINK IS
WHAT YOU GET TO SEE.
Your mind processes only what it is
programmed to take in. It is programmed
through definitions. If I told you that politics is
the authoritative allocation of resources. And
then said list activities that you associate with
that definition, I will have done two things.
First, I will have limited what you take into
view as politics and second, I would have
caused you to see all politics as flowing from
the top down. I would have subtly shaped
your understanding so that you think it is nice
and right that some authoritative source
outside of yourself determine what amount of

46
resources you need. Definitions determine
what you think about. For if on the other hand
I said that politics was people getting together
to solve their problems, I have expanded your
view of politics and now you see it everywhere.

To recognize politics always


understand that there will be at least two
people involved, they will recognize a
shared need, and interact to satisfy those
needs. To analyze it even deeper note
who those people are, what are their
needs, what social acts do they engage in
and what social facts do they face.

Most of what we call politics is merely


symbolic politics: such as voting. The real
decision of who you will have the choice of
voting for has already been made by the elite
in the back rooms. The satisfaction of your
needs and the solving of your problems is not
a concern. If your needs have not been
satisfied and your problems have not been
solved politics has not occurred only the
symbol of politics has taken place and when
the symbolic act has ended you find yourself in
exactly the same place with the same unmet
needs and unsolved problems. The symbolic

47
political act in which you engage serve to reify
those social relationships which meet the
needs of the elite and solve their problems.
Just consider the elite nature of public policies,
and elite definition of problems and the elite
analysis of the source of problems: it is stated
that it is not society its the individual who is
the problem. This is maintained because to
change society is to alter power relationships
and endanger elite position.

Doing Politics

To do politics you must understand:

1.What are the rules of the game?


Rules of the game are the taken for
granted routines within which politics
is done in any community. Ask
yourself: how much of your life do
you spend obeying someone else's
rules of the game? Politics is what
happens when you try to change
the rules of game, not when you
abide by those rules, which are
not designed to satisfy your
needs and solve your problems.

48
2.What are the values? Values are
the goals individuals strive after.
Political values are the goals and
conditions that the system of politics
enshrines and is set up to protect.
Social Values are the goals toward
which society as a whole may strive.
To do politics you must determine
if the political and social values
are in the best interest of Afrikan
people and then act accordingly.
When you see that they are not
you must do politics which will
lead to the establishment of
social relationships which are in
the best interest of Afrikan
people.

3.What are the social and political


institutions which serve as the
resources for political actors?
Persons in power use social and
political institutions as resources of
power. Social institutions are
relationships set up long ago to
regulate the satisfaction of some
groups needs. Political institutions are

49
problem-solving relationships
solidified overtime into more or less
permanent organizations. Elites will
use class and status, political parties,
interest groups and government as
resources and this will matter and
carry weight with those who accept
the legitimacy of their position within
these resources. When you alter
your world-view and change your
perception of existing social and
political institutions and shift your
view to note the social and political
resources at your disposal this allow
you to effectively challenge and alter
power distributions. This is not
merely reform however, when viewed
from the perspective of the
relationship of the Afrikan masses
with the current holders of world
power.

Becoming Politically Consciousness

To do politics on the behalf of Afrikan


people, however one must become politically
conscious. There are five methods utilized to
keep you psychologically enslaved an thus

50
prevent this. These are one-dimensionality,
reification, alienation, stasis, and pathological
ideology.

1.One-dimensionality: of the mind is a


tendency to think that there is only one
way of solving problems or doing politics.
This causes us to see social facts as
inevitable conditions to which our needs
must always be submitted. We allow
ourselves to be submerged into someone
else's world-view and social reality. We
are taught to do this through the agencies
of socialization [Media, Family, Schools]
To fight it: develop your analytical skills
so that you can deconstruct or break down
all of reality and take nothing for granted.

2.Reification: is believing that a social


relationship such as social and political
institutions are more real than the men
and women who made them. Reification
is attempting to make something real or
concrete that is not. You take the unreal
and objectify it. To fight it: We must
dereify the language to expose the human
details that make social facts possible.
Then we will have deconstructed the

51
propaganda and political myths that are
all around us.

3.Alienation: is the psychic process by


which we become totally estranged from
our own needs and the hope of satisfying
them in our society. One-dimensional
thinking in modern society lead to
alienation where one feels happy and
therefore believes that one is living a truly
human life. This happiness is superficial
however, and only a mask for the failure
to satisfy ones needs. By accepting
society's popular media-advertised needs
and their satisfaction in the consumption
of consumer goods, people become
alienated from their real needs and
become identified and possessed by the
products that they buy, save for, own and
consume. Such alienation results in
perceiving all social values as personal
values and social facts as absolute
conditions of life. This leaves the
individual politically unconscious. To fight
it: Know yourself, and create your own
world. In the words of the Afrikan
Diasporan Psychologist Dr. Naim Akbar:
Structure your world so that you are

52
constantly reminded of who you are and
who you intend to become. Act in the
best interests of your community and
from the perspective of an Afrikan World-
view. You will then destroy alienation and
preserve your sanity.

4.Stasis: is the assumption that the state


of the world is steady and unchanging.
This leads to a rigidity in ones response to
social facts instead of a flexible and
perceptive adjustment, countering
changing conditions with changed
strategies. To fight it: understand the
cycles through which politics moves. They
are Externalization: Men create societies
as answers to needs. Objectification:
societies, once created, become social
facts that structure the daily lives of
individuals. Socialization: once created a
society is then presented to newcomers as
a reality to be accepted and learned.
Decay: when created societies fail to
satisfy human needs, men seek to
recreate them to meet the new needs.

5.Pathological Ideology: freezes the


mind into believing in one unchanging set

53
of values as eternal guides for proper
behavior. The rigidities of ideological
thinking often lead to racism and war.
Any condition is pathological which
prevents the individual from using social
facts to satisfy needs. There are two kinds
of pathological ideologies: pathological
idealism and pathological realism. The
Pathological Idealist focuses on ideas
the Pathological Realist focuses on
Action. The idealist is so idea oriented
that he neglects to consider the practical
issues necessary to bring them into
fruition. The realist so fixed on action that
when he obtains power the lack the ideas
to implement. Pathological realism lead to
power which corrupts and pathological
idealism leads to powerlessness which
corrupts. To fight it: take a critical stance
for action, by melding political idealism
and political realism.

The final step into political consciousness is


learning to critique political reality. This is
difficult to do because we are taught that it is
good (socialization). We accept its institutions
as if they were made by God Almighty
(reification). And, even in the face of

54
contradictory evidence, we believe we ought to
be happy in it (alienation) because this reality
is the only possible one (one-dimensionality)
and will always be around (stasis). How then
can we escape symbolic politics, and how can
we begin to rethink the world as it might be?

Critiquing Political Reality

To escape symbolic politics and to rethink


the world you must become a revolutionary
critic. You must step outside of your
perspective. This is a mental exercise, which
requires you to step to the periphery of daily
life onto a platform of ideas about the world,
against which you measure the performance of
the world. For the Afrikan on the Continent
and in the Diaspora that platform is an Afrikan-
Centered World-view.

By critiquing the existing social order from


an Afrikan World-view, and understanding
politics as the satisfaction of the tension
between human needs and social facts you
enable yourself to actually do politics. You can
now:

55
I. Know what you want (values based on
needs).

1.Determine to what extent your


values are related to human
needs.

2.Determine to what extent your


social situation or society is set up
to deny fulfillment of these needs.

II. Identify and mobilize your political


colleagues.

1.Find others who share your


perception of needs.

2.Persuade other to share your


perceptions.

3.Identify others who do not share


your perceived needs and who
cannot be persuaded to share
them; these are social facts
arrayed against you.

56
III. Determine how badly you want to
achieve your goals.

1.How important in your order of


values is the goal you are trying to
accomplish?

2.How committed are you to


working with others to reach your
goals?

3.To what extent are the values of


my political colleagues in line with
my own?

4.How committed are my political


colleagues to political action?

IV. Know where you are in political time


and space (socio-political institutional
environment.).

Political Time Location:

1.What social relationships have


been created for me that I cannot
affect?

57
2.What social relationships do I
partly control?

3.What social relationships am I


free to totally create?

Political Space Location:

1.How many resources can I muster


in relation to others-either those
who work with me or those who
work against me?

2.How much deference do I get, as


compared with others?

3.What is my relative access to


political institutions that might
work in my favor-compared with
the opposition's access to political
institutions that might work
against my goals?

V. Redefine the Rules of the Game-


Structure the political world to meet
your needs.

58
It is not enough however to merely critique the
existing political reality. To effect change
more must be done, but what?

Community Organizing Goals

We must organize the Afrikan Continental and


Diasporan community for social action at the
local, state, national and international level
and develop international coalitions within the
Global Afrikan community. There are four
reasons why.

People, Problems, & Power

1. Afrikan Community Organizing: brings


Afrikan people together to combat shared
problems and to increase their say about
decisions that affects their lives.

2. Afrikan Community & Economic


Development: occurs when Afrikan people
form their own organizations to provide a
long-term capacity to problem solving.

3. Afrikan Community Organizing: helps


Afrikan people overcome the feeling that

59
they face problems alone or that they are
to blame for their problems.

4. Afrikan Community Organizing: combats


the sense of helplessness Afrikan people
feel in dealing with the problems that
confront them.

Why Afrikan People Feel Helpless

1.Afrikan People feel powerless because their


problems are complex and require
knowledge they often lack.

2.Some Afrikans feel helpless because they


blame themselves for problems they did not
cause.

3.It is to the perpetrators advantage when


victims blame themselves. Blaming
themselves for circumstances they did not
cause makes many Afrikans helpless,
because they cannot respond constructively
until they admit that someone or something
else is at fault.

4.Fear of retaliation is a powerful explanation


for why many Afrikans people do not raise

60
their voices in protest. Those who have the
training to know care more about preserving
the crumbs they receive from the American
social structure than in the hell that is
delivered to the masses of Afrikan people.

5.In part, the reason people suffer in silence


and fail to protest is that they have been
taught that those in authority must be right
and questioning authority is wrong. Those in
charge, maintain their positions by claiming
they represent legitimate authority and
cannot and should not be challenged.

6.Even when Afrikan people earnestly want to


protest the conditions they live under and
solve the problems they face, they often
don’t know how. Many of our people have
little experience with or information about
the process of protest. The traditions of
protest are downplayed in the schools to
avoid threatening "the superstructure of
beliefs and rituals" that support those in
power.

7.Another reason why Afrikan people feel


helpless is that they are often economically

61
dependent on precisely those that are
causing them harm.

8.This state of perceived helplessness is


reinforced by the continuing reduction in
need for unskilled labor in America, which is
a product of industrialization, urbanization
and the internationalization of Corporate
power.

9.Finally, isolation often keeps Afrikan people


from organizing. People feel vulnerable
when they feel alone; they feel ineffective as
long as they are the only ones complaining.
One person can accomplish too little, and an
isolated individual is easy for the opposition
to pick off, defuse, or ignore. Sometimes it
is geographic location that causes the
problem. Afrikan people of the diaspora and
the continent have been informed by
Western Media an social institutions to view
their situations as separate and thus have
not noticed the congruencies that exist. The
strength and resources of the Global Afrikan
community are not noted particularly in the
United States where Afrikans view
themselves as a “minority” as opposed to
being a part of the Global Majority. This is in

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stark contrast to the actions of Elite
European and American interests which hand
in hand to maintain Western global
dominance. Social space also causes
isolation. For instance the social distance
between poor and so-called middle class,
between those educated in schools and those
educated by life experiences. These divisions
in the Afrikan community contribute to the
feeling of helplessness.

10.Community Organizing combats these


sources of powerlessness.

Community Organizing Is A Search For


Power

Let us understand that Afrikan community


organizing is a search for power. The political
development of the Afrikan community is the
goal. It seeks to place the Afrikan community
in a position of power and thus naturally
challenges existing power arrangements and
dominant groups, which benefit from Afrikan
political impotence.

1.Afrikan Community Development: involves


local empowerment through organized

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groups of people acting collectively to control
decisions, projects, programs and policies
that affect them as a community. It further
involves the linking of organizations
representing groups across the Afrikan world
to effect efficient change in international
power arrangements.

2.Afrikan Community organizing resolves many


of the sources of Afrikan powerlessness. It
works to end people isolation, to get them to
recognize shared problems as political rather
than personal; it confronts the myth that
decision-makers are right because they are
in power. Afrikan Community organizing
strives to build both the skills for self-
reliance and self-help and the capacity for
economic betterment. It helps protect
organization members from intimidation and
reprisal. Afrikan Community organizations
gather and focus information, pressure
government agencies, and demonstrate that
popular protest can be successful. All of the
aspects of political participation are viable
resources for the organized community. An
organized Afrikan community engages in
system reconstruction. It utilizes verbal
criticism; written criticism; petitions;

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picketing; marches; nonviolent
confrontation; obstruction of the vital organs
of society; nonviolent lawbreaking; and other
forms of political participation. The organized
Afrikan community is prepared for state
terrorism and equipped to defend itself. The
degree of violence is defined by state
reaction. Each successful group activity
makes Afrikan community members feel
more confident and competent about solving
their problems. It involves a struggle for
power, which is the ability to affect decisions
that shape social outcomes.

How Community Organizations Gain


Power

1.Afrikan Community organizations gain power


by taking control of the public agenda, by
using legal actions, expertise, and the threat
of force, and by harnessing the energies of
committed people. They question authority,
and their successes build more power.
Asking questions and debating policies imply
that authorities do not have legitimate and
exclusive control. To prevent such threats to
their power, authorities attempt to keep
many issues of interest to community

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organizations of the public agenda. Issues
can be kept from public discussion by
obscuring or redefining social problems as
personal ones.

A.Controlling the Agenda

1.People in authority try to control the


public agenda by non-decision
making. Non-decision making means
that crucial questions are not
contested because they do not come
under public scrutiny. It limits the
scope of actual decision-making to
"safe" issues by manipulating the
dominant community values, myths
and political institutions and
procedures.

2.Afrikan Community organizations


determine the issues to be discussed
publicly, turning non-decisions into
contested issues. Afrikan
Community organizations gain power
by calling attention to problems.
Setting an agenda does not ensure
victory, but it does deprive
authorities of the power they gain

66
from determining which issues will
be discussed.

B.Combating Personalization

1.Personalization is another way those


in power control the public agenda.
They argue that they represent the
general interest and that members of
community organizations, by
contrast, are concerned only with
their personal interests.

2.The first step in combating


personalization is consciousness
raising. It involves a sharing of
experiences to learn that what
appears personal is really political.
Discovering that a problem is shared
and socially caused rather than a
personal inadequacy is the first step
in gaining power.

C.Legal Authority, Expertise, and the


Threat of Force

1.Community organizations can gain


power through legal actions,

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expertise, and the threat of force.
Community organizations create
power when they use disruption,
such as public demonstrations, sit-
ins, and picketing, and other public
displays. However, disruption
achieves power only under certain
conditions. The amount of leverage
that a group gains by applying…
negative sanctions is widely variable.
Influence depends, first of all, on
whether or not the contribution
withheld is crucial to others; second,
on whether or not those who have
been affected by the disruption have
resources to be conceded; and third,
on whether or not the obstructionist
group can protect itself adequately
from reprisal. The use of force-
disruption- is dangerous for a
community group unless it is able to
protect its members from the use of
counterforce. Sometimes it is better
to try the hint of possible disruption,
rather than actually doing the deed.
Power is not only what you have but
also what the enemy thinks you
have.

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D.Power Created by Committed Members

1.The main source of power for most


Afrikan community organizations is
the number of members they attract
and the skills, enthusiasm, and
persistent dedication of the
membership. Afrikan Community
organizations can often achieve a
great deal with financial support
because community members
volunteer their time and energy and
risk their physical safety.

Building Power Gradually

The organized Afrikan community


understands that power is built gradually and
not in one gigantic sweep. The members are
committed for the long term and think in terms
of a historical consciousness which stretches
hundreds of years into the past and future.

1.Power is gained systematically.

A.Afrikan Community organizations


increase people's awareness that they

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share problems and that the solutions
are collective rather than individual.

B.The Afrikan Community organization


then addresses the problems faced by its
members.

C.As the organization becomes more


visible and associated with the successful
application of power, more people join.
They learn skills, generate enthusiasm,
and contribute to future successes that
enhance organizational power.

D.Participation in Afrikan community


organizations helps make Afrikan people
more politically sensitive and more
effective political actors. Participation in
protest leads to politicization. "Through
such protests…ordinary people construct
a broader analysis of politics: they shift
from a non-ideological stance to an
ideological stance, from defining
themselves as non-political to defining
themselves as political, from having a
deep faith in the established political
system to developing a critical political
analysis. This critical perspective…

70
creates the potential for grass-roots
activists to play a more active and
militant role." (Kraus, 1988) The more
people participate in community action,
the greater the future capacity to solve
community problems through political
action.

The Goals of Community Organizing and


Development

What are the goals of Afrikan Community


organizing?

1.The improvement of the quality of life,


through the resolution of shared problems.

2.The elimination of social inequities caused by


poverty, racism, and sexism.

3.Exercise and preservation of community


values as part of the process of organizing
and as an outcome of community
development.

4.Enabling people to achieve their potential as


an Afrikan people.

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5.The creation of a sense of community, in
which people can feel more efficacious, not
only as individuals, but as part of a broader
Afrikan society toward which they are
contributing to bring into being.

6.An equitable distribution of wealth and power


in society. To effectively develop the
economic capacity of the Afrikan community
the community organization must be
concerned with the economic and political
processes necessary for affecting rapid
structural and institutional transformations of
entire societies in a manner that will most
efficiently bring the fruits of economic
progress to the whole of the Afrikan
population. Effective socioeconomic change
requires either that the support of elite
groups be enlisted through persuasion or
coercion or that THEY BE PUSHED ASIDE BY
MORE POWERFUL FORCES. Economic and
sociopolitical development will often be
impossible without corresponding changes in
the social, political and economic institutions
of a nation [ such as, land-tenure systems,
educational structures, labor market
relationships, the distribution and control of

72
physical and financial assets, laws of
taxation, and provision of credit]

7.The means of accomplishing the goals must


be consistent with the ends desired.

The Solution to Problems

1.By working together in Afrikan community


organizations, Afrikan people can acquire
knowledge and power.

2.In solving problems, Afrikan community


organizations play mediating roles; that is,
they provide a link between individuals and
larger or more formidable institutions.

3.Afrikan Community organizations gain power


by aggregating individual concerns and
fragmented complaints and targeting them
to those responsible.

4.Afrikan Community organizations sometimes


solve problems by linking them together.

5.Afrikan Community organizations address


many different quality of life issues.
[Housing, Community Safety, Child Care,

73
Health Care, Cooperative Economic
Development]

Altering Resource Distribution Patterns

How do Community Organizations achieve


their goal of altering resource distribution
pattern?

1. Select Preference Goal [Objective] How


you define the problem impacts the
solutions that you choose.

2. Assess the relationship between the African


Communities influence for achieving its
objective & the resistance of the socially
dominant community whose policies it
wants to change. To determine the level
resistance of the dominant community it's
major interests must be defined.

3. Determine the methods through which the


dominant community can be influenced:

A.Obligation

B.Friendship

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C.Rational Persuasion

D.Selling

E.Coercion

F.Inducement

4. Determine the sources of African


Community Influence:

A.Money and Credit

B.Personal Energy

C.Popularity

D.Socio-political Standing

E.Control of Information

F.Legitimacy & Legality

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Analytical and Interactional Tasks of
Problem-Solving

1. Defining the Problem

A.Analytical Tasks:

1.Study and describe the


problematic aspects of the
situation.

2.Conceptualize the system of


relevant actors.

3.Assess what opportunities and


limits are set by the African
Community, for these will
determine what can be
accomplished.

B.Interactional Tasks:

1.Eliciting and receiving


information, grievances, and
preferences from those
experiencing the problem and
other sources.

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2.Building Structure

Analytical Tasks

A.Determining the nature of the


African Communities relationship
to the various actors involved.

B.Decide on the types of structures


to be developed.

C.Choose people for roles within the


new structures. Type of Roles:

Interactional Tasks

1.Establish formal and informal


communication lines.

2.Recruiting people into the


selected structures and roles and
obtaining there commitments to
address the problem.

77
3.Formulating Policy

Analytical Tasks

1.Analyze past efforts to deal with


the problem.

2.Develop alternative goals and


strategies, assessing their
possible consequences and
feasibility.

3.Selecting one or more for


implementation.

Interactional Tasks

1.Communicating alternative goals


and strategies to selected actors.
2.Promoting their expression of
preferences and testing
acceptance of various
alternatives.

3.Choose from the alternatives.

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4.Implementing Plans

Analytical Tasks

1.Specifying what tasks need to be


performed to achieve agreed-
upon goals, by whom, when, and
with what resources and
procedures.

Interactional Tasks

1.Marshall resources and put


procedures into operation.

5.Monitoring

Analytical Tasks

1.Designing system for collecting


information on operations.

2.Analyze feedback and specify


adjustments needed and/or new
problems that require planning
and action.

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Interactional Tasks

1.Obtaining information from


relevant actors based on their
experience.

2.Communicate findings and


recommendations and prepare
actors for new round of decisions
to be made.

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CONCLUSION

We must understand that we are not


talking about reform. This is no more reform
minded than was the Poor People's Campaign
initiated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As he
himself stated, “We are not interested in
being integrated into this value structure.
Power must be relocated, a radical
redistribution of power must take
place ...This means a revolution of
values ...We must see that now that the
evils of racism, economic exploitation and
militarism are all tied together, and you
really can't get rid of one without getting
rid of the others ....The whole structure of
American life must be changed ...We must
formulate a program, and we must
fashion the new tactics which do not
count on government good will, but
instead serve to compel unwilling
authorities to yield to the mandates of
justice ...Nonviolent protest must now be
adapted to urban conditions and urban
moods. Nonviolent protest must now
mature to a new level ...mass civil
disobedience ...There must be more than
a statement to the larger society, there

81
must be a force that interrupts its
functioning at some key point ....Let us
therefore not think of our movement as
one that seeks to integrate the Negro into
all of the existing values of American
society, but as one that would alter those
basic values.” These are not the words of
reform, but social revolution; not necessarily
violent, but revolution nonetheless.
When you begin to talk about altering
resource distribution, when you discuss
changing values, when you speak of disrupting
the functioning of society, you are talking
about thrusting yourself into the heart of the
struggle for power. When the exploited lifts up
their head and speaks of nation-building, and
challenges the exploiter, this is not reform it is
SOCIOPOLITICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC
REVOLUTION. Changing the system is often
violent and it is bloody because the holder of
power never goes quietly. Just look at U.S.
actions in Iraq perpetrated under the guise of
regime change and value reorientation. All of
this is in play right now: that is social
reconstruction-revolution from the outside
and it is not peaceful. That is how you alter an
intractable system: you do what the United

82
States did and has done, you prevent it from
operating.
We as Afrikans must keep in mind as well
that whether we acknowledge it or not we
have been in a perpetual state of social,
cultural, political and economic war with the
powers of Europe. Beginning in 700 A.D. and
ending in 1485 we fought with the European
Christians for control of the Iberian peninsula.
In 1485, after 785 years we began our last
stand in Grenada, Spain against the
Portuguese and Spanish. In 1492 we were
driven out and they did not stop there. They
immediately began to extend their reach into
Afrika and Asia and established and Afrikan-
Hindu Empire. In 1493 the Catholic Church
instituted the Asiento, which allowed the
Portuguese to transport enslaved Afrikans into
Spanish colonies. In 1512 King Emanuel of
Portugal announced in the policy plan the
Regimento, Portuguese plans on the conquest
of Afrika, couched in semantical terms of
humanitarianism. The document stated
that conquest would occur in three forms:
territorial, enslavement and acculturation.
The year 1513 saw the Italian Niccolo
Machiavelli write his treatise The Prince. The
book provides political philosophy on the

83
procedures for the successful conquest and
maintenance of states and conquered
territories, the establishment of colonies.
From 1518 to 1880 we have the Maafa, The
Great Suffering of Afrikan people under
European enslavement. In 1884 there is the
Partition of Afrika by European powers. From
1884 until 1994 there has been a constant
struggle on the part of the global Afrikan
population with European interests. A
perpetual state of war sometimes hot and at
other times cold. But war nonetheless. A
genocidal, terroristic war which utilizes law,
health care, and economics as the ultimate
Weapons of Mass Destruction.
And that war has increased in intensity
since 2001, with the open renewal of the policy
of colonialism and imperialism by the United
States and the United Kingdom under the
pretense of fighting terrorism as defined from
Western values and interests. And once again
the other European powers [France and
Germany] squabble with the U.S. & U.K. over
the utilization of the spoils of imperial conquest
and not over the morality of the issue.

84
As Afrikan Men and Women we must
use all viable options to protect ourselves
and our interests and thus provide a
brighter future for those yet unborn. This
is a necessity that all people must satisfy
or forever forfeit the right to be
considered Men and Women. You as a
generation must understand that you
HAVE A HISTORICAL MISSION THAT ONLY
YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH, AND THAT YOU
CAN EITHER FULFILL IT OR BETRAY IT.
As Afrikan Men and Women it is our
duty to build and protect our
communities, a duty that we ignore to our
and our future generations peril.
Enslavement and Colonialism were merely
dots on the map of Afrikan History: We
now must do what we have always done,
RECONSTRUCT OURSELVES, OUR
COMMUNITIES, OUR CIVILIZATIONS AND
ALLOW OUR LIGHT TO SHINE BRIGHTLY
FOR ALL OF OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS
TO GAZE UPON WITH GRATITUDE AND
PRIDE.

SALANIGAHLE
ASANTE SANA

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