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African People Must Nourish Pan Africanization
Rastafari Speaks Message Board

By Patriot Warrior
December 16, 2004

Greetings Everyone!

I think this topic is about the most important, depictive, as it is, of the general tendencies of the different ways of thinking about -- (and approach to) -- important matters of Afrikan Unity, among BOTH Diaspora and Continental Afrikans. Though there is NOTHING negative about "argument" in such matters and in such a way (on this board, that is, but even elsewhere in the "real" world, concerning these issues!), it shows, nevertheless, how very divided we still are, in general, despite our common "slogans", beliefs and even "platitudes" sometimes. It shows that our way is either still long or is no way at all, but a dead-end street!!

Unity Is Strength, and everyone knows that.

I'd first like to point out that we will never get anywhere -- (in the *real world*, I mean) -- if we keep pointing fingers at each other, or if we keep generalizing about each other's conditions or weaknesses of character/integrity/intellect etc; … I mean (mainly) concerning the conditions in which we live, but also the conditions under which we grow, under which we school, in which we live and the conditions perpetrating our personal ambitions & social fears ... There should be no favouritism in facing such issues, but I honestly believe Ayinde aptly expressed it by saying:
"Generally speaking, people are aware that change has to start from oneself, and if we are talking about Pan-Africans then it has to start within the body of people who claim these Pan-African ideas…

We cannot eradicate pseudo-white power and build a strong Pan-African body while fighting among ourselves because of all the poor ideas surrounding class, gender and color, which are usually tied to poverty, greed, false feelings of entitlement, and general low self-esteem. Many people who are not materially comfortable will attempt to satisfy personal needs and wants, above what is in the best interest of the collective (sell-outs) …

I am saying, Pan-Africanism must be values based, and the aforementioned issues must be addressed sooner instead of later. People have to be encouraged to become skillful and informed while working on their character. I emphasize character because all the issues to be addressed are really about integrity. It is for this reason Pan-Africanism is first about getting a grip on oneself, as the issues to be addressed by the collective are really the same for personal development."
Yes, indeed, Brother Ayinde!! … I'd also like to think the problem with most -- (i.e. BOTH Diaspora & Continental) -- Afrikans is that we usually hide behind our own PERSONAL fears and social insecurities in these discussions and, therefore, out in the real world also, and this will bring us NOWHERE really. We hide behind our faces. Most times, most of us are either "blind" to reality or not even honest to ourselves; to begin with, but just choose to be stubborn! It may bring us pride to show others that we know, are therefore educated, personal riches to flaunt or social security to live up a materially satisfied life, but what is that compared with the general erosion & corrosion of our Afrikan communities at large (and, therefore, even our own private minds!!!), where there's NO collective security but confusion?

Indeed, it would be naïve to underestimate the effects of colonialism and slavery on each of our personal Selves, the way we think and act etc, but so also would it be unfitting to limit these destructive effects to SOLELY mean: being caused by either colonialism or slavery and by nothing else. Pan-Afrikan Continental Afrikans may point a long finger at the apathy of Diaspora Afrikans, but I think that is equally balanced out when Pan-Afrikans in the Diaspora point an even longer finger at the ignorance of Continental Afrikans, (generally), the {elementary} "we-and-dem" type of thinking of most Afrikans on the continent of Afrika, which a Continental Afrikan would still throw back {!!} at those Afrikans in the Diaspora! …

This self-confusing "we-and-dem" thinking often means: "me and my nuclear family" or "me and my extended family" or "me and my village" or "me and my clan" or (at least for Afrikans in Afrika) "me and my tribe" or "me and my tribal culture" or (for those home and abroad) "me and my country" … everything else and everyone beyond the "me and so-and-so" -- (whether actually Afrikan or pro-Afrikan in description/content/meaning/appearance or not) -- is viewed with hatred or suspicion, deemed foreign, unnecessary and strange! … But can't we just extend all that "crap" to just "me and my fellow Afrikans", hopefully later on to "me and my fellow human beings"!?? … On the other hand, of course these attitudes are also found among Diaspora Afrikans in that they may take Continental Afrikans to be generally less smart, more unintelligent, slow, not fast, less articulate, uncivilised, ugly etc. and I - (personally) -- can therefore also understand why both cases are so, why these grudges exist. The question is: Are we -- at least here -- ALL above such general Anti-Afrikan prejudicial thinking? Are we READY?!!!

Of course it is even because of such attitudes, such divisions, in general, that Europeans/whites managed to conquer Afrika and are still conquering Afrikans -- both at Home and abroad, both in the physical-material world and in the mental, even the cultural, the personal-spiritual, the figurative sense …

I won't judge for someone else, but I for one honestly believe in the ABSOLUTE unification of Afrikans, irrespective of gender, social "class", shade/colour, religion, and any other "classicism"; actually, I believe in the oneness of all humanity! That is what I have learned! I believe that every society has that innate cultural potential to evolve itself, and that it has of course been due to "intrusive innovations" such as slavery & colonialism that this potential is at risk … We may be beyond the days of physical bondage/slavery or (broad-daylight) political colonialism, but what about economic slavery and mental colonialism?? Are our brains not shackled, our lands actually confiscated before our own eyes, our education systems foreign-planned and remote-controlled, cultures self-forsaken, languages near-forgotten????

To alleviate these disasters, that's where political unity comes into question: What political system is best suited for Afrika as a whole now, or how can we ALL unite?

I think we all have to realise that to unite ourselves all, we all have to bargain; it's a give-and-take thing: there may be something to "lose" by at least someone, but there will be a lot to gain by all. We must, I think, understand that the world has evolved and is never the same … (which we basically already do, anyway!). So also do cultures evolve and change. So also do people and their thinking (as a group). It is true that Afrika is very rich in both (physical) matter and culture: Afrika has minerals, oil, nature, wildlife, flamboyant flora and fauna, almost everything, a diversity of cultures and traditions, and Afrika STILL even has diversified traditional forms of religion, natural & ancient or otherwise.

I think we also have to understand that Christianity and Islam, being the two main religious cultures of the world (and wreaking havoc in Afrika!), already have a deep root in Afrika, and it won't be overnight that they can be replaced by, say, "indigenous" Afrikan religion (whatever "indigenous" there may mean!) or by the Rastafari Culture, Rastafari of course being the most pro-Black Way Of Life of the modern era, I would say, acceptable by millions of progressive Afrikans at home and abroad, BUT ALSO FROWNED UPON AND SHUNNED BY MANY INDIGENOUS (OR IGNORANT?) CONTINENTAL AFRIKANS AS WEIRD, CRAZY, FOREIGN, DOGMATIC etc, (SINCE IT GOES BY THE NAME *RASTAFARI*) or as being just another version of Christianity! Therefore, it can only take time, dedication & patience to iron out all these differences to a generally & universally acceptable Afrikan uniformity (i.e.: to conformity, a standard!).

On the other hand, though, I would like to believe that such a diversity may not be so easy to conceptualize, to actualize, to realise -- or ESPECIALLY to "tolerate" -- in politics; I mean it is sheer day-dreaming to believe our ideal Afrikan community has to be shaped on Western capitalism on the one hand (or in one part of Afrika) and on Eastern communism on the other (or in another part of Afrika), the two being the known absolute extremes … That is why I like the idea of "scientific socialism"; to me, it is a "very balanced idea" (as far as Afrika is concerned) … But what do we even understand by such terms as "capitalism", "communism" or "scientific socialism", in the first place?

I would like to think that the term "capitalism" has had no "variation" so far …

To me, "scientific socialism" is closest to the ancient Afrikan system of *communalism*!! In short, we may also say "collectivism", unity of purpose … I truly believe that each Afrikan culture and tradition has remnants of such a system: it is imbedded in every form of Afrikan culture & traditional way of life, depicted even in art, embodied in thinking &, therefore, in the original Afrikans themselves!!! My opinion is that anything else would be either impracticable or an illusion, perhaps a pipe-dream "experiment" or a big disaster … and we've already had so many experimental disasters in Afrika: Think of what Western-copied capitalism did to Mobutu's Zaïre, a country he ended up completely ruining and bankrupting after virtually "owning" it single-handed, with his system of open kleptocracy ... (It is often joked -- don't know how true that is -- that Mobutu often encouraged his ministers & civil servants not to steal too much, but to always "steal a little"!).

… To show just how arrogant Mobutu was, His Full "Names" (or "Titles") were: *Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa za Banga* (officially translated as "the all-powerful Warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest, leaving fire in his wake.") … !!!!!

Instead of "fire", he left poverty & disaster in his stakes!

The man *robbed* one of Afrika's RICHEST countries to a "pauper-republic" -- aided and abetted by American capitalism. Indeed, the CIA dirtily ousted Lumumba from power -- hunted and then slaughtered him after that -- for the same reason that the Americans wanted to control Afrika's largest deposit of minerals.

On the other hand, a country like Zambia -- under Kaunda -- with its VAGUE system variously called "Christian Humanism" and "One-Party Participatory Democracy", faired much better, but mainly because of Kaunda's personal honesty (and hardly due to what the system was called or made to "work" like!). Zambia is also very rich, WAS in fact the richest black Afrikan nation south of the equator at independence in 1964 (in terms of the economy, excluding South Afrika) and I think people say it is about the most "urbanized" country in Black Afrika today, after S/A … (whatever that means, which may really mean MORE crime and congestion in the cities, prostitution, AIDS, thuggery, gangsterism etc …. even if it is a sparsely populated country, on average, with one of the lowest population densities in Afrika) … [10 million people on an area of 752 614 km²] … but with the typical disastrous "Afrikan problems" anyone can ever think of or imagine!

Combined, Zambia and Zaïre -- which really should have been ONE & THE SAME COUNTRY due to the rich deposits of minerals they SHARE in the Katanga/Copperbelt region -- have the world's largest deposits of copper and cobalt and nickel and Zinc and etc .. & have, I think, also large deposits of iron/steel and also gold, silver etc. In the case of Zaïre, the country has the world's largest uranium and plutonium deposits, I think; indeed, more than 80% of uranium used in the two atomic bombs -- harmlessly dubbed "The Little Boy" and "The Fat Man" -- dropped by the Yankees on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was extracted from Zaïre's heavily-guarded uranium mine at Shinkolobwe, so the story goes …

I would say Julius Nyerere of Tanzania (or Tanganyika & Zanzibar) has had the best system in Afrika after independence from colonial rule so far -- "Afrikan Scientific Socialism" -- and this can be seen in the cultural-educational and political stability the country has enjoyed (even though Zambia has also had this political and cultural stability; only, in a different way) ... Nyerere was an Afrocentrically balanced man! They called him "Mwalimu", meaning "The Teacher"! Nyerere made Swahili the national official language of Tanzania, English the second, and it is still so. Swahili is still the official language spoken even in parliament, in the schools etc! An exception in Afrika!! I would say that was a wise decision!!! … For LANGUAGE IS POWER!

Those were only "extreme" examples I chose to give: from my own point of view.

In conclusion, I must say it has been interesting for me to observe and notice that the various nationalities of (Continental) Afrikans I've had the opportunity to meet -- so far -- have generally been reflected through the type of socio-political systems existent or formerly existent (at the material time) in their respective countries, systems under which they grew up in Afrika and the European cultures they were brought up in, and I have found this to be "amusing", … and to be very true with MOST Continental Afrikans I've met abroad! Sometimes, though, this "reflection" has been "inverted": meaning, for example, that those who grew up under dictatorships became more politically sensitive, caring, responsible and patriotic in their adult life, in the way they act!

With certain other Afrikans, it is just hard to say.

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