HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY
A Pan African 12-STEP MODEL
FOR AFRICANS, EUROPEANS & OTHERS
MARVIN X (El Muhajir)
(c) 2007 by Marian M. Jackmon Foundation
POB 1317, Paradise Ca 95967
Marvin X agent for bookings: sun in leo, inc., muhammida @suninleo.com
We thank Dr. Nathan Hare for suggesting using the 12-step model to organize community mental health peer group sessions. Thanks to Suzzette Celeste, MSW, MPA, who along with Dr. Hare, facilitated Black Reconstruction, the pilot model of the mental health peer group sessions at our Recovery Theatre in San Francisco. Thanks to my daughter, Muhammida El Muhajir, for suggesting expanding my original essay into book form. Thanks to Ptah Allah-El (Tracy Mitchell) for suggesting the sections on detox and discovery. And finally, thank you Hurriyah Asar for your hospitality enabling me to begin writing this manuscript.
To the following for making my Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality book tour a success: Muhammida El Muhajir, Nisa Ra, Suzzette Celeste, Travion Cotton, Paulette Johnson, Phil Johnson, Amira Jackmon, Sonia Sanchez, Mr. and Mrs. Amiri Baraka, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Bullins, Askia Toure, Tony Vander Meer, Dana Rondel, Miles McAfee, Viola Plummer, Baba Lumumba, Dalani and Songhay, Sankofa Books, Wash. DC, Sam Anderson, Shomburg Library, Harlem NY, Robb at the University of Penn, Robbin’s Book Store, Philly, Lamont B. Steptoe, Rudolph Lewis; Wake Up, WBAI, NYC, Ariel Fernandez, Justin ‘Soul One‘ Bedford.
Detoxification from White Supremacy
Step 1: We are not powerless over self-hatred, racism white supremacy thinking but our lives have become unmanageable
Step 2: We have come to believe that a power within ourselves can restore us to sanity
Step 3: We have made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God
Step 4:We shall make a searching and fearless moral inventory
Step 5: Admitted to God within and without the exact nature of our wrongs
Step 6: We are entirely ready to have God remove defects of character
Step 7: We humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings
Step 8: Make a list of all Africans and others we have harmed
Step 9: Make direct amends to such people
Step 10: Continue to take personal inventory
Step 11: Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God
Step 12: Carry the message to the Pan African world and other humans in the global community
Step 13: Discover Pan African consciousness and join the cultural revolution
Toward A Pan African Mental Health Peer Group
A few years ago, I called upon Dr. Nathan Hare, our esteemed sociologist and clinical psychologist, and author of the classic The Black Anglo-Saxons, to establish a mental health group we decided to call Black Reconstruction. Along with Dr. Hare, the group was facilitated by social worker, Suzzette Celeste, MSW, MPA. The group took place at my Recovery Theatre in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district (see the film Pursuit of Happyness). Before the group sessions were disbanded for several reasons, including logistics and promotion, we discovered a few things. One, the group should have been divided into the severely mentally ill and the functionally mentally ill, although the dual diagnosed (those with mental and drug problems) could attend either session, for many times the drug addict and mentally ill are indivisible personalities. Two, Dr. Hare concluded such mental health peer group sessions should be established in every community nationwide. And I add worldwide. A mental health worker need not be present, but following the 12-step model of AA, let the peers facilitate the session, since there are simply not enough mental health workers to serve the population of mentally disabled persons. The US Surgeon general estimated 20% of Americans are mentally ill. Three, although the Pan African community suffers the brunt of mental disorders caused by oppression, “situational disorders” as Dr. Franz Fanon called them, when whites attended, we saw they too suffer and could participate since much of oppression does not discriminate --and more importantly, the colonizer is as mentally ill, if not more so, than the colonized. The victimizer with his boot on the neck of the oppressed is sick with the idea of domination. So, yes, racism has affected more blacks than whites, but middle and lower class whites are an exploited economic class as well. Capitalism and imperialism do not discriminate--all workers are exploited and they are programmed into the virus of consumerism wherein their paltry wages acquire the cheap goods of a materialistic society. Half the goods they acquire are not needed, but the workers and their children are programmed by persistent advertising, often of a subliminal nature. And there is only a matter of degree between the exploited white worker and the black worker. For sure, there yet lacks wage parity, for blacks and women. Yes, a white worker with a prison record can get a job quicker than a black worker with no police record, but once on the job, the white worker is exploited none the less and suffers mental trauma as well. His white skin does not save him from wage slavery and the resultant psycho-social diseases, including drug abuse, partner violence and child abuse, emotional if not physical. Nevertheless, our main focus is healing the Pan African community, those descendants of slavery and colonialism throughout Africa, Europe and the Americas. This book should also have relevance to the Muslim world, Arabs in particular, who suffer as well the ravages of colonialism and neo-colonialism. Yes, Muslims and Arabs suffer from the trauma of white supremacy as the West devours their oil fields and other resources, and permits reactionary regimes to flourish in spite of their anti-democratic behavior.
The ravages of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism (including domestic colonialism) necessitate the formation of Pan African mental health peer groups throughout Pan Africa, whether on the continent, Europe, Caribbean and the Americas, especially North America. Let us all come together in small groups for peer healing sessions.Radical Pan African mental health peer groups can be a powerful antidote to help heal the lingering, traumatic effects of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. We can see throughout Pan Africa that even when we advance politically and economically, the scourge of cultural imperialism causes mental retardation of a kind that produces stunted men and women who might otherwise continue the radical freedom agenda, but yet (and often in the name of revolution) continue reactionary behavior and practices no different from their former masters. We label such behavior white supremacy, even if it is now black face white supremacy. In the Caribbean they call it, “Black men with white hearts.” Indeed, such behavior is a disease of the heart, of the spirit, and thus no amount of political/economic liberation will suffice--we cannot live on bread alone, but our wretched mental condition stifles real progress toward that divine state of mind wherein we are free of tribal, ethnic, religious and cultural hatred, strife, desires of domination, exploitation, greed and lust for power, i.e., white supremacy. The advantages and positives of Western civilization do not outweigh the sordid and vile behavior we have inculcated and practice with each other, and thus the time has come to make radical changes as we advance into the new millennium, personal changes in our spiritual consciousness that will transform our political, economic and social behavior. Yes, we are in the era of high technology, but our behavior is often of a bestial nature, for we have lost the civility and serenity of the natural order, even the animals display personalities more at peace than we so-called evolved human beings. As we became urbanized, we are no longer cognizant of natural love for each other and the planet we share with animals and plants. Many city children have never touched an animal, a cow, horse or chicken, a duck, a bird. We may teach gender equality, but we see in the animal kingdom there is leadership based on gender, sometimes the male but often the female. So as we evolve we might need to refer to the animals for wisdom and knowledge of how configure society that lessons psycho-social destabilization that has brought us to the present need for this discussion of how to remedy the most pressing political, economic, social, and spiritual issue of our time: white supremacy.
Contrary to President Bush, oil is not America’s number one addiction, rather it is the disease of racism or white supremacy which pervades and poisons every fabric of American and western society. White supremacy also affects African, Asian and Latin culture, thus it is a global phenomena, administered through the economic institution of capitalism and imperialism. It is not purely economic but cultural as well. The virus of white supremacy is spread through cultural imperialism, or the imposition of western culture upon the subject peoples, and of course western culture is by the nature of power relationships, the superior or dominant culture, all other cultures being inferior and relegated to the lower rung on the ladder of civilization. The culture of white supremacy has the self-endowed duty to civilize all other cultures, especially those it has colonized or recently allowed to step up to the more modern stage of neo-colonialism, wherein such cultures exercise a modicum of independence but yet remain shackled to the master culture, economically and psychologically. For the most part they remain enslaved to the western free market system which at best enables them to become wage slaves and consumers of crass materialism and partakers of reactionary spirituality or more precisely religiosity, wherein the myth-rituals of western civilization maintains it grip on their psyche and physicality: their minds and bodies become captives of the western model of reality and the metaphysical. The people subjected to white supremacy allow themselves no opportunity for original thinking, or thinking out of the box, for they have never seized the opportunity to consider another world view or national view, only the views of the Mother country (the white supremacy global rulers) have relevance. The people have been totally brainwashed into the addiction of white supremacy, to the extent that they wear clothing with corporate brand names, advertising their acceptance of economic and cultural imperialism. It never occurs to them to wear clothing with their names or indigenous brands. Even after the 60s naming rituals, most African Americans continue calling themselves by European names, although they try a little originality, now and then, especially in the southern area or dirty south. Recently Bill Cosby suggested they were wrong to exercise this degree of originality, disclosing his own ignorance rather than theirs. Why do they not have the human and divine right to name themselves, why should they continue disclosing their slavery heritage--why can’t they think out of the box of cultural imperialism, break the chains after centuries of putrid degradation.
The western ideal is the creation of cogs in the wheel of capitalism, to produce a population of wage slaves for life who, after being trained through mis-education, will dutifully report to work and retire broke with a combination of illnesses that prepare them for the grave at the earliest possible date after retirement. The wage slaves barely achieve a living wage thus they are often unable to maintain health insurance or the wherewithal to ever consider and certainly not to achieve economic independence.
The minority workers never achieve economic parity with their white brothers and rarely break through the glass ceiling to become the boss or CEOs of their corporations, for after all, white supremacy is a family affair, and the African proverb says, “One white dog will not bite another white dog.” Yes, the old boys club protect their own, of late allowing the entry of their women, although they too lack parity with their brothers and fathers, although they have surpassed minorities in their pseudo claim of minority status, thereby becoming the greatest beneficiaries of affirmative action, after which their brothers and fathers have done all in their powers to eliminate the affirmative action agenda. After calling for black power in the 60s, black men, for the most part, never achieved such power but fell behind white and black women educationally, economically and politically. And one might say they fell behind psychologically and spiritually, for today they exhibit great mental damage and evidence of retardation in self image and self realization, while black women advance on every level except having their man as an equal partner or even as unequal partner, for the black women seems to be forced into a go-it-alone policy or seek men outside her ethnic circle, for her man exhibits traits of arrested development, considering himself some kind of pimp, gangster or romance idol, but certainly not the spiritual and economic equal of his woman. While she acquires advance degrees, he is more than often caught riding dirty and endures jail and prison rather than experiencing the joy of life with his natural mate. He returns from prison to sometimes infect her with HiV/AIDS and other prison acquired diseases, and even if he is lucky enough to enter college, he often turns homosexual or seeks a mate out of his ethnic group, thus becoming a diminishing possibility for creating the next generation of his people.
Please do not think I am pessimistic, for I am not. I am a revolutionary, thus I am confident we shall win no matter how dire the circumstances appear. We come to this day from centuries of oppression, white supremacy and the resultant degradation, psychological trauma and economic exploitation wherein we as slave workers produced the surplus capital of the western world. Yes, we have been and still are the donkeys and mules of the world, but through the process of decolonization which is first and foremost a mental process, then a physical reality, we shall arrive back through the door of no return. It is a process we can overcome by taking the twelve steps that have proven so successful in drug recovery, for after all, the colonized and the colonizer both suffer from the addiction of white supremacy, a drug more powerful than heroin, meth, crack and alcohol combined.
White supremacy is a drug so pervasive even when we think we are cured, the ravages and residue appear, affecting our thinking and behavior, our social relations and interaction in the home, on the job, at religious worship and social and cultural events. In short, this drug is sometimes tasteless, colorless, yet cunning and vile. We think we are cured, yet a slip of the tongue proves the illness has reappeared, often suddenly without the slightest indication.
We could go on forever discoursing on the ravages of white supremacy. But our objective here is to give the tools of recovery, twelve steps we can take personally and collectively in peer group sessions in the home, on the street corner, at the barber and beauty shops, in the church or social clubs, bars, schools and colleges, in jails, prisons and the workplace. If we do not get a grip on this addiction, the ultimate alternative is violent revolution, something no one in their right mind would want to imagine, let alone enact. But there comes a point in the course of human events when enough is enough, and I dare say we are rapidly reaching that point in our human relations across this planet. We are either going to learn how to exist together as equal human beings, or divine beings in human form, or we will find the earth a place of utter destruction and warfare between ethnic, cultural and economic groups--yes, class struggle may indeed by the next world struggle, the poor against the rich, the haves against the have not’s. This can indeed be a wonderful world, but the ruling powers and the ruled must be prepared to achieve parity in the form of economic justice and cultural respect. White privilege or white supremacy must be eradicated from the face of the earth at the earliest possible date for the peace of the world. Such reactionary and die hard thinking must be eliminated from human discourse and interaction, and this must occur on the institutional and personal level. All forms of domination must be destroyed in human interaction, international relations and personal relations, including male/female relations. Women of intelligence will not be under the rule and domination of ignorant men nor men of intelligence, but desire to be equals in all matters that require equal planning and action. They can certainly be equally as useful in the eradication of white supremacy, for do not women encourage men to acquire for them the material goods produced by white supremacy economic institutions? How long would white supremacy stores and malls survive without goods bought at the encouragement of women? Do not women demand men go to work at wage slave jobs to pay their pussy bill, to feed their children. What if women demanded men boycott work until white power institutions fall or democratize.
WHITE SUPREMACY DEFINED
White supremacy can be any form of domination, whether stemming from religious mythology and ritual, or cultural mythology and ritual, such as tribal and caste relations. White supremacy is finally a class phenomena, the rich against the poor, thus the process of recovery must include a redistribution of global wealth, for there is no doubt that the rich became rich by exploiting the poor, not by any natural inheritance or superior intelligence. White power was achieved by military power, by war, the use of guns and the spread of diseases throughout the world, by a subtle and not so subtle spread of religious propaganda that taught the cultural superiority of the oppressor and the inferiority of the oppressed. Even language was used as an instrument of oppression, for the white supremacist forced the subject people into speaking and thus thinking in his language, thinking like him, forcing the subject people into psychological trauma of the most subtle kind, for language is logic, thus the people find it a most difficult task to think out of the box, even the concept of freedom becomes only possible inside the box, for freedom is difficult to imagine outside the box, by the very nature of the linguistic challenge. Ask African Americans does freedom mean independence, sovereignty, self-determination, or does freedom mean a good job, the right to vote, the right to die in wars for the spread of imperialism or white supremacy. Do we not have rights as cultural beings to conceive and configure a society to our benefit and satisfaction, yes, a society perhaps totally separate from this white supremacy nation. Why must we be subjected to the wrath of America’s enemies, to whom we have not injured or harmed in any way. If anything, America has demonstrated she is the enemy of African Americans. Certainly her treatment of African citizens during Katrina is but the most recent example. The abuse and neglect Africans suffered during that hurricane amounts to terrorism of the most wretched kind, and who can deny we deserve a better society. If a wife had a husband who abused her like American white supremacy abuses African Americans, the wife would file for divorce and it would be granted immediately, especially when the wife catalogued the long chain of mistreatment. Should not North American Africans take America to the world court, should we not file suit that we have been wronged by the ravages of white supremacy, economically exploited, miss-educated, spiritually duped by religious mythology and ritual? Or shall we reason together, reconcile our profound differences, try the simple twelve steps before this nation and this world is torn asunder. Willingly or unwillingly, the world powers must recover from their addiction to white supremacy or the peace loving peoples of the world must forcefully dismantle this organization of global terror and the myriad institutions that support, maintain and benefit from it. We can come together as peers and reason together or we can meet on the battlefield and clash like wild beasts, but recover we must, and it must happen sooner than later. The choice is yours and your children. The right way is clearly distinct from error. And finally, recovery is the mission of the people, for if and when the people recover their mental and spiritual equilibrium, white supremacy must and will be defeated. As Fidel Castro has told us, the weapon of today is consciousness. I must add that it is spiritual consciousness, the mighty power to be in this world but not of this world that shall save humanity from destruction. It is the power to overcome all illusions such as white supremacy, black supremacy, yellow supremacy or any other form of domination, political or personal, religious or sexual. The time has arrived for spiritual beings in human form to free themselves from the mental and physical bondage of reactionary forces from whatever source they may derive. Let us declare ourselves free in the name of our Higher Power, the Creator, Sustainer and Maker of us all. As Marcus Garvey taught us, the Pan African world has one aim, one God, one destiny, the liberation of our lands and people. We begin this journey by coming together in unity to heal each other, to learn love and respect for ourselves and others. Evil, hatred, injustice, domination and exploitation cannot survive in the face of love, truth, justice and righteousness.
Peace unto you,
Marvin X (El Muhajir)
1 May 2007
Beaufort, South Carolina
Detoxing White Supremacy
Prior to our attempt at recovery from the effects of the addiction to white supremacy, we need to consider detoxification, to rid the body and mind from the toxicity of decades under the influence of racist ideology and institutions that have rendered us into a state of drunkenness and denial. Many of us are convinced we have no problem with racism and/or white supremacy. Some say we love everyone, but would not be pleased with our son or daughter marrying out of the ethnic group. There are those of us who think Africans or Caribbean blacks or Mexicans are taking all the jobs, all the housing, although many of the jobs we would not consider doing, much of the housing being occupied by Latinos we consider too ghetto to live in. So we suffer clouded thinking or stinking thinking as they say in the drug recovery community.In short, we need to detox to clear our minds in preparation for the recovery process. Detox may involve some form of isolation and meditation, any method that would separate us from the friends and family that has been the cause of our psychosis, that break with reality that has our life confounded and delusional. We may need a radical dietary change as many of the foods have a negative bio-chemical effect on our thinking and hence actions. It could be the white sugar, white flour, hormone fed beef and chicken, mercury filled fish, genetically altered fruits and vegetables that we need to eliminate from our diet so we can think with a better chemical balance, especially as it affects our central nervous system. Perhaps we should spend a week or two or three in retreat from the stress of daily life so we can ponder the ill effects of our thinking on social interaction, so we can relax and seriously consider the recovery program that awaits us. Some may want to fast and/or pray while in the detox stage, but hard thinking is in order before peer group interaction. For sure there will be denial, arrogance and superior attitudes, even feelings of inferiority may be expressed, so let’s do some preparation and self thought before we expose ourselves to group thought, then perhaps we can enter the group with more confidence and seriousness. Let us prepare to rid our minds of thoughts that engender hatred in the family, in the community, nation and global village. We must consider not only the humanity of each other but our divinity. As my poem What If says, “What if God is the brother you hate, the sister you hate, the mother and father you hate, the dope fiend you hate, the Mexican you hate, the African you hate, the Jamaican you hate, the so-called Negro you hate, the white man you hate, what if what if what if….” Finally, detoxing from white supremacy should prepare us to consider the economic system that has brought so much pain and suffering to the world, especially to the majority that has not benefited from the blessings of the so-called free market system that seeks cheap labor and the production of cheap goods for the consumer driven economy. We should detox from the desire to possess things upon things for no other reason than greed and selfishness. We should consider that most of the world has no electricity or clean drinking water. The citizens of America should consider why they are only 4% of the population yet consume 25% of the world’s energy. Consider what feelings of anger this might engender in the poor and dispossessed around the world, and why they may want to attack America who cares nothing about them except as sources of cheap labor, cheap natural resources and markets to expand capitalist or imperialist domination, otherwise known as white supremacy.
TOWARD A PAN AFRICAN 12-STEP MODEL
The following Pan African 12-Step Model is not to be taken as an alternative to the global democratic socialist revolution. Some form of market economy is necessary whereby people can buy and sell with a degree of freedom, but also with discipline so that human greed can be checked. The capitalist free market with the overriding desire for cheap labor, cheap resources, often obtained at the price of unprovoked wars, is totally unacceptable. We do not want capitalist slaves nor socialist slaves, but spiritually conscious human beings who work for living wages and fair prices for their natural resources and consumer goods. The 12-steps are merely the beginning of the process toward a radical transformation of the global village. They are the initial steps toward freeing the human spirit from the insanity of materialism and spiritual or religious backwardness. While Christian and Muslim religious fundamentalism may sound good, it does not appear to contain the necessary steps that will take us forward into the new millennium but rather backward into dogmatism, primitivism, sectarianism and other forms of reaction rather than radical progress toward a bright future for human civilization. To fight the forces of reaction will take radical thinking and action, and this can only come about when people have grappled with the social-psycho pathology of oppression, when they have taken inventory of the traumatic effect of exploitation on their psyche, why they need to stay medicated with legal and illegal drugs, to remain addicted to religiosity, to follow any false prophet for profit who arrives on the scene with dramatic techniques surpassing Shakespeare. Ultimately, we must dismantle the political-economic systems that have us at war throughout the world, and replace them with systems that can allow the human spirit to explore the infinite possibilities of the universe. Will this take revolution, we only know that the reactionaries will never put down their butcher knives, they will never turn into Buddha heads, as Mao taught, so after detox and recovery, we must be prepared for discovery, the stage wherein we see the absolute necessity of cultural revolution, the complete revamping of the present social, economic, and political institutions that are driving us toward world war, that have us at each others throats within nations, ethnic groups, communities and families. Cultural revolution is simply brining into reality a new way of life that is radical, vital and healing. The present situation, spearheaded by the military/petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex, is the death of life, for it kills while it feeds and heals, and we can configure a better way than more food and yet more sickness and death. Cultural revolution involves insuring clean thoughts and clean drinking water for starters. Clean thoughts is anathema to the cultural imperialists, to a wicked society that sells filthy magazines, films and books throughout the world. And clean water would decrease diseases the petrochemical/pharmaceutical industry profits from--and who would want to deprive such merchants of their profits in the free market economy? So detox, recover and discover. Pan Africa unite, peoples of the world unite. Take these twelve steps and begin the journey toward a new life, for we know that when we do the right thing surely the Most High is with us, for the Creator is those foot prints in the sand when we were no longer walking and could not carry ourselves. Thus, if we stay on the right path, we shall arrive at the destination the ancestors sang about and danced in praise of around the village fire.
We admit we are powerless over self hatred, racism and white supremacy thinking, and our lives have become unmanageable, partly because we live in denial.On the contrary, if truth be told, we are not powerless over anything, but have the power within ourselves to overcome any force in the universe that is not in harmony with the Higher Power without and within ourselves. We are only powerless when we deny who we are and do not recognize we exist in harmony with the universal spirit of peace, justice and mercy. White supremacy is an illusion in the minds of those who believe it and those who accept the scam. Nothing has power over you except when you allow it to have such power. Thus, we should not blame the president, congress, corporations or any other institutions because it is we who allow them to carry on business, and if we did not give them the power they would disappear overnight like a bad dream, but we support white supremacy by supporting its institutions, working its jobs, buying its goods, attending its houses of worship, then get angry because we feel useless, helpless, depressed, confused, etc. Yet we have allowed ourselves to be deceived, used and abused, for we have given power to those who despitefully use and abuse us. What can the wicked husband do to the good wife that she doesn’t allow him to do? She has the power to separate and divorce him. She has the power to flee in the night. Should we then blame the wicked husband or blame her for allowing wickedness to consume her life? Thus, the problem with you is not white supremacy, the problem with you is you! You continue buying a bogus bag of goods and then when you get home you wonder why the food in the bag is no good, rotten fruit fit for the garbage can.So yes, we need to admit our lives are unmanageable, but only because we refuse to exercise the God given power to manage ourselves, but allow other forces to take over our existence: we become slaves to racism because of our refusal to stand up and face it toe to toe. We have forgotten the faith of our ancestors who were determined to be free by any means necessary. We accept injustice on the job, at the church, in the home because we are cowardly beings not worthy of the name human and certainly not of the name divine, though that is our essence, divinity. After all the blood we shed in Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, why are we yet today victims of white supremacy exploitation, pimped downtown and uptown by blood sucking merchants who refuse to employ us, yet we are the reason for their existence. If we boycotted them one week they would be out of business, yet we want to blame them for exploiting us, no, blame ourselves, and thank them for teaching us a valuable lesson: don’t allow ourselves to be pimped, yes, refuse to be nappy headed hos. Refusing to be called a ho is one matter, but to act like a nappy headed ho is quite another. Don’t say you are against white supremacy when you buy the goods of white supremacy. No matter how high gas prices get, you have no intention to protest, but you will kill your brother if he jumps in front of you in the gas station line, yet you won’t protest or boycott Shell, Exxon, and Mobile when they report their multi billion dollar quarterly earnings. So you are either ignorant or simply in denial that you support white supremacy, just as you are constantly reacting to white supremacy police when they kill a brother in the hood, but while brothers are killing each other nightly in the hood with guns and bullets bought from white supremacy gun sellers, you don’t protest. You refuse to organize peace patrols in your community, but are satisfied to attend funeral after funeral of neighborhood children, even your own sons and daughters. Come out of your slumber, come out of your sloth, you can and must manage your existence, you can and must erase white supremacy thinking from your heart and mind. Go somewhere and sit down to think seriously how you can configure a beautiful life for yourself and your family. Think about resisting the devil so he will flee from you. Think about putting on the armor of God or your Higher Power under whatever name.
We have come to believe that a power within ourselves, for we are within God and God is within us, can restore us to sanity, freedom and self-determination, independence and nationhood as a Pan African people, as spiritually conscious human beings.Nothing can help us until we are ready to help ourselves. Even God tells us we must take the first step, then He will take ten. I was recently called upon to give refuge to a young man who was about to get killed by rival thugs in the hood. His family members were certain he was about to lose his life on the streets, but at first the young man didn’t want to leave the hood, even after he came close to death after his rivals almost killed him in a car chase. He still wanted to stay in the hood and “be a man.” But finally I convinced him to leave town with me. I told him if he would only take the first step, God would do the rest. He said he had no money, but I told him to take the first step, that money would come to him. Finally he departed with me to my writing retreat in the country. After a few days his uncles arrived with money for him. Of course he wanted to know why they had not been there before now, but I told him better late than never. As I was about to leave on an east coast book tour, I suggested he come with me, especially since he had never been out of Berkeley. I thought it would be an educational journey for him, so he agreed and we made arrangements for him to join me on the rode. Soon we were flying across country, although when the plane hit turbulence he nearly jumped out of his seat. I told him turbulence is like life, for life sometimes has turbulence but we must ride it out, be calm, don’t get excited and it will soon pass. Finally we arrived on the east coast and the tour began in Philly, then Newark, Brooklyn, Boston before he had to return to the west coast for a court date. But in a matter of days he had received a new lease on life, had visited the University of Penn, Amina and Amiri Baraka’s house, Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, radio stations in New York, New York City Hall, and in Boston he met playwright Ed Bullins and poet Askia Toure, legendary founders of the Black Arts Movement. In fact, he videoed the tour for a coming documentary on the Black Arts Movement. He got to see, for the first time, Brooklyn, Harlem and downtown Manhattan. All this happened because he took one step, because he said yes to life and no to death. Surely, he will never be the same, only because he took the first step. And so it is. We must call upon that power within us to restore us to sanity, to cast away our fears, the inferiority complex we have allowed to master our soul as a result of believing the white supremacy hype. We must call upon the power within and the Higher Power without, call it God, Allah, Jesus, Jah, whatever, whomever, just know we must tune into the source of spiritual power to overcome our addiction to white supremacy that has us disunited, hateful, selfish, greedy, with hearts full of evil and murder. In such a state of mind, how can we be successful in life, certainly we are in no condition to love or to be loved. We are a wretched wretch and of no good to ourselves or anyone else. In such a mental state, we cannot think of freedom, justice, self-determination, independence. All we can envision is staying inside the box of white supremacy, like the bird who wouldn’t leave the cage even with the door wide open. Even though we are blood brothers and sisters, we cannot envision Pan African unity, for we are full of hatred for our African brothers and sisters, and those from the Caribbean and North, Central and South America. If they are not from my tribe, hate them, not from my island, hate them, not from the east or west coast, hate them, not from the dirty south, hate them. Who taught us to think like this? White supremacy! So we call upon the Higher Power to heal our sick minds and hearts, the power within and the power without. Let us imagine a swim in the mighty sea of unity, no matter how difficult the water. With a little faith we may find that we can, like Jesus, walk on water, the water of unity, trust and love of self and kind. How can we say we love everybody yet hate self and kind. You love Europeans but you hate Africans, want nothing to do with Africans, yet you are African, your mother is African. Do you hate your mother, your sisters, your brothers. Something is wrong with the picture you have drawn and you need a healing. Like Jack, you need to jump out of the box of white supremacy. At least think about your behavior, your mental challenges. Personally, we are not prejudice, for my family is a virtual united nations. I have family members married to Europeans, Latinos, Africans and others. I have nieces and nephews from interracial marriage, even a grandson, so how can I hate those with my family blood flowing in their veins? As my favorite song (Nature Boy) says, the greatest thing you will ever do is learn to love and be loved in return. We are for a Pan African nation, but there may be some Pan Africans we will ostracize and there may be Europeans and others will accept as brothers and sisters because they have gone through the process of decolonization and healed themselves of white supremacy thinking and actions.
We have made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand it: that God is a power within ourselves. Yes, this is the message to ourselves, yes, that is the magic word, yes, to allow the grace and mercy of the Higher Power within and without to take over our lives, finally and forever, to come up from the no zone, no as in negro, no as in zero, no as in nothing, no more no but yes to the Creator, yes to the Master Teacher, yes to all that is good, holy and righteous, yes to harmony within and without, harmony with all that exists, to all that was before and all that is yet to come, yes. Elijah taught we are hard to lead in the right direction, easy to lead in the wrong direction, but we finally decide to submit to the right way, for we have been wrong too long--for some of us, everything we have ever done in our lives was wrong, nothing was right, a lifetime of wrong and mistakes that caused us to experience failure after failure after failure. But no more, it’s over now, the long days journey into night is over. Now we see the bright sun of today shining and we bask in the glory of the sunlight, we are one with the sun, finally, we can dance and sing hallelujah, al hamdulilah. We are reconnected with the ocean of truth, the great water of righteousness. The tide is turning because we are turning the tide, yes, we are turning the tide for we are willing soldiers of the Most High, He is within us and we are within Him, and all is well, finally and forever. We are finally flowing in the flow of the river of spiritual consciousness, we are united in time and space with all humanity that is for freedom, justice and equality. The nightmare of white supremacy is over, its moment in our lives is a sad dream we believed was real but it was fiction because we are of the Most High and nothing is superior to the Most High, and we pledge our life and death are for the Most High, we worship nothing but the Most High, no one can dominate us except the Most High: we are in Him and He is in us, nothing else exists. The Pan African family is the first family of humanity, and the first shall be last and forever, so let us rejoice in this knowledge and wisdom. To be the first and last requires respectful thoughts and actions, actions of unity and peace, nothing else is acceptable to the Most High. All negativity in the family must cease immediately because it is not of the Most High and cannot be redeemed in the temple of holiness. Fly into the winds Pan Africa, fly into the winds of the Most High and be as one with the winds, yes, even that whirlwind Garvey told you about that was sure to come and has come, let us rejoice. Say again, we are within the Higher Power and the Higher Power is within us. Say again, the tide is turning because we are turning the tide. Ache. Amen. Amin.
We shall make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We examine our self-hatred and explore why Africans hate Africans, hate North American Africans, hate Caribbean Africans, but love Europeans and everything they are about: politically, culturally, economically, sexually, morally and spiritually. Dr. Nathan Hare called us Black Anglo-Saxons. Dr. Franz Fanon said we had black skins but white masks.And as per Europeans, they too must make a fearless moral inventory to explore why their actions are contrary to the will of God. Baldwin told us the greatness of a writer depends upon how deeply he is prepared to go down into his soul to discover truth. Many have told me they could never reveal the things I reveal about myself in my writings, but I counter them with Baldwin’s admonition and encourage budding writers to go deeper, yes, go where wise men fear to tread, go into the depths of that self we have allowed to remain hidden for so long, yes, take a moral inventory of that self to see what is actually there, what has remained hidden, what things we deny even exist, for only then can we come upon the mountain of truth and see the valley of reality below. We can never stand tall until we face all the truth about ourselves, as Sun Ra taught, the low down dirty truth, that is what we want to examine, the plain truth is not good enough, rather, we want the low down funky truth. Cornel West says everybody wants to hide the funk, tame the funk, disguise the funk, but we are only enabled and empowered when the funk comes through. And JB said, “Ain’t it funky now.” And so it is the funk we want to examine in our lives, that deep structure substance rather than the Miller Lite surface structure material, bypass the façade that hides the real man in the mirror even from himself. So let us go down into the dungeon of self and see what lies there and let us accept the truth of ourselves once and for all times, our failings, shortcomings, or as Baraka calls them, our negrocities. But in our search of self, praise the positive, and let no one convince us the glass is half empty when we know the power of redemption, the glory of transformation. Did not Garvey tell us, “Up ye mighty race, ye can accomplish what ye will.” So let us examine the self, the personal self and the communal self, the political self that includes Pan Africa of the continent and Diaspora. Perhaps we shall begin the awesome task of unraveling the qconundrum that has allowed us to repeat the cycle of birth and death, like a black Sisyphus who never reached the mountain top with that rock. The unity of the black psyche and the unity of Pan Africa will take much healing, but now is the time for we can slip backward, unless we call forth that ineluctable energy Jan Carew talked about and practice eternal vigilance. The forces of white supremacy show no slacking, the new colonialists are busy from Africa to the neighborhoods of America, reclaiming land and resources, destabilizing communities and nations, but they can be checked with the tools called unity and consciousness. There is land and resources aplenty but some want it all, like the kid with all the toys who doesn’t want to share, thus he must be whipped into sharing his wealth and playing fairly, and so it is with the forces of white supremacy, they must be humbled into submission by any means necessary, but we want to do it the right way so that we do not repeat the cycle of birth and death, for righteousness transcends the cycle of birth and death as it weaves its way toward eternal life. We must stop for all times the generational amnesia that affects us every thirty years whereby we seem to have forgotten all that the previous generation achieved for our benefit, thus we dance backward, like Michael Jackson, we do the Moonwalk into reactionary behavior rather than continue the revolutionary strides of the elders and ancestors. So yes, let us take a fearless moral inventory of our accomplishments and failings, and let us the consider the wiles of white supremacy, especially its technological advances. Have we not participated in the invention of technology, then let us share equally in the benefit thereof. In this Information Age, ignorance is unacceptable, innocence as well. There is no reason for Pan Africa to be duped by white supremacy into tribal and ethnic strife, religious strife, just as there is no justification for black gangs in the hoods of America to be psyched out by colors such as red and blue, the evidence of a kindergarten mentality, or even pre-school where children are taught colors.
The roots of African psychological dysfunction go deep into the history of that vast land, perhaps beginning in the Nile valley cultures as Chancellor Williams wrote about so eloquently in The Destruction of African Civilization. Today we can see similar or perhaps the lingering results of the divided loyalties in those of African and Arab mixture in the troubled Sudan, especially in the Darfur region, although it is probably a combination of ethnic strife and political-economic agendas, especially the struggle for oil and the tension it has created between Europe and Asia. In other regions of African, Somalia for example, we see the West now using proxy armies to do what it couldn’t do when Black Hawk Down forced the US to retreat. The West has heightened religious tensions by using Christian Ethiopia against Muslim Somalia, thus continuing its centuries old tactics of divide and rule. In west Africa ethnic armies have fought each other for blood diamonds, gold, oil and other valuable resources. Brothers have chopped hands, arms and legs of other brothers and sisters for white supremacy, employed child soldiers, some ten years old, recruited young girls for war and sex, all in the name of leaders carrying out the western agenda. It will now take a generation to undo the trauma of Rwanda, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, not to mention the mess in Zimbabwe, wherein the former revolutionary leader has apparently turned reactionary, belatedly instituting land reform twenty years after the revolution, and South African seems headed down the same path. Of course, revolutions take time, but land is the basis of revolution, so how and why can we delay instituting the essential factor of the people’s struggle? Reconciliation will be difficult after so much blood and terror, but Africa must unite. The African Union must somehow be a reflection of the people rather than the new club of presidents for life who will do nothing to harm another member of the club. But finally it will be a grass roots effort that will bring justice and peace to Africa, and this will occur when the people take inventory of events and decide enough is enough, enough of strife, corruption and greed, enough of backwardness and ignorance. It will indeed take a people of higher consciousness, of spiritual maturity and a sense of Pan African brotherhood and sisterhood, a sense of the higher calling of the human spirit that is wise enough to respond to the request from the Most High for peace, justice and mercy. Kwame Nkrumah had the vision of a United States of Africa, but it will be future generations who will make his dream a reality, at least Ghana took heed to Nkrumah’s call to end ethnic and tribal strife. The Pan African world would be wise to heed Nkrumah as well.
People of the Caribbean
Mrs. Amina Baraka informed me that we, North American Africans, are Caribbean people, for the Triangular Trade brought Africans to the Caribbean islands for the “breaking in” and then we were shipped to the mainland of the Americas for eternal servitude.Today the Caribbean is a place of much reactionary thinking and behavior, in spite of producing some of the greatest Pan African minds, such as George Padmore, Marcus Garvey, Dr. Walter Rodney, Jan Carew, Kwame Toure, Bob Marley, and a host of others. Perhaps it is the simply the geo-politics of island society that makes people have proscribed and provincial minds, thinking their island is the greatest, leading to narrow mindedness typical of colonized and neo-colonized people. It is indeed past time for the Caribbean people to examine themselves, take inventory of the past, present and future, and make a decision to jump out of the box like Jack and prepare for a new day inspired by their great intellectual history and the potential of a Pan African world exercising functional unity.It is not enough for Pan Africans to gather in Brooklyn and Harlem from throughout the Diaspora but continue that old colonial psychology of division and pseudo superiority, because if truth be told, no Pan African is free until all are free.The North American African has endured great suffering in the land of his birth, and he has made great advances that other Africans have benefited, thus they should be humble and respectful of our struggle with the forces of white supremacy. Other Africans should not come here from other wretched lands with such an air of superiority, although the whole world is told the so-called negro is nothing and he can be the donkey ride to success if one sets up shop in the ghetto, so there are Pan Africans, Arabs, Jews, Asians and others who do just that and are successful, while the North American African seems unwilling to take stock of himself, his resources and potential to be successful as well. The latest demographics of college and university enrollment suggests the North American African is no longer taking advantage of higher education, at least in comparison to his Pan African brothers and sisters from the continent and Caribbean. It is time to look at the man in the mirror, discard that cool pose and get real because, yes, it’s hard out here for a pimp and it will be getting harder. No society can advance when a large population of its males are confined in jail and prison. It is a destabilizing factor in the social and economic progress of the group. So yes, North American Africans need to take a fearless moral inventory of ourselves. And as the song Wake Up, Everybody told us long ago, and apparently we have forgotten the lyrics, “Teachers got to teach a new way, preachers got to preach a new way….”
White People and the Other White People
And so we come to the white man, the principle agent of white supremacy, although we have tried to demonstrate that white supremacy cannot stand without disciples or partners in crime. We can go back to the slave trade, for example, as Dr. Walter Rodney taught us: the African upper class collaborated with European enslavers. The African upper class benefited by corrupting institutions such as the political, judicial, military, economic and social to enjoy the fruits of the slave trade. The African upper class accumulated great wealth, as did the European slavers. Thus, we cannot consider white supremacy without understanding the black side of it. But we must look squarely at the Europeans as the chief victimizers of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. There are no African nations whose wealth compares with that of European and American imperialism or so-called globalism. But still the sad truth is only a minority of Europeans reap most of the benefits of the white supremacy world economic hegemony. Yes, many whites benefit from white privilege, but the majority, say 85%, are as deaf, dumb and blind as the so-called Negro, but are deluded into thinking they are superior, and many whites have thought this way since slavery and post-slavery when they were pitted against the freed Africans in the economy. The white supremacy rulers have used poor whites and working class whites to delude whites into thinking the blacks are the cause of their misery and economic exploitation, just as capitalism is presently using immigrant labor to suggest they are the cause of middle and lower class white economic woes, while in fact it is the white supremacy global bandits who are outsourcing for cheap labor. Even educated and highly skilled white workers are having their jobs outsourced to India and China. Why should or world the capitalist bandits pay an American MBA $150,000 per year when it can outsource the position to an Indian MBA for $14,000 per year? And so white Americans need to take a fearless moral inventory of themselves and their relation to the Pan African world and other peoples around the globe whom they must begin to interact with on a more level playing field, to whom they must become culturally sensitive which will necessitate dismantling the archaic psychology of white supremacy. It is an idea, concept, philosophy, religion that must be eradicated from the brains of white people and others, simply because it is pathological, and those who harbor such notions are a danger to themselves and others. We suggest the formation of White Supremacy Recovery Groups similar to what we are proscribing for Pan African people. Come together as peers and attempt to enter the new millennium with new thoughts, actions and behavior. One must give up old thoughts before one can entertain new ones. Force yourself out of your comfort zone of ignorance and reaction, face reality and perhaps you can qualify to enter eternity.In the new world on the horizon there is no room for hatred, prejudice, racism, domination, exploitation in any form by anyone, white, black, yellow or brown, man or woman. All false assumptions must be corrected, all retrograde myths and rituals must not be allowed to persist, only good and righteousness is acceptable in the new millennium. All ethnic groups have the human right to their cultural expressions, except when such expressions damage others. White people have the right to remain white as long as their whiteness causes no harm to others with whom they interact.Whites have a right to their symbols and signs just as other ethnic groups, including religious and gender groups, simply don’t permit such symbols and signs to damage the psyche of others. We do not expect political correctness to prevail throughout the land because some political correctness would erase humor from discourse, and we are for humor as therapy, if nothing else, but humor should not be hurtful but rather a release from the stress of life. So let us take that fearless moral inventory of the words we say and perhaps we shall discover silence is the best medicine, for as Dad used to tell us, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
THE WHITE WOMAN
Before we proceed to a discussion of the Other White People, let us attempt to deconstruct the great symbol of White Supremacy, the white woman, or as Dr. Nathan Hare calls her, “the white man in drag.” Nevertheless, she is the highest symbol of his culture, after all, through her womb she makes it possible for white supremacy to continue, thus she was taboo to Africans, touching a string of her pretty blond hair or even looking at her directly was cause for torture and death to untold thousands of Africans, Emmet Till’s death being the most brazen modern example of what used to happen when one disrespected the queen of western civilization. After millennia as the queen mother of civilization, as a result of slavery when she became primarily a breeder and worker, the black woman only regained regal status for a brief moment during the 1960s when she was again referred to as queen, though only in a few cases truly treated as such, but even today when she is making great strides to achieve queenly status, often on her own merit, yes, without the help and support of her king, she has been reduced to bitch and ho by the gangster genre of Hip Hop culture that takes its queue from pimp culture which originates from the culture of white supremacy. But the white woman appears to have lost much of her queenly status, for the lowest Negro or African can have a white woman today without penalty of death. Ironically, it is often said the black woman and the white man were the only free persons in America, for she and the white man could be sexual mates and she could breed him untold children without recrimination from white society. On the other hand, the black man mating with a white woman was again, possible cause for death. When segregation laws ended during the 60s, the white woman rushed to embrace the arms of the black man, even ignoring the call for black power with the addendum for whites to return to their communities to educate their brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, to disavow white supremacy (something they never did to any meaningful degree and which is partly the reason we are at the present precipice). We are told black power was initiated by black women to get liberal white women out of the southern civil rights movement since they were known to be sleeping with the brothers. The white woman ignored the call of black women to claim as many black men as she could, producing a generation of interracial children who were and are often confused (tragic mulatto syndrome) about their allegiance to either ethnic group. Ultimately, many white woman discarded the white man and black man for another woman and today enjoys lesbian culture, since apparently both men failed her. Those white women bold enough to partner with the black man do so with great abhorrence from black women who feel she is stealing their biological partner and natural mate, and this is a most serious matter since eligible black men are few in number, especially to mate with highly educated black women who find themselves successful in every area except a mate from their ethnic group. In this war with the white woman over the black man’s sperm, the black woman, in desperation and denial, tries to mimic the white woman as much as possible, donning blond hair and continuing the tradition of bleaching cream throughout Pan Africa, from Jamaica to South Africa. The large size African women are now starving themselves to look like the half-white Beyonce. The endgame is perhaps toward the nonracial society where all will declare “what does color have to do with it,” but color has a lot to do with the Pan African family remaining strong and resisting the forces of white supremacy, for Elijah Muhammad taught us the white woman is the last weapon in the white man’s arsenal against the Black Nation. Yet a strange thing is happening on the way to the black nation, for the black woman is desperately seeking mates outside her group (of course she and the white man always had a thing in secret, from the founding fathers on down) since her black man is so infatuated with the white supremacy ideal, if he is interested in women at all (homosexuality is taking its toll in the black community, diminishing the stock of eligible men, along with prison, drugs, homicide/suicide and economics). In the process, there is a weird psycho drama in progress, for as the black woman seeks to achieve the white ideal, the white woman seeks to blacken herself to obtain that mighty black man of her dreams, the man of supposed if not real sexual power and strength, even if he lacks the political and economic power of her father and brothers. She is intelligent enough to know white supremacy will soon be in the dustbin of history, thus those white women who are not lesbian seek to graft themselves onto the black nation by sexual cohabitation, and also by discarding prejudice and white supremacy thinking, even going so far as to declare themselves members of the African family and noting for all concerned that they will never have anything to do with a white man ever again, but more importantly, the white woman is attempting to stand on the side of truth and justice, as we saw with Senator Barbara Boxer in the Condi Rice confirmation hearings, while Condi dug herself deeper into the grave of white supremacy, becoming its representative around the world as Secretary of State. And so it is: the white woman is becoming blacker and the black woman is becoming whiter. Of course on the spiritual level color certainly does not matter, only the heart. The real problem is without question the class nature of human relationships. Are you with the oppressor class or the oppressed, are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Take a fearless inventory of yourself. Search for lingering feelings of hatred, envy, jealousy and other diseases of the heart.
THE OTHER WHITE PEOPLE
And so we arrive at the phenomena of the Other White people. Such is the gracious gift of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. It has produced a Pan African people in love with all things European: women, clothing, religion, education (what people in their right minds would send their children to the enemy to become educated, especially without a revolutionary agenda) political philosophy, social habits, dietary preferences, sexual mores, etc. This is what the process of white supremacy produces in those who are subjugated to it: a comic-tragic man and woman who ultimately are a danger to themselves and others, because they are essentially out of their minds, delusional, schizophrenic, psychotic and neurotic. The Other White People are an enigma to themselves, a conundrum of major proportions, transcending Shakespeare’s Othello in tragic dimension, for their tragic flaw is lack of self knowledge, at least Othello know who he was but was unable to perceive his enemy, Iago. The Other White People know not themselves nor their enemy, in fact, they love their enemy but hate themselves. The more they imitate the enemy the more he imitates them, as they try to become whiter, the enemy desires to be blacker. This can be seen in literature with the new urban genre of filth lit and fantasy chick lit. It is seen in music that once belonged to blacks but now belongs to whites--attend any jazz and/or blues concert and see who’s in attendance: white people. What hope is there for a people who abandon their classic art? Yes, the hip hop culture was created by blacks but the conscious element has given way to the crass commercialism of gansta and pimp rap. I suppose we should applaud the black youth for creating a billion dollar industry from hip hop music and fashion but does it enhance the black self image or denigrate it? And so we advance as we retreat, progress as we regress, like Sisyphus, the more we climb up the mountain, the more we descend, a nightmare drama that never ends. Why can’t we ever land on solid ground? Well, Fanon and Hare teach that the only way the oppressed man and woman can regain their mental equilibrium is through the process of revolution, the destruction of whatever ideology and institutions are a hindrance to their cultural transformation. Like a rat in a maze, we can advance but the endgame is that we are yet caught in the maze, in the box of white supremacy, thus it is pseudo progress, an illusion that blinds us to the reality that we are yet captured peoples. But for the most part, the maze is a mental apparatus, as it only exists in our minds, for who can hold down the mighty Pan African except himself. Othello was not deceived by Iago but by himself, for was he not a thousand times greater than Iago? Thus, he allowed himself to be tricked by the devil, reduced to a pitiful specimen of a man, able to then kill the woman he loved and himself. The Other White People do the same, for the man is a giant who is loved by the world, as the poet Paradise says in his poem, “They love everything about me but me.” This shame and hurt of not being loved has forced The Other White People into a situation from which there is no escape except in love of self, only then can such people be restored to sanity and take authority over their genius. And therefore we recommend daily attendance at a Pan African mental health peer group session to begin the process of regaining their sanity, and this will involve detox, recovery, and the final step of discovery when they realize the need to join the cultural revolution that will bring forth a new way of life absent the mental aberrations of the white supremacy society in all its vicissitudes. Those in the discovery mode will find the cultural revolution will draw a clear line of distinction between those who are for and those against white supremacy, for those in favor of the status quo will oppose conscious culture in favor of reactionary culture, bourgeoisie culture of the Miller Lite variety, expressions that have no intention of getting our minds and bodies out of the box of white supremacy. The simple criterion is, in the words of Sonia Sanchez, “Will it free us?” Yes, will it free us, will it take us to a higher level of consciousness, will cultural expression help us make that fearless moral inventory that will enable us to see the road forward rather than the road backward or even keep us treading water until we drown. The arts are at the pinnacle of the cultural revolution, the poetry, drama, novels, music, paintings, sculpture, films, play a pivotal role in shaping consciousness, radical consciousness that ignites forward motion like the wind in a prairie fire, strong enough to devour everything in its path that is dry, withered and able to be ignited by a single spark, the spark of truth, beauty, justice and righteousness.
There may be the need for linguistic transcendence, to move beyond language that has the mark of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. As per English, Elijah told us it would not be allowed to be spoken in the new world. And the great African writer Ngugi wa Thiango has called for the return to literature in native languages, for we cannot imagine the power of expression in our original languages. There is power in such expression that only those who have made the return can describe. We recently observed a Yoruba ritual celebrating the goddess Oshun, done completely in Yoruba by North American Africans at the Olatunji African Village in Sheldon, South Carolina. It was an indescribable demonstration of people transcending their slave heritage and domestic colonial past to return to their linguistic roots for spiritual liberation. We saw the beauty of language and dance in their ritual to the goddess of the sea. Imagine if the majority of North American Africans were able to have such linguistic ability, there would simply be no room in our psyche for white supremacy. Expressions in English such as bitch, ho and motherfucker reveal our psycholinguistic bondage and only a complete transcendence of English will take us to the higher consciousness so needed for our spiritual maturation. Cherry picking, nitpicking and deleting words here and there will not suffice, but what is needed is the elimination of the language given to us as an essential tool of our enslavement. Give the white supremacy language back to the oppressor, in fact, return to him every aspect of his culture that has made you a diminished human being, or spiritual being in human form. Yes, better to speak Yoruba, Hausa, Arabic, Swahili or any language that will put us closer to our cultural heritage, for far too much white supremacy is language based, language is the carrier and an essential tool in the process of domination and dehumanizaton. We can use English as a tool of international commerce, but we need to transcend it in our sacred services and social interaction. Yoruba and Arabic are just two languages readily available for North American Africans to help heal our psycho-linguistic trauma, although Arabic may be somewhat tainted by the Muslim role in the slave trade (but what tribes, what peoples weren’t involved) and the Muslim quest to spread itself by force and designate others as infidels, surprisingly similar to how the Christians designate Muslims and others as heathens. But so much of our history and culture is in Arabic, even our literature from Africa’s Timbuku and Hausland to the Romance of Antar in Arabia to Muslim slave narratives in the Americas. Indeed, North American Africans have been declared the founding fathers of Muslim American literature, superseding Arabs, South Asians and others. Certainly during the 1960s cultural revolution, the writings of Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X deeply influenced the writers/activists such as Amiri Baraka, Askia Muhammad Toure, Yusef Iman, Sonia Sanchez, the Last Poets, Marvin X and others.
Toward An Inventory of Religion
Fundamental Muslims and Christians must both take a fearless moral inventory to begin eradicating retrograde and reactionary ideas and practices from their religions. Murder in the name of any religion, including so-called Christian just wars and Muslim jihads, is unacceptable and must be prevented at all costs. When the concept of God that is supposed to unite humanity becomes a major source of division, it is time for a reexamination of the concept. We know that we will never eliminate religion because its myths and rituals are the glue that welds societies but we can expect the believers to attempt to reach the highest possible level of spiritual consciousness, rather than remain steeped in dogmatism, narrow mindedness and ignorance.
Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality
Many have given up traditional religions in favor of spirituality or the religion of the heart. People of consciousness can see that many of those who attend houses of worship are some of the worse devils on the planet, guilty of the slaughter of innocents, the perpetuation of racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. But we don’t want to throw the baby out with the wash water because religion can be beautiful, especially when its power to dominate and enslave is removed and what remains is simple fellowship in celebration of the Creator. One sister recently described religion as for followers, spirituality for leaders, or more precisely, for the self-directed who don’t need intercessors of any kind but speak directly with God and are indivisible from God, thus they are not helpless but empowered because they are in God and God is in them. Too often religion is out there rather than inside the believer. God is wherever you are and you are wherever God is, and the Spirit is everywhere, in all things. But many churches have nothing to do with Mary’s baby and many masjids have nothing to do with the teachings of Muhammad, rather they are for the egotism and glorification of the minister and the imam, along with the economic exploitation of the believers. Many houses of worship exist in the midst of poverty, homicidal and drug infested neighborhoods but have no program to address the issues. While the homeless and the hungry sits on their steps, the church and temple doors are closed six days out of the week, and only a few churches would dare consider keeping their doors open 24/7 to allow the homeless to sleep in the pews. The church and the masjid needs a healing, needs to recover from selfish white supremacy behavior. Yes, take inventory, ask yourselves are you doing what Jesus would do, are you doing what Muhammad would do?
Finally, Muslims and Christians must get rid of their paternalistic and racist attitude toward Africans, North American Africans in particular. North American Africans come from a long tradition of Islam therefore Arabs and South Asians need not be our master teachers of theology. We have an African Islamic tradition and a tradition in the Americas, from the Muslims explorers and scholars during the Ghana, Mali and Shongay empires of West Africa to the Muslim slave narrators and blues musicians of the Mississippi Delta, and the Muslim resisters to slavery in the Caribbean and Brazil, especial the Hausa revolts. And in recent times we have developed indigenous scholars who can interpret the Qur’an, Hadith and Sharia. We have our own mystical tradition with Noble Drew Ali, Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And as we look at world events, we can clearly see Arab Muslims are no example to follow, except for Hamas and Hezbollah, who are determined to fight oppression by any means necessary, for as the Qur‘an says, persecution is worse than slaughter. For the most part, Sunni Muslims, especially Arabs in the Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states, are agents of reaction and collaboration with white supremacy, therefore they are in urgent need of recovery, hence no model to follow.
So let us all, Africans, Arabs, Asians, Europeans, Native Americans and Latinos, take inventory of ourselves and begin, however painfully, the transformation into the new man and woman that time requires of us. Many of us can proudly see that we have produced children of consciousness, technically advanced, spiritually aware, economically independent and politically astute. We can save the present generation we are so concerned about losing, but let them see us saving ourselves, correcting our mistakes, contradictions, reconciling with those children, husbands and wives we abandoned and neglected for no good reason other than our white supremacy dominated mentality that suggests the panacea for difficult family relations is abandonment, separation and divorce, but not having solved any of the problems, we enter new relationships with the old baggage, we encounter the same person we left, only they have a different name. Perhaps we should return to the marriage for life tradition, making it a community responsibility that marriages work, not in the interest of individuals, but in the interest of the community. It is a great human tragedy to see the children of divorce, the children in foster care and the children of Africa without either parent due to the scourge of disease, especially HIV/AIDS. Let youth see elders reconciling in the Pan African community throughout the Diaspora. Pan Africans and all peace loving peoples of the world, return to your higher self, return to your own kind in the name of love, return to your families and neighborhoods for that very necessary mental and physical reconstruction; with your economic success, return to your villages with clean water, medicine, education promoting healthy relationships transcending patriarchal domination. Recovery works, discovery works, if you work it!
Admit to the God within and without, the Higher Power, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs: the evil thoughts we harbor, the desire to harm other brothers and sisters of African descent for no reason, or to harm any human being for any reason. Often, without knowing anything about another African or another human, when we see that person our immediate reaction is hatred, jealousy, envy, so we must process our issues because such is the awesome power of white supremacy thinking that we are often totally unconscious of how we are programmed to think and behave like jungle savages or shall we say urban savages, for the jungle savage may have admirable qualities we might need to emulate such as love, sense of family and community, harmony with nature and the Higher Power.
O, Higher Power please forgive me for I knew not what I was doing on so many occasions in my life, and then I ask forgiveness for the times when I knew exactly what I was doing but proceeded as if there were no consequences, but surely for every action in the universe there is an equal and corresponding reaction. So forgive me for all that I have done contrary to righteousness, truth, peace, freedom, justice and equality. Forgive me for the times when my heart was full of hatred and malice for I knew not that hatred and malice were enemies that destroy from within and thus are the cause of much cancer and other diseases. Forgive me for not feeding the hungry child, the hungry man and woman I passed along the street when my pockets were full of money, surely it would not have been too much for me to hand them a quarter or a dollar and continue on my way, but instead I was arrogant and proud, as if I had been born with a silver spoon in my mouth when I was not, and even now I am only a paycheck away from joining the homeless and the hungry, so forgive me Higher Power, Jesus, Allah, Mother Goddess, Jah, Damballah, Ancestors, when I did not feed the hungry, care for the poor, attend the sick and diseased, for I did not feed You, did not care for You, but was wicked and out of my mind, for surely the poor are Your angels that represent You on this earthly plane, surely the hungry and homeless are your saints sent to help us understand the trials and tribulations of life. Forgive me for not having compassion in my daily round, for speaking rudely to people when all they needed was a kind word to help them through the day. Forgive me not visiting the sick and wounded from the battlefields of white supremacy around the world and in the hood, surely the wounded and disabled will come to understand that they cannot kill and not be killed, that they cannot wound others and not be wounded themselves, that they cannot destroy families and not have their families destroyed as well, so give them understanding, Higher Power, let them see the light that they may themselves ask forgiveness of You for their deeds and death dealing actions.
WIFE BEATERS AND CHEATERS
Let us forgive the wife beaters and cheaters, the killers of the dreams in the hood, the dope dealers and alcohol sellers who destroy lives and families for profit, the gamblers who don’t know when to quit until all is lost, even their property and families. And let us pray we come to understand there can be no peace without until there is peace within. Yes, the heart is the macrocosm, the world the microcosm. And so it is, Ashe, Amen, Amin.
MY LIFE AS EXAMPLE
It seems only right that I should use my own life as an example of this 5th step, since I have harmed so many persons throughout my life, and even now have thoughts of suicide and homicide, especially when I am in the city and under stress from the daily round. Yes, I often have thoughts of hatred, jealousy, envy upon encountering another African, so let this be my confession that will perhaps be helpful to others in processing the poisonous mental thoughts that will ultimately destroy us or cause us to suffer terrible diseases that will lead many to an early grave because mental thoughts have a way of affecting our physical condition and so often we don’t have a clue, we think it was a virus that caused an inflammation but it was in fact the virus of white supremacy thinking and behavior. Now I hope it is clear we are only using white supremacy as a generic term for evil in the world, and although the dominant power is western capitalism and imperialism or globalism, we know white supremacy can appear in black face, in the face of Arabs, Latinos, Asians and any other persons who have digested the values of domination and exploitation current in the world.
MARRIED AT 18
Probably, the first wrong thing I did was getting married at age 18 because my girlfriend was pregnant and I thought it was the right thing to do. Certainly, abortion wasn’t an option as I did not believe in it then nor do I now. But not long after another girlfriend got pregnant and I encouraged her to get an abortion. I regret it to this day, for as I say in a poem, it might have been a prophet come to save this world, or at the very least a genius to make needed contributions to society. The second girl was the one my mother said I should have married, but I had already married the first, and soon I had two sons by this marriage which ended after the second son was born. So I apologize to my first wife and sons (one deceased, may he rest in peace), and I apologize to the girlfriend (now deceased) for making her get an abortion.
WOMEN WHO LOVE
I apologize to all the women who loved me while I physically, verbally and emotionally abused them. How would I have liked it if they had done the same to me? I apologize to my father in law for beating his daughter. He said, “If my granddaughters didn’t love you so much, I would have killed you long ago.” And today I feel the same about any man who would think about hitting one of my daughters. Men who commit violence against women are cowards of the worse sort, for why don’t they beat their boss, as one lady on a call in radio talk show suggested, “Why don’t you beat your boss, asshole?” Indeed, is it not the boss who is causing all the stress many workers are under who then stress out their families rather than attack the real enemy, the man who is exploiting them with wage slavery, the white supremacy capitalists and imperialists? No, we rather misplace our anger and aggression on our women and children, thus the entire family are victims of white supremacy economics and the resulting psychological trauma. Yet, not one white man has been killed in the hood, not one white man has been killed from America to Africa. If so, it would be all over the news and designated a hate crime. But when we beat our wives and girlfriends is it not a hate crime? Yes, you hate your wife and girlfriend because you hate yourself. I apologize.
As a teenager I was guilty of gang rape every Sunday at the movie theatre. It was how we boys enjoyed ourselves, having no sense our actions were a violation of women. During intermission we also made it a habit of beating up Latinos in the bathroom, which today would be considered hate crimes, but we thought it something to do for fun. Today the script has flipped: Chicanos are beating up and in some cases killing North American Africans for no reason other than their ethnicity. They too need to cease their actions and seek healing with their African brothers, for much of their behavior is motivated by white supremacy gangs, including members of the California Correctional Officers union, another gang that has more power than prison wardens over inmates and in the political area, being the most powerful union in the state of California. Officers have been found guilty of instigating ethnic turmoil in the prisons which has spilled over into the general society, although immigration has put new pressures on employment and housing in the ghettoes throughout California and nationwide. African/Latino citizens have not been brought together in any meaningful way to address the new demographics. I apologize.
NATION OF ISLAM PROFESSOR
As a member of the Nation of Islam, I prevented white students from enrolling in my classes while lecturing at Fresno State College, now University, during 1969, but was barred from teaching by Governor Ronald Reagan when he learned I had refused to fight in Vietnam. So I apologize for my racist actions and call upon the State of California to apologize to me and my community for denying my right to teach, especially since Fresno State College had Mormon teachers who also discriminated at the time. My racist views softened by the 80s and in my last teaching job at Kings River Community College, I had a 97% student retention rate, and most of my students were white and Chicano.
As a distributor of drugs, I apologize to the people who lost their lives taking the drugs I supplied them throughout Northern California, heroin being the drug in question. I know people died because one dealer said people came to him seeking the drugs that killed their buddies. And the sad truth is that I distributed drugs after coming into knowledge of self, while Malcolm X did his drug dealing before joining the Nation of Islam and gaining knowledge of self. But throughout the world we see revolutionaries and reactionaries, Muslims and Christians, socialists, communists and capitalists, dealing drugs for their political and religious agendas. Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon and elsewhere deal drugs to support their revolution, and in Latin America Christians and Marxists deal drugs to support their resistance. The United States of America is known to have supported the Contras in Nicaragua who sold Crack to Black Americans to buy guns to fight the Sandinistas. And so we wonder how we can free the people while at the same time killing them with drugs. Seems that there might be a lot of apologies in order on this matter. I apologize.
I apologize for all the white people, those in the south and those in the north of the United States, for their centuries of white supremacy actions against innocent North American African children, adults and elders, whom they treated with hatred, contempt and scorn, and even today hold such feelings when the Africans have done nothing to earn their bitterness except try to be loyal citizens who have fought in every war since the American revolution to defend this do good, rotten, corrupt and hateful society against all its enemies, although her worse enemy is herself, yes, the man in the mirror. I apologize for all the lynching’s, beatings and torture of Africans in jails and prisons throughout this land, which occurred because those in power were under the spell of white supremacy thinking and harbor within them a sick desire to dominate and exploit those under their care. We ask them to confess their sins and ask for mercy.
I apologize for the black bourgeoisie who have the wherewithal to improve life in the hood but are in the mode of positive apathy, for they have the positives but are apathetic and willing to do nothing until their child, wife, husband, brother, sister is affected by racism, then they are suddenly militant and ready to lead the race to freedom. I apologize for those living in their mansions and gated estates and are protected from the world outside until their mansions turn into hell holes because there is no love inside only the persistent desire for material possessions which, in the words of Dr. Nathan Hare, fail to satisfy the social angst and shattered cultural strivings. I apologize.
I apologize for being a Crack head for twelve years and thus did not appreciate watching my children, especially my daughters, grow into young men and women. When I came up from the fog and smoke of Crack dins, they had passed from puberty to young adulthood, but I was too busy in Crack alleyways to take a break to check on them, support them or even call them. I apologize for the burden I put on their mothers, but thank God they taught my children the discipline to become successful members of society. I apologize.
I apologize for Africa having so much human potential and natural resources yet is only slowly entering the modern world, although it is no secret why Africa is poor and Europe/America rich, for we understand why and how Europe/America underdeveloped Africa as the late Dr. Walter Rodney explained. And even today, Europe/America is making yet another attempt at colonizing Africa’s vast natural resources, and when Europe/America is not the villain, the Chinese are competing for oil and other resources, additionally dumping cheap, imitation goods on the continent. We apologize for Europe/America and China and pray they come to an understanding that Africa is for Africans, those and home and those abroad, and we especially want those abroad to invest their knowledge and expertise in the reconstruction of our Motherland. I apologize.
PAN AFRICAN PROFESSORS
I apologize to the academic African scholars and professors whom I have vilified and scorned for not being as radical and revolutionary as I believed they should, for after all, white supremacy institutions are not about to allow a radical Pan African ideology and philosophy to flourish within its institutional framework, this will only happen when Pan Africans establish independent institutions that are supported by the people, not by the state and corporations who are beneficiaries of white supremacy.
I apologize to the political and religious leaders whom I have attacked in my writings because they have been incapable of leading our people to the promised land but keep us inside the box of white supremacy with their million people marches up the mountain then down again in the Sisyphusian tradition. Somehow they must grasp the concept that we are a nation within a nation and anything less than national sovereignty is not an option. Too hell with a black president in the white house, we need a black president in the black house. Only then shall we reach the full potential of our national genius. Those who claim we have no alternative but to suffer the American nightmare are guilty of slothful thinking and bankrupt ideology that makes us the enemy of the world along with the white supremacy American bandits with whom we do not share the same destiny, (how can the robbed have the same destiny as the robbers?) for our destiny is to rise from oppression while their destiny is to be relieved of their post as oppressors and placed in some form of restraint from aggression and domination, including disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, and this must occur whether the white left or right parties are in power, for they are birds of a feather and in the same family of white supremacy conspirators. Those who collaborate with them are just as guilty as the conspirators, for the collaborators enjoy crumbs from the table and never bring the bacon home to the starving masses who are left stranded holding empty dreams election after election. I apologize.
I apologize for the religious leaders who perform their role as pharaoh’s magicians, working slavery mythology and secret spells to hoodwink and bamboozle the masses into accepting wage slavery and pie in the sky religiosity, and even many of the so-called New Thought spiritual leaders are only a step above the magicians because their mysticism is devoid of political realities and fails to address the core issue of white supremacy but instead have the people in yoga meditation to achieve levitation as a way of avoiding the ultimate confrontation with the bandits of white supremacy. When the spiritual leaders sermonize in the manner of Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey and Gabriel Prosser, they will earn my respect. Until then, I apologize.
LONELY MEN AND WOMEN
I apologize for the lonely men and women throughout the world who cannot find partners worthy enough to marry or maintain a serious relationship, especially the women who have qualified themselves academically and economically while the potential men lag behind in both areas. It does not bode well for the future of the Pan African nation in particular, especially North American Africans, whose men far too often choose the criminal life because few options are available, but the result is a burgeoning prison population of young African American males, decreasing the availability of mates for young Black women. The solution is for the males to transfer the energy they put into criminality into legitimate enterprises, especially entrepreneurship. A little thinking is required because if they can sell drugs they can sell anything, they can package, distribute and promote items needed by their community. I apologize.
GRIEVING MOTHERS AND FATHERS
I apologize to all the grieving mothers and fathers throughout the world who have lost children to violence for any reason. Our hearts reach out to them in love and healing for we too have lost a child and know the pain and suffering than lingers for years. It is sad the victimizers do not understand when they kill a person they kill a family and the killer himself is a dead man walking for he shall eventually meet with the God of justice, such is the karma of the universe. I apologize.
THE GOOD CHILDREN
I apologize to all the good children of the world who do the right things, struggle against all odds, overcome obstacles to arrive at the door of success, who avoid criminal behavior, teenage pregnancy, to graduate high school and college, and strive to stay on the right path, to believe in the Higher Power within themselves and without. W e salute and encourage them to reach out to their brothers and sisters in the hood who are without hope, inspiration and direction, to be their mentors and guides, to hug them with unconditional love and understanding that they too can put on the armor of God and walk in the light for eternity. I apologize. I apologize to lower class white people, so-called white trash or trailer house trash, who have been duped into thinking they are superior to blacks but are often treated worse than blacks by upper class whites. The poor whites need a healing and understanding that they can only end their class oppression by uniting with the blacks rather than continuing their ignorant racist behavior for the benefit of the upper class white supremacy rulers. Lower class whites suffer wage slavery and the outsourcing of jobs just as black workers, or for that matter, even middle class white workers. For them to maintain racist attitudes that blacks want their jobs or that white power will ever come to them in their ignorant condition is poppycock. White power or white supremacy is strictly a ruling class family affair. Lower class whites do not and never will control the economic reigns or the political reigns, for such power is securely in the hands of the most intelligent devils on the planet, with the exception of George Bush, a mentally retarded person who made it to the presidency through family connections. Even his mother decried his entry into politics. I apologize.
The Writings of Marvin X
In The Crazy House Called America, essays, 2002, Black Bird Press, $20.00
Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, essays, 2005, Black Bird Press, $20.00
Land of My Daughters, poems, 2005, Black Bird, $20.00
Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality, essays on consciousness, 2007, Black Bird Press, $20.00
How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy: A Pan African 12 Step Model,
2007, Black Bird Press, $20.00 (Prepublication price: $10.00)
Order from: Black Bird Press, POB 1317, Paradise CA 95967, add $5.00 for priority mailing
MARVIN X SPEAKS ON WHITE SUPREMACY
GO TO Marvin X @ YOUTUBE.COM
For bookings: muhammida @suninleo.com, 718.574.6331
COMMENTS ON MARVIN X
He's the USA's RUMI!
--Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, New York City
He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.
--Ishmael Reed, poet, novelist, Oakland
Marvelous Marvin X!
--Dr. Cornell West
Jeremiah, I presume.
--Rudolph Lewis, NathanielTurner.com
The starting point for Muslim American literature is Marvin X.
--Dr. Mohja Kahf, Professor of English and Islamic Studies,
University of Arkansas
One of the founders and innovators of the Black Arts Movement.
--Amiri Baraka, Newark, NJ