Another View: How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy
The following article adds to the discussion on how to recover from the addiction to white supremacy. I agree with almost everything he says, but he left out one word: Nationhood. It's hard to get us to think outside the box of Americana. Well, the time may be coming when we shall be forced out of the box. ButNorth American Africans should consider the fact that most Pan Africans live in their own nation states, so no matter how dire their circumstances, at least they have a nation. The North American African doesn't have a pot to piss in. After 400 years, is your face on the money? We can't talk about Africans who at least have countries--and we helped in their liberation struggle, but where is your land for your efforts here in the wilderness of north America?
-- Dr. M
Another View: How To Recover From the Addiction to White Supremacy
By Min. J. Kojo Livingston
Understanding White Supremacy (Part 3 of 3)
"So this is it. The single most important column I've done in 29 years as a journalist and 35 years as a ground-level activist for Black Liberation. But I'm not good enough. Sitting here, surrounded by the ancestors, I realize that I am hardly adequate to share the fullness of their counsel. But the Spirit of God says 'Try, make the effort, go for it.' Deep breath. Let's DO this".
How do you stomp a child to death on camera and be declared 'not guilty' in a court of law? The same way you the same way you ignore the televised pleas of thousands of hurricane victims that you have the ability to rescue in a matter of hours. It's the same way you could re-enslave or annihilate an entire un-desirable element of a society. It worked for Hitler and has worked before and since him.
It was about two years before Katrina that Dr. Samuel F. Yette came to New Orleans . My pastor, Dwight Webster, had studied under him in Howard and invited me to have lunch with them. It was a dream come true. I admired this man since 1973 when I read his book, "The Choice: The Issue of Black Survival in America ." In it he used publicly available documents to expose the rationale and plans to contain and exterminate Black people. The book was so powerful that President Richard Nixon attempted to prevent it from being published. (Of course, today he would have succeeded.) Like a kid in a candy store, I must have asked him at least half a million questions. One answer froze me in my tracks.
"I imagine a day when the other nations will have to meet to decide whether or not to try to save us from annihilation. I imagine them saying, 'They don't produce anything. They are not contributing anything of value to the world. There is no justification for taking the risks and making the sacrifices necessary to rescue these people from a nation that powerful.'"
It's time for us as a people to reposition ourselves.
Some of our better minds believe that we have about five years to do this before the term 'ugly' takes on a new meaning for us. I hope they are right. The totalitarians may not want to have another national election. That would give us about one year. But five years of vigorous work could put us on the path to real empowerment and serious national change. Doing nothing could leave us either non-existent on in some modified form of mass enslavement.
It's not about a being protected by a system where you have rights. We're not and we don't. It's about possessing the power and position to provide for and protect ourselves. Now, more than ever, Black people need a Black Power or Black Empowerment Movement that has clear, long and short range objectives and rational strategy for achieving self-sufficiency and self-determination with justice.
How do we come out of this mess and rise to the level of greatness of our ancestors? There are many ways. So to organize this brief synopsis we'll go from the big picture to the little picture, what we must do and what you can do, starting today, immediately, right now.
THE BIG PICTURE
The first thing is to realize that our struggle is part of the universal battle between good and evil. There is no cause on this earth more sacred than the pursuit of the destiny (God's plan) and restoration of Black people!
Therefore my first piece of practical advice is to PRAY. (Where did you expect me to start? I'm a preacher.) Pray according to your own tradition. Pray by yourself and with groups. Pray often and expect to get answers.
Having trouble getting past the image of the old White guy in your head? Here's a technique that I use. When in prayer or meditation imagine the blackness of space. Now imagine a deeper blackness within that Blackness. Now speak to the core of that Blackness but not with your head but from your heart. You are now communicating with the Creator. (Apologies to 'those-who-know', but we really need this right now.)
Next, the most critical thing that Black people must do at this point is to begin to aggressively LOVE ourselves. Sounds mushy? What was the first tool used to enslave us? An aggressive, international campaign to reduce us to less-than-human status in our own eyes and the eyes of the world. It is this self-hatred and self-doubt that allows, causes and mandates that we accept a lower position in life. Carter G. Woodson said a person taught to be subservient would make a back door to go in if he did not find one. We need to use every possible vehicle to promote the concept of Black self-love. Music, spoken word, images on t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, flags, caps will all help. We need to talk and teach the mechanics of self-love using TV, radio, movies, the net, books, tapes, brochures, posters, classes and mass rallies and anything else we can find. We are good at dissing each other, now we must learn the habit of appreciating each other and building our people up.
Then we must change the culture of activism. This is the mantra of our ministry. We've got to grow up as people. We must move from being short-sighted and re-active to operating based on a long-term vision with clear objectives and plans. We could keep re-acting to racist offenses for the next 400 years (if we had that long) but it would not advance us as a people. We need to agree to a definition/vision of what we want, develop a credible strategy and then refuse to stop until we have fulfilled it. This is called becoming responsible for one's Destiny.
Since we spent most of our physical, mental, spiritual and financial energy supporting the world system of White supremacy, we must begin to take some of our power back from that system in simple, practical ways. Put more of your labor into liberation activities. Start spending more money with Black businesses. Make your dollars work to strengthen your own community. Teach our children the value of business ownership. This could help our people to start really supporting our businesses. Brother James Clingman recently pulled together groups to revive a new MATTAH movement. You can also go online and check The Black Business Network and IZANIA.com.
We must develop active relationships with other nations, especially Afrika. These can be business relationships, cultural exchanges, academic and other types of activities that expand our horizons. Black people must start doing business with Afrika. When I was in South Afrika a brother practically pleaded with me, "Everybody is coming here and getting rich except the American Blacks." It's no accident. Oppression-induced Afri-phobia prevents us from taking advantage of partnerships that could help both us and the Motherland. These relationships will expand our understanding of the larger world, greatly enhance our financial wealth and bring active allies that can be of some help in a worst case scenario.
We must develop strategies and resources to generate meaningful consequences for those who violate our people. People should know that if you mess with us we will not only 'express collective outrage' but we will find a way make you pay and do the right thing. One short-term tactic I like is picketing homes of offenders. It's how we shut down the South African consulate in New Orleans . Heck, we went to jail picketing the consulate office and Kruggerand shops but when we showed up at his home he left and took his staff with him.
In Jena this could be tried with the DA or other officials. It doesn't take 40,000 people to make an impact this way and you can maintain consistency, say one hour per day at some strategic time, until your objective (and you must have an objective) is achieved. On a larger scale, strategic boycotts, lawsuits and even exposing embarrassing or incriminating information are all fair in war...and we are at war, we just keep losing.
To win we've got to build a real base of economic, political and cultural power. This involves short-term, practical self-sufficiency work as well as bold national moves. Both types of endeavors are listed below:
START A GARDEN. Yes, a GARDEN. A one-foot square project in your back yard can grow into an economic engine for your entire community... if you use your danged Kuumba, – that's creativity. Believe it or not, gardening projects make communities safer and more unified. There's something about people working together that strengthens and puts the 'neighbor' back in the 'hood.'
Even a small garden can generate income by selling to stores or individuals. Since most of our people rarely eat real food nowadays, there are serious health benefits and even behavioral benefits for our children. Since land is the basis for political and economic power, learning how to relate to the land and feed ourselves is a practical first step that you can begin THIS VERY DAY.
Imagine massive gardening projects in every city that also connected with Black farmers, (who really need our support). Imagine vacant, nasty lots replaced with life-affirming, organized vegetation. Imagine having an Afrikan marketplace set up where people can sell their wares and that the community truly supports. Imagine a goal of re-directing 1% of the grocery dollars of the Black community in your city in the first year's time and 5% in three years. That's a lot of money and a lot of power. Since I'm no expert on this, you might want to contact the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to help you get going.
BREAK THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE. Our schools were bad before high-stakes testing. Now they are becoming drop-out factories to feed the new slavery...the prison industry. We simply need our own national school system that could start with mass home schooling. This week you can begin tutoring or participating in an after-school or weekend program that teaches children their history and culture. You can become an advocate for education change. CIBI- the Council of Independent Black Institutions may be a place to start. The Children's Defense Fund is also working this issue.
INCREASE THE PEACE - especially with our youth and young adults. We've got to take our children back from the 'drug/thug' culture. We've got an entire generation of born warriors who simply need direction. Let's go get them. Programs that combine cultural orientation with employment or (legal) income producing training have been effective across the country. If necessary, you can start one in your living room. We're going to do an entire column or series on this.
HELP STOP RECEDIVISM. Visit or write someone in prison, help others do the same. What if every Church adopted two prisoners who are about to come out and helped them find work and stay out of the joint? Check out my friends at NABSIO - the National Association of Brothers and Sisters Inside and Out.
CHALLENGE THE PRISON-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. This thing is a racial reality. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, White people are arrested for way more crimes, even violent crimes than anybody else in the country. No surprise there, since they are 'way' the majority. So why are we over-represented in the prisons? Guess the Whites are all false arrests. We need to work with folks like The Sentencing Project, to expose and oppose how this system treats our people. Groups like Critical Resistance are doing this work.
GET YOUR MIND RIGHT. Read something everyday. Check out some of the empowerment plans other leaders have laid out for our people. The works of Marcus Garvey, Chancellor William's Destruction of Black Civilization, Amos Wilson's epic 'Blue Print for Black Power' (no, I didn't finish it either), and don't miss Claud Anderson's "Powernomics" because his Harvest Institute is actually doing the stuff he writes about. Start a book club and PLEASE get the books from Black-owned bookstores. Check out websites you're not supposed to know about such as Democracy Now.org or Copwatch, or Project Censored. If you are a fundamentalist, biblical literalist with high blood pressure, or a heart condition, please DO NOT visit wblr.com, that's WBLR.COM. Do not click on the radio and do not listen to Dr. Ray Hagins. (Okay, at least I warned you.) Also check out wlib.com.
ORGANIZE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Develop a neighborhood vision and a plan for realizing it. Get prepared for natural or human generated disasters. Learn how to protect your community. My ministry does it through setting up Liberated Zones. For info check our website (under construction) at destinyone.org.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY. Look up 'REX 84' or 'Operation Garden Plot' (they're about you). Like to hear the other side raw? Search terms like 'paramilitary' or 'RaHoWa'.
JOIN SOMETHING. Other groups that are already doing self-determination work include: 10•10•50.org; - a campaign I just got involved in that is dedicated to creating synergy among Black organizations. They don't duplicate, they coordinate! Other groups include, The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, National Black United Front, the New Afrikan People's Organization, INCITE! Women of Color vs Violence (family violence is a threat to our future) and The Millions More Movement . Most of these either have a group near you or would be delighted to have you start one in your area. You don't have to re-invent the wheel.
There's much more than can fit in this or several columns, but I hope you've got the urgency and some ideas that can help you become active and effective in pursuing total Black Liberation. I promise to provide more information of these and other solutions in future columns. I value your input and ideas.
So, Whatchagonna DO? As we say at Destiny One, "Let's Go Get Our People!"