When a historical moment gets completely ignored 2
This disdain and total lack of concern for a major event such as Haiti becoming a full member of the African Union, speaks volume about the current state of Pan-Africanism or rather the imposture pretending to have anything of Pan-African today.
I thought that a historical brief was needed to understand how we got to this point, well this is my take on things: While the 50’s and 60’s marked the uprising of people of African descent on both sides of the Atlantic with the African-American civil rights movement and the wave of independence in Africa, the 70’s and 80’s were dark years during which important setbacks took place. In the USA, the Reagan years were absolutely catastrophic, with measures specially targeted against the African-American community. The oil crisis of 1973 marked the end for good of hopes of economic prosperity and independence for many African nations who had to weave back old links of dependence with former colonial powers.
Today, a lot can be said about blackness and Pan-Africanism. In my opinion, Pan-African is either on life support or already has been pronounced dead. Why? Because the version of it we have today is a total, complete and utter fraud that can be potentially dangerous for the most powerless black folks. Today’s claims for ‘Black Unity’ are in most cases utter substantial BS.
Pan-Africanism’s goal was to unite all the people of African descent (and this included ‘non-black’ North-Africans, please remember Nasser’s legacy) to tackle down the white supremacist power structure, in other words, dismantle that hierarchical system and build a community based on equality, solidarity and reciprocity. These last notions are key and sadly today’s fallacious take on Black unity is totally devoid of any of them since it is built on the hierarchical system of white supremacy that the fathers of pan-africanism fought against. It DOES follow the structure of power set by whiteness: Firstly American hegemony at the core center, secondly, the western world at large (minus Japan), thirdly the rest, the periphery. We, those at the periphery are the non-western people of African descent - African, Caribbean, Latin American - and just like within white supremacy, within this fallacious take on black unity, WE DO NOT MATTER. Our voices, struggles, identities and realities, are neither worth knowing, nor worth acknowledging or discussing!! This is why that imposture that pretends to be ‘Pan-Africansim’ today and pro-blackness does not give a flying fuck about the historical adhesion of Haiti to the African Union. Blackness is only considered of value as long as it is closed enough to the core center and far enough from the periphery! This is why this ideology is dangerous! This gets to the point where propelled by the arrogance of benefiting from such ethnocentrism, many at the core have the audacity to proclaim themselves the voices and definers of blackness. Isn’t it blackest blackitty blackos blacker-than-thou morons and Henri-Louis-Gates in the making?? They take their authority straight from white supremacy!!
If as a westerner, your blackness is NOT colored by the reality of Maputo, Kigali, Sao Paulo, Port-au-Prince or any other cities from the Global South with large black populations, yet you are tempted to open your big mouth and do any of the things I just mentioned and on top of that you have the audacity to claim that you stand for ‘Black Unity’, and sincerely believe that your experience is in anything comparable with the experience of black people not shielded by western citizenship in terms of violence and poverty, I invite you to urgently grab any of these
and SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!
Yep, none of us get to choose their privilege or lack of, but one can choose whether or not / to what extend, with the privileges one is afforded, to either sustain and maintain an oppressive structure or not! Fallacious ‘Black Unity’ does sustain and maintain white supremacy, making it highly prejudicial for those of us at the bottom of the very bottom.
I am about to go personal here. Waking up from the delusions of US and western-centric blackness was a huge emotional and intellectual shock for me because it was then that I fully realized that it has alienated me from myself just like white supremacy. While I was caught up fighting battles that were not mine and never will be I was completely disregarding my own struggles, identity, reality and people! I was caring more about things far far away from me than things close to home, that define and make me who I am and my people; those who with whom I share a language, a nationality, a tribe, a continent, a status of non-westerner. Because at the end of the day, they are the ONLY ONES who have my back. They are the ONLY ONES who can really understand me. They are the ONLY ONES who fight and care for me as a black woman, a Cameroonian, a Bamileke, and an African, well a non-factor from the periphery of this oppressive world. Unfortunately, far too many of us are still caught up in this fallacy that leads us to loose and forget about ourselves.
Pan-Africanism should never have a center, if it does, it is probably following the hierarchical structure of an oppressive system, hence is most likely white supremacy in disguise!