One of the things that we must recognize is that our oppressor represents death; our oppressor is deadly. One of the things that impressed me most when I went to graduate school and rally had my first real contact with the white educational establishment was that these people are dead. There’s death around them somewhere, which is the reason they are deadly as a people, why every advance of knowledge for them is an advancement in the knowledge of destruction. Every advancement in knowledge is an advancement in the ability to kill and destroy the earth, kill and destroy nature, kill and destroy others, rape and rob the earth of its wealth, people and life forms, so much so that now they are having great difficulty even reproducing themselves. At the very center of their lives is death and destruction.
We cannot imitate a people who are our oppressors. And we have this kind of silliness that goes on in this system today. You are going to complain on one hand about these racist people, about how they enslaved us, exploited us discriminated against us, how they lynched and pillaged us, and then turn right around and see their behavior as something to be emulated and imitated.
Imitation of the oppressor is then equivalent to the treatment of the self and one’s fellows just as the oppressor would treat us. It is equal to the treatment of the self and the group in a destructive manner. It equals the lack of self-respect and respect for the group, since the oppressor lacks respect for us as individuals and as a group. If our oppressors exploit us, then the imitation of our oppressor means self-exploitation. Consequently we see in the legacy of Marcus Garvey, a moving away from the imitation of our oppressors and a moving toward the identification with all that is Afrikan
When we look at the legacy of Marcus Garvey we see again an emphasis on productivity. Marcus Garvey did not have to read Frederic Engels, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, even though he was familiar with them. He did not have to read those to recognize the intimate relationship between the means of production and the character of a people, to recognize the intimate relationship between the nature of the economic relationships of people and their social relationships one with the other. It was apparent in his observing of our people across the world. He recognized, as we must recognize, that social character is to a significant extent determined by the nature of social and labor relations.
He recognized intuitively that the eating at lunch counters with our enemies, the sharing of hotels and beds with those enemies, the marrying and sleeping with their daughters, would not advance our interests ultimately as a people; that consuming their products would not rescue us from subordination. Ultimate freedom and independence is founded on production, upon the creation of employment, upon the creation of labor and the creation of products for our own consumption.
When we look in the world today, we will see that the powerful nations and people are producing people, not consuming people. As I’ve often said, you cannot consume yourself into equality; you cannot consume yourself into power. Those nations who depend upon consumption will see as they consume the product of others and do not produce themselves, that they will be consumed by others.
IRONY OF EDUCATION. The paradox I have to deal with daily in my classroom is the amount of lying that must take place in the name of education; the amount of outright deception that goes by the name of education; how truth must be nailed to the cross in classroom after classroom; how people tremble, quake and suffer from anxiety when truth and reality is brought up by their teachers; how people are pushed out of the universities and punished because they dare talk about truth; how people think they should go to school only to be made comfortable.
And each day they sit in my class, Asians, whites, Afrikans, Hispanics and ofttimes it’s an exercise in twisting, turning and squirming because I dare talk about slavery, colonialism, the sickness of Europeans; the lying deceptive and devilish nature and the pathology of the people who now rule the world; because I dare talk about the irony of where white men sit down and determine the destiny of a world that’s over 90% colored; when I dare tell them that they sit in these classes and let these whites and their education brainwash and propagandize them into servitude, and how their education is an education into ignorance. But if we are to rescue our children, students and our people, these unpleasant issues must be dealt with forthrightly.
When we deal with an assimilationist leadership that sees solutions to our problems as getting our children more soundly educated in these lies, we are going to see a decline and the destruction of Afrikan people who think that their salvation is one of being educated by the very people who destroyed them in the first place.
We must recognize that the white man’s rule depends upon ongoing deceptions and lies. Ultimately, then, we cannot see him as the foundation and basis of truth. Thus we cannot let him be the educator of our children and let the reality that he projects become our reality. For he is sick of mind and heart. He is deceived by his own lies and therefore the reality he projects must be a lying reality. He suffers and he is deadly. How can we not suffer and die if we accept what he sees as real and unreal?
Those leaders who seek to tell us that we can only rescue ourselves through accepting the identity of the white man are leaders who will lead us to our peril and our death. We must recognize that if we are to live, we have to remove these kinds of leaders.
THE ASSIMILATIONIST TREADMILL. The assimilationist often accepts, consciously or unconsciously, the idea that the white man will continue to rule the world. He bases his ideology and political action on the concept that somehow our destiny is not to overthrow the white man; that our destiny is not to remove this pathological person; that our destiny is not to suppress and bring these sick people under control but heal them in some sort of way, to convert them, to even become a part of them. Our destiny becomes not one that sees the very system and very ideology upon which these oppressors move as one of sickness and insanity and therefore in need of replacement by an Afrikan-centered and healthy ideology that comes out of our own self-knowing. This leadership wants us to accept this sickness as normality and to follow these pathological beings into self-destruction.
And consequently you will see the enemy’s children, the enemy’s personality being held up as normal, as representing the norm. Our behavior, to the degree that it differs from that of our enemy, is seen as deviant and thus abnormal. To that degree we confuse equality with sameness, where we think that in order to be equal or greater than our enemy we have to be the same as our enemy; to the degree we think differentness automatically represents inferiority and therefore we become alarmed at anything that says we are somehow different from our enemy.
We must recognize, ladies and gentlemen, that racism is a sickness, that the exploitation and wholesale rape and pillaging of the earth by the European represents a pathology and a illness. Therefore, our destiny is not one of trying to become a member of this gang of thieves, but to end its existence here on earth, to inhibit its rapacious ways and to bring this group of people to heel!
Yet we have a leadership that makes us think that our only crime has been that we’ve been left out on the looting of these thieves. We get a leadership that cries about how we’re only getting a certain percentage of their robbery and thievery. We must recognize, Afrikan people, that it is not about getting a piece of the stolen gains of these people, but to stop their thievery and rape of the world, period! So it is not about being left out of the mainstream; it is about bringing into being a new world order.
This leadership has thus robbed us of the Marcus Garvey legacy. We have a leadership that has sold us conspicuous consumption as a way of salvaging our egos. It makes us think that we will be equal to the white man when we can drive the same cars, have the same jobs, sleep in the same beds and buy in the same neighborhoods; a consumer equality: not an equality of ownership, not an equality based on wealth. We have had that kind of leadership and thus have seen Afrikan people the world-over, in this country and on the Afrikan continent give up the very basic wealth of their own lands and their very basic real estate to their enemies for a few pennies and materials which fade away and are corruptible.
We have a leadership that is not concerned with developing its own productive capacities, but with merely getting jobs and being identified with the productive capacities of others, with literally marrying the enemy and thus trying to achieve the status of the enemy through marriage instead of through strength and power.
We have seen this assimilationist leadership, which came to the fore and to a degree has pushed back the nationalist leadership, reign over the decline of Afrikan people the world-over; the decline in Afrikan education, the disruption of the Afrikan family, the retardation of Afrikan technology, the decline and paralysis of Afrikan economics, the rampaging of our community by drugs, the colonial occupation of our community by foreign police forces and others who are not members of the Afrikan community. When we look over the past 20 to 40 years, we see an assimilationist leadership that has brought us to the terrible moral, economic, social, political, and educational impasse that we are griping about today.
To a degree, simultaneous with the rise of assimilationist leadership, I think we had a rise of pseudo-nationalistic leadership; a nationalist rhetoric without a nationalist substance, a people who talked a good nationalism but who do not behave and actualize what that nationalism means. We are now engaged in a struggle between true nationalism and counterfeit nationalism. It is time for us to remove those counterfeit nationalists, who are also in a subtle sort of similar way the partners of the assimilationists.
THE TRUE NATIONALIST. The true nationalist is not obsessed with the past to the exclusion of the present. One of the things I think you will see in the Marcus Garvey legacy is that while he raised the black man’s past to great heights, project that past and made it a part of the consciousness of black people, there was a thorough going concern with the present and the future.
The true nationalist is forward-looking and futuristic. I see too few conferences, too few people concerned with the future, even nationalists: “What must we do today to secure the survival and the advancement of Afrikan people the world-over? What must we do to fight off the threat of the Asian takeover of the world? Are we to throw off or to see the death of European civilization, only to fall under the yoke of the Asian civilization? We can look out in our streets today and see it coming. It is around us everywhere. The invasion of our communities by Asians is a sign of times to come.
The true nationalist is intrepid. Not that the nationalist does not have fear, but he learns to operate in spite of fear; fear does not paralyze him. He uses the fear as energy to move forward and to confront his enemies. He does not hide his fear behind high-sounding phrases, highsounding scholarship and dredging up the past. He dredges up the past as a means of integrating it into his personality, as a foundation for his movement forward and his thrust into the future.
The true nationalist is entrepreneurial: he’s building something; he’s constructing something. We see that in Garvey; not just a concern with the past, not just an identification with Egypt and other great Afrikan empires of the past, not just picking up little detail upon little detail of some Afrikan past, but of a sound movement forward in concrete, brick and mortar construction; a sound hands-on developing and actualization of Afrikan ideology and political development. He is one who thrusts his fear aside and moves forward, the true Afrikan nationalist.
He not only respects his ethnic heritage and the glories of his ancestors, but he is equally, if not more, concerned with the inheritance he’s going to pass on to his children, with the legacy he’s going to give to his children.
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Source: RBG Communiversity – RBG Blakademics