“My student sent me a WhatsApp message and asked about my response to the most recent police violence against an unarmed African man and I felt obliged to write a post”.
Sitting here in Accra I see the outrage, disgust, and anger that many on Social Media and on the ground are feeling. First off let me get this straight there is a rebellion happening in Minneapolis and let’s not forget that rebellions have sparked some sort of change. In spite of my support for the rebellions happening now, I must also take a sober look at how we can stop these extrajudicial killings from happening not just in America but Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya, or any place where police/military have killed African people.
Police Violence is a by-product of capitalism a system where profit is more important than people. It is a system in which global capitalists and corporations exploit the working class and the masses to make more and more profit. This results in institutions that theoretically should “serve and protect” humanity to “serve and protect” the capitalist system. This translates into racist policies both spoken and unspoken dictating the actions of police and the military. The undercurrent of race and class in America is institutionalized in the very fabric of America. As a result, it drastically impacts African, Latinx, Asian and other people of color in ways that play out as mass-incarceration, police violence, high rates of health disparities, lack of employment, political and economic oppression and so much more.
The question about the next steps is an interesting one because until this system is dismantled and Pan-Africanism is achieved African men and women will continue to be killed in the street. This will happen from Lagos to London to Minneapolis to Bahia and it will not be because we are African!! Capitalism as an economic system is nothing but cancer on humanity and mother nature.
The fundamental question we should be wrestling with as we process the tragic murder of Geroge Floyd is not just about the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators. We must process what this means to our sons and daughters and sisters and brothers and ourselves as we take a sober look at the fundamental contradiction. That fundamental contradiction is CAPITALISM. We must dedicate ourselves to building a movement that can defend African people. The pain that we feel in our hearts every time we see one of our sisters or brothers shot or choked out because they are African must be re-directed to achieving Pan-Africanism. It is only a unified Africa that can fight for our people in Africa and the Diaspora.
So in my general fashion let me make four recommendations about the way forward:
- Join an organization fighting for the liberation and unification of Africa and African people globally.
- Educate our youth about Pan-Africanism and show how it will benefit them and their descendants.
- When organizing protests and rebellions against murder in our communities do it from a Pan-African perspective. Connect it to the larger Pan-African and internationalist movement and the challenges and victories that this movement bring.
- Most importantly, recognize the limitations of the world in which we live in and this means that until we seriously talk about an alternative to capitalism we will be here mourning another African month after month and year and year.
Despite this blog..please know that I am as angry and pained as everyone else. Every time an African is killed a part of my heart aches-it reminds me of the struggle that we had to endure during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and colonization and neo-colonialism. It is the pain that drives me to organize for Pan-Africanism
Support and condolences go out to the family of Geroge Floyd and all of the other family members that we will lose at the hands of the capitalist system.
Organize, Organize, Organize!!!
Ready for Revolution