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We have, these many years, all failed to do our duty. We need to redeem ourselves. Now is the time

to atone for our confusion, vacillation, inaction and even indifference to the plight

of our Black African kith and kin in Darfur.

 

 

Books by Chinweizu

 

 The West and the Rest of Us (1975) / Decolonising the African Mind (1987) / Voices from Twentieth-century Africa (1988)

 

Invocations and Admonitions (1986); Energy Crisis and Other Poems (1978); Anatomy of Female Power (1990)

 

 Towards the Decolonization of African Literature (1980).

 

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Reparations for Darfur: A Resolution

 By Chinweizu

 

Preamble

In the last decade, Black Africans have watched, in helpless incomprehension and confusion, the agonies of Darfur as it was being raped by Arabs before the eyes of the whole world. Leaving undone what they needed to do to stop the disaster, Black African presidents joined the world in arguing over how to describe what has been going on. For example,

(1) At a press conference at the UN on 23 September, 2004, Mr. Obasanjo, Nigeria’s president at the time, was asked to pronounce on the violence in Darfur: was it genocide or not? His response was:

"Before you can say that this is genocide or ethnic cleansing, we will have to have a definite decision and plan and programme of a government to wipe out a particular group of people, then we will be talking about genocide, ethnic cleansing. What we know is not that. What we know is that there was an uprising, rebellion, and the government armed another group of people to stop that rebellion. That’s what we know. That does not amount to genocide from our own reckoning. It amounts to of course conflict. It amounts to violence."

Similarly, (2) in its report, of 25 January 2005, the UN Security Council’s five-person commission of inquiry on Darfur concluded that:

“The Government of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide . . . directly or through the militias under its control. . . .The crucial element of genocidal intent appears to be missing . . . it would seem that those who planned and organized attacks on villages pursued the intent to drive the victims from their homes, primarily for purposes of counter-insurgency warfare.”

Meanwhile, behind the facade of an ineffective AU force, the Arab minority regime in Khartoum, with its Janjaweed agents, was left unhindered to continue its destructive project.

But since July 2007, when an internal UNHCR [UN High Commission for Refugees] report was published by the Independent of London, disclosing how the Khartoum government was brazenly importing Arabs from outside Sudan, giving them citizenship and settling them on the land and in the villages from where the Afro-Darfurians have been expelled, all the specious and obscurantist arguments of the last five years about whether Khartoum’s actions amounted to genocide/ethnic cleansing or to just counter-insurgency warfare are over. They have been overtaken and decided by events.

The intent behind it all has now been revealed. The only ones who cannot see it are those who refuse to see: It was to drive out the indigenous black African population and repopulate their land with Arab settlers. Is that ethnic cleansing? Is that genocide? When you drive people off their land and give their land to others, have you not condemned them to slow death? Isn’t that genocide by other means?

It is an eternal shame on Mr. Obasanjo and his fellow black African presidents in the AU who let that happen on their watch.

*   *   *   *   *

Now, what is to be done? What is to be done by Black Africans?

In our season of continentalist delusion, various fifth columnist voices have worked to confuse us. Some Black African intellectuals are not ashamed to be passionately pro-Palestinians, for being victims of land grabs by the Israelis, and yet passionately anti-Darfur, the victims of a land grab by the Arabs. One of these inconsistent fellows has denounced those Black Africans who demand stronger measures against Khartoum as “working with the enemy,” i.e., the American and Zionist enemy of our Arab enemy.

Though the fellow parades himself as a Pan Africanist, he really is an agent of Arab colonialism and helping to confuse our people.

Others of our Black African intellectuals, who are beholden to the Arabs in sundry ways, have railed against the Darfur freedom fighters—the SLA [Sudan Liberation Army] and the JEM (Justice and Equality Movement]. One has even gone so far as to misrepresent and denounce them as “peace vultures . . . playing reactionary politics with lives, blood, sweat and suffering of their peoples.”

This Arab-loyal “Pan-Africanist” has claimed that the rebels “are not legitimate leaders of the people. They are their self-appointed liberators.” He adds that they are “colonial minded leaders [who] seem to have no faith in the AU and implicit confidence in non African governments and institutions.” Now, given the AU’s record of subservience to the Arabs, why should the Darfurians have any confidence at all in the AU?

We have also allowed ourselves to be confused by pro-Arab obscurantists who claimed that for Black Africans to support Darfur would be “extremely anti-Islamic.” They chose not to notice that the Arab-minority regime in Khartoum, its Janjaweed agents as well as most of their Darfurian victims are all Muslim. And while such fifth columnist voices confused and immobilized us, the Arabs have gone on to effect their land grab in Darfur.

But who are these strange Arabs in Sudan, located so deep inside black Africa?  They are mostly Nubian-Arab mixed breeds, black wannabe Arabs who are held in contempt by the true Arabs who, nevertheless, gladly use them as monkey’s paw to advance Arab expansionism. Arab minority rule in Sudan is as if the Cape Coloreds of South Africa had inherited power in 1948, proclaimed themselves Europeans, and then proceeded to inflict apartheid, war and genocide on the black South Africans as the first stage in their mission to repopulate all of black Africa with Europeans.

*   *   *   *   *

Now that unfolding events have blown off the dust thrown into our eyes, what do we see?

We can see

1] that the Africans of Darfur have lost their homeland to Arab expansionist land grabbers;

2] that Darfur is a war front in today’s phase of the long race war inflicted on us black Africans, since 640AD, by the Arab invaders and incorrigible aggressors.

3] that the Darfur war is racial not religious;

4] that the black presidents in the AU have been passive and naive accomplices of the Arabs in this humiliation of all Black Africans;

5] that Darfur is a contemptuous spit in the face of Black Africa by the Arabs; a humiliating expression of their total and ancient contempt for us black Africans. They have, before our very eyes, snatched from us a territory the size of France; and to do it, they have played on the intelligence of our black African presidents. And they are confident that we won’t do anything about it.

However, since aggression grows more greedy if it does not draw retaliation, if we stomach this humiliation, if we do not chase them out of Darfur, the Arabs will be emboldened to grab even more of our lands. Who’s next? South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia? And after that? Uganda, Congo, Nigeria, Kenya? And then all the way to Accra, Dakar, Harare and Cape Town?

If you do nothing to stop the Janjaweed and their Arab masters today, it will, some day, be your turn to be raped and ethnic cleansed by them, and you might find yourself lamenting and saying:

The Arabs came for the South Sudanese, and I did nothing to stop them because I Wasn’t a South Sudanese;

And then the Arabs came for the black Mauritanians, and I did nothing to stop them because I wasn’t a black Mauritanian;

Then the Arabs came for the blacks in Darfur, and I did nothing to stop them because I wasn’t a black in Darfur;

And then the Arabs came for my black ass in Cape Town/Accra/Dakar, and by that time there were no blacks left to stop them killing or enslaving me and taking my land.

We should note that our clamor for reparations for past wrongs will not be taken seriously by anybody who sees us acting indifferent to ongoing wrongs of the same kind in Darfur. If we let stand this brazen Arab land grab in Darfur; if we leave undone what we can and ought to do about it, nobody will respect us; nor can we keep our self-respect.

Here, for once, is a case where reparation is entirely within our competence to make. We have absolutely no excuse for not taking back Darfur from the Arabs. If the black presidents in the AU do not do their duty on Darfur, they will expose themselves as cowardly appeasers of, and collaborators with, Arab expansionists. They will expose themselves as what Garvey long ago called Traitors-at-the-top.

We must make that clear to them, to ourselves and to the whole world.  The spotlight is on us, the intelligentsia of Black Africa. It is our duty to make that clear, and to drive these black African presidents to do their duty.

Being what Du Bois in 1921, at the 2nd Pan African Congress, called the “thinking Intelligentsia” of Black Africa, it is our Pan Africanist duty to rouse our people to hold these black African presidents accountable to our people in the matter of Darfur.

*   *   *   *   *

Resolution

The Black Africans, through “their thinking intelligentsia,” therefore now demand and call on all the black African governments, in Africa and the diaspora, to rise to the challenge from the Arab expansionists, and exact reparation for Darfur. We specifically call on them

1] To send a black African army to expel the Arab land grabbers now in Darfur;

2] To restore the land of Darfur to its black African owners;

3] To resettle in Darfur the indigenous populations that have been ethnic cleansed and driven into exile or refugee camps;

4] To exact compensation from the Arab minority regime in Khartoum, and use it to finance the resettlement of the Afro-Darfurians in their homeland.

5] To punish the Arab minority regime in Khartoum for its multitude of crimes against black African humanity.

We have, these many years, all failed to do our duty. We need to redeem ourselves. Now is the time to atone for our confusion, vacillation, inaction and even indifference to the plight of our Black African kith and kin in Darfur. Now is the time to rise and give total and sustained support to our victimized brothers and sisters in Darfur.

For the CAACBA [Committee Against Arab Colonialism in Black Africa] Lagos, August 2007 

*   *   *   *   *

Chinweizu is a Black Power Pan-Africanist and an institutionally unaffiliated Afrocentric scholar from Nigeria. His books include The West and the Rest of Us (1975); Decolonising the African Mind (1987); Voices from Twentieth-century Africa (1988); Invocations and Admonitions (1986); Energy Crisis and Other Poems (1978); Anatomy of Female Power (1990). He is also a co-author of Towards the Decolonization of African Literature (1980).

Feel free notice: Please feel free to comment on and fwd this information to any Pan-African persons, or to publish and reproduce it, unedited and in its entirety, to the Pan-African community, provided you credit the author, do not change, cut or add any word or otherwise mutilate the piece, i.e. publish as is or don’t at all.

If posted at a website, please email a copy of the web page to sundoor777@hyperia.com. For print media use, please obtain prior written permission, and then send two (2) copies of the publication wherein used, to Chinweizu, P. O. Box 988, Festac Town, Lagos, Nigeria.

For further information please contact Chinweizu sundoor777@hyperia.com  All rights reserved. © Chinweizu 2007

posted 13 September 2007

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Home  Reparations Table / Religion & Politics / Nuba-Darfur-South Sudan Table / Transitional Writings on Africa

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Forty Years of Determined Struggle  A Caring and Just Society