Obamaism: Neo-Colonialism’s Last Gasp

Obamaism: Neo-Colonialism’s Last Gasp

I am not a Marxist (then again, neither was Karl Marx); however, to be totally dismissive of Karl Marx’s class analysis would be intellectually foolhardy. There may be room for debate as to whether or not “class” is THE motor force in human history, as Marx postulated, but, one thing is certain, “class” has definitely played a critical role in that history. Before we proceed, maybe we should define our terms. To paraphrase a definition that I borrowed from Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah “a class is the sum total of individuals, in a society, who share a common position and interest relative to the means of production, distribution and exchange, that, as a class, they are bound to preserve and protect”. Looking at this concept in its practical manifestation, Marx saw, in the ancient slave societies (i.e. Egypt, Greece, Rome etc.), a primary division, along class lines, between bond and free. A closer inspection of Rome, for instance, would reveal a Patrician class (rulers), Plebeians (free workers) and, of course, slaves.

Without going into the details of the evolutionary development of class society that he documented and explained, Marx charted the transition of the ancient slavery system into the feudal system of the so-called “Middle Ages”. During this period, we witnessed the continuation of class domination, but, this time it was between the Aristocracy (landowner) and the Serf (landless). Regardless of the euphemistic label you affix to it (i.e. Patrician/Plebeian, Aristocracy/Serf), the relationship between the respective classes is exploitative. In other words, it is a master/slave relationship to the detriment of the latter. Since resistance is an inevitable consequence of oppression, class struggle becomes the order of the day; in other words, the friction which is engendered by the exploitative nature of the class arrangement, leads to slave revolts (i.e. Spartacus) and, in some instances, revolution (i.e. French Revolution). By the term “revolution”, I mean when one class seizes state power from another.

Capitalism is the global economic system which emerged from the class struggle between the European merchant class and the feudal aristocracy. When the Spaniards, under Ferdinand and Isabella, succeeded in driving the Muslims (Moors) from Spain, the door to westward expansion was opened. This led to the rise of a merchant class due to the international trade and commerce that was engendered. The system that emerged is called mercantilism (or infant capitalism). The power of this merchant class grew exponentially due to the Atlantic Slave trade which produced untold wealth. This enabled that merchant class to challenge and ultimately supplant the authority of the aristocracy. The wealth produced by slavery not only provided the fuel for the Industrial Revolution, it also enabled the new European ruling class (Bourgeoisie) to extend their system of class domination globally in the form of Imperialism and Settler Colonialism. By mentioning “Imperialism”, I don’t mean to gloss over V.I. Lenin’s theoretical and practical contribution to this discourse.

Marx made predictions based on his class analysis of society. Marx believed that the class antagonism between the European ruling class (Bourgeoisie) and the European working class (Proletariat) would ultimately lead to the supplanting of Bourgeois power by a workers revolution. He saw European workers as being the “gravediggers of Capitalism”. By enlightening workers to the reality that they have no stake in a system which is rooted in their own exploitation, proponents of the Marxist ideology (Communists), armed with class consciousness, would be able to guide the working class to the seizure of state power. The famous maxim “workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains” became the Communist mantra.

Marx, with all of his brilliance, failed to foresee the role European global imperialism would play in muting the contradictions inherent in European class society. In other words, the European working class received larger “crumbs” from the pie of exploitation due to the super-exploitation of the peoples of Afrika, Asia and Latin Amerika, in the form of European colonialism. So, instead of becoming a revolutionary force, the global white working class became the most reactionary oppressed class on earth. V.I. Lenin, the great, Russian revolutionary, analyzed and articulated this dynamic in his classic “Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism”. It was not in the “advanced” countries of the West where revolutionary ferment was exploding, contrary to Marx’s predictions. It was in the super-exploited nations of Afrika (Ghana, Angola, and Namibia etc.), Asia (China, Viet Nam etc.) and Latin Amerika (Cuba, Nicaragua etc.) where anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist revolution became the order of the day, as Lenin had predicted. Courtesy of Comrade Lenin’s theoretical contribution, “Marxism” became “Marxism-Leninism”.

Any student of history has to extend kudos to the resilience of the global white ruling class. When the capital of global white supremacy shifted from Europe to amerika, after World War II, amerika did not take it lying down when her hegemony became embattled both at home (Civil Rights, Black Power and Anti-War Movements) and abroad (Korea, Viet Nam, Cuba etc.). She responded with a brilliant subterfuge called Neo-colonialism. In short, Neo-colonialism is indirect imperial control via indigenous elites. Internationally, this means the Mother Country (Imperial Power) no longer plants its flag on the conquered soil but, rather, maintains its de facto control through some local thug (Somoza, Pinochet, the Shah, Marcos, Batista, Papa Doc, Baby Doc etc.), and his cronies, who they arm to the teeth. The colonizer still siphons off the wealth of the neo-colonized people, only it’s now done through the agency of a local puppet regime. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah brilliantly described this in “Neo-colonialism: the Last Stage of Imperialism”.

Domestically, this same neo-colonial dynamic was manifested by “putting Black faces in high places”. I can’t articulate this point any better than our late, great giant Dr. Amos N. Wilson (“Blueprint for Black Power: A Moral, Political and Economic Imperative for the 21st Century):

Black politics and activism without the Black ownership of and control over primary forms and bases of power such as property, wealth, organization, etc., is the recipe for Black political and non-political powerlessness.

The rather obtuse pursuit of political office and the ballot box as primary sources of power by the Black community and its politicians without its concomitant ownership of and control over important resources, has actually hindered the development of real Black power in America. More ominously, there appears to be a paradoxical and positive correlation between the number of Blacks elected and appointed to high office and retrogressions in the civil and human rights extended to Black Americans during the past twenty years.

Increases in homelessness, poverty, unemployment, criminality and violence in the Black community; disorganization of the traditional Black family, inadequacies in education, increases in health problems of all types, and a host of other social and political ills have all attended increases in the number of Black elected and appointed officials. That is, the more elected and appointed Black politicians, the more social-economic problems the Black community has suffered.

While we are not implying a causal relationship between the increase of the number of Black appointed and elected officials and the increased misery indices of the Black community, we are implying or asserting that their increase obscures those things which are responsible for and do little to ameliorate or uproot the increasing prevalence of social and economic problems in the Black community.

The community's concern with the election and appointment of Black political figures helps it to maintain false hopes that their attainment of office will significantly resolve its problems. The activities of Black politicians, given the current inadequacy of social organization and economic resources, harmfully distract the Black community's attention from recognizing and eradicating the true causes of its problems and the remediation of its powerlessness."

"The responsibility of the Afrikan American community [is to ensure] Afrika's economic development. The ignoring of Afrika by the Western nations provide windows of opportunity open to native Afrikans to drastically reduce the massive outflow or flight of capital, which has been estimated to exceed 80 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, and to reinvest it in their own countries.

Afrikan peoples and nations across the Diaspora must apprise themselves of a full, ongoing knowledge of the social, economic and cultural history of Afrikan nations as well as their contemporary status and reorganize their sociocultural and economic structures so as to initiate and fuel continental Afrika's growth and development.

The Afrikan American community, especially, should vastly overhaul and reconstruct its educational orientation toward a knowledge of the Motherland. It must realize that its own economic salvation is coterminous with or tied to that of Afrika's. It must invest money and human resources in Afrika's development and perceive its economic prosperity as its special responsibility and mission…

The Afrikan American community must become vigilantly and jealously interested in U.S. and European policies toward Afrika and seek to influence those policies in both its own and Afrika's favor."

Dr. Wilson also wrote:

“For Afrikan Americans, all the promises of the Civil Rights Era have been betrayed, everything has been reversed. The more Black officials have been elected the worse the Black electorate has fared; Black homelessness became a national scandal during the tenure of a Black Secretary of Housing; the Black community was overrun with AIDS, drug addiction, tuberculosis, all sorts of diseases and maladies during the tenure of a Black man as Secretary of Health; Black nations were overrun by the imperial armies of the United States while a Black man was Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the more Black judges appointed to the bench, the more Black men fill America’s prisons and the more Black-on-Black violence ravages America’s Black ghettos. While some 60 distinguished Black men and women sat on some 165 major corporate boards, Blacks were the only ethnic group who suffered net employment losses in major American corporations. At the same time when Afrikan Americans suffered net losses in employment and other minority groups and Whites achieved net increases, Black conservative men presided as the heads of the Equal Economic Opportunity Commission. At the same time when the masses of Blacks are ghettoized in America’s declining cities and no longer live on, own or work the land, a Black man presided as Secretary of Agriculture…”

“In light of the foregoing discussion we think it more appropriate and productive to critically look at the ideological orientation of certain types of leadership establishments which prevail or are emergent in the Afrikan American community today, than to critically analyze the individual leaders and their politics.”

[ Amos N. Wilson from "Blueprint for Black Power: A Moral, Political, and Economic Imperative for the Twenty-First Century"]

The back cover of my book, “The Black Muslim Manifesto: From Inside the Belly of the Beast”, reads:

“The “Manifesto” takes the unabashed position that the “Obamamania”, which has been signed onto by most “recognized” Black “leadership”, is no more than a corporate controlled deception. It is a deception designed for international as well as domestic consumption. The American ruling class is faced with the “browning of America”. They are also confronted with an increasingly non-white, anti-American global population. According to the “Manifesto”, “Obamaism” represents the apotheosis of neo-colonialism.”

In light of the ideological groundwork laid out in this essay, I don’t feel it necessary to expound further on the aforementioned quote from “The Manifesto”; however, it is my fervent hope that imperialism will be unable to reach into its bag of tricks and pull out another deception. Hopefully, “Obamaism” will prove to be “Neo-Colonialism’s Last Gasp”.




(1868) Reverend Henry McNeal Turner, “I Claim the Rights of a Man”

 African Methodist Episcopal minister and later Bishop Henry McNeal Turner emerged immediately after the Civil War as one of the most ardent defenders of African Ameriacn rights. Turner was also among the first group of Reconstruction-era African American elected officials. In July 1868, Turner was among the two state senators and twenty-five black Republican state representatives elected to serve in the Georgia legislature. Less than two months later, Georgia Democrats, the majority of the legislature, boldly expelled all of the black members. On September 3, 1868, Turner stood before the assembled representatives and denounced the legislators who had refused to seat the African American senators and representatives. That speech appears below.

Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding to argue this question upon its intrinsic merits, I wish the members of this House to understand the position that I take. I hold that I am a member of this body. Therefore, sir, I shall neither fawn nor cringe before any party, nor stoop to beg them for my rights. Some of my colored fellow members, in the course of their remarks, took occasion to appeal to the sympathies of members on the opposite side, and to eulogize their character for magnanimity. It reminds me very much, sir, of slaves begging under the lash. I am here to demand my rights and to hurl thunderbolts at the men who would dare to cross the threshold of my manhood. There is an old aphorism which says, "fight the devil with fire," and if I should observe the rule in this instance, I wish gentlemen to understand that it is but fighting them with their own weapon.

The scene presented in this House, today, is one unparalleled in the history of the world. From this day, back to the day when God breathed the breath of life into Adam, no analogy for it can be found. Never, in the history of the world, has a man been arraigned before a body clothed with legislative, judicial or executive functions, charged with the offense of being a darker hue than his fellow men. I know that questions have been before the courts of this country, and of other countries, involving topics not altogether dissimilar to that which is being discussed here today. But, sir, never in the history of the great nations of this world never before has a man been arraigned, charged with an offense committed by the God of Heaven Himself. Cases may be found where men have been deprived of their rights for crimes and misdemeanors; but it has remained for the state of Georgia, in the very heart of the nineteenth century, to call a man before the bar, and there charge him with an act for which he is no more responsible than for the head which he carries upon his shoulders. The Anglo Saxon race, sir, is a most surprising one. No man has ever been more deceived in that race than I have been for the last three weeks. I was not aware that there was in the character of that race so much cowardice or so much pusillanimity. The treachery which has been exhibited in it by gentlemen belonging to that race has shaken my confidence in it more than anything that has come under my observation from the day of my birth.

What is the question at issue? Why, sir, this Assembly, today, is discuss¬ing and deliberating on a judgment; there is not a Cherub that sits around God's eternal throne today that would not tremble even were an order is¬sued by the Supreme God Himself to come down here and sit in judgment on my manhood. Gentlemen may look at this question in whatever light they choose, and with just as much indifference as they may think proper to assume, but I tell you, sir, that this is a question which will not die today. This event shall be remembered by posterity for ages yet to come, and while the sun shall continue to climb the hills of heaven.

Whose legislature is this? Is it a white man's legislature, or is it a black man's legislature? Who voted for a constitutional convention, in obedience to the mandate of the Congress of the United States? Who first rallied around the standard of Reconstruction? Who set the ball of loyalty rolling in the state of Georgia? And whose voice was heard on the hills and in the valleys of this state? It was the voice of the brawny armed Negro, with the few humanitarian hearted white men who came to our assistance. I claim the honor, sir, of having been the instrument of convincing hundreds yea, thousands of white men, that to reconstruct under the measures of the United States Congress was the safest and the best course for the interest of the state.

Let us look at some facts in connection with this matter. Did half the white men of Georgia vote for this legislature? Did not the great bulk of them fight, with all their strength, the Constitution under which we are act¬ing? And did they not fight against the organization of this legislature? And further, sir, did they not vote against it? Yes, sir! And there are persons in this legislature today who are ready to spit their poison in my face, while they themselves opposed, with all their power, the ratification of this Con¬stitution. They question my right to a seat in this body, to represent the people whose legal votes elected me. This objection, sir, is an unheard of monopoly of power. No analogy can be found for it, except it be the case of a man who should go into my house, take possession of my wife and chil¬dren, and then tell me to walk out. I stand very much in the position of a criminal before your bar, because I dare to be the exponent of the views of those who sent me here. Or, in other words, we are told that if black men want to speak, they must speak through white trumpets; if black men want their sentiments expressed, they must be adulterated and sent through white messengers, who will quibble and equivocate and evade as rapidly as the pen¬dulum of a clock. If this be not done, then the black men have committed an outrage, and their representatives must be denied the right to represent their constituents.

The great question, sir, is this: Am I a man? If I am such, I claim the rights of a man. Am I not a man because I happen to be of a darker hue than honorable gentlemen around me? Let me see whether I am or not. I want to convince the House today that I am entitled to my seat here. A certain gentleman has argued that the Negro was a mere development similar to the orangoutang or chimpanzee, but it so happens that, when a Negro is examined, physiologically, phrenologically and anatomically, and I may say, physiognomically, he is found to be the same as persons of different color. I would like to ask any gentleman on this floor, where is the analogy? Do you find me a quadruped, or do you find me a man? Do you find three bones less in my back than in that of the white man? Do you find fewer organs in the brain? If you know nothing of this, I do; for I have helped to dissect fifty men, black and white, and I assert that by the time you take off the mucous pigment the color of the skin you cannot, to save your life, distinguish between the black man and the white. Am I a man? Have I a soul to save, as you have? Am I susceptible of eternal development, as you are? Can I learn all the arts and sciences that you can? Has it ever been demonstrated in the history of the world? Have black men ever exhibited bravery as white men have done? Have they ever been in the professions? Have they not as good articulative organs as you? Some people argue that there is a very close similarity between the larynx of the Negro and that of the orangoutang. Why, sir, there is not so much similarity between them as there is between the larynx of the man and that of the dog, and this fact I dare any member of this House to dispute. God saw fit to vary everything in nature. There are no two men alike no two voices alike no two trees alike. God has weaved and tissued variety and versatility throughout the boundless space of His creation. Because God saw fit to make some red, and some white, and some black, and some brown, are we to sit here in judgment upon what God has seen fit to do? As well might one play with the thunderbolts of heaven as with that creature that bears God's image God's photograph.

The question is asked, "What is it that the Negro race has done?" Well, Mr. Speaker, all I have to say upon the subject is this: If we are the class of people that we are generally represented to be, I hold that we are a very great people. It is generally considered that we are the children of Canaan, and the curse of a father rests upon our heads, and has rested, all through history. Sir, I deny that the curse of Noah had anything to do with the Negro. We are not the Children of Canaan; and if we are, sir, where should we stand? Let us look a little into history. Melchizedek was a Canaanite; all the Phoenicians all those inventors of the arts and sciences were the posterity of Canaan; but, sir, the Negro is not. We are the children of Cush, and Canaan's curse has nothing whatever to do with the Negro. If we belong to that race, Ham belonged to it, under whose instructions Napoleon Bonaparte studied military tactics. If we belong to that race, Saint Augustine belonged to it. Who was it that laid the foundation of the great Reformation? Martin Luther, who lit the light of gospel truth alight that will never go out until the sun shall rise to set no more; and, long ere then, Democratic principles will have found their level in the regions of Pluto and of Prosperpine . . . .

The honorable gentleman from Whitfield (Mr. Shumate), when arguing this question, a day or two ago, put forth the proposition that to be a representative was not to be an officer "it was a privilege that citizens had a right to enjoy." These are his words. It was not an office; it was a "privilege." Every gentleman here knows that he denied that to be a representative was to be an officer. Now, he is recognized as a leader of the Democratic party in this House, and generally cooks victuals for them to eat; makes that remarkable declaration, and how are you, gentlemen on the other side of the House, because I am an officer, when one of your great lights says that I am not an officer? If you deny my right the right of my constituents to have representation here because it is a "privilege," then, sir, I will show you that I have as many privileges as the whitest man on this floor. If I am not permitted to occupy a seat here, for the purpose of representing my constituents, I want to know how white men can be permitted to do so. How can a white man represent a colored constituency, if a colored man cannot do it? The great argument is: "Oh, we have inherited" this, that and the other. Now, I want gentlemen to come down to cool, common sense. Is the created greater than the Creator? Is man greater than God? It is very strange, if a white man can occupy on this floor a seat created by colored votes, and a black man cannot do it. Why, gentlemen, it is the most shortsighted reasoning in the world. A man can see better than that with half an eye; and even if he had no eye at all, he could forge one, as the Cyclops did, or punch one with his finger, which would enable him to see through that.

It is said that Congress never gave us the right to hold office. I want to know, sir, if the Reconstruction measures did not base their action on the ground that no distinction should be made on account of race, color or previous condition? Was not that the grand fulcrum on which they rested? And did not every reconstructed state have to reconstruct on the idea that no discrimination, in any sense of the term, should be made? There is not a man here who will dare say No. If Congress has simply given me a merely sufficient civil and political rights to make me a mere political slave for Democrats, or anybody else giving them the opportunity of jumping on my back in order to leap into political power I do not thank Congress for it. Never, so help me God, shall I be a political slave. I am not now speaking for those colored men who sit with me in this House, nor do I say that they endorse my sentiments, but assisting Mr. Lincoln to take me out of servile slavery did not intend to put me and my race into political slavery. If they did, let them take away my ballot I do not want it, and shall not have it. I don't want to be a mere tool of that sort. I have been a slave long enough already.

I tell you what I would be willing to do: I am willing that the question should be submitted to Congress for an explanation as to what was meant in the passage of their Reconstruction measures, and of the Constitutional Amendment. Let the Democratic Party in this House pass a resolution giving this subject that direction, and I shall be content. I dare you, gentlemen, to do it. Come up to the question openly, whether it meant that the Negro might hold office, or whether it meant that he should merely have the right to vote. If you are honest men, you will do it. If, however, you will not do that, I would make another proposition: Call together, again, the convention that framed the constitution under which we are acting; let them take a vote upon the subject, and I am willing to abide by their decision...

These colored men, who are unable to express themselves with all the clearness and dignity and force of rhetorical eloquence, are laughed at in derision by the Democracy of the country. It reminds me very much of the man who looked at himself in a mirror and, imagining that he was addressing another person, exclaimed: My God, how ugly you are!" These gentlemen do not consider for a moment the dreadful hardships which these people have endured, and especially those who in any way endeavored to acquire an education. For myself, sir, I was raised in the cotton field of South Carolina, and in order to prepare myself for usefulness, as well to myself as to my race, I determined to devote my spare hours to study. When the overseer retired at night to his comfortable couch, I sat and read and thought and studied, until I heard him blow his horn in the morning. He frequently told me, with an oath, that if he discovered me attempting to learn, that he would whip me to death, and I have no doubt he would have done so, if he had found an opportunity. I prayed to Almighty God to assist me, and He did, and I thank Him with my whole heart and soul...

So far as I am personally concerned, no man in Georgia has been more conservative than I. "Anything to please the white folks" has been my motto; and so closely have I adhered to that course, that many among my own party have classed me as a Democrat. One of the leaders of the Republican party in Georgia has not been at all favorable to me for some time back, because he believed that I was too "conservative" for a Republican. I can assure you, however, Mr. Speaker, that I have had quite enough, and to spare, of such "conservatism" . . .

But, Mr. Speaker, I do not regard this movement as a thrust at me. It is a thrust at the Bible a thrust at the God of the Universe, for making a man and not finishing him; it is simply calling the Great Jehovah a fool. Why, sir, though we are not white, we have accomplished much. We have pioneered civilization here; we have built up your country; we have worked in your fields and garnered your harvests for two hundred and fifty years! And what do we ask of you in return? Do we ask you for compensation for the sweat our fathers bore for you for the tears you have caused, and the hearts you have broken, and the lives you have curtailed, and the blood you have spilled? Do we ask retaliation? We ask it not. We are willing to let the dead past bury its dead; but we ask you, now for our rights. You have all the elements of superiority upon your side; you have our money and your own; you have our education and your own; and you have our land and your own too. We, who number hundreds of thousands in Georgia, including our wives and families, with not a foot of land to call our own strangers in the land of our birth; without money, without education, without aid, without a roof to cover us while we live, nor sufficient clay to cover us when we die! It is extraordinary that a race such as yours, professing gallantry and chivalry and education and superiority, living in a land where ringing chimes call child and sire to the church of God a land where Bibles are read and Gospel truths are spoken, and where courts of justice are presumed to exist; it is extraordinary that, with all these advantages on your side, you can make war upon the poor defenseless black man. You know we have no money, no railroads, no telegraphs, no advantages of any sort, and yet all manner of injustice is placed upon us. You know that the black people of this country acknowledge you as their superiors, by virtue of your education and advantages...

You may expel us, gentlemen, but I firmly believe that you will some day repent it. The black man cannot protect a country, if the country doesn't protect him; and if, tomorrow, a war should arise, I would not raise a musket to defend a country where my manhood is denied. The fashionable way in Georgia, when hard work is to be done, is for the white man to sit at his ease while the black man does the work; but, sir, I will say this much to the colored men of Georgia, as, if I should be killed in this campaign, I may have no opportunity of telling them at any other time: Never lift a finger nor raise a hand in defense of Georgia, until Georgia acknowledges that you are men and invests you with the rights pertaining to manhood. Pay your taxes, however, obey all orders from your employers, take good counsel from friends, work faithfully, earn an honest living, and show, by your conduct, that you can be good citizens.

Go on with your oppressions. Babylon fell. Where is Greece? Where is Nineveh? And where is Rome, the Mistress Empire of the world? Why is it that she stands, today, in broken fragments throughout Europe? Because oppression killed her. Every act that we commit is like a bounding ball. If you curse a man, that curse rebounds upon you; and when you bless a man, the blessing returns to you; and when you oppress a man, the oppression also will rebound. Where have you ever heard of four millions of freemen being governed by laws, and yet have no hand in their making? Search the records of the world, and you will find no example. "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." How dare you to make laws by which to try me and my wife and children, and deny me a voice in the making of these laws? I know you can establish a monarchy, an autocracy, an oligarchy, or any other kind of ocracy that you please; and that you can declare whom you please to be sovereign; but tell me, sir, how you can clothe me with more power than another, where all are sovereigns alike? How can you say you have a republican form of government, when you make such distinction and enact such proscriptive laws?

Gentlemen talk a good deal about the Negroes "building no monuments." I can tell the gentlemen one thing: that is, that we could have built monuments of fire while the war was in progress. We could have fired your woods, your barns and fences, and called you home. Did we do it? No, sir! And God grant that the Negro may never do it, or do anything else that would destroy the good opinion of his friends. No epithet is sufficiently opprobrious for us now. I saw, sir, that we have built a monument of docility, of obedience, of respect, and of self control, that will endure longer than the Pyramids of Egypt.

We are a persecuted people. Luther was persecuted; Galileo was persecuted; good men in all nations have been persecuted; but the persecutors have been handed down to posterity with shame and ignominy. If you pass this bill, you will never get Congress to pardon or enfranchise another rebel in your lives. You are going to fix an everlasting disfranchisement upon Mr. Toombs and the other leading men of Georgia. You may think you are doing yourselves honor by expelling us from this House; but when we go, we will do as Wickliffe and as Latimer did. We will light a torch of truth that will never be extinguished the impression that will run through the country, as people picture in their mind's eye these poor black men, in all parts of this Southern country, pleading for their rights. When you expel us, you make us forever your political foes, and you will never find a black man to vote a Democratic ticket again; for, so help me God, I will go through all the length and breadth of the land, where a man of my race is to be found, and advise him to beware of the Democratic party. Justice is the great doctrine taught in the Bible. God's Eternal justice is founded upon Truth, and the man who steps from justice steps from 'Ruth, and cannot make his principles to prevail.

I have now, Mr. Speaker, said all that my physical condition will allow me to say. Weak and ill, though I am, I could not sit passively here and see the sacred rights of my race destroyed at one blow. We are in a position somewhat similar to that of the famous "Light Brigade," of which Tennyson says, they had

Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them, Volleyed and thundered.

I hope that our poor, downtrodden race may act well and wisely through this period of trial, and that they will exercise patience and discretion under all circumstances.

You may expel us, gentlemen, by your votes, today; but, while you do it, remember that there is a just God in Heaven, whose All-Seeing Eye beholds alike the acts of the oppressor and the oppressed, and who, despite the machinations of the wicked, never fails to vindicate the cause of Justice, and the sanctity of His own handiwork.


Ethel Maude Christler, "Participation of Negroes in the Government of Georgia, 1867 1870" (Master's thesis, Atlanta University, June 1932), pp. 82 96.


John Langalibalele Dube

A Biographical Sketch

John Langalibalele Dube (1871-1946) looms large as one of the most important figures in South African history. He led a public life as an educator, an orator, a writer, a newspaper editor, and a international civil rights leader. He was the founding president of the African National Congress (1912), the political organization primarily responsible for overthrowing the Aparthied system. In addition Dube and Nganzana Luthuli, an eminent African journalist, “co-founded Hanga Lase Natal (The Natal Sun)(1903), the first Zulu language newspaper of which he later became editor.”[1] In addition Dube often traveled to the United States, finding encouragement at Oberlin College, and inspiration from Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute. In South Africa, Dube founded one of the first schools of higher learning for the indigenous peoples, the Zulu Christian Industrial School (1901), later renamed the Ohlange Institute.

Dube was born in Natal in 1871 of a royal Zulu lineage. He was raised as a Christian. John Dube’s father, James Dube, converted to Christianity bringing his family with him. James was “the first native minister of the Zulu Mission of the American Board of Comissioners for Foreign Missions.”[2] Throughout his life, John Dube navigated between his Christian spirituality and his Zulu ethnic roots, which often came into conflict. One example of this conflict is seen when Dube writes of how his family’s conversion was received by their community:

Because [My Father] was the leader of his people, a great protest went up from the Dube tribe against my Grandmother, because she had allowed him to come in contact with this new religion and be drawn away from the practices of his people.[3]

This was a serious rift. The Dube tribe was angry enough, that according to Dube,

many times they tried to kill my Grandmother, many nights she was forced to sleep in the bushes out of the way of her would be assassins.[4]

James Dube would go on to serve as a Congregational minister at the Inanda station in Natal, while his son John Dube attended the Adams School, at the same Inanda station. Both these programs were run by Herbert D. Goodenough (OC:A.B. 1878; Theol., 1881).[5]

Apparently Dube was a high spirited youth. When, with some other boys, he got into trouble at the school Rev. Goodenough called on his Oberlin classmate and fellow Zulu missionary, William Wilcox (OC:A.B. 1878, Theol., 1881, A.M. 1901), stationed at Inhambe, to talk to the boys.[6] Wilcox and Dube developed a relationship. When Wilcox and his family decided to return to the United States, Dube asked to accompany them back to Oberlin College. Wilcox agreed to bring the enthusiastic Dube to the United States. However Wilcox made it clear to Dube that this was no free ride. Dube would have to work for his education. Although Dube later explained that he was employed in the South African mines, working to save enough money for the journey,[7] other sources state that his mother gave Wilcox a sum of thirty gold sovereigns she had been saving.[8]

But even with his passage paid, Dube needed to labor in order to support himself once in the United States. When he arrived in Oberlin, Dube “had only his clothing, and two shillings remaining, all that was left of his mother’s money.”[9] Wilcox was quick to remind him “that if he intended to survive in a white man’s world he would have to obtain employment.”[10] Dube did not have easy time finding suitable work. Wilcox assisted Dube in finding work with a road gang, but the labor was rigorous and “by late afternoon he could no longer tolerate the physical punishment of common, outdoor labor.”[11] Recollecting on this experience Dube would later observe that “it was the hardest day’s work I ever had in my life.”[12] The rigorous roadwork took a toll on Dube’s health and he became ill, missing the next day’s work and promptly losing the job. In the following weeks Dube worked a number of jobs. However none suited him and he quickly became “very home sick and wished [he] had never gone away from home.”[13]

Fortunately Wilcox introduced Dube to Mrs. Frank H. Foster, and she was able to use her connections in Oberlin to find some more suitable work for Dube.

During the winter and spring 1887-1888 John swept and cleaned college classrooms, split logs into fire wood for college furnaces and did odd jobs for wealthy white students.[14]

Dube officially enrolled at the Oberlin Preparatory Academy, the pre-college division in the autumn of 1888.[15] (Click Here For Dube’s Schedule). Oberlin life was not easy for Dube. Most likely it was difficult for him to pay sufficient attention to his studies and maintain a steady job. Dube stayed in Oberlin until 1890, studying the sciences, mathematics, classical Greek works and practicing his oratorical skills.

In 1888 Dube “began work at a local printing firm, and he learned the skills of editing and publishing.”[16] These would prove important later when Dube established the first indigenous Zulu newspaper, Illanga Lase Natal. Although he never did receive an official degree from Oberlin College, the skills, connections and worldly perspective Dube cultivated during these years would prove important building blocks, laying the foundation for his later accomplishments.

Although Wilcox had left Oberlin, he and Dube remained in contact. In 1887, Wilcox had become the pastor of a small Congregational church in Keene Valley, New York. Undoubtedly Wilcox knew of Dube’s difficulties finding employment and in 1888 asked Dube to visit him. During his time with Wilcox, Dube utilized his newly acquired type setting skills.[17] He assisted Wilcox in printing a pamphlet entitled “Self Support among the Kaffirs.”[18] This pamphlet

stressed Wilcox’s belief that industrial education, courses in trades and agriculture offered at Hampton Institute, and the “ways and means for self-help” could uplift the natives of Africa.[19]

This experience clearly shaped Dube’s development perhaps even sowing the seeds in Dube’s mind that ten years later would grow into Ohlange Institute. Dube worked closely with Wilcox, accompanying him on a tour of lectures. Dube was only seventeen at the time, but had the courage to ask Wilcox, if he, too, could give a lecture. Wilcox was surprised by this request but allowed Dube the forum, scheduling “a special mid-day meeting.” Following the lecture:

influential lady was interested in him and got him dates for lectures and they succeeded in raising a sum of money with which he went back to Africa and started a school for his people on the same lines of industrial training and self-help proposed in the pamphlet he had helped to prepare.[20]

Other sources suggest that perhaps Dube used some of this money to pay for his 1888-1889 tuition at the Oberlin Preparatory Academy. From 1890 until as late as 1892 Dube lectured throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York.[21]

In 1891 Dube completed a short book, A Talk Upon My Native Land. This thirty-five page work highlights Dube’s desire to bring agricultural and industrial reforms to his fellow indigenous Africans. This work also reflects the conflict between Dube’s ethnic roots and Christian teachings. The conflict was not restricted to Dube’s ethnicity as a Zulu. Dube was a Black African man in the segregated United States. During this time segregation and racism were powerful forces in both South Africa and the United States. Many schools were segregated and Oberlin was hardly an exception. A few years prior to Dube’s arrival,

College officials expelled a Black student, Reverdy C. Ransom, for organizing a protest against segregated dining room seating arrangements.[22]

But Dube chose a less confrontational path than many of his contemporaries. This choice had both positive and negative effects that will be explored later.

Chronic illness forced Dube to return to South Africa in 1892. He would later return to the United States. Upon his return to South Africa, he worked as a teacher for his former high school Amanzimtoti. It was here he met his future wife, Nokuetela Mdima.[23] The previous year, Wilcox, too, had returned to South Africa. Wilcox had been working at the Groutville mission station and Dube began to assist him.[24] Both Wilcox and Dube’s wife encouraged Dube to establish his own mission. In addition “John was dissatisfied with working under the guidelines of white missionaries and within the structure of traditional mission education.”[25] In 1894 the young couple arrived in the village Incawadi, in the Umkomas Valley, beneath the Drakensburg Mountains. From 1894 to 1896 the Dubes attempted to transform and Christianize this small village. They established a small day school were Dube taught English and basic Mathematics. In addition, Dube “built two church buildings where twenty-seven newly converted Africans attended sermons and readings every Sunday.”[26] The Dubes’ school differed from many missionary schools of its time, not only because it was taught by indigenous Africans, but also because the Dubes encouraged pupils to read in their own language, and stressed the concept of “practical work.”[27] During this period Dube realized the need for a larger industrial school. But he would need to return to the United States in order to acquire the capital.

In 1897 Dube returned, this time going to Brooklyn Heights, New York, where he was ordained in the Congregational ministry at the Lewis Avenue Church located in the Bedford Stuyvesant area.[28] While living in Brooklyn Dube attended a number of Booker T. Washington’s lectures. He heard Washington speak on topics such as, “the dignity of labor” and the methods “to teach the Negroes to become moral self-supporting, and useful citizens.” On another occasion Dube attended a speech by Washington concerning “the evils of colored men in Africa who ‘study Cicero’ in school, yet who are ‘without trousers.” [29] Washington’s speeches stressed a need for skilled industrial laborers. After hearing Washington’s speeches Dube became “very much interested in educational work, visiting Hampton and Tuskegee.”[30] (For More Information, see Section 2, John L. Dube and Booker T. Washington: Ohlange and Tuskegee).

AppleMarkUpon returning to South Africa in 1901, Dube founded the Zulu Christian Industrial School, later renamed the Ohlange Institute. Both Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee and Dube’s Oberlin College experience helped shape his vision for a South African institute.[31] Oberlin’s motto is “Learning and Labor.” The Tuskegee Industrial Institute stressed empowering African Americans with basic skills so that they could effectively improve their lives and social status. Wilcox, an Oberlin alumnus, realized the potential of a Tuskegee institute in the African continent. Dube’s Ohlange drew upon on the theme of “Learning and Labor” as it sought to improve the Africans’ applied and industrial skill levels. Tuskegee and Ohlange focused on practical and obtainable goals within their segregated societies. They interpreted the meaning of “Learning and Labor” differently from Oberlin, where students worked to fund their studies, but did not make the technical skills of work the subject of their studies.

Dube wanted Ohlange to prepare its pupils to be skilled laborers. When Dube founded Ohlange, any notion of a school for higher learning founded by an indigenous African for Africans was a new and truly revolutionary concept. Later, as the school increased in size, the humanities and science curriculum continued to develop. However, some scholars argue that Dube and his fellow instructors feared the apartheid government would accuse the school of creating competition with educated whites as well as white skilled laborers if they did not maintain the façade of an industrial institute. The white status quo almost definitely feared what educated Africans might choose to accomplish with their newly developed skills. Dube’s Ohlange pushed the boundaries of what the government would tolerate. Dube’s reserve in this respect has earned him much criticism from more progressive camps. His seemingly conservative politics reflect the inner conflict he must have suffered, as he struggled to maintain his Christian morality as well as his allegiance to the improvement of the lives of indigenous South Africans, throughout his journey to rectify glaring racial inequalities.

[1] http://www.gospelcom.net/dacb/stories/southafrica/dube1_johnl.html

[2]F.H. Foster, postscript to John L. Dube, A Familiar Talk Upon My Native Land [Rochester, N.Y.: R.M. Swinburne & Co. 1891?], (Oberlin College Library Special Collections).

[3] Student File (John L. Dube), Zulu’s Appeal for Light, c. 1930, Box 72, O.C.A.

[4] Student File (John L. Dube), Zulu’s Appeal for Light, c. 1930, Box 72, O.C.A.

[5] Marlene Merrill.“Summary of Dube Findings.” March 6, 2001.

[6] Merrill. “Summary of Dube Findings”.

[7] “Big Zulu Missionary Tells of His Work.” New York Times. January 9, 1905.

[8] Merrill.“Summary of Dube Findings.”

[9] William Manning Marable, African Nationalist: the Life of John Langalibalele Dube. p.63. [Michigan: UMI Dissertation Services, 1976].

[10] Marble, p.63.

[11] Marable, p.64.

[12] Marable, p.64.

[13]Marable, p.65.

[14] Marable, p.65.

[15] Although Dube was most likely a student at OC from 1888-90, we cannot confirm this because his name does not appear in any of the annual catalogues. His name does appear in the General Catalogue p.285, as a student enrolled in the Oberlin Preparatory Academy, 1888-90, of Oberlin College, 1833-1908. Oberlin, OH. 1909, The O.S. Hubbell Printing Co., Cleveland OH.

[16] Marable, p.66.

[17] Merril, “Summary of Dube Findings.”

[18] Marble, p.66.

[19] Marable, p.66.

[20] William C. Wilcox. “The Oberlin College Library, Student File (John Dube).” Oberlin Alumni Magazine. 1927.

[21] Marable, p.68.

[22] Marable, p.67.

[23] Marable, p.69-70.

[24] Marable, p.69-70

[25] Marable, p.72.

[26] Marable, p.72.

[27] Marable, p. 73.

[28] http://www.gospelcom.net/dacb/stories/southafrica/dube1_johnl.html

[29] Marable, p.94.

[30]Student File (John Dube) Alumni Records O.C.A. John Dube. A fundraising pamphlet for the Ohlange Institute.

[31]“Big Zulu Missionary Tells of His Work.” New York Times. Jan 9, 1905.


Henry Sylvester Williams: Father of Pan Africanism

Henry Sylvester Williams
Henry Sylvester Williams

Organising the first Pan African conference was a unique achievement for which Williams is given little credit today. When he formed the African Association, as it was first called, one of its aims was to "promote and protect the interests of all subjects claiming African descent, wholly or in part, in British colonies and other places especially Africa, by circulating accurate information on all subjects affecting their rights and privileges as subjects of the British Empire, by direct appeals to the Imperial and local Governments."

Williams was born on 19th February 1869, in the village of Arouca, ten miles east of Port of Spain, the eldest of five children. An intelligent young man, he qualified as a teacher at the age of 17, and was put in charge of a school a year later. He left for New York when he was 22, because teachers in Trinidad were paid poorly. After two years in the US, he enrolled in Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia to study law. Three years later he came to London, enrolling in King's College. He and three other Trinidadian lawyers read for the bar at Gray's Inn. Here he fell in love with Agnes Powell, daughter of a Royal Marines officer who fiercely opposed the match. They were married in 1898, and had a son, Henry Francis, a year later.

Williams lectured extensively on Trinidad and consistently denounced crown colony rule as 'a heartless system…a synonym for racial contempt'. He led a deputation of Trinidadians to meet MPs, and became the first person of African descent to speak in the House of Commons. He was also instrumental in the creation of the African Association, to promote and protect the interests of all subjects of African descent. He had always had the idea of a world conference of black people, 'the first occasion upon which black men would assemble in England to speak for themselves and endeavour to influence public opinion in their favour'.

The sessions of the conference were held in Westminster Town Hall on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th July 1900. There were 37 delegates and 10 other participants and observers. The chair was taken by Bishop Alexander Walters, a leader of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in the United States and president of National Afro-American Council. The vice chairmen were representatives of independent African states: Frederick Johnson, former Attorney-General of Liberia, and the Haitian Benito Sylvain, aide-de-camp to the Ethiopian emperor.

The conference discussed many issues, among them the importance of preserving the identity of the black race, attacking colonialism, the need for the colonial powers to recognise the rights of indigenous people. There should be no human power to halt Africans' social and political development.

The African Association renamed the Pan African Association. The conference was reported in the leading London newspapers. The Westminster Gazette observed that it 'marks the initiation of a remarkable movement on history; the negro is at last awake to the potentialities of his future'.

After the conference Williams went to Jamaica, Trinidad and the United States to set up branches of the Pan African Association. He also launched a journal called The Pan African in 1901. It was designed to spread information 'concerning the African and his descendants in the British Empire' and to be 'the mouthpiece of the millions of Africans and their descendants'.

Unfortunately, the Pan African Association was short lived, due mainly in part to Williams not being able to devote all his time to the organization. He was probably the first black man to practice as a barrister, and worked extensively in South Africa, defending black people in the courts. In 1906, he was elected to public office on Marylebone borough council. He was denounced by the British consul in 1908 after going to Liberia and decided to move back to Trinidad. He was in the process of building a successful law practice there when he fell ill toward the end of 1910. In March 1911 he died in hospital.



July 15th, 2009


SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, July 13. — The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) advocates the extradition to Venezuela of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who bombed a Cubana de Aviación plane in 1976.

The final declaration of the 15th Summit of NAM Heads of State and Government states their support for Venezuela’s request for the United States to extradite the man responsible for the aforementioned 1976 crime.

The document condemns the protection offered to this man accused of perpetrating criminal acts in Venezuela, in contravention of the resolutions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly that seek to impede all types of terrorism.

The refusal to extradite Posada Carriles, the document adds, is hindering the efforts made by the Venezuelan authorities to bring this man to justice.

According to the final declaration of the 15th NAM Summit, the member nations of this organization urge the White House to comply with the request to extradite Posada Carriles, accused of terrorist activities.

This criminal is responsible for the mid-air bombing of a Cuban plane of the Cubana de Aviación airline, carrying 73 passengers. Posada currently lives in Miami, under the protection of the US government.

According to preliminary deliberations, the participants at the summit will be also offer their support to the constitutional government of President Hugo Chavez, in view of the aggressive policy of the White House towards Venezuela.

The foreign ministers will also give their support –which will have to be approved by the heads of the delegations- to Venezuela and its right to choose its own form of government, as well as its economic, social and political system, without foreign interference.

The declaration adds the concern of the member nations for the growing intelligence activities against Venezuela and Cuba, and their condemnation of the recent conspiracies and attempts to kill President Chavez.

The representatives of the 118 member nations decided to include in the final declaration, their acknowledgment to the ALBA agreement and the Petrocaribe initiative, as well as the Unique System for Regional Compensation, governed by collaboration principles.

After two days of deliberations at the Savoy Hotel, the experts presented the draft to the ministers gathered here, before submitting it for the consideration of the heads of state and government on Wednesday and Thursday, at the Maritim Jolie Ville Convention Center.

The foreign ministers spoke of the importance of political will to advance the settlement of conflicts in the Middle East, particularly the foundation of a Palestine State, as well as the end of the Israeli occupation. (PL)

For more information concerning U.S. complicity in the activities of Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, see: BUSH SAT ON EVIDENCE OF CUBAN TERROR, written by Robert Parry on 7 May 2007; reprinted from Consortium News; http://www.freethefive.org/usTerrorism/USTerrRobertParry50707.htm
ON GEORGE BUSH'S PARDON OF ANTI-CUBAN TERRORIST ORLANDO BOSCH http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/oct1999/corr-o26.shtml


Essay about Obama's Ghana visit

Feature Article of Friday, 10 July 2009


By Dr. Ahati N. N. Toure, Ph.D.

Many people seem not to understand the way things really work in the United States, and I suppose it is only natural to assume that a change of a person as president of a country signals a change in policy and direction. But this is not really true in the United States.

In the United States, the president is less a leader than a manager of policies formulated by corporate elite interests. This is what accounts for the stability of the political system, regardless of who is president.

This explains the outcome of the electoral fraud--in effect, an electoral coup--staged in 2000 (more than 2 million votes were discarded, 1 million of them cast by US Afrikans) and in 2004 (similar machinations secured a Republican electoral victory in the White House) that assured George W. Bush's ascendancy to and continued hold on the US presidency.

The Democratic Party refused to challenge the results in both years. I speculate that former Vice President Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded as a consolation prize for his obeisance to the agenda of the true masters of US politics.

The United States’ political stability was created after the civil war of 1861-1865, when industrial capitalists consolidated their control of the economic and political direction of the country. The civil war allowed them to oust the neo-mercantilist faction of the European settler elite (owners and champions of the so-called slavery system), which mode of production depended upon exports of raw materials to western European metropoles.

As we all know, this mode of production promotes economic dependency and underdevelopment. The capitalist elites wanted the United States economically and politically to be competitive with and independent of an industrial and industrializing Europe. They did not want to be its subordinates.

Because of the changes of the civil war, both so-called parties--which are really two sides of one coin--have pledged patriotic allegiance to capitalism as quintessentially American. Their emotional and ideological commitment to its advance under the US political system includes the shaping of its foreign policy--or the definition and extension of what are defined as US interests on to the world stage.

Bush's ascendancy to the US presidency, for perceptive observers, shows that the people do not choose the manager of the country. They simply ratify, or are made to ratify, the results of a selection. Barack Hussein Obama--a name that in and of itself is astonishing in European settler political culture--is no less the product of a selection process.

This explains the consistency of policies pursued by so-called "Democratic" and "Republican" presidential administrations--or, now, "black" and "white" presidents. In the United States all US presidents are "white."

In Africa we call this neo-colonialism.

One example of this is Africom. Established during George W. Bush's regime, it is still being carried out by Barack Hussein Obama's regime. To many, at least, the Bush personality was a bit too crude and, in some respects, brutish for the world to accept. Put some color on him, with a sophisticated and intelligent personality, and now you have the same agenda for Africa, skillfully repackaged in an Obama. The agenda remains the same--imperialistic, exploitative, and, ultimately, deadly--but the general perception is different. It is seductive.

US presidents come and go, but the interests remain constant. Therefore, what is the real agenda in the US president's visit to Ghana? Oil. Africom.

We really should not underestimate the craftiness of the Europeans in their choice of this particular personality for president of the United States. The best way to test my thesis is to explore the question of African strategic interests, or, alternatively, American strategic interests in Africa, and examine the ways in which and the degree to which Obama's pursuit of American policy is consistent with or diverges from that of his predecessor. If you do this well, you will prove my point.

Do not be fooled by appearances. Look deeper, for the snare has been set for you.

Dr. Ahati N. N. Toure is assistant professor of Africana History and Black Studies at Delaware State University, USA. He is the author of John Henrik Clarke: Africalogical Quest for Decolonization and Sovereignty (Africa World Press, 2009).

Toure, Ahati N. N.


For a United Front of the People Against Imperialism

South African Communist Party 1935

Source: Umsebenzi, October 26, 1935.
Transcribed: by Dominic Tweedie.
Editorial Note: After the Seventh Congress of the Communist International held in Moscow in July-August 1935, had endorsed Georgi Dimitrov’s call for a broad united front to halt the drive to fascism and war, the Communist Party of South Africa acknowledged its own sectarian errors of the past and sought to ally itself with other anti fascist and anti-racist elements amongst both blacks and whites in South Africa. With the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, Italy’s attack on Abyssinia, the Spanish civil war and Japanese aggression in the Far East, the danger of a second world war loomed ever more threateningly. At home Herzog’s Native Bills heralded a new assault on the rights of the oppressed black majority, and Cabinet Ministers like Pirow openly expressed their admiration for Europe’s fascist leaders. Fascist and racist organisations like the Greyshirts became active, stirring up hostility towards the Jews and the blacks and making physical assaults on the Communist Party’s platforms.

The Communist Party took part in the great Bloemfontein conference on December 16, 1935, which gave birth to the All African Convention and also co-operated with the National Liberation League which had been formed in Cape Town. Party members also played a key role in the revival of the African National Congress towards the end of the 1930s.

During 1936 the name of the Party’s journal was changed back to The South African Worker, though Umsebenzi remained as a sub-title. Possibly the intention behind this was to make the paper more acceptable to progressive whites whom the Party hoped to bring into the united front. A new slogan running across the head of the paper in each issue was: ‘For a United Working Class Front Against Imperialism and War’.

Some leading representatives of the Native population of the Union of South Africa such as Prof Jabavu, Dr Seme, Matseke and others proposed a few months ago to call on December 16, this year, a joint convention of all existing Native organisations. These proposals could not but be greeted by all sincere fighters for the cause of the Native people, as such a convention is of great importance for our cause and a mass movement in favour of it was already called to life

The position of the Native population becomes ever worse. In the run for profits, in the desire to strengthen their power in our country, the Anglo-Boer imperialists are tightening the rope around the necks of our people. The prosperity in the mining industry, the improvement of the economic conditions of the Native population. It just brought tremendous profits to the mine shareholders and fat subsidies of the government to the rich landowners.

On the contrary, striving to retain their profits, imperialists started a new attack on the living conditions of our people. The colonial government wants to take away the vestige of our miserable political rights, it wants to rob the Native population of the Cape of its franchise. The Native population suffers heavily of national oppression, landlessness and systematic robbery. It is now more than ever necessary, therefore, to unite the efforts of the whole Native population and its organisations for the defence of its human rights against the new brutal laws of the imperialist Union Government.

We fully agree with Mr John Chekedi, who says: ‘We shall be made slaves indeed, unless we can unite and become a nation.’

The Communist Party pointed out many a time during the last years that the unity of action of the whole Native population and its organisations is the main and decisive condition which will bring our struggle to a victorious end. The Communist Party proposed many a time that united action with the African National Congress and the ICU should be established for the fight for the immediate demands of the people. But the leaders of the ANC and the ICU without explanation have continually refused our proposals. The more heartily we greet now the initiative of the ANC leaders in calling the JOINT NATIONAL CONVENTION.

In the fight for land and independence, our people have set up many organisations: political, economic, sport, religious and so on. Each of these has its program and particular principles. Each of these organisations offers its way to solve the questions that interest the Native population-to free our country from brutal imperialist slavery. In the same time the ANC, for instance, thinks it possible to regain our land and independence through co-operation with the Colonial Government and the Anglo-Boer imperialists, the Communist Party says that our people can fully free themselves from slavery only by driving out the Anglo-Boer exploiters from our country and by establishing an Independent Native Republic. Yet, let us put away the difference of the ways towards national liberation. All of us have one common cause, requiring the unity of our efforts, and however different we regard the solution of the question of national liberation, it is clear for all of us that in the interests of national freedom we cannot allow that the imperialists should tighten more and more the rope around our necks, that our last political rights should be taken away. The fight against national oppression and exploitation, the fight for the immediate, most necessary needs of the people — that is the basis for the united action of all the Native organisations, irrespective of their political differences. That is why we greet warmly the proposal to call a joint convention.

The necessity to call such a convention now is dictated also by other external events. Italian imperialism raises its fascist fist against the last and only independent Negro state in Africa-Abyssinia. The Italian fascists prepare for a bloody war against the peaceful Abyssinian people. We cannot remain indifferent in the fight of our Abyssinian Brothers for their independence. We must rally as a united people and stretch out our hand of solidarity to the Abyssinian people and hinder the Italian fascists in fulfilling their imperialist plans.

The significance of the convention is enormous. It will be the first convention in the history of our people’s struggle for its freedom, on which there will be represented the vast masses of the Native population.