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Topic subjectfirst of all
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=3040&mesg_id=3055
3055, first of all
Posted by Jagunjagun, Wed Nov-12-03 01:18 PM
I want to say that this stuff is mainly just your perspective and not necessarily the reality of other people. The main problem I have with many people that are against repatriation/back to African-ing is that they think too monolithically (new word, ha). Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that it is Black folks discussing OUR people collectively and OUR destiny but unfournately the end result is that there is no collective answer - just personal view.

Meaning you cannot to control the reality of all Black people and say "were Americans, not Africans" or vice versa because no matter what logic you come up with or how many arguments you make against it, there will still be Black people who believe otherwise. This is not like religion where we are all searching for one truth - there will be those who are for it and those that are against it. And even at that, everyone wont lie on those two extremes but varying INDIVIDUAL views. There will be ones who want to go back and completely rid themself of this western way of life, those who have an interest in their African ancestry but still want to maintain an American identity, those who are not for it but still see Africans outside the US as kin on some level and have somewhat of an interest in the continents modern politics, those that just want to be "BLACK" as a microcosm of America, and those that want absolutely nothing to do with Africa and desire total assimilation into this country.

A few weeks ago on Def Poetry Jam, Smokey Robinson did a big performance on this topic and said the same stuff you are saying but the end result is that his feelings and views do not fit everyone elses. And no matter what you say the willing repatriates will still desire Pan-Africanism because there are no other options that they take seriously. Black people just have to RESPECT each others feelings on topics like this where we draw lines. We cannot afford to throw around weight and non-Black people definitely have NO authority to define us and what our identity and our destiny should be.

So to me this should not even be a debate. Those who desire the Cause of returning should act and those that want to remain in America should do so. We are still a people even so (there would still be obvious ties) so there is no point in debate. My belief is that if we made a solid foundation and a standard of life higher than the average Black American and then welcomed them then many would return anyway if the US was still effed up, but dealing with the issue before then warrants an individual opinion only.

>I would be VERY curious to read that Wallace literature;
>sounds fascinating since I know for a fact that US does such
>research in order to control and stamp out movements here
>and abroad. The US seems to have employed it in South
>America where their methods of quelling insurrection have
>changed over the years.

That is why our cause needs to be under the radar. Hardline political rhetoric in the public atmosphere will only cause our demise.

>however, i gotta say that the back to africa
>movements/diaspora unity movements are pretty suspect and
>unfeasible IMO.

Maybe they do not appear to be feasible to people that don't see the vision, I do not see how they are suspect though. Some folks just do not agree with the intentions.

I had an extensive debate about this with a
>professor once when we were discussing, ugh, some Bell
>parable about this mystical land where blacks could prosper
>and establish their own nation that was inhospitable to
>white people (which completely ignores other things in
>critical race and justice studies like mixed race/cultural
>identity, biological constructs of race etc, but thats
>beside the point of the story as it turns out).

Well if it were up to me there would be no social definition of "mixed". You are one thing and also another. In other words, I do not think anyone has to ignore one part of who they are just to affirm another part. There is a guy named 40thStreetBlack on this board who is Ethiopian and Irish, could he not repatriate to Ethiopia and share its rich heritage and still acknowledge his individual Irishness? Or go to Ireland and still acknowledge his Blackness? I do not think there would a problem as long as the "mixed" person was emotionally trained and had an understanding of BOTH their identities as two wholes and not two polarized halves. But then again, this works with my idea in that the nation would not be as inhospitable to a small minority of individual whites as it would be to collective white dominance. I guess if it were inhospitable to any individual deemed "white" then as you say that would ignore people from more than one background.

Anyway, in
>the story once everyone is organized to go the place sinks
>into the ocean or some tragic shit like that and everyone
>has to return to America. The morals come in where 1) what
>happens beforehand (sort of white bashing, but mostly
>accurate) and 2) that the unification towards a goal gives
>the people strength to get together in America. That seems
>suspect because of the short memory thing, but nevertheless
>I can see that cat's point

I do not get this part, can you explain further? If I was already on the continent and the thing fell apart I would just move to somewhere else on the continent, not back to America. But that may not have been what you meant.

>Anyway, she made this to be a big issue where "would you go
>to this mystical place and leave the US forever?" if you
>are/were black? All but one white girl said no (I suspect
>she was kissing ass), meaning 100% of the black students
>almost all the white students said they would stay.

Well, this was a hypothetical question based to some school students. Living realities are different because no one can honestly say what they would/would not do in a situation that has not arrived yet. Especially if there are circumstances or reasons as to why they would leave like being on the fringe of this society (as many Black folks are) and not just an elective move.

>professor, whom I suspect is a lunatic for reasons aside
>from this, ardently said she would leave pretty much no
>matter what. Knowing that she was one of those people who
>basically appeases white people to stay in a job but
>genuinely thinks they are all totally clueless save for Joe
>Feagin and a few "good ones" I shouldnt have gotten into
>this with her, but I made the obvious points that African
>Americans are now such a separate group from black Africans
>and have become so mixed culturally and biologically that
>they would have a damn tough time going back to say, Africa,
>and moreover, should neither be forced to leave nor wish to
>leave a community and culture in which they should take

This is your opinion/perspective though, not absolute fact. There are plenty of both Continental Africans and African Americans that do view each other as kin to one another. Maybe not a majority, but enough for a catalyst in beginning to forge ties across the Diaspora. Pan-Africanism is not a new ideology, nor is it shared only by crazy professors. There is a long-standing tradition for it and plenty of people on both sides of the atlantic in history and in the present that stood and stand for it.
To ignore this is to be in denial of one part of African American history.

As far as culture goes, yes there are many differences but in my opinion it is a mistake the separate the two completely on culture for the following reasons:

1) there are aspects of varying African cultures in African Americans that have gone untold.

2) the culture of Continental Africans is in itself different and varies with different nations and ethnic groups. You would have to seen "Africans" as a monolith first to conclude how different African Americans are. Because Africans themselves have strikingly different cultures (many just as mixed with European and other cultures as Af. Ams.) yet it doesn't make them any of them any less African to you, them, or anyone else.

As far as biology goes, EVERYONE in the world is "mixed" - the only people that are 100% anything in the 21st century are isolated, inbred peoples that have not been exposed to anyone else on a large scale, like in the Amazon or on an island off the coast of India. You forget that the entire Continent of Africa was under colonialism from 7 European nations. obviously there was and is mixing and in a country like South Africa with a 10% white populous im sure but not certain that the majority of the Black people have European blood in them on some level. Or in countries like Ethiopia and Somalia where there is admixtures of semitic people that came from the north. Or in the countries like Kenya and Mali that have had mixtures with Arab-Islamics over time. Saying African Americans should not acknowledge their African heritage based on the fact that a number of us probably have distant Native American and white ancestors is a cliche argument that doesn't make sense since everyone else in the world has other stuff in them too.
Does Moorish blood make Italians and Spaniards any less European?

Knowing this, I don't think our movement should be based on biology anyway but culture. There are too many complications regarding science that can lead to caste systems and Nazi-like outcomes if you try to make a homogenous nation out of biology. Since many African Americans AND Africans are Europeanized in their cultures there would of course have to be a growing consciousness that starts with a small number of people and moves into a notable minority and goes on from there. But culture is not an absolute thing, it can be changed or reconciled.

Finally, no one is forcing African Americans to do anything, this is not some arbitrary thing but a voluntary movement for self-determination. And I do not think unifying with other people of African origin means we have to forgo our microcosm. For me it means going back to Africa but never forgetting our peoples legacy on the North and South American continents. Getting back home does not at all mean washing away our struggles and accomplishments here, but washing away American mediocrity. Although if you are referring to geography then I suppose you would have a point. I still think a lot of Black people would leave given viable alternative though because it is not like our collective situation here is or ever has been anywhere near comfortable. It is just complacent.

I am surprised she didnt bring up institutional
>warfare against blacks because that is a damn good point,
>but her whole thing was this cut and dry systemic racism
>stuff that I suspect comes straight from some factory that
>manufactures jargin for ethnic studies courses (if they are
>too "b(U)y-the-book, I feel like they are missing the

Are you referring to WHY she wanted to leave? I could probably name a plethora of reasons besides just systematic racism.

>Incidentally, Frederick Douglass staunchly opposed return to
>Africa sentiment and following slavery it was mostly
>confused and frightened whites, Lincoln included, who were
>shipping former slaves back to Africa.

This contradicts itself. Obviously Douglas was opposed to returning to Africa because in that time it was a tool by white people to get rid of us. And even then the continent was beginning to be put in even worse shape than America by Europeans who were beginning to take over. If returning was a VOLUNTARY goal for self-determination influenced by strictly Black people to get back to our ancestral heritage then I doubt he would have been as opposed. This is like comparing apples and oranges.

To ligthen things a
>bit, it's like what Eddie Griffin says "white people are
>like, why dont you go back to africa?...What the fuck am I
>gonna do in Africa? Get there and say 'where Mumbotu's
>house? Past the huts, by the elephant hang a left and there
>it is? Aight, cool."

Umm of course Eddie Griffin would have that view because he is a dumbass. Are you really basing your view on what an ignorant and unfunny comedian thinks of a continent he has never been educated on? This is actually part of the problem. Black people have been trained to view ourselves in America in this manner--as ghetto buffoons in the media, and Africa as one giant jungle where people ride their pet zebras to school and have only bush shrubs to cover their bottoms. THESE IMAGES ARE BASED IN WESTERN IGNORANCE, NOT REALITY. This is part of what causes the "cultural divide" you were referring to - BLACK PEOPLES RELIANCE ON ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA FOR EDUCATION IN THIS COUNTRY. And here you are just reinforcing it by perpetuating an unlearned PERCEPTION of the African interior instead of INDEPENDENTLY EDUCATING yourself on its VARYING COMPLEXITIES which INCLUDE elephants and "Mumbotu's House" but are not at all LIMITED by it.

These images of Eddy Griffen-types are also in seen around the world, creating an illusion of Black inferiority for immigrants that come here (including some African ones) that creates more divides and problems. It is a cycle of ignorance that PAN-AFRICANISM attempts to alleviate!

Obviously that's oversimplifying and
>employs a sterotypical view of Africa (images at least) but
>it makes the point.

It makes the point of how confused MANY African Americans are. That's about it.

>I think black Americans are in large part, stuck here;
>physically AND mentally. That they are experiencing many
>problems white Americans are (though often in unique ways)
>means that both sides should join efforts to combat them.
>That is what I was getting at a couple of weeks ago when I
>was talking with zorasmoon about the similarities between
>black/white troubles despite numerous social disparities.

I do not buy the argument that is pro-oppressed/desperate people uniting instead of people uniting based on their BIRTH-GIVEN HERITAGE. One is natural and exists in a vacuum, not because of an external problem. What happens when the problems between the people are alleviated? They are still two different people. I doubt this country would ever fully accept Black people as it exists now, otherwise we would not be having this discussion.

I just think uniting people based on a mutual identity and culture that exists regardless of anything else is more substantial than uniting people based on an oppressor or on social conditions. Besides, there are many many issues faced by our people that are unique to just us. Trying to eliminate the ethnicity factor sounds like either class warfare/socialism or we-are-the-world/colorblind/rainbow idealism, which you have to admit is even more suspect and unfeasible than Pan Africanism could ever be.

>Yes, foreign consciousness should play a factor for both,
>but I do not necessarily think it would cause a rift between
>the two. The process I am talking about is removed from the
>all together westernized unity through greed; it is one of
>educating oneself about various world cultures and not
>limiting oneself based upon race.

How is acknowledging ones own heritage and ancestral background and wanting self-determination for people in their culture limiting themself? This doesn't even make sense.

If you look at Huey
>Newton, dude studied African, classical European, South
>American and Asian literature and Philosophy. That type of
>inquisitiveness is what can kick open doors and lead to
>unity beyond wearing the same Jay Z reeboks.

Huey P. Newton was studying different cultures to educate himself about the world, not to disassociate himself from his own Black identity and the will for self-determination for Black people. While I agree that everyone should study about the ENTIRE world, your own culture is first priority because you have to know yourself and your own background before anyone elses.

"Tongue is lightening"
- Luyia