“What did you expect when you unbound the gag that had muted those Black mouths? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?”-
Jean-Paul Sartre, Orphee Noir
Everything that could be said about the United States has been said aloud, copiously written about or whispered in hushed tones from behind the closed doors of collective public group-think. When Pax Americana advocates tout the imperialistic grandeur of the U.S., the discourse is commonly cloistered along the prescribed talking-points of American Exceptionalism rather than pragmatic realism. European as well as non-White American citizens and residents struggle to see themselves as the perfect society, a literal paradise on Earth with no moral equal while at the same time playing make believe that Indigenous genocide and African slavery were, and are, mere aberrations to this historical record.
On this occasion, namely the eve of the appointment of the first non-total-European to the most powerful seat of global Euro-settler power, it is imperative at this notable moment in the history of Euro-American colonial power to examine what a Barack Obama presidency really means in relation to America’s long and ugly record of ethno-social manipulation, economic marginalisation and aggressive territorial expansionism. This writer is not at all alone in stating that the biggest mistake the entire world, chiefly the non-European colonialized world, is making is in assuming that since a person of colour has been selected by the American economic and military authority structure that a “change” is coming not just in Washington D.C. but the planet as a whole. In particular, the factors that have created the Diaspora that has defined our existence since expansionist Europe found Africa and turned it into a supermarket for slaves and natural resources. On its face, this seemingly clean break from America’s long tradition of racial hatreds and the representation of powerful White men running the world appears to be complete. But is it?
Indigenist analysis and Cartesian common-sense tells me no. I am obliged by my ancestors, the selfless warriors and visionaries who came before me and my own distressing familiarity with the colonial experience to clarify an underlining quandary, a specific intellectual malaise, before we proceed any further. When a White person of the settler class, for example, says to the native or the slave, “You should be grateful that we came here and civilised you and your people,” an event which occurs every day in the life of those burdened by the weight of colonialism, it is a threatening qualifier meant to consign the subjected back to his assigned place in the socio-political pecking order. With the global public inebriated with the illusory vision of ‘We have finally arrived’ to a post-election racially-blind America, such a critique will be said by master and slave alike to be ill-timed and out of place. I disagree with this criticism and I will categorically explain why I reject the post-election creation of the “New Negro” part deux.
I will not allow myself to be conscripted into forming a union with the cheering masses in celebrating the rise of a new American emperor just because his father happens to be from Kenya. Barack Obama has dark skin, but only fools and the politically uneducated believe the hype that his vision is anything other than Eurocentric, capitalist and imperialistic. The White racist power structure will pretend that the white mask he wears does not exist but have quietly acknowledged that it is there, just beneath Mr. Obama’s political epidermis.
What Does Change Look Like?
The change identified by Mr. Obama’s run to be the head of state of the most vicious, European-settler political state in human history is not in any way a true alteration of national policy. Mr. Obama has made his intentions well known that he intends to stand by the United States and all of its racist, imperialist and certainly colonialist institutions. Before the reader contests this accusation consider the following:
• Is the new Obama administration planning to honour the territorial integrity of Indian Country and the nearly 400 U.S./Indigenous nation-to-nation treaties all other previous federal administrations commonly ignored?
• Is the Obama administration willing to finally address issues of Indigenous genocide such as the forced sterilisations of Aboriginal women in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico uncovered by the Senator Church Committee Hearings of the 1970’s?
• Will the Obama government officially apologise to the American Aboriginal for territorial disenfranchisement and genocide?
• Will the Obama government return Hawaii to its ancestral owners?
• Will the Obama government return Puerto Rico to the Taino Nation?
• Will the Obama government return Guam to the Chamorro Nation?
• Will the Obama government address American African Reparations?
• Will the Obama government address the problem of institutional White racism as suggested by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders?
• Will the Obama government officially apologise for African slavery?
This is far from a complete inventory and as far as I am concerned, these bits and pieces explicitly identify the root problems that characterize the socio-political environment of these United States. Barack Obama has pledged to support the Israeli Arab genocide of the Palestinian Nation and has qualified this by choosing as White House Chief-of-Staff Zionist Rahm Emanuel, the war-mongering congressman from Chicago. The liberal journal The Nation sullenly notes that Emanuel is "seen as a strong Israel partisan,” not exactly a sign of the change the Obama campaign was talking about. If is also doubtful that an Obama administration is willing to pack up the new super-great American Embassy in Iraq that was constructed by Saudi Arabian supplied slave labour. Should we expect the Obama government to address the economic independence of the Philippines, the nation that provided most of the imported free labour used in Occupied Iraq? Can we suppose that the Obama White House will not attempt to assassinate Dr. Fidel Castro of Cuba as had previous administrations or that then President Obama will not try to re-take the island nation by force? Should we not ask these questions at all and simply assume that what should be done will be done?
The history of many colonial governments and leaders suggests that caution should be heeded regardless of the ethnicity or race of the leaders. Barack Obama is a direct product of the colonial system. He differs starkly from his venerated American African predecessors in that Mr. Obama has clearly pointed out that he is in full support of the American system as it is, he only argues that the middle-class should get more out of the pie. And much unlike his forerunners, he has to date never seriously addressed the core issues that affect his own ethnic group or others subjected to similar U.S. belligerences without considering the psychic welfare of the European power structure.
The heart of Barack Obama’s attractiveness to White America, his celebrated ‘Race Speech’ of 2008, was in character, a poignant Emancipation Proclamation for the White settler society, a gesture meant to save face and retain the Union, not an identification of the originating factors of institutional racism or true granting of liberation from involuntary servitude. His conciliatory dialogue, inclusive of all the manipulative spirit and guile President Lincoln intended his original to be, sanctioned the myth of benevolent Euro-settler rule. His defence of White settler society and U.S. racial stratifications as historically legitimate is in line with the post-Civil Rights Era argument that while Indigenous depopulation and African involuntary servitude and racial marginalisation, both of which clearly amount to genocide, were “errors of the past,” at no time is that history empirically connected to contemporary social problems or to mainstream social analysis.
Mr. Obama, in perhaps the best possible position a person of colour could be in order to make such an effort peacefully, did exactly the opposite. He morally absolved the White racist American system, its history, its invading ancestors and the current settler population on behalf of the peoples irreparably damaged by this account with an authority given to him not by the minority classes in question he vicariously represents, but by the Euro-settler apparatus behind him who comprehended that the general Euro-settler public was not likely to support the new administration without this concession. It was a clever political nudge to obtain a targeted political objective, not a long overdue call for justice for the social classes still ensnared within partial-citizenship conditions. Like the post-Apartheid South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, White colonial society was granted an honourable pass and a big thank you for sitting on their collective arses while institutional inhumanity has been performed against other human beings for their benefit and in their name.
In soul, Barack Obama, the first Hawaiian-born Hapa Popolo president of the United States, killed two birds with one stone. Having praised, protected and absolved the practise of White racism on the world stage, his Sambo act also unjustly placed all American African men in a position of socio-political emasculation. African males confronting institutional White racism and capitalist exploitation already scornfully reminded of Barack Obama’s example of the “Good Black,” will now be universally reprimanded as “angry” and derelict in their responsibility to be “American” by White and non-White alike. The Black man has been told for more than 400 years to be quiet and simply fall in with the programme. It is not his place to attempt to overcome his insignificance or to overstate his importance, even in secret to himself. Barack Obama has brought that disgusting Eugenic limitation full circle. White power has now been codified as the necessary evil that makes all things possible. And most importantly, this moral treason was symbolically and humbly carried out by a contented, fully integrated mulatto enthusiastically faithful to the cause of Pax Americana and willing to adhere to the game plan. The all-new, “new” Negro standard.
It has been deeply instilled within the native that his inadequacies are congenital and naturally socially insular, that he must accept the authority and vision of the White world as his only salvation from himself. This explains the pathetic African preoccupation with mimicking the White man in appearance, if possible, and in deed, often by any means necessary. His main goal is to acquire a normalisation of a kind, a safe zone of protection from the hardships of the inhumanity that comes from invisibility. The lingering sting of the whip is only an element of the story. The longing for recognition from the master class has been cunningly cultivated and nurtured within the mind and spirit of the subjected who knows little, if anything at all, about what it was like before he lost his freedom. Unless the native makes a conscious effort to re-learn who he is, to reject his fear of himself and his roots, he is led to believe he has no where else to go but back to the captive psyche of the grateful slave.
It must be remembered and never forgotten that the human groups traditionally subjected to Euro-settler hostility in the main are victims of Europocentric Eugenic rationalizations that regard them as biologically as well as culturally inferior. The Ashkenazim still endure this bias but hypocritically act out this very same racial prejudice against their Sephardic and Ethiopian kin. But it is also true that unlike most other similarly subjected peoples, (aside from Tibetans, for the obvious political reasons) they receive immense sympathy for their past sufferings. This is in large measure due to a 50/50 mix of collective recognition of the White Christian guilt incurred for permitting their errant theology to serve as divine validation for Semitic ethnocide and simple straightforward White colonial racism. Just as the Indigenous Tibetan struggle against Chinese colonialism has been used to great effect by Western capitialists, Judeophobia and Europe’s grand experiment in xenophobic attrition has also been used to justify the existence of the race-conscious Jewish colonial state of Israel. European and Anglo-colonial Anti-Jewish sentiment stubbornly persists, but ethnic bigotries can be forgiven so long as the desire to maintain positive White economic and political power in Western Asia remains attractive to the west. For this reason and this reason alone, European Jewry has been granted in the post-WW2 world order a modicum of respect.
The case for enhancing Jewish social acceptance is centred more on matters of outright political necessity and the European deference to limited amounts of melanin and what that visually has come to identify to darker peoples. It is a marker, a social badge of clout and class-cultural belonging separating the colonialist from the native, an immediately discernible barrier between invader and the invaded. White skin has been celebrated as an unambiguous expression of racial power, a gift from Providence, the symbol dutifully exploited in western art, literature and theology to identify the upper-social position of the colonial population. Hence the psychosomatic inevitability that all imagery relating to the Palestinian Rabbi Jesus the Christ would be Europeanised, Whitewashed so to speak, so that he would represent the invasion of Europe beginning with the first of the Crusades. It was an effort to support the necessary illusion that the Anglo face “belongs” in that contested region. It lends to the utterly flawed suggestion that Europeanised Jews have a moral right to reclaim lands lost to European imperialism in 70 BCE while Semites indigenous to the geography are seen as “invaders” and peoples struggling vainly against the will and people of God, who we all conventionally taught are White people. Who by the way are made in God’s own unique alabaster image.
The all-important extenuating proviso of ‘White Privilege’ is the academic crux of the Europo-colonial arrangement. It is also what has allowed Europe’s Semitic Diaspora following the second of the major European tribal wars to be accepted and re-classified as White, therefore automatically deserving of power, privilege and the right to living space at the expense of non-Whites. It is a continuation of what Euro-American historian Howard Zinn has characterized as the colonializer’s tale, the conscious and consistent revisionism of invasion and genocide as the White man’s prerogative, the natural rights of indigenous populations or imported human labour be dammed.
The complexities of White supremacist reasoning does much to blur the fact that colonial states only become ethnically, theologically or ‘racially’ integrated once colonial societies begin to implode due to their own hubris. It eventually becomes necessary to incorporate elements of the subjected population into the political structure in order to maintain positive social control. Social change in many respects acts as a safety valve, gently releasing enough pressure to keep the base socio-political system intact without gravely interrupting the flow of power. Social integration is the bandage of colonialism, not the natural result of benevolent White rule.
In the Americas, uneducated Italians, hungry Poles, Russian peasants, the Irish fleeing the Potato Famine, rebellious Scots and persecuted Roma peoples over a period of time overcame Old World biases and became ‘White enough’ in the New World to become tolerable and predictably sided with the extant system as their own social firmness and economic mobility depends squarely on the influence of White social acceptance. These were and still are people seeking a profitable materialist experience and more control over their personal lives, something virtually impossible for them in the nations they originally hail from. For many immigrants, the decision to support White racial biases with vigour is indicative of their vested interest in becoming more accepted on personal and economic levels. For many, even those who have personally experienced institutional prejudice, it just isn’t their problem any longer once they “make the grade.”
Post-election hindsight elucidates this paradox in that American Africans keen to see a Black man in office conversely backed Proposition 8, the anti-Homosexual civil rights measure that purports to protect endangered heterosexuals from the fictional Gay agenda to take over the world. Alarmingly, 68 percent of the African voting community has actively and bigotedly voted against someone else’s human rights, a state of affairs at once morally awkward and politically offensive given the history of the African before colonial contact.
Homophobia is not an African concept. It was taught alongside Western religion by colonialist missionaries working to neutralize African identity and cultural paradigms such as the practise of Vodun, a primordial religion in which homosexual and two-spirited people frequently serve as clergy. It is an egalitarian spirituality representative of the original human societies that produced it. Even the post-Apartheid ANC (African National Congress) had the ethical and political prudence to register Homosexual human and civil rights in their new constitution, something the United States has yet to discuss in serious terms. Homophobia has become the new poor-man’s conceit. It is the new anti-Semitism, the polite prejudice in which even the lowly can have someone of their own to exploit and discriminate against. By insulting and assaulting the homosexual, the captive African in the U.S. says, “I belong, and I too have a stake in the system.”
It is utterly elemental but entirely appropriate to mention what needs to be said, the oppressed African in the United States it appears is quite content with becoming an oppressor. And it is also comprehensible and inevitable that this decision will come at a price.
The election of Barack Obama places the African in the U.S. in an additional precarious position. Should the Obama administration carry on the programme of U.S. global-wide imperialism, soft intellectual colonial maintenance at home and discriminatory disregard for international law, American Africans can now legitimately be accorded the very same ethical animosity White Americans have earned for themselves on the grounds that they have made a cognisant decision to stand with the U.S. even when it has done and will do wrong to them and the rest of the world.
The 2008 election round is verification of this attitude as are the numerous negative social ebbs that have developed within the African community once we began to forget who we really are and how we came to be in the United States of America. The sense of shared culture, struggle and survival fluently expressed in John Griffin’s outstanding expose’ of White America, “Black like Me” is no longer a universal contemplation of our people. It was first beaten out of us by the slave master and the overseer with the lash, now we choose to beat it out of ourselves with hair relaxers, gold jewellery and the promise of material riches. The deeply painful articulations of Jazz and Blues have been remade as products of “America,” not the undeviating discipline of the African musical traditions brought to the Americas encased within the DNA of the slave. Just as the political quilt of the United States is surreptitiously based on a much earlier model of North American Aboriginal state relations, America’ much-admired cultural melange and civil freedoms owes its existence to its ethnic and social minorities, not the Europocentric social order. But Euro-America has made a bad habit of co-opting all it conquers as its own invention. As noted by author Fredrick W. Turner in 1974:
“The truth is that in describing the Indian and his lands the White man was describing himself, his own drives and consuming desires.”
The urge to covet anything, everything and everyone in sight is the trademark of the settler mentality and has been in the Americas since European invasion first began. The practise of savage cruelty motorized by pure unadulterated greed, codified by religious zeal and Euro-nationalism may have changed in form, but the essential functions of Euro-American rule remain exactly the same.
This outlook stems from a peculiar Euro-American subconscious trait persistently reinforced via state propaganda, religious beliefs co-opted from Western Asia and the pedagogical institutions that Africans, Aboriginals, Asians and visible sexual minorities be perceived as a baffling melange of highly-functioning inferior groups in desperate need of White Christian leadership and tutelage. This mind-set has been absorbed by many within the U.S. regardless of class, ethnicity, national or cultural origin. Even with post-modernist political correctness in play, non-Whites in Euro-settler societies still remain hopelessly locked within social paradigms of second-class, sub-human citizenship that is only feasible as long as the subjected population willingly consigns itself to slave’s frame of mind. Despite the outcome of the 2008 election and the non-White figurehead chosen by the Electoral College, minorities will nonetheless struggle to be accepted by the White power structure as full contemporaries, albeit unequally filtered through a decidedly Europocentric set of values.
Will a little Black change the White House?
An Obama White House will do exactly what the Euro-settler class expects it to do, to continue to work faithfully to maintain the United States as a European, i.e., “White” nation-state. There may be allowances of a moderately prosperous non-European ethnic middle-class serving as an incorporated buffer that will tussle to maintain their “new” status as an “accepted people” with a vested stake in the “American Dream.” If an Obama administration is only willing to modify American capitalism as he has promised, by offering more materialist fodder to the middle-classes instead of dismantling the capitalist system and its necessary socio-economic caste stratifications, they have basically voted to remain locked within a deeper Europocentric colonial abyss.
This is where the pool of political analysis becomes a sea filled with ravenous sharks. If Africans and other ethnic minorities in the United States rashly decide to go along with the programme presented by the Obama/Biden ticket before and after they vote blinded by Mr. Obama’s ethnic makeup, assuming that their individual votes meant anything at all once the action moved from the polls to the Electoral College, they will be willingly pursuing a programme of reformed capitalism and a nicer, gentler Pax Americana rather than the “change” a brown-skinned person should naturally bring to such a position.
We have no one to blame for this situation but ourselves. As oppressed groups, we did not demand that a Black man running for president of the United States, himself a victim of blatant racial attacks in mainstream media and two assassination attempts by young White Power true-believers, speak candidly and truthfully without the restriction of concern for how Euro-Americans may receive the truth. It is clear that we, as isolated clusters, have allowed ourselves to be lulled into the delusional re-identification of “American” without careful consideration or regard for what that term really suggests.
To identify with the imaginary American nationality is to associate oneself with the genocide of North America’s First Nations, direct involvement of the international African slave trade, the legal Apartheid of Jim Crow and the extra-legal adaptations practised elsewhere, Manifest Destiny and the question of why the U.S. became a working example and inspiration for similar atrocities in South Africa and Teutonic Europe. It also means that as an American, the bearer is ethically responsible for acknowledging this narrative and honourably rectifying the damage created by these circumstances. Is the contemporary post-Black Power American African community truly calculating the risk involved in willingly merging with one’s former slave master?
One way to examine this question is to look at the treacherously thinning divide between church and state and the influence of Abrahamic theology in modern American life and politics. The practise of colonial Christianity is still a very strong factor within the American African community and has been utilized as the moral justification for the Civil Rights movement as well as the modern discrimination against homosexuals in the Diaspora. But aside from the churches that adhere to humanistic and Afrocentric-based liberation theologies, the Black church has generally been used as an enabler for acquiescence rather than resistance. This boldly contradicts the folkloric lessons of the Christian Bible that profess to document the history of the Jewish people who rebelled against their allegedly servile social status in classical Egypt and successfully struggled for their liberation. They then became oppressors themselves according to the latter chapters of Exodus by slaying what they could of the Canaanite Nation to physically occupy and dominate their territories. In turn, they were forcibly expelled from the region after losing ground during the First Roman-Jewish War, the part we are allowed to reference and obediently remember. The xenophobic period of nationalistic Semitic-on-Semitic genocide against the Canaanites is ignored is an issue of no real importance.
Even the revisionist King James Version makes it abundantly clear that both Moses and Jesus the Christ strongly believed in the complete separation of the victim from their victimiser, a potent anti-colonialist message curiously passed over in missionary sermons to the theoretical savage masses. To acknowledge this significant element of the colonial religion is to commit a great blasphemy. Not of God, but towards the all-powerful White men who represent God’s ultimate authority on Earth. Any transgression against the inherent right of White authority and the subsequent order of things is viewed as direct defiance of Romans Chapter 13 in which it is written: “There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power.”
This was the high crime of liberation theology educator the Reverend Jeremiah Wright of Chicago. He became the whipping-boy for White and Black neo-conservative pundits screaming at the top of their lungs about anti-White racial hatred within the tradition and very existence of the Black Church. The Euro-settler public expressed utter fury towards Rev. Wright’s correct theological estimation that America as a nation should be dammed by Iehovah for its genocidal transgressions against the weak, the different and the poor. Reactionary Whites immediately redefined Rev. Wright’s sermons as anti-White bigotry without critically identifying the direct correlation between his teaching and that of the anti-imperialist message of Jesus the Christ in then Roman occupied Palestine. Rev. Wright’s life and work are more in line with the Christ’s reported teachings than the zealous, pro-violence Judeophobic and anti-Islamic theological screeds found among televised evangelical preachers such as Pastor John Hagee and the Rev. Rod Parsley. Their version of the ancient Palestinian cult calls for worldwide Christian domination under an exclusively American-led imperial arrangement. This is a serious contrast to what is championed in verse, the anti-colonial political rudiments of the Christian faith, a poor man’s religion developed in the midst of European colonial circumstances.
Jesus, son of Mary was a charismatic, organised and dangerous political radical with a dedicated following, a terrorist by today’s standards, to the Roman colonial government and the Vichy Jewish class who eventually turned him over to the colonial authorities. Nor have White Americans upset with Rev. Wright connected his call for justice with the Euro-settler call for independence from foreign tyranny by the American founding fathers to the British Crown. It too was cloaked in semi-religious terms, but this was conveniently forgotten about once their goals of land and liberation was achieved.
Colonial states do not found themselves on the premise of full liberation. Each element of power fashioned by the state is for the benefit of the state. It is an intricate system of checks and balances designed to keep the native and sub-social classes they dominate hopelessly dependent upon the state and the colonial society the state represents. The incorporated colonial subject, nurtured in colonialist cultural norms and education, cannot resist admiring, to one degree or another, the power and grandeur of the colonial class. This deification of the colonialist was carefully cultivated by first methodically inventing and then exploiting divisions between the natives and other subjected classes. The colonial practise of divide-and-conquer pits one group against another, insuring that unity and political organisation amongst the oppressed never achieves a solid foothold. This vacuum is then filled with individuals and social classes psychologically and economically loyal to the colonial superstructure for their sectional socio-political privileges. Occasionally, external forces and internal dichotomies compel the colonialist class to re-define the physical mechanization of the system without appreciably altering the fundamental nature of the colonial state. Oppressive powers as a rule cannot expect to endure without earning a certain level of dedicated support from the oppressed classes. After a period of time, the colonial predilection to dictate the direction of the society can safely be channelled and entrusted to select Assimilados who, without the need for reinforced coercion, will labour to maintain the appreciably asymmetrical status quo.
It is an error of grand proportions to assume that Barack Obama will be any different than former Secretary of State General Colin Powell (ret.), (notable for his contribution to the official cover-up of the My Lai massacre) current Secretary of State Condi Rice, (who was buying shoes in NYC while Black people drowned in New Orleans) or Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who has made it a point of his permanent status to the court to refute African civil rights at every opportunity. An Obama White House will remain just that, a White seat of imperial power. Our community has been fooled many, many times before into supporting Africans in American government service that in the end did absolutely nothing for the African Diasporic community or any other population victimised by “Americanism” and I challenge the reader look inside oneself and find fault with this assessment. Bringing the non-European “up to the level” of the colonialist is not freedom, it is purely slavery under a new set rules written and imposed by the very same power structure that has repackaged Manifest Destiny as the graceful mercies of a benevolent but overtly racist conscious empire.
The decision to support Mr. Obama’s proposed policies by American minorities undeniably places us in the revolting position of wilful overseers expected with protecting the imperial-colonial interests of the U.S. over its global plantation. We have as a demographic chosen to stand side by side with the United States in aiding the maintenance of American White supremacy at home and around the world. When the tide eventually turns, and it will if the Christian Bible has any authority in such a discussion, then we as a people will suffer the same fate as those who have misused, mistreated and murdered the peoples of the world in ‘our’ name. One cannot feign ignorance of genocide and exploitation and remain human. Black or Brown skin does not protect one from the charge of criminal and moral apathy when one is wholly guilty of gross inaction in the face of injustice.
The 3rd, and 4th Worlds will never, and should never, ever, allow the Black man and woman of the United States to forget that we too are a direct product of American capitalism and that we have in many instances helped wield the whip against our own people. African, Asian and southern American governments are nearly universally dominated by those of either the mixed-race upper-classes or by strong native supporters of the military, political or economic colonial organism. Barack Obama typifies this hypothesis. He is a half-White, widely travelled and proudly race-neutral graduate of Harvard University. He was allowed to become a part of the operational levels of the social system, so theoretically he is a cog within the colonial machine. Another way to deconstruct this is to look at the subconscious psycho-socio dilemma of the half-caste, with one foot in the White world and the other foot dwelling somewhere else, identity and allegiances are always divided.
However, Mr. Obama’s other metaphorical appendage resides distantly in Kenya, which for the American White man is very different and much less threatening than having African roots harvested in the U.S. Mr Obama flawlessly fulfils all of the White racist prerequisites of what is mandatory for a Euro-American imperial power in the 21st century. He is the personage of respectability, a product of enlightened and compassionate European imperialism, the face of the new neo-liberal corporate class. The pioneering half-White emperor of the new American century of capitalist empire is frankly the only “historical” element to be found within this otherwise consistent colonial paradigm. And the public relations play on his ethnic duality will increase as American military i.e., business concerns make further inroads within the re-conquest of the African motherland.
Deconstructing the New Negro
“Millions of men…whom fear has been cunningly instilled, who have been taught to have an inferiority complex, to tremble, kneel, despair.”
- Aime Cesare
I will continue this critique with three preliminary observations. First, the idea that Europeanised nation-states are by fiat inherently superior to the non-European countries they invade is central to the falsehoods mentioned above. Colonialism and its operative arm, institutionalised ethnic marginalisation, are not accidents of history. The colonialist class creates only for itself, not the “native.” The existence of limited numbers of non-Europeans functioning at social levels generally reserved for the colonial population is not a gift from the Gods, for these ‘assimilados’ dutifully serve the powers that be. That is their job. The colonialist class will frequently point to these sparse examples as proof of “progressive assimilation,” but the people, cultures, societies and territories ruined by such developments tell a very different story.
Next, the necessity of the colonialist to justify his colonisation as an ancient anthology of selfless good deeds to the half-man/half-devils of Kipling’s fantasies is primarily emotional anxiety. Very few Euro-settlers, in particular those based in the Americas, are willing to accept the more Volkisch aspects of their presence in lands they are not indigenous to. The detail remains however that colonialism in practise is deliberate genocide and one need not be convinced of this fact through argument for the evidence is there for all to see. The psychosomatic juncture is inescapably encountered when the question of legitimacy is raised in regards to the colonial state itself, not just its immediate by-product of native eradication. This creates a neurosis for the colonialist who must now explain himself, his physical occupation of land that is not historically his own and his active and, or, passive participation in the elimination of the native population to make such lebenstraumpolitik possible in the first place. To roughly paraphrase Carl Jung, colonial classes are by and large assemblies of detached persons who benefit from the privileges granted to them by the artificial power of the state while neurotically coping with the injustices of being a part of the status quo.
Lastly, it is entirely and intentionally misleading to proclaim, as the professional American media machine is wont to do, that racism in post-election America is over. From the outset, Mr. Obama’s campaign was fraught with the visual contradictions of a non-White male running for president in a nation which has legally mandated federal, state and municipal level racial profiling against non-White males during the Clinton administration. The McCain/Palin ticket and their conservative attack-dogs made great use of the innate European fear of African men by making a point of his “otherness” throughout the campaign. But it would be incorrect to lay America’s racism solely at the feet of neo-Conservatives, progressives used White racism to their advantage as well. While the majority of Euro-Americans who openly supported Mr. Obama from the start boast that this empirically proves that anti-African racism in the U.S. is indeed over, they selectively skip over the fact that it was White liberals that made a larger issue by raising the fact that Mr. Obama’s bi-racial background was an exceedingly important factor in making him a viable candidate for the Euro-American voter. In other words, he “really” isn’t Black; he just looks that way because of his father. An accident of a wayward White hippy mother from Kansas as many neo-con pundits have openly opined and this estimation is exactly what has encouraged the Euro-American progressive movement to stand behind him. Barack Obama looks like change, but being change is something altogether different than a 30-second, or 30-minute, commercial for modern American “full-spectrum dominance.”
This “de-negromentation” of the socially acceptable individual ethnic minority is nothing new; it is borne from a consistently progressive paradigm of White racism as old as the republic itself. It is an ideal still taught to its victims as “common sense” as opposed to the much more emancipative approach of ethno-historical consciousness and self-awareness. The Eugenicist push to re-define everything and everyone within the loosely defined rules of White Power says more about European social paradigms than it does about the people, cultures and societies Euro-Americans have either co-opted or eliminated since it overpowered the British Crown. In this light, Barack Obama’s victory is really not a victory of anything tangibly progressive if issues such as these are not looked at carefully and honestly by both the White American population and those still tenaciously clinging to life existing under U.S. colonial rule.
For our Sisters and Brothers in the Motherland, the rise of a dark Caesar is perhaps the greatest challenge Africa has faced since the rape of the continent in the wake of the 1884 Berlin Conference wherein the major European powers, those with enough military might to make a claim, decided amongst themselves how they would split up the landmass for their own benefit. As I have previously deconstructed in an earlier essay entitled, “Uncle Tom Goes to Washington: The Dark Underside of Barack Obama’s run for the American Presidency,” I pointed out that Barack Obama as American president is merely a modern reconstruction of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus, a North African who viciously subjugated his own people for the profit of the European powers he represented. While much has been made of the fact that Mr. Obama is half-African, he is also half-White and has taken great pains to convince the White American public that he has never experienced racism nor suffers from a familial history of slavery or White racist terror in the Americas, creating a wall between himself and those like this writer who has had and continues to experience these socio-political negativities. Therefore Barack Obama, the “American candidate” differs greatly from the list of American African politicians I referenced earlier in this work who would have been much more likely to raise these issues and may have worked diligently to address them at home and abroad. For Mr. Obama and his White liberal supporters, his denial of institutional White racism in the face of the overwhelmingly black-hearted tone of the republican party efforts to derail his campaign make him the “perfect” candidate to lead the charge to re-occupy the African continent.
Did you really think, dear reader, that the newly established U.S. system of AFRICOM has no relation to Mr. Obama’s appointment to the U.S. seat of imperial power? The choice of Barack Obama is purely psychological gamesmanship. Essentially, Mr. Obama will “front” the American capitalist war machine, not dismantle it. And the sports fans watching from the sidelines will think that he is representing them, not the White supremacist elements that comprise the world’s power elites. His flood of Electoral College votes alone proves this. In reality, only 43% of Euro-settler voters supported the democratic ticket. Minority voters, Whites jacked by the housing and credit crisis, negative world opinion, political necessity and proper timing made putting an ethnic minority in as The Leader a smart move. Like his predecessor Emperor Septimius Severus, Emperor, another imperial leader of colour, Barack Obama will continue the European war of genocide against the Indigenous Palestinian people, he will threaten Arab, African and Asian nations with military violence if they argue for genuine independence and he will carry on the history of ethnic and cultural marginalisation of North America’s Indigenous peoples and nations like all other U.S. presidents before him. I have seen nothing tangible from the Obama camp to alter my analysis at this point in time, but I remain open to rearticulating my position given that an Obama administration actually does more than talk of change.
Despite the thrashing Marx has received in the capitalist world, (which is just about the entire world) his dialectics surrounding the universality of class struggle has yet to be effectively disproved. The United States as a socio-political entity has never altered itself internally on the basis of fairness or justice, it has always without exception been compelled to change due to circumstances imposed in many cases by the very conditions its own policies created. The credit crisis that began in the U.S. and eventually became a worldwide economic concern is entirely due to the American culture of class-conscious materialistic greed, nothing more. So far Mr. Obama has merrily endorsed the much ballyhooed Wall Street bailout and delicately demands that the second Bush administration “stimulus package” be issued sooner than later. As our activist sisters and brothers struggling on the front lines in Africa have pragmatically and poetically put it, liberation is often just a word for a new oppressor. And chances are, in the post-modernist world, the colonially loyal and cheerful oppressor often looks a lot like you.
Matters of Subjugation and Occupation
“Where are the children of the Cherokee, my great-grandmother’s people?
Where are the children of the Blackfoot?
Where are the children of the Lakota?
Of the Cheyenne?
Of the Chippewa?
Of the Iroquois?
Of the Sioux?
Of the Mandinka?
Of the Ibo?
Of the Ashanti?”
- Alice Walker
I cannot end this commentary without addressing the pressing issue of Indigenous human rights, U.S. federal treaty obligations, our resistance to American colonial aggression and the question of genocide against Indigenous Americans. Capitalism has been forced to alter its face and its function slightly over the past half-century, give or take a few years, and Mr. Obama’s promotion from senator to emperor is the basically infrequent exception that serves to prove the rule. As I have speculated earlier, had the housing crisis not happened when it did, with the resulting injury it incurred to the White middle-class, the McCain/Palin ticket would be announcing plans to prepare the nation for the Rapture. Native American support was extremely helpful to this effort, but not in terms of votes. The Indigenous support given to the Obama campaign was a stamp of moral legitimacy for Indigenous exploitation since survivors of the 500-plus year old Euro-settler anti-Aboriginal purge threw their support behind more of the same. Barack Obama as the Hapa candidate for many was a sign that life for the American Indian could be “better” under a non-White president.
There is the fairy tale of equal opportunity via political representation and there is the falsehood of greater minority social power when represented by someone not ethnically of the ruling class. Combined, these myths are strong factors in maintaining the illusion that “progress” is entirely possible by faithfully working within the colonialist system. Non-White political leadership at every level of authority is as a rule a matter of political expediency, not ethno-social equality. The appointment of Barack Obama to the American presidency has the salacious effect of relaxing intelligent investigation of the American tradition of genocide, racism and ethnic/religious bias. American Aboriginals are central to this discourse since we are the population that has been disenfranchised of the lands that comprise the claimed borders of the United States.
Our lands, concepts of personal liberty and governance, our spiritual traditions and ultimately our very own identities as First Nations peoples are the basis for what became the American ideal.
The noble theory of Individual freedom and independence was learned from the native, not the coloniser who came to conquer and succeeded. It is also ironically accurate to point put that the so-called Indian’s generosity and egalitarianism is what made European settlement and Manifest Destiny possible at all. A factor conveniently overlooked in the current discussion about America’s supposedly “new” direction away from its racist colonialist origins.
America is a land chock full of myths. First, there is the myth of a barren, sparsely populated North American continent prearranged by Providence to belong to the valiant European seeking nothing more than new vistas to explore. Next is the myth of complete racial parity immediately following the recitation of the Emancipation Proclamation and the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. And lastly, that the United States has never, ever, used blunt military force or illegal (under international law) interventionist means to secure its national or foreign territories and markets for its own selfish purposes.
Then who did invade the twin continents and laid waste to both the land and its Indigenous peoples? As merrily reported by the U.S. Census Bureau’s assessment in 1890, official and “unofficial actions” undertaken by the settler population positively eliminated 96-98% of the Aboriginal population in the north by 1890 C.E. Four years later this very same arm of the U.S. federal government published a summarised account of “individual affairs” that resulted in no less than 45,000 killings of Aboriginal Americans by Christian European settlers. The intellectual jujutsu which goes into arguing why such history should be accepted as simple “history” is academically necessary to a system fundamentally based on theological eugenics. The admittance of invasion and violence, one of the immediately discernable operative arms of colonial power, must be avoided at all costs. Few modern colonial nation-states are willing to connect their birth to belligerence, let alone race-based belligerence.
But the truth about the holocaust against the American Indian cannot be extinguished from the inner-psyche of the United States. The malady of colonialism is a sickness of the coloniser’s own self-image, the personal realisation of his own weaknesses and supercilious ego. It is the belief that authority over lands and peoples makes man godlike.
It was the divine spark of inspiration for the holocaust of the transcontinental African Slave Trade; it encouraged President McKinley to occupy, and colonize the peoples Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines because he rationalised that God wanted him to; It was flickering within the flames of the Alamo and it was howling in the winds of Korea and the breezes of Vietnam. It is an analogy of the colonialists’ deep-seated fear. A fear that keeps Leonard Peltier in prison for a crime he did not commit and many, many others alongside him for conditions imposed against them from without. The ghost the imperial-colonialist ultimately fears is himself. Hence, he must lie to himself about what he has done by lying about what he is doing and what he will later do. The national tall tale therefore must exist so long as the colonial situation exists.
The grandiose mistruths of America differ little from the other useless commodities churned out by its aggressively capitalist socio-political system. It is after all entirely based on the exploitation of human beings and natural resources. There is little doubt that the establishment of the rebellious Euro-Settler United States republic was a significant socio-political godsend within the narrow parameters of western understanding as it relates to human liberties. For the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Western Africa however an altogether different perception of European ethical standards has been our reality. An appalling record of violence and psychological war against an entire people cannot be erased by an election in Washington D.C. and it is insulting to suggest that it ever will.
America, Barack Obama’s America, is based on genocide, the original sin of the colonial state. Occupied territory is still occupied territory no matter how ancient the transgression. Any resistance to this occupation, any confrontation at all, invites the call to obliterate the original entity, and then to co-opt their identification with the land. Englishman John F.D. Smyth, author of ‘A Tour of the United States of America’ recognised this and reported to Europe exactly what thought about the progress of settler-Aboriginal affairs in 1784 America. He made it clear that the desire to rid the “New World” of its original inhabitants included, “Extirpating them totally from the face of the Earth, men, women and children.” His assessment was echoed in 1890 by the U.S. federal census when they officially recorded that there were fewer than 250,000 Aboriginals left alive within the continental United States. This was in reference to a population which ranged anywhere from 12 1/2 - 15 million at first contact and amounted to nearly a 98% attrition of the indigenous population since the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth Rock. In order to consume the resources within the land and the land itself, it is imperative to consume the people of the land. That is the nature of the process. And the situation has not changed at the present.
How can a people forgive a government and its people for genocide, especially when the government and people in question still occupy the stolen territories? The election of Barack Obama muddies the question of Indigenous land and identity repatriation. His call and personal example of an “America for everybody” does not include recognition of Indigenous independence. It offers a seat at the colonial table, not a table of our own. This may be inclusion, but as an Aboriginal I suss this as another tale of exclusion, of wilful ignorance of the sufferings of my people and an insult against me a victim of American colonial ethnocide. If Barack Obama and his crew of capitalist Chicago wunderkinds can find it within them to look backwards in order to go forwards I am willing to at least listen to what he has to say. But the elements above will need to be addressed and addressed fully, honestly and without reservation. The victims of America those living, those long buried and those littering the surface of the Earth deserve better.
I chose to title this article in the international language Esperanto to prove this point. While critics of the language cite its Europocentric colloquialisms and its origins as a “manufactured idiom,” its intended goal was and is to unite all human beings in an increasingly smaller world with a common form of communication. It was believed by its founders to be an answer to the excuses behind non-communication leading to war. If we all speak a common tongue in addition to, but not a replacement of, our native languages, belligerence it was hoped would be kept to a minimum. It is for this reason that Indigenist activists have adopted Esperanto as a unifier that bridges all peoples without regard to cultural or social hierarchy. There is a lesson in this for the First World. It is possible for all of us to be who we are without having to submit to a singular cultural or socio-political arrangement. It is exactly this ideal that fuelled the worldwide public support for Barack Obama to be president of the United States, the granddaddy imperial power of the last century. It is ultimately up to us, the people, all of the people, to take the opportunity and use this change of government and alter the current paradigm that is in reality the very same old format we have faced since 1492. We, not Barack Obama, can do it provided we have the spirit to stand up and speak the truth no matter what the leadership happens to look like.
However, I am intelligent enough not to hold my breath.