Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories –Cabral
Boycotting is a form of dissent which is visible and immediate. It appears to bring instant results for those without power. But does boycotting work, is it the only means of dissent for African people? Is marching and singing in 2019 the most progressive form of being heard? Where is our economic muscle? When all we do is boycott Peter while still spending with Paul. You will notice other groups like BDS do not only go and boycott. Boycotting is the attention grabber to push deeper well thought out politics. You will notice the Zionist of America (like AIPAC ) do not even bother so much with boycotting: They have a lobby. Mess with them and your show gets pulled. Mess with them, as Angela Davis 1)The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has cancelled its annual gala at which iconic African American scholar and activist Angela Davis was to receive a prestigious human rights award. https://palestina-komitee.nl/?p=6642found out, means no awards for you. They are silent and effective globally. Now go and ask African people who are supposed to be all about change if they know what what lobbying is. Amazing that the most powerful form of protesting and advocating ones cause is unknown to the people who should be climbing all over the thing. But the African mindset in 2019 is for instant results, especially those that are loud and hot and compatible with what CNN considers hot news.
Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will– Frederick Douglass
Every 5 minutes some Black person is shouting boycott this and that. And very little of it is organized. And it is so overdone it has lost all of its power. So what happened to the boycott of H&M for their monkey shirt? What has become of the boycott of Ryanair? I promise you they back to packing black butts on seats like never before. These temporary actions betray a deep flaw within the African mentality and that is a love for what seems to be instant solutions. Lobbying is far less glamours and takes far more organization, clear goals, and acumen to accomplish, yet the results are far more productive.
Spike Lee said we should boycott Gucci and Prada until they hire more black designers. Sorry Spike and Ebony but don’t you think it is time for African people to not worry about who is hiring us and just simple support our own clothing brands. We need to look at this entire boycott mentality for what it is in 2019. Are we so incapable that we need to be still hired? Here is a solution, as opposed to Spike and Ebony adding press for Gucci and Prada why not just say support Ocacia? That would mean something. But then Spike is their darling, their proof of equality in Hollywood. So Spike is already part of the problem. And Spike has another problem it is called EGO. He wants attention or to be seen as a current conscious force representing African Americans. Let us call up Spike and ask him to wear some Ocacia clothes to promote an African owned brand since he is so concerned with African representation in fashion. You take a close look at any Spike Lee set and see his own hiring practices. 2)While Spike Lee does hire African Americans, it is still odd to see on his production website him wearing a Nike shirt and surrounded by Whites and Asians. Are there no African American tee shirt brands that he could wear? And this is not to take away from his work, but when you put up these things as an issue be damn sure you are not part of the problem. And the same goes for people like Quincy Jones who surrounds himself with Whiteness and then on the odd occasion when he is receiving a “black”award from some sellout Negro organization has some pro-black rhetoric for the occasion.
They will boycott the Oscars when they stop winning them.
The problem with the African American struggle is the same exact thing that is wrong with how grassroots people protest in South Africa. Still need to Toyi-toyi to get the attention of the White owned news. Long ago we got attention by locking hands and singing we shall overcome–that was then. Are these methods of dissent still applicable in our complex and globalized societies? Have we looked at the contemporary trends and seriously reviewed how we affect change? Boycotting with marching are dead, especially dead when not done in tandem with more progressive forms of resistance like lobbying. But the truth is we like it loud and are be betrayed into these easy methods.
Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy– Malcolm X
Now Malcolm made it clear not to disagree over methods of struggle. But we must still evaluate as a conscious community the effectiveness and merit of any method used for liberation. And per Malcolm this is where Nairobi we have a problem because we certainly have no central objectives. What is Spike Lee’s objective with his issue with Gucci? What is the objective of the people complaining about H&M? All of them want a better cage. In simple terms that is all they want. A better position within the White world. Spike wants greater recognition of African contributions to cinema. This is a totally different objective from this page. The African Holocaust society does not want us better integrated into white wealth, to be dots in their hegemony. We want total African independence. We do not want Marvel to make another Black Panther film or for Harvard to hire more Afrocentrics. We want our OWN HARVARD, our own Marvel company, out own Gucci (aka Ocacia). Our own cinema, our own distribution. We do not want to be hired, we want to own. African Americans or Africans in America. We want the latter. And this is where all the confusion is happening. Why is this so strange? Because most of us are so mentally gone we think what is theirs is also ours. Yet Muslims in America set up their own banks, their own institutions of validation. Their own societies. Not these proxy organizations which need to look to the Zionist ADL before taking a vote.
Asleep and Awake. Awake to the African condition and the severity of our challenges. Asleep not really that bothered as long as Marvel plans on Making Black Panther 2, or they give Denzel another Oscar and make Spike happy. Now you see many of those complaining about how bad it is for Africans… Well just throw them a few jobs, a new mall and some time on CNN and that all blows away until the next Katrina. That group is also ASLEEP. Consciousness is not satisfied with trinkets, consciousness wants total liberation and does not sleep until we are no longer integrated stepchildren of Whites.
Source: Amilcar Cabral, Revolution in Guinea, stage 1, London, 1974, pp70-72
Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children .
We should recognise as a matter of conscience that there have been many faults and errors in our action whether political or military: an important number of things we should have done we have not done at the right times, or not done at all.
In various regions-and indeed everywhere in a general sense-political work among the people and among our armed forces has not been done appropriately: responsible workers have not carried or have not been able to carry through the work of mobilization, formation and political organisation defined by the party leadership. Here and there, even among responsible workers, there has been a marked tendency to let things slide . . . and even a certain demobilisation which has not been fought and eliminated….
On the military plane, many plans and objectives established by the Party leadership have not been achieved. With the means we have, we could do much more and better. Some responsible workers have misunderstood the functions of the army and guerilla forces, have not made good co-ordination between these two and, in certain cases, have allowed themselves to be influenced by preoccupation with the defence of our positions, ignoring the fact that, for us, attack is the best means of defence . .
And with all this as a proof of insufficient political work among our armed forces, there has appeared a certain attitude of ‘militarism’ which has caused some fighters and even some leaders to forget the fact that we are armed militants and not militarists. This tendency must be urgently fought and eliminated within the army . .
If ten men go to a rice field and do the day’s work of eight, there’s no reason to be satisfied. It’s the same in battle. Ten men fight like eight; that’s not enough . . . . One can always do more. Some people get used to the war, and once you get used to a thing it’s the end: you get a bullet up the spout of your gun and you walk around. You hear the motor on the river and you don’t use the bazooka that you have, so the Portuguese boats pass unharmed. Let me repeat: one can do more. We have to throw the Portuguese out .
Create schools and spread education in all liberated areas. Select young people between 14 and 20, those who have at least completed their fourth year, for further training. Oppose without violence all prejudicial customs, the negative aspects of the beliefs and traditions of our people. Oblige every responsible and educated member of our Party to work daily for the improvement of their cultural formation .
Oppose among the young, especially those over 20, the mania for leaving the country so as to study elsewhere, the blind ambition to acquire a degree, the complex of inferiority and the mistaken idea which leads to the belief that those who study or take courses will thereby become privileged in our country tomorrow . . . . But also oppose any ill will towards those who study or wish to study-the complex that students will be parasites or future saboteurs of the Party . .
In the liberated areas, do everything possible to normalise the political life of the people. Section committees of the Party (tabanca committees), zonal committees, regional committees, must be consolidated and function normally. Frequent meetings must be held to explain to the population what is happening in the struggle, what the Party is endeavouring to do at any given moment, and what the criminal intentions of the enemy may be.
In regions still occupied by the enemy, reinforce clandestine work, the mobilisation and organisation of the populations, and the preparation of militants for action and support of our fighters . .
Develop political work in our armed forces, whether regular or guerilla, wherever they may be. Hold frequent meetings. Demand serious political work from political commissars. Start political committees, formed by the political commissar and commander of each unit in the regular army.
Oppose tendencies to militarism and make each fighter an exemplary militant of our Party.
Educate ourselves, educate other people, the population in general, to fight fear and ignorance, to eliminate little by little the subjection to nature and natural forces which our economy has not yet mastered. Convince little by little, n~ particular the militants of the Party, that we shall end by conquering the fear of nature, and that man is the strongest force in nature.
Demand from responsible Party members that they dedicate themselves seriously to study, that they interest themselves in the things and problems of our daily life and struggle in their fundamental and essential aspect, and not simply in their appearance Learn from life, learn from our people, learn from books, learn from the experience of others. Never stop learning.
Responsible members must take life seriously, conscious of their responsibilities, thoughtful about carrying them out, and with a comradeship based on work and duty done .
Nothing of this is incompatible with the joy of living, or with love for life and its amusements, or with confidence in the future and in our work….
Reinforce political work and propaganda within the enemy’s armed forces. Write posters, pamphlets, letters. Draw slogans on the roads. Establish cautious links with enemy personnel who want to contact us. Act audaciously and with great initiative in this way . . . . Do everything possible to help enemy soldiers to desert. Assure them of security so as to encourage their desertion. Carry out political work among Africans who are still in enemy service, whether civilian or military. Persuade these brothers to change direction so as to serve the Party within enemy ranks or desert with arms and ammunition to our units.
We must practice revolutionary democracy in every aspect of our Party life. Every responsible member must have the courage of his responsibilities, exacting from others a proper respect for his work and properly respecting the work of others. Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories . .
These extracts were first published in English in Basil Davidson’s The Liberation of Guiné, aspects of an African revolution
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has cancelled its annual gala at which iconic African American scholar and activist Angela Davis was to receive a prestigious human rights award. https://palestina-komitee.nl/?p=6642|
|2.||↑||While Spike Lee does hire African Americans, it is still odd to see on his production website him wearing a Nike shirt and surrounded by Whites and Asians. Are there no African American tee shirt brands that he could wear?|