Reparations and Pan-Africanism

I was assisted in putting up this post by a bottle of Badet Clement Revelation Cabernet-Merlot Pays d’Oc 2018. This beauty is a Languedoc-Roussillon Red that is complex, with plum and blackberry notes. Slightly acidic with a fruity finish.

Revelation cabernet merlot pays d oc

This is from a Facebook post dated March 9, 2019 from the late Chicago ADOS obstructionist and Pan-Africanist Dr. Conrad Worrill.

This post was written before the ADOS schism. 

Dr. Conrad Worrill: Reparations & Pan-Africanism. Our great historian and departed ancestor, Dr. John Henrik Clarke described in his classic book, “Notes for an African World Revolution”, that: “The idea of uniting all African people had its greatest development early in the 20th Century.” In this context, reparations for African people will never die. Dr. Clarke wrote that: “In 1900, the Trinidian lawyer, H. Sylvester Williams called together the first Pan-African Conference in London.” This meeting attracted attention and put the word ‘Pan-African’ in the dictionaries for the first time. According to Dr. Clarke there were only thirty delegates that came mainly from England, the Caribbean, and the United States. Dr. W.E.B. DuBois led the small delegation from the United States.

Arthur Ward: I duly respect Dr. John Henrik Clarke and I just happen to possess all of his books. The idea of uniting all Africans was a great idea and a wonderful sentiment. But as we can observe, even if we limit our observations to Africa alone, Pan-Africanism is just not happening. It does not look like it will happen in the near future. And at this time, Diasporans need to effectively address current and historic concerns in more strategic and localized fashions. Especially if ANY Diasporans are to effect practical and tangible outcomes to the philosophical and stated historical bases that have been laid down by our esteemed scholars and historians of the past.

Until ADOS, this reparations issue was always limited to Pan-African enthusiasts and HR40. That’s it. There will be no more “small delegations” regarding this issue. Why? Because it has been bullet-pointed and properly marketed to the man in the street. And when the man in the street in appreciable numbers take notice, then the politicians take notice. And that is what you are seeing now. The typical Black person cannot relate to daishikis or conferences in Durban Sir. And Black people today are hurting too damned much to have time for kumbaya with Africans that don’t even like us.

Dr. Conrad Worrill: When we use the term Pan-Africanism we must be very clear. Pan-Africanism is the belief that people of African ancestry, throughout the world, have the same racial and cultural characteristics and the same social and economic conditions as a result of our African origin.

Arthur Ward: The belief in Pan-Africanism is well and good. The problem is that “Pan-Africanism” is philosophical, not proactive and strategic. That’s a problem. And when you try to insert Pan-African beliefs and sentimentalism into ADOS’s strategic and proactive legislative and legal actions, that’s a problem. ADOS, in no way, minimizes or denigrates the philosophy of Pan-Africanism.

Where is that line coming from?

ADOS is dealing with a local issue – a local grievance that must be resolved through the local [United States] laws, constitutions, politics, and policies. Reparations internationally cannot be effected internationally as a singular complainant entity. It just will not work that way. The philosophy, spirit, ancestral unities, and tactics may be shared internationally – but the executions (on the ground) must be differentially aggregated, specific, local, and focused. Again, results effected by focused legal, political, and legislative strategies.

I do not understand why you do not get this.

Dr. Conrad Worrill: This Pan-African spirit flourished in the development of the Garvey Movement when millions of African people joined the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and African Communities League (ACL). The idea of Pan-Africanism is deeply rooted in the Reparations Movement. This was evidenced when Pan-Africanism was the foundation of unity by the African delegates, from around the world, at the World Conference against Racism – held in Durban, South Africa in August of 2001.

Arthur Ward: Having a “foundational unity” has nothing to do with appropriate strategies and action. The Garvey Movement – OK – OK – OK. Are the Pan-Africanists just frozen in time? Or what? Is it so hard for you to get “unrooted” and possibly plant new trees that may possibly have a higher yield? I am just a little younger than you. Y’all making Baby Boomers look bad. Pan-Africanists are just moribund. I am glad I never became a formal member of your group. Until Africa and the rest of the Diaspora embraces Pan-Africanism – I would say that everybody else is just wasting their time.

Conrad Worrill: This Pan-African unity led to the Conference declaring that the Transatlantic Slave Trade was a crime against humanity and African people are owed reparations throughout the world. Although 911 set the Reparations Movement back, our organizing work has not stopped as witnessed by its current public discussions. Hopefully, this current phase of the Reparations Movement in America will be guided by history.

Arthur Ward: Every Diasporan was in sync with the idea of that declaration long, long before August 2001 Sir. Your organizing work has nothing to do with the current discussions (and actions). “Guided by history?” We know the history. Got it. This current phase of the Reparations Movement in America is now guided by “Get It Done.”

It is a damned shame how we have to fight harder with kufi-headed Black folks more so than the liberal white folks (who definitely don’t want to see reparations accomplished) regarding the mechanics and direction of how reparations should be accomplished. Reparations is not a Pan-African issue. Only a real dummy would think that it is. And if you do think that it is – show me how it is. I’ll wait. 

The kufi-heads don’t seem to understand that if Pan-African ideas are constantly injected into an in-house, American legal/legislative case – you will fail every time. The white legislators on Capitol Hill that have the votes to sign-off on reparations would never go for it. Never Ever. Maybe this is why reparations have not moved forward in the 35 plus years that NAARC and N’COBRA have been at the forefront of this issue. We have to stay in-house with this one. The late Dr. Worrill was obviously confused.

After reading this exchange – I hope you can see what I see. 

Published by Freedmen Absolute

Black Atheist - Jazz Lover - Marketer - Investor - Political Junkie - Reparationist

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