Tribalizing the Issue of Reparations

I was assisted in putting up this post by a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Claret – Black Label 2017. This is a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Light body and balanced. Balanced – light acidity. Abiding cherries, vanilla, pepper. Easy bourbon finish.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery Diamond Collection Claret

This is was a Facebook dialogue dated March 18, 2019 from the late Chicago ADOS obstructionist and N’COBRA Pan-Africanist Dr. Conrad Worrill.

This post was written prior to the ADOS schism.

Dr. Conrad Worrill: Regarding reparations. After careful research, I have determined that the #ADOS leadership are exploiting the natural instincts of African people in America to vindicate our capture and enslavement in America. Coming out of the woodwork, they are exploiting an idea that has finally become a popular idea with Black people in America.

Arthur Ward: “Careful research?” And what did you “research”? Where? What sources? Sir – the only basis of determination is that which you have conjured up in your own head. Did you come to this “determination” alone, or did you have help?

You are correct in saying that there is a “natural instinct” residing in the minds of African Americans. And since this “natural instinct” is a part of ALL African Americans, no one could “come out of any woodwork” to exploit anything. There is also no finality here. No “becoming” when it comes to this issue in terms of “popular ideas”. I think most African Americans have a deep residual sense that something has been taken from them – and that something is owed to them.

Reparations is an idea that has been residing in the mind-wiring of African Americans since before 1865. “Exploiting” an idea is not the same as coming out with a better marketing and implementation strategy. This is something that N’COBRA and other Pan-African organizations have so far failed to do.

Dr. Conrad Worrill: The idea of reparations has now become popular because of the unsung heroines and heroes who protractedly advocated for reparations since the end of the Civil War. Now that the idea has become popular among the masses of African people, in this country, they have leaped out with a social media strategy under #ADOS, promoting pure divisive tactics.

Arthur Ward: The idea of reparations has come to the front of the political discourse and is now on the conversational menu of everyday African Americans is because of the intelligent bullet pointing of the issue, and the adept usage of social media platforms.

So Sir – the “unsung heroines and heroes” of the past can advocate for reparations since the end of the Civil War? But that same advocacy is off limits to millenials that live in the here and now? What is this? Advocacy regarding an issue that affects everyone in a particular community is not owned by the foundational activists. No one has ownership.

The techniques to move it forward cannot be limited to a particular “way”. Especially if the “ways” that have previously been used have not so far moved us forward. And no one person or entity within the community does not own any “rights” or lockdowns on how a community-wide issue is articulated or how a solution should be accomplished. What is wrong with a social media strategy? It works (obviously). Are you angry because the moribund and directionless Pan-African movement did not think of it first?

Did they “leap out”? YES. And I’m glad they did.

“Promoting pure divisive tactics?” I would not think making clear who is eligible for American reparations and who is not should be called “divisiveness”. Why would you? A justice claim is not operational unless it is first made clear whom is to receive the justice if accomplished. The “whom” is what makes the claim itself clear. That must be done.

Dr. Conrad Worrill: These tactics are aimed at tribalizing the issue of reparations by advocating anti-African immigrant and anti Pan-African positions.

Arthur Ward: Well Sir. The tribalizing was already there. Africans and Caribbeans don’t fuck with us. When they come to America – they look for their own tribes and white women. And they mostly have nothing but tribal disdain for us. In the case of ADOS, intentional tribalization is proper. There needs to be clarity in the case for American reparartions.

Dr. Conrad Worrill: You [ADOS] are imposing a strategy of divisiveness that seeks to destroy the unity efforts developed since the UN World Conference Against Racism where reparations organizers, activists, and organizations impacted the conference to declare the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Slavery, and Colonialism were Crimes Against Humanity and African people are owed reparations throughout the world.

Arthur Ward:
Huh? How many more “declarations” are y’all gonna do? Nobody in ADOS was thinking about the UN World Conference Against Racism or any declarations made at that conference. We stayed on the domestic side of the line.

 Dr. Conrad Worrill: This declaration occurred in September of 2001 in Durban, South Africa. The insertion of #ADOS tactics is tampering with the broad unity developed in the Reparations Movement since Durban. We must remain steadfast in our opposition to such divisive tactics by #ADOS.

Arthur Ward: “Broad unity” to accomplish what? OK – Y’all keep doing that “steadfast” shit. And see where that takes you…

Are you out of breath after reading this? Dialogue with the most educated, most developed Pan-Africans is like talking to clouds. No matter how much in facts and good logic you present to them. You come to the conclusion that there is something inside these folks that is deeply embedded, intractable, and immovable. Their Pan-African minds are doubly frozen within their inveterate scholarship and a strange, distant African romanticism.

Strange. Distant. Because if you notice – Pan-Africans never seem to MOVE to Africa. They stay their Pan-African asses right here. In the comfort, consistent running water, nonstop internet, and reliable electricity of the United States of America. They don’t keep any second homes there. No dual citizenship there. No investments. No family waiting. Not even a dog. Just something I noticed.

American Passport?  

The only practical thing to do (in America) after a certain point is to stop talking to their hypocrisy, step over their retrograde ideas, leave their kente cloth behind. And keep this vital ADOS reparations enterprise moving forward.

Published by Freedmen Absolute

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

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