I was assisted in writing this post by a sturdy bottle of Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2016. Yes motherfuckers, this shit is $95.00 a hit. I made a little extra money that week so fuck it. An ass-kicking Napa Valley masterpiece. Oak, vanilla, chocolate foreground. A strong background of spice, sweet cherries, blackberries, caramel, and wood. Fabulous texture and mouthfeel. Low acidity. Balanced but subtle tannins. Long elegant finish.
This post was written prior to the ADOS schism.
With any movement that is for and by Black people, we always have to deal with the usual Black obstructionists within our own ranks. You know the list:
Jack And Jill Niggers
Black Talking Heads on Liberal Media
Black Talking Heads on Conservative Media
Empty Think Tank-ers
Steak-lunch-eating Civil Rights Professionals
Chicken-lunch-eating Civil Rights Professionals
Bought and Instructed Politicians
Scared Religious Negroes
Obstructionist Black People Married to White People
Certain Black Immigrants
And now the “Why-Now-ers?”
The shocker to me though, was the viciously negative reactions of many Pan-
Africanists. Whom I thought were supporters and activists for reparations. Blew my mind Family. You don’t always get what you expect. Right? Specifically, the two that I was very surprised with, by name, Dr. Umar Johnson and Dr. Conrad Worrill. I was also surprised with (the very intelligent) Professor Michael Eric Dyson suggesting that reparations should take the form of guilt-ridden white people opening “Individual Reparations Accounts(!?)” – and paying a little extra to their lawn boy(s) being sufficient as reparations. If Professor Dyson meant that “I.R.A.’s” should be done in lieu of or in addition to Federal reparations, I am not clear on the either/or because he did not expound further. I did look.
The disappointments have been piling up.
Below – I will give three full blown responses to words pointed in my direction from the late ADOS obstructionist and N’COBRA official Dr. Conrad Worrill. Details about Dr. Conrad Worrill can be found on Wikipedia.
Conrad Worrill: The emergence of #ADOS in the Reparations Movement through social media is causing a great deal of confusion for people who sincerely support the demand for reparations. #ADOS has asserted itself into the Reparations Movement in America with no apparent historical context of reference to the on the ground work that has taken place the last thirty or forty years. They are operating in a historical vacuum.
Arthur Ward: “Social Media?” The best way to communicate ideas today. Shows the organizers of #ADOS have a good sense of efficiency. And that is probably why it has caught fire in the way that it has. “Confusion?” I don’t think so. The ordinary Black person on the street may not have the detailed policy analytics or deep historical knowledge that you and your associates may possess. At this time, political education is slightly more important than a deep knowledge of history that does not provide some immediacy of legislative and legal utility.
At the same time, the average Black person has enough overall understanding of the genesis of the issue. The directly and historically experienced pain caused by the issue, and what the probable solution to the issue should be. So Sir, there is no “vacuum”. People are just not willing to wait another thirty to forty years for ground games, policy creation, law establishment, and payouts to happen. Not at this point. And if #ADOS is the final solution, I would say that YOU should be proud of being part of the process and heritage that brings us HERE.
I would suggest that you stop being an obstructionist to the fruition of your own work. And if you want to continue your obstructionism in this sphere, I would like to ask; “Why?”
“#ADOS has asserted itself into the Reparations Movement in America?” What do you mean by that statement? Yes – #ADOS has asserted and moved. But does N’COBRA, Dr. Conrad Worrill, or other reparations movements or organizations established prior to #ADOS somehow own this issue?
Do you or others hold options, copyrights, or patents on this? If you do, please show me the paperwork. Do The Black Panthers own the rights to Black folks defending themselves against the police too? We did not know we needed your permission to petition for what is rightfully ours. We did not know that the Black community had to come to you for your blessing. Glad you let me know Sir.
Conrad Worrill: I despise your reparations advocacy that is anti-African immigrant and anti Pan-African. And for the record, we are not scared at all. We are freedom fighters who disagree with you and the divisive nature of your tactics. Try all you want, but we will continue to challenge the absurdity of your positions as we continue to help press for the Reparations Demand for African people in America.
Arthur Ward: How is any #ADOS advocacy anti African immigrant or anti Pan-African. Really? What is there to “despise?” How is an American domestic issue between specific American entities “anti” anything to third parties that are inappropriately inserting themselves into a contention that has nothing to do with them? Where is the “absurdity?” The only division is #ADOS push back telling others to: “Mind your business.” When others mind their business, there is no division. Believe me.
Pan-Africans seem to have an inability to separate the philosophy and scholarship of Pan-Africanism from an effective legislative and legal strategy to accomplish reparations in America. Pan-Africanism and reparations are two different – two unrelated things. Not seeing that unrelatedness is the problem. That’s the division.
Too much “history” – not enough “operationality.”
We don’t live in Egypt.
So Sir, instead of “challenging the absurdity of my positions.” That energy would be better spent challenging the absurdity of political professionals opposing, deflecting, minimizing, and politicizing my position. Which is the #ADOS position. You See? Better spent making constructive, scholarly, and well thought out legal and legislative suggestions on improving policy. Your challenge statement is interesting though. What is the “real deal” with that Sir?
Now, according to you, my position is “absurd.” And my position IS to “press for the Reparations Demand for Descendants of American Slavery in America.” While you intend on challenging me on that position – YOU will continue to “press for the Reparations Demand for African people in America.” Oh, Okay. I’ll be looking forward to that challenge Sir.
Conrad Worrill: We just disagree. There is nothing in-house about the Transatlantic
Slave Trade and the capturing of African people in the Western Hemisphere. We
[American, Caribbean, and South American slaves] were impacted by the same forces and we [the Diaspora] have now united in our demands for Reparations for African people worldwide.
Arthur Ward: Dr. Worrill, I would have expected a little more from you than just: “We just disagree.” That was a sincere and respectful question [how you would improve the #ADOS conceptualization and approach]. I really do want to understand in detail why you disagree AND what from your perception and understanding we can do to improve what we are doing.
Like I said: “… we are trying.”
You are correct when you say: “There is nothing in-house about the Transatlantic Slave Trade… YES SIR. But, everything that happened to our ancestors was definitely flipped to an in-house situation once we landed Here. Brazil, Haiti, Dominican Republic, France, Spain, etc, had nothing to do with AMERICAN policy on how to deal with slavery or post-emancipation policies. And America had nothing to do internationally with slavery in other countries. Because if America did, why didn’t they intervene in Haiti?
Each country was partitioned from other countries in the way each of them handled slavery. Those other places also had nothing to do with Jim Crow, redlining, American-style lynching, domestic spoliation, the KKK, American white on Native Black American pogroms, White Citizens Councils, American-style segregation, etc. These things were all “in-house.” What would we be “uniting” on?
Do you understand OUR history?
Everybody else had their own ways and issues and handlings and time lines when it came to slavery. They all had different policies and laws in their post-slavery situations. These are all different countries that are better dealt with as an international disaggregation by their own citizens, for their own specific, local benefits and justice claims. Internationally, each solution HAS TO BE different, uniquely focused, and strategically done within and per country. Each government must be dealt with by its own citizens, through their own constitutions and articles, under their own decision, power, and determination. And finally reaping their own results. That would be the most practical, effective, and correct way.
This cannot be a daishiki party.
I also think that what we accomplish in America can serve as a general blueprint for other African Diasporans similarly situated around the world.
HERE’S THE INDEPENDENT FREEDMEN BREAK:
I have came to the conclusion that the Pan-Africans themselves don’t believe that
reparations can happen. This may have lost hope over time about the possibility of
reparations. I do not think that NAARC and N’COBRA are agents. But they do not have to be agents to do the destructive work of agents. Like coming up with and putting into action all kinds of counterproductive ideas, such as “local reparations” and “reparations triage.” They are doing the work. But where that “work” will take us? Ahh… OK. Unbelievable shit coming from supposedly intelligent people. Their hopelessness has partly manifested in “grant grabs” – as in: “We might as well get something.” Just a speculation. Shit don’t look right.
Could this be intentional hustling?
I do not know if it is intentional. It looks like hustling though. I can never understand how, with so much well-educated brain power in the Pan-African community that in their well-educated minds, American reparations is or can be an international issue. That an “international” demand can be taken seriously in the white supremacist and unashamedly nativist United States? Really? They can’t see that? A United States that turns up its behind to international bodies, courts, resolutions, and agreements? Both Democrats and Republicans. All the time?
They don’t know what they’re doing. Or – they may know exactly what they’re doing, and this is some kind of long-game hustle. On us. The Pan-Africans do have a lot of Ph.D’s. They are not dummies. Who knows what kinds of slick shit they are up to? They do have connections to the power structure and prominent people that us Freedmen do not enjoy at this time. We have to change that.
We also have to make all political associations with Pan-African organizations a contagion. They are actually afro-international grift enablers. Thieves.
As long as a justice demand in this country is presented to legislators as based on “international law” or is an “international demand” – our legislators will continue to look at Freedmen reparations as a joke. The Pan-Africans need to pick up a copy of the U.S. Constitution. And never forget, reparations accomplishability is United States Congress-centric, not Executive Branch-centric.
White legislators will never assent to Caribbean and African immigrants receiving American reparations. Or the stupid-assed Pan-African “internationalizing” of this very domestic – in-house issue of American reparations in any way. Those motherfuckers ain’t going for that. I do not get why all the Ph.D’s that are so common in the Pan-African community cannot collectively process and/or accept effective legal and legislative strategy. There is some kind of impenetrable blockage (maybe that’s intentional). A lot of ignorant and retrograde scholarship (maybe that’s intentional too). Confused. No understanding. They don’t care to look up from their books and listen to good sense that is actually good sense.
No American reparations for Caribbeans. Let Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, and The Netherlands pay their own reparations bill. That is not for America to pay.
United States-based Pan-Africans have grossly distracted us with, and mis-directed our cultural mental energy towards Africa. With a kind of delusional “aspirational black ethnocentrism.” Where are YOU African? Take a good look “redbone.”
There is nothing there for us. Zero. We have never given the full attention to African American history that it deserves because we’ve given too much adulation to Mansa Musa. To Egypt. As if we have not done greatness here. Greatness. Up against the unrelenting viciousness of American racism-white supremacy? Please. American Freedmen have done the greatest of greatness here Man. Pan-Africanism has us pedestalizing and romanticizing the very African kingdoms that sold us to the Europeans. This done, via carefully curated histories told through a distorted Pan-African marketing perspective. Marketing Perspective.
Our history as Africans was permanently switched to a new American beginning – a new identity starting in 1619. After AFRICANS sold us. Not kidnapped. SOLD.
Get that straight.
They let us sail away, disappearing beyond the horizon to eventually land at the shores of a 400-year-long history of Pain. Of Dispossession. OF Shit. American Freedmen have a singular and non-sharable heritage. This is not a Diasporan heritage. It is unique and ours alone. It is not just the fault of Europeans for purchasing us. I will actually place more culpability on the motherfucking Africans for putting us up for sale in the first damned place. The Europeans just queued up at the “For Sale” sign. A particular and unique separation occurred after that first sale. A perdurable break. Gone. Every African should recognize that. As far as I’m concerned, that ineradicable division in history, lineage, culture reset, vision, and thousands of nautical miles remain. And Persist. And Remain.
1619 permanently defines that continental BREAK.
Our legal standing on the American continent began in 1776. “All men are created equal.” Remember that “Declaration” and “Independence” shit? That’s where the white folks fucked up. That statement inadvertently included us. Yeah US. The Niggers. Shouldn’t have put that “equal” shit in there. Should have focused that “equal” by writing down clearly: “All White Men are created equal.” At the time – that’s what motherfuckers meant. At the time – Niggers were not regarded as Men. OK? Still should have clarified that shit Founding Fathers. Less Confusion.
Because the wrong motherfuckers might eventually understand that line literally. And the wrong motherfuckers might do something about it rightfully and constitutionally, upon that written and ratified basis. The American descendants of chattel slavery are the great but isolated exceptionalism within the African Diaspora. “The Ones” within this America. We Are the Foundational First Among Equals in these United States. Our blood, bones, pain, heritage, and uniquely extracted investment lie here in This Motherfucker.
Get it straight Pan-Africans. THIS Motherfucker.
And we have nowhere else to go – without a need to think on anywhere Else…