On occasion, I like to post or re-post things written by others, particularly People of Color who have something I think my readers would want to read or benefit from reading. The following communique was developed out of a conversation I had with a brother inside the walls.
Greetings, New Afrikan womyn, men, and all people’s POWER!!!!
~~ from Mujahid Kambon ~~
Last week, a brutha and elder gave me a copy of Negroes with Guns by Robert F Williams to read. It's a short book without complicated words or obtuse ideas, yet it affected me deeply. I had never heard of Bro. Williams before nor his struggle in Monroe, NC, in the 1950s and early 1960s. But after leaving the Marines in 1945, he felt compelled to serve his people in their struggle for justice and human rights.
He began by joining the relatively inactive local chapter of the NAACP and shortly rose to become its President. Over the next five years, Williams worked steadily to raise the consciousness of the group until he was finally able to rally them to force the de-segregation of the public library. Then, he moved them on to picket the only public swimming pool in town because it, too, was segregated. It was at this point that Williams and the city's New Afrikan populace felt the full weight of White Supremacy. The city government and its security apparatus (the police) terrorized Williams and the other New Afrikan citizens of the county to the point that Williams deemed it necessary to organize the New Afrikan men of Monroe to arm themselves and push back. There were only 12,000 residents of Monroe at the time and 7,500 of them belonged to the Ku Klux Klan!
It is interesting to note that Williams was a contemporary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King knew about Williams’ work and even spoke publically of the New Afrikan dilemma in Monroe. This gave me pause and, in reflection, really crystallized for me the New Afrikan historical plight in North Amerikkka. I am amazed that I never read a sentence concerning Robert Williams before this. We know the enemy only acknowledges the significance and validity of our leaders after they die. This is a ploy to re-write history, obfuscate facts, and “whitewash” our warrior leaders so they may be palpable to the Amerikkkan zeitgeist.
One good example of how this “whitewashing“ of our history has worked can be seen in the way the White establishment has handled the memory of Malcolm X. For all the “cracker-calling” he did, they took his trip to Mecca and when they were done, called him a “civil rights leader” and commemorated a U.S. postage stamp in his honor. Williams’ actions, on the other hand, don’t allow for such befuddlement, so he's missing from most accounts of contemporary U.S. history. This is why it is imperative that we seek out and share this type of information and pass it on to New Afrikan youth as the truth it is.
In any case, here were two men: MLK and Robert Williams – each great in his own right – yet at that particular moment in time, they represented polar opposite methodologies in respect to the freedom struggles for a single people. MLK was the darling of the media, while Robert Williams was demonized as schizophrenic and psychotic. Ironically, for most New Afrikans, our predicament in Amerikka isn't so “black and white “…or is it?
In 1957, a psychologist named Leon Festinger authored a theory he called “cognitive dissonance.” This term refers to mental stress experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more "cognitions” or beliefs, ideas, etc. that are contradictory in nature. Festinger’s theory holds that human beings strive for internal ideological consistency and when they can’t resolve an internal inconsistency, they tend to become psychologically unstable.In my opinion, there is no greater example of such a “dissonance” than that forced upon the mind of the New Afrikan born in Amerikka.
Amerikkka’s Constitution, along with the implementation of slavery, slave patrols, the 1-drop rule, Black codes, vagrancy laws, Jim Crow, the “war on drugs,” political and economic disenfranchisement, and mass incarceration all call attention to the anti-New Afrikan texture of Amerikkka’s institutional fabric. This steady diet of self-hatred is served to New Afrikans from kindergarten through college and beyond, which leaves the New Afrikan in a precarious situation. This torturous training is intended to produce in New Afrikans a mindset based on and maintained by a sense of their own inferiority and helplessness in the face of a seemingly invincible power.
However, as New Afrikans come into the knowledge of their own true history, the contributions of Africans and New Afrikans to human evolution, and the calculated nature of the war waged against them for the past 500 years, they cannot help but perceive their situation as an attack on themselves as individuals and as a people. The more this new mindset develops, the more it comes into direct contradiction with the alternate mindset with which they have been trained and which the system of White Supremacy works to reinforce using every means at the disposal of those who benefit from its control.
Sociologist W.E.B. DuBois considered this same issue when he developed the idea of “double consciousness” more than a century ago to discuss the effects of being unable to celebrate his humanity as a Black man and simultaneously expect to be treated as a full citizen in the land of his birth. In The Souls of Black Folk, he outlined how White Supremacy has undermined the progress and liberation of New Afrikans by creating the mind split that leaves them in confusion about how to go forward. The New Afrikan knows they are “Black,” yet everything in the colonial culture informs them of their “otherness” which begs the question: “Am I AFRIKAN or Amerikkkan”? Clearly, in the current Amerikkkan reality, the two aren't compatible.
Every leader of any kind in the New Afrikan community who introduces a program to resolve this dissonance has either been deported, locked up, assassinated, or otherwise neutralized by the Amerikkkan security apparatus. Robert Williams fled to Cuba and eventually became the first President of the Republic of New AFRIKA. The ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr., are still being used to encourage compliance with an agenda that ultimately reduces New Afrikan resistance. Which leader demonstrated a plan for addressing the cognitive dissonance that produces double consciousness: the one who wanted to integrate us into a burning house? Or the one who wanted to see us whole, independent, and self-determined? You be the judge!!!