BOIS-CAIMAN-1791-CLUB ist auf und Mach mit !

Don’t let them steal our African identity 2/2

[ The government funded "Stay black" campaign attacks the grass roots Pan Africanist approach of Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Malcolm X who worked tirelessly towards achieving African unity. ]

For over a decade, the management of these groups have used the goodwill and work of their staff to profit from lucrative government funding. They have achieved this deception by presenting themselves as the legitimate voice of the so called 'BME' community whilst these said communities remain unaware of what was been said and done in their name, often behind closed doors.

For this elite group of government funded 'community activists' to continue securing funding and salaries they are required maintain a 'one size fits all' approach to the inequalities issues that blight the lives of African and Asian communities in Britain. One online forum went as far as to dub the individuals behind this homogenisation of ‘non-whites’ as ‘racial equality pimps’, a description which certainly appears to have a legitimate founding.

Sadly, this mentality is beginning to overshadow some of the useful work that they have embarked upon. There will always be a point at which these organisations are forced to choose between those they claim to be advocates for and the government hand that feeds them. That they appear to be towing the government line on the use of ‘black’ to lump all ‘non whites’ together is not the first and certainly not the last compromise they will make. Instead of tackling the government head on with the resources at their disposal, they instead use diversionary tactics to shift focus from the colossal threat posed to us by those in powerful policy making positions of governance and extol what is widely seen as an unhealthy and near hysterical obsession with antics of the uneducated, far right British National Party.

Unsurprisingly, there has been barely a word uttered against the Wilberfest celebratory plans of their employers which seeks to promote a revisionist version of the Maafa as a story about one man, namely William Wilberforce, saving the lives of millions of passive, enslaved Africans. This has caused outrage throughout the African community who are resisting this farcical portrayal of history and working tirelessly to ensure that an accurate and truthful perspective of history prevails. Ironically, through their attempts to influence Census classifications to maintain the racist label ‘black’ they are subverting the movement of those tracing their heritage and seeking to reclaim their African identity, history and culture with pride.

A ‘non-white’ cabal ?

The single-minded desire of this homogenous ‘non-white’ cabal is to maintain their position as the government’s premiere ‘BME’ vanguard which means that instead of seeking to build on the UK's vibrant history of Pan African activism, they prefer to align themselves with Indian, Chinese, Jewish and other minority ethnic communities. Even with the resources available to them by their government backers, logic and common sense would suggest that tackling the broad range of issues facing the individuals within these respective communities is impossible. Further, the focus on respective groups will vary and sway according to the nationally set agenda.

Lee Jasper (Chair of OBV, Senior Advisor to London Mayor, Founder of NBA, National Secretary of NAAR, Former Director-1990 Trust, Karen Chouhan ('visionary' for the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Chair of BLF, Former Chair of 1990 Trust), Milena Buyum (Vice Chair of National Assembly Against Racism), new recruit into the family Errol Walters (interim director of BLF) and OBV director Simon Woolley (Chair of the BLF), have all benefited from their politically and professionally incestuous relationship, often leading to funding contracts from the Mayor’s office, local and central government. They all shamelessly cling to the 'black' label which enslaves their political agenda.

The 'Stay black' campaign is designed to deny those in our community with and without Caribbean heritage the right to be institutionally recognised as people, African people for that matter. Just as there was resistance in some quarters to progressing from negro to what was seen at the time as the politically empowering label ‘black’, these same individuals resist change, not based on common sense or not seeing the virtue of empowering African people, but because their political careers depend on the stagnation of progress. The situation becomes even more ironic when you consider that the Asian community have their own culturally specific references on the Census. You do not have ‘brown Indian’ or ‘yellow Chinese’.

At this point, it is necessary to return to Geoff Palmer's rant which opens with explicit reference to the Wilberfest bicentenary agenda and then claims his that his anti-African protestations are not about slavery. He argues he is a "descendant of black Jamaican slaves" and finds the Pan Africanist position of replacing the label 'black' with the word African "offensive to [his] history". He bizarrely speaks of the works of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, one of the greatest Pan African thinkers in history and then argues that he is a black Caribbean and that to refer to him in anyway as an African is "ridiculous". He then claims to "respect African people and people who are conveniently black" but seeks "protection from my [British] government" in maintaining the derogatory label he was designated by the forefathers of ‘his’ government. Professor Geoff Palmer OBE, to give him his full title is the author of a book on slavery entitled "The Enlightenment - Citizens of Britishness". He was rewarded and received into the Order of the British Empire in 2003.

The pride in the British empire certainly continues to ring true for some members of a distinct generation of African people from the Caribbean. Even those who have made great achievements in academic and professional circles, such as Professor Geoff Palmer, are susceptible, if not more so, to this unquestioning acceptance of european ideology. Thankfully, this blind allegiance is something that the younger generations are beginning to question as we become more affiliated with the dynamics of politics and history in relation to Africa and African people.


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