At this current stage of history in the Black Liberation Movement, it is important that key concepts be revisited and re-discussed in our continued efforts to seek clarity on certain ideas that are fundamental to the white supremacy foundation of America.
First, there is the idea and concept of the “Maafa.” When we discuss genocide against African People in America, we must also discuss the Maafa, because it was this Maafa that has historically created the on-going genocidal conditions inflicted against African People in America.
When we use the term “Maafa,” we are talking about an African term used to describe tremendous suffering, indescribable atrocities, disaster, calamity, catastrophe, or injustice. This term is used to refer to the protracted suffering of African people and culture as a consequence of the Transatlantic Slave Trade System. As the African Maafa researcher Michael Scott explains—“No African was waiting as a slave to be traded to the Europeans. In all regions of Africa, from which Africans were transported, the African was involved in a brutal war declared by the European aggressor, interested in exploiting the human and natural resources of the richest continent on the earth.”
Further, Brother Scott reveals, “These Africans who became prisoners of war were placed in detention camps and then transported to the Americas to be enslaved by the benefactors of their captors. No African began his or her ordeal as a slave. Africans were reduced to slavery by conquest.”
It is important for African People to understand and internalize these brief historical facts. Just as the Jews, or any other group of people in the world, internalize their holocaust, and act on it, African People must come to the collective reality of our Maafa and act on it also.
Finally, Brother Scott instructs us that, “Our foreparents were innocent victims of these heinous systems of forced labor. They were never able to comprehend being seized in early morning attacks on their villages by vicious raiding parties. They were never able to understand why they were being sold by the avaricious middle men. They could never fathom why they were being marched in fetters and chains to the coast where they were bartered for European merchandise, especially rum and guns. They could never appreciate “why they were being warehoused in hell-like dungeons in Elmina or Goree.”
So now that we have some insight into the idea and concept of the Maafa, it should make it easier to understand the idea and concept of genocide. In Olumenji’s book, White Genocide, Black Obsolescence, The Question of Black Survival In White America, he defines genocide very succinctly. He says genocide is the “deliberate and systematic destruction of Black people by white American socio-economic and cultural forces.”
According to Brother Olumenji, America has created an ideology that justifies the annihilation of African people in this country. This is the function of genocide by those who inflict it on a mass of people. That is, they create a rationale for the annihilation and then try to explain that it does not exist.
This was the case in the CIA involvement in cocaine distribution in Los Angeles, in which the profits were used to finance the CIA-backed Contra army in Nicaragua. This involvement of the CIA caused a proliferation of the distribution and sale of crack cocaine across the African Communities of America, causing serious devastation to our communities. The United States Government tried to downplay the CIA’s involvement in this incident by saying that this is an isolated situation and, in fact, this is not true.
As a result of the Maafa and the genocide against African People in America, we must step up the demand for Reparations as the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, N’COBRA, is advocating as are many other African organizations throughout the world.
Reparations simply means repair for injuries, harm and damages. As it has been pointed out, over and over again, we were made chattel and worked for more than three-hundred years without pay or other compensation for the value of our labor. The white man and white woman stole and criminally appropriated the services and the value of three-hundred years of labor and then passed it on through inheritance to their children. This process helped create the United States of America, and this is fundamental to our demands for Reparations.
We must continue to discuss these ideas in our efforts to dismantle our mental shackles. Every race and every ethnic group in the world protect their interests, and African People should and must do no less.
Dr. Conrad Worrill, Professor Emeritus, Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS). New office location is at 1809 E. 71st Street, Chicago, Illinois 60649, 773-592-2598. Email: [email protected] Website: www.drconradworrill.com.