RACISM: 4TH GENERATION DIAGNOSIS AND PERSPECTIVE, by Kifon Emile, M.A.

 

Man Without a Tribe

In its simplest form, racism is discrimination based on the color of one’s skin. ‘The Fourth Generation Diagnosis’ [4G] will present the issue of racism by defining it as a historic process.

The process itself is put in place when a particular discriminatory paradigm is structured to govern the black race.

The structure aims to govern at any given time while it also elaborates a perspective which derives from its basic assumptions.

Generally, contact between different groups of people is usually characterized by polarization and its resultant tension. That tension is more likely to be greater when the distinguishing difference is race. The 4G diagnosis shall examine the case of racism particularly black people.

Over time, discrimination against black people has gone through four phases. The first phase was prior to 1884 before the present territorial boundaries were formed during the Berlin conference generally called the scramble for Africa.

During that period multipolar tensions existed between big and large tribes and ethnic groups. There also existed multipolar relations between a few empires, namely the Mali, Ashanti, Sokoto, Bamoun, Oyo, Kaabu, etc.

The ideological assumption of the colonial structure was expressed in a simple proposition: ‘Black men are primitive, uncivilized and in some cases not human enough’ [he did not have a soul, others claimed]. As a result of that assumption and its corresponding propaganda, Africans were treated, more or less, like other animals. There one purpose was narrowly defined as being of use to his conqueror.

Outside Africa, the story was the same. Blacks were made to be slaves till 1833 when it ended in England and in the United States when it was officially made illegal in 1865.

Under the two structures, the logic is the same. A was subhuman to be at the service of the superior human(s). Both structures were operative despite the fact that one group of Africans were in a foreign land and the other group of Africans were in their own land.

The second phase of discrimination was from 1884 until the 1960s when the new colonies of Africa got their independence. The second phase was also operative in the Americas from 1865 till the 1963 when segregation ended.

The discrimination paradigm was the same for the black race irrespective of the tribal region. It was admitted that Africans were human but with limited intellectual capacities. For example, in America, blacks were defined as 3/5 of a person while in Africa Africans were given just the limited potential that would enable them to better serve their colonial masters.

Thus it was concluded that there was no need to teach black people the sciences because either they could not understand science or conversely blacks would cease to be a servant if he had the same skills as his master.

 It is important to note that once the slaves were set free in the United States [1865], the whites still needed labor and resources. The plan was simple, instead of bringing more labor force into the America, they said: “let’s colonize them in the various southern states and make them work for us”. Such a internal colony would come to be called ‘sharecropping’.

Meanwhile in Europe, the Berlin conference was held. It divided Africa into pieces of flesh on which the western nations would feed. It is during this period that we could see many plantations being created all over Africa. In Cameroon, the first plantation was established by the Germans in 1907; that is, two decades after the Berlin conference.

In reality, the slave model industry that existed in the Americas had been transferred to Africa. In other words, there was no need to transport people into the new American continent anymore. Taking the war into the opponent’s land, into the heart of Africa, was the strategy. It was a more efficient method and preempted civil unrest in European nations.  

While blacks were segregated in the Americas, Africans were strategically segregated from white colonists and other tribes, but in their own land.

After the new territories got their independence in the 1960s, another system of neocolonialism was established. The new leaders were poorly educated on European strategy. They ignorantly signed military alliances with the west [Senegal], joint monetary policies [Cote d’Ivoire and Franc CFA as did all the French colonies], obliged the new government to consent with the colonizers for the appointment of new leaders [Cameroon], to hold the colonizers as privileged partners of trade in arms, public contracts and education etc [Cameroon, Guinea Conakry, and most of the French colonies], although they would be the worst partners when it came to concessions and progress.

This was the third phase of discrimination based on a strategy put in place to exploit Africa. This phase is marked by a skillful indebtedness, limiting economic possibilities and an unfair trade system called ‘free trade.’

Also, while segregation in the USA officially ended in 1963 the same pattern applied to African nations and remains the same infrastructure that was and is applied to blacks in the USA and other parts of the world, e.g., live in high debt, limited economic prospects, unfair deals disguised under the slogan of land of the free.

What is most important about these stages is that despite the fact that they underwent the same types of marginalization over different territories, the methods of struggle were similar.

Mountain of Africa

In some cases, they worked together. For example, W.E.B Dubois had championed the cause of African independence and worked with the newly elected leaders towards the construction of a free and better Africa   and for its children. It should be stated that during the Pan-African Congress in 1921 [Belgium], W.E.B. Dubois was present and he had always worked for the Pan African vision.

In 1927, a similar conference was held in New York where he was also present. He even represented Africa in the U.N.O. in 1946 through the N.A.A.C.P. after a dialogue with Walter White.

In the fourth generation diagnosis, Africa is on a different stage: no longer considered subhuman [1st stage], or just unfit to mingle with others [2nd stage] or should be openly discriminated against or cheated [3rd stage]; it is a stage where he is considered to be like all other human races but must prove himself, else he remains what he was considered to be.

This stage is the post neocolonialism in Africa, post social cruelty and institutional cruelty in the West, at least openly. More clearly, in the 4th generation, any African can create his own business and make it as big as he wishes [Dangote:23 billion net worth in 2014]. He is free to build his own school and teach what he wants, create industries and change his life as well as that of his fellow citizens.

In the West, the blacks are also on the verge of doing the same things; to establish themselves to some extent, the way they want and to attain the success and freedom they desired.

But the methods deployed by the west to subjugate have only changed forms. Therefore, in this 4G stage there are important questions that need to be asked. How much has the white man changed to make race relations better?

In the case of Africa, he is determined to get mainly natural resources after the trade of humans has become less viable.  It follows that, he has not changed his purpose that much. Also, how much have we Africans changed in order to oppose him more effectively?

This is the most important part. As it shows, we Africans have not changed that much! In fact, are we more united than before? Have we learned his secret on how to produce great weapons including the ultimate weapon – nuclear? Have we mastered his craft in creating things, changing materials into bright nice objects? Have we established the rule of law so that all feel protected? Have we stopped killing one another? Have we reduced our recreational habits in order to replace them with inventive and creative ones? To all these questions, the answer does not soundly strike the positive note.

It is rightful therefore to ask which is easier: to continue asking the other actor to change even when he shows unwillingness, or to change ourselves following a pattern that will automatically oblige the other to bow and comply?

Common sense opts for the second while at the same time it remains legitimate to call both parties to dialogue, to requests for reforms, and to apply political pressure to adjust for a more proportionate distribution of the wealth. It is also most necessary and urgent to invest in the right options: in ourselves and in each other.

The 4G Diagnosis addresses not our fathers who inherited the independence legacy, not for those who fought against segregation in the West under its brave leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X. The 4G is a discourse to us; it is the heritage of all the former three. We know the opponent; we know that we cannot oblige him to do all we want. But we know what it takes to change ourselves for the better; and we know the weakness of the other.

Mount-Kilimanjaro

We have discovered our potentials and we know what is keeping us down. We have come to understand that we can’t continue to blame others forever on what happens to us.

We have seen friends like us from Asia, south America and even the West, at times, less intelligent, but who nevertheless have great industries, have organized businesses, have stable families and have stood up to defend their own all the time. It is no one’s responsibility to defend us or to make us prosperous but ourselves.

In the 4G discourse we hold that, as W.E.B. Dubois championed the cause of Africans and their progress, it should be the responsibility of Africans to champion the prosperity of blacks outside the continent especially those who underwent slavery. But how can this be accomplished?  The answer is a simple one.

The answer is for us to build a great Africa. A peaceful, loving, united Africa wherein others can identify themselves with it without second thoughts and without shame.

The reason for this proposition is a key aspect in the 4G diagnosis which should be stated clearly: so long as Africa is poor, divided, exploited and at war with itself, others of African descent shall continue to be seen with the same disdain. We hold the responsibility to make a change. We shall solve the problem of racism by solving the problem of Africa, to a greater extent.

During the Japanese invasion of China [1937], the brutality was beyond measure. Chinese were slaughtered like sheep and maltreated like sub humans. It was a time when the Japanese had developed the idea of co-prosperity sphere which established their racial superiority. But today, when there is a slightest disagreement between china and Japan, the Japanese are the first to propose peace talks while the Chinese are quick to displaying war planes as a show of force. There has never been respect for other nations/people except when they rise to the status of power: military, political, industrial and economic. 

Our forefathers have fought the most difficult battles: against slavery, against segregation and against popular normative discrimination. What fight do we have today? Just to love one another more, protect each other, educate each other, and built our economic and political power.

Also, the 4G analysis presents the black question as a singular problem. It is not by solving one’s individual problem that the black question shall be solved. It is not an American problem, a UK problem, or a Ghanaian problem. While blacks are not allowed in certain areas in the US, in Kenya today, Africans are denied access in a Chinese restaurant inside Kenya during certain periods of the day. Not even Barack Obama as a president of the USA is safe from racism because he connects to that same group that suffers the same prejudices.

It is not the individual saving himself that the group shall be saved; it is the group saving itself that every individual shall be saved. But in order to do so, each person has to be the best he or she can make of themselves, for we cannot invest in corruption, idleness, and greed then expect the group to be at its best in relation to us.

It is a singular problem also because the blacks abroad cannot be fully liberated when Africa has not liberated itself, and for Africa to completely liberate itself, it must envisage unity of all its descents and elaborate strategies for their protection and prosperity.

The 4G is you and I. It is a generation that wants to create its own heroes like the Luther King Jr, Malcom X, Nkwame Nkruma, Mandela etc. It is a generation that is more open, that wants to assume responsibilities and make a change. It is a generation which holds that its potentials and positive possibilities cross in their time.  

That greater progress shall be achieved and that the history of the black race has not been completely written because a brighter part of it is still to come. This brighter part lies on him to create. And by doing so, he shall gain the respect that had been denied to his ancestors. It is a generation which believes that the relation between peoples/races is influenced significantly not by how they look but by what they have achieved. It is a power and materialistic dynamic where those with the instruments of power gain respect naturally: arms, money, and law.

It is our responsibility to leave to the 5th generation a legacy of which that they can be proud. One which will make them all believe that the story of the black man will not always be the same. That it will not be a story of occupying the last position in social hierarchies everywhere in the world.

It is a stage at which he and she shall rejoice at being at the top; for men and women do not generally feel morally compelled to respect others; but they are compelled to respect what others have achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Earth Colony.Net: CONTINENT X, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Africa

The ‘Afrocentric’ paradigm laid down by Dr. Molefi Asante is ideologically illusory.[1] There is no ‘circle’ which bounds the place he identifies. And thus there is no center. It is a thesis intentionally and negligently supported by numerous false premises.  All of those premises have been and are now proffered as facts, but such are in fact false.

 

For those reasons the implication in the basic assumption of ‘Afro-Centrism’, i.e., that descendants of slaves in the America can find, experience, and express a higher ethnic unity by means of his ideology is impossible. It therefore must be rejected as a logically defective ideology. 

 

Such fallacious arguments have been and are promoted by scholars such as Dr. Molefi Asante of Temple University, Philadelphia. He does not live on the continent of his ancient ancestors but rather he lives here in the United States. 

MICRO NOT MACRO

 

His central thesis is that ‘Africa exists’. He does not address that in his definition of Afrocentricity.[2] But the truth is that ‘Africa’ as a concept does not correspond to anything which exists objectively.  The term ‘Africa’ has no existential import. That is because the continent designated ‘Africa’ was named by Europeans after a Roman military general named ‘Scipio–Africanuus’ (236-183 BCE). Therefore, we cannot affirmatively quantify the concept of ‘Africa’. We can only qualify it by saying that ‘Africa is not’. The Continent has a slave name. It is Continent X.

 

Thus, their adoption of the moniker ‘Afro-Centric’ and then making the argument that ‘African’ names adopted by descendents of slaves in the Americas are a sign of being a member of a universal culture is wrong. In truth, scholars such as Dr. Molefi Asante are instead using Afro-Centrism as a wedge to further divide and confuse the descendents of ex-slaves in the Americas. 

 

Dr. Asante’s effort to propagandize the ideology of Afrocentrism also indirectly collaborates with European culture. Dr. Asante cannot support an ‘African’ unity because the subject of his ideology does not exist. However, what Dr. Asante does do indirectly is to celebrate a Roman invader of an ancient Canaanite (Black) nation and thus celebrate western dominance over the people of the continent he purports to love.  

 

The designation of the continent as ‘Africa’ and the categorization of all persons living within its geographical borders or who are living in the Americas and descended from people living within its borders  as ‘African’ is based upon the false premise that people living on the continent have  a universal identity. 

 

On the contrary, people living on the continent do not have a universal set of socio-economic interests, values, and perspectives above that of the necessities of life. The truth is that there is no evidence to support the claim of a universal identity on the continent.

 

Family and tribal sentiment are the historical basis for individuals’ self concept and cultural identity on the continent. Family and tribal sentiment is generally the basis of cultural identity on the continent today. Descendents of slaves in the United States do not share any of the myriad sentimental attachments to values, interests, and perspective of the people living on the continent.

 

Furthermore, the geopolitical fact is that all of the 55 nation states  on the continent are based  upon European colonial political structures and thus do not even rationally reflect in their codified law and higher educational institutions the local cultural sentiments of the people. The continent is fractured into uncountable pieces with very few strings of attachment.

 

That fact is most evidenced by the many different indigenous languages spoken within the borders of the many so-called nation states on the continent. If the continent were divided along linguistic lines instead of those boundaries superimposed by colonial powers from the 15th to 20th centuries there would be over 2000 independent nations.

 

The truth is that those colonial ghost states are now ruled by dominant tribes and the elite families within those tribes and finally by European and United States military and economic interests. Those same dominant tribes have adopted French, English, Italian, Portuguese, or Arabic (except for the Eritreans and Abyssinians) as their national languages because there has been no universal language ever adopted by Black people on the main continent. White supremacist ideology dominates the whole continent because indigenous leaders can do nothing significant for their people without the approval or support of a Western power.

 

The same argument can be made regarding traditional religious practices on the continent. Dr. Asante’s claim that: “All people create their religions out of their histories.” is false. Again he violates the logical rule of existential import. It is only true that some people create their religions out of their histories. Some other religions claim their creation outside of human history. The two differing claims are essential to understanding why parochial religious beliefs and practices are diminishing in the face of both Christianity and Islam. It is because both Christianity and Islam are universal in scope and yet are elastic enough to be adapted to any culture. But let us look at it another way.

 

If the continent were divided along traditional religious lines there would be as many nations as there are clans.  That would make a universal identity on the continent impossible because the uncounted local religions do not have the potential for universality. 

 

The Kingdom of Aksum is a case in point. There the religion of Christianity was established by decree of the Negus Ezana of Aksum beginning in 330 A.D. From that date Aksum, later called Abyssinia, maintained a stronger cultural unity because of the popular sentiment for the universalism of Christianity. That country remained more unified than any other culture on the continent and was not colonized by a European power until the 20th century. In short, divide and conquer didn’t work against them because of their greater cultural unity.

 

Tribal religions on the continent, though they are ancient, have always been and are parochial or clannish in nature. Furthermore, they have no written religious texts and thus have linguistic and geographical limitations which make them lack the potential for a universal scope of appeal.

 

Some may argue that ancient Kemet did have universal concepts which embraced all those who lived on the continent and even humanity.  However, that is a false premise, too.  There is no evidence that the people of ancient Kemet invited other people living on the continent and outside their culture to the east, south, and west of them to share with them as members of their culture.

 

One possible religious exception may be argued. The Pharaoh Akhenaton did establish a monotheistic religion not created by his peoples’ history but rather born out of a non-historical visionary experience. But he was murdered by the parochial priestly class. The priests wanted to maintain their status, power, and privilege within their parochial religious practices. That historical fact simply proves the point that parochial traditional religious practices on the continent lack the elasticity to provide a universal identity for the people on the continent. 

 

 

MORE PROOFS NEGATING THE AFRO-CENTRIST IDEOLOGY

 

This leads us to yet another argument made by Dr. Asante. He argues that Arabs and thus Islam enslaved Black people on the continent because of some defect in the religion of Islam and hatred toward Blacks. There are several logical inconsistencies to his argument. Let’s look at some facts one at a time.

 

First,  Blacks conquered Arabs and enslaved them prior to the advent of Islam. For example, Abyssinia extended to the whole of the Hejaz and the Yemen on the day of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birth.

 

Secondly, dominant Black tribes made war with and took prisoner Black people from weaker Black tribes and then sold Black people to Arabs. That occurred before the advent of Islam as well as after the advent of Islam. It is a myth that the different tribes on the continent lived in peace for over 60,000 years. The different cultures did not live in peace for thousands of years before there were Semitic people.[3]

 

Thirdly, Dr. Asante denies that Arabia is a peninsula of Africa. That it is a peninsula is a geographical fact. That means that Arabia is a part of the continent. Furthermore, it is a fact that the people living on that peninsula are either Black people or descendents of Black people who migrated out of Africa over 50,000 years BCE. That migration hypothesis is supported by DNA evidence. Thus it is proof that Black people made war with each other long before the advent of and during the rise of Islam in the 7th century A.D.

 

Fourthly, Dr. Asante does not accentuate the role played by dominant chiefs who bartered with both Arabs and Europeans for the sale of Black people as slaves. But it is a historical fact that the interior of Africa was generally impenetrable by both Arabs and Europeans and that but for the assistance of dominant Black tribes on the continent who saw profit to be made by helping slave traders most Black people would not be in the Americas today. Before white supremacy had been internalized by indigenous people, tribal chiefs opened the doors to white supremacy without a fight.  

 

The fact those dominant tribes had no indigenous religious texts rationalizing slavery for profit does not negate the behavior which evidenced the practice of enslaving Black people as an acceptable value in tribal business affairs.

 

It was Black people who lead the slave traders through the interior to capture Black people on both the east and west coasts of the continent. It was Black people who lead David Livingstone to H.M. Stanley on the Zambezi expedition and to the source of the Nile River.  

 

Today it is Black people who are allowing the resources of the continent to be hauled away outside the continent by pirate nations. It is Black people right here in the United States who work to thwart the progress of their own ethnic members for monetary reward. House Negroes all as Malcolm X would say!

 

The fundamental assumption underlying Dr. Molefi Asante’s Afrocentric ideology is like a glass marble which when held up to the eye can be seen to have a crack running dead through the middle of it. It is defective and can only lead to a chain of defective inferences.  It therefore follows necessarily that his whole ideology is inconsistent with the rules which govern sound and cogent thinking and should be rejected by anyone who aspires for truth and justice.


[1] Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change (Revised and Expanded), by Molefi Asante, pub. African American Images, Chicago, Illinois, 2003

[2] Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change (Revised and Expanded), by Molefi Asante, pub. African American Images, Chicago, Illinois, 2003,

[3] See the Pluvial Period of the continent