Pambazuka News 792: Clinton, Trump and Africa

Most issues discussed at the UN are matters of life and death to residents of the global south, especially Africa. Yet beyond the long ceremonial speeches by African leaders at the General Assembly, African voices are marginalized at the UN’s top decision-making organ, the Security Council. There is a need for spirited advocacy for better representation of Africa and the global south.

To think Black first is a revolutionary call to equip Black people with the necessary mental and practical capacity to liberate themselves from the bottom of society where white supremacy through slavery, colonialism and apartheid has condemned them. The legacy of Biko teaches that to think Black first is the means to end divisions among Black people and to forge a united front against white power.

Freedom of expression and the press is guaranteed under Section 39 of Nigeria's Constitution. But restrictive laws which allow for journalists and bloggers to be arrested for reporting critically on politicians and others, violates that right.

Listening carefully to the at times homophobic and hateful commentary about homosexuality among Africans, a social critique of the international community and the local elite is heard. Dislike of homosexuality is used to protest at the levels of inequality and how corrupt African leaders continue to be supported by the West. The white savior complex ruins rather than helps the cause of LGBTI rights in Africa.

A manipulative form of nationalism that has been sanctioned over the past twenty years in neo-colonial South Africa seems determined to reconstruct a nation of disfigured memories and half-truths. Citizens must resist this manufactured nation building characterized by dispossession, coercive silencing and constant un-remembering.

Clinton is part of the Establishment. It is part of her inheritance to provoke wars and control the world in league with global corporations. Nobody knows what lies behind Trump’s mask. May be he wants to “knock the shit” out of the Establishment. May be he is a “narcissist character” seeking reward in the short run. But no one who seriously cares about Africa’s liberation from Empire would support  Clinton.

Since 2005 African leaders have been demanding two permanent seats on the Security Council as well as five nonpermanent ones based upon the overall population, land mass and strategic resources. But this demand has not been seriously considered yet. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says African states present at the UN General Assembly discussed withdrawing from the institution.

The increased demand for gold by Chinese traders has worsened illegal artisanal mining in the rivers of Ghana, leading to massive destruction of the water bodies. The Ghanaian authorities seem to be unconcerned. Before long, unless something drastic is done, people will lack clean water for use.

In a judgement issued by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) the acting chairperson, Prof HP Viljoen, ordered that the television news channel ANN7 must broadcast a public apology to the Glebelands Hostel Community Violence Victims and admit to gross negligence in its recent coverage of an event held at Glebelands, which put some community members lives at risk.

If Trump can stop a third Obama term; if Trump pledges to Haitian-Americans that when he becomes President he will stop funding the rapist UN troops in Haiti, Haitians who are undecided would vote for him. Trump will get some more Haitian-American votes if he publicly calls to end the UN presence in Haiti and supports free and fair elections.

Pambazuka News 791: Africa's bloodbaths: Naming killers and their allies

In the pursuit of conservation, Southern Africa is witnessing platoons of soldiers and paramilitary-trained rangers. New technologies including drones and military-grade helicopters along with partnerships with military firms are all entering the region’s parklands, ostensibly to save them. Though many poachers are armed and dangerous, green militarisation is short-sighted and has long-term implications.

 

Founded in 1961 during the Cold War as a bloc bringing together nations that neither supported nor opposed the big powers, the Non-Aligned Movement has some 120 member-states mostly in the Global South but only a handful sent representatives to the latest Summit. The low turn out and absence of NAM’s voice in international affairs have led to calls for the re-evaluation of the movement’s relevance in today’s world.

In May, Nigeria played a key role to block African Union membership for Haiti. What a shame! The first African republic established by slaves in 1804, Haiti is 95 per cent Black. With its illustrious history, Haiti will surely play a more prominent role in a future African world organisation of peoples and states – not the currently constricted and contrived AU.

With all due respect to Professor Woodward, one must conclude that he contributes little to a learned examination of the “secessions” of Eritrea and South Sudan, while his admonitions for caution on Somaliland’s quest for international recognition of its sovereignty are based upon little or no knowledge of the country’s history, the merits of its case or its achievements during the last quarter century. 

The ICC has taken a new step that could redeem its damaged image and endear it to progressive people in Africa and all the developing world. The court has announced that henceforth it will be investigating with a view to prosecuting crimes that result in the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources and  illegal dispossession of land.

For decades, the former colonial powers have written the history of the night in which the second UN Secretary-General and his companions died in a plane crash in Zambia. But a new history is about to be written if the recent momentum to find the full truth is anything to go by.

The men I interviewed had been jailed for multiple violent offences. They came from a range of socio-economic backgrounds and different areas in the country. In all cases their criminal behaviour was clearly linked to multiple adversity from early in their lives.

Last month Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan undertook a weeklong five-nation tour ostensibly to "strengthen relationships with African partners." A notable figure on that trip was General Romeo Dallaire, a close ally of the “Butcher of the Great Lakes”, Rwanda's Paul Kagame. Loud expressions of Canada’s benevolence to Africa hide Ottawa’s chequered history of self-serving policies - often with bloody consequences - presented as altruism.

 

South Africa’s nuclear programme will be a disaster. Besides the fallouts being witnessed in the jostling for gains by greedy politicians, the project is likely to gobble up huge amounts of public funds that will be difficult to account for as the government will cite national security concerns of nuclear power, thereby curtailing citizens’ right to accountability.

The International Preparatory Committee considered the historical precedent set by various PACs and in particular the 2nd PAC that was held in phases. Subsequently the meeting unanimously agreed to follow the historical precedent of the 2ndPAC of 1921 that took place in phases in different cities including London, Brussels and Paris and organize the 8thPan African Congress in a two-phase process. Phase I was the meeting convened in Ghana, March 2015. Phase II, earlier set for not later than May 2016, will now be convened in June/August 2017.

The new film, “A Brilliant Genocide”, tells the story of the largely unacknowledged Acholi Genocide that President Yoweri Museveni committed against the Acholi people for 20 years from 1986 to 2006. Museveni’s troops drove nearly two million Acholis, 90% of the population, into concentration camps. In all that time, the Ugandan military machine continued to be financed by the US.

Marcus Garvey should be posthumously pardoned for his wrongful conviction for use of the mails in furtherance of a scheme to defraud. During a time when Blacks were seen as second class citizens, Garvey led a mass movement to elevate the Black community through economic empowerment and independence. He was convicted after being targeted by J. Edgar Hoover and deprived of a fair trial. Go to: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/grant-marcus-mosiah-garvey-po...

 

A myriad of issues was addressed at the NAM Summit including climate change, sustainable economic development, the reform of the UN Security Council, human rights, unilateral sanctions, peacekeeping missions, religious tolerance, international solidarity, South-South cooperation, the role of youth, gender equality and the need for new world communications and information order.

Pambazuka News 790:The spirit of Biko: Struggles for Black dignity continue

When one Jewish person is attacked because of his identity, the entire Jewish community feels assaulted. They do not forget the holocaust. People of African origins have suffered far more than any ethnic or social group since the beginning of time. But they are yet to develop their version of “never again” frame of mind. They have the most potent weapon to fight racial injustice: moral capital.

My father is a man of principles and a stubborn man. I am terrified that he will take his hunger strike to its end. I do not want him to die.

The current student protests have their antecedents in the youth movements of 40 years ago. These students are fighting for their lives, their dignity and their humanity. Their resistance to white supremacy should provide inspiration to Black girls colonized in the US, Europe and around the world.

Deeply hurt by Britain’s overwhelming support for Nigeria to crush the Republic of Biafra, Dr Ibiam renounced and returned to the British head of state the three insignias of knighthood that both she and her father, King George VI, had earlier conferred on the esteemed missionary physician for services to church and state.

When successful, cooperatives can strengthen and liberate individuals and communities in the most fundamental ways. History shows that the benefits people of African descent around the world can gain include economic empowerment, employment, skills acquisition, community agency, self-confidence and cultural revival. All these will contribute to the progression from disempowerment to empowerment and full self-determination.

South Africa’s population is 86% black. Yet between 2010-2014, the Department of Politics at the University of Cape Town has graduated only two black MA students. In 2015, 97% of black applicants were denied admission to the Masters programme. To-date there is not a single black South African enrolled in the programme. Has this exclusion become a way of carving out the task of thinking and intellectual production as an exclusive white preserve?

President Museveni’s government wants to change the law to allow prospective investors in the mining industry to access private land that contains minerals without negotiating with the land-owners. His argument is that minerals in the soil belong to the government and that the people occupying the land have no say in the matter. The people must resist such tyranny.

In one province in Gabon, the stronghold of President Ali Bongo, the results declared by the Gabonese Electoral Commission indicated  that 99.83% of the electorate turned out to vote, and that 95.46% of them voted for Ali Bongo! The question is: how can we ensure that election results in Africa are not dependent on an electoral commission or constitutional court that is in the pocket of the incumbent?

One of Pambazuka News’s frequent contributors, Odomaro Mubangizi, once in a while stops writing and instead tries to sketch out his thoughts about topical issues of our world.

The intersectionality of people’s struggles on climate change calls for concerted efforts towards climate justice. Across the world, communities are made vulnerable by intensified exploitation of natural resources and overproduction for profit. There is a need to launch and strengthen grassroots educational and advocacy campaigns to deepen understanding of the relationship between climate change and human rights.

The Nkrumah years of transition from 1951-1956 and the independence period of 1957-1966 set the standard for African development and political imperatives related to inter-state integration and women’s affairs. Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the US on 24 February 1966. Genuine African liberation, unification and socialist development can only occur after a fundamental break with world capitalism.

What might be there in the Igbo gene to account for the dialectics of Igboness in Nigeria: the unchallenged warriors of the Nigerian space in territorial terms but the quickest to get sucked into homeland insularity at the slightest provocation? How could so educated, so successful in business and so globally mobile and established an ethnic group misread the Nigerian text every now and then?

Pambazuka News 789: Rethinking leadership: Beyond the farce of neoliberal rhetoric

Celebrated pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana organized a historic conference for women in Africa and the diaspora in 1960 to celebrate their contribution to the liberation struggles, but also to create a platform for reflection on their future role in a free, socialist and united Africa. The meeting underscored the deep conviction among pan-Africanists about the revolutionary role of women, highlighting the fact that the liberation of Africa is impossible without the complete emancipation of all the women of the continent.

People not versed in the complexities of the diplomatic world of distorted mirror images in Geneva or Accra or Nairobi may wonder in awe at the agreements negotiated in their name by their representatives in multilateral forums like UNCTAD. But, truth be told, UNCTAD is in no position to deliver the mandate that it got in Nairobi.

The argument that France is waging war on Islamic dress codes to prevent the enslavement of women is just one more example of disgusting hypocrisy in the service of imperialist interests. Instead of representing liberation of women from all the ways they are already enslaved, it amounts to screaming about the domination of Muslim women by Muslim men just so that these women can be forced to accept forms of oppression that patriarchal, imperialist French society considers proper.

The Toronto-based shoemaker took advantage of European colonialism to rapidly set up across the continent, squeezing out local footwear producers, working with apartheid South Africa and even reaching out to Uganda’s Idi Amin.

Nigeria’s ruling elites are blithely pursuing a neoliberal path of self-destruction, setting the stage for a national meltdown unless diverted by some miracle. Unaddressed grievances have spawned numerous violent movements actively championing secession of their regions from the federation. The nation-building project has failed. And as no sensible alternative is being offered, the result in the long-run could be utter chaos.

Does it make any sense for Israel to claim to be strengthening its historical ties with Ethiopia, when thousands of Ethiopian Jews in Israel are treated like second-class citizens? Prime Minister HeilaMariam Desalegn should have had the courage to call for the respect of the human rights of these citizens who in the first place were assisted to migrate to Israel by the Jewish state itself.

Leadership is about how those in top positions exercise power and influence. Leadership must serve both women and men, young and old, the empowered and marginalised, weak and strong, poor and rich. The kind of leadership we need in Africa must be transformative. It must first address the question of inequality, exclusion and identity.

Videos depicting the senseless murders of unarmed people of colour have given birth to a new social movement, #BlackLivesMatter, while bringing to light a reality incomprehensible to white communities; the lives of people of colour have systemically been deemed disposable.

The first African People´s Tribunal on Transnational Corporations, that recently took place on 16th and 17th August in Manzini, Swaziland, was perhaps one of the most counter-hegemonic and brave events to bring some hope to mining affected communities in Southern Africa.

I see the idea of walking away from racial injustice head down and shoulder slumped to be beyond comprehension. It is that mentality that has allowed institutional racism in the World Bank to outlast apartheid. As of today, September 8, 2016, I will be on a hunger strike until the Bank fully restores my professional identity, and agrees to redress the irreparable damage it has caused my person and profession.

Since assuming office on May 29, 2015, President Buhari has lived up to his campaign promise of tackling corruption headlong and providing a fresh template for instilling transparency and accountability. Nigeria could be a model for fighting this monster that gobbles up some $2.6 trillion annually from the global economy.

As an example of leadership for Africa, the AU is seriously wanting. Yet this is not just an intergovernmental organization. It is a rallying point for the actualization of the African people’s deepest aspirations for freedom, dignity, unity and shared prosperity. In a hegemonic globalizing world, the AU needs a revolutionary leader with global stature to uphold and protect the principles and vision of the Constitutive Act.

Nigeria is gripped by the familiar anxieties of an economy in distress. This escalating crisis has demystified a president once thought capable of astute, if not magical, economic management. In their desperation for respite, many Nigerians are now paradoxically yearning for the corruption that they and their leaders blame for their economic woes.

Black August is inseparably linked to the legacy of the assassinated prison leader, revolutionary, Marxist and Black Panther Party Field Marshal George Jackson. Black August is very important to the global African struggle for liberation. It is positively affirming the necessity of a politics that is all about ending oppressive relations in society and the use of all available means, including armed struggle, to create a just society.

The first African People´s Tribunal on Transnational Corporations, that recently took place on 16th and 17th August in Manzini, Swaziland, was perhaps the most counter-hegemonic and brave event to bring some hope to mining affected communities in Southern Africa.

Pambazuka News 788: Viva Motherland! Only Africa can heal Africa

The Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), the dominant group within the ruling coalition, rules over a deeply divided and aggrieved populace. The TPLF has carried out egregious human rights violations; the regime has become even more repressive with each year by systematically limiting political space, taking 100% parliamentary seats in the Lower House. Ethiopians are sick and tired of the regime in Addis.

Only Africa has solutions to African problems. That requires a healing leadership. We need to mobilize the people to reform the current leadership mindset, which is only destructive. Africa needs to address issues of civic education, of citizens being able to elect leaders who will make a difference, and to ensure we have institutions that make it impossible for anybody to act as if there were no laws.

In our drab world, with its wars, hunger and disease, athletics and other sports reveal to us the wonder of what we could be enjoying in this life if only we weren't so stupid as to waste our time, energy and resources on horrible things like war and selfish politics.

The ouster of Brazilian President Dilma Roussef and the ongoing process of impeaching her are in fact a coup organized by the wealthy classes in the country with the support of their foreign masters. The objective of this is to roll back important reforms aimed at bettering the lives of the people and instead place in the hands of the oligarchs Brazil’s key industries and resources.

Where is the Pan-African spirit? The absence of African solidarity with African Americans who are being killed in US cities by state security forces driven by white supremacy is deeply saddening. From all over Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia, Black people must rise up to condemn the killing of our sisters and brothers in the US and offer any support we can to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Libya once was a proud nation that rejected US military presence on the continent, seeing it as an obstacle to Pan-African unity. With the country destroyed, the US has been able to further expand militarily all over the continent. And it has been President Obama, not George W. Bush, who has presided over the rapid neo-colonization of Africa.

On Saturday, August 13, the world celebrated the 90th birthday of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz, the only individual ever to be acknowledged by the UN as a “World Hero of Solidarity.” It is very hard to think of a more important world leader than Fidel.

Once we rid ourselves of the false notion that the market economy, as a system, could be objective or benevolent, and we distinguish it from the market as one economic institution instead of a system, we can aptly move towards rejecting the market economy while embracing healthy regulated markets.

Over the past two decades, Russia's efforts to regain its Soviet-era influence in Africa have achieved little success because "times have changed significantly, for example, a new economic and political environment, new emerging challenges, new competitive conditions and new bases for cooperation," according to Nataliya Zaiser, a Public Policy Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs Moscow office covering Russia, the Eurasian Union and Africa, and also the Chair of the Africa Business Initiative.

Pambazuka News 787: Revisiting Biafra and Africa's big-man politics

To tell whether Prof. Mahmood Mamdani has failed to implement the doctoral programme at Makerere Institute of Social Research requires that one is either a doctoral student, a teacher on the programme, or has done fieldwork at MISR with a research question on Mamdani’s ambition and its logistical requirements. Anything other than that is sheer gossip.

Last week’s local government elections in South Africa were marred by racial slurs, ethnocentric witch-hunting, mudslinging and outright physical elimination of political opponents. The country’s electoral commission remained indolent and incapable of taking bold steps to put an end to the blatant abuse of citizens’ right to choose their own leaders. Free and fair elections remain a big challenge in the rainbow nation.

A massive government crackdown on protestors and dissidents is underway in Ethiopia, but the international community has turned a blind eye to this reign of terror. The first, and possibly most far-reaching and effective, response by the international community should be to openly condemn the regime in Addis Ababa and withdraw the unwavering support for the repressive government.

Municipal elections in South Africa returned the poorest result for the ruling ANC party since coming to power at the end of minority white rule in 1994. But the ANC is not the only once-dynamic party in Africa that has been ruined by party leaders who get infected with a sense of entitlement after they have led their parties through successful struggles against white rule.

Heads of State from East and the Horn of Africa have endorsed a proposal to deploy a rapid protection force to South Sudan, which would later serve under the UN mission (UNMISS) with an enhanced mandate. But this is unlikely to solve the crisis in the world’s newest nation. UNMISS has serious weaknesses and, perhaps more importantly, the South Sudanese conflict is largely economic.

Prime Holdings, a corrupt company discredited a decade ago, is inexplicably back in business handling huge government contracts. Meanwhile, Crystal Ventures, a company owned by President Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front, dominates the commercial scene. 

The World Bank should not be applauded for its new PR driven recruitments and promotions. Instead it should be held accountable for mistreatment of over 1500 black staff. The systemic racism for over half a century calls for bold and immediate actions. Establishing a high level external commission is the first critical step.

Talk of breaking up Nigeria is lazy. The country should restructure in a way that every part will, at all times, be appropriately represented in government. This was the central idea in the late General Sani Abacha’s well-thought-out provisions that would have restructured Nigeria from a country of contending ethnic nationalities into a modern nation-state in just 30 years.

 

Swaziland’s King Mswati III passes suppression, unaccountability and royal opulent spending in the face of drought, starvation and poverty, as traditionally “Swazi” values.  Sonkhe Dube, a young exiled activist, begs to differ.

Nigeria’s problem, which has led to the current calls for restructuring of the country, is failure by the ruling classes to meet the basic needs of their people. There is no evidence that restructuring, whatever it means, would solve this basic problem. Official corruption, mass unemployment, ethno-religious conflicts, an economy that over-relies on oil, are Nigerian realities that cannot be addressed by restructuring.

In the September 17, 2014 issue of the Chicago Suntimes, President Kim wrote a letter to the editor to counter Reverend Jesse Jackson’s article titled “Apartheid Avenue Two Blocks from the White House.” That letter has since been removed from newspaper’s website. We republish it here.

Prosecution efforts so far have exacerbated, rather than alleviated, ethnic and regional divisions. Credible prosecutions against those most responsible on all sides of the conflict would offer a clear statement to all citizens of Côte d’Ivoire that the justice system is blind to ethnicity and is there to serve and protect all its citizens.

What sort of intellectuals would write a book about a genocidal war in which more than three million lives of their own brothers and sisters were wasted without even acknowledging in the index that the word ‘genocidal’ was used in the text by some authors to objectively describe the atrocities?

Nigeria is an artificial country that was put together by non-Nigerians.  No one sought the consent of the people that were literally gaveled into existence as “Nigerians” when the state was originally constituted. With the resurgence of demands for secession of the Igbo nation to form the Republic of Biafra, the time has come for a candid discussion about the future of Nigeria.

#BlackLivesMatter has illuminated the crisis of contemporary whiteness in its full flesh by giving white people a glimpse into some of the worst excesses of white supremacy: the execution of people of colour by state actors with impunity.

Pambazuka News 786: Can the leopard, er, Empire change its spots? 

Britain was heavily dependent on colonial wo/man-power, raw materials and even financial contributions. Black people conscripted by Empire suffered racial discrimination throughout a war which was supposedly fought against Hitler's race theories and in the name of freedom and democracy. These contributions are hardly acknowledged.

Having failed to prevent Patrice Lumumba from taking power in Congo, a cabal of European and American politicians and businessmen saw the maintenance of indirect white rule in Katanga as the only means of ensuring their continued profiteering from Congo’s huge mineral wealth. Perpetuating a façade of African nationalism the white lobby supported autocrat Tshombe to plot for secession.

Dr. Munyakazi is dangerous to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who justifies his ruthless totalitarian regime by claiming to be the savior who stopped a genocide.  He is also dangerous to the Holocaust and genocide industries, whose false equation of the Holocaust and the Rwandan massacres is at the ideological foundation of “humanitarian” war ideology.

Sanders squandered his most important historical moment. He had a chance, one chance, to take the energy, anger and momentum, walk out the doors of the Wells Fargo Center and into the streets to help build a third-party movement.

In a long-running dispute, powerful people within the administration of the University of Sierra Leone are doing everything they can to push out Prof Ibrahim Abdullah. The latest report of an illegally constituted committee reveals the extent to which Prof Abdullah’s enemies are willing to go to deny him justice.

The article explores the problem of police violence in Kenya and links it to the structural conditions, informed by colonial legacy and most recent failure to de-colonise and democratise policing. Particular emphasis is placed on Constitution, adopted in 2010, and how its radical potential for police reform was wasted by current administration.

For over a century, Europe has been involved in the mass murder of millions of people across Africa in connivance with local elites. The only way to stop these mass murders by empire is for African people to construct for themselves a civilisation where African life is fundamentally sacrosanct. 

Brexit appears to reveal a growing dissatisfaction with globalization. But, on the basis of debates leading to and in the aftermath of the referendum, it seems that Britain’s decision to quit the EU is a mere hiccup in regional integration processes. Regionalism as a product of globalization is unstoppable, including in Africa.

Prof Ali Mazrui was known for making penetrating comparisons of seemingly unrelated individuals, things and groups. It is fair to say that he was also a great classifier in general; nothing was unclassifiable for Mazrui whether it was racism, sexism, Africanity or slavery.

Morocco is seeking to rejoin the African Union, but its motives are suspect. As suggested by an arrogant letter to the AU Chairman, Rabat could be intending to use its membership to strengthen its colonial claims over occupied Western Sahara, an AU founding member state. Moreover, as an ally of Western powers Morocco could be used to sabotage effective African unity from within the AU.

During this recent workshop on decolonizing publications and creating writing cultures, particular dilemmas and nuanced opportunities for the decolonization of knowledge were revealed and they are expounded at length in this reflection. It is our hope that this detailed reflection can serve as a rubric of important lessons for critical and Pan-African scholars who are immersed in decolonizing projects in their respective spaces and institutions.

This book is a useful contribution that will enlighten those people who want to understand why Nigeria is not working and what needs to be done. Persons in positions of leadership in the country may find it a useful guide in tackling some of the problems troubling the nation.

The renewed bombing of Libya signals the escalation of war against the peoples of the Global South and those oppressed nations and communities within the imperialist states themselves whether in Europe or North America. To counter these provocations an international anti-imperialist movement must be built.

Racial discrimination in the World Bank is a far more systemic and serious issue than any official is willing to admit. Successive Presidents have treated it as a can of worms that’s best kept closed. The Bank’s Administrative Tribunal exists to keep the can closed with a judicial seal and to shield senior management from accountability. 

Efforts to end the growing violent conflict in Mozambique have stalled, largely because of the hard line positions taken by the government and the armed opposition group Renamo. There has been an increase in attacks and deaths by Renamo in recent months.

Emancipation Day sends a clear message to the labouring classes that capitalism exploited their ancestors’ labour under chattel slavery and is doing the same to theirs under wage slavery. It is the responsibility of the revolutionary organizers to use Emancipation Day to strengthen the class consciousness, feminist commitments and anti-racist opposition of the labouring classes.

Pambazuka News 785: Name the enemy, It is white supremacy

Was it Africans who went to the Americas and butchered tens if not scores of millions of native Americans? Was it Africans that used their religion to hide their intent to steal as much territory as they could all the while denigrating the beliefs and cultures of innumerable peoples? Who was it that did so much raping that the bloodlines of Latin America changed forever?

A wave of homegrown leaders, movements and activists is sweeping across the continent and bringing with it African solutions to Africa's LGBTI people. Their efforts and alliances have resulted in palpable change in legislation, court decisions, health policies and shifting public opinion across Africa. They need support.

Opinion is divided over the legacy of the AU Chairperson. It is arguable that she has resolved some of the historical challenges of the Commission and predictably either failed or worsened others. However, on the whole, Dlamini-Zuma has demonstrated what leadership can do if it is impelled by a clear vision.

The name of Islam, a religion of 1.6 billion people, has been used to not only commit terrible crimes but is also tarnished by politicians, the media and commentators who are angered by those same crimes. That serves the interest of the perpetrators. Acts of terrorism are never committed by “radical Muslims”. They are committed by criminals.

As he did last year, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced another recruitment of Africans. But this is a PR gimmick meant to cover up deeply rooted racial discrimination against Black staff at the Bank. The Bank’s latest diversity report stresses that the Bank will not make substantive progress in eliminating subtle as well as overt racism unless more systemic changes are made.

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has captured global attention for his zealous pursuit of accountable and reformist government. But Magufuli is no revolutionary. His many years as a key minister in a neoliberal Tanzania tied to the apron strings of Empire speak volumes. Some of his current policies support the private sector while in fact pushing the poor deeper into destitution.

The job of a US president is to protect and enhance the American Empire. But sadly, African leaders continue to waste time expecting manna from Washington. Decades of being let down by unfulfilled promises from American (and Western leaders) appear not to dampen enthusiasm to keep on expecting a miracle.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim is eyeing another 5-year term in 2017. He is the first Bank chief to be personally accused of racism against black staff. Believed to have been endorsed for his first term by Hilary Clinton, Bank employees are freaking out about the possibility of having Kim at the helm for a further five years, which they fear would be a forgone conclusion if Clinton wins the US presidency.

How can a small club of extremely rich white men who have bullied markets, governments and competitors in the most undemocratic ways, now be looked upon to decree on democracy and accountability merely by the size of their bank balances and trust funds? This perhaps is the most insidious form of state capture.

To celebrate the 15 anniversary of Pambazuka News, Fahamu the publisher in conjunction with the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, University of Nairobi, organized a public lecture on 25 July 2016 delivered by one of the longest and most prolific contributors to Pambazuka News, Horace G. Campbell, Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, Syracuse University. Here’s the Audio on Soundcloud, Presentation on Slideshare and a  Video on YouTube of the lecture.

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