order for the African Community in the United States of America
to continue our fight for self-determination and dignity,
it is important that we remind ourselves of the nature of the
American dynamic. Essentially,
and at the foundation of the American-European dynamic, is
the fact that it is made up of many nations who migrated
to this country and continued to fight for, and develop their
national interest, inside this country. At the same time,
maintained their economic, political, cultural, and social
relationships with their country of origin.
We can witness this phenomenon
on a daily basis by just taking a quick glance at the national
/ ethnic group practices and beliefs of the Jews, Poles, Irish,
Italians, Germans, Swedes, Greeks, French, etc., and how they
have consolidated their political and economic power in America.
They have all done this through their nationalistic unity on
the fundamental life-giving and life-sustaining issues that
affect their interests.
In other words, they have
maintained a strong sense of where they came from, who they
are, and where they are going. This formula has been at the
heart of their historical efforts to acquire power in America.
We can observe this same trend among the Chinese, Koreans,
Filipinos, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Jordanians, and Palestinians,
who are the new national / ethnic groups in America. In fact,
the Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and other Spanish-speaking national
/ ethnic groups are following this same pattern. They are fighting
for nationalism in America without calling it that.
When African in American people
talk about nationalism, we are often charged with being racist
or anti-white. However, the historical record demonstrates
clearly that nationalism has been the primary method by which
every national/ethnic group has achieved and maintained power.
Harold Cruse describes this
dilemma of the African in American Community, in this country,
in his most profound analysis of our movement in his book, The
Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. Cruse framed the American
dynamic in this manner when he said, “On the face of it, this
dilemma rests on the fact that America, which idealizes the
rights of the individual above everything else, in reality,
is a nation dominated by the social power of groups, classes,
in-groups, and cliques - both ethnic and religious.”
He goes on further
to explain that, “The individual in America has few rights that are not
backed up by the political, economic, and social power of one
group or another.” Therefore, Cruse states, “the individual
[Black person] has, proportionately, very few rights indeed
because his ethnic group (whether or not he actually identifies
with it) has very little political, economic, or social power
(beyond moral grounds) to wield.”
It is so clear that every
national / ethnic group understands their political, economic,
and cultural interest. It is so natural for them to function
in a nationalistic manner in their struggle to acquire and
maintain power. The African Community in the United States
of America has not fully conceptualized and reached a consensus
on our national agenda. Many of us function as if we are scared
of really acting out what we really know, for fear of being
We need to stop
denying our own reality. Being called racists because we believe
will fight for, the interests of our race with undying loyalty,
should become the most honorable badge of courage in our community.
We should get off this defensive “trip” when we fight for the
interests of our people, African people, and some other national
/ ethnic group calls us racist. We should know by now that
this is a tactic to sway us away from the path of acquiring
As the Houston
Chapter of NBUF has proclaimed, “The great challenge put before African
people is the lesson of history like the African proverb which
says, ‘When the elephants fight, the ground gets trampled'.
Unfortunately, no matter who is fighting or not fighting, we
seem to remain trampled or "specters at the feast" on
the world stage. We should unashamedly devote the majority
of our time, energy, and resources opposing those things that
impact us the most, beginning with the continuing war against
us which began in 1455.”
It’s called nationalism! Let’s continue our nationalism by continuing to build
the Reparations Movement in America.
BC columnist Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is
the National Chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF). Click
here to contact Dr. Worrill.