I was given five minutes to speak at the #ProudAfricans Rally to Repudiate Donald Trump’s racism and to build Pan-African alliances, at the United Nations on February 15. Below is my presentation.
Greetings Sisters and Brothers. Thank you all for coming. We are? Proud Africans. We are? Proud Africans.
Demonization. Demonization has always gone hand in hand with exploitation, colonization and even genocide of Africans, correct?
Donald Trump knows that Africa is not a collection of shithole countries. How do I know this? Because in September, when he met with African presidents at the United Nations what did he say? He said ‘my rich friends are making money in Africa.’ So he knows that Africa is collectively the richest collection of countries or continent in the world, is that not correct? So when he’s demonizing Africa he’s doing something that has always been the case. You demonize a people when you want to exploit them, when you want to abuse them, is that not correct?
Today, Africa continues to sustain and build the wealth that we see in the United States and in Europe. How is that? Africa provides the raw resources that fuels the companies — the sister is right for Asia as well– Africa builds the factories in the United States, in Europe and in China today.
If it was not for Africa’s wealth, we would not see all these buildings we see here today. We would not see that Trump World Tower today. Africa’s wealth, the wealth (labor) of enslaved Africans built the United States; it built the economic foundation that allowed industrialization. While they were building it on the plantations they were referred to as savages right? And yet they were building the wealth in the United States. Thomas Jefferson, a founding father of the Republic, wrote in “Notes On The State of Virginia” that Africans were inferior compared to Whites. Yet at the same time he was fathering children with African women, is that not correct?
Demonization in Haiti — Haitians abused, enduring the worst torture in the world. Enslaved Africans in Haiti, they used to pack dynamite into their anus and then light it up. And yet the Haitians were the ones referred to as savages while the French who were committing these acts of barbarity were the ones who were supposedly civilized. It did not stop Haitian from fighting and defeating Napoleon’s mighty army. The Haitian Revolution of 1804, let’s salute brothers and sisters from Haiti.
Demonization in Africa. Demonization was used to colonize Africa. The Europeans claimed they were in Africa to civilize Africans, right? How do you civilize when you are killing 10 million people in Congo? How do you civilize when you are exterminating the Herero in what is today Namibia at the same time extracting the riches from Africa? What kind of civilization is that?
That was just an excuse to rationalize the exploitation of Africa. It was called the “White Man’s Burden.” No, it was Africa’s Burden to build the world.
Joseph Conrad wrote “Heart of Darkness.” Africa is described up today in the 21st century as the Dark Continent. Joseph Conrad’s book is read by millions of students allover the world –“Heart of Darkness.” We are all familiar with that book right? Chinua Achebe said Joseph Conrad was a thoroughgoing racist. I agree with brother Chinua Achebe.
What do we need to do from here Sisters and Brothers? We need to go to the final ‘P’ in the series of ‘P’s. ‘P’ for protest, ‘P’ for policy, ‘P’ for power. It means we really have to rekindle the spirit of Pan-Africanism that helped to liberate Africa. It was Marcus Garvey who inspired Kwame Nkrumah. It was people like W.E.B. Du Bois that inspired us. C.L.R. James, Walter Rodney, Malcolm X, Kwame Ture, Brothers from here inspiring Brothers and Sisters in Africa. Michael Manley; the list is endless. You have to excuse me and I apologize if I forget any–I just don’t have enough time to list all the great Pan-Africans. The message is that we have to broaden and deepen our alliances. If we speak collectively, we can help end the abuse of Africans here, in Haiti and on the continent.
So if we take one message from here today, it is Pan-African unity. Let’s all come together and build a bigger alliance for the bigger march which is going to be in Washington, D.C., on May 25th, African Liberation Day. When we take it to Donald Trump’s doorsteps.
Thank you Sisters and Brothers.
Long live Africa. One Africa, united.