Kwanzaa 2004: Umoja
Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa 2004. Today is Umoja, Unity. Instead of commenting directly on the subject I will post the words of Marcus Garvey c 1922:
As far as Negroes are concerned, in America we have the problem of lynching, peonage and dis-franchisement.
In the West Indies, South and Central America we have the problem on peonage, serfdom, industrial and political government inequality.
In Africa, we have, not only peonage and serfdom, but out-right slavery, racial exploitation and alien political monopoly.
We cannot allow a continuation of these crimes agins our race. As four hundred million men, women and children, worthy of existance given us by the Divine Creator, we are determined to solve our own problem, by redeeming out Motherland Africa from the hands of alien exploiters and found there a government, a nation of our own, strong enough to lend protection to the members of our race scattered all over the world, and to compel the respect of the nations and races of the earth.
Do they lynch Englishmen, Frenchmen , Germans or Japanese? No. And Why? Because these people are represented by great governments, mighty nations and empires, strongly organized. Yes, and ever ready to shed the last drop of blood and spend the last penny in the national treasury to protect the honor and integrity of a citizen outraged anywhere.
Until the Negro reaches this point of national independence, all he does as a racde will count for naught, because the prejudice that will stand out against him even with his ballot in his hand, with his industrial progress to show, will be of such an overwhelming nature as to perpetuate mob violence and mob rule, from which he will suffer, and which he will not be able to stop with his industrial wealth and with his ballot.
You may argue that he can use his industrial wealth and his ballot to force the government to recognize him, but he must understand that the government is the people. That the majority of the people dictate the policy of the governments, and if the majority are against a measure, a thing, or a race, then the government is impotent to protect that measure, thing or race.
If the Negroes were to live in the Western Hemisphere for another five hundred years he would still be outnumbered by other races who are prejudiced against him. He cannot resort to the government for protection for government will be in the hands of the majority of the people who are prejudiced against him, hence for the Negro to depend onh the ballot and his industrial pregress alone, will be hopeless as it does not help him when he is lynched, burned, jim-crowed and segregated. The future of the Negro therefore , outside of Africa, spells ruin and disaster.
While some of the comments, specifically regarding lynching, may not be applicable today, the general sentiment of being outnumdered in the US and the affects on black monetary and political power is something we saw in the last presidential election where blacks regardless of tunrout were still unable to make THE difference in the election. Also the general commentary on slavery existing in Africa and the serfdom peonage and expoloitation rings true from Darfur to Cote D'Ivoir. It seems so odd that the statements made in 1922, some 82 years ago, still ring true today.