Editors Note: The following is an analysis by Vanessa Thompson, an African People's Socialist Party member based in Germany. Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela is presently on a two-week organizing tour of Europe, along with acclaimed actor Ron Bobb Semple, to forward the work of the African Socialist International. This essay by Comrade Thompson is intended to serve as mass political education on the question of racism versus colonialism, which we believe, will enhance the effectiveness of the tour. We believe such a mass political education piece is necessary in Europe because what we find is a prevailing notion among so-called leftists, European and African, where somehow all the Europeans are struggling against imperialism, and all the Africans are struggling against racism. Comrade Vanessa adds some clarity to that question.
Berlin—Racism is the European colonial invention of so-called "races" of people, which puts forth the idea that white people are superior to all other people on planet Earth.
Racism is the ideology of European and Western imperialism.
Racism is the ideas in the heads of white people.
Never will racism be anything more than an ideological justification of the brutal colonization of the vast majority of the world by a minute population of the world.
Racism was never and will never be the material basis for the exploitation and oppression of Africans and others in the world.
Racism is nothing more than the ideological underpinning of a social system that was born of the attacks on Asia and the Americas, and the attacks on Africa and the enslavement of African people, the first commodity of imperialist capitalism.
It was not racism that sucked the life-blood out of Africa and African people and simultaneously built the European nation and national identity; rather, it was parasitic capitalism and colonialism.
The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) determined long ago that defining the African Liberation Movement as a struggle against racism was not a struggle against the actual conditions of existence of our people.
It could not explain the poverty, police murders and the general state of powerlessness that afflict the African communities no matter where we are located on the planet.
Other peoples who suffer these same conditions were struggling against colonialism and imperialism.
But mysteriously the African, especially those of us in close proximity to white people, had to wage a struggle against racism; a struggle to be accepted by our oppressors, or white people.
Whereas racism is an idea in people’s heads, “Colonialism is real and concrete. It is a human-made condition that can be struggled against.“ (Chairman Omali Yeshitela, 1978)
This not only counts for African people inside the U.S. or on the continent, but also in Europe, as the material conditions that we suffer worldwide have their origin in the attack on Africa that led to the capture and rape of our national homeland and our people who were scattered around the world.
Our poverty and susceptibility to ignorance, violence and material want throughout the world are extensions and direct results of this ongoing attack on Our Africa and our people!
It is therefore colonialism that is responsible for the situation and the conditions we find ourselves in.
The colonial immigration assaults that our people are facing, the constant poverty and colonial violence are articulations of imperialism that keep us separated from our resources.
Our presence in Europe is a direct result of the attack on Our Africa; either we are chasing our own stolen resources or we are escaping proxy wars led by U.S. and European imperialism.
The struggle is for Black Power!
In Europe, we find that the majority of Africans are stuck in organizational formations that primarily define our struggle as one against racism, telling us that things will get better with time and that we are struggling to integrate into the capitalist system that is surely in decline.
This incorrect definition is being challenged by the vast majority of the peoples on the planet.
As African Internationalists, we say that it is key to understand that the struggle against racism is a Sisyphean task.
Winning recognition from and trying to become one with the oppressor is a useless illusion.
Contrary to what the bourgeois colonial state and the African petty bourgeoisie wants us to believe, the murders of Laye Condé, N' Deye Mareame Sarr, Oury Jalloh, Mahamadou Maréga, Christy Schwundeck and so many others by the colonial police, and the daily harassment of our children and youth, the incarceration of our people in so-called Lagers, are not the result of racism, but of colonialism.
The reality is that these conditions are consequences of our having no power over our own lives because we live under the colonial oppression of white power.
Even so-called progressives who define themselves as anti-racist forces have defined racism as a structure of power that gives the dominant group the power to institutionalize the racist ideology.
The question then is, why do these forces not struggle for power but continue to engage in a struggle against racism?
Tour dates are:
October 18, 2012 in High Wycombe, UK
October 19, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden
October 21, 2012 in Berlin, Germany
October 25, 2012 in Brussels, Belgium
October 28, 2012 in London, UK
The Struggle is for Black Workers' Power!
It is One Revolution, One Africa, One Nation!
Forward to the African Revolution!