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Well obviously what is happening in Zimbabwe is quite tragic and I would hope some

of the sympathy that is extended to Zimbabwe could be extended as well to other

 African nations that do not have white minorities.Gerald Horne

 

 

Zimbabwe and the Question of Imperialism: A Discussion

Hosted by Amy Goodman

 

Voice of host Amy Goodman: In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has come under widespread criticism for refusing to cancel a run-off election scheduled for Friday. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of elections in March but withdrew from the run-off late last week. He has sought refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare out of what he says is concern for his life. We host a discussion on Zimbabwe with University of Houston Professor, Gerald Horne, author of "From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States and the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980" and Syracuse University University Professor, Horace Campbell, his latest article is titled, "Pan-Africanists: Our collective duty to Zimbabwe."

Criticism of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and the actions of his ruling Zanu PF party is growing. The most recent condemnation comes from former South African President Nelson Mandela, who mourned the "tragic failure of leadership" in Zimbabwe on Wednesday. They were the former leader's first comments on the situation.

President Bush also criticized Mugabe Wednesday for defying international pressure to cancel a run-off election scheduled for Friday.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of elections in March but withdrew from the run off late on Sunday and sought refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare out of what he says is concern for his safety. On Wednesday he called for the African Union backed by the United Nations, to lead a "transitional process" in Zimbabwe. He also emphasized that Friday's vote would not be recognized.

But Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission has ruled that Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the election last Sunday was filed too late and has no legal force. Meanwhile at least 300 Harare residents have taken shelter from the political violence at the South African embassy.

Today we host a discussion on Zimbabwe: We're joined in Washington DC by Professor Gerald Horne. He is the Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston and the author of numerous books including From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States and the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980. Joining us on the phone from Syracuse, New York is Professor Horace Campbell. He is Professor of African American Studies and Politics at Syracuse University. He has written extensively about Pan-Africanism and Zimbabwe.

Gerald Horne, Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston and the author of numerous books including From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States and the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980.

Horace Campbell, Professor of African American Studies and Politics at Syracuse University. He has written extensively about Pan-Africanism and Zimbabwe.

AMY GOODMAN: As we move now from Iraq to Zimbabwe, Juan?

JUAN GONZALES: Well criticism of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and the
actions of his ruling Zanu PF party is growing. The most recent condemnation comes from former South African President Nelson Mandela who mourned the quote tragic failure of leadership in Zimbabwe on Wednesday. They were the former leaders first comments on the situation president Bush also criticized Mugabe Wednesday for defying international pressure to cancel a runoff election scheduled for Friday.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Friday's elections appear to be a sham. You can't have free elections if a candidate is not allowed to campaign freely and his supporters aren't allowed to campaign without fear of intimidation-yet the Mugabe government has been intimidating the people on the ground in Zimbabwe. And this is an incredibly sad development. I hope that the AU will, at their meeting this weekend, continue to highlight the illegitimacy of the elections, continue to remind the world that this election is not free, and is not fair.

JUAN GONZALES: Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of elections in March but withdrew from the runoff late on Sunday and sought refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harari out of what he says is concern for his safety. On Wednesday he called for the African Union backed the United Nations to lead a quote transitional process in Zimbabwe. He also emphasized that Friday's vote would not be recognized.

TSVANGIRAI: That our decision to pull out of this shame election was in the best interest of the people of Zimbabwe. Any election conducted arrogantly, unilaterally on Friday will not be recognized by the MDC, by Zimbabweans and by the world over.

JUAN GONZALES: But Zimbabwe's electoral commission has ruled that Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the election last Sunday was filed too late and has no legal force. Meanwhile at least 300 Harari residents have taken shelter from the political violence at the South African embassy.

MAN SPEAKING: My house is destroyed to the ground level. And my whole apartment has been destroyed and looted, and my family--I do not know where my family is right now. I don't know where my wife, my kids.

AMY GOODMAN: Today, we host a discussion on Zimbabwe. We're joined in Washington D.C. by Professor Gerald Horne, Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston and the author of numerous books including "From the Barrel of a Gun, the United States in the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965 to 1980." Joining us on the phone from Syracuse is Professor Horace Campbell, Professor of African American Studies and Politics at Syracuse University in New York, has written extensively about Pan-Africanism and Zimbabwe. We welcome you both to Democracy Now! I want to begin with Gerald Horne in Washington. Can you talk about what is happening in Zimbabwe and the coverage of it, how we understand what is happening in Zimbabwe in the United States?

GERALD HORNE: Well obviously what is happening in Zimbabwe is quite tragic and I would hope some of the sympathy that is extended to Zimbabwe could be extended as well to other African nations that do not have white minorities. For example, the statement condemning or questioning the Zimbabweans elections emerged from Swaziland, a South African nation that is one of the last absolute monarchies on this small planet. Some might well question why isn't Swaziland's human rights situation being interrogated and investigated? A scant year ago in Nigeria, the continent's giant, you had shambolic elections, had hundreds killed yet that barely registered a blip on the international media. At least not in the North Atlantic. Many talk, perhaps understandably, about the fact the President Mugabe has served as President since 1980, but what about Omar Bongo of Gabon, a close ally of the U.S, an oil-rich country in West Africa, which of course, he has served as president since 1967? 13 years before Mugabe came into power. I mean, I could go on in this vain, but I think the fact that thousands were killed in Zimbabwe in the 1980's and yet, he received a virtual knighthood from Queen Elizabeth and received an honorary degree from Massachusetts, and yet, today in 2008, he is a subject of international scorn after of course he expropriates some white farmers, really speaks of profound racism in terms of how this issue has been covered in the North Atlantic media.

JUAN GONZALES: Horace Campbell, I want to ask about this issue. It does seem that the western media did not focus on Zimbabwe at all until the expropriations began of land. But does that deal with-the land of the white-minority there--but does that deal with the underlying class conflicts that are obviously clearly percolating in reaching ahead right now in the country?

HORACE CAMPBELL: Well, thank you for having me on the show. First of all, I would say this platform on Democracy Now! is a platform for the progressives, the left, and those who are involved in the peace movement. Our discussions on what is going on in Zimbabwe or any other part of Africa should be guided by how our solidarity with the peoples of Zimbabwe, with the oppressed workers of Southern Africa, and in all parts of Africa can assist our own struggle in this country against all forms of oppression. And so, comparing Zimbabwean's oppression with other oppression in Africa does not excuse the oppression of the Zimbabweans people by any means. I think Gerald is very right about these oppressions across Africa, but organizations in this country that are in solidarity with the peace movement across the world ,that are in solidarity with the Zimbabwe people, should take the cue from the Congress of South African Trade Union that is calling for a blockade of Zimbabwe because of the oppression. And I think what distinguished Zimbabwe from those countries that Gerald speaks about is that none of those countries is representing themselves as being in the forefront of liberation. Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF started out like they were Lumumba in the Congo. They ended up like Mubutu, killing from the people, arrested opposition leaders, killing people, calling homosexual pigs and dogs, and killing hundreds, tens of thousands of people. 18% of the Zimbabwean people are unemployed. While the stock exchange is the most successful in Africa. We on the left, in the peace movement, we acknowledge that George Bush nor Brown have any moral authority to criticize Zimbabwe because of the unjust war that they're fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But having said that, we on the left and the progressives, we must take the moral leadership in having solidarity with those opposition leaders, those workers, those human rights workers in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa who are being oppressed by the Mugabe government.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response, Gerald Horne?

GERALD HORNE: Well I think there is very much to recommend with what Horace Campbell said. As a taxpayer to this government here in Washington, my first approach must be this regime of George W. Bush. And I think we have to question the hypocrisy of George Bush who has engaged in questionable elections in Florida and Ohio, questioning the legitimacy of the elections in Zimbabwe. More than that, if the situation in Zimbabwe is so terrible, and I agree it is, why is it that the Bush administration continues to send undocumented Zimbabwe workers back to Zimbabwe?

There's been talk about a so- called genocide unfolding in Zimbabwe, yet, you see the Gordon Brown administration in London not giving asylum to Zimbabwe workers who are exiled now in London. We talk about the Mugabe regime, but just the other day it was revealed that Anglo American, the major transnational corporation with close South African ties and headquarters in London, is about to make a $400 million investment in Zimbabwe. Barclay's bank is in Zimbabwe. Rio Tinto-Zinc, the major mineral conglomerate is in Zimbabwe. It seems to me in the first place, we in the North Atlantic should be focusing on these kinds of contradictions that we can affect and as the African National Congress has said, leave Zimbabwe to the Zimbabwean people themselves.

AMY GOODMAN: We're going to go to a break and we'll come back to this discussion. Our guests in Washington, Professor. Gerald Horne, Professor of African Studies at the University of Houston, he has lived in Zimbabwe, Professor Horace Campbell also joins us, professor of African- American studies at Syracuse University. We will be back with them both in a moment.

AMY GOODMAN: This is democracy Now!, DemocracyNow, the war and peace report. We're talking about Zimbabwe. Professor Gerald Horne of the University of Houston is in Washington, Professor Horace Campbell of African American Studies and Political Science of Syracuse University is speaking to us from Syracuse. If you could respond, Professor Campbell, to what Gerald Horne said before the break.

HORACE CAMPBELL: Yes, I want to reiterate a point that any kind of political work we do on Zimbabwe should assist us in educating our people here so that when the Zimbabwe political leadership represents itself to say that it is being persecuted because it expropriated the land of the former white settlers, we have to interrogate what did the expropriation of the land mean for the millions of Zimbabweans workers, small farmers. It is very clear that the Zimbabwean people needed to reclaim the land from the white settlers. But the Mugabe government, when he was receiving his knighthood from the British government, never negotiated about the land because throughout the period from 1980- 1992, Zimbabwe had the legal powers to be able to set in motion the possibilities for strengthening the working peoples, the farm workers, the women, the plantation and agricultural workers.

And when we speak about land, we must understand that whether the land is owned by white farmers are black farmers, the fundamental productivity on the land emanates from the labor of the working people-working people. So our task is how is it we defend the working people of Zimbabwe? The hundreds of thousands of workers who live on the conditions of wretchedness, who have been exploited by the black capitalist farmers, who are in the Zimbabwean government just as the whites have done. So any kind of transition in Zimbabwe must involve strengthening the rights of the workers, the women, and the use in Zimbabwe.

I think that what Gerald said should throw away all of the talk about Mugabe being against imperialism because it was very clear that Anglo-American, Barclay Bank, and Rio-Tinto and diamond dealers have made billions of dollars while Mugabe was talking about the land. And what we're calling for is for any transitional period in Zimbabwe to be one where there is intervention by the African Union so that the billions that have been carried out by the ruling elements in Zimbabwe, that we do not have them carried out repression of the workers with impunity and then stealing the money as they have done the past 8-10 years.

JUAN GONZALES: Gerald Horne, I'd like to ask you. Obviously Mugabe has been an icon and a hero, a giant in terms of the liberation movements in Africa for decades. But your sense now, do you believe that he still represents any forces for progress in Africa or has he gradually transformed himself into a dictator?

GERALD HORNE: Well, I think that president Mugabe is a force to be reckoned with in Zimbabwe. And I agree with those leaders in the region who feel that he and his party must be contented with if there is to be a settlement of this controversy in Zimbabwe. I should also say that with regard to professor Campbell, I'm here not to carry a brief on OPS, but they have argued they did not move on land reform before 1994, i.e. the date of the South African elections, so as not to unsettle the situation in neighboring South Africa, which of course has outstanding land claims of its own.

We all know there are more white farmers killed in South Africa than have been killed in Zimbabwe. And likewise, there are outstanding land claims in neighboring Namibia as well. I think it's understandable why there has been a focus on on Zanu PF, but standing in the wings of the opposition of the MDC and sadly, unfortunately, there has not been considerable focus on them such as their leaders, Roy Bennet, a top leader, a former major land owner in Zimbabwe who of course throttled an African leader on the floor of the Zimbabweans parliament-I would of thought that kind of behavior would have ended in independence in 1980.

You have other leading Rhodesians in the leadership of MDC. One thing that worries many of us is that if MDC does come to power, there will be a split and quite frankly, they will pave the way for the rise of certain retrograde elements like Roy Bennet come back into power. In some ways, MDC, a trade union-led movement, is akin to solidarity in Poland which of course paved the way for the present right wing in Poland to come to power in Warsaw. So we have to be careful when we try to butt in to the internal affairs of a sovereign state. I think our energies would be best served by putting pressure on this government here in Washington and its comical sidekick in London.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Horace Campbell?

HORACE CAMPBELL: The intellectual subservience of the MDC and the leadership ofthe MDC is clear to most workers in Southern Africa. But this point in the history of Zimbabwe, the MDC doesn't have political power. The social forces that are organized in Zimbabwe against the government have thrown their weight behind the MDC at the present moment. The Women of Zimbabwe rise, these are independent organizations, Padari, the workers, agricultural and plantation workers. I do not think-we do not have the right to say to the Zimbabwean workers that your under oppression and therefore, we should decide for you because of the history of Mugabe's relationship to the liberation movement, 28 years ago, then we should be saying to you what your choices should be.

In Southern Africa, the Congress of South African Trade Union movement has called for a blockade of the Zimbabwean government and is the Zimbabwe leadership and the Congress of South African Trade Union which is the largest trade union movement in Southern Africa is a movement which is calling for the isolation of Mugabe government. What we agree with Gerald is on as the falling-the land question in Southern Africa is an urgent question in the media, in south Africa, and in Zimbabwe. But having said that, we must learn lessons from Zimbabwe. To say that when land has been reclaimed it should not be reclaimed for rich, black farmers to replace white farmers. Land when it is being reclaimed in South Africa or in Nambia should be reclaimed in a condition where there is health and safety conditions for the working people's.

So yes, we should take lessons from Zimbabwe and we should introduce new politics in Southern Africa that is coming out of the politics of reconciliation. That no concept of victory should be victory which gives power to one group over another there should be ways in which the transition towards a new political dispersion-in south Africa it is one that strengthens the producing classes, the small workers, farmers, students.

And these are the forces that have been repressed, brutalized, the trade union leaders that are in jail right now in Zimbabwe should be released. Opposition leaders should be released. Women should be released. Human rights workers should be released.

So that yes, we can criticize the leadership of the MDC and I have done so in my writing, in my book, Reclaiming Zimbabwe but the government of Zimbabwe must now arise in a situation where we provide leadership in a condition where 80% of the people are unemployed, where women have been persecuted as prostitutes when a walk on the streets. Were homosexuals have been called pigs and dogs and where men go around trying to have sexual relations with young virgins saying this would prevent HIV/AIDS.

We need a new political leadership to go against this kind of backwardness that came out of the kind of patriotic leadership that we had for the past 28 years.

AMY GOODMAN: We wanted to bring South African archbishop Desmond Tutu into this. He also came out forcefully against the violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe speaking in Cape Town Tuesday, who warned Mugabe should bend to international pressure or could risk facing universal sanctions and could risk facing an international criminal court.

TUTU: We are seeing a country not just steadily, but rapidly going down into chaos. The international community should, I believe, had intervened long ago when some of us appeared for a peacekeeping force, to ensure that people who are not intimidated, people are not attacked. And that the conditions for a free and fair election would then have been sustained. Now, I think obviously the effort should continue where we are hoping against hope that good sense might get to prevail and that Mr.Mugabe would agree that really his time is up. It's 20 years or more that he has been head of state. I think they've got to tell him he still less the chance-if he continues and everyone decides to grant his administration illegitimate, then he stands a very very good chance of being arraigned before the ICC for human rights violations.

AMY GOODMAN: Archbishop Desmond Tutu Gerald Horne, your response both to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Horace Campbell.

GERALD HORNE: Well obviously we have enormous respect for Archbishop Desmond Tutu. But I must return to the question that should occupy us in the North Atlantic. Which is why is it the Zimbabwe gets so much focus and attention on this side of the Atlantic when Paul Biya, the leader of Cameron a few weeks ago basically named himself President for life and it barely registers a blip? Similar situation unfolding in Uganda with Yoweri Museveni. I think part of the reason, not only the race and racism question, there's also the question that many of the former Rhodesian have kith and kin on the side of the Atlantic. The spouse of Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State. The spouse of Chester Crocker, the former assistant Secretary of State for Africa under the Reagan administration. Even some distant relatives of George Washington for whom the city of which I'm sitting is named.

Ian Smith, the former Rhodesian leader of course has relatives in San Diego. There were hundreds if not thousands of white mercenaries who flocked to Rhodesia in the 1970's and 1980's to fight against liberation of that particular country. And it befuddles and baffles me why this kind of basic historical background is not integrated into the conversation, integrated into the discourse on Zimbabwe. I think it gives a very bad impression on the African continent which leads many Africans to consider their only focus on the North Atlantic is on Zimbabwe because there is a white minority and that perhaps explains to why there has been such a lethargy in responding to some of the human rights violations that are unfolding in Zimbabwe. And until that kind of situation is rectified, I dare say there will continue to be an uncivil situation in Zimbabwe.

JUAN GONZALES: Gerald, all that being true and we clearly recognize that disparity in approach and coverage, back in 2005, there were massive forced relocations of hundreds of thousands of people by the Mugabe government that really stunned people, even here in a progressive community of the United States who have supported Mugabe and the past. Your response to those relocations and again to the issue of whether the government has increasingly become iron handed and dictatorial in dealing with its own people?

GERALD HORNE: Well, those dislocations were tragic and unfortunate. I know about them because I hail from St. Louis, Missouri. And of course it used to be said, with regard to that city and many other cities, that urban renewal meant negro removal. That kind of situation is not unique to Zimbabwe. In Senegal as we speak, there's been tens of thousands of Africans who have been displaced because of a civil conflict that reaches back 25 years. It has barely registered a blip on the international press screen. So yes, those situations that are referred to in Zimbabwe are quite tragic and they need to be criticized as well as other analogous situations. And when those analogous situations are not criticized, it basically provides fodder for those who would like to downplay the situation in Zimbabwe.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Horace Campbell, we just have about 30 seconds, your response and your summary?

HORACE CAMPBELL: My response is that the government of Senegal, the government of Cameroon does not represent itself as a liberation government. The
Zimbabwean government is very aware of the racism that exists in North America. And it is exploiting that racism and the antiracist sentiment among Africans in the west in order to legitimize its repression on the people. The government of Zimbabwe at this moment is illegitimate we must avoid war at all costs. Mugabe says only god can remove him and he will go to war. At present, he is at war with the Zimbabwe people and we must end the silence in the progressive and pan-African community against this type of manipulation and repression in the name of liberation.

AMY GOODMAN: We will leave it there. Professor Horace Campbell of Syracuse University and Professor Gerald Horne of Houston University, thank you for joining us. That does it for today's show, if you want a copy of the show go to DemocracyNow.

Source: BlackAgendaReport

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Response

Horne is extremely meticulous.  Probably the best Marxist scholar currently on the Pan-African scene.   No question about his seriousness and competency.  He has immersed himself in archival work and brought many hidden facts to light.  He is not a huckster, nor a vacant "public intellectual," but a good old-fashioned Marxist, and thoroughly deserving of his Distinguished Professorship at Houston.  I found this interview at the following link.  http://www.kintespace.com/rasx36.html    You will find a picture of this serious brother at http://vi.uh.edu/faculty/profiles/horne.html

I have been to Zimbabwe only once, and that was almost a quarter of a century ago.  In my view, Mugabe is both a villain and a fool, but Horne's points deserve consideration. There was an inflammatory and unfair editorial about African politics in The New York Times July 1, 2006 by Nicholas D. Kristof, If Only Mugabe Were White.  Has Kristof forgotten the intervention by Tanzania in Uganda, the restoration of Obote, and the unanticipated tragic sequel?  

I know Horace Campbell.   He was one of the most steadfast opponents of Idi Amin, having visited Uganda at the time and witnessed the situation with horror.   Can you give me the link for Horace's article? Thanks for the work you are doing here.  You too Rudy deserve credit for having raised necessary questions about the Zimbabwe situation.—Wilson

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Scaling the summit—"There can be no development without peace and no advancement without stability," warned Mubarak in his opening speech. . . . The presence of the recently re-elected Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe took some Western observers by surprise. Mugabe entered the conference accompanied by the host President Mubarak and Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwetwe, current chairman of the AU. That Mugabe was flanked by Mubarak and Kikwetwe lent the Zimbabwean president a semblance of credibility, though one soon dissipated by what followed. Mugabe at one point physically accosted a British journalist.

It was astonishing to see the sprightly 86-year-old Zimbabwean potentate push his way through the crowd of clamouring journalists. He clearly has no time for newspapermen, and was not about to waste any time on them. He stormed out of the meeting without batting an eyelid or uttering a word.

However, the final communiqué of the AU summit did urge political opponents in Zimbabwe to create a government of national unity. The resolution also called for dialogue between the Zimbabwean protagonists following the 27 June run-off polls in which Mugabe was re- elected unopposed. The opposition, however, have declared that they would only comply with the AU resolution if President Mugabe demilitarises his party's institutions and a new constitution promulgated.

Mugabe had flown to Egypt after a hasty swearing-in ceremony in the Zimbabwean capital Harare. He had vowed that only God could oust him from power and if his recent actions are anything to judge by he has no doubt whatsoever that God is on his side in Mugabe's self- proclaimed battle to ensure Zimbabwe is no neo- colonial appendage of the West.

African criticism of Mugabe has been muted, with none of the African leaders in Sharm El-Sheikh speaking openly against him. His most vociferous African critics, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, suffered a stroke after attending a NEPAD meeting on the sidelines of the AU Sharm El-Sheikh summit. He was rushed to hospital. His aides have assured other leaders that his condition is stable. . . . The Southern African Development Community (SADC), of which Zimbabwe is a member, delegated South African President Thabo Mbeki to act as mediator for Zimbabwe. And even though some African politicians, such as Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, have urged the AU to suspend Zimbabwe under Mugabe, the overwhelming majority of African leaders were careful not to offend. The Zimbabwean president was treated with kid gloves. Tanzanian President Kikwetwe, speaking in Kiswahili, avoided direct criticism of Mugabe. . . .

Thokozani Khupe, vice-president of the Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), flew to Sharm El-Sheikh to protest against the presence of Mugabe but she was barred from entering the conference centre. "The continent cannot ignore the crisis in Zimbabwe even if Egyptian television can," remarked the BBC. "Africa must fully shoulder its responsibilities and do everything in its power to help the Zimbabwean parties to work together to help overcome their country's problems," ventured AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping, a Gabonese national.  WeeklyAhram

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[I]n Zimbabwe it is the British and US armed, funded, and trained "opposition" forces that are refusing to dialogue with the government of Zimbabwe on African terms, and yet are being presented by the British and US politicians, press and media as the victims. Simultaneous to the Anglican bishops Tutu and the other one are calling for British armed invasion of Zimbabwe, the British MDC agent are demanding that the government violate the constitutional rule of law and that Zanu-Pf "demilitarise" its party cadres—one is reminded that the Iraqi government demilitarized, and doing so opened their country to invasion and occupation.

In the case of Thokozani Khupe, BBC has openly become the mouthpiece of MDC. Or rather, more correctly stated the reverse, MDC is the mouthpiece of the British government, as is BBC.

It is interesting how European and American concerns become the agenda of an AU Summit. When the European are concerned with Sudan, Sudan is the top of the AU agenda, when it is Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe is the top issue. The wars in Algeria, Congo and Somalia are not singled out - for instance because through the Congo wars the transnationals are gobbling up Congo natural resources, the war in Algeria is waged on behalf of the US against an elected government that was forced to take up warfare. Somalia is relegated out of sight, as US imperialisms' Ethiopian lackey troops and quisling warlords gangs are turning the sands blood red.—Lil Joe

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The African Union is clearly the presidents-for-life club. They cannot condemn Mugabe because to do so would condemn themselves. Shall Bongo rule Gabon for eternity—shall Pharaoh Mubarak crown his son to continue his reign of terror with western support until his regime is finally overthrown by the Muslim Brotherhood? Nothing of peace shall come to Darfur until the AU's connection with the Arab League is disengaged—yet this will not happen since the Africans and Arabs both suck the West's behind while the masses continue their suffering, wallowing in poverty, ignorance and disease, all the while rich in natural resources that are raped from their lands by the West and her African sycophants.Marvin X

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Bro. Marvin,

Term limits do not necessarily reflect power. The Queen of England is on the throne for life, but she is impotent because Parliament governs the country. The Supreme Court, on the other hand, serve for life and exercise enormous power, often rendering changes that impact the lifestyle of Americans. Ex. Roe vs Wade, Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka.

You are correct in saying that the West is a prominent component in Africa's problems and Zimbabwe's in particular.  It is the West that is raping the continent of Africa, African "sycophants,"  as you call them don't get nearly what Western companies make in profit of African resources.

You are sadly mistaken if you think that ousting Mugabe is the agenda of the US and Britain. When apartheid was oppressing southern Africa, kicking Botha out of office was not the agenda, but, dismantling apartheid.  Like wise, getting Mugabe out of office is not the agenda, but, dismantling the land reform program, the Zimbabwean Constitution and enabling the land and resource to return to the hands of agribusinesses and western corporations.

There is much more to be said... but do you see my points, thus far? Your thoughts?—Adaoma

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Of course, the African sycophants receive crumbs for the rape of their lands, sometimes the crumbs are in the billions (ANC billionaires!). Imagine the suffering of Mandela and the masses to end apartheid, only to open the box of black apartheid under the reactionary Mbeki—or Zimbabwe under the revolutionary man of the hour, Mugabe. Why did he wait twenty years to institute land reform? How much land reform has occurred in South Africa since the end of apartheid? What irony to hold the AU summit in Egypt, the land of Pharaoh Mubarak, who is working with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the USA to keep Iraq destabilized while they plan an attack on Iran to halt the rise of Shia Islam. Remember that old devil Rumsfeld, "There will not be a Shia goverment in Iraq!" The USA has armed 80,000 Sunnis to challenge the Shia gov.—Marvin X

Horace Campbell. Reclaiming Zimbabwe: The Exhaustion of the Patriarchal Model of Liberation (2003)

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Launching the Pedagogical History of Africa Project in Harare yesterday [5 September 2011] , President Mugabe said . . . "The history that must be written by our African scholars and academics here is the history that focuses on African people in struggle as creators of their own destiny rather than mere consumers of stories written about them by passive on-lookers who oftentimes happen to be non-African outsiders . . . . Real history belongs to a people in struggle and not to the interpreters of history. The people themselves are the makers of history and therefore the real historians. The interpreters are mere raconteurs of history and not the actual history-makers as is often wrongly implied . . . Only this way can we avoid history written by colonialists as 'winners'. Our real winners are the people, whose real history or struggle the so-called winners would like to distort and suppress . . . You cannot be a historian of African people if you do not share their cry or their laughter. No. The African sensibility, reflected in African culture and worldview, is the only accurate compass to guide a historian who is genuine about writing African history. . . . Slavery and colonisation do not themselves constitute African history. They disrupt and falsify the trajectory of African history. They dehumanise Africans to fit into the scheme of European capital. The ideology of racism is created as a parallel process to rationalise the oppression of Africans. . . . I need not stress that it is imperative to edify educational systems, which embody the African and universal values so as to ensure the rooting of youth in African culture in the context of a sustainable and participatory development. This way we continue to foster the spirit of unity in Africa as embodied in the African Unity Charter”AllAfrica

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Revolutions are not decided by elections—Lessons from the ongoing electoral processes in EgyptHorace Campbell—31 May 2012—The Egyptian election results have shown that the state of the forces of repression must be dismantled before elections can have meaning. Experiences from Zimbabwe, Kenya and Uganda have pointed to the reality that progressives cannot hope to make real changes within an electoral system that reinforces neoliberal economics and low intensity democracy. The people in Egypt had revolted against unemployment, hunger, homelessness, police brutality, poverty and the alliance of the military with the United States and Israel. The Western media is blaming low turnout in the first round by saying that about 46 percent of Egypt’s approximately 50 million eligible voters turned out for the election. This is not the entire story. The real story is that the question of the restructuring of the Egyptian economy and the dismantling of the repressive military structures were not before the people. Religious leaders cannot depend on religion to solve the social questions of the peoples. Neither of the two candidates, Mohamed Morsi or Ahmed Shafiq, can claim to represents the interests of those who had gathered in Tahrir Square calling for a new regime.

The Western media reported the comment of one campaigner, Atef Ezz El-Din: “This just means that the revolution continues. Either we make it happen or we all die." Atef Ezz El-Din was reflecting a long held maxim; revolutions are not decided by elections. Pambazuka

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#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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My First Coup d'Etat

And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa

By John Dramani Mahama

Though the colonies of sub-Saharan Africa began to claim independence in the late 1950s and ’60s, autocratic and capricious leadership soon caused initial hope to fade, and Africa descended into its “lost decades,” a period of stagnation and despondency from which much of the continent has yet to recover. Mahama, vice president of the Republic of Ghana, grew up alongside his nascent country and experienced this roller-coaster of fortunes. In this memoir, Mahama, the son of a member of parliament, recounts how affairs of state became real in his young mind on the day in 1966 when no one came to collect him from boarding school—the government had been overthrown, his father arrested, and his house confiscated. In fluid, unpretentious style, Mahama unspools Ghana’s recent history via entertaining and enlightening personal anecdotes: spying on his uncle impersonating a deity in order to cajole offerings of soup from the villagers hints at the power of religion; discussions with his schoolmates about confronting a bully form the nucleus of his political awakening.

As he writes: “The key to Africa’s survival has always been . . . in the story of its people, the paradoxical simplicity and complexity of our lives.” The book draws to a close as the author’s professional life begins. Publishers Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . .

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Let Freedom Ring:  A Collection of Documents

from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners

By Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Matt Meyer

Within every society there are people who, at great personal risk and sacrifice, stand up and fight for the most marginalized among us. We call these people of courage, spirit and love, our heroes and heroines. This book is the story of the ones in our midst. It is the story of the best we are.—Asha Bandele, poet and author of The Prisoner's Wife

As a convicted felon, I have been prevented from visiting many people in prison today. But none of us should be stopped from the vital work of prison abolition and freeing the many who the U.S. holds for political reasons. Let Freedom Ring helps make their voices heard, and presents strategies to help win their release.—
Daniel Berrigan SJ, former Plowshares political prisoner and member of the FBI Top Ten Wanted List.

Contributors include Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dan Berger, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, Bob Lederer, Terry Bisson, Laura Whitehorn, Safiya Bukhari, The San Francisco 8, Angela Davis, Bo Brown, Bill Dunne, Jalil Muntaqim, Susie Day, Luis Nieves Falcon, Ninotchka Rosca, Meg Starr, Assata Shakur, Jill Soffiyah Elijah, Jan Susler, Chrystos, Jose Lopez, Leonard Peltier, Marilyn Buck, and many more.

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered.

Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. Jamie Byng, Guardian

Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)  / Gil Scott-Heron & His Music  Gil Scott Heron Blue Collar  Remember Gil Scott- Heron  

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


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Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

posted 4 July 2008

 

 

 

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