Malcolm X Birthday and Zimbabwe
by, 05-19-2008 at 03:44 PM (734 Views)
Malcolm X Birthday and Zimbabwe
Today, May 19, is the anniversary of Malcolm X’s birth. I like to say that we should commemorate martyrs and revolutionaries on their death anniversary, because we didn’t kno what they would be when they were born, but we kno them by the time they die. Yet Malcolm X was such a dynamic individual and thinker who struggled with his every fiber to connect with people, particularly African people, but mostly all people, that folks ought to celebrate his birthday, not just commemorate it.
Malcolm, before he died, had risen to the status of an African Internationalist. He was the first in America to analyze how Imperialism overthrew Patrice Lumumba and democracy in the Congo. He also traveled to Ghana and other African countries to declare his unity with the Kwame Nkrumah’s Pan African ideal.
Malcolm defended African people, not abstractions like democracy nor constitutional fiction like the Voting Rights Act. One of the most reproduced photos of Malcolm X shows him peering out of a window while holding a pump shotgun.
The gun, white folks came to say in the Wild West, made all men equal.
It was the gun which liberated Southern Africa. The gun redefined relationships if it has not as yet redrawn boundaries. The gun set Africans free from the apartheid of Rhodesia, Southwest Africa and South Africa. It set black folks free from Portuguese colonialism in Angola and Mozambique. Now they want Africans to put down the gun, starting in Zimbabwe. The place where America’s racist commentators ridiculed its very name upon its independence, saying Africans were too stupid to build stone masonry structures, such as we made at old Dzimbabwe.
Malcolm X On African-American History presents a photo of pyramids in Nubia, so old they are crumbling into dust. Malcolm didn’t play. Malcolm was thoro.
And we are going to remain thoro, we are going to continue in his tradition, because he is not just an ancestor, he is a revolutionary martyr. We do this, in part, by showing our unconditional support for Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF and President Robert Mugabe. We don’t have a black president, a black political party or even a black country. Zimbabwe is a BLACK country. We must not permit it to go back to colonialism. We must not allow the Imperialists to have it. Zimbabwe must remain ours. It is the closest thing we have to a revolutionary center.
You think that I may be exaggerating, but COSATU is the largest trade union movement in all of Africa. COSATU has been reported as opposing the post-election ZANU stance in Zimbabwe. Western media have stated that ZANU has refused to off load weapons shipped thru Cape Town destined for Harare. That may be true, it may be total fabrication. But the COSATU Daily News reported that pro-ZANU solidarity marches would be held by trade unions in South Africa. The following is a 2001 statement made by Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of COSATU:
“The history of Zimbabwe has deep personal meaning for me and many activist of my generation. When Zimbabwe was liberated in 1980 and ZANU installed as the new governing party I was a young activist in the Eastern Cape. The liberation of Zimbabwe was a source of inspiration to me and many others - it inspired us to double our efforts to defeat apartheid. More importantly the wave of decolonisation that swept through Africa particularly the liberation of Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe proved to us that the enemy could be defeated. The liberation of Zimbabwe also dramatically altered the balance of power in the region and denied the then apartheid regime an erstwhile partner in the form of Ian Smith and opened a new front for the South African liberation movement.
“Due to the historical ties between ZANU-PF and the South African liberation movement, COSATU instinctively is biased towards ZANU. The leadership of ZANU and FRELIMO defied the apartheid government by openly supporting the liberation movement. We owe our liberation to the sacrifices that were made by these governments. It is no secret that South Africa destabilised these countries and its western allies also ostracised these progressive governments. Zimbabwe paid a heavy price for supporting the liberation movement - sanctions, economic exclusion and sabotage, and direct military attacks. All these actions were taken to intimidate the leadership of these countries to withdraw their support for the ANC but admirably stood their ground. Against this background, I am jealous about the direction and future of Zimbabwe and the rest of the region.”
I felt ostracized after writing a series of articles defending Zimbabwe, over what was viewed even by my comrades as an attack on Bill Fletcher over this issue, but it is healthy to recognize the splits in what we consider the Black Liberation Movement. That is the only way to begin the healing. Besides, I have come across a great deal of support for the position I have taken; rather, I should say, all Pan Africans and African Internationalists appear to share principled unity on this position. That has healed my wounds.
I admit writing some harsh words, but don't apologize for them. Casualties in the war of words are nothing compared to casualties caught up in the Imperialist firefights raging thru out the African world.
Zimbabwe is the second most important location on the continent at this time, after Darfur. Wafawarova was the first person I came across who had a similar position, but I was unsure what the author was trying to say with the Mid East, Iraq-Iran metaphor, and have some problems with his presentation there. It became a bit confusing.
However he says, “Zimbabwe has a history of military supremacy in the region. They played major roles in stopping Angola’s Jonasi [sic] Savimbi, defeating Mozambique’s Renamo and also in stopping the overthrow of Laurent Kabila of the DRC in 1998.” I cannot confirm that Zimbabwean military forces participated in Angola; otherwise that statement tells the story. It lays the basis for Imperialism seeking to bring Zimbabwe to her knees. Plus Wafawarova made accurate observations about Tsvangirai, who will no doubt transform Zimbabwe into a camp for Imperialism.
That is why, one burning reason, the Black Liberation Movement, in the United States as such, needs to develop a strategy for providing mutual aid to Zimbabwe thru its revolutionary forces. Africans can do this similar to the way that churches conduct mission work. Black folks can out hustle the government, if not out finance it, to the greater good of African people. It is not that ambitious, in that it is realistically attainable, and will do wonders for rebuilding the credibility of a semi-bankrupt sector in our community. We have to resurrect the notion and the reality of Black Political Power in America. Long Live Malcolm X! Long Live Zimbabwe!
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