Civil rights, for those of us whose philosophy is black nationalism, means: “Give it to us now. Don’t wait for next year. Give it to us yesterday, and that’s not fast enough.”
In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon articulates “reason” as what the white world holds the black world to amidst anti-black adversity. Fanon writes: “During this period of decolonization the colonized are called upon to be reasonable. They are offered rock solid values, they are told in great detail that decolonization should not mean regression, that they must rely on values which have proved to be valuable and worthwhile” (8).
“During this period of decolonization the colonized are called upon to be reasonable. They are offered rock solid values, they are told in great detail that decolonization should not mean regression, that they must rely on values which have proved to be valuable and worthwhile.”The Wretched of the Earth, 8
This “reason” is perhaps best delineated in the term “peace” as aligned with a black response to anti-blackness. Media emphasis on peace illuminates a systemic spin that overlooks protests as the effect of a violent cause. Additionally, this emphasis underscores an expectation for blacks to remain within the chokehold of white supremacy.
This chokehold remains anchored in conflated ideas regarding radicalism. Specifically, to keep blacks within the confines of an anti-black space, an anti-black society regards protesting for inclusion within hegemonic parameters as radical. Labeling the plight for inclusion as radical enables inclusion to function as the desired destination simultaneously suggesting that there is no greater extreme than inclusion.
Though this praxis does not include the word “peace,” inclusion is peaceful and exists within the confines of a racist structure that prioritizes the African-adjacent by default. It is not radical if it feeds the flames ignited to burn you. Radicalizing inclusion functions to deflect from true radicalism.
Let us also consider the phrase “no justice no peace.” The phrase posits peace as contingent on justice. For those who “know” justice, know that it exists to ensure peace through anti-blackness. Thus, the linearity between justice and peace proves adversarial to the black collective by default. The phrase in itself delineates peace as within American reason, which is what can also be said about justice. Because “Justice” functions within reason, it is a concept that the black collective must run away from not toward.
To elucidate my point, let us consult history. The plight to acquire the right to vote resulted in an ambiguous law that enabled black men voting liberties as an effect but not an explicit articulation. This contemporary plight mirrors past performance which suggests that we may be in store for a similar result.
Reason engenders the black person to pursue ambiguous laws to which they attain liberties as an afterthought. In seeking to remedy racial injustice, we as a collective must remember that race exists globally to employ anti-black justice. Thus, we must pursue what lies beyond global race reasoning. Global race reasoning informs the pseudo radical donations to organizations like the NAACP and #blacklivesmatter.
So while we’ve tired of police violence, I think its also time we grow tired of empty gestures that abide by a reasoning counter-effective to our collective advancement. As Africans in America, and in a global context, we must evolve from anti-black race reasoning and pursue a talking point the global conversation has failed to engender: a nationalist agenda