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Self-Determination and Nationalism Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Conrad W. Worrill, PhD   
Friday, 09 November 2007

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Dr. Conrad W. Worrill, PhD
In order for the African Community in the United States of America to continue our fight for self-determination and dignity, it is important that we remind ourselves of the nature of the American dynamic.

Essentially, and at the foundation of the American-European dynamic, is the fact that it is made up of many nations who migrated to this country and continued to fight for, and develop their national interest, inside this country. At the same time they maintained their economic, political, cultural, and social relationships with their country of origin.

We can witness this phenomenon on a daily basis by just taking a quick glance at the national / ethnic group practices and beliefs of the Jews, Poles, Irish, Italians, Germans, Swedes, Greeks, French, etc., and how they have consolidated their political and economic power in America. They have all done this through their nationalistic unity on the fundamental life-giving and life-sustaining issues that affect their interests.

In other words, they have maintained a strong sense of where they came from, who they are, and where they are going. This formula has been at the heart of their historical efforts to acquire power in America. We can observe this same trend among the Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Jordanians, and Palestinians, who are the new national / ethnic groups in America. In fact, the Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and other Spanish speaking national / ethnic groups are following this same pattern. They are fighting for nationalism in America without calling it that.

When African in American people talk about nationalism, we are often charged with being racist or anti-white. However, the historical record demonstrates clearly that nationalism has been the primary method by which every national / ethnic group has achieved and maintained power.

Harold Cruse describes this dilemma of the African in American Community, in this country, in his most profound analysis of our movement in his book, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Historical Analysis of the Failure of Black Leadership (New York Review Books Classics). Cruse framed the American dynamic in this manner when he said, “On the face of it, this dilemma rests on the fact that America, which idealizes the rights of the individual above everything else, in reality, is a nation dominated by the social power of groups, classes, in-groups, and cliques — both ethnic and religious.”

He goes on further to explain that, “The individual in America has few rights that are not backed up by the political, economic, and social power of one group or another.” Therefore, Cruse states, “the individual [Black person] has, proportionately, very few rights indeed because his ethnic group (whether or not he actually identifies with it) has very little political, economic, or social power (beyond moral grounds) to wield.”

It is so clear that every national/ethnic group understands their political, economic, and cultural interest. It is so natural for them to function in a nationalistic manner in their struggle to acquire and maintain power. The African Community in the United States of America has not fully conceptualized and reached a consensus on our nationalistic agenda. Many of us function as if we are scared of really acting out what we really know, for fear of being called racists.

We need to stop denying our own reality. Being called racists because we believe in, and will fight for, the interests of our race with undying loyalty should become the most honorable badge of courage in our community. We should get off this defensive “trip” when we fight for the interests of our people, African people, and some other national / ethnic group calls us racist. We should know by now that this is a tactic to sway us away from the path of acquiring power.

As the Houston Chapter of NBUF has proclaimed, “The great challenge put before African people is the lesson of history like the African proverb which says, ‘When the elephants fight, the ground gets trampled.’ Unfortunately, no matter who is fighting or not fighting, we seem to remain trampled or ‘specters at the feast’ on the world stage. We should unashamedly devote the majority of our time, energy, and resources opposing those things that impact us the most, beginning with the continuing war against us which began in 1455.”

It’s called nationalism! Let’s continue our nationalism by continuing to build the Reparations Movement in America.

  • BlackCommentator.com columnist Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National Chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF). Click here to contact Dr. Worrill.
  • Reprinted with permission from The Black Commentator.
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written by Thuso , November 10, 2007
This community was established with the primary purpose of "acting in our self-interests." Dr. Worrill underscores the necessity of this pursuit with these comments:

It is so clear that every national/ethnic group understands their political, economic, and cultural interest. It is so natural for them to function in a nationalistic manner in their struggle to acquire and maintain power. The African Community in the United States of America has not fully conceptualized and reached a consensus on our nationalistic agenda. Many of us function as if we are scared of really acting out what we really know, for fear of being called racists.

We need to stop denying our own reality. Being called racists because we believe in, and will fight for, the interests of our race with undying loyalty should become the most honorable badge of courage in our community. We should get off this defensive trip when we fight for the interests of our people, African people, and some other national / ethnic group calls us racist. We should know by now that this is a tactic to sway us away from the path of acquiring power.


I couldn't agree more.
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written by AndyClyde , November 12, 2007
It took me a minute to realize just who where talking about. I am very sorry to tell you that I am not African. My skin is dark and my mind is black but I am truly American.
I have been told by Africans that I am not African. My questions is....Why do we try so hard to claim a country that we are no longer a part of? We have endured so much pain to be a part of this country to just give it up because you so called scholars what to be reconized for writing a good essay. Write an essay on what it takes for a Black in America to make it. Follow in the foot steps of Richard Wright be a Native Son.

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written by samres , November 15, 2007
" took me a minute to realize just who where talking about. I am very sorry to tell you that I am not African. My skin is dark and my mind is black but I am truly American.
I have been told by Africans that I am not African. My questions is....Why do we try so hard to claim a country that we are no longer a part of? We have endured so much pain to be a part of this country to just give it up because you so called scholars what to be reconized for writing a good essay. Write an essay on what it takes for a Black in America to make it. Follow in the foot steps of Richard Wright be a Native Son.
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AndyClyde"

Mr. Clyde, I must disagree with you, with all due respect. There's several points you and others that believe as you need to realize.

1. Both continental Africans and Blacks in the U.S....which are ethnic Africans in a Eurocentric "America", have been taught that we Black Americans "are no longer part of" African ethnicity by the Eur-Asian rapers and pilagers of our ancestors. It's time to stop having the "American" (aka European) point of view on this...which is not rooted in reality.

Besides...those wayward continental Africans and the "African-Americans" that agree with them are really stating the following...

"Since masa raped and beat his culture into us, we are no longer family anymore because masa said so". Thus we proove our inferiority greater than any racist because we...both on and off the continent of Africa...aknowledge what "masa" told us.


2. Since we all know that Black skin makes one of African ancestry since time immemorial, to praphrase Malcolm X...just because you put Kittens in an oven doesn't mean you call them buiscuits.

Jews 2,000 years removed from Isreal and living in America know their Jewish, Irish people who can't speak a lick of Galic and 7 generations removed from Ireland here in the U.S.know their Irish. Thus, Africans in America, if they want to be Black anglo saxons... the general definition of "America"...let them live in falsehood. The rest must move forward.

3. We've indeed "endured so much pain" because we were forced to do so to enrich White Americans. Some of us wanted to leave America, some wanted to stay. This was the reality our ancestors lived in. Some of us who don't learn from history endures so much pain trying to hate everything about the positive points of our African culture, begging to be Black Anglo-Saxons...which showed unatural bahavor. However, your a*sumption that this means turn over our blood-soaked contribution to others...as in "give it all up"...is dead wrong. As you read in the above article, nationalism involves looking after your own self-interest and putting it above the exploitive desires of others.

In addition...where did the authors say that want to "give it all up" to Whites or any one else?...no where!

3. This essay shows what it takes for "a Black man in America to make it"...and it stated that several times. The above essay says to put our self-interest first...like the White, yellow, brown, and red Americans have done since time immemorial.

4.Richard Wright was a good man who with the exception of his autobiography, did not right any books, essays or articles on Black self-empowerment...which is "what it takes for a Black in America to make it".

Therefore, we can conclude then that the article on nationalism at least is points us toward the only type of organizing that a racists society respects.

Sam
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