BY DR. CONRAD W. WORRILL (October 2, 2001)

The recent airplane attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people has created a frenzy of super patriotism throughout America.

Many African people have joined the super patriotism bandwagon by displaying the flag of America on their cars, lapel pins, houses, in their offices and wherever else these flags of the red, white, and blue can be displayed.

History reveals that African people have fought in every war the United States has engaged in. There is no question about this fact of history. However, after each and every war including the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean (Conflict) War, the Viet Nam War, and the Gulf War, at the conclusion of these wars, the condition of African people in this country has remained fundamentally the same. This condition centers around the policies of the white supremacist and racist United States Government and its policies that negatively impact on African people in America.

This is most evident today in the Criminal Justice System and the Prison Industrial Complex that warehouses thousands of African men and women as the solution to the crime problems in America.

At this point, African people must be reminded of our history. African people in America were captured from Africa and brought to this hemisphere against our will. As the 1974, "Black Capital" article asserted, "Our introduction to the west in the form of a commodity raped from Africa to be used as labor, capital, chattel, and currency to build a nation for someone else."

Those African people who chose to display their loyalty and allegiance to America by displaying the United States Flag of red, white, and blue should remember that as the article in "Black Capital" explains, "our history tells us that we were below slaves and less than human. We were things who were traded for horses, our women used as breeders, and our children raised like chickens."

The "Black Capital" article pointed out that during the slavery process, "The level of our existence was based upon the skill and the will of those who owned us. They had the right to deem, that which was best for their property. Therefore, the profit motive and the skill of the slave master determined how this Black wealth would bring the highest return on his investment."

This is still at work today. Just examine the role of African people in the entertainment and sports industry. White people own and control these industries and use African people to, "... bring the highest return off their investment."

African people need a serious mental breakthrough, in terms of how we analyze our condition in America, as it relates to the question of being an American and being patriotic.

We must accept responsibility for answering this question as well as accepting responsibility for solving all the problems we face as a people. But in accepting responsibility for addressing the problems we face as an African people in America, we must listen to the wisdom of some of our revered ancestors.

In 1852, the great African thinker in America, Martin R. Delany, wrote one of the most important books that accurately described our condition at that moment in history and it is still applicable to our condition today. The title of the book is The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States.

Delany wrote, "Unfortunately for us a body, we have been taught that we must have some person to think for us, instead of thinking for ourselves. So accustomed are we to submission and this kind of training, that it is with difficulty, even among the most intelligent of the colored people, an audience may be elicited for any purpose whatever, if the expounder is to be colored..."

Further Delany wrote, "...and the introduction of a subject is treated with indifference, if not contempt, when the originator is a colored person. Indeed, the most ordinary white person, is almost revered while the most qualified colored person is totally neglected, nothing from them is appreciated."

In resolving the question of blind patriotism, we should reflect that for over three hundred years white people openly discussed African people as a problem (1600-1900). Today they still discuss us as a problem but the language is coded differently.

As Dr. Anderson Thompson has written on the discussions that white people have had on what they historically called the "Negro Problem," Dr. Thompson writes, "There is a duality in the story of western white man and his culture, which, paradoxically, is thrown into sharp relief wherever the Black man appears (or is dropped) on the scene." Dr. Thompson says, "Whenever or wherever the white man exists in proximity to the Blacks the Negro Question appears."

The idea of the Negro Question is discussed further when Dr. Thompson writes, "The Negro Question in Western society has been a perennial subject of endless international debates, actions, decisions, wars, riots, lynchings—all of which flow out of a recurring western dialogue: a conversation (for Europeans only) which for a long time took place between white men over what should be done with, about, or to the Blacks they found in their captured territories."

Concluding on this point, Dr. Thompson informs us, "The International Negro Question, or Nigger Question has, for the most part, been an integral part of European Civilization. Wherever in the world they existed...Europeans in proximity to the African, inevitably the question arose as to how (not why, nor whether) the Black man should be exploited or should be eliminated."

The real question for Africa people is when the new war being waged by America is over, will some African people in America still be blindly patriotic, or will they understand our interests as a people and pursue them in an organized manner, particularly as it relates to the question of reparations. That is, the repair of the historical and continuing damages inflicted on us!

The United Nations World Conference Against Racism declared that the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade was a Crime Against Humanity. Perhaps the greatest crime rendered in human history. Those African people who chose to be patriotic and display the American flag must not forget our interests or our condition will continue to remain the same.

National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)

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