THE REPARATIONS MOVEMENT AND THE ROAD AHEAD

By Dr. Conrad W. Worril (September 2, 2002)

 

 

            One of the salient indicators of the impact of the African in America Movement, on any given issue addressed by this movement, is when members of the press, particularly the white owned press, and other forces in opposition to the issue, begin to attack and criticize the movement.

            There is no question that the rising Reparations Movement in America is having a profound impact on the question of race and what they call race relations in America.

            The recently held Millions For Reparations Mass Rally in Washington, D. C. on August 17, 2002 and attended by more than 50,000 African in Americans throughout the United States has caused quite a stir as evidenced by newspaper columnists, talk radio, and radio & television commentaries.

            Most of the criticisms of the Millions For Reparations Mass Rally, and the growing Reparations Movement, have nothing to do with African people in America’s just right to struggle for self-determination, independence, justice, and equality.

            Most of the attacks and criticisms center around the maintenance and justification of the past and current injustices, racism, and white supremacy in the American society and its institutions.

            Now that the United Nations, through its World Conference Against Racism that was held in Durban, South Africa last summer, has declared that the “Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery and Colonialism were Crimes Against Humanity and that Reparations were owed to the African continent and African people in the Diaspora,” the machinery of disruption in America is working overtime to dilute the victory of the worldwide African Reparations Movement’s success in Durban.

            Part of the Reparations Movement’s success, in Durban, manifested itself on August 17th and must continue to manifest itself as we continue to organize in the Reparations Movement throughout America in our local areas.

            In the “Road Ahead” we have much work to do in our efforts to continue to expand, educate, and involve the masses of African people in the Reparations Movement.

            The spirit and momentum generated from the Millions For Reparations Rally should aid the Reparations Movement to intensify our organizing work. The December 12th Movement, one of the organizers of the August 17th Rally, distributed a document that, in part, focused on the “Road Ahead.” In reading and studying this document, the National Black United Front, one of the other organizers of the Rally, agree with the suggestions by the December 12th Movement for the Road Ahead. The following are excerpts from the December 12th Movement’s document.

            “We are An African People.

It is precisely because of our lack of historical foundation in our true identity and history, good and bad, tragedy and triumphs that we are so often deceived by the actual depravity of this foreign Trans Euro American culture, and its economic terrorism. A terror, which lashed us to their ships in launching the greatest crime ever against humanity— The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. The Reparations Movement must not only mobilize the masses of our people to regain our stolen wealth to its rightful heirs, but the mobilization must be in sync with a  profound cultural reclamation. And be clear, we are talking about a process deeper than expressions of mere ornaments, clothes, African handshakes, and phrases. The reclamation must lift up at its heart the African worker, the living engine propelling our people to our greatest heights, and whose backs have borne our greatest burdens.

            Youth Program of Action.

Young people must be actively involved in making reparations a reality in our lives. For years our cultural and intellectual properties have not only been stolen from us but also used to destabilize and miseducate us. Companies like Sony and Time Warner have profited off the destruction and miseducation of our children.

            When we become conscious of this, we must use the tactic of smart sanctions on such companies to reclaim the millions of dollars stolen from us to rebuild and reestablish our culture, reeducate our children and own all of our cultural property.

 

            Community.

            Local communities must unleash their initiative in educating and popularizing reparations. We must return to our communities and hold meetings and rallies in our churches, at our jobs, in our unions, schools, clubs, and colleges. We must develop songs, poems, raps, and slogans, posters, buttons, websites, e-mail lists, hats, t-shirts to spread the word. We must raise funds to support all aspects of the work for reparations.

            Legislative.

            There must be a demand for Federal, State, City, and Local resolutions addressing reparations. Support for reparations must become a part of the political platform for anyone seeking our electoral vote. We must organize petition drives and letter writing campaigns.

            Legal.

            We must support and become a part of the legal actions seeking reparations from governments and companies who profited and benefited from the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and slaver.

            International.

            We must develop a campaign that will bring the U. S. before the International Court of Justice for its human rights violations against African people within its borders.”

            The Road Ahead in the Reparations Movement  in challenging but in the name of our ancestors, we must continue to be vigilant in our work. If  you want the December 12th Movement document in its entirety contact our office. Remember, “They Owe Us!”

 
National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)


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