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HomeNewsIf they come in the morning: Beyond the Black Lives Matter movement

If they come in the morning: Beyond the Black Lives Matter movement


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By Masilo Lepuru

In “An Open Letter to My Sister, Angela Y Davis”, James Baldwin stated that if racist America comes in the morning to take Angela Davis to the gas chamber, it will come for other ordinary African-Americans that night. In addition to this, Baldwin argued that ordinary African-Americans must fight for the life of Davis as if it were their own.

The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement dawned due to the deadly fact that racist America does not come only for famous African-Americans like Angela Davis and Assata Shakur and that it does not come only in the morning for them.

Racist America comes not just in the morning but even at night for black lives. What Baldwin failed to comprehend is that whites have been waging a race war against Africans since they emerged from their cold caves. The recent killing of Jayland Walker from Akron, Ohio is a spectacular example that racist America comes not just in the morning for black lives.

This racist “coming” of America is also symbolic of the historical fact that racist America was built on the back of black deaths caused by the deadly whites from Europe. It is in this sense that white settler colonialism which led to “the birth of the nation” in the form of racist America, eventuated in what Derrick Bell the founder of Critical Race Theory, designates the “permanence of racism”.

John Henrik Clarke once posited that “if you want to understand a nation you must go back to its founding moment, to establish who built it and for whom”. Racist America was built by white settler killers and for whites based on slavery and genocide.

It is this deadly (literally) history of whites and racist America which the liberal and multiracial Black Lives Matter movement fails to confront due to pervasive black fear to confront whites and win. Africans must learn to imagine the world without whites so that they will never come, not just in the morning.

This piece is about the constant death (sometimes spectacular) of blacks in racist America and black protest as a reaction thereof. Following Diop and his two-cradle theory we argue that the northern cradle which symbolises the culture and world view of whites since their formative stages as Caucasian barbarians to this day, is characterised by xenophobia and violence.

This so-called “prehistoric” xenophobia and violence of whites have continued to this day. The violence by whites is given theoretical pride of place by Afro-pessimism through the likes of Frank Wilderson.

According to Wilderson, this violence is gratuitous since blacks do not have to violate anything to constantly be its victims. Blacks are constantly killed because in terms of the anti-black collective unconscious, black deaths endow the human, the ontological opposite of the black as slave with psychic health. Ironically it is in this sense that “black deaths matter” for racist America and whites in general.

Because “black deaths matter” for the humans then black protest is a deadly exercise in futility. The appeal of “Justice for Jayland” and other blacks to racist America is based on the dangerous ignorance of the inherent racist culture of irredeemable whites not just in racist America as Cedric Robinson has demonstrated through the notion of racial capitalism.

In the “Tragedy of White Injustice”, Marcus Garvey argues among other things that the white man has a “big, long murder-list” since prehistoric times. It is this “big, long murder- list” that positions blacks at the top to be killed first but at the bottom ontologically as inferior.

In a speech titled “The Silent Murder That Eliminates” delivered on January 4, 1925, at Liberty Hall, Marcus Garvey argued among other things that “life is a never-ending conflict …Twentieth-century civilisation finds this fight and conflict most severe. From this fight and conflict individuals, races and nations too weak to hold their own are gradually eliminated …”. Garvey inaugurated the Universal Negro Improvement Association (Unia) so that Africans as a race and nation can hold their own and not perish at the hands of “modern” cavemen.

The fate of blacks in racist America depends on African power on the continent. At least three African countries on the African continent must possess nuclear and economic power to protect the lives of Africans anywhere in this white world. Once this happens as Garvey intended through the idea of an African powerful state on the continent, blacks in America will not have to say, “Black lives matter”.

After all it was the lynching of blacks in the 1920s in racist America which galvanised Garveyism’s battle-cry of Africa for the Africans. In this white world which must be destroyed no doubt about it, only power matters. Power precedes justice and rights. Once you have power you do not have to worry about justice and rights.


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