[More on-line writings of Walter Rodney]
Walter Rodney speaking in May 1975, quoted in Walter Rodney Speaks, Africa World Press, 1990 p5. This is an interesting comment and analysis, exploring the situation and tension of the relationship to struggle of Black people in the 'west' and Black people in newly formally independent countries in Africa.
I think the relevance of this is that those involved actively in any way of the advocacy of the actual effective Global struggle taking place against white supremacy and imperialism in the South are even more important to the success of our struggle seeing that the 'west' has managed to co-opt wide swathes of our peoples within the west, and wider than that has corrupted our peoples in becoming on auto-pilot agents of the enemy amongst us.
The major change from what Rodney is saying below to now, is that the brothers and sisters in the west are no of the opinion the 'system is totally fraudulent', but that the system is being perpetuated but with a more 'assimilationist', more 'integrationist' cloak of even Brown and Black skin.
- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm
"Ironically, the black person in this society [in the usa] in many ways is the most advanced at a given level of perception, They have perceived that the system is essentially fraudulent. This is what the brothers and sisters here see, which many Africans and West Indians have not yet perceived. It is because we [West Indians and Africans] take the system too seriously, at its own evaluation, that we want to move up within it, and so there is that dedication to get there. However, brothers and sisters here in America perceive the sham of the system. They say, we're not into that at all. That's foolishness. That;s the white man's game. What really matters is to "make it" somehow. So better to hustle and "make it" than to fall into the trap of thinking that producing term papers will really make you a scholar.
This attitude has strength, but its weakness is that it fails to confront an old decaying order with a new discipline, with a new mental and intellectual discipline, with new habits of work etc. It tends to escape in ways that really are characteristic of the system, because to say that one will hustle and "make it" is really to fall into the trap which the system sets. Yes, we must have our work ethic and its a very important ongoing factor, provided we don't take ourselves too seriously, provided we moves towards understanding that we're working seriously to establish an alternative, as distinct from working seriously to participate in the system.
The reason why Africans are at the top of the pole in this regard is because, even though there is a lot more appearance than reality, there is still the definite appearance that they have the opportunity to recreate their society after their own image. After all, you can teach an African student in a university this year, and next year he's in the Ministry of Finance as a permanent secretary. He's actually making policy, trying to construct, in his own way, the lives of his people and intervening in history in a manner in which the black student in [the usa] knows he will never, in this system, be able to do. I think the immediacy of the possibility of participating in change is a critical variable."