Saturday, 19 November 2016

ON 'POLITICAL BLACKNESS'


I wrote this recently in one of my threads, SO MUCH more important stuff to be said that basically just isnt in the conversation on this issue, a rather narrow conversation that seems to be increasing in volume, but here's a few points:

Don't know if there is 'an answer' to what is Black what is White etc. 'The answer' is a journey, a process of self-critical and critical liberation-oriented study, research, and action and struggle. For me, first of all we have to explore where this racialisation comes from? Who has defined it, and why? What does it mean to be white and not white or Black?

From my research and studies in life thus far I have come to understand this:

Before european colonialism there was no political power that racialised people into a hierarchy of who is human and who is not. European colonialism brought this racialisation based on false and constructed biological premises.

this region I am currently residing in became known as 'europe' in the same process that white and black was defined.

Black was associated with the East and with the South, ie., with Asia and with Africa, as Asia and Africa were in a battle with these people and region that became known as white europe/europeans, the Ottomans from the East, and the 'Moors' from Africa.

However: racialisation of the other was taking place in europe before the colonial period as explained by Cedric Robinson in Black Marxism.

So from a time a few thousands years ago that a North African Roman ruler ruled England (Septimus Severus) to the point that this thing called white europe happened, there is a lot to fill in as to why this maldevelopment.

Beyond that, and the second important point is that colonialism does two things at the same time:
1, it divides people into whiteness and non-white, into human and non-human, and white and black., and also

2, it creates a divide and rule mechanism in many ways, including but not solely between colonised peoples according to their regions and anything that can be seen to be or constructed to be different and then divide them from each other. One of the main ways in doing this is a colonial caste system based on shade of skin and phenotype.

Darker people are not just African. You find very dark skinned people in their hundreds of millions across South Asia, SE Asia and Far SE Asia or Australasia, as well as people in the Americas who are directly African heritage but also Asian heritage people and of course the Native people of the continent.

When we talk about phenotype and not just melanin, then again we find that African people have the GREATEST genetic diversity, greater diversity between people who have always resided in Africa relative to those who have left Africa when humans have left Africa in around the last 100 thousand years. This is because humans have existed in Africa for millions of years, which meant there is more genetic diversity amongst them. So again, Black becomes a very complex thing when talking about Africans, cos the way in which some African people look like (phenotype) and shade of skin can be found in very similar ways elsewhere. So a few examples:

a) There are clear similarities between many African peoples of of East Africa and South Asia. East African people look strikingly like North Indian/Pakistani and Bangladeshi people.

b) There are people with 'kinky' hair and dark skin and broad noses, phenotypes of *particular* groups of Africans in South India, and these people are found across South and SE Asia into Australia, with the Black and Native people of Australia being closely related to these peoples.
c) And then to give a final example you have the people of SE Asia like in Papa New Guniea who have very curly 'African' hair, broad noses and are very dark: if you meet these people without knowing where they are from, you might probably assume they are 'Black African' people. But they are not. They are Asian people who are also, imho, Black people. As are all the people of Asia.

Like African heritage people in the Caribbean and Africans in the continent, there are differing degrees of melanin in the skin of people of Asia from the very dark as dark as any African on the continent, and as light as any person from europe. but they are ALL colonised racialised peoples; they are all outside of whiteness as defined by coloniality and imperialism. Do they have anti-Black prejudice? Yes, like all people including darker people everywhere and lighter non-white/Black people everywhere, yes some of them do. But colonialism and imperialism has still and continues to define them and treat them outside of whiteness, as 'Black'. This is something to unite around, and a very potent tool of unity. Doesnt have to be called 'Black' but the unity of colonised and colonially racialised people is a massive massive challenge if not THE MOST important challenge and accomplishment we have to achieve.

There is a LOT more to be said, but I will finish on this. When I said at the start of these debates we should make clear what we set out to achieve politically, I am setting out to achieve to understand and ACT on the facts that we appreciate the ways in which different sections of colonised and colonially racialised peoples are oppressed, and that sections of them self organise, but MORE importantly that we recognise the ONLY times we advance as oppressed peoples is when we unite together and fight together, and that people who are attacked by the system are racialised non-white people who are put into and defined as Black people by the system. We cannot say that colonialism treats one colonised people worse than another, yes we should appreciate scales of suffering, but the operational framework of colonial oppression has been more or less 'equal' in its genocide against people of all three southern continents. People should recognise their commonality, and gather together in a Black Revolution, as Malcolm X argued.

I STILL think this piece by Malcolm X for me in terms of a shorter summary of this issue, is THE political line we should take leadership from: http://sonsofmalcolm.blogspot.co.uk/…/malcolm-x-defines-bla…

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