Table of Contents
This African Internationalist worldview has always informed the work of our Party around the question of reparations to African people. Before our involvement in this question, the demand was forwarded primarily through legislative or judicial means. The masses of the people were not considered crucial factors. In other words, the success of the demand depended on the good will or integrity of the imperialist state that is responsible for imposing the conditions that caused the demand in the first place. Secondly, before the Party’s involvement, the demand for reparations generally revolved around repayment for slavery.
African Internationalism informs us that the issue is not simply the value of labor stolen from enslaved Africans. The fact is the entire capitalist edifice itself owes its existence and success to the theft of African labor and resources, not only during slavery but even more so subsequent to slavery where the rate of exploitation has become even greater.
Therefore, we understand that the imperialist system cannot possibly repay African people in the truest sense. Imperialism can only attempt to bribe Africans into accepting some kind of payment to quiet the growing struggle by our oppressed and colonized community as it awakens to the bloody history of forcibly extracted value by the imperialists during the entire history of our relationship. This means not only during the time of “slavery,” but also throughout the period of colonialism and now, during this period of trans-colonialism.
Therefore, African Internationalism informs us that our mission is to make the reparations demand a mass demand. We have long recognized the need to take the question beyond the grubby, often bloodstained grasps of imperialist-serving politicians and legislators that are loyal to a system in which they are bought and sold like capitalist commodities. Nor should we leave the determination in the hands of a legal system that also rests on the pedestal of capitalist production born of and sustained by our enslavement.
This is why in 1982 our Party organized the World Tribunal on Reparations for Africans in the U.S. This is why we built the African National Reparations Organization for the sole purpose of making reparations a “household name.” We traveled the U.S for the next 12 years or so holding tribunals in different cities, where the African public was invited to hear and present evidence on the history and current existence of our exploitation and oppression that justifies the demand for reparations.
This is why in 1983 a two-person delegation from our Party traveled in Europe to win support for the reparations demand. This resulted in Africans in Europe and Africa joining in the demand for reparations and most likely influenced the movement resulting in the UN sponsored Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001.
This is also why we are organizing a World Tribunal on Reparations for All African People, currently scheduled for Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Reparations must be made a mass demand of the more than a billion African people worldwide. Since we recognize the mass mobilizing power of the demand, we support most expressions of the call for reparations from a variety of growing proponents. However, African Internationalists recognize that imperialism cannot survive a successful reparations struggle, which by definition means the return of all value extracted from us by the parasitic capitalist system, which means the death of imperialism. Indeed, this is the objective of our demand for reparations.
Yes! Take African Internationalism to the masses of Africans worldwide. Make the case for reparations and mobilize the demand everywhere and in every manner. Some will fight in the courts and the various imperialist created and/or informed legislatures throughout the world.
Others, the millions of us, who go to bed hungry and who clean the houses and sweep the streets of the ruling class, will — armed with theory and other weapons of persuasion — reach directly into the pocket books and bank accounts of our oppressors. This is the process that will for evermore rid the world of the cankerous imperialist parasite responsible for the misery of the toiling masses of the world.
For African Internationalists the reparations demand is a function of the revolution. Its objective is not to find economic respite in a permanent sea of imperialist rapacity, but to win our liberation, free up the productive forces of Africa and African people. The revolutionary demand for reparations will achieve a new world where those whose socialized labor is responsible for human progress will become the new ruling class of a society where the means of production are socially owned and class rule has begun its death throes.
On the Continent of Africa the demand for reparations in the hands of African Internationalists, made popular among the masses of our people, will allow us to combat the cringing heads of neocolonial states who are ever, hat in hand, begging the imperialists to deepen their intervention in our lives. The demand for reparations, made popular among the masses, will deepen the crisis of imperialism by challenging the neocolonialists to end their careers as perpetual supplicants and join the demand for reparations for our history of exploitation.