I begin this new installment by apologizing in advance for the incomplete nature of the subject matter being presented. I seek only to give brief examples and not go too in depth into slavery or racism, but more so to discuss why we were once the victims of this and other Americans still hold onto the idea of race. I correlate this stubborn inability to let go with the very way in which slavery and racism became a part of this nation. Explaining the difference between the institution's past, present and future will hopefully help us to understand how to fight it and overcome it, as it remains alive, not just in visible places like Jena, Louisiana, but all over the world as well. We are only given a glimpse of racism when looking at black and brown issues of inequality in America. Prejudice continues to flourish globally for a variety of reasons. But to further explain how racism, which is the institutionalized belief and law-backed ideology of racial superiority, came to outlast the very condition of slavery from which most people see it originate from, we must go back to the beginning. We must go back before the times of our own empire and subsequent Corporate Republic.
Slavery originated long before what we come to read about ever so quickly in the under-funded classrooms across America. It was already an established reality by the time the Hammurabi Code of Mesopotamia (approx. 1800 BC) was created. The Code's principles related to the relief of debt, enslavement to facilitate compensation, and for the framework of a postwar societies caste system. But even before the Code and most certainly after the glory of Mesopotamia had subsided, it continued to manifest itself differently, but always with the same economic principle. Although present day conflicts are far removed from ancient times, the people themselves as well as their resources are still commonly seen as spoils of war. Phillip II of Macedon, who was Alexander the Great's father, received 20,000 women and countless young boys as tribute for his conquest of the ancient empire of Scythia. Instead of destroying the kingdom itself though he left Ateus, it's ruler in charge, and continued the slave trade to re-build the empire whose resources his son would then use to conquer a large part of the Asiatic world.
But the word "slave" actually originates from the Latin word "slav," which described the people from the Slavic regions that were conquered and sold into bondage. It was these Eastern Europeans who were sacrificed on the altar of industry that were bought and sold to serve the Empires of Old. Whether it was in the Barbarian Kingdoms of Europe who reigned after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Near Eastern Arab Lords or what was known then as the Imperium Romanus (Byzantine Empire), they toiled and were deprived of their lands, labor, and women for the pleasure of the strongest military forces of that era. And since it was the Latin and Arabic tongues that most of Europe and subsequently all of its colonies in the Americas adopted their language from, that created this synonymous concept of "slavs" being known as "slaves."
During this example, I have to point out how the American version of slavery sought not only to redefine the institution, but achieved that by separating people from their history. I can remember as a teenager having had several arguments with people who most of them being white, claimed that since Africans sold their own people into slavery it wasn't really as much the fault of the enslaver. While this is an understandable reaction to the guilt and the striving towards escapism from the actions of ones ancestors, it doesn't lift the burden from their colonial masters. This nation and others still benefit from that and will continue to for years to come. It doesn't make the purveyors of such malice, hatred, and deceit guilty of any less of a crime. As if me holding someone down while you rape them makes you any less guilty of what you did. I may have made your cold-blooded goal easier to attain, but I don't carry any blame for you, I carry my own blame for myself rather than a part of yours for you. We must all carry our responsibility to whatever end... in full tow. And yet if I am, but the servant of your will then I am only doing my masters bidding in the crime and yet I share in none of the glory, and devour only the scraps from the table. It is also important to point out that the definition of slavery by other Africans was completely different from the stripping of all humanity and conversion into physical property of people by Europeans.
We would be remiss to point out though that ever since the beginning of humanity, people have always found methods of defining themselves so as to consolidate power in order to live in a state of perpetually declared and reinforced superiority. Not necessarily just in their eyes. But more importantly, to the people they conquered who were forced to help construct the nation of the victorious party. One must realize that all people who have been held in bondage by their conquerors because of their so called race, nationality, religion or supposed lack thereof were actually instrumental in building the foundation of every aspect of that culture, the scientific advancements, political framework, and economic pillars. Impossible to overlook also is the workforce that suffered to build the beautiful structures by which these civilizations are often remembered best for. The subjugated masses were not only the tool for their masters in building, but also in populating and fighting for the preservation of the very entity, be it an Empire or a Nation, that coincidentally reduced them to the form of servitude and that redefined their place in the world. A nation in other words is and has not been defined just by its citizens, but also very much so by its slaves. The purpose of this text though is not to delve so much into the complete history of slavery, but to see how racism was formed in modern times to justify it for an economic purpose and how the inability to face these facts that created the particular circumstances of continued discrimination we see it today.
After all, it was Hebrews in Egypt who burned their skin even darker laboring in the hellfire of midday on the outskirts of the deserts following the orders of the Master Masons to make the wonders of the world that have stood the test of time we see today. Whereas the influence of Moors in Spain is undoubted as their dark hair and even their language is a mixture of Common Latin, with noticeable Arabic influences, they were not affected as a people the way they forcefully catechized the Indigenous population. The Native people of South and Central America not only mined their master's gold and silver for centuries, but also built their cities and temples over their own old structures. But an even more critical acknowledgement is how they still carry on the traditions of their Spanish conquerors today. These include, but are not limited too, aspects of their music, food, and racial bias. I think it would also do a great disservice to anyone who has ever studied religion to point out that without so called Latino people, Christianity, wouldn't have half the followers that it does today. We have carried the word of Christ who we are told from youth died horribly to save our souls into the 21st century. That itself is a structure that has lasted and will last longer than just about any building created in the middle ages or before that. And Mother Africa has always suffered in being the breadbasket for all of the people who have invaded her. From ancient times, fast forwarding not only to be sacrificed to the slave trade in what would become the United States where they built many monuments including the White House. But also under the laissez-faire mercantile aspect of primitive capitalism where they were the basis for the entire Caribbean and New World mainland economic boom that provided the rise of these countries and more specifically the institutions that still govern them today. The blueprint was set for corporate control battling to dominate government as the Church once did, but with much more effectiveness this time around. In short, it is the global Slave trade that was to be the major contributor if not the shining example of the Capital that was required and presented to found Capitalism.
(For people who always ask me for books to read, Capitalism & Slavery by Eric Williams 1944.)
These colonies and their former fatherlands owed a majority of their fortunes and the build up of their Mercantile industry to slave labor. As a matter of fact it created what was considered the "Golden Age" during the rule of Elizabeth I in England. At first it was done under the guise of needing to save the souls of the Africans, but later it became evident that plain avarice was the gospel of slave traders and their noble sovereigns.
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/history-slavery.htm (This here is by no means a complete understanding of even modern slavery, but in the beginning where it discusses the two faced nature of the Crown in its dealings, it is a suitable accurate necessity for this argument.)
This rather broad topic was the reason I wrote "Industrial Revolution" almost four years ago. It was meant to accredit our people's unwilling, but unforgettable contribution to that. We bankrolled it over the course of hundreds of years of brutal treatment and downplayed contributions. Paid not just for the expansion of England, but also all European nations through genocide. The Natives sacrificed their land, unwillingly, just as others had before them. All this was perpetrated, so that a tired and war-torn Europe could give birth to a new Nation here. This country was then born in violence and plunder and so when it matured it took on the image that its forefathers across the seas had created her in -- and like many abused children instead of growing up to resent and separate itself from the actions of its parents, it grew to associate the negative behavior and displays of raw power and violence, as trademarks of what a nation needed for strength and invulnerability.
However I must recognize the 100th US Congress for passing an amendment in 1988, which gave credit to the Iroquois Confederacy for providing fundamental ideas upon which our US government created it's Republic. (Poverty of Philosophy on Vol. 1 mentions this briefly.)
The Eastern European slavs were the basis for a word, which the word that has coiled itself like a serpent around the neck of racism like an old school rope chain 1000 years before the first slave ship "Jesus of Lubeck" dubbed "The Good Ship Jesus" first left Africa with slaves bound for Europe and the new world. When looking at South America, Africa, and the Caribbean, one has only to examine the nations conquerors to know why these Indigenous people speak Spanish and Portuguese or why these African people here speak those languages and French was as well as a derivative of English mixed with their own native languages such as in Jamaica. I was having a discussion with a fellow Revolutionary who had no idea that his Jamaican brothers once all spoke Spanish. Its insane to actually read the history that the island of Jamaica was once full of African, Spanish-speaking slaves who were then conquered by the English after the failed attack on the island of Hispaniola... Imagine if history had seen that invasion proceed and the English hold the Hispaniola, leaving the Spanish with Jamaica. Imagine Jamaicans speaking Spanish and Dominicans speaking English... It's okay to laugh here.
Slavery was redefined as not the condition of a person due to war or the bounty of conquest, but rather a genetic hierarchy and the idea of racial inferiority and hegemony was created, to cement it all together. However it was not something that began in America although they ran with it, but a formulated idea that began after the fall of Grenada in early 1492. This completed the European Spanish "Reconquista" militarily, but it was the beginning of their racist government policy. What followed was what would set up the early excuses for different branches of races to be given different rights. The Spaniards enslaved or expelled the Black Muslim Moors and required the excuse for enslavement by race and religion to rebuild the nation. They then instituted the "Alhambra decree," which expelled all the Jews from Spain and also forced Muslims to convert to Roman Catholicism or face execution. This gave way to Spain's own "limpieza de la sangre" or "purification of the blood" philosophy. This historical truth is of course contrary to Pope Benedict XVI's fantasy-land claim that Christian's never held forced conversions. Besides this I invite him to also read the history of South America and come to terms with the fact that all people have used the issue of religion as well as race to subjugate a people, and certainly Christianity does not escape this category. It is for this reason that I have always stated that to name any movement that deals with Immigrant Rights in the South West "La Reconquista" is pure idiocy. It is a reflection of the beginning of white European's definition of racism. We should not emulate it in any spirit, but learn how it came to create our condition today.
To understand how all this translates into the Modern Race problems of today one has to first understand how the U.S. justified slavery in many different ways. It was not only the inability of America to co-exist with the complete hypocrisy that the slave trade was to its proclaimed Christian Values and Democracy. The US was faced with the chilling reality of the necessity to support the beginnings of a Capitalist Empire and assert its control of the region through conquest. Indian Wars, Mexican American War, Spanish American War, Banana Wars, were a necessity for its expansion and stability due to the nature of the type of Republican (the corporate state not the party) prototype, which is quite frankly the living embodiment of terrorism. Terrorism is after all, organized violence with a political and or economic purpose. It should be noted that many of the founding fathers were students of history, as most Masons are. They designed a system where they knew the truth, but purposefully denied it to the average white American racist not out of nature, but out of ignorance. The men with power in this nation who always understood the contributions of Africans and Indigenous people crafted these lies about racial inferiority and the need to purify the soul from pagan religion as the ultimate excuse for free labor, resources and land. There is something intrinsically two-faced and despicable about the difference in what they knew of the world and what they were willing to convince with their lack of argument against in the nation. As masons, all of them knew not only the history of Europe, but of Africa and therefore this is not an indictment of secret societies, but much more of men in government who were cowards in the face of true desire. If they had just coldly (or rather truthfully) said to the Africans and Natives, we wanted your land and labor and we have the force with which to take it, then after slavery was abolished the racial prejudice would have been slowly phased out, but it lingered so brutally because of the excuses made for modern enslavement. The notion that humanity had superior races and had subspecies of people that were primitive compared to others was thus carried over from Europe to America. Thomas Jefferson was one of the few Founding Fathers who (in the Virginia Papers) argued for the possible assimilation of the Native American and yet saw the African as savages and untamable.
Even modern religious excuses were created, not only the popular Bible belt preachers that spoke against integration and inter-racial marriage, but even smaller groups like Mormon sects of Christianity exhibited a form of pretentious racism in their gospel, which stated that as a punishment God painted certain people with darker skin cursed the savage "lamanites" (Native Americans) and that the "Mark of Cain" was placed upon blacks and that's why they were cursed, until a 1978 "revelation," which couldn't have possibly been the overwhelming national and international pressure... And while Brigham Young's racist rants in "Journal of Discourses" is not official LDS gospel, it reflects the age and the practice of most Churches at the time. This is not bigotry, or bias, these are facts. I have met many modern Christians of all sects, Protestants, Catholics, Evangelicals and Mormons who come to terms with this and cannot truly justify some of the more outlandish claims of their church, but who use their faith to try and better their lives. But in examining these facts, it is an actual part of the religion, it is something that cannot be skirted and perhaps that is why some people of that faith are very quick to not seek and have open discussions about these doctrines preached. The same way there are banks and companies, who directly benefited from the middle passage who refuse to open their old records to public view on the matter. But the most damaging of all these causes of ignorance is the Racial Science of Eugenics, which tried to prove through a fundamentally flawed discipline that their were sub human species exemplified by Indigenous people and of course the black African. But this was also applied lightly to other "races" of South Eastern Europeans, like Greeks, Italians, Spaniards, Armenians and Slavs who had to apply to be considered white and received benefits from being included in that group that others never did during the early 1900s.
It is because of these excuses and junk science that were actually accepted or at least not challenged in a manner which was formidable until 1935 when it was finally decided to be phased out of the scientific community and the forceful and secret sterilization programs of Native Americans continued into the 1970's and is still the subject of great international debate.
The destruction of the outwardly racist aspects of Eugenics also became necessary as the US descended into a propaganda war with Germany during World War 2. Racial science still found support from students of Darwin's Theory's of "Survival of the Fittest" and interpreters of "The Descent of Man" coupled with the disgraced Eugenicists eagerness to prove the superiority of the white race. The ghost of racial science still haunts the hallways of intellectual institutions through its promotion standards of achievement based on racial heredity implicated by the Bell Curve. Eventually though, the rise of Nazi Germany would show the world what a state could do in Modern times when using science to claim the superiority of one race over another. Perhaps we could have avoided this inhuman Holocaust if we had acknowledged the existence of others before it under a similar premise.
Realistically though if those people who were caged could have been connected to the glory of their past then perhaps they themselves would not have been so easily convinced of their own proposed "heathen nature", and could not have accepted it as if it were the essence of their true selves. And that goes for all enslaved people... all of those who find themselves oppressed throughout the globe. A people's identity comes not only from the color of their skin and the language they speak, but also the God they whisper their prayers to or loudly proclaim their undying loyalty to with action. There is no such thing as a white man's religion just a white European interpretation of a certain religious faith -- and all religions, no matter how the zealots who love them have to understand, have been introduced to people by conquerors.
At this point, it is necessary to acknowledge that revolutionary concepts are present in both Islam and Christianity and how both have respectively created the basis for a revolutionary path to those enslaved people who were confined to a world of ignorance which is a prison darker than any man made dungeon. Judaism, Buddhism and all other faiths have built into them a mechanism to preserve themselves even under the harsh conditions and people can always find methods to convert any faith into a weapon. But the strongest weapon that one has when it concerns fighting racism is the history of all of these religions.
Both Christianity and Judaism have strong roots in Africa -- and without Africa, Islam would not have traveled west past the borders of Arabia. Western and Eastern Europe were still ruled by tribal councils when these Nations in Africa had aided in bringing about the formulation, redefinition and governing ideas of these faiths. For example, it should be noted that Christianity reached Africa before it ever reached Europe. Although it was obviously not utilized as a siege weapon of conquest as Constantine was able to, it was an empowering idea for people who already understood the principles of this line of thought. If you read the Bible it mentions Ethiopia and Egypt (Kemet) over 250 times, where as Rome and Greece is only spoken of a handful of times. The actual Ark of the Covenant is still theorized by many historians to be kept hidden safe in Ethiopia, which should make you consider how a people who would later be depicted as savages and animals by their new masters could ever be the gatekeepers and originators of such a sacred aspect of humanity as the religions that we still live by today.
And while it is one of three theories, it is proof of the close connection that does in fact exist with or without the Ark. In Eastern Africa during the first Millennia even leading up to the crusades, there existed sects of Christians who showed more disciplined dedication to the faith than any other followers of Christ as they use to brand their children's foreheads from birth with the symbol of a cross. (In their Gnostic Christian belief it was held that the Devil could only appear in the form of a spirit after Christ sacrificed himself to banish him from the physical realm but that Satan could still as a spirit infect and posses a person's body, and the Cross branded on the forehead from birth warded him off.)
Comparing the past to the present and future requires us to take note of how Romans and Greeks of that time did not have anywhere near the same prejudice as their future generations would. Otherwise why would so many Generals, Lords, Governors, Emperors and even Popes of African origin ever be in the service of the Empire or the faith? Strange to think that these modern day European immigrants and their neighbors who all came here in America who would adopt such an ideologically backward ideology as racism but this is a study of how that happened...
The reality of what history teaches us is that religion used to matter in the old world much more than the color of our skin. Their phenotypical differences didn't affect their marriage and or association with other people to the extent of what they preached and lived their faith to be. They simply respected their skills and abilities when they saw them, much the way America does now, because it's interests are not that of defending the nations that we come from, but rather, exploiting them through a modernized version of capitalism. Here and now they're willing to allow people who have been immersed and completely assimilated to American culture (no matter what color and sex,) from a conservative standpoint to represent the nation. But that doesn't signify that we all have equal rights in this country. (And since racism reinforces classism when you have a class of people who have the economic means to deal better with the legal system than others, one immediately points to race because it's obvious -- but the class factor has gone unmentioned until more recent times.) This phenomenon simply utilizes their skill and conveniently has the dual purpose of giving the false idea that diversity in a president's cabinet implies diversity in the nature of justice for all the nation's citizens. We are confused about our depraved condition because of the media attention given to a few artisans and millionaire modern gladiators who amuse the Empire in Coliseums. Most of our success stories walk around being 40 million dollar slaves and poster children for capitalism. Our people, need to take their patronage away from corporations who offer us meaningless material liabilities and we need not chastise them in this process but accept them open armed as our brothers and sisters. We need to make solid investments in our own infrastructure. We are a Nation within a Nation, which is what we must never forget if we strive to escape our condition, this is but a pit stop in our destiny, after all, one cannot free their mind if they have not even the slightest inclination of it's incarceration or colonization.
It was said that Jesus Christ could cast demons out of people by calling them by their name and so we must continue in that tradition. For how can someone be cured of alcoholism or drug addiction if they don't know they have a substance abuse problem? How can one be healed from cancer until they admit they have it and seek treatment, until they face that fight? We must call out racism's origins, and look behind it to see the misinformation it has been spreading to hide its true inherent master. Purposeful ignorance for financial gain is perhaps one of the most devilish concepts ever invented. Institutionalized racism is classism's greatest ally, its ground troops, for even when slavery ended the focus reverted to racism instead of the excuse for it and the capital gained from it to forge an empire.
It is because we have lost touch with our roots as a result of the colonial era genocide and global slave trade that we have not been able to connect to our past, and, to who we really are. When we mark our position in the present taking note of the past puts a trajectory on our evolution of our culture as a people. We were not just enslaved, we were brainwashed religiously, de-evolved politically and scientifically, spiritually robbed, our relationship with our women severed and our achievements lost by the rewriting of our history by our conquerors. Our greatest mistake is to fight this on only one level. We keep thinking only one thing can conquer our oppression, we think that a radical political system like Communism, or that just a religious system like Islam, a sect of Christianity or an economic system that is a farce like a free market can improve our situation collectively. And what we really end up doing is playing a game of "mercy" with one finger against an entire hand of repressive indoctrinations. We must conduct a Revolution on all fronts. One in the arts, music, poetry, legal work, teaching, theology, medicine, childcare & development, all forms of Media, science, math, and engineering, etc., all in order to fight centuries of purposeful ignorance. My work with youth and with gangs especially has shown me what difference there is in a child when he realizes who his ancestors were and what scientific and mathematical concepts they are the inventors and originators of. We should not run from our intelligence or our potential but seriously accept our responsibility to find the cause and to lift ourselves out of it because the forces that crushed our Rebellions in the past will not help us. While some have criticized my work in building this Army, I have dispatched all who have come looking for knowledge to a front in this war that has nothing to do with random acts of physical violence but rather and aggressive reclaiming of our history, politics, spirituality, and so forth. I was once sent on this sort of mission myself by my former teachers who passed their knowledge onto me. I while I am by no means a Master teacher or a General, I apologize that I cannot offer the expertise of such a person at this time in my life. I am just the Captain of my own unit, I do what I can for my people, (regardless of race or faith,) those who would believe in the promise of what America could be and not the broken promise of what it is now... I wish I could do more. But this is where we begin to address Racism, global racism, and the evolution of the slave trade by putting it into historical context. Continue it until we are free when I am gone.
Con Amor de Revolucion,
Immortal TechniqueImmortal Technique is a Hip-Hop artist that has released albums Revolutionary Vol. 1 and Revolutionary Vol. 2.The views expressed inside this editorial are not necessarily the views of AllHipHop.com or its employees.