..saw this movie many years ago.. and was struck by this scene where after the civil war, the people attacked their own image as it had been perverted in the West and adopted a new militarized image. In essence they cut out the parts of their culture that they felt had been trivialized by the West. So they did away with the "Oriental" altogether. It's an incredibly sad scene for me.. because from my way of seeing.. I see them being forced to adapt to the geo-political reality of the outside world.. and as a result having to cut out parts of their own culture in order to respond to the threat from the outside. The Spread of militarism is an outgrowth of Western colonialism.. and it takes as input.. the colorful, rich and vibrant ways and histories of people.. and grinds them into dark grey and bland militant aggressive output. It's the reason you see these military dictatorships all over the world.. that Militarism was a requirement to fend of Western control. The civil wars that preceded the Militarism movements were about disagreements over the way forward. And therein lies the tragedy. They had to kill their own in order to deal with the threat coming the outside. But what were they after that? meaning.. what did that do to them as a people?
As it relates to Africans in America..
You can see the same dynamic happening in America in the 60's. The Millitant movement in our community featured the same kind of de-coloring.. the same kind of distancing from the traditional black forms of thinking, being, behaving, etc. They sought to change things and if the US government would not have been so spooked about the spread of communism, their would have been another Civil War in the united states. It would have been a Socialist Liberation Army of the people versus the Traditionalists.. and like the last Civil War, black folks would have been primary elements and actors on both sides of the line. Malcolm and Martin coming together represented this kind of threat to the Status Quo.. but it was really more of a Potential threat than anything else.. Neither of them had a military component to their movements.
But their assassinations gave birth to a new militancy that included an awareness of the need for at least a street-level military component. The NOI was called Militant but the black panthers took militant to a level that clearly resembled revolutionary insurgency.
And even though the Panther's Ten Point Plan reveals that they were really just talking about having better lives within the system here in America.. and that they had no initial plans or ideas for taking over the government.. the government saw the true potential in their organization.. Remember.. the United States assists insurgencies against it's enemies governments all over the world and was aware that Socialist governments were doing the same kind of things. I believe that one of the reasons Fred Hampton was taken-out so quickly is because he was very clearly articulating and leading a movement toward full-scale insurgency. Whether he knew it or not.. His rhetoric was already fully there; even if his intentions were not. And I think the government (especially the local government) recognized his potential as a real leader in a real revolution.
--- to be continued..
Black Panthers & Yellow Butterflies:
Blog entry posted by skuderjaymes, Jun 23, 2012.