Engaging the Holocaust of Enslavement By Dr. Maulana Karenga California State University The Organization Us Position Statements: The struggle for reparations for the Holocaust of Enslavement of African people is clearly one of the most important struggles being waged in the world today. For it is about fundamental issues of human freedom, human justice and the value we place on human life in the past as well as in the present and future. It is a struggle which, of necessity, contributes to our regaining and refreshing our historical memory as a people remembering and raising up the rightful claims of our ancestors to lives of dignity and decency and to our reaffirming and securing the rights of their descendants to live free, full and meaningful lives in our times. But this struggle, like all our struggles, begins with the need for a clear conception of what we want, how we define the issue and explain it to the world and what is to be done to achieve it. The struggle for reparations begins with the definition of the horrendous injury to African people which demands repair. To talk of reparations is first to identify and define the injury, to say what it is and is not, to define its nature and its impact on the one(s) injured. Unless this is done first and maintained throughout the process, there is no case for reparations only an incoherent set of claims without basis in ethics or law. This is why the established order works so hard to define away the historical and ongoing character of the injury. This is especially done in two basic ways. First, the injury is distorted and hidden under the category of "slave trade." The category trade tends to sanitize the high level of violence and mass murder that was inflicted on African peoples and societies. If the categorization of the Holocaust of Enslavement can be reduced to the category of "trade" two things happen. First, it becomes more of a commercial issue and problem than a moral one. And secondly, since trade is the primary focus, the mass murder or genocide can be and often is conveniently understood and accepted a simply collateral damage. A second attempt of the established order to deny the horrendous nature of the injury and its essential responsibility for it is to claim collaboration of the victims in their own victimization. Here it is morally and factually important to make a distinction between collaborators among the people and the people themselves. Every people faced with conquest, oppression and destruction has had collaborators among them, but it is factually inaccurate and morally wrong and repulsive to indict a whole people for a holocaust which was imposed on them on them and was aided by collaborators. Every holocaust had collaborators: the Native Americans, Jews, Australoids, Armenians and Africans. No one morally sensitive claims Jews are responsible for their holocaust based on the evidence of Jewish collaborators. How then are Africans indicted for the collaborators among them? Although there are other ways, the established order seeks to undermine the factual and moral basis of the African claim for reparations, these two are indispensable to its efforts. And thus, they must be raised up and rejected constantly, for they speak to the indispensable need to define the injury to African people and to maintain control of it. As Us has maintained since the sixties concerning European cultural hegemony, one of the greatest powers in the world is to be able to define reality and make others accept it even when it's to their disadvantage. And it is this power to define the injury of holocaust as trade and self-victimization and make Africans accept it, that has dominated the discourse on enslavement in America. Our task it to reframe the discourse and initiate a new national dialogue on this.