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Demystifying The Issue Of Repatriation

By: Ras Jahaziel
April 04, 2005

REPARATIONS and REPATRIATION for the descendants of slavery and colonialism are two inseparable twins that hold between them the cornerstones for the formation of a new international morality. If one is stripped from the other, JUSTICE fails, and the evil slave-master triumphs once again. Without Reparations, repatriation is more likely to become the repatriation of the privileged.

One should never forget that once upon a time there was an argument amongst the slave-masters about what should be done with the slaves after Emancipation. Some said "Let us see to it that they will never be able to really OWN anything, because we cannot afford to let them become independent. Keep them so busy working that they will never have much time to think, and saddle them with debt so that they will never progress. They can stay here, but they will always be kept busy in the pursuit of powerless-ness." Some said "But we need to keep this place ALL WHITE, so let us bring in more Caucasians and pack these niggers on a boat and send them back to Africa bare-back and empty-handed the same way how they came." The descendants of slavery therefore find themselves today in a situation where the man that is tossing the coin is doing so on one condition "HEADS, I WIN, TAILS, YOU LOSE." Whichever way the coin falls, it represents the triumph of injustice.

There is no escaping it. Historical consciousness is the faculty that causes one's eyes to truly see. Without it, one is virtually blind. A knowledge that has no proper grounding in the trails and trials of the African experience under slavery and colonialism, is therefore like a branch disconnected from its roots. Such knowledge has to go beyond the mere assimilation of facts learned in college and university. It has to be empowered by THE PASSION FOR JUSTICE that naturally flows from an at-oneness with those that have long borne the white cross. From this level of spiritual attunement, one's eyes will then behold the truth that REPATRIATION IS MERELY A COMPONENT OF REPARATIONS. To teach otherwise would surely grant the ole slave-master much pleasure and satisfaction.

It should also be clearly understood that the same ole slave-master who raped Africa and enslaved her children is very much interested in maintaining his grip on stolen property. For this reason the people in Africa have to be kept smelling Hell, and to see to it that they never escape, certain educated Negroes have been put in charge to keep the profits from the plantation flowing smoothly. This is the neo-colonial situation that presently exists in Africa and the Caribbean where there is a Black majority totally dominated and controlled by white invisible minorities. When one is aware of this situation it becomes clear why, despite the appearance of outwardly Black governments, the movement of people has always been tightly curbed and restricted just as in the old days on Hell plantation. Speaking from personal experience as a Rastaman, I have on two occasions been denied the right to set foot on two different Caribbean islands. On neither occasion was I ever even asked my name. Just one look was all it took. On one of those occasions in 1975, I was restricted to the boat until it was ready to leave the harbor. On the other occasion in 1998 or thereabouts, I was taken off the boat, stripped of shoes and all personal belongings, and then held in a jail cell until the boat was ready to leave. All of this with no questioning. After that particular experience, I had the occasion to speak to a sympathetic white woman who was married to a Black Rastaman, and here is what she said: "I can understand your experience, because my husband (the Black Rastaman from another island) was only able to visit the island BECAUSE HE WAS WITH ME."

Now this is the Caribbean where all authority is visibly Black, but it is insightful in terms of the workings of the neo-colonial mentality. It explains why Repatriation has so far been only a vision yet to be materialized. A Caucasian can travel anywhere in the world without let or hindrance. Check the same scenario in this excerpt from a lecture by Haile Gerima the famous Ethiopian film producer of the movie "Sankofa":

"I went to Ethiopia to quickly record as I was doing pre-production for BBC, the documentary film I did for BBC called Imperfect Journey. And here I was with this Niagara, not a new Niagara recorder and I felt I should record my uncle with good equipment instead of what this brother is trying to record with. I felt it was important archival material. When I got to Ethiopia the customs office, they were all these privileged European people with their privileged white trust fund skin in front of me. They went through with all their computers and cameras and here I was with my -- you know, Ethiopian citizen but illegal still in the actual context of transactions in airports. I'm illegal in every airport. I'm not complaining.

It makes you connect. That's when you know you're like the Pakistanian, the Indian, because in London you look around, you're kept -- you know where you belong and language is not important, just you know where you are on this planet. And it's educational. But, any how, here I was, excited with this equipment going to go through this customs and I was stopped. Also an Ethiopian guy with me was also a filmmaker, his machine was taken and mine was taken.

Here I was, when I was supposed to go to the village for the time period I have, I'm at the Custom's office stranded trying to liberate the equipment. I stayed there trying to fight for a whole week, two weeks doing nothing and my relatives are all in Ghanda. So, I just left it and visited friends and took some pictures and got back in the airport and then they handed me my Niagara to take it out. Now, that is not explainable in any logic. I just want you to keep that in mind. It will connect somewhere. That's why most people don't know how to follow my movie.

My thought processes is a very primitive and organized thought process. So, here again, I come back to Ethiopia with now what we call the 'White Visa'. I had my white people from England. I made sure I had three white people in front of me, and I went through the visa and immigration and customs, straight without any problem through their power. I went through every check point in Ethiopia just fronting them in the Land Rover. I made them look like they were the boss, though they were my employees. And the driver always has to have a white person in front of him at every check point. The driver has to quickly point "_________' ________'" the new World Bank IMF power. And the government has told everybody, don't stop (foreigners) don't mistreat them, give them everything, don't stop them.

So here I am going any where I wanted to go with this power, armed with this power. Went to every dungeon and made my film. I recorded people who are afraid for their life, hidden in a covert way. And left. We tried in Ethiopia and that is to interview the president. The president refused to be interviewed by me although he is accessible to every beginning white filmmaker that I met who were there from Germany, Holland and. They always say, "We like your film. And I hope I can work with you." But they are in charge of my country. And I always ask them to do me a favor, to get me around."

There are two things that neo-colonial governments despise most, poor people and culturally conscious people.

It has long been known to the wise, and to those that have been put in charge of the neo-colonial system in Africa, that "ONE POOR PLUS ONE POOR EQUALS TOO POOR." What this really says is that if one repatriates without ever breaking the cycle of persistent poverty here, one is more likely to be considered an additional burden on reaching there. That is why no head of state is ever willing to permit large-scale immigration of more poor people. Even between neighboring states in Africa, immigration authorities have been placed in the road to prevent the influx of MORE POOR PEOPLE. Every place where you go in the so-called third world or developing world today, in every harbor and every airport there is an invisible sign saying "WE DON'T WANT NO MORE POOR PEOPLE HERE." In smaller writing there is another that says "and conscious people are not welcome either, because they are potential threats."

This brings us to the real truth that THE EDUCATED NEGRO IS THE MAIN BARRIER TO BLACK PROGRESS. He has been placed in a comfortable position by invisible puppeteers who are very skilled in the art of pulling strings. Whether he does it consciously or unconsciously, the educated Negro is generally a facilitator in the centuries -old project of Black exploitation. His greatest concern is to keep his personal safe place secure, and by his actions, he displays a greater kinship with the white exploiter.

When REPARATIONS and REPATRIATION are examined under the clear microscope of consciousness, one will see that their full attainment will only come after serious revolutionary changes in the present status quo. Moses has to take the message to the powers that be, and the foundations have to be shaken so severely that little puppet heads will roll. This is not to say that everyone should sit patiently and wait for the earthquake. A concerted effort should still be made meanwhile to attain some level of poor people's empowerment, for as Marcus Garvey once said, a people without real power will always be a people without respect. This is why after so many years in the Caribbean where the Rasta people are the poorest, they are still the least respected and the most oppressed.

This brings us to the most current issue that the conscious people should be addressing ...the issue of self-empowerment or poor-people's empowerment. When a people have been robbed of their land and its natural resources, the only other resource that is available to them is THEIR NATURAL CREATIVE TALENT. If these talents have not been fully developed and mobilized, such people will forever continue to spend their lives laboring to make the slave-master rich. Even those few talents that they have discovered will continue to be exploited by others.

In the absence of REPARATIONS, this development and mobilization of the people's creative talent-base would have to precede Repatriation. Where this has not been done, REPATRIATION will be nothing more than the movement of a people who have been able to serve the slave-master long enough to BUY their freedom of movement. And it ought to be considered that the slave-master has set up his system in such a way, that by the time you bow and serve him long enough to buy your freedom, your mind is no longer much different to his. If such people are repatriated to Africa, they will quite easily keep silent and non-involved in the struggle for justice there. They will betray the down-trodden, and by their non-involvement, make common cause with Africa's neo-colonial stooges. By attaining the presently required financial resources, such repatriates would have achieved something that is almost impossible for the average African to achieve. It is not good to be viewed as an island of prosperity in a sea of poverty. In places like Nigeria, such Black achievers usually live behind large iron gates with guards at the door, and high walls with barbed wire strung on top.

True Repatriation must therefore be accompanied by a total revolutionary change in the African social, political, and economic system that allows prosperity to be more broad-based. Otherwise, repatriation will be just a matter of RELOCATING HELL.

Apocalyptic doctrines should never be allowed to put common sense to sleep. Those that step in the right should never be guided by fear. Each one must ask themselves, "What is my particular role in this battle to lift Black humanity from the dust of disadvantage, scorn, and perpetual servitude? What are my unique talents, and how can they best be utilized to accomplish these goals in this generation?" When these questions are properly answered, everyone will know what his or her divinely-appointed station is in this final battle to restore the right. Some may be called sooner than others to make the journey now to help spread the light of consciousness, with the full knowledge that they will be opposed by Black oppressors. Others may have to fight in the lands of the white oppressors to give more power to the truth by galvanizing a movement similar to the days of the civil-rights movement.

Whether Hell is in the east or in the west, it is still Hell, so the battle will remain the same in either place. When this consciousness comes home fully, one will not be motivated in one's efforts to repatriate by the feeling that one is making an escape for a safe place. On the contrary, one will be relocating with the full knowledge that one is moving into place to take over the baton of struggle from the likes of Haile Selassie, Muguabe, Mbeki, Mandela, Steve Biko and all those who fought to bring Africa this far from the clutches of colonialism. The struggle for African liberation must now be taken to its ultimate conclusion, and that is the task that has been prepared for this generation.

Seeing that white-skin preference and rich man preference still overshadow the doors of return, it should be plain to see by now that there are a few righteous steps that must be taken if REPATRIATION is to come anywhere close to the idea of GOING TO ZION.


The battle to regain economic independence as a group must start now. This could be said in another way: The battle to regain African manhood must start now. The reason why this battle is so very much connected to spiritual integrity is that it ushers in a generation who can speak fearlessly without wondering if they will lose their jobs.

Because of long DOMESTICATION and continued subjugation under a rigorous slave system that was designed to benumb the soul, many slave descendants know nothing about their own creative talents, and many doubt that they even have them. Therefore most of their waking hours are spent in the mundane activities that have been prescribed by the slave-master for the purpose of suffocating and stifling the genie within. Every effort has to be made therefore to uncork the bottle and let out the genie(us). This is a process that should start from the very first arrival of true consciousness. Because of this reorganization of self, the Zion train will be carrying GENIUSES, well equipped and well prepared to do the work of rebuilding Zion. If you have already discovered your talent, no effort should be spared in sharpening, polishing, and shining it, so that it reaches its full potential. What ought to emerge from this process is a group of people, who despite their origins in the dust of society, have secured by their collective and individual works, that measure of respect that the world will have to recognize. This is a mission that is achievable. Marcus Garvey showed us how.

The people's creative talent is a yet un-UN-DEVELOPED TREASURE. It is a treasure that has been buried by slavery, and it is now kept in a coma by the mundane day to day chores of slave life. It has to be developed and mobilized to generate the kind of power that will command respect. Not only will it provide spiritual and material wealth, but it will also break the yoke of the 9 to 5 slave-master.

When this awakening has taken place, no one will have to be convinced about the essential role of I-NITY, NETWORKING, AND COOPERATION. The present blindness only happens because of faith in the pay-check.

The wide scattering of the people must also be turned into an asset, for it can be made to facilitate product-distribution which is so vital in the capitalist system. If this network is not developed, the present trend will continue where OTHERS are the main sellers and therefore the main profit-makers. Right in our midst, there are products that can be made to benefit more than just a few, but their full potential has not been realized because the words COMPANY AND CORPORATION are still believed to have been copy-written and reserved exclusively for the white man.

This is the time to make manifest THE PEOPLE OF POWER.

And while this vital NATION BUILDING project is being implemented, the battle for Reparations must be waged unceasingly, for that is the only way to resurrect justice from the dead. By struggling for Reparations, one draws closer to the heart of those countless numbers of African ancestors who were brutalized, worked to death, and buried like dogs, who now sit on the other side anxiously awaiting the restoration of their humanity. In effect, what one will be doing by whole-heartedly embracing the struggle for Black reparations is DEMONSTRATING THAT THE BLINDNESS IS OVER, AND NOW ONE CAN TRULY SEE. No generation can claim that their humanity is fully recognized and respected while the humanity of their ancestors is denied and neglected. UP, ye mighty people, you can conquer whatsoever you will.


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