The idea of combat has been presented as having a number of dimensions. Sun Tzu said “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.“ Our great tactician and philosopher, Amilcar Cabral, said “Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits …” Both these ideas come home in the war against African people who continue in captivity in the African Diaspora.
As our sister, Harriet Tubman, said, “I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” That continues to be the case today. But as elder Carter G. Woodson reminds us, “If you control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to worry about his actions.” The Deep State continues to condition and control the dominant narrative that privileges some and punishes others with its latest creation: Black Indentify Extremists (BIE).
The European colonial powers have made political shifts but have maintained the same mentality that is common with all who claim to be conquerors. We saw this in the targeting of African communities with Cointelpro. Any effort to unite, uplift or organize as a community of African descent is viewed as a threat to the hegemony of European ideas and ideals. But more importantly, as Amilcar Cabral reminds us, the ultimate object of ideas are not mental but material benefits. It is this that frightens and threatens the existing world order.
Institutions are self-perpetuating. When you contribute to their existence they reward you. When you threaten their existence they punish you. Self-determination is perceived as a threat to the existing world order because it is built on the oppression and exploitation of African people at home on the African continent and abroad in the African Diaspora. Anyone who presents ideas or demonstrates actions that can change that becomes an enemy of the Deep State.
N’COBRA knows this history and its impact on reparations activist well. We know the fate of both known and unknown Africans who stood up for African people enslaved in the United States. There are the known examples of Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner and thousands of others unknown who chose to live free or die. We know the stories of reparationist who were become increasingly effective and therefore increasingly a threat, like Callie House, Marcus Garvey and others who were targeted and attacked. The fact that the BIE initiative was crafted during the Obama administration should give pause to those who point to the current administration as the source of repressive government initiatives against the African community.