First, I'd like to humbly start by reviewing a statement by Kwame Ture that I think we would be wise to always remember. He said we cannot make any analysis about our people without including the enemy. And by enemy he meant the international capitalist and imperialist system which we see as the true and primary enemy of African people and all of humanity. He went on to say that any analysis that doesn't include our enemy will end up blaming our people. We see examples of his point all the time such as when Africans blame the problems in our communities on the lack of respect by our youth. Of course, our youth can only know what they are taught and there is very little healthy education of our people happening anywhere. And, the reason this education doesn't exist (at least on a mass level) is because our people lack power, are disorganized, and we are dominated by ideologies that perpetuate our negative self image. Therefore, it would be sufficiently lacking to make the assessment that the problem is our youth without including the enemy components that clearly explain the reasons we are in the situation are in.
So, as it relates to African men, or cis or so-called heterosexual men, is it possible that the correct analysis is that African men suffer from the oppression of this capitalist system? That it has trained us to see the world through a hyper masculine and patriarchal vision that is unproductive and oppressive for all non-cis men within our African communities (as well as other African men)? Consequently, far too many African men see our people, especially non-men, as a means to an end. We view our people through the exploitative vision of the capitalist system that teaches us that the only purpose of women and non-men is to supply for our needs. And, equally consistent with the values of this backward system, when non-men do not conform to our vision of their purpose, we have learned to react not with reason and thoughtfulness, but violence and oppression, the primary tools for the capitalist system.
The above is ill refutable, but just because we say the system is the source of the dysfunction of African men doesn't mean the need for a highly honest and critical assessment of African men isn't necessary. African men deserve extreme criticism for being such willing students for a system that continues to oppress our people. Instead of us resisting this backward system and standing up for principle and justice, we retreat into hurtful and oppressive ideologies against our people. We make African women commodities and we completely dehumanize members of our LGBTQ community. And we curiously label these actions as designed to protect and strengthen our people when the truth is what we are doing is catering to our cowardly and insecure traits instead of being brave (and strong) enough to confront and challenge them, which would make our communities stronger.
No one can be blamed for being ignorant, especially when capitalism is a system that discourages critical thinking, but we can blame you for being arrogant and unwilling to do anything about that ignorance. Now, many Africans have (never to my face) criticized me for saying African people don't read, so I'm going to help all of you out by reiterating that we don't read. Magazines and social media are fine, but they don't count when I'm making that statement. I'm talking about historical, philosophical, economic, and social science material. I'm talking about a comprehensive analysis of the history of African women. A class based and matriarchal history of Africa, and the same critical analysis of our LGBTQ family and their place within our communities. I don't think anyone can argue that this type of education isn't happening within our communities anywhere on a mass scale.
Until African men embrace our position within this oppressive system, and decide to take a stand to dismantle this decadent capitalist travesty against justice, we do become and remain enemies of our people. And, African women and other non-men presenting members of our community are not without their share of blame also. Many African women do an outstanding job of perpetuating patriarchy, even outright endorsing it. My mother, a strong African woman from Louisiana, never tired of telling me how evil African women could be and up until the time she made her physical transition, she argued with me that any women who was raped had to have done something to deserve it e.g. how she was dressed, etc.
Its time for African women and other non-men members of our community to declare that the primary enemy of all of our people and humanity is the oppressive capitalist system. And, if you don't know what I mean by "oppressive capitalist system" that should serve as the first place you want to focus your efforts on how to address the problem. African men must decide to abandon these backward and cowardly anti-class analysis theories of homophobia and patriarchy and adopt courageous positions that we are nothing without every member of our community feeling welcome and supported by each and every one of us. And, on that same note, let's abandon this backward anti-whiteness thats also entrenched in these cowardly elements of the capitalist system. Our critique of Europeans needs to contain the same principled approach that I'm calling for non-men to have for African men. Expose the system of oppression while holding the privileged classes accountable for their behavior.
African people are oppressed because this oppressive system was built and is maintained on our backs. We need our women, men, queer, transgender, and all other elements of our communities united, respected, and loved, if we are going to win this all out battle against the forces of evil. If you can't understand that, and aren't willing to grow in order to understand it, then you are the enemy. So, don't be surprised when we start to treat you as one.