Of course, this type of arrogance from the European left is nothing new. Especially if defining the European left as the so-called Marxist-Leninist vanguard element - or - so-called revolutionary white people. The problem here is historical and really reflects a separate topic from this one, but the basis of the problem is rooted in white supremacy which defines everything productive as coming out of the European experience. As a result, the ideas of people like Karl Marx, Vladimar Lenin, Frederick Engels, Leon Trotsky, etc, are accepted as the definitive voices on revolution and socialist construction. Therefore, any African or other people of color who say they are socialist must be Marxist-Leninist - correct? Even many people of color are confused by this racism when in fact this has never been true on any level. Africans and all other people have always developed their own analysis of the world. Sekou Ture, one of the foremost ideologues for Pan-African revolutionary ideology, said it best when he said "ideology evolves from a people's culture." Since we African revolutionaries know that culture develops from a people's experiences, colonized Africans will never interpret the world through the same lenses as European people who benefit from that colonialism. Consequently, our cultural perspectives will always be different. This doesn't mean we are enemies. It doesn't mean we won't work together, but it does mean our conditions in the world are different so naturally, or response to those conditions are going to be different. So, in spite of the efforts by European leftists to label Pan-Africanists like Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, and Amilcar Cabral as Marxist-Leninists, we know that Cabral was correct when he said "ideology cannot be exported." In other words, since Cabral, Lumumba, and Sankara were all students of Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Ture - unquestionable Pan-Africanists - clearly the students most be correctly defined as nationalists and Pan-Africanists.
So, if the above is true, what makes Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism different from identity politics? First, it's important to understand that some aspects of Black nationalism exist in Pan-Africanism and some aspects of Pan-Africanism exist in Black nationalism, but in spite of age old efforts from the European left to merge the two schools of thought together, they are not the same. Black nationalism speaks specifically to the desire for all people of African descent to have solidarity in struggle. This position doesn't result from any type of race hatred of Europeans. Instead, it evolves from the 500+ year experience of institutional race discrimination and the understanding that we are the only agents of our liberation. This has never meant anything as it relates to Europeans and in fact, there are many examples of Black nationalists developing working relationships with European elements. One recent example is the mayoral campaign and program of the late Chokwe Lumumba in Jackson, Mississippi. Lumumba, co-founder of serious Black nationalist groups like the Republic of New Afrika and the New African People's Organization - which helped produce the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement - built a solid campaign on the support of Africans in Jackson, but his campaign also generated significant support from European and other nationality activists. So much for the European left analysis that Black nationalists are narrow and only able to function within their limited definition of identity politics. In fact, people should be aware of just how insidious and dishonest European left activists have been in attempting to undermine Black nationalism. For example, the concept of the Black belt South, or land in the South for Africans to develop a homeland, was launched and supported in large degree by the Communist International from the Second International through the strategy of ideas generated by Trotsky and Joseph Stalin to undercut the great popularity of the Garvey movement (read George Padmore's "Pan-Africanism or Communism.").
Pan-Africanism as an objective represents an entirely different level of independent activism and analysis that properly understood, makes any attempt to categorize it as identity politics absurd. Pan-Africanism, as defined by the All African People's Revolutionary Party, is the achievement of one unified socialist Africa. The concept evolves from the understanding that Africans are scattered and suffering in over 113 countries worldwide as a direct result of slavery and colonialism (and neo-colonialism). In other words, the entire capitalist empire, led by the U.S., is financed by exploiting cheap African resources like coltan, oil, rubber, etc., along with cheap African labor. So, Pan-Africanists understand that the only way African people will have freedom and dignity is to remove the exploitation of the African continent, understanding that doing this will alleviate the suffering Africans face everywhere. Or, as Nkrumah stated "the core of the Black revolution is in Africa and until Africa is free, no African anywhere will be free." This revolution is socialist because capitalism was built and is maintained by exploiting Africa and Africans so only a collective economic system will solve the problem and since the imperialists have killed millions to maintain their system, we know we will only have a free united Africa through protracted armed struggle. Pan-Africanism is a scientific strategy, not an identity politic. The people who dominate the world's economics don't just exist in the U.S. and their system isn't just dependent upon the U.S. Their oppressive machinery is international in scope. Consequently, since capitalism is dependent upon exploiting the world's resources and people, the best method of weakening capitalism is in organizing those exploited people. This is what Pan-Africanists seek to do. A free socialist Africa helps the Palestinian people and their struggle since zionism is financed by exploiting Africa. A free Palestinian state helps the Irish people since British imperialism is supported by allying with zionism and U.S. capitalism. A weakened U.S. imperialism helps the American Indian people and their struggle helps Africa, etc. This is science. It's not a question of Europeans going to Africa to assist. Its really not even about what Europeans do with Africans in the U.S. That's not practical or logical since all that would do is bring more racist attitudes of superiority to Africa and African movements and struggles. More "all lives matter" crap. Actually, as Africans free themselves that will do more than anything else to cure the Europeans of their paternalistic attitudes since Africans will be in a position of independence from Europeans for the first time in over 500 years. Arrogance gone because we won't be dependent upon them anymore. Anyone who has children understands this because the moment your children demonstrate they can take care of themselves, that will change how you look at them, regardless of how much you've always told them you trust their judgement.
Any European leftist who truly wants to ally with the African freedom struggle must do so by respecting the integrity of our struggles as we define them. Stop attempting to define our struggles based on your ideological orientation and stop thinking that the fact you may have some token Africans in your ranks who agree with you is proof that you are correct. What that actually proves to most of us is that you are no different than any other arrogant racist European and in fact, you are worse because you parade around as someone who has a concern about our well being. The only people you are fooling is yourselves. Africa is marching forward! As this coming week indicates, Africans all over the world are waking up to the reality that our only solution is Pan-Africanism. Commemorations for African Liberation Day will be held this week in every part of the African world from Nairobi, Kenya, to Harare, Zimbabwe, to Accra, Ghana, to London, England, to Toronto, Canada, to Oakland, California. No other people on the planet come together like that to express their desire for unity except Africans because we are the people who historically should call out for unity. Its scientific and makes perfect sense because our oppression thrives because we have been divided and exploited and that starts with Africa. We won't be free until we have our unity and that unity must be centered on our mother - Africa. When we are successful we will remember who is standing side by side with us and who is attempting to use us as a tool for their European focused agenda.