I'll be as clear as my limited command of this colonial language English permits me to be. So-called Black Nationalist, so-called Pan-Africanist, so-called "leaders" of African people Umar Johnson in the U.S. and Julius Malema in Azania (South Africa), are nothing except opportunists who use our people's suffering to advance their individual interests. Of course, and unfortunately, we could add countless other names to that list, but we choose to focus on these two for this piece because they exist in Africa and North America which demonstrates that con-men are easily able to confuse and fool our people everywhere we exist on Earth. Secondly, and amazingly, each of these men have been able to develop and cultivate a large number of African supporters and admirers.
Johnson has built up himself on Youtube with a series of videos filled with semi-truths and distortions. He has mastered the skill of the colonialists by appealing to our fears and ignorance to convince many of us that our LBGTQ family members are the true threats to our people's forward progress, not capitalism and imperialism. In fact, you will never hear Johnson utter a single word about capitalism, imperialism, or any exploitative system against African people because his system relies on utilizing the deceptive "advertising" approaches of these backward systems so that he has been able to create a mini-empire of products to sell and capitalize off our people on. Books, DVDs, etc, that are all going to tell our people what we need to know to free ourselves. Novices to our struggle can be easily deceived by the illusion that this African is genuinely interested in our people's liberation through this approach, but Mr. Johnson has no organization people. So, to think that he genuinely wants to stop our oppression when he has demonstrated no interest in building a vehicle to achieve that objective is akin to believing that someone telling you they will take you somewhere when they have no access to any transportation options is going to get you where you need to go. The concept sounds great and the vision is fantastic, but at the end of the day, you will still be sitting exactly where you started. Left with nothing except a book and a DVD which is precisely what Mr. Johnson intends. All of this is ill-refutable and that is without even getting into his massive and shameful scam of convincing so many of our people to believe in his "promise" to build a school for African boys. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were collected by Johnson a couple of years ago with no practical school plans ever being presented, not to mention no physical location, etc., produced. For many of his unfortunate supporters, this clear deception apparently did nothing to dim their enchantment with this Black power pimp. And, to add insult to injury, the critics who did respond with questions were met with defensiveness by Johnson where he claimed that people just didn't understand all of the challenges involved in building a school. And, despite the overwhelming evidence that Johnson paid for the professional services of women, most of his supporters still haven't questioned whether any of their money went towards his physical pleasures instead of building that school. Since much of his appeal is in his emotional appeal to our long neglected and disrespected African women, despite his clearly patriarchal and anti-woman foundation in his philosophies, he has been able to retain a considerable measure of support from African women despite the obvious question in the air about his consistent attacks against interracial relationships. What I'm saying is if a man is going to hire women for physical pleasure you are not going to convince me that he's going to do it in a "principled way" where he doesn't spend a cent of any money at his disposal. And you certainly aren't going to tell me that he will only practice his sexual conquests with a Black Nationalist posture, refusing to "interact" with women who are not African. Finally, there are productive and inspirational independent African schools that emerge everywhere without anything close to the massive budget Johnson has collected. I know this because I've seen many of them and co-founded one myself. The clear manipulation and opportunism from Johnson has to be more deeply talked about in African communities in the U.S. and around the world.
Julius Malema was a youth leader within the African National Congress (ANC) in Azania. He was unceremoniously kicked out of the ANC some time ago because of serious allegations of misappropriating ANC funds and other allegations of abuse against members, including one of using ANC resources to sell narcotics on a wide spread basis. Of course, Malema disputes all of these allegations, but he has been unable to explain how he accumulated the massive wealth at his disposal from the ANC salary he pulled in. After being expelled from the ANC, Malema started an organization called the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The stated objective of his organization is to combat white supremacy in Azania. So far, this has been mostly Malema making similar types of bombastic pronouncements against the European population, much in the same way Johnson does in the U.S., without any clear programmatic thrust behind it to empower African people. Sure, calling all Europeans to leave Azania immediately appeals directly to the emotions of Africans who are sick and tired of being oppressed within their own land, but making the call and having the plan to empower us are two entirely different things. And, this is especially contradictory because its not as if Malema's sudden Black Nationalism was something consistent in his political evolution. He was a member of the ANC which means he was always a supporter of the ANC's Freedom Charter which states that Azania belongs to everyone regardless of national origin. There is no evidence of Malema taking any position against the Freedom Charter at any time. Now we are supposed to believe that he has magically transformed himself into the political tradition of Steve Biko, Mangaliso Sobukwe, and Elizabeth and David Sibeko, when he was always a son of Nelson Mandela until it no longer benefited him? That plus the reality that the corruption allegations that dogged him while he was in the ANC still persist. Evoking the logic of that great philosopher Katt Williams when speaking about Whitney Houston and her long rumored addiction to drugs, "no rumor lasts for years against you unless there's some truth to it!" Truthfully, there's significant evidence of Malema's personal corruption, but just like Johnson, none of that evidence has done anything to shake his support base.
The next question is why and how are these men, and those like them, able to win over the hearts and minds of so many African people? The answers are complex. Our people everywhere we exist on Earth are viciously disrespected and oppressed by capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, and all forms of exploitation and anti-humanity. This existence has historically made us extremely vulnerable to any message that has even a sprinkling of hope within it. This is the formula the multitudes of Pastor Chicken wings and Iman hamhocks have used for centuries for stringing our people along towards the day when our suffering will end, whether on this Earth or in some other place. And, because of this vulnerable state, its really not difficult for really anyone to craft a message that appeals to our emotional cries for dignity. In these instances, the quest for validation of our humanity is achieved just in hearing someone speak with authority about the things close to our hearts. Most of us won't push any farther than that because in achieving that validation we receive the medicine we needed to make it through the day. If you understand the conditions of our oppression, this phenomenon is quite understandable, but this should not be confused with a genuine struggle for liberation. That struggle requires much more than emotional appeals. It requires the masses of our people organized to confront the enemies causing our oppression. It requires a resolute war to the fullest where power is seized by one side or the other. Although both of these men posture on the premise of "leading" us into this war, we can assure you that neither one of them has absolutely any intention of going there. If you want to know the difference between someone who intends on going there and someone who is playing Black power pimp politics like these two, look at what they are doing and compare it to people like Amilcar Cabral, Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Ture, Carmen Peirera, etc. Those freedom fighters spent their entire lives creating the capacity to fight for African dignity, freedom, and self-determination. We know this validation thing when we see it because truthfully family, its no different than the same type of validation we are seeing with the supporters of Donald Trump in the U.S. Those people don't care what he does provided he continues to provide them the emotional soothing they need to calm the fear and insecurity he has helped ratchet up within them. And, if you are wondering if I'm comparing Trump to Johnson and Malema, from a class standpoint, I absolutely am comparing them. None of them want to do anything to eliminate the existing exploitative capitalist system. They all, on different levels, want to salvage it, increase its vitality, and carve a space within it for them to continue to prosper within it. None of which have anything to do with our people's liberation.
And last, but not least, we as African people objectively have to take some blame for the continued acceleration of these Black power pimps. The standard is so low among our people that anyone with a rap that sounds good can win traction among our people anywhere. This is only possible because we are intellectually lazy. Someone like Johnson and Malema can call themselves Pan-Africanists and most of us don't have the ability to even analyze whether what they are doing qualifies as genuine Pan-African work. We don't even know exactly what Pan-Africanism is. How can you support someone and you haven't even read a single book about the concept they claim they represent? At this point, you have to bear some of the responsibility for them taking advantage of you.
The remedy for this is we cannot expect someone to "lead" us to liberation. We have to take an active role in our own liberation. That means participating in studying what the conditions of our struggle look like. We have to own that piece and that means being accountable to it. That means being in organizations to permit us to have regular structures to facilitate our work and our developing political education. There is absolutely no way around this people. If you are not willing to do these things and you think all it takes is sending cash to someone through Cash App then you are doing nothing to advance the struggle of our people. All you are doing is deepening the pockets for the latest chapter in a long glossary of people willing and able to prey off the gullibility of the struggling African masses.
One last note is some of you who support these men are undoubtedly going to be asking why write something like this? Are we jealous of the "stature" these men have apparently achieved? My response to anyone who thinks that is to suggest you study revolutionary movements. Revolutionaries never seek personal fame or prestige. Our interests are only in the masses of people achieving power. You cannot find one piece of work I've ever been involved in that was centered around advancing me. I write this piece because the deception of our people by these men and others creates obstacles in the work of true revolutionaries. An example is one of Johnson's videos has him shamefully and ignorantly explaining the "difference" between the Pan-Africanism of that great son of Africa Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Johnson. In that piece, Johnson attacks Kwame Ture and our organization's emphasis on scientific socialism in our quest for one unified socialist Africa. To Johnson this objective is false because "socialism is a white man's ideology." There is so much written here and elsewhere refuting this ignorance its not worth discussing here, but this confusion makes it necessary for us to spend time correcting the error. This is also true of Malema's mis-representation of Pan-Africanism in Azania. Neither Johnson or Malema are fit enough combined to wash Kwame Ture's shoes. Plus, some of us have spent years being attacked and we are tired of being silent in the context of not wanting to promote disunity. Some of this nonsense needs to be confronted head on with aggressive and uncompromising resistance to these vultures who pick and prey off the vulnerability of our people. So to all you marauders and snake oil sales people, when you come for our people we are coming for you.