SRDC Practicing MA’AT in Organizing the African Diaspora
By David L. Horne, Ph.D.
Ma’at has been defined several ways, including, among other perceptions, as the unifying principle of ancient Kemetian religion and spirituality, symbol of truth and order, the antithesis of chaos and anarchy, the foundation of ethical civilization, and the personification of logos, universal harmony and balance (through the feather goddess, Ma’at).
In its primary existence, Ma’at is a system of conduct and life engagement based on balance, order, truth, justice, morality, wisdom and ethical behavior. For adherents to Ma’at, it requires responsible, non-exploitative choices in all human engagement, i.e., conducting one’s life and affairs in as decent a manner as possible. For adherents to Ma’at, except in defense of one’s life, liberty or family, one is obligated to do no harm and take no advantage.
In doing its work, the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC), which is a 21st century NGO which focuses on a grass roots approach towards unifying African descendants to join the African Union and to take their rightful place in the great struggle to achieve the Union of African States/United States of Africa, must conduct itself based on a set of ethical African principles. That is the foundation on which SRDC stands. Such conduct is part and parcel of SRDC’s legitimacy and its credibility. Immoral conduct or engagement lacking integrity dishonors and disrespects the millions of warriors, activists and workers who have brought us this far. To maintain the tradition of positive, progressive work and to achieve more than a pyrrhic victory in this relentless struggle, SRDC members must have a system of conduct they adhere to that keeps them above reproach.
Based on a modern interpretation of The 42 Principles of Ma’at and other edifications of what Ma’at means, thefollowing constitutes Ma’at for SRDC and Other Pan African Organizations:
1. From Amilcar Cabral, “Tell no lies, claim no easy victories.”
2. Practice mutual respect with each other in and out of organizational settings until such practice is perfected and becomes natural.
3. Acknowledge and constantly remind each other that one’s participation in the struggle to redeem and unify Africa cannot be based on gender, ethnicity, religion or age.
4. In all engagements, meetings, projects and interactions, try to do no harm physically and psychically, and always find a way to move forward.
5. Always resist being arrogant and ill-mannered. Be patient with the diversity of participants, some of whom will lack experience, and others who will always seek the limelight. Remember that the struggle is much too big for anyone or any organization to complete the journey alone.
6. Find what you can do best in the struggle forward and do that well, rather than wasting precious energy undermining and obstructing what others are doing. Strongly resist being disrespectful to others in the struggle, but defend well against being disrespected, particularly without just cause.
7. Learn to accept both accolades and constructive criticism in equal measure. Be honest and truthful to your colleagues.
8. Always measure/evaluate one’s own worth by the quality and quantity of the Pan African work one has done and is doing; and if one must judge others, use that same standard.
9. Do not lie on, scandalize, make up or spread false rumors of, colleagues and fellow Pan Africanists. Demand compelling evidence of alleged wrong-doing or skullduggery, and if none is presented, disregard any charge as malicious gossip not to be tolerated.
10. In all things Pan African, conduct oneself with character, courtesy and common sense.