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Maryland Pan-Afrikan Town Hall, December 2, 2017

Maryland Pan-Afrikan Town Hall, December 2, 2017

From Bro. Cliff Kuumba,
Maryland State Facilitator of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus

The SRDC Web site has been a bit idle the last couple of weeks. We just recently returned from our organization’s National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee and needed a little “down time” after we got back. Of course, during that time, much has happened in the news that has helped raise the collective blood pressure of the people of the United States and the world in general. Trump administration officials indicted, entertainers and US senators accused of grievous sexual misconduct, more mass shootings.

That being said, our organization’s primary concern at the moment is the current situation we face as Afrikan people and what we are going to do about it. Thus, as Maryland State Facilitator of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus, I’m announcing our next Maryland Pan-Afrikan Town Hall Meeting, December 2 at the historic Arch Social Club from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. At this Pan-Afrikan Town Hall Meeting, we will seat a Maryland Grassroots Council of Elders (or at least get it started), we will continue the process of nominating and ultimately electing Representatives from Maryland, we will discuss our plan to build a national network of locally-elected Representatives to take our grassroots voice to the World Stage via the African Union, United Nations or independent Pan-Afrikan conferences, and we will work to build a true Cooperative Coalition among the various Pan-Afrikan “pro-Black Unity” organizations of our community who are ready to put their WORDS of unity into ACTION, so we can begin to respond to the multi-faceted, multi-pronged attack we’ve been under for over 400 years in the multi-faceted, multi-pronged way in which such an all-encompassing assault MUST be met.

Maryland Council of Elders – Afrikan tradition calls upon us to consult our Elders. In many traditional Afrikan societies, the person regarded as the chief or “king” was often unable to receive visitors from other nations without first consulting the Elders Council of that community. In Pan-Afrikan cultural events here in the United States, we often begin our public statements by asking the Elders, “Do I have permission to speak?” Thus, a Community Council of Elders is in the best traditions of Pan Afrikan Organizing, and is an important step in the formation of a stable Pan-Afrikan community.

State Representatives – SRDC is an organization based on the raising of the voice of the grassroots. This is done through the nomination and election of Representatives by that grassroots community, in this case done state-by-state in the US, with other parts of the world determining the best methods for them. At our previous Town Hall on October 14, several candidates were nominated to become Representatives. We will seek more candidates at our December 2 Town Hall and hope to hold elections to fill two (2) Representative positions sometime in January or February.

National Representatives Taking Our Voice to the World Stage – The Representatives from Maryland would join Representatives from other states to form a cadre of elected Representatives, each put there by the voice of their own local communities and each expected to promote the Pan-Afrikan Agendas that were determined by the grassroots communities in their states. When all of the states and the District of Columbia have elected Representatives and established their Pan-Afrikan Agendas, we would have a complete cadre from the United States. In the meantime, since we do not have organizations in all 50 states and the District, we will do the best we can with what we have, combining the Agendas of the states where we are organized and amassing a cadre of elected Representatives from our current states. These states would combine their Agendas to produce a more comprehensive US Pan-Afrikan Agenda that would then be promoted and, if necessary, defended at international gatherings of the African Union, the United Nations or independent Pan-Afrikan organizations such as the Pan Afrikan Federalist Movement (PAFM), the 9th Pan-African Congress or whatever global gathering of Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent is ready to hear the voice of the Diaspora.

A Cooperative Coalition to Answer the Multiple-Front Attack from our Oppressors – Finally, we realize that we as a people are under attack from our enemies on multiple fronts. Our food, air and water are poisoned. We are bombarded with “legal” as well as “illegal” drugs. Big Agriculture controls the food supply and Big Pharma controls the drugs. Crooked politicians either steal our votes or try to prevent us from voting in the first place, only to lie to us when they attain office in obedience to their big-money benefactors. Resource extractors are destroying large swaths of the planet for oil, coal, natural gas and minerals, especially where Afrikan people live (70-80% of Afrikan people in the United States are estimated to live in “environmental sacrifice zones”, while mining for oil, coltan, diamonds and precious minerals continues unabated in Afrika). Weapons manufacturers develop more and more efficient ways of killing large numbers of people and resist all efforts to keep these weapons out of the hands of crackpots and racists. Major corporations continue to try to take ALL THE MONEY and reduce the rest of us to desperate poverty, which impacts Afrikan people more than most. Afrikan spirituality is constantly under attack by the “established” religions that insist the Akan, the Yoruba, the Santeria, the Vodou, the MDW NTR and associated spiritualities are “pagan” or “primitive”. The Prison-Industrial Complex has found a way to make money by putting us in jail, and so they do this whenever they can, resulting in mass incarceration and the criminalization of Black youth. The political police still practice many of the “dirty tricks” of COINTELPRO, and use them to silence or imprison political activists and leaders. Even nonprofits have been corrupted by Big Money, with the Nonprofit-Industrial Complex making some NGOs rich while allowing the horrible conditions they were created to bring to an end to continue year after year. All the while, the major media fill our brains with news articles of hopelessness and cultural messages of inferiority and cynical “thug-life” lawlessness masquerading as rebellious commitment to freedom.

For us to think that we can resist this multi-faceted, multi-pronged attack with ONE SPECIFIC SOLUTION is lunacy. Some say our “solution” is economic alone. Black Wall Street was a tremendous economic achievement in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1920’s, but that did not save it when the Klan and the police decided to firebomb it. The Panthers built one of the best national grassroots revolutionary activist organizations ever seen, and even had the Black Liberation Army when the hostilities from the US government reached the point of all-out war, but when the BLA itself was attacked and the Panthers were rounded up in mass numbers with their sympathizers from other organizations and all tried in courts of law at once, there was no cadre of Black lawyers, or even people trained in any aspect of the law, to provide a credible defense in the US kangaroo courts, resulting in some 200-plus Political Prisoners, many of whom remain imprisoned to this day. Thus, we cannot effectively resist the multi-faceted, multi-pronged attack from our enemies by pursuing ONE avenue of resistance.

Our artists, businesses, scientists, spiritualists, Elders, educators, researchers, grassroots communities, political activists, prison activists, revolutionaries, Black Media and others must learn to work together, cooperatively, so we as a people can resist our enemies on ALL FRONTS, at the SAME TIME. Our strategy up to this point appears to have been one akin to trying tom play chess with ONE PIECE. The chess player who wins is the one who can coordinate ALL of the pieces, with their individual abilities, to work cooperatively together as a TEAM.

SRDC realizes that we cannot bring the entire Pan-Afrikan Diaspora together alone. NO organization can accomplish its mission by itself. We need ALL of our people together in this, and as a result we need ALL of our organizations that are committed to a unified, coordinated Pan-Afrikan response to our current crisis to come together in a Cooperative Coalition and work TOGETHER to defeat our oppressors.

These are all aspects of our struggle which we will seek to advance at each of our Pan-Afrikan Town Hall Meetings in Maryland, and we’re urging our SRDC-affiliated organizations in other states to pursue a similar strategy. How can we expect our communities to come together in peace and harmony in our neighborhoods if our organizations are not willing and able to set the example by coming together in peace and harmony themselves?

So, I invite you to come and join us in this noble struggle. If you’re in the state of Maryland, especially in the city of Baltimore, I invite you to come to the Arch Social Club on December 2, 2017 at 3:00 PM.

Peace and Power,
Bro. Cliff
Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus

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