Pan-Africanist accused Chairman Omali of “gay agenda,” barred APSP comrade from selling The Spear

BIRMINGHAM, England––The African People’s Socialist Party was first in Birmingham in 1983. We traveled there as part of a European and United Kingdom-wide tour to promote the outcome of the World Tribunal on Reparations for black People in the U.S. that was held by our movement in Brooklyn, New York in November 1982.

When we went to Birmingham, we went as African Internationalists, not Pan-Africanists. Nevertheless, we thought it possible to work with self-declared Pan-Africanists despite our ideological differences.

This is primarily because most people who considered themselves Pan-Africanists had adopted the concept ignorant of its history and its meaning.

In addition to sharing the results of the Reparations Tribunal, the African People’s Socialist Party was also interested in building the African Socialist International, an international Party reminiscent of the organization created by Marcus Garvey in the first quarter of the 20th century.

And, while we did not succeed in building the African Socialist International with the Pan-Africanists, the African People’s Socialist Party did continue to have a relatively good relationship with many of the Pan-Africanists, some of who actually hosted events that featured our Party.

This is why we were shocked when a leading Pan-Africanist in Birmingham refused to allow members of the African People’s Socialist Party to sell The Burning Spear, our official newspaper, at an African Liberation Day event he had organized on May 28th, declaring that APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela had “sold out to a gay agenda.”

This is not the first time we have heard this criticism of the Party promoting a “gay agenda.” Some members of our Party in France, who were Pan-Africanists in disguise, actually left the party because of the accusation. 

Attacks on same gender loving individuals are opportunist

This is a charge made against our Party because we publicly took a stance some years ago to protect and defend the African nation, including same gender loving individuals who are called “gay” by whites.

Within the U.S., various black nationalists have also attacked the Party and a number of our members who are same gender loving individuals.

These are attacks by opportunists. Some of them are honest opportunists, but opportunist nonetheless. In fact, honest opportunists have been called the worst kind because they are motivated by conviction.

Some nationalists point to actions by neocolonial leaders in Africa in condemning and persecuting homosexuals as evidence of how “un-African” homosexuality is as justification for their backward stance.

None of the nationalists/Pan-Africanists, however, seem to be concerned by the fact that the entire Continent of Africa is controlled by whites who are currently in a fierce contest with China for African resources.

It appears that we can attack our own people for being “un-African” because of sexual orientation, while allowing every non-African imperialist corporation and country in the world to bleed Africa and Africans of every sexual persuasion to death.

African Internationalists, unlike Pan-African opportunists have no interest in oppressing anyone

African Internationalists are socialists, revolutionary communists, who are arrogant enough to accept the responsibility of overthrowing the entire world capitalist system that was created from African enslavement and colonialism and continues to be sustained by the colonization of Africa, African people and the majority of the world’s population.

As African Internationalists, representatives of the African working class and poor peasantry, we, like the African working class, have no interest in oppressing or exploiting anyone.

The task we have willingly accepted is to end exploitation and to limit oppression to the capitalist rulers and their minions in our midst until we succeed in creating a classless society that will come from the liberation and unification of Africa and Africans everywhere.

Opportunism has no interests in taking this struggle to its revolutionary conclusion.

Opportunism is the tendency of sacrificing the long-term interests of the African masses for some kind of short-term advantage of another class.

In the African world, the world of the forcibly dispersed African nation, neocolonialism is the highest expression of opportunism.

Pan-Africanism represents Neocolonialism

Neocolonialism is white power in black face. It is the tendency of the African petty bourgeoisie or middle class to accept benefits for itself, sometimes in the form of Flag Independence or indirect rule, at the expense of the liberation and elevation of the African working class to its full stature as the new ruling class at the helm of the process of creating a classless society.

Pan-Africanism, a concept that gained political significance as an attack on the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) led by Marcus Garvey, is the most recognizable manifestation of neocolonialism.

It is a concept that can and should be criticized from a number of angles, but for now it is important to state that a fundamental flaw is the fact that it has no class content and there is no way to know a priori what it is.

The Organization of African Unity and its progeny, the African Union, were born as a neocolonialist Pan-African organization in 1963, despite the best efforts of Kwame Nkrumah to forge a revolutionary path to African unity.

The African People’s Socialist Party elaborated on our differences with Pan-Africanism in the Party’s Political Report to the Sixth Congress in 2013 with this very clear statement:

“Pan-Africanism liquidates the class contradiction that’s killing us all over the world. To win the total liberation and unification of Africa and consolidate our nation, we have to be absolutely clear.

“African Internationalism informs us that the African working class, aligned with the poor peasants must unequivocally lead this struggle for African liberation.

“Every other class force wavers in its loyalty to imperialist white power that affords them the promise of material or other benefits at the expense of the suffering African working class and the subjugated African nation.”

The entire African Nation must be united

The neocolonial petty bourgeoisie have no real interests in uniting the African nation. It is a self-serving class created in the image of its white masters.

The African nation must be united under the leadership of the African working class to achieve genuine liberation and a new society.

This cannot happen if we allow the African petty bourgeoisie to leave the imperialist enemy unscathed while we attack sectors of the nation or the working class because of ethnicity, geographical region, religion or sexual orientation.

Any political organization that attempts to split the nation, the class and even African families because of these non-antagonistic differences is working in the services of imperialist white power.

We have the courage to say it because it must be said.

Because we believe the liberation of the African nation requires all the principled unity that is possible, we will continue to try to work with the Pan-Africanists, including the comrades in Birmingham, as long as it does not compromise our strategic mission of the total liberation and unification of Africa and African people everywhere under the leadership of the African working class.

One Africa! One Nation!


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