“Y’all been eating long enough now stop being greedy. Just keep it real partner, give to the needy.” “Stop Being Greedy” by rapper DMX
Every four years, it’s the same thing. Political operatives come before Black folk with the same Chicken Little scare tactics that the sky is falling. And if we don’t vote a certain way (insert Democratic) some Armageddon-like prophecy is gonna be fulfilled by lunch time the day after the election. Either we are gonna be stripped of our “inalienable rights” “or we are gonna be loaded up in a fleet of city buses to be carried off to plantations en mass.” Of course, this never happens but after every election one thing remains consistent … the hood remains “tha ‘hood.”
However, in 2020 there was a slight change in the game with Senator Bernie Sanders pushing “Democratic Socialism.” For many, it is a great alternative to the status quo.
But not so fast.
If you study how socialist theory has been manifested through its political application of Communism, there is a downside in dealing with racial matters as race-specific conversations are replaced with talks of a political euphoria where color doesn’t matter. This is why Black Communists such as George Padmore were ostracized by the Communists in the early 20th century.
However, for a community that has suffered under Capitalism for 400-plus years anything is better than the current system of government.
But we must ask ourselves, can the two terms “Democratic” and “Socialism” really find common ground within the context of an overriding, Eurocentric political thought.
As Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, wrote in Consciencism, “there is such a thing as peaceful coexistence between states with different social systems, but as long as oppressive classes exist, there can be no such thing as peaceful coexistence between opposing ideologies.” Or to put it in 90’s Hip Hop terms, as Nas said on One Mic “some beef is everlasting.”
Nkrumah taught about the universal application of socialist thought and Kwame Ture, the late activist formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, urged us to combine socialist thought with African communalism to create a political ideology that was compatible with the condition of African people in America generations ago.
But the question we must ask ourselves in 2020 is what does this theory look like in real time with the myriad of problems we are facing?
Early in the 20th century scholars such as W.E.B. DuBois presented the idea of Pan-Africanism which sought to unite all African people across the Diaspora or as Marcus Garvey put it “at home and abroad.” I believe that this is still the ultimate solution to ensure the survival of African people on the planet. However, it must be modified to fit our current reality.
The answer to the problems facing our people today lies in “Pan-Hoodism,” the belief that the long journey to unite African people globally begins in your own ‘hood.
What we must do is take the wisdom and communal traditions of our African ancestors, the ideology of Dubois and combine them with the methods of Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey.
We must apply this method to the less affluent, predominantly Black communities in our own cities which are suffering from economic exploitation, political manipulation as well as destroying themselves through the internal drug trade and “Black on Black violence.”
How can we expect to stop the neo-colonization of Africa if our own public housing in America is colonized? How can we stop the tribal wars in the Motherland if our own brothers and sisters down the block are shooting each other every night?
The benefits of Pan-Hoodism are many.
First, it includes those who have been disenfranchised out of the political system by incarceration as part of the process. Just because you can’t vote does not mean that you can’t play a vital role in helping your community achieve political power by other means.
Secondly, it includes the Black youth who feel they have no stake in the system. Because in the current system, unless you are old enough to cast a ballot and/or contribute financially to a political campaign they really ain’t tryin’ to hear nothin’ you’re tryin’ to say.
Thirdly, it will establish a security fence around the Black community that protects the ‘hood from outsiders who seek to exploit it. We will control everything that is sold in our communities and every business must contribute to its wellbeing as opposed to being a detriment.
And lastly, it changes the definition of “ ‘hood” from its negative connotation into an acronym meaning “Hope Out Of Despair.”
Back in the ‘70s, the Isley Brothers posed the question “when will there be a harvest for the world.” If we ask the same question in 2020 it would be “when will there be a harvest for the ‘hood.”
Under Pan-Hoodism the answer is soon and very soon.
Minister Paul Scott is founder of the Durham, N.C.-based Black Messiah Movement P.O. Box 15123 Durham, N.C. 27704. Email [email protected] or text (919) 972-8305.