The white skeleton is out of the black cupboard: it’s time for the world to tackle racism head on | Citypress – News24

Posted By on June 20, 2020


We are all playing horrified, but we knew it was there all along, George Floyds last breath has just but spat it out for us to grapple with. Unless it is painted or consciously burnt, this skeleton will never be black enough to match this pitch-dark cupboard of despair.

The ghost of anti-racism protests we now see all over the world are an alarming wake-up call that reminds us that this attitude of postponing the confrontation of white supremacy is a tickling but ticking time bomb of hope.

Just when we all thought that the next world war will be fought over water, it seems that racism (which has become more pandemic than the Covid-19 coronavirus) has jumped the queue again.

The typical reaction to plaster over the cracks of the skull or delay real action on the part of perpetrators is also beginning to rear its ugly head.

In the UK, for instance, Boris Johnson recently announced a cross-governmental commission to look at all areas of inequality between blacks and whites. The Labour Party, in its progressive touch with issues of race, is suspicious and dismissive of this action as it lacks detail and clear timelines.

READ:Whiteness squeezes the breath out of black people

The Labour Party is correct because these reviews and useless commissions in the UK and elsewhere in the West are not new. As soon as the protestors are pacified the reviews paperwork is filed in the shelves and no real outcomes to reverse the racial inequality damage become visible.

In a recent webinar hosted by the Kgodiso Sechaba Foundation of SA, Professor Horace Campbell from the Syracuse University in the US instructively reminded us that in order to practically confront the global issues of racism today, we must perhaps go back to the 2001 Durban 1 World Conference Against Racism, its subsequent follow up conferences and why we all turned our backs on implementing the resolutions.

The context must be remembered that for Durban 1, South Africa was chosen because it was a beacon of hope for the global anti-racism struggle after the liberation movement had relatively defeated apartheid politically in 1994. We emphasise that this was just relative political defeat because apartheid capitalism was certainly never defeated economically. And even the political project has not been completed, in South Africa or anywhere else in the world hitherto.

This is evidenced by the fact that the commanding heights of the world economy is still in the hands of whites. It is for this reason that an innocent black man can be falsely accused and killed for allegedly using a counterfeit dollar bill, buying goods he needs to survive. It is therefore not a coincidence that 10 of the richest people in the world today from Jeff Bezos to Larry Page are white, when black business people (no matter how hard they enterprise) are at the bottom rung of the global wealth list in general.

It is important to also remember that in Durban 1 on September 3 2001 there was a threat by both the US and Israel to boycott the session evidenced by a conditional withdrawal. The protest withdrawal was based on agitation by these two racist countries that Zionism was being equated to racism in the proposed declaration of the conference.

Denying their obvious atrocities against humanity has always been their political method. Who in the world does not know that Zionism, as practiced by Israel, is a philosophy based on a racial supremacist orientation? This was a typical case of the US and its Israel ally hiding behind a political broomstick when it comes to their obvious racist policies.

Conditions which forced the UN General Assembly on November 10 1975 to adopt the resolution that declared Zionism a form of racial discrimination just like it did with apartheid on the December 16 1966, still prevail. Today Israel is advanced in its old plans for the de jure annexation of parts of the West Bank in the occupied territories of Palestine which the US (now led by racist Donald Trump) still condones.

This action by Israel is a white skeleton that not only violates international law but smacks of a racist attack on the people of Palestine and their struggle for self-determination. The US and Israel have always been partners in the crime of racist practice, teaching each other and defending their acts of racism as a tact-team.

When Israel gets attacked on international platforms for its racist offensive against the people of Palestine, the US is its first line of defence. This is why Israel always returns the favour when the US is called out for racially abusing African-Americans.

Timothy Guzman reminds us that the knee on neck tactic used on Floyd and other blacks in the US is a training product of US police by the Israeli police who have successfully used this for many years on innocent Palestinians.

It is for this reason that the US has never taken the question of tackling global racism seriously. Over and above its Zionism declaration protest at the Durban conference, the Americans had sent a low level delegation to Durban. The US delegation was led by former secretary of state in Colin Powell as part of their window dressing tactic of deliberately delegating a moderate but powerless black man to represent them on issues that the white supremacist government of the US could not confront face to face.

This is despite the fact that most countries were represented by their heads of state as a sign of their seriousness in tackling this global challenge of racism. Such that what is happening in Minneapolis this year is not a coincidence of history, but a mere exposure of what the US has always refused to confront.

The US at this point in history was a bully hegemon or a sole superpower in global affairs, if it did not have the appetite to implement the 2001 Durban conference resolutions, no other country would easily succeed in this regard. The US dominated the discourse in multilateral platforms, which were meant to implement these resolutions through their member states.

Instead its economic diplomacy of cohesion focused on the global preponderance agenda which is in kilter with the racist American dream. A dream that was at loggerheads with that of Martin Luther King, who wanted the sons of former slaves to share a table of brotherhood with the sons of former slave owners.

Unfortunately China, as a new and emerging superpower in the fresh multipolar world that we live in today which shows signs of dwindling US power, cannot be trusted to fight the anti-racist project on behalf of blacks in general and Africans in particular. The Chinese too have been caught dancing with the white skeleton of racism in their own country and beyond.

READ:Is a revolution an elusive project?

This means that the AU must take charge and lead this fight both in the UN and other global multilateral institutions to ensure that the progressive resolutions of the 2001 Durban conference are revisited with a concrete action plan.

As we pick up the scattered pieces of the white skeleton that fell out of the black cupboard in the environment of US hegemony, let us also remember those who joined this shrinking superpower to protest against such text being included in the declaration of the Durban conference back in 2001.

The likes of Canada and Australia still owe black people an explanation about their internal racist practices. What is their reaction or lack of reaction to the recent global protests that sprung in response to the activities in Minneapolis? The call by private citizens for change of conduct by the police is certainly just a plaster over the cracks, qualitative real change of policy and tangible redress measures are required.

As the AU crafts its action plan, it must know its potential allies and potential rivals in this regard. Nobody must be shocked when the spies of the US or Israel (and their other allies) will be deployed to deal with us.

They will chase us in one way or the other for raising these views because they certainly put an onion finger on the eye of conscience in their ongoing denialism about their policies of race hate. This must however, not instil fear in us, we must seize the moment to fight until real action is taken by the perpetrators to reverse the damages caused by racism in all its manifestations in global affairs.

The US has been trying to hide it, but the whole white skeleton of racism is now out of the black cupboard for the whole world to see. We are all playing horrified, but we knew it was there all along. George Floyds last breath has just but spat it out for us to grapple with. Unless it is painted or consciously burnt, this skeleton will never be black enough to match this pitch-dark cupboard of despair.

Thatho wa Magogodi is a writer, poet and activist

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The white skeleton is out of the black cupboard: it's time for the world to tackle racism head on | Citypress - News24

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