The New Black Nationalist Movement [NBNM] supports Ajamu Baraka’s recent call for the African/Black left to “resist” the Biden administration’s attempts to reassert the “US/EU/NATO Axis of Domination.” NBNM also urges Black progressives, radicals, nationalists, and leftists to condemn Russian and Chinese imperial venture in Africa and the Global South.
Mr. Baraka raises cardinal questions regarding Black leftists acquiescing to Joe Biden's revanchist neo-liberal version of American Empire. Notions that Biden's reign over Global North is more benign and less dangerous than Trump’s racist “America First” foreign policy are hollow rationalizations--escape hatches for apologists defending “African-American progress” threatened by “foreign aggression.”
Baraka’s “Resist” statement is correct: the locus of Biden’s agenda is resurrecting U.S. global leadership by reconsolidating a “U.S.--European capitalist program of domination.” However, the analysis we recently presented in “Crisis Theory and the Decline of American Empire” differs in two significant respects.
First, Baraka implies Biden's primary purpose in reconstituting the US/EU/NATO Axis is to intensify its exploitation and domination of Global South’s Black and brown masses.
“The racialist character” he says “of these appeals is obvious to those of us who operate from a critical anti-colonialist frame that centers race and violence as the essential elements of the rise of the Pan-European white supremacist colonial/capitalist patriarchal project. It is critical” says Baraka, “that the Black left understand U.S./European imperialism as a race project and organize accordingly.”
As a Fanonist New Black Nationalists network, we clearly recognize the perpetual “racialist” nature of the imperialist/colonialist project. But at critical junctures over the past 120 years, the principal antagonism disrupting the equilibrium of the international system escalated to contention between imperialist powers.
The resulting European world wars are the most salient example of how imperialist rivalry evolved into an existential crisis for several countries. During World War I, four empires collapsed, untold millions were killed, and Europe was reduced to rubble.
Today, we are living in a period of escalating imperialist rivalry. Joe Biden’s is attempting to reorganize U.S. and Western European condominium to fend off increasingly aggressive challenges by Russia and China’s to their global dominion.
Since World War ll, national security advisors and State Department pols have leaned over international geo-political chessboards to craft triangulated strategies to keep Russia and China at each other throats. Preventing their collusion to jointly undermine American Empire, and separating Europe from the Western Alliance was always at the center of Washington's grand strategy. The loss of Europe would sink American Empire, and immediately reduce the U.S. to a second-rate power.
Preventing a European economic collapse or the break up of the EU is an albatross around Biden's neck. Thirty percent of the EU's oil imports and 39% of its total gas imports come from Russia. The EU also has a 164 billion trade deficit with China, which is also the largest importer of EU goods. In truth, Russia and China exert considerable leverage over Europe.
Mired in economic stagnation. BREXIT turmoil, Middle East/African immigration, and rising white nationalist parties, the last thing Europe wants is to become America's junior partner in adversarial struggles with Russia or China that don't serve their interests.
The U.S. is simultaneously at loggerheads with Russia and China at a time when Biden's foreign policy portfolio is bereft of a viable triangulation strategy. Richard Nixon had his 1972 “Opening to China." George Bush (41) had his 1989 “Strategic Engagement Plan,” following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. What does Biden have?
Biden may formulate some version of a triangulated strategy, but as things currently stand, China nor Russia have an incentive to buy-in. They are simply bleeding the U.S. to death by a thousand paper cuts until it hemorrhages and collapses.
Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and an anemic economy, Biden’s ability to reconfigure the global economic and political architecture has real limitations. Those limitations cannot simply be overcome by squeezing more profits out of Global South countries.
New Black Nationalists second point of departure with Mr. Baraka’s analysis, is that rather than emphasizing “the dangers” inherent in Biden’s US/EU/NATO forced realignment, we are focused on American Empire’s weakness and vulnerability.
Our predictive model projects the U.S. will spiral into an existential crisis in the 2020’s--one that will lead to a profound crisis of governance. The January 6, "MAGA Capitol Coup," was a motley, but real dress rehearsal of what is to come.
Instead of assuming a defensive posture of “resisting” Biden’s global reorganization, New Black Nationalists believe progressives, radicals, and revolutionaries should be on the offensive.
For example, the international community knows the Ugandan election was stolen from Bobi Wine. When the U.S. Ambassador tried to visit Wine’s compound last week, Uganda’s government refused permission, saying Washington, D.C. was interfering in Uganda’s internal affairs. The Black Left and its allies should be exposing this mass hypocrisy and demanding Bobby and Barbie Wine's release.
For decades, the global community has watched in virtual silence, as the Philippines illegally deny West Papua’s indigenous Black people a referendum on independence. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Jakarta are plundering the island’s largest gold mine in the world, destroying its pristine tropical rainforest, and engaging in population displacement transfers that are equivalent to a rolling genocide. Are we going to let Biden and his cronies in the United Nations get away with that? Or are we going build support for West Papua’s independence movement and their armed liberation struggle?
Where is the pressure on Brazil’s white nationalist President Bolsonaro, whose administration's involvement in the brutal public assassination of Black Rio De Janeiro City Councilwoman Arielle Franco is obvious to all. Are we going to allow the “historically-diverse” Biden administration to sweep Franco's assassination under the rug?
Australia’s Black indigenous Aboriginals have dramatically upped their game taking on police murders of their youth and stepping up public protests for their First Nation sovereignty rights. Who is championing their cause?
More than resisting Biden’s globalist foreign policy, shouldn’t we be advancing our own international agenda? Where New Black Nationalists see opportunities, Baraka’s statement seems to contemplate difficulties.
Baraka writes that “The strategic challenge for the left in Northern countries is countering these efforts with a coherent anti-capitalist, internationalist, anti-imperialist, anti-white supremacist and pro-socialist popular movements and structures. But in the U.S. and Europe, that is easier said than done. Along with the ideological and organizational fragmentation of the left, one of the main issues that undermines the ability for the left to cohere in the U.S. and Europe is the cultural and ideological influences of white supremacist ideology.”
First, we believe the Black left should be more concerned about our own efforts and the things we can control. New Black Nationalists cannot intervene to fix the “fragmentation of the (predominantly white) left.” The reality is that the more boldly we lead, the left will gladly follow. If there is fragmentation on the Black left, Mr. Baraka could have been more specific than passing references to those promoting vague notions of fighting anti-blackness.
What puzzles New Black Nationalists about Mr. Baraka's thought document is that in 2020, over 15 million people protested in the U.S., after George Floyd’s police execution. These Black-led protests included unprecedented numbers of whites, and “the left.”
Predominantly white anarchists protested for more than 100 straight days in Portland and physically battled federalized National Guard mercenaries to a stalemate at the barricades, before forcing them to leave town.
Dozens of protests took place in small towns with few or no Black participants, under “Black Lives Matter” banners. The same is true in Europe. Virtually every capitol city in Europe had huge and repeated protests in sympathy with Black Lives Matter. The marches and protests led by Assa Traore in France over the police murder of her brother brought tens of thousands of people into the street, many of them white. Together they engaged in pitch street battles on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Symbols of white supremacy and statues of white colonial slave barons and purveyors of genocide from London to Melbourne, were toppled and dragged through the streets.
From the Australian outback to the favelas of Brazil, protesters seized the initiative and the streets to protest the war on Black bodies and call their own villains to account.
New Black Nationalists called this unprecedented wave of protests, which often directly targeted the carceral state Black Lives Matter 2.0. Police stations were burned, courthouses were under siege, and the armed security state was confronted by protesters who traded blow-for-blow to make a statement that they would not be intimidated or deterred.
This was not the same BLM movement of 2014. What we witnessed and participated in was something novel—the seeding of a new global, Black-led revolutionary movement.
Yet, Mr. Baraka seems more preoccupied with less-than-ideal conditions: incoherent, fragmentary, and intractable ontological philosophies of fellow travelers that are vexing the movement.
Mr. Baraka asked the question, “How does local work, that is, building a real, concrete internationalism, look?” Obviously, New Black Nationalists can’t answer that question in its totality. We can share how we are trying to contribute to the effort to build a new Black internationalist construct.
As a network of Fanonist Black Nationalists coalescing around the NewBlackNationalism.com website, our work focuses on developing analytical and theoretical products to support the creation of an independent non-patriarchal Black nation.
Our internationalist stance is driven by the corpus of Frantz Fanon’s decolonial theories that formulated the first systemic global theory on race, racism, colonialism and imperialism. Our challenge is interpret, adapt, develop, and expand Fanonist theories to respond to contemporary objective conditions.
In concert with Black radicals, progressives, and revolutionaries across the globe, we seek to more effectively incorporate inclusion of West Papua and the Aboriginal First Nations in Australia as an integral part of our global struggle. In our view, it's time to move beyond the political enclosure of the dominant Black Atlanticist discourse and Middle Passage epistemologies, to probe the frontiers of a new Black Diasporic impulse.
In the spirit of uniting with all Black progressive, leftist, and nationalists forces across the gender spectrum, New Black Nationalists support the astonishing diversity emerging in the Black Diaspora.
Building Black unity around a broader vision of Black internationalism calls for vigorous discussion, engagement, and the exchange of ideas. NewBlackNationalism.com is an open forum and resource to all who seek to air their views.
On behalf of the stateless maroons of the New Black Nationalist Movement, we look forward to exchanging ideas with Mr. Baraka, and the National Alliance for Black Peace to build a visionary internationalist Black diasporic movement.
New Black Nationalist Movement