Image: BLF President
By Andile Mngxitama
In the USA black people have started an anti African immigrants movement called American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS). This movenent aims to fight for reparations for slavery and economic opportunities, specifically for blacks who are descendants of slaves. The ADOS claim, like Operation Dudula, that blacks from Africa and the Caribbean take their jobs and other opportunities which comes with Affirmative Action. ADOS therefore calls for their non direct descendants of slavery in the USA to go back or be excluded from the benefits reserved for black Americans.
This anti-black focus is the same focus of operation Dudula. Incidentally, there are claims that both ADOS and Dudula are funded by white power. We need to understand the appeal of these plainly reactionary movements which are driven by an anti black sentiment amongs blacks and how these movements strengthen white power as they fight for immediate needs against fellow blacks.
Dudula and ADOS respond to a real felt challenge of joblessness and poverty. However, these responses are self sabotaging and de facto shield the main cause of the hardship from view, as victims of the same anti black power structure fight for scarce resources being thrown at us by the oppressor. We blacks are like brothers thrown in a dungeon and denied water for days until our captor puts half a glass of water in the middle of the dungeon and leaves. We fight like animals to get to the water, even tipping the glass over.
South Africa is overwhelmed by Zimbabweans who left home because of the destruction of their economy. The global white power is punishing Zim for taking back the land. The situation has been exacerbated by a corrupt political leadership with no vision. White capital in South Africa prefers the cheap labour from Zim. Black South Africans are pitted against these economic migrants from Zim. The other truth is that even if we may get rid of all the immigrants from our labour market this would do nothing to the 45% unemployment status. Therefore the fight against the immigrant is misplaced as far as black interests are concerned.
The anti immigrant war removes us from the real battle for economic liberation. Those who own the economy here and in the USA are well served by this black on black war for scarce resources, which are greedily hoarded by the oppressor. There is some truth in the claim that in the USA senior positions are given to new black arrivals, sidelining descendants of slavery. This is also somewhat true with regards to posts in management and in the universities. The whites who do the hiring bank on the vulnerability of the outsider for easy manipulation to sustain the white agenda. These arrangements create serious animosity between native blacks and immigrant blacks. But as we can see these intra black contradictions are created by white power which oppresses both the immigrant and the native. It’s best to sustain white power through escalation of hostilities between the black immigrant and the native.
We have to acknowledge the real felt empirical truths amongst the natives such as the high rate of crimes committed by the undocumented immigrants, and the stampede on social amenities like hospitals and housing. It’s not an exaggeration that the inner cities of our towns are overrun by immigrants. However, to find lasting solutions we must resist the urge to kick a brother and get the water for ourselves. We have to maintain the vision of true liberation whilst responding to the immediate challenges. We must respond in ways which do not strengthen the enemy and maximise black on black hate manufactured by the enemy.
There are immediate things we must do like, insisting on equal non discriminatory pay for all workers irrespective of immigration status; if you employ, you must pay; and compulsory documentation irrespective of immigration status. We need to know who is in South Africa. We can’t ignore the bigger picture of stabilising the SADC region. South Africa must use its economic leverage to insist on political stability in Zim and then invest in that high potential economy. If Zim stabilises, less people would flock south. These are real solutions, rather than the hate filled attacks sponsored by the authors of our calamity.
One of the key interventions is to elevate the desires of black South Africans beyond getting a job to being owners of this country. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the ecomomy is owned by citizens. No one who does business there owns over 49% of the business. Many citizens get free dividends annually whilst sitting at home enjoying the wealth of the nation. We blacks must again remember that South Africa is in white hands and that is our primary question. Instead of fighting with immigrants for manial jobs, we should be employing them to work for us for fair wages. But because we have surrendered the country and its wealth to the real foreigners who arrived here in 1652 and turned us into slaves, we have accepted our status as servants and now we are competing with those who threaten to take over our position of subservience.
The enemy has won for now. We need to dig deeper to get out of this hell. Agents of white power can’t bring change. We need to rethink what is going on and how to get out!
Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization. When using any of Black Opinion’s content, partly or in full, kindly always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.