The image above is taken from an article on Medium titled “The Case for ADOS: Defense of the Movement From Unjust Smears (Part One).” It is somewhat humorous to me that people who support this ADOS movement really think that the visual representation above is an accurate one. According to Yvette Carnell, the co-founder of ADOS, Pan-Africanism is dead, and as such we should be of no threat whatsoever to ADOS — but more on that later on. The idea that Black immigrants are also part of this assault on ADOS is also somewhat humorous when you consider the fact that Black immigrants are victims of the same racists policies that Black Americans endure. Poverty, poor housing conditions, police brutality, and job discrimination are just some of the many challenges that immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean have endured in America. An example of this is the fact that last year in Orlando, Florida, a Haitian man named James Bauduy was practically shot in half by the police, so it is ridiculous to suggest that somehow Pan-Africanists and Black immigrants are aligned with white supermacists in fighting against ADOS. Were Pan-Africanists, Black immigrants (or even Black Liberals for that matter) responsible for what happened to Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and the many other Black Americans that have been victimized by America’s racism?
Why I also find this caption humorous is because supporters of the ADOS movement perceive themselves to be victims, but Pan-Africanists actually have been victims of white supermacists and Africans who collaborated with the white supermacists. Marcus Garvey was deported from the United States. Malcolm X was assassinated. Walter Rodney was assassinated. Thomas Sankara was assassinated. Patrice Lumumba was assassinated. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown. Sekou Toure faced multiple attempts to overthrow him. Maurice Bishop was assassinated. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Anténor Firmin was driven into exile from Haiti. I could go on, but the point is that African leaders who have expressed an international vision for the liberation of African people have historically been targets for elimination and harassment. The ADOS movement, which is relatively new, has never faced the obstacles and challenges that the Pan-African movement has had to endure for over a century.
Knowingly or unknowingly, the ADOS movement has in large part become a movement that is collaborating against Pan-Africanists. This brings me back to Yvette Carnell, the co-founder of ADOS. As I have pointed out before, Yvette believes that Pan-Africanism is dead, yet she always seems to be Tweeting about Pan-Africanism. This is a recent example:
First of all, this Tweet is somewhat misleading. Yvette says that “Africa is getting rid of its own Pan Africanists”. It should say that African governments are trying to get rid of Pan-Africanists because since decolonization the majority of African governments have been hostile to Pan-Africanism because these governments serve the interests of foriegn powers, such as Europe, America, and more recently the Chinese. Yvette fails to make the distinction between African governments and Africa as a whole, which seems to be the source of a lot of her confusion regarding Pan-Africanism.
The larger issue with Yvette’s tweet is that isn’t Pan-Africanism supposed to be dead? So then who is Kemi Seba? And if Pan-Africanism is so dead why would the government of the Ivory Coast view a Pan-African activist as a threat? Professor PLO Lumumba was denied entry into Zambia because the Zambian government did not want him to speak out against the Chinese influence in Africa. If Pan-Africanism is so dead then why are Pan-Africanists on the continent still being repressed by neo-colonial African governments? More importantly, why are certain people within the ADOS movement siding with these neo-colonial governments against the Pan-African movement? Perhaps this was lost on Yvette, but I certainly picked up on the fact that the ADOS movement and neo-colonial governments in Africa share the same negative opinion of Pan-Africanism.
The “Black Authority”, another ADOS supporter, recorded an entire video rant complaining about how there is no Pan-African movement on the African continent. He can make such a statement because Black Authority is a social media personality with no apparent real connection to the Pan-African struggle itself. One of Pan-African organizations that I belong to is Africans Rising, which is based on the African continent. Africans Risings is comprised of Africans from around the continent and the diaspora.
Molefi Asante has become the most recent voice in the community to speak out against ADOS and his voice on this issue is very important. What supporters of the ADOS movement have to understand is that the Pan-African movement has been around a very long time, whereas ADOS is a very recent concept. Out of the global Pan-African struggle have come brilliant leaders, activists, and scholars. Dr. Asante is certainly one of the most prolific of the scholars to come out of the Pan-African tradition and as an elder scholar Dr. Asante is understandably disturbed at some of the things he has been seeing from the ADOS movement.
The point that Dr. Asante makes around the 13:20 mark is important. Dr. Asante mentions the various immigrants that were accepted by Black Americans and who made significant contributions to Black American culture and the Black American struggle. I think Marcus Garvey is especially important to mention here because there were some Black Americans that disliked Garvey because he was Jamaican. The mentality at the time was Garvey, an immigrant, had no right to be a leader in the Black American struggle. There are elements in the ADOS movement that have this same mentality today. These are the type of people that have dismissed everything that I have written regarding Pan-Africanism and ADOS because I, like Garvey, was born in the West Indies. Dr. Asante also mentions his friend Kwame Ture, who, like Garvey, was subject to criticism because of his West Indian heritage. Dr. Asante is concerned because he recognizes that the ADOS movement is preaching a message which has been used in the past to help subvert the Pan-African movement. The supporters of the ADOS movement may see Pan-Africanists as enemies, but the reality is that the rhetoric coming from the ADOS movement is just part of the ongoing historical assault on the Pan-African movement.
Dwayne is the author of several books on the history and experiences of African people, both on the continent and in the diaspora. His books are available through Amazon. You can also follow Dwayne on Facebook and Twitter.