Another Response to Yvette Carnell from a “Moron” in the Pan-African Movement
I think Yvette Carnell and others who support ADOS misunderstand the concept of a Pan-African reparations claim. As a result they not only misrepresent what it is that Pan-Africanists have been demanding, but they also limit the scope of their own justice claim. According to Carnell, one of the co-founders of ADOS, the concept of a Pan-African reparations claim is idiotic. It’s only idiotic to Carnell because she has a very narrow and limited view of the problem. As I have done in previous articles, I will set out to correct certain misunderstandings that are being promoted by Carnell and others in the ADOS movement on this issue.
I often use Togo as an example to illustrate my point because Togo’s struggle is the struggle on the African continent that I have been the most involved in. For those who are unaware, the government of Togo is Africa’s oldest military regime. The Gnassingbé family has been in power in Togo since 1967. The dictatorship in Togo has lasted as long as it has because of the international support it receives from the United States and other nations. In 2016, the United States spent $13 million dollars in developmental aid to Togo. Togo is also one of the many African nations which benefits from the military training and equipment that is provided by AFRICOM. Last year the Millennium Challenge Corporation approved Togo for $35 million.
I used Togo as an example, but the same principle applies for other African dictatorships. Millions of dollars are spent annually to support dictatorships and corrupt governments around Africa, but how much money is being spent to fix suffering Black communities in the United States? The money that is being spent to train soldiers in Togo to murder their own people could be spent on fixing Flint or on fixing the horrendous public housing conditions that Black people live in. The aid money also isn’t benefitting the people of Togo, who are subjected to horrific human rights abuses.
The amount of money and resources that goes into supporting these ineffective, corrupt, and inhumane African regimes could be better spent on fixing Black American communities. Moreover, withdrawing the military aid given to these countries would assist the citizens of these African nations as well because African dictatorships rely on foreign military aid to suppress protesters. This is the case in Togo, where security forces are always deployed to beat and kill protesters whenever protests emerge.
I used Togo as an example, but as I said this applies to other parts of Africa as well. Earlier this year the United States deployed troops to Gabon amid fears of unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The United States maintains a military presence throughout the African continent, and, as I noted before, these are resources that are not being spent on African American communities. When I refer to a global reparations claim I am referring to this reality. It may seem idiotic to Carnell, but that’s because she fails to understand that American racism is an international system and always has been.
According to Yvette Carnell those who fight for reparations through the prism of global Black liberation have a fantastical view. According to Carnell, we are liars and morons. It is very telling that Carnell has to resort to such language to get her point across, especially since the ADOS movement is supposed to be based on data and research, not insults.
According to Antonio Moore, the other co-founder, the ADOS movement is most intelligent group Black America has seen since the civil rights movement. Yet much of the arguments that Carnell and Moore make are based on poor research and a complete misunderstanding of the facts. Those who disagree are apparently liars or morons, but the numbers speak for themselves. We are dealing with an government that is willing to spend more to keep Africans across the continent oppressed than it is willing to spend on addressing the plight of the Africans in the United States. I don’t see how anyone who claims to be fighting for reparations can seriously dismiss this reality. Furthermore, I don’t see how Carnell can ignore this reality while accusing Pan-Africanists of not living in reality, but this has been my issue with the ADOS movement. Its co-founders and many of the supporters of the movement have a very limited understanding of the issue which they speak about.
ADOS would be fine as a movement for reparations, but ADOS becomes problematic when it tries to address issues outside of its scope of understanding such as Pan-Africanism and CARICOM. Moreover, there is a certain ting of arrogance about the manner in which certain people in the ADOS movement address these issues. I gave examples here of Yvette Carnell referring to people as being morons and liars. In the past Carnell went after Talib Kweli, accusing him of being loud and wrong, without actually explaining what was wrong about his statement.
Yvette Carnell would be the first to proclaim that someone else is wrong, but when she herself is wrong there is not accountability or humility. The same is true for others in the ADOS movement that have made some very misinformed claims. Obviously no human being will be 100% correct on all of the issues all of the time, but supporters of the ADOS movement have made claims that can be disproven with just minimal research. One example of this is when Dynast Amir attempted to suggest that Africans aren’t doing anything to fight slavery in Mauritania. There is a lot of misinformed and ignorant claims coming from the ADOS movement, but apparently Pan-Africanists are the morons and liars. And this is an issue that is bigger than ADOS. As I explained in a previous article, ADOS is part of this petty contest for leadership among internet personalities in the Black community. These personalities have developed a culture where we trade insults rather than trading ideas.
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.