In a previous article I wrote about what I see as a troubling link between ADOS and CARICOM. I wrote that article because I noticed that various members of the ADOS movement have attempted to defend their movement by comparing it to CARICOM, an organization which is seeking reparations for Caribbean people. This is what Antonio Moore attempted to do in his response to a recent Final Call article about the ADOS movement.
At 45:50 in the video above Moore references CARICOM, stating that no one accuses CARICOM of being xenophobic or against Pan-Africanism. This is because Moore is ignorant about CARICOM. For decades CAIRCOM has been criticized for the fact that it has failed to achieve Caribbean integration, largely because Caribbean politicians themselves continue to uphold policies which restrict freedom of movement in the region. One example of this is when Louis Farrakhan visited Trinidad in 2012. Farrakhan’s Haitian cook was barred from entering Trinidad, despite the fact that Haiti and Trinidad are both CARICOM members.
As someone who has been very critical of CARICOM over the years, one of the things that concerns me about ADOS as a collective movement is the fact that much of the rhetoric that I hear from ADOS supporters reflects a lot of the anti-immigration rhetoric that I have heard throughout the Caribbean. For example, the fear that Black immigrants are taking away opportunities from Black Americans is the same type of fear that drives people in Barbados to justify their mistreatment of Guyanese citizens who move to Barbados. Ironically, many Barbadians themselves migrated to Guyana. President David Granger of Guyana is the grandchild of one of those Barbadian immigrants.
The exchange in the video below demonstrates the focus that ADOS has with this idea that Black immigrants are coming to America and taking away opportunities from Black Americans. As “S” and Dynast explain in this exchange, the ADOS movement seems to target immigrants more so than targeting the people with the real power to exclude Black Americans from certain positions in American society. For example, immigrants have no control over who Hollywood decides to select for their movies, but so much of the focus of the ADOS movement has been targeting these immigrants rather than the movie industry itself.
To some extent these views have always existed among certain segments of Black America. Marcus Garvey was mentioned in the video above at around the 7:25 mark as an example of how Black Americans accepted immigrants, but Garvey himself expressed a different view. Garvey complained: “My enemies in America have done much to hold me up to public contempt and ridicule, but have failed. They believe that the only resort is to stir up national prejudice against me, in that I was not born within the borders of the United States of America.”
I would argue that the ADOS movement represents that segment of Black America which was hostile to Garvey. I can say this with some degree of confidence just based on how some members of the ADOS movement have criticized people for having Caribbean ancestry. The hostility towards Caribbean people is such that Tariq Nasheed attempted to suggest that people from the U.S. Virgin Islands are immigrants, despite the fact that the U.S. Virgin Islands are an American territory and people who are born there are American citizens, but ADOS is so concerned drawing this line between Black Americans and other Black people that facts hardly seem to matter.
In another post Tariq complained about immigrants who support the oppressor class against Black Americans because of a Trump supporting immigrant in a “Make America Great Again” hat. Ben Carson is a “Foundational Black American” who not only works in the Trump administration, but has overseen public housing conditions that are so terrible those conditions are killing Black people. Ben Carson is a greater threat to the lives of more Black Americans than whoever this man in the MAGA hat is, but you can’t tell from the way Tariq speaks about immigrants.
Tariq Nasheed is also claimed that immigrants are bringing AIDS to Black Americans. Tariq presents no studies or data to support his point and at 14:50 at the video below Tariq himself admits that there could be other factors to explain the AIDS rate among Black Americans, so Tariq himself isn’t even sure. Later in the video (at 18:40) Tariq describes his ideas as a theory.
People like Tariq are precisely why ADOS gets labeled as being anti-immigrant because Tariq is free to spread such misinformed views about immigrants and no one in the ADOS movement will correct him or criticize him for this. In fact, Antonio Moore attempted to defend Tariq when I responded to his comments about Virgin Islanders immigrating to America. The problem is that nowhere in Moore’s response to my article did he ever address the fact that people who are from the Virgin Islands are American citizens, so Tariq was wrong to claim that Owens’ family immigrated to America. This is also why I have claimed that ADOS is intellectually dishonest. Moore knows that Tariq is wrong here, but defends him anyway.
I am not the only one to point out that Tariq is free to make uninformed xenophobic comments without any pushback from the founders of ADOS. Javen Bullets makes this same point in the video below. Also pay attention to the fact that in the video below Moore refers to ADOS as the most intelligent group since the civil rights movement, yet Moore won’t even do basic research about an organization like CARICOM.
To return to what Moore said about CARICOM, many Pan-Africanists have criticized CARICOM for the same reason that we criticize the ADOS movement now. Most Pan-Africanists are not opposed to reparations. In fact, I have explained before that the fight for reparations has always been an important element of the Pan-African movement. What most of us are opposed to is how divisive the ADOS movement is. Any attempts to compare ADOS to CARICOM just reinforces the point that ADOS is divisive.
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.