Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.(iWN file photo)

By Jomo Sanga Thomas*

(“Plain Talk”, Nov. 22, 2019)

“The problem of the 20th century will be the problem of the colour line.” — W.E.B Dubois.

When Du Bois wrote those words in 1903 in his classic “Soul of Black Folks”, few thought that these words will have such potent force and meaning today. But as events in the United States and the Caribbean over the payment of reparations for genocide and slavery, Venezuela after the Triumph and rise of President Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, and most recently in Bolivia under Evo Morales demonstrate that Europeans, who have gained worldwide domination in the last 500 years, will fight to the death to maintain, safeguard and protect their power which comes with the colour line.

Four Vincentians, Ideisha Jackson, Sia Creese, James Gibson and Mwata Byron ably represented SVG at the International Congress of Afro-descendants in Caracas, Venezuela. Excerpts from the final declaration follows:

The conquest and colonisation of America constitutes a founding historical fact of the current international order and of the power relations that impact societies. The unjust international order emerging since the aftermath of the 15th century, characterised by an unequal economic-trade system that had its epicentre in Western Europe, was erected on the extermination and subjugation of the original peoples of Americas and of the African population. Undoubtedly, the history of humanity does not record in its annals, genocide of such dimensions.

The colonial world-system was marked by an inhuman trafficking of people from Africa to America in order to invigorate the economic-productive apparatus at the service of Western powers. This required a colonial rationality that would “legitimise” such economic-social practices, thus giving rise to the concept of race as an invention conducive to perpetuating Western predominance over other peoples. Racial segregation seeks to protect a civilizing model created for the systematic exploitation of peoples and the plundering of their natural wealth. Consequently, ever since, racism has become an inherent element of modernity.

Today’s neoliberal policies which have worldwide reach stem from the European invasion of America. This model not only reinforces exploitation, but also deepens it while imposing a cultural homogenisation that does not know the history of peoples, their traditions and their identity.

Neoliberalism, through the cultural industry of capitalism, perpetrates the eraser of historical memory against the peoples of the world, which is aimed at justifying the plundering of peoples’ wealth, the subjugation of women and domination over Afro-descendant people based on the alleged racial superiority of some over others. It is a model that endorses a conception of life that deepens the separation between human beings and nature.

This Eurocentric colonialist logic that threatens biodiversity, puts material prosperity at the forefront of life. Neoliberalism is part of a global domination project that seeks to perpetuate the colonial model of power through U.S. domination.

Faced with the emergence of new poles of political and economic power such as Russia, China, Iran and India, the West with the U.S. at its head, it clings to the application of neo-colonial policies supported by powerful financial, communications and cultural transnationals. However, given the changes resulting from the emergence of a multi-polar world, U.S. imperialism has escalated into a global offensive aimed at preserving its supremacy and the perpetuity of the neoliberal model.

In Our America, the offensive of U.S. elites and their allies seek to end the cycle of progressive governments to impose neo-colonial relations in the so-called national interest of the United States. Coups d’état, political violence, economic-financial blockade, threats of military intervention, military bases and diplomatic pressures have been some of the tactics implemented against the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. This has led, thanks to the racism inherent in this doctrine, to the displacement of Afro-descendant populations, racial extermination and discrimination among other consequences.

The congress recognised the role Afro-descendants have played as a key role in building the independence of the peoples of Our America. They unite with social movements, left-wing political parties, and progressive currents and together with sovereign governments that do not give in to imperialist pretensions, help to change the correlation of classes and social forces in our American continent. The resistance of the progressive governments, the popular insurrections in Haiti, Ecuador and Chile, as well as the electoral results in Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay, account for the failure of the neoliberal model, express the generalised rejection of that model and the neo-colonial policies of the United States for the region.

A particular mention should be made of the anti-imperialist resistance and offensive of the people of Venezuela. It is well known that the multiple attacks of the American imperialism against the Bolivarian Revolution are aimed at undermining the hope created by Commander Hugo Chavez’s liberating work, overthrowing the government of the Constitutional President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, ending democracy and taking over the country’s natural wealth.

Today, when a new progressive cycle emerges in Our America, we understand that the full and irreversible liberation of our societies requires a new civilization that recognizes the people of Africa.

The Afro-descendant International Congress declared its support for: the heroic effort of the Bolivian people to preserve democracy in the face of fascism; condemn racism against the Bolivian indigenous people; demand that the coup plotters respect the right of President Evo Morales’ supporters; denounce the repression against the Bolivian people; call for permanent mobilization to stand with the Bolivian people’s struggle in the building of a new civilizing model and we demand that the USA end its neo-colonial policy aimed at subduing Bolivia.

The Afro-descendant International Congress also:

  • support the Haitian people’s struggles for their social recognitions and their historic legitimate demands in the face of the serious political, economic and social situation derived from the unpopular decisions of their rulers associated with savage capitalism;
  • denounce the breach of the “Havana Peace Agreement” by the current Colombian president and reject his direct aggression against the people of Venezuela and condemn the actions of the countries in the so-called Lima Group as a political operator of the United States administration;
  • call for an end to the repression of the Chilean people and support them in their just struggles against neoliberalism and the continuity of Pinochet’s dictatorship in the country.
  • welcome the progress made in incorporating into Mexico’s legal framework the afro-descendant population as a step towards their full recognition;
  • condemn the violation of human rights by the American government against the African-American population and against migrants from Our America and Africa, particularly women and children.

*Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

11 replies on “Never give up. Never give in.”

  1. Pure communist political rubbish written by a rank communist to a people of who 60% are uninterested in such diatribe or in becoming another Venezuela under you Mr Thomas or under Gonsalves and his dynasty.

  2. I dropped history in high school in Vincy because our history starts with the Trans Atlantic slave trade.That is so damaging and we see the results in our Caribbean societies with rampant crime and murders.Our history goes back thousands of yrs.Slavery is part of our history,but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Our identity has been hidden from us..our history has been given to us by the European(the hunter)..the prey(black people) will have to wake up and find our true identity and history otherwise we’ll continue perishing at the hands of our European masters.

  3. Master's Student says:

    John 1:4-5: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

  4. When all else fail with one’s economic plans, it pays to bring out the usual anti-U.S.A, anticapitalistic and the Reparations Card. Yet China’s rise during the last 40 years has everything to do with their abandonment of Socialist economic policies and everything to do with their embracing of Capitalism, in their State economic policies.

    As that revered leader of theirs once remarked, “it does not matter what colour the Cat is providing it catches rats.”

    “The destruction of the POOR is their POVERTY. People of African ancestry in SVG, own very little property or real estate in Kingstown. Since physical enslavement to present mental enslavement,….”
    Quote: CLIVE BISH-I BISHOP: https://www.iwnsvg.com/2019/11/11/shooting-triggers-removal-of-ace-gallery-vendors-video/

    We see how CHAVEZ and now MADURO has turned South America’s once richest country into a basket case and our problem JOMO, is there noted by “BISH-I,” and which is the root cause of our situation here in SVG JOMO, and not American or Western ideological Capitalism.

  5. Jomo our plight sometimes is our own doing. Yes the white man have committed some of the worse atrocities ever committed against mankind. We continue to structure our lives in such a way so that we are unable to break the yoke of underdevelopment. When will we be mater of our own destiny? We continue to mix our seeds. One day we will all be a hybrid race to own our detriment.

    1. Good comment JB. It is true that blacks were treated like animals during much of that time but even up to the 1960s it is easy to see blacks being considered “lesser” than whites. See Hollywood movies; at least those that even has any black actors.Me as a white person feel uncomfortable seeing that it last so long. Shameful!
      However, skin color had nothing to do with this being at fault for such treatment, although skin color,especially black skin color allowed it to, in most cses perpetuate. Underdevelopment is the main culprit. Jomo only knows his small select portion of history. He apparently never learned that the Europeans also went after the Slavs, the Chinese and “lesser” developed amongst themselves. Realize many of the Irish were enslaved into indentured servitude coming to the US too. There is so much real history that is told to us differently and finding the real truth is possible but time consuming. In the USA we are taught loads of false history but that does not mean I will believe Jomo’s history, I have already noticed some real whoppers that Jomo presents to us as history.
      Reparations, in my opinion is a stupid idea. Is everyone going to sue everyone else for what were injustices in the past? What does the present generation have to do with a generation hundreds of years ago? My mother was beaten, abused and repeatedly raped and humiliated under inhuman treatment during WW2. Her girlfriend was nailed to a wooden door and raped to death. Should I and others sue the nation whose army was responsible? That was not hundreds of years ago.
      JB, Too bad you cannot teach Jomo to get-over his shame of being black.

    2. All true JB except the part that mixing of the races will be to our detriment. It is true that the artificial mixing of cultures taking place right now in places like Sweden and Germany done by the Globalists like Obama and Hillary and George Soros is a very nasty thing. It is causing a Nazi-type of hatred among us lower-class “useless eaters”. In Sweden refugee areas are trying to create thier own country(s) inside of Sweden. It is not race that drives the hatred. It is sometimes the culture but more often the political and financial elite seem to want us all to fight eachother to keep us distracted while they gain more power and wealth. All of us “races” are just the dumb suckers who fall for all the artificial creations such as “Black Lives Matter” but other lives don’t. It was found that that organization was founded by three people, Obama and Soros were tow of them. It is to keep us all distracted while they accomplish thier agenda to make us more subservient.

      Donald Trump is seen as a threat because he has been lifting-up African-Americans (not keeping them down with welfare money, as the Democrats have been doing) and in spite of the FAKE NEWS, blacks are beginning to notice this. Trump has allocated more money to secondary education (not handouts) in his first year than spendthrift Obama did in 8 years. Black wages are up 10% and unemployment for blacks is the lowest in history. He is trying to level the playing field for all the racism of the past mainly by the Democrats. Too bad that Vincentians buy-into the FAKE NEWS, hook line and sinker. If they want to hate Trump, go after him for stealing Syria’s oil or his subservience to Israel as they destroy the Palestinians; but do research and find out most of the other “news” is all fake.

  6. Rawlston Pompey says:

    REPRESENTATION: – INDOCTRINATION – COLOUR LINE BRAINWASHING

    Sure Jomo’s problem is not about ‘…Colour Line.’ He knows exactly what it is.

    There might be more in Jomo’s ‘….Craw’ than he is prepared to ‘…Talk Plainly’ about.

    A ‘…Colour Line’ may have been what ‘…William Edward Burghardt Du Bois’ may have seen as a black man then.

    W.E.B. Du Bois’ writing shall be seen as consistent with his beliefs and philosophy back then.

    He was reportedly angry with Booker T. Washington, an adviser to several American Presidents for suggesting that ‘…blacks should only learn vocational skills.’

    This may have been evidenced by the reported ‘…discriminatory practices’ perpetrated against ‘…American Blacks.’

    Today, likened to the United States of America, the nation boasts many ‘…black and highly qualified intellectuals.’

    Jomo is among the lot, and certainly not by chance.

    The people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines might be angry with their Prime Ministers, but the nation has long passed that stage of ‘,,,Du Boisism’ and ‘…Colorism.’

    No racial tension exists.

    Now, if what Jomo has authored as representing the ‘…Agenda Items,’ then clearly the ‘…Vincentian 4,’ said to have represented the nation at the Conference, may have been invited simply for the purpose of ‘…Indoctrination.’

    They might be easier used as conduits through which such ‘…Indoctrination’ could reach others in creating a ‘…Colour Line’ among the people.

    With such foreign philosophical views, then the quartet may not be much help to the nation and its development.

  7. After reading this I am positive that Jomo needs to seek psychological counciling. I shudder to think what it would be like if this man ever gained a seat of significant political power.

    1. Another Marxist monster like Gonsalves, but what’s the difference, Jomo is black, Gonsalves is not. Both are lawyers, both think they are the best. Both need dumping and forgetting about.

  8. We must DUKE and JB recognise that our problem is both leadership and ideological. As Jolly has here noted that Jomo is just yet “Another Marxist monster like Gonsalves”! And there in, is part of our continuing problem. But I would also add, that they both are nothing but pseudo-Marxist! pseudo-Marxist and opportunist.

    In Gonsalves’s case, I find it most difficult to understand how it is, that a people who are so directly descended from African Slaves, could be so fooled and allow themselves to stand in large crowds, dressed in bright Red attires, waving Red Flags while paying homage to this particular family. What utter folly! One would have assumed that they would be more circumspect, but no, their education let them down.

    And as to JOMO’s rant about American Capitalism, one notes that, “For all appearances, China has emerged unscathed from the global economic crisis, in stark contrast to its biggest debtor, America”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAQvUEK2OCw

    Who therefore is the biggest exploiter of the rest of the world and their neighbours?

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