Because of Washington DC’s political and military impact on the world stage, it would be extremely difficult for Africans at home or abroad to deny that this city, with a population of 658 893, is without question the fortress of US imperialism. For this reason people representing virtually all political ideologies and religious/spiritual persuasions, seek to establish and maintain platforms in the place US citizens commonly refer to as the nation’s capital.
In the month of September alone the first Civil Rights Organisation established in the 20th century, the NAACP, concludes their march through six states called America’s Journey to Justice, followed by a visit by Pope Francis the 266th Sovereign of the Vatican City.
These activities will be followed exactly three weeks later by the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, spearheaded by the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the spiritual leader of the Nation of Islam, which commemorates the largest gathering of Africans inside US borders since our ancestors arrived in slave chains against their will.
The theme for this gathering is, “Justice or Else” has an aggressive political thrust while the original march’s rallying point was the Day of Atonement, which emphasised moral and Godly enhancement.
Since both the NAACP and Nation of Islam are thematically stressing justice for both marches, it can be argued with militant conviction that this very term at best, is a mere appetiser for those who seek total liberation at all costs. As Africans who still feel the aftershock of both colonialism and slavery, the question must be asked at this historical moment, what possibly can US imperialism offer to satisfy those taste buds?
In the process of digesting that point, only those who have had a taste of true liberation are best qualified to weigh in, therefore by making arrangements for President Mugabe to address the march via satellite, it makes all our collective demands made that day come full circle.
If President Mugabe’s schedule permits, those in attendance will not just be hearing from the leader of Zimbabwe, but the Chairman of the African Union, who also is the most militant voice from Mother Africa’s most stable political region.
As Pope Francis recently offered a direct apology in Bolivia for the complicity of the Catholic Church in the oppression of Latin America during the colonial era, and was involved in the secret negotiations between the Cuban and US Government as they first began establishing normalized relations, all Africans must be aware of what Pope John Paul II said when he visited Zimbabwe in 1988.
To the shock of all in attendance, the Pope said; “ Zimbabweans took up arms not for the sake of violence but for the people to achieve justice”. During his visit to Zimbabwe over 10 years ago when addressing a group of religious and business leaders, Minister Farrakhan said; “I don’t want to see President Mugabe out of this life not being appreciated for what he has done”.
Minister Farrakhan already knows ahead of time that the majority of those attending the march, have either never heard of President Mugabe, let alone had the honour and privilege of hearing him speak.
In 2002 the Nation of Islam’s most accomplished journalist Askia Muhammad who in addition to being the head of the Washington Bureau of their newspaper the Final Call was the editor of Muhammad Speaks interviewed the former Zimbabwe Ambassador to the United States Dr Simbi Mubako. According to Minister Farrakhan’s International Representative A. Akbar Muhammad, Ambassador Mubako’s analysis helped him understand how the NOI could help raise the Zimbabwe question inside US borders.
When Mr. Muhammad was formally introduced to Ambassador Mubako in Atlanta, Georgia in addition to discussing US-EU propaganda aimed at regime change in Zimbabwe, Mr. Muhammad also shared a business card concerning his travel agency that he was running from St. Louis, Missouri.
This revealed in addition to bringing a delegation of so-called African- American journalists to Zimbabwe, Mr Muhammad wanted audience with Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality to explore a potential joint business venture in this particular arena.
When President Mugabe attended the UN General Assembly later that year he was interviewed by Mr Saeed Shabazz, the Final Call’s United Nations correspondent, this was arranged by the late Minister of Information, Media and Broadcast Services and former Zimbabwean Ambassador to the Permanent Mission to the UN and national hero Dr Tichaona Jokonya.
The full interview with President Mugabe was not published. However Mr Shabazz’s summary was very helpful, especially since the Final Call has the largest distribution in the so-called African-American community. In 2010 Mr Shabazz and Nisa Islam Muhammad interviewed Dr Machivenyika Mapuranga, the Zimbabwean Ambassador who was the successor to Ambassador Mubako, for the purpose of the Final Call to provide their readership with an overview of how Zimbabwe’s inclusive government was progressing. In 2007 the NOI’s Minister of Health and Human Services Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad signed an appeal that was sent to the UN,SADC and the WHO condemning the US-EU alliance blocking Zimbabwe’s applications to Global Fund in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th rounds respectively.
Because Minister Farrakhan has been extremely critical of the manner that so-called African American Newspapers that makes up the National Newspaper Publishers Association, it came as no surprise to him that the delegation of 36 journalists that Brother Akbar brought to Zimbabwe over 13 years ago have failed to raise the Zimbabwe issue with any consistency or conviction.
This was rather troubling because it appears they were only motivated by the travel opportunity, instead of providing President Mugabe and zanu-pf with a much needed outlet to defeat US-EU imperialism in the propaganda war.
As Minister Farrakhan prepares for the March in October, he has been meeting with hip-hop artists all over the US from Kanye West, Snoop Dogg to Rick Ross, pleading with them to stop promoting the degenerate aspects of Western popular culture; a variety of artists the likes of Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan are supposed to be part of a musical collaborative paying tribute to Minister Farrakhan. In 2014 Minister Farrakhan’s spokewoman attorney and Minister Ava Muhammad, promoted the BattleCry for Cuba and Zimbabwe project being driven artistically by M1 of the internationally acclaimed hip-hop group Dead Prez.
The goal of this music is to rally artists all over the world opposed to US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe and the US blockade on Cuba.
Perhaps the most liberating aspect of Pan Africanizing our history of genuine resistance is highlighting the parallels of all monumental efforts on and off our mother continent, by including President Mugabe in the upcoming march. Minister Farrakhan will show there is no separation between the million plus Africans who came to Washington in 1995 and the 1,5 million Zimbabweans who welcomed President Mugabe back from Mozambique in Highfield in 1979.
The Minister understands our youth cannot be force-fed a narrative of Southern African that reduces Africa’s most stable region to the biography of the Madiba individually and the ANC collectively. When Reverend Jesse Jackson ran for President in 1984 and 1988, abolishing apartheid in South Africa was his central focus.
At no point in either campaign did Reverend Jackson mention the need for the US Government to honour the commitments former US President Jimmy Carter made to President Mugabe and former Vice President and national hero Joshua Nkomo, during the 1979 Lancaster House negotiations.
Minister Farrakhan was very supportive of Reverend Jackson’s initial campaign. Speaking in Ghana in 1986, Minister Farrakhan referred to Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as God’s man for Africa, an excellent way to pay homage to the Osagyefo.
He can now provide a platform for one of his stand-out disciples President Mugabe to tell his kith and kin why history obligates them to stand for Zimbabwe.
Obi Egbuna Jr is the US Correspondent to the Herald and the External Relations Officer for the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association. His e-mail is [email protected]