Tag Archives: Politics

Lessons from our Leaders

I was asked what have our leaders taught us and are they taking us in the direction we wish to go in. What have they done to demonstrate that we are moving in the correct direction? I started thinking of an old interview with Mugabe saying that all he ever wanted was to teach his people is to be self sufficient. 

I responded that our leaders taught us the value of education and that we should continue to suffer if it means that we will never be second class citizens in our country again. Now I have always been told that I am unaware of the “real situation” in Zimbabwe, the levels that people are suffering. 

I have started to argue back and tell them people your only experience is of Zimbabwe I have a “global experience” and I have seen that Black people are treated as second class citizens and are the living in relative poverty everywhere we are.

When reflecting on what has “occurred” in Zimbabwe we look at it in a vacuum forgetting that struggle is not ours alone. There are others that helped us to be free and their contributions were so that all Black people would be free, not so that we could continue to be “Africa’s bread basket” while bowing down to our oppressors. 

We have repeatedly seen that when Black people that have tried to be self sufficient they have been met with resistance wether it be the Haitian revolution or the many Black businesses that have been taken or destroyed by whites in the southern states in America. 

Yet somehow as Africans and in particular Zimbabweans we have removed ourselves from our black history as if independence came out of thin air.

Corruption is not the only cause of “the situation” in Zimbabwe. Capitalism gone wild is one of the reason why so many Black people find themselves in poverty. Money that is made through corruption touches the hands of those that sit at the United Nations while pointing their fingers, telling Africans to do better while knowing that their nations benefit from our newly independent communities and countries lack of adequate organizations and infrastructures. 

I acknowledge corruption contributes to many of of problem in Africa but we can agree that corruption is everywhere including in America where Trump is currently president. There are endless claims that he is corrupt and that he has rose to power through unfair practices. Yet when we discuss the poverty that is experienced by Black people in America we do not say this is the result of corruption instead we say “they do not work hard or they are to blame” 

Why is it that we can blame institutions only in Africa but in western countries we switch the responsibility to the individual?

Trump and corruption are not unique phenomenas because people attended rallies that were in support of Trump and not only did they attend rallies they also voted for him to become president. If this was an African state were the majority of people voted for someone else but they were not president it would be labelled a dictatorship. The west would be demand a rerun and if the state refused they would be forced through sanctions or being ostracized by the international community but in America it is business as usual. 

Similarly you can lie and say everyone hated Mugabe and other dictators but there are people that benefit from whatever corruption they are responsible for including people in the west. There are also those who question his methods but support his ideology. 

We cannot forget that there are those that simply opposed  Mugabe because he was in between them and the ability to loot from Zimbabwe utterly and completely. I will not say that the west has been the only benefactor of corruption because as we know we are all implicated in the failures of our countries and communities. 

Another element we never discuss is that corruption does not work alone. In a country corruption does not thrive alone everyone is a part of it. If you can bribe police then you are making the situation worse, if you pay to get things done faster you are making a situation worse and most people will say I do not pay bribes, but what about taxes. As an African have you been paying ALL your taxes? If not then you too are a part of the problems that plagues our nations. 

We love to say that politicians are corrupt but we the ordinary people that help corruption thrive then complain about how our country is terrible. In a developed country you cannot dream of bribing the police because taxes are paid to make sure that the regular police officers  do not need bribes is the same true in Africa? So ask yourself what have you done to make the situation better or worse. But that is a side issue let us get back to the lessons learnt. 

When you stand up to a bully at first it is hard because chances are they will continue to pick on you or they will even increase the terrible things that they are doing to you. But you just have to hold strong and know that eventually you hope that those around you learn from your courage and they will stand up against any bullies in the future. 

So what have I been taught by our leaders? 

  1. There are those that value money over true Black empowerment, give them time they will reveal themselves   
  2. If you believe something is right you have to be strong in your convictions and you have to be willing to say I think this is correct even at the risk of looking like a villain. 
  3. If you are Trump supporter trust there are other Trump supporters. You have to stand for what is right and let people know I agreed with giving land back to Black Africans regardless of the cost to Zimbabwe’s economy. 



I have been hiding behind the idea that I may be taken the wrong way. I may be too extreme.

I think there is a shame that is put behind being a Communist similar to the shame that people including myself have tried to put behind Feminism. It is similar to the shame that people put behind solving racism.

Somehow the person that is being wronged becomes the one in the wrong. I am inspired by Yvette Carnell, who I found through Dr. Boyce Watkins, who in 2015 was talking about Black Businesses. He was encouraging people to invest in the stock market which at the time I thought that isn’t a bad idea. When I think about it now, why are you gambling with your limited disposable income?

Now don’t get me wrong, I agree we need things of our own but then again if I don’t want to start a business I should just get paid enough to live comfortably. I know in the West the ideology is “everyman for themselves” but how is that working for you?

To dismiss the ideology of Communism is the same as saying because there are bad democracies or bad democratic leaders that the entire idea of Democracy is false. I think we need to look at the spirit of democracy which is that everyone should have a right in participating in things that affect them.

The same is true for Communism, I hear people push back against it because they think that one day they may become a millionaire that benefits from capitalism. Women who support patriarchy think it will benefit them but if you got rid of it you wouldn’t need to rely on the benefits of an unfair system. People fight against communisms but I guess as a person from the global south we programmed to think of the collective to some extent.

If we accept the fact that everyone will one day “make it”, well why aren’t you or your parent’s millionaires? I could be wrong but the average person is not a slacker that does not try. I also wonder what is lacking in your or your parents efforts that has stopped you becoming millionaires? Why are you not on the path to become millionaires?

 This capitalist system designed to make those with means of production richer while you remain in the same position. Never really doing better just stuck in the same position.

Some people genuinely think yes maybe my parents did not do enough until you start working and realize that in many respects you are working backwards. I read or heard somewhere that if you are Black you are doing worse than your parents. I have started to hear the same is now true for some white people. How is it possible that all average people are under performing? Let us be honest we are all average that means we cannot be all failing. On average we should be doing better but we are not.

Somehow the people that are in control of the mean of production have been doing better and continue to do better. Their profits tell us this. I don’t know this seems wrong to me.  If the average person is doing less work then how can the people we work for be making profits at levels that have never been seen before. There seems to be a discrepancy or a lie being told. Let us not pretend all the machines are doing everything. People are still needed because If not we would all already have been fired or replaced.

Finally there is the legitimate argument that some people will not work hard in a system that provides everything to everyone. This I agree with but as a person that has worked in different places, every system has people that can and do take advantage. Every system also has people that go above and beyond so they even each other out. Like I said we are all average.

I was also listening to Ezra Klein Podcast and he had an episode on loneliness. In that episode he talks about how people have been raised and programmed to think that they are the only reason behind their success. You think of someone who is a CEO they think that they have worked 100 hours a week to make sure they are successful and yes that is true. But there are also the people that have supported, bought or used your product.

There are also those that have inspired you, those that you have worked with to perfect you ideas and those that work for you to ensure your business remains successful. This can be when they know their children are ill and do not call in sick to work to employees that work hard even when they know they are underpaid and this job will never lead to a better position for them.

No one exists in a bubble and I think a big part of understanding communism or socialism is removing this false belief that that I I I did everything and there is nothing that anyone else has done to help me. If nothing else did you give birth to yourself? Or did you parents deliver you themselves? Did you create the alphabet or numbers in order to create whatever it is you created? There is so much that others have contributed and to deny that in the hopes that you will one day be rich and you don’t want to share these riches seems crazy to me.

I will return to this i don’t think i have completed my thoughts on this.

“I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It” Evelyn Beatrice Hall

“I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It” Evelyn Beatrice Hall

We all disagree this we know but letting others think what they want this we don’t seem to be able to do.

We always have to comment wonder how to try convince others of our vision, our religion or to our political party.

Life has brought us all to this exact position so you may never be able to reason with others to bring them to your side.

Use of violence to convince never works not only because you are now allowing yourself to have violence used to have your mind changed but also because all it does is build resentment not true conversion.

Violence will make people agree with you for the moment but real and true discourse will allow you to not only change the mind of that person but their husband, their children, their friends and maybe even others in their communities.

Here I Stand by Paul Robeson

Here are the quotes that stood out to me in the book:  

  1. “Reed is dead now. He won no honours in classroom, pulpit or platform. Yet I remember him with love. Restless, rebellious, scoffing at conventions, defiant of the white man’s law – I’ve known many negroes like Reed. I see them everyday. Blindly, on their own reckless manner, they seek a way out for themselves; alone, they pound with their fists and fury against walls that only the shoulders of many can topple” pg 13 

  2. “And here there were white working men, too, many of them foreign-born, who, unlike the Princeton blue-bloods, could see in s workingman of a darker skin a fellow human being ( a lower paid worker, of course, and perhaps a competitor for a job, but not a person of a totally different caste” pg 17 

  3. “Later I came to understand that the negro artist could not view the matter simply in terms of his individual interests, and that he had a responsibility to his people who rightfully resented the traditional stereotyped portrayals of negroes on stage and screen. So I made a decision : if hollowed and broadway producers did not choose to offer me worthy roles to play, then I would choose but to accept any other kind of offer.” pg 31 

  4. “Furthermore, as long as other Americans are not required to be silent or false in reference to their interests, I shall  insist that to impose such restrictions on negroes is unjust, discriminatory and intolerable” pg 66

  5. This idea is called “Gradualism.” It is said to be a practical and constructive way to achieve the blessings of democracy for coloured  Americans. But the idea itself is but another form of race discrimination: in no other area of our society are lawbreakers granted is an indefinite time to comply with the provisions of the law. There is nothing in the 14th and 15th amendments, the legal guarantees of our full citizenship rights, which says that the constitution is to be enforced “gradually” where Negroes are concerned. Pg. 75

  6. “It is easy for the folks on the top to take a calm philosophical view and tell those who bear the burden to restrain themselves and wait for justice to come” pg. 76

  7. And we should you do more than listen to speeches and then go quietly home. I was spokesman should go to the White House and to Congress and, backed by the massed power of our people, present our demands for action. Then they should come back to the assembled people to tell them what “the man” said so that the people can decide whether they are satisfied or not and what to do about it” pg 94 

  8. “If today it can be said that the Negro people of the United States are lagging behind the progress being made by coloured peoples in other lands, one basic cause for it has been that all too often Negro leadership here has lacked the selfless passion for the people’s welfare that has characterized the leaders of the colonial liberation movements. Among us today is a general recognition – and a grudging acceptance- of the fact that some of our leaders are not only unwilling to make sacrifices but they must see some gain for themselves in what ever the do. A few crumbs for a few is too often hailed as  “progress for the race.” To live in freedom one must be prepared to die to achieve it, and while few if any of us ever called upon to make that supreme sacrifice, no one can ignore the fact that in a difficult struggle those who are in the forefront may suffer cruel blows. He who is not prepared to face the trails of battle will never lead to a triumph. This spirit of dedication, as I have indicated, is abundantly present in the ranks of our people but progress will be slow until it is much more manifest in the character of leadership.” Pg. 103 

  9. “Negro womanhood today is giving us many inspiring examples of steadfast devotion, cool courage under fire, and brilliant generalship in our people’s struggles; and here is a major source for new strength and militancy in negro leadership on every level.”

Continue reading Here I Stand by Paul Robeson