We Are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in the American Century

By Rod Bush | Go to book overview

1
The Contemporary Crisis

The time is past when the white world can exercise unilateral au-
thority and control over the dark world. The independence and
power of the dark world is on the increase; the dark world is rising
in wealth, power, prestige, and influence. It is the rise of the dark
world that is causing the fall of the white world.

As the white man loses his power to oppress and exploit the
dark world, the white man's own wealth (power or “world”) de-
creases….

You and I were born at this turning point in history; we are wit-
nessing the fulfillment of prophecy. Our present generation is wit-
nessing the end of colonialism, Europeanism, Westernism, or
“White-ism” the end of white supremacy, the end of the evil
white man's unjust rule.

—Malcolm X, The End of White World Supremacy

They say there is no hope for the youth, but what they mean is
there is no hope for the future.

—Tupac Shakur, “Keep Ya Head Up”

There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to
walk down the street and hear footsteps and start to think about
robbery and then look around and see it's somebody white and feel
relieved. How humiliating.

—Jesse Jackson

Malcolm's words above reflect the utter optimism of the spirit of Bandung, symbolizing the revolt of the third world against white, Western, colonial domination. Yet a mere thirty years later Tupac Shakur's statement seems to summarize the desperation of our own times. Tupac's lament seems to be a stark reversal of Malcolm's hope. Yet appearances are not always what they seem. In this case the apparent re

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