Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America

By John George; Laird Wilcox | Go to book overview
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18 All African People's Revolutionary Party

In the late 1960s, Stokely Carmichael--the fiery radical who had praised Cuba and threatened American cities with flames, who led the (paradoxically named) Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (expelling all white members), who announced, "The only position for women in SNCC is prone"--moved to Guinea and changed his name to Kwame Ture. ( Guinea is a former French colony located in West Africa.) The name Ture was taken by Stokely in honor of that nation's leader, Ahmed Sekou Toure, and Kwame in admiration for his longtime hero, Kwame Nkrumah, who was deposed as leader of the West African nation of Ghana by a 1966 coup. (Said coup was accomplished by the combined efforts of the armed forces and police, but Marxist-Leninists have been certain the CIA was behind it--a charge far-leftists always make when coups remove leaders they like. In this case they may have been correct.) At any rate, Sekou Toure gave Nkrumah asylum in Guinea. 1

Nkrumah was a talented, prolific, and self-serving writer who admired Gandhi and preached nonviolence--until he consolidated power in Ghana, after which time Gandhian principles were discarded. It has been said of Nkrumah that he was probably good for Africa, but bad for Ghana. As to Sekou Toure, he became the ruthless dictator of one of the harshest of nations. He had a security web of police and informants probably unequaled in sub-Saharan Africa, carefully imposing his particular version of "political correctness" upon the population. A black person living in the Republic of South Africa at the time had considerably better civil liberties. The annual "Survey of Freedom" published each January by Freedom House always rated Toure's Guinea among the worst nations on earth with respect to human rights. When Toure died in 1984, the military took over in a bloodless coup and freed numerous political prisoners.

Thus, we have a glimpse of the kind of people " Kwame Ture" has held in high esteem. And it was in the spirit of Nkrumah's "Pan-African" beliefs that this American founded the All African People's Revolutionary party (AAPRP) in 1972. Claiming to be headquartered in Africa with a small following in the United States, the party always has called its ideological base "Nkrumahism." This evidently brings together a variety of things pleasing to Kwame Ture: collectivism, dialectical materialism, and, of course, opposition to neocolonialism. Nkrumah book on this last subject, Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, could fairly be called an updating of Lenin Imperialism: The Highest State of Capitalism, from which Nkrumah drew most liberally.

The years since the sixties did not have the effect of modifying Kwame Ture's

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