Ukraine: Lessons for Black Nationalists: Winning the Coming U.S. Civil Warby W. Bernell Brooks lll on 02/28/22
Against all odds, the tenacity of Ukraine's armed rising has stalled Russia's murderous land, sea, and air invasion. All predictions of Ukraine's quick collapse under Russia's massive invasion were wrong. Ukraine's resistance tilted the international security architecture off its axis.
We are not surprised. Before the February 24 invasion we stated, "New Black Nationalists living in American Empire express our support for the Ukrainian people to rise, resist, and defeat any armed invasion and occupation by the Russian Federation." Even if Russia goes all out to capture and impose a blood-soaked occupation of Ukraine, we hold to our projection that "Russia’s imperial death march on Ukraine will mark the beginning of the end of Putin’s criminal regime. " Even if Putin win's the short-term battle, he will lose the war.
Ukraine's people are teaching Black Nationalists in America's Settler State, invaluable lessons about what it will take to create a Black nation-state when American Empire collapses and Trump's Republican Party -White Nationalist civil war is launched. This article briefly outlines these critical lessons.
1. The decisive nature of nationalist consciousness.
From New Black Nationalists perspective, a distinct Ukrainian nationality has existed for hundreds of years. Ukraine' national sense of identity is rooted in historically developed relations between different ethnic groups that comprised a majority population on a common geographical space. Over time they developed a common Ukrainian language and culture. We believe the process of a modernist Ukrainian identity is still maturing and continues to develop a narrative of its national destiny.
Putin's invasion to erase Ukraine's republic and deny the "Ukrainian National Ideal" has deepened and enriched the fabric of Ukrainian identity, which is inclusive of millions of Russian-speaking people currently living in Ukraine.
Ironically, the most intense bombing and desperate street-to-street combat is occurring in Kharkiv-- Ukraine's second largest city, with the largest ethnic Russian-speaking majority. Thus, Ukraine's liberation war against Russia's imperial occupation also takes on the character of a civil war between families and friends.
This enhanced strand of Ukrainian nationalist consciousness that is being forged amid existential crisis and war, has been galvanized by President Zelensky's refusal to capitulate to Russian aggression and the United States and Europe's efforts to throw Ukraine under the bus. Ukrainians in untold numbers, civilian and military, are arming themselves for a fight to finish.
The Lesson: From slavery to provisional citizenship of the 1960's Civil Rights Acts, Black people in America's settler state have always had an ambivalent and contradictory relationship with America. The Black majority's fealty to the American ideal has ebbed and flowed with the tide of the most intense struggles for democratic rights. Black slaves in the War of 1812 joined the British Navy and burned down Washington, D.C. before earning their freedom and exiting the country. During World War 2, record numbers of Blacks enlisted to fight against Hitler to save democracy they never enjoyed.
Historically, Black attachment to racial consciousness and solidarity has always been stronger than national affinity to the American ideal. There is a reason American flags rarely fly in Black communities on Independence Day. Black indifference to American identification is widespread, at the same time that few Blacks are consciously anti-American. An even smaller number see themselves as part of a Black nation entitled to self-determination.