HomeVesey RepublicThe SidebarWhat We BelieveVesey's Republic of Letters Why Jimmy Cherizier & Wyclef Jean Call for Negotiations in Haiti

BLM 2.0
What We Believe
Contact Us
   Fanon Forum 
The Molotov Cocktail Insurgency


I am an African Woman: Change the Channel on Ukraine's Media Coverage  03.3.2022 MSNBC 

Ukraine: Lessons for Black Nationalists: Winning the Next Civil War  03.02.2022 FrantzFanon.org

Russia Launches 2nd Invasion of Ukraine
02.24.2022 NewBlackNationalism.com 

New Black Nationalists Support Ukraine's Defeat of Russian Invasion: 02.22.2022 NewBlackNationalism.com

​New Black Nationalist Notes: Ukraine's Anti-Imperialist Insurgency Against Russia & the Next European Civil War
Articles, Analysis, and Notes

Ukraine: Lessons for Black Nationalists - Winning the Coming U.S. Civil War 

by W. Bernell Brooks

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's 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 a common Ukrainian language and culture developed. We believe the process of a modernist Ukrainian identity is still maturing, given that a historically Balkanized Ukraine has been subjected to Russian/Soviet, Polish-Lithuanian, Austo-Hungarian, German, and Mongol domination.  

The overlay of foreign domination continued after Ukraine acheived independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In many respects, Ukraine remains a neo-colonial battlespace in the Great Power contention between Russia, the United States, and now China for economic and political dominance. Ukraine's difficulties in resisting dependency is magnified by the inability of its own national bourgeoisie to consolidate its economic assets. Independence is a difficult proposition when your neighbor can shut off your lights, oil, gas, and internet platforms with the flip of switch.  

Thus, the irony of Russia's invasion it that it has accelerated the development of a modernist narrative of Ukraine's 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. 

Oddly enough, 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.  

In some ways Black identity and loyalty to America reflects the past ambiguities of Ukranian nationalism. Ukraine has a long history of sharing the same lands, Eastern Orthodox religion and language with Russian people. Many Ukrainians are Russian speakers. Many ethnic Russians speakers living in Ukraine have adopted a Ukranian national identity. Pan-Slavic identity cross pollinates Russian and Ukrainian identity. Ukraine's turbulent history includes having been politically part of past Russian and Soviet Empire's. Thus, the emergence of an authentic Ukrainian national identity is a complicated and fluid concept as well as lived reality.  

Like Ukraine, however, an existential crisis like the collapse of American Empire or a Trump white nationalist attempt to launch civil war, could suddenly rally Blacks around a new sense of nationalist identity--one that moves beyond racial consciousness and solidarity. Compelled by the collective necessity to survive a white nationalist civil war, a Black Nationalists call to create an independent Black polity may surface as a viable alternative to submitting to American Apartheid or being marched to the gallows by a treacherous Democratic Party. 

If history is our guide, we could witness an urban rising in a majority-Black city, and the people simply decide to wage "all out" street warfare and refuse to submit to local and state authorities. A Black Paris Commune or a Ukrainian Maidan Revolt could erupt. Like the Black Lives Matter 2.0 revolts in 2020, the rebellions spread across America and the idea of a Black Republic or city-state moves from a slogan to a political demand backed by arms.   

At the end of the day, Black racial consciousness invariably leads to reformism, accommodation, and a quasi-American identity of provisional citizenship.  Black Nationalism by contrast, is a struggle for political power. 

2. Leadership including a single leader is decisive.  

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky was a former comedian and star of a popular satirical television comedy called Servant of the People. Ironically, he played the role of President of Ukraine. Since Putin's invasion, Zelensky has grown with the moment and emerged as the fearless embodiment of the Ukrainian Ideal: incorruptible and connected to the street. 

Condemned as a Neo-Nazi and targeted to be neutralized by Putin, Zelensky continues to appear on the street in social media posts. His calls to Ukraine's citizens to take up weapons and join Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces have been heeded across the country. Ukrainians living in Europe are returning home to join the fight. 

Offered assistance by Biden's cowardly administration to relocate and set up a government-in-exile, Zelensky exposed their treachery by replying, "I need ammunition, not a ride." Staring down the bully Putin, Zelensky warned Russians that when they come: "You will see our eyes, not our backs." 

Zelensky is inspiring Ukrainians to defend every inch of the country and speaking hard truths about Ukraine's uphill battle. "We have been left alone to defend our state, " he said. "Who is ready to fight alongside us? I don't see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of Nato membership? Everyone is afraid."  

Lesson: Honest, visionary, daring leadership in any revolution is critical.  

Whether by a collective or individual model, honest, ethical, and bold visionary leadership is desperately needed among the ranks of Black Nationalists. We are a numerically small political strand, representing a small conscious constituency. 

What matters most is having our finger on the pulse of the Black masses and the rapidly changing revolutionary conditions. History repeatedly tells us that a small group can and often does lead a revolutionary struggle to power. History also tells us that the window is small and brief to transform an existential crisis of a collapsing government into a struggle to create a new nation-state, or polity. 

That is why revolutionary leadership must be attuned to the moment. As a former comedian, President Zelensky has the gift every talented comedian possesses. It's called "great timing." His one-liner, 'When you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs,' captured the essence of Ukraine's cultural vernacular and personality. Combined with his street videos, military dress, and 24-hour beard, Zelensky knows that revolutionary struggle is also a political art form. He is not playing a role; his actions are the living and growing embodiment of the Ukrainian street and mass consciousness. 

Black Nationalists would do well to remember that.

3. Being Prepared to Initiate the Struggle alone.

In the run up to Russia's invasion, President Zelensky was continuously confronted with American and European allies that were dismissive of Ukraine. Trump tried to shake down Zelensky like a mobster bullying a choir boy. Biden and European Union refused to provision Ukraine with serious defensive weapons to repel Russian expansionist designs in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Eastern Ukraine. 

Confronted with a full-scale invasion, Zelensky was forced to come to grips with the reality that Ukraine would have to confront Russia alone. Once Zelensky reached that conclusion, he had no choice but to trust and rely on the creativity, energy, and resilience of the Ukrainian people to blunt Putin's invasion. Zelensky also had to possess the foresight and a sense of the "Ukrainian personality" to know that if Russia subdued Ukraine in the short run, the Ukrainian people would wage a fierce war of resistance to recover state power. 

Lesson: History tells us that vanguard forces must sometimes be willing to take the initiative and act alone in the face of daunting odds. Sometimes it is necessary to risk acting alone to rally wavering elements or the majority. Sometimes losing battles must be fought to alter the dynamic and win the war in the future. In every instance the vanguard force must have a keen sense of the capabilities and tendencies of their people. 

Zelensky, correctly read the Ukranian people, and determined their willingness to go "all-in" to save the republic had changed since the 2014 Russian invasion. Russia's 2014 military incursion that resulted in the annexation of Crimea placed Ukraine in a compromised political and military posture. On the defensive, Ukraine was compelled to sign the Minsk 1 and 2 Agreements to suspend intensifying warfare with Russia.  

In this instance the same principle applies to the international situation and Zelensky's assessment of American Empire and NATO. By leaving them behind and taking the initiative to confront the Russians, Zelensky embarrassed the EU and Biden. He exposed their feckless cowardice, and fear of Putin. He forced them to appropriate funds for humanitarian assistance, weapons for armaments they never intended to disperse.  

4. Existential Crisis Emerges Quickly and Revolutionary Forces Must be Prepared. Crisis reveals the positions of all the social actors in play. 

In the era of imperialism, more so than any previous period, the outbreak of an existential crisis capable of toppling a central government emerges with suddenness and profound intensity. Lamentably, revolutionary forces have historically failed to do the preparatory work to enter the escalating fray and shifting crisis conditions with the correct analysis and mobilized forces at the ready to seize state power.  

Revolutionary forces like the majority of their people, are too often paralyzed by disbelief that the social order cannot be held together. They freeze at the thought of the outbreak of war. Somehow, they cannot fathom the notion that the government is about to collapse. Furthermore, they cannot bring themselves to resort to revolutionary violence, even as they watch state security forces slaughter innocent people in the streets.  

Zelensky has allowed women, mothers, 18-year-old high school students and grandmothers to take up arms. They have responded.  

In the one-month run up to Putin's invasion, President Zelensky lagged behind the gathering confluence of events. A week before the invasion, Zelensky was still downplaying U.S. intelligence reports that Putin was ready to pull the trigger.  But in as much as the ancient maxim that "Fortune favors the brave," contains a kernel of truth, President Zelensky found his rhythm in a nick of time.

Lesson: In less than four years, Donald Trump: an unstable, racist, demagogue and chief grifter of a criminal enterprise, savaged every foundational American institution. He eviscerated constitutional governmental norms and traditions, converted the Republican Party from a bureaucratic doormat of corporate interests into a personal subsidiary of his cult. Trump transformed millions of benign racist GOP party members into a mob of cretins feeding on post-factual conspiracy theories and the fear of a Black and brown planet. 

When that work was done, Trump led a violent coup on the U.S. Capital, that along with an extraconstitutional measure to alter the electoral vote count by Vice-President Pence, nearly succeeded in executing a successful coup d'état.  

Today, Black Nationalists are lagging behind the accelerating developments. Like Ukraine's republic going up against the Russian Empire, our destiny since arriving on North America's shores was always going to come down to an existential war with American Empire. 

Like Ukraine's civic nationalists, we are vastly outnumbered by whites of ill will, and outgunned by the Cathedral's security state, the police, national guard and white nationalist militias.  

We are constantly surrounded by those who say they support the cause of Black freedom. But we know when the bullets start flying and the tank reports rattle the eardrums of the wavering, we will have few friends in the foxhole with us. When the civil war begins, we must be prepared to fight alone.  

In the coming days, weeks and more than likely months to come, New Black Nationalists will be closely following the crush of revolutionary events in Ukraine. Our support for Ukraine's defeat of Putin's blood-soaked imperialist invasion is steadfast. 

In 2004-2005, protesters launched the Orange Revolution to challenge the massive corruption, voter intimidation and electoral fraud that installed the Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine's president. After forcing a new presidential election to be held, Yanukovych was turned out of office and Ukraine's struggle for authentic self-determination from Russian and American imperialism began. From the 2004 Orange Revolution to the 2014 Revolution of Dignity also known as the Maidan Revolution, Ukraine continues to be in the throes of a continuous revolution. 

Ukrainians are demonstrating in real time with brio and flash, how revolutions must be fought and won through the twist and turns of social tumult. 

On behalf of the New Black Nationalist movement, we send our revolutionary greetings to people of Ukraine. 

03.02.2022  - This Week's Feature Story
Visit the Molotov Cocktail Insurgency Forum