Drafted on the 11th day of May, in the year 2023,
Heralded as the greatest democratic experiment in human history, the 1776 American Revolution now languishes on its deathbed. Contrary to the Founding Fathers' Enlightenment theories and their Neocon descendants' claims of a universal age of American imperium, we have not arrived at The End of History. Western liberal democracy is not the final form of government; rather we are fast approaching the terminus of American Empire itself.
Upon ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788, its principal architect James Madison received a letter from Thomas Jefferson. The author of the Declaration of Independence claimed that "No constitution was ever before as well calculated as ours for extending extensive empire and self-government."
Two-hundred and thirty-three years later, white nationalists convicted of "Seditious Conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States," assaulted the U.S. Capitol to install an authoritarian regime.
With riotous incantations of "1776" echoing throughout its chambers, the terrorists roamed the Capitol corridors searching for the Vice-President they condemned to hang from the gallows assembled on the Capitol grounds. The January 6, 2021, Coup cast a foreboding shadow across American Empire's impending collapse.
Conceived in the ascendant era of reason, scientific discovery, commercial venture, man's triumph over nature, and rejection of the divine right of kings, the Founding Fathers conducted a novel experiment that was unique to the human experience. They attempted to create a nation from an immigrant population lacking a shared history, ancestry, religion, and in many cases a common language.
The folly was compounded by the ongoing displacement of the continent's indigenous natives and shackling of Africa's sons and daughters who were present at the creation of the British Empire's Western Hemisphere colonial project.
Compelled to determine who was an American and who was not, the Founding Fathers' 1776 Declaration of Independence and its first constitution: The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, made no reference to 700,000 Black slaves or 59,000 free Blacks, who were largely denied the accouterments of citizenship. With quills in hand, the Founders simply wrote Blacks out of history until the second U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1788.
Enslaved Blacks serving under the British Union Jack, however, commenced to bend history to their will. Twenty thousand slaves were mustered into the Crown's ranks under Lord Dunmore's Proclamation during the Revolutionary War. Another 3,600 slaves that enlisted in Sir Alexander Cochrane's Colonial Marines participated in the campaign that burned Washington, D.C. to the ground in the War of 1812.
Freedom for these former slaves was part of a larger liberation strategy. Blacks serving the British Crown received passage to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Caribbean Island of Trinidad where they founded free communities. Aided by the Africa Institution and Massachusetts Black shipping entrepreneur Paul Cuffe, free blacks from Nova Scotia and London launched the Freetown, Sierra Leone settlement in 1808 in West Africa.
Free Blacks and former slave's efforts to create an independent homeland converged with movements of oppressed nations across Europe challenging the British, French, Russian, and Dutch empires.
The 1848 revolutions roiling Europe, introduced the concept of self-determination into the grammar of international relations. Plebiscites surfaced as new instruments of statecraft and diplomacy. Northern Italy and Balkan principalities cast ballots in 1849 to determine if they should remain in the Austro-Hungarian empire. They chose exit.
As the confluence of events escalated toward Civil War, the appearance in 1852 of Black nationalist polymath Martin Delaney's The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States, landed with the force of a manifesto.
Delaney rejected the American Colonization Society's scheme for the mass deportation of free Blacks to Liberia. The passage of the Fugitive Slave Act said Delaney, should disabuse free Blacks of illusions that America's intransigence on the Slavery Question would change.
Delaney's call for mass migration to Central America and Nicaragua continued the Black liberation tradition of exodus to create a free state established by Paul Cuffe in the 1810s. But invoking the right to self-determination and characterizing free Blacks and slaves as an "oppressed nation" within an empire signaled a theoretical shift in the Black Commons' liberation project.
Delaney centered the Black struggle for self-determination in the new theater of confrontations between similarly oppressed smaller European nations and the dominant Western imperial empires. Delaney thus explained that,
"There have in all ages, in almost every nation, existed a nation within a nation--a people who although forming a part and parcel of the population, yet were from the force of circumstances, known by the peculiar position they occupied, forming in fact, by the deprivation of political equality with others...Such then are the Poles in Russia, the Hungarians in Australia, the Scotch, Irish, and Welsh in the United Kingdom, and such are also the Jews, scattered throughout not only the length and breadth of Europe, maintaining their national characteristics, and looking forward in high hopes of seeing the day when they may return to their former national position of self-government and independence. Such then are the conditions of various classes in Europe; yes, nations, for centuries within nations... And however unfavorable their condition, there is none more so than that of the colored people of the United States."
A century after Martin R. Delaney's 1852 demand for independence, the denial of the Black Commons' right to self-determination as a 'nation' and 'people' predated Vladimir Lenin's formulation of self-determination for oppressed nations promulgated during World War 1. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson mimicked the policy in his infamous post- WW1 Fourteen Points program.
The United States refusal of the right to self-determination to its own Black nation stood in flagrant violation of UN Resolution 1514, The United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Adopted in 1960, in-part the resolution stated that,
"All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic social and cultural development."
New Black Nationalists assert that after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution's 13th Amendment (Jan. 31, 1865) abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude, the 14th Amendment (June 9, 1866) imposed citizenship on former Black slaves absent any consultive process. There were no formal discussions with the Black Commons recognized representatives, no plebiscites, no reparations.
Freedmen were prohibited from voting to ratify the 14th Amendment's citizenship clause as former Black male slaves could not legally cast ballots until the 15th Amendment's passage in February 1869. The public face of Black women was invisible to history's naked eye.
U.S. government-imposed slavery on Blacks between 1788 and 1865, the dehumanization of Blacks by designating them as property, and trafficking in the slave trade from 1788 to 1808, occurred under the following articles of the U.S. Constitution in violation of the 1926 Slavery Convention, and the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery:
[Article 1-Section 2 Clause 3] 'Three-fifths of all 'other persons' [Black slaves] would be counted in the apportionment of representatives and direct taxes.'
[Article 1-Section 9-Clause 1] 'The 'importation of such persons' [Black slaves] shall not be prohibited prior to the year 1808.'
[Article lV-Section 2-Clause 3] 'Persons' [Black slaves] held in Service or Labour in one state escaping into another...shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Labour may be due.'
[Article V] 'No amendment which may be made prior to 1808 shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the ninth Section of the first Article.'
The cumulative weight of slavery's abominations, Black Reconstruction's reversal, and a century of Jim Crow segregation enforced by vigilante mobs culminated in the political explosions of the 1960s Civil Rights and Black Power movements.
The long train of abuses that ignited mass urban rebellions and social upheaval, gave rise to unprecedented measures by the U.S. government to crush Black dissent including its complicity in the assassination of radical Black leaders.
The universe of abuses visited on Black flesh is known to the world: they are recited by poets and marked by memorials to Black martyrs across the planet.
In the din of the 1960s revolutionary tumult, the cause of Black self-determination and national independence reached new summits. The 1968 convention held by Black Nationalists and a coalition of Black organizations in Detroit, Michigan proclaimed the existence of a Black nation in five states in the South named the Republic of New Afrika (RNA).
The Provisional Government of the RNA declaration shifted the geographic focus of nationhood from Africa and the Caribbean to the soil of American Empire's metropole. The RNA's demands included reparations payments and the transfer of land as just compensation for the U.S. government's crimes against Black humanity. The PG-RNA reset the foundation of the Black national project.
The United States government has arrogantly and steadfastly refused to provide compensation or reparations to the descendants of enslaved Blacks for its barbarous history of crimes.
In recognition of its continued status as an 'oppressed nation' formed within American Empire's imperial state, New Black Nationalists affirm the Black Commons' right to self-determination and political independence. We claim the right to exist as sovereign entities in territories and independent city-states designated as the Vesey Republic on the continental land mass of the present-day United States.
The majority Black-led multi-racial polities of the Vesey Republic affirm the dissolution of all allegiances and political connections with the United States of America. The Vesey Republic's duly instituted government assumes full powers to provide national defense, conclude peace treaties, enter international alliances, establish commerce, and engage in the universe of activities performed by sovereign states to perpetuate their posterity.
The concept of the Black Commons' constituting an 'oppressed nation' within America Empire is not grounded in an archive of grievance. The Black Commons' journey from slavery to liberation attests to an enduring and universal truth that wherever humankind is rent by despotism, rebellion in the pursuit of freedom is close at hand.
It is American Empire's denial of our right to self-determination, independence, and the unfettered pursuit of our national destiny that defines the substance of "an oppressed nation" within an empire.
The Founding Fathers of the 1776 Declaration of Independence state that, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," and that "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government."
New Black Nationalists concur: America's governmental powers have never been just, nor were they ever derived from the consent of the Black Commons.
New Black Nationalists recognize the "Right of the People to alter or to abolish" the government. However, abolishing the government is not, nor has it ever been the Black Commons circulating concern. We seek exit and the right "to institute a new Government" of our own design--one that vibrates to the cosmos of our heritage and culture.
It was said by Thomas Paine during the American Revolution that “Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families."
Quite the opposite, American Empire's youth are slaughtered in the hundreds by military-grade weaponry and the government does nothing. American students languish in debtors' prisons, possessing more college debt than the combined national debt of half the world's countries. Supreme Court Justices pocket bribes in the millions while issuing religious edicts eviscerating the reproductive rights of women and making them and their children wards of the state. A country that makes war on its families and devours its children is nothing more than a hellscape of debauchery and social death. We choose otherwise.
The gusting authoritarian winds of the Eastern Siberian Steppes have made landfall on America's shores. A new coalition of tyrants has assembled around the standard of proto-fascism. They are equally loathed by all cohorts of humanity imbued with a modicum of justice and civic virtue.
Unlike the European fascists of the 1920s-30s, who actually built things and redistributed wealth to their Commons, American Empire's proto-fascists fleece and grift off their own social base like maggots. They have jettisoned reason for base emotions; abandoned science for conspiracy theories; displaced facts with half-truths and lies; replaced the pretense of the rule of law with coercion and force; substituted coups for elections and opted for regime change and white minority rule rather than majority rule.
American Empire is descending into a Hobbesian dystopia from which it cannot extricate itself. Its path to self-destruction obviates the need for active measures to abolish it. Its tree of liberty cannot be refreshed.
The Black Commons' quest for self-determination and independent Black majority-led states are committed to creating the "rough egalitarianism" of a cooperative-based polity and a non-heteropatriarchal society. Our project cuts against the fine grain of history. It militates against the spirit of the present age that increasingly embraces authoritarian rule, Midnight Kingdoms of White Ethno-Nationalism, and a Dark Enlightenment.
New Black Nationalists are the proponents of a tranquil and consensual National Divorce. But we are not naive; history argues otherwise. Violent resolution is the hallmark and language of American Empire's exceptionalism. So be it.
By these words, we reaffirm our fealty to the traditions of the Black Commons' organic and historic path to self-determination, liberation, and separation from American Empire by any means necessary.
The New Black Nationalist Network