Background: When the veterans of the social justice movement of the Mississippi Summer arrived in Phoenix the summer of 2010, in solidarity and continued commitment to the cause that united the massive march of 100,000 peoples that converged on the Arizona State Capitol on May 29, 2010 it was a great honor and privilege to sit down and break bread with the relatives and share the lessons of our collective struggle for social justice across the generations.
Especially relevant was the succinct and clear analysis that the folks expressed without a shadow of doubt, defining the perpetrator of the criminal regimes of racial profiling from Selma to Phoenix: European-American COLONIZATON as a tactic of COLONIALISM.
Today, nearly two years later, Arizona Senator R. Pearce has been recalled and the US Justice Department has finally gotten into the ring in the fight against the discriminatory policing practices of Maricopa County Sheriff J. Arpaio but the original sin of the crime of colonialism is not even on the radar in terms of the public discourse on historical injustices that have made manifest the regimes of white supremacy in Arizona since its formation as a state barely a century ago.
We say barely, because we as Nican Tlacah – we the earth skinned Indigenous Peoples who are the targets of the “Mexican” racial profiling policies of Arpaio, and the victims of the “ethnic cleansing” tactics of AZ HB2281 in terms of education, we are a branch of the tree of Indigenous Nations of the Uto-Aztecan family that has been rooted in this part of the hemisphere of Abya Yala [the Americas] for more than four score and twenty centuries.
In 2010 we shared as well with our relatives, friends, and allies of the Mississippi Summer the geo-political analysis that were it not for the fact the continent of Africa was moving towards pan-African self determination and demanding decolonization, the US Civil Rights movement under the leadership of the African American constituencies of the US would not have had a chance for victory. Clarification was also made that the African-American reference was NOT limited to the domesticated parameters of the "African-United Statesian” frame, but deliberately intended to invoke our own transcontinental strategy of self-determination with Humanity as a whole.
And so when Dr. Cornel West took the time to address the scenario of white supremacy and the Imperial Project of the Americas in Arizona on October 2, 2010 at North High School, it was also fitting and relevant that the testimony which follows, delivered to the US Commission on Immigration Reform on March 22, 1995 in Phoenix, Arizona chaired by Ms. Barbara Jordan, be read into the record of the community archive of the conversation and discussions now reactivated.
"In closing, we issue this call to conscience especially to our brothers and sisters whose history and blood is joined with ours as victims of the forced removal through slavery from Africa. The time has come to re-evaluate the gains and limitations of the civil rights movement for which we both have sacrificed much over the generations. Do not abandon us. The African continent is reaching for the completion of the long decolonization process. We as Indigenous Peoples of this part of Mother Earth aspire to the same liberation. Our solidarity with your struggle is written in deeds and sacrifices we have made in common, sacrifices which are ongoing today.
We must achieve what those who have had power over us have always had: an intercontinental strategy. Let us continue to give our first allegiance to our common humanity as our ancestors taught us and fight to preserve this sacred Mother Earth from those who would callously exploit and destroy what was never theirs to own."
“If we are to be free we must reach down to the roots of our soul and sign our own emancipation proclamation and in terms of immigration unless we address the origin of the issues beginning on October 12, 1492, what occurs is not a public debate on immigration policies in America, but a manipulation of the term to mask the final extermination of the Indigenous Nations of Abya Yala, not under the heels of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings as in 1492, but under the wheels of the multilateral trade agreements imposed under the doctrine of the Divine Right of States defined by the intercontinental political power of European-American white supremacy and justified by the Doctrine of Discovery.”
Embassy of Indigenous Peoples