Having had a deep reflection over recent happenings these past couple of days, I guess now is the time for me to also have have my say on the senseless and heartless lynching of George Floyd. As much as the act was dastardly and heartlessly executed, it also reveals one thing that the human being has become. This image of the human being is well captured in the 4th stanza Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali’s poem entitled 𝑵𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒇𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒊𝒏 𝑺𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒕𝒐 where he states categorically and in unambiguous terms that “𝑴𝒂𝒏 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒄𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒏! 𝑴𝒂𝒏 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒕! 𝑴𝒂𝒏 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒚!
Yes, indeed that these are a representation of what the human being has become; and Oswald Mtshali could not have said it any better. However, Frantz Fanon in his numerous publications on the true meaning of decolonization stated as follows; “𝐴𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑙𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑙 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑑: 𝑏𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟-𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑚𝑒𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠, 𝑎𝑡 𝑠𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑐𝑙𝑢𝑏𝑠, 𝑐𝑜𝑐𝑘𝑡𝑎𝑖𝑙 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑒𝑠, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑜𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑒, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑜𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑑𝑖𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑜𝑟 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑘𝑠, 𝑑𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑧𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑠 𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑠𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑛𝑒 “𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒔” 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑒𝑛 𝑏𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 “𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒔” 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑒𝑛.” And he goes on to explain further that “𝑊𝑖𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙, 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑡𝑒, 𝑎𝑏𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑡𝑒 𝒔𝒖𝒃𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏.
Following from the above, the point Frantz Fanon tries to nail home is that the unusual importance of decolonization is that it constitutes, from day one, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒎𝒖𝒎 𝒅𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅. To tell the truth, the proof of success of decolonization lies in a 𝒔𝒐𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒑𝒂𝒏𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒎𝒂 changed from top to bottom; and the extraordinary importance of this change is that it is 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒅, 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒅, 𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒅. The need for this change exists in a 𝒓𝒂𝒘, 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒆𝒕𝒖𝒐𝒖𝒔 and 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒆, in the 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 and in the 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅 𝒎𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏. But the possibility of this change is also experienced in the form of 𝒂 𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒇𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒖𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆 in the consciousness of another “𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒔” of men and women: 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒔.
Decolonization, which proposes to change the world order, is, as we can see, a program of absolute disorder, as is currently being witnessed in the United States. The current world order as we have always had it since the emergence of new nation-states in Africa, parts of Asia, Latin America and the Middle East can be likened to a form of 𝒂 𝒈𝒍𝒐𝒃𝒂𝒍 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏. In this global colony, there is, for instance one “𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒔” of men often referred to as “𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒓” or simply “𝒃𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆”; often dominated and abused by another “𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒔” of men very often referred to as “𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒔”
And so as Fanon again rightly puts it, decolonization never goes unnoticed because it concerns the 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒖𝒎𝒂𝒏 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈, it fundamentally modifies the 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒖𝒎𝒂𝒏 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈; thus, it transforms spectators crushed with inessentiality and subjugation into 𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒈𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒔, 𝒔𝒆𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒍𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝒐𝒇 𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚. It introduces into the human being a proper rhythm, brought by the new men, a new language, and a new humanity. 𝑫𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊o𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒎𝒆𝒏. But this creation does not receive its legitimacy from any supernatural power: 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅 “𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆𝒏” 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒎𝒂𝒏 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒉 𝒔𝒉𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒇𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒅.
In decolonization, there is therefore a requirement for a complete questioning of the colonial situation. Its definition can, if we want to describe it precisely, fit in the well-known phrase: “𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕.” Decolonization is the verification of this sentence. This is why, in terms of description, any decolonization is a success.
And while the whole world join in one voice to condemn the senseless and heartless slaughter of George Floyd, even including personnel of 𝑮𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒂’𝒔 𝒔𝒆𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒗𝒊𝒄𝒆𝒔 especially the 𝑮𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒂 𝑷𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝑺𝒆𝒓𝒗𝒊𝒄𝒆 and the 𝒏𝒐𝒏-𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒘𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝑺𝒆𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒐𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔, it is worth reminding you are as guilty as the murderous police officers in the Police Department of the State of Minnesota; as you are on record of brutalizing your own citizens and even sometimes killing innocent civilians you took an oath to protect. The call for a reform in policing and the broader national security architecture must apply to you too.
By Andrew Muniru Nantogmah
The writer is a Development Communications Practitioner and a Conflict Peace and Security Analyst