Divide and Rule - Part 2 (The Politics Show)

By The Ligali Organisation | Sun 21 May 2006

African identity, "black" identity and the British media (Lola Ayonrinde)

As the British media continue characterising human rights as an unnecessary perk for criminals and demonising all African immigrants as sub human scroungers. Ligali contributors write in with their take on the role of selected African British politicians in Britain’s latest game of divide and rule.

"We are engaged in an historic struggle for the victory of the African Renaissance because we are inspired by, among others, the Haitian revolution.

We are engaged in struggle for the regeneration of all Africans, in the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa and everywhere, because we want to ensure the struggle of our people here in Haiti, in the Caribbean, in the Americas, Europe and Africa must never be in vain.

In this way, we will contribute to the renaissance of Africans everywhere in the world and ensure we are no longer an object of ridicule and pity, nor a tool of exploitation to be discarded at the fancy of the powerful, but that we become what we really and truly are: proud and confident human beings who occupy their pride of place as equals among the peoples of the world."

President Thabo Mbeki

Lola Ayonrinde: Anti-African apologist

Sunday 21 May 2006, The BBC’s flagship programme, The Politics Show invited former Conservative Mayor of Lambeth, Lola Ayonrinde and Labour MP for Hackney and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott. Filming from Peckham Library near where Damilola Taylor was murdered, they were there to enforce the Divide and Rule strategy in a report which began with the headlines, ‘Why do [continental] Africans in Britain feel they are getting a raw deal’? Ayonrinde who is a Nigerian, willingly complied and spoke about her theories of difference between Continental Africans and African Caribbean’s.

Ayonrinde raged, ‘…We have been saying we are different from them…so the problems that we Africans face in London has to start with Caribbean’s’. After being asked by presenter Tim Donovan, why no continental African has achieved what Diane Abbott has supposedly achieved, Ayonrinde diverted from the question to continue her twisted tirade against Africans by replying, ‘ …We need Caribbean blacks to acknowledge we are not the same group as they are…that even though they [‘black’ Caribbean’s] have African heritage, they are not Africans anymore’.

Unfortunately, it did not stop there. After going as far as to say that ‘black’ Caribbean’s are no longer African, Ayonrinde, whose embarrassingly ignorant rhetoric dominated the interview went on to complain that ‘black’ Caribbean’s have a monopoly of government money which is supposed to go to all Africans in London. She continued with her claim that ‘black’ Caribbean’s eat all of the crumbs that are thrown from governmental buildings and deliberately absolved divisive anti-African government policies from all blame.

It is clear that the former Mayor of Lambeth does not have the concerns of all African people at heart. Her wild rants were cleverly designed to further divisions amongst the African community. Furthermore her actions revealed she still has no interest in the unity of African people but instead, a willingness to continue benefiting from the horrifying legacy of white supremacy.

However the shameful antics of Ayonrinde have brought many of her own supporters to question her authority as a representative of African people. Many feel she proved to be more intent on promoting internal conflict than working on solutions to promote unity. Some are asking themselves if it also makes good financial sense to separate West Africans from the entire African Diaspora. There are many West African businesses that either associate with, or have partnerships and customers that are from elsewhere in the African Diaspora. The overwhelming majority also see no sense in creating a division that risks profit margins.

By deliberately giving a national platform to Ayonrinde’s anti-African tactic of ‘Divide and be Conquered’, the BBC have successfully brought this historic obstacle to the empowering ideology of Pan-Africanism to the fore. Lola Ayonrinde’s sinister ploy to promote problematic differences between Africans is based on flimsy and in many cases groundless accusations. Difference, in itself, is not a problem as Africans have always been a diverse people. However progressive Africans have always celebrated embraced and learned from those differences whilst using their similarities to forge unity. Ayonrinde is isolated when she fails to recognise that problematic differences have always been confronted as destructive by leading members of the African Diaspora. Revealingly she self incriminates as she declares her agenda towards the end of the interview;

‘…Whites are more useful to us than you black Caribbeans’.

External Links
LMN - Lola Ayonrinde (RIO)

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