Kwame Ture on White Man Security

Aida’s note: Hi y’all! Hope this is finding you well. In the frenzy of media coverage surrounding current events, I noticed a CNN article detailing the news that the oil and gas company Shell will be exiting partnerships with Russia’s state-run energy company Gazprom in the wake of Russia’s invasion. In the article, a Shell executive is quoted as saying: “We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression which threatens European security,” said Shell’s chief executive officer, Ben van Beurden.

This allusion to “European security” immediately reminded me of a talk that Kwame Ture gave at Howard University in 1972. Circumstances have changed, but I think the geopolitical analysis is spot on and it’s helped me understand the role of NATO on the world stage. You can check out the entire talk at the hyperlink, but I have transcribed the relevant bit below. Hope this is helpful to someone!xo Aida

America is in what is known as NATO. NATO is the combined military strength of all the Western imperialist countries. America, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, etc. They all come together and they integrate their armies, navies, air forces.

Can you imagine what that’s like, man? 

That’s NATO.

That’s NATO.

You understand that?

At any given time, they can control…whew, lord, that’s frightening to think about, yeah. 

Well, Russia and the Eastern socialist countries have what is known as the Warsaw Pact. Now, the Warsaw Pact is the same thing that NATO is. You have Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, all the Soviet Socialist Republics in this. So, now you know what we’re talkin’ about now. They mighty powerful too.

Now, NATO is imperialistic. Imperialistic.

Warsaw Pact is socialist. They say they are. They say they are. They say they are. 

And these two groups, who have dialectically opposed philosophies, are talking about coming together militarily. 

When they talk about European security, that’s what they’re talking about. That’s all they’re talking about. You hear them all the time talking about European security, that’s what they’re talking about.

Now, it is very important for us, Africans and socialists, to understand how is it possible for a socialist system and an imperialist system to put their military might together? And if so, against what? Against what?

Now, we have to examine that. They’re talking about European security. Nobody is against European security. Europe should be secured. Everybody’s agreeing. I’m for African security. I’m for Asian security. I’m for European security. It’s a necessity.

But, this European security is not Europe geographically. You understand me. You understand me clearly. Ya hear me? It’s not Europe geographically. Cuz America ain’t in Europe, ya hear me? Canada ain’t in Europe, ya hear me? Australia ain’t in Europe, ya hear me? Iceland ain’t in Europe, ya hear me? 

They talkin’ bout white man security. Hear me well. Hear me well. They talkin’ bout white man security. They talkin’ bout white man security. Irregardless of ideology. 

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