One day a friend introduced me to a young New Afrikan brother who was selling things on the sidewalk outside a large office building. When our talk turned to this book, the young brother looked up proudly and said: "I already know everything about the White Man, and he knows nothing about me." As we were talking away I couldn't help thinking how many people had the same thought. Because they know that the white man is completely racist and treacherous, they wrongly assume that they know all about his society. This is really the point that this book begins from.
In, fact, the 1960's breakthrough of "ethnic studies programs" at universities has been dialectically turned around and used against us. We are getting imperialist-sponsored and imperialist-financed "Asian studies," "Black studies," "Puerto Rican studies," "Indian studies," "ethnic studies" pushed back down our throats. Some of the most prominent Third-World intellectuals in the U.S. Empire are getting paid good salaries by the imperialists to teach us our histories. Why?
U.S. imperialism would rather that all Third-World people in their Empire remain totally blank and ignorant about themselves, their nations, their cultures, their pasts, about each other, about everything except going to work in the morning. But that day is over.
So instead they oppose enlightenment by giving in to it in form, but not in essence. Like ju-jitsu, our original demand that our separate and unique histories be uncovered and recognized is now being used to throw us off our ideological balance. The imperialists promote watered-down and distorted versions of our pasts as oppressed Third-World nations and peoples.
The imperialists even concede that their standard "U.S. history" is a white history, and is supposedly incomplete unless the long-suppressed Third-World histories are added to it. Why?
The key to the puzzle is that Theirstory (imperialist Euro-Amerikan mis-history) is not incomplete; it isn't true at all. Theirstory also includes the standard class analysis of Amerika that is put forward into our hands by the Euro-Amerikan Left. Theirstory keeps saying, over and over: "You folks, just think about your own history; don't bother analyzing white society, just accept what we tell you about it."
In other words, it's as if British liberals and "socialists" had told Afrikan anti-colonial revolutionaries in Ghana or Kenya to just study their own "traditions" - but not to study the British empire. Theirstory is not incomplete at all. It's a series of complete lies, an ideological world-view cleverly designed to further imperialist domination of the oppressed.
This work throws the light of historical materialism on Babylon itself. For so long the oppressed have been the objects of investigation by Euro-imperialist sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc. - all to further pacifying and controlling us (anthropology, for example, had its origins as an intelligence service for European colonialization of the world). Now it is time to scientifically examine the oppressor society.
The final point we must make is that this document - while it deals with aspects of our history within the U.S. Empire - is nothing like a history of Asians here. Nor is it a history of Indian nations, the Afrikan Nation, Aztlan, or other Third-World nations or peoples. While we discuss Third-World struggles and movements, this is not a critical examination of these political developments. This is a reconnaissance into enemy territory.
1. All references to discussions at the conference from: The African World, Vol. N, No. 5, July, 1974: "Historic ALSC Conference Discussed: WHICH ROAD FOR BLACK PEOPLE?""
2. Black Revolution. Vol. 1. No. 1. Winter 1980: "Editorial: The Party Line."