Thursday, May 11, 2006

Revolutionary and Certainly Gangster

Dead Prez’s 2004 album Release “Revolutionary But Gangsta”, or RBG, describes a person who, although engaged in frequent and heavy criminal activity (gangsta), remains committed to a greater political cause (revolutionary).

Understanding this, back in February, I offered a post on those whom I believed to be the “Real[est] Gangsters”. It’s now May and the Nigerian Members of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) have strengthened their case, wrecking daily havoc on Western oil firms (resultantly, helping to increase the high daily oil prices we pay) that have made much of their fortune exploiting the country’s natural resources (can we say neo-colonialism?). The most recent news from the Niger Delta only affirms my belief that these dudes are certified gangsters, and to some extent, the sentiment of their struggle is comprehensible.

Black nationalist and advocate of violence and/or anarchy I am not, but its important to understand that in an attempt to win back the natural resources of their land, this group has made use of those same rogue and plunderous techniques that the Western world introduced in its initial, longstanding, and continuous exploit of natural African resources.

Their list of demands, which includes greater control of the oil resources in the delta, where most of the region's 20 million people live in poverty, as well as $1.5 billion in compensation from oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC for environment damage it says was caused by the company (Shell has rejected the charges), brings into focus tangential issues of global energy that a capitalistic Western society would like to turn a blind eye towards.

Revolutionary? Certainly. Gangster? Even more so.


Brother Spotless said...

Is it me, or does this cat look like Dave Chappelle??

Brother Smartness said...

The resemblance is uncanny.

Brother Smartness said...

Your description of the necessity or rationale behind the use of violence reminds me of Wrethced of the Earth.

I know we joked about the brother looking like Chappelle but in all serious what they are doing seems quite gangster. From what I understand the people they've kidnapped have been returned and they've been targeting facilities that exploit Africa's resources with car bombs.

I can respect that so long as they aren't using violence against the innocent.