We hope this letter finds you in the best of health and in the highest spirit of resistance against the oppression of African people.
It came to our attention that you have been invited to participate in the annual Roots Homecoming Festival in the Gambia beginning May 6 – 19 2014. Indeed, the Roots Homecoming Festival should be an honorable celebration for Africans all over the planet earth under normal conditions of peace and freedom from neocolonial repression.
Because of the revolutionary stance you have taken on issues affecting African people worldwide, we thought it necessary to inform you of the repressive conditions in our beloved Gambia since Jammeh’s lift on to the “saddles of power”. Out of their uniforms of brutality as “soldiers with a difference”, Jammeh and his Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) became civilianized into the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (AFPRC) and for the past 20 years left a trail of blood, sorrow and tears along its path. Accountability, transparency and probity were their anthem in 1994, a short lived anthem as the accumulation of wealth and property became their trade mark.
We believe that, there is no such thing as “art for art sake”. All art is grounded in a belief system; therefore every artist expresses his or her art in a belief system. Based on your artistic expressions, we see your consistent denouncement of the repressive system – “the system is a fraud” – and the oppression of African people; worst if the “oppressor man” is an African. Neocolonialism has been our worst enemy since “flag independence”. Neocolonialism reigns supreme in the Gambia under Jammeh.
During the struggle against apartheid, you, like the “stepping razor”, Peter Tosh and others took a principled stance without wavering. We believe that, once you become aware of the repressive conditions your Gambians brothers and sisters are subjected to, you will take the same stance as you did against apartheid. Our fight against tyranny in the Gambia must get the same attention as was given to “South Africa” – Azania. The days of fighting in isolation are over; the struggle for African Liberation is one struggle. Touch one! Touch all!
We strongly believe that the desperate Jammeh regime is using the Roots Homecoming Festival to sanitize his stained image while fronting as a “pan – Africanist”, yet constantly unleashes terror on the same Gambians he claims to love. We always remind him that a “concrete heart can’t hold no love”.
Jammeh’s recent pseudo – radicalism against homosexuals and the “west” are desperate acts to win sympathetic support from Africans easily swayed by whim. The down trodden Gambian masses are now awakening to his political games to survive.
Jammeh represents everything that is counter – revolutionary. He has been implicated in the protracted crises in Cassamance, the southern region of Senegal by aiding a faction of the rebel group, whose safe heaven is in the Gambia. Besides, Jammeh’s barbaric actions against Gambia have disqualified him from the honorable sons of Africa worthy of being a “liberator”.
He claims Gambia as his personal property, owns all prime land in the country, some through confiscation and own mansions in Potomac USA and allegedly in Europe.
Attached is a list of Jammeh’s atrocities and other sources for your reference. We hope that after being informed about the internal contradictions in the Gambia, you will make a “cutting edge” analysis and consideration of your participation in the upcoming Roots Home Coming Festival.
We hold Jamaica and reggae music – the greatest musical invention of the 20th century – in the highest esteem for advocating the cause of the oppressed. We, the oppressed Gambians are determined to uproot the Jammeh regime by any means necessary and we are putting the African world on notice.
LONG LIVE SENEGAMBIA! ONE AFRICA! ONE NATION!
ROOTS is SPIRITUAL and MUST REMAIN APOLITICAL
For many Diaspora Africans visiting The Gambia, Roots Homecoming Festival is what the “Hajj” is for Muslims – and what the Pilgrimage to the Holy Lands is for Christians. It really is as significant and as spiritual as that. It is a bit silly for Gambian Activists in the West to try to involve people such as Erykah Badu & Mutabaruka in the fight against Yahya Jammeh’s government in The Gambia. Does DUGA also think Muslims should cancel the Hajj to Mecca because the House of Saud is vile, corrupt and oppressive?? Should Christians also cancel their Pilgrimage to the Holy Lands – because the government of Israel is Fascist?? How can DUGA compare Mutabaruka’s or Youssou Ndour’s stance against White Rule in South Africa to their fight with Yahya Jammeh’s government? The comparison is childish and silly. It is like comparing the institution of slavery in the USA to the oppression and discrimination against Black Americans today: there is no comparison between the two problems.
The idea of ROOTS – which also first brought me to The Gambia 21 years ago – has nothing to do with which President rules The Gambia and whether or not that rule is oppressive: Roots Homecoming Festival is SPIRITUAL & APOLITICAL for Daspora African Home-comers and Mutabaruka and other Diaspora African Home-comers should ignore the infantile attempts to involve them in domestic Gambian politics.