By Dubian Ade
For a year now I have had the privilege to work on The Decolonizer. I call it a privilege because in my place, it could have well been any colonized body who, confronted with this war against humanity decided to wield our voices. I call it a privilege because as a cis-Black man I know there are many Indigenous people, femmes, queer, and trans people of color who could have done a better job than I. I give my gratitude, love and reverence to those people.
What this publication is, what this publication is supposed to be is the embodiment of revolt. Use this publication as a means to revolt. Sharpen the edges of this publication. Burn the pages to set fire to the master's house. Use this Publication as a weapon.
The Decolonizer tells you how to use its text. This is a practical text.
We imagine The Decolonizer on the front lines of anti-colonial struggle. Imagining it as the guerrilla in the Lacandon jungle, the stone thrower in Palestine, and the protester in Ferguson.
If we allow ourselves, we may also imagine The Decolonizer as all of us. All of us that is, who affirm that famous Frantz Fanon quote "the last shall be first and the first last" or that Zapatismo war cry "everything for everyone, nothing for ourselves." Those of us who have already decided the end of colonization and the beginning of our destinies as human beings.
When I first witnessed the birth of this publication I could not know the affect it would have on me personally. I was coming firmly into my own understandings of colonialism, after a long and intense internal struggle about violence, insurgency, and its place in resistance movements. What I began to understand is that the colonial situation is inherently violent, unable to dismantle itself and will respond to all efforts to dismantle it with a viciousness that seeks to thoroughly assassinate.
We have never chosen assassination. This is the first lesson I have learned from The Decolonizer.
Instead, we have chosen to dream.
Fanon says that the dreams of the colonized are always of muscular prowess:
"I dream I am jumping, swimming, running, climbing; I dream that I burst out laughing, that I span a river in one stride, or that I am followed by a flood of motorcars which never catch up with me. During the period of colonization, the native never stops achieving their freedom from nine in the evening until six in the morning."
"What is The Decolonizer?" People usually ask me. I say The Decolonizer is dreaming. It pushes with both hands to expand the limits of our imaginations, imaginations that have been severed by the violence of colonization. We reimagine ourselves as the agents of our own liberation. We imagine the possibilities revolt, the destruction of the system, the formation of our destinies. The Decolonizer asks us to dream of the death of the colonized and the birth of humanity. In so many words, we are imagining ourselves as humans.
A Zapatista once said: "the great world power has not yet found the weapon to destroy dreams. Until it does we will keep on dreaming, that is to say, we will keep on triumphing."
And in this way, we have already triumphed.
So when those who have invested themselves in slavery and mass genocide attempt to squander our dreams, our response is to revolt. We revolt against all of the forces that mean to suppress and regulate our voices. This is the second lesson I have learned from The Decolonizer.
We do so because we recognize all efforts to police the voices of the oppressed to be in cooperation with the policing state, and an extension of white supremacist settler colonial patriarchy. We have no interest in appearing dignified and respectable in the eyes of a colonizing power who has already demonstrated its levels of barbarism and savagery. What do we have to prove to such a power?
The Decolonizer, for many reasons, has shown no remorse to those people of color who, having gained some benefits from the exploitation of Black and Brown people, have deiced to become the mouthpieces of white supremacy. They have proved to be some of the greatest enemies of the people, while professing to be experts in anti-racist diversity and inclusion education and even hold workshops on such topics! All the while sabotaging efforts by other people of color to produce meaningful change and strategically plotting against them.
This has been the context in which The Decolonizer has been developed. In the mad dash for grant funding and institutional monies, people have capitalized on the suffering of poor communities of color and have maneuvered subversive control. They have subsequently decided to sell themselves on the auction block.
I had wondered when the initial push back against The Decolonizer had started what had prompted such a reaction. I soon learned the third lesson The Decolonizer had to teach me. That our unapologetically insurgent voices will always be demonized and marked for isolation. Such is the policy of white supremacy because such voices of decent pose a clear threat to established structures of power.
Which is precisely why The Decolonizer must continue. The necessity of inserrectional publications that are explicitly against colonization could not be more clear during this historical moment. It could not be more clear in the context of Black Lives Matter, a movement that has torn off the liberal vial of "post-racialism" and "post coloniality." It could not be more clear with the rise of Trump-fascism. In the context of global decline, we begin the work of birthing our dreams.
The Decolonizer has stood as an example of what radical love looks and feels like. An undying and unwavering love for ones freedom. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Fabina Benites Colon for her bravery, guidance and steady hand in the lessons of indigenous knowledge. I own a deep debt of gratitude to Nicole LaFlave, who had helped me conceive of this child that had not yet been conceived. Her fierce honesty and dedication ripple through the pages of The Decolonizer. I lovingly thank Dr.Asma Barlas, whose Race and Colonialism class shook me to the core and provided the very foundations for this project.
I also want to send a special thanks to Audrey Cooper and all affiliates for being that conservative faction of antagonism that only sharpened the voice and the blade of The Decolonizer.