By The Honorable Silis Muhammad
CIVIL DEATH means you are in existence, but you are not known politically in the State in which you reside. As you have no identity in the world: you are rendered a stateless people, according to Sub-Commissioner, Professor Jose Bengoa. Civil death is an international (UN) term; it can be interpreted to mean that you do not exist as a human being. You have no collective human rights, except those rights that are given or granted you.
How do we come out of the state of civil death? First, we must recognize and accept that we are indeed in a state of civil death. We must accept and recognize that we are nothing politically; we are not human beings, as seen through the eyes of the UN. Our mother tongue is our identity. The language my grandmother and grandfather spoke was a broken English with Africanized sounds and phrasing. By no stretch of the imagination was it a mother tongue. In that we were deprived, and thereby denied our mother tongue, we have no Identity politically.
I know that this is a hard pill to swallow; but what political identities have we, except the absorbed or partially absorbed political identity of the slave master’s children, in the countries where 250 million of my people (Afrodescendants) are scattered. You cannot buy your way back into being a human being, by flaunting money.
We must reconnect to others of our kind and become politically reinstated to the human family. How? We reconnect to others by telling our story – by reconnecting like unto the dry bones in a valley, if you are familiar with Biblical stories.