Shiiiddd, History? I’m dealing with this shit right now, I been dealing with it from day one. Mostly the commitment issue, but there’s been some treason too.
The first thing you need to understand when you engage the Struggle is that Black people are traumatized; so there’s going to be constant dysfunction. We are building a house with damaged bricks, there’s no way around it, you just gotta keep building anyway.
It’s not always insidious, the dysfunctions, break downs in discipline, and failures to commit; people often want to do right, they are often sincere, but internal issues and external circumstances can often derail a person. That don’t make them a traitor…, it don’t excuse grown folks fucking up all the time either, but it ain’t a capital offense from my point of view. (Treason is a capital offense in a time of war, so we have to be careful of how we level it, even if we are not at a state in the struggle where we can properly deal with traitors…yet. Also, I fundamentally oppose the death penalty, I prefer exile, but I digress.)
As you plan, organize, and execute; you have to work in redundancies into the work. That way, if someone flakes out, if they burn out, if they get locked up, or find (White Jesus) and quite on you; there will be others who had overlapping roles and responsibility who can take up the slack and continue the work. Always expect a significant percentage of your members/allies to fall short, or bail out all together, especially in the beginning.
Also, set up vetting activities. These activities require that your organization members display disciple, commitment, and forethought; it forces them to demonstrate or develop organizational skills and organizational disciple, but they can’t threaten the core mission while they do so. One of the vetting activities I do is the Slingshot Paintball events. I task people with secure paintballs, maintaining equipment, cleaning/clearing the event area, planning the competitions, communicating the rules to the newcomers, and shit like that. I can also see people operate in a group dynamic, where they have to cooperate, share info, show endurance, and operate out of their comfort zones. You even get insights between and after the matches, from the conversations. This is a fun activity, a community and trust building activity, and one that allows you to measure your allies without allowing the weak links to disrupt the “real work” of resistance and liberation. See?
You can also organize book clubs, a lecture series, an ongoing poetry reading, or anything else that requires planning, and all the other skills needed for building and sustaining a Pan-African and Revolutionary organization.
If you can’t trust a muthafucka to secure paintball one a weekly basis, or to bring the amp to the open mic consistently, then that ain’t a muthafucka that’s ready for Revolution, or to open a cooperative business with. Take my word for it.
You want to integrate people systematically into your circle, don’t give shit away, you trust, responsibility, loyalty, etc. People should have to earn it, and value it; or lose it after they get it.
There are so many methods for anticipating, screening, and rendering your organization from the inherent dysfunction of our traumatized people, and our own personal trauma and dysfunction. You just have to be creative and flexible.
You also need to remember that you are obligated to build your people as you build your organization, they are not Human Resources, they are family; so you have to work with them to heal, we all need constant healing from Oppression’s Wounds. So, make time and opportunity for that work as well. As you fight externally, you have to sustain internally.
As for real traitors, which will actually not be very common early in your efforts; there’s a different approach.
Traitors are there specifically to disrupt your efforts. Traitors don’t act in their own interest, they serve our enemies or oppressors. The oppressors will not send in an agent until you’ve become an active threat. Traitors can’t be avoided, they should also be expected and prepared for. There needs to be protocols for the distribution of information, for access to rescues, and how individuals elevate within the organization. The specific protocols depend on the formation and it’s mission; formations that seek to grow food, build Pan-African enterprises, do community education will have much different protocols for formations tasked with armed defense and other armed or high-risk activities; and the reaction to treason need to be measured also. It’s not really sensible to get into specifics in this forum, I’m sorry; but I’ll give you some links.
Just remember, until otherwise demonstrated, all new, un-vetted, and unvouched individuals who approach the organization should be treated as potential traitors until there is solid evidence or examples to prove otherwise, especially; they should be excluded from the inner workings and planning. If they are sincere, they will understand and accept this.
The best thing I can tell you is don’t allow yourself to be discouraged, the best Revolutionaries and the best organizations have had to deal with this, and we will be dealing with dysfunction and traitors until we win; it’s the nature of the struggle. If you have to regroup and rebuild, just know you will come back stronger. I’m in the process of rebuilding yet again my damn self. I know the rules and protocols, but I got impatient, and things imploded, so I’m back at it again, but I don’t intend to have to restart again. Imma get this shit right, to the best of my abilities.
Here are some text that can give you more insights: