Editorial: Understanding the Secessionist Movement

Earlier this week, I republished an article on secession and made raised the question as to whether or not Black and Brown folks should also consider secession. I pointed out that we have a history of wanting to detach ourselves from a country that has systemically oppressed us.. you can read that article HERE

My good friend Kali Akuno of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement pointed out that its important we not confuse the fights waged by people of color for self determination and liberation with the fight waged by racists and xenophobic types who types who want to secede because they want to get away from people of color or remain in position whee they can colonize or enslave.. Below is an article penned by Kali which originally appeared in the Praxis Project website…

-Davey D-

Understanding the Secessionist Movement

Since the reelection of President Barack Obama, United States “citizens” from over 30 states have filed petitions to formally secede from the Union, and more than 10 have reached the signature requirements that necessitate a response from the Federal government.

While the secessionist movement is not a new social phenomenon, in fact many of its modern roots go back to passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, its present mass resurgence should be something that gives pause to progressive forces. Not because the secessionist movement will likely succeed (at least in short-term), but because it is a reflection of deep white reaction to various demographic and political transformations in the United States empire that will have multiple expressions, many of them likely to be rather deadly. When we put the secessionist movement in the broader context of the ideology and historic social system of white supremacy then we see that is much more than just a fringe movement.

As Obama’s reelection in part demonstrated, the 500 + year nexus between the systems of capitalism, imperialism, and white supremacy is fracturing beyond repair. There are now ruling class elements and a broad social base in the United States that are willing to jettison many of the social manifestations of white supremacy in order to preserve the capitalist-imperialist world system and the material benefits they reap from it. The secessionist movement reflects in part the interests of the forces of white supremacy who are materially dependent on the old-systems of production that require the unity of this historic nexus for their material well-being or are socially and ideologically committed to its perpetuation.

For much of the 20th century the far right forces of white supremacy were generally satisfied with the post-Reconstruction reinterpretation of the “states rights” doctrine, which was the result of a set of compromises established at the founding of the United Sates empire between the states that wanted to expand chattel slavery and those that were transitioning to a fully articulated system of wage labor. This reinterpretation rested on the notion that the Southern ruling class interests could continue subjugating the colonized (New) African and Indigenous nations contained in the region for the purposes of having a super-cheap labor force to exploit so long as they accepted the hegemony of the Federal government, which was rooted primarily in the controlling hands of monopoly industrial and finance capitalists based along the Northeastern seaboard. This reinterpretation contained secessionist aspirations for nearly a century, but it never completely vanquished them. The Black Liberation movement of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s weakened the post-Reconstruction “states rights” compromise, and breathed new life into the secessionist movement.

Playing up “states rights” as code for the perpetuation of white supremacy was at the heart of the “Southern Strategy” developed by the Nixon regime to defeat the “New Deal” alliance of the Democratic Party that was forged in the 1930’s and 40’s (the alliance that gave birth to the political ideologies and social forces now breaking with white supremacy). The reactionary “Southern Strategy” worked brilliantly until the 1990’s, when it was appropriated by elements of the Democratic Party (particularly the Democratic Leadership Council) to regain political legitimacy and power. This appropriation heightened contradictions amongst the forces of white supremacy, which in turn have opened space for more far right movements like the secessionist movement, to operate and compete within for ideological hegemony.  For these far right forces the reelection of a Black man to conduct the affairs of the White House over what was supposed to be a white man’s country is just too much to bear. In this context, secession is not so much fringe, but in fact is rather logical.

It may also turn out to be brilliant strategy. The “right to secede” is a democratic right and one technically enshrined in the United States constitution. If this right is denied without sufficient political struggle to clarify the issues, particularly by a Black man who is deemed and demonized as a dictator due to his different interpretation of the Constitution and management of the capitalist-imperialist system, it can and will become a rallying cry for the far right that could potentially mobilize millions of white settlers, particularly as there are strong preexisting settler narratives to support and justify their cause (from “don’t tread on me” to “no taxation without representation”), and give life to the civil strife, if not all out war, that many Republican and Tea Party commentators spoke to leading up to the November 6th elections.

So, this movement is something that progressive forces should pay attention to and think strategically about. And not because progressive forces should be aiming to preserve the political or structural integrity of the United States as it is presently constituted. We have to remember that there is nothing sacred or sacrosanct about the present borders of the settler states that comprise the so-called Union. This government and these borders have not always existed, are not inherently legitimate, and definitely have not served the interests of Indigenous, African, Xicano, Puerto Rican, and other colonized and oppressed peoples who live on the Great Turtle island (one of the Indigenous names of the North America continent). Rather, our primary interest should be protecting our people, exploring solutions that will advance our total liberation, and combating the repression these reactionary forces are and will direct against us. As the contradictions of this imperial society become more acute, we need to be as aware and prepared as possible to address them with sufficient organization in the pursuit of our own interests – least we be caught unaware and used as pawns once again to preserve the “white man’s systems”.

written by Kali Akuno

Should Black and Brown Folks Jump on Board the Secession Movement?

Everyone is talking about all the signatures being collected from citizens in 40 states demanding that some sort of secession take place.. The latest update notes that folks from 7 states have signed a petition numbering 25k or more on the We the People page on the White House website which will thus garner an official response.. You can read about that HERE

For many all the secession talk is new, but the concept has been around for a minute especially in Texas where they have a well-heeled movement around this concept.. Today folks are shocked that more than a 100 thousand people from the Lone Star state have signed a petition. Folks in Texas are not. A few years back Governor Rick Perry famously threatened to have the state secede. It’s something he now says he doesn’t support..Below is an article I penned when I lived in Texas and Perry made those remarks..Its some food for thought I think is still relevant…
-Davey D-

Texas Secession: Should Black and Brown Folks Jump On Board?

I always find this concept of Texas secession interesting. I especially find it interesting when I see and hear the way it’s being framed. Words like ‘Freedom’Independence’ and ‘Oppression’ are used suggesting that it’s a noble endeavor and not something sinister. Some find the conversation compelling when it focuses on our main two parties Republicans and Democrats being a thorn in our collective sides that needs to be done away with. There’s lots of tough talk from secessionist about dissatisfaction with the Federal government which is very relatable when one looks at high unemployment rates, Wall Street Bankers getting bailed out, mismanaged wars and no Universal healthcare. All of this makes a secession argument intriguing.

Today secessionists claim that their motivation is not racism. They emphatically claim an increasingly Browner and Blacker Texas is not their main reason to secede. They want freedom from Oppression. Ok I’ll buy that – we all want that type of relief. Now my question is will a Republic of Texas change the flawed political dynamics of the other 49 states and strive to be a true Democracy? Will a Republic of Texas have a government that is a true representation that is reflective of the population?

For example, will there be proportional representation ensuring all Texans to have voice and a seat at the table or will it be winner take all? In short will the Republic of Texas be for the people by the people? After all, the reason to secede centers around a Federal government that is unresponsive. The Republic of Texas should ideally change this, right? We will no longer have to worry about a federal government that spends our money in all the wrong places. We will no longer have to worry about a federal government that doesn’t listen to the peoples true wants and needs. I can completely understand the frustrations one has with the Feds. I can assure you, those sentiments are not exclusive to the ‘good ole boys’ behind the ‘Texas Nationalist Movement’. Lots of folks feel that way. Lots of Black folks, lots of Brown folks.

I recall during the height of the Black Power movements, in the 60s and 70s groups like the Nation of Islam (then known as the Black Muslims) along with others called for a nation within a nation. It was a type of secession of sorts. Leaders felt like the Democrats and Republicans were morally corrupt. They felt the Federal government was a sham and ideally things would get better if the nation’s Black population could take over the states they tilled the land for as slaves and call it a day. Freedom from oppression was the guiding force. Black folks were looking to get their 40 Acres and mule as promised by the Feds. Perhaps this will happen under the Republic of Texas. Broken promises shall be honored right?

As we now know all that nation within a nation talk was met with swift and ultimately destructive response from our federal government. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, under the leadership of Texan Lyndon Baines Johnson, did ‘name checks’ on opponents and ran a vicious Cointel-pro campaigns to dismantle the Black Panthers, derail the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King and make any talk of a nation within a nation sound utterly ridiculous.

There are many Chicano’s here in Texas who can recall the heights of the Chicano Movement where issues like Land Grant Movements which originated in New Mexico spread resulting in folks seeking ways to get back ancestral lands that were stolen.

I believe there’s quite a bit of ‘property’ in Texas that folks may be looking to get back. Will that at least be discussed in the Republic of Texas? After all Chicanos and many indigenous folks have major beef with the Federal government who they feel behaved in an extremely undemocratic fashion. They can tell you story after story of broken promises, broken treaties, and unscrupulous land grabs. One should be able to safely assume that within a strong independent Texas such atrocities will not take place. After all the goal of having honesty within our government is one of the reasons to secede.

The Republic of Texas… Is this an opportunity for ALL the people in Texas (Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, Young, old ) to have the wrongs of the past corrected? Is the Republic of Texas intending to be a true Democracy, where the will of the people is listened to or is all this talk of a Free and Independent Texas just a sham conducted by some disgruntled people with its core goal to grab land and resources?

Considering that Texas is pretty much a minority majority state where its largest demographic are of Mexican descent, will, the ROT honor a request from that majority if they want to secede from the US and rejoin Mexico? Will the folks calling for secession be comfortable with Black Brown leadership since that’s the majority population? Maybe the secession thing ain’t such bad idea after all..

Something to Ponder

-Davey D-

An exclusive interview with Daniel Miller, President of The Texas Nationalist Movement

Source: Cypress Times Article

TexasSecession-225Over the past few weeks The Cypress Times has carried several opinion pieces in our Op/Ed Section from supporters of the Texas Nationalist Movement. The Texas Nationalist Movement supports Texas secession, and the establishment of a free and independent Texas.

These op/ed pieces have garnered an amazing amount of attention and have resulted in some very, let’s call it lively, commentary. One of the themes repeated often in the negative commentary is that the Texas Nationalist Movement is motivated by racism and a hate specifically for Barack Obama. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the TNM is not an Obama thing. It’s not a Democrat thing. It’s not a GOP thing. It’s a freedom thing.

The TNM was formed way before anyone outside of Chicago, and a few domestic terrorists, had ever heard the name, Barack Obama. Most people in the U.S. back then thought ACORN was just a nut long cherished by squirrels and that Socialism was something that happened in ridiculous places like France.

The truth is that George W. Bush was the Governor of Texas when TNM launched its initiative to say “Adios” to the United States of America. So, it’s really not an Obama thing, okay.
“We’re non-partisan with people from all walks of life,” Texas Nationalist Movement, President Daniel Miller told me in a recent interview. Truth be told, the TNM hasn’t much use for those now running the DNC, nor the GOP.

“Our organization rejects these dividing lines which are artificial. Both major parties fundamentally engage in the same activity,” Miller says. He also adds, “We (TNM) railed against Bush and the Patriot Act, too.”

So, if the Texas Nationalist Movement isn’t about party politics, what is it about? Party politics after all are what makes our Government go round. It’s about the two party system, right? Wrong.


“It’s about people who agree with individual freedom and liberty not putting trust in government,’ Miller says. “How long can people be disenfranchised from government before they say let’s do our own thing. You saw it in the American Revolution and in Texas history.”

Miller goes on to describe the U.S. Government as “overbearing, oppressive, unwielding and unresponsive.”

I think that pretty well covers it.


I have to admit as a fifth generation Texan the notion of Texas pulling up stakes and saying, “See Ya” to the U.S. has always fascinated me. I’ve always thought of Texas secession as a romantic expression of the individualism and ruggedness of the people of Texas. I see us Texans tipping our collective Stetsons and riding off into the sunset of independence never again to be bothered by those foreigners on the other side of the river. You know, the Red River. However, I never really considered it. Should we really consider it now?

How’s that hope and change working out for you? That phrase is getting a lot of action these days. For that matter how was it working out for you before the change, when George Bush pushed for the first stimulus package and ignored the security of our borders? Have you really seen a change, or is it more of the same?

When the Dems are in office the GOP is complaining, when the GOP is in office the Dems are complaining. Are they really all alike? I make no judgment call here, I’m just asking.
The questions really become:

Are we (the people) okay with how things are? Can we change those things given the current system? If the answer is no, what next?

“People eventually say I don’t want to be a part of this anymore,” says Miller. “Secession, independence or autonomy come into play. It has played out across the globe for thousands of years.”
What would a Republic of Texas look like? Is that bunch in Austin any more trustworthy than the bunch in DC? The thing to look at, according to Miller, is the Texas Constitution. Specifically,

Article 1, Section 2 which reads as follows:


All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.”

The Texas Constitution leaves little wiggle room on this matter. It is less open for broad interpretation than the U.S. Constitution. Isn’t that where we began to get in trouble in the first place? All of that broad interpretation.


Can Texas secede, and become a free Republic once more? Miller says “Yes” and perhaps sooner than anyone thinks. Miller believes that the secession movement has the support of between 2.2 million and 6 million Texans. That’s a broad range and Miller understands that. The range is due to how the numbers were extrapolated from several sources and polls. Either way it’s a big number. It is a number that makes the TNM a formidable force in Texas politics.

Miller believes the issue of Secession will be addressed in “a rapid fashion” during the next legislative session (2011) or perhaps sooner, once the Governor’s race has ended.
Miller also says, in the context of the current political climate in America, “I think by the time we get to a vote, Texas independence wins by a landslide.”


Miller explains that the U.S. Government has moved America in the wrong direction for over 20 years.
“Incrementalism is where it’s all going. They’ve incrementally moved us so far that now they’re emboldened to take bigger steps because they have less distance to go.” Miller adds, “For 20 years we’ve been asleep and now the noose is around the neck.”

Miller realizes that secession is not the first thought your average citizen has in terms of fighting back. He sees what is happening with Townhall Meetings, and TEA Party gatherings, but still believes Secession is the right move for Texas and Texans.

“People will exhaust all the usual opposition first. But they’ve (the Federal Govt.) taken the position that they know what’s best for us,” says Miller. Then he reminds me of the Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 2. It’s about the people!


Secession is not spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, it is an inferred right, according to Miller who also says that the Declaration of Independence makes it plain as to how it all works.
When the colonies declared independence, each “state” seceded from England to form a new union. It would occur much the same now. If the issue is put in front of the people of Texas and they vote to secede, then Texas will declare independence from the U.S. The Governor and the Legislature will hold a convention to call for articles of secession and to negotiate a settlement with the U.S.

If the U.S. Government were to ignore those articles of secession, then Texas could declare unilateral independence.

I asked Mr. Miller what a new Texas would look like geographically. Since it is well known that Texas gave up a good deal of real estate when it joined the U.S., his answer surprised me. Daniel Miller says the better question might be, what would the United States look like?

“Without Texas, the U.S. ought to think about its viability,” says Miller.

Mr. Miller believes strongly that when Texas secedes, others will follow. There are other secession movements underway in the U.S. today in states like Vermont and Wisconsin as an example.


The Secession “nay-sayers” are quick to point out that Texas would lose a ton of Federal money if it were no longer a part of the United States.
Mr. Miller says, “For years now every dollar we (Texas) send to DC is declining in terms of what we get back. In the past 30 years Texas has never gotten back what it sends to the Federal government.”

I shared with Mr. Miller that some of the nastier (and therefore not published) commentary we’ve received at The Cypress Times regarding Secession calls the members of the TNM racists, again asserting that it’s an Obama thing. Can a nation of racists flourish?

“We take exception to that,” Miller says. “Our members are Hispanic, Asian, Black. All power is inherent in the people. Tyranny doesn’t discriminate and freedom shouldn’t either.”


Miller says that the Texas Nationalist Movement needs, “All Texans who believe in independent rights and principles to stand with us in order to see Texas independent and to reserve those freedoms.”

The Texas Nationalist Movement needs to grow. In order to grow they need people. “It takes money to reach people,” says Miller.

“We are engaged at a very personal grass roots level.” The plan is to organize and mobilize.

The Texas Nationalist Movement is hard at work holding meetings in various regions and is planning a 3-Day Conference in March.

The Texas Independence Conference will be the first of its kind. The TNM will have special speakers and guests from Texas and from the outside.

To learn more about The Texas Nationalist Movement, or to join their cause visit their website at http://www.texasnationalist.com/

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