Of course, the failure of decolonization springs from different sources.
First, the avid embrace of new structures of imperialism, such as structural adjustment, that in essence adjust economic and political violence makes it almost impossible for the bulk of the population in ‘‘former’’ colonies, and for working-class communities and those of color in metropolitan countries, to live with dignity. Second, there is a fierce denial on the part of the state and other institutions, including the academy, that their own contemporary practices of racialization have been shaped by their refusal to admit and confront their historical complicity in racism against indigenous people of color on these shores. Third, the fierce revival of ethnonationalisms of different kinds has frustrated solidarity projects.
Part of our own unfinished work, therefore, is to remember the objective fact of these systems of power and their ability to graft themselves onto the very minute interstices of our daily lives. It means that we are all defined in some relationship to them, in some relationship to hierarchy. Neither complicity (usually cathected onto someone else) nor vigilance (usually reserved for ourselves) is given to any of us before the fact of our living. Both complicity and vigilance are learned in this complicated process of figuring out who we are and who we wish to become. The far more difficult question we must collectively engage has to do with the political positions (in the widest sense) that we come to practice, not merely espouse; the mutual frameworks we adopt, as we live (both consciously and unconsciously) our daily lives. No matter our countries of origin, decolonization is a project for all.
Pedagogies of Crossing, M. Jacqui Alexander