Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Reflections on Mother Rosa Parks and Condoleezza Rice...

Like many others I mourn the death of Mother Rosa Parks the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement". As mourners filed past her coffin in the Rotunda of the Capitol, I could not help remembering how this giant of a woman is being lauded now but was so hated when she kept her seat on Decembver 1, 1955. Mother Parks was forced to leave Montgomery after her courageous act because whites in Montgomery would no longer employ her. She sought and found refuge in the Afrikan community of Detroit, protected from the economic woes which surely would have overwhelmed her had she remained in Montgomery.

All such economic violence directed toward her is now forgotten and smothered with phrases like "racial progress" and "equal opportunity". I saw the bloodthirsty Condoleezza Rice attempting to connect her obscene international policies with the gentle and dignified work of Mother Parks and mused that Rice is not even remotely related in spirit or action to Mother Rosa. Rice will be remembered for failed policies that caused the death of thousands of people of color, while Mother Rosa will be remembered for opening the door to freedom to millions of people not only in the United Snakes but throughout the world.

We will miss you Ancestor Parks, but we will never forget how you showed that One person can change the world for either absolute good in your case and absolute evil in the case of the Secretary of State...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I just got back from the Millions More Movement and if I were a white supremacist...

...I would be terrified. Why? I'll list the reasons then elaborate on them.

1. 2.1 million people came out to the rally at the Mall in Washington DC on Saturday, October 15, not the "100,100" reported by some white media after their undercount of the Million Man March in 1995, still seem unable to count people. There were as many Blackfolk on Constitution between 4th and 11th street as were on the Mall. Keep in mind that unlike the Million Man March where vendors AND marchers were allowed on the Mall, the Vendors were confined to Constitution Avenue and were invisible to the cameras as well as many participants.

2. The variety of groups/people who participated in the mobilization was simply awesome. Indigenous people, Latin@s, Asians, NAACP, Members of Congress, Christian and Muslim clergy, actors, entertainers and so many more were present. Jesse Jackson showed up, as did Al Sharpton. Chuck D, Russell Simmons, P. Diddy and so many others were there on the Mall. If I were a white supremacist I would say, "The Blackfolk are really coming together across, cultural, religious, political and regional lines, what can we do to disrupt it?"

3. The international message given by Minister Farrakhan shows that the Millions More Movement is indeed a global movement and will not be confined to the borders of the United States. Prime Minister P. J. Patterson of Jamaica spoke to the crowd, as did Ricardo Alarcon, the Speaker of the Cuban National Assembly.. Minister Louis Farrakhan has always possessed a worldview in the struggle of Blackpeople and it is reflected in the outreach that he made with the Jamaican and Cuban representatives as well as broadcasting the mobilization in parts of Africa and the so-called "Middle East".

4. White media simply cannot be trusted, and at long last Blackpeople realize that. Katrina and the Millions More Movement clearly show that the white media in all of its form simply cannot be trusted in reporting events in the African community. What is so refreshing is that *now* Blackfolk are saying this and relying increasingly on alternative sources for unmediated and uncompromised views of Afrika and Afrikans. The Black Commentator, The Final Call, blogs like these and internet forums are just a few of the sources of information that are far more reliable than traditional white bread press. George Curry, editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service said yesterday that, "...he was proud to be a journalist but shamed of his profession." Truer words were never spoken, and the white press --- print and broadcast --- have lost major credibility in the Afrikan community.

5. Reparations was a key theme of the entire mobilization. While continuing education about the press for reparations will always be needed, it will be the core theme of the Millions More Movement and was mentioned, not only in the speech by Minister Farrakhan but by dozens of speakers who came to the podium. Reparations is a unifying force in the Afrikan world and it has finally taken its rightful place as the central theme of their struggle. Reparations activists and scholars were critical in making sure that this key demand was central to the mobilization. Dr. Conrad Worrill of the National Black United Front and a member of the steering committee worked long and hard to guarantee the rightful place of reparations in the struggle for Afrikan justice.

So, if I were a white supremacist, I would be afraid. I would be afraid that Black folk are truly organizing themselves into a Movement that will be historical. I would be afraid that my racist newspapers are not being read by Blackpeople as frequently. I would be afraid that Minister Louis Farrakhan has more credibility with Afrikan people than any other super slave I've tried to prop up. I would be afraid of all the young Afrikan people that showed up for the mobilization rather than go to the homecomings and parties that distract them from the important work of rebuilding the Blackworld.

Yes, if I were a white supremacist I would be terrified of the Millions More Movement...

more later...

Monday, October 03, 2005

"Demanding an Apology": Reparations, Impotence and Strategies for Dealing with White Supremacy.

I get a little tired of Black leaders "demanding an apology" immediately after racist remarks are made by white supremacists like Bill Bennett did last week. His recommendation that aborting Black babies could reduce the crime rate, was immediately met by Black leaders "demanding and apology" for his words.

So what if Bennett does apologize? So what? He says I'm sorry, like Trent Lott did a couple of years ago when he gave infamous praise to now deceased white supremacist Strom Thurmond. Nothing happened. Oh, sure Lott lost his job as Senate Majority leader, but nothing really happened to change anything. It's like the "demand for an apology" is the end game and for me it reeks with as a hollow victory in the struggle against white supremacy.

And what if Bennett doesn't apologize for his remarks? We can do nothing about it. Bennett ignores Black leadership and they can only harangue him. He won't get invited to the next annual gathering of the NAACP, but again, as Miles Davis said, "So What?" In my opinion I think "demanding an apology" and nothing else is a sign of political impotence and does not force the offender to actually do something about the offense. Increasingly, I feel that the reparations movement must address this issue; corporations such as Lehman Brothers, Wachovia and JP Morgan have apologized for their slaveholding past, but have done little to atone for their crimes.

This is one reason why reparations for enslavement must be firmly anchored in atonement and forgiveness as Roy Brooks says in his brilliant book by the same name. Civil rights leadership can learn lessons on justice from reparations activists who want both. It is not enough to "demand an apology" from someone for a crime against humanity, but one must make also demand atonement for that crime.

We'll see what Bennett does (not much I suspect), and hopefully we'll see Black leaders doing more than just "demanding an apology" from the next white supremacist who uses coded language for genocide against Afrikan babies.

Friday, September 30, 2005

White Supremacist Bill Bennett: Abort Black babies and the crime rate will go down...

Bill Bennett's pompous ass has made yet another stupid comment which reflects the mindset of Amerikkka relative to Afrikans and crime. In a "clean up" interview over remarks he made that you could reduce the crime rate in America by aborting Black babies, Bennett opines, "...that anyone who knows him knows he isn't racist. He said he was merely extrapolating from the best-selling book "Freakonomics," which posits the hypothesis that falling crimes rates are related to increased abortion rates decades ago. "It would have worked for, you know, single-parent moms; it would have worked for male babies, black babies," Bennett said." Perhaps they don't know he is "racist" but then again, not many white Amerikkkans have insight enough to really understand what being racist is in the first place.

What is intriguing is the typical Black leadership response to such comments. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Wade Henderson have weighed
in with the usual round of condemnatory phrases with Henderson going a step further by saying that Bennett's show should be pulled from the airwaves. While I applaud Jackson and Henderson for condemning Bennett's racism, most likely that is the "endgame" and nothing else will happen. There is a degree of political impotence when racists like Bennett make such remarks because nothing really happens to them.

Imagine for a moment if he had said, "If you could abort every Jewish baby, the production of Hollywood movies would decline."? There would be an outcry from the ADL and other groups condemning his remarks as anti-Semitic but the difference would be that the ADL and other Jewish groups would find ways of making sure Bennett's mouth would rarely be heard again on any social issue. Afrikan leaders in Amerikkka should condemn such remarks; they should also proceed to sanction Bennett in every way possible so that he as well as others who amusingly propose genocidal practices against Afrikans will think twice before making such remarks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Post Katrina Traumatic Syndrome

I have deliberately not posted on my blog for nearly three weeks. Like other Afrikans in Amerikkka, I was outraged, saddened, troubled and mesmerized by what occurred in the aftermath of this disaster and I wanted to collect my thoughts before I wrote about it.

I am not going to say much about the naked white supremacy shown during this disaster. Mike Brown, the former head of the Federally Elimination of "Minorities" Agency (FEMA) arrogantly told his white colleagues in Congress yesterday that he did nothing wrong during the hurricane. In this sense he was correct since his job was to make sure that Afrikans died during the storm. I'm also not going to say much about white Amerikkka's view of this horrific tragedy since "polls show" that the "racial divide" in this country is deeper than the San Andreas fault. I'm also not going to say much about how Bush and his minions at the white house are not only clueless, but have increased the anxiety of white America about the US's preparedness to deal with a national emergency. I find it both humorous and ironic that white folks are now saying what we've felt all along --- the United States despite color coded warnings can never prevent a disaster from affecting the entire country be it natural or man-made.

What I do want to write about is Our vulnerability as a people. I think Katrina's aftermath, not the disaster itself, shows that this nation can do anything to Afrikans and we can only feel helpless as the killing transpires. It shows our absolute vulnerability and dependence upon a white supremacy system that is hell-bent on destroying us at every turn. The dispersion of Afrikans estimated at nearly 350,000 from New Orleans is the greatest scattering of our people in this nation since "emancipation" in 1865. Afrikans from New Orleans are now living in all 50 states. News programs have spotlighted Afrikans relocated to some of the whitest states of the Amerikkka --- Utah, New Hampshire and Alaska and highlighted the cultural shock --- Post Katrina Traumatic Syndrome (PKTS) if you please --- they are experiencing.

But we all share this syndrome, because we see ourselves in the faces of the Afrikans who died at the Superdome, floated down the streets of New Orleans and cried for help as Bush finally cut short his extended vacation in Crawford Texas. We see ourselves in the faces of the beautiful Afrikan children sleeping in the arms of their traumatized mothers and fathers as they "readjust" to the white enclaves scattered throughout this land mass. We see talking heads doing segments on the "heroes" of Katrina who they say are nearly all white since the system of white supremacy cultivated so perfectly by this country must show white people "rescuing" Afrikans and extending a hand to them so they can convince themselves they are not guilty of harboring racist ideas about Afrikans.

We are traumatized because we are reminded that this nation has, can and will kill us --- and we can do little about it. This is not being pessimistic but very realistic about where we are, right now in our 400 year journey in this dying land. It should give us pause and force us to think about what we need to do --- quickly I might add --- to organize ourselves so that we can protect ourselves from white supremacy.

See you at the Millions More Movement on October 14-16 in Washington...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina and Raw White Supremacy

Where to begin; first of all let *no one* refer to my people as "refugees". Such language continues the depersonalization/marginalization of My People in a land that has always viewed Us as less than human. We are marginal citizens of a nation that for four hundred years continue to show utter contempt for Afrikans in Amerikkka.

Secondly, why would someone *stop* rescuing men, women and children because of a few snipers (still perhaps an urban rumor) are on the loose in New Orleans? Has the Fool in the *White* House stopped "rescuing" Bagahad, Tikrit or Mosul because of a few snipers? Not at all.

Thirdly, why are we still *asking* whether or not this tragedy is white supremacy in its rawest form? *Asking* such a question makes me feel that the asker wants to preserve the misguided notion that there is a *possibility* that the Fool in the White House and his minions are somehow *non racist* toward My People. He is an unreconstructed white supremacist *as are most* white Amerikkkans who benefit on a daily basis of the largesse of a society that supports *at every level* white supremacy. Until *that* issue is addressed, everything else about "whassup" with "multiculturalism", "cross-cultural understanding" and "diversity" is intellectual masturbation. *Any* organization that does not go to the heart of what is the most dangerous attitude on the planet --- white supremacy --- as far as I am concerned is merely trying to ignore the elephant in the room.

Finally, what you are witnessing with the Afrikans in New Orleans is nothing short of genocide. The question has been asked a thousand times this week, that if the people there were white and middle class would they be rescued/housed more quickly. Absolutely. This is a deliberate attempt to kill a significant number of unwanted Afrikans in New Orleans to repopulate the city with a more acceptable white population (see There have been repeated requests by the Black mayor of New Orleans for greater assistance by the Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen waterways and the levee system. This has been ignored *repeatedly* by the government as well as follow-up over a year ago with a simulation ("Hurricane Pam") that forecasted what is now happening in New Orleans.

It's too bad that the Fool in the White House *did not* visit the Superdome as he did his drive by in the disaster area. The Blackfolk there would have done to him what should have been done a long time ago. Even *he* ain't that stupid...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Racism, Katrina and how White People "Find" and Black People "Loot"

The old saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words but in a white supremacist society captions are worth a million. Check out white people "finding" and Black people "looting" in the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina. *Both* people are "doing" the same thing: attempting to survive the horrific tragedy of Katrina, but the Associated Press says that "Biff" and "Brittany" are "finding" their food while "LeRoy" is "looting" his. Is this a racist mindset? Of course it is, but the AP would deny this vigorously and actually be shocked by such an allegation.

Even amidst a natural disaster that some are calling the "worst in American history", headlines such as "Put the Niggers in the Superbowl" are emerging. Why? Because race and racism are *always* beneath *any* social discourse in Amerikkka and like pus, begins to flow when the right social tragedy needle lances them. I have little hope that people classified as white will ever see themselves as *the* main problem with racism in Amerikkka. They are, as Robert Jensen (white) has recently said, but then again, why be bothered with facts when white stereotypes of Blackfolk are more fun to play with?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Pimping Four "Brothers", Vanilla Ice and Reparations

I went to see the film "Four Brothers" last week and concluded that not only was it a lousy film, but a prime example of how Black people are pimped. Without revealing too much of the plot, essentially four men --- two Black and two white --- reunite for their adopted mother's funeral (she's white of course) who has been murdered during a convenience store hold-up. Revenge against their adopted white mother's murderers is the theme of the film as they rampage throughout a rundown Detroit seeking the murderers.

Mark Wahlburg is clearly the "brother" in charge and can freely make "friendly" racial epthets to his Black "brothers" since, after all he was raised with them. Interestingly enough the film was directed by John Singleton who also produced "Hustle and Flow". Singleton has a mixed history of bringing films to the screen that portray Black life in America. His now classic "Boyz in the Hood", was probably the epitome of a well-done film on Black life as was "Baby Boy". "Four Brothers" is not only a terrible film but allows the white characters to say and do anything to Black folks since somehow they have been legitimized by being commonly reared by a white grand dame in the 'hood.

Interestingly enough, Craig Brewer, the director of Singleton-produced "Hustle and Flow" has announced that his next film will be featuring David Banner who will make his acting debut along side Samuel L. Jackson in “Black Snake Moan.” The movie is about a white woman who is a nymphomaniac and must be cured by a black bluesman (!).

I think Craig Brewer is fast on his way to becoming the "Vanilla Ice" of Black film since he is following in the footsteps of his predecessor who attempted to appropriate hip-hop music in the early 1990s with "Ice, Ice Baby". Brewer attempts to pimp Black culture by selling silly scenarios on Black life to our people. Unfortunately he is being aided and abetted by two Black folk: John Singleton and Terence Howard...

Marimba Ani says that the critique of eurocentric behavior must be aggressive because the destructive forces of European culture are aggressive, unrelenting and ubiquitous. Afrikans need to understand that *all* art forms emerging from eurocentric minds --- both white AND Black --- are oozing with the pus of white supremacy. Reparations seek to address not only the wounds inflicted by racism, but the cure as well and understanding how white supremacy entices our minds and seduces our thinking is an important task for the conscious Afrikan.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

International Reparations Commission formed in Barbados

From Friday to Tuesday of last week, I was in Bridgetown, Barbados at a meeting convened by David Comissiong of the Clement Payne Movement in Barbados. The group met to fulfill one of the promises made at the Global Afrikan Congress' (GAC) Constitutional Convention in Paramaribo, Suriname in October 2004 to create an International Reparations Commission (IRC) as the arm of the GAC pressing for reparations on a global scale. The International Front of Afrikans for Reparations (IFAR) was born at the organizing convention of the GAC in Bridgetown in October, 2002 with the promise of organizing Afrikans globally to pursue justice in the form of reparations. The IRC is the natural evolution of the IFAR and will work closely with the African Union's Group of Eminent Persons (GEP) created by the late M. K. O. Abiola of Nigeria that was the Organization of African Unity's (now the African Union) arm for pressing the political agenda of reparations for Afrikan people. We spoke via phone with Dudley Thompson one of three members of the original GEP and he is enthusiastic about the GAC International Reparations Commission.

We voted to hold a 2007 meeting in London, England to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade by the UK. The meeting will be held there to counteract the propaganda machine of the UK who will no doubt indulge in the continuing orgy of "good will" toward Afrika via "Live 8" and Tony Blair's Commission for Africa. There is no doubt in any of the founding members' mind that the 2007 "celebration" will also be used by the western white powers to denounce reparations for the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, and our conference will provide the world with information on the continuing impact of slavery on Africans around the world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Momentum Builds for the Millions More Movement

I'm really happy about the response to the Millions More Movement on October 14-16, 2005 in Washington DC. I received a call today from Toronto Canada and the Global Afrikan Congress is chartering a bus to the meeting, which some estimate will be the largest demonstration in Washington DC's history. It will no doubt be the largest demonstration of Afrikans ever held and my biggest fear is that some folks are going to wait until the last minute to get lodging for the event. I reserved my hotel room in April and there was already a premium on space. Momentum is really going to build after Labor Day and already I've heard talk that as many as 7 million Afrikans will be in DC! If past is prologue, the white supremacist news media will ignore it and then tell people that only 500 people showed up. Look for the Super Slaves to condemn the MMM; they'll be trotted out like show dogs to condemn Farrakhan's work and will be embraced by the white media...

What I love is the fact that this will not be an one time event but the beginning of a united movement of millions of Black folk. Even if people can't come to DC it would be great if on Friday, October 14, that a "Day of Absence" be supported. Don't show up for school, work, playing football, basketball and anything else. In other words, what if Black folk didn't show up for one day and staged a national boycott of Amerikkka? It would send shockwaves throughout the world. We will see what happens...

For those folks who missed the 1995 Million Man March this will be a chance to be a part of history and to begin a united movement of Afrikans that will spread throughout the world. I'm really looking forward to this historic event...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Wachovia's Manipulative Ways Being Exposed

The Wachovia Corporation continues to be exposed about its disingenous way of doing business. Two stories during the past week illustrate this. In Philadelphia, the bank has been criticized for not negotiating with 5,000 poor homeowners who have defaulted on their home loans so that they will not be foreclosed. Keep in mind we are talking about a corporation whose 2003 assets were $24.5 billion.

South Carolina Black lawmakers also see the recent "partnerships" with national Black organizations for what they are as well---a set of nothingburgers. South Carolina state legislator Robert Ford said the promised "$10 million" should be in the neighborhood of "$200 billion" and would then be viewed as a sincere attempt to atone for Wachovia's slaveholding past.

What is ironic about both JPMorgan and Wachovia's admission to their past histories of enslaving Afrikans is that in 10 years if not sooner, these paltry sums --- $15 million between both of them --- will be a public relations nightmare. Reparations for enslavement are inevitable, and these two corporations had the first chances of doing the right thing, but instead opted to continue their exploitive histories of Afrikans in Amerikkka. It will come back to haunt them...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Wachovia Story in The Final Call; Thoughts on the Mau Mau Rebellion

The Final Call ran an article today about Wachovia's publicity stunt in providing $10 million to six Black organizations. What I love about The Final Call is that it is only Black national weekly newspaper in the US and is uncompromised in its stories about the Afrikan community. It is an excellent newspaper that all Blackfolk should subscribe to.

The Global Afrikan Congress is preparing for its organizing meeting of the International Reparations Commission that will be held next week in Bridgetown, Barbados. It will be a small gathering of Afrikans from the Continent, Europe the US, Canada, South America and the Caribbean and will set a date for the a 2006 international conference on reparations.

I had the privilege of talking yesterday to Dudley Thompson who is now 88 years old and living in Florida. Ambassador Thompson's life is a history of the pan-Afrikan struggle and he knew everyone from Nkrumah, Padmore, C. L. R. James, M. K. O. Abiola and Du Bois and attended the famous 1945 Fifth pan-Afrikan Conference in Manchester England. Ambassador Thompson defended Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta at his trial in 1952 for leading Kenya's Mau Mau Rebellion. Ambassador Thompson's life story needs to be recorded from his own lips and we will be discussing this next week in Barbados.

Sometimes it pains me that we know so little about our history and links to Afrika. We know what "The Boston Tea Party" was all about or the Amerikkkan Civil War, but very few of us know about the importance of the Mau Mau in the struggle for independence in East Afrika. Would that we knew Our history as well as we know theirs...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Wachovia, Reparations and Accountability

Last week was a busy week among reparations activists. A full-scale educational/public relations campaign was launched about the obscene "$10-11 million", Wachovia said they would donate to six groups as a result of their "no surprise" revelation that their bank enslaved Afrikans in Amerikkka. Several of us held an extensive conference call and formed "Phase I" of a multiprong strategy to hold corporations that confess their slave holding past, more accountable. A press release was sent to 850 newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and the result was overwhelming. Dr. Conrad Worrill and others did several interviews with newspapers and radio stations about our response to Wachovia...The Final Call newspaper, the only weekly national Black newspaper in the country, will run a full story next week in their issue. I received a call from a friend of mine in Boston saying that some Black conservative on the radio denounced the press release and essentially said that the writers didn't know how corporations worked. Not surprised that many Afrikans in Amerikkka cannot conceive of justice being exacted from their masters by other Afrikans. It is impossible for them to dream of a world *without* white subjugation...

Discussions of a national boycott is being discussed and the newly formed National Black Boycott Information Bureau is interested and will publicize our campain. It boggles my mind that corporations with the blood of our Ancestors on their hands can determine what they "should" do for atonement. It is as I have said before like a serial killer deciding that he should spend six months on probation and fined $100.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Hustling, Flowing and Repairing Our Minds

A few weeks ago, I saw a sneak preview of Hustle and Flow and left the preview feeling the same way I did after seeing Denzel Washington's Oscar winning performance in Training Day: raving about the acting and sick to the stomach about its theme.

In case you haven't been on earth for the past two weeks, Hustle and Flow is a film that won accolades at the Sundance Film Festival about pimping in Memphis. Terence Howard, the lead actor gives an awesome performance as a Black Memphis pimp with the always good Taraji Henson in a mesmerizing performance as well. But this isn't a movie review. It is a partial deconstruction of how, as psychologist Wade Nobles says "Afrikans have been taught to drink generously of the vomit of white supremacy."

It is interesting to note that in a quick review of the reviews of the film, white critics are informally retitling the film "Craig Brewer's 'Hustle and Flow'". Craig Brewer is the film's director and is white. He is the deux ex machina of the film, the raison d'etre the hustler if you please, who sold the film for $9 million at Sundance and got it made. White critics are not calling this "John Singleton's 'Hustle and Flow'". John Singleton is the film's producer and is Black and received support for the film by Spike Lee as well. Stanley Crouch, whom I usually disagree with said that he was troubled by this fact alone, since Singleton and Lee are arguably the most influential Black directors in Hollywood.

In my book, Should America Pay? Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2003) I write that reparations are not only about repairing the economic damage wrought by the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, but also attempting to heal the "Post-traumatic Slave Syndrome" that affects (infects?) most Afrikans in the Maafa. "Hustle and Flow" is an example of how white supremacy mixed with willing Black participants can create a witches brew that is toxic in Ourcommunities.

It is interesting that some of the most virulent criticism of the film has come from Afrikan women and directed toward Terence Howard (the lead actor and pimp in the film) because of his being married to a white woman in real life. Howard's main money maker ("investor" as he calls her in the film) is a trailer trash white girl who ultimately is responsible for his getting the necessary air play for the music he creates. In a white supremacist world that sees white women being its most valuable commodity, this is an appropriate ending for a film about "Black life" by a white director.

Like Monster's Ball, Hustle and Flow is a white man's fantasy of how the Afrikan world works. It demeans Blackwomen, laughs at Blackmen and once again elevates white trailer trash women as the key to a Blackman's success.

Perhaps all of us, especially artists, entertainers and athletes need to reread Langston Hughes' classic essay on the the obligation of the Afrikan artist to his/her community. Repairing our minds and understanding how white supremacy works are important tasks in the struggle for reparations...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Wachovia's "Reparations Efforts"

Yesterday, Wachovia announced its feeble attempt to "atone" for its past ties to American enslavement. Wachovia had earlier done a study to show that its predecessor banks had held slaves. "The resulting research revealed that two of our predecessor institutions, the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company and the Bank of Charleston, owned slaves."...they write on their website and for that slaveholding past they are offering to "spend" $10 million in "safe" ways to the NAACP, the National Urban League, UNCF, Thurgood Marshall Fund and ASAALH. Now while all of these groups have been important in seeking justice for Afrikans in Amerikkka, it is the "safe road" to give a paltry $10 million to all six of them (the other is a local North Carolina group) for the purposes stipulated at the above referenced link. Philosophically, this would be $2.25 for the approximate 4 million Afrikans emancipated from enslavement in 1865.

It is clear that corporations will and should be sued to force them to justice in this struggle. It is also important that Black organizations like the NAACP see these "reparations" as a form of "hush money" so that the offending companies won't be sued. White supremacist have historically been very good at dividing Afrikans with gestures of money and it is no different today. Starving two people then offering one of them a crust of bread while letting the other remain on the brink of starvation is a good way to kill *both* individuals and create animosity between them. This divide and conquer strategy has worked during enslavement, apartheid and under *all* systems of white supremacy and continues to exist today...

I've had conversations during the past few days with various people in the reparations movement and meetings will be held with officials in the traditional civil rights groups to discuss these issues. Reparations are *not* just another program to be funded over the next five years and afterwards the company is left off the hook. Boycotts are going to be discussed in these meetings and a highly publicized "don't buy from your former slave owners" campaign will be mounted.

More on this later...

Monday, July 25, 2005

DNA, Genetics and Reparations

Today, the NYTimes published an article about Afrikans in Amerikkka making our DNA connections to Africa (see it is interesting how *white* researchers discourage this research as if bragging about their ancestors being "aboard the Mayflower" isn't in the same category. I believe whites are afraid of this research for two fundamental reasons: 1) it may raise the frightening possibility that they have Afrikan ancestry and 2) if links can be made between their ancestors and our enslaved ancestor, heir property, inherited wealth and reparations may be the next step in seeking justice for the TransAtlantic Slave Trade.

When I taught at Fisk there was ample evidence that a very powerful elected official had Afrikan ancestry and he was terrified that such information would be made public and would lose him votes among his racist supporters. It's somewhat akin to Dave Chappelle's skit about the blind "white" supremacist who finds out he is Black and what it does to him and his relationships.

I encourage *all* Afrikans to get such testing done. You can find out more information about this at which it the best place to have your DNA tested. I did, and found out that on my mother's side I have genetic links with the Tikar People of Cameroon and on my father's side with the Bubi People of Equatorial Guinea. Both groups were violently opposed to enslavement and were known for fomenting slave rebellions when/if they were captured. I am proud to carry on the tradition with the work I do in reparations...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Politics and Judges in Reparations Cases

It was interesting to note that in the decision made by Judge Norgle in the corporate reparations trial in Chicago, that he quotes much of the decision on a paper authored by legal scholar Eric J. Miller (see link to abstract) who has worked closely with Charles Ogletree at Harvard on reparations cases. It shows how many of the decisions that will come from judges dealing with reparations cases will be political with an eye toward public
repercussions rather than the merits of the case. Even more interesting is how these recent cases are viewed as "setbacks" by reporters (Black and white), pundits and white supremacists ignoring the fact that *all* cases involving the rights of Afrikans the world order were rarely won in *one* trial, but were the product of several cases taking place over several years. Dred Scott, Homer Plessy were both *right* in their pursuit of justice despite what the courts ruled. History proved them correct just as history will view Farmer-Paellmann and the Tulsa Massacre Survivors as correct in their pursuit of justice.

Ray Winbush Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Interview with Black Issues in Higher Education

I did an interview today with Crystal Keels the Assistant Editor of Black Issues in Higher Education on the status of the reparations struggle. I find that Black journalists doing interviews on reparations are far more sincer in trying to learn and uncover substantive issues on the subject while many white reporters have a far more cynical and skeptical view of reparations. (A typical white interview can be found with Bill Reilly at,2933,162511,00.html). Dr. Keels and I talked for about 20 minutes and it is good to know that there are publications other than the mainstream press (read "white") where reparations scholars and activists can have their ideas reflected accurately.

Journalism, be it print or broadcast is not only biased, but reflects the ideology of the writer. That is a truism, but bears repeating over and over as more and more stories appear about reparations.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

CBC will Continue to Press Reparations Issue

I received a call last night from a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. We talked strategy concerning John Conyers' HR-40 bill which calls for the United States to do a study on the impact of slavery.

I'm always struck that whites who oppose reparations never view their inherited wealth, white privilege and false feelings of superiority as being a by-product of slavery. Richard America an Afrikan economist who teaches at Georgetown estimates that $8-10 trillion that is part of white America's wealth is directly attributable for slavery. Many whites will quickly say, "My ancestors didn't own slaves, so why should I pay for reparations?", but will look dumbfounded when you tell them how their ancestors worked for corporations who benefited from slavery, landowners whose wealth derived from slavery allowed them to have a job, and held jobs that Afrikans were far more qualified for, but because of white supremacy, were not allowed to work. Thinking is in short supply with whites who are opposed to reparations...

It is clear that this coming fall will see a several resolutions in Congress that will be directly related to reparations. Like Brown v. Board, ten years from now people will say that the non-support of reparations was a mistake. It will be interesting to see how members of Congress will rationalize why they did not support reparations then when they have a chance to do so now...

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Boycotts, Writing and Reparations

Yesterday, I finally finished the 10,000 word essay on the history of reparations for the Schomburg in New York. It will shed light on how the reparations struggle is a "river" through the history of Afrikans in Amerikkka. I'll put the finishing touches on it this weekend.

I received a call early on Friday from a friend of mine who had taken a telephone survey from Wachovia Financial Services. During the survey she told the interviewer that she wanted to know what Wachovia was actually going to do now that they had disclosed and apologized for their direct connection and profiteering from the TransAtlantic Slave Trade. She also told them that she would be moving her funds from Wachovia if something "tangible" was not done. The interviewer was alarmed and told her that she would be receiving a call from a "higher up" concerning her "concerns".

She did. From her conversation it is clear that Wachovia and other corporations involved with the enslavement of Our Ancestors are terrified of the mention of a boycott. I was impressed with my friend telling the "higher up" that from a business standpoint it made no sense for her to continue doing business with a corporation that had only apologized and not done anything substantive about its crimes against humanity. The "higher up", of course said that the apology was a big deal (it isn't) and that a major meeting will be held "next week" concerning "this matter". She also had given the Wachovia executive my phone number to call and discuss this matter further.

He hasn't called (and I doubt if he will) because these folks are protecting the business interests of their corporations.

Within three minutes of hanging up the phone, I received a telephone call from a Brother identifying himself as a "reporter" from a major southern newspaper. Coincidence? I'm not sure. Though Afrikan, he asked some terribly naive questions about reparations. Though not totally skeptical, he clearly felt doubts about whether they would be won. I'm always struck how some middle-class Afrikans feel that reparations are a "handout" and have nothing to do with justice. It would be like someone breaking into your home, stealing everything, trashing it and when you have a postitive ID of the intruder, they "apologize" to you. After you start the process of restitution however, they accuse you of of wanting a "handout"! Reparations have nothing to do with a handout, and everything to do with the inherited privilege that white Amerikkkans enjoy as they built their individual, collective and ultimately inherited wealth on the benefits they received from the TransAtlantic Slave Trade.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Strategies are Forming after the NAACP Announcement....Bush Appears at BlackExpo

It will be important for grassroots reparations activists and other advocates to be a part of the NAACP's strategy for suing corporations that have ties to the TransAtlantic Slave Trade. I had conversations with several activists today who expressed their concerns about how and where the NAACP should enter the struggle.

Today, Bush appeared at the Black Expo in Indianapolis rather than making an appearance at the NAACP Annual Convention in Milwaukee. This is exactly what you would expect from an Alfred E. Neuman (Hillary's words not mine) president. As usual, white supremacists like Bush seek to divide Afrikans over *any* issue that benefits them. In this case, the NAACP cannot criticize the Black Expo organizers for having Baby Bush at their convention. It would have been nice, however if the Expo organizers would have simply refused his presence. Afrikans must overcome being in awe of white supremacists and their minions.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

NEWS BULLETIN! NAACP to Target Private Business for Reparations

On my way from Morgan, I received a call from Deadria Farmer-Paellmann telling me that The Washington Times (of all papers) did a front page story about the NAACP targeting private businesses for reparations. I was excited enough to stop by a store and for the first time in my life, purchase a copy of the paper. Sure enough Brian DeBose, a Brother who I met at the NAACP convention on Sunday and who I had encouraged to be aggressive with his newspaper in getting the word out about reparations wrote a comprehensive story about what the NAACP was going to do. It is clear that our presentation on Sunday had a direct influence on the NAACP and I'm happy about that. More importantly, this will be the added "clout" that the movement needs. I called Deadria after I got home and she *had already* written a letter thanking the NAACP for their help. We must make sure that we follow-up on this breakthrough since it can easily be derailed by those both in and out of the NAACP. There is so much at stake here as well as the politics that will be played with this. Stay tuned...

The NAACP and Reparations, Part II

I was invited to speak at the National Convention of the NAACP in Milwaukee on July 10. There were about 200 attorneys (majority Afrikan but not all) attending a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) class on a host of issues involving Afrikans in America. I was struck by the number of *whites* at the meeting who seemed to be "authorities" on reparations. Presenting on the panel was Adjoa Aiyetoro, old friend and now teaching at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, Keenan Keller from Congressman Conyers office, and me. I went first and gave history, Keenan second with the status of cases and Adjoa gave a passionate overview of the Tulsa case. Adjoa told about the political nature of the decisions being made by judges, particularly on the issue of "equitable tolling". She underscored how it was important for us to recognized that these decisions were made with an eye toward "opening the floodgates" to reparations lawsuits.

The presentation was very well received. Afterwards, one of the white "experts" on reparations (from Australia no less) challenged us about whether nations could be sued from crimes against humanity. I cited studies outlined by Jon Van Dyke in my book, "Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations, but he seen oblivious AND opposed to the idea that nations can be held liable for crimes against humanity. He clearly didn't know what he was talking about and later we found that he was only a "legal intern" and had not even passed the bar!

I gave the group Deadria Farmer-Paellmann's phone number and told them that they needed to help in the litigation. Several of the attorneys present wrote her number down. We will see if they follow through.

All in all it was an important day for the NAACP. Even though they passively embraced to support the reparations struggle in 1991, the took a big step today in inviting us for a three hour discussion on the subject...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The NAACP and Reparations, Part I

I've been invited and am on my way to the National Convention of the NAACP in Milwaukee. They asked Congressman Conyers, Adjoa Aiyetoro and I to do a *three hour panel* on repations for the conference. This is a major invitation since just a few years ago, many executives at the NAACP were opposed to an organized effort of the nation's oldest civil rights organization being involved in the reparations struggle. I've prepared a summary paper on the history of the struggle and in light of the recent dismissal of the corporate reparations case in Chicago, the meeting should be interesting.

I'll report the results of the meeting tomorrow...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Reparations Case Dismissed from Chicago Court

Two days ago the corporate reparations case was dismissed by the Federal Court in Chicago. Norgle, the judge has *never* ruled in favor of an Afrikan in *any* case, so it was not that big of a surprise. It will be appealed all the way to the White Supremacist Court. This will *ignite* rather than discourage reparations activists. Dr. Conrad Worrill came out strong as he should have about the judge's immersion in white supremacy.

Also on this day, there was the bombing in London during the G-8 Summit. A tragedy and I am struck by how the white world disconnects its crimes against people of color from its own suffering. Palestinians, Iraqis and Afrikans continue to pay the price of white supremacist lust for more, bigger and better...

...and the beat goes on...

Monday, July 04, 2005

Fourth of You Lie

Today, Amerikkka celebrates its 229 "birthday"...I went to see "War of the Worlds" and thought about how it would actually be if that were to happen. I feel absolutely no loyalty to this country and want to become more tangible in making plans to leave it. I wonder about how Blackfolk could sing "God Bless Amerikkka" as I was looking at the NY celebration on TV.

I've got jury duty tomorrow, and I've never done that before. I'm torn between trying to get out of it and being there in case a Blackperson needs an advocate in the courtroom. I'll play it by ear and see what happens tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

MillionsMoreMovement Meeting

I attended the Millions More Movement gathering at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Monday, May 2, 2005 and was overwhelmed by the people who were there. Minister Louis Farrakhan convened a historic gathering of Black leaders including, Dr. Dorothy Height, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julianne Malveaux and others I will write about as the October 14-16 gathering in DC approaches. This is just a journal of my thoughts, both public and private as the day approaches...