Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Chad's Oil, Chad's Responsibility, Chad's Money

The BBC is reporting that Chad, the West/Central African landlocked nation has become an Oil exporter via a large loan from the World Bank. As a condition of the loan the government had to agree to oversight by churches, unions and NGO's. Says the BBC:

It was on condition that Chad's churches, trade unions and non-governmental organisations monitored how oil revenues were spent.
This was meant to guaranteed that oil money was used to help reduce poverty in Chad but the new laws would give Chad more control over the money.
The bank has warned if Chad breaks its agreement, that is a breach of contract. Further funds will be halted, and repayment rates on the current loan increased.
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz said the law was a deciding factor in the bank's financial support for the massive pipeline project in 1999.
But the government has accused the bank of treating Chadians like guinea pigs on which to experiment with different types of management.
It wants to use $36m of revenues held in a fund that is meant to tackle poverty to deal instead with the country's financial problems.

While we are not fully informed enough to take much of an opinion on the matter, we do know that:

Oil exports from land-locked Chad first started in November 2003 after the creation of a pipeline to the coast through neighbouring Cameroon.
By 30 June of this year it had earned $70.8m (£39.5m) for the 33.1 million barrels it sold abroad.

You'll note that in an era where oil costs $40+/gallon Chad earned ~$2.00/barrel of oil that it sold abroad. If Chadian oil is being sold at market rates then Exxon is pocketing a vast amount of the oil revenue. Apparently Chad feels the same way:

"We found that things need to be clarified about the commitments of Exxon-Mobil, ChevronTexaco and Petronas," said Therese Mekombe, head of the committee monitoring Chad's oil revenues.

"The Chadian population has its ears and eyes on radios and televisions, following with great hope the rising price of Brent (crude oil) in the international market."
Chad's Oil Minister Youssef Abassallah added that all it wanted was to see its 1998 agreement with the consortium "strictly respected".
He said: "If this issue is not settled amicably, we are going to seek international arbitration.

If Exxon's recent profits are any guide, the Chadian government may have a good case.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Ujimaa & Ujamaa

Ujimaa: Collective Work and Responsibility.
Ujamaa: Coooperative Economics.


The Olatunji Foundation
The Black Commentator

If you haven't contributed to the Olatunji Foundation or subscribed to the Black Commentator then really are we Doing Ujimaa and Ujamaa or are we merely talking Ujimaa and Ujamaa?

I'm not entirely sure how much the BC needs to stay afloat but the Olatunji Foundation needs $4000to fully fund all scholarships and maintain $500 in the Bank. If 160 people make a $25 donation 6 students who are using thier brains and time to address the needs and concerns of black people the world over, can receive aid in thier studies and the boost in confidence to know that there are other people out there who think like they think.

Ghana and the African Identity

recently the NY Time posted an article entitled: Ghana's Uneasy Embrace of Slavery's Diaspora "that is sparking some debate among African Americans. Here's a comment I wrote elsewhere:

Well I was going to post a Kwanzaa post on this at GG but it didn't happen. I don't know if what I can say is relevant but I suspect a couple of things at play here:

1) AA's who visit Africa are mostly "obviously" mixed. We assume that because the "one drop rule" applies here, it applies everywhere and are rudely reminded that some of us are *not* black. "What of light skinned Ghanians?" you may say. Well no doubt they are not considered "obruni" but other factors come into play.

2)AA's by and large act just like white tourists when they travel. They are driven around. Few, if any know the language. Few know any of the local customs. Those who try to be "African" often wear the "wrong" stuff. etc. In effect AA's are "cool" white people. This is a particularly hard pill to swallow for many black folk, myself included.

What would have been informative is if the writer had asked what visiting Nigerians are called or visiting Zulu's are called. Are they referred to as Obruni or something else? If they are referred to as some other term then how are they "known?"

For example, I, sondjata am routinely approached by Nigerians due to my license plate. Conversation is quickly ended once I open my mouth, but the fact that I am regularly "mistook" for a Nigerian means that something other than "presentation" is the identifying factor.
Also we need to take into consideration that Obruni may have been a general term describing outsiders that was generally used to refer to white people (Yoruba: Oyimbo) and then came to included AA's and probably "black brits."

3) I think that many AA's are in Ghana to tour, then they are easy to point out. How many Ghanaians are visiting Elmina other than to sell tourist items.

4)Lastly, I think as the article pointed out, that there is an issue of education. It is pretty sad that After Nkrumah that such language is used towards AA's and other "foreign" blacks But I think it does highlight the issues raised by say, Maulana Karenga in terms of Cultural Revolution among blacks of the Diaspora. There also needs to be a cultural education among many Africans on the continent. Some Africans still talk about how we are "Africa's refuse."

I don't think AA's should take the "Obruni" and "Bwana" and "Benzi" to seriously. It is no different then when someone from overseas comes here and we "recognize" that they are "different." it is no different than when I go to Jamaica and am not considered "Jamaican" simply because I lack the "cultural cues." As a Pan-Africanist, I accept the differences and I don't try to be the "African" people expect.



I'll add to this that articles like these appear to undermine arguements that we black folks are African. Instead I would think that this article re-inforces that those of us who consider ourselves conscious should be very careful about the misconceptions that we hold about Africa (and elsewhere).

Monday, December 26, 2005

Harambe! Harambe! Harambe!

Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa. The opening title: Harambe! means "Let's all pull together." In Kiswahili, the language adopted by celebration founder Maulana Karenga. During Kwanzaa we acknowledge and re-affirm ourselves to the principles of Kwanzaa referred to as the Nguzu Saba. Nguzu being principles and Saba being seven. You will note that I referred to Kwanzaa as a celebration rather than a holiday. I think this is appropriate because holiday is a synthesis of the words Holy and Day which infers a religious conotation. it should be understood that although Kwanzaa has a principle of faith, it is not a religious holiday and should not be promoted or treated as one.

Today's principle is Umoja, or unity. Dr. Karenga wrote in 1965 that he meant for Umoja to stand for:

Unity for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

I have no doubt that with the expanded attention given to Kwanzaa that the last portion will no doubt be de-emphasized if not dropped all together. Today I want to emphasis a little remembered portion of Dr. Maulana's purpose for Kwanzaa and the cultural revitalization of black people:. Kawaida Theory. One of the central questions asked in this line of thought are:


Who am I?
Am I all that I could be?


My history teacher at Tuskegee, Prof. Fluker would pose the question:

what is the identity? (yourself, your subject)
What is thiere purpose?
What is thier direction?

He referred to this as the IPD: If you could could identify the person. If you could identify thier purpose and direction, most everything else about the subject (including oneself) can be determined.

Turning this inward we can ask ourselves: Who am I? Who are we? The answer to that question will hold the keys to unity.

What is my purpose? What am I here for? What is my family here for? What is my community here for?

What is my direction? Where am I going? Is it consistent with my purpose?

Am I being all that I can be? Is my family being all it can be? Is my community being all it can be?

Let's think on these things as we observe Kwanzaa.

GG

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Party of Lincoln

The newest tack that Repulicans have been using to win over the blacks who don't qualify for faith based monies is to sell the party as the Party of the Great Emancipator. That is probably a good tactic given the general affection that Black people have for President Lincoln. The problem with the whole "Great Emancipator" line is that while technically true, it is but a abberation of the general attitude that President Lincoln had about black folk. This isn't news to me, but I'm sure it comes to news to many people that President Lincoln did not like Black people. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education published an article entitled:The Racial Convictions of the Great Emancipator where Michael Lind quotes Alex De Tocqueville:

In the United States people abolish slavery for the sake not of the Negroes but the white men

Let us be clear that the black mouthpieces of the Republican Party, such as Armstrong Williams, are doing little for the benefit of black people as a whole, but rather they act in a manner that only enriches other white men (and a few (b)lackeys). So it was in the 1800's and so it is now. Many people have the impression that President Lincoln opposed slavery and therefore signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery was abolished by Lincoln because it was a means to deprive the South of stabilty.

Michael Lind tells us first of how the Republican Party was formed from a group of dissafected Democrats PO'ed by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise (allowed Maine to become a state at the Missouri adopts a constitution that has no slavery restrictions)by the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Lincoln had joined the Republican Party which along with abolitionists had a Free-Soiler contingent that believed:

The purpose of preventing the extension of slavery to the territories was to keep the West white. Banning slavery from the territories and teh new free states to be formed from them was an auxiliary precaution against white migration, supplementing the state laws against free black migration that had existed for years or decades. As long as slavery was confined to the South, most blacks would remain confined to the South as well, because most black Americans were slaves

Said Lincoln:

"Is it not rather our duty to make labor more respectable by preventing all black competition, especially in the territories?"

"Negro equality will be abundant, as evbery white laborer will have occasion to regret when he is elbowed from his plow or his anvil by slave niggers."

"The whole nation is interested that the best use shall be made of these territories. We want then to be homes of free white people. This they may not be, to any considerable extent, if slavery shall be planted within' them."

"All the unoccupied territory...shall be reserved for the benefit of the white Caucasian race --- A thing which cannot be except by the exclusion of slavery."


These are but a smattering of the comments attributed to Lincoln. There are more vile things in the history of Lincoln's contemporary Republicans. Therefore to the thinking man and woman, the use of Lincoln as a draw to the Republican Party is like the smell of burning tar. This isn't an endorsement of the Democratic Party but rather a head's up to those that want to know.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So You Went To Heaven

Ok. So I'm watching the ABC special on "Heaven" and watching all these folks talk about how wonderful it was...blah blah blah. I have one single question for all the white folks interviewed (and it was only white folk): How many black people did you see?

Not a single person said they saw a black person in this heaven. They saw there relatives (of course). They saw angels (white of course). But not a single person made mention of seeing black folk. Surely if heaven exists then there are black people there. Why don't these folk see 'em? Are they on the other side of heaven where new entries can't see? Or are they as invisible as they are here on Aye (Earth)?

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The Transit Union

I would not normally post on this topic but since I have a family member directly affected by this action as well as friends and family who are being inconvenienced by it, I want to point out why I support this action as I supported the striking workers last year.

The very first thing that bothers me about the City's position is the mere existence of the Taylor law. I do not understand how this law can even exist constitutionally. where does the state get special power to dictate to it's workers (who's taxes also support said state) how they may organize and act? How does the state abridge the rights of these private citizens merely because the state is a public institution? The stated rationale behind the Taylor law is that a striking public worker puts the work of the state at risk. If FireFighters and Police were to go on strike then there are risks of fires and crime. That is understandable, however, besides economic loss, there is no similar situation with the Transit. There is indeed great inconvenience to the ridership, but there is no safety problem at all. The empty streets of mid-town shown on TV this morning simply proved that.

This morning the news outlets also showed the last MTA proposal:

3%,3.5% and 3% raises over the next 3 years. This is similar to that which was proposed last time. What happened between then and now? a $1 billion surplus and many reports of bad book keeping by the MTA.

The next thing was the retirement age. I have heard it stated that the average life expectancy of a TA worker is less than 60 years due to the harsh environments that they work. If that is indeed the case then it would seem outrageous to make the retirement age older than the average life expectancy of the worker. That's just my take.

The last thing, which is a problem to me as well is that the TA want's the new members to contribute 6% of their income (gross) to their benefits package (Health I believe). I believe that this is the sticking point. Ultimately, to me, the TA is asking for pay cuts starting with the next generation of workers. Follow my thinking here:

3% raise (which I assume also goes to new employees as an increase in base starting pay).
6% contribution to benefits.
=3% income reduction for new employees.

In year two you see a 3.5% increase, while maintaining a 6% contribution. in that case you've now only recovered the loss from the previous year and only added .5% income increase while inflation has eaten into your purchasing power.

In year 3 there is another 3% increase which means that over three years the worker has only increased his or her gross income by 3.5% at which time the contract has expired and the whole party happens all over again, though this time the changes and increases will hit the entire rank and file.

If I'm right, then I think this is what Toussaint and the Executive board of the TU sees and they are in a long term fight and I agree with them on it. No way a union should actually agree to a package that decreases the income of it's members, current or future.

I also want to state that I think the position of the Parent body of local 100 (TU) was out of line to tell the local not to strike. Exactly what is the purpose of the international body, if not to support it's members? Why is the international body taking sides with management? But let me say this; It appears that Unions in America are dead or dying.

If a group of workers in Cuba, N. Korea, Iran, Syria or other "Axis of Evil" type places were to strike, there would be newscasts and print ups about "Democracy in action" and "Facing down tyranical regimes." Yet in America, if public employees attempt to do the same thing, they are called "illegal strikers" and are to be "severely punished" with double wage garnishment. I find this highly, highly ironic.

Speaking of punishment, realize that all the time that the workers are not at work they are not being paid. They are losing income that they will never make up. They have bills that won't be paid. They have holiday gifts that won't be bought (If they do that kind of thing). They have bank accounts that are going to be drained. Is the Mayor of NYC going to miss a paycheck? Is he not going to get his Hannuka gifts? Is governor Pataki going to lose any income? Does he risk eviction and bankruptcy? Absolutely not. But these crackers want to stand up and make threatening talk about $25,000 fines on individual workers and million dollar fines on the unions.

It is also a shame that the TWU is being forced to go it alone. If other workers had any sense at all they would have shut down all mass transit until the TWU was done. But this is modern America, where the average person is so shook at the prospect of losing their job that the state can make Taylor laws and expect it to be followed. The American worker is so shook that they would blame the union rather than the management with messy record keeping and 1 billion surplus and think that a Mayor who walks across a bridge is really "feeling their pain."

So this goes out to my 65 Year Old uncle, who gets up 5 days a week and heads out to work at 6:30 AM and works to make sure the citizens get to work on time in weather that most people, and definitely not Bloomberg or Pataki, wouldn't even want to be in for 1 hour. Thank you for your service. I'm behind all of you who do your honest work. And I say that because I know there are people in the TWU who are not pulling their weight and use the Union to defend them. I'm not for them.

Edit 3:49PM: Correction. The 6% is funds put towards pensions. I'm not entirely clear as to how their pension system works so I can't comment on it too much. I will say that I'm all for aggressive saving and investing and if that 6% is going towards something that will return dividends to the employee I think it is a good idea. However, if this is something along the lines of GM then it is a very very bad proposition and ought to be rejected by the Union and it's members.

Additional comments: I have been reading about comments by various commuters. One was a cab driver saying it was wrong because of the affect it has on the "old" and "sick."
First off the vast majority of the elderly are not taking public transportation, especially if they have conditions that prevent long term standing or walking. The City has what is called "Access-A-Ride" which is a private program which I believe (but have not confirmed) is not a part of this action. Secondly, those who are sick are not (and should not) be going to work anyway. If there is a need for medical attention it appears from all reports that there is now less traffic in Manhattan than at the same time last year. So this FUD created by mis-information agents should be discredited at all points.

The second comment was by a non-union worker who says he can't sympathize with striking workers. I hope his job isn't relocated to Mexico, India or China. If it is relocated I hope he remembers that her felt no sympathy for people fighting for what they considered their just due.

Others are talking about being cold: The Union members are currently outside on picket lines in the same cold as everyone else. They are, mostly, not at home chillin' and gigglin' over the frustrated commuters. Many I'm sure are looking at their budgets and trying to figure out how they are going to stay afloat with mortgages, school tuition, etc.

Edit 12-21-2005: I am particularly offended by the language that Mayor Bloomberg has used to describe the Union and the striking workers. He has repeatedly called the strikers "Thugs" and I don't think it's an accident at all. It is a known fact that much of the rank and file TWU workers are black and /or of Hispanic origins. These are groups that are typically portrayed in the media as thugs and criminals. It is also obvious that the mouthpiece of the union, Roger Toussaint is black with a distinct Caribbean accent. Furthermore; the idea of "caving in" to lawbreakers as has been the repeated refrain of the Governor and the Mayor is reminiscient of Bull Conner and days past when civil disobedience was deemed to be 'criminal" regardless of it's purpose. In a sense I think this is good payback for all the blacks and hispanics that voted for Michael Bloomberg. Having helped to hand the Mayor the largest margin of victory in city history, he now turns and spits in the face of thousands of NY citizens and the (currently) 50% of the NY population that supports them.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Morgan (Not So) Freeman

Last night I had the unfortunate experience of watching Morgan Freeman spit on the memory of Carter G. Woodson by completely mis-characterizing the meaning and purpose of Black History Month. I have always enjoyed Morgan Freeman's work as an actor, including Driving Miss Daisy which many people hated him for doing, but I understood as a period piece.I recall Marvin Van-Peebles was asked a question about racism and he refused to answer the specific question because he felt there were other people who had spent more time on the eubject and could provide a better explanation than he could. I had to respect that answer because it showed a great deal of maturity and respect. It was mature because it showed a man who knew that he had every right to make a comment, but chose to cede that right to others because he realized the limits of his understanding and did not want to interfere with progress by soothing his ego and making his own statement that would no doubt be used to undermine other people. Secondly, he showed respect to people better qualified. It bothers me a great deal when people substitute thier own opinion for fact or opinion over the extensive work of others. It's not every time that "reserached" people are correct, but a lot of times they are.

So returning to Mr. Freeman. He told Mike Wallace that Blacks (I would say "we" but he feels that "we" shouldn't be identified as black) shouldn't have their history relegated to one month. "we" shouldn't be given a month" The comment, on it's face, seems logical. If indeed whites had "given" or "relegated" our history to a month, then I'd agree with Mr. Freeman. However; the fact of the matter is that Black History Month was a special celebration of Carter G. Woodson's famed Negro History Week. In other words, this was something created by us for us.Therefore, the asserion that "you relegate" makes little sense outside of that historical context. What Mr. Freeman should have pointed out is how whites now use black history month as an excuse to ignore black history the rest of the time. And lets be honest here. During black history month, so much of the same ol same ol is drug out by celebritiies who are so far removed from the movements that gave us Carter G Woodsons, that it is now a pale pale pale facad of it's original intention.

The other erroneus part of Freeman's statement is that black history is American history. It is not. a portion of black history is American history. Black History spans the Americas including the caribbean. It includes Afica as well (duh). Black history is WORLD history. When we divorce the history of blacks around the world from American-Black history, then we get a distorted view of the long journey of those called "black." Therefore it is unacceptible to me to have a math class that has a Pythagorian theurum when it was known where Pythagorus got his schooling and that the Khemtites were the originators of that mathemtical construct. You can talk about Charles Drew 'till your blue in the face, but I want every person around the world to recognize that Pythagorus is notbody. That needs to be fixed. That is but a single instance of the depth and breadth of the Black history problem. And it is why we will and should have black History Months, And Black History Journals, by us and For Us

GG

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Black Commentator Subscription Service

The Black Commentator, linked at the right, is now offering paid subscription service for their website. While I have my occasional differences with the authors at the site, I do agree with most of what shows up there and I have said that I would pay for access to the site should that become neccessary. True to my word, I have subscribed since I believe that the Black Commentator is valuable asset to Pan-Africanists specifically as it regards the US situation. Just as I have founded the Olatunji Foundation in order to highlight the reality that we Pro-Black, Pan-Afrikanist people must put our monies where our mouths and blogs are, I encourage all readers to also subscribe to the Black Commentator. It takes a lot of time to put together a website of commentary. It can easily be a full time job. If they had to spell and grammar check my writing, then they would have no time for thier families.

So go visit the Black Commentator and support them.

Links:
The Black Commentator
The Olatunji Foundation

3rd year

Garvey'Ghost is going into it's third year of posts and I wanted to thank all the people who have been reading this blog (not commenting much, but reading cause I do get e-mails). For year three
I have decided to do some things differently:

1) change of site design: Yes no more shades of green for the background. I'll probably make more changes.
2) this was supposed to be commentary on world events and not world events via American press. I fell into focusing too much on what was going on in the US, which was not the intention of this blog but happened anyway. this was most likely the result of the US presidential elections as well as the ongoing war in Iraq. so from now on the blog will shift it's attention to more african and other black entities outside of the US. that is far more in keeping of the spirit of Marcus Garvey. To that end one of the new links on the sidebar is "The Timbuku Chronicles" which has a very good set of posts about technology, education and business in Africa.

3) Link backs: I've been a pretty bad citizen in this regard. Therefore if someone has a permanent link to Garvey's Ghost I will reciprocate. This is not just for exposure but also to be consistent with the founding idea of Garvey's Ghost, which is to make sure that intelligent Pan-Africanist ideology is available on the web. anyone else who has the same idea ought to be recognized by GG and vice versa. If we don't organize ourselves and our voices we will cede the floor to sellouts.

4) The Olatunji Foundation: this is an educational foundation started by yours truely. I will be asking for donations to it. it's entire purpose is to provide financial and moral support to Pan-Africanist minded students. This is a group effort. We cannot simply talk about the changes we want to see. We cannot simply write about what we want to change. we cannot simply complain about black conservatives. We cannot simply go about our personal business. We must provide for the next generation(s).

What won't change is the type of commentary. I will not post simple links to other events. There are other blogs that do that pretty well. This blog is about commentary on events and source for detailed factual rebuttal to falsehoods presented by other people.

Again. Thanks for your support and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

-Garvey's Ghost.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What An Ass
(Warning: This post contains many uses of the word "ASS" this may not be suitable for children, sensitive adults or other asses)

This post is to deal with people who are simply being asses. First up is Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who stated:

'Today, they have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets,'' Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in Zahedan. ''If you committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price?''

''This is our proposal: If you committed the crime, then give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country,''


Now he's an ass for three reasons:
a) It is a known fact that the Nazi Holocaust happened. Therefore saying it doesn't and using racist holocaust deniers to "prove" the point, makes him an ass.

b) even if you are dumb enough to actually believe that the Holocaust did not occur, as a president of a nation and therefore a leader on the world stage, who has a risk of open warfare with the US and others due to nuclear issues, it is STOOOOPID to make such a comment slip from the mouth. That makes him a double ass.

c) His statement on where Israel is located is valid. I agree that if the Arabs were not under the heel of colonization and were better armed and organized there was no way that the State of Isreal would exist in Palestiine. He is absolutely correct to point out that the Palestinians are paying the cost for the acts of Germany. However; since he went and denied the Nazi Holocaust actually occured, he managed to take attention away from his valid point and place it squarely on the indefensible idea that the Nazi Holocaust never happened.

If this is representative of the best Iranian leadership, then Iran is in for trouble.

Ass #2: Rev. Jesse Peterson.

The Christian Broadcast Network, The one lead by Pat Robertson who is on record calling for the assasination of Hugo Chavez, posted an interview with the Rev. Jesse Peterson. Rev. Jesse Lee, the author of a book entitled Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America., shows how little self respect he has as a black man and as an individual by even allowing himself to be interviewed by a person who advocates the murder of a duely elected head of state. That alone quaifies him as an ass. But it gets worse.

Rev Peterson was on air to discuss Kwanzaa and the "threat" it poses to the "true" meaning of Christmas. I would think that if one wanted to discuss Kwanzaa then one would at least attempt to get Maulana Karenga on the show (though he probably has too much self respect to do such a thing). No instead Pat Robertson leads with:

Well, ladies and gentlemen, when I first heard about Kwanzaa—I’ve been to Africa many, many, many times, in a number of countries, and I had never heard of Kwanzaa. And it turns out, there’s not one African country that has ever celebrated anything called Kwanzaa. So we began to explore where it came from. Well, today we’re going to tell you

So first we have Mr. White-Man-Authority-On-All-Things-African telling us what he "knows" about African culture. And though he claims to be about to give information about Kwanzaa, there is not one thing in the entire interview that actually discusses Kwanzaa. Rather the entire interview is about Rev. Peterson's personal issues with Maulana Karenga. I mean if that was to be the point of the interview why not name it appropriately? Anyways, having failed to find anyone familiar with Kwanzaa, Rev. Peterson plays token pet Negro and begins his spiel against Karenga:

I’ve debated Ron Karenga. The socialist, Marxist, black racist, now professor at Cal State, Long Beach, here in Los Angeles, created this holiday because of his hatred toward Christianity and Jews. And Ron said that part of his motivation was his dislike and that he was going to create this holiday during the Christmas season, because that’s when most people were celebrating. And the reason that he called it an African holiday, because he felt that if he didn’t, that most black people would not celebrate the holiday. And our purpose today is to get the message out that it’s ‘Merry Christmas’ and not ‘Happy Kwanzaa.’

Indeed anyone familiar with Kwanzaa knows that it was picked to happen around Christmas because of the number of celebrations that happen at this time. Dr. Karenga was also no doubt familiar with the actual reason why the birth of the "sun" of God was celebrated on Dec 25. This reason being that the week of Dec 25 is the the week where the amount of daylight begins to increase ( by about a minute or so). just about every ancient civilization knew this and Karenga was familiar with this information. Unfortunately to those who's minds have been captured by these fools, they know less than people who lived 0ver 4000 years ago.

Secondly, Kwanzaa does not begin until after Christmas. Therefore, claims that it is a substitute for Christmas is unfounded. Lastly It is called an African Holiday not because any specific African people celebrate (or celebrated) Kwanzaa, but because it is based on an amalgam of African cultural practices and and an African language. Hence at Peterson's opening statement he already proves himself wholly incapable of intelligent conversation on the subject at hand. And yet and still people are being exposed to him. Of course the conversation goes further into the realm of personal attack. Says Peterson:

Well, before then he was a felon. He went to prison for four years for torturing a couple women who followed him back in the 60s. He was the head of a Marxist organization called United Slavery Organization back in the 60s, along with the Black Panthers. But the issue is that, during those days, this man was so radical, and his organization was so violent against white Americans, against America, against what was right, that even the Black Panthers didn’t get along with the United Slave Organization. They were headed up at UCLA for a while there. They were fighting over the black study program. They wanted to start a black study program back in the 60s. So they fought with the Black Panther organization for the black study program. And they ended up murdering one another, and he ended up in jail. He’s now a felon and a professor at the university, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach.

To those who do not know Ron Karenga went to Jail. So did Malcolm X. Anyway. Peterson Apparently was confused as to the name of Karenga's organization; United Slaves. Peterson claims that US was violent against white Americans, yet can offer no proof or example of said violence. Anyone familiar with the era knows full well that the violence that occured by the BPP and US were, unfortunately, between each other and that violence concerning "white Americans" were those comeing from white Americans at the hands of thier police. But such facts are apparently beyond the grasp of Rev. Peterson.

Of course Robertson goes on to have Peterson explain in some details the torture charge against Karenga, conluding:

Well now, should Christians have anything to do with that?

PETERSON: Absolutely no. And as a matter of fact, according to the seven principles of Kwanzaa, whites are not allowed, Jews are not allowed. It’s a socialist idea. There is no mention of God. And when you read those seven principles, as you can read them in my book, Scam, there is no mention of God. And there is a flag that they pledge allegiance to, the red, black and green flag, and this flag is about shedding blood. Ron said that black people shed blood in this county, they lost their land, and in order to regain the land, they’re going to have to shed more blood. And so it’s a violent idea. It’s a separatist idea. And I could guarantee, Mr. Robertson, if a white man had come up with the same idea, and it was called European whatever, America would be up in arms about it. But because this man is black, he is allowed to get away with this racist, godless holiday.


I see, If a person has been involved in torture and murder then any kind of ideology they expouse ought not to be followed. I can get with that. In fact I have gotten with that. I am no longer a Christian. Since Christians were directly responsible for my being here and for slavery, murder, torture and all kinds of criminal and morally reprehencible acts, There is no reason for any sane black person to even give the religion a second thought. Who cares if the religion has some good points to it right? If the adherents show themselves to be totally unchanged by it's philosophy, then no need to follow. Thanks Mr. Robertson!

Peterson however, is the typical negro "NO whites allowed!! Massa can't come? I can't be without Massa!!" I won't even go into the clear non-knowledge of the Red Black and Green.

Peterson is bent out of shape over the fact that "God" is not mentioned in the Nguzu Saba (Seven Principles). Well since Karenga states outright that Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, why does that surprise Peterson? And since it does not mention "God" then how would it be a threat to Christmas since those that feel a need to observe the birth of thier "Christ" can still do so unmolested by Kwanzaa?

And since Kwanzaa is also about Black cultural redemption and since Rev. Peterson is not interested in that, I suggest that he be officialy banned from Kwanzaa celebrations. then he can't complain about it being racist, since he and his black behind can't come either.

Peterson then goes on a diatribe, and still does not actually discuss Kwanzaa:

There is a double standard in America today, and that double standard is liberal, godless black folks are allowed to do and say what they want. And white folks are afraid of being called a racist. And I was disgusted when Bill Clinton did it but was not surprised. But when our great President Bush, a man that I believe God has given us so that we can turn this country around, when he celebrated this holiday, my heart was broken. Because black folks, not all, not all, not all, but most black people are already suffering because of too much government, corrupt black leaders, and most corrupt black preachers. Their family is destroyed. The order of God is destroyed. And for President Bush to proclaim Kwanzaa a holiday that we should recognize, it’s evil, for the lack of a better word. He’s promoting evil.


Liberal godless black folks. Wow. What an ass. It only the humanity and tolerance of black folks why Rev. Peterson can even get away with these comments. I hear that in Iraqm, such insults result in car bombings and other painfull deaths. No, in America, Peterson is free to insult millions of people on TV and no one really care that much. Of course he doesn't really value this freedom so he has this little rant. Bill Clinton and George Bush did what any leader of a diverse "democratic" country is supposed to do: recognize that there are people with different values and customs and acknowledged them. Of course Peterson would rather we 'godless' liberals" would just go somewhere and die. We're evil. We don't support killing Iraqis or occupying a country. Nor do we support lying. But we're evil.

Yes. Peterson is an ass. An ass, being interviewed by another ass. They are having a big ass party over an CNB.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bill Cosby Revisted

As any regular here knows. I have defended 99% of what Bill Cosby said in May 2004 with the exception of the name comments. My objection to the name issue was based on the incomplete reporting that i had access too. Even though my information was incomplete I was still able to come to a far better and factual analysis of brother Bill than many of my peers to the left.

Yesterday I found a pamphlet entitled 'Don't Mess With Bill"that had the entire May 2004 speech and so I read it. I now must retract my disagreement with Dr. Cosby on the name issue. It appears that on that issue I too fell for the okey doke. Below is the exact comment Dr. Cosby made about names:

...With names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed and all that crap and all them are in jail. (When we give these kids of names to our children, we give them the strength and inspiration in the meaning of those names. What's the point of giving them strong names if there is not parenting and values backing it up?)

So there you have it. Mr. Cosby was made out to be villifying certain names when in fact he was not. While I don't care for the "We are not Africans" comment that he made. It is clear that his words were distorted by the media AND many "progressive" black writers fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

links:
www.soulseriousbooklets.com
Aussies getting thier White On

Descendants of white European prisoners who practiced genocide against the 'Aboriginal" people of Austrailians have continued thier heritage by attacking random Arabs on a beach in "retaliation" for the beating a Lifeguard recieved at the hands of some Lebanese. I would be interested in knowing whether white youth regularly take revenge for beatings that other white youth get at the hands of other white youth but anyways. The PM of Australia is quoted as saying:

''Attacking people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their ethnicity, is totally unacceptable and should be repudiated by all Australians irrespective of their own background and their politics,'' Howard said.

But he added: ''I'm not going to put a general tag (of) racism on the Australian community.''
Of course not. I mean Genocide, forced removal from families, discrimination and, oh yes, the Aborigional athlete in the olympics who felt the need to represent for her people. Nawww Austrailia doesn't have a "race" problem. Just a few 'white supremacists" stirring up trouble.

White youths were reported as :

One white teenager had the words ''We grew here, you flew here'' painted on his back. Someone had written ''100 percent Aussie pride'' in the sand.

Like ancestor, like child.

links:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Australia-Racial-Unrest.html?hp

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A shooting in Miami

Today federal air marshals shot a "hispanic" man on the jetway as he was leaving an airplane. The man, Rigoberto Alpizar, was shot because after being told to freeze or something to that effect, he reached into a bag. According to the NY Times:

Mr. Bauer said the air marshals then challenged him, but the man fled the plane. When he refused to follow their instructions and made what they considered a threatening move, he was shot, Mr. Bauer said.

"His actions caused them to fire shots, and in fact he is deceased," Mr. Bauer said.


"His actions caused them to fire shots." If ever there was a wrong statement this is it. In a country where the dominant political party consists of people calling for "Personal responsibility" and "self control" it is hypocritcaly to say that mr Alpizar "caused" the air marshals to do anything. Lest the reader think I'm being overly "liberal" in my accessment I offer evidence 1: The Brazilian man shot by London Police for "running towards a train." It was only after killing the man did the police "find out" that the man was in fact an electrician and was running to the train as not to be late for work. The London police even attempted to lie about the situation by saying he was making threatening moves. These stories were later shown to be incorrect. But it was too late, the man was dead.

This underscores the importance of the presumption of innocence. The police cannot execute suspects because suspects have not done anything. But in post 9-11 America (and London) a suspect can have all legal protections removed. I have been consistent in my position that police should only use deadly force (that would be "shoot to kill") only if their lives are in immediate danger. Not that they think it may be, or that the "suspect" might do x,y or z but the gun must be produced, in fact I would say the weapon should be fired.

In this particular case the Marshal said he heard the man say something about having a bomb. Hmmmm. now lets think about this. The man has a bomb on a plane and announces it to everyone. Not the MO of any recent terrorists but maybe he does have it. He does not produce the bomb or offer any proof of having any such device. Furthermore he is exiting the plane. Thus the plane is clearly not the target even if he had a bomb. The man is shot on the jetway between the plane and the terminal. If anything at this point he is not a danger to anyone on the plane nor is he a danger to anyone in the terminal as he is in a controled space between the plane and the terminal. Now after apparently being told to lay down. he does not. OK. Air marshals are the best sharp shooters in American security. Why not shot the man on the leg or the arm? Surely they can do so as they are trained to take precision shots. If getting shot in the leg is anything like a charlie horse then he's guaranteed to go down. Problem solved. The air marshals had choices and chose to murder an innocent man who apparently needed to take his medicine for Bi-Polar disorder. Let me offer what probably happened:

The man attempted to go to the restroom to take his meds and was unable to do so because the steward or stewardess would not let him go before take off (perhaps for security reasons). The man being on the manic side of Bi-polar disease went off on the stewardess (and I've seen Bi-Polar people go off and takes very little when their off meds). He probably says something like "you think I have a bomb!" and then goes to exit the plane so that he could use the bathroom in the terminal. He hears the marshals whome he may or may not have looked at (I don't see any reports that he actually faced the marshalls) yelling at him. He thinks that the marshals are more "airplane people" trying to piss him off some more and ignores them on the way to the bathroom to take his meds. He gets shot. He dies.

So let's see where this goes. In my book this was a homicide on the level of Diallo. Police professionals with a monopoly on deadly force, failed to act on the assumption of innocence and murdered a person. 9-11 should not be an excuse for improperly handle a situation. It is the air marshals job to put thier life on the line to protect the innocent. It was there job to take the risk that the man was not a threat to not kill him. If they can't do that then they are in the wrong line of work.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Black Conservative on Iraq

So Joseph C Phillips claims to want an Honest Debate About The War. This "honest debate" begins with:

Debate is good! Dissent may not be the province of America alone, but the right to dissent freely without repercussion is as American as apple pie. However, if our discourse is to bear fruit it must be responsible. We can’t have an honest debate so long as the issues are clouded with hysteria more appropriate to Hollywood science fiction.

Sounds good so far, even with the obligatory "Apple Pie" comment. I mean he's black, he could have said American as "Jim Crow" or something equally culturally relevant, but hey, It's Joseph. Next he has this:

Our incursion into Iraq was motivated by the belief that democracy and freedom as opposed to tyranny and instability would lay a foundation of peace that would lead to victory in the war on terror. That is it in a nutshell and those reasons have not changed. To their credit, more than a few Democrats supported the president. In 2002, Senate Minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) proclaimed, “Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think that the president’s approaching this in the right fashion.” That same year on NBC’s Meet The Press, New York Senator Hillary Clinton announced: “I can support the president, I can support an action against Saddam Hussein because I think it’s in the long-term interests of our national security …”
In an article in Time magazine, former President Bill Clinton articulates rather clearly that in the aftermath of 9/11/01, President Bush had a responsibility to make certain Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons didn’t fall into the hands of terrorists. If our president lied then there is a long list of Democratic leaders including Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Howard Dean, John Edwards, John Kerry, and Edward Kennedy that also lied.


Wow. Two problems here. I'll deal with the second one first. Any parent would recognize the "if Bush lied so did..." argument as the ones that children who are fighting use. "He did it first!!!." Yes, folks, this is the level of argument that we're dealing with. But the first one is all "Apple Pie." This was not sold on Democracy and Freedom. I guess Phillip has had his head in the sand for so long that all the memos and news reports have completely passed him by. But let's take Phillip at his word. If the ultimate purpose for going into Iraq was to win the "War on Terror." then lets look at the facts "on the ground."

Saddam Hussein, a CIA stool, was put into power in Iraq in order to act as a "counter" to Iran. Saddam Hussien was disliked by the very leadership of Al-Q, the current ever present boogy monster, who wrote, as quoted in many publications. Hussein, the "tyrant" that he was had a Secular, modern country, where he kept the feuds between the Shias, Sunnis and Kurds under control. We may disagree with the methods of that control, but none the less, Iraq was not a safe place for terrorists and Hussein had no love for or had no love from so called 'terrorists." Furthermore, while the country was able to make money off it's oil, Saddam and his peoples had no economic incentive to aid terrorists. Now after 15 years of "no fly zones" and surgical precise bombs, Shock and Awe the country is rife with "insurgents."
The country is about to be split into three parts, There are fake news reports in Arab newspapers (which is really funny given how US press likes to point out that other countries reported things in state run media as if State run means "lie") and A-Q operatives have continued to bomb almost at will all over Europe.

By any measure, Iraq today is more a terrorist heaven than it was at any point prior to Gulf War 1. This isn't Ideology speaking. These are the "facts on the ground."

I'm not going to begin to defend Kerry et.al because I have no interest in defending democrats who don't have the balls to stand up for principle. Any shots they take from conservatives over thier statements and voting records are fair game, but that does not detract from the fact that Yes, the propaganda used to get the American people behind the war was either fabricated or conveniently "not mentioned." or in the case of Colin Powel's presentation to the UN flat out wrong (which Powell has admitted on national TV).

Lastly Phillips states:

Continuing to stay disengaged from the political debate plays into the hands of the terrorists, who have determined that the battle they must win is the public relations battle here in the United States. They believe Americans are weak and do not have the stomach for war. If they can wear down American political resolve, victory will be theirs. One of the keys to our ultimate victory, then, is that we maintain the support of the American people.

I swear that novel thinking must not be a part of the Black Conservative repertoir as this statement makes little sense. Most Americans have no problem with the US activities in Afghanistan because they believe that Osama Bin Ladin is there (or thereabouts) and that he is directly responsible (In terms of organization) for 9-11. However, the people are seeing Iraq for the money grab and lies that it is. Therefore it is a lie to say that Americans (or most anyone else) has a problem with war per se. However, when you say "they have X tonnes of WMD" and then can't show it, the people think you're dishonest and supposedly the "honest Abe" idea of American fairness (however false it is) comes into question globally and the main beneficiaries being Kellogg Brown and Root and other Halliburton, no bid contract holding companies paying Africans they import into Iraq $0.50 an hour (You'll note Phillips has nothing to say about that little point). No Phillip is wrong and needs to be honest with himself about it. That would be an interesting debate:

"Why Do I believe these white folks?"
"Oh they love me and pay me!!"
Conflicted On Tookie

Tookie Williams the founder of the Cripts gang is set to be executed for a crime he says he didn't commit. If he did commit the crime many supporters say that since he has changed his ways, and is nearly 60 years old, his death sentance ought to be commuted to life imprisonment.

If you are against the Death Sentance then you'r position is clear: Tookie must have clemency. If you are not against the death penalty and you're black and 'conscious" then you have a problem. See as a person aware of African History one cannot say that opposition to the death penalty is "African." In fact in terms of African-American culture, the death penalty is something many blacks agree with. The reasons for this are multiple but are currently based on the consequences with the 2% criminal element that manages to make the lives for the 30% of black folks who are poor, miserable, and the 60% who are not,shake their heads upon seeing that 2% on the news. It is also the case the African Americans, specifically those who grew up getting spanked, see that the consequences for such gang activity is death. I bring up spanking because the over-arching justification for such behavoir is that the pain inflicted as a child will act as a deterent to later bad behavior which may lead to crime. A taste of the punishment if you will.

But being conscious black person you realize that if the death penalty was inacted back in say th 50's against one Malcolm Little we would not have the hero Malcolm X. See Malcolm Little was a criminal thug. He was the redhead devil in prison. It was the prison time was what lead Malcolm to the NOI and his transformation to Malcolm X. When we agree with the death penalty (disregarding the un-equal way it is implemented) we agree to end the lives of potential Malcolm X's. The issue here is redemption. Do we as a people believe in redemption? If so then we have to ask if Tookie Williams has been redeemed is he a danger to our society? Can he be a force for good in our society? If we agree that he is no longer a threat, that he ican be a force for good, then should he be executed? Should he even be in jail? Let's be real here, Most violent crime, for which tookie was jailed for, is committed by younger people. While the familty of the deceased would like for Tookie to continue to "pay" for his crime, why is incarceration, where he cannot make direct amends for hid crime, the only means for his "payment?"

Thus is the conflict, Do we hold Tookie to his gang creed and let him die and be an example to young gang members of where they will end up? Or do we show the youth that they can change thier lives and society will recognize that change? It's a hard question if you don't oppose the death penalty.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

France Revisited

Ok, so I was having a Van Sertima moment here. Let me start off with a quote from James Baldwin's Nobody Knows My Name written 3 years before The Fire Next Time The latter was repeatedly quoted in articles sympathetic to the outbreak. I have often been more interested in Baldwins' prior writing. Perhaps he had a change of views between the two writings though it is entirely possible that the thoughts in both are complementary. I do hope so because then Baldwin and I would be on the same page in our overall view of the situation in France as it regards the Africans there. Baldwin writes in his essay "Fifth Avenue, Uptown: A Letter From Harlem":


There is a housing project standing now where the house in which we grew up once stood... when we reach the end of this long block, we find ourselves on wide, filthy, hostile Fifth Avenue, facing that project which hangs over the avenue like a monument to the folly, and cowardice, of good intentions...I am talking about those who are left, and I am principally talking about the young. What are they doing? Many..are "moslems" by affiliation or sympathy, that is to say that they are united by nothing more-and nothing less-than a hatred of the white world and all it's works...Negroes do not own General Motors or RCA or the A&P, nor, indeed, do they own more than a wholly insufficient fraction of anything else in Harlem. There are those who are simply sitting on their stoops, "stoned," animated for a moment only, and hideously, by the approach of someone who may lend them money for a "fix." Or by the approach of someone from whome they can purchase it,one of the shrewd ones, on the way to prison or just coming out.

And the others, who have avoided all of these deaths, get up in the morning and go downtown to meet "the man."

The projects in Harlem are hated. They are hated almost as much as policemen, and this is saying a great deal. And they are hated for the same reason: both reveal, unbearably, the real attitude of the white world, no matter how many liberal speeches and made, no matter how many lofty editorials are written, no matter how many civil-rights commissions are set up.

The projects are hideous, of course, there being a loaw, apparently respected throughout the world, that popular housing shall be as cheerless as a prison. They are..colorless, bleak, high and revolting.

Harlem got it's first project, Riverton-which is now, naturally a slum-about twelve years ago...Harlem wathced Riverton go up, therefore, in the most violent bitterness of spriti, and hated it long before the builders arrived, they began hating it long before the builders arrived...And they had scarcly moved in, naturally, before they began smashing windows, defacing walls, urinating in the elevators, and fornicating in the playgrounds...Other people were delighted to be able to pont to proof positive that nothing could be done to better the lot of colored people, They were, and are, right inb one respect: That nothing can be done as long as they are treated like colored people. The people of Harlem know they are living there because white people fo not think they are good enough to live anywhere else. No amount of "improvement" can sweeten this fact. Whatever money is now earmarked to improve this, or any other ghetto, might as well be burnt. A ghetto can be improved in one way only: out of existance.


Baldwin continues with descriptions of the policing in the ghettos. Now the purpose for me bringing this up is that the NY Times posted an article entitled Revolting High Risesthat discusses the high rises that house most of the poor "non-French."


The Swiss architect Le Corbusier, as Francophobes have been more than ready to explain, bears some of the blame for both. His designs inspired many of the suburbs where the riots of October and November began. In fact, he inspired the very practice of housing the urban poor by building up instead of out. Soaring apartments, he thought, would finally give sunlight and fresh air to city laborers, who had been trapped in narrow and fetid back streets since the dawn of urbanization. But high-rise apartments mixed badly with something poor communities generate in profusion: groups of young, armed, desperate males. Anyone who could control the elevator bank (and, when that became too terrifying to use, the graffiti-covered stairwells) could hold hundreds of families ransom.



A goode example of this is the movie New Jack City. To show the accuracy of Baldwin's words the article states:

In the course of the October uprising, French observers called this slum-based sense of place a "nationalisme de quartier." It is a problem. Residents of some of the most dismal projects have often proved unwilling to relocate, even when the government has promised to move them into much nicer places. Perhaps they have grown attached to their dangerous homes and neighbors. It is more likely that they're leery about accepting the promises of any government that once stuck them in such a depressing spot to begin with.

Lets look at the real solution then. If the French are unwilling to let Africans be "French." And I don't expect them too, then it would appear that the residents of the "projects" will have to change thier attitude towards where they live. Clearly if in 1961 Baldwin can write that which is still true in 2005, then there needs to be a different response and that response needs to come from the leadership since the gut reactions of the people only lead them to do that which they think is new and effective. It is equally true in France that the French (and like it or not, French = white) build these buildings to separate out the non-French and it is equally true that the non-French own none of the major businesses in France and probably never will; then the African in France must do something different. In fact the African worldwide must do something different.
Thomas(s) Sowell

So this evening I was eating dinner when I spotted Thomas Sowell on the Fox News Channel. I don't usually have that channel on but there it was and Mr. Sowell was being interviewed by one of the white men who inhabit that dark corner of the cable system. Thomas Sowell was busy grinning and making comments such as is desire to see liberals shipped off and that Environmentalists are nutty. I suggest that Mr Sowell be made to go to a Chinese city during one of their bad smog days and be forced to exercize without a mask. I surely bet that his attitude towards environmentalists would change. But his opinions are not the real subject of this piece as I have disected many of his arguements in these pages. No doubt that the man is intelligent. I do believe in giving those who I may disagree with their props when they deserve it. What gives Sowell more credibility than say a Rev Jesse Peterson, is that Sowell does research. Now doing research doesn't make one right, but it does up the ante when having a discussion since a position must be proven by statement of facts and thus a position may be shown to be incorrect by discussing said facts. This is different from those who have opinions but nothing to back them up. They believe what they want and there's no real point in having a discussion since anyone can believe whatever they want since belief does not require fact. But I'm stil off the point of this post. The real point was this white man's utter facination with Sowell. Everything that Sowell said was like Judaic Mannah from heaven. Even when Mr. Sowell said things that simply made no sense, there was the grinning white man. This underscores the charge that is oft made against so called black conservatives; that they are lackeys for white folks, specifically white supremacist type white folks. And let's be clear here, there are liberal lackeys too. They are often lackeys to the paternal and maternalist white folks out there who get emotional over "I have a Dream" speeches.
At one point Mr. Sowell said that he rarely gets criticism from "black leaders." he claimed that they stay quiet and then resurface "three months later." He also said that Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are telling black youths that they should be victims and that they have nothing but roadblocks ahead of them and they should be defeatist. It's interesting that Mr. Sowell, with all his research ability was unable to point to specific instances where such a sentiment was stated. Which is really important. Black Conservatives, by and large operate as black faces for white ideology of black thought. They are there to legitimize the thoughts of whites who think in such ways by putting a black face on the idea.

All in all it was silly "interview." the white man wanted to introduce Mr. Sowell to America. Already know him, please leave him home next time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Of Padilla and Black Folks

Now you're reading the title and trying to figure out how the heck I connect the situation of Jose Padilla (the so called dirty bomber) and the state of Black folks. Well here it is. Today the NY Times posted an article entitled U.S. Indicts Padilla After 3 Years in Pentagon Custody in which we learn:

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for three years as an "enemy combatant" suspected of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in this country, has been indicted on charges that he conspired to "murder, kidnap and maim" people overseas.


A federal grand jury in Miami returned the indictment against Padilla and four others. While the charges allege Padilla was part of a terrorism conspiracy, they do not include the government's earlier allegations that he planned to carry out attacks in the United States.


Never mind the problem that Padilla was incarcerated (they call it "detained") for 3 years on suspicion of plotting to harm US citizens. We've said clearly that if the US govt. indeed had proof of such a thing Padilla would have been prosecuted straight away. This only confirms that the Govt. had no case against Padilla and therefore had to make up some other "crime" in order keep him incarcerated..I mean detained.

So what do they base this "planned to carry out" charge?

Padilla was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in 2002 after returning from Pakistan. The federal government has said he was trained in weapons and explosives by members of al-Qaida.

Although the Justice Department has said that Padilla was readying attacks in the United States, the charges against him and four others allege they were part of a conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim persons in a foreign country and provide material support to terrorists abroad.


See the very idea that Padilla had "trained" in camps means that he was going to carry out some deed or so the logic goes. Hmmmm. Ok. As is the case with a growing numbers of laws in the US, possible intent to commit a crime is enought to arrest someone. Never mind that no crime was actually committed. In fact anyone who has taken serious thought of killing thier boss and has a knife in their possession should be liable to be "detained" under the thinking here. This is the very reason why I detest "Hate crime" legislation. A person should be convicted for thier actions and not thier thoughts. That a Nazi hates my black behind should not be illegal. The Nazi has the right to think whatever he or she wants. When the Nazi attaches me to the back of a pickup and drags me to peices, the Nazi has committed murder and should be convicted of said crime. You hate black folks, let nature give you a bleeding ulcer.

Back on topic though. Padilla is being incarcerated..I mean..detained due to suspected association with those who wish to kill people. Ok Should we follow that logic then we should examine the following. Alternet posted an article entitled: Hate Crimes in Prison in which we find:

While the precise number of Aryan Brotherhood members and associates is not known, the gang has chapters in virtually every major state and federal prison in the country. Estimates of AB's total strength vary widely, but nearly all exceed 15,000 members and associates nationwide, with roughly half in prison and half out.

"You gain ranks by battles, by 'missions,' not all of it locked up," explained tree 1488. "Brothers grow as close as vets do when they go into battle fighting for a common cause. We are there for each other even on the outside. I have a high ranking it has taken me nearly seven years of missions to earn."

The Oklahoma Aryan Brotherhood member went on the explain to the white nationalists on Stormfront that when he was first released from prison, "my neighbors on the outside were taken aback by my tattoos at first -- sleeved out arms with shoulder caps that read 'Aryan Honor,'" but that he gradually won them over with his gardening and baking acumen. "I give them fresh vegetables when they are in season, cakes and so forth. I clue them in to white nationalism if they show an interest. Aryan Honor is the credo I live by."


So let's get this straight: Padilla may have went to Pakistan and Maybe Afghanistan. He may be motivated to kill "foreigners" But there is no proof that he has done so. Yet Aryan Nation members and the like, who clearly are in organizations intent on killing black people and have done so are allowed to walk around and not be detainied. Who exactly does the US government care about here? I think Kanye West is getting close to the answer.

I find it hypocritical and dangerous that members of a known terrorist organization are free to walk around until they actually kill a black man, woman or child, while Jose Padilla who has done nothing but take a long plane trip and possibly got the best workout regimin in his life, but committed no acts of violence against anybody has been locked up for 3 years and is being indicted becuase he may pose a threat to "foreigners."

Yeah,
Of Padilla and Black Folks.

Friday, November 18, 2005

the Lie of Iraqi Jihadists

While these pages are usually critical of the US position in iraq, and it still is, every now and then some things happen in Iraq that do nothing to bolster the case against the US involvement in Iraq. Today the NY Times had anm article entitled: Bombers Kill at Least 65 Inside Two Shiite Mosques in Iraq
where we find:

BAGHDAD, Nov. 18 - At least 65 people died in the Eastern Iraqi town of Khanaqin today after suicide bombers detonated explosives inside two Shiite mosques during Friday prayers.

A mosque, also refered to as a Maskid means a "house of prayer." Simply put a place where Muslims go to commune with God. It is highly Ironic that the main wish of Jihadists, the elimination of the "great satan" that is the West due to it's decadence, would resort to bombing a Mosque. If I may also remind the readers that it was an errant(?) canister of teargas that went into a Mosque in France that extnded the riots in France.

We the, African that has rejected both Christianity and Islam, know that neither of these parties have respect for places of worship of "non-believers" as such it is clearly now a case of chickens coming home to roost that Mosques are now fair game to the so called guardians of Islam.

It has been my postion since 1992 that the very existamce of an ideology of prosylization in a religion is dangerous eventually you get people who feel so strongly about being "right" that they will objectify those whome they believe to be wrong (with great incentive too). Once that happens it is not to long before people are ready to kill. Islam has an extra problem in that killing is codified into it's ideology. Though it is couched in self-defence, it is there. it is very easy to claim self-defence of defence of the Ummah against non-believers. Which is what we have here. It is no doubt that the bombers were Sunnis. It is no doubt that the Shiite Muslims were objectified by the Sunni bombers as being not "true" believers and since they can be said to have sided with "the enemy" they are fair game. Very simply path of logic and a clear example of why religion and politics/government should not be mixed.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Yet More On France

Diana Johnstone has an excellent article on the situation in France published in CounterPunch, Which echo's the root of my position on the matter:

quotes:
Ironically, in this crucial case the deaths were the result of fear rather than of direct police brutality. This widespread fear of police reflects gratuitous and heavy handed police harassment, but there is also the undisputed fact that in areas with 40% unemployment and large numbers of school dropouts, there has been a proliferation of drug dealing and various forms of petty crime, often in the form of forcing school kids to surrender such items as cell phones. Police toughness has had no visible success in stemming such activities...
...They are a minority in their communities, and their destructive action is overwhelmingly condemned within those communities, whose members are the ones whose cars or schools or buses are being burned. Nevertheless, there is considerable sympathy in these communities for the anger and hopelessness underlying this explosion of violence. After several nights of such troubles, parents and other citizens are organizing in various neighborhoods to dissuade kids from violence...

...The apartment blocks of the banlieue of French cities are similar to those surrounding cities in most of Europe. They were part of the rapid urbanization that occurred during the economic prosperity of the 1960s. They were not built to be "ghettos" but to provide decent housing to the waves of immigrants, both from the countryside and from abroad, drawn by industrial employment. They replaced shanty towns and relieved the pressure on inner city neighborhoods, where working class families were crowded into unhealthy flats with no private toilet. For working people, the banlieue apartments are much more spacious and well equipped than those in affordable neighborhoods of Paris.

There are two things wrong with them. One is aesthetic: they lack the charm of the city, they are monotonous, and they are far away from the pleasures of urban life. But what has turned them into "ghettoes" is the deindustrialization of the past decades. The nearby factories have shut down, and the sons and grandsons of factory workers are jobless. It is easier for those with French names and French complexions ...

I come back to the economic factor. Dominique de Villepin, in competition with Sarkozy, has taken a more humanist line: restoration of social aids to the banlieue previously instituted by the Socialist government, plus yet another program for job-creation. But since such measures have been taken before without notable effect, one can doubt their efficacy now.
I would conclude by acknowledging that for ruling politicians, the situation is without immediate solution. Order may be restored, subsidies may be granted to neighborhood associations, but no short-term measure can solve the basic problem: the deep rupture between the "winners" and the "losers" in a cutthroat game of capitalist competition.
[our emphasis]


Link:
http://www.counterpunch.org/johnstone11092005.html

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More on France

The last post on the situation in France prompted negative feedback from a reader. You should read the comment and response in the post. I did however feel prompted to discuss one point that the reader made since it has greater meaning in terms of Garveyism and "Consciousness." Garvey is famouns for saying (paraphrased):

"Take all opportunities you find (in white countries) but the best bet for African progress is to create a state in Africa."

he also is known for saying (again paraphrased):

"When the white man finds himself in hard times who do you think he will employ, you or his own."

The reader made a side comment about what conscious "French-African" intellectuals and writers woudld write in regards to African-Americans. Given that Garveyism holds the above quotes as bedrock ideology i have to question the "consciousness" of the ideology that is largely to beg the white French for jobs. Mind you, there are all manner of social stuggle that one may ascribe to. If one believes that the French owe thier citizens x,y and z then by all means the logical progression of that thought leads to protesting the government for jobs or other forms of relief.

The Garveyite would say that since the French Government provides free education and healthcare, that one should take advantage of that. But given that we know the French to be racist, and we simply don't expect them to change anytime in the near future, the blacks in that country ought to be looking back to thier homelands.

It also strikes me as odd that blacks in France hold the white French government to a higher standard of behaviour than they do or did of thier own homeland(s). Truely if some of this behavior had happened in say Cote D'Ivoir there would be a lot of dead people right now. But this is the exact problem with the African global community we can spot and react againts the very real bad things that whites do to us, but will not take responsibility for the very real bad things we do to each other.

I do think that the African community does have a valid arguement outside of the "give us jobs" discussion. The fact that the police apparently have the authority to stop people on the streets for "ID" was a problem waiting to explode. Mind you such laws also exist in the US though like the one in New Jersey can only happen between certain times of day (well actually night). It is apparet that the two boys killed were killed while fleeing police they presumed were going to ask them for papers which could possibly lead to harrassment. They went and sat in a transformer. Therefore the police were not the direct cause of the deaths. We know this because a third boy said as much (assuming he was not coerced into this statement).

Let me also point out more specifics about the situation of blacks in France. the NY Times pointed out in an article entitled France Has an Underclass, but Its Roots are Still Shallow:

That is one foundation of the fear among some experts that a structural underclass is emerging. Already, French-Arabs and French-Africans make up the majority of inmates in France's prisons, just as minorities make up a vastly disproportionate part of the American prison population.

That is one foundation of the fear among some experts that a structural underclass is emerging. Already, French-Arabs and French-Africans make up the majority of inmates in France's prisons, just as minorities make up a vastly disproportionate part of the American prison population.

Note that the latter problem is one of private business. Now in the US you have had roughly 30 years of Affirmative Action which is partially responsible for the rise of a black middle class but which has done squat to deal with the high encarceration rates or the fact of above average unemployment. Thus I expect that even if the French Government approves of some sort of Affirmatove Action, it will not do anything for unskilled immigrants or others at the margins of French Society.

Lastly, No, let me repeat: NO capitalist country has "full employment." There exists no such thing in a Capitalist economy. So who exactly do we expect to end up on the unemployment line more often? Who then will we expect to end up in the prisons more often?

I'm not saying it's right. I am saying that it's real and the rioting won't change the larger picture much as it hasn't changed it in the US.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Strange Things in Orange NJ

Yesterday a 13 year old was killed when a car jumped a curb and hit him. The car was being chased by a Orange NJ police officer in a SUV. The initial reports claimed that the driver was in a stolen vehicle. Today doubts have been cast on this story as the owner of the vehicle said on camera (though not under oath yet) that the car was hers and was not stolen. So if the car was not stolen, then why was it reported by the media as being stolen? Surely the report was based on discussions with the Orange and East Orange police. The Mayor of Orange was on the telly today saying that this case underscores why one should never run from the police. Well perhaps, but if the car was not stolen, why was it reported as so? It seems to me that the initial reason for chasing the vehicle may well be suspect.
Governments Do Not Make Jobs

So I'm watching the news reports on the continuing riots in Paris. I call these riots rather than rebellions because in my opinion this situation is way different from say the Watts rebellion in LA. See to me, France is a white European country who may choose who they will and will not let in. As an immigrant I either like the rules or I don't. If I don't I am free to leave the same way I came. Unlike say African-Americans, brought here without ourt consent and having been here from the begininng and being more "Americans" than most others, Immigrants in France cannot make these claims. If they could then I would have to be consistent and be opposed to the land "reforms" being done in Zimbabwe and South Africa. True, they may be following the money expropriated during colonialism but this still is an immigration issue. I'm actually surprised that the police have n ot shot anyone yet, though I'm sure that is due to a policy on the part of the government. But that's not really the focus of this post. The real focus was what an Imam said:

"The government should provide jobs for the youths."

Excuse me? It seems to be endemic in certain communities of color, that the government is supposed to create jobs for people. Exactly where is this coming from? The government is charged with no such thing. The government provides for defence, and social services. It does not create jobs other than those needed to actually run the government. It would appear that many people in France, as well as elsewhere, need to come to this understanding fast. At best the government provides a framework wherein jobs can be created by private enterprise, but it does not in itself make jobs. Therefore if the Imam and the youths burning their neighbors vehicles are seeking jobs then they should be first questioning those in their communities that have business why they are not employing them. They should question why it may be that persons in thier communities do not have businesses to create the jobs in question. No matter what "promises" the state gives these communities, the state will simply be unable to "create" jobs for anyone. So
millions of Francs in damages done. Neighbors left without transportation and maybe even homes and all that has resulted is a large overtime bill for the state. Extra pay for the officers and extra hardships for the remaining poor. And do expect deportations.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Mexican Exodus

You'll note that this blog has not covered anything much on Katrina and Neew Orleans. I'm content to sit back and watch the saga unfurl. This is not really about the Hurricane but about what happens next. USA Today published an article yesteray entitled: Thousands of evacuees face eviction in which we find that the poorest and most vulnerable of Katrina's victims are facing mass evictions just as the cold weather approaches:

quote:


Posted 10/31/2005 1:23 AM Updated 10/31/2005 6:43 AM


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Thousands of evacuees face eviction
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Two months after Hurricane Katrina displaced more than 1 million people, problems with federal housing aid threaten to spawn a new wave of homelessness.
Left to right: Brandy Morris, 5, Brien'te Morris, 2, and Dominique Weathersby, 3, wait by their belongings stored in the belly of a bus. Left to right: Brandy Morris, 5, Brien'te Morris, 2, and Dominique Weathersby, 3, wait by their belongings stored in the belly of a bus.
AP

In Texas, thousands of evacuees who found shelter in apartments face eviction threats because rents are going unpaid.

In Louisiana, some evacuees are beginning to show up in homeless shelters because they haven't received federal aid or don't know how to get it. (Related story: At FEMA trailer park in La., a swirl of emotions)

Advocates for the poor say the situation will worsen this winter.

"They are the poorest folks ... and they are the ones who are going to be left with nothing," says Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "It's going to show up at homeless shelters this winter."

The housing crunch could get tighter in November, because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants to move an estimated 200,000 Katrina evacuees out of hotels as soon as possible. (Related story: Katrina, Rita victims settle in elsewhere)

That increases the need for apartments, trailers and mobile homes.

Pressure is building on FEMA to alter its policies. Two programs provide rent money directly to evacuees or reimburse local governments. But many evacuees have not received the cash or have used it for other needs. And some cities refuse to spend their own money up front.

Representatives of apartment owners who met with federal officials in Dallas on Thursday say about 15,000 Katrina evacuees in Texas alone face eviction in November for unpaid rent or for other reasons. "You face the possibility of people who rent apartments being displaced again," says Jim Arbury of the National Multi Housing Council.

FEMA spokeswoman Nicol Andrews says the agency is not considering changes. Any city that runs its own program will be reimbursed, she says.

Evacuees who have trouble using FEMA's three-month, $2,358 rent checks can get help from caseworkers. "If (landlords) choose to evict people," she says, "they're free to do that."

Houston spent its own money for apartments for more than 5,000 families and issued rent vouchers for 25,000 more, says Sharon Adams of the city's Hurricane Housing Task Force.

Dallas used private funding to house about 2,000 families for two months, but the money will run out soon.

"As callous as it sounds, our commitment to them was two months," says Celso Martinez of the Dallas mayor's office.


While this Martinez is "actual-factual" about the plight of displaced NO residents, another set of "Martinez's" are in NO working. Though the website story does not mention it, there is a great influx of Mexicans into NO to do work paying $10-17/hour. The newscast featured contractors that "hook up" over 100 people, mostly Mexicans, with contractors doing work in NO to clear debris and rebuild property.

I've long held that the problem with Illegal Immigration is not the people who come in, but the companies that pay them low wages in order to increase their profits, exploit the workers and thereby kill the local (some of whome are black) employemnt prospects. In this case it would appear that they are now paying the Mexicans, and others, nearly $20/hour (which for the South I'll assume is a good wage, but feel free to correct me). One contractor claimed that the blacks don't want to work. No, the blacks were bussed out. If there is space to house all the Mexicans and others coming in to do the work, then the black residents of the NO should have been instructed and transported back to NO to do the same work. And let me add that many of the Mexicans coming in,travelled from Texas, you know, the state where many NO residents were shipped to.

So there we have it; a combination of lack of leadership at the top and a lack of business in the middle and the wholesale disenfranchisement of those at the bottom.

Welcome to the New, Orleans.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Another Look at Segregation Laws

I'm not a fan o Mr. Thomas Sowell, nor the publication which carries his work, Capitalism Magazine. however Mr. Sowell has aquited himself quite well in a piece entitled Rosa Parks: Pursuit of Profit vs. Racism
In which he points out:

Many, if not most, municipal transit systems were privately owned in the 19th century and the private owners of these systems had no incentive to segregate the races.

These owners may have been racists themselves but they were in business to make a profit -- and you don't make a profit by alienating a lot of your customers. There was not enough market demand for Jim Crow seating on municipal transit to bring it about...

The incentives of the economic system and the incentives of the political system were not only different, they clashed. Private owners of streetcar, bus, and railroad companies in the South lobbied against the Jim Crow laws while these laws were being written, challenged them in the courts after the laws were passed, and then dragged their feet in enforcing those laws after they were upheld by the courts.

These tactics delayed the enforcement of Jim Crow seating laws for years in some places. Then company employees began to be arrested for not enforcing such laws and at least one president of a streetcar company was threatened with jail if he didn't comply.

None of this resistance was based on a desire for civil rights for blacks. It was based on a fear of losing money if racial segregation caused black customers to use public transportation less often than they would have in the absence of this affront."


The above is very important to understand in light of our modern day situation. The racist will take your money and smile while doing it. Integration is nothing but a shell game whereby blacks pay other people for services and feel "good" about doing so but feel that doing business with there own is parochial or closed minded. The domination of "other people' doing business in black neighborhoods or owning rental property in black neighborhoods are clear examples of what Mr. Sowell is talking about.

This also underscored the philosophy that slavery itself was abolished because it was soon to be a nonfeasable economic situation. Slaves by thier nature depress wages since you don't need to pay poor whites anything that a slave could do. Furthermore; the mechanization of crop farming would reduce the need for large numbers of slaves. The problem had been what to do with the slave, which is why the so called "Great Emancipator" wanted to ship the Africans set free by the Emancipation Proclamation to Texas. Failing that, blacks became a marginalized group to be exploited economically as owners realized that by keeping a monopoly on business ownership in white hands and keeping blacks in a state of consumption, there would be guaranteed income from one section of the black community,that being the middle class, and ample free labour in the form of prison labour, from another segment, the black poor.

Remember, he (or she) that does business with you still may hate you.

links:
http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4457
What Is Wrong With A Segment of Our Youth?

If you don't know, a man was shot yesterday after confronting two "kids" who threw eggs at his vehicle. Yes, let me repeat this. A man was shot by two "kids" who threw eggs at his vehicle. Apparently after his vehicle was hit, he chased after the kids who ran into a building and then shot the driver. Now when I first heard the report I thought the driver of the vehicle had shot the kids. But NO, the kids, who had vandalized his property took offense to the man asking them to clean off his car and shot him. These "kids" were 14 and 15 years old and BLACK. Exactly what kind of parenting did they have that made them think it was OK to shoot someone whose property they were caught vandalizing? What kind of logic were they using to suppose that shooting the man was a better outcome than just cleaning the vehicle? I'm not even going to entertain the thought that the vehicle driver should not have come out of his car. You want to know why? because he and the rest of the citizens should not have succumb to these thugs.

What possible reason did they have for this? It wasn't poverty. They weren't killing to get a buck or steal a car to sell to a chop shop. They didn't need the car for shelter. No they thought vandalizing his vehicle was fun. They thought shooting the man was justified 'cause they "take no shorts." they "Take no disrespect."

Well how about you take a needle to the arm. Does that sound harsh? I don't think so. You make a bad choice in who you have unprotected sex with, you die. No different, Bad choice, Death sentance.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks: But She Sat!

Yesterday Rosa Parks, the symbol of the 50's Civil Rights Movement, died at a ripe old age. Everywhere we are hearing how her bold move to sit in a segregated bus "ignited" the Civil Rights Movement. without disrespecting Egun Parks I would like to put her actions into a different perspective. The movie "The Barber Shop" sparked controversy when one of it's characters minimized Rosa Parks actions that fateful day. But students of history know that while the comment may have been crude, it was bassed in fact. The fact of the matter is that others before Rosa Parks had in fact sat in the face of the same order. Civil Rights organizations chose not to make those incidences rallying points because of some "character flaw" in the oppressed individual. One such individual was a single mother of the "lower economic class" to take a phrase from Bill Cosby. The leadership at that time did not feel that such a person would be "right" for a challenge to the segregation laws in Montgomery Al.

This is significant because it exposes a few overlooked issues. First there was already a movement, however flawed,against the Montgomery segregation laws. Also said movement involved many women whome are usually overlooked in favor of men, MLK Jr. in particular. Lastly, the simmerling class issues within black communities that deemed a single mother as being not 'suitable" to represent resistance to segregation.

Thus, while we honor Egun Parks for being bold when so many were not we should think on those others who's acts of defiance were never reported on, who probably died in the woods somewhere on some tree, or like Emmett Till, found themselves in a river. These people also deserve recognitions just as the "unknown soldiers" are recognized. We should also address the class problem in Black communities where we do not see the crimes done to our poorer bretheren as being "not as bad" as one done to someone of "higher standing."

So I salute Egun Parks for being one of many who resisted injustice in their own way.

Ase-O!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Religion as Mind and body Control

This evening while reading the NY Times online I stumbled across an article entitled:Afghan Court Gives Editor 2-Year Term for Blasphemy. The general point was that the "conservatives" of that country wanted to follow Sharia and put the man to death for writing an article about Apostacy. In his article he claimed that Apostacy was taboo but not against Sharia. To be honest I have no idea whether or not Apostacy is against Sharia but I'll take the claim at face value. But this commentary is not really about the event but rather the idea that a person should be put to death for either questioning a religious tenet or for abandoning the "faith" of a particular society.

What purpose does killing a person for renouncing Islam serve? Really? Is God threatened by one of it's creations deciding not to believe in the particular path that his or her society laid out to deal with it? Or is it really that the society or the religion is actually serving the wishes of the weak minded and weak willed of that society? Surely if apostacy was such a threat to God or it's created material world, God would, being omnipotent, eliminate that person from existance. But that does not happen. There are any number of Islamic apostates that are walking around with God's full knowledge and the universe as we know it has not collapsed.

Therefore, if God is not so threatened by these Apostates, then it means that some other being is threatened. That being is man. And I mean man as in the male species. It is clear that the killing of the Apostate individual is an act of social control meant to keep the rest of society in line. After all, if someone can renounce the religion and live, then what would stop him or her from challenging the authority of so called religious leaders? Of course this is exactly what is feared. Thus the idea that the apostate must be killed is not a rule that serves God but rather the egos and thirst for power of the Apostate's executioner.

It is interesting that in other religions such as Buddhhism and my own, Ifa, does not attempt to stifle the questioning individual. The individual is free to believe or not believe. In Ifa it is the individual that threatens him or herself by not observing the religious obligations. The Orisa, agents of God (Olodumare) are their to aid the individual to achieve and maintain Iwa Pele (good character). It is recognized that even "believers" can be mistaken. The Ifa Corpus has many examples of characters doing good or ill by following or not following the advice of Ifa. Therefore it is not that the age of the religions are the cause of the apparent egoism and power trips of "conservatives" it is that there are deeply flawed outgrowths from Islam's roots that have allowed men to do nothing but oppress women (while having sex with boys as is done in Afghanistan)and do nothing to move their societies forward.

Ultimately a religion that stoops to violence and killing in order to maintain control of it's members is a religion in serious need of reformation.