Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Thursday, August 25, 2005

BS in the Name of Christ

So I've been really busy and unable to post for a while. I even missed my Garvey Quote for his birthday. However, that which I did do on August 17th makes up for it by far.

Anyway this post is a result of the non-sense that I find myself reading about coming from certain Christian quarters. I thought the whole Intelligent Design thing was perhaps the silliest thing that a good number of Christians have come up with to attempt to get Christian Creationism (there are other creation stories out there) taught in classrooms. But more nasty things appear on the horizon as Pat Robertson spewed his hatred of Venezuela's head of state. Says Robertson:

Thanks, Dale. If you look back just a few years, there was a popular coup that overthrew him; and what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing; and as a result, within about 48 hours, that coup was broken, Chavez was back in power. But we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent. I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger, and this is in our sphere of influence, so we can’t let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, and we have other doctrines that we have announced, and without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another 200-billion-dollar war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

Commandments be damned!! Lets commit murder seeing as how we covet his oil and tell all kinds of Lies in order to try to get him ousted from office. I guess Robertson has no clue about democracy given that in this Christian country a president can take office without the majority of votes nor can that president be re-called or have a referendum called to remove him from office. Oh no, the fact that Chavez was elected and confirmed by the majority of the people in his country is a sign of a dictator.

To prove that such idiocy in Christendom is not limited to old white men, one Chavannes Jeune in Haiti is running for presidency of Haiti stating:

eune believes his Christianity will positively influence Haiti if he is elected. “Good, solid Christian values like justice, truth, transparency and integrity are lacking in Haiti, so I think that with the gift of God and the help of God, I can bring these things to my country.”

Bhy what arrogance does this man assert and co-opt such notions as Justice, Truth, Transparency and integrity as being the providence of Christianity?

That article that hosted the defaming statement is chock full of other defamatory statements such as:

On Aug. 14, 1791, a black slave and witch doctor named Boukman led Haitian slaves in a voodoo ritual, drinking the blood of a sacrificed pig to form a pact with the devil. The slaves agreed to serve Satan for 200 years in exchange for freedom from French colonizers who ruled their island. Beginning on Aug. 22, 1791, the slaves rose up against the French, and by Jan. 1, 1804, they declared Haiti the world's first independent black republic

It is of little wonder that the "intelligent Design" proponents are so STUPID since they rely on Christian publications such as this to "inform" themselves on world history. Boukman was what was referred to as a Hougan or Papaloa, using local vernacular, He would also be called a Babaloa which would be closer to the Yoruba root of the word as "Baba" is the yoruba word for father as Papa is the local slang for father. a Loa is the Haitian term for the Orisa, what the Yoruba call messengers of God whom they (and I) call Olodumare. the Babaloa is the equivalent of the Babalawo of the Ifa religion which the symbolic side of Haitian Vodun is based upon. a Babalawo is literally the father of wisdom. This wisdom is gained by gathering information from Orisa which is why the Haitian reference of Babloa is linguistically and practically derived from the Yoroba. This is important to understand because there is no devil in Yoruba theology. Therefore it is impossible for Boukman to have "made a pact" with the devil since he could not have believed in a devil as Christians understand the figure.

The second problem is the sensational "drinking of blood of the pig. I don't see anyone calling people who eat rare meat names. I don't see anyone critiqing Christians for symbolic blood drinking they do for communion.

I see that it is asking too much for a Christian publication to actually get their facts straight when discussing religion (even thier own). Earlier I discussed an article in which a black Christian was asking that so called "liberals" stop being intolerant and bigoted towards Christians. He should understand that such articles as these and other offenses are the sole reason for the hostilities that Christians get from so called "liberals." If Christians are serious about wishing to not treated hostily then they should deal first and foremost with these types of articles and organizations.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Marcus Garvey's Birthday Today

Today is Marcus Garvey's Birthday. I have a writeup in the works and will post it later.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Stuff Palestinians Get Shot At For

Today the NY Times reports that:

The army and the police took control of Neve Dekalim early today, but there were clashes later in the day. They arrested 48 demonstrators who threw stones and eggs at officers trying to ensure that moving vans could enter for those residents who wanted to leave.

No ones been shot, but I do recall Palestinians getting shot at for throwing stones at the Israeli military.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Isn't It Ironic?

For those who have been living under a rock, Israel is evicting Jews from the Gaza Strip this week. Now here's what is sooooo ironic about this: Last night on ABC World News this Weekend we saw a woman saying how it was wrong for her to be evicted to make room for Palestinians. Never mind that the state of Israel exists because the same thing was done to Palestinians. Oh, but the irony continues! sympathisers for the settlers have snuck into the strip and say they will put up a fight. Hmmm.. This sounds like an Intifada! Oh but it gets even more ironic!! How about a member of the Israeli security forces going on a killing spree? And on TV we see Jews, American Jews at that, claiming "It is our land and we aren't going anywhere! You have to hold on to what's yours!"


It would seem to me that the very actions being seen here by Jews in Israel only proves the correctness of the Palestinian position, it's rhetoric and even it's violence. If there is indeed violence in the next two days when Israeli security forces have to physically remove the settlers, then Israelis woudl have lost any and all moral high ground they may have had with any thinking people who see the clear parallels.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Niger Cont.

Yesterday I discussed how the Starvation in Niger is our, as in all Black peoples, problem. The AP highlighted an issue that was brought up by the BBC last week, that there is indeed food in Niger, it just costs too much for the poor, a large percentage of the population, to purchase. In an article entitled Niger's market filled with food but unaffordable for the poor we find the following:

While mothers continue to bring children weak with hunger to feeding centers, market stalls are filled with food — but at prices well out of the reach of many in this desperately poor nation.

"It is the government's job to deal with the hungry, we the traders are here for business," said Ibrahim Baye, who sells millet, a staple in Niger, at a Maradi market.

The well-stocked markets are deceptive. The food shortage is real. Last year locusts, in the worst invasion in 15 years, ravaged 7,000 square miles of Niger farmland. That and a subsequent drought cut cereal production by 15% last year, according to the United Nations.

Hunger was a problem in Niger even before the locusts and drought. Today, more than a third of the nearly 12 million people in Niger face severe food shortages. Children are most at risk.

On Tuesday, Baye shooed away beggars dressed in rags and staring at the heaped food on display. A friend sitting with him who gave only one name, Louali, said the grains on display had been stockpiled "and traders wait until the lean season to sell at double its price."

Prices have dramatically increased. A bag of 220 pounds of millet went from $23 to $44.

Few can afford that in the second-poorest nation in the world, where 64% of the people survive on less than $1 a day.

hmmmmm. I see. So it is the job of government to deal with the hungry. Fair enough. But since the govt. is clearly unable to do so who should pick up the slack? Oh yes,, the white foreigners. Let's shoo our hungry women and children away and let the white folks feed them. I mean we got profits to make!!!

I think I get it now. Allah Be praised! Here's a model Muslim for us.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

RE: The Religious Left Fights Back

Over the weekend I stumbled across a piece on Alternet by Von Jones entitled ""> The Religious Left Fights Back. In this piece there was a reference to the "religious bigotry" that "lefties" apparently harbor towards those of practicing faith:

He also wants to challenge the Left's chronic and toxic bias against religious feeling, expression and people.

Lerner hopes to end "religio-phobia among progressives." And such efforts will not be welcome among a great many rabidly secular progressives.

As for me, I will be praying for the Rabbi's success. I am an African-American Christian who was raised in the American heartland. When I moved to the cosmopolitan coasts of Connecticut, and later California, I ran headlong into shocking levels of anti-religious bigotry among progressives.

I literally have had liberals laugh in my face when I told them I was a Christian. For awhile, I felt self-conscious about telling other activists that I preferred not to meet on Sunday mornings, because I wanted to go to church.

It is still commonplace to hear so-called radicals stereotyping all religious people as stupid dupes -- and spitting out the word "Christian" as if it were an insult or the name of a disease. I thought progressives were supposed to be the standard-bearers of tolerance and inclusion.

He then goes on to discuss his experiences in the black church in the south proudly proclaiming that:

But one key fact seems to escape the notice of today's activist crowd. The champions of the civil rights struggle didn't come marching out of shopping centers in South. Or libraries. Or high school gymnasiums.

To face the attack dogs, to face the fire-hoses, to face the billy-clubs, these heroes and she-roes came marching boldly out of church-houses. And they were singing church songs. They set an example of courage and sacrifice that will endure for the ages. And as they did it, they prayed on wooden pews in the name of a Nazarene carpenter named Jesus.

I think that Von Jones presents us with a very distorted idea of the black church as well as the origins of so called "religious bigotry" among liberals. While I cannot speak for all so called "religious bigots" I can speak for those who know what I know.

I would like to first address the issue of the Black church. While indeed the black church was often at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement, it was not always there. A cursory reading of the "letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Dr. King Jr. would show that a great many Christians were not so moved to stand up to Jim Crow. It would seem to me that this shows that in many instances it was the fact of discrimination and not some inherent morality of the Black Church that drove blacks to stand up to Jim Crow. Other examples of this would be the Haitian Independence movement, which was lead by a Hougan (So called Voodoo priest) or the Quilombos of Brazil or Maroons of Jamaica, none of whom was lead by Christians but all of whom were movements of Black people against oppression. These facts underscore a fact that is uncomfortable to most, Black Americans are Christian largely because their former owners/captors were. In places where Africans were sold to Muslim slaveholders, those Africans became Muslims. A great example of this phenomenon would be a country such as Nigeria where the population is pretty much evenly divided between Christians and Muslims, a legacy of the two colonial influences in that country. Therefore it is pretty specious to argue that somehow it was the Black Church, per se, that was the engine of change in the black community. Fact is, regardless of religious institution, where blacks wanted freedom, they used whatever tool or ideology worked for them.

The second issue with the Black Church, which is also endemic to White Churches, is the rife bigotry they have towards non-believers. I cannot count the number of times I have been personally insulted by Black Christians because I was not a Christian. It is simply hypocritical to belong to a faith that regularly damns and otherwise belittle persons who do not agree with the religion while at the same time calling for "liberals' to be more tolerant. Again, I know of many likeable, liberal Christians who have no problem sitting in a pew while a Reverend says that the only way to salvation is through Christ. These persons will say that the Reverend didn't say anything about being "damned" but it is clear that if there is one way to being "saved" then the rest of us are in for a subterranean no-joy ride for eternity. It is almost as if such Christians do not think we can understand the logic of the material presented at churches.

Let me move away from the Black Church and refocus on Christianity in general. One of the big problems that some of us "religious bigots" have is that we know the sources of the religion. We know that the Commandments were lifted from the Egyptian Oracles of Maat. We know that the Jesus story is also lifted from the Ancient Egyptian Mystery System. We know that there is Ancient Egyptian symbolism throughout the Books of Moses as well as much of what is called the New Testament. We find it particularly insulting when Egyptian Mysteries are passed off as Christian property, when it is not and were are further insulted by lay people who insist they know more than people who have dedicated their lives to the study of said systems. This particular issue underscores the larger issue of Christians co-opting things and presenting them as "their own" while simultaneously devaluing the origins of those ideas or of belief systems that share those ideas. For example I like to tell people that Jesus believed in Karma. Many Christians, especially those of "lesser knowledge" will swear up and down that Jesus did not believe in such pagan things, yet there he is saying "as ye sow, so shall ye reap." Is that not Karma?

This co-option of other peoples or faiths ideas and presenting it as ones own is a large reason why many "liberals" do not care much for religion. Such a thing is called plagiarism and a great many of us can spot a fraud when we see it. The issue is that Christians do not like being told that they have been sold recycled goods. It cuts to the very core of who they are and what they want from their faith and they get defensive about it as anyone would. However, I find it disingenuous to call the very people who are pointing out the flaws in Christian doctrine bigots when they are not bigoted at all (though I can't speak for all of them).

Lastly Van Jones states:
Number two: At the same time, any approach that fails to honor and embrace the positive contributions of religiously inspired people is also wrong-headed, and it foolishly and needlessly shuts progressives off from our own history, achievements and present sources of vital support.

I disagree with this statement because it is the "religiously inspired" person that injects religion into their "positive contribution." Where many of us may say "It was the right thing to do." The religious person says "God moved me to...." Why? Why can't it simply be "the right thing to do?" There is a portion of the Bible in which a story is told of a rich man and a poor man who go to the temple. The rich man proclaims loudly how he thanked God for what he had and his life and how he wasn't low. He made a great show of his offerings. Meanwhile there was a poor many who humbly went to the temple, went over to the corner and gave the little offering he could and quietly made his prayer. It was said that the offering and prayer of the poor quiet man was of more value to God than the one who made a big scene. You would think that Christians, liberal or not would take note of that story.
Niger: Our Problem

Anyone who has been paying attention and watching something other than US Newscasts, well at least ABC and affiliates, knows that there is a sever drought going on in Niger, a land locked country in North West Africa. The drought is so bad that there are cattle carcasses all ovger the place and nomads are eating rotting meat in order to survive long enough to make it to the aide centers set up by various agencies. Does any of this sound familiar? We've been here before. Many times before.

As usual when I watch the sad state on the BBC, I see white, mostly European aid workers giving speeches about how this could have been averted and how they need more supplies. Stuff we have heard before. I'm not going to go into a diatribe about the presence of white aide workers in the country because to be honest they are doing something that we, blacks, have not been.

I am old enough to remember the Live Aid concert which gave us the song "We are the World." In which musicians got us to send money and raise awareness for the then plight of Ethiopians. Since then Ethiopians, outside of Rastafarian circles, are synonymous with starvation and its attendant symptoms in the minds of many Americans. That was 20 years and 8 months ago. Today we see that absolutley NOTHING has changed in the ability of Africa to help itself and prevent such tragedies from occuring. What is the point of the AU if it cannot organize itself enough to prevent mass starvation? Why is it that once again an African country must put it's hand out and beg for help from former colonizers in order to feed it's population? Just what exactly are these leaders doing?

Let's dig even further, Why are some of the people in Niger still herding cattle as their major supply of food in an environment that is increasingly hostile to that way of life? Why in 2005 do the people only have enough grain for x, amount of days, when the technology is available to extend such supplies for months? Why are there perhaps millions of black men, women and children apparently underemployed when the 52 governments in Africa could be putting them to work to raise and store enough foodstuffs to be able to provide for such an event as is going on in Niger?

I fear that not a single "leader" will suggest, much less implement, a change of course for Africa after this latest continental shame. And a continental shame is what it is. We, and especailly these so called leaders should be shamed, for allowing this to occur. No, we cannot control nature. We cannot prevent drought or heavy rain. However, we are intelligent human beings that can learn from our past and plan for the future. The rains or lack thereof may not have been preventable, but the starvation that resulted was indeed preventable and the mass begging of international aid agencies was preventable. However, as I have been pointing out, the knowledge that Aide agencies will step in and do what the "leadership" was supposed to be doing, is partially the reason why the "leaders" are not doing any leading.

-Garvey's Ghost