Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

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."

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:

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]


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:


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.

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.