Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dear Mr. Mugabe

Dear Mr. Mugabe:

I am not a CIA, MI5 , MOSSAD or any other national stooge. I am not an apologist for England or the UN or the World Bank or IMF. Nor do I suppose to know and fully understand all that entails running a country. I am simply a Pan-Africanist who has a deep concern over the happenings in the country over which you preside. I was a mere child when you liberated your country from the grip of colonialism. In fact it was Bob Marley's seminal work, Survival that clued me in to the goings on in that country. This was 1989 and I was a freshman at Michigan State University. I became a staunch supporter of the ANC, PAC and all African liberation movements. I agreed with and continue to agree with the reclamation of land for the African with absolutely no compensation for the Europeans who are there regardless of where they were born. When England, under Tony Blair used the Commonwealth to isolate you from the world over this issue, I was in full support of your position.
I say this so that you would understand my perspective and why I write this letter to you.

Last week I was horrified to see reports that you had authorised your government to tear down housing and businesses of mostly, if not exclusively poor people. It was claimed that these areas are full of crime and a black market that does not pay into the government coffers. I understand that as president, you must make hard decisions every day regarding the development of your country but I believe you have made a grave error in judgment. Surely you know, as most watchers outside your country knows, that much of your population is poor and that poverty can be a catalyst for varied crimes and black markets. Perhaps I missed the reports, or perhaps it simply went unpublished, regarding the plans you have to address the rampant poverty in your country that does not include making people homeless and causing the deaths of citizens with bulldozers.

I would also like to know how you plan on dealing with political parties. While I fully understand the fact that Britain and other countries are helping to create unrest in your country, sure you know that you cannot be president for ever. What are your plans for when you die? Clearly you know that your citizens will not accept an oppointed president. Surely you do not want chaos to erupt upon your death. Again, perhaps it simply has not been reported on, but I'd like to know how you plan on dealing with political parties and the eventual transition to a non-Mugabe government. For the good of the people, I hope this plan has been finalised and in the implementation stages as you do not have much longer to live. I would suggest that you have some election where you are not elected, sometime in the near future. In fact you should not even run but act as an elder statesman and Griot (or whatever culturally relevant term applies) as to remind the citizens of where they have come from.

Lastly, As I indicated, I am in full support of the land reclamation program, however, from various reports, which I admit may well be biased, the settling of the land has not gone smoothly at all. I support your ban against genetically altered seeds, but I would like to know how you plan on getting the country back on track to self sustainablity. Sometimes when we are in positions where we do not have to worry about the necessities of life such as food, water and shelter, we forget that there are millions or people who are struggling daily for these things. I would have preferred you not have made the trip to the Vatican to pay homage to some white man on your country's dime and put that m oney into the local economy. But that is my opinion.

Again, I do not suppose to know all the details of what is going on in your country, but the few things that do trickle out are not good. I know that in doing business with the Chinese you do not have to have business or aid tied to the political whims of the US or Europe. However; I would strongly suggest that you take a long view of the situation in your country and realize that there is more to rule than tough talk to Europe, marginalizing of the opposition and running down shanties.

Thank you.
Sondjata K. Olatunji
Garvey's Ghost.
Eminent Domain

Today the Supreme Court decided that local governments can seize homes and businesses of private citizens and turn them over to private developers.

In a case with nationwide implications, the court ruled, 5 to 4, against a group of homeowners in New London, Conn., who have resisted the city's plans to demolish their working-class homes near the Thames River to make way for an office building, riverfront hotel and other commercial activities.

The majority held that, just as government has the constitutional power of eminent domain to acquire private property to clear slums or to build roads, bridges, airports and other facilities to benefit the public, it can sometimes do so for private developers if the latters' projects also serve a public good.

Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted governmental function, and there is no principled way of distinguishing it from the other public purposes the court has recognized." The court's ruling is certain to be studied from coast to coast, since similar conflicts between owners of homes and small businesses and development-minded officials have arisen in other locales.

Justice O'Connor dissented along with Clarence Thomas (Wow! he got one right):

"The specter of condemnation hangs over all property," she wrote. "Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private property, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," she wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.

"As for the victims," Justice O'Connor went on, "the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result."

And this is not the first time that this has happened. back in November 2000,In Missisippi, 27 acres belonging to a black family, the Archies, was threatened with eminent domain to make a automobile plant for Nissan. The state lost it's case however; had this case been put before the Miss. Supreme Court under the current decision, the Archies would be out on thier behinds with no recourse.

It is hard to argue against O'Connor. So long as the state can say there is some public good, you can have your property taken. How did a majority of justices miss this? They may not want people in California to use Marijuana for medical reasons but with a decision like this it is clear they are smoking something themselves.


Friday, June 17, 2005

It Can't Be Race

The title references the common sentiment of whites and so called "conservative" blacks when confronted about various issues affecting black people that are the caused directly by white people. Today the NY Times posted an article entitled Race a Factor in Job Offers for Ex-Convicts In which it is shown that white canidates with felony drug possesion charges are more likely to receive job offers than blacks presented with the same background:

Black men whose job applications stated that they had spent time in prison were only about one-third as likely as white men with similar applications to get a positive response.

For every 10 white men without convictions who got a job offer or callback, more than 7 white men with prison records also did, the study found. But the difference grew far larger for black applicants: For every 10 black men without criminal convictions, only about 3 with records got offers or callbacks.

"It takes a black ex-offender three times as long to receive a callback or a job offer," said Devah Pager, an assistant professor of sociology and one of the study's two authors.

Even if you go the personal responsibility route and say that haveing been involved with drugs "you get what you deserve" the fact that even black men who have not been convicted of any crimwe still only get job offers 30% of the time.

It is clearly known that upwards of 50% of black men in NYC are unemployed, clearly white employers are discriminating against black males when hiring decisions are being made.

On the other hand I want to haark back to the words of warning given to us by Marcus Garvey. He told us clearly that the white majority, when faced with tough economic times, would choose to employ their own rather than blacks. Garvey was clearly right in this regard. This underscores the need for black business and links with the Caribbean and Africa so that we do not have to depend on asking white people for jobs.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Pride Before The Fall: Schiavo's Autopsy

In news that I and others knew was coming, the New York Times reported that the autopsy report indicated that:

particularly the findings that she had irreversible brain damage and was blind...
With the autopsy concluding that no treatment could have improved her condition and that she was unaware of her surroundings when her feeding tube was removed,...

To this Dr. Bill Frist, who was shown on National Television stating that based on his viewing of a videotape:

With the autopsy concluding that no treatment could have improved her condition and that she was unaware of her surroundings when her feeding tube was removed,

Tom Delay another Devil on the Senate said:

With the autopsy concluding that no treatment could have improved her condition and that she was unaware of her surroundings when her feeding tube was removed,

These two idiots do not even have the decency to publicay admit they were wrong. NOt kinda wrong, not mis-informed but simply WRONG. The Democrats should IMMEDIATELY hire a company to make advertisements on how dead wrong these individuals were. IMMEDIATELY. If these two individuals make it back into office after this then Americans are simply stupider than rocks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Acting White
Back in December of last year a publication came out discussing the "Burden of Acting White" which sought to disporve the notion that blacks have some cultural bias against academic performance. I had serious issues with the paper, chief of which were that no one claimed that black culture was against academic performance, but that specific portions of the black population sees academic performance as "white" or at a minimum "not cool." It was with this in mind that I found the following article in the Washington Post entitled The Price of Acting White which contained the following:

The phenomenon is one reason some social thinkers give to help explain at least a portion of the persistent black-white achievement gap in school and in later life. Popularity-conscious young blacks, afraid of being seen as acting white, steer clear of behaviors that could pay dividends in the future, including doing well in school, Fryer said. At the same time, the desire to be popular pushes many whites to excel in the classroom, enhancing their future prospects.

Certainly that's what the data suggest is happening, Fryer said. Among white teens, Fryer and Torelli found that better grades equaled greater popularity, with straight-A students having far more same-race friends than those who were B students, who in turn had more friends than C or D students. But among blacks and especially Hispanics who attend public schools with a mix of racial and ethnic groups, that pattern was reversed: The best and brightest academically were significantly less popular than classmates of their race or ethnic group with lower grade point averages.

"For blacks, higher achievement is associated with modestly higher popularity until a grade point average of 3.5 [a B+ average], then the slope turns negative," Fryer and Torelli wrote in a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. A black student who's gotten all A's has, on average, 1.5 fewer same-race friends than a straight-A white student. Among Hispanics, there is little change in popularity until a student's average rises above a C+, at which point it plummets. A Hispanic student with all A's is the least popular of all Hispanic students, and has three fewer friends than a typical white student with a 4.0 grade point average...

What I find most significant was that this particular study went down the grade scale whereas the other study appeared to concentrate on relatively high achievers where as this study shows, and I argued, there is less contact with people who may hold attitudes regarding "acting white".

The article also had this very interesting line:

Why is "acting white" absent in mostly black schools?

That's easy, said Fryer, who is African American. He recalled his own experience growing up and attending predominantly black schools in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Dallas. "We didn't act white -- we didn't know what that was," he said, stressing that he prefers data to anecdote. "There were no white kids around."

So then the question becomes what is "Acting White"? If such behaviour is 'unknown" in all black schools, then are we discussing an issue of popularity which would negate the very "acting white" concept as was argued by the previous study?

I guess we are going to be in for the battle of the research.


Monday, June 13, 2005

The Unthinking Among Us

Today I need to take a break from the usual suspects and deal with some of our own. Since the rise of the Bush regime sellout Uncle Tom Negroes have had a field day. They have been given voice by various media outlets and funding by various "conservative" interests. Anf because they have been able to hijack portions of the Pan-Africanist and Nationalist platform, to the unitiated they sound good. But like the cream filled chocolate egg at easter, the inside is all mush. Before I get to the two persons who have earned my ire for the week, I need to address a few people closer to home.

I recently had a discussion on a messageboard in which two customs of various African people were critiqued. The first issue was one that made the New York Times recently, in which it was revealed that in Mozambique some women who are widowed were expected to hhave sex with one of the deceased husband's male relatives. The overall reason was so that the husband's spirit can leave the village secure in the knowlegde that his wife will be taken care of. The problem now of course is that with HIV-AIDS running rampant in Africa, such an arrangement can be a death sentance for a woman. I offered a critique of the practice in which I respected the concept of the widow being taken care of by the husband's family but I suggested alternative means to this end without the risk of HIV infection or the case that the woman did not want to be "taken care of" by that particular (or any particular) male. I said that perhaps the widow should be taken in by the family (male or female) and be considered a sister or whatever. Then she could decide that she want's to be with one of her husband's male relative or remarry into another family just as she had done when she had married her now deceased husband. Thus the extended family is kept intact and the womans right to decide what to do with herself is upheld.

To this discussion I was told that I was thinking as a Westerner, with no regard to "African traditions." Mind you this person did not once even make a suggestion as to how to deal with the situation at hand. But to make matters worse, once I mentioned "Female Circumcision" AKA FGM. This person made the usual claims about it helping reduce Masturbation and how it was healthy for the woman. Furthermore, instead of discussing female circumcision, we should discuss male circumcision and the various medical practices in American society.

Well not for nothing, but Western mutilization was not the topic of discussion. But this was a usual trend whereby critiqing African customs, even when offering alternatives, will lead some to defend the indefensible. It was even suggested that I didn't know what I was talking about. I mean never mind the number of women who have been documented having "circumcision" performed on them.

This is a really bad thing that we have in the ATR-Nationalist community. This tendancy by some to defend any and everything African. As if we are perfect when that is clearly not the case. If we were perfect we simply would not have sold each other into slavery. We would not have been subject to the cruelty of Colonialism. Millions would not have died in the Congo. We would have had no need for Garvey, Cabral, Tubman or Sojourner. No Toussaint and Haiti would have no Ton Ton Macoutes. No we need to admit that we are flawed like everyone else and that there are things we need to change.

That brings me to the related issue of stagnation of African culture. It has always annoyed me that European art can be anything from Picaso to things found in MOMA. Yet African Art (which technically should be anything created by an African from an African perspetive-and there are many), has been reduced to "primitive" art. If must be a carved Antelope or mask. Should that African artist stray from those motifs then he or she is being European. Thus African culture becomes stagnant. Ever looking back and not moving forward. Hopefully we will change this attitude and move our people forward while respecting our past and carrying on the best of it, and leaving behind that which is no longer useful or relevant. Now onto the Sellouts.

For some reason I went over to Capitalism Magazine. Not sure why but lo and behold I find ol' Walter "Willy" Williams still going on strong with his nonsense. A summary for the the article entitled Victimhood: Rhetoric or Reality states:

Summary: Since black politicians and the civil rights establishment preach victimhood to blacks, I'd prefer that they be more explicit when they appear in public fora. Were they to be so, saying racists are responsible for black illegitimacy, blacks preying on other blacks and black family breakdown, their victimhood message would be revealed as idiotic.

I have noticed a pattern here: No one wants to actually name names. If a black politician is out there actually saying that racists are directly responsible for blakc on black violence, black family breakdown or black illigitimacy, then put their name up there and then give them the space to rebutt the actual acusation. But this never happens because what Willy Williams is doing is taking soundbites of various people and the misstatements of laypersons and making it into the entire message of those of us who hold the government, corporate interests and individuals to task for thier negative influences on our communities.

Willy Williams does us a favor by laying out some stats which for the sake of argument we'll assume to be true:

Across the U.S., black males represent up to 70 percent of prison populations. Are they in prison for crimes against whites? To the contrary, their victims are primarily other blacks. Department of Justice statistics for 2001 show that in nearly 80 percent of violent crimes against blacks, both the victim and the perpetrator were the same race. In other words, it's not Reaganites, Bush supporters, right-wing ideologues or the Klan causing blacks to live in fear of their lives and property and making their neighborhoods economic wastelands.

What about the decline of the black family? In 1960, only 28 percent of black females between the ages of 15 and 44 were never married.

Today, it's 56 percent. In 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was 19 percent, in 1960, 22 percent, and today, it's 70 percent. Some argue that the state of the black family is the result of the legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty. That has to be nonsense. A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families, comprised of two parents and children. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households had two parents.

Does anyone see a particular pattern here? No? Notice the dates on the decline of the black family there is a bright line at 1960. What was going on in that time? Did we not at that point start to get into the implementation of Brown v. Board? Do we have the Voting Rights Acts (I and II)? What about the assasination of Dr. King, Malcolm X, Then the explosion of drugs into black communities in the 70's with Heroin? The Rockefeller Drug laws that put millions of black people in jails for simply possesing drugs. Not that we are condoning the sale or possesssion of drugs but when it is clear that rockefeller drug laws were being used to incarcerate blacks and not whites who make up the vast majority of users AND sellers, you can't just pretend that it's simply a matter of personal responsibility.

We also have, unprecedented in any time in human history a media machine that can infiltrate the home of all but the most strict parents; and even then...

No, Willy Williams would have us believe that somehow the skyrocketing black on black crime, and soaring out of wedlock children just simply happened. There were no factors. People are just robots. But let's put this question up to Willy Williams. Since, out of all the organizations and types of black folks around, Nationalists and Pan-Africanists have been talking up personal responsibility, black business creation and strong black family, why hasn't he taken up the issue of why the government made such a great effort to kill off or otherwise marginalize those individuals and organizations? He does not because "we too black." He along with Thomas Sowell and thier ilk are too busy trying to get noticed and "respected" by white people ( Mr. Willy Williams has already said as much). People like him are the type that get bent out of shape every December 26, when we are celebrating Kwanzaa. They are the ones who you don't see at certain cultural events. He knows nothing about what we folks are doing because he's too busy trying to get asked questions 'that white people get asked". See the Willy Williams of the world don't like it when we detail and document how white institutions work in opposition to black progress, in part by giving space to those who we would have put in check ourselves. See It's easy to cut people down, it's always harder to build a program to build them up.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Revenge of the Sellouts Episode 2

Having just recently recovered from the shock of Apple Computer ditching the PPC line of CPU's for Intel's offerings, I had the great misfortune of being a witness to one of the worst political show in Black America in many many decades. I had always thought it could not get much worse than Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, but I was sadly mistaken. The US Senate approved Justice Janice Brown to the State Circuit of Appeals for the District of Columbia by a 56-43 vote with a single yes vote from Democrat Nelson of Nebraska. Every single Republican in the Senate voted yes to this woman. I'm not going to get into the gender or explicit race issue here except to say that the Bush administration has been craftily using race and gender against Democrats in such a way to paint Democrats as against women and blacks.

However; Just as I did with Condoleezza Rice's appointment to Secretary of State, I do not believe that Justice Brown is competent to be a judge simply based on her own statements on record. The New York Times posted an article entitled: Latest Confirmed Nominee Sees Slavery in Liberalism in which Brown-Rogers is quoted as saying some incredibly stupid and in-accurate comments, non of which were even challenged. These comments include:

"In the heyday of liberal democracy, all roads lead to slavery," she has warned in speeches. Society and the courts have turned away from the founders' emphasis on personal responsibility, she has argued, toward a culture of government regulation and dependency that threatens fundamental freedoms.

"We no longer find slavery abhorrent," she told the conservative Federalist Society a few years ago. "We embrace it." She explained in another speech, "If we can invoke no ultimate limits on the power of government, a democracy is inevitably transformed into a kleptocracy - a license to steal, a warrant for oppression."

This line of thinking was recently rebuked by us here at Garvey's Ghost when it was espoused by "Willy" Williams. The crux of her argument is that somehow the government is out of control and this out of control government will eventually oppress the people. Well actually we agree with that. What we disagree with is by whome the government is doing these things. We know, and knew for a while, that the current administration lied to the people in order to go to war in Iraq. This was not the work of "liberals" but of Conservatives. We have a tax code that has taken more money from the poor and middle class while actually lowering taxes on the top .1% of the population. The very population that can afford to be taxed. Writes David Cay Johnson:

The average income for the top 0.1 percent was $3 million in 2002, the latest year for which averages are available. That number is two and a half times the $1.2 million, adjusted for inflation, that group reported in 1980. No other income group rose nearly as fast.

The Bush administration tax cuts stand to widen the gap between the hyper-rich and the rest of America. The merely rich, making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, will shoulder a disproportionate share of the tax burden.

President Bush said during the third election debate last October that most of the tax cuts went to low- and middle-income Americans. In fact, most - 53 percent - will go to people with incomes in the top 10 percent over the first 15 years of the cuts, which began in 2001 and would have to be reauthorized in 2010. And more than 15 percent will go just to the top 0.1 percent, those 145,000 taxpayers.

The Times analysis also shows that over the next decade, the tax cuts Mr. Bush wants to extend indefinitely would shift the burden further from the richest Americans. With incomes of more than $1 million or so, they would get the biggest share of the breaks, in total amounts and in the drop in their share of federal taxes paid.

One reason the merely rich will fare much less well than the very richest is the alternative minimum tax. This tax, the successor to one enacted in 1969 to make sure the wealthiest Americans could not use legal loopholes to live tax-free, has never been adjusted for inflation. As a result, it stings Americans whose incomes have crept above $75,000.

The Times analysis shows that by 2010 the tax will affect more than four-fifths of the people making $100,000 to $500,000 and will take away from them nearly one-half to more than two-thirds of the recent tax cuts. For example, the group making $200,000 to $500,000 a year will lose 70 percent of their tax cut to the alternative minimum tax in 2010, an average of $9,177 for those affected.

What this shows is that it is untenable that Liberals are "stealing" anything from the public. In fact it is the conservatives who are "stealing" from 90% of the tax paying public. They are stealing this money and using it to fund a war in Iraq and pay off Haliburton. Yet the "very intellectual" Justice Brown would have us believe that it is the "Liberals." And not a single challenge was printed to this nonsense.

Here's more from Brown:

This week, some Senate Democrats have even singled her out as the most objectionable of President Bush's more than 200 judicial nominees, citing her criticism of affirmative action and abortion rights but most of all her sweeping denunciations of New Deal legal precedents that enabled many federal regulations and social programs - developments she has called "the triumph of our socialist revolution."

I've already covered this issue but if anyone here has a problem with a 40 hour work week and regulations that govern healthy work environments, they should relocate to sweatshop companies right now. Clearly Justice Brown has been popping some sort of chemicals to have forgotten exactly what a sharecropper is and how exploitative business can be when it does not have to worry about governmental oversight. Speaking of Sharecropping, the NY Times then reveals the source of Brown's warped thinking:

Her friends and supporters say her views of slavery underpin her judicial philosophy. It was her study of that history, they say, combined with her evangelical Christian faith and her self-propelled rise from poverty that led her to abandon the liberal views she learned from her family.

"We discuss things like, 'How did slavery happen?' " said her friend and mentor Steve Merksamer, a lawyer in Sacramento, Calif. "It comes down to the fact that she believes, as I do, that some things are, in fact, right and some things are, in fact, wrong. Segregation - even though the courts had sustained it for a hundred years - was morally indefensible and legally indefensible and yet it was the law of the land," he said. "She brings that philosophy to her legal work."

First off, this friend and mentor is this man:

I'm not even going to discuss his lack of qualifications to discuss slavery or history of slavery in America. There are other white men, if one must choose one, that are more qualified for that discussion.

I would like to know exactly what "Liberal views" her family had that needed to be abandoned. It appears that no one even asked the question. Secondly on this "how did slavery happen" question what kind of comment was this? Is he discussion slavery in it's internation form? Is he talking about US slavery? How does he reconsile that the God of the Bible in fact sanctioned genocide and "servitude" of non-Jews? Does he in fact discuss that it was Southern Business (and to a lesser extent northern business) interests that gave us the legal compromises that kept slavery alive in the US? It was in fact a rebellion against government oversight and regulation that sparked the Civil War (you can forget all that "free the blacks" moralising it's garbage).

In fact it was the moralising of judges that enshrined Plessy v. Ferguson into American History. These Christian judges swore up and down that they were in fact doing "God's work." Clearly this is a prime example of why those who use "morals" rather than "logic" to make decisions are dangerous people.

I've said it many times and I'll say it again. It is clear that the black church is headed downhill very quickly. It would be easy to say that Janice Brown is an anomaly, but she is not. In our last discussion on the Black Churches it is clear that many black churches are headed in similar directions as Janice Brown and Condi Rice. If there is a great groundswell of black churches that are not in line with these ideas of politicised morality, they need to make a showing. Otherwise.....


Friday, June 03, 2005

Leave Till Alone

I remember the photo of Emmett Till's bloated body in a book that discussed his killing. I was there in NYC for the premier of the Emmett Till documentary. It is something I keep with me always. It with this that I find myself objecting to the exhbumation of Emmett Till's body and the dragging of this case into the present. And I am not the only one as there are members of the Till family that also object. But let's focus on my objections. Today I read a piece by Earl Ofari Hutchinson in which he argues that the Till case still matters:

Yet Justice Department officials still refused to do anything. They claimed that state officials were solely responsible for prosecuting racially motivated crimes, and if they refused or conducted a farce of a prosecution as was the case with the Till murder, there was little they could do about it. This, however, was blatant legal evasion. Federal statutes gave the Justice Department the power to prosecute individuals on civil rights charges when state prosecutors either failed to bring charges, or conducted a weak, ineffectual prosecution that resulted in acquittals. Federal law also gave the Justice Department the power to prosecute public officials and law enforcement officers who committed or conspired with others to commit acts of racial violence. Congress enacted the latter statutes immediately after the Civil War and they were aimed at specifically punishing racial attacks against blacks. In many of the racial killings local sheriffs and police officers directly participated in the attacks, or aided and abetted the killers.

On the surface this seems like a string argument but in fact it is sentimental and emotative and in my opinion will yeild nothing that we do not already know which is as follows:

Till, either due to a speech impediment or due to a childish wish to show off, made a whistling sound at a white woman in a candy store. Because of this, at least two white men came to the home of Till's uncle and removed him at gunpoint. He was taken somewhere beaten and shot in the head. He was bound with barbed wire to a weight and dumped in a river. His body was found by someone fishing. The white men involved were put on trial and aquitted. The main argument used was that the body was not Till's. The men involved eventually confessed to the killing before they died.

So what else do we need to know? Were there more people involved? Perhaps, but there will not be anything found on the body to prove that. What else? That the Klan was behind it? Maybe, but given that white men in the South, Klanmen or not, could up and take a black man's life on a whim means that it really doesn't matter. If there were indeed more people involved why wasn't that said in the documentary? The uncle and a couple of other blacks who had direct knowledge of the event never took the opportunity to tell who else was involved. So since I don't think they are liars I'm inclined to believe the crime was done by the two men who are now dead.

Personally I think this is graps for attention by the old guard of the Civil Rights movement, who are struggling to find some relevance as their time on the earth comes to an end. Instead of dealing with the issues of the here and now, they retreat to the horrors of the then.

So I say, put the body back in the ground.. We honor Emmett Till by addressing the problems of today.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Black Church Seduced by the "Dark Side"

One of the hallmarks of this administration has been the aggressive courting of the Christian Right. Unawares to many in the Black Community there is a large showing of Black Christians in this corner and they are not a new breed. Back when Martin Luther King Jr. was agitating for Civil Rights he was driven to write a letter from a jail cell to these "men of faith" who were content to line their pockets with tithes and offerings while doing nothing for black peoples progress.

So now these types have been given new life, like Anakin by "The Emperor." I know that's a lot of Star Wars analogies but the "Revenge of the Sith" is an excellent story of how those with good intentions can be sidetracked by their own lust for power. Let me begin with an article from Agape Press:

(AgapePress) - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is getting support from a group of black pastors who say judicial nominees like Janice Rogers Brown deserve an up-or-down vote.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have filed a "cloture petition," a move that is intended to force an end to the Democratic-led filibuster of judicial nominees. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the matter on Tuesday. Two-thirds of the senators (67) must vote in favor of the cloture for it to pass. Frist says if that vote fails, he will move to have the filibusters declared out of order for federal judicial nominees -- a move Democrats have labeled the "nuclear option."

On Thursday (May 19), black religious leaders demanded that senators stop filibustering, and vote "up or down on Janice Brown." At a Capitol Hill news conference with Frist, the clergy members accused Democrats of blocking a confirmation vote on Brown because she is a black conservative.

Bishop Harry Jackson, president of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, said judges like Brown are needed to stop courts from overruling the people with decisions like those requiring the legalization of same-sex "marriage." Standing outside the Capitol, Jackson asked a question about those leading the filibuster: "Why are they afraid to put a black woman on the court?"

Jackson contends Democrats oppose Janice Rogers Brown because she will not find new constitutional rights that are not in the text. "The advocates for issues like same-sex marriage cannot find popular support to change the long-standing institutions of our land," he said. "Therefore they are using the back door in what I'm going to call 'legal sleight of hand' in order to get their way."

Jackson said America needs moral judges like Judge Brown and the other filibustered nominees on the courts -- not more judicial activists.

These particular black clergy are motivated by a great fear of Gay Marriage. With this single issue they have allowed themselves to be used by the Republican Party and the Bush Administration. Of particular interest is this comment:

Jackson contends Democrats oppose Janice Rogers Brown because she will not find new constitutional rights that are not in the text. "The advocates for issues like same-sex marriage cannot find popular support to change the long-standing institutions of our land," he said. "Therefore they are using the back door in what I'm going to call 'legal sleight of hand' in order to get their way."

Someone ought to remind the "good pastor" that the 13, 14 and 15 Amendments to the Constitution were at their times against "popular support to change the long-standing institutions of our land." The "good reverend" should also be reminded that the various Civil Rights Acts and the ruling of Brown V. among many other pieces of legislation also were against "popular support" yet I doubt seriously that he would want those laws overturned.

Now some idiot reading this will interpret my statements as equating "Same-Sex marriages" with Civil Rights. I do not. For the record I do not support Same Sex marriages. I also think the state should not be involved in what is actually a religious matter. I Believe the state should not be giving out marriage licenses or providing benefits based on marital status. Nor do I believe that insurance companies and the like should be doing so. I believe in a single payer who designates those who he or she wants to cover. Marriage should be left to whatever religious institution provides such services and they can choose who and under what circumstances they will perform marriages without interference from the state.

That said, the true nature of these black ministers are treading on ground they clearly do not understand and have stooped to racial scare tactics in order to support their claims:

"Years ago there were people in the South who wore white robes and white hoods. They intimidated many ethnic groups and other groups," he stated. "Today I believe that black-robed vigilantes are operating in the guise of American tradition, and they have taken away the true rights on an entire culture."

Christians, he said, are uniting against immoral judicial rulings. "The black church is going to clasp hands with the white evangelical church, and we are going to be a part of turning America's moral compass back to the way that it needs to be." Black and white churches, he said, are uniting to restore "America's moral compass."

Is this person serious? Klan imagery? And this man has people in his congregation that approve of this? It is highly likely that he does since I suppose that people like me, left once they saw the game for what it was OR like my mother just let it pass. But this isn't the first time that such imagery has been used. Other articles I have read have discussed how Dixiecrats used the filibuster to prevent votes on Civil Rights Legistlation. True indeed. However, the smart person knows that the tool isn't the problem, it's the person wielding it. How does a member of a minority group advocate the removal of a tool that preserves minority strength? Easy, this group of people, so obsessed by same-sex marriages identify with what white evangelicals have sold them that they now identify with them to the detriment of their own.

So this leads to the most recent article on the slipping moral character of the Black Church. The LA Times posted an article entitled: A U.S. Faith Initiative for Africa where it was reported that ministers such as TD Jakes, Donnie McClurklin and others were invited by the Head Liar in Charge, Condoleeza Rice to discuss Faith Based initiatives for Black Churches to provide Aid to Africa:

WASHINGTON — Escalating its courtship of a politically powerful constituency, the Bush administration is teaming up with some of the nation's best-known and most influential black clergy to craft a new role for U.S. churches in Africa.

The effort was launched last week, when more than two dozen leading African American religious figures met privately with Secretary of State Condoleezaa Rice and senior White House officials at the State Department, according to administration officials and meeting participants.

The hour longg session focused largely on how the administration's faith-based initiative could be expanded to combat the spread of HIV and provide help for tens of millions of children orphaned by the epidemic across Africa.

Some of the pastors said it was a matter of national security — that those orphans were susceptible to recruitment by Islamic extremists unless they could be exposed to churches such as theirs.

This meeting raises the othebogeymanan of the Black Church: Islam. Since the rise of the Nation Of Islam, many many Churhes have been upset by the rising numbers of blacks (especially males) turning to Islam. Many have said many disparaging remarks regarding Islam and Minister Farrakhan and Mohammed in their efforts to blunt defections to the NOI camp. Indeed for a few years the work of the NOI, culminating in the Million Man March had Church Leaders up in arms over the influence and credibility that Muslims had developed. So I cannot say that it is surprising at all to see that the "leadership" would want to step into Africa to turn people to "their churches."

If the Bush administration was so serious about the plight of Africa, why not invite Dr. James Smalls of Cornel University or the numerous Scholars and thinkers and organizers who have spent much of their lifetimes studying the issues that face Africa. No doubt they know who they are given that the FBI keeps tabs on such people in the US. But Rice didn't go there because this isn't about allieviating AIDS this is about political points and stripping away more black votes from the Democrats.

Going back to our Star Wars analogy: Anakin's fall to the Dark Side is precipitated by his want to save his wife. Palpatine uses this knowledge to offer Anakin hope. However; in order to get the power he wants he must do things that are not good. Eventually, Anakin does not see what he is doing as wrong but as neccessary to save his wife and assure effecient government. The parrallel is clear. Who would argue that AIDS relief efforts is a bad thing? If it takes axing fillibusters then what's the harm? It stands in the way of the greater good. "I know better than everybody else...."

The LA Times article pointed out some of the poisonous fruit being conceived by this meeting:

The meeting reflected the expanding relationship between some of the country's best-known black clergy and the Bush administration — a relationship that has been nurtured through a White House program that encourages funneling government grants to religious charities.

Illustrating the political benefit of that relationship, White House officials injected some Capitol Hill strategy into the session. They solicited support among the black pastors for controversial legislation that would allow faith-based charities in the U.S. to discriminate in hiring based on an applicant's religious beliefs — a provision that has spurred opposition from some Democrats and civil rights groups.

"Compassion has a way of cutting across partisan lines," said James Towey, the top White House official in charge of the faith-based programs, who asked the pastors to sign a letter endorsing the legislation.

Blacks, who have been at the forefront of fighting discrimination in the workplace, now have representatives who want to legalize discrimination in hiring. Imagine that!! I personally would not be applying for a job at a Church since I don't particular care to be bombarded with the general prejudices that are found in such places. Similarly I would not be applying for a job at a Temple , Mosque, or the like, However, some people don't have the same luxery of picking and choosing the jobs they apply for. Imaging you being a bus driver who happens to be Buddhist. And the ALAN AME church has a need for a bus driver and you qualify. Why should you be denied the job because you don't accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour?

Of course this is/was the same situation facing Africans. If you didn't accept Church doctrine you couldn't get into schools. So now we get blacks doing the discriminating.

The other very obvious thing about this piece is that the administration made a clear political move with the "letter of support". So just as it was clear to us who had eyes to see and ears to hear, that Palpatine was using Anakin to further his own agenda, So is the White House is also using black clergy to furttheirhier aims. It is fitting that people in the Church are described as sheep. Sheep are not the smartest animals in the world. So long as their is some sort of leader they will follow. In fact Sheep will blindly follow the sheep in front of it even to it's death.