Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Monday, December 31, 2007

Amy Jaques Garvey


Amy Jaques Garvey born December 31, 1895 is one of the most overlooked Pan-Africanist of her age. Many of us who adhere to Garveyism (or Neo-Garveyism as I do) have been singularly focused on Marcus. Sexism? I think so. While it is understandable that at the time the sexual politics of the day would put women in the background even if they were putting in massive amounts of work. Today we ought not perpetuate such actions. In terms of Garveyism this means that the role of Amy Garvey ought to be put in it's proper place.

Marcus Garvey and the seminal work that most people are familiar with: Garvey and Garveyism, is as much a product of Amy as it was of Marcus. We should recall that Mr. Garvey was in prison when that book was compiled. It was edited by Mrs. Garvey. No Amy. No Philosophies and Opinions collection. Furthermore the book Garvey and Garveyism, where I believe (but cannot confirm) the use of the term Global White Supremacy was first put to paper by a Pan-Africanist. This is pretty important as it underscores Garveyism as an intellectual framework concerned with confronting a system by systematic means rather than seeking accommodation with or favors from, that system.

In an era where persons such as Bill Cosby are excoriated for "harsh" critiques of black behavior. We would find a less comedic form of the same criticisms from Amy, who held black men to what some would call impossibly high standards of behavior and thought.

[He] is always out of a job because he is too lazy to go out and make a job for himself; he prefers to hang around the white man's factory doors begging for a job, and oftimes gets what he deserves -a kick.

...ill bred children are a menace to any country because they develop into individuals who take on vices that often wreck their homes and endanger the safety of their communities

Garveyite women were of the opinion as said by Ula Yvette Taylor's The Veiled Garvey That if black men did not step up they ought to "be prepared to be put down and led by those who were better equipped."

I think that Amy is not given her just due also because it may be believed that she was merely repeating that which she heard or learned from Marcus. I don't agree with this position. I look at it like a Jazz musician. Once has to learn from those who have laid down the foundations but then one develops one's own style and become a master in ones own right. While I do not believe that Amy Garvey had the "epiphany on the boat" as Mr. Garvey had, Mrs. Garvey continued to develop Garveyism after her husband's passing and helped to cultivate modern Pan-Africanists and perhaps even helped bring DuBois into the fold in his later years. I say this because though Mr. Garvey and DuBois were not on anything close to "good terms," Mrs. Garvey had managed to open the line of communication to DuBois along with others.

So today lets take time out to recognize one of the most important women, indeed one of the most important people in the development of Pan-Africanism.

Bhutto Assassination

So I've been thinking about this thing for a bit. I'm not surprised that there has been rioting, after all, it is sad to say, violence seems to be the way things are handled in far too many parts of the world. Since the assasination I have been revisiting the virtues of non-violence and thinking that Ghandi and King Jr. may have really had a point. I've long been of the opinion that organizations that claim to be "revolutionary" ought to run the places in which they have control in a manner that they wish to run things. In fact I think they ought to wage war in a manner that is consistent with the ideals they wish to be about. In this regard I tip my hat to the Kurds of Northern Iraq who apparently do just this, but back to Bhutto.

In many news reports we have seen supporters of Bhutto claim that they:

a) Think the government is responsible

b) Think the government is responsible because they didn't provide security.

c) Don't trust the government.

I thought about these responses and noticed that these sentiments are pretty much universal in developing/third world nations. Citizens are completely distrustful of the governments under which they live. Even in the recent elections in Kenya we have the same thing. There are many reasons for this which I may or may not go into, but staying the course with Bhutto, The problem I have here is that no one seems to be asking "why?"

For example, reports have been out for days now that Bhutto had been warned by the Pakistani security apparatus that Al Qaeda had a death warrant out for her. They warned her to not have so many open air rallies since they are inherently insecure. It is apparent that Bhutto did not listen to this advice. Why not? I would think that given that the security apparatus in Pakistan has managed to keep Musharraf alive that their advice ought to be given a great amount of weight. But that's just my life loving self.

On the issue of the government providing security for Bhutto, well I don't think so. As far as I know Bhutto was not a member of the government so the government wouldn't be on the hook for providing her protection.

Thirdly if the people don't trust the government, which I can understand, they who do they trust? Al Qaeda? NO one asked the question. Is everyone a arbiter of trustworthiness? There are reports that some people don't believe the Al Qaeda is responsible. Never mind the tapes. Never mind the numerous death threats. Never mind that Bhutto had been vigorously denouncing suicide bombings and the like. Sure Musharraf doesn't want to lose power and he was aligned with the US against Al Qaeda, but it appears that Bhutto would have been even harder on Al Qaeda. It would appear to me that Al Qaeda has a stronger motive to off Bhutto.

That brings us to the issue I opened with: Violence. After watching Kenya and Pakistan, it is pretty clear that the use of violence to force political change is a very dangerous proposition. Once that option is on the table, anyone can detonate anything and pin it on the group that first used violence. Furthermore, once that violence materializes political gain, then it is only a matter of time before another person, sufficiently motivated, makes use of it to force their own ends and so on and so forth until, as Ghandi put it, there are no more eyes.

Ultimately though, whether one believes that the Musharraf government is involved or not, the fact is that suicide bombers have been going at the government for years now. Al Qaeda is working in that country with the full knowledge of a significant portion of the country. So in reality it is the people who are tolerating and aiding the groups who wish to bomb themselves into power who are directly to blame. Does the PPP think that even if Bhutto had been elected that somehow bombings would magically stop? Do members of any other the other opposition parties think the same for their people?

In the end it will soon dawn on everyone involved that violence will undermine everything at some point. Once it becomes clear to all parties that suicide bombings will not gain anyone anything other than a lot of dead people for whom the supposedly religious person will have to answer for (and somehow I don't think " i did it for you" is going to wash).

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cartoons For The President

From CounterPunch. I can only hope it was written in jest.

When Reagan died a Pentagon official told me that when Ron became president in 1981, and thus "commander in chief" the Joint Chiefs of Staffs mounted their traditional show-and-tell briefings for him, replete with simple charts and a senior general explicating them in simple terms. Reagan found these briefings way too complicated and dozed off. The Joint Chiefs then set up a secret unit, staffed by cartoonists. The balance of forces were set forth in easily accessible caricature, with Soviet missiles the size of upended Zeppelins, pulsing on their launchpads, with the miniscule US ICBMs shrivelled in their bunkers. Little cartoon bubbles would contain the points the joint chiefs wanted to hammer into Reagan's brain, most of them to the effect that "we need more money". Reagan really enjoyed the shows and sometimes even asked for repeats.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Blast from the Present

Spent Kujichagukia in Harlem yesterday. Elders rolled through. One of my favorites was in attendance: Elombe Brath who took a seat and went to historicizing. ;-)

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blast From Kwanzaa's Past 2

Today's Blast from 2004. Brother Amilcar Cabral:

History Teaches us that , in certain circumstances, it is very easy for the foreigner to impose his domination on a people. But it also teaches us that, whatever may be the material aspects of this domination, it can be maintained only by the permanent organized repression of the cultural life of the people concerned. Implantation of foreign domination can be assured difinitively only by physical liquidation of a significant part of the dominated population.

In fact, to take up arms to dominate people is, above all, to take up arms to destroy, or at least to neutralize, to paralyze, it's cultural life. For with a strong indeginous cultural life, foreign domination cannot be sure of it's perpetuation...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Condoleeza Rice Revealed: Hankerchief Head

We always knew Dr. Rice was a Hankerchief head but we never knew it went back so far. Thanks Good Morning America for letting us know and confirming it for us.

Blast from Kwanzaa's Past

Since I don't have much new to say this year I'm digging in the crates. Here's Umoja from the Blog's firt Kwanzaa in 2003.

Today is the first day of Kwanzaa the celebration, I won't say holiday given that holiday is really a reference to "holy" days as in religious observance. What is Kwanzaa? Well there are a lot of misinformation regearding Kwanzaa which has grown as it has become mainstreamed. Kwanzaa was strated by Dr. Ron Karenga previously of the US organization that had famous run-ins with the Black Panther Party care of the FBI's COINTELPRO. Kwanzaa came as an outgrowth of Dr. Karenga's belief in what is refered to as "Cultural Nationalism."

In 2004 I decided on choice quotes from our esteemed scholars and leaders.

As far as Negroes are concerned, in America we have the problem of lynching, peonage and dis-franchisement.

In the West Indies, South and Central America we have the problem on peonage, serfdom, industrial and political government inequality.

In Africa, we have, not only peonage and serfdom, but out-right slavery, racial exploitation and alien political monopoly.

We cannot allow a continuation of these crimes agins our race. As four hundred million men, women and children, worthy of existance given us by the Divine Creator, we are determined to solve our own problem, by redeeming out Motherland Africa from the hands of alien exploiters and found there a government, a nation of our own, strong enough to lend protection to the members of our race scattered all over the world, and to compel the respect of the nations and races of the earth.

in 2005 we went back to studying the principles.

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

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

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

Who am I?

Am I all that I could be?

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

what is the identity? (yourself, your subject)

What is thiere purpose?

What is thier direction?

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

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Monday, December 24, 2007

RIP Oscar Peterson

I play the piano and have enjoyed the work of Oscar Peterson. He will me missed but his music will carry on.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Solstice

Ahhhh the reason for the season began at 1:08 AM Eastern Standard Time today. Today is the shortest daylight hours day of the year for the northern hemisphere and marks the years end and the new year for nature. It is the source of all the Christmas hoopla, whether "secular" or Christian.

Winter Solstice

Happy Solstice to everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More Religious Bullshit

It is a common theme among many African Americans though less known in the general public, African-Americans don't like Africans all that much. In some quarters it goes to the extent of not wanting to be called "black." In some cases calling a clearly African person "African" is enough to get into a fight. Among many African-American children one will find that they will use disparaging remarks to "recent" Africans. Comments about Jungles and the like, which I had previously only heard come out of mouths of white people, can flow freely from the mouth of America's African descendants.

Anyone with a decent knowledge of history can understand where this self hate comes from. After all Africans in America who are descended from the Maafa had gone through a rather brutal disengagement from their mother countries and culture. With such a disruption such antipathy can be expected, if not excused. However; there is a further problem that affects a great deal of Africans from the continent. Many of these individuals are more hostile to African culture than others. Often I will find that Africans from various areas of Africa are a great deal more defensive of the imported religions than the importers of said religions. The latest evidence of this situation was shown in the NY Times yesterday.In that piece I found this statement

The Spiritual Warfare congregants here said that because their ancestors were not Christians, they were cursed, Africa is cursed and the sins of their fathers are now visited upon all the children.

It is unfortunate, but par for the course, that the NY Times would allow it's pages to be used to promote such a completely illogical as well as insulting statement to be published in it's paper without so much as a challenge. Since the Republicans took office, various news outlets have been extending themselves to so-called religious conservatives. I would actually call it pandering. This particular piece is simply another example of the self hating attitude that unfortunately infects a great deal of African people. The above is also the reasons why I could not in good conscience remain a Christian, attend a Christian church or even give money to Christian outreach organizations. These ideas didn't just materialize out of thin air. These thoughts are the direct results of missionaries who have gone into Africa and disrupted the natural culture there. It is not just a matter of a so-called "curse" either.

There are also widespread reports from all over Africa of Christian congregations who use this "witchcraft" fear mongering in order to extort "exorcism" fees from parents of children who are deemed "witches" by either other family members, their own parents or total strangers. In many cases these children who are accused of being "witches" are actually the victims of economic circumstances and the parents are seeking a means of getting rid of the child without having to take any blame for putting out a child.

Overall this whole "witchcraft" industry is just that, an industry made up of unscrupulous Africans seeking a means of employment and riches at the expense of their followers. After all, if there was no business to be made of "fighting curses and witchcraft" these churches would be empty and the collection plates as well.

I don't expect the NY Times to do it, but if they had any integrity at all they would first and foremost post a counter article on those Africans (both continental and diaspora) who practice their traditional faiths and let them challenge the quoted statement. Furthermore, if they are going to continue to write such articles then they ought to at least balance out such outrageous claims by finding other alternative sources.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

On The Saudi Rape Case

In response to this:

The BBC, which noted in November that the sentences handed down in the Qatif case had wide support in Saudi Arabia, reported Monday that conservatives in the country were lashing out today against the pardon, saying that leniency to the woman would undermine public morality.

I will only say that it is a particularly twisted sense of morality in which a woman who is seen sitting with a man to whom she is not related to is more repugnant than the abduction and rape of said woman (and apparently the man as well).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What Your Preacher Won't Tell You

I've been saying it for years, but it falls on dead ears, but Christmas has nothing to do with Christ. But since some people think that because I'm not a Christian, I'm therefore unqualified to make such assertions, then why not let a Christian tell it:

Christmas was adopted by Christianity late, by some three hundred years. It was incorporated into Christianity in the 4th century, the same way Friday fish-eating was incorporated and during the same time. (Imperial Romans ate fish on Fridays to honor Venus, the goddess of love, fish being the food of love and sex.) The venerial fish-eating was simply co-opted by Christianity and given a revised rationale, namely that Jesus died on Friday, so one should abstain from eating meat on Friday.

In imperial Rome, the December 25 feast in honor of the Invincible Sun, Sol Invictus, was accompanied by the exchange of gifts, cutting of greens, lighting of candles, and public festivals commemorating new life. The sun, after all, had turned in the sky and was rising earlier and setting later, after the winter solstice. Rome on December 25, before Christianity, looked very much like New York on December 25 after Christianity.

In the 4th century, the Christian Church, having been adopted by the Emperor Constantine, was rather suddenly transformed from a persecuted minority into the official imperial religion of Rome. The Church responded by importing the Jesus' birth narratives of Matthew and Luke into the feast of Sol Invictus and erased every reference to the pagan gods. It could be argued that Christians, with the authority of the Roman emperors behind them, stole Christmas from pagan society. Now perhaps it is time to give it back.

I''m a full Solstice convert now. In fact it is interesting that Kwanzaa is during the solstice time (roughly a week) and follows the traditions in some African cultures who had feasts to begin the new planting season.

In any case don't expect to hear the above in the average black church this season. Do expect the usual nonsense though.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

NIgerian Times on Crack

The Nigerian Times blog has a post in which they posit:

When Oprah Winfrey was name dropping Martin Luther King, Jr., in South Carolina, I laughed at her ignorance of the life history of Hillary Clinton, because Hillary Clinton is more qualified to speak on the Civil Rights Movement than both Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama.

While I am certainly a critic of both Winfrey and Obama, the above is some serious bullshit. While Hillary may know a bit about Affirmative Action given that white women benefit immensely from that program, no way she is "more qualified" to speak on the Civil Rights Movement than Oprah or Obama.

I realize the Nigerian Times piece is really about Hillary's political acumen, but the above statement nearly gutters the entire piece.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Paul Craig Roberts strikes again

Last June a revealing marketing video from the law firm, Cohen & Grigsby appeared on the Internet. The video demonstrated the law firm's techniques for getting around US law governing work visas in order to enable corporate clients to replace their American employees with foreigners who work for less. The law firm's marketing manager, Lawrence Lebowitz, is upfront with interested clients: "our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker."

If an American somehow survives the weeding out process, "have the manager of that specific position step in and go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position--in most cases there doesn't seem to be a problem."

...Integrity is so lacking in America that the shortage myth serves the interests of universities, funding agencies, employers, and immigration attorneys at the expense of American students who naively pursue professions in which their prospects are dim. Initially it was blue-collar factory workers who were abandoned by US corporations and politicians. Now it is white-collar employees and Americans trained in science and technology. Princeton University economist Alan Blinder estimates that there are 30 to 40 million American high end service jobs that ultimately face offshoring.

As I predict, and as BLS payroll jobs data indicate, in 20 years the US will have a third world work force engaged in domestic nontradable services.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Where Are The White Trainers?

From the Naijablog:

Imagine his dismay at the workshop, with his all-Nigerian team (many of whom are almost as accomplished), when the (public sector) client asked/commented: "where are the white trainers? We need white trainers."

I believe Carter G. had a few words on this.

Tariq Ali on Venezuela

I wrote it first but since I don't get CounterPunch love, Tariq Ali, restates the position

Anyone who saw Chavez' speech accepting defeat last night (as I did here in Guadalajara with Mexican friends) will not be in any doubt regarding his commitment to a democratically embedded social process. That much is clear. One of the weaknesses of the movement in Venezuela has been the over-dependence on one person. It is dangerous for the person (one bullet can be enough) and it is unhealthy for the Bolivarian process. There will be a great deal of soul-searching taking place in Caracas, but the key now is an open debate analysing the causes of the setback and a move towards a collective leadership to decide on the next candidate. It's a long time ahead but the discussions should start now.

The Continued Downward Spiral

Coming fast on the heels of the "Christian Leader" advertisement by Mike Huckabee, we find that the Texas top expert on science education, Christine Comer was fired for apparently promoting a speech by an anti-Intelligent Design supporter Barbara Forrest.:

Ms. Comer forwarded to a local online community an e-mail message from a pro-evolution group announcing a talk by Barbara Forrest, a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University. Professor Forrest testified as an expert witness in a 2005 Dover, Pa., case that found intelligent design supernatural and theological and definitely not part of a scientific education.

An hour later, Ms. Comer was called in by superiors, pressured to send out a retraction and ultimately forced to resign. Her departure was instigated by a new deputy commissioner who had served as an adviser to George Bush when he was governor of Texas and more recently worked in the federal Department of Education.

It was especially disturbing that the agency accused Ms. Comer — by forwarding the e-mail message — of taking a position on “a subject on which the agency must remain neutral.” Surely the agency should not remain neutral on the central struggle between science and religion in the public schools. It should take a stand in favor of evolution as a central theory in modern biology. Texas’s own education standards require the teaching of evolution.

It is of little wonder why the US is fast dropping behind the rest of the world in regards to science education and technology.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Jena 6 update

Mychal Bell ...

pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery in return for an 18-month sentence, with credit for 10 months he already has served. Bell had faced being placed in a juvenile facility until his 21st birthday.

Bell also must pay court costs plus $935 to Barker's family, testify should his co-defendants in the Barker attack stand trial, undergo counseling and be reintegrated into the school system, his lawyers said.

''We were prepared to go forward with the trial, but you have to do what's best for the client,'' said Carol Powell Lexing, one of Bell's attorneys. A juvenile court trial was to begin later this week.

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Hugo Chavez Lost. Hugo Chavez Won.

I have been watching the events in Venezuela carefully because I feared that the Chavez machine would manage to push through it's constitutional "reforms" and that would not have been good. No matter how much I like Chavez or approve of his policies only a fool in this day and age, with a full appreciation of history would approve of abolishing term limits.

I cannot imagine if US president George Bush were to be able to run for office again. Constitutional changes ought not happen based on popularity but rather should happen because there is a pressing need that the current constitution does not address. It is of my opinion that the term limit change is a solution looking for a problem. Furthermore such a proposal, even if approved by popular vote only succeeds in making the world think that Chavez is only out for power. Like any good leader, he needed this setback and I'm glad it happened.

This is also a great opportunity for Chavez and his supporters. Now that they know that the people are not having it, the administration and the party is going to have to go about grooming the next generation of leaders that can carry out the party's plans within the current framework. If Chavez and his supporters truly believe that he is needed in order to run the country right, then they have bigger problems than the opposition. A country cannot be effectively lead by a single person. Nor can a country effectively develop if it does not have a framework and leaders able to carry on the business of the state in the best way for the people. Therefore it is encumbent on the current leadership to disentangle the ship of state from the Chavez persona. Hopefully Chavez sees this.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Out Of Proportion?

In a country where armed men kill women and children and raze entire villages, the act of recognizing children who wished to name a teddy bear Mohammed somehow manages to provoke street protests.

Stupid isn't it?

But let's examine the NY Times coverage of the event, because there we will find more stupidity.

Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear ''Muhammad.''

Hmmm... So the teacher is convicted for "allowing" her apparently Muslim students to name a teddy bear Muhammad. So apparently the parents of these children have not been instructing their children on the proper etiquette as it relates to the usage of the word Muhammad. I suppose that the "courts" there are not holding the parents responsible for that either.

''Shame, shame on the U.K.,'' protesters chanted.

They called for Gibbons' execution, saying, ''No tolerance: Execution,'' and ''Kill her, kill her by firing squad.''

Shame on the U.K.? Was this lady an agent of the state?

"No tolerance?" I see. In the grand scheme of things it is better to tolerate the killing of Muslims by other Muslims but not tolerable to name a teddy bear one of the most common names in the Muslim world. I get it.

Many protesters carried clubs, knives and axes -- but not automatic weapons, which some have brandished at past government-condoned demonstrations. That suggested Friday's rally was not organized by the government.

Again, and to belabor the point. People are willing to kill this lady but killing in darfur? Not to much.

A Muslim cleric at Khartoum's main Martyrs Mosque denounced Gibbons during one sermon, saying she intentionally insulted Islam. He did not call for protests, however.

''Imprisoning this lady does not satisfy the thirst of Muslims in Sudan. But we welcome imprisonment and expulsion,'' the cleric, Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karouri, a well-known hard-liner, told worshippers.

How exactly did she "intentionally insult Islam?" By allowing students to pick a common Muslim name for a teddy bear. If anything it was the students who insulted Islam and this lady was guilty of possibly being ignorant of what the children were doing. Notice how a parent could have easily came to the school and said that naming a teddy bear Muhammad is not a good idea. But noooooo. better to take her to court while killing is still going on in Darfur. Oh and exactly what is this "thirst" this fellow is speaking of? Certainly does not sound like Salaam to me.

''This an arrogant woman who came to our country, cashing her salary in dollars, teaching our children hatred of our Prophet Muhammad,'' he said.

Why would a Brit cash her salary in Dollars? Seriously. I mean if I had the option of being paid in Dollars, Euros or Pounds, I would not be picking the Dollar. Less prayer more current event reading. And again, ummm, it was the children's idea to name the teddy bear Muhammad.

Britain, meanwhile, pursued diplomatic moves to free Gibbons. Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke with a member of her family to convey his regret, his spokeswoman said.

While I'm not one to tell the Brits what to do diplomatically and I'm sure they are trying not to make a bad situation worse for Ms. Gibbons, I personally wouldn't be apologizing to anyone over this. Furthermore; I would take to the international stage and constantly discuss what is going on in Darfur. Everytime a microphone was pointed in my direction I would say:

"Isn't it ashame that the government in Sudan and apparently a section of it's population are far more concerned with the name of an inanimate object named by children than with the atrocities going on in Darfur. You would think that the government in Sudan and all the people in Sudan would be far more concerned with Muslims who are slaughtering other Muslims and attacking peacekeepers."

But that's just me.

''One of the good things is the U.K. Muslims who've condemned the charge as completely out of proportion,'' said Paul Wishart, 37, a student in London.

No, it's not out of proportion, it's bloody well OUT OF ORDER!

The Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim youth organization, said Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should pardon the teacher.

Pardon? For what? There is no crime here. Nothing to pardon. The record needs to be expunged and Ms. Gibbons ought to be apologized TO.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not In America?

So in Sudan we have a teacher in jail for "defaming Mohammed."

The Sudanese police arrested a British schoolteacher and accused her of insulting Islam after she allowed her 7-year-old pupils to name a class teddy bear Muhammad, Sudanese officials said today.

The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, was arrested on Sunday in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, after a number of parents complained, said Rabie A. Atti, a government spokesman.“How can you call a bear Muhammad?” he said. “Muhammad is the holy prophet of Islam.”

While many in the US will finger wag at the Sudanese, they will fail to notice how, unprecidented in recent US politics, that candidates are running on their religious credentials even though the US constitution is clear that the US govt. is a secular one and specifies that there be no religious tests. Not that one doesn't have the freedom to speak on religion, but if one is actually concerned with that piece of paper called the constitution, then religion really ought not be a point of qualification. Sadly none of the "leading" candidates have the guts to put these religious people in check. But should this kind of thing continue don't be all that surprised when some government official manages to pass a law where "insults" to Jesus will land someone in jail. Artists are already feeling heat for taking on religion in their works.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Coonin' in the two-seven

Above seen at the local Target store today.

Williams B Pic2

Seen Circa 1930.

We'd like to thank Flavor Flav of reminding us that Spike Lee was right on the money when he made the movie Bamboozled.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dismantling PBS's "What Is Race?" (This will not be pretty)

In the past I have encountered the occasional person that would make the assertion that there is no such thing as race. The common reasoning given: "We're all human."

"Yes but that doesn't prove your assertion." After that they are usually lost because generally the statement is based on what a professor told them, or an article they read somewhere (usually nothing more weighty than the NY Times).

Of late though I've run across people with more specific, if not as faulty arguments in regards to the assertion there is no race. Those assertions would be things like blood type and toe length. pretty assinine reasoning but there it was. My mistake was in thinking that such ideas were original with the speaker. It was not until today that I became aware that there is actually a source of "information" that is at the core of the "no race" ideology that is rapidly spreading around the world. This source is PBS.

PBS has apparently become the source of "authoritative" evidence of " no race" evidence on the web. I remember when they first came out with their "race" series which made the cover of TIME magazine. I didn't pay it much attention because I knew it would be the same ol' same ol' targeted at people who either hadn't taken biology since High School or if they went to college, did not go past the general bio requirement. In other words the piece was targeted at the uninformed who wouldn't know what questions to ask. And since the overall mission is supposedly admirable: The elimination of racism, a bit of misrepresentation is OK with them. So let's get at this PBS "Power of an Illusion": Sorting People.

The website begins with a question: Can you tell a persons race by looking at them?

The "desired" answer is "no" but in fact the answer is "mostly yes" of course you have to know what "race" is to begin with to make such a statement. But what is important here is what PBS is setting the view up for. They want to sew seeds of doubt about what your eyes are telling you. It wants to frame the discussion in terms of what you can see. This is very important.

If you click on the "explore traits" you get a pop up that asks:

" Do any physical traits follow "racial" lines? Let's look at some inherited traits and see if our race groupings make sense".

Let's stop here. "Our racial groupings"? Who is "our"? Where is "our" racial grouping defined? Who got to define "Our" racial groupings? for this we get:

Click below to see how people organized by the U.S. race categories actually "sort out" according to these traits.

Oh I see, the US government gets to define "our" racial groupings. Check that for a minute. Not the people who belong to the supposed "racial groups". Not any other govermental body. Not an international scientific body. No the U.S. Just think on that for a minute because we already know that using the US "definition" that this is headed into very very wrong territory.

So we click the "Skin color category" And are presented with a box of quadrants for different people representing what is supposedly "different races"

First off lets examine the pictures:

1) The pictures are small as hell so you can't see any details on the individuals who have been "assigned" to each group.

2) The "Black" column ( my interest) includes people who are clearly not black. Why are they there? Oh that's right because we are using the U.S. definition of race.

3) We have a "HIspanic/Latino" column which makes absolutely no sense because anyone with even a bit more than a peripheral knowledge of history will tell you that Hispanic cannot be a race since the "Hispanic" areas of the globe are a mixture of Europeans, Native Americans and Africans. And so it cannot be a racial group.

So in the end this little "skin color" experiment by PBS only goes to re-inforce that the U.S. definition of "race" is faulty. But remember I already agree with that.

Next we can click on the "Fingerprint" section where we find that "Blacks" are the only group that has "Tented Archs" in their fingerprints. Interesting. the different "races" show up as you move from right to left. This proves nothing except that if you are a black crook you best wear gloves (OJ had it right). In either case it doesn't matter to me who has what fingerprint pattern because it's not relevant. But it's a cute example and could be used against the "no race" argument but I'll leave it alone for now.

The last category would be blood type. Again an "interesting" pattern appears. You'll note that "American Indians and Asians are claimed to have Type AB. Again anyone with a bit of historical knowledge knows that American Indians are in fact descended from Asians so that they would share this trait is entirely expected

Even more damning for this particular study is that going on appearances alone the "white looking" black woman, the "hispanic" and the two white women all share type O and that too would be expected given that the "white looking" black woman is clearly mixed, the "hispanic" male, given the history of Latin America would have a 3/4 chance of having such a blood type just by knowing history and the white folk, well If they say so.

In fact going though Type A and Type B the same exact analysis can be made.

So again, this little "game" that PBS has given hasn't proven anything in the way of "no race.' In fact to the informed and critical minded the results play out exactly as is expected. In other words, there is nothing new here.

Of course since I went and did the 'blood test" thing I went back and did the "put the people in the box" test. I had a problem though. I couldn't put people where I wanted to put them. In my opinion there were only two people who I would nominally call "black." This meant I was unable to finish the "game." So I had to assign people to places that I would not have simply to get to the next screen. Bad bad bad. Of course the point was to point out the flaws of the US system but again I'm in total agreement with the condemnation of the US system. I just want to point out to the reader though that there wasn't a single picture that was reflective of my dark skinned, thick lipped, nappy headed self. There also wasn't a blond headed, pale skinned and blue eyed person on there either. We should ask why that was missing. It simply cannot be an accident that such a sophisticated website made with foundation cash could miss that. There must be some reason why the obvious candidates were missing. Don't count on the "no race" people to answer that question though.

So having played the games, let's move on to the rest of the presentation.

Apparently I skipped the "What Is Race" section so I went back to that one. We are presented with a question:

Is Race for Real?

We all know that people look different. Anone can tell a Czech from a Chinese. But are these differences racial? What does race mean? Fidn the answers to these and other questions by exploring different interactivities within this site.

PBS has set up the game. They start off trying to confuse the audience. You know the difference between a Czecj and Chinese. But really you don't. See the game? The game is to confuse you. So we check the "quick facts"

1) Race is a modern idea? Ancient societies did not divide people according to physical differences, but according to religion, status, class, even language?

Bullshit. And we smash this one quickly. Turn to Page 66 of Dr. Diop's work Civilization or Barbarism and behold figure 17. Of course most of the people reading the PBS site has not even heard of Civilization or Barbarism or even of Dr. Diop himself. So they are unable to challenge this massive lie. If that is not enough one must understand that the Sudan is literally the "Black Land" as in land of the blacks. How can anyone write with any seriousness the above knowing these things? Oh maybe such things as physical differences didn't matter much beyond identification, but the fact that it was clearly known and noted by ancient people completely refutes this lie.

2) Race has not genetic basis: Not one Characteristic, trait or gene distinguishes all members of one "so called race from all members of another so-called race"

This is the heart of the issue. Note the way this statement is made the operative words here are "all" and "so-called". You see PBS is setting up the audience. They will present the US definition of race which mixes and matches people in the most horribly unscientific means as the "so-called race" and by that it will discredit it because by that definition "all members" cannot have traits completely absent in any other. So the site will be accurate so far as it presents it's info but it will not prove the hypothesis (Race has no genetic basis). Please keep this in mind because we will return to this argument by piece's end.

3) Slavery predates race

I won't go into the text here. Needless to say that slavery has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of genetic races. This is a distraction from the point. It wants to gain the audiences sympathy by conflating the Maafa with race. It will work for most but it is mostly irrelevant to the issue at hand.

4) Race and freedom were born together

Won't waste time on this text either since it too is irrelevant to the discussion. This section and the previous one is a discussion of social policy which is not of interest here. Next!

5) Race justified social inequalities as natural.

Are we seeing a pattern here? Another sociological issue. Nice to see it addressed but again it is entirely irrelevant to the issue at hand. At best this particular issue ties in with Eugenics and in discussing why people are so afraid to discuss race as a subject but again it does nothing to address the core question posed by the site: What is race?

6 ) Human subspecies don't exist. Unlike many animals, modern humans have not been around long enough, nor have populations been isolated enough, to evolve into separate subspecies or races. Despite surface differences, we are among the most similar of species.

Question for the reader: Do you know what a subspecies is? current US demographics would make the odds of the answer being in the affirmative at about 20% so odds are you don't know what it is. This is important because this is where PBS is going to attempt to prove the assertion made in point 2. So we must address this point.

What is a subspecies. The easiest and fairest way to deal with this issue is to point the reader to a definition that everyone can access: Wikipedia. No not always the best source but at least if there is dispute anyone with more knowledge than either of us is free to edit the page and add their two cents.

Wikipedia opens with:

In zoology, as in other branches of biology, subspecies is the rank immediately subordinate to a species. A subspecies is a taxonomic group which is less distinct than the primary stock or species from which it originates. The characteristics attributed to subspecies are generally derived from changes that have taken place or evolved as a result of geographical distribution or isolation from the primary species or nominate form, also called nominate subspecies. In layman's terms, a subspecies may also be described as a diversification of the primary species since a subspecies always has the nominate form or primary species as its common ancestor, i.e. it always originates from a common ancestral stock.

In zoology, the scientific name of a subspecies is the binomen followed immediately by a subspecific name, e.g. Homo sapiens sapiens.

So what we get here is that we humans are Homo sapiens sapiens. We are the "Subspecies" in question. So it would appear that PBS is on the money.

Not so fast. Lets look at that opening paragraph there:

The characteristics attributed to subspecies are generally derived from changes that have taken place or evolved as a result of geographical distribution or isolation from the primary species or nominate form, also called nominate subspecies

So lets go over a bit of history here. It is agreed upon that modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) arose in Africa and spread out world wide. So the original man and woman was what we find the oldest genotypic human to look like, Black skinned, "nappy headed" , "Broad nosed" and "thick lipped" We also know that all those funky groups PBS asked us to categorize arose from that primary species and we also know that those characteristics arose from changes that have taken place or evolved as a result of geographical distribution or isolation from the primary species.

So on the one hand PBS is asserting that there are no human subspecies of human beings and yet the very means by which all these differences showed up world wide fits the exact definition of subspecies. Seems like PBS either didn't do its research OR they have a specific ideology they want to push.

Ok let's continue with the examination of subspecies. Wikipedia continues:

Members of one subspecies differ morphologically from members of other subspecies of the species. Subspecies are defined in relation to species. It is not possible to understand the concept of a subspecies without first grasping what a species is. In the context of large living organisms like trees, flowers, birds, fish and humans, a species can be defined as a distinct and recognisable group that satisfies two conditions:

1. Members of the group are reliably distinguishable from members of other groups. The distinction can be made in any of a wide number of ways, such as: differently shaped leaves, a different number of primary wing feathers, a particular ritual breeding behaviour, relative size of certain bones, different DNA sequences, and so on. There is no set minimum 'amount of difference': the only criterion is that the difference be reliably discernable. In practice, however, very small differences tend to be ignored.

2. The flow of genetic material between the group and other groups is small and can be expected to remain so because even if the two groups were to be placed together they would not interbreed to any great extent.

Note the key qualifier above: to be regarded as different groups rather than as a single varied group, the difference must be distinct, not simply a matter of continuously varying degree. If, for example, the population in question is a type of frog and the distinction between two groups is that individuals living upstream are generally white, while those found in the lowlands are black, then they are classified as different groups if the frogs in the intermediate area tend to be either black or white, but a single, varied group if the intermediate population becomes gradually darker as one moves downstream.

This is not an arbitrary condition. A gradual change, called a cline, is clear evidence of substantial gene flow between two populations. A sharp boundary between black and white, or a relatively small and stable hybrid zone, on the other hand, shows that the two populations do not interbreed to any great extent and are indeed separate species. Their classification as separate species or as subspecies, however, depends on why they do not interbreed.

If the two groups do not interbreed because of something intrinsic to their genetic make-up (perhaps black frogs do not find white frogs sexually attractive, or they breed at different times of year) then they are different species.

If, on the other hand, the two groups would interbreed freely provided only that some external barrier was removed (perhaps there is a waterfall too high for frogs to scale, or the populations are far distant from one another) then they are subspecies. Other factors include differences in mating behavior or time and ecological preferences such as soil content.

Note that the distinction between a species and a subspecies depends only on the likelihood that in the absence of external barriers the two populations would merge back into a single, genetically unified population. It has nothing to do with 'how different' the two groups appear to be to the human observer.

Got that? Ok let me discuss this a bit. For our race discussion the following points are important:

1) 1. Members of the group are reliably distinguishable from members of other groups. The distinction can be made in any of a wide number of ways, such as: differently shaped leaves, a different number of primary wing feathers, a particular ritual breeding behaviour, relative size of certain bones, different DNA sequences, and so on. There is no set minimum 'amount of difference': the only criterion is that the difference be reliably discernable. In practice, however, very small differences tend to be ignored.

This is important because the "no race" people attempt to use the blood type and such to confuse the notion of race. We can now reliably dismiss such notions because they are not "readily discernable" Furthermore we don't need to have a whole mess of diffferences only discernable differences. This is important because most racial categorization that goes on in the laymans world is based entirely on skin color. However; we see here that we are certainly allowed to use a matrix of characteristics to discern "races" or "subspecies". You will find that my definition of race is dependent upon a set of "readily discernable" markers and is therefore scientific and not "social." You'll note that the above point (and my next one) refer to species but it is important for our discussion of subspecies.

2. The flow of genetic material between the group and other groups is small and can be expected to remain so because even if the two groups were to be placed together they would not interbreed to any great extent.

This is an important point that needs to be made. The old school "white mans" version of race was an attempt at showing that "negroes" were an entirely different species of human that would fit the above definition. Race by no means fits into the above point. Therefore anyone who attempts to use race to prove the above point is full of shit.


Note the key qualifier above: to be regarded as different groups rather than as a single varied group, the difference must be distinct, not simply a matter of continuously varying degree. If, for example, the population in question is a type of frog and the distinction between two groups is that individuals living upstream are generally white, while those found in the lowlands are black, then they are classified as different groups if the frogs in the intermediate area tend to be either black or white, but a single, varied group if the intermediate population becomes gradually darker as one moves downstream.

This is not an arbitrary condition. A gradual change, called a cline, is clear evidence of substantial gene flow between two populations. A sharp boundary between black and white, or a relatively small and stable hybrid zone, on the other hand, shows that the two populations do not interbreed to any great extent and are indeed separate species. Their classification as separate species or as subspecies, however, depends on why they do not interbreed.

Now we have some meat here. Lets replace the frog with humans. In humans we know that we see a "cline." Since we don't see either or situations in the observable world but rather clear varieties in human morphology we know this to be the case. We know we are dealing with the same species. So we are forced the answer the question posed: Do we interbreed or not? By wait!!! did we say "breed?" Yes we did. Recall in my previous postings on the subject I told the audience that we can interchange breed with race. OK? Good.

If, on the other hand, the two groups would interbreed freely provided only that some external barrier was removed (perhaps there is a waterfall too high for frogs to scale, or the populations are far distant from one another) then they are subspecies. Other factors include differences in mating behavior or time and ecological preferences such as soil content.

Note that the distinction between a species and a subspecies depends only on the likelihood that in the absence of external barriers the two populations would merge back into a single, genetically unified population. It has nothing to do with 'how different' the two groups appear to be to the human observer.

So we know full well that there were environmental barriers preventing Africans from breeding with Europeans and Asians. We know that given the opportunity all these groups will willingly get their freak on. Oh there are definite social barriers here or there but by and large humans will mix it up (especially the males). So by the requirements outlined above and noting the breeding history of humans it is clear that varied human morphological groupings (races) are in fact subspecies. So how did PBS get this wrong? Seriously? All that grant money and stuff and they completely missed that? I don't think so. They knew what they were doing and it is working perfectly.

Lastly we find:

A polytypic species has two or more races or subspecies. These are separate groups that are clearly distinct from one another and do not generally interbreed (although there may be a relatively narrow hybridization zone), but which would interbreed freely if given the chance to do so. Note that groups which would not interbreed freely, even if brought together such that they had the opportunity to do so, are not races: they are separate species.

Umm. Does this need explaining? Well actually I think this would be a restatement of my earlier statement.

So on point number 6 of the PBS special we find PBS to be presenting a flat out lie. We are soooo shocked </sarcasm>. Continuing:

7) Skin color is only skin deep. Most traits are inherited independently of one another. The genes for skin color have nothing to do with genes for hair texture, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, or athletic ability.

Really? Well on the blood type thing well maybe (see our previous slide dissection). Musical talent and athletic ability? I'm not even going to go there. Hair texture and eye shape..umm I don't know who they have been looking at but its pretty clear to me that certain eye colors are generally absent from certain populations. That certain hair types follow certain skin types and eye color types in combination. Like these people haven't heard of gene linking, independent assortment, gene association and other genetic phenomena that is readily observable.. So to make up for the poor research here I'll again point the reader to Wikipedia:

Genetic linkage occurs when particular genetic loci or alleles for genes are inherited jointly. Genetic loci on the same chromosome are physically connected and tend to segregate together during meiosis, and are thus genetically linked. Alleles for genes on different chromosomes are usually not linked, due to independent assortment of chromosomes during meiosis.

So again PBS is caught passing off lies. This is not really looking good. Next.

8) Most variation is within, not between "races."

Well that depends. If you are using the now discredited US "standard" then the statement is true. If you use a scientific standard you may not find the amount of variation to be that great and even if you do they will pale in comparison to the morphological differences between "races." I mean me and a Dinka may have serious differences but neither one of us will ever be confused with a Czech. So well chalk this up as a PBS half truth or conditional truth.

9) Race is not biological, but racism is still real. Race is still a powerful social idea that given people different access to opportunities and resources. Our government and society have created advantages to being white. This affects everyone, whether we are aware of it or not.

An unfortunate mix of unproven declaration and social science. We've already smashed two of PBS's "scientific" statements so at this point the reader ought to be highly suspicious of the "race is not biological" statement. And yet again we are assaulted with social science with has nothing to do with genetics.

10) Colorblindness will not end racism

Again I won't waste time on the social science angle here.

What we have here are 5 statements that have nothing to do with science. and another two that are completely contradicted by the facts and scientific definition. therefore in their opening slide we have a 75% rate of a combination of irrelevant info or flat out incorrect statements. Yet this is passing as "authoritative" information. It's amazing what some grant money can do.

The next set of slides is the "Race Timeline". A brief..well not too brief overview of racial theory in America (and occasionally elsewhere). But the same problem exists here as it exists elsewhere: It is a practice in social history At best it serves to discredit such persons such as Johann Blumenbach and Samuel Morton Which is fine in my book but still doen't disprove race itself. All it does is disprove previous thoughts about it. The difference is important. Just because you can disprove someone's thinking on a particular subject does not make the subject itself disappear. You've only destroyed a particular argument that's all. Overall this section provides no evidence or documentation that supports PBS's hypothesis though it is an interesting historical read.

The next section is "Human diversity" Which is perhaps the best attempt at providing evidence for the hypothesis of "there is no race." When you hit this section and hit the "Explore Diversity" section, you are in for a real treat. First let's click on the "Physical Appearance" section.

What Do You Look Like? We have an idea that certain physical traits - like those listed on the right - go together and that these can be mapped geographically along "racial' lines. It turns out that we have a distorted impression of how people around the world actually look.

Whoah... Full stop. Not that PBS is again trying to confuse the reader by placing "geography" and "racial" in the same sentence. This will bite them in the ass shortly. Secondly you'll note that they separate out three traits. This is an attempt to confuse the reader by implying that race must be a product of a single trait. but we dealt with this in our discussion of subspecies so we already know that PBS has this wrong. So the entire presentation is faulty on those bases alone. If this were a court of law this "evidence" would be in-admissable. But let's entertain PBS and go through this.

First we click on the "Our Idea of Race" (I already went into the whole "our" thing didn't I?)

Where does our idea come from?

In the U.S., immigration patterns give us the false impression of distinct "races." Most people have migrated here from very specific places [bloggers note: can they come from anyplace other than a specific place?] If we looked at the world, we would see that people are much more varied, and different populations blent gradually into one another.

Oh wait, did I read that right? "Different population blend gradually into one another." Wait I saw this before. Yes. Yes I did.

A gradual change, called a cline, is clear evidence of substantial gene flow between two populations...If, on the other hand, the two groups would interbreed freely provided only that some external barrier was removed (perhaps there is a waterfall too high for frogs to scale, or the populations are far distant from one another) then they are subspecies.

No shit? Word I do believe that PBS just provided us with evidence of....gasp...human sub-species. So with one slide the whote "no race" argument that PBS is attempting to foist on the world falls to the ground. Done. Finished. Everyone can go home now. There's nothing left to see here. The fire is out. Seriously folks, there is nothing else to see here. Do they have fact checkers and editors at PBS? Didn't anyone see this? Seriously to have stuff that completely contradicts the entire point of the website is pretty bad.

Ok just to be charitable I will waste more time on this PBS site cause I promised to do it. If we click on the "skin color" button we get a nice colored graph of skin coloring around the world. They state:

How skin color is distributed geographically. This map shows a lot more diversity than we might expect. Africa for instance, has the widest range and greatest diversity of skin color. People in Spain, Algeria and Chiina have similar skin tone, yet we traditionally think of them as different "races." People in southern India are as dark as many Africans. Skin color tends to correlate with sunlight and lattitude, not "race."

This particular passage suffers from what we call "the pull of the recent"(2). In laymen's terms the people at PBS have presumed that what we see now is how it has always been. They are projecting the present into the past. Bad, bad science. Let's briefly discuss Spain and Algeria. Spain has a darker population because of sunlight or because of the Moors that were running up in there for a couple of centuries and the same with Algeria. But all that aside, Since we already know that these populations arose from the Black African founding population All of those different complexions are a direct result of changes due to changes in geography which we did discuss earlier didn't we? Oh yes we did. So again the map itself again destroys the "no subspecies" and "no races" argument. but it gets worse. If you merge the Skin color maps and the nose shape maps, you find that black skinned and broad nosed people are isolated in Africa and Austrailia. Narrow noses and light skin are isolated to northwestern Europe. Asia contains a median of skin tones and nose structures and the Middle East, as expected has a variety of types. Exactly what you expect from the existence of subspecies.

So PBS is done in by it's own evidence yet again.

As far as skin color is concerned had that map been created to reflect the populations circa 4000 BCE there would be no light skinned people on the map at all. So It is of interest that PBS decided not to raise the question of hair type with a little map. I have no doubt that by merging that map as well we would find the "no race" and "no subspecies" argument further damaged. But recall that we've already established that PBS's argument is invalid, all of this is merely extra dirt on the grave.

The next section of interest is the "Genetic Similarity" where PBS asks:

Who are you related to? Most of us can trace our ancestry back at least a few generation. Genealogical researchers can go back further - sometimes as much as 10 or 20 generations, or about 200-400 years. What does that mean for us in biological terms?

Well That depends again on who "us" is. If I'm in Ghana I can pretty much know who my ancestors are for the past 200 years. If I'm in China or Japan I can again know with quite a bit of certainty who my ancestors are going back 200 years. But I won't play dumb any longer. I know they mean "US" as in folk in the US who under the silly US "race rules" has a bunch of people misclassified based on silly "one drop rules" and "hispanic as race" categorizations. So this little exercise they have the reader go through only goes to re-inforce that the US system is silly, but we know that already. What is the overall effect of this situation though? Why is PBS invested in this? That is a social issue and beyond the scope of this post so I'm not going into it now

The section concludes with:

We Can't possibly know our entire genetic history. Our DNA is made up of bits and pieces of DNA from millions of ancestors. dating back thousands of generations -all the way to Africa.

We all share most of the same ancestry. Humans are 99.9% identical genetically. Of the tiny amount of difference that exists, 85% is found in any local group such as Poles or Hmong. We are far more alike than we are different. Genetic differences do exist between individuals and between groups, but those differences don't follow racial lines.

More unsupported statements by PBS. We already know that the 99.9% identical DNA is wrong.

We know that the whole "don't follow racial lines is wrong and proven so in our map overlay and having proven race or subspecies back when we discussed the "opening points", this statement is also provably wrong. We know the old logic rules that show that if any of the premises are false in an "and" statement that the entire statement is false. More dirt on the grave.

The next section is "Me, My Race and I" which is a presentation of slide shows and transcripts which do absolutely nothing to prove or disprove the existence of race at all. It is mere sociology. Sociology is not biology so it is entirely useless in determining the existence of race. Verdict: Waste of time.

The last section is "Where Race Lives" in which they discuss racial "segregation" and such. Again this is sociology and not biology.

So in conclusion, we find that more than 30% of the PBS website is sociology which is entirely useless at discussing a biological phenomenon. Of the rest of the website we find that the information is either outright incorrect or presents information that invalidates the overall argument. But most of the population that this website is to be read by is completely unequipped to see the lies. Yet because this is PBS they think they have authoritative information. Sad. The fact of the matter is that this PBS "documentation" is about as authoritative as Intelligent Design. Not so much.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Speaking of Eugenics

While doing research for what is hopefully my last posting on "race" I stumbled on this at the BBC I'm not sure how I missed it but there is is:

Physical appearance, driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility, will improve, he says, while men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises.

Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds. Racial differences will be ironed out by interbreeding, producing a uniform race of coffee-coloured people.

Yes, Women will be lighter because "choosy people choose Jiff"... I mean Lighter skinned women to breed with. Coffee is black (well dark brown). It's isn't "light" until you put something akin to milk in it. A common theme among the social elite seems to be this desire to put an end to those "pesky" black people. Check the article, This fellow has outright envisioned a world where black women cease to exist. all gone. All replaced with "lighter skinned" and "glossy haired" people.

At least now we know why black folk are so absent in futuristic Sci-Fi.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Israel Has a Right to Exist?

Back on October 16, 2007 while writing on the Israeli lobby I wrote:

One of the other interesting things about this interview is the fact that the existence of Israel as it currently is understood cannot be questioned. Notice how it, like imprechment of Bush is "off the table." Yet a Palestinian state is quite debatable. Note that one can easily discuss the abolition of the current state of Israel without even contemplating killing anyone or displacing anyone. The state of Israel is a man made concept. It is a bureaucracy. It can be destroyed and replaced without a single drop of blood being shed. Of course to suggest such a thing is considered anti-semitic.

I don't get Counterpunch love but another writer does and discussed this very issue at length

The fallacy is clear: the recognition of the right of Jews who are there--however unjustly many of their Parents or Grandparents came to acquire what they own--to remain there under liberty and equality in a post-colonial political settlement, is perfectly compatible with the non-recognition of the state whose constitution gives those Jews a preferential stake in the polity...

In our world, a world that resisted Apartheid South Africa so impressively, recognition of the right of the Jewish state to exist is a litmus test for moderation and pragmatism. The demand is that Palestinians recognise Israel's entitlement to constitutionally entrench a system of racist basic laws and policies, differential immigration criteria for Jews and non-Jews, differential ownership and settlements rights, differential capital investments, differential investment in education, formal rules and informal conventions that differentiate the potential stakes of political participation, lame-duck academic freedom and debate.

Ian Smith is Dead


Keeping Perspective

The Lede blog at the NY Times posted on Jay-Z recently in which we find the Secretary General of the UN stating:

Even the United Nations recognized him for helping to improve water and sanitation across the world with an improbably informal shout-out from Secretary General Ban Ki Moon:

My man Jay-Z has been a wonderful partner to the UN, and a champion of those in need around the world.

While I'm sure Jay has put in some work and I'm not trying to hate on the brother (who did after all take pot shots at head-wrap wearing black folk) but I'm pretty annoyed at the rate of celebrity dick riding that the press has been doing in regards to Africa. Seriously it's all well and good that filthy rich celebs are doing something but the people who need to be getting mad props are the people who have sacrificed all to give 200% to Africa. And more often than not these people are Africans (no knock to Jay, but I doubt he sees himself that way). I won't belabor the point with my own words because there is a nice article over at Black Electorate that makes the point concisely:

There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one's cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head -- because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West's fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West's prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Eugenics 201

There is a series of posts over on Assault, that is covering an important issue: Eugenics. As the human genome is deciphered this and notions of species, subspecies and it's inherent genetic characteristics becomes more known and the information is flushed through popular media any black person concerned with it's implications ought to be very familiar with the subject.


[Update: The pages that the above links refer to are apparently gone now. I'm not sure if that is on purpose of if there has been an error on the ABS site]

Sunday, November 18, 2007

White's Great Hope

The Wall Street Journal posted an article last week entitled "White's Great Hope?" discussing Barak Obama's run in racial terms. It is an excellent expose on just what is wrong with White America and why Obama irks me.

"Because he's black it makes me want to believe that he will change

things," says Mr. Oliver, leaving an Obama campaign rally here. "It

feels like you are part of something that's starting to change American

politics. It's the cool factor. He's a rock star."

Wow. Because he's black he's a magical person who can change things? Really? No. Actually the important part is that he's a popular "rock star" black person. This is important because the "approachable" and "cool" black male has always been popular in America. Remember that prior to Colin Powell deciding not to run for president, He was a "rock star" too. An "eloquent" one at that. So the question is what makes him so "cool" and "approachable"?

As he campaigns across the country, Sen.

Obama, the son of a black father and a white

mother, is both revealing and tapping into a

changed racial landscape, especially among

younger whites. After decades of often bitter

polarization and racial tension on issues ranging

from the spread of civil rights to affirmative

action, many whites say they are drawn to Sen.

Obama precisely because they think his

mixed-race background reflects America's

increasingly diverse population and projects a

more optimistic vision of the country's racial


Let is be clear here. The above statement is extremely important here. White people in the US have a history of bestowing favors upon "light skinned" blacks (often their own offspring). While such people were still seen as "not quite human" white folk could not help but see a little of them in those individuals. Sometimes they went so far as to provide rudimentary education to these individuals. Down through the passing of time, we will note that even today the research shows that "light skinned blacks" are automatically afforded a presupposition of intelligence and culture relative to "dark skinned blacks." In other words, those white people who feel "good" about Obama because he "has a little of us in him" are simply playing out the same warped racist attitudes of their ancestors. Same shit different century.

What is also significant is the discussion of "polarization" comment. In other words, Obama becomes yet another white appointed "black" leader. Again this is straight out the Old South playbook. Find a Negro whom can keep the niggers in check even while being a "voice of reasonableness" to the majority population. While Barak Obama can be forgiven somewhat for not seeing this situation, I'm not sure if I can give his wife the same pass. She should know better and not let Obama fall in for that. But then again, when one is seeking the highest office of the land, such "little" quibbles like mass insults to the race ought not to be a source of distraction.

Sean Briscoe, a 24-year-old white who writes a political blog in

Nashville, is one: "Obama doesn't come with the baggage of the

civil-rights movement, focusing entirely on the race issue," he says. "He

went from Hawaii to Indonesia. He has been in all these places where

you get an appreciation for people who aren't like you."

Sean Brisco is an idiot. Let me translate this for us:

"Obama isn't one of those Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton niggers who cry racism all the time. I'm tired of those people and wish they were dead. Black people need to stop complaining and be more like this Negro right here."

The problem with Brisco and his ilk is that they think that Civil Rights, mean Black rights. No sir-e-bob. Civil Rights laws protect everybody. See before the police were dragging people off for demonstrating against Bush they were practicing on Black people in the ol south. So when "Civil Rights" people protest against police brutality they are lookin' out for you too. Mind you that "White privilege" (what ought to be called "the status quo") keeps many white folk from realizing this. In fact one of the greatest benefactors of Civil Rights legislation has been women. White women.

Two decades ago, Jesse Jackson broke new ground by challenging

whites to consider a black mounting a serious run for the presidency.

Now Sen. Obama and a new generation of black candidates are running

campaigns that make whites feel good about themselves. These younger

black politicians, including Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and

Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., are, like Sen. Obama, seen

by many whites as proof of the country's racial progress -- and their


Sen. Obama "doesn't steer away from race but makes sure that

everything he does is influenced by his bi-racial identity," says Harvard

Law School professor Charles Ogletree, who knew Mr. Obama as a law

student and is advising the campaign.

Like I said, There is nothing new here about black "leaders" making white people feel good about themselves. In fact it is apparently the job of black folk in America to make white folk feel good about themselves. It's a pretty sad state of affairs. Really. This isn't progress. All it does is allow white folk to continue to wallow in the self-centered universe they operate in in which that which they want is paramount and to hell with everyone else. Of course we know from history that white folk have often allowed certain negroes to be their lookout men (and women). Trust us with their children. Heck tryst us to drop dime when the rest of us were seeking freedom.

I remember back in the day when Dr. Leonard Jefferies caught flak for singling out students in his class who were biracial. He reportedly challenged there commitment to black people because he thought that their white parent would be a source of conflict when it came down to standing up for black folk. A lot of people were not comfortable with this but here we have Mr. Obama expressing the very same issue that Jefferies was concerned about. See Obama is really the literal 'White Negro" and plays right into the hands of racist white America that would love to see the rest of us good and gone (except for entertainment purposes). The rest of us though are quite happy being "black on both sides" and guess what? We are just as American as anyone else here and don't need any other bonafides.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lessons From Donda West

I was shocked when I heard of Donda West's passing. I was even more shocked when I found out the circumstances of her passing. This was a completely avoidable situation. Completely. Unfortunately I am worried that a great deal of black women and black men are not going to pay attention to the very real lessons that this situation presents to us as a group.

I read and commented on a write up on the subject on another site. I was particularly disturbed that the author opened with the oft sited claim that black women have healthy body images compared to white women and are "immune" to the Hollywood image factory. I agree that there are far to many anorexic women on the fashion runways and on the TV screens, but it is simply not satisfactory to use that as an excuse for the truly awful eating habits that many Americans have and that black folk in particular engage in.

While Black folk may be trailing far behind white people in eating disorders (read starvation, bulimia, etc), we are tops on the charts for high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and other ailments that can be traced directly to diet and lack of exercise. How can we brag about not killing ourselves by not eating and/or purging) when on the other hand we are literally eating and sitting ourselves to all manner of avoidable disease? Being comfortable with ones body is not healthy when it becomes accepting any which way it grows. However, as bad as that situation is, it is not the biggest of the lessons available.

America as a whole are impatient people. Americans want what they want and they want it NOW. Fast food from a drive up window. Imagine that. The food is already made but people don't even want to walk into the store and stand, yes stand in line to get it. No they want to sit on their asses from the time they get into their cars to the time they park at work. Then sit on their asses all day because much non-manual labor requires sitting. Get up and get to the car to sit to get to whatever fast food place, get the food (still sitting) come back to the office and sit and eat. So those pounds quickly show up. The problem is that as easy as the weight comes on, it does not leave at the same speed or with the same (lack of) effort. No gaining weight is easy. losing it is hard. But Americans don't want to do the work required to lose and then maintain a healthy weight (for their body type) so an entire industry was born to suck the fat out of the places it accumulates (usually the hardest places to lose). So we see the advertisements for same day liposuction. We see before and after pictures. These places offer various financing plans so that even YOU can afford to have that tummy tucked.

No need to stop eating the fatty foods. No need to change the way you view food (it is not there to comfort you). No need to actually take time out of your day to do some exercise. No need for any of that. Just pay a surgeon, lay on a table and voila insta-slim. This attitude is what cost Donda West her life. I'm not blaming the victim here I'm laying out the social construct that made Donda West think that going under the knife was an acceptable solution to her perceived problem.

Some people will attempt to counter with the recent report that came out saying that being "slightly overweight" is "good." Umm no. See I have a BMI index that states that I am overweight. Anyone who knows me would be shocked by this. I am not. I run and have more muscle mass than what a 6 footer would have. In fact anyone on a given baseball, football, soccer teams would be considered "overweight" by strict BMI standards.

Ultimately we have to get past this whole being fit is "white" thing. It's literally killing us. We need to get off most of the fast food. We need to get off frequent "soul food" eating. We need to care more about the state of our bodies than the state of our hair. It is unfortunate that Donda West had to pass but I hope that it will provide a wake up call to the community at large.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Come On People!

Come On People

Bill Cosby

Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D.

265 pp. Thomas Nelson

$17.50 (

Dr. Huxtable is NOT happy. Apparently so are a lot of his critics. Back in May of 2004 Bill Cosby AKA "America's Dad" stunned the black establishment when he unleashed a harsh critique of the black "underclass." Jaws were slackened and soon after, much of the black left came to the defense of the black poor whom they saw as being unfairly blamed for their status. On the Black right there were roars of delight that "the Cos" had blown the cover of the "professional victimizers" that they see make up the post Civil Rights establishment. The news media had a field day as giddy newscasters ran and reran footage of a darkly bespecled Cosby having his say. Meanwhile, in my circle our reaction was more like "nothing we haven't been saying." That generally sums up what I felt when I read this particular book. There was nothing there that I didn't already know.

Before you think that such a statement is indicative of a book that is not worthy of a reader's time let me say that the reason this book was published is because the "common knowledge" it contains is, unfortunately, not common knowledge for the people to which it is being pitched to. Who might that be:

"We are talking about people in poverty. If you fit that description, we are talking to you. How do you get out of poverty? What must you do to get your mind cleared, you spirit healed, your dreams refocused?

As you probably know, certain people tell us that we are picking on the poor. Many of those who accuse us are scholars and intellectuals , upset that we are not blaming everything on white people as they do. Well, blaming only the system keeps certain black people in the limelight, but also keeps the black poor wallowing in victimhood."

What struck me most about the Cosby's critics is that most of them did not dispute the facts (or opinions) that Mr. Cosby stated. Instead they were mad that he did so in language they found objectionable. In fact it was evident by most of the criticism that many of these critics had not even listened to or read transcripts of the speeches. It would seem that since Mr. Cosby dispensed with the preacher style commentary or took to comedic exaggeration to make his point, people thought that he was out of his mind. Even today among many black blogs, including those of great repute you will find it fashionable to compare Mr. Cosby to the lowest of the low of black conservatism, a charge that makes little sense at all.

Come On People! serves to answer the critics. It is an important part of the call out series because it provides reference material that is usually missing from the call out speeches and usually the source of ire among Cosby's detractors. So yes, Mr. Cosby is well aware that the rate of teenage pregnancy among African American girls has dropped. And yes, he has documentation for that 70% drop out rate that he often sites. Most of this book is like his other works like Fatherhood and Congratulations! Now What? He dispenses what could be considered obvious advice to those reading the book such as my favorite: Keep the TV's out the Bedrooms. Cosby and his buddy Poussaint give out advice that can be applied to anybody and they state as much. The advice given, if heeded will change anyone's life for the better. Not that all of the advice is easy but that's not the point. Nothing worth having comes quick and easy.

What this book will not do, as stated in the quoted paragraph, is satisfy those who want to see a robust critique of institutional racism (Global White Supremacy for those in my circle). To be honest I wasn't expecting it and neither should the reader. First, Dr. Cosby was straight from the jump that he was not spending his time discussing what white folk do or should be doing. It is therefore unfair to criticize Dr. Cosby for not talking about that which he said he wasn't going to address. That's about on par with stating that a person cannot give out financial advice unless he or she offers a round critique of Capitalism. Personally I'm not sure that I would agree with Dr. Cosby or Dr. Poussaint's explanation of racism on a local and global level, but I'm hard pressed to say that the specific advice given in Come On People! is wrong.

Secondly, I am of the opinion that regardless as to what white folk do or do not do, there is stuff we need to do. Of course this is within the Garveyite philosophy of "do what you will." In some way this position is the general fault line between Cosby supporters and detractors As this book is lacking in critique of GSW (Institutional racism to those so disposed), it is also lacking a robust critique of the black middle class. Indeed many of the bad parenting behaviors exhibited by the black poor are also exhibited by their middle class bretheren. The latter of course have the means to buffer themselves and their children from the worst effects of such parenting. Furthermore, while Cosby and Poussaint advocate that we use the tools at our disposal to get the government to follow through on it's responsibilities they fail to point out that while many other communities position themselves to support their own businesses thereby creating employment opportunities for their own youth, the black middle class has largely abandoned black neighborhoods and rarely if ever support black businesses that would be able to provide entry level jobs for black youth. Honestly though, If one is really that into black pathology one will have moved on to Carter G. Woodson or Amos Wilson.

And moving on is the best thing that can come out of this book. It is not intended to be the big answer book. Instead this book, like the call out series is meant to inspire the reader to find out more and to do more. Indeed the book is full of examples of people who have picked themselves up from all manner of situations and have made it. As much as the book is a critique of behavior it is also a chronicle of success and should it reach the right hands it will inspire more success.

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