Friday, April 17, 2015

Hidden History of The Nile - Religious Evolution & The Holy Trinity

I recently had another disturbing conversation regarding Africa with a sister of color.

This relatively young sister's comments on the motherland were consistent with the Africa of western media...fill in the negative stereotype.

Needless to say, I shared with her articles, images and videos on my website of an Africa rarely depicted in the American press. The response from her was telling:

"This is Africa? Wow, really? I have to do more of my own research"

I must add. If the western press continues to collectively present a distorted image of African-American life on a daily basis, we have to recognize, likewise, this same bias is embedded in their reporting of Africa.

The images support the mentality that sustains an international status quo or caste system most economically, politically, culturally and socially friendly to people of European descent.

 But once again, I want to share another video that shatters many of our preconceived beliefs. This is an insightful video of the African Traditional Religion's (ATR) contribution and presence in Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

Many of the beliefs, ritual traditions, storylines, celebrations and practices are rooted in ATR.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The boys in blue: This is what we do.

When watching the disturbingly explicit snuff film, the most incredulous sequence to me is how casual and matter-fact does this person -- with a uniform, badge and gun -- behave when he decides to execute Walter Scott by shooting him in the back -- an unarmed suspect fleeing the scene.

His demeanor suggests: "This is what I do...on a regular."

And then this person -- with a uniform, badge and gun -- just calmly saunters over his kill, handcuffs a dead body and runs with all deliberate speed to retrieve an object (stun gun?) which he plants next to the motionless body.

Once again, he does it so calmly it suggests:

"This is what I do...on a regular. Furthermore, do I have to remind you, in verdict after verdict in our country tis of thee sweet land of liberty my fellow brothers (hunters) in blue have been told by jury after jury, grand jury after grand jury, police commissioner after police commissioner, mayor after mayor that lethal force against citizens of color is not only legal it is expected."

And sadly once again, Deja vu all over again, the groundhog day of another unarmed boy, teen, young man, middle-age man of color continues to play in a seemingly loopless American made horror movie.

Am I relieved this one was recorded for the world to see? Yes, of course, but I still remember a jury watching footage of the boys in blue beating the shit out of unarmed Rodney King and still exonerating them with the tired refrain:

"This is what we do...on a regular!"

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cruz control: The Tea Party's main man of contradictions

It's not what I do, it's what I say!
Wannabe POTUS, Ted Wacko Bird Cruz is definitely a larger than life example of the contradictions, hypocrisy and convoluted logic of the Tea Party.

For Starters...

The TP folks, with the help of Fox news, created the birther movement -- challenging the citizenship of our supposedly Kenyan born President Obama and by extension de-legitimizing his presidency -- are now the same "Cruz for President" enthusiastic supporters.

Problem is...

If we apply the same constitutional standards the TP  used to create a great right-wing stir and controversy regarding Obama's eligibility for POTUS, one can easily assert that the Canadian born Cruz has even less citizenship.

Ironically, there can be little doubt that among those who expressed their support for a Cruz presidency at CPAC were attendees who continue to question the current president’s constitutional right to hold the office.

I say it is ironic because, while so many on the Right invested heavily in making the argument that Barack Obama lacked constitutional qualification to be our Commander In Chief due to his alleged foreign birth in Kenya, it turns out that Tea Party Tea Party hero Cruz finds himself in precisely the same circumstance—except that Cruz’s foreign point of origin is openly acknowledged.

Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada, the son of an American mother and a Cuban father. Were we to buy into the birtherism claim that Obama was, indeed, born in Kenya, then he too would have been foreign born as the son of an American mother and a father who was a citizen of a foreign land.  source

Is there a doctor in the house?

Cruz, the Texan Senator, has frequently declared one of his top missions in life is to repeal Obamacare. In public speeches and on the Senate floor, Cruz has championed the destruction of Obamacare. In fact, Cruz lead a government shutdown in protest against Obamacare.

If there's one issue that Cruz has ridden to political stardom, it's President Obama's signature health reform law. Cruz spent 21 hours on the Senate floor decrying the measure, then led Republicans into a two-week government shutdown over it. And the law figured into his campaign kickoff Monday: "Imagine in 2017 a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare," he said to applause.  source

But in defiance of all rhyme or reason, the TP darling has decided to enroll in Obamacare. Watch video:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mansa Musa: The Golden Days of West Africa

Here are two more excellent, informative videos on the civilizations of Western Africa during the middle-ages.

Both videos provide a more accurate depiction of Sub-Sahara Africa than most of us learned in our World history classes in public schools.

We truly live in an emerging Golden Age for Africa -- 7 out of 10 of the world's fastest growing economies are in the Motherland -- as such even African history has seen a rise in new scholarship.

This new scholarship -- new for western scholars as authors like Chancellor Williams, Ivan Van Sertima, John Henrik Clarke  taught this history for decades -- is effectively dispelling lies, myths and distortions; hence, they are enlightening the world about Africa's glorious past.


And one more:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

History: What's past is prologue.

The phrase means that history influences and sets the context for the present. The quotation is engraved on the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.[1]

As the old adage states:

If I had a dollar for every time I have been queried about where does my passion for history come from, well, ostensibly, I would be materially wealthy.

By a vast majority, I am unequivocally informed that history is BORING.

I get it

As a 9th grader who routinely snoozed away my hour long history class, I get it. History can be as entertaining as watching paint dry.

Yet as a history/political-science major in college, I don't get it. For example, I can not explain the here and now without the what happened then. Just can't do it.

My road from dispassionate to passionate student of history happened upon my meeting Malcolm X at age 15 via The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told by Alex Hailey. This book introduced me to the richness of history and opened my eyes to critically scrutinize the Euro/American HIS-story forced fed to us students.

Not that I angrily rejected this version of history -- I just realized that their were other stories, voices and perspectives

My most important take-always from master-teacher Malcolm were:

  • My history was glorious and pre-dated slavery by thousands of years.
  • I should never acquiesce to being defined by my adversary/enemy/oppressor/slave master.
  • Self-knowledge is the foundation for understanding world-knowledge.
  • Once enlightened one has a responsibility to share knowledge and help cultivate minds of the masses.
Next people ask: Doesn't learning all the African ish just make you an angry, disgruntled person?

No, quite the contrary, learning my story has uplifted my consciousness and help me embrace my humanity. I love the me that god created. And until I can embrace myself, I can not embrace the rest of the human family.

As the Honorable George Carter Woodson taught:

The thought of the inferiority of the Negro is drilled into him in almost every class he enter and in almost every book he studies.

Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.

If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the though of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.  source

And one more thing: Even as I strive to be culturally uplifting, I reserve the right (responsibility) to protest and speak-out about injustices. So sometimes I may don the hat of angry black man -- I keep one in lock and key for as needed.

Remember: "He who controls the past controls the future, and he who controls the present controls the past"?
George Orwell.

Monday, March 9, 2015

President Obama Selma Speech: "More Bridges To Be Crossesd"

We are storytellers, writers, poets, artists who abhor unfairness, and despise hypocrisy, and give voice to the voiceless, and tell truths that need to be told….

That’s what America is.  Not stock photos or airbrushed history, or feeble attempts to define some of us as more American than others

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Let America be America Again by Langston Hughes

Let America be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

From frontier to emerging market – Kenya’s economic rise

Nairobi business district 
Imagine vast and beautiful savannah grasslands as two million wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti National Park in the Mara region of Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This trip is 3,000km in length, and represents, in many ways, the very best of what Africa has to offer the international community.

But is this all Kenya puts on the plate?

The answer is a definitive “no”.

Bibi the big speech: "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"

Yesterday, in an anti-climatic manner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his speech/lecture in front of a joint session of the USA congress.

His topic -- to paraphrase -- "Iran is the greatest threat to world stability; war, bombing and destruction are the only answers."

Ok, ok. He didn't verbatim state the above text, but what is one to infer?

“I’ve come here today to tell you we don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don’t have to gamble with our future and with our children’s future."

The answer is, as John McCain once gleefully sang: Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran. What other conclusions can be drawn from Netanyahu? He tells us negotiations will not work, sanctions will not work forever, engagement will fail. So, what else can be on the table? Passive observation?

I don't think so. War is the subterfuge of the speech.

You may recall, Bibi once told congress back in 2002 that Saddam was the world's biggest threat and regime change was the only answer.

And today the United States must destroy the same regime because a nuclear-armed Saddam will place the security of our entire world at risk. And make no mistake about it — if and once Saddam has nuclear weapons, it is only a matter of time before those weapons will be used.

Two decades ago, it was possible to thwart Saddam’s nuclear ambitions by bombing a single installation. But today, nothing less than dismantling his regime will do, because Saddam’s nuclear program has fundamentally changed in those two decades. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the size of washing machines that can be hidden throughout the country. And I want to remind you that Iraq is a very big country. It is not the size of Monte Carlo. It is a big country. And I believe that even free and unfettered inspections will not uncover these portable manufacturing sites of death.  source

Sidebar: Don't these folks realize we now live in the digital age and we can google their track record?

Anyway, as history has proven, the biggest world and regional winner of removing Saddam was a more empowered Iran. I hasten to think who would replace a wounded Iran. A more radicalized ISIS?

You tell me.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

To Mr. Rudy Giuliani: Have You No Shame!

Yea, I said it...
We all know:

All is fair in love and politics.

And that:

Politics is a contact sport.

Got it.

Yet in still...

Even among the lowest of low bottom feeders in this mostly dishonorable profession, Rudy Giuliani has the distinction of being the scum de la scum (and I am being kind -- no really I am).

Rudy G seems to thrive on being the consummate and designated jerk in whatever room he enters. He will say or do anything to bring about attention. So much so, Rudy's kids have been known to cringe when pop grabs the mic -- that is when they are not shoplifting.