Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ben Chavis: Fidel Castro helped liberate Africa

Fidel and comrade Che Guevara
It seems as if Ozzie Gillen has upset folks in Miami by offering praise, albeit not a full embrace, of the notorious one, Fidel Castro.

But mention the name Castro in Lil Havana, aka Miami, and not have your sentenced laced with curses, is asking for some serious blow-back.

There Castro is enemy numero uno. To many Cuban expatriates, Mr. Fidel is hated as much as, if not more, than Osama Bin Laden.

Mr. Ben Chavis, former head of the NAACP and National Director of the Million Man March, has a different historical perspective on Mr. Castro that he wants to share.

In his words -- reprinted from the Washington Informer:

African-Americans, especially those who are conscious of how the world has changed during the past 50 years in terms of the progress for African liberation and self-determination, should be more than willing to express gratitude to Fidel Castro because of his outstanding historic and contemporary contributions to the advancement of the interests of African people throughout the world.
I am profoundly aware that my writing about this leader will make some of my brothers and sisters feel a little uncomfortable given the continuing controversies surrounding how the powerful status quo of how America views Castro. But, I think this is the right moment to at least issue a public statement of appreciation to a dedicated comrade in our struggle for freedom, justice and equality while he is still alive.
After I was released from being a political prisoner in my home state of North Carolina in 1979 as a member of the Wilmington 10, I remember what noted author James Baldwin said to me, "When someone is your comrade, you don't just pretend that he or she is simply not there to be affirmed. After all else, Black people should speak boldly without the mask of apology about who are our real allies are in the context of our long struggle for freedom." Baldwin's admonition is still true today.
Look at what just happened to Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the Miami Marlins baseball team, who was made to issue a public apology for daring to utter favorable expressions about Castro. It is a glaring example of how some ethnic groups in America flex the strength of their cultural, economic and political muscle to ensure that their worldview and interests are respected by others. Guillen is a native of Venezuela and told Time magazine that "I respect Fidel Castro."
As a result of the outcry from the Cuban-American community in south Florida, the Miami Marlins suspended Ozzie Guillen for five games. Subsequently, Guillen held a press conference to express remorse for his comment.
Why are some people so passionate about their dislike for Fidel in 2012? This is a question of history, ideology, geopolitics and economics. But the answer to this question is also an answer involving African and African American history, culture and the global struggle of African people for equal justice and freedom.
During the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and the "Pan African Movement" of the 1970s and 1980s, Fidel Castro was a major source of support and solidarity for the liberation of Africa from centuries of colonialism, imperialism and neo-colonialism.
Decades ago, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, Augostinho Neto in Angola, Sam Nujoma in Namibia, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Michael Manley in Jamaica, and W.E.B. Dubois and Malcolm X in America were all in solidarity with Fidel Castro and others about supporting the growing liberation movements in Africa.
Where is our memory today concerning this period of our history as a people? Are we too quick to forget? Do we have historical amnesia? We need to tell our children the truth our struggle here in America, the Caribbean and in Africa. African liberation required a revolution and a protracted struggle. The Cuban Revolution contributed concretely to the revolution and transformation of Africa.
I witnessed first-hand in Angola how Cuban soldiers valiantly and heroically shed their blood and gave their lives along with Angolans, Namibians, South Africans and others to prevent the brutal apartheid regime from taking over all of southern Africa while the administration of President Ronald Reagan orchestrated the avarice game of "constructive engagement" with the minority-ruled white South Africa. The geopolitical structure of Africa was changed irreversibly by the formidable forces of unity between our African and Cuban freedom fighters.
That is why I have no reluctance today whatsoever to say "Thank you" to Fidel Adejandro Castro Ruz for your leadership, sacrifice, and contributions to help Africa. You continue to be a beacon of light and inspiration for generations to come who demand freedom and liberation from oppression and imperialism. Long live the spirit and memory of Fidel Castro.
Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is president of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) and Education Online Services Corporation. He also serves as National Director of Occupy the Dream and can be reached

Abiola Abrams: Be you! Everybody else is taken.

I discovered this beautiful sister -- Abiola Abrams -- via one of my favorite blogs, Field Negro. Following his link to her blog, I found someone with something valuable to add to the conversation.

Granted, seeing that Abiola has carved out a nice market niche/brand, I am probably just late to the party...nevertheless, I am sharing. 

In our modern chatter happy world, lots of folks want to grab the mic and spit. However, too many folks just rhyme for the sake of riddling -- in other words that ain't got nothing to say but they just like the sound of their voice.

Abiola has something to say.

Enuff's the sister with:  30 Videos, 30 Days, 30 Bombshell Beliefs to Couture Your Life™ from Lifestyle Expert, Abiola Abrams

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why do so many conservatives vote against their interest?

I have re-asked/re-answered this vexing questions for years. And now I want to present other perspectives regarding this phenomenon... feel free to join this discussion. I will be continuing this conversation for the duration of the election year cycle.
Read On:
“You should read “What’s the Matter with Kansas” & “Deer Hunting With Jesus”. Both are great takes on a working class, anti-intellectual, redneck culture that has been convinced to consistently vote against their own best interests. 
I listen to my own father, who has been the victim of layoffs from corporate merger after merger, who’s had his retirement fucked, who’s lost money on wall street – he’s done everything he was ‘supposed’ to do. 
He joined the military, went to college, had 2 kids, bought the house, invested & saved his money, worked his fucking ass off all his life & he still has squat to show for it. Now as a man well into his 60s he’s feeling the wrath of age discrimination, he’s finding his skills becoming outdated & his pay & benefits today (for the last 10 years) are lower than what they’ve been in the last 30 for him. Living the american life he finds his health failing as he’s a lifetime smoker with a growing waistline.
He’s the prototypical uncultured, red-blooded american male. He slathers his streak in ketchup, votes conservatives down the line, and wants the good old days before the women, blacks and fags took over. He’s a flag waver, supports his troops, and fends for himself. He’s always bitching about how much money corporations have to spend bc of regulation & about how the upper class need a tax cut. Nothing in the world makes him angrier than “socialism” & the so-called welfare state. Working people getting needed services bothers him tremendously because a few extreme token examples get painted as degenerate leeches by the likes of AM Radio & Fox News. ANd then he’ll turn right around & support corporate subsidy for just about anything from corn to oil – b/c it “stimulates jobs” and it “trickles down”.
He refuses to recognize that we as a nation spend more money at the beckoning of corporate America than we even begin to touch what we spend on our own citizenry through what he claims is “welfare” or infrastructure. He’s a working class guy who’s been fucked by the system all his life. He still puts his suit on with a kind of sad pride, every day, & goes to work downtown to phone-monkey job nowadays. He’s doing a job any body could do but he likes to pretend all his education & experience has gotten him somewhere. He’s deluded about what America’s exceptional way of life has brought him personally as he is deluded about what the world is like at large. So he denies global warming, blames the unions, blames teachers & other government workers, blames regulation, blames the EPA & the FDA, blames those struggling to make it in this world, blames the blacks, blames the immigrants, blames everyone & anyone but those at the top.
He’d rather blame fellow working people trying to grab a piece of the pie, rather than blame the crooks who deprive us all. Because somehow – be it by gender identity, racial identity, national identity, he thinks his class, his type belongs at the top. He’s the top dog! But he’s not. He’s a nigger, i’m a nigger, muslims are niggers and mexicans are niggers, teachers and steel workers, and farmers too. To people like the Koch Brothers, we’re all niggers and my dad can’t see that. This is an us vs them game and people like my father are fucking deluded as to what side they’re on or can be on one day. Somewhere deep down inside, he admires those at the top – he wants to be them & even though he knows he’ll never be one of them, he likes to pretend.
He goes to his Applebee’s, Red Lobster & Outback & bitches about all the blacks there. I think this is important to note – it’s indicative of his whole perspective. He is the same CLASS of people as these folks, he’s spending roughly the same amount on dinner as them, but thinks things are going to hell because they are there. He doesn’t get that he IS THEM. He’s the same fucking class, in the same fucking boat. He’s got relatively the same education level, roughly the same pay checks, living roughly the same way of life. But he’s been convinced to fight, to hate, to dislike his own class of people & to admire & defend the class that basically owns & controls his life & all our lives. He has been perfectly trained to rail against the ‘other’. read entire article
Next Article:

Michigan Congressman John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, raised a compelling question in a conversation the other day: “Why do conservatives vote against their own interests?” If we can answer this, we might reach the common ground to solve the country’s economic, debt, and growing income disparity issues.  

Let’s get this much out of the way: conservatives do vote against their own interests. Pundits on the right may try to undermine Conyers’ question as being couched in terms that favor the Democratic Congressman’s side of the aisle, but deflecting the question means explaining away historical facts. Under Democratic presidents since 1930, who pursued agendas emphasizing people programs while pressing tax breaks for middle and lower incomes and resisting tax breaks for the wealthy, the average GDP increased by 5.4%, compared to a 1.6% average GDP increase during the presidencies of their Republican counterparts.  The Republicans moved to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans and gained support by calling them “job creators.” read more

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dick Cheney, aka Tin Man, speaks from his new heart on Obama

It was once written:
You shall judge a man by his enemies as well as by his friends. 

If this quote rings true, which I believe to be so, President Barack Obama will forever be held in high esteem by those questing fairness, equality and justice.

His sworn enemies: Dick Evil Darth Vader Cheney and the washed up rock star turned hunter, Ted Nugent -- he would hunt your family pet and then brag about it -- are two of the most rancid and repugnant carbon based lifeforms to walk our earth.

Well, Ted and Dick decided to tell us what they really think about our Prez.

The Dick first:

"He (Obama) has been an unmitigated disaster to the country. I can't think of a time when I felt it was more important for us to defeat an incumbent president today with respect to Barack Obama. I think he has been an unmitigated disaster to the country"

And Ted Nutjob:

 "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year."

Dick, fresh from getting a new ticker, wasted no time to grab the mic and spew his warped venom. He acts as  if we all forgot about him and W - Dumb and Dumber. Nah Dick we remember that you two were the ones that jacked up our economy, damaged our energy policy, failed to get Osama, had the biggest American soil attack - 9/11 happen on your watch, lied to get us in Iraq, turned our budget surplus into huge deficits, was asleep at the wheel when Hurricane Katrina was wrecking havoc, while hunting drunk you shot a man in the face and the beat goes on...

Damn Dick, you think we are that stupid...sit your dumb and inept ass down in a rocking chair somewhere and leave us the F**k alone. You already created a Grand Canyon size mess.

Now on to the next one,  Ted Nutjob. Who are you and why? Enuff said.