I will scatter them, and then I will gather them: Deuteronomy 4:27; 28:64; 32:26; Isaiah 11:12;
Jeremiah 23:8 / Read about the African Slave Trade in Deuteronomy 28th Chapter.
REPARATIONS NOW IN OUR LIFETIME!
N E W S L E T T E R…….#17
“Take direct action against the U.S. government!” Dr. Robert Brock
GIVE POWER AND MEANING TO
THE REPARATIONS MASS MOVEMENT
GIVE OF YOURSELF!
Note from the REPNOW Newsletter Editor:
I am so heartened and inspired at the onward thrust and motivation generated to make Reparations for Descendants of Slaves the objective of this new century. And it appears that more and more Black TOP Brass are getting involved every day. Let’s continue to press onward and upward and maintain our course of action.
How does the saying go? “There is something for everyone!” Well, in this case, there is something for everyone to do (ALWAYS), if it is only to set up a Reparations Awareness Station in your Community. If you have access to a computer and can go online, establish E-mail listings for Black Businesses, Black magazines and newspapers, Black Reporters working with White Newspapers, Black Colleges and Universities (which is what I’m looking for), Black Internet Groups, such as Black Voices, Black World, and Black Churches, and Black entertainers, sports stars, TV personalities, etc., etc. in order to keep a line of communication open to Black Peoples, especially the grassroots involving REPARATIONS IN OUR LIFETIME for Descendants of Slaves. We have to reach EVERYONE because we are in this cause TOGETHER!
The main ideal that we must keep in mind is that “SOLIDARITY” in our efforts to acquire Reparations is key to our success in this fight for a DEBT that is long, ever so long overdue. And any single individual or organization that thinks this debt will be paid without a concerted effort on the parts of the majority of Black Folks is deluding him/themselves, and know little about the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement that was only successful because it was supported and sustained by thousands of determined Black Folks on a Mission to make their objective a reality.
Without Reparations, our very lives and our future are at stake. And if these monies are not acquired, so that we can better ourselves, then we are destined to forever be under the control of our Captors, Descendants of Slave Masters, to reside in impoverishment, live by their inferior standards, abide by their educational system, be harbored in their prisons, and be subject to their so-called justice system. We need to honestly consider whether we want determination for our lives and for our progeny to remain in the hands of the White Powers-that-be. If not, then we must work quickly, ever so swiftly TOGETHER to reach the United States Government to let Congress and the Senate know and realize that either we get Reparations or else… We survived the atrocities against us in our fight for Civil Rights, and we will survive the atrocities that we will face in our fight for Reparations.
WE WILL BE HEARD, WE WILL GET OUR APOLOGY, REPARATIONS WILL BE ADDRESSED, AND DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES WILL BE COMPENSATED FOR FORCED MIGRATION, ETHNIC CLEANSING, AND FOR THE PAIN AND SUFFERING THAT WE HAVE ENDURED SINCE THE FIRST DAY THAT THE WHITE MAN LEARNED THAT HE COULD RAPE AFRICA AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BLACK PEOPLES ON THIS CONTINENT!!!
We all know history. It was the Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution, the need for representation, and the POWER OF DETERMINATION that established the United States of America, albeit at the Black Man’s expense, but it happened.
At present it’s time for Our INDEPENDENCE AND OUR SELF DETERMINATION TO COME TO FRUITION!!! IT IS TIME FOR US TO EXPERIENCE FREEDOM AND ASSURED LIBERTY THAT WE HAVE NEVER KNOWN AS SLAVES OR EVEN AS DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES!
Now, it’s our turn to fight for JUSTICE and DIGNITY and end the pain and suffering that we have endured since being forcibly migrated to the Americas and to Europe in shackles to make another people wealthy off the blood, sweat, and misery of Black folks. We have been without empowerment and Human Rights for long enough. If we don’t rise up and go for THE PRIZE, i.e., combat racism, our way, then WE’LL NEVER GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE THE FRUITS OF THIS “PRIZE”!!! Who better knows the needs of the Black Man than we? We have waited long enough for justice served, now let us all speak out and be heard and fight for Reparations with a UNITED FRONT until we get it.
White Folks have got to know that we are serious about our future, and this is the year to make it known to them in plain and simple language that they can understand:
“WE WANT REPARATIONS FOR BEING FORCED TO MIGRATE TO THIS COUNTRY AND ALL WHITE SOCIETIES AND FOR THE ETHNIC CLEANSING AND PAIN AND SUFFERING WE HAVE ENDURED SINCE BEING BROUGHT TO THE LANDS OF OUR CAPTORS. WE WANT REPARATIONS SO THAT WE CAN MOVE ON AND START OUR OWN COMMUNITIES IN FRIENDLY COUNTRIES, OR REMAIN IN WHITE SOCIETIES AND ESTABLISH COMMUNITIES COMPARABLE TO THOSE OUR U.S. TAX DOLLARS BUILD IN ISRAEL.”
[And that speaks volumes!!! I wish you could see these settlements. Then you’d know what I’m ranting about and wonder how in the World we could have permitted this to happen being Descendants of Slaves who deserve these financial considerations and residential areas so much more. Wake up, Black Folks! We are a People with a dire need to re-educate our youth (They are our future!). And we have permitted them to live in the ghetto and under White supervision for long enough. We have got to eliminate this ghetto life, impoverishment, and the bad elements that come with it, or let it continue to destroy us as it does day by day!]
Now, is also the time for us to appeal to ALL African countries to permit us to speak out at the UNITED NATIONS, so that we can air our concerns to ALL White Societies that benefited from the enslavement of Blacks out of Africa, as well as the rape of Africa to settle their debt of Reparations for the heinous, barbaric, and cruel Human Rights crimes committed against Black humanity. And at the same time, Black Congressional Representatives should be holding a filibuster (I haven’t forgotten) in order to send a dire message to White Folks that WE MEAN BUSINESS!!!
Our Black Congressional Representation has become a joke! Enough awready – ENOUGH!! Wake up, you people in politics and smell the coffee! Our people are falling by the wayside right before your very eyes and while YOU sit in Congress wooing lame and good for nothing Presidents!!! At this point we Black Folks need more than potted plants. We need people in office who are ready to be a voice for us and speak out for our concerns EVERY SINGLE DAY and especially for REPARATIONS FOR DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES until this much needed debt is paid for the destruction of our forbears and for our struggles to survive in inhumane despair and degradation.
Work with me, work with others, but let’s all work TOGETHER for the betterment of Blacks all over the World. Either we attain this goal and be successful and prosperous Black Peoples, or we can continue on the destructive paths headed for the demise of Black Peoples that Descendants of the Slave Masters have paved for us.
Many, many thanks to everyone making an effort to do their part and/or work with others for Reparations.
Don’t forget to send me FEEDBACK regarding your meetings, Conferences, dialogues, and debates, so that everyone can be informed of the progress of Reparations’ activities and affairs.
By the way, make it your business to attend as many Reparations Conferences as possible in order to be in the know, learn new ideas, network, and pass the word along: REPARATIONS NOW IN OUR LIFETIME!
Just one more thing, kindly realize that this is OUR “Reparations” Newsletter. As much as I’d like to publish all the articles that come my way regarding the injustices we face in White Societies, please know that I just can’t. I must dedicate this Newsletter to the “Reparations” Fight for Descendants of Slaves and our Liberation. Thank you for your support in this regard.
Tziona Yisrael, Editor
REPARATIONS NOW IN OUR LIFETIME Newsletter
(Click on “Repnow”)
If anyone has a list of E-mail addresses of University and College Black Student Unions, please advise: Afraqueen@AOL.COM.
KCLS TV in Los Angeles will host a Reparations Debate on Wednesday, May 30th at 8pm on its program "Connections.” Appearing on the program will be Senior Ambassador Raushana Karriem, of the National Commission For Reparations and David Horowitz an anti reparations activist.
In Los Angeles the program will appear on channel 58 and in Long Beach it will appear on Channel 31. Check with the station and give them your cable provider and they will be able to tell you your particular channel.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Raushana Karriem)
THE REPARATIONS EDUCATION AND MOBILIZATION CONFERENCE
AGENDA FOR JUNE 29/30, 2001
All who are ready and willing to work in a national and international campaign to educate our Sisters and Brothers about the necessity of Black Reparations are urged to come and help initiate this historic education and mobilization campaign. This has been pulled together by the New York Metro Chapter of the Black Radical Congress, New York/N’COBRA, Africa Action, students from Brown University, Brooklyn and Medgar Evers Colleges and the City College's Black Studies Dept. and IRADAC along with a host of other folks still coming into the organizing mix.
Below is “The Call” for everyone to feel free to help get the word out about Reparations for Descendants of Slaves! If you are in the New York City area, please help volunteer for different tasks at hand in preparation for this conference, as well as on Friday and Saturday of June 29/30, 2001.
People of African descent are determined now more than ever not to begin a new Millennium with the UNRESOLVED issue of compensation for past and present crimes against our Humanity.
This current Reparations upsurge is grounded on the historic reality that our Ancestors suffered the greatest crimes against humanity:
Centuries of brutal captivity not even a pig had to endure. Centuries of a middle passage experience far beyond ones worse nightmare. Centuries of being deliberately worked to death without pay. Centuries of thousands of daily rapes of our African Sisters. Centuries of knowing your children would automatically be born enslaved and put to work at three years old. This immoral and evil system still prospers today from peoples of African descent being exploited, dehumanized and demonized based on this legacy of slavery and the ongoing plundering of Africa.
All this and more resulted in the rulers of Europe and their ruling European descendants in the Americas becoming increasingly rich and powerful on a global scale.
Much love to the Afrikan nation.
Never before has there been such powerful motion around the demand for reparations for past and present inhumane acts against people of African Descent. Today, in every part of the world, people are talking about and mobilizing around the right of our Sisters and Brothers... the right of you and I... to fight for Reparations.
This historic and global groundswell of support for Black Reparations is causing fear and reaction within the ranks of the ruling white supremacists. They clearly understand the power of the Reparations Movement to transform the world's uneven social and economic relations into a more equitable distribution of wealth founded on the blood, sweat and tears of our African Ancestors. They have tried all of their international arm-twisting tactics short of use of arms to "persuade" the African Ministries and other nations of Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America to leave the issue of Reparations alone at the upcoming UN World Conference Against Racism. Their desperate acts have only resulted in a stronger unification of peoples of color to be resolute and stand strong for Black Reparations.
We have also experienced these very same ruling white supremacists sicking their racist rightwing hounds upon the Reparations Movement through college campus newspaper ads, TV talkshows, and various kinds of so-called "debates." Their hopes were to kill the Reparations Movement. But, just as in the international arena, their attempts to crush our Movement for just compensation has only resulted in positively promoting our righteous cause. These very same evil forces have also witnessed - much to their fear and frustration - a growing awareness among tens of thousands of our Latino and Latina Brothers and Sisters of their African roots and its historic meaning within the newly revitalized Global African Reparations Movement.
This puts us at a most critical stage:
There is a dire need to educate and mobilize our Sisters and Brothers about joining the battle for Reparations at this most pivotal moment.
This is why we, who have signed on as cosponsors, are calling for a working conference on Reparations Mobilization for June 29 and 30, 2001 at City College of New York Aranow Theater, 136th St. & Convent Ave. Harlem, NY. We are united and committed to building the structure that can help us educate and mobilize millions of our Sisters and Brothers across the US and the African Diaspora about how they can join in contributing to the realization of Black Reparations.
Our Ancestors will not rest until we - Africans of the New Millennium - achieve Reparations. Our Descendants will not forgive us if we do not fight the Good Fight for Reparations.
Join us at this historic conference on June 29-30. 2001!
To preregister call:
Brother Muntu Matsimela 212-785-1024 ...or
Brother Sam Anderson at 718. 270. 6287 or
E-mail us at <email@example.com
We have gotten, so far, great responses, both in terms of folks helping to spread the word and those committed to attend. We are in need of travel money and/or frequent flyer bonuses to help get our Continental and Diasporic Reparations Activists here. So, any help on this end is greatly appreciated!
FOR MORE DETAILS Call:
Muntu Matsimela: 212- 785-1027 or
Sam Anderson: 718-270-6287
For the Conference Planning Committee,
Please see the complete agenda for THE REPARATIONS EDUCATION AND MOBILIZATION CONFERENCE under “Mark Your Calendar of Events.”
Contributed by firstname.lastname@example.org and Rhazard988@AOL.COM
WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM (WCAR)
THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE/STATEMENT FROM THE BLACK RADICAL CONGRESS (BRC)…
Humberto Brown, email@example.com
Horace G. Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Carey Bond, email@example.com
STATEMENT ON THE WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM (WCAR)
1. Taking it to the UN
2. Why the World Conference Against Racism Matters
3. Preparing for the WCAR: What Happened in Santiago?
4. Overture to Durban: The Struggle in Geneva
5. The NGO Forum
6. Support the WCAR
7. Beyond the WCAR: Imperatives for Justice
8. Resources and Additional Information
Taking it to the UN
From the very inception of the United Nations, Black people have regarded that international body as an important forum in which to amplify our voices and focus public attention on the conditions of our existence. In 1951, political activist William L. Patterson and artist/activist Paul Robeson delivered a Civil Rights Congress petition to the then three-year-old UN, entitled We Charge Genocide. This historic document accused the United States government of pursuing policies aimed at the destruction of the African American people. In October 2000, a delegation of civil rights leaders, led by Gay J. McDougall, director of the International Human Rights Law Group, presented a "call to action" to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, exhorting her agency to address the racial discrimination that pervades the U.S. criminal justice system -- from racial profiling to the application of the death penalty. Stated the delegation: "Our political leaders speak loudly about human rights abuses in the rest of the world. They should start by ... eliminating racial discrimination at home -- and the world should hold them accountable." This special appeal was occasioned by the approach of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), which will take place August 31, to September 7, in Durban, South Africa.
The WCAR is the third UN conference on racism, coming toward the end of the last of three decades designated by the UN "to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination" -- 1993 to 2003. During this period, we have seen the fall of apartheid in South Africa, U.S. ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, creation of a "Special Rapporteur" at the UN to address racism and various forms of intolerance. We have seen international legal protections of human rights expand.
What we have not seen is any significant decline in the scourge of racism and its corrosive effects on the lives of millions of people of color around the world, nor any pronounced slippage in xenophobia, nor any reduction in heterosexual hatred of other sexual orientations, nor any abatement of religious intolerance. So what is new about another world conference on racism? What is the point?
The Black Radical Congress strongly supports the WCAR, and we are appalled by the general lack of support it has received. If this is the first time you are hearing about the conference, one reason is that in contrast to the much publicized UN women's conference held in Beijing, China some years ago, U.S. media have hardly taken note of the WCAR. The U.S. government, which gave $6 million to support the Women's conference, has committed little to the support of this conference. And thus far, support from the foundation community, except from the Ford Foundation, is sharply below the levels of support commanded by the women's conference.
The Black Radical Congress believes that notwithstanding the limitations of what can be accomplished within a UN context, the WCAR offers a valuable opportunity for peoples of African descent and other aggrieved peoples to spotlight their age-old grievances on a world stage, before a world audience.
We are well aware that the fundamental changes we seek in economic, political and social structures cannot be forged in the hallowed halls of the United Nations. UN mandates cannot break the punishing grip of globalized capitalism on the lives of working people; or reorder the budgetary priorities of the U.S. government to fund more schools and fewer jails; or rescue the 3,700-plus people on death row in the U.S., more than half of whom are African American, Latino, Native American and Asian; or return to the Black people of Colombia the lands taken from them in the name of a bogus war on drugs; or arrest the multiple plagues -- medical, social, economic -- that afflict humanity.
We believe, however, that it is wise for Black people in the U.S. and throughout our Diaspora to work this moment for all it is worth.
It is important to reiterate the international standards and principles that have been established for the just treatment of human beings, even as those standards and principles continue to be ignored and flouted.
It is important to expose the ongoing failure of the U.S. to comply with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which it ratified in 1994. The world must know that the United States remains one of the planet's leading sites of human rights abuse. A Human Rights Watch investigation has documented that the U.S. is a country whose government maintains, throughout a vast network of prisons filled disproportionately with people of color, an environment that not only sanctions but encourages rape and various sadistic abuses of male and female prisoners' rights. It is a country where the inherent barbarism of the death penalty is compounded by that penalty being applied in a proven racially discriminatory manner. These conditions exist in a country that claims to be the world headquarters of "civilization."
It is important for people of African descent to interact and network with each other and with other peoples of color in the same place at the same time -- even a short time -- and work collectively on the same project.
It is important to wring from the governments that comprise the United Nations consortium -- even if only symbolically -- a commitment to engage the worldwide fight against racism and all varieties of discrimination. That is an important goal, even as we must press our primary struggle, the struggle on the ground, for justice and democracy in our home societies.
Leading up to the Durban event, several pre-conference planning meetings have taken place around the world. The mandate for these meetings was to produce regional draft documents describing the historical and contemporary forms of racism, discrimination and/or intolerance experienced by peoples of the various regions. Those drafts were then given to a special committee charged with merging them into a single draft "declaration and programme of action of the World Conference."
The one and only pre-conference gathering devoted to peoples of the Americas occurred in Santiago, Chile, in December 2000. Present at the Santiago meeting were representatives of "non-governmental organizations (NGOs)" accredited to participate in the proceedings in Durban, along with government delegations, including that of the United States. The Black Radical Congress was represented by Humberto R. Brown, the BRC's International Secretary and a member of the United New York BRC local.
Linda Burnham, from California's Bay Area BRC local also attended. In the course of deliberations at the meeting, a separate "Declaration of African Descendants" was produced (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brc-discuss/message/1907 or <http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg00946.html), as well as a declaration of "Principles/Commitments on Race and Poverty" by an NGO Roundtable on Race and Poverty (<http://www.hri.ca/racism/Submitted/Author/racepovworking.htm or <http://www.udayton.edu/~race/06internat/hrights/PrepCom09.htm), sponsored by the International Human Rights Law Group. The Black Radical Congress endorses both documents in their entirety.
African-descended peoples and indigenous Native peoples fought hard to ensure that the draft document from the Americas would include sections devoted specifically to their experiences. And African-descended peoples, in particular, fought for the draft to clearly endorse the concept of reparations as an appropriate remedy for the ravages of slavery and colonial domination we have endured. It is noteworthy that the U.S. government delegation was the principal opponent of both objectives: including a separate section on people of African descent, and endorsement of reparations -- which the delegation claimed had been paid in the U.S., in effect, by the implementation of affirmative action policies! But despite its obstructive role, the U.S. delegation was overruled. In the end, satisfactory, inclusive language was agreed upon -- satisfactory, within the constraints imposed by UN procedures -- for releasing a "Regional Conference of the Americas Draft Declaration and Plan of Action." The special committee then went to work on the merger of all regional drafts into one draft document, which was unveiled in Geneva in March.
The result of the special committee's work, completed two weeks after the Santiago meeting, was greeted with outrage in Geneva. Virtually all of the language hard fought-for in Santiago was nowhere to be found in the merged document, and although a separate section on indigenous Native peoples was included, there was no African descent section and no reference to reparations. Indeed, in the 31-page draft, the words "people of African descent" appeared only twice. NGO representatives from other regions, especially Asia, were similarly dissatisfied, so much so that the decision was made to reject the draft declaration and require the writing committee to produce a re-draft -- a new merged draft declaration. In order for the special writing committee to present the new draft for discussion, an extra pre-conference meeting took place in Geneva on May 7 to 11. A final and extremely important pre-conference event will take place in Geneva at the end of May.
In many ways, the final pre-conference meeting has an importance almost equal to that of the conference itself. This is the gathering at which will be determined the main structure and language of the declaration that the WCAR will release at the end of its proceedings in Durban.
Consistent with the collective will of the African diaspora, the Black Radical Congress will work in Geneva to ensure that the essence of the document crafted at the meeting of the Americas in Santiago, over the U.S. delegation's objections, is reflected in the final draft declaration of the WCAR.
We will insist on the international community's formal recognition of the fact that for centuries, up to and including the present, peoples of African descent have experienced structural and institutional forms of racism and racial discrimination that have impacted severely on the material conditions of our lives, and on all aspects of our humanity. Stemming from the brutal exploitation of our bodies under slavery and colonialism, Black people throughout the American hemisphere and in Africa continue to experience disproportionate rates of poverty, unemployment and underemployment; excessive incarceration and state terrorism; inadequate education and health services; expropriation of our lands, and numerous other life-threatening economic, political and social disadvantages.
We will insist that the international community recognize the different, disproportionate and multiple ways in which women of African descent are burdened by the legacies of past abuse -- including combined sexist and racist economic and social policies, discriminatory cultural and sexual mores and other forms of discrimination specific to their female identity.
We will not only defend and promote reparations as a concept for compensating the unpaid Black labor that literally built the infrastructures and wealth of most of the developed modern world. We will also insist on concrete thinking about the creation of mechanisms designed to support Black people's contemporary uphill struggle to recover from the past's devastation.
We will press for acknowledgment of globalized capitalism's bitter fruit: its de facto new enslavement and re-enslavement of millions around the world – including millions of children -- who must toil long hours for unlivable wages, with little or no access to adequate health care, education or hope for a better life; its facilitation of new forms of racism and discrimination; its threat to the natural environment, and to the material, social and spiritual environments of many peoples and their cultures.
We will work with other groups to produce a separate NGO "Declaration and Program of Action of the World Conference," based on a bottom-up people's agenda for waging the fight against racism, racial discrimination and economic oppression.
We will press for the United Nations to establish, within the offices of its High Commission on Human Rights, a mechanism for conducting research, specifically, on the racism and discrimination experienced by the African-descended peoples of the Americas. The research would be aimed at developing and proposing specific remedies.
Unfortunately thus far, the U.S. government has refused to acknowledge that slavery, colonialism and their legacy have constricted African-descended peoples' development, at the same time as the economies of certain nation states are still being oiled by huge profits from the enslavement and colonial subjugation of millions. This denial of history, past and present, places the government totally at odds with the realities of Black people and threatens to de-legitimatize any claim it might make to represent the will of African American citizens and other Blacks in the U.S. Should it prove necessary to expose in a world forum the failure of the U.S. government to embrace and represent the interests of ALL of its people, the Black Radical Congress is prepared to do so.
The WCAR is in two parts. An NGO Forum begins just before, and slightly overlaps with, the second part of the conference, which is the official governmental part. The dates of the NGO Forum are August 28 to September 1.
The forum is important for two reasons: First, it is the main showcase for NGOs' priorities and work, at which organizations may present papers and conduct workshops, as well as offer artistic, musical or theatrical presentations. Exhibition space for graphic displays is also available. All presentations and exhibitions must be in line with the themes and objectives of the WCAR. The slogan adopted for the WCAR is "United to Combat Racism: Equality, Justice, Dignity." Also adopted were five broad themes, which can be read at the Forum's web site <http://www.racism.org.za. Submissions and proposals should be forwarded to <email@example.com. The program of the NGO Forum will appear on its web site as it takes shape.
Second, the forum provides a valuable opportunity for NGO representatives from all over the world to network, exchange information, and establish contacts and mechanisms for coordinating various aspects of their future work. Indeed, lifelong friendships and working relationships can spring from the Forum's intense social interactions, causing many past participants to observe that the Forum is "where the action is." It is also true that what happens at the Forum -- the discussions and debates, the alliances formed, the resolutions passed -- can significantly influence the behavior of government delegations in the official section of the conference.
The Black Radical Congress urges all U.S. organizations devoted to the interests and needs of people of color and immigrants to actively support the WCAR. That means: Mobilize.
* If your organization is able to send representatives to the conference, apply immediately for accreditation (see the resource list at the end of this statement).
* Use the resources listed at the end of this statement to gain updated information about the WCAR, and use that information to reach out to your immediate constituents and beyond -- grass roots organizations, the faith community, etc.
* Use your organization's web site as a means of passing along information.
* Use your contacts, both within and outside government, to put pressure on the U.S. government: Demand that its emissaries to the WCAR respect Black people and our concerns.
Finally, since not all organizations who wish to be represented at the WCAR will be able to send people to Durban, a significant way to support the conference is to coalesce with other NGOs on planning related events in the U.S. (The networks and contacts you build in that process will have long-term usefulness.) An excellent focus option for support work on the local level is the International Day of Action Against Racism, which has been proposed for August 31, 2001. Stay tuned to BRC online sources, and other online resources, for details on this proposed worldwide action.
The World Conference Against Racism is occurring as dawn still breaks on the 21st Century, in a world rife with new forms of exploitation, wealth concentration and deadly intra-group strife. Since birth, the United Nations has been severely limited by many factors in its ability to prevent or successfully mediate conflicts among nations and peoples, and in its ability to protect groups from inhumane, discriminatory and intolerant treatment. Not least of those limitations has been its subservience to the domestic and geopolitical concerns of its principal benefactors, the governments of the developed capitalist nations.
Notwithstanding its limitations, the UN has real value, uses and potential. The world is a better place for the advances in international human rights law that the UN's existence has facilitated, including the Race Convention and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. And we have previously cited the value of the forum it provides.
But if the big question is who will the UN serve in this new century, the earliest sign of an answer is not encouraging: Secretary-General Kofi Annan has initiated a "Global Compact," whereby UN agencies are urged to "partner" with the corporation of their choice from a list of 50 entities that includes Shell, Nike and Novartis. Shell is well known for environmental destruction and complicity in human rights abuses, such as Nigeria's execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa. Nike is known for sweatshops, and Novartis is working overtime to force-feed consumers genetically-engineered foods. We salute those human rights, labor rights and environmental justice activists who are focusing their work on the goal of a corporate-free UN and democratic control over corporations.
Confronted with the UN's choice, at this stage, not to have its initiatives reflect the spirit of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but instead to have them interface with the Covenant's antithesis -- the agenda of globalized corporate capitalism -- alerts us, again, to the work remaining to be done in the street. Accordingly, the Black Radical Congress will continue, as part of a broad-based collective, to pursue a number of important goals that are essential to justice, worldwide.
First, the Black Radical Congress seeks the cancellation of African debt, and of all debt incurred by underdeveloped nations due to the oppressive policies of European and North American-controlled lending agencies. In the case of Africa, debt cancellation is a critical first step toward compensating African peoples for the ruinous exploitation and pillage of their continent that, over centuries, are wholly implicated in reducing them to the status of debtors.
As a related action, we advocate the establishment of an international reparations agency, with branches in selected nations. This agency would administer the dispensation of funds -- provided by the European and North American powers -- for the development of African-descended peoples in Africa and throughout the American hemisphere. These funds would be earmarked to bolster development in the areas of child and adult education, women's development, health care, mental health, AIDS prevention, literacy, housing, legal services, art and cultural institutions, land reclamation and environmental clean-up and maintenance, among other possible areas.
We will continue our active role in putting international pressure on governments, in Southern Africa and elsewhere, to cease state persecution of gay and lesbian people and replace that persecution with policies and laws protective of same gender loving people's human and civil rights.
In the United States, we will continue our role in demanding that government repair the gaping holes torn in the welfare safety net by "reform" policies that, disproportionately, worsen the impoverishment of Black women -- who are extraordinarily over-represented in urban homeless populations.
We seek immediate abolition of the death penalty, which is yet another aspect of the living legacy of slavery.
We will press forward and intensify our national campaign to: criminalize police brutality under federal law; limit incarceration to violent criminals and establish rehabilitative alternatives for non-violent criminals; shift public funds from expansion of the prison-industrial complex to complete refurbishment of the nation's public school system, and to resist efforts to privatize our public schools.
As we write, an uneasy and deceptive calm is settling upon the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, where in the past few weeks our brothers and sisters rose up in righteous anger over the police murder of Timothy Thomas. Nineteen-years-old and unarmed, Thomas became the 16th Black male gunned down by the Cincinnati police since 1995. Long-standing grievances between the Black population and the governing structures of that city mirror the state of relations that prevail in most U.S. cities between people of color and the authorities. Only the names, and the faces and the incidental details differ. We know that in all the "theaters" of U.S. urban struggle, uprisings eventually subside and calm returns. What the various powers-that-be seem not to understand is: Until there is true justice, there will be no real peace.
In times like these, it may appear that the United Nations and its conferences are entirely irrelevant to the long-term process of uprising, struggle, sacrifice, advocacy, political negotiation and will that is necessary to remedy such grave human rights violations as exist in Cincinnati. But in fact, bearing witness before a small and getting smaller world is part of the process. Let all of us who can, go to Durban. We must tell the world what we have seen, what we know, and how we are determined to win the fight for change.
Your organization may apply for accreditation to participate in all proceedings of the World Conference Against Racism by obtaining an application from:
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations, Room PW-RS 181
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
United Nations (UN)
United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR)
World Conference Against Racism NGO Forum (WCAR NGO)
Human Rights Internet (HRI)
Internet Centre Anti-Racism Europe (ICARE)
AntiRacismNet (Project Change and IGC)
Applied Research Center (ARC)
South African NGO Coalition (SANGOCO)
International Possibilities Unlimited (IPU)
International Human Rights Law Group (IHRLG)
Global Afro-Latino and Caribbean Initiative (GALCI)
Black Radical Congress (BRC)
United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
United States report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
A response to the United States CERD report
Declaration of African Descendants
December 5-7, 2000
Principles/Commitments on Race and Poverty
NGO Roundtable on Race and Poverty
December 3-7, 2000
August 28-September 1, 2001
Durban, South Africa
August 31, 2001
International Day of Action Against Racism
Durban, South Africa
August 31-September 7, 2001
World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
Durban, South Africa
"United to Combat Racism: Equality, Justice, Dignity"
1. Sources, causes, forms and contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
2. Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
3. Measures of prevention, education and protection aimed at the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance at national, regional and international levels.
4. Provision of effective remedies, recourse, redress and other [compensatory] measures, at national, regional and international levels.
5. Strategies to achieve full and effective equality, including international co-operation and enhancement of the UN and other international mechanisms in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including follow-up procedures.
*The word "compensatory" in theme #4 is in square brackets because there was no general agreement for including the term.
* To review progress made in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
* To consider ways and means to ensure the application of existing standards and the implementation of existing instruments to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
* To increase the level of awareness about the scourge of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
* To formulate recommendations on ways to increase the effectiveness of activities and mechanisms of the United Nations through programmes aimed at combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
* To review the political, historical, economic, social, cultural and other related factors leading to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
* To draw up concrete recommendations for ensuring that the United Nations has the financial and other necessary resources for its actions to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Columbia University Station
P.O. Box 250791
New York, NY 10025-1509
Phone: (212) 969-0348
UPDATE MAY 25, 2001 ON WCAR
PREPCOM IN GENEVA
HISTORIC FOURTH DAY AT 2ND PREPCOM FOR UN WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM
African Descended NGOs Unite to Form The World Council of NGOs for Africans and African Descendants
Because of a national holiday in Switzerland, business at the United Nations World Conference on Racism 2nd PrepCom was suspended. It was decided yesterday however that all Africans and African Descended People should gather at the World Council of Churches headquarters in Geneva to discuss common issues that affect us all.
I have used the term "historic" to describe only two meetings in my life, but today in Geneva nearly 200 NGOs met representing African and African Descendant Non-Government Organizations --- a group for which our ancestors dreamed of. Never before have Africans from *grassroots* organizations from across the world united to form a group that would press three issues that unify Africans on a global level:
1) the global demand for designating the transatlantic slave trade and colonialism crimes against humanity,
2) reparations and compensatory measures for Africans and African Descended people and
3) the economic roots of racism.
The World Council of NGOs for Africans and African Descendants was a cross section of African people from Brazil, the United States, France, South Africa, Canada, Nigeria, Columbia, Australia, Puerto Rico and dozens of other nations.
The languages of those who had enslaved and colonized African people --- French, English, Spanish and Portuguese --- were no barriers to a meeting that lasted nearly three hours with perfect harmony of expression and unity on the issue of the slave trade, reparations and the economic roots of racism. Interpreters in the four major languages made sure that all of us understood everything that was said throughout the meeting.
Persons in the Maafa* spoke on issues related to the commonality of struggle and pain inflicted upon African people since enslavement on a global level. What was historic about the meeting is that, building on the pan-African Conferences, this meeting was the first world meeting of groups dealing with racism and its deadly spawn --- sexism against Black women, the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Southern Africa, the prison industrial complex which is growing rapidly and imprisoning African men and women on *all* continents, globalization and inferior educational opportunities for Africans. Physicians, educators, psychologists, nurses, attorneys, AIDS workers, community organizers, business people, ministers and laypeople, and so many others saw the commonality of crises facing African people and the goals they all share in obtaining relief from white supremacy.
We are in the process of compiling a list of all groups represented at this historic meeting and will share it with you within two weeks of this report. It is agreed that the three issues listed above should form the core of any discussions we have when dealing with the global problem of white supremacy. The organization itself should be considered one of the most if not *the* most important development arising from the meetings leading up to Durban. Its formation will have four immediate results:
2. Strengthens the global pursuit of reparations and compensatory measures for Africans and persons of African descent
3. Creates a global network of African professionals and non-professionals in the Maafa that can mobilize on a host of issues affecting African people
4. Creates a global network for developing counter racism/white supremacy strategies beyond the UN World Conference Against Racism in August
Raymond A. Winbush, Ph.D.
Director, Race Relations Institute
Benjamin Hooks Professor of Social Justice
Nashville, TN 37208
615-329-8575 - phone
615-329-8806 - fax
www.fiskrri.org - website
[ALL I CAN SAY IS HALLELUYAH!!! – REPNOW Editor]
*Maafa - (pronounced Ma-AH- fa) is a Kiswahili word meaning "disaster" or "terrible occurrence".
Maafa is meant to describe over five hundred years of warfare and genocide that African people have experienced under the names of slavery and colonialism and their continued impact on African people throughout the world. The word is a development of the African cultural mind and therefore holds more weight and significance than terms that have been used to describe this event in the past. Until now words such as "Diaspora" and "holocaust" had been appropriated from outside the culture and therefore could not embody the spiritual and psychological potency of the African reality. The term was first popularized by the author Marimba Ani in her book entitled "_Yurugu: An African Centered Critique on European Cultural Thought And Behavior."_ (1994) Africa World Press.
Contributed by firstname.lastname@example.org (Sam Anderson)
The Internal and External View
May 15, 2001
African Americans are becoming increasingly engaged in an effort to obtain reparations for slavery. Reparations arguments from the internal view have been eloquently presented, but this internal view is only half of a picture in the political sense. There is an external view of the African American reparations movement that is the key to the progress and eventual success of the movement.
For about a decade, African American human rights issues have been presented at the United Nations. As the head of an organization in consultative status with the U.N., I have fortunately been able to be present at every intervention of African American leader Silis Muhammad. In May of 1998, Muhammad intervened before human rights experts and member states at the working group level in Geneva, Switzerland. It was at this expert working group level that we were made aware of the external view of African Americans. Initially, it was a shocking awareness, because it differed so greatly from the internal view.
Internally, African Americans have always "felt" themselves to be a specific people because of a centuries long shared experience of slavery, oppression and discrimination. This internal feeling of "otherness" is valid. For example, the call for reparation is based upon self-identification as a damaged group or people. And yet, at the U.N. in 1998, we found out that African Americans are not recognized as a specific group or people under human rights law. In fact, the lingering effects of slavery on African Americans are not recognized at all.
During slavery, enslaved Africans were forced to give up their languages, and consequently their culture and religion died with the 'mother tongue'. Also, enslaved Africans experienced forced breeding, and consequently their descendants were no longer a part of one or another identifiable tribe or people. Lost from ancestral identity, these descendants had nothing but the shared experience of slavery within which to establish an identity.
The United Nations legally protects the identity and human rights of minority groups and peoples based upon certain factors. These factors are the group's common language, culture and religion. Muhammad recognized that this identification leaves out African Americans, as their language, culture and religion have been destroyed along with their identity.
Although African Americans "feel" they are a people based upon the slavery experience, in reality they are left out of the protection of human rights law. At that 1998 working group meeting, Muhammad asked the experts how they were going to fulfill the U.N. promise of human rights for everyone, everywhere, since African Americans are left out!
Although they did not respond with an answer immediately, much has happened in the years since he asked the question. An expert opinion has been written that discusses "ethno-genesis" or the coming back into existence of a people who have been considered destroyed. This opinion creates a foundation for the re-establishment of a collective political identity for African Americans.
Why is this important? Reparations are not sought for individual damage, but for collective damage. When the collective political identity of African Americans is defined by the experts, and that definition is agreed upon and recognized, the legal foundation for reparations will be established.
African Americans must recognize themselves collectively and stand together on this foundation, demanding restoration and reparation. And, African Americans must be recognized collectively by the world and the United Nations as a people in need of restoration and reparation. When these two things occur, the "cart and the horse" will be put together, and we can move forward to victory.
Ida Hakim is the president of Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation, which she founded in 1992. She also serves as CEO of All For Reparations and Emancipation, a nongovernmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations. Hakim is the author of Reparations, the Cure for America's Race Problem, published in 1994.
For more discussion on this article and to see what others have to say click on the link below to go to discussion forums.
Send your comments and suggestions about this article to: email@example.com
By Ida Hakim
Copyright © 2001
The Black World Today.
All Rights Reserved.
SANCTION ON THE USA
On April 12th 2001 Mr. Silis Muhammad, CEO of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, delivered the following oral intervention to the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland:
"Greetings, Mr. Chairman. To this date and time we, the African American people, are denied, and deprived, permanently, the human right of speaking our mother tongue in violation of Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the United States Government has ratified."
"The UN does not recognize us, or know where we fit, I have seen. We ask that the Commission on Human Rights hear our prayer for we do recognize ourselves as the African American people, internally. May the Commission on Human Rights find a category in which we fit, or make a category in which we will fit?" "The US Government commits, daily, the international wrongful act of denying the existence of the African American people, while claiming respect for human rights. The US commits these acts against the very spirit of the UN: HUMAN RIGHTS for everyone, everywhere." "For the injuries done during our 400 years of plantation slavery and its ongoing subsequent lingering effects, such as forced mixed breeding, wherein identity is demolished, we recommend the UN, and its Member States, place a reparations sanction on the U.S. Government. May this noble, supreme body: the United Nations, we pray, find the US Government liable for this ongoing loss of our mother tongue, and our internationally recognized identity, which today we are without!"
230 Peachtree St., Suite 900
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Contributed by ALARKAM@webtv.net (Malik Al-Arkam)
SILIS MUHAMMAD’S ORAL ARGUMENT FOR REPARATIONS AT U.N. APRIL 2001
in consultative (roster) status with ECOSOC
Oral Statement to the 57th Session of the Commission on Human Rights 14. Specific Groups and Individuals: (b) Minorities
Greetings, Mr. Chairman. To this date and time we, the African American people, are denied, and deprived, permanently, the human right of speaking our 'mother tongue' in violation of Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the United States Government has ratified.
The UN does not recognize us, or know where we fit, I have seen. We ask that the Commission on Human Rights hear our prayer for we do recognize ourselves as the African American people, internally. May the Commission on Human Rights find a category in which we fit, or make a category in which we will fit?
The U.S. Government commits, daily, the international wrongful act of denying the existence of the African American people, while claiming respect for human rights. The U.S. commits these acts against the very spirit of the UN: HUMAN RIGHTS for everyone, everywhere.
For the injuries done during our 400 years of plantation slavery and its ongoing subsequent lingering effects, such as forced mixed breeding, wherein identity is demolished, we recommend the UN, and its Member States, place a reparations sanction on the U.S. Government. May this noble, supreme body: the United Nations, we pray, find the U.S. Government liable for this ongoing loss of our 'mother tongue', and our internationally recognized identity, which today we are without!
All For Reparations and Emancipation
230 Peachtree Street, Suite 900
Atlanta, Georgia 30303 USA
Contributed by Wewinnin@juno.com
TO: All Who Believe in FREEDOM and PEACE
OUR GOALS: The Atonement/Reparations Mobilization (ARM) for Unity in Diversity Day - May 19 is supportive and in solidarity with your efforts. We are seeking endorsements and involvement from individuals, groups and organizations that have common ground. We are interested in pulling together with all of the reparations and social justice efforts not just for one day, but for a long-term mobilization campaign leading up to a May 19 global demonstration and event this year on through May 4th, 2002 and beyond, until we achieve the goal of full Reparations, racial healing, diversity and justice.
Our goal is not to replace any other group working on the issue of Reparations/atonement/social justice nor is it to form any new coalition. In fact, we are affiliate members of the D.C. Chapter of NCOBRA. We desire only to add more fingers to the fist for a bigger punch specifically for Reparations, we believe, by linking reparations as a movement for social justice and inviting racist whites, oppressive governments, and others "to make atonement, to right the wrongs done and to repair the damage through reparations".
Please review the following and lets link our struggles. Our goal is to encourage a "people's movement for racial healing, diversity and justice."
Can I put you on our list serve for continued updates and yes, please include us on your listserve?
Peace and positive energy,
Ayo Handy Kendi
Founder/director. AAHA Convener, ARM
Take "personal responsibility" to do something about racism and intolerance, as a people's movement for racial healing, diversity and justice.
View www.racialhealing.org or call: 202-310-1430
P.O. Box 43255
Washington, D.C. 20010
* ARM is the current campaign of The People's Movement for Racial Healing, Diversity & Justice, a 10 year, grassroots, self -help project of AAHA, a 501c (3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization since 1989
LOST FOUND NATION OF ISLAM
STAND - UP FOR DEMOCRACY
FUSION PARTNERSHIPS INC.,
IAC, U.S. MOORISH AMERICAN NATION
PAN AFRIKAN-NATIONALIST MOVEMENT
Peace Brothers and Sisters,
Are you doing the work in your community to help win Reparations Now In Our Lifetime???? There are many things you can do. Make sure your membership in N’COBRA is current. Participate in your local N’COBRA Chapter. Start a Chapter, if there isn’t one in your area. Plan to attend the N’COBRA National Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on June 22-24, 2001 at Southern University. And inform others about the Reparations Movement.
For further information contact Rhazard988@AOL.COM
…let's work together to heighten this righteous call for justice.
Peace and Power,
JOIN THE BLACK REPARATIONS MOVEMENT TODAY !
IT IS A WIN, WIN CASE FOR US!
Oscar L. Beard
The Reparations Movement’s goals are as follows:
- Obtain Reparations from all countries that prospered from Black Slave Labor
Schedule Conferences, Marches, and Protests until the White Society apologizes and
compensates Descendants of the Slave Trade
- Speak at the United Nations on Reparations for Survivors of the Slave Trade in order
to gain International Support of all or most countries
- Demonstrate in front of the UN in Geneva for World Attention
- Establish an International Fund for Descendants of Slaves
- Target Companies that existed during the days of Slavery for Reparations, and if they
do not comply, then list them as “Unworthy” for Black patronage
- Seek support for Reparations from Companies that prosper off of Black Clients
- Seek Celebrity support for Reparations
- Involve the Media
- Make “Reparations” the buzz word for 2000
- Etc., etc., and by “any means necessary” within the Law
IN SUPPORT OF REPARATIONS!
and DO SOMETHING IN SUPPORT OF REPARATIONS!
OR THERE CAN BE NO REAL - PEACE!
Reparations for Slavery (A Flowchart)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Vernellia Randall)
Race, Racism and the Law
Vernellia R. Randall
Professor of Law
Phone: (937) 229-3378
P.O. BOX 1675
LITHONIA, GEORGIA 30058
(877) 677-7635 Phone
(877 981-1856 Fax
Dear Dr. Jewel L. Crawford, Chairperson
Vynnie Burse, Co-Chair
Gene R. Stephenson, Co-Chair:
We trust this communication finds you and your colleagues in good health and high spirit. As a member of the Directorate of the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM), an NGO in Consultative Status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations (U.N.); your good works and courageous efforts via the Committee for the UN-WCAR have come to our attention. In short, we unreservedly support both the spirit and objectives of your "National African-American Preparatory Meeting for the UN-WCAR" scheduled for the 5th May, 2001 in Atlanta. A recent national survey conducted by IHRAAM of the African-American Community noted that 84% of our adult citizens are NOT even aware of the potential implications of "international law" and the UN relative to the collective concerns of we former slaves in the Americas. Therefore, it is quite refreshing to note the quickening of such recognition by varied "grass-root" elements and your esteemed Committee, relative to the UN's call for the WCAR in Durban, South Africa later this Summer.
IHRAAM,in collaboration with the UN High Commission for Human Rights, is a member of a rather select group of 30 international NGO's which serve as the "Coordinating Committee" for the impending UN-WCAR. For well over a decade IHRAAM has served as a strong advocate for the rights of formerly enslaved ethnic minorities (i.e. African-Americans) in varied international venues. We welcome you to visit our website at <www.ihraam.org. Having done so, you will undoubtedly come away with a much more comprehensive appreciation of our organization's goals and objectives, as well as the highly specific socio-legal activities that have direct impact on the problems faced by us, Africans in the Americas. I strongly and respectfully encourage you to explore the website information relative to IHRAAM's First Annual International Conference on Self-Determination, which was held last August in Geneva, Switzerland.
It is our understanding that this coming weekend you and your esteemed organization will be hosting a national conference devoted to exploring varied ways and means by which African-American organizations might best establish a collective voice and purpose per their impending participation in the WCAR later this Summer. Unfortunately, time and prior commitments preclude our attendance at your Atlanta meeting. However, I am taking the liberty of express mailing you a package containing IHRAAM materials which might prove helpful to your proceedings. You will find a copy of a "press release" concerning the aforementioned IHRAAM International Conference on Self-Determination, the intervention IHRAAM has already officially submitted to the UN High Commission relative to the WCAR (in which we call for a NATIONAL PLEBISCITE among the African-American Community), a copy of the IHRAAM National Survey titled "Toward the Eradication of Racism & Racial Discrimination in the Americas: A National View of African-Americans on Self-Determination", and a sample brochure from last summer's Geneva Conference.
Additionally, there is a wealth of cognate materials which you are certainly free to download from our website at your pleasure. IHRAAM, hereby, wants to officially go on record as being a strong supporter of your efforts. You should especially note the "recommendations" and intended goals IHRAAM has already officially put before UN authorities relative to the establishment of a NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE ASSEMBLY (NCA) of African-American Leadership and the need to conduct a NATIONAL PLEBISCITE to substantively validate this process. Kindly also note the Geneva resolution (item #5 - African-American Workshop) and strong endorsement of "REPARATIONS (e.g. educational, money damages, ethnic studies, land, control of tax dollars, etc.) as one component of varied special measures that might be applicable to the African-American Community". Reparations, and to affirm the right to just and fair compensatory measures for the past and continued suffering of the descendants of the victims of the African slave trade are deemed appropriate strategies in the comprehensive movement toward "Self-Determination" for our people.
Therefore, should you see fit, please feel free to share the above with the representatives scheduled to be in attendance at your meeting this weekend. To the degree that it is logistically possible at this point, we will do likewise. Should you and-or they opt to endorse said recommendations, please let us know such that this affirmation can be formally documented. We would gladly share same with appropriate UN authorities.
Should you and-or other colleagues and participants need formal NGO accreditation to participate in the NGO Forum or WCAR activities, IHRAAM will gladly explore the possibility of such arrangements with you. Lastly, should you or others be in need of finding the most cost-effective "AIR & LAND ACCOMODATION" arrangements to get to South Africa --- I VERY STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONTACT MS. ROSETTA GAINEY of R.G. GAINEY & ASSOCIATESTOURS (410) 435-7316 and feel free to use my name. A full 15-16 DAY TRAVEL PACKAGE can be arranged for just $ 1,999.00!!! Ms. Gainey is a highly efficient and culturally sensitive professional. Please be so kind as to acknowledge receipt of the package of IHRAAM materials when they arrive. Wishing you a most productive and inspirational preparatory meeting, I remain
Dr. Farid I. Muhammad
Chicago, I 60605
(312) 939-0111 (Ext 248)
E-Mail: <email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributed by Dr. Rarid Muhammad and RHazard
I wish I had feedback from the Atlanta Ad Hoc Committee to report on their May 5, Conference, but unfortunately, after E-mailing them several times before their Conference and once after it, I never heard from them.
Tziona Yisrael, Editor
*****MARK YOUR CALENDAR OF EVENTS*****
Muhammad Mosque of Islam in Boston, Massachusetts invites you to attend weekly meetings each Sunday at the Dillaway located at:
183 Roxbury Street
(Next to the Timilty School, in Roxbury)
Meetings start at 2:00 PM, but on the last Sunday of the month we start at 1:00 PM.
For more information and to schedule free lectures on Reparations at your church, school, business or organization, feel welcome to telephone Minister Malik Al-Arkam at (617) 770-2017.
In April 2001, the Honorable Silis Muhammad will again be traveling to Geneva, Switzerland to testify before the U.N. Human Rights Commission on behalf of 40 million oppressed African-Americans.
FREE THE MIND... FREE THE PEOPLE... FREE THE LAND
THE NATIONAL COALITION OF BLACKS FOR
REPARATIONS IN AMERICA (N’COBRA)
See feedback from the May 19, 2001 Malcolm X Birthday Celebration below under FYI.
BLACK HUMAN RIGHTS DAY/ MARCH AT THE UNITED NATIONS IN
CELEBRATION OF MALCOLM X'S BIRTHDAY
May 30, 2001
KCLS TV in Los Angeles will host a Reparations Debate on Wednesday, May 30th at 8pm on its program "Connections.” Appearing on the program will be Senior Ambassador Raushana Karriem, of the National Commission For Reparations and David Horowitz an anti reparations activist.
In Los Angeles the program will appear on channel 58 and in Long Beach it will appear on Channel 31. Check with the station and give them your cable provider and they will be able to tell you your particular channel.
email@example.com (Raushana Karriem)
June 22 - 24, 2001
N’COBRA 12th ANNUAL CONVENTION
National Co-Chairs: Dorothy Benton Lewis and Hannibal Tirus Afrik
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Site: Southern University
Theme: "Positioning Ourselves To Get Paid"
Constance Randolph (225) 237-3065
Rev. Carlton " Bahiri" White (225) 778-1561
Before February 25th : $ 60.00
After February 25th : $ 75.00 Until June 1st Thereafter : $ 90
Convention registration includes:
Program book, convention T-Shirt, EN’COBRA Magazine, membership dues, admission to all convention events, including a tour of the River Rd. African American Museum in Gonzales.
Make Check or Money Order payable to: N’COBRA and mail to:
P.O. Box 75437 *
Baton Rouge, LA 70874-5437.
Suggested Hotel Accommodations:
The New Comfort Suites Airport: Call (225) 356-6500 - Mention N’COBRA Convention
Vendors, workshop panelist / leaders, performers, etc. are Welcome. Call for arrangements.
PLEASE SEE REPNOW NEWSLETTER #15 FOR MORE DETAILS.
THE REPARATIONS EDUCATION AND MOBILIZATION CONFERENCE
Below you will find the Reparations Education and Mobilization Conference Agenda. The persons on panels are SUGGESTED with some of them already committed to attend. The Conference Planning Committee is still finetuning this agenda. We intend to post a final Agenda near Mid June.
REGISTRATION: $10 for the employed and $5 for the unemployed, seniors and nonworking students.
MAKE DONATIONS PAYABLE TO: "Brecht Forum/Reparations"
122 W. 27th St. 10th floor
New York, New York 10001
The Reparations Mobilization Campaign’s Proposed Conference Structure
Friday June 29, 2001
Conference attendees are encouraged to join The Reparations Mobilization Campaign's Demonstration and March from Wall Street to the African Burial Ground from Noon to 2 P.M.
Registration: 1 P.M. – 8 P.M.
Nominal fee: $10 and $5 for seniors, and unemployed, nonworking students
Opening Plenary - 3 to 6 P.M.
THE STATE OF THE REPARATIONS MOVEMENT
A Panel comprised of N’COBRA, Silas Muhammad, Brotha Robert Brock, Reparations Lawyers' Group, the African Reparations Movement of England, and other Reparations forces will discuss their various approaches to the struggle for Black reparations.
Evening Plenary – 7 P.M. to 10 P.M.
From the Grassroots - Building the Reparations Movement Past, Present and Future
A panel will discuss the history of the Reparations Movement and our current education & mobilization strategies.
Panelists to include:
C. J. Mumford
The Honorable Dudley Thompson of the OAU
A Caribbean and South American Reparationist
Rep from African Reparations Movement (England), and others...
Saturday - June 30, 2001
Registration: 8:30 A.M. to NOON
Morning Plenary – 9:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M.
Strategies and Tactics for the Reparations Mobilization Campaign
Plenary acts at the charge for the work of the day. That is, why we need a mass education and mobilization campaign for Reparations specifically in the United States. It will lay out what's to be done, goals set and the importance of seeing this day as a day of work... not pontification.
The Panel will be made up of the Conference Organizers and maybe a nationally recognized person who can speak to the issue of reparations education and mobilization.
Workshops: 10:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.
A. Reparations Mobilization within Labor & Electoral Politics panelists would include: Muntu Matsimela, Mary France, Dennis Serrette,Ras Baraka, Ashaki Binta, Tim Schermerhorn or Richard Toussaint (TWU Local 100), Brenda Stokely Roger Green, Rep. Cynthia Mckinney, Rep. John Conyers, Chas. Barron
B. The Spiritual & Cultural Aspects of Reparations: Family, Women, Spirituality and Youth
Panelists would include: Dr. James McIntosh, Black Nia Force, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Brother Chaka, Pan African Muslim Assoc., Safiya Bandele, Father Lawrence Lucas
Lunch: 12:30 P.M. to 1:30 P.M.
Workshops: 1:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M.
C. The Use of the Legal Work/Research in Educating and Mobilizing panelists would include: Ajamu Sankofa, Deadria Farmer-Paellamn, Charles Ogletree, Soffiyah Elijah
D. Amnesty for all Political Prisoners: A Key Part of the Reparations Campaign Statements from Brothas Jalil, Mumia, Matulu, Sundiata Acoli and Sista Assata as well as strategizing with Safiya Bukari.Dharuba Bin-Wahad, Churne Lloyd, Eddie Ellis, Brother Zayid, Joan Gibbs
MAJOR PLENARY: 3:30 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
THE GLOBALIZATION OF REPARATONS:
The Battle Within The UN World Conference Against Racism
The rapid growth of the internationalization of the Reparations Movement and its impact upon the new anti-imperialist movements... and its implications for our mobilization work in the belly of the beast. Panelist would include:
Closing Plenary: 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
The closing plenary should consist of:
A. An half-hour report back from the workshops
B. A charge that emphasizes the moral basis of our political work in the fight for Black Reparations
C. Dates and meeting locations set for Mobilization follow up meetings and...
D. A Resolution embraced by the body committing ourselves to building a successful Reparation Mobilization Campaign.
PLEASE NOTE THE LOCATION OF THE REPARATIONS EDUCATION AND MOBILIZATION CONFERENCE:
City Colege of New York
136th St. + Convent Avenue
Harlem, New York
Take #1 or 9 subway to 137th St. or either the A, B, C, D subway to 145th Street and in both cases walk up hill to CCNY campus to 136th St & Convent Avenue.
To preregister call:
Brother Muntu Matsimela 212-785-1024 ...or
Brother Sam Anderson at 718. 270. 6287 or
E-mail us at <firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributed by Rhazard988
THE LEGACY OF THE BLACK POWER MOVEMENT
THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM
The December 12th Movement, based in New York, and The National Black United Front (NBUF) are co-sponsoring a Black Power conference in support of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism.
The United Nations World Conference Against Racism will be held in Durbin, South Africa from August 31, 2001 - September 7, 2001.
By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill
YOU MUST BE IN SOUTH AFRICA NEXT AUGUST 2001!
To All Concerned African People:
The United Nations' World Conference against Racism begins August 31, 2001 in Durban, South Africa. The December 12th Movement International Secretariat is seeking you to be a part of the Delegation of 400 African people to South Africa in support of two crucial issues:
1) Declaration of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade as a Crime against Humanity
Reparations for Africans in the Diaspora and on the Continent.
Malcolm X said that we must put our situation on the international agenda, in the international arena. We must be there in a massive presence to defend our human rights.
Join us, if you want to go to Durban in support of these issues. The application is included in the text of this message, as well as an attached document in .rtf format.
We estimate that the total cost for the trip (the Conference is from August 31, to September 7), i.e., travel, lodging and meals, will be approximately $2500. If you are planning to go we need a deposit of $250.00 immediately.
We, along with the National Black United Front, are working with a Black Travel Agency based in Chicago which has already made airline travel arrangements to and reserved blocks of hotel rooms in Durban. Your check or money order should be made out to AARCO TRAVEL AND TOURS and should be sent to the:
December 12th Movement
456 Nostrand Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216
For more information on the World Conference against Racism and the struggle to defend the human rights of African people, contact us at:
E-mail: Error! Bookmark not defined.
IF YOU WISH TO GO TO SOUTH AFRICA, PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW.
APPLICATION FORM FOR THE DURBAN 400
ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION (if any):
YES: I want to be a member of the Durban 400. Enclosed is my check in the
amount of $_______________.
October 19/20, 2001
PHILOSOPHY BORN OF STRUGGLE CONFERENCE ON
RACE, REPARATIONS, AND RESTITUTION
Place: Brown University
J. Everet Green
37 Old Oregon Road
New York, New York 10567
Convenes in Atlanta November 28 – December 2, 2001 at the Georgia International Convention Center.
"A set of goals and objectives have been outlined," he said. "We hope to identify, analyze and discuss the critical crises and issues facing Black people. We also hope to provide some sort of leadership and skill development training to enhance our collective capacity to engage the struggle for liberation."
"Our agenda also includes discussion of meaningful definitions of liberation and reconstruction, intensifying the global movement for reparations and working towards the convening of an International Black Arts and Cultural Festival,"
For more information, call 1-866-ATL-SOBW or visit
"Power never conceded without a demand, it never did and never will - where there is no struggle, there is no progress." F. Douglas
BECOME A MEMEBER OF N'COBRA. Visit us at www.N’COBRA.com, write the national headquarters at:
P.O. Box 62622
Washington. D.C. 20029-2622
E-mail me for further information about the WCAR at email@example.com or write:
P.O. Box 8003
Englewood, NJ 07631.
*Onaje Mu'id is a human rights activist with the International Commissioner of N'COBRA and Policy Chair of the National Black Alcoholisms and Addiction Council-New York Chapter and Ndundu member of the Council of Independent Black Institutions.
The book listing on Reparations and Black History can be found in REPNOW Newsletters 1 - 5.
WE SHALL WIN THIS WAR!
Imari A. Obadele
The web address for Without Sanctuary” is listed in the REPNOW Newsletter #13.
Please pass this information on to others for it is out of…
AMERICA'S SHAME: CONTEMPT & THE LYNCHINGS
James Allen’s photos on the lynchings of Blacks in America
E-mail Addresses & WebSites On Reparations, Black Issues, and Current Events:
UNFORTUNATELY FOR SOME REASON, I KEPT GETTING “Error! Bookmark not defined” FOR ALL THE WEBSITES THAT WERE LISTED, SO I HAD TO ELIMINATE THEM FROM THIS NEWSLETTER. However, please see the complete listing of WebSites in the REPNOW Issue #13. If someone knows how to remedy this problem, so that I can retain the Website addresses, please advise.
Tziona Yisrael, Editor
I am Gregory Carey, Founder and President of Reparations Central, an online reparations searchable database. We would like for you to view our website that is in the development stage at http://www.reparationscentral.com
We are also attempting to unify and centralize the reparations movement. We are looking for other organizations that are doing reparations work to put on our website. Also, we are asking every organization to consider putting an audio/video presentation on our website. This website is the hub of the reparations movement worldwide. We need your support and help to make this reparations clearinghouse a successful venture.
Aluta Continua Asante Sana
HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE REPARATIONS MASS MOVEMENT?
1.) I suggest that you approach the city in which you reside for reparations, support for reparations, or information as to how to obtain reparations. Your strategy may be a model we all may benefit from at the local level.
2.) Next, demonstrate your willingness to join others in the struggle for reparations.
3.) I would hope that you join or start an N’COBRA chapter in your locale area (if there is none) and become an active and energetic member/reparations information resource, for your Afrikan brothers and sisters.
Submitted by R. Hazard, N’COBRA
"Together We shall Win REPARATIONS NOW!!!"
Free Your Mind - Join N’COBRA.... Free The People.... Free The Land...
S.E. Regional Rep. N’COBRA
"If you are thinking one year ahead, sow a seed.
if you thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.
If you thinking one hundred years ahead ...
educate the people."
Compliments of Shakira A. Ali
Up You Mighty Race; We Can Accomplish What We Will!!!!
I Remain to Serve,
Interesting Information of Significance and FYI:
FEEDBACK FROM THE MAY 19, 2001 BLACK HUMAN RIGHTS DAY/ MARCH AT THE UNITED NATIONS IN CELEBRATION OF
MALCOLM X'S BIRTHDAY
For Immediate Release
MALCOLM X LIVES!
The Malcolm X New Millennium Committee's celebration of Malcolm X's 76th birthday was a tremendous testament to his principles of self-determination and self defense for African people. As forces gathered on the morning of Saturday, May 19th the battle lines were drawn on 125th and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd.
On one side of the steel police barricades stood the grassroots soldiers carrying Malcolm in their hearts. The committee and their supporters gathered peacefully and loaded several buses bound for their 36th annual pilgrimage to the Ferncliff cemetery in Ardsley NY to pay respects to their fallen hero. As the buses pulled out, a contingent remained behind to be prepared for the 12th Annual Black Power March and Business Shut Down scheduled to commence at 1pm.
On the other side stood the 125th Street BID (Business Improvement District) all dressed up with the best Malcolm X buttons and posters Chase Manhattan Bank and Walt Disney could buy. They scurried about the rented Plaza of the Harlem State Office Building setting up the sound equipment, stage, banners and chairs with the helping hand of the NYC Police Dept. All in a desperate attempt to keep the businesses open.
As the morning wore on supporters began the arrive on both sides. Corporate sponsored BID welcomed Black elected officials and "celebrities" such as C. Virginia Fields and David Paterson, Prof. Manning Marable, the Shabazz daughters Gamilah-Lamumba, Ilyasah, and Malaak among others. Conspicuously absent was the masses of people nearly $100,000 was spent by the corporations to bring out.
The corporate ceremony was constantly disrupted by Black Power marchers chanting "No Compromise, No Sell-Out," quoting Malcolm X's "Message to the grassroots." BID attempted to play Malcolm X speeches, but abruptly stopped in the middle of his "House Negro and Field Negro" speech...
A 1pm the militant Black Power March began moving up and down 125th Street. Scores of business such as Foot Locker, Jimmy Jazz, McDonalds, and Block Buster Video closed their doors and pulled down their gates at the behest of hundreds of marchers chanting "Shut Em Down!" "Black Power!" and "Malcolm Lives!" Not only did the businesses close but the normally busy 125th Street was somewhat desolate with many shoppers choosing to stay away. Against seemingly insurmountable odds - loads of corporate money and media, no sound permit and hundreds of police. The Power of the People prevailed! Commerce was effectively disrupted for several hours on the sunny Saturday afternoon.
Although successful in shutting down most 125th Street businesses, a few defiantly refuse to close. The main stalwart being Harlem U.S.A., a mall which houses Walt Disney, HMV music store and Old Navy. The Malcolm X New Millennium Committee spokesperson vowed "Harlem U.S.A. will not be here next year!" They immediately began handing out leaflets announcing a full-scale economic boycott. Black Power marchers protested in front of these stores for at least two hours. Many would be shoppers turned away when they were made aware of the issue. In the long run these stores would have been better off closing for a few hours in respect for Malcolm X and the Harlem community.
It became clear that 125th Street BID represents no one, except the white corporations and the few "house negroes" they bring out to earn their keep. On May 19th the people on Harlem won. May 19th was a blow struck for all the Harlems across America.
456 Nostrand Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11216
Contributed by firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Amadi Ajamu
The maiden visit to Africa by Colin Powell, the US secretary of State is being packaged by the new Republican administration as evidence of its willingness to 'remain engaged in Africa' and the top priority that Africa is on its agenda. This is a reposte to the Clinton administration's show (even if there was no much concrete evidence) of its commitment to Africa.
The republicans have remained suspect not just on their commitment to Africa but a willingness to be part of the global community of nations, a world that they believe, without any sense of irony, is 'America's manifest destiny' to lead in perpetuity. If they do not care much about the world they could care even less about Africa. Since the Historical shift of Black Voters away from the Republican party to the Democrats the party has become less and less sensitive to the interests of its citizens who are of African origin as it has of other ethnic, racial or political minorities (i.e. women). A party that is racist or at best apologetic, about racism and religious bigotry at home cannot be expected to be progressive on these issues abroad.
Bush's Republican Party of which Powell is a key member is even more right wing than his father's. By ideological lineage it is more a descendant of Ronald Reagan's Gung-ho diplomacy without the finesse of Bush Senior.
However we should not make too much distinction between Republicans and Democrats or different factions of them when it comes to the substance of America's relations with the rest of the world and Africa. We can make a distinction in terms of emphasis, without substantial difference in terms of their over all goal of domination of the world. One slaps you and offers you a handkerchief (democrats) and the other (Republicans) slaps you (and denies you even the right to shed tears) but the fact remains that they both will whack you!
The unspoken but clear propaganda from Powell's appointment is the fact that he is Black. This serves both domestic and external interests of the Republicans and the American establishment very well. It is proof that they are not racist at all that they believe in merit and anybody (or even everybody) can and do make it in America. If Powell, son of immigrant African-Caribbeans from Jamaica can rise to high office from the military to the civilian establishments, then anybody can do it. Therefore the majority of people of African origin for whom the American Dream is a daily nightmare, have themselves to blame.
It will be naïve for Africans to take these matters at face value. His African origin not withstanding General Colin Powell will not think twice to destroy Africa if the interests of America dictate so. His types are found in abundance within the American establishment and both political parties. They are not African-Americans but Americans first and foremost and Africans when the occasion demands. Therefore having Blacks, no matter how high up in the administration does not mean that African interests will be promoted.
WE should support any policy that promotes the full realisation of the democratic rights of people of African origin in America and the removal of all-artificial barriers and ceilings imposed on their hopes and ambitions. However we should not make the mistake of mistaking that Domestic agenda [is] with the guarantee of Africa's wider interests.
WE need to know what these interests are and build the necessary international alliances for protecting them. They include:
- The marginalisation of Africa from key global institutions that make decisions about our lives such as the IMF/World Bank, the World Trade organisation and the UN Security Council
- The extreme poverty faced by a majority of our peoples some of it due to domestic parasitic rulers, domination by Western multi national corporations and the historical process of our integration into global capitalism
- The threat that globalisation poses for our survival as a people and the survival of the world as unelected and unelectable corporations destroy environment, reaping huge profits and wreaking havoc across the world
- The abuse of the UN system as instrument of US domination and 'power without responsibility.'
All these issues put us and many people of the world, on collision course with USA as the dominant power in the World today. We need to engage it and fight all comers without allowing sentimental reasons of the colours of the skin of the personnel of the administration to becloud our judgments.
By all means we should receive General Colin Powell with the traditional hospitality of Africa but be clear that our guest is not some prodigal son returning home but a loyal American establishment figure doing his bit for Pax Americana.
As typical of Americans he will give us numerous lectures on Democratisation, liberalisation, peacekeeping, conflict resolution, fighting poverty with economic growth, HIV/AIDS and all subjects under the sun. The lectures need not be one way. WE should be clear and firm and avoid any fudge in making our views clear. While we are at it we should, in the spirit of reciprocity, ask the Secretary o State a few questions:
- If the US is so concerned about Africa why does it not demonstrate that commitment at home through its treatment of its population who are of African origin
- Why are there more Black kids in prison or other judicial processes than there are in college?
- Why are Blacks the majority population in prisons?
- Why are Blacks over represented in Ghettos, projects and among beggars in the inner cities?
- Why does the US claim global leadership without any thought about global responsibility?
- Why is his administration throwing out any global agreement it does not agree with?
- Why do they abuse the UN system and yet are not even paying their dues?
- Why is the USA government reluctant to apologise fully for the evils and profits it made from slavery and pay the compensation demanded by the Reparations movement?
General Powell may not have immediate answers to some of these questions.
Even if he does he may not have solutions for the way forward but he needs to know that his romantic image of his country shared with millions of his compatriots are in serious credibility deficit with how others see them. His trip to Africa should provide him with a reality check.
Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem
Safari Njema to General Colin Powell
Contributed by RWalker949@aol.com and BlackPower@listbot.com (Black Power)
WHY THE-POWERS-THAT-BE OWE US…BIG TIME!
By Peter Hudis <email@example.com
Cincinnati, Ohio -- "When I heard about the murder of Timothy Thomas I got together with a few friends in the park to talk about what happened. More and more people began showing up and in less than an hour a few hundred were gathered around, talking and arguing. It was incredible, out of nowhere people came out and wanted to do something. Everyone is fed up with the cops, the racial profiling, the abuse. I was amazed at how fast this thing grew. It was like a spark went off in people's minds, all at once. It was like, this is enough, no more, we're going to do something."
This is what a 20-year-old Black resident of the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati told me about his participation in the protests which erupted after the murder of 19-year-old Timothy Thomas by a white cop on April 7. Thomas was the fifteenth man gunned down by Cincinnati police in the last six years. Every one was Black. Thomas, who was unarmed, was killed when Stephen Roach shot him through his chest. Roach was trying to arrest Thomas for having 14 outstanding warrants -- all of them for misdemeanor offenses, 12 for traffic violations, five of those for not wearing a seat belt.
Though racial profiling, harassment, and murder of Blacks by the police has become an everyday fact of life in this country, Cincinnati included, the events which followed Thomas' death were anything but normal. The ensuing events represented one of those unusual moments when the everyday becomes extraordinary, when what is considered normal suddenly becomes the object of discussion, argument, and critique. In response to Thomas' death, Black Cincinnati exploded in the most massive urban upheaval since the Los Angeles rebellion of 1992.
Cincinnati is no newcomer to police abuse, racism, and disenfranchisement. It is one of the most segregated cities in America, and its mainly white police force is notorious for a long history of abuse against African Americans who make up 43% of the city's populace. Last November another Black man, Roger Owensby Jr., was strangled to death while in police custody. In mid-March the ACLU and Cincinnati Black United Front filed a lawsuit charging the police department with 30 years of illegally targeting and harassing Blacks on the basis of race. Still, no one anticipated the explosion which erupted after the killing of Timothy Thomas.
As news spread of his death, several hundred mainly Black protesters, including Thomas' mother, came to City Hall on Monday, April 9. It became a clash between two different worlds. Police Chief Streicher refused to apologize for the killing, saying the police thought that Thomas was armed. Mayor Charlie Luken acknowledged the city's "racial problems" but denied that had anything to do with Thomas' death. City Council members said there was little they could do since the city charter limits their power to hire or fire police chiefs.
Angered at these responses, the crowd proceeded to take over City Hall. Windows were smashed, the American flag was removed from the flagpole and turned upside down, and the mayor was forced to leave via the back door. Hundreds more protesters arrived at City Hall that night. As the crowd swelled to 1,000, they marched to the central police station. At midnight the police fired tear gas and beanbags filled with metal pellets to disperse the crowd.
The next day 20 youth held a protest at the corner of Vine and 13th Streets. The crowd soon swelled into the hundreds. Many then marched to Findlay Market, throwing rocks at police, breaking into stores, clearing out shelves. By the evening a full scale urban revolt (dubbed "riot" by the press) was underway. Though merchants who gouged the community were a target, most of the anger was directed at the police. At 10 p.m. the police substation at Montgomery Road and Woodburn Avenue was set ablaze.
Byron Jones, 30, of Bond Hill, who joined protesters as they made their way through downtown and Over-the-Rhine (the neighborhood in which Thomas was shot) said what happened Tuesday was "the only way to get their attention. We've asked and we've asked and we've asked. We're not going to ask anymore."
A Black youth who took part in the revolt told me, "I decided to do something because what happened to Timothy Thomas could've happened to every Black I know. How many white 19-year-olds have been stopped and ticketed five times for not wearing a seat belt? How many whites have to worry about being shot by a cop on their way home from buying a pack of cigarettes? We've got to tell them we are not going to let this continue."
The police responded with brute force. Enya Kirksey, a 23-year-old and three months pregnant, was shot by police with rubber bullets as she was trying to get to her home near Washington Park. Leroy Pearson, 52, was standing outside his Elm Street apartment with his three grandchildren when police told him to move. When he refused, saying this was his home, he was shot four times with rubber projectiles. Dozens more were injured and hundreds arrested.
Yet the unrest continued. On Wednesday, April 11, it spread from downtown and Over-the-Rhine to other Black areas like Evanston, Avondale, Walnut Hills, and the West End.
Faced with this, Mayor Luken imposed martial law and an 8 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew on April 12. He stated, "The situation has become unthinkable; it's like Beirut." It would have been more accurate to say the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Hundreds of youth in red and blue bandanas throwing rocks at police...stores and shops ablaze...cops firing off rubber bullets and beanbag projectiles at 11- and 12-year-olds...whole areas sealed off from the rest of the city by a wall of shotgun-toting cops...it COULD have been the Middle East.
Yet the situation was distinctively "American." It was a response to the constant racial profiling by police that has affected virtually every man, woman and child in the Black community. It was a response to a social reality in which 40% are unemployed in Over-the-Rhine, compared to 4% in Cincinnati as a whole. It was a response to the gutting of public housing, education, and welfare. Only blocks from where Thomas was shot, public housing is being torn down. Recently the state sent letters to Ohio's welfare recipients warning them that their benefits will be cut off in 36 months. This is the social context of the revolt which broke out in response to Thomas' murder.
While the imposition of martial law and the curfew got people off the streets, it did not silence the revolt. Meetings, forums, and protests continue to be held. They have exposed not only the chasm separating the African-American community from the white power structure, but also the division of the Black masses from Black political leadership.
At Thomas' funeral on April 14, an array of Black political officials spoke of "restoring civil peace" in Cincinnati. Rev. Damon Lynch III of Cincinnati's Black United Front called on several city officials to be fired, adding, "There is enough violence in our city right now without us adding to it." Kweisi Mfume of the NAACP called for changes in the city's power structure but urged the youth to "remain calm." Jamal Muhammed of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam said, "Don't get angry and tear up your neighborhood. Get angry and register to vote."
The youth who spearheaded the week of actions, however, had a decidedly different perspective. As one declared at a rally following the funeral, "These preachers and politicians are the same ones who a week ago were calling us undisciplined and shiftless. But if it weren't for what we did over the last few days, no one would even be here to listen to them. We're the ones who did something by taking over the streets, but you don't hear about us now. I'm tired of all their talk."
Darryl, a Black man living in Over-the-Rhine, said, "The Black leadership and civil rights organizations are trying to quiet everything down, but it's not working. You can't quiet this down so easily. Many here don't have a job. Almost everyone has had some run-in with the law. After you get out of jail, it's almost impossible to get a good paying job. Then they turn it around and say because you have a record, it's all your fault. There needs to be a change, because if it doesn't change, things are going to get a lot scarier than what we saw this week."
The separation of the youth from Black political leadership was reflected in the virtual absence of any established political organization in the street protests. All of the posters and placards at the protests that I saw before and after Thomas' funeral were handmade, by local residents. They included: "If my son runs, will you kill him too?"; "Stop killing Blacks or else"; "No peace and no police"; "Bush is part of this too -- he belongs with the cops."
The chasm between masses and leaders came out sharply at a forum held April 16 at New Friendship Baptist Church in Avondale, after the curfew was lifted. Dozens of Black teenagers, emboldened by their actions of the past week, said the established community leaders don't speak for them. "The older generation could have prevented this," said Derrick Blassingame, age 14, president of the newly formed Black Youth Coalition Against Civil Injustice. "Our leaders are not leading us. Some of our Black leaders just want their faces on TV. They are in this for four things only: reputation, power, politics and money."
The emergence of such voices gives the lie to those who claim that the "riots" were "disorganized," chaotic, without reason or direction. As in Los Angeles 1992, we are witnessing the emergence of new forms of revolt, resistance, and self-organization which point us beyond the parameters of existing political structures.
When people move to tear up a world that doesn't belong to them, that is hostile to them; when they come together in collective action on the streets; when they take commodities from the shelves without paying -- why is this not recognized as an act of liberation, as a drive toward something new, as a refusal to accept what is? It is that REASON which needs to be developed and discussed -- not a condemnation of the masses' activity or a mere "solidarity" with it based on tactics.
Cincinnati shows that the struggle to be free is real, is as much a part of the actuality of this world as its opposite -- the stifling oppression we all live under. The concrete content, the self-development gained through confrontation with oppressive conditions and internal contradictions, is the point of departure for any further meaningful development.
The recent events in Cincinnati will not easily be forgotten. The power structure has been forced to at least pretend to listen to some complaints of the Black community, as seen in Mayor Luken's announcement on April 17 that he will form a race relations commission to explore problems in housing, employment, education, and police abuse.
Such commissions have been formed before, and it is very doubtful that much will come of it. But much can come from the new consciousness generated by the revolt. Its development can provide a new basis for opposing this oppressive system and projecting a genuine alternative to it.
In this sense, it is worthwhile to recall the last time major arrests of protesters occurred in Cincinnati. It was last November when 53 anti-globalization activists were arrested for "vandalism" at the Transatlantic Business Dialogue conference, a group which brought together 100 executives from the U.S. and West Europe to recommend lower trade barriers. That protest may seem a world away from the revolt in the Black community. And yet the revolt of Black masses is not so far from the globalization of capital as it may seem.
No sector of U.S. society has been more negatively affected by the globalization of capital than Black America. Capital's ability to migrate overseas in search of low wages goes hand in hand with deindustrialization and the mass displacement of Black labor at home. Capital's increased mobility has also led to the flight of industries from urban areas like Cincinnati to rural areas and the South. Moreover, the cutting of welfare and other social services in the U.S. is a form of "structural adjustment" long known to Third World countries.
Racism is an integral part of this logic of capitalist accumulation. The gutting of jobs, public housing, welfare, and the growth of homelessness, prison construction, and police abuse all flow from the specific strategy employed by U.S. capital for the past two decades.
In hitting out against these conditions, the Black masses of Cincinnati have challenged a central dynamic of capital itself. Their actions call upon us all to deepen our consciousness of the nature of capital and the alternative to it. In lieu of that, anger at existing conditions risks consuming itself in opposing the many forms of oppression, without ever getting to articulate what the revolt is for.
As Marx wrote long ago, "We do not tell the world, 'Cease your struggles, they are stupid; we want to give you the true watchword of the struggle.' We merely show the world why it actually struggles; and consciousness is something that the world MUST acquire even if it does not want to."
By Peter Hudis
36 S. Wabash, Room 1440
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel: 312 236 0799
Fax: 312 236 0725
firstname.lastname@example.org (News and Letters)
[Those words of Marx couldn’t have come at a better time! Blacks, as well as Whites know why we are struggling. And we also know how to remedy the situation…
I wasn’t at all surprised to hear of Mfume going to Cincinnati. There are filthy rich White Jews living in Ohio, so I guess they thought it a wise decision to send out one of their boys to do something with “them Darkies” before they disrupt their investments and profits in these communities, or Heaven forbid, allow the rioting to destroy their immaculate neighborhoods. Therefore, it’s not so strange as to why these Black VIP’s surface and when they surface. You can be sure that, in most cases, it’s for the protection of White Folks interests. Where are they in the myriad of cases needed for Black Folks’ interests??? How many times have I written to Bruthuh Mfume, and he never once replied – not once. Likewise for Bruthuh Annan. Oh yes, and don’t let me forget the big Bruthuh in the Supreme Court, Bruthuh Thomas and the now Secretary of State Colin Powell who has nothing but admiration for Thomas Jefferson! WOW! Somebody show ‘nough knows how to pick ‘em! But I have a feelin’ that sooner or later Bruthuh Powell is headed for a rude awakening.
In any case, in spite of the lack of Black “political” assistance, we’re waking up, aren’t we?! It’s about time we started speaking out about the affliction, injustice, and despair we experience! It’s about time!!! And look who’s making a difference – not NAACP, not Rainbow Coalition, and not the Urban League, or our Black Congressional appointees, etc,. etc. But it’s our Black Youth. They want to know how the elder generation could let this abuse and outrage go on for so long causing them all this death, doom, and gloom. And they are saying that they aren’t taking any more of this racism and police brutality and the ills of this social system that is supposed to serve all peoples FAIRLY.
It is so unfortunate and asinine that White Folks don’t learn from history, and that they could care less about equity for Blacks and other people of color. All over the World, people are fighting for human rights, justice, self determination, and an end to heartache and despair. And they know that in order to achieve this goal that they might have to demonstrate, protest, riot, and/or even go to war, all because diplomacy, negotiations, letters, passivity, and meekness have all proven to be useless efforts for accomplishing JUSTICE. Nothing can cause one to think “enough awready” more so than a dead brother, father, relative, or friend murdered by a public servant. And I guess I should add: the thought that you might be next!
Hey, if I didn’t know better, I’d say that the Powers-that-be have made conditions just right for another American Revolution but one that does not include the British - one that is all about JUSTICE: REPARATIONS FOR DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES IN OUR LIFETIME, so that some of us can get the hell out of this country that is 100% bent on keeping Black Folks the tail and Whites the privileged controllers and empowered over minorities! Reparations and Black Communities OUTSIDE of White Societies is the only alternative that will make a difference in our lives and give Blacks self determination and empowerment. Think about it – “consciousness is something that the world MUST acquire even if it does not want to."
That which happened in Cincinnati could have happened in any one of the major cities in the U.S., as police are murdering our Black fathers and brothers all over the country. Only a few weeks ago it was revealed that Blacks are being killed off in Pennsylvania. I ask again, “Which one of our loved ones is next?”
Tziona Yisrael, Editor]
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK YOU ARE PRIVILEGED CITIZENS UNDER THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION WITH VOTING RIGHTS, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
VOTING RIGHTS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS
SOON TO EXPIRE
March 31, 1998
We are quickly
approaching the 21st Century and I was wondering if anyone out there knew what
the significance of the year 2007 is to Black America?
Did you know that our right to vote will expire in the year 2007?
Seriously! The Voters Rights Act signed in 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson was just an ACT. It was not made a law. In 1982 Ronald Reagan amended the Voters Rights Act for only another 25 years.
Which means that in the year 2007 we could lose the right to vote! Does anyone realize that Blacks/African Americans are the only group of people who require PERMISSION under the United States Constitution to vote?!
In the year 2007 Congress will once again convene to decide whether or not Blacks should retain the right to vote (crazy, but true). In order for this to be passed, 38 states will have to approve an extension.
In my opinion and many others, this is ludicrous! Not only should the extension be approved, but the Act must be made a law.
Our right to vote should no longer be up for discussion, review and/or evaluation. We must contact our Congress persons, Senators, Alder persons, etc., to put a stop to this!
As bona fide citizens of the United States, we cannot "drop the ball" on this one! We have come too far to let government make us take such a huge step backward. So please, let us push forward to continue to build the momentum towards gaining equality. Please pass this on to others, as I am sure that many more individuals are not aware of this.
I urge all of you that are able, to contact those in government that have your vote on this issue. To send Internet mail directly to the President of the United States, the address is:
The address for the Vice President is:
Write your Congressman, Write your president, write somebody!
This is not a
joke. It can actually happen. Let's work together to continue to
strive towards equality for all Blacks/African Americans.
"Deal with yourself as an individual worthy of respect and make everyone else deal with you in the same way."-Nikki Giovanni
[NOW IF BLACKS ARE TRULY CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES, WHY THEN MUST CONGRESS CONVENE TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT BLACKS SHOULD RETAIN THE RIGHT TO VOTE? Black Congressional Representatives, y’all getting’ this???
Let’s face it: looks like we still Slaves!
It appears that RHazard’s “AFRIKAN NATION STATE” is looking better and better the closer we get to reading his proposal. Check it out below.
Tziona Yisrael, Editor]
Free The Mind... Free The People... Free The Land...
April 3, 2001
A judge in the Federal District Court in Atlanta is deciding this week whether the voice of a slave can be heard in America.
That is the crux of a dispute between lawyers for the Margaret Mitchell estate, which controls the rights to the novel "Gone with the Wind," and lawyers for Houghton Mifflin, which is about to publish "The Wind Done Gone" by Alice Randall. This novel is narrated by Cynara, the half sister of Scarlett O'Hara: They share the same father, but Cynara's mother is Mammy, the black slave and Scarlett's maid. Cynara tells an entirely different story from the romantic Mitchell tale Americans know so well. It has to be different, of course, because it is the story of the slaves.
I have just read an advance copy of "The Wind Done Gone." Randall has brought vividly to life the people who move on the margins of "Gone with the Wind" or who are invisible in it - yet they are the ones on whom the entire structure of the antebellum South depended.
In the American imagination, even now, slaves as individual human beings hardly exist. The American memory of slavery is still clouded by a romantic haze through which very little of the actual horror of humans-as-property is able to be perceived. In popular culture, nothing has conveyed the demeaning myths of slavery as a benign system, of slaves as contented buffoons, of the tragic nobility of the doomed cavalier ethos of the South more broadly than "Gone with the Wind." The longtime effect of that novel and movie has been to perpetuate the most damning lie America has ever told itself.
"The Wind Done Gone," written by a young woman who is herself descended from slaves - and from slave owners - is a rebuttal to all of this, which may be why the Mitchell estate is so anxious to prevent its publication. Lawyers for the estate told the court last week, "This book represents a blatant and wholesale theft of `Gone with the Wind."' Anyone who reads the novel will know what a ridiculous charge that is. Cynara is an entirely original character - there is no such figure in the Mitchell book - and "The Wind Done Gone" is her story. "I was born in the kitchen of a great house," she tells us, but as a child she was sent away to another owner. After the war she becomes a maid in a brothel, learns to read, and ultimately composes her diary, beginning in 1873. Her travels and encounters are measured against memories of what she saw and heard as a child. This work is the opposite of stealing "Gone with the Wind;" it is an answer to it.
The novel's publisher, Wendy Strothman of Houghton Mifflin (She is my publisher, as well), stands behind Alice Randall, affirming her creation as "a biting satirical work that turns some well-known stereotypes on their heads." Indeed, as the very title indicates, "The Wind Done Gone" is a parody, and as such, according to the law, it does not infringe on the rights of the work being parodied.
Houghton Mifflin can make this case with integrity, pointing to its own refusal ever to attempt legal action against the long-in-print "Bored of the Rings," which parodies J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings," which Houghton publishes. As Houghton's lawyers told the court last week, "Fragments from the world of GWTW"' are referred to in Cynara's story, but Randall uses them with stiletto wit to accomplish the upending to which Strothman refers. Thus the childhood plantation is recalled as "Tata"; Scarlett is named only as "Other." Rhett Butler, "Debt," becomes Cynara's husband. This relationship is key to what Randall is up to.
The central myth of "Gone with the Wind," as of the old South, is that the races are ontologically and sexually separate, while "The Wind Done Gone" assumes a ubiquitous miscegenation - Scarlett, the very avatar of white womanhood, is herself racially mixed! - which reduces the racist social system to the absurd. Randall's work reduces Mitchell's to the absurd, which is the estate lawyers' real concern.
In the margin of the dictionary page on which the word "parody" appears, coincidentally, is a photo of Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to yield her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. She said she was tired. So, presumably, is Alice Randall. So is everyone who waits to hear the story yet to be told, which is Cynara's story. It ends, "For all those we love for whom tomorrow will not be another day, we send the sweet prayer of resting in peace."
By James Carroll
James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.
Contributed by email@example.com (Art McGee)
The United States was voted off the United Nations Human Rights Commission, losing the seat that it has held since the commission's creation in 1947.
Instead, the United States finished behind France, Austria and Sweden in competing for three seats reserved this year for the regional group of Western European and associated countries in the 53-nation body.
Pakistan, Sudan, and Sierra Leone were among other countries given seats on the commission this year. Countries are elected to three-year terms.
"We are disappointed at the outcome," said James B. Cunningham, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, adding, "It won't of course affect our commitment to human rights issues, in and outside of the United Nations."
France won 52 votes from other countries, Austria 41 votes and Sweden 32 votes. The United States received only 29 votes in the balloting, which took place at the commission's headquarters in Geneva.
"There was an election between a number of solid candidates," Mr. Cunningham said. "We had too many candidates for too few seats." He declined to speculate about the motives that led other countries to deny the United States the seat that it had held for 54 years on a commission where it has been vocal in defense of human rights, singling out China and Cuba in particular.
Last month at the commission's annual six-week session, China succeeded in removing from the commission's agenda an American resolution focusing attention on Beijing's human rights record. China, in turn, accused the United States of "rampant racial discrimination" and pointed to recent riots in Cincinnati.
The commission also includes Libya, Syria and Vietnam, whom the United States and other Western countries have accused of violating human rights.
Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee, called the loss of the United States seat on the Human Rights Commission "an embarrassment," and accused the Bush administration of failing to pay sufficient attention to the United Nations.. "The U.S. commitment to human rights has fallen victim to the administration's laissez-faire attitude toward diplomacy and
foreign policy," she said.
The United States still belongs to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the parent organization of the Human Rights Commission, and enjoys a permanent seat on the powerful Security Council.
Russia and India have sat on the Human Rights Commission since its founding in 1947.
In other balloting, Bahrain won 45 votes, South Korea 42 votes and Pakistan 38 votes for three seats set aside for Asian countries, while Iran lost.
Chile and Mexico were chosen without a vote by the Latin American group, as were Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo and Uganda by the African group.
Armenia and Croatia were elected from Eastern Europe, but Azerbaijan lost.
By Christopher S. Wren
Contributed by AlArkam@webtv.net
[I wonder if the United States was voted off the UN Commission for Human Rights because they are oppressors…hmmm. Naw. Could it be because the World is getting tired of US control and influence over their countries? Naw. Could it be that the US is so quick to manipulate an embargo on a country without concern for the hardships and death it places on helpless men, women, and children and the death it causes due to a lack of medical treatment in these countries? Naw. Or could it be because of the arms they sold to Israel for the Israelis to use on the rock throwing Palestinians? Naw. Oh, I know! Could it be because the US has no use for countries that they cannot influence? Naw. Well, then, it must be because of the lack of demonstrating human rights for the Descendants of Slaves who live such pitiful lives in impoverishment in the United States while the Powers-that-be go around boasting about their being leaders in Human Rights for all people. Naw. It was for all the above reasons!]
FROM THE DESK OF T'Zirah B. Yehuda…
[JUST SOMETHING ELSE TO THINK ABOUT.]
LANGUAGE SUPPORTS THE EVILS OF SLAVERY
According to the 1966 College Edition of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language the term, ethinic (eth'nik) is an adjective. Is of French, Latin, or German origin which mean nation, people, the gentile nations, or heathens,
More definitions follow:
1. of nations or groups neither Christian nor Jewish; heathen. 2. designation or of any of the basic divisions or groups of mankind, as distinguished by customs, characteristics, language, etc.; ethnological
Ronald Jackson was a student at Howard University who did a research project on “Race, Identity, and Culture.” In the first chapter of his paper he defines terms:
"Before continuing, it is imperative to define conceptually a few of the key terms that have been used so frequently thus--race, ethnicity, culture, identity, negotiation, cultural identity, and negotiation of cultural identity.
“First, it is important to note that ethnic identity is not the preferred term here, since it might be confused with its etymological root in Medieval English, ethnik or the Latin ethica meaning "heathen" (Asante, 1990; Stebbins, 1992). Moreover, ethnicity is regarded as a sub-cultural group membership often relating to racial, linguistic or religious affiliation only. The terms ethnicity and culture too often appear in the literature as synonymous terms; therefore this research supports the position of Molefi Asante (1980; 1987;1990), who cautions investigators against using these terms uncritically. Asante (1990,p28) suggests that the primary concern with using the word "ethnic" with cultural studies is its eurocentric bias, as it relates to such scholarly endeavors as ethnomusicology or ethnomethodology. These become studies of "the other:” or the "heathen" (non European). This tends to preclude any European from claiming membership in an ethnic group or possessing ethnicity as a personality descriptor, since they are not "the other". It is a tendency of these European researchers to provide an emic(subjective, in-group) anaklysis from an etic (objective, out-group) perspective and to disqualify themselves from any ethnic group memberships."
African Americans or so called Blacks in America (descendants of slaves brought to the Americas) can neither be distinguished by custom nor language but a great majority of them early on were made converts to Western Christianity for further European exploitation to give blacks a false sense of acceptability.
Blacks continued to perpetuate this concept of Christianalization in order to validate themselves to whites who enslaved them. They found themselves both as freedmen and slaves continuing to pursue positions within church organizations because this was the only avenue which provided safety, sanction, guidance, financial support, and acceptance by the white majority. This continues to this day.
Christian institutional memberships continue to fall as more and more blacks educate themselves in black history, Biblical history, and European history thus reconnecting with their ancestors. We do know that THE HOLY ONE condemns ancestor worship so many ceremonies now equate with our so-called African past is not an option for us as a nation or person who truly have passed over.
Western intellectuals have begun to embrace even more distant practices for Asian focused religions as seen by an increase in interest for forms of meditation, Tai'Chi, Shong Fuei, Yoga, Mind Body connections, Earth Sciences and so forth. These practices are being used to bring so called harmony, balance, and a closer feel for "nature" and earthly connections. There is a steady return to ancient Celtic superstitious and occult practices. The media is now bombarding us with fortune telling as never before despite so-called Christianity.
Blacks in numbers conversely (at least those still latched onto Western born and bred Christianity) seem almost fanatical about holding, defending, and perpetuating Christianity at grassroots levels and have taken these concepts to a renewed high.
They have been convinced that they are soldiers elected as centurions to defend these concepts to the death with the promise of an adequate but substantial reward in the heavenly kingdom they were taught to revere and anticipate. Are they aware that a new Jerusalem is being built? Or that the new temple is in the works? Don't they know that earth was built for man and not the heavens? Their teachers know this to be true. Anticipation of Death and all things dead seem all too important to blacks. Is this why they continue to sing about crossing Jordan or climbing Jacob's Ladder, and don't they know that these exist in real time and are not heavenly places but places on earth?
National identity and self determination are two of a number of hallmarks which define nationhood. African American blacks instead continue to search for their real identities which they are convinced Western Christian religions have defined for them. Their moral judgment and conduct AND identity are intertwined. Is this why Christianity is so acceptable? They accept any lifestyle, any morality, etc.
The membership in black Christianity have decreased thanks to renewed energies of geological and historical research and education. Christianity as a tool will take a back seat to self determination and self actualization. The replacement of religion as a tool for oppression is competitive as seen by increased use of T.V. and Hollywood activity. Many institutions are anticipating this awakening which seem to justify an increase in defense spending and an increase in the prison industrial complex in anticipation of blacks’ new world view and indignation at being used.
White society used this "religionism" to subdue and "civilize" their new slaves/subjects/victims at the same time denying these same converts the very concepts under which Christian principals are supposedly based.
The practice of religion in this our time is displayed by peoples who appear fanatical about Christianity to the point of hypnotic mysticism. Observe the exaggerated sizes of crucifixes and the chanting of have a blessed day, Jesus is Lord, are you saved, etc., rhetoric. As you listen to the ever increasing use of gospel/Christian music with its loud, rhythmic movement into mainstream music industry exploitation is alive and well because adherence to Christianity must be challenged and conveyed using whatever media possible.
I, therefore, condemn the continued use of the term ethnicity as defined and accepted by the white majority to address blacks/African Americans because this perpetuates the theory that blacks are heathen and gentile unless they are christianized. And we do know that at the other end of the definition to be Jewish you must therefore be European, as well. Islamic practice or religion was not used in the equation which demonstrates the continued policies of strict adherence to and the rigid hold which dictate black denominational adherence to Christian dogma.
There is not only physical enslavement but mental enslavement, as you well know. That is why I was inspired to write this piece. It was solely based on my personal observations and readings.
I have observed with trepidation the increased use of faith-based organizations by the U.S. government, and I see this as an opportunity for it to establish a stronger hold within black communities. This recognition serves to increase legitimacy and authority of established and more mainstream religions at the expense of those faith organizations/groups that are lesser known.
This gives blacks more of a need to rely even more heavily on churches. This administration is aware of how Christianity is used and has been used to authenticate/validate groups that are not mainstreamed. If you are not mainstreamed you are an ethnic minority, and I resent the use of the term.
In the coming years identity and self determination will increase in importance to so called African Americans and education is important in this movement forward.
My observations and thoughts are generated by responses to E-mail sent to me about slavery in the Sudan. I still think this episode of slavery there serves to distract and misdirect AA's in the states (which it seems to be doing) away from the real issues of reparations and apologies for past world wide slavery of black peoples by European, Arab and African nations.
This form of damage control is a form of micromanagement for AA's to focus on slavery elsewhere, and then redirect our anger to the Arab community. Why? Because they are the perceived enemies of the U.S. and Israel. What an effective tool. But they apparently don't know that we have street smarts too!
The basis for some of my many comments on ethnicity, racial identity, and religion have been taken from some of the readings listed below as well as daily reports from U.S. and Internet news. This article reflects my own personal views and observations also.
Tapper, Melbourne (1999) In the Blood: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race University of Penn Press ISBN 0-8122-3475-5
Jackson, Ronald L. (1999) The Negotiation of Cultural Identity: Perceptions of European American and African Americans Praeger Publishing ISBN 0-275-96184-2
Schonfield, Hugh (1965) The Passover Plot
A historical study on the origin, inception, use and misuse of Christianity as a political and religious tool. An examination on the Jewish influence and presence in early Western Christianity
T'Zirah B. Yehuda
Our GOD IS GOD! The GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
The LORD OUR GOD IS ONE
Dear Brother Robert,
Although I've not communicated with you for some time now I still am apprised of your courageous efforts at nation building, and I thank you for your dedication, energy, and forthright efforts in seeing that our brothers and sisters are appropriately compensated for generations of enslavement. For these efforts, I thank you.
Since I am a member of the ancient nation of Hebrew Israelites and also an avid historian I must express my concern about dealing with African Nations which exploited and collaborated with European for profit and gain. Many African Empires enslaved then sold specific groups to European slavers and worked for years to assist in the establishment and procurement of African peoples. These African nations were Islamic, as well as Christian and were richly rewarded by European nations which placed missionaries within African borders in order that respective religions prospered. Before we attempt to enter in league with them, let’s examine issues which must be addressed BEFORE we can continue collaborative efforts. I call this taking care of FAMILY BUSINESS. I hope that these can be addressed at the upcoming conference.
Just two years ago a delegation from the African nation of Benin (formally known as Dahomey) traveled to the United States to "apologize" for their part in the enslavement of fellow Africans. This information is not commonly known but as a watcher of news, people, and their histories I try to keep abreast of issues which affect us (descendants of slaves).
African nations and native Africans here in the U.S are STILL being used to undermine the power, influence, and credibility of blacks. And, I don't like it.
If you examine your schools of higher learning you will see a proliferation of native Africans who came to the US for education and opportunities. Most native Africans seem consumed about the sovereign affairs within their own countries abroad and are extremely nationalistic, and devoted to their perspective ties to tradition and inheritance. Many are not above riding the so-called black issues here in the US in order to gain recognition, and advantage. You, I hope can see what white women gained from the civil rights of the past. POWER at the cost of loss of jobs and influence for black men [and women].
Blacks in the United States are cautioned to examine past history to understand that as a people we have been and continue to be potential fodder, feed, and consumers for most all other nations on earth and Africa is no exception. One only has to look within our own neighborhoods to prove this point.
So while I applaud efforts by N’COBRA I caution groups which work in earnest for reparations to realize that there are Europeans even today who feel that their past African allies of yesterday are still viable, affective, and alive and well to help them destroy again, TODAY.
Asante Sana for the kind words of encouragement and motivation. May I recruit you to assist us in those efforts necessary to actualize the Afrikan NATION STATE coming together in the near future? There is much work to be done. I deserve no acknowledgement or applause for doing what comes natural. Besides we have just begun to talk about NATION STATUS coming by way of Treaty.
I am working to organize a convention/conference/gathering/coming together of Afrikans from around the Diaspora to reacquaint ourselves as FAMILY first and for most. Second, I pray we have the camaraderie, structure, and discipline to collaborate and define what the FAMILY BUSINESS concerns are. Those concerns should be the foundations for the language in treaties. Third, and maybe most important on my current agenda is:
TO DEFINE WAYS AND STRATEGIES TO ENTER INTO TREATY DISCUSSIONS WITH AFRIKAN NATIONS ON THE CONTINENT
TO BESTOW UPON THE AFRIKANS THROUGHOUT THE DIASPORA NATION STATE STATUS
TO UNITE AFRIKANS AROUND THE DIASPORA UNDER ONE SIGNED DOCUMENT WITH SUPPORTIVE TREATIES, CRAFTED SPECIFICALLY TO RECOGNIZE US AS A SOVERIGN NATION INCLUSIVE OF ALL SCATTERED AFRIKANS WANTING SOVERIGNTY - WITHOUT A NATIONAL HOMELAND, CAPITAL CITY, FLAG, OATH OF ALLIGANCE, TRAINED ARMED MILITARY, and NATIONAL ANTHEM
With your help and prayers the convention will allow for the discussions of all concerns related to accomplishing the goal stated above for The Unification of all Afrikans around the world. I am well aware that the signing of the treaties is a long way off. I trust there will be more than just one Coming Together Convention. This task is so grandiose it will need international support and expertise that I don’t have. I will make my contribution in my humble way. I am SHOUTING FOR HELP that shall remain FOCUSED on the logistics of the "Coming Together In The Diaspora" for lack of a more eloquent theme.
Free The Mind... Free The People....
[How about this theme: “Coming Together In The Diaspora to
Build An Afikan Nation State”? – T.Y., Editor]
Hotep AGAIN All…
Many of you have said at one time or another that "If Black people could only just get together we could..." I am proposing that you give some thought as too what kind of work you could do to add to the structure of the Diaspora convention/conference/coming together on behave of Afrikans scattered in the Diaspora. After you’ve thought about it for a while, E-mail me your strategy to making it happen. This is and must remain a self determined, self-supported effort to unify our people.
Habari Gani. The challenge has been made. What say you? If it is a dumb idea, I want to hear that, as well. But, you must tell me why it cannot be done! Remember the numbers game doesn’t count. I am not looking for 100% Afrikan participation. I expect a relative few will attend the sessions compared to the MMM or MWM. If seven people show, I will consider that a success. I grew up believing that "A minority changes things." That's because I saw it happen. Live and in color on the tube and in the streets. I was Blessed like that.
I am asking for everyone who reads this E-mail to look at the potential of Afrikans in the Diaspora being recognized as a national state with official signed treaties with governments in the Motherland.
Free the tongue.....
Mawusi... (Chosen name)
Robert (Given name)
[Oh, my beloved Brother, please know that this is an EXCELLENT idea, and more people than you can accommodate will be seeking to participate in this most worthwhile endeavor. And the reason is that times and conditions upon our people in the lands of our captors will spur and encourage fulfillment of such a move. It is a misconception that “America is the Greatest Country in the World.” But rather, “America is the Most Racist Country on this Earth” is more accurate.
Get in touch with African leaders, as this proposal must first be respectfully discussed with them. I would approach Ghana first. I have lived in Africa before and have traveled to about six other countries on this vast continent. You would want to do your homework before deciding upon which place to establish a Nation State. Once you are in accord with whichever African country, all you will need are Reparations to start construction for housing, schools, farms, purchase of farm equipment, hospital or Health Center, and small businesses.
Somebody was destined to come up with this idea, so it may as well have been you…or were you the first one? (Big Smiles)
Tziona Yisrael, Editor]
NetWORKER Raoul White reminded me this morning that it has been awhile (maybe too long) since we've mailed out something. So, to make up for this - and to get back on track - we are spreading the word today about a song released last December by The Artist Once Again Known
As Prince. :)
The song ("When Will We Be Paid") was first recorded and released by The Staples Singers back in 1969 and served as an unofficial anthem for the Reparations Movement. Their version is still available on the CD re-issue of WE'LL GET OVER (Stax Records, SCD-8532-2).
This new cover by Prince is yours for free at the NPG (New Power Generation) web site:
You can download the entire song (mp3 format) from their "Groovez" menu - click on "The New Single" and choose the quality (128 bps or 256 bps) you refer. The site uses Java Script and Flash 4, so don't be shy about downloading the necessary file(s). We've been listening to the song over and over using the (free) RealJukebox program.
Here, below, are the lyrics. We think you'll join us in rocking to the funk Prince lays down as he again uplifts our call for justice.
Ready for Reparations,
(Written by Randall Stewart)
When will we be paid for the work we've done? When will we be paid for the work we've done?
We fought in your wars, in every land To keep this country free, y'all For women, children, and men But anytime we ask for pay or a loan That's when everything seems to turn out wrong
We've been beat up, called names, shot down, and stoned Every time we do right, somebody say we're wrong
Tell me...When will we be paid for the work we've done? When will we be paid for the work we've done?
Listen...We worked this country (Say it!) From shore to shore (Well) Our women cooked all your food, And washed all your clothes We picked cotton (Huh!) And laid the railroad steel Worked our hands down to the bone At your lumber mill
Tell me...When will we be paid for the work we've done? When will we be paid for the work we've done?
Will we ever be proud Of "My country, tis of thee" Will we ever sing out loud Sweet land of Liberty
When will we be paid (Tell us) For the work we've done (Well?)
I wanna know, I wanna know, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna know When will we be paid for the work we've done? (Why can't we be paid?) When will we be paid for the work we've done? When will we be paid for the work we've done? When will we be paid for the work we've done?
We've given up our sweat, nah, and all of our tears, Stumbled through this life for more than 300 years
DON’T PERMIT RACISM TO STALL THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY
Racism is a reality in America, but that does not mean that racism, or its existence should stall the development of the Black community. Anti-Semitism has not kept the Jewish community from developing their resources and becoming rich. Why should racism be an insurmountable obstacle for Black people? Racism has been an obstacle because Black leadership and White liberals have not placed racism in its proper perspective.
Black people don't need a bunch of lying liberals and Uncle Toms sending the Black community on wild goose chases. What the Black community needs is economic independence so we can solve some of our own problems.
You point out interesting issues. However, the truth of the matter is that the Black MAN will never prosper as a whole in the lands of White Societies. Let's not forget what happened to "Black Wall Street." It's a grim page in the history of haves and have nots, but we must not forget it.
If Blacks want "economic independence," then I can see it happening only in a Black Society where Whites do not control the resources and educate Blacks and make "determinations" for Black Peoples.
Take a good look at our uneducated Black Youth, and consider the Blacks who have seats in Congress. How progressive and affective have they all been? They are vocal, but nothing comes of it. The Reparations Movement is growing, but the Black Congressional Representatives can't get the government to act even on HR#40 just to discuss the affects of the enslavement of Blacks out of Africa.
Unfortunately, only a major revolution in White Societies will manifest a positive change for Blacks. Then Blacks who want to leave White Societies will be able to do so.
We did not ask to be taken to the States, and therefore, those of us who wish to leave should be able to do so and with Reparations, so that we can take the opportunity to prove ourselves - that we are not an insignificant people but human beings with love for human rights and love for life and desires to pursue peace and happiness for our children - our progeny. We deserve a legacy (Reparations) and have a right to true freedom from the descendants of our captors.
The Blacks who disagree with my position have been around a long time, and have done nothing though they have been in positions to at least make waves. But they are bought royally and at our expense to perpetuate the lie that there is Justice for all in this GOOD Ol' US of A.
Racism, race hatred, ghettoes, and control of Black folks in the States is alive and well. And while we sit around talking about the Black man, he is becoming extinct. Our Black men are either dying of drugs, dying on the streets by other Blacks and by policemen, fading away ever so slowly in prisons, or wasting away in the slums of impoverishment. It's an ever so sad story to tell about Blacks in societies that are controlled by the powers-that-be.
Yes, indeed Racism is a reality in America, and the sole intention is to stall the development of the Black community - OBVIOUSLY!!! Take a good look at it, as this has been the predicament ever since.
Tziona Yisrael, Editor
REPARATIONS NOW IN OUR LIFETIME Newsletter
Many of us agree with you and because of that we understand that the first role of reparations is to re-educated our people. Not re-educate them in European paradigms but in African Centered knowledge of themselves, their glorious history, their weakened cultural identity, and their responsibility to the line of struggle to which their parents, grandparents and ancestors started when first captured and kidnapped and continued through enslavement, racial profiling (500 years of targeting), the confusion of integration, re-enslavement through the prison industry: and their responsibility to those coming after them, unto the seventh generation. We have much to accomplish on the way to reparations if we are to use it wisely, much to change in our relationship one to another, much to cleanse from our contact with gross greed, arrogance, self-centeredness and individualism.
And we can do it!!!!!
Their blatant arrogance is helping to open the eyes of the most patriotic of us.
Many of us don’t realize it and probably don’t even get the full report on the War taking place in Israel. However, just be aware that the Israelis are trying unsuccessfully to control the Palestinians just as the U.S. successfully controlled the Native Americans and the Blacks. The only difference is that the Native Americans and the Blacks are passive to this affliction and oppression while the Palestinians are fighting against the atrocities they endure and fighting for their Human Rights and for their lives. It appears that there is really such a thing as the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Tziona Yisrael, Editor
LAST BUT NOT LEAST:
WHEN RHAZARD SPEAKS, HE GETS OUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION:
EFFORTS TOWARDS NATION BUILDING
Chief Elder Osiris of the P.A.I.N. Organization and myself will meet on June 11, to begin planning an International Afrikan Diaspora Convention/Conference to discuss Afrikans in the Diaspora entering into FORMAL TREATY RELATIONSHIPS with receptive countries on the continent.
This strategy will unite Afrikans in the Diaspora with NATION STATE STATUS as recognized by the signature countries. The convention/conference will allow us to involve the masses in the defining of and participation in the NATION BUILDING - Treaty Process. We are planning to be the 55th Afrikan Nation State or The FIRST AFRIKAN DIASPORA STATE.
True it is a grand idea and the time has come for Afrikan World UNity to begin to bare fruit. The seed has been in the minds of many for hundreds of years. We will now cultivate the idea. We will hold this introduction meeting in Orland, Florida.
On the table will be the next meeting date, location, and agenda. It will be open to all who can attend. We are building an international convention/conference working committee and subcommittees. Brother Dele in Norway is on board, and so are Brother Nana and Sister Ngone in the USA.
We need to establish a communication network that will get the word out recruiting participation from more of the Afrikan world Diaspora folks online.
Interested, dedicated, and focused folks should E-mail me:
In Subject area write: 55th Nation State (for an immediate response)
Hotep Sn. Robert,
I agree with your proposal, we cannot become side tracked in rhetoric political ideology, and religious dogma etc. We must be serious, therefore we must be endowed with these attributes. HONESTY, COMMITMENT and SACRIFICE. We must be honest with ourselves and with one another. We must be committed to the struggle and liberation of our people. We must be willing to sacrifice our time, money and life if necessary. This we must do without the expectation of any compensation except the gratification of the liberation of Afrika and its people. We are indeed at war and we are the only people who do not know it.
Our people are suffering and dying in Afrika I cannot reiterate this too much. I cannot begin to tell the Afrikan family the devastation our people are experiencing. Our young women are being raped at will by white men in Southern Afrika, (137 women raped per day) The so-called HIV/AIDS is devastating in Afrika. In Botswana the life expectancy for an Afrikan is 41 years of age. It is said that over 30 million people are affected by the AID'S virus and 22.5 million are in Afrika. Over 7,000 individuals between the ages 10-24 are infected daily. In fact 5 are infected every minute. These are the devastating statistics as reported by the vice-chancellor Professor Sharon Siverts of the University of Botswana.
Yet I observed White men cohabiting, Prostituting, and eating food prepared by Afrikan cooks without any fear of being of infected with the disease, How can this be? Indeed white men have made a cesspool of Afrika. But these devastating conditions are not contained to Afrika. We as Afrikan people are in a devastating position every where.
Just look at the killings that occurred in New Jersey over the past weekend, even though some of these killings maybe done by so call Black on Black crime it is still the state of condition Europeans have Black people in. The high rate of Black men and women who are being incarcerated in America's prisons. The influx of drugs being imported into Black communities, all of these conditions has to be from our inaction with Europeans over the last 500 years.
We are in serious trouble, the survival of the Afrikan race is at stake. It is from these conditions that motivate me. If we are not ready to subscribed to the above attributes, then I have no time to waist on any other matters. Relocating back to Afrika and building a nice home, even developing some land is not going to solve it, establishing a 55th state is not going to solve it.
Asking for reparations is not enough, we must control our economy. As long as they control our economy they will control our lives. You ask if I had any answers? The answer is yes we have a plan, not a proposal, but a plan which I will gladly reveal at the appropriate time. It is something that is open for all Afrikans to partake in and improve on it where necessary. Again we must be serious no one person can be the leader and become a media celebrity. There is no room for ego's and hustlers looking to get over on the struggle of Afrikan people.
Hotep, Afrika must survive.
Peace & Harmony My Brother Nana...
I was thrilled at reading your E-mail. As you read. The spiritual beginning possessed me to make an OATH OF ALLIANCE using your values and words. The middle of this article is strong and powerful and true. In actuality (in my case), I felt as though you were preaching to the choir. I need no statistics or fright tales to motivate or impress me. It's the section from the second edition E-mail (highlighted) that shackles my brain. I don’t get it??? After reading the additional part in the second draft I thought…
"Either you are part of the solution or you are part of the problem. Either you have those attributes or you don’t: All time spent on the unification of the Diaspora is of benefit. All PLANS are of importance.
Your diatribe of what is not enough is accurate because no one plan will erase our problems. I asked for help to keep the focus only on organizing a convention/conference based on Chief Elders Osiris’ proposal/plan of entering into a TREATY RELATIONSHIP with member nations of the Afrikan Unity. That would give us NATION STATE STATUS recognition with the Motherland. I ask that we stay focused on putting together the convention/conference. I can only focus on one strategy at a time. I have learned from my mistakes or accidents. In after thought history lessons or fact producing discussions heighten my sensitivities to look for the needs of others for acceptance and approval in the "movement." It is a defense mechanism.
I know the problem. Many others do, as well. I know some of the effects of the problem on me and others. I also know that some people need the factual lessons and reminders of "OUR-STORY” to redefine themselves over time.
I am seeking out others to produce one event - A CONVENTION / CONFERENCE OF Afrikans in the Diaspora to discuss, develop, and strategize. A CONCEPT OF Self Determined (collectively speaking) Nation State Status TREATY. We can do this with our UJAMAA. and KUUMBA.
For those who have the desire to come together for other strategies as Afrikan Citizens Of The Diaspora now is "the appropriate time" for all plans to be revealed and laid out there for the Diaspora to deal with. If it has merit it will be utilized, modified, co-opted, bastardized, stolen, hustled, and used to bring folks together for different reasons.
I am aware our Nation State Status or TREATY relationships will not include all Afrikans that Live in the Diaspora. I am sure some would rather stay in the “Grand ol' U.S. of A or Europe or under occupation. What really troubles me from your discourse is that you have a "plan" and are keeping it TOP SECRET until you "reveal it at the appropriate time". It is your plan and your secret. I am not interested in it at this time, especially if it isn’t going to contribute to the convention or create an Afrikan NATION State with Treaties signed by the member states of Afrikan Unity. Now is the appropriate time for ME to help build a NATION STATE.
Free The Mind.... It's Nation Time!
This is the best information that I have heard regarding efforts to use Reparations to repatriate to Africa and establish a Community of Descendants of Slaves outside of White Societies. I just know that this strategy will set profound examples for Blacks everywhere, and children born in this environment will be properly re-educated, will demonstrate self-esteem and pride in being Black, and will be capable of competing academically with their counterparts all over the World.
Finally, my Brother, you present another alternative to living under White Control and living in impoverishment, oppression, and misery. It ain’t the Late Rev. Martin L. King’s Dream, albeit, it’s better in that Descendants of Slaves will have something they can call their own and move on to constructing lifestyles and social systems that are distinctively Black. In this manner, we will end the longstanding myth that Blacks are inferior to Whites.
Tziona Yisrael, Editor
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