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…….#25

 

MARCH / APRIL  2002

 

 

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WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS, AND WE OWE IT TO OUR CHILDREN TO ESTABLISH AND DEMAND BETTER LIVES FOR THEM AND FOR OURSELVES! 

 

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GIVE POWER AND MEANING TO

THE REPARATIONS MASS MOVEMENT - GIVE OF YOURSELF!

 

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“Take direct action against the U.S. government!”  Dr. Robert Brock

 

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Note from the REPNOW Newsletter Editor:

 

With the Reparations Movement back on track and in full swing since the 9/11 Attack, we should all know that many people have jumped on the Reparations BANDWAGON and have submitted lawsuits to boot.  All I can say is that it’s about time!  The more attention given to this our cause, the more this U.S. government and other countries that were involved in the TransAtlantic Slave Trade will realize that WE ARE VERY SERIOUS!  And I hope that we will all support any and everyone for their efforts, as this DEBT is long overdue.  When the Bush Administration walked out of the World Conference Against Racism, it should have been smacked with a back-hand lick at every turn so as to know that not under any circumstances are we going to relent until this Debt is paid and until Blacks can begin again to be re-established with notable dignity be it in Africa, friendly countries, or in the countries that took us captive.   Make UNITY AND SOLIDARITY FOR REPARATIONS THE STAY OF EACH AND EVERY DAY!  Let’s not skip a beat in this “Our” fight for the Debt due to our forebears who were enslaved under the most inhumane bondage ever recorded and due to us, their descendants, as well for our pain, suffering, forced migration, ethnic cleansing, acute misery and endless sorrows!  The inequality that Descendants of Slaves experience in the countries that took our forebears captive is degrading and humiliating and purposed to emphasize the superiority of the White Society. 

 

And since 9/11, we cannot permit the powers-that-be to deceive us into thinking that there is justice, patriotism, and unity in the United States’ fight against this “War Against TERROR.”  We continue to fight against Police Terror and the terrors of RACISM and DISCRIMINATION, and especially INEQUALITY in the Black Ghettoes and the Rural South.  We have our own TERRORISMS TO FIGHT right in the Good Ol’ U.S. of A and the government refuses to help us.

 

I was surprised to learn about people, mostly Whites, lining up for blocks to see the “Ground Zero Site” in Manhattan where once stood the Twin Towers.  If people want to see real amazing destruction where human beings are living, amazingly, in dilapidation and destitution in run-down houses and sleeping on garbage-strewn streets, then people should line up to visit any one of the major cities to where the poor have no choice but to exist.   Let them visit a ghetto school and compare it to one in a White School District where little White children lack nothing.  And then while they are in line waiting their turn to see this devastation that Blacks have lived in since being brought to these shores, let someone ask:  where is this respect for “Human Dignity” and “Human Rights” of which the United Nations and President Bush speak?  Hmmm…Speaking of the United Nations, Secretary General Kofi Annan is a native of Ghana, but he is oblivious to the anguish and torment of any Blacks anywhere on this planet.   I can’t figure it out! 

 

Another situation that seems quite ironic is that the United States is seeking the death penalty for those involved in the 9/11 attack, but prior to that brazenly walked out of the World Conference Against Racism rather than speak out against the constant Israeli terrorist attacks and destruction of Palestinian territories.  As well, obviously the last thing the United States wanted to discuss at WCAR was its hand in the TransAtlantic Slave Trade and payment of Reparations for this merciless and barbaric crime against Black Humanity and for the RACISM and INJUSTICE Blacks continue to face in this country called “America the Beautiful.”   But the U.S. wants justice served for 9/11.  Now, ain’t that somethin’.  We, Descendants of Slaves, fightin’ for JUSTICE SERVED, too, but we are not looking to send anyone to the death chambers.   We just want what’s due us – JUSTICE in the form of Reparations and Freedom for those of us who wish to leave the lands that took us captive.

 

“The U.S. Walk Out” of the WCAR, whether people accept the timing or not, resulted in the 9/11 attack that then caused the U.S to call for a World Coalition to fight Terror.  Do realize that this was at a time when the United States was an isolationist.  How quickly the U.S. can change, and no one can beat the turn around that this country made after this attack.  The U.S. appeal (or rather “demand” to those receiving U.S. tax dollars) went out to every single nation on this planet to help it fight Terror, and stated something to the effect that:  “IF YOU ARE NOT WITH US, THEN YOU ARE AGAINST US!”  It seemingly pays to have the funds to manipulate nations – hmmm our money, nonetheless.

 

One White European young adult asked Secretary of State Colin Powell while addressing an MTV presentation, how it felt to represent the “Satan of all policies.”  I nearly fell off my seat.  Had this young adult been a Muslim, I wouldn’t have given it much thought, but she was a full-blooded-blond European, which says quite a lot about what these Whites think about the United States - which ain’t much.

 

Maybe the U.S. will pay Reparations just so that we will keep our mouths shut about the newly coined phrase:  “Satan of all policies.”  Hey, I’ll buy that, but first, SHOW ME THE MONEY!  Until then, Descendants of Slaves must get on the horn and speak out, and get involved in every way possible in order that Reparations for Descendants of Slaves not be forgotten but be paid IN OUR LIFETIME.  And don’t let the Blacks in government and other strategic positions forget this, either!

 

Since the Bush Administration would not listen to us at WCAR, let’s make them hear us loud and clear in the media, the courts, and in government.  If only the Black Caucus would institute a Filibuster for Reparations, the length of our fight would be cut in half.  What has this Caucus (that is supposed to represent Black People) got to lose.

 

Below is the WebSite to the REPARATIONS CENTRAL that truly provides links to the “Best” information on organizations involved in the Reparations Movement.  If you are one of the “Best,” and you don’t see the name of your organization list at this WebSite, then I would suggest that you contact President Carey and find out why not.

 

Gregory Carey, President

REPARATIONS CENTRAL

P.O. Box 84551

Seattle, WA 98124

greg@carey.net

http:/www.reparationscentral.com

 

We provide links to the best information about the Reparations movement.

 

So, says President Carey:  The Struggle Continues, and if you care to make a tax-deductible contribution to Reparations Central, please send it to the information listed above.

 

Again, let’s try to support ALL in this our fight for Reparations by giving of yourself!

 

Tziona Yisrael, Editor

REPARATIONS NOW IN OUR LIFETIME Newsletter

www.thelawkeepers.org

(Click on “Repnow”)

 

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FARMER-PAELLMAN NOT AFRAID OF HUGE CORPORATIONS

February 21, 2002

Deadria Farmer-Paellmann has spent five years digging for evidence that ties Corporate America to pre-Civil War slavery. She confronted Aetna in 2000.

NEW YORK — Her husband, who's German and white, didn't believe her. So they played a game.

They'd go to a store and each make a purchase with a credit card. Inevitably, she had to produce a picture ID and give her address; he was rung up, no questions asked.

"Sometimes I tell (sales clerks), 'Hey, slavery's over. Black people have money now,' " says Deadria Farmer-Paellmann.

Slavery is anything but over for Farmer-Paellmann, 36, a researcher and mother of one. For five years, she has spent hours online and in archives hunting evidence that ties Corporate America to pre-Civil War slavery.

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

·  Activists challenge corporations that they say are tied to slavery

Despite having no outside financial backing, she rocked the insurance industry in 2000 by confronting Aetna with evidence it had insured the lives of slaves for slaveholders. That prompted California to require other insurers to search archives for slave policies.

Aetna issued a public apology in March 2000.

Farmer-Paellmann says she has identified about 60 companies that profited from slavery. She says she has taken her findings to nine — banks, insurers and a textile maker — and one estate. So far, none has made a public apology or agreed to her suggestion to put together a reparations plan.

If corporations with slaves in their past ever do pay reparations, Farmer-Paellmann can take much credit, says Charles Ogletree, the Harvard law professor heading a group looking to file reparations lawsuits.  "The idea of corporate involvement has always been raised in the reparations movement," he says. "But I don't think anybody has been as conscientious or as thorough as Deadria.  She is the key factor in making these (legal) claims come to life."

Farmer-Paellmann says slavery lives on, its legacy seen in everything from housing discrimination to racial profiling to police brutality. The quest for compensation and an apology "torments a lot of African-Americans. And it's not because of the money. Our ancestors were kidnapped, whipped, tortured, forced to breed."

She was intrigued by the idea of a national apology and federal restitution for descendants of slaves. She got a law degree just so she could learn legal theories and prepare a reparations case that would be persuasive in court.

But in 1997, she decided the American public wasn't ready for a national reparations bill, and there were too many legal obstacles in suing the government. So she shifted her focus.

"I don't think people are very sympathetic toward multibillion-dollar corporations that profited from slavery," she says.  "People don't put up a wall when you talk about reparations from companies."

Farmer-Paellmann is negotiating with law firms and may file lawsuits separate from those brought by Ogletree's team. She hopes to pick a firm that could represent her as a plaintiff, bring her on to help with research or both.

The Aetna case brought her notoriety and credibility among the lawyers, academics and civil rights activists pursuing the reparations idea. Law firms that had been cool to her idea of class-action lawsuits suddenly showed interest.

None of it appears to have lessened the sting she felt as a little girl growing up in the predominantly white Bensonhurst neighborhood of Queens in the '70s and '80s.

"Sometimes racism is subtle," she says. "But when someone throws a crate at you and calls you 'nigger,' there's not much doubt."

Even now, she says, there are daily slights. The extra ID check at the store. The way restaurants direct her to a back table. They are part of what fuels her belief that slavery is part of the present.

"We're still living with the vestiges of slavery," she says. "Most black folks, unless they're living in la-la land, could tell you about an incident every day of their lives."

 

By James Cox & Todd Plitt, USA TODAY

 

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FIRMS OWN DAILIES THAT WERE VITAL TO SLAVE ECONOMY

 

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

 

Activists challenge corporations that they say are tied to slavery

Many of the USA's largest newspaper companies own dailies that were vital to the slave economy. Antebellum-era newspapers ran ads that promised reward money for the capture of escaped slaves, offered slaves for sale or sought slaves for purchase.

"Cash for Negroes" proclaimed an 1856 ad in The Sun, today The Baltimore Sun, owned by Tribune Co.

"Stop the Runaway" urged an 1849 ad in The Georgia Telegraph, today Knight Ridder's The Macon Telegraph.

Similar ads were carried by The Memphis Daily Appeal, forerunner of E.W. Scripps' The Commercial Appeal; in The Daily Dispatch, which became Media General's Richmond Times-Dispatch; in The Daily Picayune, today The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, owned by Advance Publications.

Gannett, publisher of USA TODAY, also owns newspapers that carried slave ads. Among them: The Montgomery Daily Advertiser, now The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser; and The Louisville Daily Journal, today The Courier-Journal of Louisville.

Freddie Parker, chairman of the North Carolina Central University history department, says newspapers were a key marketplace for buyers and sellers of slaves and were strong voices in support of slavery.

The Hartford Courant, a Tribune newspaper, acknowledged in 2000 that it had run such ads. It apologized for "any involvement by our predecessors at The Courant in the terrible practice of buying and selling human beings. "

Knight Ridder declined to comment on slave ads in its Macon newspaper. Advance Publications referred calls to Ashton Phelps, publisher of New Orleans' Times-Picayune. He refused to comment.

In a statement, Tribune calls slave ads in the Hartford Courant and Baltimore's The Sun "regrettable." It says its flagship Chicago Tribune fought to end slavery, adding that the Hartford and Baltimore newspapers have more recently "worked diligently for civil rights and human dignity."

Media General acknowledges its Richmond newspaper ran slave ads. But "we did not own the Richmond Times-Dispatch at the time these activities occurred. It makes it very difficult to discuss decisions that were made by people who were not involved in anything related to Media General," spokeswoman Lou Anne Nabhan says.

Scripps says only that it came to own many of its current newspapers "beyond the period in question."

In a statement, Gannett says it didn't own newspapers during the slave era. It says shareholders shouldn't be responsible — "morally or financially" — for what was published then. "Reparations and apologies present overwhelming practical — and logical — problems. The better course is to focus on understanding the lasting effects of slavery and racism on our society. Gannett is justifiably proud of its record in this regard."

 

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SUIT SEEKS BILLIONS IN SLAVE REPARATIONS

 

March 26, 2002

 

Farmer-Paellmann: "These are corporations that benefitted from stealing people."

 

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Attorneys for a former law student, who discovered evidence linking U.S. corporations to the slave trade, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday that could seek billions of dollars in reparations for the descendants of slaves in America.

 

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn names FleetBoston Financial, the railroad firm CSX and the Aetna insurance company, and promises to name up to 100 additional corporations at a later date.

 

It accuses the companies of conspiracy, human rights violations, unjust enrichment from their corporate predecessors' roles in the slave trade and conversion of the value of the slaves' labor into their profits.

 

"These are corporations that benefited from stealing people, from stealing labor, from forced breeding, from torture, from committing numerous horrendous acts, and there's no reason why they should be able to hold onto assets they acquired through such horrendous acts," said Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, the main plaintiff in the lawsuit.

 

Farmer-Paellmann said she learned of Aetna's role in insuring slaves in legal classes, and then asked Aetna for old policies documenting the practice, which Aetna provided to her.

 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 35 million African-Americans. It seeks financial payments for the value of "stolen" labor and unjust enrichment and calls for the companies to give up "illicit profits." The plaintiffs are also seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

 

The lawsuit does not seek a specific dollar amount, but estimates slaves performed as much as $40 million worth of unpaid labor between 1790 and 1860. The current value of that labor could be as high as $1.4 trillion

 

The lawsuit alleges that Aetna's corporate predecessor "insured human slave owners against the loss of their human chattel."

 

In response, Aetna released a statement saying, "We do not believe a court would permit a lawsuit over events which -- however regrettable -- occurred hundreds of years ago. These issues in no way reflect Aetna today."

 

The lawsuit notes that FleetBoston is a successor to Providence Bank, which it says was founded by Rhode Island slave trader John Brown. FleetBoston had no immediate comment on the suit.

 

The suit alleges that CSX, based in Richmond, Virginia, is a successor to numerous railroads that were built or run, at least in part, by slave labor.

 

In a statement, CSX said the suit is "wholly without merit and should be dismissed. The claimants named CSX because slave labor was used to construct portions of some U.S. rail lines under the political and legal system in place more than a century before CSX was formed in 1980."

 

Slave reparations have been a controversial issue. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted last month found a wide difference of opinion on the issue between black and white respondents.

 

Nine out of 10 white respondents said the government should not make cash payments to slave descendants while 6 percent said it should.

 

Among black respondents, 55 percent said the government should make cash payments and 37 percent said it should not.

 

The poll surveyed 1,001 adults -- 820 of them white and 146 black -- February 8-10. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 9 percentage points for black respondents and plus or minus 4 percent points for white respondents. The percentages differ because of the difference in the number of people surveyed.

 

The same people were asked if corporations that made profits from slavery should apologize to African-Americans. Among blacks, 68 percent said they should while 23 percent said they should not. Among whites, 32 percent said they should and 62 percent said they should not.

 

Three-fourths of black respondents said the companies should set up scholarship funds for descendants of slaves and 20 percent said they should not. Among white respondents, 35 percent of respondents said they favored the scholarship funds while 61 percent said they were opposed.

 

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LAWSUITS SEEK REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY

The Associated Press
 

March 27, 2002

 

NEW YORK (AP) -- A woman whose ancestors were slaves sued three companies for allegedly profiting from slavery for nearly two centuries -- a long-simmering concept that could pick up steam if more blacks are allowed to join the lawsuits.

 

Plaintiffs' lawyers said the lawsuits were the first to seek slavery reparations from private companies. They were filed against the Aetna insurance company, the FleetBoston financial services group and railroad giant CSX on behalf of the 35 million American descendants of African slaves.

 

At a news conference announcing the lawsuits Tuesday, Deadria Farmer-Paellmann said she spent five years researching the topic after writing on her law school application that her dream was to build the case that would win slavery reparations.

 

She said she became interested in the quest as she listened to her grandparents, including descriptions of her great-great-grandmother's escape from a rice plantation on the eve of the Civil War, when she stole a boat and ran away, surviving two weeks in swamps. Farmer-Paellmann graduated from law school in 2000.

 

``My grandfather always talked about the 40 acres and a mule we were promised and never given,'' said Farmer-Paellmann, who was the only plaintiff identified in the lawsuits.

 

The three suits, which seek unspecified damages, claimed that as many as 1,000 unidentified corporations may have benefited from slavery between 1619 and 1865. The lawsuits seek class-action status and could be expanded to include more companies.

 

Lawyer Ed Fagan said a series of Holocaust lawsuits he helped settle for $8 billion had blazed the legal trail for the slavery action by setting a precedent in making banks and insurance companies pay damage to victims.

 

Any damages won from the lawsuit would be put into a fund to improve health, education and housing opportunities for blacks, said attorney Roger Wareham, one of a group of lawyers who prepared the lawsuits.

 

``This is not about individuals receiving checks in their mailbox,'' Wareham said.

 

The lawsuits say slavery is a wound that fails to heal, condemning blacks in America to more poverty, unemployment, poor education and clashes with the justice system than other Americans. ``They lag behind whites according to every social yardstick: literacy, life expectancy, income and education,'' the lawsuits say. ``They are more likely to be murdered and less likely to have a father at home.''

 

In a statement, Aetna said: ``We do not believe a court would permit a lawsuit over events which -- however regrettable -- occurred hundreds of years ago. These issues in no way reflect Aetna today.''

CSX said the lawsuits had no merit and should be dismissed.

 

``Slavery was a tragic chapter in our nation's history,'' the company said in a statement. ``It is a history shared by every American, and its impacts cannot be attributed to any single company or industry.''

 

Fleet spokesman James Mahoney said the company had not seen the lawsuits and had no comment.

 

CSX said it was named as a defendant because slave labor was used to construct portions of some U.S. rail lines ``under the political and legal system in place more than a century before CSX was formed in 1980.''

 

Farmer-Paellmann said Aetna, in particular, was cooperative in her research, but that changed when she started speaking publicly about planned litigation. Company documents showed one-third of Aetna's first 1,000 policies were written on the lives of slaves, she said.

 

Farmer-Paellmann said the filing was victory enough for one day.

 

``I feel confident that something good will come of all of this,'' she said.

 

Enslavement of Africans in America began in the 1600s. It was not officially abolished in the United States until the 13th amendment was ratified, in 1865.

 

Reparation supporters point to recent cases where groups have been compensated in cash for historic indignities and harm.

 

A letter of formal apology and $20,000 were given by the U.S. government to each Japanese-American held in internment camps during World War II.

 

And in October 2000, Austria established a $380 million fund to compensate tens of thousands of Nazi-era slave laborers who were born in six eastern European countries.

 

But reparation opponents argue that victims in the Nazi and Japanese-American cases were directly harmed while many generations separate enslaved blacks and their modern-day descendants.

 

In addition, those opposed to reparations say it isn't fair for taxpayers and corporations who never owned slaves to be burdened with possible multibillion-dollar settlements.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Slave-Reparations.html?ex=1018252873&ei=1&en=1fc160ffa3e552f5

 

Submitted by [BRC-REP]

From: pka@cwjamaica.com

Reply-To: IRSGroup@yahoogroups.com

 

***

REPARATIONS SOLIDARITY FROM JAMAICA

 

March 28, 2002

 

Greetings All!

 

This lawsuit is wonderful because of the international attention it has brought to the issue of Reparations. America has several legal suits on Reparations upcoming, including one to the government which our IRSGroup member Professor Charles Ogletree is involved.  Clearly the walls of Jericho will not fall down unless there is a great deal of SHOUTING from all sides. We are pleased therefore with Mrs. Farmer Paellman's action and wish her every strength and success.

 

There are parallels in this case, which we in Jamaica may wish to emulate, but mostly I think we need to watch it develop while we develop our own case or cases specifically relevant to our Caribbean and Jamaican situation. The suit by Jamaica's Miguel Lorne against the Queen of England is another legal case which bears watching and there are others emanating from the Jamaican Rastafari community which are also pending.

 

Let us follow and give all support by writing letters to the newspapers, speaking on radio and in our communities in support of this case.

 

ONE LOVE

Makeda

 

Submitted by brc-reparations@yahoogroups.com

 

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INCUMBENT MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

AND CANDIDATES MUST BE CHALLENGED ON THEIR

COMMITMENTS TOWARDS SELF-DETERMINATION

AND REPARATIONS…

 

There is much work to do to build our movement for Reparations and lay claim to our Victory, in the coming weeks and months. On our present agenda are the congressional elections in every district.  All incumbent members of the House of Representatives and candidates, and indeed, persons running for any elective office, must be challenged on their commitment and past practice towards Self-Determination and Reparations for Afrikan people.  No one should get a pass.  Those on the east coast can join N’COBRA and other organizations for our A Year of Black Presence (AYBP) kick-off event in Philadelphia, this coming Friday, 1 March, 7 pm, at the Mother Bethel AME Church.  The church is located at 419 S. 6th Street, in Philly.  Our AYBP Campaign aims to mobilize thousands upon thousands of our people across this land to daily go to Capitol Hill in the upcoming congress to jointly raise the demand for Reparations.  The goal is a hearing and then passage of H.R. 40, The Commission to Study Reparations PROPOSALS Act, sponsored by Elder Congressman John Conyers of Michigan.  More AYBP are being planned for other areas in the near future.

 

Your organization or temple still has until 31 March (New Afrikan Nation Day) to nominate a representative for election to the NCOBRA-led Congress of Economic Development Commissioners (EDC).  Phase one of the EDC elections was held in 6239 (1999) in a number of cities, including Chicago, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, and other areas.  The tasks of our elected EDCs are to: 1) help raise public awareness of the Reparations movement; 2) solicit mass input and compile responses to N’COBRAs initial downpayment demands; and, 3) begin planning with our broader community how Reparations should be used to best heal our people.  This years elections will take place Friday through Sunday, 26-28 April. To get additional information and forms contact the EDC Election Project, chaired by Sister Johnita Scott, at P.O. Box 75437, Baton Rouge, LA 70874; or by email at 105216.150@compuserve.com

 

On 4 April, N’COBRAs youth and student leaders are once again organizing a Walk-Out Against Government Murder WALK-ON FOR REPARATIONS, in honor of DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.  Last year, activists held actions on campuses and in communities from Houston to Atlanta to New York to Oakland and numerous areas in-between.  Contact Sister Taiwo Kugichagulia-Seitu at taiwoks@hotmail.com for help in organizing your action.

 

Speaking of young leaders, all roads lead to Detroit, where the new Mayor is 30 year-old Brother Kwame Kilpatrick. From 21-23 June, N’COBRA will hold its 13th Annual Convention and a National Reparations and Leadership Summit.  WE also are readying to file our class-action lawsuit for Reparations as soon as WE collectively raise the funds to sustain the mighty challenge in our oppressors courts.  More exciting events are also being confirmed. So make your plans to attend.  Of course, WE will use the opportunity to build momentum for the African Union founding in South Afrika in July; the African and African Descendants Caucus Gathering in Barbados come August; and the Millions for Reparations March on MARCUS GARVEY DAY (17 August), in Washington.

 

Sisters and Brothers, WE invite your participation in this movement.  No doubt about it.  WE are growing larger and, potentially, more powerful with each day.  Let us get democratically organized.  May WE all do our part to make this, and everyday, a Reparations Awareness-Action-and-Unity Day, especially, most especially, among the people closest to our circles.  Ase`.  Amen.

 

Hotep, Love and Continued Blessings,

 

Brother Jahahara

 

Brother Jahahara Alkebulan-Maat is the National Co-Chair of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations (N’COBRA), and the editor of REPARATIONS, NOW: Justice! Self-Determination! Healing!  Reach him at NuAfrikan@aol.com or NCOBRAnyc@aol.com

 

*********

 

March 26, 2002

 

REPARATIONS SOUGHT FROM U.S. FIRMS FOR SLAVERY

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three large U.S. companies were named in a lawsuit on Tuesday filed on behalf of black Americans descended from slaves, the first-ever class action seeking reparations from firms for profiting from slavery.

 

Both Aetna and CSX said slavery was a regrettable chapter in U.S. history but the events in question occurred so long ago that a courtroom was not the proper venue to decide on reparations.

 

Plaintiff attorneys said 12 other companies would be getting letters in the coming days requesting a dialogue on a settlement. The other companies were not named.

 

The suit said yet-to-be-named corporate defendants from the industrial, manufacturing, financial and other sectors would be named in subsequent actions once they were identified.

 

The complaint did not contain a monetary damage figure, but did estimate the current value of slaves' unpaid labor as $1.4 trillion. The gross domestic product of the United States at the end of 2001 was $10.25 trillion.

 

Aetna Inc., CSX Corp., and FleetBoston Financial Corp. were named in the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn federal court by 36-year-old black activist Deadria Farmer-Paellmann in the latest step by some blacks to get compensation for what their ancestors suffered as slaves.

 

"The practice of slavery constituted an 'immoral and inhumane deprivation of Africans' life, liberty, African citizenship rights, cultural heritage' and it further deprived them of the fruits of their own labor," the 21-page suit said.

 

BANK CONNECTION TO SLAVERY

 

"This is a case about wealth built on the back and from the sweat of African slaves," said plaintiff attorney Roger Wareham at a news conference. "We expect those companies that are targeted to stand up."

 

Advocates of reparations for slavery argue that the descendants of slaves are still being hurt economically and sociologically by their ancestors' bondage. Those who argue against compensation say, among other things, that it happened so long ago that reparations would be punishing people who had nothing to do with the practice of slavery.

 

According to the lawsuit, FleetBoston is the successor to Providence Bank, which was founded by Rhode Island businessman John Brown. Brown owned ships that embarked on several slaving voyages and the suit says FleetBoston lent substantial sums to Brown, thus financing and profiting from Brown's slave trade.

 

FleetBoston also collected customs fees due from ships transporting slaves, thus further profiting, the suit said.

 

FleetBoston did not return a call seeking comment.

 

The suit alleges Aetna's predecessor actually insured slaveholders against the loss of their human chattel. Aetna knew the horrors of slave life as is evident in a rider through which the company declined to make payments on slaves who were lynched, worked to death, or committed suicide.

 

Aetna, the No. 1 U.S. life and health insurer, said in early March it was considering making an unprecedented public apology and restitution payment over profits it made from insuring slaves in America 150 years ago.

 

COURTROOM 'WRONG SETTING'

 

On Tuesday, an Aetna spokesman said: "We have not been served with a lawsuit. We do not believe a court would permit a lawsuit over events which, however regrettable, occurred hundreds of years ago."

 

CSX is a successor in interest to numerous predecessor railroad lines that were constructed or run, at least in part, by slave labor, according to the suit.

 

CSX said in a statement that while slavery was a tragic chapter in U.S. history, the lawsuit was wholly without merit.

 

"The claimants named CSX because slave labor was used to construct portions of some U.S. rail lines under the political and legal system in place more than a century before CSX was formed in 1980," the company said. "The courtrooms are the wrong setting for this issue."

 

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial, the appointment of an independent historic commission, restitution of the descendants' slave labor, disgorgement of illicit profits and compensatory and punitive damages to be determined at trial.

 

According to the suit, over eight million Africans and their descendants were enslaved from 1619 to 1865, many brought to the Americas to work as slaves on tobacco farms, cotton and sugar plantations.

 

The complaint said the exact number of plaintiff class members was not yet known but it estimated the class included millions of slave descendants.

 

In afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading, Aetna shares were up 44 cents at $37.78, CSX shares were up 66 cents at 37.55, and FleetBoston shares were up 24 cents at $35.38.

 

By Christian Wiessner

 

WWW.MAWASI.COM  -  AFROCENTRIC.INFO

 

Submitted by JELPO@AOL.COM

 

***

DOES FLEET BANK OF BOSTON (AND OTHERS)

OWE REPARATIONS?

 

February 22, 2002

 

FleetBoston Financial Corp. will be one of the first targets of a group that wants apologies and financial reparations from companies with historical ties to the pre-Civil War slave trade.

 

``The critical thing for people to understand is that we are trying to tell the story of what happened with (slavery),'' Alexander Pires, a Washington lawyer working on a lawsuit against Fleet and other companies, said yesterday.

 

Fleet, he said, is part of the story because of its connection to John Brown, an 18th century Rhode Island merchant, slave trader and namesake of Brown University.

 

Brown was part of a group that chartered Providence Bank, one of the early predecessors of what is now Fleet. Fleet yesterday downplayed that historic connection.

 

``The bank was one of hundreds that created Fleet,'' said Fleet spokesman James Mahoney. ``The link between Fleet and Brown is extremely remote.''

 

He declined further comment.

 

Pires could not specify the connection between Fleet's past and slavery, other than that Brown was a known slave trader.

 

``The critical thing for people to understand is that we are trying to tell the story of what happened with (slavery),'' Alexander Pires, a Washington lawyer working on a lawsuit against Fleet and other companies, said yesterday.

 

Fleet, he said, is part of the story because of its connection to John Brown, an 18th century Rhode Island merchant, slave trader and namesake of Brown University.

 

Brown was part of a group that chartered Providence Bank, one of the early predecessors of what is now Fleet. Fleet yesterday downplayed that historic connection.

 

``The bank was one of hundreds that created Fleet,'' said Fleet spokesman James Mahoney. ``The link between Fleet and Brown is extremely remote.''

 

He declined further comment.

 

Pires could not specify the connection between Fleet's past and slavery, other than that Brown was a known slave trader.

 

Other companies identified by the Reparations Coordinating Committee as historically tied to slavery are Aetna Inc., New York Life Insurance Co., American International Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Among the reparations group are prominent Harvard professors Charles Ogletree and Cornel West.

 

Dozens more are expected eventually to be targeted by the group as research continues on combinations that have occurred over the centuries.

 

For Fleet, the story stretches back to 1791, when Brown and others founded Providence Bank.

 

The bank retained its identity until 1954, when it was bought by Industrial National Bank. As Industrial National grew, it became Fleet Financial Group in 1982.

 

Fleet bought BankBoston in 1999, creating FleetBoston Financial.

 

The slavery reparations movement seeks everything from apologies to financial payments for descendants of slaves.

 

Critics say it is unfair to exact money from people and firms today for slavery, which ended with the Civil War 137 years ago.

 

Pires, who won a $1 billion settlement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for discrimination against black farmers, would not say when he expects to bring a case to court.

 

He said the lawyers working on it - including Johnnie Cochran, of O.J.  Simpson case fame - have met regularly, but haven't decided which court to go to with the case.

 

``Just say that a couple of hundred years ago, blacks were in charge, and they went over to Ireland or Italy and said, `Hey, this looks like a cheap labor source,' and hauled 5 million people back to build Boston and Rhode Island and New England,'' said Pires, who was raised in Easton. ``Now, today, people in Boston would want the story told the way it really happened.''

 

The Boston Herald

www.businesstoday.com/business/business/flee02222002.htm

 

Submitted by brc-reparations@yahoogroups.com

 

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COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Fifty-eighth session

Item 14 (b) of the provisional agenda



SPECIFIC GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS:

MINORITIES

Written statement* submitted by All For Reparation and Emancipation (AFRE),
a non-governmental organization on the Roster




The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

[14 January 2002]


1. The United Nations has not, as yet, recognized us: we who are the African American peoples or nations in North, Central and South America and the Diaspora. Four hundred years of plantation slavery and its lingering effects have left us deprived of and denied our mother tongue and thus outside a definite place within the UN system. For the past six years, on behalf of the African American people in the United States, Mr. Silis Muhammad has traveled to the UN at Geneva to deliver numerous prayers for recognition and restoration. He has asked that the UN to find or make a category in which we, the African American, will fit; for at present, we have no collective human rights.


2. In the Americas Region and throughout the Diaspora we, who are the descendants of slaves, are filled with dissatisfaction, and many of us do not know its source. The African American people in the United States are perhaps the first to recognize the source of our pain and the gravity of our situation. We know that we have been forcibly cut off, severed from our original identity: our mother tongue, religion and culture: those very things that give life to peoples. We have been as "dead" for 400 years. Today we are experiencing, in reality, the process of ethnogenesis: a word that describes the coming to life again of a people who have been scattered, forcibly cut off, severed; now seemingly assimilated, within the country of our domicile.


3. We have cried out in many ways over many years for the restoration of our dignity as a people. Yet the U.S. Government and other nations commit, daily, the international wrongful act of denying our existence while claiming respect for human rights. It is our desire to reconstitute ourselves and reconstruct our lost ties, with UN assistance. It is also our desire to receive reparations from the U.S. Government for the ongoing loss of our mother tongue and our internationally recognized political identity.


4. We recognize that the United Nations has made some attempts to assist us. In 1997 the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights passed a resolution, #E/CN.4/SUB.2/RES/1997/5, in which the Sub-Commission called upon the Working Group on Minorities to consider how the Sub-Commission in its future work might usefully address the continuing legal, political and economic legacies of the African slave trade, as experienced by Black communities throughout the Americas. In 1998 the Sub-Commission again passed a resolution, #E/CN.4/SUB.2/RES/1998/24, in which the Sub-Commission urged the Working Group on Minorities to include on its agenda an item on issues related to the legacies of the slave trade on the Black communities throughout the Americas.


5. The Working Group on Minorities is aware that we, the African American people, do not fit into a category within the UN system due to the immoral slavery and its illegal lingering effects: especially the deliberate acts of the U.S. Government. In 1998 the Working Group assigned Mr. Jose Bengoa to write a working paper on the existence and recognition of minorities. In the year 2000 this working paper, #E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2000/WP.2, was presented to the Working Group on Minorities, and accepted by the group. In the paper Mr. Bengoa demonstrated an astute understanding of the ethnogenesis of African Americans. Regrettably this distinguished paper has not been selected for presentation on the Sub-Commission floor.


6. To date, the Sub-Commission has not invited the Working Group on Minorities to report specifically on the work and study that it has been engaged in regarding African Americans. Consequently, the Sub-Commission has not addressed the continuing legal, political and economic legacies of the African slave trade as it had in 1997 indicated a desire to do. While we appreciate and highly value the efforts of the Working Group on Minorities on our behalf, we believe that little progress can be made in our recognition and restoration without the continued interest of the Sub-Commission.


7. Therefore we urgently recommend that the Commission on Human Rights pass a resolution requesting that the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights place African Americans on its agenda, alongside Indigenous Peoples and Minorities. Placement on the agenda of the Sub-Commission would be a welcome first step in official UN recognition of the African Americans.


8. As the World Conference Against Racism demonstrated to the world, African Americans in the Americas Region and the Diaspora are united in a mass call for reparations. In response to the mass call for reparations, the World Conference, in it's Program of Action, made a request of the Commission on Human Rights as follows: "7. Requests the Commission on Human Rights to consider establishing a working group or other mechanism of the United Nations to study the problems of racial discrimination faced by people of African descent living in the African Diaspora and make proposals for the elimination of racial discrimination against people of African descent."

9. The World Conference Against Racism, in paragraph 14 of its Declaration, recognizes that for African Americans, racial discrimination is a consequence of slavery. Thus we would welcome a working group or other mechanism of the Commission on Human Rights if the mechanism has as its primary focus the lingering effects of slavery, and the restoration of our people. In particular, we would request that the proposed working group or other mechanism focus upon the establishment of category in which the UN and world community can recognize African Americans collectively and provide for reparations and restoration of the human rights of the African American people. We would also urge the Commission on Human Rights to take advantage of the work that has already been accomplished by the Working Group on Minorities on behalf of African Americans, and in particular the scholarship of Mr. Jose Bengoa.


10. In our view, and in the view of the organizations and leaders that support us, the dissatisfaction of our people will not be addressed with solutions that are ultimately superficial. The United Nations, and the national governments that have authority over us, cannot repair the damage done by slavery with reparations such as development money, affirmative action or anti-discrimination laws alone. We have lost our original identity and we have been forced to assume the identity of our slave masters. One man cannot live in another mans "skin." It is against nature, and inhumane. Our dissatisfaction will increase until our ethnogenesis is recognized and our human rights are restored.


11. At the World Conference Against Racism the U.S. Government turned its back and walked out on our cries with the same disdain that it has shown internally toward our cries for 400 years. Today we turn to the Commission on Human Rights and the world community with increasing urgency. We fear that if our prayer for UN recognition of our existence is not heard, and if restoration does not take place, we will not be able to hold back a flood of anger that the world only glimpsed in Durban, South Africa.

*This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s)

 

*This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s)

 

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ON CONGRESSMAN KUCINICH’s “PRAYER FOR AMERICA”

 

March 25, 2002

 

US Representative, Dennis Kucinich

House of Representatives

Washington, DC

 

 

Dear Congressman Kucinich:

 

In your Prayer For America I want to thank you so much for being the brave voice of so many Americans. Your words cannot begin to say the things I and I'm sure so many other Americans have thought to themselves and voiced daily concerning the continual abuse of our freedoms here in America under the guise of patriotism.

 

Since the election debacle I, like other Americans have had to take a second look at a government, which continues to become alien to our sensibilities of democracy.  I appreciate your enlightened and brave words, which trickled upon the air representing the voices of so many American people.

 

I love this country for which it has given me and my family the opportunities to become.  I have come to appreciate the American concept of diversity and the sense of oneness with others although the history of my ancestry is unlike those who came before and after.

 

As a person of African descent I appreciate the opportunities that America has given me to express my opinions honestly and openly; so far without encumbrance or threat of retaliation.

 

I am speaking of America's past history of the enslavement of my ancestors and the centuries of unpaid free labor which built this great country so many subsequent peoples both native born and émigré now enjoy. These issues and concerns lie languishing in want of discussion and redress.

 

It pains me to see our people and our representatives in the House and the Senate express grief and sorrow then continue to deplore the acts which occurred September 11, 2001, at the WTC and the Pentagon.  Yet, you will not openly discuss nor apologize for the heinous and terroristic treatments my African ancestors endured for centuries at the hand of these same Christians, Jews, and Muslim peoples who now cannot get over this terroristic act perpetrated upon them.

 

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, I see posts of "United we stand."  Are we? I see God bless America?  Can one be blessed without forgiveness? Before forgiveness there has to be an omission of guilt then atonement with restitution.  Is America so vain and proud that it is unable to do this?  Pride cometh before destruction a proverb says.

Is America's representatives so vain that they cannot address wrongdoing? Where is America's heart? 

 

I have seen the reluctance (I'd like to think of it as reluctance) of American representatives and senators in addressing the House Resolution that John Conyers has introduced into the House for the last 13 years.  This tells me that there are those persons who believe that the issues of so many African Americans are not important.  We have eyes and ears too and we continue to see our concerns rolled over, dismissed or not even addressed at all by many other white self interest groups be they religious, corporate, educational, or otherwise.

 

United? No, we are not.  Do I feel sorry for the many who lost their lives on September 11th? Yes, I grieve for those members who lost loved ones because of hatred spawned by the same disinterested and callousness which would not allow the expressions of pain and anger to be discussed at the World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa last year.  Can a sore fester and not find release?

 

We are the world!  We are the many.  We are people with hearts, minds, and concerns like so many others.  We would like our interests taken seriously, we want our ancestors to count for something and we want our children proud to be part of a global humanity not just the continuation of a legacy of slavery, Jim Crow and the disenfranchised.

 

We have a right to self-determination and redress like so many who have continued to enjoy "rights" at the expense of those whose ancestors were among the first peoples to give their lives for it.

 

Yes, your words are passionate and express a heart with feeling and concern.  Place your heart with your mind and do the right thing.

 

Demonstrate this heartfelt concern by publicly addressing Conyer's Resolution to form a committee to address the "Peculiar Institution" at the heart of grief for so many Americans of African descent.

 

June E. Porter MSN RN

PO Box 266

Hartly, DE

19953

 

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ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT, REPATRIATION AND REPARATION

March 22, 2002

 

INTRODUCTION

August 1st, 1838, signifies "freedom" for Jamaica's majority.

August 6th, 1962, signifies further "freedom" for Jamaica's majority.

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

"Freedom", initially from shackles and slave labour, and then freedom to vote and govern national affairs has complementary prerequisites for empowerment. There are requirements of access to capital on reasonable terms, access to investment opportunities, responsible husbanding of public finances, representational accountability with checks and balances, and appropriate educational and technical training for the majority of the populace, if empowerment goals are to be realised as tangible developmental reality, and be more than declaratory freedoms or mere dreams.

Conventional political representation, since 1944 "universal adult suffrage", has failed to this day to empower the masses. National concerns exist about, public expenditures for satisfactory levels of employment opportunities, road development and sustained repairs within the interior of the island, adequate mass education and technical training, and various provisions for public welfare (water supply, sewage treatment, through to agricultural support for farmers), among other concerns.

Jamaica's constitutional structure of 1944 reflects the dictated consolidation of power in a colonial Governor. The post 1962 Constitution reflects the consolidation of power in an independent Prime Minister, governing under much the same flawed constitutional structure. Inadequate accountability, representational loyalty structurally co-opted into blind support for the central head (colonial or post-colonial), instead of representation structured for primary loyalty to the people, their needs and public welfare.

There is an inadequacy of entrenchment provisions for protection of fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms, especially for protection against human rights violations. There are both statutory and constitutional inadequacies of absent severe and effective sanctions for misappropriation of public funds. There is a need for "term limits", for timely democratic removal of aged, ineffective, and assumed 'indispensable' leaders. These, and more factors, have led to the present juncture of Jamaica's development (underdevelopment?).

Adverse terms of trade, propelled by externally dictated, misconceived and failed notions of "structural adjustment programs - 'saps'" (Argentina most recently) has led to a global debt crisis across the southern hemisphere countries. Literal "debt slavery" acts as a strangling yoke upon the Jamaican people. At the end of the twentieth century, in 1999, Jamaica's debt was $139 billion. In 1999 the foreign debt burden ran at just below half of the country's annual GDP.*

REPATRIATION

Some within Jamaican society see salvation, from the "Babylon" of this postcolonial system, in a return to the ancestral homeland, Africa.

Immigrant Irish descendants in the United States of America celebrate Saint Patrick's Day, and have not forgotten their ancestral homeland. The Jews, after over 2000 years of being away from Palestine, never forgot an historical homeland, to the extent that in 1948 the Jewish people had returned en mass to Palestine and established a homeland. Almost 164 years after the abolition of slavery, some Jamaicans of African descent express a frustrated urge to return to the African continent from where their ancestors arrived as involuntary migrants providing forced unpaid labour on slave plantations for generations.

REPARATION

On the 1st August, 2002, it will be 164 years since British statutory abolition of slavery in 1838. In 1833 the Emancipation Act enacted a 5-year apprenticeship system. The 5-year hiatus until the 1838 abolition has much to teach about a national political determination for ensuring payment of reparations and compensation.

William Wilberforce, "the liberator", was primarily a politician. He had opposed women abolitionist movements and banned them from association with his abolition movement. In 1824, Elizabeth Heydrick (nee Coltman - born 1769), a leading woman abolitionist, published her paper entitled, " Immediate, not gradual abolition". Sweden had abolished the slave trade from 1813. Before that, in 1802 the slave trade had been abolished by Denmark and Norway. In Wilberforce's assessment, Britain had to be "gradual", as it was evident that Britain had economic interests to protect.

Britain remained economically well positioned for decades with adequate colonies, slaves and profits from slavery (albeit declining in profitability over time). Wilberforce fully understood the eventual economic consequences of loss of "chattels" (people as property - slaves), by way of abolition. In Wilberforce's view, political and economic expediency were paramount. Wilberforce, "the liberator", advocated prolonging Britain's abolition of slavery in the interest of the master's purse, not the slave's interest.

Ultimately, reflecting Britain's primary concerns, the British parliament voted 20 million pounds sterling as compensation to the slave owners for loss of their property - the slaves, "chattels", who were finally freed. The British government, for as long as it was economically viable, aggressively protected its share of trade and the lucrative slave trade.

Britain's position at the Congress of Vienna, following the Napoleonic Wars, is highly indicative of Britain's true interests of protection for effecting colonial advancement, and further colonial exploitation and pilferage. Anglo-centric history dotes on the benevolent concerns for the Negroes' welfare. Our 'colonials', imbibed with such ideas, remain, to this day, loyally grateful for the timely benevolence so magnanimously bestowed.

The Atlantic African Slave Trade stands distinct in the past 500 years of human history. There had been slavery before this system of Atlantic Trade slavery, and slavery after Britain's abolition; but, the Atlantic Trade stands uniquely as an institution in the history of mankind in its methodology and proportions.

The prime movers in the Atlantic enterprise were the European nations. Portugal, Spain, Britain, Holland, France and others were all prime European movers. In 1441, the Portuguese sailor, Antam Goncalves, seized the first group of Africans near Cape Bojador, for Portugal. This European enterprise started with ships financed from Europe, sent to Africa, transporting millions of kidnapped human beings for centuries of forced uncompensated labour in the Americas.  

 

The imprisonments - brandings- mutilations- whippings, coupled with extraction of unpaid labour from black people over generations, denial of original names and language, stripping of identity, suppression of indigenous culture, destruction of family life, psychological destruction of self-worth over centuries, and systemic dehumanisation, makes the Atlantic African Slave Trade a horrendous European commercial enterprise. Size of transshipment, magnitude of European financial investment, substantial profits generated for advancement of European slave trading nations, and degree of institutionalised brutalisation of human beings, are indicia of the Atlantic Slave Trade's brutal distinctiveness. The prime movers, financiers, shippers, and plantation owners, were all indubitably from the European nations that were the pivotal beneficiaries.

The suggestion that because Africans captured Africans for Europeans this exonerates reparations claims against European nations is an untenable argument. Mr. Abs was a German Jewish financier who was central to the financing of Auschwitz. He was a collaborator against his own people. It has never been suggested that Hermann J. Abs and other Jewish collaborators' assistance to the Nazi regime should exonerate the German nation from either reparations claims for Auschwitz in particular, or the holocaust in general.

As early as 1526, a Congolese Chief who was a literate Christian convert wrote the following words: "Each day the traders are kidnapping our people - children of this country, sons of our nobles and vassals, even people of our own family. This corruption and depravity are so widespread that our land is entirely depopulated. We need in this kingdom only priests and schoolteachers, and no merchandise, unless it is wine and flour for Mass. It is our wish that this kingdom not be a place for transport of slaves."

(Written to King Joao 111 of Portugal in 1526 by Nzinga Mbemba Affonso 1, crowned ruler of the Congo in 1506).

There were indeed African opponents to the slave trade at the time, and, as with other crimes against humanity, there were facilitators and collaborators from the subject peoples.

The point is not that Africans subjugated by European military might, religious influence and collusive power facilitated and/or collaborated with the subjugators, but that the Atlantic African Slave Trade was a distinct European led criminal commercial enterprise for which a claim is being made, against the prime movers-subjugator European nations responsible for initiating, organising, financing, and sustaining the specific crime against humanity, the Atlantic African Slave Trade.

THE CLAIM

The Geneva Conventions effect is to establish universal jurisdiction. It is under Article 6 of the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the slave trade, and institutions and practices similar to slavery, and enslavement of a person, that we find the criminal offence.

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948, second article of the Convention, defines genocide as:

·  Killing members of the group

·  Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group

·  Inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction

From as early as 1772 in his seminal judgment, in the James Somerset case, the then Lord Chief Justice of England, Lord Mansfield, pronounced slavery an "odious" condition, as signified both his moral and legal appreciation of this unacceptable condition against humanity at the time. Slavery henceforth was not lawful in England, but the "odious" condition was acceptable for Africans and their descendants to the lasting benefit and profit of England, for generations to come in British colonies. The Congress of Vienna, as between European nations, in 1815, declared the then existing slave trade, an uncivilised condition. Legal declarations and acknowledgements therefore exist at the time, confirming that a wrong was knowingly being perpetrated.

The definition of "genocide" in international law is a starting point for a claim against Her Majesty's Government. A legitimate claim in international law is sustainable.

The claim is against the prime movers, not subordinate and/or subjugated facilitators and/or collaborators. In much the same way, other claimants, Jews, Native Americans, etc. focused on the primary perpetrator of their sufferings.

THE PRECEDENTS

Prior instances of successful claims for historical injustices are well known - Native Americans, Inuits (Eskimos - Canada), Aborigines (Australia), and Maoris (New Zealand) are all precedents. Suffice to say that not one member of those group(s) was alive when the initial historical injustice, as claimed for, was done. The descendants from the group advanced a legitimate derivative claim.

THE MECHANISM

An ad hoc tribunal of the United Nations, on the models of the Tokyo or Nuremberg tribunals (albeit military), can serve the purpose of globally addressing a compensatory claim for the specific crime against humanity, the Atlantic African Slave Trade.

AN APOLOGY

In the early 1990s Prime Minister Tony Blair of England apologised to the Irish people for England's complicity in Irish suffering at the time of the 1845 Irish famine. A mere 7 years earlier Britain abolished slavery in Jamaica, and the slaves had suffered quantitatively and qualitatively far more than did the Irish. Her Majesty Elizabeth 11 apologised to the Maoris. What then is so inconceivable or unreasonable, that Her Majesty's Government apologies, as has already been done for others, and pay reparations to the descendants of African slaves, as ought justly to be paid in adequate amounts?

THE PAYMENT

Practical and effective ways of paying reparations are as follows:

·  Total debt relief

·  Educational trusts established for a minimum of 50 years for the descendants of African slaves, whose ancestors contributed slave and colonial labour over 300 years.

This will not be adequate payment from Britain and the other prime mover European slave trading nations. But, in practical terms, can partly suffice to effect meaningful payment from Britain to former British colonies for the centuries of suffering, extracted wealth from forced unpaid labour, and for the legacies of the slavery of the Atlantic African Slave Trade. Quite frankly, the western world would be bankrupt if it tried, in all conscience, to make full payment for the injustices meted out to black people over the centuries, arising from the Atlantic African Slave Trade with its lasting oppressive and discriminatory consequences.

CONCLUSION

Informed opinion in the international community knows that a legitimate basis for reparations claims exist, arising from the Atlantic African Slave Trade.

After the Durban (South Africa) anti-racism conference, 2001, the world trend between concerned governments is towards settlement. Some class action claims have been filed, and more are contemplated, such as suits against insurance companies that had insured slaves as property (i.e. in the United States of America).Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 was sued for reparations on the occasion of Her Majesty's visit to Jamaica in 2002.

Jamaicans, and other Caribbean peoples, have challenges to face in several areas, for constitutional change, developing accountability mechanisms for expenditures of public funds, expanding development opportunities through investment and job creation, to mention but some of the pressing needs for economic empowerment. These realities, in and of themselves, do not negate the genuine claim for reparations that exists. Indeed, if debt relief can be channeled directly via non-governmental organisations to the people most in need, and to community based programs, this is the best way of ensuring that those in greatest need benefit most. While good and bad elected governments are transient - the interest of the people and their needs and rights are constant and paramount.

Reparations, by way of total debt relief and educational trusts, need not invoke any hatred, anger, or hostility, upon a justifiable claim made, as between claimants and defendants at the international level. There was a brutal denial/theft of generational wealth for centuries. The British nation owes Jamaica, and all the colonies, a tremendous debt; or, as Winston Churchill accepted," you made us rich, you made us great. It is the colonies in our possession that enabled us to win the Napoleonic wars. It is your wealth that made us the greatest nation in the world". And, I might add, the extracted forced unpaid slave labour, created for generations a corresponding massive debt. So, the time has come to pay back to the colonies - at the very least, part of that which was stolen.

* Sources of 1999 information:- Jamaica Ministry of Finance and Planning Paper # 10 1999/2000; and, BBC news report of April 22, 1999. There have been 39 years of worsening debt, and there is no objective reason to believe that the next government figures to be published, forty years after political (not economic) independence, are likely to be any less dismal.

By Courtenay  Barnett
Guest Contributor

Courtenay Barnett is an Attorney at-Law. For more information on reparations and related issues visit www.ar-africare.com and www.globaljusticeonline.com

Submitted by ALARKAM@webtv.net (Malik Al-Arkam)

 

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THE CASE FOR REPARATIONS

 

March 19, 2002

 

The following paragraphs specifically relating to the issue of African Reparations, are excerpted from the Final Declaration of the World Conference against Racism, (WCAR) held in Durban, South Africa in September 2001.

 

They are presented here by the Jamaica Reparations Movement (JaRM) to inform and stimulate national discussion on the issue, and to help formulate a Jamaican Reparations Document. Such a document would use the UN list of recommended reparations (see below) to present a detailed proposal of Jamaica's financial, social and cultural needs for reparations.

 

"The WCAR, having met in Durban, South Africa from August 31, to September 8, 2001, expressing deep appreciation to the Government of South Africa for hosting this World Conference, drawing inspiration from the heroic struggle of the people of South Africa against Apartheid - affirming that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance constitute a negation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations - and joining together in a spirit of renewed political will and commitment to universal equality, justice and dignity - solemnly adopt the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

 

SLAVERY CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

 

13. We acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade, including the transatlantic slave trade, were appalling tragedies in the history of humanity not only because of their abhorrent barbarism but also in terms of their magnitude, organised nature and especially their negation of the essence of the victims, and further acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity and should always have been so, especially the transatlantic slave trade and are among the major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian descent and indigenous peoples were victims of these acts and continue to be victims of their consequences.

 

14. We recognise that colonialism has led to racism, racism discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that Africans and people of African descent, and people of Asian descent and indigenous peoples were victims of colonialism and continue to be victims of its consequences. We acknowledge the suffering caused by colonialism and affirm that, wherever and whenever it occurred it must be condemned and its recurrence prevented. We further regret that the effects and persistence of these structures and practices have been among the factors contributing to lasting social and economic inequalities in many parts of the world.

 

34. We recognise that people of African descent have for centuries been victims of racism, discrimination and enslavement and of the denial by history of many of their rights, and assert that they should be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and should not suffer discrimination of any kind. Recognition should therefore be given to their rights to culture and their own identity; to participate freely and in equal conditions in political, social, economic and cultural life, to development in the context of their own aspirations and customs; to keep, maintain and foster their own forms of organisation, their mode of life, culture, traditions and religious expressions, --

 

NO APOLOGY, BUT REGRETS

 

99. We acknowledge and profoundly regret the massive human suffering and the tragic plight of millions of men, women and children caused by slavery, the slave trade, the transatlantic slave trade, Apartheid, colonialism and genocide, and call upon States concerned to honour the memory of the victims of past tragedies-

 

100. We acknowledge and profoundly regret the untold suffering and evils inflicted on millions of men, women and children as a result of slavery, the slave trade, the transatlantic slave trade, Apartheid, genocide and past tragedies. We further note that some States have taken the initiative to apologise and have paid reparation, where appropriate, for grave and massive violations committed.

 

101. We further notice that some have taken the initiative of regretting or expressing remorse or presenting apologies, and call on all those who have not yet contributed to restoring the dignity of the victims to find appropriate ways to do so and, to this end, appreciate those countries that have done so.

 

REMEDIES, REPARATIONS, COMPENSATION

 

158. (The WCAR) Recognises that these historical injustices have undeniably contributed to the poverty, underdevelopment, marginalisation, social exclusion, economic disparities, instability and insecurity that affect many people in different parts of the world, in particular in developing countries.

 

The conference recognises the need to develop programmes for the social and economic development of these societies and the Diaspora, within the framework of a new partnership based on the spirit of solidarity and mutual respect, in the following areas:

 

Debt relief; poverty eradication; building or strengthening democratic institutions; promotion of foreign direct investment; market access; intensifying efforts to meet the internationally agreed targets for official development assistance transfers to developing countries; new information and communication technologies bridging the digital divide; agriculture and food security; transfer of technology; transparent and accountable governance; investment in health infrastructure tackling HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; infrastructure development; human resource development, including capacity-building; education, training and cultural development; restitution of art objects, historical artefacts and documents to their countries of origin; facilitation of welcomed return and resettlement of the descendants of enslaved Africans.

 

165. (The WCAR) Urges States to reinforce protection against racism, racism discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance by ensuring that all persons have access to effective and adequate remedies and enjoy the right to seek from competent national tribunals and other national institutions just and adequate reparation and satisfaction for any damage as a result of such discrimination.

 

By Barbara Blake Hanna, Contributor

in a letter to the Editor

 

Excerpts edited by Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah, co-ordinator Jamaica Reparations Movement.

The Case For Reparations - http://www.geocities.com/i_makeda

 

Submitted by merukheop@hotmail.com

 

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MEETING OF WHITE SUPPORTERS OF BLACK REPARATIONS

 

March 3, 2002

 

Dear friends, 

 

I'm sending a link to an article you might enjoy. Just last week we held a national meeting of white supporters of black reparations in Atlanta, GA. It was a great success, and Donna Lamb has written about it in the article: 

 

Greenwich Village  

Gazette: Columns: Guests: Donna Lamb  

 

Sincerely, 

Ida Hakim 

 

Submitted by BRC-REPARATIONS: Black Radical Congress - Reparations Caucus

 

***

A NATIONAL MEETING OF WHITE SUPPORTERS

OF BLACK REPARATIONS IN ATLANTA, GA.

 

February 24, 2002

 

Likely for the first time in U.S. history, a group of white supporters of reparations to descendants of enslaved Africans traveled from across the country to meet each other and to strategize about how we can best be of service to the reparations movement. We met in Atlanta Georgia from Friday, Feb. 22 to Sunday, the 24th. Before the three days were over, not only had we gotten to know each other and come to some important ideas about how we, as whites, can do even more to back up this Black-led initiative, we had met with the international reparations leader Mr. Silis Muhammad, attended an awards banquet, attended the annual Savior's Day celebration of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, and spoken on the radio twice. What's more, Brent Buell and Molly Secours, two filmmakers who took part in the weekend of events, shot hours of film which Buell will make into a full-length documentary to be used as a tool for educating other Caucasians about reparations so that they, too, can see the rightness of the claim and come to supporter the movement as well.

 

WHO WE WERE

 

Ida Hakim, the founder of Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation (C.U.R.E.) organized the meeting of white supporters. As with many things that started modestly but went on to shake the world, the gathering may have begun small, but it began--which is a tremendously important thing when it comes to whites supporting reparations to Blacks.

Along with Ida Hakim, who is recognized as a long-time reparations activist, the persons present were Ferrell Winfree, anti-racism activist among white Christians and C.U.R.E.'s representative in Tennessee; Molly Secours, filmmaker, writer, and social activist; Brent Buell, actor, filmmaker and writer; Janice Cline, teacher of English and Cultural Diversity in New York; Bryan Pennington, social activist who lives and works in Atlanta; Jim Cox, an early member of C.U.R.E. from Santa Fe, New Mexico; Tom Fox, a sincere young supporter; and myself, Donna Lamb, an anti-racism activist and writer in New York City.

 

Coming from our homes on the East Coast, West Coast, and various cities in the South, we had spent our formative years in California, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio and upper New York State.

 

Along with the geographical diversity, one of the most exciting things was seeing how different each of the participants was in terms of what had shaped our lives and how we had come to support reparations. For example, one man spoke seriously yet humorously of having been a socialist from about the age of two. Another told courageously of his blatant racism throughout his childhood and young adulthood, and of how it changed. One woman sees her Christian beliefs as at the very core of everything she is and does, while another person identified himself as completely non-religious. And there were seasoned veterans in the struggle who were accustomed to going toe-to-toe with the most rabid white supremacists, as well as newcomers who were there to learn from the ground up.

 

What united us all was our firm conviction that full and complete reparations to descendants of enslaved Africans are long overdue, and that this nation stands totally in the wrong until that debt is paid. We also recognize that no amount of money or anything else can ever even come close to truly undoing the financial, spiritual, and psychological harm that the enslavement and its brutal aftermath caused, but that we must, in good faith, repair the damage as fully as we can.

 

One of the other things that was crystal clear from this cross-section of people is that there isn't any particular type of person or standard background that makes one eligible to be a white supporter of reparations. There is room for all. All a person needs is to see with their own eyes, to feel with their own heart that what this country did was wrong and that it must be set right through reparations.

 

DISCUSSING THE ISSUES

 

During our meetings, we spoke at length about, as we put it, "How I got this way"--how we came to support reparations. We also talked extensively about what our experience has been as we've discussed reparations with other whites. One thing we all found is that people who are flagrantly racist are often no more difficult to deal with than so-called "progressive" whites when it comes to the subject of reparations.

 

Ida Hakim also gave a brief talk on the many and diverse Black organizations, such as N'COBRA, IHRAAM, Self Determination Committee, December 12th Movement, AFRE and others, so we are more knowledgeable about the many important organizations that have been working for decades both nationally and internationally on behalf of reparations.

 

Later on, we held a workshop on how to answer the questions and statements that Caucasians bring up to try to prove we don't owe reparations. And finally, we discussed where we go from here, how we plan to extend our boundaries and reach out to more and more people most effectively.

 

MEETING SILIS MUHAMMAD

 

A definite high point for all of us was meeting the international reparations leader, Mr. Silis Muhammad, when he came to our meeting place to speak with us. Mr. Muhammad, who has been the CEO of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam since 1977, encouraged us in our work, and told us that the most important thing we could do was to continue what we are doing. He spoke for nearly an hour and a half about the effects of slavery on African Americans throughout the entire Americas region, and about the need for collective political recognition of all of the descendants of enslaved Africans by the UN and the world community.

 

As a person who has hungered, thirsted, to meet other white people who feel as I do--that assisting in bringing about reparations is a central, driving passion of their lives--you can just imagine what a thrilling weekend this was for me. I was also very moved to see how Silis Muhammad and other people we met in the Lost-Found Nation of Islam welcomed our efforts. It all made me surer than ever that we are right, and that a life used fighting for reparations is a life well spent.

 

For more information, please contact Donna Lamb at dlamb@gis.net.

 

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R E P A R A T I O N S

POSITIVELY BLACK

 

The New Webster's Comprehensive Dictionary of The English Language defines the word reparations as: the act of repairing, what is done to repair a wrong, indemnification for loss or damage, as demanded of a country defeated in war.

 

Never before has the tide and clamor for reparations for the victims and survivors of the African holocaust of slavery, colonialism, racial caste and neo-colonialism been so vociferous, so out front and high profile.  Africans throughout the diaspora came together galvanized their resources and made a major thrust to bring our case onto the world stage of public opinion and marketplace of ideas. This thrust put our adversaries in the highly defensive posture. The controversy came to a head this past summer during the UN sponsored Conference on Racism Xenophobia and Discrimination with the US and its client state Israel pulling out of the conference altogether and Western European nations resisting or attempting to trivialize the notion of indemnification for the wrongs they have committed for five hundred years against African people. Undeterred the diasporic delegation pushed for a resolution declaring slavery a crime against humanity and finally winning concessions from the Europeans who remained at the conference during last hour negotiations. The happenings of 9-11 pushed the reparations issue onto the back burner, allowing AmeriKKKa to continue her agenda of global imperialism under the guise of battling international terrorism. This despite the fact AmeriKKKa remains the number one purveyor of violence in the world today.

 

The concept of reparations for Africans is valid especially from a spiritual and metaphysical perspective. I first heard the term reparations about thirty years ago from Queen Mother Moore who is now a venerated ancestor. It took years of continuous struggle for the idea of indemnification, apology and payment for our past losses and our ongoing pain and suffering to catch on. Reparations, the acknowledgment of wrongdoing, genuine repentance and making of restitution is the only way to balance the Karmic Books and re-establish Cosmic Justice. The challenge for us as Africans throughout the diaspora is to frame the discussions in spiritual, metaphysical, moral as well as monetary terms. The Arabs and Europeans who perpetrated the evil and wicked deeds against us for thirteen hundred and five hundred years respectively seemingly have no understanding or respect for concepts of Karma, Divine Justice or recompense.

 

Nevertheless, they do understand materialistic concepts. For us to succeed in our quest, the spiritual and metaphysical principles must be paramount, not the issue of money. The wealth and positions of our enemies are ill gotten, they have no precious metals or diamonds or land of their own to pay us with that was not stolen from someone else. So any payments would be from their stolen wealth and blood money. Any money or material assistance they give could never compensate us for our losses, pain and suffering.  Neither the Arabs nor the Europeans can print enough money to pay for even one African that was murdered, raped, castrated worked to death, cheated, exploited or underpaid. This issue is essentially spiritual, its about making an honest effort to repair, to right the wrongs they have and continue to perpetual against humanity. Europeans have in the past, paid various ethnic groups varying sums of money but they have not repented nor changed their ways. They maintain the status quo of political, economic and psycho-social imperialism and oppression because their mind set remains unaltered. True justice will only come through a change of mind, genuine repentance, rejecting evil and exploitation and embracing righteousness.

 

 Make no mistake, our enemies money will not heal us! Only we can heal ourselves. We must first realize and admit we are not whole fully functioning human beings. We cannot look to our oppressors for examples of how to be human, we must look to our ancestors, taking the best of what it means to be African and human. Reparations is rooted in our belief we are worthy of repair, restoration and wholeness otherwise we will never wholeheartedly pursue reparations. We have to feel in our hearts that our ancestors suffering deserves to be apologized for and made right. Our case for reparations means accepting the debilitating effects of slavery and its ongoing post traumatic implications. This means admitting we are in need of psychic healing and restoration as well as compensation for our labor, losses, pain, suffering and the myriad wrongs committed against us in the past as well as the present! Justice demands an apology, restoration and reconciliation demands repentance and genuine change on the part of the government and those who directly profited and benefited from our misery.

 

Restoration demands we take the initiative to heal ourselves, by loving who we are and being our authentic selves not the caricatures Europeans want us to be. We must press our case by being implacable and uncompromising in our love for ourselves and our demands for justice. Finally, when we win our case we must be sufficiently enlightened and ethnocentric so we stop giving ninety-three per cent of all our disposable income to people outside our ethnic community, enriching them and keeping ourselves in self-imposed bondage and poverty. Once we get paid we must be wise enough to invest in ourselves, our communities and our future.

 

By Junious Ricardo Stanton jrswriter@comcast.net

 

Submitted by TheBlackList@topica.com

 

*********

A REPARATIONS – YES  ANNOUNCEMENT!

 

NOW IS THE TIME TO UNIFY

OUR MINDS..OUR HEARTS

&

OUR SOULS

COMMUNITY by COMMUNITY

CHURCH by CHURCH

BUSINESS by BUSINESS

ORGANIZATION by ORGANIZATION

CITY by CITY, STATE by STATE

AND YES

COMPUTER by COMPUTER!

TO PROMOTE GENDER UNIFICATION and TO PRODUCE AN UNWAVERING

MOBILIZED LINK OF HUMAN

CONCERN, ACTION, POWER and RECOURSE

To Disable the MANY Social, Economic, Moral and Political,

confrontational adversities effecting our entire earthly existence.

Therefore:

MARK YOUR CALENDAR TODAY!

As of January 1, 2002 you will be able to log onto the web site:

>>>>>>4thepeople.com<<<<<<

To register to receive your

“I'm For Reparations” Membership Card

This card is only the beginning in our efforts to create a sense of

"Real Unity"

in our struggle for reparations because it shall also represent our collective involvement to work to combat any and all other issues,

that we face as a race of people!

Please Note:

After January 1, 2002, be sure to check the web site on a regular basis

because it will also provide you with updates on all the special offerings

that you will be entitled too, once you have activated your membership card.

Message Sponsored by:

UIMSC

Unity International Multi-Service Corporation

Home of the

REPARATIONS-YES MOVEMENT!

Host of the 2003 Million Dollar March for Reparations

The International Petition for Reparations

&

>>>>>>4thepeople. Com<<<<<<

The Web site is dedicated to serving and being of service to the people!

 

Submitted by MzWayMaker@AOL.COM

 

*********

CHINWEIZU AND THE REPARATIONS DEBATE

 

March 1, 2002

 

I recently read a column that appeared in the Chicago Sun Times, by Linda Chavez, attacking the Reparations Movement. The headlines of this article read, “Blacks Can Forget About Reparations – Why Spoil African-American History Month with inflammatory debate?”

 

All of the forces that represent the world of white supremacy that oppose the just demands of African people for reparations will not prevail in their efforts to disrupt, diminish, or stifle the mass momentum that we are witnessing by African people in America, and throughout the world, who are organizing, day-by-day and block-by-block, around the issue of reparations.

 

This is most evident in the organizing taking place in America for the Millions For Reparations March, Protest, and Demonstration that will be held on the 115th Anniversary of the birth of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, August 17, 2002 in Washington, D.C. The Call for the Millions For Reparations March, Protest, and Demonstration by the Durban 400, led by the December 12th Movement and the National Black United Front, is receiving overwhelming support from the masses of grassroots people who are poised to attend this historic event.

 

Everyday our phones are “jumping off the hook” and the correspondence we receive through letters, faxes, and e-mails indicates that African people in America will not be confused by the attacks on the Reparations Movement by people like David Horowitz, Linda Chavez, and others.

 

On April 27, 1993 the great African scholar and thinker Chinweizu, presented a paper at the second plenary session of the First Pan African Conference on Reparations in Abuja, Nigeria. I think it is timely in the face of the attacks on the Reparations Movement, to refer to the keen insights that Chinweizu presented in this paper. Chinweizu put forth the following historical background:

 

“Contemplating the condition of the Black World is vexatious to the spirit: that is probably the strongest impetus which has brought us all here today.

 

For many centuries, and especially in the last five, the Black skin has been a badge of contempt. For instance, it used to be said in Brazil that if you are white and running down the street, you are an athlete; but if you are Black and running down the street, you are a thief! And in most parts of the world today, if you are white and rich, you are honored and celebrated, and all doors fly open as you approach; but if you are Black and rich, you are under suspicion, and handcuffs and guard dogs stand ready to take you away.

 

Yes, the Black skin is still the badge of contempt in the world today, as it has been for nearly 2,000 years. To make sure it does not remain so in the 21st century is perhaps the overall purpose of our search for reparations.

 

We are gathered here today, thinkers and activists who want to change Black People’s condition in the world. What things do we need to change, both in the world and in ourselves, if we are to accomplish the mission of reparations? What changes must we make in structures, in psychology, in historical consciousness and much else?

 

We might begin by noting that Blacks are not the only people in the world who are seeking, or who have sought, reparations. In fact, by only now pressing our claim for reparations, we are latecomers to a varied company of peoples in the Americas, in Asia, and in Europe. Here is a partial catalogue of reparations, paid and pending, which are 20th century precedents for reparations to the Black World.

 

In the Americas, from Southern Chile to the Arctic north of Canada, reparations are being sought and being made. The Mapuche, an aboriginal people of Southern Chile, are pressing for the return of their lands, some 30 million hectares of which were, bit by bit, taken away and given to European immigrants since 1540. The Inuit of Arctic Canada, more commonly known as the Eskimo, were in1992 offered restitution of some 850,000 sq. miles of their ancestral lands, their home range for millennia before European invaders arrived there.

 

In the USA, claims by the Sioux to the Black Lands of South Dakota are now in the courts. And the US Government is attempting to give some 400,000 acres of grazing land to the Navaho, and some other lands to the Hopi in the southwest of the USA.

 

In 1998, the US Government admitted wrongdoing in interning some 120,000 Japanese-Americans under Executive Order 9066 of 1942, during WWII, and awarded each internee $20,000.

 

In Europe, after WWII, the victors demanded reparations from Germany for all damages to civilians and their dependents, for losses caused by the maltreatment of prisoners of war, and for all non-military property that was destroyed in the war. In 1921, Germany’s reparations liability was fixed at 132 billion gold marks. After WWII, the victorious Allies filed reparations claims against Germany for $320 billion. Reparations were also levied on Italy and Finland.

 

The items for which these claims were made included bodily loss, loss of liberty, loss of property, injury to professional careers, dislocation and forced emigration, time spent in concentration camps because of racial, religious and political persecution. Others were the social cost of war, as represented by the burden from loss of life, social disorder, and institutional disorder; and the economic cost of war, as represented by the capital destroyed and the value of civilian goods and services foregone to make war goods. Payments were made in cash and kind— goods, services, capital equipment, land, farm and forest products; and penalties were added for late deliveries.

 

Perhaps the most famous case of reparations was that paid by Germany to the Jews. These were paid by West Germany to Israel for crimes against Jews in territories controlled by Hitler’s Germany, and to individuals to indemnify them for persecution. In the initial phase, these included $2 billion to make amends to victims of Nazi persecution; $952 million in personal indemnities; $35.70 per month per inmate of concentration camps; pensions for the survivors; $820 million to Israel to resettle 50,000 Jewish emigrants from lands formerly controlled by Hitler. All that was just the beginning. Other, and largely undisclosed, payments followed. And even in 1992, the World Jewish Congress in New York announced that the newly unified Germany would pay compensation, totaling $63 million for 1993, to 50,000 Jews who suffered Nazi persecution but had not been paid reparations because they lived in East Germany.

With such precedents of reparations to non-Black peoples in four continents, it would be sheer racism for the world to discountenance reparations claims from the Black World.”

 

Let’s continue to intensify our organizing for Millions For Reparations March, Protest, and Demonstration on August 17, 2002. Ms. Chavez, we will never forget! THEY OWE US!!!

 

By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill

 

Dr. Worrill is the National Chairman of the National Black United Front / NBUF located at

12817 S. Ashland Ave., Fl. 1,

Calumet Park, Ill. 60827,

708-389-9929,

Fax 708-389-9819

E-Mail: nbufchi@allways.net

 

The Afrocentric Experience. The best source for Black positive information on the Web.

Come take a look.  http://www.swagga.com

Submitted by BRC-REPARATIONS: brc-reparations@yahoogroups.com

Black Radical Congress - Reparations Caucus

Questions/Problems: send email to brc-reparations-owner@egroups.com

 

*********

THE CALL FOR REPARATIONS…..REPARATIONS NOW!

March 7, 2002

While I was in Saratoga Springs New York this week, speaking at a diversity seminar on Reparations at Skidmore College, word came that the first ever law suit has finally been filed in the U. S. federal courts to seek reparations and redress for African Americans for the horrendous treatment and the lingering legacy that they have received because of the brutal and inhumane system of western slavery that existed in this country for hundreds of years.

The call for reparations for the descendants of African slaves grows louder in this country, in Africa, in South America, in the Caribbean and anywhere in the world where black ethnic strains of the African Diaspora continue to exist. A huge historic international march for reparations is being organized now for August 17th, the birth date of Black Nationalist, Marcus Garvey, in Washington. Millions are expected to attend. Reparations, though not a recent notion, has actually been part of the social consciousness of this country for over a 100 years.

It used to be a peripheral issue that came and went with the shifting of the political climate from right to left and back again. It is now center stage again. Maybe more center stage than it has ever been; at least since that hopeful day on Jan. 16, 1865, when General William T. Sherman issued special field order #15, which awarded all the sea islands south of Charleston, South Carolina and a significant portion of Carolina coastal lands to newly freed slaves to homestead.

Each freedman was eligible for 40 acres and a mule. The order became known as the,"40 acres and a mule proclamation." The order was fought hard for by Senator Thaddeus Stevens and other so called radical republicans. They transformed it into senate bill #60 and passed it in both the house and the senate on Feb. 10, 1866, only to be vetoed by President Andrew Johnson. The original creation of the Freedman's Bureau was for the distribution of the 850,000 acres of abandoned and confiscated land from the Civil War to former slaves. But as you know by now that never happened.

That was the last time that the US government itself thought seriously about compensating the African American progeny of enslaved Africans for nearly 300 years of slave labor. Instead American culture has formed a formidable scab of denial and guilt over the angry wound of slavery and Jim Crow Apartheid. So impenetrable is this scab that many white Americans either are mystified by black's disproportionate miseries or they attribute them to some intrinsic quality. They continue the socially constructed tactic of "blaming the victim."

Blacks are told and urged through American culture, politics, and economics to just "get over the race issue." There is even a growing cadre of black voices who join the chorus of those who would rather forget history than deal with it. They also say just accept the racial inequities as a state of nature and simply shut up about it. By some estimates more than 100 million Africans lost their lives during the holocaust of enslavement. Even beyond the unthinkable lost of life, however, is the documented and devastating effects of the slave trade on African people in terms of the disruptions and destruction of families, communities and nations. And the distortion of social, economic, political and psychological well being of African people on both sides of the Atlantic.

The attempt to dehumanize and de-Africanize the African has been probably the greatest crime of all crimes in the history of the world. Europe and America know that they owe African people a debt too enormous to be calculated. But like cowards they continue to refuse to take responsibility for their dastardly deeds.

A more honest reckoning of our history would see that you cannot just transcend historical issues where peoples and cultures are involved without sometimes a redress, repair, or some type of historical correction. Until America deals with it's slavery issue properly; social, cultural and political upheaval will from time to time always erupt in the streets, institutions, and academies of this country, causing death to emanate from the very center of our soul and consciousness. Reparations seek to remedy the suppression of over two centuries of black oppression in all of its virulent forms.

It was the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments that were supposed to remedy the slave problem in America by insuring that full reparational rights for blacks were instituted. But all three amendments got buried in the racial re-entrenchment of the reconstruction period. What reparations would remedy primarily and initially would be the psychic damage done by state-sponsored and state inflicted, and even state sanctioned injuries. Injuries, which linger in the haunting legacy of social injustice, even to this day. Slavery produced to this day wounds that cannot heal by themselves. We need a salve. Something that will help to end the despair and nihilism that has become generational.

Yes, there are many logistical problems involved with this enterprise. And yes there is going to be hard and tedious work ahead. But is not all the work of a true democracy not only hard but tedious as well? Will this work be confrontational and controversial? Oh yes it will be, but was not slavery controversial and confrontational? We can never forget that the work of a true democracy is usually most controversial and more times than not always very confrontational. It is now time to for this country to seriously consider the issue of reparations for African-Americans.

 

By Rufus G. W.  Sanders

The Black World Today

Dr. Sanders can be reached at RGWS@AOL.COM

Submitted by Minister Malik Al-Arkam

alarkam@webtv.net

www.afre-ngo.org.

 

*********

 

SEEKING RESOURCES TO ENLIGHTEN PEOPLE

ABOUT REPARATIONS

 

 

*********

 

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 from 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 this new century

   -  Etc., etc., and by “any means necessary” within the Law

 

*********

REPARATIONS YES - MOVEMENT

Announces Historical Nation-Wide Petition Campaign

 

The Reparations - Yes International Petition

Drive Web Site is Up and Running!

 

The International Reparations Petition

located online at:

>>>unity4theworld.com<<<

has reopened!

Please pass the word

&

Remember the goal is

No Less Than

150 Thousand signatures per state!

 

Please visit www.unity4theworld.com and sign the petition Today!

Remember we are trying to secure 50 Thousand signatures from each state and foreign country, every signature counts, including yours!

CONTACT:

Ms. Clara Peoples

503-287-7532

Ms. Lisa Clay

503-284-6152

www.unity4theworld.com

www.nabvets.com

 

JoeWynn.Nabvets@verizon.net

 

Dr. Saharra Bledsoe

202 783-3705

MzWayMaker@aol.com

 

*********

 

IN SUPPORT OF REPARATIONS!

 

WAKE UP!

                                                                   STAND UP!

                                                                             STEP UP!

 

     and  DO SOMETHING IN SUPPORT OF REPARATIONS! OR

THERE CAN BE NO REAL -  PEACE!

 

Ahna Tafari

 

*********

 

 

AFRICAN LIBERATION SUPPORT CAMPAIGN (ALISC)

PRESS INFORMATION

 

ALISC launches Nkrumah Week

 

Mark your calendar! Sunday 21 April through to Monday 29 April is Nkrumah Week. The African Liberation Support Campaign (ALISC), with the support of the Afrika Studies Centre of the University of East London, will run a series of eight workshops at venues across London, with a main event on Saturday 27 April, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of the first president of Ghana and Pan-Africanist, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

 

The workshops will cover subjects such as reparations; culture and Africa; the role of the Diaspora and the struggle of Black women. The theme for the Saturday event is: Against globalisation to reclaim the fountainhead of Pan-Africanism. It will be a day of presentations, discussion, poetry, recitals and songs. Invited speakers include Nkrumahís son, Gamal Gorkeh Nkrumah, International Editor of Al Ahram newspaper, Cairo and Professor Kwesi Prah of the Centre for Advanced Study of African Society, South Africa.

 

The schedule will run as follows:

 

Day 1:             Sunday 21 April:                    Struggle of Black Women

Day 2:             Monday 22 April:                   Culture and Africa

Day 3:             Tuesday 23 April                   North/South Debate and Self determination.

Day 4:             Wednesday 24 April:            Globalisation and reparations

Day 5:             Thursday 25 April:                  What does the future hold for Africa?

Day 6:             Friday 26 April                       Spirituality and Africa

Day 7:             Saturday 27 April                  Anniversary presentations, poetry, discussions, recitals and      songs

Day 8:             Sunday 28 April        Socialism and Africa

Day 9:             Monday 29 April                    African Diaspora

 

For details of venues and more information about the event, call 020-8223, 020-4559

 

ABOUT ALISC

 

ALISC aims among other things to

 

1)     build a movement in Europe against western banks, governments and multinationals recolonising Africa, which results in the death ants impose on behalf of the western powers;

2)     about the struggles of African people world wide against oppression

3)     further the total emancipation of African women and men. ALISC can be written to P.O. Box 21266, London W9 3YR. Or contacted by telephone on: 020 8749 7179.

 

 

TEXT FOR FREE LISTINGS

 

DRAFT PAN-AFRICAN EVENT

 

African Liberation Support Campaign (ALISC), with the support of the Afrika Studies Centre, University of East London, is running a series of eight workshops and a main event to mark the anniversary of the death of Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah. The workshops will cover subjects such as:  reparations; culture and Africa; the role of the Diaspora and the struggle of Black women. They will take place at venues across London from Sunday 21 April to Monday 29 April. The main event will take place on Saturday 27 April. Speakers will include Gamal Gorkeh Nkrumah, son of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and International Editor of Al Ahram newspaper, Cairo. 

 

For more info, please call:

Tel. #’s 020 8223 4559 (ASC-UEL)     

Tel: 020 8749 7179 (ALISC)

 

Submitted by THE BLACKLIST ISSUE 948

*********

FIELD STOOD UP TO PRESSURE FROM CHOCOLATE COMPANY

Sun Times March 17th edition

 

March 17, 2002

 

Behind the larger-than-life models of chocolate morsels and mouthwatering videos of candy production in the Field Museum's chocolate exhibit, a debate raged over how to portray the darker aspects of the treat's long history--slavery and child labor exploitation.

 

One of the nation's largest chocolate companies, Mars Inc., along with an industry association, tried to sway the museum into sugarcoating some of the more disturbing aspects of the confectionary's production, Field officials say.

 

Mars even pulled funding from a first-of-its-kind conference on chocolate conservation and culture that had been planned for last weekend.

 

Although Field officials acknowledge that they made minor changes to the exhibit, the museum apparently stuck to its guns.

 

"There were people in the world of chocolate manufacturing who did not want us to talk about the importance of slavery in the history of chocolate, or even about the contemporary issues revolving around chocolate,'' said Jonathan Haas, the lead anthropologist on the exhibit. But the museum "unequivocally stood by'' label signs in the exhibit, he said.

 

Mars and representatives of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association do not deny that slavery was a part of the early days of cocoa production, but they said they jumped in at the Field to correct factual inaccuracies.

 

Some activists, however, say the exhibit could have gone into more detail about mounting concerns over working conditions on African farms where the cacao plant is harvested now. And they question why Mars was allowed to review the content of the exhibit ahead of time.

 

Field President John McCarter said Mars was the first company to attempt to change the content of an exhibit.

 

"The relationships we've had with corporations have been wonderful,'' McCarter said.

 

But others say the incident points to the perils of a scientific organization working too closely with a for-profit company.

 

"It's like partnering with big tobacco,'' said Michael Coe, the author of The True History of Chocolate. "It puts you ethically in a rather strange position.''

 

The chocolate exhibit--which has been attended by more than 42,000 people since it opened on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14--took more than 3-1/2 years to create.

 

It tracks chocolate's beginnings in the seeds of the cacao tree (pronounced kah-KOW) in the rain forests of Central and South America. It traces its history from an offering to the gods by the Mayans to a symbol of wealth and luxury in Europe to the mass-produced treat of today.

 

As the exhibit was being put together, the museum's development office contacted Mars Inc., which is based in Virginia and has a manufacturing facility in Chicago, to see if it would provide $2 million to $3 million to become the major sponsor of the exhibit, said Don Cooke, the chief fund-raiser at the museum.

 

Early last year, Mars decided against becoming the official sponsor, Cooke said. But Mars did agree to back a symposium. And it agreed to lend the museum a collection of photos on the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico, which went on display March 8.

 

But in the course of reviewing the museum's display text on conservation--known as label copy--Mars raised objections about some exhibit text. Museum sources say Mars and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association didn't like the emphasis on slavery's role in the history of harvesting cacao. The exhibit details how sugar was added to the cacao beans after Spaniards brought them to Europe--causing the demand for the seeds to skyrocket, and a rise in slavery.

 

"European colonial landowners turned to Africa to supply them with the necessary labor,'' the exhibit says. "For over two centuries, a combination of millions of wage laborers and enslaved peoples were used to create a large work force.''

 

Susan Smith, spokeswoman for the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, took issue with the connection made between the demand for cocoa in Europe and the rise in slavery.

 

"We had not read or seen historical evidence to show there was any connection,'' she said.

 

The objections led to intense meetings among museum staffers on how to proceed.

 

"I personally questioned why [Mars read the copy] and why we were listening to them,'' Haas said.

 

Nevertheless, the museum considered changing some label copy to add that chocolate wasn't the only crop driving the demand for sugar, which created the largest demand for slaves, Haas said. The museum even included some of the manufacturers' suggested wording changes in subsequent drafts of the label copy, Haas said.

 

But in the final version, the museum stuck with the original copy, museum officials said.

 

Haas acknowledges, however, recalculating a statistic after the manufacturers questioned it. After two weeks of research, he changed the copy to read that the value of a teaspoon of sugar was equal to one day of a slave's life, not six, as the museum had originally written.

 

Another element that drew the manufacturer's concern, museum officials say, was mention of the controversy over the current use of child labor on some cacao farms in Africa.

 

"Recently it has come to light that [the world's high demand for chocolate] has resulted in some African cacao farms illegally exploiting child labor,'' the display reads. It goes on to talk about an agreement to study and combat the problem developed last fall in association with the Chocolate Manufacturers Association.

 

Smith said she was only concerned that the exhibit copy is updated to show progress.

 

But the Field's label copy downplays the problem, said Dave Moore, a representative of the American Anti-Slavery Group in Boston.

 

"They could have said something that reports coming in demonstrate the slavery is as brutal and chilling now as it has been in the past,'' he said.

 

In late January, Mars withdrew the $65,000 it pledged to sponsor last weekend's conference. Haas said 17 speakers, including Coe as the keynote, had been lined up. Haas also wanted to include speakers who could talk about the situation at the West African farms.

 

Mars spokeswoman Marlene Machut said Mars objected to that inclusion as well as what Mars saw as a change in focus to appeal to the general public.

 

Without the funding, the Field canceled the event.

 

By Dave Newbart Staff Reporter

 

Daily Southtown Pioneer Press Post-Tribune Star Newspapers Suburban Chicago Newspapers

 

Submitted by T'Zirah

J.E. Porter MSN RN CS   

 

*********

*****MARK YOUR CALENDAR OF EVENTS*****

 

SUNDAY REPARATIONS MEETINGS

 

Muhammad Mosque of Islam in Boston, Massachusetts invites you to attend weekly meetings each Sunday at the Dillaway located at:

 

      183 Roxbury Street

      Roxbury, Massachusetts

      (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.

 

*********

 

April 21-29, 2002

Starts on a Sunday

 

AFRICAN LIBERATION SUPPORT CAMPAIGN (ALISC)

PRESS INFORMATION

 

ALISC launches Nkrumah Week

 

The African Liberation Support Campaign (ALISC), with the support of the Afrika Studies Centre of the University of East London, will run a series of eight workshops at venues across London, with a main event on Saturday 27 April, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of the first president of Ghana and Pan-Africanist, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

 

The workshops will cover subjects such as reparations; culture and Africa; the role of the Diaspora and the struggle of Black women. The theme for the Saturday event is: Against globalisation to reclaim the fountainhead of Pan-Africanism. It will be a day of presentations, discussion, poetry, recitals and songs.

 

Invited speakers include Nkrumahís son, Gamal Gorkeh Nkrumah, International Editor of Al Ahram newspaper, Cairo and Professor Kwesi Prah of the Centre for Advanced Study of African Society, South Africa.

Please see full details in this issue of the REPNOW Newsletter.

 

 

*********

April 29, 2002

REPARATIONS AND BLACK HEALTH

Online Conference

 

Eliminating the "Slave Health Deficit":   Reparations and Black Health

 

Date:             April 29, 2002

Time:            3 p.m. Eastern Time (Conference Times in US Time Zones)

 

                The conference will run approximately 120 minutes.

 

Location:   Web Conference

 

Registration Deadline: April 12

Registration Online:

http://academic.udayton.edu/race/webconference/webconf03.htm

 

                                  Program

 

The Historical Case for Reparations

Dr. Julius Amin

Professor of History

The University of Dayton

 

Tracing Black Health Status to Slavery, Segregation and Racism

Dr. Vernellia Randall

Professor of Law

The University of Dayton

 

 

 

Using Reparation to Repair Black Health

Dr. Jewel Crawford

 

 

Registration Fee:

General Public $40

Students (Non-University of Dayton) Fee = $20

Persons with income less than $30,000 per year - Fee = $20

University of Dayton Alumni - Fee = $20

University of Dayton Faculty /Staff /Students - Fee = no fee

 

 

Additional Information:

http://academic.udayton.edu/race/webconference/health01.htm

 

System Requirement:

 http://academic.udayton.edu/race/webconference/webconf02.htm

 

Registration:

http://academic.udayton.edu/race/webconference/webconf03.htm

 

            CONTACT:  WCAR-Updates-owner@yahoogroups.

 

*********

May 25, 2002

INTERNATIONAL AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY

 

Our first Town Hall Reparations meeting

 

Stay tuned for further details.

 

CONTACT:  ebontek@earthlink.net (Sam Anderson)

 

*********

August 9-13, 2002

Start on a Friday

 

AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DESCENDANT FOLLOW-UP TO

THE U.N. WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM

A CALL TO THE BARBADOS CONFERENCE 9th – 13th AUGUST 2002

CONGRESS AGAINST RACISM (BARBADOS) INC.

 

The Caribbean caucus, which includes Barbados accepted the proposal for an immediate follow-up to Durban. It is with this understanding of our duty therefore that the Congress Against Racism (Barbados) Inc., (formerly the Barbados N.G.O Committee For The U.N. World Conference Against Racism) on behalf of the Caribbean Caucus hereby sends out a call to all member organizations of the "African And African descendants Caucus" and to all other African and African Descendant N.G.O’s that share our commitment to the Durban Declaration And Programme Of Action, to attend an "African And African Descendant N.G.O. Follow-up Conference" in the Island of Barbados between Friday 9th and Wednesday 13th August 2002.

The conference will be held at:

 

The "Sherbourne Conference Centre" 

Two Mile Hill

St. Michael, Barbados

 

Conference participants would be expected to finance their airline passages to Barbados, and their accommodation in Barbados.  However, our Conference Organizing Committee will be arranging special discounted airline and hotel rates.  There will also be a modest conference registration fee.

 

The relevant contact information for the conference secretariat is as follows:

Congress Against Racism (Barbados) Inc.

Pan-African Conference Secretariat

Thomas Daniel Building, 2nd Floor

Hincks Street

Bridgetown, Barbados

Tel: (246)  228-8757/8/9 / Fax: (246) 228-8817

 

*********

August 17, 2002

Saturday

 

NATIONAL  REPARATIONS  MARCH

 

The Millions for Reparations March, Protest, and Demonstration demanding reparations from the United States Government will be held in its Capital City, Washington, D.C. on August 17, 2002. This date, August 17th, is significant because it marks the 115th anniversary of the birth of one of our great ancestors and leaders, the Honorable Marcus Garvey.

The call for this march by the Durban 400 is picking up steam in the African Community throughout America. Thousands of African people in America are beginning to get prepared to participate in the march and are actively mobilizing to encourage our people to be present and accounted for in Washington, D.C. on August 17, 2002.

 

Dr. Worrill is the National Chairman of the National Black United Front / NBUF located at:

12817 S. Ashland Ave.

Fl. 1, Calumet Park, Ill. 60827

Telephone #708-389-9929

Fax 708-389-9819

E-Mail:  nbufchi @allways.net, Web site: nbufront.org)

 

Please see full details in The REPNOW Newsletter #24.

 

*********

 

REPARATIONS YES - MOVEMENT

Announces Historical Nation-Wide Petition Campaign

 

The Reparations - Yes International Petition

Drive Web Site is Up and Running!

Please visit www.unity4theworld.com and sign the petition Today!

Remember we are trying to secure 50 Thousand signatures from each state and foreign country, every signature counts, including yours!

CONTACT:

Ms. Clara Peoples

503-287-7532

Ms. Lisa Clay

503-284-6152

www.unity4theworld.com

www.nabvets.com

 

JoeWynn.Nabvets@verizon.net

 

Dr. Saharra Bledsoe

202 783-3705

MzWayMaker@AOL.COM

 

*********

 

FREE THE MIND... FREE THE PEOPLE... FREE THE LAND

 

THE  NATIONAL  COALITION  OF  BLACKS  FOR

 

REPARATIONS  IN  AMERICA  (N’COBRA)

 

*********

 

DETROIT, L.A.,…AND A CITY OR TOWN NEAR YOU!

 

February 28, 2002

 

The Michigan Citizen News Forum: Opinions and Views:

Calling it like it is: Knowing the routine

 

When I was growing up, I used to hear the Elders say, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." Like most things the Elders said, there's more than a bit of truth there. We got a good example of that particular truth Feb. 23 at the 8th Precinct.

 

Before going any further lets get clear. Ain't dogging P.H. Johnson.  His intentions are good. He thinks he's doing the right thing. But again, some words from the Elders. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

 

Johnson organized and was the presenter at an informational forum titled, Survival Guide for African-American Males: How to Handle an encounter with the Police Without Being Permanently Injured or Fatally Wounded or DON'T PUNCH YOUR CLOCK ON A ROUTINE STOP.

 

By the way, P.H. Johnson is kolonial occupational personnel; kop, if you will. Johnson ticked off a list of do's and don'ts.

 

When stopped by his komrads don't talk back and keep your hands in sight. Have your papers conveniently ready for inspection and do not challenge the kop authority.

 

If we follow Johnson's advice the kop probably won't punch our clock on that routine stop. We'll live, but for what? The next routine stop?  Is that what it's about? Or do we want to live so we can put a stop to this foolishness? Get ourselves out of this mess we're in?

 

Johnson didn't talk about why there was a need for him to offer such advice. It ain't a universal thang. They ain't offering that kinda advice in Birmingham, Grosse Pointe or Bloomfield.

 

Just in Detroit and cities like Detroit and only to New Afrikan males.  Ain't nobody telling white boys how to survive encounters with the kops.

 

That's gotta be talked about. If we don't, we ain't being real. And if ain't real, things ain't gon get no better, they gon get worse. We have to say it loud and clear. We live under white supremacy. That's what amerika is about.

 

Its existence requires our continuing oppression and subordination and at times our very lives. It has to violate, dehumanize, and humiliate us.

 

Kolonial occupational personnel routinely perform that function. When the kops stop a Brotha or Sista, it ain't never a routine traffic stop, though some traffic violation may have occurred. It's a routine political stop.

 

And the anger between the two is the result of the politically charged atmosphere. Police brutality is political repression.

 

And don't trip cause the kop is African-amerikan. A neo-kolonial situation exists when agents of repression are recruited from among the oppressed.

 

She's still a front line soldier in the army of white supremacy. She and the amerikan kop obey orders from the same commander-in-chief; the oppresident. Kops, therefore are not our friends.

 

Kops in the hood represent alien power, not community authority. They are agents of our enemy.

 

We, Afrikan men and women, must be disciplined warriors; knowing when to hold and when to fold. Going against a tank with a shank is a philosophy not a tactic.

 

Above all, we must understand the difference between surviving an encounter and survivalism.

 

The reason to live must be greater than our individual lives; more than routine survival.

 

We do ourselves and our children a disservice when we choose survivalism instead of liberation.

 

Because ultimately our survival as a people depends on meeting amerikan power with equal or superior New Afrikan power.

 

By Omowale Diop Ankobia

Knowing the routine

 

Submitted by Olujimi Tafataona <kofimensah@prodigy.net>

 

MATAH: the path to TRUE Freedom for Africans

http://www.mymatah.net/kwasi

Get on the Freedom Train

 

*********

 

BOOK LISTINGS

 

The book listing on Reparations and Black History can be found in REPNOW Newsletters 1 - 5.

 

***

KHALIFAH'S BOOKSELLERS & ASSOCIATES

Producers & Disseminators of the Literature that is Finally Freeing Afrikan People:

"Those at Home and those abroad!"

www.KBAbooks.com

 

*********

 

WE SHALL WIN THIS WAR!

Imari A. Obadele

 

*********

 

“Without Sanctuary”

 

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

 

http://www.journale.com/withoutsanctuary

 

*********

FOTO DOCUMENTATION OF US LYNCHING – “WITHOUT SANCTUARY”

 

February 25, 2002

 

Sistas & Brothas,

 

This newly reconstructed site (more interactive...more info than last year) was passed on thru Sista Deadria Farmer-Paellmann <paellmann@rcn.com>, one of our top Reparations lawyers investigating the corporate crimes against African humanity within the enslavement process (and its post-emancipation economic terrorism).

 

Pass it on to teachers, relatives, friends in denial, young folks....

 

In Struggle,

Sam Anderson

 

***

 

Greetings,

I thought the following might interest you.

 

Be well,

Deadria

 

 

Searching through America's past for the last 25 years, collector James Allen uncovered an extraordinary visual legacy: photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America.  With essays by Hilton Als, Leon Litwack, Congressman John Lewis and James Allen, these photographs have been published as a book, "Without Sanctuary" by Twin Palms Publishers. Please be aware before entering the site that much of the material is very disturbing.

 

We welcome your comments and input through the forum section.

 

http://www.journale.com/withoutsanctuary

 

Submitted by brc-reparations@yahoogroups.com

 

*********

 

See a wide range of E-mail Addresses & WebSites on REPARATIONS in the REPNOW Issue #13. 

 

*********

 

A WISE LIBERATION MOVEMENT USES A

BROAD RANGE OF TACTICS

 

Minister Malik Al-Arkam

Boston Representative of the

Honorable Silis Muhammad

www.afre-ngo.org

 

*********

JOIN THE BLACK REPARATIONS MOVEMENT TODAY !

IT IS A WIN, WIN CASE FOR US!

Oscar L. Beard

 

*********

 

Stay strong in the struggle; we will win!

 

Dejoser

 

**********

Hotep,

 

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.

 

In Struggle,

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...

 

Robert Hazard

S.E. Regional Rep. N’COBRA

 

*********

NEW NIC RELATED ADDRESS:  N’COBRA_INT_COMM@HOTMAIL.COM

January 27, 2002

ALL ELECTRONIC N’COBRA INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION RELATED BUSINESS WILL BE CONDUCTED THROUGH THIS NEW EMAIL ADDRESS AS OF JANUARY 27, 2002.

ncobra_int_comm@hotmail.com

ALL PERSONAL MATTERS FOR ONAJE MUID WILL REMAIN ON onajemuid@hotmail.com

PLEASE ADJUST ALL YOUR EMAIL  RECORDS ACCORDINGLY.

 

THANK YOU,

ONAJE MU'ID, N’COBRA

 

 

*********

JOIN N’COBRA AND THE MILLIONS FOR

THE AUGUST 17, 2002

REPARATIONS MARCH

 

On the way to participate in the historic Millions for Reparations March on August 17, 2002, join N`COBRA immediately. By joining N`COBRA, our collective organizational power will intensify our demand for reparations.

THEY OWE US!

By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill

Dr. Worrill is the National Chairman of the National Black United Front National Chairman of the National Black United Front

12817 S. Ashland Ave., Fl. 1

Calumet Park, Ill. 60827

708-389-9929, Fax 708-389-9819, E-Mail: nbufchi@allways.net,

 

Submitted by [BRC-REP]

*********

 

"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."

 

A Manchurian Proverb

Compliments of Shakira A. Ali

 

*********

 

Up You Mighty Race; We Can Accomplish What We Will!!!! 

I Remain to Serve,

Senghor Baye

 

*********

 

INTERESTING INFORMATION OF SIGNIFICANCE AND FYI:

EVEN AFTER SEPTEMBER 11…

 

BLACK U.S. HISTORY MAKES NATIONAL UNITY A TOUGHER SELL

 

 

February 23, 2002

 

 

Since Sept. 11, the day when ''everything'' changed, you hear it everywhere, you see it everywhere: United We Stand.

 

We do?

 

Unity, like freedom, is one of those ambiguous ideals that everyone is for.  But when talk turns to the historic struggle for social justice in America, that warm-and-fuzzy feeling disappears, revealing this great country's ideological fault lines. Just try sparkling up a dinner-party conversation, for instance, by raising the topic of reparations for the historical wrongs done to black Americans.

 

Party over.

 

Before there can be a fruitful national dialogue about reparations, there needs to be some political consensus that a debt is owed. Conservative scholars misrepresent the issue, arguing that calls for reparations are essentially about ''race hustlers'' trying to extort an undeserved transfer of wealth from Americans who immigrated to this country after slavery.

 

Not so. Reparations are not only about the first part of black history in this country -- the two centuries of slave labor central to America's founding -- but also about the political repression and economic deprivation violently imposed on emerging ''free'' blacks for nearly a century after the Emancipation Proclamation. This dark side of the USA's history still affects African-American babies born today, so many of them into a life of poverty.

 

Reminders needed

 

That's one reason Black History Month is still very much needed in this united-we-stand-sometimes nation. We need, for instance, to keep reminding new generations of Americans that hundreds of white Tulsans burned and looted the black Greenwood section of that city in 1921, leaving an estimated 50 whites and 150 to 200 blacks dead in their wake. No one was convicted for the murders, larceny or arson.

 

The Tulsa riot was not the only such event in this country. Similar episodes happened in Wilmington, N.C., in 1898, Atlanta in 1906, Springfield, Ill., in 1908, east St. Louis in 1917, Chicago in 1919 and Detroit in 1943. All are part of black history in America.

 

Now add the sordid history of lynching in post-Reconstruction America. This mostly Southern pastime claimed the lives of nearly 5,000 people, the vast majority of them black, between 1882 and 1968 -- an average of one lynching per week. The rationale provided by apologists of this atrocious act, in which participants were known to mutilate their victims and keep body parts for souvenirs, was that outlaw blacks needed to be controlled for the safety of whites.

 

This also is black history in the United States.

 

King's views

 

Supposedly colorblind conservatives love to recall a famous line from Martin Luther King's most celebrated speech: ''I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.'' But in that same speech, King also talked about a ''promissory note'' of unpaid rights due to America's darker-hued citizens -- a point reparation opponents don't allow to get in the way of their efforts to co-opt ''the dream.''

 

In another speech, King went further: ''When millions of people have been cheated for centuries, restitution is a costly process. Inferior education, poor housing, unemployment, inadequate health care -- each is a bitter component of the oppression that has been our heritage. Each will require billions of dollars to correct. Justice so long deferred has accumulated interest, and its cost for this society will be substantial in financial as well as human terms.''

 

As a nation, we get a collective lump in our throat reminiscing about the Marshall Plan that helped Europe rebuild in the wake of Nazi aggression -- or dreaming about rebuilding Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban. Why, then, don't we have the national will to craft an urban Marshall Plan for poor African-American communities so they can rebuild in the wake of the long reign of racial terror?

 

Black history raises important and difficult issues for all Americans, and not just during Black History Month. Confronting the tragedies of African-American history is a crucial first step if ''United We Stand'' is to be more than just a rally cry for war.

 

By Sean Gonsalves

 

Sean Gonsalves is a Cape Cod (Mass.) Times staff writer and syndicated columnist.

 

Submitted by  [AYM2001

 

*********

A SISTER RESPONDS TO AN ARROGANT POST AGAINST REPARATIONS FOR DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES…BUT WE ARE UNDAUNTED…WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS!

 

February 2002

 

D.Lindren,

 

Why is there such animosity and so little or no sympathy for the issue of reparations for African American descendants of slaves?  Restitution is now due the descendants of the slaves who labored unpaid for 300 years to shape Europe and its cousin America into the Industrial might that it’s become. 

 

If you worked for a company for 20 years, and it prospered, how would you evaluate your contribution to its success? Do not companies pay dividends now to their stockholders for the success of their companies? People invest in the future success and prosperity. In affect so did my ancestors, but they didn't have a say or decision in that success.

 

Newly freed slaves and their descendants were further hindered under Jim Crow laws instituted after so-called emancipation. Like the Israelites in Egypt who were given the task of making bricks without straw, this government set my ancestors out without land, jobs, nor the wherewithal to sustain themselves in this newly emancipated existence only to fall prey to the same vestiges of slavery.

 

Don't be deceived into thinking this only happened in the South for the North was just as guilty.  The North enjoyed all the industries created by slavery as well as the countries of Europe.

 

So just because your ancestors came from Europe to America, immigrants cannot use the “I've only been in America after slavery” excuse.

 

It was European countries that benefited from slavery then partitioned Africa and exploited Africa’s resources.  Do you think if I owned my ancestors’ diamonds, gold and Ivory I would be begging you for reparations?

 

If I still owned the trees in Africa your people get the gum to keep the Wrigley family in the chips that I would need reparations from your people?  How about the cocoa plantations your people still keep in West Africa?  If Mars Candy Company didn't use young African boys and enslaved them to harvest the cocoa, would I need reparations?

 

If whites had stayed in Europe would I still be in Africa enjoying the pristine environment now ravaged by years of white exploitation?  Who enjoyed years of elephant, lion, and tiger safari's for sport? And are now screaming conservation?

 

If I still owned the rubber trees on which Europeans built massive plantations to draw wealth from would I need your reparations?  And just how do you suppose your Museums and Universities were built and prospered?

 

Did you know that the sugar which was introduced to Europe then America was cultivated, harvested and processed by plantations owned by wealthy European institutions and run by forced African slave labor?

 

No. I'm not looking for a hand out.  I am looking for monies owed - the wealth which was not paid my ancestors from which I and my children would draw their heritage from. 

 

The transportation and textiles you enjoyed were produced by the cotton from not only plantations of Southern United States but the Caribbean, as well.

 

The animals you enjoyed in your zoos and museums came from the raiding of African lands my ancestors held.  And please spare me the Africans sold their own people stories.  What does that make your ancestors if they dealt in stolen property?  By law this makes them an accessory to kidnapping, doesn't it!

 

If whites had to contribute 5 or ten dollars each for reparations I suppose this would still be asking too much because historically African Americans garner so little compassion from whites anyway.  The story you repeat over and over is that we are the wealthiest of all the world’s blacks.  How absolutely absurd.  Your ancestors forced our ancestors here to live under slavery, forced labor, then set free only to be used and abused by the very system which freed us.  We are still continually denied the same basic rights you and the ancestors before you have enjoyed continuously for generations.

 

As you know wealth is accumulated from one generation to the next.

 

If you start with nothing whether it’s a lack of education or economics you have nothing to acquire from one generation to the next.  Slavery and its after affects have done just that.  So you say that we were given opportunity?  Yes, for some there was a door of opportunity in the sixties but that door opened wide for others as well:  the handicapped, the immigrants, Homosexuals, and most of all, white women, as they benefited the most.   Just consider the huge increase of white females who entered the job market in the late 60's, 70's and 80's.  This phenomenon shut out huge numbers of black males and black females.

 

Most whites I think argue against reparations because they say that slavery happened 130 years ago.  So how many generations is that? And just how long ago was it that Europeans came to these same shores and stole land from Native Americans?

 

Was restitution paid to Native Americans in the form of returned lands along with restitution? Was white European Americans compensated for atrocities which happened in W.W. II although the offending country was Germany just like them their own fellow countrymen?

 

I am not an attorney, but I believe I read somewhere that a party who is injured warrants some kind of redress once they are aware of being injured.  In laws whether Scriptural or Federal there is restitution for a wrong whether it happened last night, last year or twenty years ago.  The same should apply if a wrong happened one hundred and thirty years ago.

 

I know that your email, addressing the reparations issue for African Americans, was written some time ago but I just read it and felt the need to respond.

 

JELPO@AOL.COM

 

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UNITE AND BE PROUD OF YOUR OWN IDENTITY

 

February 24, 2002

 

Centuries of colonisation, negative racial segregation and repressive mass psychological manipulation have left the black man in todays world totally confused about an appropriate image and identity that he wants to assume for himself, wherever he may be.

 

Before the uninvited white racist colonisers and slave traders invaded Africa, the black man was living in relative peace with himself and his environment in the African jungle. Though rather primitive as compared to the white mans way of life then, the black mans life system was so advanced as to be able to propagate itself from one generation to another in a spontaneous way.

 

There was nothing the black man was supposed to be ashamed of when he compared himself to the white man. After all, all forms of life have a primitive stage in their history of development.

 

BELIEFS:

The black man then had his own beliefs, values, norms and systems by which he survived, while the white man also had his own different beliefs, values, norms and systems. The meeting of the white man and the black man was just the meeting of two different civilisations, at different levels of development and by two different groups of people, with neither being superior to the other.

 

These civilisations were each sophisticated in their own right and equally serving their respective peoples well. One might have been more complex and therefore more advanced than the other, but definitely not superior since superiority is just a matter of personal attitude.

 

With knobkerries, spears, bows and arrows, the black Africans of that time were able to fend for themselves and propagate their species as spontaneously as the white man did. Similarly with guns, swords and ships, the invading white racist colonisers and slave traders were also able to fend for themselves.

 

As happens naturally when two or more civilisations meet for the first time, one seeks to conquer or dominate the other in a natural contest of the survival of the fittest.

 

If we look at the evolutionary history of all forms of life on this earth, this is only a natural way of doing things, and therefore expected. Because of its simplicity and many weaknesses (not inferiority) as compared to the white mans civilisation, the black mans civilisation was conquered and temporarily swallowed up by the white mans civilisation. The white man consequently established himself as the dominant race on the black African continent. White people became the ruling class and black people became the servants.

 

In order to entrench and eternalise his dominance, the white man put down clear-cut lines to demarcate the spheres of influence for blacks and whites. This was, and still is, racism.

 

In South Africa they called it apartheid or separate development and elsewhere it had various pseudonyms but it all was racism to the extreme. Racism premised that the colonised black people were inferior in every imaginable way as compared to the whites. Consequently, whites installed themselves as masters of all black people.

 

Black people were removed from their original fertile land, which the white man found them subsisting on and were dumped onto infertile "reserves". The once powerful black chiefs were reduced to mere stooges of the white native commissioners who ran all the black settlements then.

 

From being self-sufficient subsistence farmers (now called peasants by the white man) blacks were reduced to starving concentration camp dwellers who had no choice but to look for jobs in the whites factories and farms. While blacks were used to being ruled only by their chiefs and kings with their own value systems, now they had to contend with being ruled also by the white mans own governments which had ultimate power over everything. Even their disempowered chiefs and kings were afraid of, and subservient to, the white native commissioners.

 

To complete its conquest of the black mans weak civilisation, the white man had to despise, ridicule and pour scorn on everything that was black and everything that the black man stood for. This meant that the black man was supposed to be made to feel not only weak and helpless against the white man, but very, very psychologically inferior as well.

 

RIDICULED:

The black mans beliefs were ridiculed and jeered at while the white mans Christian religion was revered and exalted. The black mans traditional values, norms and systems were despised and demonised while they were being actively replaced by the appreciated and exalted white man’s traditional values, norms and systems. The black mans systems of survival and governance were disrupted, ruptured and buried, to be replaced by the white man’s own systems, in which the vanquished black man had absolutely no say.

 

Even the black mans own personal names and names of places where changed from what the white man derogatorily called heathen or pagan names to what was called Christian names. The black mans own history was thus being systematically and purposefully eradicated from the surface of the earth. The genealogy of names of people, places, animals and plants helps us to trace the origins and the history of not only a given people, but of almost everything on this earth.

 

The history of the white man in black Africa became misconstrued as African history and yet Africans had their own history even before the coming of the whites. The coming of the invading racist white people became glorified as the beginning of civilisation in Black Africa and yet Africans had their own civilisation even before the coming of the unwanted fortune seeking invaders and slave traders. The horrors of the dispossession and enslavement of the black people was being glorified as a good thing for black man while the black man himself viewed it as the most terrible thing to ever have happened to him.

 

In schools and clubs, churches and cinemas, in fact in every facet of life the black man’s way of life, the black man’s own civilisation was demonised, belittled and vanquished, so much so that even the black man himself started believing the stories he was hearing about himself from the white man.

 

According to the white man, the black man was dull, lazy, brainless, heathen, incapable and generally good for nothing unless of course if ruled by the self-righteous white man.

 

Right now throughout the whole world many black people believe this about themselves which is just what the white people say about them (blacks). What a pity and what a tragedy. This is what is called brainwashing.

 

But what could the poor black soul be expected to do. Centuries of colonisation, racial segregation and brainwashing had taken their toll. Today most blacks are just moving zombies who are trying very hard to become white not only in the way they look, speak or behave, but in everything that the white man stands for. It looks like being black means nothing to todays black man, while being white means everything.

 

Black people throughout the world seem to have no common rallying point besides trying to be white.

 

SCENARIO:

Some try to be even whiter than white. In this new order of black political independence and white socio-economic dominance this prevailing scenario seems to serve the white man’s interests very well.

 

While blacks are busy grappling for political power and being told by the former white colonial masters that no black person is good enough for political office unless he serves white interests, the white man is busy consolidating his industrial and economic power base in black Africa. Even though they apparently seem to have given up political power, white people are still very much in charge everywhere in black Africa today.

 

They ensure that political leaders who dance to their tune are planted in all African countries in which they have interests. The ones who fall out of favour are violently removed from power in the name of democracy.

 

So colonised and psychologically manipulated are some blacks that they do not even realise that as they speak of what the white man calls fundamental democratic principles in a bid to oust their own chosen black leaders they will in fact be doing it for the white man, who will be laughing all the way to be the bank.

 

After years (centuries) of colonisation the black man suffers from a severe inferiority complex. The spirit of our land, our people, our tradition and our cultures that used to hold together and inspire our black African legends like Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, Tshaka Zulu, and all those fallen heroes who died resisting colonisation no longer holds us together today, thanks to the white mans brainwashing machine.

 

Today the white man tells us that the land belongs to everyone, and we believe them, yet when they were in power they never minced their words about our land belonging to themselves. They gave us blacks, rocky and unarable "reserves" to live in while they took our fertile land for themselves.

 

Today the white man wants us to believe that it does not matter if you are black or white, and one of our own black brothers who tries very hard to be white, sang just as much, yet in years past, every road, recreational facility or public amenity was clearly marked "for white people only".

 

POWER:

That time it really mattered if you were black or white just because the white man was in political power. In this white man’s world, black people had no human rights at all. In fact black people were considered by whites to be subhuman, so they did not deserve any human rights.

 

Its interesting to note that during that time all the white people of the world did not see anything wrong with that. They only started saying it was wrong after black people had taken up arms and fought bloody wars to liberate themselves from white racist rule.

 

Now white people do not even want to hear anybody talking about those liberation wars and what they were doing to blacks before that. In fact they demonise and belittle everyone who wants to do that even if it will just be an attempt to preserve the history of the black mans struggle for equal rights and human rights against the white man. Those blacks who say that the liberation struggle should be forgotten because it was just another senseless episode in our lives are revered and exalted by the white man. Those who see the white man for what they are, are the bad ones.

 

Poor black people. Do we not have an identity of our own? An identity that we can cherish, that we hold so dear that we will die for? Do we not have that, good people? For a people without an identity are a dead people. A people that cannot be remembered. A people without a past, a present or a future. Not a people at all.

 

But no, we black people have an identity. It is just that we are not proud of our identity. We are not proud to be blacks, after all these years of colonisation and racist rule.

 

When our civilisation was conquered by the white mans civilisation, and we were enslaved we naturally felt very helpless, useless and ashamed of ourselves. We felt ashamed of being black and everything else that was associated with being black, which the white man portrayed as everything bad. All the bad guys were supposed to be black.

 

Even Satan was portrayed as black while Jesus Christ was painted white. I hear that even the pictures of Hitler that the white man would like to show are only black and white pictures.

 

NORMS:

After this humiliation, of colonialism and racial segregation, we black people are now psychologically insecure and therefore weak and incoherent in our psychological norms, values and beliefs as black people.

 

We are no longer proud of our own God given identity as black people. The white man made us feel this terrible. This is a great human tragedy.

 

Wherever we are, we have got to be proud to be black people. Wherever we are in this world we should know that as blacks we are one. Being black is not merely an environmentally bestowed phenomenon, but a heredo-congenital feature bestowed unto us by our genetic inheritance from our fathers and forefathers.

 

This means that all black people have got a common ancestral origin and are therefore related no matter where they are in the world. The same applies to all the white people of this world. That is why in their foreign policy the European Union, Britain, Canada, USA and Australia are so united.

 

We Africans should also be united in our foreign policy. If we are not united, the white man shall continue to rule us. But unity starts at the individual stage. One has got to be united with oneself first if unity with others is going to work.

 

Your body, your soul, your mind, beliefs, norms and values have got to be united and not contradict each other.

 

So blacks of the world unite and be proud of your own identity!

 

By Dr Cleopas Sibanda

 

Submitted by zimbabwefriends@mail.com (Friends Of Zimbabwe)

 

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IF THE UNITED STATES CAN SUPPORT ISRAELIS AND 207,000 NON-JEWS IN ISRAEL WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS, THEN THE UNITED STATES CAN VERY WELL AFFORD TO PAY REPARATIONS TO DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES FOR THE FREE LABOR OF OUR FOREBEARS AND FOR THE RACISM AND INJUSTICES WE FACE IN THIS COUNTRY…T.Y., Editor

 

***

THE CONVERSION CRISIS

 

Background / Most of the immigrants don't want to convert

 

The entire population of non-Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, on paper at least, are the ones who potentially stand to gain from the High Court's ruling Wednesday that people who undergo non-Orthodox conversions in Israel must be registered as Jewish on their Israeli identity cards.


An underlying assumption is that it it will be easier for those interested in conversion to undergo the process of through the Reform and Conservative movements.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there are some 207,000 non-Jewish immigrants living in Israel, and another 77,000 immigrants whose Jewish identity is questionable. The majority of these immigrants hail from the former Soviet Union, but recently it has emerged that non-Jewish immigrants are also arriving from Argentina.

Most of the immigrants do not want to convert at all. Last year, only some 4,500 immigrants underwent conversion, and half of them were Ethiopian immigrants, mainly Falashmura. Only 2,100 of the immigrants from the Commonwealth of Independent States converted last year.


Those dealing with the subject say that immigrants from the former Soviet Union assume that Israeli society will accept them as Jews without them having to convert, and that they only feel the need to go through the conversion process for specific purposes, such as marriage or so that their children having their children recognized as Jews.


This is borne out by the fact that over 70 percent of the people who do bother to convert, according to information provided by the rabbinical courts, are women who are concerned about how their status might impact on their childrens' prospects of marriage. The elderly and married men and women who are not interested in having children, generally do not convert.


A much smaller population that is affected by the ruling are minors adopted overseas. Rabbi Yosef Avior, who deals with their conversion, estimates that there are 400 cases of these conversions every year. He said that over 95 percent of them are converted in his court and the rest prefer their children not be converted.

The real significance of the High Court ruling, therefore, is mainly symbolic. Neither the Orthodox, nor the Conservative and Reform movements are expecting a sharp rise in the number of conversion requests.

 

Ha'aretz - Article

 

By Yair Sheleg, Ha'aretz Correspondent

 

Submitted by JELPO @AOL.COM

[That which should be realized here is that these people, who choose to convert or not, receive U.S. tax dollars and fantastic benefits at the expense of Americans including Descendants of Slaves who also pay taxes but only receive a fraction of what converts to so-called Judaism receive.  By the way, I find it absolutely amazing that these people can convert and then be recognized by the World as the “Chosen People.”   Do they really think that they can also dupe the True and Living GOD?!  T.Y., Editor]

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STUDY SAYS BLACKS GET POORER MEDICAL CARE

March 13, 2002

AAfrican-Americans receive poorer medical care than whites in areas ranging from diabetes to mental health, researchers at Harvard University say, in one of the broadest studies to date of racial disparities in health care.

For the first time, researchers looked at federal quality-control records for patients in Medicare managed-care plans. In examining 305,000 cases, they found that blacks were less likely to receive adequate care in all four areas measured: eye exams for diabetics, preventive drugs after a heart attack, breast cancer screening, and follow-up care after leaving a mental hospital. They said the differences were not fully explained by socioeconomic gaps.

The study, published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association, was the first large-scale research on race as a factor in mental health care, the category where it found the largest gap. Blacks released from inpatient mental care received follow-up care 33 percent of the time, compared with 54 percent for whites - itself a dismal percentage, said Dr. Eric Schneider of the Harvard School of Public Health, the study's lead author.

In recent years, enough studies have documented racial differences in health care that former surgeon general Dr. David Satcher declared ''closing the health care gap'' a national priority. But deciphering the reasons for the gap and finding solutions have proved difficult.

A study last week suggests that doctors and their minority patients may simply have trouble talking to each other.

''There is good reason to think that some of this disparity relates to problems in patient-physician communication,'' said Dr. Karen Scott Collins, lead author of a study released last week by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization that researches health care issues.

Collins's report, which surveyed patients by telephone, found that minorities are more likely to report having trouble communicating with doctors, feeling disrespected in a doctor's visit, and not understanding or not following a doctor's instructions.

Her study, unlike Schneider's, also looked at Latinos and Asians, for whom language barriers can further hamper communication.

But language doesn't explain everything, she said: in some categories, such as perceptions of disrespect, the problems were larger for African-Americans. Anecdotally, physicians and patients say that even seemingly small gestures - failing to shake patients' hands or look them in the eye, not addressing them by name as ''Mr.'' or Mrs.'' - can make an office visit go awry.

''If you have no confidence that your doctor has your best interests at heart, you're not going to follow the advice you receive or you're not going to go back,'' Collins said.

Such reasoning makes sense intuitively to many people, and some solutions seem obvious: The American Association of Medical Colleges is trying to recruit more minority physicians and make sensitivity training a more central part of medical school. But beyond that, it has been a challenge to find ways to measure and improve doctors' interactions with patients. Researchers say this is an inherently subjective and sometimes uncomfortable topic, since no doctor wants to believe he or she does not seem welcoming to someone of a different race, and few patients want to risk pointing it out.

But researchers around Boston are trying to make the discussion more concrete. At Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dr. Judy-Ann Bigby is holding focus groups between white male doctors and black female patients, to get them to talk honestly about their interactions. And Dr. Paula Johnson is studying patient evaluation reports by race for the first time in the hope they can be used for internal quality control; an important step, she said, is being willing to measure the problem and identify it as a priority of the institution.

At the same time, the authors of the Medicare study say the solution will lie beyond the behavior of individual doctors.

''There's a tendency to look at these sort of results and the first question is, well, are doctors prejudiced?'' Schneider said. ''You can ask that question, but a more useful question is what kinds of interventions can we put in place?''

Their study provides many of the tools to do that. It is the first to use data from government records that were designed in the mid-1990s specifically to measure the quality of health care delivery and that are widely accepted by hospitals and insurers. Those measures can later be used to test the success of attempts to improve the situation - such as outreach programs and patient education.

''We think it can make a difference,'' Schneider said.

 

By Anne Barnard, Globe Staff

Anne Barnard can be reached at abarnard@globe.com

This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 3/13/2002.

Submitted by alarkam@webtv.net (Malik Al-Arkam)

 

*********

 

REPARATIONS AWARENESS-ACTION-AND-UNITY DAY

 

February 25, 2002

 

 

da Justice Beat

Make Everyday a Reparations Awareness-Action-Unity Day

 

Greetings of IMANI (FAITH) Esteemed Elders, Sister and Brother Leaders, Political Prisoners of War and Exiles, and Youthful Warriors:

 

May our magnificent Mother-Father Creator and beloved Ancestors find you and (y)our extended Afrikan families in healing Spirit and strength.

 

This past weekend, tens of N’COBRA chapters, hundreds of organizations, and thousands of activists organized and participated in special Reparations Awareness and Action (RAAD) activities.  In Afrikan communities and on campuses from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans, from downsouth to upsouth cities, and on airwaves across the united capitalist prison states, the answer to Habari Gani (Whats the Word?) was a resounding Reparations, Now!  Ase`.  Amen. 

 

Since 6233 (1993), NCOBRA leaders have used the date (on or around) 25 February to promote increased OVERstanding, and specific calls to action for redress, justice, unity and healing in the Afrikan community.  It was the thinking during that period, that our communities needed a special time towards the end of our commemoration of Afrikan Heritage and Liberation Month (Black History Month) to not only celebrate the achievements and survival of our people on these shores; but, even more significantly, to continue our patient re-education and organizing efforts around Self-Determination and Reparations for the Afrikan Diaspora, to whomever would listen.  Over the years, our RAAD events have had a broad range: from town meetings and lectures at high schools, universities, radio and television stations to spiritual messages and sermons at numerous temples of Faith; from letter-writing and protest marches at the deadly prisons (unjustly holding our too-long suffering prisoners-of-war and family members) and federal buildings to book signings and written messages in Afrikan newspapers and magazines [including, almost the entire February 6237 (1997) edition of the excellent, but now-shuttered EMERGE]; from meetings with congresspersons on Capitol Hill in Washington, to directly challenging other elected officials and candidates in our home areas.  Even when the idea and movement for Reparations wasn’t as popular as it is now becoming, and the participation was minimal, NCOBRA and others believe in the power of IMANI and kept up the work among the grassroots.  This year, WE were delighted to share and celebrate our significant collective Victory at the recent United Nations World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Afrika.  The people and nations of the world agreed with us: that the European enslavement Maafa was a crime against our humanity and that Reparations are warranted.  Ase`.  Amen.

 

In the days and months and years ahead, WE must begin to make somewhat of a transition.  Now that the world is with us, and the Reparations issue is becoming a relatively popular idea among our people and organizations, WE must now begin the process of preparing to collectively claim our justice.  WE also have to begin making the proper PREPARATIONS FOR REPARATIONS.  Therefore, movement leaders have to heighten our Reparations Awareness, Action and Unity efforts.  While Reparations for Afrikan people is now a household word, there is still much confusion on what it means.   Many of our people, including some well-known community members who are new to our movement, have the unfortunate understanding that Reparations is merely about us getting a check.  While Reparations is indeed about recovering a portion of the incalculable material wealth that has been stolen from Afrikan people for over half-a-millennium though there is really not enough wealth in the universe to pay for even one Afrikan or Indigenous life lost or shortened, let alone billions of lives WE must carefully show our people that Reparations is much more than a check.  WE must continue our organizing of a mass, fully participatory movement to ensure that Reparations comes in all the forms that are necessary to begin our recovery, restoration and freedom processes be it the redistribution of fertile land and waters to build, farm and fish on; or the release of our falsely incarcerated leaders and relatives from the new corporate plantations; or the payment of trillions upon trillions for our independence, repatriation and collective re-educational and economic development efforts; and much more.

 

By Brother Jahahara Alkebulan-Maat

 

Submitted by BRC-Reparations@yahoogroups.com

 

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WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?  A “POST-GAME ANALYSIS

 

March 14, 2002

 

I'm used to the inconvenience of traveling great distances and manipulating schedules to attend all sorts of functions. This time, I had an unparalleled opportunity to have an event literally come to my doorstep. The church that hosted Tavis Smiley's recently televised symposium, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? Black America's Vision for Healing, Harmony, and Higher Ground," is right down the road from my house. I live so close, I could have invited Rev. Al Sharpton, Manning Marable, Johnnie Cochran, Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez, and Na'im Akbar to my house for lunch!  However, something, told me that of all the symposiums, conferences, meetings, rallies, protests, and other events I have attended or will attend, this particular one, I could skip. So I decided to rely on that instinct and instead watch the entire event on C-Span. Unfortunately, I had to put up with my seven year old's complaints that I was denying him his constitutional right to watch his beloved Saturday morning Looney Tunes. If he were only old enough to understand that Dad only replaced his Looney Tunes with another.

 

I believe my doubts started the minute I first heard the “WWF” (World Wrestling Federation)-like announcements weeks before on Tom Joyner's radio show. From that point on, every reminder, for what was purported to address the problems Black people faced, sounded like a commercial for “Showtime at the Apollo!” My suspicions were only confirmed as each panelist was introduced on a stage decorated with a banner prominently displaying Smiley's picture. If there were any crises in Black America, you sure couldn't tell from this production.

 

Let's be truthful, few of these panelists gave any analyses or solutions that many of us have not already heard or are actually putting into practice. In fact, this symposium was no different in content or personality from Tavis' first production held last year. I can only hope that it was informative, inspirational, encouraging, and instructive to motivate a few more people to get involved in the struggle for justice.

 

I found all the praise of Representative Barbara Lee disturbing and very disingenuous. Many of the panelists correctly recognized Lee as the only member of Congress to vote against a resolution authorizing the President to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against terrorism. Yet, not one panelist confronted Congressman Chaka Fattah as to why he and the rest his scared negro colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus failed to stand with her. It looked very hypocritical to discuss the failings of Black leadership, but not address the most blatant example on the stage. It was all too polite, and one can't help to think that deals were made to not talk about certain matters.

 

Few of the panelists even directly addressed the solutions and proposals given by Philadelphia community activist Kenny Gamble and New York Post columnist Stanley Crouch. Crouch, not a favorite among the Black intelligentsia, was particularly insightful, stating, "We should find out where there have been successes, what people have the skills, and let them handle the situation…There are people who have dealt with this problem successfully and we need to seek their advice." Gamble stood as the personification of what Crouch was alluding to for Gamble has lead a successful community redevelopment effort here in the city.

 

On second thought, I doubt that many of the panelists, recipients of grants, fellowships, salaries, and other resources given by White people and White institutions, could relate to Gamble's advocacy of independent economic empowerment. Herein lies the real issue: that among the majority of Black "leadership" there is cursory discussion about the development of the kind of economic power other ethnic groups use indiscriminately. You only hear our Black "leadership" complain, and even cry about their lack of opportunity to participate in building the White man's empire, of which they continue to remain on the periphery. Crouch’s and Gamble’s observations should have ended the “discussion” right then and there. Instead, the symposium went to a higher level of preaching.

 

At best, Tavis' "Where Do We Go From Here" comforted some of us to know that there is another churchful of Black people who give a damn about what is going on in the world.  At worst, this annual affair is rapidly deteriorating into a theatre of platitudes, clichés, pontification, and rhetoric that reminds me of a traveling minstrel show.

 

By J Tolbert Jr

“criticalman” <criticalman@earthlink.net>

 

J Tolbert Jr, criticalman@earthlink.net, is the unapologetic editor of

theDigitalDrum newsletter   http://www.topica.com/lists/theDigitalDrum/

 

Submitted by DBInformation_Center@yahoogroups.com

 

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A LETTER TO MR. RON DANIELS…

 

March 25, 2002

 

Dear Mr. Daniels,

 

Please find a letter I sent in response to an article you wrote on reaching a consensus on and methods of receiving reparations dated August 8, 2000 which appeared on The BlackWorld Today Website.

I hope you will read it in the spirit for which it was sent; to encourage continued scholarship, investigation and examination of all issues surrounding reparations for the descendants of slavery in the Americas.

Our ancestors, of cherished memory are in need of remembrance through the dedicated efforts of persons like you and Deadria Farmer –Pellmann, as well as others who tirelessly give of their time and energy in the pursuit of delayed justice and restitution for the atrocities of slavery.

J. E.  Porter

 

***

March 25, 2002

 

Ron Daniel's article of August 8, 2000 entitled, Africans In America Must Reach Consensus On And Method of Receiving Reparations, on The Black World Today website raised many questions and issues I would like to address.

Reparations, the issue of the new century will require much soul searching from all righteous people of conscious both black and white. I do feel with a degree of certainty that it will be forthcoming.  However; there are areas of investigation we who stand to benefit may need to nonetheless research.

While I do hold corporations, which benefited from the slave trade accountable as they benefited from generations of wealth from the transatlantic slave trade and as of this writing continue to do so as is the cocoa producers who use child slavery to process its products in West African countries. Their complicity in the Transatlantic Slave trade and the activities they were involved in provided generations of European wealth. Most conversation about reparations singled out America rather then include most other European countries which were benefactors from slavery. Is this oversight intentional or just overlooked?

While I would ask that rather than determine at this time how reparations would or should be dispensed that we continue the thorough investigation of all parties in this world wide scheme of New World slavery and thievery because that is what it amounted to.

If African nations were duplicitous they should be called to task as well. 

First, I would challenge our scholars to research the history of the partition of the second greatest continent by individual European countries. This would require considerable scholarship. Next, examine how this vast area of land was separated, its borders changed and land and resources confiscated. 

Thirdly, I would ask our Black scholars to examine how RELIGION factored into and propagated the continued enslavement of Africans in both mind, spirit and body. One need only to investigate the religious majority in each African country to see how the various religious orders played a major role in the dismantling of cultures, families, peoples, language and land.

The Vatican and other religious organizations have amassed vast treasures from the African Continent over hundreds of years and so has most of other European countries which thrived on the wealth of Africa.  Treasures such as Art, artifacts, manuscripts, native crafts, music, sculptures wood and stone, textiles, and other treasures of ancient origin lie within its vaults as well as in academic institutions, and private homes.

As we are thoroughly religious peoples the focus on religion and its institutions will surely be troubling for most but it nonetheless is still part of the history of slavery and the reparations discussion. If we are in earnest about reparations then we should not use timidity to excuse some and prosecute others.

Slavery and those who actively and indirectly participated in its socialized capitalistic venture chose to participate in "The Peculiar Institution" for their own individual and generational gain at the expense of our ancestors and now their ancestors must be called to account for the sins of their fathers.  We are asking them to do the right thing and at least to begin discussions about reparations and its subsequent healing affect on the countless ancestors who have lived with vestiges of slavery.

How about Academic institutions like Brown University which I learned was financed with monies acquired by its founder from the African slave trade? Are there other institutions involved?  Harvard, for instance?

We must not allow sentiment and sensitivities to hinder our pursuit for just restitution.

With regard to the consensus on the methods of reparations there are many. 

One can choose individually what matters most to them.  Whether its land, money and education wherever we wish to pursue it. 

There is the question of community.  Many peoples would prefer to immigrate back to the lands of their ancestry or to other countries.  What constitutes the black community today?  Most urban communities are devastated by urban blight, crime, and drugs, and we as a people are divided by politics, religion and education.  Who would decide within our communities who best to distribute reparations? Or even address them in the name of many? How will we distribute the results of lawsuits equitably? There are many who are aware of the reparations movement while others are totally ignorant of it.

In the reparations movement, let’s thoroughly look at all aspects because as in a personal injury suit once the issue is settled and there is an agreement to its stipulations the matter cannot be redressed by not only the present ancestry but those who follow.

June E. Porter MSN RN CS

P.O.Box 266

Hartly, DE

19953

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WHITE SCLC MEMBER ALLEGES RACISM

 

February 23, 2002

 

ROANOKE, Va. (AP)--A white member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is accusing the civil rights organization of racism after board members withdrew their recommendation that he lead the Virginia chapter.

 

Jack Mills, 70, who wants to become the SCLC's first white state president, said the historically black organization founded by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957 turned on him after some members could not stomach the notion that he would be their leader.

 

``This is interesting,'' Mills said. ``I've learned that black bigots can be as bad as white bigots.''

 

The Rev. William Avon Keen, who has been appointed the Virginia SCLC's interim president, said the dispute with Mills has nothing to do with reverse racism. Keen said the Virginia board withdrew its support a few weeks ago after Mills prematurely tried to take control and taunted former president Curtis Harris in a letter by telling him to ``back off.''

 

``There's just some things that this organization expects as far as your character,'' Keen said.

 

The SCLC has never had a white president of any of its state chapters or the national organization.

 

Mills, a former stuntman and skydiver, received the Virginia board's recommendation on Jan. 12, edging Keen by two votes.

 

The board planned to forward its recommendation to the chapter convention in May, where the organization's hundreds of members are scheduled to elect the next president. But Mills immediately sought to take control, calling a news conference to announce his election.

 

Members also were shocked when Mills sent Harris a letter calling himself a ``prophet to be an inspiration for poor people.'' Mills urged Harris to retire, finishing his rambling letter with a quotation from Muhammad Ali: ``Know this--I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.''

 

``I thought he had lost his mind,'' said Milton A. Reid, who founded the Virginia chapter in 1961. ``And I may not be too far wrong.''

 

Reid wrote Mills an angry letter in response, saying Mills' letter sounded ``like a threat from the `Klan.'''

 

``I will strongly oppose your leadership to the presidency,'' Reid wrote. ``My God! If we have to contend with this as an alleged former Klansman, what can we expect in the future?''

 

Reid said other SCLC members told him that Mills had confessed he once belonged to the KKK ``to show how far he's come.'' Mills said that his uncle was a member of the KKK in the 1930s, but that he has had no personal involvement with the group or recent contact with his uncle.

 

Mills, a lanky Iowa native who wears a cowboy hat, joined the SCLC several years ago after changing his mind about King.

 

Mills said he once believed the FBI when it suspected King of communist sympathies. But he said his opinion changed after the disastrous 1995 federal raid on the cult near Waco, Texas.

 

He said he has been trying to ``make up for lost time'' ever since.

 

While leading the SCLC's local chapter in Bedford County, Mills has worked to get computers for needy children. He fought to get what he considered a racist picture removed from the lobby of a state child support agency in Lynchburg.

 

``He's done more to advance civil rights in this area than anyone,'' said the Rev. Claude Gunn, a minister from Lynchburg who joined the SCLC at Mills' urging. ``He is controversial, but he'll take on issues that other people won't.''

 

Gunn, who is black, said he believes that Mills lost the SCLC's support because of his color.

 

``I went to this breakfast honoring Dr. King in January and people were talking about how the board had voted for Jack,'' Gunn said.  “Someone said, `Who is Jack Mills?' and when Jack stood up - and he's the only white guy there - you could tell things had changed.”

 

The Virginia SCLC is led by some of the same activists who helped desegregate the state's schools 40 years ago. The chapter has had only three presidents in the past.

 

Mills maintains that he is now the Virginia SCLC president and said he may go to court to resolve the issue. Mills also plans to attend the convention in Danville.

 

By Chris Kahn

Associated Press Writer

www.ajc.com

 

***

WHITEY SHOWS HIS TRUE COLOR

 

 

February 23, 2002

 

Peace and Blessings family,

 

Roanoke Va is my father's home and I know it a lil, and to be honest this does not surprise me on one side.  It's the perfect lil place to run away to when you want to be alone and hear crickets at night.  It's a lovely place to collect one's self and meditate in the open space on a mountain.  But I never thought about the local politics. When I go,, i see the local yahoo's,, the good old boys, and don't pay them no mind.

 

but

 

On the other side, however I see this is what happens when you allow others to be in positions of being able to run so-called Black organizations.  I say so-called because there is NO way a Black Liberation/Freedom organization should EVER EVER EVER have a person of non color in a position of power and any one that does is an integrationist organization and should admit to being one.  On a personal, I don't even want to see white people as members of Black Liberations/Freedom organizations! OK? I want to be clear here.  But I know they exist.  I CAN tell you I am not a member of an organization where white people can be members and I am damn proud to be able to say so!

 

The local SCLC with a white president?  Hmmmm,,  this bears watching for sure.

 

By Tyree Amala <tyreea@hotmail.com>

 

*********

 

…let's work together to heighten this righteous call for justice.

 

Peace and Power,

Ukali

 

 

*********

QUOTATION:

 

"If a white man hates me, that's his problem.

If he has the power to implement his hateful thinking,

that's my problem"

 

AHREF="http://members.aol.com/GhanaUnion/afrohero.html"Ancestor KwameToure (1941 - 1998)

 

*********

CORPORATIONS CHALLENGED BY REPARATIONS ACTIVISTS –

A USA TODAY NEWSPIECE

 

 

February 21, 2002

 

 

The Ruling class white supremacist propaganda machine is on its anti-Reparations Spring Offensive! Like master martial artists that we are... let's take advantage of their bloated self-assured offensive and use it to throw them off balance by having even more well-informed, well-organized Brothas and Sistas demanding Reparations Now!

 

In Struggle,

Sam Anderson

 

***

CORPORATIONS CHALLENGED BY REPARATIONS ACTIVISTS

 

February 21, 2002

 

Swann Galleries

The Mobile & Girard Railroad offered slave owners $180 apiece for use of their slaves in 1856. It is one of 39 slave-built lines that are today part of Norfolk Southern, says San Diego State University expert Ted Kornweibel.

 

They owned, rented or insured slaves. Loaned money to plantation owners. Helped hunt down the runaways. Some of America's most respected companies have slavery in their pasts. Now, 137 years after the final shots of the Civil War, will there be a reckoning?  A powerhouse team of African-American legal and academic stars is getting ready to sue companies it says profited from slavery before 1865. Initially, the group's aim is to use lawsuits and the threat of litigation to squeeze apologies and financial settlements from dozens of corporations. Ultimately, it hopes to gain momentum for a national apology and a massive reparations payout by Congress to African-Americans.

 

Read more below

 

---

 

February 21, 2002

 

Neither goal will be easily achieved.

 

There is considerable evidence that proud names in finance, banking, insurance, transportation, manufacturing, publishing and other industries are linked to slavery. Many of those same companies are today among the most aggressive at hiring and promoting African-Americans, marketing to black consumers and giving to black causes.

 

The costs of the slave trade

 

1850

The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, part of CSX today, paid slave owners $30 to $150 apiece to rent slaves for a year.

Price in 1850: $150

In today's dollars: $3,379

 

1856

The Mobile & Girard, now part of Norfolk Southern, offered slaveholders $180 apiece for slaves they would rent to the railroad for one year.

1856: $180

Today: $3,737

 

1859

The Central of Georgia, a Norfolk Southern line today, valued its slaves at $31,303.

1859: $31,303

Today: $663,033

 

1865

The Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, today part of CSX, placed a value of $128,773 on the slaves it lost as a result of emancipation at the conclusion of the Civil War.

1865: $128,773

Today: $1.4 million

 

1865

The Mobile & Ohio, now part of Canadian National, valued slaves lost to the war and emancipation at $199,691.

1865: $199,691

Today: $2.2 million

 

Sources: Economic History Services, USA TODAY research

 

So far, the reparations legal team has publicly identified five companies it says have slave ties: insurers Aetna, New York Life and AIG and financial giants J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank and FleetBoston Financial Group.

 

Independently, USA TODAY has found documentation tying several others to slavery:

 

a.. Investment banks Brown Bros. Harriman and Lehman Bros.

 

a.. Railroads Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and Canadian National.

 

a.. Textile maker WestPoint Stevens.

 

a.. Newspaper publishers Knight Ridder, Tribune, Media General, Advance Publications, E.W. Scripps and Gannett, parent and publisher of USA TODAY.

 

Successive generations of African-Americans, starting with slaves freed in 1865, have failed to persuade Congress to apologize and make restitution for slavery. Attempts by descendants of slaves to sue the federal government for damages have been dismissed.

 

By targeting corporations, the activists are opening a new chapter in black America's quest to be compensated for 2 1/2 centuries of bondage. The activists contend that major corporations today possess wealth that was created by slaves or at the expense of slaves — and that it's time for African-Americans to reclaim that wealth.

 

Evidence against corporations sits in university libraries, historical collections and corporate archives. Slaves haunt the pages of old letters, newspapers, receipts, payroll sheets, account books, annual reports and court records.

 

Ads seeking 'my Negro boy'

 

There are insurance policies naming their masters as beneficiaries; railroad rule books prescribing 39 lashes of the whip for recalcitrant slaves; newspapers publishing ads offering rewards for the return of "my Negro boy."

 

The list of corporations tied to slavery is likely to grow. Eventually, it could include energy companies that once used slaves to lay oil lines beneath Southern cities, mining companies whose slaves dug for coal and salt, tobacco marketers that relied on slaves to cultivate and cure tobacco.

 

Slavery's long shadow also could fall over some of Europe's oldest financial houses, which were leading financiers of the antebellum cotton trade.

 

Lloyd's of London, the giant insurance marketplace, could become a target because member brokerages are believed to have insured ships that brought slaves from Africa to the USA and cotton from the South to mills in New England and Britain.

 

The original benefactors of many of the country's top universities — Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton and the University of Virginia, among them — were wealthy slave owners. Lawyers on the reparations team say universities also will be sued.

 

Ties can be tenuous

 

Library of Congress

The Auction & Negro Sales house in Atlanta, circa 1864, where slaves were auctioned.

 

The connection between modern-day corporations and slavery can be tenuous. Records seldom show the extent to which a given company depended on slave labor or profited from sales to slave owners.  Many of the companies that are potential targets for reparations lawsuits didn't exist until after emancipation, some not until the 20th century. Instead, they bought the slave histories of other companies in corporate acquisitions over the years.

 

Last August, insurance giant AIG, founded 54 years after the Civil War, bought another insurer, American General. With the purchase came U.S. Life Insurance, which American General had acquired in 1997. In going through U.S. Life's archives last fall, AIG discovered that the unit had insured slaves in its early years.

 

Aetna first confronted allegations it had insured slaves two years ago. Since then, it has struggled to put the matter to rest, apologizing and pointing out that it funds college scholarships for African-Americans, pays for studies on racial disparities in health care and sponsors a national forum on race.

 

Antebellum-era slave polices "don't reflect what our company is today at all," says Aetna spokesman Fred Laberge. "We have a strong record of diversity and supporting causes and hiring."

 

USA TODAY contacted all the companies named in this article.  Some acknowledged the evidence, others disputed it. Many declined comment. Of those that did comment, virtually all said the current company isn't liable for what happened before the Civil War.

 

Behind the new legal thrust is the Reparations Coordinating Committee, headed by Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree and author-activist Randall Robinson. The team includes heavyweight trial lawyers Johnnie Cochran and Dennis Sweet, and scholars such as Harvard's Cornel West, Georgetown's Richard America and Columbia's Manning Marable.

 

"Once the record is fleshed out and made fully available to the American people, I think companies will feel some obligation" to settle, Robinson says. "Regret's not good enough. Aetna made money, derivatively at least, from the business of slavery. ...Aetna has to answer for that."

 

The legal obstacles are daunting. Slaves and their masters are dead. Company records, though sometimes damning, are seldom complete.  Damages may be impossible to calculate. Most important, no company accused of profiting from slavery was breaking U.S. law at the time: Slavery was not a crime.

 

"We've never seen a case where someone who died hundreds of years ago can have a simple, common-law tort revived. The law wasn't designed for this," says Anthony Sebok, a tort expert at Brooklyn Law School.

 

Statutes of limitations on torts, or injury claims, typically last no longer than two or three years and have been extended in rare exceptions to only 30 years. Before broadening a tort case to a class-action lawsuit, reparations advocates must find the descendant of a slave damaged by one of the defendants. Then they must decide who qualifies as a slave descendant and who, in essence, is black.

 

The reparations team could choose instead to sue for restitution, arguing that companies were "unjustly enriched" from their use of uncompensated labor. Those cases often hinge on whether plaintiffs can give a clear, precise accounting of what was wrongfully taken from them and what they produced. That's easy when someone wants restitution for a lost object, such as a building. But how do you separate the output of slaves from that of other workers on, for example, a railroad?

 

Earlier reparations cases — targeting the government — have been dead ends. The group wants to avoid a repeat of Cato v. United States, a $100 million reparations case brought against the federal government in 1995. A sympathetic U.S. Appeals Court in San Francisco dismissed the case after saying it could not find a legal basis for it. The panel said descendants of slaves must go to Congress, not the courts, to get redress for crimes against their ancestors.

 

That's not to say there is no precedent for reparations. Since 1995, the state of Florida has paid about $2 million in reparations to the victims of a 1923 race riot in the black settlement of Rosewood.

 

Ultimately, the court of public opinion could be the one that matters most. That much was clear to the German, Austrian, Swiss and French companies sued by Holocaust survivors and other Europeans victimized by the Nazis.

 

The Holocaust cases, filed by the dozens between 1996 and 2000, were weak on the law and almost certain to be dismissed by U.S. courts. But they were corrosive to the reputations of defendant companies as long as they could linger on court dockets. The companies have settled for more than $8 billion, at the urging of the U.S. government, which mediated.

 

Owen Pell, a lawyer at White & Case who represented Chase Manhattan against accusations it illegally blocked accounts held by Jews in wartime France, says dozens of U.S. companies have quietly begun searching their archives in anticipation that they could be named in slavery lawsuits.

 

Public relations damage

 

The reparations movement can't win in court, Pell insists. "But companies have learned you don't judge a lawsuit by its merits.  You judge it by the potential public relations damage. Corporate America is following this issue. They understand how nasty it could get if someone comes in and says you have blood on your hands."

 

It shouldn't come to that, says Willie Gary, a reparations team member. He says companies tied to slavery should step forward and make amends by putting money into African-American scholarships and education. "Based on what America stands for and has stood for, it's the right thing to do. There's an opportunity to make a wrong right," he says. "This should be a negotiated matter.  We shouldn't be in litigation for 20 years."

 

Black and white Americans are sharply divided on the issue, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll shows. Big majorities of African-Americans believe companies that profited from slavery should apologize, make cash payments to descendants of slaves and set up scholarship funds for blacks. About a third of whites believe apologies and scholarships are a good idea; only 11% of whites favor cash payments to slaves' descendants.

 

Either way, reparations activists are preparing for a fight.  Many of them battled to isolate apartheid-era South Africa and make pariahs of U.S. companies operating there in the 1980s.  Expect the same bruising tactics — and some new ones — this time:

 

a.. Pressuring shareholders. That means demanding that pension funds and other big institutional investors dump shares of companies linked to slavery.  Activists also may try forcing them to formally debate the issue at annual meetings.

 

a.. Swaying consumers. They will try to persuade African-Americans to pull money from accused banks and switch policies from tainted insurers.

 

a.. Blocking mergers. Already, they have tried to get government regulators to kill corporate deals by AIG and J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan on the grounds the companies haven't told shareholders of potential legal liabilities stemming from any past involvement in slavery. The deals went through anyway.

 

a.. Enlisting African-American job recruits. The reparations group has close ties to black fraternities and sororities at the nation's colleges. It could urge graduates to shun companies accused of slave profiteering and harass corporate recruiters sent to campuses by accused companies.   The reparations team has been extraordinarily secretive. Members won't reveal the timing, corporate defendants, damages and precise legal argument of any planned lawsuits. That's partly a strategic determination to keep the opposition in the dark. Partly, it reflects unresolved disagreements among the lawyers and scholars putting the case together.

 

May be the last shot

 

With each passing day, slavery slips further into time. Gary and other trial lawyers on the team are mindful that this effort may be the last shot at addressing a historical wrong. They say their work is likely to be done pro bono. By not charging, they hope to guard against accusations they're looking to get rich by conducting corporate shakedowns.

 

One certainty is that new corporate cases are merely the undercard for the main event: The Holy Grail for the reparations movement is a national apology from Congress and a massive federal payout that could take the form of direct payments to African-Americans or trillions in new spending on education and social programs aimed at them.

 

Central to any national reparations campaign is a belief that present-day gaps between whites and blacks are rooted in the past. Reparations backers argue that disparities in income, education, health, housing, divorce rates and crime grew out of the trauma of 246 years of slavery and more than a century of continuing oppression: Jim Crow laws, lynchings, job discrimination, segregation, mortgage covenants, redlining, racial profiling and other abuses.

 

Congress has effectively turned a deaf ear to that argument. It has stifled reparations legislation sponsored each year since 1989 by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich. But by identifying companies that made money off slavery, reparations backers believe they can turn corporations and their CEOs into lobbyists for national restitution.

 

A few companies may open their checkbooks, Pell says.

 

"What proponents of reparations are really trying to do is use the lawsuits as a tool," he says. "It's a hammer against businesses to create a call for a federal government solution."

 

For a more detailed and multimedia presentation by USA Today newspaper, Go To:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/general/2002/02/21/slave-reparations.htm

 

By James Cox, USA TODAY

 

Contributing: Lauren Ashburn

 

Submitted by brc-reparations@yahoogroups.com 

 

[Those in the front seat fighting for Reparations must know and realize that there are those of us who seek to leave the lands of our captors and will have it no other way.  With Reparations we wish to establish our own Communities in Africa or friendly countries accepting of people of color.  T.Y., Editor]

*********

 

THE SLAVES PRESENT THE SLAVEMASTER WITH

THE TRUMPET AWARD

 

February 24, 2002

 

The tendency is to take the vast riches of personalities as Ted Turner or Bill Gates out of their socio-economic historical context and to attribute their success simply to individual ingenuity and hard work in the free American economy, so-called "free enterprise". But the American economy has not been free for everyone. In receiving The Trumpet Award from Blacks, Turner said something quite revealing. He said that an important key to his economic success was plain old hard work. Well, what of the hard work of slaves? Does that occur in a different socio-economic historical context? For, if hard work is the key, what explains the continued lower status of African slave descendants? The fact is that we are not talking about the same kind of work.

 

The prosperous U.S. economy that accrued to Ted Turner's father riches in advertising was the product of forced labor and scientific ingenuity of African slaves. There are long lists of Black scientific inventions that made America what she is from which slaves have nothing to show for this collective/individual ingenuity. The list is quite long, including a long list of modern-day inventions or innovations like the world's fastest computer, parallel computing, by Nigerian Patrick Emeagwali that made global e-mail possible, and the cell phone and also long distance telephone communications, not to mention fiber optics itself and the harnessing of Uranium and Quantum Theory and, ironically, the cash register itself.

 

The fact is that Ted Turner and Bill Gates are of a social status that permits them to pursue economic pursuits uninterred by U.S. Law or by violence or repression. This psychological environment of repression and social conditioning (automated slave) makes it possible for slave descendants to accept monies that are already our legal property from Bill Gates or Ted Turner as so-called "gifts" and for Bill Gates and Ted Turner to be marauded as social heroes. If Ted Turner or Bill Gates were truly humanitarians, they would join the African Reparations Movement.

 

You owe me $777 trillion+ but you decide to give me a "gift" of a few million out of the kindness of your heart, and I am flattered. Your "gift" also tightens your social control over me, making it even more difficult for me to see cause and effect. I worship you and call you soul brother.  You may even one day become as black as Bill Clinton.

 

Omowale Za

African Reparations Activist

 

Submitted by TheBlackList@topica.com

 

*********

 

WHY THE-POWERS-THAT-BE OWE BLACKS…BIG TIME!

 

 

BROWN BROS.:  LOANS GAVE PLANTERS CAST TO BUY SLAVES

 

February 21, 2002

 

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

·  Activists challenge corporations that they say are tied to slavery

The outbreak of the Civil War prompted New York financier James Brown to rage against the South in a letter to his brother, William. "As terrible and disastrous as it is," James wrote in July 1861, the war "had to come." The South's "insolence" over slavery and demands for return of runaway slaves were to blame. This from a man whose firm owned hundreds of slaves, operated plantations and financed the cotton economy.

Records and letters at the New York Historical Society show James and William Brown built their merchant bank — today's Brown Bros. Harriman — by lending to Southern planters, brokering slave-grown cotton and acting as a clearinghouse for the South's complex financial system. The firm earned commissions arranging cotton shipments from Southern ports to mills in New England and Britain. It also loaned millions directly to planters, merchants and cotton brokers throughout the South.

Company records show Brown Bros. loaned to plantation owners who told the firm that they needed the cash to buy slaves. When those planters or their banks failed, Brown Bros. took possession of the assets. It used its local agents to run repossessed plantations and manage the slaves working there.

The fullest picture of the Browns as slaveholders comes from 1840s and 1850s Louisiana court records affirming Brown's claim to three Concordia Parish cotton plantations totaling 4,614 acres, and the plantations' 346 slaves, each named in court records.

Brown Bros. & Co. merged with two other firms in 1931 to create Brown Bros. Harriman.

Donald Murphy, a partner, says the investment bank has no pre-Civil War records and sees no need to go through its records. "As an institution, I and my partners could look you in the eye and say we abhor that slavery ever existed in this or any other country. And yet I don't feel qualified to comment on practices and actions of a different society of 175 years ago," he says.

 

***

 

LEHMAN BROS:  1 BROTHER OWNED 7 SLAVES IN 1860

 

February 21, 2002

 

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

·  Activists challenge corporations that they say are tied to slavery

 

Lehman Bros.' founder Henry Lehman started as an itinerant peddler in Alabama in 1844. Shortly after he arrived in the USA from Germany, he was joined by his younger brothers, Mayer and Emanuel.

The Lehmans grew wealthy as middlemen in the cotton trade. They stored Alabama cotton, often paying planters for it in hard currency and bartered goods, then sold the bales to other brokers or banks in New York and Liverpool, England.

The U.S. Census of 1860 lists Mayer Lehman as the owner of seven slaves — three males and four females — ranging in age from 5 to 50. "Some of these were household slaves. Others may have been used in the firm," notes a family history, The Lehmans: From Rimpar to the New World.

In the collection of Lehman family and business memorabilia at Columbia University is a photograph of a receipt for the purchase in 1854 of a 14-year-old slave girl named Martha. The buyer is listed as H. Lehman & Brother, the name of the firm before Emanuel's arrival.

The Columbia collection also contains a private, unpublished history of the Lehman Bros. investment bank that details the brothers' purchase of a male slave for $900 and their ownership of other slaves as early as 1850.

Henry Lehman died in 1856, but his brothers worked for the Southern cause during the Civil War, according to several histories of the family. They left the South after the war to become commodity traders in New York. Lehman Bros. began dealing in cotton, oil, sugar and coffee, then took a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1887.

Lehman spokesman Bill Ahearn said it was "news to me" and "fascinating" that the firm's founders owned slaves in the 1850s. He promised Lehman would look into the matter, but he did not respond to several follow-up phone calls to his office.

 

***

RAIL NETWORKS OWN LINES BUILT WITH SLAE LABOR

 

February 21, 2002

 

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

·  Activists challenge corporations that they say are tied to slavery

North America's four major rail networks — Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and Canadian National — all own lines that were built and operated with slave labor.

Historians say nearly every rail line built east of the Mississippi River and south of the Mason-Dixonline before the Civil War was constructed or run at least partly by slaves.

Ted Kornweibel, a professor of Africana studies at San Diego State University, has documented use of slaves by 94 early rail lines. By his count, 39 now belong to Norfolk Southern, based in Norfolk, Va.; 36 are owned by CSX of Jacksonville, Fla.; 12 are part of Omaha-based Union Pacific; seven belong to Canadian National, headquartered in Montreal.

 

The Mobile and Girard Railroad, now owned by Norfolk Southern, advertised for slaves in 1856. Corporate records of the time show railroads bought or leased slaves.

Corporate records of the time show railroads bought slaves or leased them from their owners, usually for clearing, grading and laying tracks. Enslaved workers frequently appear in annual reports as line-item expenses, referred to variously as "hands," "colored hands," "Negro hires," "Negro property" and "slaves."

The president of Union Pacific's Memphis, El Paso & Pacific Railroad wrote to stockholders in 1858 that slaves were the "cheapest, and in the main most reliable, most easily governed" laborers.

Railroad records contain thousands of lease agreements with slave owners. A single volume of records for the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, now owned by CSX, covering just two months in 1850 contains 47 agreements with slave owners.

Slaves "formed the backbone of the South's railway labor force of track repairmen, station helpers, brakemen, firemen and sometimes even enginemen," wrote University of Pennsylvania historian Walter Licht in the book Working for the Railroad.

Norfolk Southern declines to confirm ownership of individual rail lines from the 19th century but says it owns "80% or more" of the 39 identified by Kornweibel. It won't comment on whether the lines were built and run with slave labor or related questions.

CSX says it can verify the names of only a handful of the 19th-century rail lines that make up its network. "As to the basic issue of reparations, we're not going to discuss that," spokeswoman Kathy Burns says.

In a statement, Canadian National said it "takes very seriously claims that slave labor" was used to build some of its early rail lines. "We are actively researching the issue. We invite any party to share with CN any relevant information or documentation."

Union Pacific says it owns nine of the 12 railroads Kornweibel identified as UP lines that owned or leased slaves. Ownership of the lines today has "no relevance" to how they were built, UP spokesman John

Bromley says.

"We have no way of knowing, and we have no intention of researching that issue," Bromley says.

 

***

 

TEXTILE FIRM LINKED TO “NEGRO CLOTH” FOR SLAVES

 

February 21, 2002

 

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

·  Activists challenge corporations that they say are tied to slavery

Textile maker WestPoint Stevens can trace its roots to the pre-Civil War era through Pepperell Manufacturing, a company founded in 1851 and bought by WestPoint in 1965.

Two Pepperell histories describe the company's ties to Southern planters, who supplied Pepperell with cotton and were among the buyers of its rough-milled fabric, called "Negro cloth."

Pepperell's Rock River fabric brand was "a sturdy cloth heavily bought by Southern plantation owners as clothing for their Negro slaves," says The Men and Times of Pepperell, a book published by the company in the 1940s to celebrate its history.

In the mid-19th century, many Northern mills concentrated on making cheap fabrics, fearful they couldn't compete with British mills making finer grades.

In Rhode Island alone, 84 mills made Negro cloth or other coarse clothing for slaves, historian Myron Stachiw says.

The importance of Negro cloth went beyond its utility. It was used to remind slaves of their place in society.

In 1822, a South Carolina grand jury said, in response to complaints about slaves wearing ordinary clothing: "Negroes should be permitted to dress only in coarse stuffs. Every distinction should be created between whites and the Negroes, calculated to make the latter feel the superiority of the former."

Today, WestPoint Stevens is the USA's largest producer of bed and bath textiles. It is a leading supplier to many of the nation's largest retailers. It makes towels, linens and other goods for major designers and other companies. The company's Lady Pepperell brand remains one of its strongest labels.

WestPoint declined comment on its history.

 

***

REPARATIONS COORDINATING COMMITTEE MEMBERS

 

February 21, 2002

 

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

·  Activists challenge corporations that they say are tied to slavery

 

Charles Ogletree, RCC co-chairman: Professor of law, Harvard University.

Randall Robinson, RCC co-chairman: Founder of TransAfrica Forum, a think tank and advocacy group devoted to issues related to Africa and the Caribbean. Author of The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, a book calling for reparations.

Alexander Pires: Washington lawyer who won a $1 billion settlement from U.S. Department of Agriculture for discrimination against black farmers.

Willie Gary: Stuart, Fla., lawyer specializing in personal injury, product liability, wrongful death, medical malpractice and corporate "bad faith" dealings. Firm won $240 million judgment against Walt Disney and $500 million jury verdict against The Loewen Group. Serves as general counsel to Jesse Jackson.

Dennis Sweet: Jackson, Miss., lawyer who won $400 million in Fen-Phen diet pill case against American Home Products. Firm won $144 million judgment against Ford Motor, the largest wrongful death or personal injury verdict in Mississippi history.

 

J.L. Chestnut: Selma, Ala., civil rights lawyer.

Johnnetta Cole: Professor of anthropology, Emory University.

Adjoa Aiyetoro: Lawyer at the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA).

Richard America: Lecturer, Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

Johnnie Cochran: Trial lawyer who defended O.J. Simpson.

Cornel West: Professor of Afro-American studies and philosophy of religion, Harvard University.

Manning Marable: Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia University.

James Comer: Psychiatrist and child development expert, professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.

Ronald Walters: Professor of government and politics and director of the African American Leadership Institute, University of Maryland.

 

***

INSURANCE FIRMS ISUED SLAVE POLICIES

February 21, 2002

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

Early in the 19th century, insurance companies debated whether to insure slaves as property — like work animals and buildings — or as human beings. Increasingly, owners renting their slaves out to mines, railroads and tobacco processors wanted to protect their investments. Insurers eventually began issuing one-year life policies at comparatively pricey premiums that reflected the dangerous nature of the slaves' work. USA TODAY has obtained a copy of a New York Life policy taken out on a Virginia slave by his master. The original is held by the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

 

In 1847, the owners of Robert Moody insured his life with Nautilus Insurance, which later changed its name to New York Life. A handwritten note on the policy says he was hired out to work at the Clover Hill Pits, a coal mine near Richmond.

 

New York Life, then called Nautilus Insurance, charged a Virginia slave owner a $5.81 premium plus a $1 policy fee to insure slave Robert Moody for one year in 1847.

Evidence of 10 more New York Life slave policies comes from an 1847 account book kept by the company's Natchez, Miss., agent, W.A. Britton. The book, part of a collection at Louisiana State University, contains Britton's notes on slave policies he wrote for amounts ranging from $375 to $600. A 1906 history of New York Life says 339 of the company's first 1,000 policies were written on the lives of slaves.

New York Life says it "thoroughly reviewed" its archives to comply with a California law requiring insurers to produce any records tying them to slavery.

It says it won't comment on what it found until the California Department of Insurance makes the records public. That's expected soon.

Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, an independent New York researcher who is documenting corporate slave connections, provided USA TODAY with a copy of an 1854 Aetna policy insuring three slaves owned by Thomas Murphy of New Orleans.

The printed letterhead on the Murphy document reads "Slave Policy," and a hand notation describes it as policy No. 158, suggesting Aetna insured more than a handful of slaves.

Two years ago, Aetna expressed regret for "any involvement" it "may have" had in insuring slaves. Today, it stands by that statement and says it has been able to locate only seven policies insuring 18 slaves. "We stood up; we apologized; we tried to do the right thing," says Aetna spokesman Fred Laberge.

Farmer-Paellmann also has connected J.P. Morgan Chase to slave insurance. Two of the many banks that merged and are part of what is today the USA's second-largest bank are listed in an 1852 circular as the banks behind a London-based consortium raising money to insure slaves.

J.P. Morgan Chase says a "thorough and extensive" search of internal and external archives turned up no evidence its predecessor banks ever did business with the consortium or that the consortium ever actually issued policies on slaves.

"We don't believe there's any basis for liability on the part of the bank," says spokeswoman Charlotte Gilbert-Biro.

In August, New York-based AIG completed the purchase of American General Financial Group, a Houston-based insurer that owns U.S. Life Insurance Co. A U.S. Life policy on a Kentucky slave was reprinted in a 1935 article about slave insurance in The American Conservationist, a magazine.

AIG says it has "found documentation indicating" U.S. Life insured slaves. It says slavery was a "sad and grievous chapter in American history" but won't comment further.

In the book Black Genealogy, historians Charles Blockson and Ron Fry wrote that before U.S. independence, firms that were members of the Lloyd's of London market insured ships transporting slaves from Africa to the colonies.

"Of course" Lloyd's member brokers insured slaving vessels, says Declan Barriskill, a librarian responsible for the Lloyd's archives at the Guildhall Library of London. But the records that prove it would be held by individual companies, he says.

Lloyd's, in a statement, says: "The extent of any potential involvement by Lloyd's, and indeed any financial profit or loss, are now impossible to determine. The businesses which made up Lloyd's market over 200 years ago no longer exist and the vast majority of their records were either destroyed in a fire in 1838 or are incomplete."

Another insurer, Penn Mutual, says a search of its archives turned up two documents with information on rates for slave policies but no evidence that the company actually insured them.

"We are very sure Penn Mutual never wrote policies on the lives of slaves," spokeswoman Pat Beauchamp says.

ACE, a Bermuda-based insurance company, says it has looked through its records as a result of suggestions that one of its divisions may have insured slave ships.

ACE says it hired a law firm, along with "leading archivists and historians," to look into the matter.

It also compared its marine insurance records against lists of known slaving ships. The searches turned up an Aetna policy written on the life of a slave but nothing that would implicate ACE's INA division, the company says.

"ACE believes it did not write or carry any life insurance policy written on the life of a slave ... (and) did not write or carry any policies on known slave vessels," it says.

 

***

 

FLEETBOSTON:  TRACED TO SLAVE-TRADING MERCHANT

 

February 21, 2002

 

Various documents link modern companies to antebellum slavery. Reporter James Cox takes a look at the evidence and the companies' responses.

·  Activists challenge corporations that they say are tied to slavery

 

FleetBoston Financial Group traces its beginnings to Providence Bank, chartered by a group led by Rhode Island merchant John Brown in 1791. Brown's bank is described as Fleet's "earliest predecessor" in a Fleet timeline.

Brown was a slave trader. A partial census of slave ships in the book The Notorious Triangle: Rhode Island and the African Slave Trade lists him as owner of several vessels that sailed to Africa and returned with human cargo. A typical entry names him as part owner of the Hope, a 208-ton ship that brought 229 slaves from Africa to Cuba in 1796. Another for the same year names him as part owner of the schooner Delight, which delivered 81 slaves to Savannah, Ga.

It is unclear whether any of Brown's slaving enterprises had a business relationship with the bank he founded.

Fleet spokesman James Mahoney says Brown's Providence Bank was "one of hundreds" that created Fleet. The link between Fleet and Brown is "extremely remote," he says.

In the pre-Civil War cotton trade, the key financiers included Britain's Barings Bros., the Anglo-French Rothschild firm and Baltimore-based Alex. Brown & Sons. They took consignments of cotton from so-called commission merchants, insured them, shipped them to Europe and sold them.

They also gave credit to cotton brokers and other middlemen.

Holland's ING Group bought Barings in 1995 and renamed its investment banking arm ING Barings. It says the original Barings Bros. went bust in 1891 and that it acquired a successor firm with no liabilities from the defunct Barings.

Deutsche Banc bought Alex. Brown in 1999 and changed its name to Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. It declines comment.

Rothschild archivist Victor Gray says his firm bought and sold "bills of exchange" used as payment in various industries but was not active in the cotton trade itself.

 

*********

 

Free The Mind... Free The People... Free The Land...

 

Robert Hazard

N’COBRA

Board Member

S. E. Regional Representative

 

*********

 

 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST:

 

JUDGE SAYS “NIGGA” NOT THE SAME AS “NIGGER”

 

WHITE STUDENT LET OFF FOR USING 'N' WORD

AGAINST BLACK TEACHER

March 18, 2002

 

(Mar. 18, 2002) *A major WACK Award goes out to those who insist and continue to use the N word. Whether you spell it NIGGER or NIGGA, you still get the WACK Award. Weekend before last, the ridiculous logic of using this word came back to haunt us.

 

A San Jose, California judge allowed a white student who committed a hate crime against his black female teacher off the hook. His defense reasoned successfully that the white guy did not commit a hate crime when he vandalized school property because he spelled the N word N-I-G-G-A and not N-I-G-G-E-R. Yep, the white guy used the "friendly" version of the word and got away with it. Dude wrote 'Thanks Nigga' and had an arrow pointed to the teacher's name.

 

For those who are still shaking their heads in disbelief, here's what went down. A white student at a San Jose high school got upset with his African American teacher for suspending his white friend. In retaliation he spray paints a school wall with the teacher's name and the N word which was spelled N-I-G-G-A. The police were upset. The teacher was upset and the community was appalled. Dude goes on trial for this hate crime and his defense attorney brings in some witness to testify to the judge that there's a difference between the two spellings of the N word. The judge listens and lets the white dude off and says no hate crime was committed and thus a dangerous precedent is set.

 

San Jose's Black Police officers association were extremely upset over the ruling. After all, they know all too well what this will lead to. Next time some cop pulls you over and hurls the N word he can get off by saying he said N-I-G-G-A and not N-I-G-G-E-R. Should you be careful before you file a racial harassment suit against a coworker or an insensitive boss? After all, he or she may actually be using the 'NIGGA' spelling of the word.

 

I couldn't help recalling the speech that Minister Farrakhan gave at the most recent Hip Hop Summit in LA. He emphatically warned us, "If we keep putting something out there we will one day have to answer for it." This recent court interpretation of this hate crime and the use of the N word was proof. Think about it.

 

By Davey D <misterdaveyd@aol.com>

 

Submitted by amanishakhete@juno.com

 

If you knew Who walked beside you, you would have no fear!!

Girlhome

 

*********

 

It Is The Black Fool Who Say

I Have Lost Nothing In Afrika!!

osiris

 

A fool is verified by the action taken,

after which it become a statement of fact.

osiris

 

*********

 

Hear the Drum Beat of the

Diaspora

Afrikan Diaspora Nation State

  

"Up You Mighty Race"

 

*********

 

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Yehudah ben Yacob, President (MilzAhead@AOL.COM)

 

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                           Tziona Yisrael, Executive Secretary (Afraqueen@AOL.COM)

 

    We Exalt and Sanctify the Most High GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and profess HIS Book of the Law,

as it is written, that HE gave to HIS Prophet Moses.

 

               Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding, Proverb 4:7 / Deuteronomy 28th Chapter:  The African Slave Trade

 

Yehudah@wrightwebdesigns.com