Category Archives: Setting The Record Straight

The Bigot’z View of Black Livez Matter

Re-blogged from Moorbey.wordpress.com

Author:  Moorbey

Black Lives Matter is comprised of a group of people who are tired of Black people being brutalized and killed by police. They organize to protest this treatment by exercising their first amendment right; freedom of assembly. Anyone who has a problem with that is mentally twisted.

The name “Black Lives Matter,” does not exclude or detract from other lives, it simply refers to the Black people who are the victims of police killings. Common sense says that all lives matter, people of every race, but Black ones in particular are being targeted by police. Anyone who cannot deduce this logic is intellectually slow-witted.

Anytime someone – mainly of the white persuasion – interprets Black Lives Matter and their purpose as negative, threatening, or menacing, they are basically allowing their racism to shine through. In all honesty, they cannot understand why Black people will not simply stand there and take the abuse without complaining about it.

They use terms such as “noncompliant,” “rebellious,” or even “anti-American,” because Blacks have the audacity to speak out when they are innocently shot down in the streets, beaten by a cop, or arrested for no reason. They believe that all Blacks are guilty to some extent and deserve whatever sentences the police dolls out. Well kiss all our Black asses.

No one in their right mind is going to stand by for long and take the type of brutal treatment of their own people at the hands of deranged and psychopathological ingrates. All men have the God-given right to speak up about brutality and by the nature of human behavior, will do so every time. Anyone who disagrees with that is apparently not human.

White folks today are showing the same indifference… Read full post on author’s website

#FeesMustFall

Re-blogged from APEIRON

Author: Zoya Pon

“…Poverty is the poor’s fault, and it is their responsibility.

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– 5 points if you’ve ever said either

Black-led movements rely on the power and decibels that privilege puts behind words.

Poverty is a global issue, it is not just the individual/group’s issue. This is because poverty does not just affect the poor, it affects you and I. And I don’t mean that feeling of guilt or sadness that sometimes creeps through the cracks in your car window when you see a barely clothed homeless person in rain and tell him ‘no, you don’t have any change’. I mean (h) the effects of poverty ripple, and have repercussions.

A simple example is economically. The less people participating in the economy, the more those who earn an income have to pay to make up for the lack of taxpayers compared to the population. Low levels of employment mean a weak economy. Basic economics: the less spending, the less money coming in. This affects everything from infrastructure to government provided health services and service delivery.

-10 marks if you thought #FeesMustFall is only for the poor/if you think poverty is not your problem.

How do you solve unemployment? You educate. Because low levels of education equals low employment rates. But what happens when the already economically disadvantaged are forced to not only fight against the preset obstacles of poverty by working for less than R12 an hour, to put their kids through school (and um, survive) but now also have to ensure their kids can compete in an already struggling job market?

Well, fuck, they have to go to university, to be qualified for the jobs that white people love to (i) highlight how unqualified black people are to have.

-5 points if you’ve ever assumed a black person in a high position is not qualified enough to hold it

Guess what though…read full article on author’s site

 

History of European Adventures in Africa is not African History

Re-blogged

AUTHOR:  Tatenda Gwaambuka

 

lum1465385256049_aspR_1.700_w850_h500_e400Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity” – Patrice Lumumba.
“History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets. Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity,” read the instructive words left by Patrice Lumumba for his wife, Pauline. It would be foolish to think such moving words were meant to simply remain a love-letter from a man about to meet his demise; these were a revelation for the greater continent. The major lesson to draw from Lumumba’s letter is that the history propagated by the West is not always accurate and yet it is written even now through propagandist Western news agencies. One Professor Wosene Yefru (University of Tennessee) conclusively said, “It’s not really our history from our point of view. It might be African history from a European point of view.”

The thousands of books written on African history by Europeans are increasingly becoming hard to accept as the accurate sources of African history. Generally, the philosophy behind the authoring of African history was articulated by a rather blunt Hugh Trevor-Roper, a British historian who said, “Perhaps in the future there will be some African history to teach. But at present there is none; only the history of Europeans in Africa. The rest is darkness…and darkness is not the subject of history.”

Such arrogance and absolute disregard for everything Africa was before the imperialist disturbance is what still dictates the formulation of history even now. The only thing that may have changed….Read full article

on Author’s site

PEARL BUCK on Black America

Re-blogged from one of the most informative blogs on the web:  abagond.wordpress.com

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Pearl Buck, a member of the NAACP who won a Nobel Prize for “The Good Earth” (1931), wrote an “Open Letter to the Colored People of America”, which appeared in Black newspapers across the US in early March 1942. Three months later she gave a commencement speech at Howard University. This was just months after Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbour, bringing it into the Second World War.

She believed the war propaganda that the US was fighting for freedom and democracy.But she also understood that for Blacks, the US was hardly a democracy:

“Faulty as our democracy is, the United States must be the leader in this war for the right of peoples to be free – there is no other leader to whom we can look.”

She divided US Whites into three groups, listed here from smallest to largest:

  1. Those who have no racial prejudice and are on the side of Blacks in their fight for freedom and equality.
  2. Those who have strong racial prejudice and are against Blacks.
  3. Those in the middle. They suspect racial prejudice may be wrong, but do not know what to do about it.

Most Whites are in the middle. If Hitler and Japan win, the first group will be shot and the second one will be put in charge.

She sees Blacks as a nation within a nation, a subject people. They have suffered for hundreds of years. That has led some to be bitter, but has made most wiser and more mature in spirit than Whites. Because of their position in the democracy, Blacks have become its moral conscience. But they are weak. All their great leaders are in the past. She fears Blacks will withdraw behind the walls Whites have set up – instead of breaking them down and taking part in the US and the world as a whole.

Blacks need to break down those walls now more than ever: not just because it is the right thing to do, not just because it would make life better for them in the long run, but because it would be better for everyone, of all races, both in the US and across the world…Read full article on abagond

 

The 7 Missions of a Revolutionary

Re-blogged from a Post written by Agyei Tyehimba

from His blog MyTrueSense.org

“The term “Revolutionary” gets tossed about so much these days that it has become cliché. Based on my studies and activities throughout the years, revolutionaries have 7 important and interrelated missions in an oppressive society.

1. To expose and critique the political, economic, religious and other systems oppressing the masses and educate the masses to how these systems negatively impact their lives, so as to create righteous indignation against oppressive systems and to stimulate a desire among the people to confront and defeat them.

2. To expose establishment propaganda, explain it to the people, and help them develop the ability to recognize, understand and counter it themselves.

3. To develop meaningful relationships with the people based on fairness, competence, hard work and accurate information so as to create feelings of mutual respect and credibility which will be used to push forward in solidarity.

4. To transform the collective consciousness/culture/values of the people to eliminate their own self-defeating, shallow and divisive views and practices and replace them with those that are self-affirming, significant and liberating.

5. To work with the people to dismantle/eliminate oppressive systems and to create alternative systems/institutions to sustain/develop/protect our lives which are based on freedom, justice, and equality (Such systems should not replicate the oppression or injustice in already-existing systems).

6.To develop competent and trustworthy allies in this struggle to enhance our ability to do the tremendous work necessary and destabilize and debilitate oppressive systems at every opportunity.

7. To inspire and develop faith, hope and pride among the people in an effort to counter the negative and spirit-crushing propaganda of the opposition, and to create the capacity of the people to believe in themselves, love themselves and work for themselves”; – Agyei Tyehimba

_____________________

Agyei Tyehimba is an educator, activist and author from Harlem, N.Y. Agyei is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. In April of 2014, he released Truth for our Youth: A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens. Agyei has appeared on C-Span, NY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, “The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.”

Agyei earned his Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from Syracuse University, his Master’s Degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and his Master’s Degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at truself143@gmail.com.

Mwanga II Basammula Ekkere: the King of Buganda’s distorted legacy

re-blogged from USHypocrisy.com

Author:  CalebG

(click on the image above to learn more about the Author)

The 31st Kabaka of Buganda, Basammula Ekkere Mwanga II

In a previous post about the new film, God Loves Uganda, it was briefly mentioned that David Kato’s assassin attempted to smear his victim by portraying the murder as a response to an “unwanted sexual advance” made toward him by Kato. This insinuation isn’t new to the region now encompassing Uganda’s history, for a similar charge has been leveled against a former monarch of the Kingdom of Buganda for nearly one hundred and thirty years. The campaign to distort and misrepresent the actions taken by Kabaka (King) Basammula Ekkere Mwanga II of Buganda in the early years of his reign (1884-1888; 1889-1897*) has its roots in the immediate aftermath of a controversial round of executions carried out on the order of the King. The official narrative of the events surrounding these 30-45 killings promoted at first by European Christian evangelical missionaries and now largely accepted as official Ugandan history, holds that these were acts of retaliation by Mwanga II on newly-converted African Christians for refusing to allow the King to sodomize them; sodomy being “against the teachings of Christianity”. These events, portrayed as the martyrdom of African Christians at the gruesome hands of a murderous homosexual pagan-tyrant, are accorded such significance in Ugandan history that they are commemorated every year on June 3rd with a national holiday known as “Martyr’s Day”, a day for honoring and remembering those men who gave their lives for Christianity in the face of Mwanga II’s tyranny. Is it possible that David Kato’s murderer, Sydney Enoch, was hoping to conjure up the Martyr’s legacy when he cited the familiar trope of an “unwanted sexual advance” as a reason to commit murder? Was he trying to implicitly convey to the judge that David Kato and Kabaka Mwanga II were “cut from the same cloth” so to speak?

Kabaka Muteesa I of Buganda

Imperialist entrenchment on the Kingdom of Buganda didn’t come as a result of any decisions made on the part of Mwanga II. The common presence of foreigners in the region is largely attributed to actions taken by Mwanga II’s father, Walugembe Mukbya Muteesa I, who reigned as the 30th Kabaka of Buganda in the years 1856-1884. Muteesa I came to the throne at a time when European missionary groups representing just about every religious faction of Christianity one can imagine were penetrating further and further into the African interior from the coasts, often laying the groundwork for European conquest over the land by first uprooting the indigenous inhabitants’ historical faiths and religious practices. The Europeans were not alone in their determination to achieve this goal, however. Years before the first European arrival, Arabs were converting Africans into faithful followers of the Islam. This conversion proved beneficial to their lucrative Arab ‘trade’ in African slaves. (**) As of the mid-19th century, none of the competing religious sects – Islam, Roman Catholicism, Anglican or other Protestant Christian factions – were able to establish complete dominance over the regions deep within the contenintal interior. The Kingdom of Buganda in particular appeared stubbornly resistant to penetration and refused to comprimise on their ancient customs and traditions, rooted as they were in classical African institutions, in order to satisfy some foreign visitors who claimed they were of a ‘superior’ culture. This began to change, however, with a risky decision made by Kabaka Muteesa I Walugembe, one that in hindsight proved a fatal one. Muteesa I, of course, had no way of knowing at the time that allowing foreign missionaries into his kingdom would have such a devestating impact on Buganda’s future. At first the missionaries came in small numbers and gave very little appearance outwardly of being the threat they eventually became. Missionaries, in contrast to many other European “visitors” to Africa, came armed not with an abundance in arms, ammunition or bayonets, but with a Holy Book they claimed was the actual written word of God. There was also some strategic thinking at work in Muteesa I’s thinking. The Kabaka had been frequently bumping heads with the localized Council of Elders. The Council of Elders was, in traditional African societies, composed of the democratically-chosen representatives of the various regions under the kingdom’s protectorate. They alone, as representatives of the people, had the ability to check the King, and could even remove him from his role as representative of the will of the people if they felt it was the desire of their constituents (only used as a last resort). Muteesa I may have supposed that the introduction of foreign religious doctrines into the kingdom and the acceptance of them among a significant part of the population would potentially eradicate or diminish the influence wielded by the Council. After all, in the religious doctrines of both Christianity and Islam, it is the Almighty’s word which reigns supreme. With the Word of the Supreme Being so clearly written out, the will of the majority becomes only secondary. Or, as another blogger put it, “Followers were easily inspired to oppose anything and anybody in the name of Jesus, God or Allah!”

What figured into the King’s calculation most importantly, however, was the need to thwart any potential invasion of Buganda by Arabs and Afro-Arabs who were steadily converting surrounding African regions into Islamic strongholds as they traveled from Zanzibar in the east and from Sudan to the north . To an African leader in the position of Muteesa I at the time, Christianity could understandably be seen as a having potential to act as a powerful buffer against what for a long time appeared to be an unstoppable Muslim conquest. (^*) Forming an alliance with a foreign religion that had the backing of an immensely powerful empire seemed like the only sure way to counter the formidable Arab armies. In the 20th year of Muteesa I’s reign – 1876 – the kingdom which until then was virtually inaccessible to outsiders, suddenly opened it gates to foreign missionaries.

Missionary groups such as the “Society of the Great White Fathers” often paved the way for European colonization of Africa by first uprooting the traditional religious faiths of the indigenous Africans.

Missionary groups such as the “Society of the Great White Fathers” often paved the way for European colonization of Africa by first uprooting the traditional religious faiths of the indigenous Africans.

From 1876 onward Buganda and the regions surrounding it were bombarded by one Christian missionary group after the next, the most notorious of these being the comically-titled “Society of the White Fathers”. The Christian missionaries acted just as Muteesa I had hoped they would, successfully offering a challenge to Muslim influence in the area and severely undermining the traditional Council of Elders. One thing Muteesa had not foreseen, however, was that his health would deteriorate drastically in the years to come. With so many competing religious factions being held in check solely by the King, the startling revelation that Muteesa I was gravely ill sent shockwaves throughout the kingdom. Suddenly it seemed as if Buganda’s future could be jeopardized. While the circumstances surrounding his sickness seems to have confounded most observers, the European missionaries claimed a spiritual ability to declare a diagnosis. The Kabaka, the Christians declared, was suffering from a terrible disease that afflicts only those men who indulge in the most heinous of all acts: sodomy. In other words, Muteesa I’s suffering was a case of Divine Punishment for the king’s sins, a curse from the Almighty. Though it’s easy to interpret the Europeans’ absurd diagnosis as an attempt on their behalf to try and manipulate the situation to their advantage, it’s just as likely that these Christians believed this nonsense as well. (+) But whatever their motivations, the truth of the matter surrounding the King’s death soon became irrelevant. For now the Kingdom’s religious pilgrims would have a new ruler to contend with, one who would not allow them to encroach on his kingdom unchecked.

The court of Mwanga II

When Muteesa I passed away on October 9, 1884, he vacated the throne to his sixteen year-old son, Bassammula Ekkere Mwanga II. The fact that Mwanga II was still just a teenager at the time he became the 31st Kabaka of Buganda is conveniently left unmentioned in most of the subsequent retellings of these events, especially when discussing his alleged relationships with other male pages of the royal court. The truth of the matter is that with or without these alleged intimacies, the religious crusaders were put off by the new King from almost the moment he ascended to the throne. Any hope the missionaries might have had that Muteesa I’s young son was going to follow in his father’s footsteps and allow them free reign was quickly demolished in the first year of Mwanga II’s reign. This King took an altogether different approach when it came to foreign intrusions into his kingdom, and he came to see European missionaries as more akin to invaders than faithful clergymen. But the general disappointment that most missionaries felt with Mwanga II gave way to horrified outrage in October of 1885 when the King, upon receiving word of the British Anglican Bishop James Hannington of the Church Missionary Society approaching from the east, ordered the Bishop executed. In re-telling this history, the execution order is usually portrayed as if it were the result of a cold-blooded calculation on the part of the king, who never missed an opportunity to demonstrate his forceful might. But this view fails to take into account the extreme amount of pressure the King, barely even 17 years of age at the time, was under to act, and act swiftly. Shortly before receiving word that Bishop Hannington was approaching, he’d received the frightening news that the German Imperial Army just annexed the region south of Lake Victoria. Mwanga felt as if Buganda was being closed in on all sides, and in an act of desperation the young King made an erratic decision to hold the British Bishop off by having him killed. Unfortunately such crass decision-making had the adverse effect of emboldening the opposition to his rule.

This wasn’t the only incident that occurred in the first year of Mwanga’s reign that later proved to be controversial. After only a few months on the Bugandan throne, a Scottish Presbyterian missionary wrote a letter fretting over the behavior of Buganda’s new King. And it was this letter, written in 1884, which would become the primary source for asserting that Mwanga II was some sort of “child predator” who liked to use young men as he would one of his wives, despite the fact that Mwanga was just 16 years old at the time the letter was written. The letter was written by Minister Alexander Mackey. Mackay had set sail from Southampton, Britain in 1876 headed for Zanzibar on Africa’s east coast. From Zanzibar he traveled westward into the continental interior, finally reaching Buganda in 1878. He was among the missionaries who’d witnessed at close range the demise of an African monarch who, in contrast to his successor, was altogether tolerant if not receptive of the Christians’ message. In 1885 Minister Mackay was among the most horrified upon learning how the famed Bishop Hannington was killed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II. In the 1884 letter, Mackay mentions a young African man named Apollo Kaggua, a convert to Christianity. Kaggua, Mackay claims, used to ‘service’ the Mwanga II. But ever since he’d accepted the teachings of the Christian Faith as his own, Kaggua began openly rejecting the King’s advances, a rejection Alexander Mackay gleefully hails as “a splendid disobedience and brave resistance to this Negro Nero’s orders to a page of his, who absolutely refused to be made the victim of an unmentionable abomination.” Whatever one believes about the reliability of this account, given it was written by one of the King’s enemies who clearly had a religious agenda, it takes a wild stretch of the imagination to conclude from this that the mass amount of executions that the Kabaka ordered in subsequent years are derived from anger he felt after sexual rejection. Yet that is precisely the way historians have described it.

 

Christian converts gather around the memorial erected in honor of the Bugandan ‘Martyrs’.

To this day there are numerous sites on the web dedicated to the 30-45 Christian Martyrs who were killed from 1886-1887 ostensibly as retribution for having denied their king the pleasures of gay sex. If such a narrative sounds far too absurd to be true, it’s probably because it is. When Kabaka Mwanga II inherited the throne from his late father, it was under siege from all sides of the religious spectrum. Though the Europeans had not yet advanced on the Ugandan region militarily, they had been steadily laying the groundwork for European control first and foremost by uprooting the people of their indigenous religious faith and practices, teaching that real salvation could come only through the worship of a foreign God. All around him, Mwanga II saw traditional African societies give the appearance of collapsing. With Afro-Arabs further up north, British Europeans to the east and west, and Germans to the south, the threat of foreign domination and colonization seemed increasingly possible. Once the young Kabaka suspected some of the pages of his Court as being part of plot to destroy his kingdom from within, he took drastic action by having them killed. These 30-45 men, all converts to Christianity, were put to death based on Mwanga’s belief that they were acting as informants for the European missionaries. And while his actions in this manner are an atrocity of the highest order, they do not constitute martyrdom for the victims. Just as the murder of Bishop Hannington was an act motivated first and foremost by a fear for the future of his kingdom, the mass killing of the Christian converts was motivated by a desire to protect the Bugandan Kingdom as well. In that sense, Mwanga II did something that many African leaders did not. He foresaw what the result was likely to be if Europeans were simply allowed to carry about his kingdom unchecked, and he had a sense that they were laying the groundwork for the complete domination and subjugation of his people by a foreign empire. As one by one his most loyal pages began converting to Christianity, the King sought to undermine what he perceived as their attempted usurpation of the throne by simply eliminating them altogether. After killing them off, he sought to drive out all the missionaries from his kingdom, but by this time it was too late. Christianity – Anglican and Roman Catholicism – and Islam had become an active presence in the everyday lives of many of Buganda’s people. The widespread outrage the king sparked by ordering the executions of the religious converts did nothing to mitigate the matter, for they were perceived as acts of religious intolerance as opposed to being politically-motivated. In the words of David Aster in The Political Kingdom in Uganda: a study of bureaucratic nationalism, “The Church Missionary Society used the deaths to enlist wider public support for the British acquisition of Uganda into the [British] Empire.” Thus the slain were not only seen as victims, but as full-fledged martyrs nobly nobly marched to their deaths in the vein of Christ.

mwangaIn 1888, just three years into Mwanga II’s reign, the now 20 year-old King was forced from the throne by a unified army made up of Christians and Muslims alike. Enemies though they were, the competing religious factions found common ground in their desire to remove the threat of Kabaka Mwanga II. With Mwanga out the way, an exclusively Muslim coup followed the Christian-Muslim alliance and that removed the Kabaka, and installed in place of Mwanga his elder brother Kiweewa on the Bugandan throne. Kiweewa was essentially a puppet ruler, whose only real purpose was to establish a façade of legitimacy on a kingdom coming apart at the seams. With this sudden absence of strong leadership over the kingdom, European companies suddenly found a much friendlier climate in which to conduct business in. The single largest benefactor of the Islamic coup was ironically not the Muslims, but the British East African Company. Founded in 1886, the B.E.A.C. became immensely profitable almost overnight. Two years later, after acquiring huge sums of land “between Mombasa and Lake Victoria”, it was renamed the Imperial British East African Company. The company was allowed to flourish as it never had before with Mwanga out of the picture.

In the four-year ‘Civil War’ that followed, Mwanga formed a politically necessary alliance with the Protestant Christians in the 4-way religious battle for the heart of the kingdom. And in 1892 Mwanga II was formally restored as Kabaka of Buganda after the Protestant Christians emerged victorious in the war. Unfortunately things had changed dramatically in the short time he was away. The very power and authority that had come with being Kabaka was now reduced to the point of irrelevance, and whatever land the Imperial British East African Company didn’t already claim as its own was being contested by others. Everyone from “British missionaries, French priests, Swahili traders, German adventurers, even an Irish trader in German uniform (Charles Stokes)” claimed to have a stake in the region, “all hoping for a profitable agreement.” Seven years passed before these foreign competitors realized there was still one last obstacle left blocking their path to complete domination. Not once in those years had they ever suspected that Mwanga II was secretly strategizing and concocting a plan to drive all of them off the land for good.

King_Mwanga_II_BugandaAccording to the Catholic historian and Professor John Waliggio, during “the period between 1892-7… Mwanga began to form his own party to challenge the two-party system of the Christians. His party was based not on any one religion but on the common element that appealed to most Baganda, the opposition to white rule.” After five years of secret plotting, the time was ripe to regain what was lost, and Mwanga’s rebel army attempted to drive the invaders from the land. Unfortunately his plan did not succeed. Rather than accepting defeat, however, Mwanga mobilized a second army whilst exiled in Tanzania. The army fought its way back into Buganda but did not succeed in restoring the former king to his glory, and they suffered defeat the next year at the hands of militia forces mobilized by the Imperial British East African Company. In 1899 the Brits, realizing that as long as Mwanga II remained on the mainland of the continent he would be a constant thorn in their side, forcibly transported him to the British-controlled Seychelles Islands, hundreds of miles west of Zanzibar. There Mwanga, who’d up to this point stubbornly refused to waver in his dedication to indigenous African culture and tradition, found himself isolated on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean surrounded by nothing but strangers. Sometime around 1900-01, records show that he was baptized and given a new name, “Daniel”. Having been removed from the land of his birth and the society he grew up in, the man born Mwanga II Basamula Ekkere must have at last come face to face with the devastating reality – that the kingdom he’d fought tooth and nail to protect and preserve was no more. Less than four years after arriving on the Seychelles Islands, Mwanga II died at the tender age of 35. With Mwanga II dead, it seemed as if the final defiant cry of African resistance had been silenced. It was the dawn of the 20th century, and complete domination of Africa by Europe was nearly accomplished. It would be another 4-5 decades before new African leadership would emerge to give voice to the anti-imperialist spirit of resistance, a spirit derived from the continent’s vitality which has characterized it ever since the earth came to be.

One hundred and ten years after Kabaka Mwanga II’s death, his role in Africa’s history is still being distorted and misrepresented. He’s still portrayed as…”; Read More on Author’s website

The Atlantic Features: The Case for Reparations

Carlos Javier Ortiz

Two hundred and fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

_________________________________________________

May 21, 2014

And if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing today.— Deuteronomy 15: 12–15Besides the crime which consists in violating the law, and varying from the right rule of reason, whereby a man so far becomes degenerate, and declares himself to quit the principles of human nature, and to be a noxious creature, there is commonly injury done to some person or other, and some other man receives damage by his transgression: in which case he who hath received any damage, has, besides the right of punishment common to him with other men, a particular right to seek reparation.— John Locke, “Second Treatise”By our unpaid labor and suffering, we have earned the right to the soil, many times over and over, and now we are determined to have it. — Anonymous, 1861

I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”

Clyde Ross was born in 1923, the seventh of 13 children, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, the home of the blues. Ross’s parents owned and farmed a 40-acre tract of land, flush with cows, hogs, and mules. Ross’s mother would drive to Clarksdale to do her shopping in a horse and buggy, in which she invested all the pride one might place in a Cadillac. The family owned another horse, with a red coat, which they gave to Clyde. The Ross family wanted for little, save that which all black families in the Deep South then desperately desired—the protection of the law.

Clyde Ross, photographed in November 2013 in his home in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, where he has lived for more than 50 years. When he first tried to get a legitimate mortgage, he was denied; mortgages were effectively not available to black people. (Carlos Javier Ortiz)

In the 1920s, Jim Crow Mississippi was, in all facets of society, a kleptocracy. The majority of the people in the state were perpetually robbed of the vote—a hijacking engineered through the trickery of the poll tax and the muscle of the lynch mob. Between 1882 and 1968, more black people were lynched in Mississippi than in any other state. “You and I know what’s the best way to keep the nigger from voting,” blustered Theodore Bilbo, a Mississippi senator and a proud Klansman. “You do it the night before the election.”

The state’s regime partnered robbery of the franchise with robbery of the purse. Many of Mississippi’s black farmers lived in debt peonage, under the sway of cotton kings who were at once their landlords, their employers, and their primary merchants. Tools and necessities were advanced against the return on the crop, which was determined by the employer. When farmers were deemed to be in debt—and they often were—the negative balance was then carried over to the next season. A man or woman who protested this arrangement did so at the risk of grave injury or death. Refusing to work meant arrest under vagrancy laws and forced labor under the state’s penal system.

Well into the 20th century, black people spoke of their flight from Mississippi in much the same manner as their runagate ancestors had. In her 2010 book, The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson tells the story of Eddie Earvin, a spinach picker who fled Mississippi in 1963, after being made to work at gunpoint. “You didn’t talk about it or tell nobody,” Earvin said. “You had to sneak away.”

When Clyde Ross was still a child, Mississippi authorities claimed his father owed $3,000 in back taxes. The elder Ross could not read. He did not have a lawyer. He did not know anyone at the local courthouse. He could not expect the police to be impartial. Effectively, the Ross family had no way to contest the claim and no protection under the law. The authorities seized the land. They seized the buggy. They took the cows, hogs, and mules. And so for the upkeep of separate but equal, the entire Ross family was reduced to sharecropping.

This was hardly unusual. In 2001, the Associated Press published a three-part investigation into the theft of black-owned land stretching back to the antebellum period. The series documented some 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land valued at tens of millions of dollars. The land was taken through means ranging from legal chicanery to terrorism. “Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia,” the AP reported, as well as “oil fields in Mississippi” and “a baseball spring training facility in Florida.”

Clyde Ross was a smart child. His teacher thought he should attend a more challenging school. There was very little support for educating black people in Mississippi. But Julius Rosenwald, a part owner of Sears, Roebuck, had begun an ambitious effort to build schools for black children throughout the South. Ross’s teacher believed he should attend the local Rosenwald school. It was too far for Ross to walk and get back in time to work in the fields. Local white children had a school bus. Clyde Ross did not, and thus lost the chance to better his education.

Then, when Ross was 10 years old, a group of white men demanded his only childhood possession—the horse with the red coat. “You can’t have this horse. We want it,” one of the white men said. They gave Ross’s father $17.

“I did everything for that horse,” Ross told me. “Everything. And they took him. Put him on the racetrack. I never did know what happened to him after that, but I know they didn’t bring him back. So that’s just one of my losses.”

Sharecropper boys in 1936 (Carly Mydans/Library of Congress)

The losses mounted. As sharecroppers, the Ross family saw their wages treated as the landlord’s slush fund. Landowners were supposed to split the profits from the cotton fields with sharecroppers. But bales would often disappear during the count, or the split might be altered on a whim. If cotton was selling for 50 cents a pound, the Ross family might get 15 cents, or only five. One year Ross’s mother promised to buy him a $7 suit for a summer program at their church. She ordered the suit by mail. But that year Ross’s family was paid only five cents a pound for cotton. The mailman arrived with the suit. The Rosses could not pay. The suit was sent back. Clyde Ross did not go to the church program.

It was in these early years that Ross began to understand himself as an American—he did not live under the blind decree of justice, but under the heel of a regime that elevated armed robbery to a governing principle. He thought about fighting. “Just be quiet,” his father told him. “Because they’ll come and kill us all.”

Clyde Ross grew. He was drafted into the Army. The draft officials offered him an exemption if he stayed home and worked. He preferred to take his chances with war. He was stationed in California. He found that he could go into stores without being bothered. He could walk the streets without being harassed. He could go into a restaurant and receive service.

Ross was shipped off to Guam. He fought in World War II to save the world from tyranny. But when he returned to Clarksdale, he found that tyranny had followed…”;  Read more 

VUDU – Build It Bigger: South African Gold Mine

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

“…This 1 SINGLE goldmine has more than $6 Billion of untouched gold.Enough to cover our whole school infrastructure and NSFAS spending for the year.Sadly this wealth will end up in Europe, while our people fight for daily survival…”; via Wynand Naidoo

Build It Bigger: South
See on www.vudu.com

THE TRUE SIZE OF AFRICA…

Re-blogged from:  Racism is White Supremacy

“It was no surprise to learn that European mapmakers — as far back as the 16th century – DELIBERATELY reduced the size of the African continent, but I had no idea by how much until I compared the maps below.

Map A (updated in 2013?) shows Europe and Africa as roughly the same size while North America is larger than both. This is FALSE.world-continent-mapThe composite map below (Map B) is not 100% accurate — for example, all of China does not fit inside Africa –  but it is more accurate when comparing the size of the African continent to Europe and the United States.true_size_of_africa

This is just ONE more piece of evidence that:

1) we live under a system of white supremacy/black inferiority — even when it comes to making maps.

2) the system of white supremacy relies on LIES, DISTORTIONS, AND DECEPTION to minimize, marginalize, and inferiorize African people, even to the extent of making it appear that the African continent is much smaller than it actually is.

3) referring to Africa as the “Third World” is another…”;  Read full article on authors site

 

Mirror, Mirror: Does ‘Fairest’ Mean Most Beautiful Or Most White? : Code Switch : NPR

See on Scoop.itThe Price of PREJUDICE. AND Privilege

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

We all recognize the mantra of Snow White’s evil stepmother.read more …

See on innerisness.com