February 25, 2005

What constitutes the “working class”?

Does anyone really know what is meant by the term “working class”? It is said that approximately 27% of black people are working class, while 24% of black people are poor, 44% middle class and 5% rich. Intuitively one can glean or visualize a picture of the extremes of rich and poor and hence the middle. However, exactly what does “working class” connote, being that it is a category that contains the second highest percentage of black income distribution?

I looked up the term and it has many different meanings. My general understanding, from summarizing the various definitions, is that working class is not just about income or wealth, but also about values and the type of work one does. In fact, based upon the definitions, one can have middle or lower class income, but be defined as "working class" and not poor or middleclass. Thus, the use of the category of middle class can and likely does have the effect of undercounting the number of black poor or black middle class, based purely upon the criteria of income and wealth. Can you guess which one would be the most likely undercounted? I can.

When the Unemployment rate is distributed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics each month, it purposely excludes the “discouraged worker”, from the count of those who are unemployed. Indeed, they are very much unemployed to such a degree that they have become frustrated and discouraged and have stoped looking for work. Hence, the government does not count them as being unemployed because they no longer are actively looking for work. Consequently, the unemployment rate is always higher than actually reported, due to the category of discouraged worker. In the same way, the term “working class” is likely used to lower the official rate of poverty.

People who work can and are often poor. The term working class intuitively sounds to mean the class of people who work, but it does not. It is one of those amorphous terms that are really also misnomers. People can work and be, rich, poor or middle class in income. I think what black people need to know, to measure our progress, is the income and wealth stratification of the African American. The “type” of jobs that black people do or the “values” that these black people hold, should not be mixed together with income and wealth metrics, as it is with the category of “working class”.

Obviously, the manipulation of poverty figures is of political importance. I hear coming from black conservatives that 76% of black people are not poor and hence their needs to be a shift in strategy away from the politics of the oppressed, which is championed by liberalism and current black leadership. However, there may be a lot more poor “working class” people, who simply are not being counted as poor because they are working or because of the type of work they do or the values they hold. The health and state of black America is likely being misrepresented. For that matter, the health and state of white America may be being manipulated by statistics and misrepresented as well.

February 22, 2005

The spreading of FREEDOM

When the Europeans were forming the rationalization and pretext for their imperialism of former centuries, they used the euphemism of spreading civilization and God to uncivilized pagans. In other words, the pretext that allowed these so called religious people to conquer, usurp, subjugate and exploit other peoples and their land was the ideal that in the process of doing this, it was a win-win situation for both sides. The non European peoples were gaining exposure to civilization and Christ, while the European elites were gaining access to their wealth and labor.

Today, in this current and relatively new century, it would appear that America is embarking on imperialistic incursions, like the Europeans of the past, rationalized and sold by the euphemism of the spreading and promotion of “Freedom”. Freedom, based upon the imperial planners, is defined by the absence of Democracy. It just so happens that those nations that are the real actionable targets of our spreading of freedom, sits on most of the worlds known oil reserves. Of course, that is not why we are spreading freedom. Our motive is purely altruistic, because as Godly people, we believe that all people have a basic right to be free.

The idea or concept that Democracy equates to righteousness, relative to other forms of governance, is a false assumption. Most people of this nation not only claim a belief in God, but lament that God is at the top of their hierarchy of allegiances. In other words, they say that they place God before country. Well, does not God run a dictatorship? Does not God set forth commandments to abide by? Does not God offer consequences for those who do not? Is Heaven a Democratic body with angels voting to elect the Supreme Being? The point being this: If dictatorial or single rule is inherently unrighteous, then does that make the construct of religion, Christianity in this case, inherently unrighteous too? Why is single rule, as a concept, so vilified when it is the construct of our chosen religion?

The evil is not in the construct, it is in the participants. If one has a righteous ruler or rulers, then the rule will be righteous. If one has an unrighteous rule or rulers, then the rule will be unrighteous. If in a democratic or pluralistic political construct the majority or plurality is unrighteous, then the rule and governance shall be unrighteous. Our nation separates Church from State, while at the same time exposing that God is at the height of our hierarchy. If God were truly at the apex, as most Americans claim, there would be no separation of church from state. However, the truth of the matter is that although Americans proclaim the belief in God and their Religion, they do not want to be held accountable to the dictates of the religion via it manifesting in our laws. They want “freedom” from religion and or righteousness.

Most Americans view theocracies as repression and oppression for those living under it. They see a lack of freedom inherent in those nations, where the people are bound by and to religious laws. In other words, they are bound by and too their religions definition of righteousness or the dictates of the creator. Most Americans are Christians, yet, most Americans would object to the imposing of religious law. Why, if one professes God as their greatest allegiance? Freedom, in this context, means the freedom to not be forced into righteousness. Freedom, in this context, means the freedom to pursue the pleasures and benefits of unrighteousness. People covet the pleasures and benefits of sin and freedom from religious laws gives them this.

I am not advocating theocracies. What I am saying is that the absence of a democratic construct is not the absence of righteousness and that the embodiment of a democratic construct is not evidence of righteousness. Thus, the spreading of freedom based upon democracy being the template of what is “right” is faulty. The concept of righteousness, as defined by religion or human nature, is what needs to be spread. Righteousness could be evidenced by the strength and stability of the family Unit. Any practice or actions by a society that leads to the weakening of the core institution of humanity cannot be righteous by religious or natures definition. It may not be a human rights violation, but such is a human nature violation. Our own democratic nation has wealth, but we are not righteous, in many respects. Indeed, our wealth not only masks our unrighteousness, much of it is the product of past unrighteousness accrued to the present.

The idea that we are going to free the world is simply a deceptive ploy. There are far too many contradictions to make the intent of altruism seem credible. In fact, most should know it is not credible. What America is truly trying to spread is capitalism and access and control of the resources, labor and consumer markets of others peoples, for the interest of the American elite and trickle down economics. America is engaged in a geopolitical chess game with high economic stakes that control the fate of economies. America is looking 20 and 50 years into the future and seeing the threat of the rise of many nations economically and what that will mean in regards to the control and allocation of scarce resources that fuels consumption, economic growth and wealth creation. America knows that the earth’s environment and resources cannot support (replenish, self correct) too many more economic success stories that lead to the consumption habits and environment degradation as the USA economy. So the USA is positioning itself to control the major oil resources.

The fundamental flaw in the thinking of the American people is the notion that we are “good” or morally superior to others. What creates this assumption, given the history of this nation, leaves me perplexed. As far as I can tell, the assumption is born from having the “true” religion. It is also born from the belief in superiority and idea that God has blessed America, evidenced by the wealth it has bestowed upon the nation. This belief permeates, even though America has subjugated religion to the State and not the reverse. Therefore, the American people willfully digest the propaganda that allows this nation to carry out imperialistic actions around the globe. The people cannot be told the truth, however. They must be given the euphemism. They must not be given the truth because they do not want to face the moral dilemma of their status of living being linked to the suffering of others, though many would support evil if given to them strait. If the American people were told that our economy would collapse in the near future if we did not secure Middle Eastern oil, which belongs to Middle Easterners, what would the nation vote to do? That is a question that leaders and elite would not leave up to the people to answer. So they create false crisis and scenarios that would more than likely win public approval.

Without truth and openness by leaders, democracy is only a farce. The people need the truth to make informed decisions. Classified information and secrecy is evidence of the erosion of democracy. Our current administration is one of the most secretive, as stated by reporters, in modern memory. Such a ramping up of secrecy does not foreshadow well for what’s coming down the line. Such secrecy means that this is information that the public might object to and thus thwart the ability for he plans to manifest. The character of this nation will soon be revealed, for trials and tribulations are the only true test of character. Trials and tribulations are in our near future and the ground work is being set by the current administration in Washington.

February 18, 2005

Fridays Rant

Aside from having been very busy, I have been suffering from writers block and apathy. Thus, I have not written my normal one or two essays a week, over the last several weeks.

However, inspired by the PBS series entitled “Slavery and the Making of America”, I presented an essay, from this blog, as a topic on a popular forum patronized mostly by Caucasians. I must say that I was not surprised by their reaction, but I was still disappointed. Only one person, out of likely hundreds who read the essay, accepted the idea that there needs to be a target effort on the part of this nation to undo the present negative effects of nearly 4 centuries of the oppression of black people. As a tribute to this person, let me present his quote:

Black Americans are a diverse group, with many able to function on a level totally removed from a long history of oppression, which lasted until late in the 20th Century, and lingers still in pockets all over the country. Still, to characterize the total population of ex-slaves as free to pursue the American dream from 1865 on is ridiculous. When I was a child, black Americans were portrayed in the media as simple and stupid. They had to go to the back of a restaurant to get served, eating outside the building. They rode in the back of the bus. They were murdered for being 'uppity.' In Houston they were considered too dumb to operate a city bus. Even after I grew up the places I worked were not hiring when blacks applied, but they were hiring whites.
What I'm leading up to is, when it is beat into your head for three hundred years that you are little more than a high grade animal, made to live in miserable poverty, not even allowed to look up from the sidewalk when passing a white person, there is a cultural mindset ingrained that high platitudes cannot penetrate. You can call the man who started this thread all the names you wish; you can preach the white man's version of self reliance, but you will be whistling in the wind. The mindset perpetrates itself, while the disgusted whites write them off as unworthy because they don't help themselves. Mental handicap is as debilitating as being a paraplegic. These people still are in need of a hand up. There goes the alarm bells in your rock hard mentalities. "Edgar wants us to put them on generational welfare." Wrong. I just want a real effort to be made to incorporate these folks into the human race rather than preaching platitudes at them. So here begins the circle again. "Why don't they get off their asses and help themselves", which is turning a blind eye to every word I've said.

This individual is a beacon of honesty and truth, although somewhat condescending sounding at some points. Soon after he presented that thread, the forum moderators closed the topic from further postings. They could not tolerate a white man agreeing with these ideas of reparation. Subsquently, when I tried to post a new topic they were all deleted. When I tried to post comments on others topics, my comments were also deleted. When whites have the power and no laws constraining their behavior....they snuff out all dissenters and threats like brutal dictators are known to do. The principles of freedom and democracy do not live within them; Rather, they are bound by the laws of freedom and democracy.

This is not a new experience for any of the writers on this blog, as we have a long history of being banned from forums and blogs, nearly all of them being patronized mainly by whites and or conservatives. However, I have been banned by Lashawn Barbers Blog. She is the first black site that I have ever been banned from; however, calling her site a black site is like calling the white house the black house because it was built by black slaves. Just because blacks do the construction and serving does not mean it represents black interest. Her site wines and dines white conservatives, who then gives her patronage and promotion for talking down about her people...so that they don't have to. Her site is simply the proxy for white conservaives to attack blacks and black leadership.

That having been said, I like forums that are patronized mainly by whites, because it gives me the comfort of knowing that I have given them the opportunity to logically demonstrate that my beliefs are wrong. Contrary to them, I seek out dissent, I do not ban it. In all honesty, my goal is the seeking of and acceptance of the objective truth or the most dominate truth in a composition of truths that make up the whole. Therefore, knowing that I am skewed towards bias, as everyone is, I seek out the opposition as a check and balance to my own bias. You see, logic and validity has no bias. It is not subjective and thus I present whites with the opportunity to rationalize their opposition to things such as AA, reparations or other targeted methods of addressing collective racial inequality. They fail miserably every time. There objection is rooted solidly in emotions and or willful ignorance. They then use erroneous reasoning to sell it as not being racist.

Everything happens for a reason. There was a reason or goal that allowed whites to rationalize the acceptance of our oppression for over 3 centuries. The reason was not hate, as most erroneously assume, the reason was economics and status. Wealth and relative stature was the aim and black oppression was a means to this end. Today, that end has been achieved. White wealth is 14 times that of black wealth in America and whites are by far, the wealthiest so called-race on this planet. They have the wealth, they have the stature and they have the power. Hence, there is no longer the incentive or temptation to be oppressive towards black people in America, because past oppression has allowed them to meet their objective. Consequently, today’s racism is not as much about creating the racial gaps, but rather, maintaining them.

Whites want to be judged by their self proclaimed intentions, as opposed to the effect of the practical manifestation of their ideology and beliefs. They mainly want you to believe that their intentions are not racist, even though their opposition to programs, policy and dollars designed to “even the playing field” for blacks, preserves the state of white privilege and superiority of conditions. Again, modern racism is not about creating the racial gaps; it’s about preserving them, via opposition to such programs. Indeed much of the ulterior motive behind social conservatism is the denial of attempts at policies and monies that are perceived to benefit African Americans disproportionately. They can attack liberalism, without being seen as racist by directly attacking governments attempt to right wrongs against blacks, thus maintaining white status relative to blacks.

We all know that there are syndromes that prevent an addict from accepting the fact that they are indeed addicts. We all know that there are people who will starve themselves because they think they are too fat, when they are skeletal like. We know that when the mind can and does often distort reality when reality is not something peopled are willing to accept. It’s called denial. How can one convince a person in denial of a reality they do not want to accept? The answer is that you cannot. When it is substance abuse, the people must hit bottom and become a threat to them selves, before reality kicks in. However, there is no “hitting the bottom” when one is a racist in denial. There is no phenomenon that I am aware of that will force an epiphany, because the racist in denial hurts others and not themselves. The only racist who might hit bottom is the racist motivated by extreme hate, which becomes damaging to their health and ability to function in an increasingly diverse America. The “rational” non hating racist only hurts others, because they actually think that they are good descent people, any many are, except when dealing with the legacy of oppression and black America.

Some people will ask why we are always concerned with what white people think. Such ignores the reality of power. If you want to really understand how we can invade Iraq on false pretenses and threaten to do the same to other nations, you have to understand that most whites are racist. It does not matter to them that no weapons of mass destruction were found. It does not matter to them that no ties to 911 were found. It does not matter to them that nearly 1500 Americans soldiers lost their life. It does not matter to them that an estimated 100,000 Iraqis have been killed by our invasion. The only thing that matters to them is the concept of protecting white safety, stature and wealth in this world after 911. They want to demonstrate to the world their power and want others to bow down to it in fear, so that whites can continue their gluttony in America. Besides, the people being killed are not white and they are not Christians; “God blessed America….and nobody else”. If God did not think we were right he would not have blessed us with so much and others with so little, many rationalize. Hence, our blessing means that we have Gods blessing to go around the world and spread our way of life. They never stop to think that the devil also exchanges earthly material rewards for souls.

February 17, 2005

Voicing Sentiments Without Conviction:

Voicing Sentiments Without Conviction:
The Assorted Disarray of Dark Gary (So-Called Black) Thoughts

We’ve all heard the old saying, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.” Although the idea it tries to convey is readily understood, making logical sense of that kind of idea is much more difficult.

Certainly, there are a number of things, perhaps, that do metaphorically Walk Like A Duck and even Talk Like A Duck but happen not to be A Duck. The realm of possibility alone makes this abundantly true, so much so that this old saying has come to be modified (properly, I might add) to conclude that after all those factors of looking, walking and talking that, well it’s probably but not exactly true in all cases. But what do ducks have to do with this blog you might ask?

Well, given the increased attention on the Diversity Of Black Thought and competing Black ideological perspectives – whether fixed into old modes, adding to them or forming new ones – it only make sense to examine what the fuss is all about. Certainly, there has always been ample diversity of thought among African-Americans social and political opinion leaders. My purpose, though, is not to simply cite how that was/is the historical fact-of-the-matter. I’m going to take that as a given. A readily agreed upon assumption.

What I do want to explore is what’s behind the charge that there is resistance to diversity of thought in the Black Community, specifically as it relates to this blog.

I submit that there is an increasing tendency (apparently) for Black people to do what I call “Voicing Sentiments Without Conviction”. I know... pretty awkward phraseology but I’ve thought long and hard on this, so indulge me.

What Voicing Sentiments Without Conviction (VWSC) amounts to, to me, is a person saying things that don’t logically add up. As I see it, they don’t have a Consistent Ideology. A certain contradictory, counterintuitive or conflicting eclectic set of ideas that just don’t fit. Nobody said that human beings were always rational but I’m not at all saying that people should fit in some prescribed, preset ideological box.

To the contrary, all that I’m concerned with (and puzzled by) is the remarkable amount of logical mismatches of ideas certain people (certain Black people) have in the ideas they forward and most, like Black Conservatives, pretend to be the most sensible.

Please note: This is not a casting call for Black Conservatives. There are any number of people along the ideological spectrum who have and postulate ideas from various illogical and eclectic sets of ideas.

That would promptly have us consider the crux of all this - SENTIMENTS. Surely there can be any number of sentiments , like premises to an argument, that are, no doubt, true and relevant. But, just like in forming proper arguments, premises that are “true” or valid don’t necessarily lead to conclusions that are valid. And that would bring us to considering this thing called CONVICTION.

My Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary says, in essence, that a Conviction is a “strong belief”. A belief that’s so strong that it is “compelled to admit the truth”. And, therein, lies the problem.

I’ve long since held that the difference in most of our opinions -- and the difference we seem to have -- are no more than a matter of emphasis. That is, some of us choose to emphasize a certain aspect (e.g. personal responsibility) while others choose to emphasize another aspect (e.g. White Supremacy or racism and the structural “realities” and inequalities). Neither one of these preferences in emphasis necessarily means that the other aspect in this proverbial dichotomy are absolutely ignored. But, also, people merely acknowledging an “opposing” aspect doesn’t equate to seriously considering that within their perspectives.

The truth is, some people do completely ignore the truth. The truth is, some people exaggerate about the views of others – mischaracterizing them and misrepresenting them – to try to prop up their own views.

My point is this. There is an overriding truth that for some reason some people choose to ignore and/or minimize for the sake of emphasizing their own ideas - their own sentiments. There is, as I say, an Objective Objective when it comes to speaking about the problems in the Black Community and their potential solutions. There is, however, a point in which such exaggerated views and contempt for the views of others amount to us not having the same goal in mind.

One thing is for sure, when a lot of our thinking (to those whom this applies) is based on particular Sentiments we have that in some way prohibits us from Admitting The Truth about an aspect of our struggle and our philosophical arguments with each other then we have to admit that we are not thinking logically and, in doing so, compromising our very efforts to come to some resolution.

Let me reiterate, there is nothing essentially wrong with the various Sentiments we have. The problem comes in when we allow our emotions to cloud our judgement and when we make our judgements based on emotions – as opposed to making logically connected series of thought-actions that lead to the desired and well defined end.

I ponder that perhaps we don’t all have the same goal in mind because a lot of use have defined those goals very differently. The matter then becomes one of whether the different things we propose and/or define as our collective goal... whether all those things will actually yield the results we claim they will.

As biased as I am in my perspective (and I always claim my bias), I submit that views of many of the dissenters here don’t even add up to what they claim by their own definition. And, as it is, a lot of us avoid defining what we perceive to be a worthy collective goal (e.g. “freedom”) because that would mean that we would have to logically plot out how that goal can be achieved, particularly in the way we say it can.

I also submit that White Supremacy is a powerful mitigating factor that causes so many of us to circumscribe our views around it; thus, compromising the integrity of our views and making some more apt to both grossly over-exaggerate the “legitimacy” of their own views or Sentiments and patently hyperbolize about the illegitimacy of the views of others.

In all truth, I find so many of the views that are associated with Black Conservatives or those who claim to be non-partisan and non-traditional in their views as ones that Voice Sentiments Without Conviction.

For the record, I have hardly been that concerned or obsessed with Black Conservatives. In fact, I once questioned Faheem about that very thing. I have, however, come to realize that Black Conservatives and their divergent views are more symbolic of a larger phenomenon that has been around since the beginning of Black philosophical /ideological differences (i.e. since damn near the beginning of our time here in America).

You can see it more and more as Black people associate their beliefs with various philosophies and systems of belief. The bottom line is this:
The positions of any person weighing in on the issues that face African-Americans must simply add up. If not, those people are simply Voicing Sentiments Without Conviction, expressing logic that just doesn’t follow.


February 14, 2005

The exporting of Black Babies...

60 minutes ran a piece last night about the exporting of Black Babies born in America to white families outside the U.S. I have in the past voiced my concern and objection to white families adopting Black children. My concern and objection was met with the remarks that “in order for these children to have some stability and a chance, being adopted by a white family may be necessary especially when there is no Black family available.” Black Children are far less likely to get adopted than all other children and Black children make up the bulk of children in foster care waiting for adoption. This reality is often thought to mean that Black men and women are not adopting Black children but the truth is Black men and women are adopting Children in numbers higher than we ever have and there was a significant Rise in Black single men adopting Black Children in the mid to late nineties. The real problem lies in the bureaucracy that keep Black folk from adopting Black children and there is more Black children in need of homes and families than there are Black men and women willing to deal with all the scrutiny they get when trying to adopt, thus if these children are to find a home it may be with a non-Black family because of the racism that has infected the adoption process.

We all have seen the stories of white folk in America adopting Russian, Chinese and various other Babies from around the Globe. This reality is born from the fact that Racism is a problem that white folk are aware of and are not ready to deal with here in the U.S. I am not advocating the adoption of Black babies by white folk in America, I am simply pointing to their actions being acknowledgement of deep seated racism in this country that they would rather not face or deal with. This is not true for all white folk as there are plenty of white folk raising Black children here in the U.S. However we can say generally speaking this is true. What is it about the Black and White dynamic here in America that lead white folk here to pay thousand of dollars to get a baby from another country? While white folk outside the U.S. are paying thousands of dollars to get a Black baby from the U.S.?

My objection and concern with white folk adopting Black children is rooted in things I have heard from men and women who were adopted by white folk. The most difficult time for a Black child in a white family is the teenage years when we all start trying to discover who we are. Many Black children that grow up in white families in white towns and attended majority white school found themselves confused and the target of racist comments and remarks and living with parent who had no idea how to deal with the racism targeted at their Black Child nor did they know how to comfort their Black Child, thus the child in many instances rebel and the rest is history.

One of the things I liked about the white families that are adopting Black children in Canada as noted in the 60 minutes piece is that there are so many of them and they all have come together and they have play dates and they bring in Black mentors and Black adults to interact with their adopted Black children. A few of the white families have what is referred to as an open adoption which means the birth parents are still involved in the children’s life and are a big part of the child’s life. 60 minutes profiled this one young Brother whom mom wanted to finish school and thus gave her son up for adoption. She went on to get her masters degree and is doing very well for herself and her daughter; her son that was adopted by the white family is a part of their life. They visit him in Canada and he visits them in Houston.

Can transracial Adoption work? It has worked in instances where the white family that adopts a Black child understands the racism that their adopted child or children will deal with, when they make an assertive effort to connect that child with the culture and history of his or her people and when the birth parents are involved in the life of the adopted child.

The biggest of all questions is still how can we stop the exporting of Black Babies and help defeat the bureaucracy that Black men and women face when trying to adopt a child. It is commonly known and understood that the scrutiny Black families get when trying to adopt a child is overbearing and often times lead to the families changing their minds or simply being told for what ever reason they can not adopt although they are more than qualified.

One of the comments a white couple received when they took their adopted Black child to school was “The school Basketball program just got a big shot in the arm.” The parent’s response was that they can not blame people that speak like this for their comments because families like theirs are unusual in their town. This to me is white folk covering for white folk; the comments made were not that the science or other scholastic subjects just got a Big shot in the arm it was that a sport just got a big shot in the arm. This is an example of the commonly held belief by white folk that Black men and women are superior when it comes to sports and athleticism but the underline and unspoken part of that is we are inferior when it comes to academics. This reality escapes even the adopted parents and to me represents a future of uncertainty for this Black child with this white family in regards to the racism he will face that his parents may otherwise miss or not understand that would immediately be picked up by a Black family.

February 10, 2005


I just wanted to say that my young empress daughter gives me the greatest joy in my life. She is 2 years old and the other day she was playing with some Lego Blocks and intensely focused on her construction for a while. When she was done and satisfied with her creation she stood up and carried it over to me with a glaring sense of accomplishment and anticipation for my reaction. I immediately praised her as I was actually impressed with what she had done. After I praised her she responded with an expression of happiness and joy that is priceless. I would not and could not trade that for all the money in the world. She then proceeded to show her mom the creation and beamed the same glow of happiness and joy when her mom praised her too. Her expression and joy gave me such joy that I could not image life without her.

When I watched the PBS documentary on slavery and how families were split up and sold, I immediately thought of my daughter. I cannot image the pain and agony of having your children SOLD and uprooted away from the family. Our people have truly endured much and should be extremely proud that we have preserved to this point. We should never forget the pain of our ancestors just because others feel guilt and do not want to be held accountable for the sins of their fathers. We need to honor and speak to our ancestor’s spirits and let them know we need them and have not forgotten their pain. We need to prepare our descendants with the strength and history or our ancestors.

....but what does slavery have to do with today?

Now that its Black history month, PBS is once again presenting a series of documentaries on the oppressive reality of black history in America. Each time I witness these documentaries and others like them, I never become acclimated or desensitized to the horrors and inhumanity of it. It was just atrocious, physically, economically and psychologically upon black people and it lasted an extremely long time.

Black people have been in America for 386 years. From 1619 to the year 2005, we have existed in this land. What that breaks down to in percentages is this. From 1619 to the emancipation of 1864 represents 245 years of black slavery, which constitutes 63% of our total time spent in this land, as a people, in slavery. After emancipation and up to the passage of civil rights laws of the 1964, there was 100 year period of peonage and Jim Crow were governments allowed for the oppression of black people via laws. Those 100 years represents 26% of our total stay in this land under a non slavery form of legal oppression. Thus, adding together the years in slavery and under legalized non slavery oppression of Jim Crow, 345 or our 386 years in this nation has been under the weight of government sanctioned oppression. That represents 89% of our time, as a people, in this land having been under the weight of legal oppression.

Now, invariably, there are people who will look at these documentaries and the inhumanity of it, then place it in a temporal vacuum. They will say "yes that was terrible and inhumane….but what does it have to do with today"? They will note that all the slave masters and all the slaves are now dead and gone and all that is now in the past...so move on. Some people then incredulously and or disingenuously ask, “And what does that past have to do with you or black white dynamics today?” Another way to ask that question where one can see it for its nominal face value is to ask “What does the past have to do with the present?” Well, given that the present is the summation and creation of the past, the past has everything to do with the present.

The physics of existence is that the reaction from impact expands exponentially greater in time and space than the actual moment and place of impact. If one throws a stone into a pond, the moment and place of impact is expanded by time and space in the reaction of the reverberation of waves expanding out in time and space. The actual time that blacks have spent in the impact of slavery will be much smaller in time and space than the reactions that reverberate from slaveries impact. There were 4 million blacks in slavery in 1864 and now there are 40 million black people in America. Slavery existed in certain states, but now blacks are spread all throughout the nation. Thus, physically black people have expanded in time and space and the problems inherited (such as the lack of wealth and problems with racial esteem and indentity) or passed down from our oppression reverberate as well, as long with the benefits to America from our oppression. However, the reverberations fatigue over time, but one cannot intelligently expect that an impact of oppression that lasted 345 years can naturally fatigue or dissipate in 40 years. Hence, the socio-economic gaps between blacks and whites in America are the direct resultant of years of oppression.

Of course there are others, motivated by attempts to obfuscate and misdirect, who will look at the presentation of such history as “victimology” or playing the “Blame game”. What they are doing in effect is protecting the perpetrators and benefactors or accessories to the crime against black humanity. By eliminating the “victim” you also eliminate the "perpetrators or accessories" to the crime. If rapist can convince a rape victim that she wanted, enjoyed and benefited from the act as much as the raper, then she is no longer a victim and hence he is no longer a perpetrator or rapist. He can only be prosecuted if she is willing to see herself as a victim and hence pursue justice. Thus, his self interest is to convince the lady not to prosecute...if possible, by convincing her that she was not a victim. There is a movement to convince black people that we have not been rapped as a people, in order to keep the accessories (the US and state governments) from being prosecuted. They want people to take note of the child created from the brutal and tortuous rape, which we would not have to enjoy if not for the rape. That child is the America of Today, which comes to black people only by virtue of the enslavement of our ancestors. They want us to now look at Africa and think how blessed and fortunate we are to be here in America, the offspring of the brutal rapping of our ancestors and Native Americans. Thus, we are not “victims”, we are "benefactors".

A lot of white people will try to separate bad white folks from themselves. “My ancestors never owned any slaves”, is the dominant cry. White people have an aversion to connecting themselves to whites when it’s something bad, but have no such aversion when it’s something good. They will tell you that their ancestors never owned any slaves, but they will fail to tell you that their ancestors never lifted a finger to change the situation for the better. There have always been white folks, who fought against slavery, but they were as few as the slave owners themselves and most white folks are not descendants of them. Therefore, they cannot take credit for their “goodness”, just like they refuse to make linkage to white slave-owners “badness”. In fact, most whites were historically accessories to the crime, because they received benefit and knew what was going on. Anytime you eliminate a segment of humanity from the competition for economic opportunity and wealth, probabilities for opportunity and wealth are thus increased for those not eliminated. Moreover, the trickle down economic effect from the wealth created from slavery created many spin off industries and services for the white free economy. Also, more people became rich in America from real estate than by any other means. During the agrarian era, land was made valuable and productive via slavery. There is not question that this nation that whites flocked from Europe to is the fruits of black enslavement and native genocide.

When people like my self present these facts of history, I will invariably be gleaned as a person motivated by hate and resentment. Of course we all know this is an attempt to discredit the message via discrediting the messenger. They cannot refute the truth of the message so they will attempt to discredit the messenger in hopes to misdirect and obfuscate from the impact of the substance . The truth is they never accuse PBS or whites of being motivated by anger and hate when they present the same history and facts. That charge is reserved for black individuals with the audacity to speak the truth. Even though I have never stated in this (or any other) essay that I hate white folks or that I am even angry at them, this is the impression that many, if not most, will come away with. Given that I only presented history and not statements of emotions regarding my feelings towards whites, they must be “projecting” what their minds thinks should be the human response or reaction to such a history….which is anger and hate. In other words, they are telling me that had this been there history, they would be full of hate and anger. Well….its my history and I am not full of hate or anger. I just want the truth to be told, justice and reparations.

Primitive Accumalation

All societal systems are born from something, what that something is varies dependant on the societal system in question. However, there is one thing most if not all societal systems have in common and that is their need to accumulate capital. Capital is but not limited to material wealth in the form of natural resources, human resources and or property. When we look at a dictatorship it is easy to see how a dictatorship is maintained. Most if not all dictatorships are maintained with brutality and with the people living under the threat of violence, and this threat serves as their primary motivator in all that they do. Thus a dictator accumulates capital on the back of and at the expense of his people and in most cases it is to benefit him, his family and friends while the majority of his people starve. It is easy to see the exploitive nature and brutality of a dictatorship because most of those whom are exploited and brutalized are right under the Dictators nose. Capitalism is a bit different.

Capitalism is a societal system born from the exploitation of the weak and the poor to maintain the wealth of the rich elite imperialist. Let me qualify that. Capitalisms require two things, Capital and a means of attaining that capital at a price cheaper than it will yield. In order for a Capitalist system to work their must be capitalist accumulation and in order to have capitalist accumulation their must be capitalist production. Regardless of the business one is involved in, if you have a means of accumulating capital without giving of your self what is taking from those upon whom back you attain your capital, you can then parlay that Capital into anything you want, which allows once criminals to become legit business men.

For example: It is widely known that Eric “Eazy E” Wright was a big time drug dealer before he bought Ruthless Records. Eazy life as drug dealer served as his means of accumulating capital without having to give of himself what those who used and sold his drugs gave of themselves. Eazy was able to parlay his exploitation of the poor by way of his drug dealing into a multi million dollar record company. In essence Ruthless Records does not exist unless Eazy accumulates capital at the expense of those who used drugs and those who made far less than he did selling it for him, thus drug dealing serves as Eazy’s primitive accumulation or simply put, drugs is his start up resource that led to him acquiring Ruthless Records.

With that said; what is it that served as the Primitive Accumulation that fueled American and all Western societies. What is it that, were it not a reality, America and the West would not be a reality? Our Brother Chairman Omali points out without contradiction as I see it that the Primitive Accumulation that fueled and Fuels American and all Western Societies is the enslavement, rape, murder, exploitation and colonization of the African in American and around the word. It is also the rape of the homelands of the Asian, African and Indian by taking the natural resource found in our homelands and parlaying it into wealth for Europeans. Without these things the disease infected barbarous European will still be stuck in Europe with little to no resources that could be used to build wealth like that from our homelands.

Do not miss my point by focusing on me referring to the European as disease infected and barbarous, those things can be easily proven, what I want to draw our attention to is that WE, Black men and women in America are Primitive Accumulation as much as the land on which we live is Primitive Accumulation. This is especially relevant when making the case for Reparations.

Today we live in what economist and politicians alike refer to as a Global economy. One would think that the idea of living in a Global economy is new, when in fact the world has been pillaged and raped time and time again to benefit a few and at the expense of many thus the idea of a Global economy is not new in fact the whole idea behind a Global economy in a capitalist system literally means, in order for us to maintain a capitalist system, there must be capitalist accumulation and to have capitalist accumulation you must have capitalist production and the only means of attaining capital at prices cheaper than it will yield is to break into markets where labor can be found for pennies on the dollar in comparison to what is commonly referred to as the developed world. This is why China is booming right now, it does not have anything to do with natural resources being available in China, there was no oil field found in China, the resource the imperialist found in China is the Human resource and all the raw materials can be shipped in.

To be continued....

February 03, 2005

Was He realy listening?

As Bush exited the Capital floor he said to one of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), "you can see I really listened during our meeting". The question is did he really listen and was the proof of him having listened present in his speech as he hinted at with his comments. To properly answer this question we must look over what the CBC said to him.

The CBC presented Bush with its eight page agenda in a meeting they had with the President on Jan 26. After the meeting the CBC released a statement about the meeting in which they stated;

“We told the President that he will have three opportunities in the next few days and weeks to signal to us his willingness to work with us to achieve closing and eliminating disparities. First, the President can make a public statement regarding our meeting that he embraces our agenda. Second, in his State of the Union Address he will have an opportunity to speak about the disparities that exist in our Union. Finally, when the President presents his fiscal year 2006 budget, we will know whether there is a real commitment to addressing our priorities based on whether he commits resources”

The third of the three opportunities is the one that will matter most but for the time being I will examine if he lived up to the second of the three opportunities which was to address the issues and concerns that the CBC presented to him in his State of the Union Address.

Among the things the CBC agenda included was Education Spending, health care for “minority” men and women, Promoting Affirmative Action, aid to impoverished African and Caribbean nations and the Criminal Justice system.

Bush made some bold statements on a few of these issues; one in particular that caught my eye was his comments about the justice system, Bush stated:

“Because one of the main sources of our national unity is our belief in equal justice, we need to make sure Americans of all races and backgrounds have confidence in the system that provides justice. In America we must make doubly sure no person is held to account for a crime he or she did not commit -- so we are dramatically expanding the use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful conviction. (Applause.) Soon I will send to Congress a proposal to fund special training for defense counsel in capital cases, because people on trial for their lives must have competent lawyers by their side. (Applause.)”

Clearly this is big talk when he speaks about establishing something that has never been established in this nation and that is confidence from Black people in particular in the criminal justice system. This will definitely take hard work to steal a word from Bush during the Presidential Debates and will definitely take more than well crafted words.

On the issue of health care Bush stated;

To make our economy stronger and more productive, we must make health care more affordable, and give families greater access to good coverage -- (applause) -- and more control over their health decisions. (Applause.) I ask Congress to move forward on a comprehensive health care agenda with tax credits to help low-income workers buy insurance, a community health center in every poor county, improved information technology to prevent medical error and needless costs, association health plans for small businesses and their employees -- (applause) -- expanded health savings accounts -- (applause) -- and medical liability reform that will reduce health care costs and make sure patients have the doctors and care they need”

Again, more bold statements with a little bit of pandering to the health care lobbyist, who seek to lessen their liability for their actions.

On the issue of education he did not have much to say except that he plans to expand his No child Left behind act (which has not been successful in its goals) to the High School Level. The NCLBA need to revamped and better funded before it can be considered to be expanded to the H.S. level.

Bush spoke about the apathy young Black men have in regards to opportunities and our treatment in this country. Bush stated;

“Now we need to focus on giving young people, especially young men in our cities, better options than apathy, or gangs, or jail. Tonight I propose a three-year initiative to help organizations keep young people out of gangs, and show young men an ideal of manhood that respects women and rejects violence. (Applause.) Taking on gang life will be one part of a broader outreach to at-risk youth, which involves parents and pastors, coaches and community leaders, in programs ranging from literacy to sports. And I am proud that the leader of this nationwide effort will be our First Lady, Laura Bush. (Applause.)”

Why only three years, it took far longer than that to create what we see in the cities across the country. I truly can not see Laura Bush identifying with or working with young Black men who have turned to the streets for various reasons and I hope his idea of helping young Black men is not midnight basketball games like those under the Clinton Administration.

For the most Part Bush may have held up to the second opportunity out of the three he will have to address what the CBC asked of him and listened to some of what they said, however, the third opportunity is the most important and will be the most telling. Every Political figure and Every President have given speeches promising many things but when it came down to it, none of what they promised had the financial backing it needed to be successful. I do not expect much from Bush or his administration and I believe the smoke and mirror show he put on last night was just that, another put on, but this is definitely a time when I would love to be proven wrong unfortunately I do not think that will happen but time will tell.

February 02, 2005

Social Security

The Social Security crisis in America is simply a symptom of a larger problem that our government and leaders are failing to communicate to the people. Bush and conservatives are selling people on the idea of privatization based upon the assumption that past performance in the stock and bond markets should be extrapolated to predict future performance. This is how they are boosting support for privatization, but more importantly, support for reneging on an unstated promise to look out for citizens in their old age.

The real crisis in America, and indeed of most “First World” nations, is a crisis in female fertility. The decline in births among American women is what caused the demarcation of the “Baby Boom” generation. As the baby boom generation matriculates through the workforce and into retirement, the fall off in fertility makes the system of social security unsustainable. The government does not link it to fertility crisis, but rather, a flaw in the systems long term planning by its creators. It then goes on to promote the idea that privatization will actually give Americans more money than the current system. Don’t you believe it.

In truth, the same core fertility crisis that will cause a crisis in social security, theoretically, will or should theoretically cause a similar crisis in the economy. Think about it. If there is a shortage of workers to pay into the system, then there will also be a shortage of workers to replace those retiring or dying prematurely. The workers are the life blood of an economy and the fertility crisis means that America cannot grow its economy unless by increasing productivity per worker. However, most of capitalism’s growth is from the addition of new workers and new consumers and population growth gives an economy just that. This is another reason why capitalism is always seeking new markets, because its continued growth and viability is dependant upon it.

In about 20 years companies are going to have a serious problem trying to find enough people to produce the continued growth of GDP at historical levels. This is or should be good news for the American worker, as there should be plenty of opportunities in the future due to the fertility crisis. However, that is only true in theory. The trend in the off shoring of jobs to cheaper labor nations could siphon off many potential jobs to China, India and other developing economies. If American companies cannot meet their labor needs then that will only increase the push factor to off shore jobs.

The crisis in fertility is most profound among white Americans, which is the primary source that America uses to fuel its managerial, technical and professional component of the job market. America’s failure in will to solve the socioeconomic inequalities of blacks and other minorities will prevent these groups from being able to fill the void in the stagnation and future decline of the white population base. America failed to seriously fix the problem of black poverty and educating. Thus, higher rates of black fertility in America cannot offset the lower rates of white fertility.

The only way out of this for America is through opening the doors to immigration, if not a campaign to promote higher fertility rates. This is the way that our nation has chose promote the nations continued population growth. This is why there is no real effort to curtail illegal immigration and to eventually naturalize those who come here illegally. The problem with this is that the people coming to America are people of color who will eventually morph the culture of America and makes whites the minority over time. When whites become the minority they will lose their political and racial control over the direction of the nation and its institutions. More than a few white folks will not accept such a proposition and hence one can predict an increase in proactive white supremacy.

The problem with our system is that its success is its nemesis. The success of our system to increase opportunities and thus change the role of women has resulted in decreased rates of fertility. Women are now in the competition for opportunity, income and wealth with men. In order to compete with men and reach the heights of men, they have to play the traditional behavior and role of men. Men have never been burdened by bearing children and child rearing. Men simply provided the sperm, hunted and protected. Men could then go out and compete with other men, while the women cared for children. Now that the women is competing with man, child rearing bearing and rearing is a competitive disadvantage that many women are forgoing until much later in life, after they have established themselves with careers and income.

The influx of women into the labor force as workers helped to increase our nations output and GDP growth. We traded profit and economic growth in exchange for fertility and the traditional family. We sold out or biological primal directive to be fruitful and multiply. We figured that we could create more fruit for ourselves, the less we multiplied. This worked well in the short run, but the long run consequence of zero and negative population growth, via births outnumbering deaths, can be catastrophic for our growth dependant capitalist system.

No one can argue against providing opportunity for women as being a good thing. However, every action has reactions. Providing opportunity for women should be an imperative. The greater imperative of life and existence, though, is continuing the bloodline through propagating the species. In other words, the purpose and goal of women in nature is to replenish the earth with humanity. When the quest for opportunity and the ability to be equal with men threatens this prime directive, there will be a negative reaction upon humanity and life. Too often in our greed driven, individualist culture and system, children become a constraint on our ability to manifest our greed and individualist selfishness. We can have more material things, the fewer children we have to siphon off our money and time. In Americas quest to maximize capitalism via maximizing greed and consumption is coming back to haunt us.

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