Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ntjam Rosie - Thinkin´ About You

Savant on Issues

Aux-Etats-Unis, c'est impossible. Nous avons les Democrats et les Republican seulement. C'est un grand difference politique entre l'Amerique et les pays d' Europe. Vous avais plusiers de parti politique---meme parti du Gauche, socialistes, "greens,' etc. C'est un raison pourquoi M. CLR James a ecrit que "The United States is technologically advanced but politically and socially backward." We have no "party of the people", except on the margins---and with severely limited popular support. Pour cette raison Professeur Noam Chomsky--pendant 2012--proposed that in any state where the Republicans had not even a prayer of winning that progressives should vote Green or some other progressive party left of the Democrats. But in any state which the Republican MIGHT win if one doesn't pull out all the stops, you should hold your nose and vote Democrat. Je ne sais pas ce que vous pensez. Mais beaucoups de nous Americains pense que les Republicains son proto-Fasciste. Indeed une amie Francaise m'a dit qu' il'ya quelque elements dans the parti Republicain qui sont "as reactionary and raciste as our National Front, some maybe MORE reactionary." So BOTH parties stink. But the Republicans have moved so far to the right--even further than in Reagan's time---that they've become a serious threat to what' left of American democracy. I wish we had your options, that America had REAL opposition parties at the CENTER rather than on the margins of political life. I'd to be able to vote for a labor party without fearing I may end up with Republicans who will make REAGAN look progressive!!! Our corporate two party system sucks. Probably our only choice is to promote progressive and insurgent popular movements with some of Chamsky's advice in the electoral arena.


-Savant

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Martin Luther King - Original I Have a Dream Speech - Detroit, MI 1963

Dr. Kiing's Speech at Lincoln University on June 6th, 1961



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Is humanity which celebrates Dr. King. Most recognized him as one of the great fighters for the freedom of humanity, for peace, for justice and decency. It is the ruling classes, the power elites---all the old enemies of humanity---which had reason to celebrate Dr. King's death. But they themselves are the Party of Death against the party of humanity.

-Savant

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Frankly, these ranting preachers, long on rhetoric and short on analysis, are really old hat. We need clear, revolutionary analysis and sound grassroots organizing. We cannot function in Western society largely because Western society is itself dysfunctional. The capitalist system is dysfunctional and self-destructive.. Failure to find or create alternative will lead to our doom.As for that ranting void of social analysis, I leave for reflection the words of a revolutionary Black Christian minister, Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I wish today, that Christians would stop talking so much about religion and starting doing something about it, and we would have a better world. But the problem is that the church has sanctioned every evil in the world. Whether it's racism, or whether it's the evils of monopoly capitalism, or whether it's the evils of militarism. And this is why these things continue to exist in the world today." Dr. King, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, January 7, 1968

-Savant

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You may recall that when we first met in Bmore I said that I didn't see what one could call Black or Arab ghettoes, but that was 20 years ago, and that some people who visited France in this century claim that such ghettoes have begun to form. Triste. But segregation is not so deeply entrenched in France as in the USA. You must reverse this tendency before it becomes to deep-seated to remove. Trust me on this one: A racially polarized society his HELL to live in, especially for a person of color.

-Savant

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The biggest no-contributors are the privileged classes, the rich 1% who get rewarded not only when they contribute (as they commonly do) little or nothing to the common good. But who are even esteemed. And since we're speaking of Dr. King, let's recall a bit of national hypocrisy which he points out somewhere in WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?? He notes that government funds to the rich are euphemistically called "subsidies ", while funds to the needy are described contemptuously as "welfare. " The very language reveals class contempt for the underprivileged and fawning admiration for the privileged. Now it was precisely this class contempt for the common people which, along with racism, Dr. King found so deplorable. Hence his efforts at a Poor Peoples Campaign which, unfortunately, he didn't live to lead. And thus the necessity of completing the incomplete work of Dr. King and the heroic freedom movement of the 1960s.

-Savant





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Non, mais j'ai entendu autour Marseilles..I have heard that there's a large immigrant population--both North African and sub-Saharan African--a Marseilles. Et le milieu raciaux est souvent toxic. But I've not been there. Interessement, I wanted to go there in 1990. I chickened out. But it wasn't because of the toxic racial climate. I had flown into Paris and happened to meet several persons, including sailors, from Marseilles. The first thing I notice was that I couldn't understand them. Not that my French was perfect even then. But usually I could understand folk. There's some kind of dialect in that city that I can't crack, and couldn't even in those days when both my spoken and written French was vastly more fluent. But someone told me that the French we learn in the schools is Parisienne, le Francais des intellectuels, professionelles et la bourgeois. Even in Paris most people don't talk like that all the time. In Marseilles the popular speech patterns are naturally more divergent from the Parisian norm. Having heard that le Pen and the Front had MORE influence in Marseilles than in Paris and other towns, and considering my difficulty with the local dialect, I thought it wise to stay clear of Marseilles unless I was accompanied by a native French friend. And none whom I knew had any plans to visit Marseilles--at least not while I was still on summer break. I would like to visit Marseilles. Aren't the citizens of that town the ones who gave us La Marseillaise? "Aux armes citoyens! Formez les batallions!"

-Savant



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I've seen a couple of studies which indicate that however much IR relations and marriages have increased over the years, INTRACIAL marriages have increased even more between US Blacks and Blacks from other lands (especially Caribbean). There are probably more marriages between Africans and Afro-Americans than we know. And then here are Afro-Latin and US Black marriages and relations.(My own ex was a Black Latina from DR). So, in a sense Black America is becoming more diverse in her marriage patterns. I don't know that this will lead to the extinction of Black America since MOST Blacks marry Black.
But whoever you marry, try to love and be good to each other. OK? And don't worry too much about what other people are doing. You've no say in that anyway.

-Savant



Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015: KNOW and MAKE HISTORY




So we're now in the second week of the New Year. It would be well to reflect on its historical significance, and to take lessons which will enable us to make our own mark in history. Sixty years ago a courageous Black working class woman in Montgomery, Alabama defied the local white power structure and its racist laws by refusing to surrender her seat to a white man. By the act of defiance, Rosa Parks in 1955 sparked the Black freedom movement which inspired our people and the world, and drop kicked into historical greatness Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty years ago, in the spring of 1965, the campaign for Voting Rights began in Selma, Alabama. I've actually met some elders who were at the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights. Including at least one who recall Bloody Sunday when the Alabama State police launched a brutal assault on nonviolent demonstrators seeking enfranchisement for our people. The campaign nonetheless resulted in victory with the winning of the Voting Rights Act of 1965... Or did it? Fast forward 48 years and we see the Supreme Court in the summer of 2013 gut the ENFORCEMENT section of the Voting Rights Act. A law without enforcement becomes a dead letter. And if you can't see the importance of that then ask your parents or grandparents (especially if they're southern) "What was it like before we got the right to vote in 1965?" Or maybe read Richard Wright's BLACK BOY.

-Savant

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Now I don't bring up these historical matters to display my erudition. I want us all to be aware of the historical background of our struggle and the importance of continuing the struggle. For I was deeply disturbed when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a right wing legal suit against the Voting Rights Act by striking down the enforcement clause. I was disturbed to see that many of us didn't see the significance of what had happened in 2013--possibly because many of the younger generation of Blacks don't grasp the significance of the Movement in Selma which in 1965 won them rights which they now take for granted...Rights that are now under siege. So we are now face with the danger of renewed disfranchisement, as were our forbears after Reconstruction. Disfranchisement, deepening poverty, mass incarceration, police terror and a whole new (and old) complex of oppression which Michelle Alexander calls THE NEW JIM CROW---and what do we have on our minds? Silly chatter in AA forum about why you don't want to marry a Black man or a Black woman? Incessant mutual recriminations between African Americans and Africans? Or maybe the stupefying Youtube entertainment involving "twerking " or Sotomayor's loony rants against Black women? Or maybe it's the obsession with the latest fashions, hairstyles and randy sex lives of silly celebrities? Silly chatter of TV talk shows? What do we have on our minds, black people? Are we WORTHY of the sacrifices made for us by Rosa Parks and Dr. King and thousands of others who put their lives on the line? Have we even the good sense to exercise and protect the rights which they won for us? The fight isn't over. We may well lose those voting rights. Police brutality which existed in the 1960s and earlier has continued. And the poverty of millions which King hoped to combat with the Poor Peoples Campaign may even be worse than it was in those days. Our honeymoon from social responsibility cannot last --at least not if we are going to be free and prosper as a community. It's later than you think. Wake up before it' s late.

-Savant

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Brother Harrisson, I attempted to post a relatively thorough reply to statement based on an analysis of the function of the police as an institution. But it disappeared. I will try again. In the meantime, kindly take a look at the January 2, 2015 edition of TRUTHOUT.ORG. And take note of the article "Can't Stop, won't Stop: Black Lives Matter Movement Hits Counter-reaction. " A brother scholar from Johns Hopkins University conveyed to me info on the appearance in Seoul, Korea and Japan of demonstrators carrying signs "Black Lives Matter." We can win if we maintain commitment and nonviolent discipline." (Just to give you a preview of my reply, I think you may still be failing to see that the police are dysfunctional as an INSTITUTION, or maybe not fully appreciating the implications of that institutional dysfunctionality. The essay "Domestic Law and International Order" in SOUL ON ICE is worthy of some reflection even if Eldridge Cleaver was a nut. The essay is still insightful).

-Savant

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There's an old American saying: "Fool me once, shame on YOU. Fool me TWICE, shame on ME." In short, Europeans now KNOW what fascism is. Or they ought to know. If fascism returns to Europe as it did to Spain with Franco, or with the Greek colonels, I should have a hard time blaming victims of overwhelming military force. But if Fascism returns to Europe as it came to Germany in the 1930s, by mean of a parliamentary democratic process in which you foolishly VOTED for your own enslavement, then you're on your own. The reason my admiration for the Scandinavian people, descendants of the terrifying Vikings who are today among the most peaceful and egalitarian societies on the planet, is that the people CHOSE this progressive path. Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X (who wasn't much in the habit of praising whites for anything) both expressed their admiration for the social democratic experiment in Sweden. Some African Americans were prompted to at least look into the social democratic experiment by what we had heard from them and other Black progressives. The Black Panthers when I was a kid sometimes talked about Scandinavian social democracy as well. The relatively progressive and anti-racist sentiments of the Scandinavian people seemed to shine through in recent films such as THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE. But times change, and I guess societies change and not always for the better. But if you turn from this progressive path VOLUNTARILY, you're on your own. If your liberties ae taken from you by force--that I can understand. I belong to a people living in a so-called democracy whose rights were stolen by force for over 350 years. But I've even told young Blacks people (including some of my students): "If were enslaved and disfranchised by force of arms, and it took us decades and centuries of struggle to win even legal recognition as citizens or human beings. My parents' and your grandparents' generation paid for these right with the blood. If you voluntarily give up your rights for any reason, or lose them due to indifference and lack of vigorous defense of them, indeed if you lose your right due to anything short of overwhelming repressive force, then you don't deserve those rights." If I am willing to say that to my own people, what do you imagine would be my attitude toward Europeans who willingly surrender their liberties?

-Savant

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Many people were surprised to learn that they even have a right to observe policemen carrying out their duties. That's another thing the Panthers taught some folk. Police would order people to disperse when they were messing with someone. The Panthers would actually whip out the law book and cite chapter and verse of the law which stated that providing you didn't interfere and stood a certain distance from the police, you had a right to observe the cops. Knowing things like this can help considerably in reducing incidents of police brutality. And it requires some unity in the community, which can be aided along in these campaigns against police brutality.


-Savant

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We really do need some education in the Black community about at least our legal rights when confronted by the police. The Black Panthers took the time to study laws governing these situations. And they tried to teach the community about those rights, rights that can easily be violated if you don't know what they are. We need people legally informed to form something like the Panther patrols of police, maybe with more emphasis on the use of video cams than with rifles and guns.

-Savant
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FUTILITY? I sometimes wonder about the aims (not to mention the mental state) of terrorists, at least contemporary terrorists. When members of Algeria's National Liberation Front resorted to terrorism it was arguably a horrific reply to the far greater state terrorism of French colonialism. And it had a secular, and achievable objective: national independence for Algeria. And that objective--inadequ ate though necessary---was achieved. But contemporary terrorism doesn't even seem to aim at achievable objectives, and often quite the opposite of what they may be seeking is realized. Consider the recent terror against Charlie in France. What did they hope to achieve? To force the publication out of business? Or maybe force them to stop publishing offensive things about the prophet Mohammed? Well sales for Charlie has gone through the roof! And now they're deliberately going to run--front page!--some new and perhaps more offensive stuff regarding Mohammad. If a month ago someone had said to me "Je suis Charlie." I might have replied :Enchantee. Je suis Savant." I knew about Nouvel Observateur, Paris Match and Le Monde (which I used to read years ago). I'd never heard of Charlie. Had the terrorists not attacked them, I'd probably still not know that they even existed. What do these fools hope to gain. And even if they had shut down Charlie or intimidated them into silence regarding Mohammed, how would have contributed to whatever geopolitical goals they have. Terror for the sake of terror can hardly make sense even to the terrorists. Destroying the publication would not enable ISIS to establish an Islamist state in Iraq or Syria. if the Taliban wants to replace secular governments in the Middle East with Islamist ones I don't see how the attack on Charlie would accomplish this even if they totally destroyed the publication. Did they hope to electrify the imaginations of the Muslim peoples. But many Muslims are actually disgusted with their murderous acts, and in France Muslims marched WITH Jews against the terrorists. Morons! Even HAMAS has denounced the attack! Or do the terrorists just want "attention "? Like children? A society governed by them would be a society ruled by pre-adolescent despotic fools. Mort au terrorisme! Mort au fascism!

-Savant

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Sometimes doing nothing can be equally as bad. Maryland is a very blue state. Yet we now have a Republican governor. Nobody thought it would happen. Many people thought that Maryland would elect its first Black governor, uninspiring centrist schmuck though he is. Two thirds of Baltimore (our largest city) and nearly a third of Maryland is Black, and at least 90% Democrat (including some who would vote for a more left option if such were available). Maryland has one of the largest Jewish populations in America. Probably only New York and a couple of other states have more. And they're about 80% Democrat. (The per centage of Maryland Jews who voted for Obama in 2008). There is a growing Hispanic population---also overwhelmingly Democrat and politically liberal. A growing Asian population here, and about 65%--70% Democrat. Then there is the white majority (no longer as much a majority as they once were). A large chunk (either majority or very large minority) of them are centrist/liberal Dems. And we have university communities here--not as large as in Massachusetts --but very large. Students and profs are majority Dems, and often to the left of the average white Democrat in white Maryland. (Damned intellectuals! You know how they are). So what happened. The uninspiring Black Democrat drew and uninspiring YAWN from the Dem base--Black community included. (I had to BEG relatives to go to the polls to vote for that stuffed shirt non-entity). But the Repub fired up his based and they turned out big time for the midterm election. You can guess the rest. Dem's base slept through the election and woke up to a Republican governor. Fortunately, the Republicans couldn't seize the Maryland state senate. They probably can't gerrymander districts in order to return Republicans from Maryland to congress against the will of the people of Maryland. But it demonstrates that elections have consequences.

-Savant



Friday, December 26, 2014

Assata Shakur at World Youth Festival 1997 (Bless Sister Assata Shakur)



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 First of all, you don't know what my social philosophy is; and if you're mentally challenged enough to actually believe that Obama is a Maoist, and the Democratic Party a "Che/Mao Liberation Front," then you're clearly incapable of understanding anything above the mental level of a two year old. And as long as you're not denouncing police terror against the Black community and Latin community, then I could care less about alleged colleagues (mainly figments of your fevered imagination anyway) attacking NYC cops. -Savant

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 This is also a guy who started threads on Black Nationalism, Revolutionary Black films, "Bring Back the Black Panthers?". Revolutionaries in AA Forum, etc. But once hardly expects you to be surprised. People who don't think are seldom surprised. They lack intellectual curiosity. 

-Savant

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 I won't be leaving this country, but working to drive out people like you. Now as for the point of my comment, it's simple. Whether you change your name or not it will make little diffrenc if you don't change your consciousness. Martin Delaney, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks Marcus Garvey, Bobby Seale, Ella Baker, Paul Robeson, Fannie Lou Hamer, Angela Davis, and innumerable other brothers and sisters have contributed to our people's fight for liberation without changing their names. If you want to change your name (as numerous other freedom fighters have done), that's fine as a cultural or political statement. The name is less important than commitment to the struggle. A dude with an English name infiltrated the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party, enabling the cops to murder Fred Hampton in his sleep. Another dude with an African name infiltrated the New York branch of the Black Panther Party. A dude with an English name infiltrated Dr. King's organization And the rivals of Dr. King in Memphis, a group called THE INVADERS were infiltrated by agents with both African and English names. I care less about name than about commitment. But...if you are going to change your name choose a REAL African name! Not a made up one. Know what the name means, and consider that meaning in deciding what name to choose for yourself and your children. One other suggestion....As the rulers of America are still primarily WHITE, it may be wise to have a European name you or your children can use when needed. If the name on a job application happens to be Kwame, you will probably be deleted immediately. You may at least get an interview if your name is Joseph, Robert, John, Mary or LInda. And definitely no "Shaniqua ". They already hav you pegged as a "welfare queen" with that name even if you've a degree from Columbia. But I still say--focus on raising consciousness. And if you change our name let it be a name which reflects that RAISED consciousness..... and be a REAL African name.

 -Savant

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 No community is a terrorist organization, and indeed no community is an organization. The Black community is thought that way only by racists. As for rampant police violence against our community that has been verified numerous times not only by anecdotal by Blacks themselves, but by the UN, Amnesty International and the ACLU, and various cultural studies. The case is closed on that issue. The only question is what to do about the racist terror. As for Hot Spittle, his description of Black community as terrorist or criminal reveals the same kind of thinking as that of those Nazis who saw the Jewish people as a community of shysters, warmongers and seditionists. He belongs to the same sewer as they.

 -Savant