Friday, February 27, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Extra Conscious Words






And I will be there in solidarity with the rest my more conscious contemporaries. And we will have your back as elders like Eddy Conway and Angela Davis have had ours. It may be, and it is certainly my hope, that in your generation we will see the formation of a new movement that will make the 1960s look like a Sunday picnic.

-Savant

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One really sad irony of history is that Barack Obama MIGHT have become the equivalent of FDR, but didn't; this was partly due to his own errors, and partly to the obstruction of his right wing enemies. it would be unreasonable to expect an American president (in our backward political system) to be another Paul Robeson, King or Debs. You cannot be a revolutionary in high office. But he might have been a militant progressive reformer, a fighting liberal. Too bad that didn't happen. So, it's back to the streets. By the way, Timothy posted a link to an article by the International Socialist Review called "Black Lives Matter: A New Movement Takes Shape." He posted it to me, I believe, in the thread: REVOLUTIONARIES IN AA FORUM: ARE THERE ANY? It is interesting that some of the 1960s tendencies which you surely recall are re-appearing in new forms.

-Savant

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This past Spring saw the final release of Marshall Eddy Conway, former leader of the Baltimore Black Panther Party, from 44 years of imprisonment. I finally met him in person in May of last year. He's still strong and still committed even though in his mid-to late 60s. I had spoken to him on the phone while he was still incarcerated. I had not met him before he and other Panthers were arrested. But then, we were kids when the Panthers happened. When I met him this past spring Eddy greeted me warmly "So, you're the passionate young professor whom I've been talking to and hearing about." I was deeply impressed that his spirit was unbroken after spending TWICE the amount of time in prison as did Nelson Mandela under the fascistic regime in South Africa. Since one can only give what one had I expressed my joy in his release and gave him a copy of my book on Martin Luther King, Jr--a philosophical work which I wouldn't mind sharing with you (privately, of course). My mom, who ws deeply shaken up by Dr. King's assassination, became an avid supporter of the Black Panther Party. Even today one can find old Panther literature in her home. I once told Eddy during a phone conversation during his incarceration that though I was too young to be active in the 1960, I would keep and pass down the legacy of struggle to the next generation. It was largely with that in mind that I chose the teaching profession. Heaven knows it wasn't the money! LOL! I am still committed to strengthening and bequeathing that legacy of struggle to you as it was bequeathed unto to me by the courageous sisters and brothers of the 1960s. And I simply will not quit until we either win or die.

-Savant

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Like I said, people like freddy are just along for the ride. We've more important matters to concern ourselves with. I think we're entering what Angela Davis described to a large gathering of our students as "an historical moment," a point in time which we could see the resurgence of popular democratic and progressive movement such as has not been possible since the 1960s or 1930s. And as Angela indicated to our students (back in 2013) we must PREPARE for the historical moment or the opportunity for change will pass us by for heaven knows how long. I like what Angela said to a young brother in the audience who said that "we don't have leaders like you, and our generation doesn't have people like Martin or Malcolm X." Sister Angela said: "COMMIT YOURSELF, young brother. Work with like-minded fellow students and community people to effectuate change. And if you've prepared yourself, then maybe YOU will a spokesman for the new movement." Now that's why I love sister Angela even when I disagree with her. Unlike some of our elders (and of, course, I'm YOUR elder), she has faith in the younger generation. "BE the change, brother. And YOU might be one of the leaders of a movement to transform society" she said. It seems that you're one millennial brother who is doing just that. There are others. So,, I am optimistic. Cautious, but optimistic. We CAN win!

-Savant

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Great article, my brother. I'm in my office and printing this out now. Will share it with colleagues an students, especially students in the Philosophy and History clubs. And a new student activist group that surfaced on campus in reply to the killings by cops and subsequent exonerations

-Savant

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These "Black Hebrew Israelites" and "New" Panthers are essentially irrelevant. Movements, at least any with popular support, are happening elsewhere. As for the "new Black Panthers" they tried to upstage the community during the time of the Trayvon Martin affair. But both Martin's family and the Black community REJECTED them. I ask about REVOLUTIONARIES, and you post info on these reactionaries. Later for them.

-Savant


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Great! Now this is the kind of conversation I hoped to elicit when I started this thread quite some time ago. We need to begin talking more about what we WANT, what we want ended, and what we want begun. And we need to become DREAMERS and VISIONARIES again. We must begin again to ENVISION a better world, a new kind of society which we will forge with our own hands, a society in which the human person can fully flower in all his or her manifold potentialities. A world in human dignity and happiness will become the universally recognized birthright of every man, woman and child on earth. That is what our forbears were REALLY fighting for in the 1960s. That is the quest that we must carry forth. FREEDOM RISING!!!

-Savant
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If this place were a REAL African American Forum it would have been ablaze during the summer of 2013 (and beyond) with discussion of the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act o 1965. It would be ablaze now with discussion of he challenges to the Fair Housing bill of 1968 now before the Supreme Court. Especially as we're in the 50th anniversary of the Selma campaign for voting rights---and the second years since the gutting of the Voting Rights Bill by the Supine Court---there should be all kinds of discussions on this matter. Young brothers like Timothy should be talking with older brothers and sisters who came up in that era about the significance of what's happening. We should be talking about how we're going to defend these rights and work to save the future for our children. The wave of police violence against Black communities has gotten attention, and evoked activism in real time among our people and sympathetic non-Black allies. An AA forum should be a place where these forces can meet, discuss and talk strategy. And what of the relationship between rising economic inequality and growing police violence in Black, Latin and poor communities? This should certainly be discussed. Or the prison industrial complex so incisively critiqued by Michelle Alexander and Angela Y. Davis? We reportedly have more sisters and brothers in prison today than ever---more Black men in prison than were in slavery 160 years ago. Economic dislocation which dislocates families and communities (which also leads to more crime), racist police violence, mass incarceration, the undermining of our hard won rights and liberties, hunger and homeless, and the mental erosion of consumerism and mass entertainment (with even "news" becoming increasingly a circus of amusement)--these are all vital issues, issues of life and death. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble: But whether or not you want to marry a Black man or woman is hardly a matter of great historical importance. It has little relevance to the burning issues of our times. And as long as you are obsessed with this, YOU will have no relevance either. No we need a forum which addresses more vital matters.

-Savant

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Blacks in a real AA Forum: Let's be honest. A good number of Black people would probably not be able to be part of a REAL AA Forum. Why? African-American or not, a forum is still a forum. One of the definitions of the forum found in Webster Dictionary is "a meeting place for DISCUSSION of matters of PUBLIC INTEREST or a means through which such discussion can be conducted." (This old dictionary, copyright 1997, mentions newspapers but not the internet as an example of a "means" by which discussion can be conducted. But it's possible applicability to the internet is obvious). Another definition : "a discussion of a public issue or other SERIOUS topic." Well, unfortunately, many of our black sisters and brothers in this so-called AA Forum are either unwilling or unable to discuss matters of public concern or any serious topic in a serious way. Either they're unable to discuss a serious topic, or unable to do so in a serious way. Like the racists who demean us, like Obama noted regarding his idiotic adversaries on the Right, many of our people mistake name-calling for debate, and substitute insult for argument. And as I discovered not long after discovering AA Forum by accident about seven years ago, there is an INCESSANT focus on personal relations and (especially) INTERRACIAL relationships. I don't know that I'd say these are not important issues, but they're mainly addressed in trivial ways. Ways that are both trivial and hateful. And they are obsessively focused upon to the virtual exclusion of nearly all other issues. Many Blacks here can't talk about much else, and what they do talk about is shallow. Now a REAL AA Forum would address a wide range of issues, of which interpersonal relations (IR or not) would be but ONE. And while discussions and debates might at times get heated--we humans are not emotionless robots--emotionali sm would not be allowed to displace reason. Passion would not displace thought. Which is not to say that debates and discussions wouldn't often be quite PASSIONATE. But they would definitely be a high level of seriousness and reason. Many black people in this so-called AA forum would probably not be up to that level of participation. Ironically, there are SOME white people who might make better participants than some of our fellow Blacks.

-Savant

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What difference does it make whether your cousin complains or where he works. Police violence and misconduct are more widespread in America than in most other countries, including some that are bona fide police states. And a disproportionate amount of that violence is directed at Black and Brown Americans. That's a reality that has been recognized not only by most people in the Black community, but also by the UN, Amnesty International, ACLU and various other human rights groups. At the same time there are attacks even on historically achieved civil rights advances, including the 2013 Supine Court abrogation of the enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and now the challenging by Republican reactionaries before the Supine Court of the Fair Housing Bill of 1968 (signed just a few days after Dr. King's assassination). That you and your kindred are complacently adjusted to the status quo is your affair. But Black people--indeed ALL people--with a modicum of self-respect and social consciousness feel a moral obligation to resist these many-sided social wrongs. Those who are satisfied are just along for the ride.

-Savant

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Malcolm X

https://www.scribd.com/doc/256455086/Malcolm-X-50-Years-After-His-Assassination ______________



Great! Now this is the kind of conversation I hoped to elicit when I started this thread quite some time ago. We need to begin talking more about what we WANT, what we want ended, and what we want begun. And we need to become DREAMERS and VISIONARIES again. We must begin again to ENVISION a better world, a new kind of society which we will forge with our own hands, a society in which the human person can fully flower in all his or her manifold potentialities. A world in human dignity and happiness will become the universally recognized birthright of every man, woman and child on earth. That is what our forbears were REALLY fighting for in the 1960s. That is the quest that we must carry forth. FREEDOM RISING!!!

-Savant

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Not just the Democrats, but also the Republicans--in short, the 1%. The corporate capitalist plutocracy whose lapdogs are the Democrats and Republicans. Also, poverty isn't peculiarly "negro" even if in this racist society it is more concentrated in communities of color than in white communities. Poverty is multiracial and many-colored; and as much as racism aggravates and worsens it for Black and Brown communities, poverty is due more to class and the inherent dysfunctions of the global and domestic capitalist market--especially the financial sector (which now trumps the industrial). Our thrust must be toward a new COOPERATIVE society, multiracial, antiracist, democratic and with freedom, justice and equality for all....The Beloved Community.

-Savant

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Interestingly enough, I've come across a good number of Black and Hispanic officers have complained about the de facto and even UNDISGUISED racism within the official bureaucracy of many big city police. I know of some who've gotten in trouble for attempted to expose or file complaints about police racist misconduct--abuses that are a matter of POLICY---not merely the "attitudes " or misconduct of a bad or "rogue" cop here or there. Of course, Black cops and Latin cops CAN and often do play a repressive role. We forget that even in South Africa during the late 80s, about 40% of the police in that monstrous regime were Black Africans--which didn't make the system less racist any more than Jewish capos made Nazi system less racist and anti-Semitic. People have to reject the silly notions (like Freddy's) that racism is just a "state of mind", or that (as Nikki naively believes) police abuse is a matter of "good" cops as against "bad" cops. Things are not that simple. The police as an INSTITUTION is severely flawed (as are most other major institutions in our society), and what's needed is a STRUCTURAL analysis of the institution and measures informed by that re-appraisal and analysis. At least the beginnings of such a new approach is evident among young people in the new insurgencies and movements against police brutality and repression


-Savant

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That that is a great link and a great post, young brother! Feel free to post it elsewhere, including in the thread "Bring Back the Black Panthers?". Yes, it is young brothers and sisters like these---like YOU--that inspire me with the confidence that we can win!. Many of my students--Black, white, brown and others--are now involved in this movement. It's interesting that article reveals how militant Black youth activists in Ferguson not only inspired Black activists across the country, but how they inspired a multiracial movement across the country--indeed across the world (e.g. London, Hong Kong, Japan, Palestine, etc). Mass demonstrations broke out even in communities with only a handful of Black residents, like one of those Massachusetts towns that is nearly lilly white. It points out how the young people with new organizations (e.g. "Milennials United") are even advancing new ANALYSES of the situation, and of the nature of racism itself, that discredits the illusions of a "post-racial " America, revealing the STRUCTURAL nature of racism and its links with economic inequality and oppression. It interestingly enough, exposes also the limitation of such White House initiatives as "My Brothers Keepers", which lack such a structural analysis or program informed by such an analysis. (And so much for the idiotic notion of people like freddy the fool that racism is simply a "state of mind"). Keep up the good work, brother Timothy both here and (more importantly) in our real world communities. We can win! A Luta Continua!

-Savant
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Racism is an institutionalized power relations, and intimately interlinked with capitalism. with economic exploitation. It is that SYSTEM which breeds the racist state of mind and the racist culture. You're more like an annoying fly. I can't say you burn me up. What burns me up are 12 million American children going to bed hungry in the world richest nation. What burns me up is the prison industrial complex which is transforming America into a protofascist carceral society. What burns me up are millions of homeless in the world richest nation, a nation which readily wasted billions in idiotic wars in the Middle East (largely at the behest of Halliburton) but then claims that funds for education, health care and job creation is wreckless spending. What burns me up is a rapacious plutocracy which is pillaging the nation and the world, and which is mainly responsible for the growing and dangerous economic inequality, not only between Blacks and whites, but between haves and have nots the world over. What angers me is the measures taken to disfranchise, or at least limit the franchise of millions of people by new restrictions on voting, just five decades after the heroic fight in Selma. What angers me is widespread and seemingly increasing police misconduct, especially (though not only) in Black communities, and the summary exoneration of killers with badges no matter how blatant their abuses. What burns me us is the increasing militarization of even local police, with fascist pig cops confronting nonviolent demonstrators with tanks and rubber bullet--outrages that didn't even happen in Birmingham and Selma in the What burns me up is the general devaluation of the human world, and virtual deification of things and property. A mindless mediocrity like you don't merit is hardly my main concern. As for my work in the real world, I am at least ENGAGED in the real struggles of the real world. And I've been "open" enough in mass rallies, in the media and in community forums and organizations where my REAL identity cannot be concealed. You may doubt what you please, but that hardly matters. Some of us are committed to MAKING history. People like you are just along for the ride.

-Savant

"Vanguard of the Revolution": New Film Chronicles Rise of Black Panthers & FBI's War Against Them



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Once the national black community was full of revolutionaries. I've even met a few of the 1960s revolutionaries in the middle or old age: Angela Y. Davis, Huey P. Newton, Stokely Carmichael, Kathleen Cleaver & even CLR James.
These were/are men and women devoted to bring about a fundamental change in the sociel order, and in our order of values.
Freedom, self-determination, the transcendence of racism and economic exploitation. And, in Fanon's words, the settting "afoot of the New Man."
What they seek is as much a moral and spiritual revolution as an economic and political one.
In the 1960s, many gave their lives for the liberation of our people, black people, and indeed oppressed people throughout the land and throughout the world.
Even thier idea of freedom was different, as in no. 1 of the Ten Point Prgoram of the Black Panther Party: "We want FREEDOM. We want the power to determine the destiny of our Black community."
Community was at the heart of the very conception of freedom. And then you had Dr. King with his idea of Beloved Community.
Do we have it in us now to be revolutionaries? Or are we totally immersed and bemused by the toxic culture of consumerism and narcissism?
Have we a vision of a better life transcending the Established order?

-Savant

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Well at least the white racist Ohreally and his black twin freddy have in common their mutual contempt for the liberation struggles of Blacks people (and probably other peoples as well) in America. But I at least have the advantage of working with YOUTH both in the community and on the campus. Our struggle will be a protracted struggle--most likely intergenerational. I'm a long distance runner. I will be educating youth and advancing popular struggles for at least twenty more years before I'm to old to do so. Already I see an awakening among Black youth, and other youth as well. OhFrilly and freddy are just along for the ride, There are others of us who are MAKING history. A Luta Continua!

-Savant

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Savant's words in response to a hater:


Racism is an institutionalized power relations, and intimately interlinked with capitalism. with economic exploitation. It is that SYSTEM which breeds the racist state of mind and the racist culture. You're more like an annoying fly. I can't say you burn me up.
What burns me up are 12 million American children going to bed hungry in the world richest nation. What burns me up is the prison industrial complex which is transforming America into a protofascist carceral society. What burns me up are millions of homeless in the world richest nation, a nation which readily wasted billions in idiotic wars in the Middle East (largely at the behest of Halliburton) but then claims that funds for education, health care and job creation is wreckless spending. What burns me up is a rapacious plutocracy which is pillaging the nation and the world, and which is mainly responsible for the growing and dangerous economic inequality, not only between Blacks and whites, but between haves and have nots the world over. What angers me is the measures taken to disfranchise, or at least limit the franchise of millions of people by new restrictions on voting, just five decades after the heroic fight in Selma. What angers me is widespread and seemingly increasing police misconduct, especially (though not only) in Black communities, and the summary exoneration of killers with badges no matter how blatant their abuses. What burns me us is the increasing militarization of even local police, with fascist pig cops confronting nonviolent demonstrators with tanks and rubber bullet--outrages that didn't even happen in Birmingham and Selma in the What burns me up is the general devaluation of the human world, and virtual deification of things and property. A mindless mediocrity like you don't merit is hardly my main concern.
As for my work in the real world, I am at least ENGAGED in the real struggles of the real world. And I've been "open" enough in mass rallies, in the media and in community forums and organizations where my REAL identity cannot be concealed. You may doubt what you please, but that hardly matters. Some of us are committed to MAKING history. People like you are just along for the ride.

-Savant


Monday, February 16, 2015

More Conscious Information


http://www.topix.com/forum/afam/TDPCKE8HCJSSJCRLL

http://www.topix.com/forum/afam/TSL83S47E44SN7OLG



What a fascinating story. I wonder if Malcolm X spoke of his experience in UK in his still unpublished diary? I wasn't fully aware of that degree of overtness of British racism against Blacks and Asians.

-Savant

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH is a time for Black people to reflect our history, to think about whence we've come and where we're going. That is both our RIGHT and our DUTY. A people who lose their history also lose their identity and may, as Carter G. Woodson warned, eventually face extinction. Whence we come and whither we are headed are fundamental concerns in the existence. The question of one's history is also the question of one's future. Therefore, let us study and have dialogue with each other regarding our past, present and future---and the historical meaning (s) of our existence. As for trolls like Max (Devil) and others, let the devil take them. We've more important things to concern ourselves with.

-Savant

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Now this is interesting. I'd read that Albert Einstein was an antiracist European progressive. I know that he abhorred the racism that he found here when he came to America to escape Hitler. But his particular take on history, on Black history is an interesting find. We know mainly Einstein for his groundbreaking theory of relativity. Apparently, his social and political thinking is also worthy of greater attention.

-Savant

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One thing I can say about Lerone Bennett is that he's a good writer as well as an interesting historian. In that respect, he reminds me of W.E.B. Du Bois and CLR James. I first read BEFORE THE MAYFLOWER in high school. But I've not read it since then. Perhaps I should. Lerone Bennett, a former classmate of Dr. King at Morehouse College, also wrote a biography of King--I believe, while King was still alive. It's call WHAT MANNER OF MAN. Of course, there have been many such biographies since then, the most famous of which is probably Branch Taylor's trilogy. Also, there is now an AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR--actually a collection of his writings, letters, speeches in which there is a definite autobiographical focus. I would like to see Malcolm's diary, but it has not yet been released.

-Savant

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Malcolm X may have been somewhat influenced by Marxian thought after his break with NOI. He did have some associations with SWP and left leaning African statesmen like Nkrumah, who clearly had Marxist leanings. I don't know if Malcolm X read the Communist Manifesto, but he was not deeply immersed in Marxist thought. He says himself in one of his speeches found in a volume called MALCOLM X SPEAKS that he has little familiarity with Marx. His post-NOI thinking does become more explicitly anti-capitalist; and rather than the old absurd NOI mythologies about Yacug and white devils, he now talked about how racism originated in the imperialistic expansion of Europe, in slavery, the slave trade and colonialism. Interestingly enough, he and King both came to racism that racism and exploitation were interlinked. Ironically, both he and Martin on this issue began to move more in a similar direction in their social analyses. But neither lived long enough to form new strategies in light of this new understanding of things. But that is my job, the job of my contemporaries, and the job of young people of rising generations. A Luta Continua!

-Savant

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Old News. US CIA connections with groups which would eventually form Al Qaeda go back to at least the 1980s in Afghanistan during the fight against the Soviets. In fact, the CIA even encouraged the framing of the fight against the Soviets as a Muslim jihad even before the resistance began thinking of it that way. But that changes nothing. It means that imperialism encouraged reactionary tendencies within Islam for its own ends. All religions have progressive, moderate and reactionary tendencies. Imperialism promoted reactionary tendencies in Islam just as it encourages right wing and reactionary tendencies within Christianity in America. Extremist and reactionary Muslims are a part of the problem, just as reactionary Christian fascists are a part of America's problem. It's not rocket science.

-Savant

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This is precisely what I'm worried about--jihadist loons prompting an atmosphere of fear leading to repression of the Muslims, and other immigrants or children of immigrants. As I said before, I don't fear an Islamization of Europe or America. An Islamic theocracy can't happen in Europe or the USA. But fear of Islamic extremism may lead to a fascistic reaction. Osama bin Laden didn't pass the Patriot Act, but his followers did the dastardly deed which frightened the American public into accepting the Patriot, and also put some wind in the threadbare sails of George W. Bush (who might have been a one term, lame duck president without the horrors of 9/11. That is why the massive unity you French seem to have after the Charlie Hebdo massacres--joining Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists and others--is so vitally important. To his credit Hollande seems (at least in public statements we hear in the USA) to take the stand of no tolerance to terrorism, and also no tolerance of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of bigotry. The land of Voltaire, of 1789, La Commune et Mai '68 must not become the land of an Gallic tyranny.

-Savant

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To be perfectly honest I know at least two former 1960s Black nationalists in Baltimore who claim that perhaps the biggest obstacle for Black people today are INTERNAL class contradictions. Two developments have been noticed over the past 30--40 years: growing class divide both nationally and globally (including widening class divide WITHIN Black America) and the growing racial divide in wealth as well. Class and race play off and reinforce each other, at least in the USA

-Savant

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He sounds like a very BOURGEOIS Black man in denial. Many members of the Black elite try to pretend either that racism isn't real or that it doesn't matter that much. Even though Blacks in the middle and upper class have suffered wrongdoing at the hands of the police--even including celebrities like Wesley Snipes or famous scholars and intellectuals like Cornel West and Henry L. Gates---some members of the Negro elite try not to see racism, or try to believe that trouble with cops only happen to those "bad" ghetto Blacks. They are caught up in a web of illusions and self-delusions.

-Savant




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You know, Malcolm X kept a diary during his travels that has yet to be published. I wonder if his dairy has some reflections on the events in UK reported in this thread.


-Savant

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That article of Ms. Scott sounds like a bit of projection. Obama's haters are mainly the ones filled with racial resentments and hatreds, but they project their sickness onto to him. Pretty much as many white racists these days project their bigotry onto Blacks in general, and stupidly infer that it is mainly whites who experience racism and injustice from the blacks. Indeed, there are many Blacks (and a good number of progressive whites) who might argue that if anything Barack Obama is too conciliatory, often pretending (or maybe even really deceiving himself) to not see the racism that is directed against him by his political enemies on the Right.

-Savant

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We could talk about the SELF-DESTRUCTIVENE SS of white racism. These people will jeopardize their own health and well being in their racial hatred of Obama, and their hatred of Blacks in general. Hey, I'm not all that happy about the Affordable Care Act. I'm still pissed that Obama ruled out universal single payer even in the preliminary discussions and negotiations, and that he even compromised away the public option. Still, the ACA is better than NOTHING (which is pretty much what we had before). Maybe if it weren't for American political backwardness (largely due to American racism) we might have a robust health care system as well as system of progressive taxation already. I think it's a disgrace that a country as wealthy as the USA, a country that calls itself "the world's greatest democracy," has taken this long even to arrive at the ACA---a very modest program when you consider what one might find in countries like France, Germany or Scandinavia.

-Savant

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If you take a look at some ancient Greek and Roman writers and historians it's clear that whites, Blacks and Yellow folk had contact with each other even in ancient times. Sometimes this was through travel and trade. Sometimes through war. (Herodotus mentions Ethiopians in the Persian army with which Xerxes invaded Greece. Aristotle mentions contact between Ethiopians and other soldiers with Greek women during the Persian occupation of northern and central Greece before they were expelled after the battle of Plataea). Classics scholar Frank Snowden mentions contacts between African blacks and whites in Greece and Rome, and other historians mention their presence in the Middle East.). Granted, there was not as much contact as there would be in modern times, but it was there.

-Savant