Revolutionary Daily Thought
“The ancestors of the Blacks, who today live mainly in Black Afrika, were the first to invent civilization.”-Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop
Amerika – Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength
It is my purpose here to demonstrate that the typical Amerikan wageworker is both a slave and a victim of involuntary servitude. In demonstrating this, I will refer primarily to “established” authorities, which are not subject to dispute by the “mainstream.”
Definitions of Bondage
We first begin with the definition of servitude, slavery and the like. The following definitions come from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Slave: 1. A person held in servitude as property.
Drudge: To do hard, menial, or monotonous work.
The following definitions are taken from Black’s Law Dictionary (7th edition, 1999):
Involuntary servitude: The conditions of one forced to labor – for pay or not – for another by coercion or imprisonment.
Slavery: 1. The situation in which one person has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of another. 2. The practice of keeping individuals in such a state of bondage.
In the case of United States v. Kesminski, 487 U.S. 931 (1988) at page 932, the U.S. Supreme Court defined servitude as follows: “Servitude means a condition in which a person lacks liberty, especially to determine one’s course of action or way of life.”
In the remainder of this thesis, I will show that the condition of labor under which the Amerikan wage laborers find themselves conforms to all of the definitions of bondage.
The Amerikan Conditions of Bondage
In his famous treatise, The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith makes three things clear about “developed societies,” viz.: 1. that the industrially compelled practice of division of labor is indeed drudgework, 2. that this sort of drudgework destroys the workers’ mental faculties, and 3. that this drudgework is a form of labor into which the poor working family is forced. Smith states as follows:
The understandings of the greater part of men are necessarily found by their ordinary employments … the man whose life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very near the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding … and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to be … but in every improved and civilized society this is the state into which the laboring poor, that is, the great body of people, must fall …
While Adam Smith is hailed as a fountainhead of modern economic thought, this observation made by him is always avoided in mainstream discussions and writings on him and economics.
The above quote from Smith establishes that the modern working conditions of industrial capitalist nations is that of slavery (monotonous, menial, and drudge work) over which arrangement the labor class has no power to change or avoid (involuntary servitude) and therefore renders the labor boss’s position one of total power over the employed workers’ livelihood.
These points are brought into much clearer focus by another writer who was dedicated to the common man and opposed to the labor bosses enough to make the wage worker’s conditions of bondage clear and plain. In his book Soledad Brother, George L. Jackson makes the connection between the system of bondage of past agricultural chattel slavery and modern industrial wage slavery here in Amerika. I quote him at length:
“Slavery is an economic condition. Today’s neo-slavery must be defined in terms of economics. The chattel is property, one man exercising the property rights of his established economic order, the other man as that property. The owner can move that property or hold it in one square yard of the earth’s surface; he can let it breed other slaves or make it breed other slaves; he can sell it, beat it, work it, maim it, fuck it, kill it. But if he wants to keep it and enjoy all of the benefits that property of this kind can render, he must feed it sometimes, he must clothe it against the elements; he must provide a modicum of shelter. Chattel slavery is an economic condition which manifests itself in the total loss or absence of self-determination.
“The new slavery, the modern variety of chattel slavery updated to disguise itself, places the victim in a factory or, in the case of most blacks, in support roles inside and around the factory system (service trades) working for a wage. However, if work cannot be found in or around the factory complex, today’s neo-slavery does not even allow for a modicum of food and shelter. You are free – to starve. The sense and meaning of slavery comes through as a result of our ties to the wage. You must have it; without it you would starve or expose yourself to the elements. One’s entire day centers around acquisition of the wage.
“Others determine the control of your eight to ten hours on the job. You are left with fourteen to sixteen hours. But since you don’t live at the factory, you have to subtract at least another two for transportation. Then you are left with thirteen to fifteen hours to yourself. If you can afford three meals, you are left with ten to twelve hours. Rest is also another factor of efficiency, so we have to take eight hours away for sleeping, leaving two to four hours. But one must bathe, comb, clean teeth, shave, dress – there is no point in protracting this. I think it should be generally accepted that if a man (or woman) works for a wage at a job he doesn’t enjoy, and I am convinced no one could enjoy any type of assembly-line work, or plumbing, or hod carrying, or any job in the service trades, then he qualifies for this definition of a neo-slave. The man who owns the factory or shop or business runs your life, you are dependent on this owner. He organizes your work, the work upon which your whole life source and style depends. He indirectly determines your whole day, in organizing you for work. If you don’t make any more in wages than you need to live, then you are a neo-slave. You qualify if you can’t afford to leave California for New York. If you cannot visit Zanzibar, Havana, Peking, or even Paris when you get the urge, you are a slave. If you’re held in one spot on this earth because of your economic status, it is just the same as being held in one spot because you are the owner’s property. Here in the black colony the pigs still beat and maim us. They murder us and call it justifiable homicide. A brother who had a smoking pipe in his belt was shot in the back of the head. Neo-slavery is an economic condition, a small knot of men exercising the property rights of the slave as if he were, in fact, property. Succinctly: an economic condition which manifests itself in the total loss or absence of self-determination. Only after this is understood and accepted can we go on to the dialectic that will help us in a remedy.”
This all brings us to the central contradiction between Amerika’s economic arrangement and the political rights it professes to give its citizens, demonstrating that the highest laws of Amerika take a back seat when opposed to the ruling class’s interests in exploiting the masses for private profit. That contradiction is found in Section One of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which holds that all slavery and involuntary servitude is forbidden except in cases of those convicted of crimes. I here quote that provision: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” It must then follow that every so-called minority and poor working-class Amerikan is presumed by the government to be guilty of some criminal violation, and without any opportunity to prove his or her innocence. We might now have an explanation as to why those who overflow Amerika’s prisons are near exclusively members of the so-called minority and poor white working classes.
If the average Amerikan worker took the notion to refuse to participate in the wage slavery economic arrangement, he will be inevitably left and forced by the system to become a vagrant and resort to other “criminal” acts in order to survive. And if a large number of workers elected to also abandon the wage system, they are subject to being forced by the government back to work under such laws as the Taft-Hartley Act (29 U.S. code sections 141 et seq.) under the penalty of imprisonment or fines should they refuse to obey. The worker has no discretion in the matter. Amerika’s economic system rides upon the enslavement of over half the population, who’ve been conditioned by the corporate media, universal compulsory educational system, political mouthpieces, and the indoctrinated nuclear family from birth to believe that their slavery is freedom and that the erosion of their minds under divided labor is conducive to strength.
As the foregoing demonstrated, the oppressive social contract of Amerika is organized around slave labor, while it professes to be based upon principles of liberty and self-determination for every Amerikan. Amerika’s character as a society of slaves and enslavers did not change with the close of the Civil War (1861–1865), nor in the enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment (1865). Indeed, it has rendered the entire labor class into slaves with no alternatives for acquiring “freedom,” except that these slaves may compete against one another to acquire more privileges and a small increase in wages with which to gain more diversionary toys and tokens. As long as such economic opportunism and exploitation exist, no one can claim with any degree of honesty that the Amerikan system is based upon principles of liberty and democracy. In fact, it is the social majority – the poor workers – who are the very slaves of society, upon whose backs the economic and ruling class is saddled. As one writer observed, “true liberty is based on economic opportunity. Without it, all liberty is a sham and a lie, a mask for exploitation and oppression. In the profoundest sense, liberty is the daughter of economic equality.”
The Term “Ghetto,” Circa 1940
The term Ghetto, as used in reference to America’s inner-citys, is inextricably connected to the Ghettos of Europe, in such a way that to understand one is to understand the other.
During World War II, Black men who were drafted into the war and deployed to Italy, France and Germany, Immediately recognized the similarities between American racism and that of European minorities, mainly Jews. In his “Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea,” Mitchell Duneier points out that black scholars in the 40s used the term Ghetto in direct response to “the rise in attention to the Nazi treatment of Jews in Europe.”
black scholars use of the term Ghetto was a political statement. Or as Raphael Magarik said in his “Understanding Americas Ghettos Starts With the First Jewish One” that:
“Black writers mined the analogy between the two ghettos, and particularly the horror of Nazi misdeeds in Warsaw, to wake American whites from their racial apathy…”
So, there are two points to be noted here. The first is that the useBlacks of the term Ghetto was used in black American literature, from the onset, as a political statement. Magarik states this was done “to wake American whites from their racial apathy.” I would add that more importantly this was done to reawaken the political consciousness of blacks enabling them to see the sacrifices and gains made by their Jewish counterparts. And secondly, although the term Ghetto has come to be used in reference to any low-income inner-city neighborhood, I would posit, as Duneier argues, that what has become a generic term has a very specific meaning: “a space for the intrusive control of poor blacks.” and although other “minorities” may live in these Ghettos, blacks were sequestered into Ghettos in the North for the same reason they were lynched in the South; Fear. And this fear persisted and transformed into law keeping blacks from bettering their living conditions. For Blacks the Ghetto became a Trap, whereas other minorities were offered an inroad to “whiteness,” as well as a pathway out of the Ghetto.
Excerpted from my upcoming book:
“The Whole Fire: The Origin Of The Ghetto, And The Creation Of Two Americas.”
Racial Profiling Disorder: the All-Amerikan Pandemic
Racial Profiling Disorder: the All-American Pandemic
Please, please help me. No, I don’t want to put handcuffs on. No! Don’t put handcuffs on! No, I want to stay in school, I just got here. Let go of me. No, please let me go…I don’t wanna go in a police car. No, please give me a second chance!
— Pleas of 6-year-old Kaia Rolle to arresting officer*
I can do anything I want. I’m a police officer.
—Deputy Constable Daryl Jones, white police officer
There’s an ugly truth in these numbers. It’s not just that minorities are more likely to be stopped—they’re more likely to be stopped without cause.
–Former New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in 2013.
A Journal of the Plague Years
・January 21, 2020, Muncie, Indiana: A white university professor calls police after Sultan Benson, a black university student, refuses to change his seat during a class.
・June 30, 2019, Freeport, Illinois: 24-year-old Shaquille Dukes, a black hospital patient suffering from double pneumonia is handcuffed and arrested by police as he walks outside the hospital on doctor’s orders tethered to an IV drip and is charged with attempted theft of hospital equipment.
・March 1, 2019, Boulder, Colorado: A cop pulls a gun on 26-year-old black college student Zayd Atkinson who is picking up trash in front of his dormitory.
・November 12, 2019: Indianapolis, Indiana: Black shoppers Aaron Blackwell and Durrell Cunningham are detained by a police officer in a mall parking lot for “acting suspicious.”
・ September 19, 2019, Orlando, Florida: Kaia Rolle, a 6-year-old black girl, is zip-tied and arrested for battery by police after throwing a tantrum at her elementary school. She is taken to a juvenile processing center where she is fingerprinted and her mug shot taken.
・September 19, 2019, La Paz, Arizona: Philip Colbert, a black 22-year old car salesman, is pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy after being tailed for 20 minutes and questioned because an air-freshener was hanging from his rearview mirror. He is then asked at least ten times whether he is in possession of marijuana, even after telling the officer that he never smoked it and does not have any in his car.
・September 12, 2019, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Jahvon Beener, a black 15-year-old high school student, is detained by police while waiting with his friends at a bus stop.
・August 13, 2019, Royal Oak, Michigan: Police stop 20-year-old Devin Myers, a black man, after receiving a call from a white woman who claims he was staring at her “suspiciously.”
・July 4, 2018, Winston-Salem, North Carolina: a white man calls 911 on Jasmine Abhulimen, a black mother, and her son when she refuses his demand to show him an ID to use the community pool.
・May 7, 2018, New Haven, Connecticut: A white female Yale university student calls police on Lolade Siyonbola, a 34-year-old black female graduate student who was napping in the common room of their dorm.
As the above woefully incomplete list of incidents demonstrates, America has another pandemic, one which has existed long before the current one, but which has proven itself equally insidious and fatal. Although RAPROD-∞ (Racial Profiling Disease) sporadically makes headlines, it has festered in this nation for generations.
COVID-19 does not discriminate; RAPROD-∞ does. Despite repeated outbreaks of the disease, no national emergency has been declared. Business goes on as usual. Stocks have not plunged (In fact, private prison stocks have soared to meet expanding demand). No tests have been devised to detect its carriers.
While hand-washing is an effective method of combatting the spread of COVID-19, washing one’s hands of RAPROD-∞ has only made matters worse. Part of the problem has been the minimization of its impact on black America by those who ignore the devastation inflicted by super spreaders like former New York mayor and failed presidential contender Mike Bloomberg who in 2015 asserted:
95 percent of your murders – murderers and murder victims – fit one MO. You can take the description, Xerox it, pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city. That’s where the real crime is. You have to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed. . . .They still have a gun but they leave it at home.
In doing so, “RAPROD Mikey had taken a page from the playbook of former Education Secretary William Bennett, who in 2005 insisted, perhaps in a bid to become the director of the CBC (Center for Black Control), that to reduce crime: “You could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensive thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.” Ten years later, Bloomberg would contribute his own penultimate solution to the crime problem, apparently under the impression that while aborting black babies en masse is reprehensible, indiscriminately stopping, frisking, and arresting blacks is not.
This should not come as a surprise us since one of the symptoms of RAPROD-∞ is a propensity of carriers to ignore empirical evidence that contradicts their biases. Bloomberg insisted that blacks have guns. When they don’t, he posited, it is simply because “they leave [them] at home,” a revealing conclusion given that a 2013 New York City Public Advocate Office study of NYPD statistics had already found that white people are more likely to carry weapons and drugs than blacks and Latinos.
Specifically, the office found that:
・The likelihood a stop of an African American New Yorker yielded a weapon was half that of white New Yorkers stopped. The NYPD uncovered a weapon in one out every 49 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took the Department 71 stops of Latinos and 93 stops of African Americans to find a weapon.
・The likelihood a stop of an African American New Yorker yielded contraband was one-third less than that of white New Yorkers stopped. The NYPD uncovered contraband in one out every 43 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took the Department 57 stops of Latinos and 61 stops of African Americans to find contraband.
・Despite the overall reduction in stops, the proportion involving African-American and Latino New Yorkers has remained unchanged. They continue to constitute 84 percent of all stops, despite comprising only 54 percent of the general population.
Nonetheless, RAPROD-∞ carriers are convinced that blacks disproportionately carry guns and other contraband. When they do carry guns, RAPROD-∞ carriers, many of whom are rabid defenders of the Second Amendment, assume those arms have been obtained illegally and believe that their owners should be dealt with proactively. Such attitudes can prove fatal, as in the case of Philando Castile whom police shot to death after he informed them that he was in legal possession of a firearm, insuring that there would be one less black to inevitably contribute to the crime rate. Before he was killed, police had previously stopped Castile for minor traffic violations 52 times, leaving little doubt that like the nation as a whole the Minneapolis police department has succumbed to RAPROD-∞.
Hate in the Time of RAPROD-∞
But police are not the only group afflicted with RAPROD-∞; the civilian population, particularly white women (BBQ Becky, Cornerstore Caroline, Golfcart Gail, Keyfob Kelly, and Permit Patty), are also at high risk, though white males (Coupon Carl, ID Adam, Jogger Joe, Pool Patrol Paul) have also been identified, the affected communities that have had to deal with them dubbing both with an alphabet soup of satiric sobriquets that poke fun at the malevolent stupidity of their actions and serve as a psychological prophylactic against daily traumas.
The Arizona sheriff’s deputy who stopped Philip Colbert accused him of being “deceptive” because he was shaking and looked “nervous”; the cop who detained Jahvon Beener in his police wagon for being shirtless on an 87-degree day eventually released him after smirkingly demanding he tell the students who had been waiting at the bus stop with him that “you were shaking in the car in the police car.” According to Beener, before he was released, the officer had asked him why he was shaking and shirtless. When Beener told him it was “because it was hot outside” the officer “acted like he didn’t believe me. He let me out and I felt humiliated and hurt.” Beener had good reason to shake: “I was scared for my life,” he told a reporter, a reasonable fear given law enforcement’s habitual lack of regard for black lives.
Similar fears were expressed by Sultan Benson: “I’m from the Southside of Chicago. I wasn’t supposed to make it to college…I made it to college, and I got the police called on me for being in the classroom…You know what’s going to happen in that 20 seconds. If I hadn’t kept my composure, I could have been riddled with bullets, tased, beaten down, handcuffed – there’s no telling.”
Young children are especially vulnerable to psychological ravages of RAPROD–∞. “I felt humiliated,” said 9-year-old Jeremiah Harvey, whom Cornerstore Caroline had wrongly accused of grabbing her butt when his backpack accidently brushed her in a Brooklyn bodega. “It’s still hard because I have this lately on my mind,” he said, “I can’t think of nothing more but this.”
Untreated, RAPROD-∞ is often fatal – not to those who have contracted it but to those exposed to them. The disease is rarely lethal to carriers. At worst, they resign their jobs, are fired or suspended, suspend their presidential campaigns, or become the object of fleeting social media notoriety. This is not the case for those who are exposed to the disease by virtue of their blackness and who can never regain their stolen innocence.
In the three months since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been daily, detailed data dumps on the number of victims it has claimed, as well as how to cope with the psychological, sociological, and economic toll of the crisis. This has not been the case with RAPROD-∞. There is little mention of the number of blacks and browns who have lost their jobs and their lives because of spurious 911 calls and jittery, trigger-happy cops, and nervous neighbors, storeowners, teachers, and shoppers who feel threatened by anyone of any age with a tincture of melanin.
At least with COVID-19, social distancing has helped alleviate the impact of the pandemic. Not so RAPROD-∞. Carriers of the disease such as Keyfob Kelly and ID Adam have physically blocked blacks from entering their own homes. In fact, Kelly was so “uncomfortable” with one black male resident entering “my building” that not only did she unsuccessfully try to block him from entering, she followed him inside, rode the elevator alone with him to his floor, and followed him down the corridor to the door of his apartment until he entered and self-isolated.
At worst, blacks may suffer the fate of Atatiana Jefferson, who was killed by police in her Fort Worth, Texas home in 2019, or of Botham Jean, another Texas casualty who was murdered in his own apartment by a white female police officer who mistook it for hers. Mentally ill blacks are particularly vulnerable. In New York in 2011, Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a 68-year-old former Marine was tased, shot with bean-bags, and ultimately fatally shot by police when they broke into his home after he accidentally triggering his medical alert device.
The Penultimate Solution
Despite these outbreaks of RAPROD-∞, the pandemic has not risen to the level of a national emergency, perhaps because those most affected by it constitute a powerless minority. National statistics are not kept on the number of carriers and their victims, and containment strategies have yet to be seriously discussed. In response to the crisis, cellphone cameras and access to social media have become a mandatory survival tool like condoms during the HIV/AIDs crisis. Black families have developed “the Talk” to prepare their children for how to deal with police in particular and racially paranoid whites in general. But how young should such discussions start? With 6- and 7-year-olds who act out in class? Eight-year-olds who have the police called on them by licensed cannabis entrepreneurs for selling bottled water without a permit? Twelve-year-olds who have police sicced on them for mowing lawns? (In Florida alone, over the past five years, 5% of all juvenile arrests have involved elementary-aged children.)
Or taking a hint from Bennett, should they be prepared in utero for the post-natal, societal abortion that awaits them?
* [In a hostage situation] try to humanize the victims by using their names.
Doing It for the Culture
Hip Hop artist Jay Electronica just debuted his new album called-A Written Testimony. The album’s music is inspire by Jay Electronica’s Black liberation Muslim teachers-the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Jay-Z is the guest emcee on many of the tracks on the album. On the track called Universal Soldier, Jay-Z spits one of the greatest bars in Hip Hop history. Jay-Z is quoted on Jay Electronica’s Universal Soldier track saying, “growing up he knew less about Chesimar all about Pablo Escobar.” This track is one of many socially conscious selections on the album. Chesimar is Assata Olugbala Shakur-the legendary Original Black Panther Party / Black Liberation Army freedom fighter. Escobar was Columbia’s Pablo Escobar-one of the world’s most notorious cocaine drug dealers from the 1970s and the 1980s. This line speaks to the generations of Black people intentionally miseducated on Afrikan History, spirituality, and culture.
Like Jay-Z, many of us Black folks, grew up in the post Civil Rights and Black Power era. The Civil Rights and the Black Power movements were missing in the Black community. With many Black leaders and Black organizations either coopted or violently repressed by US government, the Black liberation movement in the form of Civil Rights and Black Power was gone on a mass level. In the 1970s and 1980s, consequently Black people, particularly Black youth, had no pro-Black movements to gravitate to for Afrikan centered Black consciousness.
During this time, the streets, the drugs, the drug game, the gangs, the guns, American individualism, poverty pimping, clubbing, Pop music, House music, and Hip Hop became the new movements in the Black community. This was all by design from White hegemony.
With the Black liberation movement destroyed, White supremacy and the system of racism now had a free pass to continuously oppressed and miseducate our people on our own history, culture, and spirituality every day. However, by the late 1980s and 1990s, this will change. Afrikan centered Movements, like the Nation of Islam and Afrikan centricity, survived the onslaught of White domination to push forward organizing our people to challenge White oppression. But most importantly, the Nation of Islam and Afrikan centricity challenge our European centered consciousness to help us develop an Afrikan centered Black consciousness. These movements formed organically out of Black oppression. Therefore, they did not wait for the US government, a 501c3, the public school system, the charter school system, the private school system, or an elected official to give them permission to reeducate our people on the factual knowledge of Afrikan History, culture, and spirituality, especially on the history of the original Black man and Blackwoman, Afrika being the birthplace of humanity, the Afrikan origins of the world’s civilizations, and the Afrikan origins of western religions.
The Nation of Islam has been in existence for over 90 years. It draws its teachings from Al-Islam and Black nationalism. The Nation of Islam was founded on July 4, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan by Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. At the death of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1975, his seventh son, Warith Deen Mohammad (formerly name Wallace Muhammad) took over the leadership of the mighty Nation of Islam. In three years, the Nation of Islam, the largest Afrikan centered Black Islamic organization in the world was dismantled. There was no more Nation of Islam. It was replaced by Sunni Al-Islam. All of the Nation of Islam’s Mosques were closed for public meetings that were at one time used as a platform for organizing Muslims and Black people for liberation struggles. They were turned into a masjid (Arabic word for mosque) now just used for salaat (Arabic word for prayer). The Fruit of Islam (F.O.I) and Muslim Girls Training-General Civilization Class (MGT-GCC), the weekly military training of Muslims, Blackmen and Blackwomen,were abolished. Its’ Afrikan centered Black liberation theology on Al-Islam was replaced by a more moderate American, and some aspects Arabic centered theology. However, after three years,the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, who join the Nation of Islam under the most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X leadership, could not take the destruction of Nation of Islam moving forward. He left Imam Warth Deen Mohammad’s leadership. He believed that the fall of the Nation of Islam help set the Black community back deeper under the yoke of oppression in America. Therefore, he went on to rebuild the work of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam to fight against White domination and Black oppression. He reestablished the F.O.I and MGT-GCC for the training of Muslims,Blackmen, and Blackwomen to help empower Muslims, oppressed people, Blackmen, and Blackwomen.
Afrikan centricity is an Afrikan centered intellectual movement challenging White supremacist and racist notions about Afrika, Afrikan History, Afrikan culture, Afrikan spirituality, Black people, World History, Caribbean History, western religions, and American History. Some of Its leaders consists of the following scholars: Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, Dr. John Henrick Clarke, Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, Dr. Asa Hilliard, Professor Jacob Carruthers, Professor Ashra Kwesi, Tony Browder, Professor Dr. Runoko Rashidi, Professor James Smalls, Dr. Naim Akbar, Dr. Lenard Jeffries, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Dr. Marimba Ani, Dr. Charshee McIntyre, Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. Maulana Karenga, and Dr. Molefe Kete Asante
Their efforts woke up many of us, including myself. I am now 51 years old. However, in my late teens and early twenties, the Nation of Islam and Afrikan centricity helped to shape my Afrikan centered world view. The same situation happened to many of us in Black neighborhoods in America. Some of us became respected leaders in the Black community, in the government, in the schools, in religions, and in Hip Hop. Unfortunately, by the start of the new millennium, many of us Afrikan centered Black folks began to turned away from Afrikan centered Black consciousness and the movement for Black liberation. This is why very few of us are not “doing it for the culture” anymore in the Black community.
Now, a whole new generation of today’s Black community, particularly Black youth, are again unfamiliar with their our Afrikan History, culture, and spirituality. Today’s Blackman and Blackwoman are not learning Afrikan centered Blackness on an independent mass level. As a consequence, today’s Black youth are very miseducated on the “the culture.” And what is equally disturbing is White hegemony is using our misinformed Black youth to get them to equate Afrikan centered Black consciousness, and anything pro-Black, with reverse racism. For example, Hotep, the Afrikan Kemetic (Egyptian) word for peace, and a word used as a greeting by Afrikan centered Black people, is being equated with homophobia, sexism, and anti-Whiteness. Hotep is the oldest written word for peace in human history. But if you are Afrikan centered, our youth will call you a Hotep. Calling a Afrikan centered Black person a Hotep is utterly disrespectful to the “the culture.”
In conclusion, movements like the Nation of Islam and Afrikan centricity are still important to the masses of Black people, especially Black youth today. These movements are still independently teaching the significance of Blackness despite the opposition of White supremacy and the system of racism. But most importantly, these movements are necessary because they are helping Black people develop an Afrikan centered world view needed for Black empowerment and Black liberation in the new millennium in America and in the world.
-Bashir Muhammad Akinyele is a History Teacher, Black Studies Teacher, Community Actvist, Chairperson of Weequahic High School’s Black History Month Committee in Newark, NJ, commentary writer, and Co-Producer and Co-Host of the All Politics Are Local, the number #1 political Hip Hip radio show in America.
Note: Spelling Afrika with a k is not a typo. Using the k in Afrika is the Kiswahili way of writing Africa. Kiswahili is a Pan -Afrikan language. It is spoken in many countries in Afrika. Kiswahili is the language used in Kwanzaa. The holiday of Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January
Reagan’s Racist Conversation With Nixon: ‘Those Monkeys —They’re Still Uncomfortable Wearing Shoes
Presidential racism has been almost constantly in the headlines this month.
A newly emerged recorded phone conversation between current and future presidents almost 50 years ago is a reminder that racist beliefs held by highest-ranking elected officials were once considered private.
In October 1971, the United Nations voted to recognize the People’s Republic of China. Reagan, then the governor of California, despised the U.N, which he described as a “kangaroo court”, The Atlanticreported. When China was voted in, the Tanzanian delegation started dancing in the General Assembly.
Reagan phoned President Richard Nixon at the White House and vented about the delegates who had sided against the U.S. “Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did,” Reagan said. “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Nixon laughed.
Nixon kept retelling his version of what Reagan had said and the story changed as stories do. “This bunch of people who don’t even wear shoes yet, to be kicking the United States in the teeth … It was a terrible thing,” Nixon told Secretary of State William Rogers.
“Nixon didn’t think of himself as a racist; perhaps thRonald Reaganat’s why it was so important to him to keep quoting Reagan’s racism, rather than own the sentiment himself,” Tim Naftali wrote in The Atlantic. “But Reagan’s comment about African leaders resonated with Nixon, because it reflected his warped thinking about African Americans.”
Nixon taped the phone conversation with Reagan. The tape became the responsibility of the Nixon Presidential Library, which Naftali directed from 2007 to 2011. The National Archives released the tape of the conversation in 2000 and the racist portion was withheld to protect Reagan’s privacy.
Reagan died in 2004. A court-ordered review of Nixon’s tapes was completed in 2018. Two weeks ago, the National Archives released the October 1971 conversations involving Reagan.
Nixon believed in a hierarchy of races, Naftali wrote. Whites and Asians were higher up than people of African descent and Latinos. He believed it wasn’t racist to think of Black people as inferior to whites as a group.
“Nixon’s racism matters to us because he allowed his views on race to shape U.S. policies—both foreign and domestic,” Naftali wrote. “His policies need to be viewed through that lens.”
These new tapes are a reminder of the racism that often lay behind the public rhetoric of American presidents, Naftali wrote. Unlike Nixon, Trump doesn’t believe he needs to hide his racism.
The cruel ‘Lash Law’ of the 1800s that authorized the whipping of Blacks twice a year
By 1865, slavery had become an illegal practice in the United States of America, allowing former slaves to own properties and start lives of their own as long as they, like everybody, adhered to the laws that governed their respective jurisdictions although many of those laws still discriminated largely against the Black race.And the same went for many intolerant and completely dogged individuals who still believed that the Black race was a second-class one and should therefore not be allowed to exist on its own. Peter Hardeman Burnett, first Governor of California and a man who rose to the highest law-making body of America, for instance, was one of these people.
Known famously for his many racially-instigated actions, decisions and attempts, this astute, self-taught lawyer of the mid 1800s was a man that, instead of his many stellar accomplishments in academia and in public administration being the focus of his life, is no longer as important.
Burnett was responsible for many racist decisions against the Black race of including the “Lash Law” of Oregon which is today famously known as the “Peter Burnett ‘s Lash Law.”
This exclusion law against African-Americans sort to achieve this one goal: Blacks in Oregon – be they free or slave, man or woman – be whipped twice a year (up to 39 lashed) “until he or she shall quit the territory.”
The law, which undermined an earlier provisional government ban on slavery entirely, also allowed slave owners three years to free enslaved persons, in effect legalizing slavery for three years. Although the whipping penalty was soon changed, and possibly never executed, it is probably the one thing anyone in Oregon knows about Burnett today, if they know anything about him at all.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 15, 1807; his mother was a member of the prominent Thomas Hardeman family, but Burnett said his parents struggled to make a living and he grew up poor. That, if it was the case, did not create any sense of sympathy in him, rather, it fueled his life-long disgust for the African-American race, pushing him off the plate of those who should be celebrated today for major things they did for humanity and the Black race in their time.
As a young boy, Burnett had two slaves dedicated to him in Missouri, according to an 1840 census, largely so too because on both sides of his family, they owned enslaved persons. Indeed, it is believed that he may have tried to bring at least one enslaved person to Oregon, as accounts of the 1843 emigration refer to a young African-American woman, or girl, who drowned in the Columbia River, as being attached to the Burnett family.
A man known to have had probably the most impressive list of achievements of any leader in the early American West, going on to serve on the supreme court of the Oregon Territory and becoming the first governor of California, Burnett’s legacy today is shrouded in a lot of failed attempts by what is described as blatant racism and inept leadership.
He made questionable decisions that undermined his leadership, including changing the 1850 Thanksgiving Observance from a Thursday to a Saturday, evidently for his own convenience.
He was also responsible for notoriously trying severally to push down his racist ideologies about Blacks and why they didn’t need to be freed totally. In California for instance, Burnett joined a heated and divisive debate over race and slavery that extended throughout the states and territories and was tearing the nation apart, culminating in the Civil War.
Several delegates to the 1849 Constitutional Convention were slave owners, among them William McKendree Gwin—soon to be chosen as one of California’s first U.S. senators—who owned at least 200 enslaved persons on his Mississippi plantation.
With little debate, the delegates voted to prohibit slavery in the soon-to-be new state, but they deliberated at length as to whether to include a provision in the constitution banning African Americans, before finally deciding that it would be improper to include such a law in the constitution. They did deny blacks the right to vote.
Once elected to the supreme court in California, Burnett picked up the torch for exclusion in his first annual message to the Legislature, calling the exclusion an issue of “the first importance.” He used the same racist arguments he had used in Oregon: African Americans would take jobs from whites, and would be a discontented element in society because they were second-class citizens deprived of the same rights as the white population.
To this, he added a prediction that manumitted slaves from the South would be “brought to California in great numbers.” As many as 1,000 blacks, both free and enslaved, were already in California, working in mining camps and at other jobs.
His insistence and fears on getting Blacks out was unrelenting, as he believed banning African Americans would produce the greatest good for the greatest number. “We have certainly the right to prevent any class of population from settling in our state that we may deem injurious to our own society . . . ” He mocked anyone who opposed such a law as succumbing to “weak and sickly sympathy.”
But his dislike for race, and especially the Black race was not a thing that only begun in California. As a young store owner in Clear Creek, Tennessee, he was responsible for killing an enslaved black man who broke into his store to drink from his whiskey barrel. Burnett set a trap for the burglar by propping a rifle on the counter with a string from the trigger to a window shutter. He went home to sleep and the next morning found the man dead on the floor. Burnett expressed remorse and was not charged with a crime.
In 1851, Burnett was back at it, again calling for an exclusion law requiring that Blacks be slapped with even harsher terms than before. “They have no ideas and no recollections of a separate national existence—no alliance with great names of families—no page of history upon which they recorded the glorious deeds of the past—no present privileges—and no hope for the future,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, Burnett didn’t stop with blacks. He also predicted a war of extermination against the Native American tribes. He would later argue in favor of prohibiting Chinese immigration, writing in his autobiography, Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer, that enterprising and hard-working Chinese would eventually dominate the Western economy “to the ultimate exclusion of the white man.” He said their very presence is “making tyrants and lawless ruffians of our boys” who could not resist the temptation to harass them.
Among other extreme things he did, the press during his time hugely condemned him for temporarily approving the death penalty for persons convicted of robbery and major property crimes.
But he achieved quite a lot with his life. He served as Oregon’s first provisional supreme court judge, was appointed to the Territorial Supreme Court, and opened the first wagon road from Oregon to California, leading about 150 would-be miners to California’s gold fields in 1848.
In California, his new home, he worked with John Sutter Jr. to develop the city of Sacramento; served in the pre-statehood San Francisco Legislative Assembly; was elected a judge on the pre-statehood Superior Tribunal; was elected governor following the 1849 Constitutional Convention; served on the Sacramento city council; and was appointed to the California Supreme Court in 1857.
As supreme court judge in California though, he was again undone by his racism. Burnett wrote the majority opinion in a ruling on January 11, 1859 that would have returned a black man, Archy Lee, to slavery in Mississippi even though he had been brought to California by his owner, and therefore by California law presumably was a free man. Lee’s attorneys maneuvered to have the decision ignored, and Archy Lee was freed. But the decision once again subjected Burnett to unbridled criticism.
He died in San Francisco on May 17, 1895 and is a forgotten man today.
source: The cruel ‘Lash Law’ of the 1800s that authorized the whipping of Blacks twice a year