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CBC Members Met with FBI Director Christopher Wray about the FBI’s Controversial “Black Identity Extremists” Report

CBC Members Met with FBI Director Christopher Wray about the

FBI’s Controversial “Black Identity Extremists” Report. This Is

What They Learned.

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray failed to explain why the agency he leads changed the name of a domestic terrorism designation from “Black Separatist Extremists” to “Black Identity Extremist,” during a recent meeting with a group of Congressional Black Caucus members about a leaked FBI document.

Wray also refused to acknowledge that Black activists, including Black Lives Matter organizers, are being monitored by the FBI, according to CBC members present at the meeting.

The leaked FBI document, titled “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers,” sparked a wave of controversy and sharp criticism of the FBI.

At least one CBC member called the leaked document “COINTELPRO 2.0,” while another said that the report “calls for open season on Black activists.” The document was shared widely with local law enforcement agencies across the country.

According to Newsweek, following the “fatal attacks on police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2016, the bureau expressed concerns about ‘the threat of copycat attacks against law enforcement’ at the Republican and Democratic national conventions.”

Newsweek reported that other documents showed that “the FBI has monitored Black Lives Matter protesters.”

Those documents were released, because of a lawsuit to expose the surveillance filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the civil rights group Color of Change.

On Wednesday, November 29, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and 2nd Vice Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.), provided an overview of their meeting with Wray in a teleconference with National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis; NNPA National Chairman Dorothy Leavell; and a group of Black publishers, editors and reporters.

CBC members, who are also members of the House Committee on Homeland Security, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Committee on the Judiciary were present at the meeting.

“Listening to [Wray], especially considering meetings and discussions we’ve had with Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions, he appeared to be a breath of fresh air,” Bass said.

According to Bass, Wray said the “Black Identity Extremists” report was completed prior to his taking the post, but he acknowledged that he “owns the document” now.

Wray also said that no one would be investigated or targeted, unless they met three points of criteria: there had to be credible evidence of federal crimes; a credible threat of force or violence; and both of those points had to exist in furtherance of a social or political goal.

Bass said the FBI uses that criteria to categorize people as domestic terrorists and, according to the leaked document, “Black Identity Extremists” fall into the category of domestic terrorism.

Wray also admitted that the policy wasn’t new, the name simply changed, Bass said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray denied that his agency is investigating the Black Lives Matter movement. In this photo, Wray speaks at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance Summit in Washington, D.C on September 7, 2017. (FBI/Wikimedia Commons)

“They used to call it ‘Black Separatist Extremists’ and they changed it to ‘Black Identity Extremists,’” said Bass. “[Wray] didn’t have a lot of rationale for why that change took place, except for the fact that the people that fall under the category ‘Black Identity Extremist’ don’t seem to be separatists in today’s world.”

CBC members raised major concerns about the report, one of which was how FBI even crafted the methodology to come up with the category of “Black Identity Extremists.”

“[Wray] essentially said that they used ‘open source’ documents, which means news reports,” said Bass. “Lord knows what that means.”

Bass said that, based on what she heard from Wray, the methodology seemed “flimsy.”

“When we raised our concerns that a new generation of Black activists were being targeted [including the Black Lives Matter movement] for surveillance and harassment, [Wray] said repeatedly that there was no investigation of the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Bass.

Bass and the other CBC members let Wray know that they were “completely aware” that some activists in their communities were experiencing surveillance and harassment, even though they didn’t meet the requirements that Wray described that would lead to an investigation.

The CBC members asked the FBI to retract the document and issue a new message to local law enforcement agencies.

“One of the problems with this document is that it has been widely distributed to law enforcement agencies around the country,” said Bass. “Many of us referenced either our own personal experiences or experiences we were aware of during the ‘COINTELPRO’ years when, if you send a document like this out to local law enforcement, in many of our opinions, you can declare open season on Black activists, because then local law enforcement agencies can use the document as justification for doing whatever they want to do.”

COINTELPRO, or the “Counter Intelligence Program” of the FBI, was designed in part to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of the Black nationalists,” during the 1950s and 1970s.

Writing for the Huffington Post, G. Flint Taylor, a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago, said that hundreds of documents were uncovered during a court case in 1976 that revealed that the FBI also plotted to destroy a children’s breakfast program run by the Black Panther Party and “disrupt distribution of the BPP newspaper.”

The documents exposed in the 1976 court case also revealed, “massive wiretap overhears, including conversations between BPP members and their attorneys,” Taylor wrote.

“The FBI denies they are surveilling (sic) our groups like the Black Lives Matter movement, but we told them that we don’t believe it and our information tells us that” those groups are under surveillance, said Richmond.

Richmond said that the CBC members plan to present information to the FBI detailing surveillance and harassment of Black organizers.

The FBI director expressed interests in meeting with CBC members regularly because, “We are the eyes and ears on the ground,” and the CBC offers diversity that the agency lacks, said Richmond.

Bass asked the Black Press to put the call out to their readers to let lawmakers know if they have experienced harassment or surveillance, a request that Richmond echoed.

Chavis, the president and CEO of the NNPA, committed to working with Richmond and other CBC members to uncover stories of unwarranted government surveillance and harassment in the Black community.

“People may be more considerate in doing things, if they know that the Black Press will be on their case,” said Leavell, the chairman of the NNPA. “In addition, it certainly shows our strength, if we can have a great impact.”

READ MORE AT: http://www.blackpressusa.com/cbc-members-met-with-fbi-director-christopher-wray-about-the-fbis-controversial-black-identity-extremists-report-this-is-what-they-learned/

“Proof of Consciousness” (P.O.C.) the Host of REVIVE!!! 11/29/2017

Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:

“Winning Wednesday”

#REVIVE #Tabm0ney #SpecialGuest 

#CurrentEvents #TrendingTopics 

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832. This episode of REVIVE will be an open forum so all perspectives can be heard through great conversation.

This episode on REVIVE is entitled “Winning Wednesday” on REVIVE RADIO! Call in to REVIVE at 215-490-9832, you never know what may happen!

GUEST:

Nyeeam Hudson “King Nahh”:

International Motivational Speaker, Artist, Author

Nyeeam Hudson has captured global and national celebrity attention and audiences. “The International Motivational Speaker” is one of “12 kids who rocked the world in 2016” according to the Huffington Post and Forbes would like for you to “Meet the most motivational kid in America.” Nyeem has been interviewed and has apperared on countless media platforms, including Good Morning America (ABC-NY).

Nyeeam Hudson has written his first book “We Are All Kings” – A Motivational Guide For Parents. He shares his journey to encourage young boys to believe in themselves as kings of greatness. There is no discrimination in his message – and shares the same message to young girls in his upcoming second book “We Are Queens Too!”  

Nyeeam Hudson is also Youth Advocate Director for the FP YouthOutcry Foundation (NJ) where he is a youth advocate and spokesperson.

“Expose your child to a broad spectrum of experiences. Let them explore and tap into their greatness – every moment counts!” – Nyeeam Hudson

YOU CAN CATCH REVIVE EVERY SUNDAY 11 AM-1 PM & EVERY WEDNESDAY 8 PM-10 PM!!!  

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832  & follow on Twitter, IG & Facebook @REVIVE_POC 

 WE NEED YOU ALL TO BE APART OF THE CONVERSATION!!

Slave markets in Libya – Who is to blame?

By Richard B. Muhammad and Raychelle Muhammad, Final Call Staffers

 

Libya’s suffering and slavery didn’t just happen

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Demonstrators hold signs during a demonstration against slavery in Libya on November 24, 2017,outside the Libyan embassy in the French capital Paris.

When CNN released video footage of a live slave auction in Libya, captured by journalist Nima Elbagir, shockwaves were sent around the world.

Starting the bidding at $400 each, buyers purchased 12 African migrants at an undisclosed location outside the capital city of Tripoli in a matter of minutes.

How is it possible for open slave market to exist in the year 2017?

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At the end of the day, several hundred people gathered in front of the Libyan Embassy in Paris to demand the end of slavery practices in the country updated following a report by CNN. Paris, France, November 24.

The roots of the slavery, suffering and misery in Libya goes back to the purposeful, targeted destruction of the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.

While President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, declared their assault on the North Africa leader was about protecting the Libyan people and standing for what is right, Libya has gone all-wrong with no solution in sight.

Raymond A. Winbush, a professor and director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, noted that by President Barack Obama’s own admission, the worst mistake of his presidency was how he handled Libya.

With three different feuding governments, Libya has never been more unstable. This instability left the door wide open for today’s widespread corruption, human rights abuses, and the slave trade, said Dr. Winbush.

Dr. Winbush told The Final Call that Libya once boasted the highest standard of living in Africa as Col. Gadhafi redistributed oil revenues back to his people. Libya is now in utter chaos. Racism and slavery are running rampant and these are crimes Col. Gadhafi would have never permitted, he said.

Dr. Winbush also noted that the end of Col. Gadhafi’s reign was accompanied by the birth of the international terrorist organization ISIS.

Gerald Perreira, the chairperson of the Black Consciousness Movement Guyana and Organization for the Victory of the People, drew attention to CNN and its role in offering an “expose:” “The world we find ourselves in is complex and full of contradictions. It is easy to fall for rudimentary textbook propaganda based on simplistic dichotomies, such as ‘the good guys versus the bad guys.’ If we are not aware of the complexities and nuances facing us, we can fall for this type of propaganda, whose sole aim is to keep us apart and destroy any type of unity that could strengthen our ability to defeat the enemy,” he wrote in a piece titled “Deceptive Intelligence: CNN breaks story on Slave Trade in Libya; French Government Voices Concern for African Migrants.”

“When examining and assessing the latest information fed us by one of imperialism’s mouthpieces, CNN, there are important things for us, as revolutionary Pan-Africanists, to keep in mind. The first thing to note is the clear hypocrisy and insincerity which is nowhere more stark than CNN’s recent expose of ‘Libyan crimes against humanity’ and French President, Emmanuel Macron’s call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to demand immediate action against this heinous ‘Libyan’ crime,” he wrote.

Mr. Perreira warned against giving too much credence to CNN and Western media without a critical analysis of their roles and their corporate, imperialist agendas. Lies “can come in the guise of the imperialists and White Supremacists themselves, or their mouthpieces such as CNN, BBC, Fox News or any of the mainstream corporate media outlets. We should never forget their role as cheerleaders and purveyors of the fake news that laid the groundwork for the invasion and destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya. Therefore, let us ask ourselves the burning question, why are they providing us with this information, and why now? Why are the imperialists suddenly feigning concern for the plight of Africans?” he asks.

“Muammar Qaddafi and the Revolutionary Committees Movement of the Al Fateh Revolution had a monumental task on their hands: to conscientize and reposition the Libyan people for a significant role in the revolutionary Pan-African project for a United States of Africa. This is a battle for all African revolutionaries. In Sub-Saharan African countries, where almost the entire population comprises Black Africans, we face the same battle. Here in the Caribbean, it is no different. So, when Qaddafi urged his people to look towards a United States of Africa and a revolutionary Pan-African perspective, he had to face Libyans who rejected this program in favor of Libya and the entire North African region joining the Barcelona Project, a Mediterranean-European alliance, whose aim is to take North Africa out of Africa,” Mr. Perreira continued.

“Prejudice against dark-skinned Africans exists all over planet earth. Even in countries where the population is almost 100 percent Black African, we have to contend with ‘shadism,’ a hangover from colonialism and plantation culture, where Africans with lighter skin shades are held in higher esteem than Africans with darker skin shades. However, to say that ‘Arab Libyans’ are selling ‘Africans’ is overly simplistic and deliberately misleading. There is a hidden agenda here—beware. The objective is to ignite hostilities between so-called Arab-Africans and so-called Sub-Saharan-Africans. There is a debate amongst Africans about who is an African. On the one hand, there are those who limit the definition of African to Black Africans in the Sub-Saharan region of the continent. On the other hand, there are those of us who believe that Africa is one, and we will resist any attempt by the imperialists to redefine and further balkanize Africa,” he continued. “Rather than becoming part of the European Community, North Africans promoting the Barcelona Project would be better off seeking out their African roots. This is what Muammar Qaddafi told all Libyans.”

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Col. Muammar Gadhafi

The writer lived in Libya and is a Gadhafi loyalist. Mr. Perreira pointed out how the forces of U.S.-European Union imperialism had fought to take down Col. Gadhafi and his government since its establishment in 1969. In 2011, Col Gadhafi was on the brink of unifying the African continent and was poised to receive the UN Human Rights Award, he wrote in an article published on Modern Ghana online.

But the Obama administration, on the advice and counsel of Secretary Clinton and others, along with British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, and Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani launched an all-out assault against Col. Gadhafi which ended in his execution on Oct. 20, 2011.

President Obama’s ‘regret’

In an interview with The Atlantic published in April 2016, President Obama discussed the U.S. “intervention” in Libya which he said was carefully planned to stop Col. Gadhafi from invading Benghazi, where there was an uprising. President Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden and then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, initially wanted no part in the conflict, according to the article. It was Secretary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and others who won Mr. Obama over. But he expressed remorse for how Libya was handled and turned out—but not that Col. Gadhafi was killed.

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The effort, which cost the U.S. $1 billion, was an epic failure. Publicly, Mr. Obama said, “Libya is a mess.” Privately, the article said, he called Libya a “sh*t show.”

“When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong, there’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” President Obama said to The Atlantic. “If we’re going to do something, obviously we’ve got to be up front, and nobody else is sharing in the spotlight.”

The former president’s admission of error does nothing to solve the problem. Complicating matters, Italy’s government has made deals with Libya’s coast guard, tribes, and warlords to prevent refugees from entering Libya and continuing their journeys into Europe.

And while Western nations were able to collude on how to deal with Libya and Col. Gadhafi, they have not come together to deal with the horrors of Libya today. Did the Western nations fear what was happening in Libya and an awakening of a broader African identity and possible political and economic reality?

Mr. Perreira offers a compelling answer: “The North Atlantic Tribes Organization (NATO) deeply fear this type of awakening and the unity of purpose and action it could lead to in this oil rich and wealthiest region of the world. Minister Farrakhan said many years ago, reflecting on periods of unity in our history, ‘we did it before and we can do it again.’ Muammar Qaddafi’s persistent struggle to forge a United States of Africa was starting to pay off. He was on the verge of creating an African currency that would have shifted the global economic imbalance, preparing the way for Africa to take its rightful place in the world. … Fear of this emerging African unity, especially between countries in the north and south of the continent, prompted France to orchestrate (Cote D’Ivoire leader Laurent Gbagbo’s)  removal from power at the same time as the NATO led invasion of Libya. Genuine African unity, resulting in anything more than talk, will always be opposed, no matter what the cost, by the forces of White Supremacy.”

Chaos breeds refugee crisis

Since 2014, over 600,000 people have migrated to Italy including an all-time high of 180,000 refugees in 2016 alone. Although this action has left migrants vulnerable to being sold into slavery, Italy’s interior minister Marco Minniti stands behind their policy.

The International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency, has been reporting the rape, violence, extortion, and enslavement of refugees for months.

The IOM exposed the problem and yet no one was apparently listening. Migrants were being swindled by human traffickers they had paid to transport them off the African continent. Survivors said instead they were enslaved, starved, and abused by their captors.

“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

All Africa reported that many families of migrants captured by militia and smugglers have been extorted. If they can’t pay the ransoms, then the prisoners are sold. Often the new owners will try to extort the families as well. If at some point the captors can neither collect on nor sell a prisoner, or if the prisoner falls ill, the prisoner is killed.

The CNN footage has garnered much attention and condemnation from the UN, African leadership, and people around the globe. Shortly after the story aired, a massive, and at times violent protest in Paris outside the Libyan embassy ensued. Similar demonstrations were held at Libyan embassies in several African capitol cities including Bamako, Mali and Conakry, Guinea.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate investigation into the matter and prosecution of all guilty parties.

France called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the problem. President Emmanuel Macron condemned human trafficking as a “crime against humanity” via Twitter on Nov. 22. He has since met with head of the African Union, Alpha Conde.

But are France’s hands clean? “The destruction of this most prosperous and just African country was led by France, who now dares to call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the crimes committed against African migrants ‘by Libyans.’ This is devil-speak,” said writer Perreira. “The same devil who, in the words of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, ‘unleashed the demons’ that are now committing these and other heinous crimes, is trying to sow more discord by talking about ‘Libyan crimes.’ Where was CNN and the French government when these same gangs of demons were committing the atrocities described above?”

Libyans have vowed to cooperate with the UN probe while also conducting investigations of their own. But West African political leaders have heavily criticized the Libyan slave trade and are taking action on behalf of exploited migrants from the region. Both President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou and the foreign minister of Burkina Faso, Alpha Berry, summoned the Libyan ambassador to meet to address the issue.

President Issoufou has demanded that the International Court of Justice investigate Libya. The matter of the slave trade in Libya has been added to the agenda of the next African Union meeting in Ivory Coast on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30.

Looking to the future

Where do we go from here? The answer to that question is multi-layered with many moving parts. Minister Abdul Akbar Muhammad, the international representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam told The Final Call that those who have bought and sold slaves must be held accountable.

All authorities, who include the AU, the UN, the U.S., international human rights organizations, and all three divisions of the Libyan government, must step in to chastise and isolate the offenders, he said.

Mr. Muhammad also observed that the fractured Libyan government model is nothing shy of a “basket case.” And with the government being a product of a military coup, Libya should be kicked out of the UN as well as the AU, he argued.

The United States must now be involved in the solution as both the creator of the problem as well as the home of the media outlet that filmed and aired the footage of the inhumane practice, Min. Akbar Muhammad said. CNN’s reporting has culpability in the world’s perception of this crisis and their investigative team is a witness against the perpetrators, he continued.

Mr. Muhammad also said Blacks in the U.S. and other members of the African Diaspora must become voices for the victims by petitioning their governments and human rights organizations to act swiftly against slave trafficking.

Perhaps the most important action that the 54 members of the African Union must take, Mr. Muhammad said, is to immediately begin to invest in building their economies, creating business and employment opportunities, and improving the quality of and access to education so that young people will no longer have to risk their lives migrating to Europe.

 

READ MORE AT:   https://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_103895.shtml

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro. Elliott 11/26/17 guest Attorney Ezilli Danto

“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 11/26/2017 at 7:00 PM (EST) guest was Attorney, Author, Historian, Founder and President of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, Ezilli Danto. On the heels of the government decision not to extend protection for Haitian earthquake victims (TPS), we talked about Americas foreign policy in Haiti from the Clinton administration to the present administration along with other topics with our guest, Attorney Danto.

Please listen, and leave your comments.

 

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Guns ‘key’ to African American equality: NAAGA

NAAGA Vice President Douglas Jefferson believes gun violence should be remedied with a 'holistic' approach [Photo provided by NAAGA]
NAAGA Vice President Douglas Jefferson believes gun violence should be remedied with a ‘holistic’ approach [Photo provided by NAAGA]

The United States’ recent history is filled with mass shootings and a lack of political will to initiate reforms to curb gun violence. The past two months have seen two of the deadliest shootings in the nation’s history.

As of November 24, there had been 321 mass shootings in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks gun-related violence. October saw the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history in Las Vegas, when Stephen Paddock killed 59 and injured more than 500 concert-goers at the Mandalay Bay hotel.

On November 5, Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 and injured 20 at a Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the deadliest shooting in a place of worship in the US’ history. These tragedies have energised calls for increased gun control legislation.

Simultaneously, the far right has seen a surge in support after the election of Donald Trump, whom they view as sympathetic to their cause. US hate crimes have risen for the past two years. Minorities have taken to arming themselves for self-defence as a result.

Gun control has been used to limit African Americans self-defence groups in the past, most notably the post-Civil War “Black Codes”, which disarmed African Americans, and the 1967 Mulford Act, which was supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and attempted to inhibit the gun rights of the leftist Black Panther Party .

Al Jazeera spoke with Douglas Jefferson, the vice president of the National African Americans Gun Association (NAAGA), a Black alternative to the NRA, about their view on mass shootings, public perception of African American gun ownership and how responsible gun control could be achieved.

Al Jazeera: What approach does the NAAGA take towards gun violence tragedies like those in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, as compared with an organisation like the NRA?

Douglas Jefferson: [The] NAAGA addresses issues of gun rights in a holistic manner, particularly in regards to African Americans. The recent spate of mass shootings are just as tragic as past shootings. However, the reflexive response of many people is to blame the guns used to perpetrate such tragedies. This is a mistake in that this response does not actually solve the issue of mass shootings in a meaningful manner.

In the case of the shooting in Sutherland Springs, laws were in place that should have actually prevented this shooting. The issue was that mechanisms of the current laws did not function properly. Adding more laws and restrictions does not solve that issue. In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, the shooter had no history of arrests, mental illness, or violent behaviour in addition to keeping his plans to himself. That kind of individual is very hard to detect and interdict without laws that violate the civil liberties of the average citizen.

Al Jazeera: The African Americans community has a long history of gun ownership in its struggle to achieve equal rights. In response, conservative politicians have signed gun control laws that targeted the rights of African Americans. How do you view modern gun control legislation?

Jefferson: Gun ownership in the black community has been key to achieving many of the gains that we enjoy today. The marches of the Civil Rights Movement and the accompanied voting registration drives in the Jim Crow South would have been impossible without the Black people from those towns who hosted the out of town marchers in their homes and protected those same marchers with firearms against domestic terrorist attacks from [Ku Klux] Klan members and white mobs. While some of the current gun control laws were well intentioned and others weren’t, I don’t think that the current gun control law structure has had the desired effect of reducing gun violence.

This is [because] gun violence is not looked at holistically. There are many factors that contribute to the level of gun violence that we see, and the presence of the firearm itself is the smallest factor. Since firearms do not operate themselves there is a human element that must be contended with. Also, one must look at the differences between street crime-related gun violence and mass shootings.

Though the outcomes of the two instances are the same (injuries and death), the two phenomena are created by different conditions with structural poverty being the primary driver of street crime-related gun violence and a lack of societal mechanisms to identify and address individuals with mental illness or emotional instability in the case of mass shootings.

Al Jazeera: Is there a way to achieve responsible gun control? If so, what would be necessary?

Jefferson: While there are measures that could be instituted to curb gun violence, there is no one broad-based policy that addresses all gun violence without severely impeding on the rights of individuals who are unlikely to ever commit such crimes and such policies do not focus on the gun itself.

There is also the question of weighing the cost of prevention policies against the rights of the greater majority who do not commit gun violence. We have to remember that with every law there has to be an enforcement mechanism for when the law is violated. Our current legal system tends to lean toward draconian punishments for crimes and, given this fact, I am not inclined to believe that a slew of new gun control legislation would be much different. Given the history of the US, I can see a situation developing where black people are unfairly targeted by such laws. It has happened before in this country and it continues to happen to this day, particularly in the case of drug crime prosecutions.

Al Jazeera: The past few years have reportedly seen a rise in gun ownership in the African Americans community. What do you think is behind this?

Jefferson: There are multiple factors contributing to the rise in black gun ownership. One factor is the level of crime [experienced] in a number of our communities. People are concerned about their safety and realise that the police are not always able to respond in time to protect them. They want to be ready and able to protect themselves in the event that someone attempts to victimise them.

Another concern is the increase in violent rhetoric and acts from hate groups like the alt-right, KKK, and Neo-Nazis. There is a history in this country of such groups violently attacking members of the black community. The past has shown us that armed self-defence is a practical response to such instances where the state cannot be there to protect you due to physics (time and space), or won’t be there due to incompetence, moral cowardice, or outright malice.

Al Jazeera: NAAGA was founded in February 2015 as an alternative to the NRA for the African Americans community. Why did the African Americans community need an alternative? What did the NRA’s advocacy lack?

Jefferson: NAAGA seeks to address 2nd Amendment rights (those that guarantee gun ownership in the US) in a holistic fashion in regards to the African Americans community. When most people think of what a gun owner looks like, African Americans don’t come to mind. Generally, this is true even amongst African Americans. NAAGA seeks to change this reality by educating African Americans on the rich history of the black tradition of arms in this country, which has been integral to every moment of African Americans self-determination which created conditions for African Americans to live as fully fledged citizens of a country that historically has not recognised us as full citizens.

Al Jazeera: How does being a gun owner inform your identity as an African Americans?

Jefferson: I am proud to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights because I know that practice comes from a long and proud tradition of arms within my community. From escaped slaves who took up arms to maintain their freedom against slave catchers to Civil Rights leaders who defended their homes and families against Klan nightriders – who would terrorise them at night after the marchers had gone home, there are countless examples of African Americans affirming their rights as citizens and human beings by embracing the 2nd Amendment. I see myself and NAAGA as continuing that tradition and bringing to life the stories of many of these individuals that have been forgotten.

READ MORE AT:  http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/guns-key-african-american-equality-naaga-171124140652472.html

 

Betting On Sub-Saharan African Growth Favorites In A Strong 2018

By Kurt Davis Jr. AFKI Original
sub-Saharan African growth - Africa attractive to clothing brandsEthiopia is one of the Africa countries expecting strong growth. Photo: Petterik Wiggers/Wall Street Journal.The news last month from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding sub-Saharan African growth has investors breathing a sigh of relief.

The IMF expects sub-Saharan Africa to grow by 3.4 percent in 2018, up from the 2.6 percent in 2017. Although such figures create optimism, they do not match the higher growth numbers in previous years.

Between 2004 and 2011, for example, sub-Saharan Africa grew 6.2 percent, with a peak growth of 7.6 percent in 2007 and a low of 4.1 percent in 2009 due to the 2008 global financial crisis.

The average growth between 2012 and 2015 was 4.5 percent, and growth has trended downward since then.

The rebound in 2018, according to the IMF, is not an indication of strong momentum in growth going into 2019.

One-third of the countries will grow 5 percent or more in 2018—largely in the eastern and western regions of Africa—however, combined with a decline of per capita incomes in 12 countries which house 40 percent of the region’s population (~400 million people), according to the IMF’s report.

This piece looks at the countries offering the best opportunities in 2018, with a strong consideration for the challenges in 2019. That qualification for 2019 underlines the economic and political uncertainty that will be created by a few elections in the coming 18-24 months.

Expected growth of 1.9 percent and 1.1 percent in Nigeria and South Africa respectively will bump up against elections in both countries in 2019, which has some investors skittish about the coming year.

Ghana

The election of Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016 excited many investors. Getting an administration in place and making some economic changes, however, took some time, thus 2017 receives mixed reviews. But all indicators point to a strong 2018 with growth expected at 8.9 percent.

Oil production is expected to pick up in the country to match the current $60-plus thinking on Brent prices in 2018.

Kosmos plans to resume drilling on Ghana’s TEN project in early 2018. Energy growth, including gas-to-power, will be the focus in 2018 which will further help Ghana strengthen local aspirations with consumer products and light industrialization.

Any forward movement on the “Made in Ghana” policy launched in 2016 would be helpful for a country that would love to manage its imports and build up local content.

Agri-business is also an exciting focus for this country, with many investors viewing Ghana as a key player in agriculture for the continent going forward. Education also always remains an interest in what is considered West Africa’s education hub.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is expected to grow 8.5 percent in 2018. To many investors, such high growth in Ethiopia is not anything necessarily new in recent times and has not always bred investment opportunity.

The positive from Ethiopia in 2018 may simply boil down to a three things: (1) the amount of consumers continues to grow (thus why Ethiopia has the largest mobile operator); (2) consumers are spending more; and (3) investments have been tried and proven (compared to pre-2012).

Investors will find a ready partner for manufacturing and light industry as the model has been tested and proven beneficial for both investors and the country.

Agri-business will also be a focus for investors as local content for packaged goods and food is big for the government’s tight management of imports in relation to the Ethiopian currency.

Non-food related goods, including pharmaceutical products and household products (i.e., toothpaste, detergent), still require more investment for similar currency reasons and to address local consumer demand.

Cote d’Ivoire

The Francophone Africa show will continue into 2018 led by Cote d’Ivoire. The country is expected to maintain its 7 percent-plus growth in 2018 and 2019.

Power generation is improving, with increasing interest from private investors and development institutions, and accompanies West Africa’s second largest port, a modern airport, and a relatively strong road network.

The growth, however, may be outpacing other vital sectors, including the real estate and financial sectors. Housing and office space is in demand for a growing middle class and to support growing international businesses in the country.

The financial sector still requires some restructuring and offers opportunity for private investors with an appetite for smaller sized investments that are capable of producing strong returns.

Senegal

Senegal is the other pivotal country in the Francophone story.  The opportunity in the country is widespread and underpinned by 7 percent grow in 2018. Energy and transport infrastructure are still a vital focus for the country.

The story here is not new as Senegal knows its economic hub reputation for West Africa depends on its ability to support business in the region with basic infrastructural requirements.

Other exciting opportunities largely flow from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are more the story in Senegal versus some other West African giants.

The government is doing a lot to support entrepreneurship in industrialization, manufacturing and agriculture in the country to boost SMEs. The ongoing complaint, ironically (for this article), remains the same with a lack of operational and financial partners.

Those concerned about a Senegalese election in 2019 can probably find solace in the strong performance of President Macky Sall’s ruling coalition in the 2017 legislative election.

The next three – Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mozambique

Picking one of the above three to finish out a top five is hard. Burkina Faso is on the right track with 6.5 percent growth expected in 2018 to follow up what appears to be 6.4 percent growth in 2017.

Extractive industries and public investment, especially in infrastructure, have largely driven these growth numbers. But the government recognizes the challenges with a large concentration of its growth dependent on its own spending.

Thus current spending allocated for 2017 and 2018 significantly focus on entrepreneurship and boosting the business landscape for SMEs, particularly as it confronts extremism in the country.

Pulling in foreign investors has not been easy and makes the growth story a more cautious one.

Kenya remains the ‘beast of the east’ but is still settling its presidential election. Many investors expect a big 2018 for the country when the dust settles (hoping the dust settles before 2018). The business environment is familiar to investors and it is the economic and financial hub for East Africa.

The country’s airline has refinanced; the financial sector has finally digested an interest rate cap; and foreign investors had to sit still during a 2017 slow down – they will want to release the pent-up capital and energy.

The excitement is nevertheless cautious, as any political situation (as seen in 2017) can cause a complete slowdown.

Mozambique is quietly getting back on track after a debt fiasco…yes the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is still investigating the fallout. That said, President Filipe Nyusi is doing his part to clean up the country’s image.

The gas story is getting back on track for LNG. Investors are returning to the country with Kibo Capital making the latest investment in the country’s consumer goods space. Other investors are lurking around agri-business, logistics and warehousing which is great news after the last 18-24 months.

A strong turnaround would touch the Lusophone hearts in Africa (including yours truly).

Wildcard

Zimbabwe makes the list because there are many investors who have been excited by this country for years. The economic collapse in 2008 and subsequent economic hiccups have kept many investors away.

Playing politics is not fun for investors but you can bet that there will be investors closely watching how the political situation plays out in Zimbabwe.

Any economic opening with clear investment rules and laws, followed by an improved legal system and enforcement would excite anyone looking at the country. That said, there is a significant amount of work necessary to create a favorable environment to attract capital.

Kurt Davis Jr. is an investment banker with private equity experience in emerging economies focusing on the natural resources and energy sectors. He earned a law degree in tax and commercial law at the University of Virginia’s School of Law and a master’s of business administration in finance, entrepreneurship and operations from the University of Chicago. He can be reached at kurt.davis.jr@gmail.com.

READ MORE AT: https://afkinsider.com/141425/betting-on-sub-saharan-african-growth-favorites-in-a-strong-2018/

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro. Elliott in Open Forum 11/19/2017

“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 11/19/2017 at 7:00 PM, Open Forum conversation with the listeners on this weeks hot topics. Our health segment guest was Universal African Peoples Organization Health Minister Nathaniel Jordan, with information on Type II Diabetes, and other valuable health tips.

New NAACP report details health impact of oil and gas industry on black communities

Fumes Across the Fence-Line examines the environmental justice impacts of the petroleum industry

The Valero Three Rivers Refinery near San Antonio, Texas. According to the new Fumes Across the Fence report, 10 percent of the African-American population in Texas lives within a half-mile of an oil and gas facility.
Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Air pollution is equal opportunity when it comes to impacting human health. But when much of the infrastructure of the U.S. petroleum industry is concentrated near low-income communities, its effect on these communities and their residents becomes outsized.

A new report released today, Fumes Across the Fence-Line, for the first time directly quantifies the elevated health risk that million of African-Americans face due to this threat. Released as a joint project of the NAACP, Clean Air Task Force (CATF), and National Medical Association (NMA), the report chronicles the health and environmental justice issues that come as a result of a concentration of refineries and other facilities in lower-income neighborhoods, and also offers case studies and suggestions for community action.

The results suggest that oil and gas pollution are taking a serious toll on the African-American community. More than 1 million African-Americans live within a half-mile of existing natural gas facilities, more than 6.7 million African Americans live in the 91 counties with oil refineries, and more than 1 million live in counties that “face a cancer risk above EPA’s level of concern from toxics emitted by natural gas facilities.”

Due to heightened exposure to pollution, the report concluded that African-American children suffer from 138,000 asthma attacks and 101,000 lost school days each year.

Top 10 States by African-American Population Living within a Half-Mile Radius of Oil and Gas Facilities

State African-American population within a half-mile Percent of African-American population in state within a half-mile
Texas 337,011 10%
Ohio 291,733 19%
California 103,713 4%
Louisiana 79,810 5%
Pennsylvania 79,352 5%
Oklahoma 73,303 22%
West Virginia 13,453 17%
Arkansas 10,477 2%
Mississippi 10,448 1%
Illinois 10,227 1%
TOTAL 1,052,680 2%

Oil & Gas Threat Map

Historically, African-American are 75 percent more likely to live in what the report calls “fence-line” communities, those located next to a company or industrial facility and impacted by operations, whether it’s from noise, odor, traffic, chemical emissions. Due to a number of factors—a low-level of political power, lower costs, and a corporation’s ability to influence local government—companies have sited facilities in these communities.

One of the case studies showcased the disparity in how local government reacts to these types of environmental justice issues. At the end of 2015, a massive methane gas leak in the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Los Angeles became national news and led to a state of emergency and temporary housing for residents. But in other, lower-income and minority-majority parts of Los Angeles, such as Jefferson Park, where residents located near petroleum facilities also complained about health risks, the response was much more muted and delayed.

The resulting disparity has created an environmental health divide; black Americans are exposed to 38 percent more polluted air than white Americans. Roughly 13.4 percent of African American children, 1.3 million in total, have asthma, compared to a 7.3 percent rate for white children.

The report suggests that communities respond with concerted environmental justice campaigns, and push local, state, and national leaders to adopt and promote clean energy alternatives. In addition, the EPA finalized strong methane standards covering new and modified oil and gas facilities in 2016. Pushing for enforcement, as well as the continued existence of the EPA’s environmental justice division, are key aspects in reducing the outsized health burdens faced by the African-American community.

READ MORE AT: http://www.naacp.org/latest/fumes-across-fence-line-new-study-naacp-clean-air-task-force-national-medical-association/

8 Times The U.S. Government Gave White People Handouts To Get Ahead

Here are eight historic examples of how ALL WHITE EUROPEANS have benefited, and still benefit from white privilege. Also in the same examples, it shows how the so-called 1% of whites in power helped to give their poorer European brethren solid economic starts several times in the 19th and 20th century.

Time for an Awakening with Bro. Elliott, guest Obi Egbuna Jr. (U.S. Correspondent to Zimbabwe’s National Newspaper the Herald)

“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 11/12/2017 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) guest was Pan African Activist, Playwright, and U.S. Correspondent to the Herald (Zimbabwe’s National Newspaper) Obi Egbuna Jr. Our guest informed us about the Global African Children’s Festival and Celebration (GACFC) officially scheduled for December 9th 2017, and how you can participate. Also other hot topics, centering around his work as U.S. Correspondent to Zimbabwe’s National Newspaper.
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