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Africans vs. African-Americans – A White Supremacist Success

By A. Peter Bailey

I had a recent conversation with a young, intelligent, hardworking African-American during which he expressed deep hostility towards Africans. When asked why he felt that way, he told me of two incidents that occurred when he dated a young African woman from Nigeria and another from Ethiopia.

The Nigerian’s father exploded when she brought the young brother to her home. He demanded that the young man leave immediately since he didn’t want his daughter involved with any African-American.

When the young Ethiopian woman took him to an Ethiopian club, she was angrily pulled aside by an Ethiopian male and asked loudly, “Why you bring him here?” Again, he had to leave immediately.

I told him that I understood his feelings, having myself had several run-ins with Africans who spoke with hostility and contempt about African-Americans. However, I continued, African-American are not innocent when it comes to dealing with Africans. On numerous occasions I have heard some African-Americans speak with contempt about Africans, even going so far as to call them “jungle bunnies.”

The image of Africa for too many African-Americans comes from Hollywood films and from American television, newspapers and magazine reporting. The Hollywood films often depict Africans either as scantily clad villages or providing some kind of service to “superior” White folks. The journalistic reporting much too often can lead readers to believe that one third of Africans are living in dire poverty, another third are sick or dying from AIDS and the final third are killing each other in endless conflicts. I have actually heard some African-Americans wonder if there are cities or universities in the continent.

I told the young man that such attitudes as mentioned above by Africans and African-Americans are among the most unfortunate victories of the proponents of White supremacy. I also told him that when the average person of European descent sees a Black man or woman, he doesn’t care if he or she are from Lagos, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Harlem, USA, Kingston, Jamaica or Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All that person sees is a Black person who he has been told is inferior to him or her.

White politicians, educators and business persons also see a Black man, but they are clever enough to know that one of the best ways to keep the upper hand over all Black people is to discourage unity among them by any means necessary. So they use psychological toxins to encourage Africans to believe that they are better than African-Americans and African-Americans to believe that they are more civilized than Africans. Way too many Black people have been infected by these toxins.

It is time for serious Black folks from throughout the the world to develop a psychological inoculation against this insidious, debilitating infection. It can be done, we just have to put our time, energy and resources into it. If we don’t, the temporary success of the proponents of White supremacy will become permanent.

Nat Turner’s Mental and Military Motivations

By Ezrah Aharone

Nate Parker’s movie The Birth of a Nation has revived the question: What caused Nat Turner’s 1831 uprising? Turner, first of all, was not a deranged misfit who acted outside of a historical context of previous African freedom fighters. Throughout slavery’s duration, resistance was not only constant and fatal, but twofold. Africans equally resisted both slavery and Americanization.

Contrary to popular “feel good” versions of history, the “fight against slavery” should not be presumed as a “fight to become American.”  For enslaved Africans like Turner, Americanization was the obstacle — not the vehicle — to the freedom they sought. 

A largely overlooked factor that forged Africans into Americans was their inability to muster enough weapons to militarily free themselves from Americanization.  Along with the 2nd Amendment which allowed Whites to bear arms, slavery was also backed by America’s military, which is why 800 soldiers deployed against Turner.  Within this context of warfare (which fomented at least 313 recorded armed uprisings), there is provable evidence that Africans became Americans — not by virtue of winning the Civil War — but by virtue of prior military defeats.

CNN’s Town Halls won’t discuss this, but numerous captives were already soldiers in Africa beforehand, who like Turner, held deep monotheistic beliefs.  Once in America, these battle-tested troops launched guerilla forms of warfare whenever possible, using whatever weapons possible, with clear theological convictions that fused spirituality with revolution.  Naturally, after being forcibly uprooted 5,000 miles from long-lived kingdoms and cultures, they deemed Euro-Americans as new adversaries, and Americanization was certainly not their goal.   

This explains why tens of thousands of Africans militarily fought with the British against America during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  Plus, another 100,000 fled or died fleeing to join British forces.  Conclusive stats are unknown, but from a sheer combat perspective, the Revolutionary War could be framed as the largest uprising of Africans who ever unified to militarily free themselves from Americanization . . . including Africans reportedly owned by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.    

Despite being defeated, it is still necessary to credit legitimacy to such Africans, beyond distorted narratives that label Turner an “African American” even though men like him sought America’s military downfall.  Olaudah Equiano (an Ibo, captured at age 11, who published the first surviving “slave account” in 1789: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano) wrote, “When you make men slaves, you compel them to live with you in a State of War.”  Once freed in 1792, he bolted like lightning to England.

Haiti’s independence (1804) ignited further military motivations.  On July 4th, 1804, instead of recognizing US independence, hundreds of Blacks in Philadelphia stormed Independence Hall to live Haitian independence vicariously.  Flanked in military formations, they carried swords and attacked Whites for two days, chanting “we will show them [whites] St. Domingo [bloodshed like Haiti].”

So, by the dawn of his 1831 uprising, Turner was just one cog in a long continuum of such idealists.  Other notable military operations involved: Fort Mose in Florida (1738-1763); the Stono Uprising in South Carolina (1739); the German Coast Uprising in Louisiana (1811); Negro Fort in Florida (1815); and David Walker’s Appeal (1828) advocated revolution and religion (even though Walker was more an assimilationist than sovereignist).

Men like Turner also equated themselves to other hemispheric freedom fighters (in nations like Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Columbia) who gained independence . . . including Euro-Americans.  For example, before being hanged for their 1800 planned uprising, one of Gabriel Prosser’s soldiers retorted, “I have nothing more to offer than what General [George] Washington would have had to offer, had he been taken by the British and put to trial.  I have adventured my life in endeavouring to obtain the liberty of my countrymen, and am a willing sacrifice in their cause.” In translation, he meant, “Bring it; I stand upon universal principles of freedom that — just like you — I will never compromise.”

Interestingly, in a “60 Minutes” interview, Nate Parker paralleled Nat Turner to George Washington in terms of their shared idealisms to “Birth a Nation.”  From this perspective, whether you agree or disagree with Turner’s guerilla tactics, his comparative cause to end tyranny was no less honorable than America’s founders.

Tyranny, however, can be a very peculiar and subjective creature, since “one man’s tyranny can be another man’s liberty.” Hence, George Washington, who enslaved and tyrannized over 300 Africans is deified on Mt. Rushmore as a hero, while conversely, Nat Turner who fought against slavery’s tyranny is demonized as a savage.  To this contradiction, James Baldwin once quipped, “In the US, violence and heroism have been made synonymous . . . except when it comes to Blacks.” 

This article was culled in part from “The Sovereign Psyche: Systems of Chattel Freedom vs. Self-Authentic Freedom” by Ezrah Aharone, who is an adjunct associate professor of political science at Delaware State University.  He is also a political and business consultant on African Affairs, as well as the author of “Sovereign Evolution and Pawned Sovereignty.” He can be reached at www.EzrahSpeaks.com.

Petition Launched by conservative White Media Firm to Include Clarence Thomas into African American Museum After Exclusion

Corporations Boycotted North Carolina over the Bathroom Bill, When Will They Stand Against Racial Injustice?

As the events unfold in Charlotte in the aftermath of the murder of Keith Scott — another Black man by police — questions arise as to what it will take to bring about real change in the realm of racial justice in North Carolina, and the role that corporate America will take.

As part of the so-called “new” South, with a large corporate presence and urban professional transplants from the North, the state wants to have it both ways.  President Obama won North Carolina in the 2008 election, and a city such as Charlotte represents growth, progress and diversity, as The Washington Post reported, with “buttoned-up business (a banking center, an airline and retail hub), a multicultural melting pot and a farm-to-table haven.”

And yet, the state has elected a Republican-led, white supremacist state government, with a governor and a legislature that has sought the wholesale deprivation of Black voting rights, leading to the NAACP-led Moral Mondays movement.

Then there is the so-called “bathroom bill” known as HB2, which challenges a Charlotte city ordinance regarding gender-neutral bathrooms.  And while the legislation has been known as an anti-LGBT law, it also eviscerated local ordinances, making it illegal for localities to expand the protections of state laws governing minimum wage standards, job discrimination and public accommodations, as the Charlotte Observer noted.

nc-state-1So while North Carolina had positioned itself as more cosmopolitan, progressive and tolerant than its neighbor bordering to its South — South Carolina, which had been embroiled in a Confederate flag debate of late — the state has paid a price with HB2.

According to Facing South, while state officials wish to downplay its impact, a corporate boycott of North Carolina has led to losses in the tens of millions of dollars.  Over 200 companies and organizations have expressed their opposition to HB2, and they are taking their business out of the Tar Heel state.  For example, PayPal canceled its planned $3.5 million complex, Deutsche Bank placed a corporate expansion on hold, and the NBA will take its All-Star Game elsewhere.  The purpose of this and other boycotts, Facing South noted, is “to raise the economic and political costs of doing business as usual, to the point that decision-makers — whether lawmakers or corporate CEOs — are forced to change course.”

But what will it take for corporate America to respond to the calls for racial justice, in the midst of police violence against Black people?  If they can take a stand against HB2, certainly these companies can demand that local and state governments do more and enact reforms if they want the dollars to continue flowing.

With a high-profile police killing and a continued effort at Black voter suppression — despite a Supreme Court decision rejecting North Carolina’s voter ID law and other voter restrictions — the time seems perfect for corporations to use their political muscle to benefit Black folks.  White reactionary lawmakers believe they can get away with disrespecting African-Americans.  For example, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, who represents parts of Charlotte and its suburbs, said Blacks are protesting in Charlotte because “they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” as NBC News reported.

And in some cases, with blood on their hands through their role in profiting from slavery, these North Carolina-based companies have a debt to pay Black people.  For example, Bank of America admitted its ties to slavery, as two of its predecessor banks had dealings with the slave trade, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Further, a third predecessor accepted slaves as collateral on loans, as Your Black World Today reported.  Two companies that were incorporated into Wachovia — now owned by Wells Fargo — owned slaves and accepted them as collateral on loans or mortgages.  And the founder of R.J. Reynolds, Richard Joshua Reynolds, came from a large slave-owning family of tobacco farmers.  These companies can, at a minimum, support a boycott in North Carolina and a movement around racial justice, and provide support to the descendants of enslaved people in the form of employment, scholarships and community programs.

Writing an editorial in NBC News, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II — president of the North Carolina NAACP and founder of the Moral Mondays movement — summed it up best when he called the riots in Charlottethe predictable response of human beings who are drowning in systemic injustice.”  It is not about Black people hating the police, he noted, but rather people of all races “rising up against systems of injustice that shield officers who kill but leave millions defenseless.”

Declaring that “it’s the ballot or the riot,” Rev. Barber wrote that as hopeless as things may seem, we know what needs to be done to change the conditions that led to Keith Scott’s death.

“Right here in North Carolina, we have seen how people impacted by unjust policies can come together in coalitions across color and lift up a moral agenda that embraces the good of the whole,” he said. “This kind of coalition movement building is not easy, and we cannot win the change we need in a single election. But every step forward in this nation’s history has come from movements like this one.”

Report: Black men, boys shot most by Chicago police

CHICAGO (AP)

Every five days, on average, a Chicago police officer fired a gun at someone.

In 435 shootings over a recent six-year span, officers killed 92 people and wounded 170 others.

While a few of those incidents captured widespread attention, they occurred with such brutal regularity — and with scant information provided by police — that most have escaped public scrutiny.

Now, after months of struggles with Chicago police to get information through the Freedom of Information Act, the Chicago Tribune has compiled an unprecedented database of details of every time police fired a weapon from 2010 through 2015.

Analysis of that data revealed startling patterns about the officers who fired and the people they shot at.

Among the findings:

•At least 2,623 bullets were fired by police in 435 shootings. In 235 of those incidents, officers struck at least one person; in another 200 shootings, officers missed entirely.

•About four out of every five people shot by police were African-American males.

•About half of the officers involved in shootings were African-American or Hispanic.

•The officers who fired weren’t rookies but, on average, had almost a decade of experience.

•Of the 520 officers who fired their weapons, more than 60 of them did so in more than one incident.

•The number of shootings by police — hits and misses — declined over the six years, from more than 100 in 2011 to 44 in 2015.

The analysis comes at a time when police in Chicago and throughout the country face heightened scrutiny after several controversial police shootings, often of minorities, have been captured on video and gone viral.

The Tribune’s study encompasses high-profile cases such as the McDonald scandal as well as scores of incidents that were not caught on video and received little or no attention. It begins on New Year’s Day 2010 with a teen shot in the stomach while handcuffed to a security fence in the Park Manor neighborhood. It ends six years later, on the day after Christmas 2015, when an officer wounded an armed suspect on the Far South Side.

For years, examining the full scale of the problem in Chicago was impossible because the city refused to release most details about police-involved shootings. Before the release last year of the video of Laquan McDonald’s killing brought pressure for transparency, the only information made public in the hours after a shooting came in comments from a police union spokesman at the scene and perhaps a short statement from the Police Department. As investigations dragged on for months or years, the details remained hidden.

The data on officer shootings were released to the Tribune only after a seven-month battle with the city over its failure to fulfill public records requests. The department finally produced the data in July after the Tribune threatened to sue. Reporters then spent weeks comparing the data with information that was gathered earlier this year from the city’s police oversight agency as well as with other records, including autopsies and court records.

To be sure, policing the city’s most dangerous streets can be harrowing. Nearly 6,000 illegal guns have been seized in the city so far this year — a staggering amount of firepower that far outpaces other big cities. The dangers were on display in graphic detail earlier this month when the department released dramatic dashboard-camera video of officers being shot at while pursuing a carjacking suspect in their squad cars on the South Side. One officer suffered a graze wound to his face.

“As a police officer, you don’t wait for the shot to come in your direction,” Dean Angelo Sr., president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, told the Tribune recently about the database findings. “You might not get a chance to return fire.”

But for many of those who live in the largely African-American communities where police most often open fire, the narrative of self-defense seems like a familiar script.

At a recent rally protesting police shootings, Charles Jenkins, a 61-year-old community activist who has spent his entire life on the city’s West Side, said he believes race plays a role in how authorities investigate shootings by police.

“It’s easier to believe, because they’re black, that an officer was in fear of their life and get(s) off,” he said

Those shot by Chicago police ranged in age from early teens to the elderly, the records show. The youngest, Dejuan Curry, was 14 when he was wounded in the leg in August 2015 after police said he refused to drop a weapon he held in his hand as he ran. A federal lawsuit is pending against Victor Razo, the officer who allegedly fired the shots. The Tribune’s records show that Razo was involved in two other shootings between 2010 and 2015.

The eldest victim, Hazel Jones-Huff, 92, was wounded when off-duty Officer Courtney Hill opened fire during a quarrel between neighbors, killing Jones-Huff’s 86-year-old husband. Jones-Huff was charged with battery for allegedly going after the officer with a broom, but a judge later acquitted her of all counts.

The records show the shootings in which a civilian was injured or killed were concentrated in a handful of high-crime police districts, all with largely African-American populations.

Leading the list was the Gresham District, which had 30 police shootings in which someone was injured or killed in the six-year span. Next were two other South Side districts — Englewood with 27 and Grand Crossing with 18. The Calumet and Harrison districts on the West Side each had 17, according to the records.

By contrast, the Jefferson Park and Near North districts, which have majority-white populations, each had four police shootings over the six years. The Town Hall District, which includes part of Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, the rest of Lakeview, Lincoln Square and part of Uptown, had none, the data show.

The officers who shot

From the data, the Tribune was able to identify the race of 300 of the 324 officers who opened fire in shootings that resulted in injuries or death.

Although white officers make up a larger portion of the police force, they don’t shoot citizens at a higher rate. Hispanic officers, meanwhile, make up only 19 percent of Chicago’s police force but fired in 26 percent of officer-involved shootings.

A little more than half of the officers who fired shots at people were minorities — 84 Hispanics (28 percent) and 69 blacks (23 percent). White officers made up 45 percent of the total — 136 officers in all. The other officers were listed as Asian/Pacific Islander.

The officers also tended to be experienced, not rookies who suddenly found themselves in over their heads. The records show officers who have shot at citizens had an average of about nine years on the job.

Not surprisingly, 87 percent of the police officers who fired their guns in fatal or nonfatal shootings were on duty, the analysis found. Yet that meant 31 shootings involved off-duty officers who wounded or killed people.

Over the six-year period, 520 officers fired a gun at a citizen. The force generally has about 12,000 members. But the Tribune found that 64 of them were involved in at least two separate shootings.

Several of the repeat shooters have been featured in Tribune stories in recent years. At least two of them, Marco Proano and Gildardo Sierra, have been the targets of criminal investigations by the FBI, although no charges have been filed against either.

Proano, who remains on the force on paid desk duty, killed a teenager during a struggle outside a South Side dance party in 2011, then was captured two years later on dashboard camera video cocking his gun sideways and firing into a car full of teens as it drove away, wounding two. Sierra was profiled in the Tribune in 2011 after he was involved in three shootings, two of them fatal, during a six-month span. Sierra resigned from the department last year.

In the past, the Independent Police Review Authority has not tracked officers involved in multiple shootings if the shootings were deemed justified.

Guglielmi, the police spokesman, said the department is now developing an early intervention system to identify and mentor officers who may be at risk, including officers who were recently involved in a shooting or other high-stress situation. The system “will not be designed to be punitive” but will function more as a “risk management” plan to get to an officer’s issues before they manifest on the street, he said.

Officers who have fired their weapons in multiple incidents also avoided public scrutiny in part because the police union contract bars the department from identifying officers after a shooting. In most cases, no information about the officers involved was ever made public unless a lawsuit was filed — and even then the city typically fought in court to keep records sealed.

Meanwhile, the Independent Police Review Authority’s investigations of officer-involved shootings often included testimony and reports from other officers who backed up one another’s accounts — a “code of silence” that has been criticized for years.

In all but a handful of shootings that IPRA investigated over the six-year span, the agency ruled the officers were justified in their use of deadly force.

The Tribune’s analysis showed that Chicago police are the only witnesses listed in most of the shootings, with civilian witnesses identified in just 83 of the incidents.

Alexa Van Brunt, an attorney with Northwestern University’s Roderick MacArthur Justice Center, said it’s often challenging to prove misconduct or a cover-up when it comes to an officer’s word against that of a civilian.

“We don’t have video evidence often,” Van Brunt said. “And if you have police officers lying on reports, that becomes the official record.”

‘He put me in that position’

No officer has fired at citizens more during the time period examined by the Tribune than Tracey Williams, an African-American tactical officer with nearly a decade on the job.

Over five years, Williams fired her gun five different times in various neighborhoods throughout the city — from North Lawndale to Fuller Park, the Tribune analysis shows.

Each time, she fired at a black male. The targets ranged in age from 17 to 45. One died, one survived with a gunshot to the leg and three others were not hit.

The only investigation to capture public attention involved the Dec. 4, 2010, killing of Ontario Billups in the South Side’s Gresham neighborhood.

Billups, 30, was sitting in an idling minivan with two friends in the 8100 block of South Ashland Avenue when Williams and her partner pulled up in an unmarked Chevrolet Tahoe, according to IPRA records.

In a statement she later gave to investigators, Williams said the car looked suspicious so she shined a spotlight into the van and ordered the occupants to show their hands. She was running up to the passenger side of the vehicle with her gun drawn when she said she saw Billups with a “dark object” in his hand.

“He turns,” Williams said. “As he’s turning towards me quickly his hand is coming out quickly with this dark object. I immediately fire a shot.”

Billups was shot once in the chest and died. The dark object turned out to be a bag of marijuana. Even though Billups was unarmed, Williams defended her use of force in her interview with IPRA investigators.

“His actions led to my actions,” she said. “He put me in that position.”

Meanwhile, Williams remained on the street. In one six-month period, from July 2012 to January 2013, the officer fired her gun in three separate incidents but missed. The next year, she wounded an armed 17-year-old boy in the leg. A review of that incident is pending, though most of the records have been sealed by IPRA and the Police Department because the boy was a minor.

In November, the city agreed to pay $500,000 to settle an excessive force lawsuit brought by Billups’ family. That brought the total cost to $643,000 for taxpayers to settle four lawsuits related to Williams since 2010, court records show.

The Tribune’s analysis found that most of the officers involved in multiple shootings over the six years were involved in two each.

Holding a socket wrench

The data compiled by the Tribune show how police calls turned into confrontations — ranging from seemingly benign calls such as trespass or drinking in the public way to extremely dangerous situations such as hostage standoffs or gang shootings.

Police released information about why officers were initially at the scene in 185 shootings over the six-year period. About a third of the incidents — 63 in total — began with officers responding to a report of shots fired or a person with a gun, according to the data. Fifteen shootings happened after police responded to a report of a robbery.

At least 40 shootings began with a traffic or street stop, either because of an alleged violation or after officers stopped and questioned a group congregated in public. In more than a third of the stops, officers gave chase on foot, pursuing suspects through residential backyards, alleys or over fences before opening fire, the data show.

In statements issued by police after the shootings, six of every 10 cited a suspect either pointing a gun or shooting at police as the reason officers opened fire. But of the 74 autopsy reports reviewed by the Tribune, at least 11 showed the shooting victims had been struck only in their back, buttocks or back of the head. The data show police also shot people who wielded other types of weapons, including knives — such as in the McDonald case — but also tire irons, screwdrivers, baseball bats and crowbars. In some cases, the gun police thought they saw turned out to be something else entirely — a wrench or a watch, a cellphone box or wallet.

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Georgia Utendhal comforts one of her granddaughters, whose 16-year-old brother was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer in the 8700 block of South Morgan Street in Chicago on July 5, 2014.

The Gantt Report: Homie The Black Political Clown

By: Lucius Gantt

African Americans can’t wait to get to the polls to cast their ballots in the 2016 United States elections.

One Presidential candidate is “Heckle” and the other one is “Jeckle”. One candidate is Tweedlee Dee” and The other one is “Tweedlee Dum”.

It doesn’t matter who is running for the nation’s highest office, most Black voters will do as they are told. They will be given a list, or slate, and instructed to vote for candidates that political exploiters want them to vote for!

Call me a hater if you want to but if you hate the truth I don’t give a damn!

First of all, you have a Constitutional right to vote for whomever you want to and, yes, you should exercise that right but I pray that you will vote smart.

I pray that you will put your voter support behind candidates that support you., stand up for you, speak out for you, be accessible to you, listen to you, be responsive to you and care about you!

And, don’t give me any crap about voting for the “Black” candidates!

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Most Black politicians today are completely worthless and of no use to Black people.

You tell me, who are the candidates that look like you that will fight for the governmental policies and programs that you want? When Congress persons, legislators, commissioners and councilmen vote to appropriate, or divide up, tax dollars to special interest groups, corporate cronies, favored ethnic groups, desired sex and gender groups, who are the Black elect officials that will say “there are more Black people that are suffering, and more Black communities struggling than anybody else why does government give Black people, Black businesses and Black schools and other Black institutions the least government money”?

know you don’t like for me to write like this but it is true!

You think you are going to the polls to vote strong Black men and women but, in many cases, you stepping into the voting booth to cast ballots for dummies and puppets!

You’re not voting for the best representation that we can get, you are voting for Negroes who are willing to be controlled by the Democratic or Republican Parties!

The Democratic Party, for instance, is Willie Tyler and you are voting for Lester. The Republican Party is Buffalo Bob and you’re voting for Howdy Doody!

You think The Gantt Report is crazy? Prove it!

Who is running for office in 2016 that will represent you today like Black people were represented in the past by Adam Clayton Powell, or Maynard Jackson, or Shirley Chisholm or Harold Washington  or even Florida’s Carrie Meeks or Betty Holzendorf?

I knew Meeks and Holzendorf and the candidates of today are not them.

I’ve written it a thousand times but if you forgot it, let me repeat it. If Black political candidates believe that Black business are inferior, Black people are unimportant, Black issues are OK to ignore during the political campaign, they will feel the same way after you elect them!

A Black guy running for a seat in the Florida Legislature called me and asked me to give him some money for his campaign. I asked him to name the Black vendors, political professionals and Black owned media outlets he would spend money with and he told me ALL Black people working on his campaign would be volunteers so he could save his money for white media, white consultants and white vendors.

I hung up the phone on his pitiful ass!

Any Black voter or Black citizen that would give their support to any candidate, Black or white, that thinks all Blacks are worthless is not only a political fool they are a traitor to their race!

Black people have to control the politics in Black communities, Black districts and in Black precincts.

When political parties control Black candidates and tell them what to do, what to say, what to vote for and who they should hire, the Black voters and the Black people will continue to be exploited and oppressed.

If you are interested in politics, start grooming our young people. Teach Black youth how to campaign and generate votes. Teach Black boys and girls how to be strong, proud and politically intelligent Black men and women.

The only Black political clown I’ll support is “Homie the Clown” because if Homie ran for office, Homie wouldn’t play that “I want to be controlled” stuff!

 

An Ode to Obama and the Lie of Equal Grievance

by Kamau Franklin

Here is a man of great intelligence and wit. A man with a beautiful smile and an equally intelligent and beautiful wife with two lovely children. He is studied with great gifts of oratory and persuasion that placed him in the most visible seat of power that the world has known, President of the United States of America. As the first person of color to win the presidency, he has endured a delicate dance of protecting the dominant institutions of the American empire while attempting to give continued hope that the arc of American life will bend toward justice, if we believe in them and trust that the outcomes are good even if they are not perfect.

This is a laborious job in most circumstances. The attempt to direct a country of 300 million people of various backgrounds that the narrative of American exceptionalism, unquestioned moral good, and the possibility of economic advance is open to all, but to do so when you have inherited a great recession and a bungled invasion seems to tilt the balance into the impossible. However, this was a challenge he willingly sought because of his belief that he could navigate us through with his abundant abilities.

Obama entered with a sense of post-racial hysteria fanned by both the corporate press and his own electoral team and administration. His task in the area of racial politics was to make us all believe we shared a common destiny from a history forged through different experiences but still with common values and goals. His technique was to avoid saying anything about black people. He could openly support policies for the other segments of the population, but for us he let his swag speak for him. This was policy enough; with of course the added boot-strap language the black community always gets. He seemed to believe for a time that his mere presence was a fulfilment of racial togetherness as oppose to being the right person at the right time to fill a position.

When racial issues began arising first on the campaign trail with his former pastor Rev. Wright and then after his election with the arrest of historian Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Obama began refining what has become his signature style of racial discourse. He attempted to explain the grievances that blacks and whites have with each other, including assessing the competing interest of being Black and being a police officer who controls black bodies. He used a balanced grievance approach. He attempted to guide us through our troubles by informing us what each group has been experiencing. In this way we could understand where the other side was coming from. He believed that his is extraordinary gifts of speech would serve us all in the impossible task he took on of explaining away history as opposed to examining it.

His most heroic attempts have been wistful sonnets about the American political will to address and overcome strife. He treats us all to post-modernist arguments that there is no right and there is no wrong, just perspectives. The juxtaposition Obama gives us is of two aggrieved groups who must find a middle way. The sweet sounds make us pause in our tracks, until anyone with even a cursory knowledge of American history notices that we are not two sides who are missing each other for lack of a mediator to help us understand. Mr. Obama is a wonderful painter of images, except the canvas is made of crushed bones and grinded flesh.

Mr. Obama did not create the world he inherited, as he has pointed out, but he does embrace its fabric and texture. He will not lift the veil to serve a larger purpose, but hopes only to use his charisma to keep the lid on and hopes that things begin to settle down. There is no deconstructing of the American identity, instead we must suspend truth for the continued unity of the empire.

Black people are asked to pretend that the police and the larger white male population is somehow an aggrieved group worthy of comparison to the Black experience in America. Obama attempts to sell us such feeble arguments that compares the historical loss of millions of lives, culture, language, and land to that of a slightly diminished white-male historical dominance. The enslavement, rape, lynching and mass incarceration of a people later herded into ghettoes, with no collective control over institutions that govern them is compared to lower middle class white-male economic stagnation.  The current taking of Black lives with a “shoot first” mentality, that encourages purposeful and mistaken shootings by the police, will never be punished by judicial institutions because there is always a justification. He had a wallet or a candy bar that looked like a gun. She was assertive, he moved to fast, he moved to slow. Her eyes darted, he looked like he was dangerous, sometimes these things happen. The collective control of black bodies by state institutions through prison, schools, healthcare, workfare, child services and policing is somehow comparable to the angst of diminished white male demographics on the scales.

Obama who has not attended the funeral of any black person killed by the police, as that would send the wrong message to such militarized institutions will continue to make sure the agencies that have control over black bodies are given due respect, that proper remorse is paid. The structures of white supremacy and racism will always have an excuse that needs to be considered when black bodies fall, but no excuse will ever be allowed for the shooter of anyone who is wearing blue. Even though the recent shootings against the police were committed, not by activists and or community people but, by people trained by the US government. The same government that claims to deplore violence at home will take no responsibility for blow-back when it trains, teach and desensitize 18-year-olds to kill anyone they decide is an enemy to the US in foreign lands.

The oppressed understand however that Presidents and media institutions that speak of shared grief, that give us community forums seeking mutual understanding, that highlight hand-pick leaders with only staged arrest records, are no more than holders of the flame for continued outside control Black communities and people. New Sharpton’s for a new era.

The post-war, post-recession post-racial presidential warrior will not be able to deliver on ending inherited U.S. wars, on diverting resources to improve economic conditions in black (or white) communities or on improving the racial climate. That should not be taken as a failure but a mismanaged attempt to keep the status-quo functioning while selling us on lovely words of hope and change. Obama’s presidency was never supposed to be the end of war or economic inequity or racial conflict but a better managed system after the previous disaster of Bush.

The job was too big however because the lie of equal grievance was too big. The purposeful misguiding of people on the historical and current purpose of white supremacy being a malfunction of American history as oppose to the root of American history was way too big to manage. In the twilight of his presidency I am sure he can see the threads coming apart, leaving a talented man of great gifts, that could have been used in service to his community and the larger world as little more than a care-taker of a crumbling empire that a few beer summits and sentimental sweet words could not overcome.

How Dr King’s Inner Circle Views Zimbabwe

During an interview with Playboy magazine in January of 1965 conducted by the author of the book later adapted to a television mini-series “Roots” and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”, Mr Alex Haley posed the following question to the internationally renowned civil and human rights champion Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Do you feel that the African Nations, in turn, should involve themselves more actively in American Negro affairs? The epic answer by Dr King was as follows “I do indeed. The world is now so small in terms of geographic proximity and mutual problems that no nation should idly stand by and watch another’s plight.

“I think that at every possible instance Africans should use the influence of their governments to make it clear that the struggle of their brothers in the US is part of a worldwide struggle. In short, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, for we are tied together in a garment of mutuality. What happens in Johannesburg affects Birmingham, however indirectly. We are descendants of the Africans. Our heritage is Africa. We should never break the ties, nor should the Africans.”

Because this compelling answer by Dr King has both theoretical and practical implications, we are historically obligated to address the following questions, the first would naturally be, is there an African head of state bold enough to agree to raise the issues of so-called African Americans?, the second would be, would so-called African Americans come to their defence when they incur the wrath of US-EU Imperialism for taking such a bold and visionary stand?

The last and perhaps most formidable question would be, are so-called African-Americans courageous enough to even approach and engage an African head of state whose character and policies have been completely maligned by US-EU Imperialism?

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of what could be labeled Mother Africa’s most devastating political tragedy, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s government being overthrown by the CIA-orchestrated coup alongside British intelligence; It must be stated that Mr Haley’s question to Dr King is indeed two-fold.

The other part must address how so-called African-Americans deal with US policy on Africa. This shameful atrocity was committed while Dr King and his wife Coretta Scott King were dinner guests of the most Honourable Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, at his private residence in Chicago.

Another historical irony was that Osagyefo was on the way to Hanoi to present a proposal to end the Vietnam War, which as we know voicing his displeasure concerning this issue ultimately cost Dr King his life.

Since Dr King ended Mr Haley’s question by stressing the importance of never breaking the ties between African born in Mother Africa and so-called African Americans born inside US borders, it is only fair to begin by analysing how Dr King’s closest confidants, in particular and the Civil Rights movement in general, along with organised formations who consider the distinguished fighters and groups from this era their inspiration for being involved, have dealt with US-EU Policy on Zimbabwe.

Shortly before the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington in 2003, former US Congressman Reverend Walter Fauntroy had visited Harare and was granted the opportunity to have a private audience with President Mugabe. During this discussion, Reverend Fauntroy made a verbal commitment to use the platform of the march to raise the issue of US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe, the reason President Mugabe was pleased to explore this strategy was, not one member of the Congressional Black Caucus voted against the sanctions.

The end result was, at no point during the march did Reverend Fauntroy mention a need to make Zimbabwe an issue of importance.

In a private capacity, Reverend Fauntroy stated he felt that it was rather odd that African countries with a revolutionary pedigree like Zimbabwe, hired Caucasian-owned and run law firms to do their public relations and consulting without even considering people like him for the job. In April of 2014 and January 2015, two so-called African Americans, Prince Asiel Ben Israel and C Gregory Turner, were sent to prison for failure to register as agents for a foreign government.

Mr Ben Israel pled guilty and was sentenced to seven months in prison, while Mr Turner pleaded not guilty received 15 months in prison under the guise of illegally lobbying to lift US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe.

According to the prosecutors, Mr Ben Israel and Mr Turner were to receive $3,4 million to lobby for the lifting of the sanctions. Without debating the accuracy of this point, the fundamental question still has to be raised with Reverend Fauntroy, Mr Ben Israel and Mr Turner, should President Mugabe and zanu-pf have to pay a king’s ransom to so-called African Americans to get them to fight to lift US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe?

Zimbabweans still are trying to put behind them the shameful and unacceptable manner that former US Congressman Mel Reynolds came to Zimbabwe and attempted to con government officials into believing he could had the influence to help build a Hilton Hotel in Zimbabwe.

It must not be forgotten that Mr Reynolds was introduced to President Mugabe by Reverend Jesse Jackson in New York City at the UN General Assembly.

The day before this meeting, Reverend Jackson had audience with the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai, who attempted to come to the US and upstage President Mugabe’s delegation at the UN, even though he was part of the inclusive government at that particular time.

When highlighting his conversation with the Press that were part of President Mugabe’s delegation, Reverend Jackson admitted that it was an error on his part not to use his historic campaigns for the US Presidency not to call on the President Carter as a private citizen and President Reagan to honour the Lancaster House Agreement. Reverend Jackson also admitted that at no point did his organisation, the Rainbow Coalition, actively lobby to lift US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe.

History will judge what was worse, not fighting to lift sanctions or exposing Zimbabwe to a two bit hustler like Mel Reynolds.

In 2003, the head of the New York office of the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Attorney Michael Hardy had told the former Zimbabwean Ambassador to the US Dr Simbi Mubako, that NAN would like to explore the possibility of creating a humanitarian centre in Zimbabwe. When asked to be part of a delegation to observe the 2005 Parliamentary elections, he stated that NAN would want to meet Mr. Tsvangirai as a precondition for making the trip.

One of Dr King’s closest aides, Reverend Wyatt Tee Walker and a founding member of CORE, Reverend George Houser, who was a recipient of the Oliver Tambo Award from South African President Jacob Zuma in 2010 and founded the American Committee on Africa in 1953, have never called for the lifting of US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Reverend Houser transitioned last August and Reverend Walker also started the Religious Action Network of Africa Action, which is one of the organisations that is guilty of funneling National Endowment for Democracy blood money to 14 civil society groups in Zimbabwe.

Those who have heard President Mugabe reflect on the Lancaster House negotiations know he is extremely fond of Ambassador Andrew Young, who represented the Carter Administration during that engagement process.

As a special envoy for US Secretary of State John Kerry, Ambassador Young met with President Mugabe before the 2013 elections. This was Ambassador Young’s first visit to Zimbabwe since 2003, where he agreed to lobby for the lifting of US-EU sanctions behind closed doors.

After being in power for 36 years, President Mugabe and zanu-pf have come to the realisation that while Dr King’s disciples are very visible and well respected, health, old age and being hostage to the agenda of the Democratic Party prevent them from leading the fight to lift US-EU sanctions to the very end.

The beauty of this is President Mugabe and Zanu-PF may not even be familiar with the comrades leading this fight, which means they are not seeking compensation or recognition

Obi Egbuna Jr is the US correspondent to The Herald and the external relations officer of Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association (ZICUFA). 

The Need for African-American Males in “Higher” Education

My name is Rel Dowdell, and I am an acclaimed screenwriter, filmmaker as well as an English professor who has taught at Community College of Philadelphia for over 13 years. Last December, I filed a federal lawsuit against the college for discrimination in its hiring practices, for I was denied a full-time position in the English department two times, once in 2005, and once in 2015. As a result of my stand against hiring discrimination against African-American males in higher education, other African-American faculty members have respectively filed complaints in hiring and treatment. Additionally, one African-American male finally achieved full-time status in his science department this year after being denied four times in past years.

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In my time working at CCP, I have had tremendous results of success with students of all kinds, literally. I have done so at every campus of CCP, and there are four of them. The letters that students have written to department heads and administrators about my instruction to them are immense and heartwarming to hear about. Also, I do academic advising, assessment, and Allied Health test preparation at the school, and work with African-African males in the Center for Male Engagement.

 

Moreover, I met the qualifications of the human resources department, the hiring committee, and the department heads on two different occasions over the span of a decade. In fact, in 2015, the process included two department heads, for the hiring committee chair was Professor Linda Fellag, who was a previous head of the English department, as well as the current department head, Professor Girija Nagaswami. However, two administrators, one being the Vice President of Academic Affairs (who is African-American) and the Dean of Liberal Studies (who is Caucasian) denied me on both occasions. The first time I was denied, in 2005, I was shocked because the head of the hiring committee at that time, Doug Swauger, told me I was the best candidate that year. I was very optimistic that I would be hired full-time. I remember him telling me, “Rel, you can reach students I know I cannot. I am rooting for you, the committee is rooting for you, and we look forward to the good possibility that you will be a full-time colleague by the fall semester.”

 

That was a very humbling statement to hear from a veteran professor in the English department at CCP. I then met with the department head at that time whose name is Dr. John Howe. He is the one who originally hired me to teach in the department, and he also came to the premiere of my film “Train Ride” in Philadelphia at the International House. He knew of all of the positive assets I brought to the department and the school, and I advanced through that stage with no problem also. When I didn’t get the position, I was disturbed because I found out no African-American males were hired full-time in the English department that year. Since that time, top cable station BET’s website, BET.COM, cited “Train Ride” as one of the “best films about African-Americans in college,” ahead of major Hollywood studio films such as Denzel Washington’s “The Great Debaters” and “Love and Basketball.”

http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-star-cinema/photos/2013/03/college-movies.html#!/

Fast forward to 2015: I knew something was wrong within the hiring process this time, for I noticed that three black men have been hired by these two in the past fifteen years at a predominantly black school that gets substantial funding from the government to educate African-American men. Subsequently, there are only 5 out of 124 African-American men in the entire English department. All the while, I am on CCP posters and in its articles giving spotlight to my accomplishments in screenwriting and film-making. Those highlights have made me proud to be a professor at CCP. There was even a posting on the school’s Facebook page that cites me as a “great and well known professor.”

https://www.facebook.com/CCPeduAlumni/photos/a.371417626219659.102571.244631682231588/1147173325310748/?type=1&theater

 

However, the events that have transpired are very disappointing and make me realize that significant efforts like mine from African-American male instructors at CCP are devalued. It is difficult enough going through such an arduous hiring process where you don’t encounter any African-American males during it, whether in human resources, the hiring committees or the department heads. In the English department at CCP, full-time African-American females outnumber African-American males in a ratio of 3 to 1. When I met with the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Dean of Liberal Arts during my interview in 2015, I was ironically asked, “What can you do for the profile of the school outside of the classroom?” I had to wonder to myself, “Have they seen the numerous advertisements and correspondences from the college that promoted me and my accomplishments throughout the years?”

 

Dr. Warren Hilton, the former Dean of Enrollment Management, wrote me a letter of thanks last year and stated, “Thanks for your hard work!  I know that there are countless other students you have helped over the years. The work of individuals like you makes our students’ lives so much better.” Additionally, I have a file full of thank you notes from various students over the years that make my heart proud. One student, Jeannie Burns, sent me a note also in 2015 that stated, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your great work at CCP.  As an older adult going back to college, I felt it was a challenge. As a mother, wife, and a full time employee, I asked myself, ‘Was I ready for the hard work that was required?’ However, your constant and thorough patient English instruction pointed me and other students like myself in the right direction. You gave me hope and encouragement. Day after day, week after week, you made yourself available for any new challenges that came my way and other students as well.  As a result of your help and support, in 2016, I will earn my BS in Behavioral Health Counseling from Drexel University.”  Additionally, I have even assisted the college in a liaison with University of Pennsylvania. In April of last year, I received an email from Katrina Glanzer, who is an advisor at Penn. In her note to me, she stated, “I am working on a team project this semester to research what Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships might do to best support students transitioning from West Philadelphia High School through their matriculation to CCP. The Netter Center currently partners with the guidance counselor at West to help students with the college search, application and financial aid process. As part of this project, we met with Sandy Harrill, who recommended you as an excellent resource.”

In looking back at civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, one has to respect the sinew of the sacrifices each made when each risked his and her life in order to achieve equality for African-Americans. Rosa Parks specifically made a stand that African-Americans should not have to sit in the back of the bus and should be able to sit wherever they want. Nonetheless, it is very disheartening to see that African-American males are being excluded to sitting in the back of the bus when it comes to getting full-time opportunities to teach in the English department at Community College of Philadelphia, and that most assuredly needs to change, and change now, for good. There are a myriad of students that want to get into the profession that I am in and approach me on a countless basis, but it is very difficult to truly help them in the capacity that I would like to unless I am of full-time status.

I hope and pray for change so that collective society can benefit. As Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I am certain that the aforementioned situation of the lack of full-time African-American male professors is something that is unfortunately going on at institutions around the country. Hopefully, there will be those with courage and integrity to champion the cause of equality and bring change. If achieved, it will be evident that everyone benefits from the diversity of integrating full-time African-American male faculty into the fabric of higher education

By Prof. Rel Dowdell

Bigots are Yelling for Black People to ‘Go Back to Africa!’ – But What Does It Mean? And Is It Possible to Return?

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“Go back to Africa!”  It is the phrase du jour for racist whites, typically when used as part of a bitter, angry, expletive-laden rant against Black people.  There are so many examples of the popularity of this insult these days.

A Beaufort, South Carolina teacher told a Black high school student to go back to the continent after he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.  In Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans told the African-American community to go back amid calls for the city council to remove the Confederate flag from a local museum.  A Black student at Southern Illinois University was told the same thing when she was confronted by Donald Trump supporters in a residence hall.  And at Trump rallies in Chicago and Cleveland, Trump supporters were heard yelling the phrase, along with other racial epithets.

“If you call yourself an African-American, go back to Africa. If you’re an African first, go back to Africa,” said a white man to a Black woman and #BlackLivesMatter supporter at a Trump rally in Cleveland this past March, as reported by MSNBC.

 And recently, a Bank of America employee in Atlanta was fired for her racist Facebook rant.
 “When a bigot says ‘Go back to Africa,’ he or she is simply being nasty and irrational,” Dr. Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Ferree Professor of American History at the Pennsylvania State University, told Atlanta Black Star.  Moses is the author of Classical Black Nationalism: From the American Revolution to Marcus Garvey and Liberian Dreams: Records of an African Return 1853, among other works.  “I am not wise enough to know to how one can best respond to nastiness and irrationality.”

To be sure, there is a nastiness to the phrase, particularly when accompanied by other insults, threats and acts of violence.  For example, in October 2014, when a group of Black protesters outside a St. Louis Cardinals game sought to bring attention of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, they were met with a crowd of virulent white racists.  As Crooks & Liars reported, the white fans responded to the Black protesters by chanting “Let’s go Cardinals,” which changed to “Let’s go, Darren!” in honor of Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown. While attempting to initiate acts of violence, the white fans told the protesters to go back to Africa and called them jobless, while one of the white men called a Black activist a “crackhead.”

 “We’re the ones who gave all y’all the freedoms that you have!” shouted one white woman at the African-Americans, as a number of fans began chanting “Africa, Africa” – shorthand for the suggestion they go back to the motherland.

“Go back to Africa!”  It is the phrase du jour for racist whites, typically when used as part of a bitter, angry, expletive-laden rant against Black people.  There are so many examples of the popularity of this insult these days.

A Beaufort, South Carolina teacher told a Black high school student to go back to the continent after he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.  In Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans told the African-American community to go back amid calls for the city council to remove the Confederate flag from a local museum.  A Black student at Southern Illinois University was told the same thing when she was confronted by Donald Trump supporters in a residence hall.  And at Trump rallies in Chicago and Cleveland, Trump supporters were heard yelling the phrase, along with other racial epithets.

“If you call yourself an African-American, go back to Africa. If you’re an African first, go back to Africa,” said a white man to a Black woman and #BlackLivesMatter supporter at a Trump rally in Cleveland this past March, as reported by MSNBC.
 And recently, a Bank of America employee in Atlanta was fired for her racist Facebook rant.
 “When a bigot says ‘Go back to Africa,’ he or she is simply being nasty and irrational,” Dr. Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Ferree Professor of American History at the Pennsylvania State University, told Atlanta Black Star.  Moses is the author of Classical Black Nationalism: From the American Revolution to Marcus Garvey and Liberian Dreams: Records of an African Return 1853, among other works.  “I am not wise enough to know to how one can best respond to nastiness and irrationality.”
 To be sure, there is a nastiness to the phrase, particularly when accompanied by other insults, threats and acts of violence.  For example, in October 2014, when a group of Black protesters outside a St. Louis Cardinals game sought to bring attention of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, they were met with a crowd of virulent white racists.  As Crooks & Liars reported, the white fans responded to the Black protesters by chanting “Let’s go Cardinals,” which changed to “Let’s go, Darren!” in honor of Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown. While attempting to initiate acts of violence, the white fans told the protesters to go back to Africa and called them jobless, while one of the white men called a Black activist a “crackhead.”

“We’re the ones who gave all y’all the freedoms that you have!” shouted one white woman at the African-Americans, as a number of fans began chanting “Africa, Africa” – shorthand for the suggestion they go back to the motherland.

nd part of the assumption among whites is that Black folks should be happy to be in America, which, through its kindness and generosity, has rendered African-Americans the most fortunate Black people around. There is a perverse, outlandish assertion that Black people — kidnapped at gunpoint and brought to these shores in the belly of a slave ship, and, if they survived, were raped, tortured and forced to toil in prison camp plantations — should leave if they cannot appreciate all that white people have done for them. Of course, the parties to whom Black people would presumably return the favor came to North America from Europe — unannounced and uninvited — and stole the land from the indigenous population right from under their feet. Yet, never are there any calls for whites to return to Europe.

This sentiment was best articulated by conservative commentator Pat Buchanan in 2008.

“First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known,” Buchanan wrote on his website.

“Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream,” he added. “Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants.”

While the concept of returning to Africa is pejorative and insulting when articulated by white racists, it also represented a movement throughout history, with Blacks and whites involved in “back-to-Africa” movements — Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 19th century, Marcus Garvey in the early 20th century, and Pan-African activists and intellectuals such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Kwame Ture settling in West Africa.  It is a complicated history.

“In the later editions of From Slavery to Freedom, John Hope Franklin gave a nuanced analysis of the multiple and complicated reasons why some whites and blacks supported African deportation before the Civil War,” said Dr. Moses.

 In that book, Franklin wrote that as early as 1714, there was a proposal to send Blacks back to Africa.  Whites believed the races could not live together in harmony, and free Black people could not adjust to life in America, and created a problem for maintaining the system of slavery.
“There is no adequate history of the American Colonization Society,” said Moses of the organization which helped relocate thousands of freed Black people to what would become Liberia.  “There is no satisfactory treatment of Henry Clay’s advocacy of African deportation or of Abraham Lincoln’s decreasing interest in African deportation, as he evolved from a Whig to a Republican. In my view, Lincoln was never convinced of the practicality of deportation, for reasons that Alexis de Tocqueville had articulated,” Moses offered.   “I touched on my reasons for believing that Lincoln was not serious in my biography of Alexander Crummell (Oxford UP, 1989).   As for Jefferson, I think he was absolutely insincere about African deportation.  Jefferson was a complete phony, and like many populists he used democratic rhetoric to cover up aristocratic programs.   He never joined the American Colonization Society and contrary to popular belief, never supported the abolition of slavery.  Jefferson only called for ending the Atlantic slave trade except in order to inflate domestic slave prices,” he added.

“I would suggest that no discussion of the Back to Africa movements, either the white racist ones, or especially the Black ones (such as Garvey’s), is complete without considerable explanation of the nadir of race relations,” said James W. Loewen, the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me; Lies Across America; Sundown Towns; Teaching What Really Happened; and The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader.  During the nadir, which began during the end of Reconstruction and lasted through the early 20th century, was a time of white supremacy, Jim Crow segregation, racial terrorism and a loss of civil rights for Black people.

“Going back to Africa was hardly irrational, given how race relations grew worse and worse after 1890. That needs to be explained, lest Garvey, et al., come across as charlatans,” Loewen, who taught race relations at the University of Vermont, told Atlanta Black Star.

Meanwhile, many African-Americans today are crossing the Atlantic to live in Ghana, once a major starting point of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and one of the first African nations to emerge from colonial rule. While millions crossed the Middle Passage by force via Ghana for a life of permanent enslavement in America — 40 percent never making it to the other side — some of their descendants are returning for a better, more comfortable life, business opportunities and to rediscover their roots.

Ghana has a Right of Abode program that grants permanent residency and dual citizenship to people of African descent.  According to the African-American Association of Ghana, 3,000 African-Americans live in Ghana, most in the capital of Accra.  So, some Black people are going back to Africa, but they are doing so on their own terms.  And as the future becomes more difficult and more uncertain for people of African descent in the U.S., certainly more will consider the option

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