The older I get the less ignance, injustice and other mess I can tolerate!
Hold on wait a minute. I started out mad with everybody back in the day until I learned that folks are just going to be folks. Just like we say drugs is a problem. Well for me folks who ain’t involved is worse than the minority who have a drug problem.
But on the job and when it comes to politics I learned years ago that people ain’t going to get involved until it hit home. I joined Black Workers For Justice first, then I had to find out where the local NAACP branch was because I wanted to be a voice for the least of these. Majority of the folks join the NAACP when they have a problem and seeking help. Not me.
I joined the Democratic Party because I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless.
I learned that many folks didn’t get involved because they were scared and what over and that is okay.
You have to learn to do your part and don’t worry about what others do. Somebody will appreciate you even those who are silent. And every now and then someone will tell you even folks who don’t know you personally but have seen you or heard about you.
But at the end of the day know that you are setting the tone for your children and the other children that sees you. I do it for the children long before I had a child. Folks told me when I was challenging the school system I hate it for you when you get a child. I said well I ain’t going to stop speaking truth to power and when they retaliate against me and my children then they better be ready. Yep had some retaliation but I handled their asses and came out victorious every time.
So niece do your thang and don’t worry about other folks. Either they will get involved now or later.
Folks when you try to discredit me you better have your s… together because I am ready! Think I ain’t just check out this post.
The Fighting Crime and Cleaning Up Rocky Mount NC blocked me a couple of months ago from being able to comment on their page because I spoke truth to power. I responded to them because they were attacking, posting and allowing others to post misleading information about Rocky Mount Councilman Mayor Pro-tem/President NAACP Rocky Mount Branch, the Honorable Andre Knight. I responded to a person that commented on a post and said that ain’t right and I also posted that this page is not doing anything that I and someone else could not do. I said they listen to a scanner and report crime. I said hell I been listening to my scanner since the 80’s and I could do the same but that ain’t what I do. I said hell I am glad they do it because I don’t have to do it.
Recently I have been receiving information that the owner of the page is a (white) bailbondswoman and they are using to the page to get folks to help them find their customers. I believe it because although they blocked me from commenting on their page, I can still read it. Folks just check out the content. For the record I ain’t mad with them because I don’t have to post on their page to do what I do. What I hope they recognize and understand that my work still continues.
Yesterday I found out that my Facebook friend Zette McArn has blocked me from her page. Not only did she block me from that page but she blocked me from her other page, Wilsonian Voices. Why? Because she is supporting Attorney Mark Bibbs and I am supporting Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield for the NC House 24 race. Farmer-Butterfield is the incumbent. Damn I thought we were friends and that we could agree to disagree on politics but I see not so. Again hell I still ain’t mad with her.
This is when it began.
March 1st, 5:04pm
What in the world? Bibbs and Jean?
My response: So you supporting Bibbs?
Party POO does not allow for officers to do so.
And you’re asking because …? George fisher asked you to?
My response: Have not talked to George. It looked like he called him a drunk in his post.
My response: George forgets the lesson of people paying their dues and the lessons of forgiveness.
Jean’s record is a reflection of her work in Raleigh. Some agree. Some don’t.
My response: Oh a while back I thought he was going to support Bibbs.
No – he’s come at Mark fullblast
My response: Oh
He and I had an exchange a few weeks back about the matter.
My response: Didn’t know that..
I told him the bottomline are the folks in her district and it appears to be …HE IS NOT.
My response: Ok
You see where Asa’s Mom is running?
OR did u know aLREADY
My response: Asa told me don’t know his mom.
running against Susan Martin
My response: Don’t know her either
So are you a Farmer-Butterfield backer too?
My response: gonna deal with those in my district for now
George should do the same…just sharing.
My response: Well I am not limited to my district nor is George. Plus he is a blogger.
March 3rd, 7:29am
No one said you were… An opinion shared. I TOO am not limited and DON’T MIND WHEN I HAVE TO.
Shalom. Come what may.
March 3rd, 8:35am
Responding to your wise decision and George should do the same. All is well!
so be it
April 5th, 8:08pm
wrong forum …thot he was in the Dem. Yeah I removed it…Deb won’t like it
April 6th, 12:09am
My response: Your messages to Deb ain’t you suppose to be responding to her on NC Democrats for a New Way? Wilsonian Voices So can you answer Deb’s question? Who did Baby Burr run against tthat year?
SHUT UP DANCY!!!
My response: I was trying to see who Deb was and I seen where you were responding to a question she asked on the other page.
Ohhhhh… did I flip my pages again??? Let me look
My response: Yep!
Dunno about your request to talk about NC HD 24 race. I don’t know what’s going on in Edgecombe County enough to share commentary. Besides, you and I sparred enough already within the last 24 – you gonna make my blood pressure rise and that ain’t good for me. Besides two against one ain’t never been fair!
And then around 2 weeks ago Zette got pissed because I posted something and she said I didn’t intimidate folks in Wilson. I said I don’t go around attempting to intimidate folks. I said I say what I mean and mean what I say and I have no control over how people receive it. I thought we had got past the bullmanure but I see not.
Now some of the most recent conversation around 2 days ago:
Ooops! THERE IT IS !!!
Are you ready to vote?
Beth Plus, don’t tell me what is bad about your opponent.
Wilsonian Voices Ahhhh, THAT’S A GREAT ONE Beth! It!
Curmilus Butch Dancy II Beth and why not! LOL! Some may not know why the opponent is bad.
So does that apply to opponents of another party too? SMDH!
George Fisher Hmm…"don’t tell me what is BAD about your opponent. Ready, is that right. So, I can save this post and come May 7th when we go after the Teapublican NC GOP–I can pull this out and say…Oops…Sorry folks, we’re not gonna tell you what’s wrong with the GOP…cause that would be wrong. Please.
Top of Form
Wilsonian Voices George Fisher & Curmilus Dancy, your comments here reflect an eagerness to find fault with other’s opinions with the intent to ridicule and exert your self imposed ‘righteous indignation’. LET ME BE CLEAR, that is not the intent of this forum. Your comments come across as negative, insinuating & insulting.
Friends of this Community Forum are ENCOURAGED & WELCOMED to share their
opinions as well WITHOUT BEING demeaned and/ or BELITTLED by the two of you every time they post. I don’t want anyone deciding not to share their thoughts on Wilsonian Voices because they don’t want to be badgered by what the two of you have to say. That’s WRONG & RUDE.
There has NEVER BEEN a time when this forum has left such on your forums. I ask that you refrain from doing it on mine.
It would be appreciated if you kept that in mind for future reference.
Curmilus Butch Dancy II Zette McArn I will not debate your opinion however what I will do is remind you that I say what I mean and mean what I say. I can’t help how one receive the message but if they have any doubt I am the one to ask and not you. I do a damn good job of speaking for myself.
Oh because we had a conversation about the NC House 24 District seat and you don’t want the incumbent and you don’t want me to talk about the race, you better get the hell over it.
So you can post what you want but I can’t post what I want when it comes to my take on POLITICS and any issue. I ain’t the one so don’t go there.
Self imposed ‘righteous indignation’? Call it what you want cause frankly I don’t give a damn because I know who I am and whose I am. I am The Political Agitator and I am damn good at it inspite of you saying I don’t intimidate folks in Wilson, don’t know why you said that recently but that is okay because I responded to that too.
Intent of your forum? Really?
Oh now that I don’t agree with you because you are supporting Attorney Mark Bibbs and I am stating the facts, you see me differently from when you asked me to video and to support you when they got rid of you in the AAC.
Just like I told your friend a couple of days ago, I will not be apologetic for speaking the truth although you call my comments negative, insinuating & insulting.
Oh so I am demeaning and belittling others for giving my opinion that you have a problem with? SMDH! I remember recently after a post on your page I just posted SMDH! but no you asked me what was I shaking my damn head about so obviously you wanted to know in case if you agreed with me? LMBAO!
Who have I badgerd? Wrong and rude? LMBAO!
So in other words you are saying don’t comment unless I agree with you? Well if you have a problem with my comments, remove me so others can only hear your side where you are posting little things and some even in codes. LMBAO!
Until you unfriend me, then I will continue to comment speaking truth to power.
Obviously you don’t remember, in denial or simply just don’t give a damn when it comes to one of my favorite quotes: "I have no permanent friends no permanent enemies only permanent interest!"
Now Run and Tell That!
I am glad to know that you have a problem with me because again we had a conversation about the House 24 Seat.
You have a blessed day!
I am Curmilus Dancy II The Political Agitator and I am damn good at it!
Wilsonian Voices THIS IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE of the aforementioned.
Write a comment…
There was much more conversation after this but I didn’t even save it because hell it ain’t even worth wasting my storage place on this ignant ass stuff. I think I have saved enough to show folks who the damn problem is. Again when you try to discredit me your ass better be ready!
But the last conversation on this page was with Robert James as he and I posted civil comments about how he had some concerns about Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield and that he was supporting Bibbs. I challenged him on his concerns about Farmer-Butterfield and we moved on. But damn Zette blocked me.
I am Curmilus Dancy II The Political Agitator and I am damn good at it!
Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem Inc. was the first filing of the day General Motors sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and recorded the nation’s fourth largest bankruptcy. As of June 1, 2009, “What’s good for GM is definitely good for American taxpayers”. American taxpayers’ $50 billion investment now totals a 60 percent stake in GM, while the union, its creditors and federal and provincial governments in Canada own the remainder of the auto company.
In its past 100 years of operations, what’s been good for GM has been good for Black Americans as well. From its early times, GM helped build Black America’s middle class. GM was a beacon in the industrial north from the 1930s until the 1950s when hundreds of thousands of Blacks migrated out of the rural South following their dreams of a better life through jobs in the auto industry. From the Great Depression to the riots of the 1960’s, GM was a major propeller for Black growth.
In 1971, Dr. Leon H. Sullivan became the first African American appointed to the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 company with a seat on GM’s board. That appointment caused President Lyndon B. Johnson to say, "Now what’s good for General Motors really is good for America". An impetus to LBJ’s Great Society initiatives, Sullivan’s election was widely regarded as an important test of the idea that a Black presence in the corporation’s board room could make a giant corporation more sensitive to the needs of minorities. Rev. Sullivan helped GM set a trend opening occupational, educational, and economic opportunities for African Americans. The “Sullivan Principles” are etched in corporate annals as codes of corporate social responsibility conduct.
It was GM that provided buses to transport people to the Poor Peoples’ March on Washington. Since the early 1970s, well ahead of other companies, General Motors has gone the extra mile to make sure the American dream was achievable for all Americans. Under the guidance of Sullivan, in 1972 GM became the first auto company to launch minority dealer and minority supplier initiatives. It spent $2.5 billion with people of color and women-owned suppliers in the US, and had full-time management focused on supplier diversity.
When he died in 2001, Rev. Sullivan would have never considered that GM would have to file for bankruptcy. During these hard times, it’s important to note that every General Motors car coming off an American assembly line in recent years had something in it made by minorities. Black Americans particularly should recognize the role GM has played in the economic development of communities over the years. It employed ordinary Black men and women who paid mortgages, put kids through college, and helped anchor our communities. Sullivan got Blacks into GM’s business mix: advertisements in black publications; opening an account in each of the nation’s black-owned banks; and placement of billion of dollars with black underwriters for insurance on its buildings.
Battered by almost $88 billion of losses since 2004, the auto giant went to its knees. In order for GM to survive, Blacks, and all Americans should consider GM’s impact in our communities, past and future, and know that we are stakeholders in the company. With sufficient customer and investor support GM can get back on its feet and its stock price back into the $30s or 40s. Then, the US government sells the stock it holds and keeps the money which is payback for the loans/bailouts.
In the next few months, GM should emerge from bankruptcy as a reasonable competitor. The new company will shed plants, dealerships, debt and other liabilities it can no longer afford. Emerging out of bankruptcy will be a "new GM," made up of four brands that GM will keep in the U.S. market — Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. GM should reap what it’s sowed. Blacks’ reciprocity should put them among the first throng of loyal American customers rejecting foreign vehicles. Blacks should be advancing our own interests by showing up at GM showrooms in Harlem and elsewhere and “Buying American”.
(William Reed – http://www.BlackPressInternational.com)
Newsflash: Success is looking for all high school students with winning attitudes! Is that you?
I recently read a passage that stated, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” and it dawned on me that our self-image determines who we are. The question I have for my young leaders of the future is, who do you think in your heart that you are? (Rocky Mount Telegram)
Note: Quenesha is a native of Pinetops NC and a graduate of SouthWest Edgecombe High School. I remember working with her in P.A.I.R. (People Against Irresponsible Recreation) when I was the reporter.
Don`t be concerned President Obama. The Reverend Dr. Leon H. Sullivan received over fifty honorary degrees, and, President Obama you have already influenced more lives, I do believe, than anyone else. You will surely catch up.
The Reverend Dr. Sullivan influenced my personal life far greater than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did, though Dr. King had greater influence in my professional life. But, of four people, I have held The Reverend Dr. Sullivan as my greatest role model.
Yorktown. A creation of the City of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the FHA and HUD. Lesson learned: Always know what the city/town planners are up to. Ask that our councilmen keep our ward citizens informed.
In 1964 I moved my family back to Philadelphia from Richmond Virginia. Having found good employment I started looking for permanent housing. My cousin and family had purchased a new home in Yorktown(of 650 townhouses) and thought there may be a few left in the 1500 block of 13th Street. I took a look and there were just two left, 1502 and 1504 at 13th and Jefferson Streets. One block from Broad Street. The entire city blocks between 13th and Broad north of Jefferson and south of Jefferson were empty otherwise. Little did I know that I would be in a position to daily watch history in the making. I bought 1504 N. 13th Street. Beyond my backyard there was nothing but wasteland all the way to Broad Street. The future home of the first Progress Plaza Shopping Center.
In the 1400 block of Broad Street, just south of Jefferson, the 1st OIC was to spring forth. The story of these two giants is nothing short of amazing and almost unbelievable until one begins to understand the man and his dream, behind it all.
The Man – Leon Howard Sullivan
Born October 16th, 1922 in Charleston West Virginia.
At age 3 his parents divorced. At age 12 he stopped at a drugstore on Crystal St. in Charleston to buy a coke. A white man told him, “Stand on your feet boy. You can`t sit here”. The Reverend Sullivan said that incident set his life course. At age 18 he became a Baptist minister, some 6ft., 5in. tall . In 1943 Reverend Adam Clayton Powell brought him to New York to serve as assistant pastor. 1n1947 Reverend Sullivan received his Masters degree in Religion at Columbia University . 1950 – 1988 he was pastor at Zion Baptist Church, Broad and Venango Sts. in Philadelphia, where he quickly earned the title “the Lion of Zion”. Over the years his membership grew from 600 to 6,000.
1940s Helped organize a March on Washington.
1958 Reverend Sullivan asked businessmen of large companies in Philadelphia to start hiring African-Americans. Only two responded. So, along with other Baptist churches, he organized “Selective Patronage”. Polite words for boycotts. At the time the city was 20% Black. The slogan was “Don`t buy where you don`t work”. In 4 years thousands of jobs opened up. The boycotts were so successful that Dr. Sullivan advised Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. But this was not good enough for the Reverend Sullivan. He said, “ I found that we needed training. Integration without preparation is frustration”. So in 1962 he organized Zion Investment Association.
It happened one Sunday morning in 1962. The Reverend Sullivan had this vision for community self-help, due to all the poverty and despair he saw all around him in North Philadelphia. On this Sunday he preached about Jesus feeding the 5,000 it is said , “with a few loaves and a few fish”. He said to his congregation that he would like to do something similar with their help. He asked if he could get 50 members to invest $10.00 a month for 36 months, toward forming Zion Investment Association. The Reverend figured that would be a reasonable number to start with. After all, he reasoned to his congregation, this would be an investment for the next generation. He wanted to build a community-owned economic base, he told them. Not 50 but over 200 signed up that morning.
Just 16 months later Zion Non-profit Charitable Trust (ZNPCT) was created, parent for Community Development Corporation. Thus, OIC was born. They wanted to start training people as soon as possible, with no profit motive. Opportunities Industrialization .
After 20 more months a FOR-profit corporation was formed, named Progress Investment Associates . The first 10-36 investors each received one voting share with a promise for dividends in the future. The KEY to all of this was a sense of ownership and a stake in the common good for the community.
Progress Investment Associates made their first investment in 1964. They bought a 8-unit all-white apartment building in an all-white neighborhood.
In 1965 the 10-36 Plan was opened to new subscribers (church members) and 450 more joined up. These subscribers made Zion Baptist Church a financial force to be reckoned with. This same year Progress Investment Associates built Zion Gardens, a middle-class garden apartment complex in North Philadelphia. A one million dollar project, it was leveraged with 10-36 funds, a loan from the FHA and a grant from HUD.
The Reverend Leon Sullivan convinced the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to DONATE the wasteland behind my backyard, that 1500 block on the East side of Broad St., to Progress Investment Associates. A whole city block facing Broad Street. Now it was time to go to the bank, the First Pennsylvania Bank. He saw the chairman and asked for a construction loan. The banker told Reverend Sullivan to come back in two, three or four years and they could talk. The Lion of Zion was ready for that one. He asked his treasurer to open the sack. Out came $400,000.00 worth of equities. The Reverend said the banker`s eyeglasses fell off his face. He jumped up, came around the desk and said they can talk. They shook on it. The Reverend said,” I found that $400,000.00 makes a difference in race relations in America”.
Thus, in 1968 the first Progress Plaza Shopping Center was opened, virtually in my backyard. First Penna. Bank opened a branch there . A&P opened a very nice super market there. OIC was at 1415 North Broad Street, south of Jefferson St..
A Jobs training center was opened on the 2nd floor of the main shopping center building, just behind my backyard. There was a 10-foot brick wall then a service street between me and the Shopping center. This training center was heavily funded by the Ford Foundation. The non-profit arm, the Community Development Corporation, also built a Human Services Center. They leased space at below market value in order to get a Social Security Office, Unemployment Compensation Office, Police Training Center and Health Services Center run by Temple University, located in a more convenient location for North Philadelphia citizens.
The rest is history. OIC went international (OICI). Progress Plaza(PIA) went international. There are the Global Sullivan Principles.
The idea behind the Zion Investment Associates` creation was to have something community-owned, to pass along to the next generation. Plain and simple. With today`s economic situation it is all the more reason to want to “gather together with a few loaves and a few fish,” and try to feed the 5,000. $10.00 a month today is not much for those of us with incomes, to give and then to pass along to the next generation. To paraphrase the Reverend Dr. Leon H. Sullivan, money makes it much easier to improve race relations in America.
My County Commissioner Viola Harris suggested last year in a meeting that members of this organization I belong to contribute $10.00 a month so we would not be forever begging for donations , and we could build a cushion for unforeseen expenses . I have been doing that ever since and it does not hurt at all. I would gladly give another $10.00 a month to an organization with community self-help in mind.
After leaving Zion Baptist Church in 1988, The Reverend Dr. Leon H Sullivan spent many years working in Africa against injustices and abject poverty.
The Reverend Dr. Leon Howard Sullivan passed away on April 24th, 2001 at age 78 .
Richard H. Parker Jr.
Tarboro NC 27886-5117
The thought was that the Republican National Committee’s “Affirmative Action” would be an example of the party retooling its image, message and appeal to young voters and minorities. But the RNC’s election of Michael S. Steele as Chairman of national political operations is now under question, and the concept of “affirmative action” given another set-back. The nation’s affirmative action incentive is to promote equal opportunity “toward maximizing diversity, along with its perceived benefits, in all levels of society”. As the 63rd chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), and the first African American, Michel Steele is among the highest levels of America’s political industry.
The RNC provides the party’s national leadership. The Office of the Chairman is responsible for developing and promoting the political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. The RNC is a 168-member body comprised of the chairs of each state committee. Michael Steele has the background regarding responsibilities of the GOP’s top job. He has been chair of a Maryland county committee and the state committee. He headed GOPAC, a major organization focused on recruiting Republican candidates to run races at state and local levels. But questions now abound regarding Michael Steele’s management and decision-making. When he took over at the RNC Steele brought in his personal assistant from other jobs. It raised eyebrows of the RNC when the body learned Steele gave her $85,615 a year, a salary nearly three times the $29,240.88 her predecessor made. Mr. Steele hired another prior associate, Angela Sailor, to be the party’s outreach director at a salary of $180,000, more than double her predecessor’s compensation, though new responsibilities have been added to the job. Republican state party chairs cited “cronyism” and instigated confrontation over who controls the party’s purse strings to the point that Steele relinquished some controls.
Instead of carrying forth the banner of affirmative action, Steele & Company are now “in the weeds” fighting off questions about his management style and decision making. "These salaries are way out of line for what staff should be paid for working for a political party, which most of us think of as a cause," said Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Willis Lee. The “outreach position” has long been a cause of consternation among the GOP. Ms. Sailor’s salary is $97,000 more than the $83,000 a-year paycheck the previous outreach director, Shannon Reeves, another African American received. The Outreach Director is responsible for increasing the presence of minorities in the party, but based on results toward that goal to date, RNC members have reason to question why Ms. Sailor’s salary is more than that of the second-highest ranking elected official on the committee, Co-Chairman Jan Larimer, who makes about $140,000?
Before mob-action to force his resignation, it can’t yet be officially said that Steele has squandered his time in the seat. When he was elected RNC Chairman in January, one of the major concerns in the professional political class was whether he could raise the sort of money to keep the RNC competitive. Fundraising has been Steele’s strong suit. The RNC has outpaced the DNC in campaign contributions the first four months of this year. The RNC raised $31 million in the first third of 2009, compared to the DNC’s $22.3 million. Steele’s RNC raised almost $5.8 million in April and ended the month with $24.4 million on hand.
Whether Steele’s chairmanship records as the RNC’s “affirmative action success story”, or its “faux pas”, remains to be seen, but it should not be perceived as sufficient redress to party discrimination toward blacks. With, or without Steele, the Republican Party is not close to serious competition with Democrats for African American votes. Blacks are not on the GOP’s A-list and its single digit performances among African Americans in two of the last three presidential elections are emblematic of a party with serious outreach problems. Michael Steele’s tenure has not been a boon for the black image in the party and unlikely to bring about a change needed in Republican leadership’s mindsets.
(William Reed – http://www.BlackPressInternational.com)
The higher they go in America’s institutions African Americans are bound to buy into the system. Though these Blacks know how establish practices have encumbered us here, they’ve bought into ‘the White Man’s Burden” mindset and paternalistic practices toward Africans.
Blacks in Congress continue treating Africa and Africans as charity cases and are willing partners in the exploitation of their resources. Whites’ exploitation of Africa stems from their presumed responsibility to govern and impart their culture to uncouth nonwhites. The colonial mentality is now manifesting itself through benign meddling by Blacks following White Folks’ lead in foreign aid and intervention practices toward Africans.
In the latest in a series of “America knows best for Africa” events, three African American Members of Congress allowed themselves to be arrested in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington “urging world leaders to take a stand against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s decision to expel 13 aid agencies from Darfur”. Western-based humanitarian leaders joined forces with five U.S. lawmakers, including Black Representatives Donna Edwards of Maryland, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and John Lewis of Georgia to say the Sudanese government’s decision to expel the agencies will leave “1.1 million civilians without food aid, 1.5 million without health care and more than 1 million without potable water. Ellison calls it “wrong to deny aid to the most vulnerable people on our planet."
Whether or not aid for people in Darfur is being denied differs as to perspective. When al-Bashir threw the Western aid agencies out, he said “Sudanese would take care of the distribution”. But, Ellison, et al, view al-Bashir as another hapless African leader needing to be removed from office and Sudanese operations as incapable, lacking in agency, and in permanent need of external direction.
The three Black Congressional Crusaders went spastic because al-Bashir banned the aid groups, willingly taking the word of the aid agents known to be antagonistic to al-Bashir. But Africans, and many other nonwhites, could fathom that some among the foreign aid groups “aided” the International Criminal Court (ICC) in their indictment of al-Bashir for “war crimes”. Why is it beyond Western reason that aid agencies’ agents tattled on Bashir’s government; or that Sudanese can handle relief efforts there? Al-Bashir says the 13 agencies he expelled “used the Darfur conflict to embezzle money from Sudan”. He says that the humanitarian groups “claim to spend billions of dollars in Darfur”, but his government calculates “they spend less than $100 million a year”. Al-Bashir says his government is ready to “match that amount”, and ordered Sudanese aid groups to take over all relief distribution. Westerners call him “defiant” in saying: "If they want to bring relief, let them drop it at airports or seaports. Let our organizations deal with our citizens."
Who wrote rules that only Westerners can provide humanitarian aid in Africa? There is a $1.05 billion aid operation planned for Darfur in 2009 and other countries in the region say they will assist in Darfur. Yet Ellison & Crew are wary of giving money to Sudanese, or regional agencies, without the involvement of Westerners. Al-Bashir’s alleged Great Expulsion of the Humanitarians must be put into perspective: 85 nongovernmental organizations are still working in Darfur and less than 200 aid workers have left.
Surely “do-gooders” Ellison, Edwards, Lewis, et al, need to slow their roll and be less paternalist and more realistic. At least the Blacks should pay attention to increasing numbers of nonwhites’ call for “an end” to current aid practices. Be it Myanmar or Darfur, the sign says: “No (Western) Help Wanted”. “Trade not aid” is what Africans seek, but the three Congressional “crusaders for conscious” are caught up in a vicious cycle that helped transform the people who possess two-thirds of the world’s mineral resources into the two-thirds that are the world’s poorest. Instead of paternalistic meddling and demonstrations for 13 aid agencies and 200 people to be returned to Darfur, isn’t it time Black legislators abandon soapbox rhetoric on Africa and do some good toward helping break the bonds, and bounds, of African dependency and Western dominance?
(William Reed – www.BlackPressInternational.com)
In the case of Brown vs. the Board of Education on May 17th 1954, the Supreme Court decided that the Constitution of the United States must guarantee equal education for all American citizens.
In this landmark case, schools were desegregated across the South and in the breath and width of the United States. Fifty-five years later, however, we find American education is still sporadically separate and unquestionably unequal. (Wilmington Journal)
In East Africa hijacking has developed into a highly structured social and business model. Modern-day piracy is Somalia’s most lucrative business. In the booming pirate port of Ely, Somalia big villas and hotels are sprouting and former subsistence fishermen are driving Mercedes-Benzes.
The pirate city is Somalia’s sole boomtown. Somalia has no central government, no banks and few opportunities. In a country that has seen 14 provisional governments since 1991, multimillion dollar ransoms are one of few ways to earn a living in the war-ravaged and impoverished region. Nearly half the population depends on aid. Since the civil war many coastal Somalis have turned to buccaneering as a business.
Eyl is a costal town in the northern region of Somalia and home to Somali men such as those who hijacked the American cargo ship Maersk Alabama. Banditry at sea offers power and potential prosperity in a land so bleak that life expectancy is just 46 years and a quarter of children die before they reach 5. Piracy evolved due to Somalia’s lawlessness and Eyl’s strategic location. Thirty 30 percent of the world’s oil goes through the narrow Gulf of Aden off Somalia’s northern coast. One of the world’s busiest waterways, 20,000 merchant ships pass through the Gulf of Aden on their way to and from the Suez Canal each year.
Their booty from one of the world’s busiest waterways has made Somali’s coastal bandits the country’s wealthiest people and propelled piracy and ransoming to the country’s largest income-earner. In Somalia, where the average family lives on less than $1 a day, the lure of the black flag is intoxicating. The Somali pirates made $125 million in 2008.
In Eyl, hijacking is the main industry. In the boomtown, fancy houses are being built and expensive cars and consumer goods are being bought. The going rate for ransom payments is between $300,000 and $1.5 million. Even though the number of pirates who actually take part in a hijacking is relatively small, the whole modern industry of piracy involves many more people that reside in and around Eyl.
These are not the rum-drunk, eccentric, peg-leg pirates of yesteryear: Africa’s modern corsair is well-organized, disciplined and toting a satellite phone. Now that they are making so much money, these 21st Century pirates can afford increasingly sophisticated weapons and speedboats.
The number of people who make the first attack is small, normally from seven to 10. They seek up to hulking ships at night in small, powerful unlit speedboats, fling grappling hooks over the side and board. Once they seize the ship, about 50 pirates stay on board the vessel. And about 50 more wait on shore in case anything goes wrong. Given all the other people involved in the piracy industry, including those who feed hostages, it has become a mainstay of the Eyl’s economy.
In spite of the Maersk Alabama’s rescue, the pirates lost little and still have much to gain continuing to strike. The pirates, ship owners and insurers all know that it’s more cost-effective to pay ransoms. The pirates’ current average bounty of $300,000 to $1 million ransom per vessel is significantly cheaper option for owners than buying a new ship. Most tankers and ships are not armed, or if they are, they have small side arms. The pirates circle the vessel and threaten to blow it out of the water with rocket-propelled grenades or shoulder-launched missiles. Faced with that prospect, most captains – to save the life of their crew and the vessels – will surrender control to pirates.
Shippers are paying premium prices for coverage of trips through the Gulf of Aden and millions of dollars on diversions and extra security. The pirates’ business practices are effective primarily because of their simplicity. In a country where banking no longer functions everything is done by cash. And, as long as pirates can get shippers to airdrop tens of thousands of $100 notes as ransom payments Eyl will continue as “Blingtown” flush with new cars, plush houses, Sean Jean clothes and cologne and satellite televisions and bigger guns.
(William Reed – www.BlackPressInternational.com)
“Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok! This is what He does….”- Malcom X
In Harlem in the 1960s Malcolm meant “bamboozle” as “to deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery, or the like”. In today’s world it is the regular manufacture and maintenance of false realities in the service of American empire. The deception El Haji Malik El-Shabazz talked about is a core function among America’s Establishment and its corporate news media. In the case of being tricked into a war in Africa, Malcolm might say “take a close look behind the façade”.
Among the latest false realities being pushed are the simplistic pictures of Black vs. Arab genocide in Darfur, and the proposed solution: a robust U.S.-backed or U.S.-led military intervention in Western Sudan. Before Black Americans buy into any concept of European troops invading Africa to “save Africans,” they should give more scrutiny to what the “Save Darfur” lobby and Save Darfur Coalition are all about. Malcolm might say it is a PR scam to justify U.S. intervention in Africa.
Save Darfur aims to “save Darfur” by raising awareness, not by providing on-the-ground humanitarian assistance. The campaign is a political mechanism that has misled the public into the belief that it is a humanitarian relief operation. The con has morphed false allegations of “slavery in Sudan” in the 1990s into the anti-genocide advocacy model for the 21st century: a hybrid of promotional branding, simplified foreign political coverage and interventionist missionary ideology. Founded in 2004, the Save Darfur Coalition began at the Graduate Center of City University of New York. The coalition is now an alliance of 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights groups with over one million activists. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., it employs a staff of 30 professional organizers, policy advisors and communications specialists.
Before people of color allow former colonialist to invade Africa again in the name of “saving them,” note should be taken of the assumptions used by “Save Darfur” that are based on victimization and perpetuating stereotypes of Africans as helpless. The PR campaign depicts the Darfur conflict as strictly a racial affair, in which Arabs are exterminating the black population. But in fact, most of Sudan’s “Arabs”, even the Janjiweed, are also black. Note should be taken that “Save Darfur” is top-heavy with evangelical Christians who preach the coming war for the end of the world and with elements known for uncritical support of Israeli aggression in the Middle East. The very name “Save Darfur” is based on a premise of American moral superiority and dominance and presupposes that: the Darfuris need saving and the US has the capacity to save them.
For those willing to pull the wool from over their heads, there’s ample evidence that leaders of the “Save Darfur” movement have little interest in political negotiations to end conflicts in Darfur, and are totally oblivious to actual genocide occurring in Gaza. Those activists actually seeking peace instead of military aggression in Darfur should note the selective and cynical application of the term “genocide” to Sudan, rather than to the Congo where ten to twenty times as many Africans lives have been lost. The hypocrisy of the “Save Darfur” movement is illustrated in Sudan’s neighboring country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There local gangsters, mercenaries, warlords and invading armies engage in slaughter, mass rape and regional depopulation on a scale that dwarfs anything in Sudan, yet all players eagerly compete to guarantee extraction of coltan vital for Western computers and cell phones, and the export of uranium for Western nuclear reactors, along with diamonds, gold and other Congolese resources continue undisturbed.
Its O.K. if you’ve “been had” with illusions sold you over past years. The problem is not re-thinking what the solution should be. Most African Americans that have been seeking to “Save Darfur” are well-intentioned. But, to reach their positive goals, it’s essential they rethink their approach to Darfur and try to empower, rather than dehumanize, people there.
(William Reed – www.BlackPressInternational.com)
IS THE GOP’S BLACK CHAIRMAN: “OFF DA HOOK”
Embattled Republican National Committee (RNC) head Michael Steele “should resign his chairmanship “says a Black RNC committee member.
In a fit of determination to counter Barack Obama last January, Republican Party members elected Michael Steele the brand-changer that would remake the party’s image, but it’s turned out that Steele may not be the guy. “He’s become clownish,” says North Carolina’s national committeewoman Dr. Ada Fisher. One of three Black members of the Republican National Committee, Fisher says Steele is “eroding confidence in the GOP” and “should be encouraged to step aside”. In the Black elephant-on-Black elephant slug fest; Fisher’s call comes amid growing frustration in the GOP that Steele’s gaffes are hurting the party.
Fisher backed South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson for the RNC’s chairmanship. It’s unclear how much trouble Steele may be in with the RNC base; and Fisher’s call for his ousting is dismissed by the Republican mainstream. But many Black Republicans feel Steele doesn’t represent Blacks. Dr. Fisher says: “I don’t want to hear anymore [sic] language trying to be cool about the bling in the stimulus package or appealing to D.L. Hughley and blacks in a way that isn’t going to win us any votes and makes us appear too many blacks as quite foolish”. Steele appeared on Hughley’s CNN show and fought back against the assertion that radio host Rush Limbaugh was the “de facto leader” of the Republican Party. Steele called Limbaugh an entertainer whose program’s content was “incendiary” and “ugly.” Limbaugh shot back that Steele was not the leader of the party and that many conservatives would “hang up” when Steele’s RNC came calling for contributions. Fisher calls the Limbaugh-Steele clash a “Republican Horror Show” and says she’s, “never seen such ineptness in our GOP leadership. “Limbaugh has already promised that ‘His Conservatives’ won’t be giving to the RNC. If we can’t raise money and continue alienating the few verifiable red states remaining, we are foolish.”
Black Republicans such as political consultant Raynard Jackson have helped highlight Ada M. Fisher. She is a retired physician from Salisbury, North Carolina. She challenged Democratic incumbent Mel Watt in the state’s 12th Congressional district in 2004 and 2006. A lifelong Republican and NAACP member, Fisher epitomizes “Black Republicanism”. Before she retired with a leg disability, she ran a rural health clinic, a 16-county substance abuse program, served on Rowan-Salisbury’s School Board and the board of trustees of Concord, North Carolina’s historically black Barber-Scotia College.
Longtime GOP strategists also have angst about Steele. GOP strategist Ed Rodgers suggests that the freewheeling Steele will survive if he lowers his profile and gets to work organizing and raising money for the party. Rodgers says Steel “needs to devise a media strategy that’s decidedly less about him and more about the party’s message and goals”. He says “I’m against us appearing befuddled. Another GOP campaign consultant, Ed Rollins, said he would advise Steele to steer clear of television. Rollins says Steele “needs to be outside making speeches and raising money, and building the political organization.”
If Steele can build the party’s treasury back to parity with Democrats, and help Republicans win elections, he’ll be “a success” among the mainstream. But, building a measurable Black Republican constituency will require Steele moving away from the party’s past exclusionary practices. Another gaffe Steele made was dismissing “outreach” programs, saying the term is “dead to me”. In a management move he calls “full integration coalition building,” Steele has taken the Coalitions arm, previously housed in the RNC’s Political Unit and made it a budgeted “stand alone” department. But budget or not, it’s déjà vu all over again. Steel named former RNC staffer Angela Sailor to head the unit. An anathema to Blacks as Director of African-American Affairs for the RNC and Bush/Chaney Victory 2000, Sailor is a part of the past the GOP should shed. If he seeks to be a success among Blacks, Steele’s priority should be to quietly dismantle Republican practices that diminished the presence of Blacks in the GOP over past years.
(William Reed – www.BlackPressInternational.com)