Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do We Still Need Black History Month?

Shout out to: African American Pundit and Jack & Jill Politics

Black History Month is almost over.  Yesterday, I came across an article on African American Pundit about John McWhorter's and Glenn Loury's New York Times video titled Dump Black History Month

Essentially, McWhorter and Loury assert that Black History Month has outlived its usefulness. McWhorter argues that in 2011 America is aware of black history.  According to him, Black History Month is so 1945 or 1975. 

Glenn Loury refers to Black History Month as passe, corny and anachronistic.  Loury went on to complain about black people "clinging to the security blanket of public recognition." According to Loury, instead of "forcing" people to recognize black history, African Americans should "induce" whites to recognize black history. 

Of course, many Americans have a basic understanding of the history of the Civil Rights Movement.  Obviously, Black Month History is about much more than Dr. King, Rosa Parks and We Shall Overcome.  Yes, many people know about black achievements in sports and entertainment. 

However, contrary to McWhorter's assertions, America is not fully aware of Africans' contributions to the human civilization and American society. Many Americans do not know about our accomplishments in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering, philosophy, etc.

Without such historical knowledge, African Americans will not be able to break the "chains of psychological slavery", and whites, even so-called liberals, will continue to consciously or subconsciously believe in the myth of white supremacy.

365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, white history, white culture, white values are thrust upon us. You will never hear those black conservative scholars complaining about that. Yet, they have the audacity to complain about the shortest month in the year being devoted to black history. Without Black History Month, our accomplishments, in fact our very humanity, would be negated.

Muammar Gaddafi: "People who don't love me don't deserve to live."

Many moons ago, when I was in college, I had some respect for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. As Stephen Zunes notes in his Truthout article,

"Under Gaddafi's rule, Libya made impressive, if uneven, gains in health care, education, housing, the rights of women and basic social services. His brand of Islamic socialism, combined with the country's relatively small population and large oil reserves, made Libya one of the more prosperous and egalitarian societies in the Middle East, even though the promise generally outpaced actual performance. Though he was a classic strongman in one sense, Gaddafi also allowed for a relatively decentralized political system which allowed for direct democracy and popular participation in some limited political spheres."

In addition, he gave millions of dollars to the Nation of Islam. He stood up to U.S. imperialism and survived. More specifically, as Stephen Zunes writes,

"In April 1986, following a terrorist bombing in Berlin that killed an American serviceman, the United States bombed Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya's two largest cities, killing up to two dozen civilians, including Gaddafi's daughter. The attack was widely condemned as a violation of international law, which recognizes the legitimacy of the use of military force only in self-defense from an armed attack, not for retaliation. The civilian casualties from the air strikes and the serious damage caused to the French embassy and other diplomatic facilities provoked outrage throughout the world and bolstered Gaddafi's standing both at home and abroad."

Whatever little respect that I had for Gaddafi quickly evaporated when I read about his vicious, brutal and self serving response to the pro-democracy uprising in Libya. In 1969, Gaddafi seized power by overthrowing "the unpopular pro-Western monarchy of King Idris". Now, Gaddafi is the one who is unpopular. The whole situation is reminiscent of George Orwell's Animal Farm. For those who do not know, Animal Farm is about liberators who morph into oppressors.

Gaddafi has become the oppressor of his own people. Intoxicated by power, he declared, "People who don't love me don't deserve to live." According to some news reports, his soldiers and loyalists have killed at least 1,000 protesters. Pro-Gaddafi forces have fired on and bombed nonviolent demonstrators. As reported in the Washington Post,

"Everyone is very devastated," said another resident who lives near the square and watched from her window as men in sport-utility vehicles opened fire on protesters in the street below. She said she thought that as many as 60 people had been killed and knew of three who died when pro-Gaddafi gunmen stormed a mosque and opened fire on worshipers.

"We are just hearing about people dying, and it's like this isn't going to end," she said. "This guy will kill until the last day of his life."

I commend the people of Libya for standing up and demanding democracy. I salute the United Nations for imposing sanctions on the Gaddafi regime. President Obama was right when he said "when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now." No leader should be in power for 41 years.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Word is Bond: Shirley Sherrod Sues Andrew Breit-Fart!

Newser reports that:

Shirley Sherrod has followed through on plans to sue Andrew Breitbart following an out-of-context video clip he released last year that ended up getting her fired from her USDA job. The suit holds that Breitbart’s video "damaged her reputation and prevented her from continuing her work," Salon reports. The conservative media honcho "categorically rejects the transparent effort to chill his constitutionally protected free speech."

Read More

For background information on this controversy, please read my past articles, Andrew Breitbart Exposed and Hoodwinked and Bamboozled

Black History Month Video Tribute to Sisters Who Paved the Way

Too often, the contribution of our sisters is overlooked. Today, I pay tribute to the countless known and unknown beautiful black women who tirelessly toiled for freedom, justice and equality.

Shirley Chisholm, U.S. Representative

Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights activist

Harriet Tubman

Rosa Parks, civil rights activist

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Black History Month Video Tribute to Our Martyrs

For Black History Month, I honor the known and unknown courageous brothers and sisters who gave their precious lives so that we can be free. 

Let us remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Medger Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and the many other martyrs. May God bless and keep them all.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Malcolm X

Medger Evers, NAACP leader

Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, Black Panther Party leaders

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, civil rights workers

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Uprising in Egypt Exposes America's Hypocrisy

The uprising in Egypt has exposed America's hypocritical foreign policy.  The United States claims to be the beacon of light for the rest of the world to follow.  America asserts that it is the leader of the free world, the proud protector and promoter of democracy and freedom. 

Contrary to those purported democratic values, the U.S. has overthrown democratically elected governments. Here are a few examples.  In 1951, the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh. In 1960, the United States overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Arguably, the United States overthrew democratically elected former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. 

For decades, both Democratic and Republican administrations have supported brutal and repressive dictatorships in Egypt, Zaire (Mobutu era), Saudi Arabia, Chile (Pinochet era), Iran (Shah era), Iraq (Saddam era, pre-Desert Storm) and Cuba (pre-Castro era), to name a few.  For approximately 30 years, the U.S. has supported Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship.  The U.S. has invested billions of dollars in Egypt's military. 

This contradiction is further evidenced by the Obama administration's evolving response to the situation in Egypt.  Initially, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people."

As the Hill reported, when asked if Mubarak was a dictator, Vice President Biden said, "Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things and he's been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interests in the region, Middle East peace efforts, the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing the relationship with Israel ... I would not refer to him as a dictator." 

As reported by the Washington Post, here is the most recent another statement from the White House,

"It is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now," Obama said he had told Mubarak in the phone call.

"That suggested Mubarak's concession was not enough, but Obama left the point dangling. He was careful not to say that Mubarak should have left immediately, and he stressed that it was not up to the United States to pick Egypt's leaders."

"Furthermore, the process must include a broad spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties," he said. "It should lead to elections that are free and fair. And, it should result in a government that is not only grounded in democratic principles but is also responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."

If America truly believes in democracy, it must universally demand more democracy at home and abroad.  America must insist that all countries, allies and adversaries alike, implement democratic reforms.  Democracy is the future. Dictatorships, oligarchies and monarchies are outdated forms of government.  The U.S. should urge Mubarak to immediately resign.  I am glad that Obama finally called on Mubarak "to immediately begin the process of transitioning the country to new leadership."

I salute the Egyptian people for standing up to the Mubarak dictatorship.  I hope that one dictatorship is not replaced with another dictatorship.