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Friday, June 27, 2008

Passing the Buck, Loyalty & Merit of Ouija Boards

Every once in a while a few media pundits and historians enjoy putting out their love fest meter and try to decide who was a great President and who was a dismal failure. It doesn’t really prove anything or change the minds of ideologues within the fan base of both prominent political parties , but makes the so called experts look important so that they can get invited to future conventions, Presidential libraries christenings, and funerals where appropriate. Almost like what occurs often with movie and food critics, if you get my drift. Can I say free passes to watch more boring movies, and extra portions of tasteless foods in the future for doing hatchet jobs on the opponent’s movies or restaurants? I am also talking about Presidents that blatantly break the law and try to weasel their ways out either with a brazen lie , feign ignorance, or to simply pass the buck to some low level , non elected official that quietly resign and await a Presidential pardon down the road.

Now that the war drums are being pounded in Washington and parts of the Middle East for another preemptive strike on another troublesome nation, it is not a bad time to reexamine the twisted legacy of Ronald Reagan. To many American that experienced the humiliation of Vietnam, Richard ‘I am not a crook’ Nixon, and the Bible toting Peanut farmer peace nut from Georgia, the entrance upon the stage of Reagan was welcome. Yes he was a two bit second rate actor from Hollywood that many knew was not too bright, but he looked good , said his lines well and in essence worked the script that was trotted out ever so often by his handlers correct? Hey he was believed to be a though guy, and that’s all you need to put the fear in hearts of the loonies in places such as Iran.

I remembered well that immediately upon recognizing that Uncle Ron would assume power handed over those poor suffering embassy officials, did he not? Not only that, it was the Gipper’s toughness that solely won the Cold War correct? I say to hell with Gobachev and his Glasnost and Perestroika mantra. What do Nobel revisionist freaks know? It was Ronald’s command to ‘break those walls down,’ or else, that did the trick. But I digress; Reagan was great except for one small blimp. He broke the law and it involved Iran, Israel, Nicaragua, Contras, anti- Sandinista, Oliver North, National Security Council, illegal weapons sales, anti-communism, allegations of arms trade for hostage, destruction and withholding evidence from Congress, acceptation of some culpability for misdeeds by the President , fourteen administration officials charged , eleven convicted and eventually pardoned, including the Secretary of Defense. Not a bad record by one of Americas great President I think.



Now let’s fast forward to today and see what we have. The ugly specter of Iran looms again. We also have two pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that threatens to make Vietnam, and WW 1& 11 together look link spitball child’s play in your backyard as you await another portion of smoked ribs. You have a restless and agitated Israel, jittery and humiliated Sunni Muslims, and scared Shiites especially in Iran looking up in the skies to see when they are going to get attacked. Most importantly you have and American people that are paying dearly in the high prices of oil and gas, as well as a stagnant economy and lack of national guards as well and depleted resources to strengthen domestic infrastructures, that will ensure concrete protections at home against natural and man made disasters. You also have a Best Selling Author and generally incompetent former press secretary about to testify in Congress as to whether he know for a fact if the President or one of his Machiavellian hatchet men and or handlers ,ousted a CIA operative in some sort of vengeful and vindictive retaliation for her political cantankerous husband.

Now there are those that find politics to be boring and lacking intrigue, but yet would sit for hours and watch a car race four hundred times around a track, or grown men beat horse race to a finish line - go figure. For guys like me and the perhaps the late Tim Russert, politics is everything, and can get your adrenaline flowing to almost similar degrees as shall I say sex? Anyway think of the ironic role of winning the Presidency and its importance for a Presidential pardon. Without President Ford, Nixon might have become the first President to go to jail. Without G H Bush half the Reagan’s administration would have also followed that route, and now without John Mc Cain the President would have to see his future grand daughter from prison after impeachment for an illegal war. No, I do not mean that, as American Presidents do not go to jail, but their underlings do. Watch Karl Rove, you have been warned. There is more than adequate time to still find a country that does not have extradition treaty with the USA. You got to move quickly however, these countries are running out. Libya is no longer a rogue state; they are now our good guys since Qaddafi saw what happened to Saddam and changed his ways. Remember if Obama wins so would Iran and Cuba, as he enjoys talking and open negotiations. Say no to covert operations. It rhymes well with “say no to drugs,”doesn’t it? Hey, who moved my Ouija board? They can be so useful when trying to figure out important domestic and international affairs. At least that’s what a famous First spouse of a great President thought, and it just might still work.

Bono wants United States of Africa

How commendable that once more it is taking a European to push for what every sensible African should have had the common sense to recognize by now. My question is why is this always the case? How does it feel to always be stretching out one’s hands for some aid or pittance from abroad , and who will be accountable for the billions of aid that are delivered each year? Some years ago I was in Angola and started a conversation about slavery and its impact on Africans across the globe, the reactions were typical denunciations and disgust as well as little inclination to discuss the issue or give any real credence to the role of African leaders to the trade or the plight of bothers and sisters whose ancestors were dragged kicking and screaming across the Atlantic in ships. It was interesting to see however the enthusiastic reactions to talks about reparations for Africa.

The people who reach out to help Africa should be encouraged and even applauded for efforts in many cases. I sometimes wonder however, if it is often acts in futility. How committed are Africans themselves to concrete development I wonder. Take Oprah’s initiatives in South Africa, what I often ask is the end goal? To spend 40 million dollars to build an elite school that is geared primarily for girls when women are still treated as second and third class citizen? In 2005, South Africa had the highest Aids epidemic in all of Africa, and the world at large. It figures were estimated as five and a half million living with HIV, or roughly 1,000 deaths every day. [1]Yet its President was living in denial as to the authenticity of the HIV/ Aids claim. [2]At the same time young virgin girls were being raped by male AIDS victims as this was profess by some to be a cure.[3] Unfortunately, the outrage throughout the continent, remained limited is virtually non- existent.

Millionaires like Ms. Winfrey should be free to do what ever they wish with their money, but to spend such exorbitant figures on a country that is as wealthy as SAs and with such a callous attitude to girls and health is a travesty. More than 90 million women and girls are survivors of female genital mutilation; close to 49% are victims of violence, with 1 in 4 doing so within the past 12 months.[4] The gestures again are excellent, but can achieve very little if a culture of full equality and economic development for all not become the norm.

The genocide which took place in Rwanda, as the world stood silent, took some 800,000 African lives. The same is occurring in Sudan and Congo with similar reactions. Angola, Liberia, and Sierra Leonehave seen its share of barbarism with halfhearted responses by the global bodies. What was even more frightening is the tentative role played by the African Union as it awaited the world to do its biddings. Unfortunately Africa will never be a priority because Africans themselves condones the behavior and fail to see the citizens as a priority.

So guess what, Bono would soon get his Nobel Prize, Oprah and her entourage can bypass other African trouble sports with her billion dollar plane as she lands in Joburg or Pretoria in route to one of the American styled five star hotels that flourished during Apartheid.

. The African people must decide that tyranny will no longer be a fixture on the continent. They must also dismiss as outright useless religions such as the Catholic and Islamic faith that push selective moralist values as abstinence as opposed to condoms uses. Bumbling anachronistic buffoons and puppets such as Daniel arap Moi should be stripped of power , stoned in the city square, and family members prevented from enjoying his pension accumulated after over four decades of tyranny and corruption in Kenya. It was this fool that suggested that Kenyans abstain from sex for two years, because he did not want to encourage government plans to import 300 million condoms as a preventative mechanism against the spread of AIDS and to appease the sensibilities of Sheik Mohamed Dor of the Council of Imams. The latter saw this policy as encouraging sexual experimentation among young people, and in essence committing suicide.[5] Yes Sheik Mohamed, you certainly have a problem with sex by the young. At the same time a man is free to have 10 wives if he wishes, with each being 20 years younger than the previous. Likewise the Catholic church can allow pedophilia by morally sound priest to run rampant in Third world countries especially in Africa, while they forever preach abstinence among the flock. I wonder what Mr. Bono, Angela Joli or Madonna would think about that. Not much I believe. I will hold my breath for a united Africa. Away with Anglophones and Francophone, correct? Care to end the charade?



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[1] http://www.avert.org/aidssouthafrica.htm

[2] http://shm.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/3/521

[3] http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2002/april/virgin.htm

[4] http://www.whrnet.org/docs/issue-second-0609.html

[5] http://www.actupny.org/reports/churchblows.html

Prioritization, Empathy ,and the quest for sound leaders

It is interesting to see how sometimes issues can be jolted into the limelight by a simple comment or actions of a prominent figure, while others languish. Makes you wonder what really the driving force is. Is it you ask the issue itself, whose actions brought it to the fore, or the medium. Let’s for example take issues such as immigration, crime, religion, race, or social class. These are three hot button issues that have received some level of attention throughout the media, but not with the special focus that is often required to achieve any reasonable solution. The discourse tend to be elevated somewhat especially come election time and especially a Presidential one. As a political junkie myself I usually have my antenna up for such type of attention actions. I was not disappointed.

Immigration and the need for reform was the first issue that got some attention outside of the usual CNN’s Lou Dobbs obsessions, and pretense at outrage about border patrols, illegal nannies and Militia men AKA minutemen rights to shoot and kill anyone that tries to enter the USA outside the Canadian frontier. 43 year old eligible bachelor, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner suggested the need for new legislation for 1000 ailing clothing industry. [1]Apparently demands far outstrip the 165,000 available slots, but think how much attention immigration could now achieve because of personal yet important action by a Congressman.

I am sure that many of you cannot remember the last speech political leader made in a Church in the past 50 years of Presidential elections. Guess what, Barrack Obama is about to change that. He took a crack at AWOL fathers that abandoned their kids to moms and grandmothers in a sermon at his new Church on of all day -Fathers day. Can you imagine that in one swoop this 47 year old Senator that last saw his father at the age of two could highlight something that many of us suspected but lacked the courage to say? One of biggest crisis in the country and perhaps the world at large are absent fathers. I have always suspected that the cause of the high crimes statistics can directly linked to absenteeism by many of our black fathers , -or for all races as the problem is not limited to only one demographic.

Now I am almost sure that more American would be happy to see more social scientist enter the country to focus on pressing social issues of the day agree? I am a bit bias to sociologist and political scientist. Why should all the techno geeks, entertainers , sports figures , engineers ,and business men have all the fun.It is evident that the media has not done a credible job of educating the public as to the immigration crisis beyond sound bites by self serving politicians. Few know the history of immigration, and how it was always linked to the economic needs of the society starting from the end of slavery. Fewer understand what outsourcing, globalization mean to them except that their jobs are gone and a child in Sri Lanka is sewing their clothes, an Indian is processing their tax return or trouble shooting their computer while pretending to live in Utah, and a Chinese man is working for three dollars per year to manufacture his car.

I say bring it on Obama and Wiener -the children of immigrants for their efforts at drawing attention to matters of great importance. Some might be tempted to question their individual motives. In the case of Obama it could be to get the ultra religious votes that Mc. Cain cannot attract, or even the Clinton female voters. In the case of Weiner his quest to finally acquire a grateful wife in the way another famous New Yorker have done so skillfully over the years through the purchase of the Miss Universe, Miss America and Miss Teen America franchises. Way to go Rep Weiner. America will be the beneficiary after the power moves by our astute politicians.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Win, Win on the Virgin Continent

A question was asked recently in one of the popular black journals magazines as to why South Africa is the most popular choice of destination for most Black American whenever the thought is made to visit or do any form of investment in the Virgin continent. My response is usually the same, make a visit to South Africa and you can recognize why. It is the most developed and advanced in all of Africa and a stroll down the streets of Pretoria, Johannesburg or Cape Town, would clearly indicate why. One can easily mistake it for any large US metropolis such as New York, Miami or Chicago. On a more important level, it is the African country that African Americans feel the most affinity with, and this is for several reasons. The African American history is one of struggles, trials, and tribulations. It was laced with blatant racism, and subhuman behavioral treatments at the hands of a majority Europeans population and power. The fact that many have been able to overcome it with an unbroken spirit while still holding on to the fundamental ideals of the country is a testament to an ingrain resiliency and strength.
In similar fashion, black South Africans have experienced the same problems and are attempting to forge a life of their own in peace, dignity and respectability after years of the an exploitative ,bloody ,racist ,Apartheid system . It was the sustained sacrifices and efforts of many African Americans both in America, and collaborating with their South African counterparts that those fundamental changes for the betterment of Black African occurred. A common bond has been forged that I hope can be encourage for some time to come. Think of the mutual love admiration and connections between Nelson and Winnie Mandela, as well as Oprah Winfrey, the Black Caucus, Randall Robinson and Miriam Makeba as the first step in a budding relationship that I believe should be the way forward to shaping a renewed American interest as it benefits in the process of helping the Virgin Continent reach it true potential in much the same way that Churchill’s England played for the devastations caused in Europe after the WWII destructions . It is that serious.
I for one have given much thought to this issue for some time, and firmly believe that the only way for African American to fully advance as a people is to first understand their prime roles and responsibilities in helping America to again assume a sound and prudent leadership role in the world while simultaneously fully enhancing the lives of all its citizens and peoples at home. It cannot be done by ignoring Africa. Imagine if you will what America would be today without the strong and vibrant Europe that has emerged today all because of the sacrifices made since 1945.It was this consistent foreign policy that supported financial Aid packages like the Marshall plan, created the UN and all its sub agencies, placed undue military pressures on the former USSSR in her back yard Europe that enabled the USA to remain the sole Super Power along with a multilingual Europe.
Can you imagine for a moment, Europe where the sole language was German because Hitler and his henchmen had their way? It was primarily because of this commitment with Europe that America was able to flourish. It was first able to provide a haven for some of the best minds that Europe and the former USSR had to offer as they flew as immigrants from the tyranny and degradation in Europe for a more stable and young vibrant emerging power. WWII helped stimulate the US economy as they country serviced the war. Women were empowered in the absence of their fighting men in Europe, and upon their return the GI bill was created and helped promote the emergence of a grate generation of emerging and educated middle class that American historians often boast about.
I am almost certain that certain levels of racial pride exist by Euro American when ever thoughts are made by them on the state of Europe today. With few exceptions those feelings are certainly mutual. It is that same that can ensue should African American and by extension its political leadership can develop, if a closer bond can be made in defense of and promotion of Africa. It can be troubling at times to see the pragmatic and close relationships that are also taking place between Asia and the USA, both economically and politically. Sure there are fall outs from the Cod War, but the Asian Tigers, as well as China and India have still emerged irrespective of the presence of benevolent despots that gives lip service to Human Rights in the region. In the Middle East the relationships are chiefly economic and strategic due to the presence of vital oil resources, as well as close bond with Israel.
It is time to redefine American vital interest. No better place is more poised to lead the way than the Virgin Continent building on the backs of trailblazing leaders before. The time is ripe for a more realistic immigration policy that might prove beneficial for all concerned including future elected officials. Africa is known to be the richest continent in the world with lots of human potential and natural resources. This can only be exploited in a positive manner, when peace and yes security prevail. No one wants to trade with Africa, yet few mind making links with some of her more dangerous leaders to benefit from its natural resources with limited returns for the people. This can change as peace security and economic prosperity takes on new meaning. Who said a win, win situation cannot prevail?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Free Lunches Here.

"For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48



I recently came upon a debate on of all places a sports forum that focus on what the writer considered a flaw in black culture. I just could not resist following the thread to the end. You’ll be surprise at the amount of serious issues that are sometimes discussed on these seemingly insignificant areas. It is important to remember that sports and their heroes are treated seriously in this country call America. Let’s take for example the greatest boxer of all time- Mohammed Ali aka Casuis Clay. Remember that he got his fame and notoriety not only from what he did in the ring, but also outside. His refusal to fight in the Vietnam War and the economic price he paid as a result is a case in point. Today he is lauded, but back then was vilified as a selfish coward by the white power structure. The writer wanted to know why black folks are so cheap when it comes to tipping. He was a Pizza delivery guy and suffered dearly at the hands of these cheap skates. Of course he was chastised by an obvious defensive batch that did not like the fact that all blacks were stereotyped into this single group. Someone even counteracted by saying that it was white women between the ages of twenty-five and fifty that are the cheap ones, and his family is black and middle class and are excellent tippers at restaurants, cleaners and the occasional delivery men.
It was then I decided to give the story a rest. I for one recognize a simple fact, it is that without black people, the lives of whites would be very boring indeed as they’ll have nothing to talk about, compare with, and rile against. The President went all the way to Israel recently to talk before the political leaders at the Knesset chamber , and guest the first words to come out of his mouth, you guess it Obama – a black man. Don Imus might just get into trouble again and, get fired and in the process make more money again while he improves his ratings. It is alleged that he asserted that being black is synonymous with being a criminal. This of course came in the wake of him calling a few masculine looking college basketball elite black girls, “nappy headed hoes”. A few years ago in the US Open Tennis tournament, Serena Williams was vilified for the paltry sum of I believe $100:00 per ace she promised for Katrina flood and Hurricane victims. This was seen as insignificant when compared to other white athletes that also made public gestures.
I have however done my own silent survey, as I am very concern about issues that the average guys ignore, but perhaps that makes me a bit special. I make this point nevertheless; many in the black middle class family are extremely selfish. They simply do not fully understand the concept of giving back as other races does. You see it everyday. Only recently I observe a situation outside a Wal-Mart store. An old African American lady was sitting in a wheel chair and requested the use of a cell phone of an African American female. Her response was a resounding no and told her she did not have one to ease her conscience.
I do not believe that it is always necessary to always give large sums of money, as time and other acts of generosity can be just as good. It is so thrilling to read stories after stories of people that have volunteered, doing well by helping and giving back to others. They always comment on the wonderful feeling that results. Too often we have to wait for something tragic to occur to spring into action. So there it is the cure for stress, is now within our reach, and it is right next door.

Pulling the Rug

“We create an environment where it is alright to hate, to steal, to cheat, and to lie if we dress it up with symbols of respectability, dignity and love.”

-Whitney Moore, Jr.



Are the rules different for black politicians and their families in America? One is tempted to think so. In my conversations on the subject of race in the past, I’ve always tried to make one significant point. It is that any abhorrent subtle racist behaviors you notice in any institution within the society, is merely a reflection of the underlying problem that exists throughout the country as a whole. It is the bogeyman that we refused to address since the end of the official end of slavery and the Civil War, but which refuse to go away anytime soon. It can be seen everyday within the job market, judiciary, law enforcement activities, politics, sports, or most importantly the media. ‘Obama opted out of public campaign financing,’ is a recent headline that is getting a big play by our present Republican Presidential nominee Senator John Mc Cain and his cohorts in the media.

The implications of these reactions are to indicate that the Democratic nominee is a liar for reneging on a promise to forgo public financing on future Presidential campaign that he made in 2007. In his defense Senator Obama claimed that 1.5 million grassroots members of the general public helped finance his primary campaign via small donations on the Internet, thus setting a new trend and record amounts of money for his campaign. He was not prepared to removeany possible advantage he possessed and give up the vast money chest. In the Mc Cain case he had talked a lot about campaign reform, but did very little to change it through the years. He is the beneficiary of the old Republican money machine and has enjoyed it for decades. Do not forget that like former Democrat nominee John Kerry, he has married well, and his wife Cindy like Teresa is a multimillionaire. This was however been completely ignored by the media at large. It is the public that might be the losers on the score unfortunately.

Another issue that has me somewhat perplexed is the almost silent role of the feminist movement that was so vicarious in trying to make a case of sexism by the media against Hilary Clinton each time she had a negative comment or portrayal made against her. Today Michelle Obama is fair game for all, even the gentile Philanthropist and beer heiress Cindy Mc Cain. One can remember the exuberant and unscripted Michelle indicating that she was very happy after a recent State’s victory for her husband, and “for the first time really proud of her country.” This was interpreted by a few sleazy politicians, and the media talking heads, that she was unpatriotic. It is unfortunate that political ambition has overtaken the wife of Senator Mc Cain for she too has jumped on the bandwagon to declare that unlike the Ivy League graduate Michelle, she loves her country. I guess that the cat fight will commence, as the millionaire and Ivy League try and decide who loves their country more. Remember there was also a veil attack by a certain Admiral’s son, as to who more deserved to be President because he wore a uniform, and served in Vietnam? O what a difference eight years can bring, now the victims of smear campaigns and attacks by Republican political enemies are the aggressors. O what a great Republic indeed!

Battle for Hearts and Minds

Is America safer today than it was eight years ago? It’s the sort of question that the crafty Ronald Reagan asked to Jimmy Carter and turned him into a smiling soft Buddha in front millions, and so forever doomed his reelection chances. In 2008, the Republican nominee cannot dare asked a similar question and risk further tarnishing his image amongst the staunch Reaganist and Conservative fan base that are concerned about winning and the prospects of stacking the Courts with more judges. Likewise Obama the Democratic nominee must thread cautiously as the country has changed considerably since the Clintons held office. If he does not want to be stuck with the Carter label, then he must remember that a henchman with a similar sounding name to his masterminded one of the most devastating terrorist attack on the USA with far reaching implications.
It resulted in two ongoing wars, millions of resources and finances, and the country in a more tenuous and precarious economic situation the likes few have ever seen except in the history books about the depression. The big question that is now posed in the media and before the people is, who can make you safer? Is it the old school, hot tempered fiery maverick with the foul mouth that can keep his powerful wife in her place, or the young charismatic idealist that finds this task to be a challenge without the help of Woppi Goldberg, Barbara Walters and Joy Bahor to rein her in?
Mr . Mc Cain is proud of his history and boast of defending his country in a war that was lost, and believe that the experience should serve him well in the next war that the country is carded to be involve with for the next hundred years. He has the confidence of the Generals in the Military because he was one of them. He has been around the political block on Pennsylvania Avenue for over four decades, and believes that he has the track record to reach across the isle and get thing things done with little efforts. He is confident that he has no racial skeletons in his closet as he is the proud father of a black Indian baby and was very moderate on the immigration border issues much to the wrath of his own party and a few minuet on the Arizona are Mexican border. Obama likes his chances, as the agent of change that is geared to shake Washington up, and his failure to be enamored by any special interest lobbyist with their pocket full of money and kickbacks. He believes that as long as he stays on message, and gives hope the people’s revolution will succeed.
Back to the safety issue what should now be considered is to what extent does wearing a uniform and waging in battles make you a better candidate to run the country? To Obama camp the track records of former Generals who became commander in chief are not always pleasant for the country. It should be noted that it was under General Ike that the first CIA orchestrated coup ever took place by America on Iran some 55 years ago. The US then continued to pump millions of economic and military aid including nuclear technology to help bolster the image of the puppet regime by the western educated dictator, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. This massive militarization and spending enabled the emergence of the Shah as a regional super power and “policeman of the Persian Gulf.” The blowback led to the fist psychological victory by militant Islam against American Super Power in 1979 when 52 of its citizens were held captive for 444 days by a mob. To counteract Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini “fanatical Shiism,” a barbarian Iraqi Arab call Saddam Hussein was created by the Americans. This presented even more danger in the world as he soon began four successive wars in the next twenty four years that have surely contributed to further destabilization of an already unsafe world- especially for the world sold Superpower and global police.
Both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq it seem is heading no where soon towards a positive victory, and so much was lost with very little achieved. Both leaders at times have appeared to be very disingenuous and have flip flop on stated policies even before assuming office. On the domestic scene the nation have been lucky thus far, thanks perhaps to the vigilance by law enforcement officials, or is it that the terrorist bad guys have learned their lessons. It is at the foreign policy levels where the mettle will be tested. Anyone that can be more trustworthy to safeguard the country with prudent leadership, as well as firmly define what constitute the national interest, will be the real challenge.


Wayne C. McWilliams & Harry Piotrowski, The World Since 1945: A History of International Relations, Lynne Rienner, Boulder Colorado, 2005, Ch.4, Pg. 97.
Mohsen M. Milani , Iran ‘s Ambivalent World Role .University of Florida- ( Steven W. Hook)Ch.10 Comparative Foreign Policy. Pg. 219
John Perkins, Confession of an Economic Hitman, Plume Book, NY , 2006,Pg. 137-138

Friday, June 6, 2008

The religious grey zone-a-paradox

Do not refuse a wing to the person who gave you the whole chicken.

R. G. H. SIU



Can anyone please show a little love and understanding for the African peoples in the global village when it comes to the delicate matter of God and religion? By this I mean that historically, every other conceivable race on earth was blessed with some distinctive religion that they can consider their own. We all as you know clamor for some type of belief in a higher being during times of struggles. What is the religion for African peoples scattered across the globe? In Africa the problem is simple to analyze as over 85% of them combined are Christians and Muslims. [1] Both are religions of conquest either by the invading Arabs that introduce slavery, or European colonizers that suppressed, divided, and exported them for profits to the colonies in the West Indies and North America. Not surprisingly, Africahas witnessed some of the worst atrocities by the hands of Africans on Africans, be it white or black. Political ideology could not bring the many tribes together as it often did in similarly fragmented continents. It is why today fellow Americans should find it in their hearts to give a bit of breathing room to Obama our future Commander in Chief. He has successfully meandered his way around several silos that were headed his way on many issues, but one more persist in representing his Achilles heels for the next five months before his swearing ceremony. His acceptance or not of Black Liberation Theology principles as practice by arch guru Rev Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, Jr. of the Chicago Trinity United Church.

I do understand the paradox of religion as it relates to the lives of African Americans. You can bet your life that most Americans that graduated beyond high school also understand the powerful influences of the church for a people that sees themselves as oppressed and are striving for a piece of the American pie. Even if some respond in disbelief, America as a nation of immigrants has always treasured its diverse religions and the freedom to so practice. I’ll reiterate again, religion brings people together, gives them a sense of connection and history, keeps them focus on goals and helps them handle the daily earthly struggles they encounter each day. It was European religious persecution and pride that help create America over 200 years ago. It was that connection and consciousness that helped saved countless Jews and millions of Europeans during and in the aftermath of WW11. Need I say The Marshall Plan, forty years of political protection from communism, and the formation and support of Israel, and creation of the United Nations? Can any one remember the protestant ethics and its links to American and European capitalist rise by Marx Webber? These are all noble things that one can point to and give credit to religion as an influential catalyst .I need not say more.

To African Americans however, the Euro centric religions contributed to their plight and ensured their perennial state of second class citizenry.[2]Many today look with mixed feelings at the roles of Malcrom X, Elijah Mohammed, Farrakhan, and the likes of Martin Luther King, and yearn for a religion that can do for them in similar fashion that Judaism did for its main advocates, and what Christianity did for Europeans and Europe. They therefore ask what about me? Why were 800,000 Christian Africans allowed to die in Rwanda, millions of Christians and Muslims Africans in Sudan, Thousands of Nigerian Christians and Muslims devour each other and Kosovo and the Middle East receive the entire spotlight?



Can you begin to understand the dilemma for a young Obama and millions of ex African slaves dispersed across the globe from America to Europe and the Caribbean? Those two religions in their purest forms just won’t cut it for Black people. Like sheep lost in the wilderness they tend to experiment and dabble with every conceivable form of religion, but nevertheless emptiness and disconnect exist and perhaps more than anything can explain the multitudes of social, economic and political problems that is encounter everywhere.

To illustrate my point as to some of our problems, let me give an example. Approximately thirteen years ago I was fortunate to be part of a security detail for a UN Peace negotiating team in Afghanistan. The objective then was to spearhead the peaceful handover of power from the dreaded Mujahadeen that chased the Soviets out, to a new mutually acceptable government. At the same time the UN contingent had to keep a close eye on the then mysterious Taliban tugs or scholars – depending on who is doing the defining- that were successfully fighting to overrun the country. An amusing story was one day told to me about an unfortunate Sudanese Christian man that served in Afghanistanat one time. He had tried for some time to pass himself off as a Muslim to one of the former Prime Minister and a major Commander Gulbadin Hekmatyar . One day he was requested to lead a meeting in holy pray but was detected as an imposter. His folly and fraudulent ploy was discovered as he tried to mimic the traditional Islamic rituals which he knew nothing about. This action nearly cost him his life as he was beaten mercilessly to almost an inch of life, and then eventually kicked out of the country. So much for solidarity, but some people, particularly Afghans Warlords, take their religion very seriously.

I as a result of this story made sure to set the record straight for any of the hundreds of Kalashnikov carrying young men that approached be to ask if I was Sudanese. My answer was always an emphatic no, but a Buddhist and man of peace. I simply had no intention to experience a similar fate. So these are some of the predicaments face by people of African descent due to the absence of a concrete religion of their own. Surely we can now almost have some sympathy -thanks to what I have now alluded to- for the Democratic Presidential nominee Barrack Obama on his religious associations’ foibles. Both him and his wife take great pains to remind every that he was that skinny mulatto kid from Hawaii with the large ears, Kansan adventurous mom, absent father that did well by hard work and education. He found his way on the South side of Chicago and ran smack in to charismatic Black Liberation Theology advocate Rev Wright. The man was able to offer spiritual and social guidance to a young man suffering an identity crisis. He could have made millions in the corporate world, but decided to follow a different cause of service in much the same way as others before him.

To address matters of alienations, poverty, despair, and hopelessness and not be affected in some fashion is akin to making an omelet without breaking an egg. Priest, Reverends and participants in the social and political struggles, have no choice but to roll up their sleeves, get into the trenches, and dirty their hands. A funny kid with an exotic name, raise by Caucasian grand parents has political ambitions as well. They do not however have the luxury to marry elite girlfriends from the North Side of Chicago and chart an easy part to the White House. They cannot use the power of ex Presidents to charm themselves into receiving millions, and help propel billion dollars philanthropic enterprises into the American consciousness. Instead they have to use what is available to them the power of spirituality as it is unique to a people. Yes, Black Liberation Theology gave Nobel winner Desmond Tutu the power to help focus on and eventually end barbaric Apartheid in South Africa. Haiti’s Father Aristied withstood Pope John Paul and the Vatican establishment until he was overthrown from power. For a moment the struggling people of Haiti that started this movement some 207 years ago as the first liberated slave colony thought they could find their own promise land on earth.

Yes the Black Liberation Theology principles and concerns are alive and well in America today as they were in Martin Luther’s time. For the record, millions of passionate and patriotic young black men have joined the Black Muslim faith in America. More than half including Malcorm X was as a result of incarceration. Contrary to fervently held media portrayals, they do love their country and would do nothing to harm it. However like others in the Christian realm they too want to see positive things done both for themselves and communities. We have therefore seen manifestations of black pride, consciousness, giving, and caring for their fellow human within their milieu, and globally people’s struggles are in existence. It is what all good decent Americans would like, and have done through the decades. The now respected pro- Vietnamantiwar proponent, Mohammed Ali would agree. The torch has now been extended to this Immigrant descendant Barrack Obama. It is left to be seen, if Americahas matured as a nation. They did not allow phobia of Catholicism to prevent them from electing another descendent of Immigrant in JFK. Let’s enter the Religious Grey Zone that has repeatedly manifested itself in the fabric of American politics. We will observe where it leads as matters of character, vision, change, strength and security are resolved. The world I believe is desperately waiting for leadership and the results of collectively progressive forces.



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[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Traditional_Religion

[2]http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/BlackTheology.html

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Uniondale New York, NY, United States
Speaking truth,as one major prerequisite, to concrete justice. A novel form of social advocacy.

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