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Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Politics of Humanist Optimism

        This year I plan to celebrate Xmas a bit differently, by paying homage , and show  gratitude ,to  a few unsound heroes from my past.These are people who directly , and otherwise,  dedicated their lives to the service of others. Often with little fanfare ,  or rewards, they persevered to the end ,in making an impact, for betterment of our planet. Some are now dead, and so cannot really acknowledge my  paltry gesture, others ,are still here with us , and maybe ,I can be presumptuous enough to think, that they , or relatives , and friends , can see that their  sacrifices, were not in vain, after reading this. 
   How many was blessed to have a Grandmother like mine? Great woman , for being a part of my life from 8 weeks , to her  premature death  at a mere 53 years,just as  I turned 16, and needed her most. 
    Not having a mother and father in my life , took it’s toll, but the lessons learned  at her side , were able to sustain , and  therefore made  me the being ,I am  today, namely a caring humanist ,striving to  prudently work, in the service of other , some deem less fortunate. 
   Before NGO’s or rather Civil Society, was in the lexicons , of media pundits, my Grand-mom  , was in the trenches ,working in the cause of young women , by teaching them  life skills to be self sufficient in arts and crafts ,  while using  resources from the land, or fulling her  religious obligations via her Church organization , for common good.   She was a pragmatic neo spiritualist,ardent agriculturist,intellectually curious , resilient character , unwavering in the face of problems, and  a thrifty,  independent entrepreneur , with a healthy work ethic, all fine qualities , she passed on to me, and for that I say thanks. 
      How about four  selfless , visionary ,Pan Afrikanist ,political Statesmen , of international  repute? CLR James , and fearless, re known ,psychologically uplifting author , and liberal thinker ? He chronicled the exploits  of   Haitian anti European ,pro freedom  , revolutionary classic , The Black Jacobins, that remained a model for fight by the masses against social oppressions. 
  He  remained a teacher , and social activist , for global Afrikans, from the Caribbean , Europe , America, and the Virgin Continent, and became a huge  influence on  students such as  fellow countryman ,Eric  Eustace Williams ,the 1st PM of Trinidad and Tobago. 
 Eric  at age 27,  wrote his Doctoral  Dissertation  at Oxford  England , that completely debunked  the then historically popular Euro centric notion, touted by  intellectual elites ,as to the faulty humanitarian, neo Christian ,benevolent explanations , as to why Afrikan slavery ended in the Caribbean. 
   This was entitled ,”The Economic Aspect of the West Indian Slave Trade and Slavery,”  and due to it's content, was  only published decades later in Britain. 
 It was  blatant racism, experienced in Britain , including inability to acquire employment - even after topping his respective , white dominated classes -which prompted him ,to travel instead to the USA , and there taught at Howard, and help shape the impressionable mind of perhaps the greatest , unrecognized ,Afrikan  Civil Right activist, America , and the world ever saw , in yet  another fellow country man , Stokly Carmichael. 
   He Stokley ,at a steep price , and personal sacrifices ,help bring racial pride , amongst historically discriminated,ex slaves ,suffering the ugly vagaries genocidal,of a White  American   Jim Crow system , and in turn, help  elevate ,  the rest of global Afrikans. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMelYYXMj1Y
Finally on this list is to me the greatest Afrikan leader of all time in Dr Julius Nyerere, an honest , visionary , integrationist politician. 

    Until Nelson Mandela decades later , he was not only the first  President to leave office voluntarily ,but also the only one , to  leave  poorer ,than he entered. His legacy of peace, and Afrikan nationalism , and racial pride ,remain   exemplary .
   An ardent fan of China's Mao,it is felt that  if his self serving, neo  imperialistic  ,fellow Afrikan  leaders , had the courage to rebuff European intimidation , and  instead  adopt his  more progressive, social ideas, then Asia  , Europe , and North America,in 2011 , would  have had, a strong Continental  rival  in Afrika, as far as  global economic - com political  superiority. 
Thanks all. 
       I am talking about  a few former Professors of mine , from  Queens College CUNY , that helped shape my perspective  immensely, in environmental Politics  ,in addition to imbalanced ,discriminatory,  racial , economic ,and political  power  dynamics ,as played out in the Globe ,between  Northern  Industrial countries, led by Western Europe , and North America , and mainly resource ladened states ,of the  Global South.  
 Thanks Judith Kimerling, a 2011 Albertson Medal Winner.  
    How can I ignore , what can best be described as two ardent neo Feminist ,with the humanist touch,  in both  Sociology , and Political Science? These two females,together proved  to me , the merits of pragmatism ,solidarity politics ,  and practical intermarriage of ground level up approaches, interspersed with respectful top down policy approaches ,as  the most effective  mechanism, for  trying to eliminate big  Human Security  problems ,such as for example ,terrorism, economic class inequities,and  lack of political   empowerment , that are connected to  race,  and gender Rights.  
 Much appreciated Alyson.  http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=10322

   Just  today , I spoke with a  young lady  about a million miles away ,who is now  dreading another boring Xmas. Hopefully ,my example , can help reinforce some of my thoughts to her , on the true essence of this season. 
To reiterate , it's giving , sharing , appreciating , and being exemplars  to others in need , while finding ways to still serve, beyond self,yes? 
Luv Humanity , as it remains a beautiful life!

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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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