AfroA Perspectives 31: Riots, Rebellion…Revolution?

george floyd riot

Takuan Amaru

“This is not grieving, and this is not making a statement …this is life-threatening…dangerous…this is not about George’s death. This is about chaos being caused.”

     ~Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota

Are rioters making a statement or just causing chaos? Is this the appropriate way to react to yet another racist murder? The inhumane murder of George Floyd by police has sparked protests, not only in Minnesota, but all across the United States. Recently, following (way too) many police-brutality incidents, in which cops have functioned more like private race-soldiers or bounty-hunters than public-officials concerned with protecting citizens, many believe the image of Officer Derek Chauvin⁠—who is white—with his knee crushing a black man’s (Floyd) neck while being flanked by three officers, is the symbolic logo of what talk-show host, Zo Williams, calls “The Remaking of American Society.” Whether we examine the details of this case, Ahmaud Arbery being attacked for jogging in Georgia, or Breonna Taylor getting murked by a lynch-mob wearing Kentucky Police uniforms, it’s hard to argue with this point of view.

Dred Scott still in Effect?

In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case, “Dred Scott v. Sandford”, that the Constitution did not include blacks—regardless of whether free or enslaved—as American citizens. Therefore the rights and privileges the Constitution confers upon citizens does not apply to them. police murdersIf we compare the murders already mentioned with those of Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, Oscar Grant, etc., all the way back to Emmitt Till, the U.S. government has consistently demonstrated this to be the case; blacks are not protected by the law like white people. Although integrationists, liberals, optimists, and coons, are quick to explain how the rulings in the Dred Scott case were replaced by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, which supposedly abolished slavery and guaranteed citizenship for blacks, this debate is just as asinine and useless as arguing the Willie Lynch Letter is not authentic. Who cares if there was actually a letter written by a redneck named Willie? What’s important is, the strategy explained in the letter—to this day—is still being used to keep blacks fragmented, disunited, and at each other’s throats. In other words, it matters little what name is used for the ‘Divide and Conquer’ tactic because the game remains the same. Likewise there are so many loopholes, not to mention new policies being implemented every year to keep blacks in their disenfranchised state, that it can easily be argued—just ask Amy Cooper—that nowadays black lives, in fact, do not matter.

“Riots are the voices of the unheard”~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz addressed the media at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, after another night of unrest, amidst the growing danger as rioting, looting, and fires raged on in Minneapolis.

 “Let’s be very clear, the situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd. It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear, and disrupting our great cities”

The governor went on and talked about the destruction of “infrastructure” and “businesses that took generations to build.” black american indiansOn the surface level it almost sounds like a statement worth endorsing. That is until you take a cursory look at history and realize how Gov. Walz skipped over the most important part; he left out how blacks are at the foundation of the very infrastructure he’s referring to. Put another way, those same businesses he mentioned were established and able to thrive only because of the blood, sweat, and tears freely donated by black people. And all this occurred on land, and with resources, that was stolen from them. Therefore, understanding the majority of the folks out there on the streets of Minneapolis (and elsewhere) are comprised mainly of the descendants of those cheated ancestors, is this not a form of poetic justice? Politicians, along with historians and journalists, go out of their way to avoid admitting something we already know to be true: the fact that blacks are indigenous to the Americas. In this regard, it’s tiring to watch the “lame-stream media” paint European immigrants as Americans over blacks when numerous explorers, including their beloved Cristobal Colon (misnomered Columbus), tells us in his own journals that the original inhabitants of the Americas were “copper-coloured.” copper-colouredFor those who are having a brain-cramp, just compare the complexion of your average so-called African-American and so-called Native American with the color of an old penny. Who do you think Columbus was referring to? Other explorers, like Vasco Nunez de Balboa, also recorded seeing “Negroes” when he reached the New World; and this matches up with reports from Nicholas Leon, who is an eminent Mexican historian. His reports revealed accounts from natives saying “the oldest inhabitants of Mexico were blacks.”

So before you weigh-in on the rioting, please do some research on the true origin of the problem (as opposed to only what is presented by the media).

Riots to Revolution: “The Last shall be First”

For a moment, let’s imagine a world where the system of racism/white supremacy no longer exists. For many colonized subjects, at the very mention of this notion, they may start to feel anxious or even annoyed. This is due to the plethora of traumatic experiences they’ve been forced to endure in this lifetime (and perhaps others). Homi K. Bhabha, writes in the foreword of Franz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth: “How do the oppressed discover the enduring strength to found a free and just society, a national consciousness, if they are continuously aware of their own anxiety and fragility?” Where does this “anxiety and fragility” derive from? female slaveMost people are familiar with how the slavemaster tortured or dismembered men right in front of their families; or vice-versa, how men were forced to watch their wives get raped, or even worse, see pregnant women get hung upside-down before having their bellies sliced open. However, not enough of us are consciously aware of how the images of blacks are being attacked on a daily basis at every level. It is this trauma which plays a significant role in the manufacturing of the petrified, buck-broken male we see everywhere. This is evident each time a black man pulls out his iPhone (instead of taking action) and points it at cops who are brutalizing other blacks—especially women. As a result the black female feels unprotected and, consequently, is forced into a frozen independent state of mind which causes her to subconsciously raise her children in reversed roles. Fearing that any young courageous man will be arrested or killed, she psychologically trains her son to be mentally weak and dependent; while conversely teaching her daughter to be like herself: strong and independent. The outcome of all this reverse-training is the beta-male and the undisciplined, unethical society we live in today. According to the Willie Lynch Letter, by continually “throwing the female slave into a psychological state of independence, by killing the protective male image, and by creating a submissive, dependent mind of the male slave, we have created an orbiting cycle that turns on its own axis forever, unless a phenomenon occurs and re-shifts the position of the male and female slaves…”

Could the riots be the impetus for this “phenomenon” to occur?

If not, what is it going to take to snap the majority of black men out of their cowardice and dependency? In any case, I salute the young warriors who are brave enough to take a stand and do something. As for anyone who doesn’t have the courage to lay the blame for the riots at the feet of the white supremacist government and, instead, claims the rioters are the problem, I leave you with the words of the most famous of the Soledad Brothersthe immortal George Jackson, himself:

“I didn’t create this impasse. I had nothing to do with the arrival of matters at this destructive end, as you infer. Did I colonize, kidnap, make war on myself, destroy my own institutions, enslave myself, use myself, and neglect myself, steal my identity and then, being reduced to nothing, invent a competitive economy knowing that I cannot compete? Sounds very foolish, but this is what you propose when you place the blame on me or on ‘us’.”

~George L. Jackson

george floyd mural

 

 

God bless the Dead!

 

 

 

 

Takuan Amaru is the author of the trilogy, Gaikokujin- The Story

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AfroA 30: Social Phobias on COVID-19

social distancing

Takuan Amaru

“The president encouraged protests against his own administration’s public-health policies. His team greeted it with a collective shoulder shrug”

     ~Asawin Suebsaeng, journalist at the Daily Beast

Famed numerologist, Tania Gabrielle, stated that “2020 is a very special year of perfect vision and accomplishment”. As we near the end of April, perhaps it’s still too early to make heads or tails of her prediction; nevertheless the biggest accomplishment thus far, on a global scale, is the now ubiquitous trend called “social distancing”. Whether your region refers to the restrictions placed on travel as a stay-at-home order, or a movement control order, the fact is everything has been shut down for over a month. President Donald Trump, in response to COVID-19, has declared a public health emergency under the Public Health Service Act, and issued two additional national emergency declarations via the Stafford Act and the National Emergencies Act; and on March 18, he invoked emergency powers by means of Executive Order under the Defense Production Act. Now, we’ve been advised over-and-over again by the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as other organizations to stay at home, wash our hands, avoid large gatherings, wear masks, etc. huntington beachNevertheless it appears that a certain sector of America is displaying a blatant disregard for authority. More than 100 white nationalist demonstrators gathered in Huntington Beach on April 17 to protest California’s stay-at-home order. The scene featured lots of American flags as well as some which proclaimed support for Donald Trump. They were intentionally violating social distancing guidelines, and were not shy about letting it be known. Here is what one man, who was hosting a Facebook livestream had to say: “We’re here in defiance of (Governor) Gavin Newsom and his socialist agenda to ruin our economy…we’re definitely not practicing social distancing.” To make matters worse, the overwhelming majority of the vocal participants were not wearing masks as they jeered the “fake virus” and “fake hysteria” over the constant chanting of: “No foreign vaccinations!” Carlos Saucedo, a news reporter at KTLA-5, stated no arrests were made at Huntington Beach. Furthermore, similar demonstrations by white people were reported in other parts of the United States.

Now, some may criticize the emphasis being placed on the ethnicity of the protestors, suggesting some sort of unfair racial bias. And those people are absolutely correct. However we must assign the blame where it rightfully belongs. Question: Does anyone believe a black fraternity, or a group like the NAACP (at any time but especially now) could hold a public uprising “in defiance” of a state-governor? Can you imagine just how swift and violent the police would act if they ever were so foolish? Instead of the peaceful scene on the left (of whites chilling at Jacksonville Beach a couple days ago), it might look more like the all-too-familiar scene on the right.

We already know a double-standard exists but, even beyond the normal hypocrisy, do white-nationalist groups know something the rest of us do not? Even if they don’t, why is it their gatherings are not viewed by the government as dangerous? Again, let a group of Mexicans decide to hold a protest and see what happens? Any violence or arrests made—and there would definitely be some—would be chalked-up to the “need for public safety”. Moreover, white folks everywhere would be shaking their heads in contempt and pointing their fingers. So why aren’t white gatherings deemed unsafe? Why do police officers just stand around and allow them to disregard the mandate? Is it possible that COVID-19 is either not as lethal, or is not spread the way it has been commonly reported? It just seems logical that if the U.S. government really believed the Coronavirus was the second-coming of the Bubonic Plague, they would not tolerate any of these gatherings.

There is another conclusion…

Perhaps the stay-at-home order is only for hmm, how should I put it? The lower classes. This would explain why there are very few darker-complexioned people at the beaches…or holding demonstrations. Is it possible the restriction to remain at home is only (really) aimed at non-whites? Is this what Colorado’s House Minority Leader, Patrick Neville—who happens to be a Republican—was hinting at when he likened the stay-at-home order with a “Gestapo-like” mentality? Radio-show host Zo Williams, of the ZoWhat Show, has discussed the possibility of a reestablishment of the social order. In other words, the ruling class is using the outbreak of COVID-19 to reset American society more in accordance with white supremacist values. Tariq Nasheed, producer of the Hidden Colors series, claims that whenever it is stated in the media that only some areas should be restricted, this is how white nationalists “blow silent dog-whistles to each other”. According to Tariq, due to their large populations of melanin-rich people, cities like Detroit, Atlanta, or New Orleans have become politically-correct tags for blacks; while references to “rural areas” mean white folks.

Conspiracy Theories Abound

Does this sound a little too conspiratorial? Good. Because it’s meant to; this is my intent. However, once again, let us be sure to place the focus where it belongs. According to the Census Bureau, so-called ethnic and racial minorities will comprise a majority of the population somewhere around the year 2042, surpassing you-know-who. If you do not think the ruling class is shaking in their boots over this changing-of-the-guard, you’re not in touch with white-fragility. Last year, I discussed this very topic with a white man—and not just any white man. We all know one or two whites who we want to believe are not racists. You know what I’m talking about; the kind of guy who, had he lived in the American South during the chattel-slavery era, might have been an abolitionist. Well anyway, my ‘white hope’ was named Jeff; and during our conversation Jeff got upset because he claimed that I always casually lumped him into the same category with known white supremacists. white familyThis, in spite of his efforts over the years to prove he was not a bigot. As we delved deeper into the discussion, I got him to admit that not only was he proud of being white but, in addition, he was looking forward to having both children and grandchildren who looked like him, his family, and his fiancé’s family—who happens to be of German-Irish stock. Before I could continue, he lashed out: “What’s wrong with that? You always talk about being proud of your ancestral line!”

“True”, I replied. “But it’s not the same because I’m a descendant of the original Asiatic man and woman. “Black people”, I continued, “are the Alpha and the Omega…the beginning and the end”. When he sneered at this, I brought it down a level and pointed-out that, according to Census Bureau projections, it is the natural course of events for white people to be wiped out sooner than later: to become extinct. “With this in mind”, I concluded, “what unnatural policy, law, or strategy are YOU prepared to take-part in—or look the other way when it’s being implemented—in order to ensure the existence of your white posterity?”

As you might guess, Jeff had nothing else to say.planned parenthood

Takuan Amaru is the author of the trilogy, Gaikokujin – The Story.

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AfroA 29: Buck-broken Betas

buck broken

Takuan Amaru

“During slavery, there was a practice called “BUCK BREAKING.” This was a process of emasculating the strongest male on the plantation by forcing him to wear women’s clothing or beating and raping him in front his children so as to lead others to lose respect for him”

     ~Author Unknown

The sudden rise of gays and beta-males in society has been snatching headlines all over the world. So much, in fact, that some are questioning the authenticity of this new trend. In other words, is this phenomenon a natural occurrence? Or one that has been artificially manufactured?beta boys Although the gay-beta image crosses ethnic lines, no where is the symbolic stripping of masculinity more prevalent than in black society. The recent, shameless apology uttered by the rapper, Snoop Dogg, to Gayle King following her insensitive remarks about the late-NBA basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, speaks volumes. Why? Because it only occurred after Snoop was threatened (in a Tweet) by former U.S. National Security Advisor, Susan Rice. In her own words: “Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”

Did Snoop get checked by a bunch of “hoes”?

What “army” was Susan Rice referring to? When the former National Security Advisor to the president threatens to use “an army” it’s not the same as some regular-Joe-on-the-street-civilian. Is it possible that Snoop feared for his life? And perhaps this is the reason he apologized? Speculation into this incident can go in many directions, so let’s concentrate on a fact that is undebatable. Kevin Barringer, co-host of the ZoWhat Show, pointed out that Snoop Dogg is a rapper who, to a large extent, made his fame by spitting misogynistic lyrics like “bee-yatch”, “Gz up – Hoes down”, and who could ever forget, “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks, lick on these (bleep) and suck (bleep, bleep)? Well, in 2020,  it seems the script has been flipped: Snoop is now getting checked by some of the very “hoes” he rapped so eloquently about. And to add to the irony, Snoop claims he decided to apologize after having a conversation with his “momma”.

You know I raised you better than that. You’re a representation of us. Every woman that ever crossed your life, you’re a representation of that”

     ~Ms. Beverly Broadus-Green, Snoop’s mom

According to Snoop, from this conversation he “got it”; and this prompted him to, in his words: “Just man up and deal with it.” He finished his statement by saying: “I don’t mind being checked. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.” But was Snoop so wrong? In the video-in-question, Snoop was clearly upset about Kobe’s death, and was defending the legacy of a friend so close to his heart he considered him ‘a little brother’. snoop-and-gayle (1)I guess the question is: What would you do if someone, in the wake of your friend’s death, was deliberately smearing his/her reputation and legacy? Oh, and let us not fail to mention the evidence for this bogus rape-claim was based entirely on the lies and innuendo of a documented (several sperm-samples in her panties), certified “hoe”. So what I am proposing is this: even if Snoop did cross the line, considering his emotional state, shouldn’t he get a pass? We cannot forget the U.S. is a country that recognizes and respects a white woman’s right to lie about being raped by a black man in order to “protect her reputation”. Case in point, the Internet has been scrubbed-clean of the “Denver woman” who accused Kobe. emmett_till_That said, I do know the name of the liar who accused Emmitt Till of “grabbing her waist and uttering obscenities.” Lies that ultimately resulted in his very brutal murder. Her name was Carolyn Bryant—the irony continues to thicken. The only reason I’ve mentioned this “hoe” is because a few weeks ago the U.S. House of Representatives passed an anti-lynching bill nicknamed the “Emmitt Till Bill.” If it becomes a law, lynching will be a federal crime. Hearing this sheds light on the vast difference between how everyone in the world views lynching as compared to whites. And this makes sense, once you consider that the evil people at their satanic rituals called picnics, who are caught on film smiling and pointing at melanin-rich corpses hanging from trees, are this generation of white folks’ great-grandparents. Just think about it: if you have an upper-class white friend, associate, or coworker, there is a fair chance that, stashed away somewhere in their garage or attic is a box of ‘Jim Crow souvenirs’ from the “good ‘ol days”. To ensure their memories would never be forgotten, thousands of these heinous images were converted into portraits, postcards and other memorabilia. In some towns, these after-church, family-events were the highlight of the weekend. It was recreation. So you see, as deplorable and inhumane as we know lynching to be, it represents something totally different to the ruling class. When we see these images, we feel pain, lament, fear, and hatred. Just another Sunday Afternoon at the parkFor whites, however, the overriding emotion is either pride or embarrassment. Why? Simply because they know very little has changed from the era of Jim Crow to the administration of Don Trump. Exactly like their ancestors before them, this generation is still unjustly benefiting from “white privilege” and therefore, believe it or not, many view lynching through a nostalgic lens. However, since this type of barbarism cannot be justified, the media attempts to minimize any mention of their “peculiar” pastime. So you see, whether or not the Emmitt Till bill becomes a law, just the fact it is being “discussed” 100 years too late—now that all the cheesin’ folks in the photos are dead—this alone should be enough to make anyone who is paying attention feel insulted. And while we’re on the topic, whenever I see images like the photo above, I cannot help but wonder how many other “Carolyn Bryants” (i.e. lying white women) are out there? Just sitting back without a care in the world with their names, atrocities, and lies erased from the record.

Bought, Paid for & Compromised

Is Snoop-Dogg just an example of a tired, old man with nothing left in the tank? Have many of yesteryear’s Hip Hop legends stopped valuing the opinion of black people? Host of the talk-show “The Black Authority”, Jason Black, seems to think so. During his show entitled Buck-broken Old Men, he goes in on Snoop, Big Daddy Kane, and Rakim for their head-over-heels endorsement of Marshall Mathers, the Caucasian rapper known as Eminem. In the words of Jason Black: “Hip Hop is not theirs to give away.” BigDaddyKane-KobeBryant-Eminem-When Big Daddy Kane is asked in an interview: “If you’re Dr. J and Jay-Z is Jordan, who is the ‘Kobe of Hip Hop’?” Kane deliberates for a long-minute before stepping right past the likes of Kanye West, Andre-3000, Super-Natural, Mad Skillz, Mos Def, Li’l Wayne, Nas, Jeezy, 50 Cent, T.I., amongst countless others, to anoint you-know-who. Jason Black talks about how both Kane and Rakim have stopped caring about what black people think therefore, he postulates, being regarded as the G.O.A.T. by his people is no longer important to Rakim. Black also emphasizes how Snoop, Kane, Rakim (and I’ll throw in Ice-T and DJ Premiere)—any of the so-called legends who endorse Mathers with greatness—are just “old men on leashes” who can no longer be trusted because they have been compromised.

“They’re chomping at the bit to sell us out at every level. And I say to hell with these old niggaz!”

     ~Jason Black, The Black Authority

So who’s the Man?

Is patriarchal masculinity the source of society’s woes? Is this what white-feminist groups like the LGBTQ are calling “Toxic Masculinity”? Harris O’Malley, in his articleThe Difference between Toxic Masculinity and being a Man, states Toxic Masculinity is “defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness.” Was Snoop exhibiting toxic behavior when he expressed resentment at Gayle’s line of questioning to Lisa Leslie? Many seem to think he was okay until he ended his rant with “before we come get you”. Really? Folks let’s be honest.trump-yelling Did anyone actually believe Snoop was planning to physically harm Ms. King? If so, how does the Snoop-Gayle incident differ from the foreboding words that President Donald Trump shot at Congressman Adam Schiff a few days ago, saying he should “pay a price”? Or, how Republican senators were warned their heads would be put “on a pike” if they went against the president. In spite of these threats being far more graphic and violent, it doesn’t seem like anyone is anticipating that Trump and Schiff are going to square-off anytime soon.

Where is Susan Rice’s tweet warning Donald to back the **** off?

Do you think Trump and Schiff are alpha-males? A better question is: considering there are no apologies being issued by anyone in the Republican party, can we safely assume that when alphas get pissed-off, they may use terminology that betas interpret as “threatening”? Colleen Clemens, a professor of non-Western literatures and the director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Kutztown University, wrote the article: Say No to “Boys will be Boys”. In it, she seems to debunk this notion saying: “We can no longer excuse negative behaviors (like this) with the line, “Boys will be boys.” But is it possible for aggressive, alphas to assume beta ideology and behavior patterns? Isn’t that comparable to forcing a round peg into a square hole? Roger Corley, in his article entitled: Modern Masculinity In-Crisis: Rise of the Beta-Male, posits this hypothesis: “Modern society has ostracized and ridiculed the ideals of masculinity for both boys and men, stunting their emotional and psychic maturity and forcing them into submissive beta-male roles within an increasingly feminized culture.” With this in mind, why aren’t white leaders like Trump being forced into “submissive beta-male roles”? Put another way: how come it’s only black athletes and entertainers (like Snoop) who are required to bow down and kowtow?

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything”

     ~Malcolm X

Was this a moment when Snoop was supposed to “be a man” and show support for his brother? In other words, should Snoop have “stuck to his guns” even if it meant taking an L? Dan Bacon, in his article entitled, Alpha Male vs. Beta Male: What’s the Difference?, states: “When life gets tough or you encounter a challenging situation, you will be considered an alpha-male if you remain strong and keep pushing forward to victory…” For a moment, let’s speculate on what might have occurred had Snoop done what needed to be done, which was to unapologetically say: “Fu%$ Gayle, Susan, Oprah, and anyone else who has something to say! I love Kobe, he’s my little brother, and I will defend his reputation—no matter what!” What do you think would have happened? Would Snoop have had to worry about his career? flav-bernie-chuck dDo you think the government would’ve unleashed the I.R.S., F.B.I., D.E.A., or any of the agencies that Professor Griff of the group, Public Enemy, calls the “Alphabet Boys”? Speaking of P.E. and buck-broken beta-males, is it a coincidence that Chuck D is the same guy who threw Professor Griff under the bus back in 1989, and now instead of supporting his “little brother”, Flavor-flav, he fired him to show support for Bernie Sanders? Is Chuck D just another old sell-out on a leash?

Alpha-Beta Double-Standards

As illustrated above, when it comes to white males in the ruling class, so-called “toxic masculinity” is not only tolerated but expected. It is normal. However, for the lower classes (especially the darker hues), we are made out to be the “boogeyman” if we so much as comment on, let alone disagree with, the effemination process that is being shoved down our throats. Roger Corley details how, by discouraging masculinity, society has bred a generation of timid beta-males who he describes as “immature, selfish, childish, weak, narcissistic, and vengeful boy-men.” He warns of certain consequences such as “a continued increase in male suicides, mass/vengeful violence, and what’s recently being described as an en-mass “check-out” of men and boys from their vital societal roles.” Come to think of it, this creation of timid beta-males which leads to boys checking-out of their societal roles reminds me of another ex-NBA player, Dwayane Wade, and his child. And once again, upon further scrutiny of the fiasco I call “Zion vs. Zaya,” we discover the boy either has or had a white man for a nanny. Let’s unpack this for a moment: who in their right mind would hire a white man to raise a black boy? Without delving any further into this matter, there is already enough to question whether or not this child’s path to adulthood is being steered by Mother Nature…or is being artificially manufactured?

Takuan Amaru is the author of Gaikokujin – The Story.

 

 

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AfroA Perspectives 28: Which America?

Takuan Amaru

“Every black American is bilingual. All of them. We speak street vernacular and we speak ‘job interview’.”

      ~Dave Chappelle

Is there is a difference between Black America and White America? For those of us who have resided in the U.S.A. the answer is simple. Some of my earliest childhood memories of the States involve my introduction into “American Culture” which, by and large, consisted of being forced to choose a side. Since my father was a strong black man and both my sister and I, like him, were copper-colored, for us, the decision was not much of a puzzle. Nevertheless, I can remember seeing other Asian-Black children, many of whom could’ve passed for my siblings, who preferred to associate almost exclusively with white kids. Although my list of friends transcended ethnic bounds, once I hit the teenage years, I rarely hung-out with anyone who wasn’t “down by law,” which was our lingo for being “from around the way” or “from the hood.” nyc breakersMind you, this was not due to any feelings of hatred or animosity but, rather, it was because back in the 1980s, the culture of Hip Hop was really taking-off and, at this point, it was a Black and Latino “member’s only” club. In Philly and Jersey, the black-white divide manifested itself in virtually everything that was interesting to youngsters. Musically speaking, Funk, Disco, and R&B were the genres considered as black music prior to Rap being played on the radio. “Disco sucks!” is what the white kids wearing the black-and-white Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd t-shirts used to scream at us—which confused me because all-white groups like the Bee Gees or black/white mixed groups like KC and the Sunshine Band had been very popular. This was the first time I noticed the dual nature of American society; after all it’s everywhere from Democrats vs. Republicans, Right-wing vs. Left-wing, Liberal vs. Conservative, etc. Of course, I didn’t become conscious of all this until later in life. As a kid, what caught my attention was how even amongst whites themselves, they were organized into opposing factions. The “whiteboys” who got stoned at keg parties to Heavy Metal were cool with the kids who zoned-out to Classic Rock but, together, they had formed an alliance against the whites who liked disco. I remember they used to speak very condescendingly, even labeling them as “Nigger-lovers.”

Realizing how deep the black-white divide in America was really blew my mind!

From that point, I was careful to align myself, in all activities, according to the established rules. And this would become important once the TV series, Roots, came out because whiteboys around my way started to get beat-up on a regular basis. The racial schism was particularly noticeable in school, where the only certified black activities were sports. But only some of them. Starring on the basketball, football, or track team could earn you a whole lot of cool-points while, at the same time, being a member of the baseball, soccer, or lacrosse team came with a “whiteboy” label stitched to the uniform. nigger-lover-14.jpgEven in regard to simple pastimes like playing-cards the contrast existed. In the hood, blacks played Tonk or Spades but whenever we happened to be on the “other side of the tracks” we had to settle for Go-fish, Gin-rummy, or Poker. As a young adult, I’ll never forget how surprised I was to see a group of Italians shooting “craps” because I had never seen whites—if we can call Italians white—shoot dice before; whereas on the other hand, everyone knows brothers love playing Cee-lo as much as whites enjoy a good game of Monopoly or Scrabble.

To this day, I still hate Scrabble!

Nowadays, segregation and other forms of unfair bias are frowned upon in the media. Any person or corporation accused of practicing racism or sexism can be fined or imprisoned, not to mention have their character assassinated in the media. With such harsh penalties in place, it is natural to believe that acts of racism would gradually diminish or, at minimum, they would have to be concealed. Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case. botham jeanFrom Black Lives Matter, to the murder—not simply death—of Botham Jean, and even the Bill Cosby case, 2019 was saturated with clear, black-and-white instances, pun intended, of the black-white divide. No longer do I allow myself to be lured into debates as to whether or not racism still exists (this was a popular distraction during the Obama Administration). Back in the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson assigned the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders with the task of assessing the causes of civil unrest in Afro-American communities. The Kerner Commission Report, which was a compilation of data on the specific economic and social inequities confronting blacks, was presented to the president in 1968. Last year, Janelle Jones, John Schmitt, and Valerie Wilson of the Economy Policy Institute published 50 Years after the Kerner Commission in order to assess the nation’s progress during this time. What did we learn? For someone like me who, at one time, believed the system of racism/white supremacy was gradually weakening or, at least, that blacks were, little-by-little, gaining a foothold in the American Dream, this quote jumped out at me:

“With respect to homeownership, unemployment, and incarceration, America has failed to deliver any progress for African Americans over the last five decades. In these areas, their situation has either failed to improve relative to whites or has worsened”

     ~Kerner Commission Findings

oprah okay

Okay? or White Power?

A “White Zaddy” Complex?

Last spring, talk-show host, Oprah Winfrey, decided to dig-up from the grave if not the most famous person of all time, definitely the most successful music artist. Dubbed the “King of Pop,Michael Jackson (1958–2009) was the recipient of 13 Grammys, 26 American Music Awards and 1 innocent verdict on 14 counts when he was accused of sexual molestation back in 2005. oprah and russellLeaving Neverland is the HBO documentary series which Oprah claims was important enough for her to endure what she called “hateration” from social-media—even amongst her fans—because she “never wavered in her beliefs” about what happened in MJ’s rape allegations. This, in spite of all the evidence pointing in the other direction. Well, her crusade to hunt-down and smear alleged sexual-predators has taken on new life, literally, in the sense that her latest victim still has a pulse. And once again it’s another black man. 

“I don’t understand why Oprah is going after black men. No Harvey Weinstein. No Epstein. Just Michael Jackson and Russell Simmons…this shit is sad!”

     ~50 Cent

Since the announcement of Oprah’s latest documentary, aside from being criticized by rappers like 50 Cent and The Game, her actions have been straight-up slammed by many including the Source magazine. To my knowledge, Oprah has yet to make a public statement; but regardless of whether you’re in Oprah’s corner or not, one thing cannot be denied; yes, that’s right, you guessed correctly. Once again we’re brought right back to the black-white issue as Oprah, a black woman, is ignoring the Epsteins and the Weinsteins, who are white men, in favor of  running slander campaigns against black men.

Proud to be Black?

“Beyond the color of your skin and the texture of your hair, what distinguishes YOU from others?”

Recently, I’ve been asking melanin-rich people who I encounter in Japan if, in fact, they’re proud of their ethnicity/culture. In spite of the overwhelming, almost immediate claims of “Yes!” many of these prideful people are much less enthusiastic to explain the source of their pride—i.e. exactly what they’re proud of. Question: If there is nothing which distinguishes someone in terms of mannerisms, culture, speech, or diet from the majority population, can it be said that such a person is “proud of their culture?” Please understand I am not of the mind that everyone has to be a revolutionary who wears a symbol of their race on their sleeve. That said, these days, the standards have become so lenient and loose, there are now whites who are “transforming into black,” not to mention those who have demonstrated nothing but ill-will and vitriol toward blacks, who are seeking to become our leaders.

Teaching American Culture in Japan

Since the Japanese vs. Foreigners dichotomy prevails in Japan, it’s not difficult to introduce the idea of a mainstream, ruling class existing in the U.S. While explaining this nuance of American culture, I also make sure to slide-in the fact that, for the most part, the average Japanese person’s image of the U.S. is restricted to White America. A good example of this is whenever I encounter one of those Self-proclaimed English Experts among the Japanese populace. These Japanese, whenever talking to non-Japanese, demand to be spoken to in English and have a reputation amongst their own people for understanding everything there is to know about foreigners; so, as you can imagine, much of this notoriety depends on their ability to communicate with “gaijin” in English or they will lose face—especially in the presence of other Japanese. modern-family.jpg I have coined these annoying people as “J.S.P.E.X.” Since they fancy themselves as experts, in my opinion, it’s unacceptable how most of them still take it for granted that everyone from western nations follows mainstream culture such as eating hamburgers and french fries on a regular basis. Hmm, on second thought, this might be a notch up from the stigma of fried chicken and watermelon! At times, over the years, certain J.S.P.E.X. have confused me for someone they can nonchalantly strike up a conversation with about their favorite episode of Modern Family or Friends. Although I don’t get angry, it’s a slap in the face. Come on, at least get your stereotypes right and come at me with Empire!

Ebony & Ivory

“Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don’t we?”

     ~Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney
From his asinine comments on Twitter, to the recent impeachment, nothing highlights the black-white divide in America more than Donald J. Trump. Why? trump hearingsIn spite of being the most vilified president in history, he has been able to hold sway by convincing the ruling class to stay on-code. While it may seem there is some dissension among his troops right now, if you think about it, considering that blacks and other groups have had virtually nothing to do with Trump’s impeachment—just like we had nothing to do with his election in 2016—this may just be a smoke & mirrors tactic to distract the public as the Republicans muster for a push at the next election. At any rate, many seem to think so. Tariq Nasheed put it like this: “This (impeachment) has no impact on us whatsoever. Look for the Tea Party and other Trump supporters to ‘circle their wagons’ and galvanize around Trump…and don’t be surprised to see him win again in 2020.” What do you think? 

trump silly

Takuan Amaru is the author of Gaikokujin – The Story.

 

 

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AfroA Perspectives 27: Why so Forgiving?

cop and ban

Takuan Amaru

“The death of Black citizens by white officers has reached critical mass”

           ~The National Black Police Association

A few weeks ago, a Texas jury sentenced a white police officer, Amber Guyger, to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean—an innocent black man. This, in spite of prosecuting attorneys having petitioned for a minimum sentence of 28 years. “Only 10 years (4 -5 on probation) for killing a man who was sitting on the couch in his own house eating ice cream?” This was the opinion of many following the announcement. Even more stunning than the leniency of the sentence were certain events which occurred in the aftermath. The obvious surprise was the Impact Statement given by the victim’s younger brother, Brandt, which contained phrases like I love you” and”I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want ” To say his statement made an impact is an understatement. And just when you were certain your mind couldn’t be blown any further Brandt Jean then requested permission from the judge to give his brother’s killer a hug. Unbelievable.

I have no idea of the level of anguish that Brandt Jean, who is still a teenager, is experiencing trying to cope with the loss of his elder brother. For this reason, I will respectfully refrain from commenting on his hug or speech. I will say, however, that following Brandt’s tear-jerking performance, there were actions taken by Judge Tammy Kemp which raised an eyebrow and therefore are worthy of scrutiny. Why did she hug Amber Guyger? The victim’s brother was showing his forgiveness; okay, I get that. But what about the judge? She didn’t have anything to forgive. As the series of events unfolded, I could not help but feel as though the judge was determined to not be outperformed on her own stage. This is what inspired her to go above and beyond the call of duty to not only imitate the youth’s hug but, in order to separate her deeds even more, she went back to her quarters to retrieve a gift. A gift…for the convict!

The Consequences

Now, we could go on and on about Thomas Jefferson’s letter in 1801 to the Danbury Baptists about building “a wall of separation between Church and State,” or even how Lee Merritt (attorney) and Judge Kemp collaborated with an ex-cop to violate the First Amendment to the Constitution. Nonetheless, perhaps the most significant consequence of a judge bestowing gifts and hugs to a murderer is what naturally manifests in any society whenever law, order, and justice are not prioritized: corruption, victimization, and injustice. Tariq Nasheed, the producer of the Hidden Colors series, warned of the ramifications for such “coonery in court.” In his words: “Police and other ‘Race-Soldiers’ now know they have a green-light…that means there’s a target on the backs of blacks.”PE Tariq’s words proved to be prophetic when two more high-profile shootings were reported in the same area directly after the sentencing. Moreover, less than two weeks later, another black person in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was murdered by yet another white police officer. Once again the victim was at home minding her business and, once again, the race-soldier killed her in cold-blood. Atatiana Jefferson was guilty of nothing more than playing video games (while being black) with her nephew when she was shot at by police through a window. santa-and-whiteboy.jpgAlthough Fort Worth Police Chief, Ed Kraus, stated the murderer, Officer Aaron Dean, had “absolutely no excuse,” one has to wonder what kind of bells, whistles, and gifts will be showered upon this officerespecially with the “Season to be Jolly” being right around the corner.

According to Dr. Claud Anderson, a code of etiquette exists within the system of racism/white supremacy which prohibits blacks in government positions from holding whites accountable for transgressions. This suggests that black officials are prone to cowardice because the fear of losing their position is stronger than any impulse they might have to uphold justiceeven when it comes to their own people. Is this what Ebony K. Williams, co-hostess of the talk show State of the Culture, was hinting at by proposing that Judge Kemp (and others like her) may be suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome? This is interesting considering the coping mechanism for this psychological disorder is a positive emotional bond between perpetrator and victim; this has been described as a “defense mechanism of the ego under stress.” After 500 years of being the victims of slavery, Jim Crow, the KKK, the FBI, etc., is it really possible for blacks to have a positive emotional bond with the U.S. government? kemp-guygerOver and over again we are beaten up and killed by police before being blamed in the media of something trivial like “smoking weed.” This is a constant reminder that we are not afforded the rights endowed to even the lowest class of Caucasian. So when we see a (bourgeoisie) black judge hug a white woman who was just convicted of murdering a black man, are we not witnessing the defense mechanism of a black person’s ego under stress? Some may disagree. In a press conference, John Creuzot, the Dallas county district attorney, described the embraces as an “amazing act of healing.” While, on the other hand, Tariq Nasheed, labeled the aftermath of the hearing a “Coon Fest” and accused the entire Jean family of being coons, and Judge Kemp of having a “Mammy Complex.”

Stockholm…or the Mammy Syndrome?mammy and white girl

The image of the Black Mammy is one of the most ubiquitous in American history. According to Patricia Morton, author of Disfigured Images: The Historical Assault on Afro-American Women, the black woman in the U.S. has deliberately been labeled with the stereotype of a “natural and permanent slave woman.” In order to justify this fabricated image, these faithful servants have been incorporated into the (white) family unit—albeit in an inferior position. Often described as a “unique type of foster motherhood,” aside from tending to the children, the mammy was also responsible for teaching them proper manners and etiquette. So is this what Judge Kemp was attempting to do? Was she showing us how to behave?

“Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you…”

             ~Luke 6:28

Stairway to Heaven

Why are Blacks always expected to forgive? We can cite examples for days which illustrate how the ruling class never forgives or forgets: for instance, criminal or driving records, credit scores…all the way to the verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial. So why do we always forgive? While many are aware of biblical scriptures about forgiving others who trespass against us, some may not be familiar with a higher aspect of forgiving: which is forgiving oneself. According to the ancient Egyptians, ascending to this spiritual level was indispensable to enter heaven. chakras.jpgHowever, in this case, heaven is not referring to the “by and by,” or a place with “streets paved of gold,” or having “pearly white gates.” Instead, heaven refers to the “green gateway” known as the Heart Chakra. Entering this gateway leads to the three highest levels, known as the Higher Self. Occultist Brother Panic lectures on how the process of “Self-Deification” can only begin after a person has let go of past grudges. These are the dregs of humanityUsing his own life as an example, Panic illustrates how wiping childhood resentment under the rug inhibits connecting to the Higher Self. Many people still harbor anger at their parents, well into adulthood, for not being the “perfect parents.” Did your father miss your speech contest or concert? Were you the only kid on the block without cable? Or the newest Air Jordans? Panic reminds us that, at some point, we need to relinquish everyone of blame—especially our parents—in regards to whatever faults we might have. strike-outThis includes our secret complexes such as guys who lament over having a small penis, or ladies who are convinced they are not curvy enough. Another example, which may hit close to home, is the multitude of middle-aged men with families and careers who have never gotten over striking-out in the big-game, or getting cut from the basketball team. There are others, especially women, who are haunted by their decisions regarding family and other relationships plus their accompanying consequences, such as unwanted children or having an abortion.

How many women secretly burn candles on the birthday of their aborted fetus?

What about you? What’s your hang-up?

It is important to note that Brother Panic stresses that opening the heart chakra is NOT related to “loving your fellow man.” He explains this is just human behavior we learned at school, or from our parents. While he does admit this sentiment radiates from the heart chakra, he emphasizes that true forgiveness is more about forgiving oneself of the human condition. So what does this have to do with Judge Kemp? Like always, that’s for you to decide. Nevertheless, here is what Tariq Nasheed had to say about her:

  “Whenever we target the system of white supremacy to replace it with justice, here come the Boulet like Tammy the Mammy,’ the Negro LGBT, the foreign Coons, and bedwenches…it’s always the same pool of people undermining us!”

coon-fest.jpg

Takuan Amaru is the author of Gaikokujin – The Story.

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AfroA 26: Do Blacks in America need a Code of Ethics?

Takuan Amaru

“Chinese have China Town, Italians have Little Italy, even Jamaicans and Puerto Ricans have their own parades in Brooklyn. But whenever we talk about having something for ourselves…oh, we get accused (by blacks too) of being divisive…even racist!”

     ~Tariq Nasheed, director/producer of “Hidden Colors”

United We Stand

Throughout history, the phrase “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” may be the most ubiquitous motto used to inspire unity and collaborative action. So rooted in the western motif, not only has it appeared in popular songs by everyone from Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur to Glen Campbell and Taylor Swift, it is also cited in history books by the likes of Founding Father, John Dickinson. Fables from the Greek storyteller, Aesop, as well as several verses in the New Testament warn of the imminent desolation and destruction which accompanies any house / kingdom that allows itself to become divided. Patrick Henry, the fiery orator most known for his declaration which prioritized “liberty over death,” in his last public appearance in 1799, denounced the idea of the country dividing into factions. “United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.” Following this speech he allegedly collapsed into the arms of his audience and died shortly thereafter.

Would any red-blooded American deny that the concept of individuals uniting to protect/promote their common interests is as “American” as hot dogs and apple pie? Fillipinotown-SignIn addition to ethnic and religious groups forming coalitions, there are also self-interest groups like the A.D.L. (Anti-Defamation League) and L.G.B.T.Q., as well as reactionary alliances like the Me Too movement, which was formed in response to a need for victims of sexual-assault to be recognized. Ethnic towns with “Little” in their name, such as Little Tokyo, Little Haifa (Jewish), and Little Haiti dot the landscape of each town and city. It seems that every group has both a designated geographical area as well as a funded organization (which is run by the people of the group) to look out for the interests of their people. Every group, that is, except one.

“The only people in the U.S. who don’t have a town of their own is the very same people who built this country!”

     ~Zo Williams

When Chinese and Dominican immigrants arrive to the U.S.A., it is not uncommon for them to go to “their town” to seek employment or other assistance. Even for those who do not, they are still undoubtedly inspired to see their countrymen running successful businesses in an area they can point to with pride and call their own. Blacks, on the other hand, have no such areas of opportunity. black wall street 1What we have are broken-down communities where we own very little, if any, of the property; and these properties are usually plagued with crime and drugs. In times past, we had thriving areas such as Black Wall Street in Tulsa Oklahoma, or Wilmington, North Carolina; but we know what happened to them. Those blacks were seen as—and treated like—terrorists. For this reason and so much more, in 2019, Black America hears the message loud and clear: It is against the law for us to form alliances for the purpose of financial gain. This is seen as a threat to the system. Sure, it’s okay for a few individuals to get some exposure and few dollars for dunking a basketball, or singing and dancing; but look at what happened to J Prince, Irv Gotti, Suge Knight, and Dame Dash when they tried to form their own music distribution company. According to Professor Griff, each man was targeted for harassment by the F.B.I. Think about it: they had their offices raided, not to mention being threatened and shook-down on the street (do you know how embarrassing that is?) like common criminals just because they wanted to form their own company to distribute music. For this, they were treated like the enemy…like terrorists.

Black Unity or Blackface

The Integration Movement of the 1960s, endorsed by Dr. Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights activists, was the final nail in the coffin of Black unity as shown by the tendency of blacks to flee the “hood” once they attain financial success. Most have no thought of acquiring property to set up their people—like other ethnic groups—but instead seek to be the only black face in an all-white community. blackface1And ironically, in some cases, this is exactly what happens: they become the lone Blackface of the neighborhood. Recently, Dash Talk radio host, Zo Williams, on his program, Mansions, assembled a panel of black men to discuss why it is only American blacks who lack a uniform code when dealing with each other. Minister Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad (a.k.a. Tony Muhammad) explained how many blacks harbor “unresolved trauma” from being dominated in the past by someone in their circle, whether it was a family member or a neighborhood thug; and the memory of these traumatic experiences unconsciously dictates how we treat each other. As for possible solutions, Corey Holcomb, of 5150 Nation fame, suggested instituting a rite of passage for boys where a code of conduct could be implemented. Hmm, let’s consider his suggestion for a moment. A code of conduct requires discipline; and this attribute, along with self-esteem, is surely lacking among many in this day and age. Nothing illustrates this more than whatever happens to be trending at the moment on the internet. Foolishness such as the recent Popeye’s Chicken vs. Chick-fil-A fiasco. Or better yet, how about the misguided folks who, in their vain attempt to garner “likes” and have a video that goes “viral,” stooped to the level of opening ice-cream packages and, after licking the top layer, replacing the lid before returning it to the shelf. The first time I caught wind of this, the only thing I could think of was a phrase that comedian, T.K. Kirkland, likes to use: “Who raised these people?”

“Doing something stupid to get attention is a kind of euphoria…it’s the newest type of currency”

     ~Minister Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad

Who gets Reparations?

The movement called A.D.O.S., which stands for the American Descendants of Slaves, recently made a splash in the headlines with their demand for reparations. Talks about a reparations package is nothing new; however the founders of A.D.O.S., Yvette Carnell and Antonio Moore, have added one line of text on their website which has become controversial in the eyes of many: “Any black immigrant who came to the United States voluntarily after slavery would not be eligible to receive reparations.” This basically means that if your ancestors were slaves in the U.S., you’re entitled to reparations, if they weren’t, you’re not; so I’m not exactly sure why everyone is in such an uproar. That said, although this mindset might work for the reparations conversation, it doesn’t necessarily fit in quite as well when the discussion shifts to implementing a code across the board. If American Blacks received a substantial sum of money, would immigrants from the African continent and the Caribbean rejoice with their brothers and sisters? Or resent them? For me, the reparations conversation is neither here nor there for an entirely different reason. Simply put, I’m not sure it’s realistic. While perusing the A.D.O.S. website something caught my attention as I studied their movement’s aims. They are claiming justice “beginning with slavery…right up to the present.” Reading the phrase “right up to the present” made me wonder if it were possible to collect on a tab that is still running…right now?

The Era of We? Or Me?

From the false promises of “40 acres and a mule” to faulty biased loaning practices (to whatever hurdles which have been specifically aimed at blacks in the U.S.) it’s obvious that other races are “codified against us,” as Tariq Nasheed puts it. code of ethicsIt’s true that without a code: without discipline, without a sense of self-worth—which means a love of oneself which extends to others in your group—we don’t stand a chance of righting the ship. Is it possible to implement a code for Blacks? While some leaders and talk-show hosts brainstorm on how to jar black people’s consciousness, there are occult teachers who say we are beyond forming a black nation again, claiming it was already done thousands of years ago—for  at least thousands of years. “Already did it, done that, and got the t-shirt,” is how master-occultist, Bobby Hemmitt, puts it. Considering that terms like “a brother” and “a sister” have connotations of “being black” embedded within them suggests that throughout time, black people have always been the archetype of familial unity; so the very fact that this bond is being threatened may be nothing more than a sign of the times. In layman’s terms, perhaps we’re living in an age of ignorance when everything is turned upside-down. This thinking corresponds with the Hindu belief system that claims humanity is at (or near) the lowest point in the four cycles of Yugas, which is called the Kaliyuga.

Raising Our Consciousness

For some, the thought of not unifying is troubling but when we look at all the trendsetting technology from smartphones and computers to video games and drones it all favors individualism over group activity. Individual spiritualAgain, is this a sign of the times that we live in? “There is no ‘we’,” explains occultist, Brother Panic, when describing how the Black Conscious movement of the 1990s operated. According to him, before it became saturated by the internet, it was the perfect system. “If the information resonated with you, you went with it, if it didn’t, you left it alone. But under no circumstance did we feel compelled to debate each other…or see ourselves as a collective.” Because of this he claims that various sects of blacks from the Nation of Islam, Moors, Hebrew Israelites, Christians, etc. were able to be seated next to each other in peace. Just this fact, in and of itself, is enough to get my attention; so let’s consider it for a moment. If there is no identity or doctrine to fuss over there can be no point of contention—i.e. no beefs. Panic went on to explain how it was understood that the journey toward the ultimate knowledge was one that had to be undertaken alone. So where does that leave us? You tell me. Would love to hear your comments on this edition of AfroAsiatic Perspectives.

Black-Consciousness-awakens Takuan Amaru is the author of the trilogy, Gaikokujin – The Story

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AfroAsiatic Perspectives 25: Why Ban Hidden Colors?

hidden-colors-5

Takuan Amaru

The anticipated fifth and final installment of the internationally acclaimed documentary-series, Hidden Colorshas been met by standing-room-only crowds in both NYC and Atlanta. Following a showing in Manhattan, in which the film’s producer/director, Tariq Nasheed, personally attended, he made his way to J.F.K. Airport to catch a flight to London for is debut in Britain, which was scheduled a few days later. However, after checking-in, Mr. Nasheed was approached by airport officials and told he would not be permitted to board the plane due to a ban which was placed on him in the U.K. The only official statement released by the U.K. government is that a visit by Mr. Nasheed would not be “conducive to the good of the public.”

Free-Speech in the UK?

Article 10 of the Human Rights Act of 1998 declares that everyone in the UK has the right to freedom of expression; however this statute “may be subject to formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society.” Free speech UKSome of the exceptions which necessitate revoking this right include “threatening or abusive words,” and “behavior intending or likely to cause harassment, alarm, distress, or cause a breach of the peace.” When officials in the U.K. eventually go on the record concerning his ban, it’s likely these are some of the scapegoat phrases which will be unloaded—this, despite the fact that prior to the ban nothing negative was reported. If there were no incidents being reported why would he (or the documentary) be banned?

Keeping it 100%

In spite of Mr. Nasheed not being allowed to attend the viewing, initially, no restrictions were placed on the movie, itself. So, for what reason did UK officials decide to cancel the viewing later ? Tariq uses terms like “went for the jugular” to describe how hard the speakers in the documentary blast white supremacy; he also claims they criticized the royal family rather harshly. Understanding this, plus the fact the ban came down minutes after the NYC viewing had ended, Tariq theorized—on video—that London had its agents at the theater report back to headquarters. The agents, seeing Mr. Nasheed in attendance, figured banning him would also prevent the documentary from being transported to London, which would then result in the movie being canceled in the U.K. And most importantly, by using such indirect, backhanded tactics—almost cowardly if you think about it—they would avoid any responsibility for the cancellation. Taking all of this into account, let’s ponder for a minute on what might have happened if trains and carloads of melanin-rich people from Brixton, Birmingham, and Manchester had shown up in London only to find out the movie had been canceled? St-Pauls-riot-2And not only that but, in addition, the reason was because Nasheed, himself, had failed to deliver it. Well, I’m sure anyone who knows black people realizes in a best-case-scenario Tariq’s reputation would have taken a severe hit; but in a worst-case-scenario there might have been arrests, violence, even a riot—all of which would have discredited Tariq Nasheed. Many people—even some blacks—claim the system of racism/white supremacy is either a convention of the past, or has improved to such a degree it is no longer significant. For any of this to be true, Nasheed’s theory would have to be totally inaccurate because in it we can clearly see the fundamental tenets of COINTELPRO: Surveillance, Infiltration, Discrediting, and Disrupting

Fear of Black Empowerment

Emotions ranging from sheer disappointment to outright anger took center-stage once the cancellation of Hidden Colors 5 was announced. Many expressed how the government was overstepping their bounds. At first, the sentiment being echoed was, “That’s not right…they should show the movie!” Nonetheless, shortly thereafter this wave of emotion picked up steam and sooner than later the feeling had escalated to: “They better show that movie—or else!chessWith all this anger now focused on the U.K. government instead of Tariq Nasheed, what do you think the officials of Great Britain—of the mighty British Empire—decided? Exactly. They did what the ruling class has always done whenever the masses of People have figured out any of their nefarious schemes and, as a result, united to confront them. They capitulated. The statement released via the internet in the aftermath of Mr. Nasheed’s ban read as follows: “The event will still take place at Millennium Point Auditorium on Sunday 4th August, 2019. It has not been cancelled but Tariq Nasheed will not be at the event. Professor Kaba Hiawatha Kamene is right here in Birmingham now.”

When we make movies that portray us as slaves, maids, and butlers they give us all types of awards but when it comes to black empowermentbanned!

~Tariq Nasheed

The Bottom Line

On Amazon, Hidden Colors 5 is currently the top-ranked documentary (and #5 in all movies). “We’re about to be among the Harry Potter’s and Fast and Furious….we’re about to out-sell them.” According to Nasheed, this ban is just one of the “costs of the game (of black empowerment).” He points out the hypocrisy spewed by the mainstream when they talk about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” claiming that “whenever we succeed without the help of the dominant society, that scares them…this is what’s not conducive to the good of the public!”

“Don’t let them tell you (that) you can’t watch something that’s going to empower you!” 

Nasheed emphasizes how the dominant society is desperate to prevent blacks from getting this information. “I haven’t done anything illegal. No hate-speechnothing! They don’t have a legitimate reason to ban me or the movie…they’re still trying to figure out something to say.” In the end, he urges the U.K. officials to just come clean and admit what we all know is the truth: “you’re just trying to protect (the system of) white supremacy.”

hiddencolors-5

If you check out the documentary, please let me know what you think…

 

Takuan Amaru is the author of the trilogy, Gaikokujin – The Story.

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AfroAsiatic Perspectives 24: Upgrading Socially thru Interracial Relationships

white no-upgrade

Takuan Amaru

“If you’re black, stay back…(but) if you’re white, you’re all right!” ~Big Bill Broonzy on Jim Crow

In 2019, is “White” still Right?

Even with the admission by western scientists that the overwhelming majority of humans trace their ancestry to a handful of people from sub-Saharan Africa, the centuries-old system of racism/white supremacy still maintains its firm grip on society. “Race was never legitimate from a scientific point of view,” explains Sharon H. Chang, author of Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World, “while it Trump shirts ladieshas always been socio-politically very real and directing.” This white-supremacist world-view, also known as “scientific racism,” which places Caucasians at the top, the darkest-hued folks at the bottom, and everyone else in the middle, was hatched in the l8th century and really picked-up steam in the 19th century. Around this time, European scholars were obsessed with the idea of having an origin in the Caucasus Mountains—specifically on Mount Ararat—because this was allegedly where Noah’s Ark came to rest following the Great Flood described in the Old Testament. While on the topic, there is another theory which explains how Europeans ended up in the Caucasus. This one, not nearly as lofty or glamorous, was taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He explains how Original Man was forced to confine the Europeans within the mountain range after creating them in a laboratory on the island, Patmos—the same place where the Apostle John was banished in the Book of Revelation.

The Concept of Race 

“Whites in power maintain dominance first by directing what we see: by writing social reality and holding its copyright.” ~Sharon H. Chang

 

In 1795, the German anatomist/naturalist, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, published the third edition of On the Natural Variety of Mankind. This treatise established the five so-called races as: Caucasian, Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian, and (indigenous) American. mammyMost of these terms are either no longer in use or the meaning has changed over the years. To call this confusing is an understatement: so-called “African-Americans” have had their racial designation altered so many times (i.e. colored, black, Afro-American, etc.) that nowadays many do not know what to call themselves. This confusion is derived from what sociologist, Joe R. Feagin, coined as the White Racial Frame; which comprises the “racial ideas, terms, images, emotions, and interpretations specifically crafted to uphold white supremacy.” And what are some of those ideas and images? Nonfiction writer/researcher Donald Bogle teaches that (similar to Blumenbach) Hollywood has also constructed five basic categories for blacks: Toms, Coons, Tragic Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks. According to Isabel Paner, author of The Marginalization and Stereotyping of Asians in American Film, on-screen Asians don’t fare any better. He claims the men are unfairly stripped of their masculinity or boxed into the role of the master Kung-fu fighter; while women are painted as either a “dragon-lady” or a china-doll. Chinese stereoAlthough some may argue that Asians are not depicted as negatively as blacks, Paner claims the impact of the “model minority” stereotype often attributed to Asian-Americans which portrays Asians as intelligent, hardworking, and ambitious is negative in its essence and, furthermore, “does more harm than good while firmly establishing Asians into an othered role.” At the end of the day, these media-generated stereotypes “leave detrimental cultural and social consequences which lead to feelings of inferiority.”

Status Upgrade?

Many non-whites believe that having a European spouse raises their intrinsic value. For many who decide to marry within their race, they still seek to “live white.” Radio talk-show host, Zo Williams, on his program, The Zo What Show, expounded on how many black women, when choosing a mate, evaluate potential partners with “unrealistic, white-washed expectations” which are based on a “fictitious foundation.” The fictitious foundation, according to Zo, is centered on economics. Based on data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance, the typical black family has only 10 cents for every dollar held by the typical white family. An Economic study on African-American and Latino families entitled, The Ever-Growing Gap, explains this growing wealth divide is no accident. “Rather, it is the natural result of public policies past and present that have either been purposefully or thoughtlessly designed to widen the economic chasm between White households and households of color and between the wealthy and everyone else.” The authors concluded that “in the absence of significant reforms, the racial wealth divide—and overall wealth inequality—are on track to become even wider in the future.” Therefore, when a so-called “minority” woman expects her man to provide the proverbial “house with a picket fence” that a typical white woman wants, beyond being unrealistic, it demonstrates how we have been socially-engineered to mimic the ruling class and seek a lifestyle which exceeds our financial resources.

Is marrying a White, marrying Right?

“It is No Measure of Health to Be Well Adjusted to a Profoundly Sick Society” ~Krishnamurti

At the end of The Zo What Show, the conversation focused on the consequences of conforming to a sick society. Hearing this reminded me of when Dr. Martin Luther King, shortly before his assassination, told his friend Harry Belafonte that he feared we were “integrating into a burning house.” According to Belafonte, King realized our challenge would become a struggle for economic rights. He feared that America had lost its moral vision, that the nation was not concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. In his own words: “Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears the soul of this nation. I fear I am integrating my people into a burning house.” In response, Belafonte asked King, “What should we do?” King replied that we should, “Become the firemen…let us not stand by and let the house burn.”

Do you agree with Dr. King?

Back in 1968, most of us probably would have…but in 2019—five decades later—we must consider the same fire is still burning. This oftentimes makes me wonder what King would think were he still alive. In a recurring dream, I always picture him scanning the crowd and, in response, uttering: “No…no, we don’t need no water…” Hearing this the crowd looks around in confusion before the master-orator points and declares: “Let the mutha-f-cka burn! Burn mutha-f-cka! Burn!”

Takuan Amaru is the author of Gaikokjin – The Story.

Sources:

1. Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World; by Sharon H. Chang

2. The ZoWhat Show (5-20-19) Escaping the Black Struggle through Interracial Marriage 

3.  Black Hollywood: The Stereotypes, Erasure, and
Social Inclusivity of Black Entertainers in
Hollywood, 1930-60s; by Jalen Thomas Robinson, Bard College

4. The Marginalization and Stereotyping of Asians in American Film; by Isabel Paner, Dominican University of California

5. The Ever-Growing Gap: Without Change, African-American and Latino Families won’t Match White Wealth for Centuries 

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AfroAsiatic Perspectives 23: The Ever-changing Evolution of Blackness

BlackisBeautiful

Takuan Amaru

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by Black Creatives Japan. Black Creatives is a social-media group for independent, progressive-thinking people of Afro-descent. Ms. Ayana Wyse, the organizer of the event, stressed in her promotion that everyone (not only blacks) was welcome; and this is exactly the type of atmosphere we walked into. Upon our arrival, initially, I must admit that I felt a bit perplexed; this is because what I was witnessing both encouraged and alarmed me simultaneously. Although heavily accented with darker hues, the melanin-rich crowd reflected various shades of the human spectrum as brothers and sisters from all parts of the diaspora rubbed shoulders with Japanese as well as the few attending Caucasians.

Laid back and tranquil but friendly, this is hardly the type of “black event” that I was used to attending back in Philly or NYC. Venues where (the threat of) someone getting beat-up, robbed, dissed, or arrested was the normal atmosphere. Well, having to watch my back is easily one of the “black traits” I don’t miss…but on second thought, when I really think about it, the ‘danger’ of attending, let’s say, Hip Hop events in the 90s was part of the allure and excitement.Sugar Shack What I mean is, strange as it may seem, some of the hypest events I’ve been to were likewise (at least potentially) some of the most dangerous. No one ever talked about it but everyone knew that living precariously was a significant part of being black.

Scanning the crowd between acts, it seemed many of the attendees knew little of this type of black experience; so here they were expressing their own version of blackness. I decided to take notes.

My family lived in both Japan and the Philippines before arriving in the U.S. Therefore, as a child, I was often told by black kids: “Tak, you ain’t black!” This was due to my unfamiliar accent and mannerisms; it was not until after puberty that I developed enough swag to be recognized by my brethren. I write it like this because, unlike many other multi-racial people who have bought into the status-quo (i.e. white is right), I immediately intuited blackness as the pinnacle of human existence. Therefore, I’ve always been proud of being Japanese but due to the dominating presence of my father, I’ve always identified as a black man…a black Japanese man.

What is the meaning of “Black?”

By the time my friends and I entered Bar Ludo, which is located in the Shinsaibashi district of Osaka, the Talent Show was already underway. One of the first acts really got my attention.Melanin Magic In addition to being attractive, I sensed the caramel-complexioned sista was also (mixed with) Japanese. As a child, whenever I met kids who were like me, we always stared at each other, almost feeling like siblings from another lifetime, or maybe some other parallel world. For me, I was deciphering their identity: basically whether they were choosing to be black or white. Many people claim that nowadays, the black-white dichotomy is being replaced with a class system based more on income brackets than race. Perhaps this is a topic for another article. During the intermission, I approached the young lady and overheard her talking about her racial make-up and the military posts that she had lived on. Having that in common with her, it was easy to strike up a conversation. “I thought you looked like one of us,” she divulged during our discussion. Long before I spoke with her or shook hands with her Caucasian boyfriend, I had already predicted she had not chosen “black. How did I know? Because black females become singers at church and it was clear that she had never sung any gospel music. Just the way she approached the microphone was enough of a tip-off; but when homegirl didn’t know the lyrics to the song, it was a wrap. Leaning forward, I whispered to a sista in front of me who was from Detroit, “You know she didn’t grow up in church.” And together, we shared a snicker.

Many Japanese are surprised when they learn their favorite American singers honed their craft in a black church. whitney1Under the strict guidance of older black women who, as far as I’m concerned, are the best singing instructors the world has ever known, these teachers squeeze every ounce of musical potential from their on-stage prodigies with a simple but stern, “Sang girl!” (Note: not “sing”) From Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston to Alicia Keys and Beyonce, the church has been the proving ground for the very best. Perhaps Janet Jackson is the only female singer I can think of, due to being a Jehovah’s Witness, who may not have undergone this indoctrination.

Before I could pat myself on the back for the accuracy of my prediction, another sista with short locs and a dashiki came on-stage. “Oh yeah!” I uttered, believing the show was now getting started. After she announced she was performing a song from the movie, Lion King, I sensed something was amiss. Nonetheless, when she prefaced her act with an apology, I almost screamed out loud: “This is definitely not black!” In hindsight, it would not be fair to critique her because she wasn’t even trying to sing; she was just up there to have fun, kind of like karaoke. What’s more, the crowd supported her through not one, not two, but three songs. Having been schooled on blackness watching shows like Soul Train; or better yet, “Amateur Night” at the Apollo Theater, Apollowhere if the performer did not appeal to the audience, she/he got booed harshly before Sandman Sims would tap-dance his way on-stage to sweep the misfits away with his legendary broom—all this amidst catcalls and laughter—I was dumbfounded.

As of late, embracing change has been a challenge. Being a child of the Hip Hop generation, I remember the scorn I felt for “old people” who did not understand our music—especially before there were actual Hip Hop records. No joke, my father would literally become violent if I tried to include anyone in the music category who wasn’t a recognized Jazz Great like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, or Charlie Parker; this even included Smooth Jazz artists like Grover Washington Jr. Back then, I promised myself I’d never become that closed-minded; therefore I want to be careful about how I describe that night’s, hmm, let’s say “fun performances.” That said, near the end of the show, someone did appear who matched my preconceived idea of a singer. Not only were this queen’s lyrics strong and poignant but it seemed she had sung them before (in front of black folks). In addition, being a conscious brother, I especially appreciated her song about ‘melanin magic.’

In conclusion, I’d like to thank Ms. Wyse and her assistants for organizing such a classy event; I met some cool, intelligent, down-to-earth people that night. A.WyseHopefully, she will have another sooner than later, and if I’m fortunate enough to attend who knows, perhaps I’ll try my hand at performing stand-up…especially since everyone’s gonna support me even if I bomb horribly. On second thought, considering there was a comedian there—and the brother held it down—perhaps I’ll just be content to continue taking notes on the ever-changing, evolution of this dynamic called Blackness.”

Takuan Amaru is the author of the trilogy, Gaikokujin – The Story

 

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AfroA 22: Have “Uncle Tom” and “Sellout” become the definition of Success?

 

Takuan Amaru

What do HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, the Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne tha god, and ESPN’s Sage Steele have in common?

All of them, at some point, have been labeled by critics a sellout or an “Uncle Tom.” In his book Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal, Randall Kennedy defines sellout as “a disparaging term that refers to blacks who knowingly or with gross negligence act against the interest of blacks as a whole.” In spite of the contentious title, Kennedy ends up almost defending perhaps the most commonly regarded Uncle Tom of our era: Clarence Thomas. He does this by examining the attributes of “racial betrayal” through such a narrow lens that very few can meet the criteria.

Nicki Minaj, in an interview with Funkmaster Flex, reassured Hip Hop fans not to worry that her new genre-bending songs like Starships signifies a crossing over to pop music.  “This is who I am,” she stated. “I’m not going to change, I’m just adding on to my brand.”

No matter how much a music artist compromises her values, no matter how much a star-celebrity might turn his back on his people (i.e. OJ Simpson), or throw them under the bus (i.e. Bill Cosby / Charles Barkley), over and over again we hear these bigwigs deny they are sellouts. For this reason, maybe the terminology requires an update. Does the definition need to be changed?

Another question is: if The ‘Uncle Tom’ card is Dead, as Michelle Malkin suggests in her article, is it because people of color no longer share a  common sense of solidarity? BlackandProudOnce regarded as a sacred concept, does “Proud to be Black” still mean anything? Is this what Dr. Aseer Ali Cordoba was suggesting when he asked his podcast audience: “Where does the white man end and you (Asiatic person) begin?”

Do you even care?

Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama…the list of successful blacks who have been indicted as a ‘house negro’ is virtually infinite. This is nothing new. Certified leaders in the past like Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X were known to use this label for those who opposed their views. W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., and A. Philip Randolph are some of the names on this prestigious list. Aside from the pigment of their skin another common thread shared by the aforementioned is they all achieved a certain level of success. So is selling-out a necessary component of success? When discussing this with a friend, he pointed-out something interesting about the average black-white relationship: “Amaru,” he said with a knowing grin, “how many times have you seen a white girl with a broke black guy?” Before I could respond he answered his own question. “Almost never. Once in a while the brother might not be rich but he’ll at least be financially secure, if not well-off.”

In life, is being a sellout equivalent to being successful?

Realizing people have different ideas about what a sellout is, I asked some other folks their opinions. This, however, turned out to be a bad idea. At the first mention of the topic many became noticeably uncomfortable, and three people got angry before deciding they would not comment further. Uncle-Toms-and-Sellouts-640x480One social-media network—a forum supposedly devoted to Black issues—has all but rescinded my membership: i.e. my posts are no longer “approved” by the administration. Why does this conversation rattle people so much? Professor Griff, of the legendary group Public Enemy, states that ambitious people in the mainstream are “seeking a comfortable place to reside within the system of racism/white supremacy.” Assuming this is true, it is easy to imagine why inquiries into the character of a sellout would make some people uncomfortable, and also why they might result in banishment from the “successful” social arenas.

In 1963, Malcolm X delivered a speech at Michigan State University entitled “20th Century Uncle Tom.” Like Randall Kennedy he gives a description of a sellout; but this is where the similarities end.  Unlike Kennedy, Malcolm does not waste time using sophisticated, grandiose terminology to describe something so common. Instead, he gets straight to the point by explaining the dangers of “blind faith” and “token integration” before exposing the “Uncle Thomas” as one who “always wants to be next to the white man.”

Question: How does the description a sell-out in 1963 compare to the profile of the average “successful” black person in 2018?

“This modern, twentieth-century Uncle Thomas…is usually well-dressed and well-educated. He’s often the personification of culture and refinement. The twentieth-century Uncle Thomas sometimes speaks with a Yale or Harvard accent. Sometimes he is known as Professor, Doctor, Judge, and Reverend, even Right Reverend Doctor. This twentieth-century Uncle Thomas is a professional Negro—by that I mean his profession is being a Negro for the white man.”

Is it getting stuffy in here?Stop Cooning

 

Takuan Amaru is the author of Gaikokujin – The Story.

 

 

 

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