Friday, January 02, 2015

Friday News in early January of 2015

The Arabic revolt of 1916-1918 was about Arabic peoples, led by Sherif Hussein bin Ali, to fight for the independence of the Arabic community against the Ottoman Empire. He or Sherif wanted to create a single, unified Arabic state spanning from Aleppo, Syria to Aden in Yemen. This was an Arabic nationalist movement. The British promised the Arabic people that they would get their independence if they would defeat the Ottoman forces. This was shown via the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence. This correspondence was made up of an exchange of letters from July 14, 1915 to January 30, 1916. Sir Henry McMahon was the British High Commissioner in Egypt. Of course, the British elite did not mean this. Later, the Sykes-Picot Agreement existed in 1916. This agreement was between France and the UK and they planned to split the occupy parts of the promised Arabic country. In other words, the agreement wanted to divide the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence for political control (in allowing France to gain Syria and Lebanon while Britain would get Mesopotamia and Palestine). It was a secret agreement, which was against the Correspondence from a year before. The Captain T.E. Lawrence was sent by the British to the Middle East as a means for him to assist in the revolt. Emir Faisal was involved in the battles against the Ottoman Empire as well. The Arabic forces made huge victories and the Ottoman Empire will not totally surrender until January of 1919. The Paris Conference came about where also TE Lawrence, Prince Feisal, and the Arabic delegation came to discuss Middle Eastern issues. TE Lawrence wanted Arabic independence (and the establishment of Hashemite Kingdoms), but the members of the Paris Conference refused to give unilateral independence to the Arabic peoples of the Middle East. TE Lawrence refused to accept the medals that King George V wanted to award him because of the betrayal of the Arabic people with the evil, slick Sykes-Picot Agreement. King Hussein’s son was Feisal. Chaim Weizmann once posed with Emir Feisal when they pledged mutual cooperation. The Paris Peace Conference ignored the Arabic point of view. It would be the 1921 Cairo Conference, which allowed Feisal to be the leader of the Kingdom of Iraq, Husain was the Sharif of Mecca, and Abdul Aziz ibn Saud left in control of the Nejd in the heart of the Arabian Desert. Both were to continue to receive financial support from Great Britain. France controlled Syria. The British ruled the Mandate of Palestine and they would support a Jewish homeland there. The Cairo Conference was about a token compromise with European hegemony in the region being intact. So, the Cairo Conference was very controversial.

Any political person should check and double check where they speak at and who they receive campaign contributions from. There is no excuse for Steve Scalise to speak at that white supremacist rally at all. The GOP in its leadership has been consistent in their advocacy for the War on Drugs, for austerity measures, for militarism, for anti-environmental policies, etc. Everybody knows what the Republicans are all about. Steve is not the only person who thinks like this. People from both parties include racists, but every time someone exposes the GOP’s problems, reactionaries try to make excuses. These same reactionaries never make excuses about anyone else who disagrees with them. It is obvious that Republicans have a problem in dealing with racial issues. That is why they have created an autopsy report. So, this is why I will never be a Republican. We, as a people, should always believe in political independence. Cuba has a great culture. There is no dispute about that. I find Afro-Cuban music very great. The question is about the future of Cuba and how can Cuba best resist the slick attempts of the West, which involve the West trying to dominate the economic and political systems of Cuba. The Target store selling the image of Annie, which does not look like the current actress Quvenzhane Wallis or even the previous Annie of the 1980’s, is strange. They can sell more of their product with promoting the image of Sister Quvenzhane Wallis. Quvenzhane is an amazing actress with great intelligence and charisma. We live in a world filled with diversity and promoting our image more in public is positive. The clothing line is about promoting the new movie ironically enough. At the end of the day, regardless of what Target does, we have to build in our communities. We have to promote the beauty and strength of blackness in the world. Our black image is a beautiful image. We have to stand up for real principles and believe in justice for all. We have to honor the sacrifice of our ancestors and fight for social justice. A revolutionary change should occur where the structures of society are changed. What is most important is making sure that our descendants live in a world better than present.

There is a real issue going on in Mexico. On September 26 and in the night, 26 police officers in Mexico intercepted a bus caravan of students from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college. The police opened fired and killed 2 students. They injured 17 others. During the attack, the 43 students have been loaded onto police pickup trucks and taken away. These 43 students have not been seen again. The police also killed three other people thought to be students from Ayotzinapa during the course of the night. Now, the movement to bring back these students remains. Protests have existed all over Mexico and internationally. The 43 student teachers, who were kidnapped, are called Normalistas. They are from the Rural Normal School or the “Raúl Isidro Burgos" at Ayotzinapa were abducted by municipal police in the city of Iguala in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. The families of the 43 kidnapped human beings and their fellow students from the teachers’ college have demanded information and action from the federal and state governments. That is why many demonstrations are calling for the resignation of President Enrique Peña Nieto and his ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The slogan "¡Fuera Peña!" has been widely adopted in protests across Mexico and in Mexican communities in the U.S. Among all levels of the Mexican government, there is corruption and neoliberal policies. On November 20, 2014, there have been thousands of protesters in Mexico City expressing their voices on this issue. Many of them converged on the city’s central square called the Zócalo. There, the march ended with the burning of an effigy of Peña Nieto, before police moved in and forcibly removed protesters. The movement is evolving fast. Previous movements have occurred. There was the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) launched an armed offensive and took control of several towns and cities in the southern state of Chiapas. In its "First Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle," the Zapatistas called for a revolution against the Mexican government that had just signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Zapatista uprising began on January 1, 1994. The Mexican forces came back to defeat the EZLN militarily. Mexico soon focused on neoliberal policies involving economics and education. In ensuing declarations, they or the Zapatistas raised opposition to the idea of taking power from the state and instead focused on initiatives to advance indigenous rights in Mexico and autonomy for Zapatista communities in Chiapas. There was the 2006 theft of the Presidential election won by Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO), running for the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Felipe Calderón was President of Mexico for a while. The current President Peña Nieto wants to use force to suppress the protesters. At the mass march on November 20, however, "¡Fuera Peña!" was one of the main slogans of the demonstration along with the call for the return of the 43 missing students: ¡Vivos se los llevaron y vivos los queremos!" (They were taken alive and we want them back alive). Organized crime is an issue, but it is bigger than organized crime. The system is corrupt and the corrupt system is not just found in Mexico. It is found globally. We are in solidarity with freedom loving peoples of Mexico who want the return of the 43 human beings and who want justice for the entire human race.

The truth about Africa is well known. Africa is beautiful. Also, there are tons of great people in Africa as well. Africa is a very diverse continent. It has 56 countries. There are diverse traditions, cultures, ethnic groups, languages (there are an estimated 2,000 languages spoken in Africa), cuisines, music, and other parts of human endeavors. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. It has a population of about 152 million people. It has more than 250 distinct ethnic groups living in Nigeria. Nigeria has the Hausa, the Igbo, the Yoruba, and other ethnic groups residing there. Nigeria also has Christians, Muslims, and indigenous religious followers. The Motherland has great flora and fauna. Also, Africa has a wide range of vegetation zones. In fact, only a small part of the continent includes jungles or rainforest. The tropical areas are found in the Guinea Coast and in the Zaire River Basin. The largest vegetation zone in Africa is the savanna or the tropical grassland. Africa has numerous urban centers with populations in the multimillions. These urban centers include Lagos (in Nigeria), Cairo (in Egypt), Kinshasa (in the Democratic Republic of Congo), Dar es Salaam (in Tanzania), Accra (in Ghana), etc. Some estimates believe that by 2025, the majority of African peoples will live in the cities. Seven of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa. GDP is expected to rise 6 percent per year in the next decade. Real income has increased more than 30 percent, which reversed two decades of decline. HIV infections are down nearly 40 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria deaths among children declined 50 percent. Child mortality rates are falling and life expectancy is increasing. In the future, Africa will be better. We should not be naïve about the problems in Africa, but we should never lose hope. We have to love our neighbor. Mandela once said: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes even more naturally to the human heart than its opposition…” We remember great people of Africa too then and now. We are victors not pessimists. So, Africa is defined by its rich history, it wonderful cultures, and its strong resiliency. In the end, Africa will be victorious.

In this generation, the experiences of Afro-Latino human beings are more known in the world. Afro-Latino Black Brothers and Sisters want to affirm their culture, their dignity, and their humanity. These human beings are a great part of the black African Diaspora. Professor Juan Flores teaches Social and Cultural Analysis and directs Latino Studies at New York University. He wants an united front to fight back against racism against Black Latinos and cultural discrimination. Miriam Jimenez Roman is the Executive Director of the Afro-Latin@forum. Sister Miriam Jimenez Roman has done great in supporting the human rights of Afro-Latino human beings. Afro-Latinos live in Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica Guatemala, Bolivia, in the United States of America, and throughout the world. It is a great blessing to learn so much about wonderful black people like the Afro-Latino people. There are very interesting factors too. Panama has the largest number of black people in Central America.  Most Black Panamanians live on the Caribbean coast and are of West Indian heritage. The West Indians (mostly Jamaicans) came to the country to help build the Panama Canal. The rest of the population is of black African heritage, multiracial heritage, and Kuni Indian heritage. There is a West Indian influence in Panama’s music and culture. Many Afro-Cubans were brought from the Yoruba and Congolese people of West Africa as slaves to work on the sugar cane fields. The slaves did not lose their culture, but practiced it in secret. Most dances out of Cuba such as Mambo, Salsa, Son, Santeria voodoo chanting, and Rhumba are mostly African in origin. The Afro-Colombians are a strong people. They have set up political groups to defend their human rights (like other black people do throughout the Americas). Also, one of Colombia’s musical genres, called cumbia, is of African origin. Today, Afro-Latinos have meetings, celebrations, and political organizing as a means to defend their rights and to fight for justice. So, blackness is Beautiful, strong, and soulful. In the final analysis, Afro-Latino and all black people in the world deserve freedom, justice, and equality.

By Timothy

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