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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Savant on Issues

However, I might point out that the idea of a chosen people, whatever its Biblical or Hebrew origins, seems to affect a lot of different oppressed peoples. In Black America, the social gospel which has existed in at least homespun form since slavery, affirms the idea of God as a God of the oppressed. And some African American religious folk have tended to think that as God is god of the oppressed, as the oppressed are the chosen of god, then at least in America Blacks are the chosen people. Sometimes this idea blends the notion of Blacks as a chosen people with the poor as a chosen people. I've seen that tendency even in my own family, especially among those in the South. Though I think he exaggerates, James Baldwin was onto something when he wrote in NOTES OF A NATIVE SON, "The more devout Negro considers that he is a Jew, in bondage to a hard taskmaster and waiting for a Moses to lead him out of Egypt. The hymns, the texts, the most favored legends of the devout Negro are all Old Testament..." p. 67). He doesn't specify, but many come to mind automomatically: "Go Down, Moses" , "Didn't my Lord Free Daniel?" etc. And, of course, there is famous last speech by Dr. King himself (who identified with the prophetic tradition)--- "I've been to the mountaintop....and I've over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we as people will get to the promised land." All the prophetic and Mosaic images associated with the idea of promised lands, chosen peoples, and so forth are there. I understand this the reasons thereof. Such ideas give hope to the dispossessed. But there are dangers in the idea. And at any rate, I see no divinely ordained promised land; only the possibility of a more just society won through struggle---a very human struggle for liberation. And as Adimu, the Bmore Black playwright put it, "with all the hell we've been catching, I wish he'd choose someone else." I imagine a Jew a Buchenwald might be thinking the same thing.



If Freddie paid attention to the situation in Ferguson then he should have notice that the protest in Ferguson (and the nation) BEGAN in Black communities but quickly became MULTIRACIAL, whites, Asians, Latins and others much in solidarity with us. Even the corporate media admitted that these were probably the largest multiracial demonstrations against racism and for justice since the 1960s. And with the exception of Fox News it was acknowledged almost universally that the protests in Ferguson (and nationwide) was 99% NONVIOLENT. But there's no guarantee that they will remain so if police violence continues. I won't engage at length his talk about "laissez-fair e" , "free enterprise" and the self-correcting powers of the market. I believe in those myths of the market as much as I believe in Ouija boards, ghosts and goblins. Aside from some mom and pop operation of small or (at most) medium stature, what exists in REALITY is monopoly capitalism, electronic global capital with its widening divide between haves and have-nots. And it is this which threatens what little democracy is left in America. But since economic exploitation in America is also racialized we find BOTH increasing class inequality and increasing inequality of wealth along racial lines. It is time to end this system whose defense requires (or at least precipitates) police repression. At any rate, people are increasingly on the move again; and everyone will have to decide whether he or she is with the liberation struggles, with the Establishment, or just with the program of being a fence sitter. History waits for no one.



No, it's not cool. It's disgusting regardless of whether it's Black men maligning Black women, or Black women maligning Black men, it is a sickness corrosive of community and even of personal well being.



I am a Black man and do not consider as real men those Negro males who malign, disdain and degrade Black women. I think they should be re-educated or expelled from the community. Of course, there are sisters who need some re-educating as well. I simply cannot respect anyone--man or woman--who DISRESPECTS his or her own people.



Although I'm not a professional historian, I do know that there is a tremendous amount of research on African history and civilizations; so much so that it is inexcusable to continue claiming Africa has given nothing to civilization, and quite pointless to create mythical histories in reply to racist denials of African history. Science has already refuted the racists. But interestingly enough, the civilization of Songhai was destroyed by Berber and Arab invaders from the North, themselves Muslims destroying a brilliant culture that was predominantly Muslim. With regard to Europe I'm not sure about the Moorish responsibility for European poverty, or at least not sure of the extent of that responsibility. Germanic tribes who finished of the old Roman empire ushered in the Dark Ages at least a century before the rise of Islam and the Moorish invasions. The Moors may have helped bring high level civilization back to Europe, at least in Spain. But it is true that the cutting off of Eastern trade routes stifled Europe. There was something called the "silk" route from China to the West since at least the time of the Romans, and much earlier. That was probably lost. However, there's another thing: the internecine conflict among Germanic tribes who conquered Rome, and endless bloodletting between medieval feudal lords, which stifled the West. Charlemagne, although he was a ruthless butcher in his campaigns in northern Europe, did create a kingdom from which a new civilization might have flourished. But hardly was he in his grave when the Vikings descended upon Europe. So, I supposed it was a number of things. I wonder if West African civilizations would have recovered if the Atlantic slave trade hadn't happened. But then again, had Songhai not been destroyed by northern invaders, perhaps Africa would have limited to halted the ravaging of her people by European trade. The northern invaders destroyed Songhai and sacked Timbuktu in 1492--just as the Atlantic slave trade was about to begin. Songhai might have saved African civilization had it not been the invasions from the North. Or maybe even after the destruction of Songhai, African civilizations would have recovered without the slave trade. "The What IF's of History."



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