Monday, December 28, 2015

Afro-Brazilians and Other News

Afro-Brazilians are fighting for their human rights and liberation. They are exposing the myth of a racial democracy in Brazil. Last month, mostly 20,000 Brazilians of African descent (who are mostly women) came together to protest the sexism in Brazil and the racism in Brazil (where the police target and murder Black youth and there is gender based violence in Brazil). This act was courageous and it refutes the myths of a racially harmonious nation in Brazil. It is totally ludicrous to deny the truth that racism is real in Brazil. Black feminist scholar Sonia Beatriz dos Santos exposed racism in Brazil and she was demonized.  Specifically dos Santos points to the “deep and intense” inequalities faced by Black women. “Poverty, mass sterilization, unsafe abortions and illiteracy are some of the signs of the prevalence of racism, sexism and social class subordination that still inform Brazilian society,” she wrote. Dos Santos has wrote great information about how Black women in Brazil experience racism and sexism. Many racists and sexists have shown false gendered and racialized stereotypes against black women. Many dark skinned people black men and black women have been slandered. According to Kaelyn Forde and Jihan Hafiz, a report states that on average six people (mainly black and poor) are killed every day in Brazil. This doesn’t include those murdered by death squads, which include police officers. Amnesty International reported that the number of daily murders much higher at 82 and again the majority are Black youth. The FBI and Brazilian Public Safety Forum statistics show that “Police in Brazil have killed nearly as many people in the past five years as U.S. police have killed during the past 30 years.” In Brazil in favelas in cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, black families have been forcibly evicted from their homes (mostly women and children). The bigots are anti-black and anti-poor in Brazil. The military from Brazil supported the UN occupation of Haiti under MINUSTAH (this occupation has caused violence and other atrocities against the Haitian people from rape to the introduction of cholera. Cholera has killed at least 9,000 people in Haiti and left thousands more people orphans, widows, and destitute families). As Jemima Pierre writes, for Brazil the country with the largest Black population Haiti has become its “imperial ground zero” and  “Brazil has used its contribution to the occupation of the Black Republic to demonstrate its credentials as a regional power and to show the Americans and Europeans that it is ready for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. For Brazil, Haiti is also a training ground for domestic security and enforcements; its Haitian forces return to the country and deploy the tactics of military terror on its own poor Black and Brown favela dwellers.” This is why Afro-Brazilians are standing up for their Blackness. The protest of mostly 20,000 mostly women Afro-Brazilians wanted oppression to end in Brazil. Many black people of the African Diaspora (including black Americans) have come into Brasilla and other places of Brazil to learn from Afro-Brazilians about their struggle against racism, sexism, and state violence against Black people. There are seminars that discuss this issue. Women have given their stories. There have been indigenous women in Brazil (or Native Americans) marching in solidarity with their African Sisters too. Far right militarists are found in the National Congress. These extremists are racist, anti-communist, anti-worker, and some want a dictatorship. Many of them fired lived ammunition into the air and attacked protested. It quickly ended. Black women activists, workers, spiritualists, academics, mothers of murdered Black children, lawyers, young, old, etc. came together to stand up for their own bodies and for their own human rights. Black women of African descent and the entire human race in general should have freedom, justice, and equality totally.

In Venezuela, there was the recent electoral victory of the U.S. backed counter revolutionary parties in Venezuela. Afro-Venezuelans and other freedom loving people are opposed the Western imperial intervention in Venezuela. The U.S. should never control the national resources of Venezuela at all. We are in solidarity with the Venezuelan people. Reactionaries won control of the National Assembly. The Bolivarian Revolutions for years promoted participatory democracy, fair elections, and supported the rights of Afro descendants and other oppressed people in Venezuela plus globally. Many people work in cooperatives. The profits from Venezuela’s oil reserves have been invested in social programs. When oppressed people are freed or have successes, then we, who are black people in North America, triumph too. The issue is that white privilege does exist among the Venezuelan elite. There are imperialists who want Venezuela to be a pro-Western puppet state. The U.S. backed a failed coup in 2002, which was organized by the right wing Venezuelan elite. Many racists in Venezuela have killed Afrodescedants in Venezuela. U.S. imperialism is not just about spying, but the violation of Venezuelan airspace and sanctions against Venezuela. Bernie Sanders is wrong to slander late President Hugo Chavez as a dictator. The Socialist Party defeat in Venezuela is a setback and a threat to leftist government globally, especially in Latin America (as U.S. meddling and economic warfare had caused some goods shortage and high inflation rates). The Bolivarian Revolution since 1999 has given Venezuelans vast housing, health care, and education initiatives (with massive decreases in infant mortality). The extremist want to depose President Nicholas Maduro. The Bolivarian government did the right thing to offer aid to the people of New Orleans after Katrina and free plus low cost heating oil to communities like in the Bronx, New York. We are against U.S. white supremacy, imperialism, economic exploitation, etc. We believe in human rights and social justice. The Venezuelan people have the right to self-determination.

The antebellum period of Norfolk, Virginia lasted from 1783 to 1861. 4 years after the Revolutionary War, a fire existed on the city’s waterfront. It destroyed 300 buildings and the city experienced a serious economic setback. By the turn of the 19th century, Fort Norfolk was constructed by the Federal government to guard the harbor. During the 1820’s, the agricultural communities of South Hampton Roads experienced recession. This resulted in the emigration of families from the region to other areas of the South like in the frontier areas being opened for settlement. From 1820 to 1830, there was a drop in overall population of about 15,000 in Norfolk, despite the fact that other urban areas experienced significant population growth. Southern states like Virginia including other states had slavery. Virginia had a mixed agricultural economy. Some people wanted slavery to be phased out via law (like Thomas Jefferson Randolph’s 1832 resolution) or “repatriate” black people to Africa to establish a colony in Liberia. The American Colonization Society (ACS), established in 1816, was the largest of groups founded for that purpose. Many emigrants from Virginia and North Carolina embarked for Africa from Norfolk. One such emigrant was Joseph Jenkins Roberts (an African American man), a native of Norfolk who would go on to become the first president of Liberia. Active emigration through the ACS came to an end following the Civil War. In 1840, Norfolk’s population was 10,920 for the borough proper (not including the rest of the county). Education and culture developed. By 1841, there was an ambition new school building completed for Norfolk Academy. It was designed by Homas U. Walter. He wanted it to be a replica of the temple of Theseus in Athens. In 1845, Norfolk was incorporated as a city. In 1850, the city’s population was about 14,000 persons including 4,000 enslaved African Americans and 1,000 free African Americans. There was the growth of transportation. In 1832 the steam ferry Gosport began service, linking Norfolk and Portsmouth. In 1851, the Commonwealth authorized the charter of an 80-mile (130 km) railroad connecting busy port of Norfolk and the growing industrial city of Petersburg. Completed in 1858, this important line was the predecessor of today's Norfolk Southern Railway. By 1855, yellow fever existed in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and other areas of Hampton Roads. It caused by the ship Benjamin Franklin coming into Portsmouth for urgent repairs. The city’s health officer found something strange. The ship was held in anchor in harbor for 11 days. The captain claimed that the ship was free of disease. Days of the ship’s docking, yellow fever came to people whose homes were near the wharf. In July, the epidemic was in full outbreak in Hampton Roads. Over 3,000 people in the region, 2,000 of them in Norfolk died. In its peak, 100 people died per day in Norfolk alone.  In 1856 the Sisters of Charity founded St. Vincent's Hospital, in part as a reaction to the previous year's epidemic. The population didn’t reach its 1850 census again until after the Civil War.

By 1970, the Black Panthers were attacked by the FBI, police agencies, and informants. The Black Panther Party was funded by many people. The Oakland BPP had another confrontation with the police with guns and fragmentation bombs in the Spring of 1970. 2 officers were wounded. Huey P. Newton’s conviction is overturned in May of 1970, but he remained incarcerated in May of 1970. In July 1970, Newton tells the New York Times that, “we’ve never advocated violence.” He is released from prison by August 1970. In the same year, many Black Panthers traveled overseas to promote anti-imperialism and solidarity with Third World activists. Some Panthers went into Asia and were welcomed guests of the governments in North Vietnam, North Korea, and China.   The group's first stop was in North Korea, where the Panthers met with local officials to discuss ways that they could help each other fight American imperialism. Eldridge Cleaver traveled to Pyongyang twice in 1969 and 1970, and following these trips he made an effort to publicize the writings and works of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung in the United States. After North Korea, the group traveled to North Vietnam with the same agenda in mind: finding ways to put an end to American imperialism. Eldridge Cleaver was invited to speak to Black GIs by the Northern Vietnamese government. He encouraged them to join the Black Liberation Struggle by arguing that the United States is only using them for their own purposes. Instead of risking their lives on the battlefield for a country that continues to oppress them, Cleaver believes the black GIs should risk their lives in support of their own liberation. After Vietnam, Cleaver met with the Chinese ambassador to Algeria to express their mutual animosity towards the American government. Algeria held its first Pan-African Cultural Festival. They invited many important figures from America. Bobby Seale and Eldridge Cleaver were invited. The cultural festival allowed Black Panthers to network with representatives of various international anti-imperialist movements. It is at this festival where Cleaver met with the ambassador of North Korea, who later invited him to their International Conference of Revolutionary Journalists in Pyongyang. Eldridge also met Yasser Arafat, and gave a speech supporting the Palestinians and their goal of achieving liberation.

The media now are talking about meth addiction since mostly white people are experiencing it in America. When black people were suffering the crack epidemic of the 1980’s, the media called black people every name under the sun and even glamorized the harsh laws from the Reagan administration. Reagan is also responsible for a lot of evil War on Drugs policies in America. Yes, Clinton’s advisers (many of them were CFR members, members of the Trilateral Commission, etc.) were responsible for the racist guidelines in drug policies. I was a child and a teenager when Bill Clinton was President. He beat George H. W. Bush during the 1992 election because of the U.S. recession back then. In retrospect, Clinton was a centrist not a very strong progressive. Many are right on exposing the system (which wants to control and destroy black people). The system was never originated created for us to begin with. Our ancestors were treated as property and our ancestors built this nation. We know how they or the racists and the one percent roll. That is why I believe in revolutionary solutions for our black people. The one percent has orchestrated these problems not black people collectively. Black people collectively has never restricted non blacks collectively in health care, job opportunities, employment in general, and other facets of human existence. Also, many people, who want to slam the BLM movement, ignore racial discrimination and racial disparities in the criminal justice system, the War on Drugs, etc. I don't believe in class reductionism. There is classism, racism, sexism, etc. in the world and the more people stop minimizing oppression and focus on confronting oppression, the better off society will be. Society has been divided in many ways for thousands of years. That still never stopped people from trying to make society better. There is the poor and the middle class being played against each other by the super wealthy, but the system of racism/white supremacy should never be ignored. There has been more than 400 years of white racist terrorism against black people and other people of color. The system of racism/white supremacy has been involved in classism, murder, wars, genocides, etc. The terrorism of the system of white supremacy must be stopped. Economic exploitation and classism should end too. So, all forms of oppression must end.
Also, black people have every right to fight for black liberation.
#Black Lives Matter

By Timothy

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