Monday, January 09, 2017

Early January 2017 News

During 18th century, black people who were free and enslaved developed their own culture, music, food, and other institutions. In the midst of overt tyranny, black people still had hope that true freedom and equality would exist for them in the future. Many slaves developed drums, banjos, and rattles out of gourds, (which is similar to objects in Africa) in order for them to express themselves and tell stories. Many slaves danced and sang songs. There were many black people back them who organized many institutions that dealt with education, social gatherings, religious functions, and other aspects of black culture. Black cuisine in America formed into diverse foods. Slavery back then existed with brutality, harshness, and anti-human treatment. According to John Reader’s “Africa: A Biography of the Continent” on pg. 408, sometime in the 1700's an average of around 60,000 slaves were exported per year. It has been estimated that each year six persons were taken for every thousand population – whereas 50 persons are said to have died from disease for every thousand. Many slave-owners would amputate the toes and other body parts of slaves who escaped and returned. Many slaves were branded by racists in order for slave owners to identify them. Slaves were readily separated from their families and spread to various plantations in faraway distances. That is why to this day, African Americans in many cases have difficulty in tracing their genealogy among long centuries. Some slaves were allowed to marry. There were marriages among slaves in New York City allowed by the Dutch Reformed Church (this was during the time when the Dutch controlled NYC before the British controlled it later on). Black families back then readily went into courts to fight for property rights for themselves and their wives and to fight for their freedom in general. By the 1700’s, slavery laws became even more strict and racialized causing racial oppression against black people to grow. Where I’m from, in Virginia, slaves were used in tobacco and cotton crops, which were exported to the North and to England. Also, rice crops were picked up by black slaves in South Carolina and in the Deep South as well. Cotton was especially picked by slaves in the Deep South from Georgia to Texas. The separation of children from black mothers continued throughout this period. This is why black relatives escaped from plantations in order to search for their relatives and loved ones. Slavery was not only evil, but it was heavily utilized to make economic profits for the capitalists who didn’t care about human dignity and social equality. Many black heroes during the 18th century stood up to fight for freedom. Paul Cuffee was a known abolitionist. Elizabeth Freeman was once a slave, but went into the court to fight for her freedom in Sheffield, Massachusetts. She was known as Bet or Mum Bett. The lawyer and abolitionist Theodore Sedgwick worked with Elizabeth to win her case too. The case of Brom and Bett v. Ashley was heard in August 1781 before the County Court of Common Pleas in Great Barrington. Sedgwick and Reeve asserted that the constitutional provision that "all men are born free and equal" effectively abolished slavery in the state of Massachusetts. When the jury ruled in Bett's favor, she became the first African-American woman to be set free under the Massachusetts state constitution. Richard Allen was the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He opposed slavery and racism. He walked out of one church, because of its segregation policies to form the AME Church (for black people). Allen’s church was in Philadelphia. His friends and allies were Absalom Jones (who gained his freedom in 1784), and other people.

It is not a secret that many people in the media are funded by oligarchic, corporate interests. Some in the corporate media advance not only propaganda and falsehoods (like the inaccurate view that Iraq had a mass quantity of weapons of mass destruction). Some omit key stories and relevant stories that advance social enlightenment and progressive human development. One example is found in the FOX News Channel. For years, activists have exposed FOX News as being a depository of reactionary news. FOX has shown much fear mongering every day and many FOX News reporters have spewed post racial mythologies, hate, and arrogance. We know that Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on FOX News are either supporters of the reactionary agenda or are Trump supporters. Brian Kilmeade also made outlandish, evil comments for years too. In 2007, Brian Kilmeade openly called for attacks in Iran. He made the false statement that “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” That statement has been recorded by Media Matters. Kilmeade is wrong since terrorists exist worldwide among many different ideologies. There are far right terrorist groups in America now who hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, Jewish people, etc. Bill O’Reilly has hypocritically complained about Hollywood celebrities not going to the Trump inauguration, but he claims to advance free speech. People have the right not to attend Trump’s inauguration if he or she decides not to go. Even Charles Krauthammer was right to call Bill out on his feigned outrage. Bill O'Reilly also ignores how Donald Trump has installed Wall Street executives in his proposed cabinet, he has avoided news conferences, and he acts as an extremist. When you have small business owners telling Congress to not repeal the ACA, then we have a problem. The ACA should be strengthening to expand into a universal health care system not totally repealed. Many in FOX News oppose the “Fight for $15.” That movement is heroic as people can’t live in our generation on $7.00 an hour. A person being paid $15 an hour at least can allow a person to survive, to get food, to buy things, and to grow the economy. In Seattle, the minimum wage increase has caused a boom in job growth. Many higher minimum wage initiatives have been winning in local and state ballots which lifted wages for millions of Americans.

The Nigerian independence movement has a long history. Once, Nigeria was a British colony. Colonialism allowed resource exploitation by imperial powers in order to benefit the interests of Empire instead of the interests of the masses of the people in various nations. Before 1960, the economy of Nigeria grew more rapidly in the south than the north. Back then, Nigeria was divided into Northern and Southern Provinces including the Lagos Colony. Education was spread in the Nigerian area. After World War II, changes in the world happened. Independence movements in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and South America grew into the next level. Nigerian nationalism spread and Nigerians demanded independence from the United Kingdom. There were gradual constitutions which were legalized by the British government, which moved Nigeria to self-government on a representative and more federal basis.  On October 1, 1954, the colony became the autonomous Federation of Nigeria. By the middle of the 20th century, the great wave for independence was sweeping across Africa. On October 27, 1958, Britain agreed that Nigeria would become an independent state on October 1, 1960. Therefore, on October 1, 1960, Nigeria had its independence. It had a Constitution and it was a parliamentary government. The Nigerian People's Congress (NPC) represented conservative, Muslim, largely Hausa and Fulani interests that dominated the Northern Region. The northern region of the country, consisting of three-quarters of the land area and more than half the population of Nigeria. Thus the North dominated the federation government from the beginning of independence. In the 1959 elections held in preparation for independence, the NPC captured 134 seats in the 312-seat parliament. Capturing 89 seats in the federal parliament was the second largest party in the newly independent country the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). The NCNC represented the interests of the Igbo- and Christian-dominated people of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. The Action Group (AG) was a left-leaning party that represented the interests of the Yoruba people in the West. In the 1959 elections the AG obtained 73 seats. The Federal Republic of Nigeria was formed by Nnamdi Azikiwe. He was the country’s first President. There were economic and educational development disparities in the north and south. There were ethnic and religious tensions too. Azikiwe was an Igbo. He was a well-known Nigerian nationalist. The Hausa and Fulani mostly lived in the northern region of Nigeria and they were mostly Muslims. In the southern region of Nigeria, there were the Yoruba and Igbo who were mostly Christians, Muslims, and animists. Animists are people who believed that spirits are present in animals, plants, and natural objects. The Yoruba lived to the west and they were a farming people while the Igbo lived in the east. The Yoruba had a tradition of kings while the Igbo had a tradition of democratic traditions. Nigeria had a federal system where the power is shared between state government and a central authority. The Nigerians set up 3 states, one for each region and ethnic group (with a political party in each). After the brutal Biafra civil war in Nigeria, Nigeria united.

James Derham was a black man who was very historic. He lived from 1757 to 1802. He was the first African American to formally practice medicine. He learned on how to do it from the Revolutionary War while serving with the British. He learned it from Dr. George West. He didn’t have a degree, because of discrimination, but he was an exceptionally great doctor. James Derham was fluent in French, English, and Spanish. He knew how to use compound machines too. He was a great pharmacist. His medical business in New Orleans, Louisiana, reportedly earned him $3,000 per year, which was a lot of money back then. A Philadelphia 1789 newspaper article on the biography of James Derham described him as a person who was born in Philadelphia. James Derham met Dr. Benjamin Rush, who was an early American doctor. Rush was very impressed by Derham. He encouraged him to move to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, he was an expert in throat diseases and in the relationship between climate and disease. He had 10 siblings. Absalom Jones also was an abolitionist. Sister Jarena Lee was an evangelist who was the first African American woman to publish an autobiography. The earliest mention of Jarena Lee in a newspaper was in 1840, when she was listed as a member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society from Pennsylvania. There are many other early African Americans who made great contributions in the world. We honor their sacrifice, their courage, and their contributions in the world.

It is not a secret that Western intelligence has been involved in corruption for decades and centuries. Operation Ajax was about the overthrowing of the democratic Iranian nation (which was organized by the CIA and by MI5) back in 1953. Operation Chaos was when the U.S. intelligence community used its agents to infiltrate the anti-war movement in college campuses. It was conducted by the CIA under the orders of LBJ in 1967. This is blatantly illegal since the CIA is forbidden from conducting domestic surveillance of American citizens in American soil. The operation was launched under Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms, by chief of counter-intelligence, James Jesus Angleton, and headed by Richard Ober.  Operation Chaos expanded under President Nixon. Also, the U.S. Intelligence community (as found in the FBI, the CIA, etc.) knew about popular musicians decades ago and today. Many of them would spy on them and monitor them in many different ways. Back from the end of World War II to the present, the world changed massively. America became the strongest nation in the world economically and militarily. Complex technology from nuclear weapons to satellites developed. Movements for social, progressive change ignited into the next level. Back during the Cold War, many FBI and CIA agents falsely believed that Communism was on the verge of taking over the whole world. They ignored the fact that Communism is not monolithic and that people have the right to believe in whatever ideology that they desire (which is part of the freedom of conscience). They wanted to monitor musicians not only for control, but to promote their anti-Communist, authoritarian extremism. John L. Potash's book entitled, “Drugs as Weapons Against Us” documents how the CIA and other groups exploit the drugs of the world to advance their agenda and it proves the Intelligence community’s monitoring of well-known musicians. I certainly recommend the book. It is excellent and well written. CIA’s MKUltra tested LSD on many people. People now know that LSD has ruined the lives of so many people and has damaged countless lives physically and emotionally. That is why recreational usage of drugs can kill people literally. That is why I do advocate any drug to be used for medical purposes (in a responsible fashion) if someone has no other option but to use drugs. People, involved in the MK Ultra program, on many cases illegally tested human beings on mind control drugs constantly. The scope of Project MKUltra was broad, with research undertaken at 80 institutions, including 44 colleges and universities, as well as hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated through these institutions using front organizations, although sometimes top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement. The FBI harassed and illegally monitored progressive leaders like Paul Robeson and Richard Wright. Both men stood up for black human rights and opposed imperialism in private and in public. J. Edgar Hoover used the Hearst newspaper (which had allies of Hoover in them) to issue articles slandering Robeson (as documented in the book entitled, “Paul Robeson: Film Pioneer,” which was written by Scott Allen Nollen). Robeson was an ally of Albert Einstein (who condemned racism and was pro-socialist. One thing that many of those right wing extremists hate are socialists when socialism contributed to the development of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other blessings). Paul Jr. (or Paul Robeson’s son) believed that his father's health problems stemmed from attempts by CIA and MI5 to "neutralize" his father.  Einstein was monitored by the FBI too. The FBI monitored the Beatles (especially John Lennon), Jimi Hendrix, Elvis (even before he went into the Army), etc. People like the Black Panthers, labor rights movements, civil rights groups, feminist organizations, Native American organizations, Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G., etc. were monitored by the FBI and other members of the U.S. intelligence community. One of the greatest spies was FBI agent Gary Rowe who was in many racial incidents of the then segregated South. The CIA and the Mafia worked together on many endeavors too. Therefore, the mainstream popular culture isn’t all fun and games. There are corporations who control many aspects of popular culture. Many artists are told by handlers plus corporate executives on what to do and where to go. Many celebrity based parties exist with many bizarre themes. Many celebrities travel into Istanbul and Dubai not only for business, but for other reasons. Therefore, we reject imperialism, human exploitation, and the corrupt actions done by intelligence agencies. We believe in independent thinking, freedom, and justice for all.

By Timothy

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