On Thursday, January 29th, I sent President Obama this message:
"Mr. President: The Bush Administration lied to the people in pursuit of war. As a result, at least one million Iraqis and thousands of U.S. soldiers are dead. Thousands more are maimed. The stature of the U.S. is severely damaged. The U.S. Constitution is in shreds after signing statements, wiretaps, and torture. Your obligation is to investigate and bring to justice those who violated U.S. and international law, such as the torture treaty. Failure to do so makes you complicit in their crimes."
On Wednesday, January 28th, I sat in front of the television and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Exactly what I've been saying, myself. But it was coming from an unexpected source: the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak. I wrote down every word. He said that the United Nations has proof that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld knowingly approved of torture as a policy for the United States. He said that President Barack Obama has a responsibility to investigate and prosecute those who condoned, conducted, or approved of torture.
Further, Jonathan Turley, in an MSNBC interview stated that if Obama fails to investigate or prosecute that he would be an "accessory."
This is significant. It means that all of us, sadly, were right to pursue impeachment of the key figures in the Bush Administration. Impeachment was the Constitutional imperative; but the Constitution didn't mean anything to either the Republican or Democratic national leadership.
And to think, on this day filled with impeachment news, Nancy Pelosi took impeachment "off the table" for this cast of villainous characters. I never will forget watching Rocky Anderson, former Mayor of Salt Lake City, say on national television that Nancy Pelosi should be impeached for impeding impeachment. But Nancy Pelosi isn't the only one who obstructed justice.
In fact, how could Dick Durbin and Harry Reid, so voluble in standing up to Roland Burris because he was Governor Blagojevich's pick for Obama's vacated Senate seat, sit as quiet as church mice in the face of repeated calls for impeachment because of the reckless criminality of the Bush Administration?
And now, we have the United Nations tell us the equivalent of "Houston, we have a problem."
Some of us knew all along, from the very beginning, that the Bush Administration was the quintessence of election theft, graft, corruption, and war criminality. Some of us recognized early on that our struggle was "against principalities, against powers, . . . against spiritual wickedness in high places." It is impossible to "go along and get along" with illegal and immoral acts. But that is exactly what the national leadership of this country asked us all to do, and that is exactly what they did.
Dr. King was confronted with the expediency of staying on the civil rights track, remaining with his friends in the civil rights movement, or doing what his conscience impelled him to do. That's when he made his famous statement, that popular chroniclers of Dr. King seem to have forgotten:
"When I first decided to take a firm stand against the war in Vietnam, I was subjected to the most bitter criticism, by the press, by individuals, and even by some fellow civil rights leaders. There were those who said that I should stay in my place, that these two issues did not mix and I should stick with civil rights. Well I had only one answer for that and it was simply the fact that I have struggled too long and too hard now to get rid of segregation in public accommodations to end up at this point in my life segregating my moral concerns."
Dr. King had to leave behind some of his best friends in the movement when he decided to speak out against the Vietnam War. Dr. King could have bowed to the pressure and stayed in his "civil rights" lane. But he knew that the war was wrong and he had to use every fiber in his being to stop it. Even his life, itself.
One of the first underreported acts of President Obama was to sign an order continuing the drone airstrikes, resulting in at least 22 killed so far. For the dead children of Afghanistan or Pakistan or Gaza, it doesn't matter to their parents if the bomb was dropped by Bush or Obama or the client state they support. And President Obama has made it clear that the bombs will continue to drop; it is up to us--the people of the United States--to stop them. That's why it was on my birthday, in front of the Pentagon in 2007, that I declared my independence from every bomb dropped, every child killed, every veteran maimed in the name of U.S. wars. I said it, and I meant it, and I knew I was going to have to do something I'd never done before if I was ever going to have something I'd never had before. So I left the Democratic Party.
I don't regret my decision one minute. I draw my strength from Dr. King, who in his own way, did the same thing when he refused to segregate his moral concerns.
My neighborhood in Los Angeles, Watts and South Central, is already a police state. Tonight, 25 to 30 young black men, standing handcuffed, outside the barber shop. Every night, routine dehumanization is carried out in black and brown neighborhoods by LAPD. I see it. I never miss it. It's all around me.
Oscar Grant murdered in cold blood by law enforcement. Robert Tolan, murdered in cold blood by law enforcement, for driving his father's car, mistaken for stolen.
Filiberto Ojeda Rios assassinated by the U.S. government; I met his wife and heard the entire story of what happened as he was shot by the FBI and then bled to death.
Innocent black and brown and poor white men on death row. How many Troy Davises and Mumia Abu Jamals will we allow to exist in our country?
Native Americans trying to survive despite genocide and ethnic cleansing, struggle against drug and alcohol abuse and poverty, and try to keep their culture alive.
And yet the likes of Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi, and now Barack Obama say nothing about the pain I see on the mean streets and reservations across our country, and the miscarriages of justice that are its regular feature, but they allow Bush and company to get away with the highest of crimes, involving millions of deaths.
In each of these writings, I ask you, too, to write to the White House and let them know that you exist. We didn't recruit President Obama to run, so I am clear on the limitations of a White House letter writing campaign. But trust me, our collective efforts will congeal into the movement for dignity, real peace, and true justice that we so desperately need for ourselves and the rest of the world.
Updates mailing list
Friday, January 30, 2009
On Thursday, January 29th, I sent President Obama this message:
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Phillip Jackson congratulates Rev. Charles Woolery on a great job of organizing the men of First Wesley Academy to work in the vineyards of young Black males in the city of Harvey, Illinois.
The churches listed below participated in The Black Star Project's "Take a Black Male to Worship" initiative on Sunday, December 21, 2008, or on their nearest day of worship. If your faith institution did not participate, why not?
City - Name of Church or Association - Pastor or Representative
Buffalo, New York Zion - Missionary Baptist Church - Gregory Brice
Chicago, Illinois - Pastors of the Englewood Community - Apostle Ulyesses Ruff, Sr.
Chicago, Illinois - Gospel Temple Church of God and Christ - Eleder Sidney Grandberry
Chicago, Illinois - True Vine of Holiness Missionary Baptist - Rev. Dr. Henderson Hill
Chicago, Illinois - Cathedral Missionary Baptist Church - Rev. Otis L. Anderson Jr.
Chicago. Illinois - God Seed Ministries - Pastor Glenn Bone
Chicago, Illinois - Cathedral of Love Church - Rev. Daniel Allen
Chicago, Illinois - Inspirational Deliverance C.O.G.I.C. - Evangelist Shirley Hughes
Chicago, Illinois - New Memorial Missionary Baptist Church - Rev. Roosevelt Walker, Jr.
Chicago, Illinois - St. Mark Church - Rev. Ed Harris
Chicago, Illinois - ABBA Church of Renewal Faith - Rev. Sharyon Cosey
Chicago, Illinois Stone Temple Baptist Church - Rev. Derrick M. Fitzpatrick
Chicago, Illinois - New Pentecostal House of Glory - Pastor Lafayette E. Young Sr.
Cleveland, Ohio - St. James AME Church - Mr. Steven Sims
Detroit, Michigan - Liberty Baptist Church - Rev. Steve Bland
Harvey, Illinois - First Wesley Academy UMC - Rev. Charles Woolery
High Point, N.C. - Temple Memorial Baptist Church - Rev. Thomas A. Bannister
Kansas City, Kansas - Cross Roads Christian Cathedral - Pastor P. T. Hood
Los Angeles, Calif. - Higher Order of Discipline Ministries - De'Niece Williams
Mooresville, N. C. - St. Paul United Methodist Church - Rev. Donald McCoy
Rockford, Illinois - Liberty Baptist Church - Rev. Herbert Johnson, Jr.
Take a Black boy or a young Black man between 2 and 32 years old to worship on Sunday, March 1, 2009. Take them to any service--morning, afternoon or evening, to your church, mosque synagogue or preferred place of worship because the battle to save Black boys is also, and especially, a spiritual battle. This is a national program open to all faiths and denominations.
We have been told that some men and some faith leaders do not know where to find Black boys. Too many Black boys are on street corners, at night clubs, affiliated (rolling) with street organizations and in prisons and jails. Many others are struggling in elementary and high schools or are working low-wage jobs.
It is easy to find Black boys who need guidance and support, but it is hard to find Black men who will take an interest in these Black boys. The harvest of Black boys in America is plentiful, but the laborers--Black men who are willing to work with these boys--are few.
Please ask your faith leader to ensure that your faith-based institution participates in this event. If you wish to participate in or lead the effort in your city or at your faith-based institution on Sunday, March 1, 2009, or your day of worship near this date, please call Rev. Catherine Jackson at 773.285.9600 for an organizing kit.
Dr. Carl C. Bell, M.D., F.A.P.A., FA.C.P. President & CEO Community Mental Health Center of Chicago
For over 30 years, Dr. Bell has practiced psychiatry. As an internationally recognized lecturer and author, he has given numerous presentations on mental wellness, violence prevention, and traumatic stress caused by violence. Most recently, he has participated as the Principle Investigator with CHAMP, an HIV/AIDS youth prevention research project in South Africa. He is the author of The Sanity of Survival: Reflections on Community Mental Health and Wellness and co-author of Suicide and Homicide Among Adolescents. Dr. Bell is also a clinical professor of psychiatry and public health at the University of Illinois School of Medicine. In recognition of his efforts to reduce violence, he became the first recipient of the American Psychiatric Foundation's Minority Service Award in 2004. He is also the recipient of the American Psychiatric Association's Presidential Award.
Dr. Carl C. Bell's Seven Principles for Changing At-Risk Behavior and Cultivating Resiliency Among Youth
1. Rebuilding the Village/Reweaving the social fabric/Recreating a sense of community
Reestablishing a sense of community by bringing together churches, schools, and families to create networks, organize resources and establish programs that provide support, safety and security for our youth. A sense of community also reinforces cultural identity.
2. Providing access to ancient and modern technology to provide practical systems for the application of knowledge
Providing models, tools, skills and techniques to facilitate implementation of the concept or program (for example, mentoring, multi-family groups, how to cultivate resiliency and wellness, and manualized family interventions).
3. Providing a sense of connectedness
Creating situations, programs and relationships that foster a sense of connection, attachment, and belonging to a larger group or a common goal. This counters feelings of alienation, helps provide feelings of security, and increases self-esteem. Again, reestablishing the village reinforces cultural identity and can be a platform for the delivery of cultural education. Well thought out rites of passage (e.g. the belt system of progression in Japanese martial arts) programs have been very effective in actualizing this principle.
4. Providing opportunity to learn social & emotional skills
Providing social and emotional skills that people need to interact and communicate with each other. This not only increases self-esteem but effectiveness in relationships as well. These include parenting skills, refusal skills, negotiating skills, the capacity to remain calm in a crisis, and more.
5. Providing opportunities to increasing self-esteem
A. Giving our children a sense of power (self-efficacy) by showing them they can do things for themselves and positively influence their own lives. For example, adopting healthy behaviors creates both a sense of wellness and an outcome of wellness.
B. Providing a sense of models to help our young make sense of the world and teaching them how things work. Mentoring is a very powerful model that can be used to achieve this. A strong cultural value system is another.
C. Creating a sense of specialness and uniqueness as an individual or group. Clearly, knowing and respecting your culture gives you a sense of power by virtue of being connected to something valuable and strong.
D. Creating a sense of connectedness - encouraging bonding and connection to a culture, group or an idea. Teaching them their history and cultural significance creates a sense of power from being associated with a rich and powerful legacy. Spirituality is another powerful influence in encouraging connectedness.
6. Providing an adult protective shield
Providing an adult protective shield and monitoring speaks to providing supervision, discipline, and a caring adult presence. These foster a sense of safety and security. The concept of the village with multiple adult figures taking responsibility for the nurture and well-being of the village children is a concept that connects us to our culture and our spirituality. Wellness is also important in this respect. A child can be severely stressed by the illness of a caretaking adult, so it is in the best interest of the adult to adopt behaviors that promote wellness, both personally, and as a model for children to emulate.
7. Minimizing trauma
Minimizing trauma - Developing an individual's spirituality, a person's sense of self-efficacy, helping create a sense of safety, and providing stress management skills as well as psychological first aid (see attached) to encourage a sense of self-mastery and turn helplessness into helpfulness are all examples of putting this principle into action.
You may contact Dr. Bell at:
Carl C. Bell, M.D.
President/C.E.O. Community Mental Health Council
8704 S. Constance
Chicago, IL 60617
(773) 734 - 4033 x 204 (office)
Source: TheBlack Star Project
Monday, January 26, 2009
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Saturday, January 24, 2009
The Partido Popular (PP) is preparing a non-legislative proposal (PNL) with the intention that Spain "is solidarity and recognize the rights of blacks in history," the spokesman explained yesterday Foreign PP, Gustavo de Arístegui. With the proposal, seeking a formula to recognize the historical grievances of black communities in Africa and America for slavery. " Izquierda Unida (Comunist) in the mouth of the federal secretary of Solidarity and Human Rights, Fran Pérez, labeled the initiative "opportunist", after the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama. "The PP has a ality Bush and the new position of the party now wants to close because of the Democrats in power," he added. While sharing the general line of the proposal, believes that there should also be an international financial compensation. For its part, the socialist group in Congress refused to make assessments until the present popular NLP.
MP says people who have had "more than a dozen meetings with the black community to prepare the report. However, fringes are still pending before giving the nod to the text. There is no official estimate on the number of descendants of Africans in the country, The government rejected the compensation, but accepted a formal apology for slavery, which do not pose the PSOE (socilademocrat in government). The black community for the initiative is very courageous, but if anything will not include an apology for the years of slavery. Without this minimum, the proposal does not make sense, "claimed. Assure that political parties can not apologize" for what they did previous generations. " we are studying the precedents that exist, however, it is still early to define the main lines that have the text, whose wording is responsible member of the PP by Sevilla Luis González Adolfo Rodriguez Platform repair and non-violence, Pan-African federation, Foundation Group ecologico life .
DIVIDE AND RULE
The SEGIB are using some Negroes group and so called educated people to made a simulacro of Durban reweu conference .This conference stablist that Spain is not responsible of racist post World Conference Against Racism (CMCR) in Durban in 2001 in the same day Durban reweu take place in Geneva Suiza . But the reality is that Spain didn't implementad any Durban recommendation. Other way this group are using conceptual separation what they call afrodescendientes from Africans as two different categories (Jenny de la Torre and Gillermo Ponce).This is the reason that Black Spanish leaders who born in Africa was excluded from the official delegation in last Panama SEGIB Afro conference (even thous who wanted to pay they own hotel and tiket ) . If we are Pan-Africanist this is a very dangerous reactionary position. They say that the victory of Obama is the demonstration that we must stop fighting because our situation will change just with PHD and glamorous hypocrite manner and separate from tha masses of African people who suffer racist everyday of their life .This divide the struggle for reparation in "elite " and Field Negro. Epsy Campbell is member of SEGIB and official Spanish advice government on Black people and when she was here in Madrid we try to talk with her but she didn't has time to meet has. We invite her husband to press conference with the occasions of the Verene Shephard conference Colombus day .He spoke with the Spanish media and he said that he is not militant and even he is not envolved en this"kind of things", but he traveled to Spain in the official delegation with her wife because black people demand responds and we made symposium, rallies and other protest. Recently the Spanish government created the organ antidiscriminador against racism and deliberately excluded the Black Community with the silence of Epsy Campbell that advises the Spanish government on Durban and Ignacio Sola Blackman and deputy director of Ministry of equality of Spain.
On the next March 21th the spanish parliament will make declaration on apoligez us , perhaps they dont will use the term apology because mean money but they will say something that wil afect the 151 million of africans who speak spanish . As Scientific Chairman of The commission we want to thank for the great advice from Esther Ekwa, prof Verene Sephard, Yonas Endrias, Prof. Hourance Campbell, Akinyele Umoja, Runoko Rashidi, Jorge Medina, KWASI Akyeampong, Omali Yeshitela and NCOBRA, and remember brother Tcham Bissa a Field Nigger who came from Bissau and died fighting for this cause. After Obama the coronation spanish goverment is promoting some black faces (and that's very good) but the first thing they do is condemn reparation as a racist and activists who make it possible. So garveyist reparation movement in Spain we still need your advice and suport .
Spanish offical Committee for the drafting of the Draft no Law Project for condemnation African slavery and HISTORIC RECOGNITION OF BLACK COMMUNITY IN SPAIN
Thursday, January 22, 2009
January 22, 2009
Now that we had inauguration day
I have something I want to say
Let’s take a look back at history
And try to unravel a wonderful mystery
Now that Obama is President
I know he will represent
The great red, white and Blue
That includes me and that includes you
They said it could not be done
Why in the hell would he run
Is this boy crazy or lost his mind
He just knew that now was the time
To put a new agenda on the table
Then to make it happen because he was able
To create a new vision and give people hope
Even when people said he must be on dope
Rush, Sean, and Laura called him an elite
They said he would surely face defeat
They even called him the Messiah
Even as his poll numbers climbed higher
The Clinton machine, he could never beat
But he proved to be quick on his feet
Never, ever raising his voice
Because he knew he was the people’s choice
The choice of a new generation
To create a spirit of inspiration
Not just because he wanted to win this race
But to tell all Americans you have a place
In getting us back to our original glory
And his victory would only be the beginning of the story
A story of the growth of a nation
Whose worst moment was symbolized by the plantation
We moved from the plantation
To a nation of appreciation
For the determination of a race
Who constantly struggled to find it’s place
Then came a man who said Yes We Can
But first, there must be a plan
So people could see the vision
He became the vessel to end the division
Now that he is President, the job is not done
This work has only just begun
We can all be part of the dream
By making our contribution to the team.
He is only one man
But was the voice of the plan
But we all must understand
That only together “YES WE CAN!”
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm. You can reach him at: Raynard@raynardjackson.com and website at: www.raynardjackson.com
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
A Message to Our Fellow 'Whites' upon the Inauguration of President Barack Obama
From the Executive Board of Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation
People of all races, ages, ethnicities and nationalities are celebrating today with high hopes for the Obama Administration. They look for their own best selves within the Illinois Senator, asking him to change what is wrong with America and rescue a way of life they believe was founded upon worthy ideals.
In our own lifetimes, we've seen that those who work for a more just future do sometimes experience a step forward. When we come together, resolute in putting our lives on the line to effect change, change has been possible. Many now see the election of Barack Obama as one of those successes. It is a bold step, one that many of us did not imagine we would live to see.
However bold, it's not the arrival of the 'post-racial world' as our TVs would have us believe. The ideology of white supremacy -- the idea that white people are 'more human' than others -- was built into our Constitution, and continues to be part of our lives. It is as blatant as the untimely deaths of African-Americans years before their white counterparts, and as insidious as subtle images in the media. It is as powerful as the tenfold difference in wealth between black families and white ones.
Yet many of us 'whites' cannot imagine what step we could take to end this legacy -- just as once most of us could not imagine an end to Jim Crow, or even an end to slavery, that did not seem to invite chaos and social disorder.
As we have in the past, we can look to the black community for an idea of how to proceed. When no one could see an end to slavery, enslaved Africans found their own ways to undermine it and bring it to crisis. When Jim Crow seemed like a permanent fixture, the black-led Freedom Movement brought it down.
The long-standing movement for slavery reparations, deeply rooted in Black America, is a next step that directly reflects the noble ideals of liberty and equality. Reparations can bring the change that so many hunger for to complete our unfinished American Revolution.
The financial institutions that today clamor for $700+ billion bailouts are heirs of those that financed slaving ships and plantations and insured the human 'property'. The desire of the landed to increase their family wealth framed the desire of children of peasants to enslave Africans and 'settle' Native people from their land. It seems that every issue we face today, if we do so honestly, returns us to the central contradiction: a country that values freedom and liberty has been built on stolen land by enslaved peoples.
The reality is that we cannot save ourselves by saving only our family or 'our kind.' Facing global risks, we must learn we are one humanity sharing one planet, and act with the morality and mutual respect that requires.
The good feeling that many enjoy as we watch Barack Obama take office is only a taste of what we could know if we worked to transform not just today's changing of the guard, but the underlying direction of the nation over which he now presides.
The righteous demand for reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans is key to this re-direction. It deserves our support, not our dismissal. Indeed, it would be far better to dismiss the propaganda of those made fat by exploitation, and seek instead a path for redeeming the soul of our nation.
We call on young people, particularly, to make this the challenge of your generation. Just as generations before you ended Jim Crow and the war on the Vietnamese people, now you can end this nation's war on people of color, both at home and abroad. Real repair of the damage done by the system of white supremacy would inaugurate not just one man, but a transformed world.
Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation is an organization of white Americans and their allies, which supports and advocates reparations proposals put forward by Black leaders. In the organization's Statement of Beliefs, the group calls "upon the families of the white American aristocracy that directly benefited from slavery to voluntarily pay their fair share of the reparations debt with wealth gained from slavery, the slave trade, and slavery related enterprises." Your comments are welcome at http://www.reparationsthecure.org
Monday, January 19, 2009
African-Americans have got to start spending as much time trying to solve their problems as they are in giving to churches, charities and celebrations. If you look at a calendar to see all the events that blacks are gearing up for, to celebrate and honor one another’s achievements, in the midst of the spread of AIDS and Drugs in our communities; it is as if Dr. King, Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hammer, Queen Mother Moore and Sista Callie House never existed. It is a shame to know blacks are becoming less and less concerned with how their immediate family and extended family across America and especially in Africa are treated. It hurts me deep in my soul and I am going to die trying to get blacks to wake up, so that we can form a power base to solve our problems!
Black History Month and the election of a Black President should inspire African-Americans to rekindle the movement to demand equality. They have sacrificed too many lives in wars and made too many valuable contributions that have benefited both America and the entire western civilization, for them to remain victims of racism, hate crimes and discriminatory practices. Black people are going to have to look beyond their churches, civil rights groups and leaders to do the work that is necessary to free their race from racism and oppression. Even though blacks are constantly giving tithes and charitable gifts, these groups and individuals have been bought and sold out. They do not care about the masses of blacks who are victims of obvious and elusive tactics that are designed to maintain white dominance and black oppression.
I hope and pray that blacks are not blinded by these celebrations and evil tactics and begin to pay tribute and honor those who came before them who made it possible for them to enjoy the little bit of success they have among their people today. Black people do not own any land, cities, schools, hospitals or businesses to provide housing, employment, health care and a quality education for their people. This is a shame because blacks have earned the right to have an infrastructure that would amount to 40 acres and a mule from slavery. As long as they have to go to those who really don’t care about them for these essential needs of life they will remain locked out of the system and at risk of acquiring a life threatening or habit forming disease.
Now is the time for blacks to get serious about their future and stop falling for all these 501 c3 lies and faith based initiative tricks that were supposed to bring them to equality two decades ago. The best move blacks could make is to agree that they are still victims of inequality, injustice and disparities and that reparations are long over due to repair damage done in the past and present, in order to have a better future for themselves and generations to come. Check out the Black History Website at www.rula1.com and go to the How to Win Reparations section to see how blacks can form a power base to resume the fight against injustice and start a national campaign to win reparations.
In memory of our ancestors,
Reparations Leader and Chairman
Committee for African-American Reparations (CAAR) CA
Reparations Union Lobbying Association (RULA) NC
* View My Blog
Inauguration Day, Tuesday January 20, 2009, will be one of the proudest days my life. It is also one of the most important transitions in the history of this country.
Tomorrow, President Barack Obama will carry a weight on his shoulders that ranks near the top of the list for incoming presidents. It is serious enough that ‘Day One’ already started weeks ago. Now it is time to go to the next level.
As citizens of this country we are customers of the federal government. Its many organizations, agencies and institutions are established to serve and protect. Starting at noon on January 20, 2009, the CEO of all of the federal executive departments will be Barack Obama. I think that he and his cabinet need to become the ultimate support system to ensure that all federal employees have what they need to provide great customer service to the citizens of the United States of America.
Many of us are ordinary citizens in these extraordinary times. In addition to the federal, state and local governments, we have ourselves. Right now, there are many severe and compelling circumstances facing us in our country and in our neighborhoods. Those are our starting lines. In this country, more than any other, we all have the opportunity to get on the starting line and move forward from there. Now is the time to take this excitement we have and put it to work for everyone. The first step was to put Barack Obama to work. The next step is for you and I to move forward from wherever we are.
Whether you work for the federal government, for a company or for yourself, you can be the blessing that your customers need to move forward. If you are a teacher, equip yourself to do whatever it takes to teach our youth so that they can meet the highest post secondary qualifications; you are probably the only math, English, history or science teacher they have this year. If you are a parent, help our nation to be great for our children. If you are already that good, keep it up and help the rest of us do it better. If you are a minister, help us to stay focused on peace and love.
I thank God for giving us the strength to be a part of a new ‘Day One’. Now is the time to make it last.
J. Bert Freeman
Remember, when what you have to say really matters,
take charge of your positive direction.
J. Bert Freeman, T.A.L.K. Associates
Positive Direction Speaker, Coach, Facilitator
Author: Taking Charge of Your Positive Direction
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Walk with me down memory lane. The time: 1968. In 30 months, one million dead. The setting: a dusty camp in Biafra where survivors waited and hoped for peace. The survivors: Refugees fleeing from the “Dance of Death.” My mentor: One of the refugee camp directors, whom I called “Teacher” out of respect.
“Martin Luther King has been killed,” Teacher said, with a pained voice and vacant eyes. I looked towards Teacher, wondering: “Who is Martin Luther King?” I was a 13-year-old refugee in the west African nation of Nigeria, a land then called Biafra. Martin Luther King. What did that name mean?
Eight out of ten Biafrans were refugees exiled from their own country. Two years earlier, Christian army officers had staged a bloody coup killing Muslim leaders. The Muslims felt the coup was a tribal mutiny of Christian Igbos against their beloved leaders. The aggrieved Muslims went on a killing rampage, chanting: “Igbo, Igbo, Igbo, you are no longer part of Nigeria!” In the days that followed, 50,000 Igbos were killed in street uprisings.
Killing was not new to us in Biafra. I was 13, but I knew much of killing. Widows and orphans were most of the refugees in our camp. They had survived the Igbo “Dance of Death” — a euphemism for the mass executions. One thousand men at gunpoint forced to dance a public dance. Seven hundred were then shot and buried en masse in shallow graves. When told to hurry up and return to his regular duty, one of the murderers said: “The graves are not yet full.”
A few days later, with only the clothes on our backs, we fled from this “Dance of Death.” That was six months before Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Teacher and I were eventually conscripted into the Biafran army and sent to the front, two years after our escape.
After the war, Teacher – who had taught me the name of Martin Luther King — was among the one million who had died. I — a child soldier – was one of the fifteen million who survived.
Africa is committing suicide: a two-decade war in Sudan, genocidal killings in Rwanda, scorched-earth conflicts in Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, and Liberia. The wars in modern Africa are the largest global-scale loss of life since the establishment of the Atlantic Slave trade, which uprooted and scattered Africa’s sons and daughters across the United States, Jamaica, and Brazil.
Africa’s wars are steering the continent toward a sea of self-destruction so deep that even the greatest horror writers are unable to fathom its depths. So, given our circumstances, Martin Luther King was a name unknown, a dead man among millions, with a message that never reached the shores of Biafra.
Neither did his message reach the ears of “The Black Scorpion,” Benjamin Adekunle, a tough Nigerian army commander, whose credo of ethnic cleansing knew nothing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s movement: “We shoot at everything that moves, and when our forces move into Igbo territory, we even shoot things that do not move.”
As we heed Martin Luther King Jr.’s call, and march together across the world stage, let us never forget that we who have witnessed and survived the injustice of such nonsensical wars are the torchbearers of his legacy of peace for our world, our nation, and our children.
Transcribed from speech delivered by Philip Emeagwali on April 4, 2008 at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia at the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. The entire transcript and video are posted at emeagwali.com.
Philip Emeagwali was inducted into the gallery of history's 70 greatest black achievers by the International Slavery Museum and into the Gallery of Prominent Refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Philip Emeagwali has been called “a father of the Internet” by CNN and TIME; praised as an “unorthodox innovator [who] has pushed back the boundaries of oilfield science” by a leading European oil and gas industry journal; extolled as “one of the great minds of the Information Age” by former US president Bill Clinton, and voted history’s 35th greatest African by New African. He won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize, the Nobel Prize of supercomputing.
# # #
by John Maxwell
It’s a time-tested method used for more than four thousand years; people always get killed but nothing is ever settled.
God confided to Moses that he was giving the Israelites title to the land of Canaan. There was one small problem: lots of other people were already living in Canaan and had been for ages. So, in order to enforce the Israelites’ title, Joshua had to clear the land.
The book of Joshua tells of the labours of the hero and the Israelites as they laid claim to their divine endowment smiting cities and their rulers right left and centre … ‘So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.
And finally, ” … Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.”
Palestine did not long rest from war. The first kingdom of Israel lasted a few generations before splitting in two, largely owing to the arrogance of Rehoboam, a precursor to Ariel Sharon. Sharon also came a cropper trying to exterminate the Palestinians and has lain comatose now for most of a decade.
Before his unfortunate seizure Mr Sharon’s government had been accused – by the International Committee of the Red Cross – of war crimes against the Palestinians. In 2001 the Red Cross condemned Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as equivalent to war crimes under international law. “The transfer, the installation of population of the occupying power into the occupied territories is ... an illegal move and qualifies as a grave breach," said ICRC's René Kosirnik at a press conference in Tel Aviv … equal in principle to war crimes."
Later, when Mr Sharon was attempting to pulverise the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat, Sharon’s soldiers targeted not only journalists, but Red Cross and Red Crescent ambulances, doctors and nurses, women and children as well as Palestinian policemen and Arafat himself.
Since Mr G.W Bush was at that time trying to assemble support within the Arab world for a posse to go after Saddam Hussein the US President did not find Sharon’s behaviour ‘helpful’. Then as now, the Israeli government demonstrated a contempt for its patron the US, and Mr Bush was very upset. He was sufficiently upset not only to withhold $800 million in aid promised to Israel by the outgoing Clinton administration, he decided to support a Security Council resolution which spelled out, for the first time , the right of Palestinians to their own independent state. This commitment got lost somewhere between Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
The political nous and social evolution of Sharon’s successor may be gauged by a tale told by Mr Olmert himself. In the Israeli leader’s version of why the US had abstained on a UN resolution attempting to get Israel to play by the rules, Mr Olmert gave himself a starring role.
"When we saw that the secretary of state, [Condoleezza Rice] for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the UN resolution ... I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech," Olmert said .
"I said, 'I don't care. I have to talk to him now.' They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, 'You can't vote in favour of this resolution.' He said, 'Listen, I don't know about it, I didn't see it, I'm not familiar with the phrasing.'
"He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it - a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and manoeuvred for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged."
Now! Aint that Sump’n !
Or, as they say in Peoria – WOW!!!
Mr Olmert does not perhaps know that waiting to succeed Miss Rice is a woman who is not partial to being kneecapped by a self-important, obnoxious, sexist, Middle Eastern potentate, and we may credibly suspect that Mrs Clinton and her boss and the entire Obama Cabinet may soon be itching to put Israel in its place.
Successes of the Blitzkrieg
What has Israel achieved in nearly three weeks of its Gaza blitzkrieg?
• As the Guardian says “The extraordinary number of civilian deaths, and of children in particular, is for many a defining and shocking feature of this 18-day offensive. The figures are stark. At least 910 Palestinians are dead, among them 292 children. At least 4,250 are injured, among them 1,497 children. Many have injuries that will leave them permanently disabled and facing more operations and months or years of rehabilitation therapy”
More than half of Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants are children.
• Israel has reduced to rubble the physical infrastructure of Gaza, destroying, schools, community centres, homes and apartments as well as farms, shops, factories, and places where people might seek shelter in emergencies.
About two-thirds of the territory's 1.5m people have no electricity; the rest have only an intermittent supply, the UN says. Hospitals are overloaded with the injured, and 500,000 Gazans still have no access to running water. "Israeli bombardment is causing extensive destruction to homes and to public infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip and is jeopardizing water, sanitation and medical services."
•The indiscriminate destruction is not only intended to terrorise and intimidate, it is clearly also, maliciously intended to destroy social capital, to maim the society’s ability to recover and to take care of itself. It is punishment of people,as human beings, innocents with no argument with anyone and to make sure that, as after a ferocious natural cataclysm, a tsunami, a Katrina, there is not only enormous material loss but deep emotional scarring and wounds that may never heal.
• The blitzkrieg has destroyed Fatah and all Palestinian opposition to Hamas. In the West Bank strongholds of Fatah everyone is now for Hamas. In the Egyptian Hospitals outside Gaza news agencies are reporting that people who are wounded, people who were never politically active, want to go back to Gaza to fight for Hamas. The conversion rate is quite remarkable and even moreso on the Arab street in places like Cairo, Damascus and Jerusalem.
•Despite public vows by Israeli politicians to destroy Hamas's military capability, Israeli officials said Tuesday that the movement had lost only a fraction of its fighters and retained a large stockpile of rockets and other armaments. A "few hundred" Hamas fighters have been killed, out of a total force of 15,000, according to a senior Israeli military official.
To say that the government of Israel may be wrong or evil, is interpreted not as a political judgment but as an expression of racist prejudice. Criticising Israel is attacking Jews and Jewishness and is therefore anti-semitic.
‘ … those countries that count’
The Israeli government’s attitude to external criticism may be gauged from the following quotation:"The tone of the criticism is moderate, restrained, more balanced, at least in the case of those countries that count," a senior government official said.
Such extreme positions have provoked a backlash inside and outside of Israel. Some of he world’s most prominent Jews have publicly condemned the actions of the Israeli government and one of the best known – journalist Naomi Klein has joined other people, Jews and Gentiles, in calling for an economic boycott of Israel.
As the Guardian, no enemy of Israel said on Tuesday: “That is why the talk elsewhere is now of boycotts, of arms embargos, of revoking trade agreements, withholding financial support and cancelling export credit guarantees. These are not all appealing options, nor should they be yet necessary. But a country which truly rejects the collective concerns of the international community leaves its friends, never mind its enemies, running out of road.” (my italics)
That such a situation should come about is remarkable sinceis almost impossible for Hamas to have its case presented fairly. In the great western world where the press is free it seems impossible to find any big news agency which conveys the real grievances and arguments of the PALESTINIANS, let alone Hamas. As Mark Levine points out in the Huffington Post: The claim that Hamas will never accept the existence of Israel has proved equally misinformed, as Hamas leaders explicitly announce their intention to do just that in the pages of the Los Angeles Times or to any international leader or journalist who will meet with them.Levine: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-levine/who-will-save-israel-from_b_156943.html
What has changed has much to do with the arrogance of Israel. By banning independent journalistic coverage of the blitzkrieg the Israelis have eliminated much of the usual spin that favours Israel and demonises the Palestinians. When the public and the press have to depend almost entirely on video, photographs and statistics, the truth has a better chance of surfacing.
Amira Hass, a journalist and daughter of Holocaust survivors writes:
“History did not begin with the Qassam rockets. But for us, the Israelis, history always begins when the Palestinians hurt us, and then the pain is completely decontextualized.
‘ …Gaza is not a military power that attacked its tiny, peace-loving neighbor, Israel. Gaza is a territory that Israel occupied in 1967, along with the West Bank. Its residents are part of the Palestinian people, which lost its land and its homeland in 1948.
In 1993, Israel had a one-time golden opportunity to prove to the world that what people say about us is untrue - that it is not by nature a colonialist state. That the expulsion of a nation from its land, the expulsion of people from their houses and the robbery of Palestinian land for the sake of settling Jews are not the basis and essence of its existence. -http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055241.html
Somewhere near the beginning of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring she has a wonderful paragraph about what she calls ‘biocide’ – the indiscriminate broad spectrum war against insects and other “pests” that, she warned us – nearly a half-century ago – was doomed to failure. This was because the barrage of pesticides was not only poisoning us but simultaneously, accelerating the forced evolution of many life forms. In what she called a triumphant affirmation of Darwin’s thesis of natural selection she predicted what we have since seen happening – the evolution of super pests, insects, bacteria and diseases, making inconsequential our efforts at pest extermination..
The Israeli government is the only government I know of with a state policy of targeted assassination. While the government did not declare that assassination of Hamas leadership was a priority in Gaza, it clearly was, as the attacks on the homes of leaders demonstrated.
Sharon tried to exterminate Fatah and got Hamas.
Has Israel already found its next Rehoboam? Its next exterminator?
(Endnote: Democratic Israel has banned from contesting elections two small Arab political parties. Will any notice be taken by the free world’s press? Stay tuned)
Copyright ©2009 John Maxwell
Friday, January 16, 2009
Council superior de l' Audiovisuel (CSA) a front for cultural genocide of the Black populations in France
Spanning the African Diaspora
by Mbegane NDOUR
We speak definitely about cultural genocide of the black populations in France. How not to speak about genocide when the only forms of cultural expression broadcast are skinned of cultural values and identity? How steps to speak strong genocide facing a sous separated, to think that we do not know that to run quickly, to type one in balls, to dance and to move with the frenetic rhythms of drums or hip-hop beat? how marginalized and stigmatized populations can aspire to a cultural and intellectual émancipation when the society returns them permanently to plates and censure any form de born aware?
It is years since a battle is led in France for a real representativeness of the said populations but unfortunately over the years our frustrations are only exaggerating. Let us put on one instant instead of our bright talents: researchers, lawyers, doctors, engineers and distinguished men of culture facing... the very mediocre representativeness which mass media serves us. Often sports or rappeurs here are plates in which mass media locks up our imagination and the imagination of million black young persons in search of examples and in models. It makes generations which the French society soaks, the youth of the black populations, of plates by imprisoning their dreams and their perspectives and of this fact it make citizen of second zone irremediably of.
Council superior de l' Audiovisuel (CSA) is an organism which is aimed at looking after the maintenance of fundamental principles, that is after the respect for the respectabilityof the human person.
Then faced with these official reports we wonder that the CSA makes.
Certain in the French broadcasting space made the choice in all conscience to participate actively in this cultural genocide by mattering under American culture and of course in a anarchic way. One under culture which praises of violence, murder, narcotic, of the deterioration of the image of the woman. Where is the respect for the respectability of the human person when the picture of the black woman is degraded in length of song and pop video? Where is the respect for the respectability of the human person when the only examples served in all a youth becomes the sportsman or the rappeur established excessively as leader? Where is the respect for the respectability of the human person when the only images that this mass media returns these populations it promote in no way « their values » but on the contrary despise them and humiliate them?
The culture which must allow an elevation of conscience, in an emancipation and in a promotion of human respectability becomes in the broadcasting space a degrading and humbling instrument for the black populations.
How populations which they lock up in a deafening culture of fatuous entertainment can aspire to a cultural and intellectual elevation?
It is what comforts our purposes and let us urge the CSA to act quickly facing this cultural genocide which procreates only dramas and social cleavings. It is clear that more cultural diversity can contribute to it but it is necessary to make the choice of: « what culture? ». Make the choice of one under culture just like what the black populations have known for decades or the choice of a liberating and prestige culture which will procreate doctors, lawyers, engineers, writers… And not young persons excluded from the society who wait only for a thing opportunities to do shit and all "Burn".
This action of the CSA would not know how to be efficient without a big firmness opposite of certain mass media which they make the choice to contribute in a active way to this genocide. It must be taken by temporary suspension of approval of broadcasting for some of this mass media to see in pure and simple collections of the approvals of broadcasting if this mass media does not reform. Our frustrations are only growing facing this under representativeness and especially faced with the perspectives which gives this mass media to our populations.
What are the means which the black populations in France have to make face?
It is years since the battle of representativeness is led in France without bringing concrete results in by some timid signs and of "wills". We cannot remain for eternity passive to be subjected to this injustice in dramatic consequences to our populations. We pay a broadcasting tax to many broadcasting service. This tax of this series black families in France pay it to be more excluded still, be more humiliated and less and less represented. As you I was enraptured and delighted of the election of the president Obama at the head of United States. As you I accepted symbol readily to see a black man with a black woman in these sides achieving at the head of the first worldwide potency. But know that this election is the fruit of centuries of battles led by the black populations in the United States. One of the blackwomen culminating of these battles been president boycotts it of buses by the blacks after Rosa Parks is said "NO, NO MORE". We all dreamed to transport this bright win in the hexagon but the French-speaking black populations want wins without ever fighting. Boycott it been often used by the blacks in the United States for move forward thiers cause, theirs right battles... Then why not to think and organize boycotts of the payment of the broadcasting tax by the millions of blacks in France to acquire a better representativeness within the French broadcasting space and the broadcasting of a liberating culture instead of this under culture that they serve us in length of time from which our youth is the first victim. It will drive very quickly to a representativeness of the blacks and it up to the members of the Council of the advisers of the CSA, as you can suspect it, it not there no black. We hope that CSA will grab this file burning arm with a lot of courage and firmness to stop this cultural genocide intentionally imposed by certain mass media in France and do not hesitate to take exemplary sanctions against this mass media before is obvious of radical resolutions to this blight which corrupts the French society.
For our part we are going to be very vigilant and we shall inform international networks notably certain political and intellectual spheres Joined which accorde organize between individual grant fate reserved for the black populations in France.
Liberating culture remains the only clever answer to the lack of anything to do of youth because it grants him perspectives and healthy imagination and reinforces him inevitably in its choices. Then I cannot help today checking off an accusatory finger on certain mass media and handing in them to notices. I hope that competent authorities shall take their responsibilities and will also make it.
Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
Eighth Session Geneva, 12-16 January 2009
Statement about the Durban Review and People of African Descent
Presented during the Session, January 15, 2009.
By African Canadian Legal Clinic, African Women’s Movement in Europe “Sophiedela”, Stichting National Monument the Netherlands (LPS/Panafstrag Europe NL), Tiye International, Pan-African Roots Organization, The University of Dayton, Afro Swedish National Association.
As representatives of NGOs committed to the well-being of African Descendants, we are deeply disturbed by the direction of the Durban Review and without significant change it will failed to provide the mechanism of accountability needed to assure effective progress on the elimination of racism and racial discrimination.
The World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in 2001 in Durban, South Africa offered a unique opportunity to address an issue that has been plaguing us and our children: anti-Black racism. The governments met the challenge and produced a Declaration and a Programme of Action that could lead the world to real change.
For African Descendants, the Durban Declaration and Progamme of Action are historic. It acknowledge[d] that . . . the transatlantic slave trade. . . [is] among the major source and manifestations of racism” and that . . . Africans and People of African Descent. . . continue to be victims of [its] consequences. 1 The Declaration goes on to recognize colonialism has led to racial discrimination against Africans and People of African Descent, the consequences of which must be prevented. 2 The Declaration expressed a commitment to Africans and People of African Descent, including the eradification of all forms of racism, racial intolerance, xenophobia and other intolerance faced by African and People of African Descent (3)
The Declaration is accompanied by a very specific Programme of Action, of which Item 4 through Item 14 were specifically directed at Africans and People of African Descent. These items among other things called for states to take affirmative and positive initiatives in communities of primarily African Descendant, to ensure access to education and the inclusion of the history of African Descendant, to take steps to remove obstacles that prevent the full participation of People of African Descent, to ensure full and effective access to the justice system. 4 The Programme of Action also called for the United Nations and other international institutions to, among other things develop capacity building progcommunities of Africans and People of African Descent.
The Question, after eight years, is what progress has the states, the United Nations and other institutions made toward the elimination racism, particularly anti-Black racism. The Durban Review is designed to assess that progress. Like any Programme of Action, accountability is essential to assure effective and appropriate progress.
It is our view that the Durban Review is being hijacked by governments and members of civil society who do not have as their highest priority the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, especially for African and People of African Descent. This is evidenced by the lack of participation of both governments and civil society in this process particularly the withdrawal of several key governments such as Canada and Israel by the inadequate funding for the Durban Review, by the inadequate funding
and support of the participation of the civil society and the seeming lack of item by item critical analysis of progress governments have made towards the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action as it relates to African and People of African Descent.
There is time to correct the course.
We call for:
Full participation of governments around the world but particularly, the European Union, Canada, the United States, Brazil and other countries with high portion of People of African Descent;
Funding of the Durban Review be sufficient to undertake a critical analysis of Durban Declaration and Programme of Action;
Adequate funding and resources be provided to allow for full participation of the civil society, particularly allow full participation of Africans and People of African Descent from middle-income and low income societies;
A critical analysis be undertaken to assess government effectiveness in implementing the item 4 through item 14 of the Programme of Action which is directed at Africans and People of African Descent;
A critical analysis be undertaken to assess the states effectiveness in the progress on "remedies, reparations" for the modern day effect of the transatlantic slave trade and racial injuries;
An International summit on all aspects of the transatlantic slave trade including assessment of the modern day effect and racial injuries, organized under the auspices of the Working Group of Experts on Africans and People of African Descent;
The Working Group of Experts adopt the resolutions on Africans and People of African Descent presented to the 40th Forum in Banjul in 2006, 41st Forum in Accra in 2007, the 43rd Forum in Abuja in 2008 and the Brazil Forum in 2008, and the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, East Africa, Durban + 5 Roundtable Report April 18-20-2007.
1. Item 13, Declaration and Programme of Action, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, p. 16 (2001).
2. Item 14, Declaration and Programme of Action, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, p. 16 (2001).
3. Item 32 to Item 35, Declaration and Programme of Action, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, p. 21-22 (2001).
4. Item 32 to Item 35, Declaration and Programme of Action, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, p. 21-22 (2001).
See original doc:Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent joint stateme...
GENEVA -- Bob Brown, co-director of Pan-African Roots, arrived in Geneva, Switzerland on January 13, 2009, to attend the Eighth Session of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent which meets from January 12 to January 16, 2009. He is attending this Session as a representative of the International Indian Treaty Council, an NGO with ECOSOC Consultative Status.
Hosted by the UN Human Rights Council, the Eighth Session focused on an assessment of the work of the Working Group since its creation, evaluated what has been done, and how, and determining where to go from here, as well as developed its programme of work for the future, including its meetings, country visits and participation in the build-up process for the Durban Review Conference which will be held in Geneva in April 2009.
The Session devoted a day of analysis of the situation of children of African descent. It identified and shared best practices in the struggle against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, made suggestions about the Working Group's future programme of work, and made recommendations to be included in the Outcome Document which will be discussed and approved at the April 2009 Durban Review Conference.
Mr. Brown informed the Working Group about the Slavery Disclosure Ordinance in Chicago and other cities and about his historic and precedent-setting lawsuit to enforce them. He recommended that cities, counties, states/provinces, nations, regional and international organizations, and non-governmental organizations in every corner of Africa, the African Diaspora, and the World pass similar laws, resolutions, policies and regulations demanding the full disclosure of any and all slavery era records of any and all entities whom they do business with.
The 3rd World Conference against Racism declared that "slavery and the slave trade are crimes against humanity, and should have always been so." Mr. Brown informed the Working Group, that the majority of African People in the United States, and other corners of the world, do not agree with the latter part of this declaration.
He informed the Working Group that the UN Human Rights Council and they have an obligation to explain to World Humanity when, where, how and why slavery and the slave trade were prohibited and abolished in every country in the world; when and how they where declared crimes against humanity, and why this did not apply to African People.
The Regional Preparatory Meeting for Africa for the Durban Review Conference which met in Abuja, Nigeria from 24-26 August 2008, requested that the Human Rights Council organize a seminar or panel discussion on all aspects of the transatlantic slave trade provisions of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the UN General Assembly resolutions 61/19 and 62/122, taking into consideration African Union initiatives on this issue, and include its findings and recommendations in the Preparatory Process and the Durban Review Conference.
The Representative of the South African Delegation to the Working Group's Eighth Session, on South Africa's and the Africa Group's behalf, requested yesterday, that grass-roots meetings be held in every corner of Africa and the African Diaspora.
Mr. Brown suggested that "The Evolution of the Global Prohibition Regime against the Slave Trade and Slavery" be included as a theme or issue in these seminars, panels and/or meetings.
Mr. Brown suggested that Chicago be one of these venues, during the week of March 25, 2009--the "International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Slave Trade and Slavery."
Chicago is the capital of black economics and politics in the United States. It is the only city in the United States which has produced 20 out of 50 Aldermen, 3 of 7 Congressmen, 1 Senator and a President-elect of African Descent. It is also the legal and political center of the Reparations Movement, and the struggle to disclose slavery era records. Mr. Brown believes that the African Community in Chicago is well positioned to host such a historic gathering.
A panel discussion titled "Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Challenges for the Durban Review Conference: Remembrance, Apologies, and Remedies" was held on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, from 13:00 to 15:00 hours, in Room XXIV of the Palais de Nations.
Participants included: Malaak Shabazz, (daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz); Joe Frans, chairperson of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; Professor Rex Nettleson, chair of the International Scientific Committee to the UNESCO Slave Route Project, Dr. Barryl Biekman, National Platform Dutch Slavery Past; and Jon Lonn, Swedish Centre Against Racism. Mrs. Margaret Parsons, Afro-Canadian Legal Clinic will moderate the discussion.
The panel was organized by the World Against Racism Network, Afro-Canadian Legal Clinic, Swedish Centre Against Racism, Afro-Swedish National Association, International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations and National Dutch Slavery Past.
Mr. Brown also took the occasion of his visit to Switzerland to raise similar concerns with the International Olympics Committee. He informed the IOC that the Chicago Slavery Era Disclosure Ordinance applies to any and all stakeholders in the Chicago 2016 bid, including but not limited to any and all of the National Olympic Committees and Teams.
Simply put, they cannot receive any services, benefits, support or guarantees from the City of Chicago unless and until their Governments search and disclose any and all of their and any and all of their Royal and Leading Families' slavery era records.
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