Friday, April 24, 2009
During his European debut, a reporter in Strasbourg, France asked President Obama if he subscribes to the school of “American Exceptionalism” as did his predecessors. Being the first Black president and known as a uniter, the question weighs heavy in irony since America’s self-grandiosity is tied to military aggression and presidential legacies that are littered with unapologetic ethnic and cultural indifference. Although not a common term, African Americans should form long lines like voting to get information whenever the subject of “Exceptionalism” is mentioned.
Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville coined “Exceptionalism” in his 1835 book Democracy in America to describe the notion that America considers itself a superior and trustworthy nation that’s favored by God to play a special political, economic, religious, and military role in the world . . . Therefore, U.S. values and policies are presupposed by Americans as right and best for all nations to follow. Nothing is inherently wrong or unjust with any country espousing “Exceptionalism.” The problem and danger is when such views are pursued or imposed at the human or sovereign expense of others.
America’s brand of “Exceptionalism” took Machiavellian detours along the way for the worst. Yes, it verbally professes “Equality and Justice for All,” but at its core remains a prevailing Manifest Destiny for wealth, resources, and power that’s paved in blood and knows no bounds. Because of this duplicity, “American Exceptionalism” can only stand limited-level scrutiny before depths of contradictions and sensitivities are reached that this establishment prefers not to redress.
But all this is belied by “religious fluff” that cloaks what otherwise is inexcusable historical conduct engaged by both parties. Based on the puritanical overtones associated with its founding history and founding fathers, you would think America is spiritually incapable of human and civil rights violations that legalized enslavement and segregation to contrarily coexist with “democracy” for centuries, with impunity.
Today, the same arrogant nature of “Exceptionalism” allows America to “forgive itself” for the past and become an Evangelical arbiter that places labels of “evil” on nations with comparatively far less guilt. The U.S. government is also quick to holler “war crimes” against other nations, yet conversely doesn’t want U.S. soldiers, officials or mercenaries like Blackwater, subjected to possible prosecution for war crimes at the International Criminal Court – Even though Obama says “America does not torture.”
Politicians popularly say, “God bless America.” But it’s politically unthinkable to ever associate God with “punishment,” as did Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans who then had to apologize after Hurricane Katrina for saying, “God is mad at America . . . and doesn’t approve of Iraq.” “Exceptionalism” was also behind the denunciation of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Black Liberation Theology. (Note how the media bleeps-out the word “damn” where he says “God damn America” in his infamous sermon . . . as though it’s too unbearable to broadcast on airwaves that are already filthied with commercialized vulgarities, violence, and sexual content).
Protestant theologies stem from yearnings within groups to relate and appeal to God to address their specific hardships. The only difference between Black Liberation Theology and any other “Protestant” theology, like Lutheranism or Methodism, is that the “Protest” is directed against flagrances of America as opposed to the Catholic Church or British Crown. So of course, according to “Exceptionalism,” Rev. Wright and Black Liberation Theology must be discredited in the mainstream. This establishment will not sit silent and watch a Black president relate or appeal to God in ways that deem them transgressors. They’ve studied Aristotle well-enough at think tanks and Ivy institutions to know that a government must always give appearances of “uncommon devotion to religion” so that “subjects do less easily move against” it.
All in all, “Exceptionalism” has thrived ever since their formative years when Euro-Americans were considered roving bands of “Rebellious Brits” who defied King George III. Although the Declaration of Independence and Constitution clearly weren’t intended to apply to Black people, the same political elements of “Exceptionalism” that assured our past exclusion are now actively revising history right before our very eyes, by propagating Obama’s presidency as the long-awaited ethnic fulfillment of the founder’s “real” intents of democracy and equality.
Being a great idealist and well-schooled articulator of universal aspirations, Obama admitted America was “imperfect,” but he smoothed-over the question as though “Exceptionalism” only applies to America’s greatness, and as though his predecessors were all as race-neutral as he. Like his predecessors however his job is to defend America; deviances against us included. Even a Black president doesn’t alter the reality that we as Africans have integrated into an already-sovereign European society . . . And because of the hypnotic sways of this thing called “American Exceptionalism” we find ourselves paying tribute to heroes, holidays, and history that otherwise would make no political or logical sense.
This article was culled in part from Ezrah Aharone’s 2009 book, Sovereign Evolution (Chapter 4: “The Cloak of Exceptionalism”). He is also the author of Pawned Sovereignty and a founding member of the Center for Sovereignty Advancement. He can be reached at Ezrah@theCSA.org.
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Inventing an uncommon conversation about being free
Monday, April 20, 2009
BLACK BOOK AWARD GIVEN IN NAME OF YAHHA ABDUL KARIM
Pioneering Independent Black Writer, Publisher and Muslim, Yahya Abdul Karim “joined the ancestors” in 2008. 2009 will be one of only three years his presence will not be there, when Black Writers gather at Khalifah’s Estate to “validate and celebrate” Black writers at the 18th presentation of Black Book Awards for Excellence in Black Literature.
Brother Yahya will not be there but his spirit surely will. He was especially adept at recognizing, helping and encouraging new writers. Now that gift will continue to be shared. The Black Book Award for The Best New Book of the Year will be awarded in his memory. This Black Book Award will be renamed The Yahya Abdul Karim Best New Book of the year in which it is presented.
BLACK LITERARY WEEKEND: FIRST WEEKEND IN JUNE
Black Book Awards are presented to Black Writers during Black Literary Weekend. Yahya was married to Sister Linda Richardson [her professional name]. And it is Sister Linda who will be asked to present this award to the recipient in 2009. Yahya was a legend in his own time. “I am older than Brother Yahya, but he is my role model in publishing.” Said the Founder and General Manager of the Black Book Awards, Publisher H. Khalif Khalifah, at introductions of Yahya.
Khalifah is instrumental in bringing into print more than 600 different titles over a 35 year over 35 and counting, career. Before Khalifah published his first book, Yahya’s “Afrikan Name Book,” and several others that was published by AFRAM PRESS, Yahya’s company, was already in print.
A SERIOUS AND PROMOTION OPPORTUNITY IN A FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE
The Black Book Awards evolved out of “The Harlem Literary Arts Festival” in 1977 and 1978. Two events Founded and sponsored by UBUS [United Brothers Communications Systems]. Legends John H. Clarke,Queen Mother Moore, Ben Jochannan, Preston Wilcox, Reda Faard Khalifah & Amos Wilson, Ali Rashed, Simon Bly Jr. and Poet Rich Bartee, were among those “attended and participated,” in the historic conferences. Never before had anyone ‘celebrated’ the work of “Self Published Writers” on such a high level. Indeed, at that time, if you were “self published,” your work was stigmatized, marginzed – and no bookstore or distributor would carry your book for sale in their establishments.
With the founding of UBUS Communications Systems, Khalifah “flag ship” organization, he led a direct attack against this stigma. When researched, it turned out that discrediting of books that were “self published” was done by traditional publishers. Traditional publishers are white, or Caucasian publishers. Established to serve white writers, exclusively, black writers not only saw African history abused, misused and distorted, it was IMPOSSIBILE to get Traditional publishers to published their work with truthful accounts. UBUS have worked long and relentlessly to overcome this debiliting, devastating situation.
“It became habitual with me; when I experience something in the liberation struggle of African people that is out of order; or know SOMETHING should be where there is NOTHING, I work to rectify the situation as if no one else is doing the job.” Said Khalifah, in an interview in at his home, at the birthplace of Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia.
Khalifah says he did not come to his methodology in the beginning: “ When I first enjoined the Struggle, I looked to help somebody who was already doing the job,” not finding them, he went to work. Then at Our Families Protection Association Street Barzaar in 1981, Khalifah met Yahya Abdul Karim. And as they say in Alabama, “the rest is history in the making.”
The 18th presentation of Black Book Awards will be on June 5, 6 & 7. All who commit and participate will receive Black Book Award Citations and automatically be nominees to win Black Book Award in several categories categories. Please go to www.blackbooksaward.com or call (704) 277-1462
More About The 18th Black Book Awards for Excellence in Black Literature.
The family, Friends, Associates and Buyers of Independent: Black Writers, Vendors, Publishers and Distributors are invited to “attend and participate” in the Validation and Celebration of Black Literature that is produced and sold “By, For and about Black People” June 5, 6 & 7, 2009 – Attendance is Absolutely Free! [The first 50 who commit to come will be scheduled to speak on a First Class basis] www.blackbooksaward.com
“Nominate” your book, or any book you deem worthy of recognition, validating and celebrating with Black Book Awards, as it has been bestowed upon Black writers since 1978, including the following: Amos N. Wilson, John Henrik Clarke, Henry N. Anderson, Federick Newsome, Paul Lawrence Banks, Lisa Muhammad, Mauriscio Henderson, Amin Muhammad, Barashango Ikamusa, Imari Abubakari Obadele, Johnita Scott Obadele, Shahrazad Ali, Reda Faard Khalifah, Frances C. Welsing, Eric Gift, Luther Warner, Gloria Taylor Edwards, Ida B. Wells, Carter G. Woodson, George G. M. James, Na’im Akbar, Yusef Abdul Salaam, Lumumba Odinga, Nana Butweiku I, C.R.O.E., Hodari Ali, Keidi Awadu, Yayah Abdul Karim, Tony Martin, Laila O. Afrika, Sherman W. Jones, Del Jones, Ahmad N. Yahim, Judy Carter (Amuntyt Khalifah), Muata Ashby, Nancy H. Sweet, Aleisa Muhammad, Omar Reid, Lula B. Edwards, Carol Barnes, Ben Jochannan, Preston Wilcox, Ahmad Daniels, Omar Tyree, James Magee, Lavinia Magee, Kamau Kambon, Muwiah Kambon, Terrance Jackson, Baba Zulu, Marva Cooper, Pierre Marie Fequiere, LABO, Julio Rose, Tom S., Curtis Cost, John F. Hachett, Kimberly Jones, Bettye Holmes Chansamone, John Moodie, Jessie Hall, Malik H. Jabbar, Anna Swantson, Edgar J. Ridley, William F. Browne, Latif Tarik, Areeb malik Shabazz, John Muhammad, Adib Rashad, Nathaniel E. Dozier, Ruth Rice Swann, Ada Sherill, W. Edwards Smalls Jr, Kendryck V. C. Allen, Frank Yancy, Lemuel Mayhem, Naimo Mu’id, Kelvin K. King, G. G. Henderson, Dalani Aamon, Sundiata Acoli, Erick Penn, Phil Valentine, Dr. Nalani CND, PhD, Baruti Bafele, Opio Lumumba Sokoni, Nilene (Omodele Adeoti) Foxworth, Cynthia Boyd, Barbara Booker Wood, C. L. Bonner, Maaxeru Tep, Brother Sayif and too many others to name who have received the only validation & celebration of its kind in the world [IF YOU DON’T SEE YOUR NAME HERE, FORGIVE US: IF YOUR INSIST CALL (704) 277-1462 and we will find space for you. Remember, everything is free except for food, the Nat Turner trail: booksellers, including writers and Vendors pay a percentage of sales [limited to 50].
THE NAT TURNER TRAIL
The third day of what is commonly known as “black literary weekend” is given to a Return Tour to The Nat Turner Trail. The tour is a Living History Lesson. It is conducted by Seniors Tour Guides, ALEXIS JOYNER & H. KHALIF KHALIFAH. For more information, go to; www.blackbooksaward.com – www.blackwritersalliance.com – www.khalifahfarmproject.com
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Inventing an uncommon conversation about being free
Sunday, April 19, 2009
‘ There are sizeable Black African populations in south Libya, northern Chad and south Algeria – but less in the latter. I can hardly see any African-Arab Borderlands in 100-500-1000 years. The African people will be freed and taking a lead, turning the tables on the oppressors’. Garba Diallo –Mauritanian
‘Chad is a Black nation with a minority of Arabs in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Yes, southern Libya and Algeria are Black countries with millions of invisible oppressed Africans, but we do not hear their voices or see their faces’. Dr Jibril Abdelbagi - Darfuri
‘Despite the profoundness of the intercourse between Arab culture and Black, Bantu and Neolithic cultures, big or secondary, the relations between these two cultural worlds continues to be amongst the most unstable’. Prof Helmi Sharawy - Egyptian.
Those interested in African affairs would have noted the difficulties in following and understanding what goes on in the Afro-Arab Borderlands, hereinafter called the ‘Borderlands’, stretching from Mauritania on the Atlantic, through Mali, Niger and Chad, to Sudan on the Red Sea. This is not accidental but a deliberate conspiracy to conceal from Black Africa the goings-on by Arabian and western interests in this are of ambiguous relations. Fluency in Arabic give some access to the truth. Otherwise physical habitation over time opens the area up to comprehensive understanding. This is an area where African interests have historically been purchased ‘for a song’. Because of our weaknesses we now find our helplessness makes us the laughing stock of the global community as regards the on-going slaughter of Africans in Darfur. Not one African state has been able to raise a finger in defence of the Darfuri. Yet Darfur was proceeded by the 39 years of fighting in South Sudan, called ‘Africa’s longest war’, which war witnessed the same genocide, use of rape as a weapon, aerial bombardments , Mujadeen/Muraleen as witnessed today in Darfur. Africans remained silent during this tragedy. Something which Southern Sudanese will never forget or forgive. This text exposes the truths of the Borderlands. It was largely the work of the Bush Administration, Coleen Power and the white charismatic Churches in the United States which placed the world spotlight on Sudan, South Sudan and Darfur, leading to the issue of the International Criminal Court Writ (ICC) against Sudan President Bashir in March.
Along the Mali-Niger Borderlands, before colonisation, the Touaregs, were the sole masters of their region throughout the Sahara Desert. The coming of the European coloniser deprived them of their essential means of survival. Since then, and particularly after the self government of Mali and Niger, the Touaregs have continually rebelled against the regimes in the new states created by France, but with a clear objective in mind : the creation of a Touareg state, separate and independent. Between 1963 and 1990, several disputes took a tragic turn between the central government in Mali as well as in Niger, the Touaregs, and the sedentary populations. To better understand the hidden objective of these various disputes and/or rebellions, and the Touareg’s attitutude toward the newly independent states, one needs to consider several factors and to bear in mind that Touaregs are being settled today in Darfur in the villages from which the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa have been expelled by the Khartoum government. The Touareg, a black people, are completely Arabised and Islamised, culturally, whereas the Darfuri retain their African identity. The Touareg are to all intents and purposes Arabs.
The liberation of the slaves
In 1905 the French aggravated the downfall of the Touaregs by ablolishing slavery, and formally liberating the Touareg’s slave, the Imrads and the Bellas. Subsequently, in 1909, instructions were given to the local French authorities in Gao, Mali, pertaining to the new status of the slaves and their social insertion. The instructions also demanded that both the owners and the slaves be treated equally from then on. For the Touaregs, any attempt by the local colonial authorities to implement these instructions meant the destruction of their society and they were not prepared for that. They were indeed hurt both in their wealth and in their prejudices. The French later realised that they could not free the slaves, either mentally or physically. Slavery was deeply embedded in the way of life of both parties – the masters and the slaves, as it is in Mauritania today( Poussibet 1979: 37-39 ).
In the late 1950s by the Act of Law 57-7-27 of 20th January 1957, published in its official journal, the French government attempted to create an entity to accommodate nomads called the Common Organisation of the Saharan Regions (OCRS ). The proclaimed objective of this project was to ‘ take all appropriate measures which could improve the living conditions of the populations in general, and of the Touareg in particular, and to ensure their economic and social advancement within the framework of a development, which would take their culture and traditions into account ’.The project therefore aimed to remove some administrative departments and communities from four Saharan countries all having nomad populations – Algeria, French Sudan (now Mali ), Niger and Chad – and to reorganise them into a separate nomad state. Bear in mind that in those times French west Africa encompassed most of west Africa and was administered as one entity. France was preparing to balkanise its empire, breaking it up into pieces, which would become Independent states, in effect deconstructing Pan-Africa. The territories concerned were :
Two departments of Algeria: Saoura and Oasis
Three communities of French Sudan: Goundam, Tombouctou and Gao
Two communities of Niger :Tahaua and Agades
Three communities of Chad : Ennedi, Bornou and Tibesti
Although the project itself was withdrawn for obscure reasons, it most certainly triggered in the mind of the Touaregs the idea of an independent state free of the domination of their former black slaves, namely the leaders of the Independent states of Mali, Niger, and Mauritania. In the Borderlands, unlike in Southern Africa, colour is of little or no importance. What counts is culture. A man may be dark black, as most Touaregs are, but will consider himself an Arab, due to his adherence to Islam and practice of Arab culture dating back hundreds of years. The Arab arrival in Africa predates by many hundreds of years the arrival of Europeans in Southern Africa. The Darfuri, although black and Islamised, are considered by Khartoum as insufficiently Arabised and inferiors, and are thus considered to be Africans and worthy subjects of genocide.
The use of Arabic in education, administration and state affairs.
In 1960 the notabilities and the chiefs of the Adrar took advantage of an inspection trip by the civilian Chief Administrator of Gao to explain their perceptions of and wishes for the future administration of Mali. More than anything else they insisted upon giving primacy to the teaching of Arabic over that of French, and securing equitable jobs/positions within the newly created administrative structures for community members who were literate in Arabic (Diallo 1960 ). It is obvious that the implementation of such measures meant the systematic exclusion of non-Arabic speaking ethnic groups. Thus governance and all other forms of participation in power and in the management of power in the northern regions would be the responsibility and the privilege of the Arabs, the Touaregs and the Moors of Moroccan descent.
The attitude of Libya
As soon as he came to power, Colonel Qaddafi, of Arabo-Berber descent, expressed his ambition to create a Saharan state which would include all the Sahelo-Saharan countries, especially those inhabited in their northern territories by the Kel-Tamasheq. In 1989, on the twentieth anniversary of the Libyan Revolution, it was declared that Mali, Niger and Chad were part of the Arab world. Meanwhile young nomads were receiving military training to go to fight in Israel, Lebanon and Chad. Some of them were later directed to Mali and Niger to organise themselves into liberation movements (Toure 1999 ).
In the mid-1990s, when Libya became a target of the French and the Americans, and because of the political and economic difficulties of the country, with the embargo and travel restrictions amongst others, this project was temporarily abandoned. Yet Libya encouraged the former combatants to organise themselves into a movement called the Azawad Liberation Movement.
The attitude of the French authorities in the late 1980s
The French authorities have played an important role in the pursuit of the Touareg rebellions. After the Baule Summit meeting of the Francophone Head of State in Africa in 1989, the proclaimed objective of which was ‘the democratisation’ of African states by all means possible, the French authorities found in the 1990 Touareg rebellion in Mali a unique chance to end the regime of the Second Republic in Mali. The rebels were therefore provided with humanitarian assistance, the most sophisticated communications tools and spies to convey their message throughout West Africa in general and in the Sahel in particular (Diakite 2006).
Secret meetings were held and receptions were frequently organised with the Touaregs ( Gaudio 1992: 6-7 ) and in 1994 France accused the political authorities of Mali and Niger of genocide against their Arab populations, namely the Touaregs. It is difficult to tell exactly when the different components of the larger Azawad Liberatiion Movement were formed. The following have, none the less, played a significant role in the Touareg rebellions:
The Azawad Popular Movement (MPA), based in the Kidal region and composed of all the Touareg ethnic groups, in addition to some Arabs and Moors.
The Azawad Arab Islamic Front, based in Mauritania and essentially composed of the Arabs of Timbuktu, the Kel antasser of Goundam, the Kuntas and the Cherifs, descendants of Prophet Muhammad
The Azawad Liberation Popular Front (FPLA), composed of the Shamanamas and other Touareg groups
The Azawad Revolutionary Army mainly composed of dissidents of the MPA and FPLA
The Azawad National Front
All these movements were later combined to form the Azawad Unified Front. For lack of an independent Touareg state, the leaders of these movements finally suggested that the three northern regions, Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, which make up more than half of the total size of Mali, be granted a particular statute to facilitate their social and economic development.
Following difficult negotiations in Algiers under the mediation of Algeria, a National Pact was signed on the 11th April 1991 between the government of Mali and the representatives of the Azawad Unified Fronts and Movements. This pact was meant to put an end to all attacks and ethnic-related conflicts and facilitate the social and economic integration of the populations of the northern regions. The causes of the rebellions was the lack of consideration for Arab minority groups, social injustice towards the Touaregs, the attitude of the colonial administration before self-government and of the leaders of the first and second Republics of Mali ( 1960-68 and 1968-91 respectively ). These are often put forth by the technical and financial partners as the reasons for the development in the western Sahel and northern regions of the privileging of abusive Arabised minority groups over numerically dominant African ones. In other words, there had developed a form of reverse discrimination which might undermine all efforts made for peaceful cohabitation in the Sahelian communities.
The severe droughts of the 1970s and 1980s hardly hit the northern regions of Mali, Mauritania, Niger and even Burkina Faso, but the social and economic fabric of these countries degraded significantly. The armed conflicts which followed, commonly called the ‘Touareg rebellions’, contributed to the aggravation of an already chaotic situation. Urban centres in the north were quiet often attacked by ’armed bandits’ and tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people were killed or forced to migrate to neighbouring countries. Inter-community tensions rapidly grew among the different ethnic groups.
In its handling of the consequences of these long years of drought on the one hand, and of the rebellions of the 1980s and the 1990s on the other, the government of Mali, with the assistance of its bilateral and multilateral partners, tended to favour the Arabs and the Touaregs, to the detriment of the sedentary black communities. These communities had initially suffered from drought and the incessant attacks of the combatants of the different Azawad Liberation Movements and of the ‘armed bandits’ later on. This favouring of the Arab communities was the impression that the layman had of the food distribution organised by local government authorities with the assistance of non-governmental organisations. We should recall here that Prof Alpha Konare, former head of state of Mali, became Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity/African Union (OAU/AU). Konare had long exposure to the Afro-Arab conundrum as indicated in this research, in his home country, Mali.
The formation of the Gandakoy Movement on the 9th May 1994 is an illustration of the reaction of an black ethnic group, frustrated and frequently submitted to injustice, racial discrimination and/or exclusion. This movement represented an ethnic reaction to the suffering of the sedentary populations following the violent attacks of the Touareg rebellions. The failure of successive Malian governments to find solutions to these problems lead to the black sedentary populations taking the law into their own hands and resorting to arms. This movement obtained international media coverage. Gandakoy effected cross border communities in Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
In a news item dated 27th January 2009 headlined ‘ Conflict intensifies in northern Mali despite Algiers Accord’, it was reported that the Malian army had stepped-up its fight with the Touareg rebels in the countries northern region of Kidal. Despite Algeria’s mediation, the rebel leader Ibrahim Ag Bahanga stated that war in the ‘ only option’. Algeria has mediated for years between the warring factions inthis Borderland conflict. Nothing in this western news item indicates that, lik e the Darfur conflict in Sudan, the Touareg conflict finds its roots in the Afro-Arab interchange, which is found from Mauritania on the Atlantic through Mali, Niger and Tchad to Sudan on the Red Sea. This area of Africa has always been a low or high intensity ( hot or cold ) conflict zone. Whereas Arabia is on the offensive as seen currently in Sudan, and at the Qatar Summit, African reaction remains one of denial.
[Originally published as Special Feature
entitled ‘ New horizons for Pan-Africanism/African Nationalism ‘,
*B.F.Bankie, former Researcher, Kush Institution, Office of the President, Juba, South Sudan
Diakite.S (2006) Racial prejudices and inter-ethnic conflicts- The case of the Afro-Arab Borderlands in the Western Sahel, appearing in the book Racism in the Global African experience edited by K.K.Prah, published by CASAS, Cape Town, South Africa, text of a paper delivered at WCAR,Durban, 2001
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Inventing an uncommon conversation about being free
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Declare South Sudan Independence, Now.
I have been contemplating about writing this topic for a long time. But something keeps me from writing it. One of the days I went to bed at 12:00 midnight and I dreamt in my sleep that South Sudan had declared unilateral independence, and it had been recognized by a dozen nations in the region and internationally.
So when I awoke there was no such news, and I guess my brain was screwed.
Now what? I would get into my favourite subject of all subjects in the world of politics today (South Sudan independence). Though politic is not where I am good at, I would try my best to put my ideas into intellectual perspective.
Nowadays if you listen to news coming out of Southern Sudan, and you do really care about that land, you feel depressed and demoralized. There South Sudan has the right to self declare Unilateral Independence and they haven't been able to do so.
If you have been listening to news coming out of South Sudan, it's depressing and demoralizing. There is tribal feud all over South nagging on every issue that arises.
For me, that is a bad taste. I would want a government which is tough and decisive on issues coming out of post war Sudan. In Southern Sudan today, anybody can do anything they want and they know they will get away with it. Why? Because there is no rule of law. Government is there nominally. They are not doing anything per se. You are stabbed in the back several times, slapped in the face 4 times and and nothing is done about it, until the daywhen you fall and collapse.
Have I bored you? OK I promise I'll be done here. Here is what I want; GOSS should declare the independence of South Sudan now. Why am I advocating on this subject only?
It is because I want South Sudan to stand on its own feet without support from a third party. Today South Sudan can be pushed down from its unstable feet by the Sudan government. If we declare unilateral independence today, we will have a lot of benefits and solve our own problems too.
The benefits of unilateral independence are:
- Stable South Sudan
Freedom from oppression
However, there would be problems that we would have to tackle, for instance:
- Tribal feuds
Lack of qualified civil servant
Yet, all of the above problems would need tackling from day one of independence but am not worried about them, because we are already dealing with them. As long we get the benefits above, then am not going to spend my time worrying about them because we can solve them without interference from a third party (Sudan Government).
In addition, the Government of Sudan today is at it weakest point in their 20 years of mismanagement and genocidal war against the south. Today they are cornered and they are trying to survive. They are saving their regime from collapsing. But who is helping them to survive today?
My guess would be GOSS, would that be fair to say?
I hate to say that but then I would not like to shut up either because I belong to the South and am entitled to my opinion. If the GOSS declares unilateral independence, the GOS would be cut off from interfering in the South. They would not be able to support militias because they will have no supply lines.
There will be no southern politician hiding in Khartoum claiming to be representing us while he's there promoting personal agendas and begging for welfare money.
Are you with me? I'm coming to conclusion. GOSS is not capable of toppling GOS, so self declaration of independence should be the solution to the South Sudan. We will still have problems of Abyiei and Blue Nile, Nuba Mountain. However, they are already problematic, but I guess GOSS has lose grip of those areas already and GOS is spreading deeper southward ( Malakal).
Let me say , we will get into that solution when we are free but not when we are squeezed southward which is the joy of GOS.
Furthermore, we will try referendum in those areas of Abyiei, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains, and if voting does work, we will fight as two independent nations. We will lock in all the militia leaders and grumpy politicians in the south.
Above all we will be free. We will be moving to one direction. We will blame ourselves for our mistakes instead of pointing fingers to others. FREEDOM is not free, you fight for it. You earn it.
Written by Anyar Ngang Alith,
The New Sudan Vision (NSV)
Wednesday, 25 March 2009 22:06
*Anyar Ngang is the moderator forRally for South Sudan Independence website.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Inventing an uncommon conversation about being free
Monday, April 13, 2009
AUTHOR: Stephanie Morris
AUTHOR URL: http://www.stephaniemorris.webs.com
GENRE/THEME: Interracial Sensual Romance
PUBLISHER: Amira Press
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2009
URL TO THE BUYING PAGE: http://www.amirapress.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&...
EXCERPT RATING: PG-13
Kristen Smith loves to work with children and her life-long dream of opening her own childcare center has finally come true. Everything couldn’t be more perfect until her high school sweetheart walks through front door with his son in tow. Randy Stroud was the "one" that she has never gotten over. She has never understood why he’d ended their relationship but it was obvious that he’d moved and she was more than willing to pretend that she has.
Randy smiled to himself when he looked over at his three-year-old son, Wade. He was taking him to enroll him into the new day care center that had just been opened. Being the sheriff of Appling County was a tough and demanding job at times, but he loved it. The downside was that there were times when he was on call twenty-four-seven, but when he wasn’t, he spent all of his time with Wade. His son was his life. One of his deputies, Gary, had recommended the new day care. His sister had enrolled her children and had nothing but good things to say about the day care and its owner. She seemed to work very well with children. There were two other day care centers in Baxley, but Gary was a pretty reliable guy, so Randy was going to take his advice and look at the day care center. His mother had been watching Wade when he needed her to, but she was getting up in age, and she shouldn’t have to keep a rambunctious three-year-old, whether she enjoyed it.
He cut off the engine to his truck after he pulled up in front of the decorative building. It would appeal to the eye of a child. Hoisting his thirty-two-year-old body out, he walked around to the passenger side and opened the door to the back seat. Wade had been an excuse for him to get the larger truck he always wanted. Randy’s frame was too large for a car. It was dangerous for a child Wade’s age to ride in the front seat, even if he was in a car seat. So the double cab truck was the perfect solution. He unbuckled Wade out of his car seat, Wade hopped into his arms, and Randy shut the door to the truck. He made his way up the steps. Randy opened the door and stepped inside. It closed behind him but not loud enough to draw the attention of the woman who stood behind the counter. He grinned when he recognized her.
They had grown up together in Baxley, although she was four years younger than him. In high school, he and her older brother Max had been good friends and had played on the football team together.
She looked up in surprise then smiled.
“Good morning, Sheriff. Good morning, Wade. What brings the two of you to this side of town?”
“I came to see if I could enroll Wade into day care here.”
Zebbie gave him a concerned look. “Is your mom sick?”
He shook his head. “No, but the fact you just asked the question let’s me know I’m doing the right thing.”
Zebbie reached under the counter and pulled out a clipboard with paperwork on it. “Fill this out, and when you are finished, let me know.”
He nodded and walked over to the chair and took a seat. If he didn’t know any better he would say Zebbie looked nervous, although he couldn’t figure out why. Shrugging the thought off he turned his attention to the paperwork in front of him. Wade settled onto his lap, and he began to fill out the paperwork. They were simple questions like Wade’s age, if he was potty trained, and other questions to determine how much individual attention Wade needed. Once Randy answered all of the questions, he handed the clipboard to Zebbie. She gave the paperwork a once-over, then looked up at him.
“Okay, follow me to the conference room.”
They were led to a room with a large table and three chairs. There was also a small table with four little chairs and a large toy box sitting next to it. Wade eyed them with obvious hope and then looked up at him. Zebbie left the room, and Randy led Wade to the table where they could have a seat.
“You will have to wait to see if you can play with the toys.”
Wade nodded like he had all of the patience in the world, a deception that would fool any person who hadn’t been in the presence of his son for more than five minutes. While Wade was well behaved, it would dissipate. Wade ventured over to the smaller table and sat in one of the chairs. It resembled the set he had at home. Randy glanced down at his watch just when the door opened. He froze in surprise when he saw who stood there. It was Kristen, the only woman he ever loved and had never been able to tell.
* * * *
Shocked, Kristen stared at the man in front of her. She fought the instant reaction of wanting to rub her eyes to make sure they weren’t deceiving her. It had been six years since she had last seen him. Six years that she tried to forget him, and now, she realized it had all been in vain. She was more in love with him now than she had been when she was a teenager. He seemed to have become more handsome than she recalled. His brown eyes still held the mystery they used to, and his light blond hair was cut short, yet still long enough to show his hand had been raked through it several times despite the early hour. He looked taller. His shoulders were broader, and he it looked as though he exercised to stay in shape judging by the way his uniform fit.
Kristen gave herself a mental shake. What was she doing? Drooling over a man whom she shouldn’t be. Looking down at the paperwork in her hands, she used the distraction to collect her thoughts and herself. If she had read it before entering the room, she wouldn’t have been unprepared. It was too late to think about that now. She stepped farther into the room and closed the door behind her. Walking over to Randy, she held her hand out to him and hoped he would shake it.
“It is a pleasure to see you again, Mr. Stroud.”
Before he could react to her formal attitude, Kristen continued. “Wade is more than welcome to enroll at the day care center. I would like to explain some things to you about the operations of my center, and then you make your final decision.”
Her gaze drifted over to Wade, and another pang traveled through her chest. He was a carbon copy of Randy, and he should be their son but wasn’t. What made it even worse was that there was no reason why he wasn’t.
Randy had walked away from her with no explanation at all. After walking over to the little boy, she knelt beside him.
“Hi, Wade. My name is Ms. Smith.”
He gave her a brief look then looked to his father for approval. When Randy gave it, Wade smiled before speaking. “Hi, Ms. Smith.”
“How old are you, Wade?”
Kristen’s mouth curled upward in amusement. He was such a sweetheart. “Do you see the box over there?”
He nodded eagerly, and she grinned. She explained to him that it was full of toys he could play with while she talked to his dad. “But you must put the toys up when you are finished playing with them.”
He agreed to the bargain, and she stood. Once she was out of his way, he headed to the toy box. She walked over to where Randy was sitting and took the empty chair next to him.
“You are good with kids.”
“Thank you. Now to discuss the business of . . .” She stopped when Randy’s hand touched hers.
“How have you been?”
“Fine, now if we could get—”
“Talk to me, Kristen.”
She shook her head and tried to pull her hand back, but he wouldn’t let her. “There is nothing to talk about, Mr. Stroud.”
He refused to let her distract him with her formality. Instead, he leaned forward. “Yes, there is.”
“What is there to talk about?”
“You can tell me how you have been.”
“I already have.”
“Kristen, I know we didn’t end on a good note, but the past is the past.”
Her eyebrows rose in disbelief. “It may be easy for you, but it isn’t easy for me. You know me well enough to know that I don’t make the same mistake twice.”
She held up her hand. “A long time ago, you broke my heart, and it took a long time for the wound to heal. Needless to say, I don’t want to open the wound again.” She looked down at the papers she was organizing. Her hand trembled before she steadied it. “Now, if you want, Wade can stay today. I will just need you to fill out these forms and he can.”
As she handed the forms to him, she explained what they were. One was a medical emergency form giving them permission to take Wade to the hospital if needed. Another asked about his history of health and immunizations. The last form explained the payment that was expected and when.
“Do you have any questions?”
He shook his head, and she knew he was being dishonest. His eyes told her he was.
“Not at the moment.”
Kristen knew he had as many questions for her as she had for him, and none of her questions was related to the paperwork.
“Good, then fill out these forms and he can stay today.”
He remained silent, but she could feel his gaze burning a hole into her, and she looked up. “Is something wrong?”
He shook his head. “I was just looking at how beautiful you are?”
She wanted to disagree with him, but his heated stare told her he still believed it. Her curly dark brown hair fell a few inches below her shoulder blades. Randy had always loved her hair and in the past could never resist touching it. Today, she had pulled her hair back into a French braid, a style that complemented her creamy cocoa colored face. She stared at him with milk chocolate eyes she tried to keep devoid of emotion, and it was a difficult task. Letting Randy go after he broke up with her had been hard to do, and now with all of the emotions bubbling to the surface at the sight of him, Kristen wondered if she had ever really moved on.
Looking down at his left hand, she looked for a ring or a ring tan line, and when she didn’t find one, she frowned. From what she heard, he should be married. Was he divorced? She tampered down the excitement rising to the surface. Baxley wasn’t a small place, but with a population a little under forty-five hundred, a few major events still got around. Like it had when she and her sisters had moved to Baxley with their mother. To this day, they were the only triplets to have lived in Baxley.
She was pulled from her thoughts when he leaned forward and brushed his hand against her cheek. Her eyes widened with weariness, and she had to force herself not to pull away. She couldn’t let him know his touch affected her.
“Give me a chance, Kristen.”
She did pull away then. This was exactly what she didn’t want. Couldn’t afford to give into. She already suffered one heartache, and that was plenty.
“Give you a chance to what?”
He gave her a gentle smile. “I want a chance to make things right between us.”
Kristen shook her head. It was something she couldn’t allow to happen. She looked over at Wade. “I don’t think your wife would approve.” Randy held up his left hand. She furrowed her eyebrows together in puzzlement. She heard he had married six years ago, but she hadn’t heard anything about a divorce. “Are you one of those guys who doesn’t wear a wedding ring?”
His lips curled upward. “I’m not married, and I never have been.”
She remained silent. That only meant she didn’t know Randy like she thought she did. He always seemed to be the kind of guy that would do the honorable thing and marry the mother of his child.
“Then his mother wouldn’t approve of it.”
He shrugged. “I doubt she would even be concerned.”
The comment bothered her. How could he be so unconcerned about flirting with one woman while he was involved with another? Randy continued speaking, not giving her the chance to respond.
“I know I hurt you. I also know I made a mistake. It is a mistake I plan to correct. I wanted you six years ago, and I want you now although this time it is for keeps.”
Kristen pulled away and stood up. “Finish filling out these papers, and I will take Wade and show him the rest of the center.”
At the mentioning of his name, Wade looked up. Kristen walked over to him. “Would you like to take a look around?”
He looked over at his father, and when Randy nodded. Wade did the same. That Wade always wanted approval from his father before he made contact with strangers was comforting. She held out her hand, and he took it. “We are going to meet some of the children your age.”
She led him from the conference room to the main room. This was the room where the three-, four-, and five-year-olds spent the majority of their time.
“This is where you will spend a lot of time.” She explained this would be the place where he would improve his counting and alphabet, writing, and drawing skills. “This is also the place where you will take your nap.”
Wade frowned at the idea, which gave her the indication that naptime wasn’t his favorite activity, and she laughed as she led him out of the room. She showed him the kitchen where he would eat breakfast, lunch, and a snack. Wade’s face lit up at the mention of food.
“Now it is time to meet some of your classmates.”
She led him to a large room where all of the kids were sitting, waiting for story time. “This is where we come for story time. Would you like to stay and hear the story?”
She led him over to his age group. “Good morning, everyone. This is Wade, and he is going to be joining us today.”
Everyone welcomed him, and his face lit up. She knelt down in front of him. “I need to finish speaking with your dad, but I will be back to check on you.”
He nodded, and she stood and took a deep breath trying to prepare herself to go back in to talk to Randy. When she returned to the conference room, he looked up briefly. She studied him when he looked down to add his signature to the last page. She blinked when he shuffled the papers back into their original order and handed them back to her.
“Would you like for Wade to stay today?”
“Yes. I will be back to pick him up at six.”
“That is fine. Our hours are five in the morning to six-thirty in the evening. If there is ever a time when you are running late, just call and let us know.”
He stood. “If I am running late, my mom or dad will come and pick him up. I put them down as the next of kin. They also have permission to pick him up when I can’t do so.”
Kristen smiled. “Okay.”
A strange expression materialized on his face, and she wondered what he was thinking. Curiosity coursed through her, and she fought it. She wanted to know, but she wasn’t going to ask. The last thing she should do was give him any indication there was any interest on her part. Instead she walked him to the entrance of her day care.
“It was good to see you again,” she replied casually.
He grinned. “It was good to see you, too.”
She wanted to stand there and watch as Randy got into his truck and drove off but knew it would be a bad idea. Instead, she turned and headed back into the day care. For the first time since Randy walked into, she allowed herself to react. Her knees gave out, and she collapsed against the wall. Randy had a way of making her weak in the knees. It was more than his sexiness. Randy always affected her in a way that no other man had. To be honest, she was surprised she was just now running into him. Kristen would never admit that she had been trying to avoid him. She had done a good job up until now. The only thing she wondered was if he was using Wade to get to her. She wasn’t the only person with a day care center. He had to have known this day care center was hers. Then again, she hadn’t placed any official advertisements. It hadn’t been needed. Word of mouth traveled faster.
Still, to have him show up with his son had hurt. When she found out about Wade several years ago, she had been upset. It bothered her that the son Randy had wasn’t with her. Wade should have been theirs. He would have been if Randy hadn’t called off their relationship. What had annoyed her even more was the fact that he had moved on. She hadn’t moved. She never had. There was no one else for her. She knew from the time she laid eyes on him. Randy was a good man. He had always been good to her. Even today she was puzzled as to why Randy had called their relationship to an end.
What irritated her now was he thought he could just walk back into her life and they could pick up where they left off. She didn’t like it, and she wouldn’t fall for it. After the way Randy broke her heart, he would have to prove that he wanted her back. Shaking her head to clear it, she groaned. She was going to hear it from her sisters when she made it home this evening, but it would be worth it because she needed their advice on this one.
See Stephanie Morris' profile on TheBlackList Pub
Inventing an uncommon conversation about being free
Sunday, April 12, 2009
read more | digg story
Saturday, April 11, 2009
African American Women's Health
This came my way. If you want to do a masters in Boston, concentrating on African American women's health, Suffolk University is offering free tuition. Thus far , Suffolk has only received 1 application for this program.From: Angelique Shofar
I am writing to you in hopes that you can help spread the word about this one-of-a-kind scholarship opportunity for a student to develop leadership in African American women's health. Despite our efforts to publicize the full-tuition scholarship, we have gotten literally only one application for this year, so we are reaching out to our networks, including our advisory board members, to spread the word. It's such a valuable opportunity for the right person, it would be a shame to let it go to waste.
Scholarship to Build Leadership in the Field of African American Women's Health The Master of Arts in Women's Health (MAWH) program at Suffolk University (Boston) is pleased to offer a competitive, annual, fulltuition scholarship to a student committed to working in the field of Black women's health. Funded by the Suffolk University College of Artsand Sciences, this scholarship is designed to develop leadership in an area that will contribute to the health and well-being of African American women and girls.
By virtually every marker of health and health care status, African American women suffer unjustly. African American women are less likely than white women to have health insurance and are more likely to be dependent upon the political vagaries of Medicaid policies. African American women confront particularly high rates of cervical cancer, diabetes, hypertension, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS infection, and maternal mortality.
For these patterns to change:
Government policies need to redress longstanding racial disparities in health care access. Medical institutions need to develop programs that improve patient care for Black women. Health care providers need to cultivate communication skills that show respect for the strengths and diversity of Black women and that acknowledge financial limitations that may interfere with health maintenance.
Community leaders need to work towards building environments that are safe and healthy for Black women and their families.Educators need to address how African American women can make the healthy choices that facilitate healthy minds and bodies.African American women need training in self-care and self-advocacy.
The MAWH Scholarship to Build Leadership in the Field of African American Women's Health aims to train gifted and dedicated students to work effectively in all of these arenas.
To apply for the Scholarship please submit by no later than April 15:
(1)The standard application materials required for the MAWH; to view, click below. >
(2) A substantive essay addressing: (a) What are the core health issues facing Black women? (b) How did you come to develop an interest in Black women's health? (c) What do you hope to learn in the MAWH program that will help you develop as a leader in the field of Black women's health? (d) What does being a leader in the field of Black women's health mean to you? (e) Describe your ideal job in this field!
Questions? Please see:
Center for Women's Health and Human RightsDirector,
Master of Arts in Women's HealthSuffolk University
8 Ashburton Place,
Beacon Hill Boston, MA 02108
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
On Monday, April 6, 2009, Bob Brown, co-director of Pan-African Roots, filed pro se, in the Circuit Court of Cook County , an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against Chicago ’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
The Chicago 2016 committee; Patrick G. Ryan, its Chairman and CEO; the City of Chicago ; Mayor Richard M. Daley; the City Council of Chicago and Alderman Edward M. Burke are named as Defendants.
Copies of the Emergency Motion, Complaint and requested Order were served on Defendants. A complimentary copy was sent to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation team which arrived in the Windy City on April 2d, for a site visit.
Mr. Brown argues, among other concerns, that the guarantee made by the Chicago 2016 committee and the City of Chicago in their bid book, that there will be no 1st Amendment-protected protests in Chicago and its vicinity one week before, during and one week after the 2016 Olympic Games is unconstitutional and unenforceable.
“There is no 1st Amendment-protected right or compelling state interest to hold an Olympic event in Chicago ,” Mr. Brown said. “But we do have a 1st Amendment-protected right to hold protests before, during and after the Games; and we will exercise that right!”
Mr. Brown also argues that the Chicago 2016 committee and all of its stakeholders are in knowing, willful and deceitful violation of the Chicago Slavery Era Disclosure Ordinance. They have failed to file, and/or committed perjury on, their Economic Disclosure Statement, which includes a Certificate of Slavery Era Business.
There are 205 National Olympic Committees in the International Olympic Committee. All of them except the United States Olympic Committee are owned, controlled and financed by their respective governments. All of them must file search and disclose their slavery era recrods if they are to receive any benefits, financial or material from the City of Chicago. At least 6 countries in Europe, dozens of countries in Africa, and every country in the Western Hemisphere were involved, in one way or another, in the Transatlantic slave trade and slavery.
“The Chicago Slavery Era Records Disclosure Ordinance is crystal clear,” Mr. Brown said, “failure to file an Economic Disclosure Statement and to certify that you have searched and disclosed any and all of your and your predecessor entities’ slavery era records, or lying that you did, is a crime in the City of Chicago .”
“No slavery era records, no Olympic Games in Chicago ,” he declared!
"We are honored to file this lawsuit on the eve of the Durban Review Conference which will convene in Geneva, Switzerland from April 20-24, 2009," he continued. President Obama, and the United States government, might boycott the meeting, unfortunately, but Bob Brown will be there."
Mr. Brown is asking the Court for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. For more information and/or a copy of the filings, contact us at email@example.com.
The hearing was continued until 9:15 am, today, April 7, 2009 in Room 2301 of the Daley Center, 50 Wst Washington Street, Chicago, IL.
We invite all who in the area to stop by the courtroom, and observe "justice," Chicago-style!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
For more information, contact
Bob Brown, co-director
Office: (202) 544-9355
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands ( Advance copy – n.b. this is a pre-publication announcement and the original shall be released on the 6th April, 2009)
Courtenay Barnett has today transmitted his “Prison and Penal Reform in the Turks and Caicos Islands: A Position Paper for Improvements in the Prison System” to His Excellency, the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands ( TCI) for delivery to the Secretary of State in London, England . This scholarly work is a call to action for the British Government to fulfill a duty to the people of the TCI in regard to obligations existing under Article 73 of the United Nations Charter.
Mr. Barnett draws upon his personal experience as a defence attorney in the TCI, and his academic research to define the problems in the penal system as it currently exists and presents practical actions for mitigating them. There has been a steady rise in crime from 1986 to 2009 in the TCI, with a tendency toward more violent crimes, which can be traced to certain internal and external factors that have affected the indigenous population. As prison sentencing has increased, this increase in imprisonment has resulted in a shortage of capacity in the local prison facility. The simple choice given the Secretary of State is either to invest in building more prisons, or to invest in cost effective programmes that can reduce the need for imprisonment. The TCI is offered as a laboratory in a small controlled environment for testing policies and programmes designed to minimise recidivism.
The primary material factors contributing to the rising crime problem in the TCI are: colonial neglect; a highly skewed economic distribution accompanied by a desire for material possessions exceeding the earned income of many inhabitants; governmental and public administration corruption on the part of the colonial appointees and local elected officials; illegal migration; illegal guns; and illicit drug related activity. Realising that the TCI is not economically viable without external support, the people of the TCI have shown that they are unwilling to accept political independence. The well-being for the TCI therefore remains the legal obligation of the British Government imposed by Article 73 of the UN Charter, which states that as a member state having assumed responsibility for a territory must “…ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned, their political, economic, social, and educational advancement, their just treatment, and their protection against abuses.” Hence, Mr. Barnett appeals to the Secretary of State for specific grants to address these issues as a matter of legal duty towards the TCI.
Addressing income earning potential for the population between the ages of 16 to 35, the age group most prone to engage in criminal activity, he suggests that Her Majesty’s Government establishes a non-political and non-partisan office of ‘Youth Commissioner’. The main focus of this position would be: implementation of a programme to assess and guide the individuals in that age group to purposeful academic training, job skills, and placement in income earning activities. The jobs envisioned can be directly linked to national development, whether they are initiated by the private sector or the government, thereby benefiting the society as a whole.
Mr. Barnett cites illegal immigration from Haiti as directly linked to the increase in illegal arms and drugs in the TCI. He makes an urgent request to Great Britain to fund maritime border patrol of the islands, engaging the US in assistance with this effort, but not ignoring the need to provide humanely for legitimate refugees. Further, he advocates working with the US to eradicate the sources of guns and drugs flowing through Haiti and elsewhere.
‘DIMET’ is the term he has coined standing for the principles to address reform in the prison itself: Define goals for the prison; Individually structure rehabilitation for the prisoner; Monitor discipline; Educate the inmate; and, effect Transitional justice for the prisoner after release. Mr. Barnett acknowledges that there will be individuals in every society who are violent and unrepentant and who therefore are not candidates for reform. However, for the rest, it is in the interest of the society to make every attempt to work with convicted offenders to keep them from engaging in criminal activity again after they are released. He advocates a structured programme, whereby the prison has defined goals with specific and measurable outcomes at the societal and individual levels.
The paper engages the British Government at the policy level. It questions the assumptions behind merely depositing undesirables in prison. It focuses on the historically derived racism which has led to British public policy neglect of the TCI. It reflects on the real issues underlying prisoners social origins and presents practical and just solutions.
Wilberne Persaud, former head of the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies, said “A welcome eye-opening look at a problem, elements of which are much too common in our region ... perhaps exposure to a broader audience will force the authorities to act.”
It remains to be seen whether Her Majesty’s Government can appropriately and responsibly assist “the honest people of the Turks and Caicos Islands” to whom this paper is dedicated.
1. Page ii “a society . . . find” should be “a society . . .finds”
2. Page 10 "populous" twice on page 27 instead of "populace"
3. Page 19 reference to Binyam Mohamed as “citizen” is incorrect since he is a “resident” of the UK
4. Page 38 "sanitised" (sanitized in US spelling) is misspelled "sanistised".
5. The number 1 is used instead of capital I for the Roman numeral on:
Page 23, George III and Henry VIII
Page 38, William III
Pages 43, 47, 49, & 50, prisoner numbers
Only the first is a real solecism and the others might be excused for reason of typographical constraints
6. Page 32 “ on the police” should read “ harsh on the police”
7. Page 35 “ Chagossians” is misspelled “ Chaggosinas”
8. Page 41 “Bloom-Cooper” is misspelled “ Bloom-Copper”
9. Final correction: “ Change your mind and you change your outlook” - please read with that thought in mind.
N.B. Any findings of error can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. Critical comments and/or constructive suggestions are welcomed.
Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been practising law for over twenty seven years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. His web site: www.globaljusticeonline.com
POSITION PAPERS: Britain's colonial prison responsibility
Dear Activists and Friends,
As you know the Durban Review Conference will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from April 20th – 24th. This will be an historic week where the world community takes stock of the gains made since the UN World Conference against Racism in 2001.
Mindful of those in Geneva making voices of the people heard, The Drammeh Institute, in partnership with Al Santana Productions, would like you to join us at the film exhibit, EYES ON THE GROUND as an informal social gathering for those that could not attend.
This exhibit will feature Durban 400, directed by Al Santana, and show first hand, on the ground accounts of the Durban conference by filmmakers who shot historic images of global Africans struggling for freedom and self determination. Moreover, it will be an opportunity to reflect upon our strengths through this reunion, network, and meet old and new friends.
These clips may never be seen again in public.
Won't you join us for an informal social & discussion?
MONDAY, APRIL 20th, 2008
6:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.
Free admission and open to the public
Art Gallery, 2nd Floor of the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building
163 West 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (7th Avenue), the Village of Harlem
(Travel: A,C, D, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Trains or M-7 Bus to 125th Street)
Municipal Parking at W.126th St. between Lenox Avenue & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. Street parking free after 7PM
Light food & refreshments will be served.
R.S.V.P. by email:email@example.com « For more information: (718) 737-1976
EYES ON THE GROUND, is a program of the Drammeh Institute, Inc., in partnership with Al Santana Productions.
Film Exhibition Space is supported in part by the NYS Office of General Services (OGS) and, the Museum of African American Cinema (MoAAC)
««««« You must have a valid photo ID to enter building. «««««
Durban Review Conference
For Updates: http://www/Twitter.com/dramedia
Thursday, April 2, 2009
REQUESTING INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
Greetings Brothers and Sisters,
Here we are (again!) involved in a referendum nobody asked for to take place May 15. You know the situation 'cause you've been here. The puppet government wants the people to approve (not asking them if they agree or not) the December 2008 agreements they signed with their Dutch masters- without consulting anybody - that put back in the hands of the Dutch administration the vital areas of national life such as justice, public finances, education and control on good governance. So were going back in time instead of decolonizing.
The contradictions manifest in a much harder way now than when you & David came to support us in 2005. This set against the background that in this globalized era the remaining colonial powers are seeking to rapidly consolidate their control of "their" colonies in the midst of the crisis they themselves caused and making sure that no independence or national liberation movement will stand in the way of their industrial and financial capital to expand "their" markets outside their own national borders.
We see the USA administration opposing, jailing and plotting against Puerto Ricans fighting for independence. The UK government has declared more than once that it will under no circumstances recognize any government that proclaims independence in Montserrat, Anguila, Virgin Isles etc. We recently saw an arrogant Sarkozy ignoring the call for freedom that echoed through the streets of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The Dutch government is executing the same policy. In the year 2010 the Committee for Decolonization of the UN will cease to exist. So the great world powers have decided that those who are not independent by 2010, will never be because colonies will have ceased to exist by then because their own people have decided so in "democratic" referenda. Hence the May 15th referendum to legitimize the recolonization. The opposition parties here keep repeating their backwards position that the government should restore "what we had", which is of course a state of colony. They do not mention independence as an option "because the people are not ready for it", although they are strongly campaigning for NO in the referendum. The latter we support of course.
In this political - economic- social - cultural -spiritual unbalanced situation people tend to seek security more than ever. The ones promising to sooth the daily pain of hunger, incarcerated sons, pregnant teenage daughters, extremely high index of diabetes, blindness, amputations, obesity -due to malnutrition-, heart attacks and cancer, ever failing children in a oppressive and inefficient Dutch imposed school system, disoriented youth, chronical lack of democracy, oppression of the national culture & language if you only vote SI are more likely to get the votes. However, as dialectics teaches us, oppresion creates it own resistance. The number of people rejecting shameless Dutch intervention in their daily life is growing steadily at a never before experienced pace. The large crowds at the meetings, the call-ins on the radio talkshows, the strikes (busdrivers, health care workers, university students etc.) are evidence people are sick and tired of being trampled on and that the mental as well as the material circumstances favor a transformation or revolt. These subjective and objectives conditions should be turned into political action to bring down this corrupt system of exploiting people and there resources. Hence the mobilization and agitation propaganda required.
One particular point of concern is the huge migration wave from the Netherlands bringing rough settlers to "their" colony in the Caribbean. They come with the strong euro currency, buy land, manipulate humble country people into selling their property for a mere trifle, chase others from their property, bring in many Dutch students to "do their practice" here, but in fact work fulltime, also in mangement positions and companies "are sorry they have no place" for local students etc etc. The governments grants Dutch "investors" many privileges: they buy beaches and shut out locals or charge high entrance; unemployment has increased but offical numbes say it went down. Why? Because Dutch immigrants register as having found work and thus manipulate the unemployment numbers. They are coming in in crowds to vote for YES in the referendum, although they should be living here in order to vote, but who controls the apparatus? They themselves. In last elections we experienced personally the results of their tampering with the electronic voting machines, which will be used again in May. So vigilance is essential.
The Dutch government has already announced that regardless of the outcome of the referendum they will continue their "restructuring" of the islands. This means that the process they agreed for the smaller islands (Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius) to become an integral part of the Netherlands or a municipalty will continue. They have already executed part of their plans. The two larger islands (Curacao as the largest and St. Maarten as 2nd) will become as of 2010 an "autonomous country within the kingdom", or simply continuing colonialism in the next stage of imperialism: recolonization & denial of any independence, let alone national liberation reality. We simply do not exist as opposing political factor.
We are engaged in a intense process to promote NO. It is, as you can figure, tough with ignorance, bad education, poverty and fear guiding people. The local bourgeiosie is tapping into these issues to promote YES, telling people the Dutch government will pay the national debt of the country, build schools, houses, bring in money, finance progress etc. etc.
I have expanded to explain to you as interim chair of the GAC and, through you the GAC and others, the urgency of the situation and I am asking, on behalf of the Afrikan family in diaspora in Curaçao for your solidarity. We need all the assistance we can get to spread the word, to help us build an international campaign denouncing the deprivation of peoples'a rights by the Dutch government, a government pretending worldwide to be democratic and tolerant. (As the attached article shows the Dutch hypocrisy: Money laundering in Netherlands amounts to 18.5 billion annually: Amounts to 5% of Dutch GDP) We need to reproduce banners, folders, posters, T-shirts, stickers, we need funds to cover the media - mind manipulators par excellence - who are seizing the time and charging extra rates for interviews, adds and so on since we are covering everything from personal funds. We could use the help of Brothers and Sisters helping us to get a website especially for this purpose online, to design posters and other propaganda material, to write statements of support to be sent to the local media and other forms of solidarity.
My place is here at this crucial moment. So I won't be able to go to Geneva for the Durban Review Conference where I know you all will do an excellent job guided by our brave ancestors who resisted extermination and made it possible for us to be here today, a job for which you have my unconditional support.
Honouring the work entrusted on us by the ancestors
Chair Independence Party of Curaçao
Language is more than language
Instituto Kultural Independensha (Cultural Institute Independence)
drs. Joceline A. Clemencia, director
Tel./Fax (5999) 869-3443 Cel. (5999) 562-4122