Sunday, July 15, 2012

Open Letter to Karibu Centre from Bro Ldr Mbandaka - LIFT BAN ON DR UMAR JOHNSON

Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement
Freedom Begins with the Freeing of the Mind and Soul
c/o 282 High Road, Leyton, London E10 5PW
Elaine Holness
7 Gresham Rd,
London SW9 7PH
Tel: 44 (0)20 7733 9423
Fax: 44 (0)20 7738 5743
12/07/6252 (2012)
Open Letter
 TENDAI MWARI (Be thankful unto God)
Iziz (praises) Sis Elaine,
Re: Cancellation of a PowerSis Promotion 14/07/2012 and Banning of Dr Umar Johnson from speaking at the Karibu Education Centre.
I write further to my telephone call to you on Tuesday (10/07/2012), in the matter captioned above.
Thank you for having taken the time to speak to me, although, regrettably, we were not able to reach an agreement or resolution. I am still hoping that there is still room for this, even at this late stage.
My call to you was in response to notification I had received from Sis Kemet of PowerSis that you had banned Bro Dr Umar Johnson from speaking at the Karibu Centre, having deemed him to be "homophobic" and "racist". You confirmed that you/the centre had banned him but did not clarify the reason. You stated however that you had researched his material on YouTube and found the contents inappropriate. Nonetheless, when I enquired, several times, as to what exactly you were referring to, you did not or could not answer.
I expressed my deep concerns as to the negative impact this could have on the Afrikan community and relations with Karibu and you replied to my surprise, "We would just have to live with it." I protested that this was "censorship" and further protested the right of the community to hear Dr Umar Johnson and to decide for themselves, especially in a society that professes "democracy" and "freedom of speech," to which you responded "The community can hear Dr Umar Johnson if they want to but they won't be hearing him at the Karibu Centre."
You mentioned two emails you sent to Sis Kemet and advised me to read them. I have now done so. In your first email sent on Sunday, 08/07/2012, you referred to a caller who had complained that, "some of the content (of Bro Umar's Youtube posts) appeared to be rather homophobic and racist". This prompted you to investigate it. Whilst you did highlight the centre's policy and ethos, urging Sis Kemet to "Please be mindful of Karibu Education Centre's obligations, our charitable status, our commitment to serve the whole community,"
you did not propose to cancel the booking. However in a follow up email dated Tuesday, 10/07/2012, you informed Sis Kemet that you had referred the matter to the board of trustee who "
are equally disturbed by some of Dr Johnson's comments," and thus "have no alternative but to cancel your function as it contravenes the equality laws of the UK." However, failed to particularise what exactly the contraventions were.
I have a number of concerns arising from the foregoing, which I will state (as follows) with the utmost love and respect and in the hope that it will be received, in the same spirit:
1.      Your unwillingness or inability to explain what exactly you are referring to as "homophobic and racist" contents, suggests that you are unconvinced, yourself, as to the substance of this claim and/or haven't thought it through properly.
2.      In spite of this, you/the board of trustees have taken this severe action causing great embarrassment to Dr Umar Johnson, an Afrikan and Afrikan-centred clinical psychologist of international renown – an invited guest to the Afrikan community UK - who has travelled thousands of miles to dispense his vitally needed expertise to the most beleaguered people here in the UK.
3.      The banning of Dr Umar Johnson so late in the day has inevitably caused huge distress and a logistical nightmare to the organisers, PowerSis, in attempting the near impossible task of trying to find an alternative venue at this stage. You might appreciate, my sister, the financial implications of this.
4.      I have to say that I found your response to my expressed concerns for the potential impact of your action, rather blasé, if not completely detached. In fact, it is quite disturbing that a project expressly designed to serve the community could be so dismissive about the likely inimical effects of its action on the community. I am baffled by the notion of service without a genuine sense of care and accountability. Might your response have been a touch more sensitive had I been a potential funder, or had the Afrikan community been more mobilised, organised and economically robust?
5.      As I suggested during a discussion on Voice of Afrika Radio this morning, Karibu could have exercised the courtesy of inviting PowerSis and Dr Umar Johnson to discuss and allay its concerns. It was disappointing to then learn from Sis Kemet that she had suggested this, but you failed to take up the offer. (Our producer had also called to invite Karibu on to the show, but was told that no one was available).
6.      This is tantamount to the dis-invitation of Prof. Tony Martin (Garveyite scholar), from the Mayor's First Voice conference (Oct 2003); the banning of Kwame Toure and Bro Min Louis Farrakhan (1990s) from entering the UK; where Afrikan groups and individuals were used by the British establishment to validate labelling these great Afrikan men, because they defied the hypocritical codes of political correctness.
7.      Dr Umar Johnson has travelled the world and spoken in various institutions and has never been banned. Indeed, he works in education and thus frequents schools and universities in the US, where he resides. Karibu (with its appearance of being an Afrikan institution), has now earned itself the dubious reputation of being the first and only institution in the world to have banned him; one which reflects poorly on the Afrikan community in the UK.  
Now, you have cited UK equality laws, in justifying your action, but the same does not prevent the BBC (a government institution) from featuring notorious fascists like Nick Griffin (BNP Chair & MEP) and Historian David Starkey (CBE & visiting professor of Kent University), whether to advocate compulsory repatriation of 'non-whites' or to blame Afrikan youths for corrupting good white youths. Griffin and Starkey: one 'homophobic,' the other 'homosexual' but both white racist functionaries of the British establishment – un-gagged, unfettered!!!
No wonder UK equality laws have never levelled the playing field for Afrikans; nor will it ever, as it is not designed to. Rather, it is designed to protect the 'integrity' of a racist status quo, which uses the 'carrot and stick' method to buy or whip us into becoming functional agents, to the detriment of our own people and community; in the name of equality, diversity, etc. Hence, in the UK, all the social indicators are that we are effectively second class citizen (even lower), in an 'institutionally racist' society (MacPherson, 1999). As I said to you, to really ban racism in Britain, every school, collage and university, in fact, every institution including the Houses of Parliament would have to be close down.
PowerSis is a group of mainly Afrikan women, who, realising the maladies confronting the Afrikan community here in the UK (manifested in disproportionate: educational under-achievements and exclusions, teenage pregnancy, drugs, guns and gang violence, socio-economic deprivation, stop and search, deaths in custody, DNA profiling, infant mortality, low life expectancy, etc, etc, etc.), have opted to take positive steps to address this. Dr Umar Johnson is one of the most skilled psycho-social scientists in the Afrikan world community, with a clear and profound analysis as well as therapeutic framework for addressing the specific needs of the Afrikan community. It is for this reason why PowerSis, at significant expense, bought in his expertise to aid the healing and empowerment of our people.   
Being as au fait with Dr Umar Johnson's work as I am, I can say that his pronouncements are well sourced; founded on historical and clinical evidence delivered from an Afrikan-centred perspective. I therefore categorically refute the notion that he is either "homophobic" (whatever that means) or "racist".  In fact, Dr Johnson specialises in treating "homosexuals". Surely, this makes a complete nonsense of this claim. Moreover, racism is a systematic, historical, global power structure, based on the myth (posing as fact) of white supremacy. Without a Black supremacist replica of the foregoing, it is impossible for Dr Umar Johnson, or indeed any Afrikan to be a racist. Besides, there is no evidence in Afrikan culture of the innate xenophobia upon which racism is founded.
The question therefore begs: who is defining the terms? Psychologist, Dr Wade Nobles says: "Power is the capacity to define reality and have others respond to your definition as if it was their own." Note: the POWER to DEFINE. So, who is defining the terms here? And are we, AFRIKANS, not capable of independent thinking; of defining reality for ourselves? Who or what is a homophobic? Where did this term come from? Is it a clinical term (as 'phobia' suggest), or political? Is Dr Johnson a homophobic because he cures homosexuals? Are his patients also homophobic because they seek a cure? Is this really about homophobia? Or, is it more a matter of: "He who pays the fiddler..."     
More questions: Who made homosexuality a 'sacred cow', ie beyond critical analyses? Dr Johnson's Afrikan centred, historical and clinical analysis of 'homosexuality' is critical for Afrikan people in this time and Karibu has no moral or legal right to deny us access to the hear our brother at the centre. The fact that European culture has now redefined homosexuality for its own reasons and in its own interest does not mean that this has in anyway altered or culturally defined moral codes, nor that this is in any way in our interest. Hence they have no right imposing same upon us and we have no business allowing them to do so.
It is important that you understand the full implications of the banning of Dr Johnson, evidently influenced by the Establishment. Dr Johnson is feared for the same reason why so many of our prophets and heroes were feared and assassinated: he speaks truth to power; he exposes and challenges the fundamentals of white supremacy, including their most 'sacred cow'. But, "How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?" It starts with character assassination and end..., often with our aiding and abetting, only to realise our errors when it's too late.
I have written this as an open letter because I do believe that this is a public matter and that you are accountable primarily to the Afrikan community, who I do believe are the predominant clientele of Karibu.
In context, I am urging you/the board of trustee once again to reconsider your position and to reinstate the booking for the event tomorrow, even so late in the day. I look forward to hearing the good news.
Thank you in anticipation.
Yours in Faith, Love and Liberation.
Bro Ldr Mbandaka
(Spiritual Leader – Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement)

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