Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RACISM: Perception Or Reality

faceHave you asked yourself “What is Racism?” Webster says it is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and racial differences that produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. This does not adequately explain or represent the reality of what we’re witnessing in today’s political and social environments.

I believe racism is a misunderstood psychology and yes there is a psychology to racism, which is where the confusion exists. Therefore, it appears that racial prejudice or discrimination, which is a prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment is somehow believed to be directed toward the people of the dominate race.

The legacy of dependency, apathy, and entrenchment of the American social order from the beginning provides clear evidence of its diabolical intent to bankrupt the souls of African Americans based on an ideology of supremacy. We are the descendants of the stolen souls who bear the burden of a system that perpetrated, in the name of God, the greatest crime known to man. Hence, from the beginning, people of African descent were intended to be a nation of people living within a nation without a nationality.

~ “Law and Order” theme music plays ~

I read an article sometime ago, “When Racists Speak Their Unspoken Truths” by Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., who made a statement that speaks loudly to this issue.
“It’s what racists claimed for 235 years that American society is about rights (mainly theirs, everybody else’s can be stepped on) and not about race. It’s why racists wore hoods and sheets in public, and why their powerful societies that controlled political and economic affairs were always secret. The less you know about what they think, the less you can respond to how they think, even though the social, political and economic outcomes will tell you what they think.” It seems that those who claim racism are active participants in the continuance of this ideology and (in their minds) think they are now subjected to it.
I think we should understand the sub-text of what we are seeing today, at least from a power and political perspective. It is a strategic effort to contain and marginalize a black President, which is consistent with the Republican Party’s objective of marginalizing minorities and women. Now just like back in the days of segregation, its staunchest supporters were Southerners, Mid-Westerners and poor whites, and people now of that mindset remain.

This intolerance or behavior was never unlearned and have been passed down from generation to generation. Over my relatively short lifetime, I have been referred to as Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black, African American, and worst. All were polite terms assigned to make known that people who of color were not American citizens. Remember the statement etched in the country’s blueprint that says clearly people of color are “3/5 a man” and did not mention women at all.

The concept of African Americans being slaves, physically or mentally, is as old as the nation itself, designed to deprive a people of its culture and knowledge through sustained policies of control. This is to include the age old practice that has been very effective, “divide and conquer” because this form of thinking has one purpose. Therefore, when you look at what we have experienced and what they imply relating to this new phenomenon is as far apart as the vastness of the universe. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The King Alfred Plan 

2Have you heard about the King Alfred Plan? I first heard about it back in the sixties.  It's officially known as REX-84. I will briefly expound upon it, but I want you to do some research for your own empowerment. It was a fictional CIA led scheme supporting an international effort to eliminate people of African descent. Specifically it defined how to deal with the threat of a black uprising in America by cordoning off black people into concentration camps in the event of a major racial incident.

The plan was drafted, allegedly, in the 50s to round up black people at the start of race riots, segregate them and move them to a concentration camp or a separate location and kill them off, literally. This plan first appeared publicly in John A. Williams’ his 1967 novel, The Man Who Cried I Am, which was a fictionalized account of the life and death of Richard Wright. In the afterword to later editions, Williams compares the King Alfred Plan to intelligence programs devised by J. Edgar Hoover (COINTELPRO) in the 1960s to monitor the movements of black militants.

 It also bears similarities to rumors in the early 1950s surrounding the McCarran Act, an anti-Communist law, in which political subversives were to be rounded up and placed in concentrations camps during a national emergency as was done to the Japanese during World War II. When his novel was first published, Williams photocopied portions of the book detailing the King Alfred Plan and left copies in subway car seats around Manhattan.

As a result, word of the King Alfred Plan spread throughout the black community, and the truth of its existence was often assumed to be unchallenged. Performer and musician Gil Scott-Heron created the song "King Alfred Plan," included on his "LP" in 1972 that takes the Plan at face value.

I did a little digging and found information online that have now been declassified. Of course, there is much more to this plan than is being released to the public. If you think that this kind of thing cannot happen in the United States think again! It has already happened here in America. The only difference NOW is that we will not be so lucky because the problem with our people we have gotten to comfortable and satisfied with our plight. We trust in oppression and hardship rather than the Most High. Are we really surprised?

Let me make it simply martial law, no-knock laws, or the Patriot Act! I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I have read stories that in regions all over the country are preparing a place for you and it’s not that place talked about on Sundays where this place has streets paved with gold. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Knowledge is power! Do your own research and learn!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Thought For Today

1A season is a time characterized by a particular circumstance, suitable to an indefinite period of time associated with a divine phenomenon that some call life and life as we know is a journey. It could also be called history. However, what is called history is really His-Story. Once this thing called time moves beyond the present, it is left up to others to define and that is usually by the victory.
The prolific French writer historian and philosopher Voltaire said, “History is a pack of tricks we play upon the dead”. Ask yourself, if someone were to tell the story of your life – is that the way you want your history remembered by others.

Dr. John Henrik Clarke says “History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is also a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography. History tells a people where they have been and what they have been, where they are and what they are. Most important, history tells a people where they still must go, what they still must be. The relationship of history to the people is the same as the relationship of a mother to her child.”
I recall from time to time in a past life; I’ve been a teacher, professor, instructor, and father. What I learned from these experiences is that a good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience's attention, then he can teach his lesson. I think of myself as a simple man, who believes education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. We can save the world but first we must change ourselves.
With that said, sometimes readers of Thought Provoking Perspectives send me a messages asking; “what are you trying to accomplish through your words?” My first thought was she did not realize that I want my words to be a potent source of empowering knowledge to broaden the information base with those who share my passion for the written word. I view myself as a history fanatic because if you don’t know where you’ve come from – you will never get to where you’re going. If you don’t know your past, you are just part of the lost tribe!
The great Dr. Clarke made this powerful statement that each of us must understand. He said, “I think every person that calls themselves a leader, a preacher, a policy maker of any kind should ask and answer the question in his own lifetime, how will my people stay on this earth?  How will they be educated? How will they be schooled?  How will they be housed?  And how will they be defended? The answer to these questions will create the concept of enduring nationhood because it creates the concept of enduring responsibility. I am saying whatever the solution is, either we are in charge of our own destiny, or we are not in charge.  On that point we got to be clear, you either free or you a slave.”
As an African American man who lived in the Jim Crow Era. I learned very early that powerful people cannot afford to educate the people they oppress, because once you are truly educated; they will not ask for power. They will take it. Educate and empower your children, build your family, and live life to the fullest. Thank you for your reading my words and support. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Standoff In The Desert

2I am always amazed when people speak of freedom and their reaction to it. Recently in Nevada, a group of white right-wing American’s faced down the Federal government – armed! Now let me be clear, these so called patriots not only showed up in support of a man named Bundy who is a rancher that does not believe the government has any authority over him nor his enterprise.

So group(s) came from all over the country in support of his cause – I did say armed and trained their weapons on government agents in tactical positions. In the days leading up to the government's withdrawal, the movement had reportedly grown to 600 men, women and children, although conflicting counts emerged from the two sides. Demonstrators rallied together, bonding by campfires at night, while local protest leaders warned people not to wear camouflage and to keep their weapons inside their vehicles.

Bundy’s long standing problem with the government is that he owes reportedly a million dollars to the government for using federal land and refusing to pay the grazing fee as require. Wait, he has owed these fee’s that accumulated for about twenty years, all while continuing to make money for himself from the results of the beef he sold. Both Bundy and his co-conspirators call this freedom, and they came to Bundy’s aid in support of “liberty”. This is the abbreviated version of the back story.

I have had the government come after me for unpaid parking tickets. The law, meaning the police, often times come with guns drawn when they pull black people over for a traffic ticket. Every day in this country the government comes down heavy handed on the least of thee and when they come; the police always come with guns. In addition, most people are not afforded the luxury of not paying a government debt for twenty-years.

What if the Bundy’s were black and the ranch was owned by a black rancher? I’ll answer that; they would have been called terrorist and shot down like dogs and everything they own would have been confiscated. In fact, there are hundreds of cases where the cops will fire on black people based on the perception of their being armed.

I saw a congresswoman being interviewed, and she asked, when has the government ever come armed to arrest an American citizen? How about everyday and all the time! Let me remind this excuse for a leader that there was a black group in Philadelphia - MOVE - who saw things differently that the government and had guns. Guess what? The government stormed the group held-up in a row house and in the attack they dropped a bombed the building that killed all, but one or two of its occupants to include five children.

This is just one example, and there are many, yet I have not mentioned the assaults of the civil rights movement. This speaks to privilege and the actions of the militia are virtually nothing more than terrorism. If the script were reversed and the group(s) where of people of color, the history of race in America demands that hostile actions would certainly be present during the actions of law enforcement.

You may believe the opposite or lie to yourself – if you will - but the fact remains, this would never have ended this way if the people pointing guns at the cops would be alive today. Let’s put it this way, Bundy is simply a modern version of George Wallace standing in the doorway of the schoolhouse. Except these folks are armed and dangerous. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Message For Easter

Easter is the most important day Christian observe the world over because it is a celebration of deliverance, with Easter Week providing powerful imagery of faith. I have always been moved by this presentation of Jesus from a Catholic Eucharistic prayer: “To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation to prisoners, freedom, and to those in sorrow, joy.”

Holy Thursday and the Last Supper have an ominous feel because they are in preparation of Good Friday and the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet two days later, the tale ends in triumph and resurrection. Whatever questions Christians may have about the meaning of that empty tomb, most of us have experienced a sense of joy when the words “He is risen!” The basis of Christianity is inextricably linked to and rooted in the idea of liberation.

I have long seen the Exodus and Easter as twin narratives involving a release from oppression and the victory of freedom. These promises have left a permanent mark on the culture outside the traditions from which they sprang. Yet even in the Easter season, it’s hard not to notice that most people of faith, like it has been with Christmas, have lost much of its message. What I mean is that it has been hijacked by man in the commercial sense and Christianity’s, many, do not project the true meaning of this day or present their faith in the best light.

For example, with the assassination of Trayvon Martin, Jordon Davis, and other criminal acts that mankind seems to have lost the understanding of the symbolic subordination of a rich tradition of social justice. What is more concerning is that popular Christianity often seems to denigrate rather than celebrate intellectual life or critical inquiry into injustices within our society. What I would like to suggest, as with the civil rights movement, is that the church or at least Christians must not be disengaged from politics. In fact, the early Christian movement was born in politics. If you can recall, Jesus died in opposition of injustice for the least of Thee.

I know there is great debate over how to understand the relationship between Jesus’ spirituality and his approach to politics, but his preaching clearly challenged the powers-that-be. He was, after all, crucified. Now, if we truly claim the life of Jesus Christ is true, then we should be among the most active, most serious and most-open minded advocates for justice. So if Easter is about liberation, this liberation must include intellectual freedom and the right to fair and equal justice. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspectives...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Unsung Messenger Of Truth

2I am a huge fan of wordsmiths and in my view the greatest unheralded voice of our time was Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron a genius of a musician and author. However, Gil was known primarily for his work as a messenger thought his the art of spoken word. His hay-day was during the 1970s and 80s but his legacy is everlasting. His vocal styling’s as he put it, was a "bluesologist", which he is defined by others as "a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues."

His music, most notably on Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. His recording work received much critical acclaim, especially one of his best-known compositions "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". His poetic style has influenced every generation of hip hop.Gil’s music was a genre all to itself and worthy of recognition because he was a head of his time and courageous enough to speak truth to power on behalf of the powerless.
Winter in America
From the Indians who welcomed the pilgrims
And to the buffalo who once ruled the plains
Like the vultures circling beneath the dark clouds
Looking for the rain
Looking for the rain
Just like the cities staggered on the coastline
Living in a nation that just can't stand much more
Like the forest buried beneath the highway
Never had a chance to grow
Never had a chance to grow
And now it's winter
Winter in America
Yes and all of the healers have been killed
Or sent away, yeah
But the people know, the people know
It's winter
Winter in America
And ain't nobody fighting
'Cause nobody knows what to save
Save your soul, Lord knows
From Winter in America
The Constitution
A noble piece of paper
With free society
Struggled but it died in vain
And now Democracy is ragtime on the corner
Hoping for some rain
Looks like it's hoping
Hoping for some rain
And I see the robins
Perched in barren treetops
Watching last-ditch racists marching across the floor
But just like the peace sign that vanished in our dreams
Never had a chance to grow
Never had a chance to grow
And now it's winter
It's winter in America
And all of the healers have been killed
Or betrayed
Yeah, but the people know, people know
It's winter, Lord knows
It's winter in America
And ain't nobody fighting
Cause nobody knows what to save
Save your souls
From Winter in America
And now it's winter
Winter in America
And all of the healers done been killed or sent away
Yeah, and the people know, people know
It's winter
Winter in America
And ain't nobody fighting
Cause nobody knows what to save
And ain't nobody fighting
Cause nobody knows, nobody knows
And ain't nobody fighting
Cause nobody knows what to save
Rest In Peace my brother. Thank you for the messages. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Thursday, April 10, 2014

People Of Antiquity

22The so-called Negro, the lost people of antiquity, has had one desire since being removed from their land of origin – Africa. Just to be treated like human beings and to obtain equality as such. People of African heritage now called African Americans from the day they were dragged onto the shores of this country have simply asked America to honor the promise they claim comes with liberty.

I’ll quote Dr. King who said, “We were given a blank check” and we would like to cash it – paid in full. Let’s be very clear, people of African descent, the so-called Negro, are the only immigrates to come to this country against their will. Once here forced into a life of bondage as chattel. The results have caused a condition called “Post Slave Condition” derived from the amoral devastation of slavery.

For the record, “a Negro” was created by the wretched souls who arrived in America to lay claim to land that wasn’t even theirs. When I say, created I mean there were no such people anywhere on earth before Europeans took the captives from Africa and brought them to America. The result was creating a nation of people placed in a strange land to live without a nationality. This was done specifically through the constitution and legislative laws sanctioned by the government.

From the very beginning, the Africans resisted their captivity and bondage which was to include during the ungodly trip across the Atlantic that history calls the Mid-Passage. Once the captives arrived on land, be it in America or anywhere in this hemisphere, there was resistance and rebellion. There were many movements to obtain the promise of freedom like the Abolitionist Movement and Civil Rights Movements in varying forms. Not to mention, the many-many great leader born to affect change but killed by the wretched system of slavery and segregation. I won’t say they all failed, but I will say they did not succeed because equal treatment, particularly under the law and freedom is still absent.

Many African Americans continue to suffer from the untreated wounds of America’s forefathers and their asymptomatic behaviors. These behaviors were never unlearned and have been passed down from generation to generation. Over my relatively short lifetime, I have been referred to as Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black, and an African American, which were all polite terms assigned to make known that people of African descent were not American citizens.

This legacy of dependency, apathy, and entrenchment of the American social order from the beginning provides clear evidence of those with a diabolical intent to bankrupt the souls of a people based on an ideology of supremacy. These stolen souls that exist today are people who bear the burden of a system that perpetrated, in the name of God, the greatest crime known to man.

The concept of African Americans being slaves, physically or mentally, is as old as the nation itself, designed to deprive a people of its culture and knowledge through sustained policies of control. To overcome these indignities we must realize that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize the forces that breed poverty and despair.

Regardless of how much we are held down, it is our responsibility to find a way to get up, even if the system is designed to protect the system. The great Bob Marley reminded us to “Stand-up – Stand-up for your rights”. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Saturday, April 5, 2014

America Is No Longer For Sale: It’s Been Sold

It used to be thought that America was for sale. Well, as a result of the Supreme Court ruling last week; what we see is that America has been sold. The “Citizens United” decision was one of the worst court decision rendered by any Supreme Court since the Dread Scott Decision. Make no mistake, when the ruling allows the richest people in America and in fact the world to spend unlimited amounts of money to fund a political candidate means – they can buy the government!

The Citizens United Supreme ruling says that corporations are viewed as people and have the right to contribute like a person. This ruling was unconscionable because it is a fact that corporations have far more resources to fund a candidate to support their interests than an individual. Oh, what they are saying is that a corporation is an individual! This was surely a huge gift for the Republicans because their souls rest with big business and their interests. Whereas, the fact is most people and individuals of the country cannot and are frozen out of the system and virtually silenced.

The recent McCutien court’s decision accomplishes exactly what the chief justice claims to abhor: it enhances the free speech rights of the wealthy and restricts the free speech rights of the many who cannot afford to donate millions. It gives clearance by law for a single person to give as much money as the want to anyone and how many candidates they want. For example, in the 2012 election cycle just about 600 people were able to give more money to candidates than 4.4 million of the rest of Americans.

This takes America back to the days of the Robber Barons of the beginning of the twentieth century when the richest people in America owned America. Laws were passed then to correct the inequities. Accepting for the sake of argument that money is a form of free speech, the court ignored that our political representatives have only a finite amount of time and resources to respond to those of us who require their attention. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was wrong when he characterized the purpose of campaign finance laws as “to restrict the political participation of some in order to enhance the relative influence of others.”

Roberts’ view of the laws was enacted not to enhance the influence of some but to maintain the ability of the many to have their voices heard. What he is saying here is that a few can in influence the many with the power of the money in this age of media.

I’ll just say now we know what they mean when they say, “We the people” the people are talking about is the rich, and they create the means for them to get richer! The effects of what this court is doing will be devastating!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…