Saturday, January 30, 2010

Arrested Development

i just discovered this channel on my cable (which i had not explored prior to now because i only have about 25 channels anyway, half being in Spanish, other half being shopping networks, with 2 or 3 gems thrown in) that only plays songs from the '90's. i been jammin to Brownstone, Bell Biv Devoe, Total, SWV, Tony Toni Tone, Brandy, and Arrested Development.
i love Arrested Development. you know their parties were the shit. their style, their vibe, their music, and especially the message in their lyrics. i had to make a post about them. i couldn't post 'Everday People' because embedding wasn't disabled, but i like that song the most.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Places i want to go in my lifetime..

1. Brazil
2. Ghana
3. Tanzania
4. South Africa
5. India
6. Angola
7. Ethiopia
8. Papua New Guinea
9. Sri Lanka
10. Uzbekistan
11. Mongolia
12. Egypt
13. Morocco
14. Kenya
15. Peru
16. New Zealand
17. Uruguay
18. French Polynesia
19. Every island in the West Indies
20. The Galapagos Islands
21. Chagos
22. Nigeria
23. Madagascar
24. Venezuela
25. Guyana
26. Kazakhstan
27. Iran
28. Turkey
29. Japan
30. Greece
31. Australia

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Homophobia and Condoms!

so, i was watchin this video earlier today. i watch one of their videos whenever i find one i haven't seen. i really like their different perspectives, and the majority of the time, i agree with them. however, that is not the case for one portion of their message in this video.

if you go to about 7 minutes and 50 seconds in, they will be talking about the different forms of genocide that are encompassed in the word. and around this time, they say that birth control as well as homosexuality are forms of genocide. the brother on the left even goes as far to say that it is the "vilest" form of genocide against blacks.

now, i definitely have problems with both of those assumptions.
for one, the claim that birth control is a form of genocide is just asinine. my friend Yvette brought to light the fact that they may be coming from a historical perspective of the idea of birth control, which is very much so racist and was a blatant attempt to kill or lessen the number of blacks, Chicanos and Native Americans. heres a pretty good article that goes in detail about Margaret Sanger's crude means of experimentation as well as her Eugenics agenda. Margaret Sanger is hailed as one of the biggest advocates for birth control, and many even pay respects to her today. birth control (abortion as well as contraceptives) were started by a racist for a racist and genocidal agenda. period. so, on that level, i would agree with them. however, i would completely disagree with them if they are asserting that any female who takes contraceptives or has abortions in this day and age is adding to the genocide of our people. when they want to take on the behemoth challenge of caring for or adopting the THOUSANDS of children that are born each year to parents (or just mothers...)that don't want them, who then have to battle the foster system full of pedophiles and physical abusers only to be thrown out with no help at the mere age of 18, then maybe i would back up their point. but thats never going to happen.
and second, AIDS/HIV is one of the biggest if not THE biggest killer of black people. blacks here in the United States, in the West Indies, in South America, and in Africa. it is an epidemic. and one of the biggest defenses against this is a condom (as well as birth control which stops women from giving birth to children with the disease). Christian missionaries have already done of a good job of convincing our people that condoms are "playing god" or some similarly absurd bullshit (....but if i wanted to play their god, i'd start by going on a killing spree...), as well as telling them that a child is a gift from their god, even if you can't afford to feed or clothe them, and no matter what type of shitty situation you're going to bring this child into. so the last thing any person of color needs to be telling other people of color is to stop using contraceptives. the parallels between what the Sons of Malcolm asserted in this video and right-wing overzealous and often racist Christians have to say about birth control and homosexuality are astounding. this is reason to be alarmed.
women are not just on this earth to pop out babies and raise them. this is the idea that has aided in our subordination. and considering women will be left raising a child 9 times out of 10, we have to use means of eliminating the case for a pregnancy or an unwanted child. how interesting that these two men, who will never have to face an unwanted pregnancy, never have to bring a child into this world, who probably don't even know change a fuckin diaper, think they can tell a woman that a contraceptive is wrong. the audacity...
the problem with most people on this planet, not just people of color, if that there are too many people bringing children into this world that they don't want; that they cannot support-financially and/or emotionally. not only do situations like these add to the stress of the parents in the situation, but it also is simply infair to a child.

and to the second point-the assertion that homosexuality is a "the vilest" form of genocide. this is equally as asinine as the first statement. in the awesome book i just finished reading-Gender Talk, these two women do a fantastic job of showing the problems with homophobia, as well as the myths involved in it, and the inherent problems with their assertions. the chapter starts on page 154 entitled Black, Lesbian, and Gay: Speaking the Unspeakable. not only do they show the many similarities between homophobia, racism and patriarchy, but they also show that many homophobics that fight for the end of racism usually believe that homosexuality is a perversion brought on by Europeans that was never present in Africa prior to colonization. Johnnetta and Beverly do an excellent job of showing the flaws in this stance:
in order to contextualize the debate about "homosexuality" in Africa, it is important to take into consideration the complexity of same-sex practices in cultural contexts around the world and to recall the reality of "homoerotic" practices among most human cultures, according to scholars. in other words, what cultures consider to be normal and natural in the sexual arena varies considerably around the globe. ... there are societies in which same-sex erotic behavior is frequent, though they lack a concept of the "homosexual" person or homosexual identity. in other words, a connection is not made between who one is and what one does. being involved in an intimate or erotic relationship with a person of the same gender does not necessarily result in the society attaching a "homosexual" label. it is mainly in the west and only since about 1700, that we have divided human being into two oppositional categories: heterosexual and homosexual. ... 'our sexual culture is not universal to the human species'.... despite widespread notions about the decadence of the west...some scholars argue that 'western societies have been fare more repressive toward homosexuality than the indigenous cultures of Asia, Africa, and the Americas.'

they then go into citing book by Africans that explain some of the sexual relations in African societies involving same-sex unions as well as some women in some societies taking on the role of a man and taking up multiple wives.
Samori says that it is a form of genocide because it hinders procreation. so does menopause, so does abstinence, so does any form or sex that doesn't result in a child. just because an act is hindering procreation does not by default make it genocidal. aside from the typical definition of "genocide", i think there are connotations as well that present genocide as an active form of killing individuals of a group in order to exterminate that group. one woman having an abortion, or two men never biologically producing a child is not genocide because it is not an attempt to exterminate a group of people. making an absurd claim like that almost trivializes the reality of genocides like ones in Rwanda, Sudan, and the Jewish Holocaust. and in addition, homophobia within the colored communities not only separates us as brothers and sisters but also has many devastating consequences. in places like Jamaica, where homosexuals have to fear for their lives, granted they're open about their sexuality, it also adds to the spread of the diseases i was talking about earlier. health clinics that have been set up specifically for the assistance and testing for AIDS/HIV have been violently targeted (because people have come to label AIDS/HIV as a "homosexual disease")by homophobics, it only adds to the spread of this deadly disease.

when people who want to end all forms of oppression cannot see oppression in other arenas other than racism, like patriarchy and homophobia, then how can they expect to properly battle any form of oppression. oppression is oppression, and you cannot battle one and truly expect to change it while leaving the others as they are.
i still like these guys, because i agree with most of the other things they bring to light, however, there is a problem when you cannot see oppression in it rawest form.

think. criticize. comment. look at their other videos.

Saturday, January 23, 2010 Obama isn't the messiah?

a week or so ago i saw this video by the Sons of Malcolm about Obama and pretty much how they don't like him. and i've been having somewhat of an ongoing conversation with my bestie Yvette about people who support him, people who don't, what his presidency means for people of color and whether or not its actually something to celebrate. so i've been thinking about what i think about him and what is presidency means.
up until about 2 months before the election, i was still deciding whether i was going to vote or not, and if so, what candidate i would root for. i was on political forums constantly discussing the ABUNDANCE of problems with the United States, with the actual voting process, with the candidates, and the common disconnect between what the candidate says and what the candidate ultimately does. when there are so many limitations, issues with media coverage, and financial situations candidates have to face in order to even get their name on the ballot, then in what reality is this considered democracy? it isn't. its some diluted, edited by-product of democracy. so for some time i wasn't going to vote at all. i felt like it was pointless, at at best, it was giving approval of a faulty voting system that is in desperate need of a reformation.

but, sometime in the middle of these discussions, i was thinking that none of this is going to change in this one election, so its best if you just vote for the candidate (those that have the minimum monetary means, have filed their petitions, met their state requirements for being on the ballot, and has made their faces known through proper media coverage to the majority of the american public...)that i most agree with. and considering that the democrats and republicans like to bulldoze any other party in the election, theres really only two individuals who actually have a chance of winning. this causes many people, myself included (at the time...) to vote for the "lesser evil". when it gets down to just two candidates, i think most people have given up any chance of voting for someone that will be the change this country really needs (and not the "change" on the back of bumper stickers and posters, but actual change)and just vote for whatever candidate they think will fuck up the country the least.

and i voted for Obama (for Edwards in the primaries, although i would have loved to see Dennis Kucinich win...). i voted for him because i agreed with him on healthcare, i agreed that we needed to get our troops out of the middle east in a timely fashion, and i agreed with him on reproductive rights. i also considered the way he spoke about respectfully encouraging dialogue between the United States and Iran (mainly because i thought it showed the way in which he will deal with other countries). i even campaigned for him. at the time, i lived in Pensacola, Florida, and they had an Obama Headquarters there for him, and the community college i went to had a club called Students for Obama that i got really involved in. we did cookouts on the campus, giving people info on him and informing them about early voting, and where to vote. at the headquarters, we went on foot door to door to the houses of individuals that voted democrat in the past or in the primaries and reminded them of early voting, the last day to do so, where their district votes at, and offered them a ride to the booths on the last day of election if they so needed it. i was even there at the Civic Center when Michelle Obama came to Pensacola and made posters that decorated the walls and stage. i put up a poster of Obama in my apartment window and wore an Obama/Biden '08 pin on everything i wore. i was all for Obama. but was i caught in the hype; in the togetherness blacks were feeling at the time?

i would say no. i had clear cut reasons why i voted for him, and that was that. but i cannot say that it wasn't something more when he won than just another candidate winning. i felt, at the time, that this was a step in history for all people of color that have been oppressed in this nation; it was a "fuck you!" to any bigot that still thought of us as less than and less intelligent.

but why? what did his win actually mean to race relations in this country? how many bigots think differently now about people of color than they did prior to November 4th? what has changed since he won? what kind of change did we expect that never came? how many of us were expecting a revolution?
its been a year since Obama has been in office, and what can we say has really changed? are we still in the middle east fighting a pointless, unnecessary, destructive war that has no positives? yes. do the majority of us still have shitty or no healthcare? yes. is there still racism, bigotry, and discrimination? absolutely (some have even argued that Obama's win made race relations worse because now, bigots who voted for him or showed respect to him after his win now act as if they can say any racist comment and then balance it out by saying how much respect they have for Obama). do blacks still possess the highest unemployment rate in the country? yep. do people of color now feel as though our voices are heard just because we have a black president? no (not most of the one's i've spoken to anyway...).

my friend Yvette, who i think really grasps the situation, has said that it doesn't matter if he's black-if he's not doing anything for people of color and ignoring racism, problems of capitalism and patriarchy, and doing nothing to progress this country, then he's no different from any other white man who doesn't get it. it isn't just enough to be a black president. theres so much more to it than these types of superficial aspects.
we cannot just follow any man or woman with dark skin that says they're here to make a change in the system. you have to actually do it.
and thus far, he has not.

comment. think. criticize. register to vote. don't register to vote.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Eldridge Cleaver and Gender Talk

i'm reading this book entitled Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities by Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall. and its a really really really really good book. i don't think i can say that enough. everyone should read this book, especially if you're female; especially if you're a person of color; ESPECIALLY if you inhabit both categories. its pretty much just putting out the dirty laundry of the black power movement as well as in black communities. the analyses that these two women make and the diversity of sources they pulled from is something i haven't seen done in a book as of yet.
to me, it's driving home the idea that in the past (as well as present), women of color have had to choose between the good of the race (or oppressed people) vs. the good of the gender- either you're for race equality or you're for gender equality, but you cannot be for both simultaneously. ironically, "they" aren't usually women of color.

but, something that i just read through is an excerpt from Eldridge Cleaver's autobiography, Soul on Ice:
I became a rapist. to refine my technique and modus operandi, i started out by practicing on black girls in the ghetto-in the black ghetto where dark and vicious deeds appear not as aberrations or deviations from the norm, but as part of the sufficiency pf the evil of a day-and when i considered myself smooth enough, i crossed the tracks and sought out white prey. i did this consciously, deliberately, willfully, methodically...Rape was an insurrectionary act. It delighted me that i was defying and trampling upon the white man's law, upon his system of values, and that i was defiling his women-and this point, i believe was the most satisfying to me because i was very resentful over the historical fact of how the white man has used the black woman. i felt i was getting revenge.

this pretty much enraged me. why have a i never heard about this? i googled his name, trying to see where people had criticized, harangued and attacked him for....not only doing it, but making a half-assed attempt to justify his vile behavior and moreover trying to overshadow the torment he's inflicted upon numerous women with the racism he's received. but i found nothing of the sort. i found this on its an article about him after his death which shows a shorter excerpt than the one i showed...interestingly enough it did not mention the sexual abuse he forced upon black women in ghettos.
however, after having to flee for his life to Cuba, France and Algeria, he came back to the United States in 1975 not only a Christian, but one of the Mormon denomination who renounced his "radical" days as a Black Panther (although i saw nothing about him renouncing his rape of women...)(and i say, 'not only a Christian, but a Mormon' because Christians already worship a white god, but Mormons go so far as to say that those of us with black skin are the descendants of Cain...that our skin is a marker of inferior animalistic tendencies...and he was a Black Panther!?).

and where an i going with this? i don't really know. i just thought it was something interesting that i wanted to share with others. i think many of us think of revolutionaries as sometimes infallible. in addition, many of us look at morality through a simplistic frame of reference. of good if they do good; one is bad in a similar fashion. but what if one does good for one movement while doing one of the most wretched things one can do to another human being? what then?
are the individuals who look past these acts and continue to hold him at a highly respectable level in denial or trivializing what he did to women? are those who allow what he did to these women to take precedence over what he has done for the struggle being one-sided? ??

comment. criticize. roll it around in your brain.

boom bam baaaahhhhh

The Sounds of VTech / Suite For Ma Dukes: Take Notice

i believe this is a tribute to a mix by J Dilla. ??? i don't know. but i like it.
check when they do a shot from the front, check out the third violinist (or violist?) from the left. my man is JAMMIN!
this brings back memories from high school band concert. ahh...memories....
now if only i could find some good videos from marching bands....hmmm....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010



Food Food Yup Yup

the other day i was watching Book TV on CSPAN-2 and they were doing an interview with two authors. one was the author of the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and he was basically making the case for eating more consciously. he was a vegetarian, and at best, i think he advocated veganism, but i think he simply wanted people to think about what they were eating; what they were feeding their kids, as well as the type of industry meat is in the united states. he threw out a few statistics and facts. one thing he said that stood out to me was that chickens, for example, have been bred not to live past puberty, so their immune systems are extremely weak, if not non-existent. this causes the people who breed them to pump them with antibiotics their entire short lives. so we're consuming sick animals. he also noted how meat has been the culprit of some of the worst diseases in the 21st century (swine flu, mad cow, etc.).

so i've been thinking a lot lately about what i eat and how i go about it.
its not a secret that the biggest consumers of this cheap, sick, highly processed and medicated animals are those in low-income communities, which tend to be filled with people of color. blacks feel as though foods like fried chicken, chitlins, and just about anything deep fried is a part of our "tradition" or "culture", while not realizing that this type of food is doing nothing but killing us and adding to our health problems.
excluding homicide, the biggest killer for blacks is Heart Disease, whose biggest risk factor is high blood cholesterol and being overweight...which have a direct link to the type of foods we consume. and while i know that many people consume these unhealthy foods usually because they are cheap. i know this more than anyone. the $1 menu at McDonald's with their processed "meat" can fill me up, as opposed to a meal of $5 at any other restaurant. even a salad at McDonald's is around $5. fresh fruits vegetables cost more and rot faster than canned fruits and vegetables (which contain additives, preservatives, and typically contain large amounts of sugar or salt). we all know this, but i think for the majority of us, we can at least cut meat from our diets for one or two days a week. and even that can make a difference for your health as well as for the environment.

this is an excerpt from the book Medical Apartheid:
"...medical experts of every persuasion agree that African Americans share the most deplorable health profile in the nation by far, one that resembles that of Third World countries. ... Twice as many African American babies as babies of other ethnic groups die before their first birthday. One and a half times as many African American adults as white adults die every year. Blacks have dramatically higher rates of nearly every cancer, of AIDS, of heart disease, of diabetes, of liver disease, of infectious diseases, and they even suffer from higher rates of accidental death, homicide, and mental illness. before they die young of in droves from eminently preventable diseases, African Americans also suffer far more devastating but equally preventable disease complications, such as blindness, confinement to wheelchairs, and limb loss. studies continue to demonstrate that, far from sharing in the bounty of American medical technology, African Americans are often bereft of high-technology care, even for life-threatening conditions such as heart disease."

the book lacks the sources for these claims, but almost all that i have found back up what is being said.

i think for us, we have been trying to find some type of culture that is our own that we have come to cling to anything resembling a "culture", even when it may be detrimental to our wellbeing. slaves didn't eat the innards of animals because they wanted to, it was because they had to. even if they knew it was contributing to their plethora of ailments, they had to eat this to survive. but most of us live in a financial state (and under a government) that allows us to eat what we want. which makes it all the more ludicrous that many of us are still eating slave food (no, not soul food, SLAVE FOOD)?
we are survivors; our people are survivors. nearly everything about our lives was controlled in an attempt to break us down. the way we thought was attacked, the way we lived, the way we communicated, and lastly, what we ate. again, we are survivors; our people are survivors, and if we attempt progression in all of these other aspects, then why not in the arena of food consumption? why then are we continuing destroy our bodies?
and this is not just for blacks (although there is more cause for concern amongst blacks), this includes southerners, Chicanos, and Americans as a whole, seeing as how we're the most obese nation on the planet.
i think in order for one to progress; to aid in the progression of others; to aid in the progression of our cultures; our societies, that we must be conscious of everything we do- from how we dress, how we live, how we socialize, how we love, how we think, how we spend our money, how we make our money, how speak, AND what we eat. they are all a reflection of yourself.

i am not advocating vegetarianism or veganism (not at this moment in time anyway...), because i myself am neither of those. however, i do advocate being more conscious of what you consume, what your children consume, and how it effects you as an individual, and ultimately your society. if you want to eat meat, you should know where your meat comes from, how it is slaughtered, and how it was raised, how that industry impacts our nation and the ultimately, the world, and how the meat will effect you. we can decrease our intake of meat, for example, or buy meat that is steroid/antibiotic free or pasture raised. most of us (including myself) do not know these things about most of the meats we consume (let alone items we don't, such as other processed foods, soaps, all-purpose cleaners, and cosmetics). but we should

comment. criticize. comment. try some veggie burgers. whatever.

here's some websites i found that deal with health statistics:
Black Health statistics from the '90's
Meat vs. Veggie
Minority Women's Health

and heres some interesting websites about the environmental aspects of vegetarianism:
Vegetarian Lifetips
Meat Industry's water consumption
Deforestation caused by meat consumption
Vegetarianism is the new prius article

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bag lady

i love how this video looks like some sort of high school production. and the message in this song is even better. one of my favorite artists.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Human Experiments

"Sims stands aloof, arms folded, one hand holding a metroscope (the forerunner of the speculum) as he regards the kneeling woman in a coolly evaluative medical gaze. his tie and morning coat contrast with her simple servants' dress, head rage, and bare feet.
the painting, commissioned and distributed by the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical house more than a century after the surgeries as one of its A History of Medicine in Pictures series, takes telling liberties with the historical facts. Thom portrays Betsey as a fully clothed, calm slave woman who kneels complacently on a small table, hand modestly raised to her breast, before a trio of white male physicians. two other slave women peer around a sheet, apparently hung for modesty's sake, in a childlike display of curiosity.
this innocuous tableau could hardly differ more from the gruesome reality in which each surgical scene was a violent struggle between the slaves and physicians and each woman's body was a bloodied battleground. each naked, unanesthetized slave woman had to be forcibly restrained by the other physicians through their shrieks of agony as Sims determinedly sliced, then suctured her genitalia. the other doctors, who could, fled when they could bear the horrific scened no longer. it then fell to the women to restrain on another."

this is the excerpt from a book i'm reading right now entitled Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington. she describes in the introduction, how she wanted to have this photo on the cover of the book, but was barred by the publishing company. and this, she felt, was the same type of covering up many people have done to the history of medical experimentation in this country as the artist (Robert Thom) of this photo has done to the reality of Sim's experiments and subjects.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Georgia Anne Muldrow

so i'm really feeling this woman Georgia Anne Muldrow.
these videos are so mad.
her whole style is so '70's, but in a non-cliche type way.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


i was watching Channel 12 Brooklyn News today, and they reported that some people were upset about the inclusion in the 2010 census of the word "Negro" (see the story here). the 2010 census uses the term interchangably with "African American" and "Black". it said that some individuals find it offensive and would like it to be removed from the questionaire.

i found this interesting. the name we as blacks wish to call ourselves has gone through many changes in our attempts at self-discovery, and in those changes, we've come to view certain labels as offensive, outdated, and some to be fitting. it seems like we've become aware in more recent times that some terms we used to call ourselves were simply names that were given to us by whites. it wasn't what we wanted to call ourselves or what we identified ourselves as. i think many a times we take offense to words like "negro" and "colored" because of negative associations we have with it. for example, none of the people i knew prior to...the last year used the term "colored", and no one i know uses the term "negro" (not in a positive or neutral light anyway...). so the only times i've heard those terms were in movies showing the racial tensions of early America and in text books highlighting the same time period..and usually they were coming from the mouths of racists. or i've heard them from older whites in my hometown community. so, naturally, i wouldn't use the term myself, but would i get offended at the term? i would say it depends on the context.

in this context, for me, i don't find the term offensive. it has no negative definition such as the term "nigger", so i find it to be an indifferent word that we just associate negatively. however, when an older white person uses the term when they're describing young boys they think want to rob, stab, and kill them just because they have on hooded sweatshirts...then it becomes offensive. but it has to do with the context, and the individual using the word, and not necessarily the word itself.

at one point, we were called negroes and niggers, then we were colored, then afro-americans, then african-americans, and more recently, we're black. but which, if any of these terms (with the exception of the obvious..) is the best to describe us...or is it just one? why exactly is the term "negro" outdated? has it always been offensive? is it meant to be offensive? even if it isn't meant to be offensive, is it? defines the term as such:
"1. Anthropology. a member of the peoples traditionally classified as the Negro race, esp. those who originate in sub-Saharan Africa: no longer in technical use.
2. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of one of the traditional racial divisions of humankind, generally marked by brown to black skin pigmentation, dark eyes, and woolly or crisp hair and including esp. the indigenous peoples of Africa south of the Sahara.
3. being a member of the black peoples of humankind, esp. those who originate in sub-Saharan Africa."

the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language on the same website defined it as this:
"n. pl. Ne·groes Often Offensive
A Black person. See Usage Note at black.
A member of the Negroid race. Not in scientific use"

the online Etymology Dictionary said this about the origin and history of the word:
member of a black-skinned race of Africa," 1555, from Sp. or Port. negro "black," from L. nigrum (nom. niger) "black," of unknown origin. Use with a capital N- became general early 20c. (e.g. 1930 in "New York Times" stylebook) in ref. to U.S. citizens of African descent, but because of its perceived association with white-imposed attitudes and roles the word was ousted late 1960s in this sense by Black (q.v.).

here's what Malcolm X had to say about the term:
"when you have no knowledge if your history, you're just another animal; in fact, you're a Negro; something thats nothing. the only black man on earth who is called a negro is one who has no knowledge of his history. the only black man in earth who i called a negro is one who doesn't know where he came from. thats the one in america. they don't call Africans negroes.
why, i had a white man tell me the other day, "he's not a negro." here the man was black as night, and the white man told me, "he's not a negro. he's an african." i said "well, listen to him." i knew he wasn't, but i wanted to pull old whitey out, you know. but it shows you thaty they know this. you ate negro because you don't know who you are, you don't knoe what you are, you don't know where you are, and you don't know how you got here. but as soon as you wake up and find out the positive answer to all these things, you cease being a negro. you become somebody."

these were the photos that popped up when i typed the word "negro" into google image search.

comment. think. discuss. comment.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Malcolm X quotes

i read the book By Any Means Necessary by Malcolm X a month or so ago and its one of the most insightful books i've ever read. it is a compilation book of his speeches, interviews, radio broadcasts, NOI meetings and rallies.
i think its necessary for everyone to read reread and take heed at Malcolm's words because he seems to be misunderstood by many people who haven't read his actual words. in a political forum i was on a while, there was a discussion about him, and there were accusations of him being pro-violence, angry, and anti-white. even now, i think many people find it easier to identify with Martin Luther King Jr's path and not Malcolm's mainly because of these accusations.
he wasn't ant-white, he was pro-black. he was not violent, he simply understood the need for self-defense and did not sugarcoat the need for it. and yes, actually, he may have been angry. anyone who knew/knows the reality of the situation for being black in America should have also been angry. i think that anger is quintessential for change. and specifically for the black struggle in America, i think anger was/is fundamental; a prerequisite. bell hooks talks about having a rage that is more than justified against the white supremacist capitalist patriarchal country we live in in Killing Rage...a book i highly recommend. although, i must say that the Buddha raises a good polemic against violence, in favor or pacifism....'s excerpts i found most insightful and relevant to the cause:

Spellman: what is your attitude toward Christian Ghandian groups?
malcolm: Christian? Ghandian? i don't go for anything thats nonviolent and turn-the-other-cheekish. i don't see how any revolution-i've never heard of a nonviolent revolution or a revolution that was brought about by turning the other cheek, and so i believe that it is a crime for anyone to teach a person who is being brutalized to continue to accept that brutality without doing something to defend himself. if this is what the christian-ghandian philosophy teached, then it is criminal-a criminal philosophy.
spellman: what is the program for acheiving your goals of separation?
malcolm: a better word to use that separation is independence. this word "separation" is misused. the thirteen colonies separated from England but they called it Declaration of Independence; they don't call it the Declaration of Separation, they call it the Declaration of Independence. when you're independent of someone you can separate from them. if you can't separate from them it means you're not independent of them. so what was your question?
spellman: what is your program for achieving your goals in independence?
malcolm: when the black man in this country awakens, becomes intellectually mature and able to think for himself, you will then see that the only way he will becomes independent and recongnized as a human being, he has to have what they have and he has to be doing for himself what others are doing for themselves. so the first step is to awaken him to this, and that is where the religion of Islam makes him morally more able to rise above the evils and the vices of an immoral society. and the political, economic, and social philosophy of black nationalism instills within him the racial dignity and the incentive and the confidence that he needs to stand on his own feet and take a stand for himself.

"Revolution is like a forest fire, it burns everything in its path. the people who are involved in a revolution don't become a part of the system-they destroy the system, they change the system. the genuine word for revolution is Umwaelzung which means a complete overturning and a complete change, and the negro revolution is no revolution. because it condemns the system and then asks the system that it has condemned to accept them into their system. that is not a revolution- a revolution changes the system, it destroys the system and replaces it with a better one."

"there can be no white-black solidarity until theres first some black solidarity. we have got to get our problems solved first..."

"it is we who have fought your battles for you, and have picked your cotton for you. we built this house that you're living in. it was our labor that built this house. you sat beneath the old cotton tree telling us how long to work or how hard to work, but it was our labor, our sweat and our blood that made this country what it is, and we're the only ones who haven't benefited from it. all we're saying today is, its payday-retroactive."

"no white person would go about fighting for freedom in the same manner that he has helped me and you to fight for our, none of them would. when it comes to black freedom, then the white man freedom-rides and sits in, he's nonviolent, he sings "we shall overcome" and all that stuff. but when the property of the white man himself is threatened, he's not nonviolent. he's only nonviolent when he's on your side. but when he's on his side he loses all that patience and nonviolence...Our people aren't going to wait ten years. if this house is a house of freedom and justice and equality for all, if thats what it is, then lets have it. and if we can't all have it, then none of us will have it."

"i'm not bloodthirsty. i'm one of 22 million black people in this country who's tired of being the victim of hypocrisy by a country that supposedly practices democracy."

"prior to one hundred years ago, they didn't need tricks. they had chains. and they needed the chains because you and i hadn't yet been brainwashed thoroughly enough to submit to their brutal acts of violence submissively. prior to a hundred years ago, you has men like Nat Turner, that Brother Benjamin was talking about, and others, Toussaint L'Overture. none of them would submit to slavery. they'd fight back by any means necessary. and it was only after the spirit of the black man was completely broken and his desire to be a man was completely destroyed, then they has to use different tricks. they just took the physical chains from his ankles and put them on his mind."

"we don't organize any black man to be a democrat or a republican because both of them have sold us out."

"...the oppressed never uses the same yardstick as the oppressor."

"question 22: the first guy that was shot at the moment of the Independence War was a negro.
malcolm: he wasn't shot for negroes. he was shot for america. i don't want to take away from Crispus Attucks, but he was shot. he was a slave. his people were slaves.
question 23: he was a slave perhaps, but not on his knees-on his feet.
malcolm: sir, you can take a dog...and sic him on somebody else and he's fearless. i'd like to give you an example. no matter how fearless a dog is, you catch him out on the street, stamp your foot; he'll run because you're only threatening him. his master has never trained him how to defend himself; but that same dog, if you walk through the master's gate, will growl and bite. why will he growl and bite over there and not growl and bite over here? over here he's growling and biting for the defense of his master and the benefit of his master, but when his only interests are threatened, he has no growl. nto only Crispus Attucks, but many of us in America have died defending America. we defend our master. we're the most violent soldiers America has when she sends us to Korea or to the South Pacific or to Saigon, but when our mothers and our own property are being attacked we're nonviolent. Crispus Attucks laid down his life for America, but would he have laid down his life to stop the white man in America from enslaving black people?"