Last night, Spike Lee won the Best Screen Play (I believe that's the title of his award) academy award for his 2018 film "Blackkklansman." Some people are taking issue with Lee's demonstrative display of emotion at winning the award, jumping into Samuel L. Jackson's arms like a child at a playground. What I resent is the overall celebration about a movie that uplifts a police agent who infiltrates African organizations fighting for justice for our people. Yes, I've heard the perspectives that the agent - Ron Stallworth - the person who's life the film is based on, was allegedly so moved by the speech Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) gives that he is motivated to stop infiltrating African organizations (again, allegedly) and turns his focus to the ku klux klan.
Reiterating Sekou Ture's ill refutable analysis that the role of culture is to inspire and advance the people's struggle for justice and liberation, its important to note that very few entertainers and athletes are worthy of any level of real respect. Most of them cater to capitalism, prioritizing their potential to earn riches over the conditions of the masses of humanity. That's the reason so many of them are radio silent in the face of overwhelming attacks against our people. Some of these entertainers/athletes even adopt and mimic the racist positions articulated by our enemies against us. They do this in the hopes that their shameful sellout will bring rewards of financial benefit.
On Sunday morning, February 21, 1965, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz - Malcolm X - was brutally shot 16 times in front of his wife, daughters, and hundreds of supporters at the Audobon Ballroom in Harlem, New York, U.S. We know that two of the three persons convicted for his murder were not even at the Audobon that day. We also know that the only reason the third suspect was caught was because the people captured him at the scene. Its also painfully evident that at least four of the persons responsible for Malcolm's physical disappearance were never captured. And its reported that at least one of those persons still walks around Harlem today. Who was the man known as Malcolm X who was viciously murdered on that stage in 1965? What did he actually stand for? And why did someone, or some people deem it necessary to take his life?
In recent days, former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current NFL safety Eric Reid settled their collusion lawsuit against the NFL. The collusion suit resulted from Kaepernick and Reid correctly believing that adverse treatment they received from the NFL was retaliation for their leadership in the national anthem protests against police terrorism. Kaepernick and Reid, when both played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, initiated the kneeling during the anthem and multiple players from multiple NFL teams began to engage in similar protests during the anthem every week leading through games throughout the 2018 season. During that 2016 season, Kaepernick started most of the 49ers games and performed well enough on a bad team. He completed 60% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Those aren't Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers numbers, two quarterbacks considered the best in the game, but Kaepernick's stats were far better than a number of quarterbacks currently on NFL rosters.
I wrote/posted an article yesterday challenging the merits of the so-called "American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS)" movement. In response, a sister stated that Africans born outside of the U.S. have never done anything to help Africans within the U.S. Her reference point was petti-bourgeoisie Africans from the continent who come to the U.S. I responded that many Africans born within the U.S. turn their backs on our people also so that is an issue of class struggle within our communities, not a factor based on where we are born.
Back in 2007, FOX News (for folks in Africa, etc., its a U.S. right wing propaganda news channel) show "Hannity and Colmes" aired a segment featuring someone identified as Ted Hayes. This person was presented as a "right wing street activist in Los Angeles, California, U.S." with a group called "Choose Black America." On that show, Hayes presented his group as a foremost organization in African political thought throughout the U.S. as it relates to their position against Indigenous (or what you probably call Latino) immigration into this country. Of course, FOX News in general, and their Sean Hannity in particular, couldn't identify the truth if it slapped them across the face. So, it shouldn't surprise anyone in the know that this show went on to lift this person and his group up as a legitimate voice in national discourse around immigration in this country. The truth is this so-called "Choose Black America" was really a front group formed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a European dominated and led organization that has pushed against immigration for brown people for years.
The advent of the internet and social media is indeed a wonderful thing. We can communicate with anyone around the world in real time. We can share information and experiences at a rate that would have taken us weeks to accomplish just 50 years ago. There are also real shortcomings with this technology. Part of the problem isn't the fault of the technology itself. Western capitalist societies place priority on profit. Get money. Get it anyway you can at all times. Make getting money your most important mission in life. The constant propagation of this primitive concept has done a lot to stunt the intellectual capacity of people and this phenomenon has created challenges with social media. Information today comes at us at an unprecedented rate. Since this technological advancement is fueled by the most individualistic philosophical foundation, the type of political sophistication that can only come from collective nurturing and development doesn't exist most of the time. Consequently, this mass barrage of information overwhelms society. Most of us have absolutely no analytical tools at our disposal. We cannot decipher the difference between a well researched and balanced piece of analysis from something someone jumped on the toilet to write. The only assessment tool so many people are working with is how things make them feel. Analysis has become defined by everyone's subjective individualistic experiences. This problem has become so pronounced that most of the time, nobody is even calling for analytical information to challenge most of the points being bandied about as analysis today.
I have spent the last 40 years understanding that my spiritual father was Malcolm X. It was reading about him at age 17 that initially helped me understand the problems I'd experienced in my short life at that time. In those early years I saw the courageous warriors of the Black Panther Party, who evolved just minutes from where I myself grew up, as my older siblings. Women like Ms. Shirley Graham DuBois and Amy Garvey(s) were my mothers and from those associations I eventually began to appreciate the massive contributions of people like Kwame Nkrumah, Seku Ture, Amilcar Cabral, etc. Thus, my decision to dedicate my life to helping build capacity for those ideas to come into practical reality.
Understanding this critical history has never been more important than it is in 2019 and beyond. Today, those who are genuinely concerned about the future of this planet (in every healthy way possible) are faced with unprecedented challenges. Any elementary study of human progress reveals that the most efficient way to defeat any challenge is to understand the history of how the challenge came about. The U.S. Black power movement of the 1960s and 70s generated significant victories that most of the population is still benefiting from today. Before the civil rights and Black power movements, the status quo for everything in this society was rich European (white) men. They were the only face in business, education, labor, politics, and popular culture. Everyone else was simply a caricature for their usage and pleasure. This is objective history that no one can factually dispute. And, this is at least part of the reason so many white men are so angry and frustrated today. The overwhelming majority of them are much to spineless and intellectually lazy to comprehend that the (very real) oppression they experience results from the capitalist system, not the people who are much more subjugated by the system than they are. For most of them, the only way they can wrap their minds around what's happening now is by seeing things within the narrow and subjective vision that something they earned is being taken away from them. What's actually happening is the civil rights and Black power movements simply opened up opportunities for people who previously had no options. Since the capitalist system functions all the time based on the perception of scarcity e.g. there's not enough (this is how they convince people to compete against each other instead of them), the limited opportunities that exist within this backward society for people to advance has been forced by these movements to open up some and this has led to a few less chances for white men who previously enjoyed full and unchallenged access, at least compared to everyone else in society.