Olbermann for President. Read more!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The Rumors are true, there will be a new Immortal Technique CD coming out at the end of this Spring. And I am going on a short tour to promote it before I go back and finish the next CD. I have partnered with Green Lantern to bring you the new project entitled
“The 3rd World”
It is an album/mixtape of all original tracks. Political but something very brutal and street orientated like I mentioned in earlier interviews.
I was told that for every page you write in a journal you lose readers, and while I don’t expect you all to sit here for 20 minutes in your busy day to read this entry... It costs less than a stamp to print this up and read in the bathroom or on a break to spread the word.
Now… all of the journal entries that I have made on this page have been toward a specific cause or a subject matter that I have found integral to the survival, advancement, and the education of the Revolutionary spirit of my people. When I say “my people” though, I have already lost some of the more cynical and semantic-driven individuals who would answer, “Are we not all Americans?” Or even deeper and more placating to philosophical means, “Are we not all human beings?” And what of the class structured divisions? Am I to resent another because they were born into wealth, by no fault of their own, as are those who are looked down upon by this society because they are born naked into the world screaming in a refugee camp? Is it not my responsibility to educate those that are kept in a prison of opportunity and blind ignorance to the outside world much like the prince Siddhartha before his divine revelation? Who are “my people?”
It took me most of my young life to begin understanding and learning the extremely long and painful history behind the concept of race. That it was built around the necessity to justify slavery and religious superiority for something beyond the visible goals mentioned. It was created to enforce economic and political domination. When I acknowledged that, it shone a light on a great many things. We must understand that the countries that we immigrate from to America are the bread basket for this empire, and without them there wouldn’t be a fraction of the luxuries, culture and food we have now. The propaganda behind immigration is a necessity for some to drum up because there is a fear of our culture. But if we take away the influence of Latino, African, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures what do the xenophobic racists who hide behind the preservation of “American Culture” really have. I am not threatened by other people’s beliefs and their religious preferences because my convictions are strong, because I have faith in my perspective and I welcome the ideological challenges and historical debate. Were I weak and fearful of confronting those changes perhaps I would fear the addition of more opinions. Such the same are people with allowing others to practice their own culture, because in truth American culture is essentially to many uneducated white Americans supposed to be centered in European culture. Which has never really been true, but has been perceived that way for the past couple of centuries. But now we are calling on America to fulfill it’s promise or wear the crown of hypocrisy it has been ducking and dodging for years.
It was Leo Strauss, one of the surrogate fathers of modern conservatism that suggested that liberalism had failed in the 60’s and 70’s because of the social revolt and apparent movement towards nihilism and hedonistic impulses that tried to devoid the nation of a moral foundation. But there is no greater mischaracterization. The nation was not led astray or conflicted but was in fact schizophrenic during that Revolutionary era. It was torn between the identity it claimed as the Land of the Free and that of the violent oppressor of it’s own people and those with a desire of self-governing over the 3rd World. There are people who have been naïve enough to believe the subtle propaganda thrown out there that attempts to marginalize people who speak about the method in which Communism and Capitalism served the great empires of the world. In such a manner was their service rendered that too many people behind the scenes grew rich at the expense of vassal states that served one or the other side. They were dedicated to the doctrine but unable to look beyond the meaning of their own significance when confronted with the reality that they were pawns in a much larger game. And while the people who lived through such chaos begin to realize the cause and effect in their old age sometimes their children forget. The second generation immigrants that come here from Latin American, Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries sometimes have only have a pedestrian understanding of what past US interventionism has been a part of, in order to protect what it calls “it’s interests.”
With the dollar in the toilet and the subject of the economy FINALLY becoming a national issue the ideas on how to rebuild an economy, and define our foreign policy are still muddled. Some proposed that a low dollar is good for business because others can now buy American products cheaper and it helps us sell goods abroad, until it began to sink like the Lusitania and the average persons savings account lost a significant % on the global market. But since that idiot Brit Hume and the rest of the Right Wing fluff girls on Fox aren’t missing a meal and, none of their friends are struggling to make ends meet, they kept proposing that the economy was doing fine… Unless of course you asked a regular person, and regular people I’m glad to see have finally started making issues like these and healthcare a part of the election instead of nonsense sidelines distractions like missions to Mars and constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage or the big illegal immigrant scare which I’ll discuss shortly…
I recently walked into a store downtown the other day because it was cold as hell outside and I wanted to buy a hat. I found two that looked identical, one was a little thicker than the other and hat a larger brim on it. I picked the heavier hat and looked it over, it had a big sticker that said “Made in America” and named a factory in Michigan where it was made. And right next to it there was another hat with some famous name brand that was thinner and looked kinda flimsy. I looked inside the hat and it said “Made in Vietnam.” Vietnam is a country that this nation once lost a Guerilla war against, (for a variety of reasons) but while the fall of Saigon symbolized the end of Americas forced occupation of the country it was a pyrrhic victory for that nation and its neighbors that had their entire infrastructure obliterated after relentless bombing runs and years of fighting the colonial powers who have historically profited from this political love/hate relationship.
I compared the hats in price and I saw that this item that was made for and handful of pennies in a foreign country with a brand name was selling for about $16 while the sturdier American made $4 hat stood unassumingly right next to it.
I usually buy hats, gloves and mixtapes all from the street vendors on 125th to offset the gentrification perpetuated by the corporate investments in the neighborhoods ruthless gentrification. Harlem is certainly not the same crime ridden area that had left murdered people on our front door when I was a child, but it was made into a nicer place for the specific purpose of moving certain people out and replacing the population of the area. All the while skyrocketing the cost of living. The equivalent of me coming over to your house renovating and cleaning it and you thinking I’m so nice for doing so, until you realize my ulterior motives. That I’m planning on eating in your kitchen, sleeping in your bedroom and living in your living room, but don’t worry I left you a little spot to sleep, next to the shitter. I often explain to my friends in the music business that soon there will be no more “hood” in New York City of which to speak in their rhymes, only to reminisce about. As outsourcing increases and technological revolution sets in workers find their job skills obsolete and their rents quadruples. But, like so many other things this is just a microcosm of a global effort to ethnically cleanse populations.
US economists have always “conveniently” seen the nationalization of natural resources as bad for the 3rd world because it is said to limit competition and stifle the growth of the global market. Unless of course you are CITGO or have control of your own nation with the sphere of influence and authority to create a national policy around your own market. These are the same people that advocate the exploitation of foreign workers under the premise that those are the best paying jobs in the developing world’s sector and that they are doing the local population a favor by being there. And the 3rd world governments are usually compliant, not because of the economic growth to the nation itself, but rather they look the other way from substandard conditions and outlawed unionizing because of the massive amount of corporate kick-backs they get. The responsibility for unbridled corruption falls on the shoulders of both laissez fair economics practicing companies and installed regimes that are “friendly” to what we call “US interests.” Maybe that’s why we forcefully install and protect so many dictatorships and look away from the abuses of those authoritarian regimes we try to pass of as democracies engage in.
Some will point out that I could have saved you all about 3 or 4 paragraphs by concluding that we go to war for money. Some people have told me that these long dissertations of mine are too complicated to read and that they should be simplified because somehow I’m “less from the streets” if I express myself in these terms. But I’m writing this from Harlem right now. I’m still back and forth from South America where the ghettos are tougher than anything ever seen in the States. And the purpose for this was to express that the economic downturn and outsourcing in this nation does NOT strengthen the local structure but reverses the functionality of labor practices, democracy and human rights law in the developing world.
Global trickle down economics shouldn’t be the mantra of 21st century society.
Needless to say I bought the $4 hat and I left and it left me thinking about the rational behind the debasement of our currency. I also thought about how whenever I did any of the prison programs I do for young Black and Latino people and walked through all the neighborhoods in America I saw people of all so called races, and social walks of life who gained nothing but suffering from our foreign policy.
So naturally the question that always comes to mind when I read about protecting US interests is “Just whose interests in the US are we protecting?” It’s most certainly not the interests of the people at the bottom of the de facto caste system. They are not on the board of directors at the Banks that give developing countries loans to pay off the interest from the loans they were previously given a few decades ago. And they aren’t ones who have been selling you a $5 cup of coffee that costs a fraction of a penny to produce while starving out their workers and blocking their collective bargaining. People who argue that the middle class would enjoy discounts by way of cheaper products because of outsourcing jobs are useless. Their like an asshole who roots for a sports team with the logic that if they win the superbowl, or the world series they will personally inherit the economic boom enjoyed by the city itself. Local businesses have a good day but, sports stores sell Jersey’s, the city pays for a new stadium sometimes. But after that the painfully obvious fact that there is little gain sinks in and someone’s who just lost their 401K ‘s gotta clean up the ticker tape parade. Mind you this coming from a man who put up dough on the Giant’s for 17-1 odds, so it’s not about me hating on sports.
The average American citizen shares probably about a fraction of a percentage, an almost negligible amount of profit for what we achieve abroad. Compared to those sitting on the top of the pyramid that it is. Everything that we touch is imported from the far reaches of the world. Here it provides us with a variety of goods, but what do we trade for that? When did turning a blind eye to Pakistan’s political assassinations while dumping money in the hands of warlords and funding the political “stability” (ie: payoffs to heads of state that allow horribly sub-standards conditions of work) suddenly become in the interest of all the Black and Latino and even middle class white communities???
They aren’t protecting us from terrorism. As a matter of fact it’s become apparent that whether they like to admit it or not the end result of them shielding extremists and militants justifies our presence in the region. We have trouble even deciding what that word and torture means anymore. It isn’t even in the interest of any of the Semitic Diaspora here of either Jewish or Palestinian descent who wish to find a lasting peace when we fund billions of dollars to an IDF war machine. But it’s still actually seen as the “duty” of American according to the corporate media to sponsor that. (Both Hillary and Obama are staunch supporters of Israel by the way)
It’s interesting that the ratio of the population would really have us sending more money to a variety of other countries that have a higher number of representatives among our constituency. This unbalance wouldn’t bother me so much as a taxpayer except that when the inner city communities ask for money from the Federal Government it’s characterized as welfare by the pious GOP and even some Democrats and Libertarians. I think back to the people of El Salvador and those in Nicaragua whose right to elect whatever form of government suited their economy best was blocked. A civil war was funded to a degree that I don’t think modern historian really have the intellectual courage to come to terms with yet. But they have to now. Because the restructuring of 500 yr old class and racial structures perpetrated by European nations during the age of Conquest is the right of every 3rd World nation. It is not our right to be hateful and racist in a reactionary manner but it is our right to be offensive with facts to the oppressor if that means taking back what was stolen from us during the era of Colonialism.
Colonialism. I am one of many who have suggested that this word doesn’t do the period of 1492 to 1994 justice. It doesn’t embody the same awe inspiring terror that words and phrases like “Genocide” or “Systematic Rape” do. But that is exactly what it is. It is decorated with high interest loans that modernize a small % of the country, it is littered with so-called missionaries, it even though it exchanged military presence for a more subtle mercantile monopoly it cannot hide. It coats the concept of ruthless and deceptive control with sweet sugar, but the sugar itself was probably processed through the backbreaking slave labor that our ancestors toiled in during the age of our physical bondage. And now to escape mental slavery we must understand the various dimensions of this foreign policy. We must comprehend the history that mutated a free nation into a slave state after years of violating the land and the people who lived on it.
Around the world there are those who don’t live in the safety of a college dorm or the shelter of even pubic housing and whose Revolutionary ideas, are not sabotaged by the super powers that be. To understand instead of romanticize why people in developing countries Revolt and yet are fearful of Revolution for a good reason we must destroy the mythology of such a struggle. For innocent people always die and innocent women are always raped, even in fighting for the most just causes. I have stated before that this has happened in all Revolutions dating back to the dawn of organized government and tribal society. But when a system has become so corrupt, so blatantly abusive of the people and their capacity to endure the hypocrisy and burden of a nonfunctional or non-believable centralized system, the people chose to risk it all. They risk death, misery torture, and they risk uncertainty. They risk starvation and annihilation for a new life, not just for themselves, but more importantly for their children. But when governments are overthrown by outside sources for the purpose of regime change the economic motivations far outweighs the peoples’ interests.
That is the difference in between a Revolution, and what the ideal that the right wing asks the people of Iraq to pay for. In the end it is someone else’s vision of their country and the control of their oil supply. The concept of Freedom is a propaganda tool rather than a symbiotic partner of Democracy. The Revolution is betrayed and the war exists to prolong war itself and consolidate power, not abroad, but here.
Trying to understand the dynamic of our relationship as a Federal Republic, whose corporations are its image abroad as much as it’s military presence around the world without digesting these facts is nonsensical. In order to understand Christianity for example or even Islam, one must understand the history of their regions of origin. One must learn the history of the Egyptian Dynasty’s, the Roman Empire, the Parthian Empire, Zoroastrianism, The Khazars, The Byzantine Empire, the Caliphate and the Northern African nations who adopted all these religions at one point in time. One must be able to grasp the idea of what the world that these faiths were born into was like. Judaism admiringly has the benefit of the Old Testament, which is intertwined with the historical essence of a people and the geopolitical reality of migration, survival and knowledge of self. Something I wish my people had more of. A Cultural Revolution without the destruction of ancient artifacts and the violation of human rights to bring a people struggling with their identity a new idea of who they were as a point of trajectory to not just see who they are, but who they will become in the future.
End of Part 1.
This political season because of the amount of influence that I guess I have with people who choose to immerse themselves in the culture and roots of Hip Hop, Supporters of Street Organizations, Youth in general and specifically the young Latino, Black & Middle Eastern intellectual base, I have been approached by many representatives for the people who are running for office. Some have asked me for endorsements, and some have just wanted to talk. (Note: Hillary Clinton and the Major Republican factions were not among them.) I have, been approached the most though by Cynthia McKinney, Obama and Ron Paul supporters who are either former Democrats or Republicans, (I have right wing acquaintances believe it or not…) I had a small debate with a select few of the more heavily involved upper tier of them about some serious issues I had with Ron Paul as a political entity. Even though some people throw their support behind him because of his libertarian and fiscal conservatism, we must be clear that he doesn’t pose a threat to the structure of the right wing as much as he poses a threat to the balance of the left wing. Libertarian doesn’t mean liberal after all, and it’s not synonymous with Revolutionary.
If there are young and impressionable people coming from the left and the democratic party to support a man who claimed to be “the most conservative member of the Republican Party” during the presidential debates. There is something wrong with that. That’s not hip, sexy or cool. Stripping down the Dept. of Education and replacing it with some bone marrow devoid femur of a tax credit borders on ludicrous and I don’t mean the rapper muthafucka. He may speak volumes of truth about some domestic issues and the foreign policy that we have concerning Iraq. But it’s not enough.
I won’t vote for someone just because they wish to end the war and talk about bringing the troops home, because so does Obama and even Clinton alludes to downsizing. But think about it, without that message, without his call for the ending of the war in Iraq and talking about the causes for 9/11, he would not be in the limelight or have garnered a tenth of the support that he had. It would be the equivalent, numerically, although not ideologically to George Bush not being an evangelical Christian and seeking the nomination back in 2000. I’m not suggesting that people who support him are all naïve and stupid, not at all. But I have only met a handful of people who knew the extent of his positions besides a “humble foreign policy” and closing the borders. Sure I read the websites and watched the debates, read all his platforms but I also did research. This debate is interesting on all key issues especially for Republicans.
I can applaud Dr. Paul’s theorized ideas about US policy abroad and while I will admit that his ideas about tax reform are very interesting especially about deconstructing the IMF (which I’m sure would cost him his life,) some of his domestic policies are an indefensible failure. Sadly some have even become the safe haven for white people who like to hide their bigotry and small-minded uncultured ideas about the principles of democracy and the historical context of immigration behind his message. And I’m not saying he’s a racist, because first of all that terminology itself is so overused it needs to be updated and redefined as much the phrase “Real Hip Hop.” I’m not mad because he got money and refused to give it back to white supremacists. I understood his reasoning. I didn’t, however buy his rationale that claimed a, ‘property rights’, issue as the reason he voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. The bill that allows Black, Brown and White people to eat at the same places, go to the same schools and drink at the same fountains, that legislation that hate it or love it, forced integration. That’s something confederate flag waving whites have associated with “big government” and have hated Democrats for, ever since in the South was occupied by General Grants Army.
No, we didn’t need to go to “white schools” to get a better education, (“I’ve heard this attempt at a logical argument by conservative African Americans) we needed the same resources and attention that this fundamentally racist government thought we didn’t need because we were slated to be a permanent underclass in the land of the free. Blacks and Indigenous people were purported by Eugenicists during the early 20th century to become extinct, so therefore no effort was made to preserve their condition. And even without that theory there was no real expectation for us to join the elite that’s why education was seen as a farfetched idea for our populations.
The Civil Rights Bill and the way it was implemented as well as Affirmative Action are as I stated before, are a pathetic excuse for reparations, but without it we would be a modernized version of South Africa during the early 1980’s.
There is little justification for this issue so I refuse to be mischaracterized as someone who “Doesn’t get it” or is “confused” about his position. No son, I know what they are and apparently if your reading this and you are in disagreement then there is a question about your Revolutionary nature...not mine.
I would love to see Cynthia McKinney get some more light in the press considering that if we are talking about standing up for your principles and putting it all on the line, none of them hold a candle to this woman. But I would also love to see Obama get the nomination and win, I liked his reps very much, just like the Ron Paul supporters ( who were very respectful and debated well), very dedicated to changing the direction of this nation. I just think that whoever Republicans are hoping to win they must have an agenda behind it and right now they are attacking Clinton hard because they want her to lose against Obama. I think they still believe she has a better shot of getting independent votes than McCain. Although, pay attention… McCain was smart enough to not feed into the negative media about illegal immigration. After his endorsement meeting with Arnold Schwarzenegger who beat native Californian Cruz Bustamante it became obvious that he plans to go after minorities by splitting the Latino vote almost in half the way Schwarzenegger did. McCain hopes to achieve the same result knowing that even if Clinton wins instead of Obama he is still not going to get any significant % of the African American vote. So that’s why banking on the Nation’s largest minority will be a must.
Some people are taken aback by McCain’s ideas about being in Iraq for 100 years, but I think that in some capacity we will remain there for a considerable amount of time regardless of who is president. After all the war in Germany has been over for about 60 years and we still have almost 80,000 troops there and the German government foots a 1 billion $ a year bill for their presence. We have 40,000 troops in South Korea and another 40,000 or so in Japan…We have thousands in Italy, Panama, Afghanistan, the Balkans etc… Essentially everywhere that we have gone to war or “intervened” so I think whether we are ready to accept it or not unless someone who has no strings attached wins this race it will be the same thing over and over again.
That’s why, I can heavily appreciate any message about America not being in Iraq, although having a non interventionist policy in these terms of absolutism leaves questions about what one would do in cases like Rwanda and Darfur. But realize that when you decide to police the world and reap the economic benefits of having a capitalist scaffold built around the world you have to pay maintenance of an empire. If nothing else for the illusion that you really represent freedom and liberty for the people around the world, but when we go to Kuwait and not to Rwanda it makes things to obvious... Anything else gives us the same Clintonesque lateness that brought us to Bosnia a couple of years AFTER the massacres to overthrow an old fraction of a man who had already committed atrocities in the face of the world unchallenged. The question was posed here…
http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/special/forums/video.html Check the Darfur q&a
I think this debate is important to keep having, in order to better understand when and how to intervene, when or when not to send US troops or when to work with the UN to give food or supplies to a cause. It is objectionable to anyone with a conscious to NOT think we should have done more or should be doing more all these scenarios. But the question becomes, when do we run in to provide aid for the sake of our moral responsibility and when is it a question of our selfish corporate interests? What litmus test can be run to determine the global consequence and the genuine cause that precedes any other agenda when we enter another nation?
That is the real debate we need to have.
A charismatic leader who is true to his or her ideals, and doesn’t betray them for the sake of money or comfort is admirable. But that doesn’t imply they are Revolutionary. Ron Paul was a breath of fresh air in some domestic respects and when it comes to his position on world issues he was often mischaracterized and slandered as a, “Neville Chamberlain” of the Right Wing when he is just a man who understands the fiscal reality of this mess in Iraq. He was right on when he was talking about repealing federal drug laws that are fundamentally racist, I thought his honest views about abortion brought legal issues into question and he admirably changed his position on the death penalty. But he and other conservatives and libertarians are not at all progressive or Revolutionary as some call them when it comes to the issues of immigration. Unless Revolutionary involves repealing the citizenship of children here in American born to undocumented parents and shipping them back home. He’s definitely not as intellectually backward enough to think we can round people up with the Army so I can applaud that because he was definitely not as one dimensional as say this screaming harpy below.
Who I’m going to present now, not because there is an ounce of validity that can even be considered, but to show how conservatives invent people. This woman had NO political leverage whatsoever. She didn’t even have a reason for being on the air. She’s helped nobody but herself talking about (just like Lou Dobbs) and yet FOX and others have decided to give people like this a platform. Because it is a divisive issue for whites in America and it is becoming so for Blacks especially where there are issues of Black/Brown violence growing in the communities. She reportedly endorsed Ron Paul openly once after Tom Tancredo (long overdue to) threw in his chips but the endorsement was asked to be rescinded, and subsequently was, because to put it quite frankly, they thought the bitch was a liability.
None of my criticisms of any of the politicians I have mentioned are said out of disrespect, so I don’t think it’s possible to marginalize or attempt to defame me as an individual for having a mind of my own and not wanting to be a part of the “Young Libertarian Republican Revolution.” Because to be quite honest I’d rather shoot heroin...
But, I do have a great amount of esteem for any man who will stand among the people in his own party or political wing and fight vigorously against pure illogicality.
For example I have argued hard with a lot of rebels and historically challenged militants about how white people are not devils. I’ve definitely had the ongoing discussion about Marx’s economic principles being flawed and how socialism itself needs a new definition and new understanding, a new testament if you will. I’ve argued about Che Guevara’s mishandling of the Cuban economy and his marriage to Communism instead of Revolutionary independence even though he was right about the Sino Soviet dispute. I’ve argued about how Islam, although incredibly revolutionary in its context as a spiritual and social mechanism for people who live under oppression still has the capacity as it has proven in the past to be an agent of conquest in Africa just as Christianity once was. And although my mind was opened to another chamber by reading the Qu’ran, you cannot talk to me about it as a religious faith without speaking on the history of Islam, Arabs and The Middle East in general and the entire region in historical perspective. If you are majoring in the subject or would like to learn more I would suggest reading at least couple of volumes of Al-Tabari’s (838-923) “The History of Prophets and Kings”. I highly recommend Volume 36, “The Revolt of the Zanj”, for those who are more advanced in this area of study.
****I will NOT tolerate someone’s misinterpretation of what I just said, because all versions of history are my greatest ally. Virtually all religions after all are brought to people by their conquerors. And any religion can be used by an imperial power’s tool to reinforce it’s sphere of influence over a region much like the Ottoman Empire did in the Balkans, Spain did with Christianity in the Americas. So whether in violent campaigns or through the condescension of missionary agents that come into a country to offset the cruelty of the colonial powers the result is the same... a consolidation of political power through the use of religion.****
But this is not a criticism of any religion in specific terms but rather the idea that anyone who would follow a prophet or a doctrine is flawed from the moment they are born. They are human after all and so when unquestionable divinity is attributed to anyone or anything besides God, it is often the benchmark for where the excuses and indulgences of civic and economic practice begin. A prophet of God is a man of peace but his followers are almost always men who use the divine power of the message to satisfy their thirst for power. And then it is no longer God making man in his own image but rather man who makes and then remakes God in HIS own image to suit whatever military, economic or social agenda he has planned.
We all have our hypocrisies and flaws. But I’m not conceited or easily disillusioned so I don’t shy away from addressing them and trying to fix them when they are pointed out, that’s the process of growing intellectually. I think anyone who would take offense to my honest and fair questions would do themselves, their ideas and their favored candidate a great disservice.
After all I can at least validate the honesty of the opinions given by John McCain, Ron Paul, Colin Powell and others who walked their talk and went to fight in Vietnam. However misguided that war really was, at least they stood by what they preached, it actually makes a debate with their ideas more constructive. Unlike the college Republican chicken hawks who cloud issues to avoid debate and ramble about Islamo-Fascism but would rather get raped with a paddle at a Fraternity initiation than fight in the desert against the, “mortal enemies of America.” I would think they’d be the first in line to raise arms against those who attacked us because they were jealous of our freedom and driven insane by the fact that we have cable TV.
As an apprentice of Revolution I train, and I read a lot. The master teachers I have studied from like John Henrik Clarke and others, opened doors to the past and helped me gain a perspective of my peoples past. But this also left me and other Revolutionaries with the responsibility of our nation’s future. A revolutionary owes his allegiance to the people, and therefore, I cannot be the champion of a privileged class of American citizens before those in our country that suffer the greatest weight of what this Federal Republic requires in order for them to earn their right to live here.
I fight for the working class and the immigrant in America who built and is building our future as we speak. I don’t think that everyone who has issues with immigration is a racist, that’s just not true. After all you can have serious issues with the domestic and foreign policy of Israel and not be Anti-Semetic (no matter what AIPAC says), and you don’t have to hate Blacks to question Affirmative action. But I spit in the face of those who would persecute immigrants under the guise of legality. So don’t think you can fuckin’ toy with me with your sheetrock-thin talking points. After all, how many Native American treaties and international laws has the US violated? I fight for both the documented and undocumented that live in this far reaching empire, those of all colors who have found their calling in a Revolutionary spirit.
Some people think I hate America. But I just see her for what she was, I see her for more than what she is, and I see what she still could be. I see potential for advancement in the way we think as human beings, while others just see the opportunity to keep using her like a whore until there is nothing left. Before of course they discard her and move on through the evolution of globalization that makes corporations gods and nations the lowly servants of false idol. I guess it makes it easier to marginalize my positions by calling me a conspiracy theorist for believing that government lies to it’s people, than it is to talk truth. It’s easier to send me death threats and bullshit emails about immigration, messages about being a nigger and spic instead of discussing the past 2000 years. I guess you forgot that I passed The Point of No Return…
And I think the people of this nation deserve better than what they have. They deserve to pay less taxes, and to have more accountability from their government. To have more efficient service and to stop the political nepotism that exists in Washington and, that has ruled this country incompetently for too long. America can be better than this. And its problems do not stem from people coming here to work. After all most of us immigrated here because our countries were taken over in a post-colonial age with the help of this and other former imperial powers for the express, purpose of exploiting our nations’ resources. Much like the music industry comes to the Underground to try and prostitute our talent. We come here for a new life, for freedom from fake democracy and the repression both political and religious of our people. We come here for the promise. But that promise is sometimes a lie.
The immigration issue is not a simple legal issue, it is a complex human rights question and a global reality that repeats itself every generational cycle. And now it is a tool to dismantle progressive ideas and to dismantle a nation of people who are on the brink of Revolution but choose to go backwards and forget what it was supposed to mean to be an “American”. I am not opposed to having immigrants learn English, after all I did. Spanish was my first language. But the attitude that we must give up all our culture just to assimilate is the testament to the racism sometimes involved with the immigration issue, because white Europeans didn’t have to give up theirs completely.
Our lengthy, often ignored, proud history before enslavement is who we really are spiritually, maybe that’s the problem. Maybe if we had a less important role in defining what it means to actually be a human being they wouldn’t give a fuck about us learning it. Those who worked here for over 10 years to build America should be able to celebrate that just as others here do without being deported. Spare the children who are innocent in all this prison camp like imprisonment and homelessness when you ship their parents back with these ICE traps. Learn, that if there is a God he surely would not smile down on a nation that cast out his poorest and humblest, and those that are stronger in their practice of faith than much of this nation. But even if we take religion out of the equation completely, one day the climate of this Earth will change. Remember that the only thing that protects us from the merciless radiation of the Sun is the magnetic field around Earth, which is theoretically caused by the constant revolutions of molten iron. Interestingly enough due to our slightly elliptical shape, the most protection garnered from this field, is at our equator, the center of the 3rd world. Perhaps one day we will be crossing the border South instead of North for survival, and I’m sure someone will come up with an excuse to take our land again.
I could go on for about 30 more pages of history and rip apart the general consensus on immigration held by those who favor deportation in America. But I won’t I’ll just say that we as so called Latino people are not the first to receive this treatment, all South Eastern Europeans (and Middle Easterners) including Italians, Armenians, Slavs, Greeks, etc were portrayed in the same light when they first came here. Immigrants are the life and blood of America, and yet we must suffer as many others did before us, the torments of the establishments that finds us incapable of assimilating to the American family and championing their selfish angry Eurocentric nationalist ideas. Interestingly enough while these nationalities I mentioned were eventually incorporated into America through the idea of a “melting pot”, we indigenous people were never meant to be a part of the melting pot idea. That was reserved for European immigrants. We were just the brown wood destined to be fuel for the fire. It is a destiny we now have the power to change and that we need to change. After all the real victims of the worst economies in America are those who are at the bottom, not the upper or middle class.
My people are suffering the most in this country, more than anyone. And regardless of your skin color, or religious affiliation, if you are strong willed, mature, progressive, intelligent, compassionate and Revolutionary, if you are someone who believes in truth and freedom, they are YOUR people too. And that in turn answers the initial question about who “my people” are.
I hear the word “change” being thrown around so much, repeated over and over by candidates, but nothing too specific about what exactly they will change. Ending the occupation in Iraq is a good change, but cutting funding for the Dept. of Education (whose teachers are severely underpaid and not given resources for better education as it is) because its BIG government isn’t a good change. Neither is repealing Roe Vs. Wade, and taking a woman’s right to a terminate pregnancy when she is the victim of rape or incest because of some theological doctrine that people who run as the Christian candidates like to use selectively. While I am not personally in favor of abortion that is my personal choice (that I will speak of on a later day) that I cannot apply to others. I think there is something to be said about the legality of life in the womb. But I sometimes wonder though how these individuals who have run on these strict pro-life tickets like Rick Santorum, Sam Brownback, Fred Thompson and Dick Cheney would’ve reacted if their wife or daughter was raped and she became pregnant, or if she was knocked up by some “swarthy non-English speaking sweaty illegal alien.” Someone that makes everything in their home including their dinner but they resent having to treat at the same hospitals or teach at the same schools.
My experience has taught me that people’s self-righteous, sanctimonious nature is usually only applicable in a vacuum, because in real life you have to bleed for it. So it’s easy for some people to think like this. It’s also easy for them to chant “stay the course”, most of them never picked up a rifle or stayed on extended tours in 120 degree weather while their families suffered back in the states, otherwise they might understand what it feels like to want to come home. It’s easy to think that “surge is working” until you realize that your tax dollars you don’t want going to “big government” are in Iraq buying off street gangs, Extremist Militia’s, with monthly stipends to decrease violence against US troops. Then again this war being conceived and then run by people who dipped out when it was their chance to serve still amazes me.
Next thing you know they’ll be putting Arabian Horse racers in charge of FEMA and hooking their girlfriends up with high paying jobs at the World Bank.
The world is a cold place sometime. I’m glad I bought that $4 hat.
Con Amor de Revolucion,
President of Viper Records
PLEEEEEEEEEEASE read the rest. Read more!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
New Orleans: Locked Outside the Gates
By Bill Quigley
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 28 December 2007
In a remarkable symbol of the injustices of post-Katrina reconstruction, hundreds of people were locked out of a public New Orleans City Council meeting addressing demolition of 4,500 public housing apartments. Some were tazered, many pepper sprayed and a dozen arrested.
Outside the chambers, iron gates were chained and padlocked even before the scheduled start.
The scene looked like one of those countries on TV that is undergoing a people's revolution - and the similarities were only beginning. (See video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMBWAXfGsc4 )
Dozens of uniformed police secured the gates and other entrances. Only developers and those with special permission from council members were allowed in - the rest were kept locked outside the gates. Despite dozens of open seats in the council chambers, pleas to be allowed in were ignored.
Chants of "Housing is a human right!" and "Let us in!" thundered through the concrete breezeway.
Public housing residents came and spoke out despite an intense campaign of intimidation. Residents were warned by phone that if they publicly opposed the demolitions they would lose all housing assistance. Residents opposed to the demolition had simple demands. If the authorities insisted on spending hundreds of millions to tear down hundreds of structurally sound buildings containing 4,500 public housing subsidized apartments, there should be a guarantee that every resident could return to a similarly subsidized apartment. Alternatively, the government should use the hundreds of millions to repair the apartments so people could come home. Neither alternative was acceptable to HUD. A plan of residents to partner with the AFL-CIO Housing Trust to save their homes was also ignored.
Outside, SWAT team members and police in riot gear and on horses began to arrive as rain started falling. Those locked out included public housing residents, a professor from Southern University, graduate students, the Episcopal bishop of Louisiana, ministers, lawyers, law students, homeless people who lived in tents across the street from City Hall, affordable housing allies from across the country and dozens of others.
Inside the chambers, the Rev. Torin Sanders and others insisted that the locked out persons be allowed to come and stand inside along the walls - a common practice for over 30 years. No one could recall any city council locking people out of a public meeting. The request to allow people to stand was denied. The council then demanded silence from those inside. Those who continued to demand that the others be let in were pointed out by police, physically taken down and arrested. Ironically, some young men were tasered right in front of the speaker's podium.
This was a meeting the council had repeatedly tried to avoid. It was only held after residents (100 percent African-American and nearly all mothers and grandmothers) got an emergency court order stopping demolitions until the council acted. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced long ago it was going to demolish 4,500 public housing apartments despite the Katrina crisis of affordable housing, no matter what anyone said. HUD had no plans to ask the council or anyone else for approval. The judge said otherwise, so the meeting was scheduled.
Leaders of the US Congress - Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid - asked that the decision be delayed 60 days so they could try to move forward on Senate Bill 1668, which would resolve many of the demolition problems. This request was backed by New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and presidential candidates John Edwards and Barack Obama.
Opponents cited the affordable housing crisis in New Orleans. Homeless people camped across from City Hall and for blocks under the interstate. The number of homeless people has doubled since Katrina. Thousands of residents in FEMA trailers across the Gulf Coast were being evicted. (More on the reasons to oppose demolition can be found here).
Solidarity demonstrations opposing demolition were held in Washington, DC; New York; Oakland; Minneapolis; Houston; North Carolina; Maine; Philadelphia; Cleveland, New Jersey and Boston. Thousands of people across the country contacted city council members. Dozens of community, housing and human rights groups petitioned the council not to demolish until there was an enforceable requirement of one-for-one replacement of housing.
But hours before the meeting began, a majority of the council publicly announced on the front page of the local paper that they were going to approve demolition no matter what people said at the meeting. The paper, the developers and others were delighted. Residents and affordable housing allies were not.
Inside, the council started the meeting surrounded by armed police, National Guard and undercover authorities from many law enforcement agencies.
Outside, the locked-out could see the people who had been arrested on the inside being dragged away to police wagons. A few of the protesters then pulled open one of the gates. The police started shooting arcs of pepper spray into the crowd. A woman's scream pierced the chaos as police fired tasers into the crowd. Medics wiped pepper spray from fallen people's eyes. A young woman who was tasered in the back went into a seizure and was taken to the hospital.
Inside and out, a dozen people were arrested - most for disturbing the peace. They joined another dozen who had been arrested over the past week in protest actions against the demolitions.
The City Council meeting continued. Supporters of demolition were given careful, courteous attention and softball questions by council members. Opponents less so.
Despite pleas from displaced residents, dozens of community organizations and federal elected officials, the New Orleans City Council voted unanimously to allow demolition to proceed. In its approval, the council did promise to urge HUD to listen to residents and to work for one-for-one replacement of affordable housing. Several city council members read from typed statements about their reasons to support demolition: the deplorable state of public housing; the lack of available money for repair; the oral promises of all, the federal government and developers, to do something better for the community.
After the meeting, residents vowed to continue their struggle for affordable housing for everyone and to resist demolitions - putting their bodies before bulldozers if necessary.
The struggle for affordable housing continues, as does the campaign to stop demolition until there is a real right to return and one-for-one replacement of housing. Residents and local advocates applaud and appreciate the support of allies from across the nation. Critics label national supporters as "outside agitators" - exactly the same charge leveled at civil rights activists historically. But people understand that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Public housing residents and local affordable housing advocates welcome the humble participation of social justice advocates of whatever age, of whatever race, from whatever place, who join and act in true solidarity.
Residents vow to make sure that the promises made by the council and the mayor are enforced. For example, the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, announced that he would not allow HUD to demolish two of the four housing developments until HUD gave documentation of funded plans including one-for-one replacement of the housing demolished and details of the developments and their plans.
The Senate will continue to be lobbied to pass SB 1668 - which would really guarantee one-for-one replacement of housing. It is currently stalled in the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee because of opposition by Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter.
Litigation is still pending in state and federal courts to enforce Louisiana and US laws that should protect residents from illegal demolitions. Investigations into the legality of locking people out of a public meeting, the legality of a law passed at such a meeting and the indiscriminate use of tasers and pepper spray are all ongoing.
Padlocked and chained gates will only amplify the voices of the locked-out calling for justice. Pepper spray and tasers illustrate the problems, but will not deter people from protesting for just causes. Bulldozers may start up, but just people will resist and create a reality where housing is a real human right.
Stephanie Mingo, a working grandmother who is one of the leaders of the residents, promised to continue the resistance and the fight for affordable housing: "We did not come this far to turn back now. This fight is far from over. We are not resting until everyone has the right to return home."
Those wanting additional information should look to: http://www.justiceforneworleans.org or http://www.defendneworleanspublichousing.org.
Posted by Mr. Barbarian at 2:13 PM