Friday, June 6, 2014

WHAT DO THE TOM-TOMS SAY, OBAMA?

By William PLEASANT and Sekou OSEI


To understand the current crisis in Nigeria, we must to understand the crisis of African neo-colonialism, wherein, at this phase, the native proxies of foreign capital have outlived their usefulness to imperialism. Contemporary Nigeria is the abattoir of Africa, the grandest slaughterhouse of Africa's workers and peasants. While Black cultural nationalists, social democrats and assorted liberal mourners –feminist and otherwise—TWEET and only TWEET their moralistic distemper, a holocaust grips Africa's most populated nation. The cause is neo-colonialism and the tool of genocide is actually the Nigerian bourgeois nation-state itself.


Nigerian Pres. Goodluck Johnathan, slaughterhouse manager.
Nonetheless, we are presented, via a parade of media pundits and liberal leaders of opinion, with an action comic book account and explanation of the current Nigerian crisis. In April, the muslim mercenary gang Boko Haram managed to kidnap roughly 240 schoolgirls. The children were spirited away on trucks by insurgents disguised as Nigerian military forces. They are now allegedly held hostage somewhere in the bush that engulfs northeastern Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.


Appropriately ultra-savage Boko Haram thug leader Abubakar Shekau 
Last week, the Nigerian government boasted that it knew the location of the abducted teens. Chief of Defense Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh crowed, “The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you. But where they are held, can we go there with force? We can't kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back." (Chicago Tribune, May 26, 2014). In short, Boko Haram has the entire Nigerian government and its military in-check. That is really what the Air Marshall and his ostensible boss, Pres. Goodluck Johnathan, really can't tell the heartbroken parents and the Nigerian people at-large. But there is at least a theatrical solution to the quandary...

Enter from the left panel of the neo-colonial comic book, swinging from a vine, appears Barack Obama as the new Tarzan. The recently crowned King of the Jungle has heard the Nigerian tom-toms from his far-off North American tree house. And now he pounces into heroic action.

But what do the tom-toms say, Tarzan?

Our colored Tarzan hears that Boko Haram has, since the April mass kidnapping, slaughtered over 2000 people in Northeastern Nigeria—Muslims and Christians alike. Since Wednesday, May 4, Boko Haram bandits have assassinated another 500 hapless civilians. According to AFP (Agence France Press, June 6), “It is confirmed that there have been killings and village pillage by armed men identified as Boka Haram in the last 48 hours. Local people insist Thursday that villagers perished at the hands of heavily armed men posing as soldiers on Wednesday. They completely destroyed the villages of Goshe, Attagara and Aganijara in Borno State. According to a local chief, between 400-500 people have been killed. The report has not been confirmed by Nigerian government officials. But if it is confirmed, then these attacks will be among the worst atrocities since the 2009 start of the Boko Haram insurgency when at least 2000 people were slaughtered.”

The Nigerian military has yet to appear on the scene to even document the ongoing Boko Haram rampage. Nigerian government cowardice? Nigerian government ineptitude? Nigerian government active complicity in the daily slaughter? The answers to these questions are YES, YES, YES! Nigeria is a failed state, and lawfully so.

Our Tarzan hears this and much more about the utter decay of the Nigerian nation-state. But he is not listening to that. Instead, he, with the assistance of the mass media and liberal melodrama peddlers, insists on playing the savior of waifish damsels in distress. This convenient comic book narrative is designed to mask the objectively, mutually beneficial historical and political relationship between the US bourgeoisie—and its European junior partners—the demented Nigerian neo-colonial state apparatus and the islamized night riders of Boko Haram.

Michelle Obama in the role of EBONY JANE
If Obama was listening to the cries of the Nigerian people, then his wife's (May 9) sob-n-drool liberal/feminist plea on behalf of the kidnapped Nigerian women would have been dismissed with derisive laughter. Remember, Michelle Obama quipped of the abducted students, “In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.” The Obama tots live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, guarded by a phalanx of gunmen. They will go on to elite schools and subsequent marriages befitting their stations as princesses of the American realm. They, with a very high degree of certainty, come home to that reality every night.


+The question went begging: Bring them back to what? The loving and protective embrace of the decadent Nigerian nation-state?+


Spent of lowbrow, empathetic sophistry, Michelle Obama then balefully mugged for the cameras and entreated Boko Haram to “#Bring Back Our Girls.” The question went begging: Bring them back to what? The loving and protective embrace of the decadent Nigerian nation-state?

Even snug as a bug in their families' huts, the 200-plus schoolchildren, like the vast majority of Nigerian women, can only come home to impoverishment and grinding gender oppression, especially in the islamized northern region of the country.


“The decline in agriculture in Nigeria has had a negative
impact on both the status and the decision making capacity of women because changing land patterns and industrialization facilitate rural urban migration and have led to an increase in the number of female headed households in the rural areas, with limited access to land, income and health facilities,” explained Emeka Emmanuel Okafor, Akeem Ayofe Akinwale and Adeola Doyin -Hassan in their pioneering article Feminization of Underdevelopment in Nigeria: Some Theoretical Issues [Anthropologist, 9(3): 237-245 (2007)].The authors argue that the urbanization of work-age rural Nigerian males has left women in the villages to tend the land and raise the children alone. The underdevelopment of Nigeria is actually driven by the degradation of women. This is a general phenomenon in Africa in the neo-colonial epoch.


They continued, “Degradation of ecosystem on which women depend for agricul-tural activities often leaves women handicapped in the provision of adequate nutrition for their household and limits their ability to provide a varied diet. Also, the promotion of monoculture economy and export of petroleum have reduced the bio-diversity in the oil producing areas. The reduction in bio-diversity occasioned by monoculture economy has led to a reduction in the availability of household food with adverse effects on health of women and other members of their household.”

And to the inferno of merciless systemic poverty is added the gasoline of gender oppression in Nigeria. “Patriarchy is a way of life in which men are believed to be superior to women. This belief has adverse implications on women,” the African anthropologists point out.


+In fact, the fate of the kidnapped girls at the hands of Boko Haram—mutilation, rape, forced marriage and outright chattel enslavement—varies little from what the Nigerian nation-state has to offer them as a “normal” life.+


In addition to widespread ceremonial genital mutilation,“for instance...in some communities in Nigeria, particularly in the northern part of the country, many girls below 15 years are given out in marriage or withdrawn from schools...Socio-cultural practices such as mandatory widowhood rituals, wife inheritance, child marriage and virginity testing deny women basic human rights...Virginity testing is a traditional practice that limits women power to negotiate in development. In this cultural practice, a young woman’s relatives or potential suitor insert a finger into her vagina to verify her virginity...If a young woman is found to be a non-virgin, the values placed on her automatically decreases and she becomes stigmatized...In response to the culture of virginity testing in Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland [and Nigeria], some young women usually practice anal sexual intercourse to ensure that they pass virginity test.” Needless to say, unprotected anal intercourse is the super-highway to HIV infection.

The “hopes” and “dreams” of the abducted teenage women invoked by the First Lady are actually groundless fantasies for the overwhelming majority of Nigerian women. In fact, the fate of the girls at the hands of Boko Haram—mutilation, rape, forced marriage and outright chattel slavery—varies little from what the Nigerian nation-state has to offer them as a “normal” life.

Our sepia Tarzan and his ebony Jane hear these tom-toms, but, again, they are not listening. They are oblivious to the fact that US policy toward Nigeria can be characterized by decades of disdain and neglect. If the jungle titans in the White House sincerely had one microgram of concern for the daily plight of the Nigerian people—kidnapped teenagers and all—then they would quickly point out that US foreign aid to Nigeria, among America's most strategic trading partners, is an absolute scandal. To put matter into perspective, consider that the US provided the State of Israel a cash subsidy of approximately $3.1 billion in 2012. In the same period, Nigeria received a handout of $625 million—mostly for HIV programs and “family planning,” i.e., condoms. Nigeria has a population of roughly 166 million people. Israel has a population of 7.82 million inhabitants. That means that each Israeli received $396.36 in US cash assistance while each Nigerian received $3.76!

Nigeria is the fifth largest petroleum exporter to the US. Its output to the US market topped one million barrels per day in 2010 and has been climbing ever since. Meanwhile, Nigerian poverty has deepened.

The NIGERIAN nation-state is the existential enemy of the Nigerian poor, peasant and working classes.
Laz Ude Eze (Standard, November 27, 2012 ) wrote,“If the statistics released by the [Nigerian] National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the state of poverty in Nigeria in 2010 and 2011 at 69% and 72% respectively are correct, then there is a state of emergency. The previous poverty survey in 2004 put the index at 54% and by 2011 it has jumped to 72% despite an average 7% annual growth of income, said to be led by non-oil sector (largely agriculture where the majority of the poor are). No other comparable oil exporting country has a similar record. If the numbers are correct, Nigeria would not only miss the MDG [UN Development Program Millennium Development Goal] in 2015 but would probably hold the world record as the country which rather than reduce poverty by half, actually almost doubled it.”

The writing is on the wall: The Nigerian nation-state is hell-bound to social explosion and structural disintegration. It is utterly moribund, as are most neo-colonial state entities across the African continent today.

Moreover, Boko Haram is far from the author of Nigeria's demise. Nigeria was hatched as a national invalid by the British Empire. Stitched together by colonial bayonets from a landmass inhabited by hundreds of ethnic groups and at least three major religious confessions--Christian, Muslim and Traditionalist--Nigeria as a modern bourgeois nation-state was destined to fail and fail spectacularly. The savage 1967 Ibo successionist insurrection known as the Biafran War claimed over one million victims in the name of holding the Nigerian social jigsaw puzzle together. A seemingly endless circus of military coups and counter-coups followed, only to be retired by a "return" to civilian rule characterized but  even more government corruption, nepotism and ethnic/regional antagonism.


+ In fact, Boko Haram. at its core, is really not a religiously-inspired formation at all. It is an one-time (?) state-sponsored protection racket.+


It is an error to equate Boko Haram with seemingly similar jihadist formations throughout Africa and Southwest Asia. Boko is not the African Al-Queda. It is actually a spawn of Nigeria's historical/social deformities. Unlike Al-Queda that arose from the ranks of disgruntled CIA mercenaries who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s, Boko Haram was exclusively born and bred from Nigerian political strife. In fact, Boko Haram, at its core, is really not a religiously-inspired formation at all. It is an one-time (?) state-sponsored protection racket.


Al-jazeera and other news outlets  may have inadvertently shined some light on this observation

 when it reported on May 4 that at least 10 Nigerian generals have been charged and convicted of materially aiding Boko Haram. "Ten generals and five other senior military officers have been found guilty in courts-martial of providing arms and information to Boko Haram, several Nigerian newspapers have said," the Qatar-based multimedia news agency reported.

"The reports follows months of allegations from politicians and soldiers who told the AP news agency that some senior officers were helping the armed group and that some rank-and-file soldiers even fight alongside the rebels and then return to army camps." continued Al-jazeera." They have said that information provided by army officers has helped Boko Haram to ambush military convoys and in attacks on army barracks and outposts in their northeastern stronghold.

"Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade, who last week denied reports that senior officers were being investigated, reiterated in a statement on Tuesday that defence headquarters 'wishes to state once again categorically that there is no truth whatsoever in the report'. He called it a 'falsehood' concocted by those who 'appear hell-bent on misleading Nigerians and the international community to give credence to the negative impression they are so keen to propagate about the Nigerian military'."

It is rather difficult to give the Nigerian military a worst reputation, given that its prime activity is brutalizing and robbing Nigerian civilians. But there is no question that the Nigerian military has always been a significant player in the sectarian and regional conflicts that grip the country. Put simply, factions in the military leadership readily engage in partisan and ethnic politics. To paraphrase Clausewitz, Boko Haram's war with the Nigerian state is consistent with those politics by other means. And the money trail provides  the peep stone into Boko Harams growing power and its significance on the Nigerian political landscape.

Taiwo Ogundipe, Associate Editor of The Nation, claimed to have exposed the power and funding behind Boko Haram in a 2012 article.Reported Ogundipe, "A spokesman of the group reportedly said in an interview, that the extensive bombardments wrought by it [Boko Haram] came about because the governors of the affected two states reneged on an agreement to make regular payments to it. The interview was sourced from an online publication, 247ureports.                                                                                    

"The unnamed interviewee was quoted as saying 'The reason for Kano and Bauchi States attacks a few days ago was hinged on failed promises by the governors of the two states.' The interviewee claimed further that many northern governors have relationships with the group. 'Most of them pay us monthly to leave their states alone,' the spokesman reportedly said.

"According to him, the immediate past ANPP governor in Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, agreed in late 2004 to an initial monthly payment of N5million to the group. This, he said, was later raised to N10 million in 2009. Apart from this, he said the government also provided institutional infrastructural support through the Hisbah (Islam Police) project which received a yearly budgetary allocation of N1.01billion.

"The new Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, on assumption of office, according to the interviewee, stopped the outflow of this largesse, including the funding of the ‘Islam Police’.

"Regarding Bauchi, the Boko Haram spokesperson said an agreement was reached with the incumbent governor, Isa Yuguda in 2008, also to the tune of a monthly disbursement of N10 million. The agreement, he said, also entailed the provision of training grounds on the many mountains scattered in Bauchi State as well as a promise of protection against arrests by the Federal Government. 

"The Bauchi State governor, he claimed, stopped the monthly fund in mid 2011. The Boko Haram spokesman said the group was not happy but remained loyal to the agreement because of the unfettered access to the mountains of Bauchi as training camps. Continuing, he said: 'the Northern governors are overwhelmed about the strength of the group and are aware of the capabilities of Boko Haram operatives in their respective states”. Some of the State government officials, according to him, visit their camps to watch them in training exercises. The training, he said, is harder than that of the Nigerian military.'"


The Islam Police was an outgrowth of the effort in Northern Nigeria to impose Shariah Law. This eventually successful campaign was widely viewed as a ploy to consolidate the political power of northern Muslim secessionists, meaning the leaders of the state governments. Boko Haram was simply the extra-legal armed wing of the Muslim secessionists movement. Pleasing the local chiefs who had access to federal government funds took extreme precedent over pleasing Allah. When its services were no longer required Boko Haram was kicked off the payroll. Outraged, these political mercenaries went on a rampage. They have yet to be rehired and their mayhem has yet to subside.

In short, Boko Haram is simply a link in the chain of stick-ups, shake-downs, con games, graft and sandlot politics that form the spine of  Nigerian society and predominant economy,  from the lowliest barefooted 419 email scam kid  all the way up to the presidency. In this way, every Nigerian institution--civilian or governmental or insurgent--is a variety of Boko Haram. Corruption is the leading cause of human suffering and death in Nigeria. Nigeria as Nigeria is as deadly as cyanide.

This is what the tom-toms are saying, but Tarzan won't and can't listen to them because his job is not to save Nigerian teenage girls (or any Nigerians) from villainous Muslim fanatics or mind-numbing destitution, but to protect the capital interests of the US petroleum industry in Nigeria. He listens intently to the bluster and gnashing of teeth arising from the US bourgeoisie who have concluded that the neo-colonial mode of exploiting Nigeria's labor and natural resources has become obsolete. The Nigerian comprador class and its state machinery, employed to manage Nigerians for the past 50-plus years, has fallen to tatters. It lacks the capacity to create the social peace—through military coercion or sham democracy—necessary to ensure that the black gold keeps flowing at a profitable clip.

And true to form, our vine-swinging president gives the famous Tarzan holler. The jungle floor trembles with the stampede of angry elephants, famished lions, rabid hyenas and psychotic crocodiles. He leads their attack against the Boko Haram evil doers. But here the comic book story concludes because Barack Obama can't really call out the menagerie against anybody. He can only mobilize the US military and its European camp followers.

Despite all the hand wringing over “Our Girls,” Boko Haram's bloody antics actually provide a popular and convenient excuse for further US military occupation of sub-Saharan Africa. “Militarily, Africa is fast becoming an American continent. Barack Obama, who has been president for all but the first year of AFRICOM’s existence, has succeeded in integrating U.S. fighting units, bases, training regimens, equipment and financing into the military structures of all but a handful of African nations,” charged Glen Ford ( Black Agenda Report, May 29, 2014). “The great pan-Africanist and former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah’s dream of a militarily united Africa has been all but realized – with Americans and Europeans in charge. Under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention...[t]he girls had only been missing for a month, and might not be rescued alive, but five neighboring African countries – one of them the biggest economy on the continent – had already been dragooned into a NATO-dominated military alliance with other subordinate African states.”


Obama's military re-occupation of Africa 2014
Indeed, the genocidal imperialist game is on again. Colonialism in Africa relied on direct European military and civil administration of the expropriation of African labor and goods. At the dawn of the 1960s, with the rise of socialist-inspired nationalistic political movements and the covert material support of the long departed Soviet Union, the colonizing powers were compelled to change personnel. Blacks, armed with a flag and a national fight song, took the civil helm, while European troops were replaced with African gunslingers. Nigeria and a score of deformed state entities were born in this manner. Fifty years later, this tactic of European domination has proven to be a flop. The groundwork is being laid to essentially at least put the former colonies into a sort of political receivership or at maximum employ outright US/European military suppression of the starving, politically restive African masses. Re-colonization of Africa is in the works, produced and directed by IMPERIALIST HORROR SHOW, Inc. and staring our ever-loving Tarzan of the Neo-colonial Apes.

--30--

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why her jelly shook...Celebrating Buttzilla (1980-2014)

Dear Comrade Sekou:


Buttzilla Timbuktu (1980-2014)
I am quite afraid that while many Black people are uncontrollably distraught over the death of the Black poetess Maya Angelou they may overlook an equally significant recent passing of an African American artists and activist. Of course, I am talking about Buttzilla Timbuktu. She died last night in Crown Heights, apparently the victim of acute beef patty overdose. Let me share a little about why Buttzilla will be remembered as a giant of modern-day Black culture.


Buttzilla Timbuktu, born Neecy Jenkins in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was always outstanding. At nine months of age, she already weighed 75 pounds. She was a very special student, skipping elementary and most of junior high school because there were no classroom seats to suit her. She dropped out of high school, but that did not discourage her hunger for attention, which she readily received wherever she went.

At 25, Buttzilla met Rev. Al Sharpton. She joined the National Action Network (NAN). Impressed with her outgoing personality and her way of attracting men to the organization, Rev. Sharpton appointed her the head of the Irvington, New Jersey chapter of NAN. She remained as chairperson for three years until the chapter was converted to a slot machine hall. But she continued her political pilgrim's progress by developing an insatiable appetite for bean pies. One night, during a bean pie eating binge, Neecy Jenkins found her true African American National Identity and adopted the name Buttzilla Timbuktu, in honor of the Motherland and her wholesome pastries.

One afternoon, while shopping for bathroom tissue at the Atlantic Terminal Pathmark, Butzilla was discovered by the famed artistic producer Fart Pappy Corncob. That is when her career as a pioneering Black cultural icon began. She quickly found herself garnering leading roles in numerous novelty rap videos. She was best known for her twerking performance in Dimwit Green Teeth's groundbreaking film RUBBER BOOTY. But her star really took to the heavens through her appearance in Hoghead Toejam's three-hour epic BITCH, 'HO, MUTHAFUKIN, BITCH, 'HO. Of that performance, the New York Times critics raged, "Vulgar. Loud. Stupid..." The New York Post added, "Broadway bound!..." And the New York Amsterdam News continued, "Butzilla Timbuktu is a Revolutionary Black genius whom we hope will never forget our enthusiastic praise by remembering to buy advertising in the Black press."

Visionary cultural leader
Butzilla, after conquering the screen, turned to literature. She became a poet. Her inspiring collection of blank verse, I KNOW WHY MY JELLY SHAKES, became an instant sensation, selling hundreds of copies on curbside book tables across Brooklyn. In the book, she proudly explains:

My jelly shakes,
freely willed,
loose and obscene,
and lusted in the 'hood,
by homeys up to no-good.
And on the subway,
my jelly shakes,
shakes on me good...

Buttzilla Timbuktu enjoyed a large and loyal following among young and morbidly obese Black women. They saw her as a political and cultural role model. Said Sheneekwa Mathis, president of the Buttzilla Timbuktu Literary Circle, upon hearing of her idol's demise today, "When Buttzilla arrived at our meetings the room shook and swayed. It was emotion and basic physics. She left a trail of busted sofas across the Tri-State region. We will miss her. But we can all take comfort in knowing that we can all be like Buttzilla. And we probably will."

So, please, Comrade Sekou, don't let the TV and the politicians slight or ignore our sister Buttzilla's contribution to the community. And don't listen to Comrade William either. He just doesn't like Black women. Let us celebrate the legacy of Sister Buttzilla Timbuktu.

Signed,

Mofarrakhana Jackson

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou: Even the lame go unspared

By Sekou OSEI and William PLEASANT

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)


"Generally Speaking, Negro writing in the past has been confined to humble novels, poems 
and plays, prim and decorous ambassadors...


Richard Wright

The Negro writer who seeks to function within  
his race as a purposeful agent has serious responsibility. In order to do justice to his subject 
matter, in order to depict Negro life in all of its manifold and intricate relationships, a deep, 
informed, and complex consciousness is necessary; a consciousness which draws for its 
strength upon the fluid lore of a great people, and moulds this lore with the concepts that 
move and direct the forces of history today"

(Richard Wright, Blueprint of Negro Writing--1938)    


It must be said that one of the  political struggles that must be waged is around the question of aesthetics and art. But this struggle must be tied to material and political goals, or it will collapse--as it has done before--into commercialized symbolism or worst.

A truism says that "time" catches all of us, even the "lame." Maya Angelou just left the world in death as everyone will do at some point. And now Afrocentric, middles class Negros will come up with something to celebrate; to rationalize her years of formally silly tropes, her sentimental, Black petit-bourgeois narcissism as "art." 

Her's was a poetry of sentiment personal grandstanding. While there may be those who argue that she was once "left," but so was Gus Hall of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), who spent his time reading the "winds of change" rather than the impotence of the disorganized and mis-organized US working class. Bob Avakian was "left," too. Exploring the crannies of his navel, he prophesied a spontaneous revolutionary storm with the regularity of December 25th and the infantile breathlessness of Santa worship. While neither Hall nor Avakian pretended to be artists or poets, they, nonetheless, had a lot in common with Maya Angelou. They all wallowed in sterile performances as social insight and political prescription. Angelou, like them, substituted vulgar symbolism and metaphorical extrapolation for anything even approaching a material understanding (or expression) of the imperative historical task at hand for the ascending class in this country or elsewhere. In the end, Maya Angelou merely demonstrated an artistic and political propensity to celebrate the color of the clock while intentionally mis-appreciating the critical nature of the TIMES.

Again, many will insist that Maya Angelou was a communist, even a radical fellow traveler who was once investigated by the witch hunting House Un-American Committee (HUAC), but that only demonstrates that the US Left lacked and lacks any political/artistic standard to determine who it chooses to embrace other than the declarations and denunciations of the STATE.


Malcolm X and Angelou in Ghana

On the black hand side, other pundits would style Angelou as a distinguished Nationalist. After all, she did welcome Malcolm X to Ghana. But that was long ago, in a galaxy far away with regards to WHAT NEEDS TO BE LEARNED AND DONE NOW to staunch the fascistic consumption of our people in America and in the so-called Motherland. The truth of the matter is that, like Malcolm X, Angelou was at best a guest of a faltering neo-colonial regime. And her presence in Ghana, like that of Malcolm X and other Black expatriates at the time, failed to advance the cause of Pan Africanism or the Black Liberation Project one centimeter.





Was Maya Angelou a kindly, elderly lady? Probably. Did she throw what political and cultural clout that she had at the time behind the Supreme Court nomination of the arch neo-fascist negrophobe Clarence Thomas? Indeed! Was she Bill Clinton's poetic jester? Most certainly!


Clarence Thomas, the scum of the earth.

Was Maya Angelou an inspirational figure to many Black writers, particularly female writers? Yes.
After all, what literary artist would shun fame and a steady paycheck and fail to worship those who strived for such blessings'?

But Maya Angelou was no Phyllis Wheatley, who elegantly pleaded her very humanity to a vicious American slavocracy. Maya Angelou was no Sojourner Truth, who could shout down the fortress of white supremacy and sexism  with but a breath. Maya Angelou was no Zora Neal Hurston, who could sensuously weave in words a people's tapestry of suffering and struggle.


Phyllis Wheatley
Sojourner Truth



Zora Neal Hurston

Maya Angelou must be appreciated as a victim and beneficiary of her time. Like many members of the contemporary negro-ratti, particularly the female variety, she found her niche in the cultural toy boxes of white liberals. In death, she joins the pantheon of NEO-MAMMY DOLLS, tearjerkers and pacifiers, that crowd America's bookshelves, for the benefit of retail exploitation and nothing more.

Just leave it at that.

--30--

Thursday, May 22, 2014

GORILLAS IN THE MIST (2014 Version)

By Sekou OSEI

Dedicated to our contemporary Black journalistic concession:
Or  they observe nothing and celebrate everything.



Old African
 black man with characterful face Stock Photo - 9425796 


              As men
                     stare
                            at once blue
                                              skies
                                                   under
                                                           the eyes of
                                                                           Gorillas
                                                                                        in
                                                                                          the
                                                                                              Mist.
lit match

           As we ride buses
                                     pretending
                                     to be working
                                         just
                                                posturing,


           As on point
                             NEGROS
                             of cowardly
                             porno
                             films
                                  of image
                                  mystification
           of righteous
           NEGROS
           under the corporate
                                   state
                                        of
                                           under
                                                 a “Buckwheat” democracy
                                                                              under
                                                                                       the eyes of
                                                                                                        Gorillas
                                                                                                                in
                                                                                                                   the
                                                                                                                      Mist
            As NEGROS
                            drink their
                                         own
                                               empty
                                                         seduction
            Dancing to
                              a
                                jukebox
                                             of
                                                 no
                                                     music:
                                                               posturing
                                                                             the
                                                                                  GREAT

                                                                                              
pretend.

As huge Gorillas
                   snarl and growl
                                 with
                                 outrageous teeth
                                                  and
                                                    beat their
                                                            huge
                                                    Black leather
                                                                  chest
                   in a silent movies,
                                         that quickly becomes
                                                                unplugged
                                                                    or
                                                                       the
                                                                           lights
                                                                              are
                                                                                   simply
                                                                                         switched on
                    only to
                               become
                                            a
                                               sissy
                                                      memory
                                                                   of lets
                                                                             pretend.


            As centrists
                               teaching journalism
                               of celebration
                                                   of lets
                                                             make-believe
                                                                                 of
                                                                                   bearing
                                                             Becoming soaked
                                                                             pretending
                                                                                       the rain is not falling.
           As an East African
                                     teaching
                                                 Blacks of the West,
                                                                          the need to sensationalize
                                                                                               Black trivia
                                                                                               As militancy.

Just Do it !

           While, the not so
           secret to be foretold
            that
                 centrists
                       almost
                          always
                              accommodate
                                 the rationality
                                  of the psychopaths
                                                         in power,
       
           Of colorful Negros
           wearing a color
                            past
                             of
                    “Make-believe”
                     with their isolated
                     backyards
                           of
                     militants
                             under
                                    the eyes
                                            of
                                              gorillas
                                                     in
                                                         the
                                                             mist
Kwanza-RonKarenga.jpg

          So with the
                       grand fake gold earrings
                                 of
                       over weight Black
                                                    men
                        of three hundred pounds of beads
                                 on their
                                            wrist
                                               trying
                                                       to affect
                        the mirror shadows
                                              of
                                                   a
                                                      wise
                                                              elder,
                                   only to be seen
                                    as an empty
                                                       paper cup
                                    mumbling
                                    memories
                                          of Marcus Garvey
                                                          under
                                                                    the
                                                                       eyes
                                                                            of
                                                                              gorillas
                                                                                     in
                                                                                        the
                                                                                            mist.
                 As this grand mammal
                                            beaches
                                            amicably
                 before the projector
                                             becomes
                                                          unplugged.
                 As these centrists
                                 host stages
                                           fof
                                              an
                                               over
                                                    sexed
                                                       make-believe
                                                                women
                                                                    of
                                                                        the
                                                                             Sudan
                    who
                           are
                               madly
                                         in
                                            love
                                               with
                                                 Zionist
                                                         Israel,
                      who argue
                                  the question
                                                   of race
                                                         through
                                                                   the fight
                                                                              of
                                                                        complexion.
                       Who claim
                                          to fame
                                                     was
                                                            to be a forced concubine and harlot
                        to a Saudi princeling of US money
                                                                          through
                                                                          a Pakistani restaurant called
                                                                          ISI to fight Moscow in Kabul.   

                       While the editors
                                                 are
                                                    looking
                                                               for
                                                         something
                                                                       to celebrate,
                        through long hours
                                                  of multi-tasking
                                                                        only
                                                  phone tag
                                                  and multi-tasking
                                                         head games
                                                         of empty
                                                                postures.
                      Whose media
                                has no role
                                of giving informred presence
                                for Black people are good for symbolic
                                                           FEEL GOOD
                                                           never to be informed
                                                           of how to wage their struggle.
                                 Because, they don't need to rock
                                                                            the boat
                                                                            of a
                                                                               “Buckwheat”
                                                                                           Democracy.
Barack Obama made numerous promises when he ran for president. He ...

          As history unplugged
                                this film projector
                                                  of this snarling gorilla.
         As Black mothers
                                  of Texas
         Become members
                                  of silent movies
                                        as state-run social services kidnapped their children
                                                with the silence
                                                                       of make-believe
                                                                       Black newspapers,
                                                                              under
                                                                                      the
                                                                                          eyes
                                                                                              Gorillas
                                                                                                         in
                                                                                                           mist.
                            Who don't produce
                                                   anything
                                                               of
                                                                 who  men
                                                                                once stared at once blue skies,
                                                                                looking for insight,
                               only to see the inadequate
                                                                   silence
                                                                           of pedophiles
                                                                           in sport showers
                                                                           of Pennsylvania,
                                 But
                                       were wordless
                                                       about sportsmen
                                                                          pedophiles
                                                                                           of the Bronx
                                                                                                    for months. 
                                For these celluloid gorillas
                                                                   lack the vision
                                                                                     of relevance
                                gorillas
                                    who pretend to be journalists
                                    never understood that there was
                                    a duty to throw a light on
                                    the state of affairs of the people and their
                                                                                             majority
                                                                                                      class.
                                    There is the plight of
                                                                 surrender,
                                                                          because their vision is plugged into a 
                                                                                      film
                                                                           projector of convenience.
                                                                           Because of their tie to machine
                                                                           of empty images,
                                                                                    they observe nothing
                                                                                                  and
                                                                                     celebrate everything.

                                                                          
                  For image gorillas, its easy to pledge criticism,
                                                            but harder to be critical.
                                                            For these gorillas, only ask us to
                                                                                                    celebrate,
                                                             but never to think.
                  Perhaps history will
                              show we must unplug
                                                    the projector to relevance.....
                                                                         under
                                                                           the
                                                                          eyes
                                                                               of
                                                                                  the
                                                                                      gorillas
                                                                                         in
                                                                                           the
                                                                                              mist