Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday ain't Black


Black Friday ain't Black
Black Friday ain't Black
Black Friday ain't white
Black Friday is
Made in China
You speak Chinese
My granddaughter speaks Chinese
3 years old
she say Gpa
Don't be so dramatic!
Black Friday ain't black
you in rebellion over Ferguson
But won't buy Black on Black Friday
won't buy white
buy made in China
You at the Mall
If you didn't burn in down
Burn, baby, burn
Buy Black on Black Friday
Negro
Colored
Afro
Afri
Kem
Sudan
Bilalian
whatsaneva
buy black
or shut yo black ass up
live black
love black
die black!
--Marvin X
11/27/14
 Marvin X is planning a Black Arts Movement District for Oakland's 14th Street. He has the support of Mayor elect Libby Shaaf, Councilwomen Lynette Gibson McElhaney and Desley Brooks. Paul Cobb and the Post News Group is in partnership with BAM.

Boycott Walmart on Black Friday

Friends,

I'm working 40 hours a week for a company owned by America's wealthiest family, and I still make so little that I have to skip meals to pay my bills. On the toughest weeks, I go whole days without a meal. Sometimes I have to rely on friends in the neighborhood who share food with me. And I'm far from the only one of my coworkers falling back on donations: Walmart even organizes canned food drives for its own employees!
If Walmart wants to help struggling workers, it can start by paying us enough to eat. But when workers like me speak out about the company's hypocrisy, we're met with bullying, threats, and illegal retaliation. Now we're going on strike to stand up to Walmart's attempt to silence us on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and we want you there with us.
Walmart rakes in $16 billion a year in profits. The Walton heirs are worth more than $150 billion, making them the wealthiest single family in the country. It's ridiculous and offensive for their company to tell us to turn to our coworkers for donated food. Walmart can easily pay all of us $15 an hour, enough to live with dignity and raise a family.
Last week, workers went on strike in Ohio, where Walmart was caught telling associates to donate food to their coworkers last year. Meanwhile, community supporters are holding their own food drive to shame Walmart and the Walton family for leaving their workers struggling to survive. And this is just the beginning: workers and our community allies are planning even bigger actions for Black Friday. Will you be there?
Thanks for standing with us!
Diana Tigon, Walmart worker and OUR Walmart member

Construction, not Destruction--wave the Red, Black and Green, let the world know you are a free people

The uprisings over Oscar Grant, Occupy Oakland and now Ferguson occurred literally in my classroom at Oakland's 14th and Broadway. But I am in favor of construction not destruction. We have the green light to establish the Black Arts Movement District on 14th Street. Let us take advantage of this opportunity to do something for self. If the students at Howard University can fly the Red, Black and Green, let us do the same up and down 14th to let the world know we are the Nation of North American Africans and will except nothing less than first class status.--Marvin X

James G. Spady on The Public Career of Marvin X

Black Bird Press News & Review: The Public Career of Marvin X:

 please go to the above link









 Marvin X appears in the forthcoming anthology edited by Ishmael Reed



Marvin X has been teaching for a long time. He has established his tenacity. As one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement (BAM), he became a teacher in an emerging field called Black Studies. Like Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Askia Toure and others, Marvin X both contributed to and later taught those pivotal courses that constituted a new discipline.

For the last thirty years, this gifted poet, journalist, dramatist, oral historian (he appears to be the only participant in the Black Arts Movement that conducted intensive and extensive oral interviews with the key participants, as well as international political, cultural and educational leaders)and teacher, has established an unusual record. Marvin X has taught at the University of California at San Diego, Mills College, San Francisco State University, Fresno State University,
Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland, University of Nevada,Reno, and the University of California at Berkeley.

His peers were among the first to recognize his ability. The well-known African American man of the Arts and Letters, Amiri Baraka, refers to Marvin X as "one of the outstanding African writers and teachers in America. He has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the founders and innovators of the new revolutionary school of African writing....."

Negro leaders as muzzled mouth dogs

Why Our Black Political Class is Paralyzed and Silent on Gaza Massacres and Israeli Apartheid


by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Wed, 07/23/2014-  
How did the NAACP wrap up its national conference this weekend without saying a mumbling word about the genocidal bombing of Gaza? Why did Moral Monday's Rev. Barber appear on HBO's Real Time with notorious Islamaphobe Bill Maher and not speak to the morality of apartheid in Israel? Why are the black political class and the black church, invisible on the invasion of Gaza and the fact of Israeli ethnocracy in general?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Sometimes a silence can be the loudest sound in the room. The silence of our numerous and powerful US black political class, not just on the current massacres of civilians in Gaza but on the incontrovertible fact that Israel has become a full fledged racist ethnocracy is deafening.

As Israeli troops massed around Gaza this weekend, the NAACP wrapped up its 2014 annual convention in Las Vegas this weekend without a mumbling word of solidarity with bleeding Palestinians. Moral Monday's Rev. Barber was a guest on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher Sunday night as well, but could not spare a single breath to discuss the morality of occupation, house demolitions, or Israeli apartheid to his notoriously Islamaphobic host. Al Sharpton is on MSNBC nightly, and can't find time to cover the murderous assault on Gaza in any meaningful way. You don't hear so much as a peep from the Congressional Black Caucus or the National Urban League, the National Action Network, Rainbow PUSH, big time black pastors and business people or the rest of that crowd.

Our black political class of preachers, politicians, big time academics, pundits and aspirants have not been silenced by threats or fears of economic retailiation. Maybe you can say that about entertainers and athletes, but not our so-called leaders. People like black members of Congress, Al Sharpton and Rev. Barber are where they are because they don't need to be told what their masters require. What they fear is something deeper, something that threatens the very foundations of their careers and legitimacy.

Their legitimacy depends on the hollow pretense that their black faces in high places somehow constitute the continuation of the struggle of our people against racism, Jim Crow and injustice in general. We've all heard it summed up with phrases like “Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King walked, so Barack Obama could run...” The name for hollow pretenses like this, when selling the pretense is a serious project, is branding. Their problem is the frank, vicious racism of Israeli apartheid which the black political class feels obliged to support, at least as long as a black president does so as well, is a threat to the black political class's brand as tribunes of the oppressed.

For the most part, our black political class are not abject fools. They absolutely know that the Israeli state has become a full fledged ethnocracy, the 21st century's premiere apartheid state complete with Jewish-only roads and towns, frequent lynch mobs for Africans and Arabs, laws against recognizing mixed marriages, and completely different judicial systems, housing regulations, voting and property rights, depending on whether, as Max Blumenthal puts it, you've got J-positive blood. They know that for this and the last two Gaza invasions, Israeli civilians and grandmothers gathered on hillsides to eat ice cream, watch the fireworks of white phosphorus and shellfire, and cheer on the death of defenseless Palestinian civilians. They know the internet makes it trivially easy to find the words of prominent Israeli politicians in the Knesset and in government openly declaring that Palestinians ought to be moved or massacred, or justifying hundreds of atrocities from house demolitions and torture to acts of dispossession, mob and state terror. They know that more and more of their own constituents are learning these things every day.


Our black political class knows that Israel is, to paraphrase Noam Chomsky, America's landlocked aircraft carrier, weapons research test bed and nuclear armed military base in the middle of a couple hundred million brown people and a good fraction of the world's most easily accessible oil. They know that unwavering support for whatever Israel does is part of the bipartisan zombie consensus, something that ruling Republicans and Democrats agree on, like privatizations, charter schools and bailing out the banksters. And by now, black leadership is deep in the slavish habit not just of agreeing with whatever the White House says, but of not speaking at all on policy matters till after the will of the Great Man and his administration have been made clear.

If Bush and Cheney were still in the White House, some of the bravest among them might speak out just a little to remind us that Palestinians are human too. They might even say that occupation and dispossession are the real crimes. But a member of their own class, a black politician is in the Oval Office, a president who openly insulted and humiliated Muslim Americans at a White House Iftar dinner only last week. They don't need to be silenced, they silence themselves, not out of fear but out of craven opportunism.

Still, daily occurrences like the shelling of 10 and 11 year old boys on a beach kicking a soccer ball make open support of Israel difficult more difficult for them than it used to be. So they do nothing, and they say nothing. Nothing on Al Sharpton's show. Nothing in their Moral Monday communiques and marches. Nothing from the Urban League, nothing from the black church, which is pretty much an appendage of the black political class these days. Apart from Cornel West, the sole recognizable black figure to a national TV audience, not a black face in a prominent face, not one, has stood up for the humanity of Palestinians and denounced the crimes of dispossession, occupation and invasion. To a man and a woman, it seems the rest of our glittering black leaders hope the stench of white phosphorus and genocide won't stick to them and tarnish their precious brand, even as they support it with their silence.


There was a time, to hear them tell it at least, when our black political class opposed apartheid. That was here, and in South Africa. As US Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah, the editor at Electrnic Intifada reminds us

...Throughout the 1970s and 80s, when black Americans were leading the struggle against apartheid in this country, when they were the conscience of this country in terms of putting apartheid South Africa on the American political agenda, Israel was one of the key supporters of apartheid South Africa. Israel is the country that systematically violated the international arms embargo on South Africa. The weapons used to beat and kill black demonstrators and freedom fighters in South African townships were made in Israel, right down to the water cannon used in the townships... the fighter jets, the gunboats, all the heavy armament of the South African military used were in large part supplied by Israel. It's less well known, there is less hard evidence about it, although some information is in the public domain regarding Israeili-South African cooperation in their nuclear weapons programs.”
Evidently apartheid and ethnocracy in back-in-the-day South Africa were bad things, but in today's Israel not so much. Our black political class has long forgotten a couple things called international solidarity and empathy, without which we are, well, a lot less human.
When our people were struggling against Jim Crow and US apartheid fifty years ago, those suffering under colonialism in Asia and Africa looked to us for their inspiration. African governments, Cuba, and China too welcomed, educated and sheltered Malcolm X, Kwame Toure, and many others when they toured the African continent and the world.

When the Vietnamese were under savage attack they used to call to US black soldiers in the night to ask and remind them, "Black man why are you here? Your fight is at home." It was their official policy until 66 or 67 to spare black soldiers they could have killed in close encounters when possible. Those brothers came back to inform youngsters like me who would have been drafted the next year so we could help organize in our black communities against the imperial war.

When a nuclear armed South Africa invaded Angola repeatedly in the 70s and 80s, Cuba sent 60,000 troops, the majority of them of African descent and its entire air force to fight across the Atlantic to fight, and turned the South Africans around.

In the global struggles against colonialism, capitalism, and injustice we are all inextricably connected. We're all obligated to carry a bit of each other's burden, to stand up for each other when required. It's a tradition. It's international solidarity. That's how this thing works.

But our black misleadership class are not players. They are being played and playing themselves.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and a member of the state committee of the GA Green Party. Contact him via this site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.
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Israel and Palestine, an animated introduction 

Easy to understand, historically accurate http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/ mini- primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting, why the US-backed peace process has been an impediment to peace, and what you can do to make a difference. This conflict is essentially about land and human rights, not religion and culture. Endorsed by Palestinian, Israeli and American scholars and peace activists.
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Businesses Strike in Israel Over Gaza 

Thousands of businesses across the country join strike in protest over the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

Gregg Carlstrom
July 21, 2014
The strike drew an angry response from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Gregg Carlstrom/Al Jazeera
 
Nazareth, Israel - The main commercial street in this majority-Palestinian city was shuttered on Monday, as residents joined a general strike and staged protests against the two-week-old Israeli offensive in Gaza.
Thousands of businesses across Israel and the West Bank joined the strike, organised after a day of intense Israeli shelling in Gaza killed more than 100 people.

Several thousand demonstrators held posters with the photos of children killed during the offensive, and chanted slogans calling the army "terrorists" and "war criminals".

Protesters clashed briefly with police after the main rally, and at least a dozen people were arrested.There were scattered protests against the war last week, including a rally in Haifa at which several Knesset members were detained or beaten, but Monday's strike was the first large coordinated movement."The action itself is what is important, to show solidarity and to protest against the crimes," said Samir Haddad, a resident of Nazareth.

"We need to show that we are one people."

The call for a general strike drew an angry response from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who urged his supporters to boycott businesses that joined.

"I call on everyone not to buy anything more from the shops and businesses in the Arab community who are participating in today's general strike," he wrote on Facebook.

Anger has been mounting for months among Israel's Palestinian citizens, who make up about 20 percent of the population.

The government has pursued a number of initiatives seen as discriminatory, including a bill that could effectively drive Palestinian parties out of the Knesset, and a plan to draft more Christians into army service.

The tensions reached a peak earlier this month, when a 16-year-old boy from East Jerusalem was kidnapped and brutally murdered, an apparent revenge attack for the murder of three teenage Jewish settlers in June.

Residents of his neighbourhood fought with police for three days, and the clashes spread to Palestinian towns in central and northern Israel.

Nearly 700 people were arrested after those protests, rights groups say, including 224 from East Jerusalem.

The majority have been released, but dozens face charges for throwing stones and blocking roads, the latter of which carries up to a 15-year jail term.

"Some of them were charged, or at least investigated, just because of using Facebook," said Salah Mohsen, from Adalah, a local rights group.

"The leaders of this movement who called [online] for demonstrations, we know a few of them who were investigated and detained."
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ALA Resolutions and Executive Letters

African Literature Association Resolution
At the 2014 ALA Meetings in Johannesburg, the following resolution was passed by the membership:

 BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions)

The ALA supports the Academic Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.
Whereas the African Literature Association is committed to the pursuit of social justice, to the struggle against all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, discrimination, and xenophobia, and to solidarity with aggrieved peoples in Africa and in the world; Whereas Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law, as well as in supporting the systematic discrimination against Palestinians, has had documented devastating impact on the overall well-being, the exercise of political and human rights, the freedom of movement, and the educational opportunities of Palestinians; Whereas there is no effective or substantive academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars under conditions of Israeli occupation, and Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights and negatively impact the working conditions of Palestinian scholars and students; Whereas the African Literature Association is dedicated to the right of students and scholars to pursue education and research without undue state interference, repression, and military violence, and in keeping with the spirit of its previous statements supports the right of students and scholars to intellectual freedom and to political dissent as citizens and scholars; it is resolved that the African Literature Association (ALA) endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. It is also resolved that the ALA supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Rationale: The resolution is offered in the spirit of the past boycott of Apartheid South Africa, one of the ALA’s earliest efforts at political coalition politics. This boycott has been endorsed by Bishop Desmond Tutu. ln the spirit of his endorsement, and of our commitment to the liberation of dominated people everywhere, we are resolving to act against a state that has taken actions that have resulted in the dispersal of millions of Palestinian people around the Middle East and North Africa (including Egypt and Tunisia), that has targeted African refugees by placing them in internment camps indefinitely, and that has collaborated with authoritarian regimes in Africa, either by their work in extractive industries, or in the shipment of arms to repressive regimes. The resolution, like the long boycott of South Africa and of Southern Rhodesia, is intended to awaken the world’s conscience to a situation that must change.