I tend to do my most creative work during the hours of Stephen Crane. So most of my correspondence and ChickenBones work is done after midnight to the choral singing of morning birds. I lay down then to sleep during the cool morning hours to my wife's dismay. I am a member of 20 percent black unemployed. I finished last night this pagehttp://www.nathanielturner.com/timbuktutombdestroyers.htm
I tend to avoid such issues like the Mali Crisis or the Darfur Crisis, or the Congo Crisis, and so on and on. We black Americans and Africans are ever in crisis. I had noted the story of Mali from Facebook and blogs and emails and other internet sources. Of course, being informed is not like resolving the dilemmas or the tragedies of my interests, however sharp the analysis and use of the facts.
In the present Mali Crisis black American intellectuals might be more disturbed about the destruction of the religious Islamic history of Mali than African elites or its government heads. Why? From what I hear from Asante of Afrocentricity International and others, the core of the argument has to do with black American identity. Malian libraries document the literacy of Africans before they were kidnapped and transformed into Negro slaves in the Americas. We're still trying to undermine charges of Negro inferiority and slavery justifications.
African elites may be more practical and down to earth (feet on the ground) than African American progressives. Of course, African Americans don't have armies they command or can influence. They can only show their indignation and awareness of loss. Black Consciousness was one of our humanistic achievements of the 1960s and 1970s. We made lame attempts to back them up with guns but COINTELPRO dispersed us like scaredy cats into board rooms, other high places or other prisons.
African American intellectuals tend to deal with such African affairs abstractly as they are in secular ivory towers, which tend to set them apart from African decision makers. Certainly, Malian religious relics, scholarly books, manuscripts, mosques and mausoleums of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries do not weigh as heavily on African American people as their own poverty, health issues (HIV and AIDS; diabetes and heart attacks), incarceration and education issues, and insecurity and police repression.
African American elites have more confidence in UNESCO and thus the UN than they have in ECOWAS and the African Union. ECOWAS is more or less controlled by Nigeria, which is suspect by smaller African nations. For Nigerian leaders cannot command its own terrorists in northern Nigeria, which is more under-developed than the south and west, where Islamic fundamentalists argue exist the core of Nigerian and Christian corruption. But African American elites are not truly engaged in everyday African affairs with its problems of under-development, poverty, and governance. As I suggested above African American interests are regrettably narrow and self-serving.
African-American elites want to be politically correct. They know that only the United States and NATO have the means to deal with Islamic terrorism in Africa, or elsewhere. The United Nations can issue all kinds of injunctions and statements on world heritage. But the UN doesn't have an army, other than those agreed to by the Security Council which is controlled by the United States, the European Union, Russia and China. African American elites nor African nations have little or no power in that international body.
The African elites are justificably also narrow and self-serving. Their concerns are geared to professional advancement and personal wealth. Well, there is nothing wrong with placing that above ideologies like Pan-Africanism and humanism. Financial success as Mr. Romney argues is the measure of the man in our dog-eat-dog world. African elites know that such 20th century ideologies are not being funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, nor the World Bank. The politics of African and African American billionaires are indistinguishable from that of American and European billionaires, or even Chinese billionaires. So those sources cannot be called upon by African American progressives nor by the leaders of African governments. Certainly, these black billionaires are not as willing to fund ideologues in a manner similar to that of the billionaire oil-baron fundamentalists of Arabia and Qatar.
I'm typing away at an older slower computer downstairs, which is partially below ground, and thus the coolest place in the house, and really does not need air conditioning. I pray to the evangelical Christian god that rules America for relief for those older and poorer than me who can't afford air conditioning or the high prices of our energy provider BG & E. I hear that at least 16 in Maryland have died from this plague of 100-degree temperature and black buzzing flies.
The 2008 Depression is here to stay for most black people for the unseeable future. But most of us do not make populous decisions because of scarcity and political repression. We still have core values and a vision of freedom and democracy. And we are still capable of making selfless sacrifices for the generations to come and for the immediate present. Fundamentalists, whether Christian or Islamic, ultimately will not win the day. History does not tend for long to be swayed by those kind of criminal reactions.
Whatever we might have to say on Mali, ultimately, it will be the Malians who resolve their present crisis, despite the literary or archietcural treasures they may possess that serve the narrow interests of a narrow few. I counsel against military interventions from the West and the East. I do not expect the leaders of African nations to solve African American crises. Those African nations and peoples cannot expect any relief from African American elites or their peoples. We are both on our own however good the terms may be among us. Money talks, bullshit walks, alone.
Hard times do not sustain themselves always. The weather will cool down by Tuesday, I understand, without any help from us. We finally solved the problem of an underground water leak. It took us a week to raise the money but we got it done, me and Yvonne, to the tune of $2500. Who has that kind of money lying around. But Yvonne is a praying, hard-working woman.
In this emission test affair in Maryland, the tax goes indirectly to mechanics (a job stimulus?) and then to the government coffers. Well, regressive taxes are placed on the books by the best of Democrats. I am still making up my mind on voting November 2012. Plumbers, mechanics, computer companies are keeping my pockets dusty. But I carry on. God bless social security!
Loving you madly, Rudy
Rudolph Lewis, Editor
ChickenBones: A Journal