Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SRO Hotels in the BAMBD going fast

The former Lake Merritt Lodge on Harrison Street now serves as a dormitory for graduate students at Hult Business School in San Francisco. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)
The former Lake Merritt Lodge on Harrison Street now serves as a dormitory for graduate students at Hult Business School in San Francisco. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — With some help from Sacramento, the city is trying to protect a vulnerable population from getting crushed under the wheels of progress.

Many with little income live in single-room-occupancy hotels, often gritty but relatively inexpensive structures built in the 19th or early 20th centuries. The hotels are now a prime target for redevelopment into lucrative condos, boutique hotels or pricey short-term housing.

Most SRO residents rely on Social Security and disability payments for their income, earning less than a quarter of the county’s median income of $65,450, a report by Oakland’s Housing and Community Development found.

Earlier this month, the City Council endorsed a resolution to seek the same authority that the state’s four biggest cities already have to limit the loss of SROs from Oakland’s mix of housing options.

“We do not have the tools to regulate SROs as other cities do,” Councilman Abel Guillen, co-sponsor of the resolution, told council colleagues on Oct. 4. “This loophole needs to be addressed.”

Since 2004, the number of these properties has been shrinking fast. Of the 31 SROs operating in 2004, only 18 are left, today, a report by the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development found.
Some former SROs are now market-rate apartments, such as the 10 units of the former Alendale Guest House on Jayne Avenue or the Hotel Westerner, 19 units at 1954 San Pablo Ave., which was demolished. The land it stood on is now part of the footprint of the Uptown, a three-building market-rate apartment project.

The 157 units of the former Lake Merritt Lodge at 2332 Harrison St. became student housing for Hult International Business School in 2014 after being vacant for years.

The former Moor Hotel, 2351 San Pablo Ave., has also been shuttered more than a decade.
“This is consistent with the practice of land banking, in which an owner will hold onto a property purely for its speculative value,” the report states.

Others, such as the 149-unit California Hotel, 3501 San Pablo Ave., and 160-unit Hamilton Apartments at 2101 Telegraph Ave., have been renovated to include private kitchens and bathrooms, not typically featured in traditional SROs, and are now managed as affordable housing. The conversions reduced the number of units in the two properties, from 309 total to 229.

The resolution targets the state’s Ellis Act, passed in 1985, which gave property owners broader grounds to evict tenants and prohibited cities from insisting a property remain in the rental market. The act has sometimes been seen as a driving force when rent-controlled housing is converted into market-rate condos.
In 2003, the Legislature amended the act to allow four cities – San Francisco and three with populations of more than 1 million (Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose) – to protect the status of residential hotels.
Among SROs threatened is the 88-unit Hotel Travelers at 392 11th St., a seedy-looking place across the street from East Bay Municipal Utility District offices.

A developer has touted plans to open a much tonier place, with a rooftop lounge, raw bar and Creole restaurant.

Owners of the 106-unit Sutter Hotel on 14th Street also have told the city they are interested in converting the building to upscale apartments, the report said.

The resolution seeks the authority for Oakland to adopt ordinances, as other cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Chicago and New York have done, to preserve SROs as low-income housing.

City Council president Lynette Gibson McElhaney co-sponsored the resolution, which the council passed unanimously. The next step in the process will be to identify a sponsor in Sacramento and reach out to other cities and counties to join the effort.

However, “nothing with the Ellis Act moves that quickly at the state level,” warned Alex Marqusee, a legislative analyst in Gibson McElhaney’s office. “This is a long-term effort.”

With that in mind, the city attorney is looking into the legality of declaring a moratorium on conversions or demolitions, or imposing stricter requirements for winning city approval for conversions, he said.
The city is also checking to see if some of Oakland’s proposed $600 million bond, Measure KK, that is directed at repairing streets, sidewalks, city facilities and affordable housing, could be set aside for extremely low-income residents who make 20 to 30 percent of median income — less than $20,000 per year.
“This is an issue that is growing in significance,” Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said. “I hope the state will give us this leeway to protect the most vulnerable people in the community.”

Contact Mark Hedin at 510-293-2452, 408-759-2132 or mhedin@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Maestro Marvin X, Laney College Theatre, 2016
photo Alicia Mason


People living like they got forever
tomorrow is almost here
afraid to enjoy the blessings of God
afraid to love
be loved
blindly praying when God has already answered
look at your children
growing learning asking wanting seeking
make a world for them
make your mark in history
it's hard to struggle sacrifice
our women don't like it
our children don't like it
we push on
gotta have ma freedom
gotta have ma freedom today
rewards few hours long
we wonder where the years went
children tell us
they have not learned to lie
we wonder what will they be
but what path have we cut for them
what roads did we map
there are  snakes in the jungle
lions in the  forest foxes in the  woods
what roads are safe
what are the magic words of life
what is the message of our ancestors
don't you hear them calling
saying rise up be free
rise up be free
don't give up rise up
don't give up rise up
--Marvin X/El Muhajir
from Liberation Poems for North American Africans by Marvin X, Al Kitab Sudan Press/Black Bird Press, Oakland CA., 1983.


 Fidel and Malcolm X in Harlem
Long live the revolutionary spirit of Fidel and Malcolm X!

Mandela and Fidel
Who helped South Africa's liberation, America or Fidel's Cuba? Long live Fidel, long live the Cuban revolution!

History will absolve me he said
Huey, Bobby and me read his speech at Merritt College, 1962
read Nkrumah Mandela Lumumba Mao Che Malcolm
Elijah Garvey

Last Poets Filipe said to me and audience at NYU
Memorial for Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka
Marvin X you a bad motherfucker
Por favor Filipe
El Fidel is the bad motherfucker of the hour and all times
defied eleven presidents of the united snakes
Fidel  is the bad motherfucker
defied devils mafia imperialist war dogs
hundred assassination attempts
Fidel bad motherfucker
no matter his negrocities (Amiri Baraka term, he told me to acknowledge his term, don't claim it, Marvin, he said, rip)
Por favor, revolution is not a pretty thing
even the Negro revolution was not bloodless as Malcolm said
Was the blood of Malcolm a pretty thing
Blood of Martin Luther King, Jr
blood of Fred Hampton
blood of Lil' Bobby Hutton
Blood of Samuel Napier
Blood of Megdar Evers
Blood of Emmitt Till
Blood of the many thousands gone
in the woods swamps forests rivers lakes
the blood of cotton pickers
cane field cutters
rise fields slaves
African builders brought to America
Fidel bad motherfucker
Like Simon Simon Simon
liberate the Americas
Ustados Unidos no es de Americas
Ustados Unidos es Ustados Unidos
nada mas
no es Mexico Central South America

Fidel said Cuba no es Ustados Unidos
Cuba es Cuba libertad
Viva Fidel
Viva Fidel
yes no revolution is holy
Por favor America revolution had negrocities
Por favor, eslavos Africanos mucho mucho
no libertad para Africanos
hoy no libertad
Viva Fidel
He grew with African revolution
joined African revolution
no say Cubano no Africano
Fidel saluted African roots
defeated apartheid America South Africa Israel
Viva Fidel
No holy man saint
liberator of Cuba
inspired liberation like Simon Bolivar
gringos go home
come back when you appreciate  justice freedom equality
Fuck Monroe Doctrine
Fuck embargo
did it work
did Cuba crumble
did Cuba submit like pitiful slaves to the gringos?
Fidel stood tall
nuts in hand
basta ya gringo
basta ya gringo
enough enough enough
sometimes it takes a devil to kill a devil
saints can'ts kill devils
no heart to kill
saints like to pray  and pray and pray
Fidel said kill kill kill your enemies opposition
classic revolution ask Stalin
ask America Ustados Unidos
don't they kill presidents in America
don't they have political prisoners
jailed since the 60s
do they live in Cuban prisons longer than prisoners in Ustados Unidos
Longer than the Angola brothers
longer than Gerinimo
Longer than Ruchell McGee
Longer than Mumia Abu Jamal
Longer than Imam Jamil Alamin
Viva Fidel
Viva revolution Cubana
Viva revolution Ustados Unidos Africano Latino
Viva revolution Gringo no es rico pero esclavo tambien
Ache Ache Ache
--Marvin X/El Muhajir

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Coming soon to a venue near you: The Wild Crazy Ride of the Marvin X Experience--Now available for booking

cover design by Mical Free, photo Kamau Amen Ra (rip)
Son of Man, 1968, was published while Marvin X was underground in Harlem NY. The FBI was on his trail because he refused to fight in Vietnam. Aftrer a second exile in Mexico City and Belize, Central America, he was captured and deported back to the USA. He served time in Terminal Island Federal Prison. See his court speech in The Black Scholar magazine, April/May 1971.
photo Doug Harris
According to Muslim American professor Dr. Mohja Kahf, Fly to Allah, 1968, is the seminal work in the genre she declared as Muslim American literature.  Marvin X and other Black Arts Movement poets such as Amiri Baraka, Askia Toure and Sonia Sanchez  are considered the founders of Muslim American literature and must be honored as such.
Marvin X at rally in support of Gaza, Seattle WA.

 Black Arts Movement Business District artists/activists, Oscar Grant Plaza, Oakland CA. On January 19, 2016, the Oakland City Council officially declared the Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor, from the lower bottom to Lake Merritt.

 Harlem NY reception for Marvin X at the home of Rashidah Ismaili

Mythology of Pussy and Dick is an 18 page pamphlet more powerful and more often requested  than all of Marvin's 30 books combined. It has liberated men, women and children. According to poet Paradise Jah Love, "They grab it as if it's black gold!". The 400 page version will be released soon. "Why should I release the 400 page version, they can't absorb the 18 pages!" Quitta and Marvin X. Yes, she quit him but it wasn't about pussy and dick.

 Black Arts/Black Power Babies Conference, Brooklyn NY, an intergenerational discussion produced by Muhammida El Muhajir.

Marvin X and Laney College President Dr. Elnora T. Webb in planning session for the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration at Laney College, Oakland, 2015
photo Standing Rock


 Marvin X speaking at national speakout for Imam Jamil Alamin, Bobby Hutton Park, Oakland CA,2016
photo Ras Ceylon
 Black Panther Party Minister of Information, Eldridge Cleaver and Marvin X. X and Cleaver established the political/cultural center in San Francisco known as Black House, 1967. Marvin X introduced him to the Black Panthers and officiated his memorial service in Oakland.
photo Kareem Muhammad

My Friend the Devil, Marvin X's memoir of his friend, Eldridge Cleaver. He wrote memoir in three weeks while on a book tour. He published each chapter daily on www.nathanielturner.com. The book was literally written in cyberspace. BAM playwright Jimmy Garrett said it was the funniest book of 2009. People asked him why he called Cleaver the devil? He replied, "Didn't you call him the devil?"
Usually there is stone silence.
cover design Standing Rock

University of Houston, Africana Studies Chair Conyus and Marvin X who spoke with students on his national book tour

Marvin X and oldest daughter Nefertiti (The beautiful one has come). Laney College,
Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary celebration, 2015
photo Ken Johnson

Marvin X in heaven, i.e., in the  presence of beautiful, intelligent, revolutionary women. Black Arts Movement  and Women's panel, Laney College BAM 50th anniversary. L to R: Elaine Brown, Halifu Osumare, Judy Juanita, Portia Anderson, Kujichagulia, Aries Jordan
photo Ken Johnson

 Nefertiti's Thanksgiving Message on her father, 2016

I love this man who is forever optimistic in a world filled with daily tragedies, myths and lies. He is not delusional about the existence of such filth which causes the weak to walk bent over and on a jagged path. He just continues to insist on pushing forward, walking upright and going higher, rising above the fray and the frivolity that causes lesser beings to collapse, breakdown and give in.

He insists that knowledge can enlighten us all. He continues to seek after truth and consumes truth from the right, the left, the moderates, Muslims, Christians and as many other sources as are present, discriminating only against sources which seek to dumb down the masses.

He is a man who continues to dream and pushes others to dream big with him. Your interest or belief in his dream matters not. He waters, plants, nourishes until the fruits come forth.

Ashe' to a seeker of truth.
Ashe' to a dreamer of dreams.
Ashe' to a liver of dreams manifested.

Marvin X reading "Dope" by Amiri Baraka, accompanied by David Murray and Earle Davis
Malcolm X Jazz Festival, Oakland CA

Newark, NJ Mayor Ras Baraka and Marvin X

Poet, playwright, activist Amiri Baraka (RIP) and Marvin X, who shared a 47 year friendship as artistic freedom fighters and founders of the Black Arts Movement. Baraka said of his comrade in the arts, "Marvin has always been  in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the innovators and founders of the new revolutionary school of African writing."
Poets gathered at New York University for the memorial services of poets Jayne Cortez and
Amiri Baraka

Marvin X and BAM mystic musician Sun Ra outside Marvin's Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco, 1972. Both were teaching at UC Berkeley at this time. Sun Ra arranged the musical version of Marvin's play Take Care of Business. They produced a five hour concert of the production with a cast of 50 and no intermission at the Harding Theatre, Divisadero Street, San Francisco. The Ellendar Barnes and Raymond Sawyer dancers also participated.

 Marvin X and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf who said, "Marvin X is a  wonderful personality. He never ceases to amaze me!"
photo Jahahara

 Marvin and actor Danny Glover, BAM founders, both attended San Francisco State University
photo Ken Johnson

 Angela Davis, Marvin X and Sonia Sanchez. Governor Ronald Reagan banned Angela from teaching at UCLA, banned Marvin X from teaching at Fresno State University, 1969.

Contributors to the anthology Black Hollywood unchained, edited by Ishmael Reed. Panel discussion at San Francisco Main Library, July 3,2016. L to R: Justin Desmangles, Jesse Allen Taylor, Dr. Halifu Osumare, Marvin X and Ishmael Reed.

Marvin X, grandson Jah Amiel, film director Stanley Nelson, MX's daughter Attorney Amira Jackmon and granddaughter Naeema Joy at Berkeley screening of Nelson's Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Marvin  made a brief appearance.

Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. Marvin calls it the most dangerous classroom in the world. Across the street is the Oscar Grant Plaza where protests rally occur regularly, i.e., Oscar Grant protests, anti-police rallies, Occupy Oakland, Black Lives Matter, anti-Trump.
From his Academy of da Corner,, Marvin helped plan the Black Arts Movement Business District. The BAMBD newspaper The Movement is edited on da corner with designer Standing Rock.
photo Standing Rock

Amiri Baraka (RIP), BPP co-founder Bobby Seale, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, BAMBD planner, founder of The Lower Bottom Playaz, Ahi Baraka, son of Amiri Baraka, BAM/BAMBD co-founder, Marvin X
photo Gene Hazzard

Marvin X at Laney College Theatre reading from his play Salaam, Huey, Salaam, about his last meeting with BPP co-founder Dr. Huey P. Newton in a West Oakland Crack house.
photo Alicia Mason

Bio of Marvin X
Marvin X was born May 29, 1944, Fowler CA, nine miles south of Fresno in the central valley of California. In Fresno his parents published the Fresno Voice, a black newspaper.
Marvin attended Oakland’s Merritt College where he encountered fellow students how became Black Panther Party co-founders Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. They taught him black nationalism.  Marvin’s first play Flowers for the Trashman was produced by the Drama department at San Francisco State University, 1965.  Marvin X dropped out to established his own Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore, 1966, along with playwright Ed Bullins. Months later Marvin would co-found Black House with Eldridge Cleaver, 1967.
Marvin introduced  Eldridge Cleaver to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.  Eldridge immediately joined the Black Panther Party.  Huey Newton said, “Marvin X was my teacher, many of our comrades came from his Black Arts Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver,  Emory Douglas and Samuel Napier.”
One of the movers and shakers of the Black Arts Movement (BAM) Marvin X has published 30 books, including essays, poetry, and his autobiography Somethin’ Proper. Important books include Fly to Allah, poems, Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, essays on consciousness, and How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, a manual based on the 12 step Recovery model.
Marvin received his MA in English/Creative writing from San Francisco State University, 1975. He has taught at San Francisco State University, Fresno State University, UC Berkeley and San Diego, Mills College, Merritt and Laney Colleges in Oakland, University of Nevada, Reno.  He lectures coast to coast at such colleges and universities as University of Arkansas, University of Houston, Morehouse and Spelman, Atlanta, University of Virginia, Howard University, Univ. of Penn, Temple Univ., Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, UMASS, Boston.
His latest book is the Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables, Black Bird Press, Berkeley. He currently teaches at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. Ishmael Reed says, “Marvin X is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland."

For speaking, readings and performance, contact Marvin X @ jmarvinx@yahoo.com,
510-200-4164. www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Nefertiti's Thanksgiving message on her father: Marvin X/El Muhajir

 Marvin  X, Laney College Theatre, 2016
photo Alicia Mason

Marvin X and oldest daughter Nefertiti (The beautiful one has come). Laney College,
Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary celebration, 2015
photo Ken Johnson

I love this man who is forever optimistic in a world filled with daily tragedies, myths and lies. He is not delusional about the existence of such filth which causes the weak to walk bent over and on a jagged path. He just continues to insist on pushing forward, walking upright and going higher, rising above the fray and the frivolity that causes lesser beings to collapse, breakdown and give in.

He insists that knowledge can enlighten us all. He continues to seek after truth and consumes truth from the right, the left, the moderates, Muslims, Christians and as many other sources as are present, discriminating only against sources which seek to dumb down the masses.

He is a man who continues to dream and pushes others to dream big with him. Your interest or belief in his dream matters not. He waters, plants, nourishes until the fruits come forth.

Ashe' to a seeker of truth.
Ashe' to a dreamer of dreams.
Ashe' to a liver of dreams manifested.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

BAMBD and Coalition wins community benefits worth $2.2 million from develolpers

Oakland Coalition Wins Community Benefits from Wood Partners Downtown Apartment Development

BAMBD lead planner Ayodele Nzinga (left) and Lailan Huen  of the Chinatown Coalition for Equitable Development, spoke Monday evening at the Oakland City Council meeting. Photo Ken Epstein.
Representatives of a community and labor coalition this week declared a victory in their six-month fight to win community benefits from Wood Partners’ 262-unit, one square-block apartment development, winning significant changes in an agreement that had been approved by the city’s Planning Commission without community input.

“We engaged with Wood Partners over a six-month period and successfully closed a community benefit agreement this morning,” said Ayodele Nzinga, a representative of the Black Arts Movement Business District (BAMBD), speaking at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“We’d like to see some equity in the planning process, giving the community not only the right to engage the developers but also the support (community members) need to be successful in those efforts.”

The Wood Partners’ project will be built at 226 13th St. in downtown Oakland.

In addition to BAMBD, groups involved in the coalition included Chinatown Coalition for Equitable Development, labor unions involved with East Bay Residents for Responsible Development and Block by Block Organizing Network.

The community benefits agreement, valued at $2.2 million, includes a 20 percent local hire goal, $250,000 contributed to anti-displacement programs and $100,000 to the Cypress Mandela job training center to train construction apprentices, according to Lailan Huen of the Chinatown Coalition and Block by Block.

The agreement also contributes $675,000 to help build 60 units of affordable housing in the area and affordable retail space for small businesses and artists in the Black Arts Movement Business District.

Speaking to the council, coalition members called on the city to overhaul the Planning Commission and development approval procedures.

“We don’t want to have to come here for every development project. So we need you to start working with us to pass citywide policies over the next year,” said Huen.

“We need to change the Planning Commission to be diverse, to represent the various neighborhoods of Oakland,” she said. “They can’t just come from Claremont (or) from Rockridge (districts).”

Huen said the commission should be reorganized so that there are specific seats for “community advocates.”

At present she said, many Planning Commission members are connected to commercial development, gaining financially from the development industry.

According to former Mayor Jean Quan, who also spoke at the meeting, a number of the disputes about developments can be traced to city staff not telling developers that they have to deal with the community.

“(Wood Partners) got the impression that they could build a whole block right in the middle of Chinatown and only meet with the community once, and they got that impression from staff,” said Quan.

In addition, she said, developers are given variances, such as being told by staff that they do not have to build parking, which can save them between $6 million and $10 million, and staff “doesn’t ask them for any community benefits.”

Pamela Drake, representing Block by Block, talked about the qualifications for hiring a new director of planning and building for the city.

The new director should be someone “with experience working with the community and who recognizes that community benefits should be an everyday part of the planning process, not something we have to fight for at the other end,” said Drake.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Senegalese trek to Muslim Holy City of Touba in honor of Cheikh Amadou Bamba. For some, Touba is more sacred than Mecca!

Magal in Touba: Senegalese trek to Muslim festival

  • 21 November 2016
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims descended on Senegal's holy city of Touba for the annual Magal festival over the weekend.
The Magal is a holy day for the Mouride sect, which overwhelmingly practises a moderate Sufi version of Islam, emphasising the power of hard work. It is marked by travel over long distances, feasting and expressions of brotherly love.

The Baye Fall - a sub-sect of the Mourides - are known for their patchwork clothes and dreadlocks. Some also drink alcohol and smoke marijuana, and don't fast during Ramadan, unlike most Muslims. Nigguh Muslims! lol

The Mouride sect was founded by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, a religious leader in Senegal during the time of French colonisation. It is now one of the country's biggest and most influential. These disciples prepare lunch for some of the pilgrims attending the annual Magal.

Ahmadou Bamba was buried in the city of Touba, where a huge mosque has been built. Many of his descendents have become local spiritual guides, or marabouts. Each Mouride will pledge allegiance to one such guide.  

Ahmadou Bamba founded Touba city in 1887 and it is now said to be the second biggest in Senegal, with an official population of about 1.5 million people, reportedly doubling in size during the Magal. Feeding such huge crowds is a major undertaking and hundreds of cows were slaughtered.  Many of the Senegalese living and working abroad are Mourides and people travelled to Touba from New York, Paris and Rome, as well as the capital, Dakar, 200km (125 miles) west of the holy city.
Pilgrims show remarkable dedication to make it to Touba. Reports say at least 16 people were killed in road accidents while heading to the celebrations. 

People filled up every space available in public transport vehicles to make it to the weekend-long festivities, which have been declared a national holiday. 
 Feeding such huge crowds is a major undertaking and hundreds of cows were slaughtered. 
For some, camel meat is also considered a  delicacy.

Apart from cooking, the Baye Fall also act as security guards during the annual pilgrimage. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Race in America: The Grand Denial by Marvin X

RACE IN AMERICA: The Grand Denial

PubliƩ le par hort

 www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.comRACE IN AMERICA: The Grand Denial

  Denial is quite simply the evasion of reality. Denial can be personal or communal, for sometimes an entire nation can be in denial about its abominations, for they are too painful to make adjustments in the collective psyche and the personal reality, for to do so would incriminate the mythology and ritual of said society, and thus the normal daily round would be disrupted and dysfunctional, for painful adjustments would be in order, and as long as we can avoid the painful the better, after all, the status quo can be maintained.

America has lived in grand denial. In the words of Baldwin white supremacy has caused this nation to believe in rationalizations so fantastic it approaches the pathological. She has lived among slaves and masters and the descendants of slaves and masters far too long without any meaningful degree of reconciliation or compensation, even apology is long overdue. Other colonial societies such as the French and Australia recently apologized for colonialism, but not America , the chief colonizer of the modern world. She is mainly guilty of domestic colonialism, having enslaved the Native Americans, and then kidnapped millions of Africans who were brought to these shores for eternal servitude. After emancipation, America promised the freed Africans a few acres and a mule, but never delivered. She promised freedom after her slaves provided 200,000 troops who were decisive in the Civil War, but disarmed them and returned them to virtual slavery called Reconstruction, which was short-lived and essentially put the freed slaves in neo-servitude, at the whim of terrorists known as Klu Klux Klan.

White America benefited from four centuries of slavery and neo-slavery. The neo slaves fought in her imperial wars against fascism abroad but were subjected to fascism upon returning home. A few slaves benefited from slavery, even having slaves themselves, yet in the end found themselves facing the glass ceiling, especially when they refused to be running dogs for imperialism now called globalism. General Colin Powell is the most recent example. America duped him and made a fool of him before the world when he gave his fabricated United Nation’s speech to justify the invasion of Iraq . He was replaced with a more pliant Negress in the person of Condi Rice. We are urged to recognize racial progress in her shameful role as Secretary of State. We have achieved equality, for have we not placed ourselves (African Americans) in the position to be charged with war crimes, having justified the slaughter of a million Iraqi men, women and children in the unprovoked occupation and destruction of the jewel of Arabic culture and civilization?

But in our grand denial, blacks as well as whites will attempt to convince the world this point of view is left wing poppycock, the thoughts of a disgruntled segment of the black Americans who have failed to enjoy the benefits of capitalism, now globalism--no matter the disparities in birth and death, education, wage parity, housing, health care, homicide and suicide, in every aspect of Americana.
 To mention race is to open a can of worms best left unopened because it makes Americans nervous, uneasy, and disturbed mentally if not physically. White Americans are made to feel guilty, thus etiquette demands no mention of race in civil discourse or casual conversation because we are all too sensitive and the endgame might be violence of the worse kind. And so we are mostly silent on the subject until this ugly monster of our body politic raises its head as it inevitably  does from time to time, then after the most brief discussion, all sides are urged to sweep it under the carpet until the next round. Thus this racial drama continues ad infinitum without any real resolution and certainly no reconciliation.

We may have a plethora of interracial marriages with the resultant biracial children, yet nothing has been solved except for a kind of don’t ask don’t talk racial harmony, along with the children growing up in racial confusion called the tragic mulatto syndrome, whereby they try as best they can to choose sides in this racial drama without end. Clearly, Barak Obama is caught between the racism of his preacher and white grandmother. His endgame will be of great interest to the world at large, and even if he doesn’t become president of the US , he will have a role to play in racial politics globally

Obviously, his persona is bigger than America , having an African father and a Muslim middle name (Hussein) that has endeared him to the Islamic world, no matter the outcome of the presidential election. With his now classic speech on race, putting himself in league with Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise and Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream, Obama, much to his dismay, has now become a Race Man, in the classic sense of that term whose definition escapes all but those of historical consciousness, which is most of us, black and white—except that we must now realize there is only the human race, except for those in league with me who claim membership in the Divine Race.

America’s Grand Denial can only be overcome by recovery from our racist white supremacy heritage, beginning by accepting the scientific definition of the human race (or Divine, if you agree with my spiritual notion), then entering a program of detoxification, recovery and discovery.  Detoxification includes deprogramming our white supremacy values of domination and exploitation, including patriarchal authority and capitalist greed that has led us to the present recession/depression worldwide. The free market economy is nothing more than pimping by gunboat diplomacy. You sell me your labor and natural resources at the cheapest price or I will take them at gunpoint, under the guise of bringing you democracy—an advance from the naked colonial era of spreading Christianity.
 Recovery is discarding the Grand Denial that there is a problem or that the problem has been remedied, therefore stop making whites the villain and blacks the victim, in fact, forget the entire matter—although blacks already suffer acute amnesia to the degree that they are a danger to themselves and others.  And who would tell a Jew to forget the Holocaust? And does not the Jew remind the world at every turn what the Germans did to them? We have a thousand times more right to tell the world what happened to us than any Jew, for our suffering lasted four centuries, not four or five  years. For their four or five years (1939-1945) the Jews were given a state while we have not acquired one acre for four centuries (1619-2008) of slave labor and government sanctioned terror that even Hitler emulated with his destruction of the Jews.
 In order to recover from the addiction to white supremacy, America must make a searching and fearless moral inventory; she must admit to God the exact nature of her wrongs; be ready to have God remove her defects of character (being saved by the grace of Jesus Christ has not and will not solve America’s white supremacy addiction—the white Christian mythology allowed us to be burned on the cross or lynching tree—yes, strangely similar to Jesus). Rev. James Cone suggests America can only recover from the addiction to white supremacy by coming to an understanding of the relationship of the cross and the lynching tree. Listen to Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit and ponder the life of Jesus Christ. You have had Jesus in your midst for over four hundred years and crucified him on a daily basis, even unto this present hour. America must examine her census, her graveyards in the south and north, the bills of sale, the insurance policies, her jail and prison inmates, the mental hospital patients gone mad as a result of white supremacy addiction—then make a list of all the Africans harmed, the Native Americans, the poor whites treated worse than you treated niggers—then make amends to such people, including reparations in the form of land and sovereignty.
 Discovery for America in general will be when she accepts the radicalization of her culture to bring it in harmony with the global village, which involves the dismantling of institutions that perpetuate domination and exploitation of her citizens and other peace loving peoples throughout the world. If America persists in her Grand Denial, then she must prepare for her self destruction, for it shall come at the hands of the man in the mirror, not from any external forces.
 Dr. M is the author of How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, A Pan African 13 Step Model, Black Bird Press, Berkeley CA. mxjackmon@yahoo.com