‘methods should always be operational’

September 27, 2006 at 8:22 pm (anti-oppression)

But weve loosed the methodology from the reason and so free speech has become a right unto itself, allowing us to forget that methods should always be operational. We cannot let a method turn into a moral practice because that is when thought becomes optional. Death becomes easy. Trope over purpose, principle over morality. Principles allow freedom from thought, and we got that. Twenty-seven dubiously worded amendments and we live in the dumbest wealthy country on the planet. Twenty-seven methodologies for freedom and as an added bonus, we also gained freedom from peace. Yay, US, mission accomplished.

revolution memories. which i am slowly reading.

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myths and rebuttals about new orleans public housing

September 27, 2006 at 8:05 pm (anti-classism, anti-racism, new orleans)

i adore clear thinking.


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curiosity me first

September 18, 2006 at 2:49 am (anti-racism, racism)

so i said ‘yes’ to going to the undoing racism training in chicago.  i am not sure why i said yes except that i am very curious about what is going to be presented.  and yes curiosity killed the cat but ive got 9 lives and got to use them up some how.

and plus i wanted to see some friends.

i also realized that that i love my live.  not because it is fabulous.  it isnt.  but because it is precious.  a little sappy…okay…lets just say that my life to me is a highly valuable process.  and a lot of fun.  and the whole idea of being ‘that white chick’ while i may not have the energy to perform it for three days at an undoing racism workshop, would make an excellent 3 minute performance piece.  or better yet a zine.

when you are kicked out of a country and have to start your life back over again, i think it is a good idea to do what you love the for the most part.  all of those you’s are addressed to me…first.  me first…did i mention that i am most likely having an aries child?

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a holy curiosity

September 18, 2006 at 2:21 am (anti-oppression)

Transformative Politics — A Manifesto of Sorts (The Beginning)

I begin this with a series of statements of purpose:

1. Art and creativity are not so different from science and rationality. Indeed, they all spring from the same fountain. You can not have one without the other. They all have their beginnings in what Einstein called a “holy curiousity.”

2. Resistance is often not pretty. If you are trying to appease everyone all of the time, if you are trying to create a world where everyone agrees with you, if you are trying to bend the world to your will, you are more than likely not committed to real social and transformational change. The fact of the matter is that often people that are fighting against the status quo must speak and act in terms that are not polite. They must speak and often offend even those that are their friends. But it is important to remember that self-reflection, the ability to recognize that sometimes you are wrong, that you have missed the boat, that you must rethink your thesis and alter it, is key. A transformative politics must be willing to undergo revision.

this is what my life needs right now a revision. what do you do when you have nothing?

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things i am thinking about

September 17, 2006 at 8:18 am (anti-oppression, anti-sexism, middle east, Uncategorized, women of color)

1. the black witch:  alice walker’s description in the temple of my familiar of africans, european witches, and talking to animals.   i am going to be a mother soon.  and the classic madonna vision of motherhood, the archetype of unconditional, nurturing, feminine,  vessel-like love i s not the  primary experience for me of pregnancy.  at least for this first trimester i feel more like the black withc…witch…the black witch who resides deep into the woods out of the mainstream grasp of the inquisition.  my hair is nappy and wild.  i am the color of autumnal bsark/bark .  i am that black witch.  that mal…that black witch mother

2. arab slave traders.  and their african slaves.  the arab slave traders took their slaves from east africa.  swahili is one of the primary languages of east africa. swahili is 60 percent of bantu words and grammatical structures and 40 percent arabic words and structures.  i have been told i looked east african when i was there last year.  the human family is complicated…such a beautiful horrific heartbreaking gothic history.

3. spinning babies.  now i can feel uterine muscles holding a sac of water with a small mammal inside.  maybe like a mini-dolphin or whale.  and i can move the baby.  pregnancy is big fascinating deal.

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iraqis of african descent are a largely overlooked link to slavery

September 16, 2006 at 4:35 pm (middle east)

Iraqis of African Descent Are a Largely Overlooked Link to Slavery

A Legacy Hidden in Plain Sight: Iraqis of African Descent Are a Largely Overlooked Link to Slavery

By Theola Labbe
Washington Post Staff WriterSunday, January 11, 2004; Page A01

Each time Thawra Youssef returns to Hakaka, well-dressed in pressed clothes and a loosely draped black head scarf, she looks like a queen visiting for a day among the poor families in house clothes, who hover at their doorways and call out to Youssef by name.

“I don’t feel like a stranger here,” she said one day, stepping carefully to avoid the sewage as eager children followed her. “I have something deep inside of me that is connected to the local Basra ceremonies. I can’t abandon them.”

The practices, she said, came from “the motherland where we came from: Africa.”

In her dissertation, Youssef mentioned seven open fields in and around Basra where ceremonies take place. The field in the Hakaka section is a dusty, hard-packed courtyard with houses clustered around it. Drums, tambourines and other instruments are stored in a closet. Youssef said that only a local leader named Najim had a key. Youssef had to seek his permission to write about the ceremonies.

Najim declined to talk about them.

In her dissertation Youssef describes a song called “Dawa Dawa.” The title and words are a mix of Arabic and Swahili. The song, which is about curing people, is used in what Youssef calls the shtanga ceremony, for physical health. Another ceremony, nouba, takes its name from the Nubian region in the Sudan. There are also ceremonies for the sick, to remember the dead and for happy occasions such as weddings.

“The ceremonies are our strongest evidence of our African identity,” she said.

She wants to teach and to publish her work in a book.posted by The Funky Ghetto Hijabi

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Blakk Indian realities

September 16, 2006 at 4:11 pm (aboriginal, anti-racism, racism)

The following is an excerpt from the book “Understanding The Connections between Black and Aboriginal Peoples”

The Blakk Indian Hiphop Connection and modern day Blakk Indian realities (Toronto, San Francisco)

I broke up the long bus journey to Berkeley with a short stop in Washington State. There I hooked up with Pablo B an aboriginal filmmaker, traditional dancer and a hip hop industrial musician. Music labels especially aboriginal companies rejected his work because they found it strange that an aboriginal kid would be composing industrial music mixed with hip-hop.

That night Pablo and a Black anarchist friend jammed in his living room. I watched as they created a new track with Pablo rapping as the anarchist quickly scribbled lines for him for a piece that railed against the FBI campaigns against Black and Aboriginal
….Activists like Geronimo Pratt, Leonard Peltier and Anna Mae Aquash. Over raw jagged hip-hop beats Pablo rapped lines that were very pertinent at the time. “State police power increasing every hour, black men shot with their hands held high.”
….The high number of fatal shootings of unarmed black men in Canada and the United States weighed very heavily on people’s minds.
….Frequently during my travels in North America, I

would encounter aboriginal youth who were hip hop fans and rappers who were also heavily influenced by black political figures like the Black Panthers and Malcolm X. Aboriginal rappers like Julian B and his CD “Once Upon A Genocide” and Funkdoobius were just few of the aboriginal rappers emerging at this time. At a Toronto Pow Wow I was blown away by the knowledge of an aboriginal hip-hop designer named Cyril Sunbird who was conversant in radical Black politics.
….As we spoke he revealed to me that his aboriginal father had grown up in the American Deep South. Not having a chapter of the American Indian Movement in his area his father joined the local Black Panther chapter. What can occur when hip-hop radical black politics and conscious aboriginal youth converge was further illustrated by what I witnessed one night on a downtown Toronto street corner.
…. A group of aboriginal youth was hanging out after a concert. Among them was ‘Hip Hop Mohawk.’ We had met after an aboriginal sovereignty meeting. While I was leaving the meeting, I noticed that the person walking beside me was wearing a baseball cap with a beaded Public Enemy insignia on it. I inquired where he got his cap. He responded that he had beaded it himself because he was a long-standing fan of the rap group and hip-hop in general. ‘Hip Hop Mohawk’ (who was indeed from the Mohawk nation) was also well versed in the spiritual practices of Black and Aboriginal people.
….One of the other aboriginal youth present that night was my friend, Sid Bobb. He had been buying Public Enemy records from a very young age. In fact I used to pass on Public Enemy paraphernalia that P.E.’s Chuck D had autographed for Sid. Both of Sid’s parents had been heavily involved in radical aboriginal politics. His mom Lee Maracle used to work with the Black Panthers when they would travel to Vancouver.
….That night after the concert another aboriginal youth whose uncle was a cop started attacking rappers who were against the police. Sid answered him back with one of the most articulate defenses of rappers with anti-police stances that I have ever heard. Sid had no delusions about the police and their role in propping up the status quo regardless of their colour. He understood that often when rappers attacked the police they were also exposing deeper issues of racism and injustice.
…. That night after the concert another aboriginal youth whose uncle was a cop started attacking rappers who were against the police. Sid answered him back with one of the most articulate defenses of rappers with anti-police stances that I have ever heard. Sid had no delusions about the police and their role in propping up the status quo regardless of their colour. He understood that often when rappers attacked the police they were also exposing deeper issues of racism and injustice. Everyone stood quietly in awe as Sid dropped science about this quoting Malcolm X and the Black Panthers in the process.
…. I spoke with Bob Manning a black counselor who does extensive work with aboriginal and black street kids. He provided me with his insights into the affinity aboriginal youth have for hip-hop. According to him there is a great need for aboriginal youth to have that arrogance that black people have on television. Just recently I was in the Squamish nation in British Columbia, I saw a lot of Malcom X shirts and a lot of flap jackets. These were aboriginal kids imitating black kids in ghetto communities that they see out of Detroit television. Aboriginal kids are going through the same things black kids are. A search for identity, the anger, the need to make something that’s theirs -whether its their own name, their own gang its that need to reach out for the extended family, just like black kids try and do. Some end up in gangs, which become their extended family. Aboriginal youth tend to look to black people as a model because black people are the first to come out with that arrogance. It was the same thing in the sixties -when the Black panthers came out other groups like the American Indian Movement started following the Panthers. Some black people are very quick at saying, “Hey we don’t like this and we are going to change it and if you don’t like the changes -fuck you! It’s this arrogance that got black people out of slavery and which stimulated numerous slaves revolts. It’s the attitude of people refusing to be controlled. The need and want to be free. So when an Aboriginal kid in Squamish sees a black kid in Detroit being arrogant, wearing a flap jacket and saying “Hey, this is me and I’m going to get in your face, I’ve had enough of this, I am going to fight right here, I’m going to take a stance. “Aboriginal kids relate to that and more and more are adapting that stance as we witnessed at the standoff at Oka.
…. When I arrived in San Francisco there was intense political activity as people geared up to protest the Gulf War that was about to erupt. I stopped off at the anarchist book store Bound Together Books to meet with anarchist hardcore band M.D.C. in regards to a Blakk Indian project. I left with the brilliant book, Black Wheels of Anger about radical activist, Tom Mooney by the anarchist writer Peter Plate who distributed his books free of charge in the tradition of the Diggers: anonymous radical activist of the sixties who use to hand out free goods to people in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
….I met with Michael Franti who was also preparing to take part in a Gulf War protest. Speaking with Michael was one of the key reasons I had journeyed to Berkeley. We had become acquainted while he was still with his first band, the Beatnigs. Now he was getting ready to launch his new band Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Michael had just recently discovered the fact that he was of Blakk Indian heritage. He introduced me to two Blakk Indian women Amelie Prescott and Akiba Tiamaya. Both had fascinating life stories to speak about.
…. Amelie began by telling me “When I was growing up I was told I was Creole but my parents never spoke what that mixture really was. As a child some people asked me if I was Black. I lived in Maryland in the fifties and there was still a lot of segregation going on but I never took it personally. It was just kind of interesting to me when I got sent to the back of the bus. So my Mom made me wear a little Aboriginal bracelet at the beginning of the summer so I could show I had a tan so I didn’t have to go to the back of the bus or have to go to the coloured bathroom. In the early sixties I was living in San Francisco and teaching a mixed classroom in Sausilitio. I taught a pilot program in Black studies and sex education. For my Black studies course I felt it would be good to have some of the black Panthers I knew come over and talk about the subject. I spoke to them and they agreed. Twice a week they came and taught Black studies. Now, they used to ask me to decide what race I was because there was going to be a revolution and I would have to take sides. They would say ‘Are you Black or White?’ and I would say ‘I’m brown, I’m aboriginal, I’m black, I’m French, I’m a mixture.’ That was my first introduction talking about that because those things weren’t discussed. Aboriginal people weren’t in fashion then’.
….Her encounters with the Black Panthers prompted Amelie to further investigate her Blakk Indian heritage. She began to teach in East Oakland and discovered that a lot of her students were part aboriginal. As she taught about aboriginal ways, parents of students would approach her and say that someone back in their family was aboriginal but it wasn’t something that was spoken about.
….Wondering about this silence prompted Amelie to do some research. What she discovered was the history of escaped slaves going to aboriginal reservations where they would be together and have babies. Then the army could come and say, ‘Everybody out.’ Everyone would go but Blakk Indians had no tribal rights so they couldn’t say, ‘I’m half Choctaw. I’m half this.’ Those tribal rights were gone and that is what the army and government wanted.
…. Amelie stated that during those times “it was very dangerous to be an aboriginal person so if you could pass for Black you didn’t mention you were part aboriginal since you could get killed because of that or have your children taken away to missionary schools. They would often take the children away and put them in white homes. A lot of children who are mixed Black and Aboriginal don’t know. People like Michael Franti who was adopted, didn’t know until I told him and he went and found his birth mother and she told him he was.”
….Amelie’s friend Akiba Tiamaya had some further observations about this according to her. Amelia said aboriginal people were considered nothing so a lot of time they would be in the Black community and hide out there. They were considered black. “A lot of black people today haven’t seen the necessity to come forth. Its like, so what? My grandmother was aboriginal, so what? It wasn’t any big deal”.
….Akiba herself had experienced some difficulties as she tried to reconnect with the aboriginal side of her heritage. At various times she hadn’t felt welcomed in aboriginal communities. A very spiritual person, she was proud of the fact she was a sun dancer but even in that she had to overcome obstacles from aboriginal people. In conversation with me Akiba disclosed something that I have heard echoed by many Blakk Indian people. She said that she had experienced a lot of inner turmoil because in this time when it seemed to her so many people were falsely attaching themselves to aboriginal culture, she didn’t want to be perceived as being part of that bandwagon.
….She was also acutely sensitive to the possibility that aboriginal people might think that she was claiming this part of her ancestry in order to have access to certain economic rights aboriginal people have. Like so many Blakk Indian people I have spoken to, Akiba felt aboriginal people had been so mercilessly exploited that in no way did she want to participate in anything that could possibly further exploit them. As a result many Blakk Indian people are very quiet about the aboriginal side of their heritage.
….After speaking with Amelie and Akiba, Michael and I went to San Francisco where intense preparations were taking place for a massive demonstration against the US. Bombing of Iraq. Accustomed to and aware of the practice of police brutality and the reality of class warfare at demonstrations some activists were practicing their tactics to deal with the police.
….Later that night as Michael and I took part in a gigantic march, we discussed what Amelie and Akiba had spoken to me. As Michael put it to me, “I have tended to identify mostly with being Black because that is predominantly what other people’s perception of me is. But I’ve always had a sense of a fact that I’m Native American. Being both Native American and African American I feel as though part of me was stolen from my country and I had my country stolen from me.
….The keynote speaker at the march was Angela Davis renown Black activist and professor at the university of Berkeley. Angela gave a rousing speech. I would later find out that she was very aware of the Blakk Indian connection.
….According to her, “It’s really important for us as Black people to stand together with our American Indian sisters and brothers because they really helped us during slavery. A lot of our ancestors were able to escape and set up maroon communities that were created by fugitive slaves that were the result of the work our Native sister and brothers did for us and of course a lot of us have Native blood. I don’t think it makes any sense to talk about it if you aren’t going to do something about it. We have to say that the genocide that was perpetuated against the original inhabitants of this land came around to Africans. We were all together then and we ought to be together today.”

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a debt paid in full

September 9, 2006 at 7:03 pm (anti-oppression, anti-racism, cuba, latino, orisha)

In the end, what’s most important is that those that come into Orisa culture never ever try to push Africans to the back of their own bus. It doesn’t matter when or how they arrive home, it’s still their house and the fact that anyone knows the address is the result of THEIR Ancestors, as they made the home available to non-family in the first place.

African never abandoned their culture. They practiced what they could when they could, based on where they were. When they could, they passed it along to others, including non-Africans. Because they gave their culture to non-Africans, even as they chose to continue to enslave them, these non-Africans are obligated to share Orisa with the offspring of Africa whenever they arrive at their doorstep.

This reciprocation makes any “debt” owed by African-Americans paid in full.


Lastly, if the African-Americans and Latinos (no matter what color) are ever going to get beyond historical, racial and political differences – they must first admit that these differences exist and talk them out – better yet – sit on the mat and divine, together, to determine unbiased and ethical solutions that will protect the interestes of all Orisa worshippers.


we are all the lighter and darker shades of black.  those of us who still worship the black goddess.  



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punk ethos

September 9, 2006 at 2:38 am (Uncategorized)

I think that the punk ethos of you don’t need anything, you just need to do it and figure out what you’re doing as you go, has probably informed everything I’ve done since. It seemed a pretty sensible and refreshing idea at the time. Likewise the idea that you ought to be enjoying what you’re doing and be doing it because you think it’s cool and fun. The idea that mistakes are part of what make things interesting, and it’s probably wisest to get it right and move on and not spend the rest of your life polishing it.” – Neil Gaiman

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Zimbabwe and Pan-African Liberation

September 9, 2006 at 2:23 am (anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-sexism)

“An integral part of any genuine social justice movement or revolution is the empowerment of the working class, the women in society and the youth.”

“A practical reason is that most of this Left works through non-profit organizations or NGOs. And because most get their funding from, either their government, a corporate foundation, or some rich individual(s) with no interest in seriously challenging the system or world order, the West has effectively co-opted the Left by funding its activities. They then are torn between biting the hand that feeds them — that is, speaking complete truth to power — or acquiescing to merely an acceptable level of protest against them by speaking only select truths to power.”

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