“African Americans: And America’s Hypocrisy”
By Fahim A. Knight-EL
The United States Government has spent close to three (3) trillion dollars in Iraq in an unjust war, in order to be in the best position to steal Oil and we know who is behind this. Yet, poor and oppressed people in the 1990s were charged with wrecking the United States economy—does anyone else see what’s going on? Over eighty (80) million people in America do not have health insurance and this writer wants to go on record to say, he supports socialize medicine and universal health care plans where as all Americans can have adequate health care at no cost. This writer does not mean those watered-down health care plans that have been written, sanctioned, and agreed upon by the medical conglomerates and inspired by powerful corporate lobbies of the medical associations, which Senator Barack Obama, Senator John McCain and Senator Hillary Clinton have been advocating. Why not?
The United States Government continues to spend the U.S. citizen’s tax money unlawfully and against the will of the American people by financing the Iraq War. Thus, instead of former President Bill Clinton and United States Congress in the 1990s attacking America's powerless—“have nots', the defenseless poor. But strategically did not acknowledge or take on the GREATEST WELFARE ISSUE, WHICH WAS NOT AID FOR DEPENDING CHILDREN, BUT AID TO DEPENDENT FOREIGN NATIONS. The United States tax dollars are used indiscriminately to support the nations of Israel and Egypt. These are two Welfare States that have been on the U.S. Taxpayers roll for many years. (Reference: Earl Ofari Hutchinson; "The Crisis In Black and Black").
This writer heard on NPR’s program Democracy Now on July 21, 2008 in which former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and her Vice Presidential running mate Rosa Clemente were nominated by the Green Party as their presidential and vice presidential nominee for the 2008 election. They both spoke passionately about the political, social and economic issues facing America and presented an outside the box perspective that was quite refreshing from Senator Obama and Senator John McCain political views. Presidential hopeful McKinney also talked about the struggles to overcome the restrictive laws that governs the rights of a Third Party to appear on the ballot in all fifty (50) States. This writer in the 1980s backed and supported the New Alliance Party Presidential Candidate, Dr. Lenora Fulani and understands firsthand, the difficulties and struggles associated with trying to get placed on the ballot in all fifty (50) States.
This writer canvas many neighborhoods on behalf of Dr. Lenora Fulani taking signatures of registered voters who agreed that we needed a Third Party that differed from the two corporate parties—Republican and Democrat. This writer does encourage the Keeping It Real Think Tank audience to take a look at the Green Party’s planks; if nothing else American Democracy needs a Third Party.
This is not the topic that the Keeping It Real Think Tank asked me to address and write on; they wanted me focus on some aspect of Black America. This writer has not heard or read Senator Barack Obama's speech on race giving some months ago in Philadelphia or his recent Father's Day speech to black men. Sorry, Senator Obama is not qualified to address either topic; this writer does not recall him backing and supporting the historic Million Man March back on October 16, 1995, which over two (2) million black men came to Washington D.C. seeking Atonement, Reconciliation, and Responsibility. Black men do not see Obama in the sense of traditional black leadership; although, many support his candidacy, but he has not done anything to be considered a black leader (people are trying to equate him to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Minister Malcolm X, he doesn't come near these two great icons these two black leaders paid a price) and most of all he doesn't speak for me and contrary to opinion, the black community is not a monolithic community, perhaps you can tell that relative to many of my commentaries. He is more of a Zionist Jewish leader than a black leader; they control his tongue, politics and have put huge amounts of money behind his candidacy, there lies his true allegiance. Many blacks do not see this deception; it would not surprise me, if they have not granted him dual citizenship status (Israeli and American).
This is the Pledge that black men took at the Million Man March; this was sufficient enough for me, but this writer is quite sure that Senator Obama wasn't allowed to incorporate this in his Father's Day Speech because these principles were given and spoken by Minister Louis Farrakhan and it would not be political expedient for Senator Obama to embrace this so-called controversial black leader. So, this writer decided to remind the two (2) million black men that attended the Million Man March and the millions that watched this historical event on CNN news of the Pledge they took. This writer unlike Senator Obama can quote Minister Farrakhan and do not give damn who like or not; thus, I would find more integrity and credibility in Minister Farrakhan or Reverend Jeremiah Wright delivering a Father's Day Message to black men more so than, Senator Obama because Minister Farrakhan is black and he truly understands the black experience. Minister Farrakhan at the March asked all the black men in attendance to commit to these Nine Principles.
I pledge that from this day forward, I will strive to love my Brother as I love myself.
I pledge from this day forward, I will strive to improve myself spiritually, morally, socially, politically and economically for the benefit myself, my family and my people
I pledge, that I will strive to build businesses, build houses, build hospitals, build factories, and enter into international trade, for the good of myself, and my people.
I pledge, that from this forward, I will never raise my hand with a knife or a gun to beat, hurt, or shoot any member of my family, or any human being, except in self-defense.
I pledge, that from this forward, I will never abuse my wife by striking her or disrespecting her, for she is the mother of my children and the producer of my future.
I pledge, that from this forward, I will never engage in the abuse of children--little boys or little girls--for sexual gratification. But I will let them grow in peace to be strong men and women for the future of our people.
I will never again use the 'B' word to describe any female, but particular my own black sister.
I pledge, that from this forward, I will not poison my body with drugs or that which is destructive to my health and well being.
I pledge, that from this forward, I will support Black newspapers, Black radio, and black television. I will support Black artists who clean up their acts to show respect for themselves and respect for their people, and respect for the ears of the human family. (Reference: Kim Martin Sadler; “Atonement, The Million Man March”).
Black Americans have a Gross National Product (GNP) of approximately 800 billion dollars which is equal to and surpassed many European Nations (but the black dollar does not circulate not even one time around their community) and if they were a sovereignty nation, they would rank as having the tenth (10) largest economy in the world. Thus, that sounds very impressive and definitely stands as one of the great accomplishments, in particular for a people who has risen just in one hundred fifty (150) years from perhaps one of the worst inhumane conditions ever recorded in human history—Chattel Slavery (1555-1865) to perhaps electing a black man to the office of President of the United States of America, the highest office in the world. Some would argue that to-be very impressive; what else possible they could desire? (Reference: George C. Fraser; "Race For Success").
The former President of Morehouse College Benjamin E. Mays (this was Dr. Martin Luther King's mentor) who authored the book titled, "Born to Rebel" stated," Even white contemporaries of mine can never know the humiliating conditions under which Negroes had to live because of enforced segregation in my day. The segregated system was so cruel, so inhumane, and so destructive to the development of manhood and character that white America can never really know the damage it did to the mind and spirit of millions of Negroes who lived and died under that system. It may be that this book will fill the vacuum in the thinking of young Negroes and whites as well. If certain conditions are unbearable now, they were a hundred times worse at the turn of the century and during the first fifty years of the twentieth century. This is not to say that we can afford to be complacent and satisfied with the progress recently made in Negro-white relations. No such inference must be drawn from this book. The United States is a rich country, the most prosperous nation in history. Despite this fact, there are millions who live in despair and poverty or on the brink of poverty. Millions live in slums and hundreds of thousands unemployed. Many young people drop out of school and become delinquents; they see no hope, and some take to rioting. All of these things take place in one of the most literate and enlightened countries in the world." (Reference: Benjamin Mays; “Born to Rebel”).
It is faulty thinking and reasoning to measure the success of an entire race on the token success of lets say Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods (I guess he is black based on American standards of race) Bill Cosby, Russell Simmons, Bob Johnson, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, Irvin "Magic Johnson" and yes, even on Barack Obama’s success or any other black token and paint a broad stroke of group prosperity and success of our race based on the net worth of a few petite-bourgeoisie blacks, is not only ludicrous, but insane. African-Americans still ranks high in infant mortality, homicide, Aids, prison incarceration, poverty, high school dropout, drug and alcohol addiction, and in a lot of other negative social categories. American prisons have swelled to anywhere from two million to four million prisoners incarcerated throughout local, state, federal prisons and jails. Thus, over sixty (60) percent of the U.S. prison population consists of young black men between the ages of 16-35. We are not innately criminals nor are we a lawless people. (Reference: Harriet A. Washington; “Medical Apartheid).
Judge Bruce Wright in his monumental book titled, "Black Robes, White Justice" stated, "My persistent concern has long been the white judges who, in their large numbers, are called upon daily to preside over the trials of black defendants accused of crime. Are they really qualified for such sociological tasks, only incidentally mixed with law? If so, what are the peculiar circumstances that define their competence? Is it the survival in them of some plantation concept of social divisions in life? What do they study in college or law school that might tend to qualify them to preside over the doom or liberty of strangers to their kinds of neighborhoods, of aliens to the way of life, of foreigners and outsiders to their clubs, their churches, their folkway? What magic abolishes color in their eyes and gives them instant objectivity and a license to analyze human foibles entirely divorced from the historical truth of racism? How, indeed, does one annul one's heritage and that of one's forefathers in this land from which the family came? (Reference: Bruce Wright; "Black Robes, White Justice")
Judge Wright goes on to explain, "For those of the inner city, as our dark enclaves are so euphemistically called, the judges are the assembly-line feeders of the prison system. Those in the system--whether prisoners, jailers or judges--who dare to speak of rehabilitation are regarded as wild-eyed speculators about the human spirit. They are accused of having more concern for the criminal than for the victims of crime. This abandonment of concepts of rehabilitation leads to society's preoccupation only with custody. This results in warehousing of offenders. The mean neighborhoods from which they come are neighborhoods transferred to the prisons. Little wonder that one black survivor of the inmate rebellion at Attica could weep an unanswered, perhaps unanswerable question to world. 'How in the hell we gonna be rehabilitated,' he asked, 'when we ain't never been habilitated in the first place?' " (Reference: Bruce Wright; "Black Robes, White Justice").
This writer spent over fifteen years working with inmates on the rehabilitation side and he has read and reviewed many Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) reports, as well as spent many years talking with black inmates, lawyers, judges, probation and parole officials, case managers, unit managers, wardens, etc. The majority of the PSI reports of these inmates had similar social and psychological markers. For example, many of the black inmates came from broken homes—single parent where they were raised by mothers, absentee fathers, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty stricken, physical abuse, etc. The majority of their criminal convictions were property crimes and drug trafficking convictions or other drug related charges. Some of these black inmates had entered into a life of crime at a very early age out of economic survival in order meet the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. (Reference: William P. Benjamin; ”African Americans in the Criminal Justice System”).
Remember it was the liberal President Bill Clinton in the 1990s that advocated and eventually became legislation—the three strikes and your out (Habitual Felony Law), which sent more black men to prison than the Republican Reagan-Bush administration. Those with felony convictions are stripped of their right to vote and can not bear firearms, even after paying their debt to society. But guess what, they are still required to pay taxes and are stripped of some basic constitutional rights. Since Senator Obama is a member of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Congress, this writer wonders, why Obama hasn’t put forth a bill in Congress to restore the rights of these disenfranchised black fathers in America? This is a level of hypocrisy from which he and other politicians alludes when addressing issues of crime. Also, many of the black fathers that Senator Obama was speaking of can not become gainfully employment because of having a felony conviction on their record. But Scooter Libby and Karl Rove and the boys can commit all types of crimes and this system allows a preferential treatment to justice, which is often based on race and class. (Reference: Tim Wise; White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son").
Our "economic disadvantage status" renders us victims in a very profitable system called the prison industrial complex. In approximately, 1981 the United States Congress and the United States Courts passed the Sentence Reform Acts (there has been some amended versions in particular in 2000 to this act), where the U.S. Courts and the United States Department of Justice (Federal Bureau of Prisons) passed a law requiring all federal convicted defendants in violation of a federal stature would be mandated to serve an 85% active prison sentence of incarceration in federal custody. This legislation and law is interpreted to meaning, a convicted federal defendant (often black and Hispanics) will be committed to doing longer prison terms without the benefit of parole (the Department of Justice has actual phased out the U.S. Parole Commission).
In addition, Congress passed the mandatory sentencing guidelines, moreover, stripping U.S. Judges of judicial flexibility in the areas of imposing sentencing length and terms. It has been a criminal justice travesty for first time offenders who entered US Courts having committed misdemeanors and perhaps did not belong in prison were actually receiving active prison sentencing based on United States law and policy.
This writer can recall at the Million Man March on October 16, 1995 the Reverend Jesse Jackson was one of the presenters and he brought to national and international attention a young African American female named Kimba Smith who was an aspiring academic and scholastic student at Hampton University in Virginia. Ms. Smith had met a Nigerian student and became romantically involved, but little did she know that her Nigerian boy friend was a drug trafficker that was distribution large volumes of cocaine and after becoming indicted; he committed suicide while on the run from law enforcement. Ms. Smith became the target of United States Prosecutors because after the Nigerian boy friend committed suicide; it was evident that someone had to be punished. Thus, she was eventually charged and convicted on Federal Drug Conspiracy charges and this young college student with a clean criminal record was sentence to over twenty (20) years in Federal Prison. (Reference: Emerge Magazine article on Kimba Smith).
Kimba Smith by 1995 had already served over six (6) years in Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Danbury, Connecticut and it was Reverend Jackson who called for Congress and the U.S. Courts to review the mandatory sentencing guidelines, but more specifically this public policy was adversely affecting defendants like Kimba Smith who did not belong in prison. Jackson speech on that day perhaps had more substance than the keynote addressed delivered by Minister Louis Farrakhan, the convener of the Million Man March and the leader of the Nation of Islam.
Reverend Jackson was also critical of laws that gave stiffer penalties for one having crack cocaine possession versus powder cocaine, the former viewed as the black man's drug of choice and latter viewed as the white man's drug of choice, which blacks were criminally penalized more harsher than those white defendants who were perhaps caught with possessing powder cocaine. The U.S. Courts recently had a reversal in the crack cocaine laws. Reverend Jackson's advocacy led to President Clinton prior to leaving office in 2000 pardoning Kimba Smith. But there a was real criminal that Clinton pardon in Marc Rich who had defrauded huge sums of money from U.S. Banking and lending institutions and had been on the U.S. Justice Department Most Wanted List for years. He was living in some European country where the U.S. did not share extradition laws.
These type white collar and Elitist criminals have been getting this type preferential treatment for years. This writer believes President Clinton after leaving office in 2000 knew as a Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and Bilderberger agent that the world was preparing to change; 9/11 would alter national and international jurisprudence systems and under the now present 2001 U.S. Patriot Act, it would have made it difficult for criminals like Rich to hide and evade U.S. style justice because of the long arm afforded to the U.S Patriot Act.
Dr. W.E.B Dubois who authored the book "The Souls of Black Folk" describes our American predicament in a most eloquent and definitive way, he stated, "After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,--a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness,--an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two un-reconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder." (Reference: W.E.B Dubois; "The Souls of Black Folk")
However, one should not make any mistake about the predicament of black men in America; it is not coincidental that crime and drugs are so pervasive in large cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, Camden, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Los Angles, Newark, Richmond, Chicago, Gary, East Saint Louis, Milwaukee, Memphis, Oakland, Cleveland, Cincinnati , Washington, DC, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, Los Vegas, Little Rock, Portland, Seattle, etc., as well as many small towns throughout America. The drug trade is a lucrative national and international business blacks do not control the manufacturing or the high level of distribution where drugs are transported from Columbia, South America and from Central Asia—Afghanistan and from South East Asia.
The smuggling of dope (heroin) and cocaine into the United States requires having aircrafts and ships, as well as being able to maneuver across international waters and airspace going undetected; this alone would take huge amounts of resources, powerful connections and, a level of sophistication that most black drug kingpins do not have these untouchable acquaintances, in particular since 9/11.
You remember Colonel Oliver T. North, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George W.H. Bush, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Nicaragua Contras had circumvented the United States Constitution, in which U.S. Congress were unaware that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Agent North was fighting a private covert war (using taxpayers money) in Nicaragua against Daniel Ortega and Sandinistas .Although, the United States Treasury Department and U.S. Government had imposed economic sanctions against Iran, but this deal involved oil, arms, money and dope, an international triangle of corruption on the highest level. These chains of events took place in the early 1980s. (Reference: by Executive Intelligence Review; Dope, Inc)
This writer while in college had the pleasure to sit under a very liberal Jewish professor named Dr. Jeffrey Elliot who taught political science and who was a great interviewer that had authored over 60 books and published over 500 scholarly articles. He introduced me to the mind of President Fidel Castro and this writer must say this man could run intellectual circles around the majority of American presidents both past and present. Elliot authored a book titled, "Fidel Castro: Nothing Can Stop the Course of History" which President Castro stated, "Cuba has been offered fabulous amounts of money if we would cooperate in drug deals. Although, we are blockaded by the United States, we have never accepted a single drug deal. Therefore, I say it is infamous to attempt to link Cuba to drug deals. I say categorically that we have never received a single cent from drug trafficking. We have the cleanest record and most outstanding results of any nation in this hemisphere in the struggle against the production of, trafficking in, and use of drugs. It is truly shameful that the United States--the largest drug market in the world--is making such an accusation against Cuba. We know that the United States is growing more and more marijuana, and that is already being produced in most states in that country. IT WOULDN'T BE SURPRISING IF THE UNITED STATES WOUND UP PRODUCING SYNTHETIC COCAINE." (emphasis is mine). (Reference: Jeffrey Elliot; "Fidel Castro: Nothing Can Stop the Course of History").
President Castro spoke these prophetic words in 1985 and we witness crack cocaine (synthetic cocaine) in the mid-1980s being introduced in the black community. The drug lords in this case the U.S. Government and the Italian Mafia dumped millions of tons of crack cocaine in the poorest, oppressed and depressed communities (black and Hispanics) for test marketing, which became their drug of choice. This highly addictive and dependent drug devastated the black community and destroyed the moral and social fiber of the black community. There is no doubt in this writer's mind that genocide and a larger conspiracy were at work. The United States Government worked overtime to extinguish the revolutionary fervor that encompassed the 1960s and the 1970s, a glorious time in the history of black America where black freedom fighters took on repression and injustice. (Reference: Mumia Abu-Jamal; Live From Death Row”).
Mumia Abu-Jamal in his book titled. “Live From Death Row,” stated, “Their quest for relief is spelled C-R-A-C-K. Crack. Rock. Call it what you will, it is, in truth, another word for ‘death’ in the African-American communities. Harvested in Latin America’s Peruvian highlands, treated in jungle labs, ‘cured’ in a chemical bath of ether and kerosene, carried into the U.S.A by government –hired pilots as a way to pay the fledgling contras’ bills, cocaine comes to Chocolate City, U.S.A., and transformed into crystalline crack, wreaks havoc on poor black life. . .Just as the ‘Just Say No’ generation got down from the political stage, tons of a new potent poison were being peddled in poor sections of town, brought to these shores courtesy of the Iran-Contra funds diversion scheme, as masterminded by that great American hero Honest Ollie North (known as Operation Black Eagle—CIA). Why would the government (the same government that says ‘Just Say No’) dare bring cocaine into the States, if not to sell it, to turn it into lucre, into cold cash?” (Reference: Mumia Abu-Jamal; Live From Death Row”).
The Civil Rights Movement had two distinct voices those led by the Dr. Martin Luther Kings, Jr. Non-Violent Movement--Ralph Bunch, A. Phillip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and Bayard Rustin; and the Militant radical voices led by Minister Malcolm X, George Jackson, Huey P. Newton, Kwame Ture (Stokley Carmichael), Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) and Elijah Muhammad. These African American personality produced movements, which challenged the political, economic and social systems of America; this fervor was replaced and harness by the introduction of crack cocaine in the black community. President George W.H Bush and his former Drug Czar William Bennett declared a “War on Drugs” and at the same time; they had sided with the Taliban in Afghanistan against the former Soviet Union where Bush and CIA were protecting their heroin interest; this to made its way to the black community for distribution.
Young black men has found more of a socialization in street gangs such as the Bloods, Crips, Gansta Disciples, etc., because there has been a breakdown in the black family, the church, the mosque, the educational institutions, etc., have lost contact with our youth. Most of all black youth do not have respect for black leaders because they feel alienated and detached from their sphere of influence. This writer has a nephew who is a member of Bloods Street Gang and is of the Hip-Hop generation, but conversing with him he expressed that most so-called black leaders are sellouts and who agenda is only to the highest bidder. The National Urban League has a huge convention every year to address the problems of black life; but its President and CEO Marc H. Morial does not have the street credentials to come in the black community and meet with street gang members like my nephew. They just do not respect these tailored made suit wearing, reptile shoes wearing, Mercedes Benz driving, etc., pimps called black leaders. This writer must say he agrees with the Bloods. (Reference: Russell Simmons; "Do You: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success").
They stole it and we must return it. Moreover, this writer has always been partial towards black leaders that advocated the principle of self-help such as Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, etc. that preached self-reliance and a do-for-self philosophy that was steeped in the White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP) beliefs of pulling one’s self up by their bootstraps. African Americans can not any longer depend upon the United States Government or some hot air Father’s Day speech delivered by Senator Barack Obama to define black life. We must break the cycle of dependency and stop being willing participants in our own genocide—the Prison Industrial Complex must be exposed on all levels. What is the solution? There must-be a redistribution of the world’s wealth, not just with an elect minority, but with the masses of humanity.
Fahim A. Knight-EL Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL THINK TANK located in Durham, NC; our mission is to inform African Americans and all people of good will of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolisms and reinterpret the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world. We are of the belief that an enlighten world will be better prepared to throw off the shackles of ignorance and not be willing participants for the slaughter. Our MOTTO is speaking truth to power. Fahim A. Knight-EL can be reached at email@example.com.
STAY AWAKE UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN,
Fahim A. Knight-EL