February 25, 2007

No apology needed

This past week the Virginia General Assembly expressed regret against enslaving the African. I guess some folk want an apology, but I have always wanted an acknowledgement of the harm done and the contribution of the slave. It has become a joke, somewhat salacious; when blacks speak of the harm and how it continues to affect us. “Heh heh heh, can’t they stop playing the victim.”

The enslavers use torture and murder, then slight distinctions in treatment to keep the slave in line. Torture and murder, it’s pretty obvious what impact that had. Jim Crow succeeded in keeping this up into the late 20th century. The slight distinctions of treatment were based on color; that created mistrust and bias among blacks. Fear and mistrust are powerful emotions, not just overcome by a generation. These emotions had been institutionalized in the culture. Mothers instinctively taught their sons, to be invisible, so much the fear that their child would be killed. The powerlessness, black men felt as one of their own were taken away, was instilled from birth. Stand up for some right that most would take for granted; a whole community would burn and the death toll enormous. Then, there is that suspicion of who is the authentic black. This plays such an important role when choosing our leaders and skews any objectivity we might have. The psychological yolk from past generations has been handed down and tenuously accepted. It cannot be thrown off easily.

I want more than words of apology. I want respect and not asked euphemistically “What’s wrong with you niggers and why don’t you just get over slavery?”

February 20, 2007

Transition

Rethabile offers a Prayer for Lesotho over at black looks. Which begins as such and one thinks that Lesotho lacks promise; maybe.

Dear Deity… now what? This country of about 2 million people, independent since 1966 from England, with a 30 to 35% rate of HIV infection, one nation with one language and one culture, with a lot of water to sell in the form of electricity or just plain water, this country with some of the biggest diamonds in the world, this country is one of the poorest countries in the world, this country that is often described as “tumultuous” when it comes to politics, has seen its sons and daughters die for it, this country called Lesotho, surrounded entirely by another country, having the highest low point of any country on the planet…

One reads his plea. How can one answer?

For crying out loud, Lord, I said it deserves a break. There’s a lot going for us — help us capitalise on our resources and on our identity and on our culture. Amen.

What of the African country that has undergone many changes since becoming free from colonialism, and now without any of the resources in its own hands? How does it build wealth and provide opportunity for all its citizens? There have been no models for this, since history has only provided us examples of exploitation playing an important role in the development of civilizations, empires and countries. I imagine smaller societies have achieved this, but their histories are left only for the anthropologist.

No, America is not a good model. For most of it history, slavery was a major factor of the economy; during the industrial revolution, there was the exploitation of the immigrants; and the farmers, the breadbasket, their land extricated by genocide.

February 14, 2007

February 10, 2007

My thoughts on The War: Not that it matters

Recently the intelligence community has reported on the situation and conditions as they saw it after 9/11. The latest we’ve found out was that links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were exaggerated. Some who were against the war now feel vindicated by the new reports. My question has been, even if these events were true, why would we go to war with Iraq?

My thoughts on WMD’s at the time; the Russians or the old Soviet satellites were a better source; Al Qaeda could get them intact. Perhaps a case of Vodka would be able to get enough radioactive material just for a dirty bomb. It didn’t matter if Al Qaeda had links to Iraq; 2002 we should have been after Osama bin Laden and his fellow henchmen. As I have said before we should have been looking for justice for the victims of September 11, 2001.

Fighting a Jihad has nothing to do with political philosophy; it has to do with killing to rid the earth of infidels. We infidels should only be concerned with killing the Jihadist. Before the Jihadist could get themselves together in Iraq, we didn’t have a terrorist enemy. The violation of UN Resolution 1441 could have been resolved by the UN. The US was already participating in the No Fly Zone and sanctions against Iraq. The US may not have liked what was going on in the UN, but at that time, it was not the issue.

I felt that the US should have left Afghanistan a sink hole, the mountains even into Pakistan should have been craters. This is where the war should have been, solely. The billions our government has spent in Iraq have created the Viet Nam scenario no one wanted. (There were very few that had been personally impacted by Viet Nam in the Bush administration. Chaney’s reference for Iraq’s reaction was WWII.) I believe the money would have been better spent as an incentive in finding Bin Laden. However, we are five years into this mess; I can’t agree with leaving this mess. I just wish I had sent my views to my congressmen, maybe personally picketed their house (I live close to two), and bombarded all the congress’ offices with emails. I expressed my views to a few, and hoped most of congress would see the light. Two few saw the light. I think fear had taken over; not of terrorism, but as being seen as a traitors. It’s too bad that to appear great, expressions of conscience are trashed to compel patriotism.