Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Chinese anti-doping official hits back at suspicions over swimmer
LONDON, July 30 (Xinhua) - It is unfair to point fingers at Chinese swimmers with doping allegations once they win medals in big events, a senior Chinese anti-doping official said here on Monday.

Sun Yang became the first Chinese man to win Olympic swimming gold medal with victory in the 400m freestyle, and Ye Shiwen captured the women's 400m individual medley title in a world record time of four minutes 28.43 seconds.

Ye's stunning performance raised some suspicions over whether Chinese swimmers turned to banned substances for success.

Jiang Zhixue, the anti-doping chief of China's General Administration of Sport, said these suspicions were not justified.

"The Chinese athletes, including the swimmers, have underwent nearly 100 drug tests since they arrived here," Jiang told Xinhua.

"Many were also tested by the international federations and the British anti-doping agency. I can tell you that so far there was not a single positive case."

Jiang added that China had made huge efforts to crack down on doping, saying the swimming success was down to advanced training method and hard work.

"They've made breakthroughs. I think it's the result of scientific training and sheer hard work," Jiang said.

"I think it is not proper to single Chinese swimmers out once they produce good results. Some people are just biased.

"We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing," he added.



British Olympic Association boss Lord Colin Moynihan said that Ye had passed all drug tests required of medal winners, and is 'clean'.

Lord Moynihan told reporters: 'She's been through [the World Anti-Doping Agency's] program and she's clean. That's the end of the story. Ye Shiwen deserves recognition for her talent.'


'I take my hat off to him': Mundine backs Hooper's flag stance


Australian boxing medal hope Damien Hooper "did the right thing" in defying team protocol to wear an Aboriginal flag T-shirt into the ring at the London Olympics, former world champion Anthony Mundine says.

Hooper was reported to the International Olympic Committee for wearing the shirt, rather than his red Olympic fighting strip, as he entered the ExCel arena for his first-round clash against the American Marcus Browne on Monday. As an Australian Olympic Committee spokesman said the 20-year-old light heavyweight would apologise to chef de mission Nick Green, Mundine called on the young Queenslander to stick to his guns.

"I take my hat off to him for that stance," Mundine said. "It takes a person with big balls to make a big stance like that. I've got his back, all day every day, because he's in the right. We want to be proud of a flag that we fly and the current Australian flag just doesn't sit well because of its dark history.

"That is as authentic as Australian as you can get. That is a true Australian right there, full stop, no ifs or buts. How can we be proud as Aboriginal Australians and see the sight of the Union Jack and what that flag has done in the past, the genocide the rape and the murder and the stolen children? I can't stand for that. That's why I never fly that flag at my fights. I want to fly a flag that represents all of us because now we're a multicultural Australia."

After overwhelming Browne with a final-round assault, Hooper – a genuine gold medal chance in the division – did not indicate he had worn the T-shirt for political reasons but in recognition of his heritage. The world No.2's mother is an indigenous Australian and he credited his background with driving him to the come-from-behind points victory.

Mundine, who has held world titles in three weight classes, applauded Hooper's controversial attire and said indigenous athletes should not have to recognise the Australian flag while the Union Jack remained a feature of it.

"I think the Australian Olympic Committee should have a good look at themselves," he said. "It's just like Cathy Freeman did [in 2000] ... she flew both when she won the gold. But for me I'd love to see the flag change and have our people recognised on that flag. The South Africans, they changed their flag. As long as we are not recognised and united, I can't stand for it. I never will."

Mundine firmly believes Hooper can become Australia's first ever Olympic boxing gold medallist in London, then go on to have a prosperous professional career. Hooper has said he will make the change after the Games.

"He's an amazing talent," Mundine said. "We've got so many great especially Aboriginal boxers coming through. The talent is vast. It's just a matter of if they're wanting to dedicate themselves to their discipline. The world is their oyster, it's just a matter of where they want to take it.

"I don't think there is a race that is naturally gifted as the Australian Aborigine. We make up one to two per cent of the population and what our people have achieved in sport is amazing. We've had some of the best athletes in the world."


"I'm not saying that I don't care," Hooper said. "I'm just saying that I'm very proud of what I did."

Hooper, whose mother is an indigenous Australian, said he was proud of his heritage and credited it with the 13-11 points win over Browne.

"I'm Aboriginal, I'm representing my culture not only my country, but all my people as well," he said. "I'm very proud and that's what I wanted to do. I'm happy I did it. I wasn't really thinking about that. I was just thinking about family and all that. That's what really matters to me. Look what it just did, it just made my whole performance a lot better with that whole support behind me."


Monday, 30 July 2012



"His trip began with a visit to Tunisia, which Washington has held up as a model for democratic change in the Middle East after a popular revolt forced autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on January 14, 2011, touching off a wave of political unrest across the Arab world."




"... the weakening of Mr Assad could trigger a “Sunni awakening” against Hezbollah in Lebanon, bringing civil war. Given this, western military planners need to think how this conflict will play out and what forms of intervention might be needed..."

Sunday, 29 July 2012



Wallace Thurman - Thurman's novel Infants of the Spring (1932) includes many members of the New Negro Movement including Zora Neale Hurston and Harold Jackman.

Pseudonym:  Patrick Casey and Ethel B 

Personal: Born August 16, 1902, in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States; died of tuberculosis,
December 22 (some sources say December 21), 1934, in New York, New York, United States, buried in Silver Mount Cemetery, New York, NY; son of Oscar and Beulah Thurman; married Louise Thompson (a schoolteacher), August 22, 1928 (separated).

Education: Attended University of Utah, 1919-20, and University of Southern California, 1922-23.

Career: Reporter and editor for The Looking Glass; member of the editorial staff of Messenger, 1925-26; circulation manager ofWorld Tomorrow , 1926; member of editorial staff of McFadden Publications; began as reader, became editor in chief of Macaulay Publishing Co.


Wallace Thurman settled in New York City at the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance, a period of heightened black literary activity during the mid-1920s. Because of his unconventional lifestyle and penchant for parties and alcohol, he became popular in Harlem social circles, but he was only considered a minor literary figure. His fame lay with his influence on and support of younger and talented writers of the era and with his realistic--although sensationalized--portrayals of the lower classes of black American society. Thurman was lauded as a satirist and often used satire to accuse blacks of prejudice against darker-skinned member of their race. He also rejected the belief that the Harlem Renaissance was a substantial literary movement, claiming that the 1920s produced no outstanding writers and that those who were famous exploited, and allowed themselves to be patronized by, whites. He claimed, as did a number of authors of the decade, that white critics judged black works by lower standards than they judged white efforts. Thurman maintained that black writers were held back from making any great contribution to the canon of Negro literature by their race-consciousness and decadent lifestyles.

Born and raised in the American West, Thurman attended the University of Utah for a year before transferring in 1922 to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles Thurman wrote a column, "Inklings," for a black-oriented newspaper. He then founded a magazine, Outlet, hoping to initate on the West Coast a literary renaissance like the one happening in Harlem.Outlet lasted only six months, and in 1925 Thurman went east. In New York City he took a job as a reporter and editor at The Looking Glass, then became managing editor of theMessenger , where his editorial expertise earned him notoriety. He published short works by the poet and author Langston Hughes--not because Thurman thought them good but because they were the best available--and pieces by the writer Zora Neale Hurston. He left in the autumn of 1926 to join the staff of a white-owned periodical, World Tomorrow.

In the summer of 1926 Hughes asked Thurman to edit Fire!!, a magazine that Hughes and artist and writer Bruce Nugent were planning. Hurston, the author Gwendolyn Bennett, and another artist, Aaron Douglas, were members of the editorial board. The board intendedFire!! to "satisfy pagan thirst for beauty unadorned," as was stated in the foreword to the first issue. Fire!! would offer a forum for younger black writers who wanted to stand apart from the older, venerated black literati, and it would be strictly literary, with no focus on contemporary social issues. Thurman agreed to edit the magazine and advanced a good deal of the publication money. The first issue featured short stories by Thurman, Hurston, and Bennett, poetry by Hughes, Countre Cullen, and Arna Bontemps, a play by Hurston, illustrations by Douglas, and the first part of a novel by Nugent. But Fire!! folded after one issue; it was plagued by financial and distribution problems and received mediocre reviews. It was also ignored by a number of white critics and harshly criticized by some blacks who thought it irreverent.

Two years later Thurman published Harlem: A Forum of Negro Life, a more moderate, broader-focused magazine, also devoted to displaying works by younger writers. The new effort, unlike the avant-garde Fire!!, would appeal to all age groups and was "to be a general magazine... on current events and debates on racial and non racial issues," Thurman wrote to the critic Alain Locke. The first volume contained an essay by Locke, a book review by Thurman, poetry by Alice Dunbar Nelson and Hughes, fiction by Hughes and George Schuyler, a theater review by the editor Theophilus Lewis, and a directory of New York City churches and nightclubs. But Harlem, too, failed after its premier issue.

Thurman's first play was entitled "Harlem: A Melodrama of Negro Life in Harlem." It opened on Broadway February 20, 1929, at the Apollo Theater, bringing Thurman immediate success. He collaborated on the drama with William Jourdan Rapp, a white man who later became the editor of True Story and would remain Thurman's lifelong friend. "Harlem" centers on the Williams family, who relocate in New York City to escape economic difficulties at the time of the "great migration" of Southerners to the North during the first two decades of the twentieth century. But instead of finding the city a promised land, they encounter many of the problems that often plagued the families of the migration: unemployment and tensions between generations heightened by difficulties in adjusting to city life.

"Harlem" received mixed reviews--ranging from "exciting" to "vulgar"--but was generally considered interesting. It was criticized by blacks who did not care for its focus on the seedier elements of life, like illicit sex, liquor, wild parties thrown to collect rent money, and gambling. R. Dana Skinner stated in a 1929Commonweal review of "Harlem" that he was especially upset by "the particular way in which this melodrama exploits the worst features of the Negro and depends for its effects solely on the explosions of lust and sensuality." Nevertheless, many critics felt it "captured the feel of life" and was "constantly entertaining.""Harlem" played for an impressive ninety-three performances in what was considered a poor theater season and was taken on tour to the West Coast, the Midwest, and Canada.

In 1930 Thurman again collaborated with Rapp on a three-act play,"Jeremiah, the Magnificent," based on black nationalist Marcus Garvey's "back to Africa" movement of the early 1900s. Garvey had called for an exodus of blacks to Africa so that there they could create their own country and attain personal freedoms in a society where they would be in the majority. Although Thurman portrayed Garvey as a vain and unwise man, the playwright thought Garvey did much to promote the black ideal in the hope of fostering Negro unity worldwide. The play remained unpublished and was only performed once, after Thurman had died. Thurman's other unproduced and unpublished plays include "Singing the Blues," written in 1931, and"Savage Rhythm," written the following year.

Thurman's first novel, The Blacker the Berry, was published in 1929. Taken from the folk-saying "the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice," its title was ironic, for the novel was an attack on prejudice within the race. Emma Lou, the protagonist, is a dark-skinned girl from Boise who is looked down upon by her fairer family members and friends. When she attends school at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles she again is scorned, so she travels to Harlem, where she believes that she won't be snubbed because of her dark coloring. But like the Williamses in"Harlem" and Thurman in his own life, Emma Lou is disillusioned with the city. She becomes unhappy with her work, her love affairs, and the pronounced discrimination in the nightclubs, where lighterskinned females starred in extravagant productions while darkerskinned performers were forced to sing off stage. She uses hair straighteners and skin bleachers, and takes on the appearance and attitudes of the fairer-skinned people who degrade her. She in turn snubs darker men, whom she thinks inferior, and takes up with Alva, a man who is light-skinned but cruel. After viewing Alva in a lovers' embrace with an other man, Emma Lou realizes how hypocritical she's become. Critics praised Thurman for devoting a novel to the plight of the dark-skinned black girl, but they faulted him for being too objective: he recounted Emma Lou's tale without handing down any judgment on the world in which she lived. They also criticized Thurman for trying to do too much with The Blacker the Berry, accusing him of crafting a choppy, and occasionally incoherent, narrative by touching on too many themes.

Thurman's next novel, Infants of the Spring, also is set in 1920s Harlem. The story revolves around Raymond Taylor, a young black author who is trying to write a weighty novel in a decadent, race-oriented atmosphere. Taylor resides in a boardinghouse, nicknamed "Niggeratti Manor," with a number of young blacks who pretend to be aspiring authors. Thurman makes these pretenders the major victims of his satire, suggesting that they have destroyed their creativity by leading such decadent lives. Critics contend that Thurman based his characters on well-known figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including Hughes, Locke, Hurston, Cullen, Nugent, and Douglas.

In Infants of the Spring Thurman suggests that all American artists and writers--black and white--are overrated. He vigorously attacks black writers patronized by whites, who praise everything black authors produce, regardless of quality, as novel and ingenious.Infants received criticism similar to that of The Blacker the Berry. Reviewers objected to Thurman's examining too many issues and not presenting them clearly, and his not making a universal statement about the lifestyles presented. But unlike Thurman's first novel, which was considered too objective, Infants was thought to be overly subjective and Thurman overly argumentative. Yet critics praised him for his frank discussion of black society. Assessed Martha Gruening in the Saturday Review: "No other Negro writer has so unflinchingly told the truth about color snobbery within the color line, the ins and outs of `passing' and other vagaries of prejudice.... [Infants of the Spring's] quota of truth is just that which Negro writers, under the stress of propaganda and counterpropaganda, have generally and quite understandably omitted from their picture." In addition, critics considered Infants of the Spring one of the first books written expressly for black audiences and not white critics.

Thurman's third and final novel, The Interne, was a collaboration with Abraham L. Furman, a white man Thurman met while working at Macaulay's Publishing Company. The novel portrays medical life at an urban hospital as seen through the eyes of a young white doctor, Carl Armstrong. In his first three months at the hospital, Armstrong's ideals are shattered, during which time he witnesses staff members' corrupt behavior and comes in contact with bureaucratic red tape. Armstrong himself participates in the vice but soon realizes his own loss of ethics and saves himself by taking up doctoring in the country. Critics could not agree whether Thurman's accounts of medical wrongdoing were based on fact; many claimed that the novel had no semblance of reality while others stressed that incidents were actual, if unusual.

In 1934 Thurman returned to the West Coast to write screenplays. While in California he continued to lead a decadent lifestyle, drank excessively, and wrote two screenplays for Bryan Foy Productions,"Tomorrow's Children," released in 1934, and "High School Girl," released the following year. "Tomorrow's Children" was a production about the Masons, a poor white family supported by the seventeen-year-old daughter. She takes care of her younger brothers and sisters, who are either mentally or physically impaired, her drunken father, and her constantly pregnant mother. Two social workers, sent by a compassionate doctor, declare that if they wish to receive welfare money, the mother, father, and daughter must be sterilized. "Tomorrow's Children" was based on circumstances rarely explored in Hollywood at that time, and was considered groundbreaking because it used the medical term "vasectomy" to explain the procedure of male sterilization. Because of its revolutionary subject matter, "Tomorrow's Children" was banned in New York when it was released.

In ill health, Thurman returned to New York City in May, 1934, and went on one last drinking binge with his Harlem friends. He collapsed in the middle of the reunion party and was taken, ironically, to City Hospital, on Welfare Island, New York, the institution he condemned inThe Interne . After spending half a year in the ward for incurables diagnosed with tuberculosis, he died there on December 22, 1934. His funeral services were held in New York City on Christmas Eve.



A Thought On Biggie & Tupac
Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

I have been thinking about them a lot this last month: Biggie's flow and lyrical ability cannot be questioned, but Biggie's art was pure posturing, he had no real life basis for spitting about wot he did, it was overwhelmingly theatre (his mum was like "'sardines for dinner'?? No", whereas Tupac was the exact product of the temporary defeat of the Black Liberation Movement (esp the Black Panthers).

Tupac's mother - Afeni Shakur - was a leading Panther on trial and harassed, Tupac was in his mum's belly while she was in prison as the 'New York 21', she suffers substance abuse cos of all the trauma, Tupac himself was harassed by the fbi while in primary school, his godfather Mutulu Shakur (another Panther, now New Afrikan Panther) is put in prison, and is STILL there. 

Tupac was mercilessly harassed and harangued by the white power structure. Tupac the artist's legacy is that of a torn and contradictory revolutionary who tried and ultimately failed to overcome the white power structure's oppression & manipulation of him.

Biggie's legacy apart from great flows etc is the carrier of the system's misogyny and internalised violence into the minds of generations of our children now, promoted by the white power structure.


Saturday, 28 July 2012


By James Stuart, of Not-A-Dinner-Party

If you know the history of the SNP, the backgrounds of the people involved and from whom it gains its support (and why) then you understand there is more depth to such a statement coming from Nicola Sturgeon than from say David Cameron. But when was the last time you actually even heard a mainstream UK politician (ie outside Scotland) stating that we aspire to an equal society? Demanding an equal society by definition means you are challenging class.

I know it is difficult for people in England to understand just how great a chasm there is between the political culture of their homeland and of Scotland. In Scotland "socialism" is regarded a part of the political mainstream. It is still the ideal for most working-class people here. The ideas of social-equality and tolerance are imbued within our poltiical consciousness in a way they just are not in England.

The class war is not over. Not even in Scotland! Far from it, and the SNP is not a class war party, but in Scotland there is an understanding that a major step forward for us as a class is to move forward to independence as a nation. We understand that our own national and class ideals (which are very closely intertwined) cannot be addressed whilst we are in the Union, that we will always be losing in the class war if we cannot break the union.

That would be the greatest class war victory possibly since the Union was formed. and those that understand that vote for the SNP and are members of the SNP."

"If they succeed in breaking the UK state, they will indeed be the most successful revolutionary party this island has ever seen.

Certainly they are social-democratic in terms of policy, but what they are aspiring to is indeed revolutionary. It really cannot be over-emphasised just what a profound event Scottish independence will be, for Scotland, for British imperialism, for oppressed struggles all over the globe. That doesnt mean Scotland is on the brink of communism, it isnt, and it doesnt need to be for this to be a revolutionary moment in our history.

It is not the subjective policies of the SNP that matter here (although the internal fight to keep the SNP on the left is of course important), it is the objective result of what the SNP's fundamental aim is that is revolutionary, and even if the SNP were a conservative movement, as for example at times the Irish independence amongst many others have been, it would make not one jot of difference to how objectively revolutionary its aim of independence, and the resultant demise of the UK, is.



[Footballer Kim Little said she had made a 'personal choice' not to sing it before her 
team's matches at the Olympics because she is Scottish]

Fury as Welsh and Scots snub National Anthem: Captain Giggs stayed silent for God Save The Queen 


- Footballer Kim Little and another Scottish player, Ifeoma Dieke, had stood silently before Great Britain women’s opening match on Wednesday

- Welsh footballers Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy were both criticised for failing to sing at the first British men’s football match of the Olympics

- Kim Little: Said she made a 'personal choice' not to sing it before her team’s matches at the Olympics because she is Scottish

- 72,176 turned up at Old Trafford to cheers on Team GB

There was anger last night after Scottish and Welsh members of Team GB refused to sing the National Anthem.

Footballer Kim Little said she had made a ‘personal choice’ not to sing it before her team’s matches at the Olympics because she is Scottish.

Both she and another Scottish player, Ifeoma Dieke, stood silently as God Save The Queen was played before Great Britain’s opening match against New Zealand on Wednesday night.

And last night Welsh footballers Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy were criticised for failing to sing the National Anthem at the first British men’s football match of the Olympics.

Their decisions are likely to cause huge offence to many fans of Team GB.

Miss Little’s family said the 22-year-old footballer had chosen not to sing the anthem ‘because she is Scottish’.

The rarely sung fifth verse of the anthem, written in the 1740s, includes the controversial words: ‘Rebellious Scots to crush.’

The British Olympic Association was said to be furious about her decision. A spokesman for the association – which has previously stated that all athletes should learn the National Anthem – gave a terse statement saying: 'It's an individual choice (as to whether or not to sing), but the most important thing is to show respect.'

Other British athletes openly criticised her stance.

Former javelin thrower and Olympic silver medallist Fatima Whitbread said: ‘I think it’s a poor show if you are competing under a British flag and you don’t feel proud to be British.

‘It’s fine for you to believe in Scottish independence and to have your own beliefs – there has always been a bit of a rivalry – but if you are competing under a British flag you need to feel British.’

But Miss Little’s grandfather William Little, 82, who is an SNP voter and wants an independent Scotland, said he ‘supported her 100 per cent’ in her decision.

‘It’s the national anthem of England, and she is Scottish,’ he said. ‘It is her decision and I support it 100 per cent. I would have done the same. In my personal view I would like to see a Scotland team at the Olympics.’

He admitted his granddaughter’s decision would ‘offend some people’, but added: ‘I don’t think that’s a bad thing.’

In a BBC interview Miss Little, who is from Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, said her decision not to sing the anthem was ‘just a personal choice’.

After the match that night, she told reporters: ‘I’m delighted to be representing Scotland in the Great Britain team.’

Her father Calvin Little, 55, an NHS worker, said he was not aware of his daughter’s decision not to sing the National Anthem.

He said: ‘I wouldn’t say she is a nationalist. She is very patriotic for Scotland. She is cheering for Team GB and we’re very pleased and we’re very proud of her.’

The second Scottish player who could be seen not singing the anthem, Miss Dieke, was born in Massachusetts to Nigerian parents but mostly raised in Scotland.

She qualified to play for the USA, the gold medal favourites, but rejected their overtures eight years ago in favour of the country where she was brought up.

The 31-year-old defender, who plays for Swedish side Vittsjö GIK, has said: ‘I came to Cumbernauld when I was three-and-a-half and Scotland is the only country I would feel comfortable playing for... Scotland’s all I’ve known from an early age.’

It was not known last night if Giggs and Bellamy had made an active decision not to sing the anthem at the start of the match against Senegal.

Giggs, who is the Team GB men’s football captain, has previously said he is ‘Welsh and proud of it’ but sees it as ‘nothing but positive’ that he can play for Team GB as well.

But his and Bellamy’s failure to sing drew criticism on football forums and Twitter. One forum member wrote: ‘Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy not singing the national anthem of Great Britain was bang out of order! They should be honoured to be there!’

Another wrote: ‘I think it’s down to the fact that they feel under pressure not to sing the national anthem, probably get slated by the taffies.’

However, the two Welshmen did their best to deflect any criticism of their commitment to the cause by combining for the opening goal, with Bellamy netting off a Ryan Giggs cross.

But there was heartbreak for Team GB as Senegal drew level with less than ten minutes to go.

It was Britain's first Olympic men's football match since 1960, but it's 100 years since they last lifted gold in this tournament. And in contrast to the disappointing crowd that watched the women's opening game, 72,176 turned up to watch the men in action.

Giggs, 38, had said before the game: 'To be involved in a tournament at such a late stage of my career is one I'm looking forward to.

'All the lads have embraced it, we were fortunate to go to the village last week, you want to enjoy the Olympic experience but the bottom line is you want to win football matches.'

But it follows another embarrassing day for the Olympic organisers after Welsh player Joe Allen was described as English in the official programme.

The midfielder, who speaks fluent Welsh and plays for Swansea City, is one of five Welshmen in the Team GB squad but the only one mistaken;t identified as English.

A London 2012 spokeswoman said: 'There was an error in our programme and we inadvertently listed Joe Allen as English.

'We apologise for this mistake and new programmes are now being printed with the correction in time for Team GB's next match.'


Support Cornish national self-determination
Oppose Cornish racism against non-whites

Cornwall is a Gaelic nation on the island of 'britain', at the island's south-western most tip. I believe and support in the Cornish right to self determination and independence from the colonial british and united kingdom. Cornwall is a historically and presently oppressed nation of these islands. It has some of the worst levels of poverty and is continously denied its own rights of language, culture etc, with this ruling about the banning of their flag another example of the arrogant english colonialism which the Irish, Welsh, Scots and increasingly the Cornish want to have nothing to do with along with england's colonial foreign policy and internal anti-working class economic policies.

The Cornish also have a steadily emerging progressive nationalist party called Mebyon Kernow.

It's a great shame that too many Cornish white people are so prejudiced and express their white supremacy over non-whites there, they should remind themselves of the way they feel when they are treated by a similar colonial and white supremacist attitude by english people and state against being Cornish.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm


Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Hi Owen Jones, we havent met yet, but read this article of yours in The Independent.

It's a generally good article, quotes from people in the community etc are good, but in addition there's a few areas of concern that I would like to bring up:

I have noticed there is a pattern whereby white people are more acceptable in reportong on issues about and around the riots, and the riots had clear issues of white supremacy (sparked by the lynching by 30 odd armed *white* police of a *Black* young man in broad daylight in a well known historically and currently militant and confident *Black* working class community of Tottenham), and this is a pattern repeated generally and reflected in the way the british white power structure allows and promotes PlanB, who in turn white washes the riots deleting it of issues of white supremacy (or 'racism' is many call it). No Black person will be allowed by the white power structure media to represent Black communities, but the white power structure promotes whites to do this; arguably it is a highly dangerous thing for non-whites/Black people to even try to represent their/our people in the media of the enemy, as the enemy is a sly trickster and manipulator.

Owen Jones is writing for a mainstream media of the british white power structure, about this issue, which is problematic as it is. There is however another area which needs addressing imho:

Owen Jones is a white person writing overwhelmingly about how Black people have been put down, oppressed etc, the major problem with this is that there again is a clear pattern whereby white people feel more comfortable when relating to non-whites as oppressed, as beaten up, imprisoned, tortured, poor, starving, dying, or blow to pieces by the western white power structure. This deeply problematic pattern is repeated to a large extent (although not fully, as there is a slight dash of resistant and defiant attitudes reported by him here and there), whereby the community is reported as down, out and oppressed. This might be true, as obviously there has been a weak to non existent politically combative response since Aug 4 2011, however, the problematic dynamic is there nonetheless.

In a context whereby there is generally no clear militant anti-white supremacist, pro-Black voice or movement as such (although the small seeds of a new generation of leadership have emerged in the last several years thanks to Akala, Swiss, Jaja Soze and some other factors, with importantly Ms Dynamite also laying the ground work for some of this since over a decade ago; other actors have been the conciousness around the Sean Riggs, Smiley Culture, Mark Duggan, and the continuing issues around the death of Stephen Lawrence, to mention a *some* of the factors), it is really important that we reflect critically on these problematics in the interests of defending ourselves in order to free ourselves.

I am sure Owen Jones can appreciate a lot of what is being said here.

On a side note, I thought Owen Jones and the other Black sister on newsnight missed a massive chance to slap down decisively the white supremacist david starkey when he said on the show 'the whites have turned black'. Owen Jones and the Black sister (forget her name, sorry) were obviously surprised and not able to retort clearly and decisively this comment, unfortunately then starkey took the whole platform of that show for himself, when the tables could have been turned and our side could have stolen the show.

Anyways Owen Jones, look forward to your engagement on this issue, and I'll see you in just over a week in Tottenham with brother Stafford Scott, so perhaps we can reason face to face there on these and other issues.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Locusts swarm in wake of Libya uprising


The death of Muammar Gaddafi continues to reverberate across Africa – this time in the form of desert locusts.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations warned on Tuesday that croplands in Niger and Mali were at imminent risk from locust swarms moving south from Libya and Algeria.

The revolution in Libya played a major role in allowing the pests to breed, it said.

“The fall of Gaddafi was an enormous factor, to be honest,” said Keith Cressman, FAO senior locust forecasting officer. “It depleted the Libyans’ capacity to monitor and respond as they normally would.”

Insecurity along the Libya-Algeria border – a fallout from the uprising – meant that teams are still unable to properly spray the affected areas.

Desert locusts have the capacity to destroy vast areas of croplands. During a plague, a swarm can stretch for several hundred square kilometres comprising billions of locusts, each capable of eating its own weight in food a day.

A 2003-05 plague affected farmers in two dozen countries, mainly in Africa, and cost more than $500m to bring under control. The current infestation is nowhere near that level, but the FAO fears that the insecurity in Mali will hamper the response efforts there.

Desert locust swarms formed in Libya and Algeria in mid-May, after good rains and the resultant growth of vegetation on which they feed. The first swarms have already been sighted in northern Niger, which is currently experiencing a food crisis.

Small farmers are especially vulnerable since their entire crop can be wiped out. The FAO said that the number of locusts and their spread would depend on control efforts in Libya and Algeria, as well as rainfall in the Sahel region of West Africa.

During Muammar Gaddafi’s reign, Libya had an effective and well-resourced locust control programme, Mr Cresswell said. While the administrative structures were still there, the vehicles, sprayers and other equipment were no longer available.

Before the revolution, Libya would even send large convoys with survey and control teams to other countries in north and west Africa,” he said. “But now they are the ones needing help.”

The continued insecurity in southern Libya meant that the FAO’s in-country expert was unable to travel there. Local teams have managed to spray pesticide on 40,000 hectares of infested areas in Algeria, and 21,000 hectares in Libya. Spraying the locusts while on the ground prevents them from mating and laying eggs. It takes several generations of locusts hatching for a plague to develop. “We are a long way from that stage,” Mr Cressman said.


Comment from Not-A-Dinner Party

"Just getting a chance to catch up on the events in Anheim, Calif. U.S.A. 

"So, what exactly is the difference between this and, say, Soweto in the 70s and 80s? Looks the same. White cops with shotguns shooting into crowds of black civilians, many of them women with children, some babies in pushchairs. An attack dog being set on a woman with a child, a young man being savaged as he tries to protect that woman and child.

"And the event that triggered it, the police execution of a young black man, guilty of running away, shot in the back and the head. Of course he was running away! These cops mean murder. Sadly he couldn't run fast enough to save his life.

"In Apartheid South Africa, the excuse given was 'a suspected terrorist'
In the US & UK, it's 'a suspected gang member'. 

"The civilised world needs to treat the U.S. as Apartheid South Africa was treated, as a pariah state. The civilised nations of the world needs to isolate and punish this pariah state. The civilised world needs to enforce sanctions on the U.S. until a genuine democracy is established and a legitimate government of the people, by the people, for the people is finally established." 

Latino leaders say Anaheim a 'powder keg' after police shootings


Several leaders in Anaheim's Latino community are calling for increased scrutiny — including an FBI investigation — of a police shooting Saturday that left one man dead and has since roiled the Orange County city.

The death of 25-year-old Manuel Angel Diaz was the first of two fatal officer-involved shootings over the weekend. The man killed Sunday was identified as 21-year-old Joel Mathew Acevedo.

Tensions remain high in Diaz's neighborhood, where many people are critical of officers' conduct right after the Saturday shooting, when police used pepper balls to disperse an angry crowd of about 100 who  threw bottles and rocks at officers. In addition, a police dog was accidentally released into the group.

Two officers have been placed on administrative leave, and Mayor Tom Tait on Monday asked for an independent probe by the state attorney general and the U.S. attorney's office.

The state's League of United Latin American Citizens has requested the FBI also look into Diaz's death and events that followed, the organization announced Tuesday.

"We feel there are unanswered issues," league director Benny Diaz, who is no relation to the victim, told The Times. "We feel this is very important to conduct a thorough and effective investigation of the whole police force in Anaheim."

Diaz said the group will also ask the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Relations Service to facilitate meetings between the community and city officials in an effort to improve what he described as a growing distrust of police — something he said results from incidents like Diaz's death.

"It's happened so many times already; it's happening in other cities," he said. "This would really open an opportunity to find a real, true solution."

Amin David, past president of the organization Los Amigos of Orange County, said the community is "facing a wall in dialogue with the police department," which is why his group plans to ask the Orange County district attorney's office to expedite its own investigation "to release the tensions and frustrations of the community."

"We don't know what happened, why he was killed," he said of Diaz. "They should have these answers. All they know is what the papers have said: He was killed because he ran away."

Seferino Garcia, executive director of Solevar, an Anaheim community group, said he has met with the mayor about the incidents, but an independent inquiry wasn't enough.

"I told him we've got to take a step further," he said. "We need to do more than that."

Garcia suggested town hall meetings with community members and the formation of a civilian police review board as initial steps toward alleviating tensions within the city, which he said was "up in arms."

"They've seen everything on TV — the dogs, the shootings and just a history of brutality," he said. "Right now, the community is not going to stand idle. We have a job to do."

"It's like a powder keg," he continued. "They're ready to explode, and it's going to get worse."

Monday, 23 July 2012


Birthdays, Legacies, Love, Leadership: Letter to Winnie Mandela


Dear Mama Winnie,

Wednesday was Nelson's birthday. Headlines celebrating him as peace leader and iconic African symbol adorn papers in the four corners of the globe. I'm thinking of you, wondering how you are today. Like so many millions all over the world, I love and respect your ex. All over the world, your ex's name on lips - black, brown, white, yellow red, white - is a smile, a celebration. Yet, your name is a pause, a silence, a quiet - our now created memory of your magic turned mayhem, a time that is best forgotten. It is not that I refuse to celebrate your ex's birthday, it is that I don't know yours. And I should. And we should. But we did not find space to sanction your walk through bloody revolution. You did not leave apartheid's legacy with the glory your ex did. That wasn't your story.

You became the other woman, not in your marriage, but in a movement. You became this third wheel in the African National Congress (ANC), a revolutionary home-wrecker in this new South Africa, a casualty in a relationship between the ANC, apartheid leader F W De Klerk and the intrusive eyes of a global mainstream media that no longer wanted your presence nor recognized your contribution. You know the way the world side-eyes the side chick, knows exactly who she is but avoids any mention of her that is not disparaging. How did you become that? You became the punch line in a Chris Rock joke about how much easier it was for Nelson Mandela to survive 27 years of incarceration but then submit to divorce 6 months after he was released. All this after you walked hand in hand with a husband who created freedom songs behind walls and bars for more than two decades. Your walls and bars were global and lethal when they came. We watched as first your freedom ride was this global celebration. Here in New York, now my new home, the streets rang out to calls of both your names, real live revolutionary love against the odds, an apparent power couple. We loved it. I was in London. I remember Brixton, South London when hand in hand you and your husband walked streets lined with hope, change, and revolution.

So soon after, you became a woman whose woman-ness was forgotten. And, yes relationships break down, they end. This is not about that. Your body - like so many millions - became a battlefield as men fought for political power. Being tough on you as the world watched was evidence of this new South Africa. Headlines detailing horrific actions that led to the loss of life of a boy would become the narrative that would haunt and condemn you. Battlefields create dead bodies at the hands of all engaged in war. In war, blood drips from all hands, so you often can't tell whose blood or from whose hands by the end of war. But this was not that. This was a people defending themselves against state- sanctioned violence, a legitimate defense on an international stage. Your blood and your hands were marked. De Klerk suffered no such fate. He won a peace prize, alongside your ex. Steve Biko's killer endured no such humiliation. But you did. I watched. We watched. And you took the stand, stood on the stage and wanted to fight, to protest this treatment, to call out this behavior, to condemn this re-written narrative. Revolutionaries don't inherit thrones, however.

Remembering: Philadelphia 1996. You were the keynote speaker for the Million Woman March. I listened as some American White liberal women spoke of you in degrading tones, questioned your presence, and challenged the validity of this platform just because your name was attached. I thought about re-written narratives. These women who claim a home in feminism, but failed to recognize how your revolutionary choices ultimately helped move a people to political freedom and certainly enabled a man to become a symbol. I wonder, how you are now? 1997 was my first time in your homeland. A virgin traveler to this particular corner of the Continent, a stranger in this familiar land - I imagined this would be home, space to breathe and be. Midrand, Johannesburg was where I stayed initially and then I travelled around the country, saw the beauty of mountains hugging Cape Town, and tasted the poison of apartheid's cancerous legacy. I did not understand the potency of legacy. I had never felt apartheid until then, only protested against it.

Got in a cab made my way to another space in the township. I stood and listened as an Xhosa woman spat her words of anger at your now ex demanding whose authority he had when he asked the Black majority to forgive the White minority. "'Forgive them," he said. Two words aimed at a white minority who had profited from legislating your inhumanity, creating economic injustice from that legislation and then demanding it be maintained even as Soweto babies bled and died fighting to breathe legislated freedom. Your ex told a nation "'Forgive them."'. I see brown eyes. A Xhosa woman's eyes asking me who she should forgive for her children buried because they weren't willing to sit and wait for freedom while their parents were too afraid to step back into the fire of rubber necklaces and brutal regimes. She wanted her babies home. God called them home, ancestral spaces no mother wants to experience. I thought about your daughters; left in homes when authorities came and snatched you due to your latest revolutionary infringement. Their fear as their mother was continuously disappeared, their father already incarcerated, their trauma left untended and what that ceded for them as they became women.

I listened as Desmond Tutu, loved and cherished, sounded his clarion call for truth and reconciliation. The Commission he created was hailed as a model for the world to emulate, a place of unraveling secrets of horror. Was it just that? Or was it also a rewarded hypocrisy - treasure by a global predominantly White male media congratulating Black men for not punishing White men who committed state- sanctioned violent and heinous acts on Black bodies. Your fate was not to escape. You were punished, humiliated on a world stage, and banished from the public gaze. Yes, still a force in townships, on streets, with the people but invisible via a world lens - that space was now occupied by your ex, Desmond Tutu, F W De Klerk, the global mainstream media. You were no longer a revolutionary, you became a cause for apology. Desmond Tutu demanded you apologize to the world for your actions on the battlefield, actions that others walked away from - unscarred and unscathed. This is Africa, post independence, post apartheid. This Continent whose leadership is always celebrated as long as it acts outside of its own people's interests and instead represents those of the minority - the 1%. In South Africa, that equals whites. The 99% equals Black South Africans. You occupied freedom, freedom was a slave master who took your efforts, energy, strategy and defiance and sold it at the auction block of political compromise. So, I wonder if there were moments when freedom and forgiveness became an 'f' word; the taste of blood and pain on your tongue.

Let me be clear. Forgiveness is revolutionary practice, not race baiting. What I was waiting for was your ex's suggestion that you forgive yourself. I call this emotional justice - looking at the toll of injustice on who we become emotionally and how that legacy reaches from those past moments into our present and far into our future, demanding our attention. That your ex forgives you for what you endured in your bid to walk a delicate treacherous balance in that apartheid world. I wonder about that. Forgiveness for me, like black love, is revolutionary. So, I waited to hear your ex ask black South African men and women to forgive themselves and each other for what they must have put themselves and their families through in order to navigate hostile apartheid waters and come out breathing. That didn't happen. Your ex asked the Black majority to forgive the white minority - and he continues to be rewarded for that act.

Your ex is an icon, a living symbol, and a celebrated hero. You are not that. Your name is revered by those dismissed as marginal revolutionaries calling for now long gone times of your heyday, when towns to which you were banished still heard your call for freedom and equality for the South African Black majority. I am not mad at Nelson, nor his beautiful wife Graca Machel. This is not about that. This is about emotional justice - it is about a woman's contribution to a nation's freedom not being re-written and new narratives of negation and subjugation replacing revolution. It's tough when your ex is the icon and folks want to reduce you to the bitter ex-wife who never really helped realize not just her husband's dream, but that of a nation. Silence was my mother's best friend out of untreated trauma. It didn't work for her or this girl child. I don't want that to be a cancerous force for you either. So, as we honored your ex's birthday; I wondered how you are? As I acknowledge, celebrate and smile for Mr. Nelson Mandela, I just wanted to check in with you. I hope you are well.

Love, Esther

Like Esther on Facebook: www.facebook.com/emotionaljustice

Follow Esther Armah on Twitter: www.twitter.com/estherarmah



[Please press the 'CC' button on the youtube video for english subtitles]

Some issues arising from the Asturian miners struggle
Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm

Great short doc-film here by a friend and a colleaugue of Sons of Malcolm.

This struggle of the Asturian miners is a defining struggle of the current mostly South European peoples resistance movement to the current capitalist-imperialist attacks on the living standards of South Europeans, especially Greeks, Spanish and Portugese and Italian peoples. The people of Greece, along with the developing resistance in Spain, especially Asturias and the constant resistance of the Basque Country people, is showing the rest of europe the kind of develop response needed to push back the current offensive.

The peoples of Southern Europe have for many generations proved that they have a more rigorous and militant approach to anti-imperialist and socialist struggles than the rest of the continent.

There are a few other points to be made: as someone who respects the worlds oppressed humanity which is black, people, especially white people in the west exist in a world apartheid system, a white supremacist imperialist system whereby their living standards is predicated on the perpetual and increasing war and exploitation of the worlds Black population. I can't but help feeling that white people in the west, however militant, act when their own privileged positions are attacked. On the other hand, it has to be positively accepted that for whatever the reason, at least they are struggling against the system although they dont recognise the western system as a white supremacist one. What we need to see in the interests of internationalism with non-western non-white people who are suffering super exploitation and war, that people like the Greeks and Asturian miners should extend some concrete anti-imperialism towards the peoples of the Global South.

Finally, I have noticed some western and english white lefties getting over excited about the struggle in Asturias, this would be fine if it wasnt for the fact that these same people have done nothing to build a similar struggle in england in any way shape or form, and getting hyped over the struggle in Asturias just shows up how pathetic they and their struggles are. Of course one does wish that other workers, including english workers took up the militancy shown in Greece and Asturias, but currently the fact is that the english left has failed to reign in the white working class from taking militant mass action on the streets through organisations like the far-right english defence league in attacking Asian communities up and down the country.

Victory to the Asturian miners.

For developing this struggle into a anti-imperialist internationalist one.

Sunday, 22 July 2012



"The only viable path for Vietnam is to coordinate with China to limit the US pivot to Asia. The territorial disputes should not turn into hostility against each other. Instead of being a link in the US chain containing China, Vietnam can be a post against deep US involvement in Asia. "

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Hanoi Tuesday that the US supports Vietnam's work in resolving the South China Sea issue, but also told Vietnam it needs to do more to protect human rights. She expressed her concerns over "the jailing of journalists, bloggers, lawyers and dissidents for peaceful expression."

Clinton's remarks have clearly outlined the direction of Vietnam developing a strategic partnership with the US. The bilateral relationship between Hanoi and Washington is more like a marriage of convenience. Vietnam has to give up its current path of development if it wants to be able to count on US support.

Politically, Vietnam is following the path of China, realizing rapid development by taking the road of gradual reform. Western values haven't deeply encroached into Vietnam. The influence of political opposition is much less active than it is in China.

An elite class politically allied with the West hasn't been formed in Vietnam. But such a trend is already being started before it deeply affects Hanoi's domestic political landscape.

Strong anti-government protests are rare in Vietnam now. A few sporadic incidents are seemingly all against the Chinese government. However, they may change their targets in the future.

Vietnamese mainstream society has acknowledged China's development model. Many feel powerless over territorial disputes between the two countries. Nationalist sentiment, on the one hand, is uniting Vietnamese society, but is also poisoning Hanoi's political connection with China. Vietnam is being pushed by the growing nationalist mood toward the US, which likes to reprimand Vietnam politically at the same time as lending its support.

Hanoi is counting on China to vindicate its political choices, but also wants to counter China by leveraging US power. However, the strategy needs to strike a good balance between China, the US and its domestic political forces. It will be difficult to sustain this for long.

The only viable path for Vietnam is to coordinate with China to limit the US pivot to Asia. The territorial disputes should not turn into hostility against each other. Instead of being a link in the US chain containing China, Vietnam can be a post against deep US involvement in Asia.

Hanoi has been keen on facilitating the US return to Asia in the last few years. It should be clear that the pressure Washington has placed on China will be felt in Vietnam. It will very likely be among the first victims if East Asia is overwhelmed by political disturbances.

During her speech in Mongolia Monday, Clinton attacked China's political system without naming the country. It shows the US pivot to Asia also has a value subtext besides military and economic concerns.

Both China and Vietnam are progressing in terms of creating prosperity and freedom for its people. Clinton and her colleagues should save their slogans and instead prove to the world that they are able to lift the US and the West out of financial chaos.


Nigerians are dying in Libyan prisons - Returnees

Nigerians, who were recently repatriated from the crises-torn Libya relay their ordeal after they were caught in-between two feuding camps.

Their appearances tell the story of the ordeals they went through in their host country. The 327 Nigerians who were recently evacuated from the crises-torn Libya wear the scar like a toga.

Disheveled, disillusioned and angry, the returnees, men, women and children arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport last weekend in two batches on board a Tripoli Air Memphis SUBME Plane.

The stranded Nigerians, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), were evacuated to the country from Libya through the effort of the International Office for Migration (IOM), a United Nations body.

Statistics by the Agency indicate of those brought back, 113 are females and 214 males. Among them also are11 under-aged children and one elderly person.

Weekly Trust learnt that some of the returnees had been tortured or imprisoned by the new government in Tripoli before they were evacuated.

Some of them who relieve their experiences to Weekly Trust painted a gloomy picture of the post Gaddafi era, in which cross fire there were caught.

Mr. Okwudolor John said “the situation is very bad in Libya. Nigerians are suffering; some are very sick while others are dying.

“We lost everything during the crises; money, clothes; everything indeed. Libyan hoodlums capitalized on the crisis to rob and dispossess us of our property.”

Esther Omoreghe who returned with two of her children while her Ghanaian husband and her son died in the heat of the crisis, regretted her sojourn in foreign land and vowed that she would never allow her children or relations to travel outside Nigeria.

A returnee simply identified as Jennifer, who could not hold back tears, said she left Nigeria in search of greener pasture, but came back dejected with a pregnancy.

“Nigerian government should wake up, because so many of us are dying in Libyan prisons. Libyans do not want to see us at all.

“If you have somebody in Libya and have not heard from the person for a long time, just know either the person is dead or in one of the prisons,” she said.

Jennifer said the person responsible for her pregnancy, a Nigerian, was in one of the unknown prisons.

Miss Idemudia Joy said her travelling to Libya was a ‘wasted effort,’ blaming the different levels of governments in the country for her predicament.

“I think if everything is well in Nigeria; none of us woulod want to go through hell on earth. I went to Libya through the desert. I trek night after night through the desert, but see where I have ended up. But, I still thank God I came back complete, and not detained endlessly in their prisons. Here I can start a small business to take care of my baby and myself,” she said.

Idemudia urged the Federal Government to expedite action to evacuate Nigerians in Libyan prisons, hospitals and those hiding in different villages.

One of the returnees, who came home with POP on his leg, said he was shot by a security officer while doing his business in the crisis-torn country.

He said there was an increasing hatred for Nigerians and appealed to the Federal Government to act fast to save young Nigerians in Libya.

“Government should stop saying there are no Nigerians in Libya. There are many of us in prisons, hospitals and some doing odd jobs in companies, just to find a place to hide,” he said.

A NEMA official who spoke on condition of anonymity said it is not only Libya that is repatriating Nigerians. “On March 7, 2011 at the peak of crises in some parts of North Africa, NEMA in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and other partners repatriated about 991 Nigerians mainly from Egypt and Tunisia while on the February 27, 2012, about 292 Nigerians from Libya to Lagos.

Also, 423 Nigerian returnees were received by NEMA at the border town of Gamboru-Ngala in Borno State in four batches in 2011.

On the whole, over 3,000 Nigerian victims of Arab spring crises, he said, have been repatriated by to Nigeria by NEMA and other international and national humanitarian organizations.

The first batch of, according to him, began at the peak of Tunisian and Egyptian crises when many nationals were trapped at the crises torn countries.

He said many Nigerians could not be evacuated at the same time, because most of them could not be reached at the time of the scheduled evacuation as most of them reside in the rural and remotest areas in those countries.

Another hindrance in reaching Nigerians at the time, according to him, was that many of them were not accessible to mass communication medium like social media, radio and television media that were deployed by the Nigerian embassies and NEMA calling and informing the distressed Nigerians on the assembly points for their evacuations.

“It pertinent to stressed that most of those who turned up for evacuation earlier later turned down to return to Nigeria and with the humanitarian principle non-compulsion to force people to reside against their place of choice, Nigerian government were compelled to leave the Nigerians that decided to remain in their places of choice until when they voluntarily opted to return to Nigeria.

“The current returnees may be part of those who refused to return at the initial time while more of them may turn up for eventual return when they feel like returning to their fatherland, he said.”


[PlanB's apology on this issue is here, the apology raises many of the same problematics mentioned in the article below. At root, its a crisis of white identity; whites like PlanB using black culture but obviously feeling a lot more comfortable in racist whiteness - Sukant Chandan]

Plan B is living off our youth's sacrifices, and kicks them when they down
Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm

There is a clear pattern whereby we have white artists who use and abuse Black music by using this music to make a career for themselves but, more often than not, give no credit to this dynamic but instead do the opposite and make, consciously or not, a whole number of white supremacist judgements on Black people and culture. 

Examples of this was the really low attack on Black males comparing them to 'apes' in Maverick Sabre and Professor Green's 'Jungle' video and track from last year. Jessie J has made a name for herself with a Dancehall-type track ManDem, but then attacks Black sisters for being 'video hoes', and reassures her monied white audience that she's really a very nice squeaky-clean white girl and distances herself from the Black community in so doing. Professor Green refused to critically reflect on this issue despite a number of public critiques directed at him, however Maverick Sabre eventually after some months made an apology on twitter, tagging SonsOfMalcolm into the tweets.

PlanB is another white artist who has made a tidy career out of Black culture and music. He has decided to make himself a spokeperson for the inner city youth in relation to the Black and Poor Youth Uprising ('riot') in August 2011 across England, sparked by the lynching of a Black brother - Mark Duggan - in Tottenham. PlanB has basically erased issues of white supremacy in society and in the police when talking about the riots, and making a film and album about it all called Ill Manors

PlanB's comments on the riots are very weak, and what he says about them could be said by any patronising Labour or Tory politician, and indeed, his work on the riots does not rock the boat at all. 

PlanB has mentioned before about how he likes the British film Made in Britain, which follows and humanises a white working class teenager who is basically a young neo-nazi. I actually like the film too, but for a white person like PlanB to mention how he likes the film but failing to problematise the obviously violently anti-Black character (played by Tim Roth in the film), and compounded by how white washing of the riots, and now wearing the t-shirt of a well-known violent white supremacist organisation means that there is a clear pattern of white supremacist reflex and behaviour of PlanB.

The phenomenon of white English people latching onto far-right white supremacist symbols is a mass phenomenon in England. The british army is being promoted non-stop amongst the masses, the british media and state has been openly protecting and promoting the violent street white supremacist movement of the english defence league who openly attack South Asian people up and down the country. English white people are lost struggling to find a cultural anchor in a rapidly changing world which is seeing them and other whites (whites comprise a total of 8% of the world population) lose their half millennia domination of this planet, and the non-white/Black world is rising and slowly the west will be in a junior partnership with the rest of humanity. It is in this context that whites are clutching at white supremacy of different kinds

Instead of promoting this white washing, PlanB could have recognised that although there were clearly issues of white supremacy in the riots (with a Black brother being lynched in open day light in a well known Black community of Tottenham, with the battles with police initially being led by Black youth etc), many working class communities and youth joined in with Black youth as the uprising developed throughout the country, with even majority working class white estates battling police in some parts of England. This unity in struggle must is terrifying the british white power structure, and they have done everything they can to ensure that this potent symbol of combative cross-racial unity does not get reported but rather they have protrayed the whole uprising as a 'Black thing', epitomised by the white supremacist historiav david starkey who said during the riots that "the whites have turned black".

PlanB could have used his position to not help the white power structure in this strategy, but to show a little bit of courage as a white person and raise the issues of white supremacy, and support the thousands of our youth who are being pushed through the so-called british justice system and suffering draconian and unjust prison terms, while our rulers who loot and put whole countries and continents to fire (Afganistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and much of Africa), which they have been doing for many centuries. Perhaps PlanB can donate a good chunk of his profits to the Duggan family, ad invest into independent grassroots youth-oriented projects in the Tottenham community. Sons of Malcolm would be more than happy to point him in the right direction to those in that community who have been resisting white supremacy for decades.

The rest of us should stay wise to these tricks, and especially non-whites should stop trying to love whiteness and white society so much by joining in this white washing and helping to cover up the nonsense being spouted by people like JessieJ, ProGreen, PlanB, Tim Westwood and other countless white artists using and abusing Black culture only to perpetuate white supremacy. It's totally sick, but that's exactly what is happening with very little criticism and resistance from us. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Notes and Quotes from Black Feminist Thought, by Patricia Hill Collins
Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm


These are some summaries, quotations and some observations and comments from me on reading this book. I have re-doubled my efforts at engaging with issues of white-supremacist-patriarchy and the general disastrous conditions that brothers and sisters find themselves in when trying to relate to each other socially, politically, culturally and intimately.

My personal opinion is that too much of so-called 'feminist' analysis amongst too many of our brothers and especially sisters is more often than not a projection of strategical divisions promoted by the white power structure between brothers and sisters.

I was spurred onto to look into these issues a little more deeply after what I considered the highly classist and white-supremacist and not to mention totally patronising manner in which three critiques of brother Jaja Soze's 'Beautiful Sister' music video was being scrutinised by 'ceasefire' (should really be called 'whitefire' for the way it tails the white power structure in the most trickiest of fashions), the 'Black Feminist blog', and brother Anthony Anaxagorou. Not to say I would agree with everything brother Soze said and the way he said it, but the responses to him were so off the mark, and so insulting in so many ways that I wanted to have no association with those critiques in any way shape or form.

My quotes, comments and notes on this book are not done in any academically formal or structured way, and I dont care at all for that really, but its clearly readable etc.

I hope this is of interest to people. I'll endeavor to put up further quotes from this and other books I am about to read on this general subject, including Audre Lourde's 'Sister Outsider', Joan Morgan's 'When Chickenheads Came Home to Roost', and Althea Prince & Susan Silva-Wayne's 'Feminisms and Womanisms: A Women's Studies Reader'. I would appreciate it if militantly pro-Black Power sisters recommended other texts on patriarchy and sexism and challenges of uniting brothers and sisters.


Author says in preface that she is not gonna use academic language as she wants the book accessible to non-academic black women. I liked that.

She then also says she will not be writing and constantly comparing with white feminism, as she feels this will belittle black feminism, and that black feminism stands on its own without needing to compare etc. I liked that too.

Finally, she also says thus far that I have read, that she will not use well known black feminists in this work, she will also use unknown black women cos this breaks down the problematic dynamic of a few known women speaking for the rest, rather 'the rest' should be cited as well as. I liked that a lot as well.


This is interesting, still in the preface: "When I considered that Black feminist thought is currently embedded in a larger political and intellectual context that challenges its very right to exist, I decided not to stress the contradictions, frictions, and inconsistencies of Black feminist thought. Instead I present Black feminist thought as overly coherent, but I do so because I suspect this approach is most appropriate for this historical moment." - (xiv, preface)


This is something I dont quite agree with. I positively get the sentiment, but dont agree wholly. Obviously she is repping her/our community, but also its right of her to give the space to other to come in on this too, to allow them and give encouragement to them to "speak for herself". But of course she is representing the community about which she is writing. I suppose the biggest problem I have with this is that it shift one away from collective power to an atomised and individualistic context which has the danger of slipping into individualistic identity politics. Anyways, here's the quote:

" 'How can I as one person speak for such a large and complex group as African-American women?' I asked myself. The answer is that I cannot and should not because each of us must learn to speak for herself. In the course of writing the book I cam to see my work as being part of a larger process, as one voice in a dialogue among people who had been silenced." (xv)


She quotes one of the pioneers of Black women intellectuals, Maria Stewart (who called Black women in the usa as 'daughters of Africa'), in 1831:

" 'It is useless for us any longer to sit with our hands folded, reproaching the whites; for that will never elevate us,' she exorted. 'Possess the spirit of independence.. possess the spirit of men [! - Sukant], bold and enterprising, fearless and undaunted." (pg 3-4)


"The shadow obscuring Black women's intellectual tradition is neither accidental nor benign. Suppressing the knowledge produced by any oppressed group makes it easier for dominant groups to rule because the seeming absence of an independent consciousness in the oppressed can be taken to mean that subordinate groups willingly collaborate in their own victimisation." (p5)


 3 areas where Black women, in Collins mind, have been supressed:

1, as slaves and general household drudgery means they had/have got little to no time to push fwd the theoritical discussions etc for their own situation and liberation

2, political and educational poverty, relegated to the worst schooling etc, and discrimination in the criminal justice system


3, "controlling images of Black women", like jezebals, whores, pancake mamas, breeder women of slavery etc.

"This larger system of oppression works to suppress the ideas of Black women intellectuals and to protect elite white male interests and worldviews" (pg.6/7)


"Ironically, feminist theory has also suppressed Black women's ideas .. Theories advanced as being universally applicable to women as a group on closer examination appear greatly limited by the white, middle class origins of their proponents"


"African-American women have long been included in Black social and political organisations .. Even though Black women intellectuals have asserted their right to speak both as African-Americans and as women, historically these women have not held top leadership positions in Black organisations." (pgs 7/8)

She then gives the example of the Ella Baker who basically ran the Southern Christian Leadership Council, but had to defer to the council of males for leadership decisions.

I would add that while the Panthers had their fair share of the mirrored patriarchy in their organisation from wider society, there were many powerful and strong women in leadership positions who also made leadership decisions.

 "Black political and social thought has been limited by both the reformist postures toward change assumed by many Black intellectuals and the secondary status afforded to the ideas and experiences of African-American. Adhering to a male-defined ethos that far too often equates racial progress with the acquisition of an ill-defined manhood has left Black thought with a prominent masculinist bias" (p8)

I agree in general, but imho this needs a lot of exploration. But she's generally right, imo.


She is now saying that although slavery and segregation in the south pre 2ndWW was to control and exploit the Black community, it allowed the community to forge its own conceptions of Black womanhood, derived from West African heritage (where the people were kidnapped and enslaved from).


"The exclusion of Black women's ideas from mainstream academic discourse and the curious placement of African-American women intellectuals in both feminist and Black social and political thought has meant that Black women intellectuals have remained outsiders within all three communities" (p12)

(I dont quite agree with this point, cos having a distinct Black Women's section in academia as distinct from Black political and social thought is not necessarily a advance? I am not sure. Needs discussion imo)


".. her [Sojourner Truth - former slave woman, 1851] speech .. provides an incisive analysis of the definitions if the term 'woman' forwarded in the mid 1800s:

'That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?'

"... Rather than accepting the existing assumptions about what a woman was and then trying to prove that she fits the standard, Truth challenged the very standards themselves. Her actions demonstrate the process of deconstruction [ie., breaking something down critically - Sukant] - namely exposing a concept as ideological or culturally constructed rather than as a natural or simple reflection of reality. By deconstructing the concept 'woman', Truth proved herself to be a formidable intellectual. And yet Truth was a former slave who never learned to read or write. 

"Examining the contributions of women like Sojourner Turh suggests that a similar process of deconstruction must be applied to the concept of 'intellectual'". (p14/15)


I know this is about Black women, but I think the same critical approach has to be brought to the critiques of Jaja Soze's 'Beautiful Sister' video recently, and the way these criticisms by the 'Black Feminist Blog', 'whitefire', sorry I meant 'ceasefire', and Anthony Anaxagorou's criticisms of the video, in as much as they didnt treat Jaja Soze with the sensitivity that Collins is treating Sojourner Truth in terms of 'intellectual standards' etc.

"Reclaiming the Black women's intellectual tradition involved examining the every day ideas of Black women not previously considered intellectuals. The ideas we share as mothers in extended families, as othermothers in Black communities, as members of Black churches, and as teachers to the Black community's children have formed one pivotal area where African-American women have hammered out a Black women's standpoint. Musicians, writers, poets, vocalists, and other artists constitute another group of Black women intellectuals who have aimed to interpret Black women's experiences ... Such women are typically thought of as nonintellectual and nonscholarly, classifications that create a false dichotomy [division] between scholarship and activism, between thinking and doing." (p15)

Great stuff. I been saying stuff like this sice I was 16yrs old, applied to both men and women of resistant-oppressed communities.


Collins has been problematising WHO constutes a 'Black feminist', and WHAT is Black feminism (I think we have to bear in mind that she is talking in the context of the usa):

"I suggest that Black feminist thought consists of specialised knowledge created by African-American women which clarifies a standpoint of and for Black women. In other words, Black feminist thought encompasses theoretical interpretations of Black women's reality by those who live it."

That's fine. But I thought Black feminist thought should also strategise a vision of liberation from the conditions which create the oppression? Perhaps she is giving space and credit to Black feminists who are just problematising the situation rather than finding paths to liberation? Dunno.

[end of part1]