Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dialogue on the Parable of the Black Bourgeoisie

From: Sister Ayahna Ahmen
To: Marvin X

Well said. And now for the rest of the story...

My brother,

Where are the institutions, schools, temples, newspapers, communities built and sustained by the 'conscious black' community. Where are the long-standing marriages, children following in our footsteps to carry on long after we have ceased all our polemics, diatribes, rants and ravings as such. How has the 'conscious' community proven to be superior to those that sold out for ass and class.

Why have we not chosen conscious mates and procreated that which we profess to believe. Can even two conscious people share a house, a car, a job or build an organization. Where are the conscious people who have math, science, agriculture, engineering classes and free presentations to help us get our passports, real knowledge.

Where are the conscious brothers willing to be monogamous accept a dark skinnned nappy headed intelligent sister as his co-partner for life and the cause. As Neely Fuller has said 'at the end of the day... it's still business as usua... we are still on course' docking at the next plantation, still got to ask the white supremacist what to do ' for we engage in circular dialogue ad infinitum. How have we advanced beyond what was known sense Franklin Frazier, Franz Fanon, Amos Wilson, Bobby Wright, Malcolm, Diop, Clarke, etc. etc. All the continuous blogging case in point...


Dear Sister Ayahna Ahmen,

Unity, Criticism, Unity

Although you have used the classical dodge on me, I will answer your question. But be aware you responded to no part of my parable on the subject of the black bourgeoisie, instead, you posed another question about the black conscious people, perhaps as a way to avoid my question. And maybe you did this because you are part of them and wish to cover for them with another question totally irrelevant to the question at hand. As per the conscious blacks:

I know of no radical black institutions, schools, colleges and/or universities. In the main, the black colleges produce negroes. In many instances the conscious independent schools produce negroes. The Muslim schools produce negroes. Is this the best we can do? Perhaps, it shall be as it is, a long process to get a product beyond the negroid personality. As my two-year old grandson said to me, "Grandpa you can't save the world. I'm gonna save the world."

No matter what class, creed or color, marriages are fragile at best. Even conscious brothers and sisters have a residue of white supremacy when they claim to have recovered from the addiction to white supremacy. Freedom is not a personal thing, so how can you be free if I ain't free?

As per long standing marriages, I wouldn't pay two cents for some of them after observing the behavior and treatment of some people I know who've been married forty and fifty years. If that's love, I don't want it!

And yet, it's all about family, since slavery was the destruction of family, freedom must be the reconstruction of family. In light of the circumstances, it's a miracle any of us stay together for five minutes. And it is indeed a shame to see conscious people mated with unconscious people. I've been blessed to have conscious women in my life--even if they must stay three thousand miles away from me! One of my rich friends begged me to stop getting those "educated" sisters, get you one like I have: ignorant and mentally ill!

Many of us do have conscious children that are two and three generations from negrocities, especially with the grand children. We do have children following our footsteps, whether they want to admit it or not, for some of our children have seen contradictions in conscious people and we have plenty, just as the bourgeoisie--no one is pure up in here, not one. Didn't God say find me one righteous man and I will save the whole town?

We will not be able to do anything together until we have detoxed our addiction to white supremacy--no organizations will be successful so long as we maintain stinking thinking and acting. In our present state of mind, we can't go around the corner together. What happened to the million men who marched? Obviously there were problems on some level, leaderships or followship. Until we process the little white man running around inside of us, who sometimes sits on our shoulder as we meet together with our family, our mates, our co-workers, our revolutionary comrades, our conscious brothers and sisters, there shall be no forward movement.

We do have conscious people doing things--and no one needs to know all that is going on. Do you ever hear of a million Chinese meeting, yet there are banks on every block in Chinatown.

At my Academy of Da Corner, we do indeed have people with various degrees in science, math, agriculture and other fields who give up knowledge for free.

As per the box mentality, a woman friend of mine (RIP) said, "You can jump out the box, just like Jack, so jump!"

Dr. Clarke said this is not a sprint but a long distance jog. Try two or three hundred years more. So love the one ya wit and be thankful fa what ya got. If you don't have a mate, try loving yourself and see if someone won't want to love you!
--Marvin X

Reply by Zahieb Mwongozi
To:Sister Ayhna Ahmen

To be "bourgeoisie" is to be "marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity". Is that not what the Sister Ayahna Ahmen seems to be concerned about when she asks Dr. M "Where are the institutions, schools, temples,communities built and sustained by the 'conscious black community'?"

To be sure, Sister Ayahna must know that these institutions exist and have existed here in Amerikkka since the Black American experience began so she must not think very highly of these institutions to treat them as though they do not exist when they obviously do, and this begs the question.

Is her lack of respect for all that the many Blacks are and have been building marked by her concern for acceptance from those who she does respect and if so who are these people? Is it that, by the very nature of the existence of such institutions within but without white Amerikka's acceptance, they do not serve the material interests of her benefactors?

Notice the half quote marks she uses around the word conscious when she uses the words conscious and black together. It is as though she mocks the fact that there is consciousness among Black people, and maybe that's the black people she knows, but we often see these Cultural Nationalist "Brothers" and "Sisters" who wear kinte cloth and dashikis and Egyptian names holding their noses and frowning down upon the "rest of the conscious people."

Marvin points out "We do have conscious people doing things--and no one needs to know all that's going on." But the kind of showy doing of things that a lot of so-called conscious people want to do or to see is just that -- loud and showy, signifying nothing. We can have a million more Million Men Marches, but as Marvin points out eloquently "Do you ever hear of a million Chinese meeting, yet there are banks on every corner in Chinatown."

I suspect that Ayahna's bitterness is mostly rooted in her inability to find a 'conscious brother willing to accept a dark skinned nappy headed intelligent sister' to be her co-partner in life' and that's the real cause and struggle she's conflicted with. Perhaps some of these sisters should be less concerned with material interests when it comes to their selection of life partners or find themselves and their own respectability when they can't find a mate of their high standards. What goes for a bourgeoisie attitude among a lot of sisters is really just an attempt to compensate for their own mediocrity.
--Zahieb Mwongozi

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Parable of the Black Bourgeoisie

Parable of the Black Bourgeoisie

The economic and political dependence of this African neo-colonial bourgeoisie is reflected in its culture of apenmanship and parrotry enforced on a restive population through police boots, barbed wire, a gowned clergy and judiciary; their ideas are spread by a corpus of state intellectuals, the academic and journalistic laureates of the neo-colonial establishment.
--Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Decolonizing the Mind

The black bourgeoisie is a class of very sick people who go about their daily round pretending all is well. They have a gang of police who do not carry guns but are yet dangerous because they use masking tape to gag and silence the mouths of any and all who dare defy their sick value system of addiction to white supremacy that is full blown.

The culture police will silence or simply ignore those who refuse to speak the language of the black bourgeoisie, a language taught to them in the neo-colonial schools, churches, mosques and workplaces.

This class of trained monkeys includes artists, teachers, preachers, politicians and media parrots who make sure those who defy the culture police are punished by silence or ignored by non-invitation to their world of make believe.

They are not interviewed in the media, or invited to speak or teach at schools, colleges and universities, unless at their own expense. They may sometimes be invited and paid, but the culture police make sure no students are there to hear them, so they speak in an empty auditorium, even though they are paid handsomely. The black bourgeoisie don't care how much they are paid, just don't let students hear what they have to say. The culture police will actually speak after they speak and admit they have nothing to say, that they are rambling on to neutralize the atmosphere, to negate any raw truth that may have been said.

The black bourgeoisie culture police place those who defy them on house arrest, similar to the woman in Burma, for those who resist are not allowed to work, unless they agree to sing Silent Night, the national anthem.

One cannot say the A word, B word, C word, D word, E word or F word. In short, one must shut up and go along with the "King's English," of course the King was a pervert, oppressor, exploiter, robber and rapist, so who in their right mind would want to speak the "King's English"?

Rather than teach the masses in their own language, the "Mother tongue," how to behave, how to stop beating their partners, how to love themselves, the black bourgeoisie would rather the common people beat, maim, and kill their mates. Even when the masses or common people fight and steal the literature in their "Mother-tongue," the black bourgeoisie don't care, for they cannot allow them to speak in their language, they must be stopped by any means necessary.

And yet, the "King's English" and the language of the black bourgeoisie is filled with lies, duplicity and contradictions. Their language hides truth, especially of their sick, pitiful lives, terror in their mansions, in bed, hours of drunkenness and drug abuse, lechery and depravity, the golden handcuffs, incest, adultery, prostitution , emotional and verbal abuse--yes, in their moment of passion the black bourgeoisie actually use so-called foul language, yes, the very language they despise and condemn in the common people and those who speak or write in such language.

And still they walk with an air of superiority. They cannot speak or greet you on the street. There are perpetually in a rush or in a hurry going nowhere but to some din of iniquity where they wink and blink to increase their inordinancy and conspicuous consumption.

Their pseudo puritan language covers a multitude of sins and wickedness. Smiling faces belie the terror of their lives, for are they not sycophants of the worse kind, ass kissers in short, for some boss, some high class pimp in a suite, far above the street.

And yet, the black bourgeoisie are only one paycheck away from the street people who drink rot gut wine and push shopping carts, but at least they love each other with a love that is true and real!

Baraka said, "Where the soul's print should be there is only a cellulose pouch of disgusting habits." They suffer negritis, an inflammation of the negroid gland at the base of the brain, caused by negrocities or bad habits!

The black bourgeoisie were told long ago by E. Franklin Frazier about their world of make believe and conspicuous consumption. Nothing has changed, except there is more of the same.
--Marvin X

Parable of War that is Not War

Parable of War that is Not War

There are wars and there are not wars. There are mock battles, turkey fights full of sound and fury, signifying nothing--or maybe something, for there are motives and agendas far beyond the battle ground, motives and agendas of presidents, prime ministers, generals and war lords in near and distant lands.

Some of these war mongers we hear about, some we don't. In Afghanistan, major players have names like India, Pakistan, Iran, China, Russia, America, Europe--and don't leave out Saudi Arabia, the Taliban's mother-teacher, ideological and spiritual sponsor.

And so we have a geo-political chess game with movement for short and long term gain. And there are pawns and queens that will be sacrificed, and kings shall fall and fake falls, since alliances only last so long in the ephemeral world of war, of politics by other means.

Yet, there is the constant sound of war, the killing, captives ,wounded, towns falling, advance and retreat, all the games of war, tactics, strategy, prognosis, analysis, policy changes, subterfuge, circumlocution. All is drama. Smoke and mirrors. Deals made in the dark of night, between warlords, generals, enemies and friends.

It is neon lights on the strip in Las Vegas. It can be blinding, this blinking, shifting of sands, melting of snow capped mountains. We see one player, then another, arrive in town to broker a deal, departing with a bag of gold or bag of opium, an oil pipeline, a pledge of long range involvement, no matter who wins. Actually there are no winners, only losers. For a moment, one player out maneuvers another.

One sends in a surrogate, more pliant than his superior. There is a willingness to be liberal in the new order coming soon. The conservatives will stay in the background, manage their drug money or bribe money to lay down their arms.

The surrogates will do as told by their sponsors in nearby and distant lands. Each day the killing goes on, the spilling of blood, the breaking of bones. All drama. A scam called democracy.
--Marvin X

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Dialogue With Plato Negro on White Supremacy

Plato Negro
Location: Plato Negro's Library

Someone mentioned Richard Wright's Native Son.

Plato: Baldwin objected to Richard Wright's thesis that Bigger Thomas represented twenty million blacks who would one day strike out and murder to avenge their oppression.

Simone: I agree with him. To me, he was mentally ill, not thoughtful, intellectual. But in the Outsider, Wright gave us a more developed character with intelligence.

Plato: Well, in Baraka's Dutchman, we have Clay, a black middle class intellectual who again suggests murder or violence as the solution to oppression. Plato reads Clay's monologue:
...And I sit here, in this buttoned-up suit, to keep myself from cutting all your throats. I mean wantonly. You great liberated whore! You fuck some black man, and right away you're an expert on black people. What a lotta shit that is. The only thing you know is that you come if he bangs you hard enough. And that's all. The belly rub? You wanted to do the belly rub? Shit, you don't even know how. You don't know how. That ol' dipty-dip shit you do, rolling your ass like a elephant. That's not my kind of belly rub. Belly rub is not Queens. Belly rub is dark places, with big hats and overcoats help up with one arm. Belly rub hates you. Old bald-headed four-eyed ofays popping their fingers...and don't know yet what they're doing. They say, "I love Bsssie Smith." And don't even understand that Bessie Smith is saying, "Kiss my ass, kiss my black unruly ass." Before love, suffering, desire, anything you can explain, she's saying, and very plainly, "Kiss my black ass." And if you don't know that, it's you that's doing the kissing.
Charlie Parker? Charlie Parker. All the hip white boys scream for Bird. And Bird saying, "Up your ass, feeble-minded ofay! Up your ass." And they sit there talking about the tortured genius of Charlie Parker. Bird would've played not a note of music if he just walked up to EAst Sixty-seventh Street and killed the first ten white people he saw. Not a note!
And I'm the great would-be poet. Yes. That's right! Poet. Some kind of bastard literature....all it needs is a simple knife thrust. Just let me bleed you, you loud whore, and one poem vanished. A whole people of neurotics, struggling to keep from being sane. And the only thing that would cure the neurosis would by your murder.
Simple as that. I mean if I murdered you, then other white people would begin to understand me. You understand? No. I guess not. If Bessie Smith had killed some white people she wouldn't have needed that music. She could have talked very straight and plain about the world. No metaphors. No grunts. No wiggles in the dark of her soul. Just straight two and two are four. Money. Power. Luxury. Like that. All of them. Crazy niggers turning their backs on sanity. When all it needs is that simple act. Murder. Just murder! Would make us all sane...

Simone: That was a great reading.

Plato: Thank you. But the subject of violence is a motif in our literature. Franz Fanon talks about it in Wretched of the Earth, that it is therapeutic for the oppressed, but not internal violence, only that directed upon the oppressor. When Louvell Mixon killed four policemen, Dr. Fritz Pointer said the black community experienced an obscene pride.

Ramal: Yes, and it happened on the Spring Equinox or the true New Year celebration. In contrast, the murder of Oscar Grant, his crucifixion, happened on January 1st, the European New Year.

Plato: So it's a difference in mythology.
Rashidah: January 1st is a day black people did not celebrate because it was the day blacks were sold during slavery. It was a day of dread, for on that day we would likely be separated from our family, our mates and children, parents. We went on the auction block on New Year's Day. Growing up, my family did not celebrate January 1st. We prayed or went to church. So our celebration of January 1st shows our addiction to white supremacy.
Simone: What about the 4th of July?
Plato: Of course, you must read the classic statement on that day, the speech by Frederick Douglas. No one has better described what that day means to us.
Simone: I haven't read his speech.
Plato: You must read it, if you never read anything else in black history! But myth is all there is. The word or myth, the story, and then the ritual or enactment of the story. Ritual is the drama. We have the original Osirian drama of Resurrection based on the ancient myth, and of course the myth is based on nature itself, the annual inundation of the Nile River. Also the renewal of crops such as corn.
And a little later in time a guy named Jesus enacts the same myth, the savior myth. He is born in purity, the virgin birth, teaches and preaches in opposition to the powers, then is betrayed, crucified, resurrected and ascends to heaven. The black man's story is similar: born a virgin in Africa, betrayed by his brother's, i.e., sold into slavery (Joseph's story is the same), after centuries of slavery is emancipated by his own effort--after resisting and rebelling constantly (see Negro Slave Revolt's by Herbert Aptheker), then again betrayed by Reconsruction, but slowly resurrected from the grave of ignorance, especially after Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Fannie Lou Hammer, et. al. But his story is also the myth of Sisyphus, up and down the mountain.
In the 60s ascended to new heights, regained his collective black consciousness and stood tall as never before. Then he relapsed, went into reaction, actually a reverse evolution. We might say he advanced and retreated simultaneously, yes, defying the law of physics. How the hip hop brothers keep up their sagging pants is symbolic--they defy the law of physics!
This generation became the most affluent in history and the most poverty stricken at the same time, the most intelligent or conscious, and yet the most ignorant and mentally dead.

Ramal: But I have hope for this generation. As a teacher of youth, I have hope. I see them everyday. They can come back. We see them shaking up the world with hip hop. They are powerful.

Plato: Yes, even in their negocities, as Baraka says. The world loves the Negro and hates him as in the poem by Paradise.

Paradise: Yeah, they love everything about us but us. They love the black style, the smile, the black music, the black meat, the black body, the black feet. They love everything about us but us.

Rashidah: We are critical to the world. We are why the world exists, those black boys and girls, they are the savior children, that's why they are under attack, crucified. But in the end, these children will be the reason for the season.

Plato: Ancestor John D. used to teach that the black man and woman, and especially that black man, was the vortex, that the world orbits around him. We must therefore protect him and surround him with love because he is precious.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Parable of the Colored People

Parable of Colored People

There was a world consumed by color. One man named DuBois called it the problem of the color line. In a place called Amirika there were people who lived behind the color curtain, also know as the Vail, the black belt and cotton curtain, also known as ghetto and da hood.

The world was divided between north and south on the basis of color, money and technical development. There was the northern cradle or white world and the southern cradle or dark world. For centuries the northern cradle controlled the south, causing much underdevelopment, including poverty, ignorance and disease. And yet the south was full of natural resources, precious minerals and metals, and of course human labor, the most precious resource exploited by the North.

The South struggled for justice and liberation, but was only able to advance from raw colonialism to neo-colonialism, or colonialism playing possum, for the people were given a sham freedom, including their own black or dark face leaders, their own national anthem, their own educated elite monkeys and administrators, but not control over their banks and connection to global finance.

In the last days of Northern Cradle color power domination, they even elected a colored man to represent them. But it was the same old song, only in black face. The colored man was able to hoodwink and bamboozle the Southern Cradle people, including those behind the color curtain, or cotton curtain, or black belt ghetto, hood. Yes, they put a hood over the hood. In the hood, behind the Vail, the people sang their national anthem Silent Night, a lullaby to put the Southern people to sleep.

The whole world celebrated the selection called election of the colored man as king of the North, but this was only a delay tactic to prevent a changing of the guard, the rise of the South to global power. It gave the North an extension of time to rule, for it confused the Southern people that progress was being made, that justice had finally come beyond neo-colonialism or colonialism playing possum.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual. The North continued its permanent wars against the South with thousands of military bases around the world, including a network of spies, snitches, stooges and snakes of every kind to insure business as usual, only with a colored mask.

The colored elite educators and administrators were all corrupt and faced charges for their greed and wickedness in high places. They had joined in the theft of life of the poor, joined in keeping them ignorant and full of disease. They took bribes, grants and loans from the North and put it in Northern banks. One man put the money in his freezer, he wanted hard, cold cash. Others made trips to the North to check on their bank accounts, while there wined and dinned with Northern women, winking and blinking at each other all night in fine restaurants and dance clubs. They performed strange acts of the monkey mind, climbing poles and inserting objects inside their bodies while winking and blinking at each other.

And then one day the Sun, Moon and Stars looked down on the colored peoples, those of the North and South. The Sun didn't like what it saw, nor did the moon and stars. They decided to take matters in their own hands and correct the situation. They had done so off and on for trillions of years, whenever the earth got out of hand. And so it was. The Sun melted the snow and the seas and rivers flooded the lands.

The people were told to seek higher ground but they refused and continued partying, winking and blinking late into the night. The sea level raised to levels never seen before, islands submerged, sea coasts disappeared, but the people continued to party late into the night, until the moon and stars no longer wished to give them light, until there was no hiding place, not even in the mountains, for the mountains crumbled like sand castles when the tide comes upon the shore.

A few of the elite of the North tried to escape to outer space but there they encountered colored people from the South who had mother planes and space ships of far superior quality and were able to destroy them merely by a glance of their eyes.

The masses of colored people of the South and a very few from the North humbled themselves before the Sun, Moon and Stars. They were allowed to begin again a civilization based on true love, brotherhood, sisterhood, and justice for all.
--Marvin X

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Parable of the Man Who Left the Mountain

Parable of the Man
Who Left the Mountain
On April 4, 2008, forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I found myself packing to return to the Bay Area, a killing floor for black people. During the past five years, I was blessed to write and publish five books at my retreat in the rolling hills of Cherokee, California: (In the Crazy House Called America, Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, Land of My Daughters; Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality; How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy.

I thank my patron, Abdul Leroy James, for making it possible for me to write the books. I appreciate the wonderful care doctors gave me at the hospital in Paradise, especially Dr. Linda Valles, who urged me to take care of my health because she realized I had great work to do. I shared my writings with her and she shared them with the other doctors who treated me.

She was seriously concerned that nothing happen to me “on her watch,” such as a heart attack or stroke. She admonished and inspired me to keep my blood pressure under control, along with my cholesterol (LDL) and enlarged prostate. I encourage my brothers to do the same. It takes time and work, but as they say, our health is our wealth.

And as the brothers told me when I entered prison, “Don’t get sick!” But it wasn’t the fortieth anniversary of MLK’s transition that made me sit at the computer to pen this article. Of course I can never forget that day. I was underground in Chicago when he was killed, having returned to the US from Canada as a resister to the war in Viet Nam. The west side of Chicago burned, as did one hundred American cities.

I got up the next morning on the south side to find it under occupation by the National Guard. A few days later, in reprisal to the murder of King, on April 8, 1968, my friends in California in the Black Panther Party staged a shootout with the Oakland police. Eldridge Cleaver was wounded and 17 year old Lil’ Bobby Hutton was murdered by the pigs after his surrender.

But as I packed for the return to the city, it reminded me of when I returned to Oakland in 1979, specifically to help stop the killing of black men by the Oakland police. I was teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno, and was treated royally by the people of Nevada, even though it is considered one of the most conservative states in the Union.

In mockery of the sign Welcome to the Biggest Little City in the World, I’d written The Biggest Little Mississippi in the World. Was I ungrateful? But my friends in Oakland urged me to give up the “good life” and return to the battlefield, especially after my best friend’s 15 year old brother was killed by the police, Melvin Black, shot twelve times.

The OPD had been killing a black man per month. Melvin was the last. I returned to help plan and organize the Melvin Black Human Rights Forum at the Oakland Auditorium. I invited Minister Farrakhan, Angela Davis, Donald Warden, Oba T’Shaka, Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, Paul Cobb and others. Five thousand people came and stayed from twelve noon to midnight without incident. Journalist Edith Austin wrote a classic review of the event in the Sun Reporter newspaper.

Oakland’s first black mayor Lionel Wilson and Congressman Ron Dellums refused to come. Farrakhan blasted them in his keynote address. But after this event, the police killing of black men ceased. But our relief was short lived because what followed has continued since 1979: black on black homicide. At first it was turf wars over Crack, drive-by killings with Uzi’s.

These days, assault weapons are en vogue, but thirty years later the slaughter continues.
But I am not returning as the self-appointed savior. I am older and wiser now. I see the matter as an economic problem, but equally a spiritual disease or mental health issue, for only sick souls desire to murder each other, and once it starts, after a short time it becomes an addiction, a pandemic—yes, worldwide.

Are we not spending twelve billion dollars per month to maim and murder in Iraq? Do we not have a trillion dollar annual defense budget. It is predicted the total cost of the war in Iraq will be three trillion dollars. Do we yet expect peace at home? Bush says better over there than here, apparently he is blind to the slaughter outside the White House where disease, ignorance, drugs wars and murder fill the streets of Washington, DC and other cities coast to coast.

In Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, there is one murder or more per day. The mayor called for one hundred thousand peace keepers to help make the streets safe. What if the defense budget was truly spent on homeland security: for economic parity, health care for all, educational upgrade in science and technology, reformation of prison inmates so they can be productive members of society?

What if, what if, what if? And so, in the fourth quarter of my life, I can only attempt to finish the work of being active in the cause of social justice, of using my pen to speak truth, to put my body in the battlefield for the freedom we all deserve. The true test of the holy man is not up in the mountains but down on the ground, on the streets of the wicked cities where the devils roam in the day and in the night. We must embrace them with unconditional love, for if there is one thing a devil needs, it is love, to learn to love and to be loved in return.

Yes, the old soldier is going home to Oakland, the town that consumed those wonderful years of his childhood and most of his adulthood, from 7th Street in West Oakland to Grove Street (MLK) where he obtained black consciousness on the steps of Merritt College, along with Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale and others. Perhaps it is possible the City of Oakland needs to be reminded that to win over the insurgents in Iraq’s Anbar Province, the US gave them jobs securing their neighborhoods. Maybe if our youth were given similar jobs, crime, including drug selling, homicide and prostitution would decline, maybe overnight.

Certainly it’s worth the try. Mayor Ron Dellums has made a start by not asking the criminal history of job applicants. He can immediately train and hire unemployed youth, including former prison inmates, to secure the hood, block by block. They should be trained in conflict resolution and anger management. It is obvious the Oakland police are unable, unwilling or unqualified to stop the killing. Isn’t it time to try Plan B?

Do it in the name of our brother, the Prince of Peace, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Just remember, he wasn’t a glorified social worker—he was a revolutionary! He didn’t try to maintain the status quo, he caused a radical change in the status quo. We have the same task, youth and elders, for we stand on the shoulders of MLK and all the ancestors who resisted through the centuries.

--Marvin X

Friday, March 26, 2010

Parable of the A Students

Parable of the A Students

There was a group of students who were good in school. They did everything their teacher told them, attended classed without fail, did homework to the T, went on field trips to the various hot spots in town, even stayed out late to make sure they learn all the subject matter at the spot.

When the teacher told them to do bad things, they followed instructions to a T. They especially liked to do the opposite when the teacher told them good things. He told them this was called reverse psychology, so they loved to practice reverse psychology. If he told them to love, they hated. If he told them to appreciate life, they tried all in their power to self-destruct. If he told them to strive to be successful, they prayed to fail, or shot themselves in their foot.

They truly enjoyed turning positive into negative, and they mastered the game of failure rather than success. The teacher couldn't pay them to succeed. If he told them to practice safe sex or even to restrain from sex for awhile, they did the opposite. They would have sex without a condom and would get infected with various STDs, including HIV/AIDS. And some of the girls who did the opposite of what the teacher said got pregnant.

Again, the teacher was using reverse psychology because he intended for them to fail. He had his plans for them to be failures. He was only following instructions from his boss so the youth would end up destroyed, and especially the boys who were programmed for the department of corrections so they could help the guards and other prison industry workers live the good life, buy nice homes, cars, boats, go on ship cruises, put their children through college. The teachers and other workers prayed together at church that the children would be A students in doing the opposite of what they taught them, and the children were true to the game played on them. Yes, they were A students. They failed at school, failed to discover their life mission, failed at having positive relationships with their boyfriends and girlfriends, and later their marriage partners, failed at raising their children. Yes, this group of students were a failure, and yet they carried the teacher's program out to a T. They got A's on their report cards.

--Marvin X

It was Sister Alfajeri who said youth should receive A's for carrying out the devil's program to a T. Alfajeri is a budding writer and an intern at the Plato Negro Academy of Da Corner.
On Saturday, March 27, 7pm, the Pan African Mental Health Peer Group meets to recover from the addiction to white supremacy. You are invited. Address: 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702. This is a project of the Plato Negro Academy of Da Corner. Refreshments served. Entertainment by Academy poets and musicians.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


And they asked Plato Negro about the good children. Why doesn't he write something about them, a young man asked at his open-air classroom? So he replied that he had done so in his manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy. In chapter five, we admit to the God within and without the exact nature of our wrongs.

Oh, Higher Power, please forgive me for I knew not what I was doing on so many occasions in my life, and then I ask forgiveness for the times when I knew exactly what I was doing but proceeded as if there were no consequences, but surely for every action in the universe there is an equal and corresponding reaction.
...Forgive me Higher Power, Jesus, Allah, Mother Goddess, Jah, Damballah, Ancestors, when I did not feed the hungry child, clothe the naked child, abused and abandoned the child by not calling and visiting, yet claimed I loved the child....

I apologize to all the good children of the world who do the right things, struggle against all odds, overcome obstacles to arrive at the door of success, who avoid criminal behavior, teenage pregnancy, to graduate high school and college, and strive to stay on the right path, to believe in the Higher Power within themselves and without.

We salute and encourage them to reach out to their brothers and sisters in the hood who are without hope, inspiration and direction, and be their mentors and guides, to hug them, yes, hug the thugs, with unconditional love and understanding that they too can put on the armor of God and walk in the light for eternity.
I apologize....
--Marvin X

from How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2008.
Revised 3/24/10

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Parable of Man, Beasts, Ancestors and Nature

The Tsunami in South Asia (and the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and Chile) is only the most recent tragedy in that part of the world.... The Tsunami proved that Nature is the master of all things, for it spared no one and nothing in its path of destruction. The people on one island were spared only because they recalled the ancestors had warned them to head for the hills whenever there was an earthquake because a Tsunami was sure to follow.

On another island the gravediggers said they could hear the ancestors crying for help from the graves. They said the voices were unrelenting in their plea for help. In our quest for freedom in America, we wonder how many voices of our ancestors can be heard throughout this land, pleading for us to do the right thing to adjudicate their pain and suffering. A lady who visited the slave huts on a plantation in Louisiana said she could hear the ancestors speaking when she stepped inside a hut. She said in one hut there was much love, in another much pain.

And so it is: man, beasts, ancestors, nature, all entwined in the inescapable drama of life that so puzzled Solomon he concluded all was vanity and vexation of spirit.
--Marvin X
from Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, essays, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2005.
Edited 3/23/10

Monday, March 22, 2010

Parable of the Drunk Man

Marvin X in Harlem, NY
1968. Photo by Doug Harris

One night a drunk man came by the house singing a song, "Boy, they comin' ta git ya in da mornin. Boy, dey comin ta git ya in da mornin. Ya bin down here preachin dat black power, and da comin fa ya in da mornin."

My wife and I just laughed at the old drunk outside our house and wished he would go away, but sure enough when I got on the boat for the five hour ride through the jungle to the main town to reup on food, I noticed a man at the other end of the boat holding a 22 rifle. He didn't say anything to me nor did I say anything to him. But I learned he was a police officer in plain clothes.

As the boat made its way through the jungle in the river, I looked at the jungle grass and trees and occasional coon. After a time we arrived in Belize City and I departed the boat to my friend's house, some radicals I'd made the mistake of associating with upon arriving in Belize, then British Honduras.

The trip was made against the advice of my elder revolutionary sister in Mexico City, artist Elizabeth Cattlett Mora, who told me I would be going into raw colonialism if I went to Belize, but I ignored her since I was bored with Spanish and wanted to be around some English speaking black people, though I discovered the people in Belize spoke English in a dialect I couldn't understand, especially since they spoke so rapidly as they also spoke Spanish. I should have stayed in Mexico City.

My friends were not home so I entered the house which was not locked. I sat down and relaxed from the trip through the jungle. Soon I heard someone calling my name, ordering me to come outside. I grabbed a 22 rifle and thought about having a Black Panther style shoot out but decided against it and came outside to meet an undercover police officer who had me get into his car for a ride to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Minister of Home Affairs read my deportation order:

My presence was not beneficial to the British Colony of Honduras, therefore I shall be deported and will depart on the next plane to Miami at 4 pm. Until then I would be placed under arrest.

I was taken to the police station and told to have a seat. I was not handcuffed nor put in a cell. Of course I reflected on the song of the drunk man. Soon I was surrounded by black police officers who pointed out the officers they said were black men with white hearts. The black men with white hearts did not come around me but soon I was encircled by black police officers.

I had no idea what was getting ready to happen and was feeling apprehensive, but when the officers had gathered around me in sufficient numbers, they asked me to teach them about black power.

I was shocked and overjoyed, yet couldn't understand why the police were asking me to teach them about black power when I was being deported for teaching black power. Nevertheless I told them about black power and reminded them that Marcus Garvey had come to Belize in 1923 and told them to get the Queen of England's picture off their walls. I said it is 1970 and you still got that white bitch on your walls. Get that bitch off your walls!

The police cracked up and said I was all ite and wished I could stay and the government would get rid of all the whites hippies who come down there to smoke dope. The police couldn't understand why the government would deport me since I was a teacher who could help them. After I finished my little rap, I sat down thinking how I was going to get my pregnant wife out the jungle. There was no way to call her. It would be days, maybe weeks before she would know I was deported.

A short time before the plane would depart, the undercover officer came for me and took me to the airport. As I resisted getting on the plane, I was literally thrown inside and the door closed. After a stop in Tegucigalpa, Spanish Honduras, the plane headed north across Cuba to Miami.

At Miami airport I was met by two gentlemen who were US Marshalls. They took me to Dade County Jail were I was put in a cell with ignorant Negroes who told me not to call them brother. I said nothing else to them.

After a few days I was transferred to Federal custody in Miami City Jail. When I entered the cell full of white Cuban suspected dope dealers, who I would learn were receiving 17 years whether guilty or not, they greeted me with "Brother, Brother, what do you want, what do you need? We are sending out for food, tell us what you want to eat?"

Having been exiled from America for several months, I ordered a hamburger, fries and milkshake. After the food arrived I ate and they asked me what else I needed. Did I need money or what? I told them I needed money to make a long distance phone call and they gave it to me.

I was overwhelmed by their sense of brotherhood and saddened by the treatment of my black brothers at Dade County Jail. I learned my wife was either back in the United States or would be home soon. I would be transferred to San Francisco to stand trial for refusing to fight in Vietnam. I felt the same as Muhammad Ali, no Viet Cong called me a nigger. I would never again ignore the song of a drunk man.
--Marvin X