Monday, June 28, 2010

Plato Negro's Republic: Newark, A Case Study

photo by Kamau Amen Ra

Parable of Plato Negro's Republic:
Newark, A Case Study

Newark, New Jersey may be a prototype city in the People's Republic of North American Africa.
It may hold answers to many questions raised or to be raised in Plato Negro's Republic, a work in progress. Of course, Newark is home of Amiri Baraka, poet-playwright, activist, chief architect of the Black Arts Movement. More importantly for this discussion, Baraka has been deeply involved in Newark politics, most recently his son Ras won a seat on the city council. But the father's organization was critical in the election of Newark's first black mayor Kenneth Gibson back in the 60s. Since then, his children have not known a white mayor, although the black mayors have been severely addicted to white supremacy, including the present mayor Cory Booker. In an effort to help the mayor and city council recover from their addiction to white supremacy, Baraka gave them copies of my book How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2007). He doubts they will follow the manual that calls for detox and recovery based on the 12- step model.

Baraka recently admitted that perhaps he should have run for office rather than put in the Negroes, beginning with Gibson who had sold out before he took the oath of office. It is for this reason that Plato Negro's Republic calls for men and women of high morals and spiritual consciousness to be about the political business of the Republic of North American Africans.

How can we advance by repeatedly putting sick, corrupt Negroes in political office. It is an effort in futility. At some point we must transcend the black face and get to the black heart and soul. That must be our focus, yet we continue to get stuck on stupid, like children in pre-school learning their colors! Yes, Newark is a black city and deserves a black mayor, yes, one that is not a black with a white heart! Let's get to the heart of the matter!

With Ras Baraka we know we have a child born with consciousness in his DNA, so he is the model of the political personality needed in the Republic. A few years ago he jumped into the race for mayor without informing his father, and of course he lost. Nothing happens in Newark without the consent and blessing of the godfather Amiri who was honored with a week long celebration of his 75th birthday last year.

Ras continued his political sojourn, building his organization until he was finally successful. Ras and his hip hop generation are a model of what shall be needed in the Republic, whether it is a separate state or exists within the borders of these United Snakes.

But it is not simply about age or youth, rather consciousness. Are you addicted to the white supremacy agenda, attracted to materialism, trinkets, gadgets, rocks, animal skins, plastic. Will you take a bribe, get set up with a woman.

Let us pray for Ras, for as we look around the country, we see corruption in the land, from the fall of Detroit's young Kwame to other cities where North American African political officials are either in jail or under indictment for corruption. If I'm correct, all the black mayors in Newark were either indicted and/or were found guilty of corruption and served time, including the last mayor, Sharp James. What shall be the fate of the young Cory Booker? Will he detox and recover from the addiction to white supremacy? Maybe Councilman Ras will be able to lend him a back bone!
--Marvin X

The following is an update on Newark by the Godfather himself:

Ras Baraka, Darrin Sharif Victories in Newark!

A few weeks after Ras Baraka beat down Mayor Corey Booker’s candidate, Oscar James, Jr. by over 1000 votes to become South Ward Councilman, Darrin Sharif edged another Booker backed candidate, Charles Bell, in a Central Ward run-off election, by 11 votes! These election victories suggest significant changes in the future of Newark politics.

The interesting twist in all this good news ,at least for people who want a city council out from under Mayor Booker’s well advertised thumb, is that the local (Booker Backing) media, like the Star Ledger , and it’s channel 12 New Jersey News, have barely mentioned these happenings, which are both stunning political upsets.

The reason why these races have been under covered and left relatively obscure, is that Booker’s handlers want to continue to feed the image they have created ,with their “outside handler bias”, is that Corey Booker is invincible and “The Next!” whatever they want him to be. The fact that two “chilly homeboys” (even though they are the sons Amiri and Amina Baraka and Carl Sharif)could lay Booker’s champion low with much less money than the vaunted Booker Bux, has important, and for them, very embarrassing lessons. First that it is People that vote, not money, even though the “Extreme court” has seen fit to let the dogs out, by voting to remove limits on Corporate spending in elections, allowing the corpses theoretically to dominate all elections they want. This , of course, makes any declarations of “Democracy quite false.

But despite this, which seems a capitalist (and perhaps racist tinged) reaction to Obama’s grass roots fueled victory, there are things yet that money can’t automatically buy. In both Baraka’s and Sharif’s campaign, the priority was face to face door knocking campaigning. While Booker bashed away with his money ball. Booker spent literally millions of dollars trying to stop Ras Baraka, by presenting expensive ads on CNN every few hours. One with the stock stereotype middle class negress city council president saying “she liked Ras Baraka” but how could he be a high school principal and City councilman at the same time. Plus her candidate helped the crossing guards.

In Sharif’s race, Booker had his opponents literature pasted up all over the place. Although the Mayor told me in an earlier conversation when I called him to protest his thugs tearing down Ras’ signs, that they “were only tearing down illegal signs”. (The ones without green cards?”) But to no avail, despite all that money spent, and incidences of Booker people trying to vote more than once (My wife and other co workers actually witnessed this at the polling place where she was working…and the offender confessed).

At any rate, what it means is that Booker’s rubber stamp council is no more! The Emperor is standing on the second floor of City Hall naked as a jay bird. And his handlers, including the local media are still adjusting to that reality. Plus there might be more bad news the bare assed Mayor, this election breakthrough might free a few other members of the City Council to begin to represent the people of Newark not just Mayor Booker’s handlers.

- -Amiri Baraka

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