Friday, December 31, 2010

In Memory of Yusef Iman

Holiday Historical Treasures
Yusef Iman Memorial Archives



We remember Yusef Iman's hard work and powerful voice that advanced the Black Arts/black liberation movement. What a dedicated actor he was, also organizer and community builder.
What a pleasure to see his daughter, family and friends keeping his legacy alive. We love you Yusef Iman!
--Marvin X
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YUSEF IMAN MEMORIAL ARCHIVES
(347) 620-IMAN (4626)
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Alicia Keys - Wont Tell Your Secrets

Living in the No Stress Zone



Living in the
No Stress Zone



It is what it is, they say in the hood. When people greet me and ask how I'm doing, I reply, "I'm thankful to be alive. And I'm trying to stay in the no stress zone." When I say stay in the no stress zone, I see they have a delayed response, perhaps, to allow the words to flow across their brain cells. I can see they have been hit in the head with a new thought, a new possibility and they like the concept. No stress? Hell, my life is nothing but stress, I see them saying in the deep structure of their mind, in their momentary silence. I've just given them an answer to the conundrum of their lives, that maze of propositions that hit them at every turn of their daily round: stress from their own insecurities, stress from their mate, children, siblings, friends, job, social life or the lack thereof, stress from world events they can't possibly comprehend until they unravel the infinite contradictions in reality that are most vexing even to the rocket scientist.

I must then explain to my friends how I maneuver the mine field called life. It is a process of how one perceives reality, of understanding that most of reality is simple illusion, a figment of imagination that isn't worth the time of day. Most of what we concern ourselves with is of no importance whatsoever. Aristotle told us there are very few things in life really important.

While I was in prison a few months for refusing to fight in Vietnam, there was an inmate who upset the whole prison population although he only had six months to serve. Now there were men who had ten years and more, and they went about their daily round calmly in a state of peace, aggressively working on their case to get time reduced. But this man with six months was a nervous wreck , bugging everybody about his little time, pacing up and down the big yard like a mad fool with little understanding how fortunate he was to have such a light sentence.

And so it is what it is, sometimes we yet pray when God has already answered. We disturb God and ourselves when He has answered us and blessed us with our request, yet we cannot see in our spiritual blindness. We stress ourselves and then extend it to our mates, children, friends, neighbors even.

In recovery they teach us to let go and let God! If your woman or man leaves you, be happy! Why would you want someone to stay with you who wants to go? It may be the will of God that they go, no matter if you love them or not, no matter how heart broken you are, let them go: vaya con dios! Don't kill them because they want to leave, God may have something better for you and them, so why are you blocking your good, stressing yourself to the max, threatening to take your life or the life of your mate. Then what are you going to do with a homicide case?

A man with great talent, a great voice like Paul Robeson and William Warfield, came to me so he could learn the art of drama and public speaking. Although he had a great voice, he had problems reading, but I put him in the studio to record some of my writings. He let me know he was having problems with his woman since I could see he was under stress for some reason. I went on a national book tour, and when I returned a mutual friend informed me that he had stabbed his woman 16 times and threw her out on the freeway. His friend told me he'd caught her cheating on him, although he had a long history of cheating on her, that he had been a real snoop doggy dog, but finally had his day and couldn't accept it. So he killed her and now has a life sentence. If you a dog, why you think somebody else can't be a dog? Why you think your funk ain't gonna catch up with you? Surely you heard what goes around comes around!

Stress is thus internal and external, though most of the time we bring stress to ourselves. We are not at peace with ourselves. We are not confident and secure in what we do of righteousness, if we do any righteousness at all! A friend said everything we do is wrong! We haven't had a righteous thought and right action our entire lives. Mistake after mistake after mistake.

At my Academy of da Corner, the young girls come to me crying about the men who mess over them time and time again. I don't think they realize how many times they tell me the same story about the same man except he has a different name. But it's the same dude! Sometimes I hate to see the young girl coming because I know she got another story that's the same story she had the last time I saw her. And yes she's stressing, swearing she's gonna leave them no good nigguhs alone, but she ain't because she's addicted to the drama. She addicted to doing the wrong thing but expecting good results.

In other words, she's acting out a prescription for insanity. Actually she's manic depressive and in therapy. At least she does go to her therapist on a regular basis, though we doubt any positive results are achieved, since white supremacy psychotherapy can do us little good. Is it going to help liberate us from oppression. Dr. Fanon said only by joining the revolution can the oppressed man and woman regain their mental health. Only us can heal us, and at this point Dr. Hare is calling for mental health peer groups to meet on their own since there are not enough certified mental health specialists, especially those certified in African holistic healing. See my book How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare, afterword by Ptah Allah El.

How shall we escape to the No Stress Zone? Have no attachments but to God! Understand, our mate may be our friend and she may be our enemy, depending on the time of day or the time of month. Don't worry, don't stress, enjoy her while it lasts and when it's over, let it go and let God.

Don't stress about children, for Gibran told us they come through us but are not us, they have their own lives, missions to accomplish. Help them, love them, guide them, but don't control them, let them find their voice, their bliss Joseph Campbell told us we all must discover.

Much stress is over this matter of bliss. We haven't figured out the reason for our existence. For a long time, maybe half our life, we thought it was about a mate, children, a job, the Jones next door, drugs, more sex, money, lots of money, things and things and things, and yet none of the above satisfied us, only caused us great stress, trauma and unresolved grief.

But one day, maybe after enduring that mid-life crisis, we suddenly realized our bliss, our purpose for existence, something that gave us infinite joy and pleasure. Now we're focused and absolutely refuse to allow anyone or anything to take us off course. Don't matter how long it took to achieve our bliss, but we made it, finally, the stress is gone and the thrill is on! We're like a child in Toys R Us. We can't believe life can be so beautiful. We have truly entered the No Stress Zone. We are in harmony with the universe, with humanity, with all that was, is, and shall be. We can see clearly now, the fog has lifted. Joy. Joy. Joy.

We worry about nothing because nothing is worth worrying about. We stay prayed up as the Christians say. I pray leaving from and returning to my house. I did this as a dope fiend because the most dangerous moment of the dope fiend's life is going to cop the dope. Something told me to put on the amour of God before I left my house because I didn't know what might be outside my door, especially in those seedy hotels in San Francisco's Tenderloin, or anywhere else for that matter. And then I prayed when I made it back safely, thankful God had protected me.

I do the same now, everyday, to put myself is a spiritual mode, to be thankful and thoughtful, as Sly Stone used to sing, and to make sure I am in the No Stress Zone! Even while I am at the Academy of da Corner, I must check myself to the fact that I am not there to make money, money is not the real reason God sent me to that corner at 14th and Broadway, but to serve somebody, to say a kind word to somebody, to reach out to somebody by being silent and letting them vent, even when I don't want to hear it. God says shut up and listen to my people, you are my ears, servant, so listen and shut up, and don't worry bout no damn money. And you think God don't bless me. Sometimes the people line up to give me donations. You better ax somebody! I just go there and stand or sit down and people come by and put money in my hand. Sometimes the people watching can't believe what they're seeing. My brother, a former loan shark, watched people bring me donations and couldn't believe his eyes. Better ax somebody!


Even when your bills are due, don't stress, simply call the white man and tell him when you will be able to pay him or give him something on your bill. Stress gone!

A friend told me years ago not to worry about the Middle East, what's happening in Jerusalem with the Jews and Palestinians. He said, Marvin, they've been fighting there for thousands of years, and they've been living together in peace many years, so don't worry about it. The Jews, Muslims and Christians all claim Abraham as their father. Do you think Abraham is stressing over the antics of his children. He's probably saying, "These some damn fools!"

Solomon told you the same thing about his children. After all his labor under the sun, he cried I still might leave my kingdom in the hands of a damn fool son or daughter! All is vanity and vexation of spirit!

Stay in the No Stress Zone!

It might be another two hundred years before we see true freedom, justice and equality in America. We've been here 400 years, so-called freedom 150 years. So give yourself another 100 or 200 years. Ancestor John Henry Clark said this is not a sprint but a long distance run. So pace yourselves and plan for the next 100 and/or 200 years. And stick to the plan, don't let politricks take you off course, don't let the world of make believe convince you to go for illusions of the monkey mind.

In recovery, we are taught don't get too happy and don't get too sad. Understand that life is joy and pain, sun and rain. Don't think the sun's going to shine all the time, or that it's going to rain forever--unless you live in Seattle, Washington!

Put signs in your house: This is a No Stress Zone. Don't allow stress in your house. A girlfriend came over and when I got a call that took some time to finish, she got an attitude and told me to get off the phone. I told her, "Girlfriend, you can leave, good bye. As-Salaam-Alaikum!" No, you ain't coming in my house giving me orders. It ain't that kinna party up in here!

Ladies and gentlemen, stress is killing us, in the night and in the day. We live in a hostile environment for starters. For most of us, the job is negative, our families ungrateful, our friends hypocritical, the police unpredictable. Jesus told you to be in this world but not of this world, so we must transcend all the stress from the hostile environment until we can change it into that wonderful world Armstrong sang about. Stay in the No Stress Zone!
As-Salaam-Alaikum,
Marvin X
12/16/10

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

18. The Cultural Unity of North American Africans





Toward Unity of North American Africans

18. The Cultural Unity of North American Africans


The North American African is a unique phenomenon in the western world. Although he shares common features with his brothers and sisters throughout the Americas, i.e. Central, South American and the Caribbean, who are descendants of kidnapped Africans, the North American African is special only because he survived in the belly of the beast, that great whore Babylon. While his folks endured colonialism apart from the motherlands of the colonial empires in France, England, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere, the North American African suffered domestic colonialism, especially after the revolution of 1776. Thus the domestic colonial masters held a tight grip on his mind, body and soul. While residual African culture persisted in North America, in other parts of the Americas, African expression was more pronounced, such as Condomble in Brazil, Santeria in Cuba, Vudun in Haiti.

In North American such spiritual expression was syncretized in the Holy Ghost church and other Christian expressions. Actually, it was the black classical music called Jazz that gave expressions similar to his aboriginal African soul. Like Vudun, Jazz allowed democratic expression of his spiritual consciousness, though the same was allowed in the Christian ritual to some degree, for even his brand of Christianity was suspect and was allowed only with a representative of the slave master present at his sacred services, unless the slaves were able to steal away to Jesus in the woods where the ritual was used to unite Africans for resistance and revolt. See Negro Slave Revolts by Herbert Apthecker.

While African culture enjoyed more vitality in other parts of the Americas, in North America we again must view Christianity as the main outlet for the expression of African consciousness.
After all, the very structure of the Christian myth/ritual was synonymous with his condition of oppression. As Rev. James Cones makes plain, his condition under the cross and lynching tree was in harmony with the crucifixion of the Savior Jesus. The story of the suffering Jesus was the identical story of the North American African who was daily crucified but eventually after long suffering that lasted centuries, was resurrected from the grave of ignorance and passivity, and slowly began his ascension up to the mountain top in the manner of Jesus and more precisely like Sisyphus in the Greek myth. Or shall we say he is also like Hiram Biff in the Masonic myth who was knocked in the head and placed into a shallow grave, from which he is able to resurrect and ascend.

But the North American African also found solace in the Old Testament stores of Moses and the children of Israel. America became that old wicked pharaoh who wouldn't let the oppressed go home. Or the Negro was Jonah in the belly of the whale, or Shadrah, Meschak and Abendigo in the fiery furnace who were delivered. In short, the common theme for the North American African's version of Christianity was liberation, from Nat Turner through Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X which injects the Islamic survival in North American African culture, since it is suspected 20% of North American African slaves were Muslims. The slave narratives are clear evidence, along with the Mississippi Delta music called Blues that havs been traced to African Islamic culture. Of course there are many who say Muslims were already before Columbus, who saw mosques on his way here. And there is evidence Muslims traveled here during the Ghana, Mali and Songhay empires, from the tenth century to the Middle Ages. Certainly, Columbus would not have made it here were it not for his African Muslim navigators. The Moorish Science teachings of Noble Drew Ali are adamant that the Moors (Africans) were here centuries before the Europeans. See Othello's Children.

With the coming of the radical 1960s, the North American Africans shifted more to their Islamic heritage because it was found more in tune with the times, especially after the Civil Rights movement reached a dead end and black power came to the forefront. With the injection of Islamic consciousness into the national struggle, we see a shifting from Christian to Muslim and Yoruba names and practice. Noble Drew Ali, Master Fard Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X set the stage for black consciousness in North American Africans. There was also an infusion of East African Swalili culture from Ron Karenga's US organization with the spread of the Kwanza ritual, adopted from the ancient harvest festival. Karenga's Kwanza ritual has become widespread although his Seven Principles or Nzogu Saba is rarely practiced except during the ritual days. If it were ever practiced it would advance our national struggle on all levels of cultural expression. But this is true for Elijah Muhammad's do for self economic and political philosophy as well.

The present economic crisis is causing many North American Africans to consider other possibilities of economic survival since we see the American economy has gone global without any consideration for white workers, let alone North American African workers who've never enjoyed the American economic dream except during emergency such as World War II.

With the election of Obama as President, North American Africans have given America what may be her last chance to convince the descendants of kidnapped and enslaved Africans that they are truly a part of American culture. But the last two years have given us no indication we should surrender our aspiration for national liberation. With each passing day, North American Africans are losing faith in America and Obama, for he has revealed himself to be nothing more and nothing less than a politician who will do whatever is necessary to carry out his agenda, not the people's agenda. As dire as economic matters have become, we still have no tangible program to address unemployment or the massive home foreclosures that will continue along side the economic meltdown. The time Obama spent on the health plan was noble but misplaced since without jobs how will people pay their insurance bill?

North American African culture struggles around the primary problem of constructing and stabilizing family life in the midst of the chaotic American decline. We shall be forced to rely even more on our African consciousness and cultural traditions as the American empire and republic withers away.

The commonalities of North American African culture survive in spite of cultural colonialism from the wider community, although the bombardment of European American culture takes its toll on those who worship the white version of Christianity, to those brainwashed with the white supremacy school curriculum, to the Jewish produced unconscious rap music and the negative aspects of hip hop culture. On the positive, hip hop culture has continued the North American African tradition of originality and creativity, in language, poetry, music, dress, dance and other artistic expression, including a profound desire and attempt at economic independence.

A journey from coast to coast, from the funky North to the Dirty South will reveal similar cultural expression with a few nuances in language and dress. From San Francisco's Fillmore to New York's Harlem, Bloods are basically the same, same walk, same talk, same music, same dress, same food, same behavior. Now the Dirty South may indeed have slightly different survival techniques. For example, when I went to copy my manuscript How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, the sister clerk at Staples in South Carolina asked me where I was from. Jokingly, I said, "From here."

She said naw you ain't.

I said why you say I ain't from here?

She replied because we don't use that term white supremacy down here.

Okay, I'm from Cali.

Truth is North American Africans in the South have a way of dealing with the white man in order to survive in a still very racist environment. They say we Cali and/or Northern or Up South North American Africans come down south with language and behavior that will only cause problems for the natives and once we get the white man upset and about to lynch people, we leave, but they are stuck with the peckerwood, who will indeed lynch them at worse, fire them from their minimum wage jobs at the least. So the South has a very necessary different psychosocial linguistics, entirely different from Up South where we may tell the white man to go to hell without reprisal.

Of course some might say the north is no different, for we are lynched every day up north by the police, if not each other. So this is merely an indication of the need for continued national struggle coast to coast. Regional divisions are mostly superficial, for there are blacks up north who will not drive their new car to work, for fear the white man will know too much about their business. And there are blacks who refuse to buy my books during lunch hour because they are afraid to return to work with them for fear they may get fired for possessing incendiary literature.
--Marvin X
12/15/10

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

17. Economic Unity


Toward Unity of North American Africans

17. Economic Unity

There is little joy in the hood this holiday season. Not much money appears to be circulating. In Oakland a Kwanza gift show was full of vendors only, disappointed that very few persons showed up to buy gifts. At the Berkeley Flea market vendors complained that business was pitiful. At Oakland's only large store downtown, Sears, a clerk said there were no costumers after working all day.

If America is in a recession, the hood is in a depression. The Obamian Voodoo economics, derived from the Bush I era has failed to trickle down, so the economic situation is dire, resulting in people suffering depression and severe stress in interpersonal relations. Of course the violence continues on the streets, along with terrorist threats heard from those talking on their cell phones to mates and partners. People are naturally disappointed to be without in the land of plenty. For sure, the folks shopping downtown San Francisco may be downsizing to a degree but not to the level of poverty in the hood. The shoppers in San Francisco's Union Square are shopping and ice skating, singing Christmas Carols and sipping lattes and Irish coffee.

How shall the hood come out of this economic morass? What is the plan for the immediate and long range solution to the perennial economic crisis? What are the ghetto economists saying, thinking, planning, if anything, for they appear to be singing Silent Night.

Youth and adults are bereft of a solution, though a few still search for work. A young man was smart enough to get a candy wagon and work the Broadway corridor downtown Oakland. But most youth are restricted to selling their bags of marijuana, maybe some pills and cough medicine, although pimping and whoring is the latest underground endeavor since people don't have money for dope like the old days, plus prison is the likely result, so the boys have resorted to pimping, and the girls take up the slack when the boys go to jail, yes, the girls are pimping too.

But we know this is no solution, especially in the long term. We have long recommended the micro loan bank to help youth and adults become entrepreneurs, especially those with criminal records or with recalcitrant attitudes that make them unfit for a normal job even if one existed.

We need only look at our indigenous brothers and sisters selling fruits and vegetables on the street, or fresh juice. Many brothers sell movies and come up, and clothes are always a good hustle. It simply requires a little thinking, perhaps clear thinking minus the marijuana, and we can come up. One can come up selling all the paraphernalia necessary to get high, the swishers,
cigarette paper, matches, lighters, pipes. If we think, there are infinite possibilities. If we spend time singing the blues, we shall miss the boat heading upriver to the bank.

You can sell the homeless paper and come up. I did as a Crack fiend, getting $20.00 per paper on average, making $300.00 to $400.00 per day. Of course the money went to the dope man for my Crack habit. I don't make that now selling my books. Of course I don't have the motivation I had as a dope fiend. A dope fiend is a highly determined individual who is going to get his dope by any means necessary. The recovering addict appears to be unable to think with that same motivation, although ultimately he must, if he sincerely wants to step up his game.

These dire economic times are forcing us to think out the box, to transcend our dependence on the white man's job. We must now consider cooperative economics, or how can we pool our resources to come up. We did it in the dope game, we can do it with legitimate products, especially if we can overcome mistrust and greed. We do this by working my book How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy. Once we overcome fear and distrust, we can work together. We can buy wholesale, keep the price low and sell fast. Make sure we have multiple sources for the goods we need. And treat your customers with compassion. Don't insult them as I sometimes did on drugs or even sober, sometimes. You can give layaway and credit, just don't kill a brother or sister because they owe you twenty dollars. Why would you go to prison over a twenty dollar debt? It doesn't make sense are you are not thinking. Life is a thinking man's/woman's game!

A rich friend of mine loaned a man ten thousand dollars. The man refused to repay, so my friend's brother wanted to kill the man. My friend told his brother to let it go, that he didn't want to jeopardize his millions over ten thousand funky dollars!

We can get through this moment and any other time that may be a little trying and stressful. Think in unity, transcend individualism. We should buy our food collectively at the wholesale house, not the retail grocery store. Why are you shopping at Safeway and Lucky, just to feel good paying high prices, when in reality you're a trick. Half the goods at Safeway and Lucky you can purchase at the Dollar Store, so what is your problem? You just want to be a blues singer, you love the blues. Better to sing a Spiritual or listen to some Gospel rap that's talking about faith and hope. Somebody better get a healing up in here!
--Marvin X
12/14/10

16. Unity of Planning




Toward Unity of North American Africans
16. Unity of Planning

The North American African thinkers and planners must configure our future for the next 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 years, otherwise we shall drift and drift depending on the winds of the ocean and the whim of the American Titanic, with the great possibility we shall go down with the ship, much like the Katrina tragedy in New Orleans, no matter if it was a man made or natural disaster. We must never again have our fate in the hands of this government, not for one moment. We must plan for both the positive and negative possibilities and probabilities. We cannot have 40 million North American Africans at the behest of racists who's mental state is highly questionable and will only be going from bad to worse as we proceed in time.

Nor can we have faith or confidence is those who have been trained and educated totally with the white supremacy world. We see what a mess Obama is making of our situation, if not totally neglecting the wretched circumstances of the moment.

But the urgent need is a brain trust of planners grounded in African and spiritual consciousness, men and women of vision to chart our course through the last days of the American empire and republic. This Think Tank must be an inter-generational group so we have the thinking of elders and youth, something we failed to do in those revolutionary 60s. We must include the wisdom of progressive elders who can offer more than war stories but the perception to see where we need to go politically, economically, educationally, and spiritually.

We can transcend the simple improvisation of the jazz player, and we must clearly avoid the pitfall of doing nothing but drift into the future, when we know if we don't plan a trip we may never arrive at our destination, especially with no road map, no chart, no idea of what we may encounter on the journey.

Of course we must consider ideas from the global village, especially from our neighbors throughout the Americas who are striving to implement a more social just economic plan as well as constructing a people's democratic society, as opposed to the American political/economic order that is socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor, also known as fascism.

We must transcend the box of American thought that is clearly exhausted, and align our thinking with nations such as China, India and Brazil. We cannot envision a future without a connection with our Motherland, economic, cultural and political. Why should we not be connected to Africa, white America is connected with Europe, Chinese Americans are connected with China, Arabs are connected with the Arab world, indigenous peoples and/ or Latinos are connected with their peoples throughout the Americas.

Our Think Tanks must consider what is possible for the years ahead, the decades, the centuries. The possibilities are infinite, but we must chart a course based on the consensus of our very best minds, again, minds that are not addicted to the white supremacy imagination.

We have every right to consider self-determination and sovereignty on this land that contains our sweat, blood and bones. There may come the realization that we must partition America for those too alienated, traumatized and full of grief for all the wrongs done to us since our sojourn here. We would be a danger to ourselves and others if we remained here in a state of total discontent and recalcitrance. Pakistan's separation from India is an example, our the likely independence of the Southern Sudan from the North is a present model.


But this is for our thinkers to consider in harmony with the masses, probably in some future plebiscite or vote of the people when matters reach the point of no justice, no peace. It is no different from a wife and husband who reach irreconcilable difference and must separate and divorce.

Those who wish to remain a part of this Republic, if such exists in the future, have the human right to do so. Again, the world is full of infinite possibilities and we flow with the flow, except we are not a boat without a rudder or an anchor. The future is for those who plan ahead, strategically and tactically.
--Marvin X
12/14/10








15. Unity in Stress and Death








Toward Unity of North American Africans





15. Unity in Stress and Death


In stress and death, all classes of North American Africans are united, with the upper classes suffering more stress, perhaps, because they must be concerned with keeping the little they have. We have seen black millionaires suffer the same discrimination faced by blacks when they are watched while shopping. Black nurses come to us with horror stories of job discrimination. A black professor recently told how her colleagues suffer high blood pressure. An aide to a state senator reached a settlement for sexual harassment. Her boss had been relentless in pursuit of her tail, causing her great stress and discomfort.

Do we need to find out if our President is under stress? For sure, the boyz and girls in the hood are stressed to the point of using violence as a tension reliever, to say nothing of staying medicated on street drugs to keep from blowing a fuse. When street drugs are not available, prescription drugs will work. Our poor children suffer stress from possible homicide and/or suicide. Many of them are in trauma and grief from losing so many of their peers to violence and prison.

Elders who make it to sixty and seventy years old must often travel solo because so many of their friends have departed, including their mates. Many marriages were stress filled from the greater society. Again, the need for medication from illegal and/or legal drugs, few can afford therapy and even if they could, there are few mental health workers to serve them, especially with holistic African healing certification as opposed to useless European psychotherapy for black minds.

All classes escape to religiosity until church politics drive them from the Lord's house, especially when it's all about the preacher and his needs, leaving little mention of the Lord. Even the New Thought Spiritual Centers are degenerating into dens of iniquity under the guise of prosperity consciousness and unbridled sexuality.

Of course our diet is an ever present danger to our health, for it is designed to rush us to the doctor, although all classes have such fears of the medical profession that even those well healed blacks often do not take advantage of their health insurance. We knew a professional woman who only went to the dentist because he was her friend. She never bothered to see the doctor, supposedly because he wasn't her friend and she had fears of medical treatment.

In short, all blacks live in a hostile environment. A man escaped the ghetto to live in the Oakland hills, but when he thought he heard a burglar and called the police, they treated him as though he was the burglar, so traumatizing him that he left his wife in the house in the hills and returned to stay in the ghetto.

We suspect the stress of the hostile environment is the reason we lost several black women professors at the University of California, June Jordan, Barbara Christian, Veve Clark, Sherley A. Williams. Sherley long complained of her hostile work environment at UC San Diego. Dr. William H. Grier had his son inform me that indeed what killed Sherley was the hostile environment, not cancer and asthma.

Riding on the bus through the ghetto, there are usually conversations on three topics: who's sick, who died and who's in prison or just got out. The brothers go to prison so often that a girlfriend was heard saying, "He lives in prison, that's his home. When he's out here he's on vacation!"

Women are under great stress with so many of their mates incarcerated. With the economy in meltdown, men and women are getting desperate with each passing day, plotting criminal activity with no real thought and planning, thus they are quickly apprehended and join the line to the department of corrections where they suddenly become a valuable commodity, worth fifty to sixty thousand dollars per inmate per year.

Imagine the stress of jail and prison, with overcrowding, sexual abuse, gang violence, lack of privacy, loneliness, loss of human dignity. The only advantage is that black men and women now have the chance to think, study and write for the first time in their lives. But upon their release there is little opportunity to stay straight since they now have a record and often lack any formal education and skills since many had dropped out of school in boredom with the white supremacy curriculum and hostile, overworked and exhausted teachers who themselves rarely receive a salary worth their time and education.

The hostile environment is intensified by the slave catchers, otherwise known as police. They are an ever present danger to all classes who may be stopped for driving, walking, talking, or thinking while black. They are in constant danger of failing the tone test: when stopped the person can be killed, arrested or released based on the tone of his voice.

The arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates is testament the police, when it comes to blacks, do not discriminate. We just learned of a man who won a lawsuit against a hotel in Washington, DC because he took refuge in a hotel during a storm but because of his dress the hotel called the police to throw him out. The police gave him a choice, either go to a shelter or go to jail, he chose a shelter.

There is thus nothing post in the traumatic stress syndrome we suffer, it is ever present on a daily basis until the last rites are administered, though even in the coffin stress can reach us. Gang youth came to a funeral and shot into the corpse to make sure the deceased was truly dead. At another funeral there was a shooting inside the church causing a poor church mother to go home where she suffered a heart attack. An estranged church going wife was shot dead by her stressed husband in the church parking lot with the Bible in her hand.

When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at 39 years old, the medical report said his body had the stress of a 60 year old man.

And so it is, we live under intense pressure, all of us, no matter what class, unless we are determined to enter the no stress zone where we are not moved by things of this world that are pure illusion and mainly of little importance now or in the future. Most certainly, we are not to worry about things of the past.
--Marvin X
12/14/10

Monday, December 13, 2010

14. Unity in Thought










Toward Unity of North American Africans
14. Unity in Thought



Our philosophical and ideological thought has been diverse and divergent, expressing a panorama of thinking since our sojourn in the wilderness of North America. As an expression of the Sisyphusian mythology, our thinking depended on how low or how high we ascended the mountain.
In our lowest moments, we wanted out of here, return to African or anywhere but here. In our more ascendant times, we strove to plant our feet on the solid ground of Americana, claiming every right due citizens in these United Snakes of America. But generally we have worn the persona of the schizoid personality, a painful balancing act between the blues songs of love and hate for our presence in Tobacco Road.

Integration, separation, migration, revolution, we have enjoyed a plethora of feelings, emotions and often the raw psychological depression derived from oppression. In our more positive times, we expressed a maniacal moment of elation before the depression set in as happened in the short lived post bellum, post emancipation period called Reconstruction.

The 19th century thinkers ranged from the militant writings of David Walker's Appeal, 1829, through the intellectuals involved in the black conferences throughout the century that included slave insurrections, back to Africa thinking, and the radical thinking of men like Henry Highland Garnett.

Some of these thinkers gave up on the American dream and tried to tell us we would never be free in Babylon. After 1827 with the publication of Freedom's Journal, the black press expressed our mood from then on. With the Civil War we envisioned a future of freedom, but virtual slavery returned after the short lived Reconstruction.

Booker T. Washington told us to cast down our buckets where we were, forget about integration and strive for economic progress, while others pleaded for full citizenship rights, among them W.E.B. DuBois, who saw race as the essential problem of America. DuBois saw a "talented tenth" leading the race to freedom.

Marcus Garvey had read the writings of Booker T. Washington in the African Times and Orient
Review, the paper edited by Duse Muhammad Ali, the man who mentored Garvey in London before he came to America to hook up with Booker T., who died before Garvey arrived.

Of course Garvey came to America indoctrinated with the Pan Africanism taught him by Duse Muhammad Ali, One God, One Aim, One Destiny, Africa for the Africans, those at home and those abroad.

Although DuBois became a champion of Pan Africanism and died in Ghana, Garvey implemented his black nationalist, Pan Africanist program, supposedly organizing six million people into the greatest organization of radical black thought preceding Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam.
Ironically, Negro intellectuals were Garvey's worse enemies and conspired to railroad him into prison, partly from jealousy and envy. After release from prison, he died a broken man in London, never landing on African soil.

World War I had given North American Africans a chance to see the world and again prove themselves in battle, although they returned to face race riots after fighting fascism abroad. Their thinking had expanded after the war and after they began the great migration from the Jim Crow South, aka the Cotton Curtain! In the North they encountered the thoughts of urban intellectuals, including DuBois and the NAACP civil rights thinkers. But there was also the philosophy of Noble Drew Ali, a precursor of Elijah Muhammad's brand of unorthodox Islam.
Noble Drew Ali must be listed among those mystic Negroes who originated a synthesis of thought from Islamic Sufism, Ahmedism and the new spirituality that had origins in the 19th century.

We must never forget the literature of the slave narratives, Muslim and Christian, especially the narrative of Frederick Douglas who gave us a vivid story of his path from slavery to freedom. His July 4th speech is a classic of black thought on the meaning of Independence Day to a North American African.

July 4, 1910, when Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion and behaved as a free man in every sense of the word, America responded with race riots of the kind never seen before or since, simply because Johnson claimed his manhood in the promised land and refused to play the role of the docile Negro. Because of Johnson's thinking and behavior, America invented a law to indict him called the Mann Act, though we call it the Black Man Act. Supposedly Johnson had crossed state lines with white prostitutes that he loved to race through the streets with in his expensive cars. What should our response be to the white man who has taken liberties with our women from day one til now.

But we should also be aware of female thought, such as the thinking and actions of Harriet Tubman, who said she could have freed more slaves if they had known they were slaves. And Ida B. Wells, who did all she could to stop lynchings throughout the land. And Queen Mother Moore, the Mother of Reparations. Angela Davis has long given her thoughts on the liberation of captives in the prisons and jails of America. We thank her because few men have addressed the topic, although Elijah Muhammad long called for the amnesty of men and women unjustly imprisoned in America. The Black Panthers followed up on this point as well.

Of course some of our greatest thinking has come from those men either in prison or released from prison, such as George Jackson, Eldridge Cleaver, Malcolm X and our greatest living prison philosopher , Mumia Abu Jamal.

For many black men, prison is the first time they get a chance to think. We shall be astounded to discover their thinking and writings, especially with so many of them locked down as we write.

Elijah said separation. Martin Luther King, Jr. said integration and civil rights. Malcolm said human rights, the ballot or the bullet. With Obama as President, we have obviously gone for the ballot, yet by the time he leaves office, we may be forced to consider the bullet.

For sure, our thinking has been unified around the theme of freedom and liberation. Our literature is essentially a slave narrative or how I got ova, how I survived. Amiri Baraka was asked at UC Berkeley what was his greatest accomplishment? He answered, "I survived!"

We cannot conclude this brief outline of our thought without reference to the underlying philosophy contained in the music, the spirituals, the blues, jazz, poetry and rap. For here we find the thought of common people, thus the common sense philosophic thought that made it possible for us to keep the faith, to endure the daily round. The music is thus a metaphoric comment on our general condition, sometimes personalized, sometimes politicized, but always a statement on our reality as a people in the Crazy House Called America.
--Marvin X
11/13/10

13. Unity of Language


Toward the Unity of North American Africans 13. Unity of Language

Language unifies a people, when they speak a common language, when there is a consensus on word definitions, an agreement on what terms are sacred and what words are profane and obscene.
Chaos comes into a culture when these is no longer a consensus on language, or what we call a psycholinguistic crisis, for words define reality. Words are the vehicle we use to express our interpretation of reality. When the words lose a once agreed upon meaning, it is as though the earth shifts beneath our feet, for we are no longer able to communicate with each other. We then suffer a mental paralysis, a breakdown of the psyche because we are talking loud but saying nothing.

The words thus lose their meaning for there is no agreement. If the culture in its normal state is communal but suddenly the focus shifts to the supremacy of the individual, then we have a problem. We cannot unite for freedom when there is no agreed definition of freedom. For you, freedom is a job. For her, freedom is land and economic independence. For him, freedom is being with same gender loving people, and for her it is the same. Nothing else matters. So what items can we agree upon that defines freedom? And are we going around the corner together or do we have a divisive situation that shall lead us nowhere except to tread water in a pitiful state until we drown, since we refuse to help each other push our agenda items because we don't agree.

We started out on freedom but got diverted into things not communal but individual. Or the language was polluted by class division. The bourgeoisie culture police attempted to define the terms of reality. We wonder by what right do they assume the gate keeper role. Perhaps by being placed into leadership by the oppressor.

In the 1960s, we revolted against the language of the colonial elite, the leadership of the liberation movement shifted because a new consensus on language came into vogue, the language of black power that transcended civil rights to human rights, that shifted from integration to liberation and yes, sometimes, separation. The old language was suddenly obsolete. The term Negro was cast into the dustbin of history. The Negro psycholinguistics shifted from passivity and non violence to revolution.

The Black Arts Movement helped to cause the paradigm shift in terms of language. We revolted from the bourgeoisie socalled proper speech. In our plays, poems, essays, songs, we broke free of the conservative language. We used such terms as motherfucker, yes, bitch, devil, cracker, peckerwoood, and other terms to express our rejection of the American language in favor our our Mother tongue, the raw ghetto language so despised by our culture police, for they were rejected as well. Of course we went to the extreme when we said anyone over thirty should be killed (Bobby Seale). But the expression in grass roots language advanced the freedom mentality in our people. We suddenly realized we can say what we want, we're truly free to do so.

Of course there was reaction, from the oppressor and the colonial elite. The police attempted to ban our plays, to invade our performances, to arrest us if we showed up to perform. The bourgeoisie refused to support us with their money. All this was actually good because it inspired us to continue doing our thing, realizing we were truly independent, no longer slaves to anyone.

We were not able to return to our native language as Ngugi wa Thiango has called upon African writers to do, for we have no idea what it is, though we attempted to learn Swahili, Arabic and Yoruba. And the little we learned helped advance our black consciousness and heal our psycholinguistic crisis. Yes, these languages unified some of us. We held classes in the hood with grass roots people who wanted to transcend the English or American language we called the slave master's language, so how can we ever break free speaking this devil language. This is the language of the kidnapper, the rapist, the man and woman who lynched us, who stole our very identity and replace it with his notion of our very being. Thus, it is he and his language that is profane and obscene, and must be rejected, for it is not the language of love, it is the language of violence and madness.

We thus call for silence as the language of love, since our psycholinguistic crisis is so great it is the cause of physical, emotional and verbal violence with our mates. Almost any word we say is cause for argument. And it is the same when we gather at conferences and gatherings. We must spend an inordinate amount of time debating terms, defining what we mean by freedom, liberation, reparations, gender identity. Yes, what is a woman, what is a man. Today "black brothers" is a gay term. How did "black brother" shift from revolutionary black men to gay men? Of course language is fluid and undergoing constant change. And those with power attempt to define the terms. How else did we come upon this English/American language? It was a violent act, a long process of domination and oppression. Toby was physically abused until he renounced his holy name Kunta Kinte. Muhammad Ali reversed the process, not only by renaming himself but forcing his opponent to call out his name in the ring. Ali chanted, "What's my name, what's my name?" as he beat down his opponent, but he was calling for more than name recognition but for the recognition of his being as a free black man, the member of the Nation of Islam, a transcendence of his American slave identity.

And yet today we have a reaction by the culture police such as Bill Crosby and others who would have us claim our American identity and stop naming our children African and/or Muslim names. He doesn't tell Jose to call himself Joe. He doesn't tell the Chinese who get rich in the hood selling us their food but speaking no English/American to go learn English/American.
He don't tell the Arabs who get rich selling us swine and wine in the name of Allah, to stop speaking Arabic in the hood and speak English/America.

Clearly, Bill Crosby suffers a psycholinguistic crisis of major proportion. And he is not alone. It is again for this reason that I call for the language of silence as the language of love, until we can indeed arrive at a new consensus. The Million Man March brothers took a vow to never use the term bitch. But in the hood bitch is clearly a trans-gender term, for males are called bitches these days, especially when they come incorrect in the dope culture. The dope boys will address an adult male dope fiend as punk bitch. "Punk bitch you better take this dope and get the fuck up otter here wit da quickness 'fore I smoke yo ass."

It's possible the language shifted when adults began buying dope from children, especially during the Crack era, reversing the natural order of adults serving children, thus children lost all respect for their elders and this aspect of the psycholinguistic crisis resulted. It was being addressed with this language when I was a dope fiend that made me want to recover so that I would no longer be so verbally debased by children who had every right to talk to me in this manner because I was, as a dope fiend, in the persona of a punk bitch!

There shall be no language of love until we stop behaving like a nigguh or punk bitch. Don't tell me to stop saying motherfucker while you are in bed with your mother, son, daughter. Who is the real motherfucker up in here, me or you? I'm saying it but you doing it!

Language confusion exists when there are contradictions in behavior, especially adult behavior that the children observe. And so when we hear them on the street, at school, in the clubs, in their raps, we must ask ourselves where they got this language from, and more importantly, what is the meaning of it. They are simply trying to do as we did, give order to reality by way of language. Is it better to be silent, to say nothing since the entire language is vile, polluted and corrupted. Let us not go to an examination of the political language, double speak, evasiveness,
subterfuge. See George Orwell's Politics and the English Language. Listen to the politicians lie and attempt to deceive the world with words, yes, talking loud but saying nothing. Vote for me, I'll set you free. Change we can believe in. Change is gonna come. A chicken in every pot!

Yes, silence, there are possibilities for unity if, we just be quiet. To speak is to fail the tone test, for anything we say is suspect, for we don't trust the language, the words, and most of all, we are not truthful in our expressions, in short, we have become liars too, in harmony with the ruling class and the culture police or those colonial elite gate keepers in league with the blood suckers of the poor.

Some day we shall arrive at the language of love, where we say what we mean and mean what we say, where we understand the tone test and can pass it, with the police, with a brother and with a sister, especially our mate who was going to make love with us until we said the wrong thing, even though we didn't intend to do so, something just slipped out carelessly, but we blew it. Baby's mood changed because we said the wrong word, or she took it the wrong way.

Let us strive to reach a consensus on this pitiful bastard language we speak, for these words are killing us, literally. Better to speak as little as possible until we can transcend to a language that unifies us and allows us to love each other unconditionally.
--Marvin X
12/13/10

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12. The Unity of God














Toward the Unity of North American Africans


12. The Unity of God

When we achieve god consciousness, only then are we ready to accept the necessity of unity with each other, for we know, not believe, we know there is a universal energy ruling the planet and universe, and therefore our highest desire is to be in tune with that Divine energy, so we declare we are indeed part of the One, united with the One, and thus we are in harmony with all that is, was, and shall be. We then transcend religiosity, sectarianism, dogmatism and narrow mindedness.

It is not important to us how another flows in the great ocean called life, so long as they flow and stay afloat and do not drown, for if and when they appear to be drowning we are duty bound to assist them, but only if and when they are willing to be saved, to escape the water into our safety net. We are not to allow them to cause us to drown because they refuse to make any effort to save themselves but keep going against the current, especially the counter flow. In their ignorance, there are those who will pull you down so you can drown with them.

We must help our brothers and sisters see the light that shines freely for all to see except those who desire to live in darkness. The hour is late to tarry in Jerusalem. The unity of God is all around, it is all there is, God is all, all is God. That which is not God is illusion, the one billion ten million illusions of the monkey mind Bawa taught us.

Knowledge of the Unity of God allows us the power and authority to transcend sects, cults, organizations, associations, congregations, for we can be in this world but not of this world, the world of small things, microdots in the time and space of the Divine order. And there is an order, a method to the madness, if we look, if we see, if we listen, if we hear, if we still ourselves into the motion of the ocean.

We fear nothing, for God is all, the One Mind, One thought, one truth, one reality. The gods, the ancestors, the angels, all submit to the One, the Unity, the Divinity, the Supreme Energy that propels all things, all beings, submit to the Unity of God. All the prophets, all the saints, all the messengers had but one message: love.

Only when we are devoid of love do we desire disunity, disharmony, division, hatred, jealousy, envy. These are thoughts of the monkey mind, not the Divine mind. So we must aspire to the Divine which is our essence. Not our humanity, not our Africanity, but our Divinity is our essence.

And when we go there, we see nothing is more clear to us than that we are of the Divine.
We cannot arrive at the door of the Divine until we have gone through the process of detoxification and recovery of our god consciousness, only then can we see the man in the mirror. Only then can we remember the time when we were Divine. Only then shall we have the strength to know the Unity of God and the unity of man, and nothing else shall be acceptable to us. We shall reject all religiosity, all sectarianism, all cultism, tribalism, even nationalism, except the Nation of God.

The Nation of God transcends Pan Africanism for we may find there are those who we must recognize as members in the Nation of God who are not African, but we know they have achieved God consciousness, while their may be Africans who desire to linger on the animal plane of materialism, pussy and dick, guns and the illusion of power, ego, domination and greed.

Those willing to look up at the sun, moon, and stars shall see clearly what is meant here, but those who refuse to look up shall continue in their inordinancy, blindly wandering on. They are like the man in the class with the learned astronomer who was commanded to leave the classroom and go outside to view the stars in all their glory. See Walt Whitman's poem.

And so we give praise to all things, for things are of, for and by the power of the Divine. And all things are connected to the seed of a seed of a seed of the first seed. We know the earth, water, air, fire are connected in a motion of harmony, love and kindness. And we flow in this same motion in the ocean.

We cannot separate from that which is our essence. You are in God, God is in you. There is nothing else to know. Your search is over, but your work has just begun, for we must reach out now in selflessness to spread the knowledge, share the wealth, the richness we have now been blessed with, richness better than silver and gold, diamonds and rubies.
--Marvin X
12/11/10

11. Unity in Diversity




Toward the Unity of North American Africans
11. Unity in Diversity


Back in the 19th century, the great Pan African, Edward Wilmot Blyden told us, "The Christian Negro cannot afford to look upon the Muslims with indifference and hostility.... It would be wisdom and good policy in Christians not to reproach them but to find out ways and means of working with them to mutual advantage," Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race,
1887.

Amiri Baraka often bemoans the fact that Malcolm and Martin were not able to unite. Toward the end of his life, Martin did meet with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Today the Nation of Islam does outreach with Christians to the extent we wonder is Farrakhan turning Christian? In the end it won't matter, for when they come for the Muslim, next shall be the Christian, then the Communist, then the gay/lesbian, then the hip hop--no, it don't stop.

We arrived on these shores because we had something in unity, our labor, skills, work habits, not because we were from Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria, Congo, Ghana, Angola! The white slave master didn't care what tribe we were from, although President George Washington did warn the American people to keep those Muslims out of here since they were known to be rebellious and would incite slave revolts. But there were Christian inspired slave revolts as well, Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessey. And we have a collection of Muslim slave narratives as part of North American African literature. Apparently his brothers didn't listen to ole honest George who never told a lie.

But there is much sectarianism, ideological dogmatism and just pure ignorance throughout our community. A hundred Muslims, a hundred sects. A hundred Christians, a hundred sects. A hundred Communists, a hundred sects. And then there's gender division, penis envy, vagina monologue, no pussy and dick dialogue! Where does it end? Is not the dream of freedom greater than our petty differences that won't matter at the critical moment. If you go to the hospital with multiple wounds, will you not allow a gay or lesbian nurse to assist you? Or shall you demand a straight nurse! What if your doctor is Muslim, are you so ignut you demand a Christian doctor because you don't want no heathen to help you?

Again, don't you see no matter how divided the white men in the US Congress and Senate may be, when it comes to you and me they are united, they put their difference aside to crush you and me back into "our place."

But our diversity is an albatross around our neck. We want to be ideological puritans, religious fanatics who can't and won't jump out of our boxes to save our lives, and at this moment we are in peril. I don't read nothing but the Bible. I don't read nothing but the Qu'ran. I don't read nothing but Porno magazines. I don't read nothing if it ain't gay/lesbian/transgender lit, clit lit!

Poor Michael told us to look at the man in the mirror and remember the time. Remember how we came here unified, packed like sardines, together, snuggled, wallowing in each others urine and feces during the Middle Passage or Maafa. We didn't complain. Today we have mansions yet often live in them by ourselves. Even when we have homeless relatives, we won't invite them in for a few days.

We're exceptional, the supreme individuals, and yet the very hour demands unity, not simply based on skill color but shared cultural values and a common destiny called freedom, not this sham politrickism, something more substantial, something lasting unto eternity, not based on the whim of the next election, the failure of the Euro-American economy. Don't you see China is not in economic meltdown. India is not, Brazil is not, but you are because you are exceptional, individual, thus you go down with your master. Boss we sick? Boss ain't sick, Boss is 1% but he got 90% of the wealth. You sick, nigguh! but in denial, and won't come together, maybe not until recently, after losing your job, house, wife, you decide to come home to family, you want family unity, you might eat some pork at the family meal. Just don't tell your Muslim friends.

You Christians might sneak to read the Qur'an, since you seeking to make sense of this nonsense called White supremacy capitalism that has hoodwinked and bamboozled you out of your good job and scammed you out of your home that was nearly paid for until you refinanced the third time.

Mao said let a hundred flowers blossom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. I don't care what you are, to you your thing and to me mine (lakum dinu kum waliya din), but can we come together to take care of business, or are you so holy we can't reason together and come out with an economic plan to be successful. Why do I need to be a Sunni Muslim to talk with you, to get a kind word from you. Why must I be lesbian or gay before we can work together. So what if I say motherfucker, nigguh and bitch, but I got a plan and you ain't got shit, but you don't want to work with me cause my language is distasteful and disgusting. Starve then, nigguh! Get with your Christians, your Sunni Muslims, your gay/lesbian/transgender/trysexual folks, let them help you.

I'm going to be me just like you going to be you, but is there something we can do to advance the cause of freedom? That's all I want to know. I don't care about your personal business. Go back to Booker T: in things social we can be as separate as the hands, but as per economic progress let us be as tight as the fist! Unity in diversity. On the political level, just be ready to seize power. And don't leave your post without being properly relieved, soldier!
--Marvin X
12/11/10

10. Pan African Unity






Toward Unity of North American Africans
10. Pan African Unity

Colonialism was/is so devastating it has made Pan African unity a most intractable project. Maybe before the end of the world, which is not far off since Mother Earth appears ready to recycle much human garbage from the global stockpile, yes, maybe just before the bell tolls, Pan Africans will decide to enter a program of detoxification and recovery from the ravages of imperialism and neo-colonialism. In America we call it domestic colonialism, the urban centers are basically colonies for dumping white supremacy goods and services upon America's wretched of the earth.

Pan Africanism has been promoted at least since the 19th Century, and of course in tune with world events, helped bring an end to raw colonialism and the beginning of modern African nation states. But hardly before the independence celebration was over, neo-colonialism stuck her butcher knives in the heart of Pan Africanism, After all, Nkrumah taught us neo-colonialism was colonialism playing possum. The colonial elite advanced to the neo-colonial elite. There was no therapy for the new African leaders, no detoxification and recovery from the addiction to global white supremacy, from greed and drunkeness of all things European.

The Pan African world thus continued to suffer from lacking the mental equilibrium to advance into true independence. Of course the colonial masters never actually intended to give up the reins of power, only pretend to do so. This happened throughout Pan Africa, from the continent to the Americas, including the Caribbean.

North American Africans would find themselves subjected to black elected politicians who ruled like their counterparts in Africa. In the Caribbean, black power literature was banned, even diplomats could not return from abroad with such incendiary literature. In the USA the black arts movement spread consciousness but it was diluted and polluted by a reactionary black studies that retreated from the cultural revolution in favor of tenured negroe revisionist culture. As my associate, the young Pan African scholar from San Francisco State University, Ptah Allah El (Tracy Mitchell) says, "Black studies went to college and never came home."

Before his murder by the imperialists, Patrice Lumumba had told us it would be fifty years before the Congo would be free. We can apply his remarks to Pan Africa, just add another hundred years or two. We see Africa slowly creeping toward Nkrumah's dream of a United States of Africa, yet the African Union seems about to get aborted to become the agent of the new imperialism called Globalism.

America has established military bases in Africa and is using African troops to do her dirty work of reconquering the continent, as if she ever left. And what the Europeans don't retake, apparently the Chinese will grab, giving African leaders a few kibbles and bits in the form of infrastructure, which is sorely needed, but taking precious metals in return. The only positive African state appears to be Ghana. Is the ghost of Nkrumah at work?

The South African revolutionary leaders appear to have joined the billionaires club, private jets, European women, the whole cha cha. No real land reform, no water, no electricity, no housing, no jobs. Rape is pervasive, homicide, AIDS, bleaching cream.

And so the Pan African dream continues, sometimes approaching a nightmare. New York City is a microcosm of the Pan African reality, with Africans from throughout the Diaspora in the house, from the Continent, the Caribbean, the South, but no Pan African economic unity, or political, but a host of Pan African psychological issues stemming from the trauma and unresolved grief of colonialism and neo-colonialism.

North American Africans need to have dinner with their Diaspora brothers and sisters so we can reason together, but it ain't gonna happen until we recover from our tribalism and provincialism. Meanwhile I'm a "black American", said with utter contempt, hatred, jealousy and envy. Yes, I'm that black American, now do you want to unite with me or fight with me? Yes, this is my turf, you don't like my presence, go back to Nigeria, Senegal, Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad.

Yes, we have some Pan African family issues we need to resolve long before there shall be any Pan African political unity, there must be psychological unity. Don't tell me Mr. Haitian taxi driver that I must pay in advance because you know how we people are. Who in the hell is you people? You ain't "you people" too?

Pan Africans, let us reason together, saith the Lord. Let us have a healing ritual to resolve our Negrocities, as Amiri Baraka calls our bad habits. Otherwise, we shall continue as black men with white hearts!

The Pan African Union of the Diaspora is the right direction, if and when such an idea reaches the grass roots and escapes the stranglehold of Pan African intellectuals who love pontificating but won't take their message to the streets where the need for Pan African love and unity is sorely needed, especially in the New York area.
--Marvin X
12/10/10

Friday, December 10, 2010

9. Unity, Criticism, Unity



Toward the Unity of North American Africans
9. Unity, Criticism, Unity

There are those who seem to feel there are sacred cows that are beyond criticism. We do not accept this for who is without sin, no one! We thus have the right to criticize mama or daddy if and when they get down wrong. Sometimes we can doctor the patient to death, so Mao said cure the sickness to save the patient. So we must do surgery, examine the body, look for malignancies and repair contradictions.

Of course there is a time and place for the operation. Recently a young fool attacked Amiri Baraka at a breakfast in his honor. We think this was the wrong time to verbally assault an honored guest and the person should have been chastised. Baraka is our greatest living revolutionary writer and as our elder, he deserves much respect.

Now the sacred cow of the hour is our President. There are those North American Africans who want nothing critical said of Prez. Don't say nothing about him cause the white man is saying enough negative. I agree with Cornell West who says we must respect him, protect him, but check him. There is no need to be personal since it is his political policies, not his personality we must examine critically. He seems to have slowly slipped into the permanent war philosophy of his predecessors. He has no plan of substance to solve the unemployment quagmire. Capitulating to the Republicans no taxation of the rich while extending unemployment checks for the poor is no program for the long term problem of joblessness. Yes, it hurts to hear the white man say our Prez has no backbone, but it's true. His concept of compromise is capitulation. Ishmael Reed is more reserved in his criticism, but let's see what Ish has to say in his New York Times op-ed column tomorrow. Ishmael pleads us to give the Prez more time in his book Obama and the Jim Crow Media and the Nigger Breakers, but I am totally disappointed in my book Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez and Yoself. I'm ready to tell the brothers to pull yo pants down and show the Prez yo black unruly asses. Even our radical Congresswoman Barbara Lee has come out against his caving in to the Republication tax program. Now you don't wanna get Mama mad up in here! Unity, Criticism, Unity!

When I wrote an article about Minister Farrakhan, he sent me a message saying that I raked him over the coals, which I did, so he asked me to please contact him first when I want to write something about him so he can tell me his side of the story. I agreed.

Of course there are those who don't want anything critical written about the minister. Now the white man is exempt since he is allowed to say anything without reprisal, but we want to kill another North American African.

Don't ever think there is freedom of speech in the community of North American Africans. They want to muzzle you at every turn, especially the culture police, the gate keepers. Where is the free press in the Pan African world? Arab world--until Al Jazeera! Don't speak about the number of journalists killed in Mexico in the last few months, years.

Gary Webb and Sacramento Bee writer Fahizah Alim who interviewed him shortly before his suicide.

In America, we need only recall the supposed suicide of Gary Webb who exposed the US government Crack connection, and the assassination of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey in broad daylight, downtown Oakland, because he was investigating the Oakland Police Department's shakedown, drug dealing, murder squad in black face. He was also investigating corruption at then Mayor Jerry Brown's City Hall.

At this hour we await the elimination (murder) of the founder of Wikileaks. Obama has made him a dead man walking for exposing the emperor has no clothes on. So much for freedom of speech in America.

I don't care what someone writes about me, true or false, because usually I will have the last word! And furthermore, I've had the unique ability to outlive my enemies. In my memoir of Eldridge Cleaver, I said some things I probably wouldn't have said if he'd been alive. But he's said things about me that were outright lies. See the collection of his writings edited by Kathleen Cleaver. I actually hesitated writing about him to respect his children who, I feel, were somewhat embarrassed at the antics of their father. I'm sure my children were embarrassed at mine.

I haven't written about my beloved friend Amiri Baraka for the same reason, although someone asked him why hasn't Marvin written about him? He replied because Marvin knows I will have something to say about him!

In my play One Day in the Life, there is a scene about my last meeting with Huey Newton in a West Oakland Crack house. The Bay Area Black Panthers were not too pleased about the scene, although they didn't mind my remarks about Eldridge in the play. When we did the play on the east coast, the New York Panthers pulled me aside to let me know they didn't give a damn about Huey Newton, that Eldridge was their man. As we know, when the Black Panther Party split, Huey's army was on the west coast, Eldridge's on the east.

In Oakland, I officiated the memorial service for Eldridge. Kathleen attended. She said it was a nice service but there were too many Muslims, which is ironic since Eldridge denounced the Muslims even before he was released from prison. Of course when he became a Born Again Christian, Muslims dominated the staff of his ministry, with myself as his chief assistant. See Eldridge Cleaver, My Friend the Devil, a memoir, Marvin X, 2009, introduction by Amiri Baraka.

I love all the above brothers, even the young fool, so my remarks are made in the spirit of unity, criticism, unity. Those who have sacred cows must simply keep their cows in the barn. Sometimes we have thin skin and want nothing said negative about the sacred cow.
Certainly, we felt this way about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We were ready to kill anyone who said something negative about the man we considered the lamb of God.

Minister Farrakhan has confessed he fanned the flames of Malcolm's murder. At the time I was critical of Malcolm but I got over it when I realized shit happens in revolution. Read the history of any revolution, African, Chinese, Russian, Cuban, Mexican, American, and you shall find similar happenings, betrayal, jealousy, envy, assassination (character and physical). As per Malcolm and Elijah, again, I love them both and always shall. They both helped form my consciousness and I cannot deny this.

I wrote a poem recently praising Clara Muhammad, first wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, a woman not often praised in the history of North American Africans. John Woodford, former editor of Muhammad Speaks, said it will be one of my classic poems because it honors a great woman.

A Muslim who was not part of the first resurrection got upset with the poem because of what I said about Elijah, the wretched condition he was in when Master Fard Muhammad knocked on his door in Detroit. Why did Master Fard knock on his door? Wasn't it because he was deaf, dumb and blind? Shall I say I wasn't deaf, dumb and blind when I accepted the teachings of the HEM? Shall I say I knew what was happening because I was attending San Francisco State University and the white man had hipped me to what's happening?

No, I/we were some blind, deaf and dumb so-called Negroes at San Francisco State University, although we had heard Malcolm rapping, but there was much Supreme wisdom we lacked that would later take our consciousness to a higher level. We (and I speak for all the black students in the Bay Area who became Muslims and/or came into black consciousness) must be eternally grateful for Brother Edward who came on campuses with Muhammad Speaks to save our lives with the teachings. In our ignut, arrogant, mis-education, we spate upon and cursed brother Edward for interrupting our Bid Whist game! Called him nigguh, motherfucker and everything under the sun for simply trying to wake up our dead, deaf, dumb and blind asses.

All the students in the Bay who came into the Nation in the late 60s know what I'm talking about, and this includes Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Oba T'Shaka, Donald Warden (Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour), Norman Brown, Askia Muhammad, Fahizah Alim, Joan Tarika Lewis, Timothy Allen Simon, Abdul Sabry, Mar'yam Waidai, et al.

Unity, Criticism, Unity! We must be able to criticize each other constructively, to engage in debate and dialogue. This is how civilize people conduct their affairs. Now savages want to kill, no debate, no dialogue, no comment. Man, I wanna smoke dat nigguh! Grow up, get a life! Will you hide the truth while you know? (Al Qur'an)
--Marvin X
12/10/10