Wed, 28 May 2008
PORT VILA, VANUATU ---- Leaders of the Pacific's larger Melanesian countries are holding their annual summit clouded by a row over the Indonesian province of West Papua, reports islandsbusiness.online.
Delegates that are in the Vanuatu capital Port Vila for the two day Melanesian summit that begins on Thursday are playing down the row simmering between host Vanuatu and their largest Melanesian member, Papua New Guinea (PNG).
“For PNG, the issue of West Papua is an issue that we don't consider as an issue to be brought into the MSG,” Sam Abal, PNG's foreign minister told islandbusiness.online.
“As a sovereign nation, Vanuatu can make them [West Papua] part of their delegation, but as an MSG issue that is something PNG won't allow because it's an internal issue that has a lot of ramifications.”
Supporters of the Free West Papua movement in Vanuatu had petitioned its government to push for the independent group to be granted observer status in the MSG.
Meanwhile, foreign ministers of the Melanesian Spearhead Group that had been meeting in Vanuatu have added their support for Australia to host next year's leaders' summit of the Pacific Islands Forum.
A motion of support was agreed at Tuesday's meeting at the Iririki Island Resort of the foreign ministers.
Hosting of the Forum summit is rotated among the 16-member Forum and while Niue is hosting this year's gathering, Vanuatu was supposed to host it in 2009.
But in one of his many announcements after winning the prime ministership last December, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had expressed the wish for him to host the annual hob-nob of Pacific island leaders in a Forum that also included Australia and New Zealand as members.
New Caledonia’s mainly Kanak USTKE union has called for a general strike to coincide with Thursday’s arrival in Noumea of the French junior minister in charge of overseas territories, Yves Jego.
The USTKE leader, Gerard Jodar, says the action is in protest at the French state’s policy of sending security forces to back employers in industrial disputes.
Mr Jodar says the union wants Mr Jego to understand that the government should no longer be at the service of employers and revert to a healthier use of the police.
Last month, a New Caledonian court sentenced 23 USTKE members, including Mr Jodar, to jail terms of up to a year over last January’s clashes with police in Noumea.
Mr Jodar, who is appealing his six-month jail term, was sentenced for directing striking workers during a prolonged fight near a bus depot at the centre of a strike.
Thursday May 01, 2008
Plus de 3000 manifestants pour la Marche du 1er Mai More than 3,000 demonstrators to the march of 1 May
Aux côtés des nombreux militants et manifestants de l’USTKE, quelques responsables politiques indépendantistes, le directoire du Parti Travailliste, les représentants des organisations environnementales, les responsables de Rhèbùù Nùù, le Comité de défense des prisonniers de Saint-Louis, les représentants du CNDPA en Kanaky, quelques représentants du Comité 150 ans, le collectif de soutien « Agir contre l’arbitraire et les discriminations », le Comité de soutien de Sidji Chimenti composé d‘étudiants, les grévistes de Ponérihouen Ambulance, les camarades grévistes de Carsud, les grévistes de CFP, les camarades grévistes de Fabicale et les nombreuses personnes qui soutiennent l’organisation syndicale depuis sa création, ils ont chacun à leur manière répondu à l’appel à la mobilisation générale pour la fête des travailleurs. Alongside the many activists and demonstrators of the USTKE, some politicians independence, the Executive Labour Party, representatives of environmental organizations, officials Rhèbùù Nùù, the Committee for the Defence of Prisoners of Saint-Louis, representatives of CNDPA in Kanaky, a few representatives of the 150 years, the collective support "Acting against arbitrariness and discrimination", the Support Committee for Sidji Chimenti composed of students, strikers Ponérihouen Ambulance, fellow strikers Carsud, PSC strikers, fellow strikers Fabicale and the many people who support the trade union organization since its inception, they have each in their own way responded to the call for general mobilization for the feast of workers. La ville blanche était noir de monde, et en même temps multicolore avec l’agitation des drapeaux "Usines et tribus même combat". The White City was black world, and at the same time multicoloured flags agitation "Plants and tribes themselves."
La présence des différentes communautés fût également un moment fort pour les organisateurs de la marche du 1er mai. The presence of different communities was also a high point for organizers of the march of 1 May.
Palmerston North's newest sculpture was pulled from the earth yesterday afternoon, just five-and-a- half hours after being erected by protesters in The Square.
Eight protesters have been arrested at the site of a kangaroo cull on Defence land in northern Canberra.
The cull of around 400 kangaroos at the Belconnen Naval Transmission Site started on Monday.
This morning protesters jumped the fence at the main entrance and burnt a fire several metres inside.
The protesters included members of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
Campaigner Isabelle Coe was among those who claimed the land as Aboriginal.
"This is Aboriginal land, always was, always will be," she said.
Around a dozen police arrived and arrested the protesters one by one while others jeered from outside the fence.
They were loaded into police vans and taken from the site.
Protester Joanna Pagan said it was time to draw a line in the sand.
"This is where we start to do the right thing, this where we start to care for our country," she said.
The four men and four women have been charged with trespassing on Commonwealth land and have been released on watch-house bail on the condition they do not return to the protest site.
They are expected to appear in court early next month.
Pat O'Brien from the Wildlife Protection Association says the group will also seek an injunction to stop the cull.
"The whole intention of this is to legalise the Aboriginal people's right to claim that land," he said.
"We've got footage of kangaroos with broken legs in there and we've joeys running around looking for their mothers before they get killed.
"It's just an absolutely terrible thing that's happened here and we're gonna make sure that the Government never ever forgets it."
The cull was ordered because the kangaroos were overgrazing the site and threatening endangered flora and fauna.
Defence Department spokesman Brigadier Andrew Nikolic says overnight two fences at the Belconnen site were cut and six kangaroos involved in a research trial were released.
He says their actions put the animals at risk.
"That was dangerous, given that those particular animals were partly sedated and given the proximity of the dam they could very easily have drowned," he said.
"One of those darted animals has escaped back into the general population and will have to be re-darted and this significantly increases the chance of that kangaroo dying because it will have had two anaesthetics in a short space of time."
Mr Nikolic urged protesters to behave in a responsible manner.
"We're certainly trying to act responsibly in accordance with our legislative obligations to manage the site and our contractor is conducting the cull in the most humane manner possible and that's under the guidance of animal management experts including the RSPCA," he said.
"We ask people to respect that and for people wishing to protest to do so in a responsible way."
May 18, 2008
THE first deep-sea mining machines — for extracting gold, silver and copper deposited near volcanic fissures on the ocean floor — are being built by a British engineering company. The machines, which will resemble giant, abrasive vacuum cleaners, are at the forefront of an emerging underwater mineral extraction industry that is sounding alarm bells among marine biologists and environmental scientists.
A £33 million ($A68.5 million) contract for two sea-floor mining tools, capable of working at depths of more than 1700 metres, was awarded last December to a Newcastle-upon-Tyne firm, Soil Machine Dynamics. The machines could begin excavation work by 2010 in the Pacific, launching a new era in sub-sea exploration and mining.
Recovering these "poly-metallic" minerals, which are found in far higher concentrations than land-based ores, will generate huge earnings at a time when commodity prices are hitting record levels.
"We are leading the mining industry into the deep oceans," said Scott Trebilcock, vice-president of business development at Nautilus Minerals Inc, the Canadian company that has ordered the machines and whose operational management is based in Brisbane.
"This is as big a change as it was for the oil and gas industry when it went offshore in the 1960s and '70s," he said. "Billions of dollars have been spent over decades developing (underwater) pumps, hydraulics and trench-digging machinery. We can use their technology for new targets: the poly-metallic deposits that contain gold, silver, zinc and copper."
Nautilus' first project, the Solwara 1 field, is within Papua New Guinea's territorial waters, and the firm has also taken up licence options on sites near Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand. Those locations have been chosen because they are close to volcanic activity at the margins of the earth's tectonic plates.
"Deposits are formed from heated sea water," Mr Trebilcock said. "As it filters deeper into cracks, it absorbs sulphur and becomes acidic. It can reach 300 Celsius and dissolves minerals until it bubbles up and hits water on the ocean floor, which is at approximately 2 Celsius."
The metals are deposited on the seabed as massive sulphides that resemble giant "elephant turds", according to one oceanographer.
Nautilus will work on old underwater vents that have cooled, some way back from the super-heated, active plate edges. "Our material is 8%-10% copper," Mr Trebilcock said. "In land mines, the average is 0.59%. So for every tonne of copper produced, we move 40 times less material.
Similar SMS deposits lie on ocean floors around the world, particularly in the Arctic and along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Those areas, however, are at far greater depths.
Soil Machine Dynamics is designing and assembling a tool that has a rotating cutting head — like the machines used to hew coal out of underground seams — surrounded by a giant suction pipe. The company describes the equipment as "a novel design for recovering ore which is found in massive sulphide deposits in rugged terrain. It draws on technology developed in recent projects for trenching systems." The two sea-floor mining systems will suck up 1.5 million tonnes of ore annually.
Mr Trebilcock said the operation would cause far less environmental damage than a similar-sized onshore mine. "There's no disturbance to the site around the mine," he said. "We'll have no waste rock. Everything we take up will be smelted.
"We have carried out an environmental impact study, which will be published this year.
"Oil and gas (companies) disturb a far larger area when they open up a new field. The dredging industry takes millions of tonnes off the ocean floor. We have significant (environmental) advantages over land-based companies."
However, some environmental groups, including WWF, are concerned that underwater mining will harm vast tracts of the seabed. "These sites have limited physical integrity and great biodiversity," Simon Cripps, director of WWF's global marine program, told Chemistry World magazine. "We would like to see a thorough, independent impact assessment before any mining work begins."
Catherine Coumans, a co-ordinator at Mining Watch Canada, has been to Papua New Guinea to examine the impact of mining. "I have studied mines … where the tailings (wastes) are flushed out to sea or simply dumped in rivers," she said. "(Papua New Guinea) has, tragically, some of the worst forms of mining and disposal. Now it is going to have experimental undersea mining.
"I would challenge the company to provide an independent scientific study."
We’ve been fighting for 160 years
And that a lot of blood lost and many tears shed
For our whaea
When she’s gone, whose got chu?
Born with a responsibility
coz we are kaitiaki
Of our whenua
Thru nga kapua
Maintaining that harmony
White man came with no obligation
Just a long history of devastation
Native under thumb
Controlled by their guns
On mass slaughter
Blood in the water
But we didn’t die
Yes we fought to survive
Now its our turn to rise on up
Rise Up! Rise Up! Rise Up!
Rise Up! Rise Up! Rise Up!
Our peoples and this land
Yes we are making a stand
War was fought with men guns and pens
New nuclear bomb called legislation
Only form of infiltration
Was penetration or destruction of this system
And no we won’t compromise
Coz they conquer wise
And let the good ones stay in
To continue this devastation
Of that which is colonization
So baton downs your doors
Because we have decided its time we settle the scores
We are sick of being your slaves
And we are sick of being your whores
We are a new generation
Concerned primarily with preservation
and restoration of our peoples and this land
Will you give us a hand?
Or continue to demand that we stay on our chains
And just obey
Whatever it is that you say!
Coz Mr. It will be a long day
And many who will pay
If that’s the way you want to play
Coz we are ready to fight
Yes we are ready to die
Coz for far too long we’ve just had to survive
But this native believes in a maori nation that will thrive
And lead indigenous peoples world wide sky high
But natives gotta rise
Rise Up! Rise Up! Rise Up!
Rise Up! Rise Up! Rise Up!
Our peoples and this land
Yes we are making a stand
Native Savage is a sometimes bedroom MC and a full time Maori rights activist.
thanx to the fanau, check out the zine:
from the conscious site
Waikaremoana are sacred waters of the Tuhoe tribe or Children of the Mist .During the colonial Land wars the region was the retreat of the rebel chief Te Kooti and his followers after the Hauhau resistance of the later Colonial Wars. In still later times Maungapohatu pa, north of the lake, was the home of the Maori prophet Rua Kenana and his followers.
The ten year celebration of the reclamation of Waikaremoana was important not only in the timing of being so short after the state inflicted terror against the Tuhoe peoples and other activists, but also ten years is a good measure of where Maori at at with the neo liberal attempt to squash our land rights ( the treaty settlement process), there were also numerous occupations at the time throught Aoteroa, Te Paatu, and Paikatore amongst others. Ten years on our people are still at the bottom of the heap of our our lands, living lives of poverty or greasing the wheels of the prison industrial complex. For those of us from the West Coast await Mining companies that are hell bent on ripping the life out of our foreshore & seabed. The "free" trade deal with china means that the settler govt have "free" access to our resources to continually squander and sell things that don't belong to them in the first place. Shawn Brant is right, those are our decisions and determinations to be made by ourselves.
Visiting Waikaremoana during this time was special to me. To give solidarity in person with those who had just experienced the viciousness of the nz settler state and to catch up with old comdrades that are still fight the good fight for our people and their lands. Witnessing one clear morning the beauty and majesty that is Hinepokohurangi. To the Wahine Toa (warrior women) I met and got to spend time with at Waikaremoana, you are my inspiration.
Val's article Lake Waikaremoana: Back in Tuhoe Hands follows video of the descendants and guardians of Waikaremoana telling us of their struggle to protect their lake for their generations to follow.
THE LAKE OF OUR TIPUNA - WAIKAREMOANA
A camping ground near Lake Waikaremoana in the Bay of Plenty has been polluted for years and a solution to the problem has been slow in coming.view online
On 1 January, Tuhoe welcomed people from around Aotearoa to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the occupation at Lake Waikaremoana. The celebration began with a powhiri at Waimako Marae and then moved down to the original lakeside site of the occupation, adjacent to the motor camp.
The celebration was attended by members of the Tuhoe nation from around the rohe and by anarchists and members of Conscious Collaborations, an indigenous collective striving for a world that acknowledges Papatuanuku (Earthmother) by building synergies between indigenous, activist, and creative communities.
The gathering was held in the aftermath of the police raids into Tuhoe country on 15th October 2007 resulting in the arrest of Tame Iti, spokesperson for Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe and 16 others. When the gathering was organised in mid-2007, it was certainly about commemorating this past struggle. However, the October raids had a profound effect on the gathering, and subsequent police disclosure of evidence reveals that one of the motivations for 'Operation Eight' was very clearly about who owns this lake and the water in it.
Ten years ago, there were two different groups that had longstanding issues with the management of the lake: Nga Tamariki o te Kohu (the children of the mist) and Ruapani, led by Waipatu Winitana. Their aims were complementary, but not identical. Nga Tamariki o Kohu was concerned about the proximity of an oxidation pond to the lake and the overflow hose, with its potential to leak; the decline of kiwi habitat and population in the areas around the lake; the impact of possums on native fauna; the impact of deer and pigs on forest regeneration; and finally, the impact of tourists on the ecosystem of the Lake.
On the other hand, Ruapani's primary issue concerned the Department of Conservation's (DoC) management of the lakebed. By a Deed of Lease signed on the 21st day of August 1971, nine leading Kaumatua: Sir Turi Carroll, John Rangihau, Wiremu Matamua, Turi Tipoki, Te Okanga Huata, Canon Rimu Hamiora Rangihu, Tikitu Tepono, William Waiwai, Kahu Tihi together with (now) Mr Justice Gallen signed a lease to the Crown of 5,210 hectares (12,875 acres) comprising the bed of Lake Waikaremoana, the islands in that lake but excluding Patekaha Island and including the present foreshore above the 2020 foot contour in terms of Kaitawa Datum. The lease provided:
- for an initial term of 50 years from 1st July 1967 with a perpetual right of renewal;
- rental at the rate of $5.50 per centum per annum on the rental value to be fixed by ten yearly valuation and, if necessary, arbitration;
- the lessee is to administer control and maintain the leased land in accordance with the provisions of the (now) National Parks Act 1980; and
- access from continuous Maori Reserves to the lake's waters was reserved at all times as was a right of access from the Maori Reserves to the Wairoa Rotorua Road at a point to be mutually agreed between the parties.1
Under the terms of the lakebed lease, the Department was responsible for maintaining the lakebed in a pristine condition. Despite this clause, there were significant problems with giardia and invasive weeds in the lake.
After considerable discussion, members of Nga Tamariki o te Kohu decided that an occupation was the most effective way of getting these issues addressed. Many within Nga Tamariki o te Kohu felt that the Department of Conservation was not hearing their concerns. On the 31st of December 1997, approximately 20 people entered the site and prepared to occupy.
Some kaumatua had concerns about the way in which the decision to undertake the occupation was taken, e.g. that not all kaumatua had been advised that it was going to happen; ultimately, they were supportive of the aims of the action and keen to have the issues addressed. One elder, John Tahuri of Maungapohatu came from his hospital bed to support the occupation and subsequently left his tokotoko (talking stick) with the occupation as a sign of his support.
There were initial confrontations with police when they attempted to remove people from the site. Many of the younger members who provided security at the entrance to the occupation site simply told the police to bugger off as Tuhoe were on their own land.
During the course of the occupation, the then Minister of Maori Affairs, Tau Henare invited Tame Iti, who was the spokesperson for Nga Tamariki o te Kohu to Parliament in order that the issues of concern could be addressed.
Tame Iti travelled to Wellington in order to meet with Henare. He was, however, initially rebuffed when he arrived and was not given permission to enter the minister's office. Henare's actions were shameful and eventually Tame was successful in getting into see him. The minister agreed to hold a ministerial enquiry into the issues raised if the group agreed to vacate the lakeshore occupation.
After 67 days, the group decamped from the occupation site. The ministerial enquiry was held at Waimako Marae. It was, as can be expected from any such bureaucratic exercise, a total whitewash. "Nothing that we heard caused us to come to the view that the Department of Conservation was failing in its obligations to the two Trust Boards, as lessor, in its role as lessee in the management of the land as if it were a National Park."2 Nevertheless, the occupation was considered a success. In spite of the total denial of the validity of the issues raised, the occupation achieved some significant changes to the Department of Conservation's management of the Lake including:
- an improvement of the relationship between tangata whenua and the Department of Conservation insofar as the Department viewed its responsibilities to Tuhoe more seriously
- the oxidation pond was decommissioned and as of 2007 a new one is being constructed with the input of local iwi
- management of kiwi habitat programme on Tapuna Reserve is completely controlled by local iwi
More significantly than the immediate results of the occupation was a strengthening of the iwi's desire for a return of control over the Lake. Naturally, Lake Waikaremoana forms a part of the Tuhoe claim under the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. The occupation began a conversation about the need to have a permanent presence on the Lake again.
The last permanent settlement of Tuhoe on the Lake was likely at Tapuna Reserve in about 1940. The scorched earth policy where British soldiers invaded Tuhoe territory in the bitter cold of winter, burning crops, pillaging, murdering and leaving the people to starve in the 1860s was and is very much alive in the minds of Tuhoe people. Many members of the local iwi had left the Lake area fearing further Pakeha retribution. Te Ara, the Online Encylopedia of New Zealand, notes:
- Old enemies of Tuhoe fought on the side of the government; they carried out most of the raids into Te Urewera during a prolonged and destructive search between 1869 and 1872. In a policy aimed at turning the tribe away from Te Kooti, a scorched earth campaign was unleashed against Tuhoe; people were imprisoned and killed, their cultivations and homes destroyed, and stock killed or run off. Through starvation, deprivation and atrocities at the hands of the government's Maori forces, Tuhoe submitted to the Crown.3
Given this experience and the subsequent invasion of Maungapohatu by armed constabulary in 1916, it is hardly surprising that many Tuhoe people have been wary of reestablishing a presence on the Lake.
The people at the occupation and at this 10-year celebration have committed themselves to the construction of a marae at the Lake. Citing Te Arawa, Nga Puhi, and Tuwharetoa as examples, James Waiwai a member of the original occupation noted that most other iwi have a presence at their respective lakes. It is a natural place for the tangata whenua to be as kaitiaki (guardians) of the lake and the surrounding land. The exact location of the marae will need to be the subject of consultation with people around the Lake, but the celebration gave new impetus to the desire to get on with its construction.
The other result of the occupation was a cementing of the desire for a full return of the Lake to Tuhoe control. Lake Waikaremoana is Maori freehold hand and is acknowledged as such by the 1971 Lake Waikaremoana Act. It is for the moment largely under the control of the Crown. The Department of Conservation is aware of the desires of Tuhoe for return of control of the Lake.
The celebration of the occupation at New Year's 2008 was initiated by Tame Iti in mid-2007. He and other members of Nga Tamariki o te Kohu wanted not only to commemorate the struggle for Tuhoe control of the Lake, but wanted to share the history and expand the support for the independence of the Tuhoe people.
Initially, the celebration was received with support from the local Department of Conservation. However, following the nation-wide police raids on 15 October, the arrests of Tame Iti and other Tuhoe activists along with the allegations of terrorism, there was a decided cooling of support from DoC.
After a rousing call to action by Tame Iti in which he invited 'freedom fighters and comrades' to the celebration, the local organising group was told to shut it down. They took a decision that if the police or anyone else tried to intervene that they would again occupy the site.
Fortunately, the organising crew prevailed and managed to extract the provision of toilets, a generator, petrol and wood for a wharekai (kitchen) from the local district council for the celebration. Local farmers also contributed food for the celebration. Police did surveil the celebration from the motor camp next door, but were not seen otherwise.
Over the four days of the celebration, the discussion about anarchist support for Tuhoe began. This relationship, born largely as a result of the police raids, will take much more talk and action to manifest into genuine trust and solidarity. There are many anarchists who want that to happen. There is a need for much discussion in the anarchist community of Aotearoa about what such support and solidarity actually means.
The achievement of tino rangatiratanga (translated here as 'sovereignty') for Tuhoe will happen and with it, will be the return of the Lake to their guardianship, from their ancestors and for their children.
The text of this article is based on an interview with James Waiwai (Ngati Hinekura, Te Whanau Pani of Tuhoe) on 4 January 2008 at Lake Waikaremoana.
1. Ministry of Maori Affairs: Te Puni Kokiri. 1998. Joint Ministerial Inquiry Lake Waikaremoana: Report to Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Tau Henare, Minister of Conservation, Hon Dr Nick Smith. (http://www.tpk.govt.nz/publications/docs/lakewaikare.html accessed 7 January 2008)
3. 'Resistance: 1866 to 1872.' Te Ara: the on-line encyclopedia of New Zealand. (http://www.google.com/gwt/n?u=http://www.teara.govt.nz/NewZealanders/MaoriNewZealanders/NgaiTuhoe/5/en accessed 7 January 2008)
“It is no exaggeration to say that the majority of South Africans feel an almost physical revulsion against anything that puts a native or person of colour on their level…”
R.P. Oswin, “L’homme de couleur”
Barack Obama despite vociferous arguments to the contrary is a man of diminishing dimensions. Whatever “hope and promise” his presidential campaign offered in its early days have long since faded into the predictable political abyss of enthusiastic double-talk, keyword-specific speeches and right-wing media pundit arse-kissing. Mr. Obama, while highly guilty on all these counts is not out of pocket per se for being a politician and acting as one. He is instead blameworthy for committing the greatest sin known to U.S. political principles as it applies to African representatives; he is allowing the Europocentric power structure to tear him, his wife and the hard-earned self respect of his people to shreds without a single word of significant protest in favour of American Empire.
In a world where lynching nooses are again on display in the 21st century and young, innocent and unarmed African men can be shot to death by municipal police troops to public and political approval, Mr. Obama is a mainstream closeted White racist imperialist’s dream come true.[i] He visibly absolves White racist terror publicly, gleefully and unashamedly with a sheepishly becoming “Vote for Me” smile. Shuffling dutifully with all the grace of a three-legged elephant during a GOP minstrel show, America’s newest “Favourite Negro” Barack Obama is letting “America” and the global community know in no uncertain terms that he accepts their racism, their denials of their xenophobia and that he is more than willing to keep this White supremacist gravy train rolling at home and abroad.
To deny this reality is foolish. And it is even more imprudent and more to the point embarrassing when the American African intelligentsia commissars not only give him their earnest endorsements but defend him from those within the African community that have the temerity to question his lack of dignity and personal and political integrity in the face of overwhelming racist and anti-Islamic attacks. It is proper that when forced by circumstance to confront such a situation, the African must look towards him and herself for clarification. I can find no better an analytical example than the Algerian psychiatrist Franz Fanon when he observed:
“In every country of the world there are climbers, “The ones who forget who they are,” and in contrast to them, “the ones who remember where they came from.”[ii]
The pragmatism of this statement is beyond reproach and it unfailingly deconstructs the storm of Euro-American angst surrounding the Obama presidential campaign and what it means for the United States and the world. As this writer has mentioned previously in other articles on the subject, Barack Obama, the half-White and therefore half-human politico wunderkind deeply critical of his pro-African religious mentor and brave hard-hitting apologist for White racism, represents a Get-out-of-Jail-Free playing card for those within the White power structure willing to vote for him. His candidacy is based entirely on the explicitly revisionist premise that by “allowing” him to get as far as he has in the race for the democratic party nomination, the nagging questions of xenophobia, White privilege and pro-Europocentric institutional bias have been effectively and honourably dealt with. In reality, the Obama rhetoric of “hope” and “change” only have relevance to Euro-American desires for alteration provided that White privilege and socio-political power remain concentrated within their traditional hierarchal configurations. And to date, he has not given any of us soberly conscious of who controls what, how and why any logical reason to be convinced otherwise that his presidency would be one of White power with a Brown face.
He is without debate the “Dream Candidate” that promises change without actually disturbing the European socio-political or economic status quo. His Black face with a White mask tap dance is designed to appeal emotively to slave and master alike, little more. This is possible because both are so thoroughly psychologically steeped within the historical American paradigms of acceptable class boundaries, race and the dignified acceptance of racialised power disparities that the very suggestion that a “Black” man could actually become the head-of-state of Pax Americana supposedly nullifies the historical and political realities of what makes the United States an empire in the first place.
It is something of an intellectual puzzlement to this writer that after five centuries of unceasing Aboriginal genocide and five recent years of unending and merciless violence against an innocent people already tenaciously clinging to existence because of a series of lies emanating from the Bush White House that the U.S. voting public is still willing to “stay the course.” And further, I find it an astoundingly hypocritical that a nation that shrieks peace while waging eternal war can still argue its goldenness while mothers, children, the crippled and the intrepid journalists documenting the carnage continue to litter the charnel grounds of the American consciousness. The untested perception that Mr. Obama will alter this vicious current of American imperialism after numerous media appearances and press statements affirming his determination to maintain and extend American economic and military muscle is childish as best. At its worst, it is practical confirmation of the existential fallacies that serve to illustrate the moral insincerities of American democracy, foreign policy and reactionary military engagement.
To say that I find Barack Obama troubling is to minimise the dangers I perceive in making a rush to find positivism within a decidedly restricted field of choice. Ralph Nader aside, it must be said that his call for the broadening of the American political landscape is more than laudable, it is vitally necessary if a real democracy is ever to emerge in the United States. The fact that large throngs of the U.S. public have historically never had direct access to the political process makes this abundantly clear as does the highly visible indications that a great deal of propagandistic effort and indoctrination goes into “proving” that these privileges do indeed exist. Mr. Barack Obama, for all his promising oratory of progressive Americanism, is the new poster-boy for why America “works.” He has officially added his voice to the fib that all Americans matter when one glance at the U.S. without rose coloured glasses shows a very different story. So to trust him on the basis of his skin tone alone under the assumption that he will enact a nicer, more democratic imperialism at home and abroad is dim-witted political thinking of the highest order. Especially since his reputation on these issues can only be termed as pathetically compliant to Europocentric capitalism in its most aggressive and virulent form. He differs little from his other presidential hopeful predecessors in that he talks one game and plays yet another in full view of a hopelessly gullible American public eager for some sort of change that will put more hard currency in their pockets, lower fuel and food prices and allow working people to purchase more material goods that offer an illusory upwardly mobile social advantage.
Obama and his team of sincere kingmakers are more than happy to put on a stern yet objective demeanour when discussing bombing Iran back into U.S. corporate control or how proud he is to give the Apartheid State of Israel more money, more weapons and more moral support in their zeal to effectively eliminate the existence of the Palestinian people from their ancestral territories.[iii] How this position can be reconciled with “progressivism” escapes me. He’s only willing to negotiate with Arabs suffering from western Orientalism provided they are willing to continue their function as defenceless walking targets of Arab genocide and following their inability to resist any longer, readily become captive consumer fodder for American manufactured commodities. Respect for their lives and lands are beside the point. Empires have never entertained provisions for commonsensical and justifiable resistance to their rule. Only contempt, vilification and death are accorded to those who dare speak of freedom be they intellectuals, partisans or parents simply and heroically struggling to keep their children alive in times of quarrel.
On the issue of murderous anti-African police brutality at home in light of the unconscionable acquittal of the officers that executed Sean Bell on his wedding day in yet another case of police claims of inadvertent “contagious shooting,” Mr. Obama who claims to never have suffered from American racism has offered no acknowledgement of this all too often occurring injustice.[iv] This alone says volumes about how he and his prospective administration would address ethical as well as lawful justice in the United States. As a conscious person of colour I cannot reconcile his support for empire with his promises of “change,” especially since he has yet to clearly define what that change would look like.
Admittedly, I reside outside of the political mainstream not so much by choice as much as it is a matter of personal integrity in the face of continual genocide. I stand opposed to the position of most American African intelligentsia in that I reject the choices imposed on us and actively seek actual, rather than theoretical representation from those that make claim to leadership positions within the communities to which I belong. For many of my contemporaries however, the illusion of personal and political power is sufficient primarily because such avenues are the paths of least resistance and in the short term offer an immediate return in the form of acceptance from the Europocentric power structure.
This self-defeating position is shared and promulgated by many within the American African petit-bourgeoisie who have long since adopted as their creed “Assimilation with Honour.” Sadly, the register is long of those who have cast their lot with the power structure despite the reality that the authority is on a variety of levels, classist, sexist, xenophobic and just plain wrong. Historically Madame C.J. Walker must head off this list, (she became the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S. for developing a process for “straightening” African hair) followed by Booker T. Washington who strongly argued that Africans should simply accept White racism with nobility as a fact of life while existing in self-segregated social and political “dignity.” In the modern era, former Secretary of State Colin Powell of My Lai fame ranks high on this inventory as does current secretary Condi Rice, media personality Oprah Winfrey, Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence “Uncle” Thomas, paid Bush administration propagandist Armstrong Williams and White privilege warrior Ward Anthony Connerly.
A logical extension of this dreadful paradigm can also be accorded to hypothetical counter-cultural icons such as “gangsta” rapper Snoop Dogg, ex-pimps like Don “Magic” Juan and shock-comedians such as Paul Mooney whose long term and loose usage of the racial epithet Nigger is principally responsible for its mainstreaming into the national, now international, vernacular. It wasn’t until the very public nervous breakdown of fellow actor-comedian Michael Richards wherein he responded to a group of American African hecklers by shouting the insult several times
(including threats of lynching) did Mooney finally realise his role in substantiating and justifying anti-African racism in the American consciousness.[v] He eventually came to the conclusion that the word does indeed carry the weight of 400 plus years of anti-African bias and now works against its use. One can only speculate, if Mr. Mooney were still a highly sought after mainstream performer/writer earning inflated fees for demeaning his own people along traditional White racist plotlines, would he have reversed his opinion? I ask this since he made it a point to say he would not use the epithet and then later on reneged during a show at the world famous Apollo Theatre. So much for acknowledgment of past misdeeds and his unique responsibility towards those of us highly offended by the word and are now required by popular demand to accept its use towards our people and our person as a matter of perverted political correctness. Are Kike, Chink and Spic soon to follow?[vi]
At this juncture I wish to point out that I am not in any way seeking to lay exclusive responsibility upon those I have briefly mentioned here. But it bears serious examination that the examples I listed above are defended as mainstays within American popular and political culture while the individuals and organisations actively and diametrically opposed to the philosophy of humble servility to White racialist paradigms of defamation are demonised as reverse-racist and “counter-productive.” Hence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is honoured while the memory, teachings and the works of Malcolm X are commandingly despised. The former believed in the American system, the latter called for separation of the slave from the slave master. I ask the reader to inquire within his or her own being to decide which example appears more threatening to a nationalistic system of capitalist exploitation, Europocentric hegemony and celebrated via Manifest Destiny.
This is where Barack Obama and the rest of the Negritude assimilationist cadre enter the picture. While they all to an individual profess ethical abhorrence toward racism, exploitation and violence in any form and from any quarter, their actions and words demonstrate something else entirely. In order to accept this or any other social scheme one must also to a great degree accept and internalise its inherent values, good and bad. To accept “Americanism” one would also have to acknowledge how the country was founded and who and how many were harmed and where to make it all possible as well as the excuses and mythologies created to explain why these measures were indispensable, inevitable and honourable. Every immigrant to the U.S. that smugly adopts the designation of “American citizen” instantaneously becomes a part of a system of colonial, genocidal and racist chauvinism. It is morally inescapable to claim otherwise without slipping off a high cliff of eugenicist revisionism worthy of the Third Reich. Feigned innocence to the national disgrace of genocide and lebenstraumpolitik whilst Aboriginals and Africans still pay a heavy price for European power in the Americas at the expense of our blood, soil and misplaced labour is far from excusable. It is indisputably morally reprehensible and most deserving of any choice of levels in the Christian conception of Dante’s Hell.
From here many other unpleasant yet accurate points fall into place and do much to explain how we all arrived to this point in time. Fundamentally, this mind-set stems from a pessimistic yet much-admired hypothesis that pro-Europocentric racial discrimination is a politically embedded and morally indispensable principle of American life and social stability. It goes without saying that those of non-European heritages who have “thrived” in spite of their “barbarism” are intrinsically valuable to such a system precisely because they can be utilized as living examples of the “rightness” intrinsic within European socio-theological paradigms of living, expression and social justice. The detail that ethnic, sexual and intellectual sub-populations in the U.S. have had to resist and continue to struggle for parity are reconfigured as obvious exceptions that ultimately prove the rule that White power over non-Europeans is a “noble” power. So therefore all opposition to said power is akin to “wickedness” and rightly subject to corporal punishment at the behest of the prevailing power composition. Or to paraphrase Romans Chapter 13: “There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power.”
Like a dedicated cohors praetoria of a long bygone European imperial era, these non-European but ideological advocates for the state have repeatedly proved that they will engage in warfare with the victimised sectors of the society the “system,” by its own baroque rhetoric, is designed to protect and serve.[vii] Despite the certainty that their own power is exceedingly limited by the very same authorities and conventions they steadfastly and obediently serve.
Unsurprisingly, this cadre of professional propagandists and legislative attack dogs has extended itself to condemning legitimate demands that Mr. Obama answer to his “base.” Even American African pop artists who have gained a certain level of approval if not the silent classification as “acceptable darkies” by the Europocentric elite appear more willing to assail their own rather than the establishment power entities overtly and covertly spearheading attacks aimed not just at Mr. Obama but the African, Aboriginal, Latino, Arab, Homosexual and religious communities in the U.S. as a whole.
The much lauded “Hip-Hop Generation” isn’t much better in this regard either. Music performer 50 Cent, an accurate example of everything Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not want for American Africans, tells the mainstream media, "I'm not sure America is ready to have a black president…I think they might kill him."[viii] So much for White fears of African solidarity in the face of historical anti-African bias and genocide. While we can send each other to the graveyard over trivial matters, we cannot seem to apply similar determination to alter the reality that makes ethnic cannibalism possible in the first place.
Acquiescence to White power for the rather dubious and defeating privilege of “livin’ large” has it would appear broadly and thoroughly replaced the humanistic and egalitarian ambitions of the Civil Rights movement. Further, this attitude should come as no surprise when one considers that this age bracket merrily rationalises their use of the anti-African epithet “Nigger” simply because they decided to spell it as “Nigga” to peddle their product.[ix] Indeed, the slave has grown quite accustomed to his chains, even if they are made of diamond encrusted gold mined under the inhuman conditions imposed on fellow Africans labouring and dying in the commodity mines of “new” South Africa. To put things in an Indigenist perspective, the murders of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse by fellow Aboriginals proud to don the badges and uniforms of the invader illustrates that this convention of traitorous servitude to European authority is nothing new. For American Africans the stabbing of Dr. King and the assassination of Malcolm X in Harlem provide a similar alarming clarity. In many cases and for a sinister variety of reasons liberation activists are often in more direct physical danger from reactionary elements of their own populace than they are from the opposing entities they stand against. What would make a victim turn against his or her champions is often a psychological confusion as to where and what is of importance, civil and ethical justice or the material gain promised by the oppressor for treason against logical common sense. Many of these Vichy reactionaries are entirely convinced that the moral rewards for subjugating themselves and their own far outweigh the pitiful and paternalistic pats on the proverbial back earned by such betrayals. So in essence, their ill-gotten gains are no greater now than they were in the past.
It’s not that there are no significant voices of opposition to the presence of an immaculate Jim Crow in the world of political machinations, far from it. But one would be hard pressed to find it presented on major mainstream corporative news media. Differing sharply from his ethnically Jewish political contemporaries who shamelessly defend their people against any and all forms of Judeophobia real or imagined including the genocidal actions of the Israeli state, Mr. Obama shows absolutely no such allegiance or empathy for his own brothers and sisters stateside or otherwise. As one of the most powerful Africans in the world, Barack Obama has never, ever used his incredible influence to address American racism as the ferociously black hearted anti-human process it really is. Instead, he has presented an olive branch to the colonial Euro-American population and his fellow lackeys by proclaiming that he “understands” their fear of non-Europeans and confirms their suspicions that they are indeed under siege by a relentless and mindless rabble.[x]
This unrelenting and self-serving drive by the Obama for President Campaign to achieve “legitimacy” along the prescribed lines of “reasonable leadership” is telling in its very simplicity. By disregarding and discouraging any and all valid disillusionment with his lack of reliability on issues that effect African people, the medically uninsured and those devastated by American imperial controls become clearer when one considers that his very public denunciation of just such an advocate.
The Reverend Doctor Jeremiah Wright, a seasoned veteran of the Black American Church tradition and a Marine who served his hitch honourably, unlike the current commander-in-chief, (including serving a term in the United States Navy as a medical technician who served on the team caring for then President Lyndon B. Johnson) has as of late been harassed to no end by reactionary and fascistic elements of the Euro-American media for his outspoken criticism of the United States in regards to its revisionist stance towards its own dark history of colonialism, violence and genocide. The questions raised by the minister are cardinal questions for the entire society but Mr. Obama and his supporters are blaming the messenger for daring to speak the truth, nor a truth as it is promoted, but the reality about the United States and its own internal and external polices of exclusion and domination of the poor, the weak and different.
While Mr. Obama alone stands to blame the most for allowing this situation to spiral out of control, (primarily because Rev. Wright was his long time personal and theological mentor) the broad condemnation lodged against the minister for being honest says more about the African in the United States than it does about the turmoil created by his sermons. Given the scope and depth of the indoctrination people of colour endure in the U.S. it stands to reason that a White backlash to his observations could be expected. But the fact that other Africans, chiefly those whose livelihoods are wholly dependent upon access to White favours are so swift to jump on the anti-Rev. Wright bandwagon in the face of continual historical racism displays how broken the African really is when faced with the reality of his and her condition. Rev. Wright’s crime is that he is an African man intelligent enough to articulate his own position and the deplorable condition of the African man and woman in America. In other words, he is what the last generation of Whites used to call a “Smart Nigger,” code words for a Black man who isn’t stupid, shiftless and willing to allow the overseer to beat him to death without an equally reciprocal rejoinder. In other words, Rev. Wright is not Uncle Tom.[xi]
Spike Lee immediately comes to mind in this regard but he is not the only one. Housewife’s choice superstar Oprah Winfrey has also come out against Mr. Obama’s critics by denouncing his former pastor, the Reverend Doctor Jeremiah Wright via proxy spokespersons on the right-wing dominated media circuit. Apparently she does not have the courage to denounce the good minister for telling the truth in person. If she did, her mostly Euro-American studio audience and ego-Oprah Magazine subscriptions would recede quicker than a spilff passed amongst the crowd of an Amsterdam coffee shop. This is hardly a original circumstance and without debate it is as depressingly deep-rooted and as old as the empire itself. As my Gullah-Indio father told me long ago, divide and conquer is a game played by White people all over the world and without that curious principle, Europeans could never have gained control of the third world nor ever have had the opportunity to construct empirical outposts wherever they decide to drop their anchors.
This reliance on psychological ju-jutsu can almost never be acknowledged by those targeted for such intrigues or expressed as anything other than frustration and self-directed angst. Its victims are by keen deception fooled into believing that their painful state of being is a natural one and that submission to external authority is the moral and intellectual equivalent of sanity and virtuosity. To state that the African is compelled to exist within two parallel states of being to survive says much about the world in which he lives. This shameful dichotomy exists whether the European in the Americas or his moral lapdogs of any ethnicity wishes to acknowledge it or not. It must also be said aloud that this duality is immediately subjective for the African and other Aboriginals residing at the bottom of the U.S. human totem pole.
No Ashkenazi Jew in the 21st century would be expected or obligated to defer to Judeophobia in any form in any nation on Earth on the basis of a moralistic purity imposed by Gentiles. The very existence and belligerently xenophobic quasi-theological narration of the modern State of Israel is empirical proof of this. Yet, the African and the Aboriginal in the Americas is expected as well as obligated to accept and defend European cultural power as the unchallenged rule of the universe as dictated the protestant version of the ancient Semitic deity. The process by which we are duty-bound to articulate this peculiar state of affairs is described as “civilisation” and it differs little in direct comparison with the pretentious Europocentric rhetoric of 1930’s NSDAP propaganda.[xii]
For as long as North America has been occupied by Europeans, the approaches to positive maintenance of Europocentric hegemony have flowed and ebbed in response to its ever-changing derma-graphic, an unwanted but unavoidable consequence of multi-national colonialism. White power defined as White power by mainstream White people is no longer ethically feasible in the 21st century. In the main, such vulgar displays of unearned privilege, despite the wordage, have been officially consigned to the lower economic-classes of White Americans the social order has authoritatively designated as “White Trash.” In today’s polite society, code terms such as “crime,” “welfare” and “immigration” have replaced the use of “Black ghettoes,” “lazy Niggers” and “Wetbacks” with the more elucidating language reserved for poor Whites who misguidedly lodge their discontent against the equally powerless rather than the actual elite capitalistic sources of their disenfranchisement.
Barack Obama, product of multi-cultural imperialism has internalised these “values” and has sworn to uphold them come Hell or high water. The “change” he offers is only cosmetic, as he has not by way of personal or political example presented anything even remotely resembling a restructuring of the existing state of affairs. As an excellent case in point, he has recently gone so far as to support the Cherokee Vichy government based in occupied Oklahoma against the Freedmen who were unceremoniously and legally dis-enrolled by its White Indian majority by standing against the Congressional Black Caucus who want to withhold funding from the tribe for its racist purge of their African members due to the Chad Smith administration’s lucid violation of the U.S. Constitution.[xiii]
In spite of the fact that many of the Freedmen are if not all, including this writer, of verifiable Aniyvwiya blood, the Cherokee Nation excuses their expulsion on the dubious grounds of tribal sovereignty. A rather questionable claim since the Cherokee fly American flags in their territories, willingly accept U.S. federal funds and law enforcement jurisdiction, aggressively describe themselves “American” and proudly serve in the U.S. colonial military forces knowingly helping those who stole our lands and dignity appropriate someone else’s. Mr. Obama’s stance on this issue should give all Aboriginals and other people of colour around the world pause. With this sort of leadership coming from an educated person of colour running for the CEO seat of the United States, why wouldn’t White folks too cowardly to join the John Birch Society or David Duke’s EURO movement not love this guy?[xiv]
But there’s much more. Like the rest of the African “leadership” in Washington D.C., he avoids questions surrounding the abuse, torture and forced labour of Aboriginals, Africans and other non-Europeans incarcerated in the United States. The rationale behind why so many are serving extensive prison terms due to non-violent drug offences in which people of colour are accorded more jail time than their White counterparts also goes unanswered as does racial profiling. The problem of disparity in home mortgages also goes unchecked in light of the rash of official findings that prove rampant racism against African and Latinos in receiving home loans including their choices on where to purchase still exists as a matter of capitalist and White racist self-indulgence. Institutional racism in employment? It’s another non-issue to the house Negro elitists who have managed to bypass the ill-mannered biases of many Euro-American human resources personnel that really believe that they are doing the White world a favour by rejecting certain applications as if we also do not need to provide for our families. I could go on but limitations of space constrain how much a can list here in a single article and I promise the reader this is far from a complete inventory of oversights by the Obama team and his legions of liberal ditto-heads.
This ‘Paradigm of neglect’ does however have its highlights. He has not to any appreciable extent called the Bush White House or White collective America to task for its willing negligence towards Hurricane Katrina’s African victims. Like his soul-sister Condoleeza Rice who was observed buying shoes and attending a Broadway musical in New York City while people drowned in New Orleans,[xv] he has given Bush and Co. a pass no politician in any other western democratic nation would have received under similar conditions. Mr. Obama has said nothing concerning the illegal purging of American African men from the Florida voting rolls in either 2000 or 2004 and we would all be idiots of the highest order to assume that the next round will be any different.
For those among us who are dismayed concerning American African inequalities but are more concerned about “all” of us as “Americans”, consider the following: Mr. Obama has yet to have a word on the horrible treatment American military personnel and their families are receiving from the current administration and even less about the homicidal rampage U.S. taxpayer mercenaries are waging on behalf of American multinationals in Iraq against its civilian Arab population.[xvi] If Barack Obama wants to be the next Commander-in-Chief of Pax Americana these questions need to be addressed seriously and without reservation. So far nothing is forthcoming and as far as I am many other astute observers can distinguish, nothing of any pragmatic substance is likely to come from him that is not preferential to the business community that really runs the United States and the mainstream Euro-American public that runs the streets.
Nor has he at any time been willing to address the level of abject racism employed by the Clinton’s in their fervour to re-take the Oval Office. From purposefully darkening his features in campaign advertising[xvii] to suggestions that he would have a hard time getting up in the morning to go to work, Hillary and Bill have pulled every racially negative code-word and tactic they can conceivably use short of calling him a Nigger in public spaces. Just this week Hillary made it a point to state that Obama simply cannot win based on the fact that she is virtually guaranteed the ‘White’ vote providing these Whites go to the polls and stick with the Democratic Party. Even if Mr. Obama were the radical Islamic African “Manchurian Candidate” the neo-conservative propagandists are so ferociously painting him as, he and his advisors would not be so stupid as to say something so blatantly racist towards Euro-Americans. The only redeeming value, if there are any to found in her remarks, is that what she said a painful, for Africans anyway, political truth. Many self-defined Whites, even liberals with lifelong subscriptions to The Nation, are not across the racial chessboard willing to vote for a Black man. Even if he is a contemporary and literal interpretation of Booker T. Washington and all that variety of obsequiousness to White supremacy entails.[xviii]
What Barack Obama truly represents is a return to the normal America but in a form and fashion that maintains hegemony in costume. Not change, but a superficial alteration to how the U.S. looks rather than how it actually functions. Talk of “change” is just that, incessant chatter repeated long enough to convince the observer that something truly different is happening when in actuality nothing has changed at all but the packaging.
What liberal Euro-Americans are unconsciously seeking is a reincarnation of Septimius Severus, the African emperor who managed to hold the Roman Empire together in wake of the chaos produced by Emperor Marcus Aurelius' ne’er do well offspring Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus.[xix] Emerging victorious at the end the Year of the Five Emperors, Severus brought needed stability to the entire empire and that included the use of military force to keep his fellow Africans and other non-European nations in line. His predecessor the boy Emperor Commodus, much like Bush the Younger, ran the imperial government into the ground via a series of erratic courses of action and questionable personal behaviour in which his massive ego held sway over sensible leadership. For many Romans fully cognisant of their leader’s acute spinelessness, Commodus’ insistence on donning gladiator garb, his slaughter of the helpless and crippled in the coliseum, economic favours to those loyal to him and his own egotistical comparisons to the legend of Hercules was just too much to bear. Following his assassination by those closest to him, various political personalities attempted to rule to no avail until Severus, supported by the military commissars claimed the imperial throne in 193 CE. He swiftly crushed resistance to his reign by killing his most prominent rival Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum, (present day Lyon, France) and solidified his position as emperor of the Roman republic.
He is most famous for the restoration of Hadrian's Wall, the reduction of administrative and military corruption at home and successfully established a lasting calm in Roman Britannia which at the time was being severely despoiled by marauding Gaullist barbarians and warring tribes from greater Germania. An self-admitted dictator, Serverus, after eighteen years of often shrewdly brutal but logical administration passed away in Eburacum (present day York, England) on February 4th 211 CE at the age of 64 of pneumonia.
The similarities between the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, the rule of Septimius Severus, the socio-political environments in which they rose to prominence and the deep desire of the colonialist Euro-American population to maintain the global status quo are much too analogous to ignore. Both men were of mixed African parentage and believed wholeheartedly in the role and authority of the prevailing empirical power. Both men came to prominence at a point in time when the empire was on the brink of disintegration due in large part to an unrestrained egotistical leadership bordering on self-defined idolatry and unchecked colossal elitist greed at the expense of the general working population. Like Severus, Mr. Obama has clearly stated his intentions to use intimidating if not belligerent force to subdue Arabian resistance to European imperialism in Western Asia and again like Severus, he promises to expand the war making capabilities of the military at the expense of projects that should serve the general public.
Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Obama just like the Emperor Severus has made it clear to friend and foe alike that he is consciously willing to subjugate the victims of the Empire, (fellow Africans in the case of Severus and the peoples of the Third and Fourth Worlds in regards to Mr. Obama) expressly for the benefit of the Empire and those that claim ownership of it.[xx] So it stands to reason that the change Mr. Obama speaks of is actually no change at all if one is to move beyond the aesthetics of his rhetoric or the passions of his supporters.
True change must involve a serious and committed reconfiguration of the europocentrically dominated status quo and nothing less. Barack Obama sadly does not characterize that transformation. He instead symbolises like the Roman Emperor Severus the Europeanised African, a direct product of White power and domination rather than inter-cultural communication and respect as equal members of the human family. And no different to Severus, he has thrown his lot with the enemies of humanity and justice. I too was an Uncle Tom for most of my life. I learned and it is possible for him to come to grips with reality too. He needs only be brave enough to wish redemption not from a mystery God but from himself as a human being.
We need real change. We demand real change. All of us, without regard to ethnicity, national origin or theological delusion must be a part of the process, not an aspect in the landscape. Euro-Americans know this and this is why so many fight so hard to keep things as they always have been. This pointless fear of the loss of unearned entitlement chokes the mind, heart and spirit of the White public and it is ultimately their responsibility to address it. If the White American population is at all serious about change, they internally and individually must actualise that change, not just demand that the rest of us alter our reality to suit their insecurities. Our responsibility as persons of colour given this opportunity is to continue that endeavour through self-education, self-evaluation and reliance upon our own innate sense of justice and survival as recognised by Malcolm, Martin, Mumia, Leonard Peltier and a million nameless and faceless others lost in the struggle to the midst of time.
If at that point the European in the Americas still cannot accept the fact that this is the world he alone has made and is willing to reconcile himself with the negatives of his own making, then nothing is stopping him from returning to the lands of his roots. For nothing is or has prevented him from building exactly the sort of xenophobic bubble they have been griping about on his own subcontinent. He needs only to have the courage to pack his bags and go home leaving behind a more humanistic and all-encompassing vision of what may have become had he acted and lived differently when afforded the occasion.
And contrary to conventional belief, offering us Barack Obama as a substitute for justice in Pax Americana more than a day late and a dollar short of the genuine debt owed to so many by so few. It is an insult to the memories of all who have given their all just to breathe in free air on a planet that belongs to all of us.
[i] NYT: “In Bell Case, Black New Yorkers See Nuances That Temper Rage” Manny Fernandez, Published: April 27, 2008
[ii] Franz Fanon: “Black Skin, White Masks” 1967
[iii] Jerusalem Post: “Obama reaffirms support for Israel,” May 13th 2008
[iv] New York Post: “Sean Bell Detectives Found not Guilty,” April 25, 2008
[v] Associated Content: “Paul Mooney on Michael Richards: He Cured Me of Using the N-Word” published Nov 28, 2006
[vi] Ward Churchill: “Let's Spread the fun Around” (http://www.coloradoaim.org/Wardchurchillspreadthefunaround.htm)
[vii] Larry Elder: “Is Racism America's Greatest Problem?” (http://www.larryelder.com/racial/racism.html)
[viii] MTV News: “50 Cent Flip-Flops: From Hillary To Obama To 'Don't Know'” Mar 28 2008
[ix] R. Kennedy, Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word. Vintage, 2003
[x] Excised from Barack Obama’s “Race Speech” transcript: The Huffington Post, March 18, 2008:
“In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.”
[xi] Dr. David Pilgrim, Professor of Sociology Ferris State University Dec., 2000 “The Tom Caricature” (http://www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/tom/)
[xii] Imbleau, Martin. "Der Stürmer." Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. Ed. Dinah Shelton. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005
[xiii] "Cherokee leader wants to overturn freedmen decision" published from AP story on KTEN.com, 2006
[xiv] Paul Gorksy: “Language of Closet Racism: An Illustration” (http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/langofracism2.html)
[xv] Talkleft: “Condi Rice Shops for Shoes, works on backhand” Sep 01, 2005 (http://www.talkleft.com/story/2005/09/01/615/28014)
[xvi] ABC News/Brian Ross Blog: “Despite Investigations, Blackwater to Keep Working In Iraq” April 4, 2008
[xvii] AOL News/David Knowles: “Darkness Visible” March 6th 2008
[xviii] Tim Wise: “Uh-Obama: Racism, White Voters and the Myth of Color-Blindness ” March 6, 2008
[xix] Carlisle, Edward E., and Josephine E. Carlisle. "Septimius Severus (Negro Emperor of Rome)" Chapter in Historical Sketches of the Ancient Negro: A Compilation. 1920
[xx] John Jay: “Those who own the country ought to govern it.”
the crudd gubbaments Port Morseby declaration was ment to be Australia's new relationship and partnership in the Pacific, kevin (C)rudd was a career diplomat so he knows the art of dressing political shit and making it look sweet, when basically the agenda in the Pacific hasn't changed one bit, just the approach. Same old neo/colonising, land theiving crapitalist neo liberal bastards. Exactly the agenda that was pushed at Apec & the g20, and c(rudds) declaration at Port Moresby certainly makes clear their commitment to neo-liberalism in our region. The grassroots resistance to this has been silenced ruthlessly and by the complicity of puppet governments, academics & ngo's, who sadly were once at the forefront of the resistance to this agenda in the Pacific
At stake for us in the Pacific are our very survival and independence as peoples, the same stakes for the past 200 or so years. Looking at the experience of our Mexican brothers and sisters during the implementation of nafta, we see as in the Chiapa's this neo liberal agenda speaks nothing to us and our humanity in the Pacific, it is at odds with our world-view and desecrates the relationship we have with our land & oceans, left in trust for us from our ancestors for our generations to come. The resistance and the struggle against neo liberalism in South America bears great resonance for us in the Pacific, we have our own history of struggle that has to be reignited across the Pacific if we are to survive with dignity into the next century and beyond.
A Pacific regional infrastructure facility worth $127 million (US$119
million) over four years has been budgeted for work on transport,
water and energy projects.
Wed, 14 May 2008
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA ---- Australia's aid budget aims to deal with
customary land rights and improving government services in the region,
Radio Australia reports.
A Pacific regional infrastructure facility worth $127 million (US$119
million) over four years has been budgeted for work on transport,
water and energy projects.
Over four years, Australia will spend $107 million (US$100.5 million)
on improving the work of government departments and public servants in
On the sensitive issue of customary land rights, $54 million (US$50.7
million) would be spent over four years on a programme described as
protecting land rights.
The aim would be to promote economic development while reducing the
potential for conflict over land issues. Australia would support work
on planning, surveying and valuing land.
The budget shows the continuing growth of the Australian Federal
Police in the region, with $75 million (US$70.5 million) to be spent
over four years on policing in the South Pacific - particularly on
police help to PNG, Samoa and Nauru.
Port Moresby Declaration
4. The Pacific has significant natural resources - minerals, timber and marine resources. Managing them wisely and sustainably is a challenge for the region.
9. The Pacific Partnerships for Development will be a mechanism to provide better development outcomes for the Pacific Island nations. These Partnerships will embrace:
• improving economic infrastructure and enhancing local employment
possibilities through infrastructure and broad-based growth;
• enhancing private sector development, including better access to
• achieving quality, universal basic education;
• improving health outcomes through better access to basic health services; and
• enhancing governance, including the role of civil society, and the role of non- government organisations in basic service delivery.
13. Australia is also committed to linking the economies of the Pacific island nations to Australia and New Zealand and to the world, including through pursuing a region- wide free trade agreement and enhancing other private sector development opportunities. This will help to secure a sustainable and more prosperous future for the region.
15. Australia will also work to increase its cooperation with other donor countries and organisations, and international financial institutions such as the World Bank, including through more coordinated delivery of development assistance programs across the region and joint programs where feasible.
Updated May 12, 2008 15:59:03
A controversial land bill in Samoa has been amended to exclude
Samoan Government officials say the Land Titles Registration Bill, due
for its third reading within weeks, has now been amended following
advice from the Attorney-General.
Opponents of the new bill had been angry that the government appeared
to have broken a promise that the new bill - which will change land
registration from a deeds to a title system - would affect customary land.
They say the proposed legislation contained several references to
Customary land is sacrosanct in Samoa and there are constitutional
protections for it, which include a requirement that any proposed
change be put to a referendum and gain at least a two-thirds
A spokeswoman for the opposing group accused the government of seeking
to use the earlier version of the bill to charge rates and taxes on
customary land which traditional owners could not afford.
There was also concern that the government was under pressure to free
up land for development.
The government says the revised legislation is intended to make the
administration of titles more straightforward, and that the changes
will exclude customary land.
Is a story of a Maori man and his family, demonstrating their commitment to a living culture, portrayed through the ritual of Ta Moko kanohi, the process of Maori facial tattoo.
The film charts the process from its origin and purpose, to its effect on the recipient, the family group, and the wider world.
Thanks to serenagiovanna
AUSTRALIAN Federal Police numbers will be boosted by an extra 500 officers over the next five years, with international operations emerging as a major budget priority for the Rudd Government.
Eight additional AFP officers will soon be sent to Afghanistan to help in a reinvigorated NATO-led coalition effort to contain a booming opium economy. They will be joining four colleagues already deployed under a $47million program over two years to strengthen efforts to bring stability and a measure of law and order to the country.
"The AFP has been providing expertise in counter-narcotics and police capacity development in Afghanistan since October last year," Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said yesterday. "The additional members will provide high-level advice to the National Police of Afghanistan and act in advisory roles with the counter-narcotics police of Afghanistan. More than 90 per cent of the world's opium is cultivated in Afghanistan and, according to the UN, poppy production continues to increase."
The extra 500 AFP officers fulfil a key Labor election promise to increase the agency's capacity to help tackle transnational crime and terrorism -- a package of measures costed at $192million. It follows a $20million package over four years designed to address AFP recruitment and retention announced earlier by the federal Government. It is expected the additional police resources will be phased in over five years, adding a mix of base-level recruits and experienced specialists.
The AFP receives $53.7million over two years to help develop East Timor's national police force, which is riven by ethnic divisions and is struggling with the legacy of a botched UN training regime involving a host of countries with a range of different standards and culture. Eighty AFP specialist trainers will be deployed in East Timor under a program that aims to help train an estimated 2000 local police to be located outside the capital Dili.
"Australia was quick to respond to security issues in East Timor following the attempted assassinations of the President of East Timor, Jose Ramos Horta, and Prime Minister Gusmao, including the deployment of AFP personnel," Mr Debus said. "The AFP continues to play a vital role in the UN mission in East Timor and this will provide a further opportunity for the AFP to contribute to the development of policing in East Timor."
The Australian Government's support for policing in the Pacific region was also boosted by the announcement yesterday of an $80million program. With Australia's main 550-strong combat force pulling out of Iraq, the focus is now on efforts to help strengthen that country's police force. The 2008-09 budget includes a $13.7million plan to help train 30 Iraqi police officers each year in Sydney over the next three years and a further 51 to undertake specialist forensic training.
"The program will give Iraqi police access to the specialist expertise of the AFP's forensic scientists and will focuson building a crime scene analysis system for the Iraqi Police Service," Mr Debus said.
On Monday April 28th, 2008 Indigenous Warriors on Coast Salish Territory blocked a vital intersection used for commercial shipping to the United States. The action was done in solidarity with the Tyendinaga Mohawk community. Five Warriors from Tyendinaga had been arrested and attacked by the OPP days before. SWAT teams and paramilitary units were on Tyendinaga Territory surrounding dozens of other unarmed Warriors who were peacefully occupying a rock quarry claimed to be on their territory.
Solidarity actions also happened in Six Nations and Guelph. With the mounting pressure from coast to coast, and steadfast position of the Tyendinaga Mohawks the SWAT teams and paramilitary units left Tyendinaga Territory without additional attacks.
Since their arrest, three of the five Warriors have been released on strict bail conditions. Two Warriors, Clint Brant and Shawn Brant are still in state custody.
For more information;
Stone Country is a snapshot of a remote Indigenous community in northern Australia. Set in the township of Ngukurr, we follow the stories of several residents. Through these stories, we come face to face with the realities of life for Aboriginal Australians: a life expectancy 20 years less than other Australians.
This is an edited version of the documentary. The full length of the doco runs to 26 minutes.
Thanks to Ididjaustralia
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the re-occupation of Takaparawha. I remember being taken up to the occupation by my great aunt as a child, this has laid the foundation for my commitment to my peoples and their struggles. At the time the occupation certainly cemented the momentum and Maori drive for self determination, Takaparawha also showed the strength of solidarity with union placing green bans in support of the protest and support of many non Maori.It was a very visible reassertion of identity, pride & collective power. For a haapu that had been made virtually landless by the colonial imposition of Auckland, Takaparawha demonstrated the importance of fighting for the ahi kaa in our whenua and ourselves, and that is not meant to provide any comfort to some of the cousins that are enamored with crown & corporate & kupapa bullshit, who shame our history of struggle and led us further down the path of assimilation. To all the warriors that we have lost in the past 30 years, love & respect and to our warriors to come, time to stand up and continue the fight.
" On May 25 1978, 600 police officers, supported by the Army, stormed onto Bastion Point above Auckland’s exclusive Tamaki Drive, and began evicting the Maori owners living on their land. 220 people were arrested in a major turning point for the Maori movement for self determination.
‘Bastion Point’, Takaparawha, and much of Auckland was Ngati Whatua land at the time of English colonisation. Ngati Whatua chief, Apihai Te Kawau, came under immense pressure from the government last century to sell land as Auckland city expanded. Much Ngati Whatua land was sold to the Crown, but before his death Te Kawau secured the 280ha acres at Takaparawha enshrined in law in perpetuity for his people.
Despite this protective legislation however, successive governments seized increasing amounts of Takaparawha under various guises, such as defence purposes and public reserves. In 1951 the tribe was evicted from its tribal centre papakainga on the Okahu Bay foreshore and relocated into state houses in Orakei.
The dispute simmered in, courts, appeals to government and public appeals with little progress until Wellington builder, and Ngati Whatua son, Joe Hawke in 1977 led a small group back to Takaparawha to reoccuppy their land.
The occupiers erected make-shift housing for many of the tribe who began to come home, beginning a 506 day stay. The occupation was long and hard on its members. Nine year old Joann Hawke, niece of the occupation leader, died in a tragic fire in one of the huts.
But, following the Maori land march of 1975 which had highlighted the breadth of Maori concern about their oppression and the alienation of their lands, the Ngati Whatua stand at Takaparawha acted as a catalyst for action, and an example for others to voice their grievances.
And the forceful response of the government to a challenge from below, awoke many pakeha throughout Aotearoa to the realities of state violence and ruling class interests. When police forcibly removed the Ngati Whatua again from their lands, and bulldozed down their houses, the government lost the dispute. Although it took another ten years of legal challenges, the weight of public opinion had moved decisively. Bourgeois property rights were turned back in the faces of the settler ruling class, in 1988 the land was returned, and a precedent set for a wave of Maori land claims."
Television film of Bastion Point eviction
When the Crown announced that the last area of uncommitted land at Bastion Point was to be developed for high-income housing, some Ngāti Whātua occupied the site. They had hoped that this ancestral land might be returned to tribal ownership. After 506 days, the protestors were evicted on 25 May 1978. This television footage records the event. Army trucks are seen descending upon Bastion Point while flares are lit by its occupiers.