Monday, October 13, 2014

In honor of lying, murderous, thuggish, plundering, didn't-discover-a-damned thing Day...

I was re-reading Dr. John Henrik Clarke's, "Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust:  Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism" and I remembered I'd saved a video a while ago, based almost word-for-word on it:

Now, while I highly suggest you read this little, 109-page primer for the many other book titles he references, I can certainly understand if you'd prefer to listen to his highly entertaining and thought-provoking oratory (I know I do!) -- so here you go:

Though I've not yet paid written homage to my brothers and sisters in Ferguson, Missouri here (for a variety of reasons into which I will go in my next post), I hope they'll accept for now, my deepest and sincerest Solidarity, Love and Respect for what they are continuing to do, not only in Michael Brown's name -- but in mine.

I am SO damned humbled and extremely proud, because they've proven they understand exactly what Dr. Clarke so eloquently states between the 23:09 to the 23:21 click above:
"And you keep approaching someone, thinking somebody, out of their goodness, gon' give up something they took from you.  They took it from you, you got to take it back."

Okay, just in case Dr. Clarke wasn't enough, easily verifiable truth for you -- stay with me.  As a matter of fact -- just sit back, relax and hold the hell on, because Dr. Ivan Van Sertima's, "They Came Before Columbus" lecture, based on his book of the same name follows.  It should, at the very least, send your non-critically thinking minds into a tizzy and, at most -- awaken a thirst for some knowledge, NOT of European, la-la-land making (Bro. Amenta, I see you noddin' your head sayin', "Damn Deb!  That's all I was tryin' to tell you! :-D).  Enjoy, Family:

- Columbus gets his comeuppance: Why his holiday is in deep jeopardy
- Before Columbus: How Africans Brought Civilization to America
- North America is a crime scene: The untold history of America this Columbus Day

Friday, September 12, 2014

As I've said here before -- "Our young people get it!"

There Is No Future in War: Youth Rise Up, a Manifesto

(Statement written by Ben Norton, Tyra Walker, Anastasia Taylor, Alli McCracken, Colleen Moore, Jes Grobman, Ashley Lopez)

A peace sign printed on the American Flag is raised during a protest against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Archive / History Channel)

Once again, US politicians and pundits are beating the drums of war, trying to get our nation involved in yet another conflict. A few years ago it was Iran, with “all options on the table.” Last year it was a red line that threatened to drag us into the conflict in Syria. This time it’s Iraq.

We, the youth of America, have grown up in war, war war. War has become the new norm for our generation. But these conflicts—declared by older people but fought and paid for by young people—are robbing us of our future and we’re tired of it.

There is no future in war.

We, the youth of America, are taking a stand against war and reclaiming our future.

War does not work. Period.

War does not work from an economic perspective

In 2003 US politicians orchestrated the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq based on blatant lies—lies that have cost the American people over $3 trillion.

Imagine what we could have done with this money:

With $3 trillion dollars, we could have guaranteed free higher education for all interested Americans. Instead, we are wallowing in over $1 trillion in outstanding college loan debt.
With $3 trillion, we could have created a system of universal health care. Instead, affordable health care is still out of reach for many Americans and we have no idea if there will even be a Medicare system when we are old enough to retire.
With $3 trillion we could have renovated our decrepit public schools and crumbling public infrastructure, giving us the kind of foundation we need for a thriving nation in the decades to come.
With $3 trillion we could have created a national energy grid based not upon environmentally destructive fossil fuels, but upon renewable energy sources--something that our generation cares passionately about.
Our true foes—those endlessly gunning for war—have been waging an economic war against us. Our foes are the ones who say we must increase Pentagon spending while we cut food stamps, unemployment assistance, public transportation, and low-income housing. They are the ones who want to destroy the social safety net that past generations have worked so hard to build. They are the ones who underfund our public schools - which are more segregated today than they were under Jim Crow - and then privatize them. They are the ones who throw hundreds of thousands of young people in prison, thanks to the racist and classist war on drugs, and then privatize the prisons to exploit and profit off of incarcerated citizens who make close-to-zero wages.

Throwing money at war does nothing to address the real issues we face. We, the youth of our country, are the ones who will feel this pain. The cost of war is sucking us dry; it is burdening us with debts we will never be able to pay back.

And war doesn’t even work to create jobs. Politicians say they can’t cut the Pentagon budget because the weapons manufacturers create much-needed jobs. Yes, our generation need jobs. But if members of Congress really wants to use federal spending to help us find employment, the military is the worst investment. A $1 billion investment in military spending nets 11,600 jobs. The same investment in education reaps 29,100 jobs. Whether it’s education, healthcare or clean energy, investments in those sectors create many more job opportunities than the military. The military-industrial complex does a great job lining the pockets of politicians; it does a lousy job creating an economy that works for all.

War does not work from a national security and defense perspective

The war apologists claim war makes our future “safer” and “freer.” But since the tragic 9/11 attack, the US military response has made the world a more dangerous place. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the NATO bombing of Libya, the use of predator drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, and countless other examples of military operations have only increased violence and hatred. Iraqis and Afghans are certainly no safer and freer; we are certainly no safer and freer.

We refuse to let our brothers and sisters, both here and abroad, die for access to cheap Persian Gulf oil. The Iraqis, the Afghans, the Iranians, the Libyans, the Somalis, and the people of any other country our military circles like vultures, are not our enemies. They oppose terrorism more than we do; they are the ones who must bear its brunt. We must oppose US intervention not because we don’t care about them, but because we do.

War does not work from an environmental perspective.

War is not environmentally friendly. It never has been, and it never will be. Bombing destroys the environment. It damages forests and agricultural land. It ravages ecosystems, endangering species, even forcing some into extinction.

Bombing contaminates water and soil, often leaving it unsafe to use for centuries, even millennia. This is especially true with nuclear and chemical weapons, such as those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the missiles containing depleted uranium the US used in Iraq. And because of weapons like these, infant mortality, genetic mutation, and cancer rates are exponentially higher in the civilian areas targeted. Children in Fallujah, Iraq, a city hit hard by these weapons, are born without limbs and missing organs.

The environmental costs of war are clearly not limited to isolated moments; they persist for many lifetimes. Heavy military vehicles, in conjunction with deforestation and climate change, lead to the emission of toxic dust from the ground. Even if their homes and livelihoods haven’t been destroyed by bombs, citizens who inhale these toxins are much more susceptible to a wide variety of diseases and health problems.

The US Department of Defense has long been the country’s largest consumer of fossil fuels. Military vehicles consume obscene quantities of oil for even small tasks. If we truly care about reversing, or at least mitigating, anthropogenic climate change—what many scientists recognize as a literal threat to the future of the human species—eliminating war would be an incredibly effective first step.

War does not work from a human rights perspective

The world isn’t any safer and freer for the million Iraqi civilians who died. How is freedom supposed to come at the tip of a bomb?

The debate rages back and forth; “specialists” fill the TV airwaves, repackaging the same tired excuses we’ve heard for years. Most of these “experts” are old white males. The people actually affected by our bombs and our guns--mostly young people of color--are nowhere to be seen. Their voices are silenced, their voices shouted over by the corporate media, by hawkish politicians, and by the profit-hungry military contractors.

War does not work from a historical perspective

War has never been about freedom and liberation; war has always been about profit and empire. American historian Howard Zinn once said “Wars are fundamentally internal policies. Wars are fought in order to control the population at home.”

Military intervention gives US corporations free reign in the countries we destroy. We bomb the country, targeting public infrastructure, and our corporations build it back up again. Fat cat CEOs make millions, even billions; the country, the people of the country, are left with mountains of debt. Our corporations own their infrastructure, their industrial capital, their natural resources. War is always a lose-lose for the people. Economic and political elite in both countries will make a fortune; the people of both countries will be the ones who have to pay for this fortune.

Defenders and purveyors of war have always done empty lip service to ideals like “freedom” and “democracy”; they have always repeated tired, vacuous tropes about “assisting,” or even “liberating” peoples.

How can we trust a country that says its brutal military invasion and occupation is “humanitarian,” when, at the same moment, it is supporting repressive dictators around the world? Saddam Hussein was on the CIA payroll since the 1960s. While we were invading Iraq to “overthrow tyranny” and “free” the Iraqi people, we were supporting the King Fahd’s theocratic tyranny in Saudi Arabia, the brutally repressive Khalifa family in Bahrain, and Mubarak’s violent regime in Egypt, among countless other unsavory dictators.

When we invaded Afghanistan to “free” the Afghan people from the Taliban, the corporate media failed to mention that Ronald Reagan had supported the Mujahideen, who later became the Taliban, and the Contras throughout the 1980s. He called the latter “the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers,” while they were disemboweling civilians in a campaign of terror.

These historical events are absolutely pertinent to contemporary discussions of war. We must learn from them, as to not repeat them in the future, as to not fall for the same past political tricks.

Our naysayers say we are against the troops. We are not against the troops. US troops are disproportionately from less-privileged backgrounds. Military recruiters target impoverished communities of color, and there are many recorded instances of them using deceptive tactics to get young citizens to sign long binding contracts. These are the troops that die in US military operations. They are not our enemies. We refuse to let our brothers and sisters be cannon fodder. The real people against the troops are the ones who send our country’s poor to die in rich people’s wars.

How many times do we have to be lied to, how many times do we have to be tricked, how many times do we have to be exploited until we say enough is enough? We are tired of war! War accomplishes nothing. War only fattens the wallets of economic and political elites, leaving millions dead in its wake. War only leads to more war, destroying the planet and emptying the national treasury in the process.

We, the youth of the United States of America, oppose war.
We oppose war not because we don’t care about the rest of the world; we oppose war precisely because we do.
We oppose war not because we don’t care about our security; we oppose war precisely because we do.
We oppose war not because we don’t care about our troops; we oppose war precisely because we do.
We oppose war not because we aren’t concerned with our future; we oppose war precisely because we do.

There is no future in war.  (HT CodePink)

Now -- if only OUR old asses would listen...

How many more of your "Wounded Warriors" are you willing to sacrifice for this confused and used fool as he ramps up going to war against ISIL/ISIS (or whatever name the West chooses to call them on any given day anyway)?  And WHAT is Cheney talking about with his "our "inability to shape events" -- what has the alleged United States of America been doing BUT shaping events the world over???

- Say ‘No’ to War and Media Propaganda
- Neocons Revive Syria ‘Regime Change’ Plan
- The Islamic State (ISIS) Used to Justify Renewed U.S. “Humanitarian Bombings” in Iraq and Syria
- The Islamic State, the “Caliphate Project” and the “Global War on Terrorism”
- Mid-East In Depth: Did the U S "Engineer" the ISIS Attack on Iraq from Syria?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, my Sisters...

I was in a club in San Antonio, Texas when the music stopped -- the DJ announced that Tupac Amaru Shakur was dead. When I got home, my sons were asleep. The next morning though, because they loved him and his music so damned much, they sadly told me what I already knew.  It was a bonding moment that I can't even begin to explain (so much love and respect for Afeni Shakur!):

The first time I heard this song from young Mr. Blacc, it was a snot-running-down-my-face affair.  My boys said, "Yeah, we knew you'd love this shit, Mom" --  and they were so right!!:

Happy Mother's Day, my Sisters (particularly those of you with sons cuz  -- "for a woman, it ain't easy tryin' to raise a man").  As commercialized as the day always was, and still is -- know that, without a doubt, there's some real love for you there, from those to whom you gave life!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The intended consequence of white supremacist-manufactured "symbolism?" -- our continued blissful ignorance

I can understand how "symbols" inspire many of us to aspire -- not only when what seems to be their deeply held truths appear to mirror our own, but particularly when they look like us!  But, once we see, by their deeds, that we've been staring "through a glass darkly," shouldn't blissful ignorance be kicked to the curb in search of some real truth?  Doesn't our successful survival as human beings depend upon it?
With most of the present sources of power controlled by the white race it behooves my race as well as the other subject races to learn the wisdom of the weak and to develop to the fullest that organ whereby weakness has been able to overcome strength; namely, the intellect.  It is not with our teeth that we will tear the white man out of our ancestral land.  It isn't with our jaws that we can wring from his hands consideration and respect.  It must be done by the upper and not by the lower parts of our heads.  Therefore, I have insisted ever since my entry into the arena of racial discussion that we Negroes must take to reading, study and the development of intelligence as we have never done before.  In this respect we must pattern ourselves after the Japanese who have gone to school to Europe but had never used Europe's education to make them the apes of Europe's culture.  They have absorbed, adopted transformed and utilized, and we Negroes must do the same.  The three editorials in this chapter and the articles which follows them were written to indicate from time to time the duty of the transplanted African in this respect. (emphasis mine)

Hubert Henry Harrison,  Chapter VIII. -- "When Africa Awakes"
Please read this book, Family.  Its mere 146 pages are chock-full of the kind of clarity we need to hear and heed.  And please, know that his reference to "Africa" in the title is not restricted to the Continent itself, but to the diaspora worldwide.  It was through Pan-Africanism that he saw us defeating white supremacy and benefitting from that struggle.   First published in 1920, Mr. Harrison's book was not only prescient, it is still very relevant today (though I'm certain he'd be sorely disappointed with many of us -- "New Negroes," for whom he held out such promise).

For the past month or so, I've been ruminating about Madiba's death, memorial service, interment and dedication of his statue in South Africa the day after.  Combined, they all totally reinforced for me, how white supremacist-manufactured "symbolism" continues to cripple many of us, Black folk across the diaspora.

If the ANC's 1955 Freedom Charter (demanding the nationalizing of banks, mining and other major industries, as well as the redistribution of land, among other things) had not been abandoned and, had they told the IMF, "Thanks, but no thanks, we don't need your loan money.  We've got gold, diamonds as well as plenty of those pesky rare earth minerals that YOU seem to need so much right here under our feet!  So, how 'bout let's talk some contract renegotiations m'kay?" -- I think we can all agree, the marginalized in South Africa would've been able to "pull themselves up by their own bootstraps" a long time ago!

John Pilger's, "Apartheid Did Not Die" deals with that inconvenient truth most effectively.  Take a listen:

After reading Ezili Dantò's most comprehensive, Madiba Is Dead: Condolences To Heroic Mother Winnie, I was more than good with my ruminations (Family, please take the time to read the entire piece, as well as the links).  She begins:
Now that Madiba is dead: Remember to remember that icons created by oppressors will never liberate the people. Madiba is dead: Condolences to heroic mother Winnie. (emphasis mine)
This is a sentiment with which I totally agree.  And it, consequently, represents an excellent example of that "white supremacist-manufactured symbolism" that's still confusing us.  According to them:  pre-prison, resistance warrior, Nelson Mandela, bad; post-27 years imprisoned, compliant Nelson Mandela -- good; pre- and post-prison, resistance warrior, Winnie Mandela?  All bad.

Ms. Dantò continues:
Since Mandela’s death, the same international powers that keep the structural conditions alive for Black suffering worldwide, are universally heralding the man and his great achievements. The same corporatocracy who helped keep South Africa and the global South in economic chains and political instability to increase their money-making profits, are lining up to have their pictures taken at the funeral. (emphasis mine)

Really, Family -- you just can't make this shit up!  

And rather than Black bloggers reaching back to the "temple of their familiar," knowing that in our culture, a funeral service is a solemn showing of respect for a life lived (after the wake, of course!),  there was a plethora of these kinds of pieces, mimicking the narrative of the oppressors.  Apparently, cultural amnesia has replaced what we know to be true -- for us.

I've not written much about Michelle Obama because early on, it was quite clear to me that she'd been reigned in and allowed herself to be made into the kind of "symbol" with which white supremacy is most comfortable.  But, the photo above speaks volumes -- not only about "from whence she came," but about her damned husband as a White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchal lemming as well.  Given his "selfie," it's obvious he never had a clue what our Blackness is, and has been, about.   He's just another one of those pieces of white supremacist-manufactured "symbolism" we really could have  done without. If we're honest (with ourselves and others), the answer to the question Ms. Dantò asks here...
Is putting a Black face in command of the same racist, profit-over-people economic system – as with President Barack Obama in the US – a great change? (emphasis mine) an unequivocal, "absolutely not!"
“Life was neither something you defended by hiding nor surrendered calmly on other people’s terms, but something you lived bravely, out in the open, and that if you had to lose it, you should lose it on your own terms.”

Edwidge Danticat, The Dew Breaker
To my mind, having "lived bravely," must always involve telling the whole truth (to one's self as well as others), owning one's fears and muddling through to clarity -- despite them.  As I ponder young Sister Danticat's words, I wonder if Madiba did, in fact, lose his life on his own terms.  Thanks to the non-stop white-washing, I guess we'll never really know.

As I write this today --  on Martin Luther King Day -- I would be remiss in not mentioning white supremacy's machinations of Dr. King's "symbolism."  I've been pensive about it all day.  It seems to me that Dr. King was Black America's own, pre-prison Mandela (though he was not technically imprisoned in America for 27 years).  Instead of breaking him with jail, forcing him to finally disavow all for which he'd fought -- they killed him.  Perhaps they concluded that, no matter what they put him through (unlike the Changeling), they could not turn him against the interests of his people.

White supremacy has done everything they can -- to manufacture a Dr. King with whom they can feel comfortable -- and in some ways, we have been and continue to be, complicit in their success. If I hear one more, "content of their character" quote manipulation and misappropriation, I think my damned head will just explode!

While he was alive, they maligned, demeaned and castigated him for standing up for his people, his culture and what he believed was right -- and human.  After he died, they felt it their right and privilege to do whatever they wished with his memory, like they could, and can, still "own" people.

And just so other folk of color didn't get it twisted, they made certain to spread the bigotry around for those, thirsty to indulge in the "American Nightmare Dream."  Last week, my youngest called me as he was getting ready for work to say (trust me, I was not happy when he called because  I rarely "rise and shine" at that hour!), "Mom, I was watching the news and the weather guy came on and said, "for Martin Luther Coon Day, we expect it to warm up..."  I asked, "You sure he said that?" (the weather guy is a community-accepted, white supremacy-stamped -- descendant of Mexican immigrants!)

He said, "Yeah Mom, he said it.  My friend, Charlotte Redd recorded it on her phone from the TV and sent it to me."  Without a thought, I blurted out, "See, that's why I don't f*ck with Mexicans who think they're white -- send me that video so I can post it!"  He did, but my non-computer wonk self couldn't figure out how to convert it to a Youtube video so I could post it, so here's the article where the station insufficiently addressed it:  San Antonio weatherman says MLK slur was mistake.

Please!  I could give two shits about their, or his, bullshit apology.  Seems he thinks his white benefactors at Fox don't think something equally derogative about him (and his other Brown brethren crossing over the Rio Grande into the belly of the beast).  Let me just say, he's still at work.  Without a doubt, his thought processes benefit white supremacy immensely.

I'm ending this saying that, despite my disagreements with Dr. King's "respectability politics" -- I will always love him.  Why?  Because I've never doubted that he always stood -- and died -- for us.  And the struggle continues, Family...

- Cameron explains selfie at Mandela memorial
- South Africa: Mandela Is Dead - Why Hide the Truth About Apartheid?
- When Martin Luther King Jr. gave up his guns
- How we get Dr. King wrong: “We’ve deliberately dismembered him,” Michael Eric Dyson tells Salon
- The Martin Luther King Jr. They Don’t Want You to Remember

Thursday, December 5, 2013

'Rest in peace, Madiba. Thank you for everything.'

My youngest son called me today to tell me that Nelson Mandela had died. I didn't know.

I'd been almost totally tuning out all TV (except for The Dog Whisperer twice a day) because of all those, "Buy this! Buy that!  Get yourself knee-deep in debt you can't afford!" ads since the Black Friday madness began.  I thanked him, and then sat with myself to reflect on what I deemed my then, very small voice for divestment and revolution in South Africa after graduating from college in 1978.

My headline above, taken from The Daily Maverick, encapsulates Mandela's life for those younguns and others unfamiliar but, my most favorite take-away from the piece, comes from the Madiba I loved the most!:
On 12 June 1964 the judge found all but two of the prisoners guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment. Mandela was sent to Robben Island, where he would remain for the next 18 years. During his time there his mother and son died, his second wife Winnie was banned and subjected to relentless harassment by the apartheid police, and the ANC became a movement in exile. In March 1982, along with Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada and Raymond Mhlaba, Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison. President PW Botha offered him conditional release in 1985, in return for renouncing the armed struggle, but he refused, saying: "What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts." (emphasis mine)
The Changeling will, no doubt, be in attendance at the funeral, totally oblivious to what that last emphasized sentence above even means -- much less, "taking history in his hands and bending the arc of the moral universe towards justice!"  Too bad.  Unlike the Emeli Sandé we see below, his half-white/half-African self was NEVER as socially conscious as she:

In this special edition of IDEAS, entitled "The Mandela Tapes" (a podcast which this old-head has still not figured out how to post!), Rick Stengel, a young reporter chosen to record Mandela's life story, was working in South Africa for Rolling Stone magazine. From 1992 to 1996, Stengel shadowed Mandela, using his small cassette machine to record the stories which would help in the writing of Mandela's autobiography, 'Long Walk to Freedom'.  Listen to it Family, then, draw your own conclusions.


- Mandela: a Dissenting Opinion
- Telling the Truth About Nelson Mandela
- U.S. Lionizes Mandela In Death … But Treated Him as a Terrorist While Alive
- Celebrating a life fully lived: Rest in power brother Madiba
- NYT Takes Mandela's Death as a Chance to Mock His Fight to Free His Country
- ANC on Mandela: 'The Large Baobab Tree Has Fallen'
- Nelson Mandela: Obama, Clinton, Cameron, Blair – Tributes of Shameful Hypocrisy
- Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Preserving cultural identity in the face of institutionalized white supremacy: Another Home-going -- Pt. 1, Final -- State-sanctioned child-trafficking, "When animals attack"

What finally happened to Veronica Brown and her father, Dusten is pretty much what always happens when animals of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy variety attack in full force.

White folk know, and all those wanna-be-white folk have learned that, more often than not, that whole, "skin you're in" construct (with a little white Jesus thrown in for good measure), crazily cements their white-savior "cred" both here and abroad in a major way (Hell, even Mitt's Fam's in on the save-the-savages bonanza!).  This peddling a deity (who looks like them) to other supposedly "lesser" folk, is to their distinct and seemingly infinite advantage, Family.  Why?  Because it makes them extremely powerful among those to whom they've sold him!

After ripping his heart right out of his chest, buying his child from a woman who didn't want her (or him), the wanton vultures they've always been -- just waited, hoveringintent on picking his carcass clean.  And true to form, they did:
Both those pieces shook me to my very core for some time. Any illusion I might have had that this country and its inhabitants gave two shits about the "best interests of the child" were forever shattered.  But more importantly than anything, I felt that familiar "quiet riot" rumbling deep in my gut that always get, when something patently wrong and hateful happens (and trust me Family, I've been feeling it on the regular here lately) -- and it did.

As I tried to make sense of the fact, that the very government that Dusten Brown had sworn to "serve and protect," was complicit in the taking of his flesh and blood, handing her over to their fellow white supremacists who, in their hubris and literature, claim to want to "protect Native American children and families,(but are really bent on wiping their culture out of existence by way of that old "Manifest Destiny" bullshit) -- it just did not compute.

The M.O. is as repetitively disgusting as it is old hat --  take whatever, or whomever you want, to fill some hole in what passes for your soul; use your money, influence and white supremacist ties to keep that jackboot firmly grounded on the necks of those you see as inferior and just to make the point clear, hang the threat of incarceration and the loss of all your livelihood over your head.  I tell you, white supremacy, like cotton -- remains the fabric of all our lives.

We can admit it or not, Family -- all of us, Others continue to live the many "-isms" the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy (WSCP) has craftily and consistently devised to divide and destroy us.  IAdoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, we've seen in great relief -- how the supreme law of the land, not only sanctioned, facilitated and masterfully perpetuated the selling of a more than capable father's flesh and blood for the benefit of a barren, white woman and her social-climbing husband, we've seen how ineffective the supposed, "America is a nation of laws" is -- for us.  In case you missed it, this is the WSCP in full effect.

My beautiful, young sister, Ms. Hill, absolutely nails what happened to Dusten Brown in all those courts (the ones we all think are there to protect us):

When, the, Son of Perdition is Commander-in-Chief, the standard is thief...

Marinate on that line right there, while I touch on a few points from the first link:
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon confirmed this morning that Matt and Melanie Capobianco have left Oklahoma with 4-year-old Veronica under the watch of his deputies and a State Law Enforcement Division agent.

Cannon would not say where the James Island couple is or when they plan to return to South Carolina with their adoptive daughter, though he said he doesn’t expect them to come home today. Two deputies and a SLED agent will remain with them “for some period of time” to ensure they have a safe and smooth journey, he said.

Cannon said he doesn’t want to get into details about their travel plans because there is a great deal of emotion and frustration still surrounding the case.

“They are at an agreed-upon location where they are safe and comfortable,” he said. (emphasis mine)
First of all, Gov. Haley, how many South Carolinians okayed the use of their tax dollars to send these jackboots to Oklahoma in service to these two, PRIVATE citizens?  Two deputies AND a SLED agent at their disposal -- for however long??  And those of you who are not white supremacists raised no hell at all?!:
Cannon said he dispatched his law enforcement team to Oklahoma Monday because he had been monitoring the case and saw a possibility that a custody transfer might occur. He said he had been in contact with the Capobiancos’ attorneys as well.

Cannon said the decision by Veronica’s biological father, Dusten Brown, to hand her over to the Capobiancos does not mean that a pending criminal charge against him for custodial interference will just disappear. The custody battle and that charge “are two separate issues,” he said.

Cannon said his compliance with Monday’s exchange and plans for “some continued interaction between the Caponbiancos and Dusten Brown” could well be factors the courts will weigh in the case, but the matter still must run its course through the legal system.

“There is a warrant, he has been arrested and that has to be resolved,” he said. “There is every intention that that process continue to its conclusion, whatever that conclusion may be.”
Okay, whoever believes Cannon didn't know beforehand that the Capobiancos had already won custody of Veronica, raise your hands.  His lies are as ludicrous as the thought that no one recognized his veiled, "Keep being a good boy, Dusten and maybe we'll take that into consideration."
Dusten Brown held back tears Monday night as he packed bags for 4-year-old Veronica.

Oklahoma’s top court had cleared the way earlier in the day for the curly-haired girl to head back to South Carolina, where she spent the first 27 months of her life.

Veronica left the Tahlequah home where she had been staying recently. She said goodbye to Brown and her biological grandparents.

“He told her she was going to stay with Matt and Melanie (Capobianco) and they would be nice to her,” said Shannon Jones of Charleston, the birth father’s attorney. “He told her he loved her.”

After she walked away, Brown released the emotion he held in. He cried...

Emotional fight

Emotions have boiled on both sides of the legal battle since South Carolina courts gave custody to Brown in 2011. Veronica became a battle cry for American Indians intent on preserving their culture, while adoption advocates warned that an outcome not in the Capobiancos’ favor could discourage families from adoption...

...A South Carolina judge finalized the adoption in July and brushed aside all challenges, such as a request for an inquiry into Veronica’s best interests.

But Brown refused to relinquish his daughter.

Charleston prosecutors and deputies, as well as the state’s governor, wanted him arrested and extradited. He was jailed twice in Oklahoma, but the Charleston authorities’ attempts to reel him in never were successful. His lawyers have asked for a hearing to question the legality of the arrest warrant.

On Monday, Jones urged authorities to stop pursuing criminal action against her client. Jail time, Jones said, would greatly damage the Capobiancos’ future relationship with Veronica.

Surprise move

Courts in Oklahoma eventually approved the adoption decree, and in mid-August, one judge there ordered mediation that would give the Capobiancos and Brown a chance to iron out future visitation.
Over the coming weeks, the Capobiancos visited Veronica.

In photographs released Monday, Matt Capobianco clutches Veronica as she sits in his lap. Wearing a sparkly tiara, Melanie Capobianco tosses Veronica in her arms in another picture.

“(The) visits show that Veronica remembers them and loves them,” Lori Alvino McGill, the couple’s Washington attorney, said Monday.

Veronica celebrated her fourth birthday Sept. 15 with a Disney princess-themed bounce house, balloons and a table loaded with gifts. The Cherokee Nation presented her with a traditional dress...

...Later in the day, the move by Oklahoma’s top justices allowed authorities to enforce an Aug. 30 order from the Nowata County District Court demanding the Capobiancos get custody. The order is a version of one from a South Carolina judge.

The stay had been in place as the two sides talked about a settlement.

Five justices concurred with the opinion. Two dissented. One concurred in part and dissented in part. One did not vote.

The justices who disagreed with the move called for a hearing to determine whether a custody change is best for Veronica. Some said that finalizing an adoption without the proceeding was a violation of due process, making the South Carolina decree invalid.

The handover

Two deputies from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and an agent from the State Law Enforcement Division had arrived in Oklahoma earlier in the day, anticipating a significant development.

But even with the high court’s order, the Cherokee Nation expressed defiance against enforcement.

The tribe’s attorney general, Todd Hembree, said the state court’s order needed to be domesticated in tribal court to allow its enforcement on the land and the people it has jurisdiction over.

An order in tribal court, though, conflicted with Monday’s measure, Hembree said.  A tribal judge already has given custody of Veronica to Brown’s family.

“We are a sovereign nation with a valid and historic court system, Hembree said. “I took an oath ... to uphold the laws and constitution of the Cherokee Nation and the United States. Nowhere in that oath is it required that I defend the laws of South Carolina.”

But it was Chrissi Nimmo, an assistant attorney general for the tribe that Veronica has come to know, who helped with the transition Monday night.

Nimmo took Veronica to meet with the Capobiancos and authorities.

Jones, the Charleston attorney, said her client had been given an hour to bid farewell to Veronica.

After the ordeal, Brown’s father suffered a heart condition, Jones said, and was taken to a hospital.

The Capobiancos last said in August that they wanted Brown and the Cherokee culture to play a role in Veronica’s future. It’s unknown whether any recent developments changed their views.

“We vow to hold them to their promise, Jones said, “to let her know her heritage and her people.”

As she rode in a car Monday night with the Capobiancos, Veronica was quiet at first, said Noel Tucker, the couple’s attorney in Oklahoma.

Before long, she was singing to songs on the radio. (all emphasis mine)
Children are truly canvases at four years old, no?  Especially when their beloved Daddy assures them everything will be okay.  Big Ups to Todd Hembree for letting the state of South Carolina know how he felt, however, what we we're left with here is yet another Trail of Tears, Family.


Well, there is some good news on one front. Remember the Black father I talked about in the first part of this series, whose sister-girl, wife gave their daughter up for adoption to a couple in Utah while he was stationed somewhere else?  He got his daughter back!

Familyin whatever way you can,  please -- Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine.  It's the only way, as Bro. Amenta said to me once, "...we may be able to awaken and fight the beast directly and not sideways."  That's how young, Brother Terry Achane fought it.  His words here show how deceptively simple it all is:
"I am not a very religious person,’ Mr. Achane has since told the Tribune, ‘but thou shalt not steal'.
Despite all the treacherous, well-worn tactics in which the Fries, this bio-Mom, this crooked adoption agency and this lawyer, along with their bought-and-paid-for media shills engaged (just like the Capobiancos) -- he won, Family!

But there are two major differences between Dusten Brown and Terry Achane -- this:
Judge Darold McDade berated the Adoption Center of Choice’s handling as ‘utterly indefensible.’ Once Mr. Achane contacted the Adoption Center of Choice … to let them know he opposed the adoption and wanted his daughter back, that should have been the end of this case,’ said Mr. McDade.

‘This is a case of human trafficking,’ Mr. Achane’s attorney Mark Wiser told the Tribune. ‘Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers.  It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child.’ (all emphasis mine)
And this:

Even though he had the law, his sovereign Nation and his family on his side, Mr. Brown never stood a snowball's chance in hell with all those "low people in high places" amassed by the Capobiancos.  Being judicially and politically connected -- and wealthy -- made all the difference in how Veronica's case turned out, Family (Dr. Phil's nothing but a good ole boy from the Belly of the Beast, given a Hollywood chance by a Black woman who, it seems to me, detests her whole Blackness, more than she pretends to love it).

Though I definitely believe civil and human rights violations have been committed by both South Carolina and Oklahoma as well as The Supremes, I have serious doubts Holder & Co. will even think about looking into this case -- but we've got to try.  We've got to raise enough hell -- out loud -- because these two states continue to traffic Native American children for white, barren wombs.  Please, let's start now by signing this petition demanding a DOJ investigation of the entire case by signing the petition:  State of Oklahoma and U.S. Department of Justice - Eric Holder: Investigate the "adoption" of Veronica Brown


My Dearest Veronica,

Know your Daddy fought for you as hard as any Daddy could!  He went to court for you sweet child, and then he went to jail for you too, more than once. And guess what? He's still fighting -- all so you can know "from whence you came."

Where you are now, they will surround you with folk trying to make you believe your cultural identity does not matter at all, that you're a "fake Indian," like those whose images they've twisted or created for their own purposes -- like mascots.  But do know Little One, like many of us, one of your dear elders understands exactly what that's all really about.  She said I could share it with you here:

by Cecilia Rose LaPointe

My Grandfather,
I've cared about you since I was 4 years old,
Since I can remember,
The funeral was odd,
I wasn't sad for you,
I knew you were hurting,

Decades later,
Stories were told,
In a suburban home of love and healing,
It was painful to hear what you have gone through,
What I fight for everyday is our story,
That I choose a certain way to live because of your story,
Because of our story,
There was too much to see,
Too much healing to be done,
Not enough supports in the dominant culture,
Crying on the curb,
Rubbing tears on our jeans,
We walked out into the great abyss of the streets,

On being a fake Indian,
The stories are what we know in our souls,
No one would deny the pains,
Or sufferings in our family,
The flannel shirts-yellow smoke-bowling-UP energy,
Tired-mining-poverty-poor-rusted truck on blocks-UP energy,
Reservation conglomeration-government homes,

It was our beautiful black hair,
That we took a comb through,
Tears were behind us in the mirror we gazed at,
I was always afraid of my Dad's eyes,
In the rear view mirror,
Pearl Jam said it best,
"forced to endure what i could not forgive,
i seem to look away
wounds in the mirror waved,"
Saw things,
What did you see Grandfather?
How were you held down?
We were afraid of the tears,
No one told us that Indians could cry,
Could feel,
Could grieve,

On being a fake Indian,
Too much of what I remember,
Homogenization tactics,
But I knew something else,
Whether it was the thunder,
My Dad saying,
"its Grandpa LaPointe bowling in heaven..."
I can remember the orange streetlight and rain coming down
Sitting on the front steps,
Thunder and lightning across the sky,

On being a fake Indian,
Sure we exist in mixed skins,
Sure we exist in a mixed blood indentity conundrum,
Where mainstream TV perpetuates "equality" with other minorities,
They've got their tokens,
There are no American Indians on the TV,
We are invisible,
Life ways and identity stereotyped in a racist culture,

On being a fake Indian,
Our story is one that has not been heard,
The rush hour herds,
Daily grind in the name of "progress,"
Forgetting in daily prayers who we are,
Where we live,
The conditions of,
In this oppression,

On being a fake Indian,
No one can tell you what you feel in your heart,
What the family soul feels,
Or what healing we have done and will continue to do,
A beautiful strength,
Against great odds,
This is our choice,
What we have chosen,
What do you choose?


Dear Heart, you are NOT forgotten, trust me:

- The End of American Thanksgivings: A Cause for Universal Rejoicing
Native Americans according to the first Western accounts
- Father of Cherokee girl honored in Oklahoma
- Baby Veronica & Baby Deseray: Don't Let Them Sell Our Babies!
Judicial Impropriety in 'Baby Veronica' case? 
- Cherokee Nation Mourns as Veronica Is Returned to Adoptive Family
- Veronica Brown: The Taking of Native American Children
- Adoptive Parent Entitlement in South Carolina/Cherokee/ICWA Case/Baby Veronica UPDATED

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"The 23rd of Loneliness"

Damn, I love the "Crazy, Sexy, Cool" (and honesty) of these young Sisters, right here!!  They were, who I was, in the natural progression of me!  Yeah, and still today, they dance like me -- not much physical exertion, but plenty, self- expression!!
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