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  1. field negro: Well, color me not surprised.
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They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this? This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. From America? This good white man? Where you going to get a better job than you get here?

Why, you left your mind in Africa. On that same plantation, there was the field Negro. The field Negro — those were the masses. There were always more Negroes in the field than there was Negroes in the house. The Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house they ate high up on the hog.

In those days they called them what they were: guts. And some of you all still gut-eaters. The field Negro was beaten from morning to night. He lived in a shack, in a hut; He wore old, castoff clothes. He hated his master. I say he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master. But that field Negro — remember, they were in the majority, and they hated the master. The masses are the field Negroes.

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Just as the slavemaster of that day used Tom, the house Negro, to keep the field Negroes in check, the same old slavemaster today has Negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms, 20th century Uncle Toms, to keep you and me in check, keep us under control, keep us passive and peaceful and nonviolent. Some of these leaders suffer from an aloofness and absence of faith in their people.

The white establishment is skilled in flattering and cultivating emerging leaders. It presses its own image on them and finally, from imitation of manners, dress and style of living, a deeper strain of corruption develops. He is often more at home with the middle-class white than he is among his own people.

The tragedy is that too often he does not recognize what has happened to him. During the course of the primary election fight they will spend Hundreds of millions of dollars! In fact, they are on a record setting pace for total spent for Presidential elections. But there will be no change in how the government is run, whether Clinton, McCain, or Obama win the election.

Does anyone seriously propose that Obama or Clinton will oppose the money and power that elected them? Or that Obama will remember where he came from when his is elected, even though he does not come from the Black Community in the United States? Clinton and Obama state that they will somehow end the war against Iraq, but they vote for funding the war, while they vote for the cuts for much needed social services and health, education and welfare. They say they oppose the racist drug laws, but they do not oppose these in the Senate, where they both hold power.

Do people really believe that we will win national health care, in this country, when social services are being cut or privatized by the government? The only time when national health care has been won, anywhere in the world, has been when the working class has built their own political power, organized independently of the capitalist class. Where is own party? Where is our movement? Social Security would never have been won during the depression if it were not for the rise of the CIO and a mass Socialist Party. They have no real position on any question that opposes the status quo.

One thing to which they give lip service is that they support the rights of Blacks. But, while they are both opposed to the genocide and aids epidemic in Africa, they say nothing about the Black genocide — the infant mortality rate amongst Blacks 14 deaths per thousand , and the aids epidemic here in the United States, where the majority of aids victims are now Black.

Always remember, that the Democrats would have won the election in , if they had stood up for the civil rights of disenfranchised Black people. The lesson that should be understood is that they do not support and defend civil rights, even if it means the Presidency! It is important to point out that the demise of every social movement in the United States can be marked from the point that the leadership of the different movements subordinated those movements to support to the Democrat Party as the lesser the lesser evil to the Republican Party.

It is their government — not ours! What a joke. Daniels wrote: The greatest danger to Black liberation in the U. Those who have subsisted on the morsels of private gains will find themselves regurgitated or excreted as waste upon the dump heap filled with the remains of our humanity. Our lives now are so much waste for some, taken for granted by others, and treated with indifference by many. Deciding whether cooperation with the Republicrats will finally, at last, free our children or sell them down the river is not an option at this late date. The greatest danger to Black liberation is for us to believe that Senators Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will respect us as human beings.

Rather than working in the trenches with the people themselves and making the city of Chicago accountable for the conditions Black Americans have to endure, Obama has always invested his efforts with the authorities, whether it was with the Daley Machine or with the moneyed foundations. He made a conscious decision to climb the ladder to civic leadership and perhaps his decisions benefited him and his family but it did little to help the Blacks he found in dire straights on his return to Chicago in The Prison Industry is now a growing capitalist concern, while the majority of prisoners are non-white and poor.

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The racist drug laws provide labor to these prison industries. It is not just segregation that is now coming back; slavery is also coming back through the prison system! The first civil and human rights movement by and for Black people started during the Civil War and the period of Black Reconstruction that followed. It was a time of radical hopes for many freed slaves. But it was also a time of betrayal. Instead, the promise of equality was soon replaced by the restoration of the property rights of the former slave owners in the South.

The answer is simple— terrorism. They used police and terroristic Ku Klux Klan violence. These extra-legal activities laid the basis for the overthrow of Black Reconstruction and the institutionalization of legal segregation Jim Crow in the former slave states. To enforce Jim Crow , Black people were, for decades, indiscriminately lynched and framed. The successful yearlong Montgomery Bus Boycott in reflected the new, more militant mood among Negroes the name given to Black people by the ruling class. This new mood was a product of the rise of the Black Liberation movements in Africa, the confidence gained by the Black working class during the rise of the CIO, and the respect, knowledge, and expectations of democracy gained by Black soldiers during the Korean War.

Thus the struggle against Jim Crow had begun, and with each victory to integrate and enforce the Supreme Court decision, the mass of Black people gained confidence in themselves and that the fight for racial equality could be won. Terror and violence gripped this city, while the world watched. Indeed, it was the national and international embarrassment that forced President Kennedy and the government to begin to take governmental action. In the space of a few months, a huge demonstration was built. This demonstration was the largest social action in the United States since the mass strikes that led to the rise of the CIO in the s and late s.

This mass action led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in It was a notable omission. In this speech, he was going to say:. We are now involved in a serious revolution. This nation is still a place of cheap political leaders who build their career on immoral compromises and ally themselves with open forms of political, economic and social exploitation.

The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? But if Lewis could be prevented by the March organizers from offending the liberal Democratic establishment from the stage of the Washington march, they could not prevent the civil rights movement from embracing a growing militancy and desire to expand the struggle to embrace a larger vision of social change.

Both were defenders of Jim Crow prior to the March on Washington. While the struggle in the South was specifically against Jim Crow , the struggle in the North was against de-facto segregation. The images of the dogs etc. The rise of the Black Muslims and Malcolm X was a reflection of the mood in the majority of the Black ghettos in every major northern city, where the economic and political power of Black people was more concentrated and greater than in the rural south.

The rise of the nationalist movement consequently generated heated debates within the movement between the strategies of peaceful disobedience and righteous self-defense. In his latter years, Malcolm X saw the Black struggle as a struggle for human rights, and, notably, as an anti-capitalist economic struggle. However, righteous self-defense, became a call of the Deacons for Defense and Justice , during this time: The Deacons for Defense and Justice was an armed self-defense African-American civil rights organization in the U. Southern states during the s.

Many times the Deacons are not written about or cited when speaking of the Civil Rights Movement because their agenda of self-defense — in this case, using violence, if necessary — did not fit the image of strict non-violence that leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yet, there has been a recent debate over the crucial role the Deacons and other lesser known militant organizations played on local levels throughout much of the rural South. Many times in these areas the Federal government did not always have complete control over to enforce such laws like the Civil Rights Act of or Voting Rights Act of The Deacons were instrumental in many campaigns led by the Civil Rights Movement.

The March Against Fear signified a shift in character and power in the southern civil rights movement and was an event in which the Deacons participated. Scholar Akinyele O. According to Umoja it was the urging of Stokely Carmichael that the Deacons were to be used as security for the march. Many times protection from the federal or state government was either inadequate or not given, even while knowing that groups like the Klan would commit violent acts against civil rights workers.

An example of this was the Freedom Ride where many non-violent activists became the targets of assault for angry White mobs. After some debate and discussion many of the civil rights leaders compromised their strict non-violent beliefs and allowed the Deacons to be used.

field negro: Well, color me not surprised.

One such person was Dr. The symbol of the party was the Black Panther and they were called the Black Panthers because of that symbol. The Alabama Democrats retaliated against this movement by evicting sharecroppers and tenant farmers, and attempting illegal foreclosures against Black Panther supporters. They even threatened to kill any African-American who registered. And, in the course of time, Black Panther Parties arose throughout the country. Blacks acquired the right to vote and access to jobs through affirmative action programs, to make up for the past discriminations.

There was hope for a better life in the Black Community. However, after Martin Luther King, struggled against de facto segregation in Chicago, he realized that the struggle for economic equality was a more difficult fight than the struggle against Jim Crow. At this point he began to take similar anti-capitalist positions as Malcolm X. At the time of their assassinations, both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were embarking on a course in opposition to the capitalist system.

That is why they were assassinated. The Emergence of social initiatives by a revitalized labor movement would be taking place as Negros are placing economic issues on the highest agenda. The coalition of an energized section of labor, Negroes, unemployed, and welfare recipients may be the source of power that reshapes economic relationships and ushers in a breakthrough to a new level of social reform.. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid, or day laborer.

There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peaces will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a true brotherhood. At that time, the stock market was below 1, points. Unlike Malcolm X, whose assassination cut short his organizing plans, King was organizing a movement to obtain his stated goals when he was assassinated.

Malcolm X described this process in his Jan. Fire on one end and fool on the other end. Still receiving the worst form of education. But how many sitting here right now feel that they could [laughs] truly identify with a struggle that was designed to eliminate the basic causes that create the conditions that exist?

Not very many. This country can seduce God. Yes, it has that seductive power of economic dollarism. Most of what W. The more radical concepts that Martin Luther King and Malcolm X had developed at the time of their deaths disappeared from the scene. No one took up where they left off. A last chance at rebuilding the movement was the first National Black Political Assembly on March 10, The radical Black nationalists clearly won the day; moderates who supported integration and backed the Democratic Party were in the minority.

A Black political convention, indeed all truly Black politics, must begin from this truth: The American system does not work for the masses of our people, and it cannot be made to work without radical, fundamental changes. The challenge is thrown to us here in Gary. It is the challenge to consolidate and organize our own Black role as the vanguard in the struggle for a new society.

To accept the challenge is to move to independent Black politics. There can be no equivocation on that issue. History leaves us no other choice. White politics has not and cannot bring the changes we need. Instead of the course that was decided at the convention, they led the way to support Black politicians and through them, the Democratic Party. From this demobilization, came the betrayal and atomization of the movement. There was an increase in jobs for black professionals in government, in industry, and on television.

There was an impression that things were getting better through the strategy of relying upon the Democratic Party to politically secure, protect, and advance the struggle for racial equality. An example of what was wrong with this strategy was clearly demonstrated when Maynard Jackson was elected mayor of Atlanta Ga. These workers ultimately won their union contract, and thousands of ordinary working families in that city got living wages that allowed them to educate their children, buy houses, live decent and dignified lives, and even retire. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly.

Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.

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We are going on. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. In Atlanta, Jackson, instead of helping city sanitation workers, fired more than a thousand city employees to crush their strike. In this, he had the support of white business leaders and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

This struggle eventually saw the involvement of Dr. When Dr. King was assassinated the day after giving a stirring speech to assembled sanitation workers, victory for striking workers followed shortly for much of American liberal official society sympathized with the strikers against the racist city officials.

This scene repeated itself in St. Petersburg and Cleveland later that year. Fast-forward seven years to the Atlanta of and something strange, one may think, happened. The script was flipped. The same black officials who supported sanitation workers against firings by a white mayor decided to replace striking city sanitation employees with scabs.

What explains the apparent about-face by black officials? Just seven years earlier Jackson publicly sided with sanitation workers against a white mayor seeking to fire them. Jackson and some members of the civil rights establishment, in positions of local government by the mid s, did not hesitate to marshal the forces of official society against the self-activity of black workers.

This showed the open class hatred of black and white elites against working people, a prominent feature of communities in Atlanta for generations. No longer fearing a mass civil rights movement in the streets, the Democrats have, for the past 30 years, shared responsibility for the gradual reduction of affirmative action and the victories of the movement. From my own experience, the only way to enforce affirmative action, is if there are quotas for employment in the workplace. The new Black politicians, along with Jessie Jackson, came out against quotas in the 80s, helping to make affirmative action more difficult.

In , President Clinton, as the leader of the Democratic Party, drafted a memorandum for the elimination of any program that creates 1 a quota; 2 preferences for unqualified individuals; 3 creates reverse discrimination The slogan of the racists ; or continues affirmative action even after its equal opportunity purposes have been achieved.

The Democratic Party was responsible for the Anti-Drug Abuse Act which established a to-1 sentencing ratio between possession of crack mainly used in the inter-cities and of cocaine powder mainly used in the suburbs. Under this law, possession of five grams of crack is a felony and carries a mandated minimum five-year federal prison sentence.

For cocaine powder it is only a misdemeanor for the possession of less than grams of cocaine powder. The five-year felony sentence applies if one has grams in their possession. This sentencing disproportion was based on phony testimony that crack was 50 times more addictive than powdered coke. At the same time, many states are now preventing those convicted of a felony from voting. Throughout this land, both the Republican and Democratic Parties are gentrifying the inner cities, in the service of big business, and the poor are being scattered to the winds. It is how the rich are handling unemployment and poverty in this country.

Recently, Black U. In fact it has become a Black disease. Overall, the rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer. Ben H.

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  4. The economic figures from the bipartisan wage-price freeze in to today demonstrate that this it is false illusion. And yet, racism continues to be an institutional part of the United States. Significantly lower than the median incomes for This does not represent progress, it represents that income for workers, Black People and other minorities has decreased since Since the working class and the poor have been suffering an ever-increasing rate of taxation and concurrent cuts in government services, the decline in real wages and their standard of living has been worse.

    In order to regain what has been lost and win equality rights for all, we must stop supporting those who are oppressing us — the Democratic and Republican Parties — and go back to what made all movements powerful. Which was relying upon ourselves and building our own independent power. In his book, Where do we go from here: Chaos or community?

    The total elimination of poverty, now a practical responsibility, the reality of equality in race relations and other profound structural changes in society may well begin here. In , having won landmark civil rights legislation, King strenuously urged racial justice advocates to shift from a civil rights to a human rights paradigm. A human rights approach, he believed, would offer far greater hope than the civil rights model had provided for those determined to create a thriving, multiracial democracy free from racial hierarchy.

    It would offer a positive vision of what we can strive for-a society in which people of all races are treated with dignity and have the right to food, shelter, health care, education, and security. Such a coalition, as King envisioned it thirty-three years ago, is needed today. In order to survive, we must begin the begin. Yes, we may still manage to persuade mainstream voters in the midst of an economic crisis that we have relied too heavily on incarceration, that prisons are too expensive, and that drug use is a public health problem, not a crime.

    Inevitably a new system of racialized social control will emerge—one that we cannot foresee, just as the current system of mass incarceration was not predicted by anyone thirty years ago. Given what is at stake at this moment in history, bolder, more inspired action is required than we have seen to date.

    We must flip the script. Taking our cue from the courageous civil rights advocates who brazenly refused to defend themselves, marching unarmed past white mobs that threatened to kill them, we, too, must be the change we hope to create. If we want to do more than just end mass incarceration — if we want to put an end to the history of racial caste in America — we must lay down our racial bribes, join hands with people of all colors who are not content to wait for change to trickle down, and say to those who would stand in our way: Accept all of us or none.

    That is the basic message that Martin Luther King Jr. He argued then that the time had come for racial justice advocates to shift from a civil rights to a human rights paradigm, and that the real work of movement building had only just begun. It would offer a positive vision of what we can strive for — a society in which all human beings of all races are treated with dignity, and have the right to food, shelter, health care, education, and security.

    A human rights movement, King believed, held revolutionary potential. We must see the great distinction between a reform movement and a revolutionary movement. We are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society. Rather than challenging the basic structure of society and doing the hard work of movement building —the work to which King was still committed at the end of his life — we have been tempted too often by the opportunity for people of color to be included within the political and economic structure as-is, even if it means alienating those who are necessary allies.

    We have allowed ourselves to be willfully blind to the emergence of a new caste system—a system of social excommunication that has denied millions of African Americans basic human dignity. The significance of this cannot be overstated, for the failure to acknowledge the humanity and dignity of all persons has lurked at the root of every racial caste system. The fact that black men could wear the same sign today in protest of the new caste system suggests that the model of civil rights advocacy that has been employed for the past several decades is, as King predicted, inadequate to the task at hand.

    All of this is easier said than done, of course. Change in civil rights organizations, like change in society as a whole, will not come easy. Egos, competing agendas, career goals, and inertia may get in the way. It may be that traditional civil rights organizations simply cannot, or will not, change. To this it can only be said, without a hint of disrespect: adapt or die. If Martin Luther King Jr.

    Hopefully the new generation will be led by those who know best the brutality of the new caste system — a group with greater vision, courage, and determination than the old guard can muster, trapped as they may be in an outdated paradigm. This new generation of activists should not disrespect their elders or disparage their contributions or achievements; to the contrary, they should bow their heads in respect, for their forerunners have expended untold hours and made great sacrifices in an elusive quest for justice.

    But once respects have been paid, they should march right past them, emboldened, as King once said, by the fierce urgency of now. Those of us who hope to be their allies should not be surprised, if and when this day comes, that when those who have been locked up and locked out finally have the chance to speak and truly be heard, what we hear is rage. The rage may frighten us; it may remind us of riots, uprisings, and buildings aflame. We may be tempted to control it, or douse it with buckets of doubt, dismay, and disbelief. But we should do no such thing.

    Instead, when a young man who was born in the ghetto and who knows little of life beyond the walls of his prison cell and the invisible cage that has become his life, turns to us in bewilderment and rage, we should do nothing more than look him in the eye and tell him the truth. We should tell him the same truth the great African American writer James Baldwin told his nephew in a letter published in , in one of the most extraordinary books ever written, and searing conviction, Baldwin had this to say to his young nephew: This is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it….

    It is their innocence which constitutes the crime…. This innocent country set you down in a ghetto in which, in fact, it intended that you should perish. The limits of your ambition were, thus, expected to be set forever. You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity…. You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention; and, by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those innocents who believed that your imprisonment made them This is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it….

    You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention; and, by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those innocents who believed that your imprisonment made them safe are losing their grasp on reality. But these men are your brothers — your lost, younger brothers. And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.

    For this is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what it must become. It will be hard, but you come from sturdy, peasant stock, men who picked cotton and dammed rivers and built railroads, and, in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity.

    You come from a long line of great poets since Homer. One of them said, The very time I thought I was lost, My dungeon shook and my chains fell off…. We cannot be free until they are free. God bless you, and Godspeed. June 11, The Memphis Sanitation Worker Strike, Photo: Ernest Withers, civil rights photographer When a people are mired in oppression, they realize deliverance only when they have accumulated the power to enforce change.

    The powerful never lose opportunities — they remain available to them. They powerless, on the other hand, never experience opportunity — it is always arriving at a later time. The nettlesome task of Negroes today is to discover how to organize our strength into compelling power so that government cannot elude our demands. We must develop, from strength, a situation in which the government finds it wise and prudent to collaborate with us.

    We must frankly acknowledge that in past years our creativity and imagination were not employed in learning how to develop power. We found a method in nonviolent protest that worked, and we employed it enthusiastically. We did not have leisure to probe for a deeper understanding of its laws and lines of development. Although our actions were bold and crowned with successes, they were substantially improvised and spontaneous. They attained the goals set for them but carried the blemishes of our inexperience.

    This is where the civil rights movement stands today.

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    Now we must take the next major step of examining the levers of power which Negroes must grasp to influence the course of events. In our society power sources can always finally be traced to ideological, economic and political forces. In the area of ideology , despite the impact of the works of a few Negro writers on a limited number of white intellectuals, all too few Negro thinkers have exerted an influence on the main currents of American thought.

    Nevertheless, Negroes have illuminated imperfections in the democratic structure that were formerly only dimly perceived, and have forced a concerned reexamination of the true meaning of American democracy. Channel 11 warned that "authorities familiar with the case say more potentially deadly cyanide bombs may be in circulation. For a time, the white public recoiled from the harshest rhetoric of their race-crazed kin, and it appears that many rank and file supremacists shrank away in shame, becoming inactive.

    Bill Clinton's political fortunes rose dramatically on the sea change of public revulsion at the Right, and he defeated Bob Dole decisively in the election. However, as the William Krar saga indicates, at no time have federal authorities treated white hate groups as clear and present dangers to national security. The lethal threat to Black America failed to spur Bill Clinton to any serious action against these very visible networks.

    Krar kept selling his wares, and apparently grew more sophisticated and deadly. Then came September The horror of Oklahoma City had provided only a respite, after all. This time, the Republicans are determined to ride the tidal wave of white fear and hate to its ultimate, ordained destination: world conquest. On the December 5 edition of Democracy Now!

    The Noonday, Texas WMD story was squashed by the Bush Administration with the active collaboration of editors throughout corporate media. The December 10 issue of Intelligence Squad got it just about right: "Suddenly it becomes clear why John Ashcroft isn't going to make a big deal out of nailing these guys: they are essentially a more extreme version of Ashcroft himself. Reporters at Channel 11 in Dallas-Fort Worth were told, "federal agents have served hundreds of subpoenas across the country in a domestic terror investigation" since May.

    Yet there have been no subsequent news reports of such events and only three people are in custody: Krar, Bruey and the New Jersey militiaman, Edward Feltus. If the hundreds of persons suspected of terrorist activities were Arabs or South Asians, we might assume they were locked away incommunicado in the twilight Gulag created since September But these are white Americans with special dispensation to engage in an ancient yet familiar rampage. They can hide in plain sight, because nobody's really looking. Kwanzaa was drawn up by a committee and was said to be a holiday for North American Africans African Americans.

    The US government paid a large sum of money to the alleged founder of Kwanzaa and thus it became a holiday for all Americans. So it does not matter whether a person is of European or Asian descent, they can claim Kwanzaa as their holiday too. Local authorities seeking to ride on the tide of popularity engendered started BHM in Britain by public Black History lectures organised by Black Community Organisations. Its popularity led to some local authorities making budgetary arrangements for BHM while some others went through the motions of supporting BHM.

    Then we saw the Home Office, through its arm the Commission for Racial Equality, publishing glossy BHM booklets targeted at recruiting young Blacks into the ranks of the army and the police. This year, we had the spectacle of London Mayor Ken Livingstone and his flunkey Lee jasper trying to bask in the glory of the history of the African peoples of the world with their First Voices Conference. They were forced by Jews and Zionists to withdraw an invitation Professor Tony Martin, the world's foremost scholar on the Honourable Marcus Garvey, thus causing outrage and anger within the Black Community.

    What is also now creeping in is the discredited idea of multi-culturalism, so that Asians and mother none-Africans can be funded to organise BHM events. The demand of Black children that they be taught their history in English schools has been completely ignored. Given that Carter G. Woodson established BHM in the USA for the education of Blacks about their own history; not as seen by whites as the story of the conqueror for the conquered, then Black organisations in the UK have a duty and a responsibility to maintain and defend that position.

    We should not let those with vast financial resources take control of BHM and then use it against us. To this end, the Hackney Black Peoples Association proposes the following: 1. That a committee representing the widest spectrum of organisations be established to maintain the continuity of BHM for its original purpose. That every year, the Committee organises an African Peoples as a BHM event where we discuss a particular aspect of our history to determine what lessons can be learned for present times.

    Proposed by: Hackney Black Peoples Association. Iraq's Real Weapon Of Mass Destruction Posted: Wednesday, December 17, Newsday Trinidad and Tobago Saddam Hussein's surrender to coalition forces on Sunday should catapult into focus the need not only for the establishment of a properly structured system of War Crimes Tribunals, but for all countries which today are not signatories to the International Criminal Court [ICC] to become members and accept the authority of this body.

    In like manner the legal authority of the International Criminal Court should have relevance for the entire international community. Admittedly, this is untrodden ground, but as George Washington, first President of the United States of America, would write shortly after his inauguration on April 30, "I walk on untrodden ground There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent. I offer this although I accept that purists will indulge in a bit of nit-picking.

    Hussein, undoubtedly, committed or must be held responsible for the committing of some of the worst atrocities of the past years. Saddam Hussein, former iron-fisted ruler of Iraq, had led his country in the s in a war against Iran in which the US had found to be convenient, and in which hundreds of thousands of Iranians were killed, many of them through being gassed. The almost systematic killing off of the Filipinos, whose "crime" was their very human desire to be free men and women, would prompt the American author, Mark Twain, to say that the "stars" on the American flag should be replaced with the skull and crossbones!

    What they have done, however, is present a case for the expansion of the number of countries accepting the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and for the setting up of a system of War Crimes Tribunals. We must be careful not to view what Saddam, easily one of the cruellest tyrants of this and many other generations, did, in a vacuum. At the same time if we are not to simply pay lip service to respect for international law and the moral authority of the UN we must frown on the intervention in Iraq by the several nations led by the US, which launched an invasion of Iraq on the advanced spurious argument that they were searching for weapons of mass destruction.

    The United Nations should not have allowed itself to have been sidetracked over the years in a ridiculous effort to seek to verify whether Iraq was complying with its UN's resolutions. By pursuing this course rather than take firm action against the Saddam Hussein regime over reports of abuses of human rights, it tacitly allowed a barbaric government to pillage and to kill. And although these are basically speaking to take place, the confidence in their being around the corner has already given a fillip to the US economy. There is a third factor in the invasion equation, that is the brake the George Bush Administration has put on Iraq having its crude supplied to the European Union EU paid for in Euros.

    Any spread of the EU's Euro manoeuvre would have led, as night follows day, to the displacing of the US dollar as the world's most favoured unit of exchange. This would have become an added factor in the weakening of the US economy. The payment in Euro strategy which was adopted in and saw even Trinidad and Tobago and Commonwealth Caribbean sugar to the EU, under the Convention of Lome, being paid for in Euros, again from , no longer represents a threat to the US dollar.

    Had the United States and its coalition not cynically intervened militarily in Iraq, the Euro strategy so overwhelmingly embraced by Saddam Hussein and his advisers would have ultimately been Iraq's weapon of mass destruction, with its principal target being the US economy! Are they suffering from analytical paralysis?

    The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights Movement By Roland Sheppard

    They have not found any WMD, and may find them only when they plant some. If possessing weapons of mass destruction is a crime, we should be targeting America, Israel, Britain, and other countries whose misleaders have demonstrated they are a threat to us all. Capturing Saddam is about America's internal elections. All the brutal crimes committed by Saddam were sanctioned by America, and were done with arms and chemicals supplied by many nations including, most of all, the United States of America and Britain. We got what?

    The Cathedral Interprets The Chicago Attack

    Give me a break! The fight was never an easy one and even after independence, Haiti had many negative factors hindering progression. Being a Black republic among white-ruled nations was a major setback as they refused to treat Haiti as independent. Scissions also existed within Haiti as the Blacks retained control of the North and the Coloureds, the South. A nation divided could not efficiently combat external pressures as was possible in unison. The problem was further compounded by the expulsion of whites from Haiti who possessed expertise in terms of the management of the economy.

    This further dampened international relations which sent the economy dwindling. Another possible blunder was that Haiti did not develop with the assistance of a mother country, as was the case with other emancipated territories. In this regard, the development of Haiti was hindered by the repercussions of the Revolution. Immediately after the post-war epoch, Haiti was plagued with economic catastrophe. The revolution had destroyed the very foundation of Haiti's wealth: the agricultural production of coffee, spices, indigo and ultimately, sugar.

    Colonies that had undergone emancipation subsequently experienced the loss of their main export product, which was commonly sugar cane. Their position was that, economic loss came as a result of the decreased demand for the product. In Haiti's case, sugar was still extremely profitable but had come to ruins after the war. Cuba now took over as the leading sugar-producing colony with little competition from the smaller West Indian territories.

    Thus, Haiti began her independent history struggling to retain her dominant position in the race. Haiti had problems administering new roles to the once enslaved African population. Haitian wealth lay in its ability to procure agricultural products for export. This was formerly done using coerced labour. Now that enslaved labour was no longer used to cultivate estates, a new labour scheme was required. Free labour was necessary in order that economic success was attainable. However, ex-slaves adamantly refused to work under a colonial-like system where they were subservient to the dominant planter class.

    Instead, they preferred to become an independent peasantry with their own lands used for subsistence and export purposes. While this may not have been a reality for many ex-slaves, they still had aspirations to become self-dependant estate owners. Land distribution in part originated from already existing hierarchies within slave communities. Such stratification aroused feelings of suspicion among former slaves.

    Also, the very fact that they exported in small quantities lessened the possibility for substantial economic returns. Haitian development was thus hindered from early on in its life as a Black sovereignty. Another factor contributing to the impediment of Haiti was that the international community displayed blatant hostility to the Black nation.

    Haiti proved to be an ideological threat to countries dependent on slave labour and was thus ostracized. Haiti's own rebellion triggered subsequent revolts such as the Nat Turner insurrection in the United States. Believing in the innate inferiority of the Africans, it was difficult for Europeans and Euro- Americans to conceive of continuing trading relations with the Black republic.

    They also feared that their countries would suffer the same fate. In this regard, all formal ties were severed except for a quiet trade that existed with Britain and particularly the United States. Another probable reason that made it difficult for Haiti to progress was that she no longer participated in the slave trade which was then a lucrative fiscal venture. Whenever labour was depleted, it was easy to get an almost immediate supply from slave traders.

    Continuing with the slave trade as an independent nation would, however, prove contradictory to the ideals of the revolution. Some Haitians recommended the revival of the slave trade in order to increase the number of field workers. Labour was desperately needed as fewer than , Haitians survived the revolution.

    Unable to cope with the changing external world, Haiti continued to increasingly lag behind. From the mid nineteenth century, there was a change in the economic tide: a change from an agrarian way of life to a more industrialized one. Due to the fact that Haiti was almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world, she was unable to procure the products appropriate to industrialization or even attempt to manufacture goods.

    Despite the small number of export products, Haiti did not do much to expand her economic horizon. In this regard, Haiti, overshadowed by growing economic enterprise worldwide, could not regain her dominant position on the market. Further to this, unlike other territories that were emancipated, Haiti did not receive assistance from the mother country. Although Haiti was later recognized as a Black republic by the French, she did not receive help due to the nature of her independence.

    Unlike other territories, emancipation was not granted to Haiti. Instead Haiti fought for her independent status. Additionally, as a republic, France was not expected to assist Haiti to develop. Rather, Haitian independence was recognized on condition. An indemnity of million francs was to be paid as well as the reduction of customs charges on French vessels to half the amount paid by other countries.

    To further understand the current state of Haiti we must be cognizant of the dominant figurers who led them after independence. The first that would be considered is the authoritarian figure, Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Being enslaved to a cruel white master is said to have increased the intensity of his hatred towards whites. This hatred was further indicated when, in , he reputedly tore the white strip from the French tricolour flag. It is alleged that approximately 20, French were slaughtered.

    The problem with this scheme was that it was difficult to get the newly freed population to do the work formerly done by slaves. This problem existed since and Toussaint tried to amend the situation by introducing the fermage system. On hearing that Napoleon was to be made emperor, Dessalines decided to beat him to the coronation. He was extremely despotic in his leadership, as he demanded unflinching obedience from the Haitian population. In his short term in office, he made miscalculated moves that scarred Haiti for a long while after.

    One such blunder was the invasion of Santo Domingo which was checked by the accidental arrival of the French. This war laid the foundation for the animosity between these two nations. Many Haitians, particularly in the South became increasingly disenchanted with the rule of the despot. It is not surprising, therefore, that Dessalines was assassinated only three years after the declaration of independence.

    Haiti subsequently plunged into a situation where political anarchy and civil war was evident. Henry Christophe from the north and Alexander Petion from the south contested for the governance of Haiti. Petion and his political advisors tried to deceive Christophe into becoming president but with virtually no power. Christophe thus declared the north the State of Haiti on February 17, On March 9, of the same year, Petion was elected president of the Republic of Haiti in which he had control over the southern half of the island. In the black North, Christophe sought to bring his kingdom into the modern world.

    He began an ambitious programme of education, at least for the children of the elite, and spent a great deal on infrastructural development. In addition, Christophe re-introduced the fermage system. This was mingled with vigorous disciplinary force and worked with much success. However, it was the very implementation of this system that hastened the end of Christophe's regime. Plantations were either placed in the hands of military officers who showed dexterity and leadership on their missions or mulattoes who could prove their relationship to the original proprietors and the rest was leased to the government.

    Despite the success of the new system, the bulk of the black population were not in favour of it. They hated that this new system closely resembled slavery. Thus many of them fled to the south and those that remained, continued to express their abhorrence for the system. Dessalines' reign was ended when Boyer, Petion's successor launched an attack on the north. Christophe committed suicide which put an end to the division between the north and the south. Haiti's development, in this view, was slowed down due to the dissatisfaction of the ex- slave population who grudgingly worked under a slave-like system.

    With an unhappy labour force, Haiti was unable to move forward as a truly independent nation. Under the leadership of Alexander Petion, Haiti was impacted negatively. He did nothing to re-invigorate the economy unlike Dessalines and Chrisophe. Due to the insolvency of the treasury, Petion redistributed lands as payment for military services. The effect of such action was that it created a growing independent peasantry who utilized their lands mainly for subsistence. They isolated themselves from cities and the external world and were seldom involved in government.

    Coffee supplanted sugar as the main crop as it could be cultivated by peasants and their families. Despite the massive turnover, coffee was not of major economic importance. In addition, land plots became smaller as they were sub-divided by landowners to be distributed to inheritors. This meant that goods were exported in smaller quantities which was not economically practicable at the time.

    Petion purchased peasant products at reasonable cost when prices overseas were low. This was done in an attempt to raise the market value of the products. This move proved ineffective as it made southern goods uncompetitive. Petion's tenure as the southern leader further encouraged economic backwardness which plagued Haiti for decades to come. The reunification of Haiti was accomplished under the Boyer regime. The north, being the more prosperous of the two now assumed the immense debts of the south. In addition, as new leader of the united country, he extended land distribution to the north.

    Thus, Haiti grew largely to become a nation cultivated by small peasants. Under his reign, Haiti and Santo Domingo were united.