are many layers to affirmative action, alluvial deposits left by The Great
Crime: slavery. In our exceptionally well circulated May 15 Cover Story,
"The Jayson Blair -
New York Times Affair: Affirmative action blamed for white folks' mistakes,"
Yes, there is
something inherently wrong with affirmative action as practiced in the
United States and at The New York Times: white people still make all
the decisions. The perpetrators of the historical crime, the people
whose delusional worldviews created the societal distortions that plague
Black America in the first place - the same people that make the New
York Times an unfit interpreter of reality - remain the arbiters of
societal standards, values, and hiring. They decide what is "Fit
to Print," and who is fit to engage in the process. Let them live
with their choice of Jayson Blair - that's white folks' business.
When we first encountered
the NYT-Blair affair, we recoiled; it had that musty smell of an old Ebony
magazine, sitting there demanding that we take up a collective
defense of the white folk's erstwhile choice for the next Black journalistic
"role model" gone awry - a choice we had nothing to do with,
made by people whom we do not respect.
Beneath the sediment
lays an essential truth: White people cannot be trusted to create the
antidote for their own poison. When white people construct affirmative
action policies to suit their own purposes, affirmative action failures
must be viewed as white failures. Black people as a group have nothing
to do with this state of affairs.
But of course, we
must live with the consequences of the decisions of the New York Times'
and other, essentially hostile institutions. Somehow, we must navigate
the swamp created when the heirs of men who made Blacks beasts of burden
attempt to further burden the offspring of the slave, hitching Black fortunes
to white folks' never ending follies and blaming us for the inevitable
In the Blair case,
we see that the Gray Lady's brand of affirmative action elevates the type
of Black person who suits the fancy of executive editor Howell Raines,
the white "liberal" from Alabama, and the paper's founding Sulzburger
family. This supremely subjective environment may be a fertile field for
many white candidates, but it produces strange Black fruit, indeed.
Situated at the pinnacle
of pretense, the New York Times styles itself both arbiter and exemplar
of excellence. If we buy into that lie, it follows that Black excellence
must also be judged by Timesian standards. Those who swallow the potion
consign themselves to perpetual hollowness. Too many African Americans
in the corporate world revel in a role similar to that of General Custer's
Black Foot Indian scouts, all the while proclaiming themselves proud warriors
("role models") for the race.
With this in mind,
found no reason last week to point out that the managing editor of the
Times, Gerald Boyd, is Black. Boyd "manages" to allow all manner
of racist skullduggery to occur on his watch. (It's all his watch, we
are led to believe, at least when the Times is anxious to demonstrate
that it has changed its racist ways.) Boyd allowed Times political pet
Adam Nagourney to get away with a lily-white analysis of the South Carolina
Democratic candidates debate. Nagourney, a Timesman in very good standing,
pretended that the entire "third tier" of presidential hopefuls
(Sharpton, Moseley-Braun and Kucinich) was absent.
is forced to conclude that, for Black purposes, Gerald Boyd is absent.
supports affirmative action. However, do not invest the process with magical
properties. Especially in the corporate world, the beneficiaries are -
as often as not - men and women whose most concentrated talents lie in
currying white favor. Fawning careerists have value to themselves and
their direct dependents, but they are useless to the group as a whole.
In the end, they cannot even save themselves, much less the Jayson Blairs.
Dignity is derived
from a well-grounded sense of self. Leadership flowers in struggle.
Ella Baccouche has
dignity in abundance. And she's smart, too.
I love your argument
concerning white folks' notion of institutional "standards."
You put that particular tenet in perspective, enabling us to see those
monocultural reference points for what they really are, racist. Safire's
remark about the "rigorous editing" at the NY Times was just
a little deceptive. Come on! Does he expect us to believe that the one-sided
worldview, whitewashed, sanitized, censored reports coming from their
embedded, often delusional, journalists posted throughout the world
have actually gone through some kind of rigorous editing process? Pleeease!
Does he deny that the NY Times consistently undermines democracy by
eliminating unwanted voices from their reports?
Take the example
you cited of Rev. Al Sharpton's absence from Nagourney's report. Mr.
Safire, the NY Times cannot compare itself to independent and democratic
news sources in the world. One thing is for sure. You can always depend
on the Times op-ed articles to cheerlead for US hegemony. And that slogan,
"All the News that's Fit to Print", is just another way of
saying, "All the News that Fits Our Agenda and Our Paradigm",
regardless of its truth value.
Yes, I agree that
Blair is an authentic Timesman. In his eagerness to assimilate into
the white corporate world, he, like his white counterparts, has forgotten
his journalistic oath by lying to the public and by not checking and
rechecking the veracity of his sources. But, on top of that, he apparently
didn't heed the cardinal rule that obligates the house Negro to do as
the Master says, not as the Master does.
I have one comment
about the Malcolm X speech. Malcolm is so contemporary and right on
point. However, his request about the US government giving us land and
wealth is unlikely to happen because Blacks are a crucial part of the
system. The system cannot tolerate non-white independence. (Haiti, Cuba)
They need the black masses to exploit. (i.e., poverty, survival and
miseducation of black children; overwhelming joblessness and incarceration
of African Americans) Blacks must remain in the "belly of the Beast"
because exploitation and racism mean huge profits. And for these profits
to materialize, the white political operatives in Washington have again
(see Malcolm's BIG SIX) selected and successfully recruited the likes
of Colin Powel, Condoleezza Rice, [Washington, DC] Mayor Anthony Williams,
Justice Clarence Thomas among others who have demonstrated again and
again that they have no scruples about selling us field Negroes down
Ben Tripp is a cartoonist,
essayist and playwrite. Here's his review of the drama at the Times:
As ever, your analysis
of events from the black perspective is greatly illuminating, which
just goes to show that the dark lantern is making a comeback (canned
laughter here). I am particularly struck by your take on the Jayson
Blair fiasco at the New York Times. Here is how this bwana saw the grotesque
attack/apology set forth by the editors:
- First, I was
astonished that The Times would apologize for something it could more
easily hush up.
- Second, it seemed
incredible to me that an establishment paper would let a cub reporter
run rampant in this fashion, as alleged. I assumed (being naive and
idealistic) that the editors routinely checked the facts in their
pieces and only allowed the officially sanctioned errors to get through.
- Third, I saw
the large photo of the accused and was very surprised that they ran
such a big picture of him. Like he was a fugitive, or something.
- Fourth, it occurred
to me that same Jayson must have been completely out of the editorial
loop, and I wondered why. Didn't they ever have staff meetings? Annual
reviews? Didn't he have a relationship with anybody at the paper?
- Finally, reflecting
on the overlong article itself, which was redolent of garment-rending
and mea culpas, I began to wonder how much of the alleged misbehavior
arose from sheer opportunity: if The Times ignored me like they ignored
him, God only knows what I might get up to. Mischief abhors a vacuum.
He might be guilty of the sins detailed in the article, but why the
hell not? It was working for him.
But I never quite
connected the story with his race. Seen in that context, the anomalies
begin to make sense. Your analysis of the situation reveals what this
congenital whitey couldn't see for himself.
- The huge apology
becomes clear. Jayson Blair was an affirmative action hood ornament,
not a reporter. One can imagine the editors fielding complaints about
his work: "we can't censure him, he's ... well, we just can't."
So when it came time to pillory the man, they did so at incredible
length and with excruciating detail - just to make damn sure it's
understood that they had to dismiss him, it wasn't just racism
or anything. A "black eye," indeed.
- Suddenly the
large picture of the accused makes sense, too. Like that infamous
Newsweek cover of OJ Simpson. "Is he guilty? Just look
at him!" The term 'uppity negro' need never be spoken.
- And of course
the editors couldn't have identified his merits (or lack thereof)
independent of his race, because in truth there is no such independence.
Naturally the editors didn't check his work - they probably didn't
even read it. I'm sure they feel he just reverted to type. At least
Bob Herbert is civilized.
But the clincher
is in the comparison you make to Adam Nagourney's on-message, official-version
account of the Democratic debate. What a stupendous oversight at the
very least not to mention the dark horse candidates, so to speak. One
suspects however that this was not an oversight but a deliberate omission.
And in context of the standards belatedly applied to Jayson Blair, such
an omission ought be grounds for dismissal, particularly if The Times
gives a damn about racial parity or editorial purity.
Nagourney is presumably
a white man, and I'll bet he lunches with the editors on occasion. They
read his work and check his sources and they like what they see. He's
not out of the loop. But then, neither is Jayson Blair.
Guilty or not, he's
in a different loop, attached to the end of a stout rope.
Carol D. Tart is distracted
by neither the Times' crocodile tears nor the yelps of Hard Right hyenas.
Somewhere in the middle of the tale, there's the question of power.
Who cares what the
anti-affirmative action pundits have to say about Jayson Blair? Who
cares what a black Republican, like Armstrong Williams, has to say?
And who the heck cares about black people who have truly missed the
mark on this subject. On the surface, it seems that Blair has become
the poster boy who has signaled the end of Civil Rights Movement
and We Shall Overcome addictions and the experimental results
of affirmative action. But, looking deeper, Blair put a spin on the
world that will wreak havoc for years to come. And, he created, supposedly,
most of his stories from his home. Genius. WOW!
It is obvious Blair did something that most journalists, in particular
blacks, have been unable to do: He wagged the dog. If you don't know
what I mean, rent the video and then take a class in Thinkology.
The information he reported, whether plagiarized, embellished, or made
up, if you read the New York Times, it was legitimized. Furthermore,
since the New York Times is the most respected newspaper in the world,
what other media forums incorporated his articles in their reporting
of the news? Just like Richard Nixon, Jayson Blair is a bad mamma-jamma!
(This has nothing to do with political ideology, but everything to do
with the love of power.)
A matter of supremacy
Black failure is permanent,
indelible. White failure is just another excuse for a sequel, writes Margaret
When all is said
and done, the controversy over Jayson Blair is all about white supremacy.
At this late date in history many white people believe that black people
do not belong in certain places, such as the NY Times newsroom. If we
fail when we step out of our "place" our faults are magnified
and we are punished forever.
Do you remember
the case of Mike Barnicle? He is the former Boston Globe reporter who
was accused of plagiarism and lying for years before he was finally
fired. The question of race should have been asked of him. Did being
white and in the old boys network help him? By the way, he is still
working as a syndicated columnist and as a commentator on MSNBC. What
are the odds of Blair being employed in journalism again? Hopefully
he will have the same second chance that Barnicle had. I must add that
I am not holding my breath.
Black folks have been
relegated to the shadows for so long that we sometimes forget we are not
the only people made invisible by the New York Times and its ilk. Rhoda
Shapiro, of Encinitas, California, writes:
I was astonished
this Sunday to find four and some full pages to Jayson Blair's 'betrayal'
of the NYT. Your response made the Times racism crystal clear. And yes,
all the news that's fit to print is the way they see fit to frame it.
Adam Nagourney's articles are only the tip of the iceberg. They make
people disappear all the time, simply by either not covering stories
fully or framing them from their own point of view.
Note how they cover
the Zionist occupation of Palestine. They would never use that phrase,
since they are so tied up in the Zionist project themselves. No story
on Palestine and Palestinians is ever covered from the point of view
of the occupied. Mostly they ignore the daily murders, home demolitions
and now the 'transfer' of Arab peoples out of 'their' land. Never are
Zionists brought to task about how many times they have thumbed their
nose at the law of world bodies, beginning from Israel's imposition
on the Arab world, through the refusal to allow refugees to return to
their homes, to collective punishment, ethnic cleansing and the deliberate
murder of young children. Never mind even considering the legitimacy
of another European settler state ....
To me the Blair
episode revealed the cynicism and ruthlessness of capitalist white men.
This has happened before at NYT and I'm sure it happens all the time
at every establishment media outlet. After all they could have fired
him as soon as his methods of work became apparent. It happens every
day. But they waited. Made an example of Blair. They sat on this story
until they figured out how to make it seem like it didn't have anything
to do with racism. And framed the story so that he takes the hit for
the real betrayals by the NYT of its readers.
Thank you for your
always lucid analysis.
With millions out
of work, it is difficult to justify all of the concern over one 27-year-old,
university-educated, single man who has not sacrificed a thing - to our
knowledge - in the service of others. We are, therefore, glad to hear
from a brown brother in a blue collar, Joseph Osorio.
Your article re:
Jayson Blair was excellent, and had some replies I can use. I was an
affirmative action hire by the phone company years ago. Fortunately
for me, I have been able to hang on though laid off twice. Funny thing
how the groups I was in that got laid off were all brown but probably
just a coincidence, right? Good news too about Sharpton likely to place
high in South Carolina. I'll vote for him if given a chance.
Since the Times makes
such a spectacle of self-love, we should be reminded of the newspaper's
and the rest of the corporate media's orgy of embeddedness with the U.S.
military. Leroy Wilson, Jr. won't let us forget that episode - one that
will sooner or later be repeated.
Do those who profess
to be appalled by the Jayson Blair scandal express the same sense of
betrayal about reporters who were embedded in Iraq? Do they honestly
believe that the embedded reporters filed absolutely true, complete
and accurate reports about the military who were responsible for protecting
their lives? Somebody out there knows the answer to this question. What
We assume Mr. Jones
meant that as a rhetorical question.
Many immigrants to
the United States now fear to ask public questions of any kind. This writer
asked that we refer to him only as "Eyes Opened" - signifying
the way he sees the world.
Jayson Blair's actions
were fraudulent. However the circumstances that made his actions possible
are typical of the African-American experience in corporate America.
If the purpose of employment is to achieve, it is only possible by distinguishing
ones performance within the purpose of the organization. As pointed
out in your article, it is unfortunate that prevailing perceptions place
a disproportionately immense burden on African Americans to prove that
they actually do bring assets that are of value to the organization.
is often those assets that are of most value to the organization that
are the most difficult to establish by the African American individual.
Robert E. Reynolds,
Orange Park, Florida says there's a piece missing from this puzzle.
I understand your
point of view in the article and pretty much agree with the general
But - no one has
heard Jayson Blair's side of the story. The extent of the effort by
the Times to thoroughly discredit Blair, 4 full pages in the print edition,
10 pages on the Internet, is certainly all out of proportion. Further,
they set up a special web address to receive new complaints about Blair.
Does this make any
sense to you? Does it smell right to you?
Could it be that
the NY Times is running a diversion campaign to deflect criticism of
other reporters? Questions have been raised about Judith Miller and
her reports from the Middle East. She has been tied to Daniel Pipes
and others with what some of us consider extremist views. The Drudge
Report hints that there are two others under investigation.
It should never
be forgotten that the NY Times, along with the Washington Post and the
LA Times, led the attacks on Gary Webb and the San Jose Mercury for
the CIA and Drugs series. They made allegations against Webb and the
Mercury that were untrue. It destroyed Webb's career.
I'd like to hear
Blair's side of the story. Even if what the Times claims is true that
doesn't mean that there isn't more to this story. Perhaps he became
a threat for reasons unknown.
The one thing that
is clear is that the attacks on him are disproportionate to the alleged
crime. Maybe they are just overreacting, maybe not.
Cocaine traffic buster
Gary Webb is no longer a corporate journalist, but he doesn't labor in
obscurity, either. His "Dark
Alliance" site has hosted 26,000 visitors in search of the truth
about the CIA and the crack cocaine explosion in inner city America.
Ric Dodson sees intellectual
corruption at the Times as symptomatic of a deeper rot.
I would like to
offer my thanks and support to your very lucid depiction of reality
as it exists at the NY Times and, unfortunately, many of the institutions
in this nation.
Your article was
refreshing, insightful, factual and timely in this nation, which continues
to lose its way and disintegrate.
Your article succinctly
juxtaposed the inequitable standards of many US institutions and the
follies of such institutionalized policies being administered by some
of the most incompetent and biased individuals on the entire planet.
At a time when most
US residents (citizens and others) are petrified of the regressive regime
in Washington D.C. and its collusive minions, it is comforting to know
that there are some of us who have the courage to illustrate critical
thinking in an intellectual but comprehensible manner, such as your
Unless the residents
of this nation recapture our government, regrettably, this nation is
If I may add, we
need not fear the so-called terrorist from abroad - our home-grown "decepticons"
are doing a yeoman's job at destroying what existed of this nations
fabric, one thread at a time.
Thank you for the
Jesse Elam reports
that the monochrome corporate media culture also reigns in his city, Vancouver,
Your piece was sizzling
and prismatic: it split out dimensions of racism in institutions to
which most white folks, including myself, would never have opened their
eyes. I'm sorry it all happened, but I couldn't wish for a fallman more
deserving than that doddering bluestocking of a paper.
In the specific
case of the Times, the newsroom could recognize (as none of our commercial
news outlets have) that having an all- or mostly-white staff of reporters
will inevitably slant the news, but that would mean giving up the front
that objectivity ensures the race of the reporter doesn't matter. (The
Times would recognize that in order to chop away bias, paradoxically,
they'd need to admit to themselves that they aren't objective.) Beyond
the Times, in other businesses and institutions, the internal incentive
may not be there. Few businesses, arguably, have a product that manifests
the race of its manufacturer. Would they require legal compulsion or
shame, the same less-than-moral mechanisms employed during active integration,
If the news is to
be distributed justly, it can't be news by and for whites only, and
that seems to me the ineluctable outcome of a pale newsroom. This approach
sidesteps equitable hiring for its own sake and talks about the "good
reasons" for hiring people of certain races. Ultimately those good
reasons also have to do with justice, but justice across the whole society,
getting whites' minds off the individual hire. Thus they can stop sputtering
about how this is a meritocracy and that one has to "deserve"
to be hired. Maybe then the sanctimonious white reaction can be avoided
- the lines that whites got their positions by their cultivated merits,
not by native traits; or that it's unfair for whites to have to give
up their spots for disadvantaged races so they can become "advantaged."
article well points out, the NYT puffs up in its security that it sets
the standards, that blacks don't meet them, and that blacks don't deserve
desks there. And it has a flawed character in Jayson Blair as a fait
accompli. But given the lapses or outright whitewashings in the Times
article also noses out, the NYT's standards aren't in shape. The lesson
for the Times should be that, among other things, it vitally needs non-whites
The good judgment
of persons we don't know brought us in contact with W.S. Tkweme, who wrote
that he also passed the Blair commentary along to people he respects.
Someone sent this
to me last week, and I found it to be one of the best pieces of commentary
I have read in a long time. You all are to be congratulated heartily.
Please keep it up and best wishes.
Dr. Donald Blais,
ThD scared us for a second when we opened his letter. Dr. Blais (Penobscot-Metis)
is a lecturer in Aboriginal spirituality and Christian colonial history,
Department of Religion, University of Toronto.
This little Canadian 'savage' couldn't have said it better than you
did. Only that I'm 'jealous' that you did it rather than I, that is,
giving the Times a well-deserved kick to the backside. Now, if you could
just kick again, a little up higher, you might in the process give the
Times the hit upside the head that they need. (Hehehe.) But, that would
mean that you would have to put your foot part way up the Times' ass.
Well, so be it!
Any ways. Enjoy your site; check it out occasionally. Caught this on
Going to print up the article for my reader in Aboriginal Studies for
the Fall, because its one of the most succinct articles written on how
white privilege works, of which I've seen of late. I think my Native
students will get the point quickly. Got to get back to preparing for
tomorrow's lectures on decolonizing Christianity.
It turns out that
"Ahneen!" means "Greetings" in Penobscot. "Hehehe"
editors Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn published our piece on
Blair two days before we did - a good thing, allowing us to catch the
flavor of their worldwide audience. Peter Kaslik is Hungarian Human Rights
Monitor in Cambridge, Ontario.
and thanks for your superb article. The following excerpt from your
piece may serve very well as the quote of the decades, past, and future:
point of American racism is the assumption that white people and their
institutions represent the proper, normative standards against which
all other people and institutions are judged".
It should be posted
all over the land. Keep up the great work!
Kevin Stiers, of Hamburg,
Germany, appears to have learned his English from - the English.
I never really thought about it, but affirmative action in the wrong
hands is of course doomed to have all the flaws you would otherwise
expect from such an ultra-responsible, "truth-loving" organization
as the NYT.
Thanks for your cogent and informative expose.
Note the British-style
sarcasm employed by Mr. Stiers. We at
appreciate all cultural manifestations of contempt for the newspaper that
claims to have copyrighted objectivity, but dispenses paeans to Power,
instead. Or, to paraphrase Napoleon's humiliation of Talleyrand, "The
New York Times is shit - in a silk stocking."
With that, we have
completed our segue to a letter from Philippe Dambournet, of Paris.
I agree with the
root points of your article. One really effective comparison you could
use is with William Safire, whose own lies, distortions, and inaccuracies
are having a huge impact. He gets a free pass, even though he's been
exposed by Barry Lando in Le Monde and on TomPaine.com. Even the man
who vetted him for the Nixon White House calls him names. But not the
New York Times - whose Bob Herbert is a wonderful columnist, by the
Now here's an anecdote:
I read Herbert for quite a while assuming he was white. Then I saw his
picture. I had to adjust. Not because I thought he was therefore less
talented or interesting, but because I had to recompute where he came
from. The messenger is part of the message, it's a package. We are all
decrypting what comes out in one variation or another of that mode.
On the other hand, if you are one of those who can only trust, respect,
or love those who most closely resemble them physically, you are engaging
in a variation of incest.
There is no question
that Bob Herbert is an excellent journalist and an honorable man. For
two years he refused to allow the Times' readership to forget the atrocity
against the Black population of Tulia, Texas. Herbert elevates the Times
- not the other way around.
We saved the last
Blair-NYT comment for Ernest Allen, Jr. a professor at the W. E. B. Du
Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts
at Amherst. Professor Allen's note is shorter than our buildup to it.
However, we are aware that Allen was busy marking papers when
arrived in his mailbox, just like so many of our readers in academe. Nevertheless,
Prof. Allen took time to offer a critique:
on the money!!
Slow motion overthrow
2004 marks the 200th
anniversary of the establishment of Haiti as the world's first Black republic.
The Bush men would like to be there for the occasion - in place of the
popularly elected government. All signs indicate that Washington has set
lose the dogs of the former military regime, who operate with near-impunity
from their sanctuaries in the neighboring Dominican Republic.
reported in last week's issue, it has become clear that the "U.S.
plots 'regime change' in Haiti":
Supporters of Jean-Bertrand
Aristide's government are convinced that the U.S. has decided to do
a "regime change" in Haiti before the world's first Black
Republic celebrates its 200th anniversary, in 2004. Frustrated that
a three-year, American-led aid embargo against Haiti has failed to topple
the popularly elected Aristide, the Bush men are escalating their proxy
terror campaign against Lavalas party activists and the island nation's
fragile infrastructure, all the while threatening to further strangle
We also noted the
rightwing campaign to pressure MCI to fire actor Danny Glover as its advertising
spokesperson. Glover is board chairman of TransAfrica Forum, which vigorously
opposes U.S. policies in Haiti.
We got this letter
from a reader named Nadege.
Thank you so much
for your timely and honest article on Haiti and Danny Glover. The Haitian
people need all the help we can get. We must stand for justice.
Come Home To Roost"
May 19th was the birthday
of Malcolm X - El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, who would have been 78 years
old. We marked the occasion by publishing his December 4, 1963 speech
commonly known as "The
Chickens Come Home To Roost," edited by former assistant minister
Benjamin Karim. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad silenced his top spokesman
shortly after the speech. Thus, it was Malcolm's last major address as
a member of the Nation of Islam. Here's an excerpt:
"If we are
a part of America, then part of what she is worth belongs to us. We
will take our share and depart, then this white country can have peace.
What is her net worth? Give us our share in gold and silver and let
us depart and go back to our homeland in peace.
We want no integration
with this wicked race that enslaved us. We want complete separation
from this race of devils. But we should not be expected to leave America
and go back to our homeland empty-handed. After four hundred years of
slave labor, we have some back pay coming, a bill owed to us that must
If the government
of White America truly repents of its sins against our people, and atones
by giving us our true share, only then can America save herself!"
R. W. Stamper, Sr.
appreciated seeing Malcolm's words in print:
The day of the fulfillment
of Malcolm's preaching of the Messenger's words calling for a separate
territory of rich and fertile land, a generation of maintenance until
viability and the separation of the races, in short, reparations, is
being accelerated by the reparations movement. Reparation means separation.
After the Civil
War Black people were conscripted into American citizenship without
our consent. No plebiscite, national referendum or inquiry of any kind
was taken among us. Those of us who choose to depart from the oppressor
realize that no peace or justice is possible living among the European,
that he is and shall remain a thief, a liar and a murderer. Thus, reparation
necessarily means separation.
The most important
aspect of the reparations movement is (1) the instillation in us of
the consciousness of the debt America owes us, (2) the hopelessness
of peaceful integration with the European, and above all (3) the development
of a sufficient number of Black minds, a critical mass, who realize
that separation is the only solution, who can will that reality
into existence; in other words, a nommo type of reality creation.
The printing of
Malcolm's words is a significant contribution to this necessary aspect
of the struggle. The divinities and the ancestors await our mass awakening,
poised to intervene, empower and aid us in our righteous struggle.
Since George Bush
snatched the keys to the White House, the number of Black children in
extreme poverty has risen 50 percent, as if a trap door had opened beneath
the feet of a condemned generation. In our May 8 Cover Story, "Bush's
Harvest of Shame," we wrote that "the Bush men celebrate
every step that is taken in the forced march to a society of vast inequalities,
spreading squalor, and premature death."
Such people cannot
be moved by appeals to conscience - they have none.
There can be no
common, human dialogue with a class that is, essentially, misanthropic.
One million Black children are on a conveyer belt to death, George Bush's
Harvest of Shame. Yet Bush is not ashamed, but proud of the fruits of
his exertions, and believes that his God approves of his work.
This is an enemy
who plays for keeps - a happy, smirking child killer.
JoAnn Wypijewski agrees:
The Harvest of Shame
piece is just fantastic! One of the best polemics against Bush I've
ever read. Onward and upward. You do terrific work.
Superpower in a
The world watches
as U.S. dreams of hegemony dissolve at a quickening pace. The juxtaposition
of awesome military power and near-autistic behavior can lead an observer
to wonder what he has missed - there must be an intelligent method
somewhere beneath the madness, a hidden text.
There is none. The
Bush men operate on a complete set of delusions, nurtured on the North
American continent through hundreds of years of predation and privilege.
As we wrote in our April 24 commentary, "Conspiracy
Armed and extremely
dangerous from the day they set foot on North American shores for the
express purpose of claiming title to everything within range of their
imaginations, white Americans "learned" that they were admired
by the survivors among the people they preyed upon and enslaved. They
gained this knowledge from each other, the only people whose opinions
counted. Their overwhelming arsenals brooked no objection to the self-evident
fact of their innate superiority and ... goodness. Who would disagree?
In this closed,
continental conversation a worldview was refined that has grown so fundamental
to white American methods of thought, so perfect in its affirmation
of self-serving assumptions, so automatically corrective of unwanted
information, that the social organism is all but impermeable to disagreeable
facts. Outside of the centuries-old American cocoon, much of reality
simply does not compute.
Mandy Pegram is relieved,
having previously thought she had failed to comprehend the masterful part
of the Pirate's Master Plan.
Wow, finally something
makes sense! What well written, well thought out analysis. Not only
have you covered what many of us white Americans have baffled at (why
this president is popular) but also covered what we also have wondered,
the true why of it all; the response of the world? And the reasons for
it all looking so planned! Thank you so much for this article, it is
opening my own eyes in ways I did not know they were shut.
In response to the
American offensive-against-all, virtually every sector of every nation
seeks ways to withdraw from the madman. Since George Bush's "With
Us or Against Us" and "Axis of Evil" speeches, these global
currents of revulsion have joined the structural undertow sucking the
U.S. dollar downward.
The Iraq war was largely
designed to insulate the dollar against the threat of euro-denominated
oil. But the world economy is bigger than petroleum. The slide will continue,
as dealmakers everywhere quietly redline the United States at every opportunity
- a characteristic of global resistance to the men who are proclaiming
a New American Century. As we said on April 24:
The Pirates believe
they hold the trump card: half the world's military under one, super-tech
command. It is a blunt instrument, with a narrow range of uses. The
real bomb ticks under America's porch, and will devastate the dollar
in a spasm of millions of individual and institutional decisions to
run in the other direction.
Maureen H. Williams,
Sylmar, California, has been taking notes.
Just prior to the
"war" in Iraqi, one of your wonderful emails included a detailed
article on the impact of the oil market on the USA dollar and the Euro.
Since reading that article, I now pay closer attention to the business
news regarding OPEC, or the Euro dollar. On 5/8/03 Reuters released
an article, "Euro Lords it Over Dollar", written by Javier
Thank you for giving your readers a "heads up".
The Bush men are like
the Sioux "contraire" brave in the movie, "Little Big Man"
- everything they say means the opposite. As one of countless examples,
Bush chose as Secretary of Education a Black man who detests public education.
We wrote about Rod Paige's duplicities April 24, under the heading, "U.S.
Education chief favors church schools."
Paige is far more
at ease with white Southern Baptists. Two weeks ago, Paige told their
denominational press he favors private, Christian education because,
""all things equal, I would prefer to have a child in a school
that has a strong appreciation of the Christian community, where a child
is taught to have a strong faith. When a child is taught that, there
is a source of strength greater than themselves."
In other words,
he does not like public schools.
At another religious
event, the man who sits on billions of dollars of the public's
money explained that, "in a religious environment the value system
is set. That's not the case in a public school, where there are so many
different kids with different kinds of values."
Kurt Kiebler writes
to us from Kansas City.
I applaud 's
criticism of Secretary of Education Rod Paige and his views that only
a Christian-centered education should be taught to children. I am not
against the idea of politicians supporting religious values. Dennis
Kucinich is Catholic and I understand Al Sharpton is Protestant, but
neither Kucinich nor Sharpton is trying to make their religious perspective
the law of the land. If Paige wants to support religion, then the proper
venue for this is in church, not our public schools.
These constant intrusions
of rightwing Southern Baptists into the national dialogue are what happens
when a quarter of the electorate determines the outcome. The GOP rules
through this active minority, and must keep them energized. Thus, the
Bible thumpers color the public face of what is essentially a regime of
piratical, speculator, war profiteering thieves. It makes for a weird
combination of absolute cynicism with a halo around it.
the Black candidate
There are candidates
who are Black, and there are Black candidates. In the current Democratic
presidential primary race, Rev. Al Sharpton is the latter. Our April 24
the Black Presidential Candidate Must Do," sought to clarify
First and last,
the Black candidate's job in 2004 is to energize the Black vote. The
largest possible number of African Americans must coalesce behind one
candidate in order to prove that there still remains a formidable Black
We also had some specific
advice for Rev. Sharpton, when he is compelled to defend his stance during
the Tawana Brawley affair. Amy Tillem thought we gave wise counsel:
"You are a
minister who believed a young Black woman over the words of white men
in rural, upstate New York. On Black terms, that's righteous, honorable,
and quite enough."
Much like the Simpson jury, no?
What a breath of truly fresh air your site is. Thanks.
In all uphill endeavors,
morale is the critical factor. Our readers never fail to keep our spirits
Thanks for printing
the real truth so all may know. The publication is great.
Keep up the good
work, brother. This is good stuff.
We saved "Joyce
in Connecticut" for last, just because she makes us feel so good.
How do you do it?
I marvel continually at your unending, passionate ability to articulate
such crystal clear critiquing of the artificial truths that are constantly
promulgated toward us, the "supposed to be dumb" public. Brothers
and Sisters at ,
when I read your work, I am reminded of Brother Malcolm, who could stand
before his publics, fully saturated with passion and compassion, yet
espouse truths in a manner totally untouched and unblemished by his
This is the stuff
great warriors are made of. Wage on,
Brothers and Sisters! And may God continue to bless you in your efforts!
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