I've written about the 2260 health care professionals that Cuba sent to help Pakistani earthquake victims, and about how they had treated 1,043,125 patients, but even that didn't prepare me for the latest statistic: 73% of the earthquake victims who received medical care, received it from Cuban doctors and paramedics.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Oddly enough, a few days ago a friend pointed me in the direction of Loose Change a video which discusses the idea that the US government was behind 9/11. To be honest, I'm not sure how much credence to give these sorts of theories. On the one hand, 9/11 has certainly been exploited in order to justify certain policies in the Middle East. But are the people in charge so evil that they would have deliberately and consciously planned for 9/11 to happen in the first place? See the video and judge for yourself.
by Suheir Hammad
it is written
the act of writing is
holy words are
sacred and your breath
brings out the
god in them
i write these words
quickly repeat them
softly to myself
this talisman for you
fold this prayer
around your neck fortify
your back with these
may you walk ever
loved and in love
know the sun
for warmth the moon
may these words always
remind you your breath
is sacred words
bring out the god
Washington Post: Puerto Rico Asks Congress to Lean on FBI
Miami Herald: Protests in Puerto Rico mount against FBI over tactics
Democracy Now!: FBI Assassinates Puerto Rican Nationalist Leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios
filiberto ojeda rios
the life and death of filiberto ojeda rios
-Make it more difficult for legal immigrants to become U.S. citizens.
-Disrupt American communities and put all Americans at risk by broadening the definition of smuggling to include anyone who aids or transports an undocumented immigrant.
-Make everyone who comes to the U.S. to work subject not only to deportation but also imprisonment.
-Disrupt the U.S. economy by creating an overly broad and retroactive employment verification system without creating legal channels for needed workers to work lawfully.
It seems kind of obvious to me, but it bears saying: Immigration policy and the anti-immigrant backlash are certainly issues which both Latinos and Muslims should be concerned about. And whenever possible, they should cooperate and coordinate their efforts accordingly. For example, recently in Chicago, I.M.A.N. worked with Latino activists there and supported a march against HR 4437. Hopefully we will see more such coalitions in the future.
Alternet: Immigration Reform in Living Color
Ihasn: The giant awakens! 10,00,000 march in Los Angeles!
La Voz De Aztlan: Aztlan Arising: 700,000+ March in Los Angeles
Common Dreams: "Latino Giant" Awakens: Demonstrations Gaining Strength
Common Dreams: Wage War on Poverty, Not Immigrants
Planet Grenada: inner city muslim action network and latino activists
latino and islamic groups want tancredo to quit
you say it like its a bad thing...
obama and martinez
mexico and immigration
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
"Our power, then, has the grave liability of rendering our theories about the world immune from failure. But by becoming deaf to easily discerned warning signs, we may ignore long-term costs that result from our actions and dismiss reverses that should lead to a re-examination of our goals and means." - Henry Hyde
Imperial Overreach is Accelerating the Global Decline of America by Martin Jacques.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I'm tempted to call this "beautifully ironic" except irony isn't quite the right word. After all, the Ethiopian Orthodox and Coptic (Egyptian) Churches are among the oldest forms of Christianity in the world. While the Protestant Churches which are dominant in the United States are all no older than 500 years (Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church in 1517). Christianity has a long and ancient history in Africa and so it isn't really ironic that they would send missionaries to the post-Christian West. It's just slightly funny.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Saturday, March 25, 2006
LIMA, Peru - Carlos Santana, speaking to Peruvian journalists ahead of a Tuesday concert, said young people's opposition to the war in Iraq is reaching the dimensions of the anti-Vietnam war sentiment in the 1970s.
"There is more value in placing a flower in a rifle barrel than making war," he said. "As Jimi Hendrix used to say, musical notes have more importance than bullets."
In 1971, Santana was prevented from performing in Peru by the military dictatorship, which deemed his music an "alienating" force. Santana returned to perform in 1995
Planet Grenada: carlos santana
Thursday, March 23, 2006
But then that raises the obvious question: what happens to a working class African-American woman who ISN'T semi-married to the President when they get called "coon" for real? Is this about race, or class, or just power?
The original link expired but I found a replacement here.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
StarTelegram.Com: Mexican ads push guest-worker plan
Trentonian: ‘We are workers, not terrorists’
Black Electorate: Mexico And The Migration Phenomenon
Immigration Daily: Two Sides Of The Same Coin: The Connection Between Legal And Illegal Immigration by James R. Edwards, Jr.
Now that I think about it, I wonder if anyone has done research on Afro-Latino identity and baseball players, especially around the time baseball was segregated. I remember reading that at times, African-American baseball players would try to "pass" as Latino and pretend to speak Spanish on the field in order to be able to play against white teams. And in the same vein the New York Cubans (an old team from the Negro Leagues) had no Cubans on the team. Anyway, if anyone could point me to good sources, I'd be interested.
Color Lines: Fields of Broken Dreams: Latinos and Baseball by Marcos Bretón
Early players hit home run for racial equality by Russell Contreras
Minnie Miñoso (Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta) was a Black Cuban baseball player who played for the Chicago White Sox (and in Mexico, and in the Negro leagues). My dad knew him from a long time ago and somewhere in my house I think there is an autographed photo of him.
ESPN: Rise of the Latinos: Arriba Baseball brings together a number of different profiles and articles on Latinos in baseball.
Latino Legends in Sports Online Magazine and specifically: Latinos in the Major Leagues: The breakdown 2000
Major League Baseball Players by National Origin
Latino Baseball (Your Complete Guide to Latino Baseball)
Wikipedia: Roberto Clemente
Official Roberto Clemente Site
Other Grenada "sports" posts:
accepting the slurs
new york cubans
what's my name, fool?
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Havana, Mar 20 (Prensa Latina) US religious leader Louis Farrakhan began a Cuba visit Monday, with plans to meet with US youth studying medicine on the Island.Prensa Latina
Upon his arrival in this capital, Farrakhan, also a fighter against racism and poverty, was welcomed by Cuban Parliament Speaker Ricardo Alarcon.
During his stay in the country, he will meet with Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and other political and social leaders.
As his first official activity, the religious leader will visit the Latin American School of Medicine where about 20,000 students from different countries are studying, including several US low-income youths unable to afford the universities in their country.
Farrakhan also plans to meet with relatives of the five anti-terrorist Cuban prisoners in the US, and members of the Henry Reeve Contingent, made up of Cuban doctors assisting other peoples in natural disaster situations.
The US leader will also tour an art instructors´ school, and meet Cuban athletes.
Monday, March 20, 2006
But now, even more mainstream folks who speak out of turn are turning up on the radar:
the American Civil Liberties Union released a series of once secret FBI files that show the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted a secret investigation into the activities of the Thomas Merton Center beginning as early as November 2002, and continuing up until at least last March.
Alternet: Punished for Pacifism
MediaMatters for America: Robertson again calls for Chavez's assassination: "Not now, but one day"
pat robertson is evil: reason #865
pat robertson is evil: reason #873
Especially as someone who grew up on Public Enemy and KRS-ONE I still want to hold onto some of my optimism when it comes to thinking about the power of music to politically enlighten urban youth.
I can't help but think of Common's "I used to love H.E.R. (Hip-hop in its Essence and Reality)"
She didn't have a body but she started gettin thick quick
Did a couple of videos and became afrocentric
Out goes the weave, in goes the braids beads medallions
She was on that tip about, stoppin the violence
About my people she was teachin me
By not preachin to me but speakin to me
in a method that was leisurely, so easily I approached
She dug my rap, that's how we got close
But I also have to admit that Ibn Shabazz has a point. If it is true that “The sole purpose of racism is to support and ensure that the White majority and its ethnic subgroups continue to dominate and use Blacks as a means to produce wealth and power” then the music industry in general, and hip-hop in particular are more part of the problem than the solution, especially if you think about how economic power is exercised behind the scenes.
More sober thoughts on hip-hop's limitations from Planet Grenada:
yo! pbs raps
the revolution won't have a video
The Circle of the Black Thorn.
Sounds like a little sewing club for pirates.
It's a secret society.
Never heard of them.
That's 'cause they're secret.
There's plenty of these cabals about. They usually spend a lot of time in basements paddling one another's bums to prove their manhood.
These are not frat boys, Spike. The circle's small. It's elite. They got connections you boys can't even comprehend.
Sure. But evil's not the point. Power is.
OK, we get it. They're bad ass. What do they do?
Jeez. Are you guys always this slow? Huh? Starts with an "a," ends in "pocalypse." It's a well-oiled machine, this circle. These people grease the wheels, keep the parts in place. Make sure man's inhumanity to man keeps rolling along.
We thought the senior partners were responsible for the apocalypse.
The senior partners are on a different plane. Down here...it's the players in the circle that make things happen. Hell, you get tapped by one of them, it's kind of like getting the keys to the chocolate factory.
Hakim Bey with his Temporary Autonomous Zones, Imam-of-one's-own-being concept and his Nambla involvement may not seem hellishly apocalyptically evil, but is arguably in the same ballpark as the evil secret society which appeared on Angel.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Manifesto of the BLACK THORN LEAGUE
1. According to orally-transmitted teachings of Noble Drew Ali, founder & Prophet of the Moorish Science Temple of America: -- Ireland was once part of the Moorish Empire; that is, the celts were Moslems, & there were black moors from N. Africa also present in Ireland. But the moors were expelled by militant Christianity -- this event is disguised in the legend of St. Patrick's expelling the snakes - for which reason the MST celebrates St. Patrick's Day, in a mood of irony perhaps, in expectation of an eventual Return.
2. In Noble Drew Ali's system, celts are considered an "Asiatic race", & thus potential converts to Moorish Science. We consider NDA's theories to be racial but not racist, because (again according to oral tradition) they were based (at least in part) on spiritual affinity. "Europeans" who wished to Join the MST (including some of the later founders of the Moorish Orthodox Church) were declared to be really celts or "Persians" -- (which may have something to do with the oft-remarked similarity of Eiran and Iran).
3. NDA's hidden history of Ireland may be taken as an esoteric metaphor -but it is supported in some surprising ways by archaeology & even "official" history. In the first place, the celts are an Asiatic race, or at least the most recent arrivals in the west from the mysterious "Hyperborean" heartland of the Aryans -- last of those nomadic migrations which settled India, Persia & Greece.
4. Second: What is one to make of those early Celtic crosses inscribed with the bismillah ("In the Name of God", opening words of the Koran) in kufic Arabic, found in Ireland? The Celtic Church, before its destruction by the Roman hierarchy, maintained a close connection with the desert hermit-monks of Egypt. Is it possible this connection persisted past the 7th/8th centuries, & that the role of the monks was taken up by Moslems? by Sufis? in contact with a still-surviving underground Celtic Church, now become completely heretical, & willing to syncretize Islamic esotericism with its own Nature-oriented & poetic Faith?
5. Such a syncresis was certainly performed centuries later by the Templars & the Assassins (Nizari Ismailis). When the Temple was suppressed by Rome & its leaders burned at the stake, Ireland provided refuge for many incognito Templars. According to The Temple & The Lodge, these Templars later reorganized as a rogue Irish branch of Freemasonry, which (in the early 18th century) would resist amalgamation with the London Grand Lodge. The Islamic connection with masonry is quite clear, both in the Templar & the Rosicrucian traditions, but Irish masonry may have inherited an even earlier Islamic link -- memorialized in those enigmatic crosses!
6. It's interesting to note that Noble Drew Ali's Masonic initiations may not have been limited to Prince Hall or black Shriner transmissions, but may also have included some hidden lines connected to Irish masonry, & dating back to Revolutionary days in American history. It is known that many common soldiers in the British Colonial Army were masons affiliated with the Irish rather than the London Grand Lodge. This "class" difference -was reflected in the American Revolutionary Army, whose officers were "official" masons but whose private ranks tended to be "Irish".
7. Historians sometimes forget that in the 18th century, in America, the Irish were generally considered "no better than Negroes". In 1741 on St. Patrick's Day in New York a riot broke out, involving a conspiracy which included Irish, African, & Native American men & women -- naturally "of the meanest sort." Some Irish conspirators were overheard to swear they'd kill as many "white people" as possible. The uprising failed & the plotters were executed. As the bodies of two hanged in the open air decayed in an Iron gibbet, "observers noticed a gruesome, yet instructive, transformation. The corpse of an Irishman turned black & his hair curly while the corpse of Caesar the African, bleached white. It was accounted a 'wondrous phenomenon'" (Linebaugh & Rediker, "The Many-Headed Hydra").
8. Clearly the Celt & African were linked not only in the gaze of the oppressor class, but also in their own world-view -- as comrades, as somehow the same -- in a solidarity which extended to Indians & to other "Europeans" who fell beneath the level of the "respectable poor" into the category of slaves & outcasts. Racist feelings did not divide the 18th century poor & marginalized -- as would become the case under later Capitalism. Rather the marginalized of all races constituted an underclass & moreover, an underclass with some awareness of itself, hence with a certain power (the power of the "strong victim"). This consciousness might well have been developed in part by Irish-black "masonry" of some sort. And Noble Drew Ali might have known of this tradition, which he masked (or perhaps unveiled) in his parable of the snakes - & celebration of March 17th.
9. In another interpretation of St. Patrick's anti-reptilism, the "snakes" he banished were in fact "druids", i.e. Celtic pagans. The snake may have been an emblem of the Old Faith, as it is for many forms of paganism, including African (Damballah) & Indian (the Nagas) -- & even for the Ophite Christianity of Egypt (Christ himself depicted as a crucified snake).
10. Celtic pagan lore was embedded in the Romance traditions especially in the Arthurian material -- & here once again. we find ourselves in the world of the Arabo-Celtic crosses. For the romances are permeated with "Islamic" consciousness. In Malory's Morte dArthur & Eschenbach's Parzifal many Saracen (i.e. Moslem/Moorish) knights are depicted not as enemies but allies of the Celts -- & in the latter book the entire story is attributed to Moorish sources (which are now lost). Saracens, Christians, & crypto-pagans are united in a mystical cult of chivalry which transcends outward religious forms, & is emblematized not only in pagan symbols like the Grail & the Questing Beast, but even in such cultural borrowings as the lute (al-'ud in Arabic), or indeed the cult of romantic/chivalric love, transmitted from Islam to the west by Sufis in Spain.
11. Ireland's contacts with Spain certainly extend back into the Islamic period, & the so-called "Black Irish" may have as many Moorish as castillian genes. Medieval Irish monks probably absorbed Sufism & Islamic philosophy along with the art of the illuminated manuscript -- witness the extraordinary stylistic resonance between the Book of Eells & the Kufic Korans of Omayyad Spain. If St. Francis could visit N. Africa & come back to Italy wearing a Sufi's patched cloak, so the Irish might easily borrow from Egypt & al-Andalus.
12. All speculation aside, the Moorish Orthodox Church entertains its own esoteric interpretation of NDA's teachings on these matters. We heartily endorse his "elective affinity" theory of affiliation with a greater spiritual Celto-Asiatic "race". DNA counts for something, but soul for a great deal more. "Every man & woman their own vine & fig tree" (one of NDA's slogans) is not a matter of fate but of character, not of birth but of choice.
13. In our historical/imaginative exegesis & unfolding of NDA's parable, we have uncovered a complex of heretical Islamic & Moorish cultural strands linking Celtic neo-paganism, esoteric Christianity, & the Arthurian cycle, thru Sufism & masonry, to the perennial libertarian struggle of the marginalized & oppressed peoples of the "Atlantic" world.
14. We propose to embody this poetic complex in a popular chivalric order, devoted symbolically to the cause of "bringing the snakes back to Ireland" - that is, of uniting all these mystical strands into one patterned weave, which will restore the power of its synergistic or syncretistic power to the hearts of those who respond to the particular "taste" of its mix. We have borrowed this slogan from contemporary neo-pagans in order to symbolize the special mission our order will undertake toward Celtic-Moorish friendship. The BLACK THORN LEAGUE will be open to all, regardless of whether they are MOC members or not, providing only that they support this particular goal.
15. "Black" in our title signifies not only the black banners of the moors but also the black flag of anarchy. "Blackthorn", because the tree symbolizes druid Irelands & is used to make cudgels. "League", in honor of the various Irish rebel groups which have organized as such. Other organizational models include such Masonic revolutionary groups as the Carbonari, or Proudhon's anarchist "Holy Vehm", or Bakunin's Revolutionary Brotherhood. We also emulate certain anarcho-Taoist Chinese tongs (such as the Chaos Society)~~ & hope to evolve the kind of informal mutual aid webworks they developed.
16. The League will bestow the Order of the Black Thorn as title &amp;amp; honor, & will hold an annual conclave & banquet on St. Patrick's Day in memory both of Noble Drew Ali's vision, & of those rioters of 1741 who conspired in low taverns to overthrow the State. Bring The Snakes Back To Ireland!
Friday, March 17, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
In the mid-1960s, playwright Marvin X founded the Black House, the Black Education Theater and many other Tenderloin stages that served as headquarters for the Black Arts Movement.
In 2004, X put on the Tenderloin Book Fair and University of Poetry, a sprawling daylong lit fest. Now 61, he's writing a book about Islamic history in the Bay Area and is writing a play with Dead Prez.
King: The Black Arts Movement is built on many ideals. Which, for you, are the strongest?
Marvin: The Black Arts Movement is about consciousness-raising music and literature. It's about the Paul Robeson concept of the artistic freedom fighter; about making statements that saturate the political nervous system.
King: You've been called a radical activist. What would you tell a group of 20-year-old playwrights if they said they don't care about radicalism?
Marvin: I would say what Mao Zedong said: "Let a hundred schools of thought contend." I don't want anything to do with them. Go do your thing. I've got a mission to actually change something. Like Bush said, you with me or against me. Contrary to Bush, the main addiction in America is not oil, it's white supremacy. That's the addiction from which all other addictions spring. Deal with the problem of supremacy, and you'll solve the greed for oil, the murder for oil. That's what's radical to me. We need a thousand Frantz Fanons, and white people need to have a 12-step supremacy-recovery program. Go in, have a detox. Maybe it'll help you, and us.
King: Do you think hip-hop is to black culture now what jazz in the 60s was to the Black Arts Movement?
Marvin: No! Jazz in the 60s was aligned with the freedom struggle, the music of Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders. It was liberation music. Hip-hop don't have that, at least not on BET, MTV. That's because the ruling class don't want people awake. They want people asleep. . . . I grew up in a politically charged household. My parents were involved in the NAACP and published a black newspaper in Fresno, so it's not strange for me to be politically conscious.
King: What do you think about the concept of Black History Month?
Marvin: Now people are writing about the Black Arts Movement. But you won't dare invite the originators, who are still alive. You don't want them around because that would reveal your contradictions.
The children are victims of a 20-year insurgency waged by the Lord's Resistance Army, a shadowy rebel group that wants to overthrow the government and install the Ten Commandments as law. Since it was founded in the 1980s, the group has kidnapped an estimated 20,000 children to serve as fighters, porters and sex slaves.
Thousands of the children have escaped. When they return home, many suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, having witnessed brutal killings -- sometimes of a parent or sibling -- or having been raped, beaten, deprived of water and food or forced to kill, according to a study published in the Lancet medical journal in March 2004.
For a previous post on Christian terrorism, check out: eric robert rudolph
the south park where chef becomes muslim
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Sandra Day O'Connor, a Republican-appointed judge who retired last month after 24 years on the supreme court, has said the US is in danger of edging towards dictatorship if the party's rightwingers continue to attack the judiciary.
In a strongly worded speech at Georgetown University, reported by National Public Radio and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Ms O'Connor took aim at Republican leaders whose repeated denunciations of the courts for alleged liberal bias could, she said, be contributing to a climate of violence against judges.
Ms O'Connor, nominated by Ronald Reagan as the first woman supreme court justice, declared: "We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary."
She pointed to autocracies in the developing world and former Communist countries as lessons on where interference with the judiciary might lead. "It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings."
Common Dreams: Former Top Judge Says US Risks Edging Near to Dictatorship
Monday, March 13, 2006
I just saw Kevin Coval recently. It was the second time I saw him live. He's a decent Chicago poet who has some interesting pieces dealing with his Jewish heritage and how it connects to his political convictions. He has this nice piece which connects the swaying of orthodox Jews while davening to hip-hop headnodding which he performed on Def Poetry Jam a while back.
The setting of the film is in some ways like one of those Russian Easter eggs... a shell within a shell within a shell. It takes place during World War II when the Allies are fighting against a Nazi regime... inside the United States which is still very racist, on an army base where segregation is still practiced, among African-American soldiers where some of them have very definite ideas of what it means to be Black.
For example, in one flashback scene, Sgt. Waters says to CJ, a Black solider from the south:
Them Nazis ain't all crazy. Whole lot of people just can't seem to fit in to where things seem to be going. Like you, CJ. See, the Black race can't afford you no more. There used to be a time, we'd see someone like you singin', clownin', yassuh-bossin'...and we wouldn't do anything. Folks liked that. You were good. Homey kind of nigger. When they needed somebody to mistreat, call a name or two, they paraded you.Reminded them of the good old days. Not no more. The day of the Geechee is gone, boy. And you're going with it. We can't let nobody go on believing we're all fools like you.
In another scene, Sgt. Waters talks about an earlier time during WWI,
You know the damage one ignorant Negro can do? We were in France in the first war; we'd won decorations. But the white boys had told all them French gals that we had tails. Then they found this ignorant colored soldier, paid him to tie a tail to his ass and run around half-naked, making monkey sounds. Put him on the big round table in the Cafe Napoleon, put a reed in his hand, crown on his head, blanket on his shoulders, and made him eat *bananas* in front of all them Frenchies. Oh, how the white boys danced that night... passed out leaflets with that boy's picture on it. Called him Moonshine, King of the Monkeys. And when we slit his throat, you know that fool asked us what he had done wrong?
I think I have more of Sgt. Waters in me than I care to admit. Probably some CJ too. And the less said about that, the better.
Also, check out: A Soldier's Story Script but this is like the script available for Deep Cover in that the document doesn't include the speakers' names. So it is useful if you want to find a particular quote, once you've already seen the film but it is not so useful if you want to follow the story. I also looked for the script to the original play online, but the only sites which come up are ones that aren't free.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
But what surprised me recently is that yesterday, I received the greatest daily number of hits EVER on Planet Grenada (413 page views) but the overwhelming number of them were from people searching for info on wafah dufour (Bin Laden's niece who posed half-nekkid... yes nekkid... in GQ and is trying to have a music career). Since I actually have a brief blog entry on her it is not as inappropriate as what is going on with the abovementioned radical women of color bloggers, but still, I would never have expected (or hoped) that this would be my most popular post.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Fanon says: Yes, Black folks (well... mostly the colonized Algerians) are crazy. Literally, clinically crazy. But so are the French. And things will be okay after the revolution.
Akbar says: Yes, Black folks are crazy (in a cultural sense). But things will be okay after you read my latest book.
But Leary sounds like she is saying Blacks are literally crazy in a clinical sense, in a way which tends to call into question Black humanity. Moreover, she sees the problem as rooted in past slavery rather than present conditions, which then puts serious limits on what we can do to get well. Anyway, tell me what you think.
Focused like Gordon Parks when it's sorta dark
For niggas that's flooded with ice, my thoughts the ark
- "Dooinit" , Common
NYTimes: Gordon Parks, a Master of the Camera, Dies at 93
Wikipedia: Gordon Parks
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Click here for more info on HR 4437
Click Here for more information about the march
In keeping with IMAN's (Inner City Muslim Action Network) larger commitment to advocate on behalf of and organize along side the most vulnerable and exploited sectors of our community, particularly in urban areas, IMAN is actively requesting larger Muslim participation in tomorrow's march and rally against Bill HR 4437.
Bill HR 4437, commonly referred to as the Sensenbrenner Bill (after Republican House Representative Sensennbrenner from Wisconsin), is one of the most draconian and unjust pieces of legislation to be introduced to congress in recent years. While it has deep implications for all immigrants and the larger society, it most viscously targets the large undocumented Latino community and anyone or any entity that provides them with the most nominal level of support, including the most basic human services.
IMAN will join a coalition of many leading Latino organizations and agencies across the state to take part in a Day of General Strike on Friday March 10th. Please join us to demonstrate the concern of the larger Muslim community for this social justice and human dignity issue. As sectors of the Muslim community continue to struggle with its own legislative injustices, our larger community cant afford to be silent or aloof from these types of actions and opportunities to build solidarity with our Latino brothers and sisters across the state. Moreover, this is a great opportunity for segments of the Latino community to interact with the Muslims through their presence at the march and through the Friday Jummah Prayer, which will be in English and translated into Spanish.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the IMAN Office at 773-434-IMAN to speak with Adalberto Madrigal for organizing details
Meet at 11am to car pool in the parking lot of the New IMAN Health Clinic and Administrative Center at 2748 W. 63rd Street, just east of 63rd Street and California Avenue or meet at the marching location itself at 11:45am to march with IMAN at Ashland and Lake. Finally, some of you may wish to join us at the rally itself at the Federal Plaza at 230 S Dearborn St at 2pm, right after Jummah services.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Al-Jazeera: Canada allows Sikh knives in school
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
1. Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?
Color. (I'm not always deep. I'm a fan of the old Twilight Zones and a few old movies... 12 Angry Men comes to mind... but I generally want some color. Goodnight and Goodluck was alright but I'd much rather read about the McCarthy era in a book.)
2. What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?
Sports. Like Huey Freeman says: "And today in sports, a black man somewhere ran with a ball and jumped with a ball and threw a ball and people got really excited as if they hadn't seen it a million times before"
3. MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium for prerecorded music?
8-Track.. lol... I used to DJ so I appreciate vinyl. I feel like I'm practically Amish since I've never downloaded music onto an I-pod or burned a CD on my computer. But seriously, I guess I'm still a CD-person.
4. You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going … Ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?
With ten million I could take care of my family, friends, everyone.
5. Seriously, what do you consider the world’s most pressing issue now?
This is kind of a cop-out because it's kind of amorphous but I would say global north-south issues.
6. How would you rectify the world’s most pressing issue?
Among other things, political power needs to be decentralized, shared among different countries. We need a stronger UN, and other international bodies. Third world countries should democratize (on their own terms), develop and cooperate.
7. You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be?
I have an answer but I'm not sharing.
8. You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?
First I will get onto a soapbox and suggest that history actually isn't determined by individuals or specific events... especially if you think about Guns, Germs and Steel.
I also saw Butterfly Effect one too many times so I'm actually really skeptical as to how effective any changes would be.
But for the moment I'll say I would prevent exposing Europe to the Black Death. That way, Europe's Dark Ages would have progressed very differently, and so would the early encounter between the Indigenous people of the Americas and the Europeans.
9. A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole’ Opry – Which do you choose?
Since I don't speak Italian, I will say Grand Ole' Opry.
10. What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you’d like to solve?
The 2000 Presidential election.
11. One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?
Sushi with Suheir Hammad.
12. You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky — what’s the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?
I'm Muslim, but I have a certain amount of respect for Buddhism. I really do think that certain vices really do have real spiritual consequences which we experience even in this life. So I'm not actually certain that I would go out an rob a bank or something. Um.... eat a ham sandwich?
Argentinian composer Gustavo Santaolalla won best original score for his work on Brokeback Mountain and he gave a thanks to all his Latin peoples.
Crash won for best picture. I thought the film was interesting and better than average but in certain respects it fell short. It did a fair job of discussing the complexities of race relations but the contradiction represented by Matt Dillon's character (being both hero and villain) was too big to swallow. Perhaps a better actor could have made it more palatable, but in the end I think the character, as written, is unbelievable. Other characters from Crash certainly represent varying combinations of virtue and vice but Dillon's character straddles too wide a fence for anyone to sit on convincingly.
I was surprised that Dolly Parton didn't win best song for Travelling Thru from the Transamerica soundtrack. I was impressed by the irony of having a country-style gospel song which talks about being "born again" in a movie about a transgendered person waiting to get their operation.
Did anybody else watch the Oscars? What do y'all think?
Alternet: Crash wins!
Al-Jazeera: New Trouble for Paradise Now
Lyrics to It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp
Lyrics to Travellin Thru
Blog for Transamerica (with music)
Good Summary of Movie Award History which isn't IMDB
Monday, March 06, 2006
Sunday, March 05, 2006
I'm not sure what this picture means except that it seems to go well with the previous entry. For those that don't know, Ron English is the artist whose paintings were featured throughout the film Super Size Me. He also has his own website which is full of other images he's created called Popaganda. Enjoy... or be unsettled and disturbed. It could go either way with this guy's stuff. Or check out: Ron English: Agit-Pop Artist
I'm not sure why I'm saying any of this except it seemed a good introduction to justify why I'm including links to:
The Meatrix (a site which parodies the Matrix in order to criticize factory farming) and the McDonalds Video Game (A "simple" Sim-city type game where you get to run McDonalds and are encouraged to do all sorts of shady and unethical things just to stay in business).
I'm not the kind of extremist who goes around splashing red paint on fur coats, or breaks into labs to free the animals from the experiments. I'm not even taking the position that "Meat is Murder", after all qurbani is a part of Islam too.
Crescent Life: Who Says Muslims Can't be Vegetarian?
Elightenment: Islamic Vegetarians Fight the System
Grenada: sean muttaqi, vegan reich and the hardline movement
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Friday, March 03, 2006
It is possible I was being unfair and assumed that Sondjata believed certain things which he actually wouldn't agree with. I just saw our exchanges as tapping into a larger conversation between Muslims and Afrocentrists of different stripes where individual Muslims and individual Afrocentrists take different positions, but there seem to be some general trends.
For example, I would say that Molefi Kete Asante who literally wrote the book on Afrocentrism is "anti-Islamic" in the sense that he dismisses Islam as merely being a form of Arab nationalism and says that Blacks who are Muslim aren't truly Afrocentric. Others are more in the middle, like Cheikh Anta Diop or Blyden who have more positive things to say about Islam without necessarily being Muslim themselves. And at the other end you have people like Naim Akbar (the psychologist and author) who would identify themselves as both Afrocentric and Muslim at the same time. Another good example would be Duse Muhammad Ali (an Egyptian Muslim who was an early Pan-Africanist and an influence on Marcus Garvey). So not all advocates for Afrocentrism/Pan-Africanism have the same relationship to Islam. Some are quite positive, while others are quite negative. And I'm not making any claims about where Sondjata fits on that continuum.
The other big idea which I hope to throw out there is that perhaps it would be good to not have a rigid concept of what it means to be "African", especially for the purposes of Pan-Africanism. "Africa" is larger than the events which occur within the geographic boundaries of the continent of Africa before the native inhabitants were influenced by outside forces. "Africa" is a living set of cultures which changes over time, accepts new elements, makes them her own, and transforms them in her own image. It is also something which spills outside borders and includes the whole diaspora, from the streets of Harlem, the favelas in Brazil, the southside of Chicago, the dancehall of Kingston, mardis gras in New Orleans, Cuban hip-hop, the Hatian Revolution, the military campaigns of Hannibal, or the writings of the al-Jahiz the classical Black Iraqi author. And I would argue that this is especially true when it comes to looking at the Black presence in Middle Eastern civilizations.
Let's assume that Diop is right in saying that ancient Egypt was a Black African civilization. Even if Jacob and his children were blonde-haired blue-eyed Vikings when they arrived in Egypt, their descendants hundreds of years later had definitely intermarried with the native population and left Egypt as an African-descended nation. (the Bible is actually rather explicit on how Abraham, Joseph and Moses married African women. And it is also possible to give more examples from the Bible and Muslim writings to expand on this point.) So it seems wrong to simply dismiss the Abrahamic religions as being absolutely foreign to Africa.
That's basically what I wanted to get across in these discussions.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
WHAT/ WHEN: Fernando Suarez del Solar, Pablo Paredes, Camilo Mejia and Aidan Delgado will lead a coalition of the willing across this 241 mile quest for peace starting in Tijuana, Mexico, going through Marine Corps Depot Camp Pendleton to the Cesar Chavez burial site in La Paz, CA, culminating in The Mission district of San Francisco with a memorial ceremony and blood drive.
The March will begin on 12 March 2006. The coalition of the willing will arrive at La Paz, CA on 22 March 2006 and culminate in San Francisco from 26 March 2006 to 27 March 2006.
WHY: Latinos represent nearly 15% of the US population and 11% of the US military, with many serving in combat or hazardous duty occupations. In addition, an estimated 20% of the fallen service members in the early months of the invasion were Latino. With the continued growth of the Latino population and its vital importance to the future of this country, it is time the Latino community become an active and vocal part of the 60%+ of US citizens that oppose this War. It is also time to show the Latino community that they have a voice and a right to fight for peace and stability. Fernando Suarez Del Solar is committed to self-sacrifice. At 50 years of age he cares more about ending this war than even his own health. We make this call not only to the Latino population but to all those who agree with our message “No more bloodshed in Iraq”.
And from Common Dreams: Praise the Lord and Pass the Petition by Ira Chernus talks more concretely about how some of this organizing is starting to take place among Lutherans.