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    Default March on Washington: Why is Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'dream' only half-realized?

    March on Washington: Why is Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'dream' only half-realized?

    March on Washington: An event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I have a dream speech' was held at the Lincoln Memorial Saturday. How much racial progress has been made since Dr. King's speech?

    By Patrik Jonsson - August 24, 2013

    The span between Martin Luther King, Jr.’s rousing and critical “I have a dream” speech to a packed, diverse throng at Abe Lincoln’s feet 50 years ago and the ascension of Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president highlights both Dr. King’s greatest aspirations and an acknowledgement that his dream has stalled, only half-realized.

    The speech on the mall in 1963 was a spiritual, rousing critique, out of which came a unifying national clarity of what the late Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Ralph McGill called “the firmness of truth” which, in turn, led to the difficult concession that separate and unequal, despite tradition and culture, had to be forcibly challenged and modified through federal legislation and enforcement.

    Out of the long aftermath of the dream speech, however, has emerged a paradox: The rise of racial equality to a point where the Supreme Court this summer said the Voting Rights Act has become an anachronism that has not ended social and cultural segregation – the stubbornness of which keeps the races, and classes, at least to a degree, apart, and strangers. Instead of MLK’s dream of a “beautiful symphony of brotherhood,” blacks and whites still occasionally strike jangled chords.

    It is an open question as to whether President Obama has helped or hurt race relations in the US or the extent to which he has proven that the black man is no longer “an exile in his own land,” as King put it in his speech.

    His election proved America had moved beyond hardened racial judgments, and since his election Obama has attempted to walk a fine line between honoring black Americans’ struggle while trying to give shape to a new debate, which he wrestled with in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting and the not guilty verdict of his shooter, George Zimmerman.

    In a nod to the mood of the times, Obama’s answer was not to appoint a reconciliation commission, but to urge racial reckoning by individual Americans at the dinner table.

    To be sure, attitudes about racial injustices have continued to diverge by race. In a recent Gallup poll, 68 percent of blacks said they believe the US justice system is biased against black people, while only 25 percent of whites held that view.

    At the same time, the era of a black president has been devastating to many black families, highlighting, for some, the limits of what government can do to right historical wrongs.

    Under Obama, blacks have lost household worth, median income, and employment at double, sometimes triple the rates of whites and even other minorities.

    Given that tattered image of black America, the civil rights movement, too, is at a crossroads 50 years after King spoke at the Mall.

    Today’s young activists are turning it into a global human rights movement that includes gay rights. This week, Nihad Awad, the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, urged Muslims to attend events, saying that “Dr. King's dream is deferred every time an American is discriminated against or mistreated because of the color of their skin, their faith, their gender or their legal status.”

    “Hot-button issues like racial profiling, police stop-and-frisk practices, and social justice have joined global causes like immigration reform, women's rights, and issues affecting other minority communities, suggesting a blurring of the lines between the ideological underpinnings of today's youth-led civil rights movement and that of the 1960s. Call it Civil Rights 2.0,” writes Monitor correspondent Carmen Sisson this week.

    Yet that broadening of the movements, some say, threatens to blur the mission. The black churches which led the civil rights movement, for instance, remain one of the greatest critics of gay marriage. And while civil rights leaders rallied for “Justice for Trayvon,” critics chided them for failing to point out racism, hatred, and bad behavior in the black community.


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    From Slavery to Mass Incarceration, Ava DuVernay’s Film "13th" Examines Racist U.S. Justice System


    Advocates: The U.S. Still Profits from Slavery Because the 13th Amendment Perpetuates Prison Labor


    Prison State America: Inmates becoming corporate slaves in for-profit facilities

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    Default Black Panther: The same old Western politics with a black face

    Black Panther: The same old Western politics with a black face

    Dr Fahid Qurashi argues that the problematic politics of Marvel’s new Black Panther movie undermines any value the film may have in terms of the representation of black people.

    There is a certain allure to seeing black characters, front and centre, in a mainstream Hollywood movie. More alluring, as in the case of Black Panther, is the representation of black characters as strong and intelligent, living in the most advanced nation on Earth, in possession of scientific and technological knowledge to offer the world.

    But it is a sad indictment of Hollywood that a film like Black Panther, with its horrific politics, is supposed to represent an important cultural moment signalling the arrival and acceptance of black people into the mainstream.

    Of course, the film can be applauded for its positive representation: of strong black characters as leaders, good guys, and scientists; and celebrated for a vision of Africa not as some dilapidated backwater, but the site of the world’s most advanced nation with cultural values that are respected. And as Mark Kermode points out in his review of the film, equality amongst the genders with both men and women in leading positions in science, politics and the military.

    The question however, is whether this is enough. Is this what black people should aspire to be – black masters? The sheer joy of witnessing black characters in positive respectable roles functioned as a deliberate distraction from the politics of the film.

    Horrific politics

    There were signs of this early on as Muslim “baddies” popped up with a truck full of kidnapped girls as though to signal the political alignment of Wakanda with the West as they both share a common enemy and fight in the same struggle against “terror”.

    Then there was the anti-refugee nativist rhetoric (“they just bring their problems with them”) which wouldn’t be out of place at a UKIP party hosted in honour of Donald Trump. The aim of this is to get the audience on side with this Western friendly leadership of Wakanda (against others that might make a claim to the throne).

    If this wasn’t clear enough, the film threw in a CIA operative, Everett K. Ross, with which the Wakandan leadership collaborated. Again, this collaboration functions to signal the acceptability of the leaders of Wakanda and lets the audience know which blacks to trust.

    The Wakandan leadership is acceptable because they share the politics of the West and they operate within a Western neoliberal, neo-colonial paradigm, much like Turkey’s AKP or Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. They may be “Islamists”, but they are neoliberal “Islamists”.


    One of the strongest features of capitalism is that it thrives in crises. Commentators have been forecasting the death of capitalism for a long time. But the point is, capitalism needs crises to survive and thrive. It adapts extremely well and doesn’t care much about the politics of leaders and nations so long as they are capitalist leaders and nations.

    So, it doesn’t matter that Wakanda is a free black nation, that it has a strong non-Western cultural heritage, that it has strong, competent, and intelligent black leaders and scientists, and that Wakanda is presented as desirable.

    What matters for the West is that it is situated within the paradigm of neoliberal capitalism so that its rationality can exercise influence in determining the direction of Wakanda. As with Turkey’s AKP, it doesn’t matter whether capitalist policies are implemented with a local flavour: what matters is that they are implemented. In this way, capitalism continues to grow in the face of perceived crises from “liberation movements.”

    All of this makes Black Panther a rather dangerous and insidious film. It lures its audience in with positive representations of black people and black culture (such as the scene in which a white man at the UN mockingly asks T’Challa what Wakanda could possibly offer the world), with excellent camerawork and action, gets the audience on side with T’Challa’s (Obama) leadership, and then feeds it the same neoliberal, neo-colonial politics, except with a black face.


    Rather than siding with T’Challa we should be on the side of N’Jadaka (“Killmonger”). He understands the oppression of the status quo and wants to “burn it all and start over.” This is what makes him dangerous and results in an even closer collaboration between T’Challa’s family and a desperate CIA that wants to ensure the survival of the Western world order against a “radical” black leader with superpowers who wants to reorder the world and redistribute its resources.

    The film however, denigrates his radicalism and presents it as something dangerous, not because he wants to reorder the world, but by associating it with murder – he gets his name “Killmonger” because of the sheer number of people, including children, that he has killed.

    The film is telling black people how to be successful and accepted on the world stage as black people – to be “moderate”, to operate within the confines of the neoliberal, neo-colonial world order. If you want to make changes and help people, do so incrementally.

    Go to the UN, like T’Challa, and announce the creation of a charity organisation that will “help” those that have been oppressed and abused. Don’t ever think about “burning it all down and starting over.” If you try something like that, we’ll come together in a coalition and destroy you. And you will die, just like N’Jadaka.

    The moral superiority of this position is evident in the closing scenes as a triumphant T’Challa stands tall and proud at the UN. In short, the film is a validation of the Western world order.

    Black power for its own sake?

    We don’t need black power for its own sake. We don’t need a black master to replace the white master and sit at the head of the same world order. We don’t need strong and intelligent black leadership if it uses its strength and knowledge in service of the same world order. What we need is a politics of emancipation.

    Social justice isn’t dependent on a nice liberal “woke” President or Monarch. During the era of slavery, the kind slave masters were worse than the brutes because their kindness made the slaves forget (if even momentarily) that they were slaves held in bondage.

    Rather than struggling for their freedom and building networks of solidarity they opted to make the best of their relatively comfortable situation (because others had it a lot worse).

    There is a scene in 12 Years a Slave in which Solomon and Eliza argue about the virtue of their slave master. “Mr Ford is a decent man,” claims Solomon. “He is a slaver!” Eliza shoots back. Solomon tries again with, “Under the circumstances…” but is shot down again by Eliza, “Under the circumstances he is a slaver!”

    Malcolm X also had something to say on this matter: “I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.”

    In the end, the problematic politics of Black Panther undermine any value the film may have. If this is what representation means, then it may be time to rethink the value of representation.

    Black Panther speaks to, is an affirmation of, and a trust from Western elites in the rich powerful Westermised neoliberal black elites around the world. It signals the arrival of this black elite onto the world stage and into the mainstream and reminds them how to be black. It doesn’t have much to say for the mass of black people around the world.

    In the world of Hollywood, Black Panther may seem radical and progressive. But that is more of an indictment of Hollywood than a sign of its progressiveness. Black Panther is Hollywood in blackface. Zizek is right about something: we can imagine the end of the world much more readily than we can imagine the end of capitalism.


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    Default How Malcolm X exposed the ‘extremist’ slur in five simple points

    How Malcolm X exposed the ‘extremist’ slur in five simple points

    “When a man is exercising extremism, a human being is exercising extremism in defence of liberty for human beings, it’s no vice. And when one is moderate in the pursuit of justice for human beings, I say he is a sinner” —Malcolm X.

    October 30, 2017

    There is a long tradition of empowered black Muslims who stood up and resisted oppression. Many faced the same dilemmas we face today, being accused of terrorism and extremism for standing up for their rights.

    When Europeans in collusion with some Kings and leaders of Western Africa began to lynch and sell their adversaries into slavery in the Americas, many rose up to this oppression.

    In acts which echo those who speak out against the lynching of innocent Muslims during the ‘War on Terror’ and leaving them to languish in the gallows of Guantanamo and other secret sites, a 17th century West African scholar, Nasir al-Din, resisted against the kings of his time because they sold their subjects to European slave traders under frivolous pretexts.

    He said: “God does not allow kings to raid, kill, or enslave their people; He has them, on the contrary, to guard them from their enemies. The people are not made for the kings but the kings are made for the peoples”.

    Centuries later, a confident black Muslim activist by the name of Malcolm X, who understood this legacy and the role his faith in driving him to seek justice, stood up and broke down why and how the label ‘extremist’ is only thrown about to silence those who demand their rights.

    These are the 5 simple ways he dismantled the ‘extremist’ slur

    1- You are an “extremist” if you use a different yardstick to theirs

    When those in power become so self-conceited as to believe in their own self-righteousness, they see all opposition as “extreme”.

    Elaborating on this, Malcolm X explained “extremism” in this way: “When you are in a position of power for a long time, you get used to using your yardstick and you take it for granted that, because you forced your yardstick upon others… People in the past that weren’t in a position to have a yardstick or use a yardstick of their own, are using their own yardstick now.”

    People who abide by different and more just ethics than their oppressive rulers are often deemed “extremist”.

    2- The “extremist” label is only used to demonize those whom are believed to be inferior

    “Extremism” is never used to describe the thoughts or beliefs of those who are in power, regardless of the carnage they may have caused. It is the reserve of the downtrodden in society and a way to discredit their fair and just demands. Malcolm X illustrated this point perfectly when he said:

    “When a man whom they have been taught is below them, has the nerve or firmness to question some of their philosophies or conclusions, usually, they put that label [extremist] on him, a label that is only designed to project an image which the public will find distasteful”.

    If you are standing up for justice in this way, being an “extremist” can be a badge of honor.

    3- Calling those who resist “extremists” is done to make the oppressed seem like the aggressors

    In order to colonize a people or justify oppression towards a community, you must first begin to make them appear as outcasts in need to be reformed. It’s “to create a humanitarian image for a devil or a devil image for a humanitarian” as Malcolm X put it.

    “Whenever a country that is in power wants to step in unjustly and invade someone else’s property, they use the press to make it appear that the area they are about to invade is filled with savages, or filled with people who have gone berserk, or they are raping white women, molesting nuns. They use the same old dialectic year in and year out”.

    In the same way, the broad use of the word “extremist” in Muslim communities is a way to justify measures designed to oppress them, like PREVENT (in UK). This should not discourage us.

    4- “Extremist” labeling is done to tarnish the struggle of the oppressed

    Despite Malcolm X referring to his context at the peak of the civil rights struggle, his words still ring true today. Any attempt to resist is seen as indicative of inherent “extremism” which must be confronted. Here is Malcolm X’s summary of what a black person is expected to do if he is not to be deemed an “extremist”.

    “As long as a white man does it, it’s alright, a black man is supposed to have no feeling. But when a black man strikes back, he’s an extremist, he’s supposed to sit passively and have no feelings, be non-violent and love his enemy no matter what kind of attack, verbal or otherwise, he’s supposed to take it”.

    Pacification is the twin brother of oppression. The powerful oppress with labels in order to pacify us into silence. But we must continue to call out their ills and call for justice.

    5- “Extremism” classifications are used to criminalize Islam, which advocates justice

    As Malcolm X so aptly put it when defending his beliefs:

    “I am a Muslim. If there’s something wrong with that, then I stand condemned. My religion is Islam. I believe in Allah. I believe in Muhammad as the apostle of Allah. I believe in brotherhood of all men, but I don’t believe in brotherhood with anybody who is not ready to practice brotherhood with our people”.

    When the end goal of so-called “extremist” organizations and individuals is the pursuit of justice and peace, then those who are labeling them in order to criminalize them are the ones who should be forced to defend their position, not the opposite. Despite the best efforts of the powerful few, this call for justice will always echo with the majority.


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    The Other Rosa Parks

    Now 73, Claudette Colvin Was First to Refuse Giving Up Seat on Montgomery Bus

    At a ceremony unveiling a statue in her honor last month, President Obama called Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus a "singular act of disobedience." But nine months before Parks’ historic action, a 15-year-old teenager named Claudette Colvin did the very same thing. She was arrested, and her case led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s order for the desegregation of Alabama’s bus system.

    Before Rosa Parks, There Was Claudette Colvin

    by Margot Adler - March 15, 2009

    Few people know the story of Claudette Colvin: When she was 15, she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person — nine months before Rosa Parks did the very same thing.

    Most people know about Parks and the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott that began in 1955, but few know that there were a number of women who refused to give up their seats on the same bus system. Most of the women were quietly fined, and no one heard much more.

    Colvin was the first to really challenge the law.

    Now a 69-year-old retiree, Colvin lives in the Bronx. She remembers taking the bus home from high school on March 2, 1955, as clear as if it were yesterday.

    The bus driver ordered her to get up and she refused, saying she'd paid her fare and it was her constitutional right. Two police officers put her in handcuffs and arrested her. Her school books went flying off her lap.

    "All I remember is that I was not going to walk off the bus voluntarily," Colvin says.

    It was Negro history month, and at her segregated school they had been studying black leaders like Harriet Tubman, the runaway slave who led more than 70 slaves to freedom through the network of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. They were also studying about Sojourner Truth, a former slave who became an abolitionist and women's rights activist.

    The class had also been talking about the injustices they were experiencing daily under the Jim Crow segregation laws, like not being able to eat at a lunch counter.

    "We couldn't try on clothes," Colvin says. "You had to take a brown paper bag and draw a diagram of your foot ... and take it to the store. Can you imagine all of that in my mind? My head was just too full of black history, you know, the oppression that we went through. It felt like Sojourner Truth was on one side pushing me down, and Harriet Tubman was on the other side of me pushing me down. I couldn't get up."

    Colvin also remembers the moment the jail door closed. It was just like a Western movie, she says.

    "And then I got scared, and panic come over me, and I started crying. Then I started saying the Lord's Prayer," she says.

    'Twice Toward Justice'

    Now her story is the subject of a new book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.

    Author Phil Hoose says that despite a few articles about her in the Birmingham press and in USA Today, and brief mentions in some books about the civil rights movement, most people don't know about the role Colvin played in the bus boycotts.

    Hoose couldn't get over that there was this teenager, nine months before Rosa Parks, "in the same city, in the same bus system, with very tough consequences, hauled off the bus, handcuffed, jailed and nobody really knew about it."

    He also believes Colvin is important because she challenged the law in court, one of four women plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, the court case that successfully overturned bus segregation laws in Montgomery and Alabama.

    There are many reasons why Claudette Colvin has been pretty much forgotten. She hardly ever told her story when she moved to New York City. In her new community, hardly anyone was talking about integration; instead, most people were talking about black enterprises, black power and Malcolm X.

    When asked why she is little known and why everyone thinks only of Rosa Parks, Colvin says the NAACP and all the other black organizations felt Parks would be a good icon because "she was an adult. They didn't think teenagers would be reliable."

    She also says Parks had the right hair and the right look. "Her skin texture was the kind that people associate with the middle class," says Colvin. "She fit that profile."

    David Garrow, a historian and the author of Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says people may think that Parks' action was spontaneous, but black civic leaders had been thinking about what to do about the Montgomery buses for years.

    After Colvin's arrest, she found herself shunned by parts of her community. She experienced various difficulties and became pregnant. Civil rights leaders felt she was an inappropriate symbol for a test case.

    Parks was the secretary of the NACCP. She was well-known and respected and, says Garrow, Parks had a "natural gravitas" and was an "inherently impressive person."

    At the same time, Garrow believes attention to Colvin is a healthy corrective, because "the real reality of the movement was often young people and often more than 50 percent women." The images you most often see are men in suits.

    Hoose says he believes Colvin understands the pragmatism that pushed Parks to the fore, but "on the other hand, she did it."

    Hoose says the stories of Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. are wonderful, but those are the stories of people in their 30s and 40s. Colvin was 15. Hoose feels his book will bring a fresh teen's perspective to the struggle to end segregation.

    Excerpt: 'Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice'

    by Phillip Hoose - March 14, 2009
    [IMG]file:///C:\Users\Zahid\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\ clip_image002.jpg[/IMG]

    CLAUDETTE: One of them said to the driver in a very angry tone, "Who is it?" The motorman pointed at me. I heard him say, "That's nothing new . . . I've had trouble with that 'thing' before." He called me a "thing." They came to me and stood over me and one said, "Aren't you going to get up?" I said, "No, sir." He shouted "Get up" again. I started crying, but I felt even more defiant. I kept saying over and over, in my high-pitched voice, "It's my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it's my constitutional right!" I knew I was talking back to a white policeman, but I had had enough.

    One cop grabbed one of my hands and his partner grabbed the other and they pulled me straight up out of my seat. My books went flying everywhere. I went limp as a baby—I was too smart to fight back. They started dragging me backwards off the bus. One of them kicked me. I might have scratched one of them because I had long nails, but I sure didn't fight back. I kept screaming over and over, "It's my constitutional right!" I wasn't shouting anything profane—I never swore, not then, not ever. I was shouting out my rights.

    It just killed me to leave the bus. I hated to give that white woman my seat when so many black people were standing. I was crying hard. The cops put me in the back of a police car and shut the door. They stood outside and talked to each other for a minute, and then one came back and told me to stick my hands out the open window. He handcuffed me and then pulled the door open and jumped in the backseat with me. I put my knees together and crossed my hands over my lap and started praying.

    All ride long they swore at me and ridiculed me. They took turns trying to guess my bra size. They called me "****** bitch" and cracked jokes about parts of my body. I recited the Lord's Prayer and the Twenty-third Psalm over and over in my head, trying to push back the fear. I assumed they were taking me to juvenile court because I was only fifteen. I was thinking, Now I'm gonna be picking cotton, since that's how they punished juveniles—they put you in a school out in the country where they made you do field work during the day.

    But we were going in the wrong direction. They kept telling me I was going to Atmore, the women's penitentiary. Instead, we pulled up to the police station and they led me inside. More cops looked up when we came in and started calling me "Thing" and "Whore." They booked me and took my fingerprints.

    Then they put me back in the car and drove me to the city jail—the adult jail. Someone led me straight to a cell without giving me any chance to make a phone call. He opened the door and told me to get inside. He shut it hard behind me and turned the key. The lock fell into place with a heavy sound. It was the worst sound I ever heard. It sounded final. It said I was trapped.

    When he went away, I looked around me: three bare walls, a toilet, and a cot. Then I fell down on my knees in the middle of the cell and started crying again. I didn't know if anyone knew where I was or what had happened to me. I had no idea how long I would be there. I cried and I put my hands together and prayed like I had never prayed before.

    • • •

    MEANWHILE, schoolmates who had been on the bus had run home and telephoned Claudette's mother at the house where she worked as a maid. Girls went over and took care of the lady's three small children so that Claudette's mother could leave. Mary Ann Colvin called Claudette's pastor, the Reverend H.H. Johnson. He had a car, and together they sped to the police station.

    • • •

    CLAUDETTE: When they led Mom back, there I was in a cell. I was cryin' hard, and then Mom got upset, too. When she saw me, she didn't bawl me out, she just asked, "Are you all right, Claudette?"

    Reverend Johnson bailed me out and we drove home. By the time we got to King Hill, word had spread everywhere. All our neighbors came around, and they were just squeezing me to death. I felt happy and proud. I had been talking about getting our rights ever since Jeremiah Reeves was arrested, and now they knew I was serious. Velma, Q.P. and Mary Ann's daughter, who was living with us at the time, kept saying it was my squeaky little voice that had saved me from getting beat up or raped by the cops.

    But I was afraid that night, too. I had stood up to a white bus driver and two white cops. I had challenged the bus law. There had been lynchings and cross burnings for that kind of thing. Wetumpka Highway that led out of Montgomery ran right past our house. It would have been easy for the Klan to come up the hill in the night. Dad sat up all night long with his shotgun. We all stayed up. The neighbors facing the highway kept watch. Probably nobody on King Hill slept that night.

    But worried or not, I felt proud. I had stood up for our rights. I had done something a lot of adults hadn't done. On the ride home from jail, coming over the viaduct, Reverend Johnson had said something to me I'll never forget. He was an adult who everyone respected and his opinion meant a lot to me. "Claudette," he said, "I'm so proud of you. Everyone prays for freedom. We've all been praying and praying. But you're different—you want your answer the next morning. And I think you just brought the revolution to Montgomery."

    Excerpted with permission from Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip Hoose.

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    Why Black Americans were against the Vietnamese War

    "No, I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder kill and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slavemasters over dark people the world over. This is the day and age when such evil injustice must come to an end."— Muhammad Ali

    “I Ain’t Got No Quarrel With The VietCong… No VietCong Ever Called Me ******.” — Muhammad Ali, 1966

    "If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country."— Malcolm X

    “Here lies the yellow man, killed by a black man, fighting for the white man, who killed all the red men.” — Malcolm X

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    UN panel says the U.S. owes reparations to African-Americans


    The United States owes African-Americans reparations for slavery, a recent report by a United Nations-affiliated group said.

    The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said that compensation is necessary to combat the disadvantages caused by 245 years of legally allowing the sale of people based on the color of their skin.

    The U.N. group warned that the U.S. has not confronted its legacy of “racial terrorism.”

    The report, which is non-binding, specified that reparations can come in a variety of ways, including educational opportunities, psychological rehabilitation, debt cancellation and formal apologies.

    Some institutions have started to take these steps. Georgetown University announced earlier this month it would offering free tuition for descendants of the 272 slaves that were sold in 1838 to help pay the university’s debts.

    The U.N. report also linked past injustices to recent police killings of black men that have sparked protests across the U.S.

    “Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,”
    the report said.

    The U.S. created a reparations plan in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War that stated that freed families would be granted “forty acres of tillable land” and a mule from the Union Army. The plan, proposed by Union General William T. Sherman after meetings with black community leaders in Savannah, Georgia, was reversed by President Andrew Johnson and the land was returned to plantation owners.



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