SELMA, AMERICA ON TRIAL, by Irfan Nur Ahmed

selma-movie

Handwritten in the back cover of my journal entitled “A Stolen Life” I have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. In transcribing it, I did not pity my ancestry, who could not read or write during slavery, nor was I celebrating the triumphs of the Selma to Montgomery Marches of 1965. I was twenty-something and eager to affect change in how we treated abuse victims. I wanted to get a feel for what Dr. King himself must have been struggling with as he wrote his speech.

One thing director Ava DuVernay makes clear in her film Selma is the overwhelming faith Dr. King had in his country, in his community and in God. He had in had a youthful exuberance for securing the constitutional right of African Americans to vote in Selma, Alabama. He wrote his speeches not because he felt sorry for his people or because he wanted to be a superhero, but rather because he wanted to be with them under the sun. He wanted to understand his own and his brethren’s civil condition and from there make a social difference.

According to history, one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s resolves for change included leading thousands of Americans on a series of three marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. The first march met with violent resistance from state troopers. The troopers yielded during the second march, but Dr. King turned away. He and those thousands prayed that not only they but their president, Congress, and the favor of future generations would also pass by those state troopers. Their prayers were answered in due process and the third march commenced. With the people of the United States as his witnesses, Dr. King led several more thousand people across the same bridge with the protection of the federal government. DuVernay makes this a turning point in the fortunes of the efforts of Dr. King and the SCLC clear in Selma for today’s youths. It is a strong point by which a man of faith, friendship and family leads a young nation of racially segregated cultures to a secured right to vote for everyone, and to their common civil rights being enacted into law, again.

History was accurately depicted in Selma through DuVeray’s use of real footage. Her efforts made identifiable any differences between actual events and cinematic ones for young adults. But she also affectionately treated the likely emotional reality of the footage cinematically. It is one thing for a student who believes in protest these days to imagine what it must have been like to be in the presence of Dr. Martin Luther King.  It is another to experience an artistic vision of being on Dr. King’s team of youthful activists.

For a youngster to be able to sink into the shoes of esteemed persons in any film, some dramatic accommodations must be considered. DuVernay makes such accommodations through her ironic but consistent and formally subtle blend of lighting, performances and video recording in this picture. Her use of hard and soft shadows, organic and inorganic personifications as well as camera angles that work on both sides of the line paint a multi-dimensional picture that includes documented history, indescribable human fear and relentless determination as they collectively tear down contemporary walls that define what is black and what is white in the south in the 1960’s.

The screenplay and the editing in Selma are less effective in conveying what must have been the heat of those days than DuVernay’s refined vision. One-liners occasionally hurt the quality of the piece as a whole. And, more importantly, the script blatantly exhibits Dr. King’s Selma speeches. While catering to the audience who wants to feel what it was like to sit through those speeches and move with them, this artistically exposes the temper lead actor David Oyelowo puts into his oral performance of Dr. King  which in turn results in a less original depiction of, however similar to, Dr. Martin Luther King’s famously articulate demeanor. Cutting in a few more voice-overs for the speeches might have improved this condition. What felt like a slow story at times could have been edited to the benefit of the film’s pace. That said, however, a number of modern-day slow-motion editing techniques make this film quite a positively edgy assembly of images and no doubt increasing the pace of the speeches would have clashed with that.

Casting and actor performance make Selma a Dr. Martin Luther King movie unlike its predecessors. It connects it to youthful passion for protest and revolution and also to the warm sense of camaraderie among activists. The film’s incorporation of modern-day techniques not only in editing but also in formulating makes it a Hollywood fresh.

Historically relevant and artistically compelling, I give Ava DuVernay’s Selma an Earth Colony review of six-and-a-half stars out of seven.     

 http://www.spreaker.com/user/themalcolmxsociety/judge-not-by-appearances

Welcome to Earth Colony.Net: “FEAR HAS ITS USE BUT COWARDICE HAS NONE”, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

MLK_in_Birmingham_Jail

There are two fundamental impediments challenging the African American community. They are its unscrupulous members and its fears. The first and worst challenge faced by the Black community are from people within its own population who share the same ethnic characteristics. For that reason they are camouflaged and thus more likely to win the trust of innocent persons. These unscrupulous people are individual malicious men and women, as well as institutions within the community.  Whether they work for plantation masters and overseers or whether they work out of greed and selfish material interests, all of them act to do harm to the innocence of African people. They are in street gangs, religious groups, businesses, education, government services, and law. All of those entities support the plantation status quo and are rewarded for doing so.

 

All of them add up to a degenerative force in the community. Such was the structure of the southern plantation wherein Negro slave was pitted against Negro slave for a prize of pork guts; such was the structure of the Warsaw ghetto wherein Ashkenazi Jews were manipulated to literally cannibalize each other as they jockeyed for a dead life and for favor in the eyes of their Jewish overseers who in-turn hustled for their Nazi war lords’ approval.  And it is never by overwhelming numbers that they are ruled. But rather they are paralyzed by fear.

 

Fear is the second impediment. For it is never the number of degenerates that are greater because they are always far outnumbered by their victims.  No; the harm to the innocence of African people can only happen if enough African people have a deficit of conscience.  A greater deficit of conscience establishes amorality as the new norm in the inner cities of the United States. 

 

There is a deficit of conscientiousness in the African American community otherwise that new norm would not exist. A prime example is the hip-hop ‘nuisance’. The fact that the hip-hop counterculture can openly defame African icons such a Harriett Tubman and is produced and controlled by a Jewish media cliché in Hollywood supports the claim there aren’t enough conscientious African people who will stand up to stop it. Consequently, many young African American men and women have literally lost their minds and it is we the educated and understanding folks who have allowed that to happen.

 

When men and women of learning and thoughtfulness ignore the long shadow of social evil that is cast over them, those they love and their communities by unscrupulous persons among them, then their community is more dead than alive.  Thus, whatever their class or presumed status they too are more dead than alive. They are more dead than alive because they have a deficit of conscience.  The facts support that thesis. The 1 million entombed men and women locked away in prisons, the 7,000 who will die of ‘Black on Black’ homicide this year, and the 22 million fetuses aborted since 1972 are incontrovertible proofs that both those victimized, even the unborn who are dead, and the community are more dead than alive. But is this a passing fog or a permanent shadow which envelopes us all?

 

It is a shadow that is now cast over all African Americans -descendents of slaves.  It is a shadow which does not smother all the life out of innocence, for then the unscrupulous ones would die, too.  Rather it lingers over innocence as a shadowy pall; it is an immoveable pall because it feeds upon their spirit of innocence day and night. We are their ‘live-stock’.  Their strength over us comes from our fears, our ignorance, and our ill health.  For the victims must be kept morally and physically weak so that they can be dominated. You see, the relationship has become sadomasochistic.

Birmingham_1963b_CharlesMoore

This is a time different from the past. It is a time when men and women of learning and thoughtfulness tremble at the thought of their own death. There is no difference in the passage of time but  there is a difference in the texture of common character. Even more, they have become so psychologically impaired by their fears that they cannot throw themselves with full force at their nemesis. Nor can they at least speak out against the social evils which sap the spirit from their own children in their own homes and in their own communities.

 

Those same people however learned and however thoughtful are cowards. Their fear of death and want of sugary comfort and entitlements outweigh their conscientiousness.  The end result is always cowardice. That is historically true. Cowards never act. Cowards tremble in sleep and when awake. Cowards do what they are told to do. Then they die.

 

 

 

Judas Goats: Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool? Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags Full. One Fo Da Master, One Fo His Dame, …

Judas Goat

A Judas goat is a goat trained to gain the trust of an unsuspecting herd of sheep and then to lead them in a given direction for slaughter. The Judas Goat’s life is spared so it can mislead again and again.  In order for the Judas Goat to accomplish its goal it must sell snake oil.

Snake oil is the phrase used to identify fake cures sold to the public by those who hustle poor, desperate, fearful, and/or ignorant people. Snake oil can be something material or it can be emotional in nature.

 snake-oil

Snake oil is still being sold to you. The interesting fact is that if you watch and listen closely you can see a person telling you in the same media image frame that it works and at the same time telling you that he or she is lying.  You see, it’s because it’s not listed as an FDA approved drug but rather as some natural concoction like ‘water’. As long as you don’t say ‘it cures’ you can skirt around federal law and sell junk to the public as a ‘natural’ treatment for some disease.  People are duped because they are feeling insecure or fearful due to personal problems.

For example, Al Sharpton advertises a product for men who’s testosterone levels have decreased with aging and for which he gets paid MONEY to advertise.  But if you check it out, the product is not FDA approved.  Nor does Al Sharpton ever say that he has taken it. He has never said that his testosterone level has increased because of it. Does this picture of him look to you like his testosterone level is as high as a 20 year old man? Now, he might be on a prescription steroid because he has no muscle mass.

 al sharpton

If he ever did say that it measurably caused his testosterone level to increase he would never have a before treatment and after treatment measure of his testosterone levels to prove it to you. That’s because he is not doing science; he’s selling snake oil.  If he did that he’d be prosecuted by the federal government for misrepresentation and go to jail or be fined.   So, I can’t say he is lying, but I can say that he is using the trust that many have in him that he would not mislead them in order to sell to them snake oil for which he gets paid.

THE BROADER PICTURE

The early 20th century reveals to us some very important social, economic, and political patterns in very simple form. The early 20th century is an excellent classroom for that reason.  If we identify and define those patterns they allow us to understand our present day subjugation.  Understand, the conqueror is always steps ahead of you because that is part of what it means to have power over another group of people.

africa conquered

But before we identify some other Judas Goats we should first admit that: we African Americans are a conquered people.  That’s a historical fact.  Being conquered is a necessary reason for being enslaved; but slavery is not the only possible outcome of having been conquered.  So, to understand slavery you must first understand the nature of what it means to be a conquered people.

A conquered people are characterized by having no self-determination whatsoever. The conquered are subject to the physical, emotional, and psychological imprint of the conqueror. In short, the conqueror can do to the conquered whatsoever they will because the conquered have not equal or greater power to stop the conqueror.  If the conqueror wants to expend much physical energy to control us then the conqueror can repress us physically.  Over time the relationship between the conqueror and the conquered becomes sadomasochistic.

For example, if the conqueror wants to limit the population of the conquered people they simply put the men in prison, kill them, put toxins in their food and water, or keep them poor so they cannot or so they probably will not reproduce too many offspring. Then, the conqueror offers the women abortion by making the women think the men don’t want nor won’t financially support their offspring all the while the conqueror prevents the men from getting employment.

Abortion has been framed for the public as an exercise of women’s right to choose. In the woman’s mind that makes her think that she, first, will avoid what she cannot economically afford and, two, that choosing abortion is what makes her more powerful than her male counterpart who cannot legally intervene to stop her. In fact, both the conquered male and female are never defined by their humanity but rather as inferior humans.

The same holds true for psychological repression and suppression. And that is what takes us to the next level of our inquiry.   I’m going to list some pictures and tell you a few things about the persons. First, however, one historical fact: on May 3, 1917, the United States Army started a spy program which was to operate within the United States.  Now here is a picture of Emmett Scott with Booker T. Washington.

 Emmett_J__Scott_0

Emmett Scott is important for our identification of a pattern. He subscribed to the political tactic of Booker T. Washington (a Boule’ member, too) which was accommodation on the part of African Americans through industrial training, business enterprise, and subordination to Whites.  The training is not the problem; the doctrine of subordination is a problem. But Scott also worked for President Woodrow Wilson in 1917.

economix-18wilson-blog480

Woodrow Wilson was an avowed racist.  So, why did he hire Emmett Scott to his highest ‘Black’ post as ‘Advisor of Black Affairs’ to the Secretary of War, Newton Baker, at the very time Wilson was segregating all federal agencies and promoting Jim Crow laws in the States?  It is because Emmett Scott worked for the Army spy program. His job was to gather information on the actions of African Americans via a network of African American informants in churches and organizations.  Oh, one other fact, Emmett Scott was the head of the Boule’ fraternity (Sigma, Pi, Phi) also known as The Talented 10th at the same time.   The Boule members are genetic racists. They believe that a large number of African Americans are genetically unfit and should be sterilized.

 BouleLogo

Those patterns of the 20th century are discernible in the 21st century.

Parallel Strategy: the plutocrats choose who you will listen to by paying those persons money and by making them ‘media famous’. Religion is a case in point.

Freedom of Religious worship in the United States has become a license to exploit the poor. If you draw a time line and plot the origin and run of many urban religious cults, fraternities, and elite organizations you will see something very interesting.  For example:

A. Each ran parallel to Marcus Garvey’s movement which started May 1917.  Remember, Boule member Emmett Scott started spying for Woodrow Wilson in 1917.

  1. Each ran parallel to Paul Robeson’s socialist philosophy and activism for the working man and women, beginning in 1933.
  2. There were hundreds of minor and major African American religious cults that sprang up with literal idiots claiming to be God. Father Divine, Daddy Grace, King Narcisse, and Elijah Muhammad who claimed that Fard Muhammad was God but whose son Warith Deen Muhammad said that his mother said that Fard Muhammad never said that he was God.

Father Divine

Father Divine

 Daddy Grace

Daddy Grace

king_narcisse100

King Narsissy

Fard Muhammad

Fard Muhammad

elijah muhammad

Elijah Muhammad

  1.  Each cult left millions of dollars in tithes to Caucasian women or their offspring. For example: Father Divine, Daddy Grace, King Narsissy, Elijah Muhammad.
  2. Most of them promoted the Roman Emperor Constantine’s Christian doctrine and ritual on an illiterate African American population.
  3. Each took pieces of Garvey’s and Robeson’s ideas to fain social concerns.
  4. Each died comfortably in mansions.
  5. One fraternity recruited educated African Americans via Jewish assistance namely the Boule’ and or talented 10th.
  6. All were spied upon by the U.S. Army spy program: started in 5-3-1917.  W.E.B. Dubois, Robert Church (1st African American millionaire), Emmett Scott all worked for the army spy program.
  7. W.E.B. Dubois did not form nor fund the N.A.A.C.P., Jews and White Anglo Saxon Protestants did.
  8. African Americans did not form nor fund the National Urban League: Jews and White Anglo Saxon Protestants did.
  9. Each maliciously denigrated Marcus Garvey.
  10. All of the Boule endorsed and were paid to work for Eugenicist Margaret Sanger’s ‘Negro Project’ to sterilize African Women.
  11.  Tuskegee University: Booker T. Washington: Accommodation Plan (Booker T. Washington) v. integration (NAACP, et al)
  12. All African American mega churches and secular organizations were and ARE infiltrated by ‘African American’ paid informants.
  13. Roy Wilkins was a F.B.I. agent who spied on Dr. Martin Luther King for J. Edgar Hoover.

There is so much more you need to think on, but the point is that most of what we have identified are and were used as diversions to draw your attention away from ideas which the plutocrats know can cause major change in the community at large and in the African American community in particular. You were and are being lead by Judas Goats selling Snake Oil.

 

Welcome to Earth Colony: THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

king at washington 2

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington.  I remember that day 50 years ago.  I was a young boy and along with my mother I watched Dr. King deliver his “I have a dream’ speech on our small black and white television set.  I remember how he bowed-up at the dais on the Lincoln Memorial steps saying nonverbally that the civil war will end in justice for all.

We were poor as were most of our neighbors but we did have a sense of neighborhood and community. We had a sense of closeness.  Dr. King and others made us believe that there was hope for a better future in America.

Now, 50 years later we have an African American President of the United States, congressmen and women, thousands of college educated African Americans, athletes, entertainers, and hundreds of thousands of African Americans in the middle class.  We can shop in the malls, eat in any restaurant, and use any rest room which we want to.  All of that is very different from the apartheid society in which I grew up 50 years ago.  It is a major achievement for which much was paid by many who did not live to see the sweeping changes wrought by their personal sacrifices.

I watched some of the commemoration activities on television this week.  I think that it was good to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington.  After all, the Jews have their ‘Passover, the Muslims have their ‘Hajj’, the Hindus have their annual trek to the ‘River Ganges’, Christians go to Bethlehem, so we have our March on Washington and the Prophet with a Dream for all.

The commemoration speaker’s list was star studded. They were successful individuals.  I noticed that all of the speakers had nice clothing on and were well heeled.  I also noticed that there were many political figures there.  There were ex- Presidents, the current President, and the U.S. Attorney General.  I got the feeling it was ‘approved’. In 1963, President Kennedy did not attend nor did anyone from his administration.  The 1963 March on Washington was not ‘official’.  It was grass root.  I know, times have changed.

But I also know that all of the major socio-economic indicators which measure quality of life and life chances say that African Americans as a group are not better off today than they were in 1963.  Thus I am faced with a deep irony.  I must admit that there are great opportunities, that more doors are open, that individuals get free K-12 education and that one can aspire for and achieve higher education.

Yet, African Americans as a group are at the bottom when it comes to median income, health care access, high school graduation, and amount of wealth possessed while at the same time they are at the top of incarceration, unemployment, homicide, and  foster-child care rates.  Should I simply shrug this condition off as being the unavoidable absolute “The poor will always be with you”? Or ‘The best of times…the worst of times’ in perpetual relation?   Or should I think differently?

What should our moral standard of achievement be? How do we identify the moral standard of achievement for a civil rights movement which had its origin in the plight of a whole people and which was paid for in the only tender they had? That tender was the blood of slaves and their descendants. Blood bled out as a whole people on many country roads, on city streets, in ally-ways and over many decades, indeed over many centuries.

Our moral standard of achievement cannot be individualism as argued by John Dewey nor anyone else. It cannot be individualism because if we assume that line of reasoning then we would be forced to concede that since there were free and successful African Americans during slavery, some even owning slaves, the state of slavery that most Africans were subject to didn’t count in the moral scheme of things.   If individual success be our standard then logically it forces us to turn our back on the majority of our people so that we can have a clear view of the well heeled individuals among us.

Individualism is more myth than real because “No man is an island”; nature has prescribed that we each begin life as a group in relation to a women in a family.  Death is the only real individual experience one will ever have.  Death is absolute individuation. Therefore, individualism cannot be our moral standard of achievement and of success for our people.

The philosopher Jeremy Bentham once said: “The greatest good for the greatest number.”  If that be our moral standard of achievement then all our actions and our policies should aim to apportion the greatest number of benefits for the greatest number of African Americans.  Until then the struggle must continue to uplift all.

 

 

 

“THERE IS A TIDE IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN…” by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Garvey

Do we remember Marcus Garvey? He who at a time when lynching African Americans was the norm yet stood up and spoke out to gather his people together to empower them so that they might make themselves self-reliant and self-sufficient.  That they might reach up and take for themselves the fruit of liberty and freedom? And for his courage he was rewarded with humiliation, deportation, and poverty.

paul robeson

Do we remember Paul Robeson? An intellectual giant and social activist, he too stood up during a time of lynching. He, too, cried out to his people and all others who yearned to be free from racism and oppression.  With courage he spoke out against fear used by the powers of his day as a tool to sway people to war. For his courage he was called un-American. For his courage his passport was revoked and he was blacklisted, impoverished, ignored by his people, and died alone.

Malcolm

And then came the man Malcolm X. Do we remember him? Intellectually centered, passionate, articulate, and with courage he rallied his people to unity speaking truth to power.  He was laid waste in his youth, a martyr.

King

Have we forgotten what Dr. Martin Luther King said? That no person “…be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” And that on that premise he spoke truth to the powers of his day. That from his powerful mind he drew forth undefeatable logical arguments not just for integration into the consumer markets of America but also for equitable wages for African American workers, too, and spoke out against unjust war fueled by fear and corporate greed. His unfailing courage was rewarded by those powers of the day with death; he fell a martyr.

African Americans are at a Moral Crossroad

We should endeavor to remember those African American men by understanding the common pattern of their lives so that we can know the characteristics of true leadership as opposed to pretentious persons. That they all cared for life from conception to old age.  And that we should not support a person because of the color of their skin any more than we should wrongly discriminate against a person for that reason, even if that person is the President of the United States.