Monday, October 23, 2006

slavery, genocide and the politics of outrage: understanding the new "racial olympics"

I've linked to articles from Hishaam D. Aidi in the past. Now, in the article Slavery, Genocide and the Politics of Outrage: Understanding the New “Racial Olympics”, Hishaam D. Aidi explores the intersections between Black Nationalism, Zionism, Black Orientalism, Afro-Arab unity, 9/11 and the current crisis in Darfur.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bilal Muslim Mission

The Bilal Muslim Mission is an organization founded with the goal of spreading Islam (particularly as understood by Ahlul-bayt) to Africans and people of African descent. When it was founded in Tanzania in 1964, there were almost no African Shia Muslims. Due to the hard work of renown scholar, Allamah Sayyid Akhtar Rizvi and others who followed his guidance, the community has grown tremendously and spread to numerous other countries.

In 1993, the Bilal Muslim Mission of America was founded to continue this mission of tabligh in the Americas. Starting in Orlando, Florida, it has now spread to Trinidad and Guyana.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

hasan shakur

I don't know if Hasan Shakur could credibly be called a political prisoner in the same sense as some of the people I've discussed in the Planet Grenada entry: black cats who became muslim. But he was a Muslim, and he passed away and the least I could do is give him some small acknowledgement.

Hasan Shakur was executed on August 31, 2006. He was pronounced dead at 6:18 pm. The day before his execution he wrote a letter to the people that had supported him. The following is an excerpt of that letter:

To many of you, I am different things you know? I may be a righteous brotha, a militant man, a brotha, a father, a friend, a husband, an asshole; all of that. However, I know one thing, I am ME. I stayed ME and in the event of my demise, I will remain ME. My love for the people and what I do is unrelenting. I will ALWAYS be that. I love you. I love what you have done for me and I love the fact that people believed into my cause and believed in me, and you know what? I love you and I believe in you. I believe you will continue to push the work I have done....

Fight for Freedom - Hasan Shakur
Uprising: Hasan Shakur Faces Execution
APoC:Article on Hasan Shakur by Chucky Mamou

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why Blackamericans must change their attitude

The NYT has an article that talks about the divide between blacks and Latinos in the deep South. This is a microcosm of a larger and growing problem that more and more blacks are having as they are replaced in the workforce by the cheaper labor pool represented by the Latinos.

One again, let me make it clear that I am not anti-Latino, but we have to look at the ramifications of bringing in millions of new low-skilled Laborers is having on those who are currently citizens. Even the black elite is not making an issue of this.

Blacks here, who had settled into a familiar, if sometimes uneasy, relationship with whites, are now outnumbered by Hispanics. The two groups, who often live and work side by side, compete fiercely for working-class jobs and government resources. By several measures, blacks are already losing ground.

The jobless rate for black men in Georgia is nearly triple that of Hispanic men, labor statistics show. More blacks than Hispanics fail to meet minimum standards in Atkinson County public schools. And many blacks express anguish at being supplanted by immigrants who know little of their history and sometimes treat them with disdain as they fill factory jobs, buy property, open small businesses and scale the economic ladder.


Some Hispanics say African-Americans treat them with hostility and disparage them with slurs, even though blacks know the sting of racism all too well. They say many blacks are jealous of their progress and resent the fact that whites, who dominate the business sector, look increasingly to Hispanics to fill work forces. Blacks say employers favor immigrants because they work for less money.

Not able to find jobs in the legitimate workforce and feeling resentful, blacks then turn to crime:

The killing of six Mexican farm workers in a robbery last year in Tifton, about 30 miles away — and the arrest of four black men in the case — has heightened the friction. Nothing so violent has occurred here, but some Hispanics say black criminals focus on immigrants in this town, too.

This then leads to even more tensions and resentment on the other side.

Speaking of blacks, Benito Gonz├ílez, 51, a Mexican who has worked alongside them at a poultry plant, said: “They don’t like to work, and they’re always in jail. If there’s hard work to be done, the blacks, they leave and they don’t come back. That’s why the bosses prefer Mexicans and why there are so many Mexicans working in the factories here.” [More…]
This is the catch. I have seen this first hand. Many blacks do not want to work hard. The reason I am stressing this is because it DOES affect us as Blackamerican Muslims (no matter what some protest) and we must instill a new work ethic into our children. We must stress delayed gratification, ambition, education, hard work other traits that lead to success.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Byron Crawford of XXXL & Harris Publications attacks Muslims during Ramadan!! They must be stopped!!
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006
Lupe Fiasco, jihadist
An exploration of Islamic themes in Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor.
Posted In: Columnists, Bol's Saturday Night Workout by Byron Crawford

Not that it matters much anymore, with Lupe Fiasco seemingly destined to fade into obscurity and end up the answer to some future mid-oughts trivia question about “skateboard rap,” but for a while there it was interesting to think about: If Lupe Fiasco had become a mega-star on the order of, say, a Kanye West, America would’ve found itself in the odd position of having an avowed devout Muslim pop star while simultaneously enmeshed in a war with Islamic fascism. Which would’ve been pretty weird, if you think about it. I can hardly think of an historic precedent for such a scenario. Not to attempt to draw any parallels (because I’m sure there aren’t any), but as far as I know, there weren’t any big jazz records made Nazis during World War II. And, as amusing as it would have been, I’m pretty sure there was never any Viet Cong equivalent of the Eagles during the final stages of Vietnam.

Indeed, there haven’t been very many Muslim pop stars one way or the other. American Idol’s own Paula Abdul is ostensibly an Arab of some sort, but I doubt she gets down on her knees for anything other than to blow that Puerto Rican guy she was allegedly involved with. Cat Stevens hit it big in the ’70s with songs like “Baby, It’s a Wild World” and the now-ironic “Peace Train,” but I don’t think he got serious about Islam until after his career had jumped the shark.

To be sure, plenty of rappers have professed an allegiance to “Calypso” Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam as well as its even more bizarre prison gang-oriented offshoot the Five Percenters. But it’s not like anyone other than the ADL considers them a real religion of any significance, and that’s because they’re always looking for someone to beef with as a matter of political strategy.

From what I understand, based on my reading of his lackluster Food and Liquor as well a lot of the press leading up to its release, Lupe Fiasco considers himself an adherent of the Cat Stevens school of Islam more so than the Rakim school, to put it in terms of washed up musicians. If he disagrees, he’s certainly free to talk management into allowing him to unleash another torrent of ad hominems on yours truly like he did a few weeks ago.

For a guy who hardly ever curses, let alone drops the dreaded n-bomb, I think people were surprised to see him go off like that. But that’s the thing about Islam: It’s a self-proclaimed religion of peace that just so happens to have a 1400 year history of violence. They don’t particularly set out to do anything other than submit themselves to the will of Allah, but that usually ends up involving wiring some poor child with explosives and sending him forth into a crowd of infidels.

Does Lupe Fiasco consider himself the equivalent of a suicide bomber sent to rid the rap world of a few infidels (metaphorically speaking at least)? When you think about it, his album does seem filled with that kind of rhetoric. He speaks of the images of champagne and bling bling so often projected in hip-hop the same way that Islamic fascists speak of American culture in general and, in particular, the “MTV culture” that they view as such a threat to Muslim youth.
And his claim that he once hated hip-hop because of the way women were treated (presumably before he became a gat-toting crack slinger?) seems ripe for further inspection beyond declaring his views “refreshing.” Muslims, after all, aren’t exactly known for being progressive when it comes to that sort of thing. Does he find that the depiction of women in rap lyrics is especially harsh vis a vis other genres of music or is the thought of a woman in revealing attire alone enough to set him off?

Ironically, the myriad issues raised by Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor are a lot more interesting than the actual music contained therein. In that sense, I suppose it’s too bad he doesn’t seem poised to have much of a viable career as a recording artist. That said, I’m sure I’ll find something else to write about.
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