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Friday Jan 15 2016 – 3rd annual State of Africatown

africatown-2016

The third annual State of Africatown will be held on January 15 at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and will feature presentations on the accomplishments of the last year as well as vision, opportunities and challenges facing our community in 2016.

2015 was a productive year for Central District based Africatown Seattle initiatives ending with and Human Rights Award followed by the signing of legislation formally designating the Central Area as an Arts & Cultural District focused honoring, preserving and developing the Black and African Diaspora contributions to Seattle.

Register here

Sundiata Acoli, Man Who Murdered State Trooper, To Be Released On Parole

Murder suspect Clark Edward Squire of the Black Panthers is

AP – Posted: 09/29/2014 12:55 pm EDT Updated: 09/29/2014 12:59 pm

A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime that still provokes strong emotion among law enforcement more than 40 years later was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court Monday.

Sundiata Acoli was known as Clark Edward Squire when he was convicted of the 1973 slaying of state trooper Werner Foerster during a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now in his mid-70s, he was denied parole most recently in 2011, but the appellate judges reversed that ruling Monday.

In a 28-page opinion, the panel wrote that the parole board ignored evidence favorable to Acoli and gave undue consideration to past events such as a probation violation that occurred decades earlier.
One of the three people in the car when it was stopped was Joanne Chesimard, who also was convicted of Foerster’s slaying, but eventually escaped to Cuba and is now known as Assata Shakur. Last year, state and federal authorities announced a $2 million reward for information leading to her capture, and the FBI made her the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorist.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

Judge finds First Amendment applies to Seattle Public Schools

Case #13-2-42159-3 SEA, King County Superior Court
Judge Kimberley Prochnau

For more information, contact Arrestee/press contact Leith Jasinowski-Kahl at (206) 940-3807.
Or contact Attorney Larry Hildes at (360) 599-4339.

Three of 4 Africatown supporters arrested at the Horace Mann School last November won today (July 25, 2014) an appeal of a banning order from the Seattle Public Schools that had barred them from all School District property and School District meetings for one year.

Judge Kimberley Prochnau ruled today that SPS needed to follow the First Amendment and restore the arrestees’ Constitutional rights.

Speaking to the SPS attorney Ronald Boy, the Judge said there is “a paucity of law supporting the School District because they know there is no law that supports their position.”

Calling the arrestees “holdover tenants,” the Judge reprimanded the school district for confusing its role as a landlord at a particular building with its overarching role as a public agency focused on education that is subject to the First Amendment and the Public Meetings Act.

Judge Prochnau also questioned te legality of the review hearing required by the school district where Safety Director Larry Dorsey presided over the initial appeal of his own decision.

Omari Tahir-Garrett said, “We have put a hole in the school-to-prison pipeline by defeating School District Attorney Ron English’s attempt to silence us.”

Larry Hildes, attorney for the arrestees, said, ” We are extremely gratified that our clients’ right to speak their conscience has been restored and the the Court reminded the School District that they are subject to public speech, assembly, petition to redress grievance and the Public Meetings Act’s Appearance of Fairness Doctrine, even if they wish they were not.”

Capitol Hill Housing opposes preserving first and only Black Bank in Pacific NW

AfricaTown_Logo-green-11-1024x265

Africatown Central District is neither “Little Amsterdam” nor Lower Capitol Hill: Capitol Hill Housing opposes preserving first and only Black Bank in Pacific NW

-The Africatown News Digest Editors

The quasi-government Seattle NGO known as Capitol Hill Housing has recently announced on its website that it will actively oppose the preservation of Africatown history represented by the Liberty Bank building at 24th and Union, the only surviving commercial building in the CD to have been designed and built, from footing to roof, by Black people for Black people for the specific purpose of housing a Black institution.(1)

Liberty Bank was uniquely designed and completed by architect Mel Streeter in 1968, and opened its doors the same year. Streeter is known for leading in the construction of, and, in some cases, contributions to a number of landmark institutions in King County, such as: John Muir Elementary, City of Auburn City Hall, the regional Federal Aviation Administration Building and Beacon Hill Neighborhood’s former African American Academy Building (which is now Van Asselt Elementary School). Notably, he was integral in the construction of Seattle’s world-famous Qwest and Safeco Fields. Liberty Bank opened as the FIRST and ONLY African American bank in the Pacific Northwest region of the United Sates. Its founders included a number of people of historic note, and its design is reflective of the culture that characterized Seattle’s predominantly African American Central Area in the 1960s, a culture that Seattle’s mayor has acknowledged the need to protect and preserve against gentrification. The changing demographics of Seattle’s Central District, without protection of the neighborhood’s historical landmarks, portends an erasure of a rich cultural past and heritage created by Seattle’s African American community.(2)

Liberty Bank opened as a Black owned and operated Bank in Seattle at a time of tremendous national and regional Black upheaval. It was also a time when the African American community was actively creating sustainable institutions to combat racism in the forms of red-lining and economic exploitation, which went unchecked by the dominant culture leading up to, during and after the Black self-determination and institutional development era. The need for African American-owned and -run institutions that offered equitable opportunities for success was clear. Indeed, the absence of such an African American financial institution in Seattle today has long raised calls for the reestablishment of a Black bank. (3)

Liberty Bank would be one such key institution, used to expand the African American entrepreneurial class, and as an antidote to the refusals by enterprise capital of mainstream institutions to invest in that class despite comparably positive credit worthiness, relevance, and need. It was a natural outgrowth of the NAACP’s Sentinel Credit Union and soon became a source of needed capital and developmental loans to many African Americans whose entrepreneurial creations still exist today. The Bank was thriving enough after its opening to begin a second branch on 3rd Avenue in downtown Seattle in 1988. What the African American community experienced as economic “apartheid”, however, halted the effort. The bank regulator during this time was Thomas Oldfield, who aggressively seized both bank branches. Within four days Liberty was re-formed, with new and compliant owners, as Emerald City Bank. Very shortly thereafter, ECB was merged with Key Bank, which itself has now abandoned the Liberty building as a banking service location, and is seeking to liquidate it as a profitable real estate sale instead. In response, local neighbors have appealed to Seattle´s Historic Landmarks Nomination Board to protect the building. The hearing will be Wednesday, Feb 5th, 3:30 PM, in Room 1756 of the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 17th Floor.(4)

Enter Captiol Hill Housing, a perspective buyer and developer, whose gentrification influence within the Central Area has steadily grown in the years since the City-Hall-led takeover and shutdown of its former neighbor and Black-controlled competitor, the Central Area Public Development Authority (1976 – 1994). The minutes of CHH’s January 2014 Board Meeting state “At that hearing, CHH and our consultants (DKA Architecture and Larry Johnson Partnership) will present our opinion that the building does not merit preservation, however, the history of Liberty Bank will be honored.” (1)

It is not surprising that CHH’s interests conflict with preserving Liberty Bank, and it is good diplomacy for them to hire both DKA Architecture and Larry Johnson Partnership to represent those interests, given Larry Johnson’s expertise in the historic designation process and Don King’s effective work in converting the African American Heritage Museum building into 36 allegedly affordable apartment condominiums, even if few Black residents of Africatown Central District could actually afford them. This is more diplomatic, for example, than developer Ian Eisenberg’s blunt proposal to install a cluster of marijuana shops nearby and to re-christen this part of Africatown-Central District as “Little Amsterdam”. (5) However, it is Black contractors and construction workers who will actually build and develop Africatown.

It is surprisingly presumptuous for CHH, in the very same breath in which they propose to tear it down, to authoritatively declare that “the history of Liberty Bank will be honored”, assuming for themselves the right define and verify such an alleged honoring. It is similar to the Roman general Manius Manilius politely “honoring” the city of Carthage with a few tears and verses from The Iliad as he carried out the utter destruction of that African city. (6)

Capitol Hill Housing’s quasi-government bankster board includes a former VP of Bank of America, an associate of HAL Real Estate Investments, an associate of Vulcan Real Estate, an agent of ShoreBank Pacific, the owner of Dunn & Hobbes LLC, a representative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a former chair of the South Lake Union/Queen Anne Design Review Board and a facility manager for Seattle U, but this board is notably lacking for African Americans. There is, of course, the one recently added exception to that rule, Pamela Banks, the President and CEO of none other than the dead anti-Black Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, which is fronting with CHH for this project, much like it has fronted for the Urban League Village/Housing Resource Group in years past. (7)

This is the same Urban League that was the single largest recipient in the Urban League/Seattle Public Schools Scandal of 2011, in which nearly two million dollars was reportedly misspent, and in the midst of which the former Urban League CEO James Kelly conspicuously resigned (The same James Kelley who, while still serving as CEO, brought a firearm onto Rainier Beach High School’s campus and threatened students with it in 2002)(8), the same Urban League that still claims it is innocent of any wrongdoing in that scandal.(9) This is the same Urban League that has received annual no-bid City contracts of approximately half a million per year, year-after-year until 2011, for youth violence prevention initiatives, while youth violence continued to mushroom, and community members kept asking what, if anything, the Urban League was doing about it.(10) This is the same Urban League that is now negotiating for a similar $400,000 contract, allegedly for creating job opportunities and reducing violence. And this is the same Pamela Banks who served as the UrbanLeague’s liaison to the City under the James Kelly administration while the previous no-bid contracts were negotiated. This is the same Urban League that helped both City Hall and the School District to illegally breach their 1997 signed contract with the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center (a contract which is still a clear matter of record no matter how many prominent Seattle players wish it wasn’t), and turned most of that Museum’s building into not-so-affordable condos in what became known as the NAAM Scam.(11) This is the same Urban League that orchestrated the false arrest of AAHMCC founder Wyking Garrett for attempting to tell this story at the 2007 unveiling of the NAAM Scam, as proud former FBI Agent and NAAM officer Carver Gayton (who once claimed to possess privileged information on Lee Harvey Oswald(12) looked on and cheerfully gloated into the microphone. (13) It is therefore not surprising that this Urban League lacks substantial credibility among long time Central Area residents, and must still instead allow itself to be used as a front by forces and interests originating outside of the Africatown Central District. In fact, we continue to demand a federal RICO Racketeering investigation of the City of Seattle’s, King County’s and the State of Washington’s dealings with this Urban League.

Some of CHH’s apparent supporters, on various forums and blogs, are already attempting to falsely frame this issue as a choice between “affordable housing versus an ugly bank building”. Liberty Bank has never been ugly and never will be. But even if beauty was unilaterally defined by the followers of Oscar Niemeyer and Paul Andreu, it would be ridiculous to say that Liberty Bank’s supporters were against housing. Everyone knows and agrees that all humans need housing. The more obvious but less comfortable questions, concerning red-lining and reverse-red-lining, are about who shall be empowered to develop and administer housing, who shall be housed where, and who shall have to plead with whom in order to request a place to live in any certain area.

On January 18th at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, Mayor Murray recognized the importance of the Africatown Central District as no less than that of the Chinatown International District. He went so far as to say that the colonial relationship between Seattle and its African American population needs to change. Liberty Bank at 24th and Union is an excellent place for that change to begin.

We look forward to seeing you all on the 17th floor of Seattle Municipal Tower on February 5th!

Footnotes:

(1) http://capitolhillhousing.org/downloads/board/packets/2014_01-CHH-Board-Packet.pdf (ítem 6)

(2) http://centralareacomm.blogspot.com/2013/11/michelle-purnell-hepburn-vp-controller.html

(3) http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Seattle-s-black-community-needs-its-own-bank-1057400.php

(4) http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/preservation/documents/LPBCurrentNom_LibertyBank.pdf

(5) http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2013/02/how-23rd-union-could-become-seattles-little-amsterdam/

(6) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carthage_(c._149_BC)

(7) http://www.aahmcc.org/

(8) http://urbanleaguewatch.blogspot.com/2002/07/urban-leagues-kelly-charged-in-school.html

(9) http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Urban-League-on-school-scandal-We-did-nothing-1038299.php

(10) http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022427215_urbanleaguexml.html

(11) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4-wx_Ti1Is

(12) http://www.acorn.net/jfkplace/03/JA/DR/.ja-ex15.html

(13) http://wyking411.blogspot.com/

Africatown – Los Angeles

Africatown – Los Angeles

park-stilts

A Commercial Real Estate Development in a Cultural Framework

cotUS

Africatown is designed to be a major Southern California tourism destination. The master plan is one of interlocking relationships– wherein each component fuels and feeds off the other; this leads to efficiency and sustainability. It is a redevelopment that emphasizes positive revenues; jazz, history and art museums, and various other cultural attractions; beauty and safety; community support, and, importantly, jobs.

An oasis in a flat, moribund area, Africatown will become the economic catalyst for the Crenshaw corridor, from Jefferson to Florence Avenue, setting high benchmarks for the nascent redevelopment of South Los Angeles. It is an event whose time has come, guaranteed to add millions to the local and citywide economies.

Vision

The vision of Africatown is that of a gleaming Ruby encircled by rows of glittering diamonds–a magnet that is at once beautiful and vibrant with live entertainment venues, museums, festivals, dozens of shops and boutiques; eclectic and high-quality restaurant choices; and new, extraordinary architecture among classic art deco buildings. The Ruby Rocks! It’s fun! It’s cultural. It’s educational! It’s Africatown!

LOCATION

Africatown is in the hub of African culture, entertainment and business ownership in the City of Los Angeles. Leimert Park (a City-owned park) is in South Los Angeles at the intersection of Crenshaw and Vernon. Only the decaying commercial district surrounding the park will receive this new name for its focus and upliftment.

COMING ATTRACTIONS!!!

• Five (5) new museums including a jazz/blues museum and an art museum; a children’s area that they run with cafe and science/inventions museum; a wax museum; a New Orleans heritage club.

• A major arts, culture and entertainment academy with master entertainment figures (many already who teach here); the numerous and diverse businesses will offer hands-on workshops and classes.

• Film and television studios, sound stage and training center to produce digital films, content for ipods, cell phones, DVD’s, and videos for the marketplace; and a revenue center for sustainability.

• An elegant boutique hotel — to be known for its luxury, beauty, service and business accoutrements.

• Enhanced gift shops, boutiques, variety and excellence in food choices; a vibrant business scene.

“OUR GOAL IS TO CONSTRUCT A DESTINATION that will ride the cutting-edge of design, beauty and cultural amenities far into the new century.”

The diverse and numerous facets of the global African culture allow for this depth, variety and beauty.

parks

Community Benefits

The rows of diamonds (the surrounding neighborhoods) receive special benefits from: entrepreneurship and jobs, access to property rehabilitation funds, a safer environment, community pride and cultural permanence.

JOB CREATION: Tourism is the primary provider of employment in Southern California. A 1999 study reported that with a 1/2 of 1% increase in area tourism, approximately $23 million in added revenue and 200 new jobs would be created by developing Leimert Park to its fullest potential as a tourist attraction. Tourism is critical for economic development, for business stability, for safety and security, and for greater opportunities.
Viability

The business district of Leimert Park is a natural site for a major African cultural tourism destination because:

(3) Cultural tourism is the No. 1 generator of City revenue (L.A. Times, 3-2004).

(2) Marketing can be coordinated with the Visitors Bureau, travel agencies, et al

(1) At least 75% of the shops and merchandise are already Afro-centric, which
increases cooperation in the desire to create something extraordinarily Wow!

NECESSITY OF AN AFRICAN CULTURAL TOURISM SITE

There is no official land-based site to validate nor showcase the extraordinary achievements and culture of African peoples for their children nor for tourists. Such a situation creates a perception that African-Americans do not exist in this city–or are marginal. An Africatown would remedy this.

A land-based site is also important because it is a sign of economic and political strength–or lack of. The Anglo population is highly commemorated and visible with the numerous museums (The Huntington, The Getty, et al) and commercial developments (Beverly Center to Bunker Hill, etc.).

And, there are 12 designated ethnic and/or cultural sites; this one is needed for the same reasons these are:

Little Tokyo

Thai Town

Little Armenia

Little Saigon

Koreatown

Chinatown

Little India

Greektown

Olvera Street

Filipinotown

Alpine Village

Little Ethiopia

THE MISSION of this project is to showcase and share the awesome history and beauty of the diverse African peoples while providing infrastructure and means for economic growth and sustainability, job creation, as well as understanding and peace among all people by sharing African arts, culture and entertainment.

The theme for Africatown is: We, the International People.

BUILT-IN SUSTAINABILITY AND JOBS

The synergy among the various entities and attractions should ensure the viability and vitality of the area as they complement each other. Each entity is designed to achieve profitability, such as the Academy described below; which will surely be a major player in the education industry, attracting students from around the world.

We build in profit: To ensure part-time jobs for youths; sustainability of museums and marginally profitable, yet critical, cultural sites; sustain the Vision Theatre.

THE ACADEMY: Modeled after the Thelonious Monk Institute at USC and using the numerous visiting artists who have already perform(ed) (such as Dr. Art Davis, Billy Higgins, Ahmad Jamal, etc.) at the various venues in the Village, these luminaries will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills within the confines of what will become a first-class institution. Instructors and classrooms will come from the present merchants and the community. The internet will increase enrollment and exploit all marketing opportunities.

Background and Beyond

It is important to know that years of work, thought and consensus building have gone into planning for this cultural destination– so this is not an out-of–the-blue, one-person effort! The area is already known around the world for its Afro-centric culture, entertainment and ambience. As the haven of the Los Angeles African cultural scene, statistics show that within the City of Los Angeles, the Leimert Park area has the highest demographic of (68%) and the highest ownership of commercial properties (about 50%) by African-Americans.

Getting the input and participation of those directly impacted as well as the other stake holders was inherent to the concept. The following lists outreach activities to the merchants, homeowners, the general community and politicians with canvassing, meetings and research as of 8-30-06:

Developed and shared a project concept with 12 merchants, as well as the Leimert Park Merchants’ Associaition (under Ruth Nucholls) and the Leimert Park CDC (under Beverly Cashen)

Got a letter of support from Councilman Bernard Parks

Got petitions signed by the majority of the merchants

Got petitions signed by 65 homeowners within a 3-block radius

Gave presentations to the Neighborhood Council Board and meeting

Gave presentations to two block clubs

Had 2 meetings with the greater S. Los Angeles community

Gave presentations to the Business Improvement District and, again, at the Leimert Park Merchants’ Association Presentations to Leimert Park Tourism Association and to the new Artists Coalition members

Help set up and inform a homeowners’ advocacy group (in support of traffic, security and cleanliness concerns)

Got a letter of support from Congresswoman Diane E. Watson

Identified potential real estate acquisitions
Identified potential investors

Set up meeting of some merchants to work together to purchase\their building
Acquired some consultants’ help, held many one-on-one meetings,distribute informational flyers and FAQ’s (frequently asked questions)

Have met one-on-one with 8 of the commercial property owners

Africatown is essentially the new American experience of learning about and enjoying African culture from New Orleans to the Caribbean and from places far beyond, in one place.

STAKE HOLDERS

The concerns and participation of homeowners and residents within a 3-block radius; the concerns and participation of the surrounding businesses, the many community-based organizations; the needs and participation of the Youth — all were intrinsically important in the overall design and acceptance of the project.

A development project has the effect of a pebble thrown into a pond– the ripples are evidence of confluence. Guiding and managing that confluence are key when putting the adjective “community” in front of development. The ripples of an Africatown must be meaningful to all stake holders, bringing jobs, opportunities and pride.

Management

The umbrella entity (composed of a representative cross-section) that will manage the whole project area will have equity interest in all income-producing entities it sets up and/or assists to sustain itself. This income will fund the oversight of maintenance, beautification, administration, operations, etc. Most importantly, it will ensure cultural permanence, visibility, land use decision making, and jobs (not jails) creation capabilities.
As a benefit of the “pebble” confluence, the surrounding community will be ensured of higher property values because of the high standards of beauty, traffic mitigation, cleanliness and overall management. The oversight group knows the beauty and increased value of the surrounding area are key to a tourist’s perception of safety.

Additionally, funds will be set aside monthly for the upkeep and maintenance of the Vision Theatre– a beautiful art deco 1,000-seat theatre. The films and, to a lesser degree, other activities will provide funds to support the theatre and other marginally profitable, yet important, cultural venues. As a matter of fact, averaging 6 films/yr at a historical return of 9:1, the movie studio and the sound stage are the anchor tenants of the development.

New construction (with one site modeled after the parkdowntown below), restoration of the existing art deco sites, awesome cultural experiences: Welcome to Africatown, a new standard in cultural tourism development.
“The Vision is nothing if not ambitious and, perhaps, therein lies its incredible appeal and the key to its inevitable success.”

EUROPEAN COLONIAL SETTLER “JUDEO-CHRISTIAN” TERRORIST

From: www.centraldistrictnews.com

THOSE THAT ARE SO QUICK TO POINT FINGERS AND CONDEMN SHOULD FOLLOW THEIR ANCESTORS AND TAKE A BOAT TRIP BACK TO EUROPE WHERE THEY CAN RIGHTFULLY CLAIM THEIR “HOMELAND”. ” HISTORY IS THE BEST TEACHER”. IF YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR YOU CAN SEE YOURSELF AND NOT HAVE TO POINT AT AND CONDEMN “THE NOBLE SAVAGES”??? Omari Tahir, HISTORY TEACHER, FOUNDER,. VICE PRESIDENT AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER AT THE FORMER COLMAN SCHOOL SITE, CO-CHAIR BLACK ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION (1970 TO PRESENT)
Reply ↓
Omari on July 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm said:

IF ALL OF THE EUROPEAN COLONIAL SETTLER “JUDEO-CHRISTIAN” TERRORIST FOLLOWED THEIR ANCESTORS BOAT LIFT AND BACK TRACKED TO EUROPE, I AM SURE THE NATIVE AMERICAN “INDIANS” WOULD BE VERY HAPPY AND DO MUCH BETTER? WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT ABOUT RETURNING STOLEN PROPERTY PARTICULARLY WHEN “IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO BUY OR SELL STOLEN PROPERTY”? IS ASIA FOR ASIANS? WHY DON’T EUROPEANS GO BACK TO NORTH KOREA, VIETNAM OR EVEN CHINA??? PLEASE READ YOUR HISTORY AND THEN GO LOOK IN THE MIRROR?????

TO PLEASE EVERYONE THIS QUOTE FROM MAN’S RISE TO CIVILIZATION PAGE 6 “There is great difficulty in finding a fitting word t describe the various peoples, mostly from Europe but also from parts of Asia, who came to the New World, made contact with the native inhabitant, and ultimately destroyed their cultures. Some writers describe the explorers and settlers as “Europeans,” but such a word would include such peoples as the Swiss who obviously were not a European colonial power; the use of “Europeans” also ignores the important influence of Asiatic Russians who made early contacts with Eskimo bands and Indians from Alaska southward to California. Other writers have used the word “white” (spelled with a lower case “w”), but that is unsatisfactory also. In this book I am not pointing an accusing finger at all members of a particular race; that would be quite unfair to Caucasoid population of Ceylon,for example, who of course played to
part in the conquest of North America. So, with much reluctance (and with an avowal that no racism is intended), I have settled upon “White” I hope the fact that I have spelled it with a capital letter imparts to the reader that I am really not talking about any particular Caucasoids but about an abstraction–a composite of social,political and economic attitudes by certain people, whose skin is usually whiter than most of the world’s population and who behave in a certain way toward primitive peoples wherever they were encountered around the globe. The White is a colonizer who early developed an advanced technology; he is an exploiter of human and natural resources; he has destroyed, often intentionally, almost every alien culture he has come in contact with; and he has imposed an iron rule on the remnant peoples of these cultures.” WAS JUST READING THIS TODAY IN BOOK MAN’S RISE TO CIVILIZATION BY MR. PETER FARB. “Mr. Farb for the past several years has been serving as consultant to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. and is Curator of American Indian Cultures at the Riverside Museum in New York City.”

JUST SO YOU WON’T THINK A LITTLE IGNORANT COLORED BOY IS MAKING THIS “EUROPEAN COLONIAL SETTLER ‘JUDEO-CHRISTIAN’ TERRORISM ” HIS-STORY UP??? WHOSE STORY??? Omari Tahir, FOUNDER VICE PRESIDENT AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER AT THE FORMER COLMAN SCHOOL SITE
Reply ↓
98122 on July 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm said:

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thank you jamesintheCD for sending the poem
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the question posed by
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still who alive
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exposes, as you said, the crass understanding of the way things are that some people desperately cling to
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Reply ↓
a little off topic on July 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm said:

You know, Omari used to be my top nominee for “most annoying writer” on CD news. He’s got a lot of smart things to say, believe it or not, but they’re buried deep beneath the many layers of crazy ramble. And the caps. Can’t forget the all-caps. Still, you can see a mind working there, with a consistent position and philosophy.

But 98122 has moved into the number 1 position. Sure, he or she has some contributions to make: I like the social justice focus. But the whole periods-as-line-breaks-between-sentences thing, the no capital letters (c’mon, can’t you share with Omari?), the two-periods-at-the-end thing–this is killing me.

It’s like the writing of a high school kid who discovered a way to be special with punctuation, almost all precious affectation, though with a few genuine ideas thrown in for flavor. I did it in 11th grade. Maybe you did, too.

Who’s going to step up to the plate and take down 98122 for the title? There’s room for someone to try something different here: some Marx? Hegel? Freire? Rehash liberation theology with a CD twist? Let’s go, people.
Reply ↓
Omari on July 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm said:

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, much of the world was under the control of the United States and Europe. From islands in the Pacific to the jungles of Africa, the white man created colonies for his economic benefit. In nearly every case, spreading western civilization was given as justification for these conquests. This would later become known as the elusive “White Man’s Burden.” This term originated in a popular poem written by Joseph Kipling in 1899 (a copy of the poem is found in Appendix A). For this paper I refer to “White Man’s Burden” as the perceived duty of Americans and Europeans to spread their culture onto the other people of the Earth. In this chapter I argue that this concept originated from the racially prejudiced thought of the Victorian era, and that “White Man’s Burden” was abused by westerners for their own profit. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of what the practice of cannibalism
symbolized to the United States in the 19th century.

In 1859, world renowned scientist Charles Darwin published his revolutionary work The Origin of Species. Darwin’s concept of evolution is complicated, and the public’s understanding of his theory is somewhat different than what it actually is. However, I present the popular understanding of evolution for reasons that become evident in my argument. After Darwin proposed his theory, the common understanding of Darwin’s theory was that creatures evolved due to their habitat, where the dominant species changed and the inferior remained the same and became extinct.1 Shortly after Darwin published his work, evolution was applied to the different human races. In Victorian society, it was thought that because there were multiple human races there must be an inferior and a superior race. Many Europeans wrote on the subject, and concluded that the white man was superior to the Asian and African man.

Count de Gobineau, a French aristocrat, expressed his thoughts about the superiority question in The Inequality of Human Races. He deduced that “The Negroid variety is the lowest… . The animal character, that appears in the shape of the pelvis, is stamped on the negro from birth, and foreshadows his destiny.” On the contrary, there is the white race, whose people “are gifted with reflective energy, or rather with energetic intelligence.” Gobineau also wrote that the white man continually looked for ways to overcome his obstacles, whereas the other two races accepted things the way they were. Due to the white man’s perseverance and ingenuity, Gobineau concludes that “all civilizations derive from the white race, [and] that none can exist without its help.”2 Here the French aristocrat seems to imply that the white man had attained an evolved society, whereas the other races of the world had not.

Following the opinion of Gobineau, more and more westerners began to think that they were superior because they had “acquired civilization.” According to the common perception of Darwin’s theory of evolution, the more advanced species struggled to survive, and then changed, or evolved, to better adapt to their environment. The simple species remained the same, unchanged. Then, in comparison to tribal Africans, Europeans and Americans had evolved from their original “savage state,” and continued to change by means of invention and improved scientific logic, whereas Africans and Asians held onto out dated customs.3 (It is worth nothing that Darwin only used his theory to explain the adaptations of species. Aristocrats like Gobineau eventually applied evolution to the human races, not the infamous biologist). Though it may not have been Darwin’s original intent, the theory of evolution provided westerners with “scientific proof” that
they were superior to the other cultures of the world.

These conclusions gave way to the ignorant ethnocentrism of the Victorian era. Westerners began to think that, because they had acquired civilization, their culture was superior to eastern culture (and everything in between). Christianity, capitalism, liberty, and small competitive states were superior to believing in spirits, Buddhism, and large empires controlled by one man. Furthermore, there was nothing of value in the lower race’s culture. As F.D. Lugard, a British soldier, wrote in 1893 “It is the greatest possible mistake to suppose that a European can acquire a greater influence by adopting the mode of the life of the natives. In effect, it is to lower himself to their plane, instead of elevating them to his.”4

Finally, Europeans and Americans also felt that they were also morally superior to the other races of the Earth. Western Christian ethics urged them to spread their gifts and thoughts to the rest of the world. This idea became praised as the “White Man’s Burden,” which, in Kipling’s poem (Appendix A), described American missionary efforts in the Philippines during the late 1800s. The “moral obligation” behind “White Man’s Burden” was abused by Europeans and Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries. Imperial governments used the concept as justification for their conquests and using the “inferior races” to their benefit.

This justification was put to words by Theodore Waitz.
In 1863, he wrote in his text Introduction to Anthropology:

If there be various species of mankind, there must be a natural aristocracy among them, a dominant white species as opposed to the lower races who by their origin are destined to serve the nobility of mankind, and may be tamed, trained, and used like domestic animals … Wherever the lower races prove useless for the service of the white man, they must be abandoned to their savage state, it being their fate and natural destination. All wars of extermination, whenever the lower species are in the way of the white man, are fully justifiable.5

This quote provides the reader with an eerie foreshadowing of the unjustifiable act of genocide, but Waitz merely combined the belief that the white man is the superior race with the idea that the dominant species has a right to use the inferior for benefit. As he points out, since a man is superior to cattle and he can use it to his benefit until he kills it, what is different to say that because a western man is superior to an African man a European can use an African and then exterminate him when he is no longer useful?

Another example of a European who made this connection was Jules Ferry, the prime minister of France. In 1884, he made a speech to parliament regarding Imperial policies (the author refers the reader to Appendix B for this paragraph). Ferry began by discussing the need for France to find more export markets. He later stated “the higher races have a right over the lower races.” Immediately afterwards, the prime minister said they have this right because they have “the duty to civilize the inferior races.”6 Because Ferry discusses the need for export markets and then states that the higher races have a right over the lower ones, the French prime minister inadvertently claims that westerners have the right to use Africa and Asia as colonies for exports. Furthermore, Ferry seems to connect this concept with spreading civilization. In other words, because Europeans were aiding the lower races by bringing them western culture, the white man had the right to use the inferior race for his economic benefit.

The British Government made the same conclusion in 1886. In that year, a charter for the National African Company established a trade operation in Africa. The charter specified that the Niger region was given to the company because the “Kings, Chiefs, and peoples of the various territories in the basin of the River Niger” agreed being under British direction would be beneficial to them as Africans. The charter also gave the company the power to “acquire and take by purchase, cession, or other lawful means, other rights, interests, …, or property in the region aforesaid, and to hold, use, enjoy, and exercise the same for the purposes of the company” because they were benefitting the natives.7 The charter explicitly uses spreading civilization as a justification for taking over the area, and then says that they have the power to “acquire other rights” in exchange for bringing improvement to the region.

In summary, “White Man’s Burden” came to be a rallying cry for imperialism. Defined as spreading the civilization of western culture to the rest of the world, the powers of Europe used “White Man’s Burden” as a justification for their conquests. This concept evolved from the ethnocentrism of the Victorian era. Thanks to Darwin’s theory of evolution, the white race had “scientific proof” behind their claims of being the dominant species. These racially prejudiced ideas were then abused by politicians and businessmen to justify using the lower races for their financial ambitions.

50th anniversary of first sit-in of the civil rights movement in Seattle

50th anniversary of first sit-in of the civil rights movement in Seattle.

Source: http://www.centraldistrictnews.com

Posted on July 1, 2013 by Megan Hill

Fifty years ago today, 35 young people held Seattle’s first sit-in of the civil rights movement.

HistoryLink.org has the details:
On July 1, 1963, 35 young people stage the first sit-in of the civil rights movement in Seattle in the offices of Mayor Gordon S. Clinton. They are protesting the composition of a 12-member human rights commission proposed by Clinton. They occupy the mayor’s offices for 24 hours before leaving. There are no incidents and no arrests.

Mayor Clinton had asked the city council to establish a human rights commission that would write an open housing ordinance. Racial discrimination in housing in Seattle was a major source of discontent among African Americans. Clinton’s nominees for the commission included only two African Americans.

For the rest of the story, visit HistoryLink.org’s website.
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Omari on July 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm said:

MY YOUNGER BROTHER FRED GARRETT WAS ONE OF THOSE 35 IN THE SIT-IN. HE WAS LATER THE REGIONAL ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR ON THE TRAIN RUNNING DOWN MARTIN LUTHER KING WAY. HE HAS BEEN LIVING IN THAILAND FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS AND WILL BE BACK IN SEATTLE SOMETIME THIS MONTH. MY OLDEST BROTHER TOM GARRETT PLAYED WITH JIMI HENDRIX BEFORE HE LEFT SEATTLE. MY FATHER H.L. GARRETT (HOLBROOK LAWRENCE GARRETT) WAS THE FIRST BLACK ELECTRICAL ENGINEER IN THE ENTIRE PACIFIC NORTHWEST (WASHINGTON, OREGON, IDAHO, MONTANA) IN 1941 AND A FOUNDER OF LIBERTY BANK (24TH AND UNION IN 1968).
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES, Omari Tahir FIRST SMALL SCRAMBLING BLACK QUARTERBACK (GARFIELD HIGH AND SHORELINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1963 -1965,ALL CONFERENCE IN BASEBALL AND FOOTBALL), FOUNDER, VICE PRESIDENT AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER, CO-CHAIR OF BLACK ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION (1970 TO PRESENT). AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT WORLD TRAVELED HISTORIAN AND 67 YEAR RESIDENT OF AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT (1809-26TH AVE. 1946 TO 1965, PURCHASE HOME AT AGE 19 AT 424-24TH AVE EAST 1966 TO 1986, RESIDENTIAL OCCUPIER OF COLMAN SCHOOL FOR AFRICAN MUSEUM FROM 1985 TO JUNE 4TH 1998 ( REMOVED BY UNLAWFUL SEATTLE POLICE SWAT TEAM BACKED UP BY TANK). THE LONGEST OCCUPATION AND ACT OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN US HISTORY.
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Omari Tahir-Garrett

Unlike the US, China does not have a substantial history of invading and subjugating the inhabitants of far-flung lands.

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Murtaza Hussain is a Toronto-based writer and analyst focused on issues related to Middle Eastern politics.

China is one of the most influential commercial players in Iraq’s oil boom [Reuters]

“The nationswhich today own the world’s resources fear the rise of China and wish to postpone the day of that rise.” – Rabindranath Tagore, 1915

Until the mid-20th century, China suffered what has been termed as the “Century of Humiliation” – a period of subjugation and oppression by Western military powers (as well as the Japanese). During this time Western imperialists flooded the country with drugs, raped and murdered its subjects with impunity and – due to both insatiable greed and abject ignorance to concepts such as culture and history – wantonly desecrated the priceless monuments of ancient Chinese civilisation.

At the outset of this period – when hordes of English soldiers destroyed Beijing’s ancient Summer Palace in an orgy of looting and arson – Major General Charles Gordon said, “You can scarcely imagine the beauty and magnificence of the places we burnt” – which in many ways was emblematic of the entire carnivorous project of Western imperialism in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Today, however, Rabindranath Tagore’s prophecy about China seems to have come to fruition, and the modern heirs to rapacious criminals such as Gordon now openly lament their fear of rising Chinese power.

In the place of the former colonial forces such as England and France, however, today, sits the US, the world’s only remaining military superpower. While since the fall of the Soviet Union the US has been widely considered to be the preeminent nation globally, in recent years it has fallen into an observable malaise.

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Editorial: Seattle School Board must do better for kids

The Seattle School Board is rife with infighting and mutual distrust, says an outside consultant hired by the board.

THE Seattle School Board is dysfunctional. Years of infighting and mutual distrust should not be tolerated — it comes at the expense of students.

This insight comes from an outside consultant, hired by the board for $7,500, to tell it what the public observes every other Wednesday evening.

Asked to rate themselves, board members gave the lowest marks to how well they worked together and fostered a trusting relationship with Superintendent José Banda.

The problem may be personality differences but also ineptitude. Too many members come to this board without a clear understanding of what a school board does. A school board member should make policy, advise the superintendent and not try to run the district.

The problems are too big to ignore. This is as much about the current board as it is about how to shape the next board. Board President Kay Smith-Blum and past President Michael DeBell are not seeking re-election. Member Betty Patu is running unopposed.

The Seattle Public Schools has many strong schools and involved communities. But academic quality and progress are uneven. Time wasted on board dysfunction, including time spent on personality conflicts as well as delayed policy decisions, slows momentum on important improvements.

The district has had difficulty keeping top staffers, a problem cited in state audits as an obstacle to substantive progress.

No surprise, district administrators, speaking anonymously to the consultant, complained of heavy micromanaging by board members. Some administrators said they felt their jobs were threatened.

Superintendent Banda used a recent board retreat to remind board members that he is in charge of running the district. The administrators work for him, not the board. The board has one employee: Banda. They will tell him how well his first year has gone on Wednesday when they take up his evaluation.

Research shows a correlation between effective school boards and enhanced student achievement. A study of school boards by the National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education compared high and low-performing school districts with similar levels of poverty and disadvantaged students. The study found the differences in success could often be attributed to the school board.

For the past five years, the Alliance for Education has paid for leadership and governance training for Seattle’s school board, including quarterly retreats. But the board has had difficulty putting that training into practice.

That must change.