The Whiteness Project
15 Wednesday Oct 2014
15 Wednesday Oct 2014
02 Saturday Aug 2014
Posted AfroSpear, AfroSphere, Critical Thinking, Project 21, Stacy Washingtonin
Op-ed submission by Project 21
Sean Bergin is the latest casualty in the progressive War on Truth.
Bergin, a reporter for News 12, a regional television station in New York and New Jersey, interviewed the widow of a criminal shot and killed by police. Lawrence Campbell, who was black, stabbed and stole a gun from a Walgreens security guard that he then used to murder a rookie Jersey City police officer, Melvin Santiago. The shooter’s widow was unrepentant, wishing on camera that “he had taken more cops with him.” She later apologized.
After Bergin reported the station was “besieged” with complaints from angry police officers for airing the interview footage, he said on-air: “It’s important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities, the underlying cause of all of this, of course, young black men growing up without fathers.” News 12 promptly suspended and demoted Bergin, cutting his reporting to once a week. Bergin quit. The veracity of Bergin’s statement is not in question. News 12 declined to comment on a “personnel issue.”
Why was he suspended? Is it because a white broadcaster said it? Perhaps it was because Bergin’s statement is true: black boys are born to single-parent homes at an alarming rate – 80 percent by the latest data. That parental absence is considered a key factor in later criminality. Silencing anyone daring to speak openly and honestly about it doesn’t help the pervasiveness of wrong thinking in inner cities. It actually helps keep inner city blacks down and the purveyors of said failed policies firmly in power.
Perhaps News 12 has a genuine aversion to commentary mixed with the news. A more likely reason, however, is they don’t want to offend black viewers who know the truth, but don’t want it stated publicly by a white man. This aversion to hearing the truth based on who says it is immature and detrimental to solving very real societal ills, especially when they are plaguing inner-city communities at an ever-increasing and alarming rate.
Once we get past the political correctness that’s killing open dialogue, we can reattach the stigma that deterred women from having babies out of wedlock. If men knew they would be on the hook for every single child they fathered, they would be more careful. As it is, the out-of-wedlock birthrate in the black community already more than doubles whites. It wasn’t always this way, but Great Society welfare programs and the proliferation of abortion propelled us to this place.
Ending the lives of the unborn is not the answer. Abortion rates for black women are triple that of whites. Why not talk about that and admit government-directed solutions are not working and destroying the communities they purport to help? Welfare reform is another casualty of the War on Truth. Government actually pays women to keep fathers out of the home, destabilizing entire neighborhoods and removing the incentive for single men to seek employment and strive for success.
Why was mentioning the epidemic of black fatherlessness and its relation to rising criminality enough to get Bergin suspended? With News 12’s refusal to respond, viewers may never know. Perhaps if Bergin placed the blame on whites or so-called one-percenters, they would’ve been acceptable.
Kudos to Bergin for telling the truth, but why should he stand alone? Why don’t more broadcasters return to their first love of the pursuit of the truth? Viewers are hungry for it, ratings would benefit from it and it would remove the shield of lies protecting people from horrible choices. But the truth doesn’t suit the narrative of ever-bigger government, more deficits and more failed government intrusion. Shielding individuals making horrible life choices is an insult to those who dedicate their lives to the service and defense of others, namely the late Melvin Santiago.
What message does it send that there was a memorial to the drugged-out felon who took Santiago’s life? Worse still, what does it say that Bergin was suspended for calling out the truth about this killer and the environment that produced him? As a nation, we must reward the truth-tellers among us. If we don’t, our need for them will only increase. May their voices never become feeble.
Stacy Washington is a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network.
01 Saturday Feb 2014
Repost from an article I did last year
I had an interesting exchange with a friend on the value of celebrating Black History Month. My position: A study of Black History is essential to making us powerful… individually and as a people, while celebrating Black History Month has become a stereotypical caricature attached to Black people, particularly Black Americans, just like eating fried chicken and watermelons.
In my research on the origins of BHM, I learnt that African American educator and historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926 started “Negro History Week”, to be held in the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. His goal was not only to bring attention to the historical contributions of Black Americans in the USA, but he had also hoped that “Negro History Week” would one day be eliminated as black history would one day be a fundamental part of American History.
Today BHM has become at best, another sanitized and anesthetizing commercial enterprise, beneficial to the dominating eurocentric society. This month all throughout America and Canada, you’ll have municipal Mayors and/or Police Chiefs, hold BHM opening ceremonies at City Hall, surrounded by Black political, religious and social leaders… those whom they recognize as “Black” leaders… starting with a prayer from a Black pastor, followed by an empassioned speech from Mayor and/or Police Chief, brimming with civic pride on how their local negroes have
behaved as expected made positive contributions to the community over the years… although historically they suffered and continue to suffer personal insults, as well as institutional discrimination, persecution and injustice at the hands of the city’s “White” elite. They will then have a Black woman from the church choir sing a Negro spiritual, followed by a Black teenager reciting a Black History themed poem, then have little Black children in African costumes perform a dance to an Afro drumming ensemble and finally top it all off with a “soul food” meal, featuring fried chicken and watermelon… fo’ sho’. At the end of this minstrel show ceremony, or at best by the end of the month, everything will return to “normal” and Black people will be regulated back to “their place” in society.
The above scenario will play out all this month, to a greater or lesser degree, throughout Black churches, as well as Black cultural and social organizations, with the customary yearly donning of African clothing and head dress, spirituals, drumming, dances, poetry and culturally inspired soul food meals. Unfortunately celebrating the accomplishments of ancient Black Egyptians one month a year, isn’t empowering us into producing Black mathematicians, physicians, astronomers, engineers, physicists, etc., today. Unfortunately celebrating the accomplishments of Black Americans and Canadians one month a year, isn’t inspiring us to build upon their achievements to create a positive legacy of accomplishments of our own to pass on to the next generation. Instead we are conditioned into idolizing the Black icons marketed to us by the dominating culture, such as Li’l Wayne, Trinidad James, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Lebron, Nene, Oprah and Barak Obama.
If we sincerely embraced and utilized the power of Black history in our lives everyday of the year, we would truly understand the enormous historical significance of the irreplaceable afro-futuristic power, potential and accomplishments that the murder of Hadiya Pendleton has denied the Black community… not just for this month, but lost forever… instead of debating the merits of Beyonce’s fake and valueless 2nd Inauguration performance.
“There is no way to understand world history without an understanding of African history.” John Henrik Clarke
An interesting read: Black History Month Has Been an Epic Failure
26 Sunday Jan 2014
23 Monday Dec 2013
Posted AfroSpear, AfroSphere, Atheism, Christmas, Critical Thinking, Derryck Green, Project 21in
Op-ed submission by Project 21
This is the time of year when belligerent atheists corral fellow “freethinkers” together in an attempt to legally disrupt displays of the Nativity. Wherever these innocent and usually welcomed Christian religious displays are found, there’s often a bitter atheist complaining to local authorities and the media because public display of the baby Jesus in a manger offends their irreligious sensibilities.
And the atheist hand appears to be gaining strength as the “war on Christmas” seems to escalate each year.
But this is the only time of year when angry atheists are apparently willing to present themselves in large numbers. I’ve seen a few atheists plead their empty cases during the Easter season, but it’s Christmastime when they are most aggressive. Why? After all, if atheism had inherent worth, the atheists would engage the wider culture all the time instead of attempting to offend and insult the devout by putting their collective finger in the eye of believers just once a year. Atheists must want to make those revering the religious aspect of Christmas as miserable as they seem to be.
It’s also interesting that it’s only the God worshipped by Christians with whom radical atheists really take issue. They don’t seem to have the same fervor for challenging Ramadan, Passover or Diwali. Is it easier to bully those who believe in “turn(ing) the other cheek” than those more forceful in defending their beliefs? I think there’s more to it. Atheists feel threatened because they have nothing to offer. Religion, any religion, does.
Remember a year ago, when 26 children and school employees were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut? Real feelings presented themselves during this tragedy. People in the media, social networks and across America sent prayers to Newtown, to the victims, their families and residents in general. On Facebook and Twitter, people posted Bible verses in sincere and sympathetic efforts to provide comfort and understanding to those affected by the horror of what had occurred. Articles were written about how clergy scrapped prepared sermons to discuss how suffering and evil can be overcome.
Likewise, after that unspeakable tragedy, religious leaders were interviewed by the media about the nature of God, suffering, evil and justice and how people can make sense of it all. Among the clergy were several Catholic priests, rabbis and the pastor of New Hope Community Church in Newtown. Local residents, in shock and struggling to understand what happened, gathered for a prayer vigil at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church. It was one of many local vigils.
Yet, of all the vigils, there seemed to be no mention of any freethinkers or skeptics invited to soothe the shocked masses. No vigils appeared to be totally devoid of religious or spiritual accoutrements. There’s a good reason.
Atheism is an empty belief system that doesn’t offer followers comfort, hope or emotional solace when the world goes bad. Atheism doesn’t provide a notion of divine justice, reward and punishment or heaven and hell for acts of goodness or overwhelming evil. Christianity does. Atheism simply… is.
This isn’t to say there aren’t individual atheists who sympathized and had empathy for the city of Newtown, the victims of Hurricane Sandy and western wildfires or for those stricken by profound illness or accidents. Similarly, there are those who don’t believe in God who still identify with those who celebrate Christmas. I know some of them and we get along fine.
But, as a belief system represented by those whose motivation appears to offend, organized atheism to me is bankrupt. I find it wanting. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Indeed, He is.
God bless the Christmas season, and may He continue to bless those in need of His compassion, wisdom and solace.
Derryck Green, a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network, received a M.A. in Theological Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing his doctorate in ministry at Azusa Pacific University.
21 Saturday Dec 2013
Posted Africa, African Politics, AfroSpear, AfroSphere, Critical Thinking, Jacob Zuma, Leadership, Yoweri Museveniin
During his address to The East African Legislation Assembly (EALA) in Kigali, Rwanda on 24th April 2004, Uganda’s long time President Yoweri Museveni said, “Why Africans forget easily… it is really amazing”. Museveni asked EALA Members of Parliament if they remember Mau Mau. As it seems, they did not respond the way Museveni wanted. So he pointlessly attacked all Africans based on the reaction of a few MPs, saying that they forget easily. Is Museveni a white man he likes to beg and blame? Did Museveni utter this out of irresponsibility, arrogance or mere ignorance and forgetfulness?
Today’s piece will pick a bone with Museveni who seems to say much without thinking. Are there any Africans who forget easily like Museveni and Robert Mugabe? I am trying to imagine. If such rubbishes would have been uttered by a white person what’d have been our reaction? I’m wondering. The media didn’t pick this abuse to show how racists sometimes some of our people can be.
Museveni isn’t alone in this racist race. Who’s forgotten how South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, recently showed disrespect and racist remarks about Africans as if he weren’t an African? He said, “We can’t think like Africans in Africa generally. We are in Johannesburg. It’s not some national road in Malawi.” For Zuma, J’burg that’s built by white racists is a big deal. J’burg for Zuma is a symbol of pride that one can pointlessly use to discriminate other Africans. Has he forgotten how J’burg’s built? Is Zuma among the Africans Museveni says forget easily because of the powers they abuse and misuse? None withstanding, Zuma’s forgotten that he’s not one of those whose policies of robbing the public and build his home village, built J’burg. In other words, Zuma’s trying to take credit where he didn’t perform. This is theft by legal definition.
As for Museveni, it is sad for the guy who’s been in power forcefully for decades to say such degrading words. Try to imagine. If such words were uttered by UK Prime Minister or the President of France, what’d have been the response from our Think Tanks and media, even the likes of Museveni? Has he forgotten that he’s an African like Zuma? Does Museveni remember some of his vows, some of which is the one of not overstaying in power? Again, for over two decade now, Museveni’s nary remembered that he’s overstayed in power!
Swahili sage that Museveni likes to mix with English has it, “Nyani haoni kundule namely the monkey does not see its back.” Interestingly, it is the same Museveni who seems to forget easily and think that all African do the same. For instance, Museveni took a dig on others for calling United Nations into their affairs which he called the vote of no confidence from the people. Obviously he’s referring to the DRC after it called UN to flush M23 away. He forgot that DRC was weakened by his invasion and his clandestine support to M23. Again, when the same Museveni tried to catch and kill Joseph Kony failed, he went himself to the same UN. Indirectly, his target was Kenya that took her case before the International Criminal Court (ICC). To Museveni this is failure.
Museveni went on showing how he easily forgets. He said, “China and Japan were backward technologically at that very time. This is not true. Historically, China was ahead of other countries in the world save that the king abolished his ambitious programs of building bigger ships that Europe had ever seen. The Europeans tried to colonise them but failed.” Even when Brits arrived in China for the first time they were baffled with the level of development and technological advancement China enjoyed. History shows and proves that China and Japan were vanquished and colonized. Museveni mentioned Opium war. To prove how he forgets easily he said that the British were defeated. Really? After the Battle of Plassey in 1757, if my memory serves me rightly, Britain won after its troops and those of France under General Sir James Hope Grant and Lieutenant General Cousin-Montauban defeated China three years thereafter. Again, whose fault’s this? Is it Museveni’s or his speech writers? Again, for the person who’s well educated and sane, you don’t pick up the speech and read it as it is. You do your own research in order to corroborate the facts and issues instead of regurgitating just like Museveni did to end up abusing all Africans and telling lies.
Again, Museveni’s naked abuses that Africans forget easily should be taken seriously. And he’d be told to his face that generalization’s the refuge for uneducated and lazy people. Academically, nothing’s sacrilegious to commit like generalizing everything without any gist of research. Mao Tse-tung used to say, “No investigation, no right to speak.” Africans don’t forget easily. If they do, they do so like any other human beings. So too, China didn’t defeat Britain in two Opium Wars.
When faced with reality of America being hated by many people under George W. Bush, Michael Moore, in his book “Stupid White Men”, wrote, “Friends, when are we going to stop kidding ourselves?” The same token fits Museveni and Zuma. Guys, when are you going to stop lying to us yourselves included? Again, Arabic proverb has it that arrogance diminishes wisdom.
Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.
08 Thursday Aug 2013
Recently a friend was ranting to me about a segment of The O’Reilly Factor he had watched, where a conservative African-American radio talk show host, David Webb, was commenting in agreement with O’Reilly on the George Zimmerman
fiasco verdict. My friend made the statement that Webb was a nothing but a “white man in black skin”.
He then went on to inform me of a survey he had seen which stated that 70% of white people in America agreed with the verdict. I asked him, how many black people did he guesstimate also agreed with the verdict. The question caught him off guard and he struggled to answer… “maybe 1%”. I told him it was probably closer to 70% than 1%.
I also told him I totally disagreed with his categorizing of Webb and that he was indeed a “black man in black skin”. There is one group of people who hate poor black people more than white people do… and that’s the black middle and upper class. They are quite adept in their use coded intellectualized language in their condemnation of their less fortunate brothers and sisters. Which is why despite their political affiliations, cultural heritage, gender or sexual orientation, many in the black middle and upper class are more sympathetic to the white supremacy based thinking on black criminality of a Bill O’Reilly, a Sean Hannity and even a Barack Obama.
Regardless of their eloquence, when you break it down, it’s black on black hate speech… steeped in self-hate. Whether it’s the comments of David Webb, Don Lemon, Barack Obama, The Conservative Black Chick, the article below by Project 21 member Derryck Green… all are reflective of the internalized “divide and conquer” strategy within the African-American community.
Race Fatigue by Derryck Green
Help me, I’m suffering from acute race fatigue!
After gavel-to-gavel coverage of the George Zimmerman trial, I need a break. After all the post-verdict anger, lamentations and inane discussions about what it is to be a black man in America, I’m exhausted.
After watching President Obama liken himself to Trayvon Martin, I’ve had enough. All this talk about race seems intentionally shortsighted and disingenuous. It simply implicates whites and infantilizes the black man. And those needing to hear straight talk the most are shortchanged by the soulless profiteers of the racial grievance industry.
I’m tired of Trayvon Martin being compared to Emmett Till – which, by extension, projects a racial ethos similar to that of 1955 upon contemporary America. Martin was no Till, period. Martin was not some kind of martyr. Please, already.
I’m tired of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being photoshopped into a hoodie. This is nothing short of repulsive, and it denigrates the memory of Dr. King’s contribution to racial justice. Our nation shall forever be in debt to Dr. King. The same cannot and should not be said nor insinuated about Trayvon Martin. There is no comparison.
I’m especially exhausted of hearing condescending white progressives encouraging blacks to maintain a false narrative of victimization. The embarrassing demonstrations increased racial fatigue because those engaging in them did so at the expense of their dignity and credibility. These people – willfully or through neglect – ignored the facts and evidence of the case in a grandstanding attempt to make whites feel responsible and guilty for perpetuating racial discrimination. At the same time, whites feel obligated to perform penance of indeterminate length – defined by the racial grievance industry – without assurance of absolution.
Meanwhile, black-on-black crime is much more destructive and prevalent than a “white Hispanic” killing a black male. The charade is disgusting, and I’m tired of it. The Zimmerman trial wasn’t about race. The FBI’s investigation found absolutely no evidence of racial bias.
Martin was criminally profiled. In the 14 months prior to the fatal Martin-Zimmerman confrontation, the Retreat at Twin Lakes apartment complex was burglarized eight times – with all suspects being roughly the same height, build and color as Martin.
Thus, Martin wasn’t stalked or “hunted down like a “rabid dog” because he was black. As noted during the trial, suspicion was raised because of Martin’s behavior and because he fit a very specific criminal profile.
Blacks aren’t helpless victims abused by “the system.” The facts prove it. The reason that blacks – specifically black males – are disproportionally represented in the criminal justice system is because we commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime. Period.
According to FBI statistics, of the 2,938 murder offenders counted in 2011, 1,803 offenders were black. The total number of black murders in 2011, regardless of age, was 2,695. Of that number, 2,447 had black offenders. Blacks are complicit in their own demise. The system that blacks fear, which they claim is out to get them, is – in reality – blacks themselves.
In other words, there are too many black and progressive fingers pointed outward and not enough pointed inward. This is because there’s no political capital to be gained by doing this – no emotions to be exploited and no one to morally indict as racist.
Does racism exist? Yes, of course. But no one race is responsible for all – or even most – of it. Does racial discrimination exist? Yes, again. And there always will be on this side of heaven.
For blacks and their enablers to continue to foment this notion that racism is America’s number one problem, however, is self-defeating, immoral and perpetuates a lie. Too many blacks have no idea how irresponsible and embarrassing they look in all of this. And I fear, very soon, they will be called on their Dream-killing commodification and idolization of race.
By then, I hope I’ve recovered from my race fatigue.
06 Tuesday Aug 2013
Posted Critical Thinking, Education, Empowermentin
As a new school year fast approaches, I’ll be posting articles which may help students and parents get ready to put their best feet forward this September. Although anyone can learn from this particular post, I emphasize that this is for Black students simply because of the reality. Expectations for Black students reading and writing abilities are much lower than the median for their non-Black counterparts. That’s it folks. In terms of literacy, our children are expected to naturally fare worse than their peers. I want to change this phenomenon.
Even without formal instruction, young learners will gradually learn the correct structures and rules of the English language. When a child is learning to read, they may use a variety of strategies to decode and understand the text but, in accepting this rule, we are first assuming that the student already has a good “grasp” of the English language. In terms of writing, we typically tend to gauge our child’s functioning skills by connecting that it is a reflection of how well they speak. This is a common mistake that many of us parents make. Although verbal skills and written skill are correlated, good speakers do not automatically make good writers. We all know people who speak effortlessly but give them a pen and they can barely string two sentences together. How about those of us who would simply die of embarrassment if people saw our writing through the lens of the autocorrect or spellcheck tools.
Many factors influence what determines good writing. Here are a few tips to help us parents support our children’s literacy needs. Getting into the practice of incorporating the things below can help develop writing skills.
That’s it, four little tips to help our learners excel. In writing, practice might never make perfect but, it does help us to become better.
After the writing task has been assigned, it is helpful to begin with the basics; What are you writing and who are you writing for? Is it an essay? Short fiction? Book report? Research project? Thesis? Once the task is determined, identify the audience. Ensure that the target audience (teachers/peers/instructors/professors) can easily understand what they are reading. We may live in a ROFLMAO, SMH, WTF? Techno-social-media-short-form world but, in the realm of formal education; Spelling, grammar and punctuation all matter.
A learner who is in the habit of taking their time to write and the to proof read and edit will generally submit better written material.
Being able to identify and then connect the audience or reader to the content is very important. Writing which conveys emotion or feeling and even invokes sentiment within the reader demonstrates skill. Being able to hold the reader’s attention is an equally effective skill therefore, wording is paramount. In my experience, my students often try to impress me by using big words which isn’t a bad thing at all, in fact I encourage it. I am often affected and pleased by the effort however; Using relevant wording will often win over an audience easier than lofty wording or, by contrast using dull wording. These provocative tactics can sometimes backfire in either case by insulting the reader’s intelligence. I don’t know about you but for me, that’s usually an automatic turn-off. Students should be encouraged to explore language but, not craft sentences around words they feel will help them to show-off.
Don’t forget the content! The subject or topic being covered is the star of the show. The content must reflect the criteria of the assignment. I can’t name how often I’ve peer edited and at the end of reading I had no idea what the point was. This is a dangerous ground. Sticking to the point can be hard but, it ought to be the central theme.
The difference between being a mediocre writer and a good writer is a matter of semantics. It has nothing to do with talent! Being an effective writer is in understanding your own voice, identifying your weaknesses and writing around them. It’s being daring and risking being open in what you chose to write about. It’s about taking the task of writing beyond the course outline and using the parameters of the paper to do everything the instructor requires of you to get that ‘A’ and also revealing who you are as an individual.
Most importantly and I share this with my ESL students, but the rule is as true for native English speakers; The best way to become proficient in writing is to read, read, READ! I can’t stress this point enough. Avid readers tend to develop broader vocabulary as well as learn to identify and use various writing mechanics.
Parents, please understand that a good writing tutor might save you money down the road. Learning the mechanics of writing in grade 6, 7 and 8 will prepare your child for his or her academic future. By the time your child reaches high school and written communication becomes a major component of learning, they will already have the skills needed to easily express their thoughts, world views and opinions through writing. To write effectively is to communicate effectively which often translates into better marks and better grades resulting in greater opportunities for bursaries, scholarships and other free money to put toward post secondary education.
It’s not that good writing requires formal education, it’s that formal education requires good writing.
Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.