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 Headed by an African American, Dr. William R. Harvey is president of Hampton University.

He is also a Bush appointee to the Federal National Mortgage Association

 

 

 

Bush cronies turning campuses dissent-free

By Irene Monroe

The repressiveness of the Bush Administration is all over American college campuses. And it’s not only in the demand to reinstall U.S. military recruitment with the so-called Solomon Amendment, which requires military recruitment be allowed or schools risk losing federal funds. It’s also in Republican-funded college and university administrations that employ any means necessary – intimidation and/or physical force – to have a dissent-free campus.

Seven students at Hampton University in Virginia, one of the nation’s historically black colleges, faced expulsion on Dec. 2 for a crime these days viewed as either treason or sedition against the government.

Leafleting what the university depicts as “unauthorized” literature about the Bush Administration’s racist polices regarding homophobia, AIDS, Hurricane Katrina, genocide in Sudan, and the Iraq war as part of a November protest initiated by The World Can’t Wait – Drive Out Bush Regime, the “Hampton Seven” were issued summonses for a hearing with no time to contact either their parents or their lawyers.

For weeks leading up to the protest that involved over 200 universities and colleges nationwide, the Hampton Seven were followed by campus police, targeted by video surveillance, and forced to turn over their IDs.

But the harassment didn’t just center on the Hampton Seven.

“The HU police booked several people just because they were wearing stickers and other paraphernalia because they looked suspicious. The police used hand-help camcorders to record the faces of the activists without permission. They attempted to intimidate the student onlookers by their random targeting,” wrote two of the Hampton Seven – John Robinson, and Brandon King, both senior sociology majors – in “Corporate Plantation: Political Repression and the Hampton Model.”

Once apprehended, hundreds of phone calls and thousands of signatures from around the country defending the students – including from such notables as Howard Zinn, Cindy Sheehan, Gore Vidal, Bill T. Jones and Alice Walker – reached the dean’s office. Attempting to prevent the story from leaking out, campus police shut down all interviews being filmed by the local media.

Hampton’s code of conduct reportedly allows peaceful, non-violent protest, but with one caveat – administration approval.

“Therein lies the problem. If they are going to practice their freedom of speech, they have to have permission,“ Hampton student Aaron Williams told a local reporter.

However, many students at Hampton say it’s not that the flyers were “unauthorized” – because many of them were. The problem was the anti-Bush content in the flyers.

“I just want people to know that this is not solely about us being exonerated. Even if they let us off the hook, conditions on campus will be even worse. . . . There is a lot of connection here, it is more severe and ridiculous at our campus, but repression is going on across the U.S.,“ John Robinson told Sunsara Taylor, co-initiator of The World Can’t Wait.

Behind the Hampton Seven’s protest is a window into a more insidious problem that is unrelenting, pervasive and has metastasized into a community of African-American students -- Bush’s Republicanism and the way it cultivates a political docility and elitist assimilationist indoctrination.

Headed by an African American, Dr. William R. Harvey is president of Hampton University. He is also a Bush appointee to the Federal National Mortgage Association and a benefactor to Bush-Cheney coffers. Hampton’s June 2005 commencement speaker, whom Harvey selected, was his crony Alphonso Jackson, Bush’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Jackson has deliberately cut back access for poor African Americans to subsidized Section 8 Housing and has unabashedly boasted to The Houston Chronicle that New Orleans should not allow most of its displaced denizens back because they were parasitic to the economy, and the future of New Orleans in order for it to survive must shift from being predominately black to predominately white.

With just days removed from World AIDS Day – with more reports of how the pandemic continues to grow and ravage communities of African descent - students had to fight vigorously for an AIDS Awareness group on campus. Why? Agreeing along with Bush’s policy of abstinence only, “President Harvey responded that we probably did not need one because everyone knows about AIDS,” Johnson wrote. The city of Hampton, Va., however, is one of the top 10 AIDS-infected areas in the country, and black college campuses on the whole have a disproportionate number of students with HIV/AIDS.

And homophobia contributes to the problem on campus. However, homophobia on Hampton’s campus is so virulent that I couldn’t find any current students to talk openly about homophobia or HIV/AIDS without fear of reprisal.

But an alumnus of the class of 1976, Dr. Thea James, an emergency Medicine physician at Boston Medical Center and assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, talked about her days at Hampton. “It was very repressive and run like a police state, and I and everyone else had to toe the line. I wasn’t out then because I feared being thrown out of the pre-med program. Today I imagine the same thing. I never got involved with campus political activism because there wasn’t any. I am proud of these recent Hampton students.”

As it turned out, Hampton University did not expel the Hampton Seven. But the University released a statement downplaying the issue: “The matter was simply an issue of compliance with University polices and procedures. The University certainly permits peaceful protest; however all polices and procedures must be adhered to by students as stated in the Hampton University official Student Handbook.”

And therein lies the problem.

posted 9 December 2005

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 27 December 2011

 

 

 

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