Book by John Maxwell
How to Make Our Own News: A Primer for Environmentalist and Journalists
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It will be fifty years ago next January 12. I
remember standing with a huge crowd on Vineyard Road
listening to Norman Manley, with everybody in the crowd it
seemed, waving a broom.
The PNP slogan was “Sweep Them Out” after a cartoon in
Public Opinion which called on Jamaicans to get rid of
the corrupt and scandal ridden government of Alexander
Norman Manley couldn’t be heard for minutes after he reported
what he had seen all over Jamaica and ended with the line:
"The River come down – from bank to bank!!!”
It had indeed, as the next day’s election results
proved, – a rout despite the fact that constituency
demarcation favoured the JLP.
I am reminded of this by what is happening right now in
the United States of America, where the ground is shifting under
the feet of the Bush Administration which is displaying
unmistakable signs of increasing desperation and panic. In
Jamaica, we say “Bad luck worse than Obeah”. Mr
Bush’s luck is running out.
Why would Osama bin Laden choose this moment to re-surface?
Mr Bush, I kid you not, has recently been talking about
‘principle’. His declared principle after 9/11 was "to hunt down and smoke out from their
holes” the authors of the outrage and murderers of 3,000
Yet, here is bin Laden, as large as life, or larger, offering to
talk with Bush about disengagement!!!
For most of the last twelve months Bush’s basic
principle has been to attack the character and integrity of his
opponent, to hit below the belt whenever possible, throwing
piledrivers at Kerry’s gut, just as George Foreman threw them
at Muhammad Ali in Zaire, thirty years ago.
And with the same result.
Bush and his campaign are now, as Foreman was then, tired
and demoralised.After Tuesday, the Bush Administration will have
loads of time to attend Grand Jury hearings and similar
proceedings. Somebody else will have to deal with bin Laden.
Components of the Kerry landslide
For the river to come down – Lavalas
– as they say in Haiti – there must be a lot of rain. And
the rain-makers of the Bush administration have made damn sure
that the rain falls only on their Just Men. The trouble is that
the water doesn’t stop there. Injustice is a trickle down
process, and those at the bottom of the hill get
lots of filthy, contaminated water.
My expectation of a Kerry victory rests on several observations
and some hunches.
Terror fatigue: A great many people are resolved not to
take the cynical colour-coded manipulation of their fears
any longer, and they have enthusiastically heeded the call of
those who believe that Americans give away their rights when
they don’t vote. They watched the process last time round,
when George Bush was appointed President by the Supreme Court.
Millions of people were disfranchised and they are paying for it
in unemployment, deficient education, expensive health care and
record budget and trade deficits.
Count in here a majority of the young, the new voters, the
foreign born, Hispanics, Haitians, Jamaicans, some of whom
won’t be nationally significant but crucial in local contests.
Scandals Over the last week the Bush spinmeisters
have been producing some of the most elaborate excuses and
alternative theories to explain away the inexplicable loss of
more than 377 tons of extremely high explosive material from a
sealed bunker at Al Quqaa in Iraq. Casting a doubt here,
scouting a rumour there, fiddling with the facts wherever
possible was a game that lasted until Friday, when a
Minnesota TV station unearthed footage taken by their news team
18 months ago. The US Chief weapons inspector, DR David
Kay, and most other people appear to believe that the video
footage proves beyond reasonable doubt that the missing
explosives had been found by American soldiers on April
18, three weeks after the war started and at least three weeks
after Field Marshal von Rumsfeld thought the explosives might
have been spirited away by Saddam Hussein. The
circumstantial evidence proves beyond doubt, that the American
soldiers in Iraq had not been properly prepared for the war,
another major blunder by the Bush-Rumsfeld axis
Then, late Friday night, it turned out that a French journalist
had reported a year ago, exactly who had looted the munitions
store and how and when it happened.
If ‘Bad luck ‘wuss dan obeah’ an FBI investigation is
probably even worse than bad luck, and Mr Bush’s
frightener-in-chief and left-hand man extraordinaire,
Dick Cheney may soon find himself before a grand jury to
explain why his old company, Halliburton, was awarded, against
the rules, a ‘no-bid’ five-year contract worth
billions. He won’t be able to claim executive privilege this
A complaint filed on behalf of Ms Bunnatine Greenhouse, the Army
Corps of Engineers Chief Contracting Officer, alleges that the
$7 billion contract undermines the integrity of the federal
The complaint alleges that the award of contracts to KBR, the
Halliburton subsidiary, to restore Iraq's oil industry and
to supply and feed US troops in the Balkans puts at risk
"the integrity of the federal contracting program as it
relates to a major defense contractor."
The complaint also asks protection from retaliation for
the whistle-blower, Ms. Greenhouse, an African American woman
with a strong resemblance to Portia Simpson.
African Americans are expected to vote overwhelmingly
(90%+) for John Kerry. According to Internet journalist/editor
Marc Ash who is NOT an African American, if American democracy
is to be rescued, it will probably have to depend on
African Americans: “For whatever reason, African Americans
won't vote against their own best interests. No matter how much
you try to convince them, it's like trying to get a cat to take
a bath. We often hear that "our nation is deeply
divided." Whose nation? Not the African American nation -
they know perfectly well who to vote for. They will vote for
freedom and liberty and they'll kick down the door to do it if
The Republican party obviously understands this. The Internal
Revenue Service is to investigate the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) with a view to
withdrawing its tax exempt status effectively bankrupting the
NAACP. The reason? In July the NAACP president, Julian Bond,
"The election this fall is a contest between two widely
disparate views of who we are and what we believe. One view
wants to march us backward through history - surrendering
control of government to special interests, weakening democracy,
giving religion veto power over science, curtailing civil
liberties, despoiling the environment. The other view promises
expanded democracy and giving the people, not plutocrats,
control over their government."
Count in Arab Americans and most Muslims, Indians, non-Zionist
Jews, and others, including some moderate Republicans and other
who want to restore their country’s reputation for decency.
Shelf Life Bush, like George Foreman, had his
plan. Play the strong silent, immovable John Wayne character and
push the flip-flopping Kerry around until he collapsed like a
rag doll. But, in the debates, Kerry wiped the floor with the
President. While Kerry concentrated on the issues
that burn Americans, in the background was always the injustice
of a war in which hundreds of thousands of poor Americans are
sent to a foreign country to kill hundreds of thousands of poor
people with whom they had no quarrel.
Count here young people afraid of being drafted for Iraq but,
more important, Medicare recipients and the poor generally.
Soldier's feedback is powerful stuff, and as it
percolates through the American consciousness, more and more
people are reverting to their pre-war position, when a majority
was anti-war. Abu Ghraib has done nothing to reassure them.
“Vote or Die” is one of the slogans used by an NGO supported
by Sean “P Diddy” Combs, and he happens to be on the same
side as another of the world’s richest men, George Soros. Both
believe that George Bush is bad for America and the world. And
the work of NGOs like MOVEON and Michael Moore’s
powerful documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, have also
changed many minds.
Osama Bin Laden The irruption of Osama bin Laden into the
campaign will remind many that while the Iraqi city of Fallujah
is being obliterated, bin Laden is somewhere else, home,
dry and still rich.
The Bushies are trying to get Kerry to be a gentleman, to get
him to avoid drawing attention to Osama’s freedom and liberty
while Americans labour under the Patriot Act and other
disabilities. For the Bushies, Osama is the invisible 800 pound
gorilla on the bow of a boat rapidly shipping water.
Americans know Bush lies when he says that his troops are
“shrinking the space for terrorists to operate” when they
know that even the super-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad is not
immune to insurgent attack.
Meanwhile, the invasion has convertedIraq into what it
emphatically was not before the war: a haven for terrorists as
well as resistance fighters. Huge areas of Iraq are now no-go
areas for the US troops and an assault on Fallujah may be as
much of a trap as Khe San was during General Giap’s
Tet offensive in 1968. Count in here all those who couldn’t
care less about Iraq, the unemployed, the single mothers with
school-age children, soldiers' families.
Debates & the Don't Knows No pollster has
factored in the millions of new voters, nearly a million
in Florida and more than half a million in Ohio alone.
Bush was having things his own way early on, coasting on
the publicity platform of the presidency until the
debates, when Surprise! Viewers rated John Kerry, the
'aloof patrician’ as more likeable. That’s a hard one
to recover from.
Kerry has simply seemed more ‘presidential’ and certainly
more mature than Bush and, however stupid Karl Rove thinks
the US electorate is, I believe that they are more likely to go
for someone who seems more level-headed and balanced than the
grimacing, posturing ‘Mission Accomplished’
president. Count in surprising numbers of well-to-do
Americans, who don’t see the Bush fantasies or tax giveaways
as everlasting and may be scared of popular retribution,
perhaps civil war, plus all those other scared voters who
lie or conceal their intentions.
And then there are the men surrounding Bush: Ashcroft the
fundamentalist prude with an appetite for shutting up and
locking down people outside of the law ,the constitution
and the country; Rumsfeld, the dashing fly boy on leave from a
Douglas Fairbanks war film who thought looting was good
clean fun; And Colin Powell, the designated adult in the
Cabinet, whose patina of credibility has corroded to grimy
verdigris; And Dick Cheney, who – I have on good
authority – is definitely not related to Lon
Chaney, the ghoul of early horror movies; (Lon Chaney needed
LOTS of make-up to frighten people) and of course, the
Ayatollah, Karl Rove, a spoiled brat with Napoleonic fantasies,
the man who brought you the George Bush show originally; the
main architect of the electoral skulduggery, the gerrymandering
in Texas, the vote stealing and intimidation in Florida
Will Kerry win?
As Sherlock Holmes told Dr. Watson: “When you have eliminated
the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, is likely
to be the truth.
Copyright ©2004 John Maxwell
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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a
collection of fourteen essays by scholars and
creative writers from Africa and the Americas.
Called one of two significant critical works on
Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late
1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of
Carter G. Woodson and
Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as
well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations
were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early
essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish
medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an
historical context for understanding 20th-century
creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone
writers, such as Cuban
Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist,
Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the
significance of Negritude in Latin America. This
collaborative text set the tone for later
conferences in which writers and scholars worked
together to promote, disseminate, and critique the
literature of Spanish-speaking people of African
descent. . . .
Cited by a
literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the
field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which
most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."
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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in
By Melissa V.
According to the
author, this society has historically exerted
considerable pressure on black females to fit into one
of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the
Matriarch or the Jezebel. The selfless
Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to
white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of
those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the
relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable
temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as
an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the
characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television
shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.
points out how the propagation of these harmful myths
have served the mainstream culture well. For instance,
the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for
black females to feel a maternal instinct towards
As for the source
of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their
own bodies during slavery given that they were being
auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless,
it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate
the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate
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The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
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Ancient African Nations
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Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
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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
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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update 4 March 2012