Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stop killing my brothers

Democracy Now! says: "Killing of Michael Sandy Condemned"

"In other news from New York, the brutal killing of Michael Sandy was condemned yesterday at a rally at city hall. Sandy, who was a black gay man, died on Friday after he was beaten to death by four white men. He met one of the men on a gay Internet chat room. Speakers at yesterday’s rally included Leticia James, member of the New York City Council.

"Leticia James [said]: 'Michael Sandy's quote on his AOL profile stated the following: a real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. Today we gather here because we refuse to walk out on Michael Sandy. We refuse to walk out on Kevin Aviance, Rashawn Brazell, Dwan Prince, and Sakia Gunn. Michael was attacked and killed because he was young, gifted, gay and black. He was intentionally lured to a site and savagely beaten.'"

Brother Keith Boykin weighs in here.

Let us, as a people, demand justice for our murdered brother--and all our people lynched for their colour or their sexual orientation. Whether the killers are White (as they are in this case), or the Black devotees of "fyah music," let us condemn this depravity and fight against it--by any means necessary.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Youssou N'Dour + Peter Gabriel: “Shakin’ the Tree”

I'll be playing this song on my Thursday night radio show, Asiko Phantom Pyramid. It's one of a few songs I'll be dedicating to my daugher, Yemay√°.

"Waiting your time, dreaming of a better life
Waiting your
time, so much more than just a wife
You don’t have to do what your mother has done
She has done

"This is your life, this new life has begun
It’s your day, Woman’s Day
It’s your day, Woman’s Day
Turning the tide you are now on the incoming wave

"Turning the tide you know you are nobody’s slave
Find the brothers and sisters

Who can hear all the truth in what you say
They can support you when you are on your way.

"It’s your day, Woman’s Day
It’s your day, Woman’s Day

"Souma yergon
Sou nou yergon

We are
Shakin’ the tree!

"If we had known, if we only had known
Changing your ways, changing those surrounding you
Changing your ways, more than any man can do
Open your heart, show him the anger and pain so you heal
Maybe he’s looking for his womanly side, let him feel
You have to be so strong
And you do nothing wrong

Nothing wrong at all
We have to shake it down
We’re gonna break it down
All around the town

"Souma yergon
Sou nou yergon
We are

Shakin’ the tree!"

Support E-Town's Afrikan youth in need!


Join organisers for an evening of continental dining and dancing on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Saint Joseph’s Cathedral - 100th ave and 113th street.

Tickets are $20. For more information, call Yolande at 641-5130.


6 PM Mountain Time
CJSR FM-88 Edmonton
cjsr.com on the web
The Terrordome: The Afrika All-World News Service
“The 2006 Israel-Lebanon War - Why Did It Happen, and What Will Happen Next?”

(Read this fine book, Arabs & Israel for Beginners, by Jewish-American writer Ron David and illustrated by his wife Susan. The book introduced me to David's concept that, despite horrible suffering culminating in WWII, the last century has been--and this is not sarcasm--a new golden age of Jewish accomplishment in science, literature and politics. I'm pointing this out so that folks might be less inclined to think that David is a "self-hating Jew." He's not. He's an incisive thinker who's done his research. While his book is certainly critical of Israel, it's highly--and appropriately--laudatory regarding international Jewish achievement.)

Last summer, Israel’s cataclysmic war on Lebanon killed a thousand people and reduced much of the country to rubble and ruin; Hezbollah’s rocket attacks on Israel killed over a hundred, and a substantial number of the victims were Israeli Arabs living in the northern city of Haifa.

According to some analysts, the scale of the billions-of-dollars of destruction inflicted in a few weeks by Israel exceeds the damage of a decade and a half of civil war, and the economic and environmental damage will be felt for decades. According to a September 12 story in Ha’aretz, Israel dropped 1.2 million anti-personnel cluster bomblets on Lebanon, the majority during the final ten days when a cease-fire was viewed as imminent. Those US-made bomblets will maim and kill for years.

Yet according to some people, Lebanon, essentially, “had it coming,” by allowing the Hezbollah militia to operate on its soil, in fact, as a virtual government in the south of the tiny country of 3 million people. Some say that Israel’s attack was only a reasonable response to provocation; US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice referred to the devastation on the US ally as “the birth pangs of a new Middle East.”

The only thing more shocking than Rice’s comment is the absence of outrage the comment found in US and Canadian press. Imagine, for instance, if a senior government official in Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Turkey had described September 11 as “the birthpangs of a new America.” Celebrated American journalist Seymour Hersch reported that, despite the claims that Hezbollah’s capture of Israeli soldiers was Israel’s motive to launch its war, Israel had been planning such a war for at least a year, and had used the capture as a pretext.

The US interest in this war, according to some observers, was as a test-run for a war against Syria, Iran, or both. What’s clear is that each side in the Israel-Lebanon war committed war crimes, although the scale of those crimes is far greater as committed by Israel, and that the reputation of the Israeli military has plummeted, while the stature of Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has grown immensely.

What’s less clear is what lessons each side and each side’s sponsors have drawn, and what will happen as a result today, next month, and in the years to come.

Tonight on The Terrordome, we’ll hear a debate on those very points, courtesy of California’s Commonwealth Club, in a Town Hall discussion recorded on August 22. The academics and community organisers include As'ad Abukhalil, David Biale, Thomas Dine, Fred Lawson, Glenn E. Robinson, and Michael Nacht.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This month's BAMBOOZLED award goes to... METHOD MAN and 50 CENT!

"TORONTO -- A shoeless, elderly drunk is tormented by a group of thugs who laugh hysterically as they douse his head with antifreeze, drop his personal belongings into a storm sewer and knock him to his knees with a milk crate.

"In another scene, a young man is dragged from his parked car and beaten repeatedly outside a liquor store; his head stomped into the pavement until he loses consciousness. One of his attackers steals cash from his pocket as he lies lifeless in a parking lot.

"In the final act, eight men stomp, punch and kick a shirtless male to cries of 'Pound 'em out' and 'I'm gonna kill you bitch.' Knocked out cold, the victim is dragged across the pavement. The camera operator remarks smugly, 'I think that (expletive) is dead.'

"Roll credits: It's Ghetto Fights 2, one of a series of DVDs that feature actual home videos of violent street fights and group beatings, available at your local HMV, Music World and other retail outlets across Canada for about $16 each.

"For anti-violence activists and police, these are America's Scariest Home Videos, graphic celebrations of street violence, gang culture, contempt for the law and anti-social behaviour.

"They include Ghetto Fights, featuring bloody battles involving mostly young African-Americans in a variety of U.S. cities. The series gets a personal endorsement by rappers Method Man and 50 Cent, the latter who is seen brandishing a pistol and aiming it at the camera."

Let the pundit who is without sin fire the first RPG

Jeff Cohen of FAIR says: "Let me be clear: Those of us who use facts instead of rant; reason and argument instead of name-calling and personal attacks; evidence instead of intimidation and accusations of disloyalty -- we have the moral authority to tell Hugo Chavez that his comments were out of line.

"But the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Scarboroughs and O'Reillys are in no position to point any fingers. Nor are the executives at Disney, GE and News Corp who have made them the loudest voices in American media."