Tuesday, December 27, 2005

On The First Day Of Kwanzaa, My True Love Gave To Me, A Bitch-Slap Upside The Head

I apologize in advance for the complete dryness of this update, but some things just need to be said.

Today marks the second day of a holiday called "Kwanzaa", which, ostensibly, is based on some African Harvest ritual and involves lighting candles a la Hanukah (in fact the candle holder looks suspiciously like a Menorah) We have seen in many examples -- BET, Black Miss America, the recent movie version of The Honeymooners -- that Black America is trying its darndest to carve out its own little culture trench by being completely subversive to the rest of the country. And I don't mean blowing up bus stations or any other militant actions, but they certainly aren't making any effort to either assimilate themselves into the society or contribute something more culturally significant than 50 Cent. I’m sorry, but Black music died with Ray Charles.

As far as I can tell, Kwanzaa is one of those holidays that only appeals to blacks who are really down with the whole “back to my roots” thing – which is great, in and of itself. I wouldn’t mind incorporating Kwanzaa into the holiday morass if it was in fact a legitimate holiday with a pedigree dating back to ancient times. But my research has told me differently, especially concerning Kwanzaa’s Communist, Racist, Anti-Semitic founder, Ron Karenga. So sit back, light up a Newport, pour yourself a double shot of Hennessey, and prepare for a very eye-opening history lesson.

The founder of Kwanzaa, Ron Everett, a.k.a. Maulana Ron Karenga, stood at the forefront of the black power movement in the 1960s. In 1965, Karenga distinguished himself as a ‘cultural nationalist’ by founding the United Slaves Organization (US), a group that would rival the Black Panthers on the UCLA campus. The United Slaves was more radical than the Panthers, setting off quarrels between the two. In 1969, the United Slaves Organization and the Black Panthers disagreed over who should head the new Afro-American Studies Center at UCLA. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Karenga and his supporters backed one candidate, the Panthers another. The Black Student Union set up a coalition to try to bring peace between the groups, which ended when United Slaves members shot dead two members of the Black Panthers.

Members of the United Slaves followed the ‘Path of Blackness’ detailed in The Quotable Karenga, authored by Karenga himself. “The sevenfold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black,” the book states.

The United Slaves Organization disbanded in 1971 after Karenga, Louis Smith, and Luz Maria Tamayo were convicted of felonious assault and false imprisonment for assaulting and torturing two women from the United Slaves, Deborah Jones & Gail Davis. A May 14, 1971 article in the Los Angeles Times described the testimony of one of the women: "Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis' mouth and placed against Miss Davis' face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of United Slaves, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said, and hit them on the heads with toasters.”

At Karenga’s trial, the state’s psychiatrist’s report stated, ‘This man now represents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and elusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment.’ The psychiatrist observed that Karenga talked to his blanket and imaginary persons and believed that dive-bombers had attacked him. He received a four-year prison sentence for his brutal crimes.

After his release from prison, Karenga turned his attention towards Marxism, and re-established the US organization under a new structure. Two years later, in 1977, Karenga called on African-Americans to adopt his secular humanism and reject Western Religions (Christianity, Judiasm and Islam) as “mythical practices which deny and diminish human worth, capacity, potential and achievement.”

Says the official Kwanzaa Information Center of the Kwanzaa flag: “Red, or the blood, stands as the top of all things. We lost our land through blood; and we cannot gain it except through blood. We must redeem our lives through the blood. Without the shedding of blood there can be no redemption of this race.”

The Kwanzaa Information Center also notes that the flag “Has become the symbol of devotion for African people in America to establish an independent African nation on the North American Continent.”

Not disgusted enough? Try this one on for size: On September 17, 2001, six days after the vicious, devastating terrorist attack on New York and Washington, Karenga, the founder of Kwanzaa released this statement through his website:

“We must, even in the midst of our rightful grieving, pause and reflect on the possible causes for this devastating attack and how best to respond to it. Surely, we cannot believe the nightly newscasters and selective guests who assure us that the people who did this are simply jealous of our riches, even though millions of us are not rich, but are actually poor. Nor because they hate freedom, justice and related values. In fact, they think they are fighting for freedom, justice and the right to self-determination. Perhaps, then, it is not the material goods some of us have that they hate the U.S. for, but for attempts to impose the materialism of a consumerist society on them, to turn them into homogenized consumers of a McWorld system. And perhaps it is not that they are against freedom and justice and related values, but against the U.S. imposed interpretation of this. Perhaps, they resent the arrogance of imposition and the inequities imposed by a globalism that grinds them underfoot and denies them a right of self-determination and security that we say are indispensable to us and our allies.”

“Surely, we can and must condemn what they did, but it is also useful to imagine why they did it from their own perspective and to consider whether others feel similarly, even if they refuse to use such means to make their point. If we did, we might discover that from their perspective and those of people who will not commit such acts but are emphatic with their aims that they did it to: Avenge years of state terrorism, mass murder, selective assassination, collective punishment and other forms of oppression by the U.S. and its allies…and to dramatize and underline in a highly visible way the asymmetry of suffering between the U.S. and the oppressed in the world.”

Here’s the kicker: “We must challenge the U.S. to review and reconstruct its international policy, especially in the Middle East, so that it is just and equitable. This will be perhaps the most difficult struggle, not simply because of our uncritical commitment to Israel, the U.S.' major ally in the region, but also because of its shared demonization of their opponent (Palestine) and thus the refusal to address Palestine’s legitimate claims and their undeserved and asymmetrical suffering.”

Perhaps my favorite quote from Karenga: “We are concerned about all human life, but we are especially concerned about Black life. We don't apologize for that. We start with ourselves.” Yup. Sounds just like the principle of “umoja” espoused at the Official Kwanzaa Website.

Happy Kwanzaa, Y’all.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

I Bought Jesus Some New Slippers For His Birthday.

Considering 2.1 billion people in the world identify themselves as Christians -- in America alone there are 151 million Christians, a group comprising 76.5 % of the total U.S. population, -- I'd like to take this time to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas.

Forget Hanukkah, Ramadan, Diwali, and that phony-baloney holiday invented by a convicted felon, Kwanzaa.

The population of New York City is larger than the total population of all other religious groups in America combined. When you other guys show up with the sheer numbers then we’ll talk about incorporating you into the culture, but until then, majority rules, at least in the States.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, and if you don’t like it, go move to Russia.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I Think Hanging Would Be Appropriate

If this were a Livejournal account, and I was a pockmarked teenager who shopped at Hot Topic, I’d call this piece a rant. But because I can hammer together meaningful sentences without resorting to the use of the word “random,” I’ll simply call this an observation:

Are black Americans off their rocker? And I don’t mean that in any xenophobic, white supremacist way, but, really, what the hell is happening to you people out there in Afro-land? Read this article from MSNBC and do a quick scan for the phrase “Disappointment from the NAACP.”

Ok? You didn’t read the entire article, did you? Dying to know what the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is “disappointed” about?

That Gov. Schwarzenegger has denied clemency for Stanley “Tookie” Williams. In case you’ve been out of touch with the world around you for the past 30 years or so, here’s a rundown on the life and times of Stanley Williams.

He's a complicated man, but no one understands him but his woman...

Williams was born on December 29, 1953 to a 17-year-old unwed mother in South Central Los Angeles. If that doesn’t bode evil for you, then the fact that “Tookie” is not a nickname but his actual real middle name should.

By 1971, at the age of 18, Williams had formed the “West Side Crips”, a gang named for the fact that they were mentally deficient. Or something like that. The gang’s original intent, according to Williams was to “cleanse the neighborhood of…marauding gangs,” by, one would assume, killing rival sub-humans. Of course, like so many other ill-concieved organizations, the Crips soon spiraled out of control, and instead of standing on street corners around a flaming oil drum, singing doo-wop music, the Crips instead decided to enter the lurative fields of drug dealing, shooting various other people with stupid nicknames and making illegible hand signals to each other.

Williams was convicted of murdering Albert Owens, by shooting him twice in the back of the head, and murdering Tsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang, and Yee Chen Lin by shooting them with a shotgun, during the course of two seperate robberies in 1979. During the conviction phase, Williams mouthed the following words to the jurors: "I'm going to get each and every one of you motherfuckers.” Clearly, there stood an innocent man.

While in prison, Williams committed multiple assaults on inmates and guards earning him 6.5 years in solitary confinement. I’m happy to see that rehabilitation thing working out for the Department of Corrections.

Williams is sentenced to die on December 13 at 12:01 AM PST, and every wackaloon D-List celebrity from Jaime Foxx to Mike Farrell (a man who hasn’t had a job since the MASH finale) is out to prevent this “tragedy” from occurring. Of course, holding everyone’s hand and rhyming his way onto the front page is Rev. Jesse Jackson, a man who would protect a four-time convicted murderer, but not utter a word about the two NYC police officers killed this week.

But I can understand such stunts from two-bit frauds and publicity hounds like Jackson and his ilk. What I’m having problems coming to terms with is why the NAACP is saying anything at all. I was under the impression that the NAACP sought “The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.” After all, it says so right on their website. How does the execution of a fungus like Stanley Williams merit their inclusion?

Oh, right. Because Williams is black.

I don’t remember the NAACP coming to Timothy McVeigh’s rescue. I don’t seem to recall Bruce Gordon waving picket signs outside of the courthouse for Shawn Humphries, Kenneth Lee Boyd, Richard Johnson, Eric Randall Nance or any of the 578 white criminals executed since 1977. Where was the NAACP or the ACLU with their Amicus Briefs when those men rode the white lightning? Interestingly enough, Williams is to be executed for killing four people; out of the 578 condemned white inmates, only 19 were as prolific as Williams. Funny, I didn’t hear a peep from the NAACP for those cases.

But the NAACP has a link on their site to a website called “Save Tookie”, a grassroots (read: incompetent) organization banded together to prevent the “racist” death of one of America’s greatest living treasures. Or so they would have the public believe. “He wrote children’s books!” they cry. “He’s worked to end gang violence!” they insist. “He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize!” they shove in your face (despite the fact 1) Anyone can be nominated for the prize, and 2) So was Yasser Arafat).

Come, Tookie! We have much to discuss!

Well, you know what Jaime, Mike and Bruce? He also ruthlessly killed four people and the foundation of his gang indirectly led to the deaths of thousands more. If any “human” on the planet deserved the death penalty, it’s Stanley Williams.

And the NAACP deserves a huge kick in the ass for associating themselves with such an aberrant villain. In fact, I think that in addition to executing Tookie on national television (with a simulcast on BET) the state of California should also put to death any individual wearing a “Save Tookie” T-shirt, placard or bumper sticker. Earth does not need such misguided characters roaming around making trouble for decent, law abiding citizens.

Rest in Peace, Albert Owens, Tsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang, and Yee Chen Lin.

Lex Talionis.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Here's Your Textbook, Now Get In The Box!

I remember my grammar school days fondly – the rote memorization, the diagramming of sentences, the hours of hours of pointless, mind numbing, spirit crushing mathematics exercises that were forced upon us ever since we were old enough to hold a pencil without jabbing ourselves in the eye – it’s times like that which make a person look back and wonder why more students didn’t strap on an Uzi and go gunning for the assistant principal. In retrospect though the answer was quite simple: we were a generation that respected the authority of the school. If a teacher told us to quit talking, we did, immediately and without question. We didn’t flip her the bird, mutter under our breath, or stand defiantly in her face and tell her to perform a reverse bowel movement with her ruler. One reason for our tacit acceptance of the ruling class in school was the fact that teachers were an extension of our parents – Mom and Dad expected us to succeed academically, and disappointing the teachers was, in effect, disappointing our parents.

Another, some may say more tangible reason, behind our classroom compliance was the fact that teachers during my time in elementary school, were endowed with the license of “corporeal punishment,” a concept which has sadly gone the way of the Flock Of Seagulls haircut. Mouthing off to your third grade teacher was tantamount to spitting on Jesus, and, as such, was received with all the warmth of a Neo-Nazi Pride parade. Law and order was set in stone around second grade where we watched in a mixture of puzzlement and horror as Chris Palmieri had the back of his knuckles smacked with a yardstick after telling the teacher to “shut up.” He didn’t summon a lawyer, call the ACLU on his cell phone, or contact the local paper. He sat there, cried, and later that night was swatted again by his parents for angering the teacher.

We had learned a valuable lesson that day, one that went far beyond “don’t talk back to the teacher or you’ll get hit.” No, we learned that there were consequences to our actions, and if we wanted to succeed, we must always choose the right thing to do, lest we suffer the penalty. And if you slipped and forgot, and decided to take a walk on the wild side by swiping chalk or cheating on your vocabulary test, a sharp rebuke, followed by a swift rap on the knuckles put you back on the road to decency post haste.

Nowadays, the line between right and wrong has been blurred by liberal educators, over-indulgent parents, greedy lawyers and grant-seeking “researchers.” Hitting children, they say, teaches them only violence and disdain for authority, and more diplomatic behavior modification techniques should be sought. By the way, the people who buy into that Holistic mumbo jumbo are the very same people who would refuse to ban “Grand Theft Auto,” on the grounds that it would violate free speech.

Take a look at this article from the Hartford Courant. It doesn’t involve corporeal punishment or psychobabble, but within the article lies a quote which reflects contemporary society’s dangerously misguided attitude towards crime and punishment. If you don’t want to read the whole article, allow me to sum it up for you:

In an effort to cut down on unruly behavior, students in Hartford-area schools are being fined $103 by the police every time they are caught cursing. If the students can’t afford the fine, the parents will have to foot the bill. In one instance, a sophomore was ticketed by police for swearing at an officer as she was being handcuffed for attempting to take a swing at him. It’s a good thing that I’m not a police officer in Hartford, because if some spoiled, subhuman teenager tried to hit me, I’d beat her until she couldn’t grow anymore. That’s right, I said “her,” as the student in question is a girl. I blame rap “music.”

Here’s the best part:

George Sugai, who teaches school discipline at UConn's Neag School of Education, is skeptical of the effort. "Research says that punishing kids doesn't teach them the right way to act," he said.

This quote tells me two things:

One, George Sugai has never been a public high school teacher a day in his life, and,
Two, George Sugai is an idiot.

I would love to see the taxpayer-funded research paper that uncovers the ground-breaking discovery that punishment fails to teach right from wrong. It’s not about your humanistic notion of morality, Mr. Sugai; no one cares if the students understand the moral implications of cursing at authority figures. Apparently, given the predilection towards violence at Hartford public schools, the best we as a civilized society can expect from these savages is forced righteousness in the form of operant conditioning.

I don’t want to bore my readers with lots of jargon or complex explanations; suffice it to say that operant conditioning works like this:

If a student shows up to class on time, takes copious notes, spends ample time studying those notes, and attains a perfect score on his test, then that student should be rewarded with an A+ and a shiny gold star. Positive reinforcement theory tells us that the student is then inspired to continue his performance by repeating the desired behaviors.

If however, a student is late to class, curses at the teacher, and takes a swing at a cop, then he should be struck in the larynx with the butt-end of a riot baton. Negative reinforcement theory tells us that this produces an undesired outcome, prompting the student to seek other, more appropriate behaviors.

Or, you could fine them $103. I suppose you have to start somewhere.