The interrupters

 he·ro [heer-oh] Show IPA noun, plural he·roes; for 5 also he·ros.

1.  a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3. the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
4. Classical Mythology .
a. a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
b. (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
c. (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.

I can’t remember where I first heard it, but what I heard was, that the term hero came from another older Hellenic word, which meant serving the people. Personally I liked this, because the classical or modern hero narrative is of some one or someones coming to the rescue of the unfortunate or the put upon or the oppressed. In Africa ourstory, we have our narratives of heroes and sheroes, sometimes deity influenced, but often real life hue-man beings who have transcended the trappings of their physical flesh and did great things. Have you not heard that the difference between an ordinary man and an extraordinary man is something just a little ….extra?

Heroes and Sheroes are none but normal folks who are about doing normal things, that we all have the capacity to do, but they are not bound and chained by conventional thoughts and belief around “I CAN’T!” Over the weekend I attempted to hold an event for African men (second in a series of four) in the hopes of discussing the increased senseless murders in my city and the involvement of gangs in the lives of youth who see this organization as the best outlet for their increased frustration in their lives. I had wanted to show the movie Bastards of the Party and had hoped to have a dialogue around concrete solution to build on. Alas, since this was  the so called “black history month”, I was definitely up against the time of the year when my people yearned to hear feel good stories of the past.  On that weekend I was up against giants like Runoko Rashidi and Dr. Phil Valentine, and to a lesser extent, other events going on throughout February. Now I am not shitting on the brothers, I have lots of lectures by them and other scholars and griot from the African/Meritu diaspora. Mind you I was also low keyed with my promotion, because i felt that this shouldn’t be the type of big presentation to overshadow the seriousness of the issue. Being in the game long enough, I have seen big promotion being all about everything except the issue.

Just like I am not shitting on the brothers, neither am I shitting on those who were invited and didn’t come. Many had prior engagement and that was passed on to me. Others, I am willing to believe did so too, but they didn’t pass that forward. And I am cool with that. After all the sun doesn’t stop and start on my behest (though that would be an interesting phenomena 🙂 )

I am however posting this to ask the question. What are our priority under White Supremacy?  Do we overstand what White Supremacy is? How can we systematically tear it down? A couple of days ago I was on a FB site partaking in a discussion that originally asked the question, are there more unmarried  African women. This soon devolved into a back and forth personal internet flexing around interracial relationship, African men failing to step up and support their children and African women being put upon by circumstances and their male counterpart. Somewhere in the topic Chicago came up and the amount of death that has occurred so far. Now Chicago is referred in an unflattering term to a war zone in the middle east. But the narrative seems to be pointing fingers at every one and anyone, including space aliens, interracial relationships, dead beat dads, Obama and….I don’t remember if basket ball jump offs of Atlanta was mentioned, but we can throw that in there as well.

I think my people will talk and talk and talk until Sean Coombs comes out of the closet…and then talk some more, before they engage in any extra work to make their ordinary lives have meaning.  This year I had made a vow that I was going to talk less and do more and I have not been consistent with this vow, however, the universe does not give you what you want sometimes, but what you need. I am thankful for all i have, l I have received and I all I will receive in the future. And if there is anyway I can make a difference in ONE person’s life, then I am on to something. In a past post I had mentioned a group called the Detroit 12 and their efforts to stymie the madness that Detroit is in. Well they are not alone. In Chicago, there are a bunch of Heroes and one Shero who are doing extraordinary things to make a difference in the lives of young people and their families…hoping to bring them back from the brink. Let’s tell their stories, like we talk about the Panthers and the U.N.I.A.  Even better, let’s learn from their efforts and affect similar changes in our lives and the lives of those who don’t see a better way out.

I introduce you to the …….INTERRUPTERS…  Watch The Interrupters (Graphic Language)

Rape and sex slavery of African people

This is a reprint of a post I did in 2009/09/09 with some updates

In 1984 the world through the lens of CBC brought attention to the famine that swept through Ethiopia in both 1984-1985. A combination of a below average rainfall in 1984 and the government’s counterinsurgency in the north between the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front and in the south with the Oromo Liberation Front left more than a one million dead, with a total of eight million victims. The media played a key role in increasing global awareness of the famine, mobilizing the people of the world to react.  Caught up in the whole affair and totally nonplussed by the additional circus atmosphere around the Beta Israel and the illegal state on PLO land’s attempt to co-op them for photo op, I witnessed a phenomena that helped to forge my interest in international folly tricks and neo colonialism. A lot of my contemporaries and others were going on about the need to help the starving Ethiopians (an appellation that as since become a tasteless joke), yet when I critically observed the images on T.V, I noticed that every time a sick child, desperate mother or devastated community looked up from their despair, they saw a bowl of gruel with an Caucasian hand attached to it. There was not one African hand behind that bowl. To me it created a psychological impression of the goodness and goodness in the minds of a psychologically devastated victim of severe trauma. I have no doubt that there were some good people attempting to aid Ethiopia at the time, but I wasn’t naive to think that in the other hand was European fantasy book or a poison pen, ready to divest another African country of its sovereignty or to include them in a world political chess game.  Today Ethiopia is a client state of Europe and America Inc., doing the devils bidding to destabilize the horn of Africa through its assault on Eritrea, Somalia and other nations near their borders.


Humanitarian Aid

Man made conflicts ultimately and adversely affect civilians both directly, and indirectly, through multiple emergency situations that protracted conflicts will create. In the immediate area of conflict, the primary aim is preventing human casualties and ensuring access to the basics for survival: water, sanitation, food, shelter, and health care. Away from the main fighting, the priority is to assist people who have been displaced, prevent the spread of conflict, support relief work, and prepare for rehabilitation.

Long before the end of the cold war (European tribes playing a game of you blink first) and the realization that Post-Cold War conflicts have caused over five million casualties, and 95 percent of these have been civilians. Humanitarian Aid was really galvanized by the crisis in Ethiopia. In 2001, it was estimated that 35 million people were affected in different ways by conflict worldwide. According to Kofi Annan, at the time Secretary-General of the United Nations, it is increasingly true that… “the main aim … [of conflicts] … is the destruction not of armies but of civilians and entire ethnic groups.”

UN Peace keepers and AID Workers abusing children

United Nation (UN) Peace Keepers….Peacekeeping, as defined by the United Nations, as “a way to help countries torn by conflict (by) creating conditions for sustainable peace.” It is distinguished from both peace building and peacemaking.  Peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they may have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. Accordingly UN peacekeepers can include soldiers, civilian police officers, and other civilian personnel.

The United Nations Charter gives the United Nations Security Council the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace and security. For this reason, the international community usually looks to the Security Council to authorize peacekeeping operations. This alleviates the stress from any one nation carrying the burden of forging peace with in their own borders, where biasness and over work can make that self same process a chore. Most of these operations are established and implemented by the United Nations itself, with troops serving under UN operational control. In these cases, peacekeepers remain members of their respective armed forces, and do not constitute an independent “UN army,” as the UN does not have such a force. In cases where direct UN involvement is not considered appropriate or feasible, the Council authorizes regional organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Economic Community of West African States, or coalitions of willing countries to undertake peacekeeping or peace-enforcement tasks.

The United Nations is not the only organization to have authorized peacekeeping missions. Non-UN peacekeeping forces include the NATO mission in Kosovo and the Multinational Force and Observers on the Sinai Peninsula.

Peace Keepers tend to work hand in hand with Aid Workers or NGO’s in a combine effort to help the sufferings of victims of internal and external conflict. Most of these conflicts incidentally are started by political wings of the UN… the member states such as the G8 nation and other wannabe players in global folly tricks.

Victimizing the victims

It seems that Aid workers and UN peacekeepers are not only stationed in certain countries to provide UN mandated assistance to the oppressed, but they are also using their power, position and trust to sexually abuse vulnerable children in several war-ravaged and food-poor countries.  Children as young as six have been forced to trade food for sex and or just raped out right. This is a grotesque abuse of authority and violation of children’s rights, from an institution claiming to protect those rights. After interviewing hundreds of children, save the children a UK charity is said to have found instances of rape, child prostitution, pornography, indecent sexual assault and trafficking of children for sex.

“It is hard to imagine a more grotesque abuse of authority or flagrant violation of children’s rights,” said Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of the Charity. In a report titled, “No One to turn to” a 15-year-old girl from Haiti told researchers:

[“My friends and I were walking by the National Palace one evening when we encountered a couple of humanitarian men. The men called us over and showed us their penises. They offered us 100 Haitian gourdes ($2.80) and some chocolate if we would suck them. I said, ‘No,’ but some of the girls did it and got the money.”]

Save the Children says that almost as shocking as the abuse itself is the “chronic under-reporting” of the abuses. It believes that thousands more children around the world could be suffering in silence According to the charity, children told researchers they were too frightened to report the abuse, fearful that the abuser would come back to hurt them and that they would stop receiving aid from agencies, or even be punished by their family or community.

“People don’t report it because they are worried that the agency will stop working here, and we need them,” a teenage boy in southern Sudan told Save the Children.

The charity’s research was centered on Ivory Coast, southern Sudan and Haiti, but Save the Children said the perpetrators of sexual abuse of children could be found in every type of humanitarian organization at all levels.

  • In 2003, U.N. Nepalese troops were accused of sexual abuse while serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Six soldiers were jailed.
  • A year later, two U.N. peacekeepers were repatriated after being accused of abuse in Burundi, and U.N. troops were accused of rape and sexual abuse in Sudan.
  • Last year, the U.N. launched an investigation into sexual abuse claims in Ivory Coast.

The aid agency said it had fired three workers for breaching its codes and called on others to do the same. The three men were dismissed in the past year for having had sex with girls aged 17, which the charity said is not illegal but is cause for loss of employment. Other UK charities said they supported Save the Children’s call for a global watchdog. Maybe it’s time to take a second look at the involvement of these Aid Worker-UN Peace Keeping force in African countries, neither the continent nor its diasporas can continue to have their most vulnerable members be abused by the very same entities that are mandated to protect them from abuse.

The reason why I re-posted this from another blog I owned (since deleted) was to highlight this piece of business….