Monday, May 23, 2005

My dreams of Assata

Mos Def on Assata Shakur

I am, I believe, the worst kind of revolutionary. The kind that exists the most through out Nubian America. I know there is a problem and I know there is a struggle. I know we need to fight it but I'm so busy living I don't have time to fight the battles. I know black people need to unify, I don't have the energy to research and review to find the fight that fits my beliefs and fight it. I know my voice should be heard but I can't neglect my family, my child to make the world better for her or her children. I know if someone doesn't say it no one will hear. But I cannot fight the fight the revolution asks me for. I work for corporate America. My family has a large group of non black friends. I am the safe negro on most occasions. I am the one those non black friends can ask the stupid questions that have been burning in their minds but know they can't ask just anyone. So I fight where I can. I make the best of what I can, do the little things that I can. Say the things that I believe and learn more so I can do better.

My lesson last week was presented by professor Mos Def on Assata. I have read her autobiography. And hope to read more of her work soon. Courtesy of Take a left here is a little back ground

Assata Shakur was a Black Panther Party member in New York. The Black
Panther Party was a revolutionary and socialist party that was greatly feared by
FBI head J Edgar Hoover, who led a campaign of repression in which dozens of BPP
leaders were murdered and many more jailed on trumped up charges. Assata ended
up in jail in the 1970s and broke out of jail in 1979 and went into exile in
Cuba, where she received political asylum. In recent weeks, New Jersey
government officials in collaboration with the Dept of Homeland Security
increased the bounty on Shakur's head to $1 million, and added her to the US
government's official "terrorist" list.

In reading and reviewing researching this this - I was sure things couldn't have gotten that bad for the U.S that they are now trying to convince the public that Assata Shakur is a Terrorist? It has been theorized and I agree honestly that the U.S has placed this title on Miss Shakur so they have some response to Cuba's claim that the U.S is harboring a terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. It's pretty transparent what the U.S. regime intends by accusing Cuba of harboring "terrorists" in granting Assata Shakur political asylum. So they can say "well you got a Terrorist so we can have one too!" Two points stand out to me in this situation.
1. Who granted the U.S the all knowing power to determine who is and is not a terrorist? The U.S government has not recognized the Venezuelan title of terrorist on a man how as been tried and convicted of that same type of crimes committed against the U.S on 9/11. He has been accused and convicted of blowing up a 747 and killing 73 people. Noted in an article about the situation with Luis it is reported that;
Castro led a crowd reportedly numbering in the hundreds of thousands past
the U.S. mission in Havana and called the United States hypocritical in the war
on terrorism for not arresting Posada.
"This is not a march against the
people of the United States," Castro said. "It is a march against terrorism, in
favor of life and of peace."
Castro has castigated the U.S. about Posada's
presence in Florida in regular television addresses, questioning how he could
enter the country undetected given the increased border security after Sept. 11
and calling for his extradition.

Castro has made it clear how he feels about the situation see here. The parallel between the two stories aren't that similar to me and that the U.S has decided that Standing against the government is cause to be called a Terrorist, one day blogging these thoughts will make me a terrorist, and my second question would be - would I still do it?or How do you define terrorist?
Though Shakur has been branded a terrorist, federal officials have shown no such zeal for bringing to justice Luis Posada Carriles, whose terrorist credentials are far more authentic. He is rumored to have been involved in terrorist activities all over the world including rumors of involvement in the Kennedy assination . And this guy gets held on Charges of not declaring himself before he applied for asylum in Miami? But you rack up the bounty on a woman who it has been medically proven could not have committed the crimes she is convicted of? In a seperate artilce is was noted:

Posada, according to his lawyer, slipped into this country last month and is
in South Florida awaiting a decision on his request for political asylum. That's
right, this guy, who was convicted in 2000 for his role in a plot to assassinate
Fidel Castro, wants the Bush administration to harbor him.
The Cuban and
Venezuelan governments also accuse Posada of involvement in the 1976 bombing of
a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people and a 1977 Havana hotel bombing that
killed an Italian tourist.
But instead of sending the FBI to Florida to flush out Posada and cart him
off for trial in Venezuela, which has requested his extradition, the Justice
Department waffles. It won't say what it will do if Posada is apprehended.
Rather than offer a bounty for Posada, who in 1998 admitted his role in a series
of Cuban hotel bombings (he later recanted), the Bush administration has only
acknowledged it has received his asylum request. That it was not summarily
rejected is outrageous, but not surprising.
Orlando Bosch, a Cuban exile who
for many years was a close associate of Posada, has lived in South Florida since
1990, when President George H.W. Bush stopped the Justice Department from
deporting him. At the time, the Justice Department concluded that the only
country willing to take Bosch was Cuba, the main target of his terrorist acts.
The Bush administration balked, fearing that he might be mistreated.
Advocate of terrorism?
The deportation order that was overturned said
Bosch had been "resolute and unwavering in his advocacy of terrorist violence"
for 30 years. In 1968, Bosch was convicted of firing a bazooka at a Polish
freighter in Miami's harbor. Like Posada, Bosch is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela,
which suspect him of involvement in the Cuban airliner attack.
What bothers
me is that while these men, whose suspected crimes fit the State Department's
definition of terrorism, haven't set off Justice Department alarm bells, Shakur
is being treated like a disciple of Osama bin Laden. If she killed Foerster (her
attorney argues the evidence suggests otherwise), Shakur should be returned to
New Jersey to spend her life in prison.
By not proclaiming that it will
arrest Posada on sight and deport him, the Bush administration caters to those
in the Cuban exile community who view him as a freedom fighter - and undermines
its leadership of the fight against terrorism.
Article from Usa today By
DeWayne Wickham

People wonder why the US governmnet frustrates so may African Americans, why we can't say Bush's or many presidents names with out tasting bile on our tounges, why we don't trust police unless we are realted to them in most cases, why the lines are so strongly drawn in our minds, its not just the history of slavery, although it should be on so many levels, not just segragation, not just jim crow laws, and false imprisionments, cointelpro, the KKK, the coutless other groups that have made hate a daily factor for black americans like sunrises and oxygen, its ALL of them piled on our backs and then thrown in our faces when the hyporcasy of the system is paraded in our faces the way this has been or when it has been hidden as this has been. Because if you don't live in Florida, where Luis Posada lived, you probably hadn't hear any of this? have you?

I'm hoping I've made it clear how I feel about the situation too. Maybe one day I'll be a better revolutionary. I'll teach my daughter better, show her the truth sooner so she can do better in her youth than I did.

My words to Assata, I'm trying to do better my sister and my thoughts and prayers are with you!!!


Blogger CousinSarah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:24 PM  
Blogger CousinSarah said...

I know this is an old post, but I had to respond. Had to respond when I saw it on your friend's site. Assata's autobiography was life changing for me. It is one of my "favorite" books for that reason. I feel so passionately protective of a woman I have never met. It gets me to the point of physical irritation to talk of her situation and Mumia's as well. They are evidence of the corruption and conspiracy in this country. And it is one of those HUGE truths that is so enormus that you can barely wrap your hands or thoughts around where to begin to change it. It is very scary to me right now. And I dont think the things that you stated make you a "safe negro" or less of a revolutionary. A revolution needs all kinds of people and the concepts we have of revolution I think are the very things that can sometimes stop us from making movement. We get stuck in the preconecption of what it should look like. You teach your daughter. You read and teach others. You make change in your immediate circle, you promote and participate in an art that elevates and promotes a sense of consciousness, self understanding and verbal expression and encourage others to do the same. All these skills are needed in a revolution. Unless a revolutionary comes into a great deal of cash somehow, most everyone WILL work for corporate America and has to even to sustain the movement because it is an unfortunate condition of a neo capitalist society. I guess I am just saying is that the revolution needs various people to play various roles. Many of the people marching in the movement of the 1960's were people who went to work, raised families and TAUGHT others about the struggle. And without them, MLK or Malcolm or whichever leader you reference would have been talking with no one behind them. So, I would say sister, you ARE in fact a revolutionary in your own role and right. I think that there are others who will disagree, who will tell you a revolutionary looks like the things you mentioned at the beginning. I am not African American, and some have welcomed me warmly despite that, and others have told me I cannot be a revolutionary, not for "thier" revolution. BUT, I choose to believe otherwise. I believe in the concept that oppression anywhere promotes/justifies other forms of oppression. There are gender issues, class issues that I do face in my life, even if my race isnt the immediate issue I have to overcome daily. My son is biracial and he certianly will. Others that I love dearly do, and I will fight for them as well. And for me, I would be blessed as well living in a just and equal society. I am a revolutionary. I do some of the same things I mentioned that you do. I make change where I can. I spend time to make sure I teach myself and others that look like me information they can avoid because of thier race. I believe in what I say, I say things that others who look like me will not say. I know some students I talk to who do look like me hear me say something that makes them reconsider what they think because I look like them--when they hear it from someone else, it is easier for them to make it "they have an agenda." I make some people who look like me uncomfortable because when I speak the truth, they cannot sit comfortably in thier privledged ignorance in my space. And it is always hard. I have always had to battle not defending myself and my beliefs too much to prove I really mean what I say just because for others I dont look the people they think should say it. I just do what is right and some will trust me and others will not. And I understand where both thoughts come from. And I just believe right is right. And we all never reach a level where dont have more to learn. A friend recently told me, "people dont see color, not when they can really hear you." and I needed very badly to hear that---again as it has been one of my own areas of growth. That those who really hear me, feel me, and agree will understand. Those are the people who believe in the same revolution, changes, whatever that I do. And I just happen to come in this package. AND, I believe their is a reason for that because while my immediate upbringing is fairly open, they are republican and those core tenents are VERY much not what I believe in. And I ended up this way anyway. :)
And I have digressed, but the essence of what I am getting at sister is that dont count yourself out of the revolution too quickly. The poets are coming, and the scientists, and the fighters, the the stragetic planners, and so many others...we are all coming in our own forms with our own tools, we just have to figure out how we will come together. You are very much a part of the movement Queue....if you ask me. :)

9:34 PM  

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