Friday, December 16, 2016

Afrocentrism 2016: If your hairdo won’t liberate you, then try twerking!

By Lofton A. EMENARI

Straight from the MOTHERLAND, right?

“Hey, my conscious African queen, put on them stretch pants and let’s kick it. On the wa,y we’ll grab a couple of dem afro wigs at the nearest corner Korean owned beauty sto.”

Before you call me a sexist, let me preface this lawful rant with a piece of wisdom that Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) laid on us before he got outta here.
“The duty of the conscious is to make the unconscious aware of their unconsciousness.”

I’ll unpack that nugget as this piece progresses, but first things first. Some would wager the so-called conscious ain’t so conscious. I am among the some.

Afrocentrism and its most fanatical apologists would have unconscious Negroes believe the hype that anything with even the whiff of Africa—usually associated with vulgar exotica—ranks as authentically African and hence an emblem of Black political resistance. They are instructed that even concocted hybrid names like Kafereekah, Fabuleesha, Donvontontre…gleaned from an endless diet of hood rat videos rate as at least conscious political posturing. Never mind that posturing at its most genuine is the leading social symptom of political impotence.

Acts of how-to-make-up-your-own-Afrocentric-wannabe-isms are really only noteworthy for their comical desperation for social attention at any price, including simple self-respect.

One of these current trends are natural afro hairstyles so grotesquely caricatures of National Geographic stereotypes that actual native men and women are provoked to loud and derisive laughter. The once golden crown of the big puff natural afro hairdos of the 60s has degenerated so much so that folks are just not combing their hair. Simple. The unkempt has been designated the official Afrocentric fashion moda.

Picture Angela Davis shaking her iconic coiffed ‘fro back and forth in disbelief. But then again, I dunno. She flips flops on so much political content these days that maybe she might just make an appearance afro-less, bald, scaring the shit outta e’rybody!

The other Afrocentric rage, to quote an old Ohio Players song, are “those skin tight britches” which seem to be chasing the flabbiest thighs on this side of the Milky Way. I am not just talking about bulging thighs but abounding malformed, lopsided  asses and hips. Talk about an Afrocentric anatomical landscape!!! An Afrocentric friend once told me she wears tight elastic stretch pants to show men “what she’s working with.”

Stretch pants come in all colors and patterns. There are even kente cloth varieties, manufactured in the sweatshops of Bangladesh and South Korea! (How Afrocentric is that fo’ yo’  UJAMAA ass!). Stretch pants conform and detail the crevices of almost any and every female form. Younger, unconscious would-be Afrocentrics love ‘em for “showcase” utility.

Envision Michelle Obama with a puffed-out, insane afro, straining the seams of some sequined Beyonce’ stretch pants, rolling out of the White House for the Trump inauguration. In tow is her hubby Barack, familiar strident swag, rockin’ some sagging designer jeans with neon yellow, kente-paterned boxer shorts flashing around his waist. Many devotees of the Afro and the centric would cheer themselves into convulsions and declare Obama and his First Shorty revolutionary icons! Yes. And among the leaders of the hysterical multitudes would be many folks with degrees who occupy choice jobs in Africana Studies departments at several of this country’s leading universities!

Wasn’t there a time when men and women held a modicum of dignity about appearance, head to toe? Back in the day there was something called shame. Shame came from disgraceful acts against a collective culture already downtrodden, abused and shackled by white supremacy.  In fact, shame could come from a parental tongue lashing more severe than a slave master’s lash.

"Am I free yet?"

There was also a time of pride. There was pride in appearance which had nothing to do with bourgeois attitudes or class distinction. Pride was derived from self- determination and the practice of Black Liberation. For example, pride often looked like a Black mother shielding her daughters from vile slave rapists—Black or white. There is simply no pride to be had in today’s narcissistic debauchery, even when it is wrapped in a red-black & green flag!

Examine twerking? Does the dance step probably originate in Africa? Probably. Does it bestow ethnic authenticity upon one who twerks? The Afrocentrists would either hold their tongues or find some hustle to be hatched around marketing truly conscious twerking. But there is really is no material revolutionary political content, Afrocentric or otherwise, in twerking. If that was the case, then the captive, neo-colonized nations of Africa today would have twerked their way to freedom 50 years ago! After all, logic would dictate that they must know how to twerk the best.

Lofton A. Emenari is a “Black Boy”, “The Invisible Man Who Cried I Am,” fed by John and Alice Coltrane’s “Fire Next Time” and Nkrumah’s Pan African scientific socialism - a “Message To The Grassroots”.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bernie Sanders & the liberal zionist psychosis

Bernie Sanders wants to overthrow every aspect of US policy, he says with passion. But when it comes to supporting Palestinian human rights and abandoning pro-zionist militarism in the
Middle East, the self-proclaimed  "revolutionary" Social Dem becomes comically befuddled.
"On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders called for the U.S. to approach the Israel-Palestine conflict to be a 'level playing field.' Speaking after his surprising victory in the Michigan Democratic primary, Sanders asserted that there are people of goodwill in both 'Israel and the Arab communities' whom he would seek to bring together as president.

“ 'All I can tell you is I will make every single effort to bring rational people on both sides together, so that hopefully we can have a level playing field, the United States treating everybody in that region equally,' Sanders said."

This is, of course, some sly bullshit from Bernie Sanders. Muslims and Arabs in Michigan gave Sanders a fistful of votes that enabled him to top the openly Likudnik Hillary Clinton. He has now tossed them a dry bone in gratitude.

What can Sanders' "level playing field" mean in the absence of a US policy of removing $3+ billion per year in US taxpayer funding to the squatter colony in Palestine? What could it mean in the absence of a PUBLIC policy of politically and financially sanctioning the zionist regime for its ongoing violations of international law and UN Security Council Resolutions? Can de-possessed Palestinians, scattered and impoverished around the world by the zionists, count on Bernie Sanders to enforce their legal rights to return to their homes and reclaim their stolen properties? Certainly, Sanders cannot believe that we are stupid enough to consider the colonized Palestinians and the US-financed and armed zionists colonizers as two peas in the same pod, equally-endowed teams on a game court. Sanders' playing field can only be equilibrated by ending US support for Israel. Is Sanders suggesting this as his answer to resolving the "Israel-Palestine" conflict? Let's see. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
This is the current US-financed and politically defended "PLAYING FIELD"
for Palestinians that Bernie Sanders seeks to level, he says.
But Sanders gives a stunning clue to his real intentions, maybe inadvertently, when he says that there are people of goodwill in "both Israel and the Arab communities" that he will bring into negotiations. Sanders lets his zionist cat out of the bag at that point. You see, even liberal zionists like Bernie, for racist ideological reasons, cannot admit that there is a Palestine or that there are Palestinians who live there. He could have more accurately reached out to Israelis and Palestinians after the defeat of Hillary Clinton. But Sanders actually can't even utter the words Palestine or Palestinians. For in the psychotic zionist cosmology, Non-Jewish (Europeans and wannabe Europeans) residents of occupied Palestine can only be "Arabs"--a hostile racial group--in short, Wild Indians, varmints, etc., in the wild west lexicon.This denial syndrome, common to ALL zionists, precludes any peaceful resolution of the anti-colonial struggle for Palestine because there is no Palestine and there are no Palestinians to lawfully lay claim to any national or human rights. To accept their existence negates the entire zionist nation-building myth and renders Israelis as existential non-entities. This is a cruel version of the Pauli exclusion principle, i.e., two electrons in an atom cannot occupy the same space at the same time. As such, one particle has to vacate the premises. Is Bernie Sanders willing to countenance the "Jew" supremacist State of Israel withering away to be replaced by a non-racial, secular, democratic social entity (to be properly named later) on the Palestinian landmass where all ethnic and religious/cultural sectors can live and thrive in peace? Naw,,,Sanders is afflicted with the liberal zionist psychosis. But let's see if he can be cured. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Malik Sekou Osei: The Preface…


This is not an epitaph for Malik Sekou Osei, my dear friend who left this world on November 9, 2015, but the preface to a publication of his writings that he and I composed and published in our on-line journal known as LIBERATOR. I will produce and publish a book version in his honor in 2016.


I never knew that Sekou was chronically ill. He never gave me any indication that he was anything other than filled with vigor and hope. On November 8, 2015, the last of our daily conversations, I called him from a hackneyed ribbon-cutting ceremony in Baltimore. After glad-handing with the locally elected Black Democratic Party hacks and their epigone and frightening all the local TV news reporters, I called Sekou and had a big laugh. For more than an hour I explained how the best thing that the Democratic Party and its Black camp followers could answer the mayhem that gripped Baltimore after the police-gangland rubout of Freddy Gray was a politically neutral mural exactly at GROUND ZERO (Pennsylvania @ North Avenues a.k.a. zip code 21217, one of the most devastated urban regions in the USA), the point where young and de-classed Black people engaged in a battle royal with the Baltimore City Police Department, Maryland State Police and the Maryland National Guard. When the world heard “RIOT,” “BLACKS,” “BALTIMORE” the mass media was talking about the corner of North and Pennsylvania Avenues. After the bloodshed, mass arrests and destruction, the only thing that the authorized negroes of Baltimore could come up with was a “Black, culturally positive” mural against a wall facing exactly where hundreds of Black youths were tear gassed, beaten and arrested by the armed forces of Maryland.

The absurdly ahistorical and apolitical mural @ Baltimore's "Ground Zero."

On November 8, 2015. Sekou and I spoke by phone and plotted the next installment of LIBERATOR that would address this absurd historical/cultural/political failure. Anxiously, I awaited our next conversation. The next day, I did receive a phone call from Sekou’s number, but it was not from my colleague but from his wife Ama Tanks. She was distraught. She found our dear Comrade Sekou asleep forever.

What was our history together? Sekou and I spoke on a daily basis by telephone. We created LIBERATOR together from the substance of those conversations. Where did I first meet Sekou? It was in 2010 at some un-remarkable and impotent street demonstration in Lincoln Square (14th St @ Broadway in Manhattan). I did not know him, but he knew of me from my work at the DAILY CHALLENGE (NYC’s only sort-of-Black daily journal) as the deputy editor.

He admired me and I admired him immediately. Nonetheless, our social histories were extremely different. I came from the US South, from a rather culturally conservative but severely radical political family dating back to the ante bellum era. Sekou came from the culturally florid Caribbean milieu, but his family sang the obligatory, politically conservative immigrant song, so he said. Sekou politically evolved from his teenage encounters with the Nation of Islam and the legacy of Malcolm X. I politically evolved from the radicalism of my family, the University of Chicago and the literal street fights that led to the election of Harold Washington to the mayor seat in 1983. It is true that we were both relatively well-trained musicians—he played bass, I played Euro-concert trumpet—but that was about it in terms of commonality. We really came from different social planets. But through dialogue, we discovered that we politically and philosophically agreed upon everything. We simply came to the same conclusions through different social paths. That is how our collaboration on the on-line LIBERATOR was born.

What did we agree upon? What were the philosophical and practical foundations of our UNITED FRONT?
·         We were both Marxists and Lenin-inspired political economists on the question of party organization and revolutionary practice.

  • ·         We agreed that nothing could be done to reform the system of monopoly capitalism and the dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie.
  • ·         We both concluded that the leading edge of class oppression, especially in the Western Hemisphere, resided in the 500-year history of white supremacy, socially characterized by genocide against the Indigenous Peoples, the chattel enslavement of Africans and the outright theft of Latin American lands and natural resources.
  • ·         We saw Africa as a continent of great social and material resources continuously laid waste by neo-colonial regimes and other compradorial bourgeois political formations that aided the US and its European junior partners in looting the labor, agricultural and mineral wealth of the land for the benefit and only for the benefit of imperialism.
Africa's neo-colonial trash
  • ·         We recognized that the violence of white supremacy could only be answered with extreme counter-violence from the oppressed strata of society, and the poor desperately required the appropriate social and theoretical training to bring grief to their tormentors around the world.
  • ·         We dismissed much of what was left of the Black Liberation Movement as hopelessly theoretically under-developed and mired in cultural nationalistic mysticism/romance, giving rise to a herd of so-called Black leaders who stroked the backwardness of the de-classed and working class strata of Black America as stooges for the Democratic Party, as petty sideshow brokers of Black discontent.
Brokers of Black discontent
  • ·         Sekou and I were unrelenting in our denunciation of the erstwhile “Black” Pres. Barack Obama, who we castigated as a Trojan Horse designed by the ruling strata to mystify and pacify the historically restive Black, Latino and Native populations, as well as  much of the US Left. We readily referred to him as BUCKWHEAT, that affable little colored boy who tailed OUR GANG but was never actually granted membership in the white mob.
  • ·         We realized that subjective circumstances of oppression do not necessarily lead to objective social circumstances of revolt. Overwhelmingly, the collective suffering of the people simply de-evolves into crass survivalism and escapist routines that promote social atomization and further political disorganization.
Why do we call Pres. Obama BUCKWHEAT?

  • ·         Lastly, Sekou and I observed the deterioration of Black culture and art into a de-historicized corporate commodity, aesthetically driven by the illusions of sexual gratification (sado-masochism) and the quest for the trinkets of conspicuous consumption. In short, Black art and culture lay dead amongst the political and intellectual ruins of the Black Liberation Movement. There can be no humanistic or revolutionary art and culture without the theory and practice of revolutionary social development.
No love, no art...
Malik Sekou Osei was foremost my friend and political co-conspirator. He kept me going when I was disheartened. I returned the favor. He inspired my writing and re-affirmed for me that the quest for human fulfilment lived on among people like him who would never bend a knee to superstition, opportunism or even the threat of terror. In presenting Sekou’s writings through book form in the coming months, I hope to inspire a larger audience and a new generation to recognize that THE REBELLION OF THE SLAVES WILL BE THE WAR OF THE LANDSCAPES and, as Sekou always signed off in his writing: HISTORY IS ON OUR SIDE BUT NOT TIME.