Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Will Obama Sell Assata Out?
Most Americans are not familiar with Assata Shakur. After all, she's not exactly the type of black super hero that they parade around during Black History Month. This is the type ignorance that some legislators in New Jersey hope will allow them to extradite Shakur back to the US under the cover of our darkness.
Assata Shakur (JoAnne Chesimard) was involved in a 1973 shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that resulted in the deaths of fellow Black Liberation Army member Zayd Shakur and NJ State Trooper Werner Foerster. Shakur was sentenced to life in prison in 1977 but was broken out of prison by her comrades in 1979. She has been living under political asylum in Cuba since 1984.
She still remains on the FBI's Most Wanted List with a million dollar reward for any snitch willing to give her up to the FEDS.
However, with President Barack Obama seeking to open political channels with Cuba and ease US restrictions, politicians in New Jersey have been turning up the heat on the Prez to make the Cuban government give up Shakur if they want to be in Uncle Sam's good graces.
While the current headlines of "NJ to Press for Return of Cop Killer" would lead you to believe that Shakur is some heartless street thugstress that went around shootin' up police stations just for kicks, the truth about the government repression by which groups like the Black Panther Party and its underground military arm, the Black Liberation Army sufferered has never really been told.
We cannot allow the media to even begin discussing Assata Shakur without putting her struggle in the context of COINTELPRO. The Counter Intelligence Program was an effort by J. Edgar Hoover's Federal Bureau of Investigation and its associated agencies to destroy groups that dared stand against US oppression.
It was under COINTELPRO that black leadership suffered under "dirty tricks" that ranged from political assassinations (Fred Hampton) to smear campaigns which are too many to even begin to name here. Even the good Rev. Martin Luther King JR was not immune to Hoover's "dirty tricks."
Could you really expect Assata Shakur to get a fair trail under such repressive policies?
According to the late Civil Rights attorney, William Kuntsler in his book "My Life as a Radical Lawyer," a law enforcement agent told him that during Shakur's trial " a member of the New Jersey State Assembly had gone to the hotel where the jury was sequestered and talked to them about the necessity to convict." In the book Kuntsler hints that even he underestimated the lengths that NJ law enforcement would go to get a conviction of Shakur.
Today, those same types of people are at it again. On April 17th, NJ Senator Sean Kean sent a letter to President Obama asking him to "delay normalizing relations with Cuba unless they agree to extradite convicted cop killer JoAnne Chesimard."
Also, NJ Attorney General Anne Milgram has been quoted as saying "Obama's move to ease sanctions against Cuba is an opportunity to bring back Joanne Chesimard."
Now, do I think that Obama would sacrifice Assata Shakur on the alter of "Democracy" for political expediency ?
You're darn right !
To appease middle class white America President Obama will throw Shakur under the same Greyhound that he threw Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
That is, if we don't raise our voices.
There are organizations that have been fighting to keep the plight of Assata Shakur in our faces for years.
Black bloggers must start an immediate, emergency mass education campaign to tell the true story of Assata Shakur and COINTELPRO to combat the efforts of the miseducation of the mainstream media.
We must make sure that our local and national "urban" radio stations inform their listeners about this issue. (Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden)
We must arm ourselves with information about Assata Shakur and COINTELPRO through websites, DVD's and books such as "Show Down" by the late Del Jones and "Racial Matters" and "Black America:The FBI Files" by Kenneth O'Reilly.
Finally, we must appeal to the Hip Hop artists who have the ears of the people to raise the issue if only for the reason of reppin' for "Tupac's kin folk." (If that will motivate them to take action.)
If we do not raise this issue, loudly, Assata Shakur will be back in a US prison or worst before she knows what hit her.
We owe this much to a sister who, as the rapper Common said in "A Song for Assata,"
"Went through all this.... so we can be free..."
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (919) 451-8283
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
While members of the Jewish community are applauding the decision, the question that African Americans should be asking is:
Did President Obama sell us out?
I can't help but to think about the millions of African Americans who voted for Obama, last November.
Personally, I wish I could take my vote back.
This was the Prez's first real test to see if he would do the right thing by the black community.
Unfortunately, he failed with flying colors.
I predicted this would happen in a post written last February.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Obsession of White Women for Black Men
Back in the day, Will "The Fresh Prince" Smith had a cool little video called "Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble." The video had Smith going through various dramatic episodes with black women. Despite having to jump out of a second story window and missing a RunDMC concert , The Fresh Prince came through the video unscathed, became a big time movie star and lived happily ever after. However, if there had been a white girl in the video, Smith would have either wound up doing a 10 year bid in the state pen or hanging by a noose, somewhere...
I first caught the trailer for the upcoming flick "Obsessed" a few months ago. The movie is about a white woman (Ali Larter) who tries to steal Beyonce's man (Idris Elba) and break up their happy home. I could tell by the look on the sistas' faces in the theatre that this movie could mean trouble for brothas who dared venture on the other side of the tracks.
According to the previews, Larter's character goes psycho after her initial advances go ignored by Elba but somehow she, miraculously, winds up in his bed. Imagine that. If you don't want to be in a theatre with a lot of black women sucking their teeth and screaming "beat that chick down," you might want to check out another movie. Now, Beyonce/Sasha Fierce isn't a bad actress but if I had directed this flick I would have gotten a dark skinned sister like Fantasia or Jennifer Hudson to play the lead. That would have made it really, real.
White women going after black men and vice versa is a touchy subject with black women. We've all heard the statistics about the lack of available black men. So, many women see it as an act of treason when a brotha is caught "sleepin' with the enemy."
Maybe the sista souljahs have a reason to be concerned. It does seem that when black men become successful, the first thing they do is grab an Escalade and a white chick.
It is hard to deny the fact that there are a whole lot of famous black men with white wives and girlfriends. So, when a brotha like Will Smith or Denzel Washington marries a sista, he is applauded by black women everywhere. Even Barack Obama got more props from black women for marrying Michelle than he did for getting elected president.
Historically, the relationship between black men and white women has not been all peaches and cream. In the South, it was not strange for a black man to end up at the bottom of a lake for even being accused of whistling at a white woman. Remember Emmett Till?
My first experience with a white girl when I was five years old left a lasting impression on me. I was at White Lake, NC with my new fast friend, "Suzie" building sand castles when she was suddenly summoned by her grandma who had been mean muggin' me from a distance for some time. Suzie returned two minutes later, loudly informing me that she was not allowed to play with n****.
That pretty much did it for me.
But yet, many black men still choose to bite the forbidden fruit. The reasons why vary.
Black women have not always been given the credit that they deserve. From elementary school onwards, the epitome of beauty given to black boys is Princes Diana and not Queen Nefertiti. It must also be noted that there was a period when black women were only thought of as baby making machines on a plantation while Miss Ann was the "flower of southern womanhood."
The reasons are also social and economic.
Franz Fanon hints in "Black Skin ,White Masks" that by entering into a white woman, the black man ,symbolically, enters into the white world with all of its privileges. Socially speaking, some black men believe that Heather can take him to dinner parties that Shaquanna can't.
The attraction of white women to black men also has historical roots that reach back to slavery. Lerone Bennett in his book "Before the Mayflower" points out that that "Ms. Mary" let Mandingo slip into the big house to give Massa Charlie a little payback for getting a little brown sugar on the side. So many white women see sleeping with black men as a way to fight back against a white male dominated society.
Also, for this Hip Hop generation, black women are the in thing. For better or worst, give Hip Hop credit for increasing the TV exposure of black women 100%. Give even the palest white chick a few hours in the tanning salon, a pair of padded jeans and a black boyfriend and you have an honorary "light skinned" sista.
So for the white chick trying to be black and the black dude trying to be white, it's a match made in heaven. (or some other place)
Maybe, it ain't all that deep...
Possibly, trying to psychoanalyze interracial relationships is a waste of time. Perhaps we, simply, choose to love who we choose to love.
To each his own.
But for me, I follow the teachings of that great philosopher and rapper Heavy D,
"Black coffee.. no sugar, no cream..."
Paul Scott, the Hip Hop TRUTH Minista, write for No Warning Shots Fired.com http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Boycotting the US Boycott of WCAR
"What we have here is failure to communicate."
Although this is a classic line from the movie "Cool Hand Luke," it could also be used to sum up the feelings of many Americans in regards to the boycott of the upcoming UN World Conference Against Racism by the United States and several other countries.
On April 20, nations will gather in Geneva Switzerland to discuss racism and its many degrees of ugliness. However, the US has announced that it will boycott the event because of the possibility that topics such as Zionism, reparations and the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade will be on the table.
Why would a nation that has just elected its first African American president do such a thing?
Perhaps the reason is that since we haven't had the courage to have an open and honest discussion of race within our own borders, we are hesitant about airing our dirty laundry before the world.
Philosophers have long posed the question whether or not man has the capacity for self condemnation. In the case of the Obama Adminstration the answer is, obviously, no.
Even though, Attorney General Eric Holder raised eyebrows a few months back when he chastised America for being a nation of cowards when it comes to facing race, it seems that the scope of his criticism was limited to home grown racism. Even when the issue of race is discussed domestically, the discussion is usually unbalanced. Either one practices racism or is the victim of the practice and the victims of racism have been people of color.
Historically, the US has never taken too kindly to the efforts of those who had the audacity to attempt to expand the struggle of black people beyond the borders of America.
One only has to look at the governmental persecution of such black leaders as Marcus Garvey and WEB Du Bois, who sought to place the plight of African Americans within a Pan Africanist context.
Also it is more than just a conspiracy theory that even though Dr. Martin Luther King's stance against the Vietnam War and Malcolm X's threat to bring the Civil Rights struggle before the United Nations may not have, directly, contributed to their early demises, the actions did result in increased federal surveillance of their activities.
The interconnectedness of America's Civil Rights movement and the global struggle for African Independence cannot be denied. The Civil Rights movement was effective, largely, because of the struggles of African nations against European colonialism. Also, the end of Apartheid was, at least, partially due to the efforts of college students who fought for the divestment of American interests from South Africa.
As African Americans, we have a right to sing our blues before the world about the problems that we still face in America such as disproportionate unemployment and police brutality without our voices being drowned out by government bureaucracy.
To have a country that is the home of millions of the decedents of the worst atrocity known to man (the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade) refuse to participate in a discussion about racism is not only an insult to the present generation but to our ancestors whose bones lie at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
We must boycott the US boycott of the World Conference Against Racism.
And how do we do this?
Our children have shown us the way.
Almost every American teenager is involved in some sort of Internet social networking via Facebook, Twitter, youtube etc, which gives them the ability to connect with other teens around the world, at will. We must use this new media to circumnavigate the blockade to global fellowship imposed by the US government.
While countries are meeting in Geneva April 20th -24, we must engage in a great global conversation using the tools that we have readily available; laptops, iPhones, etc to raise the issue of racism and its global impact on oppressed people. No Warning Shots Fired.com has already set up a social network group on Facebook called "Time to Face Race."
So, yes Mr. President, Americans will take part in the World Conference Against Racism; if only in cyberspace.
Paul Scott is a minister, activist and blogger who writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Support World Conference Against Racism
Ask any Hip Hop head about the genre's impact on the world and he will wax poetic for hours about how kids in Japan are break dancing and how children in Africa know the words to the latest lil Wayne song. But ask him about the role of Hip Hop in fighting for the rights of the globally oppressed and the silence is deafening.
With the far reaching impact of Hip Hop across the planet, one must ask why few have spoken out against the probable boycott of the upcoming World Conference Against Racism by the United States.
According to news reports, the US and several other countries will not attend the conference because of concern that issues such as Zionism, Reparations and the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade may be topics of discussion.
To have a country that is the home of millions of the decedents of the worst atrocity known to man refuse to participate in a discussion about racism is not only an insult to the present generation but to our ancestors whose bones lie at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
We have a right to sing our song before the world about the problems that we still face in America such as disproportionate unemployment and police brutality without our voices being drowned out by government bureaucracy.
You would think that a Hip Hop movement that has ,vehemently, opposed censorship would have their ambassadors on the front line demanding that the masses be heard. But no. There has been hardly a peep from the hardcore defenders of free speech.
Because contrary to popular belief and the anti-intellectual nature of some of their lyrics, rappers ain't stupid. They know who to mess wit'.
So why does a movement that has prided itself as being "neva scared" wet its collective pants at the thought of addressing global oppression ?
There has always been a certain amount of danger in black folks getting involved in international issues. One only has to look at the governmental persecution that black leaders such as Marcus Garvey and WEB Du Bois faced when, through Pan Africanism, they tried to expand the struggle of black folks beyond the shores of America. Also, it is more than just a conspiracy theory that Dr. Martin Luther King's campaign against the Vietnam War and Malcolm X's threat to bring the Civil Rights struggle before the United Nations hastened their early demises.
The fear of getting out of the Hip Hop sandbox and stompin' with the big dogs is not just limited to the Hip Hop movement but to Civil Rights organizations, as well.
So, it has been safer to confine ones concerns to the domestic not the foreign. In the case of the rapper, it is much safer to restrict your "beef" to another black man instead of the forces that oppress you both.
As much as many of the Hip Hop artists accuse the Civil Rights leaders of being soft, in reality, they both have the same end game strategy; total integration into the system. That is why the goals and objections of even the most "gangsta" rappers have not differed much from the status quo.
When criticized about their lyrics, some rappers are quick to claim that they are victims of society. Wouldn't the anti-racism conference be a perfect opportunity to expand Hip Hop's narrow definition of victim-hood to include the global victimization of African people? This would be a perfect opportunity to show the homies that the issues facing "tha hood" are microcosmic in relation to the issues facing black people, worldwide.
It is imperative that the Hip Hop community uses its collective resources to demand that the Obama Administration send representatives to the conference in Geneva beginning April 20th. It was not enough to register thousands of poor and oppressed black folks to vote in 2008. If, in 2009, the issues facing those people are still ignored the various voter registration drives were a waste of time and energy.
Hip Hop must truly become what it was initially meant to be, the voice of the oppressed.
Forget all the tough talk and street swagga. Until rappers can speak out against things like the boycott of the World Conference Against Racism, like James Brown said, they are just talkin' loud and sayin' nuthin...
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Hip Hop Children Children of a Lesser God
Min. Paul Scott
I always find it kind of funny when accepting an award
for his hit “Kill em all; Till they Fall” ; MC
Pullatrigga gets on the mic and says, “First of all, I
would like to thank God…” Or during a magazine
interview , Sexxx Thugstress, innocently, tells a
reporter how her close relationship with her Savior
gave her the strength to write “If the Escalade is
Rockin’ Don’t be Knockin.” As grandma would say,
“Chile let me move ’cause I know that lightnin’ is
fixin’ to strike….”
From as far back as history records, black people
have had a reverence for the Supreme Being. From the
African people who laid the foundation for modern
religion, to the old lady across the street who never
misses a Sunday service, rain, sleet or snow, we have
always had a strong spiritual connection with the
Creator. Many of us have vivid memories of receiving
our first whippin’ for mocking Rev. Jones or Sis. Ruth
Ann when she got in “the spirit” one Sunday morning.
We found out early that playin’ with “tha lawd“, was a
definite, No, No!
Historically, music and Spirituality have walked hand
in hand as music is more than just something to help
us get our party on but is a divine expression of our
respect for the gift of life. It was our spirit filled
song that helped us keep the faith, even when we were
being beaten by the slave master and forced to work in
the hot cotton fields from sun up to sun down and it
will be our song that leads us to the liberation of
our people from mental slavery The Spirituality of
African people has always been thorn in the side of
the oppressor. Our faith has been like that trick
birthday candle that no matter how hard you try, you
just can’t blow it out. We have been like a Spirit
filled energizer bunny playin’ an African drum, we
just keep going and going.
For many young brothas and sistas who are
disillusioned with organized religion, today Hip Hop
has become the faith of choice. Maybe for some, the
rules and regulations of the other religions were just
too hard to follow so they turned to the cardinal rule
of Hip Hop “if it feels good, do it” or more likely,
they simply rejected the idea that they had to have
the word of God interpreted by white kings and other
European writers. So, instead they traded in the King
James version of the Bible for the Gospel according to
the white owned media and entertainment industry who
at least had the foresight to put pictures of Black
people on the covers of their magazines. So, the laws
revealed to Moses were traded in for the 10 Crack
While many rappers reflect “the Life is Hell”
philosophy in their lyrics, I doubt very seriously
that any other religion outside of Holy Hip Hop
considers eternal torment living in a 5 million dollar
mansion with an Olympic sized swimming pool. However,
some rappers are helping to perpetuate the hell-ish
conditions that black people are experiencing,
globally by aiding our mental enslavement that keeps
us under the foot of the white supremacist system.
Sadly, many of the brothas and sistas in Hip Hop are
fully aware that they are leading black children
down the path of destruction but have made a conscious
decision to sell the destiny of our people for 30
pieces of silver or a platinum chain.
The problem is that our African Spirituality makes it
hard for us to believe that anyone could be so evil as
to use our music and Spirituality as a genocidal
weapon. So many have underestimated the depths that
white supremacists would sink to keep the masses of
African people oppressed.
Some will argue that it is “only music”, but as dude
from the movie, “the Usual Suspects” said “the
greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing
the world he didn’t exist.” The oppressor knows that
the only way to totally destroy a people is to
separate them from their connection to the Creator.
Once their Spiritual immune system is broken down, the
people are left open to all the vices that plague the
planet, drugs, disease, violence, etc.
When faced with this TRUTH, many young brotha’s will
defiantly shout, “Only God can judge me!!!!” However,
there is such a thing as corporate responsibility and
the actions of one member of the African family,
affect the whole, including future generations. So to
answer the age old question, “I am my Brother’s
Our African ancestors knew that it was not only the
right, but the responsibility of the elders to give
guidance to the younger generation because it was they
who would determine the future of the tribe. But today
even, our most learned elders seem to be intimidated
by children just because they can quote rap lyrics
like the old folks quote scripture. When the adults in
the Afrikan familiy stop trying to win a popularity
contest with 14 year olds and stand up and speak
TRUTH, then will the end of our oppression come.
Most religions have some sort of Judgement Day when
TRUTH is revealed; when a persons deeds are weighed in
the balance against the Universal principles of
Righteousness. A day when light (KNOWLEDGE) eventually
overcomes darkness (LIES). Even though some rappers
think that they can defy the law of Reciprocity by
raising hell all year long and giving out a free
turkey at Thanksgiving.
Rappers Bone Thugs-n-Harmony once asked “What ya gonna
do; when there ain’t no place to hide, when judgement
comes for you?” So Hip Hop, today is at the
Crossroads. We must make a decision as to which road
we will take, the road to liberation or the road to
slavery. The path that will insure a future for the
next generation or the path that will lead to its
To borrow from an old Public Enemy interlude; “Right
vs. Wrong; Good vs. Evil; God vs. the Devil; what side
****Originally Written 2002***
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283