Monday, October 30, 2006

Thank You to Readers


I thank you all for the insightful comments and encouraging words! It means a great deal to me to know that my most heartfelt thoughts on the subjects of politics, race, and religion have resonance. My intent is not to polarize, but to challenge the human race to face some hard truths.

We all have our respective strengths and weaknesses. The genius of the Universe is that no Mind has a monopoly on wisdom ...each has but a piece of the puzzle. Therefore, we must ALL work together to uplift humanity. Interdependence is the call from the Creator.

I think the world has much to gain from a morally resurgent Black race. We are a supremely creative and honorable people! I work to inspire us to recapture our former greatness for the good of all. It is our will and within our ability to do so.

The seeds are planted; let's keep growing and nurturing the 9Ether News community. Here, we can address issues that the mainstream media and social institutions dare not discuss. Mankind will only come together through the honest expression of our opinions in a genuine spirit of understanding. So, let the dialogue commence! (John 8:32)

Darius Jones
9Ether News

Monday, October 23, 2006

Birth of a New Breed

Res non verba” (Deeds not words) – Latin maxim

This week I do not intend to be overly philosophical. As I write, my thinking is entirely inclined toward frank and direct discourse. I believe we are far too reliant on grandiloquent speakers who inspire us to fever pitch shouting and hand-clapping, and yet whose speeches are ultimately inconsequential, as we are not spurred to group-empowering action. I do not want to add to the problem. You see, if fiery oratory were an actual path to power, then African-Americans would be an unassailable force in this world. Upon last review, we are quite the contrary.

It is time to stop being entertained by personalities and start being challenged by leaders. Our collective energy and focus must be redirected from escapist “sermonizing” to the creation of a definitive platform for self-determination; a platform which comprehensively addresses the social, economic and political necessities of Africans in the Diaspora. Hope is not a plan of action.

Going forward, anyone who regards themselves our leader should have their ideals weighed in this balance. Stroking an audience with provocative remarks about Black power, without an actual roadmap of how to get there, is mental masturbation . . . nothing more.

We have been entirely too liberal in our definition of leadership. The time has come for us to figure out how we are going to feed, fund, educate and defend our posterity both in America and around the world. These are the deliberations of a people preparing themselves for the responsibilities of freedom and self-governance. Self-determination is serious business and plans for its realization should be left to serious people. The charlatans and demagogues have had their day. At long last, their places on stage shall be taken by more talented and diligent understudies.

Despite the feathers sure to be ruffled by such a pronouncement, I am hailing the emergence of a new breed of African-American men and women. The decline in our condition, by nature, had to trigger a commensurate rise. I see a path being carved through the wilderness for those who will lead the way. This new breed will be distinguished by their passionate resistance to servitude and all impotent states of mind. This vanguard will consist of those for whom ignorance, mediocrity, cowardice and dishonor are ultimate sins. These Brothers and Sisters are the tip of a sword just waiting to be unsheathed in these perilous times.

Throughout history the destinies of the various races have waxed and waned. Adversity has visited one and all. However, in the darkest hour, a small yet fiercely determined nucleus of those populations rose from the chaos to re-establish the sovereignty of their people. Stepping outside the African experience, one recent example is that of the resurrection of Japan after World War II. They were decimated by atomic bombs, military occupation, and onerous war reparations. Their proud and historic culture was humiliated. Yet, within forty years of that calamitous defeat, Americans were driving their cars in record numbers and buying their electronics to the tune of billions of dollars per year. Like the phoenix, Japan majestically rose from the ashes of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to become a G8 superpower in two generations!

Deprived of military might, the Japanese re-established dominance by channeling their energies into another phase of the power game – economics. They didn’t hold revivals or shout insults at people, they stacked chips! A reversal of fortune on this scale is not born from wishes; it is meticulously planned and executed by an audacious and intelligent people. In the 21st century, these are the types of inspirational lessons Black people should be learning on Sundays – and all other days, for that matter.

(I would be remiss if I did not point you to a comparable African example. Please read about Kwame Nkrumah and the victorious crusade for Ghana’s independence.)

Every race has seen its best and brightest grab the reins in times of awesome trial. Their sons and daughters have established plans, goals and quantifiable metrics on the road to self-determination. Once achieved, they drew a line in the sand and stood strong in its defense. Now, the world’s spotlight shines on the African-American. A cadre from within this country has got to rise from the chaos, step into the arena, and carry the mantle of leadership for Black people. We who accept this mandate must assert ourselves for the good of all.

In Atlanta, I am building an organization based on ideals that I have learned from leading African and African-American minds -- ideals of racial pride, right knowledge, and self-determination. The organization is called the Society for Sacred Achievement (SSA). The SSA is in its infancy: a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a first step. The end goal is to create an entirely self-sufficient community founded on the aforementioned principles. The successful lessons learned will serve as a template for the creation and linkage of similar ideological communities around the world. Regardless of their size, African-Americans must begin establishing institutions, businesses and communities that we control. A wise man once said it is better to be the head of a mouse than the tail of a lion.

Additionally, I am working to expand the reach of 9Ether News. If you are so inclined, please forward it throughout your network of friends and associates.

I know I am not a lone voice in the wilderness. An enlightened community of new breed Brothers and Sisters exists; we have only to find one another in the darkness. There is great strength in our unity. This is my clarion call to all those who long to start a new movement. I look forward to what we can do . . . together.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Captain of Your Soul

I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” William Ernest Henley

Simply stated, I love black people. This I say, from the heart, with no caveats or conditions. In my eyes, we shine. Sure we have our challenges, but there is no end to the superlatives that come to mind when I consider our inherent greatness. Among the many, I say we are strong. We are brilliant. We are beautiful. We are creators. We are survivors! Our mettle has been tried by fire, and for 6,000 years it has withstood a mighty assault on body and mind. Yet, despite it all, our culture has remained deeply rooted in spirituality, honor, and communalism. Who else could have borne our burdens with such dignity and determination, even in the absence of all hope?

I am going to let you in on the world’s most closely guarded secret. We are truly a remarkable people, created to be the head and not the tail . . . if only we knew.

We obviously do not know, for far too often, our attitudes and actions reflect other than a profound love of ourselves and our kind. When I am out and about I observe Black people. It is a very educational exercise and one I highly recommend. When attending social gatherings, I use my Mind’s eye to see through what has been aptly called the “cool-pose culture.” This is a lifestyle of self-misrepresentation through posturing, braggadocio, and overt dependence upon fashion or material objects to validate the individual. Together, these false-fronts create a mask behind which we hide our pain, insecurities and frustration. African-Americans have become experts at “social camouflage.” However, many of us have not even begun to explore the source of these feelings of inadequacy. Today, let’s offer a first step.

Our collective quest for answers has been an earnest one; unfortunately, our inquiries and conclusions have often been far too superficial. The key to the dysfunctional behavior we exhibit lies in the many and varied complexes existing in the recesses of the subconscious mind. These recesses are also the domain of racial memory. Experiences that have had powerful emotional resonance in your life, and in those of your forebears set up shop here, beneath the level of conscious awareness. Your innermost feelings about yourself and others are profoundly colored by the psychological influences at work in this region of the mind. Further shaped by conditioning and more than any other factor, they determine how you see the world. Due to the collective and similar nature of our life experience, Black people share most of the key subjective markers upon which we interpret reality. All this is a fancy way of saying . . . we have the same issues!

Now, that we have established how we all are subconsciously bound by our shared experiences in this majority culture, let’s proceed toward overstanding.

I want you to relax and use your imagination for a moment. Go on, take a deep breath…relax. Imagine America 400 years ago, as the Indians and sea-faring African merchants knew it – beautiful and unspoiled. See the forests with evergreen trees towering above you. Hear the water rushing past as you near a crystal blue stream. Feel the lush grass under your feet as you walk over miles upon miles of pristine and undeveloped land. Smell the intoxicating aroma of nature at its best. Embrace this image . . . savor it.

Now, I want you to imagine the world outside your door. See the tall buildings dotting the skyline. Hear the cars whizzing by on their way to destinations unknown. Feel the hard pavement underneath your feet as you walk over miles upon miles of urban sprawl. Smell the intoxicating aroma of pollution at its worst. Juxtapose the two images and contemplate all that it took to bring this nation from one point in history to another. When you view it from this perspective, it truly becomes a monumental achievement. Be patient, I am going somewhere with this.

I want you to again consider the evolution of this nation over the last four centuries. Having done that, now ponder how much of this contemporary “reality” was conceived by African-Americans? I did not say built, I said conceived. Go beyond the obvious physical infrastructure; think also about the government, the educational system, and even western religion. It all leads to one conclusion – the American “system” is the manifestation of a dream borne of an alliance of minds . . . in which Black people’s played absolutely no contributory part. Don’t believe me? Point of fact: when the much idealized and revered Constitution was drafted, we were declared to be only 3/5ths of a human being. So, from its inception, America was created according to the worldview and preferences of a very select group of people . . . and no one who looked like me was seated at the table to offer cultural sensitivity training. Despite the passage of many years, we are still living, largely, in a societal construct that was not designed with our psychological welfare in mind. On the contrary, American society seems to have been designed with psychological warfare in mind!

Okay, why am I saying this? I am saying this because being a captive in someone else’s reality, and trying to give your life meaning according to their ideals can have a debilitating psychological effect. Think, for example, how we have pursued happiness according to its Western conceptualization. The supposed “ideal” is depicted for us everyday on our television screens. Yet, we are still a people in pain. The markers of success are reached, but the desired emotional outcome is not achieved. Some of the most financially successful Black people I know are the unhappiest, and some of the most beautiful women I know are frightfully insecure. Some of the most accomplished “players” I know are motivated in their sexual conquests by a gnawing emptiness inside. Being conditioned as we were, any lack of fulfillment in the midst of an abundance of material and carnal excess defies reason. “Why am I still in pain?” is the question on each sufferer’s lips?

My answer is that we have lost our traditional value system during our sojourn here. Timeless ideals of spiritual discovery and communalism have been abandoned in favor of those which offer sensual gratification. We are not a materialistic and overly libidinous people by nature. However, we have become so because we believe that is where happiness and fulfillment will be found. The resultant confused and dejected state is the cognitive dissonance between what is believed to be good to us – and what is actually good for us. When I observe my people, it is this bewildered “thought atmosphere’ which belies their otherwise impeccable outward appearances.

We are searching for something that only we can give ourselves . . . love and acceptance. Let us seize the initiative in this situation. Mind is the builder. You will continually hear me reiterate this statement. Having offered that reminder, I encourage all my Brothers and Sisters to go within and define success and happiness in more life-affirming terms. Develop what I call a “spiritual ideal.” Start with a visualization of your highest conception of yourself you can imagine: who you believe God created you be in your most perfect form. Become that person in your Mind, and then live in accordance to what you know it will take to manifest that reality. Don’t simply read this, do it! Be the Captain of your soul. True happiness will surely come as you progress along the road of your divine potential. Peace of mind then becomes an internally driven state as opposed to an externally dependent one. In doing this, you rise above the fray.

We live in a societal construct that is not our own and which offers little in the way of soul growth. Through the creation of our own Utopian ideal, we can establish a structure in which our lives can find deeper meaning and fulfillment. This is one of many steps on our road to racial redemption. Chase the material all you want; and you will find mirage after mirage. Build the Kingdoms within your own soul, and you will discover the purpose of your existence. Therein, lies all the happiness and satisfaction you would ever want.

Please keep this article in mind. I am going to expound on some of its key points in a multi-part series entitled, America is the Matrix. If you have not seen the movie, I encourage you to watch it. You must do so with your Mind’s eye open. It is ingenious! The original author is an African-American named Sophia Stewart. By use of metaphor, she made an illuminating indictment of our contemporary world. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Compete or Die!

I predict that many will take exception to this column. It drives a stake into the heart of continued African-American cries of victimization. Those weak in spirit have been warned. I take this opportunity to thank all my brothers and sisters with the courage to read on.

“Nature has made up her mind that what cannot defend itself shall not be defended.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a child, I enjoyed watching Wild Kingdom with my father. Without a doubt, it was my favorite show. If you never saw an episode, Wild Kingdom was one of the best nature series in the history of television. Much of what we see today on Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel was inspired by this pioneering program. Each week, a team of daring cameramen would focus on the survival strategies and social structure of animals in their natural environment. To a kid, it was the next best thing to a day at the zoo. As I grew older and more perceptive, it sparked great curiosity within me. I knew that something of deeper significance was playing out before my eyes. My father opened a door of discovery when he explained that humanity is locked in the same dire struggle for self-determination. The only appreciable difference he noted was that mankind makes its way in the world on two legs instead of four. Other than that, the two dramas are analogous.

In essence, all life is vying for continued and improved creative expression within given environments. Under highly competitive conditions, species secure or surrender their existence based upon strength, adaptation, and cooperative effort. Life in the wild is burdensome and feral – and predators are not charitable toward prey. In the trials of life, the powerful rise and the weak perish. Of note is the fact that there is no miraculous, otherworldly intervention on behalf of the victor or the vanquished. Appeals from the mighty and the weary, no matter how heartfelt, are futile absent determinative action.

Simply stated, evolution is a struggle. Its ways are cold and dispassionate. Survival is earned through effort and sacrifice, not cries of persecution. Dominion is obtained through sustained excellence and self-assertion, not hopes or wishes. There is no ambiguity on the natural path of cause and effect. Violate nature’s edicts and your demise is certain, heed them and be afforded greater control over your destiny. It is uncanny how closely the law of the jungle parallels the law of the land, isn’t it?

Our race would be wise to learn from nature. We would be even better served to harmonize with its evolutionary designs. Clearly, survival of the fittest is the moral of the story. However, we continually ignore what is patently obvious. The world in which we live bears a much closer resemblance to Wild Kingdom than any Divine Kingdom we learned about in Sunday school. Social dynamics move more in accordance with biological prerogatives than humanistic ideals. Take a moment to contemplate this statement.

As a people, our conditioning has largely caused us to reject nature’s direction. We somehow believe we supersede the natural order because we can always rely on “favor” or some other heavenly dispensation. Many think that Universal Law can be somehow suspended if you follow The Golden Rule. Worse, there are those who opt out of the struggle altogether, in the expectation of a paradise beyond, with streets of gold and feasts of milk and honey. Our religious sensibilities and belief in the virtue of victimization have set us in opposition to the basic reality at work in our world. If you choose, you can keep waiting on “jubilee.” I am going to listen to Mother Nature, who commands all her children, “Compete, or die!”

Show me evidence of an animal species which refused to do for themselves that still walks the face of the earth. If you cannot, I will then share with you with the alarming fact that 99% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. Yes, it blew me away as well! If those odds are not indicative of an evolutionary struggle in your mind, then I cannot imagine how I could make the point more clearly.

Nature forces Her creations to fight for everything they acquire in life – because the effort teaches valuable lessons. It teaches them to how to make their own way in the world and to have the fortitude to overcome adversity. The pecking order of the animal kingdom is based on mastery of this ideal. Nothing is promised; everything is earned. The lion is the king of the jungle because he has demonstrated that he is worthy to wear the crown. What makes you think the rules of our existence are any different?

In 1859, Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. I agree . . . that is one a hell of a title. In this study of evolutionary science, the ‘survival of the fittest’ ideology was given its introduction. Darwin’s groundbreaking work on species and racial dynamics was not only read by biologists. Economists, educators, politicians, philanthropists and all manner of “social engineers” took stock of its revelations as well. They extrapolated Darwin’s conclusions and created racial theory, which they taught in all aspects of society: especially science, religion and education. The results of their caste structuring are still prevalent. We dare not speak about it in polite conversation. It has become politically incorrect to point out how certain people’s plights have been crafted according to their alleged inferiority. Instead, we prefer to wax poetic about everyone’s inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Despite its self-righteousness, I contend that the foundation of American society is much more akin to Darwin’s writings than anything Thomas Jefferson ever penned.

In our defense, Black people are operating from a competitive disadvantage. For 400 years, unjust laws maintained an illegitimate balance of power in this country. Slavery and Jim Crow were legal safeguards against African, then African-American self-determination. This manipulation amounted to an egregious corruption of natural law. Nowhere else in Creation is the social structure intentionally “rigged” to benefit some over others. Nature is the purest of all meritocracies. Its purposes and designs will not be flouted by those who cheat to win. Therefore, these anti-competitive laws could not stand forever . . . and they have not. Keep this idea in mind because I will return to it later.

Yes, our forbears carried the torch during the darkest of days. True self-determination was legally denied to them. The American economy was built upon their overt exploitation. So, unfortunately, the glass ceiling could not be broken during their lifetimes. Nevertheless, they lived with pride and dignity. Today, what is our excuse? The laws designed to keep Black people on the lowest rung of the ladder are gone. The playing field may not be level, but everyone can get in the game. Racism remains, and that will likely never change. So, what! You cannot fight what is in someone’s heart. Besides, they don’t have to like me, just give me the room to do my thing. And yes, we are afforded sufficient latitude to make power moves. Therefore, the only barriers between us and the control of our collective destiny exist within our own minds. A wise man once said, “I have seen the enemy and he is me.” Can you make a similar confession?

Brothers and Sisters, we live in a new day. We have freedom. However, too few of us realize that freedom is a chance for self-determination. It can pose awesome challenges because there is no one there to provide for you when you declare your independence. When you are truly free, you are forced to build a life all your own, on your own. Often, this has to be done with very little in the way of support or resources. Still, it must be done. Nature demands it! Black people must struggle for our place in this world, as does all life.

Centuries of oppression and false conditioning have made us weak-minded and far too dependant on the offerings of others. This goes against the laws of nature and invites disaster. Long after the Emancipation Proclamation, we are still essentially living a hand-to-mouth existence because we do not own or control anything. We work to enrich others and then take the little money we earn – and give it right back. Times get hard, and we clamor for more government programs and handouts. We complain and point fingers; all the while hoping someone will do for us what we should be doing for ourselves. Let’s face it, we have a disease of the mind and it is driving us toward extinction. While all life is endeavoring to evolve into what God created it to be, we are regressing into a state of extreme vulnerability. Just consider American-American high school drop-out rates. Then compound those with the staggering statistics on black male incarceration and teen pregnancy. The Creator must be deeply saddened by our failings.

Globalization, corporate downsizing, and wars fought for oil have fostered the most ruthlessly competitive era in history. The mega-rich are taking ever-larger pieces of the pie while the rest of humanity is locked in a veritable death match for the crumbs that fall off the table. Calling the world a jungle is no longer a metaphor. If you want to overstand what is going on in the news, look at it from the perspective of ferocious, group-on-group competition. Races, and their respective nations, are asserting themselves. Here is an example. Global terrorism is not about religious ideology, it is about one group’s resistance to another’s imperialism and theft of natural resources in a time of growing scarcity. Disregard the rhetoric about infidels and evildoers. This is a pitched battle between Eastern factions and Western factions for control of the world. Let’s tell it like it is! In the end, the strongest will emerge victorious. The thought of which is very disconcerting.

Obviously, we don’t see our place in the natural order in these dire terms because we are still begging people to help us. News flash: nobody has the time, resources or, more importantly, the inclination to lift a finger for Black people anymore. And why should they? It is time to take the teat out of our mouths and stop suckling off the world’s declaration of Black inferiority. Our people will continue to be the scourge of the earth until we shed our defeatist slave mentality. It all boils down to this. If you remember only one part of this message: remember . . . Compete, or die! The characteristics which define dominion in nature, define dominion within the human race as well. Defy this wisdom if you will, but do not lament the lowly existence sure to follow.

It is easy to be a slave once you learn how. However, anything you can do for Master, you can do for yourself. Reject this false culture of dependency! Can you program computers? Then program your own! Perhaps you’re a marketing genius. Then sell your own goods and services! Get off your ass, Brother! Use the gifts God has given you to stake your own claim in the world. It is time for Black people to stop being pimped! The only difference between the person in the Cadillac and the person on the corner is an empowered state of mind . . . metaphorically speaking. Where would your thoughts place you in this scenario?

I want so much to see our people respected. However, esteem will have to be earned. In the 21st century, the fiercest animals have all been thrown in the pit together. If you are a lamb, you won’t make it. Now is the time for the young lions to roar! Self-determination is the new racial mission. The world can keep its charity, we will establish our sovereignty Mother Nature’s way. Amen!

I thank my mentor Jaramoji Menelik Kimathi for his inspiration in my writing this message.

Let's Start a Movement . . . Forward 9Ether News to 9 Friends!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

“So You Say You’re Black AND Greek?”

My spirits are really high at the moment. I’ll tell you why. Today in church, an eleven-year-old girl came up to me and proudly said she was reading Stolen Legacy by George G.M. James. Kinaya, whose parents are my friends, is a very intelligent and conscientious young lady. Like many of our youth, she is a dedicated scholar and it is obvious that she has a very bright future. So, I was proud to learn that she has made such a powerful strike at the heart of false conditioning. As she matures into an adult, her concepts of self and kind will be enriched by the glorious truth of her African heritage. She will never be disconnected from the greatness of Black people. It is often funny how much we can learn from children.

For those who have not had the honor of reading George G.M. James’ groundbreaking work, I’ll sketch the broad strokes. Stolen Legacy is a masterful study of how the ancient Greeks were not the supposed architects of civilization they were credited with being. Wow, imagine that. The author provides irrefutable proof that the “enlightened” philosophies of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle and Socrates were all plagiarized. “Do you mean that the famed scholars I learned about in school were frauds?” you ask. Yes, they were, I respond . . . and I’ll give you three guesses whose sacred knowledge they jacked. Exactly . . . African people were the originators of their towering ideals.

In fact, many leading minds in Greek society were initiates of the great Egyptian Mystery Schools. These universities they attended were established for the study of Africa’s highly advanced religious and ethical systems. The foreigners were taken in and taught in the hopes that they could return to Greece and civilize their primitive nation. However, true to form, these eavesdroppers learned all they could and then used the knowledge to enslave their former teachers. Once understood and then twisted, this sublime instruction enabled the Greeks to elevate their aristocracy, control the teeming masses and then forcibly establish an empire on distant shores. Centuries after first coming to the banks of the Nile on all fours, Alexander the Great and his pompous countrymen returned to Egypt with their gilded swords drawn. After sullying our Holy Land, they desecrated and burned the libraries, looted of all their spiritual knowledge. This was one of the first steps in cutting us off from our ancestral wisdom and diminishing the world’s esteem for our race.

George G.M. James wrote:

We sometimes wonder why the people of African descent find themselves in such a social plight as they do, but the answer is plain enough. Had it not been for this drama of Greek philosophy and its actors, the African Continent would have a different reputation, and would have enjoyed a status and respect among the nations of the world. This unfortunate position of the African Continent and its peoples appears to be the result of misrepresentation upon which the structure of racial prejudice has been built, i.e. the historical world opinion that the African Continent is backward, that its people are backward, and that their civilization is also backward.

George G.M. James was an extremely honorable man and a remarkable scholar whose contributions to Black people have been priceless. Not surprisingly, he was ritually murdered for writing Stolen Legacy. The devices of oppression are not exposed without risk. Yet, seeing the light of discovery shining in little Kinaya’s eyes, I knew he had died a martyr’s death.

Unbeknownst to many, we are fighting the same battles our ancestor fought. The thought of which saddens me greatly. Our forebears bitterly opposed Hellenism, the forced indoctrination of indigenous populations with Greek culture and its many licentious customs. Africans saw the imposition as oppression and rejected it with all their might. They knew the truth of their history and refused to embrace it in its repackaged and corrupted forms. However, resistance to false conditioning wanes over time, especially when you have no organized power in a given society.

Before I move into the heart of my message, I must first acknowledge my membership in a Black Greek-Letter Organization (BGLO). I was initiated into a popular fraternity as an undergraduate. I joined because my father proudly encouraged me to follow in his footsteps. Additionally, I found appealing the association of a brotherhood and the collegiate social status it conferred. On balance, I saw fraternity life as a positive experience. However, for all the fun there was an insidious tradeoff. In retrospect, I feel as though I was mis-educated on a very deep level.

I am now disturbed by Black fraternities’ and sororities’ emphasis on Greeks as a model for an African-American organization, which promotes excellence and achievement. Who made the ancient Greeks authorities on such matters? If I had a time machine, I would convene a meeting of the various founders of the BGLOs and seriously inquire about the Hellenism angle. Was the misdirection their idea or was it fostered by an outside influence? Besides, how would a group of young people, only barely generationally removed from illiteracy and slavery, be well versed enough in supposed Greek “scholarship” to make it the centerpiece of their organizational philosophy and rituals? They certainly did not learn these Western lessons from their newly-liberated elders. I am curious about the truths of BLGO’s beginnings and not the myths. If Historically Black Colleges and Universities were established by Freedman’s Bureaus with the idea of “social engineering” in mind; why wouldn’t the most influential student organizations have been born of a similar intent? And if our institutions of higher learning carry the honorable moniker “Historically Black,” ought not our fraternal organizations at least be that? Think about it.

Maybe I’m not the brightest, but I do not see an empowering connection between the experience of African oppression and the Greeks whose thievery legitimized it. When we wear those unusual letters on our chests, it is as though we are expressing our undying gratitude for their exploitation of Mother Africa. One may say I’m a sensationalist; but consider the irony. What is worse is that we often allow ourselves to be bitterly divided in the name of these ridiculous fraternal rivalries. Does it really matter the color of your shirt? You were born Black and to the Blackness of the Universe you will one day return. Your color is what defines you. Be proud. Your beauty and power as an original child of the Most High is your truest source of strength . . . not ivies, not doves nor even elephants.

This whole thing seems to me a deliberate effort to keep those few Blacks who were allowed to be educated, distrustful and separated from one another. In this condition, their collective education would never amount to any real resistance to the existing world order. In the quest for social acceptance, we would police ourselves by conforming to ideals, beliefs and cultural mores diametrically opposed to our own. Fortunately, our predecessors did not entirely take the bait. These fraternities and sororities still have an overwhelmingly African-American character; even if their foundations are rooted in Hellenistic conditioning the ancestors abhorred.

Realize that if history bore any resemblance to the truth, college students in Athens, Greece, would be wearing Egyptian hieroglyphs on their chests and worshipping the mighty, Black kings and queens of ancient Kush and Kemet. Now, that would be a feather in the cap of poetic justice. Much of what we have accepted as doctrine is similarly as counterintuitive as the world’s elevation of Greek “philosophers.” Research is the weapon of choice in the war against “trick-nology.” George G.M. James, and many others, died so that we may know the truth of our history and achievements. The least we can do is honor their ultimate sacrifices by reading their work.

My words here are not meant to be an indictment of my brothers and sisters in Black Greek Letter Organizations. As I stated, my membership as well has been recorded for the ages. My arguments are simply food for thought. Consider them or reject them. I wrote this column to illustrate how our collective inferiority complexes have been artfully bolstered by forces outside our community. Let us preserve the beauty and fellowship that we enjoy in BGLOs. However, let’s revisit the Hellenistic poison pills that were placed in the rituals and philosophy. Any foreign ideas that weaken our resurgent Nation must be purged from our collective unconscious. Feel honored to be an African! Hold your head high!

Stolen Legacy by George G.M. James can be purchased at Make it a great addition to your library.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Unforgivable Sin

Last week, in a suburb of Atlanta, two Black men committed a home invasion. The story begins like so many we have heard before. This one, however, really struck a chord with me because it illustrates the depths to which we have fallen. The house that was broken into belonged to another African-American, Rhonda Rucker; an airline employee, wife and mother of two. When the garage door was kicked in, she was at home with her youngest son, only three years old. The perpetrators ransacked the home and then did the unthinkable. Likely in sight of the child, they pulled a garbage bag down around the mother’s neck, bound it with a telephone cord, and then pumped fatal shots into her head.

The crime was discovered when her fifteen-year-old son came home from school to find his younger brother tied up in the closet and his mother sprawled across the floor, lifeless, in a bloody garbage bag. After committing this unconscionable act, what did the thieves take? A Suburban with 20-inch rims was stolen from the scene. Moreover, one of the suspects was taken into custody the very next day, during a routine police roadblock. He was joy-riding on a motorcycle registered to the victim’s husband. It was the typical capture of an inept criminal.

Every time I run this story through my mind, it sickens me. The crime was as brutal as it was senseless. If we can snuff out the lives of our women; of our innocent black mothers tending to their young, where will the barbarism end? Those with deep Christian sensibilities please excuse me, but, at this moment, my heart has absolutely no capacity for forgiveness in such an extreme cases of Black-on-Black crime. Even though self-expression comes easily for me, the depth of my disgust is beyond words when I am reminded of our inhumanity towards one another. Of all the dangers and challenges Black people face in this world, our greatest enemy sadly seems to be other Black people. We kill each other like there is no tomorrow. We disrespect each other like there is no worth in Blackness. With the boundless self-hatred we harbor in our hearts, we dishonor our Creator, who made us first, and in His divine image. This is insanity!

I keep waiting for the ignorance to bottom out. Surely, the pendulum has to swing the other way at some point. But I’ll be damned if this pendulum is not defying all laws of physics. We seem to be stuck on self-destruction. If I could ask God one question, it would be to know what it would take for my people to truly love themselves. If I knew that answer, I would shout it with all the passion I could muster . . . and I would shout it everywhere I could be heard.

Despite my frustration, I believe in utopias. I believe one day there will be a glorious Black nation where our people will live in harmony with Universal law as opposed to defeatist Western conditioning. Feelings of self-hatred will be overwhelmed by love of all Blackness. The family unit will be strong and communalism will uphold the social structure. Predators, such as those mentioned earlier, will be an extreme aberration; if they do take life from another, their existence will be forever banished from the nation. All will know that life outside this pristine community will be a fate worse than death. Once those golden gates close behind them, they will be stripped of the security of the nation’s communal bonds. For them, all will be lost. The ostracized will then wither in isolation as they are forced to learn how much Black people truly need one another.

Go ahead, call me a dreamer. But without creative imagination humanity will never reach its fullest potential. If we give ourselves the loftiest of ideals to live up to, every step taken toward that end will bring us to a higher state of Mind. Should you doubt the possibility of such a “community,” I encourage you to reconsider the limitations you have placed on self and kind. Beliefs are the source of our greatest strengths and our greatest weaknesses.

Based on our current predicament, such a community may be difficult, but not impossible, to imagine. Fortunately, there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. I believe the turning point is imminent. Where there is life for Black people, there is hope for Black people. I wish those two wayward, murdering souls had known this truth at the dawn of that fateful day.

Act as if the nation were real, because it soon will be. Our son is rising.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Look @ Belief

Have you ever reflected upon why you believe what you believe? By this, I mean have you ever applied critical analysis to your core convictions on subjects like race, religion, politics, morality, etc.? How did you arrive at the foundations of your worldview? This is a very important question and one that I hope you will give serious consideration, for it is known that beliefs are simultaneously the source of our greatest strengths and our greatest weaknesses. Where are your beliefs taking you?

If you are like most people, you became who you are through modeling the thoughts, opinions and behaviors of others. The notion that humans learn through imitation is a fundamental precept in psychology, and it becomes rather self-evident upon reflection. Why am I a Democrat? Well, because my parents were very active in Democratic politics; in childhood these ideals became mine as well. It was really very simple. There was no decisive moment when I chose my political affiliation. The adoption of my belief system was largely an unconscious process. It was only when I decided to scrutinize my general assumptions about life that I truly recognized how they came to be.

While we all tout ourselves as independent thinkers, we would be amazed by the degree to which we are influenced by those around us. Studies have concluded that over 80% of the population can be classified as conformists. By definition, a conformist is “a person who uncritically or habitually conforms to the customs, rules, or styles of a group.” There was once a powerful purpose behind this phenomenon. It assisted in pre-historic man’s upward evolution. However, over time this natural inclination has been perverted by those with designs on control and exploitation.

Here is a hard truth: for the most part, we believe what we are told to believe by those with power in our society. These individuals have the means at their disposal to disseminate compelling messages; messages, which through repetition take root in undiscerning minds. Who we pray to, vote for, and define as friend or foe is all shaped in this way. Think about it and you will recall how challenges to the status quo are stamped down and the prime program reinforced in their wake.

I contend that this time-honored strategy is what lies at the heart of Western civilization and the “beliefs” it was founded upon. The cost for this has been counted in life and liberty. Millions have fought and died in the defense of these “beliefs.” Humanity is bitterly divided due to these “beliefs.” Our centuries of servitude and oppression were justified by these “beliefs.” Yet, the majority never opens their eyes to the blind acceptance of their conditioning. As I have said on many occasions, our ancestral spiritual and cultural systems are diametrically opposed to the dictates of this individualistic and corrupt culture. Therein lays our strength.

Question everything. When someone is assailing me with their beliefs, I demand a factual basis for them. Then I inquire as to their intent in pushing them on me. Reconsider everything. Much of what we were taught as children was fairy tales designed to pacify us. Because my elders believed something does not necessarily mean I am bound to those ideas. My elders were taught the same “constructs” that I was forced to learn. Reject conditioning. Besides, my own research has shown me that much in history and religion has been deliberately misrepresented to the benefit of the few and the detriment of the many.

I cannot build my life on a foundation of lies.

Discovering truth is the key to freedom. Taking the initial steps can be frightening. However, with each new revelation, we break another link in the chain of our mental servitude. Be courageous. We are a greater people than we can now imagine. We deserve to know the truth of our history, traditions and sovereignty within the human family. This knowledge will unleash a divine redemption and transformation within our resurgent race. God willing.

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