Why America’s Losing Its Mind Over Silk Road 2.0

silk road 2.0 eurasia

Another sun tries to rise again in the East, and may take the form of a new Silk Road — resplendent with high-speed transportation and communication infrastructures; large-scale mining projects; a rail and maritime distribution strategy that will connect East and Central Asia with parts of Europe and Africa.

All this development activity will generate trillions of dollars in wealth, and provide decades of commercial ventures for technology, banking, energy, transportation and engineering firms.

China and Russia completely get it — they are geographically positioned to extract the full potential of this behemoth opportunity, and have launched a series of economic and political collaborations to enable large-scale regional development.

But there’s a hard truth the US mainstream media hasn’t told you about Silk Road 2.0: China and Russia are prepared to drive this new era of change across Eurasia — without America.

The result could be a transformation of Eurasia’s economic and geopolitical standing, as well as a redefinition of what global superpowers will look like.

So, where does that leave the US?

And can the US offer an export that’s not a war, one-sided trade deal or banana republic scheme?

Consider this analogy: you’ve discovered gold underneath your home, or someone discovered gold underneath your neighbor’s home, and someone from another town offers to dig the gold out of your home or create a rail system to transport the newly-mined gold through your front lawn — without paying you an amount that’s commensurate with your perceived value of the property’s contribution to this new enterprise.

After all, you reason, the gold is on your property, or your property has become a critical enabler to distribution.

Perhaps the out-of-towner added insult to your injury by not only refusing to split the mining revenue through some properly structured resource-technology split, but also offering to employ you and the members of your household to work for low wages in the new venture, despite the fact that your property or resources ARE the venture.

You’ll likely refuse the offer as a result.

But your refusal results in the out-of-towner resorting to force in order to take what’s rightfully yours.

That force takes on similar patterns: paying a member of your family or a neighbor to remove you from the property; hiring armed gangs to remove your entire family; convincing your neighborhood bank to stop doing business with you; making up a story that you’re abusive to your children and then calling Child Protective Services; or running a bullet through your hard skull.

Who has time for another Marshall Plan? This is 2017. Welcome to international business negotiation, American style.

The list of negotiation victims is compelling and long: Native Americans, Hawaii, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Iran are a few examples.

My point is that the US is not leaving Central or East Asia quietly. Too much loot is at stake. And hot theatres like Ukraine, Syria, North Korea and Afghanistan have been irresistible to the US for good reason: the countries are strategically important for America to maintain global dominance.

The “America helps other countries fight for democracy” argument crumbles when you consider how America ignored injustice in Honduras — a nation within the Western Hemisphere — to help Ukrainians, nearly 6,000 miles away, fight for “freedom.”

I’ll also add that America’s idea of freedom for Ukraine is to support neo-Nazis.

So, what is in Eurasia that compels America to stay in the region?

You can answer this question by reading the words of the geopolitical advisor to at least five US presidential administrations: former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.

In his book The Global Chessboard — the blueprint for American empire-building I recommended last week for your reading list — Brzezinski never mentions the term “Silk Road,” but he explained the strategic importance of all the conflict theatres I referenced. Quotes from the book are below.

Eurasia

A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A
mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia
would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, render-
ing the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral
to the world’s central continent.

Ukraine

[If] Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its [then] 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.

Look at Crimea on a map and you’ll then understand one of the reasons why Team Obama lost their minds when Russia annexed the territory.

On South and North Korea

Reunification of the Korean penonsula isn’t such a great idea for the US, according to Brzezinski:

Its close links to the United States enable America to shield Japan and thereby to keep Japan from becoming an independent and major military power, without an overbearing American presence within Japan itself. Any significant change in South Korea’s status, either through unification and/or through a shift into an expanding Chinese sphere of influence, would necessarily alter dramatically America’s role in the Far East, thus altering Japan’s as well.

This passage in the book is also important:

… [T]he retention of the American presence in South Korea becomes especially important. Without it, it is difficult to envisage the American-Japanese defense arrangement continuing in its present form, for Japan would have to become militarily more self-sufficient. But any movement toward Korean reunification is likely to disturb the basis for the continued U.S. military presence in South Korea. A reunified Korea may choose not to perpetuate American military protection; that indeed, could be the price exacted by China for throwing its decisive weight behind the reunification of the peninsula.

President Donald Trump’s Twitter tantrum towards South Korea for the country’s attempt at “appeasing” North Korea with an invitation to talks is an arguably unique approach for American commanders-in-chief, but the intent subscribes to business as usual: America’s presence in the region is justified by North Korea’s hostility. Therefore, talks between North and South Korea removes this justification.

On Iran

Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an “antihegemonic” coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances. It would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc, though this time China would likely be the leader and Russia the follower. Averting this contingency, however remote it may be, will require a display of U.S. geostrategic skill on the western, eastern and southern perimeters of Eurasia simultaneously.

My guess is that the US is in crisis mode since “the most dangerous scenario” is happening right now …

Afghanistan

[If oil and gas pipelines pass through only Russian territory, the region will remain a political dependency, with Moscow in a strong position to determine how the region’s new wealth is to be shared. Conversely, if another pipeline crosses the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and thence to the Mediterranean through Turkey and if one more goes to the Arabian Sea through Afghanistan, no single power will have monopoly over access.

The pipeline through Afghanistan Brzezinski referenced ties to earlier thoughts I shared about President Donald Trump’s decision to send additional US combat troops to Afghanistan. — a topic requires some time to discuss. I’ll cover it in a future piece.

It appears that America has years of hard work ahead to preserve its empire status.

What do you think will be America’s ultimate plan for this new sun in the East? Nurture it? Harness it? Dim it? Or … ?

song currently stuck in my head: “the river niger” – roy ayers

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Sunday Smack: Rex Tillerson and His Trump Comment

Rex Tillerson Fox News Sunday

“The President speaks for himself, Chris.”

This week’s Sunday Smack focuses on US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s remark today on Fox News about how President Donald Trump “speaks for himself” when sharing views of the recent racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia:

Interviewer Chris Wallace appeared stunned to hear Tillerson’s comment.

My questions to you:

Is Tillerson’s comment a sign that rebellion is brewing in the White House?

Is Tillerson on his way out the door, since no appointed official should expect to keep their job after such a display of disloyalty to any President?

Is the answer to both questions “No”?

song currently stuck in my head: “bom dia, amigo” – dulce nunes & baden powell

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Album in the Crosshairs: Annabel (lee) – The Cleansing (Youngbloods)

annabel-lee-the-cleansing-ep-review

Learning that I received an opportunity to hear Annabel (lee)’s sophomore release — The Cleansing on the Youngbloods label — resulted in a feeling similar to what happens after visiting your parents and they present you with one of your favorite meals on your way out the door, wrapped and ready for you to enjoy later.

You don’t want to eat this treat on the subway or in an Uber. I mean you could, but you want to take that first bite in a place where you can have a moment to immerse, reflect and enjoy.

In the case of The Cleansing, I wanted to hear it when I wasn’t editing online content or directing a photo shoot. This moment — which I knew would be special — required all of me.

And I was so right. The entirely prose-driven album acquires the forms of starkly beautiful minor-key arrangements, Bossa Nova stylings, Freak Folk influences, subtle Electronica and spellbinding vocals. The creative alchemy of Richard Ellis’ arrangements, and Sheila Ellis’ lyrics and singing, have created an end product that should help to define a an important slice for Pop music. I became hopelessly bewitched on the first listen.

Plus, I agree with Annabel (lee)’s self-described reference to Nick Drake — I feel his spirit throughout much of this release.

The gentle, Bossa flow of “Far” — the albums first single release — along with “Move With Me” and “Paris, Room 14,” will summon within you images of Brazilian Psychedelia, with wistfully metaphorical lyrics serving as the perfect counterpoint.

The attention to lyrical detail, sung by one of the most articulate voices in modern music today, contribute to The Cleansing’s success. I put my wine glass down and rewound “Paris, Room 14” several times to note the clever use of enjambment, among other devices employed.

Richard Ellis’ acoustic guitar phrasing is also a part of the album’s layered secret sauce. Combined with reverb vocals, the soul of Nick Drake is raised in “Scarlet One.” This spiritual nod continues into the following track, “See Her.”

Annabel (lee) proves it’s possible to follow up a knockout debut release with one that hits even harder. I consider The Cleansing among the best albums of 2017.

The Cleansing will be released September 22, but you can pre-order on Bandcamp, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and other popular music sites. Youngbloods and Annabel (lee) treated us to a live version of “Paris, Room 14,” below. Let me know what you think …

UPDATE: The Cleansing is an album. I operated under the incorrect assumption that it was an EP. Therefore, I corrected my piece accordingly.

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Strung Out: Trump, Afghanistan and More War

Trump speech war

Since my typical writing style is stream of consciousness, you’re witnessing my real-time confusion over where to start my comments about President Donald Trump’s anticipated unveiling of his Afghanistan war plans tonight.

Hell, you should also be confused — America’s been fighting this war for SIXTEEN YEARS.

SIXTEEN YEARS. And for what useful purpose?

I’m immediately reminded of a few years ago, when I half-joked about how America’s so strung out that it can’t seem to stay away from whatever’s resting between Afghanistan’s thighs.

Let’s face it. SIXTEEN YEARS is a long time to be strung out over anything.

Didn’t the US started dropping bombs on Afghanistan in 2001 because the Taliban was hosting Osama Bin Laden — the Al-Qaeda leader and mastermind behind the World Trade Center attacks — in Afghanistan, and the Taliban wouldn’t hand Bin Laden over to the US?

Well, Bin Laden has been long gone and Al Qaeda has been bombed to relative insignificance in the country.

So, why is the US still fighting in Afghanistan?

Oh, right — the Taliban. I’ll get to that in a moment.

With Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda gone, isn’t there less of a reason to keep this war going for the past SIXTEEN YEARS?

Nope. Strung out.

America’s War on Terror that started with the war on Al-Qaeda, has magically transitioned to a war on the Taliban, where the objective has been to reduce the latter group’s footprint in the country.

But that strategy didn’t work. Afghanistan’s opium is flowing more than ever, and the Taliban has taken over more territory than they had before 9/11. Every military assessment I’m aware of says the Taliban has been fought to a stalemate, at best.

So, what the hell is between Afghanistan’s legs?

Has to be more than honor.

America’s been so strung out that it was willing to have talks with the Taliban. For the past TWENTY YEARS.

TWENTY YEARS. That’s is the part you don’t hear about.

Let’s explore these talks.

For starters, read this post by Counterpunch and this longform piece by Commentary Magazine to get the untold story about the US’s long and curious record of negotiations with the Taliban.

Mind blown yet? Wait until I paint the context.

The Clinton administration negotiated with the Taliban after the latter bum-rushed its way to power in the mid 1990s.

Negotiations took place with the Clinton administration’s full knowledge of the Taliban’s drug dealing, as well as its lethal problems with democracy and women.

Negotiations took place after Osama bin Laden, then a guest of the Taliban in Afghanistan, declared war on the US.

Negotiations also happened around the time of the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

America and the Taliban appeared to have plenty to discuss during the days of Bush the Second, before and after 9/11.

And yes, America and the Taliban were negotiating during President Obama’s reign. Talks went so (relatively) well that the US not only ended up recognizing the Taliban as a legitimate political organization, but America also allowed the Taliban to open a political office in Qatar.

How’s that mind of yours doing?

Even the most myopic of partisan thinkers reading this post would be forced to look beyond whatever Trump has to say tonight, and ask a common sense question: what in the hell does the US and the Taliban have so much to discuss?

This is where familiar themes come in: fossil fuel, minerals, and America’s desire to secure them.

I’m not driven by conspiracy speculations and neither should you. The truth about America’s interest in negotiating with the Taliban lies in America’s view of Afghanistan as an important piece of real estate in Central Asia. That’s why you should read two important sources.

The first is a book by Zbigniew Brzezinski titled The Grand Chessboard. Brzezinski was national security advisor for the Carter and Reagan administrations, as well as an advisor to Team Obama. In his book, Brzezinski wrote that America’s position as a global power is all but assured if it can run the show in Central Asia. He also emphasized Central Asia’s importance as an energy provider to the world, given its “reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico or the North Sea.”

Brzezinski’s reference leads us to the second source: a 1998 Congressional testimony by John Maresca, an executive from US oil giant Unocal, where he requested the US government’s help in dealing with Afghanistan. While I think you should read the entire testimony, I’ll provide a summary:

  • Unocal knows there’s huge amount of oil and gas in Central Asia.
  • Unocal has a plan to extract and transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea through a proposed pipeline that will run through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan (TAPI).
  • The planned pipeline will run through areas of Afghanistan that are controlled by the Taliban.
  • Unocal is fully aware of the Taliban’s mean streak, but the company hopes that the US government can create a politically stable environment in the region so that the pipeline can be built.

The oil and gas haven’t gone anywhere — and some of it is resting between Afghanistan’s legs.

This explains why the Clinton gang had so much to discuss with the Taliban — before the Twin Towers fell — and why it wasn’t so quick to retaliate against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan after the USS Cole attack. I suggest you first read the Commentary Magazine piece mentioned earlier to understand why the US’s behavior in this instance is so outrageous.

It’s also no secret that the former Soviet Union had some idea of the mound of riches between Afghanistan’s thighs. In field notes obtained by Scientific American, Soviet experts noted that Afghanistan has an enormous amount of rare earths — the elements critical for computing technology, communications, national defense, transportation and other vital industries.

In other words, Afghanistan’s has so much economic potential that the Soviet Union was willing to risk its empire to conquer it and America has been helplessly strung out for more than a decade and a half.

Shoot, you could argue that Afghanistan’s had America’s nose wide open for much longer than I indicated. Remember that the US spent over $1 billion from the late 1970s through the early 1990s arming and training the Taliban to expel the Soviet military.

So whatever Trump has to say tonight, you can be certain of two things: [1] he’s getting strung out too; and [2] he may not be down for talking with the Taliban — yet …

song currently stuck in my head: “willow weep for me” – wes montgomery

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Sunday Smack: What About This Race Conversation?

This Sunday Smack deals with a question I’ve indirectly brought up in previous posts: the conversation about race.

Is a conversation necessary? Whose minds would you like to change as a result of a conversation?

After what we’ve seen in America during the past two weeks, do you think a conversation would change anyone’s mind?

If we had this conversation, what would it look like?

Who should be invited to this conversation?

Would you invite this guy?

If your answer is no, why not?

Who should never be invited?

Who would host this conversation?

Who should be the speakers?

How would the conversation be structured?

What would be the goal of this conversation? What would be the final deliverables?

Based on your answers, do you really want a conversation, or do you want something else?

Do you expect others to have a completely different set of answers from yours?

If the answer to my last question is yes, would it be unfair for me to repeat the questions: “Is a conversation necessary? Whose minds would you like to change … ?”

song currently stuck in my head: “the pursuer” – carl allen

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Rest in Love, Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory comedian dead

I’m currently reflecting on the loss of Dick Gregory, who was 84.

While much of the media will spend the day filling your ears with love-in stories about how much of a good comedian he was — a point I can definitely nod my head to — you likely won’t hear much about the context in which Gregory framed his humor.

During a talk on the Washington DC-based Carl Nelson radio show, Gregory expressed a full awareness of humor’s limits:

We didn’t laugh Hitler out of existence. And the day we find a cure for cancer, it won’t be through jokes. It will be through hard and sincere work.

Hard” because that’s what struggles require: hard work.

Sincere” because not everyone — regardless of skin color — who chants “Black Lives Matter” will really mean it.

But Gregory understood the importance of humor. On the same show, he mentioned how laughter helps people to take a “five-minute break” from the madness that can sometimes smother us.

Of the many lessons Gregory left behind, two of them are at the top of my mind.

One is his admonishment to honor black heritage (“[The slave-masters] thought they were stealing workers, and they were stealing scientists.”)

The other is to never accept the surface narrative — the true story lies deeper.

Searching deeper for the truth is what my blog attempts to do. in some ways, you could say Gregory’s curiosity is one of the inspirations behind mental interest.

This is not to say Gregory always shared spot-on prognostications. For example, Herman Cain didn’t become president of the United States, all due praises. Then again, even a political candidate’s certain destiny can be derailed by mucus mindedness:

Still, Gregory’s advice to relentlessly chase the truth remains important.

One of the most powerful tributes you can make to Gregory’s Legacy is to read.

And to question.

And read.

And question some more.

My pal Tanya Free had Gregory on her show in 2011 where he talked about a range of topics including the important of digging deeper in search of Truth. Visit her page or click here to listen.

Rest in Love Elder Gregory …

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Trump Makes a Valid Point About ‘Changing Culture’

donald-trump-press-confernce-alt-right

My main point about yesterday’s memorable press conference with President Donald Trump has less to do with his full turn of opinion when he reestablished air cover for his Alt-Right peeps by reincarnating his “Many sides” theory as an explanation for the death and racial violence this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

But I should at least state the obvious first: you now have more confirmation than ever that Trump either one of the most hateful and bigoted Presidents in US history, or is a perverse lover of all things racist.

We’re talking about a Jefferson Davis and Governor Orval Faubus chiilin’ on one of Trump’s golf courses — if they were alive today — kind of bigot.

A Governor George Wallace — well, the 1960s version — having dinner at Trump Tower kind of bigot.

The kind of bigot where Trump could feel at home sitting on an antebellum Southern porch with Jefferson Davis and drinking lemonade while darkies serve as ottomans.

The kind of bigotry where J. Edgar Hoover would shout an orgasmic “Brilliant” in response to Trump’s demonization of counter protesters to this kind of filth by using the term “Alt-Left,” thus placing those who oppose the continued existence of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville on the same moral plane as the Alt-Right.

But you know all this by now. And that’s not the point of this piece.

I want to rap about how during yesterday’s epic media assault, Trump — through two analogies — offered his unfiltered opinion about whether or not the Robert E Lee statue should remain standing in Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park:

George Washington was a slave owner… Are we gonna take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? Ya like him? Are we gonna take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner.

Jefferson was also a sexual predator who digged teen-aged girls, I must add.

The President then hit my responsive chord when he said:

You’re changing history, you’re changing culture

Damn right, Mr. President. I agree. I WANT TO CHANGE THE CULTURE.

And the only change in history I want to see is the one that tells the truth.

America has a fixation with glorifying American invaders [PDF], colonists, treasonous insurgents and violent sojourners who’ve made their fortunes and reputations from the yoke of oppression.

A nation where a group of slavery-supporting insurgents get more post-war love than the Black Panthers, who never started a civil war, but was the focus of relentless infiltration and assassinations.

And until America comes to terms with its past and subsequently addresses the roots of inequality and injustice, we’ll sadly see repeats of Charlottesville.

So yes, let’s take down every one of these monuments to exploitation …

song currently stuck in my head: “mo slow” – hi-fly orchestra

 

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Sunday Smack: What is the American Dream?

american dream

The American Dream is back,” says President Donald Trump.

But what does that mean?

Back in January, Trump associated his desire to eliminate up to 75 percent of government regulations concerning businesses with the American Dream.

In a series of moves that took place during the time of the White House-sponsored American Dream Week, Trump:

If you ask Trump’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, American Dream means owning a home.

However, being a homeowner doesn’t protect you from crosses burning in your front lawn …

… or being burned out of your home by others who resent people like you.

Besides, is owning your own home the sole ingredient to happiness?

I know — the American Dream originally had a very different definition, but I won’t focus on that tonight.

So, there’s my Sunday Smack to you:

What do you define as the American dream, and is it important for Presidents and their cabinet officials to get that definition right?

song currently stuck in my head: “handkerchief” – konkoma

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Charlottesville, White Terrorism and History — a Black Man’s Viewpoint

white nationalists attack

President Donald Trump’s difficulty with specifically denouncing the “Unite the Right” rally and White terrorist violence committed in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend confirms what many people of color already felt about the Trump regime: it’s Al-Qaeda or Islamic State in khakis and polo shirts, hiding behind perverse and ancient renderings of a noble religion to justify its violent goals and actions.

On that last point about perversion — scriptures say that Jesus Christ supported the liberation of poor and oppressed people. He didn’t advocate this:

Osama Bin Laden’s last days as leader of Al-Qaeda mirrors what I see in Trump today: figurehead leadership who would make public appearances to stir-up followers while the real work of terror is run by lieutenants.

The mainstream media’s handling of all this domestic terror is different from how it sees Al-Qaeda or Islamic State, however. A pissed-off Muslim with a machete is quickly labeled as a “terrorist” while guts flee from news editors when they identify the White folks marching through Charlottesville who chanted “White lives matter.”

But that’s no big surprise to Black folks either.

While African descendants who haven’t committed crimes can’t drive across town without being stopped, questioned, and sometimes killed by police officers, many of us immediately saw the two faces of law enforcement when 20-year-old White terrorist James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio managed to speed through the town of Charlottesville, Virginia to kill as many people as possible.

You know, an Islamic State-styled attack.

Some Americans are still waiting for a newspaper or government official to call Dylann Roof’s mass shooting of innocent Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina an act of terrorism, but others simply see a troubled kid.

Meanwhile, African descendants never held their breath in lieu of delivery.

I wrote about Roof a while ago and used a device to describe people like him, which easily applies to the Charlottesville terrorists: fractals of racial hatred.

My writings are typically stuffed with imagery which, for obvious reasons, I tend to avoid breaking down for readers. Besides, this blog is not a home for longform pieces.

But a more detailed explanation is important.

As an African descendant who studies the history of race in America,I hold the opinion that state-sanctioned terrorist acts against people of color do not represent new horrors, born from the Trump era. We’ve seen this pattern for decades.

Some Americans are visually-driven in the most current sense and possess only a transactional view of events — a combination which results in divorcing what happened in Charlottesville this past weekend from Roof and much of American history.

But this is a mistake. These terrorists — in speech, form and resultsare identical to the terrorists who committed acts of violence against people of color throughout the decades.

In other words, they are fractals. The Charlottesville terrorists could switch places with anti-Freedom Summer Mississippi terrorists from the 1960s — and neither group would feel out of place.

That’s how fractals roll.

And just like what we witnesseed in Charlottesville, where police officers watched the clashes between terrorists and counter-protestors for hours without apparently lifting a thought to stop the violence, local, state and federal government organizations have dragged their feet to deal with these violent fractals since the decades-long birth of White terrorism.

But unarmed and non-violent Black families in Ferguson Missouri can’t even protest on their home lawns without police officers attacking them with tear gas.

Peace to Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis for reminding us of this point in their new film.

The mislabeled “Reconstruction” — properly-titled if the goal of the exercise was to bail out rich plantation owners who went bust after the Civil War, and roll back the progress of freed Black slaves — is saturated with stories of racial violence committed by Ku Klux Klan terrorists, and the US government’s slow reaction to condemn or stop these acts from occurring.

The government and the terrorists exhibited the same behavior during the labor riots of the early 1900s.

Research the lynchings in America and you’ll find the same story: White terrorists who murdered Black people in the name of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, while Congress couldn’t even agree on a bill to outlaw lynching.

Let’s pause for a moment — we needed a BILL to outlaw lynching …

… and that bill never arrived.

We saw a similar story during the acts of White terrorist violence against civil rights protesters during the 1960s. We also witnessed government agency support for these terrorists, in the name of preserving segregation and voter suppression.

Conversely, we also saw the destruction of the Black Panther Party through infiltration and assassination.

America is so mired in racial terrorism that a reasonable view of race relations in this country is nearly impossible to achieve.

For example, look at Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s public statement to the Charlottesville terrorists:

You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. You want to talk about patriots, talk about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who brought our country together.

Both “patriots” cited owned slaves, and one of them even felt that we lived in a post-racial America. In the late 18th century. When slavery still existed.

This is why I have problems with the phrase “This is Trump’s America.”

No — this is America.

And like the past, there’s no serious talk about ending White terrorism …

song currently stuck in my head: “canto fatal (full album)” – filó machado

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Whose Streets? Film and the New Black Leadership

whose streets sabaah folayan and damon davis

Although I plan to see the Ferguson, Missouri uprising documentary Whose Streets? in a theater this week, I’ve declined to write about the film up to this point because mentalunrest’s editorial policy typically forbids me from writing about media I’ve neither seen nor experienced, but I have to share some thoughts about the recent and excellent Facebook Live interview — featuring Whose Streets? directors Sabbah Folayan and Damon Davis — which hits its most resonating point at about 12 minutes and 42 seconds when a member of the online audience asked: “How Can I, a White woman, get involved and support people of color?”

Folayan’s explosive answer underscores a major theme of the film, and likely explains how the fight for racial and social justice has changed forever:

… We all have the capacity to be creative, to be strategic, and I think it’s about figuring out what that looks like for yourself.

In the old days, people would respond to oppression with an immediate call for establishment leaders to broker a solution with the oppressive forces.

Perhaps I’ll call out names later, but I’ll keep this note focused …

… but I’m talking about those 7-Eleven activists — named as such because they always seem to open shop down the block when you need something — seasoned pros at sniffing out and harvesting struggles while chasing 401Ks even harder …

… and leaving behind a field suffering from soil exhaustion while the leaders travel to the market.

Fed-up Ferguson Missouri citizens — tired of the government-sanctioned racketeering operation that used its police department for muscle — didn’t wait for convenience store leaders to take the streets.

After all, it’s “Our Streets.”

Gone are the days of waiting for a Messiah, who after anointment should begin to count down the days before being introduced to a bullet or life sentence in prison.

And then the movement dies.

The new thinking is that we’re all leaders, in our own way.

This point is what makes the uprising in Ferguson so dangerous.

Feel me?

I embedded the Folayan and Davis interview below this post. You can also click here.

Whose Streets? begins its nationwide release tomorrow, August 11.

Song currently stuck in my head: “cure” – moonchild

[Disclosure: I’m friends with Folayan’s Mother, who made an introduction about six years ago. I met her once more since that time.]

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