Remembering Mabel Williams

robert f. williams mabel williams naacp

So that’s when the police came up and they jumped out of the car. And they were saying they were going to take him to jail. And I said, “Do you have a warrant?” And they said — they backed up and they saw me with the shotgun. And, so, I said, “If you don’t have a warrant, you’re not taking him anywhere.”

NAACP member Mabel Williams recalling a 1961 incident where Monroe, NC police officers attempted to arrest her husband Robert for driving with a broken headlight.

I’m having coincidental Women’s History Month thoughts about what bothers me more — the way mainstream accounts of women in the the so-called Civil Rights Movement seem to focus only on the near-mandatory hagiographies of Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks while ignoring the leadership and bravery of other African-American liberty seekers like the late Mabel Williams, or how mentions of Williams seem to always stop at “Oh, she’s the wife of Robert F. Williams.”

And since I’ve been in the Williamses’ orbit lately, let’s dig deeper …

I pulled the Mabel Williams quote you see at the top of this piece from the brilliant oral history she provided to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, through a conversation she had with David Cecelski. Reading her account of life as Black prey in 1950s Monroe, North Carolina gives you a deeper sense of why the town couldn’t become any more of a haven for White terrorist activities toward African descendants.

The local branch of the Ku Klux Klan respectively used Monroe’s city hall lawn and police station back then as a public petition site to run Robert Williams out of town and a source for new white-hood recruits.

Segregation ran so deep — literally — that admitting and treating Black patients, including babies and pregnant mothers, were restricted to a filthy hospital basement.

Local NAACP membership was reduced to a metaphysical argument since the Black professional class — the NAACP’s typical source of core strength — was scared away from joining the group out of fear of being either branded as communists, isolated from economic opportunities (i.e., jobs) or targeted for physical violence.

Black women were sexually assaulted by White predators while justice offered no respectable pursuit whatsoever.

Black Monroe children were brutally beaten by White adult mobs.

So if you asked why would Mabel Williams roll up to the front of her house with a shotgun in a town whose White supremacy was lacquered in place by government officials, law enforcement, White terrorist organizations and town citizens who had no problems with supporting domestic terrorism …

By the way, the cops avoided a gunfight and didn’t arrest Mabel’s husband that day. The busted headlight came from an earlier incident where KKK sympathizers tried to ram Robert Williams’ car off the road — an incident that was passively observed by Monroe police officers. Mabel Williams was likely correct in her fear that drove her to draw the shotgun: an arrest would have meant a lynching that evening. Literally.

Before her marriage, Mabel Williams was a student/athlete who excelled in both areas, and was supported by a community with a sufficient sense of Blackness that enabled her to endure life in Monroe.

And she became much more than a spouse and long gun handler.

She — in collaboration with Robert — co-founded a Black Progressive newsletter called The Crusader as a way to counter the dominating White supremacist messaging of the time. She was one of the journal’s writers and gathered news clippings from around the world to select for inclusion.

Mabel helped to coordinate the local NAACP’s unofficial intelligence-gathering apparatus, given that a number of the organization’s members were domestic workers for Monroe’s rich and powerful White families. She shared an instance with Cecelski:

I remember one particular incident where Robert was going on trial for something the maid for the judge said that the judge came in that morning at breakfast and said, “Oh honey — ” to his wife. “Oh honey, I’m going to be a big man today.” And she said, “Why? What’s going to happen?” He said, “I’m going to send that nigger Robert Williams to prison.”

Mabel helped Robert write the book Negroes with Guns and launch the brilliantly-titled Radio Free Dixie — a show broadcasted from Cuba that featured Jazz and political conversation — while living as exiles.

One of the most important things Mabel did subsequent to her return to the United States was to counter the false narratives about herself, Robert and the Civil Rights Movement by documenting her account of the struggle in Monroe.

For example, she demystified how the National Rifle Association initially supported Robert and other Black Monroe gun club members with a local charter:

… when Robert sent off for the charter he had himself as an author. He had Dr. Perry as a doctor. He had some of the — oh, he had one of our officers McDowell, as a businessman. He had, I think, the women he put down housewives. And he put construction, contractor for the construction workers. And we got our first charter like that.

In other words, Williams never indicated that he was affiliated with the NAACP, and it doesn’t appear that the NRA knew who Robert Williams was at the time.

mabel williams naacp

Mabel had her own ideas about how she and her husband received a charter to power their armed struggle against the Klan:

I’m sure when we joined and the years after then, had they known we were a black group, they would have revoked our charter.

Mabel’s words also made clear that neither she, Robert nor their Monroe crew were random gun nuts:

But the ironic part that I want people to know is that although we had an association with guns, we knew how to use guns. We trained other people how to use guns, our children included. We never had the occasion to have to shoot anybody. And that if, you know. That’s remarkable because a lot of people, when they think about having guns, they think about killing folks. And Robert always—. He was the ultimate teacher, always. He always taught the other people and us that a gun is a weapon that can do terrible damage to people. And the only reason you would ever pick up a gun is for self-defense and not for anything aggressive or not to scare off anybody, and not to play with anybody. But it was serious business when you really had to pick up a gun.

Mabel Williams remained woke and active in later years.

In addition to continuing her social activism and finishing Robert’s memoirs, Mabel was engaged in community economic development projects like the restoration of Idlewild, Michigan — a Black Shangri-La that materialized in the 1920s, and became the hottest resort town for Black families and celebrities alike during the 1940s and ’50s.

The statutory death of Jim Crow resulted in the disintegration of Idlewild in the first place, but I won’t go there today …

Mabel transitioned in 2014. May she continue to Rest in Love.

Read her entire UNC-Chapel Hill interview here.

song currently stuck in my head: “it runs through me” – tom misch feat. de la soul

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

That day the NRA pulled the (Black) race card — and everyone lost it



Okay — it’s time to deal with the National Rifle Association’s Dana Loesch and her days-ago quote that still has people arguing.



Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it.


She then creatively teased the race card …


Now I’m not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media …


… before slamming it down on the podium and making all sides of the debate table lose it, albeit for very different reasons:


And notice I said ‘crying white mothers’ because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don’t see town halls for them, do you … … Where’s the CNN town hall for Chicago? Where’s the CNN town hall for sanctuary cities?


The Black mothers in Chicago.


I have to admit — that was a ninja-type move. But we’ve seen this trick before. I’ll get to that in a moment.


Plenty of Black folks I know who never jocked the NRA responded with “Dang, [Loesch] is right!” as they recall recurring examples of the mainstream media overlooking problems in the Black community — until those problems hit White America.


Through Loesch’s eyes, that kind of response is the positive step for the NRA.


I also know plenty of Liberal White people who responded to Loesch’s statement like sore losers at a game of Spades and were ready to flip over the table. And that probably happened in a few households.


Some of you on the Fragmented Left will have all kinds of descriptors for the NRA: “KKK reincarnated,” “President Trump’s political action committee,” “domestic terrorists” and others.


But if you ask the NRA why they’re shouting out the Black mothers of Chicago, their simple answer would be: “We’re a civil rights organization and defenders of the Second Amendment.”


Even if you thought the NRA is down with civil rights, your theory was smashed through the earth on July 16, 2016 when the organization couldn’t seem to speak up after Philando Castile appears to be executed by St. Anthony, Minnesota cop Jeronimo Yanez:



The NRA is more like an interest group for the gun industry — and the gun industry simply wants to sell guns.


Therefore, the NRA helps the gun industry sell guns.


Caterpillar caps and Country music are important to the NRA because the industry’s most lucrative market for guns at the moment has people in it who like Caterpillar caps and Country Music.


If America turned Black overnight and became the most lucrative market, the gun industry would sell roscoes with the red, black and green grip, and the NRA would sell matching jackets alongside Al Green CDs. Migos for the younger set.


I’ll take you back to a piece written by Northwestern University professor Martha Biondi, where she recalled a 2012 event hosted by the NRA in the South Side of Chicago. The event brought up images of Black Nationalism to gather pro-gun legislative support among African Americans. They featured a screening of the Robert F. Williams’ documentary Negroes with Guns(!) and positioned the film’s subject as an American hero.


The organization many of you would say is Conservative; drafted the 1920’s Uniform Firearms Act that left it up to the states to grant gun permits (ha, you know how the rest of that story went for Black people); supported the 1968 Gun Control Act after the Black Panthers found a place for guns in their daily meetups with Bay Area cops; but boldly supported a 1960s-70s Black Nationalist to support the organization’s “guns everywhere” agenda?


The NRA has also praised Otis McDonald, an African descendant who fought Chicago’s gun laws — and won.


The mystery is over. Dana Loesch’s race card was really a business card. The NRA will continue its outreach to people of color and younger people.


And if bringing up Chicago mothers helps to sell more guns, well …


song currently stuck in my head: “friendly galaxy” – sun ra

Posted in History, Politics, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NAACP’s “Feared but forgotten” Robert F. Williams  — a Negro with a gun

Robert. F. Williams FBI

I want to rap about the latest National Rifle Association’s disingenuous stroke of rhetorical jiu-jitsu brilliance, as exhibited by their spokesperson Dana Loesch, but I think it’s a good idea to share a prerequisite piece about the late Monroe, North Carolina NAACP branch president, Robert F. Williams.

Besides, today is Williams’ birthday.

I’m not surprised if some of you never heard of him. I sometimes wonder if the NAACP struck Williams’ name from their halls and archives. (Lsughing) Okay, not completely

Felicia R. Lee wrote a 2006 piece in the New York Times where the headline called Williams “Outspoken and Feared but Largely Forgotten.”

Williams — whose childhood and young adult phases of his life were shaped by the Great Migration, a refugee operation to evade the domestic White terrorism of the southern United States; subsequent immersion in northern violence through the infamous Labor Riots; segregation in the US Marine Corps as a World War II draftee — moved to Monroe, North Carolina and became branch President of the NAACP in a town where the number of Ku Klux Klan members nearly outnumbered residents.

Williams concluded that the Black citizens of Monroe needed to find equal justice and protection through the barrel of a gun after witnessing repeated white-on-black assaults. He formed a group of defenders called the Black Guard and provided its members small arms and martial arts training.

He respectively became the most hated and popular Monroe citizen after meeting Klansmen motorcades through Black communities with a crew of armed defenders on sidewalks ready to regulate at the first sign of violence, and launching a globally-recognized campaign to free a couple of boys aged 8 and 10 whose “crime” was being kissed by a White girl..

Williams also elevated his star appeal in Monroe by repelling an attack by the Klan.

robert f. williams negroes with guns civil rights

But he arguably began to elevate his status to “Most Dangerous Man in America after this response to the acquittal of a White man, despite witnesses, in the attempted rape of a Black woman:

If the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution cannot be enforced in this social jungle called Dixie, it is time that Negroes must defend themselves, even if it is necessary to resort to violence … there is no need to take the White attackers to the courts because they will be freed, and that the federal government is not coming to the aid of people who are oppressed and it is time for negro men to stand up and be men — and if it is necessary for us to die then we will die, and if it is necessary for us to kill, then we will kill.

From an NAACP branch president … !

Naturally, the NAACP home office wanted to suspend Williams for 6 months.

In his book Negroes with Guns, Williams described a 1961 incident that erupted after his organization’s peaceful attempt to integrate a local swimming pool was met by gunfire:

Somebody in the crowd fired a pistol and the people again started to scream hysterically, “Kill the niggers! Kill the niggers! Pour gasoline on the niggers!” The mob started to throw stones on top of my car. So I opened the door of the car and I put one foot on the ground and stood up in the door holding an Italian carbine.

Williams then discussed the behavior of the police officers that day, who followed Williams and his social justice activists much of the time and yet did nothing to protect them from the lynch mob:

One ran straight to me, grabbed me on the shoulder, and said “Surrender your weapon! Surrender your weapon!”

SRSLY, y’all.

I struck him in the face and knocked him back away from the car and put my carbine in his face, and I told him we were not going to surrender to a mob. I told him that we didn’t intend to be lynched.

The other officers weren’t much help:

The other policeman who
had run around the side of the car started to draw his revolver out of the holster. He was hoping to shoot me in the back.

There goes that.

They didn’t know that we had more than one gun. One of the students (who was seventeen years old) put a .45 in the policeman’s face and told him that if he pulled out his pistol he would kill him. The policeman started putting his gun back into the holster and backing away from the car, and he fell into the ditch.

The response to Williams’ clear visual message reflected an elucidation of the worst fears any hateful and deadly mob:

There was a very old man, an old white man out in the crowd, and he started screaming and crying like a baby, and he kept crying, and he said, “God damn, God damn, what is this God damn country coming to that the niggers have got guns, the niggers are armed and the police can’t even arrest them!” He kept crying and somebody led him away through the crowd.

Williams also made the FBI’s Most wanted list, thanks to imaginative kidnapping charges. Williams fled the country to Cuba, along with his wife and two children.

The NRA is quick to mention that they helped Williams establish a rifle club in Monroe. Does that surprise you?

More tomorrow …

song currently stuck in my head: “be free” – moonchild

Posted in History, Politics, Race, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Proclamation for Nikolas Cruz Day and His Terroristic White Privilege

Nikolas Cruz going to explode social media


He’s going to explode

Could never be uttered by concerned callers to the FBI about my underprivileged Black azz without a small brigade of suits, flanked by HRT, rolling up to my front door


I, with privileges unchanged, can’t publish a YouTube video of my hypothetical chants about how much I want to kill someone — as if I’m performing a ritual to be washed in the blood of Christ, without being immediately tracked and taken down by law enforcement officers


After I’m arrested for all that chanting, the media will invariably wonder if I’m down with A***h


Every mass shooting — or threat of one — in America seems to follow the same epistemological pattern of inquiries like:

Is the shooter from Pakistan?

From Iran?





A***h involved?


Move on


Police officers could never visit any African descendant’s home 23 times — or was it 39 — because of domestic and emotional disturbance episodes without any occupant in the home being shot, locked up, beat down or tazed


bought tons of ammo,”

“has used a gun against people before”

“has put the gun to others’ heads in the past”

Could never become words spoken by my Mother or hypothetical legal guardian to a 911 dispatcher on one of those 23-or-39-too-ridiculous-to-be-hypothetical-for-a-Black-family-to-experience police visits


My Father could never say it’s the right of of his son — who suffers from a clinical cocktail of depression, ADHD and autism — to own a gun, and he then expresses zero regrets for that decision after I shoot school kids, without facing universal condemnation for his apparent don’t-give-a-f***ness outlook in life.


Speaking of can’t give a f*** — the extent to which all of you signed away your freedoms to a persuasive and desperate multi-billion-dollar bid to feed an omniauditory, ommatidial framework that can’t seem to notice a White terrorist make shoot-’em-up chants on social media under his birth name


My Dad, a hypothetical former military intelligence analyst, would have his entire career placed under media review if he admitted to seeing no signs that I was going to open fire on students


Every politico’s lobbed hope

Every passing prayer after a mass slaughter

Never seem to have a destination but some of you still go out of your way to seize them as if they’re meant for you or will keep the remaining children in America safe

Whereas, we’ve been trained to never ask the right questions — only pursue the right design, which isn’t your own, by the way

And whereas most of you aren’t going to remember this piece or the current tragedy a few weeks from now anyway …

I declare Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the subsequent days heretofore and every day hereafter, Nikolas Cruz Day.

His White privilege will be equally remembered and forgotten …

song currently stuck in my head: “lamentations” – moses sumney

Posted in Politics, Race, Society | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Alt-right still mad that Black Panther movie isn’t all-White

black panther movie racism

File under #Trifling.

HuffPost reports that the alt-right — in the form of a group named Down with Disney — plans to destroy Marvel Black superhero movie Black Panther’s Rotten Tomatoes critics score, possibly through the bots used by the same group to attack The Last Jedi film.

While we’re only talking about a movie based on a fictional character and an afro-centric band of actors — produced in an entertainment capital known for its damn-near-all-White flicks — it appears that a disappointing segment of White Americans isn’t taking the news of Black Panther’s February 16 release very well.

black panther movie white backlash

Meanwhile, much of Black America views the movie as a time for celebration, if not progress. Please, no response is needed about the latter — I get it.

The spirit admonishes me to rap in responsibly indefinite terms, but we’ve seen this backdrop before — and its following scene.

I’m surprised but thankful that Black Panther’s only facing bots.

Remain on point while you celebrate on the 16th …

song currently stuck in my head: “the inflated tear” – rahsaan roland kirk

Posted in Entertainment, Film, Race, Society | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s mental state, Bernie Sanders and the souls of Black folks

donald trump mental health stability

Here’s a statistic from last week’s Quinnipiac poll (pdf here) about President Donald Trump’s mental stability that didn’t make the mainstream media landing pages: 70 percent of surveyed African American voters have a favorable opinion of 2016 presidential candidate and current U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders.

The poll also showed a flash hypothetical read for 2020: 68 percent of Black folks would vote for Sanders in a presidential race.

(Laughing) Must be all that derivative socialist talk about breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks, reducing the country’s income inequality problem, dismantling the ever-expanding private prison industry, providing an alternative to financially-oppressive college education schemes and creating a healthcare program most Americans could actually afford — almost all of which speaks to African descendants’ spiritually-embedded sense of their motherland’s ancient communalism practices.

Or, BLAME THE RUSSIANS since some segments of The Resistance have a hard time believing in the possibility of Darkies reaching an independent conclusion about the way neither major political party has done a good job of taking care of the real economy for the past three decades.

When looking at the entire surveyed population, Sanders’ favorable/unfavorable measure was 48-38 percent. Democrats: 76-11 percent; White voters: 43-45 percent.

White voters don’t seem willing to #feeltheburn in the next presidential election: only 33 percent of those surveyed are inclined to vote for him.

These polling numbers underscore the strange relationship between African Americans and the Democratic Party: repulsed by Republicans, Black voters have been repeatedly handed a better-than-nothing deal by the blue party — a partnership of neglect and biennial woos studded with fear-soaked premonitions about allowing the other party take over Washington.

I’ve never posted a deeper meditation of Sanders on this blog but I should. While far from being a perfect candidate, his (un)popularity among certain voting segments is symptomatic of the Democratic Party’s continuing crisis of salvation. Some of you have been following my posts long enough to know that salvation has been a recurring theme of mine for over a year.

I think the media covered how Black voters have the strongest opinion of all concerning Trump’s mental stability — 71 percent don’t think he’s wrapped too tight, versus 43 percent among Whites — so I’ll only ask: isn’t the race divide over that survey question alone worth a hearty beer discussion … ?

Hillary Clinton is curiously absent from the survey — especially since Oprah Winfrey, Kirsten Gillibrand and Joe Biden were mentioned and gauged as potential Trump matchups.

Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised by that …

[Kambui’s note: this piece was written a while ago, but a couple of distractions delayed it from being published. Two words — “last week’s” — were used to update the post’s timing … ]

Posted in Politics, Race, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Smack: what about Harriet Tubman’s pussyhat?

Harriet Tubman statue harlem pussy hat pink

Is this pink pussyhat on top of Harlem’s Harriet Tubman statue a symptom of the famed New York City neighborhood’s gentrification from black and brown to white?

Or is it a visual turn of phrase for how this year’s Women’s March on the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s tenure in office — and more generally, the (White) feminist movement in America — gaslight the history and current struggle for Black women’s rights?

By the way, the pussyhat incident really happened …

song currently stuck in my head: “don’t cost you nothing (12-inch disco mix)” – ashford and simpson

Posted in History, Race, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeff Sessions’ weed hustle

Jeff sessions marijuana

Even my non-weed-smoking perspective was left foggy by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole memo, enabling states to restore a high priority to law enforcement actions against marijuana sales and use.

And then it only took a few seconds to dehaze his strategy. I spent way more time gathering artifacts to support this piece than actually writing it.

The US government’s study of Behavioral Health Trends in the United States [pdf] has a chart that tells me half of I need to infer from Sessions’ weed intrigue: it’s the most popular “illicit” drug in America. Chart is below.

illegal drug use breakdown

The other half came from reading the government’s more detailed 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, [huge pdf] where it became clear that the “past-month” drug use category with the greatest Black-and-White racial gap is marijuana — respectively 11.1 and 9 percent of the US population 12 years and older.

You see the game by now, right?

Relatively speaking, there’s no law-and-order opportunity in the Trixon style (my post for this reference mysteriously disappeared, but I found this video tonight) for meth, opioids, hallucinogens, stimulants, tranquilizers and sedatives since the race gap then swings in the opposite direction.

Okay, crack also has a notable gap — 0.5 vs. 1 percent, but no official is even remotely thinking about legalizing a drug like that.

Assuming Prison, Inc. is still on the lookout for raw material inventory acquisitions — i.e., people to fill prison cells — the marijuana channel is the most lucrative bet.

And in true neo-Confederate style, Sessions will allow the states to figure out how to enforce the federal government’s renewed directive to pursue weed possession as a crime.

The rest of this story is predictable …

song currently stuck in my head: “the hebrews 425 a.d.” – gail laughton

Posted in Politics, Race | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An album (or two) in my head 0066

album review harriet tubman and here lies man

I listened to Harriet Tubman’s latest album again — it’s crazy Deep Space Blackout, where the all-so-dope trio sees our Colson Whitehead and raises it with an ion thruster. Spaceways, Inc. is smiling all the way from Saturn. I’ve also been getting my sway on with a dancefloor-friendly release of vintage Metal, blended into Afrobeat.

harriet tubman araminta album

Harriet Tubman
Sunnyside Records

I’ve always felt — with no intended disrespect to the beloved protest hymns in current rotation — that a reimagined freedom soundtrack is due.

So listening to Araminta multiple times had me wondering if Harriet Tubman’s been harboring similar thoughts.

Blacknuss to the future was all but assured with the power trio of bassist Melvin Gibbs, drummer JT Lewis and guitarist Brandon Ross leading the journey, but the addition of award-winning trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith accomplishes something I didn’t think was possible: the music is more powerful and nuanced than ever.

Araminta connects the diasporic styles of Rock, Blues, Jazz, Dub and Electronica, sharing the stories of struggle that need to be told — and without compromise. 

Through adventurous sonic prose, the band screams, visualizes and whispers “freedom” all at once, from the blistering improvisational interplay to the tracks’ titles. Shoot, the album title came from the birth name of arguably the most famous antebellum freedom fighter in history.

Araminta’s brilliance also comes from the way it shuns the common, transactional view of history in favor of drawing a time continuum of events and icons like Selma, Chester Himes, Nina Simone, the band’s namesake, slavery and even former President Barack Obama, all the while launching their dense musical approach from the dual foundations of Blues and Free Jazz.

Electronic invocations of Hendrix, Miles, Chicago Blues and the band’s own explosive style flow through each other to assemble a single fist in salute to ancestors, the living, and seed who may someday yearn to be free.

While this isn’t a formal album review and I don’t officially publish best-of-the-year posts, I’ll still say that Harriet Tubman turned in one of the best releases of 2017.

here lies man album review

Here Lies Man
RidingEasy Records

Let’s start by dealing with the risk bands flirt with they infuse any form of West African music with other styles: creating corny-azz gimmicks.

Too many bands fail to respect the clave in these instances …

Put another way, how in the hell can you breed offspring with their Mutha and not appear ridiculous?

And I think this is one of the reasons why Here Lies Man works well — the 70s Metal guitar and Psychedelic haze the group brings to global African Roots music comes from a place of respect.

The result is an audio chemistry experiment where you’re listening to the difference between compounds, mixtures or something much worse than the latter.

Africa hasn’t created distant daughters and sons, y’know.

Here Lies Man completely gets the idea that an over-the-top effort is not required to sound genuine or achieve organic fusion.

They simply respect the clave.

The songs — where I’ll admit their riffs are stretched to the limit at times — are meant for dance floors. The furious rhythm section sees to that. Keyboard phrasing supports Afrobeat integrity, while Marcos Garcia (Antibalas) turns in some interesting vocal work. The underlying Funk remains a constant.

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

While Mueller has the keys, he can make a drive-by investigation of Team Trump and that Malaysian fund scandal

jared kushner and yousef al otaiba

In addition to playing the role of World War III’s firestarter in his idiotically dangerous take on creating peace in the Middle East, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been on my radar for an additional reason: his name keeps appearing near alleged financial scoundrels in reports I’ve been reading since last summer.

This is why I’ve been hinting on various channels that while the whole Team-Trump-and-Russia election collusion accusations are hard to prove — assuming an adjacent and coherent fact concerning the whole matter exists at all — there may be stronger case to be made for obstruction of justice or money laundering.

My focus on the latter charge began with the whole idea of real estate and finance — two businesses the Trump family is deeply engaged in — being historically fertile grounds for washing money.

Like I mentioned months ago, it simply makes sense for special prosecutor Robert Mueller — whose open charter includes investigating the collusion charges — to make a drive-by investigation of an unrelated matter, and possibly strike gold.

We all know that stranger drive-bys have happened

In addition to all the reported financial transactions Kushner tried to execute with practically the same countries he has politically engaged in the Middle East peace process, there was an interesting article I read this past summer in the Malaysia Chronicle, which has since been deleted. All that remains is the headline:


1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Berhad, is a Malaysia-based sovereign investment fund that has been quite an esoteric topic among many American media consumers. That will or should change.

Here’s the abridged voodoo about the scandal: investigators from at least six governments, including the United States, suspect 1MDB stole and laundered approximately $4 billion of the Malaysian public’s money through shell companies and fake accounts across the globe to fund the luxurious lifestyles of 1MDB executives and possibly Malaysian government officials — including the fund’s founder, Prime Minister Najib Razak. Reports say that Razak received about $1 billion in wired funds through the scheme.

In addition to founding 1MDB, Razak chaired the fund’s board of advisors before stepping down. He continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Think of 1MDB as Malaysia’s Watergate.

The deleted Malaysia Chronicle piece mentioned that a Swiss-based private bank handed over 900 pages of documents that financially link United Arab Emirates ambassador to Malaysia and Silicon Valley investor, Yousef Al Otaiba, to Jho Low, a 1MDB principal.

Otaiba — considered one of the most well-connected Ambassadors in Washington — and Kushner are close friends, well as collaborators in the ongoing Middle East peace exercise. According to Politico, the two speak by phone weekly.

Any financial relationship Otaiba (allegedly) has with 1MDB would be politically toxic, and possibly criminal.

President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch described the 1MDB scandal as “astonishing greed.” She announced a civil suit during the summer of 2016 which seeks to forfeit over $1 billion in laundered money supposedly used by the fund to acquire US assets.

President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions called 1MDB “kleptocracy at its worst,” and filed a suit this past June, seeking an additional $540 million.

But … three strange events happened.

First — President Trump invited Prime Minister Razak to visit the White House. A puzzling move, given how much life the 1MDB scandal still has globally — especially in Malaysia — and the civil proceedings initiated by the US.

Second — during their their September 12 joint press conference, the two leaders never referenced the 1MDB scandal or the Justice Department’s lawsuit.

Third — weeks after claiming the additional $540 million against 1MDB, The Justice Department suspended their lawsuit(!)

Okay, the official statement is that the Justice Department is suspending the lawsuit to avoid interfering the criminal investigation underway. They also mentioned how the criminal investigation will “take time.”

I’m no special prosecutor, but I smell game.

Why would the Justice Department suddenly suspend a civil lawsuit, only weeks after adding more than a half billion dollars to their claim?

If Mueller isn’t sniffing around 1MDB, he should. It’s worth a shot.

The longshot is he’ll find financial ties between Kushner and Otaiba. The latter’s already been linked to 1MDB, and Kushner’s no virgin to dirty money suspicions.

But there may be a bigger catch.

The strange case of Prime Minister Razak smacks of textbook obstruction of justice behavior or worse — several levels higher.

Or perhaps Mueller will ignore 1MDB altogether out of confidence that he has something even bigger in the pot to cook …

song currently stuck in my head: “undisco kidd (gay marvine edit)” – funkadelic

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment