Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spirt of African Diaspora alive in Brazil

Brazil markets its African culture
By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Salvador

Few places better represent the influence of Africa on Brazilian culture than the streets of Salvador in the state of Bahia.

And throughout November, when the community celebrates Black Consciousness, both the spirit of Africa and the traditional exuberance of Brazil have been on display.

The vast majority of people in Bahia are Brazilians of African descent, the legacy of a time when more than 40% of slaves brought to the New World were taken to Brazil.

Brazil abolished slavery in 1888, the last country in the Americas to do so.

The African influence is everywhere - in music, the dance, food and religion - sometimes preserved in a way that is no longer even true in Africa.

It includes Capoeira, a martial art passed down directly from slaves, and Candomble, an African-inspired religion.

That cultural heritage is now drawing African-American visitors from the US to Brazil.

'Familiar but different'

Among those watching the parade for Black Consciousness day in Salvador was Ky Adderley from Philadelphia.

"I have been very impressed thus far, just being here for 24 hours, just seeing how close everyone feels to their African heritage," he said.

His girlfriend Natasha Jane agreed: "Just in the place we are staying there is African art all over, and just travelling from place to place you see the culture everywhere, in the art, in the people, in the sound, in the food," she said.

Groups working in Brazil to promote understanding say Brazil offers African-Americans a unique opportunity.

Paul Johnson, executive director of Partners of America, says such cultural issues are discussed more openly in Brazil than in the US.

The black American population have a lot to teach us
Domingos Leonelli
Brazilian tourism official
"I think all Brazilians whether they are black or not black acknowledge the contribution that African-Brazilians have made to the general culture.

"I think that is done to a lesser extent in the United States. There is more talk about samba and where it has come from, about Capoeira and where it has come from, about the food, the songs, about how much the national popular culture has adopted African-Brazilian culture."

Simone Manigo-Truell Dos Santos of Levantamos, which promotes Afro-Brazilian-American co-operation, says Brazil blends the idea of being an American whose origins are from Africa.

"People are still able to hold on to their African heritage, their African ties, unlike what we experience in the United States.

"So when you get here and get off the plane and hear the music, the drums, the food is from Africa, a lot of the religion is from Africa, it really all of a sudden makes you feel at home in a way you thought wasn't possible outside of Africa."

Tourist officials in Bahia are now targeting the African-American market, and they hope it will help Brazil as well as the visitors.

"The black north American population, and American society have developed much more financially than our black population here," Bahia Tourism Secretary Domingos Leonelli said. "In this way they have a lot to teach us. A black middle class has developed in the United States, a black business class, and a black political power, and that is still a long way off in Brazil."

Limited opportunities

Brazil was once held up by academics as a "racial democracy" but in recent years there has been a more heated debate in the country about the issue of race, equality and discrimination.

The use of quotas as a means to address lack of access by black students to universities has proved particularly controversial.

40% of slaves in New World were sent to Brazil
Brazil was last country in Americas to abolish slavery, in 1888
Black Brazilians still lag behind whites on most indicators

Most economic indicators show that black Brazilians are the poorest section of society, and the sprawling favelas or shanty towns that are found all around Salvador are just one indication of this.

As well as having the poorest jobs and housing, they also fare badly in terms of health and access to education, while black faces are rarely seen in the corridors of power in either business or politics.

A recent study showed that black residents of the state of Sao Paulo earn 44% less than their white counterparts, and that unemployment among backs is 18.1% compared with 13.2% for whites.

However the current government does at least have some black ministers, and a ministry to promote racial integration.

Brazilians of African descent have a cultural heritage that has much to offer to visitors from around the world, but as a community they still face many challenges in the years ahead, if they are to improve their position within their own society.

Iraqi Lawmakers Walk Out to Protest 'Humiliating' Green Zone Treatment - Politics on The Huffington Post

Iraqi Lawmakers Walk Out to Protest 'Humiliating' Green Zone Treatment - Politics on The Huffington Post

Sunday, November 18, 2007

BBC NEWS | Africa | Zimbabwe 'ready for UK invasion'

BBC NEWS | Europe | Dutch float 'migrant prison' scheme

Crapping their (G-7) pants: when the rest of the world neither wants to be your 'nigga' or your 'b-yotch'.

Realigning the yuan: Resistance from G-20 - International Herald Tribune

US capitalism has failed -- in other words -- to become the tide that would lift all boats. Rampant, unchecked capitalism enslaves, usurps, and destroys, and can only prop itself up now through violence and Hollywood's propaganda machine. Other countries are voting themselves off the dollar, and we should applaud them for recognizing that the blood of the Beast is in fact green. Page 2 : Why Weis, but not Willingham?

Why Weis, but not Willingham?

I hope Black kids keep away from ND recruiters for the next 30 years.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Things fall down: Dollars and Empire in the US of A

Mentally Ill Veterans Sent Back To War - Most Viewed News Story - WCVB Boston

A return to overt racism

I'm of the opinion that it never left, people just went into outright denial.

If racism is resurgent in the US, it is only because we as African Americans have been complicit it supporting the system -- falsely believing we could 'shame' the devil' and consume our way into the hearts of the American public. As a staunch Pan Africanist I can recall being shouted down or just categorically dismissed by fellow African Americans with now recognition of our people before slavery.

We live in the valley of the dry bones.

Africom aims to recolonize Africa

Sunday, November 11, 2007

VIDEO: Hillary Confronted on Bilderberg in Oakland


We are living in extraordinarily dangerous times, when evil, rather than justice, prevails. The schoolyard is terrorized by thugs and punks with names like Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, Robertson, Clinton, Rockefeller, Rice, Rumsfeld, Perle, Kristol and Giuliani—pedigreed people all.

In an inconspicuous corner of the schoolyard, the good people—and they are legion—keep to themselves, afraid. No one wants to be hurt; and the thugs and punks are dangerous, even criminally insane people. They have terrible weapons and criminal gangs who patrol the schoolyard to intimidate and terrorize, looking for those who talk to others; looking for signs of organization and resistance. The good people have witnessed their maiming and killing countless times. They have every reason to be afraid.

An aberration of nature, the blood of the punks and thugs is not red like ours; it is green, the color of money. They have an insatiable thirst for blood—our blood; the blood of all innocents. Blood money is their currency. Through some kind of strange alchemy, they are able to convert blood into money to own the world......

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - Denver Voters Again Tell Police To Back Off On Pot

My brother in law voted for the bastard...

My brother in law voted for the bastard...

Oil contamination assessment in Nigeria

Courtesy of

Race and genetics

Newsletter: Communities United Against Police Brutality

Communities United Against Police Brutality
November 6, 2007
(Vegan and Meat Choices Available)
Friday, November 9
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Walker Church
3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
$7 for adults, $4 for children
We're throwing a little party to raise funds for the Critical Mass arrestees legal fund. Come get your fill of delicious pasta with your choice of sauces, salad, garlic bread and dessert, all for a great cause. So far, five of the arrestees have been charged, some with serious offenses. It appears that people with histories of activism are being most heavily targeted. In one case, the prosecution tried to get the arrestee to take a deal specifically not to protest the RNC, so the agenda behind these prosecutions is pretty clear. Stand up with these arrestees and have a great meal and a great time, too. If you aren't able to attend but still want to contribute, go to the new Donations page on our website at and designate Critical Mass Arrestees as the fund you want to donate to:
If You Want to Keep It, Better Use It Soon
The Minneapolis City Council's so-called Free Speech Working Group will be meeting on Wednesday, November 14th at 11:00 a.m. in City Hall, room 333. At this meeting, the working group will be taking up a number of proposed ordinance changes that, while targeted at the RNC protests, will likely impact our ability to exercise free speech and redress the government for years. Previous proposals on the table included onerous permit processes and would have banned downtown protests from 7-9 a.m. and from 4-6 p.m. If you care about the right to protest, make it your business to be at that meeting.
Police Code of Silence Exposed
October 17, 2007

GULFPORT -- Police can avoid the code of silence by holding each other accountable for their actions.

That, according to Michael W. Quinn, is how officers build trust in their communities and spare themselves and their families the disgrace that comes with criminal convictions or firings over misconduct.

"A good cop doesn't cover for another officer," Quinn told 175 Gulfport police officers in an ethics class last week. "A good cop steps in and says 'stop' and doesn't try to cover anything up.

"No matter what, it's not OK to lie to get the job done."

Quinn, a retired Minneapolis police veteran, is an ethics trainer, community college instructor and author of a book on the code of silence, "Walking With the Devil: What Bad Cops Don't Want You to Know and Good Cops Won't Tell You."

The code of silence is unwritten but real, said Quinn in four-hour sessions that count toward the Gulfport officers' annual training requirements. Quinn said he hopes the lessons have a lasting positive impact.

Quinn said he realizes talk about the code of silence "strikes a raw nerve in Harrison County." He was referring to a former county jailer's recent conviction on a death under color of law and guilty pleas of nine others in a conspiracy to deprive inmates' civil and constitutional rights. All 10 will be sentenced next month.

"It was an aberration," said Quinn, noting he occasionally hears of similar cases, but seldom involving as many officers over a prolonged period.

"It's a blot on Mississippi. I'm not saying they were all bad (officers). Something should have been done to stop it when it started, but people let it go on."

Gulfport Police Chief Alan Weatherford read Quinn's book shortly after he was sworn in Feb. 6, 2006. That was the day Jessie Lee Williams Jr., arrested two days earlier by Gulfport police, died of injuries from an unprovoked assault by a booking officer at the jail. A Gulfport officer was among several officers and jailers who witnessed the beating. Federal prosecutors have said a pattern of abuse existed at the jail for at least five years.

Weatherford said Quinn's book had such a profound effect on him that he uses scenarios on the code of silence when he questions job applicants.

Weatherford said he has fired eight officers for various reasons since he's been chief. "It's something I lose sleep over," he said, "but I can't tolerate misconduct."

Quinn told the officers their job is "to protect and serve, not to arrest and incarcerate."

Afterward, Quinn said he was impressed with the Gulfport officers and their leaders.

"Only a small percentage of cops nationwide are accused of criminal acts," he said. "Cops make mistakes. They're human. But it's an important job. It can be dangerous. It's a job that calls for strength and honor. They deserve all the help they can get to do their best."
Over 2000 People Killed Between 2003 and 2005

The U.S. Justice Department has confirmed what we already knew--death at the hands of police has become an epidemic. If you haven't already, you're going to want to download the just-released DOJ report Arrest-Related Deaths in the United States, 2003-2005. This report shows that 2002 people were killed by cops in that 3 year period, with 55% resulting from homicide by police officer. There is also an important section on deaths caused by Tasers. Bear in mind that this figure does not include deaths in jails and that the deaths may actually be underreported because of the way the DOJ found the reports.

The URL for a PDF version of the report itself is A related report of statistical tables of deaths in prisons and jails is at

NOTE: This is the same jail that killed Maria Inamagua by denying her medical care and the same jail this organization has visited on a number of occasions to bring letters demanding medical attention for other inmates. This jail should be shut down and all administrators and employees associated with these deaths should be prosecuted.

Ramsey Co. inmates parents plan wrongful-death lawsuit
By Joy Powell, Star Tribune
November 01, 2007

Randy Gallmeyer was arrested on an alcohol-related charge the evening of Oct. 19. Within 36 hours, at 7 a.m. Sunday, Ramsey County jail guards found him unconscious in his cell and had him transported to Regions Hospital. He died Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Now, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said late Wednesday, the sheriff’s office is investigating how Gallmeyer, a diabetic, may have died and exactly how much jailers should have known about his medical needs. Also investigating, Fletcher said, is the Minnesota Health Department, which employs the nurses that work in the jail.

Gallmeyer, 46, of St. Paul, was booked into the Ramsey County jail just before 8 p.m. on suspicion of refusing to take a drunk-driving test when he was stopped while riding his scooter, jail records show.

His mother, Elenora Gallmeyer, told a Minneapolis television station that their son was diabetic and that family members had taken his medicine to the jail before he lapsed into a diabetic coma.

On Wednesday night, Fletcher said he was unaware of that until it was reported by FOX 9 News.

“The parents have not contacted my office regarding this matter, so that was the first I had heard of that allegation,” the sheriff said. “But we certainly hope to reach out to them and find out any information they have regarding the medication.

“He did see the nurses on Saturday,” Fletcher continued. “All of these issues will be part of our internal investigation as well. But at this point, the medical examiner has not determined the cause of death. It would be inappropriate for us to comment until one, we know the cause of death, and two, have had about a week’s worth of time to investigate the circumstances.”

The TV station reported that Gallmeyer’s parents, Bernie and Elenora, intend to file a wrongful-death suit.

“We’re taking it seriously,” Fletcher said. “We’ve begun an administrative investigation and we hope to be in contact with the family to determine some additional facts that we might now have.”

The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office said toxicology tests are pending.

“It’s too early for me to make any definitive comments,” Fletcher said. “We’ll have to have an investigation of our staff conduct, and the Health Department will need to investigate the nursing staff. And we’ll need to hear from the mother to determine what time it was that she allegedly alerted the deputies to the severity of his health issues.”

The sheriff said Gallmeyer was intoxicated when he came into the jail’s custody.
Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)
Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Raw Story | Times: Bush plans to keep Pakistan from being mockery of democracy 'fell apart spectacularly'

Times: Bush plans to keep Pakistan from being mockery of democracy 'fell apart spectacularly'

The Times is still looking to regain its credibility after exposing themselves as war mongering elitists during the run up to this war -- actually there's much they should be ashamed of, such as calling themselves 'the paper of record,' what a joke. Nonetheless, here's a half-decent editorial that touches the tip of the iceberg that is US acquiescence to the despot Musharaf's military rule.