Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
April 4th , will mark the anniversary of the murder of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was not afraid to speak Truth to power and to use his Liberation Theology to correct societal wrongs. Although many people boo hoo over the death of Dr. King, these same people are silent when it comes to another Liberation theologian, Dr. Jeremiah Wright.
It is a shame that newspapers across the country are reporting that Dr. Wright has had to cancel speaking engagements because of alleged security threats. Where are all the people who constantly complain that there aren't any more black leaders? Where are the clergy who claim that they are "on the battlefield" for their Lord ? Where are the men in the community that are suppose to protect the elders?
In every city, people need to be standing up for the right of Dr. Wright to speak without fear for his safety as well as those who come to hear him .
In every city, there need to be t-shirts and bumper stickers that say "Wright is Right" in big bold letters.
We have to say with a loud voice that we have lost too many black leaders and we will not lose another one!
Decades ago, Bob Marley posed the question "How long will they kill our prophets, while we stand around and look."
Too bad in 2008, we are still asking the same question.
Monday, March 24, 2008
On Saturday March 29th at 3PM, the Messianic Afrikan Nation will sponsor "The State of Black Manhood Conference" at the Stanford L Warren Library 1201 Fayetteville St, Durham NC.
The event will feature several speakers addressing issues facing Black men.
For more information contact (919) 451-8283
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Hollywood Racism and Black Anger
For the past few weeks, in the wake of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, the question that keeps poppin' up is why are Rev. Jeremiah Wright and other black folks so angry ?
Sometimes we may even question ourselves.
For instance. This is a quiet Easter Sunday morning so I'm relaxing at the crib watching a little television. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the little kiddies are running around in their Easter bonnets getting ready for their Easter egg hunts.
"Who could be angry on a day like this," I thought as I engaged in a little channel surfing.
But as soon as I started humming the chorus from "We are the World," this popped up on my TV screen.
Tomorrow, night, 3/24 the movie "Trader Horn" is going to be show on Turner Movie Classics. This is the first non-documentary film shot in Africa.
Apparently, the folks over at Turner Classic Movies are proud of that fact.
According to the promo, the movie is about a trader's encounter with "hordes of blood thirsty cannibals" and a white goddess that rules over savage pagan races.
Now, this is not the only movie that has portrayed African people in a negative light, it has always been a tradition in Hollywood. From the cannibals of "the dark continent" to the thugs and gangsters on the dark streets of the "inner city," Hollywood has always been racist.
I wonder if Dr. Wright saw movies like "Trader Horn" as a child? Maybe that can explain his "rage."
Unfortunately, the same white folks who have a problem with the Rev. Wright's of the world have no problem with movies like Trader Horn still being shown in 2008, as it is a part of historical "American culture."
I guess what black folks call racism, white folks call history.....
Min. Paul Scott's blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Confessions of Fox's Black Boogeyman
Min. Paul Scott
As the spotlight beamed down on my face, I could hear the producer counting down. Ten seconds to Armageddon; my first encounter with Fox News' epitome of evil, Sean Hannity. As I sat there waiting for the big showdown, I asked myself,
"What's a militant, Afrocentric, radical dude, like me, doing in a place like this?"
It started off on a whim. I had watched Hannity and Colmes a few times and developed a strong dislike (OK, bitter hatred) for Sean Hannity before he even opened his mouth. (Something about that permanent smirk on his face makes me wanna slap him.) So, one morning in 2002, I called ABC radio and asked to speak with the producer of his talk show.
"Hold on," the receptionist said. "Too easy," I thought. "She must be new."
I was expecting to talk to an answering machine but, to my surprise, someone picked up the receiver!
Being a seasoned community activist, I new the drill. You get 10 good seconds to pitch a story idea before a snooty producer, who is up against a deadline, rudely cuts you off midstream and tells you to fax him your info at (212) 555 -"click..." So, before the producer guy could finish saying hello, I had already given him my entire bio.
"Good, no click, yet. Now for the story pitch..."
"I wanna tell Sean Hannity, that Jesus was black !"
After a second of awkward silence, the producer said that he liked the idea and would get back with me soon.
I told myself that I wouldn't hold my breath.
Two weeks later, the phone rang. It was a producer from the Hannity and Colmes tv show who had run across my info. She wanted me on the show that night.
"Let me check my schedule," I said, pausing to shadow box with the giant poster of Sean Hannity with scripto horns drawn on his head that hangs on my living room wall.
"Cool." Ready for prime time.
A few hours later, I was rollin' through the 'hood in an expensive town car with a white chauffeur, courtesy of Rupert Murdock on my way to some secret Fox News bat cave satellite studio.
As I got mic-ed up, the producer made small talk while he adjusted the audio.
"Say, someting in the microphone, please."
"Sure, Sean Hannity is a no good, son-of-a....."
Then it was show time, just me, Sean, Alan Colmes and 10 million Conservatives who would soon learn hate my guts.
The show is pretty much the same every night. They do their classic good cop/bad cop routine. Alan Colmes asks you a few polite questions to butter you up and then ...BAM!!! Hear comes Hannity, the Hitman.
"You, know Pauuuul, he sneered in that arrogant, northern drawl that only a bigot could love, "it's racists like you...."
The show always goes pretty much according to script. Hannity hits you with a couple of patented conservative one liners. You make a quick rebuttal, then Colmes thanks you for coming on the show. The show generated so much controversy, Colmes wrote about it in his book "Red, White and Liberal."
I wasn't on Fox News again until January of 2006. I baited them with an email about "boycotting Black History Month because it was too white."
That morning, I got calls from most of Fox's shows, all wanting me to discuss the issue. At that point, I became Fox's big black boogeyman, appearing on the network 4 times that year.
It's no secret that Fox News has an agenda. They are there to ease white guilt and make Right Wing white folks feel that their bigotry and heightened sense of ethnic paranoia is justified. So, anytime some racist, Michael Richards/Don Imus type guy says something totally ignorant, they bring on a black "militant" so they can say...
"Look, ma..There are "black" racists, too !!!!
If they are not doing that, they are busy trying to play one black "leader" person against another.
I remember hearing a Fox producer quietly, sobbing in the background, when what he thought was going to be a knock down, drag out fight between an African American lady professor and myself over black history, turned out to be a respectful, enlightening conversation.
So, in 2006, any time there was an incident of white racism, anywhere on the planet. I could count on my cell phone ringing.
Now, I know that many of you are asking why, knowing the nature of Fox News, do people like myself even go on the network. After all, its kinda like walking around with a big "kick me" sign, on purpose.
To borrow from the controversial rapper Jadakiss, we do it because " we need air time."
Our hope is that between Cynical Sean's sneering and Wild Bill O'Reilly's "holier than though" finger pointing, maybe, just maybe, we can get one or two good punches in. Also, the appearances lead to other opportunities to clarify our positions that were distorted by the network. In my case, I would go on Alan Colmes' radio program, even interacting with callers, following the show which was a more principled discussion.
Sure, sometimes I felt like kicking myself for even doing the show. (I should have known it was a set up , when they sent a stretch limo with flashing party lights to pick me up for the last encounter.) But hey, they can't all be gems.
As an activist, I always ask myself if my seven and a half minutes of fame helped to raise the consciousness of the country. Did I put an issue before the public that would have otherwise gone unheard ?
Because at the end of the day, that's all that counts.
Min. Paul Scott is an activist, writer and lecturer. His blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/ He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Afrocentricity for Dummies (and other Conservatives)
An Unapologetic Apologetic
Min. Paul Scott
Afrocentricity has long been a dirty word in America. Its very utterance conjures up images in the minds of many white folks of a mob of wild eyed, spear wielding, black militants storming the village and pillaging and ravaging everything in sight. This fear has been exacerbated by the controversy over Senator Barack Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and his "Afrocentric Liberation Theology." Not to mention the pictures that "mysteriously" started poppin' up in email boxes, a few weeks back, featuring the senator decked out in his Kenyan garb.
Could it be that the worst fears of white Conservatives are being realized and the Obama presidency run is really just a front for a well thought out revenge plot to "get whitey" that has been clandestinely planned in the back rows of cotton fields and the back rooms of barbershops for the last 400 years?
Or could it just be that white America is once again showing its paranoia over anyone that doesn't have an "America, love it or leave it" bumper sticker on the back of their pickup truck, get their news from the Drudge Report and pay homage to Elvis Presley as the king of Rock and Roll.
I'll roll with the latter...
What is especially sad is that most of the ,supposedly, intelligent folks who are wetting their pants over Afrocentricity have no idea what it is or is not, preferring just to dismiss the concept under the banner "if it ain't white, it ain't right."
The term "Afrocentric" means exactly what the name implies, "African centered" as opposed to the Eurocentric foundation on which western civilization was built.
One can trace Afrocentric thought back to the early 20th century with the Pan Africanist movement of Marcus Garvey and the writings of black scholars such as J.A. Rogers, William Leo Hansberry and later, George GM James, who dared to tell the world that no matter how you try to spin it, it is impossible to uproot an entire country (Egypt) and transport it to Europe.
Later, thanks to the activism of groups such as the Black Panther Party and educator, Maulana Karenga, black student Unions began popping up on college campuses across the country and challenging the concept of the long held American principle that a lost sailor man named Christopher Columbus "discovered" America.
After the Black Power movement, thanks to disco music and '80's materialism, the Afrocentric movement began to fade, replaced by an integrationist dream courtesy of a Jesse Jackson presidential run and a Bill Cosby sitcom.
However, thanks, in a large part, to political Hip Hop music via rap groups like Public Enemy and X-Clan and Spike Lee movies, a new generation of black youth went searching for their roots.
Thanks to a renewed appreciation for Afrocentricism, scholars such as Dr. John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannnn were rediscovered by a new generation of black radical college kids who were filling up auditoriums of universities for their lectures. Not to forget, Molefi Asante who created the first African American studies Ph.D program.
This rise in Afrocentrity was followed by attacks on the philosophy by writers such as Mary Lefkowitz, not to mention the Republican/Angry White Man Revolution that helped to make writers like Denis D'Souza and Richard Hernstein folk heroes.
However, it wasn't the Conservatives that put a death nail in the coffin of this new wave of Afrocentricity. The final blow was delivered by rich white entertainment moguls who used the once enlightening Hip Hop music to dumb down an entire generation.
So, the spirit of Afrocentrism lay dormant for a decade until some Right Wing talkin' heads got wind of a nasty rumor that a black presidential candidate liked to get dudded up in "Muslim" clothes and hang out with radical, pro-black pastors.
Let's keep it real. Every culture is ethnocentric and, for the most part, it is celebrated by Americans who pride themselves in being part of a great melting pot. However, this ethnic tolerance does not apply to black folks.
Although, many white Americans celebrate St. Paddy's Day, I shudder to think what would happen if African Americans chose to celebrate "Shaka Zulu Day," instead. The cries of "black racism", even though it is virtually impossible for black people to be "racist," would be deafening.
So, what is America's beef with Afrocentrism?
Could it be that many white folks are terrified that African Americans will see social integration as a failed science experiment or that they may began to pose questions that make even the most liberal white folks a little hot under the collar?
Heaven forbid that the topic of reparations, may raise its ugly head above the waters of the mainstream and the media may have to actually give a platform to angry black folks questioning how the US can give foreign aid to other countries but not break off a lil somethin' for the descendants of enslaved Africans who built this country via centuries of free labor.
If nothing else, the best thing to come out of the Obama presidential run is the fact that Afrocentrism is back in the arena of public discourse.
I'm just waiting for the Obama campaign to change its theme song to...
"Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud!"
Take a look at my post from last July "When Mayberry Goes Gangsta.."
The problem is that the bill is too ambiguous and anyone who fits the description of a "gang member" could be snatched up. And who do you think that is gonna be ?
If we learned anything from 9/11 it is that there are those that would pimp the politics of fear to take away the rights of citizens and if one citizen's rights are violated, we all are violated.
Min. Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283
Thursday, March 13, 2008
According to the News and Observer, a second suspect in the murder of UNC student body president Eve Carson was caught. Seems that they spared no expense and left no stone unturned to find those who committed this unspeakable crime. The news last night featured scenes of police canvassing Durham neighborhoods looking for the suspects and after less than a week. Both are in jail.
Did they ever find out who killed that 15 year old who was gunned down trying to protect his two year old cousin in Cornwallace Projects last year ?
Just a thought....
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Ain't My Brotha's Keeper
When I first heard about the murder of UNC student body president Eve Carson, like most folks I felt a deep sense of sorrow for the family. But then like most black folks, this was immediately followed by "please don't let the suspects be black." And for me, an extra "please don't let them be from Durham."
My worst fears were realized today...
According to news reports the two suspects are black dudes from Durham. Time to duck and get ready for the fallout.
Now, I'm not tryin' to be insensitive because if it was my daughter, sister, friend who was murdered I would want everybody and their mama even remotely responsible for the crime to pay the ultimate price...But that is a prerogative reserved for the family and friends...
My concern is with the other folks...
There is a feeling in many places in this country that black folks are soft on crime and are always makin' excuses for criminals. Especially in Durham.
This is not true. If you look at the history of black folks who commit crimes on white folks, they probably shot or robbed five other black people before they got to the white side of town...
A criminal is a criminal and a victim is a victim whether she is a high school drop out from tha 'hood or a college student.
But black folks are looked at as being monolithic in thought and action. You can believe that many African Americans will be walking around the next few days feeling guilty about Carson's murder even though they had nothing to do with it.
(Just because the suspects look like your sister Ruth Ann's sons does not make you an accomplice.)
Also, there are many folks who will use this event as a platform to spew deep seated prejudices that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.
I dread going to Mickey Dees tomorrow and having my Big Mac dining experience ruined by the couple at the next table beaming at me as they "loudly" whisper about Durham being full of no good thugs and animals just loud enough for me to hear..
Not to mention the onslaught of camera crews that are undoubtedly on their way to Durham as we speak..I'm sure the good folks at Fox will have a field day with this one.
What is most disturbing is that black youth advocates like myself will have to endure the taunts of the Sean Hannity's of the world for the next 20 years when any black person is treated, unjustly..
"Well, where were you when your Afr-i-can A-mer-i-can brooothers murdered that college student in 2008 !"
(Um, in bed sleep?)
Contrary to popular belief, all black folks are not criminals nor do we turn a blind eye to crime. We are clear in separating those black people who practice proper African behavior from those who are just plain thugs.
A local poet, Queen Sharon has a phrase that she uses when making this separation. It ain't "us" that are robbin' folks it's "those that are them."
Unfortunately, not everyone takes the time to make that distinction...
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Fear of a Black Jesus:
The Politics of Religion
Min. Paul Scott
Senator Barack Obama has been taking a lot of heat, lately for his ties the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Seems like some folks are a little miffed that Rev. Wright's church is a little too "afro-centric."
The nerve of that man!
Imagine that. A black pastor of a predominately black church preaching the Gospel from a black perspective. This man should be defrocked immediately!
But what is afro-centric theology and why does it attract so many black Americans and disturb so many white Americans? What is this fascination with or fear of a "black Jesus?"
The issue of the color of Yeshua (misnamed Jesus) has always been a controversial topic in this country, evoking strong passions both pro and con. With the demographic makeup of America becoming more culturally diverse, many people are questioning the Euro-centric religious icons that America has cherished since she was founded.
The Euro-centric icons are especially problematic for the millions of descendants of slaves, whose "owners" saw no contradiction between being "good" Christians on Sunday morning and gathering for a hanging on Sunday afternoon. The legacy of this contradiction is so strong that even today many in the white community refuse to even contemplate the idea that the "Jesus" whom they serve was the same color of the people that their forefathers put in chains.
This has produced what is referred to as the "Fear of a Black Jesus" syndrome.
The evidence of Yeshua (Jesus) being Black is overwhelming. Many in the Black community believe that the Messiah was black because of the area of the world in which he lived. The so-called Middle East is actually part of Africa divided from the rest of the continent by the man made Suez Canal. Many believe that the Hebrews living in this area two thousand years ago were people of color as it would have been virtually impossible for anyone to live in Northern Africa and have a pale complexion.
The image of Yeshua that is in many homes and churches is not historically correct but came out of the minds of European artists such as Michelangelo, who was commissioned in 1505 by Pope Julius II to paint certain biblical pictures. Many believe that these pictures were used to justify the African Holocaust (the Trans-Atlantic slave trade) and to create an inferiority complex in African people that would be passed down from generation to generation.
The effect of this image being so devastating that even after the physical chains of slavery were removed, the mental chains would still be in place, causing some black Americans, even in the 21st century to reverence the white man as God. African Americans have been taught since birth that nothing good could come out of Africa and that African people have not contributed anything to humanity, worthwhile. Therefore, it is impossible for some to conceptualize the Messiah being anything but white.
However, nowadays, many younger African Americans are challenging the traditional religion that was forced upon their ancestors. They are posing questions that can no longer be ignored.
How can the theology that was used to enslave and persecute you on Friday, be the same one to free and resurrect you on Sunday? Was it not the Euro-centric version of Christianity that endorsed the murder and enslavement of over 100 million African people? Was it not the Euro-centric version of Christianity that put its stamp of approval on the hanging of Black men from trees? How can this possibly be that same form of Christianity that will make African Americans free ?
Many have asked why we are preaching this Afro-Centric Theology and why now? I ask if not now when and if not me who? Someone has to pick up the torch that has been handed down by Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, Rev. Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessy and Marcus Garvey. Somebody has to stand up and declare the right of African American religious expression.
Although, some refuse to admit this truth and others seek to hide it, as the old saying goes, "Truth crushed to the ground will rise again!"
Minister Paul Scott is founder of the Messianic Afrikan Nation ministry based in Durham NC. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 email@example.com
His blog is http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com/