What’s the black strategy if Trump wins?

Columnist Al Calloway of the South Florida Times posed this question:

What’s the black strategy if Trump wins?

The largely Republican-right white nationalist Trump crowds roar approval when the Donald cites years of African American loyalty to the Democratic Party for which, he alleges, they have nothing to show for it. Trump indicts Hillary’s boast of 30 years in public service and exhorts African Americans to vote for him, stating, “you have nothing to lose.”

Here’s Calloway’s article: http://www.sfltimes.com/opinion/whats-the-black-strategy-if-trump-wins

Before even reading the article, I responded: RUN!!!

Then, S.E. Anderson responded to me with:

If Trump becomes president, there’s nowhere on Planet Earth to Run to!
The US already has a massive military presence on and around every continent. Its capitalist enterprises are entangled decisively in every nation on the planet- except for Cuba and North Korea… and they are working on both of them to submit. Trump would abandon the normalization process with Cuba and possibly demand the bombing of N Korea.
Inside the US, the deeply normalized white supremacy policies and practices will be “enhanced”. Emboldened alienated white working-class folk, the police and various white nationalist have been deputized by Trump to “Make America Great [WHITE] Again.”
The Black Strategy should be to continue the work of our Ancestors’ fight for TRUE Liberation and build a movement that is hellbent on destroys Capitalism and its racist appendages– no matter the odds. We need to, no, MUST, continue to be like Ancestor FreedomFighter William Monroe Trotter: “Let Your Motto Be Resistence!”
To Run is to submit. We never ran from enslavement: Our Ancestors Resisted in all kinds of ways. That’s why we’re here today to continue Fight for Black Liberation.
In Struggle,
Sam Anderson

To which I retorted:

Dear Sam,

Obviously, fright and flight is no joke. But running toward freedom is a viable strategy.

The Northern flight through the Underground RR was most definitely ‘running’.

Tubman’s quote still stands, “If they knew they were slaves, I could have saved thousands.”

We need a flight plan because, if Trump wins, even a railroad ticket won’t help us.

At ASALH this week, we chartered the South Florida Branch.

I had a nice, long talk with Patricia Hilliard, Asa’s daughter.  I became a lifetime member of the Association of Black Women Historians.  I struck up a conversation with George McDonald about:

  1. The number of people lynched in National Parks
  2. Homeless people living in National Parks

to determine if his $5 million budget could be used to get an ‘act of Congress’ to set up lodgings in National Parks for homeless citizens, many of whom are women with children and veterans.

Homeless and cold

Photo: http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/editorials-for-students/nycs-homeless-crisis

It’s ridiculous that there are 84.4 million acres in the National Parks system, while more than 500,000 people – a quarter of them children – have nowhere to live. It is ludicrous. It is criminal because there are still human beings that do not fit into the pattern of ‘civilization’ because they are, in fact, nomadic, which is how most tribes started out on this planet.

But the bureaucracy that set up the National Parks System that was lily-white, until The Petermans took the initiative to confront the NPS regime and published their first book Legacy on the Land to encourage African Americans to visit some of the 58 national parks in the U.S.A. despite their ingrained fear of forests where their forefathers, grandfathers, uncles, and brothers hung from trees.

What is it that we cannot get???

Running from the truth or running to the light?

Either way, either of the two candidates running will undoubtedly cause one or more groups in the country to RUN!!!

So, running will be the norm, whether it’s for Black people running from “Emboldened alienated white working-class folk, the police, and various white nationalists that will be deputized by Trump to ‘Make America Great [WHITE] Again,’ or those folks running from us.  Somebody gonna be runnin’!!!

And ‘Black Liberation’ cannot nor will ever be attained without WHITE LIBERATION from the idiotic ideology of white supremacy, a paradigm that is shifting in ever-deepening quicksand.  Their time is up. GAME OVER. WAKE UP melanated people, and push back!

Run, people, run toward the light, toward TRUTH, toward the land o’ make believe.

Run, until you reach the edge of the abyss that is human beings believing that to be civilized is to put a gate at the entrance of land that once was and should be put to good use by people living on sidewalks of the so-called ‘greatest show on Earth’ – Amerikkka!


Joan Cartwright


The Myth of White Ownership

Herein is a discussion with my good friend Dinizulu Gene Tinnie on the validity of the claims of Her Highness Divine: Empress Wendy Farica Washitaw (1927-2014), the late reigning empress of the Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Empire and leader of the Emperial Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Nation. SHE WAS THE LEGAL HEIR to the Maison Rouge land grant that was skillfully willed to her great-great-great-grandfather Henry Turner, son of the Marquis de Maison Rougethe child of French Nobility was rescued by Baron Philip de Bastrop at the beginning of the unrest culmination with the French Revolution.


Her Highness Divine: Empress Wendy Farica Washitaw


Washitaw Land


Dear Gene,

Have you heard about this? Washitaw Nation Comes Under Investigation
Dear JC,
So, whatever happened to objective reporting?  (I have always had a kind of mixed respect for the SLPC, for its fine work on the on hand, but with what has always struck me as a self-aggrandizing motive.  They have established themselves as a recognized force identifying, monitoring,and exposing hate groups and actions.  It seems that the strength of their work, and the respect it has earned, has been rooted in their scientific, objective, and unbiased presentation of the data they have collected, or at least so it seemed from what encounters I have had with their work over the years.  The openly snide and lurid tone of this report is a definite departure from that perception.)  By American law, regardless of how much or how little respect for it that even the defendants caught up in its snares may have, still declares all defendants to be innocent until actually proven guilty “beyond the shadow of a doubt” in a court of law, and therefore need to be respected as such in public discourse (such as journalism), not least in order to protect potential jurors from allegations of having prejudicial views fueled by negative news reporting, like this.
That said, I only have the most casual and passing knowledge of the Washitaw nation, and have heard of the Empress and come across some of her pronouncements and political positions, only enough to know that she and her organization are linked to the Moorish Science Temple, founded by Noble Drew Ali, whole members have “-El” appended to their surnames.  (It, like the Nation if Islam, the Coptic Church, and other such organizations originated in the Garvey movement.)  I have had interesting conversations with some of the more doctrinaire members who actually contend that we (Africans/Moors) have been in these lands since before the continents separated, and who deny that the Middle Passage ever existed, as if millions of Black people, having been through what we have endured, could be duped by a hoax of such proportions, but I still consider myself as one who has more to learn than to question.)
I will share this with folks who definitely do have more knowledge of the Washitaw Nation (and other such organizations) who I am sure can shed some light on these proceedings.
I look forward to learning and sharing more of what I can find out.
Best all ways,

I appreciate your observation of the slanted journalism here. The snide remarks of this reporter are in line with the malaise of so many white people who believe that all people of color of full of criminal tendencies, which, in fact, is mere projection in the Freudian sense of their own criminal minds that caused them to commit genocide all over this planet.
I spoke with an old friend Denise Wilson-El this week who spent lots of time with the Empress even traveling with her to the UN Conference on Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland. She has fond memories of the Empress but regretted that documents proving the origin of the Muurs, here in this land were not copied and circulated before government renegades ramshacked the Empress’ home and destroyed the evidence.
The term “The devil never sleeps” certainly applies here. These white devils know the truth and are bent on our people never awakening to it. However, truth is the only constant and all is coming to light.
I will await the response of some of your colleagues.
Yours in the struggle
Mamayah El Molina Bey
aka Joan Cartwright

One of the folks I reached out to, wouldn’t you know, is Denise Wilson-El’s son, Guy Forchion, who is the executive director of the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, asking him if his Mom might have some insights on this state of affairs as described in the article.  The other is Jeanette Stephens-El, aka Raining Deer, who, by the way, has a new book out called “On Eagles’ Wings: Prayers for the President” (whomever [s]he might be, going forward), and is looking for venues in which to present it in SoFla (or SoFlo in ASALH newspeak) before the election, so all ideas and insights are welcome. 

Thank you for reminding me about the UN Conference on Indigenous Peoples.  That is not where I last heard news of the Empress, but I believe she was at another event, possibly the webcast following the unveiling of “The Ark of Return” Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on the UN Headquarters Visitors Plaza last year.

As you know, one (of many!) of the disturbing phenomena in this land of (selective) opportunity, where the questionable bourgeois-driven concept of “ragged individualism” has taken root, is that “people without a place” (or who at least perceive themselves as being without a place on earth) find fertile ground here to take ownership, a la Columbus, of anything they think they can claim and control access to.  This is often land, of course, but also any necessary goods and services, which they make available at a price (which they set, of course), holding the needy hostage, and, of late, this tendency has spread to include “intellectual properties” (including such absurd madness as Monsanto claiming exclusive patents of GMO agricultural products with which they hope to replace the natural food supply), and even, to get to the point of where all this is leading, rightful and worthy political causes, particularly those which are not already “taken.”  Thus we find self-appointed authorities on “Indian Tribes” and their history, and even more ignobly, supposed non-profit “Foundations” trading quite profitably in “Indian Artifacts” that supposedly benefit the Tribes, but a reading of the fine print reveals that Indian Poverty is big business, and therefore needs to be kept going.

Such, it has long been my suspicion, is the Southern Law & Poverty Center, which focuses supposedly on much of the injustice that is visited upon the African American community and on identifying, cataloguing, and monitoring “hate groups,” but not without an agenda of carving out a market niche in the oppression business for themselves.  Moreover, in the spirit of non-hateful, non-pathological paranoia — by which generations of Ancestors wisely survived to give life to us and our progeny — it is not difficult to read into that organization, at least on the part of some elements within it, an agenda to use African Americans as a front for seeking out and identifying anti-Jewish, or anti-other-ethnic hate groups.

America was built from its foundations on “slick,” questionable, and outright criminal business practices (and we have a Constitution written to protect them), so, as you point out, there is much Freudian psychosis and collective guilt in the land, accounting for the ever-so-self righteous posturing of the most criminal minds in seeking to “root out crime.”  Specifically, as Malcolm X, as sharp and astute observer of the society which brought so much havoc to his own family as there ever was, once stated, “White people are artful at making the criminal look like the victim and the victim look like the criminal.”  I mean, we are in a country in which for most of its history, holding “slaves” — imprisoned forced laborers who could be violated and exploited at will and denied all human rights with impunity — was NOT considered a crime, whereas escaping from such pathological barbarity WAS a crime, punished in the most barbaric ways, as would be any act of being free and brave long after slavery had supposedly ended.

White supremacy equates equality with oppression.  What is the whole point of being white if all you are going to have is the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, if there are no exclusive neighborhoods, job opportunities, healthcare, etc.  The late brilliant South African author Jordan K. Ngubane (whose novel, modeled on the traditional Zulu umlando, or epic format, entitled “Ushaaba: The Hurtle to Blood River” is a most enlightened work) very incisively dissected the Apartheid system and its motivations, and the radical distinctions between White and Black concepts of law and value systems,  In the latter case, he wisely observed that for the invasive White settlers — people without a place — a thing had value because they possessed it ant other people did not.  It mattered not whether there was the intrinsic or natural value attached to whatever it was, only that exclusivity was established, usually by inflating the price and controlling the distribution of money. 

So how does such a society, particularly when slavery was being openly upheld and enforced as a legal institution, view something like Maroon communities, daring to survive without either being dependent on or giving profit to the parasite class?  Of course that class would see this as nothing less than a “threat to national security,” as would be any uncontrolled or uncontained Native American presence.  Should these Maroons go so far as to not only survive but to acquire some of the things (the parasites only live in a world of things – to have, to do, to be – which reduces everything to commodities) that are supposedly exclusively reserved for themselves, then insane mode is switched on, and literally anything goes, as we would see in Tulsa and Rosewood.

This is what I am reading in the snide sarcasm and cheap shots that this article about the Washitaw Nation by the SLPC has produced (in such stark contradiction to its prominent logo of balanced scales. Supposedly of justice).  The resentment is palpable, responsibility is cast to the wind, and the pretense of law becomes nothing more than a propaganda weapon against a group of people who have escaped outside control and ownership.

All of the above, of course, just forms Chapter 26,473 of the indictment against the invaders, which can barely keep up with the continuous production of evidence.  But that is all “their problem.”  Our issue is of another nature and importance.  We do not like to hear things like “No crime is ever committed without some participation on the part of the victim,” any more than we want to hear that in an auto accident where one driver is clearly at fault that the other had some degree of voluntary participation, perhaps by not being sufficiently observant and defensive, perhaps even by being in the wrong place for the wrong reasons.  That kind of stuff gets too abstract and philosophical and messes up our feelings of righteousness and lets our guilty-as-sin adversaries off the hook a bit, and we don’t need to hear that.

Yet, we, and especially those who comprise the Global Elite of Descendants of Middle Passage Survivors, like the Descendants of Trail of Tears and Genocide Survivors – those whom “History has forced, obligated, challenged, and blessed to be Truth knowers, Truth keepers, and Truth tellers,” are nobody and nothing if we are not a people who is committed to “keepin’ it real” even when everybody all around us is going nuts, and calling that a normal state, questioning our right to be alive.  We, who are formed of an intelligence honed and refined and polished and kept alive and vibrant over countless millennia of serious village palavers beneath the sacred iroko tree, during which self-determination was not even a word or a term because there was no alternative to it, we who have the responsibility to honor all those Ancestors and all those generations Yet Unborn who are alive within us, depending on our every action to make the world right for them, we may “Wear the Mask” and do much of what it takes to survive, but we have to be responsible and accountable.

We cannot, as we negotiate the delicate path from where we are to where we need to be through a yard full of rabid dogs, cannot relax our guard, cannot consider any one(s) of us to be disposable, cannot make silly compromises with demonic forces.  We have to be very astute and wise in what we, as Maroons, in hostile territory, with limited resources, do to maintain our freedom and sanity.

It is on THOSE standards that we have to weigh the actual decisions and actions taken by the leadership and the body of the Washitaw Nation.  We have inherited wisdom.  We have divination systems and proven ways to seek and receive Ancestral Guidance.  We have to evaluate the validity of strategies, the costs vs. the benefits, the reasons why we do the things we do, because we have always known to focus on the actions, not the persons (“Hate the deed, not the doer.”  “You don’t have to be a horrible person to do horrible things,” etc.) 

This is less about judging the allegations being made against the Washitaw Nation regarding past actions than about formulating a strategy for dealing with those allegations that serves our future – the future of ALL of us. For this reason, this case will bear close watching and a strong infusion of knowledge (light rather than heat) for us to fully be responsible players in the fate of our people going forward.




Angels Of Light

Today, I am more appreciative of my own life, the lives of my children and their children. However, the pain of others is vast and I AM now sending Light and Love to all of those who live a life without joy. May their hearts be opened to peace and comfort.

Yesterday, a 20-year-old white boy in Newtown, Connecticut slaughtered 26 people, including 18 children and the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and himself.  Last night, I found it hard to fall asleep, thinking that my grandchild is the same age as some of those murdered. It all started, when Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza with her own guns.

My dilemma is that Wolf Blitzer on CNN said “This is the worst massacre in the history of America.”  Huh?  Does he have convenient amnesia?

I’m struggling with one thing. America was built by people who slaughtered thousands of Native Americans (with guns and gun powder that Marco Polo “discovered” in China). The Trail of Tears resulted in the death of 6,000 Cherokee out of 15,000 that were walked from Tennessee to Oklahoma. Now, the Oklahoma bombing in 1995 killed 168 people. Columbine massacre in 1999 killed 15 people. Four people dead in the Oregon mall shooting on December 13, 2012.

What do all of these events have in common? Young, white men considered to be “warm, loving?” by their family and neighbors???

Is there sleeper cell activity going on here?

The minds of society are NOT just now degenerating. This country was founded by degenerates whose blood flows down to this generation of murders with no consciousness.

Is this retribution for the sins of the fathers? Read this article.

Why this matters to me.

My great grandfather was Cherokee and, somehow, got the name Savage Logan.  My grandmother, H. Maude Logan left property in Asheville, NC, to my mother Charlotte Galloway.

The “Indian Problem”

White Americans, particularly those who lived on the western frontier, often feared and resented the Native Americans they encountered: To them, American Indians seemed to be an unfamiliar, alien people who occupied land that white settlers wanted (and believed they deserved). [Source]

The Trail of Tears

The Indian-removal process continued. In 1836, the federal government drove the Creeks from their land for the last time: 3,500 of the 15,000 Creeks who set out for Oklahoma did not survive the trip. [Source]

See this List of Massacres

Human beings kill each other at alarming rates over ethnicity, religion, land, money, competitiveness, power, fear, or a lover.  The question is, if we are higher than angels and the beasts of the Earth, why can’t we stop the killing?

I call on My Mighty I AM Presence, all the Ascended Masters, guardian angels, and any and all Lightworkers in and around the Earth to STOP THE KILLING, now!!!

Diva JC


In my twenties, thirties and forties, I held authors in the highest esteem. I wondered why there were so many books. In my fifties, I began to understand that everyone has a story to tell and that’s why there are so many books. Some people have multiple stories to tell, thus, increasing the size of the Universal Library.

In 2003, I moved from Florida to Georgia and, in 2004, I began compiling my poetry and memoirs. For 13 months, I wrote my first book IN PURSUIT OF A MELODY, which includes my memoirs, photographs, poetry, songs and two lectures. That book was published at TRAFFORD in Canada.

In 2006, I spent 5 months in China and Japan. When I returned to Georgia, I knew it was not the place for me, so I returned to South Florida. By the end of 2007, I was teaching 8th grade Music at a charter school. But I was laid off in January 2008. I received unemployment compensation for the remainder of the year and discovered www.lulu.com online.

I republished my first book there and broke out the poetry into three books; the song book; Amazing Musiwomen; and So, You Want To Be A Singer?

Today, all of my books are available in soft and hard cover format, as well as ebooks. This is my book store.


It has been my supreme pleasure to teach children about the Amazing Musicwomen who brought blues and jazz music to the forefront of American society and abroad! Also, I have taught students about the intricacies of the Music Business.

Through a grant from BankAtlantic to my non-profit organization, I was able to visit summer camps at three elementary schools to present my children’s songs.


Many  of my songs have been recorded on CDs by my group Jazz Hotline and by other artists like Freddie Hubbard and Sandy Patton. My CDs are available at www.cdbaby.com/jcartwright and www.cdbaby.com/jcartwright2

I’ve taught others how to write and publish their books:

Jackie Rodriguez and Joshua Kassar

Finally, I’ve instituted a blog for a new project featuring my book about my spiritual journey: www.divineconnectionchurch.com

WENCH by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Wench by Dolen Perkins Valdez

This is the stuff we need to be looking at. The fact that black women serviced their master’s sexually and that white women tend to be in denial. . .

A tender spot in master-slave relations
By Lonnae O’Neal Parker

Dolen Perkins-Valdez was reading a biography of W.E.B. DuBois when she came across the small aside. It was piece of history she hadn’t known, and couldn’t stop thinking about. [Washington Post article]


Joan Cartwright says:

I’ve often wondered what a white woman thought, when she realized that her good Christian husband was sleeping with her African handmaiden and saw little, brown, though light-skinned babies, running around her garden.

When I asked this question of some of my friends, many of them said the white woman was probably happy that her husband was going to the slave woman to take the burden off of herself.

I just cannot agree with this, since the vows taken in a Christian marriage dictate faithfulness and monogamy.

Here is the best response I’ve gotten on this subject from my friend Dinizulu Gene Tinnie.

Dear Joan,

This is one of those subjects that was always treated as “delicate” as I was coming up and getting older, and I have often wondered why (Hey, the Truth is the Light and the Truth will make you free, right?). Who was being protected by all of this silence? As far as I cold tell, it was the white perpetrators and their descendants. Then I came to the place where I realized what kind of conundrum is embodied in these stories:

When I started making presentations about the Middle Passage, I came upon something of a dilemma.

Unlike others in this drama, we have always been fortified by the Truth, but that ends up being much more easily said than actually made real. I think of that whole tradition of silence among our people. Rosewood was kept silent for how long? Part of it was due to the desire of the very victims (survivors) of that massacre “not to teach hate” [or fear] to the younger generations. It is a curious mixture of shame (how could we have been so easily defeated, and why are we so unprotected?) and pride (we will not give the perpetrators of these acts any more attention or power by reminding the world of this, or acknowledging that we feel any pain.) I was almost 40 years old when I learned for the first time about the Tulsa massacre (by watching an old “Tony Brown’s Journal” that some students presented at Miami-Dade Community College — and I was the ONLY one in the audience, other than the student presenters themselves!) Those are incidents in history that have been successfully hidden by a strange collusion between both Blacks and Whites, for obviously different reasons and motives, but with the same net result.

The routine violation of enslaved women by their self-proclaimed owners, on the other hand, while it may not have left documented records of every instance, is absolutely common knowledge. (Many of us can point to our complexions as evidence enough of how prevalent this was.) And yet it remains “delicate” or “uncomfortable” to talk about, even in private, it seems. I vaguely remember reading a story by Angela Davis in which she talked about how her grandmother would show the grandchildren the scars on her body, and tell the story of how each one came about. But there was one that she would not discuss. If the children asked, she would evade the question by saying something about how evil people can possible be, or something to that effect. The sheer pain of some of these past occurrences makes them impossible for those who suffered them to retell.

This is understandable for those who were so much closer to the pain than we, who can only imagine, and therefore might go seeking after evidence and truth with more rash bravado than those whose knowledge and experience tell them that there is much, much more at stake than just the knowledge of certain incidents. Those who came before us (and provided us with the opportunities we now have) are the folks that did not have to ponder and read, and get e-mail messages with all kinds of arcane information about the kind of people who are running this world (what we call the “global financial elite,” for example); those folks lived the reality every day and knew what they were challenging, often in subtle and careful ways that might ensure our survival.

So the dilemma I come to is this. We are talking about the Middle Passage: We “know” what took place aboard the slave ships — tiny, desperate, death-ridden little wooden islands on a vast ocean with no witnesses, and no law but the captain’s word and the owners desire for profit. Rapes and violations of girls of middle-school age and younger were routine. Yet, do we, today, teach that to girls that age? What do we do to what Dr. King once referred to as the “little mental sky” of children growing up when we introduce this kind of subject into their innocent lives? On the other hand, should they not know that the same kind of people are in authority today, and their safety is not assured, just to be more prepared and self-protective? (When I got to Florida in the 1970s, there was a story of a white Florida Highway Patrolman in South Dade who routinely molested a young African American girl, until he was caught and tried. He was “sentenced” to regular psychological counseling, which he never bothered to attend, and even kept his job. I don’t even think the news coverage of the case, a few years after the original fact, had any real impact. What does that say to every Black girl? More recently, just a few years ago, a story emerged — way overdue — about the routine unpunished rapes of Native American women by white men, usually off the reservations where Tribal Police and courts have no authority, to the point where 2 out of 5 Native women have been or can expect to be sexually assaulted, with no expectation of justice for the perpetrators. That same article, by the way, concluded with the very sobering fact, almost reported as a throwaway line, that Native Americans [who once peopled this land from coast to coast in established nations] then represented less than 3% of the total of 300 million Americans. Where is the indictment, the outrage, the calling into account for this kind of blatant genocide, which continues!)

In all of the written documents and records that shed some light on the Middle Passage for us today, most of which come from European and Eurocentric sources, there is barely and rarely a mention of the sexual violations of African women — almost in inverse proportion, we might guess, to the actuality of the incidents. What mention there is might much more likely come from rare African sources — “slave narratives” — like that of Ottobah Cugoano of Ghana, whose account was published even earlier than the better known narrative of Olaudah Equiano. (And these accounts, then and now, have always been subject to questioning as to their “authority”; no such doubts apparently attach to the presumably objective stories told by slaving captains and their ilk.)

As aboard the ships, so on the plantations, where the nightmare of several weeks at sea gave way to lifelong horror. When we observed the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 2007-8, one of the stories that hardly got the attention that it was due was the direct impact on enslaved African women. With the supply line to Africa now legally cut (although smuggling, of course, persisted), the need for fresh replenishments of labor (slavery used up lives at a fearful rate –“prime male slaves,” aged 15-25 on sugar plantations were literally worked to death in nine years’ time on average) now had to be met by reproduction. enslaved females began to be marketed for their qualities as “breeders,” and were subjected to all manner of indignities under the guise of “medical examinations” to purportedly determine the degree of this quality. (Put this in context: under natural reproduction, as opposed to freshly arrived shipments, the slaveowner has to pay for the care and feeding of the child until [s]he reaches working age — an economic downdraw that makes the “need” for adults even more desperate, and thus exacerbates the frenzy of “breeding.”)

Now the point I am bringing all of this to may seem just “philosophical” to some, but it is the most real thing there is for us. In our tradition, Ancestral wisdom has us to know that there is only one universe (no “parallels”), to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be subtracted. There are no “aliens.” Everything that happens here stays here. Forgetting it or being ignorant of it does not erase it — or its continuing consequences. Whether or not we acknowledge this “delicate” matter of sexuality between slaveowners and enslaved (such an unnatural matrix that it could only be maintained by unrelenting force and violence), the fact of it remains, and we are all products of it. The one universe includes the vast spiritual as well as the finite physical. It includes the entire past and future in the present moment. We are born with the knowledge, pains, triumphs and aspirations of our Ancestors, and of the generations yet unborn. Therefore EVERYTHING that has happened to our people is who we are. Although we are born knowledgeable and connected to all things, our struggle to learn in this lifetime is the struggle to be AWARE of what we know. (I submit that the real definition of “intelligence” is simply awareness: How much are we aware of in this universe?)

So, if we are all walking around with various forms of “Post Slavery Stress Disorder,” as it has been called, and this is affecting everything we do — our attitudes toward work, relationships, spirituality, life itself — then this is something that we need to come to terms with. The Native Americans wisely remain aware that “If a man takes a woman by force, the entire tribe is weakened.” Just one instance can do that. So what are we to say about our entire species at this point in time. It seems that the question for us is whether the damage has been so great as to overcome all hope for recovery and healing at all. That gets very real.

But, back to specific cases and to the question at hand: What has to be a major concern in America is the extent to which the national “racial” hysteria skews all judgment and common sense, and diverts attention from the real issue to the nonsense of America’s comfortable (or uncomfortable) pathological myths. The case in point that most readily comes to mind was the brouhaha a few years back, after the (dare we say overdue?) death of Sen. Strom Thurmond, when it was revealed that he — arch-segregationist, leading Dixiecrat, racist’s racist and white supremacist — had fathered a Black daughter. As the story went, to his “credit,” he provided for this daughter throughout her life. Gee, thanks, large charge! All of the news stories hyped and sensationalized the great irony of this segregationist crossing the line and having a child by a Negress. What was hardly discussed, much to my continuing disgust, was the fact that the mother of the child was 16 years old at the time of this liaison. Now, where I come from, that is called statutory rape. What kind of place are we living in when we think that something of absolutely NO importance — the myth of “race” — deserves so much attention and is such a sensation as to engender prolonged news coverage, while NO attention is paid to the fact that here is a felon who was never tried, never convicted, and never punished for his crime, but instead, if anything, was rewarded with all of the power and status of a lifetime term in the U.S. Senate, one of only 50 who are trusted with shaping the fate of an entire nation of 300 million souls.

As you see, I have typically rambled at length on this topic and I haven’t even read the article itself. I imagine my reaction to it won’t be much different from some of what I have thrown out here. There are so many things to react to in our world. We live, as I believe we have shared before, in such a word of things: things to have, things to do, things to be or become, things to be distracted by. Which may be the real bottom line. (I often refer to “The Bankers Manifesto of 1892,” which you can Google, to put some of this in the social and political context that we often need.) We can think about all of the energy that is consumed, and the waste that is generated, by all of this stuff. (An animated video called “The Story of Stuff” is a great wake-up call on this, although it doesn’t even look at the mental and spiritual energy lost.) The Strom Thurmond case is a reminder of the things that are real, and universally human. We need to see all the land on planet earth as a single island, and all the people as (trite as it sounds) a single family. We need to act out of wisdom rather than react to foolishness with most of our time and energy.

What has happened in the last 500 years (or much longer) is that “the inmates have seized control of the asylum.” A small minority of people — they call themselves an elite (which literally means the elect, or the chosen ones, presumably by God, as they wishfully imagine God to be) — who are pathologically deluded in their compulsion to control and enslave everyone and everything they encounter. They imagine themselves as being the serious, intelligent, responsible ones among the masses of irresponsible rabble who are looking for someone to direct them and care for them. (Is it not interesting that no one in any human society ever fit this description until they came on the scene to impose this kind of society.) They crow about their “freedom,” which is the freedom craved by the child — to go anywhere, do anything, take anything, hurt, or kill, anyone who opposes them — and never be reprimanded or punished or, worst of all, be told that they are sick. (They have eliminated or neutralized the healers and the asylum officials and can’t get enough of occupying those high offices and proclaiming themselves in charge.)

This analogy is accurate enough, I think, but real humanity knows that there is no real distinction between “us” and “them”: Everything in the universe is “we.” The behavior we observe by individuals who are more slaves to greed than they are masters of the world as they imagine is in all of us. The worst behaving individuals are members of our village, and we have to bear the responsibility for having fostered such behavior, even as we look for ways to cure it, for it is a sickness of a sort. (The individual will claim, to the contrary, that [s]he was born that way, elected by God to be superior to the rest of us, who could not possibly understand, with our limited intelligence. Evidently the supposedly greater intelligence of such claimants does not require them to study history.)

It really comes down to what Ghandi said: To make the changes that need to be made, we have to “Be the Change.” Even that, however, is limited by being reactive. (“Change,” like all those “R” words that we have become proud of in our history — resistance, revolt, rebellion, runaway, renegade, etc., is based on reacting to what exists.) We need to assert what is: ourselves as part of a single universe and as manifestations of God, so to speak. How do we make harmony the goal of every action and thought? (I dare say you come close as a dedicated jazz diva. Can we all be the “artist” within, and live the creative lives that we were born to have?) The traditional Hawai’ian culture might offer a good clue. As you know, the motto of the State (and former Kingdom) translates as, “The life of the land is perpetuated by righteousness.” I often come back to thinking about (if not actually practicing) the discipline of Hula, which pretty much defines “righteousness” as being right with God, tight with nature, and right with the rest of humanity. This is achieved by practicing “doing the right thing, in the right way, in the right place, with the right people, at the right time, the first time.” We can add that to the Native American awareness of the Seven Generations, and the African awareness of all of our Ancestors and Future Generations being present and alive within us, or my friend’s wise idea that “We are constantly confronted with two choices; the more difficult of the two is ALWAYS the right one.” There is no lack of guidance in our lives, but the inmates have spent 500 years on nothing else but how to distract, sedate, intimidate, manipulate, or otherwise divert us from hearing the Divine voice within us, “which always tells us what to do, never tells us what not to do,” but gives us choice.

An interesting thing this business of life and being human.