You have words.
You have words to tell.
You have words to tell the story.
The story of your life
Is being told by words.
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 Rouge, the 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
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.
He that hath an ear, let him hear THIS!
I don’t call myself a poet, but yet I occasionally will write a poem. In honor of National Poetry Month, I will be publishing one or two of my works, and a couple of my daughter’s pieces (she IS a poet!).
This first submission is a spoken word piece I wrote for a show I performed in with my fellow Atlanta Drama Queens called Eclectic Noirisms or something like that, at Late Night at the Academy Theatre in Avondale, GA, back in 2007.
Glorify with me all the bravests, greatests and firsts
Paid with turned backs, exhile, stripped medals and other inexplicable hurts.
We’ve finished up King’s memorial,, now let’s go on to the next.
Put statues in D.C. of David Walker, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, and, yes, Malcolm X.
I want national memorials for Colonels Tye, Turner and Brown
In fact ALL the fearless freedom fighters wh0 dared to take evil…
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The blessing of a friend is incomparable.
Though family is close, friends penetrate the heart like nothing else.
They cry when you leave.
They are excited when you arrive.
Friends are the people that keep you alive.
~ Love, Diva JC