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.

washitaw-verdiacee2

Her Highness Divine: Empress Wendy Farica Washitaw

washitaw-land

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,
DGT
Gene,

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
JC,

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.

DGT

 

Advertisements

Proclamations

Who really built the United States of America?

What’s the matter with white people?

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation Dilemma

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war,” said Lincoln at Gettysburg, “testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure.” Lincoln was fond of drawing attention outward, from local events to world import, from the crisis in America to the larger question of whether any democracy could survive the test the divided United States then faced. The Civil War, he argued, “embraces more than the fate of these United States.” Before issuing the Emancipation Proclamation — which would free slaves only in the seceded states that remained beyond the president’s immediate control — he fretted about “a document that the whole world will see must necessarily be inoperative, like the Pope’s bull against the comet,” referring to Callixtus III, who supposedly excommunicated Haley’s Comet because it was a bad war omen.

And when he had finally signed the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September of 1862, he spoke to celebratory crowds gathered outside the White House: “It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment.”

This was more than a rhetorical trope, and not just a reminder that the world was watching. Lincoln’s agonizing over the proclamation reflected a host of worries about self-government, practical politics, the future of the newly free African Americans and very possibly his own racist misgivings.

But foremost among these was the question of legitimacy and the constitutionality of the document. Even if issued as a war measure, a mere confiscation of enemy property, it was sure to be seen by many — perhaps even by Lincoln himself — as extraordinary medicine, even extra-legal. His Hamlet-like vacillating and deception during that period 150 years ago, when he pondered the document, wrote it, hid it in a drawer and finally issued it can best be understood in terms of Lincoln’s deep-seated fears about the viability of democracy: Was it capable of fixing itself?

In the late 19th century, as white Americans tried to exorcise the memory of slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation lost luster, replaced in the popular imagination by the more eloquent Gettysburg Address (which didn’t even mention slavery). And today it seems strange that we celebrate the proclamation at all, except as a precursor to the far more sweeping and triumphant accomplishment of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which two years later banned slavery everywhere in the country, without qualifications or geographical exceptions. We have mostly forgotten the reality of the document itself, its ignominious origins in military crisis, its lack of moral certainty, its dull rhetoric and all the other faults that led historian Richard Hofstadter to complain that it “had all the moral grandeur of a bill of lading.”

And yet this document of war remains a sacred document of democracy, testament to the messiness rather than the ideals of governing. In an age when Western democracies are confronted by new forms of authoritarianism, which offer prosperity and security in exchange for political quiescence, the Emancipation Proclamation forces us to think about the fundamental vexations of representative government: Is democracy capable of resolving grand crises? Can we defend against terrorism without compromise to liberty? Can we reform our economies and free ourselves from crippling debts? Can we stave off environmental apocalypse? In short, is democracy capable of great things?

Both celebrated and condemned

If you can make your peace with the Emancipation Proclamation, you can make your peace with Lincoln. The president claimed it as the signal accomplishment of his administration, and it established him in the minds of free slaves and the annals of popular history as “the Great Emancipator.” Parsing the document may be the most productive and inconclusive franchise in Lincoln scholarship. Over the past 150 years, it has been celebrated as the death knell of slavery yet condemned as an unconstitutional usurpation of power, a capitulation by the president to his radical left flank, proof of Lincoln’s slow and inadequate evolution toward racial justice, a mere tool in the prosecution of the war, a political gambit to demoralize the South, a reckless invitation to race war, and both the least and the most that a cautious, deliberate leader could manage at the moment.

During his presidential campaign, Lincoln promised that his personal opposition to slavery wouldn’t affect the institution where it was legal. And while the Civil War was first prosecuted with assurances that the goal was the restoration of union, not abolition, Lincoln began dropping hints of of a general emancipation in the summer of 1862.

His record on slavery up to that time had been mixed. He had countermanded or discouraged orders by Union generals freeing slaves in Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, citing presidential prerogatives and the necessity of placating the slave-holding but still-loyal border states. But he had also signed an April 1862 bill that abolished slavery in the District of Columbia, and a few months later he freed slaves throughout U.S. territories.

His rhetoric was equally ambivalent. Lincoln’s opposition to slavery often seemed lukewarm. As Frederick Douglass said years after the war, “Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull and indifferent.”

Historians have attempted to square these apparent contradictions in different ways. John Hope Franklin, in his 1963 history of the Emancipation Proclamation, gave Lincoln the credit of most doubts, depicting the president besieged on all sides, from radical abolitionists who denounced an urgent moral evil to slaveholders still loyal to the Union who constantly threatened to join the South if Lincoln wavered on his promise to pursue only reunification. “The pressure of individuals and groups added to the President’s woes without contributing to a practical solution of the problem,” wrote Franklin.

No matter his feelings on slavery, Lincoln felt compelled to present and defend the Emancipation Proclamation as a military necessity — a strategic blow to the South, where the economy and thus the war effort depended on slave labor — rather than a moral statement. When it came, it was essentially two documents, beginning with a threat issued on Sept. 22, 1862, that he would emancipate slaves in any state still in rebellion on Jan. 1, 1863. He shared the preliminary proclamation with his Cabinet on July 22 but withheld it on the advice of Secretary of State William H. Seward, who feared it would look desperate to issue it in the midst of the summer’s military disasters. Lincoln waited two months, until after the battle of Antietam — by no means a decisive Union victory, but at least not a disaster — to make it public. The actual proclamation, greeted by ecstatic Jubilee celebrations on New Year’s Day by African Americans and abolitionists in the North, made good on the earlier threat.

Version one

The first proclamation wasn’t universally popular in the United States or abroad. It angered abolitionists for its half measures, for being merely an instrument of military policy, for its vague promise of compensation to slave owners and for its mention of colonization — Lincoln’s scheme to send freed blacks to other countries after liberation. The working class in England loved it, but their leaders, deeply embroiled in Colonial projects, saw it as a dangerous invitation to black-on-white war and fundamentally hypocritical. “The principle asserted,” said the Spectator, “is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States.” Between the preliminary threat and the actual emancipation, however, feelings softened, especially among abolitionists.

Yet nothing that troubled Lincoln in the first document was cleared up by the second. Lincoln repeatedly said he believed that the proclamation was constitutional, but it was immediately declared not so by editorialists throughout the North and the South. Even former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin R. Curtis, who had dissented in the notorious 1857 Dred Scott case and resigned from the court in part because of the decision, attacked Lincoln’s proclamation as an unjust extension of executive power. When Lincoln had a chance to appoint a new chief justice in 1864, he chose the stalwart anti-slavery Republican Salmon Chase, in part because Chase could be counted upon not to overturn the proclamation.

Regardless of Lincoln’s motivations and true feelings, his delay and mixed messages had a serious impact on African Americans, according to some scholars.

“There is no making sense of such a perverse record,” writes historian Mark Neely Jr., who has convincingly demonstrated the miserable effect Lincoln’s equivocating had on free blacks. The nation was riven by race riots, and some African Americans in the North were seriously considering leaving the country: “A truthful revelation of the government policy embodied in a document in Lincoln’s desk might have changed the course of their lives.”

But likely, Lincoln was no less consistent than any other man, and though a gifted logician in argument, he was not necessarily logical in his own views on race and slavery. If he could be transplanted from his age into ours, his racial views would sound like the soft-core animus of a genteel “Bell Curve” racist: Intent on basic fairness, but convinced that whites are more civilized and better adapted to self-governance than blacks. His view on abolition might remind us of the sincerely halfhearted way that many people today embrace environmentalism or vegetarianism, convinced of their moral necessity yet unwilling to zealously oppose an entrenched way of life. This is either hypocrisy or moderation, depending on one’s perspective.

In fear of great power

Throughout his career, Lincoln was haunted by an almost superstitious fear of executive fiat, which may best explain his anguish before signing the proclamation. It showed up early, in an 1838 speech to the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Ill., in which he imagined a Nietzschean superman rising up within American democracy and threatening it with dictatorial ambition: “Is it unreasonable, then, to expect that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time spring up among us? And when such an one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.” This “towering genius,” Lincoln feared, might exploit the demagogic potential of slavery: “It thirsts and burns for distinction; and if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves or enslaving freemen.”

This was Lincoln in fear of a man just like himself. The idea of great power often seemed to flummox him. “If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution,” he said, as preamble to some of his more overtly racist and despairing remarks about slavery. His comparison of emancipation to a papal “bull,” and his frequent reference to it as a “thunderbolt” suggest how keenly he felt it might set a dangerous precedent for a nation of laws, even if limited in scope and justified as an act of war. Perversely, he yielded often enough to the temptation he abhorred, suspending habeas corpus and arresting a political opponent for giving a speech that might discourage the war effort.

And yet there is almost universal agreement — and Lincoln felt so, too — that while the 13th Amendment abolished slavery legally, the Emancipation Proclamation had killed it symbolically, and, short of a Southern victory, in all practical senses. So while a magnificent act of human justice, it was hardly an accomplishment of democracy. By the summer of 1862, Lincoln had despaired of a purely democratic process to abolish slavery, through compensation, containment and a natural withering away. Slavery would require an extraordinary response, a “thunderbolt” from outside the system of laws and representative government. He himself would have to hurl that bolt.

A crisis he envisioned

The unruliness of democracy, bitter sectional feeling, entrenchment of the slave system and Southern moral defensiveness had led America to the place of crisis Lincoln so feared in his Lyceum speech. Secession and war were failures of the democratic system, and the emancipation order underscored that failure.

This was not the way things were supposed to work in the City on a Hill, which looked impotent and broken in a world still full of vigorous autocrats. In 1861, a year before the American emancipation, Alexander II of Russia freed more serfs, and promised them more opportunities, than Lincoln did the slaves. In 1879, as Reconstruction was failing, the czar compared his thoroughly authoritarian solution with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, saying he could not “understand how you Americans could have been so blind as to leave the Negro Slave without tools to work out his salvation.”

Lincoln was long dead. But he might have said it wasn’t a matter of being blind to the problem or unaware of the dangers. He had done what he could, which might be more than the Constitution allowed. And in so doing he had righted a great wrong, paved the way for the union to survive and set a precedent that deeply troubled him.

We can sympathize today, living in a democratic system that is even larger and more unwieldy, and growing more polarized. It is a common theme of political speculation that large, Western democracies may be endangered, today: by the lethargy with which they respond to crises, the half measures and sausage making that vitiates most efforts at reform, and the sheer accumulation of threats — environmental, political and social. The Emancipation Proclamation is a terrifying reminder that sometimes the only way to fix the system is to let it break down and then hit the reset button.

What does America mean to you?

 

We Speak Words

WORDS.

What do they mean?

People speak all kinds of things into existence, every minute, hour, day. We create the world with the words we speak, hardly understanding that instead of creating turmoil, angst and chaos, we can create peace, harmony and prosperity, simply by changing the WORDS WE SPEAK.

My newsletter is a commentary on numerous subjects from spirituality to homelessness, racial profiling and the President of the United States.

Go there – WORDS WE SPEAK – pick one or more of the pages (93) and leave your comments here.

Thank you,

JC