Five years ago tonight. Seems so long ago…
Requiescat in pace.
Five years ago tonight. Seems so long ago…
Requiescat in pace.
The Fulani jihads (fl. 1725-1862) were holy wars fought mainly by the Fulbe or Fulani people of West Africa to spread Islam. It is why Guinea, Senegal, Mali and northern Nigeria are now heavily Muslim. The jihads did not bring Islam to West Africa, but their conquests and schools did spread it to the masses.
They ruled five main caliphates (I use the Wikipedia spellings in this post):
They reached their height in the early 1800s, later to be taken over by the French and British during the Scramble for Africa (1876-1914).
The Fulani were cattle herders from Senegal. By 1600 they had spread across the grasslands south of the Sahara all the way to northern Nigeria and Lake Chad. Not in a genocidal wave, like Anglo Americans, but as immigrants into other lands. That meant they were often outnumbered and taken advantage of, like being made slaves – a fact that would later help drive the jihads.
Islam: Some of the Fulani took to trade and learned of Islam. Islam had been in West Africa for hundreds of years, but by 1700 it was mainly the religion of merchants. Their Islam was highly syncretic or “impure”, keeping many older African beliefs and customs.
Rise of scholars: To help support and spread Islam, the Fulani founded schools in Futa Jallon. That led to the rise of scholars and missionaries and the founding of yet other schools across the Fulani belt.
The most famous scholars were holy men with huge followings who became the leaders of jihads:
They in turn drew on the ideas of two earlier scholars:
Appeal: the Fulani jihad message had great appeal for:
Even non-Muslims and non-Fulanis, sick of unjust rulers or heavy taxes, were drawn to the cause.
Horses: What made all of this more than pie in the sky is that the Fulani had the best cavalry in West Africa.
Guns: What brought all of this to a crashing end is that the French and British could make more and better guns than the Fulani.
– Abagond, 2017.
Dorothy Counts (1942- ) was the first Black person to go Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina in the southern US. That was on September 4th 1957. Pictures of her first day made the news worldwide, calling James Baldwin back from Paris:
“I could simply no longer sit around Paris discussing the Algerian and the black American problem. Everybody was paying their dues, and it was time I went home and paid mine.”
On that morning she put on a blue dress her grandmother had made her, prayed and remembered her father’s words:
“Hold your head up high. You’re not less than anyone else.”
Streets near the school were blocked. She had to walk the last two blocks. Whites were spitting on her, calling her names, throwing sticks and stones and milk cartons, telling her to go back to Africa. She was not afraid. She did not get angry. She just kept walking. By the time she got to the front door, spit was dripping off the bottom of her dress.
Once in school it got no better. People pushed her, jeered at her, threw things at her when she was not looking. Teachers acted like she was not there, even when she raised her hand, even when boys were spitting in her food.
Two White girls befriended her – but then unfriended her when they started getting harassed too.
On the fourth day someone hit her in the back of the head with a sharp object. Now they were trying to actually hurt her. When she got to the car to go home she saw the back window smashed – with her brother inside. Now she was afraid.
“I did not feel I was being protected in any way within the confines of the school because there were adults there and they did nothing.”
Neither the school nor the police were willing to protect her. Unlike Ruby Bridges there were no US Marshals. Unlike the Little Rock Nine, there was no army protection. So her father sent her north to live with relatives to go to an already integrated high school near Philadelphia.
The experience made her not bitter but better, determined “to make sure that bad things don’t happen to other children.” She went to university and became a preschool teacher and social worker. She still lives near the high school.
Two Whites asked for her forgiveness in later years. She told them she had forgiven them long ago.
Desegregation: The county schools would go on to fight school desegregation all the way to the Supreme Court, which forced it on them in 1971 in Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. But then in 1999 the courts overturned it.
By 2010 Counts was saying of her granddaughter’s high school:
“At the beginning of the school year, they would go for weeks without books, for weeks without enough chairs for everyone in the classroom. When I heard about that I thought, Lord, this brings back memories.”
Now in her 70s, she is still fighting for desegregation, frustrated but determined.
– Abagond, 2017
Statements made by US President Trump during his first month in office that PolitiFact has rated as False, Mostly False or Pants on Fire:
January 20th 2017:
“We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth … of our country has dissipated over the horizon.”
Mostly False: Not by the typical measures.
“The media … sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community.”
False: Unprecedented tough words.
“In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent.”
Mostly False: Most recent data shows a decline.
“Here in Philadelphia murder has been steady — I mean — just terribly increasing.”
False: They were the third-lowest last year since 1990.
Says ICE and border patrol officers “unanimously endorsed me for president.”
Mostly False: Support from unions, but not from all members.
“If you were a Muslim, you could come in, if you were a Christian, it was impossible.”
False: Christian refugees have entered US.
“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”
Mostly False: Obama was more specific and narrower.
Says “109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers” were affected by the immigration executive order.
False: More like 60,000+.
Terrorism and terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe have “gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported.”
Pants on Fire: An abundance of coverage.
“Smart! ‘Kuwait issues its own Trump-esque visa ban for five Muslim-majority countries.’ “
Mostly False: Kuwait move was old news, at best.
“I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35.”
Mostly False: Savings already in the works.
“The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years.”
False: This is wrong.
Says CNN’s Chris Cuomo “never asked” Sen. Richard Blumenthal about Blumenthal’s misstatements on his own service in Vietnam.
False: Cuomo did ask about it.
“While on FAKE NEWS @CNN, Bernie Sanders was cut off for using the term fake news to describe the network. They said technical difficulties!”
False: Sanders was mocking Trump.
The media has “a lower approval rate than Congress.”
Mostly False: Congress wins a race to the bottom.
“Look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
False: Bowling Green massacre, part two.
And this does not even count the stuff said on his behalf by his spokesman Sean “Alternative Facts” Spicer or adviser Kellyanne “Bowling Green Massacre” Conway.
Nor does it count Trump’s Mind-Bender of the Month (February 16th):
“The leaks are absolutely real, but the news is fake.”
Republican Bubble: According to an Emerson College poll that came out on Feburary 7th, 91% of registered Republican voters think the Trump Administration is truthful, while 88% think the press is untruthful.
– Abagond, 2017.
Method #1: Term limit
Method #2: Voting the president out of office.
Method #3: Assassination
Method #4: Getting the president to step down
Method #5: Impeachment and trial
“The President … shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
It takes a majority of the House of Representatives to impeach and then two-thirds of the Senate to convict after trying him for the crime. Generally speaking, about a third of the president’s own party would have to agree to convict.
Method #6: 25th Amendment
For those keeping track at home:
The 2018 mid-term elections are unlikely to change it that much: the House is deeply gerrymandered to favour Republicans while in the Senate 25 Democrats and Independents will be up for re-election compared to only 9 Republicans.
– Abagond, 2017.
This went to #1 on the US pop chart in 1971, to #2 on the R&B chart and #4 in Britain. An extremely well known song in the US, probably better known than either Isaac Hayes or the film it came from, “Shaft” (1971). Hayes wanted the song to get across that John Shaft was “a relentless character always on the prowl, always on the move.”
Instruments are by the Bar-Kays, who used to back Otis Redding. Backing vocals by Dawn (Stax session singers Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson), who backed Tony Orlando.
The video is from the beginning of the film. It shows Times Square in New York in January 1971. At the 4:00 minute mark you can see Naomi Sims on the cover of Essence, a magazine which director Gordon Parks had a hand in founding.
Who’s the black private dick
That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?
You’re damn right
Who is the man
That would risk his neck for his brother man?
Can ya dig it?
Who’s the cat that won’t cop out
When there’s danger all about
You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother
(Shut your mouth)
But I’m talkin’ about Shaft
(Then we can dig it)
He’s a complicated man
But no one understands him but his woman
Do Brown lives matter? By Brown, with a capital B, I mean non-Black POC (people of colour) in the US, anyone who is neither Black nor White: Latinos, Asians, Natives, Muslims, Others, etc. And, the way things are going, maybe Jews too.
Note: Strictly speaking Latinos and Muslims are not races, but in the US in the 2010s they are close enough, certainly close enough for the purposes of this post. “Muslim”, by the way, includes Sikhs, and any Arab person, since most Islamophobes do not know the difference.
It should go without saying that Brown lives matter. But over and over again, whenever I do a post on Brown lives, some commenter, sooner or later, is going to inform me that said Brown people do not like Black people, meaning that I should not waste my breath on them.
But Brown lives do matter:
Part of why I do posts on Brown people is because White people are not as good at hiding their anti-Brown racism, particularly their Islamophobia. It gives me a better understanding of their much better-hidden anti-Black racism.
Divide and rule: In the US people of colour either hang together or they will hang separately. So long as Whites are able to divide people of colour against each other, Whites will rule, no matter how small their numbers.
I used to think 2042 would be some kind of turning point, the year Whites become less than half the US. I no longer believe that. The rise of Donald Trump makes clear that a good number of Brown people (and some Blacks too) will vote for an open racist.
Counter-frames: I need to do a proper post on Brown Trump voters (and Black ones too), but it seems that many Asians and Latinos are too new to the country to fully understand what is going on. They have weak counter-frames, as sociologist Joe Feagin would say. They trust Whites too much and believe in the fool’s gold of becoming honorary Whites. They have not lived through enough US history to learn the hard way.
– Abagond, 2017.