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API: MUSIC ART CULTURE & RESISTANCE

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Kalamu ya Salaam “Why Do We Lie About Telling the Truth?”

from Kalamu ya Salaam “Why Do We Lie About Telling the Truth?”

We can argue about the causes of our oppression and exploitation but the effects are real and deadly. Moreover, the major issue to deal with is our collusion with capitalism and hence our own resultant racism. Do you think Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods could get away with endorsing Nike if the shoes were manufactured in Haiti or Senegal for ridiculously low wages under neo-slave conditions? Unfortunately, the answer is: Yes -- if our leadership continues to be apologists for capitalism and mesmerized by glitz.

Asia will unavoidably be the dominant battlefield of the 21st century, especially India -- the world's largest English speaking country -- and China. Which is not to say that Africa is insignificant or irrelevant, far from it. Africa will remain a major site of ongoing struggle and will remain particularly relevant to the future of Black people worldwide precisely because, as a result of disease (particularly AIDS) and famine, and as a legacy of the slave trade, in the 21st century Africa will be severely underpopulated. That is an important point to keep in mind. the needs of Africa notwithstanding, I believe Asia will be the major arena of future north/south, east/west clashes.

Only those of us who are prepared to relate to the whole world will develop and prosper. Everyone else will be left behind to wallow in their own parachialism. For too many of us “integration”has meant, as James Baldwin so prophetically argued, rushing into “a burning house.” But the future is not White. The sun will set on Europe, and when the new day dawns, global cooperation will be the order of the day. Now is the time to prepare for that future. Why do we lie about telling these hard truths? Our leaders lie to us for the benefit of short term material gain -- a salary, proximity to power, a high ranking career, a lucrative endorsement or consulting contract. Korean shop keepers, Vietnamese merchants, Chinese restauranters, none of these are our real enemies. Multinational corporations, the American government, academic citadels, none of these are our real friends.

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