Archive for the ‘JAMAICA’ Category

BLEACHING IN UGANDA!-“HOW SKIN LIGHTENING TAKES ITS TOLL ON YOUR HEALTH”,AND CAN EVEN EFFECT THE BIRTH OF NORMAL CHILDREN IN FUTURE!-FROM UGANDA’S THE MONITOR.CO.UG

June 13, 2009

BLEACH AND GET SKIN CANCER ON THE LONG RUN! YOU WON'T SEE YOUR CHILDREN GROW UP AND IT CAN EVEN AFFECT YOUR CHILDREN AT BIRTH!

BLEACH AND GET SKIN CANCER ON THE LONG RUN! YOU WON'T SEE YOUR CHILDREN GROW UP AND IT CAN EVEN AFFECT YOUR CHILDREN AT BIRTH!

BLEACH AND LOOK LIKE A MONSTER! BLEACH AND DIE OF SKIN CANCER!

BLEACH AND LOOK LIKE A MONSTER! BLEACH AND DIE OF SKIN CANCER!

BLEACH AND LOOK LIKE A MONSTER!

BLEACH AND LOOK LIKE A MONSTER!

From monitor.co.ug

How skin lightening takes its toll on your health
EDGAR R. BATTE

Walking around town will reveal just how low some women think of their natural black skin complexion. They strive to achieve a lighter skin complexion because they think that the lighter their skin complexions are, the better and probably more appealing they will look.

As such, skin bleaching continues to manifest itself in many black communities where even the supposedly lighter-looking women will go an extra mile to make themselves lighter.
Several women in Uganda use soaps and creams containing mercury to obtain a lighter complexion. NET PHOTO

Skin whitening, as answers.com offers, is a term covering a variety of cosmetic methods used to whiten the skin, in parts of East Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.

The site adds that skin lightening or whitening is a controversial topic as it is closely intertwined with the detrimental effects on health, identity, self image and racial supremacy.

According to Dr Pius Okong, a health consultant with St Francis Hospital Nsambya, this remains a big problem he attributes to inferiority complex where women are not satisfied with the colour of their skins and therefore go out to try and achieve a light complexion which comes with a price to pay. In most cases, the products have found their way to shops unchecked yet the effects of the chemicals used in making (such) products like soaps and creams, as Dr. Vincent Karuhanga explains, have been found to have adverse effects on unborn children, women and men.

“Many of these bleaching agents contain steroids, hydroquinone and mercury which can affect the body as drugs do, given the fact that they interfere with the production of melanin- group of naturally occurring dark pigments, especially the pigment found in skin,” Dr Karuhanga elaborates.

In communities, the problem has not gone unattended to and last year, The International Anti-Corruption Theatre Movement (IATM), a pressure group against bleaching, indicated that thousands of women in Uganda use soaps containing mercury to obtain a lighter complexion without knowing the health hazards of using such soaps.

Mercury according to findings through Nordic Chemicals Group, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and Ms Uganda, causes a number of health problems such as skin cancer and nervous disorder.

Steroids, on the other hand, could cause diabetes given that they increase the amount of sugar metabolism in the body thus worsening the infection, Dr Karuhanga adds. He points out creams like Pimplex usually used to treat pimples, contain mercury which is reportedly poisonous.

According to mercuryexposure.org, mercury-based bleaching creams contain ammoniated mercury or mercrous chloride as a bleaching agent. Some of these creams may contain up to more than 2-5 per cent mercury that will be harmful to health, therefore resulting in mercury poisoning, especially chronic mercury poisoning.

“In the Minimata epidemic in Japan, there were 42 brain-damaged children in 400 live births. Only one of the mothers had no sign of having mercury poisoning.

Majority of the mothers had used mercury-based bleaching creams during their childbearing years,” mercuryexposure.org explains.

“The biggest problem is that by the time someone realises signs of the effects, the damage is already done.

The inferiority complex has also caught up with men and they have started bleaching their skins too,” Dr Karuhanga further explains, adding that the worst side effect victims could suffer would be worsened infections.

Mercury, he adds, can affect the kidney and nervous system while hydroquinone can damage the body nerves as well as the blood cells. Steroids have a pushing syndrome and can thus precipitate high blood pressure, diabetes and could cause acne.

However, that is not to say all bleaching agents have bad side effects. And as Dr Karuhanga and David Ssali, a dermatologist at Dama Medical Clinic agree, some herbal creams and soaps have been found to be good, given the fact that most are natural.

According to Ssali, for most people, the intention is not to bleach. They are looking for a good skin but with the continuous trials with different products, end up bleaching their skins unknowingly.

“People should be made aware of alternatives to achieving this (good skin). They could eat fruits like carrots, simsim and a variety of coloured fruits and vegetables,” Ssali who did not rule out skin cancer for continued use of skin products, adds.

“By using some of these products, you remove the natural pigment which makes the skin vulnerable to ultraviolet rays, opening the skin pores further which puts you at many health risks,” he warns.

According to the AAR Health services Kenya website, dermatologists caution that the treatment of skin conditions must be done strictly with the advice of the gynaecologists or dermatologists. In pregnant women, the unborn child is susceptible to medications, even those applied to the skin and great care must be taken.

In neighbouring Kenya, there has been a ban on bleaching creams with stringent laws and public campaigns have been launched to address the harmful effects of these products on the skin.

Much as effort has been taken to ban the importation of skin lightening creams, they are still in plenty and sold across the counter in most shops and on the roadside in Uganda.

Ideally, skin whitening could be advised to treat pigmentation (coloration of tissues by pigment) disorders like spotted skin tone, age spots, freckles- small, usually yellow or brown spots on the skin, often seen on the face and pregnancy marks.

BLEACHING!-“SKIN CANCER IS A MAJOR CAUSE OF DEATH AMONGST JAMAICANS” BECAUSE THEY ARE BLEACHING!-FROM JAMAICANRESEARCHER.WORDPRESS.COM

June 13, 2009
BLEACH AND BE A MONSTER LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON!

BLEACH AND BE A MONSTER LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON!

from jamaicanresearcher.wordpress.com
http://jamaicanresearcher.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/skin-cancer/

Skin cancer is a Major cause of death amongst Jamaicans!
November 2, 2008

Skin lightening/ bleaching is a big deal in the Jamaican society. It is such a big deal that the Ministry of Health (MOH) saw it important to embrace a campaign geared at its discouragement in February 2007.

The practice is very serious because it addresses common concerns about our yearning for beauty. During the period of the MOH’s campaign which denounced skin bleaching, then Minister, Hon. Horace Dally articulated the seriousness of the situation in the following way, “Skin bleaching has become a fast and risky way for young men and women to become beautiful.”

With the association with beauty, skin bleaching has become extremely popular. We all have a desire to feel and be perceived as beautiful, and as such my concerns about how to discourage people from it. We saw in another article that health concerns weren’t enough to discourage bleachers. After all, doesn’t it make us feel better about ourselves and the way the world sees us? It seems like an uphill battle to me–trying to convince our citizenry to stop destroying their beautiful black skin when the color cards are staked up against them.

The root cause of contemporary skin bleaching practices–stigma and discrimination against Jamaicans of African decent–must be addressed if we are to ward off a skin cancer epidemic in our country. Skin cancer is reported as one of the major causes of death amongst Jamaican citizens and therefore it is just a matter of time before we have a full blown epidemic on our hands. We must therefore strive to change behavior by addressing physical, mental, and symbolic remnants of light-skinned superiority and dark-skinned inferiority which contributes to low self-esteem and confidence.

Our solution to the problem lies in our need to examine what is being done nationally to increase and inspire confidence about the beauty of the black skin and denounce the age old belief/ saying, “Nutten Black nuh Good !”

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Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

From Skin Lightening to Skin Bleaching–A growing fad amongst Jamaican Youth?
The Growing Illegal Trade of Skin Bleaching Products
SISTERS(AND BROTHERS TOO IN NIGERIA!)-STOP BLEACHING,DESTROYING YOUR BEAUTI…
African women risking health by bleaching skin
Categories: Skin Lightening in Jamaica
Tagged: Elora Consulting, Horace Dalley, Jamaica, Jamaican, Jamaican Researcher, Ministry of Health, MOH, skin bleaching, skin lightening, St. Rachel, St. Rachel Ustanny

3 responses so far ↓
The Legal Mind // November 11, 2008 at 8:48 pm

It is very unfortunate that after almost 500 years, we as a people are still psychologically damaged from the ideology, philosophy and methodology of white supremacy. I was in Jamaica recently and I was in shock to see how these young people were bleaching their lovely black skin to look white. It makes me sick to my stomach.
http://caribbeantravelexpert@wordpress.com
The Legal Mind // November 11, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Is there any evidence that the Jamaican Government ban those bleaching creams? We all should lobby a bill or legislation that will outlaw any such product in Jamaica. Mental slavery, it still exists in the minds of many of our people.
http://caribbeantravelexpert.wordpress.com/
A Historical Review of Perceptions of Beauty and Colour in the Jamaican Society « Jamaican Researcher // November 23, 2008 at 3:15 am

[…] I decided to write this post as a follow-up to my articles: From Skin Lightening… and Skin Cancer… so as to demonstrate the impact of socialization on perceptions of beauty and colour, and […]
Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade // June 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm

IN GABON THE PRESIDENT HAS BANNED SKIN BLEACHING-IF YOU BLEACH YOU GO TO JAIL! THAT IS ONE OF THE STEPS BLACK COUNTRIES MUST TAKE IN ADDITION TO JAILING PEOPLE WHO ARE SMUGGLING AND SELLING THESE PRODUCTS! WE ARE ASKING ALL BLOGS TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST IT SHOWING THE SIDE EFFECTS AND DEADLY SIDE OF BLEACHING!

The Headwear of Beautiful Black Yoruban/ Nigerian Women!!

May 15, 2009

These ladies do style, they are about class. They are ready to flaunt.
They’ve come prepared to show their
hats off. Brace yourself for the most
beautiful and vibrant, bright set of
colors. Oh, and the styles of the headwraps will make you want to
go purchase scarves for them.

It’s like a festival. It will make you want to dance, just maybe.
It’s a parade of glorious scarf hats.
The hats are so beautiful it will make
you lose gravity, just kidding, but they
are really really gorgeous.

BLEACH AND DESTROY YOUR BEAUTY! -SEE THIS VIDEO FROM ATOZBEAUTY.WORDPRESS.COM

May 5, 2009

BLEACH AND EVENTALLY YOUR SKIN WILL BEGIN TO REACT TO THE DEADLY CHEMICALS IN THAT CREAM!

BLEACH AND EVENTALLY YOUR SKIN WILL BEGIN TO REACT TO THE DEADLY CHEMICALS IN THAT CREAM!

BLEACHING CHANGES YOUR SKIN FOR EVER AND ENDS IN SKIN CANCER!

BLEACHING CHANGES YOUR SKIN FOR EVER AND ENDS IN SKIN CANCER!

BLEACH AND BE A MONSTER LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON!

BLEACH AND BE A MONSTER LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON!

THIS SOUTH AFRICAN BROTHER AND SISTER ARE REGRETTING BLEACHING NOW!

THIS SOUTH AFRICAN BROTHER AND SISTER ARE REGRETTING BLEACHING NOW!

CLINK ON HERE TO SEE THE SHOCKING VIDEO OF DAMAGED SKIN!

FROM atozbeauty.wordpress.com

Dangers of Hydroquinone
Posted by: setsuccess on: April 3, 2009

Dear sista,

The use of Skin bleaching creams or serums containing hydroquinone will actually damage your skin over time. Believe it or not I have seen many sista’s with skin problems get worse with long use of hydroquinone, it may actually darken your skin in the long run.

Check out the possible long term effects of using Hydroquinone skin bleach in the video below:

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BLEACH AND LOOK LIKE A MONSTER EVENTUALLY! CHECK OUT THESE PHOTOS ON EVASIT…
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Five Ingredients Your Skin Can’t Live Without…and How to Use Them
1 Response to “The Dangers of Hydroquinone”

1 | Suzan
April 22, 2009 at 11:14 am

Can you please let me know whether you have a distributor of Makali products in UK?

I have just read about it and would like to try.

|Many thanks.

Reply

2 | Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
May 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

THIS A GREAT WARNING TO OUR SISTERS OUT THERE RUSHING TO BLEACH! WILL LINK IT UP ON MY SITE WHERE WE RAGE WAR ON BLEACHING EVERYDAY!
BLACK ON SISTER FOR PUTING THIS INFO OUT!
“BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!”
yeyeolade.wordpress.com

OBAMA!-OUR BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD AT THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS AND HE GETS DOWN WITH THE PEOPLE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO,APRIL 2009

April 23, 2009

FIRST BLACK LADY OF BELIZE SIMPLIS BARROW GETS A THRILL FROM OUR BLACK PRESIDENT WITH HER HUSBAND SMILING NEARBY!

FIRST BLACK LADY OF BELIZE SIMPLIS BARROW GETS A THRILL FROM OUR BLACK PRESIDENT WITH HER HUSBAND SMILING NEARBY!

BLACK UNITY!

BLACK UNITY!

OBAMA WITH OTHER BLACK PRESIDENTS(PRIME MINISTERS) AT THE SUMMIT

OBAMA WITH OTHER BLACK PRESIDENTS(PRIME MINISTERS) AT THE SUMMIT

OBAMA DISCUSSING WITH OTHER BLACK PRESIDENTS OF THE CARIBBEAN,BELIZE

OBAMA DISCUSSING WITH OTHER BLACK PRESIDENTS OF THE CARIBBEAN,BELIZE

WORLD-FAMOUS CRICKET LEGEND BRIAN LARA SHOWS PRESIDENT OBAMA HOW TO PROPERLY SWING A BAT ON APRIL 19,2009 IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

WORLD-FAMOUS CRICKET LEGEND BRIAN LARA SHOWS PRESIDENT OBAMA HOW TO PROPERLY SWING A BAT ON APRIL 19,2009 IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FOREIGN MINISTER PAULA GOPEE-SCOON BIDS OBAMA FAREWELL AS HE LEAVES

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FOREIGN MINISTER PAULA GOPEE-SCOON BIDS OBAMA FAREWELL AS HE LEAVES

PRESIDENT OBAMA GREETS CROWD AT PORT OF SPAIN AIRPORT,TRINIDAD-TOBAGO APRIL 19 2009

PRESIDENT OBAMA GREETS CROWD AT PORT OF SPAIN AIRPORT,TRINIDAD-TOBAGO APRIL 19 2009

from community.livejournal.com

BLACK MEN,BLACK YOUTH JUST DO IT! WE CAN SOLVE BLACK PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS! BE LIKE OBAMA,LET HIS BLACK EXAMPLE TELL YOU “YES WE CAN!”-FROM SEFERPOST.COM

January 14, 2009

6a00e55290c5048833010536cc7527970c-800wifrom seferpost.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Not Just A Dream: Obama Sparks Black Men To Action
NASHVILLE, Tenn — An actor turns a dilapidated, inner-city mosque into a theater in just a few days. A 20-year-old buckles down on his studies at a historically black college after his mother dies of cancer. A community organizer decides his plan to create thousands of green jobs is too modest and enlarges it twenty-fold.
Not Just A Dream: Obama Sparks Black Men To Action
NASHVILLE, Tenn — An actor turns a dilapidated, inner-city mosque into a theater in just a few days. A 20-year-old buckles down on his studies at a historically black college after his mother dies of cancer. A community organizer decides his plan to create thousands of green jobs is too modest and enlarges it twenty-fold.

Barack Obama’s election to the White House is the very realization of what so many black fathers have told their sons to aspire to for years, even if often it was just a confidence-booster, not meant to be taken literally. And long before he wrapped up the contest, his candidacy had driven these three black men and others to actions they say they might not have taken without his example.

Jeff Obafemi Carr, who had been a successful actor in New York, was debating whether to return there or stay in Nashville, where he wanted to turn a run-down mosque into Nashville’s first black theater in a century. It was an ambitious and daunting idea considering that some in the neighborhood figured the building would wind up as a liquor store or a thrift shop.

Then the 41-year-old remembered a conversation he had with Obama during an Ohio campaign stop. The then-Democratic nominee encouraged him to keep working on his project.

“He told me that we’re going to make a big change for the country with my help,” Carr recalled.

When Carr returned from that event, he put his plan in motion. With the help of community volunteers, donated time from professional builders and materials from corporations, Carr set a date for construction and built the Amun Ra Theatre. Its first major performance will be next month with “Gem of the Ocean,” by American playwright August Wilson.

Throughout the process, Carr said he and the workers repeated Obama’s slogan: “Yes we can.” Now the theater’s Web site proclaims, “Yes, We Did!”

Justin Bowers, a junior at historically black Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., was thinking about dropping out after his mother died of cancer two years ago at age 48.

“It was a lot of stress,” Bowers said. “I was struggling. It was really hard.”

A friend pointed out Obama’s perseverance after the president-elect lost his 53-year-old mother to cancer. Bowers said the story motivated him to stay in school and study harder to honor his mom.

“I know she would have wanted me to press on with my life regardless of what adversities might come,” said Bowers, 20, who is majoring in accounting and marketing. “That’s just how I was raised. And clearly, that’s how Barack was raised.”

Van Jones, 40, founded Green For All, a national program that seeks to create clean energy jobs. His Oakland, Calif.,-based program, which employs 25 people and has an operating budget of $4.5 million, was instrumental in passing a portion of a national energy bill, called the Green Jobs Act. It will use up to $125 million to train 30,000 people in jobs such as installing solar panels and retrofitting buildings to make them more environmentally friendly.

With Obama’s election, Jones decided to shop a $33 billion proposal before Congress that would hire about 600,000 over the next two years for similar work.

“I wouldn’t have believed in myself enough to come forward with an idea that bold,” Jones said. “But now, you’ve got somebody who’s up there, who’s telling people, ‘Let’s be bold.’

“The ceiling has come off. We can dream of … bringing new technologies and new jobs into communities that have been left behind. Yes we can.”

Obama’s historic run has provided ammunition for black fathers, too, who can point to it in motivating the next generation of black men. Will Rodgers, a communications manager at an electric company in Tampa, Fla., said he takes every opportunity to talk to his 12-year-old son about Obama and “how our nation has transformed.”

“I want him to understand the gravity of what’s happened,” said Rodgers, who boasts of having been a conservative Republican who never voted for a Democrat for president until Obama.

“He can really be anything he wants to, even president of the United States.”

A BLACKamerikkkan SCHOLAR MAULANA KARENGA EXPOUNDS ON THE BEAUTY/WISDOM OF ODU IFA-FROM STATEOFTHEBLACKWORLD.ORG

November 26, 2008

FROM stateoftheblackworld.org

ETHICAL INSIGHTS FROM ODU IFA:
CHOOSING TO BE CHOSEN

Los Angeles Sentinel, 01-25-08, p. A-7
DR.MAULANA KARENGA
Nowhere is the profundity and beauty of African spirituality more apparent than in the Odu Ifa, the sacred text of the spiritual and ethical tradition of Ifa, which is one of the greatest sacred texts of the world and a classic of African and world literature. Its central message revolves around the teach-ings of the Goodness of and in the world; the chosen status of humans in the world; the criteria of a good world; and the re-quirements for a good world. Although these themes are throughout the Odu Ifa, nowhere are they more explicit than in Odu 78:1. The Odu (chapter) begins by declaring “Let’s do things with joy…” For it is understood that the world was created in goodness and that we are to find good in the world, embrace it, increase it, and not let any good be lost. It is obvious here that all is not well with the world, given the poverty, oppression, exploi-tation and general suffering of people. But inherent in this firm belief in the good that is found in the Odu Ifa is the faith that in the midst of the worst of situations there are good people, good will and possibilities for creating good, increasing good and thus constantly expanding the realm of good.
The chosen status of humans is a sec-ond major tenet of Ifa. Odu 78:1 says we should do things with joy “for surely hu-mans have been divinely chosen (yan) to bring good into the world” and that this is the fundamental mission and meaning of human life. And we are chosen not over and against anyone, but chosen with everyone to bring good in the world. Thus, all of us are equally chosen. In fact, the word for human being is eniyan which literally means chosen one, and we are divinely chosen without dis-tinction of nation, race, gender, special reli-gious relationship or promise. Surely this poses an ideal many other world religions are still striving to establish as a central moral doctrine.
But even as we’re chosen, we must also choose to be chosen by doing good in the world. Thus, Odu 78:1 also says that no one can reach their highest level of spiritual-ity or rest in heaven until we all achieve the good world “that Olodumare, God, has or-dained for every human being.” This estab-lishes a divinely ordained right to a good life for every human being. But joined to this human right is the obligation of shared re-sponsibility of humans to make the world good so that everyone can enjoy a good life. The important contribution this makes here to theological and social ethics is that it teaches that transcendence in the spiritual and social sense can never be individualistic, but must always include the happiness and well-being of others. The Odu Ifa says all deserve a good life and good world; ultimate transcendence is impossible without it, and it is a shared task of all humans to achieve it.
The question is, then, posed to the sage and master teacher, Orunmila, of what is a good life and the conditions for the good world. Orunmila answers by saying that the achieving of a good life or good world is de-fined by several essential things: full knowl-edge of things; happiness everywhere; free-dom from anxiety and fear of hostile others; the end of antagonism with other beings on earth, i.e., animals, reptiles and the like; well-being and the end of forces that threaten it; and finally, freedom from pov-erty and misery. Now, it is of great signifi-cance that the first criteria for good life and good world is knowledge. In fact, Orunmila also says that knowledge or rather wisdom is the first requirement for achieving the good. This points to knowledge or education as a basic human right, necessary not only for our understanding our humanity in its most
ETHICAL INSIGHTS FROM ODU IFA: CHOOSING TO BE CHOSEN 2
Los Angeles Sentinel, 01-25-08, p. A-7
DR.MAULANA KARENGA
expansive forms, but also to realize it in the most meaningful and flourishing ways.
But again the good world will not come into being by itself. Thus, five re-quirements are necessary to bring it into be-ing. The first requirement Orunmila lists for achieving a good world, as noted above is wisdom. The text says we must develop “wisdom adequate to govern the world.” This reaffirms human responsibility for the world and the need to obtain adequate wis-dom to carry out this responsibility effec-tively. The core wisdom here is of necessity moral and spiritual wisdom which conceives the world in its interrelated wholeness, re-spects its integrity and works constantly to save, renew and expand the good in it.
Orunmila also taught that humans must move beyond moralities of convenience to a morality of sacrifice, i.e., self-giving in a real, meaningful and sustained way. The Odu Ifa says that “one who makes a small sacrifice will have a small result” (Odu, 45:1). It says to us “be able to suffer without surrendering and persevere in what you do” (Odu, 150). Also, a central moral quest in the Ifa spiritual and ethical tradition is to achieve iwapele, a gentle character or iwarere, good character which are often in-terchangeable. Orunmila cites this as the third requirement to achieving a good world. “It is gentle character which enables the rope of life to remain strong in our hands” according to Odu 119:1.
Orunmila teaches that another one of the main requirements for achieving the good world is “the love of doing good for all people, especially for those who are in need and those who seek assistance from us.” This requirement seeks to create a moral community based not on cold calculation of rule and duty, but on the love of doing good and the joy and benefit it brings to the doer and the recipient of the good. Odu 141:1 says, “Ofun is giving out goodness every-where. (But) Ofun does not make noise about it.” Indeed, to do things coldly and/or loudly is to diminish the good done.
The last requirement Orunmila cites as a requirement for creating a good world re-turns us to the fundamental meaning and mission in human life. He says what is re-quired is “the eagerness and struggle to in-crease good in the world and not let any good be lost.” Again, Orunmila calls for a profound commitment to the good world, and an ongoing and intense struggle for it until it is achieved. The Odu suggests that we must stay ever-ready and engaged, for it says in the pursuit of good, “a constant sol-dier is never unready even once” (Odu, 159:1).
Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor of Black Studies, California State University-Long Beach, Chair of The Organiza-tion Us, Creator of Kwanzaa, and author of Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, [www.Us-Organization.org and http://www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org].

“BLACKS MUST SLAY LIE OF INFERIORITY”BY SISTER LEAH CARTER IN THE NEW HAVEN(CT) REGISTER NEWSPAPER,OCT. 18,2008

October 17, 2008

from nhregister.com

Opinion
Blacks must slay lie of inferiority

Thursday, October 16, 2008 6:10 AM EDT
By Leah Carter

IF polls are any indication, there is a real chance Barack Obama will be elected president of the United States. On its face, this seems to suggest that America has seen the worst of its complex and painful history of racism.

A closer examination of the presidential race reveals we probably should not be patting ourselves on the back just yet. As political analyst David Gergen points out, race is still a factor and Obama’s “blackness may cost him the election.”

It is unclear which group more accurately represents contemporary America: the smiling, screaming fans proclaiming that Obama brings “change you can believe in,” or people like Bobby Lee May, the former McCain campaign chairman for Buchanan, Va., who wrote that Obama, if elected, would “hire rapper Ludacris to paint (the White House) black.”

Is the United States a country that has moved beyond racism, leaving behind a small group of reactionaries? Or are the attitudes that sanctioned slavery and Jim Crow laws still going strong and hiding beneath the surface of our society?

The answer seems to be that both are true. The United States cannot quite seem to make up its mind about race.

American blacks are making tremendous strides forward. The rest of America has progressed as well, in both attitudes and actions.

However, beneath many people’s actions and conscious thoughts lurks a deep-seated conviction that black people are inferior. They might be better at dancing, slam-dunking and avoiding skin cancer, but certainly are not as smart, hardworking or beautiful as white people.

This view may seem like a relic of ancient history, but a 2008 report on a study conducted by a Stanford University psychologist concluded that many white Americans subconsciously associate black people with apes.

The saddest part of this is that black people are not immune to this. While black Americans gain success and fortune in increasing numbers, many are simultaneously hindered by a sense of inferiority. In other words, nearly all Americans seem to believe the same lie: that black people are not as smart, valuable, capable or worthy as white people.

The lie of black inferiority was first told hundreds of years ago when Europeans decided it was profitable to colonize Africa and export its citizens for labor while declaring them less than human. It was a useful lie, and successfully instilled — so successfully that it has been propagated through generations to today.

When the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case that ended legalized segregation in the United States, psychologist Kenneth Clark demonstrated that school segregation negatively affected black children’s image of themselves. The children thought that black dolls were ugly and dirty, and white dolls were prettier, cleaner, nicer and generally more appealing.

When a similar study was conducted just a few years ago, decades after the end of legalized segregation, the majority of black children still preferred white dolls.

The lie no longer needs to be explicitly stated. We absorb it as if from the air. It is everywhere in our society, and yet seemingly undetectable in a world in which Obama may be our next president, Oprah Winfrey is the world’s most influential media personality and Tiger Woods is the world’s most popular golfer.

Part of what makes the lie so influential is its flexibility. It can coexist with the phenomena of Obama and Winfrey. They can be seen as mere aberrations from the norm.

The result is that while black people can look around and see some blacks succeeding in America, they still find it difficult to love themselves, to believe they deserve the best life has to offer.

The New Haven-based Community Healing Network (www.communityhealingetwork.org) — launched by a group led by the Rev. Victor Rogers, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and the Rev. Bonita Grubbs, director of Christian Community Action — has issued a “Call to Healing and Renewal,” declaring that the time has come to extinguish the lie of black inferiority. It wants to replace the lie with “the truth of black people’s beauty, worth, value and dignity.”

The group is calling on the black community to build a movement for emotional emancipation — for freedom not only in body, but also in mind and in spirit.

The group is starting annual Community Healing Days on the third weekend of every October, starting this year on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to focus the black community on healing the lie of black inferiority.

The goal is to encourage blacks to take special care of themselves and each other on these days. The hope is that the celebration will continue past the weekend, until the day when black children everywhere believe that they are just as smart, strong, capable and worthy as other children. If the work of the Community Healing Network succeeds, as I believe it will, that wonderful day will come sooner rather than later.

Leah Carter is a volunteer with the Community Healing Network. Readers may write her in care of the Register, 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven 06511. Her e-mail address is leahcacarter@gmail.com.

Comments
The following are comments from the readers. In no way do they represent the view of nhregister.com.

Bill wrote on Oct 16, 2008 10:38 AM:

” Leah Carter is absolutely right. The democrat party is guilty of fostering the idea that somehow blacks are inferior. They insist that they cannot make it on their own, they need affirmative action, and handouts. The democrats insist that blacks need a boost up while other minorities many of them just a dark skinned or darker than American blacks come to this country and succeed in record numbers in spite of perceived racism. They don’t know that they cannot succeed so they do. ”

Report

History wrote on Oct 16, 2008 4:24 PM:

My father grew up in a time when black folks were beaten – by uniformed police officers, in the open – on the way to the polls, and small black children had to be escorted to school by the national guard to protect them from enraged citizens. This was ONE GENERATION AGO. You think this has no historical reverberations? You think it’s reasonable for black folks to disregard the experiences of thier parents and grandparents? You think ‘the inferiority complex’ comes from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

There is a reasonable difference of opinion about how to heal these wounds; niether of you contributed anything worthwhile to that debate. ”

History wrote on Oct 16, 2008 10:12 PM:

” “History is just that. History.”

Let’s talk specifically of Connecticut. This state has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the highest achievement gaps in the country, meaning that poor and minority students perform well below the levels of their wealthier collegues (for more on this, see conncan.org). There are lots of reasons for this, but surely we can agree that history is one of them, that there is a strong link between generations of slavery, housing discrimination, instititionalized racism, etc, and the poverty that many black families face today.

Having said that, I do believe we should ask ourselves if affirmative action is an appropriate way to attempt to right this historical wrong. Like you, I feel that a healthy debate is a good thing – it helps us flesh out our positions and fortify our thinking. But part of that debate is acknowledging the tenacious legacy of racial discrimination in this country without placing the blame solely on the Jacksons and Sharptons. If nothing else, that’s an insult to black agency and intelligence, to say that black folks can’t analyze what comes out of Al Sharpton’s mouth the same way you can, and separate the bad ideas from the good. It would be like blaming crimes committed by Italian-Americans on The Sopranos, which is absurd.

“race-baiting opportunists”

I’m surprised to see that your list of “race-baiting opportunists” includes only the Sharptons and Jacksons of the world. Would you agree with me that the Strom Thurmonds, Robert Byrds, and David Dukes of the world are also “race-baiting opportunists?” If so, do they bear no responsibility for their own negative messages?

“I’m not hearing it from the leaders of today’s black community.”

Maybe you aren’t familiar with Dr. Cornel West, or didn’t hear Senator Obama’s Father’s Day Speech – those are two outstanding examples of positive black leaders recognizing history while speaking hard truths to the African-American community. There’s lots, lots more of that out there.

“The ugly crutch of history”

Again, I’m not saying that we should use history as a crutch. I’m saying that we need to give history its due, and that any debate about affirmative action or perceptions of black ‘inferiority’ needs to start with a recognition of the lasting legacy of that history. ”

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Michael wrote on Oct 17, 2008 2:39 AM:

” “Ed” said:We need more messages like that of Dr. King.

I agree; in particular I think a lot of people need to hear what Dr King said, in particular
A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him, to equip him to compete on a just and equal basis.

If a city has a 30% Negro population, then it is logical to assume that Negroes should have at least 30% of the jobs in any particular company, and jobs in all categories rather than only in menial areas.

No amount of gold could provide an adequate compensation for the exploitation and humiliation of the Negro in America down through the centuries…Yet a price can be placed on unpaid wages. The ancient common law has always provided a remedy for the appropriation of a the labor of one human being by another. This law should be made to apply for American Negroes. The payment should be in the form of a massive program by the government of special, compensatory measures which could be regarded as a settlement in accordance with the accepted practice of common law.

…and …

[…] our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race

You can either disagree with King (which is not necessarily a bad thing, because an appeal to authority is not a conclusive argument), or agree with him and cite him to get respect for your own position, but don’t cite him to oppose things he supported, to whit affirmative action, particularly using racial quotas if need be, reparations for slave descendants, and a clear-eyed view of the original sins of our nation. ”

GWEN IFILL,A BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY KNOCKED THEM OUT MODERATING THE V-P DEBATE! FROM THE NATION NEWSPAPER(BARBADOS)

October 10, 2008

nationnews.com

Barbadian Ifill helms VP debate
Published on: 10/3/08.

Gwen Ifill, who will moderate the US Vice-presidential debate tonight, is of Barbadian heritage.

Last night, millions around the world watched the American vice-presidential debates.

The spotlight was on, not just for the candidates but the moderator for the evening, PBS’ Gwen Ifill, one of the most prominent black female journalists in the United States – and a Barbadian.

Yes – Ifill, who is the well-known host of PBS’ Washington Week programme and senior news correspondent on News Hour, is a Bajan. Though born in New York City, Ifill was raised in a Barbadian household, headed by her Barbadian mother Eleanor and her father Urcille Ifill Sr., a Panamanian of Barbadian descent. She was the fifth of six children born to the couple and moved around a lot during her childhood as her father was an African Methodist Episcopal church minister who had to live in several different cities as part of his work. She has credited her parents with piquing her interest in journalism, saying:

“From our parents, we inherited an abiding interest in the world around us. We grew up reading the newspaper every day.”

Ifill has previous experience of being in the political hot seat of election debates, having moderated the 2004 vice-presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards. That experience however, has not stopped some critics from questioning her impartiality as she is in the process of writing a book entitled “Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama”. The book focuses on a generation of rising African-American politicians and critics charged that because of this, Ifill has a vested interest in Obama winning the presidency.(AL-F)

Look out for a full feature on Gwen Ifill in the SUNDAY SUN.(Barbados newspaper)

“BRAIN GAIN FOR THE AFRICAN RENAISSANCE”,A NEW BOOK ON HOW ALL BLACKS CAN RESTORE AFRICA TO ITS ORIGINAL GREATNESS:FROM LEADERSHIPNIGERIA.COM

September 18, 2008

from leadershipnigeria.com

Restoring The Dignity Of Africa

BY Sule E. Egya

Brain Gain for the African Renaissance, Edited by Okello Oculi and Yakubu Nasidi; published by Ahmadu Bello University Press, Zaria; 447 pages.

What we know of socio-cultural and scientific civilisation today, it has been established, started from Africa. Per Ankh, the house of life, in the ancient Egypt was a brain-home from where knowledge spread to other parts of the world. World-class African thinkers such as Cheik Anta Diop, Ayi Kwei Armah and Theophile Obenga have persistently forged a narrative to connect us to that glorious past. Regrettably, their narrative, what Armah calls “the way,” is countervailed by forces that have retrogressively reduced the height of Africa. The Africa that housed intellection in the past, as absurd as it sounds, is now a pitiable shadow of itself, its intellectuals driven to continental self-enslavement. During the slavery of the past, the white people came and captured Africans, but in the present slavery Africans willingly present themselves to the white people as slaves. It is the exodus to the West; it is the brain drain Africa suffers from.

To stem the tide of intellectual erosion as a result of the brain-drain phenomenon, Africa Vision 525, a non-governmental think-tank based in Kenya and Nigeria, has initiated what it calls Brain Gain book project. Part of the objective of this project, according to Okello Oculi and Yakubu Nasidi, editors of the first book in the series, is “to contribute to ameliorating [the crisis of brain drain] by drawing back into African universities intellectual products of the African Diaspora and Africanist scholars resident outside Africa” (ix). Contributions by outstanding scholars on the continent are also brought into the pool of intellectual productions the project injects into a system that is practically comatose. This first volume of the project demonstrates the feasibility and, indeed, the fruition of a concerted effort to reconstruct the canon of intellection in Africa. Here is a conscious response to a continent’s moral, ethical and intellectual failures; a measured criticism that validates the notion of inward positivism and a pragmatic approach to Africa’s solutions to Africa’s problems.

The theme of this volume is “Issues in Governance.” A crucial angle from which to begin the business of renaissance in Africa, you may say. The choice is vital. Governance is perhaps the most derailed sphere in the evolution of nationhood in Africa. It is a continental weakness—really, an insurmountable vice—that reduces one of the wealthiest continents in the world to beggardom. The choice of scholars to tackle these issues Brain Gain has made is both appealing and gratifying. The names are intimidating: Ali Mazrui, Toyin Falola, Okwudiba Nnoli, Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, P. Anyang Nyongo’o, Okechukwu Ibeanu, Crawford Young, and others. In their diverse themes and styles, tones and tenors, these intellectuals engage the readers in profound dialogues that evaluate and define the course of governance in Africa.

Falola’s “Writing and Teaching National History in Africa in an Era of Global History” is a primal discourse. The eminent, globe-trotting scholar returns home, patriotic, having been exposed to the sophistry of globalisation. Beginning his argument from the existence of nation-states, in spite of what he refers to as the “ambiguities” surrounding them, Falola harps on the conspiracy of the globalists to undermine, and consequently nullify, national historiography. In doing this, he undresses globalisation and presents her to us in her full nakedness, with all her ugly joints. The scholar informs us that “[it] is the weak nations [in the sense we see all nations of Africa] that are being asked to adjust, to subordinate their national histories to the threatening agenda of a global world and a global history” (58). In this design, globalisation weakens weaker nations and strengthens stronger ones, insofar as the concept of globalisation is continuously fashioned and manoeuvred by the powerful nations of the world. A powerful nation, then, upstages her history to what Falola calls “metanarrative”. In this premise, the less powerful nations must evolve a history to confront the many lies and infamies of globalisation, and with resilient intellectualism and vigorous historiography. A further antidote, pragmatic in its chemistry, is offered here:

We have to keep decolonizing African historiography, to turn to indigenous creativity and ideas, to empower the marginalized voices, to shed light on the tremendous energy and success represented by popular cultures, market women, craft workers, and local cultivators, among others. Oral history should not be abandoned in the face of global history. Students and researchers must contribute to our understanding of a variety of topics: migration flows within Africa and nation-states; regional conflicts; ethnic and religious divisions; inter- and intra-national relations within Africa; development and modernization; processes of democratization and participatory practices; neoliberal reforms; cultural transformations; market and economic networks; the Cold War and its aftermath; ecological history and sustainable development; and mass communication. (Italics mine, 77-78)

It seems like a thesis that will liberate nation-states in Africa from what one may call globalism i.e. the dishonest rhetoric of globalisation. But many Africa-based students and scholars, as some of the essays in Brain Gain attest, have been engaging in the enterprise Falola proposes, except that the overall socio-political climate of Africa does not welcome—and, indeed, kills—intellectual activities meant to forge a liberated and equitable nationhood.

It is this hostile climate in Africa that Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja draws our attention to in his “Challenges to State Building in Africa”. His discourse is clear and familiar to us. His first sentence opens the wound we have been nursing for long: “After three to five decades of self-rule, the people of Africa have yet to see the fulfilment of their expectations of independence for full citizenship rights” (87). This is painfully true. The eminent scholar goes on to outline some of the factors responsible for this condition. The problems are home-based, though mostly engendered by the hypocritical posture of the West, Africa’s chief coloniser. Greed and Dishonesty, the twin sisters, are the hot-legged prostitutes cradling African leaders on their laps. They caused the disillusionment of the post-independence era, lengthened to destructive militarisation, which has begotten anaemic democracies in Africa. Nzogola-Ntalaja neatly ties this to the globalisation-syndrome Falola has expounded: “contrary to the political vision of Amilcar Cabral and other progressive founding fathers of African independence, post-colonial rulers have not transformed the inherited structures of the state and the economy to serve the deepest aspirations of their peoples instead of the interests of the dominant classes of the world system, with which these rulers tend to identify” (88). The gist is simply that African leaders, since independence, have set their visions abroad to cater for their greed and the interest of their colonial masters. Nzogola-Ntalaja believes that Africa is yet to severe its umbilical cord from the West and that is one of its greatest problems. He harks back to the early rhetoric of Pan-Africanism, reminding us of the good intentions of the fighters of independence, giving us an insight into the stupendous wealth waiting for Africa at the dawn of independence, and he regrets that Africa today is a famished continent whose children troop to the West in search of food and survival. Really, every section of Nzogola-Ntalaja’s essay echoes the ignominy that Africa Vision 525 intends to redeem with its book projects. Part of Nzogola-Ntalaja’s suggestion for a better Africa is that “a successful development strategy [for Africa] requires a radical break with the past, that is, with the authoritarian and predatory character of the colonial state, as well as the promotion of egalitarian and participatory values” (107).

Some of the essays in Brain Gain are very revealing. Okechukwu Ibeanu’s “Petroleum, Politics and Development in the Niger Delta” is an eye-opener for non-Nigerians whose knowledge of the Niger Delta conundrum is what the radio brings to them. The depth of Ibeanu’s research and the clarity of his language are such that you will see, most graphically, the situation in the Niger Delta today. “ECOMOG Operations in the Resolution of Conflicts in West Africa”, by Gani Yoroms, is another eye-opener for those who have heard much but have known less about Africa’s peace-keeping operations in Africa. Deftly expository, Yoroms’s essay is different from most others because of its tone which is less critical. Yoroms is interested in furnishing us with facts with which we can conclude that Africa, after all, can tackle its crises, although what we see of Somalia and Darfur today confounds us. But no matter what we see today, if we read Yoroms’s essay, we are likely to agree with him that “it is important to acknowledge that ECOMOG operations were indeed path breaking approaches to peace keeping in Africa” (373).

Other essays, such as Kristen Timothy’s “Defending Diversity, Sustaining Consensus: NGOs at the Beijing Women’s Conference and Beyond”; P. Anyang Nyong’o’s “Good Governance for Whom? How Presidential Authoritarianism Perpetuates Elitist Politics in Africa”; and Adagbo Ogbu Onoja’s “The Commonwealth Intervention in the Zimbabwe Land Reform Crisis: Africa’s Security in the Post Cold War Era” give us profound education on issues that are here with us and yet we know just little about them. Beyond the depth of the researches collected in this book, the spread, which is an attempt to embrace all facets of political life of Africa, is a commendable feat.

With about fifteen essays, the book is one that every scholar and thinker, irrespective of the field of specialisation, ought to possess and give it a prominent space on his/her shelf. Perhaps, those who need the service of this book most are the politicians and the policy-makers of present-day Africa who have become persistently noisy and noisome about reforms. The book will help them reform themselves, and give them a lead-way towards the evolution of a genuinely democratic norm in Africa.

Sule E. Egya, Ph.D, writer and scholar, teaches in the Department of English, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nasarawa State.


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