Tag Archives: Nelson Mandela

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

4History, or those who write it, has an interesting way of minimizing actions of wrong doing done by the power of governments against anyone who challenges their domination. Mr. Mandela is the perfect example; when they talk about Mandela, they hardly mention that governments around the world referred to him as a terrorist, a convict, a communist, and a saboteur. In other words, he was most hated and an enemy of the state.

This has happened to other men such as Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, who were also labeled as dangerous and enemies of the state – both were assassinated, and there are some who say by the state. I make this comparison because these men became great heroes after their death. Mandela was no doubt one of the greatest heroes of the last century achieving it in life. What he achieved in South Africa even Mahatma Gandhi was unable to do in India, and Mandela did it in a way that respected all of humanity. This is Mandela’s greatest glory!

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Even his prison number 46664 (meaning prisoner 466 incarcerated in 1964) is now the name of humanitarian and charitable organizations. Mandela used his superior strength of will to turn those who opposed him into tools to make the world a better place. Mandela was a man who evolved above the pettiness of racial conflict, a man who saw with profound clarity that South Africa was not a Black nation, a Colored nation or a White nation. He saw South Africa as a great nation with opportunities for all people no matter their color, their tribe, their religion, or their culture.

Most people don’t know that the system used in South Africa known apartheid was derived from the racial practices of our own American south – only taken to the extreme! It was so dominant that blacks had to cross the street to avoid whites to include eye contact with them. It was a government rooted in real fear of a State that threatened dire consequences should a white person be assaulted or even insulted.

The Apartheid government was the most ridged and cruelest regime on the planet. For those who don’t know history, this government was firmly supported by the American government and Ronald Reagan in particular. If not for the powerful Black Lobby in the U.S. Congress, the United States would most likely have given South Africa even more support, including weapons.

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From the early stages of Mandela’s life, he fought against this brutal system of oppression which resulted in his being sentenced to prison on Robben Island for a third of his life. Another fact unknown to most is that strangely enough the name Robben Island means “island of seals” in Afrikaans. The power and support from most of the outside world was such that little information was available concerning the regimes atrocities. Virtually no articles were published in the North American mainstream media; according to the editors they were not interested in articles about terrorists.

The outside world heard very little about Nelson Mandela. Few heard about Stephen Biko’s murdered and the thousands of South Africans that were persecuted, as most of the world continued to do trade with South Africa as a strong pro-Western anti-communist power. They had even developed and tested their own nuclear weapon.

1Finally after years of struggle and hardship, apartheid was overthrown, and Nelson Mandela became the first Black President of South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. The U.S. presented him with the Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Union presented him with The Order of Lenin. Yet, he still officially remained on the list of people barred from entry to the United States.

In 1969 or anytime during the Seventies, the very idea that Nelson Mandela would one day be President of South Africa was an impossible thought. No one, not even Mandela himself could imagine such a possibility. It was simply impossible. Yet it happened. The impossible became possible and in achieving that position, winning the Nobel prize, Mandela gave a gift to all of us the gift of hope, the realization that no matter how daunting the situation, no matter how formidable the obstacles, that passion, courage and imagination can prevail.

We all die but few have lived as Nelson Mandela lived; few have achieved as much as he was able to achieve. I am happy that Mandela was able to live a long and remarkable life. He not only served his country with exceptional honor, but he has served all of mankind with dignity and amazing grace. The world surely has become a better place since he joined the human family.

In closing, this is Nelson Mandela’s most profound statement that will live in history as an inspiration. He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties. He said; he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography, ‘Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.’ Because of his epic fight against injustice, the entire nation is now free. We mourn his loss and offer our condolences to his family and the people of South Africa.

And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


A Fearless Freedom Fighter

3I have been blessed to have met and known many people over the years; from the infamous to the famous; the great and not so great, and many honorable souls. I have been in the presence of a few presidents, shaken the hand of Nelson Mandela, met Muhammad Ali, famous Motown stars and many entertainers… on and on! However, none have impressed me more than this amazing woman I was allowed to call “Winnie” when I had the pleasure of meeting her.

The former wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela–Mandela, is a South African activist and politician; in addition to holding several other government positions. She’s been the head the African National Congress Women’s League and a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee. I can’t count all the women I’ve known in my life, but I can honestly say that none rise to the level of this amazing woman, who has endured suffering far beyond that of any woman.

I am not trying to rewrite her story, rather give my impression of her from my encounters with the former Mrs. Mandela. Think about this for a moment; her husband was imprisoned for twenty-seven years, she was imprisoned, exiled, financial hardships, her home was bombed, endured attempts upon her life, and years of unthinkable horrors. What I find amazing is that she did this unselfishly for millions of South African’s she has never met. Most of the women I know would leave you for anyone of the above mentioned or as little as the common cold.

She was a controversial activist, yet popular among her supporters, and referred to as the ‘Mother of the Nation’. However, she was reviled by some South African’s while trying to help them achieve freedom. The ANC called her politically and morally accountable for the gross violations of human rights. We know from what our government did to Dr. King and Malcolm X, so personally; I am suspect of any of the public charges brought by the Apartheid government of South Africa.

She met the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957. They married in 1958 and had two daughters, Zenani (born 1959) and Zindzi (born 1960). Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1963 and released in 1990. The couple separated in 1992, and their divorce was finalized in 1996 with an unspecified out-of-court settlement.

I want to be clear when I say some will, I’m sure, take issue with my opinion concerning my view of her late husband, who as I understand it divorced her for political reasons. He could forgive his oppressors and jailers, yet could not forgive the woman who sacrificed so much and stood by him for all those years.

It is true that her reputation was damaged by such rhetoric as that displayed in a speech she gave in Munsieville on 13 April 1986. Where she endorsed the practice of necklacing (burning people alive using tires and petrol) by saying: “With our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country.” Further tarnishing her reputation were accusations by her bodyguard that she ordered a kidnapping and murder.

On 29 December 1988, a bodyguard, who was the coach of the Mandela United Football Club (MUFC), which acted as Mrs. Mandela’s personal security detail, abducted 14-year-old James Seipei (also known as Stompie Moeketsi) and three other youths; the four were beaten to get them to admit being informers. The body of one of them was found in a field with stab wounds to the throat. In 1991, she was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault in connection with the death of Seipei. Her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine on appeal.

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During South Africa’s transition to democracy, she adopted a far less conciliatory and compromising attitude than her husband toward the white community. Despite being on her husband’s arm when he was released in 1990, the first time the two had been seen in public for nearly thirty years and their thirty-eight year marriage ended two years later.

Ms. Mandela’s legal issues are in the public domain, and it’s your choice to Google if you like. What I will say from my perspective: “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Lastly, I will say having the opportunity to be in her present was a life changing experience and will say proudly that I have yet to meet another woman who impressed me to such a profound degree. I know of no other woman who sacrificed so much for so many unselfishly. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Scene Of The Crime

It is a fact that the history of people of African descent was destroyed by government-sanctioned system of slavery. However, I have resurrected our amazing and often horrific journey many times through this blog. I have tried to bring into remembrance some heart-wrenching events and glorious victories resulting from the unimaginable struggles that African Americans have had to endure. Therefore, I would be remiss if I did not start at the beginning with what I call the scene of the crime.

The Jamestown Colony, England’s first permanent settlement in North America, was a marshy wasteland, poor for agriculture and a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The settlement was such a harsh environment that only thirty-two of the estimated one hundred original settlers survived the first seven months. HIS-Story describes this as the “starving times,” but all would change.

On August 20, 1619, the first African “settlers” reached North America as cargo onboard a Dutch man-of-war ship that rode the tide into the shores of Jamestown, Virginia, carrying Captain Jope and a cargo of twenty Africans. It seems strange to me, but history cannot tell us why this mysterious ship anchored off Jamestown. It is believed the cap­tain needed food and in exchange for food he offered his cargo of Africans as payment.

When the deal was consummated, Antoney, Isabella, and eighteen other Africans disembarked. Although they were not the first Africans to arrive in North America, they were the first African “settlers.” Regarded as indentured servants rather than slaves, fifteen were purchased to serve their redemption time working for Sir George Yardley, the Gover­nor of Virginia and proprietor of the thousand-acre Flowerdew Hundred Plantation. In ten years, by the 1630’s, the colony, through the use of the Africans, had established a successful economy based on tobacco.

Slavery was born, and the slave trade became big business. These human souls were acquired in Africa for an average price of about twenty-five dollars each, paid primarily in merchandise. They were sold in the Americas for about one hundred fifty dollars each. As the price of slaves increased, so did the inhumane overcrowding of the ships.

This was the beginning of the worst crime ever inflicted upon a people and the most morally reprehensible agenda the world has ever known. Adding to this injustice and more horrifying was that the perpetrators believed their actions were sanctioned by God with a religious manifestation that justified slavery. The next two-hundred years were a designed systematic effort to destroy millions of lives through indoctrination, brutality, savagery, and terror.

I am always struck by the use of the word civilization in this matter because the root word is “civil” and there was nothing civil about the institution of slavery. To be clear a slave is chattel – a human being considered property and servant for life. The business of slave trading had one purpose – profit. The process would begin with an African being paid to venture into the interior of the continent, capture other Africans, put them on a death march to the coast and sell these captives to Europeans. Now, if stealing and capturing the victims was not misery enough, what was to follow surely was in every sense of the word.

This horrible journey, known as the “Middle Passage,” ended with a lifetime of bondage awaiting the captives at the end of the voyage. A typical slave ship traveling from Gambia, the Gold Coast, Guinea, or Senegal, would take four to eight weeks to reach New England, Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, or the West Indies. Women, men, and children were crammed so tightly in the cargo ships that out of a load of seven hundred, three or four would be found dead each morning. Africans from Senegal were the most-prized commodity be­cause many were skilled artisans. Ibos from Calabar were considered the most undesirable because of their high suicide rate.

Most ships had three decks with the lower two used for transporting slaves. The lowest deck extended the full length of the ship and was no more than five feet high. The captives were packed into tomb-like compartments side by side to utilize all available space. In the next deck, wooden planks like shelves extended from the sides of the ship where the slaves were chained in pairs at the wrists and ankles – crammed side by side. Men occupied middle shelves and were most often chained in pairs and bound to the ship’s gunwales or to ringbolts set into the deck. Women and children were sometimes allowed to move about certain areas of the ship.

A typical slave ship coming directly to the American mainland from Africa weighed about one to two hundred tons, although some were slightly larger. Slave ships were eventually built especially for human cargo. These slave ships could carry as many as four hundred slaves and a crew of forty-seven, as well as thirteen thousand pounds of food. They were long, narrow, fast, and designed to direct air below decks. Shack­ling irons, nets, and ropes were standard equipment.

The competition at slave markets on the African coast grew so exceptionally that historians estimate that as many as 60 million human souls were captured and taken from the continent of Africa to be sold into bondage. It is estimated that as many as one-third of that number did not survive the “Middle Passage” to reach the shores of a place like Jamestown.

Did you know the first registered slave ship was named “The Good Ship Jesus,” and in the name of God the greatest crime the world has known began in this place called Jamestown? The devastating effects of bondage would have an effect on the race of people for centuries.

I will continue to pray that we will be able, one day, to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
 

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Ushering Out Distractions!

2Have you ever been so distracted that you can’t seem to focus on what’s important to you, right here, right now? Well, I must say that lately I’ve been distracted by quite a few things: traffic – distracted by the stress it causes, commitments – being over-committed at times, work – looming deadlines, household chores, and the list goes on. But what I fail to realize is that if I can’t pull myself away from these distractions the main focus of being an author can get lost and my projects will never get completed.

So, it doesn’t matter how many times my fellow author friends try to check up on me to see what I’ve written, I won’t do anything until and unless I hold myself accountable. Yes, I said it! So, starting right here and right now, I’m ushering out distractions. It’s time to RE-ENGERGIZE and REFOCUS. I’m setting myself a schedule something that I can reasonably stick to without making excuses, making myself excited to complete a chapter or two and rewarding myself for a job well done. I know my readers will be glad I did!

Well, readers have you been distracted lately? Tell me via my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thewritepen or via email at dlawmba@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Now here’s this month’s news:

On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, I attended a Mystery Writers of America dinner at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Washington, DC. Guest speaker, Scott Sroka, AUSA, talked about The Untouchables. It was very informative!

On Saturday, April 12, 2014, I along with the other members of the Book Divas On Tour (B. Swangin Webster and K.R. Raye) exhibited at the CityLit Festival at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. We had a ball!

On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, B. Swangin Webster represented BDOT on the Forward Motion Cable TV. She was awesome!

On Friday, April 25, 2014, BDOT had a blogtalk radio interview with Urban Fiction News. We had a blast!

You can check out pictures from the Cable TV show and CityLit Festival at: http://www.thewritepen.webs.com,  https://www.facebook.com/thewritepen  or https://www.facebook.com/BookDivasOnTour

BDOT’s ON THE MOVE:

BDOT’s ready to go and would love your support by “liking” our page at  https://www.facebook.com/BookDivasOnTour

To learn more about us, please visit our individual websites: http://bswanginwebster.webs.com/, http://www.krraye.com/ and http://www.thewritepen.webs.com

We’d be happy to stop by and chat with your book clubs and discuss the writing, marketing and publishing industries. If you’re interested in hosting us, please let me now. Look below in the “Upcoming Events Section” to see if we’ll be in your area soon!

Well, that’s about it for the news. If you enjoy reading this newsletter, please share it with your friends.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, May 3, 2014 – Book Divas On Tour appearing at the MGH Clubhouse, 9244 East Hampton Dr., Ste 621, Capitol Heights, MD 20743 – 4 pm – 6 pm

We’ll be discussing our writing journey and how to navigate the marketing and publishing industries. Saturday, May 17, 2014 – Gaithersburg Book Festival, 31 South Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 – 10 am – 6 pm

I’ll be exhibiting at the Gaithersburg Book Festival. This book festival is a celebration of the written word and its power to enrich the human experience. Looking forward to seeing you there! For more information, please visit http /gaithersburgbookfestival.org/

Sunday, May 18, 2014 – Book Divas On Tour appearing at “The Just Want to Get Away Retreat” at the Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa, 4165 Mears Avenue, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732 – 1 pm – 2 pm

We’ll be appearing at this women’s retreat to discuss our writing journey and how to navigate the marketing and publishing industries.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 – Interview with Marc Medley, host of the Reading Circle: 6 am – 7 am

Join me at this early morning interview with Marc Medley. The interview will air live on http://wpsc.wpunj.edu/home/talk-shows.dot and WP88.7. Just bring your coffee with you!

UPCOMING PROJECT:

Don’t forget to sign up for the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity conference which is scheduled for October 10 – 12, 2014 at the Hunt Valley Inn in Baltimore, MD. This is a conference for fans and writers of mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and steam punk. I’ll be in charge of scheduling the authors for various panels over this 3 day event.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today at http://creaturescrimesandcreativity.com/. You can also follow the blog at http://creaturescrimesandcreativity13.blogspot.com/

Until next time, happy reading!

Dee


Does This Change The Game

2I will give the NBA, one of the most progressive of all the sports entities, huge prop’s but we must not lose sight of the fact that it is not for you and I. It is about money! The reason they reacted so quickly is for that very reason. The Fat Cat owners are probably wondering, if and when, some form of media will get the next one. Let’s face it; you cannot get rich in America being decent and honest! Capitalizes demands ruthlessness and cold-heartedness!

Now when we think about Donald Sterling, the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, being barred from the N.B.A. for life and may be forced to sell the team for making racist remarks. Ask yourself, if it wasn’t for the enormous lose of money – do you really think this action would have occurred. Probably not! I certainly think it was the right thing to do; let me be clear about that. But we know he is not the tip of the iceberg – there are many like people like him out there.

Let me also be clear about this – the exodus of sponsorship was the driver behind the decision. The actions of this one guy would surely have an impact on all of the other owners in the league. When sponsors leave on-mass the landscape must change. Its about the money! But what I really think, if it were not for social media this would just be another unknown and we should be glad that this technology removed the veil because it was the catalyst for the changing the landscape in this situation.

Some think this incident is the first – hardly! It happens more often than you think. It happened in Washington with George Preston Marshall owner of the Redskins. He ran the Redskins like it was the old confederate. In fact, instead of the “Hail to the Redskins” song Marshall played “Dixie” – you know the song that says “I wish I was in the land of cotton”!

Then there was Marge, the dog lover, owner of the Cincinnati Reds who is famous for calling her players “Million Dollar Niggers”! Remember “Jimmy the Greek”, “Don Imus”, and worst of all “Rush Limbaugh”! All were viewed as bigots in the sports world. Of course there are more, but you get the point. Now, let’s look at the college sports system, which in my view is the breed ground of the “Plantation” mentality. This is prevalent across the board at every level and by that I mean the slaves play and Master gets the money.

What most have lost sight of is that it is present at the same place you work. Honestly, do you really think your boss care about you? No!!! He or she smiles at you because you make money for him/her. If these people cared there would not be any unemployment. You and I may not be millionaires, but we are slaves not the less! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


UPDATED: L.A. Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Releases Statement [AUDIO]

The plot thickens!!!


Bundy Shows His Face

2Do you remember growing up asking Big Mama, how did you know this or that and she would tell you “I just know”. Well, that is kinda how I felt after hearing old man Bundy revealed his views on black people. I have lived long enough to have seen his kind before! He was saying it all along, and you could tell by the company [Fox and militia] he keeps.

First of all, his language all along was taken from the Posse Comitatus, which is a loosely organized confederate and far-right social movement that opposes the federal government and believes in localism. There is no single national group, and local units are autonomous.

Posse charters were issued in 1969 in Portland, Oregon, by Henry Lamont Beach, a retired dry cleaner and one-time member of the Silver Shirts, a Nazi-inspired organization that was established in America after Hitler took power in Germany. William Potter Gale has been described by one expert as the founder of the movement. Posse members believe that there is no legitimate form of government above that of the county level and no higher law authority than the county sheriff. Many Posse members practice survivalism and played a role in the formation of the armed citizens’ militias in the 1990s.

It is important to understand that this concept was used to maintain control over ex-slaves following the Civil War during reconstruction and continued throughout the south – some say to this very day. When they say only the sheriff has power and authority. Let me remind you of who covered up and allow the brutalization, to include murder, during the era of segregation. In this context, a blind man could clearly see this was coming. Yet, those on the right call him a “patriot” and a hero!

So now the Rancher has said out loud, and with conviction that the “Negro” fared better under slavery represents the latest in a series of incendiary racial comments from a new crop of folk heroes embraced in some conservative circles Like Ted Nugent and Duck Dynasty star. This guy got fifteen minutes of fame due in part by the extreme conservative radio host Sean Hannity and of course the right-wing circus.

This nut that’s on welfare himself because of his much-publicized land dispute with the federal government endeared him to conservatives and defended his comments as idle thoughts. The old man said to reporters and videotaped that “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.”And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.

He also said, “In my mind I’m wondering, are they better off being slaves, in that sense, or better off being slaves to the United States government, in the sense of the subsidies? I’m wondering. That’s what. And the statement was right. I am wondering,” he said Thursday on “The Peter Schiff Show.”

Yesterday, when asked whether he was any more or less a “welfare queen” as those who get entitlement checks, since his cattle have been feeding off the government, literally, by eating grass on public land, Bundy said, “I might be a welfare queen, but I’ll tell you I’m producing something for America and using a resource that nobody else would use or could use… He said, “I’m putting red meat on your table. Maybe I’m not doing enough, but I’m trying.” No dude, you are stealing!

But politicians like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential GOP contender, Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller and other conservatives scrambled to distance themselves like scalded dogs from the controversy.

I will agree with Mark Anthony Neal, an African-American studies professor at Duke University, who remarked, “We are looking at some of the last white men standing,” as a result of the demographic shifts that show minorities now represent more than half of the nation’s population born in 2010 and 2011, according to the most-recent Census data. In other words, “His comments represent that and people that rally around him because of this idea that white men are under siege. They are calling out the political establishment to stand by them,” he said.

But Bundy’s comments were much like those of another so-called patriot Ted Nugent. Then there was the Duck Dynasty star, who shared similar sentiments during an interview with GQ last year pastoral recollections of blacks “singing and happy” as he and his family worked alongside them in Louisiana cotton fields speak to a certain politically active fringe element that speaks to the far-right base.

We should be afraid, and very afraid, because there are a lot more of these types than you realize, and they are closer to you than you know. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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