Tag: L’Ouverture Arts Facilitator

Identifying the Caucasian Paradigm

INTRODUCTION

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy (center, back) kneel with a group in prayer prior to going to jail in Selma, Alabama. The group was arrested on February 1st after attempting to gain the right to vote. Following the prayer, the group peacefully marched to jail.

 

The fallacy that race is an aspect of one’s identity and that racism either validates or invalidates one’s identity has created a high level of resentment and anxiety among people. I speak of race and racism as fallacies because an analysis of race reveals that the concept subsumes interlocking ideologies which are themselves based on fallacies. In turn, the fallacies in concepts of race obfuscate the fact that racism itself is one of a subset of ideologies created for the purpose of sustaining a higher-level framework of theory and practice, a framework I refer to as the Caucasian paradigm.

Though Black people experience the articulation of racist thought and action as intrusive and destructive aspects of our experience, most of us do not recognize racism as an aspect of the Caucasian paradigm. As a result, Black people planet-wide continue to confront racism as if it’s a social justice issue. The belief that racism is a social justice issue is the reason attempts to fight it fail time and again. To get rid of racism and its attendant ideologies, Black people need to recognize racism as an aspect of the Caucasian paradigm and destroy the paradigm in its entirety.

I draw the term Caucasian from a body of research by the Lithuanian-American archaeologist and anthropologist, Marija Gimbutas, who in 1956 proposed the Kurgan theory, which located the genesis of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) speaking people within the Pontic Steppe bordering the Caucasus Mountains.1 The Kurgan theory, also known as the steppe theory, is said to be the theory most widely accepted among anthropologists as that which identifies the homeland of the PIE speaking people.

Thus, when I use the term Caucasian, I attempt to locate the so-called “white race” within its ancient homeland, as opposed to allowing the Caucasian ideological apparatuses of the UK, USA and Western Europe to continue to claim for Caucasians those ancestral lands appropriated from various autochthonous peoples as part of a centuries-long Caucasian imperative of lebensraum. During the course of this analysis, I will attempt to map the scholarship which followed the migrations of Caucasians to this place, for those migrations and the manner in which the people settled shed light upon certain aspects of the Caucasian paradigm which would otherwise be inexplicable.

I use Thomas Kuhn’s definition of paradigm developed in his monograph “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” published in 1962.2 In this essay, Kuhn, a Harvard scholar, defines a paradigm as a conceptual box which both validates and legitimizes the ideas within it, and invalidates and renders invisible whatever is outside it.

A paradigm defines what is known and how it is known. It defines the relevance of what is known. A paradigm dictates what can be known and should be known, as well as that which is not known and should not be known. It dictates what’s included in one’s experience and what’s excluded. It defines how people should understand and respond to their experiences, both those which should be and are included, and those which should be and are excluded.

With regard to knowledge, a paradigm is the shared set of understandings or premises with which knowledge practitioners work. It defines the problem to be solved as well as its solution. A paradigm allows a researcher in the process of solving a problem to distinguish those facts that matter from those that do not. It defines what is relevant, controls fact-gathering and identifies the boundaries within which problems can be understood. Within the framework of the paradigm, practitioners are not supposed to discover new sorts of phenomena. Rather, the paradigm suppresses and makes invisible whatever does not conform to it.²

A Caucasian paradigm is in force planet-wide. It emerged as a military, political and socio-economic system about 2,000 years ago, though it was in a developmental stage for several millennia before then. Its ascendency occurred at the final stages of the invasion and defeat of the superpower, Kemet, the first frontier of the powerful kingdoms of Africa. Ever since then, the paradigm has spread across the continent of Africa. Its intention is to appropriate the most powerful of the assets of the African civilizations which flourished there for over 100,000 years and re-brand them as Caucasian, while stripping the continent of its people and natural resources. The most brutal forms of violence have been employed against African landmasses, ecosystems, animal cultures and human cultures to effect this.

Meanwhile, the life experience of every individual and creature on the planet – including animals, who experience the planet with people, and including ecosystems, with their astonishing variety of insects and flora, indeed, every sentient entity upon our sentient planet – is currently occurring within a Caucasian paradigm. We perceive ourselves and all aspects of our lives and our planet through its ideological apparatuses. Contrary to what most people believe, our life experiences do not occur in a value-free, organic and natural manner, but are deliberately engineered and represented to privilege the fallacy of Caucasian superiority.

In essence, the Caucasian paradigm comprises a comprehensive network of systems which include economic, political, religious, educational and entertainment apparatuses, whose aim is to facilitate the exploitation of planetary resources at the expense of human well-being. It is a complement of shared meanings and social norms intended to appropriate for a small number of Caucasian elites power over all the peoples on the planet. It has spread to nearly every area of the planet, and people everywhere continue to be initiated into it to their detriment. The major features of the Caucasian paradigm are:

 

Resetting of the “planetary calendar” with the intention of destroying Black concepts of time and the cosmos previously in force planet-wide through

Creation of a calendar which, roughly 2,000 years ago, reset planetary and cosmic time at 1AD

Creation of different seasons, and different names for planets, constellations and phenomena within the cosmos from those previously created by Africans

Creation of different years, months, weeks and days

Creation of a split planetary timeline dividing time into historical time and pre-historical time

 

Spreading of Caucasian ideologies throughout the planet by

Privileging of the male, and subordination of the female

Replacing the female creatrix with a male creator

Creation of religious mythology exalting the false notion of a male creator

Creation of gods, goddesses, devils, demons, angels, fairies, vampires, zombies, and other supernatural non-existent entities

Replacing matriarchal societies with patriarchal societies

Creation of misogyny

Institutionalizing of killing of females, girls and phoetuses

Institutionalizing of sterilization of women

Mutilation of female reproductive organs

Silencing of women

Reduction of women and girls to house-bound servants and/or sexual objects

 

Privileging of the Caucasian and subordination of the African

Creation of the socio-scientific myth of racism

Creation of socio-economic stratification according to racial classification

Stratification of people according to the shade of their skin

Conferring honorary Caucasian status upon People of Color

Genocide of People of Color

Attempted genocide of Black people

Unrelenting attempts to appropriate Africa from Africans

Disrespecting of the Black presence on the planet

 

Privileging of economic activity at the expense of human well-being

Creation of the ideology of fiat money

Creation of capitalism

Buying and selling of money

Creation of industries for the purpose of creating money

Creation of companies for the purpose of buying and selling money

Using money as an apparatus to disenfranchise the majority of the people on the planet, especially Black people.

 

Obfuscation of meaning through the creation and promotion of ideologies, epistemologies and philosophies

The spreading throughout the planet of Indo-European languages which limit peoples understanding of their experiences

Creation of schools and academies for promoting misinformation through such pseudo knowledges as

science

literature

rhetoric

geography

history

politics

sociology

social science

economics

egyptology

languages

theology

archaeology

anthropology

geology

 

Using pseudo knowledges to create and promote such ideologies as

Racism

Evolution

Patriarchy

Religion (Christianity/ Judaism/Islam/ Hinduism/ Budhism)

Capitalism

Democracy

Socialism

 

Creation of unnatural science, the theory and practice of which is dedicated to the alteration and mutation of natural planetary forces and planetary species, including the human being

Genetic research designed to re-engineer the human being

Genetic research designed to re-engineer animals

Genetic research designed to re-engineer the planet’s ecosystems containing the food supplies of people and animals

Creation of unnatural technologies, such as machines, which mimic the natural technologies inherent within the planet, and mimic the natural technologies which inhere in the human being

Creation of diseases

 

Promotion of pathological behaviors, such as

Narcissistic behavior

Shallow thinking

Creation of mass identities

Creation of individual identities

Creation of the follower personality through “social media”

 

Exploitation of planetary resources at the expense of human well-being through

Creation and maintenance of wars and weapons of war which kill people and animals and destroy landmasses

Creation of nuclear and bio weapons which create increasingly expanding zones of nuclear contamination across the planet and in the oceans

Uncontrolled and destructive mining of the planet’s natural resources

Creation of deserts and unstable landmasses

Creation of pesticides which destroy ecologies/ Beyer

Genetic engineering of the planet’s seed and food resources/ Monsanto

Creation of unnatural, factory-made substances marketed and sold as “food” which interrupt and destroy the natural functions of the human body, creating diseases

slaughter and consumption of animals which destroy the natural functioning of the human body, creating diseases

Creation of lethal medicines to apply to the deadly diseases

Creation of tons and tons of garbage and lots and lots of pollution that disrupt the natural functioning of the planet and the oceans

 

Creation of ideological apparatuses which normalize the pathologies of the paradigm and keep people locked into destructive habits and addictions, through

advertising

the film industry

the television industry

the entertainment industry

literature (books)

magazines

theatre

social media

 

The operationalization of the above aspects of the Caucasian paradigm in the lives of people render the daily experience of all people on the planet, as well as animals, plants and varieties of sentient life, unbearably difficult. People who previously lived in freedom beyond the boundaries of the paradigm are being lured into it with the promise of improved quality of life. Ironically, most people are unaware that every aspect of their lives are shaped by the paradigm, believing instead that the horrors it unleashes upon them daily are all a natural part of “life.”

That people regard the paradigm as a “natural” aspect of life is its greatest strength, for when they don’t understand their experiences as deliberately engineered, individuals who seek to improve their quality of life and the quality of the lives of those within their spheres of influence take inappropriate action and seek to eliminate parts of the paradigm. Some fight racism, others fight patriarchy, or the evils of religion, or pollution, or poverty, or so-called climate change. But these are subsets of the Caucasian paradigm and cannot be destroyed on their own. To get rid of them, we must destroy the paradigm itself through a combination of knowledge and action, by pressing such knowledge and action into the service of the re-creation and re-establishment of an African centered paradigm upon the planet capable of encompassing all aspects of the Black experience and capable of honoring the lives of all peoples on the planet.

Initially, the creation of an African centered paradigm would comprise detailed and rigorous analysis of every aspect of the Caucasian paradigm, and would encompass a broad spectrum of multidisciplinary scholarship. Abdul Kareem Bangura (2011) has defined being African centered as a quality of thought and practice which “represents and reflects the life experiences, history and traditions of African people as the center of analysis.” (p.149). As such, an African centered paradigm is initially shaped by Black peoples’ intellectual/scholarly contemplation and codification of those necessary actions undertaken in the social spaces. Intellectual and scholarly approaches include

Historicity – the demonstration, by means of the historiography of African centered historians, of the presence of Africans in the development of civilization;

Epistemology – the privileging of an African epistemology, including an African theory of knowledge, which encompasses an African conception of the nature of knowledge, the means used to gain knowledge, the criteria for the assessment of the validity of knowledge, the purpose of the pursuit of knowledge, and the role that knowledge plays in human existence.

Narrative – the telling of stories cognizant of the many complexities of the events which come together to tell as much of the story as can be told.

An African centered paradigm is therefore, a means by which to present a complex, cohesive view of the Black experience, one which possesses explanatory and interpretative power.

1Marija Gimbutas, “The Prehistory of Eastern Europe, Part 1: Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Copper Age Cultures in Russia and The Baltic Area,” American School of Prehistoric Research 20, (1956).

2Thomas Kuhn, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” International Encyclopedia of Unified Science 2, no. 2 (1962).

 

MLK: Confronting the Black Church’s Accommodation of White Domination

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy (center, back) kneel with a group in prayer prior to going to jail in Selma, Alabama. The group was arrested on February 1st after attempting to gain the right to vote. Following the prayer, the group peacefully marched to jail.

“The year before, Newark, New Jersey, had been occupied by nearly lily-white units of the National Guard, sent there to quell a four-day rebellion in which 26 Blacks were killed. The Guardsmen behaved like an Army of White Vengeance, joining the racist cops in savaging Black people and shooting up businesses displaying “Black-owned” and “Soul Brother” signs on the Springfield Avenue thoroughfare.

However, the 82nd Airborne Division was a different social organism, entirely; our ranks were 60 percent Black, and we had been transformed. All of us (at least in my company) were aware of what had happened in Newark. As far as the Black troops were concerned, our division had only one mission in Washington, DC: to make sure the white soldiers — especially the mostly white military police — did no harm to the Black population.

And they did not dare.

Not one Black citizen of Washington was hurt by a soldier of the 82nd Airborne division — or, to my knowledge, even verbally abused — during the occupation.”

Read the full article: MLK: A Snap Shot in Time | Black Agenda Report

 

 

Book Review: Ajani’s Wonderful Summer and the Imaging of the Black Boy

One aspect of the assault on the African family and on Black families has been the removal or lessening of the role of the father in the household.

The underachievement of boys in educational systems throughout the African diaspora, as well as the fact that the majority of perpetrators and victims of homicides, violent crimes and assaults in the diaspora are young men, are important issues that have been engaging the attention of people from all walks of life, for these are symptoms of crises occurring in Black communities and nation states.

Barbadian author, Dr. Akhentoolove Corbin, is concerned about the crises which exist in Black communities, especially as these affect Black boys. One of his major concerns is that many Black boys throughout the African diaspora grow up without a father figure in the house. We are well aware of this, for many of our Caribbean sociologists have drawn attention to this matter, and the absentee father has been one of the major themes of Caribbean sociology for a long time. Read More

 

 

WRITE LIKE A WARRIOR: The Power of Journaling

A journal, whether it be a bound book or an electronic file, is an excellent tool, no matter where you happen to be in your life. Journals are indispensable to writers, businesspeople, inventors as well as people tracking various processes, including physical and mental health treatments.

Keeping a journal not only trains you to be observant as you record your experiences, it also helps you retain and develop your new ideas. Journaling is an excellent way to articulate your goals and develop them, and if you date your entries, you can review what you’ve learned over time and make significant connections between your experiences and ideas. During your pre-writing stage, securing a journal is a must.

Your journal can be anything from a simple notebook to an elaborately etched hardcover creation with lock and key to cool templates for electronic journals offered by software companies. Choosing a journal which suits your temperament would inspire you as you write.

I had been journaling since I was a girl, but I started doing it in an intuitive manner around 2008. I find it tremendously empowering. I love to review my entries over the years and find inspiration in my thoughts. True, some entries are cringe worthy, but I find many of them remarkably insightful.

I comment on my entries on little stickys that I paste on the side of the page, so I could see how my perspectives change over time. I notice that ideas which seemed disconnected came together. They bore fruit, by which I mean that my ideas developed to such an extent they became useful. This has shown me that journaling is a discipline that matures over time. I did not understand the value of this practice when I began in earnest in 2008, but I have definitely come to understand in now, and I can clearly see how valuable my journals are to my personal development, to my business and to my writing.

Through Darkness to Light | Visions of the Underground Railraod

Photographer, Jeanine Michna-Bales has documented the route of the Underground Railroad,. The images were shot at night to remind viewers that enslaved Africans seeking freedom traveled under cover of darkness. Despite the fact that true freedom remained out of reach, hundreds of Black slaves made the 1,400 mile journey from the cotton plantations of Louisiana in the USA, sometimes as far north as Ontario, Canada. See the photo-essay in Through Darkness to Light | VQR Online

Baldwin, Brathwaite and Walcott: Flights Crewmen

 

by Harold Adrian Beckles

“..Well is one trip/[chorus] de Caribbean man/on de same ship/[chorus] de Caribbean man/an’ is one race/[chorus, as above]/in de same place …,”

These words that mark the distinctive antiphonal dynamics of a highly popular calypso of some years past, as its Trinidadian performer made an appeal for Caribbean peoples to embrace a heightened intercultural Pan-Caribbean awareness that would be founded upon a greater popular agitation for regional re-federation at the political level. The question that emerges here, becomes this one: ‘What is this “one trip .. on de same ship,” when it is taken as the animating force that energizes the writings of a James Baldwin placed in conjunction with those of his West Indian peers Kamau Brathwaite and Derek Walcott?’

To a significant extent, the answer, as it applies to these three writer-academic, New World Africans, is, the sea.  For, according to St. Lucian-born poet and playwright Derek Walcott, “The sea is History” (derek walcott: poems  237).  The West Coast of Africa, Brathwaite’s “painfields” of the Caribbean, and the terminal ‘human marketplaces’ of the American southlands, were points that triangulated the European colonial powers’ operation of The trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

These geographical points also serve to interweave the contemporary voices of these three writers of the Americas, across the abyss of memory within which their common ancestral spirits, in turn war against racial amnesia to awaken their sons and daughters to a purposeful vision for their people’s future.

Geography has always been sympathetic to ‘island-boy’ maroons and runaways like Shabine, whom, as the principal narrative voice within Walcott’s long nation language poem entitled “The Schooner Flight,” has free license to island-hop from “Monos to Nassau” in search of meaningful, self-affirming cultural citizenship and a redefined sense of identity, whilst logging his observations in a diary of poems.  By the time Shabine the seaman has decided to desert his wife, Maria Concepcion, and quit the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago at the outset of the poem’s third movement, he has “..no nation now but the imagination.” (poems  220).  This mulatto sailor who embodies a Walcott-like persona, is a free spirit, because in the post-colonial modern era, the Caribbean people have wrested ‘sovereign’ control of their archipelago from its former Metropolitan colonial owners.

This liberty of movement exercised by the African of the Antilles “..who love the sea, ..” is almost wholly alien to that African who has been colonized within the Metropole of the United States of America from the “Mayflower’s” advent upon continental shores up to the present time.  In If Beale Street Could Talk, a novel that provides a graphically realistic and grim depiction of the extent to which the cancerous geography of the inner-city landscape both traps and preys upon the often defenceless African American citizen, James Baldwin dons both the tonality and emotional register of a female persona whose empowering love for her boyfriend, Donny, is communicated to the reader as possibly the only force under heaven that can liberate him from the debilitating, death-dealing violence of their Beale Street environment.

The poetry contained within her voice is the pained blues riff that screams against police brutality meted out by racist white officers; that screams against the raw injustice of an economic system that was established so as to exploit Donny’s ancestors, Donny himself, and his progeny for so many ages to come; that rails against Donny’s ‘Holy Roller’ mother who is a religious hypocrite, whilst bewailing the loss of Donny’s alcoholic father who ultimately commits suicide.

Beale Street’s confession, therefore, becomes her transcendent, revitalising love that bears public witness of her soul’s militant affirmation that her man shall live.  Only this “terrible cry” (to use a Baldwinesque construct) can save Donny from the hell that America has prepared for any black manchild’s consciousness from his day of birth, onwards.  At the novel’s conclusion, she carries — both exultantly and defiantly — the physical legacy of Donny’s refusal to be extinguished as a human being; that is, their unborn child that is thriving within her womb, even whilst Donny is held captive in prison.

Walcott has Shabine’s soul find a degree of solace and rest in the riches that he (Shabine) finds bestowed upon him by the primordial beauty of the Caribbean landscape.  His long poem’s concluding line states: “Shabine song to you from the depths of the sea.”  The symbolic viscerality of Shabine’s song that is rooted in the legacy of history, finds a harmonizing element in the life-giving insistency of Donny’s girlfriend’s witness, which, like a gospel shout that revitalizes both its bearer and its receivers, thunders upward from the deepest recesses of her soul.

This writer aspires to acquiring an informed, holistic, and creative literary vision that would seek to reconcile its attraction to works that, on a surface level of interpretation, are seemingly as diverse as the the writings of James Baldwin and Derek Walcott.  It is the unifying groundswell of history’s legacy to the New World African in the power of the sea, that must define the scope and character of his future contributions to a wider human culture.  In his essay entitled “The Caribbean: Culture or Mimicry”, Walcott addresses the primacy and vitality of this ongoing contribution in the following words: “..it is the black [man] who energized that [i.e., American] culture, who styles it, just as it is the black who preserved and energized its faith.  The most significant experience in America’s recent past is this revolution …(Walcott: “The Caribbean: ..”  26).  Within the context of the cultural ethos that is defined above, I, too, like these three writers, am an American.

 

WAR – Bob Marley

The lyrics of this song were taken from a speech delivered by the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie 1 at the United Nations General Assembly on October 4, 1963. Bob Marley’s recorded version of the speech hit the airwaves in 1976. Why are these words as relevant and urgent now, 53 years after they were originally penned?

 

The Storyteller’s Culture of Warfare

CULTURE is a way people understand and respond to the statements and actions put out by a dominant power seeking to engender allegiance to itself. The term culture is often associated with the arts, and according to most definitions I’ve read, is assumed to refer to a shared system of values. Culture, however, is a concept which goes way beyond artistic expression.

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Mastering the Storyteller’s Body of Knowledge

We must align our dream and vision for our craft with the body of knowledge relevant to the creative-business environment of the new paradigm of publishing.

As digital storytellers, we need to see the big picture of the creative/disruptive business environment in which we operate, and the process we must follow to be successful in this environment. We must align our dream and vision for our craft with the body of knowledge relevant to the creative-business environment of the new paradigm of publishing. We need to know far more than how to tell a compelling story. Actually, being able to tell a compelling story or write a great narrative is basic. It’s a given. We need to evolve our ability to discern and critique the ideological apparatus of the marketplace so we’re not intimidated or swallowed up by it. We need to know what publishers know – how to sell books. We need to be a little tech savvy: We need to know about and completely (but not uncritically) embrace the technology that powers the internet – that channel through which we distribute our ideas, messages and intellectual products, and receive the audience engagement and purchases by which we can achieve and measure our success. (more…)

Mastering Author Entrepreneurship in a Disruptive Economy

Disruption has less to do with a new product or novel technology and more to do with a process embedded within the capitalist construct itself. As long as we continue to live in a capitalist economy, new technologies will be rolled out that will continue to alter the way we write and publish.

Writing a book is an important aspect of self-actualization, self-validation and professional development. A book bearing an author’s name is tangible evidence of her credentials, and proves her to be a woman of letters, educated, intelligent and civilized. But an author is no longer only someone who writes books. The disruptive entrepreneurship which characterizes our twenty-first century digital economies has radically altered the way people create and receive information, as well as the speed with which they process it. Twenty-first century technologies have permanently altered the way people read and write. And learn. And think. Technology has altered the author’s role in the economic system. (more…)