Why We Are We Still Marchin’ ? by TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

I have marched until my feet have bled and I have rioted until they called the Feds.
What’s left my conscious said?
“Revolution”  Arrested Development

When folks gather in DC for the Jobs and Justice March and the Martin Luther King Memorial dedication this weekend, I betcha a million bucks that somebody is gonna pose the same question that people have been asking for the last 40 years. “What would Martin Luther King Jr say if he was here, today ?” If MLK was at the march, he would probably mean mug the crowd and yell “after all these years, why are y’all still marchin’ ?”

While people have accused the Hip Hop generation of being politically, apathetic (many times for good reason) the hardcore truth is that many young folks are just tired of traveling down the same road that has led us to nowhere-ville. They just need for someone to tell them the best way to bring about change.

Unfortunately, most old school cats are still trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, themselves. They can’t answer the basic question, “after all these years of marching and protesting, why are the conditions of poor people, relatively, the same as they were back in 1963?”

The reason is simple. It’s called controlled chaos: when things appear to be out of order but they are really being controlled by a master shot caller. There are forces at work making sure that we stay lost in the wilderness and never make it to the Promised Land.

The government’s repression of political dissent goes back decades. One can trace it as far back as the early 20th century with the Bureau of Investigation’s attack on Marcus Garvey or the House UnAmerican Affairs Committee’s attacks on Paul Robeson and others.

While it is known that the FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) played a major role in destroying political movements during the late 60’s and early 70’s, what must be examined in the 21st century is “how” they did it.

According to Ward Churchill and Jim Wall in their book, “Agents of Repression,” the FBI used several techniques to disrupt movements, including infiltrating organizations with agents, falsely tagging activists as “snitches” and assassinations. Another strategy was setting up phony, militant organizations or “pseudo gangs” “designed to confuse, divide and undermine, as well as do outright battles with authentic dissident groups.” This may even account for the street gangs of today who will kill on sight members of rival gangs but would never consider bangin’ on the system.

Also, although politicians praise the strategy of nonviolence, history teaches us that it is only after riots, when people start tearin’ stuff up, that the government suddenly is able to “find” money for all sorts of social programs that they couldn’t find before the rebellions. This is a technique that President Richard Nixon used as he transformed Black Power into Green Power.

One of the least talked about strategies to stop radical movements did not come from the Feds but from philanthropic foundations. According to Robert W Allen in his book “Black Awakening in Capitalist America,” these foundations used their money to co-opt the Black Power movement. The main organization responsible was the Ford Foundation, headed by former US national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, who’s brother just happened to be William Bundy, former director of the CIA. Allen called the Ford Foundation “the most important, though, least publicized” organization manipulating the militant black movement.”

Not only did the foundations influence the direction of street organizations but they also manipulated Black studies programs at colleges to make sure they produced “Clarence Thomas’s” instead of “Malcolm X’s.” Noliwe Rooks discusses the efforts of the foundations to take the “black” out of Black studies in her book, “White Money, Black Power.”

Later, during the Hip Hop era, we see the role that entertainment corporations played in diverting the rebellious energy of poor and oppressed ghetto kids.

During the golden age of conscious Hip Hop (1988-92) we witnessed a period that best represented how rap music could be used as a tool to organize the masses. This was a time when Hip Hop artists, not only made songs about fighting the power, but also participated in acts of civil disobedience such as when members of the X-Clan were involved in the “Day of Outrage” following the murder of Yusef Hawkins in 1989.

However, after ’92, conscious Hip Hop was replaced by a materialistic music that made people want to be part of the system instead of fighting against it. They have made grown men walking around with their drawers showin’ the ultimate act of rebellion.

Perhaps the most telling example of the political manipulation of Hip Hop was the 2004 election when, instead of using their influence and resources to politically educate their constituents in the ‘hood, Hip Hop moguls created a politically ambivalent marketing strategy called “Vote or Die” that did little more than sell overpriced T-Shirts.

The most interesting political movement in recent history is Occupy Wall Street, as activists have successfully broken out of the box of the Republican/Democratic dynamic and have taken the fight straight to the seat of power. If this movement continues focusing on the source of the multiple problems facing the ‘hood ( the multi-national corporations) this could be a major tipping point, effecting the economic balance of this country.

However, we have already seen filthy rich celebrities co-sign what is supposed to be a poor people’s movement. And it is just a matter of time before some slick politician tries to turn radical, revolutionists into mild mannered voter registration political reformists good only for putting “Vote for Me” posters on people’s front yards.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Today we find ourselves at the crossroads; one way leads to Freedom and the other road leads to perpetual oppression.

We all have a choice to make.

Do we we leave the next generation a movement for real socio-economic change or just sore feet and worn out Air Jordans?

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott represents the Militant Mind Militia. He can be reached at militantmindmilitia@gmail.com Website http://www.militantmindmilitia.com

source: http://militantmindmilitia.blogspot.com/2011/10/controlled-chaos-why-are-we-still.html

20 Years Ago Rodney King Was Brutally Beaten-We Remember

20 years ago Rodney King was brutally beaten by police..It was shocking and caught on film, folks just knew the officers were going to jail.. It was a slam dunk. Who could refute the evidence?  My how times have changed..or have they? Fast forward to the Oscar Grant murder which was also caught on film and you tell me..shout out to Paul Scott for his article..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssg2IkIhbxU

March 3, 1991. What started off as just another case of a brotha gettin’ beat down by the Po Po, would set off a chain of events that would forever change the socio-political dynamics of America, especially for the Hip Hop generation.

Although, the beating of Rodney King by four Los Angeles police officers happened 20 years ago, the shock waves from the event are still being felt today. To grasp the gravity of the situation one has to look at it in historical terms.
The period of the late 80’s was,possibly,the most revolutionary since the ’60’s, as the combination of Reaganomics and racial incidents such as the Virginia Beach and Crown Heights incidents had pushed America, once again to the brink of revolution. There was also a cultural revolution happening ion America, where Black youth were rediscovering the works of heroes such as Malcolm X and Huey P. Newton. The rapidly maturing Hip Hop genre also began to absorb the changes as the party music of the early 80’s began to become what Public Enemy front-man, Chuck D, coined “The CNN of Black America.”

While the music previously was seen as fad and just a blip on the radar screen of middle America, the idea of rebelling “ghetto youth” using rap music as an unregulated form of information dissemination sent shock America’s political foundation.

This is not the first time that the rising collective voice of “the silent minority” became a matter of national security.

According to the March 21, 1993 edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, in 1917, a Lt Col. Ralph Van Deman created the Army’s black spy network, which snitched on black organizations, even black churches. The article names Robert Morton of Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute and Joel Spingarn, one of the founders of the NAACP,as operatives in the spy network.

In the book, “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” Patricia A. Turner wrote that “rumor clinics” were set up during World War II to “prevent potentially adverse hearsay of all sorts from gaining credibility.”

Also, although the FBI’s COINTELPRO is the best known of the “dirty trick” operations of the Civil Rights /Black Power Era, Clay Risen, in his book “A Nation On Fire: “America in the Wake of the King Assassination,” wrote about the Army Operations Center and” its first operations plan for national disturbances, code named Steep Hill.” Risen also talks about the U.S. Army Intelligence Command (USAINTC)  which included 1000 agents  “around tthe country whose job was to spy on militants and “monitor indicators of imminent violence.”

The entertainment industry was not immune of the fear of a black uprising. In Peter Doggett’s book, “There’s a Riot Going On” he wrote about how James Brown was hired by the mayor of Boston , Kevin White, to throw a concert the night after the King murder to keep the natives calm.

From the very beginning it has been clear that America’s fear was not the thugs in the street stealing hubcaps but the fear that they may become politicized, intelligent hoodlums. So on April 29, 1992, the day the police officers were acquitted of beating King,  the apparatus was already in place to deal with young “urban” youth who were chanting  Hip Hop lyrics challenging the system as their mantra.

As, rebellions took place in cities across the country, even the watchful eye of the Fed’s underestimated the politicizing of the youth courtesy of rap lyrics. The site of “gangstas” articulating the political ideologies of Frantz Fanon on Night-line caught politicians with their pants down.

According, to the May 11, 1992 Time Magazine article “How TV failed to Get the Real Picture” it was reported that LA mayor Tom Bradley “requested” that in the midst of the chaos that the highly rated “Cosby Show:” air as an exercise in “crisis counter-programming.” However, this was not 1986 and black youth were more responsive to the voices of the X-Clan, than they were “Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable.”

So, another form of “crisis counter-programing” had to be developed that would insure that rebellions like what happened in LA would never happen again.

Even before the LA Rebellion, President  George Bush had instituted the “Weed and Seed Program”  which many residents of Los Angeles, such as those interviewed in the book “Uprisng” by Yusef Jah and Sister Shah Keyah considered a spy operation. The official purpose of weed and seed was to “weed” out gang members and in their places “seed”the hood with community programs.

So, we see the same strategy was used in Hip Hop as the biggest threat to this  country’s racial hegemony ” conscious rappers” were weeded out and the industry was seeded with “gangsta” rappers.

One can clearly see how the careers of early conscious rappers suffered because of their courage to speak truth to power. However, the “gangster rappers” of the period became multi-millionaires and were rewarded with movie scripts and endorsement deals.

It is against this historical backdrop that two major post-LA Rebellion developments took place.

First the “no snitching” ethos was taken out of its historical context and was been replaced with a scapegoat for black on black violence and the demonization of entire black neighborhoods. Conveniently forgotten were the various government sponsored snitch operations that had plagued the black community for decades.h

More important is the overall anti-political direction of commercial Hip Hop, where, instead of “Cosby” crisis programming, the Hip Hop artists are now part of preemptive crisis programming, where the minds of the youth are distracted by such things as face tattoos This can help to explain, in part, why the incidents of police brutality in cities such as Cincinnati, New York, Oakland and Houston generated relatively little outcry.

Some may argue that times have changed and the season of “fighting the power” is a part of a bygone era.

However, with incidents of global outrage taking place from Egypt to Wisconsin, maybe not.

Perhaps Ice Cube was right when he once rapped ,” April 29th brought power to the people, and we just might see a sequel.”

Only the ‘hood knows….

TRUTH Minista  Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com

Article courtesy of the Militant Mind Militia http://www.militantmindmilitia.com

Wiz Khalifa’s Song ‘Huey Newton’ Sparks Controversy

Pittsburgh artist Wiz Khalifa has been making a lot of noise as of late. Most recently him and rhyme partner Currensy did song called Huey Newton which has ruffled the feathers of more than a few people who feel like the Black Panther Party co-founder who fought tirelessly for the liberation of Black people is being disrespected.

The song in question has nothing to do with Huey or the Panthers. It’s about smoking weed and kicking it. Hence it left many wondering why name check Huey? Was it to bring controversy or was it a reflection of one’s ignorance where freedom fighters and civil rights icons are seen as fair game for dismissal, ridicule and attacks?

Outkast caused quite abit of controversy with their Rosa Parks song

When I heard the song, two things went through my mind. First was the controversy surrounding Outkast when they used the name of Rosa Parks, the mother of the Civil Rights Movement in the biggest hit single off the critically acclaimed Aquemini album.

Many felt it was a huge disrespect, including some of Park’s people who wound up suing Outkast for using her name without permission. According to her representatives, Ms Parks didn’t like the fact that the group used profanity in a song that in no way reflected what she had stood for.

Outkast felt they were being mis-understood. They claimed that they were paying tribute in an artistic sort of way. Parks’ name was used as a metaphor to lay claim that the group was putting others on notice that it was time  to make way, ‘move to the back of the bus’ and make way for Outkast.

Many in the Civil Rights community wasn’t buying it. While many in the Hip Hop community questioned the motives behind a lawsuit. Was this really Rosa Park’s sentiments or her people trying to make a buck? The counter to that question and ultimately one of the basis for the lawsuit-was Outkast trying to make a buck off of Rosa Parks?

Eventually famed lawyer Johnnie Cochran got involved on behalf of Parks. The lawsuits were dismissed on freedom of speech grounds but Outkast wound up settling with Ms Parks. They shot her some money and agreed to do a few community benefits for her foundation.

The other thing that went through my mind were the recent name checks where iconic freedom fighters are publicly clowned.

We saw this two years ago when a young columnist from Ebony magazinenamed Jam Donaldson of Hot Ghetto Mess fame took shots at political prisoner and former Panther Mumia Abu Jamal. In her piece she stated;

Mumia Abu Jamal

“One day I’m like, ‘Free Mumia’ and other days I’m like, ‘That n***** probably did it.’ And I’m not afraid to admit it, and I’m not afraid to write about it.”

Donaldson’s remarks angered many of Mumia’s supporters who felt her flippant remarks in a respected publication like Ebony not only added but in some ways legitimized an already poisonous climate set by police department unions who had been on a mission to see Mumia put to death.

Donaldson noted that her remarks and take on things are a reflection of how many in her generation feel these days. They’re sarcastic and have no problem crossing what many in the past may have seen as sacred lines. In her case she saw nothing wrong with dissing a man who was fighting for his life on death row. A few years prior comedian Cedric the Entertainer saw nothing wrong with clowning Rosa Parks by calling her lazy in the movie Barbershop. Parks boycotted the NAACP image awards in which Cedric was appearing as a result.

Today an artist like Wiz Khalifa may see nothing wrong with naming a song after Huey Newton without reflecting his legacy. These are just names to people who now live in an increasingly disposable society.

Here’s a video to the song Huey Newton

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu1kpwbx_fU&feature=related

Needless to say… the Huey Newton song got a quick rebuke from more than a few people including Minista Paul Scott of the Militant Mind Militia. Below is his video response where he goes in on Khalifa and Currensy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jo7rV5VTPA&feature=player_embedded

Lastly, weighing in on this is fellow Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X who feels like situations like this can lead to teachable moments. He knows both Wiz and Paul Scott and feels that we should be building bridges and not causing further divisiveness.

Huey Newton

I agree with Jasiri X and I like the video he did in response to the song. At the same time one thing that all of us need to keep in mind is the importance of empathy. We need to walk in each other’s shoes. We need to keep in mind that each generation has heroes and sheroes they hold dear and sadly there are outside forces that routinely malign those leaders and important figures in our community. Hopefully all of us young and old understand this and don’t add to the attacks or in Wiz’s case neglect.

In my generation the icons were Chuck D, KRS, X-Clan, Minister Farrakhan and others who we rallied around. A generation before that, it was the Malcolms, Martins, Shirely Chisolms and Hueys.

The generations after mine came to admire Tupac, Biggie, Diddy. and later Jay-Z.

For today’s generation those figures don’t hold the same emotional cache. They have their own heroes. Is it Lil Wayne? Souljah Boy? Rick RossBeyonce?  The best way to find out is to ask the young folks around you and build. Who are the heroes and sheroes for today’s generation?

Remember we are in a date and time where ethnic studies is being cut from college campuses all around the country and history text books are being re-written as we speak. Freedom fighters like Thurgood Marshall and Cesar Chavez are being removed and replaced with Newt Gingrich and Jerry Falwell. Community leaders are less and less known while  pundits seen on TV and entertainers and music moguls have become the new Civil Rights leaders  Should we be surprised if a Wiz Khalifa doesn’t hold a Huey Newton close to his chest in 2010?

-Davey D-

Here’s Jasiri X’s remarks:

I saw the controversy over the Wiz Khalifa and Currensy song called Huey Newton, including the video response by Paul Scott of the Militant Mind Militia, and being that I know both Wiz and Paul I thought I should weigh in.

I certainly understand why the conscious community would be upset with Wiz and Currensy considering the subject matter of the song, but I just wanted to offer some perspective. I grew up in a very conscious household, however in my early 20s, I dropped out of college and spent most of my days smoking weed, writing rhymes and hustling to support my habit. I figured I was gonna be an MC so I was gonna have as much fun as I could on the way to the top.

Eventually, that lifestyle got old and by the grace of God I regained my conscious mind and began trying to use my talents and gifts to uplift humanity. Wiz grew up around conscious people and he’s one of the most mature young men I’ve ever met. Where he is now…experiencing the tremendous highs of living his dream…does not mean he’s going to stop growing as a person.

I don’t know Currensy, but I did find it interesting that Huey Newton was born in his home state of Louisiana.

I don’t think Paul Scott was wrong in expressing how he felt and his frustration with the state of Hip-Hop. Knowing Paul, I know he spoke out of sincere love for his people and a desire to see us do better. But, I felt like instead of creating more division, I could use this as a teachable moment, so I grabbed the instrumental and did what I do. Paradise recorded the session at James Webb Studios, we added a interview Huey Newton did with William Buckley plus one of his speeches and pieced together the video we called “The Real Huey Newton”.

One Hood,
Jasiri X

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHfotb2pwNI

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