A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."
Aesthetic Ascension series by Malik Seneferu, www.maliksart.com
cosmic earthlings asleep
at this epoch of our collective being
awakened only when our chakras
banging at the lowest infinitesimal monotone metronome frequency
Boom. Boom. Ka-bang.
are disrupted by the wicked doings and the impositions
of our souls by them evil ones.
Then, sleeping giants tremble terrible awakened,
marching with the authority of elephant herds
in the long rhythmic strides of gazelles across the plain lands
roaring in the chorus of the lion’s prides
with the organization and immediacy of the flock heading
for its true north, after our longest winter.
A lost tribe -
Intergalactic, our reach is from the earth to the heavens,
the majestic wing expanse of eagles,
the grace, precision and beauty of humming birds,
the electricity and power of the mighty ocean,
and the magic of mystery,
the majesty of gods.
Patrick A. Howell photographed at UC Santa Barbara Black Student Union
Photo and Artwork by Malik Seneferu
And then, well, the vibe is alive
and we have the love of God, a Spirit Force
where there is nothing that we cannot affect
for we have done it all before
as Olmec, Pharaohs, Moors
Kush, Mesopotamian, Stars
Black lives have always mattered most in
the cosmos, Electric church, blue notes
and the most high heavenly frequencies.
Psychosomatic cosmic dust -
the dreams of ancient eternals and ancestors
whose towering visions
are matched only by our grind
hustle and grit. We channel the earth,
our bodies with our bodies.
Yes, yes. Yes, to thyselves let us be truly
FREDRICK DOUGLASS by Jules Arthur, www.julesarthur.com
Magnificent energies fleshed,
low baritone is humming-
resonating truths, meting out justices…
just by simple being.
Soiled mahogany dripping.
Magnificent like empires,
come from the eternal fires
of original creation
outside the space that created time.
These griots – they be taking thrones
Wherever they sit. As they be.
Wisdom of ages, their minds are tomes
where there was once marvel,
re-imagining worlds from with-
in - magical beings.
See them, amongst us
manifesting. Call ‘em old
their soul eternal, priceless treasures
platinum, silvers, gold.
Dark matter of consciousness
Transformed into epochs, new ages,
new ways of being
from the darkened nebuli
of the inner mind, rooted in cosmic
re-imagines herself and her relationship
the sun burns a little rosier upon the
the griots crown – time having tinged
the widows peak silver.
Be careful !
These Griots- they wit sharp like acid
gone is they id,
call you stupid, make you it.
Yes – I said it – Griots stand/sit
and the cosmos alter.
It’s not so hard to explain with these Griots-
They are made of the immortal
and their imaginations soiled fertile with living
realities. These Griots manifest by but….
Painting by Jules Arthur, www.julesarthur.com
King Toure’ Art Man
Art Man. Hear history. Art Askia Touré. Hear now? You listen to Askia Muhammad Touré and you will hear history. You will hear the tears, brimming. You will hear the joy swimming. Hoarse laughter circling. You will hear the pride, unmasked. Yes, a distinct color timbre of glee that is in that voice that is history as it keeps time with staccatoed alliteration and a vibrato that hums. A sweet soul. Magnificent soul of the Kora humming is his S’s. See history is made of men and women who did the work, made the time. Their time is history whose hearts sing as they walked the streets. To Harlem in the 1960s from Songhai in the 1400s, history is paved with blood sweat and tears. Hear? Bone crushing rhythms? Yes - it is loud, undeniable. And definite percussion. Authority. Animal skin on Djembe drum rapping. It is our voices emerge from the dark into the light of day. It is the sound of elections. It is the sounds of revolutions. Resistance. Soulutions. The earth’s heart beating is earthquakes and them- they voices. It is the beat of a man’s heart covered over in voice. And these hearts in unison, a great spirit force immortal. Risen. Now, history sits at a room in Boston and composes lines to not only record the record but carry the spirit forward. The voice carries on from the mouth of a svelte sage into the ears of youngs. Hear it now? Yes. It’s the voice of Askia Muhammad Touré. Black. Arts. Movement. It’s poetic dialect. Didactic. Red heart, earth center. Talk slowly beat. We are born again again and again. This fire rages. Calmed only by breezes. Spread like wild fire by breezes.
But let’s ground these words to earth and bring the high talk to the earth’s granular vibrations. I’ve said it before - What a blessing it is to converse with the elders; to glean their wisdom with simple truths, simple talk. Their words are like a benediction. They are sonar bridges throughout the ages. Are we listening to our elders? What Askia Muhammad Touré embodies is the beauty of our elders. What Malaika Adero built is the libraries. What Chestor Higgins, eye of Horus, sees is creation as the sun. What Marvin X. Jackmon embodies is the power of our spirits. What Abiodun Oyewole is the keeps the rap rooted. Who Marie Dutton Brown listens to is the orders of ancestors. And we are a wealthy people. Billions is a meager number when compared to the riches of our soul, of our legacy. Our elders are rich with time, cosmic beings who know no limits. These are the shoulders upon which we stand upon. And this is the measure by which our children will look to us, their forebearers, a new power generation.
See now? Askia Muhammad Toure’ is the spirit unrivalled in living and the spirit fleshed from ancient ruler to ruling griot, the times were not lost on him but made by him, enhanced by him, made whole by metaphysical knowings. How are we born? How will we die? Askia Toure is not concerned with that. The charlatans flee his presence. He knows the secrets and it is within how we live, enhanced by an eternal fire with no end, lighting days and ending nights. Black Pride! Fire that crushes the narcissism, barbarism and nihilism of capitalism. From the Niles to the Kilimanjaro, he carries within a barrel chest broad, the beat for generations- from Black Power Movement to Millennials carrying forth the fight for black liberation, from the pride of ancients, his is the voice carrying instruction. Black Panthers strut tall and long. From the tall grass of the Sahara to the Oakland, Chicago, Detroit and NYC urbans. From the Pyramids to the Streets of Harlem, his is instruction that will born Hip Hop, make the world spin like on boogie. Instruction that will born the new era hereto un-named. Instruction that will cleanse itself and renew the contract for our beautiful women, through whom travel the unborn, the unknown, the new heroes. King griot Askia Muhammad Toure’ - He is ours, a smile as broad as the heavens, dimples deep as waterfalls cascading. Our living, breathing liberation. No cheap commercial, this the real thang, a cosmic heart beating. His is the divine masculine, percolating territories from ancient kingdoms to afro- futuristic landscapes. In his palms, the palm lines are oceans and mountains, hereto un-named. Futures unfurling with great African names.
A mystic preacher, metaphysical in form, his is the wisdom of the ages, the metaphysics of the sages, raging fierce for the divine feminine, every syllable uttered, a sly tryst increasing the entwinement betwix his masculine and her feminine. Oh, how Askia Muhammad Toure’ loves his woman. He loves his women as only black man with a black soul could. He would kill for his women but so much more powerful is his towering vulnerability and gentle soul, he will live for his black woman, and passage of time will not still this beautiful will. His is the terrible fire sweeping through towering myriad conscience, keeping us straight woke! His is the spirits and souls and tribal edicts of technologies that are coals waiting to be be lit by new soul, new knows, new millennials. Askia Muhammad Toure’s is the immortal soul of our beloved ancestor resurrected. A mythic figure beyond time.
Academy of da Corner, Berkeley (ASHBY BART STATION)
Marvin X, "the USA's Rumi" (Bob Holman), "Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland" (Ishmael Reed), was discovered today by the Lakeshore District's crowd. In truth, the peripatetic, indefatigable poet, playwright, essayist, philosopher, activist and co-founder of the Black Arts Movement and Oakland's recently declared Black Arts Movement Business District, often sets up his Academy of da Corner on Lakeshore, especially as an adjunct space to his "official" space in the BAMBD at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, and at the Berkeley Flea Market.
Today he was discovered by a Peet's Coffee bar tender, Haley, after she overheard his three hour interview with Mills College graduate student, Jasmeen doing her thesis on the Black Arts Movement, the most radical literary and artistic movement in American history. At the end of his interview, he told the grad student he knew people were "ear hustling" their conversation, but he didn't know the bar tender was observing his every move and those he interacted with, including Black Panther member Erica Huggins and later in the afternoon, novelist Cecil Brown, with whom Marvin X invited outside to his stand. Filled with curiosity, on her break, the bar tender came up to the poet's "Academy of da Corner, Lakeshore" and told him, "You must be a very important person, I observed your interview with the Mills College graduate student. I saw Erika Huggins come over to you and I watched you interact with Cecil Brown. I want to know who you are because I know you are somebody important, " said the curious, young white woman. The poet let her check out his book of parables and fables. He directed her to his parable Woman in the Box, then Parable of the Heart. Haley was impressed and excited to obtain her autographed book by the living legend, whose comrades have included, Danny Glover, Ed Bullins, Hurriyah Asar, Amiri Baraka, Eldridge Cleaver, Angela Davis, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Sun Ra, Askia Toure, Huey Newton Bobby Seale, et al.
Cecil Brown informed the poet that he will assign his Stanford University students to interview the poet ASAP.
Marvin X at Oscar Grant Plaza, across from his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway
photo Pendarvis Harshaw
Marvin X, publisher of The Movement Newspaper, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and associate editor, Prosperity Carter
Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, BAMBD, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland photo Adam Turner
posted by Robert J. Carmack a re-post from Black Bird Press News
This past weekend I missed what I used to make every year when I lived in East Bay-Oakland area. The Malcom X Jazz Festival in San Antonio Park, Oakland California. this event is always produced by the Eastbay Arts Alliance Celebrating Malcom X birthday.
Marvin X Poet & Bin Hassan-original Last Poets
The performances of Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir & Arkestra Featuring
Don Murray &
Living legends poet Marvin X, sax man David Murray and trumpet master Earle Davis
L-R Tarika Lewis Violin & Mechelle La’chaux vocals
This was hardly a one man show. Other performers included Choreographer Linda Johnson and her dancers–Linda opened the show and stole the show with the beauty of her movement. There was harpist and vocalist Destiny Muhammad; violinist Tarika Lewis with her young students (awesome); vocalist Mechelle LaChaux, actress/poet Ayodele Nzinga; poets Genny Lim, Toreada Mikell, Pa
My chief adviser, Rt. Col. Conway Jones, Jr., said to me from the beginning of our symbiotic relationship, i.e., how does a decorated USA military man and a revolutionary Black Nationalist join hands for the betterment of their people in particular and the American people in general?
Nevertheless, these two dirty old men came together in one of America's most radical cities, Oakland, California to advance the cultural revolution of America. Rt. Air Force Col. Jones told the revolutionary poet on the 50h Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement, "Marvin, your production of this event is the biggest thing to happen in Oakland in the last fifty years. This is your time and I support your effort. Just know this: the arts is the most dangerous game in town!"
"More dangerous than politics, economics, religion?"
He replied, "Yes, more dangerous than all those institutions because the arts provide the mythology and propaganda of those institutions. And there is steep competition among artists for the meager resources society provides for struggling artists, no matter what color or class."
So, does this turn artists into pimps and ho's?
"You said it, I didn't! Just know this, whatever you do, you must do it alone because nobody is with you, you are by yourself."
The colonel was not telling me anything new. I recited him my poem entitled I'll Walk Alone."
To myself, I recalled when San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown invited my theatre group to San Francisco after sending his man to view my play One Day in the Life at Oakland's Uhuru House. San Francisco artists objected to our coming into their city, even though my artistic career began at San Francisco State University and the founding of Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore.
But more recently in Oakland, a foundation told me if I wanted a grant I had to partner with a local group that refused to meet with me since they wanted a monopoly on any grant funds coming into the hood. Even after blocking me from getting the grant funds, these rats appeared along side me to receive a commendation from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
Of course, artists are known to steal ideas from their socalled comrades. When you establish an original institution, soon come the pseudo artists with their Miller Lite version of such, and of course their Miller Lite version is more acceptable to the establishment and the authentic institution never receives the proper foundation and corporate funding as the pseudo organization with their Miller Lite aesthetics and fake radical ideology, including their multi-cultural, post racial mission of authenticity.
The people have begged me to make such information known to them so they can distinguish the fake from the real, but in the effort to establish a unified front, we have said nothing until now. And even now we say, unity, criticism, unity. Further, lakum dinukum waliya din (Arabic: to you your way and to me mine!).
But the hour is late so we say what we know, especially since it is in harmony with the instructions of my adviser, Col. Conway Jones, Jr. Of course, people ask me why am I associated with a US military man? I say this, "I'd rather be with a true trooper, mass killer, than with a punk bitch ass pseudo revolutionary artist, fake pimp/ho cultural worker, a sycophant of the reactionary political order that will sell out the people for bullshit political correctness, no matter if the people are forced to live in tents under overpasses. It doesn't matter to the artists and politicians allied in a most pitiful association that puts party above the people they claim to represent.
Even though the Col. is a Republican, he sought to bring funds to Oakland from the Trump administration for low-income housing. But he found no takers in the Democratic sycophants of Oakland, including the religious order, political establishment, developers and corporations. He made an appointment for me as co-founder of the Black Arts Movement Business District, to meet with the Trump Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, But no developer was interested in funds for low-income housing from the Trump administration, so the tent cities continue to grow in Oakland. And the political establishment is just fine with this emergency situation.
In our beloved city of San Francisco, we have been informed homeless shelters are filled with North American Africans, yes, until they are forced into the central valley towns so the gentrifiers can replace them in the cities, especially areas like Hunters Point, Fillmore and across the Bay in West Oakland (Former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, now Governor, said, "West Oakland is closer to San Francisco than San Francisco, meaning the West Oakland BART can get riders to San Francisco's financial district in five minutes, so they can maintain their pitiful lives of nothingness and dread, their world of make believe and conspicuous consumption.
The artists are quickly bought off with kibbles and bits of benefits so they will not oppose the mass displacement of the masses whom they falsely claim to be the artistic and cultural representatives. But they are pimps and ho's representing themselves only and in no way can claim to be artistic freedom fighters in the tradition of ancestor Paul Robeson.
When Marvin X called mental health healing a priority at the founding of Oakland's Black Arts Movement Business District, he was laughed at and derided. Today, BAMBD co-founder Paul Cobb suggested BAMBD's headquarters should be at Oakland's John George Psychiatric Hospital. When Marvin was asked what should be done with the Technical Assistance grant from Carmel Developers, again he was laughed at when he suggested the TA grant should be for mental health treatment. He was told the TA grant should be for infrastructure development.
Oakland's "Plato, Rumi, Hafeez, Saadi" replied, "The BAMBD people, i.e., youth, adults, businesspersons, developers, all need the mental infrastructure to make any positive contribution in the district, otherwise it shall slowly morph into the Miller Lite cultural districts that proliferate America, perpetuating the world of make believe and conspicuous consumption (Dr. E. Franklin Frazier, Black Bourgeoisie), with the added menace of gentrification or ethnic cleansing in the sick name of modernization, i.e., displacement. The "moderns" think buildings are the bedrock of culture when it is the minds and hearts and creativity of the people that propel culture into the now and future. For sure, Oakland BAMBD will not get off the ground until sound minds can meet and agree to disagree on certain points of concern. When those of the radical Black Arts Movement can meet with the conservative political, business and artistic community, there shall be the grand possibility of progress.
We, Black Arts Movement radical artists, must realize a cultural district is a communal endeavor, not the vision of any well meaning visionary, until then the district will be in contention with many forces that are symbiotic and must therefore be synchronized for the better good.
At this hour, the pressing need is for all those contending forces to meet so they can, in the words of Prophet Isaiah, "reason together...." After all, Oakland is a model city of radicalism and if such model will survive the present era, all conscious people must form the united front Ancestor Amiri Baraka called for in his last days.
To date, the BAMBD has received nothing but crumbs, no operating budget, no general fund, not one dollar to its BAMBD Billion Dollar Fund. But BAMBD associates have received kibbles and bits from side deals made with developers and others with an interest in controlling and dominating the district.
Let it be known the BAMBD radical fringe is open to working with liberals and conservatives within the district, whether artists, businesspersons, workers, toward the long-term existence of said district, i.e., for the next 25 to 50 years as envisioned in the City of Oakland's Downtown Plan. --Marvin X
3rd Street Poles Get Red, Black and Green Stripes In Honor Of Bayview's Black Heritage
This morning, SF Public Works began a Baybeautification initiative, painting the poles along the Third Street commercial corridor (from Evans to Jamestown avenues) with red, black and green stripes to celebrate the neighborhood's African-American heritage. The project was spearheaded by District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who issued a statement explaining the reasoning behind the painting:
“The intention of painting the flagpoles is to create a unifying cultural marker for the Bayview, in the same vein as the Italian flags painted on poles in North Beach, the designation of Calle 24 in the Mission and the bilingual street signs and gates upon entering Chinatown. This is about branding the Bayview neighborhood to honor and pay respect to the decades of contributions that African-Americans have made to the southeast neighborhood and to the city. It’s also beautification for the streetscape.”
With Black History Month around the corner, many neighbors were pleased to see the tribute to African-Americans' community legacy. Several early risers in the community took photos of the poles being painted, expressing their gratitude.
I am not an Arab, I am not a Jew Abraham is not my father, Palestine is not my home But I would fight any man Who kicked me out of my house To dwell in a tent I would fight To the ends of the earth Someone who said to me I want your house Because my father lived here Two thousand years ago I want your land
Because my father lived here Two thousand years ago. Jets would not stop me From returning to my home Uncle toms would not stop me Cluster bombs would not stop me Bullets I would defy. No man can take the house of another And expect to live in peace There is no peace for thieves There is no peace for those who murder For myths and ancient rituals Wail at the wall
Settle in "Judea" and "Samaria" But fate awaits you You will never sleep with peace
May 15, 2017, Occupied Palestine – Today marks the 69th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, the mass expulsion of Palestinians from our homeland. Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces, made 750,000 to one million indigenous Palestinians into refugees to establish a Jewish-majority state in Palestine.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls on people of conscience the world over to further intensify BDS campaigns to end academic, cultural, sports, military and economic links of complicity with Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. This is the most effective means of standing with the Palestinian people in pursuing our inherent and UN-stipulated rights, and nonviolently resisting the ongoing, intensifying Nakba.
The Israeli regime today is ruthlessly pursuing the one constant strategy of its settler-colonial project —the simultaneous pillage and colonization of as much Palestinian land as possible and the gradual ethnic cleansing of as many Palestinians as practical without evoking international sanctions.
Following in the footsteps of all previous Israeli governments, the current far-right government, the most openly racist in Israel’s history, is heeding the words of the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky who wrote in 1923:
"Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonised. [...] Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population—behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach."
Sixty-nine years after the systematic, premeditated uprooting and dispossession of most of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs from the land of Palestine at the hands of Zionist gangs and later the state of Israel, the Nakba is not over. Israel is intent on building its “iron wall” in Palestinian minds, not just our lands, through its sprawling illegal settlements and concrete walls in the occupied Palestinian territory, its genocidal siege of over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, its denial of the Palestinian refugee’s right to return, its racist laws and policies against Palestinians inside Israel, and its escalating, violent ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and the Naqab (Negev). It is sparing no brutality in its relentless, desperate attempts to sear into our consciousness the futility of resistance and the vainness of hope.
The present mass hunger strike by over one thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the grassroots support that it has triggered give us hope.
The growing support for BDS among international trade unions, including the most recent adoption by the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO)– representing over 910,000 workers – of an “international economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel” to achieve comprehensive Palestinian rights, gives us hope.
The BDS movement has succeeded in sharply raising the price of corporate complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. It has compelled companies of the size of Orange and Veolia to end their complicity and pushed global giant G4S to begin exiting the Israeli market. Churches, city councils and thousands around the world have pledged to boycott Hewlett Packard (HP) for its deep complicity in Israel’s occupation and apartheid. This gives us and many human rights campaigns around the world great hope.
The Barcelona municipality’s decision to end complicity with Israel’s occupation, coming on the heels of tens of local councils in the Spanish state declaring themselves “Israeli apartheid free zones,” give us hope.
The spread of remarkably effective BDS campaigns from South Africa to South Korea, from Egypt to Chile, and from the UK to the US gives us real hope.
The growing intersectional coalitions that are emerging in many countries, organically re-connecting the struggle for Palestinian rights with the diverse international struggles for racial, economic, gender, climate and indigenous justice give us unlimited hope.
In 1968, twenty years after the Nakba but unrelated to it, Dr. Martin Luther King said, “There can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice.” For seven decades, and against all odds, Palestinians have continued to assert our inalienable right to self-determination and to genuine peace, which can only stem from freedom, justice and equality.
But to reach that just peace we realize that we must nourish our hope for a dignified life with our boundless commitment to resist injustice, resist apathy and, crucially, resist their “iron walls” of despair.
In this context, the Palestinian-led, global BDS movement with its impressive growth and unquestionable impact is today an indispensable component of our popular resistance and the most promising form of international solidarity with our struggle for rights.
No iron wall of theirs can suppress or overshadow the rising sun of our emancipation.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Visit www.bdsmovement.net and follow @BDSmovement
Veteran Alabama Freedom Fighter, Dr Gwen Patton has joined the Ancestors. She was a key SNCC Organizer and Leader who was instrumental in bringing Malcolm X down to Alabama to speak to young people in 1965... just days before his assassination. Sister Gwen was also in the forefront of fighting for equity between Sisters & Brothers in and out of the Movement. She was also a key organizer against the Draft and the War in Vietnam helping to organize a National Black Antiwar AntiDraft Union (NBWADU) during the late 1960s and 70s. Sister Gwen went on to become an activist educator and Movement archivist. While in SNCC, she survived two suspicious car accidents with leg injuries (often, SNCC workers would be harrassed by racists on the remote back roads of southern states). Look here for more biographical info of Sister Dr Gwen Patton.... --SEA
Dr. Gwendolyn M. Patton has been a freedom fighter since birth. In her own words: "I was a Movement child and conscious since I was nine years old, in 1952, when I had my first conscious protest in Montgomery, Alabama. My grandmother’s rental property was the Freedom House for SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) organizers. In 1960, when I was 16, I wanted to go to Raleigh, North Carolina for the historic sit-ins, but I couldn’t. When I went to Tuskegee in 1961 as a student, the sit-ins occurred and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) became a natural organization for me to join — unlike the preacher-dominated and male-controlled SCLC. In SNCC it was a natural peer relationship.
I was Student Body President at Tuskegee and helped establish a strong community relationship. We raised the term 'relevance' in terms of education and inquiry." -----------------
from Scott Douglass in Birmingham:
Reception in Honor of Freedom Fighter Dr. Gwen Patton
Caribbean countries laud themselves on offering idyllic settings where sandy beaches, calming calypso and a laid-back lifestyle beckon.
But behind the happy-go-lucky image, the region also harbors a darker side: violent crime and a tolerance for domestic violence.
According to a new study, “Restoring Paradise in the Caribbean: Combatting Violence with Numbers,” the region has some of the lowest victimization by property crime in the world but one of the world’s highest violent crime rates. Nearly 1 in 3 citizens has lost someone to violence, and individuals are more likely to be a victim of assault or a threat than anywhere else in the hemisphere.
“Tourists, who are not targets of this violent crime in the Caribbean, may be completely unaware that Caribbean citizens are becoming increasingly concerned, and for valid reasons, about violence,” said Heather Sutton, the lead researcher behind the Inter-American Development Bank study based on victimization surveys and released Tuesday during an Inter-American Dialogue panel discussion in Washington, D.C. “Caribbean governments are making significant efforts and spending robust amounts of their budgets trying to solve this problem.”
The study focuses on five Caribbean countries — the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname. Some 3,000 individuals living in each country’s capital were surveyed. Rather than rely solely on police homicide reports, researchers questioned the victims of crime, 47 percent of whom don’t report incidents to law enforcement.
Rising crime rates, especially soaring homicide rates in a country like Jamaica, have long been a leading concern in the region and remain a persistent challenge. Another Inter-American Development Bank study, for example, found that one in four Bahamian businesses had been victimized by crime in 2013-14 and crime was a major concern for Bahamians, who last week kicked out the ruling government of the past five years in a general election and ushered in the opposition.
This week, the chamber of commerce president in Clarendon, Jamaica, complained that an increase in reports of murders, robberies, extortion, and other unlawful activities in the parish were scaring off investors. The parish was cited earlier this month by Jamaica’s National Security Minister Robert Montague as one of the places where fear of victimization remained high despite a 2016 Jamaican crime survey showing victimization levels declining nationally.
Members of the Mobile Reserve, an arm of the national police, patrol the neighborhood of Dunkirk in Kingston, Jamaica, June 6, 2013.
ANDREA BRUCE NYT
Dr. David Allen, a psychiatrist who studies crime in the Bahamas and examines the stories behind the incidents, said the findings of the Caribbean Crime Victimization Survey correspond to what he’s uncovered during his decade of research. Allen has blamed the island-nation’s increase in violence on the Bahamas’s crack cocaine crisis of the 1980s and the country’s economic downturn. It has led, he said, to a breakdown of family values and the formation of youth gangs.
“Crime is a public health problem,” he said. “Public health means it cannot be solved just by law enforcement.”
Allen says what is needed, not only in the Bahamas but throughout the Caribbean, is an anti-crime or citizens’ protection council, where victims and even perpetrators of crime join with clergy, businesses owners, government ministers, police and other law enforcement personnel to study the problem and come up with solutions. One place where they can start is with the victims, he said, who are often forgotten. The victims, in turn, victimize others because of their anger resulting from their trauma.
“There is a high traumatization rate,” Allen said. “If a person is traumatized, particularly a child, they will go into more violence.”
Sutton said researchers not only found that revenge attacks were a common motivation behind homicides in the Bahamas, but children who are either victims of violence or witnessed violence in their homes risk becoming perpetrators of violence.
“This is a red flag and this is one of the drivers of the high levels of crime we are seeing — exposure to violence,” she said.
The Caribbean, she noted, has a high level of tolerance for violence in the home, violence against women and physical discipline. For example, a majority, 66 percent, of Caribbean respondents supported physically disciplining a child who misbehaved, while one in three Caribbean adults — more so than those in Latin America or the United States — had no issues with wife-beating if a woman is unfaithful.
But while rising crime threatens to taint the Caribbean’s image , Sutton noted that the crime is not everywhere and is often far from the luxurious, tourists resorts that the region has become dependent on. Still, crime is costly, with the survey estimating that it costs the Caribbean 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product, with Barbados being the country least affected and the Bahamas most affected.
Meanwhile, the region’s crime victims are often concentrated in poorer communities where graffiti, trash and abandoned buildings are the norm, trust among neighbors is low and gangs are aplenty.
“Overall, most violent crimes were committed in victims’ neighborhoods or homes,” the study found. “Residents are more likely to be attacked or threatened by someone they know than to be robbed by a stranger.”
The survey found that in Port of Spain, Trinidad, for example, crime is also highly concentrated in certain street segments within neighborhoods.
“Three percent of street segments concentrated 50 percent of all crimes,” the study found.
Though their prevalence and power vary from country to country, gangs are responsible for most of the crime and violence in the Caribbean, according to the study.
Some 28 percent of the Caribbean Crime Victimization Survey respondents reported a gang presence in their neighborhood. Gang presence was highest in the capital areas of the countries with the highest rates of homicide, assault and threat: Port of Spain (49 percent), New Providence (39 percent), and Kingston (32 percent). Among respondents with gangs in their neighborhood, more than half said that gangs interfere with everyday activities.
“We’ve got kids having to go through different turfs owned by different gangs to go to school,” said Allen, the psychiatrist.
“Life has become cheap,” Allen added. “Before we had to bring in killers to do the dirty work. Now we have local killers. Before they killed in the dark, now they kill in the daylight and they kill anywhere.”
And they are doing it with guns in the Bahamas, where the survey found that firearms are involved in 82 percent of the homicides, compared to 73 percent in Jamaica and 73 percent in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Greater use of firearms in assaults and robberies leadsto a higher rate of homicides levels,” said Sutton, noting that Barbados and Suriname had relatively low homicide rates compared to the other countries and half of the violent crimes were committed with knives.
Sutton said the hope is that the study will help Caribbean governments, which now spend more on policing than justice, to better use their limited resources to fight violent crime. Among some of the initiatives already taking place is “hot spot” policing in Trinidad and Tobago. Using data, police have figured out what hours of the day and what streets a crime is likely to take place and as a result, increase patrols in those areas.
“They found in fact a 44 percent reduction in crime in those neighborhoods where they are doing increased patrolling,” Sutton said.
But she cautioned that policing is not the only solution to this problem.
“You really need need to have stronger prevention initiatives,” she said.
I am contradiction just to confound you transcend your myth of me submit to your rituals I defy you to be me not some pure spirit righteous holy man for your Crucifixion I am the meta man on the other side of time Sun Ra said catch me on the other side if you can I am not your leader lead yourself no more battles I don't need to fight don't waste my time I go to bed early get up write after midnight as the wicked sleep in their sloth dream of passivity I am not your leader lead yourself you know everything I can tell you nothing you don't know and you will do nothing I say anyway hard to lead in the right direction, Elijah said easy to lead in the wrong direction dwell on my contradictions not your own I admit my sins alcohol drugs beautiful women yet I am productive on my agenda not yours have you written 30 books do you stand on the blood of ancestors why you coat tailing me use the mind God gave you Mama told me so I do what yo mama tell you follow me I will set you free? follow me and I will confound you from river to sea just to be me not your myth let me think outside the box of your dreams schemes iszms schisms sects cults dogmatic ideological fantasies I am not your Jesus, Buddha Muhammad I am me fat and happy naked unashamed drunk high longing for hot wet pussy come down Mother Theresa from your Mother Hubbard no giving up pussy ass we would slap yo square ass in the Crack house then you would suck every dick in sight even the dog's and you would not call it rape your square ass would be uncovered for the freak you are and there would be no shame no guilt you just needed encouragement to unveil your freaky ass after the nut then what? revolution in the name of love return of sanity through struggle like fanon said let there be movement a bowel movement at least movement like a negro moving off zero into one sun moving to moon hate moving to love sloth moving to action unconscious to consciousness movement even I must move when the people whip me into leadership reluctantly I go into the dreadful night of political engagement against will desire against joy and happiness to the ugliness of political combat in the ring with snakes rats liars thieves of the hearts and souls of men women children. Must I go there so gently into that night of nothingness and dread stressing my soul mind heart tarring me apart from the writer I love the joy of solitude naked into the night full of Henny and dope on the other side of time I do not care if you are with me there in the zone where wise men fear to tread I live there love there let me be I am not your leader lead yourself stand for self and kind stand sly stone said stand no more battles I don't need to fight call me if you need me and I will do what I can not what you want of me how you want me to be when you ain't you fake as you can be fake love in my face fake hair fake eyes lips ass breasts fake men fake minds Chris Rock said everything about you is a lie! man woman lie only truth about you is you don't know the truth about you denial is the clothing you wear afraid to be naked truthful ashamed of your vital organs life giving yet your fear shame guilt abounds consumes your being you tremble at the nakedness of truth you deny the undeniable in your fear and trembling just tell the truth snaggle tooth Rev. Cecil Williams said, "You want me to do everything, Marvin?" People, you want me to do everything as you consume your sloth and niggardliness let me rest in my drunkenness sex don't call me to repeat the days of yore battles already won yet misunderstood there is no need to fight when the victory is won devils shall be devils let the second line begin let the celebration conquer death devils shall kill our children that is their job murder under the color of law police ain't the only killers murder in the schools universities murder in the food water organic toxicity murder in the air murder in religious myth rituals murder in wage slavery indirect welfare handout jobs for life murder in the loving family full of hate jealousy envy murder murder murder murder in the mind murder in the heart murder in the love bed let Shaitan kill love let Shaitan kill two souls joined for life let Shaitan kill husband kill wife kill children hail to Shaitan devil within without listen to the whispering devil who whispers into the hearts of men and women. who dwells in the Silent Night song for all souls let the revolutionary stand transcend solitude for the communal it is painful for the Shaman to leave his nest on the other side of time but sometimes he must rise above imagination into pure action for the better good stop being the child in toy r us be about revolution in his father's house revolution in the upper room revolution in the dungeon revolution in the hearts minds souls of men women children. --Marvin X 5/19/17