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One Ghanaian African View of the Gates “Blame” Article

Because we are having a really good discussion here (and I thank James for his contributions to the discussion) – I thought I would throw this one in as indicative of what Africans think of the Gates article. This one is from Modern Ghana by Paul I. Adujie. I haven’t been able to pull up reactions from Nigeria yet.

Ending The Slavery Blame-Game By Henry Louis Gates, A Rejoinder

Nigerian-American Designer Lola Faturoti's New Obama Inspired Attire

It is with considerable agitation, and extreme irritation, with which I read Henry Louis Gates’ pedestrian essay on slave trade and reparations, published in The New York Times, titled Ending The Slavery Blame-Game.

Louis Gates is obviously seeking relevance and redemption after his arrogant altercations with a Cambridge police officer in 2009. Louis Gates it will be recalled, engaged in a shouting match in belligerent, intransigent and cantankerous manner, as he prevented a police officer from carrying out legitimate police work. At that time, it was pointed out by some, that Louis Gates was merely engaged in racial racketeering, as he accused the police officer of racism without basis. An accusation and serious charge of racism against a fine police officer, which was not based on the facts and the evidences.

Perhaps it is Henry Louis Gates’ calling card and nature, to make sundry conclusions while shirking away from the intellectual dexterity required to sift through facts and evidences, and engage in empirical analysis, particularly so, for anyone with pretension to academic credentials, and with desire to be taken seriously. In the all important matter of slave trade, slavery and overdue reparations, Gates has come with a claptrap and a hack job to absolve, exculpate and exonerate his historical tormentors?

Louis Gates lazily, engaged in this silly pretensions to rewrite and revise the well settled history of the profound evil of slavery, the worst evil, in human history, and yet, Gates offered obfuscations and parroting of recycled garbage, and sought to cover all these with his happenstance of being a Harvard University employee!

Gates’ inane contribution to revisionists efforts at retelling of the horrors and brutalities of slave trade is shameful. Gates writes about the slave trade as some sorts of friendly business transactions between willing seller and equally willing buyer, as would seller and buyer of pork barrels or barrels of sweet crude or commodities at the New York or Chicago Stock Exchanges; in which merchants of equal statuses seal deals with warm and endearing handshakes, with scheduled caviar and cocktails to follow.

Gates’ flimsy portrayals of Africans as conspiring, conniving and colluding collaborators, with those who came from thousands of miles to far away Africa, to kidnap, snatch and bundles and brutalize Africans into slavery, is an effort, which is worse than useless on the part of Gates. Gates’ melodramatic lies failed to inform his readers of Oba Ovoramwen of Benin, a king of the Bini Kingdom who was dethroned and exiled outside of his domain, because he opposed Europeans horrors and brutalities and oppression in his kingdom. And there were many others like Oba Ovaramwen and the Mau Mau, during slavery and colonialism, who opposed Europeans, and paid with their lives or were jailed by Europeans! Gates obviously have not read a single page about Belgian Congo and King Leopold? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2010 in Black History

 

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Dr, Boyce Watkins – Gates Full of It!

Watkins lights into Gates with this piece. I agree with Watkins that Gates has missed the key issues relative to slavery and Reparations, and fallen for the white supremacist line which is oft quoted as an excuse.

Henry Louis Gates lets US off the hook in ‘slavery blame game’

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. recently wrote an interesting piece for the New York Times called, “Ending the Slavery Blame Game.” In the piece, Gates effectively argues that the fight for reparations is convoluted and somewhat mitigated by the fact that African elites participated in the slave trade. While describing complex business deals made between some African leadership and the Europeans who brought Africans to the New World, it almost appears as though Gates is saying that this disturbing relationship somehow undermines the right of African-Americans to hold our government accountable for its involvement in crimes committed against our people.

At very least, I am under the assumption that by “ending the slavery blame game,” Gates is arguing that we should stop blaming the United States government and white America for the rape, murder, castration, lynching and beating of our ancestors.

Sorry Dr. Gates, but I must respectfully (or perhaps not so respectfully) disagree. If a young girl is sold into prostitution by her own parents, the pimp must still pay for the suffering he caused the young woman. He can’t simply say, “Her parents made a deal with me, so you should stop the blame game.”

In other words, the United States, as a broad and powerful industrial entity, benefited from slavery to the tune of several trillion dollars. Much of this wealth was passed down from one white man to another, and was always out of the grasp of the black men, women and children who gave their lives on American soil in order to earn it. As a result, the median net worth of the African-American family is roughly one-tenth that of white American families and we have consistently higher unemployment due to our inability to create jobs, since white Americans own most businesses. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2010 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Henry Louis Gates – On Slavery and Reparations

Think Professor Gates misses a half a dozen points here in this article, including the issues of generational slavery and Jim Crow being the actual driving issues behind much of the Reparations discussion…

So I believe Gates is wrong here on a number of points. After a snippet from the Gates piece, I will include a response by Boyce Watkins response, which isn’t very dissimilar to my reaction, except for the personal shot at Gates’ ego…

Ending the Slavery Blame-Game

THANKS to an unlikely confluence of history and genetics — the fact that he is African-American and president — Barack Obama has a unique opportunity to reshape the debate over one of the most contentious issues of America’s racial legacy: reparations, the idea that the descendants of American slaves should receive compensation for their ancestors’ unpaid labor and bondage.

There are many thorny issues to resolve before we can arrive at a judicious (if symbolic) gesture to match such a sustained, heinous crime. Perhaps the most vexing is how to parcel out blame to those directly involved in the capture and sale of human beings for immense economic gain.

While we are all familiar with the role played by the United States and the European colonial powers like Britain, France, Holland, Portugal and Spain, there is very little discussion of the role Africans themselves played. And that role, it turns out, was a considerable one, especially for the slave-trading kingdoms of western and central Africa. These included the Akan of the kingdom of Asante in what is now Ghana, the Fon of Dahomey (now Benin), the Mbundu of Ndongo in modern Angola and the Kongo of today’s Congo, among several others. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2010 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Henry Louis Gates on Colbert

This one is a riot. Skip Gates has quite a sense of humor, and Colbert, as always is a riot.

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Posted by on February 7, 2010 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Ann Coulter vs Rev Al Sharpton On CNN

Rev. Al takes on the dumbest blond in America, in Awful Annie Coulter who launches into her usual tirade of outright lies and distortions…

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more about “Ann Coulter vs Rev Al Sharpton On CNN“, posted with vodpod
 
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Posted by on August 1, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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The New Jim Crow – At Least It Wasn’t Coors…

At the White House Beer/Love Fest last night –

Gates was the only one who drank a fully American beer, opting for a Sam Adams light. Obama drank Bud Lite, made by a Belgian company(Anheuser-Busch InBev), Biden had nonalcoholic Buckler (made by Heineken), brewed by Dutch Heineken, and Crowley chose Blue Moon, from Canadian Molson.

Well…at least one guy (Gates) was drinking a real American beer.

Expensive... But worth it!

Expensive... But worth it!

And I gotta believe the guys over at Anheuser-Busch InBev, are licking their chops at this one. Interesting fodder for the Bud-Lite/Miller Lite advertising battle.

Why not Coors? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Right Problem – Wrong Cop – Gates Arrest

email-barrett_20090729182951_0_0

A Boston police officer has been suspended and could be fired for a mass e-mail in which he used a racial slur to describe black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Commissioner Edward Davis put 36-year-old Justin Barrett on administrative leave pending a termination hearing after learning of the slur.

Click here for photos.

A person with knowledge of the case who was not authorized to speak publicly about the details told the Boston Herald that Barrett, a member of the National Guard, sent the e-mail to fellow Guardsmen and to The Boston Globe.

Barrett called Gates a “jungle monkey” in the e-mail, according to a copy posted online at MyFOXBoston.com. Officials told the Herald that Barrett admitted writing the e-mail.

WARNING EXPLICIT CONTENT: Click here to read the e-mail if you can’t read the above JPEG.

You know one of these idiots had to raise his ugly head.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Over That Beer – Henry Louis Gates and James Crowley Are Related

In an even stranger twist to the Gates case – it turns out Gates and Crowley are (distantly) related…

Don't Leave Ireland Without It!

Don't Leave Ireland Without It!

Harvard Prof Gates Is Half-Irish, Related to Cop Who Arrested Him

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the black professor at the center of the racial story involving his arrest outside his Harvard University-owned house, has spoken proudly of his Irish roots.

Strangely enough, he and the Cambridge, Mass., police officer who arrested him, Sgt. James Crowley, both trace their ancestry back to the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages.

In a PBS series on African-American ancestry that he hosted in 2008, Gates discovered his Irish roots when he found he was descended from an Irish immigrant and a slave girl.

He went to Trinity College in Dublin to have his DNA analyzed. There he found that he shared 10 of the 11 DNA matches with offspring of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the fourth century warlord who created one of the dominant strains of Irish genealogy because he had so many offspring.

He went to Trinity College in Dublin to have his DNA analyzed. There he found that he shared 10 of the 11 DNA matches with offspring of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the fourth century warlord who created one of the dominant strains of Irish genealogy because he had so many offspring.

Ironically, James Crowley, whose name in Gaelic means “hardy warrior,” is also descended from the same line as Gates, having very close links to Niall of the Nine Hostages.

So the two men who took part in what is now an infamous confrontation outside the Gates home near Harvard this month are actually related through common Irish lineage — one of the more extraordinary aspects of the incident that has sparked worldwide headlines.

President Obama also shares Irish ancestry on his Mother’s side…

Hmmmmm… I think that beer had better be Guinness…

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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More Weigh-In on Gates Case – Cosby et al

The Police Officer at the center of this storm, Sgt. James Crowley

Sgt. James Crowley

Sgt. James Crowley

Crowley is a police academy expert on understanding racial profiling and has taught a class on the subject for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

In radio interviews Thursday morning, Crowley said he followed procedure.

“I support the president of the United States 110 percent. I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment,” Crowley told WBZ-AM. “I guess a friend of mine would support my position, too.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Charges Dropped Against Henry Louis Gates

Charges dropped against Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.; arrest was ‘regrettable’

Red-faced officials dropped criminal charges against Harvard’s most prominent black scholar, who was arrested last week in his home by cops looking for a burglar.

The city of Cambridge issued a statement Tuesday calling the disorderly conduct arrest of Professor Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. “regrettable and unfortunate.”

Gates, 58, was handcuffed and hauled away Thursday afternoon after kicking up an angry fuss when a police sergeant entered his house and demanded proof he lived there.

The bizarre incident revived the Boston area’s image as a hotbed of racial tension – something Cambridge officials were eager to reverse.

“This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department,” the city said.

“All parties agree that this is a just resolution to an unfortunate set of circumstances.”

Gates had just returned from filming a PBS documentary in China and had trouble opening his jammed front door on stately Ware St. in Cambridge, two blocks from the Harvard campus.

He asked his driver – also black – for help with the door, prompting Lucia Whalen, 40, who works next door at the offices of Harvard Magazine, to call police to report a possible break-in.

Responding to the call, Sgt. James Crowley reported he told Gates he was investigating a break-in and an angry Gates replied, “Why, because I am a black man in America?”

The police report Crowley filed does not note when he entered the house, but describes him leaving it as Gates accused him loudly of being a racist cop.

“My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information” to a dispatcher, he wrote.

A second cop, Officer Carlos Figueroa, also entered Gates’ house, according to the police report.
Gates had shown the officers his Harvard ID and his driver’s license, both listing the address as his residence.

“While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me,” Crowley wrote.

Crowley arrested and cuffed Gates on his porch for “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” his report said.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Dr Henry Louis Gates Arrested

Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis Gates, perhaps the most prominent and famous Professor at Harvard was arrested yesterday by Cambridge Police…

For breaking into  his own home.

Black scholar’s arrest raises profiling questions

BOSTON — Supporters of a prominent Harvard University black scholar who was arrested at his own home by police responding to a report of a break-in say he is the victim of racial profiling.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. had forced his way through the front door of his home because it was jammed, his lawyer said Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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