Connect with us

AFRICA

Martin Luther King Jr: Why I believe The Prophet’s vision is valid into 21st century. By Chido Nwangwu

Published

on

Martin Luther King Jr: Why I believe The Prophet’s vision is valid into 21st century.                     

By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the Internet.

http://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/26/the-prophet-mlk-vision-chido-nwangwu-jan1999-tribute

 

USAfrica,  Jan 14, 1999: Amidst all the technological revolution in the United States and other dizzying changes in the ways we all live our lives as apart of an inter-connected world, the challenge of overcoming the raw emanations of racial bigotry, gender hostility and religious hatreds will follow mankind into the nextcentury.  To be sure, very significant progress has been made on almost all fronts of human endeavor.

As an African in America, as a recent immigrant who has been blessed by the graciousness, business opportunities, global breadth and hospitality of Americans, I have cause to be thankful for benefiting from the vision, personal sacrifice and peaceful soldiering of the late Martin Luther King, who sought to create an atmosphere which fosters harmony and acceptance of all our unique talents and racial origins.

On this day/week of the post-humous celebration of birthday, I believe that the existing global alliance of all humankind, representing the full tapestry of our ethnic/racial origins as Indians, Caucasians, Blacks, Jews, Asians, and a multitude of other backgrounds should, markedly, advance Dr. King’s vision and efforts should do more by utilizing technological tools, networking personal discipline, boosting religious and communal re-orientation to fight all forms of discrimination and intolerance into the 21st century.  Why?

We must all remember the fact that although King and his colleagues fought and died to achieve the cause of racial harmony and peaceful resolution of conflicts, there are more sophisticated forms of discrimination which besmirch our collective dignity as God’s children.

Second, in the course of political fights in Washington DC and locally, we have, sometimes, listened to impassioned partisan drivel that Dr. King fought for a “color-blind society.”

Third, from my researching King’s view on this issue and having discussed the same question with one of his sons, the claim that the late but revered King worked and died for the emergence of a “color-blind society” amounts to nothing more than grandiose distortion and arrant nonsense.  Intellectually, it is sociological misleading since multi-ethnic and multi-racial societies will have their “color” components.  Therefore, the ideologically misleading mantra pretending to establish a “color-blind society” merely serves as a wedge issue and fund-raising code for contortionists of King’s vision and work which fundamentally and specifically sought the recognition of our backgrounds and even our racial origins.  He specifically demanded that we neither be judged nor discriminated against because of the color of our skin.  He beseeched that we rather be judged by the content of our character.

ON July 15, 1994, I visited the Martin Luther King Jr.  Center in Atlanta, Ga., for the first time as a member of a committee of a few African ambassadors, African-American professionals and a handful of continental Africans assembled by the Rev. Leon Sullivan, longtime advocate for equal rights for South African and American blacks, to plan aspects of the 1995 African and African-American summit in Dakar, Senegal.

As I walked the premises with the late Dr. King’s son, Martin Luther King III, my mind’s eye recalled Dr. King’s vision, his unique poetic cadence, the flowing timbre of his voice, the inimitable rhyme and rhythm that punctuated his manner of speaking.  Amid those memories, I recalled the shattering staccato of angry verbal and physical exchanges between many members of Jewish and African-American communities tearing through their communal environments in far away New York, Chicago and Massachusetts, carrying on in ways that would have made Dr. King recoil.  At least he would have spoken in less divisive and denying fashion.

But beyond their heated arguments over the nature and impact of their relationships during the slave trade, civil rights struggles, positions in post-civil rights boardrooms of America, misguided arguments over why the degradation of black neighborhood is proceeding on so rapidly, the role of the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in defining the future of black America, a greater number of Jews and African-Americans agree on a number of issues.  They appreciate the value of racial harmony, not just toleration; the responsible logic of equal opportunity within the prism of historical truths and denials, not what the likes of prolific columnist George F.  Will and the right-wing’s 300-pound gorilla, Rush Limbaugh, distort as a demand of “equality of outcome” by African-Americans.

Third, beyond those angry confrontations, an unprecedented, remarkable and courageous event took place in 1994.  It marked the decision of Jewish communities in 80 nations across the world to mark the memory of the slain civil rights leader and champion of nonviolence by including this U.S. holiday on the global Jewish calendars.  It was a serious gesture, embodying both the seeds of a friendlier expectation for the renewal of the better times that some suggest both communities shared when Dr. King lived.  It must be noted that according to the World Jewish Congress’ executive director, Elan Steinberg, it marked “the first time that Jews around the world have agreed to observe a U.S. federal holiday.”

Fourth, the believers in King’s goals and vision must deal with an increasing challenge, specifically: the hordes of unemployed (soon unemployable in the computer market) inner-city youths do not care so much about whose holiday is celebrated when and by whom.  King’s approach and dream needs to have a direct connection for these dispirited youths.  While the older generation of African-Americans cherished Dr. King’s mellow appeal, today’s Ice Cube/MTV generation seems to enjoy the rhetoric of in-your-face, no-holds-barred leaders.

What to do?  Both communities have the power to bring a number of our youths to zones of fulfilling economic activity and educational excellence where they’ll know and see they have a stake in the order of things.  Jesse Jackson and Jack Kemp call it empowerment.

But African-Americans should do for themselves what they must: first, take responsibility for many of their self-inflicted wounds.

Why?  Dr. King saw the iniquities of his time, but it did not stop him from rising to the challenge of the day and charting an intellectual, visionary road map for tomorrow.  Lesson: Black America must now cut its losses and redefine its course for the soon-to-come 21st century.

Finally, beyond the celebratory indulgences of this pre-millennial celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.  Day, Jews, African-Americans and other so-called minorities cannot be naive to the fact they must be courageous and unwavering if they are to douse other festering and combustible issues they have long spoken to like artful dodgers, tongue-in-cheek, pussyfooting contortionists.

With a sincere, better resolve, therefore, I believe the key questions for Jews and all people of African descent as we inch into the 21st century will then become: What do Jews and African-Americans need to do to mend their differences of yesterday?

How should those leaders of Jewish and African-American organizations who seem professional seekers of the klieg lights of television cameras, those dramatic purveyors of discord and rancor who continue in goad blacks and Jews to go for each other’s jugular be redirected to ensure our communities’ strategic interests in civil rights and Dr. King’s struggle for global racial harmony?

At what point will African-Americans and Jews deal with the fact that hateful, discriminatory literature emerging from any of their hateful fringe quarters fundamentally undermines the historic efforts for freedom and economic empowerment of our peoples?

The road to a responsible, equitable Jewish and African-American relationship has not been easy, and will not be easy.  But people of African and Jewish descent all over the world have the exemplary courage of their kinsmen who have shattered physical and psychological “iron curtains” to reach people with whom they have strongly disagreed to erect new, better platforms for interaction.

For example, South Africa’s outgoing president Nelson Mandela towered beyond bitterness to live and work with his pro-apartheid jailers.  I have observed Mandela at close quarters (the most recent being during the closing days of March 1998 when President Clinton visited Southern Africa) and walked inside the very dehumanizing prison room the zombies of apartheid locked down his body.  His response to hatred from his apartheid oppressors mirrors King’s example for all of us: be forgiving, remain noble, foster racial harmony and fair-minded.

For all it’s worth, these times and the 21st century truly require someone with a King-size vision, temper and courage to move the man’s goals even further, in the context of a new era.

Also, the millennium still requires someone with King’s sense of our shared humanity, a coalition of persons who not only will continue to seek peaceful coexistence but ensure justice and fairness to defend Jews and African-Americans against the present peril of the David Dukes of America (he’s running for Congress as a Republican in Louisiana) and the assorted confederacy of skinheads and neo-Nazi thugs all over Europe and obscure corners of the United States.  God bless America, all the peoples of the world and the noble vision of the late Dr. Martin Luther King!                                                                                                                                      •Chido Nwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence Award, HABJ, 1997, serves as the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper, The Black Business Journal. Chido@USAfricaonline.com or Chido247@Gmail.com © Copyright Jan 14, 1999.  All rights reserved. Original web post here http://usafricaonline.com/DrKing.html
• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to
USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-groups including Nigeria360 at yahoogroups and USAfrica at googlegroups. Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido and Twitter.com/Chido247

—-

Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/

Related insight: USAfrica’s October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwuhttp://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

http://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/

310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html

http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584

Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here:

http://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/

News archives related to Jos, here http://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos

USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwuhttp://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi           http://usafricaonline.com/2011/02/13/tunisia-egypt-is-nigeria-next-by-prof-rosaire-ifedi/

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

iCOMMENT

AFRICA

World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

Published

on

Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

Continue Reading

AFRICA

USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

Published

on

Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

Continue Reading

AFRICA

USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

Published

on

PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: