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While doing seemingly unrelated research on the web some years ago, I got an unexpected clue from an old Russian painting that we don’t know even half as much about St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) in America as we think we do. Never in a million cups of spiked eggnog would I have guessed that, in the much older holiday customs of the Dutch, St. Nicholas has, instead of elves, an African sidekick – who’s Muslim to boot! And you could’ve knocked me over with a snowflake when I learned how in the old icons of Italy, Russia, Spain and elsewhere, even the patron saint of Christmas himself is pictured as a grandfatherly-looking Black man.
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter. He was busted on Oct. 18, 2011, by two of SFPD’s finest, John Norment and Joshua Fry, for (gasp!) participating in a community organized rally while playing a boom box in Mendell Plaza in the heart of Bayview Hunters Point. For speaking out against police brutality, especially the SFPD murder of Kenneth Harding last July, he was brutally arrested, tried and now is barred from Mendell Plaza by order of Judge Jerome T. Benson.
Haiti, your awesome revolt in 1791 against the revolting barbarity of French enslavement of the Africans was preceded by many revolts of the enslaved African-Haitians beginning as early as 1522. You never accepted that Africans at home and in the Diaspora can be enslaved, can be deprived of their property, liberty and humanity with impunity.
Haiti, once the colonial-era "Pearl of the Antilles" (Caribbean), then the "Mother of Revolutions," has suffered for nearly two centuries for daring to fight for - and win - its freedom from European colonialism, slavery and plunder. If it hadn't been bled and exploited for centuries, Haiti would've had the wherewithal to protect its people.
There was an emergency service system established in Haiti under the government of President Aristide. We had trained people, trained volunteers everywhere in Haiti. There were buildings with materials and goods stocked there, so in case of an emergency, people would have the means to survive.
Once the French army had subdued L’Ouverture and his rebel force, Napoleon intended to advance to the North American mainland, basing a new French empire in New Orleans and settling the vast territory west of the Mississippi River. By 1803, a frustrated Napoleon – denied his foothold in the New World – agreed to sell New Orleans and the Louisiana territories to Jefferson.