Rwanda Day-San Francisco was a bad day for identity politics. Rwandan President Paul Kagame stepped to the podium and said that he was happy to be in San Francisco because it’s so diverse, seeming not to understand that his guest speaker, Rev. Rick Warren, champion of the 2008 Prop 8 ballot measure banning same sex marriage, wouldn’t appeal to San Francisco’s diverse population.
From now on we are going to connect each and every city and nation that has significant numbers of members of the African Diaspora. We will begin to communicate on a regular basis and plan economic projects to employ more and more workers and build more and more wealth via entrepreneurship. These dots of people of African descent will become the envy of the world. Oh, how resilient we have been. Now we will not only survive but begin to thrive.
Congo’s Nov. 28 presidential and legislative elections were fraught with tremendous irregularities and widespread charges of fraud. The opposition categorically rejected the results as fraudulent. Nonetheless, Joseph Kabila was sworn into office on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
In Rwanda, which has received over $1 billion in U.S. foreign aid in the past 10 years, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire made every attempt to participate in the political process that Rwandan President Paul Kagame insists is democratic, but instead she now stands in the dock in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, facing charges that could keep her behind bars for 30 years to life.
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), born 86 years ago on May 19, 1925, was loved by the oppressed and hated by the oppressors. Our “Black Shining Prince,” in the words of Ossie Davis, aimed to “use whatever means necessary to bring about a society in which the 22 million Afro-Americans are recognized and respected as human beings.” His influence is immeasurable - from music to foreign policy to religion. Today Islam, followed then by very few, is the second largest religion in the United States and Canada.
Once again, the world is rising up against oppression. In the U.S., our time will come. Remember the kind of commitment we saw in Malcolm X, who was murdered 46 years ago this month. On the morning of Feb. 21, Malcolm received a phone call saying, “Today is the day.” He showed up anyway, knowing that that day could be his very last day on this Earth. Malcolm did not let fear control his commitment to the cause of freedom and justice. That is the real stuff we all are made of. Deep inside every one of us is a Revolution waiting to happen.