Thursday, March 16, 2006

shaft's final solution

kamau rashidi kambon wants to kill white people.

not just some white people. not just any white people. kambon wants to "exterminate white people off the face of the planet."

who is kamau rashidi kambon? according to wikipedia, kambon is a multi-degreed educator, author and spokesman on issues of concern to african americans.

on october 14, 2005, at the "hurricane katrina & issues facing african americans" symposium hosted at washington, d.c.'s howard university and broadcast live on c-span, kambon made the following remarks, transcribed in their entirety:

i want to say a couple of things, and i really don't want you all to miss me before we get ready to go. my wife was here and she was the president of the association of black psychologists a couple of years ago and she was responsible for taking about five hundred people including about three hundred black psychologists to ghana, west africa for their national conference.

the reason i point that out is because i want to say a couple of things and i'm gonna go out of bounds with what i have to say, relative to what we've been talking about. first of all, i grew up in brooklyn, and i saw, looking back on my life, i saw about thirty of my friends die. y'know, getting shot, overdosing on drugs, any number of things that took them off the planet, y'know, beautiful brothers. so as i started to become more conscious, i looked around, i started asking this very important question, i think the most important question that i asked myself and that you can ask yourself is "why?" and i wanted to find out what was going on.

so i began to change. i began to examine everything, i don't like to use the word "critically", but i started to really check things out. so i went through a very very serious change. i mean serious change.

and what my wife and i did, we decided that we were going to drop out from this system. we delivered two of three of our children at home using midwives. she didn't take any medication, we didn't go to a doctor. she talked me into doing that, but it was a beautiful experience for me to be there to help deliver our children. they were born, by the way, two years apart on the same day, and our oldest daughter helped us deliver our children.

we also changed our diets. we saw the hospital system was killing our people, so we changed our diets. we have been vegan for about thirty years. that means no meat ...


no meat at all in any form, no dairy products, no sugar, no white flour, the same thing that dr. whittaker talked about. because we understood that we were in a war. i want to emphasize that to you. we are in a war.

we left new york and went to north carolina and we, and really, it's on her again, we decided that we were not going to go in debt because the new form of slavery was economic slavery. and we got some land, we were very fortunate, and we built our own house. we built a log house. took us sixteen months, we worked night and day, every day, for the sixteen months, and she was out there with a chain saw, in the cold, in the rain, and we worked and we built the house so we would not have to give white people any money.

i taught on the college level for a number of years at a so-called "black college", and i'm down against "black colleges", i'm'a tell you straight up, 'cause of some of the madness that's going on in these schools.

but what i want to say is that there are two things going on on the planet now. one is that when white people came to us and said we're going to free you, we're going to emancipate you from the plantation, what they did was extended the boundaries of the plantation and made it a international plantation. made us think that we were free. in addition to that they made every white person on earth a plantation master or owner.

so there are two things in operation. we are in an international prison. not just in america but everywhere we go our people are dying. so the things that are in operation on this planet is that white people want to kill us. i want you to understand that. they want to kill you. and it has nothing to do with what kind of degree you have, what kind of car you have, what kind of title you have, what fraternity you belong to, what religion you belong to, they want to kill you because that is part of their plan. there are any number of reasons why they want to do that but i'm not gonna waste my time trying to figure out why they want to kill us. but i know that's what they want to do.

and they want to do it in many different ways — psychological, economic, cultural, spiritual, social, biological, chemical, electromagnetic — they want to kill you. but they also want to make money in the process of your death. now i saw a brother when i was coming in and he was smoking a cigarette. so now he going to kill himself but they're going to make money off of his death process.

the other thing is that they want us to — if they don't kill us, like they tried to kill the brother by beating him up in new orleans, they don't kill us that way, or shooting like they killed the brother in cincinatti, or like they killed malice green in detroit, or like they killed gammage up in pittsburgh, if they don't come out, right, and kill us straight, they want to get us to kill ourselves. now these are the only two operations on the planet.

the other thing is that there's only one nigger on the planet — i never use that word. this is the first time i've used, i don't even think that word — but there's only one nigger on the planet. and the nigger that's on the planet is the one that is destroying the water, the one that's polluting the air, the one that is exploiting people and resources, and the only nigger on the planet is the white man and the white woman. and that our people are not niggers, we are imitation niggers.

now what we have to do is we have to devise a system or a plan for ourselves, and i said earlier that each one of you is a system. and everything that you do, every thought that you think, either you are supporting white world terror domination, by your actions, what you buy, what you wear, where you go, what you eat, how you use your time, you are either supporting the white people in their process of death, or you're for african liberation, it's one or the other.

and if we don't use our time wisely, then we are engaging in a form of subtle suicide, because as i said earlier their system is still going on. they still have these images on t.v. that are going on, they're still warehousing our children in the special ed, giving them ritalin, there're no jobs, we filling the hospitals, so their system is not stopping.

and then finally, i want to say that we need one idea. and we're not thinking about a solution to the problem. we're dealing with all these other things but these are diversions from the solution to the problem. and we have to start to think about a solution to the problem so that these young brothers and sisters who are here now, who are fifteen, sixteen and seventeen, are not here twenty-five years later talking about these same problems.

now how do i know that the white people know that we are going to come up with a solution to the problem? i know it because they have retina scans, they have what they call "racial profiling", dna banks, and they are monitoring our people, to try to prevent the one person from coming up with the one idea. and the one idea is how we are going to exterminate white people, because that in my estimation is the only conclusion that i have come to. we have to exterminate white people off of the face of the planet to solve this problem.

[sparse applause]

now i don't care whether you clap or not, but i'm saying to you that we need to solve this problem because they are going to kill us. and i will leave on that. so we have to just set up our own system and stop playing and get very serious and not be diverted from coming up with a solution to the problem, and the problem on the planet is white people.

[sparse applause]

"out of bounds" did he say? let's try "out to lunch".

i could enumerate the many ways in which kambon's remarks are absurd, but i would be belaboring the obvious, and that sort of accounting is not the reason why i chose to post this article and not why i find his remarks so fascinating.

i've often heard that racism is rooted in ignorance, but clearly there are many racists like kambon who are intelligent and well-educated. in fact, kambon himself invites us along on his intellectual journey, which he describes as the result of a search for answers to deeply compelling questions about black mortality in america. what most people, and most evidently kambon, do not recognize is how the vehicle we choose for the journey drives us towards the conclusions we reach at the end.

kambon's choice of vehicle was probably the most fateful choice in his search: he decided to withdraw from society.

and what my wife and i did, we decided that we were going to drop out from this system.

like ted kaczynski, the so-called "unabomber", kambon decided to go meditate in a cabin.

one profound effect of this type of isolation is a loss of perspective. on a very basic level everyone believes that they are right in what they think. we have to, because otherwise we could not justify the things that we do. but social contact provides other voices as yardsticks against which we may measure our beliefs.

another profound effect of isolation is the emergence of misanthropic tendencies. most people have some level of antisocial impulses and our belief in our own correctness keeps us in conflict with everyone who does not think as we do. they must be wrong. they are either stupid or blind or brainwashed or misguided. they have to be — for how can i be right if they are not wrong?

when a person becomes isolated, whether by choice or circumstance, the misanthopic voices, no longer required to rebut the opinions of others, begin to sound more and more convincing, and are free to roam, grow louder and dominate, especially if the person listening is not particularly stable or equanimous or mature. it is also worth noting that whatever siren song these misanthopic voices might be singing, it might not always be pleasant, but it is usually personally gratifying for the listener.

but isolation in itself probably did not drive kambon to his final solution, or at least drive him to take his solution on tour. since there are no prior records of his making public charges like these, presumably he had been quietly nursing his ideas in his log cabin for a number of years, until some catalyzing event finally compelled him to openly proselytize genocide.

which brings us to hurricane katrina.

the catastrophic failure of government at every level that doomed a historic hub of african american culture must have come as the ultimate vindication of the most horrific schemes whispered to kambon in his nightmares. of course white people are trying to kill black people. all black people. white people obviously no longer felt the need for either subtlety or patience. if there remained any chance of saving his people, kambon could no longer afford to remain silent. one cannot miss the hints of messianism in his voice:

and then finally, i want to say that we need one idea.

... they are monitoring our people, to try to prevent the one person from coming up with the one idea.

kambon is not alone in his feelings. indeed, the aftermath of katrina made it impossible for anyone, white or black or lime-green, not to question the commitment of the bush administration to the well-being — even survival — of minority citizenry. no one can forget grammy-winning rapper kanye west's spontaneous on-air indictment during the september 2nd nationally broadcast nbc "concert for hurricane relief" telethon:

i hate the way they portray us in the media. if you see a black family, it says they're looting. see a white family, it says they're looking for food. and you know that it's been five days, because most of the people are black. and even for me to complain about it, i would be a hypocrite because i’ve tried to turn away from the tv, because it's too hard to watch. we already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way, and they have given them permission to go down and shoot us.

... george bush doesn’t care about black people.

after the 9/11 attacks, bush enjoyed a robust 51% approval rating among blacks, but it had dropped to 19% by the time katrina hit. after the disaster an nbc/wall street journal poll pegged his approval rating at an unheard-of 2%, "one of the biggest free-falls in the history of presidential polling". given its statistical margin of error of ±3.4%, it might as well have been zero.

in his 2000 run for the white house george bush made a famous pledge: "i'm a uniter, not a divider." six years later, race relations have never been more strained, and now we can add one more genocidal voice to the mix. never more hollow does that pledge ring.

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