Saturday, 8 December 2007

Baroness Amos, I thought you were better than this!

Baroness Amos, I thought you were better than this!

I have always looked at you as one of the proper role models we should be showcasing to our young ones both because of your exalted position and the fact that you admirably wear your natural hairdo without attachments. Yes, I have always celebrated people like you and Condoleezza Rice as the Black women that should be celebrated rather than the Beyonces who are destroying the Black race with the notion that Black women cannot be beautiful enough in their own skin, but must wear some dead White women’s hairs.

I honestly believed that people like you are the future of the Black race because you are in positions where you can influence European policies on Black Africa and the Black race in general. I was in fact, about to write letters to you and other prominent Black British leaders to suggest the need for a forum of Black leaders in Britain as an umbrella for forging a strategy for the development of the Black race. This thought was inspired by my realization that Black British leaders are too individualised and not working in unison for the development of Black Africa and Black societies in the Caribbean. I thought there was a great need for leaders like you to get together as a step towards articulating our problems and possible ways out. I passionately believed that people like you are the future of the Black race( despite your unfortunate remark to BBC earlier this year that Toyin, the ignorant Black man who disrupted the celebration of the 200 years of end of slavery, “…reflected the anger and the pain that still exists” ), until some minutes ago when the BBC News 24 showed you in Lisbon doing the most dishonourable job of promoting the misguided British notion that Zimbabweans are starving because they sacked white farmers.

I find it very sad that you agreed to be used to show that the White world’s irrational obsession about Zimbabwe is not founded on racism. I think it is very disgraceful for the Black race that people like you in the year 2007 are being used in this way. It is plainly obvious that the only reason you were sent to Lisbon was because the British government wanted to use a Black person against Robert Mugabe.
I definitely do not have anything against Britain as I am most grateful for the fact that this great country has accepted me and treated me better any Black country in this world (not even my miserable country Nigeria) would have treated me. I am also very much conscious of the shameful fact that the most racist white country would treat even Black criminals better than the best Black country treats its best citizens. I am most importantly well informed about the fact that but for the White race, Black Africa would have been under slavery today. However, I believe very strongly that we must make some concerted efforts to change our status today before it becomes too late as it would indeed be in no distant time with the rise of China and India!

The way to change our status in this world is not by accepting the White supremacist notion that we cannot develop modern farming techniques either in Zimbabwe or anywhere else and must rely on White farmers to feed us. I think it is a grave disaster that in the year 2007, there is no successful society of people like us and you are aligning with the view that we should not even attempt to make efforts to be successful. I believe, irrespective of whether it was right or wrong to taken over White farms that the step towards self determination which Mugabe is taking Zimbabwe is the right way to attempt to build our own Singapore Thailand and Malaysia and that enlightened Black people ought to support him. I believe that this is not the moment to talk about how bad Mugabe as a person is, but to face the challenge which White supremacist have thrown to us, to build a successful Zimbabwe without White farmers.

You are of course entitled to have a different understanding of the issue in Zimbabwe, but I do not believe you are entitled to deny the real fact that the main challenge facing the Black race is to build our own successful societies. As I commented earlier today at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre during the MP Dianne Abbott‘s conference on the underachievement of Black boys, our children’s self esteem would improve greatly is we could have Singapore and Malaysia emerging out of Black Africa tomorrow. People like you should be most concerned that the Black race is failing and that there is nowhere to run to tomorrow if White people ask us to leave their land. People like you should be organizing Black people towards surmounting the great challenge of proving we are not inferior by building our own successful societies. People like you should have used their positions to influence more favourable British of EU foreign policies on Black Africa and Black societies in the Caribbean. You have disgraced the Black race by allowing yourself to be used in the racial war against Robert Mugabe.

John Iteshi

London 8th December 2007

Friday, 26 October 2007

Stop Wasting Public Funds on Useless Black Programmes and Events.

Stop Wasting Public Funds on Useless Black Programmes and Events

Dear Mayor Ken,

What prompted me to write this letter was the brochure titled “Guide to African London” which was earlier this year displayed on some London Underground Stations and still being displayed in the City Hall as part of your celebration of Black History month and the abolition of slavery in Britain. I am not strictly condemning the fact that the Mayor of London is trying to promote Black cultural activities and businesses in London (even though it may not really be his job to do so), but deeply concerned about the message of inferiority which “the brochure” (Guide to African London) sends across as well as the ridiculousness of events like the Black History Month and other similar events.

The brochure bears on its front, a photograph of a beautiful Black girl wearing a ridiculous hair attachment. The problem with this is simply that it appears the Mayor of London is indirectly promoting inferior hairdos among Black women. It appears to be promoting the ugly trend of Black women rejecting their own skins by preferring to wear wigs and hair attachments that simulate White or Asian or even Somalian hair styles to maintaining their own hair.

I have shown the image on the brochure to over twenty ordinary people (including Blacks, Whites and Asians) and virtually everyone agrees with me that it is a disgusting image to be promoted by the office of the Mayor of London. Of course, it must have been chosen by Black individuals working for the Mayor, but the fact remains that such hairdos ridicule rather than promote Black beauties as the Mayor of London must have intended. I have no doubt that most enlightened Black people (and indeed people of other races) would share my view that it is disastrous for the majority of Black women to believe that they cannot be accepted in the society without inferior hairdos such as the one shown in your brochure and the types often worn by people like Naomi Campbell, Beyonce Knowles, Serena Williams and many other so-called celebrities.

Condemning hairstyles worn by the most famous Black women (excepting of course, well educated and enlightened ones like Condoleezza Rice), may seem odd and ultraconservative, but I belive that any honest observer who has taken a good look at the way most Black British school girls and boys dress to school would also agree that there is a disaster at hand. It is a well known fact that most Black British school girls and boys appear to be more concerned about their hairdos than their studies. The culture of Political correctness has not helped things at all as Black children are allowed to dress like pop stars in hair attachments(for the girls) and “corn rows” (for the boys). Promoting a shameful hairdo such as the one on your brochure would only worsen the already bad situation. It is unacceptable for Black British school children who are fortunate to be part of the most advanced parts of this world to dress less decent and clean than ordinary school children in an average Nigerian school because they feel inadequate to appear natural or unaware of how decent Black people should tidy their hairs. The efforts of the Mayor of London to promote multiculturalism would be sabotaged if Black children are encouraged to emulate inferiority!

I decided to write you this letter out of my deep concern for the enlightenment and improvement of the Black race. I sincerely believe that you are broadminded and genuinely committed to promoting Black history and cultures as can be seen from your sponsorship of most Black events. However, I humbly suggest that expending public resources annually on events like Black History month, the ‘Guide to African London Brochure mentioned above and other unjustifiable celebrations only helps some Black people in Britain to continue to escape the realities of the failure of the Black race. It does not help to enlighten and cause us to think about ways to sort ourselves out. Black people in Britain, having escaped poverty and deprivations in Black Africa and the Caribbean Islands ought to be in the forefront of discourses and attempts to change the shameful situation of things in Black Africa and the Caribbean rather than organising self celebrations and hopeless award ceremonies.

I believe it would be good for Britain and for the Black race for enlightened Black people in Britain to be engaging in efforts to take Britain to Black Africa and other failed Black societies. The fact that there is no organised or successful Black society anywhere on earth ought to concern Black people in Britain more than any other issue! We ought to be sending to Black Africa and the Caribbean, messages of good governance, equality and social justice from Great Britain. Having fortunately escaped from our failed societies to Britain, we are morally bound to be constantly addressing our minds to the situation of our people rather than engaging in purely cosmetic and “feel good” activities.

It may not be the responsibility of the Mayor of London to address the issue of the failure of the Black race, but I believe that stopping the sponsorship of useless self-seeking Black programmes and events and encouraging our people to think home would be appreciated by the majority of right thinking people. It would seem an impossible task to ask a White man in this era of political correctness to tell Black people the truth, but it probably would take highly respectable individuals like Mayor Ken Livingstone to help wake up Black British leaders to their responsibilities.

It is most irresponsible and hypocritical for Black individuals who have principally succeeded because they have benefited from the opportunities abounding in Britain and other civilised and successful societies, to be celebrating themselves and ignoring the majority of their people living in despicable conditions in Black Africa and some Caribbean Islands. Helping us to take responsibility for our failures would not only help the Black race in general, but would also benefit race relations in Britain in the long run. It is well known that the kind of racism experienced by Black people is particularly based on our historical inferiority and failures as a people. If Black people could build successful societies out of Black Africa like the Asians have done, the kind of racism we experience today would immediately disappear. Our children would also gain better sense of belonging and higher self esteem if we are able to prove that we are not inferior.

In my view, the global failure of the Black race (particularly the lack of civilised and successful Black societies) is the real cause of the low self-esteem and failure of the majority of young Black British people to reap the benefit of being in Britain. No amount of showcasing of successful Black super models, rap artists and sport stars would uplift the spirit of young Black British people like the rising of a Singapore or Thailand out of Black Africa or the Caribbean. What hunts and demoralises our children is the real fact that their people have no real story of success compared to Whites and Asians. The way out is not to fake such stories or find some ludicrous excuses as events like Black history month tend to do, but to face facts and seek ways to address the problems. The mayor of London can assist us in achieving this by refusing to support purposeless Black events in the future.

I am highly optimistic that you would think seriously about the issues raised in this letter and consider better ways of promoting Black peoples and cultures in the future.

Thank you for finding out time to read this letter.

John Iteshi

Rotherhithe, London.

Monday, 2 July 2007

How Genuine is Rotimi Adebari?

The story has been carried by virtually all notable news sources since Friday about one Rotimi Adebari becoming the first Black mayor in Ireland. One is supposed to be wowed about such a great achievement, but there seems to be something wrong somewhere. I do not know Rotimi Adebari from any where (except that his name places him as a Yoruba man from Nigeria) and have nothing against him, but the report that he arrived Ireland from Nigeria as an asylum seeker escaping from religious persecution in Nigeria cannot be true. If indeed he claimed asylum on the basis that he was escaping religious persecution in Nigeria, he must have lied because no form of religious persecution is known to exist in Yoruba land where he obviously hails from. Nigeria was under “democratic rule” so to say, in 2000 with the full co-operation of the western world and the president was a Yoruba Christian, Olusegun Obasanjo. Any prevalence of religious persecution that happened singularly in 2000 to drive Mr Rotimi or anyone out of Nigeria ought to have attracted the attention of the pesident and of course the Nigerian press (as Yorubaland is the most covered part of Nigeria by the media).

It is a bizarre claim because Yoruba land has a unique culture of religious tolerance in Nigeria. Compared to other parts of Nigeria, Yoruba societies are more civilised and liberal to the extent that inter-religious marriage is very common between Christians and moslems. It is perhaps right to say that the average Yoruba person has at last one relative (distant or close) from another religious group.
One's worry here is not that Ireland’s immigration system has been abused (as it is probably not one's business), but that dubiousness is being celebrated as a landmark achievement! This does not help Nigeria and the Black race as it promotes fraud as a way of life. One is not saying that people should not do anything possible to escape from a miserable society like Nigeria, but that rogues should never be celebrated as heroes! It may be acceptable to sneak into organised and successful societies to better one's life, but fabricating ugly lies in the bid to attract sympathy should be condemnable. Even if one must tell terrible lies like Rotimi obviously did from the look of things,to gain residence in a successful society, one should avoid public life.
I am a Nigerian immigrant myself, but I never had to and pray never to be so desperate as to fabricate blatant lies like Rotimi did in order to stay in Britain! The chief reason why Nigerians migrate abroad is “money” either to get it genuinely through hard work or to get it through fraud (or on the other hand, stash or waste stolen public funds in the case of public office holders and their relatives). Even if there are Nigerians that can genuinely claim political asylum, there can hardly be any genuine case of religious persecution for anyone from western Nigeria.
John Iteshi

We Have No Valid Excuse!

I recently read an article titled “Discontent voiced over slavery events” by Amanda Kirton in the BBC website and could not resist the temptation to express my disappointment in Black British leaders. The article which is based on the behaviour of Mr Toyin Agbetu who staged a lone protest by disrupting the recent service in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery by Britain, shouting abuses on the British establishment suggested that most Black people share the sentiments of the protester. In fact it quoted the leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Amos who is herself Black as saying that "Toyin's protest reflected the anger and the pain that still exists,". This comment is most unfortunate and disturbing because it appears to lend support to the lazy notion among some misinformed Black British people, that the activities of British slave traders about 200 years ago coupled with some imaginary acts of racism are responsible for the failure of the Black race. This comment and all similar insinuations including a BBC documentary by a Black journalist which suggested that Britain built much of its wealth on the slavery of Black people must be condemned as grossly misleading. It is most dangerous to provide tacit support in anyway for the already misguided Black louts on the streets of Hackney and Brixton. Even if it is necessary or even reasonable for Britain to be showing remorse for a historical disaster which (even if they were culpable), they had long atoned for in many ways, it cannot be reasonable at all for any educated Black person to tell Britain how to organise it or even worse to complain against anything. It is shameful enough that Black people especially those of us in Britain, with all the opportunities and supports have remained the most backward human group both here and the world over.

Black British leaders like Baroness Amos should be ashamed of themselves for letting the Black race down by not using their positions to organise their people. The fact that with only a handful of educated people, the Black race jointly fought for independences about 50 years ago, but today with millions of educated people the Black race is yet to build any organised and successful society of its own is an indictment of all enlightened Black leaders. We had neither Black Members of Parliament (MPs) in any European or American nation nor did we have any Black university anywhere when we fought as one people and won independences and civil rights/freedoms, but today with many Black individuals in positions of power in Europe and America as well as hundreds of universities across Black Africa, we have still to prove that we (as a people not as individuals) are not inferior. We have not proven that we are not an inferior race because we are the only major race that have not been able to organise themselves at any level. The fact that there is no organised or successful society of Black people anywhere on this planet ought to disturb every educated Black person particularly those at the highest level of decision making like our MPs in UK and USA. Rather than use their privileged or top positions to organise the Black community and possibly the entire Black race, they are busy either trying to re-write history or even change nature.

We cannot reasonably continue to claim we are not inferior when at this stage of human development; the whole Black race still relies on white journalists and glory seekers like Bob Geldoff to tell us our problems, when to cry or even cry for us. The fact that one can hardly find any Black icon or hero today that was not determined by western media means that we have yet to be civilised. One seriously reckons in private that if the majority of the white world had not decide to criticise apartheid in South Africa, that it would have continued and Mandela could have been a terrorist rather than a hero. This may sound strange none thinkers, but the general state of ignorance among Black people about the situation in Sudan today where a minority group rules the Black race like slaves under far worse situation than Black South Africans were ever ruled, should suggest to us the depth of our primitiveness as a people. It took the so-called white racist to enlightening Black states about what is happening to their people. If we cannot understand ourselves in this modern age with all the education and enlightenments available to us, one wonders how we could have fared if Britain and other western nation had not decided on their own volition when it began to prick their consciences, to end slavery ! Our greatest tragedy today appears to be our inability to organise ourselves and determine what we actually want.

There is of course, no gainsaying, that not many Black people would have been moaning about what Britain did and did not do about slave trade if some overzealous white men had not embarked on the anniversary project as well as the unwarranted debate about apologising for slavery. The fact that slavery ended completely about 150years ago and most Black states got their independences 40-50 years ago and we have never really until now moaned about how Britain enslaved our people clearly means that only idiots are moaning and fooling themselves that slavery is responsible for our failure as a people. The fact that the Black race in the 21st century still depend on solely Western and Arab sources for both the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the history of the Black race in general, is a shameful indication of our seeming less than equal status with other human races. It is most disturbing to me that there is no successful society of Black people anywhere on this planet today and enlightened Black people especially those who have escaped poverty in Europe and America are not bothered about it. All that prominent Black British individuals including those who have been given parliamentary positions on the platter of gold to represent Black people do is seek for media attention for their selfish interests. They only talk about Black people whenever some white journalists raise any issue about Africa or as now, slavery. Apparently, these successful Black individuals appear to think that being successful and being privileged to be accepted by Britain means they are no longer as Black as the people of Darfur or Northern Uganda or Haiti. They are more interested in aligning with Asians (as can be seen in a stupid organisation called National Association of Black Police Officers or something like that where an Iranian claimed to be Black) in their primitive aims to carve themselves out as a distinct group separate from the failed Black race. One of them who actually hails from Uganda where a barbaric civil war has been ravaging its northern territory, once engaged in a televised fasting and prayers for Lebanese children(simply for attention seeking purposes) when the whole world knows that the average Lebanese or even Iraqi or Palestinian fares much better than the average Black person. Shame unto educated Black people especially those successfully established in Europe and America for they have the best opportunities to change the fate of the Black race, but have failed to even organise themselves. They do not face the problems of poverty and intimidation by wicked and oppressive governments faced by men of goodwill in Black Africa and as such can easily organise themselves towards forming a global forum for Black enlightenment and civilisation.

We do not need to physically go back to Africa to show direction to the Black race. We can either seek to articulate a sort of global vision for the development of the Black race or even prove we are not inferior by simply organising ourselves well over here. We can point accusing fingers to the western economic interests for our inability to organise our countries back home, but the fact remains that mini-Black societies in places like Britain and USA have not proven to be different from our failed states in Africa and the Caribbean. The fact that Black people are most backward and over represented in the prisons in both UK and USA for instance, despite all the opportunities available for individual development, is not because of racism at all as some race mongers like to think, but simply because of the failure of leadership among Black leaders. Even if racism exists to the extent of dissuading our people from proper education and responsible living, there cannot be any excuse for our failure to organise ourselves in any meaningful way. The fact that Asians dominate the trades of African and Caribbean foodstuffs and even the ridiculous hair attachments worn by our women is a clear indication that the trouble with the Black race is from within and not from what others are doing or have done to us over a hundred years ago. A visit to places like Dalston market and Peckham area in London would convince any reasonable thinker that something is seriously wrong with Black people as slavery or colonialism or the white race cannot be blamed for the domination of predominantly Black communities’ markets in London by Asians. British and African-American leaders can help prove that we are not an inferior race by seeking to build successful Black communities from their respective locations. Purposeful leadership from British and African-American leaders are very crucial to the survival of the Black race because they have the capability of influencing not just the whole Black race, but the entire world on Black issues. We need to have our own BBC or CNN and be able to determine and control global views and opinions on our own affairs. Black leaders in Europe and America ought to be at the forefront of development in Black African and Caribbean states. Bearing in mind the quality of Black individuals in UK and USA for instance, it is disgraceful that there is no genuine move by any group towards influent positive change back home.

Even if we cannot organise at the Black race level, why not on country basis. Why not respectable Nigerians or Zimbabweans or Kenyans for instance in UK or in USA organise themselves (form strong umbrella groups not the fiefdom-like groups exiting among Nigerians for instance) and begin to deliberate on how to take Britain or USA home. Such groups would command respect both from host governments and home governments and could help to fight corruption and bad governance at home. We cannot be serious about change when everyone knows that the greatest aspect of corruption destroying Black African states is the trend to loot public treasury and either buy properties in Europe and America or maintain fat bank accounts. Most of the wars and political instabilities in Black Africa are directly linked to individuals fighting for their own opportunities to loot and stash abroad. The Black communities in Europe and America hold the key to eradicating this trend either by exposing those within the community who help corrupt leaders or by lobbying host governments for legislations that would help check it. Our failure so far to do this is most inexcusable! The Black Race has no valid excuse for failure!!

John Iteshi
London, 4th April, 2007