Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We’ve been looking for a good list of organizations that are locally based that do good work. Most of the lists we’ve seen are screenshots, which means blind readers and anyone who uses screen readers to access the internet, can’t read them. These lists also don’t include a link or the name of the person or organization who put the list together.

This list comes from Edwidge Danticat



“Many of you have asked for suggestions of organizations to donate to in the wake of Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti. Here are a few suggestions. These are primarily organizations that have been working in the most affected areas for years and are, for the most part, Haitian-led. A few of these organizations are schools or educational institutions. When a school–however small–has been a trusted part of a community for a long time, families will look to that place for immediate and ongoing support in rebuilding after a disaster like this. Thank you for your concern and support.”

1. Gaskov Clerge Foundation

2. Fondation Aquin Solidarite–https://www.gofundme.com/aquinhaiti

3. The Three Little Flowers Center–https://3littleflowerscenter.org

4. Paradis des Indiens

5. Project Saint Anne

6. Fonkoze

7. The Lanbi Fund of Haiti

8. Flying High for Haiti

9. Saint Boniface Foundation



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12742381_1148681611831584_587840668109962858_nSuggested donation 5$ (no one turned away for lack of funds, ever!)

Please make reservations. Space is limited. Let us know about any dis-ability accommodations you may need. The space is wheelchair accessible, all bathrooms are gender neutral. Off street parking by reservation only and for dis-abled guests.

Special comfortable seating available for elders and people with dis-ability. Some floor seating.

345 Douglas Street Los Angeles, Ca 90026

To make a reservation call 818 404 5784 and leave a message, or message weempowercenter@gmail.com

Po Poets,welfareQueens & Krip hop Nation in LA
Performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs (Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) ) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation.

This event is part of :

13120902_10154697996945616_229212038_oThe Nation-wide tour of “wealthy” neighborhoods across the US which launched in San Francisco on “Earth Day” is co-led by “Poverty Skola” Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia and fellow Race, Disability, Indigenous Skolaz from POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE, Leroy Moore from Krip Hop Nation and 1st Nations Ohlone Warrior Corrina Gould and on Day 1 of the LA tour will go to Venice Beach area where hundreds of elders and families face Ellis act evictions and displacement, while others live in multi-million dollar designer homes and on Day 2 go into Beverly Hills to offer an innovative healing solution to the disease of wealth and resource hoarding.
“We Black, Brown, homeless, disabled and 1st Nations people are peacefully crossing the visible and invisible lines that separate us poor folks from the “very rich” to ask them to begin the healing, change-making, process of decolonizing, redistributing and reparating their stolen and/or hoarded, inherited wealth and/or land ,” Concluded Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia.
12510365_1124708227562256_7057866320787099612_nThe Stolen Land/ Hoarded Resources tour is loosely based on the Bhoodan Movement of India launched by Vinoba Bhave who walked through India asking wealthy “land-owners” to gift their land to landless peoples. With a similar vision, this small group of landless and indigenous peoples being hit the hardest by displacement and gentrification will be Intentionally crossing the invisible and visible lines between the land and resource hoarders aka the very rich and the victims of generations of white supremacy, theft, colonization, criminalization, racism, eugenics and silencing, aka the very poor.
“Los Angeles is where me and my mama became homeless when i was 11years old, after she became disabled. We were arrested and harassed multiple times for the sole act of sleeping in our car,” concluded Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, who is the author of Criminal of Poverty , Growing Up Homeless in America, which chronicles the life of a homeless, disabled, mixed race mother and daughter struggling to survive in LA and their work to launch POOR Magazine the organization and the landless peoples movement called Homefulness-one of the models being highlighted as a powerful move of redistribution and reparations in this tour.
Black, Brown, Broke & Disabled Hip Hop & Spoken Word Tour

L.A. Tour Date: June 10-11, 2016

Stolen Land / Hoarded Resources Redistribution, Decolonization & Community Reparations Tour Comes To LA with Black, Brown, Broke & Disabled Hip-Hop/Spoken Word Show

13090253_1198001956899549_1881245443_nThe Tour will be in LA on June 10-11/16 ending with a performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs ( Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation at BNB… & Inner-City Arts’ The Rosenthal Theater.

June 10, 2016: A Krip-Hop Nation: Where Are my Crippled Homies At by Watts Villiage Theater
(Time to be announced) Inner City Arts Rosenthal Theater: 720 Kohler St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

June 11, 2016: Po Poets,welfareQueens & Krip hop Nation in LA13120654_10154698026325616_1284031348_o
Performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs (Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) ) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation.

Two Performances

2:00 PM: Purple Barn Gallery at DragonflyHill Urban Farm, 345 Douglas Street Los Angeles, CA 90026. Wheelchair accessible. For further accommodations please inquire 72 hours in advance. Reservations Required, space is limited. For more information contact Cafe Intifada cafeintifada@earthlink.net

Evening program Time and Location to be announced

Fundraising to cover labor and travel costs to bring these amazing artists and activists to Los Angeles.
Lodging will be provided at DragonflyHill Urban Farm. Respect the Space: Community Values, Principles and Guidelines
Sponsored by: Cafe Intifada of The WE Empowerment Center
The Wonderful Accomodation Where We’ll Stay: DragonflyHill Urban Farm, Echo Park, LA
When the dust settled and the bulk of our restoration of this amazing but battered 1913 Craftsman house was finished, what remained was a multi-talented team who wanted to continue working here and working together. Core values of our work include attention to detail, fine craftsmanship and cultivating community. We strive to provide our neighborhood and the greater Los Angeles area with a variety of services based on integrity they can count on from us.
Bed and Breakfast Experience: We have two beautiful suites that provide short term lodging for travelers, people resettling, between homes, emergency housing, visiting scholars, artists and activists and anyone looking for a temporary housing solution. We offer elegant, comfortable, safe and sober, child friendly, LGBTQIA and dis-ability (disability) affirmative, anti-racist, anti-sexist accommodations with free parking, wifi and breakfasts.
Event and Space Rental: The Studios at DragonflyHill Urban Farm provide space for a variety of events and efforts including rehearsal space, photography, yoga, dance, film, healing arts, massage, reiki, and meetings
Film Locations: We can accommodate all budgets– large and small, though the services we can provide differ. Talk to us about your project and let’s work together to make this space work for you. We can assist with set design and construction and provide a professional staff to assure your shoot here is a total success

DragonflyHill Urban Farm: https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/
Poor Magazine: www.poormagazine.org
Krip-Hop Nation: www.kriphopnation.com
Contact info: 818-404-5784 cafeintiafada@earthlink.net


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We are very excited to announce that we are now a project of The WE Empowerment Center, a new 501c3 organization dedicated to smaller community organizing and creative efforts. When our former financial receiver went under due to the mismanagement and misappropriation of funds, we lost our non-profit status. The larger IHC projects quickly found financial receivers, but smaller projects like our own had no where to go…

Until The WE Empowerment Project was formed, specifically in response to the experience of many of the smaller IHC projects.

So, WE’RE BACK! And planning a few programs and events.

Future events to look forward to is a film series– Occupation 101, a look at colonization and the geography and anatomy of imperialism and conquest.

and we never quite left, though our blog posts became less frequent, we were more prominent in our facebook page, providing information, cultural and social and political updates, so continue to follow us on line.

And if you really love us, consider supporting our work. We’ve made it through quite a bit, from blacklisting, death threats and police raids, and the fall of the IHC, we’re still here.

Cafe Intifada: Art and Activism:
Donate Button with Credit Cards

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by Julia Wallace

-Dedicated to those who resist slavery: chattle, wage and prison

On this day of slavery-this Fourth of July-
Fredrick Douglass’ words challenge current lies.

Today we aren’t slaves but we still aren’t free.
Oppression still remains daily reality.

Wage slaves are slaves-we pay for food and shacks.
Frederick Douglass demanded “Freedom” from a system anti-Black

And Fredrick Douglass’ words ring truer now.
3 million locked up, Black and Brown then how…

How is a country “the land of the free”
with the most people in prison?  Its fallacy!!

The Civil War ended-slaves freed themselves-many.
Now are shackled behind bars and paid mere pennies

And jingoists yell, “If you don’t like it leave!
Go somewhere else!!” but there is no reprieve.

This country attacks all those who rebel.
Obey Uncle Sam or he’ll bomb you to hell.

The people are rising world round every day.
Keep doing that here. I won’t go away.

I will stay and fight your farce of July.
Your phony jubilation – Rotten apple pies.

Fight from inside the belly of the beast.
Disrupt the party. Spoil the feast.

The Government sings “It’s a home of the brave”!!!
A home for capitalists-a trap for wage slaves.

A home for bigots feeling safe in their system.
A home for the bullies and those who defend them.

For the oppressed and workers we are never at home.
Attacked by police, spied on by drones

Our wages are small, rent is too high.
There is no independence on the Fourth of July.

The brave have no home, no country or flag.
So keep your red, white and blue, that imperialist rag.

Celebrate the heroes who rebelled before us.
Like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.

Abandon the flag of stripes and stars
the butchers apron- Confederate bars. 

For the international struggle workers have no borders.
Take down the bosses, the pigs and the hoarders.

This Fourth of July read Fredrick’s word.
Freedom will be coming-act like ya heard.

But it won’t be under the flag of might.
Take the Amerikkkan flag and spark the fight.


Julia Wallace is a social justice activist, writer, grassroots organizer in Los Angeles where she works at revolution and is  a contributor to the Left Voice news.

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By Bijan Bahmani

Information for those applying for covered California who have the old green card aka permanent resident cards that don’t have an expiration date and card number (light pink color card that only has an alien number).
Covered Ca has two required boxes when filing that require a card number and expiration date. Covered CA chat answered that the following place holders should be used.
Card number: 2229999999999
Expiration date: 12/31/9999

 Keywords:  obamacare health care, card number, green card, immigration, immigrant, california care, I-551, expiration date, card number (or “without card number” and “without expiration date”), Permanent resident card, resident alien card,  required fields, required box, boxes, required boxes /Covered CA, Covered California, covered california, covered ca. covered CA, 

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ByEwuare X. Osayande

This article was originally published in
People of Color Organize! and is not currently available on that site. We are republishing it here, under the principles of fair use policies,  to make available this important contribution on the nature of anti-racism. -cafe intifada“My friends, I have come to tell you something about slavery – what I know of it, as I have felt it. When I came North, I was astonished to find that the abolitionists knew so much about it, that they were acquainted with its effects as well as if they had lived in its midst. But though they can give you its history – though they can depict its horrors, they cannot speak as I can from experience …”

    Frederick Douglass, 1841

In the past decade or so, we have witnessed the rise of critical race studies, even something called Whiteness Studies. With the rise of Whiteness Studies on college campuses across the country has come the resurgence of whites as so-called experts on all matters pertaining to race. Among the most popular of them is the anti-racist speaker Tim Wise, who has become a regular presence on the college lecture circuit as well as in the media in the past few years. He has even been deemed the leader of the anti-racist movement by some of these very media outlets.

As Black liberationist, abolitionist, anti-racist and social justice activists, we would be wise to use this moment to ask some critical questions of ourselves and the state of the movement for racial justice in the U.S. We are thus compelled to critically engage Tim Wise and what his apparent popularity represents both in symbol and substance. In so doing, we confront the two fundamental issues in this work of eradicating racism: internalized oppression and white privilege.

Wise’s popularity among liberal whites is not that surprising to me. What is surprising is the level of popularity he’s gained within segments of the Black community. Some have even gone as far as to view him as some kind of Great White Hope. What is most curious about this apparent Black fascination with Wise is that when I hear certain Black people and other people of color refer to him, they talk about him in the same way they would talk about the first time they saw a white guy dance, rap or dunk a basketball. By internalizing the stereotypes of Blackness as defined by the white racist imagination, we have, in turn, embraced a codified image of Blackness. Thus, when we see white people cross the race-tracks and engage in behavior that has been deemed “Black,” we react with a kind of cultural “shock and awe.” In the case of Wise it is a little more complicated than that. Wise isn’t being acknowledged for his ability to sing or dance “like a Black person” but for his willingness to cross the tracks of race discourse and out whiteness – the ultimate racial taboo.

There is this sense among some of us that because he speaks against racism, he must be all right. And as such, he has garnered the coveted “ghetto pass,” a symbolic gesture given to those whites considered “down” with Black people. But we have seen what happens when whites feel they are “in like Flynn” with our people; they get right racist and condescending (remember Bill Clinton during the 2008 Presidential campaign?). In effect, they become even whiter. Therefore, let us insure that Wise’s “pass” doesn’t enable him to bypass critical inquiry that could benefit the movement and, maybe, even Wise himself.

What this fascination fails to take into consideration is the fact that white people have been speaking out against racial oppression since the first slave ships docked in the colony of Virginia. We should be past such elementary appreciation. When we fail to hold whites who proclaim an anti-racist stance to a higher standard, all we end up with are whites talking about how bad racism is. Mouthing off against racism is not going to end racism, no matter how loud and boisterous the bombast becomes. We have to get beyond this almost worship-like praise for what, in the end, are but baby steps in the long march against white supremacy.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not have a problem with white people speaking out against racism or Black people acknowledging white people working against racism. But when that acknowledgment precludes or is prioritized over and beyond our acknowledgment of ourselves, then we have a problem. That problem is called internalized oppression, a symptom of the very system we are working to defeat. Therefore, Black people giving uncritical praise or consideration to our white allies actually works toward our continued oppression. Remember how some of our people who were blinded by whiteness used to say: “The white man’s ice is colder”? Well, it seems these days that that same internalized oppression is at play in some who believe that the white man’s anti-racist analysis is more accurate than our own.

When I ask such persons what makes Wise’s commentaries so unique or revolutionary, they become quiet. For in truth, there is nothing new in Wise’s analysis. If anything, it is an analysis born of the blood struggle for Black liberation and racial justice throughout American history. Our ancestors may not have used terms like “white privilege.” Instead, they just called it what it was and is: white supremacy. (Imagine a white anti-racist saying, “I’m going to use my white supremacy to help people of color.”) Nonetheless, white privilege has become the watch-word of the movement. Yet, for the most part, it has been used as a means for white anti-racists to point the finger at “those” whites or navel gaze and wallow in a guilt that doesn’t produce results. Overall, it has the tendency to takes us away from addressing the real issue head on – whiteness itself and the ideology of white supremacy that gives whiteness whatever power and meaning it currently holds.

In the case of Tim Wise and other leading white anti-racists, we can accurately pin-point the state of the anti-racist movement by unpacking the white privileges they, themselves, hold and benefit from.

The first of these white privileges is one I have already addressed: The ability to paraphrase and/or otherwise exploit the analysis of Black liberation struggle and have it received by others as though it were their own. In the past decade or so, there has grown a cottage industry of books written by white people talking about their whiteness and their awareness of racism. When these white authors fail to acknowledge the debt they owe to the blood struggle of people of color in this country as they often do, they practice a form of racism that keeps that history erased from the consciousness of this country. This enables the white establishment to bypass Black people and hold up their own as authorities on the race question.

Another white privilege Tim Wise and other white anti-racists carry is the ability to emotionally express their views about racism without having that expression dismissed as “angry” or “too emotional”. When Wise speaks passionately and fervently about racism, his expression is understood as a sign of a person standing up for what he believes. As such, it is championed even when he is derisive or sardonic in his remarks. When we, people of color activists, speak passionately about racism, we are maligned and ridiculed as being angry, militant, even hateful and dangerous. If we wish to be heard (let alone understood), we are expected to speak calmly and politely about our experience and analysis regarding racism. Otherwise we are demonized. White moral indignation is justified. Black moral indignation is vilified. This has long been the case.

The third white privilege that Tim Wise and other so-called white anti-racists enjoy is the privilege of being honored for their anti-racist work as their Black activist counterparts and other activists of color are denounced and derided. Case in point: Several years back I spoke at a school in Massachusetts for their annual Dr. King Day commemoration. As I spoke about King’s legacy and the ongoing struggle for racial justice, I was met with outright hostility from the students gathered in the auditorium. The following year I would be contacted by an Arab faculty member at the school. She would inform me that for that year’s King Day event, the school decided to invite Tim Wise to address the student body. She went on to inform me that Wise was received with profound admiration by the very same students that heckled me the year before. Isolated incident? Chance circumstance? To my knowledge, similar events like this have at occurred on two more occasions since.

On one of the other occasions, I was contacted by a Black student organization that had to petition a reluctant administration to gain the necessary approval to invite me to speak. Just one semester following my presentation they would inform me that Tim Wise had just spoken at their school, where he received the red carpet of administrative respect and welcome. When this occurred at a third school, a Vietnamese student emailed me and rhetorically but sincerely asked, “Isn’t this what Tim Wise is supposed to be against?”. In all three cases, persons and groups that reached out to me expressed a level of frustration at witnessing the hypocrisy of the institutions they were working at or attending.

Let me make it clear here that I am not airing this to complain about my personal experiences. I do it because I know that I am not the only one who is experiencing this kind of racism. I am also addressing it here because in one of the cases I’ve mentioned, it actually worked to undermine the efforts of students who had organized to hold their university accountable. Over a four-year period, I worked diligently with these students and their allies. During this time of dedicated training, they all became adept anti-racist activists. They were a small but formidable band of students ready and prepared to take the university to task on its stated and unstated policies toward students, faculty and staff of color. The very year they planned to confront the university administration with their agenda, word got back to some key university officials. And in true duck and cover fashion, the administration brought in Wise with much publicity to avoid addressing the students and their demands. The entire campus turned out and the university was able to present itself as champions of diversity. Thus, when the students brought forward their demands, the university was able to side-step them by claiming that they were on top of it given their experience with Wise. Of course they were lying, but the students no longer had leverage as the campus community felt that they had done enough by bringing Tim Wise to speak.

This is just one example of the ways that white anti-racists who are not in accountable relationships with activists of color can be used to work against the best interests of people of color, whether knowingly or not.

One of the student leaders of this effort would later ask me if I’d be willing to debate Wise. I informed her that I would welcome the opportunity to engage in a constructive conversation with Wise on the state, purpose and direction of anti-racist struggle. The problem with that is that Wise only debates individuals with views more conservative than his own. This way he can continue to promote himself as the most radical anti-racist voice on the scene when he is not – not even among whites. [Noel Ignatiev has called for the outright abolition of whiteness in the face of other whites’ calls for what essentially amount to a kinder, gentler whiteness. By so doing, Ignatiev is taking up the challenge to expose whiteness as a form of status within the capitalist system rather than as a biological or cultural reality, which is how it continues to get passed off as – even within certain so-called anti-racist circles. Such an assertion takes it cue from an observation James Baldwin made many moons ago: “As long as you think you’re white, there’s no hope for you.” If such an end were the aim of the movement, so-called white anti-racists could no longer go around claiming to want to use their white privilege for the good of the movement. Such a claim would be recognized as the nonsense it is.] Like Eminem in “8 Mile” taking on the Black rapper from the suburbs in his effort to establish his street cred and carry the “Blacker than thou” mantle, it seems that Wise takes on conservative intellectuals of color like Dinesh D’Sousa and Ward Connerly to prove he’s “Blacker” (more radical) than they are. That might impress some of Wise’s liberal Black bourgeois friends, but such side-show debates do nothing to bring us any closer to eradicating institutional racism.

It seems that Wise and other anti-racist whites have become higher education’s answer to people of color activists like me. As long as the dissidents are white, these schools are willing to practice the “tolerance” they claim to uphold as beacons of the liberal arts. It has even gotten to the point that nowadays it is not at all strange to see a white person giving the keynote speech for Black History Month. I honestly don’t think that is what Dr. Carter G. Woodson had in mind when he instituted the week-long celebration that would become Black History Month back in 1926. It is bad enough that February, the shortest calendar month of the year, is what Amiri Baraka calls “Black artist employment month.” Now we can’t even count on that. Like our people who are removed from the neighborhoods they grew up in as affluent whites gentrify urban communities, we find ourselves being removed from the one space our ancestors fought for on the calendar. And why is it so difficult for some of us to not see this racial switch as an attack on Black self-determination in much the same way as the current effort to dismiss Black History Month all together?

What can be deduced from these experiences is that there is clear benefit for those with white skin even in the context of anti-racist discourse. There is a distinct inequality in how we are perceived and treated by the white establishment. Despite Wise’s opposition to white supremacy and white privilege, he is a clear beneficiary of both. This is largely due to the fact that, evidently, he is not perceived as a threat to the establishment.

What does this say about Wise? What does this say about the state of the movement? What does this say about the state of racism in our society? White institutions can tolerate anti-racist discourse as long as it is spoken by somebody who looks like them. In fact, such staged discourse becomes a prime opportunity for such schools to present themselves as champions of multiculturalism and diversity even as they continue to enact policies and initiate professional and educational practices that discriminate against students, faculty and staff of color.

By definition, white privilege is not earned. Wise doesn’t have to do anything to gain access to the benefits assigned to the social construct of racialized whiteness. Even his apparent efforts to expose it have not caused the white establishment to banish him or treat him like a person of color. Given that Wise isn’t saying anything new or revolutionary in regards to how to eradicate racism, what accounts for his popularity and celebrity status and the fact that his calendar is filled with engagements for the next few years? His whiteness! The very thing he speaks against. Might this be the ultimate white privilege?

Now I am sure that there are some people reading this who might be saying, “Of course he can’t escape his privilege, we live in a racist society!” No argument here. All the more reason for him and those like him to be held accountable.

When grassroots Black activists speak honestly about racism at colleges across this country, we are not met with open arms by administrators and faculty. And most certainly our calendars are not full for the rest of the year let alone for the next three to five. When we speak, we are often met by the deaf ear of white denial. When Tim Wise speaks, he gets applause, standing ovations, awards and proclamations. The fact that schools can’t “hear” us when I and other people of color speak but will search out and roll out the red carpet for Wise is a statement to a kind of racism that doesn’t get discussed much – if at all – in our work. Despite all of the white anti-racist presentations given over the years at colleges and universities across the country, institutional racism at these schools remains intact. All the while, activists of color continue to be muffled and marginalized. Even in the ghetto of race discourse we remain tenants and never owners of an analysis that is ours to begin with.

One way that whites can be accountable is to stop being enablers to white supremacy by supplanting the voice of people of color with their own. We do not need white people speaking for people of color. Such talk is crass paternalism. My words do not need to be placed through a white filter in order for them to be understandable. Besides, there are some things that get lost in “translation.” If there is work for whites to do on this issue, then let it be work that addresses this deaf ear of white denial. This is a question of power. Whites that do not listen to people of color do not have a “hearing problem.” They fail to hear and to listen because they can. Those that promote the claim that white people speaking for people of color is a positive only coddle such whites in the comfort of their conformity to a way of life that denies, not just the voices of people of color, but our lives as well.

All of the aforementioned privileges taken together provide Wise a pretty formidable platform from which to attract the support of those of us who seek an end to racism. By supporting him, such persons are made to feel as if they are fighting racism. In this vein, he is able to make use of such support from those who will rally to his rescue when he calls on them to defend him with a bevy of “like” button clicks or a hail of 5-star reviews when he has occasioned a derisive remark made by the usual suspect – an avowed white supremacist. Really? Has this become the epitome of anti-racist activism? This would be laughable if we weren’t discussing something as deadly serious as racism. Such “cyber activism” is just another form of white diversion from engaging in actual activist work.

Must I remind us that people of color live our lives under daily assault? Clicking a “like” button is not going to stop the hail of gun-fire that snuffs out the lives of the Oscar Grants and Aiyana Joneses of our communities. Oscar Grant and Aiyana Jones were not militant activists. Jones was just seven years old for God’s sake! They were Black and, according to this system, that was sufficient. Until the movement confronts that realityhead on rather than cry about some nasty review of their book, I have little regard for their “anti-racist” activism. Such attacks from white supremacists should be expected in this work. If I had a dollar for every piece of hate mail I’ve received …. My point is that it comes with the territory. To make noise about it is just self-serving. And that is putting it mildly.

This imbalanced relationship between people of color activists and white anti-racists reinforces the power dynamic of white supremacy even within the movement. White anti-racists have been able to evade accountability on this front due to the fact that they wield power and influence over and beyond people of color activists by virtue of their white-skinned privilege. This is a fact that has dogged our movement since the days of Abolition. And to those who question my right to question Tim Wise or suggest that Wise is beyond critique, I say as Henry Highland Garnet said to the white abolitionists of his day, “If it has come to this, that I must think and act as you do, because you are an abolitionist, or be exterminated by your thunder, then I do not hesitate to say that your abolitionism is abject slavery.”

The fact is that someone like a William Lloyd Garrison, who did far more than Wise with far less than Wise, was critiqued way more harshly than anything I have penned here by his Black contemporaries. Maria Stewart, Frederick Douglass and others within the Black Abolitionist Movement always maintained an analysis that was independent of white abolitionists. Theirs was an analysis based on the life-and-death reality they faced on the daily. And they were quick to check the blurry vision of those who sat upon the lofty heights of their privileged status as whites no matter how well-meaning they may have been. To relinquish that right and responsibility now would be a disservice to my forebears and the example they have left for all of us.

This is a problem that our movement must address. This movement cannot challenge the institutional racism as it is currently positioned or personified. Our people’s movement for liberation and self-determination has resulted in the development of a community of whites who have amassed a working knowledge of the system of white supremacy. Many of them claim to possess a conscious commitment to eradicate racism. Yet there is a lack of critical direction or an expressed unwillingness on their part to take the direction from the lived reality of people of color movements for racial justice.

In order to resolve this, we must first question ourselves and address our failure to anticipate this trend and prepare ourselves for it. Instead of providing an agenda for white anti-racists to engage with us in authentic solidarity, many of us now just get giddy and tickled by the spectacle of whites talking about racism. Our lack of awareness of the lessons learned from past alliances with whites and our apparent unwillingness and/or inability to hold those whites who claim a commitment to anti-racist struggle accountable has resulted in a movement that is largely led by whites.

Black liberation theologian James Cone’s twenty-five year old observation remains true: “Wherever Black people have entered into a mutual relation with white people, with rare exceptions, the relationship has always worked to the detriment of our struggle. From the abolitionist movement of the nineteenth century to the recent civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 60s, whites demonstrated that they cannot follow but must always lead.”

I do not expect or anticipate Wise of his own volition to critically assess himself in the context of Black self-determination and people of color solidarity. Further, I don’t expect Wise to move beyond his lucrative lecture tours to organize a movement of whites that actually confronts systemic racism. After all these years that he has been on the scene, if he were to start such an effort, he would have done so by now. Even so, the fact remains that in the realm of anti-racist struggle, thousands-of-dollars engagements do not constitute activism. They might be materially enriching for him on a personal level, but for the cause he claims to represent, such talk is cheap. And please, lest I find myself inundated with emails from those who idolize Wise, let me state for the record that nothing I have written herein will have any detrimental impact on his ability to make a living. His bank account will not take a dive on the account of my critique. One thing is for certain, he will never have to contend with the daily concerns of activists of color who are attacked and marginalized for speaking our truths and challenging convention in society and within our own ranks.

I’d say it is high time to up the anti-racist ante. In the end, what actually is a white anti-racist? Who defines such? And if that definition comes from a white person, how is that anti-racist? These questions may not be convenient, but us closing our eyes to them doesn’t make the issues they speak to go away. And I am clear that I am not the only one asking such questions. There is an ever-widening circle of committed people of color and white activists that see the hypocrisies and inconsistencies that exist within this work. They, too, are trying, in their own responsible way, to address them. It is time that we bring these questions to the surface, not to denigrate each other, but to strengthen our will and resolve in the spirit of fulfilling our purpose as a movement: the eradication of systemic racism.

Until the movement as a whole is able to adequately address these critical concerns, and people of color are no longer being dismissed and having our truths overlooked or otherwise dissed by those that claim to be our allies, here is a word to the wise: Rather than talk about the white privilege of others, Wise would be wise to simply discuss his own. Not in some general, “I’m a white guy” way either, but in a way that addresses his particular privileges as a white guy talking about racism such as the ones outlined in this essay. There would be no more compelling argument.

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(Update 1/5/13:  Stanley Jordan announces on his Facebook page that he’s not going to be performing at the Red Sea Jazz Festival, that his performance has been cancelled. )

Via Facebook Stanley Jordan made the following declaration about his intention to cross the picket line of BDS, after a lengthy discussion of his initiation, on his Facebook wall, earlier that month.Here is the link to that previous thread, which has also been chronicled in this blog’s previous post:https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=316499341791766&id=14690024059&comment_id=1654054&notif_t=share_reply

And here is the link to the thread provided in this post:


Stanley Jordan · 13,640 like this

Monday at 9:59pm ·

  • Concerning my appearance at the Red Sea Jazz Festival:After a spirited online discussion and much deep soul-searching, I have decided to honor my commitment to perform at the festival. I had received numerous messages from supporters of the Palestinian people requesting that I cancel my appearance and boycott the festival, so I opened an online thread in order to discuss the matter.Our discussion revealed a crisis whose depth was even far greater than I had known, and I felt compelled to help. Like many others, I am deeply dedicated to the cause of world peace, and this situation goes against everything anyone with a heart could ever condone. However, after much consideration I concluded that the best way I could serve the cause would be to do my performance as scheduled, but separately organize an event in a major city in the United States to raise funds and awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people. The time frame will be in September or October 2013.To those who participated in the discussion: I was very impressed by your intelligence and passion and by the generosity of your time and energy in dialoging with me and educating me on this major humanitarian crisis. I was deeply moved by the information you provided, and I want to make sure that your time and effort goes to a good cause. In particular, I am concerned at how few of my countrymen in the United States are aware of the dimensions of this crisis. Some of you who joined the discussion are living it every day and I want you to know that I have heard you and I will dedicate this year to making sure that many more hear you as well. You can follow my twitter feed at http://www.twitter.com/stanley_jordan for announcements concerning this event. If any of you would like to be involved you may contact my publicist, Edie Okamoto, at eokamoto@riovida.net, phone: 1 (323) 274-7744 ext. 3. This concert will be the most important thing I do this year and I would love to have your help. Thank you very much and Happy New Year.

    13Like ·  · Share
    • 90 people like this.
    • Sylvia Posadas So sorry you cannot fully support Palestinian people at this time. You have not been requested to give charity, but support for their ethical choice of tactic. In time, perhaps you will understand what ‘solidarity’ really means.
    • Emma Rosenthal I hope you put real thought into this concert, understanding that by crossing the picket line, you limit the people who will trust you and join you in your proposed event. Palestinian civil society has made it clear it does not want charity. It wants solidarity. There is no honor in honoring a brutal regime. None at all. If you do have this concert, chose carefully who you raise funds for. Too often westerners feel empowered to determine for others what is in their best interests. This is often referred to as White savior syndrome, though it isn’t that specific. Donating to groups that are nominally for peace but instead normalize oppression might make you feel good, but may hurt the people you claim to be “helping.” This is not work of ego or flight of thought. It takes years of dedication and effort, with little thanks. 

      I do worry that you will be very disappointed in yourself once you have actually participated in this event. You may be doing your own spirit great injury.
    • Wren Tyree Stanley, I am proud that you did not allow your emotions and other’s emotions keep you from following your own path. I know it is difficult because you love your fans and you don’t want to disappoint them. Keep believing in yourself and let the universal language of music bring about healing in that area and in the whole world.. Hope you don’t mind me sharing some Annie to put some perspective on this issue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRIm5ufzMd4
    • Rima Najjar Dear Stanley:
      Having more or less communed with you for the past few days along with so many wonderful people with whose dedication I am utterly floored – reached out to you, poured out my heart to you, begged a little – though I am no beggar and I don’t want anyone’s charity, even if I need it – having done all that, I am hurt and disappointed with your decision (really cut up to be honest) – but it is your decision, as we have said all along. So I will say goodbye for now and take refuge in the strong and righteous words that so many have written. I hope you keep the thread on your FB up and invite your readers to take a look at it.
    • Brian Kelly You should cancel! Re-read some of the hundreds of comments and let them unsettle your decision! You have a responsibility to cancel and respect the call by Palestinian civil society for boycott.

      Don’t perform in Israel!!

    • Emma Rosenthal By emotions, do you mean empathy?
    • Andrew Wirth Dear Mr Jordan, congratulations on demonstrating the courage, independence and of openness of mind to recognise and respond to the humanity – the civil society – on both sides of this conflict. Indeed both sides need to recognise the human needs of the other- and support one another in taking the steps and the risks required to resolve this peacefully. Survey after survey has demonstrated that the great majority of Israelis seek peace based on a two state arrangement – there are many obstacles to achieving that both on the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Isolating the musical and broader cultural community and progressive elements in israeli society is the exact opposite of what is needed to build confidence and further the goals of peace.
    • Brian Kelly “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” – Paulo Freire
    • Jennifer Killen Maybe you should first pay a quiet visit, as an ordinary person – but remember when you go to Israel do not mention that you intend to visit Palestine or you may end up in gaol not at the festival.
    • Samira Barghouthi Stanley Jordan, I had the very strong feeling of what your plan was (not to cancel) and that is when I had earlier asked you the question of “..why you started this discussion forum”. At the time you gave a very convincing answer, “…to get educated…”. And apparently the information provided to you was very generous, that is to say the least. Sadly, you did not read the posts your self but you were rather given a summary by whoever is reading the posts. The problem with this technique is you get the summary manipulated and biased by the opinion of the one person reporting. You are not a very hard working student as you do not tend to your own notes but rather rely on short hand. Palestinians DO NOT WANT your concerts or singing or funds raised from your work. If you could not honor the struggle and you ignore the boycott call then do not bother. Anyhow, you are the kind of person who is too occupied and absorbed in ones small circle to ever see a bigger picture. Think big in human life and not $$$.
    • Alexandra Ferentinos Wren, it’s interesting you bring up Annie Lennox. It reminded me how her ex-husband, Israeli film and record producer Uri Fruchtmann is a Patron of a branch of the BDS-supporting ICAHD (The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions): http://uk.icahd.org/articles.asp?menu=6&submenu=2&site=J&article=560

      And as for Annie Lennox herself: http://www.haaretz.com/culture/annie-lennox-i-have-no-interest-in-going-to-israel-1.318380

      May I say to everyone, if you ever get the chance to attend a talk by ICAHD’s Jeff Halper please do so, you won’t regret it and there are many videos on youtube where you can hear him too.
    • Emma Rosenthal ^ booo yah!
    • Steve Brammell It seems that all the others commenting here are trying to shame you regarding your decision to play in the country of Israel. I applaud you. There will be peace when the obstructionists accept the right of Israel to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people. Then, and only then, will the “two state” solution come to pass.
    • Caroline Francisco “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” (Haile Selassie)
    • Elise Hendrick I love how the leading zioscab argument is that BDS will isolate “progressive segments of society”. What little there is in the reactionary mess that is Israeli society that can be called progressive is SUPPORTING BDS (or at least quite sympathetic to it).
    • Elise Hendrick ” There will be peace when the obstructionists accept the right of Israel to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people”

      So the obstructionists are those who call for equality and oppose institutionalised racism, and the “peace loving” people are the ones who want to be the first-class citizens in a society with second- and third-class ones as well.
    • Elise Hendrick How many of these bogus racist arguments can we name before they trot them out? I’ll start:

      “The Palestinians already have a homeland – Bophuthatswana.”
    • Sylvia Posadas Newspeak ‘peace’ – when the oppressed submit to being crushed by the boot of ‘peaceful’ racists.
    • Steve Brammell The state of Israel was created by the United Nations, along with the state of Palestine. The Arabs immediately attacked and took the land the UN had specified for Palestine. The two state solution would be a reality today if not for the intransigence of the Muslim world who looked to Hitler to solve the “Jewish Problem” and then allied themselves with that grand anti-Semite Joseph Stalin. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were also dispossessed of their homes in Arab countries after the creation of Israel. Stop the campaign to kill the Jews and you will have the peace you claim you want.
    • Raymond Deane You have slapped the Palestinian people in the face, and now propose to replace solidarity with charity. But I’m sure you feel a nice glow of self-satisfaction.
    • Raymond Deane Interesting that on this thread the pro-apartheid hasbaroids are coming out from under their stones, whereas they were nowhere to be seen on the previous one.
    • Matt Graber Stanley Jordan, this “discussion” – in which you’ve advanced dishonesty and ignorance – and the decision to perform at the Red Sea Jazz Festival will haunt you in 2013. You still have several weeks to cancel your performance at the Red Sea Jazz Festival, and for the sake of the Palestinian people and the sake of the future of all colonized peoples and lands, I truly hope you will consider the insight which we have shared and cancel the performance.

      Don’t tell us that you’re concerned about the “plight of the Palestinians”. We don’t want to hear any more lies from you.
    • Steve Brammell Your “insight” comes from your distorted and prejudiced perspective. If the Arab world wanted peace, it would happen in an instant and the Palestinians would have their rightful homeland. Don’t you find it interesting that one of the most popular books in the Arab world today is the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”?
    • Elise Hendrick Steve Brammel has provided another example of the sort of racist “arguments” I was talking about – the “history does not exist, and therefore I can make it up as it goes along argument”. Note that the colonisation of Palestinian land, and everything else that happened pre-1948, doesn’t exist in Brammel’s rewrite of history, and that the people calling for equal rights are referred to as calling for the killing of Jews, despite the fact that many of us ARE Jews and by no means suicidal.
    • Sylvia Posadas There are now 11.6 million Palestinians who are denied rights due to their homeland being subjected to zionist settler colonialism – 4.4 million Palestinians reside in Gaza and the West Bank without human and political rights, 1.4 million Palestinians live in Israel as second class citizens discriminated against by 43 racist Israeli laws, 5.5 million are refugees in Arab countries, and 655,000 are refugees in other states, not allowed to return to their native lands by apartheid criminal Israel.

      Palestinians want their full rights to which they are entitled under international law. It is insufficient to placate their oppressor, to encourage it to continue its heinous abuse and offer bandaids, to ignore the Palestinian tactic for liberation for which they have called for support from the global community. There is no excuse for racism. None at all. Stanley, you have time to change your mind, learn some more about the implications of performing at a concert sponsored by the apartheid state which is every bit as onerous as if one performed at Sun City, and cancel.
    • Carl Perkins Mr Jordan, I am a musician in the UK and have followed your work for many decades. I have also followed the plight of the Palestinians, but am not greatly knowledgeable about the history of the situation. What I do know is what Israel is doing is on par with Nazism, Apartheid and the oppression suffered by black people in both the UK and US, as well as my parent’s country of birth (Jamaica) prior to the Civil Rights Movement. Speaking of which, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X protested and gave their lives so that you and I would have the freedom not to help evil men with their racist agendas. I know money isn’t easy to come by in the music industry in this digital age. However, life has been cheapened by capitalists who have put their wealth before the right of children to live without fear of a bomb falling on their bedroom or playground. By doing this festival in Israel you are showing support for the murder of Palestinian children. After many years of being inspired by your work, today I will no longer be one of your supporters. Human life comes before music and one’s opportunity to line one’s deep western pockets.
      Tuesday at 12:37am via mobile · Edited · Like · 14
    • Adel Minkara I can’t believe that till this day most of american citizens don’t know shit about what’s really happening in the world and especially in the middle east. I guess the US (and the Israeli)government is doing a great job keeping the people busy with themselves( either enjoying life or dying to make a living) … no need to argue with the pro israeli people here , I know enough about your history and our history. it was great seeing you Mr Jordan in Beirut, I guess we’ll never be able to see you again because after this performance you will be banned to enter the Arab countries (except Jordan and Egypt). Good luck and thank you for your support.
    • Daniel Hicks steve brammel i dont know what dimension your history comes from but it sure is interesting,first of all stalin himself was jewish,although i suppose its possible he hated his own kind,second go check out some “statistics” i know i know everybody hates those lol to see just who is really suffering in this conflict,i can tell you its not the jewish people who are being murdered by the hundreds,quite the opposite actually.
    • Raymond Deane Stanley sees the situation as “a major humanitarian crisis”. This means that he disregards the political realities, and is merely concerned with the discomfort that it has caused, is causing, and will continue to cause the Palestinian victims of western-backed Israeli settler-colonisation. Similarly, Stanley considers it an appropriate response to give a concert “to raise funds and awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people”. Presumably the funds will be used to provide the victims with some cast-off clothes from white American liberals, and maybe some sticking-plasters with which to dress the wounds of the oppressed. Stanley is unimpressed by the fact that Archbishop Tutu, Nelson Mandela and other veterans of the South African anti-Apartheid struggle have said that Israel’s occupation is “worse than Apartheid”, or that Angela Davis has said it’s “worse than Jim Crow”. The Zionists who were cleverly filtered out of the earlier discussion (but no doubt carefully read – although perhaps Stanley’s publicist kept his attention from some of the more vicious and lunatic contributions) are now showing up and, as is their wont, lying through their teeth about the origins and character of Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian lands and dispossession of Palestinian people. However, Stanley can repeat to his liberal fans (as he has done ad nauseam) that he has engaged in “a spirited online discussion and much deep soul-searching”, although he has not given a single rational response to any of the arguments made in the course of that discussion, nor displayed any evidence of “deep soul-searching”. All in all, a profoundly cynical exercise.
    • Daniel Hicks the israeli government is no better then americas or countless others they are corrupt and yes even evil,tha majority of it not all of it,and no i am not referring to many of its citizens who are just regular good people living there lives.however i have no problem with stanley jordan playing there i consider music to be neutral in every way and it should be welcome everywhere and have as little politics involved as possible,although messages of peace and acceptance and all that are of course welcome.
    • Raymond Deane And a postscript: when Zionists rabbit on about “peace”, what they actually mean is “pacification”.
    • Daniel Hicks then again i am not there and cant say how they feel,i do know its the palestinians who are suffering and being killed far more then the jewish people of israel are that much is undeniable.
    • Adel Minkara we don’t need charity we need artists who can be like Mr Waters 
    • Nathalie Mermet-Grandfille Stanley, in the end it’s just a concert and you are a brilliant musician, not a politician. Go give people your gift, who knows who’s heart it will change.
    • Tali Shapiro Stanley Jordan, we actually talked about your options in the discussion. I personally made it very clear to you that you can do whatever you like, including your proposed event in a major city in the United States to raise funds and awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people. The time frame will be in September or October 2013. I’ll hold you to that, and the only excuse not to come good on your promise is because no Palestinian organization is willing to take your money, and even then, you still have a responsibility of raising awareness. 

      That said, we discussed what isn’t legitimate. What isn’t legitimate-as many others said before me, but unlike what I thought before, always bears repeating- is to decide for the oppressed what “best serves their cause”. It is not legitimate to perform with the Eilat Dead Sea Jazz Festival, when you know perfectly well that it is a part of the mechanism of apartheid (I guess this link bears repeating as well http://pulsemedia.org/2012/12/25/israel-2012-the-question-of-a-nation-what-does-culture-have-to-do-with-politics-part-2/). 

      Now I’ve been at this for a long time, I understand that in reality, while very uncomfortable, a musician can cancel even 3 days before the showhttp://www.billboard.com/news/israeli-raid-on-gaza-bound-flotilla-draws-1004097608.story#/news/israeli-raid-on-gaza-bound-flotilla-draws-1004097608.story You’ve got about 3 weeks. That’s 3 weeks to learn the subject thoroughly. 3 weeks to un-complicate whatever is complicated. So I’ll resend my recommendations, and just like you take time out for meditating, you can take time out for meditating on this this subject, because no, it is not OK:

      Occupation 101 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rSd9HuPZYU (you’ll find parts 1-10 on the sidebar) or you can try the updated version of this movie Road Map to Apartheid (If you can’t find it athttp://www.youtube.com/movie/roadmap-to-apartheid, then you can purchase it at http://roadmaptoapartheid.org/purchase/ , or find a screening near youhttp://roadmaptoapartheid.org/screenings/)
      Peace, Propaganda and The Promised Land http://www.youtube.co/playlist?list=PLA167244AFCB71BF7
      Al nakba http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm7dMhE80dw

      I’ll also recommend you continue learning about BDShttp://www.bdsmovement.net/call You can read a page a day, and I’m pretty sure you’ll start getting the idea by the end of the week.

      I also recommend my own blog posts, which I don’t tend to do, but it’s relevant, so you can understand why, where I come from, culture is subservient to apartheid politics, unless you make a very conscious choice to do otherwisehttp://pulsemedia.org/author/tali99/
    • Zoë Lawlor Well Stanley Jordan, you have chosen to cross the picket line, to ignore the Palestinian call to boycott and to play for an apartheid STATE sponsored event. You don’t get to throw crumbs from the table when you decide to ignore the voices of the oppressed. I thought all along that you would do this but I really wanted to be wrong and, with these brilliant posters, tried my best to show you how important your act of solidarity could be. That you decided to play in the face of all the information, the discussion, the outpourings, the truth, presented to you in the last while says everything to me. Solidarity is what people of dignity want, charity is what those ignoring it throw instead.
    • Zoë Lawlor And just so you have one more idea of what the state you are playing for plans for the Palestinians for 2013 and every year:” At dawn today the Israeli army demolished the home of Ra’fat Issawi, brother of hunger striker Samer Issawi.” There is no love and light in apartheid. the love and light comes from solidarity and struggling together.
    • Leen Barghouti Someone ironically posted an Annie Lennox music video to support Stanley Jordan’s decision to perform in Israel.

      Annie Lennox has repeatedly refused to perform in Israel until Israel abides by International law and supports the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. She is in solidarity with the Palestinians, so your use of an Annie Lennox song to put in context Stanley Jordan’s decision to play in Israel is terribly ironic.

      I guess you should follow Lennox’s stance, and not use music to support the continuous oppression of Palestinians.
    • Ken Carpenter Playing your music and sharing your talent is not something you need to explain, or apologize for, to anyone. If some wish to boycott for political ends, it is their right, but only theirs..
    • Monique Buckner While you are at the Red Sea Jazz Festival, enjoying your turn-about attitude to apartheid, maybe you can pay a visit to the fence north of Eilat that prevents refugees from Africa seeking their human right to asylum. Israeli politicians refer to these people as “cancer”, “rapists”, “a security threat”, “diseased”.
    • Matt Graber Stanley Jordan, given what you have told us in the other thread, it is highly suspect that you were ever sincerely interested in conversation, discussion, and debate on your performance at the Red Sea Jazz Festival. If you, or whoever it was that was pulling the strings, were actually honestly giving consideration to the boycott, why did you privilege some voices in private conversations while ignoring some of those on the thread?

      For the sake of honesty, I encourage you to share with us the private conversations which you had. Otherwise, the conversations over the course of the last week paint a characterization of Stanley Jordan as a dishonest person.

      What do you have to hide?
    • Alexandra Ferentinos Leen, that Annie Lennox video also featured one Nelson Mandela: 

      “…we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

      Here’s the reference to the quote on the ANC’s official website:http://www.anc.org.za/show.php?id=3384
      Address by President Nelson Mandela at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 4 December 1997, Pretoria
    • Matt Graber Stanley Jordan, I know that you have already said that you are NOT contractually obligated to the State of Israel right now. But yet, according to a sample contract between artists and the Israeli government released in 2008, THAT may be exactly what you are contractually obligated to tell us. How do we know that you are not lying?

      Paragraph 13: “The service provider will not present himself as an agent, emissary and/or representative of the Ministry.”

      Note that this is a sample contract between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli artists playing abroad in 2008, so it may be quite different from yours, Stanley. But I use it as an example of what artists agree to when employed by the Israeli government, which will employ you through the Ministry of Culture and Sport and other festival promoters.
    • John Brown Play your heart out The music you create is awesome and inspiring Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from utilizing your talent Be safe in your travels Thank you for sharing your gift with us Our prayers are with you and yours
      Tuesday at 5:53am via mobile · Like · 1
    • Janet Green The best way to end human rights abuses is to ignore the call of those suffering said human rights abuses ……….
    • Dror Dayan I am very sorry to hear that. I know you think you are doing the right thing, but it saddens me to see that so much good will and communication has fallen on deaf ears. Make no mistake: by deciding to go along with the concert and reducing the emancipatory, independent palestinian call for a boycott to a mere request for charity and money, you are doing the palestinian cause a great injustice. I am very happy and proud of the way you choose to discuss and communicate this issue, but am deeply disappointed and saddened by the way you choose to understand the situation and to go about it when all´s been said. I hope you will reconsider, since the palestinians have no use in a concert in the far away united states. They have use for brave people standing next to them in their rightful claims and strategies. I wish you all the best and better decisions in the future.
    • Maru Garrido Eres grande Stan, como músico y mucho más como persona. Feliz año.
    • Jay Hunt Way to go, I applaud you!
    • Emma Rosenthal Asking someone to participate in a boycott is not letting “anyone or anything stop you from utilizing your talent “. He’s welcome to play any number of places. We even offered to help him find other venues, just not one used by the state to justify a brutal regime. (Actually, asking an artist to apply their talents to normalizing oppression, IS a mis-utilization of talent!) Artists, celebrities have voice and read the rest of us do not have. Participating in the boycott would be a great utilization of those talents. Just saying!
    • Nathaniel Ellis Stanley Your music is awesome! You are a blessing every time and every were you play.
    • Steve George You are not only a great musician bur also a great man. Not many would find a way so honor their commitments and their beliefs.
    • Xoch Ipilli Boycott Stanley’s music/future shows. He should cancel his gig, because music isn’t free to everyone under Israel Apartheid. Your indifference will be met with much resistance. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
    • Anne Key Stanley Jordan, please spare us the condescending comments such as “I was very impressed by your intelligence and passion and by the generosity of your time and energy in dialoging with me and educating me on this major humanitarian crisis.” The Palestinians don’t have the luxury of time and freedom, nor do they wish to be patronised. By deciding to go ahead with your performance, you have chosen to ignore the voices of the oppressed and to side with the oppressor. Shameful.
    • Besos y Abrazos, con Raquel y Jose – 97.7 FM Music should have no borders and should not be politicised. I applaud Stanley for his consideration and I think it is the best decision. Remember that in any conflict there are always two truths to the matter. Both parties are right and guilty at the same time. In order to resolve any conflict you have to yield from both sides.
    • Rabab Abdulhadi Thanks but we can’t accept this tit-for-tat offer. It is not about even-handedness. We do not need charity and monetary compensation for doing the right thing.What we need from you is a principled stand against Israeli oppression, settler colonialism and Apartheid.

      You are right that a lot of “good” people in the US do not know about the details. And we are ready to work with all to educate. The solution however is not to continue to engage with injustice. The only moral position to take is to refuse to legitimize injustice.

      While I don’t want to highlight the distinction between the 67 and the 48 occupations, this festival is being organized on land occupied in 1967, which is (even by US standards) occupied territory. You should really withdraw if you want to do the right thing. I hope that your conscience will speak louder than a contract you’ve signed.
    • Gabriel Ash Thanks for being impressed with our “intelligence.” I am on the other hand, less than impressed with your honesty. It was clear that you wanted to make this decision from the beginning. That’s fine. People often enter discussions with starting positions they wish to defend. I appreciate that you entered the discussion anyway. However, you then held a second discussion behind our back, and you pointedly ignored getting information about the kind of economic exchange with the state of Israel you will be a willing part of.
    • Eric Stanley Pretending to care about honoring BDS while really just creating Facebook traffic, BEST PR move of 2012!! Sadly I now know who you are, but luckily don’t have to hear your music.
    • Gabriel Ash Thanks for noting that the so-called “situation” in Palestine “goes against everything anyone with a heart could ever condone.” What does that says about your heart? Since you will not only condone it, but provide your good name to make others condone it ? In the end, you used your concern and your art and your “spirituality” as excuses for acting to please yourself.
    • Kali Akuno Let me add my voice to all those who request that you cancel this show.
    • Gail Nelson Just days prior to singing as the headlining act at another festival in Israel, the great Cassandra Wilson cancelled. She stated her decision stemmed from a desire to support Palestinians’ civil rights. Cat Power also cancelled a gig in Israel. Theater director Peter Brook called off an event in Israel saying it is his own free choice to do so. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/cassandra-wilson-cancels-holon-concert-joining-artistic-boycott-of-israel-1.414039
    • Gabriel Ash some artists have principles, some don’t, some would like to have had but still don’t.
    • Alexandra Ferentinos Gail, interesting ending to that article:

      “While many artists have canceled appearances in Israel over the past few years for political reasons, it seems that many only develop their political awareness on the matter after they sign the contracts to perform. Promoters are now introducing clauses to protect against such cancelations, stipulating that the artist is aware of possible political pressure to cancel their appearance.”
    • Elise Hendrick I suppose the question of the hour is: Are we to understand that Stanley Jordan now regrets having called on artists to boycott Sun City?
    • Gabriel Ash Elise Hendrick: They were obviously less spiritual in those days.
    • Elise Hendrick And it’s worth noting in this context that, since Sun City was in the supposedly autonomous “homeland” of Bophuthatswana, playing Sun City was a lot closer to playing Ramallah than Eilat. Playing Eilat would be like playing a venue in Pretoria or Capetown.
    • Andrew Kadi What a shameful decision.
    • Emma Rosenthal One wonders, since he now understands that the situation is even worse than he imagined, what difference those of us who so impressed Stanley by our “intelligence and passion and by the generosity of (our) time and energy in dialoging with (him) and educating (him) on this major humanitarian crisis”: could have made in shaping his decision. Some of us suspected from the beginning that it was an exercise to demonstrate false altruism. Where’s the love and light in that?
    • Elise Hendrick Some people LOVE to abdicate moral responsibility even in the LIGHT of compelling facts.
    • Emma Rosenthal Apparently. And it would seem that that’s what is called not letting one’s emotions get in the way. sigh
    • Elise Hendrick I just noticed that his statement completely omits that he received numerous messages from PALESTINIANS and Palestinian organisations, including PACBI themselves, asking him to cancel.
    • Sylvia Posadas I LOVE the way principled human rights activists who embrace the Palestinian-led call for BDS on this thread cast LIGHT on the situation. It’s disappointing there are still those whose eyes are blinkered by a false belief that art is removed from such worldly concerns as politics, despite clear evidence that the Israeli state uses all culture as propaganda to obscure its crimes. Performances funded by the Israeli state are disassociated with the state’s apartheid political aims in a stunning magical disappearing act.
    • Elise Hendrick Not only that, there’s this extremely pernicious notion that it is a good and proper thing for art to be in a separate realm from the one in which people actually live their lives. It’s extremely elitist.
    • Sylvia Posadas I thought Andy Warhol deconstructed such sanctimony decades ago, Elise, with his Campbell’s soup can piece.http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=79809
    • Elise Hendrick So many people have gone after it. Personally, I’ve always loved what Víctor Jara said:

      “I am a worker in the field of music. I’m not an artist. One day, the people themselves will decide whether I’m an artist. For now, I am a worker in the field of music, a worker with a very clear position on the side of the people who are struggling for a better life.”
    • Sylvia Posadas Your Jara quote reminds me of what art critic Robert Hughes said, Elise, posing the ironic question: “What does one prefer? An art that struggles to change the social contract, but fails? Or one that seeks to please and amuse, and succeeds?”
    • Emma Rosenthal This whole dialogue, especially with the dismissal as negative, of those of us who fight for peace and justice, with the missive, dismissal “light and love”, as if discussing negative realities creates them. it’s the epitome of the opiate of the elite– to ignore the ugliness that is the foundation of their comfort. How much money is Stanley and his publicist making from this trip? How much does someone’s conscious cost, these days? When it was announced that Stanley was meditating, I had hoped it was for the courage to do what he knows in his heart is the right thing to do. I mean if we take him at his word that he was truly perplexed at the beginning of the discussion, and we take him at his word, that by the end of it, he realized things were worse than he had even imagined. 

      But it would seem that meditation was more of an anesthesia against a broken bone, than the actual healing of the break, the opium den of iniquity.
    • Sylvia Posadas And more pithiness from Hughes: “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”
    • Elise Hendrick Sylvia: To me, the question is who one’s trying to please and amuse. If I can only please and choose one person or group of people at a time, I certainly know who I want to take comfort and joy from what I do
    • Sylvia Posadas Elise, I’m not sure that those who consciously seek to please or amuse regard such weighty questions which would suppose a social conscience as relevant.
    • Elise Hendrick Yeah, there are definitely quite a few people who will sell themselves to whoever’s offering money. Take Elton John, who actually played the wedding of virulent homophobe Rush Limbaugh a few years ago.
    • Sylvia Posadas Elton John, who played apartheid Israel refusing to ‘cherrypick’ his ‘conscience’ also said ‘I’ve only been interested in the artistic side of life.’
    • Alexandra Ferentinos Elton John who played Sun City:

      Elton’s SA tour jogs memories of Sun City gigs – 12 January 2008

      As ageing British popstar Elton John prepares for the start of what has been billed his first tour of South Africa at the weekend, locals were recalling his real first in front of South African audiences at the height of apartheid 25 years ago. 

      “Don’t miss the chance to see Elton John and his band, LIVE in SA,” a press release issued by the concert promoter Big Concerts urged, presenting the tour as a first. 

      But thousands of South Africans have already hopped and bopped to Sir Elton’s Crocodile Rock, packing out a series of his concerts at the infamous Sun City casino complex north-west of Johannesburg in October 1983. John’s appearance at Sun City came at a time of growing mass resistance to apartheid in South Africa following the establishment of the United Democratic Movement, a non-racial coalition of civic, church, student, worker and other groups. While the UDM and the African National Congress were trying to topple the racist system Sun City’s brazen boss Sol Kerzner was trying the break the cultural boycott of South Africa by attracting top acts to his hilltop resort. 

      If Elton John can claim today he never played in South Africa it’s because Sun City back then was located in Bophuthatswana – one of the nominally independent, overcrowded “homelands” where the apartheid state dumped millions of blacks. Yet to play Sun City, dubbed Sin City by whites who travelled there to gamble and ogle topless dancers (pleasures denied them in puritanical South Africa) was to recognize the puppet “homelands” in a way the international community never did. 

      “Bop was a joke,” says art critic Diane de Beer, who attended several concerts at Sun City during the 1980s. “It was right in the middle of South Africa. If anyone looked at a map they would have known.” Musicians like Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Queen who chose to play along with the Bop farce did so, according to de Beer and fellow critic Peter Feldman, because they were paid top dollar to perform there. 

      “They used to say ‘We are doing it for our fans, we are not politicians’ but the truth is they didn’t care. They were being paid millions to perform there,” says Feldman, who interviewed Elton John and Queen, among others, for Johannesburg’s Star newspaper. 

      For South African pop fans the arrival of big international acts was like manna from heaven. “When Sol Kerzner starting bringing in those top guys it was huge. People here were so hungry (for contact with the outside world),” de Beer recalls. Sinatra was the first big performer to appear in Sun City’s Superbowl in 1981. Elton John’s mind was made up after he was flown out to the resort in July 1983 to surprise his buddy Rod Stewart onstage. “He was blown away by the place. He had a really good time,” according to Hazel Feldman, Sun City’s former entertainment director. While Feldman cannot remember exactly how many shows he performed that October – between eight and 10 – she’s adamant the tickets – more than 50,000 in total – sold out. 

      Throughout the 1980s headline acts, including British rock group Queen and Canadian-born crooner Paul Anka, flocked to Sun City. Their complicity, unwitting or otherwise, in the apartheid system so outraged one group of artists calling themselves Artists United Against Apartheid they recorded the hit single Sun City in 1985, vowing never to play there. 

    • Samira Barghouthi Stanley’s musical therapy is so powerful it could recirculate the lost-Palestinian blood into the victims’ veins and bring the murdered Palestinians children to life! CONGRATULATIONS STANLEY for the super power you seem to have acquired. One question, have you been able to negotiate higher fees for your gig? Have the Israelis doubled your fees in return for your promise to proceed? That would be blood money, you know!
    • Emma Rosenthal Just say “love and light” after you’ve totally dismissed the pain and suffering of others when you are specifically and uniquely in a position to act on their behalf or benefit from their misery.
    • Alexandra Ferentinos Those who did NOT play Sun City:

      Stanley Jordan, those such as yourself who were involved in the Artists United Against Apartheid project should be proud you were on the right side of history. I hope you will endeavor to learn more in the coming three weeks and change your decision.
    • Clar Ni H-Eidhin Shame on you
    • Reem Abdelhadi There is no honour in committing to this performance. There is no honour to committing to genocide and apartheid. If your deep soul searching lead you to this conclusion, I much fear for your soul. You use mild words… this is not a ‘situation’. A situation is when you find yourself in a somewhat awkward social position. This is a human catastrophe, where hundreds of innocent lives are brutally taken, homes are destroyed, and a whole nation is imprisoned inside a big wall. you do not have to do to organise an afterthought of a performance. all you have to do is not to support the oppressive racist military regime.
    • Colm O Cinnseala Settlements in West Bank are for Jews only. Israel operates a system of different laws for Jews and Gentiles. There are even roads and buses that are banned for the use of non-Jews (Gentiles). In courts Palestinian are judged by Jewish judges never the other way around. Only Palestinians are imprisoned by Jews never the other way around. Only Palestinians are controlled by Jews at road checkpoint, never the other way around. I could go on but it boils down to a simple truth – Israel operates a policy of apartheid in the West Bank. Its your call Stanley.
      21 hours ago · Like · 3
    • Brian Kwoba Thank you to all the articulate voices that have put your time, effort, and passion into this discussion. I have learned so much from all the posters on this thread and the last one and my only regret is that I didn’t find out about this sooner.
      Stanley, I used to look up to you, and study your music as an aspiring jazz guitarist. I appreciate that you opened a space for dialogue here. That is something most artists do not do. And perhaps we did not do enough to explain to you the relationship between the ‘inner/spiritual’ and ‘outside/material’ dimensions of this situation. 
      At the same time, as a BLACK man from Chicago, you should know what systemic racism look and feels like. And you should know how it masks itself behind “liberal” and “progressive” packaging. That is what the Israeli government is going to do with you and your artistry: use it to cover up all the violence and oppression that is is dispensing on a daily basis. 
      I used to look up to you, but now I have to wonder how much blood money you’re being paid by the Israeli government in exchange for your complicity in whitewashing and ‘normalizing’ the image of that murderous and criminal regime.

      SHAME ON YOU for crossing the picket line organized by one of the most oppressed people in the world. 
      Don’t be an Uncle Tom for apartheid!
      14 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3
    • Hala Khamis Nassar You just cannot have the cake and eat it too.!!
      12 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Elise Hendrick Using new-agey platitudes like “negative energy” and “love and light” to dismiss oppressed people’s calls for solidarity is basically the same as telling the woman on the beach who asks for a few hundred pesos so she can get something to eat to piss off because she’s in your sun. Either way, the idea is that all this talk of justice and oppression and struggle is really messing up your personal good-vibes bubble.
      11 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Fatima Husseni Thank you for honoring your commitment to your fans and your music.
    • Paola Bacchetta There is no “honor” in supporting Israel. This position of keeping Israel happy while promising to throw crumbs to Palestine later sounds quite self-serving. Do you not think it is a bit arrogant to imagine you can determine what to do for Palestinians, who have long analyzed the situation and formulated their own terms of struggle? Palestinians have asked for a boycott, not publicity stunt charity.
      6 hours ago · Like · 2
    • Sandeep Bakshi Yay Paola, I learn so much from you, thanks for taking is up!

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