"You were given this life; it is your duty and also your entitlement as a human being to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”
Bangladeshi New Yorker.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Settler colonialism operates through internal/external colonial modes simultaneously because there is no spatial separation between metropole and colony. For example, in the United States, many Indigenous peoples have been forcibly removed from their homelands onto reservations, indentured, and abducted into state custody, signaling the form of colonization as simultaneously internal (via boarding schools and other biopolitical modes of control) and external (via uranium mining on Indigenous land in the US Southwest and oil extraction on Indigenous land in Alaska) with a frontier (the US military still nicknames all enemy territory “Indian Country”). The horizons of the settler colonial nation-state are total and require a mode of total appropriation of Indigenous life and land, rather than the selective expropriation of profit-producing fragments.
Settler colonialism is different from other forms of colonialism in that settlers come with the intention of making a new home on the land, a homemaking that insists on settler sovereignty over all things in their new domain. Thus, relying solely on postcolonial literatures or theories of coloniality that ignore settler colonialism will not help to envision the shape that decolonization must take in settler colonial contexts. Within settler colonialism, the most important concern is land/water/air/subterranean earth (land, for shorthand, in this article.) Land is what is most valuable, contested, required. This is both because the settlers make Indigenous land their new home and source of capital, and also because the disruption of Indigenous relationships to land represents a profound epistemic, ontological, cosmological violence. This violence is not temporally contained in the arrival of the settler but is reasserted each day of occupation. This is why Patrick Wolfe (1999) emphasizes that settler colonialism is a structure and not an event. In the process of settler colonialism, land is remade into property and human relationships to land are restricted to the relationship of the owner to his property. Epistemological, ontological, and cosmological relationships to land are interred, indeed made pre-modern and backward. Made savage.
In order for the settlers to make a place their home, they must destroy and disappear the Indigenous peoples that live there. Indigenous peoples are those who have creation stories, not colonization stories, about how we/they came to be in a particular place - indeed how we/they came to be a place. Our/their relationships to land comprise our/their epistemologies, ontologies, and cosmologies. For the settlers, Indigenous peoples are in the way and, in the destruction of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous communities, and over time and through law and policy, Indigenous peoples’ claims to land under settler regimes, land is recast as property and as a resource. Indigenous peoples must be erased, must be made into ghosts.
Terrorism has no country. It’s transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike. At the first sign of trouble, terrorists can pull up stakes and move their “factories” from country to country in search of a better deal. Just like the multinationals.
Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings, who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven’s sake, rights.
The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Osama bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America’s old wars: the millions killed in Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel-backed by the U.S.-invaded Lebanon in 1982, the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators, and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled, and supplied with arms.
Who is Black? Striking Images of the World’s Dark-Skinned People Inaccurately Considered Non-Black
1. “Black Arab” may be a confusing concept to many people in the West, where Arabs are classified as Caucasian people. However, all uses of the word “Arab” prior to the rise of Islam in the 7th century refer specifically to people belonging to the Bedouin ethnic group. After that and leading up to the 13th century, people with no Bedouin heritage began to refer to themselves as Arabs.
Today, there are still many “Black Arab” ethnic groups, such as the Tuaregs and Nubians of North Africa to the Mahra of Southern Arabia, who are still in existence, and whose presence in the the “Middle East” predates the coming of the paler-skinned Asiatics. Today’s Arabs are a mixture of these groups, with those of darker-skin facing the typical discrimination and oppression seen by the darker peoples of the world.
Ibn Mandour, of the 13th century, writes in his well-known Arabic lexicon Lisan Al Arab, “He (Al Fadl ibn Al Abbas), ’I am pure’ because the color of the Arabs is dark”. Mandour further describes the pure Arabs by saying, “Lank hair is the kind of hair that most non-Arab Persians and Romans have while kinky hair is the kind of hair that most Arabs have.”
2.Blacks Of Latin America
According to some very moderate estimates, between 1502 and 1866, 11.2 million Africans survived the Middle Passage and were forced from slave ships into servitude in the Americas. Of those 11.2 million, only 450,000 came to the United States. The rest of the enslaved Africans who survived the journey were taken to the Caribbean, Latin America and South America. The vast majority of them were brought to Brazil, as a result the country has one of the largest population of African descendants outside of Africa, second to India.
Today many Black people in Latin America are proudly claiming their African identity and fighting to no longer be invisible in the countries they currently inhabit. They have challenged their oppression and marginalization, all while observing their culture being absorbed into mainstream Latin American life, many times without proper credit to it’s true origins.
The total population of the Americas is approximately 910,720,588 people. Adding the population of Blacks in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, and South America would roughly total 183,708,067 or 20.2 % of the population in the Western Hemisphere – a modest estimation considering that Blacks are not counted separately in some countries, counted as multiracial in others, and undercounted in all.
3.The Indigenous Blacks Of East Asia
Before waves of Han migrations around 1600 B.C., the original inhabitants of China were Black Africans who arrived there about 100,000 years ago and dominated the region until a few thousand years ago. They were followed by the Aboriginal ethnic groups, who are part of the Austronesian people who have come from the Malay Archipelago 6,000 years ago. Pejoratively called Nigritos , or Little Black People, by the Spanish invaders who observed them in Southeast Asia, these Africans were still living in China during the Qing dynasty (1644 to 1911).
At about 35,000 B.C. a group of African Chinese, who became known as the Jomon entered Japan, they became the first humans to inhabit the Japanese Islands. Later, another group; now known as the Ainu, followed. Genetically they’re more similar to dark-skinned groups found in Southeast Asia than the Chinese, Japanese or Koreans.
The original Chinese have been wiped out and the Ainu have been subjugated to grave injustices by their lighter-skinned countrymen. Although the true number of Ainu descendants living in Japan is unknown, the official numbers suggest there are only about 25,000 descendants of the Ainu remaining, while the unofficial number claims upward of 200,000.
4.Black People of Southeast Asia
The Black people who are labeled “The Negritos,” are believed to be the earliest inhabitants of Southeast Asia, remnants of the earliest populations from the Out of Africa migration. The term refers to the current populations which include 12 Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, six Semang peoples of Malaysia, the Mani of Thailand, and also the Aeta, Agta, Ati and 30 other peoples of the Philippines.
They are believed to be the descendants of the indigenous negroid populations of the Sunda landmass and New Guinea, predating the Austronesian peoples who later entered Southeast Asia.
Genetically these people are some of the most distantly related human beings to Black Africans on earth, and most related to Southeast Asians. Some people attempt to use this fact to remove them from the Black race, however; a more reasonable conclusion acknowledges it as a testament to to the broad range of diversity among the Black people of the world.
5.Black People of India
As you may know when Black people left Africa, India was one of the first place they came to and settled. With the second largest population in the world, and a significant percentage of those people having African heritage, some scholars say India to this day has the largest Black population of any country in the world.
Ancestral South Indians who originally inhabited much of the subcontinent some 20,000 to 30,000 years ago actually looked African. The proof of this lies off the East coast of India, on the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Andaman islands lie in the middle of Bay of Bengal east of India.
After the invasions of India by lighter-skinned Eurasians, Indians, particularly in the north, have become more of a mixed people, among which darker-skinned people, the Untouchables, have been bound to a life of servitude and degradation via the Hindu caste system.
However, despite thousands of years of killing and miscegenation, some of the original Blacks have survived in pockets around India and nearby islands.
Another African group, the Siddis, an ethnic group inhabiting India and Pakistan, were brought to the Indian subcontinent, begining in the 7th century, as a result of the transatlantic slave trade by Arab and Portuguese slave traders.
6.The Khoisan of South Africa
The Khoisans refers to two groups of peoples of Southern Africa, who share similar physical and linguistic characteristics. Culturally, the Khoisan are divided into the hunter-gatherer San and the pastoral Khoikhoi, although neither group purely live those lifestyles today.
The Khoikhoi were previous belittled with the label of Hottentots. Likewise, the Sans are often referenced by the pejorative term “Bushmen.” Both are often called the derogatory term pygmy still till this day.
As one of Africa’s oldest cultural groups, the Khoisan are also the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20,000 years. Genetic evidence suggests they are also one of the oldest peoples in the world and genetically the closest surviving people to the original Homo sapien “core” from which all human-beings emerged.
They are generally small in stature, with very tightly curled hair, and with light yellowish skin, which wrinkles very early in life. Their facial features show that what historically has been categorized as Mongoloid is actually Africanoid. Despite the obvious, under the apartheid system in SA, they were classified as “Colored” instead of Black.
7.Indigenous Australians and People of Oceania
By now it’s evident that Africa is not the only place on earth that has indigenous Black people. Australia and the islands of Oceania also have indigenous Black people that populated the area. Oceania is a large region of the world that includes thousands of Pacific islands, including the areas of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.
The “First” Out of Africa migration, circa 60,000 B.C, saw Blacks with straight hair, taking a route along the coast of Asia, and then “Island hopping” across the Indian Ocean to New Guinea around 50,000 BC, continuing the southward expansion into Australia and Tasmania around 40,000 BC.
The ancestral Austronesian peoples are believed to have arrived considerably later, approximately 3,500 years ago, as part of a gradual seafaring migration from Southeast Asia, possibly originating in Taiwan. These Austronesian-speaking peoples ranged in skin color from light to dark. Some mixed with the black skinned Papuan speaking aborigines to give rise to the Melanesian people that later spread eastward all the way to the Fiji Islands and even to Hawaii.
Despite having their numbers decreased due to miscegenation with and extermination by various Asians and European invaders, a significant Black population still exists in Oceania. Unsurprisingly, however; are still being classified outside of the Black race.
We have been called “a lost generation…[not] giving birth to anything new” and “too quiet, too online.” In fact the opposite is true. There is a deafening roar in cyberspace. If a presidential election can be won through the support of an online movement, if articles and ideas can reach tens of millions of people overnight, and create a four-thousand person discussion, if YouTube can receive 200,000 new videos a day, then being “too quiet” and “too online” is the opinion of someone who doesn’t understand what it means to be online. Not creating anything new and not being loud enough are not our problems. So why the disrespect from the famous 60s generation? Because we aren’t doing what they want us to do.
Most of us were born after the end of the Cold War or were too young to remember it. The political climate we grew up in was one of supreme hypocrisy. One President nearly got impeached for a superficial sex scandal and then another later broke international laws to preemptively start a war without UN support and was re-elected to serve 2 full terms without so much as a breath of legal retribution.
The problem my generation faces is inheriting a world that baffles us: a world of hypocrisy and crisis; a world on the brink of collapse yet at the height of human civilization.
Imagine for a moment being one of us. Taught in school that all people are created equal, that all countries are sovereign, that freedom, democracy, and capitalism are embraced by all people and nations because they are ultimate ideals that allow us to prosper and live as we choose in the pursuit of happiness. Old enough to read the New York Times online and blog on Huffington Post, we see a very different world. Equality? Not for the poor, not for LGBT. Capitalism? It appears to have been a house of cards recklessly constructed by greed for the benefit of a few. Sovereignty? Not for resource-poor or oil-rich countries. Ideals? Not for the media or our political and business leaders.
Now we must navigate a world where a concentration of power, wealth, and media often conflicts with every ideal the Western world is supposed to stand for. If you think we are too quiet and too online you should consider that we have two choices. One, to accept the values we were taught to believe in and totally redefine and reconstruct the way our government/economy/society works so that these ideals match reality. Or two, to accept the world we live in and think up a new set of values to justify our lives.
I’m still learning how to stop apologizing
for all that I am; I wear my skin like a blanket
that’s never been able to keep you warm enough
and Mom always used to say if you stay out in
the cold, you’re gonna get sick, I don’t want you
getting sick, please, don’t get sick of me.
I’m wearing out my I’m sorry’s like my
dignity’s on clearance but please hear me, they’ve
got me mislabeled. I’m not trying to sell anything, I’m
just trying to keep you around. And I know that the sound
of the same syllables over and over can become like your
favorite melody ruined by your alarm clock telling you to
wake up to nothing ever changing, but I’m trying,
and I’m afraid of what happens
when the music stops playing.
I hope my I love you’s never stop making
your heartbeat do pirouettes along your ribcage.
I hope my sadness doesn’t replace my name
on your Caller ID, I hope that you remember that
this isn’t me, that my genetics fell on a fault line and
my happiness fluctuates on the days of the week, but I
still love you with every tremor in every earthquake of my
universe. I love you when I go away; when I am nothing
but tired eyes and chapped lips and empty, and empty, when I
force you to cradle my missed calls against your cheek because
I’ve adopted an impediment in positive speech, I’m sorry. I’m
sorry that we had to drive back to the house on Tuesday when I
forgot to take my pills, and I’m sorry that I’m not up for going out
tomorrow, I’m sorry that my mind wanders sometimes when you
tell me about your day, I- I do want to hear about your day,
I am so sorry
and yeah, I’m still learning how
to stop apologizing, baby, but I still love you, so hard.
Mainly, I’m just –
mainly, I’m just sorry
for being selfish enough to ask you to stay.