Demonstrations have been held in New York in response to the police murder of Sean Bell.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire Photo File
By Norman (Otis) Richmond
Many in the African Canadian community are saying that El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) was right 99 and a one-half
percent on the question of Black liberation. They are questioning Malcolm X’s statement that "South is everything South of the Canadian border”. This is a result of custom officials stopping Malcolm’s namesake Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panther Party from entering Canada from Toronto’s Lester Pearson international airport yesterday.
Shabazz was scheduled to speak at a Black youth rally at 2pm and later at Ryerson University at 7pm. Ryerson University voted not to allow the lecture and it was moved to the Nation of Islam’s building in another part of Toronto.
According to a May 14, 2007 article on Macleans.ca, head line reads “Jewish groups decry speech by New Black Panther Party leader”.” The piece goes on to say, “ A scheduled visit in Canada by the leader of the U.S.-based New Black Panther Party has raised the ire and concern of Jewish groups who say his views are hateful.”
Not only did Jewish organizations weigh in on this issue. Both the Federal and provincial governments jumped into the mix. The Globe & Mail reported Anita Bromberg, director of legal affairs for B’nai Brith Canada they took their objection to the office of Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day.
“A spokeswoman for Mr. Day yesterday refused to comment on whether the minister's office intervened to have Mr. Shabazz stopped at the border. But a terse e-mail statement suggested that Mr. Shabazz was viewed as a "threat."
"While I cannot comment on this specific case, I can tell you that our new government is committed to ensuring that Canada will not be safe haven for those who promote hatred and for those who pose a threat to our safety and security," Mr. Day said. "On this, our tolerance level is zero."
Premier Dalton McGuinty said Shabazz’s views “are clearly different” from those held in Ontario.”
Ontario Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter said yesterday Shabazz “has a record of being anti-Semitic, he has a record of being anti-police and it’s very troublesome”.
The corporate media in Toronto joined in and attempted to crucify the organizer of a rally for “Education Not Incarceration” where Shabazz was to be the featured speaker. However, as Royson James pointed out in the Toronto Star, “Young Black activist has press for lunch”. James was correct.
The president of Black Youth Taking Action, Nkem Anizor, a 26 year old female university graduate used the press conference to invoke memories of W.E. B. Du Bois, J.A. Rogers, Marcus Garvey and John Henrik Clarke. Anizor, who is not from the “can we all just get along” school of thought pointed out to the gathering of scribes, “We are not on a plantation.”
"Don't think for a second that black people did not give education to the world. We civilized the entire planet," she said, from the Greeks to the Romans, thanks to the Egyptian civilization that predates Europe. "So if anybody knows how to teach it's us."
Anizor was clearly upset that the press only wanted to discuss Shabazz and not the issue of “Education Not Incarceration”.
The issues Black Youth
Taking Action wanted to highlight were:
1. SCRAPPING THE SAFE SCHOOLS ACT.
2. STOPPING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE OF THE BRAMPTON SUPERJAIL (put the $250 million dollars towards diversion, open custody, rehabilitation and alternative schooling programs)
3. CHANGING THE K-12 CURRICULM TO INCLUDE THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF BLACK PEOPLE TO CIVILIZATION
4. ESTABLISHING K-12 BLACK –FOCUSED SCHOOLS
W.E.B. Du Bois, Eric Williams, Walter Rodney and Gerald Horne have all documented how African slavery fuelled Capitalism. While Imperialism invokes anti Semitism Black Radicals talk about anti-Kemetism.
The ghost of Malcolm is haunting not only North America but, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Australia as well. Malcolm was the inspiration for the Black Panther Party which was started in Lownde County, Alabama with organizers like Kwame Ture and Willie Ricks then spread to Oakland, California with Huey P.Newton and Bobby Seale. The Black Panther Parties were secular formations; the New Black Panther Party unlike Ture’s and the Newton and Seale formations is based on Liberation Theology.