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Monday, 6 March 2006
The Taliban's former spokesman is now a Yale student. Anyone see a problem with that?
Never has an article made me blink with astonishment as much as when I read in yesterday's New York Times magazine that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa. This is taking the obsession that U.S. universities have with promoting diversity a bit too far.

Something is very wrong at our elite universities. Last week Larry Summers resigned as president of Harvard when it became clear he would lose a no-confidence vote held by politically correct faculty members furious at his efforts to allow ROTC on campus, his opposition to a drive to have Harvard divest itself of corporate investments in Israel, and his efforts to make professors work harder. Now Yale is giving a first-class education to an erstwhile high official in one of the most evil regimes of the latter half of the 20th century--the government that harbored the terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001.

"In some ways," Mr. Rahmatullah told the New York Times. "I'm the luckiest person in the world. I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale." One of the courses he has taken is called Terrorism-Past, Present and Future.

Note:Go Check out SYRIANA good people The U.S.A has been Manufacturing These Terrorist.

Many foreign readers of the Times will no doubt snicker at the revelation that naive Yale administrators scrambled to admit Mr. Rahmatullah. The Times reported that Yale "had another foreigner of Rahmatullah's caliber apply for special-student status." Richard Shaw, Yale's dean of undergraduate admissions, told the Times that "we lost him to Harvard," and "I didn't want that to happen again."

In the spring of 2001, I was one of several writers at The Wall Street Journal who interviewed Mr. Rahmatullah at our offices across the street from the World Trade Center. His official title was second foreign secretary; his mission was to explain the regime's decision to rid the country of two 1,000-year-old towering statues of Buddha carved out of rock 90 miles from the Afghan capital, Kabul. The archeological treasures were considered the greatest remaining examples of third- and fifth-century Greco-Indian art in the world. But Taliban leader Mullah Omar had ordered all statues in the country destroyed, calling them idols of infidels and repugnant to Islam.

Even Muslim nations like Pakistan denounced the move. Mr. Rahmatullah, who at the time claimed to be 24 but now says he was lying about his age and was actually two years younger, cut a curious figure in our office. He wore a traditional Afghan turban and white baggy pants and sported a full beard. His English, while sometimes elliptical, was smooth and colloquial. He made himself very clear when he said the West had no business worrying about the statues, because it had cut off trade and foreign aid to the Taliban. "When the world destroys the future of our children with economic sanctions, they have no right to worry about our past," he told us, according to my notes from the meeting.

He smiled as he informed us that the statues had been blown up with explosive charges only after people living nearby had been removed. He had no comment on reports that Mullah Omar had ordered 100 cows be sacrificed as atonement for the Taliban government's failure to destroy the Buddhas earlier.

As for Osama bin Laden, Mr. Rahmatullah called the Saudi fugitive a "guest" of his government and said it hadn't been proved that bin Laden was linked to any terrorist acts, despite his indictment in the U.S. for planning the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He said that if the embassy bombings were terrorist acts, then so was the Clinton administration's firing cruise missiles into his country in an attempt to kill bin Laden. "You killed 19 innocent people," he told us.

After the meeting I walked him out. I vividly recall our stopping at a window as he stared up at the World Trade Center. We stood there for a minute chatting, but I don't recall what he said. He then left. I next thought about him a few months later, on Sept. 11, as I stood outside our office building covered in dust and debris staring at the remains of the towers that had just collapsed.

Note: Check this out,I occasionally wondered what had happened to Mr. Rahmatullah. I assumed he either had died in the collapse of the Taliban regime, had been jailed, or was living quietly in the new, democratic Afghanistan.

From newspaper clips I knew that his visit to the Journal's offices was part of a PR tour. He visited other newspapers and spoke at universities, and the State Department had granted him a meeting with midlevel officials. None of the meetings went particularly well. At the University of Southern California, Mr. Rahmatullah expressed irritation with a question about statues that at that point hadn't yet been blown up. "You know, really, I am asked so much about these statues that I have a headache now," he moaned. "If I go back to Afghanistan, I will blow them."

Carina Chocano, a writer for Salon.com who attended several of his speeches in the U.S., noted the hostility of many of his audiences. "A lesser publicist might have melted down," she wrote. "But the cool, unruffled and media-smart Hashemi instead spun his story into a contemporary parable of ironic iconoclasm," peppering his lectures with "statue jokes."

But sometimes his humor really backfired. At a speech for the Atlantic Council, Mr. Rahmatullah was confronted by a woman in the audience who lifted the burkha she was wearing and chastised him for the Taliban's infamous treatment of women. "You have imprisoned the women--it's a horror, let me tell you," she cried. Mr. Rahmatullah responded with a sneer: "I'm really sorry to your husband. He might have a very difficult time with you."

A videotape of his cutting remark became part of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," and infuriated the likes of Mavis Leno, wife of "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno. Mrs. Leno helped found the Feminist Majority's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan and devoted countless hours to focusing public attention on the plight of Afghanistan's women and girls. "I will never, ever abandon these women," she often said before the Taliban's overthrow. Here's hoping she has saved some of her outrage for Yale's decision to welcome Mr. Rahmatullah with open arms.

In his interview with the New York Times, Mr. Rahmatullah, said that if he had to do it all over, he would have been less "antagonistic" in his remarks during his U.S. road tour. "I regret the way I spoke sometimes. Now I would try to be softer. A little bit." Just a little?

Today, when he is asked if Afghanistan would be better off if the Taliban were still in charge, Mr. Rahmatullah, has a mixed answer: "Economically, no. In terms of security, yes. In terms of general happiness, no. In the long-term interests of the country? I don't think so. I think the radicals were taking over and doing crazy stuff. I regret when people think of the Taliban and then think of me--that feeling people have after they know I was affiliated with them is painful to me." Note that the government official who represented the Taliban abroad now claims to have been only "affiliated" with them.

Even though he evinces only semiregret for his actions in service to the Taliban, there is evidence that he has become quite a charmer. After the fall of the Taliban, he resumed a friendship he had developed with Mike Hoover, a CBS News cameraman who, according to a 2001 Associated Press story, had visited Afghanistan three times as a guest of the Taliban. Mr. Hoover inspired Mr. Rahmatullah to think about going to the U.S. to finish his studies. "I thought he could do a lot as a student/teacher," said Mr. Hoover. He persuaded Bob Schuster, an attorney friend of his from Wyoming who had gone to Yale, to help out. As the Times reported, "Schuster called the provost's office to ask how an ex-Taliban envoy with a fourth-grade education and a high-school equivalency degree might go about applying to one of the world's top universities."

Intrigued by Mr. Rahmatullah, Dean Shaw arranged for his admission into a nondegree program for special students. He apparently has done well, so far pulling down a 3.33 grade-point average.

There is something to be said for the instinct to reach out to one's former enemies. America's postwar reconciliation with the Japanese and Germans has paid great dividends. But there are limits.

During a trip to Germany I once ran into a relative of Hans Fritsche, the top deputy to Josef Goebbels, whom the Guardian, a British newspaper, once described as "the Nazi Propaganda Minister's leading radio spokesman [whose] commentaries were among the main items of German home and foreign broadcasting." After the war he was tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg, but because he had only given hate-filled speeches, he was acquitted of all charges in 1946. In the early 1950s, he applied for a visa to visit the U.S. and explain his regret at having served an evil regime. He was turned down, to the everlasting regret of the relative with whom I spoke. She noted that Albert Speer, Hitler's former architect, was also turned down for a U.S. visa even after he had completed a 20-year prison sentence and had written a best-selling book detailing Hitler's madness.

I don't believe Mr. Rahmatullah had direct knowledge of the 9/11 plot, and I don't think he has ever killed anyone. I can appreciate that he is trying to rebuild his life. But he willingly and cheerfully served an evil regime in a manner that would have made Goebbels proud. That he was 22 at the time is little of an excuse. There are many poor, bright students--American and foreign alike--who would jump at the opportunity to attend Yale. Why should Mr. Rahmatullah go to the line ahead of all of them? That's a question Yale alumni should ask when their alma mater comes looking for contributions. Note:Go Check out SYRIANA good people The U.S.A Has Been Manufacturing These Terrorist.

President Bush, who already has a well-known disdain for Yale elitism from his student days there, may also have some questions. In the wake of his being blindsided by his own administration over the Dubai port deal, he should be interested in finding out exactly who at the State Department approved Mr. Rahmatullah's application for a student visa.

"I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights!"-Warren G. Harding



Posted by ericnunnally at 8:40 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006 8:45 PM CST
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Sunday, 5 March 2006
Blacks make 'covenant' for change
San Francisco Chronicle
BAY AREA
Blacks make 'covenant' for change
Plan of action gets rousing response in S.F., Oakland

Carrie Sturrock, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, March 5, 2006


As if reciting a prayer, the crowd of more than 2,000 read the lines together in a solemn voice:

Covenant No. 1: Securing the right to health care and well-being.

Covenant No. 2: Establishing a system of public education in which all children achieve at high levels and reach their full potential.

Covenant No. 3: Correcting the system of unequal justice.

Those who attended recited all 10 covenants outlined in the new book, "The Covenant with Black America," at Oakland's Allen Temple Baptist Church on Saturday morning. A few hours later, roughly 1,000 more did the same at UCSF's Mission Bay campus.

Both town hall meetings were the last stops on a seven-city tour by broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor and author Cornel West to call attention to the crises facing America's black community and to organize people around a plan of action detailed in the book -- which they said could soon lead to a mass movement for change.

"This is an awesome sight," Smiley told the Oakland crowd, which spilled into a parking lot where a large speaker broadcast the meeting from inside the church's packed auditorium. "It speaks to the hunger that exists in our community ... the hunger to be heard, the hunger to be empowered."

Released Feb. 22, "The Covenant" is now the top-selling nonfiction work on Amazon.com. It covers everything from a lack of affordable housing to the alarming incarceration rate of black men, and then offers examples of ways communities across the nation have addressed those problems. It also tells individuals how they can take action.

"We give you the facts," Smiley said. "I told you information is power -- knowledge is power. We can't be in an ideological battle to redeem the soul of this country if we don't have the facts."

The panel in Oakland also included mayoral candidate Ron Dellums; Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude; Angela Glover Blackwell, founder of PolicyLink, a nonprofit think tank; and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. The discussion, which included a question-and-answer session at the end, touched on a range of issues: the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged New Orleans' poor African American community; the deepening inequalities between the rich and poor in the global world economy; the financial cost of the war in Iraq and the resources it's taking from problems in this country.

"The only way any of it will be public policy is if we have a mass movement ... demanding that legislation be enacted," Lee said. "We have to reorder our national priorities. This war has got to stop: $300 billion. $300 billion. $300 billion. $300 billion of our tax dollars. ... That's our money. We have to hold elected officials at all levels accountable."

Smiley envisions a televised forum for the 2008 presidential election in which candidates address issues raised in the book and are "prepared to talk to black folks about what matters to them."

Throughout the meeting, speakers received standing ovations and sounds of affirmation from the enthusiastic crowd. Oakland resident Dera Williams, 54, staked out a seat early because, she said, black America is finally coming together to address the problems plaguing it.

"It's a matter of life and death," she said. "We're going to perish if we don't stand up."

Wardell Hurst, a retired educator from the Oakland Unified School District, feels a similar sense of urgency, especially in public education.

"There's a lack of concern," he said. "And I guess, if we wanted to be real, there's an element of plain old institutional racism that keeps raising its head."

The book lists startling statistics in all the realms covered by the covenants. For example, 46 percent of black adults scored in the lowest category of the National Adult Literacy survey, compared with 14 percent of white adults.

"The Covenant" offers examples of efforts to improve these problems, which people across the nation can emulate. In the chapter on education, the book describes the Harlem Children's Zone, a community-based program that focuses not just on academics but also on fostering family stability and finding employment opportunities for people. Under the heading "What Every Individual Can Do Now," the book tells readers: "Read to your children or grandchildren every day" and "Become involved in your children's school."

Smiley told the crowd that West and Glaude together wrote a "covenant" on high school and college curriculum that educators can access for free at www.covenantwithblackamerica.com that details the struggle for black freedom in America. It has students read everything from "The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Du Bois to "Warriors Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High" by Melba Pattillo Beals.

Until now, Glaude said, people in his generation have felt born out of place -- that they would have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. but instead just listen to hip-hop.

"Tavis has made me feel over the course of this journey I'm in the right time," he said to loud applause, later adding, "The covenant is our moment."

But it's not going to be easy to make such wholesale changes, Smiley warned.

"If we don't want this thing to be something that's just a phenomenon, it's going to require organization," he said.

And people can't rely on individuals the media have labeled "black leaders" to do the organizing, said psychologist Julia Hare, who spoke on the panel in San Francisco. In fact, she said, the book could make them obsolete.

"We can finally get rid of 'black leaders' because this book makes everyone in the room a leader," she said.

In both meetings, people asked questions afterward. One person asked the panel to define "black" and West replied, "In the modern world, those who are subject to white supremacist abuse." Another audience member asked why the panel had hope that youth would strive to better themselves, because he didn't see any evidence of that. Glaude responded, "If we don't demonstrate unconditional faith in our young folk, then they're going to act out because they feel there is no future for them."

Afterward, in the parking lot of Allen Temple, 17-year-old Darcel Armstead said he came to the meeting to support what's being talked about in the covenant. Hearing West in person was inspiring, he said.

"Most people don't ... make the effort to make a movement for black people," Armstead said. "African Americans actually want to go places in life -- that's the message he's putting out."

Chronicle staff writer Leslie Fulbright contributed to this report. E-mail Carrie Sturrock at csturrock@sfchronicle.com.

Posted by ericnunnally at 5:40 AM CST
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Saturday, 4 March 2006
White people want to wipe us out
Researcher, author insists AIDS a weapon of genocide

Dr. Jack Felder was born in Columbia, S.C., in 1939. From 1962-1964, he was a U.S. Army germ warfare specialist assigned to the
5th Army Regiment in Chicago. He did the same job for Natich Labs outside Boston, Mass., from 1964–1966 as a civilian. From 1966 to 1970, he was a research scientist and translator at Siemens Firm in Berlin, Germany. He returned to the U.S. in 1974 to teach science and math at Harlem Prep in New York City. He earned Master’s and Doctorate degrees in biochemistry from New York State University and has authored and self-published over 15 books including: "From the Statue of Liberty to the Statue of Bigotry" (1986); "AIDS–U.S. Germ Warfare at its Best with Documents and Proof" (1986); "Who Really Assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King" (1987); and "Who Really Was Behind the Assassination of Malcolm X" (1988). He retired from the New York City Public Schools in 2001. He recently sat down with Final Call contributor Lamont Muhammad to discuss the AIDS pandemic.

Final Call News (FCN): How does a biochemist become the author and activist you are?

Dr. Jack Felder (DJF):
I was a germ warfare specialist for this country in the 1960s. When Black people started dying of this mysterious disease (AIDS) in the early 1980s, it looked like what we used to do when I was in the military. So I investigated, and low and behold, I came up with all the signatures of biological warfare. By 1986, I had gathered enough material to write an article. It was called "U.S. Germ Warfare at its Best with Documents and Proof." The owner of the Black American newspaper read the article, hugged me and we cried. He said: "Dr. Felder, (I’m going to) publish this. I don’t care what happens.’ So he published it on a Thursday. That Sunday some White guy knocked on my door. He said "Oh! You’re Dr. Felder? So what do you need? What can we do for you." I told him, "If you don’t get away from my house, I’m gonna get my shotgun." So if I had any doubts that AIDS was germ warfare against Blacks, that eradicated it. I have since dedicated my life to doing research and trying to educate my people that White people want to wipe us out.

FCN: What evidence do you use to make your argument?

DJF:
History! White people used smallpox to wipe out the original Hawaiians, the American Indians and they even used it against each other in the American Revolutionary War. Do you know that 80 percent of (Native American Indians) suffer with diabetes? There ain’t no way nature has done that. They (Whites) have induced diabetes into these people to get rid of them.

FCN: What do you think is motivating these people to kill and how are they spreading death today?

DJF:
White people are scared to death. There are 60 billion people in the world today and only 500-600 million are White people. … They are afraid that we will do to them what they have done to us for the last 500 years—genocide. So they are determined to reduce the (people of color) population by using AIDS and other methods. They picked Africans because they seem to hate Africans more than any other race. It just drives them insane that Blacks are on this planet, you know what I’m saying? So they spread AIDS all over Africa claiming they came to help inoculate against smallpox. The proof is in the puddin’. Everywhere they inoculated against smallpox, AIDS popped up. When they went to Sudan, a Muslim nation, they were unsuccessful because of the blood thing with Muslims—no inoculations. No AIDS broke out in Sudan.

FCN: So you are arguing that the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) pretended to assist Africans and other dark people while actually inoculating them to wipe them out?

DJF:
A few Whites make the argument against themselves. Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz wrote a book called "Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola–Nature, Accident, or Intentional?" He argues AIDS was man-made and designed for population reduction. Dr. Horowitz also wrote "Death in the Air: Globalism, Tourism and Toxic Warfare." In it he asks, "What if the CDC was really the White Center for (Control of the Diseases in people of color)?" What if the WHO was actually the White Health Organization? And what if the people sick people depend upon to heal them are responsible for manufacturing and manipulating diseases?’ He argues that they do. Dr. Robert Strecher and Dr. Alan Cantwell also argue in their books that AIDS was man-made. Lyndon LaRouche spent years in jail for claiming AIDS was man-made and designed to reduce targeted populations.

FCN: So what is your spin on the UN Conference on AIDS that just ended in Madrid, Spain?

DJF:
It was a sham like the rest of the AIDS conferences White folks have held. Let me give you an example. If people have syphilis or gonorrhea, [doctors] give them a shot of penicillin which knocks out the disease. If you have any other disease, they would give you a shot to kill the disease. No sane person would come up with a vaccination to cure an existing disease. They are spreading the disease with the vaccinations. They do not intend to find a cure because … it is doing what they want. It is reducing the Black, Brown, Yellow and Red populations and they are making money (in pharmaceutical sales). The UN is a sham. It was set up after White (sic) War II to carve up the rest of the world for White people. One of the early secretary-generals, Kurt Waldheim of Austria, was a Nazi and the Preamble to the UN Charter was written by Apartheid era South African General Smut. It is all a sham against dark people.

FCN: What can you say about the people you come from in South Carolina?

DJF:
I didn’t learn that I was Gullah until I got to New York and started studying my true history. I learned that my people, the Gullah, are the Blackest and most pure Africans in America. I knew that when the slave master raped and impregnated our woman with half-caste children, we threw them babies in the Copper River. That’s how we stayed so Black.

FCN: Finally, what do you think will turn this situation around for Black people on our planet?

DJF:
I do not believe God will allow the wicked to wipe us out, but we must learn that no other people are gonna save us. We must learn to put our differences aside and learn to work together for better and more healthy living.

FCN:
Thank you.

DJF:
Thank you, too.

Posted by ericnunnally at 12:59 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006 12:59 PM CST
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Sunday, 26 February 2006
Who Are Today's Drop Outs?
Who Are Today's School Dropouts?

A new report looks in-depth at the U.S. dropout rate as it applies to students from various racial-ethnic groups and from different income levels and geographic regions.

According to a new report, 5.7 percent of students dropped out of school in the school year ending October 1995. The report, Dropout Rates in the United States: 1995, which was released in July by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), says the number of dropouts hasn't changed significantly in the last ten years.

While year-to-year numbers might not be staggering, the cumulative effect of those numbers can be. In October 1995, the report states, nearly 3.9 million young adults ages 16 to 24 were not enrolled in a high school program and had not completed high school. That number represented 12 percent of the 32.4 million 16- to 24-year-olds in the United States in 1995!

"Concern over the dropout rate stems from an increased understanding of the importance of having an educated workforce," the report says. "Technological advances have increased the demand for skilled labor to the point where a high school education serves more as a minimum requirement for entry into the labor force. This increased emphasis on educational requirements makes the completion of a high school program more essential than ever."

And, the report adds, the dropout rate can impact people and statistics in many other ways:

* School dropouts are more likely to be unemployed or to earn less money than high school graduates do.
* Young women who drop out of high school are more likely to become pregnant at earlier ages and are more likely to be single parents.
* Dropouts are more likely to receive public assistance than graduates of high school.
* Dropouts comprise a disproportionate percentage of the nation's prison and death row inmates.

The new report examines data for the school year ending October 1995 and historic data dating back to 1972. This eighth annual report of dropout statistics goes into more detail than previous reports. Added to this year's report are special sections that look in-depth at the dropout rate as it applies to three specific sub-populations: foreign-born youths, youths retained at least once during their school years, and youths with disabilities.

HIGHLIGHTS OF DROPOUT DATA

Among the highlights gleaned from the data:*

* One-half million of the 9.5 million students (5.7 percent) enrolled in school left school without completing a high school program.
* Hispanic students are more likely to leave school than black or white students.
* Students of low-income families were six times more likely to leave school than students of high-income families.
* A multitude of additional factors -- including the ability to communicate in English and geographic region of residence -- have a correlation to dropout rates too.
* Nearly 40 percent of the 1995 dropouts were students 15-17 years of age.

* Data based on the number of youth ages 15-24 years enrolled in school in the 12 months preceding October, 1995

A CLOSER LOOK AT GENERAL DATA

* One-half million of the 9.5 million students (5.7 percent) enrolled in school left school without completing a high school program. Since 1972, the dropout rate has ranged from 4 percent to 6.7 percent. From 1972 to 1986, the rate dropped; since that time it hasn't decreased or increased significantly.

* Males were more likely than females to drop out (55 percent to 45 percent).

* Students who remain in school after the majority of others their age have left are more likely to drop out; 30 percent of students ages 20 and older dropped out. But youth ages 15 to 18 account for two-thirds of the total number of dropouts; and nearly 40 percent of dropouts were ages 15 to 17.

* The dropout rate among students of similar ages has decreased in the last decade. Among those students who completed their sophomore years in 1980, 9.9 percent ended up dropping out by August of 1982. Among the 1990 sophomore class, 5.6 percent were counted as dropouts by August of 1992.

* In 1995, more than 1.7 million young adults ages 18 to 24 earned high school credentials by passing an equivalency exam such as the General Educational Development (GED) test. That number represents 7.4 percent of young adults who were not still enrolled in high school in 1995.

A CLOSER LOOK AT RACE-ETHNICITY DATA

* Hispanic students are at greater risk of dropping out than white students are (12.4 percent to 4.5 percent). Blacks are slightly more likely than whites (6.4 percent to 4.5 percent) to drop out.

* Among youths ages 16 to 24, 8.6 percent of white youths were high school dropouts; 12.1 percent of black youths were dropouts; and nearly one-third of all Hispanic youths were dropouts.

* The gap between the dropout rates for black and white youths is closing. The 3.5-point gap is down significantly from that measured twenty years ago, when the difference was 10 to 11 percentage points.

* During the 1970s, between 86 and 87 percent of white young adults had a high school education; by 1995 that number had increased to 89.8 percent. The rate among black young adults has risen from between 70 and 74 percent in the 1970s to 84.5 percent in 1995. Among Hispanics the number has risen only slightly -- from between 56 and 62 percent in the 1970s to 62.8 percent in 1995.

* Hispanic dropouts don't get as far in school. More than half of the Hispanic dropouts didn't complete tenth grade compared with 31.1 percent of white dropouts and 26.6 percent of black dropouts.

* Among Hispanic dropouts, limitations related to language are a major factor for the high rate. The dropout rate is high for Hispanics born outside the United States (43 percent, as measured in 1989); for Hispanics who speak Spanish at home (32 percent versus 14 percent for those who speak English at home, according to a 1992 measure); and for Hispanics who report speaking English "not well" or "not at all" (62 percent and 83 percent respectively).

* Among different race-ethnic groups, the numbers who complete high school through an alternative means (ie., a GED test) are fairly even (6.9 percent for whites, 8.5 percent for blacks, and 8.6 percent for Hispanics).

A CLOSER LOOK AT INCOME LEVEL DATA

* Together, low-and middle income families comprise 90 percent of the dropout population. (Low-income families, those whose incomes fall in the bottom 20 percent of U.S. household income, account for 34 percent of the dropouts; middle-income families, those whose incomes fall in the middle 60 percent, account for 56 percent of dropouts.)

* White and black youths from families in the highest 20 percent of incomes have a similar (about 3 percent) risk of dropping out; white and black youths from families in the lowest 20 percent of incomes have increased, but still similar, dropout rates (about 19 percent for whites and 20 percent for blacks).

* Ninety-seven percent of young adults from families with high incomes completed high school; more than 90 percent of them earned a regular diploma and 4 percent followed an equivalency test alternative. Just over three-quarters of middle-income youth earned a regular diploma and 8 percent earned an equivalency. Nearly two-thirds of low-income students earned a regular diploma and 8 percent passed equivalency exams.

A CLOSER LOOK AT GEOGRAPHIC REGION DATA

Data from different regions of the country is impacted by the makeup of the population and the size of the region, of course, but the South has the highest dropout rate (43.9 percent of all U.S. dropouts), followed by the West (28.1 percent), the Midwest (18.2 percent) and the Northeast (9.9 percent).

This chart compares high-school completion rates of 18- to 24-year-olds not currently enrolled in high school or below by state; it compares 1990-92 data to 1993-95 data.
REGION STATE 1990-92 %* 1993-95%*
TOTAL 85.5 85.3
NORTHEAST Connecticut 89.9 94.7
Maine 91.9 92.9
Massachusetts 89.8 92.5
New Hampshire 87.9 86.9
New Jersey 90.8 91.8
New York 88.0 87.1
Pennsylvania 90.2 89.5
Rhode Island 87.9 89.4
Vermont 87.0 88.1
MIDWEST Illinois 86.0 86.7
Indiana 87.8 88.5
Iowa 94.6 93.2
Kansas 93.2 90.9
Michigan 87.2 88.7
Minnesota 92.5 93.3
Missouri 88.1 90.3
Nebraska 92.5 94.5
North Dakota 96.3 96.6
Ohio 90.0 88.4
South Dakota 89.1 91.5
Wisconsin 92.4 93.7
SOUTH Alabama 85.2 84.0
Arkansas 87.5 88.4
Delaware 86.2 93.3
Florida 84.1 80.7
Georgia 85.1 80.3
Kentucky 81.1 82.4
Louisiana 83.9 80.5
Maryland 88.6 93.6
Mississippi 85.4 83.9
North Carolina 83.0 85.5
Oklahoma 84.3 87.0
South Carolina 85.0 88.0
Tennessee 76.7 84.6
Texas 80.0 79.5
Virginia 88.6 87.7
Washington, D.C 84.0 87.7
West Virginia 83.3 86.8
WEST Alaska 85.6 90.5
Arizona 81.7 84.0
California 77.3 78.9
Colorado 88.1 88.4
Hawaii 93.5 92.0
Idaho 84.7 86.4
Montana 91.6 89.8
Nevada 82.1 81.9
New Mexico 84.1 82.4
Oregon 89.6 82.7
Utah 93.9 93.6
Washington 90.7 85.7
Wyoming 92.0 90.8

* Numbers on this table reflect 3-year averages
SOURCE: Dropout Rates in the United States: 1995

FOR A FREE PRINTED COPY OF THE REPORT

For a copy of the printed report Dropout Rates in the United States: 1995, while supplies last, call or write to one of the sources below. Be sure to have ready or to include the complete title (Dropout Rates in the United States: 1995) and the NCES number (NCES 97-473).

National Library of Education (NLE)
Toll-free phone number: (800)424-1616
E-mail: LIBRARY-NLE@ed.gov or library@inet.ed.gov

National Education Data Resource Center (NEDRC) Phone number:(703)845-3151 E-mail: ndrc@pcci.com or ndrc@inet.ed.gov Mail: National Center for Education Statistics attn: NEDRC Publication Request 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20208-565

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World?
Copyright ? 2005 Education World

10/06/1997

Posted by ericnunnally at 12:17 PM CST
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Monday, 30 January 2006

Chicago Public Schools closing 4 elementary and 2 high schools serving a predominantly, if not exclusively, African American population. The legality of such a move is questionable. More alarming is the potential motive - redevelopment by displacement - not unlike what happened with the Chicago Housing Authority's fiasco with Cabrini Green Housing Projects. The issues raised here are many and worth engaging.

Posted by ericnunnally at 10:23 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006 10:25 PM CST
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Thursday, 19 May 2005
Askia the Great
Topic: Historical Data
Askia Mohammed I (Askia the Great)
(d. 1538)

Mohammed Ben Abu Bekr, also known as Askia the Great made Timbuctoo one of the world's great centers of learning and commerce. The brilliance of the city was such that it still shines in the imagination after three centuries like a star which, though dead, continues to send its light toward us. Such was its splendor that in spite of its many vicissitudes after the death of Askia, the vitality of Timbuctoo is not extinguished.

—Felix Dubois, Tombouctou, la mysterieuse

Mohammed Ben Abu Bekr, was considered the favored general of Sunni Ali, and believed that he was entitled to the throne after Sunni Ali's death, rather than Ali's son, Abu Kebr.

Claiming that the power was his by right of achievement, Mohammed attacked the new ruler a year later and defeated him (1493) in one of the bloodiest battles in history, a coup d'etat. When one of Sunni Ali's daughters heard the news, she cried out "Askia," which means "forceful one." This title was taken by Mohammed as his new name.

Askia immediately embarked on the consolidation of the empire left by Sunni Ali Ber. More astute and farsighted than Sunni Ali Ber, he identified Islam's potential to usurp traditional Songhai religion. Askia decidedly courted his Muslim subjects, particularly in Timbuktu, where the clerics and scholars who fled from Sunni Ali Ber had returned. Askia orchestrated a program of expansion and consolidation, ultimately extending the empire from Taghaza in the north to the borders of Yatenga in the south; and from Air in the northeast to Futa Toro in Senegambia. Askia was also setting the stage for the Askia dynasty, systematically removing the surviving members of the preceding dynasties.

Within three years, he solidified his position to the extent that he could leave the country for two years. For political and pious reasons, he made the hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. In Cairo, he consulted with scholars and examined legal and administrative methods. In addition, an ambassador to Songhai was appointed and Askia was made caliph, thus becoming the head of the Islamic community in the Western Sudan. He returned to Songhai where he embarked on a program to reinforce and refine Islam.

Askia was an efficient and astute administrator. Instead of organizing the empire along Islamic lines, he improved on the traditional model. He instituted a system of government which was unparalleled in Songhai in particular and the Western Sudan in general. He divided the empire into defined provinces, each with its own governor. Special governors were appointed for the towns of Timbuktu, Jenne, Masina and Taghaza. The provinces were then grouped into regions, which were administered by regional governors. An advisory board of ministers supported each regional governor. The nucleus of the bureaucracy was Askia himself, assisted by a council of advisers. Islamic law prevailed in the larger districts in an effort to dispense with traditional law. It is worth noting that Islam was practiced in the urban areas, whereas the traditional Songhai religion continued in other areas. He also maintained a standing army, essentially for expansion of the empire

Soon after his return from Mecca, Askia embarked on his expansionist enterprise, where he ultimately extended the empire on all borders. He waged a successful jihad against the Mossi of Yatenga; captured Mali; defeated the Fulani and extended the borders farther north than any other Sudanic empire to Taghaza, famous for its salt mines. Years later, he conquered Hausaland and, in a subsequent campaign, seized Agades and Air.

Askia encouraged learning and literacy. Under Askia, Timbuktu, also known as "The Center of Learning," "The Mecca of the Sudan," and "The Queen of the Sudan," experienced a cultural revival and flourished as a center of learning. The University of Sankore produced distinguished scholars, many of whom published significant books. The eminent scholar Ahmed Baba produced many books on Islamic law, some of which are still in use today. Mahmoud Kati published Tarik al-Fattah and Abdul-Rahman as-Sadi published Tarik as-Sudan (Chronicle of the Sudan), two history books which are indispensable to present-day scholars reconstructing African history in the Middle Ages.

Askia fostered trade and commerce. State revenues were derived from estates founded throughout the nation, tributes exacted from vassal states, taxes, and custom duties. Timbuktu, Jenne and Gao were the commercial centers of the empire, and the trade routes were policed by the army to maintain their safety. In addition, he standardized weights and measures throughout the empire.

Askia's final years were filled with humiliation and suffering. In 1528, Askia Mohammed, now almost ninety years old and blind, was deposed by his son, Musa. Later, another son, Ismail, brought him back to the palace, where he died in 1538. The most illustrious reign in the history of the Western Sudan ended. Askia Mohammmed, regarded as the greatest of the Songhai kings, continued the work of Sunni Ali Ber and built the largest and wealthiest of the kingdoms of the Western Sudan.


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Books

African Glory, J. C. Degraft-Johnson. Black Classic Press, 1986.

Africans and Their History, Joseph E. Harris. Penguin USA, second revised edition, 1998.

Ancient African Kingdoms, Margaret Shinnie. E. Arnold.

General History of Africa, Vol. IV: Africa from the Twelfth to Sixteenth Century, UNESCO. University of California Press, 1986.

The Western Sudan: Ghana, Mali, Songhay, Kenny Mann. Dillon Press.

A Glorious Age in Africa: The Story of Three Great African Empires, Daniel Chu and Elliott P. Skinner. Africa World Press, 1990.

Cambridge History of Africa, Vol. 2, J.D. Fage (ed.). Cambridge University Press, 1979.

The Lost Cities of Africa, Basil Davidson. Little, Brown & Co., 1959.

The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. Henry Holt, 1995.

Topics in West African History, A. Adu Boahen, Jacob F. Ade Ajayi, and Michael Tidy. Addison-Wesley, 1987.

Posted by ericnunnally at 10:43 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 19 May 2005 12:20 PM CDT
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Timbuktu
Topic: Historical Data
Leo Africanus: Description of Timbuktu
from The Description of Africa(1526)

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El Hasan ben Muhammed el-Wazzan-ez-Zayyati was born in the Moorish city of Granada in 1485, but was expelled along with his parents and thousands of other Muslims by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. Settling in Morocco, he studied in Fez, and as a teenager accompanied his uncle on diplomatic missions throughout North Africa and and to the Sub-Saharan kingdom of Ghana. Still a young man, he was captured by Christian pirates and presented as an exceptionally learned slave to the great Renaissance pope, Leo X. Leo freed him, baptised him under the name "Johannis Leo de Medici," and commissioned him to write in Italian the detailed survey of Africa which provided most of what Europeans knew about the continent for the next several centuries. At the time he visited the Ghanaian city of Timbuktu, it was somewhat past its peak, but still a thriving Islamic city famous for its learning. "Timbuktu" was to become a byword in Europe as the most inaccessible of cities, but at the time Leo visited, it was the center of a busy trade in African products and in books. Leo is said to have died in 1554 in Tunis, having reconverted to Islam.

What evidence does he provide that suggests the importance of learning in Timbuktu?




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The name of this kingdom is a modern one, after a city which was built by a king named Mansa Suleyman in the year 610 of the hegira [1232 CE] around twelve miles from a branch of the Niger River. (1)
The houses of Timbuktu are huts made of clay-covered wattles with thatched roofs. In the center of the city is a temple built of stone and mortar, built by an architect named Granata, (2) and in addition there is a large palace, constructed by the same architect, where the king lives. The shops of the artisans, the merchants, and especially weavers of cotton cloth are very numerous. Fabrics are also imported from Europe to Timbuktu, borne by Berber merchants. (3)

The women of the city maintain the custom of veiling their faces, except for the slaves who sell all the foodstuffs. The inhabitants are very rich, especially the strangers who have settled in the country; so much so that the current king (4) has given two of his daughters in marriage to two brothers, both businessmen, on account of their wealth. There are many wells containing sweet water in Timbuktu; and in addition, when the Niger is in flood canals deliver the water to the city. Grain and animals are abundant, so that the consumption of milk and butter is considerable. But salt is in very short supply because it is carried here from Tegaza, some 500 miles from Timbuktu. I happened to be in this city at a time when a load of salt sold for eighty ducats. The king has a rich treasure of coins and gold ingots. One of these ingots weighs 970 pounds. (5)

The royal court is magnificent and very well organized. When the king goes from one city to another with the people of his court, he rides a camel and the horses are led by hand by servants. If fighting becomes necessary, the servants mount the camels and all the soldiers mount on horseback. When someone wishes to speak to the king, he must kneel before him and bow down; but this is only required of those who have never before spoken to the king, or of ambassadors. The king has about 3,000 horsemen and infinity of foot-soldiers armed with bows made of wild fennel [?] which they use to shoot poisoned arrows. This king makes war only upon neighboring enemies and upon those who do not want to pay him tribute. When he has gained a victory, he has all of them--even the children--sold in the market at Timbuktu.

Only small, poor horses are born in this country. The merchants use them for their voyages and the courtiers to move about the city. But the good horses come from Barbary. They arrive in a caravan and, ten or twelve days later, they are led to the ruler, who takes as many as he likes and pays appropriately for them.

The king is a declared enemy of the Jews. He will not allow any to live in the city. If he hears it said that a Berber merchant frequents them or does business with them, he confiscates his goods. There are in Timbuktu numerous judges, teachers and priests, all properly appointed by the king. He greatly honors learning. Many hand-written books imported from Barbary are also sold. There is more profit made from this commerce than from all other merchandise.

Instead of coined money, pure gold nuggets are used; and for small purchases, cowrie shells which have been carried from Persia, (6) and of which 400 equal a ducat. Six and two-thirds of their ducats equal one Roman gold ounce. (7)

The people of Timbuktu are of a peaceful nature. They have a custom of almost continuously walking about the city in the evening (except for those that sell gold), between 10 PM and 1 AM, playing musical instruments and dancing. The citizens have at their service many slaves, both men and women.

The city is very much endangered by fire. At the time when I was there on my second voyage, (8) half the city burned in the space of five hours. But the wind was violent and the inhabitants of the other half of the city began to move their belongings for fear that the other half would burn.

There are no gardens or orchards in the area surrounding Timbuktu.


Translated by Paul Brians




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(1) Mansa Suleyman reigned 1336-1359. The city was in fact probably founded in the 11th century by Tuaregs, but became the chief city of the king of Mali in 1324.
(2) Ishak es Sahili el-Gharnati, brought to Tinbuktu by Mansa Suleyman.

(3) By camel caravan across the Sahara Desert from NorthAfrica.

(4) 'Omar ben Mohammed Naddi, not in fact the king, but representative of the ruler of the kingdom of Songhai.

(5) Such fabulous nuggets are commonly mentioned by Arab writers about Africa, but their size is probably grossly exaggerated.

(6) Cowrie shells, widely used for money in West Africa, sometimes came in fact from even farther away, from the Maladive Islands of Southeast Asia.

(7) A Sudanese gold ducat would weigh .15 oz.

(8) Probably in 1512.

Posted by ericnunnally at 10:39 AM CDT
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Willie Lynch Letter
Topic: KnowledgeCircle
Gentlemen:

I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our lord, one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First , I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the of the colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me in my modest plantation in the West Indies where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest method for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious KING JAMES, whose BIBLE we CHERISH, I saw enough to know that our problem is not unique. While Rome used cords or wood as crosses for standing human bodies along the old highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasion.

I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple of miles back. You are losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed, Gentleman,...You know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them.

In my bag, I have a fool proof method for controlling your slaves. I guarantee everyone of you that if installed it will control the slaves for at least three hundred years. My method is simple, any member of your family or any OVERSEER can use it.

I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves, and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use FEAR, DISTRUST, and ENVY for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies, and it will work throughout the SOUTH. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On the top of my list is "AGE" but it is only there because it starts with an "A"; The second is"COLOR" or shade; there is INTELLIGENCE, SIZE, SEX, SIZE OF PLANTATION, ATTITUDE of owner, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, east or west, north, south, have fine or coarse hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action- but before that, I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST, AND ENVY IS STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION.

The black slave, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.

Don't forget you must pitch the old black VS. the young black males, and the young black male against the old black male. You must use the dark skinned slaves VS. the light skin slaves. You must use the female VS the male, and the male VS, the female. You must always have your servants and OVERSEERS distrust all blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us.

Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control, use them. Never miss an opportunity. My plan is guaranteed, and the good thing about this plan is that if used intensely for one year the slave will remain perpetually distrustful.


-WILLIAM LYNCH-1772

Posted by ericnunnally at 6:44 AM CDT
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They Are Still Our Slaves
Topic: KnowledgeCircle
We can continue to reap profits from the Blacks without the effort of physical slavery. Look at the current methods of containment that they use on themselves: IGNORANCE, GREED, and SELFISHNESS.

Their IGNORANCE is the primary weapon of containment. A great man once said, "The best way to hide something from Black people is to put it in a book." We now live in the Information Age. They have gained the opportunity to read any book on any subject through the efforts of their fight for freedom, yet they refuse to read. There are numerous books readily available at Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com, not to mention their own Black Bookstores that provide solid blueprints to reach economic equality (which should have been their fight all along), but few read consistently, if at all.

GREED is another powerful weapon of containment. Blacks, since the abolition of slavery, have had large amounts of money at their disposal. Last year they spent 10 billion dollars during Christmas, out of their 450 billion dollars in total yearly income (2.22%).
Any of us can use them as our target market, for any business venture we care to dream up, no matter how outlandish, they will buy into it. Being primarily a consumer people, they function totally by greed. They continually want more, with little thought for saving or investing.

They would rather buy some new sneaker than invest in starting a business. Some even neglect their children to have the latest Tommy or FUBU, And they still think that having a Mercedes, and a big house gives them "Status" or that they have achieved their Dream.

They are fools! The vast majority of their people are still in poverty because their greed holds them back from collectively making better communities.

With the help of BET, and the rest of their black media that often broadcasts destructive images into their own homes, we will continue to see huge profits like those of Tommy and Nike. (Tommy Hilfiger has even jeered them, saying he doesn't want their money, and look at how the fools spend more with him than ever before!). They'll continue to show off to each other while we build solid communities with the profits from our businesses that we market to them.

SELFISHNESS, ingrained in their minds through slavery, is one of the major ways we can continue to contain them. One of their own, Dubois said that there was an innate division in their culture. A "Talented Tenth" he called it. He was correct in his deduction that there are segments of their culture that has achieved some "form" of success. However, that segment missed the fullness of his work. They didn't read that the "Talented Tenth" was then responsible to aid The Non-Talented Ninety Percent in achieving a better life.

Instead, that segment has created another class, a Buppie class that looks down on their people or aids them in a condescending manner. They will never achieve what we have. Their selfishness does not allow them to be able to work together on any project or endeavor of substance. When they do get together, their selfishness lets their egos get in the way of their goal. Their so-called help organizations seem to only want to promote their name without making any real change in their community.

They are content to sit in conferences and conventions in our hotels, and talk about what
they will do, while they award plaques to the best speakers, not to the best doers. Is there no end to their selfishness? They steadfastly refuse to see that TOGETHER EACH ACHIEVES MORE (TEAM) .

They do not understand that they are no better than each other because of what they own , as a matter of fact, most of those Buppies are but one or two pay checks away from poverty. All of which is under the control of our pens in our offices and our rooms.

Yes, we will continue to contain them as long as they refuse to read, continue to buy anything they want, and keep thinking they are "helping" their communities by paying dues to organizations which do little other than hold lavish conventions in our hotels. By the way, don't worry about any of them reading this letter, remember, 'THEY DON'T READ!!!!

Posted by ericnunnally at 6:40 AM CDT
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Total Thought: One Step Closer To Understanding Our World
Topic: KnowledgeCircle
Webster defines Devil as the chief evil spirit; a supernatural being, subordinate to and foe of God and tempter of human beings; Satan. Now Satan is defined as the great enemy of man and goodness. Devil is also defined as a Very wicked or malevolent person. A person who is mischievous, energetic, reckless, etc. Anything difficult, hard to operate, control or understand.

Let's take a look in your bible, Genesis 3:22, 22 And the Lord said, "The man (The European) has now become like one of US ( that means, you and me), knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."23 So the Lord God banished (Sent him to the caves of the barren hillsides of Europe) him from the Garden of Eden (this is where Africans lived) to work the ground from which he had been taken.

Note: Many members of the masonic continue to carry out this bite of history in their initiation ritual. I hope this was a helpful lesson in your journey through this land of confusion. The Nightmare Stops When You Says It Stops, By You gaining The Knowledge Of Self.

Posted by ericnunnally at 6:38 AM CDT
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