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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kojo Nantambu Challenges Charlotte's Scared Black "Leaders" On Racism & Willie Lynch Syndrome!

Kojo Nantambu, Prez. Of Charlotte's NAACP Chapter Used To Be A Scared Figurehead Just Like Charlotte's Other Scared Black Leaders. (Charlotte, NC Is A Very Racist City Despite Having A Black Mayor.) Well Thank God Kojo Has Finally Awakened From The Coma He Was In & Now He's Speaking Up! He's Protesting, Writing Letters, Filing Civil Rights Lawsuits & Challenging Other Black Leaders To Join Him In The Struggle. YEAH!! Its About Time!! He Has My Support.

Letter From Charlotte's NAACP Prez. Kojo Nantambu Lashes Out At Some Blacks

Local NAACP President Kojo Nantambu has written a strongly worded letter criticizing members of the black community.

In the letter published Monday by Observer news partner, Nantambu charges that some in the African-American community are diminishing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s crusade and losing sight of the injustices against minorities in education and housing.

Nantambu came under fire last month after protests he led over Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' decision to hold a snow makeup day on the MLK holiday. Nantambu called Charlotte "a racist bastion" and called for a drive to keep the CIAA basketball tournament and other events from coming to Charlotte.

In his letter titled "Letter from off the plantation," Nantambu cites King and the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., to counter his critics and to question the community's priorities.

"The only thing the Negroes in this community are concerned about is one week of fun and games and mammon and Massa," he wrote, referring to the weeklong CIAA basketball tournament. "Please let us not forget the four little girls blown up in the church; that's shared sacrifice nothing comparable to what we've asked of you, here in Charlotte..."

In a second letter sent to media outlets Tuesday providing more context, Nantambu cites disparities in the lack of government contracts given to minority contractors, the widening achievement gap for students, and the lack of affordable housing for minorities as evidence of Charlotte's problems.

Reaction from community members has ranged from criticism that Nantambu is out of touch to applause for raising issues so many are afraid to speak to. Some leaders, however, are concerned that the valid points Nantambu is trying to make are getting lost in his rhetoric.

"The whole demeanor of the piece is 'I get it. You don't. And let me tell you what it is you don't get,'" said Democratic state Rep. Kelly Alexander Jr., a former state and local NAACP president.

Alexander said Nantambu raises real concerns about the achievement gap and the lack of affordable housing for minorities. But he said some people might feel insulted by the style of Nantambu's letter and could resent how they're being spoken to. If that happens, he said, they'll simply ignore the message.

Alexander, however, said it's healthy to hear from people like Nantambu, whose views represent a segment of the community.

"Whether you like it or not, it contributes to the discussion of the dialogue. And I think ultimately it's a good thing."

The Africana Studies department at UNC Charlotte plans a roundtable forum on April 14 to discuss the issues Nantambu raised. Department chair Akin Ogundiran said he hears frustration in Nantambu's message and may feel that people don't understand his goals. But he sees Nantambu's style of "admonishing the people" as counterproductive.

"You can't attack the community you lead," he said. "You cannot say that you just don't get it. There is something wrong with that kind of leadership."

Colette Forrest, a former NAACP board member, said she doesn't want to read the letter. She's heard excerpts and feels the language will only hurt the community.

"We don't need any more divisions because basically black folks, white folks, we all need jobs," she said. "All this racial rhetoric, conquer and divide, is not solving these problems. We need economic vitality."

Reached at Green Oak Missionary Baptist Church, where he is the pastor, Nantambu said he realizes some people are not going to like his words.

"I just want people to pay attention to what's going on in Charlotte," he said. "I've always been taught that you will be persecuted for righteousness... You'll never get people to change if you don't address them honestly and forthrightly."

First Letter From Kojo Nantambu

Letter from off the plantation

(21st century letter from the Birmingham Jail)

In the past two weeks there has been an enormous amount of clamor, incrimination and condemnation by members of the community who were angry about the decision to protest the racism bigotry and hypocrisy evident throughout Charlotte. Even more atrocious is the disservice to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. illustrated by the myopic revisionist plantation ravings about Dr. King as to who he was and what he would do.

The sad part about it is many of you really don’t know anything about Dr. King and his righteous crusade to end racial injustice and discrimination to end segregation and separation of the masses for such reason as race, religion, color or creed. All you know is what "Massa" promotes and what "Masssa" prefers. King was a very bold courageous and God filled man, determined to fight the evil of racism in this country. Those of you espousing all of this sad and erroneous commentary about Dr. King have not a clue to the infinite dimensions of the man.

Though, relative to this incident I've never uttered the word boycott which was a(sensational fabrication) by the media and it is unbelievable how ignorant you are about Dr. King's beginnings.

The first official act by Dr. King and his supporters, that hurled him into world history was the "Montgomery Bus Boycott" yes "Boycott" get it boycott. Dr. King wasn't trying to make friends or please Massa he was trying to show the economic strength and effectiveness of African-American minorities when they come together in unity, remember Psalm 133. He was trying to demonstrate that we all must share in the sacrifice of self to receive the reward of freedom for the many".

The "Montgomery Bus Boycott” (remember boycott) lasted a year not a week, a year. People lost their jobs their homes there cars. They lost white friends and black friends some lost their lives but they won the battle. They weren't concerned about the loss of a week of fun and games and mammon or Massa unlike some contemporary Negroes, the people of Montgomery were concerned about justice.

Some of our community; Negroes included have lied and said that Dr. King would not want our children to stay out of school for any reason because he loved education. Yes you are right Dr. King was definitely for education but he was against racist, separate, segregated so-called "neighborhood school" education. Do any of you remember Birmingham, Alabama, the children walked out of schools for days went to jail by the hundreds for weeks (missing school) and enjoyed going to jail so much so often they over filled the jails. And as soon as they got out they went right back to marching and going back to jail saying "I'm going to jail for my freedom." They understood the need for personal and group sacrifice not like some of these Negro elected officials and modern Massa's.

Martin was there, he knew what was going on. Did you know some of those children not only missed school but were beaten by police, bitten by dogs, had their clothes torn off by fire hoses under full pressure as they were tossed into brick walls on sidewalks rolled up and down asphalt streets. And the only thing the Negroes in this community are concerned about is one week of fun and games and mammon and Massa. Please let us not forget the four little girls blown up in the church; that's shared sacrifice nothing comparable to what we've asked of you, here in Charlotte, write a letter!

Not only was Dr. King in Birmingham he was on the frontline in all his marches, boycotts, pickets, protest and anything he did. Martin Luther King had guts he didn't hide behind his title of scurry off like a little rat like a lot of his contemporaries and modern preachers or so-called Negro Leaders who wouldn't stand up to a "junebug" not to mention this racist city. Dr. King stood up to George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Bull Connors and many others because he wasn't afraid of controversy he said "The measure of a man is not where he stands during the time of comfort and convenience but where he stands during conflict and confusion."

Do not any of you realize or recall that Dr. King faced death everyday. Everyday he lived he stood up in a time where black men were killed for speaking out are speaking up. He not only spoke out he stood up and stood out. During the era in which Dr. King began his involvement Black men were killed for even looking at white women, remember Emmett Till or the Scottsborough Boys. Dr. King understood and lived the Word of God that said give your body as a willing sacrifice holy unto God and he did that, willingly and knowingly twenty four seven. Don't you remember the call at midnight they said to him in substance 'Nigggaahh we're tired of your mess now, if you're not out-of-town in three days we gonna blow your brains out and we gonna blow up your house." He did not try to run he did not try to hide, he didn't back down.

No, he was emboldened he said "I've seen the lightening flash, I've heard the thunder roll, I've felt sin breakers dashing against my soul but I heard the voice of Jesus saying "Martin Luther King Jr. stand up for truth, stand up for justice, stand up for righteousness and low I will be with you even until the end of the world"! Not only did Dr. King here it and say it,he lived it. I know most of you Negro readers don't remember it probably never heard it and Massa doesn’t want you to know it. Dr. King lived in fear constantly, being faced with the possibility of his own death daily and here we are today worried, mad, sick. not about the loss of life or liberty but worried about a week of fun and games, mammon and Massa.

It is obvious the only thing this country and the daily media want you to remember is his dream. But if you decide to live in his dream that means as is evident by the way some of you act - you're still asleep or even worse, dead. Because his dream has not come true yet; We have more poverty than ever, the schools in Charlotte are just as segregated as they were 40 years ago, banks still won't give minority businesses any help, they won't modify mortgages for low / middle income families and there is still enormous gaps in housing with disgusting pockets of poverty and excessive pockets of affluence no add mixture of mixed and affordable housing hardly anywhere recognizable, Jerry Orr still wants to get rid of 144 minority cabbies, for one white cabbie. That's not promoting small-business. Though we have had many successes, the current state of Charlotte, the state and nation is upsetting.

Congress threatening to challenge the 14th amendment, most of the 'Civil rights Bills"; the General Assembly threatening to use voter ID, challenge the voting rights bill and health care, makes the "Dream" sound more like we're living in a continuous relooping "Nightmare"

So people need to hone in on the first 16 lines of that speech Dr. King wasn't dreaming, he was dealing with reality the reality of the awful, abhorring, depressing and godless conditions in which we were living. Exposing this supposed land of freedom, justice and equality as one big diabolical contradiction.

Please make sure you study his discourse or speech on the Vietnam War. Many told him that the speech would be his death knell. But he was not worried are deterred. Remember he said “If a man has not found something he is willing to die for, he is not fit to live!” So I would guess many of you in Charlotte are willing to die for a basketball game, but are not as zealously inclined to fight for your children, who are being permanently, emotionally and academically scarred as they suffer in this racist school system!

During his long 13 year journey, Dr. King lost many friends, acquaintances and allies but he understood it was a small price to pay when looking at the bigger picture. He gave the Vietnam war speech on April 4, 1967 at the Riverside Church in New York, lambasting the heresy, hypocrisy, racism and bigotry of America for the Vietnam War delineating all the money wasted in that war when the money could have been better used for schools and education, we had growing expanding ghettos, and a rapidly growing underclass, sounds familiar.

After King's speech Pres. Lyndon Johnson who had become a good friend who signed the civil rights bill, the voting rights act and other such legislation, never spoke to Dr. King again. King was killed on Thursday evening, April 4, 1968 exactly one year after the Vietnam speech, quite interesting.

Dr. King was truly a man's man he didn't talk about putting on the armor of God then hide behind the pulpit. He put on the armor of God and went to war.

It's so sad that we have forgotten how great Dr. King really was and all he really is spiritually. He has been reduced to a very ineffective monolithic sound bite, year after year after year. The masses really not caring to explore the real man which has left us with some glaring realities that the tactics and teaching of Mr. Willie Lynch are alive and well and Mr. Lynch is probably dancing in hell, rejoicing in the fact that after 300 years, his plan is working perfectly and that many of Charlotte’s Negroes are the manifest personification of the Willie Lynch Proto type.

In the last three weeks I've come to realize some of our Negroes have earned their PhD in the WILLIE LYNCH SYNDROME. Thank God, King was more than talk more than show.

He lived what he said. Most of you keep running off at the mouth like you new the man. You heard his word, you saw all his deeds but you still failed to capture his essence, his heart. I don’t have his demeanor nor do I have his tact but I do have his courage and heart and understand the ”moral and spiritual constitution” that drove the man, not politrics. Thank you and To God be the Glory. Na'Maste'

Reverend Brother Kojo Nantambu

Second Letter From Nantambu

Open Letter to the Elected Officials of Charlotte

Of course this letter is to the members of the NAACP as well as the greater Charlotte community. First, we would like to say thank you to the many parents, students, and other individuals who joined with us for the MLK Day March and visits to the Levine Museum and the Harvey Gantt Center.

And to the many leaders of Charlotte let me say, we respect every opinion given regarding the NAACP’s decision to put Charlotte in the National spotlight. Our call was a call for a letter writing campaign not a boycott, a call to various groups such as CIAA, NCAA, PGA, to reveal the consistent growing racial disparities in our schools, our neighborhoods, against small businesses, against our parents, but most importantly against our children.

In the last ten (10) years, several research studies have shown the many disparities within this community:

We wanted to bring attention to the deplorable disparity of jobs through government contracts for our minority contractors. We are about 30% of this community yet we get less than 1% of all contracts, this is unacceptable. Many contractors in Charlotte have had to go out of business because of this fact and a lot of large construction companies are very crafty in getting around the utilization of minority contractors.

We need to highlight Jerry Orr’s attempt (Charlotte Douglass Airport) through City Council to put 144 small businesses out of business. Mr. Orr wants to replace 144 independent minority cab drivers with one major white cab company called Yellow Cab (I’m sure you’ve heard of it). He wants to make these men go to work for Yellow Cab, that’s tantamount to making them share croppers or tenant farmers and they will never get anywhere financially, probably die owing Yellow Cab for the cabs they already own.

Our members and citizens should be aware of the reports done by Crossroads Charlotte whose research about the relations in this city showing Charlotte headed toward four possible outcomes as a community, the one they fear most seems as though it is the one that it is rapidly becoming (Fortress Charlotte). Think about it!

The University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights, headed by Attorney Julius Chambers, did a study on education and housing in Charlotte and completed the study in 2005. The study clearly showed the Board of Education that the direction it was going and the policies it was making were actually widening the achievement gap creating despair and disenchantment with minority students, forcing a higher failure rate. The report warns CMS that the continuation on this course would destroy communities and get progressively worse. The report proposed alternatives but CMS has refused to use any of them. Once you read the report you realize that the CMS Board seems to be doing everything the EXACT opposite of what was recommended. During this same period Judge Manning, a white republican judge stated that what’s happening in the Charlotte school system is nothing but “Academic Genocide.” What do you think?

In October of 2010, Johnson C. Smith University’s School of Business released a report that graphically illustrates “Though Charlotte maybe the second largest financial center in this country, minority businesses here (Black and/or Hispanic) get less help from the financial industry than in any other city in America. No help jump starting minority businesses, not enough if any joint, corporate/community training programs, no special small business seed programs. And let’s not forget minority home owners in Charlotte are getting little to No Help on restructuring their mortgages. We should remember how Bob Johnson, a very wealthy American and former owner of the Charlotte Bobcats expressed in an exit interview his disappointment with Charlotte and it’s resistance to work with young black entrepreneurs. He found it just as hard to do business here for himself.

First Century Foundation has completed a study in Montgomery County, MD that shows that diversity in housing and socio/economic diversity in the schools has shown to unequivocally increase academic performance of minorities and is closing the gap by 2, 3 and in some cases 8 points a year. The study also shows that neighborhoods and the people in those communities get along much better with much more harmony than before. Over 100 school districts across the nation have adopted this model. CMS refuses to accept the report, and the Charlotte City Council seems reluctant to or is too inept to enforce a mandate for mixed and affordable housing anywhere.

An impact study done by the Charlotte Housing Authority and additional study by members of the Northwest Corridor shows a great disparity in mixed and affordable housing in the city. There is a need for at least fourteen thousand (14,000) more units of mixed/affordable housing throughout the city. Less than 35% of possible affordable housing even exists in the NW corridor though space is available. The study shows the continued devaluation of property in the corridor which effects schools, businesses, and neighborhoods but plans for upgrading the corridor seems to be slow in coming. There is no Lynx and now due to the economic downturn maybe no trolley.

Some say “Charlotte can not be a bastion of racism, look at all the African Americans that are elected officials.” I say “We have a black president now and I have seen more racism and hatred in America, in the streets and in Congress than anytime over the last 40 years and Charlotte’s no exception.”

These are the reasons for our protest, not to mention the total resegregation of our schools, putting all of the predominantly black schools in a special separate zone by themselves and the closing of the ten schools in the Black or minority community.

These are the reasons for our reasonable and rational discontent and we are determined to do more, to bring national attention to this city and the glooming racial disparities that exist here. Everything we’ve mentioned is a glowing sign of injustice to the minority and poor in this city. Injustice, discrimination, and racial hatred are the fundamental causes for which all NAACP battles have been fought for over 102 years. And we won’t stop now, “Forward Ever, Backward Never, On ward Forever.”

Reverend Brother Kojo Nantambu

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Sources: McClatchy Newspapers, Qcity Metro, WCNC, Google Maps

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