Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bibles have not fed Africa...

A reply of mine in ANU Heritage Zimbabwe (Facebook group) on 11/29/12, in response to a very scathing anti-religion critique with the heading "My Village is starving they sent us Bibles":

A recent book I'm reading on christian evangelization (“The Master Plan of Evangelism”, Robert E. Coleman, abridged) points to Jesus himself and how they saw his techniques for spreading the "kingdom of G-O-D".  It is apparent in the book that they considered the idea something that Jesus felt it necessary to find an elite male leadership for, hence the apostles.  They reported that Jesus chose to resist handing over the ideas he was spreading to the growing excitement of the masses, that he felt if more important to develop the ideas through that vanguard of men, a nod to the leadership of the few, reminiscent of the shepherd/sheep metaphor that shows up repeatedly in the bible stories.  It suggests that the ideas Jesus espoused were clearly not ideas that actually lived in the hearts and minds of the people, but something that had to be cultivated and constantly spread by a select few that hold sway over the masses - a perfect recipe for exploitation, hence our current "religious leaders" in which some of the most reprehensible and misguiding humans are included.  This comes from a cultural perspective that seems to be steeped in the agriculture/animal husbandry idea divorced already from the indigenous concepts of empowered interdependence....or at least that's my early sense of it.  All this is to say that this dynamic of mass dependency and disempowerment may come from the ideas of Jesus himself, suggesting to me that he was not the great man that many think he was, that he had deeper ideological flaws and misconceptions about humankind than many would[n't] imagine or care to think about and that surely, he was merely A son of G-O-D, not THE son of G-O-D - christians are clearly following the wrong man, but Jesus acted correctly if he was trying to set up a system of dependency, human disempowerment and disconnection that has been a perfect partner to colonialism and imperialism.


A popular, widely distributed image of "Jesus".
Was he THE Son of G-O-D or
merely A son of god/desses?
This perspective comes out of my on-going critique of the presence and effects of christianity and predatory mission work on Africa in particular and indigeny in general.  It is clear that there are some very powerful critiques of christianity and the political and cultural machinations of christians in the world, particularly as they relate to and support the system of colonialism, capitalism and imperialism, all functionally negative in the history of humanity and indigeny.  One of my larger points is that christianity, generally considered a social and spiritual good in the world, is highly questionable and operates in a negative manner in relationship to other political dynamics already mentioned and that the conversation around its role in the world must break through the tacit and default approval that christianity enjoys in the world even as it claims to be an embattled underdog of purity and ethical virtue.  

My response above, inspired by my early understandings of the book mentioned, is part of a crystallization of my perspectives on why christianity works and operates in the way it does, seated so comfortably at the (conservatively) right hand of the G-O-D of colonialism as opposed to being the true force for liberation that some of its adherents seem to suggest it can be (and even that seems to be more an anomaly than a general feature of its ideology) and that humanity should expect it to be.

Without this on-going and developing critical engagement, christianity will continue to be a disruptive, distracting and destructive force in the necessary and coming redemption of humanity from the oppressive forces of colonialism, capitalism and rampant and violent patriarchy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Knowings in my bones...(#4)

In the context of a concerted (understatement) effort on the part of evangelical and roamin catholic christians (amongst others) to spread the ideology and culture of christianity to every continent and nation and all the peoples of the world - and have them summarily accept that missionary position, it is more than reasonable to deeply and constantly question the conditions, process and effects of that imperial proposition, along with vehemently resisting the assumptive necessity of same, particularly with respect to the presence of the christian missionary and evangelical message 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 366 days a year on all platforms and modes of media communications, through myriad social and political channels and with the tacit support of the dominant culture giving it validation, moral and financial support to the tune of billions and billions of dollars.

Don't question people for challenging missionaries and evangelizers who have way more money and time to push their shaky, narrow, privileged message on the whole world.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Song of the Coyote...(#1): Privilege

The privileged mind
is as difficult to open
as the tightly-clenched ass
within which it is housed.

Privilege creates and sustains 
an illusion of undeserved moral convenience, an amnesia of compassion, 
a pathological imperception 
that prevents us from 
recognizing the deep need 
for fighting injustice every day 
in every way possible.

Patterns of Privilege

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Knowings in my bones...(#3)

Many indigenous cultures have the integral element of shared abundance based in communalism. Modern anti-culture has much to give away - it's addiction to individualism, consumerism and materialism, human and natural exploitative values and the idea of unlimited growth which is nothing more than unlimited greed. We are buying/taking/ stealing/hoarding ourselves to death. The land here on Turtle Island doesn't understand that energy and why "(US)Americans" as such will never truly be Americans until this contradiction of values is reconciled.

The buffalo was (and is) a central spiritual and material Relation
 for the Turtle Island Plains Nations before the onslaught of
European settler-colonialism.  In the word of Daniel Quinn
("Ishmael"),  European "taker" values decimated buffalo
populations out of genocidal intent and greed.

The buffalo popluations are rebounding due to the work and spiritual
guidance of the Native nations along with the help of European settler
conservationists and activists.  The spirit of abundance can and does live
again on Turtle Island despite the continuing dominance and
exploitation of colonialism and capitalism.

"Once I was in Victoria and I saw a very large house.  They told me it was a bank and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by they got it back with interest.
We are Indians and we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people, by and by they return them with interest, and our hearts feel good.
Our way of giving is our bank." - attributed to Chief Maquinna, as posted by 'The Great Spirit' (facebook)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Knowings in my bones...(#2)

Participation in the modern anti-cultural narrative has created a context for keeping some of our most dangerous mistakes, misdeeds and technological pathologies out of the public, communal eye, out of the public, communal consciousness, supporting a tragic level of self-created ignorance and arrogant disbelief of the gravity of our situation, leaving us in our most quietly explosive period of our history on this earth.

Ignorance and inaction in this case is a chronic disease...that is also immensely curable.

"Advertising and the End of the World" - yet another perspective of the modern, capitalist, consumerist, exploitative mistake.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Wonderful Modern Disease

Nuclear power generation and
the compulsory toxic waste
that comes with it makes as
much sense as the human
colonization of space.
 How can people be convinced whose disease makes them feel better on the surface, creates socially-acceptable symptoms and sustains their own misguided assumptions about themselves that they are indeed carrying a sickness that affects others deeply and is a proven blight upon their environment (which they can actually 'see', but the misguided assumptions cloud the need for any sort of substantive change) that they indeed have a terminal, though slow-moving, but very profound and globally dangerous disease?

Interesting how much the "intelligent" modern citizen of privileged industrial, colonial corporatocratic  countries can know about the terminal mistake of fossil fuel dependence and use and not feel behooved to actually live like they are in possession of said intelligence.  One could surmise that modernity does not give rise to intelligence at all, that it does its best work at creating veneers for terminal ideological and socio-political pathologies.

Case in point - even a grade school textbook will reveal how important trees are to the life of humans on the earth, but the modern system of cultural production behaves as though trees are simply a commodity that can be exploited at the whims of the corporate capitalist "imperative", that they are not indeed and in deed one of our most precious family members amongst All Our Relations, gifting us with oxygen, substantively and daily and beautifully while sustained symbiotically by the very gasses we expirate from our very lungs - suggesting a relation-ship that we'd do well to acknowledge and deepen - again.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Columbus Day Sale Business Boycott

This is a call to a general boycott of any and all companies, businesses and corporations that enact sales and promotions in the name of the oppression, genocide and colonialism embodied in the name and legacy of Criminal Columbus.  

Because of the serious and profound nature of Criminal Columbus's legacy and how it has negatively and profoundly affected the cultures and peoples of the Western Hemisphere and Africa directly and the rest of the world also, the organizations that exploit this opportunist's name and legacy must know that this  exploitation does not come without a price of its own.  

We must not allow Criminal Columbus' legacy of violence, rape and torture in the name of G-O-D and christianity to be used to sell electronics, furniture and groceries, adding disrespect and insult to the injury that Criminal Columbus set in motion in 1492 with the "blessing" of the roamin catholic papal bulls of the 1400's that defined the immoral Doctrine of Discovery that led directly to the genocide and holocaust of the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, of south, central and north America and the enslavement and maafa/holocaust of indigenous Africans.

We call out to all merchants, retailers, store-owners, businesswomen and men to divest themselves of the legacy of Criminal Columbus, quietly or vociferously, out of a moral sense of compassion for humanity and an acknowledgement of truth and integrity beyond the mere desire to make profit based on the legacy of oppression of a pillaging butcher and torturer.  We call you to see the clarity and correctness in this heart-felt request.  Assuredly no business-owner in their right mind would have a "Hitler's Birthday Sale", so one can not understand how any such person would hold a "Columbus Day Sale" either.  No more "Columbus Day" sales and promotions!

(see list of offending companies in comments section)

"This is truly equivalent to Germany having a “Hitler Day” which is a national holiday where we’re all supposed to laud him as the “Great Conquerer” or something, with statues of him erected all over the country. This country is INSANE. Because it’s a part of the dominant culture, industrial civilization, which is killing the planet and wiping out vast, unfathomable numbers of nonhuman species and human indigenous cultures. It must be stopped."

Please, be free to use the above photograph in spreading the word about this boycott intended to extend throughout the year, but at least as long as the offending companies and businesses promote their sales in the name of Criminal Columbus.

Post the above or similar photos/images/flyers along with the names of the local and national companies that align themselves with the legacy of this genocidal opportunist.  Let these companies and owner know that they must find better ways and more creative ways of promoting their products and businesses than in such a way that disrespects the cultures and histories of so many.

For more information, please contact Ukumbwa Sauti at

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thoughts on Indigeny, from Turtle Island (North America) to Alkebu-Lan (Africa)

“Who will find peace with the lands? The future of humankind lies waiting for those who will come to understand their lives and take up their responsibilities to all living things. Who will listen to the trees, the animals and birds, the voices of the places of the land? As the long forgotten peoples of the respective continents rise and begin to reclaim their ancient heritage, they will discover the meaning of the lands of their ancestors. That is when the invaders of the North American continent will finally discover that for this land, God is red.” – Vine Deloria, Jr.

We are a spirit, we are a natural part of the earth, and all of our ancestors, all of our relations who have gone to the spirit world, they are here with us. That's power. They will help us. They will help us to see if we are willing to look. We are not separated from them because there's no place to go -- we stay here. This is our place: the earth. This is our mother: we will not go away from our mother.” – John Trudell

There was a time when all people were indigenous people on some part of the Earth. But in the last half of the millennium, the migration of people from region to region and from countryside to city broke many of the ties we used to have to one another and to the land and water that supported us. Those who didn't make that move, the indigenous peoples of the world, can help us remember what it's like to be connected to the environment and to each other in a community. This is valuable not because we would necessarily want to return to the way we used to live, but because facets of that connectedness can contribute greatly as we create a sustainable way of life.” – Malidoma Some

Retrieved from the Turtle Island 42 Initiative home page for which Ukumbwa is a  co-contributor:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

reply to EWTN “Women of Grace” blog: Is Paranormal State TV for Real?

EWTN “Women of Grace” blog: Is Paranormal State TV for Real?

Vun, the Spirit of Fire, is the portal to the Ancestors
in the Dagara tradition of West Africa.

My reply to their post  is as follows- “waiting for moderation” (ok fine, it is more than the one paragraph that they suggest, but then there were more than one in the accepted comment on the page....Susan Brinkman can come talk to us here if the WOG blog can’t handle the bandwidth...I’d love to continue the discussion of such things with her and any others so interested and inclined, but I progress):

I have also noticed the great proclivity for drama to be a constant creation in shows such as these, as it is in most, if not all (sur)reallity tv.  This is the first mistake of shows like this.  The connection to human spirits who have passed over can be unsettling as those spirits can be truly unsettled and frustrated and in our midst, but the melodrama around it is not helpful to understanding out traditional responses to assisting those spirits, our Ancestors in their successful passage to the realm of the Ancestors.  Thank you for pointing out one of the fundamental problems with these types of programs in general.

There are, though, problems with the above characterization of these spiritual dynamics:
"First, let me say that I believe homes can be haunted and that spirits can toss around frying pans in the middle of the night. But I don’t believe that these events are due to the behavior of the deceased owner of the house who got lost somewhere between here and eternity and is roaming the halls looking for peace. This is pure theater. Disembodied souls don’t have voices that can be recorded on EVP meters, not only because their voiceboxes have long ago rotted in the grave, but because our God, who loves us beyond our comprehension, doesn’t let any of his beloved creatures “get lost” on the way to eternity."

If we take spiritual energy as purely that (and we know the implications are deep here), we know that energy is conserved, transformed, not deleted or destroyed.  Why then is it impossible to conceive that that human energetic imprint or spirit can not then have a corporeal effect, still, on the potential energy in the movement of objects or emotions or human sensation?  It only makes logical, rational sense that that would be entirely possible, in addition to the multiplicity of occurrences outside of televisual narratives that confirm these dynamics, especially in traditional and indigenous  contexts (even modern ones where people have not shut down their full range of human energetic awareness) where many thousands of years of communal energetic learning, awareness and experience give grounding to such experiences in a functional and integrated way.  This is why so many, many indigenous cultures have traditions, rituals and ceremonies for engaging and reconciling energies and spiritual dynamics in the Ancestral continuum.  Malidoma Some' asserts eloquently in "Healing Wisdom of Africa" that we are in such grave straits in the modern world precisely because we have forgotten and neglected (and been terrorized away from) our Ancestral relationships.  

In addition, the multi-dimensionality of the universe must be taken into consideration when we speak of being able to hear spirits or Ancestors, those that have died.  Of course they don't have voice-boxes.  That's a simplistic argument, but it is wholly dismissive of energetic reality to suggest that we are limited to the creation of sound pressure only in the normal physiological sense.  This is why we call it SUPERnatural or metaphysical!  Nor should we assume that our human ability to hear is only limited to the ear.  Again, that is simplistic in a world that largely agrees that we can see with the mind's eye.  The learned (and coerced) limitations that many of us acknowledge are exactly why we dismiss Ancestral energetic dynamics in the face of "rational", "scientific" objectivism.  It is pure folly and ignorance to relegate ourselves to "Avatar" science, thinking based upon the requirement to have energetic dynamics show up on meters or machines to be real or reliable.  Clearly, though, study and experience shows that this can happen, but it is not the only way that these dynamics can be substantiated.  I am sure there are countless Roman Catholics who can speak to the presence of their deceased loved ones in their midst with great assuredness and clarity.

The other issue that can and must be engaged here is that so many cultures do have the experience and awareness of souls being "lost" if the correct energetic work is not done or if our relationships to them are broken or out of balance.  The cultural perspective from which the Roman Catholic viewpoint is derived is not the only valid one on the earth.  To wholly dismiss the tens of thousands of years old (and beyond) cultural perspectives, wisdom, experience and knowledge of indigenous peoples would be clearly arrogant and ethnocentric at best.  That primary human legacy cannot be undone with the writings of one particular culture, just as the rantings of the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees did not necessarily make Jesus's statements and perspectives wrong.

We are on the right track with critiquing television programs that misappropriate and distort spiritual phenomena, but we are gravely mistaken when we provide narrow and simplistically dismissive filtered reads to time-proven, functional and expansive human cultural narratives.

[reposted also on my facebook page]

Monday, June 4, 2012

Reply to WGBH's "Civilization" written and narrated by Niall Ferguson

I am surprised that such a "sweeping" documentary series on westernism, capitalism and imperialism lacks a more functional and empathic critique of exactly those elements in the face of the gently implied irksome nature of environmental degradation, cultural destruction and outright holocaust of aboriginal people so Turtle Island and Africa.  Not only was the documentary highly dismissive of the fundamental nature of indigenous humanity and sensible connections to history, but "Civilization" seemed to do nothing more than semi-gently and semi-cleverly champion the support of a struggling, though still ideologically powerful economic and cultural system, completely minimizing the social effects of some of his "killer apps" (aptly put, I'd say; i.e., consumerism) and the fundamental dangerous nature of empire as expressed by Europeans seeking nothing more than a beneficent (sorta) hierarchical dominance in a world quickly running out of food, water, natural resources, biological diversity, cultural diversity and sense - precisely because of Europe's, the west's particularly pernicious form of "civilization".

One of the greatest mistakes humanity, at least those humans in dominant, western, highly-militarized "civilized" nations being made is underestimating the wisdom and technological culture of indigeny.  It is precisely the indigenous cultural perspective that has been warning and resisting the "civilizers" and their destructive nature since the initial introduction of criminal Columbus to the Tainos and Arawaks on the islands of Amerique. At the very least, Ferguson puts a pretty face on one of the most destructive and oppressive cultural mistakes known to humankind.  At the most, he seeks to convince us that no there is no viable, worthwhile challenge to this destruction and oppression.

I suggest he tell it to the Awa of the Amazon, the Kogi, the Lakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation AND the Azanian people in the peacefully, wonderfully and harmoniously westernized (aka "civilized") settler-colony of South Africa.  If their stories are just an inevitable part of the deification of Euro-everything, then I want no part of "Civilization" or civilization.

This is a disappointing piece of work especially for WGBH (an insult to the producers of the likes of Independent Lens and POV) and has the same understated and dismissive arrogance as Robert Barron's "Catholicism", but that's another story - well, actually, it's pretty much the same.

(All right.  WGBH's interface isn't uploading my comments yet and is not indicating that there is any moderation on such.  Hmmmm....)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Can That "G-O-D" Be A god Of Redemption?

I have yet to see how a religion brought by an invading colonizer, used as a weapon of confusion and cultural devolution by that colonizer, manifested as a direct ideology and embodiment of colonization, somehow proposed as an exclusive path to "salvation" by that colonizer can be in any way, shape or form any kind of truly long-term functional agent of liberation for those that have been colonized.

I have studied, seen and been told how Africans used "the church" and the church buildings for radical and important actions of political movement and strategic planning.  I have seen how the broken-hearted souls of disembodied indigeny have gained some semblance of energetic rejuvenation in the face of seemingly insurmountable imperialistic odds (have you seen a 70 year old woman get "sanctified", get the "holy ghost" in a baptist church in the African community here on Turtle Island?!).  I have seen scores of suited, tied, fancy-dressed indigenous peoples from North and South America, from Asia and India, from Africa show up in nice, big cars and european hair cuts, "good english" drizzling off their tongues, sure to go to nice "jobs" on monday folk flooding in and out of churches, rosaries dripping off their fingers, bibles clutched to their sides as if their lives depended on them for air.  I've felt the economic weight of the millions upon millions of hard-earned dollars pouring - no - raining tempestuously into church coffers feeding the predatory impulse of the cultural debacle of "mission".  I have heard the anguish in the voices of the "saved" as they declare their allegiance to a Jesus who doesn't look like them, clamouring for some semblance of self in a world that continually seeks to wipe their Ancestral memory from the face of the earth.

I have not seen any of these people speak to the nature of redemption of the most heinous crimes of genocide, colonialism, settler-colonialism, neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism and fascism.  I have not seen their book nor their god smite any of the colonizers down in their tracks.  I have not seen the fiery uprising continued unabated in those church buildings nor in the fetid catacombs that we can now call "the church".  I have not seen these people, so somehow empowered by their new colonial god-man, speak or act in accordance with the needs of people on earth in such a way that suggests that they are anything but insane, at the very least insane enough to think that a tool that was brought by their historical conqueror is anything but a tool of continued conquest and cultural genocide.

I have seen them pimp starving, dying children in African villages to raise money for "mission" work (see the 'work' of Jim Robison et al).  I have heard them unapologetically refer to indigenous missionary targets as "savages" (see EWTN's "Life On The Rock" live world broadcast during World Youth Day - 47:31 in on the DVD).  I have seen THEM refer to the process of proselytization and mission work as "imperialistic", while their white privilege declared that they "respect" other (non-european) cultures (see Pathways International blog post on "cultural contamination").  I have seen them disrespect African and indigenous culture on their young adult tv programming (see "Knights of St. Michael" on EWTN, the roamin catholic cable channel).  I have seen them BE the "1%".  I have seen them claim in word and deed that north and south America should be a "christian continent" (see papal statements on the Knights of Columbus website).  I have seen them aggrandize and deify the name and legacy of one of the world's worst, most beloved (by them) and most correctly maligned international criminals, Criminal Columbus.

It is somehow possible that this "G-O-D" is a god of colonialism?  I have seen many claim "Columbia" as the goddess of freedom.  Was she not the european image of the viral wave of Manifest Destiny?  Why is it that this "G-O-D" and the people who claim him as the highest expression of truth and righteous existence truly have no message of redemption or salvation or liberation against a globalizing corporatocracy gone vampirically mad on the black blood of the earth's bowels, of the now clouding, clotting blood of the riverine arteries and capillaries of the ailing Earth Mother? 

"Yea, that we must look up to the lord(s).  Turn ye heads away from that demon earth that pulls ye from a lord on high.  She is a barren harlot.  Raise your voices to him that loveth you best.  Turn your heads from the demon Ancestor that your heathen ways claim as your false creators.  Yea, shall you bask in the warmth of G-O-D that runneth down your sinful body, ignore that that warmth be your very own blood as the cross of your redeemer has been thrust into the flesh of your sinful back, now bowed and weary in righteous supplication to the lord(s).  When your blood of original sin is finally drained from your vessel, it is then that ye shall be saved, for thou needest saving.  Forget ye your demonic past.  Your truth is in the Book, the Word spaketh by the lord(s) himself.  It is so, because.....that book says it is so."  Coyote 3:14-21


" In 1863, a Catholic priest named Jean de Smet, after sojourning illegally in the Black Hills, reported the presence of gold there.  In short order, this incentive proved sufficient to cause Washington to violate the new treaty, sending Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his elite 7th Cavalry Regiment (heavily reinforced) to explore the Hills. [emphasis mine]" - Ward Churchill, pg. 70, "The Earth Is Our Mother", as in "From A Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism, 1985-1995", South End Press, Boston, MA, 1996