Monday, October 8, 2007

The Myth of Christopher Columbus

Why do we celebrate Columbus Day?

I had something wonderful happen to me this morning - - actually stuff has been happening over the last few days – its like I've been preparing for what was going to come this morning. Have you ever heard a message, read a line in a book, or a song, or a line in a movie that you swore was placed there just for you?

Over the past few months I've been working on a huge project - - I've been transcribing hours of interviews – for a piece I'm writing on Afro Latino's. This subject is deep because we have some Latino's who are not interested in hearing that they are African - - the blackest Dominicans claim that they're white. So I've been working on this piece for a minute…yesterday I finished one of the biggest interviews – it was a conversation I had with my favorite NYU Professor – we spoke for several hours. She gave me tons of information – the conversation was a journey through history and the history that has never been taught. By the end of my taking notes I ended up with 26 pages worth of wisdom. As the interview came to a close she kept stressing that what I need to include in my piece was about the Moors in Spain – she admitted that there wasn't a lot she could offer me in this area – but stressed the importance of me finding out. Now I just finished hearing those words Sunday.

So Monday morning, October 8th 2007 – Columbus Day my alarm goes of as it does at 5:00am to WBAI…and I ignore it…it just plays – finally when I was making NO movement to get out of bed my alarm automatically shut itself off. Two hours later I decide to get up and get ready – I turn the radio on and to my surprise WBAI's wake up call is playing a recorded discussion on the Moors (on a personal level I was deeply touched – because I knew that I was supposed to hear this) NOW on a community level…this is information that should be shared. I am not sure who the speaker was – because I didn't catch his name he's a Professor at Emerson here's what I learned…

For a nation that celebrates Columbus Day – another way to look at it…

"Yam Karu - - The reality of the Native American"

It is said that slavery began in 1492, when Columbus began his supposed expedition to civilize nations. He arrives to his newly found land…and what we're taught is that Columbus sailed the ocean blue on the Nina, the pinta, the Santa Maria…and that he discovered America…

"We're not taught that Columbus encouraged the color coding of slaves – the creation of permanent labor – by force – and put a collar on them – with no pay – we are still suffering the psychological damage"

"In 1492 it marked the end of the Moorish rule in the country - - the moors had ruled Spain for 900 years before 1492. The most important element in Moorish Spain were the moors with their Islamic ways and Jews who had been there for 1000 years when you talk about the moors and Jews living together in Spain its not the same as here in NYC they lived side by side in harmony you could not tell the difference between them – other than their religion… only their religion defined them – the moors were highly civilized (evolved) and welcomed everyone from all religions – if only they had been like the Christians and rammed religion down their throats. The moors tried to civilize Spain for 900 years and did not succeed. The Christian Spanish –Castilian – remained ignorant even after 900 years.

After the fall of Granada – you hear – they defeated the moors - the first thing they did (Spanish troops went to one of the Moorish leaders) was approach the moors leaders – a man who was a cunning fellow almost as treacherous as Ferdinand – his opponent - they made a deal – he was paid (like Judas) 30,000 gold pieces and a mall principality where he could live with his people. The Moorish leader hands over Granada to Spain and the first thing they do is burn the books – some of the most priceless literature in the world of learning – it was the moors who gave back Europe – it was the Moorish island scholars who translated all of the great documents - Greek philosophies, Greek sciences, that had been lost to Europe and gave it back to Europe - - what a mistake! We don't hear that – we hear the great Spanish were going to civilize the world - in sciences and medicine. There wasn't a Spanish leader that didn't send out for a Moorish physician to look after them when they were ill. We are not taught that the moors were the most advanced physicians and scholars in Europe - - if you see the instruments that they used in the 14th and 15th century – you still see them in our hospitals today.

They never tell us the moor civilized Spain - - they never tell us that without the Moorish scholarship there world never have been a renaissance in Europe. No credit is given to the moors. Who were the moors? Who were the moors from Africa – they were from North Africa? You want to know what moors look like – go to morocco now (some are the darkest black, shades of brown and white). The moors were predominantly dark African people – buying slaves - - some of the Moorish rulers got so fair because of inter marriage. That some of the lighter Moorish people used to die there skin darker in order to legitimize themselves in the eyes of the followers – and we have Michael Jackson lightening his skin. (To be white was uncivilized – this is interesting…)

It was an African invasion of Europe that happened in 711 the – that began the conquest - -the only place that wasn't discovered – they went into Italy – France – tremendous expansion of Moorish power and if you look at old prints – the soldiers were ebony."

He quotes the film Elsid - - as "pure fiction – the Moorish leader was a bandit – he fought for both sides – they got corrupt. They never tell you that 10 years before 1492 – a small force from Grenada defeated a mighty Spain army. What you cannot win by force you win by guile. The Spanish couldn't defeat the moors."

A poem:

"I am Christopher Columbus
I am he who did miss the land India
I thought I discovered that which was never
How clever
of me to see
The land beyond
I came to tame and claim
in the name of Spain
I am Chris – don't diss – my his…story
I inspired…Moorish selling
I exterminated, perpetuated, hatred
Red men, yellow men, with black men I make no friend
I attack, arrowack, cut off their head, wrote instead,
that the caribs ate them like bread

I never told you this before
But my chief navigator was a moor
You know the moors they discovered Spain
Those blacks who came from the African terrain
The idea that the world was round
I got from these same blacks in some little Spanish town –
Now you may ask – what was blacks doin dare
But they ruled for over 700 years - -
they made a great mistake then
Instead of enslaving us the made us their friend
Some survive – stayed alive – fought the invasion, European division, European aggression - - the fight between Europe and Europe expansion
I wrote your history for you -
did not tell you true –
not all black men came as slaves
You will know the truth in the waves that brought the ships

I am christopher Columbus
I gave Europe power over all the earth
500 years of your blood, sweat and tears
now you celebrate , recreate your death,
let the glasses touch with the blood of your fathers and mothers,
give a toast – to my arrival - - my survival - -
the land is still mine –
the pope is still the divine –
yes –
drink your own blood and call it wine -
nothing in the pages of my history will block our your misery - -
who shall celebrate my victory - -
your children praise me – I am your only history

I am Christopher Columbus - - I died but you made me live
Give me the place once more - - let me discover you again –
the stain my father blood rule - -
fool you celebrate my coming - -
no I will not go – not from your mind –
restore me for all to see –
keepers of evil –
shepherds of my people –
lead them to the alter of lies – your ancestor cries –
will not be heard –
word after word –
pages of history written –
the victims are once more bitten.

1492 to you
the beginning of western world democracy
1492 to me
the beginning of white supremacy"

(by Poet – Adu Baluka – not sure if I am spelling this correctly – poem called Columbus's Ghost)

What's interesting here is that we learn a history that teaches us that in 1492 Columbus strolls up and civilizes this world…We never hear that this land is stolen –we hear stories of Plymouth rock – and how the pilgrims arrived and they coexisted with the Native Americans and they had some sort of huge feast and lived in harmony –I have never heard a native American historian tell this version of the story… we need to re-write U.S. history – there is much to be included.

The speaker continues:

"We live in a Columbus Day myth….1492 something magical began to happen – this intrepid sailor – other people also made the trip – people crossed the Atlantic on anything that could float…"

Yes he took the journey – not the best way to come – a black Puerto Rican scholar – Aurelio Theo – was in the archives in Madrid looking up material on Columbus and found documents pointing out that the Moorish sailors were very advanced in their sailing skill that they were trained to tell direction by watching the way the waves and currents moved. They were brilliant."

"With racism there are all kinds of distortion"

He talked about when Ponce de Leon – a greedy genocidal man – tried to colonize Florida for 100 years…that the native Americans fought – they fought ferociously – they weren't having it – they were the Appalachia (not sure of spelling)…they were great fighters/warriors.

"They had long arrows and special bows – they neutralized the Spanish who were coming – Europe was invading…they wanted to control all of Florida" (It made sense that the Spanish wanted to control Florida…they wanted to block the slaves from the leaving – block all exits.)

"At the time when disease wiped out a lot of the Native Americans – blacks began to run away into Florida – slaves escaped from Cuba – going to Florida – and the LARGEST rĂ©sistance in the history was of the Columbian era – its one of the best kept secrets in North American." We must question why this is.

"Go to all the African American studies departments around this country – ask them how many blacks fought a continuous insurgence in the continental United States for 150 years and that by 1856 – 2/3 of the entire armed forces of the US was fighting against those Native Americans and African insurgents. You would think something of that magnitude would be everyday knowledge to you - that you would have learned this in elementary school. You were never taught this! None of you know this - you were taught that uprisings were crushed!"

"Seminoles don't exist – this word was used to describe blacks who escaped from the Carolinas and Georgia and VA – the first Seminoles were black – how do we know this – the white army were writing letters that they were fighting blacks in Florida.

Wherever we have united – the black and native Americans are natural allies- they worked together…"

Why isn't this in our history books? And why are we still celebrating this day…considered a day of genocide…

I leave you with another piece of reading:

"F$^ Columbus...Columbus Day means Genocide Day"
By Roberto Mucaro Borrero

"As Columbus Day fast approaches so does the realization that it is one of the most controversial of 8 U.S federal holidays. At least 17 States do not celebrate or recognize the holiday and plans for annual protests and related educational initiatives are well under way across the United States.

While some Americans question why all there is so much the controversy toward the "discoverer of the New World", I am reminded of the collective "human spirit" that brought together the nations who developed the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948. The United States was among the original signatories of this Convention whose second article states that genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

In light of this definition, as we review the legacy of Columbus - from the acts he personally committed to atrocities committed by his "countrymen" and successors - one would be hard pressed to not see the connections to the genocide of Caribbean and other Indigenous Peoples throughout the hemisphere.

Whether "mixed or full blood", the contemporary descendants of the first Indigenous Peoples to meet Columbus, the Taino, Carib, and Arawak Peoples are survivors of what can be considered a centuries-old campaign of genocide committed against our communities. From the encomienda system to the sterilization of our women to the commodity and genetically modified foods that have been imposed on our rural or urban "ghetto-ized" communities, this genocidal campaign continues albeit in subtle forms. These vestiges of old colonial regimes masquerading as a new world order affect the well-being of not only our present but our future generations.

Although Columbus himself never set foot in the United States, Indigenous Peoples throughout the country recognize that the celebration of the federally (tax payer) funded holiday called Columbus Day is a symbol of genocide. Promotion of Columbus as a "hero" is racism as its one-sided mainstream presentation attempts to sanitize the injustices committed during his time or the injustices that continue to be committed against our Peoples today.

Indeed, Columbus Day supporters vindicate the celebration of these injustices under the guise of an alleged "civilizing" of savage, non-European peoples.

With regard to racism, I refer to the Webster's definition, which holds that it is "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race." In the same definition, racism is further defined as "racial prejudice or discrimination."

Again, by reviewing the motives behind the Columbus enterprise as well as his actions toward and against the Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean, we can link not only the man himself but his legacy and symbolism directly to racism. This link can be made much in the same way there was an outcry against flying the Confederate Flag on U.S. government grounds. The Confederate flag is linked by many to the legacy of slavery and it is generally accepted that slavery in the past or present constitutes a gross human rights violation unacceptable by "civilized" standards today.

Columbus was a slave trader and the majority of his contemporaries promoted and exported this institution. Fueled by his philosophy of racial superiority, Columbus instituted systems on behalf of the King and Queen of Spain, which fundamentally denied the self-determination of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples.

This racist philosophy has been supported at all levels of imposed government regimes including past and present educational systems.

Contemporary Taino descendants should have a particular interest in this subject as government and educational institutions continue to deny our right to self-determination by denying our existence. The denial of our right to self-determination is a violation of our basic human rights. Our right to self-determination was recently acknowledged by the United Nations with its adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Non-Taino academics who are elevated to the status of "experts" on our culture without any consultation with our communities are intentionally or unintentionally parties to these human rights violations. While we remain "invisible" peoples with no rights, "they" remain free to say and promote what they want to say about ancestors, our people and our heritage.

Make no mistake if you are a Taino, your rights are being violated everyday whether you want to admit it or not. These violations do not discriminate against "full bloods or mix bloods" as they are violations against our communities as a whole. Our most recent example of the violation of our rights as Taino people is evidenced by the "Grito de Caguana" protest in Boriken (Puerto Rico) and the arrest of Taino people occupying our sacred ceremonial grounds. These violations, these examples of racial prejudice and discrimination as well as the promotion of symbols of genocide against our ancestors and our peoples must not be tolerated even at the most subtle level.

Referring back to Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 3 states that along with genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; attempt to commit genocide; and complicity in genocide are all punishable by law.

As we turn our attention toward the state-sponsored promotion of symbols of genocide such as Columbus and Columbus Day, it becomes ever clearer that our present and future generations can not afford our complicity. While the legacy of Columbus is a part of our collective history, it is not a legacy that should be sanctified with a national celebration at the expense of those whose ancestors gave their lives defending their liberty against a brutal and unjustifiable oppression."

Roberto Mucaro Borrero is the President of the United Confederation of Taino People’s Office of International Relations and Regional Coordination. He is also the current Chairperson of the NGO Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World..s Indigenous Peoples, a Special Committee of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations - CONGO.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Is World War III around the corner?

Is WWIII coming?

Yesterday morning I tried to do my yoga but I couldn't really get to my quiet place. My thoughts were interrupted by yet another conversation on WBAI.

Just so we're all on the same page I'll probably quote them a lot in the next few weeks since I have caved in and decided to slowly allow some news in my life. Since 9/11 I've been very against TV news - - specifically mainstream U.S. reported news/media. After the attacks I just found our TV stations unreliable and uninformative. But I've had a change of heart actually it's more like an exception - - I've decided to make WBAI my morning alarm so I wake up with them every day now. The thoughts that kept repeating in my head were "U.S. will attack Iran soon!" This scared me – but I kept it movin – I pushed the thought out of my head and left for work.

I arrived to Roc center a little after 8:00am and sat at my coffee spot to do a bit of writing before starting the work day – there was only one other guy in the place. He was reading the post and I was doing my thing. At about 8:55am I got up to leave and I noticed the man was gone – but he left his paper behind…I was curious and I also have A.D.D. so I did a quick search, according to Circulation is at: 724,748 Daily and 439,202 on Sunday (not the best source – but let's go with the number).

As I was attempting to leave I kept looking back at the newspaper. Now, I usually don't read newspapers either I basically catch a headline now and again…I usually just get my news from my daily call with my sister Joe, or when I go to the office kitchen where CNN or Fox News is always turned on – that's where I get my fill on the ever so important coverage of the latest OJ Simpson case (that usually plays all day).

I kept moving away from the Post but something made me go back and pick the f'n paper up – I couldn't resist. Here's why:

Front page read: in big bold letters "COURT BOMBSHELL
The tagline: "BRIT LOSES KIDS"

Beneath that: "Pop tart's babies go to K-Fed"

The First two pages are about water and the mayor…

Page 4 starts a 2-page spread called: "Tart's 2-Tots Sent To Pops," and the entire piece focused on the personal life of Brittney Spears – a woman with PERSONAL problems and her losing her kids gets front page news (shout at to Brit – my prayers are with you girl)…this is incredibly disturbing. I didn't even read it…I stuffed it in my bag and decided to look at the paper later.

I never did get to it last night because I went to see Junot Diaz speak at Cervantes Institute…he is f'n brilliant…let me just give him a shout out…I was so impressed by him…I have never read his work…but I am a huge supporter of him now. I decided last night – man I gotta like a guy / and trust a guy who says the "F-word" even more than me! The man is amazing… I will definitely write about him after I read his new book. Stay with me folks – remember its called A.D.D. for a reason. J

So today I was curious I thought I would analyze the paper to see how much important news is really being covered…actually what I was really looking for was if there was any mention of beef with Iran…because up until the United Nations meetings in New York last week it was the first I had heard about some sort of problem with Iran and its President.

So I moved on turning the page and found what I was looking for:

Page 8: in BIG BOLD LETTERS: "WAR ON TERROR" here's the setup – large photo of one of our military next to the piece titled: "Dollar Kid, 15, hanged" allegedly, a young teenager in Afghanistan was hung and American dollars stuffed in his mouth… ARE YOU SCARED YET?

BUT NOT WITHOUT THEM ADDING A SIDE BAR: with a picture of Condoleezza Rice and under her photo in real small font it says "Calls Iraq the key…" (not sure what this means) but it was the intro to the REAL piece called "U.S. seeks 'block' on Iran: Rice" she is quoted in the piece as saying "that despite the Iranian's claim that they don't want to destabilize Iraq, the United States has told them "they're behaving in a very strange fashion—and there are costs to doing what they've been doing"" this piece was 7 sentences long for a very serious accusation with NO examples of what this strange behavior is!!! And even more stranger to me is…and what the U.S. is intending on doing about it? Shit it sounds like a threat to me – those are fighting words…INTERESANTE!

Confession…after finding what I was looking for I did a quick scan of the newspaper and tossed it…there was nothing else that jumped out at me. Nothing worth my attention!

During my lunch yesterday I decided to listen to the piece on Iran again and take some notes and here's what I got:

WBAI program: Wake Up Call w/Deepa Fernandes: 7:00AM Tuesday, October 2nd 2007 – I'm just gonna quote this entire section my opinions and personal thoughts will go in (parenthesis)

(Deepa is interviewing a Professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, Michel Chossudovsky – the discussion is about an article published by Global Research)

Professor says: "U.S. sponsored war plans directed at Iran… use of nuclear weapons…threat from U.S. for non-compliance…War plans are at READINESS stage (meaning we're getting ready to drop more bombs on more people's homes). Britain, NATO, ISRAEL in a U.S. led coalition… (These countries have the U.S.'s back)

Iran will be attacked soon…military planning was initiated in July 2003 – the plan is called "TYRANT" which stands for: Theatre, YRA:Iran, Near, Term. These war plans are well documented. The Bush administration has sounded the war drums, says the professor... we will attack Iran if they don't comply with OUR DEMANDS. (The U.S. believes that Iran has a nuclear program…but they have NO proof… however, I have a question—DOESN'T THIS SOUND AWFULLY FAMILIAR –– didn't we attack Iraq for what were the reasons again? 1. We were looking for Bin Laden, 2. We were looking for weapons of mass destruction, 3. Invading Iraq was our attempt to end the war on terror, 4. and out of the kindness of our hearts…the U.S. was bringing democracy to Iraq…RIGHT – SURE~ I'm sensing a little bit of dejavu coming on… except NOTHING WAS FOUND in Iraq MAYBE they hid it in Iran. And that's right what did Condi say about Iran: "they're behaving in a very strange fashion" – sounds like a weak attempt to justify the actions we're about to take) Vienna reports that Iran does NOT have a nuclear program (U.S. says Iran is a threat - - just because the U.S. says it doesn't make it so – we say a lot of things)

The U.S. responds: WE reserve the RIGHT to REPRIMAND and we also reserve the right to use OUR tactical NUCLEAR WEAPONS against Iran for its non-compliance. The media has barely covered this debate… (which was why I picked up the post to begin with – I was curious to see how this issue was being covered – today I picked up the USA Today, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal – I am dreading opening these papers)

(About the U.S. he says)

The U.S. will use Nuclear weapons in the Middle East… IAEA reports Iran Nuclear operations are civilian. We now have a democratic congress - - there has been NO examination or holding the U.S. accountable…if the President of the United States declares war on Iran – they HAVE the SUPPORT of congress. Congress has said NOTHING!

(At this point in the interview the professor's voice is shaky – he's nervous – you can hear his genuine concern when he says)

We're talking about something EXTREMELY serious – a series of nuclear directives pertaining to the USE of NUCLEAR WEAPONS is very serious…the U.S. makes it clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force, INCLUDING potential nuclear weapons to the use of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. (meaning if the U.S. bombs Iran – and Iran has the audacity to fight back - we will drop atomic bombs on their asses – this is so f'd up - - nuclear weapons don't seem to be considered weapons of mass destruction there pulling that shit out like its nothing)

(He goes on to say)

U.S. and Pentagon propaganda…that the nuclear weapons are HARMLESS to the civilian population because the explosion is underground. (I just keep thinking if nuclear weapons are harmless…why are we sweating Iran or looking for weapons is Iraq? Why were we sweating Cuba during the missile crisis days? Something doesn't jive folks. If they're harmless to civilians – then what are we worrying about – and why is it our job to enter these countries like where some sort of sheriff in town?)

(Professor says)

Pure fabrications – these are BOMBS and they will lead to a NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST! (Shall I repeat that? BOMBS that will lead to a NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST) U.S. plans to use nuclear weapons on a country who hasn't done anything to us visibly – apart from the stuff we may not like about how the country deals with human rights or women's rights… THIS IS SERIOUS! There IS a deployment in the Middle East - - there ARE warships all over the place they HAVE the place surrounded…THEY ARE GETTING READY!

Why is this issue not at the forefront of public debate (that's the question that's boggling me – why aren't we talking about it – why do we care more about what's happening in Brittney's home or about O:-) – who gives a shit about him?) The anti-war movement is not mobilizing - - its not front page news…NUCLEAR WAR is not front page news???

It's a process of media distortion…(I got that first hand when I opened up the post…they're giving us what we want more of…who wants to talk about nuclear war – innocent people being killed – in horrific ways…why face that reality when we got reality TV?)
(He talks about what this military planning would look like)

It's a military escalation plan…starting with air strikes…then ground troops…and then finally an invasion (much like what we have in Iraq). We're not dealing with a country (about Iran) without weapons…THEY WILL RETALIATE (its really arrogant of us to think that we can attack a country and expect them to just sit back and take it…what are we talking about? Can someone help me understand this?)

(He goes on to say) They (meaning the U.S.) want Iran to retaliate – so they can go to stage 2 in this escalation scenario…they are prompting confrontation with Iran - then it's an ALL OUT WAR! (its like the bully in the school yard picking on the nerd – pushing and shoving him/her – cracking jokes about his/her mother – until that kid comes in with a gun – then its not so funny)

(He ends the talk w/Deepa with) the implications here are serious…we're not talking about separate war threats - - i.e. Iraq…. We're talking about Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Palestine - - we're talking about ONE big war….a WWIII scenario! If this attack takes place…and presenting Iran as the enemy the idea that Iran will attack the U.S. is simply NOT TRUE!" (I am really curious on what's in it for Israel & Britain?)

Of the 724,748 people reading the NY Post – how many people are talking about this?

For information on Global Research:

Peace & light~

Monday, October 1, 2007

Exclusively Black

This morning I was listening to WBAI radio (wake up call segment) and the discussion was about the controversial win by Amy Winehouse at the MOBO Music Awards, last week – she was awarded the Best UK Female…

MOBO stands for Music of Black Origins… the question being raised: "should a white woman win this award?" Now anyone who knows Amy's music, her voice and style can appreciate that this woman is fierce and has an incredibly soulful style…if you didn't know she was white you'd think she was Black. She's the shit!

My understanding is that this award show was created to celebrate the music of Black British artists and artist's African descent (internationally). In the WBAI interview with a Black reporter in ... (I didn't catch his name Henry something, he was some sort of creative director for the only Black owned radio station in the UK. His argument was that if the intention for the MOBO's: "is to celebrate the vision of Black music and Black British artists – it hasn't quite turned out that way."

The issues that were brought up in the conversation were the idea of "inclusive and exclusive." He mentioned that awards have been won by Eminem, Joss stone and George Michael. He argued that Black music awards gets NO financial support – unless they have larger sponsors like "Mastercard" and that it wasn't until it went mainstream that it began receiving "white support." And once this did happen when the larger sponsors got involved it changed the dynamic of the show.

In the interview they got into how the categories are added or dropped according to who's sponsoring the awards shows that artists who should be nominated aren't. The British reporter spoke about how when it looks like a bigger artist is coming they create a special category for them i.e. Little Kim won the MOBO fashion icon award category – the following year it was dropped. It seems like it has become more about the money than the people the MOBO awards were initially created to honor.

There's this need to want to keep with its original focus but it's not what's been happening. How do you hold on to something that is authentically "yours" and not be exclusive? They talked about the importance of recognizing that white artist are inspired by Black urban culture (they used Elvis Presley as an example) – but I think the question is who is this show created for? The show started in 1996 and you see the change in the direction…in the names of those who are attending the event, artists who are performing at it, and then those who are being nominated…and this has some people upset.

While I was listening I thought about the Latin Grammy Awards shows and wondered what if Beyonce won the award for best Latin Female…the purpose for these kinds of shows that I will admit and can accept that they are in fact "exclusive" in nature…it's a moment where artists Black or Latin can be recognized for their contributions and influence of Black or Latin music on the mainstream. It's a place for these artists to come together and get recognition where they might get overlooked for the Grammy – it's a night for them to shine.

The founder of the MOBO is quoted as saying she feels "it's better to be inclusive and not be exclusive." To me it sounds a little like selling out…what about holding on to the initial intention? She's also quoted as saying "A celebration of Black artists can not exclude white artist." OK I can agree with this – no one is saying white folks can't attend – but still how do you give a "Best Black Female Artist award" to a white woman?

The reporter acknowledged that the argument could be made that a white person who's from the city might take great offense to not be considered urban…saying this could be considered "Musical apartheid." He said something like… Amy Winehouse is Jewish – would a Black person win some sort of award in Israel? He talked about how easy it is for anyone to claim they're Black - - without learning the history. That if one wanted to be an actor in Bollywood – one would learn about Indian history.

Why are we multiracial when everyone else isn't!

Your thoughts!