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Fahari-Libertad The

Fall 2009

THE FAMILY President Stephanie Sanchez

Fa-ha-ri: (noun)

Vice-President Saki Rizwana

Dignity, respect, a good reputation, derived from the language of KiSwahili.

Li-ber-tad: (noun)

Editor in Chief Regina “Reggy” Rivers

Spanish for FREEDOM!

Layout Editor Saki Rizwana

The Fahari-Libertad is committed to printing the political, social, and economic views and concerns regarding people of color here at SUNY New Paltz. It is published in the spirit of cultural unity as well as bringing about the spiritual unification of all people. The main goal of the Fahari-Libertad is to enrich and educate all with knowledge and enlightenment. We accept anyone who is truly committed to these goals to work with us.

Cover Design Russell Davis Inside Covers Vixon “V-Jay” John Saki Rizwana

Mission:

Staff Writers Shatera Gurganious Regina “Reggy” Rivers Saki Rizwana Stephanie Sanchez Maridenia Soto

To seek knowledge, truth and unity with pride. The Fahari-Libertad is currently seeking staff writers, copy editors, layout editors, and photo editors. A major/minor in Journalism/English is NOT a requirement. Please inquire via email at faharilibertad@gmail.com

The Fahari-Libertad SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building, Rm. 323 New Paltz, NY 12561 (845)257-3038 Email: faharilibertad@gmail.com faharilibertad.blogspot.com

Guest Writers / Contributors Jake Moore Arlene Villanueva Ranysha Ware Roger Whitson Euclyn William

Copies of The Fahari-Libertad can be found in the SUB, the MLK Center, the Black Studies Department, the Lecture Center and in The Fahari Office - SUB 323, along with various residence halls.

Alumni Contributors Justin Myles Holmes Vixon “V-Jay” John Diego Gerena-Quiñones Tanaya Rosa Santiago

The Fahari-Libertad is sponsored by The Student Association of SUNY New Paltz. All authors and artists are responsible for their own submissions. Special Thanks to: The Department of Black Studies,and all our brothers & sisters who submitted articles, toons, and poetry for showing the support needed to publish this magazine.

Inside this issue: FAHARI-LIBERTAD

Obama The President of Peace

... p. 6

Student Stress: Academics & Social Life

... p. 12

Clean Out Your TOOL Box

... p. 27

Sexual Schizophrenia

... p. 28

and, much, much more!


From the President’s Desk

New Paltz was never my first choice when considering what college I would go to. However, due to certain circumstances AKA money, I chose to attend the small state university. I was upset at first, but I eventually began to love the place I now call home 9 months out of the year. Yes, this is my home; and recently I have been feeling like I have no say in the things happening here. When I arrived at school this semester I was eager to get my things unpacked and settled in. However, my move was slowed down due to a broken elevator. I was then told that I had no key to lock my bedroom door, and wouldn’t have one for up to 3 weeks. I angrily stormed to my room to find my cable jack falling out of my wall. I then thought to myself, ‘What the hell am I paying room and board for?! Where is my money going?’ Clearly, my money was not going to anything that it should be, such as fixing the elevator or my hole in the wall cable jack, or ordering me a new key for my room. I would find out where my money had been going the next day as I tried to make it to class. I say “tried’ because my normal routes to the academic buildings were completely screwed up. Everywhere I turned there were large gates, orange plastic fencing, and huge detour signs. Every five feet the ground was being torn apart and you could almost taste asbestos in the air. Parking lots were being used to house construction materials, making parking on campus nearly impossible. I was amazed to see my beautiful campus being torn apart and destroyed right in front of my eyes. Then I finally saw the contraption being built in between the SUB and the HAB. Day by day, I could see the large metal monster growing larger and larger, hovering between the SUB and HAB like a large metal spider web. No one seemed to know its purpose. WHAT COULD IT BE? I sure as hell don’t know what it is but I’m sure it’s not an alternative to the Purple Lounge. I know it’s not going to replace our missing Jazzmans. I know it’s not going to change the quality of the crappy food CAS feeds us. It won’t fix my cable jack or give me new furniture. I know it won’t help pay my tuition or buy my books. Sounds to me like it’s good for nothing. WTF NEW PALTZ?! It is not okay for us to just sit around and let other people make the decisions on what will happen in our home. As a writer I feel it is my duty to expose the issues we face, and to encourage you all to do something about it. This is our home, and we should all be pushing to have a say in what will happen here.

Stephanie Sanchez President, Fahari-Libertad

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From the Vice-President’s Desk

Fahari (n) – origin – Kiswahili dignity, respect, a good reputation Libertad (n) – origin – Spanish freedom This is what the Fahari Libertad stands for. It represents the dignity of the “minorities” (that are actually the majority) that have endured hundreds of years of oppression. It represents the respect that is needed for human beings to co-exist peacefully. It has the good reputation of bringing truth and knowledge to an otherwise ignorant university campus. It represents the freedom which students have to speak their minds with limited repercussions. It has given me an outlet to voice my opinions and speak out about issues which are important to me. College is one of the rare times in life where we can speak our minds (for the most part) without having long lasting consequences. In classes, we can stand up to our professors and speak our minds (or at least try to) and what’s the worst that can happen? Maybe we get a bad grade in the class. That seems relatively inconsequential when you look at the fact that later in life, speaking your mind can get you fired from your job, make you lose your financial stability, etc. As college students, we have quite a great deal of power… Or at least we think we do. Though we have power, it is highly limited. Take the New Paltz campus for example. In the past two years, New Paltz has begun some serious construction work all throughout campus. Starting with the renovation of Old Main, they have now moved to fix all the walk-ways throughout campus as well as creating a monstrous glass structure (which no one seems to know the exact function of) in between the Student Union Building and the Haggerty Administration Building. Now, for those that complain about the construction, understand the state allots certain funds to the school with very specific guidelines. The university doesn’t just get 10 million dollars to do with whatever they want. They only get it if they decide to do construction using this company and that company, etc. There are stipulations which come along with the funds which the school can and does receive. Now, getting back to the main point – had the students been asked prior to these plans for construction had been put into action, I’m sure we would have asked for more programming space. There simply isn’t enough room to have all the programs we want and accommodate the number of people that attend said programs. I’m sure we also would have asked for lounge space where we could hang out and relax and build a sense of community with our fellow students. I’m also certain that the students living on campus would ask for better housing so first-year students aren’t crammed into triples when the rooms can barely hold doubles. However, the students were not asked what they would prefer. They were not consulted during the planning process. Most of us didn’t know what was happening until signs went up blocking access to different areas and the jackhammers had already begun their work. Decisions were made simply with our “best” in mind. Now that construction is well under way and students need to find new routes to class every other week because of all the repaving going on, now that students are complaining, is anyone actually listening? Sure, we’ve spoken out about all these changes. For example – why is it that we fill out so many questionnaires

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at Hasbrouck telling them that they need to improve their food quality and when changes are made, EVERYTHING is changed BUT the food?! Students have complained about losing the Purple Lounge, which acted as both a lounge space as well as great programming space. Has a move been made by the administration to give us the lounge space back or to create something which functions as a new Purple Lounge?! If such a move has been made, I certainly have not heard about it. As students, we can speak out. That much we know and that much we’ve done. But now, it’s time to make our voices heard! It’s time to stop SIMPLY speaking out. There are lots of changes going on at SUNY New Paltz, some visible and some structural, and as students, we have the right to demand changes that benefit us. So, don’t just speak out, make your voices heard. Don’t just make your voices heard, take action. Your action might inspire others and create a movement for change. Khoda Hafez (Bengali) – Goodbye. Phir Milenge (Hindi) – We will meet again. Ma’as Salaam (Arabic) – I leave you in peace. Adiós (Spanish) – Bye. Ciao (Italian) – Bye. Kwa Herini (Kiswahili) – Goodbye. Goodbye (English) – Goodbye.

Saki Rizwana Vice-President, Fahari-Libertad

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From the Editor-in-Chief’s Desk

I hope you all enjoyed your summers. Welcome back returners, welcome to New Paltz new comers…now someone explain to me what in the opposite of heaven has happened here? I remember when the construction started taking place on campus and I thought that it would just be Old Main back in ’07 when I transferred here. Now, there’s some type of crooked marshmallow structure being built between the SUB and Haggerty. That’s all I have to say about that! I had an interesting realization about school and education in one of my writing classes not too long ago. Since preschool and kindergarten, children are taught to obey the authority of teaching instructors as they teach us what to learn, say and associated methods. The cycle repeats up to high school whether a young person agrees with what they are learning or not. Then, when college starts, the young person is encouraged by the professor to think outside the box. Everyone’s experience is different and with me, it was a hard transition to disagree with an assigned reading from class but I find that some professors are actually interested in learning as to why some students may disagree with the theories of Freud, Darwin, or Postman’s Huxleyan view of media technology. Feel free to Twitter me if I’m mistaken while one group of people is taught to lead, another is taught to follow. In this crooked society, humans are constantly controlled under the auspices of some imperfect authoritarian individual or organization. Some individuals choose to hunger for power in order to be happy, some choose to make a difference via radical or peaceful demonstrations in order to be happy, and some just choose to be happy…period. So, what am I rambling about? People are going to do what they want to do and friends, associates, families and enemies alike may or may not agree with a person’s decisions in life, but it has to be accepted. As my undergraduate journey ends, I reflect on the arugments and discussions I’ve had with family, old friends, new friends, associates, enemies, frenemies, and professors about school and general issues of the world. My general consensus: It’s funny how some blame God or doubt his existence yet you rarely hear someone question the devil’s intentions. As I stated before, people are going to do what they want and believe what they want. Society can say whatever they feel necessary to hurt or mold others, but who gave birth to me? For every one successful person, there is a group of haters plotting destroy him/her. Michael Jackson IS a genre of music. Now as I prepare to exit the college life phase in this game of life, all I ask is that you take care of yourselves, don’t bite off more than what you can chew and the most important…eat your vegetables. If you have time, clog the flow of normalcy in society, whatever the definition of that is. Love, peace and hair grease,

Regina “Reggy” Rivers Editor-in-Chief, Fahari-Libertad

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ObamaThe President of Peace… By Saki Rizwana, Vice-President

It was Friday, October 9th, 2009, approximately 11.30 am. I was walking around my room getting my things together and about to head to the gym. The television was on channel 7 in the background, the ladies of The View were arguing about some randomness that was irrelevant to all things in my life (and yes, sometimes I watch The View, seeing as how my television only gets about 3 different television channels and the other two were Jerry Springer and Martha Stewart). The show was interrupted by a Special News Report. It was to show President Barack Obama accepting his Nobel Peace Prize! My jaw dropped as I realized what was happening. Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, in office for about NINE months, had just accepted the Nobel Peace Prize! The first question in my mind was “Why?!” What has Obama done in the past nine months that would warrant such an honor? The last time I checked, we were still in Iraq. In fact, not only were we in Iraq, we had our hands in all parts of the world. The last time I checked, we were still putting more money toward building our army instead of bringing troops home. Guantanamo Bay is still up and running. We have yet to define “torture.” Has Obama changed any of this? In fact, how much foreign policy work has he done since being inaugurated to office? If you can think of one largely positive foreign policy move made by Obama and his administration, you’ve thought of one more than I’ve managed to so far. This all just begs the question to be asked again – “Why, why, why, why, why?!?!” Obama is in the company of past Photo Courtesy of FoxNews.com US presidents such as Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter. He is also in the company of people such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Al Gore and, my personal favorite since he and I share the same native country, Muhammad Yunnus. Now, compare Obama’s work from the past nine months to the work these people did: Dr. King was instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement; Nelson Mandela was instrumental in uniting South Africa after the end of apartheid; Al Gore has made great strides in informing the world about the realities of global warming and has led a movement toward conscious environmentalism in an effort to save the planet; Muhammad Yunnus has been developing ways to help the poor with his system of microcredit where small loans are given to those who would normally be disqualified due to their inability to meet the traditional expectations of traditional banks. Now, we must again ask ourselves – “Why?!” We should also keep in mind that the process of selecting who receives any type of Nobel Prize takes quite a few months. Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee (NNC) work for months in going through all the nominees to find the perfect candidate and deadlines are placed at the beginning of the year. In fact, the deadline for this year’s nominations was February 1st, 2009. This means that by the time President Barrack Obama had to have been nominated, he would have officially been the President of the United States for approximately eleven days. Yes, I counted that properly; it would have been ELEVEN DAYS!!! Again…WHY?!?! It seems that the President had already given us the answer on his campaign trail – it’s hope!!! The Norweigan Nobel Committee is HOPING that Obama ends the war in Iraq. They’re HOPING that things don’t escalate with Iran on the nuclear front. They’re HOPING the United States can look up the word “torture” in the dictionary and read the damn definition. By the way, “torture” is: “1.the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment Fahari 6


or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty; 2.a method of inflicting such pain; 3.extreme anguish of body or mind; 4.a cause of sever pain or anguish.” It seems like they’re hoping for quite a lot. And it seems to me as though this is more about politics than about recognizing real efforts. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and all the things the Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes Obama will do will actually become reality. Perhaps they know better. They’re intelligent people…right?! I mean, they have to be! They even outline what to wear to Nobel events – in case you were amazing enough to receive such an award or be important enough to be invited and you didn’t know that you should dress accordingly, the NNC tells you that men are expected to dress in dark suits and women in dresses. We would have never known that had they not let us know how important this event was. So they must know things the general public doesn’t…right?!?! Maybe this is one of those things. Maybe I need to be more of an optimist and just hope for the best. As Chris Rock said on this issue – We had the President of War and now we have the President of Peace. Let’s hope Barrack Obama can truly become the “President of Peace”…. Here’s to hoping… Sources: -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_Peace_Prize_laureates -http://nobelpeaceprize.org/en_GB/nomination_committee/selection-process/ -http://nobelpeaceprize.org/en_GB/about_peaceprize/dress-code/ -http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/torture

Top Ten Reasons President Obama Should

Give Back the Nobel Peace Prize By Bruce A. Dixon

*Referenced by Saki Rizwana, Vice-President

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon At the Nobel announcement of this year’s peace prize a reporter asked the Nobel spokesman “why”, since the man had only been in office less than a year, and had done so little to merit the honor. The spokesman replied that the prize had been given not so much for anything Obama had done, but in the spirit of hope and encouragement, for what he might do. Maybe. Top Ten Reasons President Obama Should Give Back the Nobel Peace Prize by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon In the real world Barack Obama is a politician. The Nobel Peace Prize is highly political too, handed out with equanimity to bloodthirsty warmongers and genuine peacemakers alike, according to the politics of the moment. Henry Kissinger got one less than a year after breaking off peace talks to end the Vietnam War to bomb Hanoi over the 1972 Christmas holidays. Dr. King’s receipt of the prize on the other hand, contributed mightily to his eventual public opposition to the imperial war in Vietnam. Black Agenda Report salutes the European journalist who posed the key question at the Nobel press conference. Corporate American media being the great force for openness and accountability that it is, the query would have been a career-killer for any American reporter who dared utter it. In that same spirit of reality-based reporting and commentary we offer these top ten reasons the president ought to reconsider accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Reason Number Ten: The president is escalating, not ending the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like his Republican opponent John McCain, Barack Obama ran not as the peace candidate on Afghanistan, but the war candidate, promising to up the ante with drone attacks and cross-border forays into Afghanistan. The main difference between Obama and McCain on that issue was that McCain said we should escalate the war in that part of the world because we were winning, while Obama contended we must escalate it because we were winning. This is one promise Obama has kept. His first military strike inside the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater was ordered within 36 hours of his inauguration. The president is reportedly now considering the deployment of 40,000 or more additional US forces to Afghanistan. Furthermore, Obama’s puppet Afghan president is the brother of the country’s and possibly the planet’s biggest opium dealer. That’s no small thing, since Afghanistan supplies 90% of the world’s opium, most of which is refined into heroin for addicts at home and around the world. To be fair, Obama did inherit the puppet regime from his predecessor, who also begat the tradition of the United States funding its puppet regimes and mercenary armies abroad with drug profits. We did it in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, where many of our local generals were the opium lords who ran the refineries and exported the crop. The Reagan regime also paid for its bloody contra war in Nicaragua with a mixture of illicit arms sales and profits from the cocaine trade too. So despite being hailed as a ‘”transformative leader” President Obama continues a proud and corrupt tradition of dubious and drug-soaked allies to carry on the wars at the fringes of America’s global empire.

Reason Number Nine: President Obama is still peddling lies about Iran building nuclear weapons. When Iran announced that it planned to exercise its treaty right to diversify its energy sources and build a plant for enriching uranium within the guidelines of applicable international agreements, President Obama sank nearly to the level of his predecessors in trying to sell to the world the specter of an imaginary nuclear threat. The fact that the president’s own intelligence agencies and the relevant international bodies affirm that there is no Iranian nuclear threat didn’t stop the president’s warlike rhetoric of sanctions and drastic measures directed against Iran. The last president who sold us imaginary tales of Middle Eastern nukes used those tales to justify a genocidal war that has killed more than 1.5 million Iraqis along with a few thousand Americans, at a cost estimated in the trillions of dollars.

Reason Number Eight: Barack Obama’s first budget called for expanding, not shrinking the army and marine corps. The military has two jobs, breaking things and killing people. It’s no secret that with no real military rivals anywhere on earth for the last twenty years, the United States, with five percent of the world’s population has outspent the rest of the planet combined on military hardware, personnel, bases, research and operations. President Obama ran for office pledging to expand the US army and marines by 90 to 120 thousand pairs of boots, the better to fight multiple wars in far-flung corners of a world where the US maintains more than 800 military bases in over 100 countries.

Reason Number Seven: President Obama retained Robert Gates, a bloodthirsty Reaganite war criminal as Secretary of Defense.

Photo Courtesy of BlackAgendaReport.com Fahari 8

In a 1948 rebranding, the US renamed its Department of War the Department of Defense. Nothing else changed but the name. Barack Obama is the first president in more than two centuries of US history to keep the Secretary of War installed by a predecessor of the opposite party. The current Secretary of War, Robert Gates has a history of bloodstained treachery stretching back to his betrayal of Jimmy Carter when he served on Carter’s National Security Administration team. Gates allegedly assured Iran they’d get a better deal from Reagan if they kept the hostages till the new president took office. Gates was rewarded with the post of deputy director at the Reagan era CIA, where he doctored intelligence and ran murderous secret operations around the world till the end of the first Bush administration. When 1993 Democrats decided to “look forward” and not prosecute the crimes of Reagan-Bush misrule, Gates slunk off to private life until his recall a decade later by the second Bush. The Pentagon under Robert Gates has 2.1 million uniformed


employees and millions more contractors, civilian employees, armies of spooks, lobbyists and propagandists and dozens of secret budgets.

Reason Number Six: In the Americas, the US Still Blockades Cuba, Threatens Venezuela, & Funds The Longest and Bloodiest War in South America since the Genocide of Native Americans in Colombia. All of these are legacy policies President Obama inherited. He has renounced none of them and continued each and every one. Obama still punishes Cuba for the crime of self-rule by keeping intact travel bans and a fifty year blockade of the island only 90 miles from Florida, separating families, choking trade and disrupting cultural ties. Colombia continues to be one of the world’s top recipients, after Israel and Egypt, of US military aid, which it utilizes to prosecute a decades-long civil war in which Afro-Colombians and been particularly victimized. More than a million Colombians are displaced by the war and hundreds of thousands have died. And under President Obama, the US is now building two military bases in Colombia near the Venezuelan border.

Reason Number Five: The US government, in and out of uniform still practices torture and maintains a global gulag of law-free secret prisons. From stateside military brigs in the Carolinas to dungeons in Eastern Europe, torture chambers in Egypt and black holes in ships at sea or remote Diego Garcia, where the US military has allowed no journalists for twenty years, US civil servants are committing lawless and unspeakable acts of torture and degradation. They’ve been doing it for some time now in our name and on our dime. It didn’t start with George Bush and apparently it will not end with Barack Obama. In the spirit of 1993 Democrats who declined to investigate or prosecute the decade of rampant criminality on the part of three Reagan-Bush administrations, Nobel laureate Barack Obama has adopted a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell-don’t-prosecute” policy on war crimes, international kidnapping and torture committed by US agents in or out of uniform. Let’s look to the future, the president has told us, crimes are in the past. But aren’t all crimes in the past?

Reason Number Four: The president has utterly disregarded his campaign pledge to withdraw one combat brigade per month from Iraq. Comedian Bill Maher says people should try to remember that Barack Obama is their president, not their boyfriend. When your boyfriend lies it’s a private matter whether you forgive, forget or believe him the next time. Presidents act with your money and in your name. When they lie it’s a very public affair. Although close and lawyerly scrutiny

of his statements reveals he probably never intended to withdraw from Iraq, Candidate Obama deliberately gave the impression he would bring home some or most of the troops because he knew that was what the electorate wanted in a Democratic candidate for president. By now President Obama should have withdrawn more than half a dozen combat brigades from Iraq, but there are few signs of that happening. An Iraqi referendum on whether the US must leave by a date certain is supposed to occur in 2010 under the current Status of Forces Agreement, but it is doubtful that this will ever occur.

Reason Number Three: The US Continues to Ignore Israeli nukes, while it acts as banker, diplomatic cover, and armorer its brutal Israel’s sixty year occupation of Palestine. Despite being in violation of more UN resolutions than any nation on earth, Israel is the top recipient of US economic and military aid. The optimism in the Arab world that greeted Obama’s swearing in has given way to resignation and despair as the bloody occupation endures, the choking of Gaza and the taking of Palestinian land and resources on the West Bank continues. The Obama administration has even blocked the investigation of Israeli war crimes in its military assault against the nearly helpless civilian population of Gaza last year. Israel still conducts military exercises to underline the nuclear threat it poses to every other state in the region, a nuclear threat President Obama is not even inclined to acknowledge, let alone address in the meaningful fashion of a peacemaker. This is the same Barack Obama who used to attend Palestinian community events as a state senator in Chicago. Barack Obama has been captured by the office of president rather than the other way around.

Reason Number Two: The US is Funnelling Billions Into Expanding Its Military Presence Across the African Continent. In recent years the US has given military aid to more than fifty of the fifty four nations on the African continent, invariably backing at least one, and often two or more sides in every case of invasion or civil war. As Glen Ford pointed out only last week, the US has just concluded a joint training exercise with personnel from dozens of African armies, all of which are being made to look to Uncle Sam as their paymaster, armorer and training resource. The US intends to grab the lion’s share of African oil, water, agricultural and mineral resources in the coming century. The rape of the Congo, in which more than five million have perished in the last decade, has been perpetrated to make central Africa safe for business. Congolese resources are flowing to the US and its allies, so five million dead there is not considered a genocide. But neighboring Darfur, where the Chinese are pumping the oil, a hundredth of that death toll several years back 9 Libertad


still fuels fresh charges of genocide and calls for US intervention on the part of our bipartisan foreign policy elite. By backing the military sectors of African societies instead of civil sectors, by sending arms instead of forgiving the debt and allowing African countries to build their own hospitals and educate their people, the First Black President perpetuates a dreadful legacy of neo-colonial oppression that has cost millions of lives and will injure millions more to come.

Reason Number One: It just ain’t right. The Nobel Peace Prize is bad politics, even for Obama supporters. For the rest of his career it will invite unflattering comparisons of Barack Obama with the work of genuine peacemakers like Dr. Martin Luther King who declared that his own country, the United States was “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” The US presidency would be a great place to put a genuine peacemaker, a visionary woman or man who would bend the law to enforce respect for human rights, who would take the lead in nuclear disarmament by trashing the largest stockpile of nukes in the world which would be under his control. A peacemaker would open the doors to travel and trade with Cuba, and follow the Cuban example of aiding Africa with teachers, doctors and appropriate technology rather than flooding the continent with arms. A peacemaker would close the torture chambers and prosecute war criminals so that justice would roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream. None of that is going on. The European elite didn’t do Barack a favor with this Nobel prize. But then you don’t flatter the king to help the monarch out. You flatter the king to help yourself. The Nobel Peace Prize is their soiled and fulsome love note to the new emperor. It will hang around Obama’s neck like a millstone, a token of the vast gulf between the fiction of a progressive black president and the reality of just another imperial CEO minding the same old store.

A Call to YOUNG From a YOUNG Once upon a time, when the Black Panthers and Young Lords took control over basic services into their own hands to deal with the needs of our community, they didn’t ask for permission — they did what was necessary regardless of what people in power would think. Whether it was starting free breakfast and lunch programs for poor people and kids (which is why schools now have free lunch programs), free child care for women on welfare, or high-jacking unused medical equipment to do free testing of diseases in the community, they already knew firsthand what the problems were, so they made up their own solutions — no more waiting. Perhaps the most outstanding fact about these radical groups at their peak in the late 1960’s/ early 1970’s is that the average age of their active membership was around 18-19 years of age. That’s right, YOUNG PEOPLE were behind some of the most RADICAL direct action of the Civil Rights movement. We see a lot of older folks today reminiscing about the “good ol’ days” of activism, while today’s youth seem to miss the fact THAT THESE BRAVE ACTIVISTS WERE SO YOUNG WHEN THEY WERE DOING IT! So where are young people today? Many say we are totally missing in action – that we are all distracted by a misguided mainstream Rap and Hip-Hop music video culture, cell phones and I-pods, video games, risky sexual behavior, Fahari 10

drugs, gangs and Myspace/Facebook. Others see few who do actually want to “fight the power” or “give back to the community” through community organizing efforts, going to college, teaching, or working at non-profits. Yet most seem to float from one lame, dead-end minimum wage job with no benefits to the next trying to make money, or unsuccessful “get-rich-quick” schemes. School and society don’t really seem to have a plan for us other than military or prison. So what now? I say our generation is one of many sleeping giants waiting to take leadership and take over this empire for good. Young people ages 15 to 24 have a purchasing power exceeding $350 billion according to marketing data. If we stopped shopping today, the economic impact would dwarf the foreclosure crisis and bring banks to their knees. Our fashion, artistic, and musical trends, especially in New York City, set the tone for the rest of the country and world. If you don’t believe that, look no further than what white kids in suburbs across America think is cool — it sure as hell ain’t country westerns! Go a little further. All over the world kids are spinning on their heads while trying to dress how we dress in New York — especially the styles of Harlem and the Bronx. This industry was created by young people of color in New York and has taken the world by storm. Yet

PEOPLE… PERSON By Diego Gerena-Quiñones we are servants and consumers (not owners or producers) of this world wide industry. We sit at the bottom of an empire we created. Many of us are starting to see this. We wear the clothes, but we don’t make them. We listen and we dance, but don’t own the means of producing and broadcasting OUR OWN CULTURE. We are allowed to indulge and define, but are kept out of the factories, board rooms and studios where the real magic and money is. What if we did own a sneaker factory right here in the hood where we made the latest kicks, instead of some poor kid in China who has to do it for a dollar a day? Why do we depend on MTV, BET or Hot 97? Why are RocaWear, Sean Jean and Phat Farm apparel made in other countries when we need jobs here? New York WAS the fashion and arts capital of the world, what happened? The possibilities are endless. But we need to wake up and realize what belongs to us, and take ownership of it — not ask for permission. This is my dream — it won’t look like the 60’s, but who said it had to? What do you think?


The Most Important Things You Need to Know as a College Freshman {Of Color} By Diego Gerena-Quiñones

1) You’ll almost be out of here before you know it. 4-5 years is less than you think. Don’t waste more than a year and a half figuring out what motivates/interests you as a potential career (not job) opportunity and if your current academic institution can help you meet your professional desires (transferring out can and should be weighed in certain, but not all cases). Because of this, you’d better make up your mind because before you know it, you’re really on your own (unless you expect Mami and Papi to keep supporting your increasingly expensive ass!) 2) Milk the experience for what it’s truly worth, while keeping the hype at arm’s length. You’re in college, and you get to party too. You’re not at a party and get to go to college too. Get it in, get it out of your system, and do it to release when necessary, but never forget WHY you’re really here in the first place. A degree can open doors; the contacts you make can give you tremendous access to wonderful opportunities: you get to travel, grow, become more intelligent and useful to society... All these things and so much more. Fuck it up, and you’ll be a useless pile of flesh in debt for years to come with nothing to show but proudless Facebook pictures. 3) Know what free services and perks are at your disposal (including support structures and personal development opportunities). What you DON’T KNOW hurts you, and don’t expect the trees or geese to tell you. Walk around all the resource centers, pick up materials, ask the reception people and help desk what services are available. Think about becoming an RA (free room, reduced meal cost), doing workstudy a few hours a weeks, know where the financial aid office is! If you’re Black or Latino, talk to people at the Black Studies Department

about what programs are in place to increase the odds of your success. Ask them about what scholarships are available. Don’t cut your own legs off by not doing a little research and seeing what’s out there. 4) Engage yourself in clubs and people that interest you. Know why the Student Association is useful to you (it’s your money, use it!) Have an interest/hobby? It’s probably a club (if not u have every right to make it one). Many students of color come to understand the Student Association and what it’s really worth right around the same time we graduate, and then we’re gone. It’s sad and ironic and it’s also the same reason clubs rise and fall. Remember point 1? Time flies! Don’t laugh because any alum will tell you. So here it is: SA grants you a pool of money and resources that you already paid into in one of your fees. Its can be used for social, recreational, educational, awareness building or just for fun activities of your choosing. Budget and programming are two of the main entities you’ll need to learn to navigate, but it’s just a few papers and signatures here and there, and you’re on your way to doing something fun. Try it! And don’t be afraid to work your way up the chain of a club, or even SA itself! Run for treasurer, programming chair, president! There’s so much more, but keep these principles in mind for getting the best out of why you’re here in the first place! Hope this sharpens your thinking and refreshes your take on priorities for college! Have fun, learn a lot, take interesting (not “easy”) classes, talk to your professors outside of class, use your faculty advisor, love your library, gym and freedom! More tips in the next episode!

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Student Stress: Academics & By Arlene Villanueva SUNY New Paltz students are stressed because they are unable to balance their school work and social lives, according to campus interviews. Joannie Delacruz, 22, a junior from Brooklyn, said, “It’s like professors don’t know when to stop giving so much work.” According to the Web site College Confidential, some students worry a lot about grades and class performance, but others have trouble making academics a priority. Shata Bose, 20, a junior from the Bronx, said, “This semester has been the toughest of all. I’m trying to focus more on my academics and less on partying, but friends are always inviting me out.” Martha Ramirez, 22, a senior from Brooklyn, has a similar problem. “I’m trying to only focus on academics,” she said, “but there is always something to do.” According to the American Psychiatric Association, for some college students, partying and drinking can present a real threat to their academic careers and their overall health and well-being in school.

Social Life

it just seems impossible to accomplish and then finals are right around the corner.” Many students struggling with major stressors succumb to depression. Gweneth Lloyd, director of the Psychological Counseling Center at SUNY New Paltz, said, “We see over 500 students per academic year, but we see the most students before midterms and finals.” “We are available 24/7 for students through the night as well as Oasis and Haven which are subgroups where students could call,” said Lloyd. The counseling center offers programs that help students with their time management and to develop different strategies for managing their freedom and social lives.

Wendy Pena, 21, a junior from the Bronx, said, “I try to enjoy my college life to the fullest by partying with friends, but unfortunately it has affected my grades.” But even SUNY New Paltz students who don’t party much can feel stressed, interviews revealed. Ruth Nova de Los Santos, 21, a junior from Albany, said, “Although I focus entirely on my academics, I am very stressed out by the amount of work my professors give me.” Grace Duran, 21, a senior from the Bronx, agreed. “My cerebrum is burnt from all the studying and memorization that I need to do for exams, and I cannot wait until I graduate,” she said. It’s a feeling Bridget Ezenwa, 21, a junior from Brooklyn, recognizes. “I have missed out on many events due to the amount of work I have,” she said, “and Fahari 12

Photo Courtesy of Google.com


America Armed, But Guns Not Necessarily Loaded By Mary Foster

*Referenced by Stephanie Sanchez, President

NEW ORLEANS – Bullet-makers are working around the clock, seven days a week, and still can’t keep up with the nation’s demand for ammunition. Shooting ranges, gun dealers and bullet manufacturers say they have never seen such shortages. Bullets, especially for handguns, have been scarce for months because gun enthusiasts are stocking up on ammo; in part because they fear President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress will pass antigun legislation — even though nothing specific has been proposed and the president last month signed a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in national parks. Gun sales spiked when it became clear Obama would be elected a year ago and purchases continued to rise in his first few months of office. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported that 6.1 million background checks for gun sales were issued from January to May, an increase of 25.6 percent from the same period the year before. “That is going to cause an upswing in ammunition sales,” said Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association representing about 5,000 members. “Without bullets a gun is just a paper weight.” The shortage for sportsmen is different than the scarcity of ammo for some police forces earlier this year, a dearth fueled by an increase in ammo use by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We are working overtime and still can’t keep up with the demand,” said Al Russo, spokesman for North Carolinabased Remington Arms Company, which makes bullets for rifles, handguns and shotguns. “We’ve had to add a fourth shift and go 24-7. It’s a phenomenon that I have not seen before in my 30 years in the business.” Americans usually buy about 7 billion rounds of ammunition a year, according to the National Rifle Association. In the past year, that figure has jumped to about 9 billion rounds, said NRA spokeswoman Vickie Cieplak. Jason Gregory, who manages Gretna Gun Works just outside of New Orleans, has been building his personal supply of ammunition for months. His goal is to have at least 1,000 rounds for each of his 25 weapons. “I call it the Obama effect,” said Gregory, 37, of Terrytown,

La. “It always happens when the Democrats get in office. It happened with Clinton and Obama is even stronger for gun control. Ammunition will be the first step, so I’m stocking up while I can.” So far, the new administration nor Congress has not been markedly antigun. Obama has said he respects Second Amendment rights, but favors “common sense” on gun laws. Still, worries about what could happen persist. Demand has been so heavy at some Walmarts, a limit was imposed on the amount of ammo customers can buy. The cutoff varies according to caliber and store location, but sometimes as little as one box — or 50 bullets — is allowed. At Barnwood Arms in Ripon, Calif., sales manager Dallas Jett said some of the shortages have leveled off, but 45-caliber rounds are still hard to find. “We’ve been in business for 32 years and I’ve been here for 10 and we’ve never seen anything like it,” Jett said. “Coming out of Christmas everything started to dry up and it was that way all through the spring and summer. Nationwide, distributors are scrambling to fill orders from retailers. “We used to be able to order 50 or 60 cases and get them in three or four days easy. It Photo Courtesy of Google.com was never an issue,” said Vic Grechniw of Florida Ammo Traders, a distributor in Tampa, Fla. “Now you’re really lucky if you can get one case a month. It just isn’t there because the demand is way up.” A case contains 500 or 1,000 bullets. At Jefferson Gun Outlet and Range in Metairie just west of New Orleans, owner Mike Mayer is worried individuals are going to start buying by the case. “If someone wants to shoot on the weekend you have to worry about having the ammunition for them. And I know some people aren’t buying to use it at the range, they’re taking it home and hoarding it.” With demand, prices have also risen. “Used to be gold, but now lead is the most expensive metal,” said Donald Richards, 37, who was stocking up at the Jefferson store. “And worth every penny.” 13 Libertad


Another

‘Black Man Did It’

Hoax Sparks Outrage

By Jesse Washington, AP National Writer *Referenced by Vixon “V-Jay” John, President 2007-2009 PHILADELPHIA (AP) - It’s an old lie, claiming that The Black Man Did It. But it was trotted out again last week when a white mother from suburban Philadelphia said two black men snatched her and her 9-year-old daughter from their SUV and abducted them in the trunk of a black Cadillac. Blacks across the country were outraged after Bonnie Sweeten was found in a luxury hotel at Disney World. Authorities quickly unraveled the hoax, but not before an Amber Alert, frantic searches and national news coverage that played into images of marauding black men. Racial boundaries are slowly dissolving in America, with President Barack Obama the most obvious example. Yet Sweeten’s story, plus the killing of a black New York City cop by a white officer days later, was a reminder that old ideas remain burned into many minds both black and white. Sweeten’s story has provoked an outpouring of discussion among blacks, everywhere from doctor’s offices to blogs. Syndicated radio host Warren Ballentine said his listeners are “furious, and they’re disgusted. ... On a scale of one to 10, it’s a 15.” “Their hope was that by Obama becoming president, the rest of America would take a look at black Americans and look at us for who we are and not what a stereotype is,” he said.

It’s also rooted in a confusing mixture of psychology, statistics and sociology, amplified by the media’s tendency to focus on crimes against white women. Seymour’s blood starts to boil whenever people lock their car doors as he walks by - yet even blacks sometimes hit that button when black men are in the vicinity. “It’s not just white people who act that way,” Seymour said. Raqiyah Mays, a radio host on Kiss FM in New York City, drew a parallel between the Sweeten hoax and the killing of a black cop last week who was shot by a white policeman. The black officer was running after a suspect, his gun drawn. “How many times have you seen a black man running down the street and thought something negative? As opposed to seeing a white guy running down the street and you think he’s running late?” said Mays, who is black. “A lot of us are guilty of it because that’s the way society has been set up.” One easy explanation is that black men are convicted of crimes at much higher rates than any other group. So was falling for Sweeten’s lie racism, or common sense? And does Sweeten’s blond hair have anything to do with the amount of media coverage her story received? New York Times columnist Bob Herbert recently wrote about the difference in coverage between the killing of a white female college student in Connecticut and the approximately three dozen Chicago public school students, mostly black, who have been killed this school year. He recalled an incident from early in his career, at another newspaper, when he heard an editor pondering the story of a dead child ask, “What color is that baby?” “Editors may not be asking, `What color is that victim?’ But, on some level, they’re still thinking it,” Herbert wrote.

The Black Man Did It lie last made news as recently as October, when a John McCain volunteer claimed a 6-foot-4 black man carved a B into her cheek (For Barack, evidently). Charles Stuart told it in 1989 after he killed his wife in Boston. Susan Smith told it when she drowned her sons in 1994 in South Carolina. Unknown numbers of black men were hanged for it back when lynching was a common practice. And those are the ones we heard about. Law professor Katheryn Russell-Brown documents 67 racial hoaxes in the period between 1987 and 1996 in her book The Color of Crime.

Even without race, Sweeten’s story was both sensational and nonsensical. It began when she called the police, allegedly from a trunk, and said men had rear-ended her Yukon Denali at a busy suburban intersection, then abducted her and her daughter in broad daylight.

So after Sweeten and her daughter were found in Florida, with local newspapers reporting an investigation of whether the 38-year-old woman embezzled large sums of money, many blacks felt not only angry, but resigned and frustrated. “Here we go again,” thought Add Seymour, an Atlanta resident who works in public relations for Morehouse College.

Authorities discovered that Sweeten had made the call from miles away, in downtown Philadelphia. Their attention turned to the airport, and Sweeten was soon found. She is free on $1 million bail, facing misdemeanor charges of identity theft and false reporting.

“Not only are people going to use us as the stereotypical crime problem of America, but the problem is people believe it so easily,” he said. “It’s a lynch mob mentality out there. ... The first thing you think of when it comes to crime is a black man. It’s crazy, and it’s unfair.” Fahari 14

No one had seen it happen, and Sweeten somehow still had her cell phone. Black men also are scarce in Bucks County, which is 92 percent white and 4 percent black.

During a news conference after the hoax was exposed, Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry explained the charge of filing a false police report. “It’s a terrifying thing,” she said, “for a community to hear that two black men in a black Cadillac grabbed a woman and her daughter.”


We Must Ask Why America Honors Columbus, the Murderer and Crook? Why does America still celebrate Columbus Day? Any knowledgeable person knows he did not “discover” anything. If Columbus did, then when I went to Cincinnati for the first time a few weeks ago, that would mean I “discovered” Cincinnati. Any knowledgeable person knows that he was not Photo Courtesy of The Progressive Corner’s Blog the first person from his side of the Atlantic Ocean to voyage to the Western Hemisphere. Thousands of Europeans had already made the trip. Africans had long traded with Native Americans, and knowing this, a West African King, Abubakari, made a pilgrimage across the Atlantic with thousands of boats a hundred years before Columbus was born. Any knowledgeable person knows that Columbus’s voyage directly led to the genocide of 100 million Native Americans and the stealing of their land. And that, in turn, led to the four-century-long misery of slavery in which 100 million people of African descent died – during capture, on the hundred-mile trot to the coast, in the slave forts, in the middle passage, in the first three years of “seasoning” in the Western hemisphere, on the plantations from New York to Georgia to Jamaica to Brazil, and while fighting and escaping for their freedom. Any intelligent person knows that Columbus makes Adolph Hitler look like a preacher. He makes Osama Bin Laden seem altruistic toward Americans. He makes Robert E. Lee appear to be a good guy. There are only two federal holidays in honor of a historical figure: Martin Luther King Day in January and Columbus Day in October. Columbus has the blood of tens of millions of Native Americans on his hands. King stopped a race war, and possibly a Civil War, and thus prevented the deaths of millions of Americans. Columbus erected a new world of exploitation, genocide, racism, religious imperialism, patriarchy, and environmental degradation. King erected a new world of inclusion, diversity, racial reconciliation, religious activism, and racial peace. Columbus was one of the greatest human villains that ever lived, virtually a Devil on earth. King was one of the great human progressives that ever lived, virtually a God on earth. So why do we still celebrate Columbus Day every year, even though he is not on the same moral plateau as King, so many Americans know he did not discover anything, he was not the first person to cross the Atlantic, and his voyage led to the ultimate human tragedy? Why did the United States’ federal government create a holiday for a man who never set foot in the United States?

By Ibram Rogers

*Referenced by Saki Rizwana, Vice President

Why? Why? Why? I don’t think it is hard to figure out. If there is any day that should show the socially blind what America was and it has always been, it should be Columbus day. Since its founding, America has been ruled by murderers, crooks, bigots, hypocrites, and patriarchs. It has been a country ruled by justifiers of inequality. It has been a country ruled by a few.  It has been a country of religious ethnocentrism and imperialism. It has been a country ruled by those interested in “discovering” new lands and peoples to exploit. It has been a country ruled by people who unjustly launched war, death, and destruction. It has been a country ruled by people with an unfathomable greed and disregard for humanity. So why would American rulers establish and maintain a federal holiday to honor Christopher Columbus? Well, he embodied everything that these rulers were – everything that they are. And more importantly Christopher Columbus embodies everything these rulers want us to think is normal or natural or good. They want us to link our feelings and thoughts of patriotism for America to imperialistic feelings and thoughts. If you are an American patriot, then by default you should support American imperialism currently and throughout history. The imperial desire to leave America and “explore,” “discover,” and “develop” is natural. The imperial paternalistic conception of Americans and Westerners as the world’s “helpers” as the “leader of the free world” is not contrived by a natural thought. The imperial Christian and Muslim desire to proselytize to the heathens and pagans wherever they are with an ethnocentric reduction of their religions is in fact normal, is Christian, is Muslim. The imperial idea that the modern world Columbus’ voyage was central in founding is better than the pre-modern world is good and accurate. These desires, efforts, and thoughts are based on faulty reasoning and/or are myths.  But they will continue to be reinforced on Columbus Days, which will in turn allow America to continue to rationalize and justify its domestic tyranny and renegade actions around the world as the most active imperialist against humanity. My reason as to why America celebrates Columbus Day, despite his obviously horrid characteristics and historical influence, could be wrong. It is clearly an opinion. Christopher Columbus was the most diabolical and evil man that ever lived. So we shall all question and answer why our country still honors him each and every year.

15 Libertad


My name is Master Divine Allah and I am ‘The Original Allah’. I came in the person of Master Fard Muhammad in 1930, left in 1934, reappeared in Clarence 13X in 1964 and continue to live on in my Five Percent to this day. You are presently in contact with one of my host, Master Divine Allah, a.k.a. the Hon. Larry J. Dowd. I’m stepping forward to clear up the air regarding many issues that presently keep my Nations of Islam in America divided instead of united. I want to thank you for doing such a great work as providing the opportunity for dialog at such a critical time in our history in America. I pledge eternal support for the work that you are doing for our Nations. The biggest question is ‘Why can’t my sons unite under one glorious banner of Islam in North America’? This is the question that I am prepared to answer. Many choose to believe that if we have different forms of the same teachings, this is somehow demeaning to our cause. The point is that these teachings left to us in the form of lessons directs us onto a path that lead us to the meeting of our true selve, God Allah. It is our duty to reestablish our kingdom on earth so if the population of this planet is in the excess of 5 billion, surely Minister Farrakhan can’t reach them all, nor can Royall, Son of Man or Silas Muhammad or myself. However, as long as we teach the same lessons as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught as the result of his study under Master Fard Muhammad, then we should be able to teach civilization to the entire planet. That is why Gods are known to be on all parts of the planet. The greatest error that a God could make however, is to say that he and I are not the same Allah. I have a serious problem with anyone who does not identify with the Original Allah, who came in the persons of Master Fard Muhammad and Clarence 13X Smith. As a final statement, I, in the person of Clarence 13X,  left the NOI in 1964 to establish the Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE). Though it was not my intent to bring about division between the NOI and NGE, this is indeed what happened. However, in making amends, I, in the person of Master Divine Allah, reentered the NOI in 1995 and assisted our Local Organizing Committee in the Million Man March to Washington, D.C.. Many of my Five Percent could be seen celebrating this historic event. It can universally be accepted that the NOI and the NGE are in solidarity with each other and is willing and able to assist one and other in our cause of unity amongst self and working to do for self. I am looking forward to hearing from you in the near future. Thank you for working tirelessly to produce your programming. I am well pleased with your outcome. From the Original Allah in me to the Original Allah in you, I greet you in the greeting words of peace and paradise, Power Equality Allah C Elevation (Peace). MD Allah, The Original Allah

You’ve Got Mail...from “The Original Allah”...

By Saki Rizwana, Vice-President

This email was sent to me a few days before Eid-ul-Fitr (the holiday Muslims celebrate at the end of Ramadaan – the month of fasting). Now, anyone that knows me knows that I’m not very religious. In fact, I often say that I was simply born into a Muslim family. As I have come into adulthood, I have realized that I greatly dislike organized religion and the institutionalization of something that should be extremely spiritual. I think we should go straight to becoming spiritual. However, I can’t forget the Islamic traditions which I was Fahari 16

raised with and the practices which I am still a part of for the sake of staying on my mother’s good side. And, during one of the two biggest holidays of the Islamic year, I tend to get a bit more “Muslim” than usual. It’s the equivalent of Christmas time. I feel closer to the “Muslim” Saki at this point of the year than I do at any other time. And that was around when I received this email. Normally, I probably would not have had such a huge reaction to this.


However, considering that my Muslim upbringing was pretty strong at this point, I was appalled by what this person wrote. The first sentence threw me for a serious ride – “My name is Master Divine Allah and I am ‘The Original Allah.’ ” My immediate reaction was basically, “What the f@#k?!?! Is this person serious?” And by the time I got to the end of the first paragraph, I was wondering why on earth this was sent to the Fahari-Libertad and how I happened to be the one to receive it. As I continued reading, however, I started to understand a little more. Names like Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad started to ring a bell in the back of my mind. My semester of studying Malcolm X had taught me these names. ‘Master’ Fard Muhammad was the founder of the Nation of Islam. He established the first mosque of the Nation of Islam. Elijah Muhammad was a follower of ‘Master’ Fard Muhammad and he would later proclaim that ‘Master’ Fard Muhammad was Allah on Earth. Elijah Muhammad, later known as the ‘Honorable’ Elijah Muhammad, became the leader of the Nation of Islam. He was Malcolm’s teacher and guide for many years. Now, remembering this helped me understand this man’s connection to Islam. And that, in turn, helped me understand a bit better how he could be calling himself the “Divine Allah.” The Nation of Islam is not Islam in the sense that is practiced throughout the world. It borrows bits and pieces from Jewish scripture as well as from Christian ones. Though followers of the Nation of Islam believe that there is only one god (Allah), they also believe that Allah came in the form of Master Fard Muhammad. This is highly blasphemous in traditional Islam. Traditional Islam portrays Allah as energy which cannot be contained in one single, human body. Allah is energy that created all and, though this energy is within us all as we are a part of Allah’s creation, Allah cannot be bound in one human body. So, for any Muslim to proclaim to be the “Divine Allah” is the utmost blasphemy. Now, the final portion of this email goes into the creation of another sect called the Nation of Gods and Earths. Though I had heard of this group before and knew that that they were an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, I didn’t know anything else about them. So, I researched. I found out that the Nation of Gods and Earths is also called the Five Percent Nation because they believe that 85% of people are ignorant of the truth, 10% of people know the truth but lie to achieve their own selfish goals and the rest – the 5% of people – know and fight to bring it out in the world. They follow Supreme Mathematics – “a system of understanding numbers alongside concepts and quantitative representations” – and the Supreme Alphabet – “a system of interpreting text and finding deeper meaning from the Nation of Islam’s Lessons by assigning actual meaning to the letters of the Roman Alphabet.” Last, but the most important, I found that the followers of the Nation of Gods and Earths believe that each man is a God

and each woman an Earth. This means that each of the male followers of the Nation of Gods and Earths refers to himself as the “Divine Allah.” Finally, this made sense to me. After a few more times of reading this email, I still can’t believe that this caused such a huge reaction in me. Even though I don’t consider myself to be a Muslim, the fact that this man called himself the “Divine Allah” outraged me. And it made me rethink myself for a while. The indoctrination of Islam that I grew up with hasn’t completely left me and I don’t know if they ever will. I’m grateful that this email from a stranger made me realize this. I still don’t know who he is or how this email came to find me exactly, but I’m glad that it did. It helped me realize that I cannot forget that I came from a background which stressed Islam. Islam is a part of my identity. Even though I do not follow the teachings of Islam, the rejection of the faith itself has impacted who I have become. I must never forget that. So, I’m being thankful that this email found its way to me and that it allowed me to share a part of myself with others. Sources: -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_of_islam -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Percent_Nation

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Reaching a Better Conclusion By Vixon “V-Jay” John, President 2007-2009

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” -Judge Sonia Sotomayor This statement, made by the first Latina Supreme Court nominee from President Barack Obama in 2001, set off a lot of tension with politicians and analysts. On the show, “Good Morning America,” two lawyer analysts, Conservative pundit Ann Coulter and Democratic strategist James Carville had a debate, discussing their opinions on Sotomayor’s statement. Coulter said her statement was indeed racist, quoting another analyst Stuart Taylor from the National Journal. In the column, Taylor wrote: “Indeed, unless Sotomayor believes that Latina women also make better judges than Latino men, and also better than African-American men and women, her basic proposition seems to be that white males (with some exceptions, she noted) are inferior to all other groups in the qualities that make for a good jurist. Any prominent white male would be instantly and properly banished from polite society as a racist and a sexist for making an analogous claim of ethnic and gender superiority or inferiority.” First off, I don’t think Sotomayor was saying that white males are inferior in making good judgments. What she was emphasizing was because of her experiences, culturally and socially, she would have a different insight on different matters, which may lead to a better decision being made on any particular case, than a white male may have. Coulter said this statement was racist, but technically, it was because it was based on racial standards, but it wasn’t belittling anyone. For the second part of Taylor’s statement, it’s natural that a white male counterpart would be “banished” for making such a claim because the majority of Supreme Court justices are white males (seven out of nine judges; the two being a white female and a black male) so there would be Fahari 18

an imbalance of diversity in opinions and experiences on the Supreme Court. For some brief history, Sotomayor grew up in the South Bronx in a housing project with her father, who died when she was nine years old, and her mother, who took care of her, working as a nurse. She graduated from Princeton and Yale Law Schools, going on to serve as an assistant District Attorney in Manhattan for five years and also at a private practice. According to a note from the White House, if elected to the Supreme Court, “Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice in 100 years, and more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed for Judge Sonia Sotomayor the Court in the past 70 Photo Courtesy of Google.com years…” According to these facts, Sotomayor has been through a lot in her social and political careers to build up enough experiences to do her job, if elected. Diversity in opinions and insight is important to build upon, especially in the highest court in the land. If it comes to acknowledging race when it comes to factoring experience for a position such as this, it should be considered, but not necessarily overwhelming to the decision at hand.

Sources: -ABC News – Carville and Coulter Face Off on Sotomayor (video) (abcnews.go.com) -“Identity Politics and Sotomayor,” Stuart Taylor, National Journal Magazine (HYPERLINK “http://www.nationaljournal.com” www.nationaljournal.com) -“Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Nominee: All You Need To Know,” Nico Pitney, The Huffington Post ( HYPERLINK “http://www.huffingtonpost.com” www.huffingtonpost.com)


A Wise Latina By Stephanie Sanchez, President

I may have found my first official role model after my mother. Her name is Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Born and raised in the South Bronx, this Latina woman has redefined “The American Dream.” It’s not so much her successes which make her amazing, but her struggles which have inspired me. Sotomayor grew up in the projects and was raised by a single mother, who was her biggest inspiration. Her father, a factory worker with a third grade education, passed away when she was nine. Her mother always instilled strong ideas about the power of education in Sonia and her brother. Sonia was driven and intelligent, even her encounter with juvenile diabetes could not stop her. She graduated valedictorian from Cardinal Spellman High School and went on to win a scholarship to the prestigious Princeton University. There, she continued to excel, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Her journey continued to Yale Law School where she became a managing editor for Yale Studies in World Public Order. A classmate described her as always standing up for herself and never being intimidated by anyone. After law school, she breezed through the justice system serving on district courts, and eventually the Court of Appeals second circuit, where she was the first Latina woman to serve. She tried hundreds and hundreds of cases, always trying to remain fair and true to the law. Finally her opportunity came to serve on the Supreme Court. Latinos, especially women, were so proud of her when she was elected because even though we didn’t know her, we knew her struggles. So you can imagine my surprise when conservative WHITE men claimed that she was a racist, abusive, and a bully. It boggles my mind that conservatives on the United States Supreme Court would try to demean and bring down a woman of such qualification and stature. Now granted, I might be slightly biased being a young Latina woman myself and having shared in Sonia’s struggles. However, I think I know enough about racism to know that this woman could not be a racist even if she wanted to. Let’s just examine the word RACIST for a minute. Racism is not merely a set of beliefs or attitudes based on someone’s appearances and differences. According to George Fredrickson, a professor at

Standford University, racism is “in the practices, institutions, and structures that a sense of deep difference justifies or validates.... It either directly sustains or proposes to establish a racial order a permanent group hierarchy that is believed to reflect the laws of nature or the decrees of God.” For those who still don’t understand, racism does not merely exist in our minds and our words but in our actions, in our institutions, and in our structures of life. These structures have been created to leave white men at the top, and people of color at the bottom. These are the same structures that placed Sonia and her family in the projects after WWII. These are the structures that only gave her father a third grade education. These are the structures that push out our people from prestigious universities unless you are exceptional like Sonia has been. These are the structures that allow white men to criticize and bring down such a smart and powerful woman just to boost their egos. These are the structures that allow these men to think that anyone but themselves can be racist. I must admit it was very amusing to watch these men squirm in their seats as they realized a Latina woman from the Bronx was about to hold the same position as them. The funniest part was that the only valid reason they could give for voting against her was claiming she was racist. And their only evidence of racism came from an inspirational speech that she gave to college students, where she stated that she hoped a wise Latina could make a better decision than a white man.  So now trying to inspire young people of color makes you a racist? I would like to think that I can make a better decision than a white man - or any man for that matter. Their arguments against her were weak and everyone could see that. She let them say what they wanted and listened patiently. Ultimately she got the vote, and those sexy black robes. Sonia is truly an inspiration to me. She is strong, powerful, and fearless. She shares a life that I have lived, and has reached for the stars. She made it from the projects in the Bronx, and straight through one of the most powerful institutions in America. Now she sits front seat on the United States Supreme Court. Congratulations Sonia Sotomayor. You truly are a Wise Latina, and I hope to be as wise and achieve as much success as you have in your life.

19 Libertad


Blackface ‘Jackson Jive’ Skit Shocks Connick

*Referenced by Saki Rizwana, Vice-President

(CNN) – Movie star and singer Harry Connick Jr. made waves around the world by condemning, on air, an Australian television skit featuring a group of performers who wore blackface to impersonate the late pop star Michael Jackson and his brothers. Harry Connick Jr. was visibly dismayed after watching an insensitive skit performance on an Australian show. The “Jackson Jive” performed the song “Can You Feel It” Wednesday wearing huge black wigs, blackface and one spangled glove each. The Michael Jackson impersonator wore whiteface. Connick was one of the judges on the program, a special edition of the Australian variety show “Hey Hey It’s Saturday,” which aired Wednesday. “If they turned up looking like that in the United States,” he said, frowning, “Hey, hey, there’s no more show.” The show’s host, longtime Australian TV presenter Daryl Somers, may have compounded the problem by twice referring to the performers as “boys” – a historically derogatory way of talking to or about black men. Somers later apologized on air to Connick. “It didn’t occur to me until later – I think we may have offended you with that and I deeply apologize on behalf of all of us,” he said. “Because I know, your countrymen, it’s an insult to have a blackface routine.” Connick replied that he would not have appeared on the show if he had known about the routine in advance. In a message posted on his Web site, Connick wrote that “in the American culture, the blackface image is steeped in a negative history and considered offensive.” Connick also sought to clarify that he didn’t “ascribe any motives to anyone” or “call anyone a racist” on the show. “I do not believe that the performers intended any harm,” Connick’s message stated. “I appreciate the folks who have written in support but please know that I allow everyone their own opinions and can only speak for myself.” Also on Connick’s Web site was a response to criticisms that the performer was in a sketch on the “MadTV” comedy variety show in which he appeared to be mimicking a black preacher. According to the Web site posting, the 1996 sketch was “a spoof featuring a black baptist [sic] minister [played by African-American comedian Orlando Jones] ... and a white southern evangelical preacher.” Connick was playing the white preacher, the posting stated. Fahari 20

Actor Harry Connick Jr. Photo Courtesy of CNN.com


Mark Sawyer Photo Courtesy of CNN.com

Commentary: Blackface is Never Ok By Mark Sawyer

*Referenced by Saki Rizwana, Vice-President Editor’s note: Mark Sawyer is associate professor of African American Studies and Political Science at UCLA and the director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics. His published work includes a book, “Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba,” which received the DuBois Award for the best book by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the Ralph Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association. Mark Sawyer says practitioners of blackface always try to justify it, but the defenses don’t ring true.

(CNN) – Harry Connick Jr. almost got it right when he challenged the doctors who mocked the Jacksons in blackface on an Australian version of “the Gong Show.” The fact is, even Australians know better. It isn’t that they did not know that what they were doing was shocking and offensive; they just thought they could get away with it. “If they turned up looking like that in the United States,” he said on the “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” television show, “Hey, hey, there’s no more show.” In a message posted on his Web site, Connick wrote that “in the American culture, the blackface image is steeped in a negative history and considered offensive.” He also wrote, “I do not believe that the performers intended any harm.” Let’s put this in context. Australians have their own ugly history of racism against Aborigines. One in which half-white, half-Aborigine children were forcibly taken from their mothers and raised in group homes so they could learn to properly integrate into white society. They know better. There is no cultural context in which blackface minstrelsy is okay or acceptable. Blackface is one of the most pernicious and painful stereotypes about people of African descent. It is also global. Blackface has appeared everywhere from Mexico to Japan, and it is always ugly, despite what those who put it on claim. The doctors who did the Jackson “tribute” claimed that they were honoring Michael Jackson. They were mocking him, and that is what blackface has always been. The same applies for those like a responder on the Guardian Web site who suggests that blackface models presented in French Vogue magazine are simply cultural play: “The American cultural imperialists of the Anglosphere are out in force again.” It is neither imperialist nor wrong to point out racist imagery, even if done in good fun. In a cruel twist, the commenter takes the victims of racism and imperialism and calls them the perpetrators. But both the photographers and French Vogue are aware of the problems of racism in Europe and the barriers black women face in the fashion industry. Like old blackface minstrelsy, when you can’t find blacks you think are worthy to play the part, you simply blacken up white actors or, in this case, models. The message: Real black people aren’t good enough at being themselves. Whether it is the original white “Amos and Andy” or white fraternity/ sorority girls and boys, blackface is always about mocking black skin and presenting stereotypical black behavior. Minstrels always clown around, sing and dance and otherwise dehumanize the individuals they represent. The blackface itself by whites reduces them to one critical feature: their black skin. And in almost every case, even this one, it’s exaggerated. None of the Jacksons are that dark; it is a rank racial caricature. It always has been.

Even in the early days of blackface minstrelsy, those who practiced it did not see themselves as promoting pernicious racial stereotypes and hatred but, like the doctors on the Australian show, honoring fun aspects of African-American culture and being. No one then or now who uses blackface cops to saying, “I intend to dehumanize black people.” Everyone has an excuse or an alternative explanation of what it means. From the frat boys to the Spanish Formula One fans mocking black driver Lewis Hamilton to the soccer fans who throw bananas on a soccer field in Europe just for fun, they all make attempts to excuse the behavior by saying they’re personally not racist and they never meant to hurt anyone. The most common response is, they don’t understand the reaction. But they do. Blackface is always designed as comedy, to shock, to mock and to get a few laughs. For a Jackson tribute, one can see the prisoners from a jail in the Philippines dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Their moving homage didn’t need blackface. Jackson’s music and dancing were what moved, motivated and captivated them, not his skin color and hair texture. So whether it’s racist caricatures on Mexican stamps or Australian doctors, the signs and symbols of demeaning black people are universal. They transcend continents, cultures and genres. At the same time, so are the denials. The people who traffic in them always have the same set of denials. They did in late 19th-century and early 20th-century America, and they do now in Australia, Mexico or Spain. They do it because they want to honor black people, they want to take in black culture and expression, and they can’t do so without putting on blackface. They also all know it is offensive but think it isn’t so offensive that they can’t get away with it. They just can’t resist race and blackness as the vehicle for comedy. Research shows that whites in countries like Cuba, Brazil, France and many others often express higher levels of racism against blacks in surveys and experiments that tap unconscious attitudes than in the United States. The rancor that has surrounded race in the United States – while not creating a post-racial America – has at least moved the dial substantially in terms of racial attitudes among whites and made a substantial portion of them more sensitive to the issue. Though many other countries look down upon the United States’ racial past, they often do so at the expense of asking hard questions about their racial present. The United States is certainly not perfect, but we also have elected a black president and come a long way toward making anti-racism a norm. Such that a white Southern musician recognizes an ugly racial caricature when he sees one. Harry, as a son of the South, you were both calling it right but also being polite. I applaud you for calling it as it is, but you gave them too much credit for ignorance. They knew they were offending; they just thought, like many others, they could get away with it. Fortunately, they didn’t. 21 Libertad


Where are all the students of color?!?!

By Saki Rizwana, Vice-President

Student Body Profile by Ethnicity White Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander American Indian/ Alaskan Non-Resident Alien

Fall 2006 Spring 2007 Fall 2007 Spring 2008 Fall 2008

59%3,50260% 3,51957% 439 7% 407 7% 387 6%

3,719

595

10%

546

9%

587

9%

212

3%

181

3%

185

3%

15 227

0% 4%

14 160

0% 3%

18 172

0% 3%

Data Unavailable

When I first arrived at SUNY New Paltz, I took this place to be relatively diverse. There seemed to be a good number of people of color on campus. As a person of color, the diversity was nice to see. However, in the past few years, the number of students of color has noticeably decreased. The incoming class of this year seems to be highly, melanin-deficient, shall we say? This is alarming. What is more alarming is to see the actual numbers for the past three years.

58% 367 5%

3,872

634

9%

234

3%

16 299

0% 4%

Notice that the number of Black Ethnicity Unreported Non-Hispanics consistently 1,056 1,000 1,356 1,285 decreases. The number of White Data Courtesy of SUNY New Paltz Department of Institutional Research and Planning Non-Hispanics goes up and then down but remains, on average, the same. Though the percentage of Hispanics stays about the same, notice that the actual number goes down. Now, we must ask, “What could be the reason for this?” Why is there a negative correlation between the number of white students and the number of students of color that enroll each year? Why is it that the number of Black Non-Hispanics in particular, consistently goes down in noticeable increments? Could it just be that Black students have all just decided to stop applying to SUNY New Paltz? And maybe the same could be said for Hispanics and even some of the Asian/Pacific Islander folk. Maybe, as a group, Black Non-Hispanic students have come to the realization that they need not identify their ethnicity and the 17 % to 22% of students that come in with “Ethnicity Unreported” are all students of color!

17%

17%

22%

19%

However, that is not the case as I have seen on this campus. The number of students of color, especially Black students, has decreased significantly in the past few years. Again, we must ask, “Why?!” It is most likely that the school has failed in its recruitment efforts. By choosing where you hold recruitment sessions and what high schools you advertise to, the diversity of a campus is easily controlled. Students can’t apply to your college, much less get in, if they don’t know that you exist or what you have to offer. This is highly harmful to college campuses as it can very easily become segregated. Now, you might say that the places where New Paltz recruits from has stayed the same in the past few years. However, we must not forget to do qualitative analysis on the KIND of recruiting that goes on. If you’re sending all “White Non-Hispanic” recruiters to an all “Black Non-Hispanic” neighborhood, chances are really high that the majority of those prospective students will not be seriously thinking about coming to a college where they don’t feel connected to the people. It is also possible that the way New Paltz is advertised to students of color does not make them feel that they can have any real connections to the campus or the university or the people. These little things may very well be what is causing this decrease in the number of students of color enrolling every semester. Now that we have identified the problem and some factors that might be causing it, it is our duty to hold the administration accountable for its actions. We need to let them know that we realize what is going on and that we don’t approve! We need to push for heavier recruitment from communities of color and keep in mind the types of recruiters we send to what types of communities. We need to organize events where we can begin the recruitment process ourselves by bringing high school students from communities of color up here. In the end, the number of students of color needs to increase if we are to get back the diverse and dynamic community we once had and it is up to us to make this happen. Fahari 22


New York State is Trying to Force the H1N1 Vaccine on Medical Workers By Justin Myles Holmes Many health care professionals have said they’ll be fired rather than allow themselves to be injected with the vaccine. As with all flu vaccines, it’s quite risky. In addition to the typical risks, though, the plaintiffs say that this vaccine was rushed to market hastily and has already caused more sickness than usual. Does anybody have the relevant documents? I’m looking for, but cannot find:

Protest on the steps of the NYS Capitol Photo Courtesy of Justin Myles Holmes

This was just brought to my attention by Jessica Sloan, a friend of mine who is a Registered Nurse (and also a daughter of a Registered Nurse) in New York. The State of New York is demanding that Jessica, her mother, and every other medical service professional be vaccinated with both the seasonal and the H1N1 flu vaccines. If they decline to allow this, they’ll lose their jobs, Remember, these are not government employees. They are private citizens who have worked hard to build a career around helping people be healthy. They know better than anyone the risks of being, or declining to be, injected with the swine flu vaccine. A recent small protest on the steps of the New York State Capitol in Albany got a bit of news attention, with local TV coverage. Later, a lawsuit filed got more coverage, and the decision of a New York State judge got even more coverage when he issued a restraining order against the State, preventing it from vaccinating people until a hearing is held. The hearing is scheduled to begin on October 30th.

The text of the mandate, which was apparently an “emergency” executive decision by the state health commissioner

The brief filed by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and the response, if any, from the state

The restraining order

Any kind of press release from the State defending the mandate

I have started a facebook group – Stop the New York Vaccination Mandate! Please invite!

Past issues of Fahari and FAHARI-LIBERTAD are available by contacting us faharilibertad@gmail.com

23 Libertad


2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 20122012 isn’t the end of the world, Mayans Insist

By Mark Stevenson

*Referenced by Mitzy Bello, Vice-President 2007

It can only get worse for him. Next month Hollywood’s “2012” opens in cinemas, featuring earthquakes, meteor showers and a tsunami dumping an aircraft carrier on the White House. At Cornell University, Ann Martin, who runs the “Curious? Ask an Astronomer” Web site, says people are scared. “It’s too bad that we’re getting e-mails from fourth-graders who are saying that they’re too young to die,” Martin said. “We had a mother of two young children who was afraid she wouldn’t live to see them grow up.”

Guatemalan Mayan Indian elder - Apolinario Chile Pixtun Photo Courtesy of CNN.com

MEXICO CITY – Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly “running out” on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it’s not the end of the world. Or is it? Definitely not, the Mayan Indian elder insists. “I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff.” Fahari 24

Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.

A significant time period for the Mayas does end on the date, and enthusiasts have found a series of astronomical alignments they say coincide in 2012, including one that happens roughly only once every 25,800 years. But most archaeologists, astronomers and Maya say the only thing likely to hit Earth is a meteor shower of New Age philosophy, pop astronomy, Internet doomsday

rumors and TV specials such as one on the History Channel which mixes “predictions” from Nostradamus and the Mayas and asks: “Is 2012 the year the cosmic clock finally winds down to zero days, zero hope?” It may sound all too much like other doomsday scenarios of recent decades — the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the Jupiter Effect or “Planet X.” But this one has some grains of archaeological basis. One of them is Monument Six. Found at an obscure ruin in southern Mexico during highway construction in the 1960s, the stone tablet almost didn’t survive; the site was largely paved over and parts of the tablet were looted. It’s unique in that the remaining parts contain the equivalent of the date 2012. The inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation. However — shades of Indiana Jones — erosion and a crack in the stone make the end of the passage almost illegible. Archaeologist Guillermo Bernal of Mexico’s National Autonomous University interprets the last eroded glyphs as maybe saying, “He will descend from the sky.” Spooky, perhaps, but Bernal notes there are other inscriptions at Mayan


sites for dates far beyond 2012 — including one that roughly translates into the year 4772. And anyway, Mayas in the droughtstricken Yucatan peninsula have bigger worries than 2012.

Way galaxy on a winter solstice, the sun’s lowest point in the horizon. That will happen on Dec. 21, 2012, when the sun appears to rise in the same spot where the bright center of galaxy sets.

“If I went to some Mayan-speaking communities and asked people what is going to happen in 2012, they wouldn’t have any idea,” said Jose Huchim, a Yucatan Mayan archaeologist. “That the world is going to end? They wouldn’t believe you. We have real concerns these days, like rain.”

Another spooky coincidence?

The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy

“They’re really super-duper trying to find anything astronomical they can to fit that date of 2012,” Plait said.

Its Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. Thirteen was a significant, sacred number for the Mayas, and the 13th Baktun ends around Dec. 21, 2012.

But author John Major Jenkins says his two-decade study of Mayan ruins indicate the Maya were aware of the alignment and attached great importance to it.

“It’s a special anniversary of creation,” said David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin. “The Maya never said the world is going to end, they never said anything bad would happen necessarily, they’re just recording this future anniversary on Monument Six.” Bernal suggests that apocalypse is “a very Western, Christian” concept projected onto the Maya, perhaps because Western myths are “exhausted.” If it were all mythology, perhaps it could be written off. But some say the Maya knew another secret: the Earth’s axis wobbles, slightly changing the alignment of the stars every year. Once every 25,800 years, the sun lines up with the center of our Milky

“The question I would ask these guys is, so what?” says Phil Plait, an astronomer who runs the “Bad Astronomy” blog. He says the alignment doesn’t fall precisely in 2012, and distant stars exert no force that could harm Earth.

“If we want to honor and respect how the Maya think about this, then we would say that the Maya viewed 2012, as all cycle endings, as a time of transformation and renewal,” said Jenkins. As the Internet gained popularity in the 1990s, so did word of the “fateful” date, and some began worrying about 2012 disasters the Mayas never dreamed of. Author Lawrence Joseph says a peak in explosive storms on the surface of the sun could knock out North America’s power grid for years, triggering food shortages, water scarcity — a collapse of civilization. Solar peaks occur about every 11 years, but Joseph says there’s evidence the 2012 peak could be “a lulu.” While pressing governments to install protection for power grids, Joseph counsels readers not to

“use 2012 as an excuse to not live in a healthy, responsible fashion. I mean, don’t let the credit cards go up.” Another History Channel program titled “Decoding the Past: Doomsday 2012: End of Days” says a galactic alignment or magnetic disturbances could somehow trigger a “pole shift.” “The entire mantle of the earth would shift in a matter of days, perhaps hours, changing the position of the north and south poles, causing worldwide disaster,” a narrator proclaims. “Earthquakes would rock every continent, massive tsunamis would inundate coastal cities. It would be the ultimate planetary catastrophe.” The idea apparently originates with a 19th century Frenchman, Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, a priest-turned-archaeologist who got it from his study of ancient Mayan and Aztec texts. Scientists say that, at best, the poles might change location by one degree over a million years, with no sign that it would start in 2012. While long discredited, Brasseur de Bourbourg proves one thing: Westerners have been trying for more than a century to pin doomsday scenarios on the Maya. And while fascinated by ancient lore, advocates seldom examine more recent experiences with apocalypse predictions. “No one who’s writing in now seems to remember that the last time we thought the world was going to end, it didn’t,” says Martin, the astronomy webmaster. “There doesn’t seem to be a lot of memory that things were fine the last time around.”

25 Libertad


Men of All Nations United Presents

A New State of Mind

saturday 11.21.2009

Tickets ON SALE are $15 New Jersey Nets vs the New York Knicks Coach Buses will be transporting all students Non- New Paltz students are welcome Please see an E-Board member for this

Fahari 26

Facebook group: M.A.N.U. Contact Fredrick Fernandez: ffernandez46@newpaltz.edu


Clean Out Your

TOOL Box!

By Stephanie Sanchez, President Why do women stay with men who cheat? Why do they stay with men who lie? Why do they bother with men who constantly disrespect and disregard them? And even worse, WHY DO THEY THINK THAT TAKING THEM ON A REALITY TELEVISION SHOW WILL FIX THEM?! I have recently stumbled upon a VH1 reality television show called “The Tool Academy” and I must say, I am slightly disturbed! These women have managed to hang on to the biggest losers this country has ever seen, and wonder why these men aren’t exactly “boyfriend material.” The show comes off almost like a Charm School, except that these men are far beyond repair. They have big mouths, huge egos, outrageous haircuts, and beautiful women that are stuck on them. The men are fooled into thinking they are on a show to flex their muscles, strip, drink, and act like man whores. Little do they know they are stuck in a relationship boot camp with their furious girlfriends. The men are given “Tool” names like “Tat Tool,” “Loud Tool,” etc, but they are all the same cheating, lying, good-for-nothing men. The worst part is that the women seemed surprised to find out they have been dating an asshole! These men are not even good at trying to hide the fact that they are selfish, egotistical bums. That is until VH1 offers them 100,000 to change their ways. So can you teach an old dog new tricks? Perhaps, but in this case they are just bribing these men to treat these women right. Why would you want to be with someone who needs to be motivated by money to actually be a decent boyfriend to you? I could never fathom putting up with any of these men as long as these girls have. These women are actually beautiful women who have no reason in the world to be desperate. They have set their standards entirely too low. It is insulting that this show would try to help these women stay with these terrible men. Instead they should be empowering these women to get the courage to leave these tools behind. These men do nothing more than break these women’s hearts and abuse them. If it were my show, I would be calling it CLEAN OUT YOUR TOOLBOX! So I decided to create a little list to know when you should clean out your tool box.

Photo Courtesy of Google.com

1. He flirts with every girl but you. 2. He blatantly cheats on you...over....and over....and over....and over again. 3. He looks at himself more in the mirror than he looks at you. 4. He thinks that “the gun show” will turn you on. 5. He says one thing and does another. 6. He talks down to you like you are his child. 7. He talks about himself too much and never finds time to listen. 8. He is manipulative and always makes you seem like the crazy one. 9. He tries to run your life – tells you what to wear, who to talk to, or who to go out with. 10. He tells you not to go out at all, but he is out every night. 11. He is rude, disrespectful, and a complete embarrassment to you. Get it together ladies! Stop letting these men run and ruin your lives! THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT! And if you know you are dating a jerk, please stop trying to change them! Now, don’t take this article as me being a man hater because that is not the case. I just think that every woman deserves a man who will treat her like a queen. So please just raise your standards, and if you’re dating a tool, then CLEAN OUT YOUR TOOL BOX! 27 Libertad


Sexual Schizophrenia

By Regina Rivers, Editor-in-Chief

If sex is labeled in American culture as a taboo, inappropriate topic to talk about, then sex crimes must be too much for anyone to handle. Sex is just one of those vague topics that has more than one connotation. Narrowing the focus is the most challenging part because everyone has something to say, especially if it involves negative images, portrayals and feelings. No one wants to talk about it, but it’s so easy to watch and sink into on the TV or the internet. So many people are aware of the act itself yet ignore or don’t know the spiritual, emotional/mental and physical effects that take place after. Some consider it a sacred act and some do it for shiggles. Now, for the love of sanity, this article is addressing how sex is perceived in society. I ain’t telling y’all to do anything; you’re grown (if you’re in high school reading this, you just think you’re grown). Why does it sell so well in America? And why did I choose these four women to talk about?

Lorena Gallo

LaToya Jackson

Janet Jackson

Paris Hilton

They all have been persecuted by society and have been wronged as to their sexuality. If you’re a woman who won’t let stereotypes define your sexuality, more power to you; just expect a lot of whiny, irritated, and intimidated people who won’t agree with you. Lorena (Bobbitt) Gallo partially castrated her porno star abusive husband John Bobbitt. Bobbitt admitted in court that he abused his wife physically, emotionally, and sexually but the media complied their negative image of Gallo as an insane woman with bloody knives. Not to mention the popular doo-wop song, In the Jungle had a lyrical update for Gallo’s case, “In the jungle the mighty jungle the lion sleep tonight, In the kitchen the mighty kitchen Lorena steals a knife, a-wiener-whack-a-wienerwhack…” Fahari 28

When Jack Gordon became the husband and manager of LaToya Jackson, no one would expect him to sexually exploit and profit off of her. If Jackson didn’t comply with Gordon’s sexual demands of performing in strip clubs and doing porno movies, he would physically assault her and threaten to kill her famous siblings. He wouldn’t allow her to have any contact with her family and sold property owned by them without consulting his wife. Jackson’s name is constantly associated with family estrangement and the ‘black sheep’ label. Even though Janet Jackson is known for exploring her sexual independence through her music, the mishap of the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show made it easier for America to criticize her. After the accidental wardrobe malfunction, Jackson was making apologies left and right for what happened. While her Damita Jo album took a temporary decline in sales and she received less airtime on BET, MTV, and VH1, Justin Timberlake’s popularity went up and he was hardly blamed for what happened. He acknowledged to John Norris on MTV that America media was unfair on women and more unfair on ethnic people (Norris and Moss). Around that same time Janet was being persecuted by the media, Paris Hilton was being hailed as “hot” for One Night in Paris. The Simple Life’s star’s then boyfriend, Rick Salomon, who was in the video, enhanced the video himself and had it distributed with help from the Red Light District Company in 2004. After he got the video out, he sued Hilton for defamation of character. The video got mixed reviews but guys still wanted to date her and girls wanted to be her. So, who is wrong, the media or the women? While Hilton became famous for being hot after her tape was released, the Jackson sisters both were besmirched by the media as having no control over their sexuality. The abuse La Toya was suffering by Gordon was taken with a grain of salt as she was sullied by a depraved monster and became a martyr to societal flaws. Janet had a chance to witness the hypocrisy the public used against her sexuality because before the wardrobe malfunction, nobody made a fuss. After


it, everybody had something to say and the only thing Janet was allowed to say was an apology. Society’s stereotypes of Hispanic women include them as being passive lovers and by Gallo refusing to remain passive, marital rape was formally introduced as a questionable issue in such a world that thrives on the bowels of sexism, racism, and capitalism. Because of Gallo, she and other feminist groups that supported her made it clear that rape is rape no matter if two people are married or absolute strangers. Besides, did anyone ever question John Bobbitt’s choice of career or why he treated his wife the way he did? How does sexuality contrast with white women? In shows, such as Sex and the City, the four Caucasian women seem to be involved in “relations” almost all of the time, but there was supposedly meaning behind their sexual behavior. Whereas black women are constantly perceived as either the asexual working horse or highly sexual women with limited or no educational background (Wyatt). Throughout history, women and other victims believed that they deserved to get raped because all men, rapist or not, find women irresistible (Benedict). It’s a sad fact that this is a man’s world and that the origin of a pimp’s history started when the slave master raped a slave woman . And this twisted elegant art of madness where man dominates his own kind to his and her own injury is what we citizens call home. Sources -Bell, Rachael. Crimes Below the Belt. -Benedict, Helen. (1992). Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes. New York City, NY: Oxford University Press. -Gordon, Jack Leon v. Gordon, LaToya Jackson. District Court of Clark County, Nevada, March 3, 1998 -Jackson, Danielle. Culture Culture: Conversations in Cultural Critics. -Jackson, LaToya on Frank Skinner’s talk show. http://youtube.com/ watch?v=3VnPqCAv47c -McCloud, Dr Melody T. Open Season on America’s Black Women. www. tributetoblackwomen.com -Norris, John and Moss, Corey (2006). Justin Timberlake’s Future Shock. MTV News, MTV Network -Serpe, Gina. Paris Sues to Cover Exposure. E!Online -Wyatt, Dr. Gail E. (1997). Stolen Women: Reclaiming our Sexuality, Taking Back our Lives. New York City, NY: John Wiley and Sons

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Hate Crimes

A hate crime can be generally defined as a crime which in whole or part is motivated by the offender’s bias toward the victim’s status. A hate incident is an action in which a person is made aware that her/his status is offensive to another, but does not rise to the level of a crime. They are also referred to as bias crimes. Hate crimes are intended to hurt and intimidate individuals because they are perceived to be different with respect to their race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability. The perpetrators of hate crimes use physical violence, verbal threats of violence, vandalism, and in some cases weapons, explosives, and arson, to instill fear in their victims, leaving them vulnerable to subsequent attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful (Dept. of Justice). These acts of hatred can leave lasting emotional impressions upon their victims as well as entire communities. Since the 1980s, the problem of hate crimes has attracted increasing research attention, especially from criminologists and law enforcement personnel who have focused primarily on documenting the prevalence of the problem and formulating criminal justice responses to it (Hate Crimes). Hate crimes can happen to anyone. The most reported crimes of such have been linked to those of sexual orientation, race and minority group status. There have been many reports of hate crimes throughout the world. Reports of hate crimes have been linked to those of sexual orientation. Maturing children and adults have reported being sexually harassed because of their sexual orientation. Most crimes are perpetrated in public settings by one or more strangers, but victimization also occurs in other locales and perpetrators included neighbors, coworkers, and relatives. Recognition has been facilitated, in part, by empirical research showing that hate crime victimization is widespread among lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals and that hate crimes are less likely than other crimes to be reported to police authorities (Federal Bureau). A lot of times, depending on the race of a person, hate crimes may arise and actions like degrading language can be used with the intention of harming the individuals. The radio is a kind of media used to convey messages to the large public. Some people have taken advantage of this media and have used it in hate crimes. Hate crimes do not always have to be physical, but can also be verbal, for example, speaking about a certain race to degrade them. In an essay called, Hate Radio, by Patricia Williams, the author recalls Fahari 30

By Maridenia Soto

her account of turning on the radio one morning and hearing a female and male announcer degrade the African American minority group; “Whatever, they can’t make up their minds [what] they want to be called. I’m gonna call them blafricans.” Patricia also recalls that “blafricans” “is like a stand-in for the word ‘nigger’.” This exemplifies how immature radio announcers can be and that hate crimes can happen anywhere at any given time. Hate crimes do not have to be physical, but can also be made public to degrade people of their culture and being. On the other hand, hate crimes can also happen on college campuses where there are a diverse group of people. Some hate crimes occur toward a minority group because of their status. On college campuses around the country, the competition can be fierce. As a result, students don’t always view one another as allies or friends, but sometimes as opponents or enemies with whom they must vie for scarce amounts of success both in and out of the classroom (Dept. of Justice). Some students regard their minority classmates as the undeserving recipients of financial aid and compensatory programs – what they believe to be special attention and special treatment. Similarly, some students of color expect to find a racist behind every obstacle to their academic advancement. Moreover, there are some students who resent the challenge posed by a growing presence of successful female students and homosexual students (Dept. of Justice). And, some students resent the increasing number of Asian-American students on campus who are all Merit scholarship winners in high school, at least according to the stereotype. In conclusion, hate crimes happen in everyday settings. At times they can occur outside in the public, or even in your ordinary college campus. Many of the crimes committed are because of individuals who feel that they are superior to others because, of their race, sexual orientation and or minority group they belong to. Many students must learn to deal with classmates and roommates who are different and should learn that hate crimes should not be committed because of the differences that exist between one another.

Sources: -Dr. Herek. “Hate Crimes” <http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/ hate_crimes.html> -Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1999). Hate crime statistics 1997. Washington, D.C : U.S Department of Justice. -Williams, Patricia. “Hate Radio” < http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/callaloo/ v019/19.4williams01.html> -Williams, Patricia. “Responding to Hate Crimes and Bias-Motivated Incidents on -College/University Campuses”< http://www.securityoncampus.org/schools/ hatecrimes.html>


By Saki Rizwana, Vice-President Semi-long, semi-wavy and semi-thin – that’s my hair. It’s the hair I’ve had since I was a little girl. When I was younger, maybe seven years old or so, my hair used to fall down to my hips. It made me feel like a princess, that cascade of hair falling down my back. That is, until my mother got tired of untangling the knots and brushing it all out and I was given a crew cut that made me cry for days. Recently, a lot of my hair’s been falling out. I’ve been to the doctor and everything’s fine. They say it might be stress. So the solution to stop my hair from thinning is to stop stressing…until I stress out about the fact that my hair’s falling out!!! And it’s something I’m reminded about constantly, not in the usual ways of seeing too much hair in the shower drain (gross, I know) or putting my hands through my hair and having some come out. No, I’m reminded by my family that my hair is getting thinner and thinner by the day. You see, hair is a BIG deal for women (and yes, it is for men too, but I doubt that it’s to the same degree; women get it much worse!). The traditional standard of beauty in Bangladesh always involves long, thick and straight hair. The longer, the thicker and the straighter your hair is, the more beautiful you are! And, as a mother or an aunt, you need to remind your daughter or your niece of these details. So, this has been part of the image of beauty that has been passed on to me. And this is precisely what I am trying to shed. The Ancient Egyptians had a symbol for beauty –INSERT NFR SYMBOL – This was the NFR symbol, comprised of a circle (representing the heart) connected to two lines (representing the lungs). This symbolized that beauty was a combination of having a good heart and being a caring human being as well as speaking beautifully and articulating your good intentions with good words. It was about who you were on the inside, the experiences that made you who you are and the struggles that shaped your ideals. Your beautiful inner self was what signaled that you would also be beautiful on the outside. This has definitely become my ideal of beauty. I know that I am a good person with a good heart and that I attempt to bring change into the world where I see a real need for it. I know that I have inner beauty. It’s the outer part that’s a bit more difficult. You see, I’ve been thinking of shaving my head for quite some time now. In fact, it’s been over two years since I started thinking about it. And, in that time, the one thing that has always stopped me is that I know how my family

would react to me doing such a thing. They would hate it! And, what’s worse, they wouldn’t even TRY to understand it. But, for my birthday this year, I’ve decided to give myself the thing I’ve been thinking about for years! I’m going to shave my head. I hope that at this point, you can already guess how my mother reacted to the news. She’s not taking it all too well, to say the least. My father hasn’t spoken to me since I made the little announcement over the phone. I had one of my aunts call me and try to convince me that I needed to go see a doctor (Why?!?! Do you think it might not grow back?!?!)

The latest in this series of barrages has been my brother’s best friend. He had the audacity to comment on several Facebook statuses of mine in regards to me shaving my head. The first was “I dare you! You just want attention from people. I bet you arent gonna do it.” And the second, much more insulting one, was “Really? Saki? You wont listen to your mom? even after all the talks she has to endure from the people? Once you do it think twice before coming back civilization. my 2 cents.” These comments got continued on page

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me a little more heated than I probably should have been, but how dare he think to put in his “2 cents” without even trying to understand why I need to do this? How about you start off by asking why I need to do it? And then ask me how much I’ve thought about it? You’d realize that this is something I need to do for myself! Call me selfish but there aren’t too many situations in my life where I’ve been truly selfish. I was raised to consider what my mother, father and every other family member (and by family member I mean grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends, close neighbors…basically…my community!) would think of what I was doing and how they would react. If they weren’t going to be proud of me, I needed to find something to do that would make them proud! You see, in Bengali culture, as with many other South Asian cultures, women don’t do things for themselves.* They sacrifice all of their desires in the hopes of making others proud. And, in most cases, they do it with a smile. I’m not one of those Bengali girls. I do crazy things that I feel in my heart to be true – like follow my passion for art and become a Black Studies major. These things are unheard of in my community. And now, I want to go and shave my head! What could I possibly be thinking?! Maybe that I need to start over with my hair and have a clean slate. Maybe that I need to create a better relationship with my hair where I begin with MY idea of what beauty is and not the society’s and not my mother’s. Maybe that I need a cleansing and I need to realize that it’s not what’s sitting ON my head that should be my focus but what’s IN my head. However, my family doesn’t see this. My brother’s friend, who stated he was acting as “a brother under general principle” certainly doesn’t see this. All they see is that I’m becoming too “Black” by being around all the Black people in my major and that I’m becoming too American and not holding on to my roots. They see someone who’s selfish and uncaring. I thought the point of family was that they would be the ones to support you during the hard decisions. I thought they were the ones that, even though they might not agree with what you were doing, would stand by you because they loved you? But I guess that’s not the case. I guess family now means that you can guilt-trip someone into doing what YOU want! What YOU think is right! So, I’m giving up trying to make them understand. I’m relying on my friends who are unbelievably supportive of me and who I love too much to put into words. You guys are all the family I need on most days and I’m good with that. I want to thank you guys for understanding this little Bengali girl’s need to be selfish for a little while and thank you for supporting me when others don’t even try to understand. You all are the reason I can do what I do. Here’s to being selfish and doing what’s right for YOU! We all need those moments sometimes… *I apologize if I offend any Bengali people out there. These are just my feelings that have come out of the experiences in MY life! Thus, it is just an opinion and not meant to offend anyone. Fahari 32

Where is the money?

By Jake Moore

I first visited New Paltz in the fall of 2002. No I’m not that old. That was when my sister first moved into her room in Bevier Hall. I remember walking around campus along cracked sidewalks, visiting an old musty gym and grabbing a bite to eat at an outdated Student Union Building. That’s when I decided that I wanted to go to SUNY New Paltz. Three years later, I was moving into my first dorm room in Gage Hall. Since then I have seen the expansion of the gym, the renovation of Old Main; Studley Theater; the SUB food court and Oscar’s (now called Hawk Station… when the #^*% does New Paltz have anything to do with a subway station?). They paved some of the walkways, and now there is a giant metal skeleton chilling outside of the SUB. As much as all of this construction is annoying (for

Photo Courtesy of Google.com

reasons such as being woken up at 7 a.m. from a constant hammering, being 10 minutes late to class because every known route is cut off by yellow tape and orange cones, or being both scalded and frozen because they broke a heating pipe during the construction) I am more interested in the impact that all of this has had on our education. In these tough economic times, cut backs are to be expected here on campus. I have seen professors disappear, classes cut, and even the entire nursing program has been dissolved. We are constructing a giant glass building yet the Women Studies department isn’t even located on campus and the Black Studies department is stuck in a trailer. I understand that we need to cut back, but I think we need to prioritize. We should have education over aesthetics, good professors rather than pretty tours, and a variety of classes in place of a giant glass building. Maybe the administration should actually care about the students that are already here instead of spending all of their money on getting new students to come here. Maybe I am asking for too much, but I think a little common sense in the allocation of funds would go a long way.


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Poetry Corner Dreams of The Heart By Euclyn Williams

dream ing never a dies T and o I keep he lyri cs to drea give up ver in my h e Is ad It’s the so m that love su my he n a c g h a big a conque mystery to m replay over some a rt is broken Ic e s tt me be ention I’m th hoose not to t that I should why I just do st, riving fo n r some believe so M retreat every ’t objecti they see the ve yh con tim sy in my m of mine is to mptoms Of lo sistency Am eart is achin e ong th ve lost g for prove ind Pa os re a ssion b my wis uilds u al love exists nd some reg e who know h fu ressed p this im But so heart m lfilled The A me fa m sparklin ove g of th nse fire with r love is only ajor to taste . Yet still I m in me e eyes alive o the fru Iw turn… it that is ve toward th the ye The de ant to see is inca arning true in pths o ndesce timacy from th aspirati f nt sigh Not the e heart ons t So ea the ger on wha ” I must disa and mind “D lusts of the b gree F ody, bu t tru reams or if I a re Visions ly is the bes h falter, opeles t t thing , Fanta I s w ill miss life can sies Th is there ou offer D ey all s An reams t o , dream d only time lidify what I know is no lo can te ll ‘til th nger a imagin is flig ation So the ht of the prove n I that lo ve is tr can u ly factual

I keep at th dream play over t ng re so st don’ a the why I ju ery time e g m in to dream rics to treat ev ystery for The ly s a m at I should re art is aching es It’ di r ad ow neve uest th My he my he who kn er in big conq to believe so mong those d A major and ov love such a A t se y gres se no consistenc ive re Is oo al e ch m up ly I give is on and so some oken far love ant to see ing for ve lost art is br my he ntion I’m thriv mptoms Of lo exists But so eIw te sy of the ithin m ve at e w lo e hs th e al m pt e fir so de se e re se ger … The st, they e is to prov immen t So ea in me be es turn up this t nt sigh e of m builds ing of the ey ndesce the body, bu objectiv ind Passion kl this inca s of e spar in my m fulfilled Th move toward y Not the lust are hopeless h s I is ac t ill w am st tim ou y re t in s m ove. Ye is true mind “D r, I will mis heart m the fruit that e heart and falte reams, For if I offer D from th to taste disagree ing life can arning t I know the ye I must th ha ” w st ns be ify aspiratio t truly is the They all solid ll ‘til this n te on wha , Fantasies the time ca Visions e And only er a flight of ng lo is ther I can is no So then ly dream tru ation in is ag ve im that lo prove factual

I keep dreaming a dream that never dies The lyrics to the song replay over and over in my head It’s a mystery to me why I just don’t give up Is love such a big conquest that I should retreat every time my heart is broken I choose not to believe so My heart is aching for some attention I’m thriving for some consistency Among those who know me best, they see the symptoms Of love lost and some regressed A major objective of mine is to prove real love exists But so far love is only alive in my mind Passion builds up this immense fire within me I want to see my wish fulfilled The sparkling of the eyes turn… The depths of the heart move. Yet still I move toward this incandescent sight So eager to taste the fruit that is true intimacy Not the lusts of the body, but the yearning from the heart and mind “Dreams are hopeless aspirations” I must disagree For if I falter, I will miss out on what truly is the best thing life can offer Dreams, Visions, Fantasies They all solidify what I know is there And only time can tell ‘til this dream is no longer a flight of the imagination So then I can prove that love is truly factual

dream ing never a I and ov dies The lyr keep ics to drea give up er in my head Is the so m that lov my he ng art is br e such a big It’s a myste ry to m replay over co some at ok e why tention en I choose nquest that I just do I me be st, they I’m thriving fo not to belie should retre n’t ve at se r so objectiv every time e of m e the symptom me consist so My heart ency Am ine is to is in my s Of lov mind ong th aching for prove os real lov e lost and so my wish Passion bu e exist me regr e who know ilds up fulfilled s But so essed this im heart m The sp A m fa major en r ove. Ye arkling love is se fire t sti of on to taste wi the fru ll I move towa the eyes turn thin me I wa ly alive it that is nt … rd this the ye arnin true incande The depths to see scent sig of the aspirat g from the he intimacy Not ht So ions” the art on what I must disag and mind “D lusts of the bo eager reams ree dy, but tru are ho Visions ly is the best For if I falte peless r, I wi , Fant thing life asies can offe ll miss out know Th ey is ther r Drea all solid e And ms, this dr ify on wh ly time eam can te at I the imag is no longer a flight ll ‘til ination of So prove that lov then I can e is tru ly factual

keep I that er dream lay ov ng rep I just don’t a the so e why ing ery tim to me dream reat ev hing for lyrics to a mystery ret e ld Th It’s is ac dies I shou ow never in my head nquest that so My heart who kn A se er g tho lieve big co d and ov such a se not to be istency Amon me regresse ly e lov Is oo ns is on d so give up ken I ch some co love lost an t so far love nt to art is bro thriving for Bu I wa my he toms Of l love exists n I’m hin me of the mp tio wit sy en some att they see the is to prove rea s immense fire The depths ger st, s up thi es turn… me be jective of mine ht So ea ion build of the ey andescent sig body, but ob major my mind Pass e sparkling this inc s ts of the Th alive in wish fulfilled move toward y Not the lus are hopeles imac still I see my “Dreams l miss out nd ve. Yet that is true int mi mo d , I wil it heart heart an the fru if I falter er Dreams, from the agree For to taste can off I dis arning ng life lidify what the ye ons” I must thi st be so aspirati at truly is the s They all can tell ‘til e on wh Fantasie only tim ht of Visions, is there And longer a flig n no know am is then I ca this dre agination So truly is e the im lov that prove factual

keep I that dream replay ’t song I just don ry a to the g eve me why dreamin The lyrics tery to retreat ing a mys I should heart is ach dies head It’s st that never r in my big conque believe so My ng those who ove ed a and to h not suc ncy Amo e regress over som Is love consiste I choose love is give up rt is broken ing for some love lost and so far Of hea s thriv ts But me I time my attention I’m the symptom real love exis e fire within The e e for som best, they see e is to prov up this immens eyes turn… nt min builds ndesce g of the know meobjective of Passion this inca Not the sparklin A major in my mind fulfilled The move toward acy still I true intimrt and mind only alive see my wish e. Yet that is want to of the heart mov e the fruit g from the heagree For if rnin to tast t disa depths the yea eager ” I mus t thing sight So the body, but s aspirations is the besThey t truly eles es lusts of on wha are hop Fantasi “Dreams I will miss out , Visions, e And ams is ther m I falter, offer Dre t I know drea life can ify wha tell ‘til this solid all can t of the only timelonger a fligh then no So is tion imagina prove I can that love

Fahari 34

I a dream keep that nev to the mystery song replay er dre am ing dies that I sho to me why I over and The just ove uld retr lyri believe eat eve don’t give up r in my hea cs so My Is love ry time d It’s consis heart is such my a ten Of love cy Among tho aching for somheart is broken a big conque lost and se who e attentio I choose st real lov not to e exists some regres know me bes n I’m thrivin sed A Bu this imm t, they g major see the for some ense fire t so far love obj is of the ect sympto only aliv within ive of eye ms me toward s turn… The I want to see e in my mind mine is to pro Pa this inc ve ssion andesc depths of the my wish fulfi true inti lled The builds up ent sig hea ma sparkli the hea cy Not the lus ht So eag rt move. Yet er to tas still I mo ng rt ts te the must dis and mind “Dr of the body, ve fruit but the eams agree are hop For if I yearnin that is is the falt ele g best thin er, I will from ss miss out aspirations” g Fantas ies The life can offe I on wh r Dre at truly y all sol there idify wh ams, Vision And s, dream only time can at I know is is no tell ‘til longer the ima a flight this ginatio of n So can pro ve that then I love is truly factual


Poetry Corner Only Read The Right Column (Maybe) By Ranysha Ware

I suppose I live for ambiguity probably Indifference, uncertainty. perhaps Oh, so blasĂŠ. maybe Yes or no drains me somewhat Of the energy I reserve kind of For anger and melancholy. sort of The End. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know

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Poetry Corner Help! From A Shattered Heart By Euclyn Williams

I can’t eat I can’t sleep I think about you, and all I wanna do is cry What was I thinking? Where did I let my head go…? A silly dream, a stupid fantasy that I let get out of hand I’m shattered, almost at the end of my rope I’m looking at the pieces of my life. The tears keep falling, they seem pointless I seem pointless A constant charge, a moving status change A hidden face, trapped behind a mirror, Forced to see every flaw, every blemish All my insecurities are in your hands at your disposal. I try to talk to you but end up pushed further back out of existence… Why do I always want what I can’t have? Why are you always what I want? Can’t you see I’m looking dead in your face? Another tear falls on my keyboard You don’t know that I’ve given you my heart I’m just waiting for the day when you look up and see me I’m not just that face. I’m that shattered heart waiting for the day… …the day when my heart is finally mended Hopefully you’re the one to do it… Signed Helpless Romantic

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Poetry Corner By Justified Insanity

Untitled Press-a-Dense

I declare war!

Gimme all your money! Who said it had to be fair? What’s love got to do with it? As long as you know your place, there is nothing to complain about… Why would anyone want to teach their child that this is how life goes? I tried so hard to be so understanding, compassionate, trying really hard to Hear the tribulations of those who I thought would show me the same in return…

NO NO NO!

But all I get is, “ You don’t understand! You don’t have this to pay for this, or you’re not in that situation. Yes, thank you, I won!” Tell ‘em what they won, Johnny! I didn’t know we were competing, I thought you and I were just trying to Live our lives the best way we know how. When did I suddenly stop caring? I still do, I mean I’m here letting you pour your soul onto me. Just because I’m not in your position, you think that I don’t know what it’s like to suffer… that was your first mistake. Your inaccurate judgments make me suffer. What does it mean to act black or white? Who does she think she is doing trying to better herself? How did dat nigga get a promotion?

WHY ARE YOU EVEN CONCERNED?

Should I even give you the satisfaction… No, wait, I will not even give you the satisfaction. I’m gonna watch you let you make a fool of yourself To prove a point to whomever that I don’t know what I’m talking about. What is acknowledging people finding their own way as opposed to people always Trying to show others up? In this game of life, someone has to win and someone has to lose; there can’t be ties. Yet, this is all we know, right?

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Poetry Corner Melted Snow (flakes)

By Shatera Gurganious

Paper snowflakes Hanging from the porch Dangling Blowing in the wind Reflecting the sunlight So bright I miss those days Simpler days

Untitled

By Shatera Gurganious

Sometimes I wish time could stop So I could catch up on life Catch up on living On being On breathing Air Spending time Doing Nothing Doing anything Doing something Other than this Other than this Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not living, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just here Alive but dead inside Lacking life This is no way to live Fahari 38


Poetry Corner Sonnet

By Roger Whitson

The worries I have I can not express For I can’t undo the situation That causes carloads of consternation. There’s naught I can do. It’s vain to obsess. For sorrow I’ve caused I can’t be pardoned And before God I will answer for it But guilt is my cross and I have bore it. Those that I have hurt, their hearts have hardened.   And lies did it. I can’t say more than this. And tears I’ve caused years after will remain. Soon my friends will know what this is about. I can not replace what was for what is. I do not obfuscate. I can’t explain. But “be ye sure your sins will find ye out.”

Sun Sonnet

By Roger Whitson

Where have you been O sun O king of stars? What do you have in your black suitcases covered with stickers of foreign places? Someone said you were seen in Key West bars. Did you go south to paint purple palms gold and on some southern beach did you caress a statuesque and sun-gilt satyress for some satyr in sunshades to behold?   Were you hid somewhere amid pyramids? Did your bright white light dazzle desert eyes? Were you incognito wearing disguise? Why’d you hide sun? Was it something you did? Where have you been O king of stars O sun? Like a fugitive, were you on the run?

Photo Courtesy of Leland Howard Photography

39 Libertad


Poetry Corner Dedicated to my father, Pedro Santiago who passed away

this year May 22....

Since I was a new born always been daddy’s girl

By Tanaya Rosa Santiago

Pretty Young Thing stuck up in her own world Didn’t realize that time was so sacred Haters dimmed my light

Had me feelin so vacant

Went on a vaction to get it all back

Dude scooped me up had a fitted and some tats Demons ate me up

Plus the monkey on my back Couldn’t handle that

Rolex watch flooded in ice

Trying to find my way became a black girl lost

Educaded no credentials

Yea I swerved off course

Taught me how live life

Lord let him live long enough for me to cop that porsche

Haters better watch out cuz I’m gonna run this town tonight

So I went on the attack

Always told me I was special

Always gave me everything my daddy was a boss

Knew I was a rebel

forgot to pray to the source

Left a crazy legacy so I gotta get it right

Remind me of our Savior long hair like Christ

I KEEP DOIN MY OWN THING

...WALKING TALL AGAINST THE RAIN ...VICTORY’S WITHIN THE MILE ...ALMOST THERE

...WON’T GIVE UP NOW

...ONLY THING THAT’S ON MY MIND ...IS WHO GON’ RUN THIS TOWN ...DADDY’S GONE

...HE PASSED THE TORCH

....SO ITS ME OFCOURSE!!!

Fahari 40


Earth: THE BATTLEFIELD By Tanaya Rosa Santiago

Poetry Corner

Earth: THE BATTLEFIELD

Too many people SEEKing TRUTH...still got the blinders on Playing the right game but their team ain’t strong Might appear as if they’re winning...but they are oh so wrong In the life of chess I refuse to be a pawn Built by HIS MASTERY..I got the substance of a Queen Yes I knew it all along! Its embedded in the conscience... Free will...CHOICES Choices...RIGHT from wrong Still have the option don’t wait ‘til its gone HUMAN nature & INTELLECT is what the enemy preys on When it seems like he’s winning I just get my PRAISE on! Too many people seeking truth...still got the blinders on Playing the right game but their team ain’t strong Might appear as if they’re winning...but they are oh so wrong Asking alot of questions they don’t have answers for me NEIGHBORS war...and turn into ENEMIES Because what the enemy speaks is pure BLASPHEMY Engaged in SPIRITUAL WARFARE...guns loaded with TRICKERY From day 1 he told us we could be gods like HE Resulted in man’s downfall...from then on TRUTH’S been HAZY Too many people seeking truth...still got the blinders on Playing the right game but their team ain’t strong Might appear as if they’re winning...but they are oh so wrong STRATEGIC in attacking the mental... Got Black people thinking the CHRIST wasn’t meant 4 YOU The fact that he played with the image of the SAVIOR is quite simple Spiritual yes but also the PSYCHOLOGICAL aspect is critical Truth is...Feet like BRONZE and hair like WOOL Blonde hair blue eyes??????? What was he trying to pull? Regardless the SON of GOD died for us ALL... ETERNAL LIFE don’t matter if HE was purple. In all wars the BLOOD is on the Battlefield ...SACRIFICE completed & paid in FULL!!! Too many people seeking truth...still got the blinders on Playing the right game but their team ain’t strong Might appear as if they’re winning...but they are oh so wrong Knew His children would come into harm Gave us HIS WORD, made a promise...HE warned GOD ALMIGHTY SAW THE ATTACK COMING ALL ALONG & WAS PREPARED WITH THE LION OF ZION 41 Libertad


Poetry Corner Dear President of the Crumbling States: For my life I fear daily. Serve and protect, in my opinion should be self-explanatory. I struggle daily, yet emerge with scar tissue thicker than alligator skin. When I am driving home from work, from an honest and fulfilling job, why am I followed by the conspicuous unmarked car? Why should I be afraid to voice my opinion in a court of law? According to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary, the word liberty is defined as one of imagination’s most prized possessions. Is this coming to fruition? In my short experience being alive with full mental capacity, I’ve determined that math is in everything. Even in the so-called service and protection that we civilians fear each and every day of our lives. I am by no means a mathematical genius but these are the formulas in authoritative human behavior that I witness daily. A small brain capacity plus a smaller physical stature equals the law enforcement farce. Years of unrecognized and untreated aggression plus a lower IQ equals a police department. Secret abusers plus public nuisance equals a badge and a gun. Confusion within a hostile situation equals undue aggression. Fairness minus morality and dignity equals police ethics. Greed plus sadistic intent equals standard procedure. Integrity minus intelligence equals a police officer. Please, do the math yourself. Sincerely, A citizen

Support Clubs and Orgs. Fahari 42


Meet the Family!!! Stephanie Sanchez, President

Saki Rizwana, Vice-President/Layout Editor

Regina Rivers, Editor-in-Chief

Shatera Gurganious, Head Copy Editor

Euclyn Williams, Web Editor/ Public Relations

43 Libertad


Meet the Family!!!

Vixon John, President, 2007-2009

Tanaya Rosa Santiago Vice-President, 2005-2006

Maridenia Soto, Historian

Ruben Sanchez, Council of Orgs. Representative

Fahari 44

Faisal Awadallah, Web Editor/Public Relations

Mitzy Bello, Vice-President, 2007

Fahari-Libertad - Death of New Paltz  

The Fall 2009 Issue

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