All Articles Tagged "white supremacist"
Meet the Heatons! A middle-class American family from Abingdon, Va. This family is comprised of the head of household, Jeremiah Heaton, his wife, Kelly, their two sons Justin and Caleb, and their 7-year-old daughter, Emily. Jeremiah works in the mining industry and even attempted to run for Congress in 2012. However, he has managed to make the news for something that has less to do with Congressional politics and more to do with White supremacy and continued disrespect of the African continent.
Emily, like most little girls her age, has an affinity for princess stories. After asking her father if she would ever become a princess, Jeremiah began researching places that he could claim as king so that Emily’s dream of becoming a princess could come true. His quest landed him smack dab in Africa, right between Egypt and Sudan on the land of Bir Tawil. In the midst of turmoil between Egypt and Sudan, Jeremiah Heaton in all his supreme authority and invincible power, traveled to Bir Tawil, planted a flag made by his children, and Emily’s wish of becoming a princess was granted.
Bir Tawil is frequented by Bedouins. They are a nomadic people whose ancestral lineage is a part of the Bir Tawil land, which they roam. The Bedouin way of living differs from the Heaton family’s White American way of life, so one can’t expect the Heatons to understand it. But the Bedouins should be respected.
This move by Heaton is White supremacy at its finest and perpetuates the colonization of the African continent. Sticking a flag in the sand and claiming land that is not yours, which you did not cultivate or even buy, all the while benefiting from the resources of that country perpetuates the colonialist attitude that has raped Africa for decades.
Though this highly problematic story of White superiority and entitlement continues to hijack Africa of its riches and denigrate the history of African peoples, what is most alarming is that this story will be passed on for generations to come. It has been picked up by Disney for development into a film called The Princess of North Sudan.
Disney has paid for the rights to Heaton’s story, and while many are in an uproar about it, we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not like Disney has any respect for the stories of Black and brown people. In 2009, Disney released The Princess and the Frog featuring its very first Black princess, Tiana. It only took a mere 72 years since Disney’s first studio film release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 to make this happen. I, along with many Black film enthusiasts, was elated at the idea that little Black girls would finally have an animated depiction of a princess who looked like them. But we don’t look like frogs. The Princess and the Frog ended up being adapted from the Brothers Grimm story The Frog Prince.
But what makes this recent decision by Disney to develop this story for the big screen so offensive is the fact that they don’t need to. Africa is overflowing with a rich oral history full of folklore and folktales of kings, queens, princes and princesses. Full of magical moments, love stories, adventure, family bonds, and happily ever after. And there are plenty other classic stories based in the continent that deserve to be shared. Here are a few authentically African princess stories we love that Disney could adapt instead:
Written by African-American author and illustrator John Steptoe in 1988, the popular children’s story takes place in an African village where kindhearted villager Mufaro and his two beautiful daughters Manyara and Nyasha live. Nyasha has taken on her father’s attributes and is giving. But unbeknownst to Mufaro, Manyara is mean and selfish. Mufaro gets word from the city that the king is looking for “the most worthy and beautiful daughters in the land” to marry. Mufaro can’t choose between his daughters as they are both equally beautiful, so he decides to take both of his daughters to the city so the king can decide for himself. Instead of traveling with her family, Manyara takes off toward the city in the middle of the night hoping to get there before her sister and be chosen as queen. On the way, she is faced with a few tests that challenge her character. Nyasha leaves the next morning with her father. She also has to take on the challenging tests, but she handles them with compassion and grace. Once they arrive at the palace, they realize the tests were set up by the king to see which sister possessed not only physical beauty, but inner beauty as well. The king chooses Nyasha to wed, and she becomes queen.
This Akamba legend is the story of a princess with beautiful long hair. According to the tale, she has “the loveliest hair in the world.” Singing maidens weave her hair into magical plaits every evening, which causes her hair to grow even longer. The maidens even adorn her hair with gold and carry her hair so that it won’t touch the ground. The princess loves all of the attention. One day as she sits in the garden getting her hair done, a bird lands on the garden wall and asks the princess for a strand of her hair to make a nest. The princess is so into her hair she feels disrespected that the bird would even ask her such a question. She denies the bird’s request. The bird casts a spell on the princess, which causes all of her hair to fall out and brings drought and famine to the kingdom. A young beggar boy named Muoma wants to help the kingdom and sets out to find the bird to ask if the spell can be broken. On his way, he faces a few tests where he has to practice kindness and share the last of his food and water with a mouse, an ant, and a flower. Because Muoma shows how kind he is, the spell is broken. Muoma helps to save the kingdom from the drought and famine, and the hair of the princess grows back. She falls in love with Muoma, for he truly showed her the meaning of kindness. Muoma and the princess marry and live happily ever after.
This tale from South Africa is often compared to Cinderella but we think it’s much better. Nomi, an adventurous young girl, is being starved by her father’s second wife. On a day out exploring her village, she meets and becomes friends with a fish at the stream. The fish brings Nomi food. Nomi’s evil stepmother becomes very suspicious and follows Nomi to the stream one day. When she sees Nomi has made a friend in the fish and the fish is bringing her food, the evil stepmother kills and eats the fish. But the fish had already predicted his demise and told Nomi that when the day came that he is eaten to throw his bones in the village chief’s garden. Nomi does just that. The next day the chief solicits help from whomever can bring the bones to him and offers his hand in marriage as the reward. Nomi is the only one who can do it. The two are married and live happily ever after.
(The Grio) — A Catholic elementary school principal with ties to a white supremacist publication has been fired, the New York Archdiocese said Tuesday. Frank Borzellieri, who previously served as a high school English teacher, is the author of several books, including 2004’s Don’t Take It Personally: Race, Immigration Crime and Other Heresies, in which he declared diversity a “weakness,” according to the New York Daily News. The New York Archdiocese launched an internal review after a published report detailed Borzellieri’s controversial views on multicultural education, Martin Luther King, Jr. literature and his efforts to remove an openly gay teacher and activist from a Queens public school.
By Alexis Garrett Stodghill
The New York Daily News has learned that a principal with a history of promoting white supremacist views heads a mostly-minority school in the Bronx. Frank Borzellieri, who became the chief of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School two years ago, has written articles and books decrying diversity. He has also used his previous positions in education to promote the idea that American culture is superior, and attack gay teachers.
As a school board member in his Queens neighborhood, he attempted to have a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King banned from school libraries as “un-American,” along with other books promoting cross-cultural knowledge. In his own 2004 book, “Don’t Take It Personally: Race, Immigration, Crime and Other Heresies,” Borzellieri makes the argument that the increasing black and Latino population will lead America into a “New Dark Age.”
Does this sound like a man who should be at the helm of a Catholic school comprised of the blacks and Latinos he despises?
The pastor who hired him seems to think that Borzellieri, despite having been a frequent contributor to a white supremacist publication on top of all this, is the perfect fit. In fact, Borzellieri’s hiring manager had this to say to the Daily News:
Mount Carmel pastor, the Rev. Eric Rapaglia, said he knew of Borzellieri’s views, but didn’t “see any cause for concern” when he hired him to run the 200-student elementary school.
“I knew of him from my last parish,” he said. “Do I agree with all of it? No. But I think much of it is valuable and logical and reasonable.
“A lot of his ideas would actually benefit minorities,” he added.
It is hard to ascertain which ideas specifically would be beneficial. Would his desired removal of books about different races and cultures from school libraries help the Latino and black children develop self-knowledge or self-esteem? Or would being reminded that their existence will bring America a “New Dark Age” be the edifying information this pastor is referring to?
It is clear that the Rev. Eric Rapaglia was not fit to make this hiring decision. While archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling told the Daily News that this case is being investigated, the hiring of Borzellieri shows how poorly the autocratic system of the Catholic church works. Priests basically have the power to do whatever they want on the local level as long as outwardly parishes seem to conform to the will of the church. This is the same system that allowed young boys to be sexually abused for decades. Now it is enabling racist educators to harm youth in a horrible new way.
Zwilling explained that Borzellieri was hired right before reforms went into effect that curtail the kind of power that allowed his hiring with no dispute in the first place. But it’s too late now for the black and Latino kids he has stewardship over. While the archdiocese takes its own sweet autocratic time reviewing the case, these children of color will have to suffer under the leadership of a man who believes they are inferior.
The children under his care reportedly don’t like Borzellieri, and it is obvious why. Borzellieri may never state his opinions out loud, but anyone can tell if someone hates them through simple interaction — especially sensitive little children.
Elementary school represents a critical time. The black and Latino youth of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School should not have to face these crucial learning years dealing daily with a man who has explicitly stated that he hates them. This failure of the archdiocese to immediately remove Frank Borzellieri given the mountain of evidence damning him is yet another stain on the Catholic church’s reputation for not protecting kids.
File this under: very bizarre news. Seattle reporter Shomari Stone got caught up in a street fight between a black man and a white supremacist while he was reporting the news.
(KansasCity.com) — A man who once proclaimed himself the national director of Aryan Nations is planning to open a nightclub east of Kansas City for the under-21 crowd.
The Black Flag is set to open Friday in the Prime Outlet Mall in Odessa, but Charles Juba, a self-avowed racist and anti-Semite, has extended invitations to high school students in Blue Springs, Independence, Fort Osage, Grain Valley and others.