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Death of an American black fighter against injustice

June 29 2006 at 6:32 AM
Anonymous 

Note that this man never entered politics yet had huge impact.

May 2006

This past friday we lost a courageous Freedom Fighter who was fearless, selfless and always about the upliftment of his people. Damu Smith was a men among men. A giant among giants. We put together a tribute for him, so him and his work will forever be remembered. Big thanks to Glen Ford of Blackcommentator.com and big shout out to Opio Oskoni of Politainment for their words of wisdom which you hear in the piece.. We are including the transcript of Glen Ford’s full remarks so you can better know Damu Smith.

The Passing of A Great Black Organizer Last week saw the passing of an exemplary member of a rare and dwindling breed of humanity: the Black organizer. Damu Smith, born LeRoy Wesley Smith in 1952, in St. Louis, was the consummate organizer, the man who made things happen. You may not know the name, Damu Smith, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t impacted your life, as he has the lives of all African Americans, and every person in this country, and beyond.

Damu fought. He fought injustice of every kind, and not just by wielding a microphone, or primping for the cameras. Damu dived into the thick of struggle, where it already existed, and in new arenas that were not previously considered to be in the realm of Black activism. He was a founder of the National Black Environmental Justice Network. Damu and his colleagues laid claim to a theater of struggle that had previously been considered to be a “white folk’s” concern, and brought home the truth that the environment is an urban and poor rural issue, as well. In the early Nineties, Damu became the first coordinator for environmental justice of the Southern Organizing Committee for Economic and Social Justice. His work was central to demonstrating that asthma and cancer among the urban and rural poor were as much ecological issues as saving the wolves and spotted owls.

Damu Smith was a tireless fighter for world peace, the founder of Black Voices for Peace. When people complain that Blacks are not active enough in the peace movement, they could not possibly be talking about Damu, whose work was central to creating links between the anti-war movement and the African American domestic struggle. Damu was an internationalist, an opponent of the oppression of humanity anywhere on the planet. Yet he was capable of the most in-depth, detailed analysis of a whole range of issues – from the macro to the micro. Damu worked longer, and stronger, than anyone else when the needs of the people called. He argued and cajoled and convinced allies and opponents alike, from dawn to dusk and deep into the night, until finally, a consensus was achieved among people who started the day not even liking each other. He was a Movement Builder.

Damu Smith and I have been on the same side, and opposing sides, of a number of issues down through the years. But I long ago learned that, if Damu was in the other camp from mine, I might as well get used to the idea of ending up on the losing side of the argument. He was like a force of nature, able to change minorities into a majorities by force of will and persuasion.

Damu Smith was the product of a particular time in Black people’s struggle. He understood the necessity of hard work. He cared nothing for celebrity, and gave everything to the movement. I don’t know if our community is making people like Damu Smith anymore. I only know that we have lost an irreplaceable warrior.

by Glen Ford

More info: www.damusmith.org

 
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AuthorReply
Anonymous

Re: Death of an American black fighter against injustice

June 29 2006, 5:36 PM 

who gives a sh.t!

 
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Dee

Hey, hey now

July 23 2006, 4:08 PM 

Unless you are black of African American descent you will never understand the black fight for jusitice. It takes a strong man to challenge the government to change its ways for the future generation. Might of fact you would of had some serious problems if a nigga from over here heard you say that girl!

 
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Anonymous

Re: Hey, hey now

July 24 2006, 12:25 AM 

Too many PNGeans, particularly those overseas, are spoilt brats. A lot of them are sons and daughters of corrupt politicians and have gotten to where they are today through manipulation and stolen money. Probably you're replying to one such person. These PNGeans could care less about anything other than where to find their next beer and next screw.

 
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Anonymous

Hey Dee

July 25 2006, 7:09 PM 

Hey Dee I don't think any of those niggas out ther gives a dame any more...that was in the past and quite crying over spillt milk and count your privalleges cuz if it weren't for those slave trades, you would not have enjoyed your American privalleges. You would be somewhere in Africa dying of Aids of fighting of some other greater cause of injustice. It was all in the past and happened for a reason. I think you should be thankful that you are an American. I don't think there is any more black and white struggle cause America is now Multi-cultural ...grow up man !!!!


HS citizen.....y2k encrypted

 
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safire

Re: Hey Dee

July 25 2006, 11:37 PM 

"I don't think there is any more black and white struggle cause America is now Multi-cultural"

Are you blind??

 
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Anonymous

Re: Hey Dee

July 26 2006, 1:26 PM 

c'mon safire...you live in the US yeah there are some conflict with blacks and whites but definently not in a large scale that would split the country. It is a problem for those that have not learned to accept each other. Get a grip blacks and whites aren't the only ones that populate the US. I see black dudes and white guys hangin out all the time and having a hell of time....and you say that is a racial problem....It is time to move on let the past bury itself and quite being racist


HS citizen....y2k encripted

 
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Anonymous

Re: Hey Dee

July 26 2006, 2:18 AM 

I'm sure the 10 odd generations of Dee's ancestors who were slaves didn't think it was such a great idea to come to America.

 
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Anonymous

Re: Hey Dee

July 26 2006, 1:27 PM 

then Dee can walk his black ass back to the Afirican ghettos

 
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Anonymous

Re: Hey Dee

July 26 2006, 11:36 PM 

He's probably already in the American ghettoes!

 
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Anonymous

to the sour puss

July 27 2006, 3:44 AM 

As much as you think you can dictate how others should feel or think, it's not gonna happen!!!!!!!

 
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Anonymous

Re: to the sour puss

July 27 2006, 6:37 PM 

wots is your point sour puss...

 
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Dee

Do every black race has something agianst the black American race?

July 30 2006, 6:52 PM 

How about every black frizzy head azz nigga of none African American descent go home back to there repective country. How about that, its true that there are only social issues its a old saying in America. When there is a black man there is Robbery, murder, theft and sometimes rape. Hell every race those, but the white race seems to take it to the extreme. Like all black people do that ****, besides you go to predominetaly white neighborhoods in certain states with low black pop. They will try you in a way which is a none laughing manner, now I have to admit it. Black people do **** with whites but not in away to cause violences or intince racial slurs in there faces. Like how they will do you in the Southern and Midwestern states of America, as for me going back to Africa I AM RACIALLY DIFFERNT FROM A AFRICAN I AM THE PRODUCT OF THE SLAVE MASTER CHILDERN. Its true my part of my ancestors did come from Africa what about my great, great Native American Grandfather or my Irish great, great grandfather. How where all slave masters, the black struggle is way totally different from anything else. We where always told that we are wrong, because of the color of our skin and the culture we belief in. White people has always stole our culture from us then made it apart of theres for example, Gospel, Country, Rock-n-Roll Jazz, Blues,Doo Wop music. The list just goes on hell they weren't paying these people jack crap ****, and you know what niggas had to but white faces on. They used to rape our women, marry our women and kill the men as if it was rituals and you know what we couldn't do the same to them. I don't give a **** about a white man not liking me becuase I'm black, as long as money is involve making money I can set all my differences around. As for my Ancestors being appericative about being in America, you just don't know what the hell an American slave had to go through. Read your damn history on a college level and not pre-k level, if you are in America visit a black history museum!

 
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Anonymous

Re: Do every black race has something agianst the black American race?

July 31 2006, 11:44 PM 

the differance is that your folks came because they didn't have a choice...well my folks migrated which is different we walked our asss and setteled were we are today...no harm to you but the fact is your folks were imported and so now that you have a choice you can either suck it up and be grateful or go back to Africa....we had a choice, unfortunatly you didn't

 
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Black & proud of it.

Re: Do every black race has something agianst the black American race?

August 1 2006, 10:19 AM 

Your remark potrays someone who is absolutely ignorant about the reality in America and the rest of the western world. Discrimination is a issue which is constantly a part of the way of life of blacks, asians, muslims or people of minority in countries like USA, UK and Germany to name a few where the white population is the predominant race.

From experience here in Britain where I have been working for the last 4 years - people with racial persuasions don't actually call you names or discriminate you face to face because times have changed. Human rights and other laws have been put in place over the years following all kinds of racial related crimes against mostly the black British or Black American, or immigrants from from commonwealth nations throughout the Carribeans (West Indies).

As a non African black, or non black British, I find you distasteful, spiteful and vile at heart to say what you have said as if you can walk the streets of America or Britain and say you do not experience anyone discriminate against you as a black person. Let me remind you - in the face of a white nationalist racist in Britain or America you are nothing but a black @#$@##$. Who cares if you originate some 2rd world island nation called PNG - they don't give a damn - wake up to reality and be genuine to yourself.

When the colour of your skin is Black, you are bloody Black - so don't think you are a one man island - because you are a small fish in the sea. Support the cause for equal rights and fight against racial or religiuos discrimination when and where necessary - as I said you are nothing if you don't accept the fact that you are BLACK just like me or the chap who posted earlier.

Black and proud of it.

England
UK

 
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Dee

What do you mean go back to Africa

August 4 2006, 2:12 PM 

Hey don't you understand there is a big diffference between a African and A African American, we started calling ourselves that with all the waves of Africans in the early 90's. I am not a African how many times must I state this, thats just like me telling you we are the same race. I mean how in the hell are you to tell me to go back to Africa azz hole, when azz ****ed up as your country is. You need to have your big nosed azz over there trying to fight the cause and make the **** better. I don't give a **** about the African struggle I can careless about the PNG struggle to! But at the sametime I won't sit there, discrimante against you guys just because you'll want to come over here and make money. You best to believed that I want tolarate you guys disrepecting my community or my culture neither. You have no rights to say what black American culture should be, just like I have no right to say what Melanesian culture should be. Simply because I am not Melanesian, you think I give a damn about grown azz men having sex with 11 year prosititutes in your country. No I don't because your society has odained it customary. I all let me tell you something right fast to partner, I don't know how Melanesians are. But one thing about Africans and African Americans we're **** you up, if you come to our face with some Bull Sh*t. Drop your azz quick, partner we don't play those type of games, we are very hot headed people, you know what you might probably be white. Who has a Melanesian partner man F*ck You!

 
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Anonymous

Re: What do you mean go back to Africa

August 4 2006, 11:14 PM 

Dee, There seems to be a couple uneducated PNGans on the Americas board who have never learned how to think very deep so please excuse them they'll give you only what comes off the top of their head without even thinking

 
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Anonymous

Re: Do every black race has something agianst the black American race?

August 1 2006, 2:19 AM 

I apologise for other PNGean remarks. You would be amazed how ignorant we are. Most of us were jerked from our villages the moment we started school and don't even know much about our own history except that our ancestors liked kaukau! Isn't that a laugh. It's because most of us are coconuts, thinking that we can copycat white people and become just like them when in the end we're still finding that they've been running to and making sure that we stay on our leash and well behind them.

 
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Black & Proud of it.

Re: Do every black race has something agianst the black American race?

August 2 2006, 7:13 AM 

Absolutely. I find it completely bizarre that Papua New Guineans, especially those that are living by marital status or schooling or even working internationally donot associate themselves from the plight of Black British or Black American day to day issues - particularly those living in these 2 countries.

What we should not forget is that for generations the Blacks in America & Britain had to pave the way for your PNG sorry hairy arsse live & exist the way we do at this day and age. These Black were inhumanely discriminated and segragated in almost all aspects of their livelihood, compounded with many human rights abuse across both borders of the Atlantic from the slavery days up to the early 80s - pockets of such human rights abuse continue to filter in smaller towns & villages across the UK and America against minorities (Asians, Pakistanis, Indians, Carribeans, Africans etc).

As a Papua New Guinean living in America or Britain, one should not forget about civil liberties & human rights and those that fight for it and made it easier for you to live and currently thrive in these countries - people like Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, and so on. These are the very people with many more small people in the surburbs that fight for their livelihoog to make it possible for people of minority races to live & coexist with white people.

I think it is totally dispicable and stinks when a PNGean attempts to create this little supeficial world for himself/herself and not give credit to the Black American and British people. Without them you will probably be still running around in your 'purpur with barefoots' in some disloated 3rd world poverty ridden PNG.

Do give credit where it is due.

Black & Proud of it.

Black British Papua New Guinean

 
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Anonymous

Re: Do every black race has something agianst the black American race?

August 3 2006, 6:42 PM 

kar yu....don't you know that most people tell the differance between a African American and PNGian....spare me the bubwiser..(dumer) comericals.

 
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