Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Pawned Sovereignty:

Sharpened Black Perspectives on Americanizatiom Africa, War & Reparations

by Ezrah Aharone


ISBN# 1-4107-8642-0

Reviewed by Carol Taylor

I'd advise anyone truly interested in Black liberation to first thoroughly read this book( even though there are a few areas of disagreement I have mostly concerning word usage such as 'race,' 'races' instead of 'color').

However, in a refreshingly non-pedantic and unassumingly simple journalist style, Aharone has graphically described just why and how BlackFolk in the United States of America have found themselves almost inextricably mired in deep doodoo. 'Tis an eerie tale woven with undeniable, stark, intricate webbing, bespeaking economic, political and religiously inflicted constraints which make jail bars seem like friendly importuning upon people of color.

Aharone speaks of longterm institutional respression as " of the many ugly spillover consequences of a white society being reared on a culture of Black enslavement." The author's varied encapsulations throughout the book of the effects of euralien (my adopted term for whites) hegemonic domination of "third world" countries is redolent of Walter Rodney's "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, and is no less catastrophic in its ramifications of continuing wholesale degradation of Black lives.

What he does so well is a kind of 'international color-connecting-the-dots," by linking domestic euralien negative practices against Blacks with foreign policy negative tactics against countries of color. (Every person of color should be taught to examine this connection)

But he says that the reason that Black America tolerates levels of demoralization that euraliens would not, is that we have different ideas of what it means to be free and what it means to be repressed: Blacks sought freedom through civil rights and integration (my emphasis): euraliens sought their freedom through sovereignty and independence. (Whew!) "Freedom" for Blacks was freedom not to be enslaved; for whites it was freedom to establish a nation and a government to rule themselves without influence or control of any other people.

(Before going further, I have to mention the remarkable Table of Contents. It's the most definitive one I've ever encountered and is a lesson in and of itself in terms of Black liberation and self-determination!)

The book's mind-numbing statistical deconstruction of slavery in the U.S.A. provides a telling footnote to history: "...4 million slaves working up to 18 hours a day." He says the fact that the establishment would never recognize this is illustrative of what he calls a racial "recognition blockade;" blockades are used to to isolate our interests and obstruct our progress through the control and measure of information. Further, "any analysis of American wealth, whether in 1860 or 2060, that disregards the economics of slavery, is false and misleading."

What makes "Pawned Sovereignty" so current is illustrated by Aharones sentence on page 54, "...a world that is obviously hurling (he meant 'hurtling') off its axis of common sense." And - among other observations which, unfortunately, are only too true today in 2007 - page 133 - "It is no exaggeration to say that vestiges of "weaponized democracy" are still at work to control, marginalize and even systematically liquidate segments of Black people. (my emphasis)

Pawned Sovereignty" is a serious warning to BlackFolk and others wearing skins of observable melanin in the U.S.A. who think they're living in an operative democracy, but yet, according to Aharone, are merely existing in daily danger of losing their lives because of untreated and escalating racism/colorism.

Aside from citing some very cruel statistics about the sad and inequitable current state of Black affairs in the U.S.A., "Pawned" describes the untenable lack of Congressional representation of BlackFolk and reminds us that this country was founded by revolution against 'no taxation without representation,' but, because of indoctrination, Black America is comfortably accustomed to inadequate respresentation. Of 438 members of the House of Representatives - there are only 39 Blacks; of the 100 member Senate - no Blacks (although here in 2007, there is a whopping one - Barack Obama)

One of the scariest parts of this fascinating book, on page 147, is the description of the vicious, unadulterated hypocrisy of the United States of America's government ; the government recently refused to sign a treaty endorsed by 139 nations, to outlaw the use and sale of landmines. (my emphasis) The country, Aharone says, has a cache right now, of at least 11 million landmines, readily available for willing buyers. Money has always taken precedence over the lives of human beings in Africa and the third world. (so-called 'third world) Landmines mainly blow up Black and Brown people, whose resources the U.S.A. intends on exploiting anyway. (my emphasis)

"Pawned Sovereignty" is a shocking stats-backed fervent call for BlackFolk (and other people of color) to organize ASAP - or face the very real specter of escalating annihilation - merely on the basis of observable melanin.

Insanity reigns!

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