ExiledOne Commentary

Unique View of An African from America

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The Silence of NGOs Part 1 (Exile 2006)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936

Russell Maroon Shoatz

In America, armed or unarmed Resistance to injustice is usually crushed-but not always!

From The ExiledOne Commentary Archives…in the four years since terms like Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, Rumsfeld and American Empire have fallen from corporate news favor, the ongoing war against African and Indigenous peoples within US borders-or outside of it- has not lessened. It's important to re-post this one with new photos and captions. Read Part 1 below. Part 2, coming soon, has a focus on Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz.



The global NGOs (non government organizations) such as  US based Human Rights Watch, London headquartered Amnesty International and equally British Oxfam almost daily have a presence in corporate media.

Dictating to many, including to the middle and upper class Whites who and what is a threat to humanity, these corporate like cultural and political bodies are mainly run by Whites to cater to White views of the world. At Oxfam, you can buy goods and feel guiltless (most items have smiling nonWestern peoples on the label) at a shopping network through out the Western world. There are Oxfam arrangements with Starbucks Coffee in the US, also with Nike shoes and apparel. And being a business savvy MBA can land you position with the organization. Even if you are young, White and want to have blond dreadlocks and piercings there is a clipboard for you to carry. Longtime missionary experts such as low profile religious Concern know the way to get to the public and raise money. Christian Aid is talking and making deals with Cooperative Financial Services. Greenpeace and others work hand in hand with multinationals to provide "green cred" to services and products jointly developed.

But you could hear a whole grain organic tortilla chip drop when the topic becomes America's  Human Rights injustice-inside USA borders.


Massive Bagram Prison, Afghanistan

Has no one of these aware individuals or groups seen the connection between the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, Greene Correctional Facility, where the infamous Abu Ghraib torturer of the US military had his "day job"? There Black and Brown men are debased by White men in a modern day Robben Island of a terror pit. The men are back to the wall in this rural trench warfare that the media carefully ignores and which the press conference hungry Human Rights Watch and other "human rights defenders and dissidents" glide right past.

Still, they fight back and a few at the prison, notably Russell Maroon Shoatz and Mumia Abu Jamal have used their window to the world to shout the alarm.

Why the NGOs have not dared to lean into the microphone and scream about US prisons and torture, slave labor and hyperexploitation, this is no surprise to some of us.



We are beyond the pale of their scope. We are African (they call us Americans) and through a hail of institutionalized degradation we have challenged them only to be ignored or at best chastised for "getting out of our place". Indeed, more than a decade ago, when my partner and I were in the heat of battle with Virginia racism, an Asian American at Human Rights Watch derided the persecution of Black children rather than tackle America's standard targeting of the youth. " We don't work on issues of Human Rights in the US". This fellow was very indignant.

We were told by telephone that we had better be glad to be in America. This conversation pertained to a case that eventually was won at the highest level versus the US Department of Education--by a 35 year old  African so called America woman teacher had the guts to do it. The US government lawyers and section chiefs folded, but we paid the cost. Years of 1990s FBI COINTELPRO (counterintelligence) were in effect. And she and I are exiled today partly because of fighting for the children.

The Answer To Questions:

Amnesty International Was Not Helpful

To us, the hollow concern of the klieg light loving NGOs about Guantanamo Bay prisoners and such has to be in context. African so called Americans, a great majority of close to 2.5 million in prisons across the USA have been degraded and continue to-especially Political Prisoners. Amnesty International has been challenged by us from country to country-in Ireland and Sweden, their officials will tell you, should you persist in making the point that they should do something about US Political Prisoners and Political Exiles, that they don't want to hear it. In Canada, its officials sit on the Immigration and Refugee Board and deny every African "American" a chance to get the legal aid, hearings consideration or appeals that Americans get in bringing a Refugee Claim.

Though you may be reading of Russell Marron Shoatz for the first time, or of US Political Prisoners, why is that?

Who hears their voices in agony?

Voices have to be heard; those that don't take no for an answer have to be heeded.

END Part 1

See Related Articles:

Darth The Invader And Other California Legends (Exile 2007)


Prisons Six Years Ago (Exile 2009)


A Quiet War (Exile 2009)



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