First pluck the 2 by 4

First pluck the 2 by 4


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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 No amount of propaganda and psychological manipulation/intimidation can alter the indisputable

fact AmeriKKKa is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”



First pluck the 2 by 4 

out of your own eye…

By Junious Ricardo Stanton


One of the United State’s sticking points for pushing the United Nations into an invasion of Iraq is Iraq’s non-compliance with United Nations resolutions. President Bush has repeatedly accused the United Nations of “going the way of the League of Nations” if it doesn’t follow through on its resolutions to disarm Saddam Hussein. Therefore, according to democratic principles, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. 

If the United Nations must enforce resolutions against Iraq, then it should be made to do the same to all countries currently under unresolved resolutions. Isn’t that what justice is about, even application of the law? How about starting with the United States and Israel? Each of these countries has been severely censored through the years, the United States for its invasion of Panama, for instance. The American government has never seriously addressed that issue, the bombing destruction, (it was rumored at the time that the resulting fire was “enhanced” by US troops), of an entire section and its residents of Panama City. Nor has it acted on any other condemnation of its tactics, at least, on the greater issues. 

We think because we’re us we can bomb and kill approximately 2,500 civilians in Panama with impunity. What’s the difference between 3,000 dead civilians in New York and nearly the same amount in Panama? Of even more immediacy is the situation in the Middle East. No one can say that the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis isn’t the biggest bone of contention and anger in the Arab world. It’s also a rallying point pitting the world against America. According to United Nations’ legalese, Israel is the Occupying Force in Palestine. 

It has certain responsibilities set out in the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) concerning the treatment of civilians in occupied territories. Ironically, this particular Geneva Convention was convened to set forth standards that would never allow a repeat of the Holocaust. From the world’s perspective, as seen in the United Nations’ votes, Israel has been in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention for years. Israel has a continuous stream of cease and desist resolutions from the United Nations Security Council. 

These resolutions, call almost entirely for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli Defense Forces from Palestinian territories. Just since the beginning of 2003, over 60 items of business on the UN agenda have dealt with Israel’s provocations in the territories.–Karen Nakamura, Coastal Post Online 03-03-03

As evidenced on Thursday evening’s staged “press conference,” George W. Bush has no grasp of morality or truth, the more he opens his mouth the less credible he becomes. Perhaps that’s why his handlers don’t allow him to speak to the public. I’m surprised his nose isn’t ten feet long by now. So dismal, lackluster, and unconvincing was his presentation Thursday, even the corporate media harlots weren’t able to put a positive spin on it. 

Anyone who has studied AmeriKKKa’s shift towards a fascist posture since World War II can trace it to its policy of embracing and assimilating Nazi scholars, scientists, intelligence officers and war criminals into the this nation’s academic, corporate intelligence, and cultural fabric via the infamous Operation Paperclip (check it out via your search engine). Given this, we can readily see why Bush & Co’s adoption of Adolph Hitler’s propaganda philosophy “If you tell a lie long and loud enough sooner or later the public will believe it” is being employed here. 

Fortunately increasing numbers of AmeriKKKans no longer believe anything Bush and his cohorts say despite the propaganda apparatus’s incessant regurgitation of their warmongering mantra.. It is clear to even the most apolitical dolts George W. Bush and his posse have committed to a policy of indiscriminate death and destruction in their quest to monopolize god (gold, oil and drugs). 

Last year in his State of the Union address, Bush called Iraq, Iran and North Korea the “Axis of Evil”. Looking around the world today one would hard pressed not to conclude based on the violence perpetrated indirectly or directly in the so-called Middle East and throughout the planet, the real Axis of Evil wasn’t the US, Britain and Israel. 

No amount of propaganda and psychological manipulation/intimidation can alter the indisputable fact AmeriKKKa is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” Plus we now know the US, Britain, and France either currently or at one time or another armed and supplied fiendishly diabolical weapons of mass destruction to most of the world, including Iraq. And Israel is the one nation that routinely employs pre-emptive military aggression against its neighbors.

A great metaphysical teacher counseled his followers about integrity and discernment stating succinctly, “you can tell a lot about people by their deeds and actions… a good tree can not bring forth evil fruit.” (My interpretation) By that reckoning if AmeriKKKa were really a good and decent nation, its CIA and military would not be involved in so many atrocities, covert interventions, and intrigues around the world. And it would not have the ongoing legacy of racism, violence and brutality it does. 

Bush and AmeriKKKa have no moral mandate to police the world let alone tell anyone how to live their lives or interfere with their internal affairs. As the Teacher of Righteousness wisely suggested, “first pluck the 2X4 out of your own eye, then you will be better able to see to pull the splinter out of your brother’s eye.” Heal yourself, make sure your house is in order, then you can effectively assist someone else. Bush fails to grasp these fundamental truths because he is blinded by the planks of elitism, white supremacy, covetousness, imperialism, and hypocrisy.

10 March 2003

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#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 20 December 2011




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