Black People : Open Letter to Columbia University about rescinding invite for OMALI YESH1TELA

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by bsup, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. bsup

    bsup Active Member MEMBER

    Aug 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Greetings Stanyell Bruce and others from the
    administration and faculty of Columbia University:

    It has come to our attention that you and Columbia
    University have rescinded your invitation to host
    OMALI YESH1TELA as the featured speaker at the opening
    of Columbia's African History Month on February 1,

    You stated that this decision was made because of your
    "concerns" and the "concerns" of some of the faculty
    and administration about OMALI YESH1TELA. Despite the
    fact that you raised the issue of these "concerns" you
    refused to state what the concerns are. The decision
    of the university is one thing. The refusal, however,
    to state your political differences or other reasons
    for rescinding OMALI YESH1TELA's speaking engagement,
    we believe, is unprincipled.

    This stand, it seems to us, goes against the
    principles of academic freedom of speech, honest
    debate and open discussion that is generally upheld
    and valued by universities, especially universities as
    prestigious as Columbia. More than that, it carries
    with it innuendos of slander or underhanded
    suggestions of a personal nature, not unlike those
    used by the U.S. government against black leaders of
    the movement of the 1960s. Your actions are extremely
    dangerous in the face of the current political climate
    created by the Patriot Act and other anti-democratic
    interventions by the government that are so
    reminiscent of the COINTELPRO era. The fact that
    universities would act in accordance with this
    repressive climate is unfortunate.

    OMALI YESH1TELA is Chairman of the African People's
    Socialist Party and leader of the Uhuru Movement. He
    is, as his resume shows, the most active and most
    important African revolutionary leader in this time
    when African people in this country and around the
    globe are suffering near genocidal conditions. He has
    worked tirelessly since the 1960s to rebuild the black
    movement, to unify African people everywhere and to
    liberate Africa, which is indeed the birthright of all
    African people everywhere.

    The Uhuru Movement represents the interests of the
    African working class and poor inside this country and
    around the world, as did Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and
    Kwame Nkrumah. Out of everyday struggle against police
    containment policies in African communities for the
    past 40 years OMALI YESH1TELA has developed his
    political theory, African Internationalism. This
    theory makes sense of why it is that African people
    are impoverished and catching hell wherever we are
    located around the world, even though our continent is
    the richest in the world in natural resources. It
    shows us how we are going to exercise our human right
    to liberate ourselves from oppression. The Uhuru
    Movement today is the only movement with real
    liberation organizations actually on the ground
    throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa.

    Everything that OMALI YESH1TELA stands for has been
    put out publicly in his books, in our newspaper, The
    Burning Spear, through his speeches and on our
    websites. He has no private or secret agenda. He
    invites—always—open public debate about the justness
    and correctness of what he is saying and doing.
    Please, state your positions and discuss it openly
    with him. He would welcome that.

    To relegate your disagreements to the shadows of
    innuendo and implication is the most profound form of
    dishonesty. It is petty, dangerous and, again, counter
    to the standards of academic and democratic freedom.
    We are also aware of the historic hostility that
    Professor Manning Marable has expressed toward OMALI
    YESH1TELA and his work. It is possible that Prof. Marable
    may be behind this cowardly stand. If so, we
    ask him to come forward to state openly his "concerns"
    about Chairman YESH1TELA and what he stands for.

    We feel that if Columbia University does not open up
    this question to the public arena of open political
    debate it becomes our responsibility from the African
    People's Socialist Party to alert both the broader
    academic community as well as the populace at large
    about this issue. This is not going to be relegated to
    a backroom discussion. The debate about the future of
    African people must be open to the participation of


    Nyabinga Dzimbahwe
    The Burning Spear newspaper