Ezili Danto

Ezili Danto
August 01
Ezili Dantò is an award winning playwright, a performance poet, author and human rights attorney. She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in the USA. She holds a BA from Boston College, a JD from the University of Connecticut School of law. She is a human rights lawyer, cultural and political activist and the founder and president of the Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN). She runs the Haitian Perspectives on-line journal and the Ezili Dantò Newsletter. Ezili’s HLLN is the recognized leading and most trustworthy international voice in Haiti advocacy, human rights work, Haiti news and Haiti news analysis. HLLN’s work is central to those concerned with the welfare of the people of Haiti, Haiti capacity building, sovereignty, institutionalization of the rule of law, and justice and peace without occupation or militarization. Ezili Dantò is also an educator who specializes in teaching about the light and beauty of Haitian culture; the Symbolic and Archetypal Nature of Haitian Vodun; the illegality and immorality of forcing neoliberal policies on Haiti and the developing world... Since the UN-imported cholera outbreak on October 2010, Ezili' HLLN has insisted that environmental clean-up, clean water and sanitation are the only permanent solution to stop the UN cholera spread. Zili Dlo is a humanitarian project that provides free clean water. For more go to the Ezili Danto/HLLN websites at http://www.ezilidanto.com/ and http://www.ezilidanto.com/zili

DECEMBER 7, 2013 5:38PM

Madiba is dead: Condolences to heroic mother Winnie

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Now that Madiba is dead: Remember to remember that icons created by oppressors will never liberate the people

(Read intro the to Dantò's analysis of the current colonial narrative of the Mandela legacy: here.)

The long walk to freedom continues

“I was made, by the law a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, and because of what I thought” — Nelson Mandela

"Whites in Africa believe that worn out Mandela who they once made justification to keep in prison for 27-years is the only honorable black person; while the rest of Africans are corrupt, criminals, rapists, drunkards and uneducated buffoons." -- Ve Mee

"What did the Black South African leaders and African majority do to the murderous white supremacist minority to have to reconcile for that would compare? Self-defense is a human right. Reconciling with injustice merely delays justice for decades, if not centuries more." -- Ezili Dantò of HLLN
(Read also Ezili's Haiti post: End apartheid in the Dominican Republic and watch Apartheid did not Die.)

"Remember when Madiba called George W. Bush “a small little man”? In the accolades following Mandela’s Transition, it’s interesting that the words “peacemaker”, “reconciliation” and even “non-violent” are being heard on the N.E.W.S. We forget the reason why Mandela stayed in prison for so many years was because he *refused* to renounce violence as a means of dismantling apartheid. As usual, the white world wants to emphasize his “gentle” nature rather than his warrior spirit. He had both…" -- Dr. Ray Winbush

Nelson and Winnie Mandela, day of his release from prison after 27 years

now that Madiba is dead
From M Thandabantu Iverson

now that Madiba is dead...

beware the icon makers
they will say he was great
they will laud his calls for peace
they will wring their hands and cry
speaking only of the man
disregarding the people
explaining away the movement
pretending the revolution was won
they will deny their guilt
denying their privilege
obscuring his birth in the pains and the blood of his people
denying the capital crimes
of neoliberal friends of apartheid still alive
now that Mandela is dead

they will say no one else will come
they will wink that we still organize
they will pretend that de Klerk was his friend
they will ignore the birth pangs in Jo’burg today
pretending to honor him with deceitful silence
in the face of Capetown shanties and Manenburg misery
and Durban oppression
while former murderers still prey
and bougie negros still play
while lying bishops still pray
and corporations still rape
and the people in South Africa still die
like people across the Global South
as the Revolution dies as Madiba’s children live in squalor
as the wine growers awake in shacks
as the homeless sleep beneath the floors of stores—after hours
when they will not be seen while they are still being sold

beware the speakers of phrases that lie
they will disremember liberation struggles
that have yet to be won
they will pretend that Mandela belonged to them
denying the people to whom he belonged

remember to remember Chris Hani
remember to remember Robben Island
remember to remember the South African Charter
remember to remember that icons created by oppressors
will never liberate the people
remember to remember that they are still killing Martin
remember to remember that they are still killing Malcolm
remember to remember that Assata still lives
remember to remember that our liberation will be sold to us for profits
unless we work for it with our minds and our actions
then we will remember Mandela as he was
for he will live inside us
and the lies will no longer deceive
because the struggle will continue
and the last will be first at last


Madiba is dead: Condolences to heroic mother Winnie, stay with us warrior mother, to guide us straight on the path of freedom, peace and justice

via Jafrikayiti Jean Elissaint Saint-Vil
"Dear Winnie Madikizela,

Thank you for the long walk you've taken alongside brother Rolihlahla, during these rough years when the hypocrites and the criminals who now sing fake praises of him, dubbed you and your comrade-husband "terrorists".

Sincere condolences to you beautiful Mother of the Nation. May your presence here with us help the world remember why so many Steve Biko, so many Sobukwe, so many Sisulu, so many MBeki had to sacrifice their youth, their innocence, their lives, over so many years.

Nou bese byen ba pou nou salye pasaj Rolihlahla nan ran zansèt yo. E nou di ou Manman Winnie, rete ak nou pou anpil tan anko paske nou bezwen ou pou ede nou kontinye mache dwat sou chimen libète, lapè ak lajistis.

Ayibobo! Amandla!"
Dec. 6, 2013


"Black women are discriminated by the white supremacy; they have to contend with male prejudice fed by patriarchal notions, they suffer abuse from white women who are also beneficiaries of white supremacy. At the same time, they are expected to form alliances with these women to defeat male privilege. They are expected to be in solidarity with their male folks to fight racial oppression. In this regard they have little choice. They cannot sit on the sideline and watch the black male being reduced to an endangered species. After all, these men are the fathers of their children, the lovers, and their sons. In short, there is no other species that understand oppression as black women do."--- Winnie Madikezela Mandela, "Being A Black Woman In The World, Part 1."


Winnie’s prison suicide plan
She Was Discarded, Demonised and Betrayed
Winnie Mandela accuses Nelson of 'betraying' the blacks of South Africa

Question Time: South Africa after Mandela, (December 12, 2013)

Did He Jump or Was He Pushed? The Mandela Years in Power


New York Times’ Mandela Obituary Headline Couldn’t Have Been More Wrong

The iconicity of “peaceful resistance”

"..in American bourgeois fantasy life, the only good liberation struggles are Gandhi and King, and if a struggle does not match that mythologized template, could not have matched it, it will be roundly condemned while it is ongoing, and if it happens to be successful (despite us), its history will be rewritten. [ED's Note: Contrary to the mainstream Western powers' mythologize template sold to the world, Gandhi was a racist who did not support equality for either the South Africans or the Dalit. The Ghandi myth is to keep the oppressed from exercising self defense. The message is to endure, forgive, reconcile with white supremacist injustice and wait for their mythical change to come.)

The dialectic is a familiar one and a little sad. There is a way in which the myth of peaceful resistance is flattering to the oppressor and disabling to the oppressed. It’s as much the oppressor’s narrative as anyone’s.

“You ought not to fight us with more than the image of your own broken body,” it says, “for we who oppress you are good and rational most of the time. We have the same interests as you, and understand that you enjoy the same basic rights. We, your rulers, simply need to have our consciences pricked from time to time.”

By couching the antipathy as a mere moral lapse, the oppressor is permitted simultaneously to deny the actual material basis of the social division and hence the necessity for a struggle for liberation that is more than merely symbolic, and to perform a mental splitting-off from its own identity of those aspects of itself it can now pretend were inessential deviations from its rational, humanistic core. Just as the United States broadly did with the benighted South of Bull Connor and the Klan.

As if the story of American racist oppression was one of mere regional ideological peccadillo and not one of the founding principles of the whole nation’s economic structure. As if the story of Apartheid were simply those nasty Afrikaners and their gauche racism. They’d probably lived in Africa too long and allowed its “tribalism” to rub off on them, and so deviated from the European universalist norm. Still, one of us in the end, eh?

That’s the funny thing about colonialism even when it’s visible, it appears only in ideological garb flattering to the oppressor."  (Entire article at The iconicity of “peaceful resistance”: The New York Times’ Mandela Obituary Headline Couldn’t Have Been More Wrong)

Exclusive interview: Winnie Mandela remembers Nelson Mandela "One of the most important figures in Nelson Mandela’s life was Winnie Mandela... his former wife and an incredible anti-apartheid activist in her own right. For decades, she fought the worst of the regime and at one point was charged with treason... and put in solitary confinement. In a world exclusive, CCTV anchor James Chau went to Johannesburg in October... where he spoke to Mrs. Mandela. The interview was filmed at the same house in Johannesburg where lived on his release from prison and where he wrote his biography, Long Walk to Freedom." --Exclusive interview: Winnie Mandela remembers Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela: Obama, Clinton, Cameron, Blair – Tributes of Shameful Hypocrisy - Hypocrisy and lies that give the super powers license to kill everywhere


Nelson Mandela - Full Speech At Start Rivonia Trial (20 April 1964)


When Mandela wasn’t the messiah:
"...Mandela was arrested and imprisoned in 1962. In the late 1980s he rejected a number of offers of freedom in return for a repudiation of violence. He wrote in his memoirs that it was always the oppressor, not the oppressed, who dictated the form that the struggle would take. If the oppressor used violence, the oppressed had no choice but to respond with violence. Only violence, supported by popular mobilisation and by ever more restrictive international sanctions, was able to demonstrate the stupidity of the apartheid system and force the white minority government to change. Having established the principle of “one man, one vote”, Mandela and the ANC showed they could be flexible through their efforts to build a “rainbow nation” and the guarantees they made to the white minority. They even scaled down their plans for social transformation – but that is another story.

..The intervention of Cuban troops in Angola in 1975 and the victories they won, especially at Cuito Cuanavale in 1988, weakened the government’s military power and highlighted the impasse that it faced. Cuito Cuanavale was, according to Mandela, “a turning point for the liberation of our continent and my people” (4). Mandela did not forget the part Cuba had played and Fidel Castro was a guest of honour at Mandela’s inauguration as president in 1994.

In this clash between the black population and the white minority government, the US, the UK, Israel and France took the wrong side..." (Entire article at "When Mandela wasn’t the messiah," by Alain Gresh, Le Monde diplomatic | Dec. 6, 2013)

"'Apartheid is certainly a deplorable system, but change must come without violence.' If the ANC had listened to his advice (or that of Ronald Reagan) and shown restraint, Mandela would have died in prison, South Africa would have fallen into chaos and the world would not have been able to construct the legend of the new messiah." --"When Mandela wasn’t the messiah," by Alain Gresh, Le Monde diplomatic

Nelson Mandela death: The women who loved him


"Nelson Mandela was almost 72 years old when he was released from jail. By then he had been involved in the organised struggle for national liberation for 45 years, the greater part of his life." -- Thabo Mbeki, Farewell, Madiba , Dec 6, 2013

Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

Remembering Chris Hani
Chris Hani, born Martin Thembisile Hani (28 June 1942 – 10 April 1993) was the leader of the South African Communist Party and chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). He was a fierce opponent of the apartheid government. He was assassinated on 10 April 1993...Hani was a charismatic leader, with significant support among the radical anti-apartheid youth. At the time of his death, he was the most popular ANC leader after Nelson Mandela, and was sometimes perceived as a rival to the more moderate party leadership.[7] Following the legalisation of the ANC, Hani's support for the negotiation process with the apartheid government was critical in keeping the militants in line.[10]

End apartheid in the Dominican Republic


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