By Raynard Jackson

During a BBC radio address titled, “The Russian Enigma,” on October 1, 1939, former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill said, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia.  It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

The simple meaning behind Churchill’s statement is--something that is a puzzle or something difficult to solve. Churchill’s statement sums up quite concisely, the relationship that Blacks have with Obama—an enigma.

By Damola Awoyokun

My little daughter,

Hear this: as I write, Osman Rasul Mohammed, an Iraqi Kurd and a protracted victim of stinging penury has just jumped to his death having, once and for all, lost the hope of staying in this country of freedom and opportunities. He was officially asked by the immigration to leave voluntarily or be forcibly removed. Perching on the railings of a terrace on the seventh floor of an apartment building in Nottingham, Osman calmly placed his hand on his heart, looked up to the brutal brilliance of the British skies and freely let go. Six months before, over 70 inmates of Yarl Wood’s deportation camp (a place reserved for only women and children) were on a six weeks hunger strike protesting their unjust detention, the violent and vicious ways they and their children were constantly treated, and the racial abuse they routinely suffer. During that hunger strike, up north in Glasgow, a Ukrainian family of three: Serge Serykh, his wife, Tatiana and their stepson jumped to their death from the thirty-storey apartment buildings which local residents insightfully brand the United Nations of Hell. Two weeks before, the family received a notification from the proper authorities that since they are not fit to live in our midst, they must voluntarily leave the country or be forcefully removed. Like the Iraqi Kurd, the family too got composed, went vertical and let go. Dear little one, in a month’s time, you will be born into this beautiful country and as its citizen, you will not have to suffer the nonstop existential dread or experience the climate of official menace we your family members unceasingly suffer as perpetually unwanted aliens or illegal immigrants.

A British colleague once told me his experience in a posh restaurant at Victoria Island: a young man of limited means was soliciting alms from the stately seated diners who promptly and harshly dismissed him. Then came the security guard who trashed and landed terrifying blows on this poor man. He, the foreigner had to rush and intervene on behalf of the well-beaten when no one else moved. What if he, the white man, was the one was harsh with the poor man, he later recalled. All those indifferent diners would have rounded on him. There would have been screams of racism! Modern day imperialism! The new colonialism! It would have spilled over into the media. The Nigerian and British governments would have been trading threats and sanctions. The completely human situation and its governing moral anxieties would have been lost into a welter of abstractions of isms. But to the poor man on whose behalf he had intervened and given alms in hard currency, who was he?

By Saima Raza

It has been suggested the effects of climate change (namely natural disasters, sea-level rise, and increasing resource scarcity) will lead to loss of livelihood, economic decline, and increased insecurity either directly or through forced migration. Interacting with poor governance and societal inequalities, these factors may promote political and economic volatility, social fragmentation, migration, and unfortunate responses from governments[1] in Africa. The scarcity (or neo-malthusian) model of conflict assumes that if climate change results in a reduction in essential resources for livelihood, such as food or water, those affected by the increasing scarcity may start fighting over the remaining resources. Alternatively, people may be forced to leave the area, and create new scarcities when they encroach on the territory of other people who may also be resource-constrained[2]. Homer-Dixon (1991) controversially claimed we were on the threshold of an era in which armed conflicts would arise due to environmental alterations[3] and Africa has widely been cited as a potential hotbed for such confrontations.

The Help has touched a nerve, and JENdA journal has now framed that nerve.

How do we understand the experiences of black women domestic workers who worked in Klan homes during the 1960s? How do we make sense of Aibileen and Minny’s character in 2011? How do we understand Stockett’s notion of “sisterhood”? What does sisterhood mean between two unequal relations that are divided by power and race? How do we understand the complex class relationship between madams and their maids around the world?

By Askia Muhammad, Senior Correspondent

September 10, 2011

WASHINGTON ( - Even as Western European leaders boast of their roles in the overthrow of the Libyan government of Col. Muammar Gadhafi, African leaders who were at first silent about the plot have begun voicing their opposition to the campaign. The African Union (AU) has withheld its recognition of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), and a group of 200 concerned African leaders have issued a statement warning about Africa being re-colonized by NATO's European powers.

Souleymane Faye interviews Bineta Diop, founder and executive director of the NGO Femmes Africa Solidarité

DAKAR, Jul 22 (IPS) - Bineta Diop, director of the non-governmental organisation Femmes Africa Solidarité, is at the forefront of the fight for better protection of women in conflict zones and their integration in peace processes.

In April 2011, the U.S. magazine Time listed Diop among the 100 most influential people in the world, recognising her engagement with several initiatives for peace in Africa. Diop, who comes from Senegal, told IPS that women must challenge men in order to share political and economic power.

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