Quote of the week
'..The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground...they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us...'- Alexandre Dumas - Diaspora

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Trump, New York Times & Dean Baquet – the missing interview

A well known rule that most journalists seek to comply with  is that the journalist should not become the story or part of the story. However should there not sometimes in exceptional circumstances be an exception? I am thinking of Trump comments about ‘s****hole countries’ and the implication that people from such countries including Haiti have nothing to offer US. As some will know Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, is of Haitian parentage. Would it…

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Scott Adams, CNN and apologies for racism

There has been quite a bit of fallout from Trump’s recent remarks referring to Haiti and African  countries as ‘s****holes’. (Note 3 Trump’s ‘shithole’ comment is his new rock bottom – CNNPolitics) Recently Scott Adams was on CNN today, 13 Jan 2018, explaining that Trump is unlikely to be a racist because years ago on a TV show  he said he would choose Oprah as VP if he ever ran for President. This is a silent and deadly distortion…

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Prince Harry to marry a girl of African ancestry – so what?

  Prince Harry falls in love with a person of African ancestry – so what? Prince Harry is to marry Meghan Markle and many people think it marks some kind of breakthrough or major step for the British Royal Family.  There was even an article in This Day, Lagos, suggesting that Meghan would represent a major step for the British Royal Family. Actually the British Royal Family has plenty of African blood from many generations. However to focus on…

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Tim Ogunlesi’s wedding 29-30 Sep17

My good friend Folabi Ogunlesi was holding the wedding of his son Tim in London with his brother Bayo Ogunlesi as guest of honour. (Note 1)Tim is a wonderful young man and the wedding was an exhilirating affair. I have not before  seen a bride actually jumping for joy… and well she might! Weddings for Nigerians are special occasions but here we had a Nigerian- Scottish affair. The ‘Engagement’ , held at the magnificent  Dutch Hall, Austin Friars in…

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Bangldeshi British poetry evening 4 Sep17

This evening (4 September 2017) was spent at Poetry Society’s Poetry Cafe listening to contemporary Bengali-British poets. Thy were diverse from lyric to reflective to didactic. Those whose poetry seared the heart most were the women – reflecting attempts to negotiate the problematic through tenderness and intimacy only to have it thrown back in their face or torn from their heart…Salam Jones writes: ’So I promised my mother I would take care of her girls The day she died,…

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WSJ and Charlottesville: Parsing the text

(Image courtesy of NBC News)   One of the enduring issues that arise when African Americans speak to a dominant media forum about race is a failure to ‘parse the script’. They come to a debate with their own version of the meaning of words and events and this is futile. While emphasizing their own views creates solidarity with a group and confirms them in their own world view it achieves absolutely nothing in a debate which rapidly becomes…

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Deaton & Case – ‘sea of despair’ revisited

Like a well worn script when we look back at the report of Deaton & Case we can see  precisely how it was strategized. A widespread opiod epidemic  is deflected from major US corporations  onto  the effect of equal opportunity and African Americans. Lets have poor Whites and poor Blacks have a fight. Our attention is turned away from the role of the pharmaceutical industry and medical profession to the effects of equal opportunity legislation.  In this case it…

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Grenfell Tower follow up: Prof Imafidon speaks out

Prof Chris Imafidon’s home was in the shadow of Grenfell Towers so he experienced the events as they say ‘close to home’. A close friend of his died in  the fire. He believes the total number of fatalities (rumours on the ground suggest about 500) is being suppressed explicitly to prevent rioting. However I would suggest that this wording as used by senior civil servants and confirmed by David Lammy MP is code for something more brutal. Prof Imafidon…

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Steven Reiner & Anne Kruger: Fake News- SHAME ON YOU!

Steven Reiner and Anne Kruger, professor of Journalism at Stonybrook University School of Journalism, and Anne Kruger, lecturer Journalism and Media Studies Centre, University of Hong Kong have with others produced an online course on News Literacy They have focussed on the importance of news literacy and the critical role of journalists in respect to the importance of verification. However there is no sense of self awareness. There is no understanding of how the established news media has already…

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Grenfell Tower 14 June 2017 – in memoriam

I went earlier today (25 June 2017) to visit Grenfell Tower site. This is far more chilling in reality than in the photographs. It has the impact of a large concrete grave. Even today that smell and sense of death lingers. I wandered over to the local Methodist Church where the flowers and tokens of remembrance are emotionally powerful. I was in Lagos when it started and felt a sense of horror. I had been in the past chair…

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