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Saturday, January 22, 2022
Home Editorial The newspaper industry

The newspaper industry

Amandala reaches 35 years of age next month, August 13. The newspaper was born amidst a historic uprising in the streets of Belize, the old capital of British Honduras. A new organization, the United Black Association for Development (UBAD), had been born on February 9, 1969, and that organization had solicited donations from its members and supporters to begin a UBAD newspaper, to be printed on a Gestetner stencilling machine.

Thus, it may be said that the $250.00 raised in 1969 by UBAD to begin Amandala, created all the jobs on Partridge Street today which derive from Amandala, KREM Radio and KREM Television. In addition, the jobs created by the Kremandala Raiders between 1992 and 2003 (except for 1997, 1998, and 2000) originated with the UBAD $250.00. The jobs to be created by the new semi-pro football franchise, Kremandala Lake, originate with the UBAD $250.00. The UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) and the Library of Africa and Indian Studies began with the UBAD $250.00 in 1969.

In 1969 it was argued by powerful opponents of UBAD/Amandala that the process was about preaching violence and creating racial division. The history of persecution, official and criminal aggression against the UBAD/Amandala process is long. The sedition trial of 1970; the libel cases of 1982/1983; the attack on the KREM Radio tower on Partridge Street in December of 1990; the demolition of the KREM antenna at Baldy Beacon in 1992; the attack on the KREM Radio tower on Partridge Street in December of 1998. Our point is that from the get go, UBAD/Amandala was swimming upstream, against powerful white supremacist and anti-African currents. Partridge Street was not selling soft drink or beer, or extolling Christopher Columbus. We were in the business of dealing the truth, and the historical truths were painful.

35 years later, the hostility of the apologists for white supremacy is still public and encouraged in national newspapers. A well known columnist in the Opposition UDP newspaper, THE GUARDIAN, wrote on page 22 in their issue dated Sunday, July 25, 2004: ?? until the coming of Black ?radicalism? in the 1960?s, the aim of which was the Africanization of the Creole culture: whatever that lingered, suggestive of non-African influence ? clothing, diet, hair, language, and yes, the traditional names we gave our children ? had to go. It was an orphaned culture of unrest; that promoted an unabated need to challenge the status quo be it religious, cultural, social or educational; a culture that replaced the handshake with the touching of closed fists, and whose place in the facilitation of our inner-City youth unrest that followed, has yet to be confronted. The exchange has been wholly one-sided, for the exotic African names and other paraphernalia, appear to offer little protection against the gun and the knife, the more modern metaphors of that unrest.?

The writer of this column is a black man who is in urgent need of some kind of counselling. The man is ill. UBAD never held public, elective, or any kind of office. We had no power to order ?Africanization? or to instruct that anything ?had to go.? The man is bilious. ?Inner-City youth unrest?, the one with ?the gun and the knife?, began around 1987, following the introduction of crack cocaine here around 1985/1986. UBAD, which preached black love, was officially dissolved in 1974. The suggestion that UBAD is in any way responsible for the gang culture that emerged in Belize City around 1987, is the bitter fruit of the malicious ignorance of a brown element in our society which hates Africa and is ashamed of their African ancestry. Gang culture, which features young blacks murdering other young blacks, is the very antithesis of UBAD teaching.

There is a dilemma which has existed for a long time amongst that brown element. On the one hand, it appears politically important for them to insist that the industries on Partridge Street have no following or support from the people of Belize. In other words, Partridge Street is declared a nonentity even when the economic reality of its job creation is there for anyone to see. And so, there is also a complusive need for that same brown element to slash and burn Partridge, the reason being that, despite their anger/hatred, the job creation process has, slowly but inexorably, grown, and grown, and grown.

As we mark our 35thanniversary, we are proud of the fact that, because we have never held public, elective office, we have not trafficked in the public moneys paid by taxpayers. This is what the political process in Belize is about ? the public moneys. Two sets of politicians fight every few years for the right to spend the public moneys. No one can accuse Partridge Street of that. Beginning with the $250.00 in 1969, we have asked the people of Belize to support various business activities over the past 35 years, and the people have generally responded. We provide services to the people, and their support is direct.

We resent the attacks from politicians paid from public moneys who never created a job in their demagogic lives. Such politicians without credentials are extolled by the brown element who are always seeking loud mouths to do their dirty work.

We are disappointed in that brown element. We believed in 1969 that once they were informed of the truth, they would accept the truth. But 35 years later, they are still fighting against the truth. The white supremacists did their jobs well. 35 years have not been enough for black liberation. We must go on, from generation to generation to generation ?

Amandala. All power to the people.

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