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What I’ve Been Listening To: The Rise and Fall of a Latin King

Shared Article from Latino USA

The Rise and Fall of a Latin King

This is the story of how Antonio Fernandez became King Tone, and how King Tone transformed the Latin Kings into something beyond a street gang.


What I’ve Been Reading: Misra (1994), Public Reactions to the Lebanese Presence in Nigeria During the Colonial Period

Shared Article from Hourani and Shehadi (eds.), The Lebanese in the World

Public Reaction to the Lebanese Presence in Nigeria During the C…

"... My research indicates the uniqueness of the Nigerian experience in the sense that, although public indignation over Lebanese activities in Britis…

Devendra M. Misra @ radgeek.com

Devendra M. Misra (1994), Public Reactions to the Lebanese Presence in Nigeria During the Colonial Period, in Albert Hourani and Nadim Shehadi, eds., The Lebanese in the World: A Century of Emigration (London: Centre for Lebanese Studies, 1994). 565-578.

The paper focuses on (1) the late colonial period in Nigeria, in particular the Nigerian Federation during the mid-to-late 1950s, and especially on (2) political controversy over Lebanese immigration and Lebanese-owned businesses in the debates of the House of Representatives in 1955; it looks at the debates (4) within the broader context of British West Africa, in comparison with Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast/Ghana.

The Lebanese-Nigerian community appears in the debates and proposed laws (1) as business-men, (2) as aliens (or as sleek Syrians and grabbing Lebanese) and (3) non-Nigerians not of African descent. As such they face accusations similar to those directed against Lebanese migrants elsewhere in British West Africa and Francophone West Africa, here mainly on grounds of economic protectionism and claims of exploitation. On Misra’s account, they are largely defended by the British colonial administrators, and ultimately protected by the African majority in the House of Representatives against further restrictions on immigration or economic activity (on grounds of fairness and non-discrimination, or on grounds that the community is a positive factor in economic development; in the later debate it’s claimed that existing restrictions on economic migrants will serve well enough as a form of protectionism without adding additional restrictions). The minority view in the debates is elaborated at much greater length in the paper, which targets the Lebanese community as (1) business competition to Nigerian traders and as sector monopolists; (2) as a middle-man minority, taking roles as moneylenders, real estate moguls, or exploitative employers; (3) as beneficiaries of discriminatory practices by European firms and banks; (4) as allegedly engaged in devious or unscrupulous business practices, as allegedly gaining profits through tricks or through criminal activity and smuggling; and (5) in the wake of independence, as potential sources of political corruption and as cozying up to Northern Nigerian political parties. Misra briefly discusses some of the defensive social and (often sub-rosa) political activity of Lebanese-Nigerians, but mostly deals with how they engage in business and how they are portrayed by other political actors.

Misra argues in particular that although public indignation over Lebanese activities in British West African territories emanated from similar causes, the Lebanese in Nigeria were spared physical violence against the community, which they experienced in Sierra Leone and Ghana during the anti-Lebanese riots [in 1954 and 1948 respectively].

Primary sources are drawn mainly from Debates in the House of Representatives, Federation of Nigeria, for 1955, documents from the colonial administrative archive, and some interviews with a handful of Nigerian and Lebanese-Nigerian authorities. The chief secondary sources are Misra’s own Ph.D. thesis (The Lebanese in Nigeria 1890-1960, University of Calabar, 1985), Bayley Winder’s The Lebanese in West Africa (Comparative Studies in Society and History, 1962), and Marwan Hanna’s series on The Lebanese in West Africa (West Africa newspaper, 1958). Bauer’s defense of Levantine economic migrants is mentioned (but only as quoted in Winder).

Most Important Clarificatory Note of 2018

Shared Article from USA TODAY

Wauconda forever? 'Black Panther' fan tease small Illinois villa…

The village is having fun with the Marvel connection.


WAUCONDA, IL. — Residents of a small village in Illinois have something in common with Marvel’s Black Panther: Wauconda sounds a lot like the mythical, prosperous city of Wakanda.

The spelling is different, but the pronunciation is identical.

In the movie, Wakanda is home to Black Panther, a superhero whose real name is T’challa, and community of black people thriving among wealth hidden in Africa.

Wauconda, Illinois, which has a population of less than 14,000, is a mostly white community without vibranium, the unbreakable fictional metal that powers Wakanda.

Rad Geek, to-day:

Shared Article from NACLA

In Mexico, Solidarity Versus the State

Many in Mexico think the government and political parties are hampering aid efforts.

Christy Thornton @ nacla.org

. . . In Mexico City and the surrounding areas, the response of the state has caused exasperation and anger. Outside the capital, in smaller towns in the state of Puebla, for example, no official help has arrived at all; citizens are left to coordinate relief themselves. But in parts of Mexico City where massive volunteer efforts got underway immediately after the quake—such as in the central neighborhoods of Condesa and La Roma, where multiple buildings collapsed—the military later arrived and cordoned off damaged blocks, kicking out volunteers and refusing to provide further information. This has created what one journalist called a “struggle” between the military and civilians, many of whom argue that the army and marines, with their heavy equipment and top-down approach, care little about finding survivors and have done nothing to communicate with those looking for their loved ones. The marines are also coming under blame—together with the PRI-aligned Televisa television network—for stoking the false story of “Frida Sofia,” the non-existent student who was supposedly trapped in a collapsed elementary school.

Elsewhere, aid collected by volunteer groups is being channeled by a state agency known as the DIF, which is headed by the first lady and the wife of the interior minister, and is nominally responsible for family welfare programs. That is, rather than distributing government aid, the agency appears to be appropriating aid collected by citizens in order to distribute it under their banner. A widely circulating video showed aid trucks arriving in Morelos from the state of Michoacán forcibly diverted by police from their intended destination to the DIF headquarters, where huge stores of supplies sat undistributed, officials said, because they did not have bags. . . .

–Christy Thornton, In Mexico, Solidarity Versus the State (23 Sep. 2017)

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