Saturday, November 24, 2007


I talked to a very close friend and confidant in Bowling Green today. Her words lifted my heavy hands and brought me to realize the wisdom of her careful counsel from months ago.

That counsel had everything to do with changing the manner in which I engage issues on this blog.

The changes here have begun and will pick up momentum in 2008.

The topics covered will focus more and more on issues of human rights and development. There will also be a concerted effort to post more consistently on South African, and southern African, politics and culture.

In a sense, I have decided to make this a more serious forum where folks who are interested in the issues covered can contribute to constructive and respectful discussion.

My intention is to use this blog as a training ground toward developing a professional academic
e-journal. One that hosts commentary by contemporary Pan African thinkers and activists in the motherland and the African diaspora.

Still, I harbour no pretensions of what can be achieved here. I know that a blog is just a blog and not a vehicle for serious intellectual and revolutionary articulation.

In the past few days this realization has sunk in deep enough for me to see the irrelevance of theorizing and discussing issues of race and racism on the back of knee-jerk reactionaries.

On the strength of this depth I intend to free this blog from the constraints of that type of pedestrian interaction.

In a very selfish sense I am bringing changes to guard my personal, professional, and intellectual integrity. But I am also raising the standards here. And that includes holding myself to a higher intellectual standard.

That said, I am very grateful to the folks who read my writing here. Please continue and keep the comments coming will ya :0)

I appreciate the 'bloggerhood community' and activist space that has grown from this capitalist tool.

Thank you L. Your struggle is my struggle.



kbooindian said...

Hey Ridwan. It has been interesting to watch you grow since you have been here. Sorry I haven't contacted you in the last couple of weeks, my focus has been in other arenas.

Everything comes from ideas. Ideas are given birth through sharing. Rarely do ideas turn out the way we expect, but they always turn out. We never stop learning. We never know everything. If we knew everything, what would be the point of living.

Thanks for your blog and sharing your ideas.

Ridwan said...

Hey there brother Eugene. Thanks for looking in here.

I listened to almost all of your radio show on Thursday morning ... it was the best way to disassociate 'thanksgiving' from its pretentions.

I appreciate you reading here brother. You are one of the main reasons why I stay inspired to write and post.

Thanks for your wisdom. I will holla and fix a time to see you and the Mrs before I roll home.

Peace and Struggle,

Shus li said...


Thank you for modeling this approach, and adding the dignity worthy of these issues.

Be blessed, Brother.


Z said...

Are you leaving for SA forever or just for the holiday?

The e-journal training ground is a good idea.

Just a blog, I dunno - I don't think they are 'justs'. But yes, no need to engage in pedestrian stuff, we have enough of that in class or at least I do.

Ridwan said...

Shus li you have an amazing manner of drawing the intention together.

Thank you sista.

I worried that some who read here may think me 'soft'.

But you know that we need to treat our struggle with respect. I admire greatly the manner that you consistently achieve this on your blog.

You be blessed too my sista.

Peace and struggle,

Ridwan said...

Z thanks for looking in and I must admit that on some rare days this feels more than "just" a blog too.

I read your blog consistently and have seen you struggle through some of the same issues I mention.

I enjoy the forum and want to stay immersed.

I have been lucky this term. My students were great.

But there are those outside the classroom who think that the issues we cover and stand for is 'reverse-racism' or a waste of time, etc.

And then there are those who come on here and just spew venon.

I want less of that if possible ... I don't expect it will all disappear.

But I want my stuff here to be more consistent with what I think represents my academic and struggle agenda.

And that includes how I engage the issues and the detractors.

Z I am off to South Africa for the forseable future. My return to the US came after 3 years of absence.

A six month pitstop if you will.

The US is filled with people who draw my admiration, but as I have grown older I have find it harder to live away from my center, and to live in the US.

So this is a 'post' to you ;0)

Have a great weekend and thanks for writing here and on your blog.

You make me think.

Peace and struggle,

Ana said...

Kia Ora Bro

Your space has always been more than a blog, you have made ties and shown solidarity across oceans and struggles brother. I admire your warrior stance in fighting racism, more power to you.

Respect & Regards

Ridwan said...

My sista Ana your words are a great honor to me and I promise to keep my work here and elsewhere worthy of your recognition.

Thank you for the example you set in keeping the plight of indigenous people on the forefront.

And thank you for your solidarity sista. I admire you too!

Peace and struggle,

Anonymous said...

Dear Ridwan:
Thank you for keeping these discussions real—I am referring to those that engage issues of racism. You’ve certainly laid bare this many-headed monster—ugly, well fed, ferocious and yet so shallow and cowardly. I support your idea of building an internet exchange of anti-racism strategies, tools, and best practices. It will help each of us to strengthen our individual efforts. Take care of yourself, little brother.
Warmly, Lorna

Ridwan said...

Lorna I have you to thank for much of my thinking on these issues.

I hope we can find the space to pick up on an e-journal that is focused as you describe.

I have talked briefly with Ana in occupied new zealand about this idea and she was enthusiastic too.

I am drawn to the idea of stretching our arms across the oceans and lands in solidarity.

Thank you kindly for your counsel and presence in my life.

Peace and struggle,