Saturday, January 23, 2010

Travel Advisory - For Nigerians Only!

**I found this self-help, written by an anonymous "Nigerian", for other Nigerians, in the wake of Nigeria's "country of interest" status. Fellow citizens, avoid this at your travel peril! Having memorized the whole thing, I am sure to travel in peace with my much-harassed green passport. This is serious!

New Rules of Air travel for Nigerians heading for the United States (for those that travel o!)

Do not go to the toilet for the whole duration of your flight.

Do not carry any kind of container into the airport, or onto the plane.

Do not request for a window seat. Do not ask to sit in the aisle. Any request for specific seating may be indications of a premeditated plot.

If you are given food during the flight, ask the flight attendant not to give you cutlery. A Nigerian with sharp implements on a plane is asking to be arrested.

Do keep your hands in plain sight during the flight. Do not look too happy or too sad.

Do not be too polite to flight attendants.

Do not be aggressive or have aggressive thoughts toward flight attendants

Try not to have any form of carry on luggage. If you do, make sure it contains nothing suspicious or dangerous like pens, pencils, paper, or a calculator, as these are common bomb making materials.

Do not carry any electronic items that may be used to communicate with the Taliban,or used for surveillance, like cell phones, iPods, walkmans, electric toothbrushes or cameras.

NEVER travel with your laptop computer.

Never travel if you have any kind of tribal marks. That includes the small marks you have managed to cover with facial hair.

Do not travel to the U.S if you are an engineer, if you have ever lived in London, or if your father is a banker.

Do not talk to other Nigerian on the same flight as you. It makes other people nervous.

Do not ask to be upgraded to first class or business class. Sitting too close to the front of the plane makes the pilot nervous.

Never admit to your fellow passengers that you are Nigerian. If asked, say you are from the Republic of Zamunda in East Africa.

When you are getting onto the plane, do not even glance at the cockpit.

Women, do not wear wigs, weaves or hair pieces. Any form of disguise is suspicious.

Take a cold shower before coming to the airport. Sweating and scratching yourself is a sign of nervousness. Why are you nervous?

Do not fart on the plane. Noxious smells might indicate you have bomb making chemicals hidden in your underpants.

Do not go home with the free magazines in the plane. Yes, it says “ free”, but that is just a test. Leave the plane with those magazines and you’ll be arrested.

Wear clean underwear and be ready for a full body/cavity search.

Do not carry any potentially dangerous or toxic substances onto the plane like toothpaste, cough mixture, bottled water, mouthwash, lipstick, chewing gum or baby formula. Make sure your baby’s diapers are empty.

Do not get angry with fellow passengers, for any reason, even if it’s their fault. You will still be arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Do not travel by air into, out of, or across the U.S if you are Muslim.
Muslim is defined as :
- Any person with a suspicious name like Mohammed, Fatal, Fatima, Barrack or Ibrahim, or if your last name starts with El-, Al-, or Abdul-. All Nigerian Alhajis, Alhajas, Alfas and Imams are forbidden from entering U.S airspace:
- Anyone that has ever entered a mosque.
- Anyone that knows what a mosque is.
- Anyone that dresses in long flowing garments.
- Anyone that has a beard.
NOTE: If you converted from Islam to Christianity, you are still classified as Muslim.

Always travel with some kind of proof that you are a Christian. Preferably always travel with your pastor.

Do not attract attention to yourself. Do not drive to the airport in your Mercedes or Honda like a typical Nigerian. Instead, drive an American car like Pontiac or Chevy. You may be mistaken for an American. Or Haitian.

Do not ask to drink soda, tea or coffee in the airport or on the plane. Always ask for alcohol to prove you are not a Muslim.

Do not travel by air in the U.S if you have ever had a parking ticket, extra-marital affair, stolen stationary from your office, or if you have ever exceeded the speed limit. This is a sign of severe subversive terrorist behavior.

Do not travel on or around Christmas day or on September 11th. Avoid travelling on or around Easter, Thanksgiving, Independence day or New year’s Day. Avoid traveling on Muslim holidays. Avoid air travel in the summer or winter. (NOTE: no specific reason, its just to piss you off)

YORUBA People, PLEASE!!! Do not prostrate to greet your elders at the airport. People may thing you are dodging bullets or protecting yourself from a bomb blast.

NEVER, EVER carry any kind of Nigerian food onto a US aircraft.

No, do not wear agbadas, head ties, wrappers, danshikis, etc to the airport. It is not recommended. They make you look very un-American, and therefore potentially dangerous.

Do not act like a typical Nigerian for the duration of the flight. This includes speaking any language other than “American English”. Speaking any “funny” language is to be avoided. If you have elderly parents that do not speak “American”, they should NOT speak for the duration of the flight. If spoken to, their response to anything should be “Yeah man”.

DO not talk to your fellow passengers. Statements like “hello” might be misconstrued to be “Hello, you are my next victim”. Statements like “ Hello, my name is Mohammed”, may be interpreted as “my name is Mohammed and I’m gonna blow up this goddam plane”.

Do not wear large afros that may conceal weapons or bombs.

Do not carry any kind of document, newspaper or book that contains any form of Arabic inscription or writing. You will be detained until a translator can be found.

Do not argue when you are told your luggage is over weight. Apologise profusely and pay double what they ask you for excess luggage.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT: Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (PSURE)

The Princeton Graduate School seeks to engage your interest and participation in our 2010 summer research program. The Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (PSURE) will be held June 14 through August 6, 2010. Historically, this program has produced a number of competitive graduate student applicants for Princeton, and a number of doctoral students have come through the summer program.

PSURE’s purpose is to increase the diversity of the Graduate School’s Ph.D. applicant pool. The program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have completed their sophomore or junior year, and who have a 3.5 or better g.p.a. in their major. In choosing students for the program, the Graduate School will give preference to students from non-research intensive institutions (e.g., liberal arts colleges), those who have not had a summer research experience before at a major research institution, and those who demonstrate socio-economic disadvantage. We have encouraged historically underrepresented students especially to apply.

Applications are submitted through the Leadership Alliance SR-EIP website at: and are due by February 1, 2010. We invite you to identify strong candidates that you know to apply for our program. They must be non-Princeton students who meet the above criteria. Please direct eligible and interested students to the above website.

Each student accepted for PSURE is placed with a Princeton faculty member, to serve as a research assistant for that faculty member, and thereby become acquainted with the kind of work associated with doctoral study. For this program to thrive it needs faculty support, because without your participation this program cannot exist. The student-faculty relationship that develops during the program can be invaluable and long-lasting for both you and the student. You not only gain a research assistant, but you also have the opportunity to influence greatly the future education of the student.

The Graduate School expects the success of this program to continue and therefore is asking for your additional assistance. If you have a research project and are interested in being a research mentor this summer please notify me,, or Elaine Willey Please include a brief paragraph describing the project and the work you would have the student perform. Review of applications will begin in late-February, at which time we will try to match student's interests with that of a faculty member's research. For more information please go to:

Thank you in advance for your attention and support and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Friday, January 15, 2010

HAITI: donation sites and numbers

United States
“Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to Wyclef Jean’s Yéle Foundation
“Haiti” to 85944 to donate $5 to Rescue Union Mission and MedCorp International
“Haiti” to 25383 to donate $5 to the International Rescue Committee
“Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross in the U.S.

Partners in Health needs surgeons, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

Unicef Donation Form

To get even more involved, you can call and donate to as many of the organizations below:

Action Against Hunger, 877-777-1420
Agape Flights, 941-584-8078
American Red Cross, 800-733-2767
American Jewish World Service, 212-792-2900
AmeriCares, 800-486-4357
Beyond Borders, 866-424-8403
CARE, 800-521-2273
Catholic Relief Services, 800-736-3467
Childcare Worldwide, 800-553-2328
Concern Worldwide, 212-557-8000
Cross International, 800-391-8545
Direct Relief International, 805-964-4767
Doctors Without Borders, 888-392-0392
Feed My Starving Children, 763-504-2919
Food for the Poor, 800-427-9104
Friends of WFP, 866-929-1694
Haiti Children, 877-424-8454
Haiti Foundation Against Poverty
Haiti Marycare, 203-675-4770
Haitian Health Foundation, 860-886-4357
Hope for Haiti, 239-434-7183
International Medical Corps, 800-481-4462
International Rescue Committee, 877-733-8433
International Relief Teams, 619-284-7979
Lutheran World Relief, 800-597-5972
Medical Teams International, 800-959-4325
Meds and Food for Kids, 314-420-1634
Mennonite Central Committee, 888-563-4676
Mercy Corps, 888-256-1900
Operation Blessing, 800-730-2537
Operation USA, 800-678-7255
Oxfam, 800-776-9326
Partners in Health, 617-432-5298
Rural Haiti Project, 347-405-5552
The Salvation Army, 800-725-2769
Samaritan's Purse, 828-262-1980
Save the Children, 800-728-3843
UN Central Emergency Response Fund
UNICEF, 800-367-5437
World Concern, 800-755-5022
World Hope International, 888-466-4673
World Relief, 800-535-5433
World Vision, 888-511-6548
Yele Haiti, 212-352-0552

* I cannot help but comment on two things. First is the reprehensible, wicked and utterly insensitive remarks by two men who have made a career gorging on racial and religious hatred: Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson. If it were up to Limbaugh, he would have claimed that President Obama's government caused the earthquake in Haiti; instead he settled on the conviction that Obama is enjoying the tragedy, as a moment to show off his fake humanitarianism in the face of President Bush's perceived apathy. I understand that spouting outrage on American radio and tv is a quick way for a host to keep his audience and sponsors enthralled--so long as he does not cross the path of a group that can cripple his business. But for Mr. Limbaugh to descend to this sort of rhetoric speaks to the extent he and other softcore-racist characters can go. Or how to understand "Reverend" Robertson's mystifying claim that Haiti is being punished for the pact their revolutionary ancestors signed with the Devil where he to unyoke them from French oppression. Jesus! Come to think of it; when the Jews were delivered from the imperial hand of the Pharaoh, it was God that rescued them; but when Haitians won their freedom from a system that combined slavery with colonial exploitation, it had to be devil that guaranteed that freedom. Right? Which makes you wonder: might Robertson be willing to go further to make the logical deduction, which should be that the God worshiped by the French and their sympathizers was the guarantor of slavery and colonialism?

Second, it is striking that 56% of respondents to a CNN poll said they were not making any donation to devastated Haiti. While I know that the economic crisis bites everyone hard, I cannot help but wonder--following Limbaugh's Americans have already helped Haiti by paying their tax--if these poll respondents include many of Limbaugh's listeners?

Petitions in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal

There are now two petitions being circulated in support of the renowned journalist and death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, both approved by Mumia. One is addressed to President Obama and the other, to Attorney General Eric Holder. PLEASE SIGN BOTH. To sign the petition for a civil rights campaign addressed to Eric Holder, go to the petition page For the petition to Obama go to:

The Campaign for a Civil Rights Investigation addressed to Eric Holder has been going on since May of this year and is now moving to its second stage. Over the months, many thousands of letters were sent out electronically demanding a civil rights investigation, and many thousands more were delivered to the Attorney General on November 12th following a press conference at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. Speakers represented Amnesty International,the NAACP, and organizations in Haiti, Germany, and Puerto Rico as well as US activist groups. NOTED PROFESSOR HENRY LOUIS GATES OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY just signed the petition to Holder last week. Suzanne Ross met with Mumia last week and they discussed Stage 2 of the Camapaign for a Civil Rights Investigation. WE URGE PEOPLE TO CONTINUE SIGNING THE PETITION AND TO GET THEIR UNION, CHURCH, MOSQUE, OR SYNAGOGUE, AS WELL AS COMMUNITY GROUP TO ENDORSE THE CAMPAIGN. WE PLAN TO MEET WITH THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Many other initiatives will be taken in the next week or two. Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal has scheduled a "consultation" in Princeton, NJ next week and is planning a conference for March. We will keep you posted on all this info. There will be regular meetings in Philadelphia and New York City. For updates and to join the work, call 215-476-8812 in Philly and 212-330-8029 in NYC and go to our joint website: All those who are interested in joining the work of the Free Mumia Coalition, can join us at St. Mary's Church tonight, 521 West 126th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, opposite the police station. We meet in the Parish House, a small yellow house to the through the gate to the left of the sanctuary.


Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Suzanne Ross, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)

Announcement: Postdoctoral Fellowship in African Politics

Postdoctoral Fellowship
Contemporary Politics and Social Forces in Sub-Saharan Africa

Hampshire College invites applications for a three‐year postdoctoral fellowship in African Politics. This Mellon‐funded position is one of five to be filled in 2009‐10 in cooperation with the Five College Consortium (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst).

Hampshire College encourages inter‐disciplinary teaching and research. While in residence at Hampshire, the Fellow will fully participate in one of the nation’s most vibrant academic collaborations, including the Five College African Studies Council with nearly thirty faculty members having a teaching and research interest in sub‐Saharan Africa. There is related support from colleagues and library and
research facilities at all five campuses, each located within a twenty‐minute drive of the others. Over three years the Fellow will teach six courses, four at Hampshire College, and two at Smith College.

The Fellow will be provided research and teaching mentors at Hampshire College, which will host the fellowship. The candidate should have fieldwork experience in the study of contemporary politics and social forces in sub‐Saharan Africa, with a particular interest in broad processes of inclusion and exclusion at the national level. Applicants should have research and teaching interests in one or more of the following themes: how processes of social and political inclusion and exclusion are generated and resources are deployed at national and local levels; the use and limitations of formal democratic frameworks for political and social inclusion; how social class, religious and ethnic identities play out in formal state institutions; the nature and use of major national and local ideologies; social movements, including those of youth, women, religion, ethnicity and the growing middle class; the politics of discrete organizations of civil society; the relationship of civil society organizations to popularly based social movements; and the relationship of political parties to civil society organizations and social movements.

The successful candidate must have completed all requirements for a Ph.D. before assuming the fellowship.

Position begins fall 2010. Review of applications begins late January 2010 and will continue until the position is filled. Hampshire College is committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community and strongly encourages applications from women and minority candidates. We offer a competitive salary and comprehensive benefit program, including support for research. Applicants should send a letter of
interest, C.V., research prospectus, writing sample, and three letters of reference to:

African Politics Postdoctoral Search Committee
School of Social Science
Hampshire College
Amherst, MA 01002

Hampshire College is an equal opportunity institution, committed to diversity in education and employment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Contemporary African Art Since 1980 on another list

Athenaeum Boekhandel, the independent bookseller based in the Netherlands, has listed Contemporary African Art Since 1980 among Best Art Books of 2009

Monday, January 4, 2010

In the Wake of the Undie Bomber

As many had feared, the US government has now added Nigeria to the list countries of terrorists, following the failed attempt by the would-be Undie Bomber, Farouk AbdulMutallab to bring down the Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day.

Come to think of it. Because of the action of this young man who, by all accounts, had contacts with Yemenis who allegedly equipped him with the bomb he was to detonate on that flight, all Nigerians are now made to pay for his sins. No one has come up with any account of collaboration between the Undie Bomber and ANY OTHER NIGERIAN in his dastardly act; no one has claimed that he got his weapon from Nigeria, or that he hatched his plot inside Nigeria. Instead, news reports indicate that he came into Nigeria from Ghana just before his flight out of Lagos. Prior to this time, he lived outside of Nigeria; and it is because his family had lost contact with him (News from Nigeria indicate he might have even denounced his family not too long ago), that Muttalab Senior went to the American Embassy/CIA to seek their help in locating his son...

All of this is to say that punishing all Nigerians--indeed subjecting them to the kind of treatment now prescribed for people from the so-called security-risk, former axis-of-evil, countries, simply because the Undie Bomber carried a Nigerian passport, smacks of another knee-jerk, discriminatory response by the US government.

If the singular act of the Undie Bomber is enough to now profile all Nigerians, one might ask how come all Britons were not treated as potential terrorists after Richard Reid (the Shoe Bomber) failed to destroy the American Airlines Miami-bound Flight 63 in December 2001? Unlike AbdulMutallab, Reid, seems to have hatched his plan with help from British and European citizens. Yet Mr. Reid was presented as a terrorist who happened to be British, while his compatriots were not made to suffer for his criminal act. Now compare that with the serious bashing Nigeria--a country of 140 million people that have, until the Undie Bomber, not shown any particular tendency toward the kind of terroristic acts they must now prove that they do not collectively condone or actively support--is getting from the US media.

Nigerians may rank high on the 419 scale or in the Medicare Insurance fraud schemes, but relatively speaking, it has not produced more al qaeda-style "terrorists" than the United States or Britain. So someone should give my green passport a break!

Aah, right. I get it. Finally. Nigerians are being punished with the full body search and secondary screenings at the airports because they can't seem to find their President who has gone MIA since late November 2009. Didn't they say he is somewhere in Saudi Arabia!? Now, I need the US Embassy, Abuja phone number.