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Friday, 9 December 2016

Back To Africa - Almost

Larry Mitchell, is an African-American man from Kokomo, Indiana, who has been convicted of serious offences involving drugs and served prison time in the past ......  Now its fair to say that there are a number of Larry Mitchell's in Indiana who have been arrested in the last few years.... for instance the Mr Mitchell's record below, would seem to suggest that the Mr Mitchell whose details are listed would need to acquire money quickly, with all those bail bonds to finance.

Name: Larry Mitchell 
Charges:
#1 TRESPASS PROPERTY/AFTER WARNING;BOND: $1000;

#2 DRUG PARAPHERNALIA/POSSESSION W/INTENT TO USE;BOND: $1000;
#3 COCAINE/POSSESSION;BOND: $5000

Anyway, the Mr Mitchell from Kokomo, Indiana in the story blames his particular problems on there being "an underlying racism that is still here. Black men are watched and targeted by the police." .... not his drug dealings.

So he started a donation page on the 'GoFundMe' website for those people who want him to 'go back to Africa', to send him money to do so. His page was called '#putyourmoneywhereyourhateis.'

Larry Mitchell - Back To Africa (For A Free Holiday) ...

The BBC and many other media outfits loved it, and ran a story on it because its 'clearly ironic', but with little comment from them on the financial gain aspects of the page, nor the criminal past of Mr Mitchell.

On the other hand it had netted him $1,300 towards his $100,000 target when I wrote this (and no doubt much more now that the BBC, and many other lazy news sites have given it world wide publicity), and as he has no intention of staying in Africa. "If I do hit the petition target, I will go on vacation somewhere in Africa because I have never been," he said, "But I will come back home." .... that makes it a rather strange fund, and quite obviously a potential fraud. A fact not lost on several observers who commented along the lines that as "he'll take the money, but he won't go back. Its just the latest fraud at go fund me."

So to recap, a black ex-con is asking for a $100,000 to 'go back to Africa', money which he intends to use as a holiday fund instead (and as the cost of a couple of weeks in Africa is around $5,000 that leaves a lot of spare cash left over if he meets the target ... one report he says he will give some of the money to his little cousin so she can go to the junior Olympics in California .... altogether ahh), rather than actually repatriate back to Africa.

Historically the 'Back To Africa' movements have waxed and waned in American history. 'The Journal of Negro History', in a 1917 article, traces the origins of the back-to-Africa movement as far back as 1714. The article quotes a letter from Thomas Jefferson, who said that sending free blacks to Africa was “the most desirable measure which could be adopted, for gradually drawing off” the black population.

Thomas Jefferson and Marcus Garvey Shared An Idea With Larry Mitchell

Beginning in 1822, the white-led American Colonization Society (ACS) resettled thousands of freeborn blacks and freed slaves in a region in West Africa, that later became the state of Liberia. And in the early part of the 20th century the late Marcus Garvey's 'Back to Africa' movement flourished. He also founded the Black Star Line, a shipping and passenger line which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands.

Now if you want 'clearly ironic', some of the comments accompanying the donations, echoed Marcus Garvey's stated views that "We do not want all the Negroes in Africa. Some are no good here, and naturally will be no good there" .... well at least in tone, if not the actual words.


A strange parallel between many's views of Mr Mitchell being in America, and Mr Garvey's views of his type being in Africa ....

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