Sekou Odinga: My Letter to UC Irvine Chancellor et al

Gary Fouse

Image result for sekou odinga
Sekou Odinga

Reference is made to my postings on the February 10 speaking appearance of Sekou Odinga aka 
Nathaniel Burns at UC Irvine on February 10.

On February 19, I sent the below email to UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman, Vice Chancellor Thomas 
Parham, Dean of the School of Humanities Georges van den Abbeele, and Chair of the African-
American Studies Dept. Bridget Cooks.

Dear Chancellor Gillman et al, 
I am writing to express my dismay at the recent speaking appearance of Sekou 
Abdullah Odinga aka Nathaniel Burns at UCI on February 10, 2016, sponsored by 
the African American Studies Dept. and the School of Humanities. More than that, 
I am outraged at the false and misleading biographical description of Odinga 
that appeared on the School of Humanities website. 
Let me state at the outset that I am fully aware that Odinga has served his 
sentence and has the right to speak in public just as the African American 
Studies Dept. has the right to invite him as a speaker. Yet, as a retired law 
enforcement officer with nearly thirty years of experience (US Army Military 
Police, US Customs, and Drug Enforcement Administration) I wonder why this 
particular speaker was chosen. Had he come, expressed remorse at his past, and 
offered it as advice for young people not to make his mistakes, that would be 
one thing. While I was not present at this event, given his recent speeches 
since his release, which I have reviewed, I think it is safe to say he did not. 
Here is how the School of Humanities advertised Mr Odinga: 
"Sekou Abdullah Odinga grew up in Jamaica, Queens-New York in a family of nine. 
He is a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  He was inspired by 
the revolutionary principles of Malcolm X when he joined the Organization of 
Afro-American Unity, followed later by the Black Panther Party and the Black 
Liberation Army. He is a Muslim, a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika and for 
thirty-three years was a U.S. held political prisoner of war. In 2009, Sekou 
reached his mandatory release date for his federal conviction in connection to 
the Liberation of Assata Shakur - living in exile in Cuba - and was "paroled" to 
the New York State prison system. After five years, he won a parole hearing and 
was released on parole on November 25th, 2014 from the New York State sentence." 
First of all, I don't know where the Republic of New Afrika is located, and 
secondly, Mr Odinga was not a US political prisoner of war. Thirdly, I find it 
curious that a prison break would be called a "liberation". At any rate, here 
are the facts of Mr Odinga's incarceration: 
First of all, I think the sponsors of this event have an obligation to fully 
present the background of the speaker. Again, I was not present, and perhaps, 
those who introduced Odinga to the audience did, in fact, describe his 
connections to the 1981 Brinks robbery that left  two police officers and a 
Brinks guard dead. 
Secondly, in reference to the above bio listed on the School of Humanities 
website, I would like to ask the following: 
Is it the position of the African Studies Dept. that Odinga was a US political 
prisoner of war? 
Is it the position of the School of Humanities that Odinga was a US political 
prisoner of war? 
Is it the position of UC Irvine that Odinga was a US political prisoner of war? 
Again, I am fully cognizant of the First Amendment, which I hold dear. However, 
I think universities, while allowing controversial figures to speak their views, 
need to consider whether they are knowingly or unknowingly putting their own 
imprimatur on those views. 
Thank you for your attention. 
Gary Fouse 
Adjunct teacher 
DEA retired 


I wanted to give the addressees ample time to respond to my (3) questions in the above email 
before posting this. As of today, I have received no response. If I do receive a response I will 
post it. In the absence of a response, I must assume that the answer to those three question is 

Jasbir Puar's Academic Supporters

Gary Fouse

Hat tip Alums For Campus Fairness and Campus Watch

In spite of Rutgers University Professor Jasbir Puar doing her best impersonation of Julius Streicher in her recent speech at Vassar, she has hundreds of academics who have lined up to sign a letter in her support. Of course, that also includes some very questionable signatures.


Here is the letter in Puar's support, which says that "her words were chosen carefully and were grounded in serious scholarship and thorough  research" referring to Puar's charges of Israelis harvesting organs of dead Palestinians and engaging in "weaponized epigenetics".

The fact is Puar provided no evidence for her charges, but her words were "chosen carefully and grounded in serious scholarship and thorough research." Had that been so, don't you think Puar would have provided evidence for her wild accusations?


And who are these academicians who signed this letter? Obviously, I am only familiar with a few, but here they are. The ones I know of are all regular anti-Israel activists who use their positions to preach the "evil" of Israel far and wide.

Judith Butler (UC Berkeley- She signed twice.)

Here is a link that describes my interaction with Butler when she spoke at UC Irvine in 2015. I asked her a question during the q and a and followed up with a letter to her, which she never responded to.


Rabab Abdulhadi (San Francisco State University)

This woman was mentor to the General Union of Palestinian Students at SFSU, some of whose members engaged in violent expressions in 2013 exhibiting a desire to kill Israel soldiers. She was also the subject of a suspicious trip to the Middle East for which she received school funding, but reportedly did not attend a conference for which the funds were reportedly allocated. Last May, she was supposed to appear at UC Irvine on behalf of the Muslim Student Union's annual hate fest against Israel. For some mysterious reason, she didn't show up. I sent her a letter, but she, of course, never responded.


Lisa Hajjar (UC Santa Barbara) Another regular on the anti-Israel seminar tour. Hajjar told a Jewish audience member during a q and a at UCLA in 2009 that he "had his Zionist hat screwed on way too tight."


David Lloyd (UC Riverside)

Dr Lloyd gave me a demonstration of his idea of scholarship when he sponsored co-founder of BDS, Omar Barghouti at UC Riverside. When I asked if the school might consider exposing its students to the other side of the issue with a pro-Israel speaker, he termed the question, "preposterous".


Here is the video:


David Palumbo-Liu (Stanford)

Another anti-Israel regular. Just recently I caught his act at UC Irvine, where he stated that the State Department definition of anti-Semitism included the mere criticism of Israeli policies (not true). When confronted with his mis-statement after the event, he turned tail and ran from his accuser rather than defend what he said.


Rashid  Khalidi (Columbia)

Khalidi is a Palestinian-American who was buddies with Barack Obama, Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn back in their Chicago days. He was also at the center of a story about how then US Senate candidate Obama told Khalidi that once he got to the US Senate, he could take a harder stance against Israel. The tape of that conversation is still in the hands of the LA Times, who refuse to release it.

Sondra Hale (UCLA)

Though now a professor emeritus, Sondy is  a member  of the highly partisan and highly anti-Israel Center for Near East Studies.


Bettina Aptheker (UC Santa Cruz)

We all remember Bettina from the 1960s, don't we?

Angela Davis (UCSC) Who could forget her?

David Shorter (UCLA)

Shorter is the UCLA professor who was putting his pro-BDS views on a UCLA web server.


Lisa Duggan (NYU)

Lisa is a BDS supporter who is president of the American Studies Association-which also supports BDS.


Richard Burt (Univ of Florida) This is the unusual fellow I saw recently at UC Irvine talking about the Dead Poets Society or some such nonsense supposedly related to freedom of expression.


Andrew Gutierrez (UC Berkeley, signed twice)

Here's a winner. I first posted about this charming fellow when he was captured on video heckling and giving the finger to Jewish students who were peacefully protesting the appearance of swastikas at UC Berkeley in 2010. Retired now, he spends his afternoons with his wife, a member of Women in Black who pester students at the university with harangues about the evils of Israel.


Richard Falk (Princeton) Former UN Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories. This man's one-sided reporting against Israel was so odious even the State Department distanced themselves from him.

Steven Salaita (University of Beirut) This is the lovely fellow whose job offer at the University of Illinois was rescinded after he went on social media in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Salaita penned his hope that "all settlers would go missing." The three teens were later found murdered.

But this gets better. They even have signatures from a few students, one identified only as Bryant, a PhD student from the University of Miami and Hanan, a post-doctorate fellow from who knows where as well as Caitlyn (nfd) a PhD student from Texas A&M.

Then there is Alison (nfd) an asst professor from Rutgers and Prantik Saha (nfd) , location unknown.

But now it really gets better. How about these three giants of academia?

Ishat Ma'Pants, Professor of Sociology retired

Thisshit Ain'ttrue, Professor of fallacy promotions at Nonsuch College

Ima Liar, anti-Semite Boulder Grass University

Serious Scholarship? With this kind of scholarship, you couldn't put a dog in the pound. Unless, of course, the dog catcher is Ishat Ma'Pants.

The Enlightened and Informed Juan Cole

Gary Fouse

The Enlightened and Informed Juan Cole

If you ever go to hear University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole speak (as I have), you come away with the impression that he is a know-it-all. In fact, he runs a blog entitled, "Informed Comment". His latest piece is an example of his intellectual arrogance. In this piece, he "explains" Donald Trump's victory in the South Carolina primary. It is because, you see, voters in South Carolina (at least the Republicans) are a bunch of dumb, racist hicks who hate Muslims.


"But perhaps one unexpected indication as to why he won is Trump’s strident hatred of Muslims."

I think the word, "hatred" is a bit strong. After all, the harshest thing Trump has said on the topic was that he proposed a ban on Muslims coming to the country until the government figures out "what the Hell is going on". After all, that would be designed to save innocent lives, hardly an evil intent.

But it is Cole's demographic analysis on South Carolinians that I find objectionable along with his pronouncement that the "legacy of slavery and Jim Crow is hardly gone". Sorry, Dr Cole, but it is a new South.

And then there is this:

"Likely the large number of southern men who spend some time in the military is one explanation for this unusual concern with terrorism." 

Of course. And what an evil combination that is. (Cole was an Army brat.)

At any rate, in a few days, Sotuh Carolinians will return to the polls and no doubt give Hillary Clinton another primary victory over Bernie Sanders. One wonders what Cole will say about them then. I know. He will say that those were the enlightened Democrats as opposed to dumb hick Republicans. Maybe he will say that those were a combination of African-Americans combined with enlightened Northerners who have retired to the Palmetto State.

As for Trump, I am starting to believe that he is winning national support largely due to his stance on the border and Muslim immigration. That just may run deeper than we all believed. If I am right, Dr Cole will find out that it is not just a bunch of dumb, racist hicks in South Carolina he can point the finger at.

Oh, I forgot. Cole did say that South Carolina is a lovely place with warm and friendly people. That sort of reminds me of how Trump talks about Mexicans out one side of his mouth.

University of California Still Trying to Get Around Affirmative Action Ban

Gary Fouse

Hat tip Campus Reform

Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California, is still trying to get around the ban in California on race-based admissions.


In a way, I don't get it. Not only do I teach part-time at UC Irvine, which is over 50% non-white, but I have visited the campuses at UCLA, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, and Riverside. I didn't see the problem, but then again, unlike some bean counters and more racially conscious people, maybe I just didn't notice. Of course, Asian-American students are well represented on our campuses especially at UCI.

Obviously, Napolitano wants to increase the number of black and Hispanic students. So do I, but I think that has to be addressed at the lower rungs of the educational ladder and within society.

My Letter to UC Irvine School of Humanities Re: Sekou Odinga

Gary Fouse

This week I posted an article on the speaking appearance at UC Irvine by Sekou Odinga aka 
Nathaniel Burns.

Below is how the School of Humanities represented Odinga in their event announcement.


Below is the text of an email I have sent the School of Humanities this morning.

Speaker, Sekou Abdullah Odinga 
Department: African American Studies 
Date and Time: February 10, 2016 - 4:00 PM 
Event Location: HIB135 
Event Details 
"Sekou Abdullah Odinga grew up in Jamaica, Queens-New York in a family of nine. 
He is a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  He was inspired by 
the revolutionary principles of Malcolm X when he joined the Organization of 
Afro-American Unity, followed later by the Black Panther Party and the Black 
Liberation Army. He is a Muslim, a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika and for 
thirty-three years was a U.S. held political prisoner of war. In 2009, Sekou 
reached his mandatory release date for his federal conviction in connection to 
the Liberation of Assata Shakur - living in exile in Cuba - and was "paroled" to 
the New York State prison system. After five years, he won a parole hearing and 
was released on parole on November 25th, 2014 from the New York State sentence." 
Let's set the record straight. Odinga was connected  to the 1981 Brinks truck 
robbery in Nyack NY that left two police officers and a Brinks guard dead. Two 
days later, he was arrested during a shootout with police who were looking for 
the killers. He was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 33 years in 
prison. He was not a political prisoner of war. 
Odinga is free to exercise his First Amendment right of free speech wherever he 
likes, but let us not misrepresent who he is." 
Gary Fouse 
Adjunct teacher 
UCI Ext 

UC Irvine Hosting 1981 Brinks Holdup Convict

Gary Fouse

On February 10, the African Studies Dept. at UC Irvine will be hosting Sekou Abdullah Odinga as a speaker. Here is how Odinga is being advertised:


Here is the rest of the story on Odinga, whose birth name was Nathaniel Burns. He was involved in the 1981 Brinks truck robbery in New York that left two cops and a Brinks guard dead. It was apparently not his only robbery. Burns was actually convicted of attempted murder as a result of a shootout with police linked to the Brinks robbery that had taken place just days earlier. He spent 30 years in prison calling himself a "prisoner of war".


All I can say is this: This guy has the right to come at speak at UCI or any other school. (He apparently has been making the rounds: UCI, UC Berkeley, and  UC San Diego to name a few. I wonder who is paying for all this.) But shame on the African Studies Department at UCI for choosing him as a speaker. And shame on them for their false and laudatory bio of this criminal.

Who Needs Protection From Whom?

Gary Fouse

Shari Goodman of Act for America in Calabasas (California) has penned the below op-ed in the Canada Free Press in reaction to President Obama's visit to a Baltimore mosque this week. Contrary to what Obama said during his visit, American and Canadian Muslims are not in danger and don't need protection from anyone. However, there are a lot of people around the world who do need protection from Muslims.


Thanks, Shari.

Why Did Obama Choose the Baltimore Mosque?

Gary Fouse

Today, President Obama spoke at the Islamic Society Mosque of Baltimore. He spoke about Islamophobia. Apparently, he neglected to speak about the plight of Middle Eastern Christians who are being slaughtered by Muslims. Nor did he speak of Christian churches being burned in Egypt. Nor did he speak of the attacks against Jews in Europe-by Muslims.

Obama is also facing criticism over his particular choice of this mosque. Breitbart has some background information which centers around its former imam.


But there is much more to the ISB than ex-imam Mohamad Adam El-Sheikh. The Investigative Project on Terrorism, the encyclopedia of Islamic radicalism in the US, has much more on ISB, information on associations and statements that brings us up the present day.


Why could Obama not have considered a mosque with no past history, perhaps the mosque that Muslim reformer Zuhdi Jasser attends in Phoenix? The Obama administration, in its Muslim outreach, has ignored Jasser and his organization, The American Islamic Forum for Democracy. To be fair, the Bush administration also reached out to so-called moderate Muslims after 9-11, and now we are writing about some of these people who stood next to the president and talked of moderation. Some are in jail.

But what else would you expect from Obama? He has said next to nothing about the Christians being slaughtered in the Middle East. His refugee programs have all but ignored them while they work to being tens of thousands of  Muslim "refugees" from Syria and Iraq, some of whom will surely turn out to be ISIS terrorists.

I sympathize with innocent American Muslims who just want to be accepted and who mean us no harm. The fact remains that hate crimes against Muslims are much lower than crimes against Jews. With few exceptions, Americans have acted with restraint. What has given rise to charges of Islamophobia is the ever-increasing discussion among ordinary people who are trying to figure out why all these horrific things are happening. This discussion cannot be stopped (though the Europeans can try under their draconian hate speech laws).

President Obama may have gone to the Baltimore mosque with the best of intentions. With his choice of mosques, he did not help the situation.