Longtime human rights activist and TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson joins us in our firehouse studios to talk about U.S. foreign policy in Africa and the Caribbean, why he refused an honorary degree from Georgetown after the CIA's George Tenet spoke there and his latest book "Quitting America" which explains why he left the U.S. to live in St. Kitts-Nevis.
As we have pointed out before on the program, in his state of the union address last month, President Bush did not mention the word Africa once during the entire speech. In last year's address, Bush's most prominent mention of Africa was the accusation that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger - an allegation that later turned out to be entirely baseless.
Today we are going to take an extensive look at Bush's policies toward Africa, African-Americans and the Caribbean with one of the most well-known critics of US foreign policy toward these areas of the world: Randall Robinson.
He is a longtime human rights activist who founded the organization TransAfrica in 1977 to address U.S. policy toward Africa and the Caribbean. Among his most well-known campaigns was against the apartheid regime in South Africa and US support for it. In 1994, Robinson made national headlines as he staged a 27-day hunger strike to protest US actions in Haiti. He is one of the people most credited with bringing the issue of reparations for slavery into the mainstream with his book "The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks."
Last year he once declined an honorary degree from Georgetown University because George Tenet, the director of the CIA and an ardent supporter of the invasion of Iraq, had been invited the day before to speak at one of Georgetown's graduation exercises. Three weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, Robinson officially "quit" the US and moved to St. Kitts-Nevis, the small Caribbean island nation where his wife was born. He has just written a new book explaining why he left. It is called "Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man From His Native Land."
Click here for a transcript of the interview with Randall Robinson.