Well, this is an abrupt about-face. After initially defending Afrika Bambaataa against sexual abuse allegations in April, the Universal Zulu Nation is now apologizing to the alleged victims.
“We extend our deepest and most sincere apologies to the many people who have been hurt by the actions of Afrika Bambaataa and the subsequent poor response of our organization to allegations leveled against him,” said the statement released to the New York Daily News. It was reportedly signed by nearly three dozen Zulu Nation leaders representing chapters across the United States and around the globe.
The Zulu Nation has already cut ties with Bambaataa, but this statement takes it one step further and perhaps even shows a schism within the organization.
According to Zulu King EL One, the group’s coordinator for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, it’s the older members who issued the earlier statements as most of them are friends with Afrika. The younger members, like himself, are more inclined to believe the allegations or at least not dismiss them outright. “Most of the membership would like to hear what the victims have to say,” said Zulu King EL One.
The UZN was already in a tough spot, but they’re doing the right thing by trying to have a dialogue. These are serious allegations being thrown at their former member and it would behoove them to at least give the appearance of a proactive organization being willing to investigate, even if he’s no longer a part of the group. The sooner this situation gets dealt with, the better, as it has to be a nightmare for everyone involved.
(Via The New York Daily News)