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Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

Sadness, Anger & A Message To Our Young Brothers

In Racism, Society on July 8, 2016 at 12:19 pm

I am both sad and angry today.  As most of you have probably read and seen, there have been “at least” two more murders of Black males at the hands of law enforcement.  As result of that and the feeling of hopelessness and unfulfilled justice, vigilantes then struck in Dallas, killing at least five law enforcement officers at a protest rally.  I have said this for many years, if the mistreatment, harassment and unjustified killings of people of color continued – a new civil war would erupt or as wifey recently stated – more like a revolution would commence.  Now, I know a lot of police officers, my dear brother being one, and I can understand their stresses; I can even see how some of these things happen in certain cases and how the general population wrongly jump to conclusions right away, but real talk, I am done!  I don’t want to hear any more excuses as to why this keeps happening.  This has been happening much too often to ignore or brush off as just training issues.  Police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015, nearly twice each week. That’s nuts.  Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved. Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade’s death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. WTF?!?!? The post reported that “Unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire.”  Now why in the hell is that?  Really?  Is it that we are more menacing looking?  Intimidating? One of the killings was a 12 y/o black male youth in Ohio who was playing w/a toy gun in the park w/his 14 y/o sister.  A cop pulls up & begins shooting!  Kills the boy dead – no questions asked.  I get shivers thinking of that.  Shivers of anger and confusion.  How bout Mr. Walter Scott in Charleston, SC, shot in the back as he ran away  and then seeing as the cop tried to plant a gun near him.  What also angered me with this one was seeing a black female cop arrive on the scene and do absolutely nothing, but stand guard of the dead man!  And now these two latest murders – cause let’s face it, they are murders – of Alton Sterling and the incomprehensible murder of Philando Castile in Minneapolis after being stopped for a broken taillight with his girlfriend and her 4 y/o daughter in the car – even after he told the cop he had a gun on him in which he was licensed to carry.  The cop asked for his license and registration then shot him as he went to get it!  Did I mention there was a 4 y/o child in the car!!!  Shooting with a child present??  Mr. Castile had his seatbelt on the whole time, thus restricting his movement somewhat.  Where you that afraid Mr. Officer that you not only murder an innocent man, but put a 4 y/o child in harms way?? These are just some we know about because they made national news.  In 2015, an unarmed mentally ill man in Texas was killed while holding a fucking soup spoon!  As a person of color who grew up in a rough environment during the drug craze of the 80’s, this shit hits home.  There were several times in my youth where this easily could have been me.  Some of you reading this know quite well the hell I am talking bout.  I have been accosted, detained, pushed & even “pulled on” twice for no reason other then for “looking the part” or having the audacity to question their actions.  I sighed as I wrote that, a tear nearly dropping, as I remember those times and continue to believe it was my brother blood who was looking out for me from above.   Let’s analyze this for a minute.  Is it the lyrics to our songs that get them nervous or afraid?  Is it how we dress, walk, talk or carry ourselves.  They root for our athletes, our entertainers and visit our doctors, but they shoot our children dead in the street.  I plead with all our youth, please check yourselves.  Give them no reason – even tho recently that doesn’t seem to matter.  When you get stopped, and I DO MEAN WHEN NOT IF, you get stopped, chill and do what is requested; answer politely while holding in your frustrations.  Take the ego loss – it’s a situation you/we can not win.   Never reach for anything & always keep you hands visible.  Pull up your damn pants and button your shirts.  Stop all this colors shit, talking shit bout what you gonna do or not do….real gangsters move in silence anyway.  Respect yourselves and your fellow brothers….don’t you see what can happen?  What risk you put us all in??  You get pulled over, shut your mouth & just follow instructions.  What’s the point of flexing?  Now I am not saying its anyone’s fault.  Shit these law enforcement entities need to better train their officers, realize they are scared, prejudiced, bigots or incapable of “protecting and serving” us.  I know some cops who have no business being on the job!  Down-low criminals  – for real.  To all you brothers who are in law enforcement – DO SOMETHING DAMN IT!!  No way you guys can not see what the fuck is happening & not feel some kind of way.  I could have gone into law enforcement – had several opportunities – but was turned off by the arrogance and bullshit I saw.  God knows what he does for sure, cause God knows I would have not stood for this shit in my house.  I would have been a Serpico (look it up) type and probably would have had some major issues with some of these bastards.  How could any of you just stand there and allow this to keep happening to your fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces and friends.  Yes it seems no one of color is immune.  Right now it’s hard for me to look at some of these dudes and not feel angry; not question them in my mind as I walk by – what type of cop are you??  I do not like that feeling.  I thought I left those thoughts alone years ago.  Yet here we go, 2016, and has there really been much change??  And where the hell are all the big time athletes & entertainers??  Where is our generations Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul Jabbar & Mohammed Ali??  Some make little comments, some may wear a T-shirt, but where is the outreach?  The boycotts?  The real dialogue that can help bring change & awareness???  Instead you rather maximize your advertising dollars and not make any waves.  Well in the immortal words of Tupac Shakur – “Fuck All Y’all!”  Stand the fuck up and be accounted for.  For whatever reason, God has blessed all of you with some power – power of $$, power of a fan based, power from your skill sets – something – use it then!  Use it to help those that need it right about now.  I don’t want to hear people like Jordan, Barkley or Woods say it’s not their jobs to be role models or to get involved.  Yes the fuck it is!!  You are in the spotlight, for whatever reason people listen to ya’ll and care bout what you have to say – for whatever dumb reason, so use it man.  Be a man, a black man at that, and lend a hand.  Shit, maybe one day it will be one of your own laying in the street.

 “Where’s our part of the American dream?!”

                            – Malcom X (1961)

 

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Poverty, Basic Needs & The Different Faces of Bigotry

In Politics, Racism, Society on February 8, 2016 at 7:48 am

Racism in America exist. Still does and sadly it appears it always will.  You see it everyday in their eyes, their responses. You feel its presence in interactions. You read about it in the news.  You see it play out in the media. I mean how is it that Floyd Mayweather gets roasted for his boastful antics, but Connor McGregor isn’t?  Now I am not a fan of how Floyd promoted himself – I am a big fan of his skills – but McGregor is just as boastful and disrespectful to his opponents yet is categorized as a colorful, exuberant character?  Huh?!? BUT this blog is not about that type of bigotry – more on that at another time. This is about the bigotry that transcends race, color or creed.  It’s the bigotry of the rich vs poor, the haves vs have nots.  This has never been more evident than the water scandal in Flint, Michigan, a hard scrabble, blue collar city.  If this was a more affluent city, do you really think this would have happened AND continued once the problem was brought to light?!?  Come on now!  This has been a disgrace. Children have suffered all in the name of money.  Think this would happen in Scarsdale, NY? La Jolla, CA? I think not.  It doesn’t stop there. How many times have you heard or read about some wealthy person who gets away with a crime cause they could afford to sweep it away.  The other day I was at a dinner in Baltimore with some attorney clients of my firms. The fact they were all Caucasian, while usual, wasn’t the focus.  The conversation turned to a couple of people, teenagers & adults alike, who had committed an injustice or crime (regardless of the severity) and due to connections or money for proper representation, were able to “get off” with nary a fine.  Being a man of color, with modest means & a hard scrabble upbringing, it rankled me. It’s not like I did not know this occurs, but to hear it then & there, coupled with the mater of fact sound in their voices – I had to comment.  I told them of a recent story I had heard when a truck driver, who was a man of color, was delivering some equipment to my home.  As I usually do, I chatted him up as I appreciated him delivering my shipment. Somehow the conversation turned to him advising he had done two years in prison. When asked why, he explained assault.  Apparently, he was at a bar when he got into an argument with another patron, someone he knew of, who had been harassing his son.  He admitted they were both a little inebriated so it escalated. Noticing it was getting heated, he decided to walk away, but the other patron, a younger Caucasian male followed him outside & tried to attack him.   He defended himself & apparently “beat this boy down.”  He of course got arrested and charged, even though he had witnesses collaborating his story.  He could not afford a good attorney and thus was forced to take a plea deal, which resulted in his two year stint, even tho the injured party decided not to press charges! If he had money would he had done time?  I think not!  The table grew somber for a few as they took in every word.  Their eyes told the story.  This story happens everyday all over the world. It doesn’t make the news, but affects many. Bigotry and injustice comes in all forms.  Working class and people with less monetary means (I hate using the description of poor people, cause they can be people of character, joy, dedication and thus never a “poor person”) feel it everyday on our roads, in our schools and with our healthcare.  The people of Flint deserved better.  It is their right as humans to drink water without the fear of getting sick.  It was a travesty without reproach and needs to be used as an example for all humanity’s sake.

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. 

           – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Rights, Struggles & The Cost of Being Black

In Education, Politics, Racism, Society, Spirituality on August 17, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Ferguson, Mo, the site of the most recent crime against a person of color can be any town USA. This type of atrocity has occurred all over America spanning decades. It is a travesty the powers that be continue to allow these acts to go for the most part unpunished. As a human first & a person of color second, it saddens & infuriates me that these instances continue to occur without any seemingly remorse from those who continue to perpetrate these crimes – and yes crimes is what they are. If two men are fighting and in the course of their battle one man unintentionally kills the other, he is brought up on charges – usually murder at first. Then tell me please how the police can continuously kill unarmed black males without charges? Don’t give me that fear for their life shit! In these cases there was no life or death instance. As a person of color, a Latino male and a black man, I have been victim to many a racial insult, profile or injustice; instances that have shaped me, have stuck to my gut and is never far from my thoughts. They have made me who I am. My anger and my sorrows. I easily could have been Mr. Mike Brown, Mr. Travon Martin, Mr. Oscar Grant, Mr. Sean Bell….must I continue? I have been in situations just like these young men found themselves in, in some instances even fighting back, but was lucky enough to have physically survived them (thanks Brother Blood), but each left an emotional scar. So each time this happens, I can taste the anger inside me. As a youth, my initial reaction was to strike back with force, but with age comes knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Unfortunately the protests, the rioting, the speeches don’t change much. They bring some awareness, but are usually forgotten in short order. When these scared souls see the rioting as portrayed in the media, they sit at home shaking their heads while exclaiming….”see they are animals!” Are we supposed to expect these fools to understand how the years of institutional hatred, human betrayal and attacks on our dignities have affected us? These simpletons believe all that they see & fear what they do not understand. I can go on for pages on the issues, but in my humble opinion, to make real change, we need to change ourselves too. We need to first & foremost focus more on education, as it will be our salvation. With education comes confidence, comes creation, comes self reliance. We need a change in our leadership. We need leaders who understand the plight, not just wax poetically when shit goes down, but leaders who are there everyday trying to teach and help. Leaders who will hire, educate & mentor. We need to raise our families, be fathers to our children & take pride in our communities. We have to stop giving ignorant people reasons to fear us. We need to teach our people that a singular action by them can cause a ripple effect on us all. Let’s stop giving the police reason to stop us, fear us or kill us. Let’s pull up our pants, tighten our belts and speak intelligently. Youngsters put the colors away, channel that energy into uniting and growing stronger collectively. Let’s pick our brothers up when they struggle with the change. Let’s stop complaining about what they are not doing and let’s just do ourselves!!! Create our own commerce. Let’s get the Jordan’s, Beyonce’s & Lebron’s of the world to the table and become spokespeople for our communities. Let’s force them to take a stand while teaching the youth who look up to them. Let’s work hard at whatever it is we do for a living. Let’s teach our young people how to respond when we are stopped by the police while still keeping our dignity. When we get into the boardroom, let’s bring more with us while remembering where we came from. Unfortunately, we can not keep expecting these folks to change, we gotta make the change. Each and everyone of us must do our part or our future will remain our past.

Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.

– James Thurber

Freedoms, Women & Total Ignorance

In Politics, Racism, Religion, Society on October 30, 2012 at 11:10 pm

It is unbelievable to me how in the year 2012, there are still parts of the world that treat women as if they should be subservient, devoid of many choices that we all take for granted. My daughters are free to think for themselves, secure an education & make life decisions based on what they want to do or is important to them. Luckily, these precious beings were not born in areas of the world were most women are not afforded these basic rights & civil liberties. Under the cloak of religion or tradition, these cowards believe that all women should serve subservient roles to men. Recently a 15 y/o girl in Pakistan, who had the audacity to want an education, was shot in the head by ignorant men who believe no female should aspire to learn, grow or demand to be free to choose their way. They believe women have no right to be more than servants catering to their every whim. This has drawn my ire like nothing in recent memory. As I look into the eyes & windows to the souls of any of my daughters, where hopes & aspirations shine bright, my anger boils when I think of how any one can be so evil. I thank the good Lord for giving them to me, allowing them the freedom to seek & the good graces to choose. I often hear my daughters express future goals, careers & aspirations. They look forward to lives full of promise & growth. How can anyone believe they should have none of this just because of their gender? To believe they use religion as a crutch makes it all the worse. God created us all & thus provided us with equal opportunities to live the life we choose to live. Those who try to prohibit, restrict or eradicate this are weak mental midgets who need to make themselves feel superior to mask their apparent lack of self esteem. Hopefully the world has taken notice now.

Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.

– Unknown.

History, Zealots & Capitialism

In Education, Politics, Racism, Religion on October 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm

What is America coming too?  There is a big debate, or rather fight, going on right now over the way we learn and have been taught history and science.  “Conservatives / Right Wing Christians” are arguing the textbooks used in todays schools do not aptly reflect AmeriKKKa’s Christain values by promoting “multiculturalism” among other things.  They feel these books should depict our country in a better light, focusing on the notion that this is the best, most noble nation in the world.  They accuse the liberals of negatively representing American history.  As Ed Lover would say….”C’mon Son!!!! Go ahead with that bullshit right there!”  How could they not see how by attempting to rewrite history as it occurred they are commiting total blasphemy.  The shit hit the fan recently when in Texas, of course it had to be Texas, it’s 15 member state Board of Ed, which are now controlled by “Conservatives”, demanded significant changes to social study textbooks.  They now want the textbooks to stress how the U.S. is a ‘Christian land governed by Christian principles.”  Really??  Isn’t that Muscular Christians again trying to force feed skewed ideology and beliefs?  They are trying to downplay or eliminate some historical figures like Thomas Jefferson (yeah – thee Thomas Jefferson – he of one of the founding fathers fame), Ed Kennedy & Cesar Chavez’ because of their alleged liberal or anti church / state beliefs to accentuate figures like Ronald Regan, who they feel led a conservative resurgance in the 80’s and 90’s.  What?!?  They also want to eliminate how history reports Slavery.  Now I have always felt the teaching of Slavery and how it has been taught has always been a negative subliminal message to people of color.  Imagine how it begins to make young people of color feel as they learn how they would have been (and in different ways – still treated) back in the day and how it begins to foster a sense of  superiority amongst Caucasians from an early age, while developing a sense of deference to these young people of color.  But these zealots want to paint the whole slavery issue not as America’s black eye, but as a by product of British rule Amerikkka struggled to change.  That sad part is the textbook industry is poised to make these changes because Texas is the second largest textbook market in the country spending upwards of “$60 million annually on books”!!  Now that is Capitalism at its finest folks – sacrifice the truth for the almighty buck.  If that ain’t the American way, what is? 

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.

                                               – Albert Einstein

Toxic Radio & Dangerous Right Wing Rhetoric

In Politics, Racism, Radio on August 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm

People like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh & Sarah Palin are dangerous.  Each time they open their mouths, they run the risk of inciting some disillusioned, ignorant or racist individual of caucasian decent to commit violence against others.  They create a fear deep within them that America, their so called riches and their freedom are being transferred to people of color.   Recently a white man in San Francisco was arrested for drunk driving in his pick-up truck (so cliche’) stocked with weapons, on his way to massacre employees of a foundation Mr. Beck had numerous times called a “central player in the left wing conspiracy” .  This idiot, who I am positive was not the first & will not be the last, claimed he was motivated by Mr. Beck’s rants.  People like Mr. Beck hide behind the Freedom of Speech mantra to spew their hatred.  They rip Obama every chance they get, not due to racism they say, of course not, rather it’s for what they claim is the betterment of “their” Amerikkka.  Back in the late 60’s, early 70’s the Black Panthers and to a lesser extent, the Young Lords, were systematically dismantled and sometimes murdered by these same types of individuals who hide behind their alleged love of freedom.  Back then, they claimed the brothers where spreading hatred and government overthrow – not exactly different than what we are hearing from these right wing zealots who have a powerful forum in Fox News in which to spread their dangerous verbiage to distrustful and scared citizens, who have been deceived not by those they are told to hate, but by the same types of politicians they now listen to point the finger away from themselves.  Sort of like a more advanced three card monty scheme hustlers invented back in the day.  Damn these jokers even try to steal our hustle.

There are some that only employ words for the purpose of discussing their thoughts.

– Voltaire