Los Angeles Police Have Averaged One Kill Per Week For 14 Years

Thought Provoking Perspectives:

As the detective in the old LA Dragnet show use to say – “just the facts”. Between Jan. 1, 2000 and August 31, 2014, the report found, law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County used lethal force resulting in the deaths of at least 589 people. That’s almost one death a week, for nearly 14 years.

Originally posted on News One:

LAPD Racial Profiling - AttachmentA recent study found that police officers across Los Angeles have averaged about one kill per week for the past 14 years. Most killed are men of color. While many may not be shocked by the news, the research is rare given many police departments do not record such data or make it public. Here’s more from the Huffington Post:

The report, titled “Don’t Shoot to Kill,” examines homicide data from the Los Angeles County coroner’s department and incorporates details from numerous media reports on specific incidents. Between Jan. 1, 2000 and August 31, 2014, the report found, law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County used lethal force resulting in the deaths of at least 589 people. That’s almost one death a week, for nearly 14 years.

“If the killing of community residents is one measure of police-community relations,” the report reads, “then law enforcement’s fear, distrust and/or aggressive…

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Listen To The Elder’s

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There was a time not so long ago when we were called Negro; a category distinction that came with good and bad aspects of living during that time. The bad; it was a distinction by law that made people of African descent second-class citizens, and we were a people subjected to the wretchedness of unequal treatment under law. The good; in most cases our communities were united, supportive, and quite frankly the envy of all other races and cultures. We respected each other in ways that have disappeared today.

If you didn’t know the term “Negro” is a Spanish term that means Black, but no Spanish culture uses it to describe its people of color. The term lost its distinction during the 1960s when the terms to describe those of African descent evolved to Black and now almost universally as African American. Now, the word “Negro” (publications used a lower case “n”) has almost become pejorative.

I began to ponder this thought when I received a comment from someone of the other hue who used the usual “dog Whittles: “We want to take our country back.” It’s really kinda funny because I would think the Native America people would make this kind of remark, but I digress!

When we were called “Negro” in the 1950s, “only 9 percent of black families with children were headed by a single parent,” according to “The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies” by Kay Hymowitz. “Black children had a 52 percent chance of living with both their biological parents until age 17. In 1959, “only 2 percent of black children were reared in households in which the mother never married.” When we were Negroes, our culture was the envy of all other races with respect to these statistics .

By contrast today, now that we’re called African-Americans, according to Hymowitz, those odds of living with both parents had “dwindled to a mere 6 percent” by the mid-1980s. More shocking there are statistics that reflect more than 70 percent of the births in the African American community are to single mothers. Not to mention the infant mortality rates that are in the top percentile of all other races, as well as being at the top of every category that is harmful to our survival.

Let me make a few points, when we were Negroes, we had names like Joshua, Aaron, Paul, Esther, Melba, Cynthia and Ida. Now that we are African Americans, our names are bastardized versions of alcohol from Chivas to Tequila to C(S)hardonney. When we were called “Negro” and still fighting in many parts of the country for most basic of human rights like the right to vote, we couldn’t wait for the polls to open. We knew friends; family and acquaintances had died getting us the right to vote. Dogs and fire hoses were used to keep us away, yet still we came. By contrast, most African-Americans didn’t show up to vote until the election of 2008 to elect a Black man.

When we were “Negro”, according to the Trust For America’s Health’s “F as in Fat,” report, “only four states had diabetes rates above 6 percent. … The hypertension rates in 37 states about 20 years ago were more than 20 percent.” Now that we’re African-Americans report shows, “every state has a hypertension rate of more than 20 percent, with nine more than 30 percent. Forty-three states have diabetes rates of more than 7 percent, and 32 have rates above 8 percent. Adult obesity rates for blacks topped 40 percent in 15 states, 35 percent in 35 states and 30 percent in 42 states and Washington, DC.

Let me point out a few more obvious things that are distinctly different. When we were “Negro,” the one-room church was the community center that everyone used. Now that we’re African-Americans, our churches are lavish Maga-Churches with pastors, in many cases, who are more concerned about the “greedy than the needy.” They need planes, bodyguards, and have ATM machines at the entrance. Many of today’s sanctuaries, compared to the back-in-the-day churches, usually sit empty because the last thing the new church wants to do is invite the community in.

In the days when we were “Negro,” we didn’t have to be convinced that education was the key that opened the lock of success, but now that we’re African-Americans, more than 50 percent of our children fail to graduate high school. To add to this, some say, there are more African Americans in prison than there are in institutions of higher learning. True or not, surely there are more African Americans in prison in comparison to the population ratio.

More disturbing is the manner, for the most part, how we represent ourselves. When we were Negroes, the last thing a young woman wanted to look like was a harlot or a young man a thug, but now that we’re African Americans, many of our young girls dress like hootchie mana’s and our young boys imitate penitentiary custom and wear their pants below the butt line. In prison culture, this suggests that these men are available for sex with other men.

There is surely enough blame to go around for the decline of our communities and why we accept and embrace that which we know is destructive. Let me just remind you that others have categorized us as a people, usually for negative reasons, “darkie, colored, N-word, black, ect.” But we were a strong people, united and proud when we were Negro! This is not to say, I long for the back-door, the degradation, the Chit-ling Circuit or the horrors of the time. Rather to say, I want my people back.

We live in the best time of our existence in the place the slaves called “merica.” We have a man who looks like us in the White House, the highest office in the land, and the most powerful man in the world. This feat is something unmatched since the Resurrection of Christ because no one living or dead could have ever imagined that a Black Man would be president of these United States. I shudder to think what Dr. King and the ghost of the greats whose shoulders we stand would think if they could see us now!!!

So it begs the question – what happened and why? And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com


Brother Dick Gregory Speaks

2Today, I wanted to do something a little different and share a message from our elder statesman Dick Gregory. You don’t have to watch it but I would strongly suggest that you listen. Truth, in many respects, have always come from comedy. Brother Dick’s comedy educates and empowers but you have to listen this thought provoking perspective…

 


Black Lawyers Have Plan Of Attack Against Police Brutality [VIDEO]

Originally posted on News One:

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The National Bar Association (NBA) wants 25 cities to hand over their records concerning police brutality cases. The NBA plans to file open records requests to get the information from the targeted cities and plan to study allegations of police misconduct that may be found within the documentation.

The 25  cities were selected based on their African-American populations and reported incidents of police brutality. Once the data has been reviewed, the NBA plans to submit their findings to the attorney general’s office in hopes that Attorney General Eric Holder will take action.

 The list of 25 cities includes:

  • Birmingham
  • Los Angeles
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Miami
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Baltimore
  • Detroit
  • St. Louis
  • Charlotte
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Houston

Read MadameNoire.com’s full account of the National Bar Association’s announcement to request police brutality case records and to view the complete list of targeted cities.

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Brave And Courageous Men

10514657_10202131902970802_7641807366571926388_nIn the 1960s, there was a group of courageous black men from the communities of the southern states called the Deacons for Defense and Justice. It was an armed organization practicing self-defense methods in the face of racist oppression carried out under the Jim Crow Laws by local/state government officials and racist vigilantes. I remember this group of brave young men but because of their stance Deacons are not written about or cited in the history book or by the Civil Rights leadership.

Their agenda of self-defense of the community did not fit the image of strict non-violence that leaders such as Dr. King espoused. The Deacons are a segment of the larger tradition of the Black Power movement a tradition dating back to slavery when Africans were chattel slaves to continue the fight for freedom. This refers to the idea that the traditional ideas and values of the Civil Rights Movement placated to the emotions and feelings of White liberal supporters rather than Black Americans who had to live consistently with the racism and other acts of violence that was shown towards them.

Stokley Carmichael defines Black Power as: “The goal of black self-determination and black self-identity, Black Power, is full participation in the decision-making processes affecting the lives of black people and recognition of the virtues in themselves as black people… Those of us who advocate Black Power are quite clear in our own minds that a ‘non-violent’ approach to civil rights is an approach black people cannot afford, and a luxury white people do not deserve.”

The Deacons were a driving force of Black Power that Stokely Carmichael echoed. Carmichael speaks about the Deacons when he writes, “Here is a group which realized that the ‘law’ and law enforcement agencies would not protect people, so they had to do it themselves…The Deacons and all other blacks who resort to self-defense represent a simple answer to a simple question: what man would not defend his family and home from attack?” The Deacons, according to Carmichael and others were the protection that the Civil Rights needed on local levels, as well as, the ones who intervened in places that the state and federal government fell short.

The Deacons were not the first champions of armed-defense during the Civil Rights Movement. Many activists and other proponents of non-violence protected themselves with guns. Fannie Lou Hamer, the eloquently blunt Mississippi militant who outraged LBJ at the 1964 Democratic Convention, confessed that she kept several loaded guns under her bed. Even Martin Luther King Jr., an icon of nonviolence, employed armed bodyguards and had guns in his house during the early stages of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

In many areas of the “Deep South” the federal and state governments had no control of local authorities and groups that did not want to follow the laws enacted. One such group, the KKK, is the most widely known organization that openly practiced acts of violence and segregation based on race. As part of their strategy to intimidate this community Negroes, the Ku Klux Klan initiated a “campaign of terror” that included harassment, the burning of crosses on the lawns of African-American voters, the destruction by fire of five churches, a Masonic hall, a Baptist center, and murder.

Therefore, the Negro community felt it was crucial to have its own protection in order to curb this terrorism given the lack of support and protection by State and Federal authorities. Enter Earnest “Chilly Willy” Thomas and Frederick Kirkpatrick, founders of the Deacons of Defense in November 1964 to protect civil rights workers, their communities and their families against the Klan. Most of the Deacons were war veterans with combat experience from the Korean War and World War II.

There are many accounts of how the group’s name came about, but according to Lance Hill the most-plausible explanation is: “the name was a portmanteau that evolved over a period of time, combining the CORE staff’s first appellation of ‘deacons’ with the tentative name chosen in November 1964: ‘Justice and Defense Club.’ By January 1965, the group had arrived at its permanent name, ‘Deacons for Defense and Justice.’” The organization wanted to maintain a level of respectability and identify with traditionally accepted symbols of peace and moral values portraying the organization as an innocent church group….”

Scholar Akinyele O. Umoja speaks about the group’s effort more specifically. According to Umoja, it was the urging of Stokely Carmichael that the Deacons were to be used as security for many marches and protection of many civil rights leaders. The Deacons had a relationship with nearly all civil rights groups working in the south that advocated and practiced non-violence. The willingness of the Deacons to provide low-key armed guards facilitated the ability of groups such as the CORE, SNCC, and NAACP to stay, at least formally, within their own parameters of non-violence.

An example of the need for self-defense to enable substantial change in the Deep South took place in early 1965. Black students picketing the local high school were confronted by hostile police and fire trucks with hoses. A car of four Deacons emerged and in view of the police, calmly loaded their shotguns. The police ordered the fire truck to withdraw.

This was the first time in the 20th century, as Lance Hill observes, “an armed black organization had successfully used weapons to defend a lawful protest against an attack by law enforcement.” Hill gives as another example: “In Jonesboro, the Deacons made history when they compelled Louisiana governor John McKeithen to intervene in the city’s civil rights crisis and require a compromise with city leaders — the first capitulation to the civil rights movement by a Deep South governor.”

Roy Innis has said the Deacons “forced the Klan to re-evaluate their actions and often change their undergarments.” With the shift to Northern Black plight and the idea of Black Power emerging in major cities across America, the Deacons became yesterday’s news and organizations such as The Black Panther Party gained notoriety and became the publicized militant Black organization. However, let us not forget the impact for being the precursor to the empowerment of our people. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Deacons Of Defense


Murdered Angels

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There are so many atrocious things inflicted upon people of African descent from the beginning of our journey in this place the slaves called “merica”. My purpose, today,is to bring into remembrance the horrible murder of four little girls in Birmingham on September 15th, 1963 was without question the worst. It happened on a Sunday morning while these babies were attending Sunday school when a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church.

We are reminded each day of heinous murders and crimes that shocked America, but none had the devastating emotional impact as this senseless crime. These four children were in the church basement preparing for the morning service. The ground floor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church collapsed from bomb planted by members of the terrorist KKK killing of four innocent little black girls was equally, if not, far more shocking simply because they were black.

Denise McNair, aged 11, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson, all aged 14. Many others were injured. Despite the many racial crimes committed in the South, this one was greeted with abject horror. Despite the deaths of four young girls, and the many that were injured, no-one was initially arrested for this crime even though the authorities suspected four men within days of the outrage. Frankly, the authorities placed little value on the lives of Colored People that was one of the reasons not to investigate or apprehend the suspects.

Let me take you back to the era; Birmingham was ground zero for the civil rights movement, and the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was an organizational centre for much of the movement’s activities. In particular, youths used the church to help plan strategies to get more black high school children involved in the civil rights cause.

In the spring of 1963, stores in downtown Birmingham had been desegregated, and just days before the bombing, schools in Birmingham had been ordered by a federal court to integrate – nearly ten years after the Brown v Board of Education ruling. Of course, the Klan and many racists would not accept this decision or the successes the civil rights movement.

The chief of police in the city, Bull Connor, was very anti-civil rights and had ordered that police dogs and fire hoses used on civil rights demonstrators in May 1963. Birmingham was well known as a stronghold of the KKK. The influence of the KKK was such that children’s books that showed black and white rabbits together were banned from sale in bookshops in the city. Segregation was the norm in the city. Violence against the black community in Birmingham was not unusual, but the deliberate bombing of a church took that violence to a new level.

In 1965, J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, stated that any chance of prosecution was “remote” and in 1968, the FBI pulled out of the investigation. Therefore, no-one was arrested for the outrage. Eventually, a known member of the KKK, Robert Chambliss, was arrested in 1977, nearly fifteen years later. He was sent to prison and died there in 1985. However, many believed that he was not the only one involved.

In 1980, a US Department of Justice report stated that Hoover had blocked evidence that could have been used in the pursuit of suspects. This led to the Alabama district attorney reopening the case. However, while the case was reopened but no new charges were filed.

In October 1988, Gary A Tucker admitted that he had helped set up the bomb. Dying of cancer, no charges were laid against him, but federal and state prosecutors reopened their investigations. In May 2000, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry surrendered to the authorities after they were indicted on four counts of first-degree murder and “universal malice”. One year later, Blanton, aged 62, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on four counts of murder.

Blandon said after the verdict was announced “I guess the good Lord will settle it on Judgment Day”. Bobby Frank Cherry was initially deemed to be mentally unfit to stand trial. However, this was overturned, and he was found guilty after members of his family gave evidence against him.

The role of the FBI has been criticized by some with regards to this case, particularly the role of Hoover. It was only after 14 years that the FBI released 9,000 files relevant to the case; including the so-called ‘Kitchen Tapes’ in which Thomas Blandon was heard telling his wife about building the bomb and planning to use it.

The mere fact that this case went unsolved for so long speaks to the depth of racial hatred in America not all that long ago. It was more shocking to our community that the powers that be knew who the culprits were and failed to act. The system of injustice was so pervasive that there inactions were the result of institutional approval. I think they are deserving of this high honor for being martyrs because their lives were innocently sacrificed for a cause they never really understood.

Let’s pray that the souls of Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson Rest In Peace for all eternity. God Bless each of you!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The Story Continues

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I often speak of visiting those places I call Brownsville, you know, those segregated places mandated by law as a result of the wretched system of “Separate but Equal”. I try to resurrect the ghost of the greats that changed the world, which have caused me to live a life promised to all Americans. Having said that, I readily admit there is still a long way to go.

I have shared the African American journey that no doubt is the greatest story ever told. Maybe let me say this more succinctly by quoting Jesse in terms of witnessing our story coming “From the outhouse to the White House”. The irony of this was that Africans were dragged onto the shores of this place the slaves called “merica” to now having a man of African descent in the White House as President. Frankly, this is the most significant event since Christ rose from the grave.

This evolution brought about our acquiescence to political agendas, abdicating our own economic self-sufficiency for the greater good and most working diligently for the economic well-being of African American people. Since the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were written many have died for the rights described therein, and we continue to fight for equality still.

Let me leave you with this thought from “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” the most profound novel ever written in my opinion, originally published in 1933 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who is known as the father of Black History Month. I might add that this book should be mandatory reading for all African Americans – young and old.

The thesis of Dr. Woodson’s book is that Negroes of his day were being culturally indoctrinated rather than taught in American schools, or not even given the advantage of education. This conditioning, he claims, causes African Americans to become dependent, seeking out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part. This assertion is clearly evident nearly eighty years later.

He challenged his readers to become empowered by doing for themselves, regardless of what they were taught: “History shows that it does not matter who is in power… those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.”

This goes beyond the imagination, irrespective of the many promises that have been made and broken, that fairness exists. Religion teaches us when we die there is a place where there is a mansion with streets paved with gold. Be that as it may, let’s agree with the great Curtis Mayfield who wrote: “we are people who are darker than blue”. He also said, “People get ready there’s a train a comin. You don’t need no ticket. All you need is faith to get on board…”

Some of you may know George Orwell’s statement about history:

Whoever controls the past controls the future, and whoever controls the present controls the past. And whoever’s in charge of a culture decides what history we get, or tries to decide what history we get, and our job is to look beyond that and to try to find our own history, the one that they don’t want us to have. You know what I mean by “they.” I won’t—I won’t give you any names, but there is—there’s always a “they.

“Black History is American History”. We have witnessed the first man of African descent elected president of these United States, and I am thankful to have lived to see what no one living or dead ever thought would occur. God Bless America but the train has not reached its destination, and the greatest story ever told will continue! And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

“Just a Season”
and
Legacy – A New Season 

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