Category Archives: police brutality

R.I.P. Honorable Dick Gregory

5Today, seemed like the saddest day of my life hearing that my hero passed away! I want to applaud the great Dick Gregory for the gift of his commitment, wisdom, and his genius! Dick Gregory, whose government name is Mr. Gregory was active in the civil rights movement from the beginning. He came to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day” (October 7, 1963). In 1964, Gregory became more involved in struggles for civil rights, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform, anti-drug issues, conspiracy theories, and others. As a part of his activism, he went on several hunger strikes.

There are few people, who dare to speak truth to power. Brother Gregory is a fearless champion of the African American people, and dare I say the world. He has been at the forefront of Civil Rights before it was known as such. His is a comedian, writer, entrepreneur, social activist and critic.

Dick Gregory began his career as a comedian while serving in the military in the mid-1950s. He was drafted in 1954 while attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After being discharged in 1956, he returned to the university but did not receive a degree. With a desire to perform comedy professionally, he moved to Chicago. He said of his early career, “Blacks could sing and dance in the white night clubs but weren’t allowed to stand flat-footed and talk to white folks, which is what a comic does.”

Gregory attributes the launch of his career to Hugh Hefner, who watched him perform at Herman Roberts Show Bar. Based on that performance, Hefner hired Gregory to work at the Chicago Playboy Club as a replacement for the white comedian Professor Irwin Corey. Shortly after that Gregory’s first TV appearance was on the late night The Tonight Show Starring Jack Paar, which positioned him to begin appearing nationally and on television.

Gregory currently stands at number 82 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-up comics of all time and has his own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. There is a grassroots effort afoot to get him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, spearheaded by Radio One host Joe Madison.

Mr. Gregory was active in the civil rights movement from the beginning. He came to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day” (October 7, 1963). In 1964, Gregory became more involved in struggles for civil rights, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform, anti-drug issues, conspiracy theories, and others. As a part of his activism, he went on several hunger strikes.

Gregory began his political career by running against Richard J. Daley for the mayoralty of Chicago in 1967. Though he did not emerge victorious; this would not prove to be the end of his dalliances in electoral politics. He also unsuccessfully ran for President of the United States in 1968 as a write-in candidate of the Freedom and Peace Party.

He wrote the book “Write Me In” about his presidential campaign. One interesting anecdote therein relates the story of a publicity stunt that came out of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago where the campaign had printed dollar bills with Gregory’s image on them, some of which made it into circulation, causing considerable problems, but priceless publicity. The majority of these bills were quickly seized by the federal government.

He was an early outspoken critic of the Warren Commission findings that President JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. On March 6, 1975, Gregory and assassination researcher Robert Groden appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s late night ABC talk show Goodnight America. An important historical event happened that night when the famous Zapruder film of JFK’s assassination was shown to the public on TV for the first time in history. The public’s response and outrage to that showing led to the forming of the Hart-Schweiker investigation, which contributed to the Church Committee Investigation on Intelligence Activities by the United States, which resulted in the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation.

In 1998 Gregory spoke at the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with President Bill Clinton in attendance. Not long after, the President told Gregory’s long-time friend and P.R. Consultant, Steve Jaffe, “I love Dick Gregory; he is one of the funniest people on the planet.” They spoke of how Gregory had made a comment on Dr. King’s birthday that broke everyone into laughter when he noted that the President made Speaker Newt Gingrich ride “in the back of the plane,” on an Air Force One trip overseas.

At a Civil Rights rally marking the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Gregory criticized the United States, calling it “the most dishonest, ungodly, unspiritual nation that ever existed in the history of the planet. As we talk now, America is 5 percent of the world’s population and consumes 96 percent of the world’s hard drugs”.

Gregory announced a hunger strike on September 10, 2010, saying in a commentary published by the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal that he doubted the official U.S. report about the attacks on September 11, 2001. “One thing I know is that the official government story of those events, as well as what took place that day at the Pentagon, is just that, a story. This story is not the truth, but far from it. I was born on October 12, 1932. I am announcing today that I will be consuming only liquids beginning Sunday until my eightieth birthday in 2012 and until the real truth of what truly happened on that day emerges and is publicly known.”

His most lasting impression resulted from his 1984 founding of the Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight loss products. With this company, Gregory made efforts to improve the life expectancy of African Americans, which he believes is being hindered by poor nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse. In 1985 Gregory introduced the “Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet,” a powdered diet mix. He launched the weight-loss powder at the Whole Life Expo in Boston under the slogan “It’s cool to be healthy.” The diet mix, drunk three times a day, was said to provide rapid weight loss. Gregory received a multimillion-dollar distribution contract to retail the diet.

As we celebrate this his born day, I want to pay homage to the Honorable Dick Gregory for his commitment and dedication to speak truth to power and for the knowledge to empower all of us. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Books

  • Nigger: An Autobiography, with Robert LipsyteE.P. Dutton, September 1964. (one account says 1963) (reprinted, Pocket Books, 1965-present)
  • Write me in!, Bantam, 1968.
  • From the Back of the Bus
  • What’s Happening?
  • The Shadow that Scares Me
  • Dick Gregory’s Bible Tales, with Commentary, a book of Bible-based humor. ISBN 0-8128-6194-9
  • Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin’ With Mother Nature! ISBN 0-06-080315-0
  • (with Shelia P. Moses), Callus on My Soul: A Memoir ISBN 0-7582-0202-4
  • Up from Nigger
  • No More Lies; The Myth and the Reality of American History
  • Dick Gregory’s political primer
  • (with Mark Lane), Murder in Memphis: The FBI and the Assassination of Martin Luther King
  • (with Mel Watkins), African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today (Library of Black America)
  • Robert Lee Green, Dick Gregory, daring Black leader
  • African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today (editor) ISBN 1-55652-430-7

How Much Do You Support Colin Kaepernick

GUFJZwTHXUlOOuD-800x450-noPadMost of the black people I know have an opinion about everything Colin Kaepernick protest and now he is being blackballed. It all began because of what began on August 26, 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down during the national slave anthem (National Anthem) before the 3rd preseason game of the upcoming 2016 NFL season.  Afterwards he made a bold statement:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Not since the great Muhammad Ali’s who refused to serve in the Vietnam War has any one made a conscious decision by an athlete taking such a direct stance highlighting the injustices of black  people; just like Ali, the reaction to Kaepernick’s stance has been met with passionate responses, often times divided by the color line. White people, of course, they are incensed!

I will proudly say, I am very proud of the man because he risked everything for what he believes and uses his money to backup that belief. Since his protest to a take a knee, he has donated millions to charity toward racial issues. Most of you would not give a homeless man a cup of coffee. However, it has caused many of the million dollar slaves, past and present, to have a mostly negative opinion on the matter – some shameless, I might add!

Best of all, Kaepernick’s protest made the conversation about “racial/police brutality” front-page for the large part of the NFL season, a feat never done before in its history. This is a good thing and most should support the issue of injustice. He made his decision without counsel of any of these people and was brave enough to stand by it. I remember what saw with Muhammad Ali; they stripped him of the championship title, did not allow him to box, and hurt his family. See what they do! End the end history proved that he was correct.

So the owners have black balled Colin. I see your post shared on all over social media. Is that the limit of your support? If that is so – all you are doing is talking loud and saying nothing! I can remember people, black people, did the same in Ali’s case; whisper amongst themselves and did nothing. Or I remember that black people dared not mention the name Malcolm X – let alone be in the same place with him.

If you are appalled by this, then show your power by boycotting the NFL until Kaepernick gets signed to a team or at least given a fair chance. This means to not watch any games, no social media comments about your favorite team before/during/after the games, don’t attend the stadiums, and don’t buy any merchandise which represents the league or your favorite team.

We also understand the purpose of Colin Kaepernick’s protest is FAR more important than any of the games you will ever watch. Simply put, if things stay the same for the way America — where “all men are created equal” — treats people of color, then your loved ones, friends, and children will eventually be affected as well.

Finally, all of us must remember that the NFL never wanted black people to play the game. The Colin Kaepernick situation really shines a light on how much the NFL really cares about the 90% of its Black athletes and you! So if you are not contributing to the problem – shut up! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Credibility – Lies

1-As stunning as this sounds, fresh evidence arrives every day of the government treating the man elected to lead it as someone talking mostly to himself. This man calls his untruths truthful exuberance or alternative facts! I will use a word white folk use – flabbergasted! In your relationships with anyone a lie is usually a deal breaker. It is now to the point, remarkably, the extent to which his senior officials act as if Trump were not the chief executive. Everyday a new lies is told and sometimes several at a time. Never has a president been so regularly ignored or contradicted by his own officials. HE LIES!

Federal officials aren’t the only ones. Police chiefs distanced themselves from Trump’s public call for rougher treatment of criminal suspects but the White House said the president was joking. Even the Boy Scouts have complained about him saying is an apology for Trump’s odd, politically charged remarks to the group. After Trump claimed in an interview that the Boy Scouts chief had called to declare it “the greatest speech ever made to them,” the Scouts organization disclaimed any such call.

But the phenomenon has grown more pronounced as Trump keeps struggling to govern amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Also, an extremely low new rating – the lowest in history – 36%! But somehow he sees everything as great and claims the admistration is working like a well oiled machine – NOT!

Trump keeps casting doubt on Russia’s culpability for cyber attacks on the 2016 election campaign. His own national security officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, said last month they have no doubts.

Part of the disconnect flows from Trump’s inattention to, and weak grasp of, complex policy issues. With the multiple firing, all of them were the “best people”. Those people may even include his new chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. Kelly. Ten days after Trump installed Scaramucci with the rare status of reporting directly to the president, Kelly fired him Monday in his own first day on the job.

Let me suggest that you pay no attention to the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. Rather, look at the destructive things that are being done that’s not talked about. Let me use one of his favorite words – so far his presidency is a disaster! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Powerless Of Blackness

2I am not against anyone or culture. However, I make it a priority to speak to that which others have forgotten or simply don’t know about the African American Diaspora. I believe when you know who you are, believe in yourself, then and only then can you be empowered with the spirit of power. This is the problem!

Black people have been robbed of their history and past, which makes it virtually impossible to know your true history and who you are by design  It was not until about the 1920s that any knowledge of our past was revealed. Later in the 1960s more information was discovered in the form of our true history came to light. By that I mean, not the lies of His-Story!

Let me ruffle some feathers here – WE ARE NOT FREE! As a people, we are no better off today than the day Dr. King spoke about his dream, an elusive dream I might add; that was more like a nightmare than a dream of progress. We can go back to post Civil War and find that statistics about the black condition tell it is nearly the same as today. Further, in 1960 there were only 103 black elected officials, in 1990 there were over 9000, and today there are more than that with a black president. Still, nothing changed regarding our condition. In fact, it got worse! So the correlation between black elected official does not result in improvement or empowerment for black people.

I will readily admit that we have access in some areas, but access to the greater community does not translate into progress. The ideology of divide and conquer causes us to misunderstand that we are seen in one of two categories – good blacks or bad blacks. To be more succinct, as Malcolm said, “house niggers and field niggers”! Look around, there are far more Field Negros today, and the few House Negros de-emphasized their blackness and forgot about the masses of black people.

Few black people have read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” I would suggest that you do because, in that novel, Uncle Tom was the strong black and Sambo was the bad black House Negro. So you see the trick that was played on us and how they flipped the script making us believe something other than the truth. So in today’s vernacular, we call those who are against our interests Uncle Tom’s, who is not the person strong enough to protect your interest. Yet, we follow the sellouts!

The power of blackness has been eroded by those who call themselves black conservatives sent to confuse your thinking. First, the root word “conserve” means to hold on to what you’ve got. For example, America was founded based on a slave mentality. Therefore, what the conservatives are saying, codeword anti-black, “we want to take out country back” is indicative of their intent. So I have to say to the black conservatives, you had nothing to hold on too, so the question then becomes; do you want slavery?

In essence, the concept of benign neglect, which was not based on empirical reality, ultimately blamed the victim and thus ignored the effects of the flawed structure of society in this nation. We did not listen to the few black leaders that preached freedom, and there were only a few; if they had your interest at heart they would know freedom is not given by any oppressor – it is taken, which mean you have to struggle, fight, and maybe die for it. Instead, most black people will choose to support every issue of any other group – instead of interest that directly affects you.

To this point, we’ve been playing a game we can’t win. At this moment, all black people have is hope, and that is all we have ever had – and it alone with our so-called leaders have failed us. It’s time to play to win! Join me as a member of the “Common Sense Party” to survive and not follow fools! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


Remember: The Scottsboro Boys

028_1601White folk always talk about their love of the Constitution as if it is God’s voice of right but the case of the Scottsboro Boy clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy in their hearts with regard to black people and jurisprudence. This kind of blindness in the law has been a staple in America from the beginning of the nation. This horrible story, which is true and documented began on March 26th, 1931, nine black youths riding a freight train, were arrested in Scottsboro, Alabama, after being falsely accused of raping two white women. After nearly being lynched, the Scottsboro Boys were brought to trial.

Despite evidence that exonerated the teens, including a retraction by one of their accusers, who was a prostitute, the state pursued the case. All-white juries delivered guilty verdicts and all nine defendants, except the youngest, were sentenced to death. From 1931 to 1937, during a series of appeals and new trials, they languished in Alabama’s Kilby prison, where they were repeatedly brutalized by guards.

In 1932, the United States Supreme Court concluded in Powell v. Alabama that the Scottsboro defendants had been denied adequate counsel at trial. In 1935, the Court in Norris v. Alabama again ruled in favor of the defendants, overturning their convictions because Alabama had systematically excluded black people from jury service.

Finally, in 1937, four of the defendants were released, and five were given sentences of twenty years to life; four of those were released on parole between 1943 and 1950. The fifth escaped prison in 1948 and fled to Michigan. Clarence Norris walked out of Kilby Prison after being paroled in 1946 and moved north; he received a full pardon from Governor George Wallace in 1976.More information about the Scottsboro Boys. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The American Shame – Failure In Chief

downloadThe man who fooled white folk into believing that he was the greatest of all times and could do anything; come to find it was another “lies. The first six months of Trump’s presidency have been a monumental failure. Apart from the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is the only significant achievement he has accomplished; if you want to call that an accomplishment! This week the collapse of Trump and the GOP’s effort to repeal Obamacare is the capstone to one of the most bizarre and disorderly chapters in the history of the American presidency.

If you consider they have been campaigning and pledging to end this law for 8 years, taken over sixty votes to repeal it and not do it. But more to the point, it looks like amateur night in his administration! Frankly, I have lost count on the number of people that have left, resigned, or quit their jobs in this administration. With the ouster of Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, and with the addition of General Kelly – they are trying to reset. Look the man has not gotten more than a 40% approval rating!

The troubles of the White House, of course, flow from the notoriously undisciplined no nothing President. His following President Obama is like Clearance Thomas following Thurgood Marshall – a disgrace! They cried for eight years that Obama was taking the country in the wrong directing – away from white supremacy. Where is this fool taking the country? To hell!

Let me remind you that this guy is under investigation along with about a dozen of his staff and cronies! Then there are the children in the way. Also, he is the laziest president to date. Somebody needs to either remove or take control over Trump’s Twitter account, which is a huge distraction to governance.

Let me quote from his new Communications  Director “the fish stinks from the head down”, who has already revealed that he will be worse than worthless, a blabbermouth and an attention-seeking wrecker in a White House. Trump, too, over the past two years has revealed his colors; he is a disaster! The terrifying chaos he has already engendered in six months strongly suggests that he will not even serve out his term. He is already talking about pardoning himself! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


They Kill Our Leaders

12208279_10206478427777483_610893809594429317_nIt has always been a mystery to me that black people cannot see or at least do nothing about so many of our past leaders being killed. The question still remains decades after 400 years anyone who seeks to gain a nominal political independence, is murdered? ‘How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?’ This question was memorably put forward by the iconic Bob Marley so many years ago, but our prophets continue to be killed. It makes you question who our leaders of today are or just sellouts.

One by one, our most steadfast leaders have been eliminated, to the point where Africa is hard-pressed to point out more than three people who are advancing the continental agenda for economic freedom. Almost every single leader who has stood up for Africa’s or black right to economic self-determination has been eliminated – either physically or politically.

Malcolm X died young because of what he believed was the rightful place of the black person in the United States of America – ‘the land of the free’. Fortunately, while these icons may have been physically and/or politically eliminated, their ideas live on. It seems that there is an unwritten rule whether dead or in prison is the end result. All have said something or took some kind of leadership to advance the struggle of black people.

Malcolm X famously said, “if violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her.” Malcolm X was born in poverty in a land that is regarded as the land of the free. Malcolm X grew up in a violent environment.

Nonetheless, he dared to speak truth like no other in his day! Malcolm spoke to me with the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will. Nut white America saw him as dangerous and thus on February 21, 1965 Malcolm X was shot 16 times by suspected FBI agents while going to address a meeting on African unity.

Some of the people who are now most vocal in their praise of our dead African heroes include many who in the past criticized some of their actions and speeches most savagely while they were still alive. For example, Lumumba and Sankara were taken away from Africa through the connivance of Africans working with outside forces. These men are not alone; they killed Dr. King and Medger along with many others recorder or not.

The reason for the killings of these icons is the same reason why that white supremacy demands it.  Is that why you are silent! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


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