Tag Archives: black lives matter

A Repost: When We Were Negro

There was a time, not too long ago, before the early 1960s there were all kinds of terms to describe people of African descent; most were derogatory words. The most accepted and commonly use was Negro. However, they call these people today other terms like African American, Black, Afro-American and these are the polite ones. Frankly, those terms were unheard of in the consciousness of the people called Negro. I am one who thinks the Negro was hoodwinked by the shame they called integration because we were never integrated into the broader society. But then that is what white folk do!

I remember a distinct conversation with a friend where we discussed descriptive terms for ourselves before the mid-sixties. To be clear, all of the terms before and now were assigned by other people to define and demean people of color as a way to say; these people are less than and not true citizens. The mere fact that most black people carry the name of the family of their ancestor’s white slave owners proves this to be true.

The term “black” was just coming into vogue when I was a young man, and most people of color didn’t like it a bit. In fact, they were so happy being called Negro that being called black was an insult and fighting words. Now, the word “Negro” (publications used a lowercase “n”) has almost become pejorative and today most people of color feel insulted when they are referred to as such. It tells you how demeaning it was then and how times has changed.

“When we were Negroes,” there were several things that were distinctly different concerning black life. First, there was a higher level of respect for our humanness and one another because it was a necessity to need each other because of segregation. It was in a perverted way a sense of unity among us. In my view integration robbed us of that unity.

So it got me to thinking. When we were Negroes 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.”

Now that we’re so called African Americans, according to Hymowitz, the odds of living with both parents has “dwindled to a mere 6 percent” by the mid-1980s and today the statistics are worse and much lower. For example, he says in Bibb County (GEORGIA); more than 70 percent of the births in the African American community are to single mothers.

When we were Negroes and still fighting in many parts of the country for the right to vote, we couldn’t wait for the polls to open. We knew our friends, family, and acquaintances died getting us the ballot. Can you remember Selma or when dogs and fire hoses were used to keep us away from the polls, but now that we’re African Americans, before President Obama, most didn’t bother to show up at the polls at all. Then as a result of over criminalizing the African American population, in many cases, the vote has been taken away completely.

During the era of being identified as Negro, black people had names like John, 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 Chardonnay, and chances are the names of this era have more unusual spellings.

When we were Negroes, according to the Trust For America’s Health “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 that 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, D.C. [These are the most recent I could find, which may be higher]

When we were Negroes, the one-room church was the community center that all black people used. Now that we’re African Americans, our churches have to be lavish, and in many cases all the preacher want is your money, compared to back-in-the-day churches, community centers usually sit empty because the last thing the new church wants to do is invite in the community. Further, if you attend such a place the first thing you will see, more often than not, is an ATM in the lobby. In the churches of today, there is a very good chance the leader of the flock, almost assured has a criminal record. It is also a good chance that this leader prays on the congregation sexually or partakes in some sort of financial exploitation.

Back when we were Negroes, 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. The dropout rate is higher than during the time when schools were segregated.

Back when we were Negroes, the last thing a young woman wanted to look like was a harlot and a young man a thug, but now that we’re African Americans, many of our young girls dress like hoochie mamas and our young boys imitate penitentiary customs wearing their pants below the butt line. The incarceration rate of African American people has skyrocketed in comparison to the days of segregation. It has been said that there are currently more black males in prisons than there were in slavery.

Police brutality has always existed in the African American community. However, today laws have been passed to turn the other community into vigilantes through laws such as “Stop and Frisk” and “Stand your Ground”. These laws essentially say SHOOT TO KILL black men and young boys. These Nazi like tactics routinely occur with the police. Today, drugs have become an epidemic used to destroy black people and gang warfare further that effort.

Pride and strength were the foundations of these people called Negro; fortitude and courage made the race strong. Black people must recapture the pride and greatness of those whose shoulders we stand and relearn that the fights of others are not our battles. If I could reverse all of the above by trading the term “African American” for “Negro”, today I might choose Negro. Although, personally I prefer Black! Here’s a thought – let’s make Black the New Black to make our communities great by being concerned about black issues and yes, Black Lives Matter! So act like it does!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

 


Fight The Power!

PhotoFunia-2c3d3a4In the 1960s, the main mission was to obtain the freedom for black people. The symbol of solidarity was a raised clenched fist and the chant was “power to the people”. This sign of unity was also a sign of respect for one another.

It was a glorious time for Black America in the late 1960s because for a brief moment, it was awakened, they stand a stand and showed bravery as courageous black men and women demonstrate their pride for being black and began to acknowledge the greatness in their blackness.

During those days, there was an ill-fated war where the government drafted millions of black men during the Vietnam War. I can recall those fought and served were soon forgotten, but those who did were proud enough to take a stand by chanting “fight the power”! The response from the power, however, was told “America Love it or Leave it.” First, where were black people suppose to go? They took us from our place of origin, enslaved all brought here, and created a new race of people calling them Negro. So, the chant and the raised fist was a symbolic statement – “say it loud I am black, and I am proud”.

Looking back, I think what we learned was that the philosophy prescribed to us by the system and a continuous stream of unanswered questions and lies; like we see today with several wars, police brutality and blatant racism. The foundation of the civil rights movement was supported by a religious ideology full of unquestioned answers fooling people into the idea that all you need to do is just pray. While the system used the tried and true strategy of divide and conquer to kill the movement.

The movement’s protest strategy of marching in the 1950s resulted in a few crumbs after unrest and rage produce fear in the majority community – in other words among the powers that be. In those days, “they” could control information via what were virtually state-owned newspapers and the two or three television networks. The unrest of those days were rooted in racism, as is today, but today the genie is out of the bottle because of this thing called social media and video cameras in the hands of almost everyone. Think about it – it was social media that caused the Arab Spring uprising that toppled several regimes and dictators.

The American super-power was involved preaching morality and trying to impose democracy all over the world while doing unspeakable horrors at home and abroad. The government released a Senate Terror Report, which clearly appeared as if it was America that was the terrorist sponsored by the state. I will say as a person of color and a descendant of slaves, America never had any moral authority to advise or dictate anything close to a moral or human high-ground toward or for black people. Regarding what they released, black people have seen much of the same terror inflicted upon them right here at home under its apartheid-like system.

They system has not changed; NO – it’s still all about money. What I see that is different, however, is that the entire world sees and knows what is being done to black people in America and that what black America has been saying all along is true and a fact. However, the movement of this generation, Black Live Matters is speaking truth to power and is courageous enough to take a stand against racism and injustice. This movement comes with people of all stripes, colors, and creeds protesting around the world.

What we saw in the 1960s was more of a rehearsal for what some called a revolution. Brother Gil Scott-Heron called it “Winter in America” and he told us that the revolution will not be televised. There was a revolution, however, they called it the Arab Spring and it was televised! Gill appeared, at the time to be on to something. Hence, the government used tools like CONINTELPRO to cripple and killed any such notion. Now, as we can see today resulting from the atrocities of government agencies and police human-rights violations “the revolution is being televised”.

Let me add this about empires and religion, the Republicans, as did the Romans before them, cheered on the Lions, as the Christians were being fed to them in giant arenas for pure spectator enjoyment. Sort of like those lynching of black men and police killing of late. What these people are doing to black people in the streets of America in the name of “justice” is no different from what was done by the Roman state against its people. Remember how that turned out.

To those who have and are charged with killing and brutalizing people of color and the least of thee; I say to you – there’s no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good about racism or the war upon black and brown communities – it is simply Hypocrisy!

History tells us that those who make peaceful revolution impossible or fail to change a system when it is broken will make violent revolution inevitable. In the 1960s, they stopped using lynching and used fire hoses and dogs. Today, they use the police to shoot and kill. So I say, Fight the Power! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 RESPECT TO THE FALLEN

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BOYCOTT NOW!!!

1000History proves the actions of white folk are nefarious at best and amoral at worst! Nonetheless, Black people continue to pray, beg, and march for something that is basically as simple as being allowed to have the same rights as the so-called Constitution professes. This is really a big thing since it has not happened since the African was dragged onto the shores of America in chains nearly four-hundred years ago. Franking with this new regime is putting black people in concentration camps out of the question or slavery?

The entire world knows the history and condition of the black struggle, their long-standing grievances, fight for equality, and the many attempts to obtain basic human rights. The descendants of Africa have suffered greatly, which is no secret. Black people still, by enlarge, continue to hold onto this idea that one day “Jesus” is coming back to save them. People he is not coming back!

With the evolution of “black lives matter” and the so-called conscious movement, black people still practice what is defined as insanity – “Doing the same thing, expecting a different result”. Which I might add, doing this for hundreds of year and have not realized that the strategy of marching in protest does not accomplish anything. Sure, a march is good press for some of these “chicken pickin” Uncle Tom’s or sell-outs doing the bidding of white folk, which is to remain peaceful and keep you passive. I think you know I’m right because anyone whose aim is or was uplifting or making progress to achieve results were killed.

Of late we hear a lot of talk about putting black dollars in black banks – great idea but how many black people do it? I also believe that two of the most painful realities resulting from the civil rights movement was that black people were no longer Negro (i.e. black) and were told we were now a called a minority. Second, integration destroyed black businesses and destroyed the black parallel economy. If we were to respect the movement, we should do so by doing what Dr. King taught us and remember that the Montgomery boycott crippled the city of Birmingham! The only thing that hurts and causing white supremacy is to take away dollars!

We often hear the overused term revolution, which I believe has to be taken to result in any meaningful end. However, I believe a boycott on mass is the only way to obtain the meaningful end – redirect where and how you spend your dollars!

The fact is; it’s been a few hundred years since we’ve seen a Nat Turner or Gabriel Prosser! We have had prophets, among us to teach us how to overcome the wicked system of racism, but most did not listen. Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X told us how to build a nation. DuBois and Garvey told us how to sustain a nation through education and economics.

However, it was Martin who showed black people how to get results in this grossly unfair system of injustice. Slavery was supposed to have ended in 1865. However, nothing meaningful happened until black people boycotted the Montgomery Transit System that made a major step in ending Jim Crow and segregation. Thanks to the courage and tenacity of Mrs. Rosa Parks. So the tactic of boycotting has been proven to work.

If you say you are conscious-minded a boycott is the only thing proven to work. Money is the only thing they understand – take it away from them; white folk and their businesses – KEEP YOUR MONEY and not buys or buy black. Make a commitment to not buy from their business or fund their enterprises.

I can assure you respect will then be afforded to the most disenfranchised community. Black people spend a trillion dollars a year with none of it staying in our communities. Let me put this in a way that anyone can understand; you can scream, riot, and march all you want but if you take away the money you will get results.

It is time to do the smart thing and boycott, stop spending, and taking away the money is the only way to get “their” attention. Unless and until black people realize that the only way to get equality and justice is to implement an economic boycott. Black people will be slaves forever! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Vengeance Is Mine Says The Lord

13729083_1344333075595721_6947163720008091727_nIt is a unique phenomenon in what we are seeing in the news every day, which has been this way for such a long time. Knowing how the corrupt police forces in America brutalize and kill black people on a daily basis. I don’t want to see anyone killed, but somehow they did not think that one day there would be retaliation. We never see any punishment or consequences for the police who murder and abuse the lives of its black citizens. They trained these guys, sent these guys off to war, and there are some who can’t take it anymore.

They have so much fear of terrorism, but fine with it from the police and claim not to see it when they do it. In this world where the KKK is still not listed by them as a terrorist organization, they condemn black people for taking a stand and saying “enough is enough”! There biggest fear is that 40 million black people might get angry all at once and rise up in a Nat Turner style action. I predict that it is going to be a LONG HOT SUMMER!

The Black Lives Matter Organization is not anywhere close to the terrorist group that the KKK, but it is the word black in Black Lives Matter that seems to be the problem for the racist who call the organizers “racist” for the use of the word black. They try to change the narrative to all kinds of things like All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, but the fact remains they are killing black lives for virtually no reason!

The first public view of raw police brutality was the video of the Rodney King beat down. However back in the day, they had public lynching’s for entertainment which was not that much different, but today the group designed originally to be slave catchers killed black Americans with impunity over and over again. They have always created laws to benefit them like Stand your Ground and the many Open Carry Laws for them to use against black people. This might well be “the chickens coming home to roost”. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Good Advice Thursday

Many people have been fooled by the smiling faces of white folk telling black people that what you see happening in America is not what you think you see – all things are fair and just. Black people buy into that story hook line and sinker because the number one rule of white supremacy is “White is Right”.

They change the narrative to what they want you to believe. For example, they say Black Lives Matter is racist and you people should be saying All Lives Matter, which it is clear that just means white folk. All I have to suggest to you is:

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The police are there to kill you and there is proof they will! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Black Lives Matter

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Commentary: The Ray Lewis Video

5 (01)I carefully pondered whether I should offer my Thought Provoking Perspective on the Ray Lewis sermon for several days. It is very true that anyone can say anything they want to say and, of course, they have the right to do so. However, that does not mean the statements they might make are correct or that I have to agree with the messenger or his/her words. I thought about the near infamous Ray Lewis’ video presentation on Black Lives Matters.

Let me say at the outset that he made some very good points, although, in my view, he was a bit misguided in saying or inferring that black people are not concerned or focused on Black on Black crime. I am going to say this a few times because there is no such thing as Black on Black crime, which is important to note. To me, his presentation in his preacher-like style sounded as if he was pandering to a white audience, and possibly even scripted by someone white.

I say this because a lot of what he said sounded like something you would hear on Fox News or maybe something a Stacey Dash would recite. For example, the popular narrative, alluring to the completely mythical theme that surface every time an unarmed black person is killed by police, or if there is a spike in murders in poverty-stricken urban areas – or both. It goes something like this: “If Black Lives Matter, then how come they don’t matter when it comes to black-on-black crime?” This is white speak because there is no such thing as black on black crime. For example, you never hear the phrase White on White Crime and we know they commit crimes against each other.

In the same sense, the organization chose the name Black Lives Matter because of the weekly killings of unarmed black men, women, and children. Somehow; “they” began to say All Lives Matter! Let’s be clear, if a white person gets killed anywhere on earth “they” will call out the army; all the Black Lives Matter movement is saying, what about black lives – don’t they matter.

There is always a famous face to push the theme the Fox News types want, which is to change the narrative. Lewis’ video in which he states this myth in, basically, a sermon that decries the surge in murders in Chicago this year while managing to lay the blame on the Black Lives Matter movement inferring they doesn’t care about such things. Until the Black Lives Movement came to be the many killings by police was hardly mentioned in the news. This is important and needed because now some attempt to address police misconduct. Is one more right than the other, of course not but we pay the police.

Let’s be clear, Ray Lewis is an athlete, albeit a good one, he is a football player and must appeal to white folk to continue to obtain marketing and other opportunities. I did not hear his voice concerning the uprising during the Freddy Gray police action in the city where he lives, which is also one of the most crime-ridden cities thrown into turmoil by a death of a man in police custody. I do appreciate his passionate, intense feelings and maybe his sincere approach but in my view – he was a bit misinformed.

Lewis angrily is walking down a dangerous, counterproductive path, or I should say a slippery slope. He’s leading a lot of people down there with him because of his star appeal. They follow him and heed his every word because he carries that much cachet in the city and beyond. Frankly, what got to me was the ironic timing of his video; just weeks before the anniversary of the unrest in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. I say this is a white folk move to divert the attention from that fact.

If Lewis really thinks “nobody” is trying to stop crime in cities like Baltimore and Chicago, somebody has been lying to him. That narrative is simply not true! It’s also not true about activists who are fighting police brutality and misconduct, which was the motivation behind the formation of the Black Lives Matter Movement. We must remember there were those who disagreed with both Martin and Malcolm on issues and their approach. Of course, we can agree to disagree, but we should be honest in the approach to the topic.

If he had thought about his attempt to bring forth this issue of Black on Black crime; he would have discovered that the very term “black on black crime,” is a myth! Further, the time and place the phrase is often used is an old, not-very-original tactic to change the subject away from the abuse of vulnerable populations by people who are sworn to protect and serve them.

Make no mistake; I applaud Ray for his success and his concern for black people but if he chooses to have some input on the subject of the organization maybe he should try sending one based on facts, not fiction. Still we can agree to disagree concerning his message, and frankly I disagree with him on this rant. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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