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The Peril’s Of Justice

We as African Americans understand, as Richard Pryor famously said, when it comes to justice what we find is JUST-US! This statement could not be more profound today as it relates to some of the news stories that involve African Americans, namely the recent murder of the young child Trayvon Martin.

Frankly, this case takes me back nearly sixty-years when another young black child was murdered where the culprits did not receive due justice. I wonder if the story would be different if the victim was white and the shooter was black. I think we know the answer to that!!!

But I read a piece today written by Mr. Jonathan Capehart and like him I had the same questions that he asked in this article. First, he asked, what was Zimmerman’s relationship with the Sanford, Fla., police department? Then he asked why was Zimmerman portrayed as a volunteer neighborhood watch captain when he was not part of a registered neighborhood watch program? Further he asked, did the Sanford Police Department ever warn him about his activities in this unofficial capacity?

When you consider that Zimmerman was known to have placed, as it was reported, 46 calls to that department between Jan. 1, 2011, and the Feb. 26 shooting; did the Sanford police have specific orders on how to deal with him? Did they have a file on him? Did they have him on any kind of special watch list?

To these questions, the Police Chief said, “we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.” Yet, Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense was sufficient justification to not arrest him. My next question was why did Chief Lee accept Zimmerman’s self-defense plea on its face? Did the police run a background check on Zimmerman? Did his previous arrest, for resisting arrest without violence, raise any red flags with police? Did Lee attempt to establish probable cause? How did he go about it? Was Zimmerman tested for drugs or alcohol? If not, why not? Was Zimmerman’s gun confiscated? Was it tested? Where is that gun now?

These are all valid questions that demand answers.

Now, here are a few questions that come to mind with respect to the crime scene. What did police do with Trayvon’s body at the scene? What did police do with Trayvon’s body once taken from the scene? Why was it tested for drugs and alcohol? What did police do with Trayvon’s personal effects? Where is his cell phone? Did police try to contact Trayvon’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who was talking to him during the initial moments of the confrontation with Zimmerman and who tried several times to call him back? Hmmmm!

So as you can see there are many more questions than answers and frankly a thorough investigation would have answered these questions. Thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to review the case to ensure that some of these questions are answered – maybe. There is such a thing as right and wrong; some things are right and some things are wrong. When you look at the aforementioned questions in this case that are unanswered – it stinks of wrong. Oh, and for sure racism!!!

There are so many more questions than answers and I pray we get them answered, and justice is served. With that said, I would suggest that you compare this to little Emmitt Till and recall the Peril’s Of Justice.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!


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Study War No More

It seems like I can remember so many things since I have, as I call it, mentally matured with what I perceive as real. Some call it thought-provoking. This post is intended to be thought-provoking because I want to capture words once spoken by a King. They were said almost a half century ago and they resonate as clearly today as when they were spoken. Now, let me make it clear from the beginning – if you have heard them before great! If you have not; pay close attention because they speak truth to morality. Let me also add that the words are captured and inspired from a speech by the immortal Martin Luther “the King”.

I see war as an unjust, evil, and futile. The time has come for America to hear the truth about the tragic wars in which they are now engaged. The day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. “Ye shall know the truth,” says Jesus, “and the truth shall set you free.” I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.

Even when pressed by the demands of our inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing government policies, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own soul and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing, as they often do in the case of these dreadful conflicts, we’re always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty.

Millions have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism, to the high grounds of firm dissent, based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Now, one of the difficulties in speaking out grows from the fact that there are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty. It’s a dark day in our nation when high-level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent, i.e. the 99’ers. The truth must be told. It appears that anyone who opposes war is a traitor or an enemy of our soldiers. Understand that war does not always mean military conflict.

There is an obvious and almost facile connection between any war and the struggle many have been waging in America. Once there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed that there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through Poverty Programs. I watched these programs broken as if they were idle political playthings of a society gone mad. America will never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as these insane adventures continue to draw men and skills and money, like some demonic, destructive suction tube.

You may not know it but, it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we do not spend a hundred dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that goes for salaries of people hired to, supposedly, help the poor. Therefore, I am increasingly compelled to see war as an enemy of the poor. Do not consider just the wars in the Middle East but look at the war being waged against you and your community. They continue to tell us that this nation is the greatest nation in the world. I say that measure should be judged by how the nation treats her old, young, and poor.

This great country takes our young men, and women, sending them thousands of miles away under the guise of guaranteeing liberty others. Who’ve been crippled by society because there are no jobs; before or after the conflict. Yet, they have not found peace or given liberty to citizens in Mississippi, Georgia and New York or, in the slums of Washington, DC. Frankly, this is a cruel manipulation of freedom and justice while, in the meantime, the political arena has become a disgrace.

The only change that came from America were increased troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept and without the popular support of their own people. All the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace, democracy and land reform. Now, they languish under our bombs and consider us the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into jails and camps, where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs.

So they go, primarily women, and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their land and weep as the bulldozers roar through the areas where they live. They wander into the towns and see thousands of children, homeless – without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers and soliciting for their mothers. We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. Please remember this: “You cannot free anyone if they do not want to be free”. Yet, our government tells us we would be treated as liberators.

This is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolutions impossible while refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I’m convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution we, as a nation, must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit-motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation cannot be conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. On the one hand, we are called upon to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that is only the first step. One day, we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be beaten constantly and, then robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation.

The Bible says, “You shall reap what you sow”. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when the lion and the lamb will lie down together and, every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and, none shall be afraid because the words of the Lord have spoken it. And nations will not rise up against nations; neither shall they study war anymore. And, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to study war no more.

This article was captured and inspired by “A King” and that’s my THOUGHT PERVOKING PERSPECTIVE…


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