Tag Archives: NAACP

Remembering: Fannie Lou Hamer

1Fannie Lou Hamer was one of the most courageous civil rights activist who was famous for saying she was sick and tired of the condition of black people, stood up and took a stand. She used a passionate depiction of her own suffering in a racist society helped focus attention on the plight of African Americans throughout the South. While working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1964; Hamer helped organize the 1964 Freedom Summer African American voter registration drive in her native Mississippi.

Born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi the daughter of sharecroppers, Hamer began working the fields at an early age. Her family struggled financially, and often went hungry. In the summer of 1962, she made a life-changing decision to attend a protest meeting. She met civil rights activists there who were there to encourage African Americans to register to vote.

Hamer became active in helping with the voter registration efforts, which few in Mississippi were brave enough to do. Hamer dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights, working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) after going involved with the struggle. This organization was comprised mostly of African American students who engaged in acts of civil disobedience to fight racial segregation and injustice in the South. These acts often were met with violent responses by angry whites.

At the Democratic National Convention later that year, she was part of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, an integrated group of activists who openly challenged the legality of Mississippi’s all-white, segregated delegation. For her devotion and commitment she paid a heavy price. She was beaten within an inch of her life. So brutally that it took months for her to recover but she never gave up the fight.

During the course of her activist career, Hamer was threatened, arrested, beaten, and shot at but none of these things deterred her from her work. In 1964, Hamer helped found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was established in opposition to the state’s all-white delegation to that year’s Democratic convention. She brought the civil rights struggle in Mississippi to the attention of the entire nation during a televised session at the convention.

The next year, Hamer ran for Congress in Mississippi but was unsuccessful in her bid. Along with her political activism, Hamer worked to help the poor and families in need in her Mississippi community. She also set up organizations to increase business opportunities for minorities and to provide childcare and other family services.

Hamer died of cancer on March 14, 1977 from cancer. The encryption on her tombstone denotes her famous quote, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” I’ll ask, when will this statement impact your life, whereas you will affect change. Mrs. Hamer put her life on the line for freedom. The next time you look in the mirror, ask yourself – WOULD YOU? And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Media Kit


Black History: The Niagara Movement

16266194_1576646812351280_7451924563813283492_nI am one who is critical of most of the black so-called civil rights organizations. Mainly because they are funded by white people and dare, I say if you “follow the money you will get the answer” “he who has the gold makes the rules.” In the case of the NAAP, the fact of the matter is that it was formed by ‘White’ people for the purpose of advancing the economic interests of Jewish people in the United States.

In the beginning, Ida B. Wells was one of the original members, but when she began advocating for ‘Black’ people’s interests, they removed her from the organization. The only other black member was DuBois, who stayed for a short time, but eventually left. In more than one hundred years nothing much has changed. They still put a black face out there that can do nothing but grin!

The association’s charter delineated its mission:

To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.

In 1905, a group of thirty-two prominent African American leaders met to discuss the challenges facing people of color and possible strategies and solutions. They were expressly concerned by the disenfranchisement of Negro’s in the Southern states, particularly because of Mississippi’s passage of a new constitution in 1890. Also, in the early 1900s legislatures dominated by white Democrats ratified new constitutions and laws creating barriers to voter registration and more complex election rules. Black voter registration and turnout dropped markedly in the South; as a result.

Because hotels in the U.S. were segregated, the men convened in Canada at the Erie Beach Hotel on the Canadian side of the Niagara River in Fort Erie, Ontario. As a result, the group came to be known as the Niagara Movement. A year later, three whites joined the group: journalist William E. Walling, social worker Mary White Ovington, and social worker Henry Moskowitz. They met in 1906 at Harper Ferry, West Virginia, and in 1907 in Boston Massachusetts.

The fledgling group struggled for a time with limited resources and internal conflict and disbanded in 1910. Seven of the members of the Niagara Movement joined the Board of Directors of the NAACP, founded in 1909. Although both organizations shared membership and overlapped for a time, the Niagara Movement was a separate organization. Historically it is considered to have had a more radical platform than the NAACP. The Niagara Movement was formed exclusively by African Americans.

This conference resulted in a more influential and diverse organization, where the leadership was predominantly white, and most of whom were Jewish American. In fact, at its founding, the NAACP had only one African American on its executive board – Du Bois. It did not elect a black president until 1975, although executive directors had been African American. The Jewish community contributed greatly to the NAACP’s founding and continued financing. Jewish historian Howard Sachar writes in his book A History of Jews in America; “In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Spingarn of Columbia University became chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board the early Jewish-American co-founders and members.”

According to Pbs.org, over the years, Jews have also expressed empathy (capability to share and understand another’s emotion and feelings) with the plight of Blacks. In the early 20th century, Jewish newspapers drew parallels between the Black movement out of the South and the Jews’ escape from Egypt. Pointing out that both Blacks and Jews lived in ghettos, and calling anti-Black riots in the South “pogroms.” Stressing the similarities, rather than the differences, between the Jewish and Black experience in America. Jewish leaders emphasized the idea that both groups would benefit the more America moved toward a society of merit, free of religious, ethnic and racial restrictions.”

Pbs.org further states, “The American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League were central to the campaign against racial prejudice. Jews made substantial financial contributions to many civil rights organizations. About 50 percent of the civil rights attorneys in the South during the 1960s were Jews, as were over 50 percent of the Whites who went to Mississippi in 1964 to challenge Jim Crow Laws.

As a member of the Princeton chapter of the NAACP, Albert Einstein corresponded with Du Bois and in 1946; Einstein called racism “America’s worst disease.” Du Bois continued to play a pivotal role in the organization and served as editor of the association’s magazine, The Crisis, which had a circulation of over 30,000.

Moorfield Storey, who was white, was the president of the NAACP from its founding to 1915. Storey consistently and aggressively championed civil rights not only for blacks but also for Native Americans and immigrants. The board of directors of the NAACP created the Legal Defense Fund in 1939 specifically for tax purposes. It functioned as the NAACP legal department.

Intimidated by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, the Legal and Educational Defense Fund, Inc., became a separate legal entity in 1957. Although, it was clear that it was to operate in accordance with NAACP policy. After 1961, serious disputes emerged between the two organizations creating considerable confusion in the eyes and minds of the public.

I am for anyone or group with the intention to benefit the dire state of the African American. However, during my research for this piece I only found a few significant achievements over its more than one hundred year history. It appears that this group is funded by whites, and it is they who guide policy in a way to silently suppress the “Negro” then and now. Think about it, if this organization was fighting for black people like the narrative implies – they would have been wiped out like all of the other groups fighting for the freedom of black people! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Red Summer Of 1919

6History tells us, but they don’t, that there has been many horrible acts of terror inflicted upon black people since the year 1619. However, there were never anything like the numerous incidents that happened in what came to be know as the Red Summer. We should know this history and never forget:

Following the violence-filled summer, in the autumn of 1919, Haynes reported on the events as a prelude to an investigation by the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He identified 38 separate riots in widely scattered cities, in which whites attacked black people. Unlike earlier race riots in U.S. history, the 1919 events were among the first in which black people in number resisted white attacks and fought back. A. Philip Randolph, a civil rights activist and leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, publicly defended the right of black people to self-defense.

Also, Haynes reported that between January 1 and September 14, 1919, white mobs lynched at least forty-three African Americans, with sixteen hanged and others shot; while another eight men were burned at the stake. The states appeared powerless or unwilling to interfere or prosecute such mob murders.

“The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People respectfully inquired how long the Federal Government under your administration intends to tolerate anarchy in the United States?” NAACP telegram to President Woodrow Wilson August 29, 1919

  • After the riot of May 10 in Charleston, South Carolina, the city imposed martial law. US Navy sailors led the race riot; Isaac Doctor, William Brown, and James Talbot, all black men, were killed. Five white men and eighteen black men were injured. A Naval investigation found that four U.S. sailors and one civilian — all white man—initiated the riot.[11]
  • In early July, a white race riot in Longview, Texas led to the deaths of at least four men and destroyed the African-American housing district in the town.
  • On July 3, local police in Bisbee, Arizona attacked the 10th U.S. Cavalry, an African-American unit founded in 1866 and known as “Buffalo Soldiers.”
  • In Washington, D.C. starting July 19, white men, many in the military and in uniforms of all three services, responded to the rumored arrest of a black man for rape of a white woman with four days of mob violence against black individuals and businesses. They rioted, randomly beat black people on the street, and pulled others off streetcars for attacks. When police refused to intervene, the black population fought back. Troops tried to restore order as the city closed saloons and theaters to discourage assemblies, but a summer rainstorm had more of a dampening effect. When the violence ended, a total of 15 people had died: 10 white people, including two police officers; and five black people. Fifty people were seriously wounded and another 100 less severely wounded. It was one of the few times in 20th-century riots of white people against black people when white fatalities outnumbered those of black people.

The NAACP sent a telegram of protest to President Woodrow Wilson:

…the shame put upon the country by the mobs, including United States soldiers, sailors, and marines, which have assaulted innocent and unoffending Negroes in the national capital. Men in uniform have attacked Negroes on the streets and pulled them from streetcars to beat them. Crowds are reported …to have directed attacks against any passing negro…. The effect of such riots in the national capital upon race antagonism will be to increase bitterness and danger of outbreaks elsewhere. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People calls upon you as President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the nation to make a statement condemning mob violence and to enforce such military law as situation demands…

  • In Norfolk, Virginia, a white mob attacked a homecoming celebration for African-American veterans of World War I. At least six people were shot, and the local police called in Marines and Navy personnel to restore order.
  • Starting July 27, the summer’s greatest violence occurred during rioting in Chicago. The city’s beaches along Lake Michigan were segregated by custom. Eugene Williams, a black youth, swam into an area on the South Side customarily used by whites, was stoned, and drowned. When the Chicago police refused to take action against the attackers, young black men responded violently. Violence between mobs and gangs lasted thirteen days, with white rioting led by the well-established ethnic Irish, whose territory bordered the black neighborhood. The resulting 38 fatalities included 23 black people and 15 whites. The injured totaled 537, and 1,000 black families were left homeless. Other accounts reported 50 people were killed, with unofficial numbers and rumors reporting more. White mobs destroyed hundreds of mostly black homes and businesses on the Southside of Chicago; Illinois called in a militia force of seven regiments: several thousand men, to restore order.
  • At the end of July, the Northeastern Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, at an annual convention, denounced the rioting and burning of negroes’ homes and asked President Wilson “to use every means within your power to stop the rioting in Chicago and the propaganda used to incite such.” At the end of August, the NAACP protested again to the White House, noting the attack on the organization’s secretary in Austin, Texas the previous week. Their telegram said: “The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People respectfully inquires how long the Federal Government under your administration intends to tolerate anarchy in the United States?”
  • August 30–31, the Knoxville Riot in Tennessee broke out when a white mob gathered after a black suspect was arrested on suspicion of murdering a white woman. A lynch mob stormed the county jail searching for the prisoner. They liberated 16 white prisoners, including suspected murderers. They moved on and attacked the African-American business district, where they fought against the district’s black business owners, leaving at least seven dead and wounding more than 20 people.

At the end of September, the race riot in Omaha, Nebraska erupted when a mob of more than 10,000 ethnic whites from South Omaha attacked and burned the county courthouse to force the police to release a black prisoner accused of raping a white woman. They destroyed property valued at more than a million dollars. The mob lynched the suspect, Will Brown, and burned his body. They spread out, attacking black neighborhoods and stores on the north side. After the mayor and governor appealed for help, the government sent Federal troops from a nearby fort. They were commanded by Major General Leonard Wood, a friend of Theodore Roosevelt, and a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1920.

  • On October 1, a race riot broke out in rural Elaine, Arkansas in Phillips County. Distinctive because it occurred in the rural South rather than a city, it arose from white minority resistance to labor organizing by black farmers and fear of socialism. Black sharecroppers were meeting in the local chapter of the Progressive Farmers and the Household Union of America. Planters opposed their efforts to organize and tried to disrupt meetings. In a confrontation, a white man was fatally shot and another wounded. The planters formed a militia to arrest the African-American farmers, but the mob got out of hand and attacked black people at random. In the riot, they killed an estimated 100 to 237 black people, and five whites also died in the violence. Arkansas Governor Charles Hillman Brough appointed a Committee of Seven to investigate. The group was composed of prominent local white businessmen. They concluded that the Sharecroppers’ Union was a Socialist enterprise and “established for the purpose of banding Negroes together for the killing of white people.”

That report generated headlines such as the following in the Dallas Morning News: “Negroes Seized in Arkansas Riots Confess to Widespread Plot; Planned Massacre of Whites Today.” Several agents of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation spent a week interviewing participants, but they spoke to no sharecroppers. They also reviewed documents. They filed a total of nine reports stating there was no evidence of a conspiracy of the sharecroppers to murder anyone.

The local government tried 79 black people, who were all convicted by all-white juries, and 12 were sentenced to death for murder. (As Arkansas and other southern states had disenfranchised most black people at the turn of the 20th century, they could not vote, run for political office, or serve on juries.) The remainder of the defendants accepted prison terms of up to 21 years. Appeals of the convictions of six of the defendants went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reversed the verdicts because of failure of the court to provide due process. This was a precedent for heightened Federal oversight of defendants’ rights in the conduct of state criminal cases.

This information was taken directly from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Summer_(1919)


Did You Know About The Elaine Massacre

6On September 30, 1919, a horrific act of terror happened in the town of Elaine in Phillips County, Arkansas, in the Arkansas Delta; it was called the Elaine Massacre took. Most of us have learned about Black Wall Street and other act of terror inflicted upon black American citizens but few know about this act of terror done by whites. This incident was by far the deadliest racial confrontation in Arkansas history and possibly the bloodiest racial conflict in the history of the United States since the early days of the KKK.

At the time many African-American sharecroppers had not received their share of wages, and they wanted to join the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America. Also, the early years of the twentieth century were the time of “Red Summers,” violent years after reconstruction.

The white citizens of the town thought the society was trying to persuade the sharecroppers to create violence. That month union members met near Elaine under armed guards. Two armed white men, one a deputy sheriff, the other a railroad worker showed up, and a fight developed. Both men were shot, and a railroad worker was killed. For two days, several African-Americans and white citizens of the area were killed in the fighting. The fighting ended when Arkansas Gov. Charles Brough brought in United States soldiers to contain the violence. At the end of the violence, 65 African-Americans were brought to trial.

Twelve were sentenced to death and the others appealed to higher courts. Scipio Jones, an African-American lawyer from Little Rock, helped to fight for justice for the accused at Elaine. He received assistance from the (then) newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As a result, the rest of the condemned men were set free, and the governor brought African-American and white citizens together for discussions on problems between the races. No clear-cut answer for the violence was ever found.

Presently attempts to come to terms with what truly occurred have led to efforts to pay reparations to the victims. No one at this point is leading an effort for reparations in Elaine. Robert Miller, who last year became the first Black mayor of nearby Helena, grew up hearing the stories because he is related to one of the four black men who were killed in custody. Because of the riots, his grandmother sent his father to Boston to attend school. Currently, race relations in the county are particularly strained.

The West Helena mayor’s office and City Council are divided along racial lines, and so is the County Quorum Court. Last week, an Oklahoma state commission recommended reparations for Black survivors of a 1921 rampage by white mobs in Tulsa. Historians say as many as 300 blacks were killed. In 1994, Florida approved $2 million in compensation for nine survivors and dozens of descendants of a 1923 attack on Blacks in Rosewood, Fla.

White folk should never talk about terror because of the atrocities done by their fathers. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Rev. Dr. William Barber II Speaks On The Fake GOP Black Outreach

Rev. Dr. William Barber II diverges a clear explanation from his sermon to respond to GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s outreach to the African American community. He takes strong exception to the notion that African Americans are not capable of determining their own political interests, and that Trump feels he knows better. He also pointed out historical events that Trump seems to have forgotten such as the Civil Rights movement and the Great Recession. Shame on you!!!


Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King

7

On January 15, 1929, the world welcomed a male Negro child who would become the man known to the world as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the most revered leader of our time. Dr. King’s most notable accomplishments were the Montgomery Bus Boycott, being the founder and first President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the famed March on Washington, and being the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. King’s main legacy was to secure progress in civil rights for the American Negro and poor people in the United States, and, for this reason, he has become a human rights icon recognized as a martyr. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, a National Holiday, and honored with a monument on the Washington Mall in DC.

He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. who was born “Michael King.” Few people know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was originally named “Michael King, Jr.” until the family traveled to Europe in 1934 and visited Germany. His father soon changed both of their names to Martin Luther in honor of the German Protestant leader Martin Luther. Here is a little-known fact about Dr. King: he sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind.

King married Coretta Scott, on June 18, 1953, on the lawn of her parents’ house in her hometown of Heiberger, Alabama; they had four children. At the age of twenty-five, he became Pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his trajectory to greatness was launched in 1954. He skipped both the ninth and the twelfth grade and entered Morehouse College at age fifteen without formally graduating from high school.

In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. King then began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.”

King was originally skeptical of many of Christianity’s claims. Most striking perhaps was his denial of the bodily resurrection of Jesus during Sunday school at the age of thirteen. From this point, he stated, “doubts began to spring forth unrelentingly.” However, throughout his career of service, he wrote and spoke frequently, drawing on his experience as a preacher, which he understood to be his purpose. For example, in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written in 1963, is a passionate statement of his crusade for justice. It was confirmed when he became the youngest recipient to receive the coveted Nobel Peace Prize for leading non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in the United States.

We have been taught to believe that Mrs. Parks’ refusal to give up her seat that day was an anomaly. Many Blacks refused, at one time or another, to give up their seats in the white only section usually resulting in being run out of town. There was a committee silently waiting for an instance where they could take it through the legal system to put an end to this unholy system. For example, in March 1955 a fifteen-year-old school girl, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in compliance with the Jim Crow Laws.  King was on the committee from the Birmingham African American community that looked into the case; the committee decided to wait for a better case to pursue.

On December 1, 1955, the case that they were waiting for appeared. Mrs. Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat. The Montgomery Bus Boycott planned by E. D. Nixon and led by King emerged. The boycott lasted for 385 days crippling the city economically. The situation became so tense that King’s house was bombed, and he was arrested during this campaign. The case ultimately ended with a United States District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that ended racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses and throughout the south.

In 1957, Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy, and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a group created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform. King led the SCLC until his death. Over his career, Dr. King narrowly escaped death as his life was in constant danger, but he remained faithful to a non-violent philosophy modeled by Gandhi’s non-violent techniques. Dr. King believed that organized non-violent protest against the system of southern segregation known as Jim Crow would lead to extensive media coverage of the struggle for black equality and voting rights.

It is my opinion that this was the single most powerful tool in the arsenal of the civil rights movement. This explosive media coverage, both journalistic and television footage of the daily deprivation and indignities suffered by southern blacks, and of segregationist violence and harassment of civil rights marchers produced a wave of sympathetic public opinion. This was in large part what convinced the majority of Americans that the civil rights movement was the most important issue in American politics in the early 1960’s. King organized and led marches for the right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into law with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

History will most remember Dr. King for his famous “I have a dream speech” during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that took place on August 28, 1963. Dr. King, representing SCLC, was among the leaders of the so-called “Big Six” civil rights organizations who were instrumental in the organization of this massive event.

The other leaders and organizations comprising the Big Six were Roy Williams from the NAACP, Whitney Young of the Urban League, A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, John Lewis of SNCC, and James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality with King’s colleague Bayard Rustin the primary logistical and strategic organizer.

Dr. King’s legacy lives in the souls of all mankind, and his efforts did more for African American life in America than any other man in Negro history in spite of being the most hated man in the world at the time in which he lived. It is hard to fathom today what the world would be like if he never lived. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 

In His Own Words


Rachel Dolezal: WTF

FILE - In this July 24, 2009, file photo, Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute, stands in front of a mural she painted at the institute's offices in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Dolezal, now president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NAACP, is facing questions about whether she lied about her racial identity, with her family saying she is white but has portrayed herself as black. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File)

FILE – In this July 24, 2009, file photo, Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute, stands in front of a mural she painted at the institute’s offices in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dolezal, now president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NAACP, is facing questions about whether she lied about her racial identity, with her family saying she is white but has portrayed herself as black. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File)

There are opinions about Rachel Dolezal pretending to be a black woman coming from all quarters – everybody’s got a point of view. It is worth mentioning that this is the biggest story on white media with CNN running the BREAKING NEWS banner every fifteen minutes. I might add that white folk are flabbergasted!!!

Let me start by saying everybody in the world knows that when you say America, it is code for white supremacy! Having said that let’s be clear white folks know and understand this because they benefit from it. Maybe this is why there is such an uproar surrounding this story and the reason many are so offended that one of their own would leave the fold. Not to mention that Rachel claims it her life’s mission to work for the betterment of black people.

The Spokane NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, who was called out by her real white parents telling the entire world that she has falsely portrayed herself as black for years; more than ten years, in fact. This story could be as simple as this; she knows what white folks have done to black people and continue doing is a disgrace to humanity. Some have said she lied, and others say this act is a ruse. To that I say maybe more white folks should do the same if they are to do it for good – as it appears Rachel is doing. Some say she meant well.

History has shown that white folk have infiltrated every organization black people have start or belong too. So, maybe she is an agent provocateur! We have seen black people pass for white, but this pitiful case is not for the same reasons because she had no need to do so. Therefore, she does not get a pass because what she did is disrespectful, at best, and comedic on so many levels. Black folk know it is not much of a stretch that the obsession with black people by whites is as old as black people by virtue of the fact they stole us from Africa in the first place.

There are clear examples of pretenders in today’s in all aspects of American life. Case in point, the music industry white girls have co-opted black culture in ways that I would call a disgrace. Further, we can go back to Elvis to see this kind of robbery. There are many examples going back to the days of “race music” where white folks have pretended and emulated black people.

I saw a FaceBook comment where someone white compared this to Bruce Jenner’s decision to become a woman saying “a person can be anything they want to be”. This lie goes back as far as the one they told when they said, “All men are created equal” and then wrote Negros are 3/5ths human! So just when you think we’ve seen it all – wrong!

Dolezal posted a message that says “As you probably know by now, there are questions and assumptions swirling in national and global news about my family, my race, my credibility, and the NAACP …I have discussed the situation, including personal matters, with the Executive Committee.” Really, this is an explanation!

Let me close with this: whiteness is an attitude! Most white folk who enjoy its privilege have no idea that what they enjoy is the hidden, which is nothing more than what I would call Affirmative Action. Nonetheless, I agree with the old adage that says imitation is the highest form of flattery! Rachel now that you have stepped in it you have to endure the backlash of you deception. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

THIS VIDEO CONTAINS PROFANITY BUT IT IS THE BEST ACCOUNT OF THIS SHAMEFUL SITUATION!


Celebrating The Prince Of Peace

2As we welcome  another National Holiday and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther “The King”. I am grateful for the life and the special gift he was given to change the world. Today, HIS-story speaks of the good reverend with profound reverence, in fact placing him second only to Jesus. Now, please understand that I believe Dr. King’s place in history is well deserved, secure, and beyond reproach. However, I lived through and during the time in which he lived meaning HIS-story does not accurately reflect what I remember, witnessed or know to be true.

Dr. King’s career or national presence began in 1955, when a seamstress refused to give up her seat on a segregated public bus in Birmingham, Alabama. He was responsible for the hugely successful boycott that paralyzed the city and forced changes to long held separate but equal policies. It was during this period that his home was bombed with his lovely wife and babies inside. He was arrested many – many times for peacefully asking for the most basic of human dignities. He was assaulted, stabbed, trampled by horses, and made out to be a communist. He was called a villain and names like “Martin Luther Coon”, and worst. In fact, he was viewed as a terrorist in his day.

During the time in which he lived it was well known in our community that Dr. King had a mutually antagonistic relationship with the government’s top police agency; particularly its director, who ordered surveillance of him and his organization for years. Wiretaps were placed in his home, office phones and they bugged his hotel rooms as he traveled around the country. The agency tried to discredit him through revelations regarding his private life. Reports regarding his supposed extramarital and sexual affairs were distributed to the executive branch, friendly reporters, funding sources, and potential coalition partners, as well as to his lovely wife.

They had followed his every step, yet claimed not to know who fired the shot. So in light of all this surveillance and counterintelligence activity it was not too difficult to conclude that they knew exactly who murdered him and all involved. When the culprit was arrested it was revealed that he was merely a petty thief who was not capable of robbing the Girl Scouts. Let me put this in context, this guy had a few hundred dollars in twenty dollar bills yet managed to escape traveling halfway around the world before being caught.

I can vividly recall that dreadful day, April 4th, 1968, asking the question most of us asked; how could the Prince of Peace be murdered? WHY? My knowledge of history tells me that anytime someone appears who has the power to change the system, eliminating the change agent is the system’s way of preservation. In other words the system is designed to protect the system. Aside from winning the Nobel Peace Prize, leaving us with brilliant written words, the enormous sacrifices risking his life, and losing it for peace – I honor this great man on this day and always. It is because of that wretched part of society that demonized him while he lived that we should appreciate his life and take into consideration as we celebrate his legacy.

My deepest heartfelt memory of Dr. King was the night before his death when he gave a speech that appeared as if he knew he was going to die. It was the most passionate speech I had ever heard. In that speech, he proclaimed that he’d been to the mountaintop and had seen the other side. Further, he proclaimed he did not fear any man for his eyes had seen the coming of the Lord.

HIS-story calls him a dreamer as they say he had a dream. I say, he was a brave visionary or maybe by exercising the wisdom of God’s gift that he could see the future. Dr. King’s left us with a very powerful message delivered August 28, 1963 on the Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC via the famous “I have a Dream Speech” – (Excerpts):

• “In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.”

• “It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.”

• “The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people. For many of our white brothers as evidenced by their presence here today have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”

• “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

• “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

• “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”

• “This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. 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 nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

• “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

• “Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Never forget that injustice to anyone is an injustice to everyone. We can change the world but first we must change ourselves. The “Kings” message was simple like Moses he was saying “Let my people go”. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 

 


Granddaddy’s Lessons

just a season book cover.One of the books I’ve published speaks to a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle. “Legacy – A New Season” is a stand-alone story rich in the history of the African American Diaspora. It is the sequel and the continuation of the novel “Just a Season”.

This long awaited saga to the epic novel “Just a Season” will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever. I wanted to share this particular excerpt from “Just a Season” that I hope it will enlighten, empower, motivate, and touch your heart.

Today we live in a world where there is no Granddaddy to share that precious wisdom necessary to guide our young men and women into adulthood. I was fortunate or maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me.

These lessons formed the foundation of my very being…

Excerpt from “Just a Season”

“Granddaddy would say if you really hear me, not just listen to me, you will inherit life’s goodness. I would hear him talk about things like “God bless the child that’s got his own.” He constantly reminded me that everything that ever existed came from a just-single thought, and if you can think it, you can figure out how to do it just put your mind to it.

I would also constantly hear that a man must be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the circumstances. “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you will have to do, but when the time comes, do it.” Granddaddy drove home the point, the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he’s learned.

Granddaddy would also say you will always have an enemy. Your enemy is anyone who attempts to sabotage the assignment God has for your life. Your enemy is anybody who may resent you doing positive things and will be unhappy because of your success. These people will attempt to kill the faith that God has breathed within you.

They would rather discuss your past than your future because they don’t want you to have one. Your enemy should not be feared. He would say it is important to understand that this person usually will be close to you. He would tell me to use them as bridges, not barricades. Therefore, it is wise to make peace with your enemy.

“Just remember these things I say to you.” I certainly could not count all of these things, as it seemed like a million or more that I was supposed to remember. However, he asked me to remember above all else that there is no such thing as luck. The harder you work at something the luckier you get. I would tell him that I was lucky, maybe because I had won a ballgame or something. He would smile and tell me luck is only preparation meeting opportunity. Life is all about survival and if you are to survive – never bring a knife to a gunfight. This would be just as foolish as using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. Then he asked me to remember that it is not the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog.

Granddaddy’s words had so much power, although it would often require some thinking on my part to figure out what he was talking about, or what the moral of the story was supposed to be. It may have taken awhile but I usually figured it out. For example, always take the road less traveled, make your own path, but be sure to leave a trail for others to follow. Life’s road is often hard; just make sure you travel it wisely. If you have a thousand miles to go, you must start the journey with the first step. During many of these lessons, he would remind me not to let your worries get the best of you.

Sometimes he would use humor. For example, he would say something like “Moses started out as a basket case.” Although most often he assured me that hard times will come and when they come, do not drown in your tears; always swim in your blessings. He would tell me he had seen so much and heard even more, in particular those stories from his early life when dreadful atrocities were done to Negroes. Some of the stories included acts of violence such as lynchings, burnings, and beatings. He would make a point to explain that the people who did these things believed they were acting in the best interest of society.

He would tell me about things he witnessed over time, that many of these atrocities were erased from the memory of society regardless how horrible the event was. Society’s reasoning would make you think their action was right, fair, and justified. Granddaddy would add, if history could erase that which he had witnessed and known to be true, how can you trust anything history told as truth? He would emphasize that I should never, never believe it, because nothing is as it seems.

I would marvel at his wisdom. He would tell me to always set my aim higher than the ground. Shoot for the stars because if you miss you will only land on the ground and that will be where everybody else will be. When he would tell me this, he would always add, please remember you are not finished because you are defeated. You are only finished if you give up. He would usually include a reminder. Always remember who you are and where you came from. Never think you are too big because you can be on top of the world today and the world can be on top of you tomorrow.

I think Granddaddy had the foresight to see that I could do common things in life in an uncommon way, that I could command the attention of the world around me. Granddaddy impressed upon me that change is a strange thing. Everyone talks about it but no one ever tries to affect it. It will take courage and perseverance to reach your place of success. Just remember that life -is not a rehearsal. It is real and it is you who will create your destiny don’t wait for it to come to you. He would say, can’t is not a word. Never use it because it implies failure. It is also smart to stay away from those who do use it.

He would tell me that I was an important creation, that God gave a special gift to me for the purpose of changing the world around me. It may be hard sometimes, you may not understand, you may have self-doubt or hesitation, but never quit. God gave it to you so use it wisely. He would add often times something biblical during his teaching, or so I thought, like to whom much is given, much is expected. It is because we needed you that God sent you. That statement profoundly gave me a sense of responsibility that I was duty-bound to carry throughout my life.

Granddaddy’s inspiration, courage, and motivation still humble me, and I’m filled with gratitude that his example profoundly enriched my soul. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear Granddaddy’s gentle voice reciting words once spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “Fear not for I am with you.”

And that is a Thought Provoking Perspective from a loving Grandfather…

Praise for Just a Season

This Must Read Novel can be purchased through AMAZON

All Rights Reservedbook 1

www.johntwills.com


There Is Only One Truth

136820802I have hesitated to write anything about the despicable actions of Christopher Dorner. Therefore, before I begin what can only be called a sad commentary; I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not think the former police officers actions, taking innocent lives, were justifiable reasons to address his grievances. Frankly, Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer, was a sick individual!

This is the whole point of this commentary with the horrible history of police misconduct, particularly the past history of the LAPD, it begs the question how many other sick cop’s are among their ranks. Despite the departments claim that the department has evolved well beyond their troubled racial legacy of Rodney King and the O.J. Simpson trial; it begs the question – have they?

Domer’s well publicized “manifesto” alleged that his career was undone by racist colleagues conspiring against him which prompted a string of vengeance killings depicting himself as a black man wronged, whose badge was unjustly taken in 2008 after he lodged a complaint against a white female supervisor. He says, as well as others in the LAPD that the LAPD have not improved much since the King beating but have “gotten worse.” I am not suggesting who to believe but these allegations are at least worth considering if any truths exist.

Do you remember N.W.A.? This was a rap group back in the 1980s whose gangster rap spoke about the conditions in the urban areas of this country, particularly in the communities of LA and their relations with the LAPD. Not many believed or took notice of the abuses until we saw the video of Rodney King which this department claimed was a necessary evil.

As a result of Domer’s allegations a community of online sympathizers formed, echoing complaints against police that linger in some communities. For example, a Facebook page supporting Dorner quickly attracted over 2,300 fans that said “this is not a page about supporting the killing of innocent people. It’s supporting fighting back against corrupt cops and bringing to light what they do.”

Let’s take a look at the LAPD that was once synonymous with violent and bigoted officers, whose culture and brand of street justice was depicted by Hollywood in films such as “L.A. Confidential” and “Training Day.” Or let’s remember what was done to the Black Panthers. Or in 1965, 34 people died when the Watts riots, triggered by a traffic stop of a black man by a white California Highway Patrol officer, exposed deep fractures between blacks and an overwhelmingly white law enforcement community.

In the 1980s, gang sweeps took thousands of youths into custody. The O.J. Simpson trial deepened skepticism of a department already tarnished by the videotaped beating of King, the black motorist who was hit with batons, kicked repeatedly and jolted with stun guns by officers who chased him for speeding. Rioting after a jury with no black members acquitted three of the LAPD officers on state charges and a mistrial was declared for a fourth lasted three days, killing 55 people.

Then there was the Rampart scandal of the late 1990s, scores of criminal convictions were thrown out after members of an anti-gang unit were accused of beating and framing residents in a poor, largely minority neighborhood. A handful of officers were convicted of various crimes and the scandal led to federal oversight that lasted eight years. Even the Fed’s were involved with COINTELPRO!

I repeat this is neither a commentary in support of nor sympathy for the killer who took innocent lives. However, it is to beg the question – has the LAPD really changed. I will close with a quote from Malcolm X and I agree; “I am for truth, no matter who tells it. I am for justice, no matter who it is for or against”. I am for humanity! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


%d bloggers like this: