Tag Archives: racial

On This Day: The Murder Of Emmett Till

Throughout America’s sordid history, there have been many children murdered but the Murder in Money, Mississippi is the most infamous. It was this incident, the murder of a black child, fourteen year old Emmett Till that sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement. On August 28, 1955, Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old black boy from Chicago supposedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store.

The crime sounded clarion calls for a nation to wake up – just look at the photo. Till’s mutilated corpse circulated around the country mainly because of John Johnson, who published the gruesome photographs in Jet magazine, a predominately African American publication. The photo drew intense public reaction.

Till didn’t understand or knew that he had broken an unwritten law of the Jim Crow South until three days later, when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. That night the door to his grandfather’s house was thrown open, and Emmett was forced into a truck and driven away never again to be seen alive again. Till’s body was found swollen and disfigured in the Tallahatchie river three days after his abduction and only identified by his ring.

Till’s body was sent back to Chicago, where his mother insisted on leaving the casket open for the funeral and having people take photographs because she wanted people to see how badly Till’s body had been disfigured. This courageous mother was famously quoted as saying, “I wanted the world to see what they did to my baby” and over 50,000 people came to view the body.

On the day he was buried, two men — the husband of the woman who had been whistled at and his half brother — were indicted of his murder, but the all white male jury from Money (some of whom actually participated in Till’s torture and execution) took only an hour to return ‘not guilty’ verdict. The verdict would have been quicker, remarked the grinning foreman, if the jury hadn’t taken a break for a soft drink on the way to the deliberation room. To add insult to injury, knowing that they would not be retrial, the two accused men sold their stories to LOOK Magazine and gleefully admitted to everything.

Elsewhere in Mississippi at the time things weren’t going terribly well for blacks either. Just before Till was murdered, two activists Rev. George Lee and Lamar Smith were shot dead for trying to exercise their rights to vote, and in shocking testimony to the lack of law and order, no one came forward to testify although both murders were committed in broad daylight.

1aThe next year, a former army sergeant, Clyde Kennard, tried to enroll at Mississippi South College in Hattiesburg and was sent away, but came back to ask again. For this ‘audacity’, university officials — not students, or mere citizens, but university officials — planted stolen liquor and a bag of stolen chicken feed in his car and had him arrested. Kennard died halfway into his seven year sentence.

But times were slowly a-changing: Brown vs. Board of Education was decided in 1954. Three months after the Till murder Rosa Parks would refuse to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Sit-ins and marches would follow, and soon the civil rights movement itself would be in full-swing. It’s been over sixty-years since the events of that fateful night, and I simply cannot find the words to describe this heinous crime that has yet to receive justice.

I’ll end by sharing these words by Maya Angelou: “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

YOU MUST WATCH THIS LECTURE BY DR. JOY DEGRUY!!!

WHAT WHITE AMERICA DOES NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW! THIS IS THE MOST EMPOWERING HISTORY LESSON ABOUT THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA.

Dr. Joy DeGruy gives the most educational and empowering lecture on a disease that is more deadly than Ebola, AIDS, and Cancer combined. It’s called Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and it affects every Colored, Negro, and black person in America. She explains the horrible history of the evils and pain inflicted upon people of African descent in America. She thoroughly explains the mechanisms used to keep black people oppressed, deprived, and enslaved.

IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE YOU MUST TAKE AN HOUR OR SO TO BE EMPOWERED. AT THE END OF THIS VIDEO, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE OF COLOR CONTINUE TO SUFFER AT THE HANDS OF WHITE AMERICA.

JUST A SEASON

A must read novel!


Living Yesterday – Today!

Let me first say to all who follow THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES that I am indeed honored that you read my words. I try to provided and add a prospective to reality whereby you may be empowered and maybe, just maybe, see the world through new eyes. If you knew me personally, you would know that I rarely ask for anything, maybe that is a fault, but I am a benevolent spirit and this is my way of giving.

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I WILL HOWEVER, TODAY, ASK EACH OF YOU FOR SOMETHING. PLEASE SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT THIS MURDER, ASK FOR JUSTICE, AND RAISE YOUR VOICES IN PROTEST OF THIS INJUSTICE!!!

I have lived long enough to have witnessed many vial and unspeakable things done under the auspices of RACISM. I remember the first time I saw the brutally beaten corpse of little Emmitt Till, which was done because of a way of life. I can recall crying that day and I cry today for the murder of Trayvon Martin. As I see it, these two horrible events are strangely similar and equally frightening.

It shows that we, as African Americans, are still a nation of people living in a nation without a nationality. Translated – no justice!

Of course, we don’t yet know every detail of the encounter between Martin and the monster who murdered this unarmed 17-year-old high school student. But, we know enough to conclude that this is an old familiar story with the same tenets rooted in RACISM. Emmitt’s murderer got away with it and so far so has this guy.

Now let me ask, how many guys named George are out there cruising the streets? How many guys with chips on their shoulders and itchy triggers fingers with loaded handguns? How many self-imagined guardians or more aptly put vigilantes who say the words “black male” with a sneer? You do know that was the Klan’s mantra!

Whether Zimmerman can or should be prosecuted, given Florida’s “stand your ground” law providing broad latitude to claim self-defense, is an important question. But, the more important question is: “we should stand up to repeal these deadly laws designed to give license to “Kill Black People”. This often happens because this bull’s-eye that black men wear throughout their lives, and in many cases, just caught on the wrong street at the wrong time.

Protect, teach your children, and may this child’s soul rest in peace. I have lost a child through tragedy and I know this pain. My heart and prays go out to the Martin family.

If you never took a stand for anything – now is the time. And that is my Thought Provoking Prospective…

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The Ghost of Jim Crow

 If you follow my blog, Thought Provoking Perspectives, and I hope you do, you know that I often write about issues concerning and pertaining to the African American Diaspora. I do so, hopefully, to empower those who either don’t know our history or have forgotten it. Therefore, in honor of Black History Month I will write a post each day on this topic that I hold dear. Let me say that I believe our history is American History and as I have said many times; “It is the Greatest Story Ever Told”.

In an earlier article someone made a comment and ask a question that, frankly, surprised me. The question was; “What do you mean when you say Jim Crow”? My first thought was, how can history so recent and one that I’ve witnessed, and know to be true, be removed from the consciousness of anyone living in America. I suppose it speaks to the indifference of what is learned today, or not, through the education system or that the system is designed to protect the system.

So in today’s post I will explain the term Jim Crow for those who don’t know! The term originated in a song performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer in the 1830’s. Rice covered his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork to resemble a black man as he sang and danced a routine in the caricature of a silly black person. By the 1850’s, this cruelly belittling blackface character, one of several stereotypical images of black inferiority in America’s popular culture, was a standard act in minstrel shows of the day.

The term became synonymous with the wicked concept of segregation directed specifically toward African Americans in the late nineteenth-century. It is not clear why this term was selected. However, what is clear is that by 1900, the term was generally identified with those racist laws and actions that deprived African Americans of their civil rights by defining blacks as inferior to whites while identifying them as subordinate people.
It was around this time that its inception entered the lexicon of racial bigotry after the landmark U.S Supreme Court decision Plessy verses Ferguson in 1896 resulting from a suit brought by the New Orleans Committee of Citizens. The notion was devised as many southern states tried to thwart the efforts and gains made during Reconstruction following the Civil War.

They, the Committee of Citizens, arranged for Homer Plessy’s arrest in order to challenge Louisiana’s segregation laws. Their argument was, “We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred” referring to the confederacy. The Supreme Court agreed and a policy of segregation became the law of the land lasting more than sixty years as a result of that crucial decision.

As a result of reconstruction African Americans were able to make great progress in building their own institutions, passing civil rights laws, and electing officials to public office. In response to these achievements, southern whites launched a vicious, illegal war against southern blacks and their white allies. In most places, whites carried out this war under the cover of secret organizations such as the KKK. Thousands of African Americans were killed, brutalized, and terrorized in these bloody years. I might add that anywhere south of Canada was “South” as this was the law of the land.

The federal government attempted to stop the bloodshed by sending in troops and holding investigations, but its efforts were far too limited and frankly were not intended to solve the problem. Therefore, black resistance to segregation was difficult because the system of land tenancy, known as sharecropping, left most blacks economically dependent upon planter/landlords and merchant suppliers. In addition, white terror at the hands of lynch mobs threatened all members of the black family – adults and children alike. This reality made it nearly impossible for blacks to stand up to Jim Crow laws because such actions might bring the wrath of the white mob on one’s parents, brothers, spouse, and children.

Few black families were economically well off enough to buck the local white power structure of banks, merchants, and landlords. To put it succinctly: impoverished and often illiterate southern blacks were in a weak position to confront the racist culture of Jim Crow. To enforce the new legal order of segregation, southern whites often resorted to even more brutalizing acts of mob terror, including race riots and ritualized lynchings were regularly practiced to enforce this agenda.
Some historians saw this extremely brutal and near epidemic commitment to white supremacy as breaking with the South’s more laissez-faire and paternalistic past. Others view this “new order” as a more rigid continuation of the “cult of whiteness” at work in the South since the end of the Civil War. Both perspectives agree that the 1890’s ushered in a more formally racist South and one in which white supremacists used law and mob terror to define the life and popular culture of African American people as an inferior people.

I want you to remember that words have meaning and power. Therefore, as we witness the already in progress, presidential campaign that you think about what you have heard and hear from the States Rights folks from the right-wing so-called conservatives. Those vying to become president in 2014, as well as others seeking highly placed positions, understand this tried and true principle as they speak to the so-called real Americans and those who want to take back their country because history is known and has repeated itself!

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Drum Beats of Yesterday

The drum beat of the Republican Party’s dogma looms large in this political season as the GOP desperately try to find someone to unseat President Barack Obama. We have witnessed endless debates with the kind of political rhetoric unlike any that I’ve ever seen. Wait a minute; let me qualify that by saying not since the last Presidential election. At which time America, because of the republicans, was facing financial Armageddon and now in 2012 we are about to really see Armageddon; if one of these right wing-nuts were to become president.

I read an article recently written by the author Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad where he said:

“Four years ago, they were predicting terrorist attacks in the first month of his administration if Obama was elected. Of course, it didn’t happen—but the rhetoric sounds good. The Republican’s “Big Three,” which many call the last three, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul sound like the Supremes singing “Baby Love” asking the American People, “where did our love go” for President Obama. Stands to reason it went the same place our love for every incumbent President facing re-election went…in the gutter. Mud-throwing is a professional sport in politics. No matter what the incumbent does, it will never be good enough for the party out of power. Same goes here.

The real question is how far are the Republicans willing to go to get Obama? Will they say anything to get Obama? Will they be, God-forbid, unpatriotic in their attacks of the nation’s Commander-in-Chief, that ended the war they started, soft-landed an economy that was falling fastest than a safe pushed off a roof, and had to fight for every single concession—even perfunctory tasks like debt-ceiling raises and payroll tax extensions. The rhetoric of refusing to compliment Obama, on anything, is not healthy for the national morale. Stands to chance that none of them would have done any better they been in the President’s shoes and the rhetoric toward healing our wounded spirits would be much different.

Under Nixon, Reagan and Bush II, the nation did what it was asked to do for the national good during recovering economies and re-election bids. The opposite party was asked to tone down the rhetoric for the good of the nation’s morale. There has been no such call from the Democrats for this President. In fact, some Democrats have added to the rhetoric. While the President has no party opposition (at this time), some in his party have kind of been getting their “digs in” on the slide… And then there’s the Tea Party rhetoric, an obstructionism that makes no sense.”

I could not have said it better. However, the difference in this election season is that the last crop of pretenders projected their bigotry vaguely in subliminal coded language. This “pool of fools” has no shame in their game. The race card is being displayed so transparently that Ray Charles can see it. One of these pretenders owned a lodge named “N-Word Head” and another had a news letter that espoused racial hatred so vial that one would think he was the Grand Wizard of the Imperial Knights. Another Republican candidate has said that “black children where better off during slavery” than today.

Wait there’s more! One of them has publically talked about succession. Another said, get off welfare and get a check. It was this guy who went on to say if you’re twelve years old you should be cleaning schools. This is not the same candidate who said if you’re black and twelve or thirteen this “buck” should be treated as an adult if he were to be punished in the criminal justice system.

Who are they talking too or speaking for? I seriously doubt these people would say that about an enemy captured in a time of war. Oh sorry, when they were in power they did and brought them to a place Called Gitmo.

This language takes me back to a time I thought had long past. This kind of thinking conjures up images of Bull Connor and Strom Thurmond. Let’s face it because the man duly election to be the Commander in Chief is a man of color. It appears to me from the rhetoric that is being hurled with such distinction that these folks have come from under the hood and taken off the sheets.

Whichever candidate might emerge as the GOP contender to which each of them has used the coded language like “take back our country”. They WILL DO damage under a cloak of cover and not worry about the law coming for them because they will be the law.

So, we are back to the question: How far are the Republicans willing to go to get Obama? Moreover, what will they do to us, if elected! And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE…

Legacy – A New Season the sequel to “Just a Season” is soon to be released.

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Black Tea Partiers Opinion

As I watch the news coverage of the Tea Party phenomena I don’t see but one or two Blacks participating in any of the demonstrations. I suppose it is because they are easy to spot in the crowd of Caucasians. Regardless, it dumbfounds me to see African America’s supporting a cause that does not speak to the issues that affect our current state of America. With that said, I came across an article in “The Root” written by a Chicago-based writer Lynette Holloway who wrote a story that I felt the need to share and thought it was worth offering my “Thought Provoking Perspective”.

She wrote about two Tea Party Negro’s who are proud of their affiliation. Charles Butler, a black Chicago-based conservative talk show host often called a traitor to his race because of his affiliation with the largely white Tea Party movement. Lloyd Marcus, a black Orlando, Fla. based conservative folk singer who has been described as a minstrel, a buck dancer and a boot licker because he performs at Tea Party events, he admits.

Both said they are used to getting flak over their membership in the nascent grassroots Tea Party movement. Like all members of the movement they are raising vociferous opposition to issues they believe are stunting the growth of America like rising unemployment, expanding taxes, uncontrolled government spending, a mushrooming federal government and strict Constitutional adherence – yada, yada, yada.

They are not completely alone in their march to the Tea Party movement. Scores of blacks and other people of color have joined, although just how many is unknown. Yet it’s clear they are in the minority and according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll those who are members of the fledgling movement tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.

Butler said he is a member because his hometown leader, President Barack Obama, is offering the wrong solutions to the nation’s problems. He is very vocal about it on his show “The Other Side with Charles Butler,” which airs weekday evenings on Chicago’s WVON, 1690-AM and has been on the air since 2007. Within the next several weeks, he plans to host a Tea Party on Chicago’s South Side, Obama’s old stomping grounds, which should be interesting.

Noticing that the Tea Party movement has flourished under Obama much like the militia did while Bill Clinton was President. The article referenced that some on the left have accused blacks like Butler and Marcus of being pawns in an odious, racist attempt to block the president’s success. Indeed, racial animosity reared its ugly head when some people hurled racial epithets at black elected officials during a protest of health care reform.

Butler said during their interview that “I’m involved in the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party because I feel that people should be able to express themselves and their values without a filter of some other group, as if he were on air. “People call you a traitor. They call you all kinds of disparaging names. I couldn’t care less about being called an Uncle Tom, because again, that leads to the Mis-Education of the Negro. Anyone who has read the book by Harriet Beecher Stowe would know that Uncle Tom was a hero. We have a lot of those fallacies going on in the community, like the Democratic Party has helped black folk. That is patently untrue.”

Butler does not hesitate to turn racially charged rhetoric on other blacks. When a Tea Party protester tried to interrupt a meeting last year, which was attended by Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC: “I told him, ‘We’re not having any of this [N-word] [expletive] today”. Butler, who grew up middle-class in Pontiac, Mich. has been a political operative in the Republican Party for over 25 years and also canvassed for votes on campus for Richard M. Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1972.

He said the Republican Party represents the core values of most blacks more so than the Democratic Party. “When it comes to black people and how we participate in the political and social practice, we’re conservative,” he said.”The myth of President John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is greatly exaggerated compared to Republican presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon, who I consider great civil rights leaders.”

He went on to say Dr. Martin Luther King had a number of things to say about JFK and his promise to use the signature of a pen to eliminate discrimination while appointing Southern segregationist judges to the federal bench for life. “Republicans have never gotten the credit they deserve for defending civil rights.” Butler also said the Democratic social welfare policies of Roosevelt and Kennedy negatively affected black people then and continue to affect blacks today.
Lloyd Marcus, a longtime black conservative from Orlando, Fla., agrees. He said Democrats are focused on keeping blacks thinking they are victims and dependent on social welfare. “They should be upholding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as shining examples of doing the right thing and working hard for their achievements.”

Marcus has attended 150 Tea Party Express events across the nation from Washington to California and was a fixture at events on Tax Day. He is best-known for his “Tea Party Anthem.” The first stanza is: “Mr. President! Your stimulus is sure to bust/ It’s just a socialist scheme/ The only thing it will do is kill the American Dream.” The song and other performances have garnered fiery criticism from liberals and Democrats whose towering presence is hard to miss at the tea parties. He said many opponents have written him passionate hate mail. Yet, he continues to perform the anti-Obama song, which he wrote out of unmitigated disappointment.

“President Obama got 96 percent of the black vote,” Marcus said.” I am convinced that most voted for him because he is black and didn’t care what he was gonna do when he got into the Oval Office. That was a racist decision on their part. Now, simply because we are standing up and saying we don’t want universal health care rammed down our throats, they are calling us racist. That is wrong.” He believes more blacks will be drawn away from the Democratic Party, as Obama administration initiatives such as health care reform and “cap and trade” policies begin to negatively affect Americans.

“I have been interviewed all over the world and asked why there aren’t a lot of blacks in the Tea Party,” Marcus said, “And what it should do to attract more blacks and women. I tell them, ‘What it’s doing right now.’ We don’t need to pander to blacks or women. I think we have too much identity politics.” Wow!!!

This article was reported in the Root, written by Lynette Holloway a Chicago-based writer and a former New York Times reporter and associate editor for Ebony magazine. I found it interesting and decided to add my commentary to it for your informed reading pleasure.

Rarely am I at a loss for words. I understand that everyone has the right to think and believe whatever they want but Richard Pryor said it best when he titled one of his comedic albums. I would only ask what planet are they living on when they say the conservatives have help anyone but the rich and where were they from 2000 – 2008. Talk Mis-Educated Negro’s…


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