Tag Archives: spirituality | posted in African American

Under Cover Of Law

1The recent headlines in the news of police brutality, police killings, the police in gas masks and military garb attacking American citizens protesting peacefully shocked some, but frankly this story is as old as America itself. It is the same story of implicit bias, black pain, disenfranchised communities and systemic racism. What this means is that most have forgotten true history and the rest think that the cries and pain of black people are fictitious. Nothing to see here!

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer when he was stopped for walking in the middle of the street. Witnesses say Brown put his hands up and said “Don’t shoot” to the officer as he dumped more than a dozen rounds into his body. The police, however, have remained quiet on Wilson’s version of events, choosing instead to make the victim the focus by releasing grainy video footage of the teen allegedly robbing a store keeper over a pack of pilfered cigars. This is a familiar theme portrayed in the name of justice; blaming of the victim in nearly every such situation at the hands of the law.

This summer there has been weekly brutality by the police and several murders under cover of law. Yet, they ask why such community outrage. For example, the mayor and police chief of tiny Ferguson say there is no problem here – our darkies are happy and love living here. We’ve heard this before as far back as slavery and segregation! In other words, it is just contempt and how they devalued the lives of its black citizens. Instead of trust and healing, the streets of Ferguson were full of tear gas and militarized police. In the place of justice, there is only anger, reminiscent of scenes we have seen before.

Judith Browne Dianis, a veteran civil rights attorney, put it this way:

“Fifty-nine years ago last week, 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered for allegedly “whistling” at a white woman. His death and open-casket funeral revealing the boy’s brutalized body caused a national outcry, demonstrating how African Americans were viewed as less than human in many parts of our society, and that those who kill them would likely go unpunished. But the killings of Emmett Till and those like him, for infractions small or imagined, didn’t start 59 years ago. These killings and the divide they illustrate are rooted in 400 years of oppression.

In her article, she added and said, “Michael Brown is now part of a tragic legacy, a member of a group that includes Till. You’ll also find Trayvon Martin there, killed last year by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman who stalked him as he walked home. You’ll find New Yorker Eric Garner, choked to death by police last month for asking why he was being harassed. There’s John Crawford, killed by police the same week as Brown for holding an air rifle — essentially a toy gun — in an Ohio Wal-Mart. Ezell Ford’s death this month either came from resisting arrest or lying face down in the street, depending on whether you believe the Los Angeles police or Ford’s mother.

A 2012 study revealed that police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes extra-judicially killed at least 313 African Americans that year alone. This means a black person was killed at the hands of a “security” officer every 28 hours. But these dire fates are not inevitable. They are the result of generations of suppression and inequality, devaluing the lives of African Americans to the point where we invest little in economic equality, education and the other types of policies that create opportunity in other parts of America.”

The police are paid to protect and serve all people, yet for too many communities of color, police are an occupying force using suppression-only tactics, indicting residents by the color of their skin, not differentiating between them and the criminal element they seek. The police domination of black communities reminds me of Hitler’s Gestapo and storm troopers that occupy not protect and serve.

The question before us is whether or not we will continue to accept this brutal oppression? Four hundred years of this has lasted far too long, and it’s time to say enough is enough! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Dick Gregory Speaks


Ferguson, Missouri: A Perfect Example Of What Happens When Blacks Don’t Vote

Guest Blogger: George Cook of the AfricanAmericanmReports.com

10514657_10202131902970802_7641807366571926388_nWhen I first started blogging I had a blog titled Let’s Talk Honestly, and I think it’s time to talk honestly about the town of Ferguson Missouri. First I want to give my condolences to the young man’s family and to voice my support for those who are PEACEFULLY protesting.

But now back to talking honestly. How is it possible that a town that is predominantly black only have one black elected black official? There is an answer, and it’s one some may not like but I think it’s a sad truth.

In light of the Michael Brown shooting, we are hearing a lot about the town of Ferguson Missouri. It is a town of about 20,000 people that is 70% black. It is also a town with only ONE elected black official.

During an interview on NPR the town’s democratic chair Patricia Bynes made the following statement when asked why there was only one black elected official.

…Well, anything other than a presidential election there is low voter turnout. And the African-American community has been disenfranchised for a very long time. When you have people who are worrying about can I get a job – can I get to work – can I put food on the table – when election day on Tuesday comes around, that is the furthest thing from their minds. And the whites that live in the community – they participate. And so they vote for who they want for council and mayor, and they don’t always put practices in place that are best for the majority population there.

While Bynes made what some may consider some valid excuses they are just that, excuses. Our ancestors faced death, and some did die get us the right to vote and if nothing else we should repay that sacrifice by voting. How can you have tremendous power and cede it to someone else?

The only way a town that is 70% black can only have one black elected official is a complete lack of political involvement and engagement in the black community.

We know that black voters are there because in the chairs statement she says that they come out for presidential elections. But they obviously don’t understand that local elections are the ones that impact your daily life.

Some will say that because of racism or the gold boys network it’s hard for people to get involved politically. I’m not going to deny that, but the low voter turnout in Ferguson shows that racist don’t have to hold blacks back because they are not trying to move forward.

Because of that low voter turnout they have a police force that doesn’t reflect the diversity of the community it serves and a local government that seemingly is not worried about the black communities concerns.

The people in Ferguson have to do better; if they want better and stop with the damn excuses on election day. I sincerely hope that the tragic death of Michael Brown spurs more political involvement in Ferguson and other communities. I also it becomes an example of what happens when African Americans don’t participate politically.

See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2014/08/ferguson-missouri-perfect-example-of.html#sthash.S8bIZeVT.dpuf


The Insanity Of WAR

11I can recall not too long ago, there was a tiny little place in Southeast Asia called Vietnam. When I was there we called it the land of the little people. They were not much more than poor rice farmers, not a mighty army or even a strong political force to any degree. Yet, they were able to defeat the mightiest nation on the planet. America told the American people we need to go there to support then to save democracy, because we had to fight Communism! Well, history tells us how well that worked out.

Millions of people died and were maimed; trillions of dollars were spent in this effort constructed on false pretences. They said this little nation attacked an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, which never happened but it was used to get America involved. This war lasted for more than a decade and left with no accolades. In fact, it was not a victory! We saw a similar action in the fifties in a little place called Korea!

Let’s look at today’s industrial military projects. Bush and company took put American in two wars about a decade or so. They told American people it was necessary to defend the “homeland” against terrorism. The Bush wars were also sold based on false pretenses, some say a downright lie. Wars have traditionally been fought for religion reasons in the name of God and of course land has been a reason. It is hard to determine if either of these reasons were the cause of these current wars. Yes, religion is part of it – land, not so much but this war is about what’s in the ground. So I suppose, it is not too far from the script.

In Vietnam, when American left; the enemy took over the entire country in about a week. In Iraq, about 800 ISIS forces took nearly half the country in a week. Not only that but these same 800 men caused 30,000 Iraqis troops to surrender and run away. Does this sound similar?

What is lost, however, is that the Politicians have yet to learn two things: [1] you cannot impose freedom upon people who don’t want it or know what it is and [2] they have not learned to mind their own business and stay out of the affairs of others. Particularly, when American has more than its share of problems here at home!

During the Vietnam War there was a draft, where you were force to go off to your death. This time we have what’s called an all volunteer army, which mean they convince men and women to volunteer to go off to be maimed and die. In Vietnam, most of the soldiers were black and poor. In this war, they are still poor, by and large, however, they are mostly white. Vietnam was about money and so is this war.

Bottom line is this: war is about money and has nothing to do with freedom! If you ask, what is war good for; the answer is nothing – absolutely nothing! What I think we can conclude is that these people who involve America in such conflicts cannot walk a chew gum at the same time because history has shown their way has not worked because not one war has been won in a half a century. Now, they got rich.

It is also important to note that most often these men who start wars have never been to war, which makes it easy to start one. Also, their loved ones and children never fight or die. Maybe a fair draft system might cause the war hawks to think more carefully if the new their children might suffer as a result. This is just a short reflection into the realm of sanity, or at least common sense. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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