Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

Never Forget: The Emmett Till Story

IMG_0637Throughout America’s sorted and often shameful 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 14-year old black child from Chicago who supposedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store whose death sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement.

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 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.

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Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both acquitted quickly by an all-white, all-male jury. Shortly afterward, the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till’s death was the spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River the Montgomery bus boycott began.

It’s been 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. Till was one of hundred of children murdered, then and now, at the hands of a racist system much like Trayvon Martin’s death or Michael Brown’s murder in our time. We will never know the significance of their life or contribution to the world.

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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The links below can better inform you of the facts:

The lynching of Emmett Till: a documentary narrative

By Christopher Metress
(free online book)

 

 

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Purchase “Just a Season” today !!!


Perils Of Injustice Or Is It Just Us

th (34)Black people understand that what they call justice is indeed blind, as the great Richard Pryor famously said when it comes to justice in America what we get is JUST-US!

This statement more profound today than most folk realize as it relates to the way black people are treated when comes to the so-called justice system. Just take note to this from some of the news stories that involve African Americans when to comes the countless killing of unarmed black people at the hand of the so-called law or in the courtroom. Of course, it is clear that this system incarcerates people of color at astounding rates and for longer periods of time.

We can see the injustice almost daily in news accounts disseminated by the nation propaganda machine. The police who shoot and kill, with impunity, are always found to be justified, no matter how heinous the murder is and more egregious they are never held accountable for crimes they commit.

The latest atrocity of their so-called justice was the murder of twelve year old Tamir Rice in a park play with a toy gun. In many cases, what these so-called protectors of the streets do would make Hitler blush. These folks are supposed to protect and serve, but almost daily video footage is released that shows what is nothing more that murder. I can go on and on to elaborated on the crimes they commit. These crimes occur so frequently that most people are numb to such events, but the killings of a 12 year old child is hard to digest!

Frankly, the Tamir Rice case takes me back nearly sixty years when another young black child was murdered, and the culprits who committed the crime did not receive 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!!!

I read a piece some time ago written by a national newspaper reporter, and like him, I was asking the same questions he asked in this article with regard to the murder of Trayvon Martin. 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; and I asked was this a cover story to set him free.

We can go back to the Rodney King incident to see how the criminals of justice can find a way to justify the evil crimes and basically “get away” with their horrendous crimes they commit. Then there was Eric Gardner, who we watched strangled to death while begging on video for help, and they told us the standard line. The police, all six of them, were in fear for their lives.

These are all valid questions that demand answers – why no justice. Then in the case of John Crawford shot to death in a public space, Wal-Mart, trying to buy a toy gun that the store sells and on video. Or the murder of a man in South Carolina who was shot in the back by a police officer and the officer is seen on video tampering with the scene. Or how about, the young man in Chicago who was shot sixteen times on camera and the officials paid off the family and kept it quiet for over a year. I guess this applied to the theory that “Justice is Blind”!

Let me also mention the Bill Cosby situation where he was arrested for a supposed crime that took place a decade ago with no evidence except the word of a white woman. This speaks to the old adage that there is nothing more dangerous than for a black man to do is be involved with a white woman! They hung thousands of black men for this unspeakable and unwritten crime in their view. Again, they called this justified!

So as you can see there are more questions than answers, and frankly, a thorough investigation, or at least if what they justice was could have answered these questions and justice would have resulted. What they call justice often times is more like a cover up! Thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to review some of these cases to ensure that some of these questions may be answered. There is such a thing as right and wrong; some things are right, and some things are wrong. When you look at the aforementioned in these cases – it stinks of wrong.

The first reaction from white folk and the media is that it is not about race and certainly not racism!!! This leaves so many questions than answers, like why does it happen on a daily basis and to black people. If one white person or a dog were killed in this manner, there would be a revolt. We never get the truth and the cop keeps his job, and justice is never served.

With that said, I would suggest that you compare this too little Emmitt Till and the countless other killings of unarmed black men, women, and children; then ask yourself is this simply the Perils Of Injustice,  or is it Just Us. Actually, it is a Damn Shame!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Does Race Matter?

I want to pay homage to those who read my words – thank you very much for your support – and if this is your first-time WELCOME. I am looking forward to the comments and your thoughts with regard to the question. Since the assassination of Trayvon Martin and the recent incident in Oklahoma’s death-row, it begs the question or at least consideration of thought – “Does race matter?”

Race is a conversation that most Caucasians struggle with, at least in an open or honest way, and most are scared to talk about race, and we aren’t any different. Now, African Americans see matters of race from a completely different perspective. It’s like; if you’ve felt the brunt of this wretched ideal of supremacy you know it and see it.

The stories of oppression, racism, segregation and even slavery are very real and most African Americans have experienced it in one form or another and know it is real. Of course slavery was not physically visited upon us today by law but the elevated mental state and the prison industrial complex ensures it continues.

You cannot view the history of America and not see that race has and has always been the driver of its policies and laws. Naturally, the obvious differences in neighborhoods, employment, schools, and the legal system – causes one to ask why. If you just look at the presidents treatment, the Trayvon Martin story, Rodney King situation, or even the OJ case; all differed tremendously along political and racial lines. There are countless examples dating back to the first day black people was dragged onto the shores of this place they called “merica”.

More to the point, there was a time in my life where I saw police trample peaceful protesters, marchers beaten in the streets, and fire hoses turned on American citizens called Negro’s for asking and in most cases begging for the basic human right to live, which was simply a human right. Then a few years prior to that, in the first half of the last half century, black men were lynched by the hundreds for entertainment. Yet, most of white America believed it to be proper and sanctioned by law these so-called moral actions.

Was this colorblindness that dictated these policies that allowed justice which is blind to permit the wretchedness of racism to exist in the hearts and minds of people? You may realize that whenever the conversation of race comes up; there is the usual quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “we want to judge people, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” If the issue of race was that simple – the world would be a better place, but it’s not. So let’s talk about it.

Look at it this way, there was an old man who was bent over. Someone told him to stand up. The old man had been bent over so long – he said, “I thought I was!” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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What Would Jesus Say?

It is safe to say that most people believe Jesus is coming back and/or think he is the savior of mankind. Whether you are a believer or not, as a result of the conditions of man might be the reason he has not returned. I’ll tell you that if I were him and see the sad state of affairs man has created, I would seek out a Noah and start all over again!

When I look at the senseless murders due to wars, be it in the streets or against nations or this divided nation whose views on feeding the homeless, the lack of healthcare, poverty, the murders and other acts against religious thinking proves civilization is in despair. Hippocrates use as justification their support of such evil by adding scripture in God’s name. My sense they believe their view is the natural order of things or maybe God’s plan for life. I cannot and will not speak for God, but I do not believe this is what God planned.

When it comes to the wretchedness of government and its leaders, it shameful to see the actions and hateful diatribes about race, the least of thee, and religion. As you know, all of these issues are commonly used by the right-wing nuts to vilify the poor. Admittedly, and shamefully, race is and has always been a stain on the soul of America. As I began to ponder just what kind of country we would have without a government that mandates laws for civilization to exist. What would Jesus or you higher power think!

More disturbing is that religion, God, and Jesus have become little more than instruments of the wicked. For example, on any given Sundays between the hours of 9 AM – 1 PM is the most-segregated hours in the country. I can’t speak to what is in the mind of others except for what they say, and some of the vitriol gives a good indication as to what’s in their hearts. I, in good conscience, rail against the racially charged political environment, and for sure the teabaggers designed declaration of “taking back their country.”

Finally, on the issue of justice and racial justice in particular; maybe understanding that Jesus came from that region of the world where his hue had to be of color could more likely be one of the reasons why he had to be crucified! Just as was the case with the murder of Jesus; there are people who are killing the messenger of truth now.

What I think Jesus would say, as his mission was for the salvation of the least of thee, I think he would say – “Thou shalt not Kill.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective.


Gang Of Thugs

1We’ve been conditioned and lead to believe, or dare I say, accept that law enforcement is supposed to be for the benefit of the people, who pay their salaries “to protect and serve.”  However, this is not the case, particularly when it comes to black people. Some might argue, and I am one of them that believe this was never the intent in the first place – meaning protect black people. Rather, when it comes to the justice system what we find is “Just Us”!

Nonetheless, the police today are heavily militarized agencies that would make one think we are in a combat zone. People of African descent have always lived in a police state, and frankly the police has become little more than “slave catchers” to fill prisons with cheap labor, not unlike the chain gangs of old that was designed for slave labor.

I am sure you watch the news and read the reports of renegade cops, who brutalize black people for little more than “because they can get away with it.” Nearly every day in America a black man or woman is manhandled, beaten, or killed by the police – the people we pay who are suppose to protect us, with no conscience or consequence for their action. Except the word JUSTIFIED!

Here are a few examples, in today’s Chicago’s newspaper there was a story of four (4) officers and I use that loosely, who were responsible for four hundred (400) misconduct complaints and still on the job. In the City of Angels (LA), a highway patrol officer, again used loosely, beat a grandmother nearly to death – still working. There was a recent case in New York, Eric Garner, where the police choked a black man to death for nothing, meaning he committed no crime. No charges for any of the assaults or murders. This is not to mention the countless murders covered up by the gang in blue.

The black man, Eric Garner, who was choked to death immediately, joined a larger parade of fatal clashes between black men and police that seem to stretch back all the way through living memory. His name joins a string of others that together form a kind of shorthand for excessive force: Amadou Diallo. Patrick Dorismond. Timothy Stansbury. Sean Bell. Ramarley Graham

We must also include the people those cops who take money to protect drug dealer and shake them down. They steal the evidence [drugs] and give them to their street snitches. Let me be clear, these kinds of acts at the hands of the “law” were occurring way before Rodney King’s assault was captured on video tape by the brutes in blue, who are paid to terrorize the black community. In fact, before slavery, during slavery, and until today this is what they were hired to do in the same manner as the Klan operated.

It is reported and we know the FBI used covert activities, such as COINTELPRO, and the government assassinates its citizens under cover of law. In addition, a report was just released to the public that thousands of FBI cases were reviewed with faulty crime lab results. Another report was released some time ago that said, the FBI have never had an unlawful shooting in its history.

This has happened and continues to happen far too frequently and it’s time for accountability. I am not going to get into the fact that judges send black people to jail far more than others and for longer periods of time. Justice has run amuck! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


BLACK EMPOWERED MEN

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The subject of a black man doing anything positive is very polarizing and controversial, but it is a crucial piece of the African American Diaspora. This is unless he is viewed as a sellout, and we know who you are!!! I digress! I can speak to this issue because I am not unlike many African Americans who have been touched by the consequences or aftermath of living in America.

My father abandoned my teenage mother while I was in the womb. I did not meet him until I was ten and had only been in his presence for maybe two hours in my entire life. However, my grandfather was the man in my life, and he taught me how to be a man. His teachings resonate profoundly within my every waking moment, which I used to raise my son and teach my grandson to include sharing the same knowledge with others, as I navigate the troubled waters of life. The reality is, “you have to see a man – to be a man!”

We are a community in crisis. I do not cast blame because there is surely enough to go around. However, there are men who give of themselves to the benefit of others, raising their children, empowering the community, who carry themselves with dignity and respect – in other words “they represent.” So ladies, it may not be or does not have to be your man but there has to be a man present in the lives of these children. If this were being done with vigor, it would have a ripple effect. The home would be held together; the community would be greater, there would be a development in the minds of our youth, and maybe the carnage that is taking place would cease.

Images are and have been projected of black men most often falsely, glorifying our role in society as thugs, gangstas, criminals, buffoons, clowns, being worthless, and hopeless have permeated far too long. I know many of you know that is not the case by enlarge. However, when you open your newspaper or watch TV that’s how we are represented. I argue that this assassination of character should come to an end. If for no other reason than, the fact, the most powerful man in the world today looks like us, an African American. Adding to this, he leads a proud, dignified family that is positively on display for the whole world to bear witness to, which says all things are possible.

The absence of the strong, responsible black man holding it down, in the family and community, is destroying us as a people. Having said that, the purpose we live is to continue the species. I was taught a very significant lesson early in life, and reinforced every day of my life, by my Grandfather who said, “I raised you to be a man and as a man you don’t know what you might have to do but when the time comes you do it.” We don’t know what challenges are ahead of us. Therefore, my interpretation of that daily message was preparation plus opportunity equals SUCCESS and that the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he learns.

These platitudes are essential to the survival of our children and, frankly, our existence. There needs to be a man in the lives of these boys, and girls, because the father’s role is to be an example, a role model, to guide, direct, and pass on the wisdom he’s gained. For example, how can you expect your little girl to chose a man if she has no model to base a relationship on?

In addition, ladies, please stop thinking that can make your boy a man – you can’t. You can raise, teach and nurture him – but you cannot make him a man because you are not one. Now, to the ladies that are holding it down, I applaud you, I know what that enormous job is like – my mother did it, and I was no walk in the park. If it had not been for Granddaddy, I would be lost – dead or in jail.

There is a Facebook group BLACK EMPOWERED MEN where you are personally invited to join and share your thoughts, and wisdom. ALL ARE WELCOME! The purpose of this group is to be a vehicle to communicate with those who agree and can offer feedback, suggestions, ideas, and information to the benefit of our families and by extension our communities. If not for you, do it for the children. Stand Up Black Men –Reach one Teach one! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Remembering Trayvon Martin

On this day, a year ago, a coward was acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin. Everyone PLEASE take a moment to remember the injustice of this child’s murder as he is now a symbol of injustice, alongside of Emmett Till and others. Next time, it could be your child… God bless you Trayvon.

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