Tag Archives: Black Community

My Thoughts Pending The Michael Brown Verdict…


As America eagerly waits for the seemingly most anticipated verdict since the O.J. Simpson trial; there still seems to be something that’s quite unsettling with me. Many expect that the officer in question, Darren Wilson, will not be indicted for the killing of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown, but my question is “what if he is indicted?” Yes, it might just satisfy the taste of vengeance and retribution for black people everywhere who have been unfavorably treated wrong in some regards to racism and oppression in America. I’m sure it will serve as justice regarding the deaths of Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin and Eric Gardner. Yet does this case, and others like it, address the critical issue(s) that still permeate our communities? I’m not the one to give racism or white supremacy a pass; however, it seems like just as I’ve mentioned before in my initial article “The Failure At Ferguson,” black people have repeatedly been advocates when the picture is painted as us being “victims.” Yes, there’s certainly times when black people have been “victims” simply because of racism and what I call; “unadulterated human hate,” which has been inflicted towards black people in America. There are several examples of this; most notably when it comes down to filling out an application for employment and you just happen to be black. However, what I take exception to is when African-Americans can’t admit to the same level of temerity and indignation towards each other; and pass it off as if white folks taught us how to hate. I know, I know, I know, Malcolm X had a monumental speech dealing with this subject; however, that was during the time when white supremacy and hatred was at its peak overtly. I know you can point to the lot that black people have been given in this country since the slave trade. But I can also point to the various examples of not only self hate, but self defeatism and a glorification of “ghetto culture” and niggertivity. Just let the latter part of that sentence sink in like quick sand ladies and gentlemen. My point is, will black America recognize just like our great, great, grandparents did back in the day that, “we’s all we got?” Or will we continue to point the proverbial finger towards white supremacy so much so that this doctrine has become as popular and lucrative as the “Prosperity Gospel” found in black churches. The reason why I’ve linked the black preacher and the pro-black nationalists/separatist is because I hear the same rationale which looks to empower black people but in reality never really changes the conditions of black people. It’s your typical “feel good, fist pump, charismatic hallelujah a-men to ashe,” message that on one hand tells you about having your own economic base; yet the only people you see benefit is the leaders themselves. Sure you’ll have a select few, but for the most part you have to do it their way, how they do it–for a small fee I might add. Now before you go off and say “Pro-Blacks don’t do that” type of argument compared to black ministers; I would kindly tell you you’re right–ideologically that is. However, I put them in the same category because “Knowledge of Self” has become a hustle and just like many black preachers; it only pacifies the issues in our community by saying all we need is “knowledge” and then we’ll get the money. These meetings has done nothing but more to enlighten us “spiritually” than it has secured us financially. While at the same time making us fundamentally obese with knowledge and teaching; but morally bankrupt when it comes to having character when dealing with one another. Don’t get me wrong, having an economic base or practicing group economics, would help exponentially in solving a litany of issues in black America (one being unemployment amongst black men). Yet, the reason why I did this post is because what has happened surrounding Michael Brown’s family: in particularly his mother. It’s a shame that I have to do this but what I have to say is in NO WAY to disrespect or cast aspersions towards Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden. Nevertheless, it points to the core that I see more often to why black people can’t seemingly come together; outside of racism that is. For the record, i’m not totally upset with how the incident went down involving McSpadden and her ex-husband’s mother-in-law, Pearlie Gordon. It further points to an inherently get over or forget your feelings mentality that many of us black folks know exists. So when you talk about having an economic base, black pride, give your money to God and white supremacy; well how can we when we’ve sipped from the bottle of self-hatred and a sick form of hood capitalism that makes the thug, the hustler, and the bootlegger not only pervasive, but have “status” in the black community. And we wonder why black Americans are leery when it comes to dealing or even having black businesses in our communities because of this ghetto/get over mentality.This is commonly referred to as “crabs in a barrel syndrome,” however, we now have black apologists pointing to the barrel instead of the mentality we have harnessed for several decades. ***Sigh*** because yet again racism white supremacy not only created this mentality (which I will agree to in some regard) but it continues to hold an iron fist and preserve it’s influence it in ALL of our current affairs (which I don’t agree with)? So the barrel made Pearlie Gordon sell those t-shirts (without permission btw) in tribute to her deceased grandson for a respectable cause? I think many of you might know the answer to that; but i’ll digress for now. To be perfectly clear, i’m not saying there “ain’t or isn’t” any black entrepreneurs who’s contributing to the black community. I’m just saying it isn’t enough of those businesses to control a predominantly black community either. I also must point out that there’s some influential voices on both sides of the “do better” spectrum whether it resides in pulpit on Sunday mornings or gathers at your neighborhood African bookstore. I guess my inquisitive thoughts are slowly leading me to ponder that when it comes to the core of black issues, you can only speak to the pot which holds the food; but you just aren’t allowed to stir the ‘core’ ingredients in the pot to make it all better. Because then, maybe then, we’ll actually taste something we or most of us (realistically speaking), can have the fortitude to swallow. It’s called the truth. Peace and love y’all.

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“The Failure At Ferguson”

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

I often wonder why when black people come together after an act of injustice it’s always based around the same political, racial narrative. You know the narrative that whenever someone who is opposite of African-American descent or let’s just be honest; “anyone classified as a white male” narrative. But it becomes another heightened level of scrutiny when the individual in question is a white male police officer. Such is the case we have in Ferguson, Mo over the weekend involving an officer shooting and killing an unarmed young adult, 18-year-old Michael Brown. Here is an excerpt from CNN.com from a witness who was with Brown at the time of the shooting:

Dorian Johnson, 22, told CNN that he and Brown were walking in the middle of the street when a white male officer pulled up and told them, “Get the f*** on the sidewalk.” The young men replied that they were “not but a minute away from our destination, and we would shortly be out of the street,” Johnson said.

The officer drove forward but stopped and backed up, almost hitting the pair, Johnson said.

“We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike’s body and closed back on the officer,” Johnson said.

Still in his car, the officer then grabbed Brown by his neck, Johnson said. Brown tried to pull away, but the officer kept pulling Brown toward him, he said.

The officer drew his weapon, and “he said, ‘I’ll shoot you’ or ‘I’m going to shoot’ ” and almost instantaneously fired his weapon, hitting Brown, Johnson said.

Johnson and a bloodied Brown took off running, and Johnson hid behind the first car he saw, he said. The officer got out of his car (http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/us/missouri-ferguson-michael-brown-what-we-know/).

Johnson continued to express that the officer followed Brown firing several more shots even after the victim tried to get away. The authorities, however, tell a different story in which Brown physically assaulted the police officer by pushing him into the officer’s vehicle; which at one point, lead to a struggle for the officer’s weapon. This would eventually lead to the officer retaliating by firing multiple shots at Brown killing him outside of an apartment complex this past Saturday. All of this “allegedly” was stemmed from the fact that Brown was a possible suspect from a shoplifting incident. Brown, who was slated to start college this week, was seen being cooperative with the authorities several eyewitnesses stated at the scene, but the police have yet to confirm these allegations. Later Sunday evening, a memorial and prayer vigil were held to honor and remember the slain young man and many in the neighborhood showed up to give their condolences. What took place immediately after the vigil; however, became what I call a “tragedy within itself.”

What began as a memorial and prayer vigil for yet another unarmed African-American male, turned not only the suburb of Ferguson upside down, but transfixed the eyes of America in the process. Citizens from Ferguson and neighboring communities took to the streets in what could only be reminiscent of the 92’ L.A. riots. Several stores became targets for looting and vandalism as citizens burglarized and took everything from beauty supplies, car rims, alcohol, to black America’s favorite shoes: Air Jordan’s. Hoards of young adults filled the streets as local law enforcement had to request back up from neighboring precincts. Angry protesters were met by police in full riot gear armed with everything from rifles, shields, gas masks and dogs. In all, 32 people were reported to be arrested and two officers were injured. History has always had a way of repeating itself; and 50 years later after the historic Civil Rights Act was signed into legislation, the American justice system has been any but “civil.”ferguson-QT

Now before you go dust off your “Straight Outta Compton” cd while chanting “No Justice, No Peace,” I must remind you that I said this is a tragedy within itself. Why does our act of civil disobedience have to result in stealing things that most African-American purchase and consume annually in the first place? Yes, the unidentified officer in my opinion was probably at fault and deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. However, due to the rioting and looting which took place several days prior, the media and to some extent, African-Americans have turned this into a budding race war albeit a war our communities aren’t prepared for. Police brutality seems to be the “clarion call” for black America and further reinforces theories such as Joy DeGruy’s Post Traumatic Slave Disorder and victimology; while further perpetuating an ongoing trend that a black life in America only has value when it’s taken at the hands of someone who’s white. I understand this case has glaring similarities of another African-American male, Eric Gardner, who died (literally) in police custody by way of an illegal chokehold and unlawful force not even a month ago in Staten Island, NY. But I wouldn’t be fair, I wouldn’t be truthful, and most importantly; I wouldn’t be black if I didn’t mention, hell, demand this same type fervor and zeal to be reciprocated in our own communities. And if you’re saying to yourself “Why am I bringing this up?” Damn it because the only time black folks get bold about violence and want justice in our communities is when “The Man” bothers us. It’s dumbfounding to me how we demand answers and badge numbers, yet when it comes to us killing each other we facilitate the “No Snitching” policy. I’m sorry but black America, you can’t have it both ways!

Fortunately, there was one bright spot that has emerged from the protestors efforts with the help of social media. The “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” is starting to catch steam across several cities in America (including my own) and has become more than just a trending topic on Twitter. What started as a hashtag to counter the media’s attempt to show the public demonizing photos of Michael Brown; has become the symbol of injustice and the mantra for change. Although I’m not particularly thrilled to know that Al Sharpton, the NAACP, some New Black Panther Party and the attorney who “allegedly” represented the Trayvon Martin family (while disappearing at the actual trial) Benjamin Crump has made their presence felt in an obvious attempt to incite racism. Nevertheless, there was something else far more egregious that as American citizens (and I use that term loosely) should all be concerned about: the dawn of an eminent, militarized police state. Jesse Jackson was quoted this week in the USA Today saying “There’s a Ferguson near you,” implying there’s tragedies just like this going on in a city near you. It was also another opportunity (as usual) to prioritize the race card and make this case about blacks versus white-cops. The implication that came to my mind wasn’t the issue of race; however, if Ferguson was a preview of how paramilitarized law enforcement reacts to local citizens as if they were in Afghanistan somewhere, what’s in store for the “Ferguson” city where I reside? In a span of a few days, protestors were bombarded with everything from militarized SWAT vehicles, rubber bullets and tear gas; to special operation forces with snipers taking aim at local residents. Local and national media and press reporters where given little to no video access of what became a full fledge paramilitary operation. Not trying to be overly conspiratorial, but under the banner of “Homeland Security,” lawmakers in Washington have shelled out some $34 billion over the past 10 years to state and local law enforcement. The grant money provides funds to build capabilities at the state and local levels while implementing the goals and objectives included in state homeland securities. Out of 14 categories ranging from Emergency Management Performance to Law Enforcement Terrorism; the program that receives the most funding is the Urban Areas Security Initiative.  This “initiative” is what Ferguson residents and many who viewed their televisions this week, found out what America has in store to impede any “acts” of terrorism.


After nearly a week of rallying, marching and pictured selfies of “No Justice, No Peace” signs, citizens of Ferguson and the rest of nation, finally received the answers they were looking for–or did they? The Ferguson Police Department released the name of the unidentified officer involved in the shooting; six-year police veteran, Darren Wilson. However, to the chagrin of family, friends and supporters, not only did they release a police report linking Brown to a convenience store robbery; but they also revealed surveillance footage of Brown committing the act. Many people are saying this is an attempt to “assassinate” his character the same way they did Treyvon Martin back in 2012. Again, my condolences to Michael Brown’s family, relatives, and friends for doing all they could to raise a son; and now having to deal with the grief of losing one.  

So why did I entitled this article “The Failure at Ferguson?” I could point to the militarized law enforcement and their handling of the protestors, media, and press. I could also point to the Ferguson Police Department for releasing the police report and surveillance video of Brown; which had nothing to do with why he was killed. I could and should point to the rioting and looting that took place nearly a week ago. All of these things, even the race hustlers and race agitators, I could irrefutably point to. Instead, I’m going to point to the fact that the African-American community is not only waking up; but we’re starting to come together. I’m going to point to the fact that despite another white on black tragedy; maybe this time our galvanizing efforts will filter down into our communities when it comes to violence in general. Perhaps this will finally allow us to practice group economics, own more businesses, even emphasizing the value of our children’s education. So what’s the failure in all of this? We won’t—and that’s the failure.

So black America, please prove this cynical, pessimistic blogger wrong. I’m rooting for you.

Sincerely Yours,img-holdingferguson_151519994466.jpg_article_singleimage

One of your own

“The NBA (Players) could learn a lot from the Gay Community”

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Milwaukee BucksYesterday at the NFL Draft, Michael Sam was selected in the 7th round by the St. Louis Rams and became the first openly gay player in the history of the league. While people took to social media to either congratulate or disagree with the kiss seen around the world, I realized the NBA could learn a lot from the gay rights struggle. Just last year, NBA journeymen Jason Collins, made his announcement that he was an openly gay player. Since then, Collins has had the support of fellow NBA players such as Kobe Bryant, former league commissioner David Stern, even from the President and the First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama. A free agent at the time of his announcement, Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and had the #1 online selling jersey this past February (http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24457433/jason-collins-jersey-skyrockets-to-no-1-on-sales-list). Some call it propaganda, I call it power. Whether you agree or disagree to whether or not there’s an “agenda” going on, one thing is for sure, the gay community is not backing down.michael-sam-drafted

As I have previously mentioned in an earlier blog, I believe the NBA players had an opportunity to make history in its own right, by refusing to play during the Donald Sterling fiasco. It would of sent a clear message that one, to the NBA, two, the owners, and three, to America as a whole when dealing with the issue of race. More importantly, it would have put a league (which is predominately African-American) in a position of power. Power, that gets to dictate to a league that our self-respect means more than our pay checks. Of course you have people who have rebutted saying, “They have to feed their families etc.” Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t NBA players have guarantee contracts? It’s not like the NFL where you can get released a year after signing your only guarantee dollars ironically called a “signing bonus.” The NBA situation spoke volumes about how many African-Americans would rather be accepted or have someone come to our defense/rescue, than to be respected and taking it by force. I believe there’s a certain party in politics that has done this for years…. I just can’t remember its name???

Michael Sam is just a microcosm of what the gay community has done in its efforts to be (I will say it again) RESPECTED in the annals of American society. Again, whether you agree with the lifestyle or not, the fact that they are breaking down barriers in areas of legislation, marriage, entertainment and sports, cannot be denied. One could even make a case about which movement has generated more progress in the area of civil rights; but that’s another topic for another day. The point is this; the gay community has taught the NBA players and many ‘progressive’ African-Americans a valuable lesson. If you really believe in something, stand for it. Don’t just have a message, become the message-embody it. Sadly, like most things “black” in America, this too will fall on deaf ears. Because like in the words of a famous YouTuber, Tommy Sotomayor, when it comes to addressing the issues in the black community we would rather be “SYBIL then CIVIL.”

Looks like when it comes to our issues as African-Americans, we just continue to drop the ball. No pun intended.


“Black America, What Do We Stand For?”


If you are an African-American and is reading this post, has this title sunk in yet? Does it even make sense to you? I understand that someone once said “If you want to hide something from black people, put it in a book.” Well, let’s just call this my prelude or preface; to a seemingly ongoing epidemic in my life as an African-American. I was going to call this post/blog “Can You Define Yourself, Black America?” However, I think I’ll wait until a later and a more proper time. Recently, I’ve seen mass hysteria going on in my community in regards to the latest release of a certain athletic shoe. This shoe just isn’t a shoe; it’s a pair of Air Jordan’s. Yes, Air Jordan’s. You know the guy who was famous for his high-flying, dominant scoring, aerial acrobatics with the basketball; and for leading the Chicago Bulls to 6 NBA titles in the early and mid-90s. Michael Jordan is that guy (for those living under a rock somewhere) who hasn’t played a professional NBA game in over a decade (since 2002-03 season). Mr. Jordan turned 50 years old this past February and now is the proud owner of a struggling NBA franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats. Jordan has never publically, (at least to my knowledge) said anything about what is now called the “Black Friday” for many black people when his shoes comes out. Oh, the irony.

I was a longtime supporter; wait a minute, I WAS a longtime idolater at the altar of Mr. Jordan that I used to read up on every book, video, or game that ever included him. I used to fantasize about playing like him, talking like him, even wore a cheap flea market jersey every time his games came on. To put it plainly, I loved him more than my own Father. Unfortunately, that dream of becoming him didn’t come true because I didn’t grow physically. In a matter of years my dream of playing ball like Mike was interrupted due to hormones and heredity. The point is, as much as I worshipped and adored Jordan; buying his shoes and apparel was line I wasn’t going to cross. Why? Because my parents taught me the value in the word called “no.” My parents didn’t believe in a child having shoes that not only they couldn’t afford; but the child couldn’t afford as well. They preached hard work, responsibility, discipline, and the true value of a dollar. These are values in which one can “stand” for.

From Jordan’s to Starter jackets, from Gucci to Louie Vat ton; it seems like the black community will literally STAND in line for the latest trinkets and fashions. And then STAND around the corner ready to pounce, shoot and rob the person who purchased the merchandise. Howbeit, these same people will return to the same ‘hood’ in which they live to show off their new-found piece of ‘glory.’ We will STAND up for the latest street thug for keeping it real; then cry out there’s no real or quality black men. I understand some people will say after reading this, “It’s not all or White people do it with cell phones etc.” The problem with that is the African-American community consumes (spends) the most out of any minority or people group in the United States. According to Experian.Com, African-American buying power will reach an astonishing $1.2 trillion, meaning that almost nine cents out of every dollar spent in the United States will come from African-American consumers ( as of 2013). I do not write my blogs to purposely offend, derogate, or disrespect my community. However, when will enough be enough? We STAND in line at Hip-Hop shows which do nothing but disrespect and sell their souls for money and fame; at the price of promoting ignorance and preconceived stereotypes. We STAND in the offering line due to a perverted or misguided preacher giving our ‘all’ in trying to live the ‘’blessed life;’’ or at least to look good for Passa and them. We STAND when we heard about Trayvon Martin; yet refuse to STAND about the violence in our own communities. We will STAND on a block in our neighborhoods all day acknowledging a place we don’t own. Yet we won’t STAND in the job line, P.T.A. meeting or for better education. We will stand and be comfortable with being strong single parents; yet we won’t STAND for abstinence, birth control, or marriage. Black America; materialism, consumerism, self-hate, jealousy and murder is destroying us. No matter how much ‘we’ learn about ourselves; the problem is the human heart-which is the heart of the problem. I’m not trying to section off a part of humanity; just trying to awaken a community in which I am a part of.  Peace.