Tag Archives: Police Brutality

Why Shannon Sharpe Is ‘Undisputed’


The Colin Kaepernick conversation parade continued last week when it became virtually a daily discussion topic on FS1’s new sports talk show, Undisputed. The show is comprised of former Espn First Take’s television personality and Award-winning journalist, Skip Bayless, NFL Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion, Shannon Sharpe and moderator (*cough* Molly Qerim look-a-like) Joy Taylor.  Although the show has received some criticisms from naysayers like Skip’s former Espn colleague Dan Le Batard, calling the show “First Fake”, Undisputed has managed to pick up steam by tackling one of America’s most contentious topics surrounding the matters of race. In one of the commercials I’ve seen for the show, Bayless promises that he will “unleash” and be “unfiltered”, when in fact it’s actually been his opponent Sharpe who’s been doing all of the unleashing lately. Understand, when it comes to the Kaepernick protest, what it did was unveil what many black folks already knew what was there—white racism.  It exposed the “One of my best friends is black”, nonsense some white folks regurgitate because how dare this Negro show contempt towards those who fought for his freedom? Even though Colin made it perfectly clear that he was protesting about police brutality and oppression against people of color; still, the only thing his detractors focused on was the so-called desecration of the American flag and the countless veterans who’d fought for this country. Like black folks haven’t fought for this country though, right? Now enter Shannon Sharpe to properly articulate from the black perspective and essentially shutdown the talking points that most other black sports commentators—Stephen A. and Jason Whitlock—has either danced around or straight up referred to it as “gestures”.


In a poignant segment held on Wednesday last week, Sharpe touched on comments made by Clemson’s head football Dabo Swinney, by calling his remarks “antiquated” and just because we have blacks as ceo’s, millionaire’s, and the nation’s first black president, just because certain ones are celebrated, what about the ones who are looked down upon? As the conversation furthered, Sharpe cogently explains when dealing with the police, both should be treated equally:

“This is what I ask Skip: If a police officer were to pull you and I over on different occasions, and he walks to your car and asks for your driver’s license, proof of insurance, registration; I would expect him to walk to my car—not with his hand on his gun—and ask me in the same polite manner. And if you ask him a question and he answer it; I would like to ask him a question and him not tell me to shut my ____ mouth…

Later on in the program, Swinney’s comments were broached again by another guest, college football analyst Joel Klatt. Like so many others, Klatt brought up the good ol’ veteran speech due his father serving in World War II. Klatt also made it a point that he found what Seattle did by joining arms to be more “acceptable” versus what Kaepernick originally did because he didn’t know what he was doing. Sharpe, however, wasn’t fooled by Klatt’s obvious hypocrisy (which deserved a stern side eye btw) and continued to dissect into the college analyst argument by bringing up his privilege; his white privilege. Klatt briefly interrupted Sharpe by saying “we view this entire situation through very individual lenses,” because frankly in Klatt’s (and many other white folks who think like him) opinion, the flag is reserved for all things heroic, patriotic, and white American values, only. To this, Sharpe addressed Klatt’s remarks:

“You view it through the lens of being a white male [Klatt agreed] that has never had an amendment, an act, or a constitution amended for your civil rights. You never had a white man had fair housing (?). You never had to say, ‘you know what, you can’t go [Joel Klatt] to that place because you’re a white male.’ You never had that…But I tell you what, I bet you Jerry Jones would not trade places with a 75-year old black man in Chicago or Detroit. I bet Joel Klatt would not trade places with a 30-year old black guy from Chicago or Watts; I bet he wouldn’t do that. You know why? Because it’s great to know that I’m white and I’m a male in America; and I’m viewed totally different than any other demographic—in America. That’s fact. That’s not fiction…that’s not a prism. That’s factual.”

I must admit it’s very refreshing to see an intelligent brother on television being able to speak his mind so fluidly and not have to settle being the typical Negro who has to (and gets used to) buck dance around white folks. Unlike other social issues, the problem of race is as Max Kellerman stated this country’s “original sin”, so to see it discussed openly and poignantly, was exceptionally powerful.  Undisputed may have originally pinned in some people’s minds as powerhouse, popular, sportswriter going one-on-one with some former fill-in sports jock. Well make no mistake about it, Undisputed might be Bayless’ show but after the first few weeks, Sharpe has not only handled his own when matching wits with Skip, he has also established himself as riveting and knowledgeable commentator that is a force to be reckoned with. Don’t act like you didn’t notice Joel’s face during that debate though. One word: Sal-ty!

If I had only one wish like Ray J I wish there were more Sharpe’s in sports talk media; but that won’t likely happen. It makes me wonder with FS1 being a Fox station which normally only deals with racial issues from a conservative, right-wing angle, would allow Sharpe to speak more from a liberal perspective. Because we all know there exist that counter group who’s indifferent towards Sharpe’s passionate views; and that he’s making excuses for “lazy black folks”. Even though they would purposely ignore when Shannon mentioned several times that he “judges people individually”, they will still bring up why he didn’t mention black on black crime like Ray Lewis, who also appeared on the show. Nevertheless, the show was about (I repeat) police brutality and the oppression people of color (mainly black folk) have faced in this country—not about black on black crime. Maybe one day as a black community we can all protest the niggerish behavior that takes place in our hoods. Only problem with that is the Negroes who complain about it the most, or use it to impress the white conservatives they emulate, would actually have to come back to these “hoods”. Now why you wanna go and do that? Grace and Peace y’all!



After a Slaying In Baton Rouge; Should Jesse Williams Be Fired Now?


After delivering such a riveting message during last week’s BET Awards, Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams went from a thunderous ovation from a crowd of his peers, to a week of receiving malicious criticism from Conservative cowards; who set up a spiteful petition to have him fired from ABC. See, Mr. Williams’ words wasn’t about his blackness, playing the victim card, or him being some spoiled overpaid actor using his platform to bash cops. Not even close. His words were about what took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last night when a young man identified as Alton Sterling, 37, was gunned down by some bloodthirsty cops.  Eerie; however, but prophetic.

In an updated story from the Advocate: “Alton Sterling, a 37-year old man who sold CDs, was shot and killed by a Baton Rouge police officer Tuesday morning outside a convenience store on North Foster Drive after “some type of altercation” with two officers, officials said.

Baton Rouge police did not provide much information about what escalated the incident between the officers and Sterling or what prompted an officer to fire his weapon. A witness, however, described police as “aggressive” and said Sterling was armed but was not holding his gun or touching his pockets during the incident. Police later retrieved a gun from the man’s pocket, said the witness, shop owner Abdullah Muflahi.

Around 12:35 a.m., Baton Rouge police responded to the Triple S Food Mart at 2112 N. Foster Drive after an anonymous caller indicated that a man in a red shirt who was selling CDs outside the store pointed a gun at someone, telling them to leave the property, Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner William “Beau” Clark said the initial results of an autopsy performed Tuesday show Sterling died due to a homicide and suffered multiple — meaning more than two — gunshot wounds to the chest and back.” (http://theadvocate.com/news/16311988-77/report-one-baton-rouge-police-officer-involved-in-fatal-shooting-of-suspect-on-north-foster-drive)

**Warning video contains graphic footage**

Then there was this…

In a petition started by Erin Smith on Change.Org, Smith accused Williams of a “racist, hate speech against law enforcement and white people at the BET Awards.” She also wasn’t fond of the show’s creator, Shondra Rhymes, accusing her of “condoning” his actions and even calling Ms. Rhymes a “hypocrite.” Here’s a small excerpt of what Smith wrote:

“Upon receiving a humanitarian award at the BET awards, Jesse Williams released a cascade of inappropriate, unprofessional and racist commentary against police officers and Caucasians. Had any one of his offensive words been said by any other race other than an African American, they would’ve been publicly shamed, fired from whatever job they had, lost endorsements, advertisers, etc…”



Smith’s petition–a disgusting one to say the least–has over 18, 000 supporters, needing 25,000 signatures to achieve its ridiculous goal. People like Erin and TheBlaze Tomi Lahren, really don’t want to hear about any socio-political issues involving the Negro in this country. We should instead, not focus on race because if you do, I will pull out my conservative bias talking points and remind you who was the people who freed you from slavery. According to them, the subject of race can only be addressed when they control the narrative; which always reminds us what we’re not doing, should be doing, or what ‘they’ have done to help us.

RT.com has just released the names of the officers involved in the death of Alton Sterling: Blane Salamoni, 4-year veteran, and Howie Lake II, 3-year veteran. It has also been noted that one of the officers, Lake II, was involved in a prior police killing in December 2014, RT.com reports.

Prior to today, I must admit I was not a proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement; even after today, I will hold fast to my convictions about the movement. The only movement we as black people should only be a part of, are the ones which are not funded by white handlers. History teaches us from the Civil Rights Movement, when it was completely funded and controlled by white handlers, black folks as a collective received nothing from that movement. Unless you want to count retired or deceased Negro leaders, whose legacy left us singing spirituals, the DNC party, and no economy because we were satisfied with the white man liking us. However, even in the aftermath of this police execution, locals from the Baton Rouge area have flooded the streets in protest (which they should) being assisted by community leaders and organizers—while black America holds its breath waiting to breathe for justice.



“What we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm, and not kill white people every day”--Jesse Williams

While I may not agree with Mr. Williams’ Black Lives Matter Movement or some of the sentiments he made during his compelling speech; however, we both agree our lives matter and we shouldn’t have to include “all lives” when historically and concurrently, all lives still aren’t created equal. Peace and love y’all.

Last Thoughts On The Kalief Browder Situation…


Hmm..where are the protest black America? Why hasn’t this been a trendy topic on so-called black twitter? Every black person should of had a moment of silence held for this young man, but nooo. We rather worry about white cops and yell “hands up, don’t shoot,” make stupid Vine and World Star videos; videos of which we’re usually assaulting one another btw; and follow mindless celebrities so we can create stupid hashtag’s for. It’s like, ever since the death of Trayvon Martin, black people have forgotten how to deal with police. It’s like you forget that we, scratch that, black BOYS AND BLACK MEN, are the targets of these so-called “race soldiers.” Yet, we want to talk back, be disrespectful, and act uncivilized whenever we encounter them [police]. This is not to say that there’s not crooked cops out there because the Eric Garner situation proved that. So while we’re trying to hunt down so-called racist cops, our communities are in shambles. You had residents in Baltimore hold picnics and barbecues to honor Freddie Gray, yet their city is experiencing the highest murder rate in years (over 40 homicides since Gray’s death). Keep thinking police should hold you to higher level of civility when we as a people can’t even be civil with one another.#RIPKALIEFBROWDER

“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

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