Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nettie Hunt and daughter Nikie on steps of U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, Library of Congress

Further evidence of the disintegration of integration...
Black students are significantly more likely to attend high-poverty schools than white students, according to the Urban Institute.
"In some metropolitan areas, the racial concentration of school poverty is so severe that black and white students effectively attend two different school systems: one for middle- and upper-middle-income white students, and the other for poor students and students of color," says an Urban Institute feature on the subject.
--The Huffington Post
Remember that little episode in history called Brown vs. Board of Education?  It was kind of important in a way because it laid the groundwork for the desegregation of public schools all across America thanks to the legal brilliance of one of America's greatest legal minds, Thurgood Marshall, who at the time was a lawyer for the NAACP. But saying that Thurgood Marshall was a lawyer for the NAACP is kind of like saying that Abraham Lincoln had something to do with the Civil War. If you even whispered Thurgood Marshall's name to black folk way back when, before the civil rights era really got under full steam, the reaction would be as if you had mentioned the name of Moses. Because just like Moses, Thurgood Marshall could part the bloody waters of racism just like...well...just like Moses. Just to hear that "Thurgood's coming" was, to so many terrorized black communities in the Deep South, like hearing the voice of hope itself. If Thurgood was coming that meant there was a chance. Which is why I say that, although I do understand why Dr. Martin Luther King is lionized as The One when it comes to civil rights warriors? Truth be told,  Thurgood Marshall is right up there with him. You don't believe me, study up on the man and then come back and tell me I'm wrong.
But here's the thing that's painful; now that we're recognizing 61 years' worth of 'progress' beyond that fateful day of May 17, 1954, when  Marshall won the day with his victorious - and unanimous - 9-0 Brown vs. Board of Education decision before the U.S. Supreme Court (the same Supreme Court where he would later be appointed as the first black Supreme Court Justice by President Lyndon Johnson on June 13, 1967) it almost seems as if Moses was never here. As if the waters, once parted, are now just as turbulent as they ever were, swallowing whole any evidence of racial reconciliation. From The Atlantic:
Brown's core mission of encouraging integration can best be defined as unfinished. Many civil-rights advocates, such as Gary Orfield, codirector of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, argue that after gains through the late 1980s, the public-school system is undergoing a "resegregation" that has left African-American and Latino students "experiencing more isolation … [than] a generation ago." Other analysts question whether segregation is worsening, but no one denies that racial and economic isolation remains daunting: One recent study found that three-fourths of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanics attend schools where a majority of the students qualify as low-income.
I live in Detroit so you don't have to roll out any statistics to convince me of what's going on. All I have to do is walk into just about any public school in this city and see the evidence for myself. And I have to wonder not only what would  Marshall feel about the seeming rollback of such a monumental and hard-fought victory but..
What now..?

Monday, May 11, 2015

First Lady Michelle Speaks the Truth About Race

I salute First Lady Michelle Obama for speaking the truth about race and racism in America. America is not a post-racial society. It probably never will be. I know. The truth hurts. Here is what I think about Mrs. Obama's commencement speech.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

African American Doctor Saves an African Orphan

Last night, I saw this story on NBC Nightly News. I had to share it. So often, we hear about white celebrities adopting and assisting African children. We rarely hear about African Americans helping their African brothers and sisters on the continent. Finally, here is such a story.

Wealthy African Americans must do more to help their less fortunate brethren in the 'hoods of America and in the war torn, impoverished regions of Africa. We are one people.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Are You Going to Vote for Dr. Ben Carson?

The Detroit Free Press reports that:

Dr. Ben Carson speaks to supporters in Detroit before officially kicking off his presidential campaign. Kathleen Gray/DFP

Before a packed audience at the Detroit Music Hall, Detroit native Ben Carson officially kicked off his presidential campaign Monday morning.

"I'm Ben Carson and I'm a candidate for president of the United States," he said.

He may not have the pedigree or the political experience for the race, Carson said.

"I'm not even asking people to vote for me. I'm just asking people to listen," he said. "the real pedigree we need to heal this country is someone who believes in our constitution."

Carson chose Detroit, the town in which he grew up, for the announcement and began the day with a prayer breakfast, followed by an assembly at the Detroit high school that bears his name before heading to the official launch of his presidential campaign.

Carson told a Florida TV station Sunday night that was joining the race. And from Detroit, he had been scheduled to travel to Iowa, for three days of events in the pivotal state where the first presidential caucus of the 2016 election cycle will be held Feb. 1.

But, he switched up his plans early Monday and said he'll go to Dallas to be with his critically ill mother Sonya Carson.

He sprinkled his remarks throughout the morning with religious references, noting, "If God ordains that we get into White House. We're going to change the government into something more like a well run business.

"People tell you can't do this, you don't have any experience. But I also don't have a lot of experience busting budgets," Carson said at the Music Hall.

Good morning, family. Yesterday, Dr. Ben Carson announced his bid to become the next President of the United States. Are y'all going to Dr. Carson? Why? Why not?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Criminal Charges Filed Against Baltimore Police Officers for the Killing of Freddie Gray

WBAL TV reports that:

Mosby announced Friday morning that the six officers suspended in the Gray case are being criminally charged. She said Gray's arrest was illegal and there is probable cause to file charges.

Mosby announced the charges as follows:

- Lt. Brian Rice, 41, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 1997, the supervisor on April 12: Charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, false imprisonment

- Sgt. Alicia White, 30, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 2010: Charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office

- Police Officer William Porter, 25, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 2012: Charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office

- Police Officer Garrett Miller, 26, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 2012: Charged with second-degree assault intentional, second-degree assault negligent, misconduct in office and false imprisonment

- Police Officer Edward Nero, 29, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 2012: Charged with false imprisonment and second-degree assault intentional, second-degree assault negligent, misconduct in office, false imprisonment

- Police Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 1999, the driver of the prisoner transport van: Charged with second-degree depraved heart murder; involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; manslaughter by vehicle by means of gross negligence; manslaughter by vehicle by means of criminal negligence; misconduct in office for failure to secure a prisoner, failure to render aid.

A warrant has been issued for the arrests of the officers.
Marilyn Mosby, I love you. Thank you for standing up for justice. We stand with you, sista!!! Justice for Freddie Gray!!! This is only the beginning of the road, family.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

They Expect Us to Believe that #FreddieGray Broke His Own Neck

The Washington Post reports that:
A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.

The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.

Gray was found unconscious in the wagon when it arrived at a police station on April 12. The 25-year-old had suffered a spinal injury and died a week later, touching off waves of protests across Baltimore, capped by a riot Monday in which hundreds of angry residents torched buildings, looted stores and pelted police officers with rocks.

Police have said they do not know whether Gray was injured during the arrest or during his 30-minute ride in the van. Local police and the U.S. Justice Department both have launched investigations of Gray’s death.

“We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,” Downs said. “We question the accuracy of the police reports we’ve seen thus far, including the police report that says Mr. Gray was arrested without force or incident.”

Baltimore police said they will wrap up their investigation Friday and turn the results over to the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, which will decide whether to seek an indictment. Six police officers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant, have been suspended.
Apparently, the Baltimore Police Department expects us to believe that Freddie Gray broke his own neck. That is ridiculous as hell. Instead of leaking bits and pieces of information to the media, the Baltimore Police Department should be transparent and release the entire report to the public. Secrecy will only fuel the rage. If the State's Attorney's Office does not indict those officers, Monday's riots will be nothing compared to the storm that is on the horizon.