Monday, December 30, 2013

The Ongoing Conflicts in the Motherland

"Yacub said, 'When you go back among them, lie about them to each other, and when they start fighting, ask them to let you be the mediator. And as soon as you become the mediator then you're the boss.' The white man has done this trick everywhere." Malcolm X

For the past couple of weeks, violent conflicts have erupted in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

All Africa reports that:
The sectarian violence in the Central African Republic, CAR, is gaining in intensity in spite of the deployment of 1,600 French 'Opération Sangaris' troops in the capital, Bangui, beginning on December 5, 2013. The French were later followed on December 19, 2013 by the African Union, AU-led International Mission for Support to the Central African Republic, MISCA peacekeeping force.

Commanded by Cameroonian-born Brigadier Gen. Martin Tumenta Chomu, the 3,600-strong MISCA force whose strength is expected to reach 6,000 men, replaced the sub-regional FOMAC mission that had been battling to restore peace to the war-ravaged country. Both deployments were preceded by two days of unprecedented sectarian bloodletting in Bangui at the beginning of the month between Moslem and Christian gunmen and civilians.

Military Deployment, Rising Violence

Both 'Opération Sangaris' and MISCA have so far deployed hundreds of troops in the capital, but they are yet to restore a semblance of normalcy. Rather, Christian-on-Moslem and Moslem-on-Christian violence has been on the increase in recent days. Overwhelmed by the situation, French President, François Hollande, over the weekend called for the involvement of the UN to stem the growing spectre of violence.

Over 40 people were killed on Christmas Day 2013. A mass grave containing at least 30 Moslem corpses was discovered near the Roux Barracks on Panthers' Hill, close to the Presidential Palace on December 26, 2013. On the same day, two Congo (Brazzaville) police peacekeepers were killed in a clash with the Presidential Guard manned by former Séléka fighters. Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, whose residence was earlier ransacked by militia men, now lives and operates from Bangui M'Poko International Airport under the protection of French troops.

The Wall Street Journal reports that:
In the space of two weeks, the world's youngest nation has tumbled from a promising protégé of the West to a broken state with little hope for peace.

South Sudan now stands divided between government and rebel-controlled territory. The battle between the president and his former deputy has split much of the nation along ethnic lines. And in a country where oil is power, the rebels control one oil-producing state and the government the other.

Now, many Sudanese worry that their chance at peace is over, and the new normal is ethnic warfare.

"This is something we were trying to prevent for a long time. And we did not manage to," said Garang Majak Bol, the government's head of legal affairs and human rights.

Fighting continues despite calls for a truce. More than 1,000 people have been killed in this nation of 10 million and well over 120,000 have fled their homes. The country's two largest ethnic groups—the Dinka and the Nuer—have gone on killing sprees against each other...

This wasn't the future South Sudan was supposed to have after Western governments used aid and influence to help carve the republic from Sudan in 2011 after its decadeslong struggle for independence. Without the religious battle with the largely Muslim regime to the north, the largely Christian south was expected to drill for oil and prosper.

Diplomats from the U.S., China, the East African region and elsewhere are now trying to broker a cease fire between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar. Mr. Kiir has said he is ready to stop fighting and talk. Mr. Machar has responded he will only enter negotiations if 11 of his compatriots who have been arrested are released. Both sides have moved to seize territory from the other in recent days.
Religious, ethnic and personality differences are a smoke screen.  Those differences are not the root cause of the violence.  Such conflicts are the result of the continuing legacy of colonialism.  It is no coincidence that former colonial power France has deployed troops to CAR.  The U.S., China and others are not negotiating a cease fire out of the goodness of their hearts.  Ultimately, it is about controlling Africa's resources. Those resources include oil, diamonds, gold, copper and silver. While CAR and South Sudan remain two of the poorest countries in the world, the West and others will plunder their natural resources.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mr. President, Don't Turn Your Back on Us

USA Today reports that:
Some of President Obama's staunchest supporters Monday announced their opposition to his nominees for federal courts in Georgia.

The group, which included civil rights luminaries such as Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the Rev. Joseph Lowery and Rev. C.T. Vivian, Georgia's black congressional delegation and a long list of African-American civil rights groups and legal associations, is protesting six nominees to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Northern District of Georgia. They say the nominees lack diversity and that one defended Georgia's voter-identification law and another supported flying the Confederate flag at the state Capitol.

"Somebody has made a tragic mistake," said Lowery, speaking from the pulpit at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr.'s one-time congregation. "We've not come to attack the president. Somebody did this for him. And we say that he must undo it. It is insulting to come into Georgia in 2013 and bring a slate of nominees that is so unrepresentative of the state."

Lowery backed Obama early in his first presidential campaign when many black leaders were supporting Hillary Clinton; in 2009, Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Obama also presented Lewis with the award in 2011 and Vivian with it earlier this year.

The group says that only one of the six nominees is African American. Also, they say that nominee Mark Cohen, an Atlanta attorney, argued in favor of Georgia's Voter ID law, which they say aims to suppress black voting power, and that nominee Michael Boggs voted to keep the Confederate battle flag emblem on the state flag when he was a state representative. Cohen and Boggs could not be reached for comment Monday.

The White House supplied statistics to say that its judicial picks are more diverse than those of previous administrations — 18% of Obama's confirmed judges have been African American, compared with 8% for George W. Bush and 16% for Bill Clinton.
Yes, Mr. President. Overall, your judicial nominations have been more diverse than previous administrations. I commend that.

However, your past record does not excuse or justify your current Georgia judicial nominations. As you know, nominee Mark Cohen supported Georgia's voter ID law. Your Attorney General, Eric Holder, is fighting such laws in Texas and North Carolina. Clearly, you know that such laws are designed to suppress the black vote. Why on earth would you nominate a man like Mark Cohen? Why would you trust someone like Mr. Cohen to make crucial decisions on important civil rights cases?

Why would you nominate Michael Boggs, a man who voted to keep the Confederate battle flag emblem on the Georgia state flag? The Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery, racism, Jim Crow and treason. Anyone who embraces such a symbol is not worthy of being a federal judge. The last thing that we need is someone with a Confederate mentality making decisions in important civil rights cases.

Mr. President, African Americans are your most loyal supporters. As your poll numbers continue to decline, we remain by your side. Certainly, we deserve better than this. Mr. President, do not turn your back on us now. Our concerns should be more important than appeasing your political opponents.

Friday, December 20, 2013

President Obama Begins to Fight the New Jim Crow

Yesterday, President Obama took a step in the right direction.  Slowly, he is chipping away at the New Jim Crow.  For that, I commend the brother. The New York Times reports:
President Obama, expanding his push to curtail severe penalties in drug cases, on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight federal inmates who were convicted of crack cocaine offenses. Each inmate has been imprisoned for at least 15 years, and six were sentenced to life in prison.

It was the first time retroactive relief was provided to a group of inmates who would most likely have received significantly shorter terms if they had been sentenced under current drug laws, sentencing rules and charging policies. Most will be released in 120 days. The commutations opened a major new front in the administration’s efforts to curb soaring taxpayer spending on prisons and to help correct what it has portrayed as inequality in the justice system.

In a statement, Mr. Obama said that each of the eight men and women had been sentenced under what is now recognized as an “unfair system,” including a 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that was significantly reduced by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

“If they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” Mr. Obama said. “Instead, because of a disparity in the law that is now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison, separated from their families and their communities, at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year.”

The commutations have come during a pendulum swing away from tough mandatory minimum sentencing laws enacted a generation ago amid the crack epidemic. The policies fueled an 800 percent increase in the number of prisoners in the United States. They also carried a racial charge: Offenses involving crack, which was disproportionately prevalent in impoverished black communities, carried far more severe penalties than those for powder cocaine, favored by affluent white users.

TMZ, We Are Not Niggers

During a TMZ interview, hip hop mogul and ex felon Suge Knight said that he prefers the word "nigga" over the term "African American". He further said, "We ain't from Africa." No one expects a thug and criminal like Suge Knight to drop any gems of wisdom. After all, we are talking about a man who got rich promoting, producing and selling so-called gangsta rap. That music constantly refers to black people as niggas, bitches, hoes, etc.  It celebrates murder, drug dealing, misogyny, pimping, stripping, etc. So again, I do not expect to hear enlightening words from Mr. Knight. 

However, I do expect more TMZ, much more. As reported on the Huffington Post, TMZ had the audacity to create a poll asking their readers if black people should be referred to as African Americans or niggas.

TMZ's poll is a prime example of thoughtlessness and cultural insensitivity. It is clearly racist. Imagine if TMZ created a poll asking if Jews should be referred to as Jews or kikes. Imagine if TMZ created a poll asking if lesbians and gays should be referred to as LGBTs or faggots.  Those groups would raise holy hell, and rightly so.

Where is our outrage? While the world is up in arms about a backwoods, red neck reality star for expressing his religious views, we do not hear a peep from those same people about TMZ's racist poll. Where are the letters or petitions to TMZ condemning TMZ's poll?  Where are the demands for an apology to the African American community?

TMZ, we are not niggers. We are African Americans. As Malcolm X said, we did not come to America on the Mayflower. Our ancestors were kidnapped from the motherland, Africa and dragged to America. We were stripped of our humanity and reduced to chattel property. We came to this country in shackles packed in slave ships like sardines. We were forced to wallow in our waste for long periods of time. When we finally arrived in America, we were beaten, raped, burned, shot, lynched, castrated and butchered.

Not only were we physically oppressed, we were mentally oppressed. Over time, our enemy tried to blot out our original African culture, identity and history. However, our African identity did not die. It evolved, adapted, survived and became African American. Africa is in our blood, physical features, food, music, dance, worship and superstitions. Despite our oppression, we managed to salvage fragments of our cultural identity.

Not only did our oppressor try to destroy our culture, our oppressor indoctrinated us with the myth of white supremacy. To further degrade and denigrate us, our oppressor created and used the most offensive word in the English language, nigger. For centuries, the slave masters and segregationists called us niggers and fed us a diet of self hatred. Eventually, many of us internalized our oppression and began to adopt the racist language of the oppressor. Sadly, we began to call ourselves niggers. Instead of fighting that ugly legacy, TMZ has decided to perpetuate it.

We should be outraged, but we are not.  We would rather jump on another group's bandwagon.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mandela, Apartheid, The CIA and Israel

While the corporate media focuses on trivial matters like selfies, handshakes and fake sign language interpreters, Democracy Now is one of the few media outlets providing crucial information regarding the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

When you get a free moment, I recommend that you watch these important videos. In addition to discussing the life of Nelson Mandela, Democracy Now exposes how the C.I.A. helped the South African government capture Nelson Mandela.  Democracy Now also explains how the U.S. supported the Apartheid regime and how Israel provided military aid to racist South Africa. 

As we continue to mourn the passing of our dear brother Nelson Mandela, we must reflect on the past and continue to struggle for a better future. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

President Obama Speaks at Nelson Mandela's Memorial Service

Shout out to 3ChicsPolitico

Good morning. In case you missed it, President Barack Obama delivered a powerful speech at Nelson Mandela's Memorial Service. See the video is below.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Obama May Have Lied About Syria's Use of Chemical Weapons

As reported in Yahoo News,
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has dropped yet another bombshell allegation: President Obama wasn't honest with the American people when he blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a sarin-gas attack in that killed hundreds of civilians...

The administration buried intelligence on the fundamentalist group/rebel group al-Nusra. It was seen, Hersh says, as an alarming threat by May, with the U.S. being aware of al-Nusra member able to make and use sarin, and yet the group – associated with the rebel opposition in Syria – was never considered a suspect in the sarin attacks. Hersh refers to a top-secret June cable sent to the deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency that said al-Nusra could acquire and use sarin. But the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of the Defense Intelligence Agency could not find the document in question, even when given its specific codes.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, told a press conference: ‘It’s very important to note that only the [Assad] regime possesses sarin, and we have no evidence that the opposition possesses sarin.’

It is not known whether the highly classified reporting on al-Nusra was made available to Power’s office, but her comment was a reflection of the attitude that swept through the administration.

The administration was learning about the attack at roughly the same speed civilians were. Hersh says the thorough daily intelligence briefings in the days surrounding the gas attack did not make a single mention of Syria, even as videos and photos of the attack went viral across the Internet. He added that there was revealed a sensor system in Syria that had, in December 2012, shown sarin production at a chemical weapons depot arranged by the Syrian army. Though it was unclear whether this was a simulation or not – all militaries, Hersh says, practice simulations of such things – Obama promptly warned Syria that use of sarin gas would be "unacceptable."
Read more here.

We need more independent media sources like Democracy Now. Instead of thoroughly investigating the government's assertions about Assad's use of chemical weapons, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and other corporate media sources simply served as mouthpieces for Obama. Despite opposing the war against Iraq under Bush, many hypocritical so-called liberals simply parroted government propaganda and became cheerleaders for war against Syria. I hope that the media musters the courage to investigate Seymour Hersh's assertions.  This nation almost went to war based on what appears to be lies.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela, Rest in Peace and Power

Yesterday, our dear beloved brother Nelson Mandela joined the ancestors. The Washington Post reports that:
Flags across several continents fell to half staff early Friday, and South Africans poured into the streets at daybreak in mourning for Nelson Mandela, a liberator whose life spanned nearly a century and whose model for dignity and peace-making was admired across the world.

The death Thursday of Mandela, 95 and long ill, was at once thoroughly foretold and unexpectedly jarring, as people recalled his graceful leadership through what appeared to be an intractable racial crisis in South Africa and his ability to embody hope for moral progress in a beleaguered and often-unjust world. Mandela’s death spurred the rarest of outpourings — one nearly universal and unanimous. Mandela’s face appeared on newspaper front pages from Berlin to Beirut, often with just a few somber words and the years of his life: 1918-2013. His death spurred social media tributes in the United States and China.

I remember when Nelson Mandela came to Detroit, my hometown. My family and I listened to him speak at Tiger Stadium. He is one of my heroes. I admire his courage and sacrifice. He boldly fought to end Apartheid in South Africa. The brother and the African National Congress waged armed struggle against the racism regime. Despite being incarcerated for 27 years, Mandela maintained his commitment and dignity. After being released from prison, Mandela become South Africa's first black president.

Instead of mourning his death, we should celebrate his life and follow his courageous example. Stand up for freedom, justice and equality.  Dear brother Nelson Mandela, rest in peace and power.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

We Don't Need Any More Speeches

Yesterday, President Obama gave yet another eloquent and beautiful speech about the economy. He vividly described the problem of "rising inequality and declining mobility." He discussed empowering workers, creating promise zones, raising the minimum wage, enacting the Pay Check Fairness Act and enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He said all of the right things. He usually does. Aside from his sharp rhetoric about class inequality, we heard this speech before.

Five years into the Obama Presidency and all we get is more speeches about the economy.  Congress refuses to act. As black unemployment remains disproportionately high, all we get is more speeches. Congress refuses to act.  As Detroit goes bankrupt and retired city workers face the real prospect of losing their pensions, all we get is more speeches.  Congress refuses to act.  The New York Times reports that:
In a ruling that could reverberate far beyond Detroit, a federal judge held on Tuesday that this battered city could formally enter bankruptcy and asserted that Detroit’s obligation to pay pensions in full was not untouchable.

The judge, Steven W. Rhodes, dealt a major blow to the widely held belief that state laws preserve public pensions, and his ruling is likely to resonate in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and many other American cities where the rising cost of pensions has been crowding out spending for public schools, police departments and other services.

The judge made it clear that public employee pensions were not protected in a federal Chapter 9 bankruptcy, even though the Michigan Constitution expressly protects them. “Pension benefits are a contractual right and are not entitled to any heightened protection in a municipal bankruptcy,” he said.

James E. Spiotto, a lawyer with the firm Chapman & Cutler in Chicago who specializes in municipal bankruptcy and was not involved in the case, said: “No bankruptcy court had ruled that before. It will be instructive.”
If Congress and the White House can get together to bail out filthy rich, avaricious companies on Wall Street, why can't they get together to bail out Detroit and the rest of Main Street?!?   Why can't they enact the legislation that the President mentioned?  If the U.S. can afford to squander billions in Afghanistan, why can't the U.S. bail out Detroit and the rest of Main Street?  We don't need any more beautiful speeches. We need action. Instead of patiently waiting on Congress to save us, we must force them and the White House to act.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

President Obama is the Man Right Now

The Washington Post reports that:
Iran and six major powers agreed early Sunday on a historic deal that freezes key parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for temporary relief on some economic sanctions. 
The agreement, sealed at a 3 a.m. signing ceremony in Geneva’s Palace of Nations, requires Iran to halt or scale back parts of its nuclear infrastructure, the first such pause in more than a decade...  
The deal, intended as a first step toward a more comprehensive nuclear pact to be completed in six months, freezes or reverses progress at all of Iran’s major nuclear facilities, according to Western officials familiar with the details. It halts the installation of new centrifuges used to enrich uranium and caps the amount and type of enriched uranium that Iran is allowed to produce.  
Iran also agreed to halt work on key components of a heavy-water reactor that could someday provide Iran with a source of plutonium. In addition, Iran accepted a dramatic increase in oversight, including daily monitoring by international nuclear inspectors, the officials said.  
The concessions not only halt Iran’s nuclear advances but also make it virtually impossible for Tehran to build a nuclear weapon without being detected, the officials said. In return, Iran will receive modest relief of trade sanctions and access to some of its frozen currency accounts overseas, concessions said to be valued at less than $7 billion over the six-month term of the deal. The sanctions would be reinstated if Iran violates the agreement’s terms.

This is a tremendous and historic accomplishment. I commend President Obama and his Administration for reaching a nuclear deal with Iran. Earlier this year, Obama managed to avoid war with Syria. Syria agreed to dismantle its chemical weapons program. The brother also eliminated terrorist Osama bin Laden. On the world stage, Obama is the man right now. We might as well play the theme from Shaft.

Friday, November 22, 2013

We Have A Black President, Now Live With It!

Good morning family. The Washington Post reports that:
Senate Democrats took the dramatic step Thursday of eliminating filibusters for most nominations by presidents, a power play they said was necessary to fix a broken system but one that Republicans said will only rupture it further.

Democrats used a rare parliamentary move to change the rules so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been the standard for nearly four decades.

The immediate rationale for the move was to allow the confirmation of three picks by President Obama to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — the most recent examples of what Democrats have long considered unreasonably partisan obstruction by Republicans.

In the long term, the rule change represents a substantial power shift in a chamber that for more than two centuries has prided itself on affording more rights to the minority party than any other legislative body in the world. Now, a president whose party holds the majority in the Senate is virtually assured of having his nominees approved, with far less opportunity for political obstruction.
I commend the Democrats for taking action. Sadly, many white conservative Republicans cannot accept the fact that America has a black President. They have done everything in their power to politically castrate this President. Now, they will be forced to accept the fact the President has the power to nominate and appoint. Dear racists, we have a black President. Live with it.

Black Boys Lost and the Knockout Game

Some African American boys and men are playing a violent game called the Knockout Game. As reported on ABC News,
In New York, a 78-year-old woman strolling in her neighborhood was punched in the head by a stranger and tumbled to the ground. In Washington, a 32-year-old woman was swarmed by teenagers on bikes, and one clocked her in the face. In Jersey City, a 46-year-old man died after someone sucker-punched him and he struck his head on an iron fence.

In each case, police are investigating whether the attacks are part of a violent game called "knockout," where the object is to target unsuspecting pedestrians with the intention of knocking them out cold with one punch. Authorities and psychologists say the concept has been around for decades — or longer — and it's played mostly by impulsive teenage boys looking to impress their friends.

"It's hard to excuse this behavior, there's no purpose to this," said Jeffrey Butts, a psychologist specializing in juvenile delinquency at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "When someone runs into a store and demands money, you can sort of understand why they're doing it, desperation, whatever. But just hitting someone for the sheer thrill of seeing if you can knock someone out is just childish."
Unfortunately, some black boys are simply lost, drifting without guidance in the depths of darkness.  Too many fathers are missing from the home.  Too few productive, positive, strong male role models are there to fill the void.  For many, their families have failed them.  Their schools have failed them.  Their churches and mosques have failed them.  Their communities have failed them.  Without those essential safeguards, such lost black boys become vulnerable to the negative influences of society.

They become the product of a cold, callous, blood thirsty, sadistic world. Something is gravely wrong with a society that constantly celebrates violence in sports, film, music and games. As one of my Facebook friends pointed out, many of our youth spend hours playing violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto. That is a game that allows players to randomly beat and shoot prostitutes and innocent bystanders for kicks and giggles. Many of youth constantly listen to hypnotic rap music that glorifies violence and mayhem.  They constantly watch videos on World Star Hip Hop and elsewhere of people fighting and acting like savages.  Such programming desensitizes our youth to violence and promotes a depraved mentality.

Instead of being raised by a real family, they are raised by Lil Wayne and Grand Theft Auto. Without strong male role models, many of our black boys gravitate towards toward gangs and hooliganism. Grasping in the darkness, many lost black boys define a real man as being a thug, a hustler or a pimp.  In a desperate search for acceptance and belonging, they cling to the wrong crowd.

Our elders and ancestors did not march, protest, go to jail, bleed and die, so that our youth could run around knocking out innocent people for amusement. Our elders and ancestors did not suffer and struggle so that we could become a menace to society. Our ancestors are probably turning in their graves right now.

It is important to note that the overwhelming majority of black men and boys do not play that demented and cowardly game. Nonetheless, the collective will suffer because of the ignorance and stupidity of the few. Their actions only perpetuate the false stereotype that most black men are violent thugs. Due to those violent crimes and the constant media reports, people will be on edge whenever they see a young black man or a group of young black men approach. Out of fear, some people may resort to vigilantism and accidentally harm or kill innocent black people. Unfortunately, we may see more Trayvon Martins and Renisha McBrides due to this foolishness.

We must end this nonsense before more people are hurt or killed. Our religious institutions and civic organizations need to launch public education campaigns and more effective mentoring programs.  Such programs will to give our youth a true definition of manhood. Such programs will teach the youth about their history and their future.  With a true knowledge of self, our youth will not participate in those kind of senseless and barbaric crimes.

Moreover, this nation must invest in more summer jobs programs and recreational centers. That will eliminate idle time. It will eliminate the incentive to engage in such criminal activity.  Finally, we must support U.S. Rep. Robert "Bobby" Scott's (D-VA) Youth Promise Act.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

F**k the Police

This week, I read some outrageous news stories regarding police misconduct. The first story involves an incident in New Mexico. As reported in the Daily News,
New Mexico state troopers attacked a vehicle with gunfire and a nightstick as a family of six was inside in a wild video released by authorities.

The incident occurred on a highway near Taos, N.M., on Oct. 28 when a Tennessee woman named Oriana Ferrell was pulled over for driving 71 mph in a 55 mph zone, reported TV Station KRQE. Ferrell had five children in her minivan, ages 6 to 18.

But according to the dashboard video released by authorities Friday, a heated argument between a trooper and the mother ultimately led to her 14-year-old son confronting the officer and the trooper using a baton to try to break into the vehicle after ordering Ferrell to exit.

A second trooper later emerged and fired shots at the minivan's tires as Ferrell sped away and led police on a chase.
Remember, this whole incident stems from a simple speeding violation. There is no excuse for the police officer's action. There was no rational basis for that officer to fire shots at a van full of children. That officer could have killed one or more of the children in that van. He displayed a reckless disregard for human life. Unfortunately, police around his country do not value black life. We are expendable and worthless in their eyes.

The next story involves that Grosse Pointe police harassing and humiliating black men. As reported in Motor City Muckraker,
Grosse Pointe Park police officers are capturing humiliating photos and videos of black men and texting them to friends and family, the Motor City Muckraker has found.

One of the main culprits is Officer Mike Najm, who texted a picture of a black man in the back of a trailer and typed, “Gotta love the coloreds.” In one video, Najm can be heard telling a mentally ill black man to sing.

Most of the videos are shot from squad cars while African American men are told to sing or “dance like a chimp.” Some of the subjects are even in the back of police cars.

The next story involves claims of police brutality in Bucks County. As reported on,
WAS 14-YEAR-OLD Joseph Williams "brutally tortured" by Bucks County cops, as his mother alleges. Or did the ninth-grader take a nasty spill on his face when he was shot with a stun gun while fleeing police?

The Internet wants to know.

A grisly photo that Marissa Sargeant posted on Facebook on Friday - her son's swollen, bloody face after a shoplifting arrest last week in Tullytown Borough - went viral over the weekend and had been shared more than 43,000 times as of last night.

Supporters are demanding justice, calling it a horrific case of police brutality and comparing it to the Rodney King beating.

"The picture speaks 1,000 words. They brutally beat him," Sargeant said yesterday in her Levittown apartment. "If he did fall on his face, why does he have scrapes and bruises all over his whole face, everywhere. Why is his nose broken? Why is his nostril lifted off his face? Why is both of his eyes black and swollen?"

Sargeant said Williams is embarrassed to go outside or see people he knows, so he covers his face.
The police are suppose "to protect and serve." Sadly, that slogan does not reflect our experience with the police. Far too often, the police harass, humiliate, beat, shoot and kill innocent black people. Shooting at a van full of children over a freaking speeding ticket? Making black people sing and act like chimps? Really?

Every time police abuse occurs, we are told that it is an isolated incident. We are told that there are just "a few bad apples." To hell with "a few bad apples." There are plenty of bad, rotten, sinking, worm infested apples. In fact, the whole damn tree's core is decayed and festering with the pus of racism. In the words of NWA, f**k the police.

George Zimmerman's Arraignment for Assault

Yesterday, killer George Zimmerman was arraigned. The charges include domestic violence aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence battery and criminal mischief. The court found probable cause for the charges.

During the arraignment, the State's Attorney asserted that there was a prior, unreported domestic violence incident. George Zimmerman allegedly choked his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe. In addition, the State indicated that George Zimmerman threatened to commit suicide.

The court set the bond at $9,000 bond and ordered George Zimmerman to have no contact with Ms. Scheibe. He cannot possess any weapons while he is out on bond. He cannot travel outside of the State of Florida.

George Zimmerman paid the bond and is out on bail.

For an excellent discussion regarding Zimmerman, click this link.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

George Zimmerman is A Menace to Society Part 2

The Orlando Sentinel reports that:
George Zimmerman was arrested Monday after he cocked and pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend, shattered a glass-top table, then pushed her out of the house and barricaded himself inside after she ordered him to move out, according to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

He surrendered peacefully a few minutes later and was hauled off to jail, where he was being held without bail on domestic-violence and aggravated-assault charges.

It was the second time in three months that the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer, who was acquitted of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was handcuffed after being accused of domestic violence and threatening a woman with a gun.

In a September blowup with his estranged wife, police filed no charges. This time, authorities did not buy his story, one that he quickly got into public circulation.

While deputies were outside, banging on the door, trying to get him to come out, Zimmerman called 911 and blamed Monday's dispute on his girlfriend, 27-year-old Samantha Scheibe, whom he said had "gone crazy on me."

The couple had been living together in the home she rented on Topfield Court near Apopka since August, said Seminole County Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma.

Scheibe was pregnant, Zimmerman told the dispatcher, and had decided to raise the child on her own. He wanted the parting to be peaceful, he said, and began packing, including a bag in which he had placed guns, but Scheibe then went out of control, he told a dispatcher.
After that menace, George Zimmerman, lynched our brother Trayvon Martin, white conservatives and their negro puppets like Crystal Wright rationalized and justified Zimmerman's actions. They painted Trayvon as the aggressor, as the violent one, as the thug, as the hooligan, as the troublemaker, as the nigger.

They conveniently ignored George Zimmerman's relevant, violent and racist past. (Source: George Zimmerman's relevant past by Jonathan Capehart). They ignored his 2005 arrest for resisting an officer with violence. They ignored the 2005 restraining order entered against him for domestic violence. They ignored the fact he made 46 calls to police to report on "suspicious" black people. They ignored his cousin, Witness No. 9, when she said that Zimmerman "does not like black people". They ignored Witness No. 9 when she said that Zimmerman "is a very confrontational person".

Now that Zimmerman has threatened two precious, lilly white women with guns, maybe his defenders will finally realize that George Zimmerman is a menace to society. Maybe the jurors will finally realize that they released murderer. Maybe they will realize that Trayvon Martin's blood is on their hands.

How many more people must he threaten before he is finally imprisoned?  How many more people must he harm before he is finally imprisoned?  How many more people must he kill before he is finally imprisoned?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Saudi Arabia and Israel Treat Africans Like Trash

Recently, Al Jazeera reported on the cruel abuse of Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia. The article states that:
Facing limited job prospects and harsh economic realities back home, large numbers of Ethiopian men and women head to the oil- and gas-rich Arabian peninsula every year seeking work.

The International Labour Organisation said many face physical and mental abuse, menial pay, discrimination and poor working conditions, and the Ethiopian government announced last month it was banning domestic workers from travelling to the Middle East to look for jobs after widespread reports of mistreatment.

Like Abdullah, Abdurahman Kamal said he too was beaten before being jailed for ten days. His employer revoked his salary and his visa before handing him over to the authorities, he says.

"The police asked for money but at that time I didn't have the money, so the police beat me," said Abdurahman, 21, who worked as a driver.

Now he says he is relieved to be home after three years in Saudi Arabia.

"I get to go back to my family," he said, wearing a torn shirt that revealed his scarred torso.
Check out the video below for a graphic example of how our Ethiopian brothers and sisters are treated in Saudi Arabia. If you do not have a YouTube account, you should open one so that you can witness the Saudis commit brutal and barbaric crimes against Ethiopians migrants.

Our African brothers and sisters are not only oppressed in Saudi Arabia, they are oppressed in Israel as well. The Times of Israel reports that:
The cabinet on Sunday approved an amendment to a controversial bill that would allow the detention of migrants who have entered Israel illegally for up to a year without trial in closed-door detention centers, and for a much longer period in other, more open, facilities.

The amendment was part of the so-called “infiltrator law,” which was sponsored by Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar and approved by 12 ministers, with two abstaining.

An earlier version of the bill, which called for keeping migrants in closed detention centers for up to three years without trial, was struck down by the High Court of Justice in September as unconstitutional. The court also gave the government 90 days to either bring to trial or release all those being held under the overturned amendment.

Under the revised version of the bill that was approved on Sunday, authorities will be able to keep migrants in open detention centers for up to three years without trial proceedings. The open-door facilities require the inhabitants to return every night and attend three head counts at the center during the day. Migrants can be held in closed-door facilities for up to one year.
Check out the news report below regarding racism against African immigrants in Israel. Despite their religious, cultural and political differences, Saudi Arabia and Israel agree one thing.  Both countries treat Africans like trash.

Those two stories point to one stark reality. Many ideologies and religions profess to believe in the equality of mankind. However, their "believers" do not practice what they preach. It does not matter whether a nation purports to be Muslim, Christian, Jewish, secular, capitalist, socialist, democratic or dictatorial, many of those nations oppress African people. Too often, racism and white supremacy trump religion and professed ideology. Everywhere the African goes he is treated like a cursed, subhuman pariah.

Africans worldwide and all people of goodwill must unite.  We must stand up and make our voices heard. Please sign the petition below.

Petition to stop violence against Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Black Self Hatred: Minstrels and Uncle Toms on #YouTube

"When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions...You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go there without being told." Dr. Carter G. Woodson

This week, I read a shocking and disturbing article in The Guardian. The controversial article was cited on the Root and several other news sources. In his sickening piece of trash entitled Why I Hate Being A Black Man, Orville Douglass writes:
I can honestly say I hate being a black male. Although black people like to wax poetic about loving their label I hate "being black". I just don't fit into a neat category of the stereotypical views people have of black men. In popular culture black men are recognized in three areas: sports, crime, and entertainment. I hate rap music, I hate most sports, and I like listening to rock music such as PJ Harvey, Morrissey, and Tracy Chapman. I have nothing in common with the archetypes about the black male.

There is so much negativity and criminal suspicion associated with being a black male in Toronto. Yet, I don't have a criminal record, and I certainly don't associate with criminals. In fact, I abhor violence, and I resent being compared to young black males (or young people of any race) who are lazy, not disciplined, or delinquent. Usually, when black male youth are discussed in Toronto, it is about something going wrong.

Honestly, who would want to be black? Who would want people to be terrified of you and not want to sit next to you on public transportation?

Who would want to have this dark skin, broad nose, large thick lips, and wake up in the morning being despised by the rest of the world?
Unfortunately, black self hatred is not rare. Sadly, it is a worldwide and pervasive phenomena. It is a part of the continuing legacy of colonialism, slavery, Jim Crow, Apartheid and other manifestations of white supremacy and racism.

No where is such black self hatred more manifest and apparent than on YouTube.  On YouTube, there are plenty of self hating black people who enthusiastically embrace the roles of modern day minstrel and Uncle Tom. All they need is some black shoe polish to paint their faces.

The minstrel is the one who loves to laugh, tell jokes and clown around at black people's expense.  They are like the characters Mantan and Sleep n Eat from Spike Lee's classic film Bamboozled.  A prime example of the YouTube minstrel is Tommy Sotomayor.  Then, there is the Uncle Tom. He is the one who projects his self hatred by denigrating and demeaning his own black people. Examples of YouTube Uncle Toms are 5723Michael/David Carroll and Painlessrisen.

The minstrel and Uncle Tom have transformed black pathology and black misogyny into an industry. Those fools are Klansmen in black face. In fact, one of those Uncle Toms has a YouTube video explaining why he respects the KKK. Those Uncle Toms and minstrels make hours and hours of YouTube videos describing and depicting black people as lazy, stupid, criminal, immoral and violent. 5723Michael/David Carroll loves to call his own people coons, apes, monkeys, savages, etc. 

Those minstrels and Uncle Toms make hours and hours of videos insulting black women, calling them nappy headed bitches, hoes and beasties.  Minstrel Tommy loves to condemn them for wearing wigs and weaves. He also enjoys dogging dark skinned African American women, even though he is dark skinned himself. Those minstrels and Toms love to talk about how black women "ain't shit". They love to present most black women as fighting, yelling, money hungry, conniving, twerking whores. While these simpletons trash their own black sisters, they drool over white women. While they humiliate and denigrate black women, they elevate and celebrate white women.

Like the African kings who sold their own people to the white man, YouTube minstrels and Uncle Toms do the bidding of white supremacists.  It is no coincidence that their material finds its way to racist, white supremacist websites and channels like TruTube and Stormfront.  Shout out to Tyrone Thompson for exposing Tommy Sotomayor.  

While the masses are outraged about the killings of Renisha McBride, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and Jonathan Ferrell, YouTube Uncle Toms demonize the black victims and defend the white killers.  In the words of brother Malcolm X, they love their white master more than the master loves himself.  Those Toms would gladly give their lives to save their master.  For instance, Uncle Painlessrisen has countless videos defending his boyfriend, George Zimmerman. Also, that imbecile, Painlessrisen, recently created a video blaming Renisha McBride for her own tragic death.

When black people cry out for justice, these Uncle Toms desperately try to divert attention to the irrelevant topic of so-called "black on black" violence. They do not raise the topic of urban violence out of a genuine concern for the plight of black people. Rather, they do so because it fuels their stereotypical narrative of black pathology.

Enough is enough. Those fools matter because they have dozens of channels and thousands of subscribers. YouTube constantly promotes their demented channels. Our elders and ancestors demonstrated and spoke out against racists films and programming like Birth of A Nation. In that brave tradition, I will continue to speak out against sellouts, minstrels and Uncle Toms on YouTube and elsewhere.  Every nation has a way to deal with its traitors.  It is time for us to deal with ours.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Justice for Renisha McBride: Charges Have Been Filed Against the Killer

The Detroit News reports that:
Detroit — A Dearborn Heights man was charged Friday with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm in a felony in the shooting death of 19-year-old Detroiter Renisha McBride.

Homeowner Theodore Wafer, 54, faces arraignment Friday afternoon in the charges, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced.

McBride was fatally shot in the face early Nov. 2 by Wafer,whose lawyer said was “justified” in firing at McBride. About two and a half hours earlier before the shooting at the home in the 16800 block of Outer Drive, McBride crashed into a parked car a mile away on Brammell and Warren in Detroit.

Worthy said Friday that the evidence shows Wafer did not act in self defense.
Read more here.

I stand with Renisha McBride's family. I hope and pray for justice!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Two Sistas Make History

The Grio reported that:
Two female students at Fresno State University recently made history by being named the first African-American women to win the Henry Clay Invitational Debates.

The annual debate, which was held at the University of Kentucky this year, was first established in 1971 and is one of the nation’s oldest and largest U.S. policy, varsity debate tournaments in America, reports The Collegian at Fresno State.

On Oct. 7, Nadia Lewis and Jamila Ahmed took home the first and second place titles, respectively, after competing against 286 speakers from 30 schools.

Read more here.
While others highlight negative stereotypes of black people, I will highlight examples of black excellence and achievement. Join me in congratulating Nadia Lewis and Jamila Ahmed!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Three African Americans Receive ‘Genius’ MacArthur Fellowship Awards

(Photo of Carrie Mae Weems, one of the awardees)

Frost Illustrated reports that:
Three African Americans are among the recipients of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowships for 2013—an award that recognizes those who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement and potential in their creative pursuits.
Kyle Abraham, Tarell McCraney and Carrie Mae Weems were among the 24 individuals who each will receive the $625,000 monetary award, which they can use to invest in their artistic visions in any manner they choose.

“This year’s class of MacArthur Fellows is an extraordinary group of individuals who collectively reflect the breadth and depth of American creativity,” said Cecilia Conrad, vice president, MacArthur Fellows Program, in a statement. “They are artists, social innovators, scientists, and humanists who are working to improve the human condition and to preserve and sustain our natural and cultural heritage. Their stories should inspire each of us to consider our own potential to contribute our talents for the betterment of humankind.”

Abraham, McCraney and Weems, in particular, were celebrated for their unique expressions of the African American experience.
Read more here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Is Obama Black Enough?

The Root
reports that:
Thanks to the book Game Change, which captured the behind-the-scenes drama of the 2008 presidential campaign, authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are now as feared among those keeping political secrets as Karinne “Superhead” Steffans is feared among the rappers and athletes worried about being name-checked in her next tell-all.

The most recent revelation to leak from their latest book, Double Down, is a good reminder of why Halperin and Heilemann cause such nervousness among the political elite. According to the Daily Beast’s overview, the book claims President Obama and his advisors were irritated by what his aides dubbed the “professional left” and “professional blacks.” Not black professionals, but those who professionally highlight or exploit racial politics. The book goes on to say that the president considers New York Rep. Charles Rangel “a hack” and that the Rev. Jesse Jackson essentially had been banned from the White House. The Washington Times also reported that according to the book, Rep. John Lewis and Jim Clyburn were the only two members of the CBC whom President Obama respects, writing, “Apart from Georgia congressman John Lewis and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Obama had nearly as much contempt for the CBC as he did for the Tea Party Caucus.”

But the most eye-opening revelation to come from this section of the book is the allegation that the president is still hung up on an allegation that has haunted him since early in his career, that he is not “black enough” and that he actually asked aides during the 2012 campaign, “Am I still not black enough?”

While these anecdotes are not exactly explosive, they are revealing. For one, the president’s tight relationship with rapper Jay Z (birth name Shawn Carter) has been puzzling for many, particularly in light of the fact that Jay Z is a former drug dealer who has proved politically embarrassing to the president.

President Obama was not raised in a predominantly African American environment. He is biracial.  His father was Kenyan and his mother was white. His African father was not involved in his life. While Obama is African American in the truest sense, he is not a descendant of enslaved African Americans. For the most part, he was raised by his white mother and his white grandparents in a predominantly white community. In the words of Senator Harry Reid, Obama did not grow up speaking the "Negro dialect". Eventually, he learned and adopted the Negro dialect as a second language to be used only when addressing large, predominantly African American crowds and groups.  Unlike Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Bobby Rush, Barack Obama is not from the Civil Rights Movement era. Obama was not an activist like Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton.  Such factors made and make Obama more appealing to white voters.  At the same time, such factors cause some to question his blackness.

I do not question the President's blackness.  The brother has an African/Muslim name. In America, biracial equals black. When the police stop and frisk you or shoot you down in New York, they do not see a "biracial" person.  They see a black person.  Instead of working on Wall Street, Obama worked in low income, black communities in Chicago. He went to a black liberation theology church for 20 years.  Barack Obama married First Lady Michelle Obama, who is undeniably black, and had two beautiful black daughters.

It is worth noting that the Tea Party does not question his blackness.  In case Obama ever forgets, the Tea Party is there to remind him that he is black.  They remind him with their Confederate flags, Obama witch doctor signs, Obama monkey signs and Obama Muslim/Arab terrorist signs.

Although I do not question Obama's blackness, I do question his failure to adequately address issues of race.  I do question his failure to adequately address high black unemployment and other issues.  I do question his failure to develop a stronger relationship with the Congressional Black Caucus.

When Barack Obama first rose to national prominence, I viewed his sudden ascent with great skepticism.  That skepticism was based on his famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.  In that speech, he said that:
Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there’s the United States of America.
Such post-racial, post-partisan rhetoric was designed to placate mainstream, white moderates. Everyone knows that there is a Black America and a White America. Those two Americas in many ways remain separate and unequal. They are unequal in every sense of the word.  Significant disparities continue to exist in education, employment, wealth, criminal justice, education and health.

Obama's speech made it abundantly clear that he is not a race man.  Unless pressed into a corner, Obama downplays the significance of race in America. He avoids discussing the issue. I completely understand why an ambitious and intelligent black politician would avoid such a volatile, divisive and explosive topic. Discussing such a topic is not smart politics when one is running for a statewide office or national office. Talking about race will only antagonize and alienate white voters.

However, the President is in his second term.  He should feel more comfortable speaking about race. He might as well be black now, real black. Although the President has made some significant public statements on race during his Presidency, he still avoids the topic. As reported in The Afro:
According to research compiled by Daniel Q. Gillion, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, President Obama has paid less attention to race – as measured by executive orders issued and references to race in public speeches – than every Democratic president since 1961.

That means he has paid less attention to race than John F. Kennedy, a liberal former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, and three White Southerners who grew up under segregation – Lyndon Johnson of Texas, Jimmy Carter of Georgia and Bill Clinton of Arkansas.
In that context, I do not doubt the claims in Double Down. Remember when the President told the Congressional Black Caucus to "Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying." In addition, the President waited over two years before having his most recent meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. That is simply unacceptable. No politician should treat his most loyal constituency that way especially when African Americans continue to experience disproportionately  high unemployment and incarceration rates. As reported on Think Progress,
The nation’s unemployment rate is now 7.9 percent, and there is an unquestionable recovery taking place. Lost in the positive news, though, is that the unemployment rate for African-Americans rose nearly a full point to 14.3 percent, up from 13.4 percent in September.
Obviously, the President needs to spend more time meeting with the CBC than he does with Jay Z.

Although I recognize the President has implemented policies that benefit African Americans, far more work needs to be done to improve the state of Black America. We cannot allow ourselves to be silenced by the Administration's condescending rhetoric about "being the President of all of America, not just Black America."  That talking point is simply a feeble excuse and justification for indifference and inaction.  Every time the black left raises legitimate issues or questions regarding the President's policies or lack thereof, the mindless parrot that talking point. 

Obama does not tell AIPAC that he is not the President of Zionist America. He does not tell the immigrant community that he is not the President of Latino America. He does not tell that the LGBT community that he is not the President of Gay America. It is time for people to stop saying that Obama is not the President of Black America.  All of America includes Black America. 

Whether Obama likes it or not, the African American community and the CBC must keep up the pressure. Too much is at stake. Yes, Mr. President. You are black enough, but you have not done enough for black people.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Justice for Renisha McBride

Good morning. Justice for Renisha McBride! Justice for Trayvon Martin! Justice for Jonathan Ferrell! Justice for Jordan Davis! We must end all forms of racial profiling and racial violence. We must repeal Stand Your Ground laws.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Is It Open Season on Black People?

Fox 2 News Headlines

The Detroit News reports that:
Dearborn Heights— Four days after a young woman was found dead outside a Dearborn Heights home at which she is believed to have sought help after a car accident, the family is asking: Why did she have to die?

Little has been publicly released about the circumstances of Renisha McBride’s death Saturday. The 19-year-old from Detroit died of a shotgun blast to the head outside the home in the 16800 block of Outer Drive near Warren Avenue. Dearborn Heights police said they have “identified the person who fired the shot and killed the woman.”

Her cellphone dead, her family said, she made her way to the house for help after the early morning accident.

“She probably wanted to ask him to make a call for her or if she could use the phone,” said McBride’s maternal aunt, Bernita Spinks.

Police have refused to release details of their investigation. The police chief did not return calls.

The family is filled with questions, said Spinks, a family spokeswoman. At a vigil late Wednesday, she asked: “Why did he have to shoot her?”

Spinks said the family met with police and Prosecutor’s Office about the shooting. She said police told the family the shooter is a man in his 50s.A preliminary autopsy indicated McBride was shot in the head, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office. No other information on the autopsy was released.

Police on Wednesday asked the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to issue a warrant for the resident in the fatal shooting, but late Wednesday, the office said it sent back the request.

“We have requested further investigation by the police that must be submitted to our office before a decision will be made,” said Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

As the family prepares for the funeral Friday of McBride, a recent graduate of Southfield High School and an employee of Ford Motor Co., family members said they are troubled by the circumstances of the shooting. Spinks said she believes her niece was racially profiled.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a white person killed a black person seeking help. Check out what happened to Jonathan Ferrell.

As reported in the Daily News,
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An unarmed former Florida A&M University football player shot and killed by police — who were responding to calls of a man trying to break into a house — was apparently just seeking help after a car accident.

Jonathan Ferrell, 24, was shot multiple times when cops say he surprised a trio of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers by running toward them around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Police say Ferrell’s description matched one given by a woman who moments earlier called 911 to report a man knocking wildly on her front door and attempting to break in.
When we are not being killed by our own brothers and sisters, we are being killed by white racists who assume that all black people are dangerous criminals. They killed Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Jonathan Ferrell and now Renisha McBride. Is it open season on black people? How many more brothers and sisters must die before we finally wake the hell up and stand up?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Drop the Appeal, End Stop and Frisk Now!

Metro reports that:
Energized by the landslide victory of their mayoral candidate in yesterday’s election, stop-and-frisk opponents crowded onto the steps of City Hall to call on the out-going mayor to drop his appeal.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s law department is appealing federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling in Floyd v. City of New York. Scheindlin said the way the NYPD practices stop, question and frisk is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Last week, three Court of Appeals judges granted city lawyers their motion to stay Scheindlin’s ordered remedies while they appeal her ruling.

In an extremely unusual move, the judges also removed Scheindlin from the cases, seizing on allegations that she improperly coached attorneys to make sure the cases were brought to her.

But the timeline outlined in the Court of Appeals’ judges order extends well into 2014, when Mayor Elect Bill de Blasio will have taken over. De Blasio has vowed to drop the appeal.

Stop-and-frisk opponents today insisted Bloomberg should just drop the appeal himself.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler called pursuing the appeal a “total” waste of taxpayer money.

“The appeal… is going to be dropped in January,” Nadler said. “So why waste everybody’s time and money and energy in November and December?”
Sadly, some misguided and uninformed people actually support New York City's ineffective and wasteful stop and frisk policy.  The Huffington Post reports that:
CNN host Don Lemon got a big chunk of Twitter very mad at him on Tuesday after he endorsed New York's reviled stop and frisk policies.

Speaking during his regular slot on the Tom Joyner show, Lemon said that police were not always very respectful of the people they stopped, but that tampering with the "formula that has reduced crime in New York City" could be very dangerous.

"The question is, would you rather be politically correct or safe and alive?" he concluded.
Here are a few reasons why Uncle Don is wrong. As reported in The Huffington Post article entitled NYPD Stop And Frisks: 15 Shocking Facts About A Controversial Program,

The NYPD argues this shows the effectiveness of stop and frisk, saying the practice has prevented people from carrying guns on the street. While stops have increased by 524,873 since 2003, officers have found only 176 additional guns...

The NYPD and local politicians have repeatedly defended the racial disparity in stops by saying minorities are disproportionately involved in violent crime. In 2011, however, in only 10.5 percent of stops did cops record "violent criminal activity" as justification for the stop.

Nine out of 10 of those stopped in 2011 were neither arrested nor given summonses.

The NYPD and politicians have repeatedly justified the racial disparity in stop and frisks saying that they cops essentially go where the guns are, i.e. minority neighborhoods. Yet, only 1.9 percent of frisks in 2011 turned up weapons and interestingly, according to the NYCLU, "a weapon was found in only 1.8 percent of blacks and Latinos frisked, as compared to a weapon being found in 3.8 percent of whites frisked."

...In 2002, when Mr. Kelly last took office, officers stopped 97,296 New Yorkers and the city reported 587 homicides. Last year, those numbers were 685,724 and 532...

Last week, the NYPD said stop-and-frisk was used more than 200,000 times in the first quarter of this year – a 10 percent jump from the same period last year. The data covers the period from January to March. So far this year homicides are down by 19 percent over last year.

But of the 13 precincts where homicides were up, stop and frisks increased in six over the same reporting period last year. And in the remaining seven, stop and frisks were down.

“There is no evidence that stop and frisk is lowering or suppressing the murder rate in New York City,” said Chris Dunn, spokesman for the NYCLU, in a statement. “Murders have dropped steadily since 1990.”

Clearly, stop and frisk is not making New Yorkers safe and secure. Stop and frisk is only further eroding public confidence and trust in the NYPD. The NYPD's stop and frisk policy is degrading, humiliating, oppressive and repressive.  New York City police are criminalizing blackness and collectively punishing the entire black community. Police officers should protect and serve the community, not harass and terrorize the community. It is time to drop the appeal and end stop and frisk now.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hip Hop is Dead

"Yo, you believe when they say we ain't shit? We can't grow? All we are is dope dealers, gangsters and hoes?...We begged, we prayed, petitioned and demonstrated just to make another generation black zombies." Nas - Black Zombies

"Old white men is running this rap shit. Corporate forces is running this rap shit. Some tall Israeli is running this rap shit. We poke out our asses for a chance to cash in." Mos Def - The Rape Over

A few years ago, Nas said hip hop is dead. He was right. Hip hop is dead in so many ways. Hip hop is no longer an art form. It is an artificial commodity, like McDonald's hamburgers, mass produced for mass consumption and destruction. Culture should be a tool for liberation but we have allowed hip hop to be used as a tool for own our oppression and destruction. Instead of promoting life, it celebrates death, mental death, spiritual death and physical death. Today's hip hop promotes the effeminacy, criminalization, incarceration and destruction of the black man. It degrades and objectifies the black woman.

Hip hop used to be an expression of black masculinity and machismo. In 1980s, brothers wore jogging suits and sneakers. In the 1990s, brothers wore army fatigues, Timberland boots and baggy clothes. Now, hip hop is gay. Today, it is the "normal" to see men wearing two earrings. Dudes actually think that it's cool to wear bright colors and skin tight, sagging jeans exposing their underwear and entire buttocks. As if that is not bad enough, very popular male rap artists actually wear skirts and leggings now.

Listen to Lord Jamar speak the truth on this issue. Warning: some of the language is harsh.

There was a time when hip hop was authentic.  It was the voice of the voiceless.  During the Reagan and Bush I eras, artists like Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash rapped about hard times and life close to the edge.  That was the genuine voice of poor, black urban communities.  It represented the hopes, dreams, frustrations, love, consciousness, struggle and life of the community, of the hood.

There was a time when hip hop ushered in an era of black consciousness.  Hip hop groups like Public Enemy inspired us to learn or read about Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, the Black Panther Party, Joanne Chesimard aka Assata Shakur, Huey Newton and other important black leaders.  Groups like the X Clan, the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Brand Nubian and others taught us to love the Motherland and her culture.  People like KRS One told us that we must learn.  The brother told us to stop the violence.  He warned us about how the love of material things can lead to our destruction.  Those groups and artists taught us to love ourselves.  They taught us to embrace our blackness and our history. Such music was mainstream.  It was played in the streets, in the clubs and on the radio.

Today, "conscious" hip hop artists have essentially been pushed underground.  They are not played on the radio or in the club.  I have never heard Dead Prez or Immortal Technique played on the radio. Most young people are not listening to artists like Mos Def, Common or the Roots.

In late 1980s and early 1990s, hip hop groups celebrated and honored the red, the black and the green, the black liberation flag. Today, Kanye West, one of this generation's most popular rap artists, honors and sells the Confederate flag, a symbol of oppression and slavery. Why would any black person in his right mind celebrate and sell clothing bearing the Confederate flag on it? Kanye's decision epitomizes the mental death of hip hop.

Back in the day, hip hop was also about dancing and fun. You had groups like Kid N Play, Salt-n-Pepa, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, the Fat Boys, LL Cool J and others who made you want to dance.  Back then, you could listen to hip hop with your family.  Today, hip hop is laced with profanity and obscenity.  You can't listen to it around the children and the elders.

Back then, we also had "gangsta rap" artists as well like NWA, Ice T and other. However, they represented one voice among a plethora of diverse black voices.  Most of their songs were not played on the radio.

Today, that genre is the main genre of hip hop.  It is played over and over on the radio.  Every other hip hop song glorifies guns, murder, crack dealing and using "Molly".  Killing people, getting shot, selling drugs and incarceration are badges of honor and prerequisites for success in hip hop now. Unfortunately, for a few dollars, too many of our people are willing to play the role of the minstrel, the coon, the buffoon, the exaggerated gangster, the crack cooking drug dealer and the pimp. Those disturbing and negative images are projected around America and the world. Such images create, perpetuate and reinforce stereotypes about black criminality and stupidity. In an interview with XXL, T.I. mentioned the pressure to project such images:
Was Atlantic Records happy about the new family-friendly T.I.?
Nah, they hated it. Labels love hardcore T.I. That keeps the cash register ringing. They don’t want me to go to prison and caught though. They want me to be the Teflon Don, and I can’t blame them. That shit’s sexy. But I’m older, man. I’m wiser, I’m calmer… I’m better, stronger. I’m ready for whatever tomorrow got coming.
As others have said, mainstream hip hop is like an extended advertisement for prison and death. This is no coincidence. As documented in Davey D's article titled Jailhouse Roc: The Facts About Hip Hop and Prisons for Profit, there are financial ties between the entertainment industry and the prison industry. More specifically, Davey D writes:
According to public analysis from Bloomberg, the largest holder in Corrections Corporation of America is Vanguard Group Incorporated. Interestingly enough, Vanguard also holds considerable stake in the media giants determining this country’s culture. In fact, Vanguard is the third largest holder in both Viacom and Time Warner. Vanguard is also the third largest holder in the GEO Group, whose correctional, detention and community reentry services boast 101 facilities, approximately 73,000 beds and 18,000 employees. Second nationally only to Corrections Corporation of America, GEO’s facilities are located not only in the United States but in the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.
The entertainment industry has a financial incentive to promote life styles that increase the incarceration rates. 

While are our young men are being steered toward prison and death. Hip hop is degrading, objectifying, stripping and prostituting black women.  Today, most rap songs constantly refer to black women as bitches, hoes and other degrading terms. The hip hop industry parades our sisters around the world as modern day, half-naked Venus Hottentots.

As we reflect on the current state of hip hop, we must remember that African Americans do not control hip hop. We are just the front people. As rapper Scarface said old white men are defining the culture. Listen to Scarface speak the truth about hip hop.

Those old white men decide what kind of hip hop will be signed, promoted and played.  White corporate forces and their black minstrel minions killed hip hop. Hip hop is dead.