Sunday, December 21, 2014

All Life is Precious

The New York Post reports that:
Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead Saturday afternoon as they sat in their marked police car on a Brooklyn street corner — in what investigators believe was a crazed gunman’s ­assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

"No warning, no provocation — they were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said.

Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill in Bedford-Stuyvesant just before 3 p.m. when they were shot point-blank in the head by lone gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, who had addresses in Georgia, Maryland and Brooklyn.

Moments after killing the two officers, Brinsley, too, was dead, having turned his gun on himself on a nearby subway platform as cops closed in.

Liu, 32, a newlywed of only two months, had seven years on the force; Ramos, 40, dad to two sons, had two years on the job.

Brinsley was already a fugitive, suspected of putting a bullet in his ex-girlfriend’s abdomen at her residence in Baltimore at 5:45 a.m. Saturday, Bratton said.

By early Saturday afternoon — just three hours before shooting Liu and Ramos — vile anti-police threats were posted to Brinsley’s Instagram page. The threats referenced the ­recent police-involved killings of Garner and Brown.

“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today,” a person believed to be the gunman wrote. “They Take 1 Of Ours . . . Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” the post continued, ending with, “This May Be My Final Post.”

The Instagram page included an image of a silver automatic handgun with a wooden handle.

That gun matches the Taurus semiautomatic that police recovered from Brinsley. Another ­image showed the same camouflage pants and distinctive blue sneakers worn by the gunman as his body was carried from the scene on a stretcher.

“I Rather Die a Gangster Then Go To Sleep A Coward,” read ­another post.

The sickening missives used the hashtag #ShootThePolice, along with two other hashtags referencing Garner and Brown.

Police in Baltimore had reached out via a “warning flier” to alert NYPD that Brinsley might be en route to Brooklyn, but the fax tragically arrived at 2:45 p.m. — five minutes before the shooting, Bratton said. “The tragedy here was that just as the warning was coming in, the murder was occurring,” Bratton said.
I pray that God blesses and comforts the families of the victims. May God forgive them for their sins and bless with eternal peace. I strongly condemn Brinsley's heinous and cowardly crimes.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley was a suicidal, career criminal looking for a way to give the last moments of his pathetic life meaning. To do so, he latched on the movement like a blood sucking leech latches on to the leg of an unsuspecting host. He attempted to hijack the movement like the 9/11 terrorists hijacked the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. Brinsley did not really act on behalf of the movement. His act was a sick, despicable, selfish, narcissistic act of desperation. This tragedy has absolute nothing to do with the movement.

In response to this tragedy, the police union blamed protesters and Mayor Bill de Blasio for the violence. CBS New York reports that:
“There’s blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what NYPD officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said. “That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the office of the mayor.”

“Those who allowed this to happen will be held accountable,” he added.

The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted: “The blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio. May God bless their families and may they rest in peace.”
Recently, in light of the death of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, Mayor De Blasio expressed a genuine concern about the safety of his biracial son . As you may know, activists have been marching in the streets of New York for weeks demanding justice of Eric Garner.

Instead of addressing the Mayor's and the community's concerns, NYPD cops literally turned their backs on the mayor and the community. Again, the police blamed activists and the Mayor for a crime that had nothing to do with them. The response of the police union is truly disgraceful. They are exploiting and pimping this tragedy to stifle, discredit and destroy the legitimate demands for justice. The overwhelming majority of protesters are nonviolent. Protest leaders such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others have universally condemned Brinsley's senseless act of violence. His crime is not their fault.

Contrary to the assertions of the police union and others, the movement is not against all police officers. The movement is against police brutality and misconduct. All people of good will, including police officers, should oppose police brutality and misconduct as well. Such practices erode public trust and confidence. Police brutality and the failed criminal justice system breed fear, hatred and mistrust thereby making communities and police officers less safe.

When Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were killed, the NYPD and the nation mourned their loss and prayed for the families of the victims. They saluted the deceased for their bravery and sacrifice.  In the eyes of the NYPD and the nation, those officers lives were viewed as sacred and precious.

On the other hand, when Eric Garner was choked to death on camera, the police defended the killer. In the eyes of many police officers and citizens, Eric Garner's life simply did not matter. In America, black lives do not matter. If they did matter, we would not have to march around with signs stating that "#BlackLivesMatter".  Many view our lives are worthless, disposal and expendable. As far as they are concerned, a cigarette butt has more value. For some, the death of Eric Garner is a source of 

amusement, a punchline for kicks and giggles. To make mockery of the Eric Garner's death, some police officers wore "I Can Breathe" T-shirts. That is a disturbing display of their utter disregard for Mr. Garner's life and our lives.

All human life is precious. If the police valued all human life as much as they value their fellow officers' lives, there would be no police brutality. There would be no police harassment. Eric Garner, Mike Brown and countless others would still be alive. Instead of coddling and protecting killers, cops should stand up and prevent fellow officers from using excessive force. Instead, they adhere to a rigid and unjust blue code of silence.

Finally, in light of the police union's reaction, the movement should brace for increased police infiltration, provocation, harassment and brutality. We must be aware of agent provocateurs in our mist. Agent provocateurs are police informants who attempt to incite activists to engage in violence and other illegal activities. After inciting activists to engage in such illegality, the agent provocateurs entrap, imprison and discredit the activists.  Ultimately, the movement is discredited and neutralized.

We must stay focused. Our cause is righteous and just. We cannot rest until police brutality ends. Justice for Eric Garner, Mike Brown and everyone else.

Monday, December 15, 2014

This is A Movement, Not A Moment

The Washington Post reports that:
WASHINGTON — Demonstrators nationwide protesting the fatal shootings of unarmed black men killed by police chanted “I can’t breathe!” ‘’Hands up, don’t shoot!” and waved signs that read “Black lives matter!” as family members of three victims packed a stage in front of the U.S. Capitol, urging thousands of supportive marchers to keep pressing for changes to the criminal justice system.

The march in Washington on Saturday — attended by family members for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, who were killed by police in recent months, and Amadou Diallo, who was fatally shot by police more than 15 years ago — coincided with nationwide demonstrations that spanned from iconic Fifth Avenue in New York to the streets of San Francisco and the steps of the Boston Statehouse. Most were peaceful protests, although about two dozen people were arrested in the Massachusetts capital for disorderly conduct.

“My husband was a quiet man, but he’s making a lot of noise right now,” said Washington protest marcher Esaw Garner, widow of Eric Garner, 43, who died in July after being put in a chokehold by New York City police during an arrest for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

“His voice will be heard. I have five children in this world and we are fighting not just for him but for everybody’s future, for everybody’s past, for everybody’s present, and we need to make it strong.”

Nationally, chanting demonstrators also staged “die-ins” as they lay down across intersections and in one city briefly scuffled with police blocking an onramp to a highway.
For coverage of the entire March, visit

Battle tested civil rights veterans like Rev. Al Sharpton are still on the front lines of the struggle.  Also, there is a new vanguard of young people who are no longer waiting for saviors and leaders. They are seizing the time and organically developing their own organizations and leadership.  In cities around the country, young people of all races are marching in the streets and engaging in acts of defiance and civil disobediance. Despite the passage of time, the call for justice remains strong. This is a movement, not a moment.

We should be inspired by their courageous example. The time for spectators and armchair revolutionaries is over. Tweets, hashtags, blogs and Facebooks statuses are good, but they are no substitute for real grassroots activism. We will must get involved in the struggle. Justice for Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice and everyone else!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Alia Atkinson Makes History

The Root reports that:
Alia Atkinson made swimming history on Saturday by becoming the first black woman to win a world swimming title: the women’s 100 breaststroke at the world short-course championships in Doha, Qatar.

Atkinson, who swims for Jamaica, tied the world record with a time of 1 minute, 2.36 seconds, which, according to the standards of the international swimming governing body FINA, counts as its own record. Even Atkinson was surprised at her win.
Congratulations, Alia Atkinson! We are proud of you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Black Athletes Take A Courageous Stand Against Police Brutality

"A time comes when silence is betrayal." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last week, despite irrefutable video evidence of an unjustifiable homicide, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for choking Eric Garner to death. The grand jury's message was loud and clear. They told the world that black life is worthless. They told the world that police have a license to kill black people with impunity. They told the world that it is open season on black people.

During Eric Garner's last seconds of life, he repeatedly said, "I can't breathe." Yet, the police officers remained on top of him and continued to hold him down on hard sidewalk. The brother's last words have become a rallying cry of today's human rights movement. Nationwide, a diverse group of young people are engaging in acts of civil disobedience to protest against injustice and police brutality. That movement has touched the world.

It has even penetrated an enclave that has been closed to politics for far too long, the sports arena. For decades, in the face of racism and injustice, most black athletes have remained silent. Despite all of their physical prowess, they have been rendered impotent like eunuchs when it comes to addressing black issues. They have sold their manhood and their souls for fame and fortune. For example, people like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan "protect" their brands by avoiding discussion of any racial issues. By remaining silent, they have betrayed their people. 

Even worst than that, some like, Charles Barkley, have voluntarily played the role of mouthpieces for white supremacy. That imbecile actually tried to rationalize and justify police brutality and racial profiling.

However, there is a glimmer of hope. After weeks of negative press about black athletes abusing their wives, girlfriends and children, there is finally some positive news. At least for this brief moment, several famous athletes such as LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Reggie Bush, the Saint Louis Rams and others have finally taken a brave stand against injustice. They have expressed solidarity with the movement by wearing "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts. Some have taken a stand by making  the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture at games.  That gesture has been used as a symbol to demand justice for Mike Brown.

By engaging in such actions, those brothers are telling the world that the grand juries in Staten Island and Ferguson were dead wrong. Those are telling the world that those killer cops should have been indicted. Those brothers are telling the world that black lives do matter.

Many of those athletes were probably motivated in part by their own encounters with the police. Many of them have probably been stopped and harassed by police for driving an expensive car while black.Many of them have probably been stopped and harassed for being in a rich, white, gated community while black. They see themselves when they see Eric Garner and Mike Brown. They see their brothers, sons and nephews when they see Eric Garner and Mike Brown.

Celebrities have great influence. Unlike this blog which only reaches a few dozen people, these athletes reach millions. Obviously, wearing a T-shirt or making hand gestures is not going to end police brutality and racial profiling overnight. Nonetheless, it is an important step in the right direction. At the very least, such action helps further a much needed dialogue about racism and police brutality. Perhaps, it will inspire more young people to march and protest. Instead of using their brand to sell products, it is refreshing to see celebrities use their brands to demand justice.

I am proud of those athletes for continuing the legacy of brave people like Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown. I have much respect for each and every one of them. If any companies stop endorsing these brothers, we need to stop endorsing those companies.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hell Up in Ferguson Part 2

Good evening. Early this morning, I recorded and uploaded this YouTube video. In the video, I provide my response to the grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the senseless killing of Michael Brown. It is a good thing that I recorded the video the morning after the decision.  Otherwise, my video would have been even more fiery and controversial.

As I read and watch more news stories about the injustice in Ferguson, I become more and more angry. Despite all President Obama's rhetoric and beautiful symbolism, there is a strong possibility that no federal charges will ever be filed against Darren Wilson. That thought sickens me.

Black life simply has no value in America. It has been open season on black people for far too long. It is time for us to exercise our legal and moral right to self defense. Maybe then, the police will think twice before they kill another black teenager.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hell Up in Ferguson

"I don't want no peace. I need equal rights and justice." Peter Tosh

CNN reports that:
Ahead of a grand jury's decision on whether to indict a police officer in the killing of Michael Brown, Missouri has both called in the National Guard and diminished the role of the Ferguson Police Department.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday as a precaution, he said, in the event of unrest or violence.
It's unknown when the grand jury will hand down a decision on whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for his fatal shooting of Brown, a teen. Prosecutors have suggested the grand jury would be done deliberating in mid- to late November.
At the national level, the FBI last week issued a bulletin to law enforcement urging vigilance in the days before the Ferguson grand jury decision, according to a law enforcement official. 
The bulletin did not cite any specific intelligence to suggest there was any ongoing threat to officers. It was based on what had occurred during previous protests.
Mike Brown is not just an individual. He is our son. He is our brother, flaws and all. For decades, police brutality has plagued the black community. For decades, our young men and women have been shot, beaten and strangled by the police. Every day, there is a new victim. Yesterday, it was Rodney King, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner and countless others. Today, it is Mike Brown. His brutal killing is a reminder of that long and continuing legacy of police oppression. Often, when white police officers kill or injure black people, the officers are not convicted.  They are free to kill and maim again. Our lives are declared worthless. Time and time again, we are denied justice. Unfortunately, it appears that Mike Brown case may be another example of such a denial.

Early on, the stage was set to deny justice for Mike Brown. The prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, has a strong bias in favor of law enforcement. According to CNN, Mr. McCulloch's father was a police officer. When McCulloch was 12 years old, his father was killed in the line of duty by a black man. Additionally, in 2000, as reported in the Washington Post, Mr. McCulloch agreed with a grand jury's decision not to indict two white officers for killing to unarmed black men. The article provides other examples of Mr. McCulloch's bias in support of law enforcement.

Despite proof of bias, no special prosecutor was appointed. Instead of filing criminal charges against Officer Wilson and having a public preliminary hearing, Mr. McCulloch brought the matter before a grand jury. The grand jury process is closed to the public. There is no transparency. That lack of transparency breeds skepticism, mistrust and rage.

According to the New York Times, the court process is taking so long because, the prosecutor is "'presenting absolutely everything' to the grand jury, including eyewitness accounts of the fatal altercation and forensic conclusions that might be diametrically opposed." That is unusual. As Mark O'Mara points out in his CNN article, prosecutors often "stack the evidence in favor of their case in order to ensure an indictment -- often excluding details that would support the case for the accused." Mr. McCulloch did not do so in this case because he probably does not want Darren Wilson to be indicted. Mr. McCulloch wants to use the grand jury as a scapegoat, a fallguy.

Apparently, the Governor knows that the die has been casted. By declaring a state of emergency, the Governor is essentially prematuring concluding that there will be no justice for Mike Brown and the black community. The Governor is basically saying that Officer Darren Wilson is going to get away with killing unarmed black teen Mike Brown. The Governor's declaration is not going diffuse the rage. It is only fueling the flames of hell on earth. Ferguson is going to burn literally and figuratively.  When a people are rendered invisible and their legitimate cries for justice are muted, they have no choice but to take matters in their own hands.

If Darren Wilson is not indicted, we must raise hell. There must a national strike. College and high school students should walk out of school and take to the streets. Black workers and black professionals should leave work and take to the streets. There must be a national campaign of civil disobedience around the country. There should be demonstrations at police stations, state houses, mayors' offices and governors' offices around the country. There should be a new march on Washington.  We must stop traffic and business. Businesses in Ferguson and Missouri should be boycotted. Business as usual must cease until we have justice. No justice, no peace!

The demonstrators should demand several things. They should demand that a special prosecutor be appointed immediately. They should demand that criminal charges be filed against Darren Wilson immediately. They should demand that Darren Wilson be arrested immediately. They should demand that Congress pass the End Racial Profiling Act. They should demand that Congress establish uniform, federal standards for police use of deadly force. They should demand that all police be required to wear functioning video cameras at all times will on duty. Until those demands are meant, the protests should continue.

In addition to making demands on law enforcement and politicians, the protesters must make demands on themselves. They must register to vote and actually vote. Ferguson is over 60 percent black. However, the mayor and the police chief are white. Only one city council member is black. Only one school board member is black. There are 53 police officers on the Ferguson police force. Only three of them are black. (Source: Mother Jones) Those stats are outrageous and ridiculous. Also, in the words of Kwame Ture, each one of us should join a black social justice organization and get involved in today's movement.  If we want to change the situation in Ferguson, we must use every single means available to us.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

African Americans, Missed Opportunities and Black Dummies

When I woke up this morning, I was eager to hear the good news that Maryland elected its first African American governor, Anthony Brown. Today, I thought that I would be blogging about another example of new possibilities in America for black people. Instead, I was shocked and stunned by stories like this one from the Baltimore Sun:
Republican Larry Hogan's campaign to "Change Maryland" scored a stunning upset Tuesday as he defeated Democrat Anthony G. Brown in the race for governor..

Hogan, 58, ran on a promise to curb state spending and cut taxes. He will become Maryland's second Republican governor in half a century, and will face a Democratic-controlled legislature that may not be willing to help him.

Brown conceded defeat shortly after midnight.

Hogan spokesman Adam Dubitsky acknowledged Maryland remains a Democratic stronghold but said voters wanted change.

"It's not a realignment. It's not turning a blue state red," Dubitsky said. "It's people who are tired of the last eight years."

Hogan, an Annapolis businessman, ran a comparatively shoe-string campaign against Brown, who spent more than four times Hogan in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one.

Brown, a retired Army colonel and Harvard-educated attorney, campaigned as the candidate to continue Gov. Martin O'Malley's policies on education and the environment. It was a platform that some Democrats said invigorated them, and others said made them vote for a different direction.

Democrats held two other statewide offices, with Comptroller Peter Franchot winning a third term and state Sen. Brian Frosh of Montgomery County succeeding Douglas F. Gansler as attorney general.

Brown piled up strong majorities in Baltimore city and the Washington suburbs but could not overcome a dismal showing in rural Maryland and suburban Baltimore. The lieutenant governor narrowly won the early voting, but Hogan swamped him with an Election Day surge.

The governor's race offered voters a sharp contrast between Hogan's laser focus on economic issues and Brown's broad pledge to create "a better Maryland for all Marylanders."

As Hogan relentlessly hammered on the need to cut taxes, Brown eventually pledged not to raise them.

Critics said Brown failed to offer a clear vision to voters, instead working to portray Hogan as a "dangerous" Republican who would seek to overturn Maryland's abortion rights and gun control laws.

Hogan repeatedly denied that. The Republican portrayed Maryland as a state in economic crisis, with businesses and individuals moving elsewhere because of high taxes and burdensome regulations. He promised to roll back what he called O'Malley's "40 consecutive tax increases," but offered no specifics on how he would pay for that.

Brown, meanwhile, told voters he'd work to close the gap between Maryland's most and least prosperous. As the signature issue of his campaign, Brown said he would gradually offer free pre-kindergarten to all Maryland 4-year-olds. Skeptics questioned whether he had a realistic plan to pay for it.
Unfortunately, Maryland missed the opportunity to make history. Brown's crushing defeat was probably the result of Obama fatigue and Martin O'Malley fatigue. If more African Americans voted, perhaps, Brown would have won. Who knows? If you did not vote, shame on you.

To console us, some will assert that we should celebrate historic African American victories in Utah and South Carolina. As reported in the Grio,
Utah’s Mia Love and South Carolina’s Tim Scott certainly had a lot to celebrate last night as the results came in. The two black Republicans made U.S. history with their election victories.

Last election season, Love was only narrowly defeated by the incumbent, Democratic Rep. Jim Mattheson, by less than 800 votes — total. Despite her loss, she was an instant hit with the Republican party — she even gave a speech at the Republican National Convention! This time around, Love won a seat at the House, making her the first black Republican woman in Congress but also the first ever Haitian-American ever in Congress.

Scott was already in the Senate when he ran this year, but he hadn’t been elected. Governor Nikki Haley appointed him after Senator Jim DeMint resigned in November 2012, so this year’s race against Democratic challenger Joyce Dickerson was about finishing out the rest of DeMint’s six-year term. Scott will have to run for re-election in 2016 to earn a full six-year term himself. But he has already made history nonetheless — his win marks the first time an African-American has been elected in the South to the Senate since Reconstruction. The win also makes him the first ever African-American to serve in both the House and Senate.
Their victories are victories for them and their families. Their victories are not our victories. Similar to the appointment of Justice Clarence Thomas, their election is antithetical to the interests of black people. Their positions are diametrically opposed to our interests. Just like dummies, they say and do exactly what their white conservative masters tell them to say and do. So, no. There is no cause for celebration. They do not represent new possibilities. They represent the continuing American tradition of tokenism. They are pawns used against their own people.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Finally, Justice for Jordan Davis

News 4 JAX reported that:

Michael Dunn is back inside the Duval County jail after he was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis on Nov. 23, 2012, in a dispute over loud music outside a Gate gas station.

A sentencing hearing was set next Tuesday to discuss sentencing, but he likely will not learn his punishment until later this year.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, so Dunn, 47, faces life in prison without parole when he's sentenced. He also awaits sentencing on at least 60 years in prison on February convictions on three counts of attempted murder and firing into an occupied vehicle. The first jury deadlocked on the murder charge.

The jury in the retrial, comprising eight men and four women, deliberated for about five and a half hours. The retrial lasted six days.

Dunn did not appear to have an immediate reaction to the verdict. Later, he turned around and somberly shook his head toward his parents, who then left the courthouse without making any comment.

At least for this brief moment in time, the verdict in the Michael Dunn case restores hope, hope in the America's promise and potential. The predominately white jury rejected white privilege. They refused to allow white skin to serve as a license to kill black people. They rejected the stereotypical presumption that black men are inherently dangerous and prone to criminality and thuggery. They rejected the concept that black people are expendable and worthless. Through their verdict, the jury proclaimed that all human life is sacred and precious. For that, I commend them.

Finally, there is justice for Jordan Davis. Now, we need justice for Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and the countless other victims of senseless violence.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is Cornel West Right About Obama?

About a week ago, Salon posted an controversial interview with Cornel West. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

So that’s my first question, it’s a lot of ground to cover but how do you feel things have worked out since then, both with the economy and with this president? That was a huge turning point, that moment in 2008, and my own feeling is that we didn’t turn.

No, the thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair. And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility...

That’s exactly what everyone was saying at the time.

That’s right. That’s true. It was like, “We finally got somebody who can help us turn the corner.” And he posed as if he was a kind of Lincoln.

Yeah. That’s what everyone was saying.

And we ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist. It’s like, “Oh, no, don’t tell me that!” I tell you this, because I got hit hard years ago, but everywhere I go now, it’s “Brother West, I see what you were saying. Brother West, you were right. Your language was harsh and it was difficult to take, but you turned out to be absolutely right.” And, of course with Ferguson, you get it reconfirmed even among the people within his own circle now, you see. It’s a sad thing. It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin.
I support President Obama. I voted for him twice. I have written blogs and posted YouTube videos defending the President from right wing attacks. I will continue to do so.

However, I support the brother Cornel West as well. His persistent, consistent, constant and piercing criticism of President Obama is, for the most part, painfully true. Even Obama's most loyal and devoted supporters know that West's analysis is factual and true. That is evident by their utter and complete failure to provide any solid or substantive response to his interview. Instead, they desperately try to drown out his bold voice with an ocean of insults and ad hominem attacks.

West is wrong about one thing. Obama never campaigned as a true progressive. Ending poverty was not a top priority during his campaigns. He never campaigned as a black activist. He never promised to be a strong advocate for African Americans. In fact, his rise to national prominence was based, at least in part, on his post-racial rhetoric about one America. During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama said:
"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."
No one should be surprised when the Obama Administration and its parrots constantly repeat the silly mantra that "he is not just the President of Black America." You will never hear any other group of people embracing and repeating such a self defeating and pathetic slogan. Imagine the Jews saying Obama is not just the President of Jewish America. Imagine the LGBT community saying that Obama is not just the President of gay America. Imagine the Latino community saying that Obama is not just the President of immigrant America. Imagine white feminists saying Obama is not just the President of women. Those groups would never spout such nonsense. Unlike the black community, those groups do not surrender. They do not accept symbols over substance. They vigorously push their agenda. Unfortunately, we are pacified by symbols and gestures. We are so intoxicated and infatuated with the concept of black president that many of us have lost our minds and our principles.

Anyway, no one should be surprised by Obama's attempt to reach a grand bargain with the repugnant Republicans. During his first campaign, Obama did not promise to a strong opponent of the Republican Party's right wing agenda. Instead, he sold the American people the post-partisan pipe dream of changing the way that Washington does business. He promised to find common ground and to bridge the partisan divide. Obviously, that goal was unachievable. If it was in fact a goal, the President has failed miserably. Partisanship has never been more intense and stark than it is now. The Republican Party and the Tea Party have done everything in their power to obstruct Obama.

Moreover, no one should be surprised by Obama's stance on the crisis in Israel and Gaza. Obama never campaigned as an advocate for the Palestinian people. Like all of his predecessors, Obama bowed before the altars of AIPAC and Israel. During his first and second campaigns, Obama laced up his shoes and tap danced for them like Bojangles.

During his first campaign, Obama said that he would bomb terrorists in foreign land like Osama bin Laden without authorization from those nations. No one should be surprised by Obama continuing and expanding Bush's drone policy. Again, Obama never posed as a true progressive. Otherwise, West is correct.

Many avoid that truth by contrasting Obama and his past election opponents like Mitt Romney and John McCain. Clearly, Obama was the better choice in those elections. That is why I voted for him. Unfortunately, both parties are owned by Wall Street and AIPAC. In this two party corporate dictatorship, true progressive candidates and parties are not viable alternatives. Too often, they are unelectable. They do not have sufficient funding and resources to compete with the Democrats and the Republicans on a national level. They do not garner the same level of media attention as the corporate parties. Until that changes, we are forced to settle for people like Barack Obama.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Darren Wilson: Wanted For Murder!

Good morning, family. A fourth witness has come forward. He confirms what the others have said. Michael Brown "Mike" was unarmed. There was a struggle at the police car window between the officer Darren Wilson and Mike. Mike breaks free and starts running away from the officer. The officer shot Mike. Mike turned around and the officer shot Mike three to four more times and killed him.

Officer Darren Wilson needs to be arrested and charged with murder. Justice for Mike Brown. No justice! No peace!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Michael Brown Was Shot At Least SIX times!!!!

The New York Times reports that:
FERGUSON, Mo. — Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.

One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.

Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.

The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access...

Dr. Baden provided a diagram of the entry wounds, and noted that the six shots produced numerous wounds. Some of the bullets entered and exited several times, including one that left at least five different wounds.

“This one here looks like his head was bent downward,” he said, indicating the wound at the very top of Mr. Brown’s head. “It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.”

He stressed that his information does not assign blame or justify the shooting.

“We need more information; for example, the police should be examining the automobile to see if there is gunshot residue in the police car,” he said. Read more here.

This is a no-brainer. Officer Darren Wilson shot an unarmed man at least six times. If that is not excessive force, I do not know what is. This is murder. Officer Wilson should be arrested. Justice for Michael Brown.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Michael Brown, the Blame Victim Strategy and Black Puppets

Yesterday, the Ferguson Police Department released the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. The officer is six year police veteran Darren Wilson. According to CNN, prior to the shooting, Wilson had no history of disciplinary action being taken against him. 

At the same time that the police released the name of the killer, they released video footage of what purportedly shows Michael Brown stealing a box of cigars from a convenience store and assaulting a store clerk. As reported on News One, the police acknowledged that the shooting of Michael Brown had absolutely nothing to do with the robbery. Such an admission exposes the true nature of the police department's actions.

The timing is not a coincidence. It is a deliberate plan. It is classic diversion and victim blaming. Now, instead of talking about the killer, Darren Wilson, the nation is focused and fixated on a store robbery. The dehumanization and niggerization process has begun. The police killed Mike's flesh. Since Mike did not die hard enough for them, they are now trying to assassinate his character. The same thing happened to Trayvon Martin and Renisha McBride.

If the police can paint Michael Brown as a thug nigger, they will taint the minds of the potential jury pool. The Ferguson police had to blot out the image of an young ambitious college bound youth and replace it with the image of a stereotypical black criminal. Such an image will not garner any sympathy for Mike. Instead, it will engender utter contempt or callous indifference. He will no longer be viewed as a victim. He will be viewed as a hooligan who deserved to die. That is the message that the police department is attempting to convey.

Even if Michael Brown stole those cigars, he did not deserve to die. The officer did not stop Michael Brown to arrest him for the alleged strong arm robbery. He was stopped for walking in the street. Stealing cigars and jaywalking are not capital offenses.

The robbery video serves a second purpose as well, to undermine the credibility of a key witness, Dorian Johnson. Again, the robbery had absolutely nothing to do with the interaction between Mike and Officer Darren Wilson. So, Dorian had no reason to volunteer that information during television interviews.  Equally as important, Dorian's account has been confirmed by at least two other witnesses. I wonder what how the police plan to attack the other witnesses.

As if that was not bad enough, the boot licking, butt kissing, shoe shinning, tap dancing Uncle Ruckus brigade has been deployed to attack black people and Michael Brown as well. In typical fashion, whenever black people cry out for justice, the black puppets divert the discussion into a despicable lecture about black pathology and so-called black on black violence. They whine and cry about inner city violence not receiving the same level of attention from activists and the media.

First of all, inner city violence is completely irrelevant. That is a separate problem that must be addressed. It has absolutely nothing to do with legitimate demands for justice. The persistent problem of inner city violence does not justify or excuse the killing of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and countless other victims of police brutality and white racism. It is simply ridiculous to suggest that African American cannot demand justice in such cases until all "black on black" ends.

Contrary to right wing rhetoric, national and local civil rights activists have been organizing around the country for years to stop the violence. The 300 Men March movement here in Baltimore is such an example. Traditional civil rights leaders and organizations like Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and the NAACP have fought to stop the violence in urban communities. Unlike the Uncle Ruckus crew, those activists regularly address the root causes of the violence such as poverty, unemployment, inferior education and inadequate gun control laws. The Uncle Ruckus crew never complains about those root causes. Instead, they prefer to insult and degrade their own community.

Police brutality and white vigilantism deserve of the attention. Unlike so-called inner city violence, police brutality and white vigilantism are protected and preserved by the white privilege and the police industrial complex. When the perpetrator is a white police officer and the victim is black, the perpetrators often get away with murder. When the killer is white and the victim is black, the killer is more likely to be acquitted or not even charged.  That is why we raise so much hell. That is why we march and protest.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Michael Brown, the Ferguson Rebellion and Black Power!

"At the level of individuals, violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect." Frantz Fanon

When George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, nothing happened. When Michael Dunn killed Jordan Davis, nothing happened. When a New York City police officer choked Eric Garner to death, nothing happen. When Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, the people of Ferguson erupted. The time bomb finally exploded. It was long overdue. You can only push a people so far. Eventually, they will lash out at the system, the system that humiliates them, the system that harasses them, the system that negates their humanity, the system that kills them. It was only a matter of time. America is reaping what she has sown.

Officer Wilson lynched Mike Brown. According at least two witnesses, the officer reached out of his police car window and grabbed Mike Brown, an unarmed 18 year old African American man. Mike Brown eventually was able to pull away from the officer. As he pulled away, the officer shot Mike Brown. Then, Mike started running away and the officer chased him and shot him again, this time in the back. According to one of the witnesses, Mike's body jerked. He turned around and raised his hands in the air and the officer continued to shoot Mike Brown several more times. Then, Mike fell to the ground and his head hit on the street pavement. After that pig killed Mike, the police left Mike's body in the middle of the street for an extended period of time like a damn dead skunk on the middle of the street. Black life means nothing to those people.

When the people of Ferguson began demonstrating in the streets, they told the world that black life matters.  It is sacred and precious. When the people engaged in acts of rebellion, they forced the world to feel their pain. When police freely violate the law with impunity, the people quickly lose faith in the police and criminal justice system. When the self proclaimed protectors become the predators, the people have no choice other than resistance. If our lives have no value, your law and order will have no value. Your property and businesses will have no value. If you shoot at and kill black people like animals, do not be shocked and surprised when they defend them and do the same to you.

There is a segment of our society that has been abused, harassed, dehumanized, neglected and an unheard for far too long. In words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "a riot is the language of the unheard." In Ferguson, some of the people are speaking that language. The world clearly hears, sees and understands them now. They will not be ignored. Their rage is justified and righteous. They refuse to be contained by the clergy, the civil rights industry, empty prayers and grandiose federal investigations talk. They are not interested in vigils and neat, orderly, peaceful civil rights performances. They are not soothed by the words of a smooth professional politician who seeks to placate everyone by playing on both sides of the fence. They are feed up. They have had it with the nonsense, with the brutality.

Now, Ferguson no longer looks like an American city. It resembles the West Bank, Iraq and Afghanistan. Police cars have been replaced by military jeeps and tanks. Instead of wearing traditional police attire and using standard weapons, the police wore military gear and toted military weapons. Ferguson became a war zone. Law enforcement is anxiously looking for an excuse to kill more black people. I would say, "Don't give them an excuse." But it does not really matter, they will always find one. If they cannot find one, they will invent one.

The people must continue to protest in the streets and online. Until that killer, Darren Wilson, is arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced, there will be no peace. We should not condemn the people's rage.  We should embrace the rage, channel it, harness it, direct it, focus it and organize it, if possible. We do not need peace. We need justice. We need power, black power, and it is time to seize it.

According to Time magazine, two-thirds of the Ferguson's population is black. However, Time notes that "the city is the mayor and most of its city council members are white, and only three of the city’s 53 police officers are black." The African Americans in Ferguson must seize power not through the bullet, but through the ballot. Although I strongly sympathize with the people's rage, a fleeting moment of rebellion is no substitute for sustained, focused, mission driven political action and unity. Unlike Lowndes, Alabama in 1950s and 1960s, another predominantly black town once ruled by whites, racist white terrorism does not prevent the people of Ferguson from voting today.

Through elections, the people can seize power over city hall, city council and ultimately the police department. Through the electoral politics, the people may be able to reform and transform the police department and make it resemble the community that it is supposed to serve. The people can force the police department to implement training designed to combat and end racial profiling.  Each and every one of us must demand that Congress pass a federal anti-racial profiling act. Otherwise, the senseless harassment and brutality will continue forever. We cannot allow this problem to be passed on to the next generation.

In the short term, distant elections alone are not sufficient. Who will defend our sons and daughters? Where are our soldiers?  Where are our protectors? I am not talking about America's solders. I am talking about our black liberation soldiers.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Renisha McBride: Justice Served

Good morning, family. Yesterday, Theodore Wafer was found guilty of second degree murder, manslaughter and felony weapons charges. Justice for Renisha McBride is now a reality. Thank God.

The jury told the world that black women matter. The jury told the world that all human life is sacred. I commend the jury for a job well done.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Justice for Renisha McBride: The Case is with the Jury

The Detroit Free Press reports that:
Prosecutors said during closing arguments that Theodore Wafer’s “credibility is lacking,” saying he used buzzwords when he testified and accused him of being manipulative when talking to police and jurors.

But the defense said the 55-year-old told the truth when he testified he heard pounding on the side and front doors of his home and shot Renisha McBride in self-defense around 4:30 a.m. Nov. 2.
Now a jury, made up of 7 men and 5 women must decide the Dearborn Heights man’s fate. Jurors got the case today after closing arguments in Wayne County Circuit Court and spent the afternoon deliberating. They will continue at 9 a.m.

Wafer is charged with second-degree murder, but the jury will be able to consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. He is also charged with manslaughter and felony firearm.
Prosecutors argued 19-year-old McBride just wanted to go home but ended up in the morgue because Wafer picked up his shotgun, released the safety, raised it at her, pulled the trigger and “blew her face off.”

“He wanted a confrontation,” Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Patrick Muscat said, telling jurors Wafer had other options that night.

Muscat said that Wafer went to the door to scare away neighborhood kids with his gun because he was mad and killed the “unarmed, injured, disoriented 19-year-old.” Wafer’s vehicle had been hit with paint balls in October.

The defense described a different version of what happened: Wafer was in fear when he woke up to violent pounding, thought there were multiple people outside his home, was “terrorized” in his home for between one and three minutes, opened the door and shot McBride in self-defense.
“The threat was not more than two feet away,” said Cheryl Carpenter, Wafer’s attorney. “Coming, lunging, from the side.”

She said the pounding was “getting louder and louder and louder and louder until the floors started vibrating, the walls were shaking, the window was about to break, the screen door was already broken.”

Good morning, family. Today, the jury will continue to deliberate. Lets pray and hope for justice. Justice for Renisha McBride.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Justice for Renisha McBride: The Killer Takes the Stand

WXYZ reports that:

Theodore Wafer has taken the stand in his own defense in his murder trial. And Tuesday morning prosecutors will continue with their cross examination.

Wafer is charged with Second Degree Murder and Manslaughter in the shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

During direct questioning by his own defense attorney, Wafer describes the night McBride was shot. He told the jury that he could not find his cell phone to call police to investigate whatever was happening outside his Dearborn Heights home that woke him up around 4:30 a.m. on November 2.

Wafer said the day before, after work, he went to a nearby bar and consumed no more than three beers. He says he went home around 7:30 p.m. and fell asleep in a recliner watching television.

Wafer's defense attorney asked him to describe the banging on his doors that woke him up and he described it for the jury as "violent" and so intense that he could feel the floor vibrating. Wafer testified that he thought multiple people were trying to break into his house.

Wafer first told police he shot McBride by accident, telling investigators that he didn't realize his gun was loaded.

When asked by his defense attorney to explain why he first said the shooting was an accident, Wafer said he doesn't know why, perhaps "denial," he told the jury.
Read more here.

This morning, I watched killer Theodore Wafer testify. I do not believe him. His story does not add up. If someone is knocking on your door, the first thing that you should do is look out of the peep hole. If you cannot see out of the peep hole, you should look out of the window. You would say, "Who is it?" or "Can I help you?"  Wafer said nothing.  If you are afraid of being seen, you cut off the lights and peep between the blinds to see who was knocking on his door.

I do not believe that Wafer was unable to find his phone. Instead of grabbing his gun, he should have grabbed his phone and called the police. Alternatively, he could have grabbed his gun, continued looking for his phone, grabbed his phone and called the police.

If he was so afraid that someone was going to break into his home, why would he open his door? By the way, most robbers and burglarers do not bang on doors.  They try to avoid drawing attention from outsiders.

Anyway, Wafer basically wanted to confront whoever was knocking at his door and ended up shooting and killing Renisha McBride. First, he claimed that the shooting was accidental. Then, he asserted that it was in self defense. During the trial, he was unable to explain why he initially told the police that the shooting was an accident.  I do not buy what he is trying to sell.

Justice for Renisha McBride!

Monday, August 4, 2014

#FreePalestine: Why Are Most Black Leaders and Groups Silent?!

"There comes a time when silence is betrayal." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Israel is massacring hundreds of innocent civilians in Gaza. Unfortunately, as Glen Ford stated in the video, most prominent black leaders and organizations have remained silent in the face of those horrific atrocities. Why?!?! Sadly, some opinions are for sale. When the so-called conscience of the nation is silent, bought and bossed, injustice prevails.

There are a few brave souls that have the courage to speak out. One of them is Cornel West. I commend him.

NYPD Arrest the Man Who Filmed the Police Lynching of Eric Garner

Hat tip to the Root reports that:
ST. GEORGE — Ramsey Orta, the 22-year-old bystander who shot the widely-viewed cell phone video of Eric Garner's fatal arrest on Bay Street, was arrested Saturday night on weapon possession charges, police said.

Orta and a teenage woman, identified by police as Alba Lekaj, were arrested just before 10 p.m., in front of 61 Central Ave., after leaving the nearby Hotel Richmond.

An NYPD spokeswoman said Orta and Ms. Lekaj were observed entering the hotel, an area known for drug activity, and exiting moments later. As officers from the Staten Island Narcotics Unit approached the pair, they observed Orta put an object in Ms. Lekaj's waistband, the spokeswoman said.

Police identified the object as an unloaded .25 caliber Norton handgun that had been reported stolen in Michigan in 2007, the spokeswoman said. Officers also found marijuana on Ms. Lekaj, she said.

Both Orta and Ms. Lekaj were charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Orta additionally was hit with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, for possessing a firearm with a previous conviction. Ms. Lekaj also faces marijuana possession charges, police said.

Orta, who has three other criminal cases pending, according to online court records, is likely to be arraigned Monday, a source with knowledge of the investigation said...

New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch released a statement on Orta's arrest, linking it to the NYPD's response on July 17 that Orta caught on video.

"The arrest of Ramsey Orta for criminal possession of a firearm only underscores the dangers that brought police officers to respond to a chronic crime condition in that community," the statement reads. "Sadly, in the effort to keep neighborhoods like Tompkinsville safe, a tragedy occurred. But that doesn't change the fact that police officers routinely risk their lives for the benefit of the community and that they have earned their support and understanding."

Lynch added that by demonizing police officers for doing their job, it is "criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most."
Obviously, the timing of Mr. Orta's arrest is suspect. It follows the issuance of the medical report ruling that Eric Garner's death was a homicide. This arrest appears to be a naked effort to discredit Mr. Orta and to protect the NYPD. I would not be surprised if it was a set up. Unfortunately, many police officers will go a long way to protect their own.

Even if Mr. Orta's arrest is legitimate, it does not negate the facts.  The video footage is undeniable.  Those damn pigs basically lynched Eric Garner over some freaking cigarettes.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Justice for Renisha McBride: Week 2

HNL summarizes week two of the Renisha McBride trial as follows:
The Renisha McBride murder trial began its second week with prosecutors resuming their case against Theodore Wafer, charged with second degree murder, manslaughter, and felony use of a firearm in the 19-year-old’s shooting death. The state rested their case-in-chief on Wednesday afternoon, at which point the defense began calling experts to support their claim of self-defense. 
Here are highlights from some of the witnesses called to testify this week:

Davonta Bynes
A friend of Renisha McBride testified that he communicated with the victim on the night of the shooting.  Bynes was expecting Renisha to stop by that night after exchanging phone calls and text messages with her, but the teen never showed. Bynes told the jury he thought Renisha may have been drinking because she was slurring her speech.

Ray Murad
Wafer’s neighbor from across the street described hearing a gunshot the night of Renisha’s death. Murad said he was in his home office and heard something that sounded like trees hitting cars so he went to check but didn’t see anyone. About 10 or 15 minutes later, Murad heard a gunshot around 4:30 a.m. The witness did not hear any noise in the minutes before the shot was fired.

Det. Sgt. Kevin Lucidi
The Michigan State Police crash reconstructionist testified about Renisha’s car accident that occurred just hours before her death. With a cracked windshield and a damaged wheel, Lucidi told jurors that the car would not have been operable after it crashed into a Dodge Charger parked on the street at 1:30 a.m. Lucidi estimated Renisha was going between 31-43 MPH but could not determine if she was wearing a seatbelt when she crashed. Lucidi believes the cause of the spider-web crack to her car’s windshield is possibly from Renisha’s head striking it at the moment of impact.

James Bivens Jr.
Bivens is the chief of the criminal investigations unit with the prosecutor’s office. Bivens testified he could not find anyone who saw Renisha McBride in the hours between when she crashed her car and when she was shot dead on Wafer’s front porch just after 4:30 a.m. Detectives canvassed the area and knocked on about 100 doors but could not find anyone who saw Renisha in those early morning hours.

Sgt. Shawn Kolonich
The prosecution’s firearms expert told the jury it was not possible for the gun used to kill Renisha McBride to be accidentally fired. Kolonich demonstrated how the Mossberg 12-gauge double-barreled shotgun works, as well as pointing out that the only way to make the gun fire is by taking the safety off and pulling the trigger, which required 6.5 pounds of pressure.

Det. Sgt. Stephen Gurka
Gurka was the detective in charge of the case and was questioned about investigating the scene and gathering information. Gurka said he found no evidence of attempts to force entry into the home or damage to the front door or its locks when he arrived at the crime scene just over an hour after the shooting. Gurka did not observe any prying, kick marks, or damage to the locks on the front or side doors, which the defense says Renisha was banging on so forcefully that night that Wafer was in fear of his life. During cross examination, Wafer’s attorneys attacked the way investigators handled the case, specifically pointing out how long it took for detectives to simply collect evidence. The defense questioned why it took 9 days for officers to retrieve the screen door, why fingerprints weren’t taken from the scene the day of the shooting, and why Renisha’s body was left uncovered in the rain for over an hour after cops arrived at Wafer’s home, all of which the defense believes suggests the evidence presented by the state is tainted.
Read more here.

As Nancy Grace explained, Theodore Wafer's account is not credible. In order to fire the shotgun, Wafer had to deliberately apply 6.5 pounds of pressure to the trigger. Wafer did not shoot Renisha McBride by accident. He intentionally shot Renisha in the head and killed her.

So far, Wafer's second story does not hold up either. There is no evidence that Renisha attempted to break into his house.  As one of the guests on Politics Nation noted, it is completely implausible to assert that McBride got into an accident, walked miles away injured and randomly decided to burglarize Wafer's home.

Hopefully, the diverse jury will realize that Wafer's story does not make sense.  As reported in the Detroit Free Press, there are fourteen jurors, seven men and seven women. Of the fourteen, there are four African Americans, two women and two men.

I hope that there are no hold out jurors who are persuaded by the defense's weak arguments.  Here is the bottom line. Being intoxicated is not a capital offense. Seeking help while black should not be a capital offense. Justice for Renisha McBride. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Justice for Eric Garner: Death Ruled a Homicide

Daily News reports that:
It was a homicide — and the chokehold killed him.

Eric Garner, the Staten Island dad who complained that he couldn’t breathe as he was subdued by cops, died from compression of the neck, the medical examiner said Friday.

The autopsy also found that compressions to the chest and “prone positioning during physical restraint by police” killed Garner. The manner of death, according to the medical examiner, was homicide.

Garner’s widow told the Daily News she was relieved that the coroner finally confirmed what she suspected since her husband died on July 17.

“Thank God the truth is finally out,” Esaw Garner said. “Thank God for that.”

Staten Island prosecutors are still investigating the 43-year-old man’s death. No one has been charged.

The announcement from the medical examiner’s office was the latest development in a case that sparked national outrage after The News obtained a sickening cell phone video. It showed Officer Daniel Pantaleo using the banned chokehold on the father of six.

Police say they approached Garner because he was selling unlicensed cigarettes — better known as loosies — and that he resisted arrest.

The medical report confirms what we already knew. The police killed Eric Garner over some damn cigarettes.

Eric Garner did not threaten the police.  He was unarmed.  He did not punch or swing at the police.    He had his hands in the air. While his hands were in the air, a cowardly, punk cop, Officer Daniel Pantaleo, jumped behind Eric Garner and strangled the life out of him. Basically, this is a modern day lynching. After the investigation is complete, I hope that Pantaleo is brought to justice. Justice for Eric Garner!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Justice for Renisha McBride: The Trial So Far

Unfortunately, according to Legal Insurrection, judge Dana Hathaway banned live streaming of the trial. That may be part of the reason why the case is not receiving the kind of news coverage that it deserves. Local news and Rev. Al Sharpton are some of the few outlets providing coverage.

We must continue to bring attention to this case. Otherwise, injustice may prevail under the shroud of darkness.  This nation cannot afford another Trayvon Martin verdict. We cannot afford another Jordan Davis verdict. Are we not human beings? Do our lives have any value in this country?  We must continue to demand justice for Renisha.

Here is the latest news.

The Detroit News reports that:

Detroit — The big question surrounding the murder trial of Dearborn Heights homeowner Theodore Wafer is whether the 55-year-old defendant will take the witness stand in the shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride on his porch in November.

Defense attorneys Cheryl and Mack Carpenter, a daughter and father legal team, have declined to comment on whether Wafer will be a witness in his own defense. Last week, Cheryl Carpenter said her client is “terrified” and that “he is on trial for his life.”

The defense began presenting its case Wednesday and called former Wayne County Medical Examiner Dr. Werner Spitz as its first witness. Spitz, a former longtime Wayne County Medical Examiner, is expected to continue his testimony Thursday.
From The Detroit News:


Good morning. Yesterday, as I drove down Charles St. in Baltimore, I saw pro-Palestine protestors marching down the street. I immediately pulled over my car, parked, got out and joined the march. Israel's massacre of the Palestinian people is unconscionable, immmoral and illegal.

In the video below, I explain why we should all be concerned about the crisis in Gaza. We must stand up and speak out.

Please rate, comment and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

NYPD Cop Chokes A Brother to Death

Daily News Reports that:
A 400-pound asthmatic Staten Island dad died Thursday after a cop put him in a chokehold and other officers appeared to slam his head against the sidewalk, video of the incident shows.

“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eric Garner, 43, repeatedly screamed after at least five NYPD officers took him down in front of a Tompkinsville beauty supply store when he balked at being handcuffed.

Within moments Garner, a married father of six children with two grandchildren, stopped struggling and appeared to be unconscious as police called paramedics to the scene. An angry crowd gathered, some recording with smartphones.

“When I kissed my husband this morning, I never thought it would be for the last time,” Garner’s wife, Esaw, told the Daily News.

She got no details from police until after she had gone to the hospital to identify his body, she said.
Read more here.

News Day reports that:
Chokeholds are prohibited by the New York City Police Department and most departments," Bratton said at the news conference. The commissioner added that "Mr. Garner repeatedly complained of difficulty breathing as the officers wrestled him to the ground."

An ambulance was called and Garner went into cardiac arrest while he was being taken to Richmond University Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, Bratton said. However, he added that the medical examiner will rule on the cause of death.

De Blasio and Bratton said that a final determination of any breaking of law or departmental regulations would be made after an investigation by the Staten Island District Attorney's office and police internal affairs.
Here is yet another example of police brutality and racism. The police did not have a legitimate reason to stop and arrest Eric Garner.  He was not violating any law. Mr. Garner did not pose a threat to the police. Obviously, the brother did not deserve to have his life choked away. Now, his family must sadly mourn the lost a husband, a father and a grandfather gone too soon.

Many African Americans voted for De Blasio based on his promise to improve the relationship between the black community and the police. The killing of Eric Garner is a brutal reminder that institutional racism will not automatically disappear with an election. In fact, police brutality and racial profiling may be permanent fixtures in the American life.

How many black men must die at the hands of the cops?! How many justice marches and rallies must we have?  Every other day, there is a new victim and a new demand for justice. Today's rallying cry is justice for Eric Garner. Unfortunately, tomorrow, it will be someone else.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Black Men March Against Violence in Baltimore

The Afro reports that:
Taking yet another opportunity to send the message that Baltimore men are committed to stopping the violence in this city, they gathered, 300 strong at the west end of North Avenue, July 11, supported by neighbors and friends.

The annual event, a 10 mile march, was organized by the 300 Men March Movement, an outreach initiative created by community activist Munir Bahar and Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, according to the organization’s website. In addition to holding the annual march, the group trains men for direct engagement in communities plagued by violence...

The march involved men of all ages and races. Brownfish mentioned an 80-year-old White man who made all 10 miles of this year’s march.

The march was hardly an all-male affair, however. Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake spoke at the opening of the demonstration, and many women helped to serve as floating registrars, signing up men who would join the march as it progressed eastward and back, as well as providing water and moral support for the demonstrators.

Read more here.
Real men and women do not quietly sit down while their communities are being ravaged by drugs and violence. The courageous stand up. The courageous fight. The courageous struggle. The courageous strive to rescue their communities from the clutches of despair and hopelessness.

We need more movements like the 300 Men March Movement. Whether one lives in the suburbs or the city, each one of us should join and actively participate in stop the violence organizations.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Anthony Brown May Become Maryland's First African American Governor

CBS Baltimore reports:

The results are in! Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan will go head-to-head in the race for governor in November.

Mary Bubala reports from Brown’s campaign headquarters in College Park, where Brown thanked supporters.

The 52-year-old Democratic nominee says he is ready to lead the state of Maryland.

“Each of us is part of something bigger. Each of us is part of that mission, each of us is part of that purpose, each of us is part of that goal to build a better Maryland for Marylanders,” Brown told supporters in his victory speech.

The victory marked a major step forward toward Brown becoming Maryland’s first black governor in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin. Brown also would be the state’s first lieutenant governor to win the governorship.

“I just feel so thankful to God that he’s allowed me to be able to help the first African American become president and now the first African American to become governor of the state of Maryland–in my state,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings.
Congratulations, Anthony Brown! Your nomination is a true symbol of progress in Maryland and America.

I hope that you are elected Governor. However, your election must be more than a symbol. You must harness your power to bring about tangible progress in the urban communities of Baltimore and Prince George's County. Symbols are good, but quantifiable results are better. Otherwise, your election will be a personal victory, instead of a victory for the African American community.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Honoring Brother Malcolm X

Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925.  No other black leader has had a greater impact on my life than brother Malcolm X. My road to black consciousness, activism and Islam began with a documentary about the life of Malcolm X. I began reading and listening to his bold, courageous and uncompromising speeches.  I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X and other books about him.  His speeches were not watered down for mass consumption and pacification.  They were raw and uncut.  The brother was independent and strong. 

His opinions were not for sell.  He did not have to answer to corporate funders.  He only answered to Allah.  He did not cow tow to anyone. Unlike many of today's so-called black leaders, he was not about self promotion and opportunism. He was not seeking to peddle books.  He was not seeking to have a television program or a radio show.  He was focused on the struggle for the black liberation. He was a brave soldier for the people. We need more soldiers like Malcolm X.

In pursuit of freedom, the brother paid the ultimate price, death. The oppressor may have killed the brother's body, but his spirit and message live on through us.  Malcolm X inspired generations of African Americans to stand up for freedom, justice and equality.  His example of progress, evolution and righteousness continues to motivate many to improve their lives. 

Rest in peace, dear beloved brother.  We will pick up your baton and continue the race towards self-determination and empowerment.