Friday, February 28, 2014

We Must Be Our Brother's Keeper

Yesterday, the President announced the formation of the My Brother's Keeper Initiative, a program specifically designed to assist African American boys. The imagery of the President's announcement was powerful, compelling and undeniable. The first African American President stood on stage with young black men standing behind him. Trayvon Martin's family and Jordan Davis' family were in the audience. Political opposites, Rev. Al Sharpton and right wing nut Bill O'Reilly, were in the audience as well. It was refreshing to finally see the President do something specifically targeted to address the problems of facing his most loyal supporters, African Americans.

Instead of waiting on Congress to act, President Obama took bold action and gathered philanthropists, business leaders and the faith community to address the problems plaguing African American boys. The President stated that the private sector will invest $200 million over 5 years in various programs that have proven to be effective. That investment is in addition to the $150 million that has already been invested. I commend the President's courageous efforts. I sincerely hope that the President's initiative is a quantifiable success. I hope that it opens doors of opportunity and prosperity.

Although I salute the President's effort, it was disappointing to hear the President again lecture black people on personal responsibility. Certainly, personal responsibility and family life are key ingredients to success. However, our problems cannot be blamed primarily on absent fathers, laziness and other forms of black pathology. Rants regarding dead beat black fathers ignore reality. Contrary to the popular and false narrative, black fathers are involved in their children's lives. As reported on Think Progress,
Although black fathers are more likely to live separately from their children — the statistic that’s usually trotted out to prove the parenting “crisis” — many of them remain just as involved in their kids’ lives. Pew estimates that 67 percent of black dads who don’t live with their kids see them at least once a month, compared to 59 percent of white dads and just 32 percent of Hispanic dads.
While the President's statements about personal responsibility are sincere and less abrasive,  they are reminiscent of Don Lemon's and Bill O'Reilly repugnant rants about black people. Such rhetoric merely perpetuates stereotypes about black pathology and absolves society of its debt and responsibility. Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis did not die because of absentee fathers. Instead of repeatedly lecturing black people, the President and the Congress must do more to address structural institutionalized racism and poverty.  We must be our brother's keeper.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Reflecting on the Martyrdom of Brother Malcolm X

Peace and blessings. On February 21, 1965, black revolutionary leader Malcolm X was assassinated. They killed the man, but they did not kill his message. That message lives in us. The struggle continues.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jurors 4 and 8 Are Wrong: The Michael Dunn Trial Was All About Race

I listened to the interviews of jurors 4 and 8 on Nightline and CNN, respectively. Both jurors stated that they voted to convict Michael Dunn for the murder of Jordan Davis. Juror 4, who is white, stated that she believes that Michael Dunn got away with murder. In the end, nine jurors wanted to convict Michael Dunn for the murder of Jordan Davis. Three jurors wanted to acquit Michael Dunn of the murder charge.

Both jurors essentially stated that race was not a factor in the case. Juror 8, who is African American, stated that she "never thought once,  'This was a black kid. This was a white guy.'" She said that the case "was about justice," not race. When asked if race was a factor in the case, juror 4 said, "Sitting in that room, it was never presented that way." To a certain extent, she is correct.  The prosecution and the parents never discussed the huge elephant in the room, race.

Although I commend jurors 4 and 8 for their commitment and fairness, I strongly reject the notion that this case was not about race.  This case was about race on at least two levels. The first level is the actual crime. This case is about a racist white man who wanted to teach some young black "thugs" a lesson for not obeying his orders to turn their "thug music". Such racial animus is further expressed in his jail letters complaining about thugs.  The word "thug" is simply a more palatable word for nigger.

The second level is the verdict. Like the Trayvon Martin case, the Amadou Diallo case, the Sean Bell case, the Emmett Till case and countless other cases, the Michael Dunn case is yet another example of black man being murdered and denied justice, at least for now.  If no one else was in that vehicle, Michael Dunn would be free today.

From the time of the classic American film, Birth of a Nation, until today's modern hip hop era, the African American male has been depicted as a public enemy, a threat, a menace, a predator, an animal, a criminal and a danger. As a result of such programming, many people are willing to accept unsubstantiated narratives that conform to those negative stereotypes of black men.

In this case, there were three young black men in the car with Jordan Davis at the time of the shooting. They all testified that there was no gun in their vehicle. There was no object in the car that could be reasonably mistaken for a gun. Witnesses testified that they did not see anyone in Davis' vehicle discard or hide a firearm. The police did not recover a firearm.

Moreover, immediately following the shooting, Dunn never mentioned to his fiance that Davis threatened him with that imaginary weapon. Oddly, Dunn testified that he continued to fear for his safety immediately after the shooting. Yet, he never called the police. Instead, he returned to his hotel room, ordered pizza, had a few drinks, watched a movie and went to sleep. That substantially undermines his creditability.

Nonetheless, none of that matters. For some, including the three holdout jurors in this case, one white man's testimony carries more weight than three young black men's testimony. Unfortunately, when some white people are presented with narratives that conform to their racist stereotypes about young black men, logic is negated and discarded. If Jordan Davis was a white boy or white girl,  no juror would believe Dunn's lie about seeing a gun. Again, this case was all about race.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Reflecting on the Michael Dunn Verdict

Good morning, family. Check out my video. In the video, I share my thoughts about the Michael Dunn verdict. The struggle continues. We must continue to demand justice for Jordan Davis.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Jury Must Find Michael Dunn Guilty!

After engaging in a brief argument with Jordan Davis over loud music, Michael Dunn aimed and fired three shots at Jordan Davis. The bullets passed through the door piercing Jordan Davis in the thigh and groin. The fatal shot pierced Jordan Davis' liver, lung and a major artery. As Jordan Davis' vehicle pulled away, Dunn continued to fire shots at the vehicle further endangering the lives of the three other passengers in the vehicle. Simply put, Michael Dunn killed Jordan Davis just because he played his music too loud. At the end of day, a young brother's life was snuffed out just because he refused to obey a white man.

Clearly, Dunn is intoxicated with white privilege and racism. His statements are evidence of his utter contempt for black youth.  He complained about "thug music", "thugs" and "gangsters".  His hatred for black people was expressed in his jail house letters. In those letters, he discussed the need to teach "thugs" a lesson. Football player Richard Sherman is correct. The word "thug" is simply a code word for "nigger". As reported on CBS 47 WTEV, here are a few excerpts from those letters:
"As you can imagine, I'm not getting much sympathy from the press. The're (sic) a bunch of liberal b*****s." He goes on to say "North Florida is more like the Deep South. They seem to have a lot of racial guilt, or at least the prosecutor's office does." 
"It's spooky how racist everyone is up here and how biased toward blacks the courts are.

"This jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs," he notes. He goes on to say "This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots when they're threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior."

"My fear is that if I get black on my jury it will be a mistrial, as I am convinced they will be racially biased," he writes.

He accuses the other three boys who were in the SUV with Jordan Davis the day of the shooting of making up stories to "cover up their true 'colors.'"
During the trial, that monster, Michael Dunn, expressed no emotion when he testified about killing Jordan Davis. Yet, when Dunn began to testify about his pet dog, he was reduced to tears. Obviously, in his eyes, the life of his precious little dog is more important than the lives of Jordan Davis and the other three black boys in the vehicle.

Dunn claims that he acted in self defense. He claims that he saw a gun. He claims that Jordan Davis got out of the car and threatened his life. Dunn claims that he continued to fear for his life even after the shooting.

However, the evidence contradicts those claims. The police did not recover any weapons at the scene. Police did not find any weapons in the area where Jordan Davis' vehicle traveled. No other witnesses saw a gun in the Jordan Davis' vehicle car. No one witnessed the passengers stashing or discarding a weapon. Moreover, Davis has no criminal history. There is nothing in his past that supports the notion that he would be armed and dangerous. Other than Dunn, no one else testified that they heard Jordan Davis threaten Dunn. Additionally, as the medical examiner testified, the nature of Jordan Davis' injuries and location of the bullet holes do not support the claim that Davis was outside of the vehicle.

Oddly, right after the shooting, Mr. Dunn did not tell his fiancĂ© that Jordan Davis had a gun. If Jordan Davis really threatened Dunn with a gun, Dunn would have immediately told his fiance when she returned to the car.  Furthermore, instead of calling the police after the shooting, Mr. Dunn returned to his hotel room, walked his dog, had a drink, ordered pizza, watched a movie and later slept like a baby. He did not bother to call the police. Does that sound like someone who was distraught?  Does that sound like someone who feared for his safety? In sum, Dunn's story is inconsistent with the evidence. It does not add up. Dunn is guilty as hell.

No rational jury would find Michael Dunn not guilty. After the infamous George Zimmerman verdict, this nation cannot afford another not guilty verdict. For the stake of Jordan Davis' family and this nation, I hope and pray that the jury returns a verdict of guilty. Hopefully, later on today or tomorrow, this article will be outdated and Michael Dunn will be carried out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Otherwise, the message will be crystal clear: it is open season on black people. The message will be that there is no justice for black people in America. The message will be that our lives are worth less than a piece of fecal matter being flushed down a toilet.

If we cannot depend on the state to protect us, we will have no alternative. We will eventually have to stand our ground and defend ourselves. A hopeless people will become a dangerous people. Maybe then, Florida will change their gun laws. Maybe then, Florida will repeal their ridiculous stand ground laws.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Justice for Jordan Davis - Opening Statements

Good morning. TGIF. Yesterday, the prosecution and the defense made their opening statements in the Michael Dunn trial. Justice for Jordan Davis!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Tribute to the Black Panther Party

"The only politics that are relevant to black people today are the politics of revolution." H. Rap Brown

Good morning. The Black Panther Party ("BPP") was a truly revolutionary organization. Those brothers and sisters were bold and courageous activists. For Black History Month, please take a moment to reflect on and read about the history of the real BBP.   For information on the BBP, I strongly recommend that you read Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P. Newton, Seize the Time by Bobby Seale and Taste of Power: A Black Woman Story by Elaine Brown. Visit

Support brother Bobby Seale's effort to create a new Black Panther documentary.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Stand Up and Demand Justice for Jordan Davis!

The photograph for this article is the avatar that I use for my Twitter account. It symbolizes the gross injustice that black people face in this country. Those young black brothers were lynched by white men.  They were lynched because of the color of their skin.  Yes. For all intents and purposes, George Zimmerman is an honorary white person. Those racist white men believed that they were entitled to play the role of judge, jury and executioner. Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till were denied justice. Their bloodthirsty murderers walked free. In those two cases, the message was clear: black life is worthless in America. A dog's life has more value.

On several occasions, people have asked me, "Who is that person on the right side of the photograph?" He is Jordan Davis. His killer's trial began yesterday.

The Grio reported that:
Authorities say an argument over loud music led to the shooting. Davis was parked in a vehicle with three friends outside the store. Dunn and his fiancée had just left a wedding reception and were heading back home when they stopped at the store and pulled up next to the sport utility vehicle that Davis was sitting in.

An argument began after Dunn told them to turn the music down, police said. One of Davis’ friends turned the music down, but Davis then told him to turn it back up.

According to authorities, Dunn became enraged and he and Davis began arguing. One person walking out of the convenience store said he heard Dunn say, “You are not going to talk to me like that.”

Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled a 9 mm handgun from the glove compartment, according to an affidavit, and fired multiple shots into the SUV, striking Davis in the back and groin.

Dunn later told police he felt threatened. His attorney has said Dunn saw a gun and shot in self-defense, perhaps laying the ground work for a case under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

If the case sounds familiar, that’s because it has echoes of a trial that received wide attention and happened only two hours away.

George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, in Sanford in 2012. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, was acquitted of second-degree murder in July 2013. He was prosecuted by Jacksonville’s State Attorney Angela Corey, who will also be prosecuting the Dunn case.

We cannot allow Jordan Davis to be denied justice like Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin. We must not rest. We must blog. We must speak out. We must protest. Stand up, people. We must demand justice for Jordan Davis!