Friday, August 28, 2015

Jonathan Ferrell's Life Does Not Matter

CNN reports that:
Prosecutors in North Carolina will not seek a retrial of a police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed man, according to a letter from the state attorney general's office.

Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was charged with voluntary manslaughter after he shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, a college student and football player, in 2013.

A judge last week declared a mistrial after the jury could not reach a verdict.

Prosecutors made their decision after speaking with jurors from the original trial. They said they will submit paperwork for dismissal of the charge.

"In consideration of the jurors' comments, the evidence available to the State, and our background in criminal trials, it is our prosecutors' unanimous belief a retrial will not yield a different result," said the state attorney general's letter to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said at a new conference on Friday that he still stands by the decision to bring the case to trial.

"The loss of Jonathan Ferrell's life is a tragedy -- it should not have happened," Cooper said. "Our prosecutors have talked with Jonathan's mother about this decision. It was the right thing to bring this case before a jury and seek a conviction, but now we need to listen to what the jury said."
This is a disgrace. It is an act of cowardice. Instead of having the fortitude to retry the case, the prosecution caved under pressure like some weak chumps. The prosecution should have presented the case to a new jury and let the jury decide. In lieu of that, Attorney General Roy Cooper essentially decided the case for them.

Despite all of the pleasantries and phony expressions of concern, his message is loud and clear: Jonathan Ferrell's life does not matter. Black lives do not matter.  They never have, and probably, never will.  Now, another black man is dead, and another white killer cop walks free. In fact, Randall Kerrick will probably be rewarded for killing Jonathan Ferrell. Kerrick will probably receive thousands of dollars for interviews.

Unfortunately, we are to blame for this outcome as well. We allowed ourselves to be pacified by a grand jury indictment and a trial. We lost focus and fell asleep at our post. For a second, we were deluded. We actually thought that justice was in sight. We stopped protesting and blogging about this case.

With virtually no pressure from the public, it was easy for the prosecutor to decide not the pursue the case. The prosecutor made his announcement on a Friday for a reason. Sadly, many of our people are more concerned about going to the club than they are about pursuing justice. By Monday, it will be business as usual and no one will give a damn about our brother Jonathan Ferrell.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Black Lives Matter Movement Now Has A Legislative Agenda

Yesterday, a faction from the Black Lives Matters movement finally followed the advice of critics. The movement developed and released a comprehensive legislative agenda. The Guardian reports that:
Leaders in the new civil rights movement campaigning against the killings of African Americans by police set out their most comprehensive set of policies and demands so far on Friday, as they moved to intensify their rapidly increasing influence on US politics.

The coalition of protesters outlined proposals for new laws at federal and state levels such as restricting the use of deadly force by officers, outlawing the supply of military equipment to police departments, instituting training to prevent racial bias and forcing the US government to keep a comprehensive record of fatal incidents.

“We must end police violence so we can live and feel safe in this country,” the group stated on a new website, Campaign Zero, which also establishes an issue-by-issue system for monitoring the policy positions of candidates for the Democratic and Republican US presidential nominations...

These policies, like our resistance, will save lives and introduce a new way of viewing political strategy,” said Aurielle Lucier, the co-founder of the Atlanta-based activist group It’s Bigger Than You. “This is a blueprint for ending police violence,” said DeRay McKesson, another leading activist involved in the project.

The manifesto was shared with the Guardian in advance of its publication. It calls for the establishment of a new national standard authorising police officers to use deadly force “only when there is an imminent threat to an officer’s life or the life of another person” and the use of deadly force is “strictly unavoidable”. Under a 1985 US supreme court ruling, officers may currently use deadly force if they believe a fleeing suspect poses “a significant threat” of killing or seriously injuring someone.

The protesters’ platform also requests further legislation mandating all police officers to wear body cameras, lowering the standard of proof for convictions in federal civil rights inquiries, and banning police union contracts that they say obstruct investigations into officers responsible for fatalities.
Now, that the Black Lives Matter movement has an agenda, it must effectively push that agenda. It must demand that all local, state and federal governments adopt that agenda. They must pressure Democrats and Republicans to embrace that agenda. Before disrupting campaign rallies and other political gatherings, the Movement should make a diligent effort to meet with the candidates to discuss the agenda.

If the politicians fail to meet with the movement, the disruptions will be justified. By the way, when asked about meeting with Black Lives Matter, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) called the idea "ridiculous." He has an earned a disruption or two. We must demand that both parties pass legislation to end racial profiling and police brutality.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Shaun King and the White Savior Syndrome

Breitbart reported that:
An investigative blogger has accused Shaun King, a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, of misleading media icon Oprah Winfrey by pretending to be biracial in order to qualify for an “Oprah scholarship” to historically black Morehouse College. The blogger says King is white and has been lying about his ethnicity for years.

King is a high-profile campaigner against “police brutality” and “justice correspondent” for the liberal Daily Kos website who told Rebel magazine in 2012 that he was biracial, with the magazine reporting that he is the “son of a Caucasian mother and an African-American father.” He has also described himself as “mixed with a black family” on Twitter.

King has been lionised by the press, praised as hero of civil rights and social activism. He has written extensively about a childhood in which he was terrorised by “decades old racial tensions.” He claims to have been “the focus of constant abuse of the resident rednecks of my school.”

Yet, in recent weeks, rumours have been circulating about his ethnicity. A 1995 police incident report lists Shaun King’s ethnicity as white. And blogger Vicki Pate, who has been assembling forensic accounts of Shaun King’s background and family tree on her blog, “Re-NewsIt!,” has published her findings.

She claims that King is entirely white and says a birth certificate, which Breitbart has since independently acquired from the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics, names a white man as his father.

King’s case echoes that of Rachel Dolezal, a civil rights activist from Washington who claimed to be biracial while in fact being of caucasian origin. Dolezal continues to insist she “identifies as black,” despite her parents revealing that she is entirely white.

If Pate is right, Shaun King, who often uses black and white photographs of himself online rather than colour images, may have misled African-American hero Winfrey by applying for and accepting an Oprah Scholarship to the historically black Morehouse College. Oprah Scholarships are given exclusively to black men.
In response to this controversy, Shaun King wrote, in part:
The reports about my race, about my past, and about the pain I’ve endured are all lies. My mother is a senior citizen. I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and I am gravely embarrassed to even be saying this now, but I have been told for most of my life that the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned black man. My mother and I have discussed her affair. She was a young woman in a bad relationship and I have no judgment. This has been my lived reality for nearly 30 of my 35 years on earth. I am not ashamed of it, or of who I am—never that—but I was advised by my pastor nearly 20 years ago that this was not a mess of my doing and it was not my responsibility to fix it. All of my siblings and I have different parents. I'm actually not even sure how many siblings I have.
I do not know if Shaun King is black or white. Since Breitfart is an unreliable, biased source with a right wing agenda, I will reserve judgment until all of the facts have been revealed.

Throughout American history, progressive whites have been involved in various social justice movements. They participated in the Abolitionist Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. Many of them dedicated their lives to the fight for equal rights and justice. People like John Brown,Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and many others were martyrs for the struggle. That history must be acknowledged, appreciated and respected. Obviously, one does not have to be black to be involved in the African American struggle for justice.

For that reason, it is completely baffling that some people like Rachel Dolezal, and possibly Shaun King, feel compelled to virtually masquerade around in black face. People who engage in such deception are not worthy of leading any organization, especially not a black organization. When one lies about basic things such as their identity, how can anyone believe a word that comes from their mouth? Those people should not be spokespersons for the movement. They completely undermine the credibility of the organizations that they claim to represent. When they speak on important issues such as police brutality, racial profiling and mass incarceration, people will question the veracity of their statements. The movement cannot afford that.

Although I do not object to white involvement in the movement, I do have a problem with white "saviors" infiltrating, leading, dominating and controlling the movement. We cannot possibly be so desperate. We should not allow any and everyone to lead us.  Black organizations should be led and controlled by black people. We must shape our own destiny as a people. Whites and others can support us without joining and leading our organizations.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The New Black Panther Party is A Fraud

Shout out and hat tip to fellow Howard University alum Bro. Kofi Khalfani!

On August 13, 2015, the New Afrikan Press International issued the following press release:
Movement Activists Violently Attacked at Atlanta Conference

On Saturday, August 8, 2015, a group of six Black Liberation Movement activists were violently attacked at a downtown Atlanta hotel. The group included members of the Free The People Movement, including their Coordinator, Kalonji Jama Changa, members of the Nation of Gods and Earths and Dhoruba Bin Wahad, the internationally recognized former Black Panther Party leader and political prisoner of 19 years. The group was jumped by 25 to 30 members of The New Black Panther Party at “The Power Belongs to the People 2015 Summit” in Atlanta, Georgia, an event hosted by the New Black Panther Party.

According to eyewitnesses, 71 year-old Dhoruba Bin Wahad and the others approached the side of the stage where attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz was speaking. While standing there, Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panther Party asked, “Who is that?” Bin Wahad replied, “You know who I am!” Shabazz responded “WAHAD! We’ll deal with you later!” Bin Wahad countered with “You can deal with me now…” Knowing that Dhoruba Bin Wahad was there with information that would publicly expose Shabazz’s government affiliations that contradict his stance as a Nationalist and activist for Black liberation, Shabazz immediately ordered the NBPP members in attendance to “Get his b*tch ass out of here!” At that point the whole group was mobbed and violently attacked by at least 25 members of the audience. As they defended themselves, the men were struck with chairs and other objects. Bin Wahad’s jaw was broken in three places, one of his associates was choked unconscious and others received head gashes that required staples.

As of this release, Bin Wahad is undergoing a 6-hour surgery to reconstruct his jaw and the others have been treated and released. More details will follow as information is gathered.
Dhoruba Bin Wahad was a real Black Panther Party leader. When the F.B.I. declared war on the real Black Panther Party, the brother joined the Black Liberation Army. As a result of the F.B.I.'s Cointelpro Program, Mr. Wahad spend 19 years in prison. He is a veteran of the Black Liberation Movement. His love for the people and the movement cannot be questioned.  He deserves our respect for his commitment, dedication and sacrifice.

The people who attacked Mr. Wahad are a fraud. They claim to be committed to movement.  Yet, they brutalize a veteran of the movement.  Not only that, they stole the real Black Panther Party's name, imagery, logos and trademarks. Anyone who has studied the history of the real Black Panther Party knows that the New Black Panther Party("NBPP") is a cheap, rip-off, bootlegged organization. The NBPP opposes the very principles and ideals that the real Black Party stood for. As noted on Huey Newton Foundation website,
In response from numerous requests from individual’s seeking information on the “New Black Panthers,” the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation issues this public statement to correct the distorted record being made in the media by a small band of African Americans calling themselves the New Black Panthers. As guardian of the true history of the Black Panther Party, the Foundation, which includes former leading members of the Party, denounces this group’s exploitation of the Party’s name and history. Failing to find its own legitimacy in the black community, this band would graft the Party’s name upon itself, which we condemn...

Secondly, they denigrate the Party’s name by promoting concepts absolutely counter to the revolutionary principles on which the Party was founded. Their alleged media assault on the Ku Klux Klan serves to incite hatred rather than resolve it. The Party’s fundamental principle, as best articulated by the great revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was: “A true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” The Black Panthers were never a group of angry young militants full of fury toward the “white establishment.” The Party operated on love for black people, not hatred of white people.
Instead of being a true movement for black liberation, the NBPP is a creature and tool of Fox News. The Right exploits the NBPP to stoke White America's fears. The Right manipulates that fear to drive reactionary anti-black positions and policies.

For the vicious and senseless attack on our dear brother Wahad, the NBPP and Malik Zulu Shabazz must be condemned, rejected, isolated and held fully accountable.  Through their sickening and violent actions, they have exposed and discredited themselves.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Brothers March Against Violence in Baltimore

"You need to have a rally in your own living room! Have a rally in your own kitchen! You need to have an occupy my house rally! That's what you need!" Newark Mayor Ras Baraka

The Baltimore Sun reports that:
Striding backwards at the head of about 40 men and boys who had walked 29 miles from Baltimore and had more than a half-dozen to go under the scorching summer sun Monday morning, Munir Bahar focused his gaze on the line of five boys at the front.

They had linked their arms around each other's shoulders in an expression of solidarity to propel them forward through the pain.

Each was a member of Bahar's Youth COR, which is tapping young people to serve as community ambassadors in the wake of the unrest after the death of Freddie Gray in April and the unprecedented spate of homicides across the city since...

Their journey from Baltimore to Washington was part of an effort by Bahar and his 300 Men March organization to shine a national spotlight on the group's anti-violence work at a time when the killing in Baltimore is spiraling out of control. The city has seen more than 200 homicides this year, with a spike in recent months that has pushed the count far ahead of last year's pace.

"We're just trying to show love," said Eric Baker, 19. "Love is action. It can actually have a huge impact."

The 300 Men March puts men who share an "enough is enough" mindset on the streets for regular walks through some of Baltimore's most violent neighborhoods.

As Bahar sees it, with the right resources, the model could be scaled up across the city.

Bahar intended the 35-mile march from Baltimore to Washington on Sunday and Monday to draw attention to the program and the "Emergency Operating Plan" he has created as a pitch to potential donors.
Despite assertions to the contrary, black people regularly protest against inner city violence. We hold countless prayer vigils for young men and women gone too soon. The courageous work of the 300 Men March is just one of many examples. I commend those brothers for their bold commitment to peace and decency. I hope that the group receives many donations to fund their important work.

We must save our communities from self-destruction. To paraphrase Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, we need to rally in our own homes. We must ensure that our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters are not entangled in this sick culture of death and mayhem. As my imam says, this is "our community and our responsibility."  We must rally against benign neglect, poverty, failing schools and unemployment as well. Those problems fuel the violence.

Lastly, we must hold our elected officials accountable for failing to adequately address the out-of-control carnage in Baltimore. We must march to the polls and vote out the politicians who have failed us. We must elect politicians who actually have concrete and viable plans to improve this city.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Remembering Julian Bond

Yesterday, I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed and I noticed that a colleague posted an article announcing the passing of civil rights icon Julian Bond. I was stunned, shocked and speechless as you can tell from my last post.  Often, we assume that people are going to be here forever. Yet, we are aware of our morality.  We are all just visitors passing through this place called life.

As many people know, I work for the NAACP. When I first began working for the Association in 2004, Julian Bond was the Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. Although I have been in the same room with him on many occasions, I did not know Mr. Bond. I never had a single conversation with him. I regret that.  Unlike many of colleagues, I never took an individual photo with him.  However, I did meet him once and shook his hand. For that, I am proud. Although I have great respect and admiration for the man, I was just too reserved to play the role of fan. Quietly, I was in awe to be in his presence.

For me, Mr. Bond was an unapproachable, larger than life figure, walking history. The legendary brother was a contemporary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Stokely Carmichael, Thurgood Marshall and many other great black men and women. From the early 1960s until the day of his passing, Mr. Bond was at the forefront of the fight for equal rights and social justice. He was a trail blazer. Mr. Bond supported "marriage equality" before many of his colleagues. He supported it before it became popular and mainstream. Although I still do not support gay marriage, I recognize and commend Mr. Bond for having to the courage to stand by his convictions. I commend him for his consistency and vision.

When Bond was Chairman, I always looked forward to hearing his powerful speeches at the NAACP National Convention. During those days, the Bush Administration was in power. I enjoyed hearing him rail against the extreme right with brutal honesty and unadulterated truth. Not only did he challenge the right, he challenged the left as well.  He did not spare so-called progressives such as former President Bill Clinton. Not only were his speeches fiery, inspiring and entertaining, they were truly educational. Every speech was an informative, scholarly and engaging history lesson. During every speech, class was in session. I miss that. We will all miss Chairman Bond. He was one of a kind. May he rest in peace and power.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Legendary Julian Bond Joins the Ancestors

NPR reports that:
Julian Bond, a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, died Saturday night, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

He was 75.

Bond died in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness, the SPLC said in a statement released Sunday morning.

The Nashville, Tenn. native was considered a symbol and icon of the 1960s civil rights movement. As a Morehouse College student, Bond helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and as its communications director, he was on the front lines of protests that led to the nation's landmark civil rights laws.

Bond later served as board chairman of the 500,000-member NAACP for 10 years but declined to run again for another one-year term in 2010.

The SPLC said Bond was a "visionary" and "tireless champion" for civil and human rights.

"With Julian's passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice," SPLC co-founder Morris Dees said in a statement. "He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all."

Bond also served in the Georgia state legislature and was a professor at American University and the University of Virginia.

Julian is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz, a former SPLC staff attorney; his five children, Phyllis Jane Bond-McMillan, Horace Mann Bond II, Michael Julian Bond, Jeffrey Alvin Bond, and Julia Louise Bond; his brother, James Bond; and his sister, Jane Bond Moore.

Rest in peace, brother Julian Bond. May God bless and comfort your family. Inspired by your bold and courageous example, we will continue the righteous fight for justice and equality.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

LeBron James Will Help 1,100 Kids Go to College

The Huffington Post reports that:
The deep ties LeBron James shares with his hometown of Akron, Ohio, aren't news to anyone. It's as much a part of the LeBron brand as the player's moves on the court.

Well, King James is taking the love one step further, announcing that he will fund over 1,000 kids' educations with a scholarship to the University of Akron, ESPN reported.

Through a partnership between the school and his LeBron James Family Foundation, the 1,100 children currently in his "I Promise" program will receive a fully sponsored scholarship.

"I think it's probably one of the best things I've ever been a part of," James said.

He continued, "This is very special to me. As a kid growing up in the inner city and as an African-American kid, you don't really think past high school because it's not possible or your family can't support you."
Good morning, family. I salute LeBron James for giving back to the community. He was blessed with great opportunity. Now, he is sharing that blessing with many others. Due to his great generosity, 1,000 kids will be able to attend college. Much respect.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cointelpro 2.0: The Government Monitors @deray and #BlackLivesMatter

"For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.” Angela Y. Davis
"I'm probably on some government list for my rhymin." Talib Kweli

The Root and Vice News report that:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has monitored the Twitter account of prominent civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, referring to him as a "professional protester" who is "known to law enforcement," according to documents obtained by VICE News in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Mckesson's Twitter and other social media accounts were being monitored by DHS last May during the height of the protests in Baltimore that followed the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was critically injured while in police custody. DHS took note when McKesson, a former Minneapolis public school official and an activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, posted details to his Twitter account about a planned protest in Baltimore.

One email said DHS "social media monitors have reported that a professional demonstrator/protester known to law enforcement (Deray Mckesson) has post on his social media account that there is going to be a 3:00 pm rally at the FOP#3 lodge located @ 3920 Baltimore Ave, Baltimore, MD 21211 … This is early raw unevaluated and uncorroborated reporting at this time."
As reported in Intercept last month, the Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement. Intercept reports that:
The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents, released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Operations Coordination, indicate that the department frequently collects information, including location data, on Black Lives Matter activities from public social media accounts, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, even for events expected to be peaceful. The reports confirm social media surveillance of the protest movement and ostensibly related events in the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and New York.

They also show the department watching over gatherings that seem benign and even mundane. For example, DHS circulated information on a nationwide series of silent vigils and a DHS-funded agency planned to monitor a funk music parade and a walk to end breast cancer in the nation’s capital...

Brendan McQuade, a visiting assistant professor at DePaul University who researches the DHS’s intelligence-gathering fusion centers, believes that the DHS and its affiliated counterterror organizations monitor Black Lives Matter to such a exacting degree because the terrorist threats they were created to stop are exceedingly remote. “Fusion centers were set up for counterterrorism, but it became ‘all crimes, all threats, all hazards’ because terrorism isn’t a real threat. You are four times more likely to be struck by lighting than killed by a terrorist,” says McQuade. “Even at their moment of emergence it was clear that counterterrorism wasn’t going to be enough.”

Raven Rakia, a journalist who investigates state surveillance and policing, said that the DHS’ decision to monitor Black Lives Matter is hardly surprising, given the federal government’s well documented history of spying on and suppressing black social movements and groups like the Black Panthers. “There’s a long history of the federal agencies, especially the FBI, seeing black resistance organizations as a threat to national security,” says Rakia.

Mitchell, the Blackbird activist, says that this continuing surveillance serves not only to keep tabs on black activists, but also to deter them from pushing forward. “Surveillance is a tool of fear. When the police are videotaping you at a protest or pulling you over because you’re a well known activist — all of these techniques are designed to create a chilling effect on people’s organizing. This is no different. The level of surveillance, however, isn’t going to stop us. After all, we organize because our lives depend on it.” (Emphasis added)
During the 60s and 70s, the FBI implemented Cointelpro, the Counter Intelligence Program. Cointelpro was designed to "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder." Even nonviolent civil rights leaders and organizations were targeted.  Under Cointelpro, not only did the FBI monitor black leaders and black organizations, it destroyed them. Many black leaders were jailed and even killed by the FBI.

Today, even with a black man in the White House, the government continues to target black activists. With the advent of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it is far easier to monitor black leaders and organizations. History teaches us that surveillance is only the beginning of the repression. Just for peacefully organizing to end police brutality, we are treated like terrorists.

As a result of the so-called War on Terror, the government's ability to monitor American citizens has increased substantially. Our fear of foreign Arab terrorists made it easy for us to voluntarily surrender some of our civil liberties. When the Arabs and Muslims were targets of surveillance, no one cared. Now that is us again, we have no choice but to care. The struggle continues.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

One year later, the #BlackLivesMatter Movement is a Failure

One year after the killing of Michael Brown, there has been very little substantive change in America. As reported in the Nation,
Missouri lawmakers filed more than sixty bills inspired by last year’s protests, but only court reform passed into law, according to an Associated Press analysis. One of the bills that failed to move through the statehouse sought to make Missouri’s use-of-force laws compliant with a 1985 US Supreme Court decision. Other bills would have made body cameras mandatory and require special prosecutors to investigate officer-involved shootings. Last year, activists accused county prosecutor Bob McCulloch of being too close to law enforcement to objectively handle Wilson’s case.
Furthermore, the Washington Post reports that:
So far this year, 24 unarmed black men have been shot and killed by police - one every nine days, according to a Washington Post database of fatal police shootings. During a single two-week period in April, three unarmed black men were shot and killed. All three shootings were either captured on video or, in one case, broadcast live on local TV.

Those 24 cases constitute a surprisingly small fraction of the 585 people shot and killed by police through Friday evening, according to The Post database. Most of those killed were white or Hispanic, and the vast majority of victims of all races were armed.

However, black men accounted for 40 percent of the 60 unarmed deaths, even though they make up just 6 percent of the U.S. population. The Post's analysis shows that black men were seven times more likely than white men to die by police gunfire while unarmed.

The latest such shooting occurred Friday, claiming Christian Taylor, 19, a promising defensive back on the Angelo State University football team. Police said Taylor crashed an SUV through the front window of a car dealership in Arlington, Tex., and was shot in an altercation with responding officers. The case is under investigation.

The disproportionate number of unarmed black men in the body count helps explain why outrage continues to simmer a year after Ferguson — and why shootings that might have been ignored in the past are now coming under fresh public and legal scrutiny. (Emphasis added)
One year after the death of Michael Brown, the Black Lives Matter Movement has failed, for the most part. People are still marching, protesting and engaging in civil disobedience in Ferguson and around the country. That proves that the movement has not achieved its objectives. The End Racial Profiling Act has not been passed. In fact, a bill to protect lions and other wild animals is a greater priority in Congress than the End Racial Profiling Act. That is an obvious sign of failure. While unarmed movement members are arrested for engaging in civil disobedience, killers like Darren Wilson and George Zimmerman continue to walk free and armed white militia patrol the streets of Ferguson looking for trouble from the black natives. That is not success. That is failure. As previously stated, the brutal police continue to harass and kill unarmed black people. Recent examples include the killing of Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and Sam DuBose. Our lives still don't matter.  Again, the movement has failed miserably.

Certainly, the movement's catch phrase "Black Lives Matter" has become a popular slogan. That slogan has generated a much needed national discussion. Even that discussion has detoured into discussion about how "all lives matter." More importantly, slogans alone are a poor substitute for actual substantive reforms. Discussions are just that, discussions. Discussions are not actions. Clearly, the movement has gained publicity. Nonetheless, publicity without a focused purpose, other than 15 minutes of fame, is meaningless. Publicity for the stake of publicity accomplishes nothing.

For example, this past weekend, purported Black Lives Matter activists Marissa Janae Johnson (a former Sarah Palin supporter) and Mara Jacqeline Willaford interrupted Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' speech. Ms. Johnson's "I don't give a f***" attitude is childish and unsophisticated. Unfortunately, that is not the first time that Black Lives Matter activists have interrupted a program. They also interrupted Al Sharpton's Justice for All march.

It is just plain stupid to attack, alienate and discard allies, especially when your movement is funded by the same white progressives that you criticize. By the way, black organizations should be funded primarily by black people. Anyway, the Black Lives Matter Movement should collaborate with Al Sharpton and other prominent civil rights leaders and organizations. Potential allies like Sanders have the power to pass laws to address the problems of police brutality and racial profiling. Instead of interrupting fellow progressives, the movement should be interrupting the police who harass and kill black people. Instead of interrupting organizations that have the same goals and objectives, the movement should be interrupting a Congress that is more concerned about slain lions than slain black people.

Marissa Janae Johnson's and Mara Jacqeline Willaford's actions expose another fundamental flaw of the movement, its leaderless and decentralized nature. Such a structure breeds chaos and rogue action. If it is to be successful, the movement needs more structure and more discipline. Otherwise, it will be another short-lived moment just like the Occupy Wall Street movement. It will be here today and gone tomorrow. Rather than having an arrogant "know-it-all" approach and attitude, the movement should learn effective strategies from civil rights veterans and black power veterans.

Instead of engaging in such juvenile publicity stunts, the movement must present a clear set of demands to elected officials and candidates. The movement must demand that all politicians pass legislation that is in accord with those demands. Instead of just tweeting and marching, the activists should be conducting effective and massive voter registration and education drives. If we do not vote, we cannot complain about politicians not implementing reforms. If we do not vote, we cannot complain about juries and grand juries letting killers like Darren Wilson and George Zimmerman go free. Through the vote, we are able to serve on juries and render justice.

Friday, August 7, 2015

2016 GOP Presidential Debate

Good morning, family. In case you missed it, like yours truly, here is the first 2016 Republican Presidential debate. What did y'all think about the debate?