Tag Archives: police brutality

DOJ and Black Bodies.

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It seems like the Department of Justice decided to close the Civil Right books these past two weeks. With three big decisions on the table, what is the Department of Justice really saying about the lives of Black people? Lets break down each finding.

No Federal Civil Rights Charges Against George Zimmerman: I think the most relevant thing to highlight is the fact that Trayvon was murdered three years ago. Reaching a decision to not charge a person for three years might be a “traditional procedure”, but it is still triggering. Not only does a guilty man walk freely for a crime we all know he did, but it is “cleared” by the DOJ that this act was non-indictable. I’m still writing about Trayvon’s injustice. I can’t even write further on his life because of it.

Ferguson Police Racial Bias and Unconstitutional Practices: I mean, didn’t we know this already? Ferguson became a war zone. Militia weaponry on local citizens. Was there anything practical about that choice? Moving forward, what will happen to these racist, unconstitutional cops? How do they keep their jobs and departments knowing this information? Are we condoning racial and unconstitutional practices in a police department? Can these racist cops continue to police a Black community?

Non indictment of Darren Wilson: another jab, don’t you think? Not only does Ferguson Police get away with killing Michael Brown, they also get away with destroying trust between the authority and the community, but they get away with LITERALLY destroying a community.

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These announcements from the Department of Justice simply triggered a population of people to remember the dark place of mourning that they have tried to overcome these past few years. We have been trying to suppress feelings of anger and despair, but when news as such comes out that makes us remember, its beyond psychological trauma. It’s remembering that not only were these Black bodies murdered, but in a sense, does not matter in a court of law.

So Department of Justice, thank you for reminding me these past two weeks that Whiteness has the systematic power to parade around the streets and kill Black people. You are truly appreciated.

For the DOJ report, click here. Tell us what you think.

 

UPDATE!!

Micheal Brown’s family attorney will be filing a civil law suit. More details forthcoming.

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Books for Ferguson!

Education1Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

 

Since the murder of Michael Brown, it is clear that Ferguson, Missouri has been the civil war zone of the United States. The world is watching this town become the tear-gassing, car blowing, protesting community that is not only fighting against police brutality, racial profiling, and racism, but a loss of a Black young familiar face in Ferguson. A sense of community is not only building in the organizers in this newly proclaimed movement, but a sense of community is also rising in the Ferguson library and the fate of the small Black children there.
In the midst of the movement, Ferguson’s library has been receiving large amounts of donations from donors around the world. This week, the library topped a stunning $350,000 worth of monetary donations and gifts since the grand jury decision!

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It is very interesting to witness this investment in the library of Ferguson. Understanding how powerful education is to the community, especially during the beginning of a movement against racism and police brutality, will only instill the proper intellectual foundation for children to understand the world better. We are soo excited for the scholastic future of the children in Ferguson!

 

 
Check out the full story here:

http://m.stltoday.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/book-blog/ferguson-book-gifts-grow-library-donations-over/article_e615d477-e5ef-5914-a654-262b9e35cf8b.html?mobile_touch=true

 

Three Benefits of Boycotting Black Friday.

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A lot of attention has been set on boycotting stores and corporations this Friday, having a split decision on folks who will and will not do it. Some believe that the boycott does not have a direct correlation of the indictment decision, while others will not spend a dime AND protest these stores. But how beneficial can this boycott really be for an individual? AfroMadu is here to break down how effective boycotting can be in regards to our Black dollar.

1. SAVING MONEY: Statistics prove that our generation has a hard time saving money. With college debt sky rocketing and the price of living increasing, it is nearly impossible for millennials to work, pay off their bills, and live the “American dream” (I’m referring to the buying a house with a white picket fence and dog idea). We also have hard time saving money and investing because of these factors. We fail to gain net worth because we can’t afford to. In saying all of this, can this boycott allow us to potentially begin the habit of saving our money when big consumer sales occur? If we gain enough willpower to actually stay home and not shop will forces say otherwise, how much money can we keep in our pockets? Save your money today! Boycotting will keep that extra hundred dollars in your pockets and really make you question why you “need” that 50″ flat screen in the first place. 

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2. EDUCATING OURSELVES: Statistics also show that the Black dollar, compared to other communities, are the quickest spent, having the money in our pockets in average of 6 hours before buying and spending as opposed to months and days in the Jewish and Asian communities. This is beyond disturbing. Information as such needs to be shared, especially if we are knowledgeable of how we spend our money. Understanding the value of a dollar is super important and if we are ignorant to how to spend the money we work so hard for, we can seriously be in trouble with our finances. Find a few articles or a couple books about managing finances and money and see how much you can learn with gaining the information.

3. HELP WANTED: This boycott also advertises the desire for potential buying during Black Friday. Instead of buying from corporations, invest in Black-Owned businesses. The problem here lies in the realization of actually finding necessities in the hands of Black-owned businesses. While preparing and researching for the boycott, I began to research places that I might be able to buy things that I would have to buy if all else fails. Some things would not be able to be bought because they are not Black owned. With learning all of this, it was pretty clear that more industries that provide necessities are not Black-owned, and thats a problem. At this rate, we are not able to function without White businesses and corporations. This boycott should allow future Black business owners to realize that we need capital in many different industries like agriculture, banking, and much more if we plan to devalue power in corporations. Let’s start creating these stores and own competitive markets. If you are a future Black entrepreneur, help is definitely wanted by creating trade in these areas. This boycott is allowing us to see the disconnect. 

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In the end, this amazing movement will allow us to serve two purposes: showing the world how much we matter, and showing ourselves our dominion over our finances and business. 

Livestrong: Why the Cancer of Injustice Lives On

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Everything hidden in darkness must come to light. This seems to be a relevant saying, considering the recent phenomenon of racial and gender scandals in the media. That means bigotry in the NBA, new domestic violence reports, and growing evidence of racist police forces. But when light shines on an issue, do we look for the roots of the issue or do we just just follow the headlines?

Follow the patterns. We are fooled into thinking justice has taken place, when time and time again systems are simply punishing behaviors and people who got caught, instead of the thinking and philosophies that led to those behaviors. Instead of healing, we treat symptoms. We medicate. In a similar way, when we correct people–racists, abusers, etc–all we tend to correct is behavior. People then adopt rules: don’t say nigger, don’t hit a woman, don’t do this, don’t do that. We never correct the way the dominating culture thinks. There are systems of thought and control laced in our political, economic, and religious culture.  The monster you see peeking its head in recent scandals is only a symptom of the great cancer that lies in our systems of thought. If we never plan on attacking a way of thinking, that monstrous cancer continues to live–police brutality, racism (in the economic, judicial, and political world),  domestic violence, even so called abortion rights. The root of all our issues seems to be the ancient storyline: one group of people thinks it is superior than another, and essentially that they are more human–or that they are the real humans, and the others are not. The self perceived superior group either cannot see the others’ humanity or they undervalue that humanity.

Some people only see  only race, gender, or ethnic group. Today, whole systems of governance and socialization have normalized this view. The cancer seems to have been dormant, with a few complaints from its underclass. Today, however, the evidence is in the blood on our streets. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Renisha McBride, Janay Rice, and so many more.

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In pursuing the cause for these atrocities, we point to all the wrong things: the victims themselves, the racist cop, the scared neighborhood watch, etc. For me it boils down to one thing: were these victims seen as people. On the contrary, the personhood of each of these people seems to have been in question, or at the very least it had to be proven.

They tried to show Trayvon Martin was sweet and made good grades. They said Michael was going to college. Every one of those efforts is to make the victim more relateable, more human to the average white public–as if them being human was not enough! There is a gap in the viewed personhood of a white 17 year old and a black 17 year old, in a beaten woman and the man who beat her, in a daughter from the Hamptons and a daughter from Detroit. I will skip the cute stuff, and say why. The measure of humanity and personhood is often dictated by a few things:
1. Whiteness, and one’s relation to it
2. The male sex, and one’s relation to it
3. Economic stability

Somehow, if you fail in anyway to have a father, or to come from an economically sound background, or you look a little too different–you lose the function of the mass culture’s ability to relate to you as a person. Your personhood erodes. Your humanity is in question. Tommy, we see. Rachel we can vouch for, but Tamika must prove to me that she is deserving.

Some of the greatest atrocities done to people happened because some one  thought the other was a little less human. Once you are capable of thinking someone else is less than human, then you are the one capable of great inhumanities towards people. The Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, and so much more. Each of the people group victimized were thought less, just a little less, than full human beings.

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There is something particularly sick with a society that cannot see the humanity of those different from their perceived selves. The symptoms of that sickness shows itself in the numerous displays of injustice towards black men and women in this country. Yet, we have an opportunity. A major light is shining on issues we have always known, all too well in fact, but were unable to protest due to lack of evidence and following.

Now we have all the evidence of the cancer inside our country.  We have all the following of the general public. What do we do? We point only to the symptoms. We take a little tylenol for the runny nose. We point at the thinning hair here and there. We cut breats off. We tell the weak parts of the body that the cancer is their own fault. “Finger, you must let go of the past.” “Foot, well If you just looked like the hand, you know not so threatening.” We don’t get healing, we get quick fixes. We don’t call for justice, we call for  sacrifice. We sacrifice all the wrong people.

We let the cancer survive. We let the erroneous thinking, that is, the root of injustice live. We forget that it is living inside us. We do not attack the cancer itself, the harmful thinking that is the cause of the deaths of young people, the oppression of women, the imprisonment of minorities, etc. We let the cancer live. We bill it and we let it give commentary on the news.

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