Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

Between The World And Me, And Every Other Black Man.

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More times than others, I read books that compliment my moods. If I am happy, I will not even think to touch a Toni Morrison, but rather consider some work from Maya. When I want to feel hopeful, Ill grab Zora Neale. And on a rainy day, shade is usually being thrown from Richard Wright and Audre Lorde.

But I didn’t get a chance to choose this book, it just happened. And I realized that I not only read the book at the right time, but so did everyone else. And that was because we had no choice.

I took my seat on the Ta-Nehisi Coates’ bandwagon and I don’t think that I will ever get off. In fact, I might have to bully someone for their front seat  because his new book, Between The World and Me, helped heal my temporal fury.

The overall purpose, a letter to his son, was more than I can bare. The thought of constructing a letter that contained all the problems to Black male existence and not even giving a solution, because there is none that you can possibly provide, shows me all the revolutionary steps needed in the awakening  process.

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The idea of the body; existing physically, biologically, politically, and socially, was extremely necessary to digest. The consequences of not living  causes disembodiment. Both self-inflicted and inflicted, in which you have no control over. The tennis game of Coates analyzing his manhood versus raising a child to challenge manhood was extremely striking.

And the responsibility of mustering up a narrative that share Black America’s grief has already been acknowledged by one of the finest American writers ever, Toni Morrison.

‘The modern-day James Baldwin’ comparison straps this author with an extreme high award of valor, because someone has to fill the shoes. And Coates, with his blunt references and his bold opinions does nothing less than remind you of our Uncle Baldwin himself.

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This is no ordinary book review, because this is no ordinary book. I usually include fancy quotes and witty remarks, but it is nearly impossible to choose quotes that are more important than others.

I found myself in a salsa of emotions during my time reading because it is reflective of the current happenings in the world. This book does not put you in some kind of fairy tale land that you are able to get away from once you close the book. The reality is, the book is just as dark as the world we share.

Go ahead, it is safe to pick up.

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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.

What’s Going On: A Glimpse of Black Consciousness and Reflections on Ferguson

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The story of 18­-year­old Mike Brown is a story our community knows all too well; Rodney King, Trayvon Martin and Eric Gardner are names of only a few victims who have gained national attention. Little to nothing has changed over the course of the years. It is disheartening to say nothing has no action has taken place over the course of the last few months in the Mike Brown case. Racism is still very much alive and martial law has become a reality in our country. As a response to the resistance in Ferguson, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri has declared a State of Emergency and activated the National Guard in anticipation of civil unrest. The FBI expressed
concern for the Ferguson Decision and explains that it ‘will likely’ lead to violence, which would
seem to be a very valid claim since the the governor is sending an aggressive message.

Just last Wednesday, November 12, the parents of Mike Brown, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., spoke to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in hopes to receive assistance in the matter. But, despite the fact that people from around the world have rallied and protested around the events in Ferguson, the United Nations has denied any type of intervention. Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. have expressed that the received no answer and no remorse from the committee.

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The murder of Mike Brown has left our community devastated by the harsh reality that we, as a people, are still very much oppressed by the system, and police are not here for the benefit of the Black community. There are too many instances of profiling that have led to be fatal. Malcolm X once declared “our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary”. It is through the unification of our communities that we will find our strength to rise above such tragedies. Mike Brown is one of many, Black men face more fatalities now than they did during the times of lynching. So what can we do to save us? The case of Mike Brown is not only a case of racism, classism, but it is a case of human rights. We all have the divine right to life and happiness.

So what will you do to protect yours?

Stay connected! As we would try to bring you the latest from Ferguson and the verdict of Mike Brown’s shooting.

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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Zimmerman Innocent?

The murder trial of Trayvon Martin has been circulating through the media for the past few days, having a lot of people discuss the controversy of this trial. Why is the decision taking so long? How long is Zimmerman going to potentially going to be charged with? IS ZIMMERMAN INNOCENT?

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Viewers are really loosing hope on the trial, and to be honest, I might be too. The courts are playing racquetball with this case, going back and forth on irrelevant issues. When will justice be served?

May we shed a different light on this case? What will happened if George Zimmerman is innocent and is free from his charges? Would his life actually become normal and free of harm?

Think about it this way: there is too much build up and animosity  for George Zimmerman to be a free man. From the book recently published by his father about African-Americans be racist, to the portrayal of Zimmerman being a floosebag, he wont be able to live a normal life.

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The idea of rioting and protesting are already in the talks if this case doesn’t go as planned. Officials SHOULD be afraid, if anything, about the reactions of this trial from viewers of daily citizens. This is questioning the safety of everyone else in America and whether or not the criminal justice system can stand by other people and/or their family if this was the case of anyone else. Murder is murder, and whether it was self-defense or not, Trayvon Martin lost his life.

They say history repeats itself, right? Remember what happened in L.A when Rodney King was beaten by the cops. Something similar to a neighborhood watch patroller carrying a gun and killing a boy with a hoodie.

George Zimmerman, you are better off in jail. These streets aren’t safe for you.