Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gun Fodder

In yet another case of excessive use of force another black man was shot dead by police in North Charleston, SC.   Officer Michael Slager was caught on video fatally shooting Walter L. Scott in the back as he fled.   Here is a link to a related story:

I have become weary of these stories.  My patience for this sadistic nonsense is exhausted.  I am tired of this bullshit. I'm also tired of people acting shocked and astonished when this shit happens. Black people have become gun fodder for racist and trigger happy police. It's become commonplace. What's more, we've sent a clear message to our oppressors that killing us is permissible.

We've reached a point where they are killing us ON VIDEO. We are literally watching our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, and brothers die right in front of us. Yet far too many of us still cling to the delusions of society and refuse to accept America as she exists. Even being slaughtered in the street isn't enough to spur many of us into action.

You know the drill. A black man or woman is killed on camera in broad daylight. Almost immediately some coon will appear on Fox News and explain why it was not only the victims fault, but our fault collectively as a people. Comfortable "famous" negroes will also chime in and remind us that if we just pulled our pants up, stop having babies out of wedlock, and stop listening to Hip Hop then maybe the police wouldn't murder us in cold blood. These high profile coons will use their profile to drown out the outrage of the grassroots.

Not only that but at some point someone will start a "Go Fund Me" for the police officer. In what can only be described as bizarre and sociopathic, people will victimize the police officer and demonize the victim. Unarmed victims shot multiple times and left to bleed out and die in the street will be labeled thugs and criminals and trigger happy police officers will be labeled peace keepers who were frightened and fighting for their lives.

Why are we surprised? Not only is killing our people encouraged, it's rewarded. Why are we still appealing to the morality of those who kill us? When will we push back? When will we fight back? How many of us have to die? How many cops have to walk?
People can pretend it isn't what it is.  We can keep lying to ourselves.  We can keep pretending we live in a post racial society.  We can keep pretending American law enforcement isn't corrupt and filled with armed sociopaths.  But the truth is right in front of us.  We are gun fodder.  Like it or not.  Accept it or not. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MLK: Understanding His Legacy

Today January 15, 2015 is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  During this time period we celebrate the memory of Dr. King and give thanks, praise, and pay respect to one of the most important men in American history.  The accomplishments of Dr. King cannot be overstated.  His contributions to black people, civil rights, and humanity helped to change a nation.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. King, a man who struggled, fought, and ultimately died for what is right.  Those of us who respect his accomplishments must make sure that his legacy lives on.  A legacy that some seek to trivialize, diminish, and even commercialize.  There are many who seek to marginalize Dr. King.  There are many who seek to minimize what he has done.  There are some who seek to deify Dr. King also.  But what is most troubling is that there are far too many people who simply do not truly understand the depth of Dr. King or the importance of what he sought to accomplish.

There are many who seek to dumb down the legacy of Dr. King.  With each passing year we lose more and more substance.  Dr. King's vision has been reduced to a utopian fantasy.  His work has been reduced to marching, hand holding, and singing songs.  His words have been reduced to catch phrases like "Free At Last" and "I have A Dream".   Dr. King in many ways has been reduced to slogans and catch phrases.  Not only it is disrespectful to the man but it does a disservice to all of us who honor his memory.

No one speaks of the Dr. King who spoke out against economic injustice.  No one speaks of the Dr. King who spoke out against American Imperialism.  No one speaks of the Dr. King who was labeled "The Most Dangerous Negro in America" by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.  No one speaks of the Dr. King who was hounded, harassed, taped, and threatened by the United States government.  No one speaks of the Dr. King who fought to politically empower Black Americans.  No one speaks of the Dr. King who spoke against both political parties and rallied against systemic racism.  These aspects of Dr. King are very rarely discussed.

While we pay respect and seek to understand his legacy we must also be careful not to deify Dr. King as well.  We must remember that Dr. King was not a saint or an angel.  That he was a man, as flawed as any other.  It was his ability to rise above his flaws and failings that made him great.  It was his ability to overcome his personal weaknesses that made him the man he became.  We must accept all aspects of Dr. King if we are truly to understand his legacy.

Dr. King is more than "I Have a Dream".  He is more than "We Shall Overcome".  As we pay respect to this great man let us continue to strive to understand the fullness of Dr. King's legacy. Please take the time out to learn about Dr. King.  Study his dream.  Study his work.  Study his legacy.  We owe him that.  We owe ourselves that.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Tanisha Anderson's Death Ruled Homicide: Cue the Apologists

Medical examiners have now determined that Tanisha Anderson, a mentally ill Cleveland woman who died in police custody, is a homicide victim.   Examiners determined her sudden death was associated with physical restraint in a prone position.  This information comes on the heels of a community still reeling over the death of twelve year old Tamir Rice and the Justice Department's investigation that showed excessive force by Cleveland area police is at a significant rate and putting the community at risk.  This story can be found here:

Tanisha's family is now seeking answers and seeking justice.  Unfortunately what they will instead find is an army of apologists who will make excuses for the police and tell them that Anderson's death was happenstance or worse, that her death was largely her own fault.  They will make up any far fetched excuse they can think of for why this woman is now dead.  They will be disrespectful.  They will bend over backwards to defend the police, even though at any given time they or someone they love could be Tanisha Anderson, Eric Garner, or Tamir Rice.

I can hear them now.  They will say foolish nonsense like she shouldn't have resisted.  They will ask foolish questions like how were the police to know about her condition?  They will make foolish excuses like police aren't trained to deal with mentally ill individuals so they cannot be held responsible.  They will foolishly and callously question the motivation of a family in mourning. 

But worst of all, they will politicize it.  In almost no time flat they will start talking about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as if these men have anything to do with anything.  They will race bait.  At some point some fool will blame Barack Obama and Eric Holder.  They literally will say ANYTHING in an attempt to shift responsibility from those who killed this woman.  They might even raise funds for the OFFICER while not so subtly suggesting that the Anderson family's only interest is financial compensation.  These shameless apologists will do and say whatever they feel they must to protect the Cleveland area police, even as police brutality continues spiral out of control.

Make no mistake about it.  The apologists will come and they will come in droves.  They are the same people who make excuses for racism, misogyny, sexism, classism, and homophobia.  It is apparent that they are completely invested in this corrupt system and will do anything and say anything to protect it.  They are an enemy to us all.  Because of these apologists, those who commit these wicked acts continue to evade justice.  Because of them we all must live with the fear that at any given time our lives are forfeit.  Because of them we all live with the reality that we literally live and breathe at the whim of some deranged officer.

Another person is dead at the hands of police.  Cue the apologists.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The American News Media(Distorting not Reporting): The Ultimate Mind F***

Over the last decade and a half I have noticed a startling and frightening trend.  It's gotten worse with every single year and it has reached a critical and dangerous point.  I am speaking of course about the American news media.  The American news media has become a fountain of distortions, indoctrination, and misinformation.  Americans are being literally mind fucked every single say by news outlets all across this country.  We are being controlled and conditioned and many of us don't even realize it.

The majority of major news outlets in America don't report.  They distort.  Very little of what the news media does involves actual reporting.  The vast majority of what they do involves conditioning your mind to accept a certain narrative or viewpoint.  It is a very deliberate process designed to keep you under control.  They will distort a story and spin it in order to perpetuate a certain ideology.  The process has been going on for some time now and it follows a very set pattern.  While news outlets like Fox News are clearly the worst of the worst, they are by no means alone.

The next time you watch the news pay attention to how the story is presented to you.  Initially you'll get a journalist or news anchor reporting the story.  Almost immediately after the journalist reports on the story he or she will defer to a panel of consultants and contributors who will give their OPINIONS on the story.  This is a deliberate tactic designed to weave a certain narrative.  Almost all news networks do it.  They'll have lawyers, doctors, retired veterans, and other "professionals" offering their opinions on an issue.  This is done to lend credibility and weight to otherwise useless opinions.

Ask yourself simple questions.    Why do I need someone to tell me what to think about a story?  Why should I give a shit what Sean Hannity or Al Sharpton or Don Lemon thinks about the story?  Why can't I make up my own mind about how I feel about a story?  Why am I listening to this panel tell me what they think?  Do they think I cannot think for myself? 

The act of distorting not reporting is not new.  That said though, today it is completely out of hand.  We have networks and news outlets literally conditioning people to accept certain ideals and viewpoints.  We have news outlets fleecing the public by feeding them false information, half truths, and useless opinions.  It has become rampant and out of control and the result is a blind and completely ignorant populace incapable of critical thinking.

When you watch the news, do so objectively.  Trust nothing.  Cross reference what you hear and see.  Don't rely on one news outlet for all of your information.  Get your information from multiple sources and CHECK those sources.  You owe it to yourself to get to the truth and if you leave it to CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News you will be blind and misinformed.

The American news media does not report.  It distorts.  The result is a massive mind fuck so powerful it's crippling the minds of the American people.  It's frightening.  It's out of control.   With each day it gets worse.  It's time we start asking more from the American media.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thugs and Patriots

I wanted to write today about something I've been thinking about.  There is a saying.  One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.  Now I'm not sure I believe that or agree with that.  But it's becoming clear to me that the American media does.  At least the root premise of it anyway.  I'm convinced of this.   Case in point:

Just a few short years ago it was considered "patriotic" to resist big government tyranny.  It was considered "patriotic" to stand up to a increasingly militarized police force and to challenge what was described as a near despotic government.  It was considered to "patriotic" to form well regulated militias and to be prepared for armed resistance.  Patriotic Americans walked through the streets armed with AR-15s, AK-74s, and other firearms in a brazen show of force.  They carried antagonistic signs like "JUST TRY TO TAKE MY GUN" and "WE CAME IN PEACE....THIS TIME!!".  At times, as in the case with Cliven Bundy, they even pointed their weapons at the federal government and law enforcement agents.  These Americans were applauded for their "courage" and heralded as protectors and defenders of the Constitution.  They were encouraged to resist the government and to fight if necessary. It was their right as Americans.

What's strange though is that I look at what is happening in Ferguson and NY and there is a very different narrative.  In fact, it's almost the exact opposite.  Those who are marching against militarized police and police brutality are labeled malcontents, trouble makers, and thugs.  Non-compliance is no longer considered patriotic.  It is considered criminal.   Those who encouraged protestors armed with semi-automatic rifles are now criticizing and berating unarmed protestors.  Those who once encouraged Americans to resist an increasingly militarized police force who were buying bullets and arms by the truckload are now telling others to obey and comply.  What was once patriotic is now treasonous.  Pointing a sniper rifle at a federal officer on the Bundy ranch?  You're a patriot.  Throwing a bottle at a military style Humvee in Ferguson?  You are a thug, a criminal, and you belong in jail.

So it would appear, at least to me, that one man's patriot is another man's thug.  What makes one action patriotic and another criminal?  Obviously I have my ideas but I don't think I need to state them.  Besides.  I want to know what others think.  I want to see how others rationalize this seemingly blatant double standard.  When am I a thug?  When am I a patriot?  When do I get to protest?  How am I supposed to protest?  Why am I a patriot when I'm looking down the scope of a .308 but a criminal when I throw a brick at a window? 

Just things that I'm thinking about. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shifting the Blame: Calling Out Racism is the New Racism

There is a growing phenomenon in America.  A phenomenon that has grown exponentially over the past few years.  I've written about it before and since then it's grown even greater.  It's one that has me scratching my head in utter disbelief at times I will admit.  What is this phenomenon I'm speaking of?  The NEW racism.  Apparently, we have reached a point in America where calling out racism is in fact racist.  We've reached a point where pointing out injustice has become injustice.  We've reached a point where people are outraged at the outrage.  I often find myself confused and astonished by this?  How the hell did this happen?  When did calling out injustice become worse than the injustice we are calling out?  When did it be become OK to be outraged at those who are outraged at bigotry?  When did it become racist to oppose racism?

We've all heard it before.  All of us.  Whenever there is a manifestation of racial injustice in America(which unfortunately is all too often) there will always and inevitably be someone expressing their "concerns" and "frustrations" about those who stand against it.  Always.  You've heard them.  You've seen them. You'll be talking about Eric Garner and out of nowhere they'll bring up Al Sharpton.  You'll be talking about Rekia Boyd and out of nowhere they'll bring up Jesse Jackson.  You'll be talking about racial injustice and out of nowhere they'll bring up Barack Obama.  They will go out of their way to shift the conversation from injustice to something or someone completely irrelevant to the issue.  They'll make false equivalencies.  They'll ask idiotic questions like "Why aren't you concerned about black on black crime?" or "Why don't civil rights leaders speak out when someone white dies?".  They'll blame protestors for fanning the flames of conflict.  They will shift the onus and responsibility from those who commit injustice to those who are fighting and resisting it.

Let me be clear.  If you are more concerned about say Al Sharpton than you are about police choking an unarmed man to death you are the part of the problem.  If you are more concerned about say Jesse Jackson than a SWAT team throwing a flash bang into a home and maiming a child you are part of the problem.  If you are more concerned about what Obama had to say about Trayvon Martin than the fact that Trayvon Martin is dead, well....I think you get it. 

You see, we aren't fooled by you.  You aren't really concerned about issues in the inner city.  You aren't concerned about black on black crime, gangs, drug, teen pregnancy or any of those other things you try to distract people with when they are justifiably angry about social injustice.  You don't give a shit.  You don't. The only time you'll even mention it is when racism and social injustice rears it head and the only purpose of you doing it is to placate and misdirect.

The news media in particular has become quite adept at shifting blame.  High profile personalities like Don Lemon for example have all but mastered the art of misdirection.   Fox News, in addition to being a fountain of misinformation, has turned shifting blame into an art form.  Even local and online publications and news outlets engaged in shameless victim blaming and shifting responsibility.   A young man gets  killed?  Someone somewhere will attempt to shift the conversation to young black thuggery.  A young woman gets raped?  Someone somewhere will attempt to shift the conversation to teen pregnancy or black women out of wedlock or welfare recipients.  It happens without fail.

As we move into 2015 society's approach to racism seems to be one of "deal with it".  Racism is here to stay and it's not going away.  Keep your head down, keep quiet about it and hope to the high heavens it doesn't affect you too much.  Speak on it and YOU are a racist.  Challenge it and YOU are a bigot.  Resist it and YOU are the trouble maker.  Challenging racism has become the new racism.

I suppose that would make me a racist.  I suppose that makes me a hateful person.  I suppose that makes me an angry black man.  So be it.....

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Tale of Two Americas

America.  Land of the free.  Home of the brave.  In America we have been indoctrinated with superficial patriotism.  We have been indoctrinated with images of pride and freedom.  We have been imbued with an almost overwhelming sense of self righteousness.  If you allow the average American to tell it, America is a free and open country where anyone can be and do anything regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, or religion.  This image persists even in the face of the undeniable fact that nothing could be further from the truth.

You see there is America and then there is the America that exists in our minds.  There is the real America and the America that has been manufactured and indoctrinated into the hearts and souls of it's citizens.  What's amazing is that the manufactured, illusory image of America is always the dominant one.  We consistently reject the truth.  We always accept the false image.  In fact, not only will we consistently reject the truth, we will take issue with anyone who even attempts to speak it.

For example, we are taught to believe that the Founding Fathers of this country were champions of freedom who discovered a new land and built a nation where all men and women could live free and prosper.  We eat that image up.  But it's not the truth.  The truth is that the Founding Fathers were slave owners who saw blacks as 3/5 of a person.  They were misogynists who believed women did not have the right or even the intellectual capacity to vote or own land.  They were murderers who drove Mexicans south and brought the Native Americans to the brink of extinction. 

Now those are facts.  I didn't make a single word of that up.  But if I were to speak that truth, most Americans would lose their minds.  They would seethe with rage and anger.  I would be called everything from racist to unpatriotic.  I would told things like "If you don't like this country, LEAVE!"  Even though nothing I've said is false.

I'll give you another example.  America is a racist nation.  That is an undeniable truth.  America was founded on white male supremacy.  Again blacks were considered 3/5 of a person.  Women did not possess the same rights as men.  Native Americans were viewed as savages and pushed from their land.  America has a history of racism, discrimination, and civil unrest.  Less than 50 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King was violently shot and killed.  Dr. King fought tirelessly for equal rights and change.  He was an advocate of non-violence, even in the face of it.  Even as he was stoned, jailed, and attacked he still refused to raise his hands to his opponents.  Ultimately he was shot in the head.  Even today black people do not enjoy equal justice and opportunity under the law.  Blacks still make less than their white counterparts per average for doing relatively the same work.  Hate speech is a regular occurrence.   Then there is the criminal justice system.  One has only to ask the families of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and Tamir Price about justice to understand that the criminal justice system sees blacks in particular as criminals almost by default.

Again, those are facts.  Harsh facts to be sure.  But facts nonetheless.  But if I speak those facts aloud?  Well, I shouldn't have to tell anyone what will happen and what will be said about me.

It's not just from whites.  Should I speak the truth to power many other black people will rage as well.  I've learned a long time ago there are black people who are completely invested in Illusory America.  I like to compare it in some ways to the Matrix.  It doesn't matter if they aren't really eating steak.  As long as they believe they are eating steak, that's all that matters.  When given the option to see America as it exists versus illusory America, they will choose illusory America 10/10 times.

So here we are. Living in two Americas.  The America that exists in reality and the one that exists in our minds.  What's sad is that the more the America that exists in reality asserts itself, the harder we cling to the America that exists in our minds.  Because of this, any progress we make toward making our nation truly better will be slow and painstaking.  You don't fix what you wont acknowledge as broken.  We will never escape the hell as long as we collectively cling to the illusion that we are living in heaven.