Tag Archives: discrimination

I’m Tired

As an African American

I am tired of seeing this play out over and over again.

I’m tired of the apologists for police brutality.

I’m tired of African American parents having to have conversations with their children about the dangers of simply being African American.

I’m tired of being told not to get angry about it.

I’m tired of having my patriotism questioned when I do.

I’m tIred of the so called liberals who join in on the hashtags and claim to be outraged but sit in silence on the topic of race and social injustice when they get around each other.

I’m tired

It’s Time for America to Overcome

I have seen many people today including African Americans, denouncing the protests/riots in Minneapolis especially the looting of the Target and while I am a proponent of non-violence it is rather difficult to expect that after centuries of oppression and the senseless killing of our people African Americans are expected to continue to peacefully march and sing we shall overcome.

We will overcome?

We already have overcome:
Our culture being stripped from us
The lost of our ancestral history
Slavery
Lynchings
Jim Crow

We are still battling
Economic injustice
Socialinjustice but we have not let it destroy us as a people

Now is the time for America to overcome its
Racism and Bigotry

Only then will America truly be the country it gave lip service to when it was founded. One where all people are created equal.

Even the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. understood there was a time when a peaceful non-violent protest was not always going to bring about the necessary change.

https://timeline.com/by-the-end-of-his-life-martin-luther-king-realized-the-validity-of-violence-4de177a8c87b

 

 

We are African American and we are Extraordinary

Yet another unarmed young man of color hunted and shot down, yet another attempt to cover it up, yet another attempt to silence our voice Ahmaud Arbury was only 24 years old when his life was ended for what appears to be the unspeakable crime of jogging while black.

For four hundred and one years you have been trying to silence our voice. You stripped us of our culture and religion, shackled us in the chains of bondage, rode masked in the night, as the cowards you truly are, burning crosses to intimidate us, chased us down like animals and lynched us before proudly displaying our lifeless bodies as a sort of trophy, denied us access to the right to vote, created laws that allowed you to legally discriminate against us and when we demanded we be treated as equals you turned the dogs loose and the hoses on us, you disproportionately incarcerate us and through a system of inherent racism put in place a series of social and economic barriers designed specifically to hold us down. Today when we dare to call you out on your obvious disregard for the concept this country was supposedly founded on that all men are created equal you call us unpatriotic. Unpatriotic? How could we be unpatriotic when this country’s wealth and very freedom was achieved on the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors just as much if not more than any other group, for we have fought and gave our lives in every war this country has been a part of only to return home to a country that told us to get in the back of the bus nigger. You have fostered the myth that the color of your skin makes you superior and the color of our skin makes us someone to be feared.

Yet four hundred and one years later you have failed and failed spectacularly because our voice has not been silenced, it has endured and it is getting stronger each day, gaining allies of all races, nationalities and gender. Growing a coalition of the righteous who reject your bigotry and racism Even you cannot deny our enduring contributions to the arts and sciences, our advancements in the business world and the political arena, maybe that is what you really fear. So listen and hear each day our voice as we say louder and louder you did not, you could not, and you never will silence us for we are African American and we are extraordinary.

STEP INTO THE GAP

On May 12, 1961 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. John Lewis, an African-American seminary student and Albert Bigelow a World War II veteran and white Freedom Rider were viciously attacked as they attempted to enter a whites-only waiting area. Two days later in Anniston Alabama a vicious mob of about 200 people bombed a Greyhound bus and brutally beat the Freedom Riders as they fled the burning bus. Later that day in Birmingham Alabama a Trailways bus carrying another group of Freedom Riders was meant with a similar fate These Freedom Riders were aware of the dangers they would encounter and over several months they were attacked repeatedly yet they persevered so that the racist practice of segregated bus terminals would come to end and in the fall of 1961 their perseverance bore fruit as the  Interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations that prohibited the segregation of interstate transit.

THE FREEDOM RIDERS STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Liu Xiaobo was a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate from China who through nonviolent protests fought against communist one-party rule in China. For his efforts he was imprisoned in 1989 to 1991, 1995 to 1996, 1996 to 1999 and 2009 until his release in 2017 after he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. He died less than 3 weeks after his release. Despite his multiple imprisonments he continued to fight until his death for the betterment of the Chinese people.

LIU XIAOBO STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Razan Zaitouneh was a Syrian Human rights activist who was involved in the Syrian uprising. She acted as a lawyer for political prisoners, was one of the founders Human Rights Association in Syria and the Syrian Human Rights Information Link through which she reported about Syria human’s rights violations. Razan Zaitouneh worked tirelessly for years to bring light to Syria’s oppress regime despite the obvious dangers involved with doing so. On December 9 of 2013 she was kidnapped and has not been seen since, presumed to have been killed.

RAZAN ZAITOUNEH STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Michael Todd has been getting bullied at his new school since the year began. He would wear the same clothes every day and students at MLK College Preparatory School would make fun of him for it. High school football players Kristopher Graham and Antwann Garrett didn’t just go along with their class mates to be part of the crowd and on September 10, 2019 they surprised Michael with a bag full of bags full of shirts, shorts and shoes and apologized to him for previously laughing at him.

KRISTOPHER GRAHAM AND ANTWANN GARRETT STEPPED INTO THE GAP

Everyday countless number of individuals step into the gap. But sadly many in a position to do the most good lack the courage to step into the gap Last week at church my pastor preached to us from the book Ezekiel 22:30 “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

In Bible times, cities had walls around them to help defend them from attack. Broken parts of the wall created a physical gap in the city’s ability to protect itself from invading armies.  In this Bible verse, because there is a gap in the wall, God is looking for someone to step in and guard the broken, vulnerable territory.

Today God is still looking for us to step in and guard the broken and the vulnerable. Victims of violence, oppression, discrimination, bigotry.  Those who are denied fundamental human rights such as medical care, food and shelter and education. Yet when we turn our eyes to Washington D.C. we find there are far too many concerned with their own self, maintaining their power and reaping the benefits that come along with it than with stepping into the gap.  We see children, the Lord’s most innocent souls, gunned down in mass shootings yet no action has been taken to enact sensible gun control to protect them. We see mothers and fathers working two and three jobs, sixty and seventy hours a week yet still unable to earn enough money to put a roof over or adequately feed their families. Yet at every opportunity the very social programs designed to help them through these troubled times are slashed, and more and more money is appropriated to building weapons of war.  Racism is unbelievably on the rise again in this country but far too many in power either pretend it doesn’t exist and simply ignore it or worse tacitly give their approval, so they can appeal to a base of unenlightened individuals they believe will allow them to maintain their power. Education budgets are cut and college tuition soars while tax breaks for the wealthy are passed into law. Prescription drugs prices rocket, inflating the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies while the affordable care act remains under constant attack. The gap between the haves and have not continues to expand as CEOs take home millions and workers struggle to survive yet steadfast opposition to raising the minimum wage continues.

We are witnessing the abject failure of the very individuals we have tasked with stepping in the gap. However, it is never too late as a people to change things.  United each of our whispers becomes a mighty roar for change. We can demand that change takes place and we can start at the voting booth. We can educate ourselves on the issues and not let some 24-hour news network “opinion” show host skew our perception of reality. We can protest racism and social injustice and when those in power try to change the narrative and quiet us we can roar louder.  We can rise as one and let our voices be heard.  We can let them know that it is we not them who are the coalition of the many and if they won’t stand in the gap we surely will find someone who will!

Living while Black

Police officers in New York City were doused with water by punks, not black punks, not spanish punks, not white punks.  No, just punks their color does not matter.  They were wrong and showed a level of disrespect to the men and women who put on a uniform everyday and risk their lives to protect us that should never be accepted. They should be arrested and charged to the fullest extent possible. Leaders in the community need to speak out in the loudest possible voice to condemn them.  To let it be known that their type behavior does not represent us and our communities will not stand for it.

With that said let us not lose sight of another issue, those who would use this disrespectful incident to justify police misconduct with memes like ever wonder why the police mistreat you. Stop breaking the law.  Seizing upon the disrespectful action of a few as justification for police misconduct no better than we an entire police force is held accountable for the actions of a few bad officers.  Rather than looking to exploit the issue to create a false narrative it is time we ’s have a real discussion about the disconnect between the communities they patrol and the police.  Lets talk honestly about the issue of police misconduct. Like every single company, government agency, not for profit and church has a few bad apples and those bad apples need to be rooted out.

Sadly if you believe the concept that people of color can simply avoid police misconduct by obeying the law.

I guess:

You never have been pulled over numerous times but never receive a ticket and left to wonder if you were stopped because you were driving while black.

You never been stopped and frisked in a low crime neighborhood while sporting an argyle sweater and matching socks. You didn’t appear to fit the profile of who they were  supposedly looking for unless that profile was simply black.

You never had a gun pointed in your face while tossing a football in a white friend’s suburban backyard because you didn’t appear to belong in that neighborhood because you were black.

You never been a 53 year old African American male whose never been in trouble with the law.  Whose palms get a little sweaty when a police car is following you while black.

All of which have happened to me.

But you’ve never been black.

So lets stop protecting the rotten apples on the police force and applauding punks who disrespect the good police officers and have a real discussion

Ignorance breeds Hate

Racism, misogyny, homophobia are not inherent traits of the human DNA they spring forth from a foundation of ignorance. It is in the best interest of the powerful to ensure that the masses remain ignorant, fighting each for their piece of the crumbs the powerful leave behind. It is not until the masses come to the fairly obvious conclusion, that despite our differences we all part of one collective, humanity will we know peace and move forward as a people in a positive fashion.

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They Don’t Really Care About Us

January 21,2009 an Barack Obama an African American took the oath of President of the United States of America and many declared the end of racism. But after watching that man, despite his grace and dignity, attacked for eight years straight. After watching that man have to prove he was an American. After watching the man who led the charge to discredit his citizenship ride a way of hate and division to the White House in 2016 and his appointment of Jeff Sessions who immediately took up the task of rolling back gains made in the battle for racial equality. After seeing case after case of police brutality go unpunished. After seeing people march through Charlottesville chanting racial epithets it’s clear racism was never over. It was simply simmering underground waiting for the right person and the right time to show itself again. Don’t misunderstand as a country we have made strides and we are clearly in a better place now but we still have a long road ahead of us and there can be no doubt that there is a segment of the population, many who wield power, that really don’t care about us.

I am the victim of police brutality, now
I’m tired of bein’ the victim of hate
You’re rapin’ me of my pride
Oh, for God’s sake
I look to heaven to fulfill its prophecy…
Set me free

Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, the Cleveland, Ohio, police officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, were not charged.
Daniel Pantaleo, the New York City police officer who held Eric Garner in a chokehold before his death in 2014, was not charged.

Some things in life they just don’t wanna see
But if Martin Luther was livin’
He wouldn’t let this be

Sept. 22, 2017 Trump called on all NFL owners to “fire” all protesting players . The president also referred to the protesting players as “sons of bitches.”

October 31, 2017 Papa John’s CEO and founder slammed the NFL, blaming the league’s “poor leadership” on the pizza chain’s sales slump. “We are totally disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation

Beat me, hate me
You can never break me

1967 – World champion boxer Muhammad Ali used his worldwide star power to take a stand against the Vietnam War by refusing to enlist in the military.

1968 – After winning gold in the 200-meter sprint at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Tommie Smith raised his fist in the air alongside his teammate and bronze medalist, John Carlos. As Smith explained to ABC Sports announcer Howard Cosell, “My raised right hand stood for the power in black America. Carlos’ raised left hand stood for the unity of black America. Together they formed an arch of unity and power.”

2014 – NBA teams broke dress code rules to protest police brutality, wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups. The shirts referenced the last words of Eric Garner before he died at the hands of a police officer in Staten Island.

Beat me, bash me
You can never trash me
Hit me, kick me
You can never get me

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 3 1963- Fire hoses and police dogs were used here today to disperse Negro students protesting racial segregation.

Selma, Ala., March 7 1965 – Alabama state troopers and volunteer officers of the Dallas County sheriff’s office tore through a column of Negro demonstrators with tear gas, nightsticks and whips here today to enforce Gov. George C. Wallace’s order against a protest march from Selma to Montgomery. At least 17 Negroes were hospitalized with injuries and about 40 more were given emergency treatment for minor injuries and tear gas effects.

Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now
I’m tired of bein’ the victim of shame

When these are the institutions that govern us, when black life is disposable, when black bodies are guilty before and after being proven innocent, when there is no recourse for injustice or even a belief that injustice has been done, when these institutions actively work to push inequality, we are dealing with something much more dangerous than a personal beef with blackness. – Mychal Denzel Smith the New York Times-bestselling author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching

The 2016 election was also marked by low turnout, with tens of millions of eligible voters choosing not to participate at all. Yet there has been relatively little discussion about the millions of people who were eligible to vote but could not do so because they faced an array of newly-enacted barriers to the ballot box.  Their systematic disenfranchisement was intentional and politically motivated. In the years leading up to 2016, Republican governors and state legislatures implemented new laws restricting when, where, and how people could vote — laws that disproportionately harmed students, the poor, and people of color. In several instances, lawmakers pushing such policies said explicitly that their goal was suppression of voters who favor the Democratic Party.

All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us

While most of the examples in this post were of African Americans all people of color suffer from the effects of racism and discrimination   While those in the LGBT community also deal with discrimination every day.  It’s November, election season, if you’re not registered go out and get registered.  Protest and calls for equality are nice but only when our voices are heard at the voting booths can we really make a difference to those who really don’t care about us

Lyrics in italics from Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Really Care About Us