Tag Archives: social injustice

We Keep Moving Forward

The movie character Rocky Balboa said It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.

You have hit us hard.

Shackled us in the chains of bondage

Lynched us under cover of night

Brutalized us for the color of our skin

Beat us when we demanded to be treated as equals

Oppressed us economically

Marginalized us socially

Devalued our lives

But we keep moving forward.

Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. We are a unique people; our indomitable spirit keeps us moving forward in the face of all things done against us. It is a spirit that not only keeps us moving forward; it has protected and strengthened us. It is a spirit that screams WE ARE BLACK EXCELLENCE!

HOW DARE YOU!

How dare you believe that you can question our patriotism when we kneel to bring light to the killing of our people. When we have fought, bled, and given our life in EVERY war, this nation has seen.  Only to return home and be treated as a second class citizen. 

How dare you suppose that you can tell us it’s not Black Lives that Matter; it’s that All Lives Matter when you have shown a disregard for our lives for over four hundred years.

How dare you assume that you can tell us how I should protest when yet another person of color has been struck down while you dress up in paramilitary outfits with automatic weapons and storm state capitols to protest a lockdown designed to slow the spread of a deadly virus so that you can get a haircut or go to Starbucks.

How dare you think you can infer we are anarchists when you applaud a 17-year-old boy with an automatic weapon roaming the streets and call white nationalists very fine people.

How dare you presume you can say anything when for over for 400 years you have benefited from our oppression

You cannot begin to know the extent of our sorrow, pain, and anger due to the systematic racism you have cultivated for four hundred years.

How dare you! 

The Revolution Has Begun

“Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete” – Rod Sterling

President Trump has repeatedly claimed that those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement want to strip America of its heritage, wants to abolish police.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The truth is that the Black Lives Matter movement is the new American revolution and it is being fought not by just people of color but by a coalition of different races and nationalities.  A coalition that looks a lot like America of the 21st century.  A coalition who reject the hatred and racism of the old guard, who have tired of America’s racial and society inequalities and who demand change. 

As with any revolution the goal is not to continue the status quo but to defeat it and replace it with a better system.  The American heritage that those on the wrong side of the revolution fight to maintain includes displaying the confederate battle flag, protecting statues honoring confederate “heroes”, maintaining the names of military bases named after traitors who fired upon and declared war on America.

The police system that they cling to has an unfortunate history, despite the many decent officers who risk their lives every day, of unfairly of targeting and punishing people of color many times with deadly consequences.

It would be foolish to believe that the hearts and minds of those who wish to continue the status quo can be changed as racism and hatred is imbedded in their soul.  It would be equally foolish to believe that a culture and systems that have been developed and nurtured by those same individuals for centuries can be changed from with-in. 

To achieve real change, it is necessary to eliminate the so-called heritage that celebrates America’s racist past.  To educate all Americans of not just the many achievements people of color have contributed to this country’s history but the truth about the oppression that America has perpetrated on people of color for over four hundred years and the advantage of white privilege it has produced.

To achieve real progress the current police and justice systems must be stripped down to the studs, and that does not mean eliminating it as some would have you believe, before it can be build  back up with meaningful reform that ensures that it treats all people equitably.  That is not an attack on police in general, it is a long overdue call for reform that ensures the end of racial profiling and makes their jobs safer

As Frederick Douglass said: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” After 400 years it is obvious America’s treatment of people of color is beyond repair it is time to eliminated that heritage and build a new one from scratch.  

The revolution has begun and while some may cling to Donald Trump and his agenda of hatred and racism, they are about to find themselves on the wrong side of history

This Has to Stop!

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain
Ahmoud Arbery Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland
Sean Reed, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner
Oscar Grant Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray

This has to stop.

This is not a black problem this is an American problem and make no mistake this upcoming election is not about policy, economics or even Covid. This election is about race in America.

This election is about a segment of society who believe for America to be great it needs to return to the days of Jim Crow and segregation. When the KKK rode freely through the night. When Blacks “knew” their place.

I’m so sad, so angry, so tired of this shit.

I’m an American, my people helped built this country, this country’s wealth was achieved through the blood of my ancestors. I should not have to tremble in fear when I see flashing lights in my rear view mirror. My brother and sisters should not have to warn their children about the inherent dangers they face because they are black. My people should not have to grieve another black man or woman shot dead by police.

This has got to stop!!
Vote out the hate
Vote in the hope

WE THE PEOPLE

In an episode of Start Trek The original series, as if there is any other Star Trek, Captain Kirk once said as he read from a version of the Declaration of Independence on an alien world:

Look at these three words written larger than the rest, with a special pride never written before or since. Tall words proudly saying We the People, it was not written for the chiefs or the kings or the warriors or the rich and powerful, but for all the people! …They must apply to everyone or they mean nothing

The just completed Democratic National Convention embraced that concept, proudly showcasing the future of America in all its diversity.  Race, Nationality, Gender, Sexual orientation, Religion, and Socio-Economic statues of all types were highlighted at one point or another.  It was a beautiful spectacle to watch especially when you consider what we will probably witness in the upcoming Republican National Convention. The Republican party, which has always lacked the diversity of Democrats, has been hi-jacked by Donald Trump, a man who cannot comprehend the indisputable fact, America is great because of its diversity.  He stokes the fears, racism, bigotry misogyny and homo phobia of those in MAGA hats who would fight to see that they don’t lose “their country”, as if it ever was just their country.  Individuals with no desire to see Americans living in harmony as one people, no desire to be part of the coalition of the righteous that rejects their beliefs and is growing stronger every day.  No desire to see America finally become the nation it was created to be.  A nation in which all people are created equal.  He panders to the rich at the expense of the poor and the middle class, bragging about the stock market and offering large corporations multi million-dollar bail outs while allowing the unemployment benefits for those suffering financially to expire.  To Donald Trump it is We SOME of the People

As Americans how can we ask someone to lead us as a people, one people, when regrettably that person doesn’t have the desire of the capacity to understand the meaning of three simple words. WE THE PEOPLE.

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

We Are The Coalition Of The Righteous

GOP politicians are lining up to defend Trump’s racist tweets some going as far as too call them patriotic and informing us that we should just move on from this and get back to the business of governing. 

REALLY? Just move on from it? So now You’re going to tell US what is racist and what isn’t. Is this the same logic you used when you told us Slavery wasn’t racist, segregation wasn’t fine as long as it was separate but “equal”, red lining wasn’t racist. the shooting of unarmed black men of color were justified. 

No we can not simply move on from it.

Now more than ever we have a difficult time ahead of us. But we must shed our fear of it.

Why?

Because we are not here because of the path that lies before us but because of the path that lies behind us. Four hundred years we have endured slavery, racism, sexism, homophobia and the denial of basic human rights and with each step forward we take, with each of our achievement we accomplish it produces fear among those among who still preach hate, who look to divide, do not believe in the brotherhood of all but would rather hold onto the old ways of subjugation and bondage.

But we are rising up now, together as one, race, color, religion, creed, gender and national origin .  We are a coalition of the righteous and we are gathering momentum each and every day. We are going to create a world where color, gender, religious belief and country of origin doesn’t matter. A world without conflicts and killings. A world without borders and boundaries. A world united not divided, ruled by love not hate. A world where anything is possible.

Today we send a message to those who still cling to the past, those who still preach hatred, those who still wish to divide this great nation not on the content of our character but on the the color of our skin. Today we take OUR country back from the racist and bigoted. Today we tremble these amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties from sea to shining sea. Today we remember, this is America where we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and all women regardless of color are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.

Today we make them remember we are still here

It’s not injustice until it happens to me

Wow can’t believe some people still don’t get the kneeling during the National Anthem protest. That they still allow themselves to be bamboozled by those who have hi-jacked the real reason for the protest and turned it into a protest against America. Hi-jacked it because it is uncomfortable to address the social and racial inequalities this country still has. Their desire for us to remain quiet on the issue is misplaced as E.A. Bucchianeri states 

“It’s not unpatriotic to denounce an injustice committed on our behalf, perhaps it’s the most patriotic thing we can do.”

For us to do nothing may make their life simpler and more comfortable. Harkening back to a time when “America was Great” and minorities and females knew their place. But trust me we love America as well, maybe more so than they do because after everything America has thrust upon us we are still here fighting to make it a better place.  Doing nothing will most certainly net us nothing. Doing nothing will not force this country to take on the issues that prevent it from being the idea on which it was founded. The idea that all men are created equal and is what is more patriotic than that. As James Baldwin said: Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

For many that have twisted and contorted the real idea behind the flag protests I can only assume the only time they think about injustice is when it happens to them or to paraphrase N.K. Jemisin they never had to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.  It easy to wrap yourself in the red, white and blue and scream to the world you are a patriot. It is however difficult to fight for what is true idea of America. 

So while they will continue to scream USA USA at those individuals brave enough to stand up in public to inequality and call them unpatriotic. Remember they are likely doing this as they stand on line for their hot dog and a beer during the National Anthem. 

We’ve come a long way…We’ve got a long way to go.

It is not an intrinsic part of human nature to be intolerant to another human because they differ in some way from you. Intolerance is taught as has been pointed out many times before if you watch two children of different ethnic groups play with each other you will see no sign of racism. These children do not see color and have no preconceived notion of who or what the other one represents other than a playmate. However as the children grow and their minds begin to expand they begin to both consciously and subconsciously pick up on the seemingly human culture of sticking with their own race because it’s comfortable, it’s familiar, Neighborhoods become ‘unintentionally” segregated, as children age their circle of friends becomes more and more homogenous. Job offers are made by identifying a person’s skin color, ethnic group, gender, religion, etc. rather than a person skill set. Intolerance leads to many things, the overwhelming majority bad, from workplace and housing discrimination, pay inequality, segregation, to an irrational fear of the unknown qualities of someone who shares the same basic human DNA structure but simply looks different, has a different belief system or was born on the opposite side of a man made line in the earth defining one country from another.

As we prepare to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this upcoming Monday one can only contemplate that he would no doubt be pleased with the many strides this country has made since his passing. The election of President Barack Obama a fulfillment of his dream that his four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. But as far as we have come as a nation we are still a long way from achieving the America that Dr. King gave his life for.

  • Income disparities have become so pronounced that America’s top 10 percent now average more than nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent. Americans in the top 1 percent tower stunningly higher. They average over 40 times more income than the bottom 90 percent.
  •  According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, as of 2017 there were around 554,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In 2017, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure, equating to 40 million Americans including more than 12 million children.
  • African-American unemployment remains about twice as high as white unemployment. In 2018, black unemployment averaged 7.4 percent, compared to an average of 3.7 percent for whites.
  • In every age group, current trends and policies are widening the ownership gap between African Americans and other groups. This gap reflects two fundamental factors: First, African American homeownership was particularly battered in the housing crisis, sharply reducing household wealth among African American families and dramatically lowering the long-term prospects for recovery for black homeownership at all ages. Second, African Americans continue to lag other races and ethnicities in employment, wages and income.
  •  According to FiveThirtyEight police officers are indicted in fewer than 1% of killings, but the indictment rate for civilians involved in a killing is 90%.
  • According to the Guardian people who are African-American/Black are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while being unarmed compared to a Caucasian/White individual.
  • According to Mapping Police Violence 69% of the victims of police brutality in the United States who are African-American/Black were suspected of a non-violent crime and were unarmed.

Sadly in 2019 a member Steven King a representative of Congress told the New York Times “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” and King is unfortunately not alone in his ideas. When asked to comment on King’s comments President Trump did not denounce them instead saying he hasn’t been following the story. As Dr. King so eloquently put it: “He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” But this should come as no surprise as the President has consistently defended white nationalists; sought to exploit the census to dilute the political power of minority voters; described immigration as an infestation, warning that it was “changing the culture of Europe”; derided black and Latino immigrants as coming from “shithole countries,” while expressing a preference for immigrants from places like “Norway”; and generally portrayed nonwhite immigrants as little more than rapists, drug dealers, and murderers at every opportunity. All this to pander to a base in America that believes to “Make America Great” we need to harken back to a time before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Was even a thought in his parent’s minds.

However I remain hopeful. As I’ve said before I believe this country is headed in the right direction, ever so slowly. It is up to us as a people to raise our voices as one and drown out those who would have Dr. King’s dream become just that a dream and never a reality. We’ve come a long way but still have a long way to go. Let us not lose sight of the finish line and march to it together in brotherhood.

 

The danger within

A country whose citizens:

Turns a blind eye to social injustice, 

Condones immoral behavior from their leaders,

Believes anything that those in power tell them rather than educating themselves.

Allows their government in essence to be run by and to the benefit of the wealthy few.

Need not worry about its enemies because in time it will be destroyed from with-in