BI: Black Negativity, A Negative Mentality

 

Is it just me…?

I learned last semester in my Race and Ethnic Politics class that African-Americans think collectively together about the betterment of their race. It was something I couldn’t argue as being false because I grew up socially thinking about “my people” or “our people” terms that I know are common among other black households. On the subject of people I always had a true interest in how we as people unify, and divide. How racial issues effect such divisions and most importantly why sometimes we are down for the cause and others times we just are down. I guess what I truly wanted to learn in Race and Ethnic Politics is why sometimes people find it “convenient to be black” and other times people find it to be convenient to be black bashing.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to speak about things that are wrong within our own race, but I find it odd to be demeaned for being apart of something that gives meaning to my identity. That represents what we as African-Americans have to fight for all the time and not just when it’s convenient to fight. In being apart of an organization on campus that speaks to the uniqueness of the black experience in America it becomes more than annoying when other students of color have stereotypical opinion based off of bad or previous experiences. Although I can’t fault them but it’s about progression forward.

There are some things I don’t understand….We will support one another when faced with opposition from another race but then face off with one another. We don’t want to grow from our past experiences and give people chances with new goals and ideas that differs from the past.

Negativity is already annoying but when it’s”blacklash” for engaging in the black community I’m even more annoyed when it comes from a minority. Don’t shade me for wanting to make a difference. How about you help create the change you WANT TO SEE.

 

What If Michael Brown Was Killed By A Black?

 

Don't ShootIn the wake of marches for Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Officer Darren Wilson  questions are looming from across the nation if supporters of the victims would care if they were killed by blacks. I will first answer this question by saying simply no and here’s a few reasons why:

When taking into account racial statistics of the Death Penalty and homicide  blacks are charged 10% harder with often longer sentences or sentences sufficient for their crimes. Race doesn’t seem to be a factor in such cases because punishment is already granted. The justice system has been historically known for its racial disparities and as well as judicial laws enforced  by individuals who have been known to target urban communities. For example the War on Drugs and Stop and Frisk Policy.  So when presented with a black perpetrator and black victim  there seems to be a higher chance of the murderer getting jail time.

What about black on black violence?

It doesn’t exist.  Yes the murder rate for African-Americans is 4 times the national average  , and when high-profiled deaths occur within the black community 9 times out of 10 protesters are often bashed for not having rallies about the black on black violence. Yet, people have forgotten these marches do exist:

Chicago Marches to End Gun Violence

Bronx Community  Unites Against Gun Violence

They are not considered black on black crime marches because they are end  Gun Violence Protests.4 out 5 black homicides victims are killed with guns. On top of that the “From 1980 until 2008, Bureau of Justice data explains that while 93% of Black victims were killed by Blacks, 84% of White victims were killed by Whites”. Although blacks are at a higher percentage the statistics  show murder victims are often killed by someone of the same race. VIOLENCE is a problem no matter what and the  only reason why black on black violence has become a phenomenon is because of stereotypes and media bias. May I ask what about white on white violence?….. wouldn’t it be the same? Does it not exist?

The facts remain that White and Black perpetrators are treated differently….especially on white-black, black-white biases.  I personally have yet to see a case where an African-American has not been properly arrested for a murder linked to a White-American but I guess it’s the politics of things. If the shoe were on the other foot people would try to understand the pain of parents who have loss their child and faith in their own communities who have failed them in justice. The biggest problem here is America disregarding humanity.

 

Now I’m answering yes …….

A boy is mysteriously left in a gym rolled up in mats and a face that sadly resembles Emmett Till. There are no answers, a botched job of an autopsy, a body filled with News Paper and no answers. And we thought bringing this to light would change things, would give us answers but it didn’t. Kendrick Johnson still hasn’t had a peaceful rest.

Then there was the hoodie and perception. A “great job”     of a defense attorney who just had to persuade a jury in a heated debate defending the wrong. and only two people truly know of the exact events. The murderer walked free…

The choke-hold caught on tape….. and nobody heard the cry for help but the people who cared. And there still marching for the victims rights.

Then the music that became too loud became the reason to assassinate  a child……. and then there was the young man shot and killed at Wal-Mart over perception, and the young mans body laying in the street for 4 hours with no covers and no decency to protect his privacy.

And then it was all those who came before and after it’s only because of social media that people even care to document everything and when you add the color lines the problems and circumstances become deeper, much more questionable and more of a reality. Without knowing the race of these individuals and there murders would you care?

Yes. So what makes race change this?

 

 

Image Source: http://lulzshirts.com/dont-shoot-im-white 
 

Media Bias of African-Americans

Social Media has been blowing up lately becoming a platform for social awareness and social justice. A couple of days ago a new trend has emerged surrounding the fatal events in Ferguson. Hashtags #iftheygunnedmedown and #dontshootme have imposed a huge question among media bias and stereotypes surrounding African-Americans.

After pictures of Michael Brown graduation were used in national media outlets in the first ringing of the developing story images of Brown were then replaced with him standing up in a Nike tank posing with a hand sign.

wpid-smoke13.jpg

Michael Brown

The image used to accompany articles about Brown has faced major controversy among Twitter users. Individuals feel that this picture evokes negative stigma surrounding Brown’s character, especially after recent footage released of Brown mugging a convenience store was perceived to strategically  setup a motive for why Brown was murdered unarmed. Criminal Defense Attorney CJ Lawrence prompt #iftheygunnedmedown encouraging Twitter users to post side by side pictures of themselves to represent the many aspects of who we are in our lives. The purpose of the hashtag questions  if they were to be gunned down what picture would the media choose to represent them.

Although this hasn’t been the first time the media has used pictures like the one above to portray  victims like Brown in a negative light, #iftheygunnedmedown and #dontshootme seem to be one of the largest  social media movements to counter  media bias of African-Americans.

To read more of  this story and check out pictures of the movement head to USAToday.com

An Open Letter To Hip-Hop

Erykah Badu ft. Common "Love of My Life"

I know I’m only 19 born in the year of 1995 but no one can say I don’t know you. The core of you, your story, memories, and your heart wrenching break up with reality.

O'JaysI grew up around the music interests of my father and mother which derived from 70 Disco and Soul Music all the way to the era of the New Jack Swing. Dad is an early bird so when he wakes up he sure as hell makes sure the music comes with him. My father has the spirit of William DeVaughn mixed with the funk of Curtis Mayfield and Bootsy Collins topped off with love flowing like the O’Jays. If he was a girl he would probably be a mixture between Mary Davis, Sade, and Anita Baker although he truly never had the vocals to fulfill their standards but Mama she’s everything and more.

Her loves is over powering like an overweight lover, she thinks she’s R. Kelly when reminiscing with her lover. She truly has a gracious style and no problem shelling out pieces of her love. If she was a man she would be smooth like Big Daddy Kane, have a swag like AZ mixed with Ronald Isley and no matter what her love consistently is the same. And it was through my parent’s musical experiences they would express how things changed….

It was something about their stories of late nights at the clubs when dancing was not BUMP- N- GRIND. When The MCees and the DJ’S were the core of having a good time. The fashion, the shows, the people, and I fell in love with the culture later on. When I was younger I had the ability to feel the difference between music in each era.

The mid 70’s early 80’s was the beginning of it all. The B-Boys and Girls, the graffiti, and boom boxes those were the times meaningful to my parents and culture even more meaningful to me. I’m thankful to know what a Cassette Tape is and how to use it in-fact today I still own a few. From the A-Side to the B-Side hell I remember recording music I couldn’t afford to buy off the radio, and breaking my Walkman. I would ask my father to bring me back some blank tapes when he would go to store, then be more than pissed off when the tapes he bought weren’t able to be recorded over!

Overtime this technology would evolve and Hip-Hop culture would consistently change.

The 90’s happens to be my favorite era in Hip-Hop. I pay homage to those who have come before and as long as I know my history I understand that I can have an opinion on what I connect with most. In all honesty I know more of 90’s music than anything era, just check my playlist. YOU CAN PLAY ANY RECORD FROM THE 90’s and KNOW THE ARTIST SOUND AND COMMUNITY THEY DERIVE FROM. Some of my favorite songs in this era are older than me.

ATWGAround the way Girl by LL Cool J (1990) was one of the sickest songs I ever heard about a girl from the average hood. Not to mention one of the cleanest records, NO BITCHES and HOES and the opening beat hooks you from the first drop. Around the way Girl  has to be one of my favorite single covers of all time, I still wonder if the women on the cover are Lisa, Angela, Pamela, and Renee? In 1992 we were blessed with the artistic sound of Pete Rock and C.L Smooth in They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y) a song dedicated to the life of the late Trouble T Roy. Anybody who has ever lost somebody rocks with this record, it has been my ringtone for years! I could go on and on listing why I love you so strong but you already know in the 90’s you had it going on.

My favorite sub-genre is Conscious Hip-Hop so you know I stay listening to Public Enemy, the Illmatic Nas, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and early Tupac strong. And yes I do know the Message by Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five word for word. The Message

I’m keen on women empowerment too, I love the Queen and the Lyte…..but I must say there’s something different about empowerment now, there’s something different about you as a whole. In your beginnings you didn’t allow rappers to become influenced by marketing tactics purposely overshadowing their message. You never allowed for every rapper to sound the same or the DJ’s role to be diminished. I appreciate that globally you positively affected so many people but somehow your role within the urban community has taken the turn for the worst. You have become a minstrel show displaying the societal wounds of your people. I don’t necessarily blame you but those who raise the so call “MCees” /rappers of tomorrow, and those who allow the mockery to be displayed. Yet, I will always love and defend you to the end even when others degrade you.

On Saturday I stood among a crowd of people to listen to some of the greatest Hip-Hop legends, a one-time opportunity I may never see again in life. Dana Dane, Special Ed, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Whodini, EPMD, Slick Rick, Dougie Fresh, Dres from Black Sheep, Biz Markie, Rakim, and legendary DJ’s from Scratch to Red Alert………..

Hip-Hop may never be the same but its moments like this that will stay with me forever, I may have never gotten the opportunity to live within the birth era but I finally reached a window to it. I just hope it’s true talents never stop…………

One Love,

C.G

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Tensions in Ferguson

President Obama Speaks on Protests in Ferguson

Today President Obama spoke at the Martha Vineyard on tensions that have flared after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. He touch upon three particular hot topics involving the violent riots, freedom of exercising our first amendment rights, as well excessive force used by Ferguson police.

On the violent riots and looting: “I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson,” President Obama said at a news conference this afternoon. “There is never excuse for violence against the police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting.”

Opinion on First Amendment Rights: “There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail.”

Comments on arrest of Huffington and Washington Post reporters: “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground,” he said. “We all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particular those of us in positions of authority.”

President Obama’s main focus on the Ferguson controversy was healing and peace. He acknowledged that “Now is the time for healing, now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson,” he said. President Obama urged everyone to take a step back and let authorities take control of the investigation

The Justice Department and the FBI are both conducting independent investigations on Michael Brown’s death.

 

LAPD Officer Shoots Unarmed Man

It was only yesterday I decided to write about a fatal shooting of a young male whose life I felt ended too soon. Today as I’ve woken up I realized the hell zone surrounding me full of killings and the same senseless stories shared all over the media. You’d think citizens would have the opportunity to mourn and fight for justice in the death of Micheal Brown. Now there’s two more lives we have come to learn and worry about hoping that violent actions will not pursue from their circumstances.

Ezell Ford has become the next poster child for police brutality. The 25-year-old mentally ill man was shot and killed after an “investigative stop” by police Monday night.Via KTLA5 “Officers responded to a report of a possible officer-involved shooting at the intersection of West 65th Street and South Broadway (map) at 8:12 p.m. Monday, Lt. Ellis Imaizumi of the Los Angeles Police Department said Monday evening. Patrol officers had “conducted an investigative stop” in the 200 block of 65th Street, and “during the stop a struggle ensued” and police opened fire, a LAPD news release issued midmorning Tuesday stated.” Ford’s family story differs, they claim Ford was shot lying on the ground complying with officers. A witness to Fords shooting an unidentified man who claims to be fords cousin stated “They laid him out, and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing, mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that—that this child has mental problems,” the man said. “The excessive force … there was no purpose for it. The multiple shootings in the back while he’s laying down? No. Then when the mom comes, they don’t try to console her … they pull the billy clubs out.” When fords mother approached the scene to try to get information she was pushed on the ground.

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave.


 KILLED HOLDING A GUN

John Crawford

John Crawford III

The 22-year-old John Crawford the III was killed by Beavercreek Police last week following a call of a male waving a gun inside Wal-Mart. Police say when Crawford was confronted in the store and did not comply with officer demands to drop the weapon he was shot in the torso. He was carrying a rifle from gun that he had picked off the shelf from inside the store.

The family of Crawford is now demanding access to surveillance video but a Wal-Mart spokesman has claimed only law enforcement has access to the tape at this time.

Attorney Micheal L. Wright representing the family in this case has stated  “He doesn’t know if race played any part in the shooting. This is not a race issue,” Wright said. “This is a public safety issue. This could have been any one of your children in Wal-Mart holding a BB gun that was mistaken for a real gun and got shot.”

If not race then what was so different about Crawford? Was it the alleged claims made about him… the fact that he was loading a gun and pointing it at people although there lies no evidence. Maybe it was a robbery although Crawford was nowhere near the registers…… or maybe it was because he was perceived and added to a long list of “colored males who look threatening” by an individual who racially profiled. Maybe the cop didn’t look at race when dealing with Crawford but he damn sure was looked to as a threat fitting a deadly description that has most reacting without any questions.

Read More at: Ebony.com

 Related Sources:

Mike Brown: The Next Poster Child for Police Brutality

 

Michael Brown Source: Facebook

Michael Brown
Source: Facebook

Mike Brown was supposed to be a freshman this fall. Instead he has become the new face of police brutality and the newest uproar between Renisha McBride and Eric Garner protesters alike. In his death he has taken an infamous award with him: another unarmed black teen killed with questions surrounding his murder.

2012-2014 has to be added to the historical list of unjustified black deaths as horrific stories continue to be unfolded. One unjustified death is too many to allow a continuation of the same story. Leaving many to ask how does race play a part in our actions in society? In a time where police brutality against blacks has become increasing disturbing following Eric Garners death Mike Brown’s situation continues to add fuel to an over boiling pot of anger and hatred.

There are many conflicting details involved surrounding Browns shooting. In Ferguson, MO Brown was shot and killed by a local police and it was reported Brown “physically assaulted” the officer and tried to steal his gun although the Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson declined to comment on what led to the shooting. Many eye-witness have a different story to tell, including Dorian Johnson who was with Brown when he was killed. They were aggressively approached while trying to reach their destination and Brown was wrongfully killed with multiple shots to his body as his hands were thrown up in the air. Following the shooting many protests have occurred all over the country. Protesters in Missouri were met with officers in full riot gear shooting tear gas, and rubber bullets after refusing to clear the street protesting a few blocks away from where Brown was killed. Citizens of Ferguson have even resorted to looting and destruction over their outrage. Yet again in America we become divided in how we approach justice for these particular issues, as color lines continuously are drawn.

Lately it seems when race is perceived as a factor racism becomes a factor putting Americans at odds in their societal beliefs. In scenarios like Browns the African-American community anger seems to be consistent but their message is highly misunderstood and rooted by racial tension that has yet to be ceased. The main problem is black life or “minority life” when victimized by the system seems to be plagued with bargain deals at an outlet giving FREEDOM at almost every turn to the perpetrator. Theodore Wafer was among the few to receive a justifiable sentence and unfortunately can now be used as an excuse to why the other 1700 unjustified deaths who received no justice were the RIGHT way to go. After all some people feel George Zimmerman was granted the right sentence which was no sentence at all just because it was a jury of the court who decided his fate. And when we chose to bring up similar comparison citizens believe it’s over and done but the same similarities, biases, and racial tension continues.

The fact remains these actions, cycles, discrimination, racial beliefs, and stereotypes exist because our society is embedded with them. Although blatant racism and actions may not be an acceptable thing anymore it doesn’t mean that the silent racist or his actions are invisible. When one man gets off killing another with no excuse needed at all the next man will attempt to the same thing because it has been done before. Self-destruction doesn’t make it better, giving into stereotypical actions doesn’t make it better, and being bias doesn’t make it better!! This hell on Earth war has many of us losing our sanity, and as I’ve said before this won’t be the last time we are faced with a racial controversy.

 

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