Remarks of Attorney Benjamin L. Crump At The Funeral Of Michael Brown, Jr.

Valentine Logar:

These remarks, along with others are a clarion call to each of us and demand for each of us, we must stand up and if we don’t then we are guilty of allowing this to continue.

Originally posted on MrMilitantNegro™:

The Militant Negro™

The Militant Negro™

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Remarks of Attorney Benjamin L. Crump at the Funeral of Michael Brown, Jr.

 

FROM EMMITT TILL TO MICHAEL BROWN, JR.

 

Michael Brown’s funeral service | August 25, 2014 Full Homegoing

 

Published on Aug 25, 2014

Watch Michael Brown’s full funeral service, held Monday at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis

 

 

Over One Hundred and Sixty years ago, about ten miles away from where we gather in this great Church to pay our Final Respects to young Michael Brown, The Missouri Supreme Court decided, in “what is still affectingly referred to as “the Old Courthouse,” the Dred Scott Decision.

 

And the substance of that decision was adopted by the US Supreme Court some five years later, holding that “Persons of African descent cannot be, nor were ever intended to be, citizens under the U.S. Constitution.”

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Killer Mike Speaks To Americans About The Problems In Ferguson And Lauryn Hill Releases A Chilling Dedication To Michael Brown.

Valentine Logar:

Two chilling pieces from two perspectives, both are important and we should listen, hear and consider.

Originally posted on MrMilitantNegro™:

The Militant Negro

The Militant Negro

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Lauryn Hill Releases a Chilling Dedication to Michael Brown (Audio)

The collective voices of outrage at the death of Michael Brown continue to grow in Hip-Hop. Lauryn Hill is the latest to stand in protest, at least in her music. Her song “Black Rage” is set to the tune of the Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things” but it is far from a list of pleasantries. Instead, Ms. Hill talks about many of the atrocities in life that fuel Black rage and, in turn, give her perspective about her own life. This is one of her most haunting works to date.

BLACK RAGE is founded on two-thirds a person
Rapings and beatings and suffering that worsens
Black human packages tied up in strings
BLACK RAGE can come from all these kinds of things

BLACK RAGE is founded on blatant denial
Squeezed economics, subsistence survival
Deafening…

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Oddities and Grandma’s Wisdom

LVal_2010The world is burning and Nero fiddles from the balcony and we, the peasants are dancing in the streets to a song we barely know and have long since forgotten the steps to. Now and then though something occurs to us, something leaps out and bites us on the ankle, perhaps a memory of days past when things were simple and life didn’t break our hearts. For me, despite some folks in my family were crazy as hell and honestly didn’t have the sense the Good Lord gave a gnat, some of that time was time spent with one of my grandmothers in South Texas.

Valentines Liquor Store 6903 - 3-69-45

My Granddad’s Liquor store

I didn’t see a great deal of her, didn’t spend much time with her because my father and grandfather didn’t see eye-to-eye, this is mildly put. My grandfather was a mean son-of-a-bitch, he was a bigot and a card-carrying member of Racist-R-Us, if he didn’t have white sheets hanging in his closet I would be shocked. Because of my olive skin, dark hair and dark eyes my grandfather regularly called me a spic, papoose and even nigger; frequently asked my father why they didn’t return me where they got me since I was obviously not White and they never should have adopted me. My grandfather gave me my first drink of whiskey and my first cigarette when I was eleven years old, said he could prove I was an ‘injun’ if I got crazy with firewater. He and my father got into a fistfight on that visit, though it wasn’t just over this it was part of it.

Back to my grandmother, she was mostly a good South Texas Lady. How she ever tolerated my lying, cheating polecat of a grandfather for more than fifty years is beyond me, but she did. When I was seventeen I spent two weeks with her while she was recovering from surgery, it was the most time I had ever spent at one time. During that time she imparted her lifetime of wisdom, she made me laugh hysterically and often, she made me question her and my own sanity. All of this while we sat at the dining room table over coffee and cigarettes, my grandmother by the way smoked like a chimney until the day she died in her 80’s.

Here is the wisdom of my very Southern Grandmother and some of my thoughts about that wisdom.

    1. Never go out without lipstick.
      1. I try to remember this one, sad to say though I carry at least two tubes I rarely remember to smear it on my lips.
    2. Never go out without your hair done properly and don’t ever leave the house with curlers in your hair.
      1. Well, yeah now that I am growing my hair out my stylist has taught me how to wield a blow dryer and a brush, I am getting pretty good at it actually. Five days out of seven I do in fact actually somewhat successfully do something with my hair. Previously not so much, but I think my grandmother would be proud. There was a time I followed her rules much more closely and was a good Texas girl with the mantra of ‘the bigger the hair the closer to God’.
    3. Always wear a hat, this protects you from the sun prevents freckles and in your case dear stops you from turning so damned dark.
      1. Yeah, well thankfully we have sunscreen for this now. I own hats and wear them now and then, but this is for show not to protect me from the sun.
    4. Don’t wear pants in public, unless you are gardening they simply aren’t attractive and those jeans the girls are wearing now are terrible. Wear skirts or dresses, women should look like women.
      1. Okay, I don’t know what to say to this one, does anyone? Pants are my go to wardrobe choice most days.
    5. Always wear foundations, honey you need to wear a bra.
      1. Is there anything sexy about the foundations she was talking about and still wearing when we had this conversation?
    6. Wear high-heels, your legs look better in high-heels.
      1. This is the one I entirely agree with, wear them, collect them, even sometimes salivate over them.

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    7. Wear stockings, only floozies go out bare legged.
      1. Come on, I live in Texas where it is sometimes +105 for days at a time. Suffering for beauty is one thing but this takes things just a little too far.
    8. Do not ever get drunk in public, it is fine to have a drink at home but never get drunk in public.
      1. This is one we should all agree with. Nothing more to add.
    9. Marry where you love. Don’t let other people stop you not even your Daddy.
      1. Great advice from a woman who married “down” and was disowned by her parents for her choice in spouse, I often wonder if she ever regretted it.
    10. Be kind to others, kindness will always get you further than ugly.
      1. I have always tried to follow this.
    11. Don’t move with the crowd, they will push you over the cliff when you get to the edge.
      1. Isn’t this the damned truth.
    12. Honey, don’t compete with men they don’t appreciate a woman that can beat them at their own games and don’t need their noses rubbed in it all the time.
      1. Well, this is the truth and yet sometimes there is no choice is there?
    13. Don’t raise your voice in anger. Speak softly, force them to listen to you.
      1. It took me years to understand this one.
    14. Stop marking your body up, those tattoos are for bad girls and sailors.
      1. My grandmother hated my tattoos. I wonder if she would have changed her mind. At the time she said this too me I had two small ones on my back, now I have eighteen and many are sizable.
    15. Don’t let your past hurts color your world, live. You are young and your life is ahead of you.
      1. I try to live by this one. I knew what she was telling me at the time and we had many long talks about forgiveness and letting go at that table over those two weeks. It took me a very long time to absorb this lesson. I am grateful to her for it.

Those were the truths of my grandmother. It has been a very long time since I have thought of her or those conversations. Someone who is special to me and brings me a great deal of happiness reminded me today of these conversations, of wearing skirts instead of pants, of girdles and oddly of what it means to be feminine without losing who I am as a woman. I am grateful for the reminders and for being able to step outside of the world for a minute.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of my grandmother and her wisdom, I surely enjoyed the memory.

Because we should all have memories that bring us back around this is dedicated to someone I love.

Get Real War on White Folks WTF

OpEdI have tried to take a high road and not speak on some of the true ignorance dripping from the mouths of those elected to high office. In truth, I have been absent lately for the simple reason the world has cracked my heart, I haven’t known whether I was broken hearted or simply damned angry. I am both; truthfully, I am both. It is difficult to sit in my safe enclave and watch from afar the horrifying and tragic events unfolding in this nation without being both. Anyone with a drabble of humanity who is able to watch this nation burn, listen to hate filled rhetoric of those who set the flames and not be furious are in my humble opinion less than human.

I don’t know where to start; I am stunned by the brain dead blathering of Republicans whether they are elected officials, those who desire high office or the talking heads who seem to be held in such esteem. The utter idiocy of their positions, the ignorance of what flies out of their mouths at times causes me to want to lock myself into a closet, never to emerge again. I am embarrassed at times to admit my own heritage as it links me to them at least on the surface through a shared gene pool. Fortunately, I do not dwell on this for too very long, realizing our shared genetic markers do not condemn me to ignorance, greed or a failed moral standard, as these are all choices they have made for themselves.

You will need to forgive me if I descend into less than ladylike language, I have lost my temper and my normal Southern charm and aplomb. 

WAR ON WHITES…WTF

Yes, you read that correctly. This is the position an idiot Congressman, Mo Brooks (R), out of Alabama has taken, the Democratic Party has declared a ‘War on Whites’. Now this truly isn’t new, southern White Folks have genuinely believed they have been disenfranchised and abused since the end of the Civil War when they lost their source of free labor with the emancipation of the slaves. With Civil Rights came new levels of anger and fear, White Folks in America began to band together under a variety of banners, primarily these:

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Until we got to the election of the very first Black American President, Barack Hussein Obama in 2007, suddenly shit hit the fan. Now mind you, our President is in fact a true representative of the American experience being of both African and European lineage. Few recognize this President as having a ‘White’ side, when they look at him they see him as Black and he unsurprisingly self-identifies as a Black Man. What option, in this America would he have when his Melanin saturation is the only thing that identifies him for 99% of Americans.

POTUS & FLOTUS Obama Take it all with grace

POTUS & FLOTUS Obama
Take it all with grace

When things truly begin shifting in our cities and towns was September 11, 2001. If that date rings a bell it should, that was the day we all realized we were vulnerable and said to the government, ‘save us from those evil brown people who want to kill us, who want to change our way of life’. Yes, we said that, we also said without realizing it, tear the stitches off the decades long wound to the White Power Structure of Civil Rights and social courtesy be damned, if it ain’t White, Christian with able to pee standing up, it ain’t right.

All bets off, since 2001 the tone of the argument changed and in the mind of White America the enemy was clear. Politicians latched on and adjusted their rhetoric to suit the mood of the nation, along with the vitriol came the money and the weapons to control the masses. Senators and Congressmen from every state in the union put their hands into the till and came out with new toys for controlling their own constituents. Police forces were militarized, becoming capable of imposing martial law in the blink of an eye. We were at risk, but more importantly our inner cities, were at risk those who were considered ‘outsiders’ and not ‘like me’, were at risk and they didn’t know, yet. The one thing we have to know, there is a distinct difference in how the law is executed, note below and see if you can tell the difference from these pictures.

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WAR ON WHITES….WTF

Since September 11, 2001 a war was on but it wasn’t against White Folks, we have not lost our privilege we haven’t lost our ground. In fact, we have fought through our elected officials and our corrupt courts all the way up to the highest court in the land to take back what we perceive lost previously. If I say so myself we have done a damned fine job of putting our heel on all those who we think of as ‘less than’ and ‘not like’ and crushing the life out of them. This includes the following:

  • American born Black Men and Women, those who came here in servitude and somewhat freed by the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, but have yet to achieve true enfranchisement within this nation. Men and women who have for centuries contributed their labor, served in the military, paid taxes, contributed to our arts and sciences yet whom we have failed miserably to welcome into society as equals.
  • American born Hispanic Men and Women, those who immigrated or were born here and have every right to claim citizenship, who live and work alongside their White neighbors every single day, who serve in the military, pay their taxes and contribute to our arts and sciences, yet who we continue to see as outsiders and ‘illegals’.
  • Immigrants from all nations, some who have come here through legal means and others who have not. Some who have come seeking political asylum and some who have come seeking a better life for their families, seeking the promise of opportunity, democracy and freedom. Many who come from the ‘darker’ nations, those nations that create the diversity of faith and color within this ‘United’ States of America.
  • The original owners of this once abundant land, the People, the Tribes, the Native and Indigenous of all the lands including Alaska and Hawaii, we can never forget those who once roamed freely and called this home. Remembering they have also been disenfranchised and left with dross after the European Anglo Saxon landed and following a policy of Manifest Destiny subsequently proceeded to enslave, commit genocide and steal out from under them this very land now referred to as the United States of America.
  • Let us not for a minute forget women, this war has been ongoing and insidious for a while now and it is ratcheting up every year. Women are the target of a strategy to remove them from the workforce, remove them as an economic force and remove once again their authority over their own body. This war cuts across all race lines and leaves only one line uncrossed, that of the very wealthy who will always have access to what is needed to remain free and unencumbered.

WAR ON WHITES…WTF

What is this fabled war I ask and how is it being waged? Have people of European descent somehow been prevented from access to any of the things they were formally use to accessing?  Are their families broken apart by unfair sentencing laws and the men of their communities targeted for more frequent police stops, despite White folks are far more likely to have contraband (e.g. drugs, guns) in their cars. Are their communities and neighborhoods targets of stop and frisk tactics, swat team home invasions and military policing? Are their schools locked down and falling down? Is the poverty rate, the unemployment rate and the dropout rate higher by double digits, in their communities than anywhere else in the nation. Are their sons bleeding out in the streets of the cities, shot down or chocked out by cops while unarmed with their hands in the air, begging for their lives?

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No? I didn’t think so.

With coded language and sometimes not so coded language there is indeed a war being fought it is not though a war against those of my heritage, it is not against White Folks. Those of us who are wandering through life thinking we are not privileged or that we are somehow losing our privileges need to think again, we need to get a grip on ourselves. We need to remind ourselves when we speak to our children about the facts of life we aren’t telling them about how to conduct themselves during a police stop to save their lives, rather we are telling them where babies come from.

WAR on WHITES…WTF INDEED.

I am heartbroken by what is happening in this nation. Only we can stop it, only those of us with a conscious can stop what is happening in this nation. Only those of us who are sentient and willing to put ourselves on the line can stand up and say enough. Stand Up, Hands Up, Enough. All men and women are my brothers and sisters. All men and women deserve the same rights and privileges. The victim is the one lying dead on the ground, not the white cop who shot him eight times despite the barrage of media trying to turn him into a thug, as someone I love has named it using the Trayvon Defense.

 

Mike Brown lay on the street for more than 4 hours.

Mike Brown lay on the street for more than 4 hours.

 

Time to stand up, no time left to sit back and rest on our laurels, no time for apathy, no time for apathy, no time to turn away from what is uncomfortable. Stand up and say enough, no more children bleeding in our streets.

 

Some things to consider as part of this story:

http://www.salon.com/2014/08/06/ann_coulter_rips_apart_american_ebola_patient_for_going_to_disease_ridden_cesspool/

http://www.salon.com/2014/08/07/joan_rivers_has_more_terrible_things_to_say_about_palestinians_you_deserve_to_be_dead/

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/changing_lanes/2014/08/07/reince_priebus_responds_to_war_on_whites.html

http://crooksandliars.com/cltv/2014/08/white-guy-spews-racist-taunts

Thats All Folks! Thats All I Have To Say About That.

Valentine Logar:

The vision of Ferguson, Civil Rights and the First Amendment. I may not be actively writing right now but JB is and he is worth reading on this subject.

Originally posted on MrMilitantNegro™:

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This is my very last post on Ferguson, Missouri, St. Louis County and Mr. Michael Brown. I am burned out from watching the news coverage, listening to radio coverage, seeing images, talking with friends in the bloggersphere and in person, and just the mental anguish associated with this fucked up dumbass debacle in an American city in the middle of MY country.

I can not begin to fathom the feelings and emotions, not to mention the mental and physical baggage the people of Ferguson and St. Louis County are experiencing RIGHT THIS SECOND. How Black humans can be denied the basic right of the 1st amendment….just fucks up my mind.

THE RIGHT TO PROTEST
The right to protest is a long-standing protection afforded by the U.S. and Texas constitutions. This right is contained both in the freedom of speech and in the freedom to assemble, which protect not only…

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In Defense Of Black Rage: Michael Brown, Police And The American Dream.

Valentine Logar:

I find I am unable to put words together, this is an excellent piece and necessary read.

Originally posted on MrMilitantNegro™:

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Marcelle Stewart confronts police officers during a march and rally in downtown Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 11, 2014. (Credit: AP/Sid Hastings)

Marcelle Stewart confronts police officers during a march and rally in downtown Ferguson, Mo. , Aug. 11, 2014. (Credit: AP/Sid Hastings)

In Defense Of Black Rage: Michael Brown, police and the American dream

I don’t support the looting in Ferguson, Missouri. But I’m also tired of “turning the other cheek” and forgiving

By BRITTNEY COOPER & SALON.com

On Saturday a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager on his way to college this week. Brown was shot multiple times, though his hands were in the air. His uncovered body was left in the street for hours, as a crowd from his neighborhood gathered to stand vigil. Then they marched down to the police station. On Sunday evening, some folks in the crowd looted a couple of stores and threw bottles at the police. Monday morning was marked by peaceful protests.

The people of…

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Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri.

Valentine Logar:

What is happening in Ferguson, people are angry and it is boiling over with good and due cause. No parent should bury their child, no community should live in fear.

Originally posted on MrMilitantNegro™:

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Comments by me will appear throughout this piece as bold italics.

Michael Brown’s Parents Give Powerful, Tearful First Interview to CNN 

Published on Aug 11, 2014

The parents of slain 18-year-old Michael Brown spoke out tonight on CNN. As she spoke with Don Lemon, Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden broke down crying on camera as she mourned the tragic loss of her son. She talked about how her son was going off to college and now her family has been robbed of seeing that progression of his life.

Themuthafuckingospel

The Shooting of Michael Brown

A police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American man in Ferguson, Missouri, United States, on August 9, 2014. The incident sparked protests and acts of vandalism in the St. Louis suburb as well as national calls for an investigation into the incident.

Michael Brown was NOT a “man” as stated above, Michael…

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Sheets of Blood Streets of Pain

OpEdI have two sons and two grandsons; I am safe in knowing they will under all but the very worst circumstances be safe on the streets of most cities. Why and how do I know this? My sons and grandsons are White, they are Caucasian and they aren’t mentally ill, they are not in the targeted group commonly at risk when walking down the sidewalk in any city or town. For that matter, they are not at risk in their own homes except in the most extraordinary circumstances.

Other mothers, mothers of Black sons and Brown sons cannot say the same thing. Mothers of Black and Brown sons and even of Black and Brown daughters must caution their children to be wary on the streets of their neighborhoods. They must caution their children to be afraid of the police. They must be afraid each time their children go out to play, go to the store even go to school; they must be afraid their child may not return. Other mothers, an estimated five hundred (500) a year bury their children due to police violence; violence that is rarely prosecuted, frequently ignored by the press and all too often excused as ‘justified’.

2012 Compare

Racism is not dead in this nation. Shame on any of us for trying to bury the inherent and blatant racism of the United States and its people, it has always been part of our makeup and it has come roaring back in its full and awful glory in the past decade, especially since the election of our current President. It did not start in 2007 with his win over John McCain though, it started emerging as accepted political and social fodder long before this, the best example is New York City and the Stop and Frisk policy initiated under Rudy Giuliani and escalated under Michael Bloomberg.

StopNFrisk

It seems instead of moving forward toward more acceptance of diversity within society we are reverting to our inglorious past of injustice, lynch mob mentality and criminalization based on melanoma content.

What is good for one is surely not good for another; we have examples of this across the nation. In Florida, Trayvon Martin was shot down by vigilante George Zimmerman; he lay on the cold ground out in the rain and then in the morgue for hours before his family was notified their child was dead. In a travesty of justice where Trayvon was put on trial, where Trayvon was depicted as a ‘thug’ and a ‘banger’, where Trayvon’s humanity and his right to exist were called into question, his killer was exonerated for his murder. This because he, this grown man, was ‘standing his ground’. In Florida, this very same state a Black woman in fear for her life, shot a warning shot at the ceiling as her abusive husband advanced toward her, now Marissa Alexander faces the possibility of sixty (60) years in prison. Her life, her motherhood, her fear is not as palatable to the judge or the district attorney, Angela Corey, as that of George Zimmerman.  Clearly, the life of Marissa Alexander, a Black woman is not of the same value as that of George Zimmerman or Angela Corey wouldn’t be so hell bent on pursuing her with such vehement hatred where she didn’t pursue George Zimmerman with the same vehemence.

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There is clearly a war on, the lives of primarily Black men and mostly those under thirty-five are definitely at risk when out on the street of any US city or town. It doesn’t seem to matter what they are doing, whether coming home from a day at the office, sitting on their porch having a beer with friends, returning from the store or in fact otherwise engaged in legal or illegal activities; the police assume the worst and open fire. All too frequently, the police are shooting first, shooting more times than required and shooting in the back.  Let me just say this, you are not at risk or in danger if a subject is fleeing, that is running away from you. So why in the hell are you shooting to kill if someone is running away from you? Why are some of these men being shot up to ten (10) times, or even more, in the back? How does anyone justify this as a “Justified” shooting? Why are these cops still on the job?

Yesterday eighteen year-old Michael Brown was shot down in the street of Ferguson, Missouri. His body was left where it lay for four hours or more. Now as reports of this ‘sanctioned’ murder come out the police are glossing facts with fiction, making Michael into the aggressor and trying to justify yet another police kill of a young and promising Black child. The police have a very different version of the facts than what witness reports, who do you think will win in this battle? It certainly will not be young Michael Brown; his life is over before it started.

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Just two days earlier, twenty-two year-old John Crawford was gunned down in Walmart for wielding a toy gun. A toy gun you all, in Ohio one of the bastions of Open Carry. I guess Open Carry only applies to those with limited or no melanoma, certainly it didn’t apply to John Crawford who at the time he was gunned down in WalMart had in his hands an unloaded MK-177 BB/Pellet Gun he had picked up off the shelf. According to the mother of his two children, who was at the time of his sanctioned murder on the phone with him and heard everything, the police shot first and ordered him to the ground after he could no longer obey their orders; he had been put down by their bullets. Clearly, John Crawford wasn’t afforded the same legal rights, as others with pale skin would have been. Now a young man is dead and three children will grow up without their father.

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Others like these assclowns in Aurora, Colorado who walked up and down the streets with loaded shotguns trying to ‘sensitize’ civilians to open carry. I am going to guess had these young men been Black or even Hispanic the outcome would have been very different.

This is what I find ugly and horrifying, tragic.

Reasons

What is important to know, there are no official records anywhere; the police are not required by any federal agency to self-report their own bad behavior. They are not required to track or maintain records on brutality, violence or murder. They do not provide this information to any other agency. Though there are some records, they are gathered through many sources and backbreaking legwork. Trying to find any sort of statistics, especially on a national level is nearly impossible since there is no single source. I commend those who have done the work to try to gather the information and provide at least some evidence of vigilante brutality that exists today, not just within the police forces nationally but across our justice system and embedded in our psyche.  The two reports I found that seemed to provide the best I have included here:

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Information Clearing House

I have included others as well, where information on both recent and historical data can be found and is important to read.

Based on the information I found, there is a person of color, primarily a Black Man and primarily a young Black Man murdered in vigilante justice, usually by the police somewhere between every 24 to 28 hours in the United States. We do not hear about most of these killings. The murderers are rarely penalized for their actions. Since 9/11 there have been approximately five thousand (5,000) vigilante murders by on-duty police / security guard and stand your ground murders in the United States. More than 75% of these are against Black people, less than 10% of these are against White people and most White people killed by police are killed after police stand-offs in highly publicized cases.

Something has to change. The motto of ‘Protect and Serve’ is no longer valid, especially not in predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods of our cities and towns. The police are militarized and the “War on Drugs” has turned into something far more insidious and damaging to our nation and our people. We must stop turning away and pretending this isn’t genocide, it is. We must stop looking at other nations and speaking out against the genocide there until we begin to clean up what is broken here. This isn’t just bad behavior, it is murder and it is more than killing individuals, it is killing of entire communities and vital lifeblood within them.

We must stop this. Those of us with the will, the heart and the soul to stand up must stand up and say enough. We must stop turning a blind eye to the terrible ugliness within this nation and our people. We must fight back and demand justice for all the dead children, they are our children and our future.

Sign the petition for federal laws to force better policing:http://www.change.org/petitions/president-barack-obama-please-enact-new-federal-laws-to-protect-citizens-from-police-violence-and-misconduct?share_id=oCtNFmJSac&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

 

http://www.nyclu.org/node/1598

http://www.nyclu.org/content/stop-and-frisk-data

http://theobamacrat.com/2014/08/10/are-black-lives-important-in-a-caucasian-world-of-white-privilege/

http://ushypocrisy.com/2014/08/10/ferguson-police-shoot-and-kill-another-unarmed-black-teenager-in-cold-blood-refuse-to-identify-name-of-shooter/

http://www.infowars.com/americans-killed-by-cops-now-outnumber-americans-killed-in-iraq-war/

Dragging Baggage

18f8d6bbabeadaf291971b7c3a5dd3edIt is all too often true we carry all our baggage with us everywhere we go, dragging it behind on wheels run down and bare from all the use they have seen.  If we reach any age at all, with any experience at all we have baggage it is impossible for any of us too get through life without it. What we do with all that luggage though, how we handle it that is an entirely different issue.

Fundamentally, I am a good person. I am kind, generous and loving to my family and friends.

That is how I would like to think of myself most of the time. My life hasn’t always been simple, nor has it always been easy. It has left me a bit banged up, physically and emotionally. I have a just a few scars; some of them are very visible, left on my body so every single time I look in the mirror I see them. When I see those scars, when I look at them in the mirror, my first reaction is to close my eyes, turn away as I think others would do when first gazing on them. Other scars, they aren’t so visible left on my heart and soul, though sometimes I think when I look in the mirror I see them too.

My reality is I am frequently less than secure about both my physical appearance and how lovable or deserving of love I am.

Recently I had to confront some of my baggage. One of the problems I have is acknowledging that anyone would be interested in what is on my mind, what might be truly bothering me and why anyone would care. For so long, for most of my life, my needs and concerns have taken a backseat to everyone else’s and I have been the caretaker. I have taken care of everyone else, I have been the breadwinner, the responsible one the person who had to be ‘strong’, even when I was the one injured I had to be strong for everyone around me. I got use to never asking for help. It became ingrained in me too not show weakness, not give in to fear and not talk about my feelings or ask for what I needed.

I learned I did not matter. I think what I learned is ‘I’ did not exist except to make other people’s lives easier.060410-travel1-kristen

That is a terrible lesson; it is a very hard truth to drag behind you on wobbly wheels with a bent frame. This is especially true when as a human being the natural instinct is to reject that lesson, to fight the loss of ‘I’, to want to be seen and heard, even when we might not know how to raise our hand or our voice. My instinct when something is wrong? To retreat into my head, if asked give half answers or no answer at all safe in the knowledge no one is interested, instead, they are asking just to be polite. Until very recently, this has been mostly the case. Conversations, even with friends and family have tilted toward one of two types. Either competitive ‘my pain is worse than yours’ where no matter what I said it always ended up about them, their pain, their sadness, their hardships. The other style is always the fixer, the person who listens to half of what I say and tells me how to fix it, in the process blames me for the problem. In both cases of course, they don’t really hear me aren’t really listening and clearly don’t really give two tinkers damn about how I feel, thus over the years I have learned it is far easier to simply live inside my head.

When we love, we offer our whole selves even the baggage. What we hope for is we can explain why it exists and that someone will help us drag it along behind us.

What is unexpected is, someone who loves us back and enough to say drop the baggage I am not your past or your bellhop; forcing us to confront our history and examine our behaviors in new light.

Our luggage often includes insecurities, bad behaviors and false fronts. If we are forced to lay down our baggage, open it up and throw out all the old ratty stuff we have packed away it can be a painful experience, even while we are lightening our load. We are not our insecurities, though they may have made up the extra weight they are not who we are at the core, they are simply what was added over the years by others. This was one of my hard lessons recently, I don’t know that it is entirely learned I am still insecure. I am still me, my history still lives firmly in my head and the voices still whisper, ‘not worthy, not lovable’. Nevertheless, I am learning slowly those voices are my history not my present and they are liars. I am learning also it is okay to be afraid, to show some weakness and to say I am both I am learning I don’t have to always be strong, I think this one is even harder to learn for me. I have spent so many years guarded, so many years not crossing emotional lines; I am still finding my way through this one.

dance

When I started this blog, I did so to give myself a release valve, for my thinking, my feelings, my history even. What I found was so much more, including the potential of love. Now I just have to learn to let my history go, let myself be loved and let my demons dance the way they deserve without the impediment of baggage.

Remembering James Brady: “A Legend At The White House.” Brady Dies At Age 73.

Valentine Logar:

James Brady dead at 73, a stark reminder to us all of the devastation guns can have in the wrong hands. Still we fight the battle to control guns on our streets.

Originally posted on MrMilitantNegro™:

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President Barack Obama stops by Press Secretary Jay Carney’s meeting with James Brady in Carney's West Wing office at the White House, March 30, 2011. Brady was former President Ronald Reagan's press secretary during the assassination attempt on President Reagan thirty years ago. Brady's wife Sarah, right, and son Scott, center, joined him for the meeting. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama stops by Press Secretary Jay Carney ’s meeting with James Brady in Carney’s West Wing office at the White House , March 30, 2011. Brady was former President Ronald Reagan ‘s press secretary during the assassination attempt on President Reagan thirty years ago. Brady’s wife Sarah, right, and son Scott, center, joined him for the meeting. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Remembering James Brady: “A Legend at the White House”

Earlier today, former White House Press Secretary James Brady passed away in Alexandria, Virginia at the age of 73.

After being shot and almost killed in an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981, Brady recovered and became a symbol of the ongoing fight against gun violence. In a statement this afternoon, President Obama expressed his condolences to Brady’s family, calling him a “legend at…

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