Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wrong Again Charles

photo taken from the blog.familyofvet.com about life with PTSD
It's open season on black men. It's another sad day where the policeman who choked Eric Garner to death in New York City, is not indicted. My condolences to his family, I can't imagine how painful this news is to thme but deep down I don't think they were surprised given the previous decisions not to prosecute the police officers involved in the death of Amadou Diallo. Diallo was shot over twenty times, was unarmed and fumbling for his door keys in his apartment hallway before he was shot.

In New York City, they'd rather open their checkbook and pay a multi-million dollar settlement than prosecute one of their policemen. This lets us know the police are immune to prosecution regardless of the circumstances of death,. Their victim of choice is black men. Where is your humanity when someone  tells you they can't breathe?

Sorry Charles Barkley, but Eric Garner did not deserved to be choked to death any more than Michael Brown deserved to be shot dead. It appears your celebrity has gone to your head, that somehow you are immune to the treatment that other black men in this country are subjected to. This is a matter you should keep silent on especially since you were arrested for soliciting prostitutes a few years back.  You didn't even have enough sense to be embarrassed chasing after some street walker that gave you a "good blow job". You deserved to be arrested but it was nothing to be proud about. Stick to basketball commentary and leave the rest of your opinions to yourself.

Yes, the police are great in your book and I want you to keep believing that and justifying every police action shooting of black men. A lot of black people are crooks you say, I hope you are including yourself in that group. Soliciting prostitutes is a crime you know so that technically makes you a crook too. And lastly, you are the wrong person reporters should interview on matters of race and the police. You are not like us.You are a celebrity that has brainwashed himself into thinking he's different. It's only a matter of time when something like this happens to you so to use your broad brush to paint black people as criminals will not bode well for you.

You are more known for your big mouth than your intellect. These protests and conversations are about injustice against black men, something you evidently know nothing about.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

To Protect and Serve



Yes, we can all get along. This viral photo proves that.
I was glad to hear that Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson is resigning and will not get a severance package. He got off on a murder charge, no need to reward his inexcusable behavior with pay. He needs to go home and think about what he has done. His bed will be very hard to sleep in.

In any instance where there is a police shooting and a black man is involved (come to think about it, you don't hear about white men being shot by police nearly as often), the black man is always portrayed as some big black buck with supernatural powers. According to Darren Wilson, Michael Brown looked like a demon. Oh really? He could have also looked like the tooth fairy but that would have made him less threatening. Regardless, he did not deserve to be killed. Neither did twelve year old Tamir Rice whose only crime was having a BB gun. Policeman have a hard time discerning the difference between a BB gun and a real gun. The police officer didn't even bother to administer any kind of first aid. Aren't police officers supposed to protect and defend? Oh wait, maybe they are suppose to protect and defend a certain segment of the population.  It'a sorry state when black men and boys can be gunned down without impunity. Black lives mean nothing.

My Sunday afternoon was disturbed by the crass uninformed comments by GOP hopeful Rudolph Guiliani on Fox News. Mr. "Stop and Frisk" fancies himself as some kind of expert on crime when in fact all he shows is his ignorance. He blames black people for police shootings. Of course it's always the black man's fault for getting in the way of a policeman's bullet. Guiliani said "no question" that unjustified shootings happen more often in black communities, but said those communities have the responsibility to prevent the need for more police officers in their neighborhoods in the first place.

Say what? Black men come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds so to paint the entire black community with a broad brush is an over-simplification of a very complex topic. A rich black man living in a predominantly white neighborhood is no more safe than a black man living in the inner city. Anything to advance that "he got what he deserved" theory.  Although Guiliani is unable to give up the stereotypes of black men and black communities, he's preaching to the choir on Fox News. No one over there is going to call him out on his blatant lies and inaccuracies.  They are nodding and agreeing. But we all know Fox News operates in a parallel universe stuck in about 1958. They are reprehensible, dishonest and represent what's wrong with what passes for "news" in this country.

I'm tired of narrow-minded, uninformed and backward people defining black men. This is the crowd that truly believes black men get what they deserve when they are murdered by the police.  Not every black man is a dangerous predator. I'm tired of the unprecedented show of disrespect for our President. We haven't quite made it to the color blind promised land. We have way too many hang ups about race and where people belong in our society.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm Mad


R.I.P. Michael Brown
1996 -2014
I don't know what the folks in Ferguson, Missouri were thinking about. From waiting until the downside of 9:00 pm to announce the Grand Jury's unsurprising findings to the Governor dispatching the National Guard to protect the police department and nearby white suburbs. This whole ordeal has been downright outrageous.

I don't care how many times Michael Brown's parents appealed for peace and calm, there was no doubt that shit was going to be burned down. There's a whole lot of angry people out there including me that would have liked to have seen a different outcome. Whenever a police shooting like this occurs, rarely does the officer face any charges. They get to skate free like Darren Wilson, free to hit the talk show circuit profiting off the misery of the Brown family without any conscious at all.

Personally, I don't care what Wilson has to say. I was done when I heard him say that Michael Brown looked like a demon. Seriously? Wonder what he was looking like at the same time he shot Brown, the face of the death? Here's a man with a badge, a gun and the entire police department behind him and he's insinuating that he feared for his life. Oh please!

It's still open season against black men and Michael Brown is the latest casualty. As long is there is no justice, there will be no peace. My heart  goes out to all the folks in Ferguson whose businesses were burned and looted. Where were the Ferguson police then? They certainly weren't protecting and defending their citizens, only one of their own.

It ain't over!

Ho, Ho, Ho, It's Walmart

Your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart is gearing up for Black Friday.
(Picture from Forbes.com)

With Black Friday just a few days away, I was surprised to hear that just about everyone's favorite retailer, Wal-Mart has not paid fees associated with the trampling death of Jdimytai Damoor six years ago. According to the Huffington Post, Wal-Mart has still not paid the $7,000 fine to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


Instead Wal-Mart has spent millions fighting the fine in an attempt to skirt OSHA laws . Rather than pay their six year old fine, they have stalled and attempted to come up with their own lame solutions to that trampling death six years ago on Black Friday. A man was killed and all they can do is drag this case along while they avoid paying the $7,000 fine? Last year Wal-Mart netted over $473 billion, I think its safe to say that $7,000 is a minuscule amount to Wal-Mart It's doubtful they even pay out that much money on one shift.

Wal-Mart claims they could not have anticipated what would happen on that black Friday six years ago so they have spent millions fighting OSHA over a $7,000. Wal-Mart Black Friday commercials run practically non-stop on every network, they are pretty hard to miss and those unbelieveable prices make me piss my pants (figuratively not literally). This excuse I ain't buying.

This case could go on for years so if you still plan to shop at Wal-Mart (seriously?) remember merchandise is going to be spread around the store not clustered which decreases the likelihood no one will be trampled but I don't think this will guarantee that a fist fight won't break out in the aisles or that someone won't be carrying a loaded gun or pepper spray. The other solution they have is to stagger sales times. Well, okay. Not sure what this is going to do but I wouldn't be caught dead in a Wal-Mart. They don't give a damn about their employees so I know they don't give a damn about me, they just want my money and they ain't getting it.

A friend told me last night I couldn't change anything. I disagreed I can choose when and where I spend my money. I chose not to shop Wal-Mart (even if Jesus himself makes a personal appearance). I don't celebrate Christmas, I don't understand this holiday shopping frenzy (folks need to chill the fuck out) and wonder why people don't support local businesses more (remember those?).

Friday, November 21, 2014

You Are Not the Woman I Imagined

My heart goes out to the unidentified newlywed Saudi woman whose husband rejected her after seeing her for the first time. Neither saw each other before their ceremony. Feeling no obligation to her or their marriage, the man divorced her on the spot. I can't  imagine the pain and humiliation she suffered at the hands of this no good jerk. According to news reports, when he saw her face he leapt to his feet and proclaimed "You are not the one I imagined. I'm sorry but I divorce you."  To ensure that he gets the woman he imagined, I recommend not dating women you have never seen before. Can't see her in person, get a picture. That can save a lot of time and trouble.

Only in Saudi Arabia could something like this happen. Women don't even have the right to drive let alone leave the house without a male relative. Courtships like this are quite typical and the marriages go on without incident. Most men have a sense of honor that was lacking in this situation. Marriage is arranged and women marry whoever they are told to marry. There isn't too much picking and choosing going on. Had the wife been repulsed by her husband's appearance, she has no recourse. She's stuck with him for life or until he decides to divorce her. I hold out hope that one day Saudi women will be able to leave the house alone, drive around the streets of Riyadh and chose their own husband

Just about everyday a woman pops up accusing Bill Cosby of drugging and raping her. With the number of women reaching fifteen or so, I find it very hard to believe that these women are making these accusations up. The stories are all the same and these events are decades old. Rape is rape, no matter when it happens. Cosby has been accused of this behavior before and even reached a settlement with one woman over the same charges. If someone accused me of something I didn't do, I wouldn't be paying anyone off. This further tarnishes Cosby's image in my book (His vitriolic diatribes against poor inner city blacks made me think less of him but that's a post for another day).

Drugging and raping, seriously? You are a rich celebrity, there are plenty of women and men willing to sleep with you just because you are famous, no drugs necessary. There's something psychotic about drugging someone and then raping them. This is not a good look no matter how wholesome or family-oriented your image may be. When rape is involved, blaming the victim is the "go-to" strategy for the accused and often law enforcement. Just because a woman does not report rape when it happens doesn't mean it didn't happen. There are all kinds of reasons not to report rape. Fear, shame and embarrassment come to mind. Accusing a powerful man of rape doesn't always go well, you can find the tables turned on you and have your sex life scrutinized. That's how women are treated in our society.

Now Cosby wants us to believe that he's been unfairly targeted and all those women are lying and making up stories about  him. I don't feel an ounce of sympathy for him nor do I believe him. Abusing women is never okay.




Friday, November 07, 2014

A Little Somethin' Somethin'

ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) jihadists training in Syria
(Iraqinews.com)

After more than a year away, I decided to start blogging again. There have been so many things that have caught my attention over the past year but I really didn't have a chance to blog about it. I'm still passionate about social justice, politics and get indignant over injustice.

I'm not surprised when there's news about George Zimmerman pulling a gun on someone. I'm not surprised when some shit goes down at Wal-Mart. And definitely not surprised by the rise by the super extreme Islamists parading across Syria and Iran murdering and beheading people. It's shocking at best then you think, are these people really serious? Yeah, they are and the idiot women escaping to Syria to become jihadi brides aren't much better but then women like bad boys even when they murder and behead. This is not about Islam but about power.

I can't leave out Boko Haram, another bunch of crazy Islamists operating in northern Nigeria. Snatching young school girls and making them brides? Desparate much. It's a sorry state when you can't find your own women but have to kidnap young girls so they can become sex slaves and bear your children. Pathetic but not quite as pathetic as the Nigerian government who has done nothing to rescue these girls. Another inept, self-serving African government.

Not all of Africa is bereft with inept leadership. I give props to the people of Burkina Faso who took to the streets to oust aspiring President for Life Blaise Campaore. Twenty-seven years of looting and stealing from his people wasn't enough for President Campaore but it was enough for his people. As Africa's poorest country, the Burkinese people only need check Campaore's foreign bank accounts to find out where their future went. Let's hope the military leadership cedes power in elections that are supposed to take place in a few months.

I still get amused by made up names but that doesn't make me a self-hating black person. I'm just old school. I like names I can pronounce and spell. Some are quite ridiculous, apostrophes and accent marks that don't really belong and the ones that annoy me the most are the ones that defy all rules of grammar. Names make a person and none of these names are of African origin. In West Africa, children are always named after someone, they never just name a child without giving it some thought.This usually means they are named after a famous person (remember Idi Amin?), a friend or someone they respect. Their names have meaning and they are spelled correctly. So there. I get just as annoyed with first names that are last names too. Nothing self-hating about that either.

At a time when the Dow Jones has soared above 17,000, unemployment is below 6% and job growth has increased steadily, it's amazing the Republicans gained power. In all honesty, President Obama didn't do a good job of selling his accomplishments. With the Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate we're doomed. People always amaze me when they vote against their own personal interests and support a party that only cares about corporations, the one percent and in denial about science. As a woman I am not amused. It just means more attacks on my reproductive rights and the likelihood that I will never get the same pay as a man for the same work. We're definitely not going forward. I'm going to enjoy my Obamacare while I still have it.

To be continued...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear George

Trayvon Martin
"These fucking punks always get away."  --George Zimmerman
Dear George (I hope its okay if I skip the formalities and call you George. Seems like we've know each other for years even though its only been a few short months. Mr. Zimmerman sounds soooooo formal.), I believe you are right especially after being acquitted for murdering 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

To avoid doing a rehash of the story we've already heard, Martin was walking through your neighborhood with a bottle of iced tea and a bag of Skittles but the most important thing was he was a black man wearing a  hoodie. In your small mind, any young black man sporting a hoodie must be a hoodlum, thug, criminal or some kind of predator. Evidently the jury of mostly white women thought the same thing too. They bought your story, line by line.

In your world, young black men are suspicious no matter what. None of us will ever know what really went on between you and Trayvon Martin because you were the only one left standing and the story is yours to tell. It's amazing how an unarmed kid can be murdered for no good reason but it really must have been easy for you. In your mind, Trayvon Martin could not have been just a young black man on his way back from the store with a drink and some candy, he had to be one of the "fucking punks" that always get away. You made sure that didn't happen again, didn't you?

Your acquittal means that it's open season on young black men; deemed criminals and suspects on sight. They can be shot and the perpetrator, like you, can claim self defense and escape justice.That's a damn shame. Trayvon Martin wasn't just a young black man in a hoodie, he was someone's son who never made it home that fateful day. He was a brother, a cousin and a friend. He was a man.

For now, you have gotten away with murder but I'm pretty certain your life won't be getting any easier. I heard you have aspirations of becoming a lawyer. (Watch out there, you'd better finish up community college first.) You have no reason to celebrate, this is not a victory, it is travesty.

Now that you've proved you can murder a black man and get away with it. I am convinced that this post racial society they claim we live in does not exist. If the tables had been turned and you had been murdered, I am 100% certain that Trayvon Martin would be sitting on Florida's death row if there is one or serving a life sentence. Nothing post racial about a society that values a person based on their skin color and played out stereotypes.

We have a long way to go in dealing with our racist legacy. American has always had a problem with race and your acquittal last week certainly proves that. Not sure if any of those jurors or you for that matter, tried to put yourself in Trayvon Martin's place. Growing up a black man in America isn't easy.

For now, I surely hope you will go back to living your life quietly and out of the spotlight but I don't think that's happening. Personally I don't want to see you, your attorney or your intellectually challenged brother making the talk show circuit talking about how justice has been served. We both know that's a damned lie. You are a murderer, nothing more, nothing less. You cannot profit from someone else's misery.

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers will be for Trayvon Martin's family and for their terrible loss.
Me
(I'm just as angry as those folks protesting in Los Angeles, New York and Oakland. If you noticed, it isn't just a bunch of angry black folks, the crowds I have seen have been very diverse. Your head is probably exploding at the prospect that other people would be just as outraged by the verdict. The world is a changing. You don't have to be black to see that your acquittal was a miscarriage of justice.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do I Look Suspicious?

It has been a year since 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood vigilante George Zimmerman. Martin, who was unarmed, was walking home from a deli with a soft drink and a bag of Skittles  when he was spotted by Zimmerman and reported to the police as being suspicious before being shot. Was it the hoodie Martin was wearing or was it the soft drink and bag of Skittles that aroused Zimmerman's suspicion?

Black men wearing hoodies, beware lest you become a victim as well. Racial profiling in this country is alive and well. Black men anywhere can easily become victims by just being black looking 'suspicious' which usually means being somewhere a white person thinks you shouldn't be. A department store, an upscale neighborhood and even a deli. Yes, the world is very small and in spite of having a black President, we have not gotten beyond racial stereotypes and prejudices. This is not post-racial America.

My prayers go out to Trayvon Martin's family, I can't even begin to know what it is like to lose a child under such tragic circumstances.


Monday, December 31, 2012

Have a happy, healthy prosperous 2013!

Here's one of my favorite Buddhist quotes that I'd like to share with everyone. One of my biggest faults is holding on to a grudge like nobody's business. I'm going to do better with that this year. I'm a work in progress but while I work on my anger issues, I try to remind myself of this:

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Be happy, be healthy and be prosperous. Peace and Love.  K.