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UPDATE: GA Baby Murder

If you recall, it was reported a few months ago about a baby who was shot and killed while in his mothers arms during a morning walk. The same night and next morning, the mother Sherry West was on every news station declaring that two Black boys around the ages of 12 and 14 attempted to rob her; once she refused to comply, West claims that they shot her and killed her baby. The police went about finding the individuals by looking at the list of absent children from school.

Update: The father of West’s deceased baby was found to have gunpowder on his hands on the night of the murder. In addition West has taken out restraining orders and has records with the police for him stalking her. As suspected here, we did not believe that those two young boys who have been arrested and charged actually killed the child. Despite the father being a possible suspect, Georgia Police have not pressed charges against both parents. 

This is simple proof, yet again, that Black bodies are not safe in the United States of America. When ever there is trouble and the law is broken, Blacks and other people of color are blamed and mistreated by the police and other vigilantes that believe they are protecting themselves and their neighborhoods. Those young boys had their rights violated just for the fact that they were Black and an easy target to place blame for a crime they did not commit. 

Click here for the link to more information about this story.

What Does the Zimmerman Verdict Mean for People of Color?

The Murderer George Zimmerman

The Murderer George Zimmerman

Saturday night was a night that many Americans will never forget. George Zimmerman was found not guilty of both 2nd Degree Murder and Manslaughter charges. Florida police, working off of the racist notion that when People of Color respond only in violence and criminal activity, began preparing for possible riots. To their displeasure, People of Color and Caucasian people left their homes immediately and took to the streets in peaceful protests to the decision. Sunday alone, over 30 cities around the country marched, performed sit ins, rallied and sang in protest of the decision and what it means to People of Color all over the nation.  They protested because the not guilty verdict signified that People of Color in this great nation are not safe outside of their homes; their bodies are perceived as walking threats that require immediate destruction.

All over the nation, People of Color received confirmation that their lives aren’t worthy of existence in In the United States. They are viewed as dangerous animals in need of tranquilizing. Despite the fact that White Americans consume a majority of the country’s food stamps, public housing units and other welfare services, it is People of Color who are lazy individuals who refuse to work hard for success. Despite the fact that White Americans are the largest consumers of illegal narcotics, People of Color are attacked during this “War on Drugs”. People of Color in this nation have been marginalized for so long by White Americans and the American government, it is we who are blamed for our conditions.

The laws that are designed to protect Americans are not designed to protect People of Color; it is designed to protect White Americans. Lets face it; this is a white supremest country that thrives on suppressing the minority races to ensure the security of Whites.The George Zimmerman case was yet another reminder of this. A White man (Zimmerman was a White Hispanic. Hispanic is an ethnicity – not a race) can follow a Black young man, start an aggressive contact and kill him without being found guilty of his death.

He and all other White Americans, who feel threatened by People of Color living in their neighborhoods, working at their jobs, walking down the street, are protected by the laws of this great nation we call America.

Verdict’s In: Zimmerman Is a Free Man

Paula Deen and The “N” Word Controversy

Via Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Via Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Paula Paula Paula.

America’s favourite Southern Chef and Food Network personality Paula Deen has been under fire from a testimony she gave regarding a lawsuit from an employee in one of her restaurants. Ms. Deen was asked by an attorney if she had ever used nigger. Her response – of course!

If you’re anything like me, you were not shocked by this news. What makes things interesting is that White America is appalled by Paula’s words and desire to have a slavery/Jim Crow themed wedding. But readers I hope that you have been paying attention. White America was not appalled by her vile language. They were appalled that she broke the one unwritten would of Racism in 21st Century America:

Thou shall not say discriminatory, prejudice, and racist things in public.

The Civil Rights Act of 1965 was not a magical document that changed the hearts and minds of every prejudice person in America. America was in the process of a Cold War with Russia who used every image of racial and ethnic discrimination within United States boarders to convince the rest of the world that they were not a democratic society, but rather one of hate and lies.

Has much changed today? Yes and no. Yes, frequent racially charged acts do not happen as much today as they did in the past. No, the racist, prejudice feelings have not disappeared from a portion of White America.

What we have to realize is that racism and prejudice are not as they once were. And for some part, White America  realizes this but then again they don’t. Their under the impression that if they don’t use niger towards Black people, if they accept more students of color into higher quality educational institutions, if they have at least 1 Black friend, they are not racist.

Racism is more than all of this. Racism is the systematic oppression of People of Color. Racism is hearing a name like Shaniqua Johnson and automatically not appointing her a job interview. Racism is seeing a young male of color walking down the street in a wealthy neighborhood and shooting him dead because he “looks” like a “threat”. Racism is blaming all Black people for taking the place of White people in college. Racism is then challenging law that has allowed many Black youth to be the first of generations since slavery to attend college because you did not get into your first choice.

At the end of the day, we need to realize that Paula Deen is not a unique person. She is not the only one who says the things she says and feels the way that she feels.

I Don’t Like the Black People on My Campus.

Group of Black PeopleTime and time again, the phrase “I don’t like the Black people at…” resurfaces itself from the lips of another person of color describing all people of color at a particular location. I have heard “I don’t like the Black people at HBCU’s” or “I don’t like the Black people at my state university.” I have to beg the question: How does one dislike or like an entire group of people? How is it possible to characterize an entire group of people as having certain attributes?

People come in all different shape, sizes, and color, not to mention the complexity in the diverse characteristics we all possess. No two people are alike. I feel that this sentiment of Black people not like other Black people (as a whole) for whatever reason is fragments of the “slave mentality” that has been left behind. We have had so many negative attributes placed upon us as an entity that we begin to believe it ourselves. Some Black women holding on to this mentality believe their kinky curly hair is ugly, unpresentable or not neat and thus chemically straighten their – at not matter the cost. Some Black people feel that they can not associate themselves with other Blacks because they are too loud, ghetto, or whatever negative attribute that has traditionally been placed upon us by oppressive forces.

Characterizing an entire group of people as one characteristic reduces each persons individuality. Rather than seeing the person as just that and for the positive and negative things about them, group characterizations allow the outsider to only identify the person to a set of inflexible attributes, which often are negative. This is demonstrated through the fear in racists of the “dangerous Black man” who seeks to rape white women and kill white children. Rather than getting to know Black men as people and individuals, they were placed into a box of characterizations that did not describe them, and behaviors by outside groups of made accordingly. Just as Whites are not from the same cloth, so are Blacks.

I long for the day when Black people, and all people of color realize that they cannot characterize an entire race of people to specific attributes – this is how stereotypes and prejudices are born. Just think, if you believe that a particular group of Black people are too loud – something in their character and nature – wouldn’t that make you too loud also? Wouldn’t you also possess those same attributes you claim to detest?

The moral of this story is simple: it is unfair and reductive to class a whole group or race of people by certain characteristics when we all have distinctively different characters.

Trial Provides Window into NYPD Practices

Originally posted on Black America Web:

NEW YORK (AP) — The right people at the right time in the right location.

That phrase — repeated over and over in a secret recording of a police supervisor — is at the crux of a civil rights challenge to the New York Police Department’s contentions tactic known as stop, question and frisk.

“So, who are the right people?” asks officer Pedro Serrano, during an argument with his supervisor about how to make a legal stop.

“Depends where you are,” replies Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack.

The recording was played during Serrano’s testimony last week at a federal trial that’s providing a window into the workings of the nation’s largest police force, the instincts officers rely on to do their jobs and the difficulty police supervisors have in translating written policies into practice on the street.

Serrano works patrol in the 40th Precinct in the Bronx, among the more crime-ridden…

View original 733 more words

Sister of GA Baby Shot in Face Has Suspicions

USA Today reports that Ashley Glassey, the daughter of Sherry West, doubts that the two young boys shot the child in the fact; she believes that it was in fact the mother who killed the baby for insurance baby.

In a voice recording West can be heard asking “How soon do you think the life insurance policy will send me a check?” West called her daughter and switched stories claiming that she was shot first and then that the baby was shot first. 

To make matters worse, Glassey also reports that her mother is bipolar and has schizophrenic tendencies. 

 

Stay tuned for further updates regarding this tragic story. 

Bow Down Bitches!

Columbia Records

Columbia Records

So you would have to living under a large rock to not have heard about Beyonce’s new spicy single. Bow Down was released on March 17th on the stars website, awaiting the commencement of her grand tour entitled The Mrs. Carter Tour.

Well, after hearing the song, I have one question: did Mr. Carter or perhaps Lil Wayne write this song for you?

The song has a catchy hip-hop beat that is quite different from that of her most recent work on the album 4. What sounds like a remix of Beyonce singing as a child plays with the words “I’m out that H-Town…coming, coming down…I’m coming down dripping candy on the ground…” If a child is singing about dripping candy on the ground does not make you cringe, what Beyonce says next has some of her fans wondering what happened to Queen Bey. Beyonce then goes on further saying:

“I know when you were little girls 

You dreamt of being in my world 

Don’t forget it , don’t forget it

Respect that, bow down bitches”

Woah. That escalated quickly.

As a Beyonce fan myself, I did not expect the Queen herself to call her fans bitches and demand that we bow down to her. Beyonce has built an elegant brand for herself. One of royalty and respect. Ratchet is a word that would never be associated with her, but somehow I find myself wanting to call the song just that.

I don’t know if this is the ‘true’ Beyonce, but what I do know is that she built a brand and name for herself that does not embrace such language and environment. If Nicki Minaj or Trina came out with a song like this, no one would flinch. They would probably applaud them. But Beyonce is no Nicki Minaj. And definitely no Trina.

Two Teens Charged in Death of GA. Baby

On March 21st, Georgia mother, Sherry West reported that two teens, around the ages of 10-14, approached her car demanding money; when West did not hand over any cash, they shot her 13 month old baby in the face.

What happened to that poor child is tragic and my heart goes out to the family. But, something here does not sound right. Immediately after the murder was reported, West did a CNN interview, in addition to others by local television stations, crying and telling the events of the murder. Why would a mother who witnessed the death of her child only moments later go on television to tell of the story? One would think that she would be too busy mourning the death of her infant rather than seeking media attention.

To make matters worse, the police, based on the description provided by West, looked at school attendance records to find two suspects. One of the suspect’s identity has been revealed to be 17 year old De’Marquise Elkins. (Picture Below. Credit to NY Daily News)

Elkins

 There is no surprise that he, and probably the other suspect, is black. How did the mother assume that the suspects were 10-14 years old, when Elkins looks at least 18/19 years?

To say the least, this story does not sound right. With Elkins and his family saying that the child was at his aunts house at the time of the murder, there is high suspicion as whether there were two boys as all; West was the only witness.

The death is tragic, but what is even more tragic is the search to pin the murder on anyone who “fits the description”.

Django Unchained – The Insult to Injury of American Slavery

Django Unchained still via The Root

Django Unchained still via The Root

On December 25, 2012, Quentin Tarantino’s long anticipated film Django Unchained was released in theaters for millions to see. The western takes place during the Pre-Civil War south (beginning in Texas and ending in Mississippi). If you have not seen the film or need insight on the plot click here to read the plot summary.

Before the film was released Tarantino and cast went across the country through different social platforms in promotion of the film. My first encounter was with the TVOne special featuring stars Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, and Quentin Tarantino. The one-hour special described Django Unchained as a western film that exposed the slavery era with a twist – the slaves were given power to overcome their master. Django was described as a courageous freedman who, out of love and despair of being enslaved and the help of a bounty hunter, sets out with the goal of freeing his wife from her slave owners. Django Unchained was portrayed as a film of empowerment for African American and Black audiences; Tarantino acknowledged that not all members of this audience would see the film in this light, but it was his goal to have an old American Western with an African American cowboy lead.

Shortly after viewing the special, I read in the New York Daily News that film maker Spike Lee would not be viewing Django Unchained stating that “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them” (NY Daily News). Christmas day approached and the media frenzy began. The Black community began with editorials, opinion pieces, Facebook statuses and Tweets on the films relevance to them.

I had to wonder though, why was there this buzz about the film? What made so many people get up in arms about the film’s historical setting? So I saw the film.

Ill prepared of what a Quentin Tarantino film was I was first startled by the blood and blunt violence displayed, but with time and constant exposure to the film I got use to the violence and saw what critics mean when they say Tarantino is famous for his bloody, gory films.

Django is an excellent film when one focuses on the cinematography and acting. The actors and Tarantino put in a lot of effort to make the film one of great quality. Whether the individual was getting shot, whipped or bitten to death, the quality of the work could make one believe for a split second that the action was actually occurring.

Django Unchained (Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington)

Django Unchained (Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington)

Despite the great acting and cinematography, I must acknowledge the main thing that stood out to me during the entire film: the American slavery era was used as a means of exploiting slaves and their struggles during the pre-civil war era to further the ‘White Savior Complex’.

In a White Savior Film, the white protagonist helps the black character(s) overcome the obstacle usual socio-economic obstacles in their lives. Similar films that revolved the white savior is The Help and Blindside.

Similarly, Django Unchained embodied every aspect of a White Savior Film. Dr. King Schultzteaches Django his skill and knowledge, that only a white man could have at the time, to first selfishly help himself gain wealth. After realizing that he has unlocked a wealth of talent in Django he finds it within himself to make Django his business partner as a bounty hunter so he can purchase his wife’s freedom. Even after Dr. King Schultz’s death, that knowledge and unlocked potential allows Django to seek revenge upon his wife’s master.

What many do not realize is that there were hundreds, I repeat hundreds, of slave revolts in America without the help of white people. Our ancestors were not poor helpless fools who were rescued by an emotional, sympathizing white person. Despite the attempt by American society to keep them dependent on their masters for everything in life, they proved their intelligence through well though plans of freedom. The underground railroad, negro spirituals, escape techniques and revolts were all thought of, planned and executed by Black people.

Spike Lee was correct in his judgement of Django – it was a film that disrespects all African slaves, whether they resided in America or the Caribbean Islands. Online blogger Jas from Deceptively Complex Simplicity explains it as a trivialization of history. ‘I take issue with the seeming romanticization of slavery and its conversion in the film into some gimmick to enhance a classic American Western. …Once again, it has reared its head, and no amount of exposition of true-to-fact torture mechanisms of the slavery institution can rectify this film’s fatal flaw’ (Deceptively Complex Simplicity). Despite Hollywood’s portrayal, slavery and the yearning for your spouse who was sold to another plantation was not a love story, it was a story of torture.

Tarantino’s attempt to further glamorize slavery by portraying a Mandingo Fighting session added insult to injury. Mandingo Fighting is when two male slaves from different plantations are put up against each other to fight until death. The living slave wins his slave master the wages made before the bet. Unfortunately there is no historical evidence of Mandingo Fighting even occurring on American plantations. Without obtaining facts, Tarantino exploited the plight of Black slave ancestors to further his American Western plot. Slaves did not get hung and burned for the benefit of a Hollywood film. They did not revolt so some Hollywood film maker could retell the story to his liking for a large profit. Quentin Tarantino and others need to educate themselves on the history of a people before spending millions on portraying them on film.

Despite all of the insults, I must question whether Hollywood would be able to do this to other marginalized groups like Jews. Any film portraying the Holocaust is one of honor and respect. Not once is there a non-Jewish savior would

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