CHURCH MASSACRE IN CHARLESTON,SC

The senseless murder of nine black men and women, who were at a bible study, by a white male with white supremacist ties has sparked outrage around the country.  This horrific incident took place two days ago in Charleston, SC.  An arrest has been made but the name of the suspect will not be entertained on this site.  I am posting two songs in memory of the victims.  The songs are:  “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” by Lauryn Hill & Tanya Blount and “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men.

The names of the victims are listed below:

State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, 41, pastor of the Emanuel African Methodist Church, Cynthia Hurd, 54; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Sharonda Singleton, 45; Myra Thompson, 59; Ethel Lance, 70; Susie Jackson, 87; the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; and DePayne Doctor, 49.

RACHAEL DOLEZAL RESIGNS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=b6_qKL1jROY

This lady did the right thing!  It is great that she has taken on the cause of Civil Rights, there is no question about that.  The question is:  Why the deception?  At this point, her continued presence would definitely be an unnecessary distraction for this organization.

Conversation about Dolezal as NAACP President has taken on a life of its’ own and has now gone international.

Her resignation in part reads as follows:

“It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley”…….

“And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity”…..

On Friday, the NAACP had issued a statement of support of Dolezal.  Their statement indicated that they stand behind her advocacy record and that a person’s race does not qualify him or her from taking leadership roles within the organization.

RACHAEL DOLEZAL: UH OH… SHE LIED!!!

Rachael Dolezal

I think that the big problem for a lot of people is that she lied…

Rachael Dolezal is facing a boatload of questions because of a lie that she has apparently been telling for years.  And now she has been exposed by……. her parents.  For those that don’t know the story, Dolezal has made her way to become president of the NAACP in Spokane, Washington. Her  biological parents have claimed that she has been misrepresenting herself as a black woman when her heritage is in fact white.

I have spoken with a number of people who have differing views as to whether she should be able to keep her job.  The overwhelming consensus is that she lied and should be removed from the position because of it.

I read an interesting article on this issue by Alicia Walters on THE GUARDIAN.  I am posting the full article below for you to peruse at your leisure:

Rachel Dolezal is, after this week, a symbol to many African Americans of the separation of blackness from black people; to me, she is an example of how American society simultaneously devalues the individuality of black women and us as a community to the point that the performance of black womanhood is preferred over the people. If blackness can simply be worn or performed, then every white woman with a weave and a cause, every white girl with a snap and a little attitude, can supplant the lived experiences of what it is to become a black woman: the journey of discrimination, the camaraderie of sisterhood, discovering the deep sense of responsibility and weight of the world, and ultimately finding the inner strength and acceptance that can only be built through struggle.

Rachel Dolezal may have perfected her performance of black womanhood, and she may be connected to black communities and feel an affinity with the styles and cultural innovations of black people. But the black identity cannot be put on like a pair of shoes. Our external differences from the white majority might be how others categorize us as black, but it’s the thread of our diverse lived experiences that make us black women.

Dolezal’s specious claims to black ancestry and faux black identity could not have been sustained and she would not have been able to pass if black womanhood were seen and understood as more than skin – or weave – deep. Wearing black womanhood was apparently even enough for Dolezal’s “fellow” black leaders in Spokane, Washington, who turned a blind eye to what the wider world now recognizes as her all-but laughable claims of racial identity, whether out of fear of rocking the boat or plain Northwestern niceness. Her charade could have only been maintained in a town (and within a society) with simplistic, stereotypical conceptions of blackness – that blackness is a shade on the range on olive to dark chocolate, a set of idioms delivered in a cadence from which American English derives its slang, and any number of bodily characteristics or mannerisms familiar across the globe, among others. And yet, while black Americans have long embraced a diverse array of lineages as kin, simply looking the part and faking the rest doesn’t cut it.

Whenever I tell people that I grew up in Spokane – a city in which only 2% of the population was black – I usually neutralize their confusion with a joke about how I was one of about seven black people, and five of us made it out. You see, black people aren’t supposed to live is small towns in the Pacific Northwest of this country; blackness has been defined as an “urban” identity. But while the majority of black people in the United States do still live in the southern states, and concentrations of black folks outside the south tend to be around metorpolitan areas, neither fact accounts for the constant migration of black people toward economic opportunities, including to places like Spokane. Their migration to Spokane in particular may just have been the inspiration for the establishment of the original headquarters of the Aryan Nations 37 miles [60km] away.

I was born in the middle of Spokane’s first (and only) black mayor’s tenure: a celebrated leader who black people worked hard to elect, and example of “acceptable” black leadership, Mayor Jim Chase once told the local paper that he “never knew much discrimination in Spokane.” While that was perhaps true for him, it was not my family’s experience, nor the experience of the black people who lived through segregation through the 1970s in Spokane. Though segregation was no longer enshrined in law in the 1980s when I was growing up, black folks still lived almost exclusively on the east side of town and in the historical neighborhoods built for railroad laborers. My Midwestern white mother and black Puerto Rican father had moved to Spokane for college and defied the unspoken segregation by starting their family in a working class north side neighborhood away from the black enclave, but hoping for the best. My father left the picture shortly after I was born and my mother navigated the discrimination we faced in school and throughout town – I became familiar with the meaning of “nigger” quite early in life.

As one of just two black girls in my elementary school, my kinky-ish hair, brown skin, and athletic build were uncommon and, before natural hair was considered cute, little white girls would shame me about about the size of my “poofy hair”. Throughout elementary school, in the confines of my bedroom, I put champagne-colored slips over my head to mimic the straight blonde hair I thought I needed to fit in, and gently swayed it back and forth and dreamt of belonging – but I knew black girls could never be white. When I was 10, my father, to the surprise and disgust of my mother, took me to the JC Penney salon in Seattle (300 miles [482km] away) to chemically straighten my hair and get my eyebrows and upper lip waxed. The first black man in my life, and he taught me that being a black woman meant trying to conform to white standards of beauty.

But when I was 14, I gave up the relaxers and transitioned into rocking my natural kinky-ish afro. It instilled a new kind of confidence in me: I could not hang my head and wear this beautiful crown. My mother had not raised me to be an invisible, go-along-to-get-along gal, and, though I still harbored jealousy of my white peers with their incessant hair flipping, I decided to stand out instead of try and fail to fit in. I wore bright, creative clothing; I embraced my love of dance, of song, of sports, of speaking truthfully about race with little care for whether people attributed any of it to my blackness or to me. To be able to get to a place where I could be myself, I felt powerful: I wanted to do and be everything and, as I learned more about the history of the Atlantic slave trade, African diaspora, and white privilege, I wanted to tell these white people about themselves.

Realizing that I was hyper-visible and yet never truly seen, I started a club called Helping Overcome Prejudice Everywhere (Hope) with my brother. Each semester, my Spanish teacher would let me take over her class to lead my classmates through workshops on white privilege; it eventually became an established leadership course.

On the surface, I was successful, but I also longed for the recognition of fellow black people, including my few black male peers for whom I was seemingly nonexistent: all of them, including my brothers, were busy chasing the hair-flippers. We may have been teammates in track or they might’ve been my brother’s friends, but the boys who I thought would be my best chance at external validation as an attractive woman left me wanting.

In Spokane in general, I rarely saw black men coupled with black women; more than a few men in our small black community had white wives and girlfriends, while the black women always seemed to be single. Naive, I imagined that, on the tightly-knit east side, there were churches full of black women who were coupled with and loved by black men. But on the streets of Spokane, in the public spaces at festivals, in restaurants, and wherever else I looked, black and white men alike were always more interested in white women than women who looked like me; what I took from those years were that black women were far from desirable partners.

To be a black young woman in Spokane was, for me, to be rejected, isolated and left to find my own way. Becoming the black woman I am today was not about learning a performance, it was not about certain clothing or my hair texture; it came from first being a black girl, from the trauma of rejection and isolation and its transformation into a kind of self-taught solitary pride, from learning to preserve my own sense of true self.

Dolezal managed to put on an identity – that of a black woman – in a way that renders invisible the experiences that actually forged for us our identities as black women. She presented to the world the trappings of black womanhood without the burden of having to have lived them for most of her life. She represented us and gained status in both black and white communities as one of us, even though she could have worn her whiteness and talked to white people about their racism – something sorely needed in a town like Spokane.

Had she really understood the history of black women in America, Dolezal would have recognized that she is perpetuating a fetish for black women’s bodies that devalues actual black women while celebrating our parts when attached to the right (white) form. But she was not alone in this act of playing black and benefiting from it. Since black womanhood is apparently all in the look, our society would rather have white, former Disney pop stars twerk, talentless celebrities with enlarged backsides and their equally talentless siblings with swollen lips than celebrate the black woman’s form with the person who carries it. Black women learn that we are not desirable, that we are invisible, and yet we are imitated by the world’s Dolezals and in our popular culture. Little black girls like me could never have passed for white – and would’ve been ridiculed if we tried – but anyone with the right accessories can now seemingly claim to be black women when it suits them.

Spokane was, for once, perhaps just ahead of the curve: we might be moments away from declaring that simply wearing Black Woman is enough to be a black woman … or even preferable to it.

THE POOL PARTY PROTESTS HAVE BEGUN…

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Cops and their mistreatment of African-Americans have again taken center-stage.  This time the stage has been set in McKinney, Texas.  More recent incidents have occurred in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri.  Even though this incident did not involve another African-American killed by the police, the abusive behavior that was displayed has caused protests to begin. “Call my momma!”  were the screams that could be heard  from a black teenage girl who was being pinned to the ground by a white police officer.  Moments earlier he had drawn his handgun on other black teens. “On your face!” were the words that the officer yelled at the bikini-clad girl.  As seen in the the videos below, the officer 41-year-old David Eric Casebolt who joined the police force in August 2005, only targeted the black teens. Casebolt has been placed on administrative leave but a number of legal analyst have indicated that there is legal trouble ahead for Casebolt and the McKinney Police Department. Quite frankly, they need to start with a mental evaluation of this officer. Check out the videos below.  The first video includes a conversation with the young lady who was pinned to the ground and the second video includes conversation with a legal analyst.  Let me know your thoughts on this.

TEXAS POLICE OFFICER SUSPENDED: ATTACKS BLACK TEENS AT POOL PARTY

This cop need to be FIRED for the way he treated these teens.  The fact that cellphone cameras are now catching some of these incidents on film is helping to expose some of the injustices that have long been taking place.

This cop acts like he is in a movie and showcasing how to mistreat blacks when responding to a call.  McKinney police have placed this officer on administrative leave for the inappropriate handling of this incident.  The officers name has yet to be released.  This incident at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool has indeed created a buzz on social media.

According to police spokeswoman Sabrina Boston, the incident involved “multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave.”   She indicated that additional units were dispatched to the scene after the first officers to arrive “encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands.”

“Several concerns about the conduct of one of the officers at the scene have been raised,” Conley said. “The McKinney Police Department is committed to treating all persons fairly under the law. We are committed to preserving the peace and safety of our community for all our citizens.”

The video that has been posted by a number of individuals on Youtube, shows the now suspended officer very aggressively handling a young 15 year old girl in a bathing suit and throwing her to the ground.  This is definitely not the last time you’ll be hearing about this incident.  When will it end?

SOUTH CAROLINA COP CHARGED WITH MURDER IN BLACK MAN’S DEATH

I  just had to post this story and video.  It is absolutely unbelievable that a competent individual in our society would gun down an individual in this manner.  The thing that I am happy about is the fact that someone was there with a cell phone on their camera and taped it all.  Otherwise, there probably would have been a different story.  The story and video are below and I will not be repetitive and tell you what you’ll be reading if you chose to continue reading.  The first video is unedited and the actual footage as taped by the individual who saw the entire incident.  I’m still in shock………………..!

 

Video Shows Fatal Police Shooting

In video provided to The New York Times, a police officer in North Charleston, S.C., is seen shooting an apparently unarmed man after a scuffle following a traffic stop.

Publish Date April 7, 2015.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.

The shooting came on the heels of high-profile instances of police officers’ using lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere. The deaths have set off a national debate over whether the police are too quick to use force, particularly in cases involving black men.

A White House task force has recommended a host of changes to the nation’s police policies, and President Obama sent Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to cities around the country to try to improve police relations with minority neighborhoods.

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Officer Michael T. Slager

North Charleston is South Carolina’s third-largest city, with a population of about 100,000. African-Americans make up about 47 percent of residents, and whites account for about 37 percent. The Police Department is about 80 percent white, according to data collected by the Justice Department in 2007, the most recent period available.

“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Mayor Keith Summey said during the news conference. “And if you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”

The shooting unfolded after Officer Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight, according to police reports. Mr. Scott ran away, and Officer Slager chased him into a grassy lot that abuts a muffler shop. He fired his Taser, an electronic stun gun, but it did not stop Mr. Scott, according to police reports.

Moments after the struggle, Officer Slager reported on his radio: “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser,” according to police reports.

But the video, which was taken by a bystander and provided to The New York Times by the Scott family’s lawyer, presents a different account. The video begins in the vacant lot, apparently moments after Officer Slager fired his Taser. Wires, which carry the electrical current from the stun gun, appear to be extending from Mr. Scott’s body as the two men tussle and Mr. Scott turns to run.

Something — it is not clear whether it is the stun gun — is either tossed or knocked to the ground behind the two men, and Officer Slager draws his gun, the video shows. When the officer fires, Mr. Scott appears to be 15 to 20 feet away and fleeing. He falls after the last of eight shots.

The officer then runs back toward where the initial scuffle occurred and picks something up off the ground. Moments later, he drops an object near Mr. Scott’s body, the video shows.

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For several minutes after the shooting, Walter L. Scott remained face down with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The Supreme Court has held that an officer may use deadly force against a fleeing suspect only when there is probable cause that the suspect “poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

Officer Slager served in the Coast Guard before joining the force five years ago, his lawyer said. The police chief of North Charleston did not return repeated calls. Because police departments are not required to release data on how often officers use force, it was not immediately clear how often police shootings occurred in North Charleston, a working-class community adjacent to the tourist destination of Charleston.

Mr. Scott had been arrested about 10 times, mostly for failing to pay child support or show up for court hearings, according to The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston. He was arrested in 1987 on an assault and battery charge and convicted in 1991 of possession of a bludgeon, the newspaper reported. Mr. Scott’s brother, Anthony, said he believed Mr. Scott had fled from the police on Saturday because he owed child support.

“He has four children; he doesn’t have some type of big violent past or arrest record,” said Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Mr. Scott’s family. “He had a job; he was engaged. He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support.”

Mr. Stewart said the coroner had told him that Mr. Scott was struck five times — three times in the back, once in the upper buttocks and once in the ear — with at least one bullet entering his heart. It is not clear whether Mr. Scott died immediately. (The coroner’s office declined to make the report available to The Times.)

Police reports say that officers performed CPR and delivered first aid to Mr. Scott. The video shows that for several minutes after the shooting, Mr. Scott remained face down with his hands cuffed behind his back. A second officer arrives, puts on blue medical gloves and attends to Mr. Scott, but is not shown performing CPR. As sirens wail in the background, a third officer later arrives, apparently with a medical kit, but is also not seen performing CPR.

The debate over police use of force has been propelled in part by videos like the one in South Carolina. In January, prosecutors in Albuquerque charged two police officers with murder for shooting a homeless man in a confrontation that was captured by an officer’s body camera. Federal prosecutors are investigating the death of Eric Garner, who died last year in Staten Island after a police officer put him in a chokehold, an episode that a bystander captured on video. A video taken in Cleveland shows the police shooting a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, who was carrying a fake gun in a park. A White House policing panel recommended that police departments put more video cameras on their officers.

Mr. Scott’s brother said his mother had called him on Saturday, telling him that his brother had been shot by a Taser after a traffic stop. “You may need to go over there and see what’s going on,” he said his mother told him. When he arrived at the scene of the shooting, officers told him that his brother was dead, but he said they had no explanation for why. “This just doesn’t sound right,” he said in an interview. “How do you lose your life at a traffic stop?”

Anthony Scott said he last saw his brother three weeks ago at a family oyster roast. “We hadn’t hung out like that in such a long time,” Mr. Scott said. “He kept on saying over and over again how great it was.”

At the roast, Mr. Scott got to do two of the things he enjoyed most: tell jokes and dance. When one of Mr. Scott’s favorite songs was played, he got excited. “He jumped up and said, ‘That’s my song,’ and he danced like never before,” his brother said.

BEFORE ROSA PARKS THERE WAS…

Claudette Colvin.

You’ve got to check out this clip.  This woman’s name is Claudette Colvin.  Few people know her story. When she was 15, she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person — nine months before Rosa Parks did the very same thing.  Now her story is the subject of a new book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.  Check her out above and you will know… the rest of the story.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: A SALUTE TO JOHN LEWIS

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On February 21, 1940, two sharecroppers bore a son who they named John Lewis.  Lewis grew up to be a force to be reckoned with in so many important ways; especially for blacks in America.  Even as a young kid, he became moved by the involvement of activists regarding the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  He especially became enamored with the words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  Lewis was so captivated that he became a part of the Civil Rights Movement.  He has since been on the forefront of the human rights struggle here in America.  In a large since, Lewis is owed much more credit than he gets.

I recently met John Lewis at a Home Depot in Atlanta.  He was there shopping with his son.  I was surprised at how small he was in stature.  I had pictured him to be a much larger man.  Honestly, he is much larger than can be imagined.  As a young man, Lewis became a nationally recognized leader.  He was labeled one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and he was a keynote speaker at the celebrated March on Washington.  He has been awarded over 50 honorary degrees from some of the most respected colleges and universities throughout the United States, including Princeton University, Duke University, Harvard University, Howard University, Morehouse College, and Fisk University.

Lewis recently sat down to be interviewed by the Associated Press and he spoke about the film “Selma”.

“It is very powerful.  It is very moving.  It is real.  It is so real.  It says something about the distance we’ve come in laying down the burden of race.”  Lewis also addressed that day “Bloody Sunday” as it is now called.

“We broke down those signs that said, ‘White Waiting’, ’Colored Waiting’, ’White Men’, ’Colored Men’, ’White Women’, ’Colored Women’.’ We got a Voting Rights Act passed 50 years ago, a Civil Rights Act passed.  But we still have a distance to go, Lewis said.

“In many communities today, the question of race is still very real.  You can feel it.  You can almost taste it.  But you cannot deny the fact that America is a different America.  Even in the heart of the Deep South, those signs are gone.  And they will not return.  People registered.  And they are voting.”

One can only imagine the mental and physical struggle that this 75 year old man has ended.  He was first elected to Congress in 1986.  He is now serving his 15th term.

President Barak Obama and Former President George W. Bush will join Lewis and a bipartisan congressional delegation for part of a 3 day civil rights journey to Alabama on March 7, 2015 for the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

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JOHN LEGEND & COMMON 2015 OSCARS

After seeing this performance of “Glory” from the movie Selma by John Legend & Common at the 2015 Oscars, I simply felt numb.  Their performance was the highlight of the night and brought many audience members to tears.  And then… the acceptance speeches afterwards for Best Song were poignant.  Their words help to put a punctuation mark  on BLACK HISTORY MONTH and the continued struggle…

Common’s speech:

“The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the south side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life, to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to those in Hong Kong, protesting for democracy,” he said. “This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated with love for all human beings.”

John Legend added the following:

“We say that Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now,” he said. “We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now, the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today then were under slavery in 1850.” He concluded with: “We are with you, we see you, we love you and march on.”

If I were there, you would have probably seen my tears rolling as well.

 

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: THE KING CENTER

Yesterday was one of those days…  A good day, that is.  Actually, every day is a good day but yesterday was one of those days that took me back a bit.  By back I mean all the way back to the Civil Rights Movement.  You see, yesterday I decided to go down to the King Center in Atlanta to take a few pictures so that I could post for Black History Month.  I did not see a sign that prohibited me from taking pictures and I’m not trying to profit off of the pictures I took so hopefully posting these pictures is lawful.  Of course, the trip (about 25 minutes from home) for me was so much more than that. It really made me appreciate the struggle for freedom even more as I began to see the images of blacks marching, being beaten with batons, being sprayed with water hoses, and so much more.  The struggle for freedom was so that generations of children would not have to endure some of the same challenges that were faced by our ancestors.

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As a child living in North Carolina, I personally can remember seeing a “whites only” fountain.  I can also remember having to sit in the balcony at the local movie theatre.  And all of this was in the 60’s.  I even remember going to segregated schools not by choice but because that is where we had to go.  My first experience with integration was when I went to the 5th grade.  I never faced some of the extreme hardships that some of our descendants faced but nonetheless, I can still identify with the struggle that they endured.

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While I was at the King Center, I not only thought about Dr. Martin Luther King but I  began to reflect on some of the names of the people like Hosea Williams, Ralph David Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, John Lewis(who I met recently), Jesse Jackson, and Coretta Scott King.  I began to wonder what our lives would look like today with these pioneers.  The sacrifice that they made for freedoms sake is poignant to say the least.

king2Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Coretta Scott Kings Burial Siteking3

While there I had conversations with some of the people who were also there.  Some with their young kids, some of various races, some on a mission to also reflect back on what their lives too would look like without these legends who risked their lives for justice.  A black gentleman with his two young sons said to me that he really wanted his kids to get a good visual as to what things looked like for blacks in America just only a few decades ago.  As I stood in one place I overhead a young white lady say to her mother “this is just horrible.”  Pictures can only begin to tell the story of what has happened in the past, and in some instances what continues to happen even to this day.  There are still too many stories about blacks getting beaten or killed by white cops and we’re in 2015.  Let us to continue to march on…’til victory is won!        kingking1

king11The New Ebenezer Baptist Church

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