Tag Archives: Eric Garner

How We, Not the Department of Justice, Must Respond to the Murder of Alton Sterling: Yes, We MUST Respond to this Modern Day Lynching

If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

Claude McKay

Although my heart is involuntarily responding with a feeling that it is fortunate that Alton Sterling’s murder by two Baton Rogue police ALTON STERLING 1officers was caught on tape, however, there is an over-riding logical part of my mind that realizes that concrete proof and evidence of what amounts to blatant murder is still insufficient to meet the threshold of believable for those outside of our community who go to outrageous lengths to explain away such occurrences as if they never happened. Put simply, from the perspective of many whites, Alton Sterling, and every African-American that you know, including yourself, are simply too black to be worthy of living.

Anyone who is able to watch the horrific cell phone footage displaying not only the unnecessary initial attack from two rogue officers that swept Sterling from his feet, but also the continuation of the attack that included officers pinning the 37 year old African-American male to the ground prior to shouting “He’s got a gun” before shooting him several times at point blank range that does not have a sorrowful spirit is quite simply incapable of recognizing the humanity of African-Americans and should therefore be considered less than human themselves; only a ‘Devil’ would be able to justify this obvious case of murder.

Now I am certain that there will be a few racial apologists who say, “well he had a gun”, rest assured that the reason officers were called to this location was because a report had been issued that this gentleman was in possession of a gun. Considering this crucial fact, the officer shouting “He’s got a gun” should be considered little more than a rehearsed ruse that these two officers thought would justify what amounts to pre-meditated murder.

Although I am far from expecting an apology regarding this matter from white America, I would like for them to realize that it is the politico economic violence emanating from their community that continues to stoke the fires of racial discord in America. After centuries of lynching, the beating of Rodney King, the taped murders of Eric Garner and now Alton Sterling, I am here to tell you that our options have dwindled; we will either fight this enemy on every front or die an inglorious death.

One would be hard-pressed to argue against the reality that it is time for African-Americans to meet the political, economic, and physical violence that whites have comfortably executed upon our community with similar, yet much more intense, actions and activities.

It is time for all African-Americans to throw the gauntlet down in an unprecedented manner and turn our focus upon building our own ALTON STERLING 2community via political organization, economic self-sufficiency, and an unconditional love that trumps the apparent fear that we have of whites, particularly so-called law enforcement officers. It sickens me to see by-standers observe an African-American male being tackled and then shot in the chest by what amounts to as a gang of gun wielding thugs and they do nothing more than pull out their cell phones as if they are whites who are anxious to secure a piece of a lynched Negro body in the wake of a 19th Century lynching. Make no mistake about it, the actions of these racist law enforcement officers would make groups such as the Crips and Bloods cringe.

Brothers and sisters, it is clear who the enemy is and what our response to their multi-pronged violent attacks needs to be.

Please don’t consider this a warning shot aimed at the enemy, rather, it is a rallying call for our people to forgive prior offenses with your own kind and forget the teachings that have planted seeds of doubt and despair that have long ago taken root and sprouted in your hearts and minds. ‘Seize the Time’ and let’s reverse this historic trend of in-fighting among our own. Quit delaying the inevitable, turn and face your enemy, let’s answer that age old question of “who’s better in what will invariably be an unfair fight.”

Brothers and Sisters, please

  • Commit yourself to no longer giving your dollars away to those who do not look like you as it is economic suicide.
  • Commit yourself to loving your brother and sister.
  • Commit yourself to being a righteous Black Man or Woman.
  • Love and embrace your own with an unending love for their well-being.
  • Protect them as you wish to be protected against any and all marauding forces that seek to attack them regardless of if the attack is political, economic, or physical.
  • Remember that we are family and it is most certainly time for us to defend our communities while also building it.

Focus my brothers and sisters!!!!! The enemy has once again breached our door and now it is time that we respond in kind with a more significant force that will make them think twice about creating such a criminal act again.

Trust that God sees all and he is most certainly not pleased with our cowardice.

“Up You Mighty Race, Achieve What You Will!!!!!!!!”

Dan Freeman

©Manhood, Race & Culture, 2016

WHY BLACK AMERICA HAS IGNORED A SERIAL RAPIST OF BLACK WOMEN

“The most disrespected person in America

is the Black woman, the most unprotected

person in America is the Black woman.

The most neglected person in America

is the Black woman.”

—– Malcolm X —–

 

Let’s face facts! For the majority of the nation, including a good portion of our own community, they are TOO Black, TOO Loud, TOO Lascivious, and TOO Ignorant to be cared about. A slanted reading of History tells their tale of being little more than a big butt or someone to visit when you want some wild bestial sexual escapade; they are best represented by the personas of video vixens that are created in the patriarchal imagination of some cinematographer. Many women come to mind, women such as: Karrine “Superhead” Steffans, Amber Rose, Esther Baxter, Keyshia Dior, Melyssa Ford, Black Chyna and Draya Michele.

I speak of the Black woman, a group that regardless of their individual academic or vixen3professional accomplishments are never viewed as ‘anything’ higher than an exotic animal with a big butt; unfortunately, too many of their own, meaning African-American men also view them in this unfavorable light.

I can think of no other logical reason that Black America has ignored the trial of Daniel Holtzclaw.

I must admit that I was also unaware of who Daniel Holtzclaw, 28, was until I viewed some random news show such as 60 Minutes or 20/20. I was shocked to learn that Hotzclaw, a law enforcement officer and former collegiate football player with serious aspirations of making it to the National Football League, had raped and/or sodomized thirteen Oklahoma holtzclaw1City African-American women while patrolling the African-American community in the period between February – June 2014. Holtzclaw is currently facing 36 counts of rape, sexual battery, and forcible oral sodomy of 13 Black women whose ages range from 17 to 54.

One would think that such activities from a law enforcement officer who is supposed to “Serve & Protect” law-abiding citizens would be the lead story for months; particularly during this moment where officers’ authority is scrutinized on a daily basis. However, there was nary a peep regarding Holtzclaw’s activities from anyone other than the victims, many of whom were hesitant to come forward.

Although it is difficult to admit, Black America, including African-American women, has quite simply been too busy with other pressing racial matters — Ferguson, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Mizzou, Bill Cosby — to pay much attention to a serial rapist who victimized droves of African-American women.

As they have been known to do, African-American women apparently made the conscious decision to place their victimization on the back-burner and busied themselves protecting and uplifting their men and their beloved community. One of the greatest examples of such is the post-slavery decision to make lynching, instead of the more common rape/sexual assault that African-American women were subjected to, the single-greatest issue facing Blacks in the late-19th Century and early 20th Century.

African-American women have commonly operated from a logical perspective that if the lot of Black men improved, then they would also be taken care of. Unfortunately for African-American women, this expected reciprocity remains undelivered to this very day. Many African-American men behave as if their ‘sisters’ are little more than a survival tool that can be used when needed and discarded when of no longer utility.

In light of this dubious history, it is unsurprising that the African-American community, including self-sacrificing Black holtzclawwomen, have no idea of who Daniel Holtzclaw is, let alone the horrific crimes he committed. There have been no hashtags, social media campaigns, or columns written to propagate this matter. We, meaning the entire African-American community, have remained silent.

Make no mistake about it, this silence is derived from the fact that we, meaning every segment of the African-American community, do not cherish and value Black women the Assataway that we should. Although we know that they are our mother’s, sisters, aunt’s, girlfriends, daughters, and wives, it appears that for a wide-swath of Black males they have come to believe that Karrine ‘Superhead’ Steffans is a more apt representation of the Black woman than Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, or Assata Shakur.

Although the current climate of activism that we see occurring in the African-American community is long overdue, there is a tendency to focus upon certain types of injustice over others. Unfortunately for African-American women, it appears that they are once again at the back of the bus when it comes to our community rallying around issues affecting them and as they have been known to do, they suffer in silence and take one for the team. It appears that the only exception to this rule is if an African-American woman has been killed by a law enforcement officer who happens to be white.

I intuitively desire to resist Malcolm X’s admonishment that “the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” However, I can not truthfully say that there is a major part of me that knows he is speaking the unadulterated truth. And for that, I am ashamed of the Black men who have consciously chosen to continue one of our communities most unfortunate traditions, the denigration and disrespect of our mother’s, sisters, aunt’s, girlfriends, daughters, and wives.

James Thomas Jones III

#ManhoodRaceCulture

#AfricanAmericanNewsandIssues

This is Not the Way: How Violence towards Police Makes Matters Worse

Following numerous grand jury decisions not to indict police officers involved in questionable shootings, many have staged protests in the streets and through various social media avenues. But some individuals have gone too far.

On the afternoon of December 20th, 2014, two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were executed by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley as revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Later that Michael Brownnext week, several people were detained for making terroristic threats against the NYPD. In Los Angeles and Florida, cops were shot at while sitting in their patrol cars. Unfortunately, there are some individuals that have supported and commended these actions.

I must personally say that this way of thinking and behavior is the last thing the Black community needs at this particular moment in time.

In my opinion, anyone who supports random acts of violence against the police is quite foolish, to say the least. How on earth can we as a community cry out against police brutality and senseless violence and then sanction the senseless and needless death of innocent Ferguson 1police officers?  At this juncture in time when there is so much tension between police and civilians, the last thing we need is foolish behavior that endangers lives and exacerbates this already hostile situation. Actions like this will only make things worse.

There is a stereotype held by some that African Americans are hyper-violent, aggressive individuals who have no respect for authority. Violent behavior by our own towards law enforcement officers, unfortunately gives credence to that notion, which in turn could lead to officers being more inclined to be aggressive and violent towards African American civilians.

I must ask the members of our community who utter phrases like  “Kill the cops”, or “All cops are bad cops” to please refrain from doing so. It is extremely  hypocritical to ask that law enforcement not label us all as criminals and wrongdoers, when we in turn assert that all cops are bad. We cannot have our cake and eat it too .There are good cops and there are bad cops just like there are good and bad people in our race and every race.  The bad individuals  are the exception and not the rule.

Given the on-going discussions concerning police brutality, the Black community should act in a constructive fashion.  And last time I checked, random violence towards the police is a far distance from constructive. Instead of acting violently towards law enforcement we as Americans should be actively encouraging our legislators and leaders of our local municipalities  to reform the grand jury system and  current policing procedures. Lastly, I ask one question: To anyone sanctioning these actions against officers, if it was your family member that was randomly and senselessly attacked would you think it was ok?

Alexander Goodwin

#ManhoodRaceCulture

© Manhood, Race, and Culture 2015

 

 

 

 

 

The Ballad of Craig Hodges: How Black NBA Stars have betrayed the Jordan Rules and Begun Resisting the Implicit Expectations and Demands of NBA Ownership

For those who have watched the National Basketball Association over the past four decades they can attest that the league has grown by leaps and bounds. Although many believe that the NBA has always been on dr jsolid footing from the moment of its creation, that belief is simply not true. In fact, the league was struggling until the ABA folded and Julius Irving, or as we like to call him Dr. J, arrived. However, it was not until ‘Magic’ Johnson and Larry Bird arrived that interest in the NBA reached unprecedented levels.

I feel sorry for those who are too young to remember the titanic battles between the Lakers, Black folks team, and the Celtics, white folk’s team. Most thought that things could not get any better in regards to the NBA’s popularity, however, they were wrong, and I do mean very wrong. What we thought was the apex of NBA popularity would appear mundane when Michael jordan 1Jordan arrived and took the NBA brand around the globe and placed a basketball in the hands of children in India, Iraq, Ghana, Britain, Brazil, Ice Land, Jamaica, and any other nation with cable television. Although we failed to recognize it, Jordan’s fame destroyed one of African-American athletes, regardless of the sport, greatest traditions; social activism and the ability to speak out on racial injustice. Athletes learned that their foremost job, even before their on-court performance was that they were never to damage the NBA’s image with any form, shape, or fashion of political commentary or social activism.

For those who doubt the veracity of this unspoken arrangement, they need to consider the case of Craig Hodges, a member of many of those NBA Championship teams that built the legend of Michael Jordan. hodges and jordanHodges was unrivaled at the time as a three-point specialist. It was what he did, and truthfully it was all that he needed to do. Hodges holds the distinction of being one of two NBA players to win three consecutive 3-point shooting contest during the NBA All Star weekend, the other, Larry Bird; whom Hodges defeated. Hodges’ streak ended not after being defeated by another NBA player; rather he was inexplicably cut from the Bulls roster for non-basketball related reasons. Hodges’ run with the Bulls was unceremoniously cut short after he attempted to politicize his teammates via a growing relationship with Nation of Islam leader, The Honorable Louis Farrakhan. NBA owners were apparently aghast that Hodges had the unmitigated gall to challenge Black athletes to do more work within the African-American community that had raised each of them.

From the perspective of the all-white owners collective, Hodges violated the first rule of being extended the privilege of playing in the NBA, he publicly damaged the leagues image when he traveled to the White House to be honored for yet another Championship season and not only stood before President Bush wearing a dashiki, but also capitalized upon the moment and passed the President a letter urging him to address the worsening socioeconomic issues plaguing the Black community. A short time later, Hodges was released by the Bulls. Hodges remembers, “I was outspoken, but I wasn’t disrespectful. I was never in trouble for drugs, or guns or raping women or anything like that. I just wanted to help my community, and that made me a troublemaker. What I did at the White House embarrassed the league, and it made a lot of people uncomfortable, and they did something about it.”

”It’s well known through the league that there may be repercussions if you speak out too strongly on some sensitive issues,” said Buck Williams, a forward player and head of the players association. ”I don’t know if Hodges lost his job because of it, but it is a burden when you carry the militant label he has.”

Hodges told LZ Granderson, a senior writer for ESPN the Magazine, “I went from making $600,000 a year to making nothing. No one would take my calls, no one would give me a chance. I went from helping a team win it all, to all of a sudden not being good enough to play for the worst team in the league. Do I think the league had it out for me? You tell me.”

So it is with great interest that I watch today’s NBA stars issue political commentary regarding the Eric Garner case before a majority white audience. In case you missed it, NBA athletes such as Lebron James, nets i cant breatheDerrick Rose, Kevin Garnett, and Kyrie Irving have all worn black t-shirts with the statement “I Can’t Breathe” written across the front.

Most surprising is Lebron James, the NBA’s greatest asset in regards to publicizing the league, boldness in leading the players into what can best be termed a post-Jordan period of political commentary and social activism. It appears now that NBA players, many of whom possess the same feelings as Craig Hodges in regards to helping their rose i can't breatheindigenous community, are only allowed to speak on social issues when the league’s most prominent figure leads the way; such a development provides yet another reason for us to cast a disparaging eye upon Michael Jordan’s lack of social activism. One must remember that it was Michael Jordan who refused to publicly endorse a political party, let alone a particular candidate, and explained his refusal by stating that “Republicans buy tennis shoes as well.” However, it appears that under the King James Reign the NBA players’ tongues have been loosened and they will boldly and stridently speak truth to power.

James, having witnessed Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose wear an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt during warm-ups the night before, donned his own T-shirt prior to a game with the Brooklyn Nets the following night. James, one of the few players to by-pass a collegiate experience by making the leap from high school to the NBA, displays an uncanny understanding of his personal responsibility to the larger society. James stated that the shirts were a simple, relatively non-disruptive, way to issue political commentary regarding a prominent social issue. James expounded upon his intentions,

“I’ve been quoted over and over about what’s going on as far as it’s more of a notion lebron breatheto the family, more than anything. Obviously, as a society we have to do better. We have to be better for one another. It doesn’t matter what race you are. It’s more of a shout out to the family more than anything, because they’re the ones that should be getting all the energy and effort.”

The saying goes that there is strength in numbers, the blatant injustice of the Eric Garner murder has caused many voices to rise that are normally muted. Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams is one such individual. Williams related to ESPN that

“I try to kinda distance myself from [social issues]…but this is one where I kinda really paid attention and saw what was going on…I mean, you can see the [Garner] video and you know what happened. It’s not one of those things where people are saying this and the cops are saying that. It’s there for you to see. You just feel bad that a man lost his life because of that.”

Making this moment particularly ironic is that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was in attendance. Predictably, the league kyrie i cant breatheCommissioner walked a fine line and simply remarked that he respected the rights of “…our players for voicing their personal views on important issues but my preference would be for players to abide by our on-court attire rules.” Players are required to wear Adidas attire, the league’s official apparel provider, while on a NBA court.

Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins, an African-American, summed up this important moment by stating that the players,

“…should be political. They should be about social awareness. Basketball is just a small part of life. If they don’t think that there is justice or they feel like there is something that they should protest…That is their right as citizens of America…I have no problem with it at all.”

Although it took decades to occur, it appears that the pendulum regarding African-American athletes and politicization has come full circle. Their tongues have been at least partially loosened and their political consciousness slightly awakened. The Jordan years, years that produced a deafening silence on racial matters, are apparently no more. Too bad that Craig Hodges’ playing days are long behind him, it now appears that he was truly a man born way before his time.

James Thomas Jones III, Ph.D., M.A., M.A., M.A.

#ManhoodRaceCulture

Nothing But a Northern Lynching: How the Murder of Eric Garner is Being Explained Away

“We believe Mr. Garner made a choice that day to resist arrest.”

“You cannot go out and break the law. What we did not hear is that you cannot resist arrest. That’s a crime.”

“Officer Pantaleo did not use a chokehold, he used a headlock which is an acceptable take-down maneuver.”

                –Patrick Lynch

These are the words of Patrick Lynch in support of the decision of a grand jury to decline to press charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the man who choked 42 year old father of six Eric Garner to death. Mr.  Lynch is the current president of the New York City’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which is the police union for the city of New York. These statements along with others made by Lynch placed the blame on one person in the incident on July 17th that took Eric Garners life: Eric Garner himself. During a press conference Lynch also said that Garner was complicit in his own death citing health issues and his decision to resist arrest. Not only are these statements completely egregious and erroneous, but also extremely idiotic.

According to the NYPD police were dispatched out to the Staten Island area to investigate Eric Garner, who was under suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes.  Mr. Garner repeatedly reiterated to the several officers who were on the scene that he was not committing any criminal act or offense of any kind. He was then attacked and placed in chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo and taken to the ground by fellow officers. Mr. Garner shouted nearly a dozen times that he could not breathe. These officers ignored him and he died on the street.  To make it worse as many of you have seen, this incident was captured on video.  The video evidence does not support any statement Mr. Lynch made whatsoever.

The notion that Eric Garner is complicit in his own death is despicable. Lynch said Mr. Garner was breaking the law and resisting arrest.   The witnesses at the scene and the video evidence provide an alternate narrative that does not support Mr. Lynch’s assertions whatsoever. According to witnesses, Mr. Garner was breaking up a physical altercation and not engaging in wrongdoing of any kind when he was approached by officers. But to play devil’s advocate, if he was resisting arrest, the officers could have used other mechanisms to subdue Mr. Garner such has pepper spray, or a Taser. The fact that they immediately resorted to deadly force is wrong. Not to mention the fact that Mr. Garner was not a murder suspect, rapist, or drug trafficker. He did not deserve to die due to suspicion he was selling untaxed cigarettes.

That brings me to my next point. Mr. Lynch said that Officer Pantaleo did not use a chokehold, but rather a headlock, which is a legal maneuver to subdue Eric Garner. I must ask Patrick Lynch. What video of the incident were you watching? He asserted Officer Pantaleo used a headlock. Well, that so-called “headlock” restricted Eric Garner’s airways to the point where he was asphyxiated and died on the street. Not to mention the fact that the autopsy showed that Garner died as a result of being choked. So therefore, Pantaleo did not use a “headlock” it was in fact a chokehold. Which last time I checked was illegal? If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s not a damn mongoose.

And for Mr. Lynch to suggest that Eric Garner somehow died due to his health issues is disgraceful. The autopsy showed Garner suffered from asthma, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Mr. Lynch used these ailments to say that these were the main contributing factors in Garner’s death. Last time I checked, that video did not depict Eric Garner randomly having a fatal asthma attack, heart attack, or falling suddenly into cardiac arrest. That video clearly showed an illegal choke hold being placed on him which directly caused his untimely death.  Only one person is responsible for the death of Eric Garner. That person is Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Patrick Lynch should be ashamed of himself for making such ignorant and irresponsible comments. The fact the he in essence sanctioned the murder of an innocent civilian by a public servant is flat out wrong. By supporting Officer Pantaleo’s illegal actions, Lynch is making it crystal clear that this type of lawless behavior by law enforcement officials is sanctioned by the NYPD.  He instead should be calling for better training for officers in the police academies on how to deal with suspects rather than blaming a deceased individual for his own death.

Alexander Goodwin

#ManhoodRaceCulture