Tag Archives: Ferguson

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

It was only a Matter of Time: The End of the Peaceful Protest in Ferguson

I have lived long enough and studied history diligently enough to recognize that perspective means everything during conflicts such as the extended racial fight that is occurring in Ferguson Missouri. It is the alluded to matter of perspective that informs our judgment of conflicts.

For example, if one were to view the American Revolution from the perspective of colonists, George Washington is a heroic figure that should be lauded by all of those who love freedom, while the British would consider this same figure a treasonous traitor who learned military science at their foot and then used it against them. The divergent perspectives are attributable to perspective.

Maybe another example will convince you of my general point. An individual who throws a Molotov Cocktail into a crowded café that results in the deaths of innocent civilians is simultaneously hailed as a hero and villain for the same action by those who have differing perspectives of the event.

It is this issue of perspective that has caused Americans to either denounce the recent ferguson1shooting of two officers in front of the Ferguson Missouri Police station as a despicable cowardly act or celebrate it as a valorous revolutionary statement that must be replicated.

As an African-American male who is guided by a moral principle that leads him to execute acts of kindness to complete strangers, regardless of race/ethnicity, and does his best to stay within the confines of the Law, yet has been harassed and ‘roughed up’ by law enforcement officers on several occasions, this action places me in a moral quandary. In the words of W.E.B. Du Bois,

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He WEBwould not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.

So at moments such as these, there is a patriotic side of many African-American males that urges them to denounce such seditious activities, while there is also another side that causes them to rejoice at the strike for liberation.

However, I am at a loss for words for why many are shocked that someone individual(s) took the initiative and struck out against those that have served as the military wing of the rich and wealthy in this nation for Ferguson 2centuries. Ironically, the individual(s) that committed this act are operating out of the tradition that birthed this nation, put simply, they are actively resisting tyranny. It was the ‘founding fathers’ determination to not be the slaves of Great Britain that caused figures such as Patrick Henry to publicly yell, “give me freedom or give me death.” It is the pursuit of freedom that led colonial leaders to throw off the yoke of British oppression ‘by any means necessary.’

So there is no doubt that the gunman who pulled the trigger and fired the bullets that seriously wounded two officers last night was operating out of the same tradition that  Patrick Henry related via his often cited mantra and struck a revolutionary and liberating blow for the oppressed huddled masses. And if you can not see that, you may need to look from another perspective.

James Thomas Jones III, Ph.D.

#ManhoodRaceCulture

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2015

Have we not learned?: A Message to the violent protesters in Ferguson

After prosecutor Bob McCullough announced that a grand jury decided against indicting Darren Wilson for murdering unarmed black teenager Michael ferguson2Brown Jr., immediately thereafter, widespread violence and looting began in Ferguson Missouri.  Several businesses, police cars, and other commercial buildings in the area were burned. This is sad and disheartening.

I ask the people of Ferguson in particular, and African-Americans in general, have we not learned from the Watts Riots, the L.A. Riots, and the nationwide riots following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Put simply, rioting gets nothing done? We have MLKrepeatedly seen that destroying our own neighborhoods only hurts us. When the fires are put out and the dust settles little change results.

Though the anger and disappointment felt by the Ferguson community is not only justified, but also understood by the majority of Americans, the decision, made by a vocal minority, to burn buildings, loot stores, and destroy local businesses is disturbing as the vandalizing of local homes and businesses, the backbones of our community, irrationally cripples the Black collective. How in God’s name is breaking into a shoe store and stealing 50 pairs of Air Jordan sneakers honoring the life of Michael Brown? Simply put, it does not!

So I beg the people of Ferguson, Missouri, and the surrounding areas, if you must protest the grand jury’s decision, please do so peacefully. There are constructive ways to come about making a change. And to be quite honest ferguson4rioting, looting, disorder and anarchy is a distance from being constructive. Instead of responding in an emotional fashion, we as a black community need to move toward developing mechanism to preclude this issue from occurring again.

Instead of just screaming to the high heavens about problems, lets become solution oriented and work towards eliminating and neutralizing the issues that disproportionately affect the African-American community. Michael Brown ParentsLet’s all join the family of Michael Brown Jr. family and petition tour local lawmakers and legislatures to make it mandatory that all police officers were body cameras. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a notable tangible difference. Such action is the only way of both honoring Michael Brown and preventing this tragedy, including the decision to not indict a rogue police officer, from ever occurring again.

Alexander Goodwin

#ManhoodRaceCulture

An Open Letter to White America: ‘If you do what you always did, you’ll continue to get what you always got.’

As this nation awakes from what was for the vast majority of its African-American citizens a tenuous slumber, there should be no doubt that America most certainly did not enter into a post-race period as many alleged with the WEBelection of Barack Hussein Obama. Clearly, W.E.B. Du Bois admonishment that “the problem of the twentieth-century is the problem of the color line” is holding sway into the new millennium.

One of the most revealing aspects of this nation is the reality that there are multiple Americas being experienced by a racially diverse and class-stratified citizenry. The noted public intellectual Andrew Hacker’s manuscript, Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal, published in 2003, illuminated this issue. Despite the best efforts of the more privileged segments of this society to deny this reality, the truth remains that neither I, nor my eleven year old son, live in the same America that our average white male peers navigate.

As innumerable scholars have shown in their studies, it is psychologically difficult and morally exasperating to be ‘Black’ in America. It is a struggle that not even those living in close proximity are able to comprehend or kkk2sympathize with. Unfortunately for African-Americans, time does absolutely nothing to lessen the affect of race and racism within this nation; the racial divide is apparently here to stay. A poll conducted by CNN/ORC prior to the Ferguson Grand Jury decision verified this reality with the following findings.

  • 54% of nonwhites say Wilson should be charged with murder
  • 23% of whites say Wilson should be charged with murder
  • 38% of whites say Wilson should not be charged with any crime
  • 85% of nonwhites say Wilson should be charged with a crime
  • 19% of whites said some or most police officers are prejudiced against blacks
  • 67% of nonwhites believe that most police officers are not prejudiced
  • 50% of all whites say that “almost none” or “none” of the police in their areas are prejudiced against blacks
  • 65% of nonwhites disagreed with the above view.

These findings reminded me of an earlier mid-1960s Gallup Poll conducted in the Bay Area, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The study revealed a racially divided Bay Area over a half-century ago. The alluded to poll revealed a hopelessly separate and unequal Bay Area, one portion occupied by poor African-Americans and the other by wealthy and politically powerful whites.

  • African-Americans were five times more likely to believe allegations of police brutality than white residents.
  • African-American youth were nine times more likely to believe in occurrences of police misconduct, particularly brutality, than the average white citizen.

The National Commission on the Cause and Prevention of Violence, published in 1968, shed light upon nation wide problems occurring between African-Americans and law enforcement personnel.

“For the black citizen, the policeman has long since ceased to be a neutral symbol of law and order…blacks perceive the police as hostile, Charliprejudiced, and corrupt…Many ghetto Blacks see the police as an occupying army…In view of these facts, the adoption of the idea of self-defense is not surprising.”

The head of the Oakland Police Department Welfare Association declared that African-Americans’ unceasing agitation for a citizen review board related a “deep suspicion of our entire system of government since the advocates, by asking for a review board, are saying that they are unable to obtain justice through normal established democratic processes.”

Unbeknownst to our white contemporaries, this issue of police brutality has been as much a hallmark of American history as ‘Apple pie.’ So white America, please forgive us if we have no faith in the ability of a particular Grand Jury system or the entire judicial system to offer a modicum of justice for African-American victims; we have become used to it, not necessarily desensitized to the occurrence of grave miscarriages of justice.

We only ask that you, and your kind, honor the popular saying of ‘if you do what you always did, you’re gonna get what you always got.’ Impoverished African-Americans are simply following your lead and expressing decades of personal frustration and collective anger upon this nation in response to the racial injustice lynch2that you feel so comfortable doling out to them. As they have repeatedly stated, “no justice, no peace.” As usual, the ball is in white America’s court and as long as they continue to serve no justice, the African-American masses will return their service with a volley of no peace.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

#ManhoodRaceCulture

The Black Panther Party’s Huey P. Newton Addresses Rioting

Divided, confused, fighting amongst ourselves, we are still in the elementary stage of throwing rocks, sticks, empty wine bottles and beer cans at racist police who lie in wait Hueyfor a chance to murder unarmed Black people. The racist police have worked out a system for suppressing these spontaneous rebellions that flare up from the anger, frustration, and desperation of the masses of Black people. We can no longer afford the dubious luxury of the terrible casualties wantonly inflicted upon us by the police during these rebellions.

Huey P. Newton (1967)