Monday, December 08, 2014

Monday News in early December 2014 (On Justice)

This has been going on for a long time. The systemic killing of unarmed, innocent black people is an abomination. The system definitely is intolerable. When a grand jury can’t even indict a murderer, who was caught on video murdering Eric Garner, then we have a national crisis. The murderer should not be the only one punished. The surrounding officers, the cowardly officers who stood there and did nothing, and the disgraceful EMT workers (who did an amazingly horrendous job in trying to respond to Eric Garner) ought to be punished as well. Many of the same ones lecturing black people on “personal responsibility” refuse to allow crooked, evil cops to experience responsibility for their criminal actions. Reform can only do so much. We need revolutionary change where the dignity and the human lives of black people are respected. It is not a secret that white racist cops are found in police agencies nationwide. These bigoted, evil, and racist text messages document the evil anti-black bias which is found among many cops. Crooked cops have a lack of empathy and they have an arrogance of power. Racism is not just found among many cops. It is found all throughout mainstream society. So, these racist cops should be punished. My view is that Bratton needs to be fired. He is one architect of the corrupt policies that some of the police enforce in the first place. We all wish the best for De Blasio's son. Many people (of numerous backgrounds) uniting in NYC for the cause is inspiring. There has been huge protests in NYC and nationwide. There must be change since we have a national crisis. Enough is Enough. Unjust laws must be changed. Crooked cops must be punished. Black people have every right to fight for what is right. Policies must change and human dignity must be respected. We have to care for a living wage, we have to care for improving the environment, and we should reject silly gender wars (which distract from promoting unity among Brothers and Sisters). Distractions don't matter. The divide and conquer strategy used by the elites ought to be rejected. What matters involve us learning, teaching, and caring for people. What matters is that we are not all alone and we are in this together as Brothers and Sisters. A lot of the problems in the CRIMINAL JUSTICE system deal with race and class. If someone is poor and they lack legal representation in a great level or they lack resources, they have a higher chance of being convicted than a rich person with an abundance of legal resources. Also, the prosecutors have a huge amount of legal discretion. That is why many poor people take plea deals (regardless if they are innocent or guilty) to avoid the expensive costs of trials or avoid lengthy prison sentences. Even with the plea deal that stays on your record and job opportunities can be readily gone (even if you were convicted of a misdemeanor in some cases). Many prosecutors can organize grand juries without even sending someone to a jury trial. Also, there is racism in the judicial system too. Many black people suffer harsher sentences than white people on drug charges even if they are convicted for the same offense (which is a reality). Therefore, we have a huge problem in America. There is an evil anti-black bias embraced by many cops. The legal system has ruined the lives of so many Brothers and Sisters (including others of diverse backgrounds too). That is why there must be a change. The status quo must end. The black community has every right to stand up for real change and to fight for justice unapologetically. We now know about the recent report that DETAILS how the Cleveland police department has a corruption problem. Loehmann’s bizarre and reckless behavior in 2012 could have easily caused him to not be on the Cleveland police force. If Leohmann was not on the force as an officer, Tamir might have been alive today. In the final analysis, the credibility of the police leadership is lacking in Cleveland and in other places nationally. These crooked officers aren’t the only ones that should be punished. Leadership in various departments has to be held into a high standard. Like other people have mentioned, the family of Tamir have every justification to sue the police department. A police job is very serious, because one action can cause someone to die literally. That is why Leohmann should not have been on the force. 2012 is not really a long time ago. That is only 2 years from 2014. This information proves why people are upset and why people are protesting in NYC, Philadelphia, Denver, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Oakland, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis, Ferguson, and other places. RIP Tamir Rice.

Cornell West and others are right that if a leader strongly stands up against capitalist power and imperialism in a strong way, then that leader can be demonized and condemned by mainstream society. Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. questioned capitalism and they were opposed by the white supremacist system. Each man opposed the Vietnam War. When Dr. King opposed the Vietnam War, he was vilified by the establishment including bourgeois politicians and bourgeois black “civil rights leaders.” Dr. King wanted his Poor Peoples Campaign to end poverty in America. So, we have to speak truth to power regardless of the opposition. Being unapologetically black is to oppose imperialism and neo-colonialism. The African independence movement during the 20th century was by definition being opposed to imperialism and colonialism. Roland Martin made an excellent point about how black people should create more of our own institutions. I do agree with Cornell West that Sister Viola Davis is a beautiful woman. Black people have every right to condemn Empire, fight white supremacy, and to establish justice. We should always embrace our blackness unapologetically. People are tired of oppression. People are tired of police terror in communities nationwide. That is why the people are out in the streets making their voices heard. Of course, we should do more than protesting, but something positive and constructive is better than doing nothing. We are all in solidarity with those who desire real change.

African culture is very diverse. It deals with literature, food, music, art, architecture, music, languages, clothing, dance, etc. African culture is not stationary. It has spread all over the world too. The development of African culture has continued as result of the post-independence movement in Africa to. African art is very functional and very dynamic. The BaKongo masks from the Central region of Africa have great detail too. A Yombe sculpture found in the Louvre Museum of Paris, France, is a powerful work. African arts and crafts include sculpture, paintings, potter, ceremonial including religious headgear, and dress. Jewelry is readily found in African culture too. African art deals with cultural themes of family too. Some art show a couple, a woman with a child, a male with a weapon or animal, and a stranger (or outsider). Folktales are a very important part of African cultures. Folktales are stories that deal with promoting cultural development or to preserve a story about a culture. Storytelling builds up strength in African culture. Some storytelling can be used for educational purposes (like the promotion of good character, righteous living, and how to handle everyday life in general) or for entertainment purposes. Some storytellers use the command of “gai Itha” to begin the story and get the audience’s attention. While, the command of “Rukirka” can be used by a storyteller to signal the end of a tale. Clothing is a very important part of African culture. Many people already know about the Ashanti Kente cloth patterns found in Africa and worldwide. African clothing is vibrantly colored. Many women in Africa wear dressed covering their heads and the rest of their bodies. Kenyan women have worn the kanga. There is the dashiki worn in Africa including the grand boubou. The Tuareg are known for wearing indigo robes. In East Africa, the kanzu (including the traditional kofia hat, which is called the Kufi in West Africa) is the traditional clothing worn by Swahili speaking men. The Madiba shirt is commonly worn in South Africa. African literature is not just oral. It has been written too. Among the first pieces of African literature to receive significant worldwide critical acclaim was Things Fall Apart, by Brother Chinua Achebe. Published in 1958, late in the colonial era, Things Fall Apart analyzed the effect of colonialism on traditional African society. Wole Soyinka is a great writer too. One younger writer in our generation is Nigerian Sister Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The Exodus is a story that is religious. It has been read by countless people throughout the ages. It deals with slavery, freedom, love, community, spirituality, and an enumerable amount of issues. The movie “Of Gods and Kings” claims to mention about the Exodus story. Yet, there is a controversy behind the recent 2014. We know what it is. For years and decades, the establishment has whitewashed history literally in books, movies, TV shows, magazines, etc. The inaccuracies promotes by many factions in society has not only told many people lies, but it has downplayed the magnificent contributions that black people including other people of color have made all throughout human history. So, if we want to be free, then we have to show the truth. The actors and actresses of the movie are white Europeans. The truth is that tons of black people lived in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egypt was never created by white, northern Europeans. Ancient Egypt was an African civilization. Papyrus, documents, and other scholarship proved that black people and people of color lived in ancient Egypt. Even the old 10 Commandments (though they showed the ancient Egyptians as totally white, which is false) showed some black Nubians in the film. We, as black people, have every right to set the record straight and to stand up for our human dignity. The movie “Of Gods and Kings” shows Hollywood fantasy and not reality. Before, Greece, before Rome, before the Celts, and before the Renaissance, ancient Nubia and ancient Egypt flourished in the Motherland of Africa. Ancient Nubia and ancient Egypt had languages, cultures, literary scripts, governments, religious traditions, and other components of advanced civilizations. People should know and understand that. The bigger issue is that the establishment of Hollywood has always glamorized white power and seeks to degrade the accomplishments of those of black African descent. So, this recent movie insults the intelligence of people. Of Gods and Kings should be viewed as total fiction. Now, what is true is that we should continue to stand up for freedom and justice.

By Timothy


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