Thursday, October 24, 2013

Russell Brand on the BBC's Newsnight..You Marry me NAOW!

No, I’m not leaving my Sweetie actually, what I want to wed are his ideas, but more specifically the lyrical way he presents them in interviews.

Actor and comedian Russell Brand is calling for a political and philosophical revolution in his guest editorship of the New Statesman magazine, and he explained what he wants to see in a passionately argued interview on BBC’s “Newsnight.”
Combative host Jeremy Paxson asked the British actor, who’s known for his past drug use and his brief marriage to pop singer Katy Perry, what gave him the right to promote his political beliefs, particularly since he’s never voted.
“I don’t get my authority from this preexisting paradigm, which is quite narrow and only serves a few people,” Brand said. “I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity.”
 He continued, issuing reams of prose even as the veteran TV reporter challenged him to defend his arguments.

This is the third example I’ve seen in the last little while of this man speaking some very stark truth in a very entertaining yet extremely poignant manner.

His attitude about voting I don’t believe serves American interests at this time, but I certainly understand why he holds them.

Russell Brand appears to be his generations John Lennon.  I have no problem with what he’s trying to say.

Bonus Coverage!

Just because I love seeing Mika Brzezinski being shaken like an Alan Iverson crossover.

Namaste Friends!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The American Truth and Reconciliation Commission

I would like to propose a tool the South African people used to great effect, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission except an American one.

The most appealing aspect of this idea to me is that of Truth.  We would have stakeholders from say, not just Native peoples, but the issues of a Native person from the plains and from Alaska.  We would have not just Asians, but Japanese to speak of internment, Chinese to speak of their experiences in America’s cities.  We should have stake holders for everyone to write in an event where all of American history is discussed.

We can discuss the individual experience of every wave of immigration we have been blessed with and finally expose any painful myths laying underneath like how Italian people are seen as mafia dons, or just anything.

I've always felt that our reconstruction after the civil war was designed to reconcile Northern White people with their Southern brothers.  I call on a reconciliation of the entire American family. 

The soul searching this proposal calls for will by our history uncover nasty things, but the only way to get forgiveness is to ask for it, even if it regards something you were not personally responsible for.  The only way for anyone to grant forgiveness is to feel as if the offense is recognized and forgiveness is sought.

The foundation that we build will be far sounder to build a future on than the one currently shaking apart because of the poisons of America’s original and recent sins.  

Namaste Friends 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Praises Edward Snowden? THEY LIE

I had a real WTF moment yesterday.  The old twitter stream lit up with stories regarding civil rights icon John Lewis praising Edward Snowden, covering him with the laurels of the civil rights movement comparing him to Gandhi. 

The story originated from The Guardian the source of  Edward Snowden’s public relations media so I should have taken it with the same grain of salt I have when they've dropped bombshell after debunked half true old story bombshell.

Guardian article

 I should have but I didn’t I actually believed it for a day, until John Lewis himself had the chance to speak about the statement.

 “News reports about my interview with The Guardian are misleading, and they do not reflect my complete opinion. Let me be clear.  I do not agree with what Mr. Snowden did.  He has damaged American  international relations and compromised our national security.  He leaked classified information and may have jeopardized human lives.  That must be condemned.
  “I never praised  Mr. Snowden or said his actions rise to those of Mohandas Gandhi or other civil rights leaders.  In fact, The Guardian itself agreed to retract the word “praise” from its headline.
 “At the end of an interview about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I was asked what I thought about Mr. Snowden’s actions.  I said he has a right as an individual to act according to the dictates of his conscience, but he must be prepared to pay the price for taking that action.  In the movement, we were arrested, we went to jail, we were prepared to pay the price, even lose our lives if necessary.  I cannot say and I did not say that what Mr. Snowden did is right.  Others will be the judge of that.”
Is it just me or is the half life of these stories down to about 12 hours?  The real problem is that to many John Lewis' actual feeling and words will never penetrate, and they will continue to appropriate a civil rights legacy fraudulently.

A curious ability internet reporting has over print in that the evidence of your gross manipulation of the story is only in those who cared enough to take screen shots.  What can I say?  Let’s make an over under on who will be the first to say John Lewis was influenced by the evil Obama?

Namaste Friends.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Rabbis March on Washington

I've been thinking of other examples of civil protest since the Zimmerman trial’s verdict.  How they were perceived at the time, and if they were welcomed by all the members of the group they were fighting for.  An incident I feel would be interesting to compare was the 1943 March of the Rabbis in Washington D.C

“Make way for the rabbis.” It was probably the first time the station master at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station had shouted these words. But the crowd before him was unlike any ever seen in the nation's capital. Four hundred rabbis converged on Union Station two days before Yom Kippur, 1943, in a stirring display of unity to rescue Jews from Nazi extermination.
 The march was the brainchild of 33-year-old Hillel Kook (b. 1910), a Jerusalem-born nephew of Abraham Isaac Kook, former chief rabbi of Palestine, who arrived in the United States in 1940. For reasons known only to him, once here, Kook took the Americanized name Peter Bergson. Purchasing full-page ads in American newspapers criticizing British limitations on the number of Jews who could emigrate to Palestine, then under British rule, and pleading for Allied action to rescue European Jewry, Bergson and his associates known as the Bergson Group - used the mass media to rouse public interest and influence the Roosevelt administration to intervene against Hitler. Most provocatively, Bergson called for the formation of an international Jewish army, which would fight under Allied auspices to liberate European Jewry.
 Gaining access to the Orthodox rabbinical leadership was no simple task for the uninitiated. The elders of the Orthodox community in the 1940s were mostly European-born Talmudic scholars who spoke little English and were generally unfamiliar with the political ways of the New World to which they had emigrated. Few were accustomed to receiving national press coverage. But Bergson and his associates used their fluent Yiddish and Bergson's family connections to win the trust of rabbis in the Hasidic and general Orthodox communities. 
Jewish Virtual Library

 It states that Peter Bergson didn’t reveal the reasons for his name change, but I have to wonder if it was a form of code switching a topic we’re talking about now.  It is notable that he sought support for his initiatives within the immigrant class of Jewry at the time in that there was a tension happening that is similar to what is going on in the greater conversation on race around Trayvon Martin.    People among the more established portion of American Jews held great apprehension that the efforts to fight for increased Jewish immigration would ignite greater anti Semitism in America.  In an analogous way we are facing arguments today that discussing racism is the catalyst for racism.

Friday, July 19, 2013

President Obama's Recent Race Speech Colors Purple: A Call for Truth and Reconciliation

There’s a scene from The Color Purple that immediately jumped in my mind after hearing President Obama’s most recent discussion on race.  The family Suge Avery and her boyfriend are sitting around the table, and Mister insults Miss Celie just one time too often.  She grabs a knife, curses him, and declares her independence. 

It wasn’t Miss Celie I’m feeling right now, although President Obama played the role, I’m feeling Ms. Sophia.

Ms. Sophia had her face scared and her spirit broken from a completely unjust interaction with a racist criminal justice system.  Remember it?  The White lady wanted to pet her child, and she had the nerve to speak out against it, got attacked defended herself and was beaten down in the street?

That’s exactly how I and a great many Black people felt in the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial’s verdict.

President Obama spoke the kind of truth that Black America needed to hear to go forward, and for that I will forever treasure the two votes I cast for him.  .  Ms. Sophia was able to wake up from the slumber the abuse had placed her.  She was able to be herself again.

I’d like to add a call for action.

We are currently in the midst of celebrating the life and times of the Madiba.  I like President Obama came to political activism struggling against our nation’s support of South Africa.  I would like to propose a tool the South African people used to great effect, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission except an American one.

The most appealing aspect of this idea to me is that of Truth.  We would have stakeholders from say, not just Native peoples, but the issues of a Native person from the plains and from Alaska.  We would have not just Asians, but Japanese to speak of internment, Chinese to speak of their experiences in America’s cities.  We should have stake holders for everyone to write in an event where all of American history is discussed.

We can discuss the individual experience of every wave of immigration we have been blessed with and finally expose any painful myths laying underneath like how Italian people are seen as mafia dons, or just anything.

I’ve always felt that our reconstruction after the civil war was designed to reconcile Northern White people with their Southern brothers.  I call on a reconciliation of the entire American family. 

The soul searching the President called for in his speech will by our history uncover nasty things, but the only way to get forgiveness is to ask for it, even if it regards something you were not personally responsible for.  The only way for anyone to grant forgiveness is to feel as if the offense is recognized and forgiveness is sought.

We can do this.

Oh yes, Miss Sophia feeling better now I’m home now.  

Namaste friends

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trayvon Martin and My Old Doctor

I am desolate.  

I've been trying for the last few days to put out something anything about the Trayvon Martin case, but I couldn't get past my 5 MFer rule.  That means no publish if I use 5 MFers in a paragraph.  

I hope I can someday speak of going forward, but unfortunately today is not that day.
I just kicked this out in the last half an hour, and since it didn't have any MRers in it, I thought I'd share.

A couple of months ago I had to fire my doctor.  To be honest it wasn’t the doctor he struck me as a compassionate person, and I and my family liked going to him.  However when I went to my last appointment the receptionist threw me out of their office because she feared violence from me. 

I had set a rather normal appointment to have my blood drawn for my annual fasting blood sugar.  Black folks and the sugar is a real issue you know.  The night before I also had a real problem with my tooth and my face looked like Popeye and I was in pain going to the dentist after I had my draw.

When I got there the receptionist told me she had forgotten the nurse who did the work had unexpectedly left 2 weeks before and she had neglected to call any patients.  I most calmly as a person who hadn’t eaten for 16 hours and had a blinding toothache asked why was I in her office at 7 a.m. and what was I supposed to do?

Rather than getting an answer I was profiled.  I had every right to be angry just like Trayvon Martin had every right to walk home from the store, I had every right to demand apologia and good customer service, and although I did, it was in no way angry.  Yet the receptionist an older Latina lady who if she didn’t speak and expose her accent would be considered White found me a threat and asked me to leave.

I had to fire my doctor.  There is no way I would submit myself for care to people who would fear a 50 year old grandfather, and never even consider me like a patient.  The receptionist never even asked me how I was doing so I could have said crappy.

Today I think I might have to fire my country.  Today I have come to the inescapable conclusion that a black child who is murdered may not be treated as a victim.  I live in a country where a party can elect people and consider them Presidential candidates that hire unabashed neo confederates, and their sons who freely adopt the persona  N1ggerkiller not be considered a racist.

I live in a country where we as Black people have been cowed from even naming the phenomenon RACISM that oppresses us, and even in liberal environs it is more damaging to accuse anyone or anything of racism than racism itself. 

I had to fire my doctor.  I didn’t even tell him personally why.  I had a conversation with the office manager where she told me she had spoken to the receptionist’s co-workers and I was indeed scary, and after that I wasn’t interested in continuing any relationship with the doctor, so I found another one.

Now I’m wondering if I should start looking for another country.

Namaste Friends

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Mini Rant on The NSA/Glenn Greenwald Grift

I wrote this as a stream of consciousness on Twitter, and I decided it needed to be together.

The President of the United States proposed we change our fear soaked war footing, instead a grifter decided we'd talk on a 5 year old story. Yes there is a reason why ending the perpetual war state and all the money attached to it got quieted by a BS Greenwald story. Greenwald who is the same dude who supported W's national security program. It's because the MSM and Greenwald are part of the racist 1% elite of Koch. Same successful tactics the Dudebros ran to depress 2010 turnout, so my question is why people and places home of failure have voice. The tactic of COINTELPRO is to promote a rat to a voice of authority within your movement then let the rat loose. That's why a man with no degrees got 122K jobs with hooked into the racist 1% network defense contractors. What do the Tea Party right and the DudeBro used to be Republican now "progressive" left? have in common? Both can call PBO Hitler. I just wish it were more slick, something new. It is pissing me off the same tired CON that's been run on America for 40 years.

They've re-hatched Jim Crow and a rat done probed my sister Nell, and Whitey's scared of drones.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The John Robert SCOTUS ruling on the #VRA in Pictorial Form

I’d like to think I’m not alone in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to effectively gut of the Voting Rights Acts that at this point there is a need to express anger and rage before having the ability to constructively go forward.  There were a stream of images that came to me with captions that I found highly therapeutic in putting together.

I'll probably write about it at some point unless someones planning on doing some in the street protesting in which case I'll be there.

Namaste friends

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Juneteenth Wish

#Juneteenth Next year my family as children of the middle passage lets prepare a feast like the Seder #BlackSeder and tell of our freedom. We will be sure to set a place for LeRoy that brother is always late. Let's talk about Ebeneezer Bridge and Danziger Bridge Marcus Malcolm Martin and brother Chuck D. How many of us have watched a respected elder be called boy or gal let us celebrate that such disrespect is now under the breath. We will proclaim next year equality and most of all respect because like Israel it is a place that exists. Lincoln didn't grant our freedom God did and that which God bestows NO MAN MAY TAKE. Many of are in custody but all of us are free let us remember and celebrate it by holding our eyes up to the world. #juneteenth #BlackSeder

Namaste Friends.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Able Archer the Cost of Mistrust

It matters if one diplomat finds out another thinks his breath smells bad, it does in the relationship between the two people, scale it up it can matter in the relations of nations.  There was something about the truth speaking to power and tree shaking Edward Snowden is doing that truly disturbs me and I wanted to discuss it around a story.

It is now apparent about a 75% of Edward Snowden’s story is completely untrue.  From his CIA exploits in Switzerland, his salary, and his disclosure to China and Russia small bits of information along with big yarns of spin do nothing to help the impression one has about his integrity.

It’s fairly obvious the potential damage done to our relationship with Switzerland. We are currently trying to get them to drop veils of secrecy and help us chase down the 1% tax cheats an effort I’m sure Snowden didn’t help.  Thankfully the leadership in Switzerland seems to be laughing at Snowden’s story.    I want to compare what’s going on with what almost happened in 1983 during an exercise called Able Archer.  It’s my intention to show how close we came to all out nuclear Armageddon over the same themes of misinformation and mistrust that seems to infect both left and right.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The NSA FISA and Glenn Greenwald Did he Lie to Anyone?

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t like Glenn Greenwald and haven’t for some time.  The incident that put him on my permanent shit list occurred when I was just a little bird deciding to see what this Twitter thing was all about.

There’s a presence out on those twitter streets that goes by the handle @angryblacklady if you aren’t following her I would suggest you do because I was an open fan of hers before I tried to hop out the twitter nest. I was introduced to her by her political writing which has graced places like The Grio among others, I guess I could hit her bio and find tons of other stuff but I didn't need anyone’s validation then and just trust me she’s wicked wicked smaht.  

One day I’m enjoying watching ABL dissect Glenn Greenwald live and before the world on the issue of the NDAA one of her arguments happened to be the Patriot Act is of far more impact, and scary and is going to bite us first let’s work on that.  I wonder if the fact she was right means anything now anyway. 

I know she was taking him apart because he and his followers decided that the issue of the NDAA was no longer the topic of the day but rather the character of Obama supporters.  I once took philosophy way back in High School (I know huh?  Public school taught philosophy) where we went over all the forms logical fallacy in argument.  Mr. Navarro spoke to me from the dim mists of time and said that’s an Ad Hominem Adept, an attack against the person not the topic means the person has nothing to say on topic.

That’s ok, as I said ABL was destroying him all day, it wasn’t that he engaged in Ad Hominem it’s what the attack was.

Glenn Greenwald said the supporters of Barack Obama would watch Barack Obama rape a nun on the cameras of MSNBC enjoy it and defend the action by saying Obama merely wanted to illustrate the evils of rape

Scratch the record the police are here the party is over everyone has to go home.  Wait a minute you say a Black lady, an Angry Black Lady who fights for feminist causes like just about no other would enjoy watching a rape, in the face of being destroyed in argument? Yes, yes he did.

No he never apologized mollified or adjusted the tone of the statement it stands just like that right now, so when Greenwald steps to me, I don’t care much about what he has to say, so there I did it, I don’t like him find him to be a man that has no integrity and uses tactics to silence dissent that would horrify the people he accuses of stifling his rights. 

Did I shoot the messenger?  I got nothing else to say about the message?  Let’s do that!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The NSA FISA and President Obama Did He Lie to Anyone?

First, in the interest of full disclosure I’m an Obamabot.  Not just an Obamabot I’m the model T-1000 with the liquid skin and frickin lasers for arms.  That’s not the point of this expose, but I don’t mind saying Barack Obama excretes excellence and gets the shit done.  I feel no need to criticize him and would keep it to myself if I did.

That out of the way I’d like to examine a meme that has become pretty prominent in the controversy regarding the exposure of our NSA’s methods and practices by a 29 year old who believes highly in American civil liberties, yet donates money to Ron Paul  a man who opposes the civil rights acts.

That is that Barack Obama is a liar.  That he promised some kind of hope and change that he horns waggled a group of the reality community by his pretty words.

I submit the words of the President are kryptonite to said people to be ignored and substituted with what they want to TELL him to do.

I draw your attention to July 3, 2008.  This date is 4 months before President Obama was elected as President of the United States.


I want to take this opportunity to speak directly to those of you who oppose my decision to support the FISA compromise.
This was not an easy call for me. I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush administration's program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That's why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.
But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any president or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I've said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility.

He then goes on to describe the mechanisms for oversight by the other two branches of government that despite the election of President Blackenstein still exist in our constitutional form of government.   However what he says next I’d like to direct to all my “progressive” friends who state they supported him not knowing his position that he took your vote.

Now, I understand why some of you feel differently about the current bill, and I'm happy to take my lumps on this side and elsewhere. For the truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions. No tool has been more important in focusing peoples' attention on the abuses of executive power in this administration than the active and sustained engagement of American citizens. That holds true -- not just on wiretapping, but on a range of issues where Washington has let the American people down.

Kind of sounds like Sgt. Barnes looking at the hipsters after he iced Elias huh?

Democracy cannot exist without strong differences. And going forward, some of you may decide that my FISA position is a deal breaker. That's ok. But I think it is worth pointing out that our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences we may have. After all, the choice in this election could not be clearer. Whether it is the economy, foreign policy, or the Supreme Court, my opponent has embraced the failed course of the last eight years, while I want to take this country in a new direction. Make no mistake: if John McCain is elected, the fundamental direction of this country that we love will not change. But if we come together, we have an historic opportunity to chart a new course, a better course.

Did you catch that he understands that he would lose supporters with his decision and right then and right there told such supporters Well Bye, I’d like to prove I’m not a monster in other areas but you know..

So, no you can’t call President Obama a liar what you are doing is saying you’re like the Congress voting on things without knowing what’s in them, and that’s not Obama’s fault its yours.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Little Old Jackie from Pasadena

Pasadena was built by the kind of wealth so vast it doesn't need to wear a watch because it determines who is late.  Let me set the environment for you.  It is linked to Los Angeles by California and the west’s first freeway what we now call the 110 or Arroyo Seco Parkway, but when it was constructed was known as the Pasadena Freeway.

You might wonder how having the first freeway in the west means time waits for you, and let me tell you.  They built it purposefully with looping curves and lovely parks surrounding it. No engineer’s straight line efficiency for these people.  Driving into Pasadena was meant to be an event and one you went to through beautiful environs and narrow lanes.  Consequently when I was a lad growing up just about every high school in the San Gabriel Valley had a missing person from the graduating class who went to fast and plunged into the LA River or missed a curve and slammed into a tree.  

Once you escape the curves you have the option of 3 exits for heading north into the city.  Orange Grove is the first and when you make the turn left the first thing you might notice if you’ve watched TV on January 1st it is the route of the Rose Parade. 

The blocks on this street are wicked long and are an artifact of it’s beginnings as one of the Southlands first millionaires row built by easterners one upping each other in their western retreats.  The names on the mansions read like a who’s who of early 20th century mega-money.  Busch had his first gardens Gamble had a mansion that used no metal fasteners, Wrigley chewed up a huge chunk with a lovely house that’s used as the parade’s headquarters today.

I doubt when Jackie Robinson’s mother moved the family to town in 1920 they used the Orange Grove exit for even in my day doing so was an invitation for the Pasadena Police to ask a Black person what they were doing, and most folks I know of the Black persuasion try and avoid that.  They would have most likely used Fair Oaks and turned left to drive through the city and north toward the Black section of Pasadena.

121 Pepper Street where the Robinson’s made their home is currently solidly in the area that Black folks clearly live, but when he moved there it wasn’t.  Pasadena has the honor or shall I say the indignity of being the only school district west of the Mississippi Riverr to have had to undergo court ordered bussing in the early 1970’s.  I happen to be a graduate of the first class to be integrated. 

There were strict lines and rules about where blacks could live and go without good reason. Customs that were enforced by realtors and bankers and police existed well into the bussing era, but despite that life for Blacks in Pasadena was relatively prosperous and nice.  The city is and was beautiful, and let’s face it, rich people really don’t want their maids hassled all that much.  It tickles me to read accounts of Jackie Robinson’s life and the poverty he underwent as a child to think in the Southern California Blacks from Pasadena were thought of as rich, they owned their home and land, kind of uppity if I can borrow a term. The Robinson’s are considered one of Pasadena’s Black founding families and it’s just interesting to consider pioneers as poverty stricken.  There are worse curses than may your Grandchildren consider you poor I suppose.

Can We All Get Along? - rough partial trailer from pablo miralles on Vimeo.

Hail alma mater; blue and gold so fair,
we sing thy fame, we love thy name
thy strength shall never fail.
We sing thy praises, our love shall never die,
blue and gold all hail to thee-John Muir High.

Sirhan Sirhan?  Rodney King it's all good when you have a Jackie Robinson. You might be the luckiest high school coach in America if your team is down at halftime and you can call on the legacy of Jackie Robinson to motivate your troops, and our coach didn't mind saying “Jackie didn't fight for your right to stand up for you to lay down” except in memory of old coach I've omitted the swears, and before the great integration and to this date John Muir is and was an athletics powerhouse.

I like to note that during this time in Jackie Robinson’s life historians like to discuss that he was somehow “gang affiliated”.  That’s difficult for me to swallow in that the folks I’ve spoken to that grew up here in and around that era tell me a gang was defined as any 3 Black people meeting not actively sweeping or mowing lawns etc.

In 1938 Jackie and a group of his friends were riding home from playing baseball at Brookside Park a lovely golf course and park with an Aquatic center constructed for the LA Olympic Games in 1932.  He and his friends were accosted by a White man who called them several flavors of the N word.  Jackie’s friend escalated the situation, however displaying the temperament that would serve him in baseball later Jackie attempted to play peacemaker and calm the situation down.  Soon a crowd of as described by an arriving motorcycle cop consisted of “between 40 and 50 members of the Negro race” gathered.

Over the course of the confrontation the crowd melted until there was only one person left for the officer to draw his weapon on and take to jail Jackie Robinson. “I found myself up against the side of my car” he said “with a gun barrel pressed unsteadily into the pit of my stomach.  I was scared to death”

He was taken to jail where he was not allowed access to a phone and forced to spend the night after being charged with “hindering traffic” and resisting arrest. 

He entered a plea of not guilty paid a bond of 25 dollars and was released after contacting a baseball coach.  The charge had bite in that he was also under threat of a previously suspended sentence he had received.  He was required to be on good behavior imposing that sentence might have spelled the end of Jackie Robinson before he really began.

Luckily for him Pasadena had UCLA boosters in it’s City administration.  A booster convinced him to change his plea and greased the wheels so that nothing further would come from the incident.  Without comment the Star News reported “That the Negro football player be not disturbed during football season”

It's interesting I like to postulate that Jackie Robinson learned the grace to handle racism form the worst elements America has to offer by growing up a midst what America would think of as its best elements.

Namaste Friends go see "42"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Story of 40 Acres and a Mule

William T. Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman had a different idea regarding how the war should be prosecuted.  Late in 1864 although the South had suffered extreme wounds on the battlefield the home and hearth of the South had yet to be really touched, and the morale and fighting spirit of the population remained extremely high. 

General Sherman set out to change all that with his “March to the Sea”.  Sherman had just finished torching the city of Atlanta the confederate’s workshop and his troops were fat and happy and ready to do some damage after spending months camped in the city.

Sherman let loose from his normal supply chain with the intent of “foraging liberally” and allowing both his armies hunger and thirst for vengeance to bring the war to the actual people of the South.

Sherman split his 60,000 man force into two units and feinted towards two sides of the state while actually heading for the state Capital of Milledgeville.  The twin forces made the populace howl, removing anything that could have been of military value and food.

He also began to collect a large following of newly freed slaves snapping at the first opportunity to leave the burning plantations and sullen White folks of their bondage.

General William Tecumseh Sherman was no natural friend of Black people.  He counseled them to remain where they were.  Sherman wanted people just given a promise by the Emancipation Proclamation to stay on the plantations and with Masssah.  He had military reasons, his army was moving fast and light and without supply he had no real ability to provide for the newly freed, but that’s just an excuse he could have, there were 1000’s of former slaves assisting his army by building roads and providing the labor for military engineering, but he like many Union officers and his lieutenant General Jefferson Davis were racist.

Ebenezer Creek

Painting By Dave Russel

As the XIV Corps prepared to cross Ebenezer Creek, Davis ordered that the refugees be held back, ostensibly 'for their own safety' because Wheeler's horsemen would contest the advance. 'On the pretense that there was likely to be fighting in front, the negroes were told not to go upon the pontoon bridge until all the troops and wagons were over,' explained Colonel Charles D. Kerr of the 126th Illinois Cavalry, which was at the rear of the XIV Corps.
 'A guard was detailed to enforce the order, ' Kerr recalled. 'But, patient and docile as the negroes always were, the guard was really unnecessary.'
 Kerr saw Wheeler's cavalry 'closely pressing' the refugees from the rear. Unarmed and helpless, the former slaves 'raised their hands and implored from the corps commander the protection they had been promised,' Kerr wrote. '…[but] the prayer was in vain and, with cries of anguish and despair, men, women and children rushed by hundreds into the turbid stream and many were drowned before our eyes.'
 Though what happened once Davis's troops had all crossed remains in dispute, it seems fairly certain that Davis had the pontoon bridge dismantled immediately, leaving the refugees stranded on the creek's far bank. Kerr wrote that as soon as the Federals reached their destination, 'orders were given to the engineers to take up the pontoons and not let a negro cross.'
 How many women, children, and older men were stranded cannot be determined precisely, but 5,000 is a conservative estimate. 'The great number of refugees that followed us…could be counted almost by the tens of thousands,' Captain Hopkins of New Jersey guessed. Major General Oliver O. Howard, commander of the right wing of Sherman's army (which included Davis's corps), recalled seeing 'throngs of escaping slaves' of all types, 'from the baby in arms to the old negro hobbling painfully along the line of march; negroes of all sizes, in all sorts of patched costumes, with carts and broken-down horses and mules to match.' Because the able-bodied refugees were up front working in the pioneer corps, most of those stranded would have been women, children,
and old men.
 What happened next strongly suggests that Davis did not have the refugees' best interest in mind when he delayed their crossing of the creek, to say nothing of his apparently having ordered that the bridge promptly be dismantled. Davis's unabashed support of slavery definitely does not help his case, though Sherman insisted his brigadier bore no 'hostility to the negro.'

When news of the Ebenezer Creek Massacre reached the abolitionist North Secretary of War and strict abolitionist Edwin M. Stanton was not pleased.   He traveled to Savannah Georgia the terminus of what became Sherman’s successful march and there he held a meeting on January 12, 1865 with Sherman, but also with a group of Black Freedmen and religious leadership at Charles Green’s mansion on Macon Street.

Edwin M. Stanton

The Root

Their chosen leader and spokesman was a Baptist minister named Garrison Frazier, aged 67, who had been born in Granville, N.C., and was a slave until 1857, "when he purchased freedom for himself and wife for $1000 in gold and silver," as the New York Daily Tribune reported. Rev. Frazier had been "in the ministry for thirty-five years," and it was he who bore the responsibility of answering the 12 questions that Sherman and Stanton put to the group. The stakes for the future of the Negro people were high.
 And Frazier and his brothers did not disappoint. What did they tell Sherman and Stanton that the Negro most wanted? Land! "The way we can best take care of ourselves," Rev. Frazier began his answer to the crucial third question, "is to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor … and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare … We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own." And when asked next where the freed slaves "would rather live -- whether scattered among the whites or in colonies by themselves," without missing a beat, Brother Frazier (as the transcript calls him) replied that "I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over … " When polled individually around the table, all but one -- James Lynch, 26, the man who had moved south from Baltimore -- said that they agreed with Frazier. Four days later, Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, after President Lincoln approved it.

Special Field Order No. 15 

The order explicitly called for the settlement of black families on confiscated land, encouraged freedmen to join the Union army to help sustain their newly won liberty, and designated a general officer to act as inspector of settlements. Inspector General Rufus Saxton would police the land and work to ensure legal title of the property for the black settlers. In a later order, Sherman also authorized the army to loan mules to the newly settled farmers.
 400,000 acres was set aside by the order in the mostly abandoned rice growing areas along the Atlantic Coast of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina including the Georgia Sea Islands dividing them by 40 acres provided room for 18,000 Black Settlers
The Root

Section two specifies that these new communities, moreover, would be governed entirely by black people themselves: " … on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves … By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro [sic] is free and must be dealt with as such." 

 The response from the newly freed populace of Black people in the south was electric.

When the transcript of the meeting was reprinted in the black publication Christian Recorder, an editorial note intoned that "From this it will be seen that the colored people down South are not so dumb as many suppose them to be," reflecting North-South, slave-free black class tensions that continued well into the modern civil rights movement. The effect throughout the South was electric: As Eric Foner explains, "the freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order." Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the "black governor." And by June, 

 Where’s my 40 Acres?  Where’s my mule?

Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15 lasted only as long as Abraham Lincoln did.  It was never national policy it was a military order.  Sherman was asked if the order was supposed to be permanent or a temporary thing, he said temporary, and Andrew Johnson Lincoln’s Democratic successor and Vice President was far more interested in reconstructing White power in the south than providing Black people with rights and land, so the order was revoked the same year it was issued.

Namaste Friends

Saturday, February 16, 2013

African American LAPD Officers Come Out To Echo Dorner’s Claims of Departmental Racism

Christopher Dorner is no longer with us.  He no doubt died a death filled with fear and pain, so those who had hoped for resolution and some sort of vengeance for the crimes he committed should feel satisfied.  There is a mountain of conspiracy theory surrounding how he met his final end, but I’m not interested in any of that, because I read the manifesto and Christopher Dorner got exactly what he wanted.  In my belief system he is somewhere that his name surely got judged, and in my opinion he’s not enjoying the verdict.

We have a nasty habit in Southern California.  We can experience incident after incident of police abuse that would make any 3rd world dictator tip his hat bow and say we’re not worthy.  Federal judge steps in we get a consent decree, a Christopher Commission, a new Police Chief to introduce an alphabet initiative that sounds good on TV and does nothing and the LAPD continues to keep its culture.   

Now that Dorner is gone I’d like to share the stories of other African American LAPD officers who stepped forward.  They wanted him to stop.  They are crime fighters in their heart, but they also wanted to step forward in order to insure the racist tension and pain that caused Dorner to snap into an anti social monster is brought to light.

It’s a Women’s Issue

"Cheryl Dorsey, 54, retired from the Los Angeles Police Department on August 26, 2000, exactly one day after her 20th anniversary with the department. When asked about Christopher Dorner, she says, 'I am not surprised that it happened.  I am surprised it took this long and I’m convinced that it will happen again if the department doesn’t start to treat their employees better,'" said EURweb. "The mother of four says that when she was going through her own Board of Rights (BOR) hearing that involved the same charge as Dorner— giving false and misleading statements to an Internal Affairs investigator — when she seriously contemplated just jumping off the third floor of the Bradbury Building."
 "Married to another LAPD officer at the time, Dorsey says she was a victim of domestic violence and after details of incidents at her home found their way into the department, she was charged with six counts of unnecessarily causing the response of an outside agency for the six calls she made to the sheriff’s department from her home in Altadena.  The charge of giving false and misleading statements was tacked on when questioned by Internal Affairs," said EURweb. "She says that chairman over the BOR at the time was Deputy Chief Martin Pomeroy, a Mormon who was known throughout the department as being racist towards Blacks. Dorsey says that Pomeroy didn’t believe that she’d been the victim of domestic violence and told her as much.  In the end she was suspended for five days instead of being terminated."
 It was this woman’s interview that caused me to write this.  To hear her cry as she tells her story and not feel her pain probably means you need a soul transplant.

Link to ABC News account

"I don't condone what he's done. It's appalling. But, it could have been me," she said. "It could have been many other officers that's in the situation he's in as we speak, and I just want him to know that there are officers out there that feel his pain."
Crystal said she too had a grievance with the LAPD and was treated unfairly. She also said a number of officers feel the same as Dorner did.
"There is some truth. I can relate to a lot of what he stated in his manifesto," she said. "I have no knowledge of what he personally went through; I can relate by what I went through. Speaking with other officers they can relate. I'm not saying I condone what he's doing by any means, but I can see how he fell of the cliff. I can totally see it. Totally."
She also said a number of different officers could have snapped like Dorner did, including herself, a thought she finds disturbing.
"I'm a female and to even think that that even could...It's just frightening," she said, breaking down in tears.

She also wrote a very moving letter hoping to entice Dorner's surrender

When I read your manifesto, my heart just dropped and continues to be very heavy. I have shed many tears while reading of your experience with the department and the measures you've taken these past seven days, to be heard and to clear your good name. As I continue to shed tears and pray for you and all of us involved, you most know by now that you have been heard loud and clear. Reading of your experience and witnessing your present behavior has opened many wounds for myself as well as fellow officers, who have experienced similar situations. 
It’s a men’s issue 

Joe Jones

Link to Joe's story

I feel your pains!...But you are going about thisthe wrong way. To take innocent lives could never be the answer to anything. I say this as a Man who experienced the same pain, betrayal, anger, suffering, litigation and agony that you did in many ways, Only I didn't get Fired. I just choose to go a different route. My heart still suffered that same shock, I wasstill left to try and put the pieces back together. The disbelief that people could conspire and cause you to loose something you loved so dearly was still there. I lost my Career, I lost my Family, I lost my Dignity, I lost my Trust...But I am here now to hopefully one day see change...Bro, Don't kill anymore Innocent people. Your point has been made. Clearly. They know you mean business, The whole world knows. Refrain from any further wrong doing and do what you must to salvage your Soul. Whatever that means to you. Just remember that God is a forgiving God.

Please read what he has to say in total

Wayne Guillary 

Link to Wayne's story

Sgt. Wayne K. Guillary posted a "personal appeal" on the website of Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable president Earl Ofari Hutchinson overnight. In it the sergeant says he still has ongoing concerns about racism in the department but that Chief Charlie Beck is a rare top cop "trying to make LAPD a better organization:"
... There's still much work to be done ... Some may say that nothing has changed with the leadership in the LAPD. ... Trust me I have been in the fight with the organization regarding social and racial injustice within the LAPD. Currently, I am the only out spoken African American within the organization that possesses the moral courage to confront and ask questions unflinchingly about race, racism and discrimination in the 
The article goes on to say that this doesn't appear to be an endorsement of Chief Beck's insistence on the great strides the LAPD has made I must agree.

Not only do I believe it I lived it

Brian Bentley, 49, doesn’t agree with what Christopher Dorner — the ex-cop at center of a massive manhunt for the killings of three people—has done, but he certainly understands it.
As a former LAPD officer, Bentley, who is now an author, says that a Dorner-like situation was just a matter of time.
“It took longer than I thought it would for something like this to happen.”
 In fact, Bentley says that when he was a police officer, there were frequent postings of “look out” bulletins on the walls at police stations featuring officers who’d been terminated and who were believed to have vendettas.
“When the Department terminated you, they intentionally tried to ruin your life,” Bentley explains.  “That’s how they discredited you.  Dorner isn’t the first ex-police officer to have a manifesto or some sort of hit list.”

Rodney King, Rampart, 39th and Dalton OPERATION HAMMER! Heard of it?, May Day Mexican Mashing, we can stop the broken record.

Namaste Friends

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Christopher Jordan Dorner Psycho Killer Qu'est-ce que c'est

I've lived in So. Cal a long time and actually been subject to the police freaking out over one thing or another, but Christopher Jordan Dorner has put them off the chain and running down the street.  They are scared and stating straight out on television they are, there is one Captain that hasn't left his home and that's not a good look in my opinion for law enforcement.

I'm 6 2 and 220 pounds, I look nothing at all like Chris Dorner and I was joking with Sweetie that I was going to get my son in law  to drive me around, but they are shooting at little white guys too!

I first got wind of Dorner as kind of an oh shit.  You know when you hear tell of a gruesome murder now a days, but they are ticking out with such regularity you feel the pain of the event but you’re just numb.  On February 3rd two people got murdered in Irvine.  That was kind of a trip.  Irvine is a private town.  It was the brain child of one man and it is a cookie cutter planned town very homogeneous and extremely safe.  Irvine is as safe as any place in America can be.

Yet there was a young couple Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence gunned down on the roof of the parking structure of their condo complex.LA Times link  They had just gotten engaged, and the first things I thought were some bastard must have had issues with their relationship, crime of passion and put it in the list of other crimes I’d check out when there was some sort of resolution.

The next couple of days hit with information that made it sure this incident was not going to be some back burner event.  They think this person is a cop?  He’s dropping pieces of information all over the Southland trying to hijack boats etc, wait a minute he’s black?  Folks at that time I actually thought it was a love thing when I found out concurrently Keith Lawrence was also Black and in law enforcement.  They let it be known then there was a manifesto and I thought it was going to be a love letter an if I can’t have her he can’t either.  The media was describing it universally as “rambling” so I didn't even bother to read it.

Then all heck breaks loose in So. Cal.

Dorner's Manifesto is apparently not an if I can’t have her it’s a declaration of war on the LAPD.  During the night Dorner moves on targets he had outlined shoots one LAPD officer and wounds him in Corona then moves down the road to Riverside and ambushes two Riverside police officers sitting at a red light killing one and severely wounding the other.

During that dark night of the police in terror officers riddle the truck of a pair of ladies who were delivering newspapers to a neighborhood that contained one of Dorner’s targets.  According to their attorney the police didn’t even provide the courtesy of identifying themselves or attempting to make a felony stop.   The Los Angeles Police just opened fire at the Torrance Corral wounding both women one seriously.  Very soon after a young man trying to get some surfing in before work was stopped in a truck that fit the description of Dorner’s only in that it was also a truck and told he could go about his business, moments later he was T-boned by police and his truck shot he thankfully was not hit.

 photo torrance_zpsac42b97f.jpg

It was then that I personally decided to crack open the manifesto and then that the initial oh shit I uttered at the death of the couple got capitalized to OH SHIT.  His first words after the obligatory I’m not a bad guy and those who know me are going to sure be shocked.

Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name. The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse. The consent decree should never have been lifted. The only thing that has evolved from the consent decree is those officers involved in the Rampart scandal and Rodney King incidents have since promoted to supervisor, commanders, and command staff, and executive positions.

I’ve written about my experience surrounding king’s verdict before Thinking of London and Remembering When My City Burned but never about Rampart.  To try and unpack all that was behind that is way too difficult in this offering.  Let’s just say the LAPD conspired to frame, rob, brutalize, lie, drug deal, I’m running out of detestable things the people charged with protecting our city did to the citizens of our city.

The southland it’s people of color and probably the rest of the world began to read the manifesto, and the first impression I got is he’s not insane in that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.  He’s perfectly sane in that respect but the goal he has is that of a madman.  It tells the story that way too many people in our country bobbed their heads in understanding with.  A police force that is brutal violent and racist a man who tried to work within the system to fight such abuses and was instead punished for it.

You could see the familiar divisions with the right wing horrified anyone could sympathize with a murderer and whatever other message he might have to be ignored, the other side horrified that our police forces might behave in such a manner as Dorner alleges, and here we are.

There is currently a 1 million dollar bounty on Chris Dorner’s head.  Average reward on the death of regular citizens is 50K in So. Cal.  It’s for capture and conviction thank God or I’d be more afraid to step out of my door than I currently am.  Our law enforcement agencies are catching 600 there is Dorner tips a day, and every brother who looks remotely like LL Cool J, or the father from That’s so Raven is hunkering down or investing in T-shirts that say “I’m Not Chris Dorner Don’t Shoot Me Bro!”.

Difficult questions are floating around with serious implications.  Is taking Dorner’s accusations seriously and investigating negotiating with a terrorist?  They’re calling him a domestic terrorist.  Can a flood of racism make otherwise “Law Abiding “Black” Citizens” snap?  What manner of incompetence has lead flying at citizens who are not Black men.  Doesn't the Constitution say you're innocent until proven guilty?  Since when did police decide that on the street and toss in executioner on their job description? Heck I even see numerous tweets calling him Rambro like he's a hero or something for having stood up to the man, like killing innocent couples and ambushing people is heroic.  Yeah Chris Dorner is going to leave a mark.