Tag Archive | "racism"

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Sorry Ms. Bland, for the Oppressive and Callous Treatment that You Received…

Posted on 23 July 2015 by mdepeine

Dear Sandra Bland,

First of all, I want to tell you that I am proud of your efforts to speak on the topic of race, police brutality and oppression in America.  It takes a lot of courage and conviction to speak on a topic that so many in America want to ignore and deny even exists.  Racism is a word and an act that you and many other blacks in America are too familiar with and would want to see changed.

Secondly, I want to say “congratulations” on your recent job interviews.  I hear you even had two job offers and had just come from an interview when you got pulled over.  Wow, you had traveled from Illinoise to find work in Texas!  I’m so sorry that your life was cut down just when you were approaching such a great moment of joy.  I am so sorry that an untrained, hot headed individual decided to be brutal towards you, rather than treat you as a human being.  I wished, that for a second, he would have thought of you or treated you like most police officers treat white women that they pull over.  They are often treated, regardless of their disposition, smoking or not, with respect and consideration.  You, on the other hand, you were confronted!  You were told “I will light you up.”  You were taunted and were expected, directed and eventually “commanded” to put out your cigarette. Although I don’t believe in smoking and its effects, everybody knows that for most people, cigarettes have a calming affect.  I wished that the officer would have seen you as someone’s sister, daughter, possibly someone’s wife or mom and said to himself, “No, let me let her be and just stick to the matter at hand; the traffic issue.”  I am sorry he did not do that.  I am sorry that the protection of your life was not at the forefront of his mind.  Things would have ended differently if your life mattered to him.

I wished the officer in question would not have demanded that you come out of the car.  What was the reason for such a demand or an expectation?  Most officers go out of their way to insist that motorists “remain in the car.”  They usually get very agitated and nervous when a motorist (black or white) gets out.  Yet, in your case, this officer insisted that you come out of yours.  I would have asked the same thing, “Why?  I’m not under arrest!”  I am so sorry that the officer in question, proceeded to further abuse his position of authority and retroactively tell you that you are “under arrest.”  No rights were read to you, nothing was formally done.  You were treated with such disrespect and callousness, and I feel for you.  I feel for your family.

Sandra, I am so sorry that you lost your life.  There is a lot of talk about whether you took your life or whether they took it from you – murdered you?  There is talk that you said you suffered from depression?  Bottom line, your life was stopped short!  Your life was taken away from you when you were stopped by that officer.  Your life did not belong to you when he treated you like an animal.  I understand your disbelief and your anger.  A traffic stop does not warrant that type of intensity and rage.  Especially from a worker who belongs to a group of workers who often work under the motto, “Protect and Serve.”  You were neither protected nor were your interests served.  You were treated like a piece of disposable garbage.  For that, I am sorry you experienced such treatment in the United States of America, while you were on a journey to responsibly take care of yourself and live out the life that God gave you on this earth.

I am sorry that you went from joy to intense depression.  If you suffered depression in the past, then, a greater wrong was done to you.  If I were in your position, arrested for a minor traffic offense, spoken to the way the officer spoke to you, then jailed for three (3) days, then I likely would have been experiencing severe depression.  Why?  Because, now, you will have a police record that you never had.  You are now in that monstrous system that so many black Americans have been thrusted in.  You were probably thinking, “My job offers, I will not be hired any more.  I will now have a record.”  In an instant, your life was taken away.  Now, you no longer live on this earth.  You are one of many stories that we heard and saw this year and past years about black people and the oppression that occurs too often in America.

So far, I have not seen in the news reports what you did for a living.  I know you graduated from Prairie View A&M (TexasThe Death of Sandra Bland: What We Know So Far – NBC News).  What was your occupation?  Now, I hear, you may have smoked marijuana?  It looks like there is some movement towards smearing your character.  I hope that people don’t look at the silly little things that a lot of regular people engage in, but instead, they look at the tragedy of your life being taken away from you at such a young age.  You were only 28 years old.  You deserved better.  You should have received better.

Finally, I am sorry that America has spent so long denying the serious effects of slavery and racism.  So many lives are adversely affected and lost because of the hatred and denial that exists due to the sordid history that was never confronted.  Our “Uncle Sam” has to decide to go into therapy with all of his children (black and white) and discuss what went wrong, what is still wrong and what it will take to make the “American Family” a united family.

I am sorry Sandra, that you got caught up in the net of unresolved racial tension, brutal history, and preferential treatment.  Once Uncle Sam addresses the negative history and dismantles the oppressive systems and laws, this American Family will be a healthier family.  Precious lives like yours will be allowed to thrive and not stomped out of existence just because someone felt like it.

Signed,

Concerned Citizen

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The Pervasiveness of White Supremacy Doctrines

Posted on 23 June 2015 by mdepeine

We must admit to reality and not continue to stick our “heads in the sand” on the subject of “white supremacy” and the use of its most effective tool, racism. Here’s a tough question: Are blacks equal to whites? Are whites equal to blacks? How you feel about the answer should give you a lot of insight on whether you support or are against racism. Don’t base your answer on the propoganda (network news’ portrayal of blacks, excessive incarceration of blacks in America, inferior roles in movies, etc.) that you are fed daily from sources that want to perpetuate this idea of “white supremacy” and “black inferiority,” but base your answer on the fact that we were all created by one God. I make this a black and white issue because of America’s continued desire to ignore the traumatic impact of slavery on its history and its refusal to have any meaningful dialogue towards reparation. We need to put everything on the table and admit to the wrong and move toward dismantling everything that serves as an undercurrent that maintains this false ideology of “white supremacy.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-e-price/yes-youre-a-racist—-and-a-traitor_b_7640654.html

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American Racism, Unaddressed, Leads to Murder

Posted on 18 June 2015 by mdepeine

My prayers and thoughts go out to the families whose lives have been shattered by the murder of their loved ones.  I feel very sad and appalled about what has happened in Charleston, South Carolina.  A 21 year old white man decided that he was better than 9 other human beings.  He decided that he could take the lives of 9 other people because of his apparent hatred of their color and what they represented to him.  It is a shame what we see in America today.

So many people spend a lot of energy denying that racism and prejudice in America is alive and very strong.  What kind of upbringing leads a 21 year old to shoot and kill 9 people who are attending a church service, having a time of prayer?  The more we deny the racism and prejudice in America, the more murders will occur as a result of it.  America needs a gut check!  America needs a reeducation about race and race relations.  America needs to confront the truth about its past, its apathy about the present, and strive to redirect its future towards harmony.  America and all of its citizens must lift a hand to dismantle the hatred rooted in racism and prejudice, which is so readily supported by privilege and entitlement.

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

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Black Teens Being Mistreated by the Police

Posted on 08 June 2015 by mdepeine

 Police treatment of teens

We have a problem in America.  When young black citizens can be treated like criminals just because of their color, we have a problem.  When black teens are randomly handcuffed because they are expressing their disapproval of the treatment they are receiving, then we have a problem in America.  When a young teen girl can be “manhandled” by a police officer in America because she protested the treatments she observed, we have a problem in America.

What I find very telling from the above video is the way the “officer” calmly talked to the white teens, while he vigilantly pursued the black ones.  The whites seemed to have been presumed innocent, as they confidently and securely looked on, while the blacks had guns pulled out on them.  Is it not clear to all America that there is a big race problem that is still not being acknowledged and addressed?

This race problem will require a HUGE dialogue and some serious introspection.  It will not be addressed by blind denial or quick bandaids.  This will only be addressed when we look at America’s history from the dawn of slavery to the Civil Rights Movement, to the present.  America has attempted to give blacks some rights, but America, as a whole, never accepted that blacks and whites are indeed EQUAL and must be given EQUAL treatment under the law.

Right now, it appears that the police, like the police of early America (post emancipation to the present), exists to protect whites from blacks, and not just protect all citizens of the US.  There have been some positive changes in some police departments, but the bigger change will need to involve the whole history of America before any real changes are made.

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Ferguson – Before You Judge: Consider the History and the Circumstances

Posted on 27 November 2014 by mdepeine

First of all, I want to say to Michael Brown’s parents, his family and friends, I am sorry that you have not been accorded the same treatment that many whites and people of privilege have received in America.  I am sorry for the loss of your son, Michael Brown.  I am sorry you have had to endure the same pain that many other black parents in various parts of America have endured and continue to endure.  Your pain has no bound.  No one can tell you how to feel, in general, and they certainly can’t tell you how to feel now.  This is a very tragic event!  This was not an exercise of the “American justice system at work.”  This loss for you, the Brown Family, was an example, too often seen in America, of the devaluation of black people and other people of color.

While I don’t agree with the looting and violence that have erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, I can understand what people may be feeling.  There are those who are angry and have no constructive way to channel that anger.  There are those who are angry and have just said, “I don’t care, I’m going to do something that makes me feel a little relief.”  I put that very mildly.  There are those who feel very oppressed and just want to “push back” in some fashion.  They are not content with being told, “Despite the fact that you feel wronged, violated, minimized, marginalized, disenfranchised, devalued, helpless, discriminated against, feel like a second class citizen, wrongly judged because of your color, just ‘suck it up’ and be happy that we let you live in America.’”  So rather, than accept such an unfair, and unjust existence, many have decided to react.  There are also those in Ferguson, like any other community and people, who are just opportunists; they just want to take advantage of the moment and they seize the opportunity to get some “free stuff.”

Some, as usual, will make comments like, “Look at them, you see why they get killed.”  Others will say, “They’re just looking for ways to steal and to destroy their own community.”  Still, others will say, “Why should they get any justice, they don’t even know how to control themselves?”  But, who will stop and have empathy for the long and painful history that clearly “states” that a black person’s life is not that important?  Who will stop and actually put themselves in the shoes of black parents who fear that their child could be the next Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, and the long list of young men and women of color who were killed in the name of “law enforcement” because they “looked” a certain way, or evoked some “feelings” in the killer’s psyche?

Since the time of Jim Crow, where America attempted to see black people and people of color as “equal,” this issue has been a well-known fact.  The fact: arrange the laws and justice proceedings so that the death of a black person can be justified through the court system.  What party are these law enforcement individuals having when they realize that they are “essentially untouchable” when it comes to the death of unarmed black people?

I think in the recent case of Trayvon Martin it was too much to ask the Florida prosecutors to prosecute “their own.”  A prosecutor, in any city or state, works closely, every day with the police.  They look for every angle to convict those people (black, white, brown, etc.) who have been arrested.  They want their arrests to “stick.”  They don’t want to prosecute any cases that will be thrown out in court.  In the case of Michael Brown, the same applied.  Why would the prosecutor do everything possible to push a case against the man he has been so faithfully working with, to prosecute the accused?  Now, all of the sudden, we expect this same prosecutor who hung out with the police, had drinks, went to family functions, sports events, weddings, to “turn on their buddies?”  That is not possible, in any universe.  It is not a realistic process.  Any hopes of objectivity would be gone.  It only works on television.  It will never work in real life.

The laws must be changed!  The proceedings must be changed also.  We must push for laws that define the limits of “force” used against any non-police individual.  At the very least, in my opinion, “excessive force” is when you shoot and strike an unarmed individual more than two (2) times.  If we were to decide that “excessive force” was used, then, there would need to be prosecution of the law enforcement officer, regardless of color, stature, or tenure.  We may call that law, The Lethal and Excessive Force Law.  Furthermore, the prosecution CANNOT involve any individual in the local government.  It needs to be headed and conducted by an independent team who works in the interest of the citizens, residents, like an oversight department similar to internal affairs.  As I stated earlier, using the regular prosecutor is not realistic, and it is unfair to put that person in that position.  Even the best-intentioned prosecutor would have a huge amount of conflict trying to prosecute “his own teammate.”  So there needs to be different laws about excessive force and different proceedings in order to have a true prosecution of any officer who violates the excessive force laws.

Towns like Ferguson need to also organize and vote out any public officials who do not want to protect and serve them.  After all, they are paying taxes to keep these people employed.  They pay for their vacations, cushy retirements, uniforms, guns, squad cars, tasers, bullets, and the perks that come with being a law enforcement individual.  Each community that sees that the leaders are not acting in their best interest must organize to root them out.  I also know that those in these positions will tend to push back and try to squash efforts for change.  But the community must organize and work, as one, to bring about the change.  Don’t wait for another shooting to organize; take them out of office before they use the guns, cars, uniforms you supplied them with, to kill you and your children on the streets.  Remind them that, by law, you are to be protected and served.  If they can’t execute that job in a legal, respectful and humane manner, then they need to be fired!

If the chief of police is callous, apathetic and indifferent about the welfare of the people in the community, then he or she needs to be trained to see his or her role differently.  If that does not work, then that individual needs to be replaced with someone who will show cultural sensitivity and take on the role of a guardian for the people in the community.  We must be vigilant to change the tone of the relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.  Once the tone of law enforcement becomes one of “us against them” there is a BIG problem.

In education, we hear terms like “cultural sensitivity,” “differentiation,” “inclusion,” “anti bullying,” and others.  These terms have gained popularity and acceptance because teachers are being trained to consider and accept the differences that exist in the classroom among students.  It is not “one size fits all.”  The same methods don’t work for everybody.  A teacher should not just teach from his or her cultural perspective.  A teacher should be willing to connect with his or her students using the student’s culture and background as a reference point.  Also, a teacher should not look down, ignore, or minimize the students who are “different” from him or her.  This fosters “safe classrooms.”  We see banners in many schools that say things like “Everybody counts!”  We need to transfer a lot of that awareness to the police departments in America.

Police departments, all over America, need to be brought into the twenty-first century, like education professionals are being trained to recognize cultural bias and the need to not impose their culture on their students, but be willing to accept the differences and learn how to work for the good of the individual.  The “us against them” mentality that exists in communities like Ferguson must be challenged and eradicated.  That is a lethal mixture for continued and repeated disaster.

Again, I want to say, I’m very sorry to see the pain that Michael Brown’s family has endured and must continue to endure.  Many in Ferguson and throughout the United States are hurting right now.  We all must demand change.  We all must learn and practice the lost art of EMPATHY.  Excessive force laws must be implemented and new proceedings must be developed to prosecute those who break those laws and disregard the needs of the communities they are to serve.  All communities like those of Ferguson must push to get law enforcement leaders and individuals who will look out for their interests; they should be protected and served, not prejudged and executed on the spot.

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Immanuel’s Bride and the Holy Spirit: Building a Whole New World

Posted on 12 March 2014 by mdepeine

9781628714463_cov.inddImmanuel’s Bride and the Holy Spirit: Building a Whole New World is a riveting account of the Holy Spirit, which captures the glory of God.  This compelling use of the scriptures, portrays God’s dynamic nature through His Holy Spirit.  It journeys from Genesis to Revelation and looks at the importance of Christians being in awe of God.  It conveys how lowering one’s self before God and others promotes the free flowing of God’s Spirit in every facet of one’s life.  Both, novice readers of the Bible, as well as those well versed in it, will learn a new dimension of their connection to the Holy Spirit and how to depend on Him.  Also, readers will see God’s plan for the ultimate wedding between Immanuel and His Bride.

Immanuel’s Bride and the Holy Spirit is an uplifting and revealing profile about who the Holy Spirit is to God and to Christians, as well as how to allow faith in God to lead your actions, thoughts, emotions and spiritual strength.

__Blair Townley

Editor, Xulon Press

IMMANUEL’S BRIDE AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, Mario Depeine, Sr., publisher Xulon Press the Christian book, self-publishing company.

 

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A Movement of “Justice for All” is Happening Because of Trayvon Martin

Posted on 19 July 2013 by mdepeine

It is very hard to say in a few words what many have experienced as a result of the Zimmerman acquittal that occurred on July 13, 2013.  That day will hopefully go down in history as one of the days that changed America for the better.  Essentially, what the verdict said to “Black America” and other Americans who understood, is that it is now “open season” on black young men; black young men “have no rights.”

It seemed that with each passing year after the landmark Civil Rights legistlation of the 1960s there were attempts to get things to go back to “the way they were.”  There seems to be a movement in America that keeps trying to inch back to a time when you could kill a black man or any person of color and you just didn’t have to answer to anyone!  You had the all white jury.  You had the klansman as the judge and you had the laws that backed you up.  If any black person ever dared to take a case to court against a white person, the court procedings were a matter of “formality.”  The white defendant knew with certainty that he or she would not be “betrayed” by the system already put in place and he would not be betrayed by his “peers.”

There are people in America who are nostalgic about such an attrocity.  They long for the days when they could “take matters into their own hands.”  When they did in the past, they were held in high regard by the white majority.  These days, these same people are doing their best to “cloak” their motives in ways that are being communicated in somewhat “politically correct” language even though they have the same goals and motives on their hearts as the people of the past did.  So you will here things like “victim’s rights.”  You will here the emphasis on “the right to bear arms.”  You will hear about “the urban problem.”  You will hear about the “crime” and the “drug problem.” You will hear words like “thugs,”  “felons,”  and “welfare recipients.”  All those terms have have been carefully and strategically “placed” on the black  the community and other people of color.  They have become “code words” that say “We don’t like blacks but we have to deal with them  in a ‘smart’ way.”

As a black man who is a man of God, I know that God made us all.  He made us all so very interesting.  He has allowed us to have all kinds of skin, hair and eye color.   God loves diversity.  If He didn’t, He would have made all of us into one color (you pick one); eyes and hair the same color as well.  God would have made it so that we all have the same hair texture, the same length capacity and so on.  But, because we are so caught up in our pride of wanting to be better than the other, we would have found another way to discriminate.  He made us all human and we found a way to discriminate about color.  If we couldn’t discrimiate about color, we would probably discriminate about ear size and shape, or maybe tone of voice, feet length, height, torso height; you get the point.

This whole racism issue in America is “silly” but it is also hurtful and deadly at the same time.  Many American laws were crafted to oppress and control blacks and other people of color.  There was never a decision by the majority in the United States of America to voluntarily give equal rights to blacks or anyone similar.  Remember, blacks came from being treated as animals and property to demanding that they be treated as EQUAL!  To many whites of those days it was a preposterous demand.  “How dare they think that they could now be considered equal to us?”  That was the ringing and repeated question and the recurring protest, even in the present day.  Yes, many whites are still thinking, “How dare they ask to be equal, after all, we don’t lynch them anymore.  We don’t enslave them.  We even let them use the same facilities (for the most part) with us.  We have let our kids go to school with them.  In some cases, we have not killed them for mixing their blood with our blood (eventhough that has happened since the days of slavery when white men raped female slaves), something that certainly required death in the past.”  So I kind of get it.  Most white Americans never wanted the EQUALITY, they just went along with the laws that were put in place by “force.”  Then, they just had to live with it until they could find a way to undo those laws.

You see, America as a nation has never embraced the idea of EQUALITY.  It never said “You know, we were wrong for enslaving these people and treating them like animals and our property.  They are our equals and we need to do right by them.”  America has not said that and until America says that and learns to have a change of heart, there will always be Trayvon Martins, Amadou Diallos, Sean Bells, Jordan Davis, and many others who will get killed because their lives are “not equal” in the eyes of White America.  Until we do campaigns, laws and other activities that address racism, we will have Superior America versus Inferior America.  You will always have “two Americas.”

After the Trayvon Martin verdict, as a Christian, I know what God wants.  I know His standard.  I also know that this body that I have, that has the outer covering of color, the color brown; this body is really just a tent (2 Peter 1:12-14) that houses the Spirit of God.  We impose various characteristics to the “tent” that we have and others have.  We attribute “like” to some tents, “hate” to others and to some tents we say “stay away from those tents because…”  The fact is, however, we all are just spiritual beings living in a “tent.”  We have made the “tent” more important then what God intended it to be.  As a Christian, I know that when I die, like everybody else, I will put this tent away and God will give me an eternal body.

So, as a Christian, I also know I serve a God who is just.  I would not have known what justice is if it was not for what God has shown me in His word, the Bible.  I know He hates injustice (2 Chronicles 19:7) and oppression (Isaiah 58:6).  It bothers me that some who are “Chritians” can “miss” the injustice that occurred in the Trayvon Martin case.  The young man was profiled by an average citizen, not a law officer (still illegal to do so).  The citizen, George Zimmerman, pursued Trayvon and eventually shot him in the heart and killed him with that one shot.  All the “code words” that I mentioned above were applied to Trayvon to criminalize him because he, after all, belonged to the “inferior America.”  By the time the case was done, those who just looked at the so-called “facts” seemed to feel justified in acquitting George Zimmerman while dishonoring and devaluing the life of Trayvon Martin.

The American criminal justice system is set up to look at the “facts” for the most part.  There are a lot of biases that are inherint in the system.  Here are some:  Most judges are white, most jurors are white, most laws were written by whites,  most police officers are white and the list goes on.  The bias in this system is simple; a white judge, police officer, or juror is readily “connected” with a a white  defendant or plaintiff.   They can relate because they could say, “Wow, he could be my father, my brother or my son.”  When both the defendant and plaintiff are white, perhaps a greater emphasis is on the facts of the case, however other biases (economic status, nationality, etc.) can be at play. When faced with a black defendant or plaintiff, the connectivity (translated here as bias) is nonexistent.  The white judge, police officer, or juror can’t picture this black defendant or plaintiff (black youth, in the case of Trayvon) as a possible father, brother, or son.  That is too much to ask.  The only thing these people tend to do in the case of a black defendant or plaintiff is “apply the law of the land.”  Just the “facts” and only the “facts” are looked at.  The idea of a human life being taken, the hurting parent, wife, husband, the future, the pains, none of that comes into play because there is no connection and there is no relatability.  It is hard to understand motive and the implications of the crime in question when there is no connection or  empathy.  If a case is not made to “humanize” the black defendant or plaintiff,  then, the so-called “facts” and statutes will inevitably “do him in.”  I am almost certain that the mostly white jury that acquitted Zimmerman did not say to themselves:   “Wow, this could happen to my son if I don’t convict Zimmerman.”  They could not say such a thing because this does not happen to white young men.  The empathy was so far removed from this case but that’s “normal” in America.  This issue must be addressed if we are to have somewhat of a fair justice system.

Regardless of the “laws of the land,” we are all human beings.  It is unfair to have a sytem designed to empathize with whites while it serves to alienate and disenfranchise blacks and other people of color.  That is simply unjust by any real sense of the word.  Anyone who does not understand what I have said so far should approach (preferrably during the day in an open environment – they may thing you are behaving like Zimmerman?) any black person and ask them:  “What has it been like for you living in America as a black person?”  The older the person, the more they can tell you.  If you feel brave enough and you really want to understand, then ask them this question:  “What did the acquittal of George Zimmerman mean to you?”  Don’t try to tell them how to think or look at the facts, just use this to get a glimpse of the “world” that a black person lives in.

As a Christian, I don’t think it is enough to say to other Christians, “Hey the world is evil and that’s just how it is.”  That is a very true statement and I absolutely agree with it and believe it.  But, as the light of the world (Mathew 5:14-16) Christians have to try to empathize with those who are hurting like God empathizes.   Christians must validate people’s pain and see how they can relieve those pains.  There were many “Christians” in the time of slavery, lynchings and state-sponsored terrorism against blacks.  Some of those “Christians” made it worst for the oppressed when they should have stood up and said “This is wrong!”  God’s standards are not limited to a church gathering.  He wants the whole world to know His standards.  If I could say a few things to shed some “light” on how the world is treating innocent people then I see it as my duty to shed light.

We feel so great when a popular and well-liked celebrity takes on a good cause and speaks up on behalf of an oppressed group.  It means something to us.  If God parted the heavens and said, “This injustice has to stop and everyone must do their part to stop it!” We would be impressed.  He essentially did that when He sent Moses to free the Jews (Exodus 3:1-10) from the Egyptians.  If all of us look hard enough, we will all see that our American system, as it is, is very flawed, biased and deadly.  It is time for all of us to do our part to redo this system and remove the “perks” for some but serve as a death trap for others.  Americans have not decided to be EQUAL.  We must effectively tackle this issue and help as many  Americans as possible to see that EQUALITY is the reality…anything else is a myth.  God did create all men equal in His sight.  Our diversity is there to experience the various qualities of God, that is all.

Every man and woman with a conscience should do something to keep this discussion going and expect significant change.  Everyone who believes in EQUALITY must step up and lend a hand to create a movement in America that will not be stopped.  Pressure must be applied to this dysfunctional system that is full of bias.  Federal standards need to be put in place to protect all citizens in every State of the United States of America.  It should not be left up to individual states to decide the value of the life of American citizens or that of the aliens who live among us.  Let Trayvon’s tragic death serve as the catalyst that gets us, in America, to discuss and tackle this issue of race openly, from the White House to the alleyways of Bronx, NY.  Every corner of this country needs to be free for every American and denial or dismassal of this issue cannot be accepted anymore.

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Not Guilty Verdict for George Zimmerman? Trayvon’s Murderer is Free to go…

Posted on 13 July 2013 by mdepeine

Many in America feel helpless and know in their hearts that a great injustice has been done. An innocent black young man was killed as he walked in what is considered the most “free nation” in the world. Trayvon’s life was cut short because someone (George Zimmerman) was convinced that he was a “criminal.” Trayvon was clearly profiled. Zimmerman did not follow the direction of the police when he was told to stop pursuing the teen. Trayvon’s parents have lost their son and now they have also lost the case to get justice in the American (via Florida) court system. As The Florida State Attorney (Angela Corey) spoke she had a smile on her face in many instances. It didn’t seem to register to her that the people she represented were experiencing another very painful moment in reference to their son’s death and murder? Angela answered the questions with a sense of detachment and she was almost glib. To me it seemed that this was “just another” procedure, nothing more. The prosecutor and especially, the assistant prosecutor clearly identified with the victims. That may be a big problem with our “justice” system; in some cases (like this one) the law is the law! In other cases those who represent the victims genuinely identify with the pain of the crime inflicted and they also transfer that sense of human emotion and value of life to the jury. Without that connection and transfer, the “law and the process” wins, but the victims are almost always the losers. The attorney General’s press conference was more about applauding the “Florida” system than it was about the anguish and lost the victims experienced. It bothers me when people glory in their system when that system favors only a portion of the population. We must do more and we must expect more.

 

Isaiah 58:6

 

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice

and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

and break every yoke?

 

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Another Young Black Child Killed…For Being Black?

Posted on 02 December 2012 by mdepeine

Jordan Davis and his friends were listening to loud music in their car.  These are teenagers enjoying their music.  Sure, the music may not have been to everyone’s liking but they had the right to live.  That sounds absurd to me that I am writing about music and death of a teen at the same time!

Again, in Florida, a white man (Michael Dunn, 45 years old) took his gun and decided that he had every right to shoot at black youths.  He shot at their car eight (8) times and two (2) bullets hit Jordan Davis and killed him.  Jordan was 17 years old.  Why did this man think that  he had that right?  Why did he think it was his business to stop these kids and tell them what to do?  Why did he think that he had the right to pull out his gun and shoot at people who did nothing against him?  These kids were in their car…they never got out of the car, yet he had the nerve to say that he felt threatened because he supposedly saw a shotgun?  Then, call the police, don’t just start shooting at people because you feel like it.  Why shoot at these kids, God’s children, eight times and then run like a coward?  Now, he wants to hide behind Florida’s deadly “Stand Your Ground Law.”  Imagine if this were a black man who had done the shooting  of white youths while they listened to their music?  Would their be  a national outrage?  You could bet on it!

This is absolutely disgusting and inhumane.  It is outrageous and absolutely unfair!  Worst of all, the killer left the scene of the crime and drove off close to 200 miles away.  There are reports that he was under the influence of alcohol?

This is another example of how worthless the life of a black youth is in America.  This incident, the Trayvon Martin incident, and many others like it illustrate a deep and growing cancer in America towards the black youths.

Everyone should say “No more!  No more!  Enough is enough!  Blacks, whites, Hispanics, Indians and all people need to say “Enough is enough!  This is an American problem.  Too many sit quietly and ignore this issue as if it is so isolated and it is not!  Kids are being victimized and there is not an outrage…all people with half a conscience should be outraged and say “No more!”  Where is the compassion?  True compassion should never have a “color.”  If you are compassionate, you will have compassion for “your kind” and others as well.

Tribute Song: Shot Into History (Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell…) – YouTube

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Voter Suppression in Florida, Pennsylvania and other Crucial States (Election 2012)

Posted on 25 September 2012 by mdepeine

How is it that in the year 2012 we have elected officials all over the United States devising ways to keep people from voting?  There is a presidential election occurring on November 6, 2012 and Republican politicians are “bending over backwards” to suppress the vote.  They have claimed that there needs to be provisions put in place to prevent voter fraud (less than 1% cases documented).  This could not be further from the truth!  Millions of Americans, mostly blacks and hispanics, are in jeopardy of losing their right to vote because of these last minute changes made to suppress the vote.  Here are some of those restrictions:

1.  The requirement of a state issued photo Identification card at a cost (in Pennsylvania, alone, that affects approximately 800,000 voters).  This change should never be allowed during a Presidential election year!  It takes years to correctly implement such new changes, not a few weeks before an election.

2.  The reduction of early voting days (in Florida, they had 15 days of early voting in 2008, this year, it has been cut down to only 8 days) will create even bigger lines than what we saw in 2008.  Our elected officials should be looking for ways to expedite the process, not create extreme “bottleneck” and regression to “days of old” when only the “privileged” got the “right” to vote.

3.  Most government agencies could not produce the volume of ID cards necessary to allow all eligible voters to vote in time for the elections.  A situation was created that makes it physically impossible to make the new IDs that would be necessary to allow all voters who wished to, the opportunity to vote.  This is grossly unfair!

4.  In some cities, Florida will have a voting sheet that will be as long as 10 pages per voter (with several referendums to decide on)!  Imagine the extra long lines that will create and the discouragement and frustration it will cause to many seniors and people who cannot afford to miss hours of work (poll tax?) to wait to vote.

How could a party that seems to pride itself on protecting the US Constitution create such scenarios to disenfranchise so many Americans?  This smells of extreme hypocrisy and a gross lack of patriotism.

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