Tag Archive | "Trayvon Martin"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (2)

Tags: , , , , ,

You Make the Difference!

Posted on 14 July 2013 by mdepeine

 

Re:  George Zimmerman found NOT GUILTY of 2nd degree murder

There are many citizens just like you and me who sit around and become experts in understanding the legislative (lawmaking) process in America. They know how to introduce laws and they know how to repeal them. Until you and I do the same, we will forever be at their mercy!

 

Proverbs 20:12
Ears that hear and eyes that see— the Lord has made them both.

God is aware of all the injustices in every single corner of this earth. Not one has escaped His “eyes” and His “ears.” It is true, the day will come when he will address all the wrongs that have occured, even the ones that never got to court and were experienced and witness only by the victim. God will address them all. That is a promise!

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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?

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Why is this Woman Given Such a Harsh Sentence in Florida? She Stood her Ground?

Posted on 13 July 2013 by mdepeine

Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots – CBS News

Something is very wrong with this picture.  This woman fired a “warning shot” because of the threat of domestic violence from her abusive husband and she must spend twenty years in jail?  Why is this happening in the United States of America?

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Trayvon Martin’s Life Was Unfairly Taken Abruptly and Now What?

Posted on 06 July 2013 by mdepeine

I have not watched much of the Trayvon Martin case since it began.  I saw a little of the testimony of one of the main witnesses, Rachel Jeantel.  I heard many comments about her possible effectiveness or ineffectiveness in helping the prosecution.  Many seemed to doubt that she was an”appealing” witness.  It seemed that the focus was more on her physical attributes, her speech, her degree of literacy and not the fact that she was a human being who heard a friend of hers get killed almos in her “midst.”

To me, it’s scary to think that our legal system and our media seem to be more focused on the “theatrics” of a case.  If you buy into what you see and hear in this case and many other similar cases, you’ll feel like a “good witness” has to be someone who graduated with a college degree, is articulate, well-versed and hopefully, is white?  The Psychology of the courtroom drama seems to play on what Hollywood and the media would characterize as “appealing people.”  It almost makes me think that “I hope I have someone like that around if I ever get attacked; ”  I want the “best witness.”

What have we become as a people and a legal system if the primary focus is on the look and presentation and not just the facts of the matter?  It will be sad and a huge injustice if the jurors in this case are more concerned about “appearances” and “presentation” and not the real and meaningful circumstances of the case.  The bottom line is this:  An unarmed 17 year old was gunned down by a vigilante.  The vigilante, George Zimmerman, was told to stop pursuing Trayvon Martin, but he disregarded the direction he was given by the police.  As a stranger, he confronted the young man and started an altercation.  The boy felt threatened and he apparently fought for his life.  Zimmerman killed him and as the only one who is alive, he now claims it was “self defense.”

How could you claim “self defense” if you were the aggressor?  This is the question that the jurors need to keep at the center of the case!  If they cannot justify Zimmerman’s claim (I don’t see how they could) of self-defense, then they need to find him “guilty” of the crime.  Bernard Goetz (Did Trayvon Have the Right to Defend Himself? Bernard Goetz Did! | Depeine MediaWorks), in 1984, felt threatened and he responded in “self defense.”  Do you think Trayvon Martin felt threatened when he was being pursued by a grown man, in the dark, whom he did not know?  Perhaps Trayvon  thought he was going to be mugged, assaulted, and maybe even get killed?  Unfortunately, he was right about getting killed!

Now, Zimmerman, sits with his suit and tie on, hoping that he will be found “innocent” of killing an unarmed 17 year old.  He hopes that the media and Hollywood focus of the trial will override the important issues of justice.  Zimmerman hopes that the focus will be on who has the better sounding, more educated, articulate witnesses and not on the facts and the absurdity of his claims.   Once Zimmerman “took the law into his hands,” he was guilty; he needs to be held responsible for everything he did after “crossing that line.”  Even the “Stand your Ground Law” can’t help him here.  Ironically, Trayvon Martin “stood his ground” and now he is deep in the ground; not to be seen or heard from again.  Who will stand in his place and give him the “justice” he deserves?

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

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Taboo: Speaking on Behalf of Blacks and other people of Color

Posted on 30 August 2012 by mdepeine

When something is considered “taboo” it is something that you dare not mention or bring up.  A common response to you mentioning something that is “taboo” would be “Don’t speak of it!”  When something is “taboo” everybody around “knows” that only a fool would bring up the “taboo subject” in a public setting.  You don’t blurt out such subjects when you are in a crowded room.  You don’t bring them up when you speak from the podium.  You don’t mention these “taboo subjects” at a cocktail party.  You only discuss them in the privacy of your home and in your bedroom with someone you trust.

In America, I realize that “race, racism, prejudice” are “taboo subjects.”  These subjects usually come up when a “victim” of racism or prejudice wants some expression or justice in relation to what they have experienced.  Then and only then do I see these things become almost “acceptable” to discuss openly.  For example, race was discussed openly when we saw what happened to Rodney King.  It was also discussed openly when we saw what happened to Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Chavis Parker and a host of other black men who were killed  by the police.  Other than these extremely publicized cases, it seems that the topic of race, racism and prejudice goes back on “the shelf” until needed again.

Another taboo subject in America is a person’s color.  There seems to be this collective consciousness that says that “We are all the same and we need not make distinction about color.”  Ideally, that is where we would like to get to as a country.  Realistically, however, that is not where we are.  There are too many examples that “scream” of inequality.  Too many blacks, yes, I used the word, live in poverty. Too many blacks are not getting a quality education (elementary, secondary and college).  Too many underperforming school districts are being “ravaged” by bureaucrats in the name of “school reform.”  Too many black men are in prison and have no possibility of parole.  Too many blacks are in and out of jail and don’t even have the “right to vote” any more.  Too many young black men are being brutally killed by police and other security forces in the name of “justified force.”

Yes, God has created all of us as human beings.  We breath the same air.  We drink the same water (H2O).  We bleed the same way.  Our bodies get the same sicknesses and have the same organs.  Genetically speaking, Science has linked all humans to one common mother they call “Eve.”  So, we are all the same, but when you look at the history (include slavery), we have not all been treated the same.

So, I want to shatter this “taboo” and freely discuss race, racism, prejudice and skin color (all shades) freely for the purposes of highlighting a problem that must be addressed so that lives can be improved.  The non-victims of race don’t care to discuss race.  For the victims who daily navigate this society with the understanding that the dominant (white) race barely “sees” them or cares to “hear” them, this is a true reality.  Sometimes it is more real than the air that they breath, if that were possible.

Somehow, in America, it is wrong to speak up and say that “This was done to him/her because he/she is black.”  Those of color KNOW more than anybody when they are discriminated against.  An “outsider” can never define that for them because the “outsider” does not know what it is to really experience that racism or prejudice as a minority.  Yes, a white person will experience racism and it is wrong, but even that “offense” is a lot different from the person in the minority experiencing that offense.  The person in “power” who experiences racism could say, “Well, that’s your problem if you don’t like me because of my color, I control things anyway, you will still need to come back to me.”  On the other hand, the person who is not in “power” does not have the luxury of saying what the dominant, white person can say.  The one in the minority can say “Wow, another reminder of what I have to overcome to get somewhere in this country, I hope that he/she doesn’t close too many doors for me.”  This is just a glimpse of the thoughts that people could have.  One person sets the conditions for racism, one person is forced to navigate through those conditions.

Those who are afraid to address racism in America will call anyone who points out these trends a “race monger.”  They may call anyone who wants to bring to light these issues a “racist.”  The reality is, they don’t want to open up this “can of worms.”  But those who are daily victims of it, live in the “can of worms” every day.  They just want the “can of worms” to be addressed constructively as a country, as a nation.  Lots of good was done in the 50s and 60s during the Civil Rights Movement, but still a lot more needs to be done today, in the twenty-first century.

I believe that all Americans, Christians and non Christians, should put in the effort to address this issue of race.  The funny thing is, our best churches and fellowships are afraid to tackle this issue thoroughly, even though it exists there as well.

Let’s shatter the “taboos” of race discussion.  Let’s discuss what really is there and not speak from a point of view of only what we wish was there.  You can’t confront and fix a problem that you won’t acknowledge is there.  The first step is “admitting that you have a problem.”  So, we don’t have to live by those “fake rules” that say:  Don’t mention black or white, don’t mention racism, don’t talk about slavery and its impact on race relations today, don’t talk about reparation, don’t speak up for blacks, don’t help the poor, don’t talk about trends against blacks, don’t talk about inequality, don’t talk about the contributions of slaves, and a host of other don’ts.  You fill in the rest.

We must bring race relations in the United States to the table and confront it.  It affects every facet of our society and our daily lives in an adverse way and we pretend that it doesn’t.  Barack Obama spoke about it four (4) years ago in 2008.  That was the last major attempt to address “race in America.”  Tons of books have been written about the subject and hundreds of millions of people are adversely affected by it in this country alone.  Yet, can we continue to stand by and ignore such a big PROBLEM?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mentally Ill 49 Year Old Black Man is shot 46 Times by Saginaw, MI Police

Posted on 30 August 2012 by mdepeine

Saginaw, Michigan (July 2012): Milton Hill (49 year old black man) was allegedly shot at 46 times by 6 police officers who were about 10 feet away. All of that took about 5 seconds. That’s an average of 9 bullets per second towards one man. Officers said that Milton had a knife and he refused to drop it. Milton’s parents said that he suffered from mental illness. Why didn’t they stop at one (1) bullet? Too many of these killings are occurring and nothing is being done to stop it or address it as a nation. See the video on CNN.com

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Young Black Male in Police Custody, Hands Handcuffed Behind His Back, “Found Dead” in Back of Police Car?

Posted on 22 August 2012 by mdepeine

Death Of Handcuffed Man In Police Car Ruled A Suicide : The Two-Way : NPR

How does such a thing happen in America and we are not all enraged?  How does the “Police” have the nerve to rule this a suicide?  Chavis Carter, 21 years old (Arkansas), was thoroughly searched and there was no gun found and yet he was killed by a single bullet to the temple.  Where did the gun come from?  Why was there a gap in the police dashboard monitor’s footage?  Why is there no footage of the so-called “suicide?”

I smell “cover-up!”

This is another Trayvon Martin, plain and simple!

Mario Depeine, Sr. | Shot Into History (Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell…) | CD Baby Music Store

 

Comments (0)