Michael Jackson Would Have Been 58 Today

Caterpillars, moths, butterflies, a certain roach, and all creatures great and small,

Michael JacksonI had an out-of-town guess this weekend so am behind in blogging.  Today, I came online to write a post about Michael Jackson.  It seemed like yesterday when the news reported his death.  Then, I read the news about Gene Wilder.  He passed today at the age of 83. When I read the book It’s Always Something by Gilda Radner, it gave me a view about Gene Wilder that I had not known.  Gilda loved him dearly.   I remember the chemistry he had acting along with Richard Pryor and Cleavon Little.   It’s rather strange that on August 29, 2016 as we think about Michael’s birthday, that Gene Wilder would cross over to the other realm.

One of my favorite videos/songs by Michael Jackson is They Don’t Care About Us. It was released in 1996, and today in 2016, I think the song was really saying that Black lives matter.   Michael did two videos for that song.  Here they are.

 

 

Happy Birthday Katherine Johnson

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

 

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Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician who calculated the trajectory of NASA’s first manned spacecraft was born on this day, August 26th, in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

 Her father, a farmer and logger who only had a sixth grade education, was a whiz at math.  In an interview with Cathy Lewis of WHROTV, Dr. Johnson recalled that her father could listen to a difficult math word-problem and immediately have the answer and that he could determine the number of board feet he could get from a tree just by looking at it. When it came time for high school and college for his four children he began working at a hotel and had extra jobs to support the studies of his four children.

Watching her three siblings enter elementary school before she did, Katherine could hardly wait to attend school.  She loved learning and had a special fascination for numbers.  She loved counting everything around her, even the number of steps she walked on her way to church. When she finally did attend school, she was such an outstanding student that she was skipped to second grade, and by the time she was 10, she entered high school where mathematician Angie King recognized her mathematical talent and mentored her during those four years.   Read the rest of this entry

Throwback Thursday – Joyful, Joyful

Let’s send forth positive thoughts and for praying people, prayers for peace, healing and life. 

 

 

Defining Black Lives Matter – Part 3

Is Black Lives Matter a Racist, Anti-Cop Movement?

“Black Lives Matter.”  People of all colors march together chanting it.  Law enforcement officers have marched with protesters who support it. Yet, it’s accused by some, including politicians and former chiefs of police, of being “racist” and “anti-cop.” Why?6360388961552704001704709008_policechiefchrismagnusholdingupblacklivesmatterprotestsignposterartwork-1

In looking for answers to that question, maybe this post should be sub-titled how Black Lives Matter is re-defined by opponents because that seems to be the root of the re-defining.

A piece written by Riley Lewis on The Odyssey Online articulates the misunderstanding that people have about Black Lives Matter, and how it comes about because of those who claim support for Blue Lives Matter.

“The defensive nature that surrounds the use of blue lives matter is troubling. This situation doesn’t have to be a duality; either black lives matter or blue lives matter. The lives of cops are just as valuable as the lives of black people, however black lives are not met with the same level of respect. We aren’t asking for superiority over all other lives when we say Black Lives Matter. We’re asking for equal treatment. With the amount of videos that display unnecessary use of force against African American people, it is almost impossible to claim there isn’t an issue with the treatment of people of color in this nation. “

That peeked my interest, so I researched Blue Lives Matter online.  It turns out that they have a Facebook page and a website.   The Facebook page gives a description for itself which says in pertinent part;

“The name of Blue Lives Matter originated from the incident in Ferguson, Missouri; however, the initiative has been a long fought battle in the history of law enforcement. In today’s evolving society, an increasing number of citizens fail to accept responsibility for their actions and attempt to escape the consequences through outward blame.”

The Blue Lives Matter website states that it is a “media company” and

 “The officers who founded this organization were motivated by the heroic actions of Officer Darren Wilson, and many others, and decided to create this organization in the hopes that it could prevent more officers from being hurt.’

The site doesn’t say how Darren Wilson was hurt.  It is reasonable to think that they are referring to the investigation.  However, people are investigated when they kill another human being, so that’s not out of the ordinary in the criminal justice system.

What is clear is that Blue Lives Matter was formed in reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement.  Black Lives Matter seeks to end police brutality against the Black community.  Blue Lives Matter says that Black Lives Matter gives a false impression of police brutality against people of color.  In reading the website and Facebook comments for Blue Lives Matter, it appears that they pursue their agenda by representing that every Black person killed by law enforcement deserved to be killed.   Read the rest of this entry

Donald Trump, Your Message to Blacks is Insulting

In the last several days, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has made speeches before predominately White supporters asking African-American citizens to vote for him.  Not only did he paint with a broad brush, he also told people that Democrats are bad for Blacks.  He talked about the Republican party, the party of Lincoln, being the best choice for Black voters.

I am blessed to have been born to older parents, and 23 years after the first-born.  My dad was born in 1897.  He died when I was 16-years old and it’s as if I can hear him today talking about politics.  I wish that I could hear him today.  You see, one of the things my dad used to talk about was how colored people supported the Republican party, and how that would change with the 1960 presidential election.

Many black leaders, including Martin Luther King, Sr.,and Jackie Robinson, initially supported Nixon’s 1960 bid for the presidency.  Southern Whites were devastated.  They didn’t want to vote Democrat because Kennedy was Catholic, and they didn’t want to vote Republican because they believed Nixon was interested in giving voting and other civil rights to Blacks in the South.  Kennedy then reached out to southern democrats by selecting Lyndon Johnson from Texas as his running mate. Read the rest of this entry

White Supremacists Enter Houston’s 3rd Ward Carrying Confederate Flags & Racist Slogans

I can’t help but question — if they are pro-cop, then why weren’t they carrying signs with the names of those cops killed, regardless of the race of the killer? I think that one officer out of New Mexico was buried this weekend.

United States Hypocrisy

Armed with assault rifles, confederate flags and white supremacist slogans, a group of the extreme fascist right-wing calling itself ‘white lives matter’ stood on the grounds of the Houston Chapter of the historic civil rights organization – the N.A.A.C.P. – to sing the praises of police officers who’ve killed unarmed Black people and decry activists who’ve spoken out against police abuse. They claimed to be exercising their “second amendment right to defend ourselves”, despite their going into the overwhelmingly black third ward to spread their toxic agenda.

Perhaps not surprisingly these white supremacists with their stated pro-cop agenda were barricaded and protected by police officers. It goes without saying that the response to this demonstration on the part of police was completely different from their response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Imagine for a moment organizers of a #BLM march carrying assault rifles and wearing bullet proof vests! You can’t imagine it…

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Sunday Lift Up

Love your enemies

One of my favorite movies is The Fighting Temptations.  Here’s a video of one of the uplifting songs from that movie.

Happy Sunday, and here’s hoping that joy will fill your heart. 

 

The Life and Death of Georgia Sheriff Deputy Kyle Dinkheller

In my research for the series Defining Black Lives Matter, I found some articles about Blue Lives Matter.  I was going to include the following in a part of the series, but decided that this needs its own post.  It is about Georgia Sheriff Deputy Kyle Dinkheller.  First, please watch the video.  When I first watched it, I fell to my knees sobbing.  It’s one of those painful things that we need to watch to see what humans do to other humans, and should remind us of the precious gift of life.

 

Andrew Brannan

Convicted cop-killer Andrew Brannan

Andrew Brannan was convicted of the 1998 murder of Laurens County, Georgia sheriff deputy Kyle Dinkheller.  Deputy Dinkheller was 22-years old when he was murdered.  Dinkheller pulled Brannan over for driving 98 mph. Brannan used a M-1 carbine rifle.  At the time, Brannan was 49 years old when he deliberately shot Officer Dinkheller 9 times, the last shot being in the eye.

Brannan was found the next day. He had been wounded in the stomach. He was taken alive.

Officer Dinkheller left behind an expectant wife and 22-month-old daughter when he died on January 12, 1998. Deputy Dinkheller’s son was born in September 1998.  Read the rest of this entry

Seattle Police Department Won’t Comply With Constitutional Policing Without Wage Hike

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U.S. District Court Judge James Robart

Federal district court judge James Robart is a President George W. Bush appointee.  He is presiding over a case involving a consent decree between the Department of Justice and the City of Seattle.  The decree was reached in 2012, and required the city to remedy unconstitutional practices including illegal stops, unreasonable and deadly use of force, and other practices.

In order to fulfill its legal obligation, Seattle attempted to reach a compromise with the police union this summer, offering a new contract that mixed the requisite reforms with wage hikes. The union overwhelmingly rejected the contract on the grounds that it did not sufficiently reward officers with more money and benefits in exchange for engaging in constitutional policing.

“The court and the citizens of Seattle will not be held hostage for increased payments and benefits … ,” U.S. District Judge James Robart said of contract talks, adding, “I’m sure the entire city of Seattle would march behind me.”

Read the rest of this entry

Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children

ashley-cook-8-stages-of-genocide-7-728Hat-tip to CFBostonBrian who referenced a link on his blog.  Reading that link, I found another link to a 20 page report by Phillip Atiba Goff and Matthew Christian Jackson of the University of California, Los Angeles; Brooke Allison Lewis DiLeone of the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Boston, Massachusetts; Carmen Marie Culotta and Natalie Ann DiTomasso of the University of Pennsylvania.  The research paper is titled “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children.”

Their study, conducted in 2008, indirectly corrected me on using the term “demeaning”.   I should have been using the term “dehumanizing.”

When Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012, there were people online who vigorously argued against Trayvon being a child.  That argument continues today.  Memes of Trayvon and his family being apes and raccoons were used to justify his killing.  On May 4, 2014, I blogged some of the screenshots.   I looked for reasons behind the demeaning because it was more than racial prejudice — it was absolute hatred, wishes of violence, and disrespect for human life.

The research and study conducted by Goff and colleagues supports that there is a link between dehumanization and sanctioned violence.   It gives a history of dehumanization in the United States as a necessary condition for state-sanctioned violence. :

“The logic of this assertion is that dehumanizing groups morally excludes them (Opotow, 1990), making it permissible to treat people in a way that would be morally objectionable if they were fully human. U.S. history is replete with examples of this kind of moral exclusion of Black children. For instance, the policies of chattel slavery (mostly pertaining to peoples of African descent) permitted children to be separated from their parents and forced into labor at any age (Guttman, 1976). In 1944, a Black 14-year-old, George Junius Stinney Jr., became the youngest person on record in the United States to be legally executed by the state (electrocuted without the benefit of a lawyer, witnesses, or a record of confession; Jones, 2007). And, notoriously, in 1955, a 14-year-old Black boy named Emmett Till was dragged from his bed, disfigured, and lynched for allegedly whistling at a White woman (Crowe, 2003). What psychological context could explain this treatment of children? Again, there is reason to believe it may be contexts that provoke dehumanization.”

Read the rest of this entry

10 things you need to know today: August 14, 2016

From morning and into the night. a lot happened yesterday. Thanks for the info.

The Fifth Column


Gretchen Ehlke/Associated Press

THE WEEK

1. Violent protests, fires in Milwaukee after fatal police shooting
Protest of a fatal police shooting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, turned violent late Saturday night as multiple local businesses, including a gas station and a bank, were set on fire. Some demonstrators also threw rocks at police officers, injuring one. The protest assembled in response to an incident Saturday afternoon in which police shot and killed a fleeing man armed with a stolen handgun after a traffic stop. The officer involved was reportedly wearing a body camera, but footage has yet to be released. Early Sunday morning, the Milwaukee Police Department tweeted that it was “restoring order” and “reducing deployments” in the neighborhood where the protest took place.

Source: USA Today, CNN

2. Trump’s allies reportedly see him as ‘sullen,’ ‘erratic,’ and ‘exhausted’ by the campaign
A report printed by The New York TimesSunday

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The Next Casualty?

This video is powerful!

Xmatman's Blah Blah Blog

The first casualty of racism is always ones own humanity. The next … ?

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DOJ Report on Baltimore Police Department. How Unlawful Arrests Are Damaging.

The DOJ released its report on its investigation into the Baltimore Police Department.  You can read the entire 164 page report here.  I’ve also placed a link to the report on the right-side border under “Documents”.

The DOJ ends its report by summarizing its findings;

“For the foregoing reasons, the Department of Justice concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that BPD engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law. The pattern or practice includes: (1) making unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests; (2) using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans; (3) using excessive force; and (4 ) retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally -protected expression. We also identified concern s regarding BPD’s transport of individuals and investigation of sexual assaults. BPD’s failings result from deficient policies, training, oversight, and accountability, and policing strategies that do not engage effectively with the community the Department serves. “

The part I want address concerns stops and arrests that are not prosecuted. Read the rest of this entry

August 10, 2016 – Wordless Wednesday

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Two State Troopers Charged After Beating Fleeing Suspect

Before 18-year old Paul O’Neal was chased by Chicago police officers and killed by a gunshot in the back, there was another car chase on the East Coast.

It happened on May 11, 2016.  The car chase lasted for about an hour and stretched from Massachusetts to New Hampshire. At times it exceeded 100 mph. The driver was 50-year old Richard Simone of Worchester, MA.  He had warrants for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, larceny, and failure to stop for officers. The failure to stop for officers charge was because 3 days before May 11, 2016, Richard Simone led the police on another chase and rammed his truck into an officer’s vehicle.

On May 11, 2016, Simone’s truck struck a police vehicle during the chase, and at one point, officers put out sticks causing Simone to hit a telephone pole.  He drove down a dead-end street where he finally stopped.  Richard got out of his truck with his hands up, and laid face down on the ground.  Officers then proceeded to beat Richard.    The chase was shown live by several news helicopters, including the beating.  The below video is when Richard stops his truck, surrenders, and is beaten.  The story continues below the video.   Read the rest of this entry

Chicago Police Shoots Unarmed Suspect In The Back


On July 28, 2016, 18-year old Paul O’Neal was fatally shot by Chicago police. The shooting is under investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA).  Paul was shot in the back.

Yesterday, numerous videos were released to the public.  There is no video of Paul being shot in the back because the body cam of the officer who fired the shot was not turned on.

Some are only looking at this from the side of Paul committing a crime, but there are two sides.  Two wrongs never make a right.

Paul O’Neal was captured on video at a gas station in Bolingbrook, Illinois where 3 vehicles were stolen overnight.  The vehicles were a 2009 Buick Enclave, a 2003 Honda Odyssey and a 2010 Nissan Rogue.   Bolingbrook is a suburb of Chicago.

About 3 hours after the vehicles were stolen in Bolingbrook,  a 2002 Jaguar XKR convertible was reported stolen.  One of the other stolen cars seen at the gas station was recovered nearby.

At about 7:30 p.m. on July 28, 2016, Paul O’Neal is seen driving the Jaguar on the Southside of Chicago. Chicago police attempted to stop the Jaguar, but it hit a Chicago police SUV and a parked car while continuing to flee. Two officers opened fire while Paul was still in the Jaguar. Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Cop Wesley Cagle Found Guilty of Assault

On Dec. 28, 2014, Baltimore police officer Wesley Cagle and three other officers responded to a commercial burglary. Authorities say 47-year-old Michael Johansen ran from the building and officers ordered him to show his hands.

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Victim, Michael Johansen, shows surgical scars resulting from being shot by Baltimore police.

Officers said that Michael reached down as if going for a gun, and two officers shot him. Prosecutors say that Cagle then approached Michael who was lying on the floor and shot him once in the groin.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby brought charges against Cagle.  Michael Johansen survived and testified against Cagle at trial.

The Baltimore Sun reports;

“In a rare conviction in a use-of-force case against a police officer, jurors found Wesley Cagle, 46, guilty of first-degree assault and a handgun charge. Prosecutors said Cagle shot Michael Johansen in the groin as he lay in the doorway of an East Baltimore corner store after two other officers had shot the man.”

The jury’s foreman was interviewed and said that the video where Michael had his hands up saying he was unarmed, helped the jury reach its verdict of guilty.

“There was no need for him to take that final shot,” said jury foreman Jerome Harper.

Michael testified that he was a heroin addict who was looking for money on the night he was shot. Read the rest of this entry

Virginia Officer Stephen Rankin Found Guilty Of Manslaughter

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William Chapman

It began on April 22, 2015 in a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Police received a call of a shoplifter.  Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin came to the scene and saw 18-year old William Chapman walking in the parking lot.  William was wearing a backpack.  Rankin stopped Chapman on suspicion of shoplifting.  William denied that he shoplifted anything.

The situation ended with Rankin shooting William twice, once in the chest, and once in the face.  The coroner found that William was handcuffed when he was shot.  No stolen property was found on William.  An autopsy report found that the shots were not fired at close range, which contradicted Rankin’s story that William was close to him, failed to comply with his demands, and lunged at him.  A video of Rankin’s taser was examined.

An investigation was held that was completed on August 21, 2015.   A grand jury indicted Rankin.  He was charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm to commit a felony. Read the rest of this entry

August – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Birthdays

 

August 1, 1894 – Benjamin Mays in Epworth, South Carolina

 

August 2, 1924 – James Baldwin

 

August 4, 1961 – Happy Birthday, President Barack Obama!

obama-happy-birthday Read the rest of this entry

St. Louis Detective and Prosecutor Sentenced By Federal Court

Let’s see if we can figure this out, and why it takes digging into several media sources to get all of the details.  Seriously, my research about this case took me back to July 2014, and online news sources St. Louis Today, Fox news, and the Washington Times.

On July 22, 2014, St. Louis, MO police detective Thomas A. Carroll assaulted handcuffed suspect, Michael Waller.  He didn’t report it to superiors and assisted in filing charges against Waller.

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Thomas A. Carroll (photo by J.B. Forbes)

After 25 years on the job, Carroll was suspended without pay in late July 2014 amid ongoing criminal and internal investigations that is said to have involved the FBI.  Subsequently, Carroll retired.  Internal affairs charged Carroll with failure to follow an order.

Michael Waller was charged on July 23, 2014 with receiving stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit card, along with an escape charge relative to resisting arrest.  He was allegedly in possession of a stolen credit card that belonged to Carroll’s daughter.  His booking photo shows that he had a black-eye.

Two St. Louis prosecutors, Bliss Worrell and Katherine Dierdorf, were forced to leave their jobs because of their knowledge of events, and the circumstances related to charging Waller.  There was investigation that Carroll was giving prosecutors unauthorized ride-alongs that included allowing them to use his taser on suspects.  The same day that Worrell and Dierdorf left their jobs, the charges against Waller were dismissed. Read the rest of this entry

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