Trayvon Martin was born on February 5, 1995. He would have been 22 years old today.
It is because Trayvon was killed that I came to the internet in 2012. The man who killed him claimed defense under Florida’s controversial stand your ground law. Seeing racially bigoted comments, and attacks upon his family and friends, opened my eyes that America is not post-racial. Others saw this too. The Black Lives Matter Movement was birthed.
Trayvon’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, have published a book titled “The Enduring life of Trayvon Martin: Rest in Power“. The 368 page hardcover book sells for $26.00. The book is available for Kindle for $12.99 and on audio CD for $35.00. It became available in bookstores on January 31, 2017.
Yes, dear brother Trayvon, you are resting in power. May your parents, and all parents who advocate against gun violence and for truth and equal justice, be strengthened and empowered to keep the light burning.
In response to the killing of Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016, Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in the streets of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Police arrested 92 protesters. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office would not prosecute the protesters. However, those arrested incurred bond, administrative fees and court costs in order to be released. To have those arrests expunged requires more money.
Activist DeRay McKesson was among those arrested.
A federal class-action lawsuit was filed alleging that the militarized police were aggressive in their response to protesters and used “unconstitutional tactics” to infringe upon the protesters’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly. Fewer than 10 percent of the protesters in the class-action lawsuit were from out of town. Read the rest of this entry
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?
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
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.
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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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 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
Historical Attitude That Black Lives Are Expendable
“History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 – NIV
Have you ever been in an argument or debate with someone and mention what they did previously and their defense is that you are bringing up the past? When patterns or behaviors are repeated, and even current, the past is brought up to show a demonstrated pattern of conduct. The criminal justice system does it all the time.
In February 1991, 34 nations led by the United States successfully freed the people of Kuwait from Iraq’s invasion. American troops represented the spectrum of America, being all colors and genders. General Colin Powell was the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and he was in interviews along with General Norman Schwarzkopf. They were perfect examples of the love of freedom for America and other countries. America’s military and the men who led it exemplified unity and the greatest of this country.
Less than one month after freeing Kuwait, on March 3, 1991, this nation and the world would see another side of America.
A Sony handheld camcorder captured the beating of Rodney King. The man who recorded the beating was ignored by the police and subsequently turned his video over to a local television station.
Following four days of grand jury testimony, on March 14, 1991, three Los Angeles police officers, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno, were charged. A ranking officer at the scene, Sargent Stacey Koon, was charged with “willfully permitting and failing to take action to stop the unlawful assault.”
The jury of 10 Whites, 1 Latino and 1 Asian acquitted Koon, Wind, and Briseno. The same jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge against Powell.
Then Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley disagreed with the verdict, telling The New York Times that “the system failed us.” The day after the riots began, President George H. Bush asked the Department of Justice to look into charges against the officers for violating Rodney King’s civil rights.
President George H. Bush stated,
“What you saw and what I saw on the TV video was revolting. I felt anger. I felt pain. I thought: How can I explain this to my grandchildren?”
Today, we ask the same question, not about a video from 1991, but videos since then — maybe yesterday— or even today.
Many Black Lives Matter activists were not born until after the beating of Rodney King was recorded and the officers placed on trial and acquitted. I wonder if former President George H. Bush has any words for their parents and grandparents of how to explain the repeated pattern?
At the Democratic National Convention held July 26, 2016, nine mothers appeared on the stage. Those nine were:
Sybrina Fulton, mother of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin;
Gwen Carr, mother of 42-year-old Eric Garner;
Lezley McSpadden, mother of 18-year old Mike Brown;
Lucia McBath, mother of 17-year-old Jordan Davis;
Wanda Johnson, mother of 22-year old Oscar Grant;
Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, mother of 15-year old Hadiya Pendleton;
Annette Nance-Holt, mother of 16-year old Blair Holt;
Maria Hamilton, mother of 31-year old Dontré Hamilton.
Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of 28-year old Sandra Bland
The nine mothers named above represent Mothers of the Movement because their children’s names helped energize the Black Lives Matter Movement and Black Lives Matter network. Their goal is aimed at enacting better gun control measures, repeal laws that might shield vigilantes from prosecution, and increase transparency and accountability for officers who kill in the line of duty.
One would not know that if reading some of the racist tweets on Twitter, who have limited Mothers Of The Movement to be anti-cop. Rawstory has already reported on the racist speech. Read the rest of this entry
Black Lives Matter protest
My wish is that the next U.S. presidential administration would include a cabinet post to openly deal with the issues of racism within the US culture and the racist bias and unfairness in its judicial system. The Black Lives Movement deserves credit for pushing back those who would like to deny the existence of overt and implicit racism existing within the US social structure and its extension into the US judicial system.
To me the Black Lives Matter’s objectives equal being pro-police. An example would be the 2013- 2014 policing reforms, many advocated by BLM and instituted by the City of Dallas despite strong opposition from their union, resulted in a drastic reduction of complaints of police using excessive force on unarmed Black citizens. In addition there have been significantly less on the job police deaths and injuries. (This is despite the recent reprehensible sick actions of one individual in Dallas against police.) In short the same reforms and training that eliminates the killing or…
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“We shouldn’t get too caught up in this notion that somehow people who are asking for fair treatment are somehow, automatically, anti-police, are trying to only look out for black lives as opposed to others. I think we have to be careful about playing that game.” Statement of President Obama
As a Pacifist, I believe that every life matters. For the last two weeks or so, I’ve watched town hall meetings with people speaking about the Black Lives Matter Movement. I listened. I learned.
After watching a town hall meeting on CNN called Black, White and Blue, I asked myself why are people who have had no experience whatsoever being discriminated against in America because of the color of their skin, arguing over the meaning of Black Lives Matter?
Each generation sits around the dining table and shares stories of their lives. They talk about the challenges and struggles. First generation immigrants had struggles, but Black Americans have had continuous struggles. Many of the struggles are because of laws, policies and procedures that were intended to keep people of color in their place. For example, employment is one area where systemic racism has resulted in the trickle-down effect where people of all races are now faced with student loan debt and low wages because of employers raising the bar for educational qualifications. But, that’s another subject for another post.
On a gun control basis, I could very well argue that the problem with violence and killings is rooted in the lax procedures for getting guns in America and particularly, assault rifles. The illegal distribution and selling of guns is like the distribution and selling of illegal drugs in America. The root issue is that those distributing and selling are not the people who are bringing the products into this country. Those caught with them are punished in the legal system, but the origination of drug traffic is never stopped. But, that’s another subject for another post. Read the rest of this entry
Gronda, you put allot of time into this, and wrote candidly and honestly in words that I have not been able to express. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Black Lives Matter Alicia_Patrisse_Opal_tumblr
When I first wrote the following blog over a year ago, the portrayal that I tried to convey, would not have received much traction or consensus within the general American population. THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT HAS MADE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE IN MOVING PEOPLES’ HEARTS AND MINDS, TO WHERE THERE IS DIALOGUE ALONG THE LINES, THAT SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE. Now there are even reputable news outlets keeping tabs on police shootings, so that we finally have facts for reference. For example a 12/24/15 Washington Post article reports that there have been 965 police shootings for the year 2015. Other reports indicate numbers up to 1199 citizens have been shot; however all resources detail the criteria used to arrive at their numbers. This data was virtually non existent over a year ago.
HERE IS THE YEAR OLD BLOG:
There is something off key regarding the back and forth rhetoric between the police and…
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Ebony has published “The 10 Most Underreported Black Stories of 2015. The list is long, so the following are several that I found quite interesting – things I did not know.
Black Lives Matter throws support behind police shooting victim, Zachary Hammond, who was White.
The Black Lives Matter movement is serious about the message that police violence is epidemic in America. So race didn’t factor in when they took up the cause of Zachary Hammond, an unarmed, White 19-year-old South Carolina man, who was shot to death by an officer on July 26, 2015 in Seneca, South Carolina. Black Lives Matter publicly cried out for justice for Hammond, just as they did for so many other cases where Blacks were killed by cops. And just like so many others, the officer in Hammond’s case was not charged. While his family has vowed to continue to fight for justice, Black Lives Matter has included Hammond’s name in the long list of victims of excessive police brutality.
As Lincoln Blades commented in The Grio, acknowledging the systemic causes of Hammond’s death means “admitting that black folks haven’t been lying or exaggerating when we’ve said that there is a real problem with policing in America.”
Bomb explodes outside Colorado Springs NAACP office Read the rest of this entry
This past week in Houston, Texas a white police officer, Darren Goforth, was fatally shot and killed by a black man with a lengthy and violent criminal history. It was a horrendous crime. Thankfully, the alleged perpetrator, Shannon Miles, has already been arrested.
Typically, people who harm police officers don’t make it far before they are caught and either charged or killed. This case was no different.
What was different, and extremely disturbing, was when Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman attempted to draw a ridiculous connection between the peaceful Black Lives Matter movement and the murder of this officer.
The two have absolutely nothing to do with one another.
Both the official Black Lives Matter organization, its representatives, and its loosely connected friends and partners actually have real agendas, real goals, real plans, and none…
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Did the title get your attention?
This post is about the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker; astronauts, postal carriers, dog trainers, window washers, construction workers, truck drivers, assembly line workers, bankers, insurance adjusters and all other careers. It asks, are jobs the same as lives?
“Black lives matter” is a response to inequalities. In fact, it’s a response to historical inequalities. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.
There is opposition that responds, “Police lives matter.” When the opposition responds by using a career choice, it resounds with hypocrisy, double-standards, and ignorance. All lives matter and human life should not be valued by job titles.