Posts Tagged ‘murder

06
Jul
16

Chat Away: #AltonSterling

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29
Jul
15

This Is What Cold Blooded Murder Looks Like

Eric

This rash of police murders of unarmed AA citizens is the perfect illustration of the institutional racism against Black folks that has plagued this country since its founding. The predominate view among cops in this country is that Black life is worthless. They kill a Black person with all the emotion exhibited in killing a fly. This dehumanization finds its roots in chattel slavery, where the ruthless exploitation of Black slaves required the oppressor strip the oppressed of his/her humanity. While I am glad the prosecutor decided to do the right thing and find his statements welcome, we must accept that this is an anomaly, a break from the norm. The swiftness of his decision tells me that the Baltimore Prosecutor Mosby set a precedent that is being followed. Her bravery and truth telling has thankfully inspired imitation. I also think that the Baltimore rebellion (I reject the “riot” label the oppressor uses) and the fear of further Black rebellions has made “doing the right thing” a bit easier (opposed to the “always back the cop” status quo). As has always been the case, the family of the latest victim is pleading for peaceful protests. God are we a forgiving people. These families are to be commended for their collective GRACE and selflessness. I fear however that if these police murders of unarmed Black citizens continues the odds are one victim’s family will advocate a violent response which could ignite a racial powder keg in this country. With each police murder, the fuse is getting shorter and shorter.

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10
Aug
14

A Word From Don

Michael Brown

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Don

It is amazing how black men can keep their sanity despite the insanity that happens to them.

I remember one time I took my wife to a medical appointment at an office building, usually I drop her off at the entrance and I wait in my car in the parking lot usually listening to music or talk radio. Anyway this one time I decided to go in the lobby to use the rest room. As I exited my car this white lady was walking towards me, the look of fear she had or her face was palpable, she clutched her purse so tight her hands turned red. As usual I smiled at her to ease her fears, see I’ve discovered that when I run into white people on a one on one situation I smile just so they will feel comfortable.

I’m tired of smiling; I’m tired of having to worry about some stranger feeling comfortable or uncomfortable in my presence. Why is it that when I’m the only black person in an elevator with a bunch of white peoples, nobody smiles to make me feel comfortable?

Why is it that when I’m anywhere and I’m the only black person there, nobody smiles at me to make me feel comfortable?

The average black man will tell you, if he’s lived long enough, that he’s discovered certain mechanisms he uses to make people feel comfortable in his presence. So now another black kid is dead under unclear circumstances, another black community is in pain, and another policeman is on paid administrative leave.

By this time tomorrow we’ll know everything this young black kid has done since he left his mother’s womb, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. I’ve got an eight year old son; I used to wonder about what college he will attend or what does he want to do when he grows up. As black men we’ve learned to focus our thinking on the present more so than on the future when it comes to our black boys.

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• • •

Nerdy

Thank you for your truthful commentary, Don.

It is a horror in our country that we always have to worry about making white people feel comfortable first before we think of ourselves. When outside, we make sure we smile to make them feel comfortable, we put our hands out so they don’t think we’re hiding something, we make sure we aren’t dressed in threatening ways (who the heck knows what that is because apparently, a hoodie is now threatening), we make sure when walking to our cars, our keys are prominently displayed so suspicious stares stop and cops aren’t called (I’ve been harassed in that manner and now whenever I’m in a predominantly white neighborhood, I make sure my car keys are prominently displayed so that they’re comfortable that I am indeed walking to my own car. I shouldn’t have to do that, but I must so that a group of white people aren’t threatened by one black person).

We make sure we don’t run in public because that looks suspicious (yeah, apparently running is suspicious), we make sure that we are 100% respectful to cops or your life may end that day. Yes sir, no sir, I’m sorry, sir. My hands are out, sir. I’m not holding anything suspicious, sir. I remember my shock and surprise when my white friend argued with a cop and I had to tell her to stop doing that because the person who’ll get shot first is me not her. I can’t even imagine the freedom that white people have to argue with cops and tell them loudly that they have rights. The thought that runs through my mind when I’ve been stopped by cops is the talk that my parents had with me. Be polite, make sure your hands are where they see them, say yes sir/yes m’am, never raise your voice, speak very softly, and it goes on and on and on. The prevailing thought being, good god, please let me be alive after this interaction. White people don’t understand that fear and pain where the cop isn’t there to serve and protect, but to shoot you first then ask questions later.

We make sure that we don’t raise our voice in public lest we seem threatening. I’ve been in coffee shops where white people raise their voices and everyone shrugs it off, but then a black person raised their voice while talking on the phone and a deathly silence filled the shop as people looked fearfully as though the black person was going to kill them. It’s insane.

We make sure that we never leave the house without any form of identification or company card to prove that we’re respectable and that still doesn’t guarantee your life will be safe.

The thought runs through your mind: Why are you as a white person not trying to make me feel comfortable in public? Why are you allowed to raise your voice in public and express your frustrations but I can’t? Why are you allowed to assert your rights with cops but I can’t? Am I not a human being too?

I’ll say it again. It is a horror in our country where a large swath of people can’t think about their lives and safety first, but have to think about others and making them feel comfortable just because of the color of our skin. We’re doctors, teachers, lawyers, business owners, parents, children, etc; but that doesn’t seem to matter when we’re out in public.

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Continue reading ‘A Word From Don’

11
Mar
12

“shocking”

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai from his vehicle outside the Jane E. Lawton Community Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Sunday, March 11, 2012. The President called to express his shock and sadness over the reported killing of Afghan civilians. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama’s statement on the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan:

“I am deeply saddened by the reported killing and wounding of Afghan civilians. I offer my condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives, and to the people of Afghanistan, who have endured too much violence and suffering. This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan. I fully support Secretary Panetta’s and General Allen’s commitment to get the facts as quickly as possible and to hold accountable anyone responsible.”

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WH: “President Obama called President Karzai to express his shock and sadness at the reported killing and wounding of Afghan civilians. President Obama extended his condolences to the people of Afghanistan, and made clear his Administration’s commitment to establish the facts as quickly as possible and to hold fully accountable anyone responsible. The President reaffirmed our deep respect for the Afghan people and the bonds between our two countries.”

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More at the BBC – and here

15
Oct
11

reverend al & martin iii

October 15, Washington DC

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Dewey Bozella won his fight tonight! (See today’s earlier thread about his story here)

Thank you for the news Hopefruit

15
Oct
11

‘humbled and overwhelmed’ (update: he won his fight!)

ESPN: President Barack Obama called Dewey Bozella on Thursday to wish him luck in Saturday night’s cruiserweight bout with Larry Hopkins in Los Angeles.

The 52-year-old, who was released from prison in 2009 after serving 26 years for a murder he did not commit, will make his professional boxing debut at the Staples Center on the undercard of light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins’ defense against Chad Dawson.

“I was so humbled and overwhelmed at the president’s call,” Bozella told The Ring. “It brought tears to my eyes. I thanked him for taking an interest in my story. Wow. There is a lot riding on this fight now.”

“This is just getting bigger. President Obama told me that he was rooting for me. I would love to meet him in person someday.”

…. Bozella, who boxed as an amateur and while he was in an upstate New York prison, dreamed of fighting professionally while he was incarcerated….

In 1983, Bozella was convicted of the 1977 murder of a 92-year-old woman in her Poughkeepsie, N.Y., home …. There was no physical evidence of Bozella being in her home and he had been bicycling by himself miles away, but was arrested and ultimately convicted. Eventually, the case against him was overturned when witnesses against Bozella recanted their stories.

Full story here

Thank you BWD

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Update: He won! Link (Thank you Hopefruit)

26
Mar
11

‘i have nothing to say’

Michael Tomasky (The UK Guardian)

16
Mar
11

oscar romero

Salvadorans carry banners with the image of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero during the commemorations of the 30th anniversary of his death at the Metropolitan cathedral in San Salvador, March 24, 2010

I was only 13 when Oscar Romero was assassinated, but as a young Catholic, just getting fired up politically, who couldn’t find any Catholic leaders to respect, until I found him, his death had an enormous effect. These are some edited extracts from Wikipedia about his life:

Oscar Romero was a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador. He was assassinated on March 24, 1980 … He is considered by some the unofficial patron saint of the Americas and El Salvador….

In February 1977, he was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador. His appointment was welcomed by the government, but was met with surprise, dismay, and even incredulity by many priests … who feared that his conservative reputation would negatively affect liberation theology’s commitment to the poor….

On March 12, a progressive Jesuit priest and personal friend Rutilio Grande, who had been creating self-reliance groups among the poor, was assassinated. His death had a profound impact on Romero who later stated, “When I looked at Rutilio lying there dead I thought, if they have killed him for doing what he did, then I too have to walk the same path”…..

…In response to Fr. Rutilio’s murder, Romero revealed a radicalism that had not been evident earlier. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture…..

In 1979, the Revolutionary Government Junta came to power amidst a wave of human rights abuses by paramilitary right-wing groups and the government. Romero criticized the United States for giving military aid to the new government…

….Romero was shot on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a small chapel one day after a sermon where he had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God’s higher order and to stop carrying out the government’s repression and violations of basic human rights. According to an audio-recording of the Mass, he was shot while elevating the chalice at the end of the Eucharistic rite. When he was shot, his blood spilled over the altar along with the contents of the chalice.

A Salvadoran touches the tomb of slain Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, March 24, 2010…It is believed that the assassins were members of a death squad trained and funded by the United States….

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Next week, it is being reported, President Obama will visit Monsignor Romero’s tomb during his trip to El Salvador on March 23.

There honestly are no words to describe how incredible the symbolism of that visit would be, if it can happen – for El Salvador, and for current or ex-Catholics (like me) in every part of the world. Romero was an extraordinary man, who made an extraordinary personal journey – he was ‘promoted’ by the Vatican because he was a conservative, but then his friend was murdered:

“When I looked at Rutilio lying there dead I thought, if they have killed him for doing what he did, then I too have to walk the same path”.

Whatever the truth about his assassination, there is no doubt that the United States – and, sadly, Jimmy Carter – was a shameful accomplice.

So, if Barack Obama, President of the United States, is able to visit Oscar Romero’s tomb next week it would be something incredibly special.

17
Feb
11

in memory

President Barack Obama signs the John M. Roll United States Courthouse Bill in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on February 17. The bill will name a new federal courthouse in Yuma, Arizona, after slain federal Judge John M. Roll who died in last month’s shooting in Tucson. The President was joined by members of Roll’s family, members of the Arizona Congressional delegation, and members of his cabinet.

10
Jan
11

in memory. stay strong.




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