Lemonade: Rejoice or Simply Recede  

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I finally tasted #Lemonade and it wasn’t anything like it was portrayed to me. It was a full bodied thirst quenching tall glass of amniotic bliss… It was a rich visual embodiment of the call and response like conversations that women of the diaspora play out internally on a daily basis. It is sheer and utter blaspheme to paint Beyoncé as an “Angry Black Woman” seeking to publicly air a lovers spat…The images… so carefully crafted are delicate representations of our strength as black women… don’t you see?

It’s a celebration of life and vibrancy in face of dull toned turned backs… It’s a chin held high in face of misplaced applause… It’s the acknowledgment of the side eyes we’ve dished out to those whose very image we were trained to covet over our own… It’s an ode to the colored girl… and an antidote to the colorist. If you watched an hour of sunshine and chose to see rain… I can only deduce that it either wasn’t made for you or you were not ready to receive it. 

I was ready though…I been ready. I needed this more then I knew I did… a burst of brilliant blue-black ultra violet light. So many talented womenfolk pooled together in a single contiguous heart string… lined up in Formation… calling me with their eyes saluting me, emblazoned with the symbols of our pride.

I’m glad to be alive in these strange times…these fearful, exhausting, yet awe inspiring times. I finally tasted #Lemonade and all I could muster to say out loud was thank you … Thank you to the ancestors for laying the foundation for Formation by turning lemons into Lemonade under the watchful eyes of your little girls…because you never know who you are raising until they rise up.

 

What We REALLY Lost On Tuesday

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Tuesday night sucked… hard. The progressive movement suffered a number of losses but none more important that our loss of faith in the Democratic party as a whole.

I’m finished begging the Democratic party or anybody else to pay attention to issues that matter to me and people who look like me. I’m not going to concede in fear of Trump; if he wins it’s our own damn fault for ignoring the cries of the 99% and divesting from education, industry, and infrastructure for far too long… My generation is a casualty of trickle down economics, austerity, shitty foreign trade policy, a 15 year war, regressive racism, and the continued misguided political decisions of our predecessors…We have every right to be angry about the condition of world we are to inherit. I refuse to reward negative behavior and give up the rights my grandparents so viciously fought for me to have.

If my Grandfather were alive I know who he’d vote for…

If King were alive I know who he’d vote for …

I’m not a sell out. I’m not a sore loser whose pride is blocking a vote for Hillary…

I’m honoring my ancestors legacy by standing tall in principle surrounded by those stooped over in huddled pragmatism.

I am not easily knocked down… There is just too much on the line to be disillusioned by the expected voter and information  suppression accompanied by election fraud. Those of us who know that 4 more years of the same could end in unspeakable tragedy for so many understand that we have to ride this thing until the wheels fall off.  I am still on board with Bernie Sanders and if the stars align I’ll be in Philly this July channeling my Ancestors, and the millions of people who just want a fair shot at a decent life. Yes, Tuesday was disappointing but if we pull this off wouldn’t it make for a great read for future generations who will reflect bewildered by our society’s prolonged lack of empathy. I can’t wait till all of this feels like a lifetime ago but until then keep calm and Bern on.

 

Am I Missing Something?

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Growing up Black in America there are a lot of things I assumed to be common experiences.

I assumed that everyone understood that “tightening up” feeling when a cop pulls up next to you.
I assumed everyone one had “The Talk” with their children about how one has to conduct themselves with police and how being Black means you have to be twice if not three times as good as anyone one else just so people won’t question whether affirmative action got you to your station in life.
It took the overwhelming attention brought to such cases as Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner and the like for me to realize that no these feelings are not “common” and that for some fear of police is not taught. I also learned that sadly in the case of some police racism has burrowed so deep they have no clue that it factors into their decision making skills.

Check out the following video clips and judge for yourself the difference in police approach with these cases. You’ll notice how those who are outwardly aggressive towards police are not shot on sight but talked down and that for others…well… others aren’t even given a warning let alone the chance to speak…

Am I missing something? What makes the first few videos different from the last two? You tell me?

May I add the last two take place in Ohio…which is an open carry state… I’ll just leave these videos here and wait for your input…

 

No…seriously… I’m waiting… comment below.

Bi LAUREN CROOM

I’m black, my brother’s white … and he’s a cop who shot a black man on duty

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Zach-StaffordBy ZACH STAFFORD of TheGuardian.com  

My white brother loved black people more than I did when we were growing up. As a black interracial child of the south – one who lived in a (sic) homogenous white town – I struggled with my own blackness. I struggled even more with loving that blackness. But my brother, Mitch, didn’t. He loved me (sic) unapologetically. He loved me loudly.

He also loved screwing with other people’s expectations. Whenever we met new people or I joined a social situation he was in, Mitch would make sure I was standing right next to him for introductions and say, “This is Zach, my brother” – and then go silent with a smirk.

These new acquaintances would then scan back and forth with such intensity – black, white, white, black – that our faces became a kind of tennis court, with strangers waiting for someone to fault. Eventually someone would awkwardly laugh and say something like: “Oh, adoptedbrother,” immediately looking relieved to have figured it out. My brother would deny that and push the line further, “No, like, my brother. We have the same mom. We are blood.”

That would lead to someone questioning me intensely, and, each time, my white brother would stand next to me, proud: prouder than me of my own skin. And over the years, as he continued playing this game, I became prouder … with his help.

And then, years later and far away in Chicago, I got the phone call: my brother, now a cop, had shot an unarmed black man back in Tennessee.

Hearing about black men dying is never exactly a surprise. Every day, you see the news stories: On the news, black men die while getting Skittles. On the news, black men die in choke-holds. On the news, black men die for playing their music too loud. It seems black men die on the news more than they do almost anything else on the news, even with a black president in office. Every 28 hours, a black man is killed by a police officer in America.

I just never imagined that the police officer in that scenario would ever be my brother. Mitch was supposed to be different than all the rest. He was supposed to be different because of me.

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A Dallas officer is placed on leave for fleeing the scene as a pleading mother and her children dodge gun spray.

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The video you are about watch may be disturbing to some, but not for the reasons you assume.

I was deeply disturbed by the description of events detailed in the video below. More so, I probably would have been skeptical of these details had there not been multiple witnesses(two of which were Police officers).

Watch the video before scrolling…

Dallas officer placed on leave for not helping frantic mother – YouTube.

Now do you understand my distress? For the longest I have been trying to explain that although race plays a role when it comes to discriminatory policing, it isn’t the only factor:

✔ Socioeconomic
✔ Law Enforcement: demographics, moral, training, leadership accountability
✔ Municipal Leadership Demographics

all play major roles as well.The identities of the 4 officers (the three who just passed by and the one writing the ticket) that were not suspended have not been released; however, the identity of the only suspended officer has. Senior Corporal Les Richards, initially asked the victim what was going on and then upon finding out, allegedly fled the scene. He is a 26 year old veteran of the force, and he is BLACK. He shared color, culture, and history with the victim but clearly there was no inbreed sympathy for a citizen in dire need of assistance.

We can’t blame this police disservice on the catch all culprit of racism. I’m starting to think the only way to fix things is transparency and the fear of being caught in the wrong. I am now, more than ever, on board with the idea of every cop being outfitted with a streaming on-body camera. It’s a proven fact that mirrors in stores limit thefts because possible thieves can see themselves and become either too paranoid, embarrassed, or ashamed to commit the act. If both Police and criminals understood that their every move was being watched, and if officers were given performance reviews based on actual video of their interaction with the people they should be serving, crime and rights abuses would both drop. If instead of militarizing the local P.D. we armed them with mediation training, we might actually create less bitter and biased law enforcers and more of a trusting relationship between the cops and those who care to improve their neighborhood.

The world is an ever evolving place technologically, but people haven’t really changed over the millennia. We have better weapons but still haven’t figured out how to relate to each other universally or how to treat each other the way we would chose to be treated.

Let’s just stop, drop the guns, and evolve… Either that or leave the following generations a far worse world than we inherited.

BY LAUREN CROOM  

 

Michael Brown was “no angel,” according to outrageously skewed New York Times report (UPDATED) – Salon.com

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JOANNA ROTHKOPF 

On Sunday, the New York Times published what was a generally poignant piece about Michael Brown, the teenager who was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Reporter John Eligon wrote eloquently of Brown’s introspective final weeks struggling with religion and the meaning of life. However, the generally respectful article has unwittingly demonstrated the media’s unconscious bias.

Eligon wrote:

Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel, with public records and interviews with friends and family revealing both problems and promise in his young life. Shortly before his encounter with Officer Wilson, the police say he was caught on a security camera stealing a box of cigars, pushing the clerk of a convenience store into a display case. He lived in a community that had rough patches, and he dabbled in drugs and alcohol. He had taken to rapping in recent months, producing lyrics that were by turns contemplative and vulgar. He got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor.

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