Thursday, March 05, 2015

"There is an evil in this town..."

"The air of Southside is foul-smelling and thick, filled with fumes from an oil refinery and diesel smoke from a train yard, with talk of riot and recrimination, and with angry questions: Why is Tarika Wilson dead? Why did the police shoot her baby?

“This thing just stinks to high heaven, and the police know it,” said Jason Upthegrove, president of the Lima chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. “We’re not asking for answers anymore. We’re demanding them.”

Some facts are known. A SWAT team arrived at Ms. Wilson’s rented house in the Southside neighborhood early in the evening of Jan. 4 to arrest her companion, Anthony Terry, on suspicion of drug dealing, said Greg Garlock, Lima’s police chief. Officers bashed in the front door and entered with guns drawn, said neighbors who saw the raid.

Moments later, the police opened fire, killing Ms. Wilson, 26, and wounding her 14-month-old son, Sincere, Chief Garlock said. One officer involved in the raid, Sgt. Joseph Chavalia, a 31-year veteran, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Beyond these scant certainties, there is mostly rumor and rage. The police refuse to give any account of the raid, pending an investigation by the Ohio attorney general.

Black people in Lima, from the poorest citizens to religious and business leaders, complain that rogue police officers regularly stop them without cause, point guns in their faces, curse them and physically abuse them. They say the shooting of Ms. Wilson is only the latest example of a long-running pattern of a few white police officers treating African-Americans as people to be feared.

There is an evil in this town,” said C. M. Manley, 68, pastor of New Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. “The police harass me. They harass my family. But they know that if something happens to me, people will burn down this town.”

Internal investigations have uncovered no evidence of police misconduct, Chief Garlock said. Still, local officials recognize that the perception of systemic racism has opened a wide chasm.
“The situation is very tense,” Mayor David J. Berger said. “Serious threats have been made. People are starting to carry weapons to protect themselves.”

Surrounded by farm country known for its German Catholic roots and conservative politics, Lima is the only city in the immediate area with a significant African-American population. Black families, including Mr. Manley’s, came to Lima in the 1940s and ’50s for jobs at what is now the Husky Energy Lima Refinery and other factories along the city’s southern border. Blacks make up 27 percent of the city’s 38,000 people, Mr. Berger said.

Many blacks still live downwind from the refinery. Many whites on the police force commute from nearby farm towns, where a black face is about as common as a twisty road. Of Lima’s 77 police officers, two are African-American.

“If I have any frustration when I retire, it’ll be that I wasn’t able to bring more racial balance to the police force,” said Chief Garlock, who joined the force in 1971 and has been chief for 11 years." [Source]

Indeed this young lady's life seemed to be a sad and tragic one. I have seen many Tarika Wilsons  here in Philly. But she did not deserve to die this way.

And meanwhile in New York.

"Prosecutors are dropping charges against 17-year-old Enrique Del Rosario related to assaulting a police officer after video contradicted their claims.

The incident took place at Brooklyn’s Puerto Rican Day parade on June 8. Dennis Flores, founder of the neighborhood police watchdog group El Grito De Sunset Park said police descended on the revelers in the evening, something that’s become expected. “We’ve been documenting this every year,” Flores told ThinkProgress. “The neighborhood gets flooded with police officers. Young kids are marching, waving flags, and cops are corraling them, pushing them around, like it’s a nuisance to have them out celebrating their culture.”

Flores’ group had several activists taping the police that day, a tactic that activists across the country have found useful for monitoring police. So they were able to capture Rosario’s arrest from multiple angles, a fact that would be crucial for proving his innocence. Photos and recordings can often mean the difference between conviction and exoneration.
Rosario wasn’t afilliated with El Grito, but he also happened to be filming when an officer shoved the woman standing next to him. In fact, Flores said that’s why he was targeted. Rosario’s lawyer Rebecca Heinegg said several officers then attacked Rosario, slamming him against the gate of a closed store and beating him with batons. “Basically, my client was a victim of a gang assault by the 72nd Precinct,” Heinegg told Max Jaeger for The Brooklyn Paper.

Once the attack started, Flores said, police began pushing people back and macing them to keep onlookers and cameras from seeing what was going on. Flores said that the injury police blamed Rosario for was caused by another cop. “This officer swung his nightstick and missed, hit another police officer across the head,” Flores said.

grand jury decided not to prosecute Rosario for assaulting a cop in September, but he continued to face charges for resisting arrest and larceny until the District Attorney’s office offered to drop all charges as long as he stays clear of the law for six months.

The charges proved to be an economic burden to Rosario’s family, even though they were dropped. Rosario and his mother Wendy Tabarez had to attend eight court dates since he was beaten and arrested, costing wages and time off lost. For working people, an arrest can come at a high price, even if they are eventually found innocent.

Rosario’s camera was never recovered, and footage from NYPD police videographers seems to have disappeared, arousing Flores’ suspicion. “It’s not like his camera was just left on the street. They took it, and it never showed up in evidence.” Both Flores and Heinegg have tried to obtain NYPD footage of the events, but have been told it can’t be located." [Source]

Look, police officers have a tough job. (One lost his life today here on the mean streets of Philly. RIP.) But at some point political leaders and people with influence in underserved communities are going to have to step up and acknowledge that we have a problem. And, more importantly, they are going to have to do something about it.

We cannot allow anymore Ferguson type situations to fester in small cities like Lima, Ohio, or in large cities like New York.


 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Owning a home while black.

Tonight my racism chase takes me to the "land of Dixie", a place where I am sure that I could find the Big R rearing its ugly head in just about every corner of that state. (h/t to Rippa for this story)

"He had just bought a home near Huntsville, Ala., and was breaking it in with a housewarming party when sheriff’s deputies knocked on the door.

When the law-enforcement officials refused to say why they had come to his new home, Dominique Kenebrew denied them entry. It was then, he claimed, that the deputies tried to enter the home, tasing him in the back.
 
The electrical engineer filed a federal lawsuit against Madison County, Ala., deputies and Sheriff Blake Dorning on Monday for illegal search, illegal seizure and excessive force, AL.com reports

The official complaint claims that Deputy Daniel Dejong "shot Kenebrew in the back with his taser, delivering a five-second electrical shock ... pulled the taser trigger two more times, delivering two more five-second electrical shocks," during the May 2013 incident.

Kenebrew was arrested after the altercation on charges of obstructing government operations, but he was acquitted.
 
More than two dozen guests were in attendance at the party when its host was apprehended. Kenebrew and his guests are black, but the 28-year-old is reluctant to say that race was a factor.
"I really don't want to go that route," he told AL.com. Still, he says of the officers, "I don't think they expected me to be the owner of the house."

Police reports and the lawsuit, while agreeing on the basic facts of the incident, vary in the specific details.

When officers knocked at Kenebrew’s new residence around 11 p.m., he stepped outside to respond to them, closing the door behind him. The officers did not have a search warrant, so Kenebrew denied them entry. According to Kenebrew, AL.com reports, the deputies tried to walk around him and enter the house anyway. Dejong says that he had noticed liquor and beer inside the home and what he thought could be underaged drinkers.
 
"I once again advised the suspect that I needed to check on the welfare and ages of the persons inside the residence, and that at this point, I was not asking his permission to enter," Dejong claimed in his report. Kenebrew reportedly denied permission, so Dejong said he tried to force his way in, but the homeowner blocked his path.

Dejong reported that he tried to pin Kenebrew’s arms behind him, but the 28-year-old was too big. However, he did admit that Kenebrew never made any threatening gestures toward the officers. Because he was unable to deter the homeowner, Dejong wrote in his report, he took out his stun gun.

At one point, a guest peeked out the door to see what was going on, and Kenebrew turned. It was then that he was tased in the back. Dejong stated in his report that he stunned the homeowner twice after that when Kenebrew did not obey commands to turn over and put his hands behind his back.

 

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".

Image result for ferguson riots"WASHINGTON (AP) — A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with its findings.

The report, which Ferguson city officials said would be released Wednesday, marks the culmination of a months-long investigation into a police department that federal officials have described as troubled and that commanded national attention after one of its officers shot and killed an unarmed black man, 18-year-old Michael Brown, last summer.

 
It chronicles discriminatory practices across the city's criminal justice system, detailing problems from initial encounters with patrol officers to treatment in the municipal court and jail. Federal law enforcement officials described its contents on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly before the report is released.

Image result for ferguson riotsThe full report could serve as a roadmap for significant changes by the department, if city officials accept its findings. Past federal investigations of local police departments have encouraged overhauls of fundamental police procedures such as traffic stops and the use of service weapons. The Justice Department maintains the right to sue police departments that resist making changes.

The city of Ferguson released a statement acknowledging that Justice Department officials supplied a copy of the report to the mayor, city manager, police chief and city attorney during a private meeting Tuesday in downtown St. Louis. The statement offered no details about the report, which the city said it was reviewing and would discuss Wednesday after the Justice Department makes it public.

The investigation, which began weeks after Brown's killing last August, is being released as Attorney General Eric Holder prepares to leave his job following a six-year tenure that focused largely on civil rights. The findings are based on interviews with police leaders and residents, a review of more than 35,000 pages of police records and analysis of data on stops, searches and arrests.
Image result for ferguson riotsFederal officials found that black motorists from 2012 to 2014 were more than twice as likely as whites to be searched during traffic stops, even though they were 26 percent less likely to be found carrying contraband, according to a summary of the findings.

The review also found that blacks were 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed by a municipal court judge. And from April to September of last year, 95 percent of people kept at the city jail for more than two days were black, it found.

Of the cases in which the police department documented the use of force, 88 percent involved blacks, and of the 14 dog bites for which racial information is available, all 14 victims were black.

Overall, African-Americans make up 67 percent of the population of Ferguson, about 10 miles north of downtown St. Louis. The police department has been criticized as racially imbalanced and not reflective of the community's demographic makeup. At the time of the shooting, just three of 53 officers were black, though the mayor has said he's trying to create a more diverse police force."

Is the injustice outlined in this Justice Department report limited to Ferguson, Missouri?

For America's sake I hope so.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Night off.

Image result for image no bloggingI am busy in the real world.

There will be no blog post tonight.

Leave a comment about anything that's on your mind.


*Pic from seroundtablecom.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Byron Allen vs. Rev. Al, and the introduction of TAEJA of 2015.

Image result for byron allen al sharpton imagesThe first part of this post is for everyone, but I would like the comments to come primarily from my black field hands regarding Rev. Al Sharpton.

If you agree with the following assessment of Rev. Al from Byron Allen, please leave a simple yes or not answer in the comments section regarding the first part of this post. :)

"Byron Allen, the CEO of Entertainment Studios, continued his attacks on Al Sharpton in light of a discrimination lawsuit Allen and other African-American media owners filed against Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The suit alleges that despite calling itself a diverse company, Comcast and TWC only carry one black-owned channel, and that Sharpton is “a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”

More specifically, Allen contends that Comcast gave Sharpton a primetime TV show on MSNBC — “despite notoriously low ratings” — in exchange for Sharpton’s public support for Comcast on issues of diversity, an area where Allen says the company severely lacks.

Appearing on Reliable Sources Sunday morning, Allen told Brian Stelter that Sharpton does not speak for him or any black people, saying it is racist to even think that Sharpton is the “go-to person” for African-Americans. He also went after Sony for supposedly believing sitting down with Sharpton “negates” its employees’ racist emails uncovered last December about President Barack Obama.

Allen also alleged that AT&T spent more money on Sharpton’s 60th birthday party than they spent on Ebony Magazine. Companies like Walmart, Chrysler, and McDonalds do not do business with Allen and other African-Americans, he said, because Sharpton is the “least expensive negro” — a claim that Stelter immediately pounced on. But Allen went even further.

According to Allen, companies like Comcast have the following mentality (an assertion that Stelter did not challenge): “don’t do business with real African-American-owned companies, just give him 50,000 and a bucket of chicken and we’re good. We won’t have any problems with real African-American-owned media.” Allen went on to call Sharpton the “shakedown,” while he is the “legitimate entrepreneur” and a victim of Comcast’s “financial genocide.” His criticism, though, was not just reserved for Sharpton.
“President Obama has been bought and paid for. He has taken donations from Comcast. Comcast is his biggest contributor. AT&T is one of his biggest contributors. Listen, Obama, your own FTC is investigating AT&T for throttling. How can you even consider them to buy DirecTV when you’re suing them? Is it because you took donations? Yes, Obama. Don’t even think about letting them merge until they settle this lawsuit and that lawsuit … Obama has to do more.”
Allen’s final thought: “Obama, do the right thing.” [Source]

Thanks for your participation and for helping our white friends to understand that Al. Sharpton does not speak for ALL black people.  

Finally, I recently received an intriguing e-mail from my friend, Francis Holland. Francis has one of the truly great and curious minds of all the folks in the diaspora.---- He is the person who first coined the phase, color arousal syndrome.

Francis has some ideas about America righting past wrongs and holding folks accountable, which I believe that I should share with you.

Here goes:

"Hi, Wayne,
 
I'm in Haiti, reading a book on the Haitian revolution and it has inspired me.  In the run-up to the revolution, Haitian Creoles were furiously writing proposals and arguments to colonist (slave drivers) and the French government for equal rights for Creoles and even emancipation of slaves. Many of the proposals went nowhere, but they clarified issues and solidified Blacks'determination for fight for what they would not be otherwise given.

It amazes me that one can read these letters and proposals over 200 years later and see how they led to revolution and abolition in Haiti.

Haiiti's no bowl of cherries now, but it was the America's first and only (?) successful revolution against slavery that resulted in Black rule.

Image result for haitian equal justice black people imagesThat got me wondering:  Where is OUR statutory proposal that, if passed, would successfully redress our unequal justice complaints?  
 
Our complaints about the justice system are many, but I think I drafted a proposal that, if passed, would provide a remedy for almost all of our complaints, from police brutality to the Black prison population to biased sentencing and even suspension of Blacks from school.


The act would create a right not to be prosecuted or punished more harshly than a white man would be under similar circumstances, with remedies including habeus, reformation and vacation of sentences, monetary damages...

As drafted, it would even create a plaintiff descendants' right to compensation from the federal and state governments for prosecution and persecution that occurred under slavery and Jim Crow (reparations LOL), although it doesn't say so explicitly.

It might not get passed soon, but there's something to be said for clearly stating what you want.


Francis"
 
 
Thank you Francis. Keep working on that proposal. You have my attention.   
 
 







Saturday, February 28, 2015

CAPTION SATURDAY.

 
I need a caption for this pic.
 
 
*Pic from buzzfeed.com

Friday, February 27, 2015

The strange case of Brandon Tate Brown, and another mass murder in middle America.

Image result for tate brown imagesI have been watching the case of Tate Brown  here in Philly for awhile now.

This case, unlike other cases of police brutality, did not make national headlines.

I think I know why.

I also did not jump into the fray, because, quite frankly, I did not see an Eric Garner, or even a Michael Brown type scenario playing itself out here.

The truth is I represent a lot of people like Tate Brown. They are not angels or choir boys, and, if what is alleged is true, like Tate Brown, they make their living in the streets.    

So when I heard about the shooting death of Tate Brown on a street in Frankford section of Philadelphia, I gave the police officer (or officers) who shot him to death the benefit of the doubt. Although my instincts tell me that as a person of color I should have known better.
 
Now, sadly, there is a genuine issue as to whether Tate Brown was executed or he was shot to death by police officers following proper police procedures.
 
There has been no social media outcry or no calls for marches on a national scale, because Tate Brown had a gun in his car, and he had an extensive criminal record.
 
But does all of this matter? If he was not threatening the lives of the police officers who were arresting him, did he deserve to die?
 
Now the powers that be are giving us yet another story about what happened that night.
 
"THEY SAY the devil is in the details. And the details of Brandon Tate-Brown's December death at police hands are getting more devilishly contradictory daily, the lawyer representing the dead man's family said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the head of the Police Advisory Commission yesterday viewed videos pertaining to the incident and provided an account of what they show.

Initially, police said that the officer who shot Tate-Brown during a routine car stop on Dec. 15 in Frankford did so because he lunged for a handgun hidden in the console of his 2014 Dodge Charger as he struggled with two cops outside.

But now, they're saying Tate-Brown also "reached for his waistband" in the skirmish, according to a narrative of the incident police posted on their website.

A police spokesman attributed the discrepancies to the preliminary report issued to the public, which contained information that has since been updated as a result of further investigation.
 
Attorney Brian Mildenberg said Tate-Brown's autopsy report shows that cops gave the Medical Examiner's Office different details than what police officials have released publicly.

Specifically, police told the Medical Examiner that the officers asked Tate-Brown, 26, to step out of his car because they ran his plates and found they were registered to a different car-rental agency than where Tate-Brown told them he'd gotten the car.

One of the officers noticed the gun, the medical examiner's report notes, after he and his partner approached the car a second time - not upon their initial approach, as police officials have repeatedly said.

Police officials have maintained that the officers pulled Tate-Brown over on Frankford Avenue near Magee because his car headlights were out. However, the police statement made no mention of license-plate discrepancies. Meanwhile, the medical examiner's report makes no mention of the headlights. Instead, investigator Natalie Young notes only the license-plate issue.

Kelvyn Anderson, the executive director of the Police Advisory Commission, viewed footage from the incident yesterday at the behest of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

He also reviewed statements from four witnesses at the scene, as well as other evidence." [Source]

Finally, another mass killing in America and another collective yawn from the citizens of our fine country.

Maybe if the killer had chosen to wear a dress with controversial colors he would have gotten our attention. 

 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sheila Butt has a W problem, and Billo has another lie.

Sheila Butt-Tennessee House of Representatives"White power". *In my best Clayton Bigsby voice*

That is what a leading republican (there is a shock) lawmaker in Tennessee must scream to herself every night before she goes to bed.

"Tennessee's House majority floor leader kicked off a scandal back home by calling for the creation of "a Council of Christian Relations and a NAAWP in this Country." But after the Facebook post came to light, Rep. Sheila Butt (R) said that her critics had it all wrong: "W" doesn't stand for White, it stands for Western!

Why people who live in the Western Hemisphere -- which includes everyone living in the United States -- would need a special-interest group wasn't addressed by Butt.

The comment was first flagged by alternative weekly newspaper Nashville Scene.

Her comment came in response to an open letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil liberties organization in the U.S., urging 2016 GOP candidates to engage Muslim voters and reject Islamophobia.

Butt later deleted her comment and replaced it with, “We need groups that will stand for Christians and our Western culture. We don’t have groups dedicated to speaking on our behalf.”

Many criticized Butt for using the acronym NAAWP, which various white supremacy groups have used in the past to mean the National Association for the Advancement of White People. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke founded an organization with that name.

Butt has responded to critics by saying her original comment was not intended to be racist and that she meant for NAAWP to stand for National Association for the Advancement of Western Peoples.
In an interview with Nashville-based political blog View From The Hill posted Thursday, Butt said she was not aware that the acronym was racist.

“That was an acronym that at that morning, I simply made up to say, ‘National Association for the Advancement of Western Peoples,'" she said. "I had no idea that had ever been used for that before. So that’s something that just came out of nowhere, actually."

Butt's comments sparked a backlash from CAIR as well as the Tennessee House Black Caucus.
Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communications director, told The Huffington Post they showcase “the overall level of ... bigotry” acceptable within the Republican Party.

“We’ve unfortunately had too many Republican Party leaders and lawmakers make such statements,” he said. “It’s really time that they address this issue as a party instead of just pretending that Islamophobia doesn’t exist within their ranks.”

He added that Butt's stated goal of advocating for “Western peoples” is not much better than advocating for “white people.”

“You almost end up with the same result even if you believe that explanation,” he said" [Source]

The only thing worse than a racist is a dumb and disingenuous racist.

Look, if you are going to be a racist I would respect you more if you were honest about who you are and what you represent.

Finally, it's another day, so time for another Bill O'Reilly lie.

This one involved nuns...oh wait, that was yesterday. Sorry. This one involves bricks and the LA Riots.

" Bill O'Reilly's recollections of various big events he’s covered continue to be questioned, as a new report out today featured several of his former Inside Edition colleagues disputing how O’Reilly has talked about covering the L.A. riots.

According to The Guardian, O’Reilly has talked on multiple occasions about being in direct danger during those 1992 riots while he was at Inside Edition, saying as recently as this week, “We were attacked by protesters, where bricks were thrown at us.”

However, other people who worked for Inside Edition while O’Reilly did and also covered the riots are not saying the same thing. One of them flatly states, “It didn’t happen.” Another says, “I honestly don’t recall watching or hearing about that. I believe I probably would have remembered something like that.”

There was, however, an incident some of them recall differently:
“It was one person with one rock,” said McCall, the sound man. “Nobody was hit.”
“A man came out of his home,” said Antin, who was operating the camera that was struck. “He picked up a chunk of concrete, and threw it at the camera.” Told of O’Reilly’s description of a bombardment, Antin said: “I don’t think that’s really … No, I mean no, not where we were.” 
“There was no concrete,” said McKeown. “There was a single brick”.
One of these individuals, Robert Kirkham, also said that O’Reilly was “being very insensitive to the situation” and got very confrontational with one resident who was trying to clear the wreckage.
Update — 10:45 p.m. ET: We should note, in the report Inside Edition filed on the riots, reporter Bonnie Strauss said rocks and bottles were thrown at the journalists covering the riots.
We have reached out to Fox News for comment on this story." [Source]

The biggest question I have is why Billo is still trying so hard to pretend to be a real journalist. I mean the guy is still kicking butt in the ratings. And unless he has sex with a sheep on live television while beheading babies with a vey large knife, he will always have his FOX viewers.

I guess he still wants to be accepted by the rest of us sane people. The thing is, though, we know a mad man when we see one, and Billo fits the definition to a tee.

Sorry Bill, we can't believe anything you say anymore. But it's alright. I am sure that those News Corp checks are not bouncing.  











Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Smoking legal, and another lie from Bill.

Image result for ganja weed images"Every man got to legalize it, and don't criticize it
Legalize it yeah, yeah, and I will advertise it"

~Peter Tosh~


Some good news came out of Jamaica today.

Jamrock might be the land of the collie weed, but smoking our national plant is actually illegal.

At least it was until now.

"KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Marijuana has been pervasive but illegal in Jamaica for decades, consumed as a medicinal herb, puffed as a sacrament by Rastafarians and sung about in the island's famed reggae music.

After many years of dialogue about the culturally entrenched drug, and emboldened by changes to drug laws in U.S. states, Jamaica's Parliament on Tuesday night gave final approval to an act decriminalizing small amounts of pot and establishing a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry.

The historic amendments pave the way for a "cannabis licensing authority" to be established to deal with regulating the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes. Both houses of Jamaica's legislature have approved the legislation.

And in a victory for religious freedom, adherents of the homegrown Rastafari spiritual movement can now freely use marijuana for sacramental purposes for the first time on the tropical island.

The law makes possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana a petty offense that could result in a ticket but not in a criminal record. Cultivation of five or fewer plants on any premises would be permitted.
Tourists who are prescribed medical marijuana abroad will soon be able to apply for permits authorizing them to legally buy small amounts of Jamaican weed, or "ganja" as it is known locally." [Source]

There are a lot of local politicians and law enforcement officials in Jamaica who will not be pleased with this new development. This will mean less money in their pockets.

The rest of us, on the other hand, want to just propose a toke.....

Mr. Tosh, you are a prophet.

Speaking of ganja, Bill O' Reilly might wish he had a smoke now after yet another story of him embellishing stories from his days as a reporter.

"Questions over his reporting from the 1982 riot in Buenos Aires may be just the tip of the iceberg for Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. The embattled "O'Reilly Factor" host is facing new allegations of embellishing his connection to a key moment in the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

A new report from liberal watchdog Media Matters has gathered evidence against O'Reilly's oft-repeated claim that he was present during the suicide of Russian émigré George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of Kennedy's assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

According to O'Reilly's account of the events of March 29, 1977 in his best-selling non-fiction book "Killing Kennedy," he was at de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home in Florida when the man shot himself with a 20-gauge shotgun.

He writes that a "reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian ... that reporter's name is Bill O'Reilly."
O'Reilly has repeated this story several times over the years while promoting his book and the Fox News movie special based on it.

At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and two of his former colleagues claim that he inserted himself into the story after the fact, and could not have been there at the time.
"He was not up on the porch when he heard the gunshots, he was in Dallas. He wasn't traveling at that time," Tracy Rowlett, a reporter colleague of O'Reilly's at WFAA, told Media Matters. "I don't remember O'Reilly claiming that he was there. That came later, that must have been a brain surge when he was writing the book."

Byron Harris, a reporter at WFAA for the past 40 years, also said O'Reilly was in Dallas at the time, and that if he had been there, WFAA would have reported the story as an exclusive item.
"He stole that article out of the newspaper," Harris said. "I guarantee Channel 8 didn't send him to Florida to do that story because it was a newspaper story, it was broken by the Dallas Morning News."

Aside from the word of two former colleagues, Media Matters report cites a Palm Beach County Sherrif's Office investigation into de Mohrenschildt's suicide which makes no mention of O'Reilly, and an Associated Press report from the time that states the only people at the home beside de Mohrenschildt were two maids, who did not report hearing a gunshot.

Image result for bill oreillyMedia Matters report also refers to the 1993 autobiography of Gaeton Fonzi, an investigative journalist who reported relentlessly on the Kennedy assassination. In the autobiography, Fonzi seems to indicate that O'Reilly had no first hand knowledge of the suicide:
"About 6:30 that evening I received a call from Bill O'Reilly, a friend who was then a television reporter in Dallas. 'Funny thing happened,' he said. 'We just aired a story that came over the wire about a Dutch journalist saying the Assassinations Committee has finally located de Mohrenschildt in South Florida. Now de Mohrenschildt's attorney, a guy named Pat Russel, he calls and says de Mohrenschildt committed suicide this afternoon. Is that true?'"
Further evidence against O'Reilly was collected by Jefferson Morley, a former editor for The Washington Post, in a post on his website jfkfacts.org." [Source]

Maybe he should change the "no spin zone" to the no lie zone.

Finally, it seems like they found another brother with Harry Houdidni like skills. This time it's in the state of Georgia.

"SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A police officer who fatally shot a handcuffed man won't face criminal charges after a grand jury concluded Wednesday that the suspect was armed with a handgun police missed while patting him down.

"I believe the decision the grand jury made should lay this to rest," Heap told reporters at a courthouse news conference.


Savannah-Chatham County police officer David Jannot fatally shot Smith last Sept. 18 shortly after he had been handcuffed and placed in the back of the officer's patrol car. Police said that Smith's hands were cuffed behind his back but that he managed to move them to the front of his body. Smith then kicked out a car window and tried to escape. He was able to get out of the car.

The grand jury's four-page report said the officer shot Smith five times after the suspect fled the car with a gun in his hand. Jannot testified Smith "pointed the weapon as if to fire it," the report said, and Smith fell dead with the gun several inches from his hands. Lab tests confirmed Smith's DNA in skin cells were found on the gun's grip and at the base of its ammunition clip.

"Many Grand Jurors were appalled that the police did not find Smith's gun despite the fact at least three officers are seen on video frisking him," the report said. "... When the police are taking someone into custody who is known to carry a weapon, we would expect them to conduct a thorough search to include the crotch and groin."

Grand jurors recommended Savannah-Chatham police consider revising department procedures on searching suspects for weapons and transporting potentially violent suspects. Smith had struggled with several officers during his arrest before he was placed alone into a patrol car with Jannot.
Smith, who was black, was shot by the white officer barely a month after the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, ignited a national outcry and raised questions about how race factors into police officers' split-second decisions to use lethal force. If there's a key distinction between the two cases, it's that investigators in Missouri confirmed Brown was unarmed. "[Source]

Carry on folks, nothing to see here.  Just another young Negro with incredible escapability skills.

*Rastaman pic from Atlantablackstar.
















Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How Hollywood sees us.

Image result for cooning gone with the wind maid imagesJust days after the Oscars I think that this cut and paste job that I am about to drop on you is apropos.

"While working with two black co-workers a few years ago, the topic of black history came up and we decided to challenge each other. Although they were a few years away from graduating from college, I realized they had limited knowledge about the achievements of historically important black Americans.
 
I was surprised they did not know the answer to questions such as, “Who was the first black female millionaire?" and "Who was Benjamin Banneker?” I was shocked at the answers I received.
After thinking about this I realized their lack of knowledge was certainly not related to intellect but was a result of our culture, where the achievements of historically important blacks are absent.

If you asked them about the latest hip-hop stars, athletes or movie stars, they probably could give brief biographies of several of them. Yet, they were unaware of black Americans who not only prospered in their chosen fields, but helped shape the course of American history.
 
Movies like The Help, The Butler, Precious, 12 Years a Slave, and Training Day all had black people as central characters. All won some type of award or nomination and/or had actors that were recognized with awards. Sounds good outwardly, right? If you take a second glance, you will notice all of these movies promoted stereotypes of black people.
 
Unfortunately, it appears a large majority of our awards are presented to blacks when we play roles where we are servants, slaves, ghetto moms, or thugs. The sad part is that many of these actors have been in other movies that have been just as good, yet they went unrecognized when they didn't "fit the description.”
 
Films and television programs, along with R&B artists and hip-hop stars who are way too numerous to list, all contribute to the negative black stereotypes.
 
My thoughts? Despite Hollywood's overwhelming Democrat support, which is supposed to be sensitive to our community, Hollywood is more comfortable when we (black people) are in our place.
I can hear the pro-Hollywood crowd now… “But these pictures and others are only reflections of what has happened or what is currently going on in our communities.” True, but so were many other positive black people who are rarely mentioned.
 
Why not make a major motion picture about George Washington Carver, who was both a brilliant scientist and a man of God? Or Charles Drew, who made amazing medical discoveries with blood plasma that led to the invention of the blood bank? Something uplifting that the black community could look up to as a model of progression.
 
In the end, we have to ask ourselves: If Black History Month, and black history overall, was truly honored in our schools, homes and our communities, our standards in what we call black entertainment wouldn't be allowed. We as a people would demand better and because money talks above all else in Hollywood, we would get what we asked for.
 
As long as we demand, and often times accept, lower standards and stereotypical entertainment, then lower standards are what we will get.
 
And if black Americans refuse to recognize that one of the greatest threats to continued stereotypes in entertainment are elite-minded liberals who claim to be our friends, we will keep getting the short end of the stick.
 
It's time to honor the memory of those who made Black History Month possible and start telling the true story.
 
Hollywood, we have enough movies that glorify the ghost of our past. Let's take a chance on introducing movies that highlight the accomplishments that black Americans have made in our country's history.
 
Maybe then we will inspire more of our people to greater things when they realize how great black history in America really is." [Source]

The field Negro enlightenment series continues.

 

Monday, February 23, 2015

"American Denial".

Image result for black man arrested imagesI would like to start this post by saying thank you to my African brothers and sisters, who hosted a wonderful program with yours truly yesterday at a church (no it didn't explode) in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia.

Getting knowledge is good.  Bonding with the Diaspora is better.

Now for my post:

"In 1944, Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal, in his famous study An American Dilemma, unpacked the hypocrisy of Jim Crow segregation in a society based on liberty and equality.

The new PBS documentary American Denial picks up this decades-old question and asks it again: how in the world can a country that claims to cherish freedom and fairness treat black people so terribly?

Using Myrdal's work as an entry point, director Llewellyn ("Llew") Smith and producers Christine Herbes-Sommers and Kelly Thomson offer a new answer that's based on a modern, research-grounded understanding of how oppression works. The film makes the case that everything from the racialized police-involved violence that has captured the country's attention in recent months, to educational inequalities, economic disparities, and the incarceration crisis all have a common root: unconscious racism, also known as implicit bias. They pin the blame on a belief — so deeply entrenched that many of us aren't aware that we hold it — that white is better than black.

I had a conversation recently with Herbes-Sommers and Smith, who worked on the film for more than 5 years, about how the topic of unconscious racism has become even more timely since they began the project, and why it's so urgent that all Americans ask themselves two key questions: "Why do I think this?" and "What are the consequences"?

'Jenée Desmond-Harris: What was your inspiration for making this film?

CHS: When it comes to talking about race and bias generally, white people don't want to feel guilty anymore, and black people don't want to feel angry anymore. For us, [the goal] was, what is a way for us to begin to probe the question in a way that everyone could embrace, as both personal and political? We all have biases, but how can we look at those in a way that allows us to change the destructive outcomes of those biases?

LS: In terms of the nature of the film, we were also interested in using history as a way to begin to open up this conversation and a lens through which we could ask some very penetrating questions about how we create racial dynamics.

JDH: How does American Denial explain how implicit racial bias has influenced this country throughout history, and how it works today?

CHS: The narrative spine of the film is Gunnar Myrdal's 1,800-page, multivolume study on the Jim Crow South. He asks a very profound, very difficult question: how can a society that is so devoted to equality, justice, and equal opportunity both allow and enable a system of laws and practices that oppress a significant percentage of the population?

He alludes to idea that there is unconscious bias, but that's not what he identifies. Probably the best way we see unconscious bias in the film is through a test called the Implicit Association Test, which was developed by Mahzarin R. Banaji of Harvard.

And probably the most poignant sections of the film are the black doll/white doll tests of Kenneth and Mamie Clarke [conducted during the 1940s] and a modern iteration of the test in which the results are the same. Young children five, four, six years old, are given two dolls — a black doll and white doll, and the interrogator ask which doll is the nice doll, the smart doll, the dumb doll, the ugly doll, the pretty doll, and the results are horrible: a third of black children are identifying the white dolls as smart, good, healthy, clean, and successful. But when it comes to the question "What doll are you?" the children don't want to identify themselves as bad, stupid, ugly, et cetera, but they're not white. We see this internalized conundrum and the results of historical biases and practices.

LS: What's interesting about that test is it gets to the question of implicit biases — that even people of color can have biases against themselves and that gets internalized because we're all subjected to the same kinds of biases that devalue black skin and black life compared to white skin and white life.

The kind of bias the FBI Director James Corney is talking about when he's talking about police making assumptions about who's more likely to kill and who's not, that's not so different from the kind of bias that's being articulated in the doll study — in one place its being internalized and in one place its being executed in public action.

CHS: These biases are not neutral. They lead to arrests, stereotyping, mass incarceration ... whole communities are being eviscerated by these biases in practice.

JDH: You mentioned arrests and incarceration. What areas outside criminal justice are useful to explore when thinking about implicit bias?

CHS: In the film, we see an extension of implicit bias test into the realm of medicine. A group of doctors are asked how they would prescribe certain blood pressure medications, and there's a huge correlation — blood pressure medication is given much less to black men than to white men with the same symptoms, when everything else is equal.

Another place you see it is in employment and hiring. Legions of studies indicate that identical resumes are treated differently once race is identified. Virtually every realm of human endeavor in US is colored one way or the other by a racial dynamic.

LS: Other research shows that black boys are viewed as older and less innocent than white boys [by teachers and police officers]. It's not that these people are consciously trying to do these things, but they're articulating what is in their unconscious and the unconscious associations they make ... but of course these teachers wouldn't describe themselves as racist, and we wouldn't say they are bad people. We're all drinking the same water, and we're getting the same messages. How these are being articulated in our life is a question we're not asking enough.

JDH: Do you think the film's focus on implicit bias and your emphasis that it's something that affects everyone takes the question of blame out of the equation and makes it easier, or more palatable, for viewers to become open to thinking about modern-day racial inequality?

LS: It's a conversation we haven't tried to have in that way. We keep trying to have these winner-take-all conversations, and we keep winding up in the same place. What we are trying to do [with the film] is invite the viewers into the film to think about this for an hour in a way that is not about apportioning blame. It's about how are we all victimized by the destructive ideas we've internalized ... and how that affects the institutions we depend on.

CHS: Rather than a conversation about blame, it's about collective individual responsibility — to invite viewers to look at themselves without fear, knowing that other people might be doing the same thing. It's a collective exercise in self-examination.

LS: Banaji acknowledges in the film that even when she takes her own test, she can't associate good with black as quickly as she associates good with white.

JDH: There are a lot of people who really resent any discussions of race and racism, and who become very defensive and insist that people who discuss race are creating an issue where there isn't one. Could confessions like Banaji's and those of the other experts in the film, and the emphasis that racial bias is something that affects all of us, be disarming to these types of viewers?

CHS: Overall, we tried to tell the story in a really gentle, inviting, complicated way. Black and white scholars are implicating themselves and each other in this imminently human project of cultivating biases and reevaluating them for their destructive consequences.

[This type of inquiry] always leads to the question, "Why do I think this?" Not just why is there a bias, but "Why don't I want to talk about this anymore?" You end up peeling back layers of resistance and denial — that's an extremely courageous process for human beings to engage in, and we hope that film invites viewers to do that.

LS: I keep thinking about the people who are afraid to have these kinds of conversations, and there's this feeling that if we don't talk about it, it might go away. But we have to talk about it because there are lives at stake. There are people dying in encounters with police. There are African-Americans locked away, in a society that incarcerates people at a higher rates than in any other society in the history of the world. There are real problems that we have to address going forward, and it would be wonderful if these tragedies would lead to a moment where we start to really address some of these issues in ways that we haven't.



CHS: And we think the moment may be closer upon us  ... when was the last time you saw the words "implicit bias" come out of the mouth of an FBI director?

But our capacity for denial as individuals and a culture is rapacious — a lot of it is self-protective, but in the end a lot of the stuff that is self-protective is destructive to others and to society as a whole.

LS: One thing you could say to these people who say they're really sick of this is this is something to explore, even though you may not want to do it. Gently cajole people to actually take the [Implicit Association] test, and see how they feel when they get the results. You don't necessarily have to believe them, but it's something to think about.

JDH: What is the fundamental question the film is trying to get viewers to answer? Is it "Why do I think this?"

LS: It's that, and "Why do I do this?" And "What consequences does it have that these things are being thought by me, and that these thoughts are shared with people who are friends, strangers, and people in institutions we depend on for democracy and justice?"

CHS: Right. It starts with the "why" question and then next question is, "What are the consequences when it's not just me who feels it and acts on it? Because biases are nothing if they have no consequences. If they don't have consequences, then they're just personal opinions and preferences.

JDH: A lot of people think that biases are just harmless and personal.

CHS:  But they're not.  They're not at all.'" [Source]

The field Negro enlightenment  and education series continues.

Thank you for reading.