Sunday, November 30, 2014

America has a race problem and it has nothing to do with the president.

In case you didn't notice it's getting tougher for men of color to navigate their way through the daily grind here in America these days.

Just minding your own business while walking down the street with your hands in your pocket can get you stopped by the police because some "concerned citizen" saw a black man looking.....well like a black man. (h/t twitter fam@6ft2breadwinner for this story.)

We are in a complicated and perplexing period of America's racial history that is difficult to understand. Even people in the majority population who used to consider their country to be "post- racial" and bigotry free are starting to question whether we have come as far as we thought we have when it comes to race relations.

Black people and other people in the minority certainly do not feel that we have.

Some people have suggested that America follows South Africa's lead and establish a sort of Truth And Reconciliation Commission. Good luck with that.

Most Americans believe that it's black people who are the racists. White folks are in deep denial when it comes to confronting their own "color arousal" issues or institutional racism which permeates throughout all aspects of American society. From hiring in corporate America to the justice system, the fix is in, and if you dare point it out you will be considered the racist.

In fact, right- wingnuts blame the president for "poisoning race relations" in America. (Now if that isn't a rich bit of irony I don't know what is.)  

"At a January 2012 Washington fundraiser, the president made subtle references to the idea that if he weren’t reelected, minorities would be denied opportunities to pursue the American dream, while he implied Republicans would be the ones do the denying. “The notion that we’re all in this together, that we look out for one another–that’s at stake in this election,” he warned. “Don’t take my word for it. Watch some of these [Republican] debates that have been going on up in New Hampshire.” The following August in Colorado, Obama kept that meme alive, insisting that Republicans, “want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.”

If such a divisive attitude were limited to the president himself, maybe race relations might not have soured as much as they have."

Yeah, right.

Anyway, the typical American attitude about race comes off as something like this: How can we be racists when we are Americans? We got rid of that pesky race thing when we gave Negroes their civil rights over fifty years ago. How much more do they want ?

I think they want to be able to walk down the street, play in the park, or just drive from point A to point B without being arrested for no reason or being shot to death.

Finally, I am not sure how many of you reading this are Christians, but if you are, I would like you to explain to me how your God got involved with the "mean girl" and "slut- shaming" game.

 "Republican staffer on Friday apologized for a Facebook post that criticized Malia and Sasha Obama's appearance at the annual White House turkey pardon ceremony, one of America's silliest holiday traditions.

Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), wrote that the two teenagers should "try showing a little class," "dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar," and, most of all, "don't make faces" at Very Serious public events.
Read the full rant via Gawker:
Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.
The First Daughters join President Obama at the ceremony every year, where they can hardly contain their disdain for the lame dad jokes that predictably follow. Before approaching Mac and Cheese, the two turkeys, the president remarked that it was "puzzling that I do this every year." Malia even declined her father's offer to pet one of the pardoned turkeys with a nonchalant, "Nah."
Lauten later apologized for rushing to judgment on Facebook.

"I reacted to an article and quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager," she said. "After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online, I can see more clearly how hurtful my words were. Please know that these judgmental feelings truly have no place in my heart. Furthermore, I'd like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience." [Source]

"Many hours of praying" ? My goodness, she gave the big guy an earful. I just hope she squeezed in a request for a brain at some point in the conversation.

First pic from

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Caption Saturday.

I need a caption for this pic.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cha-ching for Darren Wilson, and a "lone wolf" terrorist strikes in Texas.

First, I want to say that I like the fact that folks tried to organize a boycott of large box stores today. I say tried because we all know that crass commercialism is what drives America, and getting people (especially some of you Negroes) to boycott anything that involves getting meaningless things at a discount is a challenge.

Still, it's a start, and it's just one of the many positive things that I see coming out of the tragedy that took place in Ferguson, Missouri. The people have to take action, because our leaders can't. Or worse, they won't.

My twitter line is full of positive stories of social activism, and all across the country young people are taking to the streets to say, enough.  

All of this, of course, will not have an impact on Darren Wilson, the man whose depraved and "color aroused" actions led to the latest case of the unjustified killing of a young man for all the world to see. Mr. Wilson will be too busy counting his money. He allegedly got $500,000.00 from ABC News to give them an exclusive sit down, and from all accounts his supporters have raised almost a million more dollars for helping America rid herself of another one of those pesky Negroes. (The killing young Negro male business is good these days.) Predictably, Wilson has quit his job. Who needs a policeman's salary and a derisory pension when you can make millions from the pockets of your fellow Neanderthals and from being a regular guest on FOX NEWS?

Finally, speaking of Neanderthals, in what is clearly an act of domestic terrorism, a "lone wolf" terrorist ----not of the Muslim kind---- just tried to make a statement in Austin,Texas.

 "A man shot up a federal courthouse and a Mexican consulate -- which he also seemingly tried to set ablaze -- in Austin, Texas, early Friday before being shot dead outside police headquarters, that city's police chief said.

The shooter fired "over 100 rounds" in a roughly 10-minute span, but he did not hit anyone even though the bullets ricocheted at a typically busy time in downtown Austin, when streets fill with people after bars close for the night.

"This Thanksgiving ... weekend, I give thanks that no one but the suspect is injured or deceased," police Chief Art Acevedo said. "That's something that we should all take a lot of comfort in."

The shooter was identified in a tweet from Austin police as 49-year-old Larry McQuilliam.... 

...Authorities have not offered a motive, but the police chief said that the shooter's "violent anti-government behavior" -- as evidenced by attacking buildings that belong to Mexico's government, the U.S. government and, in the police headquarters, the city government -- may have come from ongoing and often vitriolic debates in society.

"Our political discourse has become very heated and sometimes very angry, and sometimes the rhetoric is not healthy," Acevedo said, adding that the divisive immigration debate "comes to mind," given that the federal courthouse and Mexican Consulate were targeted. "I would venture, based on my training and experience, that the political rhetoric might have fed into some of this."' [Source]

Larry is just acting out what many like him are feeling these days. Thankfully the only person who lost their life today was Larry.

But Larry had to get his motivation from somewhere, and there are other Larry McQuilliams out there getting their motivation to do evil things from similar places as you read this post. 


Thursday, November 27, 2014

I started trying to sneak in a post tonight but the boss caught me and shut it down.

Sorry y'all.

Holla at you tomorrow.

Enjoy the rest of your turkey day. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tamir Rice and unarmed white men.

Tamir-riceAnd then there was Tamir Rice. Truly a sad story. Kid playing with a toy gun in the park; there is a 911 call to the po po, and the next thing you know an 12 year old is dead after two gun shots to the abdomen. (Watch)

This case is tragic on so many levels. First, the police officers who are not properly trained. Second, the same police officers who have color arousal issues. Third, the irresponsible parents who purchase toy guns for their children to play with in the first place.

But field, it's not only black children who accidentally get killed by police officers.

I know, little Mexican children get shot as well.

But field what about all the unarmed white men who get shot by black police officers?

Yes, an extremely rare occurrence I am sure. In fact, can think of only two.

Dillon Taylor was not shot by a black man; the police who shot him was Hispanic. But I will concede that his killer was non-white.

Thing is, though, the officer, unlike Officer Wilson in Ferguson and others, was wearing a body camera.

And there was James Whitehead. He was killed by a black off duty police officer after the two men got into an altercation where the off duty officer claimed that Whitehead called him the n-word.

That black officer was terminated and sued to get his job back, and the family of Mr. Whitehead settled a civil suit with the city of Orange,Texas.

Anyway, back to Tamir Rice.

Like the situation in Ferguson, there are some issues all the way around.

"Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said the officer, one of two who responded to a dispatcher's call, was less than 10 feet from Tamir under a gazebo when the confrontation took place He declined to say if the video matches the officer's description of events, saying a full interview of the officer has not been conducted.

Neither he nor Chief Calvin Williams explained why police have not obtained a full statement from the officer.

The boy's family declined to view the video but it was shown to family representatives, Tomba said. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said the video would be released, but did not say when.

The identities of the officers have not been made public. They were placed on three days' paid administrative leave, and will be on restricted duty when they return, police said.

Tomba said the investigation could take three months, after which a grand jury will hear the case to decide if charges are warranted.

Tomba said one officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon from his waistband but had not pointed it at police. The boy did not make any verbal threats, but he grabbed the replica handgun after being told to raise his hands, Tomba said.

Williams said the "airsoft"-type pellet gun lacked the orange safety tip required at the time of sale and was indistinguishable from a real semiautomatic pistol.
"Guns are not toys," he said. "We need to teach our kids that."

"Who would've thought he would go so soon?" Gregory Henderson, a close friend of Tamir's family, told WKYC-TV. "To be 12 years old, he doesn't know what he's doing. Police, they know what they're doing."

Henderson also questioned why police did not use a Taser-type weapon.
"You shot him twice, not once, and at the end of the day you all don't shoot for the legs, you shoot for the upper body," Henderson said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.Henderson, identified by that newspaper's website as Tamir's father, said Tamir was a "respectful" young man who minded his elders.

A 911 call to police in which a man says the gun was "probably fake" has added to the controversy.

Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, said the officers were not told the caller thought the gun might be fake. He said an officer taking a Taser out when they believe there could be a person with a gun puts the officer at risk, the Plain Dealer reported.

The hacker group Anonymous claimed responsibility Monday for shutting down the City of Cleveland's website after Rice's shooting, WKYC said. The FBI is investigating". [Source] 

I just hope that the officer who shot young Tamir will show some remorse.

Because sadly, the officer who shot Michael Brown certainly did not.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson verdict in black and white.

The right wing "race baiters" are still celebrating the decision not to prosecute Darren Wilson. I suppose that this should have been expected given the fact that we are talking about a white police officer killing an unarmed black teen.

This is, after all, a black vs. white issue now. It shouldn't be this way. It should be a right versus wrong issue. But sadly, this is where we are in America. How you feel about the killing of Michael Brown depends largely on the color of your skin.

Wingnuts like Ben Carson blame the president for this. “I actually believe that things were better before this president was elected. And I think that things have gotten worse because of his unusual emphasis on race.” Duh! But I submit to you, my Seventh Day Adventist friend, that race relations got worse because Barack Obama was elected president. Only someone blinded by their ideological ignorance and cluelessness could not see this.

But back to Darren Wilson. He is now at the start of his rehabilitation tour and ABC won the lottery to get the first interview. (A FOX NEWS gig is sure to follow.)

In that interview he said some interesting things: Michael Brown was "aggressive and combative" and he was worried that he would "kill" him. He also said that he has a "clean conscience" because he did his job right.

In Darren Wilson's mind, Michael Brown had to be killed, because he was  "aggressive" and he (Wilson) was looking into the face of a "demon". 

The grand jury believed Darren Wilson, and not the witnesses who gave conflicting accounts. It was truly a jury of his peers. 

"What did happen, according to Wilson: Brown stopped running at a light pole and confronted Wilson. The cop said he yelled at the youth to get on the ground. “When he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he’s coming back towards me,” Wilson recalled. “His first step is coming towards me, he kind of does like a stutter step to start running. When he does that, his left hand goes in a fist and goes to his side, his right one goes under his shirt in his waistband and he starts running at me.”
Wilson opened fire. He missed a few times. But he also hit Brown, who “flinched.” What Wilson remembered as “tunnel vision” came over him, homing in on Brown’s right hand in his waistband. “I’m just focusing on that hand when I was shooting.” But the shots, Wilson said, didn’t deter Brown, who continued to charge toward him.

“He was almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I’m shooting him,” Wilson said. “And the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn’t even there, I wasn’t even anything in his way.”

Wilson took aim at Brown’s head for the shot that would kill the unarmed teen. “When he fell, he fell on his face,” Wilson recalled. “I remember his feet coming up … and then they rested.”

Then came the end.

“When it went into him,” Wilson said, “the demeanor on his face went blank, the aggression was gone, it was gone, I mean I knew he stopped, the threat was stopped.”' [Source]

Yes, the "threat was stopped". But did it take killing an unarmed teen to stop it?

Sadly, I am starting to see a pattern here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Ferguson wait.

This will be a bifurcated post.

Any minute now we will hear if that Missouri grand jury will indict Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson.

I am waiting with the rest of you, and, frankly, I have no idea if 9 of these 12 people will find that there is enough evidence presented to go forward with a trial of the man who shot Michael Brown to death.

It's been three months, and all the evidence the prosecutor had was submitted to this grand jury. Yes, a prosecutor can indict a "ham sandwich", but that is only if he wants to.

This prosecutor did not seem hungry to me. But we will see.......

Part 2:

So there will be no indictment of Officer Wilson. I am still watching the prosecutor, Robert McCulloch; and he is giving a strained and canned explanation of the grand jury investigation and why Officer Wilson was not indicted.

He seems to be defending the shooter and demonizing the victim.

He kept talking about what a "tragic incident" this was and how sad he is for the family of Michael Brown. Now he wants to get a discussion going with the community and to "stay engaged". It just seems like a case of too little too late to me.

Sadly, once again a family has deal with a son who was murdered in a very public way, and once again the killer will go free.

Most of us, of course, are not surprised. Those of us who saw the build up to this announcement pretty much saw the writing on the wall.

“Regardless of the grand jury's decision, the Brown family and our legal team ask again for peace and calm, even though we understand people may have feelings of anger or disappointment...”

Yes they do Mr. Crump, and given what has been happening in America of late we can't really blame them.

Now I am watching the president say that we must "respect the rule of law" and that we must protest peacefully if we disagree with the decision.

That might sound like a fair request to some, but let's not forget, we all must respect the rule of law. Not just the citizens protesting the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case, but the people sworn to uphold the law as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Not their brother's keepers.

Race and ethnicity can be a tricky and nuanced subject.

I was watching a pundit (Chris Matthews I think) lament the fact that the two highest profile Hispanic republicans are against amnesty for immigrants and immigration reform. He thought it was "weird". "Why aren't these two men empathizing with other Hispanics?" One of the other pundits at the table reminded him that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are of Cuban descent, and, as a result, they do not have any empathy or connection to Mexicans and Central and South Americans who illegally come to the United States. 

That exchange brought back memories of an old high school classmate of mine. I attended a boarding school in Jamaica and one of my classmates was a kid named Franz Newman. Franz was Jamaican, but if you saw him you would think that he just got off a Lufthansa flight from Munich and was just in Jamaica for a vacation. Dude was blond-haired with blue eyes and had the whole Aryan thing down.

But Franz had never left Jamaica, and in many ways he was more Jamaican than most Jamaicans I knew. I never saw him as anything but a Jamaican.

Once Franz got in a fight with a classmate over something which I don't remember what right now. The kid was African American who was born and raised in New York and his parents (who I think were Jamaican)sent him to Jamaica to attend high school. They went at it pretty hard and I remember thinking at the time that I wanted Franz to kick his ass. (Which, if I remember correctly, he did.) Franz was my friend and the American kid was not. 

I understand now that Franz (who currently lives in Canada) will benefit from privileges that the other kid will never have throughout his life. At the time, though, my friendship and the shared ethnicity I had with my fellow countryman trumped any connection I might have had with the other kid because of our shared race.

I suspect that senators Rubio and Cruz do not consider themselves Hispanics like those other Hispanics who come to America from poor Third World countries. They don't share the same reality as some poor family coming to America for a better way of life. They are already living the American dream. They consider themselves Americans first, and in their world amnesty for illegal immigrants will destroy America.

"Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday continued to slam President Barack Obama’s move to shield nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, saying the president was getting into the business of counterfeiting.

“For 4 to 5 million people here illegally, he’s promising to print out and give out work authorizations — essentially, he’s gotten in the job of counterfeiting immigration papers, because there’s no legal authority to do what he’s doing,” the Texas Republican charged on “Fox News Sunday.”' [Source]

I wonder how Franz feels about amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Finally, now that the Benghazi conspiracy theories have been debunked (by republicans no less) I am guessing that the wingnuts and the folks over at FOX VIEWS will not spend a lot of time telling us how wrong they were.

Wait....just as I suspected; less than 30 seconds.

Of course this will not be enough for folks like Lindsey Graham. Poor Lindsey has spent a lot of time helping folks who play the Benghazi drinking game get drunk, so this is bad news for the senator.

"Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning that last week’s the House Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi report, which hollowed out a number of Republican arguments on the incident, was “full of crap.”

Guest host Gloria Borger asked whether Graham was accusing the House Intel Committee of lying.

“No, I’m saying the House Intelligence Committee is doing a lousy job policing their own,” he said. “I’m saying that anybody who has followed Benghazi at all knows that the CIA deputy director did not come forward to tell Congress what role he played in changing the talking points. And the only way we knew he was involved is when he told a representative at the White House, I’m going to do a hard review of this, a hard rewrite.”'

*Drink... drink.... gulps.*


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday quiz.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Please tell me the difference between these two pics.
The Indianapolis Star changed one for the other after public pressure.

Why was one considered racist and one not?

Pics from the Indianapolis Star.

Open thread.

I need your thoughts on this teacher down in Virgina tweeting about the mixed race prom.

I have some, and it might not be what y'all think.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Searching for something."

So this Myron May dude who shot up his alma mater had some issues.

The fact that his mental issues are being reported is surprising, because Myron May(Picture) was a black man.

Usually when Negroes commit these types of crimes we are told how evil and malevolent they are. The folks in the majority population who commit such crimes are always viewed as "troubled" or suffering from some type of a mental problem.

"...We have not found any info at this time why (he) chose this morning to act (or) why he chose to attack our library,” said Tallahassee Police Michael DeLeo.
But May, a Bible-quoting Christian who had been working as a lawyer in Texas and New Mexico, “was in a state of crisis,” DeLeo said, citing the cell phone, journal and videos they confiscated from May’s car.

“He referred to government targeting,” the police chief said. “He was searching for something.”

Then last month, May was hit with a harassment complaint by former girlfriend Danielle Nixon who told cops the lawyer had recently developed “a severe mental disorder” and believed police were bugging his house and car."

Hmmm, a lawyer with a "mental disorder". So what else is new?

Speaking of mental disorders, folks in law enforcement should really get better training to learn how to deal with individuals who struggle with mental issues.

When you throw in the "color arousal syndrome" you get a recipe for disaster.

"Tanesha Anderson, 37, of Cleveland, Ohio, was pronounced dead Thursday, November 13 after a police takedown maneuver caused her to lose consciousness, reports

“They killed my sister,” said her 40-year-old brother Joell Anderson. “I watched it.”

Anderson, who suffered with schizophrenia, was “disturbing the peace,” according to her family, so they called police. Upon their arrival, she began struggling against police officers who had the family’s permission to take her to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center for evaluation. As Anderson kicked at police officers, one of them allegedly slammed her head against the concrete pavement and put his knee into her back.
Read more from
Two male officers escorted Tanesha Anderson, who was prescribed medication for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, to the police cruiser. She sat herself in the backseat but became nervous about the confined space and tried to get out, Anderson said. 
Police struggled to keep her in the car and an officer eventually drew a Taser. Joell Anderson said he begged the officer not to use the weapon on his sister. 
Tanesha Anderson called out for her brother and mother while an officer repeatedly pressed down on her head to get her into the backseat. After several attempts, the officer used a takedown move to force her to the pavement, Joell Anderson said. 
The officer placed his knee on Tanesha Anderson’s back and handcuffed her. She never opened her eyes or spoke another word, her brother said.
This is the second time in recent weeks that a Black woman has been killed by police officers.

As previously reported by NewsOne, two officers with the Ann Arbor Police Department  have been placed on paid administrative leave after they shot 40-year-old Aura Rosser to death while responding to a domestic violence incident on Sunday, November 9.

Officers claim that Rosser was coming at them with a knife so they were forced to use deadly force. Family of the victim, however, don’t believe that’s possible.

“She would have fainted at the sight of the gun being drawn on her,” said Shae Ward, 38, about her sister. “She would have been extremely docile, no aggression whatsoever towards police.” [Source]

We always knew that our men weren't safe from the po po, but now we have to watch out for our women as well.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A very expensive burritos, and the strange prosecution of Tiny Doo.

You have to wonder how a Negro like Billy Goree ended up in Utah. I mean, with all due respect to Mia Love, I am not feeling the Utah vibe.

Anyway, Billy learned a very important lesson about crime and punishment in Utah.

Unfortunately for Billy, however, he could be spending the next five years in a Utah prison for stealing two burritos from a gas station.

"Judge Scott Hadley said Tuesday he felt uncomfortable sending the 42-year-old man to prison for shoplifting a meal, but the man has a long history of theft arrests.

Billy Goree said he was hungry when he stole the burritos and was willing to change, but the judge said he's violated his probation in the past.

Police say Goree was caught stealing the burritos on a security camera in September and police found and arrested him nearby."  [Source]

Hmmm, "long history of arrests". I would love to see if those arrests were for violent crimes or if they were similar to the type of crime that landed poor Billy in this mess.

Maybe Billy has a drug problem; maybe he has mental issues; or maybe he just can't resist a good burrito.

Anyway, I am ripping Utah on crime and punishment issues. But maybe I should be getting on the very liberal state of California as well.

"San Diego-based two burritos , better known as rapper Tiny Doo, is facing attempted murder charges along with 14 alleged gang members.

But with no criminal record, nor having been previously tied to any of the murders being prosecuted, how is it possible that Duncan is facing jail time?

A little-known California state law, passed in 2000, allows for prosecution of gang members if they are found to profit from the crimes of their fellow gang members.

This is the first time this law is being used. Prosecutors argue that Duncan benefited from the shootings because after the murders, his gang rose in status. A rise in status allowed Duncan to increase his album sales, say San Diego prosecutors.

“We’re not just talking about a CD of anything, of love songs. We’re talking about a CD [cover] ... there is a revolver with bullets,” Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna told the news station.
But Duncan’s lawyer, Brian Watkins, is crying foul. “It’s shocking. He has no criminal record. Nothing in his lyrics say go out and commit a crime. Nothing in his lyrics references these shootings, yet they are holding him liable for conspiracy. There are huge constitutional issues,” he said.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When being "delusional" can hurt your child.

A friend of mine, who also happens to be a successful attorney, sent me the following article:

"I knew the day would come, but I didn’t know how it would happen, where I would be, or how I would respond. It is the moment that every black parent fears: the day their child is called a nigger.
My wife and I, both African Americans, constitute one of those Type A couples with Ivy League undergraduate and graduate degrees who, for many years, believed that if we worked hard and maintained great jobs, we could insulate our children from the blatant manifestations of bigotry that we experienced as children in the 1960s and ’70s.

We divided our lives between a house in a liberal New York suburb and an apartment on Park Avenue, sent our three kids to a diverse New York City private school, and outfitted them with the accoutrements of success: preppy clothes, perfect diction and that air of quiet graciousness. We convinced ourselves that the economic privilege we bestowed on them could buffer these adolescents against what so many black and Latino children face while living in mostly white settings: being profiled by neighbors, followed in stores and stopped by police simply because their race makes them suspect.

But it happened nevertheless in July, when I was 100 miles away.

It was a Tuesday afternoon when my 15-year-old son called from his academic summer program at a leafy New England boarding school and told me that as he was walking across campus, a gray Acura with a broken rear taillight pulled up beside him. Two men leaned out of the car and glared at him.
“Are you the only nigger at Mellon Academy*?” one shouted.

Certain that he had not heard them correctly, my son moved closer to the curb, and asked politely, “I’m sorry; I didn’t hear you.”

But he had heard correctly. And this time the man spoke more clearly. “Only … nigger,” he said with added emphasis.

My son froze. He dropped his backpack in alarm and stepped back from the idling car. The men honked the horn loudly and drove off, their laughter echoing behind them.

By the time he recounted his experience a few minutes later, my son was back in his dorm room, ensconced on the third floor of a red-brick fortress. He tried to grasp the meaning of the story as he told it: why the men chose to stop him, why they did it in broad daylight, why they were so calm and deliberate. “Why would they do that — to me?” he whispered breathlessly into the phone. “Dad, they don’t know me. And they weren’t acting drunk. It’s just 3:30 in the afternoon. They could see me, and I could see them!”

My son rambled on, describing the car and the men, asking questions that I couldn’t completely answer. One very clear and cogent query was why, in Connecticut in 2014, grown men would target a student who wasn’t bothering them to harass in broad daylight. The men intended to be menacing.

“They got so close — like they were trying to ask directions. … They were definitely trying to scare me,” he said.

“Are you okay?” I interrupted. “Are you —”

“Yeah,” he continued anxiously. “I’m okay. I guess. … Do you think they saw which dorm I went back to? Maybe I shouldn’t have told my roommate. Should I stay in my dorm and not go to the library tonight?”

Despite his reluctance, I insisted that he report the incident to the school. His chief concern was not wanting the white students and administrators to think of him as being special, different, or “racial.” That was his word. “If the other kids around here find out that I was called a nigger, and that I complained about it,” my son pleaded, “then they will call me ‘racial,’ and will be thinking about race every time they see me. I can’t have that.” For the next four weeks of the summer program, my son remained leery of cars that slowed in his proximity (he’s still leery today). He avoided sidewalks, choosing instead to walk on campus lawns. And he worried continually about being perceived as racially odd or different.

Herein lay the difference between my son’s black childhood and my own. Not only was I assaulted by the n-word so much earlier in life — at age 7, while visiting relatives in Memphis — but I also had many other experiences that differentiated my life from the lives of my white childhood friends. There was no way that they would “forget” that I was different. The times, in fact, dictated that they should not forget; our situation would be unavoidably “racial.”

When my family moved into our home in an all-white neighborhood in suburban New York in December 1967, at the height of the black-power movement and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil-rights marches, integration did not — at all — mean assimilation. So my small Afro, the three African dashiki-style shirts that I wore to school every other week, and the Southern-style deep-fried chicken and watermelon slices that my Southern-born mother placed lovingly in my school lunchbox all elicited surprise and questions from the white kids who regarded me suspiciously as they walked to school or sat with me in the cafeteria. After all, in the 1960s, it was an “event” — and generally not a trouble-free one — when a black family integrated a white neighborhood. Our welcome was nothing like the comically naive portrayal carried off by Sidney Poitier and his white fiancee’s liberal family members in the film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” which had opened the very month that we moved in.

It wasn’t about awkward pauses, lingering stares and subtle attempts of “throwing shade” our way. It was often blatant and sometimes ugly. Brokers openly refused to show houses to my parents in any of the neighborhoods that we requested, and once we found a house in the New York Times Sunday classifieds, the seller demanded a price almost 25 percent higher than listed in the paper. (My parents paid it.) A day after Mom and Dad signed the contract, a small band of neighbors circulated a petition that outlined their desire to preemptively buy the house from the seller to circumvent its sale to us. My parents were so uncertain of this new racial adventure that they held onto our prior house for another four years — renting it on a year-to-year lease — “just in case,” as my mother always warned, with trepidation on her tongue." [More]

My friend, like the author, did all the right things to achieve the "American dream". She and her husband are also raising their children in a very lily white environment.

Unlike the author, though, she has no illusions about the alleged "post racial" world that we live in.

None of her children, she assured me, would be as traumatized at being called the n-word by some random white dude in a car. 

"My son rambled on, describing the car and the men, asking questions that I couldn’t completely answer. One very clear and cogent query was why, in Connecticut in 2014, grown men would target a student who wasn’t bothering them to harass in broad daylight. The men intended to be menacing.

“They got so close — like they were trying to ask directions. … They were definitely trying to scare me,” he said.

“Are you okay?” I interrupted. “Are you —”

“Yeah,” he continued anxiously. “I’m okay. I guess. …"

Sorry kid, your daddy should have prepared you.

The picture above is of the author and his family courtesy of the Washington Post.  

h/t TL Esq.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Some Love for the GOP, and 15 more seconds of Darren Wilson.

Image result for mia loveI would like to join Juan Williams in congratulating some newly elected African Americans who happen to be members of the grand old party.

The election of these individuals was historic in significance and should not be ignored.

I, too, like Mr. Williams,  hope that these Negroes will not be just "window dressing" and tokens who lend cover for the racists in their party.

Tim Scott has been a senator for a while, and he does not have the greatest track record, but I will give Mia Love and Will Hurd a chance to prove my suspicions wrong.

Hopefully, two years from now, I will be writing about all the positive aspects of their ascendancy to congress, and not how, like Clarence Thomas and those of his ilk, they are doing more to hurt people of color than to help them.
"Scott is positioned to become Congress’s leading advocate for reform of a broken public education system that is failing too many children. With nearly half of black students dropping out of high school, there is a desperate need for new ideas in the Senate on education.

Similarly, Love, as mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, focused on bringing more jobs to town. With black unemployment nationally over 11 percent, Love’s voice and her ideas for economic development create new opportunities for black Democrats to do business with Republicans.
Hurd’s CIA experience as an undercover officer in the Middle East brings a black man’s perspective to debates on dealing with Muslim extremists.

To be clear, it is up to Scott, Love and Hurd to be more than window dressing for a GOP with a major problem as a party defined by the anger of older, white, conservative men.
But they’ve beaten the odds so far. I’m rooting for them to do it again."

Nothing wrong with "rooting for them", Juan. Just don't be too disappointed if they drop the ball.

Remember, there are some other folks "rooting for them" as well.

Finally, the state of Missouri has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the grand jury verdict in Ferguson.

Michael Brown's family attorney says that the governor of that state is "preparing for war" and he is concerned that the governor's actions will incite what is sure to be an already angry crowd if the grand jury does not indict Officer Darren Wilson.

My money says there will be no indictment, but we will see.

And speaking of Officer Wilson, forget the Michael Brown incident for a minute, apparently this guy is just  not a very good police officer.

"The Ferguson, Missouri officer who killed an unarmed 18-year-old is featured in an online video taken by a man who said Darren Wilson unlawfully arrested him and violated his rights.

The 15-second video shows an officer alleged to be Wilson in uniform in the middle of a conversation with resident Mike Arman, who made the brief recording.

Resident Mike The video begins with Arman asking the officer his name, and Wilson replies, "If you wanna take a picture of me one more time, I'm going to lock your a-- up."
Arman replies he is not taking a picture but recording the incident, then Wilson walks several feet toward him.

Arman asks Wilson if he has the right to record the incident and Wilson replies "no" and says "come on" as the video comes to a shaky end.

The video shows only a small glimpse of the encounter but Arman writes in the description of the video posted Friday that Wilson violated his First Amendment rights, arrested him unlawfully and lied on the police report." [Source]

Mr. Arman, at least you are alive to tell your story. Consider yourself lucky.