Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

Where Do I Begin… Thoughts on the #FergusonVerdict

 

Where do I begin.

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Ferguson, Missouri. Mike Brown. Black lives. Gone.

I want to say now that if you are sensitive about the Michael Brown case or ANY case dealing with the loss of a black life at the hands of law enforcement…this post might irk you. If you are combative and defensive when it comes to calling out African Americans for their lack of responsibility on the culture side of things….this post might irk you. If you’re someone who doesn’t believe in the Father God or the Son Jesus Christ…this post will REALLY irk you.

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As many of us know, last night November 24, 2014 the grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson on charges of any kind in the murder of 18 year old Mike Brown. A laundry list of reasons from the case was given, but nothing changed the fact that this child (like many others) was gone when he didn’t have to be. A stream of thoughts, revelations, truths and reasoning flooded my mind as I basically sat there conversing with God, ignoring the sound coming out of my television.

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THOUGHT #1

The statement “liberty and justice for all” is simply not true. There have been MANY white-on-white mass murderers and serial killers who have been sent in jail to cope with the terrible decisions they’ve made. Just about all of the recently highlighted white-on-black or other-on-black murders have gone on with some of the triggermen not even smelling the scent of a jail cell. Why is that? “Liberty and justice for all” seems to hide its face when it comes to victims like Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Oscar Grant. All in all, IF these young people were suspected of anything, major, don’t you think they deserved to be taking downtown instead of shot dead? There is not a coincidence that this is happening to BLACK people. I know some “new aged tree huggers” may say, “We are so far past racism, will live in a world where equality exists. The only people concerned with race are black people. If we stop agitating issues, we can truly heal”. NO. That is not how it works. The reason SO much injustice occurred during Jim Crow and the early 1800s is because the revolution was not televised. There was no mass media outlet around to shine a light on the black lives that were being stripped daily from the earth. NOW that we have social media, we are able to see, regardless of where we live, that injustice is still going on SOMEWHERE in America. On August 15th, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas told reporters in a press conference that the **”robbery [did] not relate to the initial contact between [Officer Wilson] and Michael Brown.” YET when Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch read the verdict last night, he stated that ***“Wilson was aware that Brown was wanted for stealing cigars from a convenience store minutes earlier.” I’ll leave that there to let things simmer.

**http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/15/us/missouri-teen-shooting/

*** http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/bombshell-evidence-laid-death-michael-brown-article-1.2022689

 

 

THOUGHT #2

IMG_20141124_214921I will not omit the fact that Michael Brown WAS apparently partaking a crime despite the fact he was off to college. I don’t know why he thought it was okay to do that, but what’s done is done. So many black boys and men are turning to crime because they are immersed in a culture that doesn’t accurately reflect who they are, and they fall victim to the prison system and subject themselves to situations where they lose their lives. They are KINGS, but never truly know it because of the disastrous state of music, television, schools, and social media. Erik Walls of LA posed the though online “Aren’t some of the people that protested in wake of the Mike Brown situation the same ones that will turn around and party to Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Ni**”? I’m confused a bit! We as the black community have to address injustice from both sides.” Black people need to wake up and realize what we’ve allowed ourselves to become as a whole! You can’t let tv or ringtone rap raise your kids. You can’t excuse your kids’ bad behavior at school, but blame EVERY teacher. You can’t let white parents be the only ones showing up to their child’s games, PTA meetings, and events. You can’t keep dropping your kids off so you can turn up at the club every other week. You can’t think it’s “cute” when your kids mimic your cursing and buffoonery. You can’t keep allowing your little girls and boys to be ‘grown’ and be surprised when they bring home babies at age 13. You can’t spend your last bit of rent money on a All White Affair or Black Party, but won’t go to a FREE panel forum discussing problems in the black community. Every black person needs hold at least one other black person accountable and charge them to stop SAYING they want change while waiting on someone else to enact it. We need to be PROACTIVE so we don’t get to the point where we are now – where we have to be reactive to a tragic murder or injustice.

 

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The Christian church needs to continue stepping up. I’m not going to be ‘Debbie Downer’ and say the church does NOTHING, but so much more has to be done. The church is fighting a battle within itself so I understand how difficult it may be to spread your attention and time but black people need it. What happened to the Civil Rights days where community leaders could meet in churches and pray over and lift up positive members in the black community so they can have the strength to run for local office and go off to school? As members of the Christian church, we can’t exhibit the same fear and hopelessness that everyone else in the world experiences. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) reads, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” This Word is still relevant today more than EVER! We need to help one another stay on the right path and stop sugar coating stuff as not to offend people. The Word of God REBUKES! Meaning, just like when our parents told us some heavy truths, it’s not going to be pretty all of the time. Look at what pity-patting has gotten us ya’ll! We can’t condone people’s reckless living (because in essence that’s what we’re doing by not giving them godly council) and then weep when the consequences occur. We need to make sure the PHYSICAL church body is a place where people feel welcome to come in as they are, but also a place where they don’t STAY as they are.

 

To be continued….. I’m just getting started. – Joc

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12 Years — Still Slaves…

Earlier this evening I watched ‪#‎12YearsASlave‬ (not my first time) and couldn’t help but cry. To see clearly that the hate and injustice slaves endured at the hands of whites back then still in effect today is BEYOND TRAGIC! But guess what, the reason it hurts is not because whites today inflict this pain on us…IT’S US inflicting pain on US! African Americans break down each other almost as much as whites ever could.

The way the word nigga is “justifiable” because it’s “us” using it — the way we degrade our black QUEENS, brainwashing them into believing they’re nothing more than butt and thighs…..we kill each other over “debt owed” which ultimately breaks up families. I know it’s nothing that will change overnight, but it still hurts.

This past Sunday, a former classmate and I organized a peace rally on the steps of our local county courthouse. During this ‪#‎Commitment4Change‬ rally, a wise community member walked off of the streets and kicked some knowledge to us that was profound to say the least! She spoke of growing up in 1960s New York where black men greeted black women as “queen”. With the world still finding it’s love for brown skin, and Jim Crow slowly transitioning in the South; blacks only had each other. They supported each other. Black woman knew the value of a strong, black man; and black men desired the love and enduring support of a black woman. This angel of a woman went on to proclaim that we (as African Americans) need to teach our children their HISTORY! We can’t keep cycling ourselves in a system that doesn’t care about us. We can’t depend on television or movies to depict blacks in the correct light 100% of the time…..we need teach kids AT HOME that they are kings and queens. If we do this as a black community, when they step out in the world, they will know WHO and WHOSE they are.

After speaking this mind rocking truth, she disappeared into the freezing rain and no one knew who she was. I believe she was setting me up for tonight. We won’t always have movies like “12 Years A Slave” played on the big screen to remind us of where we came from. Did you know that there are actually kids in middle and elementary school who believe the Civil Rights Era was in like the 1800s?!?!?! There are some who don’t realize what blacks had to endure until looking at an educational video in class. That is PITIFUL and there is NO reason this should be a reality.

It’s no wonder they exhibit and overwhelming sense of helplessness and disregard for human life. It’s no wonder they war with one another yet cry out when a black is killed by a cop. It’s no wonder they choose the streets because they’ve never seen a man, let alone one making something honest of himself.

We have work to do black America. These are just my reflections. There are too many emotions to continue — I’ll just sleep on it as I hope you do.

Be Blessed – Joc

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A 90 Year Old Holocaust Survivor Arrested During Michael Brown Protest

Hedy Epstein, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, was arrested on Monday during unrest over the death of Michael Brown,KMOV reports.

Epstein, who aided Allied forces in the Nuremberg trials, was placed under arrest in downtown St. Louis, Missouri “for failing to disperse” during a protest of Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to call in National Guard into Ferguson. Eight others were also arrested.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was ninety,” Epstein told The Nation during her arrest. “We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re ninety.”

Epstein is currently an activist and a vocal supporter of the Free Gaza Movement.

Tensions rose in Ferguson on Monday night after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced that the National Guard had been called in to help run the command center while police handled the protests.

Several people were arrested as protests ramped up, including Scott Olson, a photographer working for Getty Images.

President Obama addressed reporters on Monday and condemned the arrest of journalists covering Ferguson in the days since Michael Brown was shot and killed. He said he would be monitoring the National Guard presence to make sure it is “used in a limited and appropriate way.”

“There is no excuse for excessive force by police,” Obama said.

Here’s a photo of Epstein’s arrest:

View image on Twitter

 

Article courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/hedy-epstein-arrested-ferguson-holocaust-_n_5689822.html and written by 

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Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr!

I remember growing up — EVERY SINGLE YEAR – without fail we would watch a documentary (never knew the name of it – it was probably something from PBS) in every class and in Sunday school at church. The movie served as a story book of his life while incorporating small interviews with culture’s most famous musicians, activists, actors, and leaders around at the time. It was to the point that I knew almost every segment backwards and forwards and never got tired of it.

Fast forward to today, some kids (sadly enough) believe that the Civil Rights Era was a bit of movie magic spun up by some film executive in Hollywood.

No. It was 100 percent real.

While some of us may have grown tired of having to recite black history facts and doing MLK plays — it had it’s positive effect on us. Though some people in my generation may be dealing drugs, in jail, single parents, or whatever — we knew about MLK Jr!

So on this day that we celebrate the man and the preacher, let’s push forward and continue his efforts. Though we have MILES AND MILES to go, the Promised Land is clearly before us.

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– Joc

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Pastor Howard-John Wesley Connects Trayvon Martin Case with Crucifiction

This IS the best sermon I’ve heard regarding the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case! Looks like I know what church I’m attending the next time I visit family up in Virginia.

 http://swampland.time.com/2013/07/18/the-best-sermon-about-trayvon-that-you-will-hear/

This pastor brought up some VERY valid points and seamlessly put it in biblical context. Watching this sermon actually put ME in check to remember that God is in control of every single aspect of our minute lives. People are always saying so much it almost seems like a cliché; but it is so FARRRRR from one.

 When Jesus went to the cross it was a tragic situation, but in the end God set it up so that we all would have another chance at eternity with Him. He KNEW and saw what was to come. He knew that we, as humans, needed a living example so that when things get tough for us or get to the point that we don’t understand WHY…we can push through in faith knowing that regardless of what tragedies happen, it will all work out for [our] good.

I often talk to my father about the amazing dynamic of who Jesus Christ the Saviour is. There is NO human in history that could possibly experience all the joy and all the sorrow we feel here on Earth EXCEPT for Jesus. He knew what it was like to be raised by a ‘stepfather’. He knew what it was like to feel alone. He knew what it was like to have friends to act a fool on Him. He knew what it was like to lose a loved one. He knew what it was like to feel discouraged (Garden of Gethsemane). He knew what it was like to be turned on. He knew what it was like to be tempted. He knew what it was like to love. He knew what it was like to die. 

We have to keep this very powerful dynamic in mind when it comes to the George Zimmerman verdict. We know it is not fair that a boy (who wasn’t breaking in any homes or holding anyone up at gunpoin) was murdered (for whatever reason) and so does God; but we need to find comfort in knowing that He is orchestrating something greater behind the scenes. It was terrible when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, but look at what good came from it. Though it seems as though we are barely one foot out of the Jim Crow/Civil Rights Era, we have to know that the progress we HAVE seen was put into motion years ago. So… though it’s unfortunate that Trayvon Martin lost his life, this case will no doubt be a wheel in the progress that is to come 5, 10, even 20 years down the road.

 There are some things we can’t explain – they just are. There will be things that we just cannot grasp with our carnal minds, but regardless of what we think or how we feel, God knows that it will all work out for His glory in the end – just like it’s supposed to.

Excuse the ramble, but this sermon got these wheels turning in this noggin of mine!

– Joc

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Monkey See Monkey Do? — Are [We] Setting Ourselves Up?

Once again, before you read the below statement know that it is not my own. I do however agree with the stance the author of the statement is taking. We are going to joke [as black people] about certain things…a joke is a joke right?? BUT (whether we deem if fair or not) we need to be careful as a people of WHERE and WHEN we display those jokes.

To me, it’s SIMILAR to a scenario where a parent curses, drinks and uses foul language around their kid, but spanks and beats the heck out of them when they do it. MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO. There is a time and a place to do and say things. SO when we as a people make jokes and vent on social media where our white, etc followers can see ; you run the risk of the racial lines being blurred and them being confused as to ‘what is too far’. AND yes, in all fairness that is OUR page to do as we please, but a fact of the world we live in is that we have to be careful of our actions at all times.

NOW….check out this statement via Chris Allen…

Trayvon Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantel, was mocked and ridiculed yesterday via social media, and from what I could see, 99% of it was from her own race. She’s only 19 years old, under more pressure than any of us could imagine, and was involved in a tragic situation of being the last to talk to her friend who was killed shortly thereafter. Instead of embracing her, we make jokes about her weight, her public speaking, and of ALL things….her color.

We can’t hold white people to a higher standard of respecting black people than we hold ourselves. We can’t punish them for hating us and “holding us back” while leading by example and showing them how it’s done. There’s by FAR more black people that hate black people than there are white people who hate black people. We show it by the self-hatred we project on those like Rachel Jeantel in times like these.

But this isn’t new. We did the same with Gabby Douglas when her “ponytail was undone” as she won gold medals. Remember?

I’m not saying I ever excuse the acts of racist people vs. blacks. I just want us all to be aware that we’re DARING them to do the very thing we are DEMONSTRATING.

The worst thing about all this is, those that need to hear this message, probably won’t.

– Chris Allen (endorsed)

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