Tuesday Tributes: Victims of Hate

Charleena Lyles, a pregnant, 30-year-old mother of four, is the most recent person to be gunned down in cold blood by killer cops. She was murdered by the very police officers she contacted for help, when she called them to report an attempted burglary. From the Seattle Times:

Dozens of people attended a vigil Sunday night for a 30-year-old woman fatally shot by Seattle police as department use-of-force investigators probed how officers wound up killing a woman who had called police for help. Just after 10 a.m. Sunday, Seattle police responded after the woman had called to report an attempted burglary at her Magnuson Park apartment. At some point, police said, she displayed a knife and two officers shot and killed her.

Relatives identified the woman as Charleena Lyles. Family members said she was several months pregnant and had been struggling with mental-health issues for the past year. They said she was concerned authorities would take her children, one of whom they said has Down syndrome. Family members arriving about two hours later were distraught and questioned why police shot her. She was “tiny,” they said, and believe her race — she is African American — was a factor.

Yes, she had a knife. She probably wasn’t allowed to own a gun, or maybe she didn’t want guns around her children. She had armed herself to defend herself against the person who was breaking into her house. She called the police to report it – and they shot HER instead. Executed for having the temerity to, you know, do the right thing instead of taking matters into her own hands. But wait, there’s more…

Remember Philando Castile? He was fatally shot by a cop last year, in front of his girlfriend and their 4-year-old daughter. The aftermath of the brutal murder was live-streamed by Diamond Reynolds, as Philando had been cooperating with the cop’s instructions – but was still shot multiple times. From Reuters:

A Minnesota police officer was acquitted on Friday in the slaying of a black motorist he shot five times during a traffic stop last year, an incident that drew national attention after the victim’s girlfriend live-streamed the bloody aftermath on social media. St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez, who testified that he feared for his life when he fatally shot Philando Castile last July, was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

The jury of seven men and five women, 10 of whom were white and two of whom were black, sided with the officer after deliberating for more than 25 hours spanning five days, acquitting Yanez on all charges. The shooting death of Castile, 32, in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights triggered local protests and fueled debate across the country over the appropriate use of force by law enforcement against minorities.

Friday’s verdict drew an angry reaction from Castile’s mother. “I’m mad as hell right now,” Valerie Castile told reporters after the verdict. “My first-born son died. … Just because he was a police officer, that makes it OK.”

She said the verdict shows “the system continues to fail black people.”

This latest travesty of justice isn’t surprising to myself or other people. I would have been shocked if the officer had been found guilty, because cops get away with murder – especially the murders of non-white people. And, the rampant hate just keeps growing…

17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was beaten to death after she and friends left a mosque in Sterling, Virginia and had breakfast at a nearby IHOP. From the Washington Post:

The death of a Virginia teenager who police say was assaulted and then disappeared after leaving a mosque in the Sterling area isn’t being investigated as a hate crime, authorities said Monday. On Sunday, police found the girl’s remains and a 22-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with the case.

The mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in Sterling, and relatives identified the girl as 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston. Fairfax County police identified the man charged with murder in her death as Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling. On Monday, they did not release any explanation as to why they weren’t investigating the murder as a hate crime.

According to accounts from police and a mosque official, a group of four or five teens were walking back from breakfast at IHOP early Sunday when they were confronted by a motorist. All but one of the teens ran to the mosque, where the group reported that the girl had been left behind, according to Deputy Aleksandra Kowalski, a spokeswoman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

“Immediately thereafter, the ADAMS’ personnel notified both Loudoun County and Fairfax County authorities who immediately began an extensive search to locate the missing girl,” the mosque said in a statement. Loudoun and Fairfax police jointly conducted an hours-long search around Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive in Herndon, which is in Fairfax. Remains thought to be the girl’s were found about 3 p.m. Sunday in a pond in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle in Sterling. During the search, an officer spotted a motorist driving suspiciously in the area and arrested Torres, police said.

So…she was attacked and killed, but it isn’t a hate crime? Sorry, but it doesn’t qualify as “road rage” to me. “Road rage” implies that all people involved were in vehicles; in this case, the teens were on foot and were “confronted by a motorist.” How in the hell is this NOT a hate crime?

I’m just so weary of all the hate, the mindless rhetoric, and the general shit being spewed by the fearful and the xenophobic. There’s no sense or reason to it. Nobody is interested in talking about the problems, and they certainly can’t be bothered to attempt to think about solutions. “It’s not my problem,” they say, “so it’s not my job to find a solution.” I suppose that’s all well and good – but, I wonder what those same people would say if a tragedy like the ones listed here hit them close to home? Would they still say that it isn’t their problem, or would they be galvanized into action?

I wonder…

Tribute Post: Richard Collins III

A promising young life was cut tragically short on Saturday, 21 May. Richard Collins III, a student at Bowie State University (BSU) in Maryland, was visiting friends at the University of Maryland (UMD), enjoying a weekend celebrating his upcoming graduation. At around 0300, while waiting for an Uber near a UMD bus stop, he was approached by a hostile man screaming racist obscenities who ordered him to “step left if you know what’s best for you.” From the Huffington Post:

The FBI is considering the fatal stabbing of a black college student a possible hate crime after learning the suspect is a member of a white supremacist Facebook group. Sean Christoper Urbanski, a 22-year-old student at the University of Maryland, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as first-degree assault following the recent slaying of Richard Wilbur Collins, a senior at Bowie State University. The UMD Police Department enlisted the help of federal law enforcement after discovering Urbanski’s connection to “Alt-Reich: Nation,” a racist Facebook group that posts disparaging content about African Americans and other minority groups.

Collins was visiting UMD during graduation weekend when Urbanski allegedly stabbed him early Saturday morning. The BSU student was waiting for an Uber near a UMD shuttle bus stop with a couple of friends when a screaming Urbanski allegedly approached the group around 3 a.m. Witnesses told police that Urbanski was intoxicated and incoherent as he shouted at Collins to “step left if you know what’s best for you,” according to court documents obtained by News 4 Washington. After Collins refused, Urbanski allegedly thrust a “3 to 4 inch silver blade” into the victim’s chest. When police arrived on the scene, they found Collins bleeding and laying on the sidewalk as Urbanski sat on a bench roughly 50 feet away.”

Richard had been commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army just two days prior to his brutal, senseless murder. Today would have seen him graduate with honours from Bowie State University. Instead, his father accepted his degree, which will be posthumously conferred on another student. A moment of silence was held during the commencement ceremonies, and an empty chair draped with his graduation gown was in the front row seating.

I know that this offends many, but I don’t really give a shit. Me talking about racism when it horribly impacts whole families, not just myself, isn’t “overtly focusing” on it or being “racially charged.” The hate-filled, shit-spouting coward who committed this crime is the one keeping racism alive – not me. A useless, inbred shitstain on the fabric of humanity felt the need to take the life of another human being because of a diseased belief that skin colour makes one superior or inferior. The sickest thing in all of this, are the people who directly contribute to this nonsense by spewing lies in offices, schoolrooms, houses of worship, and / or the privacy of their own homes. A father and mother are mourning their son tonight, hearts breaking as they see that empty chair. Joy and dreams shattered in an instant, all because of the rampant disease of racism – and very few seem genuinely interested in even trying to find a cure.

And So It Goes…Again, & Still…

A tiny bit of justice came about yesterday. I say ‘tiny’ because, while it was unexpected, it was overshadowed by the colossal injustices which have occurred in the past week. Since there’s not been a peep about these events, I figured I’d post them here.

First off, the bit of justice was for the family of Walter Scott. Remember him? Of course you don’t. Let me refresh your short, collective memories. He was the unarmed Black man, shot multiple times in the back by a hate-filled cop who claimed that he was acting in “self-defense.” The cop pleaded guilty, but only after some pathetic plea deal was reached. The plea deal dropped two other charges against the murderer, who will most likely get a slap on the wrist when he is sentenced. Those of us who know how things work in the real world will be surprised if he gets life in prison, because the likelihood of that is slim to nil.

Next up, this little tidbit out of Texas. On Saturday, 29 April, 15-year-old Jordan Edwards was shot and killed by yet another racist cop. He was shot in the head while leaving a party with his friends and one of his siblings in Balch Springs. The cop was fired, but that is probably as far as it will go. Texas isn’t known for being a bastion of good sense, that’s for sure!

Next, the travesty surrounding the cold-blooded murder of Alton Sterling in Louisiana. He was shot point-black in the chest as multiple cops held him to the ground. The excuse? He was reaching for one of the officer’s guns. Yeah, right. I believe that just like I believed the cop claiming he shot Walter Scott in the back because he “feared for his life.” At any rate, the Department of (in)Justice, now headed by that inbred, racist, white-trash sack of shit named Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, is refusing to charge the officers involved in Alton’s murder. Sad to think that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Fame doesn’t protect us from being harassed by hate-filled fucks, either. Adam Jones, a center-fielder for the Baltimore Orioles, was treated to Boston “civility” when Red Sox fans hurled peanuts and racial slurs at him during a game on Tuesday. The Orioles won the game, so Bostonians showed their true colours that night. Adam was given a standing ovation at last night’s game as a token ‘apology.’ Gee. How mighty white of you, Boston! That makes it all better, right? 70 years after Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in Major League Baseball, and this is still the bullshit that Black players have to deal with.

Even here, on my humble little blog, racist assholes still try to get their silly, inane, nonsensical comments through. The overt ones are almost comical in their attempts, while the covert ones insult my intelligence, make subtly condescending remarks, and go overboard with verbose word-salad. I guess they think that if they throw enough words around, I’ll get confused. Sorry, that trick doesn’t work on me. When you know how a trick works, the magic and mystery of it vanishes. It doesn’t hurt that I grew up in a part of the USA that allowed me to encounter both overt and covert racists, so I can smell either a mile away. You’d think that they’d be too busy starching and ironing their crinoline petticoats, pointy white hats, and long white robes for their weekend “re-enactments” to bother with me! Just goes to show how little sense those people have.

Midweek Musings…20 April 2016 * Re-Posted *

This was deserving of a re-post; multiple factors contributed to the decision! I also put the links of a couple of my past posts here, since re-blogging is only allowed once. I think that bloggers should be able to reblog our own posts as many times as we want, but that would probably contribute to laziness – and there are plenty of people who use that excuse far too often, LOL!

BOOP!!!

XD

Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

View original post 10 more words

Tragic, Senseless Losses…

I was planning to post my “Five for Friday” fun facts, but decided to put it off until next week. Two tragic, senseless events occurred this week, but there has been little reported about them. Most outlets, everywhere I look, are fawning over the Drumpf and how “presidential” he’s suddenly become because he knows how to launch missiles and drop bombs. That is supposed to be the last resort, when all other things have failed – but this jackass is determined to do anything to distract from the scandals and valid questions surrounding his administration, and it appears to be working.

The two events I’m referring to are, first, the shooting in San Bernardino. Karen Smith, a teacher, was shot and killed by her estranged husband on Monday, 10 April. One of her students, 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, also died after being caught in the crossfire; another student, aged nine, was wounded. Karen hadn’t been married to her husband very long, and it was apparently troubled. She was staying at the homes of relatives in order to hide from him, yet he showed up at her place of employment – a school – and took her life, then his own. From NBC News:

Out of fear of her estranged husband, Karen Smith began staying at the homes of relatives in order to hide from him, family sources told NBC 4 Los Angeles. Adam Smith said her death came as a surprise, and that his mother and her husband had problems but he never imagined Anderson was capable of this.

The four adult children declined to discuss Karen Smith’s relationship with Anderson further, but they opened up about their mother’s love for her work. Karen Smith, a grandmother of three, home-schooled her children for eight years before she pursued her career as a special education teacher. As both mother and educator, she formed a tight-knit bond with her children.

“Personally, she was my rock, my best friend and my world,” Jennifer Smith, Karen Smith’s daughter, said. Jennifer Smith, who became a teacher like her mother, said Karen Smith’s impact last long after her students left her classroom. “Oftentimes former students would contact her and thank her for helping them graduate from high school,” Jennifer said. “Children were the light of her world and their success was hers.”

Adam Smith agreed, saying that during his mother’s 10-year career, she enjoyed seeing her students succeed and excel in their work. After their mother’s death on Monday, Karen Smith’s children were still reeling from the loss. “She didn’t deserve to die like this,” Adam Smith said, his voice catching.”

The sickness and evil of people like Cedric Anderson cannot be overstated enough. Psychos and sociopaths, for whatever reason, become obsessed with the person they feel has “wronged” them. Their desperate attention-seeking becomes more and more dangerous, to the point of stalking, baiting, bullying, and other types of harassment. They can’t accept it when another doesn’t want them in their lives, and take the rejection so personally that they blame the other person instead of looking at themselves to see where the issue lies. Everything is the fault of someone else, in their twisted, broken little minds.

The loss of a caring, loving teacher is such a shame, as is the death of a young boy who had his whole life ahead of him. Two lives tragically cut short, because some damaged-beyond-repair cretin couldn’t handle the fact that his marriage was over, and his actions were the cause of it. Domestic violence affects many, and the most dangerous time for a person escaping an abusive relationship is when they’ve physically left it; this shooting shows that fact in a glaring light.

Sheila Abdus-Salaam: 14 March 1952 – 12 April 2017

The second event is the mysterious death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman, and the first Muslim, to serve on New York’s highest court. Her fully-clothed body was pulled out of the Hudson River on Wednesday, 12 April, a day after she was reported missing. No cause of death has been announced, and the results of an autopsy conducted yesterday were inconclusive, but her death is being treated as a suicide – and that irks me to no end. From Al-Jazeera:

Tributes were paid on Thursday to Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman to serve on New York’s highest court. Police pulled Abdus-Salaam’s fully clothed body from the Hudson River on Wednesday, a day after she was reported missing. The 65-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. No cause of death has been announced.

There were no signs a crime had been committed in her death, a police spokesman said on Thursday. Law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity told US media that investigators were treating the death as a suicide. One of the officials said both the judge’s mother and brother had died in recent years around Easter, the brother by suicide.

Results of an autopsy conducted on Thursday were inconclusive. “The cause and manner of death are pending further studies following today’s examination,” Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the city’s medical examiner, said in a statement. Abdus-Salaam was widely reported to have been the country’s first female Muslim judge. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed Abdus-Salaam as “a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all”.

“As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the state’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer,” Cuomo said. “Through her writings, her wisdom and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come.”

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said her colleague will be “missed deeply”. “Her personal warmth, uncompromising sense of fairness and bright legal mind were an inspiration to all of us who had the good fortune to know her,” DiFiore said. Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said her example and work on civil rights issues were inspiring to women, Muslims, and African Americans. “Her story was a story of success, empowerment and inspiration,” he said.

The president of the New York State Bar Association, Claire P Gutekunst, noted Abdus-Salaam grew up poor in a family of seven children in Washington, DC, and “rose to become one of the seven judges in New York’s highest court, where her intellect, judicial temperament and wisdom earned her wide respect”.

Abdus-Salaam graduated from Barnard College and received her law degree from Columbia Law School. She became a public defender in Brooklyn after law school, the New York Times said, representing people who could not afford lawyers. She went on to serve as a lawyer for New York state government and city’s office of labour services. In one of her first cases, she won an anti-discrimination suit for more than 30 female New York City bus drivers who had been denied promotions.”

Is it possible that she committed suicide? Sure. Do I believe that it was a suicide? Not really. It’s difficult for me to believe that, especially in light of this recent assault on another Muslim woman, which happened on Monday in Milwaukee. From the Huffington Post:

Police are investigating the vicious assault Monday of a Muslim woman in Milwaukee in what the local community is calling a hate crime. The 58-year-old woman, who does not want to be identified, told Fox6Now a man armed with a knife attacked her while she was walking home from her mosque early Monday. She said a car pulled up alongside her and he hopped out, demanding that she remove her hijab. “I tried to fight him,” she told the local news channel. “‘Don’t take my hijab,’ you know? So he threw me on the floor then he beat me like an animal.”

“Before he hurt me, I said ‘today I gonna die,” she recounted to WISN. “I gonna die.’” The council of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, where the woman attends mosque, described the assault in a letter to its members this week: He then grabbed her head and removed her hijab and began to attack her. She is a petite woman in her late 50s. She tried to resist. Her nose began to bleed from the hits she suffered. Besides punching and kicking our sister in the head and back while she was on the ground, he also had a knife. The jacket she was wearing has a long vertical cut in the back and also a cut on the arm of the jacket. Our sister suffered a cut on her arm that, alhamdulillah [praise God], was not serious. As expected, she was terrified. The attacker did not ask for money nor did he take her phone. The attacker then returned to his car and sped off.

The woman managed to walk home, where she then suffered a seizure, her lawyer, Munjed Ahmad, told The Huffington Post. Ahmad said the woman is epileptic and the attack likely induced the seizure. A friend later arrived at the woman’s home and called 911. She was transported to a local hospital where she was sedated and released the following day. Ahmad told HuffPost the woman suffered a bloody nose, a laceration on her arm, a bloodied face, a black eye, and bruising on her face. Her hijab and a copy of the Quran she was carrying were both bloodied during the attack.”

This is just one of many hate-driven assaults perpetrated upon Muslim people. The ignorant, racist hate-mongers out there think that anyone wearing a head-covering, such as the turbans worn by Sikhs, are Muslim. A Sikh gentleman was shot in his own driveway here in Washington state, in the city of Kent, back at the beginning of March. Attacks such as these are just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately. Denying the amount of vitriol and hate that has surfaced since the selection of the Drumpf is being blindly, willfully ignorant – and in some ways, being so is the worst crime of all. Unfortunately, Sheila Abdus-Salaam might not get the due justice deserved, even though she did much good for a lot of people. It’s entirely possible that her religion and her career made her a target for multiple reasons, and a crime of opportunity can look like a suicide if it isn’t investigated thoroughly. The fact that her death has barely made a ripple on the news or across the interwebs shows how little people care about the death of Black people in general, and Black women in particular…and that’s a shame.

Jay Z and Weinstein Co. to Make Trayvon Martin Film and Documentary Series

This is excellent – shining a spotlight on this is necessary, especially with Beauregard Jefferson Sessions in the position that he holds. Trayvon Martin didn’t get due justice, and there needs to be deep examination of why.

GOOD BLACK NEWS

Trayvon Martin (photo via variety.com)

article by Justin Kroll and Brent Lang via variety.com

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and the Weinstein Company are partnering on an ambitious series of film and television projects about Trayvon Martin.  The indie label and the rap icon won a heated bidding war for the rights to two books — “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin.” The 2012 shooting of the 17 year-old Martin sparked a national debate about racial profiling and inequities of the criminal justice system that brought about the Black Lives Matter movement.

The African-American high school student was killed by George Zimmerman, 28, who was a member of the neighborhood watch in his Florida community. He claimed he shot Martin, who was unarmed, in self defense after the two…

View original post 165 more words

Some Pointed Saturday Memes…25 March 2017

I’ve been chuckling to myself off and on since yesterday before going to bed, and find myself doing so this morning as I sip my first cup of coffee. I banned a person yesterday, bringing the grand total to: * insert epic drumroll * five. That’s it…only five people have made themselves persona non grata, permanently! I’ve been blogging here on WordPress for a little over six years now, but have only seen the need to ban five people. Overall, I’d have to say that’s a pretty good average! The list consists of two men, two women, and one individual of unknown gender; two were banned on the same day, about three years ago – but that’s been it.

In recognition of this milestone, here are a few silly memes for those ignorant trolls who couldn’t follow the simple, basic rules set out in my Open Thread & Comment Policy page. I venture that they couldn’t even be bothered to read it, just as they willfully ignored my ‘About’ page and what I say about trolling antics. Perhaps they suffer from some severe mental deficiency which renders them incapable of comprehension. No matter to me; it’s their issue, not mine. So, they are free and clear to keep their issues on their own blog!

Me? I’m enjoying the Jester’s Festival events that are taking place in my online game, and am broadcasting the live, real-time game-play off and on throughout the weekend. Feel free to click the link which will take you directly to my Twitch channel, sit back with some hot tea and sunflower seeds, and enjoy the show!

Timothy Caughman: Victim of Domestic Terrorism

This is Timothy Caughman, the 66-year-old Black man who was brutally murdered in New York City on 20 March. His killer, James Harris Jackson, is a self-described “white supremacist” who harbored intense hatred for Black people in general, but Black men in particular. He turned himself in to the local authorities in the wee hours of 22 March, after stabbing Mr. Caughman multiple times with a 24-inch, double-edged sword:

On his Twitter page, 66-year-old Timothy Caughman described himself as a “can and bottle recycler” as well as an “autograph collector.” He hoped to visit California one day and expressed his deep love for this country on Election Day by standing in line and taking part in the democratic process. However, Caughman lived in a country where everyone did not love him back. Since the election of Donald Trump as president, the nation has seen a rise in hate crimes and bigotry. On Monday, Caughman became a victim of one of those hate crimes.

On March 17, Army veteran James Harris Jackson, 28, took the Bolt Bus from Baltimore to New York City with an extremely disgusting plan in mind: to kill Black men. Days later, Jackson crossed paths with Caughman as he collected bottles close to the Midtown homeless shelter where he lived. The altercation turned deadly when Jackson pulled out a sword and stabbed Caughman multiple times in the torso.

After the brutal attack, Caughman stumbled into a nearby police precinct with wounds to his back and chest, said Assistant Chief William Aubry, the commander of Manhattan South detectives, as reported by the New York Times. Caughman was then transported to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”

A quiet man who was minding his own business became a victim of domestic terrorism, yet no buildings will dim their lights for him. Only the people who knew and cared about Mr. Caughman will be holding a candlelight vigil, or placing flowers near the place where his life was taken. The standard, ridiculous excuses of “insanity” are already being bandied about by heartless lawyers. They offer up that lame defense as if it were a valid excuse, but there is no defense or excuse for the inbred cretin who murdered Mr. Caughman in a most up-close-and-personal way.

I lit a candle for Mr. Caughman – it’s the least I can do. Doing a little bit, sometimes, is better than doing nothing at all. Many people don’t seem to understand or respect that. It’s a shame.

Black Love Day…2016!!!

This warrants a repost today, for 2017…so, share the love!
😀

Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

Today marks Black Love Day! Here’s a bit of info, for those who are wondering what it is and what it celebrates:

BLD is an African-centered, alternative to the commercial Valentine’s Day with the wholistic goals of encouraging: 1) Black self-love instead of self-hatred; 2) Racial healing to stop White supremacy, racism and entitlement; 3) The return to Love to heal all relationships for increased peace to stop violence!

BRIEF HISTORY: BLD was founded in 1993 by Ayo Handy Kendi, founder/director of the African American Holiday Association (AAHA), and CEO of PositivEnergyWorks. Founder of Optimum Life Breathology, Transcendence Breath Worker, Sound Healer, Speaker, Storyteller, Author, Host- “The Sage-ing Baby Boomer Show”.

Yearly, Black Love Day has grown in popularity similar to Juneteenth and Kwanzaa. It has become recognized on many college campuses, notably FAMU, Morgan State and Howard U. as well as in many communities.

Black Love Relationship…

View original post 132 more words

Musings on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – 2017

In four days, a selfish, narcissist, misogynist racist will officially be inaugurated into the White House. I still shake my head in sorrow over this impending tragedy, especially today. What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. think of this transition of power? What would go through his mind upon seeing the first Black President of the United States of America being replaced by a man who epitomizes the worst of the racism that was prevalent from the 1800s through this 21st century – racism that he witnessed first-hand?

It isn’t lost on me that “MLK Day,” as it is casually listed on calendars, blogs, and holiday-weekend sales circulars, isn’t a holiday that is observed by many industries here in the U.S.A. I know this for a fact, because I have worked in those industries: construction, engineering, and architecture, to name a few. When I was employed at those respective industries, there were usually two “floating” holidays that could be exchanged for a day off, so I would exchange one of those in order to get time off on this day. I did so in order to take my son to various community events that would be taking place, and instill in him the importance of this “Day of Service.” A national holiday isn’t just to get a day off from work and bargains on mattresses – it is time to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. The history of it. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is called a “Day of Service,” because it is a day to “give back” or “pay it forward” in the community that you live in, and the businesses that you support. National parks around the country are free today; no need to pay admission. Did anyone out there go to your nearest national park, if you were close enough to do so? Did you take time to just appreciate the natural beauty that is, sadly, rapidly vanishing?

For my part, I woke up early and went down to the beach to do some cleanup. It isn’t an official “Beach Clean-Up Day,” locally, but that was the best part – I was there with no company other than the seagulls. Any other people were at a great distance from me, jogging near the water, or walking along with cameras, taking pictures. I took two large garbage bags and spent time picking up the leftover garbage that tourists always leave behind. Tourists have no respect or appreciation for the places that they visit, which is why I never consider myself a tourist when I travel – I don’t treat the places that I visit as a personal dumping ground.

Anyway, as I cleaned up and removed the filth of others, my thoughts were on Dr. King and his dream. Questions and observations kept popping up in my mind, some of which I opened this post with, and I figured that I’d write a few more below. Bear with my meandering thoughts, if you will!

What would he think of the apathy of Black people who have “made it to the top?” Those who believe that if we all hold hands, sing ‘Kumbayah,’ and believe in some bogus ‘post-racial’ utopia that racism is suddenly non-existent? Those who buy the bullshit of ‘respectability poltics,’ and feel that if you don’t talk about racism, it will disappear like that? People always say, “well, he was peaceful and non-violent!” So? What does that mean, exactly? Does that mean he never got angry? Would being justifiably angry make his message not worth heeding? He was a gun-owner as well; what would he say about the way gun laws are selectively enforced in this day and age? Did his owning a gun suddenly render him a non-peaceful person? Owning a gun didn’t keep him from getting murdered, and neither did his peaceful protests.

What would he have thought or said about the recent presidential race? Would he have supported Hillary or Bernie? Would Dr. King have sat down, face-to-face with the Drumpf, and spoken to him about the nazis and klansmen in his supporter base – and now, in his cabinet? What would he think about Drumpf’s relationship with Russia in general, and Vladimir Putin, in particular?

What would he say to whites who cherry-pick his “I Have a Dream” speech when they use those quotes to shut down Black people who are voicing their concerns? These same whites who believed the lies leading to his professional, political, and personal assassination? He supported Marcus Garvey, and didn’t hate Malcolm X the way most people believe.

What would he say about Black entertainers who play up disturbing and damaging stereotypes for fame and fortune? What would he say about whites who culturally misappropriate and misrepresent many different cultural styles, rituals, music, and belief systems? Would he still stand at the side of Congressman John Lewis, even as he is unfairly attacked for being honest with his personal opinion? What would he think about Colin Kaepernick? Would he scathe him, or applaud him?

These are just some of the many questions that I mused over as I picked up cigarette butts and wrappers, beer and soda cans, and general garbage left over from the last big tourist-drawing event. As in years past, I spent a good part of the morning doing a public service for the community that I live in, even though it is unappreciated by the ignorant, inbred people who reside here. Fine with me – I did it because I wanted to, not for the thanks of people who don’t care. I still benefit from having a clean beach, if only for a while. And, I know that my family members appreciate my efforts when they come to visit – so you could say that I did it for them, too. I think that Dr. King would approve!

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: