Moment of Silence: 13 August 2017

Silent Moment Saturday…Domestic Terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia of last night and today leave me heartsick, speechless, and sadly, unsurprised. It was only a matter of time, what with the hateful and vitriolic language and attitudes spanning the internet. Pointing out the obvious was labeled as “ranting” by others and deemed unworthy of listening to, while those who spread the racist rhetoric are adored and fawned upon. The amount of sickness out there is staggering, to say the least. The articles below are testament to how little is really being done to address this madness, which has long been festering in the hearts and minds of many.

Charlottesville: One killed in violence during U. S. racist rally (link to BBC article)

Fascist, neo-nazi groups on the march in Charlottesville chant: “Blood and soil,” echoing the words of their hero (link to HuffPo article)

One dead as white terrorists march through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, USA (link to CBC article)

3 Saturday Songs…

Just some songs for Saturday…these are where my thoughts turn when I hear some ignorant asshole saying “take my country back” and “make America great again” – these and other travesties are what they seem to desire.

Meanwhile, I’m going to catch up on reading some blogs…and, I was just nominated for another award! I’ll be busy for a few hours – see you all later!

Not Again…

Sorry, but I’m interrupting my planned posts…because while I was checking my emails, I saw a news headline that just floored me. Seriously? AGAIN?!? What in the ever-living hell is wrong with people? WTF is going on???

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/12/2/san-bernardino-shooting-multiple-casualties-feared.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/san-bernardino-shooting_565f4613e4b072e9d1c464e9?261xajor

*HOLDS HEAD IN HANDS*

No. You know what? I’m posting some links below. Just watch, listen, and / or read…open your mind for a bit. Here are some ugly truths that many want to ignore and hide from. If I lose readers and followers, so be it. I’m not one who has ever backed down from calling shit what it is.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ernest-owens/call-it-what-it-is-white-_b_8683636.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/heres-why-the-alleged-pla_b_8676592.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&ir=Black%20Voices

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/true-color-blue-lives-matter_565de1f9e4b079b2818beacd

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/before-colorado-shooting-a-long-history-of-violence-against-women/2015/12/01/7f494c86-987b-11e5-8917-653b65c809eb_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_coloshooter-1115pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/11/24/chicago-police-release-video-of-police-shooting.html

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/muslim-forced-plane-anti-islam-rhetoric-rises-151125200650016.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-w-waters/american-terrorist_b_8641944.html

http://www.cc.com/full-episodes/4byoc2/the-nightly-show-with-larry-wilmore-december-1–2015—texas-textbook-controversy—donald-trump-season-2-ep-02030

*** SIGH ***

Unreal. Absolutely unreal. I sat down with my coffee in hand, ready to write about the meaning of Women’s Equality Day. I had a post planned about Hurricane Katrina, and how the city of New Orleans still feels the effects of that massive natural disaster a decade later – but this happened. From Al-Jazeera:

The man suspected of shooting and killing two local Virginia journalists as they conducted a live television interview has shot himself and is in critical condition, according to local news reports.

WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were killed Wednesday morning by gunman at the Bridgewater Plaza mall in Moneta, Virginia, which is about 150 miles west of the state capital Richmond.

The suspected shooter was identified by authorities as Vester Flanagan. WDBJ7 said Flanagan is a former employee who is also known as Bryce Williams.

The station reported that state police confirmed that Flanigan shot himself on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier said that authorities were pursuing Flanigan along a major highway. 

A Twitter and Facebook account under the name Bryce Williams appeared to show first-person video of the shooting. Both accounts have since been suspended. 

At about 6:45 a.m., Parker and the person she was interviewing heard shots, sending them screaming and ducking for cover, according to live video of the event. The camera appears to drop to the ground and captures what seems to be a fleeting image of the gunman. The person is wearing black pants and a blue top and appears to be holding a handgun. The station then cut away from the live video of the scene and back into its studio.

The Roanoke Times reported that the person interviewed in the video was Vicki Gardner, the head of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. The paper’s website reported that Gardner was shot in the back and was undergoing surgery. WDBJ7 later confirmed that Gardner was injured in the shooting.

From the Huffington Post:

A man believed to have shot and killed two journalists during a live broadcast on Wednesday morning is in critical condition at a Virginia hospital. Vester Lee Flanagan, 41, allegedly opened fire at reporters from Roanoke-based news station WDBJ and an interviewee around 6:45 a.m. during a broadcast from Smith Mountain Lake in the community of Moneta. Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, died shortly after the shooting.

At around 11:30 a.m. Flanagan’s vehicle went off the road and crashed while he was fleeing law enforcement on the highway, Virginia State Police told The Huffington Post. Troopers found Flanagan in the vehicle with a gunshot wound. He was taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. Flanagan previously worked as a reporter for WDBJ and went by the name Bryce Williams on air. Around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, a Twitter account linked to that name tweeted out two videos of the shooting, shot from the perspective of the gunman. One video cuts off just as he aims the gun at Parker. A second video shows him opening fire. Other tweets sent around the same time stated “Parker made racist comments” and asked “They hired her after that???” The account has since been suspended. Someone claiming to be Williams sent a 23-page fax to ABC News on Tuesday night, the network reported. ABC turned it over to law enforcement.
Vicki Gardner, the woman Parker was interviewing, was shot in the back and is undergoing surgery, CNN reports. Gardner is the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.”
I don’t know what to say…I really don’t. NRA asshats are already flooding the comment sections of news outlets with their usual, outdated, histrionic tripe and vitriol. Sick, sick, sick…

Sunny Sunday…

Credit: intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com

The sun is out now, but it rained overnight – it’s definitely needed!

Just had a few random things on my mind to share on this fine Sunday…a few little things which may or may not be of interest, so here goes!

First off, I know that there has been an official autopsy report in the death of Sandra Bland, who was laid to rest yesterday. I will freely admit that I’m very, very skeptical of it – and I’m not the only one. In light of recent events, it isn’t hard to see why many are skeptical.

The abducted young ladies of Chibok, Nigeria, have been away from their families and loved ones for 468 days now…it’s sad and disheartening. All I can do is hold out hope that they will be freed.

I have an ISTP ‘personality type,’ from what I’ve learned over the years – I think it is what enables me to laugh at myself as loudly as I laugh at anything else that tickles my funny-bone, LOL

Maybe that will give you more insight into who I am…but then again, it probably won’t. This is fine with me, either way!

😉

Today marks the Procession of the Witches, also called Heksenstoet, in Beselare, Belgium. It’s an interesting local festival, there. From Expatica.com:

“Beselare in West Flanders has been associated with stories about witches for centuries. Its most famous witch is Sefa Bubbles, who according to legend was the witch chief of all the local witches.

You can see her at the local witch festival or Heksenstoet, held on the last Sunday in July, with songs and dances about her, and her children. But she’s certainly not the only important witch in town; in the weeks before the festival, every local household makes its own witch, and enters it in a village competition to win a prize for the best one.

You can see life-sized gnarled old papier mache witches sitting outside every gatepost and every door. The local folklore has it that husbands have been known to sit their unwitting mothers-in-law outside on the judging day of the competition.

Everyone dresses up as a witch for the day. The local people say it never, ever rains for the witch parade. True to form, last Sunday, the day remained gloriously hot and sunny. Sorcery!

Once the Witch horse riders have cleared the road, and the parade gets underway, two marchers carry forward a large sign reading ‘In this village, there is witchcraft!’, and the first of many floats go past (including a vast 17th-century castle which caused hilarity one year by getting stuck on the bunting across the road).”

I’m getting ready to watch a baseball game, so I’ll close with two funny videos and a song…I know that my humour might not be to everyone’s tastes, so feel free to not watch them! You’ve been warned, ROFL

XD

 

370 Days.

On 14 April, 2014, approximately 270 girl were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Nigera by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai penned a heartfelt letter to the girls…if only they could see it and know that there are people who are doing everything in their limited power to bring them home. From the Huffington Post:

On the eve of the first anniversary of Boko Haram’s abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, Malala Yousafzai has published an open letter to the kidnapped girls, offering them words of “solidarity, love and hope.” “Like you, I was a target of militants who did not want girls to go to school,” the 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner wrote. Yousafzai was shot in the face by the Taliban in 2012 for championing the rights of girls to go to school in Pakistan. On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram abducted more than 270 girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria. Soon after, more than 50 of them managed to escape, but it’s believed the others remain captive. Reports have emerged of the kidnapped girls being tortured, raped, forced to convert to Islam, and being married off to members of Boko Haram. In her letter, published on Monday, a day before the one-year mark since the mass abduction, Yousafzai criticized the Nigerian government and the international community for not doing “enough to help” the captured girls.

She is correct – not enough is being done, and I would like to know why. The missing Malaysian airliner still gets more press coverage than 200 living, breathing, suffering human beings.

The American hostages in Iran, back in 1979, were held for a total of 444 days – but they were adults. Yes, they were subjected to psychological trauma…there is no question about that. However, any women who were captured during that time were released fairly quickly, as were the non-white individuals – so the hostage-taking back than was a completely different situation than the ordeal that these young girls are being forced to endure.

I am going to do what newsman Walter Cronkite did back then: start counting the days until they are returned. It’s all I can do at the moment…keep the awareness and some small hope alive.

…and so it goes…again.

Again, and again, and again…more names added to the roster of those unjustly injured and / or killed by the police.  Eric Harris was shot and killed by some “buy-to-play” wannabe former cop in Tusla, Oklahoma. This cretinous arsehole supposedly mistook his own lethal firearm for his Taser, firing a shot into Mr. Harris, who died later. Oops. Yeah, right…I believe that he was ‘mistaken’ about the two guns about as much as I believe that Bill O’Reilly is a sensible individual. In Phoenix, Arizona, a man by the name of Mario Valencia was viciously slammed from behind – by a police car going approximately 40 miles per hour. The supposed justification was due to the fact that Mr. Valencia had fired a stolen rifle into the air, and footage also shows him pointing the gun at himself, under his jaw. I guess the claim will be that “oh, he wanted to commit ‘suicide by cop,’ so he must have deserved to be slammed into a brick wall by a fast-moving vehicle.” I disagree with that, personally…for that matter, how many supposed suicides have been written off with that excuse? Not as many as the common “I had to shoot because he was reaching for (insert police object here) and I was in fear for my life,” but I’m certain that plenty of those supposed ‘suicides’ were suspicious, at best. Another man has also been shot dead in Houston, Texas – few details are available as I write this; we shall see what is revealed over the next few days.
Amidst all of this, I’m reminded of Christopher Dorner. Remember him? Do you remember what he did, and why? I still find it fascinating that he was killed after the week-long manhunt, during which he himself took three lives. Still – wasn’t that fewer lives than the sniper in Pennsylvania took? How many people were killed in that theatre in Colorado…yet, that murderer is still alive. Christopher Dorner knew about shady police dealings and tired of them, so he tried to reveal them…in doing so, his word and name were destroyed by the department he served for years. At that point, he had nothing left to lose. He wasn’t a hero because he killed people, he was a hero because he tried to expose the very things that are now coming to light in police departments across the country. From small towns to big cites, all departments have much to answer for. We all want answers – stop the cover-ups and the bullshit.
Finally, I wanted to close with a link to an excellent article. It illustrates perfectly why I refuse to engage in discussions about race with whites…I’m not obligated to teach anybody a damn thing about how I care for my skin and hair, or why the lines in the palms of my hands are visible, while those on the palms of white hands are nearly impossible to see. I won’t engage in endless discussions about skewed statistics, genetics, childbirth rates, or relationships. “Teachable moments” are only possible when one chooses to open one’s mind and start learning. Period.

Week In Review…

Another week nears its end; a new month draws nigh. Let’s take a look at some of the happy ‘news’ from the past week, shall we? Forgive the formatting errors, as well – I get in a rush at times, LOL

First, a white nazi terrorist deliberately smashed an aeroplane into the French side of the Alpine mountain range, killing all aboard. This heartless cretin locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the auto-pilot on ‘descend.’ According to various transcripts of the voice recorders, the pilot can be heard pounding frantically on the door whilst passengers scream in horror in the background. The nazi, meanwhile, breathes quietly and calmly during those final moments. It truly takes an unfeeling, callous bastard to do something like this! As expected, reports have handled this with kid gloves, posting a benign picture of a smiling young white guy sitting on a seawall near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The questions of “why?” and the desperate search to make sense of something senseless begin anew…the only person who can answer the “why” is dead. He chose to take a bunch of people out – it’s as simple as that. A suicidal individual dies alone. A homicidal maniac with megalomaniacal tendencies does what this guy did…and he thought it out beforehand. That’s the act of a sociopath – end of story.

‘March Madness’ is apparently in full swing…young athletes pound themselves ragged on basketball courts for nothing but applause, whilst gamblers, coaches, team owners, and EA Games make insane amounts of money. Modern-day enslavement that a majority of people happily engage in…I’m not one of them.

Speaking of sports, young sister Mo’ne Davis has shown exemplary class and grace in the face of some prick who decided to slur her on social media. Some fuckwad thought it was funny to call her a ‘slut.’ Really? A 13-year-old baseball pitcher is a ‘slut’ simply for being female? Wow. Reminds me of that Onion ‘article’ which labeled 8-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis a ‘cunt.’ Yes, how classy. People will call young girls horrible names, solely for having dark skin. On top of that, it seems that many people who get up in arms over non-issues like ‘Kimye’ are silent when Black women are insulted. I can’t find one blog that said anything about the insults heaped on Venus and Serena Williams. I’ve only found one that half-assedly acknowledged the latest racist insult hurled at Michelle Obama, as well as Raven-Symone’s subsequent shit-mouthing. Outrage will abound if someone dares to say anything negative about Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes knockin’ boots, but it’s *CRICKETS* when we ‘Dark Girls’ draw unfavourable, untrue comparisons. I can’t say that I’m surprised that Mr. Foxx likes scrawny, pale toothpicks – he enjoyed dressing up as ‘Wanda’ far too often during his time on ‘In Living Color.’ His hatred of Black women has been apparent for some time! I guess having Tom Cruise’s sloppy seconds tastes like heaven to him…go figure.

College shenanigans continue – hate runs rampant. A noose was draped over the neck of the statue of James Meridith down in ‘Ole Miss.’ A Facebook page dedicated to the sexual exploitation of drunk, drugged women has been linked to yet another fraternity. Makes one wonder how any studies get done, what with all of the time spent partying and racially or sexually harassing your fellow students. Fills me with such a sense of confidence that these pricks will one day be running a corporation or running for office!

The brutality of cops against Black and brown people escalates: Martese Johnson was beaten last week after he was denied entry to an establishment. An older gentleman, Floyd Dent, was violently pulled from his car, Tasered, and struck in the head 16 times. A 57-year-old man, Sureshbhai Patel, visiting from the country of India, was hospitalized in February after being beaten by a former police officer in the state of Alabama. The suspicious death of a homeless man, 54-year-old Otis Byrd in Vicksburg, Mississippi should be called what it is – a lynching. “Strange Fruit,” indeed… *SIGH*

It is Ram Navami…so I will close with these three songs. Also, belated birthday wishes to the legendary Chaka Khan! Aries woman, birthday on 23rd March – you rock!
George Harrison: “My Sweet Lord
John Denver: “Looking for Space
Steve Winwood w/ Chaka Khan: “Higher Love

In Memoriam: Malcolm X

Malcolm X – nee Malcolm Little; a.k.a. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

50 years ago today, a powerful voice was silenced by three gunmen. Malcolm X, nee Malcolm Little, was shot multiple times before a speech he was scheduled to give in front of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, on this day in 1965. He was killed by members of the Nation of Islam because he was seen as having turned his back on the group due to becoming disillusioned with its then-leader, Elijah Muhammad. His intellect and charisma were seen as threatening to many, white and Black alike. At the time of his death, he was only 39 years old.
Words fail to convey the impact this man had on the consciences of generations, and his wisdom could be sorely used today. One of his daughters, Ilyasah Shabazz, recently completed a biographical novel about her father’s life, titled “X,” and was discussing it in a recent interview. She was asked, “What would your father think of the #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations?” Ms. Shabazz responded, “He would indeed agree that Black lives matter, but…he would say that the people who need to understand the message the most…aren’t going to be influenced by a hash-tag. He would want to ask what the solutions are.” This is something that I wonder, as well – we all know what the problem is, and it’s racism. The question is, what do we do about it? What are the solutions? Racism is a social construct, this is known…but it has been the foundation of US society from day one. So, how do we deconstruct it? Where can one find honest, face-to-face discussions about deconstructing racism and sexism from the ground up? I’ve yet to locate anyplace, and I’ve been searching for years. Even some who claim to fight against these very things fail miserably when confronted with some very basic questions.
What were the events that shaped this dynamic young man? Quite a few. Born on 19 May, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, young Malcolm was one of eight children. His mother Louise, was a homemaker and his father, Earl, was a Baptist minister and supporter of Marcus Garvey. Earl’s own activism made him a target of hate groups; he relocated a number of times in attempt to elude them, but to no avail – in 1931, Earl’s body was found laying on trolley tracks in the town of Lansing, Michigan. This, and the 1929 burning of their home, were ruled as ‘accidents’ by local authorities. The stress took an unfortunate toll on Louise’s health, and she was committed to a mental institution – Malcolm and his brothers secured her release from it later on.
Malcolm served 7 years on a 10-year term on burglary charges. During his incarceration, he converted to Islam and focused on furthering his education. His evolution from “small-time hoodlum” to an outspoken, influential leader is testament to the fact that one can achieve great things, even in the face of – nay, in spite of – great adversities. I, and many others, will always wonder what this powerful individual could have accomplished if his life hadn’t been tragically and brutally cut short. Leadership such as his is sorely – and desperately – needed in this day and age.

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