LAW ENFORCEMENT’S ROLE IN SLAVERY

LAW ENFORCEMENTS ROLE IN SLAVERY

It was blustery cold outside; 17 degrees I think. But I was present, in the church’s basement, when New York City’s top cop, Commissioner Bill Bratton was brave to admit to a mostly black audience in Jamaica, queens, at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York for a Black History month event, February 2015, that police played a part in some of the darkest moments in black history. The worst parts of black history were possible due to the racist culture and nature of the police. Slavery, The United States original and greatest sin (colonizing Indians on reservations came later), sat on a foundation that was codified by laws—LAWS !!! And then enforced by the police, slave catcher, etc. He went on to discuss how Peter Stuyvesant, a Dutch settler used black slave labor to build New Amsterdam (now called Manhattan), then he build a police force. He acknowledged the distrust seeded historically by the role of police in enforcing laws that were the foundation of slavery and Jim Crow discrimination. And he talked about the risk that attitudes born of policing neighborhoods where most crimes are committed by blacks can unconsciously harden into bias against all blacks. And ever since then, the stories of police and black citizens have been intertwined, again and again…and it was always bloody, most times, ending in death. I started to cry. A stranger—parishioner patted my shoulder to calm me down!!!!
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DEAR WHITE PEOPLE: WHAT IF THEY WERE YOUR KIDS?

MILLIONSMARCHNYC (140x140)

I am so angry, I can chew rocks!! When will Blacks stop being America’s boogyman? There are still people out there who feel that the Brown shooting was self-defense… white people. Such people may even feel that Rodney King’s brutal beating and the killing of Amadou Diallo and Eric Garner were justified… white people. The young man in the Brown shooting was UNARMED—not a knife-wielding, gun-toting, muscle-bound hulk. I thought that the police were only supposed to use their firearms as a last resort or when there is no other way to stop an individual from causing deadly harm to the officer or to another person, particularly with a weapon… white people. Basically, an individual’s defense is supposed to be comparable to the degree of harm he or she is confronted with… white people. There are those who feel that unarmed minorities cannot be subdued without killing them… white people.
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Has God Abandoned Us?

HAS GOD ABANDONED US

It is said that the root causes of all our difficulties is: human selfishness, mistaken order of values and sin. We need a new way of thinking about ourselves, about our relationship with the world and with God. In the news and daily publications, human suffering, violence, starvation, poverty, disease and war are reported daily—not to mention the pollution of our waters, air and land.

When God created us, he envisioned a world of beauty and harmony; he created the world, making it every part an expression of his wisdom and love. Humans were created in his image and likeness; he gave us dignity, an immortal soul, self-awareness and freedom. But we sinned by disobeying him, and thereby rejecting his design for creation. So the original harmony of creation was destroyed; that was the first sin…not when Cain killed his brother Abel, Genesis 4:8.
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THE PAJAMAS PARTY – The Holy Trinity of Slob Wear

PAJAMA STREETWEAR

This trend started about 14 years ago and I was hoping that it would pass—but it hasn’t. Just like the sagging pants below the buttocks didn’t, and that trend began about 25 years ago. What is up with the teenagers or even the young adults, in the inner cities, wearing their PJs in the streets? Everywhere I look in my neighborhood, people are making themselves at home—on the streets (no
pun intended if you are homeless). When did this look become so fashion forward? It is the equivalent of:
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Life Without Black People

Lewis Lattimer

Before Black History Month come to an end, I felt the need to put out a partial list of Black inventors and creators. So the next time you hear negative comments about Black people being dumb, not creators or not being scientific, but feel powerless to respond or do anything, because you’re not sure yourself if Blacks contributed anything to civilization, JUST REMEMBER THAT THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE A BARREN AND UNCIVILIZED LAND IF IT WEREN’T FOR:
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ARE AFRICANS SMARTER OR WORK HARDER THAN BLACK AMERICANS?

ARE AFRICANS MORE MOTIVATED THAN AMERICAN BLACKS

While African immigrants attend college at a much higher rate than U.S. born Blacks. Their motivation of course, is very different—in that they leave their country, which has no opportunities and come to the United States that has many opportunities. “They come to do something with their lives, not to sit around and do nothing.” Exclaimed David, my male Ugandan friend who sat across from me in a Cuban restaurant. “Our cultures are very different.” CeCe, my female friend continued. I said yes, but for American Blacks, it’s a culture of low expectations also…dating back to the days of slavery (CeCe rolled her eyes at me, but I ignore it). “American Blacks were faced with institutionalized racism; do you know what that even means?” I asked. “It means that the system that was erected due to biased inequality in this country was woven so deeply into the fabric of this country’s laws, policies and practices based solely on race—so Black students just gave up.” I finished, taking a bite of my chicken.
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We Should Abolish Christopher Columbus Holiday

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS DAY MEME

This is for the prideful Italians out there. Let us be honest once and for all—let truth prevail over ignorance and false pride! Christopher Columbus was a rapist, murderer and slave trader, who was jailed for his crimes against the indigenous people of the West Indies. Yet the United States celebrate a legacy of racism, colonialism and the mass murder of millions of Indians who’s ONLY crime was greeting Columbus with the cordial intent to trade everything they owned. And they received in return, enslavement and was killed if they resisted…and let’s not forget the exotic and cacophonous stew of diseases Columbus and his sailors brought with them from Europe, that decimated the Indian population!!

Personally, I find it ridiculous that as a nation which promotes peace, equality and justice, we blindly celebrate a day…a MAN who was unjust, spread inequality, violence and disease. Columbus introduced a system of cruelty to the Western Hemisphere and it has lasted for centuries!! When I think of the hard time and many years it took the United States to pass the bill to celebrate Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King by bestowing a national holiday to honor this great man who started: the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, who fought non-violently for the inequality of black people despite many threats to his life, including the bullet that eventually killed him, my blood boils!!!! Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, then and now a hero whose words and deeds brought hope and inspiration to the unrepresented, the down-trodden and the disenfranchised—this man is truly deserving of a federal holiday.

How can we make a difference? For parents with children to question what they read in their children’s textbooks and not to blindly accept the falsehoods…that’s a start. My late father taught me, and I in turn taught my three sons, who are now grown. History, as they say, is written by the winners, who won’t tell the full story or even the truth!! Nationalism is to blame here. The romanticized version of Columbus is more palatable and easier to reconcile with the fondness many Americans have for their country’s heritage.

It is necessary that the United States stop giving importance and credence to Christopher Columbus who was NOT a hero, and that the holiday named for him should be abolished!!! But, that is wishful thinking. Since we cannot turn back the clock and we cannot reverse centuries of colonialism, ethnocentrism and racism…and its unlikely Congress will embrace the abolition of this national holiday—instead of celebrating Columbus Day, it should be a day of reflection and contemplation, in deference to the slaughtered Indians (and Black slaves…didn’t forget them). Knowing the truth about Columbus will help inoculate us from the false propaganda being perpetuated.

And while we’re at it, celebrating the 4th of July is a no-no also. Succinctly speaking, because what you’re celebrating is the will of a bunch of rich, white men who didn’t want to pay their taxes. Today, they are sitting in the United States Republican Congress and we call them the TEA PARTY!!! They are also the ones who shut down the United States government, yet they still get their paychecks with our tax dollars, and we get little to no services; all because they don’t want President Obama, a Black man, to leave behind a legacy—the healthcare bill passed by the Supreme Court and which is now the law of this land!!!
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Alexis G. Thornton is a published writer and author of: FAMILY, FRIENDS, HUSBANDS AND LOVERS…THE BEST OF ENEMIES.

And always remember, many art forms are “WHERE CREATIVE EXPRESSION EMPOWERS INDIVIDUALITY” ©