Don’t riot but…

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have never understood riots. I have never understood destroying property, vandalizing vehicles and looting stores. I have never understood the violence.

Until now.

I am angry. I am frustrated. I am overwhelmed. I am sad. I am tired. I am hurt.

I want this to stop. I wanted this to stop in 1992 when they beat Rodney King in the streets of LA. On video. I wanted this to stop in 1999 when Amadou Diallo’s body was filled with 19 bullets. I wanted this to stop in 2006 when Sean Bell was killed the morning of his wedding. I wanted this to stop in 2012 when Trayvon Martin’s life was cut short because of a lunatic’s “suspicions.” I wanted this to stop in 2013 when Jonathan Ferrell needed help but got the death penalty instead. I wanted this to stop in 2015 when Sandra Bland went to jail for a minor traffic violation and came home in a box.

I remember every single one of these incidents. I remember the pain I felt as the narratives unfolded. I remember the questions I had. And I remember wondering why. Why does this keep happening?

It has to stop. I need it to stop.

But it hasn’t.

And now it has hit home.

The war zone is Charlotte. A mere 45 minutes from my hometown. The city I was in on Sunday as well as Tuesday night – the night the city erupted over the fact that once again a black man was dead and the police was behind the trigger.

Police said he had a gun. Witnesses and family say he did not. To me, none of that truly matters. What really matters is why? Why are police always shooting to kill US? Why has execution by cop become the norm? Why are we not given the same treatment as Dylan Roof and the NYC bomber who had a shootout with the cops but lived to tell us all about it?

Why do I have to fear whether or not my brothers, cousins, nephews, father and friends will return to their homes daily? I pray for them every day but rarely am I worried that they will get into an accident or be at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, I do fear them interacting with a cop who may see them as nothing more than target practice.

You want to know why people are rioting? Scroll back up to the top and read the quote again. People are rioting because they are tired. People are rioting because they are frustrated. People are rioting because they are angry. People are rioting because they are fearful. People are rioting because they are scared. People are rioting because the justice system keeps handing out injustices to black people like parking tickets. People are rioting because even when we are peaceful, we are not heard. People are rioting because of systematic oppression. People are rioting because they have been pushed out of their comfort zones due to gentrification. People are rioting because they are tired of being viewed as less than a human. People are rioting because very few are taking the time to listen. People are rioting because violence is all they know. People are rioting because violence is what they have been taught. People are rioting because the people who swore they would serve and protect are the ones they need protection from.

That is why Uptown Charlotte looks like ground zero.

I do not condone rioting. I do not believe it is the answer to the problems. I do believe it makes it even harder to find common ground with those who have no grasp of the issues.

But when you have tried everything else and it falls on deaf ears then the language of the unheard shouts back LOUDLY.

Can you hear them now?

 

#PrayForCharlotte #PrayForNC #PrayForPeace #PrayForTheWorld

 

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Kaepernick’s “sit in” stands out…

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

Or in this case, sit.

Enter Colin Kaepernick. Unless you have been on a boat in the middle of the ocean with no wi-fi then you are already familiar with the controversy Kaepernick has immersed himself in. Call me crazy but I honestly am stunned by the amount of attention this has gotten. I took a break from social media for a few days last week so I really did not get caught up on all the backlash, until yesterday. And that is when my head started spinning with thoughts I was eager to record.

I was going to make this one of my paint a picture, extensive vocabulary posts but I am beyond that because I am so over the foolishness. There are kids being killed in our streets in broad daylight and you all are more concerned with an NFL player not standing during the National Anthem? There are kids committing suicide due to bullying and you all are more concerned with an NFL player not standing during the National Anthem? There is a ticking time bomb campaigning to add President of the United States to their resume and you all are more concerend with an NFL player not standing during the National Anthem? There are 28 million people uninsured in this country and you all are more concerend about an NFL player not standing during the National Anethem? There are young black men who are buried in cemeteries across the country because a trigger happy police officer used him as target practice and got away with it but you all are more concerned about an NFL player not standing during the National Anthem? There are 2 million plus homeless veterans, you know the people who you have used to support your argument regarding Kapernick’s decision, but you all continue to be more concerned about an NFL player who did not stand during the National Anthem.

Miss me all the way as far as left as you can go with that foolishness.

See. Here is the “real problem.” We are tired. We are tired of inequality. We are tired of having to work twice as hard to get a fourth of what we deserve. We are tired of racism. We are tired of our actions being dissected. We are tired of our movements being misconstrued. We are tired of institutionalism. We are tired of being ostracized. We are tired of a justice system that leaves behind more injustices in its trail.

And when we get tired, we take matters into our own hands. Sometimes, things are not handled in the most effective way. However, you cannot to continue to expect every reaction to be peaceful when peace has not been afforded to us. I am over people who do not look like us trying to tell us how to think, feel and act. WE ARE NOT PUPPETS.

Colin Kaepernick did nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing. I find so much irony in the fact that there are so many talking heads, including current and retired NFL players who NEVER condemn the issues plaguing our country, who feel the need to chime in regarding his action while failing to realize they are doing the same thing Kaepernick did – taking advantage of the First Amendment right.

The flag he “disrespected” is a symbol. That symbol is supposed to represent the freedoms that all Americans are “entitled” to. The freedom that Kaepernick used that is supposedly afforded to him. The freedom that the brave men and women of our armed forces fight for daily. It is that freedom the flag represents – the freedom to agree or disagree, hedge your own beliefs and express your thoughts whether we agree with them or not. Remember this is supposed to be a democracy not a dictatorship.

Or is it?

From my vantage point, Kaepernick should be commended. It takes a brave, courageous man to willing face adversity head on when there is so much at stake. Thanks to him, even I have learned some things I did not know – ie. the third stanza of The Star Spangled Banner glorifies slavery. Great. And you want me to be OK with that? Well, I am not and I never will be.

Until more people in this country are willing to address the issues head on, you know the issues Kaepernick pointed out very clearly while speaking to reporters at his locker – you know the ones the talking heads keep ignoring, then we will keep riding this merry go round. I truly believe love can drive out hate but only when it is given the opportunity to do so. Are you willing to do what it takes for love to have a chance at winning? Actions speak louder than words. What do yours say about you?

The University of Missouri Wake-Up Call

I can admit. Before yesterday, I was clueless as to the racial tension that had arisen at the University of Missouri.

Normally, I am on top of injustices that are important to the Twitterverse(that place where you find out what is REALLY going on in the world before mainstream starts reporting, if they do, on it). My timeline is filled with people who I consider to be movers, shakers and activists.

As I was preparing to watch yesterday’s game between my beloved Carolina Panthers and the Green Bay Packers, Twitter alerted me that multiple accounts had retweeted a picture that was tweeted by University of Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel. I immediately opened my feed to see one of the most powerful images I have seen in recent years; the Missouri football team and coaches linked up, arm in arm, in solidarity. The tweet: “The Mizzou Family stands as one. We are united. We are behind our players. GP.”

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#BlackLivesMatter…to some people…

I am so tired of this.

I could cry a river right now.

First, it is breaking news that the jury in the Randall Kerrick trial is deadlocked and is seeking advice from the judge. Defense wants the judge to declare a mistrial. State wants the Allen charge enacted which encourages the jury to continue deliberating to reach a decision. Then there is breaking news that Mansur Bell-Bay, the black teenager that was killed in St. Louis on Wednesday, died from a gunshot wound to the back. Supposedly, he pointed a gun at officers. However, the only “witnesses” that saw this gun were the officers. All other witnesses said the did not have a gun.

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Bay Area Implosion

This. Is. Ridiculous.

I have been very busy lately with a lot of projects. As a result, I have been fairly absent from the blog. I apologize. It was not intentional but I am back. And I am back with a vengeance.

Ya’ll I am so annoyed, disappointed and frustrated with the San Francisco 49ers organization. How do we go from being a yard away from a 6th Super Bowl ring to being so out of sorts, order and everything else that we just might be the laughing stock of the league right now? Really, the 9ers? The laughing stock of the league? Let that sink in.

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The DOUBLE STANDARD….

Well, well. Here we go again. 

Domestic violence is in the news again. Or should I say the word assault is in the news again.

De’Andre Johnson is today’s poster boy for what happens if you put your hands on a female. The former Mr. Florida is all over the internet, particularly social media, after a video was released of him assaulting a female at a bar. Oh, but it is not that simple. This is not an open and shut case If you have not watched the video, please do. 

Continue reading “The DOUBLE STANDARD….”

About this lack of institutional control at UNC-CH….

This post is probably not a surprise to most. It is probably more of a surprise that I am just now writing about it.

Yesterday, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released the Notice of Allegations that was sent to them on May 22. The report was a redacted version but what was released was damaging. We found out what many, including myself, have been saying for years-there is some shady business happening in that athletic department.

Now before you get your t-shirts all in a bunch, please do not come at me with this whole I am only saying this because it is UNC-CH mess. The rivalry between my alma mater and this school has absolutely nothing to do with my stance regarding this situation. Contrary to what you may believe, I have a great deal of respect for this university as a whole. To some extent. Let me rephrase. I have a great deal of respect for those who work at the university and are not a part of this scandal. The ones who do their job the right way on a daily basis. I have a great deal of respect for my family, friends and colleagues who are graduates of this university; the ones who did things the right way. However, the allegations that keep spilling out of the hallowed walls of the buildings in Chapel Hill are disturbing, damaging and sickening.

Continue reading “About this lack of institutional control at UNC-CH….”