Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Tears...


Much of this morning was spent watching and listening to the many tributes to Prince; on the radio, on TV, on Facebook. The love and admiration is amazing and well deserved... Since last night, BET has featured nothing but the man and his music. Its been wonderful... 


My heart however is heavy. I feel sad and keep hearing myself asking Prince "why?", as though he can answer, as though there is an answer... We are just beyond the first quarter of 2016 and the loss of noted celebrity lives has been astounding. I doubt that I am alone when I push aside thoughts about how horrible it will be when certain of our legends leaves us. Just the thought of saying goodbye to some is too painful to bear. Crazy how personal and attached we get with folks we don't even know. I think it has something to do with our living vicariously through them and the joy their talent brings us. We become vested in folks we don't know because we are inspired by or in awe of, their drive to embrace their talent and drive to live their dream.

It is inevitable however that we will lose our giants. But Prince and I are the same age. In my mind we are still young, we are the "new 50" and there is plenty of life ahead of us! So consideration of his death, loss of his talent, never to see or hear him in concert again, was not on the list of celebrities I silently dread the experience of mourning. His death was no where on my radar. So yes, it is hitting me really hard...

I am grateful to have fond memories of attending his concert last May. It was the first time I had seen him perform since my 20's. He gave a benefit concert in Baltimore following the police murder of Freddie Gray. It was on a Sunday night. I was living and working in Harlem and decided immediately to attend no matter the cost. I was going. A colleague overheard me say I was going and asked to come along. We got our tickets and on Sunday afternoon we hit the road. Three plus hours and 200 miles later, we were there!

The concert and the crowd were mesmerizing. For the entire concert, everyone was on their feet and singing along with him. It was amazing to recall in such a way, for such an occasion the work of this true genius and to see first hand how he, the legend, had affected so many. Total peace and unison in the midst of turbulence in the city.

We were so full when we left that we got back in the car still grooving to his music and others. We laughed, we sang, we talked about the concert, which was especially special to her as singing Prince songs with her late Mother was a memory of fond and very special times. She was so grateful to have been able to attend. I was happy to share in her reminiscence. It was just a magical night.

We were so pumped that we didn't even feel the 3 hour 200 mile drive back to NY. Nor did we feel the affect of sleep deprivation when we both arrived at work the next day for an 8am start! I was so happy and lighthearted that I was reminded of a dear and departed Friend who once accused that I was an over aged teenager when I partied like a crazy woman at my party for 30th birthday. What would he say now? (smiling...) What an evening. Not only did my Friend and I make it through a long day, after work I was still floating on Prince adrenaline and somehow found energy to meet some other Friends for dinner. The power of Prince! LOL!!!

Yesterday I think I just tried to stay busy so not to focus or allow the enormity of the loss to affect me. I didn't want to let it sink in... My concert Friend sent me a text that asked what's going on with Prince. I shirked it away and wondered where she had been since he was hospitalized and released over the weekend. I did not have the TV, radio on and believe it or not, I was not on Facebook. It was when another Friend called that I got the word and turned on the boob tube. My heart dropped... 

Today, my emotions are all over the place; high as I listen to and watch his genius that is being celebrated and low as melancholy consumes my spirit and I once again I hear myself wondering why the good or those who so love life and have so much still to offer, die so young... My consolation in my head is I am appreciating that through his music, he has left us a wonderful gift that will allow him life eternal. His music will keep him alive forever in our hearts. There is no question about what lies between the dashes in his life's story. Prince lived his life to the fullest and as such, was a true inspiration to so many. 

This morning I console myself by watching and listening to the marvelous gifts he has left us, his music, footage of rare interviews, stories from his celebrity Friends and the visual of the apparent and overwhelming love of his adoring fans. Last night I drove by the Apollo Theater at 1am. The marquee displayed a tribute to him and as in his life, following his death, fans were assembled to celebrate and honor him. 










Today I am telling me that Prince would not want us to mourn him but instead to appreciate, be inspired by and find our own greatness in the treasure of gifts he has left us. I am challenging myself in Prince's honor, to be reflective, to assess my own life and what will be the story between my dashes. I will not live vicariously through others who I admire for following their dreams, but instead commit to live vicariously through me and my own treasures that others so often see but that I tend to take for granted... Today I will try not to mourn the loss of my fellow Gemini Brother but instead be propelled and motivated by the gift of his legacy. I think that is what he would want... 


He Came
He Conquered
And now he rests after a job VERY well done...
The rest of us should be so lucky. 

His presence and his brilliance will be sorely missed...


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Driving While Black: Cops Target Minority Drivers In This Mostly White New Jersey Town



Now this is the stuff law school should be made of! Kudos to the students at Seton Hall for conducting a very viable study!!! Check out the embedded story and video; Driving While Black: Cops Target Minority Drivers In This Mostly White New Jersey Town.

Municipalities across the nation are raising their revenue, supplementing their operating budgets, and distracting from their fiscal incompetence on the backs of the citizens via bogus traffic violations, ridiculous fees, unsupported fines, costs for unwarranted licensing requirements, etc. It amounts to taxation without legislation.

Courts and cops specifically are charged with the task of raising revenue for their cash strapped
or greedy cities and townships via taxation through citation. It is guaranteed cash flow as it is unlikely that anyone will walk out of traffic court without paying a fine of some kind, usually for something s/he did not do. The victim is at a disadvantage and will usually plead guilty and pay the fine for whatever charge the prosecutor has cooked up and convinced the poor victim is offered to him as a favor because usually the proffered "offense" does not involve points or require that a report is made to the motorists' insurance company which is eagerly standing by chomping at the bit to also levy a fine against the poor motorist. Its a racket wherein all system parts work in concert to screw the defenseless and vulnerable public often who is usually too poor but has no choice but to pay the fines imposed against him. Some other part of his life will suffer...

Just yesterday I advised a Friend who was shaken down by his local traffic court supposedly for the offense of texting while driving which miraculously became a parking offense to the tune of a $150 fine once my Friend produced to the court his phone record that proved he was not texting or using his phone while driving... I told him to do just what these young lawyers did, spend some time observing and documenting the practices of his court and then write an editorial exposing the court and cc'ing his letter to every government official from the local to the governor! I also suggested in his editorial that he encourage other similarly violated neighbors and drive through motorists to also come forth... This is a common practice and while Blacks and Latinos are the usual scapegoats as is determined by this expose' on Bloomfield, NJ, at one time or another, we all fall prey to this not so discreet form of police harassment for the benefit of, and dare I say at the direction of, their city and/or police administrators...

WE THE PEOPLE! WE HAVE A VOICE. IT IS TIME WE START RAISING IT!!!






Driving While Black: Cops Target Minority Drivers in This Mostly White New Jersey Town

On The Eve of the Primary...

It is nothing short of amazing that on the eve of my state's primary for the election of the next president of the United States, I still don't who I will vote for. This is unheard of... Of course it will be a Democrat but which one, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton? For me, an astute and seasoned voter, to be this confused at the nth hour of the campaign is ridiculous. What's worse is that I am not alone...

A vote for Bernie is definitely a vote for the 99%, for We the People. A vote for Bernie is an anti-establishment vote, another vote for another stab at hope and change. Some call it a "protest vote". It definitely goes against the grain and sends a much needed message that We the People, the sleeping giant, are finally waking up to the power of our voice, therefore the power of our vote. A vote for Bernie is a challenge to status quo and sends a resounding message that while the 1% might have the money and the lobbyists, We the People, the 99%, have the vote! How empowering would it be for us, We the People, to finally absorb that concept. Oh Happy Day!!!

No matter your politics, it seems pretty difficult not to be impressed that for more than 20 years in Congress, despite the actions and undoubted pressure from lobbyists and his colleagues alike, Bernie Sanders has  managed to remain in office and reportedly has successfully rejected the enticement of accepting corporate money. He can freely campaign as a politician beholden only to We the People. We the People, like that. It is impressive and speaks volumes to his character and level of integrity. True politicians are not in the game to get rich. They don't lose sight that they too are citizens who will ultimately be subjected to the laws they pass. They are sensitive to and mindful of the task of legislating and respectful of the trust given them by their constituents. They value We the People and they value their work.  These are good and worthy characteristics that are buying Bernie Sanders a lot of political capital from We the People...

Voting for Hillary is no doubt a vote for lobbyists, status quo and the establishment as we know it. Unlike Bernie, over the years she, as seems typical of our elected officials, has chosen to accept corporate money which gives cause for pause to We the People. There is question if she will govern the will of the people or that of the corporations which mostly do not have the interests of We the People at heart. It is not their strong suit to work to achieve that which benefits or that which We the People want. As We the People feel less and less represented by our government, this is a HUGE problem for Hillary Clinton and leads to questions of doubt and trust. Of course, this is a problem...

Conversely however, while Hillary may be an establishment politician, she is seasoned, thick skinned, quick witted and a competent thinker. She will perform well and hold it together under pressure. Who of us was not impressed with her demeanor and unshakable disposition during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the exaggerated email scandal. She is tried, true and cool under pressure. The "big boys" don't scare or intimidate her. This is an unknown for Bernie. How will he do under pressure? Can he withstand the ruthlessness and nastiness that he will surely receive during a campaign against the republicans? Can he/will he keep it together?  Being part of the establishment may not be such a bad thing for Hillary who will leverage her contacts. For Hillary, being part of a machine or the establishment, might serve We the People well...

Hillary's connections, relationships and shared politics with her peers will prove an asset as she maneuvers and bargains to get things passed through Congress . She can muster up old relations with lobbyists and her peers, who will all be on the same side to help her get the job done; be it good for the will of the people or bad... She will establish or reinforce old relationships necessary to fight to keep the Affordable Healthcare Act in place, to protect a woman's reproductive rights, but more importantly, to protect hard fought gains for civil rights and the like. Conversely, Bernie will be a lone soldier who will have a difficult time getting buy in from his peers, on either side of the aisle, who are mostly too intertwined with corporate America to advocate against their interests for the will of We the People. Now this is a shame. Expose them. Vote them out...

The dismal approval rating of Congress is undeniable proof that most Americans are not happy with our elected officials. Further proof however, is the insurgence and endurance of both Bernie Sanders and donald trump (forgive my pettiness, he is due as much respect as he affords others), supposed under dogs, in the presidential campaign. Both men are speaking to different sides of the same coin, giving their respective supporters cause for hope and change.

While each side of that coin would argue that his candidate's ideas are realistic and achievable, the truth is that because we are not a dictatorship, both men will have problems advancing his proposed agenda. trump can no more force the Mexicans to build a wall around their country AND make them pay for it and deport all Muslims from the US than can Bernie give the rest of us free education, a single payer health plan option and freedom from oppressive bank policies. So while casting a protest vote for Bernie and all he stands for might feel good and hearing his ideas might sound good, seeing them implemented ain't likely to happen, says the pessimistic side of me. The optimistic and rebellious side of me however says, certainly We the People will not see change if we don't bite the bullet give change a chance. It certainly will not happen if we are fearful to take the chance to make it happen... So do we join the millenials, throw caution to the wind and feel the Bern? Hopefully I will know when I awake...

Finally it is imperative that we the Democrats do not lose the White House. Bernie or Hillary, I do not care. It just cannot be any of the current republicans running for office who are hell bent on "taking their country back" or "making America great again". Scary propositions both. Too many gains have been made in civil and human rights over the years and more recently during President Obama's administration, to risk losing it all now. So which Democrat is more likely to beat which ever of the republicans who wins their primary, Bernie or Hillary?

While I firmly believe that the outcome of this election is an unknown, I fear that as Bernie has been tagged the ultimate socialist liberal, his candidacy will scare the hell out of the living and serve to resurrect dead coal miners and the like who will beat a path to the polls to vote. His candidacy will energize the republican base as much as would the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan. Democrats are not that motivated. Unlike the republicans who usually back their candidate no matter who, remember sarah, Democrats are more fickle and both sides are claiming they will sit out the election before they will vote for their candidate's opposition. Let's hope that is not true...  But I am pretty concerned that blue does not see the fervor of red to win this election. That is scary...

Again, too much to consider and how ridiculous that still I am so confused at this bewitching hour. Never have I been so undecided. This is such an important and sadly, unpredictable election. I will however, do my part and encourage you to do the same, to ensure that the best Democrat wins. See ya' at the polls Folks!


Image result for hillary clintonImage result for bernie sanders

Goodnight...


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Plea...

Well this photo certainly sums it up...

IF you think your vote does not matter, I am here to tell ya', IT DOES! We showed up and made the damn thing happen FOR President Obama and we MUST show up and make the damn thing happen AGAINST trump, no matter who is the Democrat nominee.

I have heard folks say they will not vote for Hillary under ANY circumstances, presumably and effectively voting for trump. My only question to you, is what would those who laid down their lives for you to be able to vote say about you voting for a "man" or a party that has demonstrated its will to take back ALL that has been gained in the interest of civil rights, the Black community, not to mention humanity, ESPECIALLY our right to vote? So will you really throw your vote away and make a mockery out the hard fight of those who walked before and for us? Really? I beg you, for this Sistah' ain't too proud to beg, to rethink that decision...
Channeling our ancestors, our heroes...

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Oscars 2016: What Might Dr. King Say?

I woke up this morning to a passionate MLK Day video message on Facebook from Jada Pinkett Smith declaring that she would boycott the Oscars, that have once again nominated only White actors for any of its awards, and urging people of color to stand in unison in our own power and stop diminishing that power and our dignity by begging for "love, acknowledgement or respect" from any other group. Appropriately on this day as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, her message suggests that it is time we instead create our own, believe and invest in ourselves and in our own projects. Well Good For Jada! I agree with her 100% and feel that all Black folks, viewers and industry folk alike, including Chris Rock, should take the bold step of boycotting the Oscar Awards ceremony. Additionally, I think that Gays and at least liberal Whites, particularly those in the industry, should join us or engage in some other form of protest.


Dr. King Might Say:
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

 
Last week I suggested that the Black female President of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaac, should be more than a figure head symbolizing for the rest of us to see, a face of diversity. She should feel empowered to boldly step outside her comfort zone and into the power of her role as President, apologize to the public for any inconvenience and exercise her authority to rescind the nominations as announced and direct the board to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better and more fair representation of nominees. This week I go even beyond last week's call for action and also challenge liberal Whites and the Gay community, particularly those in the industry, to boycott, speak up or otherwise express objection to the total disregard and disrespect of their non-White peers. The Gay community claims to share the burdens of civil injustices inflicted upon the Black community and liberals claim to feel our pain. So DO SOMETHING! Take a stand! It is not good enough that year after year artists accept awards acknowledging that perhaps the award was better deserved by someone else as did Macklemore when he was given a Grammy and later stated that he felt another artist, Kendrick Lamar, had "been robbed" and that in his opinion the award "should have gone" to him. It would have been more impressive and sent a much more powerful message had he made the statement on air or later made a very public transfer of the award to Mr. Lamar. That is taking a stand! To not correct or speak out against these type of wrongs today is no different than when jim crow or other customs of America past systematically excluded Blacks from being considered for these awards.


Dr. King Might Say:
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter". 



Apparently like many in the Black community, I no longer watch mainstream awards shows. I totally gave up on them after Angela Bassett was robbed of the Best Actress award in 1994 for her magnificent performance in What's Love Got to Do With It. That was the final straw of blatant disrespect and rejection of Black talent for me. I didn't need to watch these programs and be disappointed with the predictable outcome. I am quite happy and look forward to watching BET, NAACP or Soul Train Awards.

Nor do I watch old movies or sit coms that I so enjoyed as a child. As I got older I became painfully aware and mostly offended by the absence of Black actors and Black themes. Think back to all of those shows we watched growing up in the 60's, early 70's and before, we accepted as "normal" and subliminally accepted as "reality", that there was not one Black face on these programs. What was the message being sent to all of us? As Black children, what affect did that have on our psyche not seeing as normal, real, successful or glamorous people who looked like us? The power of media is not to be under estimated. Nor is the power of social media so I write... 

When Blacks finally did begin appearing on TV, nothing could replace the joy of getting up on Saturday mornings to see Soul Train instead of American Bandstand, Fat Albert or the Jackson 5 cartoon instead of Scooby Doo or The Archie Show, or in prime time to hear George Jefferson throw insults at Archie Bunker. We loved and understood the sibling love between Thelma and JJ on Good Times much more than we could relate to that of Brady's or the Partridge Family. Our heartthrobs were now Lionel from the Jeffersons, Lamont on Sanford & Son or Clifton Davis on That's My Mama instead of the Fonz, Starsky & Hutch or David Cassidy. We even had crushes on Freddie Prinz from Chico and the Man. He was a fine,  Brown and Puerto Rican! And what Black man did not drool over the mere sight of Pam Grier on the big screen? We had plenty of movies. And later, like it or not, we could not have been more proud of or inspired by the Huxtables. 

Black folks were not only thrilled to see reflections of ourselves on TV and on the big screen, more importantly, our souls and our psyche were nourished by it. James Brown was telling us we were Black and we were Proud. We were singing it, seeing it and believing it! EVERYBODY was making money off this new segment of entertainment and still our stars were not recognized for their work. Enter BET Awards, Soul Train Awards, NAACP Image Awards... We started recognizing our own work and celebrating ourselves. I think Dr. King would have approved of our being resourceful, takin stock in and affirming ourselves and moving forward... 


Dr. King Might Say:
"If you can't fly then run, if you can run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward".



Given the chance to interview old actors or old singers, some knowingly and blatantly stole and recorded as their own music from Black entertainers, I would ask them, particularly those who thought themselves "cool", "hip" or  liberal, if like Macklemore, they ever felt in anyway that they had cheated or "robbed" some Black entertainer of rightful recognition denied him or her because s/he could not/would not be acknowledged for their work? If ever, while gazing at the award so proudly displayed in their home or office, they privately engaged in self talk and wondered if the playing field had been fair and unbiased, would they have won the award, if all else being equal if they felt the value of their work was fairly assessed against that of others not considered. More important or realistically however, I would ask why or how, almost without exception, they said or did nothing for so many years and just went along with or allowed blatant bigotry and discrimination to persist in Hollywood.


Dr. King Might Say:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”


Sadly however, if given the chance today, despite the efforts of Dr. King and the sacrifices of other civil rights workers, Black and White, I would ask our current "liberal" entertainers the exact same questions. How is it that some 40 plus years later, they still seem too comfortable ignoring ostracization of their peers? How is that still they seem comfortable accepting awards when those, who they now call colleague, husband, wife and sometimes friend and with whom they now freely perform, are systematically excluded from consideration for that which is thought to be the highest of honors in their profession? When 100% of the nominees are White, as is the case again this year, more than just Black entertainers should be upset and disappointed. How is anyone not disappointed and moved to pose questions, protest the actions of the board or to object in some way? While some non-Blacks in the industry have expressed shock or joked about their disbelief that again the academy of "good ole' boys" has slighted Black and Latino actors, none have taken a bold stand against the preference given them or the slight of their peers. 


Dr. King might say:
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends"...   


In all honesty, in light of all that is currently going on in America to deliberately dismantle his work, despite his undoubted disappointment, if given an opportunity to weigh on any single issue of today, I suffer from no elusion that he would not be bothered with the Oscars. This much I know for sure... But I have a pretty strong suspicion that he would support the concept of a boycott to send a powerful message to the Academy and others but most importantly as a spark to wake Black folks and other Americans up! Yeah, I'm pretty sure he would approve...  

Jada Pinkett Smith and now Spike Lee are right to boycott the ceremonies. I advocate however taking take their protest a step further and ask that others, Black, Brown and White, join with them and the fans to demonstrate to the Academy Board and the President that which we teach our children, zero tolerance of racism and bigotry. Force or embarrass them into Doin' the Right Thing! I'm Just Sayin', we teach folks how to treat us...   


In closing I quote two great men: 

"To remain neutral in situations of injustice, is to be complicit in that injustice.” 
~ Dr. Desmond Tutu ~





And Finally, Dr. King Might Say:
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy".


Happy Martin Luther King Day! Take A Stand!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Here We Go Again; Same Ole' Oscars...

I gave up on watching mainstream award shows long ago...  No interest in supporting an event that does not want, solicit or respect my support or my people.

So here we are again this year feigning outrage, shock, disgust and surprise that once again Blacks have been excluded from being considered for what the industry describes as the highest, most esteemed and sought after recognition possible for anyone in the business of Hollywood. And once again, Chris Rock will honor us with his presence, charm, wit and stinging commentary as host for this most prestigious evening of awards. I have no doubt that he again will not disappoint us and will do a mighty fine job! No doubt!

What I would really like to see, however, is for Chris Rock and ALL Blacks in the industry to be  really offended and collectively boycott the entire awards ceremony. Stand together and make a powerful statement!!! Stop playing it safe, crying about being the victim and shying away from being scathed. Where would we be if civil rights workers harbored such fear and were interested not in the good of the collective or the masses but only in what was in their best interest and good for their own personal growth or bottom line? Where would be, not only as Black people but, as a nation? We teach folks how to treat us. So teach Hollywood a new lesson! There is no Hollywood without fans, actors, directors and the like.

Chris Rock hosting appeases the public. At least one Black man will be on prominent display for the world to see in the name of American diversity. And even those who are appalled by all of this will tune in to see Chris ride their ass about what they have done UNTIL they do it again next year; because that is how much they care about how Black folks feel. In case you didn't know, Black careers don't matter either. We are ALWAYS dispensable and/or replaceable...  

Better yet, they have paraded in front of us, for the world to see, their Black female President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. If in fact she is in more than a figure head position or a convenient face of "diversity" and if she wields any kind of real power, she should be bold, think outside the box, apologize to the public, void the nominations and tell the board to try it again. You know, just like Judge Olu Stephens did in Kentucky when the prosecutor delivered him an all White jury to decide the fate of an all Black man. He takes his job seriously and obviously waits for no one to validate him nor the "power vested" in him to do what he does, nor how does it. Confident in himself and the role he has earned, he made a brave, bold decision. 
President Boone-Isaacs should do the same that is unless she has been hired as voiceless figure head only to appease the public and dupe us into believing that by putting Blacks in visible and high places, discrimination is somehow a thing of the past in our "post racial" society. That's what they told us that last year only to do the same thing this year. So how many times do they have to tell us? Why do we have to be patient and wait for some old ass White men to die off before we see, before we demand, change? I'm Just Wonderin'...

Trust me when I tell ya', angry, defiant and frightened White folks extend well past tea party trump supporters, trailer parks, southern states and well beyond the borders of the Appalachian Mountains. This blatant discrimination is just another example of the under tone of America and quite frankly they, White men in high places, don't give a damn about how you, Black folks, feel about them or what they do! Have they not made themselves perfectly clear? By showing up or tuning in to watch these awards, we validate their position and dilute our displeasure... 

This is racism, pure and simple, and it is not good enough that "good" White folks, who profess similar outrage at what amounts to deplorable and blatant discriminatory behavior, comfortably sit on their hands reaping the benefits of said bad behavior, all the while saying and doing nothing to confront the behavior beyond claiming to detest it. This is not good enough! EVERYONE must take a stand. Get off the sidelines Folks and declare that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Do something or shut up about it and just tune in again this year for your annual dose of disregard and disrespect... I'm Just Sayin'...  Do/Say something different!



Monday, January 11, 2016

What the What?, A Tale of Two Officers...


I am so tired of this double standard and/or laws that are especially made up, set aside, drummed up and/or dusted off  for "JUST-us", Black folks that is... The women in both these stories are Black officers draped in blue uniforms. They are being persecuted and scapegoated for virtually what seems an impossible and unwinnable situation wherein they were to be judged wrong and held accountable no matter their decision...    

One was terminated for doing exactly what the other did while the other was terminated for failing to do what her peer did in the same situation. SMH... One incident however is more grotesque than the other because that offending White male officer also assaulted his Black female officer peer, which seems not to have been a violation of department standards as she, not he, was terminated and lost her career and pension of 19 years. She is now a truck driver to support her five children, her assailant continued working and abusing other "suspects" until such time he retired, with his pension I am sure, and upon where official charges were ultimately lodged against him for shooting a Black youth with a BB gun...  

So whether we agree with decisions made by these Black ladies in blue now or in the past, we must not silently sit by and allow this to happen to them without lifting our voice(s). Links to their stories are attached below. Click on the bold headlines to read. 

Choke hold Incident: November 1, 2006 (Buffalo, NY)
By VICE News
December 22, 2014

Officer Cariol Horne

MEANWHILE, in the SAME state, department charges have been brought against a Black Female officer in the Eric Garner case. She has been placed on modified duty, stripped of her badge and her gun pending the outcome of an investigation of her "failure to supervise" acts of a subordinate officer who choked Mr. Garner to death and against whom the department has yet to file charges... 

Choke hold Incident: July 14, 2014 (Staten Island, NY)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, January 8, 2016

Sergeant Kizzy Adonis


If in fact the offending officer has not been found culpable of any legal wrong doing by the grand jury, and if after 18 months the department (NYPD) has failed to bring forth any charges against this officer for official misconduct or violation of any department procedure (i.e. use of choke hold), then exactly for what behavior or action taken by her subordinate is Sergeant Adonis accused of witnessing and failing to stop? I'm Confused...  

Are we to believe that while Sergeant Adonis heard Eric Garner begging for his life, stating 11 times that he could not breathe, that somehow the officer actually choking him could not hear his pleas for his life? Really? 

And how convenient is it that a decision to discipline Sergeant Adonis occurs on the eve of satisfying her probation period for her present position? This is happening at a time when she is most professionally vulnerable and has no job protection or readily available remedies to aid in her to fight to keep her job. Like Officer Horne in Buffalo she risks termination losing her career and her pension... 

Does anyone else find it at least a bit disconcerting that a decision to hold Sergeant Adonis accountable for the far graver acts committed by a fellow officer whose actions directly resulted in the death of an innocent Black man comes on the heels of the officer in the Sandra Bland case, whose unprofessional conduct and racial profiling precipitated her being detained and eventually found dead or murdered in her jail cell, being terminated and charged with the simple offense of perjury? On both counts, although horrific acts have been completed by law enforcement, only insignificant charges have resulted. It seems that the public is being pacified and thrown a bone to appease us. Certainly, Sergeant Adonis is being made the scapegoat or sacrificial lamb while the offending officer remains employed and free of accountability. No one can believe that a charge of perjury does anything to address the unexplained loss of life of a Black woman arrested and jailed for a minor traffic offense, failure to signal a lane change, that is barely worthy a written citation. This is crazy...   

On Saturday, I rushed over to the National Action Network to hear Al Sharpton's live radio address feeling certain he would address this issue. Flanked by Mr. Garner's widow and his Mother, he regurgitated the department's justification for the urgency of these charges against Sergeant Adonis because of the proximity of completing her probation. Sooo is Brotha' Al advocating the termination of this Black female when in fact the offending officer who actually committed the crime that took placed 18 months ago has yet to be held accountable? Surely not...  He continued by essentially telling his audience to be patient with the police department as it is taking the long road to justice as it awaits a decision regarding this matter from the Justice Department investigation before taking any further actions of discipline beyond Sergeant Adonis. Really Brotha' Al? I left his event in sheer disgust and feeling more agitated than when I arrived... 

Seems the NYPD is playing both sides of the fence and throwing us, the Black community, a bone in the form of a Black female sergeant scapegoat while at the same time, virtually exonerating the VERY culpable and murderous officer who choked Mr. Garner to death. Is it any coincidence that the only other person who has been charged with any wrong doing in this matter is the young man who filmed the actual choking of Mr. Garner? Hmmmm.... 

Was there or was there not a departmental violation committed by the officer who ended Mr. Garner's life? We should be intolerant fo the department standing in both arguments. If no departmental or legal wrong doing has been committed, as is suggested by the collective non-action against the offending officer by the NYPD, the prosecutor and the grand jury, then how is it that Sergeant Adonis can be charged with the wrong doing, seemingly a departmental infraction of "failing to supervise" a presumed "non offense" by her subordinate? I'm Just Askin'...  

We must not allow that this Sergeant hang from the noose all alone, with no protection, without lifting our voice to speak against use of the age old and much too widely accepted double standard. Did she play by what are otherwise accepted rules of Blue engagement? If her action/inaction is wrong and punishable for her, then it must be wrong and punishable for all others in blue. Yes, this is a wake up call for her and the other Blacks in blue who seem to have misplaced or at least conflicted values. I get that... But let's not lose sight of the fact that it is not all about what she did or did not do, but also about who she is and our not accepting that she be made scapegoat and/or judged by a double standard reserved only for some... 

This special brand of Just-Us is not justice for Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Officer Horn in Buffalo nor any of us... 

Time that we spit out the Kool-aid folks and start asking the right questions and demanding answers! Or at the very least, it is high time that we insist on a more tasteful flavor of Kool-aid... 

I'm Just Askin'...   What the what?