Time to ‘Lock Him Up’!

In the latter part of the 2022 midterm election campaign season, Republicans reached into their racist playbook to raise a false flag about “crime,” a tried and true euphemism that frames Black people as the so-called “criminals” telling white American voters to be afraid and vote for the GOP. The goal of Republicans using this trope is to reinforce a militarized police state that targets Black people for containment, i.e., arrest, incarceration, and death. The starkness of this assertion is intentional and lays a foundation for my next one, a suspected criminal, namely trump, and his uncanny ability to remain lawless regardless of the multitude of laws he has likely broken. Besides, there is plenty of empirical data showing that the U.S. judicial system is not blind, specifically not color blind, and the GOP’s 2024 presumptive nominee for president is case in point. He continues to walk about freely primarily because he is a white male with means holding political power all while fomenting hate, bigotry, and violence. In fact, white male privilege borne out of systemic white supremacy is common and remains pervasive throughout the U.S.

To date, there are multiple legal cases against the bloviating huckster, yet only four key criminal investigations. What thrills me beyond words is that some of the brave souls attempting to hold the reality TV personality criminally accountable are Black people, two from New York, DA Alvin Bragg and AG Letitia James, and one from Georgia, DA Fani Willis. We’ll see if Jack Smith, a white male prosecutor, lives up to his lauded reputation. It is clear that DJT is infuriated to know that it’s Black people and women who may end up putting him behind bars. His clear threats targeting Alvin Bragg demonstrate a willingness to use violence to avert prison and further undermine the U.S. democracy. It’s beyond time for this particular criminal to get his just dessert. Lock him up!

Grin and Bear It?

Is there any surprise that the Best Supporting Actress Oscar was given to Jamie Lee Curtis? Y’all know that Angela Bassett was robbed, but white supremacist thinking adds insult upon injury by attacking Ms. Bassett for being human, as if humanity is reserved for Whites only. Her reaction in the moment was appropriate, stoic. Reminder: Two-thirds of the voting Academy is White. The Grio aptly describes how Black people are held to impossible standards in the face of personal and professional setbacks. As my community says, “Black don’t crack,” and neither did Angela. Nevertheless, kick rocks Oscars, kick rocks!

Jim Crow 2.0

As an American citizen and upon living most of my adult life in a racist and increasingly fascist racial caste system, it’s plain that Whites who fear loss of power and economic dominance will stop at nothing to keep it including resorting to violence. White supremacist ideology is a hatred that impacts too many hearts and minds in the so-called United States of AmeriKKKa. The current attack on Advanced Placement African American studies is its current offense.

I can recall many years ago that I told a colleague, an Ethiopian immigrant woman, who esteemed herself better than me (perhaps due to pedigree or station in life), that when White people “feel” threatened, they will resort to violence, murder. She seemed genuinely surprised at my declaration, possibly because she did not recognize its truth, or because until that point in her life no Black American, a member of the African diaspora, had dared to confront her with the harsh realities of AmeriKKKan racism. Reflecting on these realities led me to this Washington Post article regarding the revival of anti-Black fascism in AmeriKKKa. States’ attempts to stop AP African American studies courses only serve to heighten the awareness of this important and necessary curriculum.

Like most Black people in AmeriKKKa, I too have personally experienced racial hatred at several points in my life, some overt, but mostly they were subtle forms of racism, e.g., a job denial or a discouragement to even try, a harsh judgment regarding my character or nature, or even the general underestimation of my intellectual capacity. Growing up in New England (back in the day) it was the more overt forms of racism usually racial epithets in the form of “nigger” or “go back to Africa” a place to which I’d never been. Nonetheless, these things rarely deterred me, given my resilient nature and capacity to stand. A Black person standing and not bowed down is also something a white supremacist hates. It’s a sure sign to these ignorant souls of a loss of control that must be put down at all costs.

Once again fascist, racist haters are banning books and preventing the truth about AmeriKKKan history from being taught in school. After all, white supremacist haters must control the narrative at all times, the primary reason it was illegal to teach Black people to read during slavery. AmeriKKKa’s anti-Black propaganda and the relentless dehumanizing of Black people have been effective tactics for centuries. Sadly, some Black people have also bought in, like the corrupt Black cops who murdered Tyre Nichols.

At this stage, I believe that until the so-called United States of AmeriKKKa repents and atones for its original sin of slavery and its brutality compounded by Jim Crow apartheid and white supremacist hate, she will not survive or thrive. Reverend Wright was right (look it up). There comes a reckoning. AmeriKKKa is like a drug addict that can’t kick the habit. One day, that drug of racism will destroy you, and it will be your own fault. First, your image and glory are marred, but then your wealth is destroyed (that thing you love) because you won’t turn to do what is right. Oh, well.

So, where does AmeriKKKa go from here if it doesn’t change? Down and likely out of its dominant and influential position in the world. It’s already begun.

Tyre Nichols

Sadly and most egregiously, here we are again. Another unarmed Black man is murdered by police in the street like a dog. In truth, there is so much more compassion for dogs than there is for Black people in America. Tyre Nichols is the latest victim. His murder captures the ugly past and present state of the Black American experience, or should I say, endurance. At this time, no one seems to know why Tyre was stopped by the Memphis Police Department’s SCORPION unit. The horrific video shows that Tyre was cursed at, threatened, subdued, tased, chased, beaten (with fists, feet, and batons), pepper-sprayed, and ultimately grotesquely murdered. I had to pause for weeping while writing this piece. What an absolute tragedy, but one of the most despicable aspects of Tyre Nichols’ nightmare, and there were many, was that all this mayhem occurred at the hands of so-called Black police officers. You ask, how can this be? I answer, there are Black people who are also white supremacists.

I have long concluded that Black people with all of our gifts, talents, knowledge, skills, and abilities are hated in America fundamentally because our skin is not white. No Black person is safe in the United States of America, not even from other Black people. Consider this, when people are immersed in a white supremacist culture that demonizes Black people, is it any wonder that some Black people would become self-loathing? From the time of slavery in America, Black self-hatred has manifested in many forms and its malevolence was on full display with the ugly murder of Tyre Nichols. The Memphis Police Chief, Cerelyn Davis, to her credit, almost immediately terminated the five Black police officers and they are currently charged with several crimes including second degree murder. At this writing, the SCORPION unit within the Memphis PD has been disbanded.

Let’s reflect on Tyre Nichols’ all-too-brief life. He was a 29 year old man who was obviously loved by his mom and family. While being brutally beaten by the Memphis police only a hundred yards from his home, he cried out for his mom, RowVaughn Wells. Tyre was the youngest child born 12 years from his closest sibling. He was the father of a four year old boy who will never again see his daddy. His family and friends described him as a loving and spiritual person full of joy who attended a Bible study weekly every Thursday. He was a creative, a self-described “aspiring” photographer featuring on his website photography of nature and the world captured through his lens. He worked at FedEx, and he loved to skateboard. He was going about his life on the horrific night of January 7, 2023 when his fate was sealed, and he succumbed to his injuries just three days later on January 10th.

The investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols is ongoing and may uncover additional parties responsible. Literally adding insult to injury, The Washington Post reported that Tyre Nichols was forced to wait more than 20 minutes for an ambulance after the brutal attack by the five Black Memphis Police Officers. Twitter has been abuzz with speculation regarding the swift action against the Black police officers. In many high profile incidents where White police officers have killed Black people, it has taken weeks and months to hold police accountable, if at all. Regardless, the murder of Tyre Nichols reveals serious problems in the Memphis PD. The mother of Tyre said it best during an interview on MSNBC, the Black officers who murdered her son have brought shame upon themselves, their families, and the entire community.

I offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of Tyre Nichols. May Tyre rest in peace, and may God grant comfort to the family and all who mourn the loss of our young brother.

Cross Connection Finds Good Trouble

With zero notice, Cross Connection hosted by Tiffany Cross was canceled by MSNBC only days prior to the 2022 midterm election. Speaking out and speaking truth as a Black person is clearly like walking through a mine field in a snow storm. Though I did not watch Cross Connection regularly, I found Tiffany Cross’ commentary to be truthful. In fact, these days I hardly watch MSNBC and not because of any disdain, but rather the constant ugly political news thrust upon us all by white supremacists and right-wing extremists. It was TC (fox) who called Tiffany Cross a racist for rightly exposing him and his right wing bigots, and it seems MSNBC has bought in. Tiffany standardly served truth straight up with no chaser. Here’s another truth, MSNBC is corporate America, and Black women are rarely supported in corporate America. If we don’t stay in our place then…well, Tiffany is proof of retribution.

Isn’t it curious how Black people are always held accountable yet White people like tucker or trump and his minions never seem to be. She spoke too plainly. She exposed too many truths. She made too many White people uncomfortable. Is this her media lynching? Should only White men be allowed to speak so freely and placate an increasingly fragile White America, i.e., Joe Scarborough? MSNBC has made an executive decision and the cable news platform will need to navigate the fallout. This cancelation looks bad, misogynist, and frankly racist, and her callous release has offended many in the Black community. It’s time for Black journalists, pundits and subject matter experts to stop esteeming cable news platforms like MSNBC as a badge of acceptance or bonafides. MSNBC is not that deluxe apartment in the sky.

Tiffany has been silenced on MSNBC, but her voice will be lifted up in many other spaces. She’s more dangerous now than ever before — unbought and unbossed. She’s free. Lemonade baby, lemonade. Maybe she’ll join Roland Martin, and the two can compare notes on how so-called mainstream media handles Black people who won’t bow down. John Lewis encouraged getting into good trouble; I’d say Tiffany Cross has found a measure. Head up Tiffany. Beware Joy Reid. Seasons come and go, but only the steadfast prevail.

Criminal Intent

In these final days of the 2022 Midterm campaigns, the GOP has played its “crime” trump card. It’s a familiar racist trope that has been used for years by Republicans to scare White people into voting for them. Sadly, it works. “Crime” is the age-old euphemism for Black people. After all, it was Lee Atwater who developed the Southern Strategy under Reagan and the Republicans successfully leverage it with regularity. Case in point, George Herbert Walker Bush defeated Mike Dukakis with the infamous Willie Horton ad campaign.

What the GOP won’t tell voters is where the crime is really happening. You guessed it, in red states. In a recent report by Third Way entitled The Red State Murder Problem we find that murder rates are highest in cities run by Republicans. In 2020, eight of the 10 states with the highest murder rates voted for trump. GOP hypocrisy and lies are boundless. In fact, the biggest criminal appears to be trump himself, the titular head of the Republican party, with at least 55 uncharged criminal offenses since 2015.

So, what is the answer? Democrats must fight back with messaging that frames Republicans as the party that is anti law and order to include the fact that most, if not all, of the GOP does not follow or adhere to the U.S. Constitution that they claim to love. It is the GOP that refused to condemn the trump insurrection of January 6th and whitewashed the violence against Capitol Police officers. It is also the GOP that is fomenting The Big Lie. Democrats’ messaging should continue to drive this point while also emphasizing public safety.

November 8th is election day. If we are to preserve the U.S. democracy, get out and vote, and when you do, VOTE BLUE up and down the ballot. Don’t cede the U.S. democracy to a fascist GOP.

Pastor Jamal Bryant on Herschel Walker, ‘We Don’t Need A Walker’

Pastor Jamal Bryant is a dynamic and anointed preacher. I have heard him several times. He is a gifted orator, but beyond that his brilliance and ability to weave the Word of God with the truth of our times is uncanny. In this video excerpt of his sermon, he nails it. Not only is Herschel Walker a man of low moral character, he is a puppet of a racist and white supremacist GOP.

The GOP clearly believes that all Black people are stupid. trump anointed Walker to run for the Senate in Georgia against a bona-fide Black male candidate, namely Rev. Raphael Warnock, a man of character that demonstrates intelligence and integrity. These two candidates could not be more unlike each other. Apparently, Black men of good moral character and reputation threaten the GOP because they simply do not fit their bigoted stereotypes. The very candidacy of Herschel Walker is a racial epithet.

When I look at Herschel Walker, all I see is the Stephen character from the Quentin Tarantino film, ‘Django Unchained’. Stephen was a devious house negro who did the bidding of his White master which meant reinforcing the brutality and evil of slavery for his own personal benefit. I see Clarence Thomas in this same frame (basically, Herschel and Clarence are loathesome twins).

Ultimately it’s up to Georgians to cast their votes for their next Senator, but only a fool would vote for Walker. To Jamal’s point, Georgia needs a runner. If you live in Georgia, vote for Raphael Warnock!

Fans wear ‘fight antisemitism’ shirts at Brooklyn Nets game as Kyrie Irving faces backlash

“Eight people donned “fight antisemitism” shirts in courtside seats at Monday night’s Brooklyn Nets game in an apparent protest of star player Kyrie Irving…”

I was considering buying tickets to see my home team play the Nets, but after this disgraceful and offensive behavior by Kyrie Irving, I’ll pass. When you post antisemitic propaganda on your social media, you are indeed “promoting” it. His recent nonsensical and incoherent press conference reinforced my opinion of him — he’s a selfish human being. The NBA should fine or suspend him, or both. Irving is problematic and has also hurt his team, the Nets, on so many levels. He wouldn’t get vaccinated last season so couldn’t play home games, and as a result the team suffered. They were swept by Boston in the first round of the playoffs.

As a Black person, I’m particularly sensitive to hateful propaganda especially given the racist and bigoted legacy of the U.S. I will never comprehend how someone who should have a level of empathy for communities which have also been demonized and violently attacked could align with the likes of Alex Jones. Yes, Kyrie retweeted Alex Jones too. Is it a Millennial thing? I think not, but it’s definitely a stupid and hateful thing. Report antisemitic hate wherever you see it. Don’t tolerate it.

An update to this post as of Nov 3 2022, Kyrie Irving has been suspended for five games without pay for refusing to disavow antisemitism.

Luther on the Trail

Barack Obama is on fire. He’s hit the campaign trail in the final stretch of the 2022 Midterms and it is clear that he is unrestrained. In fact, Keegan-Michael Key‘s “Luther” character no longer needs to translate for Obama, he’s good all by himself. From social security to women’s reproductive rights, the former President has sharply and rightly attacked the GOP while exposing just how unhinged and crazy the GOP has become. It’s time to take the gloves off, so-to-speak, and in an ever-increasing toxic political environment, speaking truth is apparently a dangerous thing to do. The recent attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, is case in point. Whatever it takes, get out and vote, then VOTE BLUE up and down the ballot. Don’t cede the U.S. democracy to a fascist GOP.