Archive for March, 2012

The Bridge: Racist Dogs On Notice: You Can Not Have Another Trayvon!

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , , on March 29, 2012 by Black Man

By Darryl James

I am Trayvon Martin.

My son is Trayvon Martin.

As such, I am placing venomous, racist dogs on notice that if any Trayvon I love is given the treatment that the piece of crap George Zimmerman gave to Trayvon Martin, there will be an all-out war and no family members of his will find safe quarters anywhere on this planet.

I wish this were the message that every Black Father was ready and willing to give to vicious racist dogs across the land. Such a message, fully loaded with the very real harbinger of violence and death as retribution, would deter the murder of more Trayvon Martins.

But we march.

And we pray.

And we wear hoodies.

Yet we are still.

And as if it weren’t bad enough that too many of us are either still or silent or both, some of us are so cowardly and ignorant that we have taken precious time and energy to point the fingers of blame at…guess who?  Black Men?!!

Yes, cowardly ignoramuses are musing from the comfort of their safe homes about how Black men may somehow be at fault for wearing or allowing the youth to wear clothing that makes them “look suspicious.”

There is nothing testicular about “men” like that.

The moment we began to consider that Black men were somehow at fault for the racist view of Black men in America, and accordingly, the violence meted out by rabid white garbage, was the moment when we began our slide down the slippery slope to chaos and the abandonment of both self-respect and self-preservation. Knee-grows tried this noose on the community’s neck before and it does not fit.

While I hold a great disdain for the behavior of ignorant Blacks who wear their pants around their knees with their behinds showing, I understand American racism too deeply to pretend that somehow, such poor social behavior is now the cause of racism. That would mean that somehow, the tail is now wagging the dog.

I would not argue whether poor public behavior contributes to the poor public image of Blacks, but no sane Black person with self-awareness, knowledge of American history and an understanding of American racism would dare blame the death of Trayvon Martin on his choice of clothing.

Frankly, this kind of empty rhetoric has no place in the efforts to bring about justice for Trayvon Martin’s family.

And, if a white kid was wearing similar gear, we all know that there would be no danger of anyone “mistaking” the white kid as a danger to society.

It was one thing for the irrelevant and moronic Geraldo Rivera to make the statement because he’s been vying for nomination to honorary white man status, but for so-called Black people to make the same statement is ignorant and dangerous.

The other, perhaps more destructive and equally false argument that these cowardly morons are pursuing is that Black men, by being violent with each other, are somehow causing or at least inviting violence from racist animals.

In addition to the fact that this is just sick and twisted thinking, the fact remains that white men in America are the most violent in the nation.

And the fact remains that George Zimmerman must be prosecuted and frankly, should be put to death.

But if it weren’t for the national outcry, there wouldn’t even be a prosecution.

So many pieces of this legal puzzle have been botched that one would imagine that Barney Fife from Mayberry was leading the police department in Florida.

The hot potato of lies has been spun around Zimmerman claiming that he was acting in self-defense, and attempting to invoke Florida’s “Stand your ground” law.

But even Jeb Bush who signed that law while Governor of Florida has made it clear that the law does not apply in this case.

And we have only to listen to one of the witnesses who heard much of the incident outside of her window to understand that Trayvon Martin was attempting to flee and George Zimmerman was the assailant. It appears that Martin was invoking the “Stand Your Ground Law” when he handed Zimmerman a beatdown after being cornered by the vile racist.  And it appears that Zimmerman then illegally raised the level of the incident to deadly force by shooting the unarmed teen to his death.

To be clear, the “Stand Your Ground Law” in Florida, much like similar laws in other states, provides for citizens to use deadly force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief in a threat, with no obligation to retreat.

The problem for Zimmerman is that it was clear that he was in pursuit of Martin, not in retreat. The 911 operator advised him to not leave his car, which he did. Martin’s girlfriend advised him to run from Zimmerman, which he did. And the witness who listened to the incident outside of her window clearly heard Martin begging for his life. Zimmerman was not threatened and was choosing not to retreat—he was threatening and refusing to retreat.

There was no self-defense.

There was only stalking and murder, steeped in racial profiling and racial hate.

And if not for the spreading of outrage and action across the nation, Zimmerman, much like other vile racists, would have gone free. Ostensibly, his family’s connection to the legal system was used to try to keep him out of the system, even though he has an extensive record of violence, including violence against the police.

My concern is that while Zimmerman may be brought to justice, other Trayvon Martins may be murdered without much fanfare.

It’s been happening for a long time.

And it’s happening still.

In Chicago, recently, 22 year old Rekia Boyd was killed by an off-duty cop who claimed he mistook her friend’s cellphone for a handgun. Her friend was shot in the hand and Boyd was shot in the head and killed.

And there has been no justice.

So, I’m saying “I am Trayvon Martin” out of respect and solidarity, but really, how many Trayvons are killed each year? And how many of them go unnoticed? Is there a national outcry and wearing of hoodies for every one?

Of course, the answer is no, which is why I’m suggesting that something different must occur.

That difference can be the consistent use of technology to show solidarity and send clear messages to lawmakers and offenders alike, such as the Change.org petition and the solidarity of Brothers Behind Trayvon, a national coalition of members of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc., which contains a national coalition of practicing attorneys offering pro bono assistance to the legal team representing Trayvon Martin’s family.

We must press for the laws to be enforced so that racist murderers are prosecuted swiftly, which would serve as a deterrent.

We must fill petitions with names and present them to lawmakers, pressing them to enforce the laws with equal justice.

Otherwise, there are different avenues that can be taken as measures of last resort.

For example, if I were Trayvon’s father, I would liquidate everything valuable and toss the rest away and go underground on a vigilante mission, first erasing Zimmerman and then reading the papers to go after every violent racist I read about until my life under the radar was over.

I would also erase the self-hating House Niggers who are pretending that somehow Trayvon or Black men are at fault, because of hip hop clothing or because of violence by Blacks against other Blacks or for any other reason of putrid thinking.

I don’t know how legitimate the New Black Panther Party is, but they have issued a reward for Zimmerman—allegedly dead or alive. That idea is floating around as an option to justice denied.

Outside of the law, these are measures that would decrease the incident of murder of African Americans at the hands of filthy racists.

Fear of retaliation is a great equalizer.

Am I advocating violence?

I am advocating the decrease in violence and murder of Black people, particularly hate crimes, by any means necessary, which may include invoking the old standard law from Biblical times—The “Eye For An Eye” Law.

There is no reason and no room for any more Trayvons to be victimized.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will be running throughout 2012. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

How to Talk to Black Boys About Trayvon Martin: Eight Talking Points About The Potentially Fatal Condition of Being Black

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , on March 25, 2012 by Black Man

By: Touré

In his Time Magazine column, writer Touré outlines eight talking points to handle what he calls “the potentially fatal condition of being black.”  Touré is the author of four books, including Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now

1. It’s unlikely but possible that you could get killed today. Or any day. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. Black maleness is a potentially fatal condition. I tell you that not to scare you but because knowing that could save your life. There are people who will look at you and see a villain or a criminal or something fearsome. It’s possible they may act on their prejudice and insecurity. Being black could turn an ordinary situation into a life-or-death moment even if you’re doing nothing wrong.

2. If you encounter such a situation, you need to play it cool. Keep your wits about you. Don’t worry about winning the situation. Your mission is to survive.

Click on this link to read more.

The Trayvon Martin Tragedy

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , on March 24, 2012 by Black Man

On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, teenager was killed by a neighborhood watch member as he was walking to his father’s home in a multiracial gated community. The case has gained national attention, as George Zimmerman, the man who admitted to shooting and killing him, was not arrested or charged.  Zimmerman claimed he felt threatened and cited self-defense as the reason for shooting Martin, despite the fact that he was advised by the 911 police dispatcher not to pursue Martin.  The police investigation was botched beyond belief.  The Sanford, Florida police department allowed Zimmerman to leave with the murder weapon and presented his version of events to the media as fact.

In a few short weeks, the outrage surrounding the Trayvon Martin tragedy is proving to be larger than the outrage surrounding the Emmett Till tragedy.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Emmett Till tragedy, Emmett Till was a young black boy who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for reportedly whistling or flirting with a young white woman.  Emmett Till was 14-years old.  Several nights later, the woman’s husband and his half-brother arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound weight around his neck with barbed wire.  His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later.

Due to social media and a 24/7 immediate news cycle, this case is evolving at a rapid pace and has garnered world wide attention.  Martin’s death has stirred national outrage and protests around the country.  The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI have opened an investigation into the case.

Trayvon’s parents have been amazingly focused and calm as they seek justice for their son.  Trayvon’s mother told a crowd in New York City that the effort to seek justice for Trayvon’s “was not a black and white thing, but a right and wrong thing.”  This young man’s murder is connecting with people of all races and economic backgrounds.

In early April 2012, George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second degree manslaughter.  We we will post occasional commentaries and opinion pieces about this case.  If you want to stay up-to-date on this case we suggest you visit The Huffington Post’s Trayvon Martin Tragedy Page located at www.huffingtonpost.com/news/trayvon-martin.

The Bridge: Dismissing Black Mythology

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , on March 14, 2012 by Black Man

By Darryl James

If you haven’t read the works of Chancellor Williams of George James, you may still be amongst the thinking Blacks who realize that misinformation about the standing of Africans and African Americans has been the order of the day for centuries.

But if you are a dead brained knee-grow who passes on the latest piece of mythology about your own people, you should do the race a service and either educate yourself or solder your ignorant lips shut.

Black mythology is one of our greatest challenges, because when a people believe they are in a specific state, or doing specific things, those beliefs and thoughts dictate their actions.

One of the most glaring problems facing African Americans is the media’s love affair with Blacks, especially Black men.  They love having us on the news, but the coverage is largely relegated to perpetual poverty, crime and other “bad” behavior.  While we are neither the dominant nor the majority population, the negative media coverage is disproportionately high when it comes to us.

Many of our other difficulties stem directly from the misinformation that we pass on to each other, presenting lies and half-truths as “known facts.” But if one of us presents factual information to challenge the lies, the ignorant knee-grows are likely to challenge right back with: “where’s your data?” That question will be launched even if data has been presented and even though no challenge was ever issued when the lie was accepted and passed around.

It is no secret that African Americans have an image problem. It is also no secret that the media misrepresents African Americans. What is ostensibly a secret is that many of the most egregious things being said about Black people are being perpetuated by Black people.

In another Black Top Ten list, I’d like to dispel some of those myths.

Accordingly, these are the top ten things that Black people should stop saying about Black people:

The Top Ten Black Myths

1                 There are more Black men in prison than in college.

False. The misleading “evidence” comes from studies such as the one conducted periodically by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), a Washington-based research group.  JPI found that there were 791,600 Black men in jail or prison and “only” 603,032 of them in colleges or universities.  They presented the findings as “evidence” of more Black men in prison than in college. As late as 2004, the US Census reported that there were 864,000 Black men in college. The numbers that people (including the JPI) quote are ALL of the Black men in prison, versus ONLY the free young Black men of college age, which spans the late teens to the early twenties. And yet, the myth is still a myth. Any of us can do the math: Out of the 40 million-plus African Americans that the 2008 Census found, less than one million are in jail or prison. The reality is that while there are too many of us in prison and more of us in there than others, there are NOT more of us on the inside than on the outside.

2                 Black people, particularly Black men are lazy.

False.  How can a people who built this nation and did it for free suddenly become the laziest people in the nation?

According to the US Census Bureau, 68.1% of all Black men and 62.3% of Black women over the age of 16 are in the civilian labor force, compared to 73% of white menand 59.9% of white women.  With racial discrimination and other challenges, more of us are still working than sitting at home.

While the majority of poor people in America are Black, the majority of Black people are NOT poor.  Of the 40 million-plus Blacks in this nation, 8.1 million have incomes below the poverty line.

Now, what we do with our money is another story…

 3                 Black people abuse the Welfare system and are swelling it beyond capacity.

False.  First, the actual number of Black families on Welfare has been decreasing since the early 1970’s, when 46% of the recipients were Black. By the end of the 20th century, that number was down to 39%, as compared to 38% whites who were non-Hispanic. If the comparison were strictly based on race without ethnic identification, whites clearly outnumber Blacks on the Welfare rolls.

In addition, 40% of the families on Welfare have only one child, while the number having five or more is only 4%.   And, by the last decade of the 20th century, Welfare accounted for just over 2% of the Federal Budget, while defense accounted for 24%.

Benefit programs for farmers and big businesses far outweigh the Welfare program. Who is abusing welfare?

4.   Most Black men are married to white women.

False.  According to the most recent Census statistics, more than 90% of all Black men who are married are married to Black women.

Please stop lying about what you see (which isn’t data—you could be looking at co-workers) and stop using celebrities to cast an indictment on an entire group.

5.  Affirmative Action unfairly provides opportunities for Blacks.

False.  First, Affirmative Action is inappropriately used to define Black preferential treatment and “quotas” but it was actually designed to benefit a number of groups who have been discriminated against, creating parity in the workplace.  Since the 1970’s, Affirmative Action has benefited white women more than any other group. Secondly, no one who perpetuates this myth ever talks about other types of Affirmative Action, which benefit other races.  For example, the Japanese descendants in America, who were each rewarded $20,000 in 1988 as reparations for internment during WWII, or the legacy programs which benefit people such as the dimwit son of a Bush who screwed up the world economy while in the white house.

6                 Let’s kill two ignorant rumors with the pursuit of truth: Poor Blacks would be better off if they stopped using drugs and took better care of their communities; and, Blacks need to stop pushing drugs to their own people.

False. This one always confuses me, because Blacks can’t even distribute their own movies or music, yet still get blamed for importing and distributing ILLEGAL drugs.  If a Black man can’t drive down the street without being racially profiled and stopped, what makes anyone think that he could fly a planeload of drugs into the nation and distribute them from state to state and city to city?  The drug dealers in the ‘hood make a lot of money, but nowhere near the cash generated by the true drug lords who import it and distribute it to inner cities across the nation.

But for the record, according to a study by the Sentencing Project, the number of Blacks in prison for drug-related crimes fell by 21.6 % from 1999 to 2005, while the number of whites in prison for drug-related crimes increased by 42 % during the same time period.

7                 Blacks suffer from Black on Black crime.

True, but misleading.  Whites also suffer from white on white crime.  Many crimes, including murder, rape and robbery, are crimes of location, not color. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 85% of African Americans report another Black person as the perpetrator of the crime and 80% of white murders were committed by other whites. However, when race does play a role in crime, the victims of violent crimes are more likely to be Black, while the perpetrators, are more likely to be white.

8          Blacks commit more crimes than whites.

False. Neo-Conservative Whites and self-hating Blacks notwithstanding, the reality of racism in the justice system has to be understood in order to get into the reasons for the high number of Blacks in prison.

In an assessment of the impact of crime on minority communities, the National Minority Advisory Council on Criminal Justice concluded that “America is a classic example of heavy-handed use of state and private power to control minorities and suppress their continuing opposition to the hegemony of white racist ideology.”

Further, according to “The Real War on Crime,” a report by the National Criminal Justice Commission, “African-American arrest rates for drugs during the height of the ‘drug war’ in 1989 were five times higher than arrest rates for whites even though whites and African-Americans were using drugs at the same rate.”

Finally, according to the Federal Judicial Center, the average sentences for African Americans for weapons and drug charges have been 49% longer than for whites who had been convicted of the same crimes.

The simple truth is, more of “us” may be in court, but more of “them” are actually committing crimes.

9             Women outnumbering men in college is a Black phenomenon.

False. According to the US Department of Education, male undergraduates account for 44 percent of student population, while female undergraduates account for 56 percent.  This is not race specific.

10        Black people are incapable of sustaining businesses in their own communities.

False. We had great success before integration. In fact, by 1900, the number of African-American businesses nationally, totaled 40,000, including the Greenfield Bus Body Company, which manufactured automobiles, and a hotel in New York City valued at $75,000. By 1908, we had 55 privately owned banks. By 1912, there were two millionaires, Madam C.J. Walker (hair care) and R. R. Church (real estate).

By 1923, Tulsa, Oklahoma was home to The Black Wall Street, an African American community of 11,000.  Which featured nine hotels, nineteen restaurants and thirty-one grocery stores and meat markets, ten medical doctors, six lawyers, and five real estate and loan insurance agencies, complete with five private planes.

The next time someone passes around one of these tired myths, if you can resist smacking them in the mouth, pass on some real data to them, or at least encourage them to do some research themselves before passing lies as truth.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will be running throughout 2012. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com.  Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

Impacting Lives In A Positive Way

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists with tags , , , on March 10, 2012 by Black Man

By Tony V.

Black Men In America.com Guest Columnist

My 14-year old daughter shared an Internet link with me that I am going to share with you at the end of this piece.  Before I get to that I have to admit, I had no idea that this blossoming young lady’s social awareness extended beyond the high school boys who are noticing how beautiful she is and second that she could watch a 30 minute video that didn’t include music, teenage humor or bad acting.

This video was different.  It was created by Jason Russell, a filmmaker and the leader of the non-profit project Invisible Children.  Invisible Children seeks to collect money from around the world in order to support efforts in Central Africa that will increase security and hopefully bring a man named Joseph Kony to justice.

After watching the film, the only justice I thought applied to this Kony character was at the end of a rope.  If you have a different opinion I would be glad to hear it.  I don’t think you will.  Joseph Kony is the leader of the “Lords Resistance Army” or LRA.  The LRA is waging a campaign of terror that includes something all too common in Africa, the use of children as soldiers.   Boys are conscripted into his army and then brainwashed to believe that Kony is a messenger from God.  The sisters of these boys and other young girls are kidnapped and turned into sex slaves or comfort women.  In between all the kidnappings, Kony has orchestrated the deaths of 30,000 people who I guess didn’t hear him and his army coming.

30,000 deaths do not put Kony in the same league as Hitler, Stalin or Mao but the viciousness of his acts turned my stomach and made me wonder why I had never heard of this maniac before now.

This is where Jason Russell comes in.  He realized that Joseph Kony was surviving because no one had ever heard of him.  Since he was a relative unknown, there hadn’t been a lot of pressure to find him.  Russell’s solution:  tell the world about Joseph Kony.  That’s how you get to the 30 minute video.

The video is a call to action; it is about making sure that those who have the capability to go after Kony and to arrest the stampeding LRA as it plows across Central Africa know that we support whatever can be done to end this madness.  There are other opinions about what should be done in this situation.  As long as the options presented end the Kony reign of terror or present compelling evidence that he is innocent or that he is fighting a war of ethnic survival I will stick with the Kony 2012 project my daughter introduced me to this past weekend.

I’m not asking you to send any money to Invisible Children.  I’m not asking you to strap up and hit the turbulent African heartlands to find Kony.  I am asking that you help increase his notoriety so that the political leaders around the world step up and take action.  I also ask that you take time to understand that Kony is not the only problem in Central Africa.

As Black Men in America we can no longer ignore what is happening beyond our front doors, neighborhood streets, cities, states or nation.  We owe it to the rest of the world to be leaders of change.  This is not something we have not done before.  History has hundreds of examples of how Black Men in America have helped shaped the world for the better.  To do that we need to comprehend, understand, know.  We need to lead.

There is a second video linked to this article.  It is about leadership.  It is only six minutes long and I think the presenter, Drew Dudley has it right when he says “Leadership is the everyday act of improving each other’s lives”.

Finally, the words on this tombstone changed my life.  Will they change yours?

http://kony2012.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/

http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_dudley_everyday_leadership.html

http://allafrica.com/stories/201203080913.html (An alternate opinion of the film)

http://www.invisiblechildren.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/critiques.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Tony V. is a native of New York City who currently resides in Florida.  He served 25 years in the US Army and is currently employed in a similar capacity as a civilian.

The Bridge: The Business of God

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , on March 6, 2012 by Black Man

By Darryl James

            I needed a lock tumbler changed, so I decided to give some business to the Black man operating out of his van on Crenshaw.

            He seemed nice enough and when he struck up a conversation, it seemed fairly harmless. We were having a nice discussion about the weather and women and children, since my son was with me.

            Things were going fine.

            Until he asked me what church I belonged to.

            I politely told him that I wasn’t interested in a religious discussion and that I’d like to get the price of changing the lock. I told him that I would bring the lock to him and that I just needed the tumbler changed.

            He pressed on with the religious discussion, asking me if I were afraid to talk about God and musing that I must be a non-believer.

            I knew I should have walked away, but I thought I could give him a “final answer” and proceed with the business at hand.

            I told him that I believed in God, but I just refuse to discuss religion with strangers.

            He persisted and when I finally told him it was none of his business he stated: “if you were a child of Christ, you wouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about it. I don’t do business with people who aren’t children of Christ.”

            I shook my head.

            I would have given this ignorant son of the devil some choice words, but Junior was standing next to me.

            I told him he had just made the devil smile and walked away.

            I’ve seen many evil, ignorant assheads like him in my life and I knew there was nothing I could say to him to get him to understand that while he was doing the business of the devil, he was chasing away business for himself. After all, his business was in his van, not a church. And shunning people based on a divergence in religion is pure evil.

            It’s something that Jesus would have never done.

            I reflected on my experience with religion from the very beginning.

            You see, I was raised as a Christian, but my experiences from one church to another were as divergent as night and day.

            The church I grew up in was started in the Black community by a white preacher. 

All the neighborhood kids attended and followed the message and the music of this man and his followers.

The choir sang only the sterile church hymns that white people held near and dear.  There was no fire and brimstone in the rhythms, and no blood, sweat and tears in the shouting of the words. 

But I met and fell in love with Black Gospel music on Jubilee Showcase, the television show that my mother would watch every Sunday without fail.  In fact, the love for Black Gospel music made me feel lacking within my original church home, which was already becoming problematic because the preacher told us to read the bible.

And I did.

Reading the bible wasn’t the real problem, but having questions and different views from the preacher was a huge problem.  Especially when he couldn’t answer those questions and instead tried to stifle my views.

I started reading early in life.  The encyclopedia had become my friend and the library was a cool place to hang out.  The world history and alternate religions I studied on my own were difficult to place in perspective with some of the things I found in the bible that simply made no sense.

I wanted answers and I wanted open discussions.  But this just wasn’t the way of the church.

Things came to a head one Sunday when I refused to accept “just believe” as a viable answer.  And this so-called reverend who couldn’t manage the inquisitive nature of a young man with a bourgeoning intellect asked me to leave his church and never return.

I gladly complied.

I had already had enough negative experiences with the traditional church to believe that there would be no relief or growth in a place in which I held no faith.

            The traditional place of worship had held so little solace, so little tolerance of questioning and so little understanding of dissonance that it had caused me to flirt with atheism.

            So my plan was to study religion on my own while exploring my personal spirituality.

            At the library, I began to research the origin of the Christian faith, the Jewish faith, the Islamic faith and even the Buddhist faith.  What I found was that each of them had a commonality in their basic tenets of doing good to others, while preserving your body as a temple for worship of the god.  I discovered that for the most part, each religion was a way of life developed for the people who held the religion based upon the lifestyle lead in that place during the time period of origin.  That knowledge lead me to believe that I could grow to know my own God if I developed a program that made sense for my life during this time period.

            I acknowledged that I had always sought to do what I believed to be right, and that basic premise could prepare me for a righteous life within the eyes of God.  I didn’t need to complicate my moral turpitude or spiritual growth with religious constrictions.

            Historically, I knew that the original people of the earth were Africans.  Thus, if God created man in his own image, then God was African, therefore, it made no sense for people to hold on to the pictures and concepts of a blue-eyed, pale skinned Jesus. But I understood that every group of people wants God to look like them.

            I also understood that anyone who would force their version of God on anyone else had less than Godly intentions at work.

            And I understood my own personal concept of God was just as valid as anyone else’s, and that it would serve me well for the life I wanted to live.

            I can fellowship with anyone from any faith, respecting divergent beliefs because I believe that all roads lead to the one God who is all Gods.

            I know now that God is all things to all people and appears in whatever form we need as individuals or individual cultures.

            I know enough about God the world over and throughout history to realize that most people have no idea what they are talking about even though they act with conviction.

It’s almost as if some people think that holding a religion means abandoning common sense.

For example, I’ve heard Christians say that God has been taken out of school, because students are not allowed to pray. I’ve also heard that God has been removed from buildings that do not allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed.

Honestly, those are amongst the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Essentially, morons who spit out such nonsense are saying that even though God is omnipotent and all powerful, humans have effectively moved him physically by removing some words or by not allowing people to worship under one religion. All I can think of is that these people must be wiping their behinds with their brains.

And, I will never understand how ignorant, evil morons justify shunning someone with divergent beliefs.

God is Love and it’s ignorant and evil to assert that a divergent belief is equivalent to a divorce from God.

That’s just too stupid for any thinking person to process.

            As a thinking person, I eventually gave up the smallness of singular religion for a direct connection to the richness and fullness of God.

            I discovered that abandoning the things that made no sense to me was the only way for me to focus on my relationship with God and my desire to fellowship with the entirety of humanity.

            I already understood that for some, God is a business, and in order to keep that business thriving, dead brained zombies must be kept dead in the brain, repeating things they have no understanding of and pressing others to hold their belief, even if their deeds are done for the delight of the devil.

            And I also realized that some people are minding God’s business when they should be in the business of minding God. 

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011and will be running throughout 2012. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

Black In Reality: The Success of Black and Missing Foundation, Inc.

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Gary A. Johnson with tags , , , , , on March 3, 2012 by Black Man

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com Staff Writer

Let’s start this feature by looking at the numbers.

  • According to the FBI, about 270,000 people of color went missing last year.
  • Blacks are approximately 13 percent of the country’s population, yet they make up more than 33 percent of those reported missing in the FBI’s database.
  • According to the National Crime Information Center, there were almost 30,000 active missing persons cases in the country.
  • Blacks make up almost 12,000 of those cases or about 40 percent.
  • Of the 173 Amber alerts in 2010, 30 percent were for black children.
  • 40 percent of all persons missing in the United States are of color.

This data and the obvious disparity in media coverage between black and white missing persons served as motivation for Derrica and Natalie Wilson to establish the Black and Missing Foundation, Inc., (BAM FI) in 2008.  The non-profit foundation’s mission is to bring awareness to missing persons of color; provide vital resources and tools to missing person’s families and friends and to educate the minority community on personal safety.

This is where “we” come in.  That’s right, “we.”  “We” have resources.  “We” talk to each other.  “We” have access to a variety of media including print, television and the Internet.  One person can make a difference in the recovery of a missing person.  To date, Black and Missing Foundation has played a role in over 70 reunifications or closures for families.

The most recent example of success in this area came last week (February 27, 2012).  If you watch ABC TV’s daytime talk show “The View,” you saw Derrica Wilson and 16 year-old missing teen Mishell Green’s family talk about Mishell being found and reunited with her family after having her case featured on the popular talk show.

Green disappeared more than five months ago heading to an after-school program in Manhattan, New York.  An anonymous viewer who recognized Green’s profile from the segment on “The View” immediately called Black and Missing Foundation to report Green’s whereabouts, which led to her recovery.  That call that led to the recovery of Mishell Green reportedly happened 15 minutes after the segment aired on the show.  Mishell was recovered a few hours later.  This reunion is a clear example of why “we” need to be involved in the recovery of missing people in our community.

 

Natalie and Derrica Wilson

Click here to visit Black and Mission Foundation to learn more about this organization and how you can get involved.

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