Archive for Racial Profiling

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 Gary Johnson

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.

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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 Gary Johnson

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.

US Airways Dress Code: Is Race A Factor?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Racism with tags , , on June 22, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Black Men In America.com Staff

You remember we wrote about University of New Mexico football player Deshon Marman who was removed from a US Airways flight last week for wearing sagging sweatpants that exposed his underwear. Well US Airways has acknowledged that less than a week before having Marman arrested for refusing to pull his pants up, the airline allowed a man known as “Howard the Cross-Dresser” wearing women’s underwear, black thigh-high stockings and heels to fly.

This raises the question of a blatant double standard.  Was race a factor in the removal of Marman who is black?  The man in women’s underwear who was allowed to fly, even after passengers complained is white.  When asked why Marman was kicked off the plane and the man in women’s underwear was allowed to fly, US Airways spokesperson Valerie Wunder did not offer a comment on the Marman incident, but did say US Airways employees had been correct to let the man in women’s panties fly in spite of numerous passenger complaints.  Wunder said:  “We don’t have a dress code policy for passengers.  Obviously, if their private parts are exposed, that’s not appropriate.  So, if they’re not exposing their private parts, they’re allowed to fly.” 

Wunder, when shown a picture of the Howard the Cross-Dresser said:  He wasn’t exposing his private parts. Therefore employees had been correct in not asking the man to cover himself.”

Let’s get real.  US Airways has a public relations problem.  A Black man with sagging pants is removed from the plane for refusing to follow a crew member’s orders to pull his pants up.  A white man is wearing women’s underwear and high heels is allowed to fly despite passenger complaints.  The question of whether race is a factor is legitimate.

Marman’s removal from the plane appears to be the result of an overzealous pilot.  At first glance it would appear that the cross-dressing man was revealing far more skin and presenting more visual distractions than a pair of sagging pants.  Neither man exposed private parts.

Passengers complained about the man in women’s underwear, yet there was no incident.  US Airways is sticking by its decision to kick Marman off the plane and let the cross-dressing passenger fly.

U.S. Airways has not commented on the June 15th arrest of Deshon Marman.  San Francisco Police say only Marman’s boxer shorts were shown.  Marman’s lawyer says security footage will prove that his client did not show any skin.  “A white man is allowed to fly in underwear without question, but my client was asked to pull up his pajama pants because they hung below his waist”, said Marman’s attorney Joe O’Sullivan.

Click here to read our post on the removal of Marman for his sagging pants.

What do you think is going on with US Airways and their dress code or lack thereof?

The Gates Arrest Proves There’s Still Much Work To Be Done

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men with tags , , , on July 21, 2009 by Gary Johnson

H. Louis Gates

By Gary A. Johnson

Question:  How do you get arrested in your own house?

Answer:  Be a black man in America.

The arrest last week of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., on a charge of disorderly conduct is a sobering and chilling reminder that it really doesn’t matter where you live or what position you’ve obtained in life.  If you’re a black man in America, your risk of being arrested and not being trusted is greater than most.

The charges against Henry Louis Gates, Jr. were dropped five days later.  Gates who is Director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research have been dropped, and the city of Cambridge, Mass., has apologized for the “regrettable and unfortunate” arrest.

Regrettable and unfortunate?  Wow!  I’m speechless.  This episode is resonating all over America and not just with black people.  Right minded people are looking at this incident, many in disbelief.  Every time I hear about an incident like this, I’m momentarily stunned but never surprised.  This incident is reality.  It is a sad part of the American experience.

Let’s review what we know about Professor Gates’ side of the story:

    • On July 16, 2009, Cambridge police responded to a call that two black males with backpacks were breaking in to a two-story home near the Harvard campus.
    • Gates was returning from a trip from China.
    • Upon trying to enter his home he discovered his front door was jammed.
    • Gates successfully opened his back door with his key and tried unsuccessfully from inside his home to open the front door.
    • After some effort Gates and his driver eventually forced the door open from the outside.
    • Gates was comfortably inside his home for several minutes when a police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, appeared at his steps and asked him to step outside.
    • Gates told the officer he lived in the home and showed him his Massachusetts driver’s license and Harvard University identification card.
    • The officer followed Gates into the house and explained that he had received a report of a possible break-in.
    • Gates grew frustrated that the officer was continuing to question him in his home and asked for the officer’s name and badge number.
    • Gates was handcuffed and led away.

The official police report offers a different account of the incident.  According to the report:

· Gates refused to step outside to speak with the officer.

· When Officer Crowley told Gates that he was investigating a possible break-in, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, “Why, because I’m a black man in America?”

· The report quotes Officer Crowley saying, “While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me.”

· The report reflected that Gates initially refused to show the officer identification, but eventually produced a Harvard identification card, prompting Crowley to radio for Harvard University Police.

· Gates followed the officer outside and continued to accuse him of racial bias.

· Crowley warned the professor twice that he was becoming disorderly.

· Gates began yelling at the officer and was arrested for “loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space.”

Who do you believe is telling the truth?  There are conflicting accounts of what happened.  There is a section in the police report where the officer wrote:  While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me. I have no doubt that Professor Gates was beyond irritated.  In fact, I bet he was pissed off to the highest level of pisstivity.  The fact that the officer was “surprised and confused” is a clear indication to me that the cultural conditioning and life experiences of these two men were miles apart.

There is a common sense element that is missing on the part of the Police Officer and a humiliating aspect to the entire incident.  To take Dr. Gates’ cane away from him and handcuff with his hands behind his back seems a bit over the top.

Below is a statement on behalf of Dr. Gates by his attorney Charles Ogletree

This brief statement is being submitted on behalf of my client, friend, and colleague, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This is a statement concerning the arrest of Professor Gates. On July 16, 2009, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 58, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor of Harvard University, was headed from Logan airport to his home [in] Cambridge after spending a week in China, where he was filming his new PBS documentary entitled “Faces of America.” Professor Gates was driven to his home by a driver for a local car company. Professor Gates attempted to enter his front door, but the door was damaged. Professor Gates then entered his rear door with his key, turned off his alarm, and again attempted to open the front door. With the help of his driver they were able to force the front door open, and then the driver carried Professor Gates’ luggage into his home.

Professor Gates immediately called the Harvard Real Estate office to report the damage to his door and requested that it be repaired immediately. As he was talking to the Harvard Real Estate office on his portable phone in his house, he observed a uniformed officer on his front porch. When Professor Gates opened the door, the officer immediately asked him to step outside. Professor Gates remained inside his home and asked the officer why he was there. The officer indicated that he was responding to a 911 call about a breaking and entering in progress at this address. Professor Gates informed the officer that he lived there and was a faculty member at Harvard University. The officer then asked Professor Gates whether he could prove that he lived there and taught at Harvard. Professor Gates said that he could, and turned to walk into his kitchen, where he had left his wallet. The officer followed him. Professor Gates handed both his Harvard University identification and his valid Massachusetts driver’s license to the officer. Both include Professor Gates’ photograph, and the license includes his address.

Professor Gates then asked the police officer if he would give him his name and his badge number. He made this request several times. The officer did not produce any identification nor did he respond to Professor Gates’ request for this information. After an additional request by Professor Gates for the officer’s name and badge number, the officer then turned and left the kitchen of Professor Gates’ home without ever acknowledging who he was or if there were charges against Professor Gates. As Professor Gates followed the officer to his own front door, he was astonished to see several police officers gathered on his front porch. Professor Gates asked the officer’s colleagues for his name and badge number. As Professor Gates stepped onto his front porch, the officer who had been inside and who had examined his identification, said to him, “Thank you for accommodating my earlier request,” and then placed Professor Gates under arrest. He was handcuffed on his own front porch.

Professor Gates was taken to the Cambridge Police Station where he remained for approximately 4 hours before being released that evening. Professor Gates’ counsel has been cooperating with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, and the City of Cambridge, and is hopeful that this matter will be resolved promptly. Professor Gates will not be making any other statements concerning this matter at this time.

What do you think?

Gary Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book“25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”

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