Gun Control: America No Longer Civilized

gun

Let me first offer my heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathy to the parents and families of those who have lost loved ones due to senseless gun violence. Many have cried and felt much pain, mainly because the government does absolutely nothing to stop these obviously insane shooters. Most people have no idea as to the pain felt by parents that have lost a child, it is the worst pain in life. I have felt and know that pain.

I saw a comment on Twitter that said, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” This person would not have said such a crazy thing if it was a member of his family or child. Then there is the National Rifle Association (NRA), a leading gun rights advocate, the modern day Klan, strongly supports such thinking! Let’s remember that there have been shooting after shooting – death in rising number in all manner of public venues. It’s not safe to go anywhere.

Another thing I’ve heard was “this is such a great suburban town” and “this does not happen here”. Not surprising, but urban families in cities and communities throughout the nation have been crying out for someone to do something about guns for as long as I can remember. In urban communities’ children suffer Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome as a result of the combat like environments they suffer and witness daily.

I have experienced war firsthand and know that witnessing the brutality of death inflicted by another human – never leaves the minds consciousness. However, my point through this writing is to say, now that we have witnessed the many acts of mass murder committed by these young white killers in communities very different from the daily urban neighborhood deaths. Will the calls for America to begin a serious debate over gun regulation after the slaughter and shooting after shooting? No, they continue to blame it on the myth of “black on black crime”.

I guarantee the usual argument will ensue; the Second Amendment of the Constitution will be raised and the court rulings, which in my view wrongly rendered, have upheld or at least supported this contention. While the Supreme Court ruled in D.C. v. Heller that bans on handgun ownership was unconstitutional, the ruling gives the state and federal governments a great deal of latitude to regulate gun ownership. This means something can be done.

As the U.S. Second Court of Appeals put it in a recent ruling upholding a New York regulation, “The state’s ability to regulate firearms and, for that matter, conduct, is qualitatively different in public than in the home. Heller reinforces this view. In striking D.C.’s handgun ban, the Court stressed that banning usable handguns in the home is a ‘policy choice’ that is ‘off the table. But that a variety of other regulatory options remains available, including categorical bans on firearm possession in certain public locations.”

So, do we have to continue to endure the Gabby Gifford’s, Mr. Brady, shootings at malls, schools, colleges, and movie theaters, and see countless innocent murders before our government takes action? It is a sad state of affairs! These views are vastly different when color is applied. It is striking that if a black man kills someone – he is a menace to society. When a person from another country kills someone – that person is called a terrorist. But when a white man kills someone – he is mentally ill.

I don’t want to compare these incidents to the Stand Your Ground Laws, the many black unarmed people killed but the police, or any of the countless acts of gun crimes in recent memory. But it is time for the insanity to end. It is the government’s duty to make sense of the senseless, and a good start would be to begin immediately a real dialog leading to corrective action to protect the citizens of our nation.

Guns are made for one purpose, and that is to kill. Maybe, just maybe, if there were fewer guns, there might be fewer killings on the nation’s streets and in communities across the land. Frankly, is simply uncivilized for this to continue. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

GOD BLESS THE SOULS OF THE VICTIMS!!!


Happy Birthday: We Never Can Say Goodbye

What can I say about the man whose music was such a huge part of my life, as well as the entire world. He was no doubt the GREATEST ENTERTAINER the world has known. As we remember the ghost of the greats I wish and celebration Michael Jackson’s contributions to music and the would will never be forgotten, which was a blessing to us all.

The legacy of Michael Jackson can be summed up by saying he sold more music than anyone, broke all records, and he performed the greatest concert event EVER. Therefore, it is hard to find the words to express what he gave the world. The memory’s he left us and the music he created will live in our hearts for all time. We never “Can Say Goodbye”. Happy Birthday and Rest in Peace Michael Jackson. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Happy-Belated-Birthday-Michael-Jackson-michael-jackson-32105892-500-500


Make It Plain: America’s Mental Conditioning Of Black Minds

X

Brother Malcolm said, “Make It Plain,” which was one of the most prophetic statements ever spoken. Of course, Post Dramatic Slave Syndrome is the biggest problem black people endure but there are other institutional problems that hinder our progress. I have come up with a list of some of them to suggest/offer my view of some of the causes systemic institutional problems that keep people of the African American Diaspora in mental slavery and continuous bondage.

You may disagree, or not, but there are facts from the past that we must understand that does have an effect upon black people done the dominant culture in order to maintain control. I am not going back to slavery or segregation because in modern times some of the mechanisms of control are ever present still. Those in power who benefited know, “if you control what a man thinks, you never have to worry about what he thinks”. As a result, most of the media is owned by whites and every thing you see is white, white, white views and position regardless of the communication vehicle.

I once taught a college course called the Psychology of the Black Family. During slavery, and from the 1800’s through the 1980’s, the African American family was tight-knit, strongly woven, and the envy of all other cultures. The family unit survived in spite of unimaginable cruelty and adversity. It is only recently, during the last thirty/forty years or so that the black family became dysfunctional and lost its direction. One has to think, for some twisted reason, we do not feel whole because, in many cases, we allow others define us.

Aside from the initial and root-cause, which we know was slavery. I have identified 12 key issues that did impede black progress:

  1. The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hardworking black men were shipped abroad to be murdered, returned home shell shocked, severely damaged, or addicted. Many of which were unable to get back on track after returning from war because the government abandoned them.
  2. COINTELPRO: The covert actions of J. Edgar Hoover in the wake of the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movements all but insured that anyone speaking out against the government’s wrong doings would receive either long prison sentences or a bullet. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust and removing many of our leaders, as well as potential future leaders.
  3. The Assassinations of the 1960’s: Left a huge void in leadership that has yet to be filled, particularly within the Civil Rights Movement to include within the community. Instead, a universal acceptance of the pimp/hustler image in popular culture that presented alternative heroes to black youth, which resonant in the form of Gangster Rap. This genre leads to the glorification of the criminal element amidst immature minds that lack familial structure. Also to black on black crime and staying silent while, black youth are murdered by other black youth.
  4. The Feminist Movement: Backed by liberal white women to fight for the equal rights of women; the same rights most black men had yet to be fully granted. A lot of black women got lost in the rhetoric of how men were keeping them down, losing sight of the fact that black men were down there with them. To this day, the power exchange and infighting among black men and women is sadly considered the norm, a tool enumerated by Willie Lynch.
  5. Oliver North & the Contras: The volume of drugs, mainly crack cocaine that flooded the black community during the 80 to which most of the drugs came in on U.S. ships with the support of the Government. The CRACK era escalated death and incarceration rates, unwanted pregnancies, neighborhood prostitution and a culture of violence. Folks were selling their kids to hit the pipe, and selling their souls to sell what went in that pipe. This epidemic destroyed our community in ways slavery could never have done. This form of contemporary was the cruelest type of slavery imposed upon our communities.
  6. Mass media brainwashing & mind control: The influences of propaganda and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Life Styles of the Rich and Famous, Dynasty, Different Strokes, and the Jefferson’s for example. The American conscious during the 80’s was money driven. Materialism became the idea that stuff defines you and others.
  7. Education: The lack of proper education, financing support, and knowledge being taught by African American professionals. In addition, our leaders and academics failed us as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80’s. Prior to this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. Yet, the great migration to greener pastures left a void in the community leaving it to be replaced by the image of the hustler-pimp-thug, ruthlessness, and violence.
  8. Communication: This speaks to the education of self and listening to the wrong messengers. The communication of values – parents became unavailable to hand down family legacies, traditions, and value systems. We’re like POW’s locked in the same building for 20 years, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our persona’s, egos, insecurities, isms, etc.
  9. The Black Church: Many churches have lost their way. The business of religion is bankrupting our communities. Many churches are not touching the lives of those outside of the church most in need. Just like back in the day when it was the design of slave masters, who did so much wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and the promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as faith, which was necessary to survive our struggles.
  10. Urbanization – work and home were once connected. Parents were near their families, and children understood work as a way of life. Urbanization helped create “latch key” kids and images of hard work disappeared while replacing it with material objects.
  11. Social Services: The advent of the system of welfare that demanded the absence of the influence of the black man in the home. Before Claudine during the early 50’s, welfare was designed for to help white people and back then you HAD to be a complete family to apply. When it became available for black people, the rules for welfare changed to fit the application process for welfare for blacks. For decades to follow, trillions of dollars in government spending on ineffective social programs in our cities have not, by enlarge, benefited the mobility of the family.
  12. Segregation: Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes that prevented legal marriages, dehumanized people, and discriminatory practices in work/education left many African Americans unable to access resources necessary to build strong family base; causing disillusioned men/husbands/fathers to abandonment rather than face daily reminder of their “failure”.

Let us not forget that the Willie Lynch Theory, real or not, but the concept is working! It is a designed plan, as it has been from the beginning to enslave mentally people of color for those of privilege and maintain white supremacy. And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!!!


An Excerpt From The Novel “Just a Season”

1Just A Season is a stand-alone story rich in the history and will take you on an awe-inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora. A reviewer compared this novel to a contemporary “Roots” in the oral African tradition of a time when America was changing forever. Another reviewer said, this novel has the emotion of “The Color Purple”. I want to share this particular excerpt from “Just a Season” that I hope it will enlighten, empower, motivate, and touch your heart.

Today we live in a world where there is no Granddaddy to share that precious wisdom necessary to guide our young men and women into adulthood. I was fortunate, maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me.

These lessons learned became the foundation of my very being…

         “Granddaddy’s Lessons” from “Just a Season”

“Granddaddy would say if you really hear me, not just listen to me, you will inherit life’s goodness. I would hear him talk about things like “God bless the child that’s got his own.” He constantly reminded me that everything that ever existed came from a just single thought, and if you can think it, you can figure out how to do it just put your mind to it.

I would also constantly hear that a man must be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the circumstances. “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you will have to do, but when the time comes, do it.” Granddaddy drove home the point, the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he’s learned.

Granddaddy would also say you will always have an enemy. Your enemy is anyone who attempts to sabotage the assignment God has for your life. Your enemy is anybody who may resent you doing positive things and will be unhappy because of your success. These people will attempt to kill the faith that God has breathed within you.

They would rather discuss your past than your future because they don’t want you to have one. Your enemy should not be feared. He would say it is important to understand that this person usually will be close to you. He would tell me to use them as bridges, not barricades. Therefore, it is wise to make peace with your enemy.

“Just remember these things I say to you.” I certainly could not count all of these things, as it seemed like a million or more that I was supposed to remember. However, he asked me to remember above all else that there is no such thing as luck. The harder you work at something the luckier you get. I would tell him that I was lucky, maybe because I had won a ballgame or something. He would smile and tell me luck is only preparation meeting opportunity. Life is all about survival and if you are to survive – never bring a knife to a gunfight. This would be just as foolish as using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. Then he asked me to remember that it is not the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog.

Granddaddy’s words had so much power, although it would often require some thinking on my part to figure out what he was talking about, or what the moral of the story was supposed to be. It may have taken awhile, but I usually figured it out. For example, always take the road less traveled, make your own path, but be sure to leave a trail for others to follow. Life’s road is often hard; just make sure you travel it wisely. If you have a thousand miles to go, you must start the journey with the first step. During many of these lessons, he would remind me not to let your worries get the best of you.

Sometimes he would use humor. For example, he would say something like “Moses started out as a basket case.” Although most often he assured me that hard times will come and when they come, do not drown in your tears; always swim in your blessings. He would tell me he had seen so much and heard even more, in particular, those stories from his early life when dreadful atrocities were done to Negroes. Some of the stories included acts of violence such as lynchings, burnings, and beatings. He would make a point to explain that the people who did these things believed they were acting in the best interest of society.

He would tell me about things he witnessed over time, that many of these atrocities were erased from the memory of society regardless how horrible the event was. Society’s reasoning would make you think their action was right, fair, and justified. Granddaddy would add, if history could erase that which he had witnessed and known to be true, how can you trust anything history told as truth? He would emphasize that I should never, never believe it because nothing is as it seems.

I would marvel at his wisdom. He would tell me to always set my aim higher than the ground. Shoot for the stars because if you miss you will only land on the ground and that will be where everybody else will be. When he would tell me this, he would always add, please remember you are not finished because you are defeated. You are only finished if you give up. He would usually include a reminder. Always remember who you are and where you came from. Never think you are too big because you can be on top of the world today, and the world can be on top of you tomorrow.

I think Granddaddy had the foresight to see that I could do common things in life in an uncommon way, that I could command the attention of the world around me. Granddaddy impressed upon me that change is a strange thing. Everyone talks about it, but no one ever tries to affect it. It will take courage and perseverance to reach your place of success. Just remember that life -is not a rehearsal. It is real, and it is you who will create your destiny don’t wait for it to come to you. He would say, can’t is not a word. Never use it because it implies failure. It is also smart to stay away from those who do use it.

He would tell me that I was an important creation, that God gave a special gift to me for the purpose of changing the world around me. It may be hard sometimes, you may not understand, you may have self-doubt or hesitation, but never quit. God gave it to you so use it wisely. He would add often times something biblical during his teaching, or so I thought, like to whom much is given, much is expected. It is because we needed you that God sent you. That statement profoundly gave me a sense of responsibility that I was duty-bound to carry throughout my life.

Granddaddy’s inspiration, courage, and motivation still humble me, and I’m filled with gratitude that his example profoundly enriched my soul. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear Granddaddy’s gentle voice reciting words once spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “Fear not for I am with you.”

And that is a Thought Provoking Perspective from a loving Grandfather…

Praise for Just a Season

This Must Read Novel can be purchased @ AMAZON


Bumpy Johnson Harlem’s Godfather

1000The rich history of Harlem could never be told in few words; that is if one intends to come close to capturing the essence of Harlem’s grandeur. Aside from Harlem’s artistic achievements, what was most romanced was the role of its underworld, which was a huge part of the nightlife and social scene.

In the 1920’s, the Jewish and Italian Mafia played major roles in running the whites-only nightclubs and the speakeasies that catered to white audiences. While the famous mobster, Dutch Schultz, controlled all liquor production and distribution in Harlem during prohibition in the 1920’s.

There were infamous black gangsters that operated with impunity. Rather than compete with the established mobs, black gangsters concentrated on the “policy racket,” also known as the “Numbers Game”. This was a gambling scheme similar to today’s lottery that could be played, illegally, from countless locations around Harlem. By the early 1950s, the total money at play amounted to billions of dollars, and bribes from numbers bosses thoroughly corrupted the police force.

When you talk about Harlem gangsters, particularly of that era, two names come to mind immediately. One of the most powerful early numbers bosses was a woman, Madame Stephanie St. Clair, a black French woman from Martinique known as Queenie or Madame Queen. She was said to be a tall, abrasive and tough woman, with a seldom seen gentle side who ran the famous New York extortion gang known as The Forty Thieves.

The Forty Thieves had a reputation for being so tough that even the white gangsters would not interfere with their illegal operations or attempt to take over their turf. She utilized her experience and talents to set up operations as a policy banker and recruited some of Harlem’s most noteworthy gangsters to support her and her growing numbers business. Within a year, she was worth more than $500,000 with more than 40 runners and ten comptrollers in her charge.

Then there was the legendary Ellsworth Raymond “Bumpy” Johnson known as the Godfather of Harlem. You may recall Lawrence Fishburn played Bumpy Johnson in the movie Hoodlum. Bumpy was one of Madame Queen’s main recruits. He was a colorful character from Charleston, S.C. He had moved to Harlem with his parents when he was a small boy and was given the nickname, Bumpy, because of a large bump on the back of his head. He was a dapper gangster who always made it a point to wear the latest and best clothes while flashing wads of cash wherever he went. Bumpy was a pimp, burglar and stickup man who possessed a recalcitrant attitude. He always carried a knife and gun, which he would not hesitant to use.

Bumpy feared nobody and did not shy from confrontations. He was known for barroom clashes over the slightest issue, having a short fuse and for his arrogance. He never learned to curb his temper or to bow his head to any man. It was because of his negative demeanor that he spent almost half of his life in prisons before he even reached age 30. During his interments, he became an avid reader and began writing poetry. Bumpy also proved to be an incorrigible prisoner and spent one-third of a 10-year sentence in solitary confinement. Because of his attitude, he was shuttled from prison to prison until his release in 1932.

Despite his tough-guy reputation, Bumpy Johnson had a soft side. It was common knowledge among Harlemites that he often helped many of Harlem’s poor with secret cash donations and gifts. Madame Queen liked what she saw in Bumpy and offered him a position as a henchman in her numbers racket. He accepted and quickly gained her trust. One of his first tasks was to confront the Bub Hewlett gang. It erupted into one of Harlem’s most violent and bloody gang wars. Eventually, Bumpy gained the edge and defeated Hewlett, temporarily saving the numbers game from the Mobs first takeover attempt.

The relationship between Madame Queen and Bumpy was strange and tenuous at best. Some said they had an ongoing affair while others claimed the odd-couple were only business partners. Bumpy never abandoned his pimping and robbery professions both of which irritated Madame Queen but both knew what would make the numbers game a success, so they successfully coexisted. These bosses became financial powerhouses, providing capital for loans for those who could not qualify for them from traditional financial institutions – loan sharking. They invested in legitimate businesses and real estate as a way to legitimize their profits.

The Godfather of Harlem lived until 1968, dying from a heart attack as oppose to dying by the gun in the manner most did in his business. As a testament to his success, he maintained control of the underworld for nearly forty years with some saying that nothing illegal took place in Harlem without his permission. After Bumpy’s death, the underworld became loosely organized and overcome by the drug trade with its many factions.

Illegal activities have always been away for the disenfranchised to survive in this country, and the old school gangsters understood the organization and managed the illicit affairs far different than the hustlers of today’s urban environments. I wonder another legend like Mr. Ellsworth Raymond “Bumpy” Johnson again. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

The Widow of Bumpy Johnson talks about her husband!!!

An Excerpt from the Novel “Just a Season


His-Story

FotoFlexer_Photo

The French Philosopher Voltaire famously wrote “History is a pack of lies played on the dead”. If you don’t believe it, just go to the library because that’s where all the lies are buried! History is my thing! Therefore, I have searched for the truth, answers and studied the past as thoroughly as anyone, which means I am a reasonable enough thinker to know “BS”. I said that to say, “If what I have witnessed and know to be true has been altered or changed. How can I believe anything His-Story ever told?”

Let’s start with the story of black people! Those who held us in bondage did not record any of our history; except the bill of sale for the purchase of these souls. It was the wretchedness of these people who erased a long, proud, and distinguished history. In fact, it was not until around nineteen-twenty [1920] that Negroes even had the courage to ask about their past. Then, it was not until the nineteen-sixties [1960s] or so that we were able to learn the truth about any of the stories of our past.

Yet, while being educated by the oppressor in his schools, we were taught to praise the slave owning so-called founding fathers! You know the stories; George Washington chopped down the cherry tree, and that Ol’ Abe never told a lie. His-Story made heroes out of fools and misrepresented every historical fact. Let’s take the life and work of Dr. King. He was a radical and at the time of his death he was the most hated man in America. Today, his life has been rewritten and reduced to one paragraph of a forty-five-minute speech and of that all we remember is these three famous words – “I have a Dream.”

There are countless examples I can quote to make my point or to reference the lies used to make us believe something other than what is actually true. Just know what you’ve been taught, you know His-Story, the so-called truth, is nothing more than “fiction”. Let me remind you of the most profound quote ever recorded. “If you control what a man thinks, you never have to worry about what he’s thinking.” And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Ferguson Protesters Seen In 2014 Photos Among Several Charged Year Later

Originally posted on News One:

Ferguson Source: Scott Olson / Getty

One of the most well-known photos of the Ferguson protests of 2014 featured Edward Crawford, the dreadlocked man holding a bag potato chips while flinging a canister of tear gas. Crawford, along with several others who gathered in the Missouri town, have been recently charged by the St. Louis County Counselor’s office almost a year later.

Just after the fatal shooting death of 18-year-old Michael “Mike” Brown at the hands of former Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson, protestors took to the streets which morphed into an intense standoff between heavily armed forces and demonstrators. Crawford’s photo was emblazoned among several outlets, giving a glimpse of the situation on the ground.

Rashaad Davis, like Crawford, was captured in another of the initial 2014 Ferguson protest photos. Davis is seen in the shot holding his hands up as over a half dozen officers approach him with their…

View original 277 more words


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,788 other followers

%d bloggers like this: