Archive for the ‘SPEAK UP’ Category

Tamir Rice

Posted: February 28, 2015 in SPEAK UP

I remember playing in upstate New York with BB guns as a child. The problem is that there are to many adults with guns that are accessible to our children. Until we address this issue as an adults, we will not be able to begin to solve the problem.

Tamir Rice

Incredibly, the City of Cleveland responded on Friday to a lawsuit filed by the family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by saying he was responsible for his own demise. The boy was shot dead by cops while he held a pellet gun.


The city, in its response, wrote that Tamir’s death on Nov. 22 and all of the injuries his family claims in the suit “were directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant.” It also says that the 12-year-old’s shooting death was caused “by the failure … to exercise due care to avoid injury.”

The response does not explain these defenses in more detail, though 20 defenses are listed in all, including another one that says Tamir died because of “the conduct of individuals or entities other than Defendant.”

The city also wrote that it does not have enough information to respond in full because the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into Rice’s death by police officer Timothy Loehmann is not finished.

The family had filed an amended lawsuit against the city late in January. As NBC News reported:

The Rice family’s lawyers had filed their case initially in federal court last December, a brief eight-page document. On Friday, with a new legal team including Benjamin Crump, the lawyer who has represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, the Rice family filed a 65-page document charging at least 27 different allegations.

Their claims ranging from excessive force by the two officers who encountered Rice, Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann, to negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.

Some of the charges stem from the way family members were treated by police as the boy lay dying. As described in a NewsOne interview with Tamir’s mother Samaria Rice:

When Rice arrived on the scene of the fatal shooting, she saw her 16-year-old son being held up against a police car surrounded by Cleveland police officers. Meanwhile, her 14-year-old daughter was being detained handcuffs in the back of the police car that Officer Loehmann had gotten out of prior to the shooting.

Rice said as she tried to get to her son, the Cleveland police officers on the scene told her to calm down or they would put her in the police car, as well. “Police gave me an ultimatum” to either stay with her daughter or ride to the hospital with her son Tamir, she explained. “So of course I went with the 12-year-old.” Instead of riding next to her dying son, “They made me sit in front of the ambulance like I was a passenger,” she said.

Tamir died of his wounds the next day and the coroner has since ruled the death a homicide.

My My My Some Things Will Never Change!

Posted: February 28, 2015 in SPEAK UP

Lincoln Was Right

Posted: 02/27/2015 3:53 pm EST Updated: 02/27/2015 3:59 pm EST

Sometimes, all you have to do is hand a person a shovel, and they’ll happily dig a hole even deeper for themselves.

I thought that my piece yesterday about Rudolph Giuliani (R-NY) claiming that President Barack Obama didn’t love America would be my last word on the subject, at least until it became a political issue during the next election. But by gum, there the former NYC mayor was, dig, dig, digging away, in an interview with the New YorkTimes.

“Some people thought it was racist,” Mr. Giuliani told the paper, scoffing at such a thing, “I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people.”

Yes, you read that right. According to Rudolph Giuliani, Barack Obama is actually white!

Just think — all that hatred that has built up in the far right of the Republican Party for the past six years, all those racist jokes, the racist cartoons… they were all for naught!!! The racists and the Tea Party corporations have nothing to worry about, they can sleep easy tonight — according to Rudolph Giuliani, we don’t have a black president after all.

Unfortunately, there’s that whole pesky concept of realty that has to kick in, which makes this problematic for the former mayor.

We can break down his statement into two parts, the direct and in-direct. Let’s look at the latter first. That’s where Mr. Giuliani points out that Mr. Obama was brought up by a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people.

For starters, if this is what makes a person white, then there are a whole lot of adopted black kids today who just got removed from the rolls of the protected classes. And will now have an easier time getting a job. And a taxi.

But more problematic for Rudolph Giuliani is… well, his own words. If you’ll recall, one of his slams against Mr. Obama as proof for the President not loving America was when Mr. Giuliani told that roomful of potential rich right-wing investors — “He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

Well, sorry, if Mr. Giuliani wants to defend himself as not having made a racist statement because Barack Obama was brought up by a white grandfather, went to white schools and learned everything from white people (and let’s even add back in, “brought up by a white mother”)… then he was EXACTLY brought up the exact same way every one of those white people in the room were. And had the same noble, wonderful, patriotic “I heart America” values as them all.

Unless, of course, it turns out that Mr. Giuliani was actually addressing a roomful of black people — and he himself is black. In which case, no wonder Republicans didn’t vote for him when he ran for president. But I think we can safely presume that none of that is the case. Which means that Republicans didn’t vote for Rudolph Giuliani for President in such crushing numbers that he dropped out of the race almost immediately after his first primary simply because they thought he wouldn’t do a good job.

So now let’s go to the other part of his “defense.” That direct parental evidence. That Barack Obama was “brought up by a white mother.”

Fair enough. He was. Not only brought up by, but born to. However, as much as I know that so many Republicans today don’t like to believe in science, I have to trust in my heart that even they grasp the concept that it takes two people to make a baby. And since the mother is accounted for, that leaves — well, y’know, the Kenyan dad. It’s shocking that Rudolph Giuliani would leave that part out, the father, since Republicans have been so aggressively shouting it from the rafters for the past seven years.

The only other alternative, of course, is that what he meant to suggest is the President’s mother had a virgin birth. Which would make Barack Obama not the devil at all, but rather… yipes!!!

Okay, I think we can safely say that no one believes a word of what Rudolph Giuliani said in his own defense, including Rudolph Giuliani, and that includes dyed-in-the-wool racists, because believing it, that Barack Obama was white, would take away their meaning for living over the past seven years.

The only good thing that came from Mr. Giuliani’s bizarrely pathetic defense is that it explained why he was a prosecuting attorney, and not a defense lawyer.

By the way, the odd thing about all this is that it’s pretty much secondary whether or not his now-infamous comments about President Obama are racist or not. That was never my first thought when I first heard them. It was that they were pathetic, shameless, pandering, demeaning and idiotic. Racist is almost an afterthought.

If only Rudolph Giuliani had learned the lesson from the Father of the Republican Party. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Better to be thought a fool and remain silent, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Black on Black Crime in America

Posted: December 31, 2014 in SPEAK UP

Would you call the comments by former Mayor of New York City Rudy Gullianni race bating?

I would after all the definition for race bating is ” The act of using racially derisive language, actions, or other forms of communication in order to anger or intimidate or coerce”.

I agree with his statement that black on black crime is out of control. But what Rudy Gullianni failed to state was that although 93 percent of Black murder victims are killed by blacks, he fails to state that 84 percent of whites are killed by other whites.

I believe that the 9% difference in these deaths is attributed to the following factors. First, White unemployment rate is 5.3% while the African American unemployment rate is 11.4% for a difference of 6.1%. Second there is a big difference in the amount of money spent in the African American community for education. Third drugs and alcohol are allowed to be sold in abundance in the African American community.

If we as a country expect any real change, we must attack these issues aggressively. Thanks once again for dropping in on The Black Conversation

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I Remember

Posted: December 3, 2014 in SPEAK UP

I come from a city in upstate New York and when I was a teenager forty year ago I remember many encounters with police officers in my largely white community many were negative. I have never been arrested or put in jail or held at the police station. But I have been harassed called names and have been accused of doing things I never did.

I came back to this town to retire and be close to my family and I actually live on a block in a majority white neighborhood where I was called the N word and told to leave before it got dark and chased out of the park by a gang called the Park Rats.

I do understand why people are upset with society and the way the majority of African American youths are being treated. Its seems to me that issues get shoved under the carpet and its only after years of them not being addressed that violence and civil unrest occurs.

Many of the protest we see today symbolize a new commitment  to positive change in our communities. I say to the young people keep protesting for positive change in America and around the world.



I think it might have something to do with the grave reality of the alternatives they have if they stay here in America. Black males sometimes feel that there are no jobs, only finding themselves selling drugs, poverty, and the inability to hold meanful relationships. What do you think?

Does the actions of other races create paranoia amongst African Americans?