web analytics

The Buffalo Bullet

The Missing Op-ed page in most Major Newspapers

ANNIE Starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane` Wallis Premieres

without comments

A Fun Movie – GO SEE!

GloriaDulanWilson5NewPic

 

by Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

Just wanted to give you a heads up – Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane` Wallis – the stars of the new version of Annie – based on the comic strip Li’l Orphan Annie – premiered yesterday December 19th.

ANNIE – 2014

I just had the privilege of previewing it, and it’s great for kids and adults alike. And New Yorkers will especially love it, because of all the contemporary backdrops and the accolades paid to the City That Never Sleeps.

The little ingenue, Quvenzhane` Wallis – who plays in the title role of Annie, opposite Jamie Foxx as Will Stacks, a media/cellphone mogul, the 21st version of Daddy Warbucks – is as cute as a button.

Other cast members – Rose Byrne as Grace, Stack’s Right Hand Assistant; Adewole Akinuoye-Agbaje, Stack’s Body Guard/Chauffer; Bobby Cannavale the overly ambitious campaign manager; David Zaya as Lou the Bodega Owner; Cameron Diaz as Hannigan the horrible foster mother; and -would you believe it? – the Temple University Marching Band!! (I kid you not!)

The traditional songs from the original movie musical are augmented by newer songs that will have you singing along. I especially loved the tribute to New York!

Take your kids, grandkids, neighbor’s kids – or just take yourself! You’ll totally enjoy it. Kudos to Jay Z Carter, and those with the courage and insight to create this updated version (yeah, we know there were some haters out there who didn’t want Quvenzhane` to play Annie but even they have to admit she did a fantastic job!)

I’m not a movie critic (per se), but I give it my own version of two thumbs up!

Enjoy!

Congratulations to Tyler Perry on his Greatest Production yet: A Son Aman Perry – Baby and Mother Gelila Are Doing Fine

This is gonna be very brief and to the point

Congratulations to Tyler Perry and Girlfriend Gelila Bekele upon the birth of their son Aman!

Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood. There’s nothing like the first born to show you how precious and wonderful and awesome life truly is. It’s what we’re all here for. It’s why we do what we do –

Blessings to you and the little newcomer – I know you feel truly awesome right about now!

Stay Blessed &
ECLECTICALLY BLACK

bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com

Be Sociable, Share!

From Eric Garner and Michael Brown to the Ballot Box

without comments

CharlesMBlow2

 

by Charles M. Blow

There seems to be a new age of activism rising. From Occupy Wall Street, to the “Stop Watching Us” march against government surveillance, to the Moral Monday protests, to the People’s Climate March, to the recent nationwide protests over the killings of men and boys of color by police, there is obviously a discontent in this country that is pouring into the streets.

And yet much of it confounds and frustrates existing concepts of what movements should look like. Much does not fit neatly into the confines of conventional politics or the structures of traditional power.

It’s often diffuse. It’s often organic and largely leaderless. It’s often about a primary event but also myriad secondary ones. It is, in a way, a social network approach to social justice, not so much captain-orchestrated as crowd-sourced, people sharing, following and liking their way to consensus and collective consciousness.

If there is a unifying theme, it is at least in part that more people are frustrated, aching for a better America and a better world, waking to the reality of the incredible fragility of our freedoms, our democracy and our planet. It is a chafing at grinding political intransigence and growing political corporatism. It is a rejection of the obscenity of economic inequality. And it is a collective expression of moral outrage over systemic bias.

The suspicion of bias, in particular, is what the most recent protests have been about. They are about a most basic question concerning the nature of humanity itself: If we are all created equal, shouldn’t we all be treated equally? Anything less is an affront to our ideals.

Bias in the system often feels like fog in the morning: enveloping, amorphous and immeasurable. But individual cases, like the recent ones, hit us as discrete and concrete, about particular unarmed black men killed by particular policemen — although those particular policemen are representative of structures of power.

These cases make easy focal points for rallying cries, and force us to ask tough questions about the very nature of policing, force and justice:

When is the line crossed from protecting and serving to occupying and suppressing? When do officers stop seeing their role as working for and with a community and start seeing that role as working against and in spite of it? If bias exists in society at large, how do we keep it out of, or at least mitigate the effect of it on, every level of the criminal justice system, from police interactions to prison sentences?

There is a thin line between high-pressure policing and oppressive policing. Heavy hands leave bruised spirits, and occasionally buried bodies.

It cannot be said often enough that most police officers are not bad actors, but neither are most citizens.

Yet prejudice is a societal poison; each of us is in danger of ingesting it, and many of us do. We are constantly making judgments, but most of us are not wearing a holster with a gun. That is when the ante is upped about the nature and quality of those judgments: Did they unfairly weigh against any particular groups? How much force was used and how quickly?

This is why the people are in the streets. There are too many nagging questions, not enough satisfying answers. The people want their pain and anger registered.

But in a way, this is the part that can drive longtime activists to distraction: that this kind of people power doesn’t neatly translate into political power. Why not follow the recent examples of activists for gay rights and immigrant rights, who pressured politicians and worked through the political and judicial systems to achieve specific policy objectives?

But maybe in this moment the exhaling of pain must come before the shaping of policy.

Indeed some activists have already moved beyond chants for “change” and begun to develop sophisticated answers to the retort, “change what?”. The trick is to redirect the passions before they dissipate, to maintain momentum when the media attention fades, and to amplify raised voices with votes cast.

I believe — because the optimist in me must — that votes will soon, somehow, follow the passion, that people will come to see marching not as a substitute for voting but a supplement to it, that more people will work to effect change inside the system as well as outside it.

One of the people’s greatest strengths in a democracy is the flexing of political muscle and the exercising of political power, through ballots and boot leather. This new activism has the potential to create a new political reality. And it will. Eventually. I hope.

(This column originally appeared in the New York Times Dec. 7, 2014 under the title “A New Age of Activism“)

Charles M. Blow is a New York Times Columnist and nationally-known commentator: “I invite you to visit my blog By The Numbers, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Written by cs

December 17th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

“Don’t Bother Me: I’m Coon Huntin”

without comments

SONY DSC

 

by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.

(“Attorney-at-War)

The first narrative in 100 Years of Lynching was about Coweta County, Georgia. This lynching gave Dr. W.E.B. DuBois a new perspective on white supremacy but it would take a long time for it to sink in. At the time, he was a professor at Atlanta University. The term “picnic” arose out of this lynching. It was a “picnic.” The victim was like Dred Scott. He was demanding his hard-earned wages.

Growing up in Coweta County, I remember “crackers” driving around in pick-up trucks with gun racks on their rear windows and racially-derogatory tags on their front bumpers.” “Cracker,” for them, is a term of endearment. President Jimmy Carter concurs.

Georgia law required only one tag on a vehicle and it should be placed below the trunk. The tag on the front of the vehicle would read: “Don’t Bother Me: I’m Coon Huntin.” All of Benjamin Crump’s clients, like all of us, are considered as “coons.” Hunting season is 24-7. Thousands of hooded Klansmen had a “March on Washington” in 1925. They opposed Cong. Dyer’s federal anti-lynching bill. The KKK is now acting under “color of law.”

Rev. Al Sharpton attended Tilden High School in Brooklyn. It was named after racist Gov. Samuel Tilden of New York. In 1877, Tilden became known for the problem that we are still suffering from today. It has handcuffed President Barack Obama and it has made me a victim of “judicial bullying” which is now supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Sharpton’s job, in league with the white media, is to divert attention away from the culprits and take free speech out of the streets. I may still be practicing law today if I had not defied the Compromise of 1877. The enactment of our “civil rights” legislation lasted for only a decade. See, Civil Rights Act of 1866. The U.S. Justice Department was established in 1870 to put a “brake” on them.

Whites enjoy natural rights. The descendants of enslaved Africans, on December 13, 2014, will be re-certifying, in D.C., their status as “second-class” citizens. This class originally was certified in 1857 and it was re-certified in 1896 when the U.S. Supreme Court “duped” and “spooked” us. Dred Scott was dictum. Plessy v. Ferguson was a judicial fallacy.

Ferguson, the respondent in the U.S. Supreme Court, was related to the namesake for Ferguson, MO. Plessy v. Ferguson has revived racial classifications. Nothing is coincidental. It is no accident that Michael Brown was assassinated in Missouri, the home of Dred Scott.

The real date for protest is the 123rd anniversary of the Bill of Rights, December 15, 2014. All eyes should be on this date and NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman should be asked to explain why a grand jury, in Richmond County, NY was given “slave instructions” like in People v. John White.

Schneiderman has authority over grand juries, special prosecutors and the administration of justice. He should start by extirpating judicial gerrymandering. Public Advocate Letitia James is purportedly seeking a court order to unseal the grand jury transcripts in Garner. As Democrats, they should share the same mission.

This is why, through a letter to Chief Administrative Judge Fern Fisher of the Supreme Court – Civil Branch in Manhattan that, NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James were asked to show cause on December 15, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the Manhattan Civil Court about the general “enforcement” of the Bill of Rights in New York.

Blacks must start knocking on the right door, talking to the right people and asking the right questions. Their offices should be flooded with e-mails over this week-end. It is cheaper than going to D.C. and financing our own oppression. This legal revolution will start with your computer and your telephone. Calling all families, friends, neighbors and co-workers about these public officials being in Manhattan Civil Court is a start. Public officials should love the public. They do at polling sites.

Demand a Pardon for Ramsey Orta Now!

This is the holiday season, when a governor issues out pardons. It is interesting that persons who seek justice for Eric Garner are comfortable with Ramsey Orta facing a criminal conviction in retaliation for him recording the chokehold death of Eric Garner. This lack of concern for Orta is not harmless.

The New York Police Department conducted a pre-emptive strike to undercut the quality of the evidence presented to the Eric Garner grand jury. The admissibility of any recording depends on laying a foundation and that turns on the credibility of a witness. If a person has a criminal record, a juror may disregard the testimony and the record

If a witness has a criminal record, a juror may disregard the testimony and the recording. This happened in the first grand jury investigation of Garner’s chokehold death and it could reoccur in an investigation by a federal grand jury searching for civil rights violations.

In the death of Michael Stewart, the first grand jury returned a no true bill. Louis Clayton Jones, Michael Warren and I made a second stab at an indictment. We succeeded. These rogue cops had to face a jury in a full-blown trial. It represents long hours of work.

Stewart represents the fact that “one and done” is sometimes insufficient. We went round-the-clock to secure indictments against rogue cops in Manhattan. With a committed group, it could happen in Staten Island. Cuomo should pardon Orta this month.

Going to Washington, DC should be a matter of last resort. A state prosecution is preferable. Rodney King stands for the proposition that the federal government will only act if you burn down your community. The exception is Yankel Rosenbaum.

The federal government prosecuted Lemrick Nelson in federal court on civil rights violations after he had secured an acquittal in Brooklyn Supreme Court on a murder rap. Jews were not seen chanting and marching in D.C. They were twisting arms in New York. Civil rights legislation was initially enacted for the protection of Blacks. Now, we are out of the loop.

Ramsey Orta will have to appear in Richmond County Supreme Court on January 22, 2015 on a trumped-up firearms charge. Instead of going to Washington, DC, pressure should be put on Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Albany, NY to give a full pardon to Orta for the retaliatory misconduct by the NYPD. A pardon is designed to avoid an injustice.

A pardon, continued protests and the appointment of a special prosecutor would give a clear signal to the residents of Staten Island that they should refrain from protecting rogue cops. “Marching feet” in Washington, DC will also not do the trick. This is nothing but a “wild goose chase” in D.C. to boost media ratings for racial racketeers. “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” A demand is a declarative statement and it ends with “or else.”

After the 2:00 p.m. court hearing in Manhattan Civil Court on Monday, December 15, 2014 a meeting will occur with Ramsey Orta present to discuss plans for a pardon for Orta. This pardon will help a state grand jury investigation and also any federal grand jury investigation. Orta’s testimony is as critical to a criminal prosecution as his recording was to the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

The above-mentioned efforts should arise from a grassroots movement. To give legs to those demands, calls should be made to the NYS Attorney General at: (212) 416-8000 and the New York Public Advocate at (212) 669-7200 to personally appear in Manhattan Civil Court on Monday at 2:00 p.m. Demands should also be made on all elected officials and public officials by phone or on the internet: the office of NYS Attorney General at http://www.ag.ny.gov/questions-comments-attorney-general-eric-t-schneiderman and the office of NYC Public advocate at: outreach@pubadvocate.nyc.gov.

Visit WWW.REINSTATEALTONMADDOX.COM for my political and legal writings.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

For more than two decades, several thousand persons have received my invaluable, writings on politics, law and military science, free of any cost, even though the fixed costs to publish them including research, writing, editing and publishing have exceeded over Twenty-five Hundred Dollars monthly. There is also now a need to upgrade equipment, legal literature and software and to resume the practice of law as the private attorney general without “judicial bullying.” “Freedom is not free.” No one should ride the back of another person. This is an accounting principle.

Make contributions for a free and educational press and for a legal defense fund for the U.S. Supreme Court to redress an odious grievance and provide an emergency, legal defense fund for Tawana Brawley and Ramsey Orta only to:

Friends of Alton Maddox
P.O. Box 35
Bronx, NY 10471

Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Please support the movement to Reinstate him. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471.

Be Sociable, Share!

Written by cs

December 14th, 2014 at 11:21 pm

A Breath of Common Sense may be Hitting Buffalo

with 2 comments

cs

 

by Chris Stevenson

Recent national controversy regarding police chokeholds may be doing former Buffalo Police Officer Cariol J. Horne a favor. At least it stands to make things easier for Ellicott District Councilman and President Pastor Darius Pridgen. As some of you are aware of, the Buffalo Common Council is in the middle of revising the case that many around the city wanted to go away, as a feature of their usual Tuesday afternoon open session in the council chamber. A breath of fresh air that will hopefully not prove to be as temporary as warm weather in December for this town. Hopefully this will mark the beginning of a long over due breath of common sense.

Maybe contrary to many major cities Buffalo is trying to go in the opposite direction when it comes to problem-police. Given the sudden national black-crazy climate of many law enforcement officers and the resulting backlash of protests and riots due to recent outright refusal to indict two killer-cops in Ferguson MO and Stanton Island, Horne is looking pretty much ahead of her time right about now. Light years in time. In City government language that means money, the kind of money saved when you avoid a huge lawsuit. Saving a choke-hold death the way Horne single-handidly did means saving the city millions of dollars. Horne’s style of policing may seemed boring to many, but it saves dividends, much easier to swallow is the relatively minuscule amount a full pension would cost local taxpayers by contrast. The kind of money it must be taking to pay for Horne’s troubled nemesis-falsely portrayed as a hardworking stand-up cop by supporters whom don’t live in Buffalo-Greg Kwiatkowski. Here’s a guy who seemed to have done little-else but endure a grueling, extreme-white-cop-immunity to staggering proportions that would spark envy even from the likes of Darren Wilson, Justin Damico, Daniel Pantaleo, Daniel Andrew, and Stewart Ferrin and other assorted rogue cops. Were Kwiatkowski in their presence he would be the envy of them, kind of a bad-cop god. On the other hand Greg is probably kicking himself for not joining the NYPD, he would probably be a Captain right now.

The hearing saw Annette Parker-a retired BPD officer who’s own son was yet another Kwaitkowski victim a few years ago, having been shot in the leg by him with a BB gun-testifying on behalf of Horne. It’s not that all of Kwiatkowski’s targets are innocent angels, he couldn’t help but do something dumb in the midst of arresting them to prevent the focus from transferring from the suspect to himself. Making matters worse was a small cabal of followers in several precincts (he was bounced to other precincts after basically each of his mishaps and melees) who seemed to swear by him. The tendency to follow the worst elements isn’t just confined to street youths, it’s prevalent in the department also. At the time of the shooting Kwiatkowski was promoted to Lieutenant after Horne was fired by a black Commissioner McCarthy Gipson, as the result of a rigged public disciplinary hearing held in police department headquarters. Having been fired by the black police commissioner with the approval of the black Mayor, the black female officer who dared to stop a white officer with the long record of brutality now drives over-the-road as a tractor trailer operator, unqualified for a pension. The same pension Kwiatkoski now receives, even after he continued to get in trouble during the time of Horne’s hearing, even after choking yet another victim, this time a fellow officer, or according to Parker “the one that was qualified had several issues with the department. They allowed him to retire, in fact they forced him to retire, because he strangled or attempted to choke another officer.”

CarolHorneAtRally

 

I challenge anyone who can follow the money and tally how much his endless excessive-force cases have cost Buffalo in court fees, even understanding some of his cases are federal and not easy to access.. “Cha-Ching!” Today’s session (12/9/14) is a follow-up to last July’s Common Council hearings that many of us attended, part of which was behind the closed doors of a private session to determine whether or not Horne was justified when she prevented Kwiatkowski from choking Neal Mack in front of his home back on 11/1/06 . It became the case that twisted people’s mind and divided a town. The July sessions started out as the result of Pastor Pridgen’s suggestion to take yet another look at her case based the issue of her time served and what happened.

According to Kendra Eaglin of WKBW Eyewitness News: “so what happens next?  The city now waits for the state to verify Horne’s service credit totals, the city has also asked the state to determine if there are any other possible options that will allow Carol Horne to receive any possible option.” By the state she may mean New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, which also handles local retirement. In Carol’s case, they have conducted another review of her records which will then be audited by the State. I recently spoke with Horne and she had this to say while on the road. “I’d like to thank everyone for their support. Change is happening and people from all nationalities are taking part against the War on Unarmed Citizens in America by Police. It is a national problem. Common sense is not so common anymore. When a Police Officer is fired for STOPPING Police Brutality, you have to look at the system. A system designed to fail its lower class citizens. The name of this game is ‘Discredit.’ Shoot an unarmed citizen and discredit them, they reached for a gun that they never had, but he had a criminal record, well with laws like Stop and Frisk, a person can be ‘framed’ for whatever. We have to educate and put laws into effect that will protect us. Time to wake up and unite.” DiNapoli has been in office since 2007, police pensions fall under his watch. These type of financial records are not accessible to the public, but considering the behavior of some local officers and the rush to grant them a pension, Horne is a no-brainer. Especially when compared to the amount she saved the city.

Chris Stevenson is a regular columnist for blackcommentator, and a contributor to the Hampton Institute, his own blog www.thebuffalobullet.com, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice for clbTV & Follow his Blogtalkradio interviews on 36OOseconds. Respond to him on the comment link below or email pointblankdta@yahoo.com.

Be Sociable, Share!

Written by cs

December 11th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Bill Cosby and Job

without comments

GloriaDulanWilson5NewPic

 

by Gloria Dulan-Wilson

This past month has seen the reputation of a man I admire, an Icon, and a brother who has spent his life doing good things for people, trashed in the court of public opinion. The social media has locked on to the multiple allegations of rape against Dr. William H. “Bill” Cosby, and are having a feeding frenzy on it.

In in the fact of all the jumping on the bandwagon from females coming from out of the woodwork, under rocks, and out of the shadows, as it were, shows, contracts, interviews have been canceled. Though not a shred of concrete evidence has been presented, Bill Cosby is being lynched in the worst possible way. Interestingly enough, Whoopi Goldberg nailed it when she said, on The View, aren’t you supposed to produce a rape kit, when the allegations or charges of rape are involved?

And as far as I’m concerned, Bill Cosby is a good man – in fact a Fine Black Man – at least in my eyes, and through my experience of knowing him, having interviewed him, being around he and his lovely wife, Camille, at many an event. No, I didn’t say he was a saint; nor did I say he was “perfect.” But he’s no rapist, either.

But definitely over the great scheme of things, Bill Cosby has spent his life in the service of and helping others – primarily Black people – but people in general – through sharing his largess with universities, via scholarships, through developing and underwriting educational program; doing charitable shows; and what the late Maynard Jackson would call “Good Works.” He’s helped thousands of aspiring actors, writers, producers succeed in their careers, giving them opportunities they would never otherwise have had – showcasing their talents in ways that made it possible for them to go forward on their own and continue to succeed.

Not only has he been “America’s Dad” he is also a Dad and a Granddad, one who’s raised his family, along with his wife and partner, Camille, to be, do and have great things.

So when the ersatz comedian deigned to target an Icon, to further his career, no one really saw any serious cause for alarm. He wouldn’t be the first person to take a bit of gossip and use it in jest against someone of note. It’s been done over and over countless times. Political satire is made of innuendos and controversy turned into comedy. But, owing to the tenor of the times, the opportunity to see how far down one can drag an icon – especially one so highly placed as Bill Cosby – this one grew legs and began to take on the size of a leviathan – to the point of now, here we are, with several women claiming to have been “raped” by Bill Cosby. And the more information is published, the more they come out saying the same thing. And now, a man who was enjoying the pinnacle of success is looking being accused of heinous behavior, totally uncharacteristic of the man we’ve all come to know and love.

And I had to ask myself “WHY???” Why is this happening to Bill Cosby? Why now?

And as I rode home the other evening, riding the bus and listening to some ignorant people “talking loug and saying nothing” mention Bill Cosby, for some reason the Book of Job suddenly popped into my mind, as a comparison to what he is going through. And I remember that one of the main things in that story was why bad things happen to good people?

If you don’t know the story of Job, or are fuzzy about it, let me “refresh your recollection” as the late Johnnie Cochran used to say. I’m paraphrasing from a post by Jack Wellman on December 31, 2011, entitled: Job Bible Story Summary with Lesson:

“The Accuser: All was going well with Job. He had it all: A large family, wealth, and blessings of every kind imaginable. At that time, Job may have been the richest man on the face of the earth. Job 1:2-3 describes his wealth as “He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.”

“Clearly, Job had it all. This must have bothered Satan because he came to God. What did God say to Satan about Job? God bragged on Job in 1:8, saying, “Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Can you imagine the God of the Universe bragging on Job from heaven? Might He also brag about you and your righteousness found in Jesus Christ? It is entirely possible however Satan was not convinced and said to God, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (Job 1:9-11).

“Satan’s name means “adversary” and he has been called the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). God sets out to prove to Satan that Job is not righteous just because he is being blessed. God challenges the Devil telling him, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger” (Job 1:12). Job lost just about everything; his sheep, his oxen, his camels, his servants, and all of his sons and daughters – but remarkably he did not lose his faith in God. What was Job’s response? “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (Job 1:20-22).

“Here we can plainly see Job’s reaction: he worshiped God, he said that he came into this world with nothing and will return with nothing, the Lord has taken away all he had except his wife – and his wife told him to “curse God and die” – and Job also blessed the name of the Lord. In all of this, “Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong!” He blessed God’s name, he worshiped God, and he did not sin. Satan must have been angry at Job’s response. Job suffered unjustly and yet he did not blame God or say, “why me?”

“Fair Weather Friends: Job’s friends tried to console him but they soon started to blame him for his own troubles inferring that he must have sinned in order for all these trials to come upon him. That is something that is far too easy for believers to do. When they see a Christian suffer, they unfairly assume that there must be sin in that believer’s life. But suffering is not always a result of sin as we see with Job. In many cases, those who are sinners suffer little while those who are saints suffer much. Many people see this as a stumbling block for Christianity and ask why God allows suffering. Instead of asking “why” they might be better off asking “what”. What is God up to? What is He trying to produce in us? Like the refiners fire, God often uses suffering to produce righteous character in believers. Sometimes He wants those who suffer to be more dependent upon Him. It may be that He is trying to get our attention. We might even be sinning; however we can not always equate suffering with sin in a believer’s life as we see with Job’s experience.

“At first Job’s friends try to help Job but they quickly turn to accusing him of some sort of hidden or known sin. Job knows that this is not the reason and tries to justify himself against their accusations. But his justification quickly turns to self-righteousness and that is sin before God. Job’s friends say, “Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless? You demanded security from your brothers for no reason; you stripped men of their clothing, leaving them naked. You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, though you were a powerful man, owning land– an honored man, living on it. And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless. That is why snares are all around you, why sudden peril terrifies you” (Job 22:5-10). This brings God’s righteous indignation upon Job’s friends (Job 42:7-17).

God Answers Job: “Job is not guiltless as no man is without sin (1 John 1:8, Romans 3:23). Job becomes discouraged, partly because of the blame game played by his friends. Job begins to question God Himself and this is when God answers Job out of the whirlwind (tornado?), He says, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.“ Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:2-4). God puts Job in his place and in effect tells Job, who are you to question the God of the Universe? God never does answer Job’s question on why He allows suffering. God, in His sovereignty, chooses not to tell us everything. That is God’s prerogative. Also notice that God spoke to Job out of the “whirlwind” which is the terminology for a tornado or great and destructive windstorm. This could indicate that God is in all things going on this world. He is sovereign and nothing happens that is not within His perfect will. This things include natural disasters and calamities. God is never caught off guard or by surprise.

“God Restores Job If Job had known that God would have restored to him more than he had in the first place, would he have questioned Him at all? God rewards Job for his faithfulness and his endurance through such suffering. This story has an incredible ending.

“Job 42:10-17 “After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his prosperity and doubled his [previous] possessions. All his brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances came to his house and dined with him in his house. They offered him sympathy and comfort concerning all the adversity the LORD had brought on him. Each one gave him a qesitah and a gold earring.

“So Job ended up much better off than he was in the beginning. He had considerably more than when he began his suffering and even though God did not answer Job why he was allowed to suffer so terribly, in the end Job had more blessings than any man or the face of the earth at that time. The application for Christians today is that God will bless those who endure to the end and that someday, God will reward us with unbelievable blessings that can not compare with what we have today (Rom 8:18, 28). We will all suffer in this life. It is appointed to mankind to suffer. It is a fallen world. We may not know the “why” today but some day we probably will. Instead of asking “why”, we should ask “what”. What is God up to? What is God trying to do in me? The “why” will have to wait for someday in eternity. Until then, we can not fully grasp the purpose of God but we know that He will not allow us to suffer into eternity. One thing that is important is that Satan could not lay a finger on Job, nor can he us. God will not allow this (Job 1:12. I John 4:4).###”

Bill Cosby has maintained his silence throughout this ordeal. He’s not trashed his accusers, nor given in to the taunts and controversy. This is admirable in a day and age when most people would have been all over the media bad-mouthing and hurling accusations across the board, making threats and filling the meanstream media with headlines. No, Bill’s silence is aggravating to the meanstream because they can’t take his words and distort them, or use them against him. He’s keeping his own counsel, and, by not dragging friends and associates into this melee, he’s also showing his confidence in the truth prevailing in the end.

So, in that way, he is also very much like our hero, Job, who continued to struggle and move forward despite the “slings and arrows of outrageous ‘mis’fortune.”

Cosby’s even offered to refund monies to those who had paid to see him perform at his annual December event at New York’s famed Apollo Theatre. There’s much to be said for this kind of demeanor – valiant, steadfast, honor bound – something very few of our youth, or our contemporaries – know of in this day and age. With the advent of the so-called reality TV genre, you’re more likely to see people standing toe to toe calling each other m-f’s and other negative names, than taking the role of not rolling on the ground in the mud with the swine.

Frankly, I don’t know what Bill Cosby’s religious beliefs are. I remember him saying once that Camille was brought up as a Catholic – but I don’t think he would be as beloved or insightful, or dedicated as he is, had he not had some spiritual background and underpinning to carry him through. He more walks his talk, than talks about it. By his works he has been known. And they stand on their own.

And, as Job was made whole and restored by the Divine, Cosby will likewise be vindicated. Taking a departure from the Bible, I had a Grandmom, Cornelia, who used to say that just when the enemy thought he had you by the shorthairs, “the worm do turn.” I’ve witnessed it in the worst of situations; I’ve witnessed it in my own life, as well. And Cornelia’s message is as valid in this case as it has been in others.

As in the case when Cosby wanted to buy NBC-TV, New York, and his fair weather friends betrayed him, this may be a period of housecleaning as well. It’s also a test of the faith of people who have been admonished to judge not lest you be judged; and when you do judge somebody, make sure you’re doing it with righteousness.

Look at motives on the part of the accusers – what is there to gain from such accusations? Money, fifteen minutes of fame? Is there a vendetta that’s being fed by this? Possibly. Why would a man with the mega millions money and chocolate good looks of a Bill Cosby (especially 30 to 40 years ago) need to rape anybody – when women, who were falling over him to be noticed, would have cheerfully jumped into bed with him at the slightest invitation or provocation? Makes you wanna go hmmmmm? Is there a secret bet going on between the equivalent of God and Satan to see who can tear down an icon? And are we playing into their hands?

It’s not so outlandish as you may think – the movie, TRADING PLACES – with Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Akroyd was based on this same premise.

Please note, I didn’t mention, and don’t intend to, the names of any of the accusers in my Blog – nor the ersatz comedian who made this a part of his comedy routine, because he lacked originality. I’ll leave that to the purveyors of gossip and negativity to do that.

I am and will remain an admirer of Bill Cosby -You certainly do have to have spiritual underpinnings to successfully make it through 50 years of marriage; to lose a son and continue to move forward; to put together wonderful programs; be gracious when you’re falling out on your feet. He has indeed been blessed.

Perhaps somebody doesn’t like that, and started a “what would happen if……?” campaign. Machiavelli, in the Prince, spoke of the “big lie.” A lie so big that even though it was a lie, the more the person tried to prove his or her innocence, the more people believed the lie. After all, why would anyone go to the trouble of doing something like that, most people would think, using logic as their basis. Most regular people would never think that deviously. It takes someone with big stakes to tell the big lie and see if it mushrooms they way they want. The fact that Bill Cosby has not engaged in the mind game partly thwarts the purpose of the rumor mill. The shadow of a reasonable doubt should be something the public would stick to – it’s part and parcel of our justice system. And when a man, especially Black man of the caliber of Bill Cosby, is suddenly excoriated and raked over the coals, there is something very sinister going on.

Whether or not this matter is ever cleared up in the court of public opinion, there is a law in this country that a man is innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty. And it most certainly would not be the first time that a Black man has suffered massive character assassination only to be found totally innocent of the charges at a later date. Supposedly reputation, once trashed, can never be resurrected. So I would caution all who read or watch the meanstream media to be very careful about how much of this you swallow, or how much you repeat to your friends – you may have to eat those words.

My prayers and support go out to Bill and Camille Cosby, the Cosby family, friends, relatives and supporters during this madness.

Stay Blessed &
ECLECTICALLY BLACK

bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com

Be Sociable, Share!

Written by cs

December 7th, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Hulk Hogan and the Demon

without comments

CharlesMBlow2

 

by Charles M. Blow

The reaction to the failure of the grand jury to indict in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, touched something deep and ancient and anguished in the black community.

Yes, on one level, the reaction was about the particulars of this case.

It was about whether Wilson’s use of force was appropriate or excessive that summer day when he fired a shot through Brown’s head and ended his life.

It was about whether police officers’ attitudes towards the people they serve are tainted. Why was Wilson’s description of Brown in his testimony so laced with dehumanizing rhetoric, the superhuman predator and subhuman evil, “Hulk Hogan” and the “demon”?

It was about whether the prosecutor performed his role well or woefully inadequately in pursuit of an indictment. Why did he take this course of action? Why didn’t he aggressively question Wilson when Wilson presented testimony before the grand jury? Why did he sound eerily like a defense attorney when announcing the results?

And yet the reaction was also about more than Wilson and Brown. It was about faith in fundamental fairness. It was about whether a population of people with an already tenuous relationship with the justice system — a system not established to recognize them, a system used for generations to deny and subjugate them, a system still rife with imbalances toward them — would have their fragile and fraying faith in that system further shredded.

As President Obama put it: “The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color. Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country.”

He continued, “There are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up.”

No, they are not. An October analysis by ProPublica of police shootings from 2010 to 2012 found that young black males are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police officers than their white counterparts.

And yet, people like the former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani want to blame the victims. On “Meet the Press,” he dodged the issue of white police forces policing black populations, and raised another: intra-racial murder statistics in the black community. After proclaiming that “93 percent of blacks are killed by other blacks,” he asked a fellow panelist, Michael Eric Dyson, a black Georgetown University professor, “why don’t you cut it down so so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?”

Classic blame-the-victims deflection and context-free spouting of facts. What Giuliani failed to mention, what most people who pay attention to murder statistics understand, is that murder is for the most part a crime of intimacy. People kill people close to them. Most blacks are killed by other blacks, and most whites are killed by other whites.

In fact, it is so intimate that one study has found that people likely to be involved in murder cases can be predicted by their social networks. A Yale study last year examining “police and gun homicide records from 2006 to 2011 for residents living within a six-square-mile area that had some of the highest rates for homicide in Chicago” found that “6% of the population was involved in 70% of the murders, and that nearly all of those in the 6% already had some contact with the criminal justice or public health systems.”

As a co-author of the study put it, the relationship among killers and those killed was like a virus: “It’s not unlike needle sharing or unprotected sex in the spread of H.I.V.”

So, what are we saying to the vast majority that are not involved: that they must accept the unconscionable racial imbalance in the police shooting numbers as some sort of collateral damage in a war on crime? No!

It’s an unfathomable, utterly immoral argument, and let’s not give Giuliani a pass for making it. After all, New York’s obscenely race-biased stop-and-frisk program was introduced under Giuliani, and some of the most notorious police violations of black men in recent history happened on his watch. As The New York Times recounted in a lengthy 2001 profile:

“In the summer of 1997, a police officer brutalized a Haitian immigrant named Abner Louima in a bathroom of a Brooklyn station house. In the winter of 1999, four members of the Police Department’s Street Crime Unit, searching the Bronx streets for a rapist, shot and killed an unarmed African immigrant named Amadou Diallo; they had mistaken his wallet for a gun. And in the winter of 2000, just as Mr. Giuliani was gearing up his candidacy for the United States Senate, an undercover officer shot and killed an unarmed black security guard named Patrick Dorismond after a brief struggle in Midtown; the victim had been offended by the undercover officer’s inquiries about buying some drugs.”

Also, race is not the best lens through which to consider criminality. Concentrated poverty may be a better lens. According to a July Brookings report:

“Poor individuals and families are not evenly distributed across communities or throughout the country. Instead, they tend to live near one another, clustering in certain neighborhoods and regions. This concentration of poverty results in higher crime rates, underperforming public schools, poor housing and health conditions, as well as limited access to private services and job opportunities.”

If we are serious about fighting crime, we must seriously consider the reason— on both an individual and systemic level — these pockets of concentrated poverty developed, are maintained, and have in fact grown and spread.

But this is not about Giuliani and the police aggression apologists. This is about whether black boys and men, as well as the people who love them, must fear both the criminal and the cop.

Sadly, for many, the Ferguson case reaffirmed a most unsettling sense that they are under siege from all sides.

So people took to the streets. Who could really blame them?

Some simply saw protests marred by senseless violence. I saw that, to be sure, and my heart hurt seeing it. But I also saw decades, generations, centuries of pain and frustration erupting once more into view. I saw hearts crying and souls demanding to be heard, to be seen, to be valued.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” King, a great champion of nonviolence, wasn’t advocating rioting, but rather honoring hearing.

Even long-suffering people will not suffer forever. Patience expires. The heart can be broken only so many times before peace is broken. And the absence of peace doesn’t predicate the presence of violence. It does, however, demand the troubling of the comfortable. When the voice goes unheard, sometimes it must be raised. Sometimes when calls for justice go unmet, feet must meet pavement. Sometimes when you are unseen, you can no longer remain seated. Sometimes you must stand and make a stand.

No one of good character and conscience condones rioting or looting or any destruction of property. Those enterprises aren’t only criminal, they’re fruitless and counterproductive and rob one’s own neighborhood of needed services and facilities and unfairly punish the people who saw fit to follow a dream and an entrepreneurial spirit, and invest in themselves and those communities in the first place.

But people absolutely have a right to their feelings — including anger and frustration. Only the energies must be channeled into productive efforts aimed at delivering the changes desired. That is the hard work. That is where stamina is required. That is where the long game is played.

As the old Negro spiritual proclaims: “Walk together children/Don’t you get weary/Oh, talk together children/Don’t you get weary.”

(This column originally appeared in the New York Times Nov. 26, 2014 under the title “Fury After Ferguson“)

Charles M. Blow is a New York Times Columnist and nationally-known commentator: “I invite you to visit my blog By The Numbers, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Written by cs

December 4th, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Blacks in New York are Turning Deaf Ears to Black Victims

without comments

SONY DSC

 

by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.

(“Attorney-at-War”)

After I was fired from Harlem Assertion of Rights in 1976 for refusing to betray the parents and students of Cooper Junior High School, 120th Street and Madison Avenue in Harlem, I started to practice criminal law. This firing had been prompted by the “Gang of Four” to satisfy the racism of Mayor Abe Beame. Any public school, of Black students, that was succeeding, had to be closed.

When I started the practice of criminal law, the court system was a “police state.” Black lawyers were forbidden from sitting on the front benches and their clients had to wait until the cases of white lawyers had been called. When a Black defendant was on trial and requested water, the court officers would always fill the pitcher with water from the toilet. No one had the temerity to complain except myself.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau summoned me to his office. My “constructive” escorts were Cong. Charles Rangel and the late NYS Secretary of State Basil Paterson. Dr. Calvin Butts, C. Vernon Mason and Sterling Johnson, the special narcotics prosecutor, and now a federal judge, heard Morgenthau read me the “riot act.” I must learn to behave like all Black judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers and law enforcement officers –or else.

Afterwards, Morgenthau would falsely charge me with assaulting court officers and obstructing justice. I would also be prosecuted on a false disciplinary complaint after I had beaten the criminal charges in Manhattan. No hearing was held but this unproved charge and conviction provided the basis for an illegal, five-year suspension on August 1, 1994, from the practice of law. This illegal suspension resulted from a judicial conspiracy.

Now, New York, without according me any semblance of a hearing, is claiming in Brooklyn Federal Court that I was disbarred in 1994. At worst, I should have been reinstated to the practice of law in July 1999. The suspension order of August 1, 1990, in providing the basis for a five-year suspension, falsely represented that I had been disciplined in Brooklyn for assaulting the court officers. I had not.

I was acquitted, after a jury trial, in People v. Maddox. A five year suspension was not only arbitrary and capricious but also cruel and unusual. It has amounted to an “indefinite suspension” from the practice of law. This illegal suspension is akin to the “indefinite suspension” of Ray Rice from the Baltimore Ravens.

This judicial conspiracy was extended to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. A separate license to practice law existed in Brooklyn Federal Court and in Manhattan Federal Court. I am still licensed to practice law in any federal court.

This is why the City of New York rushed into Manhattan Federal Court on September 6, 2014 to settle the so-called “Central Park 5″ while I was in Staten Island because of People v. Ramsey Orta, the videographer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. I have never been accorded a hearing in any federal court. The settlement hearing was initially scheduled for October 2014 at the earliest.

Twenty-seven years ago, Tawana Brawley was found with her body smeared with feces and bearing racial epithets and exhibiting other evidence of having been raped. Black people have refused to perceive this rape as a class action or a derivative action. Instead, it is a personal injury action.

After a key, female official of National Action Network was also raped by ten men, no one in the Black community sees it as a class action. Ten condoms were found at the crime scene. She was also drugged. The white prosecutor has refused to prosecute the white conductor of the “freight train,” Sanford Rubenstein and attorney for National Action Network.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is now saying that this is another false allegation against white men. He said the same thing after DSK of the IMF had raped Nafissatou Diallo in his hotel room in Manhattan. Instead of a judge dismissing the indictment, according to law, he, instead, unilaterally and illegally dismissed her claim as being perjurious. Now, Bill Cosby is being “fried” on belated and time-barred accusations by white women.

On WWW.REINSTATEALTONMADDOX.COM, I write journal-like articles almost daily at a cost of Twenty-five Hundred Dollars monthly, at my expense, to enlighten my people. Most Blacks are in prison not because of race but because of ignorance of the law. Whites do not have to play the “race card.” This website seeks to substantially reduce the number of persons entering in the prison-industrial complex.

Only one percent of the persons who receive these “missiles,” as Sis. Utrice Leid describes them, make any donation of any kind to support the website to combat state-sponsored violence and the prison-industrial complex. If I could find investors who would give me temporary relief, I would be able to help Tawana who is impoverished, unemployed, and destitute and has a child. While white women were fashioning a Women’s Equality Agenda for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Black women chose to keep quiet. No help is accruing to Tawana Brawley.

White supremacy is a class action because it is an action against a class of descendants of enslaved Africans. Predators, acting under color of law, are not only jeopardizing our daughters but also our unarmed sons. So far, no Black father of a victim has taken any action against a white supremacist. Of course, any response should be a group action and not an individual action.

I agreed to provide pro bono representation to the Brawley family. Steven Pagones is unable to show that New York had subject-matter jurisdiction over his claims. I was also able to convince the jury in Pagones v. Maddox, et. al. that Pagones was one of the attackers. Yet, Pagones is able to convince the Commonwealth of Virginia that Tawana should be subject to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. I satisfied my part of the bargain. Now, the Black community must step up to the plate. Tawana Brawley also needs an attorney.

Visit WWW.REINSTATEALTONMADDOX.COM for my political and legal writings.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

For more than two decades, several thousand persons have received my invaluable, writings on politics, law and military science, free of any cost, even though the fixed costs to publish them including research, writing, editing and publishing have exceeded over Twenty-five Hundred Dollars monthly. There is also now a need to upgrade equipment, legal literature and software and to resume the practice of law as the private attorney general without “judicial bullying.” “Freedom is not free.” No one should ride the back of another person. This is an accounting principle.

Make contributions for a free and educational press and for a legal defense fund for the U.S. Supreme Court to redress an odious grievance and provide an emergency, legal defense fund for Tawana Brawley only to:

Friends of Alton Maddox

P.O. Box 35

Bronx, NY 10471

Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Please support the movement to Reinstate him. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471.

Be Sociable, Share!

Recent Storm Proves Locality and Cosmetic Change Too inconvenient To Continue on With The Ralph

without comments

patfreemanYNN

 

by Pat Freeman

The recent storm that fell on Western New York once again highlighted the futility of our current stadium in Orchard Park, and why I have contended that not another dime of taxpayer funds should have gone into its renovation. This cosmetic waste of money which was forced down the pocket books of Western New Yorkers was unable to be ready not only for a home game, but it was a multi-use dome stadium in downtown Detroit they were forced to relocate in order to play their divisional rival New York Jets. Below is a look at the Detroit Lions advertisement for renting space at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.

Over 230,000 square feet available inside Ford Field

Ford Field is strategically located in the heart of Detroit’s entertainment district and within walking distance of Campus Martius, Greektown, the Detroit Athletic Club, the Bolle YMCA, and Detroit’s most notable restaurants and residential complexes. The Class A facility is adjacent to Comerica Park , 36th District Courthouse, and Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. Ford Field tenants and guests enjoy easy freeway access to I-75 and convenient use of the downtown transit system.

Completed in 2002 and the recipient of numerous design awards, Ford Field is a unique collection of historic warehouse structures that were previously occupied by Hudson’s Department Stores from 1913 until 1995. Now a fully renovated modern facility, Ford Field features a series of skylight atriums and walkways that connect these warehouses, creating the most dynamic mixed-use project in Michigan. Ford Field affords its tenants the opportunity to utilize the stadium’s many unique spaces such as the Main Atrium, Clubs, and Locker Rooms for special events such as corporate meetings and parties.

This multi use project feature’s multiple revenue opportunities for the city of Detroit, and dwarfs the single use facility that we have in Orchard Park, New York. This argument has been made by this writer for a number of years as to why Western New York should have not wasted $130 million dollars on cosmetic work to the single use stadium in Orchard Park. Unfortunately the leadership here refused to have the foresight to understand that the landscape has changed for cities that have NFL teams. Part of the problem here was that the past ownership group along with the current county government had already made up their minds to renovate the current facility without strategically analyzing the current economic landscape. This mind set contributed to the negative feedback on the building a new downtown stadium complex, and later to the Outer Harbor stadium complex proposal designed by HKS Inc. of Dallas, Texas.

If Western New York is truly going to experience an economic rebirth of this region that is inclusive of every one of its citizens, then this negative mind-set on new ideas must change immediately. There are communities in this area that have upwards to 50% unemployment, and very little economic development in their neighborhoods. These numbers lend to the feeling that poor people do not matter in this country. That all decisions are based on the wants, and needs of the affluent with very little regards to those that are not. The Outer Harbor Stadium Complex proposal is an economic game changer that would create 8-15,000 living wage jobs that could be directed at those that just want to support themselves, their families, and contribute to the relief of those that feel completely destitute. This is why I continue to fight for this private investment proposal which will bring about change for the many here that need it.

In closing the trend of facilities that are able to generate multiple revenue streams is the current trend of the new NFL market place, and Buffalo must adopt this model in order to compete economically in the future.

 
If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 4-5:00PM hosted by WUFO Sports Director Patrick Freeman on 1080AM WUFO radio or via the internet at www.wufoam.com. Or catch Sports Update for clbTV (ch.20 Buffalo) and YouTube. Also join us for the number#1 recap show every Monday at 7:25AM with Lee Pettigrew, and The Mighty O’Ba Pat Freeman.

Be Sociable, Share!

Are You Ready for some Footbaaaaaaall? The Ike Turner Football League!

without comments

cs

 

by Chris Stevenson

The head-slap didn’t go away after all, players just moved it from the turf to the carpets of their homes. Or as in one case to the elevator of a casino. The TMZ (9/8/14) video footage of Ray Rice formerly of the Baltimore Ravens will be looked upon as the breaking point, the case that changed things for all NFL domestic abuse situations. And it didn’t happen overnight. In fact, the league didn’t want anything to happen at all. But now they have no other choice.

If only they took the head-trauma (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) of their former players that seriously instead of just waiting for them to die off, maybe a lot of domestic problems would have been solved. The case of Rice seems to be a bit of a departure, both sides are responsible for what took place last February 15. I cannot stress more strongly the role Janay’s actions play in that horrible elevator incident, she is not just the victim. She is a co-perpetrator. I’m probably the first journalist you ever seen make such a statement in this case, but this begs being called down the middle.

The NFL is a $250 billion dollar industry that believes in accountability until it’s time to become accountable, or until you find out differently. This is pretty much how they have approached most  of their off-the-field issues, brain-injuries, suicides, drugs, and now domestic abuse. It should go without saying that most of these matters are inter-related.

 

When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said back in September that he “got it wrong,” he forgot to add ‘now that you know.’ During the footage shown last summer of then-Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice dragging his unconscious then-fiancee Janay out of an elevator last Feb., everything was fine, so long as we couldn’t see what transpired that lead up to that point. Once the inside footage was released by mid-September, well… after further review, Rice’ meager little 2-game suspension now becomes indefinite. Outrage went viral, as it should have.

ESPN even suspended Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons for 3 weeks because he called Goodell a “liar” in an angry outburst he did on podcast. Grantland is a website owned by ESPN, Of course they know better, understand their letters really mean Enable Star Players’ Negative-Behavior. A 10/2 USA Today report reveals that since 2006 law enforcement has  “pursued 50 domestic abuse cases against NFL players.” Welcome to the ITFL, the Ike Turner Football League. A league featuring a history of abusive players that go decades back, most visibly back to the days of OJ Simpson (‘89). After those 50 players were arrested in ‘07 Goodell stated “it is my job-not law enforcement’s job-to protect the National Football League.” Was this an arrogant swipe toward law enforcement for arresting so many of his boys?

Back in those days police officers would drive up to the home of a current or ex-NFL player, stare his black-eyed wife in the eye, and then ask him for an autograph. Those were the good ole’ days to Goodell most likely. Goodell did come out with a personal conduct policy, one with harsh measures against drugs, DWI, etc., but considerably light punishment towards players guilty of domestic abuse. Soon after the ‘07 arrests came the ‘08 rape allegations against Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the league and the fans would become more put-off by Michael Vick’s dog-fighting ring, than a player’s amoral treatment of women. He would eventually be charged, convicted and forced to do hard-time in a league that openly pitched it’s product to a nation where killing dogs isn’t just normal, but a requirement (China)

Three days after Goodell’s new domestic violence policy, yet another Ray was hit with felony domestic violence charges; Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers. Other recent offenders include Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals, Greg Hardy and Quincy Enunwa of the New York Jets, A.J. Jefferson and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson and Dwyer’s cases are particularly troubling because of their alleged treatment of children. Wikipedia summed it up best: “On September 12, 2014, Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges, and subsequently deactivated for Minnesota’s week-2 game against the New England Patriots. Amid child abuse allegations, on September 15, the Vikings reinstated Peterson and he was scheduled to play against the New Orleans Saints. Then, on September 17, Peterson was placed on the NFL’s Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which requires that Peterson “remain away from all team activities… Photos posted onTMZ.com revealed his 4-year-old son’s legs with slash-like wounds. The prosecution in the case alleges that Peterson used a tree branch to beat his young son repeatedly on his back, buttocks, genitals, ankles, and legs.”

As of this writing Peterson cut a deal of no-contest to reckless assault of his son. In return he will not go to jail but will do community service (80 hours) and pay back some of the salary he was still receiving from the Vikings during his suspension.

Peterson is one of a long line of young parents trying to use old-style disciplinarian corporal punishment and simply does not know how to do it. What the above quote describes is by no means a spanking, not when you leave cuts and bruises going so far to even damage the genital area. From the standpoint of someone who probably holds the family record for spankings, I can say my parents never broke skin. They knew what they were doing. If you think Peterson is bad, Dwyer assaulted his 18-month-old along with the child’s mother.

A major part of the problem is between the players who balled while I was growing up, and the ones playing now. In between was a rising number of NFL players from broken homes, or raised by just their mothers. Knowing how to act around the opposite sex in a relationship, much less how to raise children is virtually an impossible dream with too many of them. But that’s the circumstance most of the players listed come from. Ordinary everyday situations seem to baffle many a single mom’s black boys nowadays, just compound that with the general spoiled treatment and attitude that goes with being an athlete. By the time he becomes a man, it’s like he’s a mutated man, a walking non-political sleeper-cell quick to hold grudges. Most of them are loud-talking, but not outspoken. What you are essentially getting is male-nagging due to the inability to adjust to “he looked at me” or “she left me.” The only persona he’s seen cope with this is his mother. So though not gay or effeminate, he still takes on much of her mannerism.

The domestic abuse cases I lumped together under the name of the late-famous co-founder of rock & roll, pop and r&b Ike Turner due to his brutal treatment of women-most notably then-wife Tina Turner-have already been a part of 767 NFL arrests tracked by a sportswriter. USA Today’s Brent Schrotenboer started his own database. Of course this type of behavior is not just exclusive to pro football. I recall writing roughly 20-years ago about goalie Mark Fitzpatrick of the then expansion-Florida Panthers mistook his 8-months-pregnant wife for a puck and began assaulting her. Then there was Krzysztof Oliwa, the NHLs ex-goon beat up his wife with a hockey stick years ago. Reportedly he broke her nose and some of her ribs. Even today the NHL has similar examples of domestic violence as the NFL, including a case where a player knocked his girlfriend unconscious. In 2013 Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche also faced charges of 2nd degree kidnapping of Evgenia Vavinyuk (then-24), along with knocking her out Varlamov was accused of stomping, kicking, and dragging her around the house. In time his misdemeanor assault charge was dropped.

Why aren’t news of these hockey players as common knowledge as the NFL players? If you just go by headlines and national exposure it looks like the leagues with the highest percentage of black players have the most domestic abuse cases, and the whitest league (NHL) has the most civilized husbands/boyfriends. One statistic even seems to support this; of the four major professional team sports leagues, the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL from January of 2010 to September 2014, the NFL and NBA take the lead with the highest arrest rates. Their numbers are reached by dividing each year’s arrest by the number of players and multiplied by 100,000, NFL 2,466, NBA 2,157 MLB 553, NHL 175. Given hockey’s well publicized reputation for fights during games, are we to believe these players all become Prince Charming at home? What is not widely-known is the NHL has a culture of no arrests, and no suspensions and the national sports media has obviously not been anxious to focus on them the same as they have with the NFL. I’m not saying these incidents happen more than with the NFL, I’m saying the amount of spousal abuse is much higher than their low arrest percentage reveals. Sports no longer seems important in the face of such tragic behavior.

The NHL has been watching the handling of Ray Rice and other suspensions and began suspending players as well. One recent ruling may be considered a step back, McDonald, a defensive end has been and will continue playing. As of 11/10 the Santa Clara DA’s office decided not to file charges, stating “we cannot prove a crime occurred” in spite of “visible injuries” to a woman believed to be his fiance noted on a police report. Emphasis seem to be on him being “cooperative” with police. Is that all it takes in these situations, or do the 49ers have some kind of invisible arrangement going on between them and their local PD? It looks like somebody fumbled the ball. If we are going back to the days of 2000 when the general attitude was ‘we can’t be bothered, Ray’s got a football game to play,’ then we are still getting it wrong. That “No More” campaign needs to include ‘No More Backdoor Deals.’

As for Ray Rice he is going through a grievance hearing he filed against the Ravens on October 21. TMZ just ran a report stating Rice will be interviewed by Matt Lauer of the “Today” show between now and the 11/26. Part of Rice’ contention is the September 8 video footage does not include actions by Janay that led up to him hitting her. I don’t approve of what Rice did, but there is always the possibility of two sides to a story, especially in today’s reality TV-era of crazy young women. It may be Janay was just acting out on what she was trained to do. I jokingly call it the Ike Turner Football League, but these are Ike’s with muscles and professional training, in other words strength and endurance. Most of their women are not Tina Turners; athletically built trained female performers. While how a female is built is no justification for physical abuse either, Janay’s petite figure provides no protection from any blows from Ray.

Given that football is a violent game, things still didn’t have to be as bad as they are now. If the NFL made honest efforts at examining, diagnosing and treating head injuries and swiftly disciplining players in domestic abuse cases the game would be much safer and still exciting to watch. But the league has demonstrated for decades it was never interested in player’s health.

Chris Stevenson is a regular columnist for blackcommentator, and a contributor to the Hampton Institute, his own blog www.thebuffalobullet.com, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice for clbTV & Follow his Blogtalkradio  interviews on 36OOseconds. Respond to him on the comment link below or email pointblankdta@yahoo.com.

Be Sociable, Share!

Taking Another Look:

without comments

Through a Restorative Justice Lens

KA-RED-2014 headshot_o

 

by Karima Amin

Several years ago at one of our monthly meetings, we screened the film “Prison Song,” a 2001 film, produced by B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television), starring Mary J. Blige (R&B diva) and Q-Tip (rapper from “A Tribe Called Quest). Upon viewing, our follow-up discussion centered upon the factors that promoted juvenile incarceration, and by extension, mass incarceration. The film’s prologue states these undeniable facts that have only been exacerbated over the years:

·7 million children have a parent in prison or jail or recently released on probation or parole;
·Black children are 46 times more likely than whites to be sentenced to juvenile prison;
·4.6 million Black men out of a voting population of 10.4 million have lost their voting rights due to felony convictions;
·Newborn Black males have greater than 1 in 4 chance of going to prison during their lifetimes.

Although this film is not a classic and may not receive a 5-star rating from everyone, it does a very good job of describing a community that is struggling with multiple social ills on a daily basis. Miseducation, weak community relations, poor health care, inadequate youth intervention, disrespectful and inhumane community policing, drug abuse and a criminal justice system that ignores the fact that victim and offender my both be victims.

Our most recent meetings have viewed Restorative Justice as an “umbrella theme,” directly and/or indirectly related to community policing, reintegration following incarceration, and community building. Since BaBa and I have had the opportunity to train core teams at various community spaces, I thought it would be interesting to view this film again now that Restorative Justice and Restorative Justice practices have been introduced. The dysfunction and sadness depicted in “Prison Song” might have been avoided if the community had been strengthened through peace circles and community conferencing, leading to community empowerment. In this film, locking up people is the ultimate solution to everything. The main characters are institutionalized in the mental hospital, juvenile detention, the group home, and finally, the state prison. This film offers a clear description of what can go wrong when criminalization trumps restoration.

PLEASE NOTE: This film is rated R for violence and language.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 24, 2014 from 7:00 – 9:00pm at the Pratt-Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street in Buffalo. This is our final meeting for 2014. We will reconvene on January 26, 2015. Happy Holidays!

MORE INFO: Visit our website- www.prp2.org for more information about Restorative Justice. Go to the “Brother BaBa Speaks” page. Also contact us via e-mail: karima@prisonersarepeopletoo.org; g.babaeng@yahoo.com. Like us on Facebook. This program is supported by The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders and Friends of BaBa Eng.

“God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through.” (Anonymous)

Karima Amin is a longtime Buffalo Activist, Educator, and Storyteller as well as founder and director of Prisoners Are People Too (PRP2).

Be Sociable, Share!

Written by cs

November 22nd, 2014 at 4:59 pm