Enigma In Black On The Radio

Having listened to this show I have a few observations. I sound quite a bit like my younger brother Scott. I wish I could have had a couple questions in advance and given a broader response. I’m thankful for the opportunity and the kind treatment from my host, Babz Rawls Ivy. Looking forward to the next time!

Tyree King: What We Know!

 

 

Tyree King, a 13-year-old black boy was killed by police Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio.

What the police tell us: He was shot during the course of an armed robbery investigation that occurred at 7:42 PM

What we know: Tyree King died  at Nationwide Children’s Hospital at 8:22 after being shot multiple times by police in an alley.

a-tryee-king-poloice-car

 

 

What the police tell us: After being chased along with two other suspects, Tyree pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at officers who feared for their lives. The gun turned out to be a BB Gun with a laser scope.

What the Mayor says: “Why would an eighth grader have on him an almost an exact replica of a police weapon? It is a dangerous time to be a police officer”

What the police did: Released a photo of a “replica gun” without a laser scope therefore not a picture of the toy gun taken into evidence but a picture of some other “replica gun”

What we know: Nothing besides what the police tell us

a-tyree-king-police

 

What do the body cameras show?: Last month the Columbus police department began testing 30 body cameras before implementing them department-wide.

What we don’t know?: We don’t know whether the officers involved were wearing body cameras, or had them turned on.

What the police say: “You have to feel for the family in this and you also have to think about what the officer’s going through,” Weiner told reporters late Wednesday. “There’s no winners here.”

What we know: There was at least one loser. Tyree King. He’s dead

a-tyree-king-do-not-cross

 

What we don’t know for sure: Was Tyree carrying a toy gun? If so what did it actually look like as opposed to the “replica” the police showed us a photo of? What another suspect in the alley who was taken into custody had to say? There was a person who was “with King” that was interviewed and released. Apparently someone “with King” wasn’t arrested for the armed robbery which the group was suspected of?

What we do know: “No officers were hurt.” The officers are being offered psychological counseling for their grief.

More to come…

 

Hot For Teacher

 

 

I’m going to be doing a community radio show this afternoon and as an ice-breaker, we’ll be discussing the Atlanta 4th Grade Teacher Tricey Brown. Several of her pictures went viral recently and she has been trending as #teacherbae. The notoriety is because her clothes are undeniably tight and what many would agree are sexy.

a-sexy-teacher-dress

Many things can be true at a time and the first thing is that the conversation itself is inherently sexist. Society has reserved the right for itself to judge women, especially black women in ways they would never judge a man. If a male teacher, or preacher (Bishop Eddie Long) wore tight outfits showing off their form. The reaction might range from admiration to mockery but no one would accuse them of being responsible for “over sexualizing your children” and “inciting rape” as some have commented. It is also true that Ms. Brown’s attire could definitely be a distraction. More for adults than children I imagine.

a-bishop-eddie-long

We live in a society where it’s quite acceptable to objectify women as long as it’s within prescribed terms. We (including 4th-grade students) are bombarded with images of scantily clad women on television shows, in commercials, in comic books, in magazines, the Internet… everywhere. Of the pictures I’ve seen of Tricey Brown taken in an empty classroom, her breasts were not hanging out, her skirts were of appropriate length. Her clothes were tight, and she has a body.

a-sexxy-teacher

I think without that body, the tightness of her clothes would not be an issue, even in an elementary school. I think that the range of feelings she invokes include jealousy from some and contempt from the same crowd that body-shame Serena Williams. There are others that project their own reactions onto the 9-10-year-old students, that’s wrong as well.

I’ve seen worse in church, and in the workplace. I’ve seen parents send their daughters to their Junior Proms, dressed in outfits that hide little. I’d ask those that step up to throw the first stone to consider whether they have some behaviors to change?

a-super-sexy-teacher

Still… she’s a distraction. To adults, more than children.

I have no idea of the goals and aspirations of Ms. Brown. If she wishes to achieve a career outside of teaching and the attention paid to her leads to that. Good for her. If she plans to advance in the school system and go into administration. She may find that she will be judged, possibly unfairly and her progress likely impeded. While remarkably different and inequitable, there are dress codes whether formalized or not in most professions for men and for women. Institutions generally reward conformity and punish individuality.

Tricey Brown has replied to the uproar by posting, “This too will pass.” Indeed it will. For those parents that object to her sexuality and want her removed. I suggest you also make sure you teach your children about sex and don’t let their babysitter be HBO, Cinemax or Starz. For those in need of a biblical reference, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Tricey Brown may be doing herself good or harm, but it’s really not for me to say.

Memories of 9/11

 

It was one of those events you’ll always remember where you were when it happened. My memories are further engrained because I was in New York City at the time. I was working as a subcontractor for the company that managed the on-site merchandising at the tennis US Open at what is now the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

I was among several that handled merchandise at venues across the country that came together for certain major events to handle sales. We saw each other a few times a year for weeks at a time and came to know each other very well. In New York, we supplemented our management staff with hundreds of local part-time workers, many of whom returned year after year. The US Open, a two-week long event, ended two days earlier on September 9th. Over 30,000 people were on the grounds during the finals and I used to wonder if where I’d been might have been a better target? On September 10th we had a day-long half price sale. On September 11th, we began the drudgery of tearing down, packing up and cleaning up.

a a a a octagon

I was walking from the Octagon, a store in the middle of the grounds to an office when Terry O’Connor the General Manager stopped me and said, “A plane just flew into the World Trade Center.” I followed him to his office where there was a television. No pictures were available yet but witnesses were being interviewed who described an “Airbus” flying into the North Tower. I discounted the eyewitness report, thinking of the well-documented unreliability of the same. I assumed it was really a small private plane that must have hit the tower. About a minute later, television now had images of the tower and we could see the smoke pouring from the hole. Terry and I were speechless as we acknowledged the extent of the damage. A few others gathered and watched in silence. Suddenly a second plane flew into the South Tower and I heard groans and cries from among our number. I thought of the passengers and crews, of the workers on the affected floors of the towers. Reports came of other planes that had been hijacked. Reports of a plane flying into the Pentagon, another crashing in Pennsylvania. We stared at the screen, awaiting every update when suddenly the North Tower collapsed, over a hundred floors crumbling at once creating a huge cloud of dust. It took a while to comprehend the horror and then ultimately, the South Tower collapsed as well.

a a a a octaag

Every commercial flight still in the air was a potential terrorist weapon. Flights were grounded nationwide. What we didn’t know far exceeded what we did. Cell phone towers were overloaded and we could neither make or receive calls. I walked back to the Octagon which had a landline and called back to Orlando to let my family know I was okay. They weren’t even aware of the calamity yet so they were at least spared that worry. Out of caution, the USTA asked everyone to leave the grounds so those of us that could, returned to the rented homes we were staying in.

That year I was staying in Queens off Parsons Blvd. There were six of us in a home and our housing was unaffected by the attack. Others in our group were staying in Manhattan and couldn’t get back to their housing, clothing, and things. Those who were housed in Queens and Long Island absorbed the stranded in their housing and our group of six became twelve. People were sleeping on the beds, couches, and the floor. This was now Tuesday night, most of us were scheduled to depart on Thursday. No flights were scheduled and we had people going to Miami, Boston, Ohio, and California.

I had driven to New York from Orlando. I was going to be there for six weeks and didn’t want to have to rely on shared vans for transportation. “Miss Charlie” who worked with me in Orlando and had flown, arranged to ride back with me because all flights were still grounded. Her mother in Orlando had Charlie put me on the phone and she made me promise to “get my baby home.”

There were endless rumors about upcoming secondary attacks. Police stations were barricaded. There were alleged bombs planted on the George Washington Bridge which I had to cross when leaving New York. When we began our drive. We had to cross the Triborough Bridge with the Manhattan Skyline directly on the left. I couldn’t bring myself to look, even when stopped and paying the toll when crossing the bridge. A few minutes later I was most nervous when crossing the GWB, remembering the rumors. Finally, we made it across and began the long drive home.

a-alan-world-trade-center

a-lauren-world-trade-center

 

I’m leaving things out. A month before, two of my children were visiting me in New York during my stay. I naturally took Alan and Lauren to the top of the World Trade Center where we ate in the top floor restaurant and took pictures. Had the attack been scheduled a month earlier. It could have been us. That wasn’t God’s plan.

Also, I had no idea or way to find out if any of the hundreds of local workers from the US Open, had been in the World Trade Center on 9/11. A year later, I returned to New York, stood at the hole where the towers had been, considering the incongruity of the vendors selling T-shirts. I eventually learned that one of our local workers was employed as a messenger and lost his life in the towers a year before. It’s been fifteen years today since the attack occurred. Seems more like yesterday

Allen Iverson: Always Bet On Black

“I want to thank the guys that are not my friends anymore. I’m glad you blew your cover, for me to recognize that you weren’t any good for my family or me. I appreciate y’all for that, so if I make any new friends I’ll recognize the signs.”

I have to confess I didn’t think Allen Iverson would make it. As a high school junior at Bethel High School in Hampton, Va; he was the AP High School Player of the Year in Football and in Basketball. He was being recruited by every school in the nation. Until things went wrong.

a-allen-iverson-bethel

Late in his junior year, he was involved in a bowling alley brawl pitting whites against blacks. Only the black kids were charged. They said (and he denied) that Allen was the ringleader. The most serious injuries were broken bones and a concussion. Authorities threw the book at Iverson, trying him as an adult although a minor, convicting him of “Maiming by Mob”, sentencing him to 5-years in prison. He served four months at the Newport News City Farm on the James River before his sentence was commuted by then Gov. Doug Wilder. His conviction was later overturned on appeal but he missed playing his senior year of sports. All the schools that once begged him to attend turned their backs.

His mother went to Georgetown and talked to Coach John Thompson and begged him to give her son a chance. He did. In his acceptance speech at his NBA Hall Of Fame induction. He credited John Thompson “for saving my life.” When he got to Georgetown, he was under the microscope. He maintained the high school friendships of his past who many including me thought would be his downfall. After two outstanding years at Georgetown, he was made the Number One pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Draft. They took a chance on Allen Iverson when I literally bet against him.

a-allen-iverson-thompson

I was in college at the time, a basketball player myself and one of my best friends, Dr. Robert A. Copeland (RIP) and a Philly native, was always talking about Iverson. He knew his basketball and was proclaiming then that one day, “Allen Iverson would be in the Hall of Fame!” I bet him a dinner that “Allen Iverson wouldn’t even be in the league in five years” because he would surely be dragged down by troubles.

Before his acceptance speech, I’d only seen Allen Iverson in a suit once. When selected first overall in the NBA Draft. Except for some bags under his eyes, he didn’t look any older or heavier than he did as a player, standing just over 6 feet tall and weighing 165. Contrasted against many of the former players in the audience. Allen looked like he could still take you to the hoop right now. He looked a bit uncomfortable in the outfit. It was an ill-fitting Tuxedo jacket over a black shirt and tie that he didn’t seem accustomed to wearing. He began nervously, rocking and stammering. But he hit his groove and spoke like he played. With all heart.

He credited literally everybody. From Coach Thompson who save his life to Larry Brown who honed his skills to Dr J who always provided support and wisdom. He went on to thank Pat Croce, owner of the Sixers, Boo Williams, “X”, Thriller, Anthony “Whoop” Jones, Troop, Stanky Wanky, Jughead, and many many more. He thanked his teammates; professional, college and high school… individually. Singled out was Dean Barry, a walk-on basketball player at Georgetown that “taught me the crossover.” The move that made him famous.

a-allen-iverson-larry-brown

He thanked the father he barely knew, his mother, aunt and uncles, all of his children who were present chewing gum. I don’t say that to mock them, I say it because they, like Allen Iverson always, kept it real.

Allen had his troubles adjusting to life after basketball. There were rumors about squandering his wealth on family and friends. Stories about being homeless and minor incidents with the law involving his bodyguards and himself. He and his wife had very public battles and nearly divorced. They eventually resolved their issues and his high school sweetheart Tawanna was by his side and singled out as the “best thing in his life.” Thanks to a savvy deal with Reebok, he received a $32 Million Trust when he turned 55, so whatever his previous financial status he’s doing alright.

a-allen-iverson-tawanna

I learned much I didn’t know about Allen Iverson by watching his 30 plus minute acceptance speech … twice.

I knew he had heart from watching him play. I didn’t know that Michael Jordan was his idol, how close he was to the authority figures one might have thought he resented. How much he respected and was respected by his peers.

a-allen-iverson-mvp

He ended his speech by thanking an unlikely bunch. “I want to thank the guys that are not my friends anymore. I’m glad you blew your cover, for me to recognize that you weren’t any good for my family or me. I appreciate y’all for that, so if I make any new friends I’ll recognize the signs.”

Allen Iverson. Throughout his whole life, he kept it 1,000!

a-allen-iverson-back

 

A “Basket of Deplorables!”

Hillary Clinton recently said that half of Trump supporters were “a basket of deplorables!” She later said that her definition of “deplorables” included racists, misogynists, Islamaphobic, and xenophobes among others and apologized for making such a sweeping generalization. Half of Trump supporters aren’t deplorables. They just don’t care about the ones that are.

The list of things you have to ignore to be a Trump followed is long indeed:

  1. He Doesn’t Know Anything About Anything. – Trump was praised by some at the Commander in Chief Forum for his short answers which to some demonstrated his ability to “get to the heart of issues.” The truth is he couldn’t come up with a long answer because he doesn’t know enough. If he had been asked about “Aleppo” as was Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Is there anyone out there who thinks Trump could have answered the question or knew what it was? He doesn’t have any depth on any issue which is why his positions are always changing. He can’t remember what he said last. When called out on discrepancies, he simply says any suggestion he once held a previous position are lies.
  2. He Is a Racist. – I’m not saying he has made a few racist statements. I’m saying that rarely has there ever been an individual whose racism is so well documented. He had his employees mark rental applications from black renters, “C for colored” and denied them housing. When the Justice Department sued, he settled but they had to come back three years later for non-compliance. His black employees at his casinos were hidden from him so he wouldn’t have to see them. He said, “Laziness is a trait in blacks.” He also said, “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” He says, “Mexicans are rapists.” He proposed a ban on all Muslims.
  3. He Lies – For all of his talk about “Dishonest Hillary Clinton”, he lies in almost every statement of any length he makes. I won’t bother to point them out because if his supporters are honest they already know. He lies because he knows nothing, so he simply makes it up.
  4. He’s Dangerous – He just said he’d start a shooting war with Iran for giving American sailors the finger. He won’t rule out nuclear attack… in Europe. His ISIS policy is a “secret plan” that you know isn’t real. Is this really the man you want to be President?
  5. He’s Incoherent – Okay this is maybe my pet peeve but can you imagine 4-8 years of Trump speeches and press conferences? I’d have to change the channel and watch cartoons or old movies.

There’s so much more but it if you acknowledge that all of these are true things, how can you vote for him anyway? I won’t generalize and cast you all as “deplorable” but I have some theories:

  1. You Hate Hillary – You have hated Hillary since she walked into the White House as First Lady and have been fed 30 years of reinforcement from the right about how evil she is. This view amazingly isn’t shared by the Republicans who worked with her in the Senate who found her honest, reasonable, and productive. But the high marks she received as a Senator and Secretary of State were immediately erased when she announced her run for the Presidency. I believe some of you hate Hillary so much that you are willing to consider any alternative. I invite you to examine Donald Trump and consider what that would look like were he to actually become President.
  2. Party First – Maybe you are a loyal Republican and believe in certain principles you feel the Republicans offer the best chance to implement. Small government, fiscal responsibility, (I can’t go on, give me credit for coming up with two). Ask yourself, does Donald Trump represent any Republican value? He who views bankruptcy as financial planning. He’s promised to build up the military, make border patrol 5 times larger, build an expensive wall along the Southern border which despite all his protestations, Mexico won’t pay for. He suddenly wants to do more for schools and his plans would call for dramatic increases in immigration review and enforcement. How expensive will it be to monitor all the mosques and increase the size of police forces in all the urban areas (more racism if you missed it.) The two things you don’t get in a Trump administration are small government and fiscal responsibility.
  3. You Want To Make America Great Again – This is going to hurt some feelings because of the inherent racism and sexism in the slogan, to begin with. Saying you want to make America great sounds patriotic, who can argue with that except for the premise that somehow America isn’t great now? It’s the “Again” that Trump nor his followers ever explain. He does tell us often enough on other subjects, “And you know what I mean!” Again to a period before a black President. Again to a period where white men reigned supreme. He has specifically advocated voter suppression in North Carolina and Pennsylvania and said “only cheating” could lead to his loss in November. If you want Trump to make America great again, what does again mean to you?
  4. The Rest – Of course, there are the deplorables who have found a home in the Trump campaign. The Trump Campaign CEO is the one man around the campaign with more documented racism than Trump himself. He is certainly one of the leaders of the Alt-Right and his influence is showing more and more. The Klan, John Birch Society, and multiple white nationalist organizations have voiced their support for Trump. Paul Manafort had to go because of the scrutiny over his ties to Russia. The remainder of his staff is still there and now Trump appears criticizing America on Russian TV? There is a civil lawsuit proceeding against Trump for the rape of a 13-year-old girl along with known pedophile and Trump friend, Jeffrey Epstein. There is documentation of Trump’s abuses of immigration law in his operation of Trump Model Management. He employed hundreds of undocumented workers on his projects and the list of people he refused to pay for services performed is lengthy. During the campaign, the majority of his policy formation team quit for non-payment and he’s being sued by a group of young girls that performed at a couple of his rallies.

This is but a snapshot of the Republican Nominee that more and more Republicans have found a way to support. I don’t want to lump Trump supporters into any category. I had one Trump supporter say to me, “Well at least he’s not politically correct!” That’s a fine reason to vote for someone for President (Sarcasm for those that missed it.)

Reflections Of A New Blogger (Part Three)

 

 

This will be the last reflections on a new blogger post. Coming up on my 6-month anniversary, after 109 blog posts and 11,382 views. I’m declaring I am veteran enough that “new blogger” will no longer be how I define myself.

Since starting I’ve become a regular contributor to the Inner-City News and seen several of my posts reach print as well including one featured on the front page. I’ve written about politics, race, family, politics and race and whatever socially relevant issue inspired me. I wrote about Beyonce’s “Lemonade”. Reviewed a couple of films, and tried my hand at poetry. I even wrote a letter to God!

I wrote several chapters of what I intended to be a book on, “The History of American (White) Exceptionalism. I completed about 11 before changing tactics. I’m making a query to publishers based on a proposed book and hope to complete that book under contract. I learned quite a bit while researching each chapter and feel very strongly that by not knowing our past; we fail to recognize immediately the tactics used today to suppress votes or engrain privilege.

While writing the blog, I’ve also written a book, “Strong Beginnings” which is being read by Beta Readers for input prior to rewrites and editing. It begins with a lynching of two black couples in Covington, GA and follows the story of two families 50-years later. The female protagonist is the granddaughter of a witness to the lynching that was murdered for what he had seen. There’s politics, a look at the education system, international travel, and romance. I encourage you all to visit the related Facebook Page, Strong Beginnings: A Novel which I hope will keep you until the book release. Or you can wait for the movie.

I am thankful for those who are coming along for the ride. There are people I can count on for support and encouragement and I’m eternally grateful. The immediate feedback from blog posts is a rush, juxtaposed against the lengthy process bringing a book to market. I don’t know that I could do one without the other.

I’m tending at least during the current election season to focus more on politics in my blogs. On my blog Facebook page, Enigma In Black I’ve finally been discovered by trolls which actually excites me. I love a good argument with the fact-free which eventually devolves into mockery without my ever becoming uncivil. Dissecting a troll makes my day so if you’re a troll reading this. As long as you refrain from personal attacks you’re welcome to contest my views. I can be as wrong as the next person and won’t hesitate to admit a mistake. Bring logic and facts. Otherwise…

So I will Blog on. I have many opinions on many subjects and if there’s something you want my view on please suggest it. So thank you, bless you all. Namaste!

Native American is the New Black

 

On September 17, 1851, the United States of America signed the Fort Laramie Treaty with the Cheyenne, Sioux, Crow, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arapaho, Assiniboine, and Arikara Indians. It allowed safe transport for settlers of the Oregon Trail and allowed for the establishment of roads and forts in the Indian Territories. It provided the Native Americans an annuity of Fifty Thousand Dollars for Fifty Years. When the Treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate. The annuity was cut from 50 years to 10, but all the tribes ultimately agreed except the Crow. Ultimately, several of the tribes never received the commodities promised as payments.

a fort laramie treaty

This was 12 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery was thriving and the South was booming because of the production of cotton and the inherent economic advantage based on the minimal cost of labor associated with the Black labor force. Blacks could be killed for no reason as they were mere property, they were whipped, raped, chained. Families were torn apart for convenience, Black women were made to be breeders or mistresses at the whim of their owners.

a slave image

American Indians were being killed for their land,some were enslaved, women were raped, treaties were ignored and Manifest Destiny and westward expansion trumped agreements every time. There is not a competition. Native Americans aren’t so much a New Black as a different one and now to demonstrate they are one and the same. The dogs were sicced on Native American protestors reminding of treatment of Black protesters in the civil rights era.

a dog attack

 

In America, treaties with Native Americans meant nothing and Congress, your elected representatives, passed statutes taking away major portions of land from the Sioux. Other encroachments occurred as settlers looking for gold built roads and established towns in Indian Territory, pushing the tribal nations into smaller and smaller areas. They appealed to the government, which did nothing.

In 1920, because a Black man tried to vote in Ocoee, FL. Hundreds of Black people were killed, the rest forced to leave town. Ocoee didn’t have another Black citizen for 40 years as a result. The local headline of the Orlando newspaper from where many of the attackers came read, “Two White’s Killed In Race Riot.”

a july perry

 

In 2016, after dogs were released on Native American protesters that bit women, children, and horses. Local law enforcement which was not present on the scene, allowing paid security to handle the situation, said the following:

“Protestors physically assaulted private security officers hired by Dakota Access Pipeline. The security officers were hit and jabbed with fence posts and flag poles. According to several reports from security officers, knives were pulled on them or they witnessed protesters with large knives.”

They quoted several of the paid security personnel documenting, alleging threats to themselves, injuries to the security workers and their dogs. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department will investigate and has promised to bring the appropriate protesters to justice. The statement in South Dakota reminded me of the headline a century earlier in Orlando.

Lost in the skewed coverage of the violence is the fact that more Native American land has been taken away to allow the building of a pipeline. The residents are concerned (rightfully) about the impact of the pipeline on their water supply which has both practical and religious ramifications. The Native Americans were granted after multiple requests, the chance to do a survey of the land to identify sites with religious or historical significance. One day after they identified several locations that were important to the tribes. On a Saturday when construction crews didn’t usually work. Workers skipped ahead of their current work locations and bulldozed over the sites the Native Americans hoped to preserve. The Native American’s have asked for a temporary restraining order to stop further destruction of significant sites, assuming it’s not already too late.

a dakota water

The passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, got the reluctant support of President Lyndon B. Johnson after images of Black protesters being attacked by dogs and police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge outside Selma, AL, and other locations  were nationally televised. Perhaps the images from South Dakota will bring focus to the continued taking of land and rights from Native American lands in which our government is complicit?

 

Police Unions… You Need To Sit Down And STFU!

I don’t dislike police officers. In general, the majority of my personal interactions with the police have been favorable, (with the notable exception of the time my son was profiled walking to his predominantly white high school.) I have hired both police officers and state troopers to provide security for events. My best friend has spent a career in law enforcement. We agree to disagree sometimes on some issues but our personal relationship has never come into question as a result. I don’t generally dislike the police. I am coming, to dislike, perhaps even despise police unions.

There is a role police unions play that I am appreciative of. They negotiate for higher wages for their members. They advocate for better safety measures and equipment, health care and other benefits for officers. I have no problem with that. They stand up for their members to protect them from being thrown under the bus when it’s politically convenient for elected officials with an image problem. All this I understand. But almost every time they make a public statement they fail to serve their membership, the public, indeed the country with their positions, selective leaks, and often outright lies. You need to sit down, and STFU..

 

The Colin Kaepernick situation is the latest and frankly the least of the situations that have drawn my attention to police unions. Because they are unhappy with his refusal to stand for the National Anthem. And for wearing socks with an image of pigs wearing police uniforms. They are threatening to refuse to provide security services at San Francisco 49er games if the team doesn’t take action to control the quarterback. In effect,they’re blackmailing the City and the team to get their way.

a colin

What first drew my attention to police unions was the number of self-serving statements released after police-involved shootings. In Chicago, a joint investigation by the Chicago Reader and City Bureau revealed that:

“15 of the 35 statements given by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 spokesman Pat Camden after shootings since 2012 have contained facts that were later proven false or misleading through legal testimony, video, media investigations or official police statements.”

Before the official Police Dept media arm can release a statement. The union has already stepped in and shaped the narrative and become the prevailing story.

“The false narratives not only do damage to the shooting victims and their families, they also hurt the Police Department’s standing in the community, the report alleges.”

After shootings of police officers inBatonRouge, LA. The Cleveland, OH head of the Cleveland Patrolman’s Union said, “The President of the United States has blood on his hands.” He went on to criticize the Governor of Minnesota for recognizing that Philando Castille probably wouldn’t have been killed by police had he been white. On another occasion, he said that 12-year old Tamir Rice was “menacing.” “A 12-year old in an adult body.”

a tamir iice

He later asked:

“How the hell did we ever become the bad guys in this country?” Loomis asked. “I cannot imagine how we got here. It’s the irresponsible reporting of the media, and the irresponsible statements of people that are credible like the president of the United States.”

Let me help you understand Mr. Loomis, just how you got there. It’s by negotiating a double standard for police officers where they in many cases get between 72 hours to 3 months to have to give their statement after a police-involved shooting. It’s for selective leaks and publishing negative,irrelevant information about the victims while their killers remain unidentified and protected. It’s for supporting the Blue Line and a Code of Silence that keeps your forces from policing their own. I keep hearing that the bad apples represent a very small percentage of police forces. I submit that almost 100% of police officers know at least one bad apple and partially because of the role of police unions. They dare not come forward.

Police unions have no business making public statements about ongoing investigations. When they do they taint the process. When they lie they lessen the credibility of all of their members. They have no business blackmailing cities and companies because you think you’ve been disrespected. You have no business protecting the worst officers as opposed to supporting a fair process to improve the ranks, get rid of the bad apples.  The next time one of you thinks you want to make a statement about a contentious event. Sit down, and shut up!

I Try Not To Be Petty…

Pastor Mark Burns, assuming he didn’t fake that title as well, is a fraud.

I’ve written about him before, as one of those wanna be’s getting “15 Minutes of Shame.”

https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/15-minutes-of-shame/

He’s earned another 15.

His biography includes a number of things that simply aren’t true. Not mischaracterizations, not exaggerations, but outright lies! Now, who among us has not embellished a little bit on a job application? Who hasn’t tried to present themselves is a more positive light than the record would reflect? What we’re talking about here is degree. Let’s look at his claims.

a mark burns

He claimed to be a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. For anyone that pledged a fraternity or sorority, attended an HBCU or any college. You know how that level of perpetration is viewed. Reports of this fraud started coming out in mid-July but apparently the lie wasn’t big enough for the national media to care.

He claimed to have graduated from North Greenville University with a Bachelors of Science in Business. He actually attended for one semester. Most employers, if they found out about that level of deception would dismiss that person from their employ. We’ll eventually see the Trump campaign response, but then again, shady characters have a home there so he might be good.

He said he served six years in the Army Reserve which he never did. He did however, serve in the South Carolina National Guard which he says makes him part of the reserves.

He claims to be working on an advanced degree from a Seminary that indicates he’s not registered.

He has released a statement in his defense. He says:

“As a young man starting my church in Greenville, South Carolina, I overstated several details of my biography because I was worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a new pastor,”  “This was wrong. I wasn’t truthful then and I have to take full responsibility for my actions.

“Since that time I should have taken steps to correct any misrepresentations of my background. We all make mistakes, and I hope that the measure of my character and the quality of my works speak for what kind of person I am.”

Let’s be clear, these aren’t merely the lies he told as a young man while starting a career that languished in a file somewhere until coming to light. These lies are the credentials which he has asked the world to believe he has credibility. He ask’s us to give him credit for the honor of military service, for having completed a college education, for life experiences he simply made up. He asks us to judge him by the quality of his works. This is one of the works for which I will judge him:

a mark burns tweet

As I expected, his white supporters (and Pastor Burns himself) claim that he is only being attacked because “He’s a black man supporting Trump” or “Any time a black man supports conservative views, liberals will find a way to take him down.” Like his non-apology after posting the blackface image of Hillary Clinton. Burns has similarly non-apologized for the false claims covering basically his whole life. The God he claims to serve would accept followers with any background. God uses the remnants which gives Him even greater glory when he uses the least of us in wondrous ways. That Pastor Burns felt he needed to bolster his earthly credentials to serve God say’s more about his character than anything else I can.

Pastor Burns has a wife, six children, and a lot of explaining to do to his family, his church and perhaps even Donald Trump. This is the Trump who claims he surrounds himself with “the best people.” Who talks about “Extreme Vetting.” In reality, he has surrounded himself with people with ties to Russia, that publish racist websites, have harassed women, and that lie about the least of things in the face of insurmountable proof.

Pastor Burns has now cleaned up his website and retracted the false claims. At this point, he feels he’s being persecuted for his beliefs. No Pastor, you’re being persecuted because you can’t be believed!

 

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