Category Archives: injustice

Scott Sisters: I don’t like Haley Barbour, However…

…he gets 2 1/2 cool points for pardoning the Scott Sisters. He still reminds me of Boss Hog from Dukes of Hazard a little to much for me to even jokingly be comfortable with him as a viable candidate for President.  When I hear him talk I fully expect to be sprayed with a firehose, knocking the “Ain’t I A Man” poster out of my hands.  He sounds racist…like people say “You sound ghetto”, so don’t act like I’m being harsh.  I don’t think I’m being racist.  At a minimum, I am judging him due to his accent and the region he represents.

There is southern and then there is Mississippi.  When I heard about the Scott Sister’s story, my soul said that the place of my mother’s people has not changed much since it’s bloody days of lynching, murder, overt racism and “putting negroes in their place”.  Here’s a synopisis of their story from the NAACP’s Letter of Petition to Barbour:

Jamie and Gladys Scott – the “Scott Sisters” – have been incarcerated in Mississippi for the last 16 years for an armed robbery which, according to court testimony, yielded $11. They have consistently denied involvement in the crime. Although neither of the Scott Sisters had a prior criminal record, they were each sentenced to an extraordinary double life sentence.

The presiding judge in their trial, Judge Marcus Gordon, has a history of racially biased rulings, including granting bail to the KKK murderer of the three civil rights workers: Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.

Furthermore, Jamie Scott now has lost renal function in one of her kidneys and cannot survive without a transplant. She has suffered repeated infections and been hospitalized due to unsanitary prison conditions. The Department of Corrections will not allow tests for kidney compatibility even though numerous volunteers have come forward.

Also, at the time of their arrest, Jamie was 22 years old and Gladys was 19 years old and pregnant. Two African-American youth, who admitted taking the money, stated at the Scott Sisters’ trial that they falsely implicated the sisters in order to receive a reduced sentence.  From what I read, the youth did end up in jail, but only served about 3 years.

NPR reported that Republican Gov. Haley Barbour decided in December to release them. “One condition: That 35-year-old Gladys follow through on her offer to donate a kidney (provided that doctors say it’s safe for her to do so) to 38-year-old Jamie, who needs regular dialysis…”  Um…there is always a catch, huh.  How about you just let them go because the evidence and sentence are shady and let them handle their family business without any intrusion??

Anyway…I just wanted to give my 2 cents on ole Haley since the 2012 election predictions and in full swing and people are wondering if he will run.  It took TOOO long for these women to receive justice.  However, I’m glad that Gov. Barbour saw the light and released them.  That being said, I agree with Earl Ofari Hutchinson.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Daily Voice columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson suggested the action was being taken, in part, because “Barbour sniffs the presidency,” a sentiment echoed by some others. “The governor of Mississippi did this for political reasons,” the sisters’ mother, Eveyln Rasco, told WAPT TV in Jackson. “He did it because I heard he was running for president,” she said. “I don’t think he did it because he opened his heart to do it.” – Daily Voice

I guess he’ll have a defense for accusations of racism on the campaign trail, huh?


Filed under african american, black, black women, crime, drama, family, government, injustice, news, opinion, politics, racism, women

Grand Isle and the Oil Spill: Karma is a Bitch

They say that what you do unto others will be done unto you.  Now, trust me…I have compassion for the people currently effected by the oil spill.  People are losing their livelihoods and some have lost their lives.  However, I just have to say that I just see an irony in this mess.  A very, very sad irony.  Jefferson Parish officials refused to help people suffering during Katrina and now, parts of the parish are in need.

“And despite constant warnings from Jefferson Parish officials about oil approaching Grand Isle late last week, the boats needed to stop it weren’t around when they were needed. As a result, oil washed up on beaches and authorities in Jefferson “commandeered” shrimp boats from BP in order to get booms out to the passes near the island.” source

One of the most compelling during the Katrina disaster came from two white paramedics from San Francisco who were among those trapped in the city after the hurricane.  They were turned away on a bridge by Jefferson Parish police:

“”The police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge to the south side of the Mississippi, where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the city…We organized ourselves, and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched past the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group, and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings, and quickly, our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, as did people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and other people in wheelchairs. We marched the two to three miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the bridge…

As we approached the bridge, armed sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and the commander’s assurances. The sheriffs informed us that there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move. We questioned why we couldn’t cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the six-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans, and there would be no Superdomes in their city…All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away—some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the city on foot. (Bradshaw and Slonsky 2005)”

When questioned about these incidents later, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff confirmed that his office closed the bridge, explaining that his Parish did not have the resources to care for thousands of needy people.” source

Other Accounts:
Evacuees Were Turned Away at Gretna, La. : NPR

Jefferson Parish Sheriff
asks to be taken off of lawsuit | –

I wonder what the citizens of Jefferson Parish thought about the events on that bridge back then?  I wonder what they think about the responsiblity of all of us to care for the needy now?


Filed under community, history, injustice, katrina, news, opinion, racism, society

Was Your African American Studies Class Ethnically Chauvinistic?

By now most of you have heard about the new bill that Arizona is taking heat for that bans some ethnic studies courses.

Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, already under fire for approving the nation’s toughest illegal immigration law, has again run afoul of liberal activists, signing a bill Wednesday that targets ethnic studies programs in schools that critics say unfairly demean white Americans.

The law, which takes effect Dec. 31, would prohibit courses that promote resentment toward one race; that are designed for students of one race; that promote ethnic solidarity “instead of treating students as individuals;” and that encourage “the overthrow of the United States government.”

The proposal was the brainchild of Tom Horne, Arizona state superintendent of public instruction, who has long battled with the Tucson Unified School District over its Mexican-American studies program, contending that it promotes “ethnic chauvinism” through the use of textbooks such as “Oppressed America” and at least one guest speaker who said, “Republicans hate Latinos.” – source

As a HBCU grad who loved all of the African American studies classes I had, I was disturbed by the language in this bill.  The measure prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.  I feel that legally, some of the points in the law would be very hard to define.  CNN did a great job of bringing this out.

What do you think?  Would your African American studies class be banned under this bill?  What is wrong with ethnic solidarity?  Couldn’t one argue that American history as it is traditionally taught could easily promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group (ie. “Cowboys and Indians”)?

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New Poll Finds Tea Partiers a Smidge More Racist

Ok, maybe a lot more than a smidge.  Arian Campo-Flores of Newsweek reports in an article posted today, that people who approve of the  Tea Party movement tend to have more racist attitudes.  This lil tidbit is very telling: ” Only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party agreed that blacks are hard-working, compared to 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the Tea Party.”  Wow…only 55% of blacks are hard-working.  I’m sure that percentage is up from when…1965??  Oh yeah, we were only hard working pre-1865.  With emancipation our productivity went way down.  I wonder why…hmmm.

So a new poll by researchers at the University of Washington caught my eye. The findings are sure to fan the flames further. “People who approve of the Tea Party, more than those who don’t approve, have more racist attitudes,” says Christopher Parker, a University of Washington professor who directed the survey. “And not only that, but more homophobic and xenophobic attitudes.” For instance,  respondents were asked whether they agreed with various characterizations of different racial groups. Only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party agreed that blacks are hard-working, compared to 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the Tea Party. On whether blacks were intelligent, 45 percent of the Tea Party supporters agreed, compared to 59 percent of the Tea Party opponents. And on the issue of whether blacks were trustworthy, 41 percent of the Tea Party supporters agreed, compared to 57 percent of the Tea Party opponents.

The survey, which included about 1,000 respondents in six battleground states (like Michigan and Nevada) and California, found similar margins on questions regarding Latinos. And Tea Party supporters were far more likely than opponents to say that immigrants take jobs from people living here (59 percent agreed with that statement), that immigration from foreign countries should be decreased (53 percent agreed), and that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. should be deported immediately (45 percent agreed).

More fuel for the unproductive divisions that are the legacy of sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc in America.  I’ll have to see how Fox and Right Wing pundits spin these numbers.


Filed under black, culture, government, injustice, news, opinion, politics, race, racism, society, white folks

Chicago Cop Busted Pulling People Over for Driving While Black

If you are African-American and not at all surprised by this story, please signify by commenting below.  I guess that should be a lesson to us.  Put your passengers on notice so that if you get pulled over by a racist cop you’ll have the audio evidence recorded on someone’s phone.  Smart Phones as a Black Liberation tool against racial profiling, imagine that.

Huffington Post – Passengers got an unusual answer when they asked a Chicago police officer why they’d been pulled over Tuesday night.

“Because you’re f***ing black,” the cop told them.

The officer’s lengthy, profanity-riddled tirade was recorded by one of the passengers’ cell phones, and obtained by WGN-TV.

Now, police superintendent Jody Weis is looking in to the incident. From the Chicago Tribune’s report:

“The manner in which the officer and subject interacted was unacceptable,” Police Supt. Jody Weis said in a prepared statement. “Officers are trained and expected to deal with these situations in a professional manner, free of unnecessary sarcasm.”The driver was ultimately issued three tickets, for a seat belt violation, no insurance, and driving with a suspended license. He told WGN that he did not contest the tickets, but was surprised and offended by the officer’s rant.

The officer, whose name has not been released, has been placed on desk duty while the investigation takes place.

Watch the WGN report on

For some reason I really appreciate that the driver isn’t contesting the tickets. He’s not trying to act like he wasn’t in error. You know some of you guys would have played that a little different. LOL. Get out of “ticket” free card.

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Dr. Gates donates his handcuffs to the Smithsonian

None of the black people I know have ever been given their handcuffs as a “You got arrested” souvenir.  Apparently Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. received more than a beer at the White House after his traumatic arrest…on his front porch.   He’s donated the handcuffs used on him to the Smithsonian Institution’s black history museum.  This makes me wonder…what other items will be on display with these handcuffs?

  • One of the night sticks used on Rodney King
  • Handcuffs used on famous African Americans (MLK, Tupac, Diana Ross, etc)
  • A replica of a Montgomery, Alabama jail cell from the Civil Rights era
  • That horrible neck brace will the bells on it that you sometimes see in illustrations found in books on slavery.

What would happen if black males all over the nation requested that they be given their former chains and handcuffs so that they could be donated to the Smithsonian as a testament  to the record incarceration rates of black men in America.  Surely, 50 years…100 years from our children would marvel at the shear size of the collection of metal bonds.  Would they be amazed and say, “There’s no way that so many people of one race could have been accused of/guilty of that much crime!”.  Or perhaps they will just shake their heads and say, “Nothing has changed.”.


Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, black men, civil rights, crime, d.c., history, injustice, news, race, washington dc

I might have to put my DC apartment on Blast

Ok, so when you don’t feel happy and comfortable in your home, apartment or otherwise, it can take a toll on how you feel all day and your overall disposition. I just moved in to an apartment real close to Fort Totten Metro Station and I’m going through hell.  I want to get out of the lease and I’ve been there less than 2 weeks.  The word is LOUD!  Crazy loud.  I think my apartment building was made out of tissue paper.

I went through a lil taste of hell trying to get a mortgage on a NE condo (Sept to Nov).  The deal fell through when the appraisal came up $13,000 too short.  The reason for the shortfall was clear…the appraiser was looking at unequal comps.  In the end…deal fell through.  It was a painful experience.  I was hoping to move into a new apartment and relax.  I lived in this building before so I thought things would be ok.  The issue is that I used to live on the top floor in a corner unit.  Now I’m in a high traffic area of the building and the clientele on my level is very interesting.

I’m trying to work things out and there is a termination clause in the lease.  It requires 60 day notice and one months rent though.  If I moved and had to comply with that…I’ll be out approx 2000-2300 dollars (depending on when I move).  If I have to be out that much money because they don’t have the decency to have a 30 day satisfaction clause (I know, I should have checked before I moved in), I’m going to have to use all my social media skills to make my disdain known.  I know the law…no defamation.  However, I have the right to air my complaint and I will record the noise and let the public weigh in.   Shoot!  I think it would be a great experiment and a lot of people have the same complaints about where they live.

They know my complaints.  I should find out by tomorrow whether they will let me out in 30 days and if I will have to pay a fee.  I’ll keep ya posted.

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Filed under chocolate city, d.c., injustice, opinion, washington, washington dc

Pool Boots Kids Who Might “Change the Complexion”

Somebody pinch me. Is it 2009 or 1959? I’m just wondering after reading this article. No “minorities”, huh?  From NBC in Philly:

“I heard this lady, she was like, ‘Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?’ She’s like, ‘I’m scared they might do something to my child,'” said camper Dymire Baylor.

The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers’ first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.

“When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,” Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.

The response from the club was…sad [horrible, actually]

“There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,” John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.

Atmosphere…I agree.  Complexion, that too, but he is crazy to admit it to a news outlet.  I mean, hide your racism.  Don’t you know how?

Again I say…this is NOT a post-racial America.


Filed under african american, black, children, culture, injustice, news, race, racism, student, white folks, why, youth

Oscar Grant is the third man murdered by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police in the past 17 years. sent out this very informative information on the Murder of Oscar Grant that we thought was important to share.

On New Year’s Eve, Oscar Grant was shot execution-style by a transit police officer in Oakland, California. He was shot in the back while face-down on a subway platform, unarmed and posing no threat.

Twelve days later–despite several videos showing what happened–the officer who killed Grant hasn’t been arrested, charged, or even questioned. He quit the force and has refused to speak. The District Attorney has done nothing.

It’s time to demand that California Attorney General Jerry Brown take over the case and arrest Grant’s killer, and to ask that the US Department of Justice launch an independent investigation into the conduct of the local authorities. Please join us and ask your friends and family to do the same:

Oscar Grant is the third man murdered by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police in the past 17 years. All three victims were Black and none posed a serious threat. In each case, BART and county authorities have failed to hold the officers accountable.3

In the previous cases, BART’s internal investigations concluded that the officers felt threatened by the victims and were justified in pulling the trigger. It’s unbelievable given the circumstances of the killings:

  • In 1992, 19-year-old Jerrold Hall was shot in the back by a BART officer as he tried to leave the parking lot of a station. The officer was responding to reports of an armed robbery and said he suspected that Hall and a friend were involved. The officer tried to detain the two, Hall ran and then the officer shot him in the back and killed him. Hall was unarmed, but the officer said he thought Hall was on his way to get a gun and return for a showdown.4
  • In 2001, a mentally ill man named Bruce Seward was the next victim of the rogue force. Seward, 42, was naked and had been sleeping on a bench outside the BART station when an officer approached him. Seward did grab the officer’s nightstick at one point, but there were several options for subduing him. Instead, the officer shot and killed him.5

In addition to BART’s internal investigation, Alameda County’s District Attorney is also investigating Oscar Grant’s murder–but the office’s record on investigating police killings is horrible too. In both cases just described, the District Attorney bought BART’s argument that the officers felt threatened. As a result, the cops were cleared of any wrongdoing. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving: The ugly truth, slavery connection

The REAL story of the “first” Thanksgiving

In December of 1620 a splinter group of England’s Puritan movement set anchor on American soil, a land already inhabited by the Wampanoag Indians. Having been unprepared for the bitter cold weather, and arriving too late to grow an adequate food supply, nearly half of the 100 settlers did not survive the winter.

On March 16th, 1621, a Native Indian named Samoset met the Englishmen for the first time. Samoset spoke excellent English, as did Squanto, another bilingual Patuxet who would serve as interpreter between the colonist and the Wampanoag Indians, who, lead by Chief Massasoit, were dressed as fierce warriors and outnumbered the settlers.

The Wampanoag already had a long history with the white man. For 100 years prior to the Pilgrim landing, they had encounters with European fishermen, as well as those who worked for slave traders. They had witnessed their communities being raided and their people stolen to be sold into slavery. They did not trust the newcomers.

But Squanto was an exception. He had lived with the British, after being captured by an earlier sailing vessel. He had a deep fondness for the Europeans – particularly that for a British Explorer named John Weymouth, who treated Squanto like a son.

Chief Massasoit and Samoset arrived at the colony with over 60 men, plus Squanto, who acted as a mediator between the two parties. Squanto was successful at making a peaceful agreement, though it is most likely that there was a great deal of friction between the Native community and the colonists. The Englishmen felt that the Native peoples were instruments of the devil because of their spiritual beliefs and trusted only the Christian-baptized Squanto. The Native people were already non-trusting of the white man, except for Squanto, who looked at the Europeans as being of “Johns People.”

It was Squanto who then moved to the English colony and taught them to hunt, trap, fish and to cultivate their own crops. He educated them on natural medicine and living off the land. A beloved friend of the Pilgrims, for if it wasn’t for him, they would not if survived. The Puritian Pilgrims thought of him as an Instrument of God.

Several months later the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims decided to meet again to negotiate a land treaty needed by the settlers. They hoped to secure land to build the Plymouth Plantation for the Pilgrims. The Native people agreed to meet for a 3-day negotiation “conference”. As part of the Wampanoag custom – or perhaps out of a sense of charity towards the host – the Native community agreed to bring most of the food for the event.

The peace and land negotiations were successful and the Pilgrims acquired the rights of land for their people.

In 1622 propaganda started to circulate about this “First Thanksgiving”. Mourts Relation, a book written to publicize the so-called “wonderfulness” of Plymouth, told of the meeting as a friendly feast with the Natives. The situation was glamorized by the Pilgrims, possibly in an effort to encourage more Puritans to settle in their area. By stating that the Native community was warm and open-armed, the newcomers would be more likely to feel secure in their journey to New England.

The sad, sad truth (what happened next)

What started as a hope for peace between the settlers and the Wampanoag, ended in the most sad and tragic way. The Pilgrims, once few in number, had now grown to well over 40,000 and the Native American Continue reading


Filed under black history, culture, history, injustice, slavery