Showing posts from 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Stanford - "The other America" 1967

 A Speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
14 April 1967
Stanford University

Dean Napier, Mr. Bell; members of the faculty and members of the student body of this great institution of learning; ladies and gentlemen.

Now there are several things that one could talk about before such a large, concerned, and enlightened audience. There are so many problems facing our nation and our world, that one could just take off anywhere. But today I would like to talk mainly about the race problems since I'll have to rush right out and go to New York to talk about Vietnam tomorrow, and I've been talking about it a great deal this week and weeks before that.

But I'd like to use as a subject from which to speak this afternoon, the Other America. And I use this subject because there are literally two Americas. One America is beautiful for situation. And, in a sense, this America is overflowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of opportunity. This America is the habita…

#McKinney, #MonsonMotorLodge, #AliveWhileBlack

On June 6, 2015, police were called and told there were "too many black people" at a pool party at an all white residential community in McKinney, Texas. This is what happened:

When I saw this, what I thought was, Monson Motor Lodge. 
"On June 18, 1964, black and white protesters jumped into the whites-only pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Fla. In an attempt to force them out, the owner of the hotel poured acid into the pool."
"Martin Luther King Jr. had planned the sit-in during the St. Augustine Movement, a part of the larger civil rights movement. " Then the hotel owner called the police. One of whom tried to club a rabbi in the pool with his nightstick:  Then an off duty  police officer jumped in the pool to attack the protestors: Eventually they arrested the protestors.  I need to reiterate that the protestors were peacefully swimming in the pool. The press had been alerted and as a result, As soon as they were told they were arrested…

These Blues Are My Blues

I speak about my stepfather and race a great deal. He was my mentor and guide into the world of being Black in America in the 1970s. My stepfather took some drastic steps to insure we assimilated American Black Culture, in all caps. He took us off military bases for 6 of the most vulnerable and traumatic years of my life, until I graduated from high school. He took me to housing projects and the slums of Chicago’s south side to visit war buddies, friends and family. He wanted me to understand both Delta blues and Chicago blues in the most organic fashion possible. Not for music history appreciation, or the witnessing of poverty, or any of the reasons those who are not raised in a blues culture can understand. He did it to share with me the way he retained his identity and sense of self when war, torture, racism, and injustice sought to tear it away from him. He passed it on to me in the way it was shared by his parents with him. This is my inheritance from him. An incredible gift bec…

Answer The Question

I’m here. I’m watching. I’m waiting. The silence is deafening.
Answer question Jada Pinkett-Smith, and thousands of other people my color are asking.

What happened to Freddie Gray?

While many media outlets ignored a week of thousands of people of all races and ethnicities peacefully protesting we kept asking that question.

Remember everyone, including a suspect being arrested, has human and civil rights. This is America. We don't execute or beat people we are arresting. Doing so would put us in violation of our own laws. The head of the Fraternal Order of Police stated in an interview that "police don't want bad cops. They make our jobs dangerous." So why aren't you all answering this question?

I watched, as administrators and politicians derailed, deflected and ignored the question.
I’ve listened to the gaslighting of our people. I heard when peaceful protesters were called a "lynch mob" by one of those who is supposed to investigate what happened. I sa…

On El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

I get particularly annoyed when everyone insists on calling him Malcolm X. Malcolm X was a phase in his life, when he rejected the concept of holding the surname of those who kept his ancestors in bondage. 50 years after his assassination, the biggest insult the public can do is being done. Call him Malik. Call him Shabazz. Call him El-Hajj. Just stop calling him Malcolm X.

His true name, like his voice, for some reason terrifies people. An African American male who is not a declared pacifist, who to paraphrase bell hooks, "threw away the master's tools", 50 years on, is still considered dangerous.  Most of this picture painted of the controversial figure  is done by those who don't bother to read what the man wrote or listen to what he said. I do not mean quotes, or bits and pieces or inflammatory rhetoric spouted prior to his split from Elijah Muhammad. Have you ever  just listened to him after he found himself, after he returned from Mecca, directly? Click the li…

Justice Denied

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."  
Frederick Douglass
As we all expected, the federal government's attorneys are not seeking a case against Officer Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown dead for jaywalking.  It is important that everyone remember that when this catastrophic encounter took place, no one had filed any complaint against Mr. Brown and no one had issued a warrant for his arrest on any charge. He was a young African American male walking down a Ferguson street. He is dead. Officer Wilson is financially set for retirement, cleared of any wrongdoing, and allowed to live as he wishes.
But Michael Brown is dead.
Meanwhile in Brighton, Alabama Sheneque Proctor is also dead. She was at a party with friends in Bessemer when she was arrested for disorderl…

Against The Miseducation of Mustafa Cevik

My Dear Son,

It is my maternal responsibility to counter misinformation regarding the meaning of today's holiday, the civil rights movement,
and those who led it. You are being told, that our first president George Washington, is the father of our country. You are being taught that he "could not tell a lie." President George Washington held slaves and allowed his wife to hold slaves on his plantation, Mt. Vernon. So our first president participated in the enslavement of your mother's people.

President Lincoln is called the "great emancipator" of our people. Know that President Lincoln tried to use the emancipation proclamation, the declaration that the enslaved people on the plantations in the South were free, so that slaves would turn on their former masters and turn the tide of the civil war in favor of the North. So this president hoped to use the deaths of your mother's people to force the war to end early. This effort did not succeed.

Dr. Martin Lu…