This Week's Top Post

  1. Penitentiary Rules In Effect :: My Thoughts On Dyson’s Ghost of West (14 Readers)
  2. The Heartbreak of Black Americans Not Understanding Kola Boof and Ayaan Hirsi Ali By @KolaBoof (13 Readers)
  3. J. Cole “Crooked Smile” Official Video Ft. TLC, Dedicated To Aiyana Stanley-Jones (6 Readers)
  4. BDSM: Encounters of the Black Male Submissive Kind (4 Readers)
  5. Thaddeus McCarroll :: Murdered By Jennings Police[St. Louis County] (4 Readers)
  6. Breaking The Silence :: The Rekia Boyd Story (3 Readers)
  7. The Rekia Boyd Story::Three Years And More Injustice Later (3 Readers)
  8. Evolving Blacks??? (2 Readers)
  9. Because of a Black Woman (2 Readers)

 

The Black State

The Rekia Boyd Story::Three Years And More Injustice Later

“Just watching the news story about that 22 year old woman who has been shot in the head, and I’m like,’I feel sorry for that family’…” – Martinez Sutton, brother of Rekia Boyd

 

On March 21, 2012, 22 year old Rekia Boyd was killed by Chicago cops after visiting with friends on Chicago’s W. 15th place. According to attorney James D. Montgomery, Rekia was with friends as an off-duty Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin told a neighboring group to “shut up” and opened fire after the ensuing exchange of acrimonies. During an attempt to flee, Rekia was struck in the head and died a little over 24 hours. Her friend, Antonio Cross was struck in his hand.

 

The defense of Servin rests on Chicago Police Department’s allegations that Antonio was brandishing a weapon and that Servin felt his life was in danger. According to witnesses and a thorough investigation of the scene, no weapons had been found. Some proffer the notion that Cross’ phone may have been mistaken, to this Cross mentions that he had the phone to his ear while he was talking in it.Cross asks, “How the fuck you think my phone was a weapon?”

 

 

 

Almost three years ago to the date, I wrote those above words detailing the murder of Martinez Sutton’s sister, Rekia Boyd by Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin. Three years later, almost to the date, Martinez Sutton left a courtroom after a Cook County judge decided that Servin was not guilty in the involuntary manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm case against him. The judge would allow for a defense motion, meaning that, Servin would be found not guilty without him even having to testify in his own defense. According to reports, Judge Dennis Porter would also attempt to contain the pain and anguish unleashed by his unjust, fate-sealing ruling by telling the family members and supporters of Rekia Boyd,“This is not a place for emotion. This is a place for reasoned decisions.”

 

Although, Rekia’s family received a settlement of $4.5M, the inability of centers of justice throughout the United States to find patrollers of Black communities responsible and accountable for less than surgical and disciplined use of weapons–and the license to use them in situations where racial bias is known to exist–removes a certain credibility from these offices. The judge presiding and rendering justice void in this case of a young woman killed for enjoying a simple night of revelry with friends by a servant of the community remarks in his verdict that possibly the wrong charge had been filed, and also that Servin acted “beyond reckless”. Yet, Servin gets to smugly walk through protesters with a flank of tax-paid patrollers, while the family of Rekia Boyd are placed under arrest for responding like humans are known to respond when a family member slain by someone is being protected by the powers authorized by wealth, guns, and custom to enforce and embody the interpretation of “law”.

 

May my condolences shatter the distance that separates my Self and the family of Rekia Boyd for their grievous robbery of Life and Justice today.

MediaFire

Penitentiary Rules In Effect :: My Thoughts On Dyson’s Ghost of West

Penitentiary rules in effect. Don’t Panic- Kevin Gates

 

I suppose it was around 10pm or so on the East Coast time segmentation that the Twitter updates regarding a particularly scathing essay from one public intellectual to another began to traffic my timeline on April 19, 2015. I typically attempt to avoid arranging my thoughts or placing my body between any combating parties, especially those armed to the teeth with personal anecdotes. Being that it was Michael Eric Dyson of Pro. Rap-A-Lot fame bemoaning an attack from Cornel “I Came To Get Arrested” West, I allowed my Self the leniency of indulgence.

 

The Ghost Of Cornel West

 

The essay is fairly lengthy at twenty-one pages compiled in pdf format. Worded with an air of the erudite, and even more so designed with tangents that forces the reader to weave through subway system-like contours of Pro. Rap-A-Lot’s obvious inability to get straight to the point. The piece courses and winds through the early days of Cornel West’s academic career, his publishings, West’s hypocrisies, and it even routes through a not so brisk journey through Dyson’s own, if you let him tell it, humble beginnings in academia. In fact, the piece, if this analysis were written by a more poetic writer, could have easily been also compared to not a subway, but one of those expensive monster roller coasters that attempt to tear your heart out with its upside down spins. In the end of the ride, I was left wonder where I should go pick my check up for those hours spent pouring over the writing of an individual apparently well-read, but not so well aware that his audience has long grown weary of adults bantering like high school teens over their favorite comic book hero in terms laced with gravitas borrowed from their favorite philosophy texts.

 

The writing envisions Cornel as the playboy scholar that measures his Blackness in prophetic terms while conveniently hiding the ruling for others to use. The writing frames Obama as the misunderstand political genius who courageously confronts West while professionally trained members of one of the world’s most top-heavy militaries work as his bodyguards. Professor Anthea Butler would condense her thoughts on the two men in engagement in a Twitter update by stating,”This thing between Dyson and West is like Pac and Biggie to the Tenth Power.”

 

 

I would have to write that is it more like Nas and Jay-Z to maybe the square root of negative one power.

 

However, my thoughts on the piece as a defense of Daddy Barry, a reduction of West to two-bit hustler, and Dyson’s own need to present himself as the voice of academic Negro USA are clouded by the sheer disconnect of the words to what will the piece– and most pieces published directly to the internet and promoted heavily on social media– and the audience. The magnitude of US Black hegemonic worship pores through the page eliciting a response from this writer in wonder,”Just how much of Black America is defined by the standards of Whytes, liberal, progressive and other?!”

 

Dyson details a litany of names of Black academic luminaries defined by standards I can only sum up as, many years spent hard coding their worldviews with those of privileged Whyte Americans and allowed to appear on stages as the voice of Black folks. Sure, that might be unfair. I do think that West is extremely privileged as a Black man(any person, really) that can sacrifice a job paying professional athlete level salary to pursue(well, anything really) his art. Yes, I do believe that West went to St. Louis, Missouri with the intent to be arrested for the world to see. I base this belief on West’s own words when he states,”I came to be arrested.” I also know from a very trustworthy source that West also marched alongside protesters and organizers directly involved with the Mike Brown Forever Movement, as well as the parents of police murdered, Von Derrit Droop Myers, in an action where the campus of St. Louis University was occupied for the span of a week or more. Does this make West less of a rich, privileged, possibly opportunistic person?

 

Maybe not, but I at least understand West in terms more suitable for a discussion with today’s working class Blacks who are the defining elements of what Black is. I still think that West’s decades worth of Marxist scholarship is rendered questionable(me being nice) in light of his cowtowing to Jay-Z. Yes, I do agree, in the space of capitalist thought, Cornel West acts and responds in a way that makes it difficult to merge his scholarly text with. Yet, even with all this, Dyson’s words reek of an essentialism that says to be a Black public intellectual one has to have paperwork from massa. The “Blackness” that Dyson seems to be defending is one that does see Tupac as a prophet even when being dismissive of him, in the least, will consider Biggie a prophet in reaction to hearing or reading Tupac being called one.

 

Dyson is so far removed from the discussion of “Blackness” that he still believes his rap recital rhetoric is a persuasive device amongst young people sacrificing their youth to put their bodies in the way of already murdered peers and the murdering police. Dyson is so far removed from “Blackness”, that he fails to understand that those same people that marched with West with a military style cavalcade in the backdrop to literally take over one of Missouri’s highest ranking universities were not asking themselves, “Where is Cornel West?”

 

They were, however, asking,”where is President Obama? Where is the guy I stood for hours in a line to vote for? Where is the guy that sold me all that hope when I need to cash that shyt in for some real justice?”

 

Let me close this out, y’all.

 

I refuse to defend a grown man that I am not personally and intimately aligned with. Whatever fictive kinship obligations I still hold with regard to race, it ends at a certain bottomline. Especially when scathing attacks are involved. However, with that drawn line is the application of Black Media Trust that informs me to be weary when anyone in the media is using “Blackness” as a barometer for credibility. There is no “Blackness”. There are only humans forced through slavery to wear the label and to make due with it as they see fit while sojourning through life as humans. For a man whose claim to fame is the ability to recall hip hop lyrics while waxing philosophically from his Georgetown digs to defend a man whose claim to fame is being “Whyte” enough to be the first Black president who cannot be the first Black president once in the office by attacking another man’s “Blackness” and place in the minds of those that are identified as “Black” is beyond the usual internet folly most of us have grown accustomed to. And then to use personal conversations to do it, I can actually almost overlook that given the magnitude of the ridiculousness of the context and agenda subscribed.

MediaFire ::

Articles, Posts, Essays, And Media That Is Popular In The Headlines Or Blogosphere
The Green DJHTY

Black Media :: What Does Black Trust Look Like Online???

So, I was filling out yet another form, on yet another site, when it dawned on me, “I do not know these people, yet, I’m about to give them my credit card information. Why, OWL, Why?”

 

I pushed top of the laptop forward from its usual ninety degree angle. Hovering a tad over the screen, my eyes roamed the website’s design. There were two major badges that immediately gave me a certain degree of comfort that I had not totally lost my Organic Black Mind. As I proceeded to continue my purchase, I floored yet another internal question,”How Whyte are these badges of trust? What does Black Trust look like online?”

 

I thought that was a good question, so I decided to floor it in your mind. What makes a Black site trustworthy to you? What are the indice, the indicators, the insignia that cause you to relax when seen on a site you are planning on spending money with? Which of those are controlled by Black establishments? Which of the symbols used to communicate online security are representations of a Black company? How much equity is there of Black Trust in Black Media especially when that Black Media is interactive and leads to a checkout portal?

 

I thought a bit about what the Black PayPal button might look like. I considered for a moment would it be a flat design, or would the fonts be borrowed from an era of high Black culture in the ways modern day Whyte designers borrow from Swiss designers who represent the height of western design trends. I pondered just where I would begin to see these badges first.

 

Might we need to check in on Time-Warner owned ESSENCE and see if they are able to pass a Black Audit? See if ESSENCE deserves the right to carry themselves as representing the Black Woman’s Voice and yet owned and edited by Whyte people for Whyte profits? Where is the badge on their site that would allow less aware Blacks to know that this site has or does not have the Black Seal Of Approval?

 

During the Los Angeles Uprise of the 1990s, Black store owners would place placards letting the Black Revoltists know that they could be trusted and did not need to have their access to Black dollars in those particular neighborhoods revoked. What are the digital versions of this? How do those loyal to the fictive kinship obligation of race know they are not being hoodwinked by yet another Whtye company posing as Black? What about the Black Sisters that wish purchase Black Hair Care products from other Blacks and not Asians? Or shouldn’t the Asian companies selling Black Hair Care products be given a Black Audit to see if their companies should be approved for a Black Trust Badge?

 

The more I tossed the idea of this Black Trust and Black Trust Badge around in my head, the more I realized just how few sites awash in Black dollars actually deserved one. Whyte symbols of trust are difficult to obtain, and work to force the standard of the hegemony upon those that need to do business across the internet. Black culture and Black business is treated like a thing passed between drunk athletes after a celebration for sexual relief with no sponsor. No one seeks our approval and no one fears not receiving it.

 

Yet, the need for an official body representing at least some layer of Black presence that is not owned by a Whyte company or financed by one, in fact, one that represents Blacks regardless of class, exists.

 

But, let me hit submit and check my email to make sure they sent my receipt. In fact, while I am in my email inbox, let me know your thoughts on this by emailing me at owlasylum@gmail.com.

The Green DJHTY ::

Articles, Posts, Essays, And Media in this category are analyses and frameworks of US Black Media.
The Green DJHTY

Black Media, Victimization, And Agency

I guess there will always be times in my life when the notion of enough is enough resonates most accurately.

 

I read a lot of articles, posts, essays, and written words spelling out the need for people with less power than the powerful to address this powerlessness. In fact, I have written a number of these longform texts my Self. At a certain point, I find there is a line where the need to outline one’s victimization and the need to mobilize with a certain agency exists. This rings more and more apparent when I analyze media consumed at a mass level.

 

When watching broadcast television shows such as “Empire” or “Scandal”, I am often left wondering about the impact of the US Black image. Like many of those whom I follow on Twitter, subscribe to on YouTube or whose writings I read on their own site might suggest, these images represent what many will identify with as “US Black”. Regardless of the level of the stereotype a script contains, the desire to see characters portrayed and actresses and actors portraying them that share our physical attributes exist at a high level. I often hear my fiancee’s mother speaking of times when US Blacks would gather in front of the television with phone carriage to ear enthusiastically announcing to whomever they were conversing with that,”It’s a Black person on tv!!!”

 

This particular bit of excitement reflects an awareness of the socio-political nature of the US Black image, while also revealing a dearth of the same. Sure, finding others that appear as we do on a medium that often dictates what will be discussed throughout the week at work, after church, and during our social gatherings has a certain power to it. What we see on television screens not only informs popular culture, it is popular culture. However, these same images are also commodities to be valued based on viewers–and now Twitter updates and hashtags–which are segmented into blocks of time sold to the advertising departments of the company with the best purchasing power and negotiation skills.

 

Then there is the miasma of message and cultural impact. How do these images inform my subconscious scripts and beliefs about my Self as a US Black person? How do these images inform my subconscious scripts and beliefs about the United States of America? How do these images inform my subconscious scripts and beliefs about other US Blacks? How does class, race, sex, gender, orientation, and other political identity descriptors fit into the message received? At what point is it solely entertainment and at what is it persuasion, propaganda, and rhetorical device?

 

This is simply a set of queries relating to television scripts crafted for a niche market. What about the airing of videos detailing the murder of Black people? How do these visual texts of captured objective reality inform my personhood? Should we be watching these depictions of graphic and extreme hostility as much as we have in the past years?

 

Then I begin to ask my Self another set of questions.

 

How easy is it for me to simply not watch? How much effort does it take me to tune away, to tune out, to not tune in to these visual stories of a reality reflective of my own? At what point does the victimization, the abuse akin to verbal abuse, contained in these images as message meet my agency, that is to say, my ability to realize no one has a gun at my head or a whip over my back threatening physical annihilation if I do not consume these images?

 

While writing analyses of US Black media, or reading them, it is gradually becoming a habit to ask of my Self or the writer,”Was your remote control broke? They had you tied to a chair with your eyes duct taped open while watching?”

 

Even as a professional Black Media Analyst, my biggest concern has to be more about promoting and training the ideas, concepts, and techniques of US Black Media Literacy, or Black Media Trust, as opposed to simply attempting to police what is broadcast and what is consumed via the broadcast. This includes not only television shows, but also what is considered contemporary journalism, blogging, books, comic books, academic journal studies, music, and all other forms of media. It is not my intention to persuade anyone against the popular in our cultural media. It might be a task with much to sacrifice and little to actually consider as successful result. It is, however, my life’s appointment to recognize what is popular, to examine that which is popular, and, to the best of my ability, tease out what elements and qualities of that text(imagery, audial, or written) I perceive to be most compelling.

 

The reality is, it is never just entertainment(I am sure an argument can be made with the conclusion of nothing in life–let alone society–is just anything in a dynamic construct). It is also my personal choice based on a litany of experiences to move away from what I deem harmful. It is my professional advice(free of charge at the moment) to profer a nod of agency on the part of the consumer, while also either simply suggesting they find other products of the medium, or actually showing them what I consume. It is my professional advice(once again, free of charge at the moment) to profer a nod to agency on the part of the US Black Media Analyst, while also reminding them that any text they create lamenting the oppressive quality of a media consumable is also promoting it.

 

That advice, while time tested and paycheck approved, is, much like the directives contained within the advice itself, there for one to take, or to tune out. If you must critique it, please leave a link leading back here. Thanks.

The Green DJHTY ::

Articles, Posts, Essays, And Media in this category are analyses and frameworks of US Black Media.
Mike Brown Notes

Thaddeus McCarroll :: Murdered By Jennings Police[St. Louis County]

Thaddeus McCarroll was 23 years of age when he was shot dead on Friday, April 18, 2015 in Jennings, Missouri by their police department’s Tactical Operations Unit. Thaddeus was killed in events spawned from a response by the law enforcers to a call from the 9200 block of Riverwood Drive around 10:30 pm that Friday.

 

In what St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar is describing as a “one-way negotiation”, Jennings police fired some sort of weapon, an “impact weapon”, which did not work to subdue Thaddeus. Instead of aiming for his legs to attempt to stop Thaddeus, the police fired what sounds like assault style rifles and killed him.

 

The police arrived on the scene as a response to a call from Thaddeus’ mother, who says he had locked her out of the house. When Thaddeus appeared exiting the door of the home, he is reported to have been wielding a knife in one hand and a Bible. After a blast, and usage of what is being referred to as an “impact weapon”, officers report that he charged them, in which they almost immediately let out a barrage of shots, putting a period on Thaddeus’ short life’s sentence.

 

 

Jennings is a county of St. Louis, and it is near about five miles from Ferguson where Mike Mike Brown was murdered in August by patroller Darren Wilson. It is around one mile from where Kajieme Powell was killed by St. Louis Metropolitan patrollers also in August.

Mike Brown Notes ::

Articles In This Category Relate To The Mike Brown Forever Movement, Youth Slain By Killer Cops, And The Ferguson Family Of Activists
Mike Brown Notes

Walter Scott And The Fourth Of April

On April 4, 2015, in South Carolina, Walter Scott, while driving with a passenger in a black Mercedes Benz with a broken brake light, was stopped by a North Charleston police officer, Michael Thomas Slager. What occurs, initially, is recorded in a video by the dashcam of Slager’s cruiser.

 

 

As it is shown in the video, Walter is questioned about his driver’s license, insurance, vehicle registration, as well as the ownership of the vehicle. A conversation ensues regarding the Walter’s plans to purchase the car, as he states that he does not own the car, he is planning on purchasing it, and he does not have the insurance for the car. Walter informs Slager that his own car is down. Slager then returns to his squad car. As the dashcam footage details, Walter steps out of the car, and is commanded by a barking Slager to step back inside the car.

 

Nineteen seconds later, Walter decides that waiting on whatever information the cop would retrieve from a warrant or background check was not worth the risk. He exits the Benz and begins to run towards what looks like some trees adjacent to the Advanced Auto Parts parking lot. Although, we cannot see it, apparently the Law Enforcer Slager gives chase.

 

The succeeding incidents of the pursuit would result in Walter’s last time seeing the inside of that black Mercedes Benz. On April 4, 2015, Walter Lamer Scott, a 50 year old father of four and former US Serviceman of the US Coast Guard, was killed.

 

 

Following the events, the specifics were unclear. Slager’s name was not released in the earliest statements from the police chief. Ultimately, it was Slager’s tale of an arrest resist and scuffle for his taser that caused him to fear for his life that media reporters were left to broadcast. Slager’s story would include also a failed attempt to resuscitate the fallen Walter. Yet, despite the CPR, Walter Scott would be pronounced dead at the scene.

 

It would all have probably gone according to Slager’s flagitious scheme, if it had not been for another video surfacing.

 

On April 4, 2015, a courageous 23 year young, North Charleston barber, Feiden Santana, recorded a murder on his phone.

 

 

The video begins with the blur and shake of fence and shrubbery. When it focuses, we find Walter and Slager entangled in not what would suggest a dangerous taking of Slager’s stun gun, but in Walter, yet again, simply attempting to escape the grasp of the patroller. This particular capturing does not show a heroic officer embedded in the harder side of his duty. It shows a hunter stalking his prey, and eventually, in true coward fashion, shooting at a running man eight times with his back to him.

 

On April 4, 2015, Walter Lamer Scott was murdered by Michael Thomas Slager, yet another Whyte patroller in history to kill a US Black person on the taxpayer’s time.

 

 

As Walter’s body lay lifeless on the ground, Slager drops what looks like the infamous taser of Slager’s magnificent tale. There was no application of CPR. Just other patrollers willing to corroborate and conspire in the heinous cover up. Business as usual. A Black body devoid of response, separated from its reasoning faculties for no apparent reason, a clump of matter, handcuffed for the sake of appearances and lies.

 

It would take the release and autoplaying on social media sites for the nation to be privy of the grand deceit. Slager would be fired and charged with first degree in murder in Walter’s homicide. The tale exposed, but it will still be a matter of time before we know if the April 4th murder of Walter Scott’s will be justly tried in the courts of law known for allowing killer cops to walk free or with proverbial slaps on the wrist.

 

Mike Brown Notes ::

Articles In This Category Relate To The Mike Brown Forever Movement, Youth Slain By Killer Cops, And The Ferguson Family Of Activists
The Black State

The Heartbreak of Black Americans Not Understanding Kola Boof and Ayaan Hirsi Ali By @KolaBoof

WHY would a Black woman from North Africa who names Malcolm X and Alice Walker as two of the greatest inspirations and influences of her life so fiercely defend American-sponsored White Jewish Israel and seemingly neglect the horrific oppression of the poor brown Palestinians?

 

This question, consistently hurled at me (often with irritation and hostility) by Black American activists supporting Palestine, made July of 2014 one of the loneliest and most difficult moments in my life.

 

I love no one more than I love the Black Americans. They are the tribe that saved my life by adopting and nurturing me. Since age 8, the Black American community in Anacostia Park, S.E. Washington D.C. raised me to be who I am today—an internationally acclaimed novelist, poet and television writer whose work strongly espouses my pride in being African, Black and a Woman; a freedom fighter for the indigenous people of my two birth nations, Sudan and Egypt; an ardent Womanist/Feminist critical thinker…and…a wife, mother, gardener and professional cook. Since first arriving in America in December, 1979 I’ve certainly experienced many moments of culture shock and divided vision with Black Americans. But the war Hamas inflicted on Israel is the first time that I was ever estranged and firmly on the opposite side of any political or sociological issue from Black Americans. I actually had to watch as White Arab Muslims in Libya who own black Libyans as slaves were having their complaints about “Islamophobia” ‘retweeted’ on Twitter by Black Americans. To experience that level of disconnection was very damaging to my mind and soul. And please don’t get me wrong—obviously, there are many Black Americans who support Israel. American Blacks are no more monolithic than any other tribe of people. But the Black American family, community and circle of friends that I come from are highly activist-minded, political and passionately identify with the Arab Sijil-Taqiyya (who in 1948 began calling themselves Palestine and Palestinians) as some kind of extension of themselves—a brown-skinned people unfairly oppressed by powerful Whites.

 


 

The two paragraphs you just read are the opening chapter of my new book “UNDEFEATED: A North African Writer’s Support for Israel.” You have to get the book to read the rest, but in essence, I was so demonized and despised by Black Americans for not supporting Arab Sijil-Taqiyya (Palestinians) that I, as the descendent of North African slaves felt I needed to write an depth book explaining the history of Blacks in the Arab Islamic world and why so many of us from Francis Bok to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Mende Nazer (“I Am Slave” on Netflix) and Kola Boof….have an entirely different world view than most Black American Activists. What you see as ‘brown brothers’ are seen by us as The KKK, the Skinheads of our territory.

 

The history behind that needs to be in a book. The average Black American “Free Palestine” activist will talk all day about “ISRAELI RACISM” without ever telling why Black Muslims are running to Israel in droves to be called “nigger” given a check for $3,000 instead of be enslaved, castrated or massacred in one of the Arab Muslim nations that surround Israel. The Arab Muslim societies are the most brutal and racist in the entire language of African outsider relations. They enslaved over 1 Billion of my ancestors over a period of 1,400 years and they continue to enslave the nation of Mauritania, to castrate and enslave black men in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and in Palestine. These are facts that Black American Activists could easily research and find out at least some small part of. But as a Half-Arab woman who was born Sunni Muslim, I felt it my duty to write the story our tima way, from the way we feel it in Nilotic North Africa.

 

I always wanted to go deep with my experiences living in Israel twice. I became a very successful model in Israel in 1994. I lived in the Black community there and was extremely happy. In the book, I interviewed over 40 Black Americans who have lived in Israel for the last 30 years. They were insulted when I told them how Black Americans view Israel. One of the Black women said: experience of Blacks in Israel. They roll their eyes. Nicole Wade says, “Naw girl, there’s too many crackers in America. Are Sisters and Brothers in America willing to defect from America because of racists in Ferguson? Why should I leave Israel when I have everything I want over here? The cops are virtual clansmen in the U.S. I’ll stay in Israel where it’s cool. Lauryn Hill is performing in Israel in a few weeks. I am going to that!”

 

A Black American Muslim man living in Israel had even more explosive things to say about why he will never support any Arab Muslim government. MISS ISRAEL (who is a Black Ethiopian woman) was just one of many Black Ethiopians living in Israel who say they’re confused by Black Americans thinking Israel is so racist. And of course, Israel has the best Gay-Lesbian-Trans culture in the world. They are not executed like they are over the border in the Arab nations. In Israel, nobody asks why Trans people are serving in the military. The PRIDE parades and the job market are infinitely superior to America when you look at the rights Gay-Lesbian-Trans enjoy in Israel. Black Americans have a totally propagandist view of Israel that is untrue. So I wrote my book to show them what it’s really like (good and bad) to live there on a day to day basis. As I say in the book, Tel-Aviv is my paradise. It is my second home. Meanwhile, every time I’ve travelled to Palestine, I was reminded that “wife-beating” is legal there; the execution of homosexuals is mandatory there; blacks are openly called ‘abeed’ on the streets (as dream Hampton recently found out during her visit to Palestine)….and worst of all, everywhere I went in Palestine (and do not forget, my mother tongue is Egyptian Arabic so I hear things that many Black Americans can’t hear)…but everywhere I went, the restaurants and hotels were asking me, “Would you like to sell yourself to us, dear sister? We need a new slave to run the kitchen!” Because that is how extremely poor Dinka girls and boys get their positions in Palestine—they become ‘property slaves’ (without pay) at venues in exchange for food and basement space. Many Dinka girls work in private homes as sex slaves—many were sold by their own fathers. And though many Black American activists are quick to claim Palestine is too poor to be running slaves…let me remind you of FACTS. First off, over 17,000 Palestinians are multi-millionaires. Second, radio host Joe Madison, former head of the NAACP, travelled to my country, Sudan, in the 1990’s and went to countries like North Sudan, Egypt, Palestine and Libya where he purchased ‘South Sudanese Dinka Slaves’ for $14 a head and then brought them back to South Sudan and set them free.

 

Bryant Gumble who used to host the TODAY SHOW on NBC did an entire piece on slavery of black boys in the Gulf States. There is a video on Youtube that shows White Arab Muslims keeping Black Muslims in the public ZOO. There is also a video showing black male slaves in YEMEN being castrated and turned into eunuchs. There are videos on Youtube showing Black women performing the slave dance rituals that will make them sex slaves. There is a world of information about this fact…but Black Americans, who were owned by White Christians for five hundred years, tend to see everything as Whites are demonic, Brown people are angels. It’s camel shit. Brown brothers enslave Black people and always have. They are one hundred times worse to deal with than any racist White Israeli, which is the reason Black Muslims run to Israel in droves. The Israelis are more humane than the Arabs. As Black refugees, the Israelis give each of us a check for $3,000 each time we get kicked out of Israel. With that we go back to Sudan and build a house or a school or a store.

 

Black American activists really do not understand the “Sub-cultural oppression” and the “Sub-history” of Black people living in the Arab Muslim Empire. The Arab Muslims make over 1 Trillion a year off North African land. They not only run our nations in North Africa, they steal our oil. Not a cent goes into a Black person’s hand. The airports in West African cities like Accra and Dakar—that money goes to ARABS in Saudi Arabia. The same people who used Black ‘forced labor’ to build the city of Dubai.

 

We had a real genocide in Sudan that wiped out 4 million Black Africans. Arab Soldiers and the murahaleen tossed screaming, crying black babies by one foot into raging bonfires. The mothers were forced to watch. Did my idol Alice Walker or any Black Americans show up to express outrage at how Arab Muslim governments were employing ‘Black Muslim militias’ to slaughter and enslave and murder indigenous Cushitic Sudani families so that the Arabs could build oil wells on tribal lands?

 

And when Saudi Arabia threw out 2 million Ethiopian citizens in 2013 and left them to starve and die in the desert (or come to Saudi Arabia offering themselves as slaves)—did you hear a single Black American Activist reporting and going off about that the way they attack Israel? NO. Just like you won’t hear them discussing the fact that Palestine, Puerto Rico, France, Belgium, Mexico and the United States….all sterilize Black women. The Palestinians have been sterilizing Dinka girls and women since the 1950’s. But nobody asks us who from North Africa about the history and who is who. Nobody who is Black American apparently reads Ayaan Hirsi Ali to get a balanced understanding of what is going on in the middle east.

 

I wrote my book to defend ISRAEL with the facts and the truth.

 

I wrote my book so that those who are intelligent and actually care about their sisters and brothers in North Africa and East Africa can come to understand that strategically—and please note that I’m speaking STRATEGY here and not liking someone—but it would better for African nations to align with those who will empower us tangibly and not just with words.

 

Because of Israel arming the South Rebel army….South Sudan was able to become an independent nation. I met with Netanyahu myself to plead for guns, ammunition, medicine, shoes and food for the South Sudanese (I am North Sudanese, Half-Arab). In 2002, a U.N. report announced that the government of Sudan had issued an order that I be beheaded. You can GOOGLE that report. In 2003, Netanyahu featured me on his website.

 

Today, Uganda and Rwanda have become friends with Israel. They now have solar powered apartment lodging for their displaced people and their armies are being built back up. Now contrast that with the policy of Arab Muslim nations that forbid Black African nations to be armed by any Arab Muslim power.

 

Did you read that statement? The Arab Muslims want to run Africa; rob us of our wealth, but they don’t want to allow us to build armies or have any infrastructure. This is how they keep us Colonized. And Black American activists who blindly support and play ‘water boy’ for the Brown Arab Muslims are in selling out Africa and keeping horrific “dark ages” theologies governing and abusing us in daily life. Islam eradicates true African culture and gives us Male Supremacy brutality and psychological oppression—it was illegal for me to eat meals with my birth father in Sudan; it was illegal for women to laugh at men; I witnessed a White Arab woman burned alive for producing six daughters in a row but failing to produce a son. I witnessed untold savage racism against fellow Nilotic Black Africans and my Uncle, a Mandori tribesman, was kicked to death by Palestinian refugees in Port Sudan when he was promoted to ‘Foreman’ over them. They announced they would not work under ‘abeed’ (slave) and had always referred to my Uncle (to his face) as Haratin (nigger).

 

I have been, against my will (some call it ‘sex slave’) of Osama Bin Laden, and I was the willing mistress of Osama’s mentor, Hasan al-Turabi, Vice President of Sudan. I have a great deal of knowledge.

 

These are the reasons that I wrote “UNDEFEATED: A North African Writer’s Support of Israel” by Kola Boof. Intelligent people who are interested in the truth will get themselves a copy. But I warn you, the book is very graphic (including photos of a Black man in jail with his hand being chopped off) and is not for younger people under 18.

Inspiration

[Erica Caines] Untitled 1

A glowing light through blurry eyes. She laid in darkness. Still. All she could do was cry/ cry and stare blankly at the moon/ silently. Only slight shivers when the wind managed to get through the barely opened windows and sweeps passed her face. Only then she remembers.

 

But she said nothing.

 

She had nothing to say.

 

Not even a prayer for understanding. She knew all too well.

 

He walked in the room. Ebony skin set aglow by the silvered moon. His nakedness far from timid. Exuding strength, his muscles flexed as he tightened his grasp on an almost empty bottle of Cognac. Swishing as he adjusted himself to speak.

 

Swish.

 

Swish.

 

Silence.

 

His face told an opposite story. It was humbled. No strength to be found. Only a broken story. A story he needed her to hear, always believing she’d never understand. How could she? She had it easy. She’d be taken care of. But who’d take care of him? Help him? Help him take care of a family he wasn’t sure he wanted. But it was his. All he had. They were his silent burden in this white man’s world.

 

“I’m sorry”, he said as she continued to stare out of the window. Purposely. Only noticing the moon. Thinking about how he once mirrored it’s glow, it’s loyalty, it’s assurance. Then remembering, like the moon, he also had a dark side.

 

Swish.

 

“Baby, I’m really sorry. It’s just that…” “I know”, she said, taking her eyes off the moon, wishing it away. Wishing for tomorrow.

 

“DAMMIT, RAE! YOU DON’T KNOW! That’s your problem. You think you know, but you don’t. It’s me out there, not you. ME! WHILE you sit in this house reading magazines learning new ways to sass me. I’m a man, Rae. You don’t know what it’s like out there for me. Practically begging. Begging for US!”

 

I ask you to beg?, she thought to herself. Open cut now throbbing above her cheek. She knew better.

 

He walked to the nightstand and placed the bottle down. He sat beside her on the bed. She laid still. Neither looking at each other, only the moon.

 

“I love you, Rae. You and the boys.”

 

“I know, Terrence… we love you.”

 

“I’m going to get my shit together. For real this time.”

 

“And we’re gonna be right here. Like always”.

 

He laid down behind her, fitting himself within her fetal position. He wrapped his nakedness around her and began to softly kiss her back.

 

All she could do was cry/ cry and stare blankly at the moon/ silently. Slight shivers from his touch. Intense throbbing from her cheek emulating his strokes.

 

The pearl shaped shined arrogantly in the room, revealing all that she knew.

Inspiration ::

Articles In This Category Convey An Sense Of The Uplifting And The Hopeful
Mike Brown Notes

Black Women, Media Silence, And Uses Of Anger

Audre Lorde, “Uses Of Anger”, pg. 129
Anger is an appropriate reaction to racist attitudes, as is fury when the actions arising from those attitudes do not change.

 


In a class on Communications, Sut Jhally makes the statement that what is not said in the media is often as important as what is said, if not more important. Over the course of my writing here on Asylum, I have noted cases and instances of grave injustices and violence whose victims are American Black Women. I am often more than not left a bit disillusioned with my efforts due to the extreme lack of media coverage and public outcry when American Black Women and girls are the casualties of oppression.

 

Aiyana Jones

 

While she slept, some time after midnight on May 16, 2010, Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ 7-year young head was ruptured by the bullet of Joseph Weekley, a member of the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team. Aiyana would end her life’s story that night, while Weekley would have charges dropped from involuntary manslaughter to careless discharge of a firearm causing death, a misdemeanor which would eventually be totally dismissed in 2015.

 

Much of the public outcry in this case is fairly recent with the story of Aiyana being embraced by members of particular identity politics as a means to address the fervor that occurs when Black males die. It should also be noted that Aiyana was honored in video by rap artist, J. Cole.

 

Marissa Alexander

 

On August 13, 2010, Marissa Alexander decided that the best protection against a husband with a history of domestic violence aimed at her was to shoot a warning shot in her home while gathering her keys to flee. No. Not shot a gun at him. Not hit him with the gun. But shoot the gun in the air. No body was damaged except for that of the home.

 

Marissa faced 60 years based on Florida’s 10-20-rule. She would plead ‘Guilty’ to the charges in a very quirky plea arrangement in Jacksonville, Florida, on Jan. 27, 2015. After serving the better part of five years in prison, her sentencing for shooting ceilings was time served and two-years on electronic monitoring and house arrest, except for approved appointments and employment.

 

In a similar vein as that of Aiyana, much of the Marissa story goes untold for years until Trayvon Martin is killed by George Zimmerman. Due to both cases being in Florida, and Zimmerman being defended primarily under the “Stand Your Ground” implement, questions regarding Florida’s unjust application arose.

 

Rekia Boyd

 

On March 21, 2012, 22 year old Rekia Boyd was killed by Chicago cops after visiting with friends on Chicago’s W. 15th place. According to attorney James D. Montgomery, Rekia was with friends as an off-duty Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin told a neighboring group to “shut up” and opened fire after the ensuing exchange of acrimonies. During an attempt to flee, Rekia was struck in the head and died a little over 24 hours. Her friend, Antonio Cross was struck in his hand.

Servin was eventually indicted involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct on November 25, 2013. That initial charge had been continued in courts until Jan. 21, 2015. At the time of this writing, Servin still has not been to trial for the murder of Rekia, but is pending a court date on April 9, 2015.

 

 

There has been limited media attention surrounding Rekia’s murder. Initial space was given when 200 protesters appeared outside of the officer’s house. Rekia’s brother, Martinez Sutton, has been extremely diligent in spreading the details of his sister’s murder by Chicago police. But, much of the outcry is much like the cases of Aiyana and Marissa, a result of other cases involving Black males getting a certain level of attention and identity politicians not being able to get in those spaces.

 

 

 

Kam Brock

 

32-year-old former Citigroup banker Kam Brock states that she was accosted while driving her BMW and forcibly sedated while confined in September of 2014. New York Pigs stopped her, and when they suspected her of having smoked marijuana due to her truthful claim that Barack Obama followed her on Twitter, she had her vehicle impounded and was forcibly confined to a psychiatric hospital. She would be held hostage for 8 days, while being misdiagnosed as “bipolar”.

 

Media attention on this scant if any at all. Most reports of this event that I have come across are more concerned with using Barack Obama’s name and doing Twitter investigations to see if in fact the account is following Kam’s Twitter account. Not one has mentioned the dourly traumatic experience Kam faced that reads much like Solomon Northrup’s “12 Years A Slave”. The need to minimize and trivialize this narrative to Twitter social politics is alarming, yet indicative of a media system that wishes to contain the anger of American Black Women. It should also be noted that of the media outlets I have read covering this, most are international outlets.

 

Audre Lorde, “Uses Of Anger”, pg. 127
Anger is loaded with information and energy.

 


 

In some strange and possibly clinically diagnosable way, I often seek to view these sorts of societal responses from a zen-like point of view. It is what it is. WE are who and more important, what, we are. It is alright to be angry when Black girls are killed while sleeping and nothing more than slaps on the wrists, hand clasps behind closed doors, and check writing to those tasked with upholding what little sense of justice is to be had for Blacks in this country remains the only punishment. It is natural to be angered by the treatment of Black Women in the same we are angered by our males being slaughtered, because Black Women and Girls are also being slaughtered.

 

Audre Lorde, “Uses Of Anger”, pg. 127
Every woman has a well-stacked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change. And when I speak of change, I do not mean a simple switch of positions or a temporary lessening of tensions, nor the ability to smile or feel good. I am speaking of a basic and radical alteration in those assumptions underlying our lives.

 


 

There is absolutely no need to peer peripherally to see if anyone else is upset. Do not wait for groupthink to process your application of anger. The Universe has already borne witness to the growing inferno in your chest cavity; it is tapping its foot with impatience as you hold up galactic orbits and whatever natural order that mandates an emotional discharge that you’ve decided to silence.

 

In the sentient world outside of mankind, evolution may be the order of the day;but in the human social kingdom, revolution is the only nature worthy of worship. The force of society’s greed and brutality has a counterbalance, your anger. Where the Black Woman and Girl is underappreciated in every avenue that her work, loyalty, and consumer spending has made an avenue worthy of appreciation, anger is a justifiable coin. Where the Black Woman and Girl are murdered, beaten, raped, confined to quarters designed for control and mental mischief-making, anger is more than justified as an answer.

 

Whatever it might be that causes the blindness of awareness to only be afraid for the lives of Black boys and men in the country that built its capitalism on babies torn from the womb of Black Women needs to be cured, and quickly. It is an insane response to the reality we all are facing. Police brutality does not have those neat designs found on the doors of public restrooms denoting male and female facilities. Whyte Supremacy is unisexual and we all are getting it.

 

We are not going against the grain by being angry. Anger at the hostilities that Black Women and Girls are being meted out is rationale. It is our silence, our contentment, our complacency, our acting as if, our turning of cheeks, our artificial patience that is going against the grain of the structure of the organic matrix or matrices. It is unhealthy to hold in such magical properties as found in the anger of Black folks.

Audre Lorde, “Uses Of Anger”, pg. 132
To turn aside from the anger of Black women with excuses or the pretexts of intimidation is to award no one power — it is merely another way of preserving racial blindness, the power of unaddressed privilege, unbreached, intact. Guilt is only another form of objectification. Oppressed peoples are always being asked to stretch a little more, to bridge the gap between blindness and humanity. Black women are expected to use our anger only in the service of other people’s salvation or learning. But that time is over. My anger has meant pain to me but it has also meant survival, and before I give it up I’m going to be sure that there is something at least as powerful to replace it on the road to clarity.

 


Mike Brown Notes ::

Articles In This Category Relate To The Mike Brown Forever Movement, Youth Slain By Killer Cops, And The Ferguson Family Of Activists
The Black State

The Love, Loyalty, and Silence of a Black Woman

when i first thought to write this, i had many thoughts. so many, that i knew i wanted to write them in a formal piece to be posted publicly. i pulled out my chromebook, sat down, and was ready to let loose. then, i began to struggle. my thoughts were all jumbled and i had a hard time trying to figure out how to say what i wanted to say. i realized that i was forcing it. i wanted to use eloquent, academic language to describe and talk about something that could be plainly stated and is very personal. eventually, i gave up and was pseudo-content with just leaving my thoughts to myself. then i had a conversation and decided, no, i want to write…nevermind the pomp and circumstance. i didn’t even bother to use caps…i just want to write it….and this is it…

 

to be a black woman and speak openly and freely without reproof cannot be done when the subject is a black man.

 

“there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. there are only the deliberately silenced or the preferably unheard.”

 

black women have such a deep love for black men that no one else has. we love, and we love hard and unconditionally. that unconditional love breeds loyalty. that love and loyalty is not always reciprocated, however. we are abused mentally, emotionally, and physically, and are expected and encouraged to remain silent. the more visible and prominent he is, the more silenced we are.

 

sometimes the silencing comes from the community. this is the most noticeable form. we try to speak out, but others, usually men sprinkled with women, belittle, degrade, dismiss, and ultimately silence us. this is what we see everyday on social media. men are not aloud to be held accountable for bad behavior without some form of victim shaming/blaming taking place. we are encouraged to allow men to be men. whatever the hell that means…everyday we see women being attacked in all ways because they had the courage to call a black man out on his bull.

 

the less noticeable form, is willingly being silenced. we know holding men accountable does not go without consequence, be it public or private. somehow holding men responsible translates into disloyalty and being unsupportive. we know how much we love them, so instead, we choose to remain silent to prove that loyalty and support. we are not allowed to call them out when they say they love black people, women in particular, but are treating their black woman like dirt. we are not allowed to call them out when they are fighting against police brutality against black people and at the same time beating on their black woman. we are not allowed to call them out for holding other men accountable for mistreating women when they are cheating on their own woman. we are not allowed to call out their hypocrisy. we are not allowed to call out their insensitivity. we are not allowed to call them out for being liars, cheaters, rapists, abusers…particularly when the world perceives them to be heros. heroes are human…and humans are subject to be trash…black men included. but that can’t be said…or we are called lesbians, feminists (but not in the true sense), men haters, or worse…

 

there is no cute or uplifting way for me to end this. it is what it is. until black men begin holding themselves accountable…truly and honestly holding themselves accountable, black women will always be silenced. ironically enough…chances are…we will still choose to love and support you unconditionally…
Mike Brown Notes

#MikeBrownNotes :: Black Fictive Kinship & The Danger Of We

Anthony Robinson, murdered at 19 by killer cop, Matt Kenny

 

On Friday, March 6, 2015, 19 year young Tony Robinson was murdered by Madison police. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Chief Mike Koval states that an officer following calls about a man allegedly responsible for a prior battery, had been swerving in and out of traffic, approached Tony’s apartment after Tony went inside. The pig, as stated by Koval, hears a noise, breaks into the youth’s house, and shoots young Tony with his service weapon.

 

Now, granted, some troll(a user I do not follow, does not follow me, and only wishes to be antagonistic) sent an update to me on Twitter with this link in it, which lead to me seeing this:

 

 

It turns out to be accurately referring to the same Tony Robinson that was slaughtered by a killer cop. Like I told the person that sent this to me, showing me images of young people with guns only reminds me of the times that me and my friends played with them, like most of the men in the United States growing up here have. Sending me links showing youth with arrests records, only saddens me, because now I am wondering if Tony could also have went to college, written a few books, and inspired others despite having a felony. Just like this one writer I know…

 

 

Anthony Robinson, murdered at 19 by killer cop, Matt Kenny

 

 

In an article found on Huffington Post, the cop is revealed as Officer Matt Kenny. This particular killer cop also had killed another person, Ronald Brandon, in 2007, but was “cleared” of wrongdoing(this is the wording they use for killing people) due to the incident being regarded as “suicide by cop”.

 

During the first crime scene investigation, a cadre of organizers and demonstrators band together to protest yet another young person murdered by police. Some of those involved were members of the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition. While many around the nation gathered at the spectacle and revisionist party, #Selma50, others were gathered in the streets to rally the name of the slain Tony. Others still decided to frame this incident– as well as many of the other slain youth by killer US cops—as the result of bad decision-making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This video illustrates the thoughts of one of those such persons.

 

 

The first thing– this guy’s neck’s introduction, in fact– is to refer to Tony as a “gentle giant”. This phrase is borrowed from the appellation used to refer to Mike Mike Brown. In fact, the term was actually used by Mike’s mother to refer to her son. Here, it is being used by Stubbles(I actually do not know this Youtuber’s name) as a sardonic attack that sets the tone and bias for the rest of his rant.

 

His next set of thoughts lay out the foundation for his overall theory(he states it is very important) about Tony’s murder, or at least the reason Tony is murdered by killer cop, Matt Kenny. In this theory, Stubbles proffers that Tony lives in a town where Black men random impregnate Whyte Women and hints that this most likely Tony’s familial situation. Ultimately, this is pure speculation and Stubbles presents it in such a matter-fact-manner which reminds me of a Tariq Nasheed recording. Here we have this individual, too cowardly to show is face on his video, that decides to base an entire theory of who Tony Robinson is based on the place and image information found on Tony’s Facebook page.

 

He then goes into this diatribe about Obama’s liberal policies and economic reform. For the most part, I am like, “whatever”. The use of partisan politics to frame the basis for this particular brand of “fatherless US Blacks sons” as reasons for their own murder is not lost on me. Daddy Barry’s policies are not much different than any other safety net provided under George W. Bush, and more importantly, we do not know if Tony’s father was on Section 8 or his mother. It is pure speculation, and specious to boot.

 

The next set of arguments he presents are regarding the actions of the killer cop Matt Kenny. It is interesting if only for the fact that Stubbles is able to evoke Trayvon’s killer, George Zimmerman. Often, in discussions like this, most people will immediately say that George Zimmerman is not a cop. This is something I argue against by stating that Georgie was close enough to the police of Sanford to, one, be called “Georgie”, and two to be allowed to walk out of a police station after killing someone due to his status a community watchman. Yet, I do believe his only reason for doing this is so that after he goes through this praise dance of Whyte people and his further disdain for US Blacks, he place Georgie in a set of superhero Whyte men that never give up until the body is dropped.

 

And ultimately, it is at this point that I just start laughing. In fact, I stopped calling him Stubbles, and started calling him Uncle Ruckus- the Boondocks’ character best described as the bitter old Black man that hates US Blacks and loves Whytes so much that he has invited a disease to explain why he is a dark skinned Whyte man. I almost do not have a problem with this guy. I am glad he exists. He allows me a reason to not feel so awful when I write about my dislike of the plural pronoun,“We”.

 

A guy like Uncle Stubbles is one of many examples of why “we” simply does not work when discussing race, fictive kinship obligation, and the US Black. I could almost stomach a guy like this if only his place was purely partisan politics. I do not like Obama’s position on most things, either, nor do I identify as a US Democrat. However, this is not the only concern Uncle Ruffkneck has. He does not like only dislike US Black men, he seems to wish he was a Whyte man!!! His adoration is just as high as his delusions of grandeur regarding his intelligence. I cannot be in a group with animal such as this.

 

It is quite alright to belong to a race of people and not feel connected to them. Race is a very large designation for a group. It seems to be one step below species. There is the biped thinking mammal, and then there is the biped thinking mammal that kills based on skin hue and visible ancestral phenotypic traits. I simply cannot bind my Self based on a fictive kinship(hell, even if me and cuzz was related, I would disassociate from him) where the only going standard is that we belong to the same race. It is almost as preposterous as me financially defending some state that kills, robs land, and employs a modern day apartheid. But, since I cannot leave the United States of America, I have to accept that my tax money goes to Israel. But I can voice dissent; and I can propose that anyone silly enough to think they have to call this deranged caricature, “brother”, or to believe he would ever support a “Black” cause, deserves the pain his brand of confused historically comes with.

 

Mike Brown Notes ::

Articles In This Category Relate To The Mike Brown Forever Movement, Youth Slain By Killer Cops, And The Ferguson Family Of Activists
Mike Brown Notes

#MikeBrownNotes :: Amplifying Ferguson Family Activists

Ferguson Family Activists –or those individuals and groups that decided to volunteer themselves to a committed struggle of extended protest, disruption, community engagement and upliftment stemming from the murder of Mike Mike Brown by former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson– are still active. While the mainstream national and international media platforms have caused what I dub, media silence, those of us who create and maintain digital content are still capable lending our collective hands in an effort to add tone in this space. While many might not consider amplifiers necessarily a part of the protest movement, as a major contributor the Twitter Amplification Machine, I must disagree emphatically.

 

For whatever reason, it is still necessary for me to remind many individuals what I wrote in 2010. There seem to still be many people that have not recognized that we write the web.

 

We write the web.

 

We are the media.

 

Many of us have more web based connections to each other than many of those active in protest, mobilization, and organization in Ferguson. Our ability to create content and amplify the voices of those on the ground often surpasses that of even our more financed colleagues of the internet content creation trade. Let us take a look at the magnitude of impact of one area of our involvement using digital means.

 

 

As you can see, for shows like Empire, at least, the impressions outweigh the actual users creating the impressions by substantial numbers. The sheer reach of most of us in this era is palpable. Never underestimate that. In the months following the murder of Mike Mike, the corporate media provide clues that it would only give coverage of Ferguson Family Activists(FFA) if they were either burning down(or being accused of burning down) QuikTrips or if they were being teargas by military style(or the actual military) police units. The local St. Louis establishment media proved that they were not willing to present any discussion regarding the FFA without it being biased in favor of local metropolitan police or municipality police. So, there is still a need for our writing, or likes, our RTs, and our posts regarding the FFA.

 

Due to the size and diverse scope of the strategies and tactics implemented by certain groups and organizations that fall under the umbrella of FFA, a thorough or exhaustive list of sites and resources would be nice, but it would have to be built over time. In essence, I do not have one, but I can present some of the sites, resources, and Twitter handles that

 

Mike Brown Notes ::

Articles In This Category Relate To The Mike Brown Forever Movement, Youth Slain By Killer Cops, And The Ferguson Family Of Activists
The Green DJHTY

Kanye West At Oxford :: Shut Up, New Nigga

Kanye West, Oxford University Museum of Natural History[March 2015]
I’ll take one question. I wanted to vibe off an idea, and then I can riff off of that…they said I’ve got 20 minutes or so, I might go longer.

 

OK, everyone please be completely quiet, because I can literally hear a whisper, and it’ll throw off my stream of consciousness, and when I get my stream of consciousness going that’s when I give the best, illest quotes. Literally, a whisper can throw it off.

 

Today was the first time I realised, If I could have done it again I would have gone to the Art Institute over the American Academy of Art, I would have researched where I could have got the best and the strongest education.

 

And I’m sure this will end up online, so I don’t want to diss anyone at the American Academy, I’m sure it’s equal to the Art Institute of Chicago by now, but at the time I was going I would look around at the work of the class and not feel inspired by the teachers, and I kinda, the idea of being a fine artist, that’s a really difficult profession to get into, to be respected in, to make money at. Maybe the goal for some of the people was just to work at an advertising agency or at a record label.

 

My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater.

 

That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone in the past that has done so much, and in your life you’re not even allowed to think that you can do as much. That’s a mentality that suppresses humanity.

 

Some of you here probably remember the night when the Donda tweets came through me and I started talking about professions that you guys are going into, that seemed they had nothing to do with a rapper. I was talking about a band of thinkers that could remove religion, race, gender, and somehow come together to find solutions for a broken planet.

 

We have the resources as a civilisation to find a utopia, but we’re led by the most greedy and the least noble.

 

What I notice about creatives is that, and one of the reasons why I get into trouble, is, not only do I want to design video games, or make music, or ride bikes, I think one of the most important things to my ability to create so much in the past 30 years is my desire to play sports. I approach creativity like a sport, where if I have a drawing I react just like a jock: LOOK AT THE FUCKING DRAWING RIGHT THERE YEAH!

 

We’re all creatives here, we’re all born artists. Some people are artists of business, some people are artists of composition.

 

We were taught to hide our black fingernail polish and put our head down in the back of the class and not notice out of fear that someone might laugh at one of our ideas – that our idea could become a mockery or a failure in some way.

 

There’s a Bible saying, ‘No weapon formed against me shall prosper’. Recently I’ve been doing interviews and I’ve had to go back to this verse because I don’t think there’s a living celebrity with more weapons formed against them, but I also don’t think there’s one more prosperous. So what weapons have prospered? The smoke and mirrors of other opinions.

 

I was sitting with Steve McQueen, he shot the visuals for All Day 2 days ago, it’s completely different to the Brit awards.

 

So it doesn’t get taken out of context, I’m going to use the word ‘like’. I’m not saying it is, I’m using it as a comparison. So people that want to say ‘Kanye goes to Oxford and tells everyone blah blah blah’. And I’m not telling you this. I’m telling you what I told Steve McQueen in private.

 

What I said was The Matrix is like the Bible of the post-information age.

 

I compared it like, when the hundred guys come at Neo, those are opinions, that’s perception, that’s tradition. Attacking people from every which angle possible. If you have a focus wide and master senseis like Laurence Fishburne and you have a squad behind you, you literally can put the world in slow motion.

 

It’s still February, right? (security guard shakes his head, everyone laughs).

 

By the way, I don’t know the days of the week. I just go to exactly when my appointment is.

 

We’d just look at each other and say, it’s still February. For the sheer mount of work that we were able to put into the world. Some of the stuff had been worked on for years coming, months coming. But nonetheless they came back to back to back to back. Answering every crazy interview question, blocking every shot, catching every rebound. Aside from the right I don’t have to give my opinion publicly about artists, I probably would have been batting 2000. I know that’s incorrect also.

 

This humanity that I talk about, this civilisation that I talk about, this future utopia I talk about…it can only happen through collaboration.

 

I love Steve Jobs, he’s my favourite person, but there’s one thing that disappoints me. When Steve passed he didn’t give the ideas up. That’s kinda selfish. You know that Elon’s like ‘yeah, take these ideas’. Maybe there are companies outside of Apple that could work on them and push humanity forward. Maybe the stock brokers won’t like that, the stock holders wouldn’t like that idea, but ideas are free and you can’t be selfish with them.

 

I think that progression of mind with the advent of a human being named Drake (laughs, smirks, crowd laughs) you know, this idea of holding onto a number 1 spot. And then you get this guy that comes and blows out the water every number 1 of any band ever. Be it me, or Paul McCartney [laughs].

 

I understand that I’m a servant. And with my voice, with my ability to build relationships with amazing people, speak to amazing people. Call Elon Musk out of the blue, or call Obama out of the blue…he calls the home phone, by the way.

 

With that, I have a responsibility to serve. Why do I say the Matrix is like the Bible? What is my definition of the Matrix? [he never answered this].

 

I work with an artist called Vanessa Beecroft, and she bought my daughter some toys.

 

I’d see toys that some people would buy for my daughter and I’d say this toy isn’t quality. I don’t want my daughter playing with this. There’s not enough love put into this, this is just manufactured with the will to sell, and not the will of inspiration.

 

Vanessa is very focused, she’s like my eyes, she’s a piece of my brain. She bought my daughter these three wolves, knowing the whole collection, that it’d play with the song Wolves, and based on this concept. And when my daughter saw these wolves, I’ve never seen her so happy. She was going so crazy, she was grabbing one, she was riding on top of one…I’ve never seen her happier than this moment. That level of happiness seems to be the thing that we’re fighting for every day, that we’re trying to buy back, trying to work for, especially in America.

 

In America people really do wear $3000 shirts. For real. Here and in Stockholm people will be like ‘oh dude, it’s a $3000 shirt’.

 

I’m assuming I’m probably wearing a $2000 shirt but I got it for free from the designer so.

 

We’ve been sold a concept of joy through advertising, through car advertising, through fashion branding. It’s not the concept of time, time with your family, time with your friends, the little time that we do have on earth and what we do with that. It was somehow sold to us through a Gucci bag or something.

 

Time is the only luxury. It’s the only thing you can’t get back. If you lose your luggage – I’m not gonna say the obvious brand of luggage that I’d normally say because I’ve got a meeting with them soon – if you lose your expensive luggage at the airport, you can get that back. You can’t get the time back.

 

It feels like people do everything in life to get this BMW, this Benz, to get this townhome, to get 2.5 kids exactly. One of them has to be small, y’know!

 

And you’re looking for this moment where you sit in your BMW after all the work you’ve done and all the accolades you get, and you somehow think you’re gonna get that level of joy that my daughter had when she received those wolves. And when you’re sitting in traffic in your BMW, it’s something that feels empty. To everyone who reaches that point. This concept of the selfish human, this idea of separation by race, or gender, or religion, or age, or my favourite thing to hate, class.

 

People say it takes a village to raise a child. People ask me how my daughter is doing. She’s only doing good if your daughter’s doing good. We’re all one family.

 

We have the ability to approach our race like ants, or we have the ability to approach our race like crabs.

 

This is a generation that is far less racist – yes, small remnants remain of even thinking of calling something of a racial slur.

 

White people that listen to rap say ‘nigger’…in the privacy of their own home.

 

That idea [racism], has passed. We’ve had The Cosby Show, Obama’s president, Beyonce’s great…that’s passed. But there’s still something you’re taught every day, especially in the UK, and that’s division by class. Our main focus, in my opinion…Imagine a world with no war, and imagine if everyone’s main focus, more so than going out to a club, their main focus was to help someone else.

 

I was joking with an interviewer earlier today…people talk about the number of viewers the Brits get, or the number of viewers the Grammys get. They need to do award shows for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I guess that doesn’t sell as many MasterCard commercials. Oh, I mentioned a brand! [looks disappointed]…I had two things…I was trying to get a flawless victory on my speech! No offence to MasterCard…but that was a big fucking logo in the middle!

 

You guys have been taught, without you knowing, ways to separate yourselves from each other. If you’re separated, you can be easily controlled. If you’re too busy pointing fingers at each other, rather than holding hands, you can’t get anything done.

 

You know, Chris Rock called my album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy…well, Chris Rock and everyone else at every single media publication called My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy the best album of the last 25 years. This only came through collaboration.

 

One of the most memorable things about MBDTF was Nicki Minaj, and the fact that she kicked my ass, on my own song, on one of the best albums…the best album – I’m just saying what the critics said – of the last 25 years. The best album of the past 25 years that I spent a year and a half making, out there. I was exiled from my country, it was a personal exile, but exile. To come back and deliver my magnum opus of a work, and to be outshined…to be beat by a girl, basically.

 

This was necessary. I think it was one of the most important points of working on that album, was to not stop her from her moment because of how good she is. Just think of a comparison, if you think about why did it take so long for the new Yeezys to come out? Why did I have to leave one group and go to another group? Why did that group not want to speak to me? I think the Yeezys I was doing over there were comparable to that Nicki Minaj verse. Because these guys were like ‘we’re worrying about this shoe, we’re gonna put it on this celebrity’. And the head’s son would come and say ‘my favourite shoe is the Yeezy’. And it’s like ‘ahhh, I can’t hear about these YEEZYS anymore!’. Like everyone talking about Nicki’s verse, ‘I can’t hear about this verse anymore!’. It was gonna work for her anyway, but let’s just say that in some way in helped give her exposure. She was able to go on and become a successful, and fly, and run, and dream, and provide. And it was not locked because of my career.

 

One of my biggest Achilles heels has been my ego. And if I, Kanye West, the very person, can remove my ego, I think there’s hope for everyone.

 

When I talk about collaboration and the creative process, the best idea wins.

 

I’m proud of the consistency of the performances I’ve done since I’ve been out here. And it comes from four would-be egomaniacs coming out and being forced to work together. The best lighting guy on the planet, the best staging guy, the best video guy, another staging guy, a guy with a laptop for no reason…To be able to deliver, back to back to back, extremely successful, inspiring, groundbreaking, visual, visceral, creative moments that otherwise would have been challenged. And the kid from Chicago screaming from the top of the stage for 40 minutes in a row. I’ve had to pull that card out a few times. Not particularly screaming, but remember, I will scream.

 

My momma taught me that if I was in a grocery store and I’m by myself and a stranger grabbed my hand, scream at the top of your fucking lungs. If I’m at an awards show and a stranger grabs my hand and they say so we’re going to use these moving lights, or we’re gonna play the music right now before we define the look, or we’re gonna cut the TV cameras in a traditional way. I’ll scream at the top of my fucking lungs.

 

People say I have a bad reputation. I think I’ve got the best reputation in the building. They want you to have a reputation of tucking your black nail polish into your pockets and sitting in the corner of the class, and not fighting for your ideas out of fear of being ridiculed.

 

That’s one of my favourite ones…to be called crazy.

 

I remember when I was young and saw my dad working on computers. And the guy he was working with ended up being a bad guy. And the guys that helped him, that he had the voice to find, didn’t have the same motivation, a high enough skill set to match up to his vision, to his dream, for it to be considered to be a success. But the success is that his successor will be successful in his lifetime. You could say but you are successful. I’m successful in learning about the beauty that is afforded rich people. But in learning that, being brought up, middle class, it’s something that is beating out of my chest. ‘Wait a second, I was middle class, and I didn’t get to see none of this shit!’.

 

Let’s have an NBC telethon moment, and say that beauty has been stolen from the people and is being sold back to them under the concept of luxury!

 

It’s illegal to not wear clothes, and also possibly too cold. That means someone is imposing an idea on you that should legally have to do! Clothing should be like food. There should never be a $5000 sweater. You know what should cost $5000? A car should be $5000. And you know who should work on the car? The people that work on the $500,000 cars. All the best talent in the world needs to work for the people. And I am so fucking serious about this concept that I will stand in front of anyone and fight for it. Because I was 14 and middle class. I know what it felt like to not get what I have.

 

People say to me ‘you’re successful, what are you crying about?’. I’m crying about the people. I’m crying about their daughters. Our daughters, as one family. What good is it. What good is anything that everyone can’t have. Every ism. They think we’re done with racism. What about elitism, what about separatism, what about classism? That’s all.”

 

original transcript here


 

Kanye West really is a long-winded demagogue, yes???

 

I still am not quite sure how I feel about celebrities of entertainment being trumpeted for their views on social ills. I would love to be able to sit here and type that all people should be given the highest amounts of country and platforms to express their opinions. However, if I typed that, it would not be my most authentic opinion. Kanye West is a great entertainer. Although, “Twisted Dark Fantasy” was in no way/shape/form the best album in the last twenty-five years(Ice Cube’s “Death Certificate”, Dr. Dre’s “Chronic”, Outkast’s “Speaker Boxxx/Love Below”, and Tupac’s “Me Against The World” would all have to be considered first), I do feel obligated by objective good tastes to say ‘Ye is a worthy entertainer and musician. However, West has not been someone I would want to go at length on the topics of day in quite sometime, if ever.

 

I know.

 

I know.

 

I know…we all miss that rebellious underdog that on September 2, 2005 in front of a live viewing audience at the Red Cross’ Concert For Katrina Relief announced that George Bush did not care about US Blacks. I know. I miss that guy, my Self. Yet and still, still and yet, that Mr. West has left the building and he has ventured off to some unknown multiverse where terms like “utopia” are allowed in serious political discussions amongst adult age humans. This particular Mr. West, this new Mr. West, lives in his own universe where he is allowed to believe that a multi-million dollar US Black man married to a woman whose family just signed a contract for one-hundred million dollars renewing their reality television series has no problem with race and racism, only class and classism. Yes, the weed in the new negro Mr. West’s dimension must be grown in Martian dust and left to dry under the winds of Venus.

 

Apparently, in this new Mr. West’s sphere of existence, it more of a nod to humility to express a contempt for another artist, not because they studied their craft more, not because they prepared more, not because they took their presence on particularly global platform more seriously, but because they happened to have a vagina.

 

In this new Mr. West’s private galaxy of galaxies, racism does not exist because,”…The Cosby Show, Obama’s president, Beyonce’s great”. In his personal solar system where I am assuming is the only solar energy, this new Mr. West is able to overlook the murder of Mike Mike Brown and the subsequent refusal by the St. Louis County Justice System(yes, I fought very hard not to type,”INjustice” there) to turn over a good bill in the Grand Jury hearing of Darren Wilson as well as the US Federal Department Of Justice closing the case. The new Mr. West’s very own planetary ecosystem, Tamir Rice’s murder by Cleveland Police officer Timothy Loehmann and the city’s interpretation of the events as Tamir’s fault are not considered racist or a factor of race. Quite possibly, St. Louis, Misery nor Cleveland, Ohio exist in the new Mr. West’s exclusive cosmos since he also does not consider the murder of Tanisha Anderson, Droop Myers, Kajieme Powell, or any of the other 302 Black people that were killed by police in the United States in 2014 signs that race based political system and social infrastructure still exists.

 

Maybe the new negro Mr. West is smoking on some of that rare grade Darthmouth air that Shonda Rhimes spoke so highly of.

The Green DJHTY ::

Articles, Posts, Essays, And Media in this category are analyses and frameworks of US Black Media.
The Better You

Organization::The Phukkk Do “Real” Organizers Mean???

Frederick Douglass
Power is the highest object of respect…We pity the impotent and respect the powerful everywhere.

 


The term “organization” may be too abstract for a number of people, and for a number of reasons. When people use the term,”organization”, it often times is too abstract. What does OWL mean by “abstract”?

 

By abstract, I mean to convey that the term is more of a thought, a set of ideas(or ideals), a summation of notions, and even possibly simply theoretical or not concrete. I understand that in a society such as the United States of America– where critical studies and critical theory tends to weigh much more heavily, or is valued more than actual work or the things being studied “critically”– abstractions, or even “deep thoughts”, give a sense of authority. Many in the academic community tend towards a skewed notion of the objective or even esoteric in description above the visceral and concrete. However, if our goal is often the attempt at objectivity, then the terms we use should actually have concrete feel to them.

 

In the discussion of power and more to the point of my writing, the discussion of power exchange, the use of the term “organization” is more than not viewed in a lofty manner. What resonates most with me with regards to the term “organization”, is constituency. Power itself can be easily misunderstood when written or spoken, read or heard. The word,”influence”, tends to be a better substitute if the idea or goal is to share and spread understanding that will goad multitudes to action. What I believe causes the term “constituency” to work for me best is its underlying notion of collective support. Power, or influence, demands a demonstration to be weighed and measured. Power, or influence, demands a demonstration to have value. To move groups of people towards a common goal, it is often necessary to have already moved a group of people towards a common goal.

 

An organization does not have to be the size of the United States, or any nation for that matter, in order to be classified as an organization. If we look at the word “organization”, and see sitting at the front of it waving at us like a familiar face after time apart for attention is the word, “organ”. An organ is a small set of cells acting together to form a disparate unit of the body with a particular function. That organ is a part of a collective set of organs, an organization we call the human body. The human itself is an organization. So above, so below.

 

Rules For Radicals, Saul D. Alinsky(1971)
It is impossible to conceive of a world devoid of power; the only choice of concepts is between organized and unorganized power. Mankind has progressed only through learning how to develop and organize instruments of power in order to achieve order, security, morality, and civilized life itself, instead of sheer struggle for physical survival. Every organization known to man, from government down, has had only one reason for being–that is, organization for power in order to put into practice or promote its common purpose.

 


 

In the protest literature, and the radical literature, and the revolutionary literature, we are giving this principle that informs us that mobilization efforts demand organizing efforts to be effective for long lasting power, or influence, convergence. In other words, in order to truly change a group of people from being influenced by one set of thoughts for a long enough time to be considered an actual change, that group of people need to be given roles in a group not just a place to stand, march, or wave gun/sign/banner for a couple of hours before dispersing. Organizing is the process of building an organization. An organization is simply a group of people who have agreed to use their own individual strengths, talents, influences, resources, and abilities to function as one unit with a common goal.

 

As simple as that might seem in the reading or hearing, it is a concept that gets lost in translation just as easily as it seems to be understood theoretically. And why not? Work is involved. The Black Church is a collective of people that come together and submit their individual strengths, talents, influences, resources, and abilities for a common goal. The Bloods and the Gangster Disciples(or Growth & Development) are a collective of people that come together and submit their individual strengths, talents, influences, resources, and abilities for a common goal. Some might wish to render or parse what I just wrote there as an oversimplification, but I would retort and rebut they are of that thought collective that wishes for discussions of this nature to be overly complicated as if Avril Lavigne had written a hit song about them before.

 

Black Power, Kwame Ture & Charles Hamilton
The point is obvious: black people must lead and run their own organizations. Only Black people can convey the revolutionary idea–and it is a revolutionary idea–that Black people are able to do things themselves. Only they can help create in the community an aroused and continuing black consciousness that will provide the basis for political strength. In the past, white allies have often furthered white supremacy without the whites involved realizing it, or even wanting to do so. Black people must come together and do things for themselves. They must achieve self-identity and self-determination in order to have their daily needs met.

 


 

Yet, the theory should not be conveyed in complicated terms or abstractions. As painfully disruptive as my own family ties are(definitely another post at another time!!!), I do recognize that the family is an organization. It does bear that someone needs to organize, or bring to the table voiced goals, and communicated agreements that cannot be confused or obfuscated, in order for that organization to be organized in a more sophisticated manner. However, the family is an organization. Everyone’s constituency is not going to be the same size, nor does it have to be. Loyalty to the common goals, common purposes, common visions, and common interests is typically the life blood of the organized group; not just it’s quantifiables. There is a reason why those that measure social economics use the family, or the “household”, as a unit for wealth or poverty. There is also a reason why breaking up families in US Slavery was not just an occurrence of the market, but also a function of the institution of US Slavery.

 

Let me wrap this up, I really did not mean to do this much typing on this subject…

 

In the book, Bible, in the Old Testament, there is a story about a woman, a handmaid(which is just a nice way of saying, “slave”), who has been abused and decides to flee the home of her baby’s father and his wife, her former master, with her newborn. According to the Quran, the story goes, that while suffering dehydration, Hagar runs up and down several times between two sizeable hills in search for water. In her desperation, she looks down to see her son. Ishmael is playing by a stream of water. I often use this tale to demonstrate how US Blacks, especially US Black Women, can go through so many obstacles searching for a thing, and that thing be right there.

 

Organizing does not have to be a difficult thing in the understanding. Group building is a fairly organic process. If I am to go by most numbers on the subject, most humans are extroverts and bound by nervous conditioning to seek social settings and to belong to groups. Most of us seeking to demonstrate social responsibility in an effective and lasting way might ask ourselves, “Where do we begin to organize? Where do we start with the establishing of organization?” The best question posed in this arena could quite easily be: how do we better organize the organizations we are already a part of?

 

And, sure, that is another set of words, sentences, paragraphs, and organized thoughts for another time…

The Better You ::

Articles, Posts, Essays, And Media in this category are discussions designed to provide self-improvement, self-reflection, and self-awareness
Mike Brown Notes

#MikeBrownNotes :: Heroics, Intoxications, And Understanding

I think it has to be written that much of the response to the murder of Mike Brown is under immense duress. Unlike many other contemporary socio-political movements, much of the protesting is occurring in the face of the very same police department that the perpetrator worked for. Nobody ever organized a protest in front of George Zimmerman’s home. The protest outside of the major districts of Wall Street were shut down fairly rapidly. The same police department that reacted to a seventeen year young boy headed to college with ten bullets and then reacted to the residential outcry with a small paramilitary force and tear gas are the very same people these protesters have to face on a daily and on-going basis. With that, I am very understanding of certain more than human counteraction.

 

(Yeah, OWL still sucks with the friendly disclaimers…anywho…let’s go…)

 

Seriously, alright, we are dealing with, once again, a murdered teenager. Yet, another young Black teenager shot several times by US “law enforcers”. The difference in this case is just how close the quarters between citizens and pigs during protest phases has been. There is a sense that Darren Wilson will not be indicted. A great logical conclusion that I can only muster up a small portion of doubt of occurring and that would only be for the sake of advocating devils. I do not think Darren Wilson will be arrested for the brutal murder of Mike Mike Brown. I am not the only person that thinks this, I just happen to be lucky enough to be too many miles away from home to have to deal with protesting for a goal I know will never manifest. For those that are not as lucky as me presently, that has to be a very painful bit of cognitive dissonance to wrestle with. What do you do when there is no way in the world your best efforts could possibly yield you the desired results?

 

I worry about the instant gratification of social media during all this. In the initial three days prior to Daddy Obama’s two or three sentences that were not about ISIL/ISIS, most of those protesting and offering uploaded footage seemed to not want to be identified. Even after Mike Mike’s St. Louis transformed into Obama’s Ferguson, most of the protesters wore shirts and masks over their face before tear gassing hours. Initially, even the social media presence felt secondary, even tertiary. Those few days after Mike Mike’s execution was such a dynamic occurrence that even if a person was in communication with those on the ground in St. Louis, you were still disconnected from much of what was happening. People simply could not update the events fast enough. Then came the media frenzy, more tear gas, and then Kajieme Powell.

 

A lot of people make the comment that they are protesting daily to prevent another Mike Brown, and yet another Mike Brown was murdered not to far from Mike Brown’s murder scene and not too long afterwards. Those in that area have to feel an epic level of fear and a tremendous blow to their overall resolve. Two relatively young Black persons shot multiple time by the police within a three mile radius with no public reprimands in either incident. How do you cope with that if you are a protester attempting to make some sort of sense out of all this? While you are getting hit with rubber bullets and tear gas cannisters, the police are still taking lives while the news crews are still looking for their pulitzer in the streets of Obama’s Ferguson? I cannot personally write that I know what that feels like.

 

There is a heroic quality to those that appear regularly at these protest sites, and yet I fear getting too close. I fear my gaze and them being too aware of my observing them with cause them to act differently. I assume that my apprehension here is a bit delusional, and that it is way too late for that. The sheer enormity of the measure is too magnetic for media to avoid. A livestream documentation here, a Twitter stream of rebroadcasted images there. To be in Obama’s Ferguson from a distance seems like being in a fish bowl. I would imagine from time to time the psycho-chemical blends of ennui from no arrest coupled with the potential instant gratification of social media and possibly an actual media van pulling up can be intoxicating.

 

I am not so sure intoxicated responses to life are prudent on such a precarious protest site.

Mike Brown Notes ::

Articles In This Category Relate To The Mike Brown Forever Movement, Youth Slain By Killer Cops, And The Ferguson Family Of Activists
The Green DJHTY

Erica Caines’ “All In Love Is Fair” :: A Critique Of Sorts

Erica Ryan Caines
Words reside in my spirit, entangle my mind and captivate my imagination…I live for words. I live through words.

 


 

Every now and again a body of work comes across the Desk of Asylum that reminds me of those written works that initially sparked my own word wielding. What I liked most about this particular bit of inspiration is that it dealt with love. And yes, romantic love, eros. And I think the brilliance of Ms. Caines’ work is that she embodies it in such a fashion as it does not feel overly saturated and oozing with awkward sentiment. It does not read like a book of poems about a love I have never felt. The words reflect a love and an infatuation with a person like the ones I have felt. For that reason Erica’s writing stands out.

 

I do not want to cover every piece in her 71 paged book, you should do that for yourself! However, I do wish to highlight three of her poems. The book is divided into three sections of work. The first section is entitled,”Amor Incipit”, and here are the words of one the pieces from that section that stand out to me:

 

Erica Ryan Caines
A hidden interest only shared with the stale pages of a
long kept notebook
Desires I can’t ever seem to be able to overlook
My pen knows my thoughts all too well
Gossipping on yellow tinted pages, anxious to tell.

 

Details about the makings of you.
Your structured suits and silk ties in vast shades of
blue.
Your eyes; the clearest shade of brown

 

How my world seems to stop motion whenever you
come around
My pen and I tell those pages things we wouldn’t dare
share with anyone else
Those surreptitious moments I try to keep to myself.
Like the bit of joy I get from our everyday exchanges
and smile
Followed by a silent prayer for you to stay awhile
I could never let you know any of this, you see
So instead, this is a well kept secret between myself, my
pen and my diary

 


 

I enjoyed the wording here. Mainly the line,”the clearest shade of brown.” As a Black man, it is one of those details you don’t get to read often. Not too many people in my life have described my eyes as having a clear anything!!! I also was moved to draw a line under the words,”Gossiping on yellow tinted pages…”, which for me was just a great usage of framing in a space more prone to sentimental musings. I have never read or heard anyone considering their private writings in books dedicated to private writings as “gossiping”. But the notion is not lost on me either! It is a rich detail that I have grown fond of while reading Erica’s work.

 

Erica Ryan Caines
At the edge of a cliff staring at what’s awaiting not
scared of the results terrified of the journey vowing to
wait for me vowing to stay with me
I trust in your word.
A true feat.
I leap…
I fly against the breeze Arms stretched out, free-falling
Fear escapes me
Thoughts surround me Wondering if at this very
moment
I feel what you feel.
Vowing to wait for me
Vowing to stay with me
I take comfort in your words
A true feat.
Finally
Only you, I agree to fall for No longer suspended in air
Suspended in this moment
No more anxiety
Safe…within love

 


 

Found in the second section of her book, entitled, “FreeFall,” is one of those poems I enjoyed due to the topic it dealt with and the manner in which it was dealt. In much of the poetry I have been exposed to, the issue of love, especially romantic love is such a binary. Here is a piece that deals with the middle ground, that flux, the initial stages of being vulnerable enough to let go. It is aptly titled by the metaphor and imagery of a free-fall. The risks of sacrificing one’s emotional space are depicted as the edge of a cliff, or at least that which one might meet staring down, anyway! And it resonates. I enjoy her logic here. The idea that love, yes, romantic love, can also be a choice. The poem’s clear statement through the vivid images is that the speaker is making a dedicated and conscious choice to trust someone(“I trust in your word”) and to release themselves, so to speak, into that trust. Which as the phrase “fall in love” is typically used to state the opposite. Normally, the idea of “falling in love” is this unconscious and overly emotional sentiment; yet, Erica invites us to view it as a choice, still a leap and “a true feat”, but a choice, nonetheless.

 

Erica Ryan Caines
He tried to be something he wasn’t
I tried to be something he wanted
Entrapped in lust,
Disheveled by love.
Love, such an awkward multifaceted term
A magic fix, something earned
Battered by the effort
Hypnotized by the comfort
Strangers dressed up as lovers
Raw emotion surfaces under covers
Passions streaming towards each other
Drawn to each other
Magnetic forces camouflaged as fate
A straining hardship to keep the faith
Nothing more than a lie…

 


 

In the last and final section of Erica’s “All In Love Is Fair”, “Amor Desinit”,she escorts us through the finality of a relationship, the bitterness, and the more than philosophical ruminations of exactly what “love” in its romantic notions–and possibly the romance itself– should be or might be. One of my favorite pieces in this section(I actually had a hard time picking one from this section–go figure), is entitled,”Fabrication”. In it, Erica’s opening lines work their way like a sharp glass clawing through my mental membranes.

 

“He tried to be something he wasn’t/I tried to be something he wanted”

 

It is a haunting depiction of a romantic entanglement, but like much of her writing in this book, it is aided by the comfort of resonance. The idea that I am attempting to stress about her work is just how blatant the economy of it is. After reading that first line, I wanted to say,”ouch” for the brother! No overly dramatic metaphor was needed there. Just an acute, candid, and well phrased insight. Her vulnerability is extended through this one as she admits to a romance based more on physical compatibility than that “awkward multifaceted term”. The title of the poem is given its double entendre quality by the expression,”Raw emotion surfaces under covers”. Fabric-ation indeed.

 

Erica Caine’s “Love” is not the fantasy romance poetry. It is not quasars and lofty metaphors built on space ships. It is the real thought process coded in the verbal economy of poetry of a Black Woman intentionally inviting a Black Man into her exclusive and protected emotional space. Even as a budding poet, this being her first collection of poetry to meet print, I still was put in the mind of Lucille Clifton while reading her work. Erica Caine is a witty, edgy, honest, and serious poet. I have thoroughly enjoy interacting with her words in this collection.

The Green DJHTY ::

Articles, Posts, Essays, And Media in this category are analyses and frameworks of US Black Media.
Mike Brown Notes

Crucial Race Theory

The title of my post, Crucial Race Theory, is a play on critical race theory, which, according to Wikipedia, is “an academic discipline focused upon a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power”. Critical race theory holds that white supremacy is maintained over time and that the law has something to do with it, and works at achieving racial equity and anti-subordination.

 

What happened on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Forsyth and Central in Clayton, MO must be seen through the lens of racial, social, and cultural history. Our actions, behaviors and thoughts are shaped by our past and our environment, and this is the context we must bring in order to understand what we see, and often do.

 

There are people who insist we are all the same. Then why do some have such a different experience of the world, and they happen to be black? So the inferiority and pathology explanations fill the void, in their understanding of the world.

 

Two friends of mine, using their right to free speech, attempted to unfurl a “Ferguson Is Everywhere” banner at the pro-police rally at St. Louis County Police Headquarters. One, Misty, is dark and heavy. The other, Elizabeth, is petite and may be seen as “white”.

 

As they tried to keep the banner unfurled, a tussle ensued. I was standing right there. I did not see any punching, or kicking, or spitting, anything like that. Here’s the video of that portion of the incident:

 

 

Between being egged on by the crowd, and trying to decide between physically abusing a small white woman or the larger black woman, the police appeared to tire of the scene, and grabbed Misty. They sort of trip-dumped her to the ground, and then marched her away by neck-hold. The neck-hold appeared to be quite painful and unwarranted. (The whole “arrest” seemed unwarranted.)

 

After they got past the kiosk and at the car, I was able to get more video. Here’s that one:

 

 

So, to be didactic about it, we have a rally in which 100% of the people roaring for the police on scene are white. Most of the law enforcement officers are white. By putting their hands on Misty, the police relied on past custom and historic power relations among ethnic groups. By inflicting pain on her, they make her anonymous and singled out, simultaneously. She is hurt. She is in trouble. And the voices bay even louder.

 

This is why we hammer “Black Lives Matter” and bat down “All Lives Matter”. This is one incident of degradation that can be analyzed and understood through “crucial” race theory. This involves empathy, the ability to see something from the viewpoint of another, writ larger.

 

People are treated differently, in part of a hierarchy of privilege that, admittedly, is in flux, waxing and waning and intersecting according to context and milieu. However, white supremacy still generally rules the day. Though socially complex, a pro-police rally such as this one is pretty easy to understand ON THE GROUND. It’s one of the ironies of street showdowns involving generations of history and cultural practice. No one is in favor of chaos and disorder.

 

Would the crowd have cheered so lustily if the police had treated any of the pro-police folks that way? Would the struggle with police have been as violent had they chosen to drag off Elizabeth? If you don’t know the answers, you don’t get it. Do get it. Black lives matter.

Mike Brown Notes ::

Articles In This Category Relate To The Mike Brown Forever Movement, Youth Slain By Killer Cops, And The Ferguson Family Of Activists
Spoiler Alert

Tetsuo and Youth: A Dictionary-esque Album Review

Lupe Fiasco:

 

(noun) a West Chicago raised, enigmatic, often polarizing, skateboarding, ever-ranting, rapping rubix cube.

 

Tetsuo and Youth:

 

(noun) Lupe Fiasco’s 5th studio album, named such because Fiasco “likes the way it sounds.”

 

 

Stand Out Tracks

 

Mural-

 

a hook-less, 8:45 epic poem accompanied by angelic voices and repetitive keys, Mural could very well be a stream of consciousness freestyle that can stunningly hold the attention of any fan of lyrical mastery.

 

Prisoner 1 & 2 (featuring Ayesha Jaco)-

 

a cinematic pairing of strings and keys in 2 distinct movements where the perspectives of an inmate and CO are exposed. Briefly interrupted by rattling chains, a poem entitled “The New Jim Crow”, and screeching crows, Prisoner 1 & 2 paints an eerie description of how mass incarceration tragically alters the psyches of those employed by prisons and those behind bars.

 

“Love is looking over various errors/And hate is habitually accelerating terror/ Everywhere but the mural/ I just wanna be collected when I call god damn/ I don’t wanna be accepted; not as all as I am/ Visitor, visitor, prisoner, prisoner, land.”

 

Chopper (featuring Billy Blue, Buk of Psychodrama, Trouble, Trae tha Truth, Fam-Lay, & Glasses Malone)

 

a gritty banger outlining Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, Self Actualization) from a hood/impoverished perspective.

 

“That’s why I look at God kinda odd/ Cuz these are the cards that he deal us/ Ramen can’t fill us/ Medicaid can’t heal us/and the mamas can’t stop us/and these choppers might kill us.”

 

Deliver (featuring Ty Dolla $ign)-

 

Deliver oozes over a sizzling bass line and examines the root causes of violence, drug addiction, and urban decay that have led to the specific refusal of pizza chains to deliver to urban neighborhoods.

 

“The ghetto is a physical manifestation of hate and a place where ethnicity determines your placement/a place that defines your station/reminds you niggas your place is the basement/white people in the attic/niggas sellin’ dope/white people is the addicts/white folks act like they ain’t show us how to traffic/all that dope to China ya’ll don’t call that trappin.’”

 

Madonna (And Other Mothers in the Hood) (featuring Nikki Jean)

 

Just as Mary lost Jesus on the cross, Madonna captures the unmitigated grief and unanswered questions of mothers who have lost children to violence in the streets.

 

“They sent them all to the slaughter/ Baby mama, no father/ He was hanging round them murderers/ And them prostitutes and them robbers, yeah/ Them dope fiends and that water, yeah/ Wit’ angel dust in they nostrils, yeah/ They hit em up wit’ that chopper/ She was holdin’ him, in her hands/ Just like Stigmata, yeah/ Said you gon’ live here forever/ Salvation and treasure/ You gon’ live here forever, yeah/ Died like Ricky on his mama couch/ Right there in his mama house/ Only child, the holy mama’s your mama now/ Mama said my son never been no killer/ Mama said my son never been no gangster/ No drug dealer, no gang member/ Mama said my son never been no trouble/ Mama said my son never been no trouble.”

 

Final Thoughts

 

Mighty:

 

(adjective) great in amount, extent, degree, or importance; exceptional. “Tetsuo and Youth” is singularly one of the most complete studio albums released in recent years.

Necessary:

 

(adjective) being essential, indispensable, or requisite. From its acrylic on canvas cover art to the odes to double entendre, symbology, and subtleties not seen since “Food and Liquor I” and “The Cool”, Fiasco has created a kaleidoscopic observation of urban violence, racial profiling, mass incarceration, lust, depression, and the possibilities of growth and redemption.

 

Complete:

 

(adjective) having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full. This album is a tapestry of thought provoking subject matter and stellar production that can only be described as cohesive abstraction.

Spoiler Alert ::

Articles, Posts, Essays, and Media in this category are reviews about movies, music, books, and television shows.