I’ve been thinking a lot today about unity. Mainly organizations and working with others. I find that I can work with others to a degree. It is like the minute we start getting too personal then it happens. And in the back of mind I’m playing this video of all the times I’ve had to deal with personalities that I clashed with. As the type of person that seems to get his kindness taking for granted, I have to constantly be on the watch for people who like to put boxes around you. Which I tend to believe is very normal, actually. Humans need a high level of repetition to feel comfortable, further we are socialized to be competitive. That creates a situation where people want to size you up, mentally comparing you to people that they have met in the past in order feel a sense of balance. Which is all fine and dandy, but when it comes to manipulation, my tolerance is real low.
Malcolm X states that he looked at Elijah Muhammad as a father. He states that he felt betrayed. Sometimes I revisit that thought as I enter into relationships with people. I once spoke with a brother that discussed leading and following with me. Many feel in order to be a good leader; you have to be a good follower. I tend to agree, however, I also notice that most people telling others that are in the leadership position, and aren’t even trying to follow half of their own tenets. My acquaintance simply related to me that he had reached the point where he simply didn’t want to be harnessed anymore. To “harness” means, “to tie together”. And I understood exactly what he meant. It is quite appropriate to have a vision, and to even seek out those to assist you in carrying that out, as I discuss in my eBook, The Better You. Someone is willing to assist you in bearing that load. I am not as aggressive in my leadership, more of a magnet than a gun, so I have a difficult time accepting aggressive leadership and demands on my time. I dislike being taken for granted, and I don’t like having my identity nullified by what other feel I ought to be doing. Working a job is one thing, pay me to do a service, I’ll do it. At the end of the day, I go home. I don’t like corporate bodies. I’m not trying to be a part of your “professional family” that I can be fired from. I would rather export my expertise, pick up my money, and bid you a fair ado.
I feel the same way with unity. I’d rather say solidarity, but we can interchange them as this thought progresses. I don’t have to believe like you to be working on the same causes as you. I don’t have to wear all black to feel a part of the pro-black movement. In fact, let’s discuss that. I am not black by virtue of anything other than the trading of bodies that occurred during the birth of this nation. The whole notion of race for me is ambiguous, but I understand the social pressure. If you have whites who will toss my application away because it says “black”, then I need to be working with other blacks. In order to ward off the economic and social ills of white power, I am forced to align myself with those who I’ve been categorized with. Although, I strongly believe that in order for a group of people to stay bonded, they should share some cultural norms and ideological percepts, as we say in dominoes…mine don’t fit. And for the most part, I’d rather not have anyone force their beliefs on me, no matter what. Certain sacrifices I can no longer afford.
I am a pretty bright guy. I don’t have to speak to shine. My gifts don’t require me to play in any popularity contest. My personality doesn’t need any extra wattage. What I have seen in the few black organizations I have been a part of, are these very things. I’ve watched people run out of meetings screaming that we need to do this and do that, and upon further reflection, I came to understand that to mean, “since I’m only good at this particular act, it is the most important one–thus you should follow me!!” I’ve heard the whispers in the pews of elder members, “They think they white…” Let me take a moment with that one.
This whole notion of a “real” black person has saturated and in my opinion, tainted the very fabric of every movement it has birthed. What I have found is that most don’t want unity or solidarity of purpose, they want control. In that same vein, those that wish to label you as not being “black” enough, or the new one that has cropped up, you are “too black”, seek to control you as well. In a world of transparency by surveillance, it is often difficult to for one to express their self honestly, because everyone either wishes to put you in a box, or assassinate your character. That is not something I’m always comfortable with.
I enjoy expressing myself a bit too much for the normal crowd. I don’t want you in my business, mainly because I don’t need your judgments. You can barely think without regret, what makes me think I’ll get a good hearing in your courtroom? Many American Blacks are swept away by this notion of white unity. There really was none though. There were blacks and there were poor whites that needed to be harnessed by rich whites. This is your unity. You had landowners that had prospered and no longer wished to be taxed by England. Grand discussions and noble ideas were written in timeless documents, but the spirit was superficial. Unfortunately, for me, symbolic gestures are like masturbation. I say that this is unfortunate for me, because like Obama, you realize real quick how important symbolism means to most of the population of earth. There are way more metaphysicians than scientists. More “healers” than doctors.
Too many con artists and not enough truly skilled at the art of earning and deserving our confidence…
This is for Aiyana. We all put together our thoughts in a very quick manner in order to explain in our way our pain for this travesty. Much of what you read will not be edited. We feel that the raw energy needed to deal with this situation deserves our naked souls..
I have two daughters… 11 and 4 years old… they wear the same types of barrettes Aiyana Jones wore… I can’t look at her face without seeing my own children’s faces. I look at my husband and think about Aiyana’s father lying face down in his dyeing daughters’ blood. Then I think…How the fuck did we get to this place? How did we get to a place where Aiyana Jones’ name is NOT the top story on the news, the number one trending topic on twitter, on talk shows…? Why is this story NOT Breaking News on a 24 hour news cycle like the Amber alerts that literally stop time when a little white child goes missing? What else is there to talk about?
The media & police are united…they are not negligent in their delivery…the officer’s gun “went off”… it “went off” and a child is dead…but we have people discussing the nuances of where the child was sleeping, the type of neighborhood she lived in, the danger the police were potentially going into. At what point does a sleeping 7year old child present a threat to law enforcement…no amount of rationalization can justify this child’s death at the hands of the people who are hired to protect and serve. And no amount of rationalization can justify why the voices that have the most “influence” in the Black community … entertainers, athletes, politicians… have been completely silent either!!
Who is to blame? I feel responsible for this child’s death…we are ALL responsible for not policing ourselves, or communities…allowing our circumstances to victimize us. We’ve grown afraid of each other…the village no longer exists. We HAVE to do better. THEY don’t care about us…we have to care about US enough to be moved to action…to STOP it. We KNOW who shot Aiyana Jones… but we all had a hand in it…
To wake up this morning to more news
about #Aiyana Jones, the 7 year old girl
who was tragically and senselessly
murdered by men who were supposed to
serve and protect her broke my heart.
Her death should break all our hearts.
A little girl who could have grown up to
be anything – full of promise and
potential – slain by cops who got
trigger happy because there were reality
show cameras focused on them.
Who serves a warrant on a house where
children and elderly persons live by
throwing a flash grenade in a window?
Reports have even surfaced of toys in
the yard and neighbours who told LEO
(Law Enforcement Officers) that children
lived inside. To add insult to injury,
the suspect was not even apprehended at
the same apartment in which little
Aiyana and her family lived.
Many subjects and opinions have come to
light over today: Racism, police
brutality, poverty, living in urban
areas, and more; But my thought lies
with [something I’m familiar with]
Social Media. During the Iran Elections
(just rock with me for a second), when
the riots and violence started – it was
less than a day before the number one
topic on Twitter (most likely the
longest running political trending
topic) was #IranElection. Soon to
follow was #MSMFail (Mainstream Media
Fail) also #Mousavi and #CNNFail were
top ranking as well. In fact, the
entire TT list – all 10 topics – at one
point referenced the Iran Elections.
Major news houses all over the world
were getting their news from Twitter!
Not reinforcing already known news, but
we [Tweeters!] were updating the world
on the Iran Election. Quickly,
Succinctly, and Clearly. Even when dis-
(and mis)information came up, the
solidarity of people who understand the
gift of the internet quickly squashed
I say all that to reiterate my point:
If it was done once, it can be done
again. #Aiyana deserves justice and
attention. The poor in America who are
brutalized every day by LEO deserve
justice and attention. The tense racial
situation in this country deserves
attention. The LEO who forgot the
people that they serve because they were
too busy posturing for reality
television deserve attention and
ostracizing. We deserve to stand up and
say “I will not live in a police state.
I will not watch my children be murdered
by ignorant police officers. I will not
watch my country go up in flames while
people look on as if it were a movie –
I am, in my heart, disappointed and
angry. Where is President Obama to
speak on this? Where is Cornel West?
Where is Tavis Smiley? Where is the
honorable Minister Farrakhan? Where are
our black leaders to speak out and put
#Aiyana first instead of more posturing?
Where are the voices? Where is the
cacophony of screams for justice? They
are not here.
They aren’t here. But we are. #Aiyana
From @Zqclay““Like the boys in blue, when they come through with them boots
And they kickin down the door, and they don’t care who they shoot
But we do care who they shoot, so we do what we must do.”
– Andre 3000
Who is Aiyana Jones?
My little sister. My cousin. My future niece. My future granddaughter. She is…me.
Police malfeasance in regards to the underclass is nothing new. It’s as clichéd as a Memorial Day cookout. If excessive force is systemic, and the system has persisted for over a century, then what is a person to feel? It’s obvious that America has found a way to live without a certain percentage of Americans.
These “excess Americans” seem to be little than enemies of war and cannon fodder for cops and thugs, who both carry out the same agenda of black marginalization.
But we do care who they shoot. So we do what we must do.
Hopeless and utter despair is what I’m thwarting as I attempt to find the balance between outrage and calm, methodical and effective action. Indifference and apathy from grown men and women whose daughters and nieces and cousins look just like the victim is as confounding as the implausible details of the story.
Who is Aiyana Jones?
A girl who loved Disney like any other black girl in America. A girl who was couldn’t even sleep in the comfort of a bed for whatever reason. A girl who won’t graduate from elementary school. Or college. Get her driver’s license. Go to the prom. Get the steppin’ out of Detroit. Who knows her potential?
Who is Aiyana Jones?
Her truncated life yields more questions than answers. If we fail to vet those questions in any form whatsoever, we’ve failed her. We’ve failed her predecessors. And we’ll continue to fail others like her who’ll fall victim to the discharge of the “protectors and servers” of their communities.
Who is Aiyana Jones?
A reminder to tell every little girl I encounter that she is valued, loved and protected.
A reminder that a group united can enact real change.
A reminder that despite the frequent disregard of minorities’ civil liberties, there is still resiliency within the group affected.
A reminder that we must NOT tolerate nonsense around our babies.
A reminder that our inactions have profound consequences on our loved ones.
My perception of Aiyana Jones currently resides in the abstract, because the prevalence of questions as opposed to answers. But this I can state with certainty:
She is not collateral damage. She is not their throwaway. She is not a cause. She is not a footnote.
Who is Aiyana Jones? More than a rhetorical question.
Rest in Power baby girl. We do care who they shoot.
I am five long years past 18 on this day, and only just coming to reach a certain threshold into adulthood. For me, at least, it is signified as a certain form of accountability. In my twenty-three years, I have to recognize what thinking and what actions and what words I express and how they affect the world all around me. For me – at Least – I feel I have to step up and realize what I give power to.. What I love.. What I hate.. And how the society in which I partake (re)acts. For me, I have to See exactly what lines in the sand I accept.. Who’s on what side.. and who is harmed in that crossfire. As a man falling head-first into adulthood, I have to feel the particle of innocence that died within me with Aiyana Jones.
A very wise man said in response to this tragedy that it always takes something so extreme and tragic and other-worldly cruel to See, and to catapult ourSelves into change.. The remorse I feel today brings me to ask only “why?” Why does it take a 7 year-old girl being shot and killed in her own home (by the men and women we pay out of our very pockets to protect and serve her) for everyone’s consciousness to rise? Why do we have to witness suffering so dramatic to feel compassion for a father and a family that, too, are asking themselves “Why” this has come to pass? Why only after imagining (to the best of one’s ability) how many things this family would have done differently, how many bullets they would have jumped in front of, how many dollars and hours they’d have spent – just to save their little girl – are we capable of such Awareness?
In every such instance of this tragedy – and not to take from this One, but there are Many – we feel a pain that any human must feel. I am no religious man, but I do Believe in cause and effect. Our callousness, our heartlessness, our lack of compassion for those unfamiliar to us – brings upon the entire World such a loss. Such a needless cause… And such a needless effect. I want everyone to think on this, as I am and shall continue to think on it until I, mySelf, change: Who could you possibly hate So much that you’d want death to befall not him, but his Seven Year-Old Daughter? As I see it, whether I like it or not, this is a judgment made on our “thinking” and our perceptions.
The Babies are Dying for Our Sins.
The hopes of our better tomorrow are being lost to yesterday’s wars amongst men of which they are not even wholly Aware. Again, I want you to think on this. And I want this thought to come not through the veil of pain and anger that we all most-assuredly feel. I want this thought to come not in calculation for some sort of revenge.. As if this poor child could Be avenged. No, this thinking need not be set above the flames of our passions, but the icy silence of our souls. I want this thinking to bring you resolve and Understanding. Through such thinking, I pray you find it in you to Adapt and Grow and Change. For to save the innocent (the children), we accountable (the Elders) must See what cycles we continue. We, each and every last individual, must see within us all that we cause. YourSelf, MySelf, him- and herSelf, must find the courage within us, One by One, to impress upon our own respective Universes a Cause that will produce a much greater, more inspiring, more captivating, and less destructive Effect. If not for your Self, then for every Aiyana hereafter.
Because every single step you make reverberates in the lives of every other.. and we need not wait for such a gut-wrenching imprint on our very souls to realize how it affects the youth.
RIP Aiyana Jones.
ONE Day there will be no more Aiyana Jones….
TOO Many of our children are walking murdered…. There Dreams Have been killed by the darkness of their environment.
THREE Days ago no one was outraged… In three days will you still be?
FOR the sake of our children… Do Better
FIVE Fingers on a hand and it only took One on a trigger to break the hearts of millions..
SIX SIX SICKens me to my stomach to imagine how different Aiyana life would have been if men like the suspect were ostracized instead of embraced…
Seven years of life is not long enough
Seven years of life is not long enough
Seven years of life is not long enough
Seven years of life is not long enough
Seven years of life is not long enough
Seven years of life is not long enough
Seven years of life ended with a flash bomb…
Aiyana is too close to mine…
This isn’t even a hard one. The police were wrong, period. The way they “went in”, I’m SURE, was fueled by them losing one of their own in the recent days. Is this a new instance though? Nope. Should the child’s death be brought to “justice”? Of course. Will this happen? Doubtful. Does it ever? Rarely. Now. What CAN we change and/or control? Back in the days when cops were snatching school boys up and beating them for “fitting the description”, chances are, what the “offense” was wasn’t even a real crime in the first place. People just trying to live. No records, no reason for suspicion, just going to work. What have we now? Are some still just minding their business and still harassed? Of course. Is this often the case now? Of course not. We now take pride in a lifestyle that CONSTANTLY straddles the fence of legal and illegal. The cops haven’t changed, we have. Can we change the cops? Of course not. Can we change ourselves. YES WE CAN. We need to focus on what we can change. Who knows, maybe a people that offer no PROUD examples of ridiculous behavior will be taken more seriously at the table. People have it twisted, we’re definitely at the table…with no manners. The passion that should be behind the remembrance of Aiyana is being misplaced. Somebody is outside acting a fool RIGHT damn now, and their elders are ignoring it. “Who’s gon’ check them, boo?”…me damnit. You should too. If we don’t, the blood is on our hands as well. Yup. Mathematics.
– a donor
When I read the story of Aiyana Jones, I was brought back to a place of uneasiness and then thought how her father’s life has been changed forever. Aiyana’s birthday, Christmas or even Easter -the holiday where the good lord and savior’s resurrection is celebrated- didn’t come to mind. But I remembered quality family times as a child, oddly enough, on Halloween. It was one we all looked forward to. It so happens that my favorite uncle’s birthday is October 31st, which has meant a party every year in addition to America’s favorite tricks and treats. I remembered how my Father would spend the week before the party with me and my older brother looking for costumes and how much fun it was. There was a joy that seemed to radiate from him knowing that it was times such as these he would remember forever. He even Allowed us to get a candy bar when we checked out after finally finding something we all agreed on. It was him and his boys out spending time together while my mom was at home relaxing for a change. These are times only he and the two of us will remember so vividly. we would arrive at the party and laugh with love at each other costumes. My brother and I always had the best ones.
The best thing about the party was at one point, my aunt, my godmother actually, would gather all the cousins together and take us around the neighborhood to go trick-or-treating: It was free candy, I was with my family and to top it off I was able to be Spider man, suit and all. On this day even my Evangelist aunt would come and commune with the heathens who celebrated such a holiday.
Everyone enjoyed each other. It was a time for us to talk about school, show each other the latest dances and share secrets we had been holding tightly. Once things died down we would say our goodbyes and load into our cars one by one hugging and waving as we drove away. I would often fall asleep on my brothers shoulder and by the end of the ride my dad would have to wake us both up.
We were once in a car accident where a drunk driver rear ended us. Long story short my leg was broken. I remembered my Father jumped out of the car and instantly started cursing before the man could even open his car door. “What the fuck is wrong with you man?! Do you know I have my children in the car?!” he yelled while unbuttoning his sleeves. I tried to move to get a better view but was paralyzed and instantly screamed from the pain that came over me when I applied pressure to my leg. My Father was back at the car leaning over me before I could take another breath. “You okay lil man? What hurts you?” he asked me with all the concern a parent could have for their child. My Mother instructed my Father to call the police and finish talking to the man, who at this point was leaning on the car and had started crying and apologizing, while she attended to me.
“Look man you could have killed my family, my children!” he said. I thought how it was no longer, in that moment, at all about my mother but about myself and my sibling. “Mother baby, fathers maybe” the old saying goes, expressing how the Mother has a special bond in knowing that the child is hers beyond any shadow of doubt. But there’s something to be said about a Father who is protective of his child, as all fathers should be. It is even more special for a Black Man who is a Father and present in his or any child’s life. A certain Bell of Celebration rings knowing we are there, even if only in the shadows, according to statistics.
The police arrived and if this is of any surprise they actually treated my Father as if he was in the wrong. I should mention the drunk driver was white and this was in New Orleans. Even though this was over 15years ago to this day two things make me upset and uneasy: drunk drivers and police officers.
There has been countless times where police officers have wrongly offended, beaten and accused black men of the craziest crimes and at this point cannot afford teach his children that police are there to protect them. When everyday reality shows them they are really put out there for their own demise. Whether on the Streets or even sleeping after having a fun filled day, a child knows from seeing how their parents are treated, they are never safe in today’s society. This story has bulls eyed me in a spot I thought most of America would have been hit in as well. We all have children or nieces or nephews whom we love dearly, yet it seems as if this story and case isn’t going anywhere but to the land of #oldtrendingtwittertopics.
I felt the need to ask: Is there an obligation that we as adults have to children? Is there an obligation that all parents have to think of the child, regardless of whose it is, first?
Is it okay when the dealer on the corner shoots a stray bullet and it hits our children? Do we not go after him with torches and pitchforks? Should we not go after careless police officers, who already don’t respect us as a race, with that same vengeance? Or do we only react when “tragic mistakes” take the life of a Caucasian, Jewish or Asian family’s child?
The holiday these Officers of Integrity, Professionalism and Courtesy seem to be celebrating needs to come to an end. The Laziness, Disrespect and treatment of Disregard is costing the Black Community its future. Soon we will be celebrating “the day of the dead” more than the opposed, “our savior’s birth.” How long can this go on for Christ’s sake?
As a people, we have suffered through slavery, economic disadvantages, substandard living environments, strategic criminal opportunities, wrongful imprisonment, aggression from law enforcement and unjust sentences which have been plaguing our communities for centuries. We have tolerated these disadvantages as we have continually pursued freedom from all bondages that have diminished our faith in each other as well as murdered our pride in our race. When we analyze these situations, we cannot help but conclude that we are being held down by design, as we have the ability to access our history and our progress only to clearly recognize the unfathomable energy that has gone into the demise of the African race.
We have been systematically programmed to hate one another by hating ourselves. The bias and prejudice that we have experienced as a people has caused some of us to unconsciously detest our skin color and history, as many of us are not only ignorant to our true history, but have no desire to be informed. These subconscious positions that we have taken against our existence have spiraled out of control and we are now beyond victims, we are headed towards extinction if this cycle continues.
The only hope that we have left is to educate and restore pride into our children concerning their real history and to infuse within their spirits an interest in to the true knowledge of self. Many generations have passed these dysfunctional attributes down to their descendants, but as consciousness and the knowledge of self is at a season of refinement, we have determined to provide those who are younger than us with the information necessary to restore us to the original place in which we have unseemingly fallen from. Our future release from oppression is directly connected to our present decision to enlighten the minds of our youth in this generation so that they in turn can prepare the generations to come.
Aiyanna Stanley Jones was a jewel who was removed from having the opportunity to contribute to the future success of our people. She was viciously killed while asleep on the couch in her home and had no control or opportunity to grow into the woman who she was predestined to be. Her future has been stolen from her due to the carelessness, insecurity and needless aggression of individuals who took an oath to protect and to serve her and her community. At the age of 7 years old, she was removed from delivering a significant contribution to this world which had the potential of contributing to the well being, restoration and future of our people. Her life was taken as a direct result of the spiraling abuse that has been ensued against our people which has not been corrected, diverted or stopped on any level within our cities, states and nation. There is no justification that can be provided for the blatant, vicious attack against this beautiful little girl and we are insulted as well as outraged at the attempt to do so.
Aiyanna Stanley Jones was undeserving of being murdered in this tragedy, yet she is hailed as a hero to our people and will be a constant thorn in the side of the oppressors as we who remain will ensure that her name is stuck to this mission of freedom and truth. Her life was sacrificed on our behalf to remind us of the horrible agenda that has been implemented against our people and to intensify the fire that we carry to ensure that our future generations are positioned as rulers and not as worthless nationalists in a country that has diminished our value. We are forever indebted to Aiyana Stanley Jones and will vindicate her life by taking the pain of her loss and enlightening as many of our people, both children and adults to the truths of our ancestors, our purpose and our God. What the enemy has meant for evil against our people once again, we will successfully apply to the good of our future by studying, clarifying and embracing our past.
Rest In Peace Aiyana. Your life will not be in vain.
Forgive us, Bless-ed one
For not shielding you from the evil
That cloaked you in your peace
While you sleep,
Search For the strength
to mourn you.
For the indignation
That will make this time
The last time
we let this happen.
How could you have known
The world was out to get you?
You never grew to know
How much anger is in our bellies.
No evil can befall you now
But we will be OK
your heart did not conform to this World
Like we allowed ours to do.
We pray you can forgive us.
We promise to do better.
We will grow forward
And forever Love you.
Here I lay in my princess covers, sleeping soundly. Dreaming. Letting my hopes paint a picture in my head. Maybe one day I can be the first woman president. Maybe I can be a doctor and save someone’s life if they get sick. Or maybe I can be a nanny, work at a daycare—taking care of others’ kids. I love children. I could tuck them in when they take their naps, just like Daddy does every night.
Today was a good day. Granny made my favorite dinner and we even played dolls together. She always tells me how cute I dress up mine. I hope I can play again with her tomorrow, after I get out of school.
If only Aiyana would have got that opportunity.
If only she would have got to see the sunrise.
A bullet does have a name–this one was Aiyana Jones.
As she slept her dreams, hopes, aspiration were robbed by a police and his best friend—a gun. She would never awake again. She would never get to feel her grandmother’s warm caressing hugs. She would never get to play with her best friend at her school the next day on the monkey bars, racing each other on the slide, and skipping along the blacktop. She would never feel her Dad tuck her in again. And her family would never see her light in her smile—the power of an innocent child. She was gone—forever.
The media has attempted to paint a picture in our head that it was an “accident” and the officer which was fighting with the grandmother and somehow, someway the gun mysteriously went off in the direction of the sleeping child.
Evidence goes on to show—ON CAMERA—that shots were actually shot from the outside porch. So this makes me wonder just how much the police actually cared about whom they hit. Especially, since they were warned several times by neighbors that there were children inside.
Yes, apparently they were there for a good reason—to get a suspect in another homicide of a 17-year-old-boy. But the simple fact that there is already cameras of an A&E channel should be reason enough to question what’s going on in this area. There has to be some kind of problem for them to be drawn to this Detroit.
This makes me think of “Set it Off “in the beginning and the movie that was based on a true story—“American Violet” with the police using their power TOO much and not caring about their citizens because of two things. RACE AND CLASS.
I doubt a raid would be going on in a rich area of the United States whether they thought a person killed a 17-year-old or not. Since when are the police SO concerned with one homicide of a teenage boy that they “raid” a house for the suspect with guns and such? I know a lot of people that have died in my community where the police had good leads for suspect, and never have they raided that suspect’s house, especially to the degree that it is necessary to throw a flash grenade and shoot from OUTSIDE of the house.
This whole story is fishy if you ask me. And should not only be a wake up to the black community, but to the rest of the world on the direct attack of the people who hold this country together—the working class.
I want to know when some leaders are going to get involved and question our government and people who are supposed to “protect and serve” EVERY individual in the United States of America, and not just the RICH—the rich white who had a 500 year head start to make it in this world as opposed to the “minorities”. The minorities who are still enslaved in the system, underrepresented, and lied to constantly by the media.
Don’t let Aiyana be the first of many before you WAKE UP. Something needs to be done so things like this don’t happen again. It was bad enough for Rodney King to be directly attacked by the police, but taking the life of a sweet child “by accident” with a shot from the outside when you were fully aware there was children is nothing but hatred. Open your eyes.
Spread the word.
Don’t accept this as okay. Create a change.
a 7 year old child was taken from us because of blatant disregard for black life by the police. i am sad, enraged and exhausted. However as we all well know the white supremacy police brutality playbook is well known. Our most viable and effective counter strategies have been laid out in detail. I plead w/ my brothers and sisters for proper execution.
But I want to talk to Aiyana. Aiyana i want you to know that many of your brothers and sisters that you may or may not have known that you had are holding you very close to their hearts right now. Please understand we are seeking justice for you and as you are being taken to the ancestors know that you will be safe and wont be lonely. Everything will be fine. Transition well little sister. We will be with you son. Ase
MY TRUTH- REST IN JUSTICE PRINCESS AIYANA: As I went through my day, my heart ached and I was saddened for the fallen martyr “Princess” Aiyana Jones. As I went through my day I felt gut wrenching, heart twisting pain that I’m sure was channeled from an ancestor on the day her child was sold away. And as I looked at my own children ages 6, 4, and 2, I couldn’t help but think about the Jones family.
I decided to break this tragic news to my children during our evening discussion, as they prepared for bed an hour ago. You see, I am a parent that KNOWS it’s critical to keep children abreast of news and aware of the struggle. I warned them that I had something sad to share before I summarized the MSNBC report, and presented the now famous image of Princess Aiyana standing in front of two animated princesses. My two oldest children immediately began linking this injustice to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They asked me “how” and “why”…and I told them, the same racism that fueled slavery and the “treatment during Dr. King’s times” never died.
I told them I was preparing to write this piece about Princess Aiyana, and they each asked if they could write a letter to her. So these are the letters Donovan and Daymion dictated to me on 5/17/10 at 8:45pm. When you read them you will see why I wept as I hugged them extra tight:
Dear Little Aiyana:
You are so smart. I just want to cry at what the police did to you. You are cute. You are the greatest little girl.
Donovan (6 years old)
P.S. You look just like Darielle in my class.
I just want to say you’re so great at math. I just want to cry with blinds [sic]. I just wish you could stay alive and they didn’t shoot and kill you. I want you to be alive forever and ever and ever. I just want to give you a flower today.
Daymion (4 years old)
Where should I start¿?
I arose to my faux wood shaded walls
Window open…listening as the water falls
From the sky, rolling on cloulds like light blue & white cheeks
6:30 am…awake from the nights sleep
As the sun makes its way over the mountains into the valley that I reside
The dusk turns to dawn…and it seems as the night cried
As the gray overcast sets the tone of the broken hearted
All Black attire is a reminder of the recent departed
Brown skin, so young, not even half of my cousins age
Intellegent mind set…an unwritten book with unfinished pages
Who knows where to put the blame¿?
Blue & Red lights…a flash bang
Altercation ends with a slug in a girls brain
Serve & Protect¿?
Get served…protect they own assets
Or better yet…lack of Re-Spect
Even heard the white coats came quick with the hospital rush
Pronounced DOA…fuck autotune…I have bigger issues than that
Realizing that its a crime to be black…
Punishable by death it seems
Even moving alil white can get one life in pursuit of green
Innocent child victims…
Funeral arrangements are always fucked up
Asking a mother which color casket to pick from
Then you can watch the family nut up
Reflecting on the occurence that caused the current crisis
How carelessness has taken the color from out her iris
And its damn near on a daily you hear about this shyt
Until it hits home…
Then you’ll be fed up with this bullshyt!!!
From Coach @BilalSankofa
LIFES greatest fear is that when she dies
that that is HER will become NOTHING.
A Manifest ZERO.
Sadly, Death is the HERU that springs life into existence.
We’ve been taught that we evolved from ZERO
that when we die we will return to ZERO
There in that thought LIES our problem
Subconsciously we were filled with the FEAR of being reduced to a ZERO
Oh but the Circle of Life
The Circle of Life
But NOW take a moment & think deepl, ponder, toil over & reflect over all that that is YOU.
What goes around comes around.
Grandma LIVES in YOU!
Grandpa LIVES in YOU!
All YOUR grandparents dated back to FOREVER are ALIVE through and In YOU!!
They are ALIVE but you perceive it not.
If we ask the sound of sound
The drummers kick & snare
The rhythm of the strings on the bass
The melodies tinkling over the keys of the key board
If we asked all of them & listened deeply
SOUND would reply: I come from nowhere; I have ALWAYS been here waiting for the right conditions to process me into the NOW!
When conditions are sufficient, we manifest
When conditions are no longer sufficient, we no longer manifest.
It does not mean that we no longer exist- but like the sound of sound, without the proper instrument we do not manifest.
All that we are depends on causes & conditions.
All that has existed before-exists now & all that will ever exist in the future are all connected.
If a baby does not make it to full term
We must not mourn for too long for WE KNOW that there was not sufficient causes & conditions to fully bloom at that time, She will COME AGAIN.
Everything done in the dark will soon come to light.
We must always remember the knowledge of this ZERO is the Circle of Life
This 360 Degree Circle of Life
The Ying & Yang
The wisdom of the WE
The OURS goes on forever.
Don’t fall off into the darkness of confusion for that will only be a 180, a complete about face, an incomplete journey traveled halfway, a half circle.
Family, it all lives in this metaphorical ZERO
This Circle of Life.
KNOW then, that there is NO BIRTH!
There is NO DEATH!
There is no COMING nor GOING!
There is neither SAME nor DIFFERENT!
There is NO BEGINNING!
There is NO ENDING!
IT IS THAT IT IS!
Princess Aiyana Jones Transitioned so that we may learn HOW TO LIVE.
Mourn OUR DEATH but REJOICE in her giving all of us LIFE & Returning to FOREVER.
Nkonso Nkonso: We are forever linked like links in a chain.
Coach Bilal Sankofa
They call them flash
Took her breath
Designed to paralyze by fear.
Has spilled onto the streets.
In a flash.
There is something about Aiyana Jones. There is this feeling, this motivation, this energy circulating around this situation. People know and understand that she is not the first to be murdered in Babylon by terrorists in uniforms given authority sanctioned by the state – more commonly referred to as ‘police’ [see Sean Bell, Oscar Grant…Jerean Baker]. And somewhere in the deep recesses of our mind, no matter how it hurts, we know that she will probably not be the last…
So what is it about this beautiful, black, 7 year old princess named Aiyana Jones? What we feel is bigger than Aiyana. Make no mistake, this is ABOUT Aiyana, but it is BIGGER than Aiyana.
It is what she represents: Countless, unknown/un-named children being murdered in malicious fashion by police (and niggas alike). Her death represents the vicious disregard for black life, the flagrant nonchalance toward innocence.
She is the sleeping giant – look what they did, look what we’ve allowed, look at where we must go.
Her murder is reality, but the manner in which she was murdered is symbolic – colonialism, slavery, jim crow, racism, self hatred can all be found in the depths of this story. So what is it about Aiyana Jones…she’s is us; ourselves, our daughters, our sisters, our nieces, our cousins, our generation, our people. BIGGER.
Aiyana Jones – In Lak Esh [You Are My Other Me]. And that is where this energy emerges. We know, whether consciously or not, that Aiyana is who we are.
There is no justice for Aiyana Jones, just as there is no justice for our people…and if there is no justice there can be no peace in Babylon. We cannot rest, or become complacent. We must speak her name aloud. We must remember. We must build.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Imagine sending your daughter to bed and wrapping her up in her favorite Disney blanket. Imagine kissing her on the forehead and envisioning a prosperous future for her. Picture doing all of these things and when you awake in the morning she is no longer with you. Envision being Charles Jones, the father of Aiyana, and having to lie face down in your daughter’s blood as police officers mimicking military soldiers treat your family like enemy combatants in a war zone. Or Mertilla Jones, Aiyana’s grandmother, forced to go through 12 hours of police interrogations, because inept officers wanted to cover up their wrong doings. This is the story of Aiyana Stanley Jones, a beautiful 7 year old girl who was murdered in cold blood by the Detroit Police Department.
As this painful ordeal continues to unfold, several questions are left to be asked. Why was such force needed to be used with a child in the home? If officers were aware of the suspect’s location in the adjoining apartment, then why was the home of Aiyana raided?
I am hurt, angered, and confused by this tragedy. Aiyana’s death haunts me because I see her all around me. My friend who has a 3 year old daughter; every time I think of the possibility of something similar happening to her tears immediately begin to fill my eyes. I have a cousin the same age as Aiyana; the mere thought of him being stripped away from me is unfathomable. This affliction makes me ponder on my 9 year old god-sister, who has the world before her, imagining that her future could be taken by heartless individuals is unbearable. We all know Aiyanas and unfortunately we have heard Aiyana’s story too many times.
With pain in my heart and anger in my spirit I write these words to awaken you. I write these words to keep the story of Aiyana alive. I write these words in the name of our ancestors who have witnessed these abominations and are crying out. I write these words to my future children who may someday read this and realize the fragility of their lives. I write these words as a covenant to protect them by any means necessary and ensure that their future will be just as bright as their smiling faces.
I’m on twitter and this sister drops a comment about men and lying. She has this image of her legs with a sponge over her, well, you see it. So, every now and then I like seeing it in my timeline(My apologies…still working on the pornograpy problem.) I responded to her by typing,”
I’m going to lie. Or tell you something you may be offended by. Can I skip the test and the background check?”
So, she asks me if I have to lie why bother, or something to that effect. We toss a few really cool twts(responses via twitter) at one another, I thought it was really cool…until she calls me a “pussy”.
Now, regardless of my extremely testoterone imbalanced past, I can tell you, she touched a nerve. I didn’t respond to her in like. I simply told her,”Please…don’t make me do it. I already can’t get the follow from you. If I say this…you’ll block me.”
Now, for those who don’t use twitter a block means I can’t respond to her. I can see her timeline if she is not private(I have to ask for permission to see her timeline(the statements she has made via twitter), but if she is…no good). Of course, I am now upset. Regardless if I respond to her or not, the energy exist, I’m responding to people, and my base is primarily Black Women. Not a good mixture. I will be honest though. I thought I handled myself well. Some felt that certain images I conjured up were a bit too much, but I felt like I wasn’t resorting to the “b” this, “h” that routine that most men do.
The comment that touched the most nerves was when I responded,” My fault, Queen…young sister made some really rude statements cuss she couldn’t stand in her on period blood” Now, I apologize. I didn’t know the phrase period blood was going to cause so much harm. I was in several conversations via Twitter’s direct(private) messages and on the timeline in public. I still haven’t responded to everyone, hence the reason I wrote this.
I am still not quite sure if I owe an apology other that to admit that I didn’t know it would cause such a stir. I’m not quite sure about what is politically correct for a man to say to a woman, since women are saying so much to men. It is very difficult to know exactly what is appropriate if it is acceptable for you to call me a “pussy”(meaning weak), but the minute I call another man a “pussy” in the same context, then I am a target for the Black Feminist Liberation Army.
To be completely honest I had to ask a woman friend was I a sexist! I even ran to the book shelf and grabbed “Ain’t I a Woman” by bell hooks and started going over my notes in there. I was really trying to find out what I had done wrong!
So now I am in this funk of sorts, wondering if I am the guilty party for using terms the way they are being used. I’m like, well women have been through this and that in the male power environment. Then I thought about it…well, not Black Women. Possibly in the White Male Power environment, but you don’t have that history within the American Black experience. No matter what I say about Bro. Louis(Min. Farrakhan) I can’t deny his wisdom in placing a woman imam(Minister) over a whole region(South Region). Not only did he break fundamental Islamic conventions by naming a woman as an Imam(probably punishable by death in some countries) he named her head over a whole region.
Ericka Huggins, A widow at the age of 19, was leader of the Black Panther Party on the West Coast. She is the widow of Bunchy Carter, who was assassinated by the US organization. She was the head of the Black Panther Party region most associated with the C.R.I.P.S(Communist Reform In Progress Service). This is the region that would extend in to various street organizations. Do you get my point? Do you understand what she was head of? The type of men she was commanding?
The American Black woman has not had the history that other women have had. In no group of people is the woman raised to such a high position. In other countries many of the practices that American Black women deem as cultural would cause death. Even White American women look to the American Black woman for a paradigm of strength. How many cultures around the globe can boast of having two of the richest women…rich like Madame C.J. Walker in the early 20th century and Oprah Winfrey in our current times?
I don’t know. The more I address, the more problems I have to deal with. I am attacked for using “period blood” as a metaphor for accountability while the topic of my concern calls me “pussy”( a female organ by the way) and a “bitch”(a word that means FEMALE dog, if you didn’t know). So, am I wrong for stating that she can’t handle her natural problems, but she right for using terms that reflect the female gender as being weak? How so? How does that logic work?
So, I woke up this morning from one of those weird dreams that I’m sure many shell shocked victims of any sort of stressful past that affected them physically will have. Upon waking up, I cursed out the fedloan and all the banks, and thought about urinating on the debt statements I now owe the US Government. I sat down to this keyboard, as I always do when I am upset with the world, and yet have no other party to actually be upset with other than myself. A question arose that had nothing to do with my prior angst. What if Malcolm X decided to start Essence magazine?
Strange, indeed. But media has that sort of effect on your mind. I thought about something that Mulchan wrote in his treatise on the understand of media, namely, “During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man– the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society…”
To build on that thought, I immediately recognized the parallel when George Jackson spoke about the extension of the human appendage through knife and gun. The extension of the physical has always been a human necessity due to the lack of physical capability to defeat and destroy predators of the land. The lion, the bear, and many of the predatorial animals of the world had an advantage the human did not. As such, it became needed to prepare controlled weapons, traps of artifice, mechanisms that would avail the human in the pursuit of survival. The Human has always needed means to extend itself throughout the physical. Now, as we have read through the above passage and even are being subtly informed through movies such as Avatar, the human is further extending the consciousness of individual selves.
The name of the movie, “Avatar” in and of itself is very symbolic. Due to the nature of the extension of consciousness in our time, in more colloquial terms, the everyday updating of sources, it is not persuasive enough for me to Google the term “avatar”. So, I have gone far enough with the definition in Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College edition. This is a dictionary dated as being published in 1988, far from the influence of internet updates which are grounded in popular parlance and the like.
According to the dictionary:
1. Hinduism a god’s coming down in bodily form to the earth; incarnation of a god 2 any incarnation or embodiment, as a of quality or concept in a person.
This is very telling for us. Let’s consider a modern, more popular definition and derive a deeper psycho-social understanding…
Going to dictionary.com at the URL http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/avatar you will read:
1. Hindu Mythology. The descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or some manifest shape; the incarnation of a god.
2. An embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
3. Computers. A graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet.
At what point does the connection get made between descent of a deity and the use of a graphical image to represent a person…as on the internet?
Maybe the higher conscious was considered a diety; maybe those that began to develop graphical images to represent a person had a great philosophical sense of humor. Regardless, the avatar in the movie was a body that looked like those it needed to communicate and interact with.
The avatar was able to use the streams of consciousness with the body of the mind conduit. The body of the avatar became one with the mind that was being transmitted from another body. In much the same way that the media uses every vehicle it has to use to convey the thoughts of those that control it. In much the same way that I use the avatar on twitter and at times facebook to convey my consciousness. In much the same way you do too. Are you in battle against much with your avatar?
I ask these questions because I believe that the change necessary is located in the evolution of the means by which humans are “communicating”. That term is so limited. We are doing more than communicating. We are extending ourselves through medium. That has always been the difference between humans and other sentient beings we have met. Have black people begun to understand this? What if Malcolm x left and decided to use popular forms of media? What if Malcolm X was still living and had started up a popular periodical that was popular to Black women? What if Malcolm had a twitter account? What if you were Malcolm?
Feel free to address this question in the dialogue boxes below…
“Going through this thang y’all…about to pull this thang out…BUT IT’S AGAINST THE LAW…” – Erykah Badu, “Agitation”, New American Part Two(2010)
One growth spurt that I have picked up recently was a more comprehensive understanding of groupthink. I originally had the popular understanding that groupthink was more about conforming in a sort of Orwellian manner. After reading the section on it, and watching Erykah Badu’s video entitled “Window Seat”, and observing the reactions to that, I can admit to having a much more comprehensive understanding of it now, than then. Groupthink affects decision making and judgment because it proceeds from a very influential place: one’s peers, one’s authority figures, and even one’s idols(role models, possibly).
In the past week I have been criticized for critiquing Erykah Badu’s piece, supposedly a passionate artistic depiction of expression. I felt it was sexy. The video is of Ms. Badu stripping naked while walking the route that Former President John Kennedy took before his assassination. She is originally from Dallas, Texas, so I understood the underlying tones. However, I still felt that as a video that is as sensationalistic, resonating on primal levels for certain, there was more than just artistic expression being displayed. Furthermore, I still reserve the right to critique an artist. Especially an artist that has a great influence on people.
For me the problem of group decision making is the questioning of authority. When I say authority, I’m speaking about “experts”. I don’t have any evidence that can remotely suggests that the findings with regard to people being apt at choosing the expert opinion is incorrect. I would question the control environment in which any study of this nature would have to be conducted under. In cases of emotional appeals of influence it can be difficult for people to think critically. In fact, the most emotionally appealing(highest sensual[“of the senses”] expression/vibration) person becomes the “expert.” And it would seem as though their suggestions on any topic will be considered sanctioned by a body of their peers.
It can be difficult for a group of people to think and operate correctly if they are homogenous. The more we think alike, the fewer differences of opinion we can create, and the more difficult it will be to create best case versus worst case scenarios. If the judgment is based on a group of people’s emotional appeal to the “expert” of the group, then even more likely because we are all conforming based on our need to appease the “expert”.
Regardless, I felt the sting pretty deeply. The only case that anyone has been able to present for the defense of this video is Ms. Badu’s closing segment, while she is completely nude she simulates being shot. While on the ground a blueish green fluid flows from her head that reads “Group Think.” And this is what makes the piece supposedly political, and because she is a popular, “conscious” American Black woman, I am not supposed to critique her. Go figure, right?
eh…”get munny…don’t run from me trying to get away…”…
The Greatest Understanding Is Only Reached By The Student In Conflict With The Teacher…
I was always around some extremely urbane and hip type person. Once I was able to fend for myself well enough outside of the borders of the kingdom provided for me by my parents, I was a cohort to a brother who fit the description well. He would always tell me, “Now, I don’t have to like you to love you, but I do like you…”
I was reminded of this tonight. And although it can sting, I think it is only proper for to be able to seperate the two, and even more important for anyone to be able to candidly express it. Whether it be that I like you, but don’t love you;or that I love you, but don’t exactly like you, or to be exact, like the behaviors you display. I do believe that American Black suffer from the inability to accept one another unless we fit this jello mold of activities. As though, in order to love me, you have to like everything that I do. How often have I seen family members stand up together against neighborhood threats, and yet, not one of them actually liked the other’s habits and idiosyncracies.
Often enough I realize that my style doesn’t reflect the stereotype, nor should I chose it to. I don’t like everything “Black”. I do love my “Black people”, but that doesn’t mean I have to like everything that we do. I think that is a very fine point that we often have difficulty addressing. And seriously, why should you trust me just because I laugh at all of your jokes? Why should you trust me because I “yes!” or “amen” all of your affirmations? Have American Blacks lost the ability to be critical? Are we so overwhelmed by groupthink that everything that we do must be compliant to the group norm? Can I not like skinny jeans, but understand that is only one form of dress in this vast world of various styles and fashions? Can I think that Erykah Badu was possibly aroused in some way while walking naked in Dallas, Texas without being labeled some derogatory term?
Can I reserve the right to not like everything that most American Blacks like?
Do we have to be “building” everytime we discuss something other than Kobe and Lebron? Does it have to be a “cypher”? Can we not slap fives at every well articulated point? Can I not be trying to “white/european/western” if I call it a “dialectical synthesis”? If I don’t rhyme or say something that we have been saying since the 1930s, can I please avoid ridicule? I’m not saying I love you any less…I just don’t always like doing everything we always do…
Can I avoid being labeled a sexist or a “little boy” if I don’t think Queens were all that moral? I mean, will you avoid my glances even more when we pass by on the streets if I remind you that Queens had concubines for their sexual enjoyment? [REITERATION: PURE SEXUAL ENJOYMENT]. So, if I call you Queen…I might be calling you a loaded term that may or may not represent you well. And for that matter, maybe I ought to think about who I call King. I mean, were ALL the kings noble? Were ALL the kings of great stature? I mean, is it alright for me to dislike some of the kings? Maybe I don’t agree with them. Maybe I think Hannibal should have made a left instead of a right. Maybe I think he was too haughty. Will I be lashed out against? Will I have to qualify all my statements with,”In all due respect”, or “not to disrespect the elder”?
I am an American Black because I was born in a global war that was lost, nobody made me one, and I’d like to keep it like that. I would like to reserve the right to act and carry myself the way I choose to based on my experiences, instincts, and the judgments that develop from them when allowed. I refuse to be bound by a culture that considers dance and sport more important that math and reason. I refuse to be bound by a culture that considers Jordans and Polos more important than being able to recite Wright or Jomo Kenyatta. But those are my likes, and we all have our very own. I still love you…but I’m learning to like you…give me time…as I work to give your space to learn me…
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. …
” – 1 Corinthians 13:11, Holy Bible, King James Unabridged
I was asked a question today.
The question was in the form of a multiple choice query.
The question was:
What holds bodies to the earth?
The first choice for an answer was gravity. The other choice was magic.
Now if I were in grade school, I would have immediately answered “gravity.” Being that I am no longer of the degree that would simply volunteer answers without consideration, no matter how simple the answer may seem, I said both. Gravity is a concept. It is a theory used to describe the inertial magnetic attraction of masses to one another while in an orbit or space flux. Magic is a term used to describe phenomena that may escape human comprehension, but are also based on the “laws”, or well-founded theories that have been accepted by the experts of said field. My argument, which was readily accepted, was that both are simply terms used to describe phenomena that lead people to a better understanding of their existence. I could have said God makes it such. If my definition of “god” can stand up the dialectics of debate, in which case, I would simply define “god” as power and force, then my argument would stand.
One of the first lessons we are taught is to define your words. In a contest for minds, and for attention, it can be very easy to persuade people’s emotions through metaphor, or symbol. This is why poets are trained to be consistent with their metaphors, to avoid the possibility of misunderstanding. We build our understanding, so that we won’t have a misunderstanding. Follow me?
The religious scholars have a tendency to demand that their interpretations of a particular symbol be taken as the only interpretation. This can be quite useful, more people are inclined to concrete thinking than abstraction. And if you can define the abstract in concrete terms that are palatable, you can redefine the total world view of a group of people. Throw in a dash of theology, and you can begin to define god, the powers and the forces, that rule a person’s world. The artist is usually left to his or her own whims with the creation of things, and often is given license by their followers. The follower of the artist is even given leeway by the artist to interpret the artist’s more abstract pieces, although the artist may use extremely concrete means to symbolize the abstraction. Still there?
Let’s take this a step further, shall we?
According to an article released by the Associated Press, nine suspects tied to a Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist were charged with conspiring to kill police officers, and then kill scores more by attacking a funeral using homemade bombs. Now, no where through this article, or on any of the stations that reported this story that I watched earlier, namely CNN and MSNBC, have referred to these organized cell of religiously motivated and politically conscious agents plotting to terrorize the local armed forces of the US as terrorist. This is a useful interpretation on the part of the US media that seems to have a deeply seated affective connection with these gentlemen. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
I have worked the course of a year now in developing this understanding however. When an Arab member of the Islamic Faith even thinks about a political attack on US soil they are dubbed ‘enemy combatants’ and more colloquially labeled terrorists. The media has even dropped the use of the term ‘domestic terrorists” as we have not heard that term since the days of Timothy McVeigh who was a co-conspirator and perpetrator of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. A quick Google search of the term ‘terrorist’ gave me this screen that I have preserved for you in digital.
As you can see the “Image results for ‘terrorist'” all depict Arab possibly Muslim individuals and likenesses. Why is this interpretation given when the term “terrorist” is defined as:
“an advocate or practitioner of terror as a means of coercion”
(“Terrorism.” Def 1. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. 1st ed. Print.)
“1. As a political term: a. Applied to the Jacobins and their agents and partisans in the French Revolution, esp. to those connected with the Revolutionary tribunals during the ‘Reign of Terror’.
b. Any one who attempts to further his views by a system of coercive intimidation.”
(“Terrorist.” Def. 1. The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. Print.)
“1. One who adopts or supports a policy of terrorism.”
“One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism.”
(“Terrorist.” Def 1. The American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. Print.)
I started to see a pattern in the dictionaries of latter dates, so I switched it up….
The definition of “terrorism”:
“The unlawful use of threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.”
(“Terrorism.” Def 1. The American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. Print.)
“the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion”
(“Terrorism.” Def 1. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. 1st ed. Print.)
***Yeah, I had to go back to the Malcolm x school of thought and grab the dictionary. Google is still my friend, but the library was my first love. Go figure.***
As the definitions above allude, there is no racial, national, or ethnic origin for a terrorist. Why is it that the media continues to avoid the term when discussing white males who fit the standard of “terrorism” without room for contradiction? As often as the media use the term, I would find it very difficult to imagine that they are simply attempting to expand their vocabulary. In fact, I find it almost demeaning of my intelligence that they would not incorporate a more inclusive set of individuals. To be certain, the only time we hear the term is when an Arab Islamic political group or person attacks or threatens a western power or a country that has been imperialized or is about to be.
The interpretation of the media singles out Arabs as terrorists. Although there have been more cases of acts of violence and intimidation used coercively in this country by white males. So my question to you is this:
What keeps white males from being labeled as “terrorist”?
A) Institutional Racism.
The voice that is heard is often the opinion that gets voiced the most afterwards…
“Can I get a window seat…don’t want nobody next to me…I just want a chance to fly…a chance to cry…” – Erykah Badu, “Window Seat”(2010)
So, I’ve been on a twitter Hiatus, and I’ve noticed that I’ve been losing hits to the blog. Eh…what can you do right? Sometimes spiritual health is more important than ratings and hits. In essence, I’ll still be away for awhile, but I’ve sort of grown accustomed to blogging at this rate of one post a day, so, I’ll attempt to keep it up.
So what should I find when I check through a few of my other favorite social media sites….Erykah “On and On” Badu has put out another video(of course, we are going to discuss Erykah Badu’s Window Seat, did you not see the video and Erykah Badu’s booty?). Not one to critique the grand mind and artist that most brothers in the community credit with transforming Dre from Outkast to Andre3000, well, let us say I wouldn’t dare critique this piece without due diligence. The video opens up with a voice over of the original broadcast of President Kennedy’s arrival in Texas, and the news of gathering crowds to see the former President before his assassination. Before the crisp static of the broadcaster’s voice begins, we are told that the video is “Inspired By Matt and Kim”. That inspiration would be the video of indie group “Matt and Kim” that stripped down to their born day skinnies while walking down New York City’s Time Square.
Although I must say Mz. Badu is looking real nice for a sister that has had three children. I’m not going to even qualify my manhood. She looks right. And yes, fellas, I saw the bubble bounce. Of course, I also read the words “Evolving” written across her back. The question is what does one take away from this? What does the evolution of Mz. Badu mean for the rest of us who have gotten over the fact that we probably will not ever get a chance to palm the exposed one’s callipygian? In the retelling of Black Afrikan Amerikkkan(Black African American) history, will we not recall this as that time Erykah Badu got naked in that video? Will Black history remember the artistic penetration Erykah was pioneering when Erykah Badu went nude in a video?
And yeah, I’m being slightly facetious with Erykah Badu’s Window Seat. I understand the degree of courage it must have taken the sister to strip naked in downtown Dallas. The question remains, and lets not get too persnickety here…I witnessed the culture of Black Women in the US go from yelling about a rough neck, to practicing the 5% teachings, to practicing the ancient rituals and beliefs of the
Yoraba. We all have had our spiritual transitions, and even our political ones. The question is, what is Mz. Booty Badu’s naked commentary on groupthink going to influence? You do realize that Erykah Badu’s Window Seat, her exhibition, will now also be a part of a particular range of groupthink?
Well, before we discuss this, what exactly is groupthink?
The phrase coined by William H. Whyte in 1952 as the title of an article in Fortune Magazine.(source). In that article it is written,”Groupthink is becoming a national philosophy…Groupthink being a coinage — and, admittedly, a loaded one — a working definition is in order. We are not talking about mere instinctive conformity — it is, after all, a perennial failing of mankind. What we are talking about is a rationalized conformity — an open, articulate philosophy which holds that group values are not only expedient but right and good as well.”
The phrase is given considerably more concentration through the work of Irving Janis. Irving Janis in 1972 “used the term ‘groupthink’ to describe the type of decision making that occurs in groups that are highly cohesive, insular and have directed leadership.”(Newell, Lagnado, Shanks, 2007, p. 202) Janis is quoted as stating that “groupthink-dominated groups were characterized by strong pressures towards uniformity, which inclined their members to avoid raising controversial issues, questioning weak arguments, or calling a halt to soft-headed thinking”(Jani & Mann, 1977, p. 130).
Janis considered and put together a model of the groupthink, and delineated the symptoms of groupthink:
-the illusion of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encourgaging extreme risk taking;
-collective efforts to rationalize in order to discount warnings that might lead members to reconsider their assumptions;
-an unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group, inclining members to ignore the ethical or moral consequences of decisions;
-stereotyped views of rivals and enemies as too evil to warrant genuine attempts to negotiate;
-direct pressure on any members that express strong arguments against any of the group stereotypes;
-self-censorship of doubts or counterarguments that a member might have in order to create an illusion of unanimtiy within the group; and
-the emergence of self-appointed ‘mindguards’ who protect the group from adverse information that might shatter shared complacency about the effectivenss and morality of the group’s decision.
Now, back to bare back Badu…
We are given a metaphor. The butterfly. Well, the reversed butterfly…(I coined that if you do porn). The naked woman. The black naked woman. The assassination. The social group as herd. The human as fish, and prone to form schools as such. Much of what is addressed as the bootyful Badu returns to her nativity, commits a very real act(that guy behind her probably doesn’t have much time to wait to get those clothes she’s so daintily tossing behind her…), this is a real act of transformation…but how much is it diverging from groupthink? I don’t know yet…what are your thoughts?