Those Whom Speak the Truth Will Suffer For It.

Eric Holder,  President Obama’s first attorney general,  had only been on the job for a month when he called out the whole damn U.S. of A. for its timid reluctance to talk about race in an open and honest way.   Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race.”

Conservatives already didn’t like Holder before,  but they were really pissed at him for being rude enough to remind the nation this isn’t a post-racial paradise.   When Black people tell White people things like this they are going to get crushed for doing so.    This is where Colin Kaepernick finds himself in today.

If you’re a professional athlete and you’re actively supporting Black Lives Matter, you’re putting yourself in the frying pan.   If you refuse to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner, you’re cooked.   America loved Muhammad Ali  after he got sick and no longer dangerous, but they don’t want NFL players walking in his shoes.

As a longtime San Francisco 49ers fan, my interest was rekindled when Jim Harbaugh selected  Colin Kaepernick as the quarterback to lead the 49ers back to somewhere Alex Smith never could get to:  The Super Bowl.  They came up three points short to the Baltimore Ravens, but the future looked bright for the  Niners and Kaepernick looked like the guy to return the franchise to its Montana/Young glory days.

Only four players remain from that 2012 Super Bowl runner-up and after today’s final  roster cuts today while Kaepernick is  still one of them,  it’s only as the $11 million back-up to the wretched Blaine Gabbert.

The scourging of Colin Kaepernick takes several different lines of attack.

“Kaepernick is a rich, well-paid football player who should shut up because where else is he going to enjoy this level of success.”

Because only poor people have the right to protest?

“Kaepernick is a lousy football player who should be cut, traded or ride the bench in San Francisco. Who is he to say anything?”

It’s true Kapernick is not the hot property he once was, but he is an American citizens and American citizens are not required to stand and observe the National Anthem. This right extends even to professional football players. Incredible, yes I know.

“Kaepernick isn’t Black so what does he know about how Black men experience racism?”

That one came courtesy of NBC Sports’ Rodney Harrison. Harrison, who suffered at least 10 concussions in his playing days and was suspended four games in 2007 for using Human Growth Hormone, later “apologized” for questioning Kaepernick’s racial roots because he didn’t know Kaepernick was Black.

You may not believe it, Rodney Harrison, but this IS a Black guy. (Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

You may not believe it, Rodney Harrison, but this IS a Black guy.
(Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

I can’t even.

“I acknowledge Kaepernick’s right to protest, but since America is one of the least racist countries on the planet, he’s protesting about the wrong thing.”

Here’s the thing:  if you only agree someone has the right to protest when you agree with what they’re protesting about, you don’t really believe in the right.

Kaepernick is not the next MLK. He’s not the next Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali or any other Black athlete who has stood up (or sat down) to protest the racial inequities of America. He’s the first Colin Kaepernick and he’s following the light all those before him cast upon the darkness of American racism.

Some guys don’t get it. Like Rodney Harrison. Some guys do like Bart Scott.

“I think the death of Muhammad Ali has stirred the pot. It has moved the needle to where athletes are becoming socially conscious. They’re not concerned about the bottom line. They’re not concerned with their dollars. They understand that they have a voice and [they’re] almost ashamed of how they used their voice in the last 20 years since Jim Brown, Lew Alcindor, Muhammad Ali stepped up for social change. Now, guys are ashamed and I think they’re going to try to do something about it.

“We just honored the same man that we persecuted back in the day. It’s always the right time to fight for justice, fight for what you believe in. It’s never a convenient time to talk about what you believe in. You’re supposed to wait til tomorrow? Until he’s not a player? Who’s going to listen? If he had tweeted, who would have cared?”

The way this supposedly washed-up, scrub QB is being vilified, scorned, mocked, and damned, you would think he came out of the huddle, ripped off his jersey revealing a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt, and then pulled out an American flag and set it on fire on the 50-yard line. All he did was remaining seated on the bench instead of standing for an anthem that has lost its meaning for him.

Maybe Kaepernick eventually goes and maybe he stays.  Either way, the 49ers are going to suck.  This is a rotten team. and the bookmakers give them the least chance to make it to the Super Bowl.   I knew this before this drama jumped off so where Kap stands on the national anthem, Black Lives Matter or being able to check down to a receiver probably isn’t going to make much difference to the overall product on the field.

American history is soaked in the blood of Black people. It is the nation’s Original Sin and it didn’t end as much as it evolved. If it hasn’t why are we still having this discussion. Racism is a cancer, not a bruise. It goes dormant and then it blazes back to ferocious life.

White Americans have a remarkable talent to ignore the past, sugarcoat the future and hope the future never comes. This works for them until every so often someone like Colin Kaepernick comes along to remind them, that’s the America they created for themselves. It’s not the one Black Americans live in.

Thanks,  Colin for reminding the rest of America, but its gonna cost you.

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Too Young To Live, Too Black to Live.

Does Tamir Rice’s Black Life Matter? Cleveland says “no.”

“There can be no doubt that Rice’s death was tragic and, indeed, when one considers his age, heartbreaking.   However … I conclude that Officer Loehmann’s belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death was objectively reasonable as was his response to that perceived threat.”
~ S. Lamar Sims, a prosecutor from Colorado, in his report to the grand jury

“Tamir Rice is in the wrong  He’s menacing. He’s 5-feet-7, 191 pounds. He wasn’t that little kid you’re seeing in pictures. He’s a 12-year-old in an adult body.”
~ Steve Loomis, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association

It only took a year, but today Cuyahoga County District Attorney Timothy McGinty told the world something everyone already knew:  he would not indict the two cops who blew away Tamir Rice in 2014.

Just like they didn’t indict Daniel Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner.

Just like they didn’t indict  Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown.

Just like they didn’t indict the two cops for killing John Crawford III.

Just like they didn’t indict Dante Servin for killing Rekia Boyd.

Just like they didn’t indict the two LAPD cops for killing Ezell Ford.

Just like they didn’t indict anyone for killing Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.

Just like they didn’t indict anyone for Sandra Bland’s death.

Same as it ever was.

This outcome was so obvious–so painfully obvious–even Ray Charles could have seen it coming and he’s both blind and dead.

Nobody will ever convince me if Tamir Rice had been a 12-year-old White kid named Todd Rice and everything else remains equal that the grand jury wouldn’t have brought an indictment against Timothy Loehmann.   But Rice had the bad luck to be born Black and his life doesn’t matter. Certainly not to McGinty and his handpicked grand jury and pro-cop experts who were never interested in justice, only giving the appearance they were.

A few years ago, I did a two-week stint on a grand jury.  An interesting experience.  The prosecutors come in and run their rap about why we should indict some no-good son of a bitch who’s up for everything from domestic abuse to dealing drugs to murder.   I can’t recall how many indictments we rubber-stamped, but it had to be at least 90 percent.    A grand jury will pretty much give a prosecutor any result they want.

police-brutality02

Same as it ever was.

What does a Black parent tell their son or daughter what the legal stamp of approval of Tamir Rice’s murder by the Cleveland Police means? Lie to them that they are valued and protected members of society or tell them the truth their lives have no meaning and they have no rights, not even the right to live because a cop can take that away from them at any time for any reason and walk.

Sandra Bland last week and Tamir Rice this week. Wanna take bets on the cop who blew away Walter Scott taking a walk? Cops don’t go to jail for killing Black men, Black women or Black children. It’s like looking for hen’s teeth or whiskey in a wine glass. It doesn’t happen.

Ohio is an open carry state but the cops still executed Tamir Rice within two seconds.  You won’t hear the NRA screaming about his 2nd Amendment rights.

Tamir’s murder isn’t a Black Lives Matter problem or a Black people problem. It’s an American problem and not until America realizes the lives of your Black children are every bit as important as your White children’s lives, will there ever be an end to this madness.

America has a legal system. It does not have a justice system and it never has. As if anyone really needed yet another reminder.

Black lives matter.  But to whom?   Tamir Rice’s Black Life Matters.   But not to Timothy McGinty.   His blood is on your hands just as much as Timothy Loehmann.

Same as it always is.

Hillary, Bernie and Jeb Don’t Get Why ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Sandra Bland Did and Now She’s Dead

Don’t Drive While Black.

It’s not possible to be angry enough over what happened to Sandra Bland when she was pulled over by Is it possible Sandra Bland killed herself?   It’s not only possible, it’s probable, but that isn’t the point.  What is the point is Bland should never have been put in the position  where dying was preferable to living.

The only thing more inept than the bungling by the Texas cops investigating themselves and is how the Democratic presidential candidates can’t seem to wrap their thick skulls around the notion that once you say  “All Lives Matter” you’ve missed the entire reason why it became necessary to  emphasize “Black Lives Matter” in the first place.

Hillary Clinton botched her moment at a Black church and then she  backtracked by calling Bland’s death, “heartbreaking,” adding, “And that’s why I think it is essential that we all stand up and say loudly and clearly, ‘Yes, black lives matter.’ And we all have a responsibility to face these hard truths of race and justice honestly and directly.”

Clinton’s rivals haven’t fared any better with Sen. Bernie Sanders, the darling of the progressive Left, totally fumbling his response to a protest by Black Lives Matters advocates at the NetRoots Nation conference where he grumped “Black lives, of course, matter. I spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and for dignity,” he said. “But if you don’t want me to be here, that’s OK. I don’t want to outscream people.”

Sanders has declined to offer specific comment or remedies to the many cases of Blacks being assaulted by law enforcement (Dajerria Becton, Martez Johnson) or killed (Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, John Crawford II, Eric Garner…ad infinitum).

The 73 year-old socialist from Vermont still doesn’t seem to get it as he continues to cite his resume instead of directly addressing how a Sanders presidency would be proactive in getting a handle on police brutality.

“I’m not dismissive,” he said. “I’ve been involved in the civil rights movement all of my life, and I believe that we have to deal with this issue of institutional racism.”

Too young to die.  Too Black to live.

Too young to die. Too Black to live.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley got slapped around when he responded, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” O’Malley, whose testy relationship with the residents of Baltimore has come under scrutiny later apologized, “That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.”

Jeb Bush, continuing to prove he isn’t the “Smart Bush” essentially called O’Malley a punk for apologizing.   “We’re so uptight and so politically correct now that we apologize for saying ‘lives matter?” an incredulous Bush wondered aloud at a gathering in overwhelmingly White New Hampshire.   “Life is precious. It’s a gift from God. I frankly think that it’s one of the most important values that we have. I know in the political context it’s a slogan, I guess. Should he have apologized? No. If he believes that white lives matter, which I hope he does, then he shouldn’t have apologized to a group that seemed to disagree with it.”

There’s nothing as useless as good White liberals who think they get it but they’re either too busy bragging about themselves or fumbling to say what they think will keep the natives from getting restless.   As for the Republican conservatives, they have to wait to see what Donald Trump will say first before knowing whether they should say anything at all.

What Hillary, Bernie and Jeb  do not get is they can say “all lives matter”and will be mostly right, but at they will be still be all wrong because they never had to give their children The Talk I’ve had to give my daughter and son on what to say, what to do and what not to do and say and how to conduct themselves so they don’t get killed during a routine traffic stop. There is no routine traffic stop when you are Black and a cop pulls you over.

Bernie is a Socialist,  Hillary is a moderate, and Jeb is a conservative but none of them understands why Black Lives Matter.  Sandra Bland could have told them but now its too late.   This is not about them.   There will be plenty of time for me to think about who the next president will be.    I don’t care about that now.   What I care  about is yet another Black body humiliated, stripped of its pride and humanity,  smashed to pieces and left to die in police custody and I VERY MUCH CARE ABOUT THAT.

The cell where Bland died. She allegedly hung herself with a trash bag tied to the toilet partition.

“how did switching lanes with no signal turn into all of this?”
~ Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland should not be dead. She may have killed herself but the State of Texas is complicit for her death.   The U.S. Justice Department MUST step in to answer the question “What Happened to Sandra Bland?”

There must be an independent investigation and an independent autopsy performed on Sandra Bland. The officials in Texas have proven themselves to be untrustworthy by any but the gullible and law enforcement groupies. There are too damn many unanswered questions with the first one being the one Sandra asked herself, “How did switching lanes with no signal turn into all of this?”

American citizens should not walk into jails and be carried out dead. We can not and should not trust the local cops will do a fair, open and complete investigation.   All lives do matter but not all lives matter equally.   Those lives seemingly don’t matter at all. There is a specific need to say “Black Lives Matter” as there have been too many times when it has been violently proven they don’t.

Sandra Bland was tired of seeing Black bodies laid to rest long before their time.   I’m tired of trying to explain this to ignorant pandering politicians.

Sandra_Bland_Instagram

Was Bland’s Instagram pic was an eerie harbinger of her own death?