1) In the middle to the back of last week a piece was going around that essentially reported that a group of black civil rights activists, who history has dubbed the “Friendship Nine”, had their convictions of a month of hard labor overturned and expunged from their records… more than 50 years after committing their crime of sitting in a white-only area in a South Carolina restaurant.
Here is the back story of what happened: On January 31, 1961, a group of ten men, mostly students from Friendship College, hence the name the “Friendship Nine”, went into a restaurant that was reserved for whites in the city of Rock Hill to protest unethical, and what were eventually determined to be illegal, segregation laws.
The ten men ordered food and refused to leave until they were arrested. As was the “custom” back in those days of the growing anti-segregationist movement certain groups would post bail and/or pay fines for those protesters who were arrested.
However, nine of the men refused to accept anyone’s money and took a sentence of 30 days’ hard labor instead of a $100 fine as a further protest against the piss poor and illegal racist laws of the time. The tenth man allowed his bail to be posted to keep his athletic scholarship.
Back to the present day courtroom…
Prosecutor Kevin Brackett told the court the men were punished at the time solely because they were black and he then apologized to eight of the “Friendship Nine” who were in the courtroom (one man had passed away), “Allow me to take this opportunity to extend to each of you my heartfelt apology for what happened to you. It was wrong then, it is wrong today. We [the state] are the ones who need to say we’re sorry. You should not have to apologize…for you did nothing wrong.”
And? If, they never did anything wrong then what the hell took everyone so damn long to make this apology? Not one time in all the years… 50 some years plus… since that wrong was done… no one… until just now… thought, “Damn… we should get those brave men back here and tell them we’re sorry.” No one?
And, then “Damn, ya know, maybe we ought to just erase that smudge upon their names… we can’t take away the 30 days of hard labor but maybe we could apologize and erase that smudge that is still following them around.” No one until just now, eh?
Sometimes some of us are just a bunch of sorry sumnabitchs. Ya know? Just a few words and a judge who coulda said at any point what we… white society… did was wrong. Your records and names are now clear of our wrong doing. But, nope, took over 50 years.
And, then some folks wonder why some other folks still feel like they gotta look over their shoulders and maybe feel like they still don’t get a fair shake from certain police officers. And, that maybe they still need to do a little marching and shouting just to remind folks that there was some guy by the name of King who spearheaded a movement to have something signed by some president by the name of Johnson called the Civil Rights Act (enacted July 2, 1964) that supposedly said black and white people were equal and could go anywhere they wanted to… even to a lunch counter to have a sandwich and a cup of coffee without anyone coming to take them away to do 30 days of hard labor. Talk about a damn expensive sandwich and cup of joe… it only took 50 years for someone to finally pay up for it.
The ten protesters who sat down at the McCrory’s lunch counter were Willie Edward McCleod, James Frank Wells, Clarence Henner Graham, Thomas Walter Gaither, David “Scoop” Williamson, Robert Lewis McCullough, Mack Cartier Workman, Willie Thomas “Dub” Massey, John Alexander Gaines and Charles Edward Taylor. All of the young men were students at Friendship College except for Thomas Gaither, who was a graduate of Claflin College and a field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
2) And, just to show ya’ll have we haven’t come as far as we think we have…
According to a report by KGTV, San Diego PD Sgt. Arthur Scott is suing his Police Department because he believes that a replica of a 1900’s cartoon shown during a lieutenant’s training event, that was held last year, was “racist”.
The cartoon, which was first published by the now-defunct San Diego Sun in 1909, was titled “Our Colored Policeman on the Job” and it shows some peeps (mostly Asian) running away from a black cop as he patrols their street with a baton and gun. The cop depicted in the cartoon was the first black police officer for the SDPD, Frank McCarter.
Various police officials have said that the cartoon which was passed around during the training session was to show, and honor, McCarter’s milestone career with the SDPD.
Be that as it may… it just seems that there might be a tad bit of suspicion behind that top cop logic because… welllll… I’ll just let Sgt. Scott’s words state what I think will soon be an obvious observation and conclusion…
Scott states that the cartoon “… did not depict the real Officer McCarter, but instead caricatured him as an ape in a police uniform.”
Now… I have gone on record, many times in fact, as saying that sometimes I think people can over react to certain things… pictures, words or whatever… simply because they are pictures, words or whatever that people believe to be offensive… when, if, those peeps don’t give those pictures, words or whatever that offensive power then the pictures, words or whatever lose that illusory offensive meaning or power.
BUT, I have also gone on record that sometimes it is the context that pictures, words or whatever are used that can make all the difference in the world and then makes them truly bad or good… or… in some cases racist or just another picture, word or whatever…
Take a look at the cartoon … check out the depiction of Officer McCarter… that is, in my mind, archaic and… yep I’m gonna use that word… racist depiction of what was an acceptable portrayal of black folks. That cartoon, in my mind is as unacceptable as any other archaic and racist depiction of black folks… things such as big lipped, wide grinning, watermelon slurping lazy, thieving, chicken eating lowlifes.
In any shape, way or form, I do not believe that cartoon/picture was passed around during a training session as an ill-informed but innocent way to showcase and honor Officer Frank McCarter’s career in the SDPD. It was passed around, at best, as a failed thinly veiled attempt at humor that failed to show Officer McCarter in a positive manner, or, at its worst, an overt racist slur that some jackass thought could be passed off as a joke.
And oh yeah… take what it any way you want about a cartoon that shows San Diego’s first black police officer as a monkey… but also understand this… the cartoon also features racist comments about Asian people. Check it out…
In short, maybe these were “acceptable” stereotypes back in that era… late 1800’s – early 1900s… but in no way are they accepted stereotypes in this era… nor should they be. Unless that cartoon was shown in an historical context as an example of what, or how, NOT to refer to certain racial and ethnic groups, then it was done as a stupid and racist prank or as an act with malice aforethought to insult black and Asian people. You can takes your choice.
Now… it seems that this is not the first time Scott has voiced his concerns about racial issues in the San Diego Police Department… not all that long ago he also bitched about how some officers were hanging racist photos of the Bamster… our beloved leader of the so-called free world… in their lockers. At that time a cop superior told Scott that he was being overly sensitive and to let it be. And, they tried that same tactic this time but Sgt. Scott persisted and the McCarter sketch was finally pulled from training materials.
Scott alleges that persistence led to a paying of a price because he was passed over for a promotion and transferred to an unwanted position and eventually conceded to a to a different division.
Now, San Diego’s local NAACP chapter is chiming in with support for Scott’s opinion that the cartoon is insensitive and that the department should have known better than to continue to play the cartoon during training events.
The president of the San Diego chapter of the NAACP said, “If it’s OK to do that for training officers, we can’t possibly be moving forward.”
SDPD Sgt. Bryan Pendleton who was in the same training class as Scott said “No doubt about it. The depiction of a black man as an ape-like character, that’s racist.”
Pendleton, who is also a member of the SDBPAO (San Diego Black Police Officers Association), said he and the organization support Scott… “This lawsuit is not simply about a cartoon. There are other issues that will come out throughout this process. When you take all of those together and compound them, then you’ll see clearly that there is an issue.”
In an emailed statement, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said, “We take these allegations very seriously. We will fully cooperate and support any and all investigations into this matter. At this time, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on this case since it is in litigation.”
I freaking certainly hope Scotts “allegations” are taken seriously and that this is not the last we will hear about Sgt. Scotts efforts to penetrate the blue, and sometimes white hued, line in one police department.
3) And, a little closer to home… at least my home if not yours… a NYC investigation found that a law firm called the Bronx Defenders office, which receives $20 million a year in city funds, is said to have knowingly participated in a music video that depicted its members calling for cops to be offed.
According to the NYDN, the investigation also states that the group’s Executive Director Robin Steinberg“… engaged in ‘gross mismanagement’ in green-lighting the video and handling the controversy that erupted after it was released.”
The Daily News reports that Steinberg has said that she only learned about the video “late last week”, but, the investigation’s report says that she had been aware of the video for many months.
According to reports a lawyer for the Defenders said after first hearing “Hands Up” by rappers Uncle Murda & Maino… “I love the song.”
The song included the lyrics: “For Mike Brown and Sean Bell, a cop got to get killed. Cause I’m black, police think they got the right to shoot me … Time to start killing these coppers …”
According to the Department of Investigation report… two lawyers for the Defenders Office… who incidentally were in the video… pushed for the Defender’s Office to sponsor the video and to also allow it to be filmed on Defender’s premises.
According to some sources Steinberg never read a copy of the lyrics and never even researched the artist. And, when the video went public and folks started in on saying “WTF?!!??”… Steinberg released a statement that said, “(They) released a version of ‘Hands Up’ that we did not authorize or endorse.”
Mayor de Blasio has said the video is “unacceptable.” As have many others…
Back in the day we didn’t have Rap or Hip Hop or what have you… but… we had something called Rock, Folk Rock and other musical forms, and, we also had activists called the Weathermen and the Black Panthers… and… they sometimes called for the destruction of the pigs… or the man… whatever… by any other name a cop is a cop is a cop…
I did not approve of those messages back then and I certainly do not approve of any message calling for the destruction of…. or, if you would the murder of… any cops today. See, I have this aversion to any form… art or otherwise… that calls for peeps to be waging terrorism or performing acts of murder.
Sorry… but Steinberg and whoever else was connected with this video need to be fired and it should be as of yesterday, in my opinion. Asking for cops to be killed is not in anyone’s best interests.
Asking for bad cops to be arrested, prosecuted and duly punished for any guilt found… no problem.
Killing them? Sorry, I cannot get behind that shit.
4) Did ya’ll know that on Wednesday (2/14) at the Library of Congress, folks will have full access to Rosa Parks’ archive of letters, writings, personal notes and photographs? … for the first time?
Parks has always been, in my mind and probably lots of other folk’s minds, to be this innocent and tired woman who got on a bus and sat down and was told she couldn’t sit where she was and that she had to get to the back of the bus and simply said “no”. But according to stuff I been reading this collection will give us insights into a mind that was a lot more than just one iconic historical moment in the Civil Rights movement and the story of the US.
Parks, who died in 2005 at 92, is renowned for her 1955 act of civil disobedience on a Montgomery, Alabama bus that began what became a yearlong bus boycott that took the first major step in breaking down segregation.
For her part Parks wrote, “I had been pushed around all my life and felt at this moment that I couldn’t take it anymore. When I asked the policeman why we had to be pushed around, he said he didn’t know. ‘The law is the law. You are under arrest.’ I didn’t resist.”
And here is the stuff nobody except those few of us who make it their business to know, know… After her arrest, Parks lost her job as a seamstress at Montgomery’s largest department store… her husband, Raymond, lost his job… and the couple sank into deep poverty.
They moved to Detroit but still struggled to make ends meet.
But… she never stopped being involved in the fight for equal rights. She worked and travelled with the NAACP and eventually found a position at the Hampton Institute in Virginia earning $3,700 a year… enough to send some money home to her husband and mother. But, not until 1965 when Parks was hired for the district office of Michigan Rep. John Conyers that she finally earned a steady, living wage.
Like I said this is stuff nobody ever talks about or tells us… and… I am willing to wager this stuff ain’t in nobody’s history books that they be teaching in any schools either.
Congressional librarian Adrienne Cannon says, “It’s important because we see Rosa Parks in a kind of almost frozen, iconic image… a hero that is not really real flesh and blood. Here (with this new released material) we get a sense of a woman that is really full flesh and blood.”
Some surprises are in store for folks looking into the Parks’ archives… I say that because I was surprised by some of the revelations… again, because nobody ever told me or even suggested the truth about Rosa Parks…
Things like… Parks had an aggressive edge and supported more radical actions seeking equality over the years like support for Malcolm X, Black Panther gatherings and the Wilmington 10 in North Carolina.
Another Congressional Library official, Helena Zinkham, the library’s collections director, said, “She was so deeply opposed to segregation that as the younger generation came along, she didn’t hold back from them. She was in the fight.”
I for one just added a new bucket list item… start reading up on more of the real story of some of our historical folks… not just the stuff in bare facts history books but the stuff that really matters, grit and the gristle of the behind the scenes stuff where folks got down and dirty with the heavy lifting of the struggle of doing the right thing.
Maybe someday even seeing if I can get my ass into the Library of Congress (or other places) and see some of the archival memorabilia for myself… with my own eyes and mind.
5) Just the other day (2/2) I saw a piece on ESPN.com where Arizona Cardinals’ linebacker Larry Foote said that Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch sends the wrong message to our children.
“He always mentions his foundation and what he likes to do for the city of Oakland. I’m from the same type of urban environment that he’s from. The biggest message he’s giving these kids, he might not want to admit it, is ‘The hell with authority. I don’t care, fine me. I’m gonna grab my crotch. I’m gonna do it my way.'”
Foote says that when kids see the stuff that Lynch does… the crotch grabbing stuff, the I’m Just here so I don’t pay no fine stuff… then some of those kids will believe they can act the same.
To further make his point, Foote told a Pittsburgh radio interviewer:
“In the real world, it doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t. How can you keep a job? I mean, you got these inner-city kids. They don’t listen to teachers. They don’t listen to police officers, principals. And these guys can’t even keep a job because they say ‘F’ authority.”
Ya know what? I’m all for being an individual and all that but sometimes ya just gotta pick and choose your battles and when and where they gonan be fought. And, sometimes when a dude is right he’s right… Foote is right.
It don’t work that way in the real world. And, maybe some athletes think they can do some things however they want… and believe me I’m a real rebel without a cause from way back… but sometimes to make it in this world ya just gotta go with the flow to some degree and play along to get along.
There’s so much to take a stand on that really matters and sometimes it ain’t so much what ya’ll might be standing against but how ya’ll go about doing it.
Yeah, the NFL can be about of bunch of silly ass rules and stuff… and believe me those damn required interviews with the press are about some of the stupidest rules going…
I mean, a guy don’t wanna talk to the press; then what the hell is the big deal?
There’s lots of other folks who love to run their mouths, so, go get their asses up on the podium and they can run it until their hearts content.
6) Ya’ll either near death or been hiding in a swap somewhere if’n ya’ll ain’t heard about the controversy surrounding the late Navy SEAL and sniper Chris Kyle and the Oscar-nominated film about his Iraqi tours of duty, “American Sniper”.
No relax… I ain’t about to take sides on the movie one way or t’other. I ain’t seen the movie yet and I have no intentions of seeing it any tim soon. As I said in another WTF column I’ll wait for the DVD.
But, I don’t know if ya’ll heard this piece of news…
Seems a British Royal Marine has racked up 173 confirmed enemy kills on the battlefield, 13 more than Kyle.
The Brit sniper’s, whose name was not divulged, reportedly made most of his kills during a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007. AND, He reportedly took down 90 Taliban fighters in a single day.
This is what it all comes down to? Who the fuck is a better killer than whom? Now we start killing and counting the bodies and saying my sniper is badder than your sniper? Don’t know what all they be putting in those stouts they be drinking over in Britain land but they need to be dialing it back a tad.
One more time… killing is not something to glorify and brag about in my book. And, it certainly ain’t something anyone needs to get into a pissing contest about. War is a sad and pitiful thing that we humans get ourselves all wrapped in around. It ain’t nice. It isn’t meant to be nice. War is hell on earth to the nth power.
7) Here’s an early nominee for video of the dumbasses of the year. Two Texas dudes broke into an unlocked car and made off with an iPad, laptop and $5,000 cash. That’s not he dumbass part.
The two wannabe Texas gangsters… aka punks… showed off their loot… $5,000 in $100 bills… by filming it on the stolen iPad.
One of the thieves said… “Hello America. This is Dorian from the money team. This, my good people, is what we get from a good night’s hustle.”
Other words of wisdom they spouted on the video…”We just hustle. Don’t worry about how”; “No $20s, no $5s, no $10s”, and, “If you hustle, if you put your bullshit aside.”
Now just to prove how dumbass these dudes really were… their little indie movie got sent to the guy whose car they broke into to steal the iPad they used. See what the little big shots didin’t realize is that they done stole an iPad that automatically uploaded the 52-second confession to the owner’s iCloud account.
Houston police used the video to arrest the two masterminds on felony theft charges.
Can the guy who left his iPad, laptop and $5000 in his unlocked car be arrested for being a dumbass, too? Just wondering.
And who leaves $5,000 in a car anyway? What ya’ll doing with that much cash. Hmmmmm?
8) On last Thursday, prior to the Super Bowl, Seahawks safety Earl Thomas was wearing a bandage on his right arm after having had a blood draw as part of the NFL’s program to test players for HGH.
Thomas posted an angry tweet about it…
Another unnamed Hawks player told ESPN that many players are mad about the blood draws…
“We are being treated like criminals, tested like people on parole.”
The NFL’s HGH random testing program selects six players each out of eight randomly selected teams per week.
Ummm… ya see that’s how a real and truthful drug testing program works. It s random and can happen at any time. Even during Super Bowl week. Stop being paranoid and bitchy. If, you ain’t using anything prohibited then ya’ll really got nothing to be worried about.
It’s all about catching the violators and pretenders not the athletes.
9) Suburban Chicago police officers recently saw a pizza delivery driver blow a red light by driving through a parking lot to avoid the red light. They pulled him over. Thing didn’t look real kosher about the dude and one thing led to another and the cops wound up busting him on drug paraphernalia charges.
Then they delivered the pizza.
One of the police officers wrote on Facebook… “A confused resident accepted the pizza, and was very glad that the police were there to deliver the pizza, rather than talk to them.”
Oswego Police Chief Jeff Burgner said “The pizza was already paid for, and (the receipt showed) the delivery location was within a few blocks. They decided (to) go ahead and make the delivery.”
After the news about the impromptu delivery and the Facebook post got out, it went viral and some peeps posted comments.
One said… “Thanks for not enforcing asset seizure on behalf of the folks waiting for their ‘za!”
Another posted… “That is so cool. Way to go. Get the bad guy. And deliver the food. I would have tipped the cop.”
There was no word if the delivery cop got a tip for their effort, but, Chief Burgner said he’s happy with the positive attention the story got. He said, “The post was written to show the human side of police officers. That’s one thing I like about the attention it’s getting.”
I got nothing to add… seems it speaks for itself. So, I thinks this time I’ll just STFU.
10) Ya’ll watched the Super Bowl. Ya saw the ending? The dumbass call?
Coah Pete Carroll is getting his as reamed for it. And, rightfully so as far as I am concerned.
Ya don’t know how to call off the play? Ya don’t know how to throw the ball lto the outside and not in the middle of the field where someone just might pick it off? To the outside where it can’t get caught except by your own guy? And, ya don’t know how to just spike the ball into the ground?
None of those dam nthings occurred to Mr. Genius QB?
Jasmine Tookes (24) is an American model
And another thousand words…
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