We find George Zimmerman…. Not Guilty

zimmermanBlack folk, Zimmerman was found not guilty for killing an unarmed black kid because of our short comings as a community, because of our disorganization as a people. Instead of marching down the street or changing the profile picture on your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter page, we need to support black businesses. Let’s talk with our pastors, spiritual leaders and teachers, and community activist and create a national directory of black entrepreneurs and small businesses (like we did during the 1950s, “The Negro Travelers ‘Green Book’). Economically we don’t control our communities, socially we don’t control our education, and we do not influence our politics. In the Jewish, Asian, and various European communities these same goals and agendas were obtained. Until we reach these goals as a BLACK COMMUNITY, we’ll always be victimized by law enforcement and the United State justice system. We’ll always have to worry about the safety of our children as they walk down the street, we’ll always have to worry about our fathers and grandfathers being shot to death in their homes, (Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. shot and killed in White Plains, NY) we’ll always have to worry about our mothers, daughters, and sisters being objective in cinema and mass media… And the list goes on. How many tragic examples do we need before we take control of our communities, how many males need to lose their lives before we wake up and realize who we are and where we are?

Don’t look at this message as Los playing the race card or looking for an excuse to talk about race. All I’m saying is, we as black people cannot continuously expect for other folk to have our best interest in mind, especially when it comes to our children (it takes a village to raise a child).  My heart goes out to the Martin family this evening. While some of you black folk miss use your internet access to express your discontent for George Zimmerman and how much you want to kill him. Take the time to think about Trayvon’s parents, think about the justice system in this country and in your communities. Google the Chief of Police, district attorney, and Mayor where you live. Don’t be angry with George Zimmerman the man, focus on the institutions that consistently let us down.

Advertisements

Girl at the Register

Earns Wal Mart

I love Wal-Mart. However, I hate going to Wal-Mart during the day due to everybody and they mama being there. So to remedy that small problem, I do what all other low lives who wish to avoid people do; shop there at night. I’m sure other night shoppers feel me when I say this, but shopping at night makes me feel like I have the entire store to myself  (with occasional stragglers here and there, but that’s cool).  It’s sad too, because I go to Wal-Mart so much, that I have began to recognize and know 3rd shift faces at the store (I need a life, I know). For the past year, I’ve been going to the same Wal-Mart where I live, and every night at the same express checkout line, the same homely looking white girl is working the register.  Homely. Not fly. We’re definitely not talking  …hipster Bit*#@$ that shop at Lenox (Trinidad James) type of white chick, I mean a real homely, financially humble, may have lived (or still does) in a trailer park type of white girl. It’s really bad. Like, she ALWAYS at work (I feel like Craig daddy in Friday: every time I’m in Wal-Mart, YOU in Wal-Mart). Every time I see this young lady, she looks extremely tired. Have you ever seen a white girl with black bags under her eyes in the middle of the night at Wal-Mart? Not a pretty sight let me tell you. And I remember thinking to myself, “this chick needs sleep,” or “damn, Wal-Mart ain’t about a damn thing working this poor girl to death.”  I mean she looks so bad that after seeing her, you begin thanking Jesus for all the blessings He’s blessed you with in your life. Even with all of that said, I never thought twice about this girl when I walked out the store. I figure, ”hell, she’s doing her best out here like everyone else.”

This is where it all hits home.

So, I’m at work the other night, in the library making my rounds, ensuring our computers are working properly; and low and behold, who do I see studying hard at the computer? The ‘homely, financially humble, may have lived (or still does) in a trailer park’ girl. I immediately thought, “SO THAT’S WHY YOU LOOK SO SLEEPY AT THE REGISTER!!!” Turns out that this girl is a full time student and working 3rd shift full time. Seeing students working hard in the library is always a delightful sight, but seeing the ‘homely, financially humble, may have lived (or still does) in a trailer park’ girl made my day. And now my prayers sound more like, “Lord, give the girl at register the strength to see it through and let her know it may be hard now, but it’s gonna be worth it in the end. Amen”

Los G.

Really, Secession in 2012?

I get it Republican Party (GOP), ya candidate didn’t win and you’re a little upset, but secession tho!!!? It was secession in 1860 that lead to the bloodiest war in American history. And that’s how you feel in 2012? South Carolina seceded from the Union because slavery was “threatened”, and ironically today, secession is proposed because people feel “threatened”. So I have to ask, what are people threatened of? Is it the” threat” of Democratic Party (The D) Policy or the threat of African-American leadership? If it’s the Democratic Party policy?, then its politics as usual. Senators and Representatives agree to disagree, compromise and go back to work. However that doesn’t seem to be the case this time.

That leads us to suggest that perhaps the GOP and other Americans citizens are threatened of African-American leadership. We can debate all day about the direction this country is heading in but the American people have spoken, and they confirmed their support for the President and the direction his administration is leading us. Simple enough right? But clearly some people can’t deal, and their response is secession. (And in some other cases suicide and attempted murder) Historically, African-Americans have dealt with disappointment in this country; second class citizenship, and functioning from a position of limited power, however, time after time, disappointment after disappointment African-Americans have practiced loyalty (to a fault at times). GOP…..Lets practice loyalty for a change? Take a page from minority groups in this country. This is your opportunity to stand up and show you have class. That’s how you win the hearts of young voters across the country and sustain your party’s existence for years to come. But if you (GOP) continue talks of restricting the rights of women, gays, and people of color, you’ll find yourself irrelevant and played out like Kwame, and them f#@king polka dots. (Notorious B.I.G. – Unbelievable)

When it comes to politics and party differences in 2012, the country is divided down the middle. That’s cool, we can deal with that. But the reactions to the outcome of this last election by disgruntled voters was uncalled for… And truthfully, as an African-American male, talks of secession makes me uncomfortable. The last two elections have taught me that this country still sufferers from the past and has a long way to go to overcome. Let’s continue forward, never backwards.
Los Gee

The Recording Artist: Worth More Dead or Alive? The Hologram of Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur made a guest appearance at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Cali this past weekend… That’s right you heard me, Tupac Shakur performed at Coachella this past Sunday!!  At least that’s what it seems. A hologram image was generated to perform with rappers Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre on stage. The hologram technology and 2Pac’s guest appearance have produced a serious buzz all over the media and social networking sites. What better revenue than the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to introduce this cutting edge technology?  So what does this mean for the music industry? And more importantly, what does it say to the legacy of Hip Hop music and of Tupac Shakur?

According to RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), in 1999 “2Pac’s double-disc “Greatest Hits” album certifies at the five million mark, becoming the highest-certified hits anthology by a rap artist.” From February 1996 to April 96 “All Eyez OnMe” was certified platinum 5 times over. After his death in September 1996 “All Eyez On Me” was certified platinum 7 times by the end of year.  Mathematically, you can understand why record companies go to great lengths to promote artists after they’re dead and gone.

How will this hologram technology affect the music industry you ask? And which deceased iconic entertainer is next to make their grand appearance on stage? Today’s artist should keep in mind the importance of signing record deals and contracts. If there’s technology that has the potential to generate record sales and it is able to enhance the marketability of “Greatest Hits” anthologies forexample, then the artist should seek the best deals possible that will ultimately serve their self-interest. Record deals should reflect the security of an artist’s future and the future of their families. With the untimely deaths of artists like Whitney Houston, Pimp C, Aaiyah and Michael Jackson should we expect to see them on stage soon? Because these performers were taken away so abruptly,  I know fans would love to relive those moments of musical greatness.

I never got the opportunity to watch Tupac Shakur perform live, but watching the hologram Sunday night made me wish I had, in fact, it made me dig through my collection to look for his albums. The introduction of this technology speaks to the influential impact of hip hop music and of Tupac Shakur. It set the stage and criteria on which to improve hologram performances and perhaps regenerate a struggling music industry in a revolutionary way.

Historically Speakin’ I’m
Los G.

Trayvon Martin: a culture of injustice

What else is there to say about the death of Trayvon Martin? A 17-year-old African-American male is gunned down just steps away from a friend’s home. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, admits to killing the unarmed teen, but he claims it was in self-defense. Out cries from the Black community has forced the city of Sanford, Florida to reopen the case and to conduct a more “thorough investigation.” And now the historical debate for justice begins. How long must we plea for justice in our communities and for our children? This debate goes beyond the civil rights and black power movements of the 1950’s and 60’s. Debates failed in the south to Jim Crowism, which inspired millions of African-Americans to migrate north from 1915 to 1970. Organizations were formed to protect Black communities and people of African descent from police brutality.   And because the United States Constitution would not provide protection in the streets and courtrooms across the country, Black people mobilized and created systems of protection that would combat injustice and advocate social change. In other words, the cultural conditions of this country made it legislatively and physically impossible to protect the people.

From a historical perspective, these cultural conditions started from the institution of slavery that economically supported this country for over 300 years.  The dehumanization of African people could not exist after emancipation and as a result, it transmigrated to support disenfranchisement and marginalization of Black people once citizenship was gained. These concepts and philosophies came by way of legislation, socialization, and mis-education.

Since the national recognition of Trayvon Martin’s death, we have been bombarded with information surrounding this case. Unfortunately, this situation has become a one man bounty hunt for George Zimmerman. It’s unfortunate if you consider the history of law enforcement and its relationship to our people. In the grand scheme of things, you will find that the Trayvon Martin murder is much larger than the arrest of George Zimmerman.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to see justice served, however I have to consider the historical and consistent relationship between Black people and law enforcement. We have to go beyond the individualized crime Zimmerman committed and focus on crimes committed against all Black people on an institutional level. As a community, we should also be investigating the arresting officers on the scene of Trayvon’s death, the Sanford Police Department and its Chief Bill Lee; and most importantly, we must consider investigating State Attorney Norm Wolfinger and the State Department in Sanford Florida. And if any evidence suggests, that beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these men and institutions are involved with purposely mishandling investigations, then there should be additional charges towards the Trayvon Martin case.

The death of Trayvon Martin deals with more than just his murder, it deals with a history of social injustice. Historically speaking, the “Black Male Image” has been criminalized and declared a public enemy. There was a time in American history when it was common to publicly hang Black men and women from trees; their bodies often mutilated beyond recognition and it be considered a social event. You may ask, “How can George Zimmerman get away with murdering a unarmed youth?” Or, “How can police get away with killing 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. in White Plains, New York?” Or, “How could police officers be acquitted in the death of Martin Lee Anderson?” Or “How could Los Angeles police officers be acquitted for mercilessly beating Rodney King to within an inch of his life?” Or, “Why were no charges brought against the Chicago Police department for the murder of Fred Hampton, leader of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party?” The list goes on. From a historical perspective, the answer to all of these questions is simple: America has a tendency to criminalize the African-American image. Therefore, any violence or injustice towards Black people goes uncontested in the judicial system. We have to learn from our past and current relationship with law enforcement.  And in doing so, the African-American community must strategize accordingly, and properly educate our children on safety and the harsh realities of our current state in America.

Historically Speakin’ I’m
Los G.

Former Marine Gunned Down By Police

Historically speaking, we must take a serious look at the culture of law enforcement and its relationship to people of African descent.  Just this past November in 2011 two White Plains, NY police officers gunned down a 68 year old African American male. (Link to Chamberlain Sr. Story)  Mr. Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. was sleeping in his home when around 5a.m. he accidentally set off his medical alert pendant around his neck. White Plains law enforcement responded to the call, within an hour they broke down his door, tased and shot Mr. Chamberlain Sr. two times in the chest. He died in the hospital an hour later. Despite the victim being a 68 years old man with heart problems he was still perceived as a threat, moreover the entire incident was recorded on auto by Mr. Chamberlain’s medical devise and there are no arrest made as of yet. Officers claim they heard noises in the apartment and thought someone else was in danger. Family Lawyer Mayo Bartlett said on the recording they heard officers taunting and using racial slurs towards Chamberlain. Mayo said he heard the police say: “I don’t give a f–k, n—-r, open the door!”  This evidence has not yet gone public.  However, the debate or “hearing” over whether to prosecute these officers is ongoing after protest have force the state to reopen the case.

Los G.