Tag: BlackLivesMatter

GBI Arrest Camerman in Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder

By Michael May 21, 2020 0

Two weeks after a father and son duo was arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, a third man, William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr., has been arrested and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. The GBI lodged Bryan in the Glynn County Jail.

From the very start, Arbery’s family have pled with the authorities to charge Bryan in the death of the Black jogger. Several videos show that Abrery frequently exercised in this predominately white subdivision — where the trio Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and Bryan live. read more

Palestine, Oh Palestine We Mourn for Thee

By Michael May 15, 2018 2

 

Why are my Jewish friends so quiet on the killing of children in Palestine?

Where is the moral outrage over the killing in this region?

Where is the condemnation?

And when I lift up my voice against this slaughter,why does that make me a Jew hater?

Are Jews beyond reproach?

Are the Jews right to keep the Palestinians from their homeland? read more

Its Official Black Lives Matter Atlanta!

By Michael December 18, 2015 2

It is official, Black Lives Matter have organized a chapter in Atlanta. The organizational meeting comes one year after activist shut down Interstate 20 in downtown Atlanta in the name of Black Lives Matter. This protest followed the killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

The meeting was convened by Mary Hooks, co-Director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), an organization that advocate for the  LGBTQ  community in the South. It was held at the Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church on old “Sweet Auburn Avenue.”

Appropriately 300 men, women, children and transgender persons were in attendance. Among the attendees were State Senator Vincent Forte. He is poised to enter the 2017 race for mayor of Atlanta, and prominent criminal defense lawyer Gerald Griggs, Jr.

According to the media advisory announcing the gathering, the Black Lives matter organizational meeting was closed to white people. Hooks, the driving energy during the initial charter meeting, articulated that” Black Lives Matter Atlanta is a group run by Black people that represents the interest of ALL people.”

Reading from the “BlackLivesMatter Principles,” Hooks said: “We are unapologetically Black in our positioning in affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a necessary prerequisite for wanting  the same for others.”

Since last year’s demonstration on Interstate 20, the group has been unofficially active in several demonstrations against police brutality in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Hooks explained that it was time to have a formal organization so those wishing to participate will know “exactly what you are getting into.”

Hooks, who self-identifies with the pronoun “SHE”, then explained that one of the basic tenets of Black lives matter is found in Principle number 7:

“We are committed to embracing and making space for trans brothers and sisters to participate and lead. We are committed to being self-reflective and doing the work required to dismantle cis-gender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.”

According to Hooks, in recent months “there have been 27 murders of transgender people in the Atlanta area with little interest, thus far, shown by law enforcement and public officials to stem the tide of violence towards this community.

During the meeting the group was divided into several work pods. Each was tasked with developing issues confronting the Black community, and identifying an enemies and friends list.

Conspicuous on the list of issues are: injustices in the criminal justice system, a poor educational system, and neighborhood gentrification.

Three names stood out on the enemies list. They were Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

The Nation of Islam’s Atlanta Chapter and the Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta made the friends list.

Although the meeting started a half hour later than announced, it ended on time with the chartered members chanting a poem written by Assata Shakur:

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

SOURCE:

http://southernersonnewground.org/2015/10/maryhooks/

Little Anger Over Sam Dubose Killing

By Michael August 7, 2015 1

CINCINNATI (CASCADE PRESS) There is little anger felt in the streets of Cincinnati over the killing of Sam Dubose. I came to this conclusion after spending two days on the banks of this riverfront town as the “dog days” of 2015 draw to a close.

Several weeks ago the national news media speculated that Cincinnati was on the verge of exploding. The tipping point, the media reports said,  could be the release of the video showing the shooting death of Samuel Dubose, a black motorist stopped by a white University of Cincinnati police officer for violations of a state law that requires motorists to display a license plate on the front of their automobiles. The national headlines even prompted me to write a column (https://haroldmichaelharvey.com/2015/07/30/a-powder-keg-in-cincinnati/) speculating that Cincinnati was a powder keg waiting to explode once the public saw this video.

Although this law is on the books and was passed by the Ohio Legislature many years ago, hardly any jurisdiction in the state enforces it. Seldom has anyone been pulled over for a failure to display the front license plate. On the rare occasion when a motorist has been ticketed, it usually occurred in the state’s capital city, Columbus, while cars are parked in street parking slots.

Many Ohio motorists display the Ohio license plate on the rear bumper of their car and opt for the Ohio Buckeye plate on the front bumper. This is a largely acceptable practice in Ohio. “Go Buckeyes!”

Samuel Dubose was killed on the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio by a certified police officer 344 days after Michael Brown was gunned down by a Ferguson, Missouri certified police officer, one year ago tomorrow.

There have been more black motorists and pedestrians gunned down by law enforcement officers since Brown, but none as gruesome as the point blank head shot delivered by Ray Tensing, who was employed by the University of Cincinnati.

Ten days later, July 29, a small, but tense demonstration was held in Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati. Six people were arrested for minor skirmishes. There was no rioting or burned buildings in the protest as happened after a police killing of a young black man in 2001 in the “Over-The-Rhine” community of Cincinnati.

At the intersection of Rice Street and Valencia Street, a lone candle flickers in the sunshine near the spot where Dubose’s car came to rest following Ray Tensing’s gunshot to his head. It is part of a small memorial to yet another African American killed by a police officer after a minor traffic stop.

This memorial consists of several stuffed teddy bears, sundry candles whose light has flickered out, a set of drums with a Teddy Pendergrass CD atop it titled “Love Demo, Live in 1979,”  assorted liquor, wine and beer bottles, and an Ohio license plate number EWF 1233.

As I approached this memorial, two black men are about 25 yards east of me on Rice Street. They are on the curve, one washing a car and the other doing repair work to a car. When I pull my reporter’s pad out, they walk into their homes. Apparently, they do not wish to talk about the evening Dubose was gunned down on their peaceful street.

A middle aged black women walks by me on her way to the bus stop. She appears nervous. But she is polite.

“Do you live around here,” I asked?

“Yes,” she said, pointing towards Valencia Street.

“Were you home when Samuel Dubose was killed?”

“I was in the house.”

“Did you see or hear anything?”

“No,” she said picking up her pace.

“Does he live around here?”

“No, not that I know of,” she said ending the conversation.

I left the scene of the crime and drove over to the University of Cincinnati. I drove over to the campus community looking for members of the University’s police department. I wanted to see them in action. I was curious to know if I, a black man, with a beard, would be profiled and pulled over for questioning. I was not. This may have to do more with the fact that I saw only one university police officer during the hour or so I was on campus. This officer was parked in a squad car behind the football stadium.

On the first day of my visit, the City of Cincinnati had pulled the University Police Department off the streets of Cincinnati, according to Bryan Logan in the Business Insider.

According to Logan, the city entered into an agreement with the university in 2013 which allowed the university’s police department to make “serious traffic stops” in a designated area around the campus community.

Statistics indicate that the overwhelming majority of people who have been stopped by UCPD have been African American.

“In the case of UCPD, officials have also raised concerns about potential racial disparities surrounding the traffic stops. FOX 19 reports that the number of black people who encountered UCPD officers “quadrupled from 633 in all of 2013 to 2,354 from January 1, 2015, to July 27, 2015,” Logan reports.

The University of Cincinnati has tried to get a handle on this shooting Santa Ono, UC’s president, has agreed to work with the city in order to change how the school’s officers are trained and their use of force policy.

A white, 21 year-old graphic design student from a small rural Ohio community said she would like to see the university do away with the certified police force.

“I favor reform of the university’s police department. I believe it should serve as a security force to handle minor problems on the campus,” she said while walking to her internship at an off campus public relations firm.

When asked about crime on campus she said: “There is very little crime on campus. There is some but no more than on other campuses. I tend to think that crimes which happen here are students doing bad things to students. However, I have read some reports that in the area surrounding the campus that members from the community are doing bad things to students, but I do not believe that information is completely accurate,” she said.

Jahi, a black middle-aged health care worker, who walks through the UC campus to work on most days, said he believes the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case sent a signal to white police officers that it was okay to shoot black men.

“Trayvon Martin gives them [white police officers] the green light,” he said.

“Why is there very little outrage in Cincinnati over the Dubose killing compared to that in other parts of the country,” I asked him.

“Because the people in Cincinnati are afraid to speak up. We talk about things being bad in the south, but Cincinnati is just like the south. They just got their first black police chief in 2010. I’m from Detroit. We’ve had black police chiefs since the 1970s and black mayors. But this is all new here. They still think it is like it use to be,” he said.

Terry Wiggins,  a retired resource officer from a chemical company and long time resident, said he believes the relative peace has more to do with the fact that Cincinnati learned from the 2001 incident when Stephen Roach, a white Cincinnati police officer shot and killed Timothy Thomas, an unarmed black man in 2001 in the Over-The-Rhine community. The Over-The-Rhine community was established by German immigrants in the late 19th century and has become a black ghetto in the last 50 years, as the German immigrants moved out when blacks moved into the area.

“The Collaborative Agreement entered into by the city and the Justice Department has helped the city to get on top of this situation, unlike what we saw happen in other parts of the country,” Wiggins said.

“The grand jury’s quick indictment sent the right message,” he said.

Although there is little anger in the streets, Cincinnati may be that community that teaches law enforcement agencies how to develop best practices for their use-of-force policies, as well as sending a strong message, that any sworn officer who violates the rights of citizens will be swiftly dealt with by a blow from “Justice in the Round.”

 

Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

 

SOURCES:

https://haroldmichaelharvey.com/2015/07/30/a-powder-keg-in-cincinnati/

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/07/31/timeline-shooting-death-sam-dubose/30944517/

http://www.businessinsider.com/an-entire-police-department-just-got-pulled-off-the-streets-of-cincinnati-after-an-officer-killed-an-unarmed-man-2015-8 read more

The Art of BlackLivesMatter

By Michael July 8, 2015 0

There is an art to BlackLivesMatter. Anyone who has read my new book, Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, knows that it is dedicated to eight young black men, whose lives were prematurely interrupted either by vigilante justice or at the hands of the police executioner.

Readers are quick to discern that Justice in the Round is a plea for the survival of black millennials and vicariously the survival of black people in America. As a “Baby Boomer,” I get it that this is a new day and the old stratagems do not fit the complexities of 21st century paradigms.

“Pardon me Baby Boomers,” I wrote in Justice in the Round, “but it is time to get out of the way and let young people engage in ‘Kujichagulia.’ That is to make ‘right choices’ for the survival of their generation, thereby defining America anew where justice knows only that which is just.”

This is the aspiration. It is an achievable goal. Millennials are the most evolved generation of African Americans to ever exist in America. Like their elders, far too many of them get distracted because they do not know the history of their evolution in America.

A case in point, the recent excerpt from a 2005 deposition given by Bill Cosby in a civil suit quickly focused black Americans away from the issue of “Black Lives Matter” and the Charleston Massacre.

I pointed this out to a millennial whom I have been mentoring for the past six years. He quickly rejected my efforts to focus his attention on the problem at hand. He retorted that his is an age of multitasking. How dare anyone suggest that a young person can not focus on multiple tasks at the same time, he seemed to say. I have also heard this theme from generation X members.

Multitasking has been around a long time – much longer than the millennial generation.  I once was young and now I am old. One of the many things I have learned over time is that we tend to accomplish the things we focus our full attention upon.  Multitasking does not lend itself to prioritizing.  All projects tend to come in at the same time, with the same unspectacular results, and some with a short life span because they did not reach full maturity.

I was proud of my young apprentice last week when he rallied his generation to focus on the black church fires in spite of the fact that he and many of his friends are non believers. They had a lively social media discussion on “Black Lives Matter.”

Then this week his focus shifted to what is essentially, a legal battle between 29 white women, one black woman and Bill Cosby. Each of the women know that Cosby is not going to jail and the only thing they have to gain is money. In order to get lots of money out of Cosby’s pocket, they have to create a public perception that Cosby is not the man the public had come to love and respect.

With the aid of the media and a none thinking public, they are doing a good job of creating an image of Cosby as a bad black man who drugged white women so he could have sex with them. Perhaps he did, but we can not come to this conclusion without a trial on the merits of the women’s claims.

Usually, rich men pay for sex either with money, gifts or jobs.  Guys who do not have money tend to rape by force or in the 21st century with what is known as a “date rape drug. ”

While my youthful prodigy is reacting to the media spin, he fails to do a little critical thinking. For instance, in the deposition Cosby admits that he gave medication to young women he intended to have sex with, but he does not say he gave them medication to incapacitate them so he could have sex with them. There is a big difference. The media and the accusers’ lawyer, Gloria Allred, would have the public believe that Cosby admitted to drugging the women in order to engage in unlawful sexual acts.

When the information is so skewered as to create a fact that does not exist, it is a distraction to give any attention to it, because the information can not lead anywhere close to the truth of what happened between Cosby and those women all those years ago.

In a nutshell, the Cosby matter boils down to 21st century allegations about events that occurred during the last quarter of the 20th century. These allegations must be viewed from the prism of 1970s sex and drug culture.

First, in the 1970s there was no such thing as a date rape drug. This phrase entered the lexicon in the last decade of the 20th century after the sexual revolution had ended. It was harder for young men to engage in sexual relations with young women. College kids would slip a sedative into a young coed’s drink at a party and gang rape her while she slept. Most mature men like active participation from the women they engage in bed. For immature men, it is all about the conquest; “whether sleep or drugged, I don’t care, I did it to her,” they tend to boast.

Also, the 1970s was a time period when young people of the age of Cosby and his alleged victims were turning away from the psychedelic drugs called “uppers” which tended to make the person hyperactive. They were turning to “downers” which placed the individual in a mellow mood. These “downers” were not used to incapacitate a person in order to have sex, but to enhance the sexual experience.

When you understand the sexual culture of the time period Cosby was testifying about, you can understand the context of his testimony that he gave medication to women he intended to engage in sexual activity. The intent was to enhance the experience, it was not to force the experience into existence.

We could very easily end these allegations here. But let us fast forward to the 21st century. What we have are 30 women who were as comfortable in the evolving sexual revolution of the 1970s as young people are comfortable with the age of multi-tasking.

“But Cosby joked about giving women Spanish Fly in one of his 1970s routine. That right there proves he did it,” non critical thinkers are quick to point out.

Indeed he did. So too did Redd Foxx. It was a common thing to joke about Spanish Fly in the 1970s. Moreover, Spanish Fly was not used to incapacitate an intended sexual partner, it was used to excite a passionate sexual encounter.

So these women spin their past 20th century life in the 21st century. They spin it as having been drugged in order to have sex. If you are going to pay attention to this story, at least do a little critical thinking to understand the culture that fostered these 21st century allegations.

I will hazard a guess, that the reason these 30 women did not bother to cry rape in the 1970s is that their active participation in the sex and drugs was the cultural way of their times. Now, today they want to have Dr. Cosby judged by 21st century standards for acts that were understood by the participants at the time as acceptable taboo behavior.

Perhaps Cosby settled the 2005 civil suit because he wanted to keep his risque behavior away from his family and his fans. Many famous people settle suits in this manner. It happens more frequently than we know. Many never get to court.

This is the Cosby story in a nutshell. Those white women need your help to take money out of the pocket of Bill Cosby. Stop paying attention to these non-investigative news stories and the news stories along with the women will disappear as a topic of discussion. I promised you it will happen overnight. Before long you will have forgotten why you stopped liking Jello Pudding.

BlackLivesMatter needs your attention, energy, and your mental multi-tasking acumen in order to survive the perils of the 21st century. I dare say, that you need your mental multi-tasking acumen to survive race and justice in America.

I’m getting old. I can only do so much today. If we are to survive as a people, as a nation; we need young people to understand the past as much as they understand the present. We need young people to focus like a laser on race and justice in America. If the current generation does not, we all will end up multi-tasked out of the American pie.

I just have to shake my head at this generation. This is a smart generation. The best generation ever produced by African Americans on these shores, yet a generation, like far too many of their elders, easily distracted by nonessential issues.

Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

 

 

BlackLivesMatter Not Cosby’s Folly

By Michael July 7, 2015 0

Black Lives Matter, not Cosby’s follies. A few days after Dylann Roof sat in an African Methodist Episcopal Church and gunned down nine African Americans in cold blood, I posited this rhetorical question on my Facebook Timeline:

“How long will it take for black people to become distracted again and what will distract them?”

The question was not designed for a response. I wanted the community to stop and reflect on issues of grave concern. Nevertheless, it produced 46 comments.

One commentator, similar to the “dashiki wearing brother” I referenced in Justice in the Round, my new book on race and justice in America, took offense to the question. He intimated that the mere asking of the question was an insult to black people.

“This is great. Black people get killed. And we attack black people. Way to go, brave souls,” an old friend whom I have not seen in two decades, weighed in 15 minutes after the query went live.

Billy Pearson said, “W can expect people to become distracted when the “new Air Jordan or smart phone rolls out.”

“Black people can’t wait to jump on somebody else’s bandwagon,” Jarvis Jones opined. She added, “rather than rolling up our sleeves and getting busy.”

“Harold, both of us have been in this a long time and we know in a few weeks this will have all died down in the minds of African Americans,” Faye Coffield said. read more