People inhale soot and noxious fumes from the car-laden highways encircling their historically black community.
Cyntoia Brown is a young black woman who has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a man when she was sixteen years old. Cyntoia was kidnapped and sold into child prostitution, the man she killed was a 43-year-old white who brought her for sex. After the sexual act Cyntoia believe that the man was reaching for a weapon with the intent of harming her. Cyntoia claims is that she shot this man in self-defense. There have been several celebrities speaking out on her behalf outlining the injustice in her sentencing. This incident took place in 2004 and Cyntoia has been in prison since. Some of the celebrities who have spoken out are Rihanna and Kim Kardashian-West.
My position is not trying to relitigate the case to prove her innocence, Cyntoia has never denied shooting the man. There are people who will say murder is the worst crime a person can commit but I believe that pedophilia is just as harsh. Whoever wants to debate me on my position please send me a message. Cyntoia was tried as an adult for this crime at the age of 16, she was an abused child. People will state this is based on the laws of the state of Tennessee. They will refer to the state because we have witnessed the case of Brock Turner we see how the system of justice can be unjust. Brock Turner is a young white male who admittedly rape a woman, Turner was caught in the act by two students who chased him down and held until the police arrived. Turner was sentenced to six months in jail in which he served three months.
Cyntoia was a child who was raped and abused by her pimp and the Johns who purchased her. My question is why couldn’t she have been suffering from PTSD. We see all the other situations where people commit acts because of trauma, but society generally associates PTSD with soldiers, but this is not true. We all know children make rash decisions, the decisions are not well thought out, and their minds make lack the capability to analyze a situation properly. Cyntoia was not given this consideration.
My other issue with regards to Cyntoia is lack of movement from the Black Feminist and the White Feminist groups. I made the distinction between white and black because to me there seem to be two different agendas amongst the groups. The feminist groups should have descended t down on the courthouse in Tennessee like a hurricane to defend or support Cyntoia. She is the poster child for all the things they are fighting against. I have watched the black feminist go after Nate Parker, even though he was acquitted of rape over decade ago, protest outside of the courthouse during Bill Cosby’s trial. But nothing visible for Cyntoia. Feminist, in my opinion, can not be mad at Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose and the countless others and not defend or support Cyntoia. The very fact that Cyntoia has been allowed to be treated this way signals that the sexual abuse of children and women is acceptable in our country and defending yourself against this abuse will not be tolerated.
Cyntoia has been a model prison, received her college degree while in prison and mentored other prisoners. For all the things she has been through and will go through she is a strong impressive woman. The sad part of this story is she continues to suffer because we have failed her, we failed her when she was that 16-year-old child and we are failing her now as a young woman.
How come we must pick sides? Remember the Martin Luther King Jr. quote “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The reason why I ask this question and reference this quote is that people have been taking sides regarding the Meek Mill situation.
Meek Mill has been sentenced to a prison term of two to four years for probation violation. There are people on all sides of this topic, many people believe he deserves it for violating the conditions of his probations. There are people upset because some celebrities have come to Meek’s defensive, these people believe their others in the prison system who need the help of these celebrities. There are those people who view this as a mistreatment by the justice system. I personally believe in the latter, this is an abusive system of justice. I offer this to the people who believe Meek is getting what he deserves and to those who are concerned about others in similar or worse situations. If they can do this to an individual who has some success, notoriety, means and minor wealth; what will stop them from doing this to all of us. Instead of complaining about him receiving this attention because he is a celebrity we need to use this moment to point out other situation that displays a miscarriage of justice. People past judgment on the Meek Mill situation without learning what really happened, people rely on the media and the media has proven over time that is not on our side. The media only reports the truth when they are forced to report the truth. The judge indicated he violated his terms of probation by leaving the state without permission, police contact from a fight in the airport, and police contact for riding an unauthorized vehicle in the streets of New York. The charge of leaving the state without permission charge, Meek Mill’s people notified the judge of his travel request and she signed off on the request. The judge later denied giving permission. The fight in the airport, after farther investigation it was determined that Meek was trying to prevent the fight and the charges were dismissed. Riding the unauthorized vehicle incident happened while he was shooting a video, the police were present the entire time, and he was not arrested for this infraction until the next day.
I understand people need to be punished for their mistakes, but the punishment must fit the crime. I ask our people to do one thing instead of looking at all the negative things people like Meek does look at the positive things they do. The media will always highlight the negative, but they will never report on all the charity work he may do, the people he may employ and the lives he may save. Look at the situation regarding Senatorial candidate Roy Moore people are coming to his defense and he is accused of, in my opinion, one of the most heinous crimes a person can commit. As Black people, we have many problems, us fighting amongst ourselves should not be one of them. Any issue regarding a Black person should be dealt with among Black people, the media or no outside forces should influence our decision about another Black person. Remember the injustice you allow to happen to one person, you may one day become a victim of the same injustice.
Is the Justice System a system of injustice for black people in America? The introduce of camera phones, video surveillance, and the internet made it possible for the world to see what is happening in an ordinary person’s daily life. There are people who have become famous and garnered wealth solely from the use of these technologies. These technologies have also allowed the world to witness some of the horrors black people experience on a daily. Many people believed with these atrocities being caught on video black people would receive some form of justice. Are the scales of justice being tipped and is being tipped against the interest of black people?
The most recent event of injustice is the case involving the death of Anthony Lamar Smith. Mr. Smith was murdered by a police officer, the officer was heard on tape stating he was going to kill Mr. Smith during the car chase to apprehend Mr. Smith, after shooting Mr. Smith five times the officer is seen on videotape retrieving an object from his police car and returning to the victim’s car. Afterward the officer states he found a weapon in the car but the weapon did not have any DNA of the victim, the weapon only had the officer’s DNA. The officer did not follow police protocol throughout the whole ordeal, but the officer was still acquitted with all the video and voice recorded evidence proving this was a premeditated murder.
There are been several examples like this incident, too many to name, we constantly listen to politicians, religious leaders, and community leaders who tell the public be patient, believe in the justice system, and pray. So far no of these things have been fruitful and the justice system has been the biggest letdown. We have seen so many of our innocent people go to jail on less or fabricated evidence, so how can visual proof go ignored.
I do not have the answer to any questions that arise from this subject but I know nothing is fair in love and war. If you ask me we are at war. We must understand justice will not come from a system of injustice.
Please excuse any grammatical errors emotions are running high.
With the election of Barack Obama, it was thought that America has made advances on race but are we absolutely sure that country has made advances? Has the election of Obama created more hate groups or White Supremacist Groups? Has the election of Obama created more racial tension in America? I ask these question because after the events that have taken place in Charlottesville Virginia this weekend it seems like there have not been any advancements. As many have stated in was reminiscent of the 60’s.
Obama won the popular vote during each election based on these results this meant that the majority of the country saw past race and voted for whom they believed was the best candidate. The election of Obama was a historical event, I think many people thought this was a huge advancement in race relations in this country but it seems that a small of a fraction of the country was not pleased by this. I do not have statistical data or historical data to back my opinion but it appears to me that the racial tension has escalated with the election of Obama. The killings of unarmed black people seem to have increased but one can argue these killings have always taken place and the introduction of social media has just made us more aware of these incidents. It seems the number of hate groups, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist and Alt-Right organization have increased or have become more visible since Obama’s election. The election of Donald Trump has also fueled many of these groups, they believe they have an ally in Trump. Trump cabinets would suggest that they do have an ally, his remarks regarding the tragedy in Charlottesville suggest they have an ally. Regardless of who is aligned with whom we must be prepared for whatever is coming.
We all thought the election of Barack Obama meant the pendulum of racism had swung to the side of righteous, equality, and love of all mankind now it seems that the pendulum has swung back to the side of evil, hate, and inhumane thinking. Will the pendulum swing back or are we stuck in evil and hate? If we are stuck will this be the end of America?
Recently in the news, the “N” word has gained the spotlight again. Someone painted the “N” word on the fence of LeBron James home and Bill Maher chose to use the word during his weekly show on HBO. I know I am writing this some time after all the hype around these situations but I wanted to wait to see if the impact of these two high profile celebrities being involved with the use of this word would change anything.
The word being painted on LeBron James’ home is horrible but the thing that I found more reprehensive was the comments from black people about the situation. In particular Jason Whitlock, Mr. Whitlock stated because LeBron is rich and famous LeBron does not experience racism like other people of color. For me the fact that anyone experiences it is the problem, and for LeBron James to experience it sends a strong message. The message is no matter how rich, famous or how many fans you have there are people who will view you as less than them. How do you tell a child that no matter what he or she accomplish in life they will be looked down on by a group of people. I have read somewhere that Yvette Carnell has agreed with Jason Whitlock in part, I admit I have not seen her video yet regarding this topic. The reason I have not watch the video is because I have respect for Yvette but from what I heard I disagree with her on this issue. I heard Yvette believes LeBron should have addressed other issue regarding the plight of black people earlier. I offer this instead of condemning a man for not being awoke before congratulate him for waking up now. No one has the right to measure the pain that LeBron has felt from having this word written on his property.
The Bill Maher situation was difficult for me because I am a faithful viewer of his show, I am not agree with his position on all topics but I generally like his show. Bill Maher tried to make a joke and as a comedian he should be allowed a certain amount of latitude, that’s what I hear from some people but on the use of the “N” word I disagree. Someone mentioned there are terms associated with other groups that people will dare not say in a public forum, so why so comfortable saying the “N” word? I watch the show after he said the word on HBO, there are two things I took away from the show regarding his use of the word. One, I agreed with Ice Cube so what if black people use the word other races cannot under any circumstances use the word. Two, the atmosphere seemed like we are supposed to be grateful that Bill Maher apologized. He apologized because people were upset that he used the word, he did not apologize because he used the word. If just a few people complained about his use of the word would he have apologized?
I stated previously I wanted to see if these situations would improve race relation or have a positive impact, just as I thought nothing positive came from these situations. In a way, the person who painted the word on LeBron James fence has won because the conversion about the issue has created a further divide between us. People are discussing that the fact he is rich racism does not impact him the same way instead of rallying on his side.
The other day I was engaged in a couple of conversation through twitter, one was concerning universal health care and the other was concerning the shooting of unarmed black people by the police. My assumption was that these individuals I was in dialogue with were white but I could be wrong. During these exchanges I noticed that all the information they provided to solidify their position was information provided by some form of news media. When I began to make certain points that were not widely publicized their opinions started to shift. That got me to thinking is the news media evil or contributing to the evil.
The reason I ask this is because not presenting all the facts equally will influence people to gravitate to one side over the other. For example, the person I was in dialogue with believed that everyone was resisting arrest when these tragedies took place, so I mentioned Tamar Rice his response was that he had a gun in the playground. I then informed him that Ohio is an open carry state, in Ohio it is not illegal to have a gun. He admitted that he did not know this and that he has never heard this mention during any news coverage regarding the shooting. Then we talked about Eric Garner because he was resisting arrest and the person said he was selling illegal cigarettes. I informed him only the officer stated he saw him sell the cigarette, so where is the person he sold the cigarette to, there more than six cops there, why were there some many cops there to arrest a man for selling cigarettes and I explain to him Eric Garner had just stop some young men from fighting and the choke hold utilized is illegal. Again he admitted most of the information was new to him. Therefore the news media is not presenting all the necessary information to the public, so the public can make a well informed decision. Now there will be some media outlets who will say we did present this information and this may be true. But was this information disseminated equally and the answer is no. By omitting or down playing valuable information leads some to believe that these people are responsible for their demise. Is this the message the news media is intentionally sending to the public. By minimizing individual lives, by not provide a clear visual of the event is evil, if done intentionally.
On another note the news media is forever berating Donald Trump, rightfully so but the news media is complicit in Donald Trump’s rise to power. During the election process Mr. Trump probably received more media coverage than all the other candidates combined. The others candidates did not have ample opportunities to present their platforms. There are some people who knew very little about Trump until, the news media talked about him 24 hours a day.
The news media is no longer about news, they are about entertainment. The Flint, Michigan water crisis was going on about a year before main stream media picked up the story. The news media use to bring the information to the public not wait to the story is already popular then cover it.
Our community should not let the main stream news media cover our stories unless they are going to present all the information even-handed. The depiction of us in these forms of media are not always favorable.
The news media runs 24 hours a day. The face of evil has many different looks, so is the news media everyday evil?