BLACK LIVES MATTER: Oh Really?-Jerry Riley

How many times has it been said before? Black Lives Matter. Are we stating the obvious? Of course all lives matter, to someone, somewhere, at some moment in time, right?

Or is it only when the death of a Black Man or Woman catches the Headline; I Can’t Breathe; do the public authorities have to carry out an extreme, likened to Mike Brown laying in the street for hours after he was murdered, or a cop kneeling casually with his sunglasses propped on top of his head and his hands in his pocket as he chokes the life out of another “suspect” at his own leisure?

Do Black Lives only Matter when they can be exploited by corporate media as a catalous to “Get out and Vote”? Did Black Lives Matter when Trayvon Martin was murdered for walking while Black? Wasn’t Barack Obama the President? So who were we supposed to “Get Out and Vote” for then? Did our “Vote” suddenly make George Floyd’s Black Life Matter?

Do Black Lives Matter when the life is that of an unknown victim? When my sister mysteriously disappears, when my mother’s house is foreclosed because of “Blacksploitation” from predatory Banksters, or when my city’s educational system is only graduating 20% of Black Males? Does Black Life Matter when there is no catchy hashtag to tweet, like #teensstilldolife! or #bidensomnibussupport or #90ssupperpreditors?

Does anybody really think Black Lives Matter when Geo Group, Corrections, Corporation of America, JPay, and Global Tel Inc, monopolize Prison Profiteering, and capitalize off of the suffering Black Lives we so self righteously profess “Matter” to us. Do Black Lives Matter when Prison is the #1 Industry in the Automoble State of Michigan? Who disproportionately fills those for-profit prisons? Who is the target of Generational Mass Incarceration?

What if George Floyd wasn’t killed? What if, instead of breaking his neck or choking him, the police lied at trial and sent him to prison? For Life? Would his Black Life Matter then? What if the coroner, instead of lying on George Floyd’s autopsy for the benefit of the police, lied about a victim’s autopsy? Would his Black Life Matter then? What if the Prosecutor, instead of charging the most lenient charge that can be proven, went straight to 1st Degree Murder, as is the case for most Black Defendants. Would George Floyd’s Black Life Matter?

I doubt it.

I’m sure “a” Black Life does Matter at times to some people, other than that person’s family and friends. That is, when it’s beneficial. Since the catchy slogan came out, Black Lives only Matter when the police kill someone who other people care about. George Floyd was a Black Life that Mattered. Mike Brown was a Black Life that Mattered.

Sure, Black Lives Matter when you can spend a weekend shouting slogans and tweeting hashtags. But if you are asked to Sacrafice or go to War to preserve Black Life, (not “A” Black Life) all Black Lives, will you continue to claim that Black Lives Matter?

-Jerry Riley

We Can’t Breathe-Reginald Brown

In 1992 I was 5 years old. I vaguely remember the beating of Rodney King by six white LAPD Officers who were subsequently acquitted. Today I am a 32 year old black man, experienced with police contact, some good, and some bad. Nevertheless, I am aware that 30 years later, things remain the same.

Often, we refer to slavery as if it has ended. Slavery is alive, however; the methods have evolved. In the early 1900’s and into the Civil Rights movement, African Americans were beat, murdered, hung, raped, sprayed with water, and attacked by dogs. Slavery and racism are sophisticated beast, it’s unchanging and forever evolving. Our prison system is a true testament to that. African Americans account for almost 14% of the U.S. population. We are no longer the second largest race in the U.S. anymore. However, we account for 75%-80% of the 2.2 million incarcerated in the U.S. The KKK has put down their cloth robes, pointy hats, and picked up badges. They have become Senators, Judges and Presidents. They are the politicians that shape our country today. 

Over the past week or so I’ve struggled with my message. Not knowing if my words have a place in this conversation? But, I have watched the video of George Floyd being murdered by the police repeatedly. It has given me my strength and courage. This man life was taken from him as he begged and pleaded for air. As he called out for his mother. His mother that passed away three years prior. As on lookers begged and pleaded for his life. “You are killing him”, they shouted; “YOU ARE KILLING HIM”! Take one second and ponder on this, George Floyd will never take another singular breath. His children will never be able to hold their father again. So when you wonder or ask what’s at stake here, the answer is, LIVES! 
As I watch the protests in our country and those by our bothers and sisters across the pond, I am educated. Racism in America is only a microcosm of the worlds true reality. Racism is our oldest pandemic. It affects us globally. We cannot allow George Floyd death to go unchecked. We must continue to march together; Black, White, Latino, Asian and all others! Young and old! Male and Female! They will try to judge and focus on the response of the people, we must focus on the actions that has continued to stoke these flames.Together we will make them say their names: 

George Floyd 5-25-20
Breonna Taylor 5-13-20
Eric Gardner 7-17-2014
Mike Brown 8-9-14
Tamer Rice 11-22-14
Freddy Gray 8-19-15
Philando Castile 6-6-16
Sandra Bland 7-13-15
Alton Sterling 7-5-16
John Crawford III 8-5-14
Walter Scott 4-4-15
Oscar Grant 1-1-09
Amadou Diallo 2-4-99
Jordan Davis 11-23-12
Antwon Rose II 1-19-18
Mikel McIntyre 2017
LaQuan McDonald 10-20-17
Botham Jean 9-6-18
Keith Childress 12-31-15
Bettie Jones 12-25-15

I can’t, He can’t, She can’t, We can’t Breathe!

#ICan’tBreath-Toby R. Davis

aka Naeem Nusaga

THE DISTURBING FOOTAGE seen throughout the world of George Floyd laying face down on the pavement with a white police officer kneeling on his knee has sparked a global outrage. Unfortunately, police brutality and racial profiling perpetrated against African-Americans and minorities alike isn’t a new phenomenon, however, with the usage of cellphone cameras we can now record in real time the abuse of power taking place on a regular basis in underserved communities, where black men are 50xs more likely to be shot and killed by police than their white counterparts.

Although they have made three new arrests in the case, many say that reaching a guilty verdict for Mr. Floyd isn’t going to be a slam dunk. History has shown that police officers are often found “Not Guilty” by jury; in spite of having strong evidence to convict. Just look at the Rodney King case played out in Los Angeles, where several police officers were seen brutally beating him, but later to be acquitted of all charges. Sadly, we have witnessed time and time again police officers being let off the hook with very little or no accountability when in fact no one should be above the law!! But the enormous rally cry for juctice in the George Floyd’s case appear to have gained unparallel momentum around the world as black and white protesters band together in staggering numbers. It is imperative that we stand together in order to have peace together. 

If you’re one to take offense to the notion that Black Lives Matter, then you need to take the time to educate yourself about racial disparities. In God’s eyes, ALL LIVES MATTER, because all lives were created by the same Creator and therefore have equal value and inalienable rights. Nonetheless, if you’re a white person, whether you know it or not, you have benefited from white privilege in some way, shape or form. Blacks, on the other hand, have been discriminated against since our forefathers who were brought across the Atlantic ocean to America on slave ships to be the burden bearers of this country. No life should be placed above another, however, due to the four hundred plus years of Blacks being marginized by their white slave masters and victimized under the notion of White Supremacy, there’s quite naturally a greater urgency to reinforce our black value here on this planet Earth. Since slavery was so-called abolished on the books, it doesn’t mean that it has been utterly eradicated in the hearts and minds of the people in power who continue to implement laws and policies that invidiously target minority groups through legislation.
Lest we forget that it was just as early as fifty years ago when Blacks were discriminated against by Whites blatantly in public. At that time you couldn’t use the public restroom or water fountain without noticing the big, bold signs that read above it: WHITES ONLY and COLORED HERE! as if we were infected with the bubonic plague! It’s been an ongoing struggle to have equal rights and opportunities in this country to this very day. Prior to the victory of Brown v. Board of Education, we had to fight to even be integrated in the same publicly-funded schools with white students to obtain a basic education while being harassed, criticized, spit on and physically attacked by white students as well as local policemen who arrived to enforce discriminatory laws against us.

The psychological damage caused by 400 years of slavery is merely inconceivable. The effects itself can range anywhere from self-hate to low self-esteem after buying into the hype and lies that were perpetuated on a large scale. Even today, most Blacks suffer from what I call “The Tarzan Effect” after being exposed for so long to a jungle-like environment that tends to reinforce animalistic behavior and savagery. At some point, your subconscious accepts it, as you begin acting the part without even knowing you’re playing the part. This further explain why most young black males are far more likely to be assigned to a prison cell by age 23; oppose to a college dormitory in room 23! Think about that. Due to mass discrimination we have to fight five times as hard to be recognized and respected as U.S. citizens by establishing certain organizations such as: the Civil Rights Movement, the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP), Affirmative Action, and today the Black Lives Matter Movement to push against inequality, and injustice, as we march and shout through the streets “No Justice! No Peace.” repeatedly.  

How can we live in the so-called greatest country on Earth, yet we’re faced with antiquated viruses known simply as racism, oppression, and racial profiling each and every day on this soil? What is it about having Black skin that makes us a target? Why are Black men often times looked upon as a threat; or otherwise, prompt a sense of fear in our white counterparts, particularly in those of whom have sworn to Serve And Protect us? Although for many, this is an uncomfortable topic, but we must all ask ourselves these fundamental questions, if we as Americans, are to rid America of these racial biases and discover practical solutions that can implement fundamental change for a better America. At the end of the day, we’re all human beings who deserves human decency, equal protection, and socioeconomic opportunity.

In the words of MLK: “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!” So, let’s all stand collectively to change racial laws and policies that continue to promote racism, bigotry, and of course hate!

MAY PEACE BE THE JOURNEY.

Fear Produces Murder-LeVar Perkins
My heart mourn for George Floyd, along with every other black man, woman and children that have died from the hands of law enforcement, whom we trust to protect and save us.

Black men and women have experienced over 400 years of constant beating and killing. Communities are in an uproar because of the injustice. What every black man and woman is experiencing isn’t just, injustice, but murder! How can you justify, a man getting choked, shot, and then rest your knee on his neck with no regard for life? What we’re seeing is murder. Law enforcement is getting away with murder.

As a believer, the bible say respect those in authority. How can we respect authority when authority is killing us? Fear casts out Love! When you posses the Love of God, you see life in all of God’s creation. What we’re experiencing is spiritual immaturity. An immature person reacts according to their flesh, not the spirit man that we are. If we don’t commit to the commandment to love, we face the consequences in 1 John 2:10-11. 
-LeVar Perkins
MDOC No. 252894
Supposed to be-Sheldon March

S u p p o s e T o B e

When you see things through your God eyes, the more beautiful the view, the greater the experience for your mind in seeing the divine design the way it is “suppose to be”. This world has times, life has moments, where circumstances, events and tribulations comprise experiences that test connections and/or consciousness of our divine sight.

Some things appear beyond our understanding at first sight. Some things are so heavy that they pressure our focus into a great concentration. The understanding we do not see appears in just being the experience it is “suppose to be”. That concentrated focus can be misguided by the weight being allowed to rest on a single point instead of balancing with the whole being, as it is “suppose to be”.

As we learn more of things are how they are “suppose to be”, the more we appreciate the purity in each moment. Even when things are in their “suppose to be” present, the perfection in that is so things can be seen exactly how they are. If not for this, what, when, why, and how to do better wouldn’t have a where to begin. The evolution of all things will manifest. This too, is how things are “suppose to be”. How things are is how they are “suppose to be” until changed, evolved, blossomed, grown, manifested, constructed into something else. And then, at that moment it exists, that’s how it is “suppose to be”. To appreciate things as they are is the essential view. It all begins with yourself. You being you, your greatest source of God Energy. So when you look, appreciate the blessing of being and able, to see every experience as it is “suppose to be”.

“High thinking in the most advanced sense implies possessing a mind free of all egoistic complexes. Such a mind becomes a fountain source of sparkling thoughts that nourish all that is wonderful in this world…. Possessing such a highly elevated mind while living a life of utter simplicity has been the ideal of all Saints and Sages. That ideal is there before you to adore, strive towards, and realize.”

Swami Jyotirmayananda: “Essays for Self-Improvement”
scroll:.05.16.2020
Eyes Wide Mind Wise, while Ballin’ thru It All
Sheldon Royce March 
Noble’Ju

My Condolences-Andrew Wright

When I seen the video of George Floyd being murdered, I was pissed off! But sadly, I wasn’t shocked! This story seems to be the norm in America today. Its been playing over and over for many years now.  
Its clear that the American law enforcement/Department of Corrections has adopted a Gang Mantality way of thinking. The police are basically a government funded legal gang and act as such. How is it possible that one man (George Floyd) is hand cuffed and on the ground not resisting but pleading for help saying he could not breathe, and you have at least 3 other officers watching and hearing this man beg for his life while another man (police officer) puts all of his body weight in his knee on a helpless mans neck until he goes unconscious and keeps the full pressure on his neck for 3 minutes after Mr. Floyd’s body goes limp. In my opinion, every officer there should be charged with 1st degree murder/ accessary to 1st degree murder, not 3rd degree murder! Whatever happened to the police protecting and serving the community?
If this incident would’ve happened between 2 civilians/regular citizens, the survivor would have been charged to the fullest extent and denied bond. I guess as long as you take an oath and wear a uniform with a badge, or have a title as a government employee, you’re above the law! You can just go around being a bully.

Everybody who has ever delt with a bully knows their is only one way to deal with a bully. HIT’EM IN THE MOUTH! And that is what is happening right now with all these riots: the people are tired of being bullied.

The whole justice system needs to be revamped(injustice system that is). There is no justice throughout the system. They say your innocent until proven guilty, but I guess thats just for the police that commit crimes. If you’re from an impoverished community, its definitely guilty until proven innocent. Lets take the racism out of the equation for a minute. Look at a state like Michigan. Michigan has a population of almost 10 million people. Out of those 10 million people 17% of the population is black/brown, but 85% of the prison population is black or brown. But even worse than that, if you look at another demographic, 99% of the prison population comes from impoverished communities, Ghetto’s, trailer parks, slums or whatever you want to call them. The government likes to keep the race element in play to take the sight off of the bigger picture, the fact that there is just two social classes: RICH & POOR.

I grew up in Southwest Detroit. I’m Puerto Rican/caucasian and have always been labeled as (white) caucasian man. However, 95% of all my friends and family are black/brown including my own children. Growing up, we all went through the same struggles. I took the beat downs, threats, and harassments just as much as my black/brown counterparts. I definately support the protest that are going on now. I believe you have to stand for something! And you have to fight fire with fire!

However, I wish my people would see that tearing up are communities isn’t the answer. At the end of the day, we have to go back to live in those communities! We need to take the fight directly to the culprits. They need to understand that there will be repercussions for their unlawful acts. Furthermore, prosecutors and judges need to be held accountable for falsely convicting innocent people and not properly charging others because of their social standings!! At the end of the day, people just want to be treated fairly, no matter what race or social standing they have! My prayers and condolences go out to the Floyd family!
Andrew Wright #880170 (MDOC)

I Can’t Breathe-Joseph Green

First, my deepest and sincere condolences goes out to the families of Breona smith, Armaud Aurbery and George Floyd.

Its troubling and heartbreaking to see the murder of Mr. Floyd play out on national t.v.. Its troubling that many men sit in prison today because they were with someone committing a crime and although the didn’t know that person was going to do it, they were still complicit. Yet, why haven’t charges been brought about for the other officers who were being complicit to the murder of Mr. Floyd. Its troubling that in 2020 we are still dealing with racial and social injustice. Our country is in a state of chaos dealing with the covid 19 pandemic, the racial tension and systematic racism infused in our laws and government.

Mr. Floyd was murdered by those SWORN to protect and serve us. This is clear proof that this country has a racial and a social economical problem to address. This country’s criminal justice system is broken. More importantly we realize that this country’s moral and ethical standards for human life is purely based on race and economical status.

To hear this man beg for his life and call out for his mother hurts. Do we understand that we watched a modern day lynching play out on national t.v? This hurts bad because this is the world that I have to return to, that my niece’s have to live in. A world that my little cousins have to live in. How and when can we ever feel safe in this country? Time and time again black men and woman are killed unjustly by those sworn to protect us. How can I ever expect to be treated as equal when the perspective of me to law enforcement is seen as a threat of danger and violence? With the events of the last 6 years, shouldn’t it be I who sees law enforcement as a threat of danger, violence and death? It’s sad that my skin color is still the determining factor of my existence. Why must black and brown parents have talks with their children about race and the police in 2020? But why not the world is seeing a man beg for his life as he is suffocated and killed by a police officer.

Think about this for a moment and see if you see the resemblance, in slavery they taught and told their children how to act if they encountered a white person. They expressed the dangers of death and violence. And today we give that same talk to our children and love ones but we now speak about law enforcement and ignorant human beings that plague this earth. This is a crazy reality we are living in.

Not all law enforcement means us harm. Not all white people mean us harm. But its clear that systematic racism is not eradicated. Some ignorant people have negative and cruel intentions when dealing with those of black and brown hue. 

Where does change begin? Change begins with us having a better respect for ourselves. We must love ourselves and our culture. We are killing each other at an alarming rate. But black lives matter right? Or does it only matter when another race kills us? We can’t just show unity when a police officer or white person kills a black person. We have to show unity when any life is took unjustly. Look at the actions of those protesting and rioting. But can you blame them? It’s not right, but can you blame them for being angry? This country is tired of the hate rhetoric and bigotry tweeted by our nations leader. He touts his ignorance by tweeting, ” When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” But yet he wants peace!! He is in a position of leadership but what people in this country is he truly leading. 

This country is tired of peaceful protest that don’t bring about change. They demand solutions. The demand a change in the laws of this country. No parent should have to speak to their children about being black in a country that says every citizen is treated equal and free. How do you explain to your children that the police may see you as a threat simply because of the color of your skin. 

This country is so angry and its more then just the black community, everyone is fed up. I pray for justice in the cases of George Floyd , Armaud Aurbery, Breona smith!

#NoJustice,NoPeace
#Blacklivesmatter