Community letters

Our Community Members Refuse to be Silenced…
4/30/15

Woman was given the stamp of approval after beating her son publicly ~ My Response

I have a major problem with it. She cannot beat away her fears by beating him. He is a young man standing, right or not, but standing for what he believes in, and doing so in the face of danger. What his mother did, was allow herself to be formed as weapon against her own child. It was public humiliation, not correction. She is being applauded for domestic abuse. She is being paraded as a hero in the media theater for beating down what police fear the most. isaw the product of what Willie Lynch created the manifestation of slavery. Does Black Life Matter before death? Here again, the propoganda showing us as violent out of control people continues. Police will stop killing when we stop seeing our kids as a problem.

What she really did was put a target on his back. She ID’d him, herself, and made it possible for her son andhis associates to be tracked, targeted, and marked. Thanks to her actions, he now has something else entered in to the police data base. Because of her actions, her other children will be subjected to ridicule and will be required to defend her actions. She needs to think like an adult and stop acting like a pawn! Anyone applauding her actions has inadvertantly okay’d police brutality, silenced protest, and failed to reach out and teach our youth, that there are other ways. Are we truly that defeated?

Media loves to see our youth beaten, slaughtered, and killed. I am all for correction, but you can’t correct an action by being reactive to fear. The thing she most feared, she plated on a silver platter. I hope her son will learn from others how to strategically engage rather than react. More than anything, I hope he finds forgiveness and can live fearlessly, so that cycle can be broken.

Wanda Gunter

Educator, Writer, Artist

3/22/15 Eager for the conversation to begin. Philemon Brown

To the Editor:

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz started an initiative that would provide an opportunity for customers to be engaged in a conversation about race. This initiative resulted in a firestorm of responses that provided me an incredible look at the thoughts and perspectives of well-meaning people.

The tactic of not talking or engaging has been mastered when the topic of race is the focus of conversation. This tactic manages to stop any sort of substantive conversation from happening. The frustration and question that emerges from this process is: How does one engage in a meaningful conversation about race when there is not a conducive atmosphere for this to happen?

Everyone agrees, I believe, that this needs to happen; yet no one is taking the lead to get this started. I agree with Dr. Joy DeGruy, author of, “Be The Healing,” in her assertion that “America’s pathology is denial.” How else can the lack of energy or interest be explained about the matter of race? If the silence continues, the status quo process remains the end product.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s sermon titled “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” stated, “It is an unhappy truth that racism is a way of life for the vast majority of white Americans, spoken and unspoken, acknowledged and denied, subtle and sometimes not so subtle — the disease of racism permeates and poisons a whole body politic. And I can see nothing more urgent than for America to work passionately and unrelentingly — to get rid of the disease of racism.”

This sermon was delivered in 1968, and today the same dynamics are at play. Who will demonstrate the courageous leadership needed to start a meaningful conversation about race that will provide understanding and dismantle the misinformation that prevents well-meaning people from being engaged in a culture that celebrates all people?

SUMMARY

3/15/15

On the most Ailing U.S. Institution

I chose to comment on the viewpoint in your 3/7/15 paper regarding Congress being the most ailing
institution in our country. While it is in bad shape, the municipal courts and widely dispersed police
forces are the most insidious discriminatory agencies plaguing many cities and towns in our country.
The broken court systems and police forces ensure economic crippling of the darker races of our
nation. It starts with prejudiced police officers giving traffic tickets for minor offenses, such as a tail
light that is undetected by the driver. Fast forward to the inability of the driver to pay the ticket. The
driver’s family may not be able to pay to free the imprisoned traffic violator, who will sit in jail until
untold amounts of fees, bail, etc, etc mount against this criminal.
People who have been in the system are perfect targets because they have already been marginalized. It
is harder for them to become employed or even keep a job having been jailed.. Let struggling citizens
also have child support due. With no family with means, they become permanent residents, or slaves
to the new Jim crow criminal system.

I chose to comment on the viewpoint in your 3/7/15 paper regarding Congress being the most ailing institution in our country. While it is in bad shape, the municipal courts and widely dispersed police forces are the most insidious discriminatory agencies plaguing many cities and towns in our country.The broken court systems and police forces ensure economic crippling of the darker races of our nation. It starts with prejudiced police officers giving traffic tickets for minor offenses, such as a tail light that is undetected by the driver. Fast forward to the inability of the driver to pay the ticket. The driver’s family may not be able to pay to free the imprisoned traffic violator, who will sit in jail until untold amounts of fees, bail, etc, etc mount against this criminal.

People who have been in the system are perfect targets because they have already been marginalized. It is harder for them to become employed or even keep a job having been jailed.. Let struggling citizensalso have child support due. With no family with means, they become permanent residents, or slaves to the new Jim crow criminal system.

As many as 70% of the imprisoned population may not have been seen in court for weeks, months and sometimes years. There is a massive shake-down for money by the broken judicial system in our country. Justices of the peace, judges, lawyers, bail bondsmen, are part of a lucrative, for-profit judicial system that banks on citizen criminalization. The benefits are inability to compete for jobs, to vote or to be free from jail.

Money is a motive, but after criminalization, voting power has been marginalized. Knowledge is also power. But if citizens are not aware of the system of institutional criminalization that can be a form of entrapment, they are powerless to fix the problem. Staggering statistics document that being poor and black in America decreases the ability to be free.

Last week, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus in its African American summit shared much that is stated here. Did you see anything about the summit in the media?Were you caught up in the traffic jam that resembled a “Chris Christie” stunt, on the way to the Texas State Capitol where the summit was held? No surprises there. But the most horrific fact that was revealed at the summit, is that there are more black people incarcerated in America’s jails today than there were, at one time, black people enslaved in America.

Dr. Claudia L. Brown, PhD. D.

6/9/15

Black Male Survival Kit

When approached by a police officer, do not go to pull your pants up. Think about It. When one does this it looks to a police officer that you are going for a weapon: death. We know the outcome of this perception by police when it comes to the black male. We have been led by celebrities to believe that sagging/swag is cool and fashionable. However, with the growing attack on our Black males, the swag/sag has resulted in reasonable suspicion and fear of harm leading to death of the black male by police officers. We must make our Black teens and Black adults aware of the things considered cool that only make them a target,Stop sagging/swag. Keep your pants up with a belt so that the last thing you feel the urge to do is pull your pants up when approached by of a police officer, which is inevitable as a Black male. In His Service Carol Davis