Rehab for Ferguson

 A burning building in Ferguson. Image Courtesy of Jim Young Reuters

A burning building in Ferguson. Image Courtesy of Jim Young Reuters

Once again justice wasn’t served. Was I surprised? Nope, because I knew what the decision would be. We all knew. Calling in the national guard, declaring a state of emergency were huge indicators that local officials knew something we didn’t. But we all knew, even before the prosecutor matter-of-factly announced no indictment for Darren Wilson, there would be no justice for Mike Brown, so therefore no peace for Ferguson, MO.

And in the heat of that moment, when digesting that bitter pill of fact, one of Mike’s relatives yells, “burn this bitch to the ground,” into the crowd of protestors, how is that not understandable? I’m not slapping my seal of approval on violence and destruction, but I get why it’s there. It’s a quick fix. An easy way to drain the rage burning out of people’s pores and into local storefronts and car dealerships faster than the actual flames.

But, who are we (as in Black folk) really destroying?

Burning the local Family Dollar that benefits your community is like shooting your own self in the foot, or to put a poetic spin on it: it’s like you drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die. It’s not effective. It wasn’t in L.A. and it won’t be in Ferguson.

Why?

Well, other than the most obvious point that stealing a big screen TV doesn’t make up for a murdered teenager laying in the street for four hours and then being whisked away not in an ambulance, but a shady SUV. (No amount of minivans burnt in a car dealership can make up for that sad reality.)

How is it effective? How is–to borrow a quote from Rev. Al Sharpton–“burning your own stuff”–going to make things right? How is behaving like an animal, which law enforcement was banking on us doing, illustrate we aren’t to the white powers that be.

It doesn’t. It just makes us a distraction. The rioting and the looting divert attention away from the fact an unarmed–the prosecutor failed to mention that in the press conference–black teenager was shot 12 times and his murderer walks away. Unpunished.

So, yes let’s protest–peacefully–but more importantly, take back our power by letting our voices be heard. Not just in darkened streets near courthouses, but in voting booths where there’s proof our voices echo each other and demand a change.

Let’s demand body cameras for police officers around the country, elect state reps that support it, and have an honest debate (not just on Facebook) about race relations. We need to channel our frustrations towards making a change.

Otherwise we will be in this same place, next week, next month or next year mourning another young life  ruled unworthy of justice.Let’s show them our lives matter. We all matter.

Tons of Celebs Spread Christmas Cheer to Needy Families Everywhere

Tis the season for giving…yes, still and our fave reality stars, rappers, actresses and activists made sure it counted this year. Ifyoublinked threw a spotlight on a few this month. And I’m happy to report the generosity cup runneth over.

Check the pics below to see which celebs spread joy this holiday season.

Join Nick Cannon to Stomp Out Bullying & Al Sharpton Opens Wallet to Avonte Oquendo Family

So, I haven’t been out of school that long ago to know the paralyzing effect bullying can have on others. Yes, I was bullied. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Actually, I know why I was targeted; the quiet, shy brainiac always sticks out like a sore thumb. And that’d be me. But, a little hair pulling, hurling insults my way like a pebble off a Dennis the Menace slingshot is nothing compared to what kids these days have to endure. I feel for them and fear for my niece, nephew and unborn child that incessant taunting can somehow lead to this.

But, if you’re anything like Nick Cannon, rapper, producer, comedian, etc., etc., you will help  Stomp Out Bullying. Nick is working with the non-profit org that educates about the effects of bullying by auctioning himself off. How generous!!! Winners of the auction get the chance to spend the afternoon with Nick working at his Teen Nick offices in New York City.  So far the star’s opening bid is $500, not to shabby Mr. Mariah Carey.  Bidding ends next week Thursday.

Let the auction commence.

Also, click on the video above to find out if Nick Cannon was bullied. Taye Diggs, Grey’s Anatomy Chandra Wilson and Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi talk about why they want to Stomp Out Bullying.

Photo Credit: Gothamist.com

Photo Credit: Gothamist.com

And the search goes on, and on. Its been 19 days since Avonte Oquendo has been missing. There has yet to be a trace of his whereabouts. NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly has announced scaling back police and volunteer resources on the search. Meanwhile, Oquendo’s family and Al Sharpton have stepped up the search.

The renowned black activist has pledged his own $5,000 reward to anyone who knows the whereabouts of the missing autistic teenager.

Please continue to keep your eyes peeled. #FindAvonte

 

 

Trayvon Martin’s Memory Marches On & Obama’s Reaction to Zimmerman Verdict

So, around this time last week I and millions of others had their eyes glued to their TV sets, anxiously waiting for the verdict in the Zimmerman trial to be announced. Once the “not guilty” verdict escaped the judge’s lips it was like a big stone thrown into a pond that reverberated around the world. One week later, people in support of the Martin family marched for Trayvon’s memory and shouted for justice. This afternoon, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized synchronized protests in 100 US cities.

Trayvon’s mom Sybrina Fulton decked out in a ” The Trayvon Martin Foundation” T-shirt, attended the rally in New York City that attracted hundreds of protesters. She stood alongside Al Sharpton and adamantly denounced critics painting her son as a menacing thug.

He was a child. Don’t take my word for it. He had a drink and candy.

Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s dad, sporting a T-shirt with Trayvon’s face and ‘I love you’ message at the bottom, attended a vigil in Miami and echoed Sybrina’s words.

I’d like the world to know that Trayvon was my son. He was a loved child. He did nothing wrong and we’re not going to let them persecute him the way that they have.

Beyonce and Jay Z stopped by the rally in New York to show their support.

Many celebs are doing more than standing shoulder to shoulder with the Martin family in this tragedy, but have vowed to withhold their entertaining talents in states that have Stand Your Ground Laws. So far on the list are music icon Stevie Wonder and gospel soul singers Mary Mary.  Stay tuned, I have a feeling more names will be added.

onenewspage

onenewspage

In light of the anger and emotion behind the verdict, Obama addressed the issue at a surprise press briefing Friday, in which he said Trayvon could have been him 30 years ago. Check the full video below for his thoughts on race in this country.

 

Sources:

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OneNewsPage.com

White House