Tag Archives: Social Issues

Bill Cosby’s Conviction Overturned!

Yes, that’s right, about 2 hours ago (as of the time I post this), the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction:

Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction overturned by court (msn.com)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

The short version here is that the court ruled that the prosecutor was legally bound by the agreement the former prosecutor had made not to prosecute Cosby. Per the MSN story:

The court said that overturning the conviction, and barring any further prosecution, “is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system.”

The court was apparently also bothered by the nature of the testimony by other victims:

The trial judge allowed five other accusers to testify at the trial about their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s to establish what prosecutors said was a pattern of behavior on his part.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices voiced concern not just about sex assault cases, but what they saw as the judiciary’s increasing tendency to allow testimony that crosses the line into character attacks. The law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.

MY View / Commentary:

Fair warning: I’m going to largely be playing devil’s advocate here. I don’t believe in Cosby anymore (he admitted he did it, plain and simple), BUT I also still see the problems with the way he was convicted, and the implications for the justice system as a whole.

When the accusations surrounding Cosby first surfaced, I admit that I didn’t believe them. I grew up with Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids on Saturday morning cartoons, and the morals that the show always taught, then “The Cosby Show” later. Cosby was “America’s Dad”, and presented an image of a wholesome ‘Middle America’ Black family and father on the show.

Long story short, doubt grew as time went on, and when he admitted during his trial that he did it all, but didn’t see it as rape, that was the final nail in the coffin for me. To top that, when offered parole, he refused it because a rehab program for sex offenders was a condition of that parole. So there’s no denying he’s not only guilty as hell, but unrepentant as well.

The court decision today raises alot of questions again that have been brought up by Black Lives Matters and other criminal justice reform movements though.

If a prosecutor makes an agreement, and the other party lives up to it, shouldn’t the prosecutor be obliged to also? Let’s take another, easier example here; somebody turns state’s evidence on their criminal organization, gives the District Attorney everything they need to get several convictions and shut the group down, but then turns around and says “Yes, we made an agreement and you lived up to your end, but your involvement was just too serious, I’m prosecuting anyway”.

The question of the other victims’ testimony is something that has to be considered here also. There was, to the best of my knowledge, no evidence or collaborating witnesses to support their accounts. Did their testimony serve to show a pattern so specific it served to identify Cosby? A little debatable as what he did was a sadly all too common date rape tactic. I’d have to say Yes in this specific case however. My concern here however, as it was with the court, is the potential and real abuse of this sort of testimony to gain convictions, particularly where evidence is otherwise flimsy.

Finally, for me, there’s the issue of Cosby’s trial being driven by media and social media outcry. The prosecutor that did finally charge Cosby wasn’t going to do so at first, citing the difficulty of getting a conviction due to lack of physical evidence, etc… as well as Cosby’s age (which should NOT be a mitigating factor in any prosecution). The social justice outcry forced the trial though.

BUT… He was guilty, so it was the right thing to do!!!

That’s pretty much saying the ends justify the means, and rationalizing witch hunts by saying if they’re accused, they’re guilty. The criminal justice system is supposed to operate on the exact opposite premise; innocent until PROVEN guilty. I can recall more than one famous media lynch mob in my time also. The McMartin Preschool pedophilia accusations, and the Richard Jewel Olympic Park Bombing (prevention) during the 1994 Atlanta Olympic Games for starters.

Both of those cases very clearly illustrate the need to avoid rushes to judgment and allow the system to do it’s job free of undue pressure or influence.

We could also get into the issue of prosecutors inflating charges and then pushing for plea bargains so they can pad their conviction record, or using a case to advance a political career, but that’s another story, even if somewhat related.

Is There A Real Answer Here?

Aside from the media (and by extension now, social media) learning self control, I don’t know if there is an easy answer.

Cosby is, by his own admission, guilty as hell, and unrepentant as hell also. He deserves punishment. In this specific case, the question is, “Is nearly three years of an 83 year old man’s life, the complete destruction of his reputation and career enough?”. Given the lives he damaged, I’d say no.

Perhaps without a rush to get a conviction at any cost, there could have been a later conviction of Cosby that actually stuck. How do we punish him and others though when the legal system is frequently guided by public opinion and political grandstanding vs facts, the law and what’s morally right?

Frustrations

Frustrations have once again kept me from doing any posting here.

First, let me get my warning out of the way; RANT ahead!

At first, I thought it was annoyance over cutting ties with the person I used to collaborate with on my Witchfire stories. Well, sort of collaborate. We tried to create a shared world with some crossovers for our stories. That ended over their insistence upon demonizing anyone they disagreed with politically or socially, and me saying one time too often to look at other POVs and not stereotype entire groups just because a media talking head and their sheeple said so.

So many of the problems in society today are caused by people on BOTH sides of various issues having blinders on like that. Sadly most of them are otherwise decent people. They just can’t be bothered to work past their personal biases. Too easy to hate because somebody told them that their personal problems are the fault of that group over there. Old trick though; it’s worked for Hitler, groups like the Proud Boys, and the FAR Left as well. “Hate! Fear! Follow me blindly! I’ll lead you to salvation”.

95% of the time these would-be saviors are only exploiting people for their own selfish ends by playing off one group against another.

Need I say it AGAIN?!? Judge people as INDIVIDUALS instead of using group-think and blindly applying labels that promote conflict and division.

AND THEN THERE WAS THE BLOG…

First, let me say I hate some of the new changes to WordPress. Even using a spacer insert is harder now since there’s no box, just a little circle now that you move up and down. The (picture) cropping and resize tool doesn’t work for me. They’ve even done away with the ability to select specific font size from a drop down. Now it has to be keyed in if you want to change it. Every “improvement” to the block editor seems to make it a bigger mess.

Some sort of background changes have me locked out of replying to or even liking half the blogs I follow AGAIN. This is the third or fourth time it’s happened since I started here. If I haven’t liked or commented in your blog in a while and I usually do, that’s very likely why. This change no doubt so WP can data mine blogs more easily.

Then we get back to PEOPLE as relates to blogging…

First, there’s my ongoing gripe over USERS masquerading as followers. If you’re doing THIS, you’re not reading and you don’t care about anything anyone else has to write about:

Doing that regularly just says you’re only using people to gain followers and pad your fragile ego. It’s happening increasingly from people who I’ve made effort to genuinely interact with on WP too, or at least used to. And I’m talking them doing 20+ likes in 1 or 2 minutes. I have a few pics of THAT also. I figured 8 likes was enough to make the point though.

If you don’t have time to read and have no desire to do so, just don’t reply instead of using people for your vanity. I’d rather have 5 followers like Refarmer, Joanne the Geek, Sheree, BigSkyBuckeye and a few others who will actually read, than have 10,000 fraud followers.

Then there’s another issue that’s been simmering for a long time also; appeasement and self censorship. I left and loudly denounced Twitter for similar experiences, but really WP isn’t all that different in a few regards. I speak out against some of the heavy handed aspects of the SJW movement (even though I support the overall movement / idea), then I’m evil. I have to push anything spiritual over to another blog because I might offend religious people. Can’t believe in chi and God after all *rolleyes*

Same idea with some of my adult writing. I sort of give that one a partial pass as I don’t want people to have to worry about anything vaguely NSFW here, and WP is absolutely one of the worst sites out there for providing any sort of age check tool for that kind of content. Even just an “Are you 18?” button pop-up would be nice!

Maybe NextDoor.com is a better overall comparison. Can’t write anything there other than garage sales and recipes without offending somebody. I’ve felt increasingly the same way here.

Write about self-defense or martial arts, you’re violent.

Talk about RESPONSIBLE gun ownership (and I have a very negative opinion of some gun owners), and you’re going to go out and do a mass shooting.

OK, enough said. The point is I’m sick to freaking death of judgy fucks presuming they know what others are thinking and feeling, AND that said judging fucks have the imagined godlike wisdom to tell others with absolute certainty how to live their lives or even what they should say. Yes, I’m sick of the “this means you’re a that and need to change NOW” crowd.

I’m NOT advocating people be allowed nor encouraged to run around acting like asses with no filter either. Can’t we find a happy medium though?

Truth; I’m frustrated at feeling like I can’t be me. I’m shutting away and compartmentalizing pieces of me to try to appease people who are never going to read my writing or buy any book I write anyway.

I’m not sure how quick I’m going to really get back to posting “full time” here again. I do know that when I start though, I’m going to be more ME. Politics I will still refuse to cover. The waters there are just too muddied, the real truth too hard to find and I think everyone is corrupt. Adult content is staying at SilksErotica.

Anything else is one the table though. I’ll do my best to discuss topics in an intelligent, calm manner. I’ll try to be positive and upbeat too. Trust me, I’m sick of bitchy posts here

Don’t like a particular subject in the future? I’ll make sure the headlines are clear so you can bypass it. That, and a return to days having regular topics, are as good as you’ll get.

Celebrities, Labels and Other Nonsense

I just finished reading yet another article about another celebrity identifying as this label vs that label.  It’s a pair of pet peeves of mine also, sooooo time for a rant… or two mini rants.

Celebrities:

Is the public EVER going to face the cold, hard reality that being an actor, singer or model does NOT make one a rocket scientist? 

Quite the contrary in most cases.  Dedication to their craft means they haven’t spent much time at all studying physics, critical thinking, etc…  In fact, Brian May of Queen fame is the only legitimate rocket scientist (astrophysicist to be specific) that I know of in the category of celebrity performers.

In my observation, the less a celebrity knows, the more likely they are to loudly voice an opinion on everything too.  I’d say it comes from a deep-seated psychological insecurity from knowing they contribute little to society beyond an ability to amuse and entertain.  Broad generalization?  Absolutely!  I could cite several easy examples though, such as the entire gaggle of Kardashians, or Kyrie Irving (and Shaq).

Think for yourselves, folks.  You don’t need somebody in a gated Hollywood mansion or a multi-million dollar Manhattan penthouse who travels in closed circles, and has zero clue what the real world is like telling you what’s right for you, how to think and how to live YOUR life.

Labels:

On to the main rant.  Need I say that this is something that makes NO sense to me.  Labels are a way to categorize people and put them into a box.  Liberal, Conservative, Straight, Gay, Disabled, Black, White…

OK, I get it to a degree.  Our brains are designed to categorize things to make processing information easier.  Let’s face reality though; everybody is unique!  Racial identity, sexual orientation, religion, etc… should mean FAR less than the content of a person’s character.  Said judgment about THAT should also be made only after making an effort to truly understand the other person.

A huge part of the reason our political process is completely toxic now is because people blindly apply labels they can’t even properly define, and then make gross assumptions about the people thus labeled.  True on both sides, period.

Sometimes I REALLY wonder if people even think about the labels they mindlessly switch in order to feel “enlightened”.  Take handicapped as a perfect example.  George Carlin did a great couple of jokes about the way that term got substituted with several others such as “handicapable” and how it sounded like people were trying to BS themselves into believing the issue didn’t exist (in order to avoid facing it).

FINALLY, years back, the term “Disabled” was somehow settled upon as more enlightened and compassionate.  But is it really?  Handicapped, by definition, means that a person can do something but is at a disadvantage doing it.  Disabled…  That means it can’t be done at all.

So, which is really more compassionate and uplifting to people stuck with the condition and label?

Yes, sometimes labels are abused by unthinking members of the public.  “Retarded” being a great example.  By it’s proper definition, the term isn’t demeaning at all:

Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed.

I’d argue that with many of these abused labels, it’s NOT the label that needs to be changed, it’s the people misusing them.  Forcing a change in labels is not going to change the condition NOR human nature.

I’m going to go WAY out on a limb here (at least as far as some will be concerned) and talk about labels in the LGBTQ community, as it seems to be a particularly contentious area regarding labels anymore.

In my opinion, the community has gotten FAR too obsessed with labels anymore.  One of the things I think the gay rights movement did right years ago is that they didn’t overtly stress over most labels.  In fact, if a label wasn’t completely derogatory (such as ‘fag’), they’d outright own it, and turn it around into a symbol of pride.  That’s what happened with ‘gay’ and ‘queer’, for example.  I believe that legitimately helped advance the cause also.

NOW, the community is not only more militant in going after others, but it’s turning in on itself too, as every little variation in sexual preference has to have a unique label.  Is it really that hard to just accept that bisexuality comes in a spectrum, as a major example?  Instead there’s more contention over that than I see on twitter over what qualifies somebody as a “real” writer.

The militant attitude in general there, AND displayed by other groups, isn’t helping anyone either.  You can’t beat somebody into accepting you, much less liking or embracing you.  That’s a process that involves mutual courtesy.  Also a rant for another time.

So yeah… Is “lesbian” or “queer” any more valid than the other?  I could point out that “lesbian” merely identifies a sexual orientation, where as “queer” means strange or abnormal.  The real answer should be “Who Cares?” though.  Again, it’s a person’s character and actions that should ultimately matter, not their gender, race, orientation, etc…

Just be a good PERSON, and the rest will fall into place.

What the Elites Fear…

I’m going to put a more positive spin on the Tuesday social commentary stuff this time.

On the heels of my “Be the Change” post, I want to talk about what the mega-rich, power elite political and business leaders (and their media puppets) are utterly terrified of… YOU! Not just you actually, but Us… seeing through how we’re being set against each other to the point of needless, senseless violence so that we don’t see how they’re robbing us, keeping us down and and outright working against us.

I’m going to use a couple of short clips from Rise of Skywalker to make the point, since something like this IS their worst nightmare:

Perhaps it’s more appropriate to say it’s HOPE that they’re afraid of. Because when hope rises at a dark moment like today, THIS is what happens:

Note the shock and contempt in the officer’s voice also when he says “It’s not a fleet sir, it’s just… people.”

For the record, I’m NOT talking about violence either. I’m talking about all of us standing up and saying “NO MORE” in one loud, unified voice.

No more corrupt government that thinks we exist to serve it instead of it serving us.

No more divide and conquer, spreading hate.

No more false solutions that only make matters worse.

No more politicians becoming filthy rich at taxpayer expense.

NO MORE putting giant financial institutions and mega-corporations ahead of people, the environment and smaller businesses.

No more pretending too big to fail doesn’t actually mean they MUST be dismantled.

The day we FINALLY stand united and say “ENOUGH!” is when the world changes.

Right now, it feels about like 25 seconds into that clip, where even Poe has given up hope. As that fleet’s arrival shows though, everything can change in an instant. We just have to want it bad enough.

Be the Change

That’s right, I’m going out on a MAJOR limb here and I’m going to talk about how to TRULY change the world, specifically with regards to race relations here in the U.S. as they currently stand.  You’re either going to be offended or love this.  It’s a long one, but worth it. 10 to 15 minutes of reading for the chance to understand other people and start to change the world.

First a “Why?”

Skip this if you just want the meat of the discussion.  Those of you following my blog know I swore off social issues just under a week ago.  I was tired of the venom, and how it all made me feel.  I hate failing and quitting though.  I’m also a firm believer that you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.  Ergo, I had to take a hard look at the situation and ask myself how much of my failure was on my end.  Looking back at my previous posts, I think the tone was too negative.  You can be right as rain, but if you bludgeon people with it, you’re only going to alienate them.

Proverbs 15.1 – “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Notice there it does NOT make exceptions for how correct somebody THINKS they are.  So, I want to try this again, at least one more time…  See if I can reach people via speaking plainly but kindly, and no longer holding back some of my religious and spiritual beliefs for fear of alienating people.  Being genuine and authentic matter.  On with the show!

The Actual Post:

I’m going to primarily be tackling the subject of race in America, and what I think folks on both sides need to do to come together.  The general theme of “Be the Change You Want to See” is true for how to fix all the world’s problems though.

I’m likely going to offend a few white folks, and a few black folks.  My only goal though is to challenge you all to look at the problem through each other’s eyes and develop a greater understanding of things.

If you want to say I have no right to speak here, you’re wrong.  This country was founded on the idea that EVERYONE should have a voice.  That’s why the First Amendment exists, so that you and I both always have the ability to peacefully make our opinion known.

For what it’s worth, I’ve also lived all over.  Everywhere from “The Hood” to nicer middle-class areas.  I’ve had friends of all races and also seen firsthand the worst that all people have to offer.

I’m going to start with white folks.  We’re the largest ethnic group in the country and have the most ability to effect change.

What White Folks Should Know:

First, I get it.  If you’re like me, you’re probably a decent person who genuinely wants all people to be safe, happy and have the equal opportunity to work for success in this country.  You’re probably also sick of being lumped in with Klan members, told you have no right to speak, told you’re automatically a racist by virtue of your skin color, etc…  It’s frustrating and hurtful.

If you genuinely are a racist or Klan member, I’ll be unduly nice and simply say “repent”.  Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say hate people of other races.  Quite the contrary.  We’re ALL God’s children.  Enough said.

The rest of you, I’d simply ask that open your mind and try to understand the frustration on the other side.  Up till 1964, Black folks were still dealing with segregation.  That’s just 56 years ago, and almost 100 years after the end of slavery and The Civil War.  Millennial black people and their children still have parents and grandparents old enough to tell them what it was like to go into a diner and see a bucket full of axe handles and bats near the door or counter in case they “Needed to be put in their place”.  Things didn’t truly get better till the mid 1970s.

Yeah, I know…  YOU didn’t do that.  I understand that.  I believe most black folks understand it also.  What I am asking you to understand is that the wound runs deep.  There is a small percentage of us that are determined to keep that wound open also.  Black folks don’t know if you’re a good person when they first see you any more than you know if that young black man is really into hip hop culture and rap, or a thug.

The first part of bringing about change is realizing that we’re all human beings and just want to get by and be safe in our corner of the world.

When you hear somebody arguing that it’s “Black Lives Matter” instead of “All Lives Matter”, they still believe your life matters also, it’s just that they feel so incredibly threatened by what’s happening that they believe extra attention has to be put on the black lives being lost.

When you get upset over kneeling during the national anthem, understand that it has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag, etc… It’s about waiting 100 years even after freedom from slavery and still not feeling truly equal in society.  How far would YOU go to draw attention to the issue of your rights if the situation were reversed?

It’s easy to sit back and say that everybody has the same opportunity in America.  Yes, black folks do have more opportunity than some of them have been led to believe also.  HOWEVER, equal opportunity depends on an equal education for starters.  If schools have poor teachers and no equipment, how good an education is ANY child going to get? Financial education is also important if somebody is to stay out of poverty once they start to get ahead.

It’s also a different world when you live or work in a poor neighborhood.  There is a higher percentage of desperate people there, so the police ARE more inclined to view everybody with suspicion.  I’ve lived it.  I’ve almost had a cop draw on me during a traffic stop, and I got politely (which is more than many get) questioned by a cop when stopping at a 7 Eleven store at 2am also.  Some black folks live this every day of their life.  When people are distrustful of you, it’s natural to start wondering about their intentions as well.  YES, there ARE legitimately racist cops out there also.  It’s a small percentage, but they’re still out there, as this video shows:

That poor guy’s only “crime” was Jaywalking on a completely dead RESIDENTIAL street. Something everybody does. Despite the police claim that he “threw down his jacket and challenged them to fight”, the video only shows him taking it off and putting it down. Note that when the cop grabs him by the collar, his hands are still at his side too.

I was in Sacramento when that happened. There was NO hidden stuff you didn’t see, no ‘he looked like a suspect’ even. That’s why he ended up with a huge settlement from the city. I’ve seen similar situations elsewhere a few times. THIS is exactly why black people say they’re afraid of “walking while black”. So, I ask you to understand, if you’ve only had good experiences with cops, that’s not everybody’s luck. We have to do all we can to support good cops, but also make sure cops like this are fired and never allowed to carry a badge again.

That applies to the cops in the George Floyd case also. Yes, he resisted arrest prior to ending up on the ground. He may have had some hidden health issues also. NONE of that should be an excuse for pinning him for roughly three minutes instead of cuffing him. If proper procedure was followed, George Floyd wouldn’t have had those secondary issues kick in and / or died of asphyxiation.

The whole situation is more complex than most of us think.  What we as a people need to do is show genuine empathy and compassion.  Be willing to listen and try to understand where what you’re hearing is coming from.  Ask questions like “I truly want to understand where you’re coming from, so please tell me about what led to you believing that?” 

You’ll learn a lot more than you would assuming that the other person is only motivated by hate and / or laziness.

You may not be able to change the world on your own, but just by doing your own little part to be more understanding and consider the other side… just treating everybody the way you’d want to be treated, the world will take one step closer to being a better place. Enough people do it and we’ve brought an incredible amount of light into the world. I’ve used Bayside Church’s Christmas service candle lighting as a perfect example here:

This IS all it takes too. Laws (new or old) can’t change a person’s heart, and a person with a good heart doesn’t need a law to tell them what’s moral and just.

A Note For Both Sides Regarding the Media & Politicians:

I’ve ranted time and again here about the media (left and right) twisting the truth. There are plenty of posts with examples here. No need to repeat it all. I imagine some of them even think they’re doing good and forcing society in a ‘better’ direction. I honestly believe most are just exploiting all of you for the sake of better ratings. You’re being fed a constant stream of half truths to promote conflict. Anger, suffering and violence are good for ratings.

Politicans… They will LIE to your face and say ANYTHING to keep or gain power, and do NOTHING to effect real change. They’re ALL the same. Enough said.

My point being is that too many of us depend on these two groups for facts and to guide us to proper conclusions. Question everything, and actively seek the whole truth. It will likely be something you do NOT want to hear, BUT acknowledging the whole truth is the ONLY way to begin to make real change. I come from a law enforcement family. I hate acknowledging dirty cops exist. Purging them from the system is the only way to protect and honor the good cops though.

What Black Folks Should Know:

Yep, I had my run at white folks, now I’d like to talk to you. PLEASE read the first part for white folks also. It will help you understand where the average, decent white person who wants to support you is coming from.

First and foremost… Realize that the vast majority of white folks absolutely DO care about you, think your lives do matter, and want you to have the same opportunities as everyone else.

You know how it makes you so mad your skin crawls when some gang banger kills his baby mama, or does a drive by on a kid’s birthday party, and you hear some idiot say “See, they’re all like that?”…

Well, that’s how we feel when we’re told that we are all like that (racists), or that we have no right to talk about our relationships with you or other races.

It simply comes down to two wrongs not making anything right, ever. If you justify bad behavior by pointing at other bad behavior, all you’re REALLY doing is lowering yourself to the same level as those bad people.

I really do get that you have decades of frustration over everything. It sucks having to be the one to take the high ground when you’re the victim also. It takes strength to lead by example, the same strength that you’ve displayed by making it as far as you already have.

Something else to consider; there’s an old martial arts proverb that “action beats reaction”. So, in any situation the person doing the acting is more in control than the one who is reacting to what the first person or group is doing.

Now, as far as this whole silencing others thing goes… two quick counterpoints beyond what I said at the beginning of this post:

  1. Have you EVER listened to anyone that told you to shut up and do as your told? Outside of parents or a drill instructor, I bet not. 🙂 Nobody’s mind is changed by being lectured and brow beaten, no matter how much they deserve it.
  2. No matter how ignorant a person’s beliefs may be, you can never change them if you don’t understand what’s behind those beliefs, and develop some sort of rapport with the other person. If you try to relate to them they’ll try to relate to you. This is the same thing I was telling white folks that we need to do with you.

History is full of stories of wars and great generals, but who are the people that are truly remembered and honored? It’s the people like Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, and Dr. King and similar leaders that have had some of the greatest impact on the world, and without ever resorting to violence. Remember that when you get out there and protest. Protest you should too, but do it peacefully.

On that note, I know it’s usually somebody else that’s starting the looting. It’s usually Antifa and occasionally even a really bad cop setting things up. Just realize despite what the media is telling you, that white supremacists have very little if anything to do with it, neither does Russia, China and Iran. This is what I meant earlier by they’re playing ALL of us for the sake of ratings.

Run the looters out of your protests, call the cops on them or just avoid them if they’re too dangerous. Do NOT let them drag your righteous cause down with them. Antifa ain’t your friend either. All they care about is causing destruction.

I’ve got to touch on a couple of sensitive areas now. Please hang with me and hear me out.

One of the areas where you lose support from people of other races is when you support cases where it wasn’t the cops’ fault. A good example is the Stephon Clark case in Sacramento. Part of the problem with cases like this is the media reporting only half the story. Stephon was a victim of a broken system though, not the cops. He was seriously depressed, had relationship problems, and was on drugs the night he was shot. He ran from cops into a VERY dark location and they couldn’t see what he’d suddenly pulled out of his pocket. I was in Sacramento, so I heard more of the story than most of the nation. The shooting was a tragedy. That Stephon ended up in that situation was a CLEAR failure of the system to have some sort of a safety net where he could get help or counseling. A case can be made that better lights for the police might have helped too, among other things. The media outright reported this tragedy as an execution though, and exploited you simply for the sake of ratings from protests and grief.

Those times when it IS a case like that, be willing to admit it and work peacefully to improve police procedure and social services, or whatever may be needed to prevent future occurrences. It will improve your relationship with the cops if they feel you’re trying to understand their end also. Most cops are legitimately good people too.

OK, last point and it’s a TOUGH one. I’ve lived in the hood and seen it though. I went to a high school that was nicknamed “Blood Bank” because it was overrun with members of the Bloods too. There is a SMALL percentage of the black community that trashes kids who want to learn and get ahead as “trying to be white”, label people like Ben Carson or Herman Cain who do get ahead as an Uncle Tom or Coon, and that consider gang banging as “black culture”.

I reject all of that, and you should also. Education is the key to a better life. Saying learning is “acting white” is really saying black people can’t learn. That’s complete crap. Dr Ben Carson is one of the best brain surgeons in the world (if not THE best), came up from the hood, and is proof positive some of you are smarter than any dang white person. Anybody that tells you not to learn is trying to keep you ignorant so they can play you. It’s that simple. I believe most of you accept all of this already. It’s a small. loud minority of folks pushing that. Don’t let them. Black folks are every bit as smart as any other race.

Same goes with crime. I’m not going to say much here. We both know the vast majority of black folks are NOT gang bangers and thugs. Do your best to minimize those voices, for the benefit of your entire community.

Ladies, YOU have the power here also. The person a black man is most likely to respect and listen to is a strong black woman. I’ve seen young black women take control of their fellow students and settle a class down. I’ve heard stories of mothers pulling their sons out of gangs, etc… Its up to you to stand up, lead the way and help heal your community and the country.

Wrapping It Up:

I try to look fairly at every side of any given situation. What I see today is two groups of good people that are having an increasingly hard time talking to each other. We’re all victims of a past we had little to do with.

We both need to change some.

We both need to be willing to talk more and actually try to understand each other.

We ALL need to come together as a united and equal people and prevent a corrupt media and leadership from trying to get us to destroy each other while they screw all of us.