Wednesday, April 19

This Has Got To Be a Dream!!

Or Perhaps It's "Fake News"??

I should have been in bed HOURS ago, but when I stumbled across this headline, I just had to see what it was about... Now I know why I couldn't stand him all these years, not on talk shows, not on game shows, and not on the radio. He might have looked like a human on the surface, but underneath was a smarmy, oily, orange is his favorite color, Trumper. I'm going to be watching him though; I want to see just what Steve Harvey means by "working with HUD", and "going to get some housing for some underprivileged people".  In my opinion, in exchange for him appearing with #notmypresident Donald Trump just for appearances (just like the black ministers) Steve Harvey is going to get some perks, like getting housing for distant members of his family. <sigh> What a shame...

Steve Harvey Says Donald Trump Is Keeping His Promises
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Steve Harvey is still drinking Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Largo Kool-Aid and says Trump is keeping his promises about affordable housing.
“Well, I mean as far as doing he promised me to do, he’s doing it. I’m working with HUD. I’m going to get some housing for underprivileged people,” Harvey said when TMZ caught up with him.
When the TMZ cameraman asked if he’s happy with Trump’s work, Harvey laughed.
“I didn’t say that. All I said was he’s keeping his word to what he said he would so,” Harvey replied.
So, let me get this straight. A comedian-actor-game show host is working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to get housing. And a former surgeon with no housing background is working at HUD.
Welcome to Trump’s America.

By Yesha Callahan 
Senior Editor. I am not one of your little school friends.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the blog owner. They do not in any way represent the opinions of Blogger, Chrome, Yesha Callahan, or any friends, relatives, employees, or representatives of those entities. 

Tuesday, April 18

Destroying the Stereotypes

There ARE Young Black Men Who Are Not Incarcerated and Who Are Not DEADBEATS...

Coming out of the grocery store the other day I saw something that made me actually stop for a moment. It's embarrassing now to think about it, but it hit me so hard that as I walked away I felt the burn of unshed tears. It wasn't anything big, or grand; it was something that I'm sure people see every day of the week and never think twice about. This time though, with all the depressive things going on in the world, for me this was like a tiny little flame burning against a strong wind, burning steady and burning bright, despite all the mud being thrown at it.

There was a young man standing outside; there wasn't anything remarkable about him, (other than the fact that I couldn't see his undershorts, which with most young men today you can because their jeans sag so low!) or maybe I just didn't notice because of what he was doing. In one hand he held a small bottle, and he seemed to be crooning very softly, not to himself, but to the young baby he was feeding. Now, it's been quite some time since I held a newborn, so I'm not sure I could be accurate in judging one's age, but if pressed, I would say the child was between 3 and 6 months old. Not an age where they lie quietly most of the time! When I came out he was feeding her;  I had several heavy bags so I set them down and just stood watching him. 

That's the picture I should have captured, the way he crooned (or talked, I saw lips moving but couldn't hear him) to her and gently rocked her with a happy smile. I could only imagine how she must have been looking up at him to make him beam at her the way he was. He must have felt someone looking at him because he suddenly looked up and around; when he saw me I was kind of embarrassed to have been caught staring at him like that, so I hurriedly grabbed my bags and went to the car. Once inside though, I couldn't forget what an awesome picture that was, a picture of one of the good black men out here, one that is completely different from the stereotypical brush that brothers have been painted with. I began to get angry, thinking to myself  "Why do we never see this on the evening news, or in the newspaper, instead of the reports we always see of a brother lying on the ground with handcuffs on, his pants down around his thighs, and a cop's foot in his back?" Why are people always posting on Facebook when someone gets busted (not knowing or caring what effect that could have on that young man's life!) When people hear those reports they act like it's normal, it's expected! To see someone like this young man,  and his child is so unexpected that it catches us off guard (and God help me, I'm guilty of it too!) . 

I realized that there was a way that I could show a little piece of the reality, rather than more of the stereotype. I went back with my phone in my hand, and I must have had a strange look on my face, because as he watched me approach he began to be concerned. I could tell by the way his arm tightened imperceptibly around the baby, and by the fact that his smile seemed to be forced.

As I got closer I began to speak quickly,  to let him know that I wasn't some crazy. I explained to him that I have a blog, and I wanted to post about him, and his baby, to combat the stereotyped picture the world has of black men, especially young ones. I told him that I wanted to take a couple of pictures of him and the baby, to put in the post. He still looked a bit puzzled, but he agreed. I didn't ask his name, or the baby's, (and if I knew them I wouldn't post them) and I told him that I'd blot their faces out if he wanted me to; fortunately for me he said no, that was okay.

I think I was truly blessed that day to see something beautiful, something that shouldn't be so rare that we feel compelled to remark on it when we see it.

However, since society has determined that 'black male' is synonymous with 'deadbeat dad', since 'they' paint black men with the wide brush of stereotypical negatives instead of admitting that there are spaces in that brush, here's a glimpse at one of those spaces. One of those spaces where black men have sole custody of small children, know how to braid a 7 year old girl's hair for school, men that are home for dinner at night (or at least before the children go to bed because  they worked late), and this space, a space where on a Sunday afternoon a black man takes the hungry baby outside to feed and quiet her, while Mommy finishes the shopping with their older child, after which they all walk home, together.

Just When I Thought I Could Change the Subject

Here They Come Again With This Mess!!

I'm not saying that I thought police were not still 'killing/beating up/lying about their actions with' black people; I'm not that naive! I did think I was through writing about it though. It was getting so regular, and the stories were all the same, especially the ending when there is no punishment (or even reprimand) for the officers involved. This case though.... what they did to this young man was so blatant and vicious, and what happened to them was so surprising, that I just had to write this down! 

This should also open the eyes of some of the more intelligent of the 'Trumpettes' ; the 'good ole boy' types who believe that whatever the police say is right, that they are 'only doing their jobs', and that black men 'always fight the officer, resist being arrested, run from the police', and if they didn't the police wouldn't have to use force to 'subdue' them. These videos, and the outcome of this case, should show some of you at least that there are times when the 'victim' (because that's what this young man was, a victim of police brutality) is not lying. Two separate people, from two different directions (cars) saw injustice happening and did what they could to show the world.  Despite what the victim told the police, if it had not been for those videos surfacing which backed up his version, the world would have seen him as just another 'black criminal trying to lie on the white man.' 

Not this time.

Two police officers fired after video shows handcuffed man being kicked in the head

Two Georgia police officers have been fired after videos surfaced on social media showing them punching and then kicking a man in the head, authorities said.

Gwinnett County police said late Thursday that Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni was fired after authorities discovered a video showing Bongiovanni punching the man in the face as the man stepped from a vehicle with his hands up. Earlier, authorities had fired Officer Robert McDonald, who was captured in a different video kicking the man in the head as he lay handcuffed on the ground.

“The revelations uncovered in this entire investigation are shocking,” police said in a statement after Bongiovanni’s termination. “ … We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time. However, we also believe that our decisive action in terminating both officers speaks volumes about what is expected of each officer that wears a Gwinnett County Police badge.”

Former Gwinnett County police sergeant Michael Bongiovanni, left, and former police officer Robert McDonald. 
(Courtesy of Gwinnett County Police Department)

The incident, which quickly went viral on social media, occurred about 4 p.m. Wednesday. One video, which was shot from across the street, shows a man getting out of a vehicle with his hands raised before the arresting officer punches him in the face.

The other video, shot from a different angle, begins as that officer is struggling with the man as he gets out of the vehicle and raises his hands. Shortly after the man is subdued by the officer and handcuffed, a second officer arrives on the scene and kicks the man in the head.

A struggle ensues before the officers search the man’s pockets. Both officers are white; the man, who is black, was identified as 21-year-old Demetrius Bryan Hollins of Lawrenceville, Ga., according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

 The nonprofit community group Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta condemned the officers Thursday evening in a Facebook post.

Hollins told NBC News that he was trying to get to the camera app on his own cellphone Wednesday to record the encounter. He said one officer started “shoving me in my car and telling me that I was never going to have a video, that I was never going to make the phone call to my mom. When I had my hands up, that’s when he punched me in the face.”

Hollins told the news station that when he was handcuffed and lying on the ground, “another cop came out of nowhere and stomped me in the face.”

He was charged with multiple traffic citations, obstruction of a police officer and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Hollins’s {sic} attorney, Justin Miller, told NBC News that had the moment not been captured on video, it may have been overlooked.

“The fact that these guys felt so brazen as to … assault him in public in broad daylight in front of hundreds of onlookers and hundreds of cars is indicative of what they think is okay,” Miller told the news station. Without the videos, he added, “they would have painted him as the bad guy, arrested him, brushed it under the rug and probably did it to them again the next time they saw him.”

Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers said at a news conference Thursday that McDonald, a three-year veteran on the force, was responding to assist Bongiovanni during a traffic stop when he “got tunnel vision.”

Police said Hollins was pulled over for having a broken taillight and then resisted Bongiovanni. But by the time McDonald arrived, Hollis was on the ground and no longer resisting, Ayers said, noting that no use of force was necessary.

“This incident — this type of force and this action — was uncalled for,” the police chief said Thursday. “It shouldn’t have happened. There is no excuse for it. We have taken appropriate and swift action to deal with this. This officer and his actions do not represent the men and women of this police department who put their lives on the line every single day to protect this county.”

 The chief said that the officer apologized for his actions but that the footage still made him angry. “I was upset and it felt like I had been gut-punched,” Ayers said.

During an internal investigation, authorities discovered a second video Thursday, filmed by a witness and posted online, that was “contrary to what was reported by Michael Bongiovanni,” police said in the statement. That video showed Bongiovanni strike the man in the face before the other officer had arrived, police said.

Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta also referred to the second video on its Facebook page. (This video is from ABC News.)

Bongiovanni was hired in 1998 and graduated from the police academy in 1999, according to the police department.

The police chief said during the news conference that a plan is in place to outfit uniformed officers with body cameras by the end of the year.

Asked what message the incident sends, Ayers told reporters: “We have standards, we have policies, and we’re going to hold ourselves to those standards and to those policies. And if you violate those, there will be a swift investigation. And if those complaints are found to be sustained, action will be taken.”

This story has been updated.

Sunday, April 16

Kentucky Student’s Portrait Comparing KKK To Police Shakes School District

So I wonder just what the school district was so shaken up about? Because the police were being compared to the Klan, who in their heyday were routinely responsible for lynchings, beatings, castrations, etc? Or was it that the Klan was being compared to the police today, who routinely shoot young, unarmed black men and women? Either way, it seems like no one comes out of the comparison very well....

Kentucky Student’s Portrait Comparing KKK To Police Shakes School District: An English student’s comparison of a Ku Klux Klan member to a police officer in a school assignment rocked a Kentucky high school and brought about a contentious discussion regarding social i…