Tag Archives: racism

Public Enemy #1

The other day I took my son to get his first haircut! I was so proud to see basheer jr sit there with tears in his eyes as he goes through his first rights of passage. This experience is one that so many fathers miss out on. I promisedmyself that I would not follow the footsteps of my father so this was a very special day for me. As I watched my son’s hair fall and I carefully placed each handful into a special bag I over heard CNN speak about the murder of Trayvon Martin. Not wanting to miss my son’s first haircut or the story about Trayvon I watched both in the mirror. Though the words on the screen were hard to understand the issue of race in America is something that I understand all too well. As my eyes went back and forth from Trayvon to basheer jr, and then back to me I realized that we all share a sad reality. That reality is that in the year 2012 people of color are still considered guilty before given an opportunity to express our innocence. What angered us all in the barbershop is not just that this young innocent brother was killed but that the murderer is still free. Why are we so furious? Maybe because we feel that in a time where Facebook connects so many and the first African-American President is a reality, justice should be the rule of the day! The fact that justice is still so foreign to black people is heart wrenching. It should hurt every American to think that we still struggle with the same issues that our forefathers died for. Racism is alive, well, and stronger than ever! Don’t get me wrong hate will always exist but when it puts a halt to justice for some then you and I must ask ourselves a serious question, “How far have we truly come?”

As my son sits in the chair with tears in his eyes and I stand there with tears in my heart knowing that this will not be the only test that my son faces. How do I tell my young simba that he will be targeted and feared because of his potential greatness? How do I tell my young simba that no matter how much he cuts his hair or the clothes that he chooses to wear that he will always be hated by some for something that he didn’t choose? How do I tell my young simba that he is a gift to our world and not a curse? People will always hate but I expect a system that was built for “all people” to hold true to the words “land of the free.”

Black people are so forgiving! We continue to forgive the country that we hold so dear to our hearts! A country that we have fought and died for. A country that we have helped build and never truly compensated for. Our country is like an abusive husband who continues to beat us down while he promises us that he loves us and he’ll do better. Why does my son still have to be public enemy #1? I thought we passed this phase? I thought W.E.B, Garvey, Martin, Malcolm,Emit Till and so many other black and white men/women fought and died so that we can move beyond the place where justice is only afforded to some.

As my son steps down from the chair and CNN goes to commercial I hear a snippet of President Obama stating, “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.”. Well Mr. President I do have a son who is the same color as Trayvon and his name is Basheer. You and I can’t change the hate in their hearts but we can be sure that a country who has a history of providing justice for some “begin to do some soul searching” on how to be sure that Trayvon’s unfortunate situation is the last.



Destroying our Babies under our noses!

Everyday im confronted with the harsh reality that our “rehabilitation” system isn’t doing much rehabilitation. Is the plan to truly save our youth or create lifelong criminals? Sadly, I believe it’s the latter. We’ve been oppressed so much that we oppress ourselves with thoughts like, “hey maybe if black and brown people weren’t so dangerous we wouldn’t be racially profiled, beat up, locked up, and killed.” We give them our consent to be mistreated. Why is it that when one black/brown person does something wrong all of us are blamed? But when a white child does something wrong the whole race isn’t condemned? There’s no room for debate on whether or not this is a issue, statistics proves that racism has gone far beyond hateful words and now exists in the policies through out America.

Here in Ohio we have a major issue that needs to be confronted and defeated. In a Ohio a juvenile can waive their right to counsel without ever speaking to an attorney or understanding the consequences. Everyday our young people are waiving their right to counsel and are either being convicted of crimes they didn’t commit or taking plea deals and receiving felonies not understanding the long term effects that it will have on their lives. We must fight on behalf of our young people and be their voices. I’m asking that you support Juvenile Rule 3!

Under juvenile rule 3 youth will only be able to counsel if
-they have consulted with an attorney.
-the waiver is made knowingly and intelligently after given detailed instructions by the judge in writing and on the record.

The Ohio Supreme Court is accepting written public comments on the rule until Nov 22, 2011. If we don’t let them know that we support Juvenile Rule 3 then the future of our young people will be destroyed. Please email Jo Ellen Cline, Government Relations Counsel at j.cline@sc.ohio.gov
Even if your from out of town I beg you to join this fight! Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Please email your support for Juvenile Rule 3 that will make sure our young people consult with an attorney before any decision. Be the voice of the voiceless.