thoughts on charleston and justice

thoughts on charleston and justice
I recently visited a facility in our area that rescues marine mammal life. Volunteers in the hundreds literally come 24 hours a day to care for these animals. Thousands and thousands of private donation dollars each year are poured into this facility to rescue and rehabilitate these animals. As I walked away from seeing these rehabilitated seals and sea lions, I honestly just got kind of angry. Our African American brothers and sisters are dying. Our Native American brothers and sisters are dying. Our Latino American brothers and sisters are dying. And no one seems to care, but these little cute sea lions are rescued and sent back into the ocean – so all is well with the world???!!! (I’m not trying to say I don’t care about the environment, but come on guys, something is really wrong here with our distribution of resources). I heard a powerful sermon on justice a few years ago at church and my take away was that Justice IS caring for my fellow human as if they were your biological brother and sister – seeing them as human and as your family. Granted You and I alone cannot save the world. But, together we can do something. I was thinking today and grieving for Charleston. This isn’t just about 9 people in a church killed for the color of their skin. I was thinking, it’s about decades, centuries actually of hatred and killing and slavery. It’s about police profiling and white privilege. and many other issues that I can’t get into in one blog post.. But to add to the list It’s ALSO about chronic grief. Because of the color the skin you were born with. I know I don’t really get it because I come from a privileged ethnicity and class. But I want to try to get it. We have a responsibility to GET IT. I have only experienced a touch of chronic grief. Most parents with children with medical or developmental conditions can attest to the chronic grief and stress of raising a child with disabilities. Most caretakers of the elderly or health care workers or policemen or social workers can attest to what chronic grief feels like. Most people suffering from cancer or chronic illness can also relate to chronic grief. It’s sad things happening to you over and over and over and over. But today I realized that my brothers and sisters of color are basically living lives BEYOND chronic grief. They are living lives equivalent to those in WAR TORN nations. They experience the stress and grief of seeing family and friends die tragically day after day, the injustice of people in power persecuting them for the color of their skin, the hopelessness of seeing their children be born to a world that tells them that they have a high probability of dying or being incarcrated before they turn 18, the reality of DAILY hunger and poverty and crime and hatred. And no one seems to care or even acknowledge that the problem is there. People actually blame them for their problems. They blame them for being born with a skin color other than their own. Ok Enough of the soap box. What can I do? What can YOU do? Be Aware, Grieve, and stop talking and debating about it and go DO. Become a Big brother or Big sister. Financially sponsor a child’s school expenses, for the next year, or better yet, through graduation. Buy that family dinner or groceries, for a week, for a month, for a year. Pay that family’s rent check, for 6 months.. Volunteer in the community, once a month, and not just on Christmas. Reach out to a local school with a low API score. Offer snacks, your time, computer help to the teachers. Donate to causes doing direct work in the community, such as the Salvation Army Volunteer at the local hospital that serves people who are uninsured Look at your Money, your Schedule, your Emotional bandwidth – then go out – Go to the “other side of the tracks” Talk to pastors and community workers who are on the ground in the trenches and ask them what you can do to help them! Pray generally and specifically Make a difference in the life of ONE person, One Family, One CHILD. Do what you can, but please do something…. Because if we do nothing, we are perpetuating the problem. That is justice. Now GO.

football, The Washington Football Club


OAKLAND, CA- With the recent political, racial, and social events happening across the United States, Americans are asking what country do we live in? Are we in the 1960’s?
This is a battle for people of color. This is a battle for RESPECT; This is a battle for the right to the pursuit of happiness. This is a battle to be HUMAN. It has not been going well since President Barack Hussein Obama II stepped into the White House in 2008. The election of our 44th President opened the doors for racism to stream across our land. Americans were allowed to speak their minds when it came to race and they have done so.
Native American activist Amanda Blackhorse, a plaintiff in the litigation against the Washington Football Club’s “Redskin” mascot, makes a powerful argument about why the mascot litigation is important given all the other problems facing Native Americans. Writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, Ms. Blackhorse stated that the overarching battle is against dehumanization.
Ms. Blackhorse is from the Navajo Nation in Arizona has been waging this legal battle against the Washington Football Club and The National Football League four over eight years, she states that:-
If we are not respected as human beings how can we be respected when dealing with politics and/or economics? It makes it harder to be seen as leaders, advocates, and people who want real change to happen in our communities if you are seen as just a person who dances at pow wows and viewed as a mere relic of old cowboy and Indian movies. Of course this is not the case in every situation when dealing with non-Natives and government, but it seems to be a common misconception of Native people, which transcends into politics and government
Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/03/20/blackhorse-what-dehumanization-looks-159694
If you listen to the Gray Leopard Cove on Saturday afternoons on Blog Talk Radio it has been repeated many times that the United States of America will have to come to grips with race with a national conference on race with minorities leading the form while President Obama is at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence is not helping passing the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act which targets gay and lesbian residents of the state of Indiana. The Governor stated that this bill grants religious freedom and is not a discrimination bill, but just ask the (LBGT) Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, community. This opens the door for any business in their state to refuse service just because they think that you could be a member of the GLBT community.
The University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon-fraternity Kappa Chapter outing.(pun intended) SAE Members sung racist epithets on a bus traveling to their yearly Founders Day gathering. These young men created images of Black people hanging from trees in these songs. Racism is alive and well in the United States.
The mounting number of deaths of African American males by police officers in the states of Ohio, California, Missouri, Florida, and New York, ALLEGEDLY. Black men are losing their lives on the platform of the Fruitvale (BART) Bay Area Rapid Transit Station, on the playgrounds of Cleveland and on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri and Miami, Florida.
The Washington Football Club and it’s owner continue the defiance to change the name, REDSKIN, a name that has been defined in the dictionary as derogatory and offensive. Racism extends towards our Native American brothers and sisters, reducing them to a mascot or logo.
Last the immigration fight by the legislators in Washington, D.C. against Latino-Hispanic Americans that want to stay in the Land of Liberty. You can clean our house, care for our children, fix our automobiles, and farm our lands but…..
Our Native American Brothers and Sisters are fighting the same battles. Native American as Ms. Amanda Blackhorse makes it very clear in her recent article “THIS IS WHAT DEHUMANIZATION LOOKS LIKE” with her 18 points.
1. The land grabbing of indigenous lands
2. The raping, violence, and hatred directed at indigenous women and children
3. The poisoning of our water
4. The desecration of our ancestor’s bones and graves
5. Each “redskin” (hair, scalp, nose, ears, genitals, and skin) taken off of an indigenous person
6. Each child taken from the arms of their parents and grandparents for the sake of “killing the Indian and saving the man”
7. Each treaty that was not honored
8. Every acre of land stolen from indigenous people
9. Every law passed since the Doctrine of Discovery for the sake of Manifest Destiny
10. Every religion stuffed down the throats of indigenous men and women for the sake of colonization
11. Each small pox blanket
12. Every head of hair chopped off in boarding schools and residential schools
13. The forced mining, fracking and desecration of indigenous lands yesterday and today
14. The sterilization of Indigenous women by Indian Health Service
15. Each tribe which no longer exists due to the attempted extermination of Indigenous people
16. Each tribal person who was exiled and relocated to urban communities
17. Each person who has been subjected to alcoholism in the name of poor business or poor treaty deals
18. Each Native person who has been experimented on and exploited for their blood, bodies, and DNA
Take a close look at each point these are some of the same issues that African Americans and The Gay community are struggling with everyday.
Also add the lack of concern by the American public when it comes to the issues of missing young African, Asian, and Native American women.
Ms. Blackhorse has been cited and criticized by others because she is messing with their beautiful 1950’s America image. She is forcing Americans to re-think racial and social issues.
Quite often when speaking out and educating others about the mascot issue, the same question is asked, “Why are you people worried about mascots? Don’t you have bigger issues to worry about on the reservations
This is the same political and social tactic America takes with crime in the United States. BLACK ON BLACK CRIME which is an oxymoron. Question, Do you ever hear the news media state WHITE ON WHITE CRIME, NO, but as First Officer of the Starship Enterprise Mr. Spock states; “That would be logical” Why? Because there are more white residents in the United States then Black. So logically there would be more white on white events then Black but don’t tell the American public that because it ruins a good story. A story that continues to dehumanizes African Americans the same treatment as Native America/First Nation.
Ms. Blackhorse makes it clear again that we are in this fight together.
Oh yes, the bigger issues question. What most people seem to be referring to are the many issues which plague Native American communities. Societal problems such as violence against women, suicide, alcoholism, high unemployment rates on reservations, poverty, etc. Many of these issues have been highlighted throughout the history of Native American people, through various studies, articles, documentaries, movies, so on and so on.
The same issues are African American. Example many do not know that the Lone Ranger-Bess Reeves a 1900 Oklahoma lawman was an African American and yes his partner was a Native America-Tonto a Potawatomi Indian, there was a Black American President before Mr. Obama.
Many African Americans believe that Senator John Hanson of Maryland was the first Black President of the United States. Henson was also the First President of the Continental Congress. It is still unclear.
These are positive role models but American History writers will not print these stories because this country continues psychologically warfare on minorities.
Demonizing Black males and dehumanizing Native Americans have been consistent the past ten years. Police officer Darren Wilson called Michael Brown a monster, a demon, which needed to be put down. Eric Gardner was called an elephant making the victim an animal. Five officers dragged him to the ground in the process of choking him to death. The military brainwashes its troops to make the enemy an animal so it will be easier to kill without conscience. This is happening all over the United States when it relates to minority citizens.
That is why it is so easy to have Native American names for its sports teams. Question what other minority has a professional team named after them? Answer, The Santa Barbara Gauchos, The San Diego State Aztecs, The University of Pennsylvania Quakers, The Idaho Vandals, The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, The Syracuse Orangemen, The New York Cubans, and The New York Black Yankees, are a few names.
In 1968 there were over 5, 000 schools that used Native American names. In 2015 The United States cut that number to 350. The tide is slowly turning but not fast enough for some minority Americans.
The Washington Football Club and owner Dan Snyder could be a beacon of light and vision in solving a small part of a disparaging and degrading sports image. Changing the name would send a message to Americans that it is time to move forward.
Again Ms. Blackhorse makes it clear:-
And allow me to drive home this point: using the ‘bigger issues’ excuse is just that, an excuse. It is an excuse that is counter-productive and does nothing to solve the greater problem of the oppression of Native people and racism directed at Native people. It’s an excuse to be apathetic and to deny a problem really exists. If you are not engaged in addressing those bigger issues you should not be using the bigger issues excuse. If you happen to be working on those bigger issues and still do not agree then let’s agree to disagree, and also understand that just because this isn’t your struggle, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle for your fellow Native people.
African Americans hear the consistent beat that Black people are too sexual, criminals, not intelligent, lazy, athletic, dance like animals, and are loud. NOT HUMAN!!!!
When America colonized the Hawaiian Islands the residents were informed they could no longer perform their cultural dances or speak their native language. The woman had to wear tops to cover their breast. The Hawaiians had to conform to the Western Cultural morals.
African Americans are the second group in the United States that were strip of their land. But Blacks suffered more the lost of their culture, food, religion, and language. This country continues to do likewise with Native Americans. It is not working, Native Americans/First Nation are fighting back with tenacity and pride.
THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER and THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB will change it’s name. It is now just a matter of time.
The Gray Leopard Cove Salute, Amanda Blackhorse and the Native American political activist movement.
Excerpts from:-http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/03/20/blackhorse-what-dehumanization-looks-159694
The Telegraph- United Kingdom
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod



By:-Gary Norris Gray-BASN Staff Reporter
We are at the crossroads in racial relations in the United States of America. Unfortunately we are still viewing images in Black and white in this country. Since The 44th President of the United States entered the White House confrontations have increased year by year.
The events in Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland, Ohio, and Staten Island, New York prove that this country definitely needs judicial restructuring, police training, and racial understanding.
This is not a Ferguson, Missouri problem, this is not a Cleveland, Ohio problem, nor is it a Staten Island, New York problem, it is an American problem. With the assistance of the broken justice and police systems racial harmony cannot be found.
It has escalated with the help of rich African American stars. The system of oppression, white supremacy, and white privilege continues to be alive and well.
Just think if Mr. Brown had been white or if Mr. Gardner were white we would not be having this conversation. There would not be protests all over this country and lastly the police officers would have treated Gardner and Brown in a civil manner.
The Question should be asked WHY?
Here are some of the reforms that could be implemented immediately to change a broken judicial system.
1) An independent prosecutor when cases of police officers and civilians are involved.
2) A transparent and representative Grand Jury panel with the community’s population.
3) Employ police officers that represent the city’s population or that live in that city.
4) A separation of powers between District Attorney, Prosecutor, and the Police Force.
5) Every City should create a Civilian Police Review Board.
6) Steroid testing at least once a month for all police officers.
7) Cultural and sensitivity training by all officers each year.
8) A body camera on every officer on duty.
9) Civilian ride along programs on non-threatening or dangerous calls.
Former basketball star and now TBS sports broadcaster Charles Barkley often speaks his mind on issues of race in this country…’ The Round Mound of Rebound’ spoke out again this past week.
Mr. Barkley has aspirations to be the governor of his home state of Alabama. This is a very odd way of attaining white votes. Sir Charles throws dirt on the African American community. The same community that loved and supported him in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Houston, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona.
This time it was the events in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York.
Mr. Barkley beware, remember O.J. Simpson, remember Tiger Woods, Robert Griffin III, Michael Joe Jackson, and lest we forget the current episode and attack on Bill Cosby.
Remember you threw a young man through a plate glass window and stood over him saying “I don’t care if you bleed to death.” The police should have thrown you in jail but because of your celebrity status, you my friend walked free.
The same individuals that put you on television and made you a star can bring you down… Just mention something the master does not agree with or that is against the GOP-right wing-TEA PARTY political agenda. They will boot you out, call your name, muddy your reputation and end your public life.
Barkley stated that the looters were wrong and the scumbags of the earth. That maybe true but if you are a scholar of American history every single significant political movement has had either ended in violence or monetary consequences. It may have been wrong to burn and loot stores but it got America’s attention-AGAIN.
Sir Charles is doing the master’s bidding. He stated years ago in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin Case, that “Zimmerman had the right to kill Travon Martin, because he was defending himself”.
It is very, very, interesting how the media covers stories like this
Whenever there is a civil rights issue or event CNN, Fox News, and other major News agencies find these conservative Black males and throw a microphone under their noses.
The question we need to ask is why?
These networks get the sound bites to play over and over on the network news. The House Negros, The Uncle Toms, The Oreo Cookies, and Conservative Blacks whatever you want to call them hamper the real Black political and social agenda.
The Self Hate Gene is in full force with Charles Barkley helping the enemies of The Dream Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. planned 45 years ago.
We need to ask why these same networks don’t interview Dr. Cornell West, Tavis Smiley, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson or our own Eric Satterwhite or Professor Fred Whitted. Because they (networks) are not going to get the canned response they want and they cannot control the spin of the conversation.
Sound bites for example if Rodney King had to stop moving they would have stopped beating him. THAT WAS AND STILL IS POLICE BRUTALITY STRAIGHT UP!!! IT HAPPENED AGAIN IN NEW YORK….
You’re telling me that six police officers with night sticks, teasers, guns, and six patrol cars could not subdue a lone Black man driving his car who had been drinking and driving. REALLY?
If it were not for the black and white video America would still not believe it.. Some people still don’t today.. DON’T BELIEVE YOUR LYING EYES, talk about blind justice, that woman who is blindfolded above the court stairs needs to take her blindfold off because it’s not working.
Sound bites for example if Eric Garner did not sell those loose cigarettes on the streets five of New York’s Finest (NYPD) would not have jumped on him, bring him down to the ground and choke him to death. He was a big elephant making him an animal.
This recent event is most tragic because Mr. Garner did not fight the police. Mr. Garner did not resist arrest, and Mr. Garner did not punch, kick, or spit at police … still they attacked this unarmed man and got him to the ground and choked him to DEATH!!!!
This is a Civil Rights violation.
Sound bites that if Tamir Rice had not been playing with that toy gun in the street he would be alive today. Little boys all over the country play with toy guns all the time so just STOP IT, STOP IT before you start sounding stupid.
The police responded to the RICE call and should have asked questions before firing the deadly shots in 14 seconds. Now there are reports surfacing that this officer was unstable and a Cleveland suburban police force would not hire him just a few months earlier. Maybe this man should not have been in uniform.
Also the 911 caller mentioned that the gun may have been a toy gun. Alarm bells should have gone off and the officers responding should have taken their time. But in our John Wayne society, shoot first and asked questions later, this is the results.
To parents of boys of color DO NOT GIVE YOUR SONS TOY GUNS it could be a death sentence. Remember this fact this Christmas holiday.
The Grand Jury in New York did it again!!!! Now African Americans are losing faith in this country, losing faith in Americans as a whole and losing faith in America’s police force.
These same police forces are getting armored cars and automatic weapons through the federal government program. REALLY? Why do they need them? Are they going to war? Who are they fighting?
Now I really fear for ALL young African American males in this country… there are no checks and balances in place and we are in trouble, REAL TROUBLE…
The people at Fox News Network should be questioned for their ethics. An example of this was interviewing the Ferguson Police Chief after the city and the country had calm down. The Police Chief said he was looking into the charges of inciting a riot.
Mr. Brown stepfather was upset saying what he said. “Burn This B**** Down.” That only restarted the cycle of violence. Is this what Fox News wanted or needed to keep their high ratings? If so, it is a sad commentary for our television network news.
If the City of Ferguson were smart they would fire this police chief and restructure that police force. But how smart are we? As my friend Cowboy Reggie Howell Walston from WCLM-1450 Richmond, Virginia states many times. “I DIGRESS”!!!
That would be the positive thing to do but America’s ONE PER CENT is too busy trying to control people of color.
Second the issue of free speech. Is it o.k. for the White Knights, the KKK, and other radical left and right wing groups speak up on whatever they wish but when five Black Saint Louis Rams football players enter the tunnel for the Oakland Raider-St. Louis Ram Game with their hands up-don’t shoot position, like the Ferguson protesters? It did not sit well with some individuals in the St. Louis Area.
The Fraternal Order Council of the St. Louis Police Department complained and wanted those five players fined and suspended… The National Football League did not respond. Neither did the St. Louis Rams Football administration.
For those who don’t remember or not old enough to remember the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City, Mexico. John Carlos and Tommy Smith raised their Black fist in the air and stepped on the podium with their bare feet standing in protest of the poverty and unemployment rates in the Black community.
Carlos and Smith were called everything but the son of Satan, when they returned home to the United States. They were traitors to Americans and America. People stated that we sent you and paid for you two BOYS to win gold medals for the United States of America, not air America’s dirty little secrets in public.
These two Black men walked through hell the next four years; nobody would talk to them, interview them, or praise them until the 20th anniversary of those summer games.
A Statue now stands at San Jose State University of Smith and Carlos with bare feet and raised fist. They are Spartan graduates.
COULD THE SAME EVENT happen all over again in St. Louis, Missouri with the Rams football team? I just hope those five football players do not go through what Carols and Smith went through in the 1970’s.
Last point we must ask America, where are the people that care?
Or are we just walking around singing and dancing to the top ten hipster tone “Because I’m Happy” by Pharrall Williams…
It reminds me of the 1988 song by Bobby McFerrin years ago “Don’t Worry Be Happy” when African Americans were going through a hard economic time. History is repeating itself.
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod