Would you hug the murderer of your family member?
In the Amber Guyger (White policewoman) Murder trial for killing Botham Jean (Black), both Jean's brother and the Black judge hugged Guyger, after the judge sentenced her to only 10 years for murdering Jean in his own apartment. She could have been sentenced to 99 years. Guyger supposedly killed Jean because she got his apartment and her apartment "mixed up" and thought "he was in her apartment."
There has since been this ongoing dialogue about his family "forgiving her" for the murder of their Loved One. What the judge was doing, no one really knows.
Why is it Black folks feel they NEED to pray for, and forgive those who killed their Loved One(s), and in turn, they feel, would allow them to "let the pain go?" Does forgiveness and prayer "bleach" your mine and your memory? Do you always forgive your enemies, forget about the hatred and their Racist Murders, and then develop amnesia as if nothing happened? Do you forgive and forget the Racist who went to your church and killed your mother? Do you forgive and forget the Racist policeman who killed your brother? Do you forgive and forget the Racists who killed your cousin?
Do you ask Jews to forgive and pray for Hitler and the Nazis? Do you ask parents to forgive and pray for the murderers who killed their children in school ? Do you ask Myrlie Evers (Williams) to forgive and pray for Byron DeLa Beckwith and the sniper rifle he fired to kill Medgar Evers? Do you ask Vernon Dahmer's sons to forgive and pray for the Klan members who firebombed their house and killed their Dad, AFTER, he saw to it the four of them and their mother made it to safety, and then stayed to protect his property? Do you ask a mother and a father to forgive and pray for the Klan members who bombed your church, killing your child?
Then, why in the H-E-Double Sticks are you asking me to forgive, and even pray for my enemies? Save your Christian moralizing for someone else.
I posted this 5 years ago. I am posting it again because of the similarities with ALL murder cases that get to trial--not that many--when the Murderer is White and the Victim is Black. Michael Dunn Killed Jordan Davis. He received “ Life Without Parole.” Amber Guyger murdering Botham Jean is similar. Just change the names. The commentary is the same. These cases speak to the White Criminal Injustice System. And as obvious as both cases are, you never know what a predominantly White Jury...Aren’t they all?...will do.
5 years ago I wrote..."I am loathe to consider the guilty verdict in the Jordan Davis case a victory. Victory implies someone won something, and no one won a thing. The guilty verdict today is justice served although it is also justice delayed since it took a do-over to get the verdict right. I understand we have a need to celebrate what we might consider a victory because, whether we want to admit it or not, the Racist Justice system is stacked against Blacks. Always has been and always will be. Yet we should not have to celebrate the justice system finally recognizing a Racist murder whether they call it Racist or not, and delivering the appropriate comeuppance. The Appropriate First Degree Murder verdict only gives some closure...not much... to Jordan Davis' Parents.
The verdict today for all intents and purposes is a political verdict. Political verdict because 1) the community et al demanded the second trial after the White Jury in the First Trial would not get the First Degree Murder verdict right; 2) It gave the State Attorney's office "a second bite of the apple" after "blowing it the first time"; 3) Racist Murderer Michael Dunn was already looking at 60 years and more years on his sentence did not make a difference in his ever getting out of jail; 4) It was another instance of a White adult killing an unarmed Black child; 5) it was a social media identified and recognized obvious racist murder.
This was a senseless murder but not because of loud music. This was a senseless murder because of Core Racist Attitudes of White America. A murder which allowed a Racist with malice aforethought to simply get his gun and kill a Black unarmed youngster. A murder which cost us a doctor or lawyer or a college president. A murder which cost us a future good father and a future good husband and a good son. Unfortunately there are other Trayvon Martin/Jordan Davis/Michael Brown Racist murders in the future, as there were Emmett Till/Johnnie Mae Chappell/Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins ---the list is endless---Racist murders in the past, all who lost their lives simply because they were Black. Justice served for a racist murder is not a victory."
BTW...even with an exposure of 99 years...Guyger was sentenced to 10 years for murder.
The Struggle Continues!
Dear White Folks:
Can we talk? And I will try to not say, I told you so.
I know you were jealous when we...Black folks, that is...went on and on about how proud we were of President Obama and how we ...Black folks, that is...considered him the Greatest President of all time. It was not our intent by showing our pride in someone who looked like us, sitting in the Oval Office, making great decisions which helped ALL of America, to make you jealous, but it is what it is. You noticed I said ALL of America. That’s because ALL presidents ...ALL White Presidents, that is...have not served ALL of America.
For instance: Your Christian "founding father presidents” wrote America’s documents-you call them the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution-that brazenly did not apply to Black folks, just because of plain ol’ White American Racism...and... Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln after y’all Killed him, decided Blacks would never get their “promised 40 acres and a mule,” just because of plain ol’ White American Racism ...and...Woodrow Wilson, who decided Washington DC needed separate bathrooms for men and women by race because “everyone knows Blacks carry venereal diseases,” just because of plain ol’ White American Racism ...and... Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Southern Democrats would not include domestic workers and farm workers in the Social Security Act of 1935, thereby excluding 60% of Black folks in America, just because of plain ol’ White American Racism...and Ronald Reagan, who kicked off his presidential campaign in Philadelphia Mississippi...yes that Philadelphia Mississippi...with a Real Red Meat speech to Whites in America to come to the Racist Republicant party, just because of plain ol’ White American Racism. These are but a few...and now we come to donald trump, your pathetic answer to Barack Obama.
I cannot blame you for being jealous, except we cannot ignore the obvious. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he became a civil rights attorney and an academic, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 until 2004, when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He received national attention in 2004 with his March primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, and his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, he was nominated and was elected president. Nine months later, he was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
After President Obama’s re-election, and after 8 years of an Outstanding Scandal Free Administration, you White America, decided to counter the Excellence of President Obama by electing a president which more closely resembled you...and you scoured high and low and came up with the "anointed" donald trump.
This is one time where your “lows” outranked your “highs.” You appeared to be quite happy with electing a Misogynistic Sexist Racist as YOUR president. Now, we...Black folks, that is...tried to tell you it was not going to work. That a Racist is a Racist is a Racist and you would rue the day you elected the Incompetent Degenerate that some of you call president...but...you appeared to be quite happy. And again, you would not listen to us...Black folks, that is.
Now in addition to all of the other transgressions of YOUR president, we find that he is a traitor, and is conspiring with America’s Number One Enemy, and is enlisting all of his cabinet basically as co-conspirators. You have to be embarrassed. We...Black folks, that is...are not embarrassed. We knew what to expect. You must admit, America is in one Helluva Mess, and all because you would not listen to us...Black folks, that is.
We ...Black folks, that is ...Told you so. I Tried, But I Just Couldn’t Resist Saying That.
The Struggle Continues!
Donald Trump totally Explodes the Scientific Myth that Whites are Intellectually Superior.
I am both angry and amused at the number of trump appointees who were described as "stand-up" and "quite qualified" for the positions when they were appointed by donald trump. They included generals and admirals and lawyers and corporate ceo. Just the best, according to the media and others.
Yet, they are the same persons...true trump sycophants...whose names come up every week in regular trump administration scandals. An appointed cabinet of criminal grifters who wallows in the criminal dirt with America's criminal president ... and appointees to America's National Security team who apparently do not mind enabling the president as he betrays America to its enemies.
Many are surprised. Many are not. donald trump showed you what a Degenerate piece of work he was before he ran for president...while he was running for president... and since he has been president. Nothing has changed.
The Struggle Continues!
Ann passed away 3 years ago on September 5, 2016.
We dated in junior high school -yes, junior high school-and high school. She was a member of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP, back in the day, with me. After my 4 years in the Air Force, our paths crossed again, and we married in December 1966. We would have celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in December of 2016.
Losing a mate/spouse/partner/significant other is different than losing a child, a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, and a family member. The Love is different. When you lose that person, you lose a part of yourself. You lose someone you went to sleep with every night and spent most of your waking moments with. You mourn, you grieve, you cry, and you remember those moments that only the two of you could remember.When I called Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick Sr. – Bishop Sr.—to tell him Ann had passed, and to ask him to “give” Words of Comfort at her service, he of course, said he would. Bishop Sr. has been a friend of both of our families, and eulogized several of my family members and Ann’s family members. After praying with me, he said to me, “Rodney grieve and mourn whatever way you want. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. And in the middle of your grieving, thank God for the more than 50 years he gave you and Ann together.”
I remember those words every day. Mourning does not get any easier. After Ann passed, several friends and family members suggested I "take a vacation" or “get-away” for a while. They meant well, and the suggestion was made in Love, but you cannot “get-way from” or “take a vacation from” a life of memories and experiences. You carry them with you. A song, a favorite place, a food dish, a movie, celebrating the holidays.No one really knows how you feel when you lose a wife and a partner and a soulmate and a best friend, all rolled into one magnificent person. They think they do...they don’t.
I am learning to “manage” grieving, just like many must learn to manage pain. And I always remember the great experiences and the great memories and the great times God gave me with Ann.
Ann was an Old School Music person too, and one of our favorite songs was written by Paul Williams entitled, “You and Me Against The World.” We particularly liked Jerry Butler’s version. A few of the lyrics...
“You and me against the world
Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world
And for all the tears we cried
I always felt God was on our side
And when one of us is gone
And one is left alone to carry on
Then remembering will have to do
Our memories alone will get us through.
Think about the days of me and you
Of you and me against the world.”
Ann was not here for the birth of our first Great Grand, Everly Ann, "presented" by our granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Kyle (Marquiette) Dorrell, but thanks to Kita and Kyle, she carries Ann's name.
I am not through crying, nor will I ever be. I am not through grieving, nor will I ever be. What a great 50+ years. I Love Ya Baby, and I Really Miss You. -- Me.
Blacks fighting against Racism today is NOT a NEW Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement never ended. Blacks fighting for human dignity and respect today is Not New. There is no difference in Blacks fighting for human dignity and respect today and how they fought during the days of the American Christian Holocaust called Slavery. The Civil Rights Movement of the Forties, Fifties, and Sixties and decades before, was an extension of the fight. And the fight today is an extension of the fight. Same Fight--Different Time--Different Day.
Martin Luther King and John Lewis and Thurgood Marshall and Ella Baker and Medgar Evers and A. Philip Randolph and Ruby Hurley and Daisy Bates and Malcolm X, and Rutledge Pearson...extensive list...fought the same fight that Ida Wells-Barnett and James Weldon Johnson and Walter White and William Trotter and W.E.B.DuBois and Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass and Richard Allen and Denmark Vesey...extensive list...fought.
Young people today are fighting the same fight thousands before them fought. Being enslaved and kept in chains is the history of America. Lynching Blacks is the history of America. Racism is the history of America. Being judged by the color of your skin is the history of America. Being denied the right to vote is the history of America. Being denied Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as a Black person is the history of America.
Blacks fighting for all of these "things" ...these Freedoms...is the history of America. That has not changed. The fight FOR Civil Rights IS the fight AGAINST The American Institution of Racism. The day is different ...the names are different...but the issues are the same and the skin color is the same; and in the final analysis, THE STRUGGLE is the Same. And THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES.
Boycotting the NFL because of its Racism, is like boycotting any establishment because of its Racism, and it works for ME. I do not try to get anyone to necessarily see my point of view.
Back in the day, we boycotted ALL of downtown, because of the rampant Racism by stores wanting Blacks to spend money in their establishments but only where THEY wanted us to spend OUR money. That was an Insult. Many of you respond by saying, "That was then, today is different." The question is, Is It Really?
Fighting Racism and its subtleties, if you are Black, and the sacrifices you must make, if you are Black, are more important than balancing your conveniences, if you are Black.
Charlie Cobb is truly an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. He is one of the organizers of the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. His is not a household name, but it should be. I met Charlie several years ago after he and his wife, Ann, moved to Jacksonville. He is a friend, and I proudly claim him now as an honorary native of Jacksonville. I knew about Charlie prior to meeting him. Certainly, his incomparable background and exceptional reputation preceded him. He is Truly a Civil Rights legend.
Charles E. Cobb Jr. is a former field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and has taught as a visiting professor at Brown University. An award-winning journalist, Charlie is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame and is a 2018 Distinguished Carnegie Fellowship Award Winner. He will teach a class on civil rights this year as a visiting professor at North Carolina Central.
In 1962, Charlie Cobb became a field secretary in the Mississippi Delta region for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), for whom he wrote the original proposal for the Mississippi Freedom School, an education initiative that was launched during Freedom Summer in 1964. As a field secretary for SNCC, Charlie was a grassroots organizer; he lived in the homes of the people he worked with, as did other SNCC field secretaries, staying with sharecroppers, janitors, cooks, maids, factory workers, and day laborers and learning their perspective firsthand.
According to Charlie, this concept had a lot to do with the influence of Ella Baker, one of the great Icons of the Civil Rights Struggle. As Charlie put it, Ms. Baker taught us to organize from the bottom up, rather than from the top down. I sat down with Charlie to talk about his experiences and asked his motivation to join the Civil Rights Movement. Charlie began:
“Mississippi was chosen as the site of the Freedom Summer project due to its historically low levels of African-American voter registration; in 1962 less than 7 percent of the state's eligible black voters were registered to vote. First, you can struggle against great odds, as evidenced by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party forcing the creation of a two-party system in the South. Sit-ins, and the student sit-in Movement, not only challenged the infrastructure of racism but empowered the free speech movement at many traditional universities and is where the roots of Black Studies departments can be found. The Civil Rights Movement changed people, their lives and the eventual paths they would take. The civil rights experience literally changed lives.” He also felt that the Civil Rights Movement saw the emerging leadership of young Black high school students and Black college students, who took the initiative fighting segregation and racism through direct-action demonstrations. Black students established going to jail for a principle, which at the time was quite new and revolutionary. Finally, he commented that Black World War II veterans were a very important part of the movement—Medgar Evers, Vernon Dahmer, Aaron Henry, to name a few. Fighting for freedom in foreign countries and then coming home to bigotry and blatant Jim Crow laws did not resonate at all.
We talked about Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, and, although there are many who know of her leading the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964, few know about a savage beating she took the year before. Charlie gave me this account: “On June 3, 1963, after returning from a civil rights workshop in South Caroline, Fannie Lou Hamer and other civil rights workers arrived in Winona, Mississippi, by bus. They were ordered off the bus and taken to the Montgomery County jail. Later that night while in jail, three white men came into her cell with two Black prisoners. They made her lay down and ordered the Black prisoners to beat her with a blackjack. They savagely beat her until they got tired. When she was released three days later, it took her more than a month to recover, but we never felt she ever fully recovered. Though she died fourteen years later apparently of breast cancer, she continually had kidney complications from the beating she sustained that night in 1963, which I am convinced contributed to her death.”
In June 2014, Charlie spent several weeks in Mississippi with SNCC colleagues as they commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Summer. Charlie Cobb was the the first activist-in-residence of the SNCC Legacy Project, a partnership between Duke University and SNCC. The SNCC Legacy Project is designed to document SNCC’s major role in the struggle for freedom and to allow young activists to draw on the hard-won experiences and wisdom of those who marched before them.
Charlie is a part of the heritage of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Freedom Movement, and the Civil Rights Movement. Like many veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, he understands that America’s founding fathers did not have the equality of Black citizens in mind when they originated the country’s founding documents. Many will argue that America still does not. Yet you fight anyway. Charlie understands the unpaid debt. Experiences from the Civil Rights Movement eternally affect your life. I did not have to ask Charlie; I knew from my experiences. Charlie Cobb Jr. has spent a lifetime simply working to get America to pay its debts. They remain overdue. Charlie Cobb calls Jacksonville Home. I am glad.