Must Read Article: “I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing”

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Why have I been blogging about race and police violence so much? Because it is kids that look like mine that are dying and most in this country do not care, because it’s not their problem. But I fear for my sons and if you have darker skin and are reading this, yours as well.

No matter how much we teach them “proper manners”,  how to dress and give a firm handshake, home school them and teach them to remain sexually pure…when the LEO sees them walking, riding a bike (yes, look it up), and of course driving, those lights are getting tripped because our boys are seen as the face of criminal behavior regardless of what the statistics say. It’s in our country’s DNA, and this is why we cannot ignore, and I will not on this blog, the racial component. Therefore, any action even viewed (e.g. Tamir Rice) as defiant can end in death. At best, the LEO will approach them like they’re dealing with a gang member, not the 4x per week, active youth group, mission-taking, home schooled, authority-respecting young man that you’ve tried to raise.

That part, I can tell you from experience, has never changed in this country.

That leads me to today’s post. This is the best article that I’ve read so far concerning the police violence that we are hearing about regularly today.

Personally, I’m tired of the ignorant straw-man arguments about LEOs. Many still use the “you don’t understand how hard it is…” like some Uno Draw Four card to win the discussion. First, that certainly doesn’t work on me, as I know that one doesn’t have to “be in the shoes” to judge right and wrong. If that’s the case, most of the people saying, “What about black-on-black” crime?” have no validity as many are not “black”.

That said, here’s someone who has been there, so what do you think he has to say? Here are some excerpts:

“On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with. That’s a theory from my friend K.L. Williams, who has trained thousands of officers around the country in use of force…”.

“And I worked with people like the president of my police academy class, who sent out an email after President Obama won the 2008 election that included the statement, “I can’t believe I live in a country full of ni**er lovers!!!!!!!!” He patrolled the streets in St. Louis in a number of black communities with the authority to act under the color of law.”

“It is not only white officers who abuse their authority. The effect of institutional racism is such that no matter what color the officer abusing the citizen is, in the vast majority of those cases of abuse that citizen will be black or brown. That is what is allowed.”

“The profession — the endeavor — is noble. But this myth about the general goodness of cops obscures the truth of what needs to be done to fix the system…Institutional racism runs throughout our criminal justice system. Its presence in police culture, though often flatly denied by the many police apologists that appear in the media now, has been central to the breakdown in police-community relationships for decades in spite of good people doing police work.”

“Beyond the many unarmed blacks killed by police, including recently Freddie Gray in Baltimore, other police abuses that don’t result in death foment resentment, distrust, and malice toward police in black and brown communities all over the country. Long before Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed Michael Brown last August, there was a poisonous relationship between the Ferguson, Missouri, department and the community it claimed to serve. For example, in 2009 Henry Davis was stopped unlawfully in Ferguson, taken to the police station, and brutally beaten while in handcuffs. He was then charged for bleeding on the officers’ uniforms after they beat him.”

“About that 15 percent of officers who regularly abuse their power: a major problem is they exert an outsize influence on department culture and find support for their actions from ranking officers and police unions. Chicago is a prime example of this:…The victims were electrically shocked, suffocated, and beaten into false confessions that resulted in many of them being convicted and serving time for crimes they didn’t commit.  One man, Darrell Cannon, spent 24 years in prison for a crime he confessed to but didn’t commit. He confessed when officers repeatedly appeared to load a shotgun and after doing so each time put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Other men received electric shocks until they confessed.”

“This allows him to leave viewers with the impression that the recent protests against police brutality are baseless, and that allegations of racism are “totally wrong — just not true.” The reality of police abuse is not limited to a number of “very small incidents” that have impacted black people nationwide, but generations of experienced and witnessed abuse.The media is complicit in this myth-making: notice that the interviewer does not challenge Safir. She doesn’t point out, for example, the over $1 billion in settlementsthe NYPD has paid out over the last decade and a half for the misconduct of its officers. She doesn’t reference the numerous accounts of actual black or Hispanic NYPD officers who have been profiled and even assaulted without cause when they were out of uniform by white NYPD officers.”

“Instead she leads him with her questions to reference the heroism, selflessness, risk, and sacrifice that are a part of the endeavor that is law enforcement, but very clearly not always characteristic of police work in black and brown communities. The staging for this interview — US flag waving, somber-faced officers — is wash, rinse, and repeat with our national media. When you take a job as a police officer, you do so voluntarily. You understand the risks associated with the work. But because you signed on to do a dangerous job does not mean you are then allowed to violate the human rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of the people you serve. It’s the opposite. You should protect those rights, and when you don’t you should be held accountable. That simple statement will be received by police apologists as “anti-cop.”  It is not.”

Please read the full article HERE!

This one needs to be bookmarked if you’re tired of some of those discussions as well.

 

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CSD Press Rewind Post: A Living Eulogy For My Mother

I was going to write something new for Mother’s Day but quite honestly, I think it’s a good time to revisit a post that I made at the beginning of the year. However this time, I want you to deeply consider whether your mom knows how you feel about her?

As men, many think we spend so much time trying to keep emotion inside. This is not entirely true. Our society only considers it okay to express emotion in certain situations such as sports, certain romantic situations or war. Athletes cry over a game that means nothing to the world, a man can cry at a wedding or tears of sorrow can be shed over a fallen comrade, but to cry at any other time is not considered very manly.

So today as you are remembering your mom, I ask that you read my A Living Eulogy for My Mother (click the title) post, and if you have never TOLD your mom how much you appreciate her, I beg that you do so.

As dad’s we are often under-appreciated. So you know how it feels, so please make sure your mom knows how much you appreciate her because no Hallmark card can express the way you feel.

…and

Happy Mother’s Day to MY MOM!!!

http://cornerstonedad.com/2012/01/03/a-living-eulogy-for-my-mother/

A Living Eulogy for My Mother

Happy birthday to my mother! 

Today is a day that I remember how blessed I am in two special ways.

  1. Both of my parents are still alive
  2. Both of my parents are still married

As I get older, I appreciate both of those points more and more.

CornerstoneDad.com is about promoting fatherhood. But because it is my mother’s birthday, I have to touch on motherhood today. Too often, mother’s are honored while fathers are taken for granted, scolded, and ignored. Even the Intruders cracked on dad in the song below for no reason! But not around here though dads, here you are safe. But please allow me to give my mom her props right now.

Perhaps the smartest decision my dad ever made was choosing the right mother for his children. Everybody talks about being that “Proverbs 31 woman”, but my mother has truly been that woman in our household.

 Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife who can find? 

   She is far more precious than jewels. 

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, 

   and he will have no lack of gain. 

12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

 Yea, my dad picked a winner.

 I remember my mom getting me toys from her job as a gift-wrapper at Hudson’s. I found a photo once, where she was one of the only black women in her corporate job back in the ’60’s.

My mom left the career behind to stay home and raise some kids. My dad didn’t make a ton of money, but they decided that her being home raising us was the best way to keep the streets from raising us instead.

Therefore, she was there when I took the bat outside to knock out Ricky Collins in elementary school. Yea, bullying isn’t a new phenomenon young readers. Instead of bombs, some of us had to handle it different ways. Mom kept me from getting in more trouble that day.

Mom would hold down my dad’s arm, to calm him down, as there were times he wanted to go knock out the truck drivers that called us niggas or other names on the CB on family vacations. “Okay, meet me at the rest area and say it in my face!” screamed dad. Mom would calmly but firmly say something like, “Please, let it go, lets just keep going…”. Mom kept daddy from getting into more trouble plenty of times too.

I guess that’s why I love Good Times so much as her and Florida sounded so much alike.

Mom told me about Jesus Christ at eight years old, and my life (and my family’s life) has never been the same since then.

Mom told me about Jesus Christ at eight years old, and my life (and my family’s life) has never been the same since then.

Mom taught me that taking two papers out the paper box was stealing, even if it was just sitting in there and my friend wanted to get one for the box scores also.

Mom almost died when I was around 13, and I’ll never forget the pain she was in as her “insides” fought like Ali vs. Frazier. The crying I heard still upsets me now.

Mom was at home when I called as my high school friends were getting blown out at parties and I didn’t want to join in because I knew the effects of alcohol, plus I was driving. She was my alibi for not joining in the “fun”.

Proverbs 31:27 – She looks well to the ways of her household 

   and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Mom wrote me a letter when she saw that after high school, the gravitational pull of the streets was too much for me, so she tried to pull me back.

It didn’t completely work.

So I’m sure mom wasn’t surprised when I told her I got a girl pregnant.

It was mom that was there when I saw my son for the first time, and no matter what kind of relationship I had with my son’s mother, it was my duty to be the best father I could be to him.

My mom never understood why white parents didn’t except her son, while she never mistreated or rejected any girl her boys brought home regardless of their skin color. Plus, knew that they treated women with respect because we always respected her.

Therefore, my Mom was at my wedding, when I was marrying a “white girl”…and to this day she loves her not because she has too, but because of the relationship she developed with my wife.

Proverbs 31:26 – She opens her mouth with wisdom, 

   and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

My Mom is a superb grandmother. The photo above is her telling them things that I never even heard about growing up, like her struggles in the segregated South. Tales about the old buses she had to ride in for school while the “white” schools got the nice new buses. Yea…so much for “Separate but Equal”. (see: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_plessy.html)

 Proverbs 31:28 – Her children rise up and call her blessed; 

   her husband also, and he praises her: 

29 “Many women have done excellently, 

   but you surpass them all.” 

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, 

   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, 

   and let her works praise her in the gates.

If you’ve read this far. Thank you.

I hope it made you think about all your mother has done and if she’s still alive, please let her know.

I write not to be sappy, but because I do not believe in giving dead people the flowers and praise at their funeral instead of while they are here on earth to smell the flowers and hear the praise.

Young men, be wise, and choose the right woman to be the mother of your children. Every woman you lay with has the potential to be the mother of your child and I’d bet that many of them, you would not want raising your children (shout-out to Evander Holyfield, Shawn Kemp, and Travis Henry – all athletes that forget that sex and reproduction are still linked despite our 21st century technologies).

Mom, you are blessed.

You have blessed me and my family.

I thank God that you can still be here to read this.

Without you, there would be no CornerstoneDad.

Without you, I don’t even no where I’d be today.

Thank you, and may God allow us to see many more birthdays together as there’s so much more work to be done.