What does the grand jury decisions in the cases of Mike Brown and Eric Garner mean for Black people? What message is being sent?
That Black male life is worthless to some. These tragedies inform the world that our American justice system is truly an injustice system in many regards. It lets the world know that Jim Crow still exists in private proceedings with secret witnesses, corrupt agenda-seeking prosecutors and covert judges known as a grand jury.
What is your opinion of the leadership of President Barack Obama during this crisis?
Illegal immigrants received executive action from the president, gays and lesbians received an executive order from the president, and African-Americans received an executive speech. We must continue to push for reform in the justice system. Meaningful reform that includes mandating all police wear body cameras and if they turn it off during an interaction with a civilian , they’ll be charged with tampering with evidence. Our police departments should reflect the diversity of the community. Mandate that all police agencies appoint a citizen review board with subpoena powers. Eliminate immunity rues for law enforcement agents when it’s proven they wrongly and maliciously prosecuted an innocent American. These are common sense solutions that can greatly progress our systems of law and order in America.
What are Black people missing by not studying their past?
Understanding our true ancestry cannot be underestimated. Studying our history as African-Americans sheds light on the spiritual and moral aspects of who we are. Much of the immoral behavior in our community stems from the influence of western culture.
Where are the leaders who will take the place of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?
That’s the million dollar question for many but I truly don’t know. I will say this, instead of us looking for new national leaders; let’s cultivate the local ones first.
How does the media play a role in the miseducation of Black Americans?
Media plays a tremendous role in the misguided perception of Blacks in America. It’s very interesting that media pundits want t bring up Black on Black crime when the conversation is about a white cop killing and unarmed Black teenager. Media’s portrayal of African-Americans as violent characters or more “criminal” than other races simply is not true. The facts are simple; White on White crime is virtually the same as Black on Black crime. While Black on Black crime has steadily decreased, White on White crime continues to climb at record numbers. Additionally, race on race crime is high throughout all races. You never hear the media narrative that Whites are more likely to commit crimes against family members, Whites are more likely to be involved in gang activity, which are all true. We must demand a changing of this false narrative.
What should Black people do collectively as a community politically and socially in 2015?
It’s not complicated. Simply take the time to be informed, directly push your agenda and find others who agree with you on key issues. The chorus is always louder than the soloist.
What are you currently reading?
Death of a King by Tavis Smiley.
What books are a must-to have a modern political perspective?
How the Poor Can Save Capitalism by John Hope Bryant
African-Americans and the American Political System by Lucius Jefferson Barker.
If you were able to have an intellectual dinner party of great minds, what three persons would you invite and why?
Dr. King — To absorb his wisdom
President Obama — To understand his perspectives
Fannie Lou Hamer — For her raw insightful views of the era of political awakening for African-Americans.
In closing, what final thoughts would you like to leave our readers?
Always walk in the spirit of love, demand respect, be involved and help others.