Friday, June 30, 2017

BILL COSBY WASN’T ON TRIAL. DUE PROCESS WAS ON TRIAL.

“The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law. … ”Coffin v. U.S. 156 U.S. 432

From the outset, I do not want anyone to neither claim that these comments are about favoring or supporting a rape culture nor that encouraging any form of sexual assault. These are serious crimes that need to be addressed in our society. However, I find lying about rape or sexual assault to be just as evil as the crime of rape itself. In light of the controversy over the allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby, I find it very interesting that everything in the national media about Mr. Cosby has been trial, conviction, and sentencing without due process.

You see as terrible as the accusations that Cosby has been accused of, under the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments, all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In the Supreme Court case that I quoted above in this article, it established the presumption of innocence in our judicial system, as well as the definition of reasonable doubt. The U.S. Supreme Court further held that:

It is, of necessity, the condition of mind produced by the proof resulting from the evidence in the cause. It is the result of the proof, not the proof itself, whereas the presumption of innocence is one of the instruments of proof, going to bring about the proof from which reasonable doubt arises; thus, one is a cause, the other an effect. “

The jurors deliberated for over fifty-two hours according to various news reports. According to the AP, there were several votes, including a vote for an acquittal all counts They looked at the evidence and judging by comments made by one of the jurors, they did not find enough evidence to convict Cosby. That’s what the jury is supposed to do based on the evidence or lack of evidence in this matter when they are inside the deliberation room.

Yet, media outlets such as The Root, CNN, VICE, Yahoo News, AOL NEWS, BET, and others continue to ignore this part, and focus on a 10-2 verdict for guilty. It also been said that there were also evenly split verdicts to acquit around 7-5, unanimous verdicts to acquit, but we fail to hear these arguments. The media also ignored that the accuser, Ms. Andre Constand, admitted to meeting with Bill Cosby on several occasions before and after this alleged incident occurred, including one incident of which she gave Cosby gifts after this alleged assault occurred. She testified to this on the witness stand. This part is not touched on by mainstream media.

In an article posted on The Huffington Post, written by Alanna Vaginos, the title states “Cosby Juror Believes Constand’s ‘Bare Midriff’ Meant She Was Asking For It.” In looking at the article, the juror never mentioned that Constand was “asking for it.” What it appears is that the Huffington Post is trying to take part of what the juror said and make it sound like he’s victim blaming.


The media in our world today does not deal with the truth. As a system, it is more satisfied in dealing with sensationalism because people are not interested in the truth as they are more fixated on the lie. Never mind what the truth is, the lie is where the story is. Controversy draws attention.


In closing, we must decide whether we want to truly be a nation that lives up to its creed and principles that we have set in writing. We have given the government powers under laws like the Patriot Act that intrude on our 4th Amendment rights. Do we truly want our judicial system guided speculation, gossip and heresay because it makes for a good story in the New York Times or should it be guided by facts and evidence that points us to the truth? You be the judge.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

SORRY MR. PRESIDENT, LGBT RIGHTS ARE NOT THE SAME AS BLACK RIGHTS

Greetings family,

I've been extremely busy these last few months. However, my eyes and ears have been opened and I have been listening to the latest news that has been going on this past few months. I am irritated, frustrated and disappointed by the latest edict that has come down from President Barack Obama and his cabinet. On May 13, 2016, The Department of Justice and The Department of Education issued a letter telling schools across the country that "transgender" students should be allowed to use the restrooms that match with their "gender identity".

But that's not all. In fact, it got more interesting. Both Attorney General Loretta Lynch and President Obama compared "Transgender rights" to the that of Black Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. In reference to HB 2 in the state of North Carolina, AG Lynch said the following:

"This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation. We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the Emancipation Proclamation. We saw it in fierce and widespread resistance to Brown v. Board of Education…. Some of these responses reflect a recognizably human fear of the unknown, and a discomfort with the uncertainty of change….This is a time to summon our national virtues of inclusivity, diversity, compassion and open-mindedness. What we must not do–what we must never do–is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans, for something they cannot control, and deny what makes them human. This is why none of us can stand by when a state enters the business of legislating identity and insists that a person pretend to be something they are not, or invents a problem that doesn’t exist as a pretext for discrimination and harassment."


Well, that's a great speech, but it lacks value and substance. You see, Mrs. Lynch, as you know the laws that were enacted against Black Americans in this country were based upon what we looked like, not based upon sexuality. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X did not fight for the right to have sex with each other. Blacks were prevented from voting, owning property, having their homes and businesses destroyed, i.e. "Black Wall Street" in the 1921 Tulsa Riots, and so on.


What I find interesting is that as the first African-American President, along with the first African-American, female, Attorney General has spoken up more for the LGBT community, but will remain silent on Black rights. Now, there are those that would like to defend the president and talk about how the image of having a "Black President" is great. But is image really the only thing we as Black Americans should keep relying on? After all, we should judge people based upon their actions, not what the color of his skin is. That goes both ways.


I'm happy to see that we have an African-American President in the White House. But I wonder could the president use his bully pulpit on these random police shootings of young black men like he's doing on these schools across the country for the LGBT community? It's just disappointing that he has decided to take this issue and disrespect our community and our history like this. If we do not protect our legacy and history as black people, others will dictate it for us. 

Peace and Love. 

G

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ray Lewis, for the love of God, stop cooning!

This past Saturday, Tariq Nasheed hosted the 1st Annual Plantation Ceremony Awards, aka, The Coon Train Awards. The show is clearly satire, but the things that came out of the nominees' mouths were no laughing matter. Stephen A. Smith, Stacey Dash, Dr. Ben Carson and others have said some of the most ridiculous things ever spoken when it comes to issues of race. (BTW, Stephen A Smith and Stacey Dash won in their respective categories.)However, this past week, Former All-Pro & Future NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis set a whole new bar for cooning.

Ray Lewis posted a ten minute impression of a street preacher near your local corner store. The only difference is that the corner store preacher has more merit than Ray Lewis does. Let me state for the record, All lives do matter. Yes, we have a problem with black on black violence in the inner city. Yes, it needs to be addressed.  Yes, all lives do matter and are precious in the eyes of God.

That being said, the reason why there is a "Black Lives Matter" movement Ray is the fact that white officer who typically kill unarmed black men will not face the criminal justice system. When it comes to black people who kill black people, they are typically going to face the criminal justice system and do jail time. I know this because I practice law. I've been in the court system and I've seen first hand what has happened.

And contrary to popular belief, there are groups of people including the Nation of Islam, 100 Black Men of America, The Peacekeepers, countless ministers, preachers, priests and lay people as well who have marched against violence. You see, just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not happening. It doesn't mean that we don't care about violence in our community. But we are concerned when those sworn to uphold the law and protect us from criminals act like the thugs that their supposed to throw in jail.

So Ray, do us all a favor. Stick to sportscasting and take off your tap shoes when you speak.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stacey Dash: The Mis-Education of A Clueless Negro

This past week, actress Stacey Dash made headlines with her commentary on Fox News about the Oscars, Black History Month, and whatever else Fox wanted her to say. It seems every other day, a news outlet like Fox News, will hire a Stacey Dash, Dexter Manley, or Sheriff David Clark to crap on black people. But it's much larger than hiring these people to give "their opinion." There is an agenda at foot. That agenda is to enforce the white supremacist rhetoric that has been around since the first slaves were brought here. Except now it's done in black face.

Now I don't want us to get sidetracked from the original purpose of this post. Stacey Dash stated that there shouldn't be a Black History Month. She states that BET should not exist because if there were an all white network, people would be shouting racism. (Hey Stacey, BET is owned by whites!) Well,  here's some history for you, Stacey. Black History Month originally started out as Negro History Week by the late Dr. Carter G. Woodson. He created Negro History Week because the contributions that Black Americans made in this country, and throughout the world were not being taught in schools, universities, and public in general. Dr. Woodson is the author of the book "The Mis-Education of the Negro.", and judging by your comments, you seem to be part of the "Mis-Educated."

The reason why Stacey: RACISM!! You see, Black History Month is apart of American History. No doubt about it. The problem is that those in power don't want the younger generations to know their history, i.e. A school board in Texas that voted to remove the Transatlantic Slave Trade from the textbooks and call it the Triangular Trade. You see Stacey, Black History Month is there so that we could commemorate and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans and the fact that those contributions still continue to the present day.

Now, I am not a defender of BET because BET has not served Black Americans in the capacity that it was originally created for. Some argue that BET has done more damage than the Ku Klux Klan. At the time it made it's debut, black musicians could not get airplay on certain television networks. In fact, BET debuted in 1979; two years before MTV, which did not play any black artists with the exceptions of Michael Jackson, Prince and Lionel Richie, who were Pop and Rock & Roll stars.

But that opened the door for Bounce TV, TV One and Aspire TV for Black Americans to showcase talents you won't see on other networks, mainly the one that pays you to coon. So yes, Black History is American History, it's just sad that a beautiful person of color like Stacey Dash is "Clueless" about this.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

What is it with all the Black Pain movies?



The weekend the film was released, my family and I went to see the movie “Selma”. It was great acting all the way. I thought the actors and actresses who portrayed their respective characters were awesome. I encourage that parents take their children to see the movie as it is inspired by an actual event. I say inspired instead of based because with every Hollywood picture, there always is an element of fiction. Nevertheless, the march from Selma to Montgomery was real as was the pain and suffering of those that fought and died for the right to vote.

And in talking about Hollywood, I’ve noticed there has been a certain trend. It seems that the most critically acclaimed movies that the press and Hollywood push featuring an all black cast have to do with pain and suffering. When we look at movies such as “12 Years A Slave”, “Django Unchained”, “Precious”, “The Help”, and “The Butler”, these movies have a certain theme where Black Americans are portrayed as being in pain or suffering some how.

Why don’t we see more movies like “ This Christmas”, “Crooklyn” or “The Best Man Holiday” where we see the love of a black family, a successful black family? Not to suggest that the characters portrayed are perfect, but they tend to avoid stereotypes we are so accustomed to see in a prejudice medium. These movies were not pushed or promoted, as were the other movies by the mainstream press.  In some instances, a theme promoting the love of a strong black family or couple has been ignored by the mainstream.

Now, my review is not to discourage people from seeing this film. All of the actors, including David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Wendell Pierce and Oprah Winfrey did a fantastic job. The movie highlights the struggle that Black Americans had to overcome as human beings. As I was watching the film, I was reminded of how far we still have to go, vis-à-vis Ferguson and New York.  


My commentary is to point out that as Black Americans, we should be demanding to see our own stories. Why can’t we see the story of Mansa Musa, the richest king that ever lived from the Kingdom of Mali? Why not tell the story of the Carthaginian General Hannibal, who defeated the Roman Army by marching through the Swiss Alps.  When movies like “Exodus: Gods and Kings” are released that “white-out” the role Africans made in developing the world, we often complain why we are not in the movie. Maybe because we let someone dictate who we are and what we should watch instead of doing the exact opposite.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Is the NCAA Afraid of the Dark?

Just recently, Jim Harbaugh was hired as the latest football coach of the Michigan Wolverines. His contract is for seven years and he is set to be paid $5 million dollars per year. Harbaugh left the San Francisco 49ers after coaching the team for four seasons. It appears that Harbaugh and the front office of the San Francisco 49ers didn’t get along to well to continue their relationship.

            Now, the purpose of this article is not to talk about NFL teams and their relationship with their coaches. Rather, I do want to focus in particular rule that the NFL implemented in 2003 when teams hire coaches. It is known as the Rooney Rule.  Named after Dan Rooney, the owner of the storied NFL franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers, this rule requires that any NFL team interview at least one minority candidate for any coaching and senior football operation vacancy.

            The purpose of this rule was to provide diversity in key positions in the NFL.  When I saw that Jim Harbaugh was hired, I couldn’t help but think would a school like Michigan throw money out to a black candidate like they did for Harbaugh? The NCAA does not have any rule that is equivalent to the “Rooney Rule.”
           
           While Division 1 NCAA football does employ certain hiring guidelines similar to the Rooney Rule, this is only voluntary. Per the NCAA’s website, there were eight black head coaches in the Football Championship Subdivision. The number of black football head coaches rose from 14 to 17 in the Football Bowl Subdivision.


          While the NCAA considers these numbers encouraging, one can still see that further progress has to be made. This issue reminds me of the story of Nat King Cole, the late great jazz singer and pianist, was the first Black-American to host his own variety program on NBC from 1956-1957. The show was cancelled after one season because national advertisers would not take a chance on a person of color. Nat King Cole was quoted as saying after the show’s cancellation, “Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark.” How true do those words ring in 2014? It’s a question that the NCAA should answer.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired": A prospective viewpoint on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Whazzup everyone? It's been a while. I'm in the process of finishing law school and other things, which is why I have been busy. There has been a lot going on in this country since the last time I posted anything. Today, I wanted to talk about the March on Washington  50th Anniversary today. I participated in a March here at Southern University this afternoon. First thing I have to say about it: Heat. The second thing I would have to say is that we had a great turnout of students, faculty and staff that wanted to honor and commemorate the historic day.

However, I'm reminded by what Brother Malcolm X once said after the March on Washington. He stated that fifty years later, black people would still be marching. Sure enough, Bro. Malcolm was a prophet. Now, I am not in any way trying to disrespect and defame the honor of those who marched in the Civil Rights Movement. I myself have participated in rally and marches to get African-Americans out to vote, fight for their right to return to the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the death of a black teenager who was strangled to death in New Orleans several years ago.

In many circumstances, yes marching is good. But at some point, one has to say enough is enough. We have been marching for years, and most of the time there is only attention, but never any results. Why is that? Could it be that black leadership has been absent? That some leaders are rather interested in fame and fortune than dealing with the real issue at hand? That we would rather choose to be invited at the White House for dinner than making a significant change to help our children?

If anything Trayvon Martin's death has shown, we have a far way from reaching the dream. When the verdict was read, I was thrust back to my history books from the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford. From that case, the Supreme Court declared that blacks were not humans and not fit to stand even before the court. No my friends, that dream will not come until everyone has an open and honest discussion about racism, white supremacy, and "Uncle Tomism."

Finally, it's hell of ironic that President Obama gave the Keynote address at the March on Washington today when the United States is on the verge of war with Syria. Something an anti-war advocate like Dr. King would more than likely not approve of. The great historian, John Henrick Clarke, once said he felt that marching was a waste of shoe leather. I don't know if I put my weight all towards that point, but I can tell you the other side is getting lighter. These are my thoughts and opinions. I stick to them.