From The Crates: Intimate Partner Violence

There is something heinous dwelling in a person when they can take the life of someone they were once in a romantic relationship with.

The fact these men, these recent murderous human beings, could take the lives of women they say they love is monstrous. It cannot be ignored. It cannot be glazed over or explained away.

It is deeper than a character flaw.

It it broader than being labeled abusive.

Women have the right to autonomy and self-preservation. We as women have the right to say, “This situation is toxic, harmful and detrimental to my well being and safety. I will not allow it to continue.”

It is beyond wanting a ring back. It is more than vouching for an evil person’s character when they know how to act in public. Every time this happens to a woman, there is a power that leaves the world. There is an essence, purely and beautifully female, that leaves the world. And for what? Only because a man could not trap, trick or own her? For that cause she must perish? And by his hand?

When will we as women matter?

When will our safety matter?

When will our cries, bruises and worries matter?

WHEN WILL THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PERPETRATED AGAINST BLACK AND BROWN WOMEN MATTER?

It is beyond wanting a ring back and cannot be cheapened to that! The fact there are men and women that adhere to this logic have no respect or acknowledgement of their own power, autonomy or self-determination!

We must value women, Black women especially, when they say abuse is happening to them. We must not continue the lie that is toxic and hyper masculinity. It is killing us. They are killing us!

How long will blood be the demand for those whom cannot fathom they are not the chosen? Yet, in not being chosen, their maleness doesn’t die. Perhaps these perpetrators, these man-cloaked animals, will remember a “No,” will not kill you, nor define your worth as a man.

Only you as your own man will. The power of that determination solely marked and forged by your character. Perhaps it is a show of the fallen world where the one whom is to protect, love and shelter, in his twisted form, only kills steals and destroys.

-(c)JBHarris, 2018

No More Mammying: Give That B**ch A Brush!

 

 I really want Amber Guyger to prison forever.

I don’t want to hear about appeals, how her Mama feel about her being locked up, I don’t want to hear any defense to her indefensible shit.

Yesterday, after the year-held sigh of relief at her murder conviction was expelled, what followed next was unexpected. As with social situations like this, my social media was alight. My inbox my alerted, and what I saw was a Mammie in baliff’s uniform.

Now, for those of you that are new to this corner of the righteous, woke, well-read Black innanet, there are certain stereotypes which follow Black people:  Mammie (some people spell it Mammy), tragic mulatto, wench, Sapphire.  A Mammie/Mammy is this Black woman that lives to serve, cooking and cleaning and tending White children. They are seen as these superheroes without personal desires, depth or personhood independent of that which is given from a White gaze or narrative.

Yes, Hattie McDaniel in Gone With The Wind is a Mammy. That was her name in the credits. Scarlett O’Hara probably had a wet nurse who was probably a Mammy–and was probably in the personhood of Hattie McDaniel.

But let’s move on.

The fact that Amber Guyger is convicted of murder made me smile and cry. The fact that sis is smoothing her hair after she is convicted of murder or someone that could have really been this Black female balliff’s son? I was outraged. In seeing that, I cried out, “Get that bitch a brush!”

There aren’t enough surviving, ambitious reticent Mammies to coddle all the misbehaving White women in this nation that need release and relief! I refuse to believe that was an accident–and that 15 second clip has gone viral in the matter of 24 hours!

However, the thing that is not discussed, or scrutinized as heavily is the Black Dallas PD officer that defended what Amber Guyger did! As always, the brunt and blame fall to Black women. That is unfair, and is not right and we need to talk about this.

For the Black officer that vouched for Amber Guyger. You are trash, fam. You are so trash that you cannot even be sat out with the other trash! The fact of the matter is he testified as a token–I said what I said. I don’t take it back.

What needs to be discussed is the relationship some Black men have to power especially in the proximity and association to/with white supremacy. As the Urban Prophet TI said, “If the con is good, I ain’t supposed to see it!”

I see this con–I see this.

And I have seen it before! And over and over again!

What is not often discussed is the history of the Fraternal Order of Police. If you know your history, you know that modern policing (and its methods) are based in fugitive slave law practices–namely the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. If you are a student of history, for every press towards the high mark towards equality, the police have done two things:  stymie and enforce. Stymie the progress of minorities (whomever they may be). Enforce the narrative and wishes of their masters–keep all the people that scare us, whom we have harmed, whom we stole from, whom make my wife nervous is public in check–by any (deadly) means necessary.

You need only look at recent history to see that–how the police are used as a mitigating force between the good white folk and the meddling, needy outsiders who trouble the ruling classes for freedom, justice and to the pursuit of happiness.

How dare they?!

This is deeper than any “Blue Wall.” This is deeper than just trying to be a comfort to this murdering police officer! This construct of serving and protecting has racist roots from a poisonous tree! As the prosecutor said before the jury came back yesterday, “Convicting her doesn’t mean that you hate the police.” Just as me giving observation and asking questions doesn’t mean I hate the police.

The fact is, police need policing! The current permutation of law enforcement still needs an overhaul. Is it better than it was a century ago? Yes. But there is still so much further to go. The fact that this bailiff mammied to her, and she is vilified for it is one thing. But the sole onus of the chaos of this trial is not to be carried by this 15 second action! What we will not do is make her carry all this water by herself! The Black officer that agreed to vouch for what she did–saying she did everything her training said she could–needs to be drug a little bit as well!

What we miss in times of upheaval like this is the real enemy is the institutional, systemic and oppressive racism steeped and held in place by white supremacy! Amber Guyger killed a man in his house while eating a bowl of ice cream he bought, while on his couch, minding his business! She gets on the stand and cries (what most basic White women do after they have been caught doing something) and says how sorry she is. And people are supposed to comfort her, because that is what society tells us to do!

No.

Amber stood flat-footed and shot him, so she can stand flat-footed and take these years the jury is about to give her. Don’t be distracted at Sis that smoothed her hair. Don’t be distracted at the turcoat fam on the stand. The game is afoot, Watson. And the con is exposed. You cannot help but see it now.

So since you see it, and I see it, and we see it, then let’s dismantle it.

Learn the game so you can play it better.

The Plucking & Planting Of Strange Fruit

Image result for michael brown jr funeral

At the time of this posting, Michael Brown, Sr. called for the current St. Louis County Prosecutor, Wesley Bell, to reopen this case. Read more about that here

 

I have lived in St. Louis Metropolitan area for the greater part of my life. When Michael Brown, Jr. was murdered by Darren Wilson–five years ago yesterday–there was no part of me that questioned why he killed him. None!

I have seen first hand how and why the police departments in St. Louis City and County treat Black people, and people of color. I have seen how police officers were used, are used to intimidate, corral, and control Black people and people of color! I have seen White officers in Black neighborhoods, and never felt protected.  I have seen the extent police officers in this region will reach to in order to protect their own. Or, when they must control the social narrative.

I have seen the farce that is Blue Lives Matter. The flag is toliet paper. Tell a friend.

When Wesley Bell won this election last year against Robert ‘Bob’ McColloch, my heart was overwhelmed. But, I had no peace. I had no peace because this is, still is, Missouri–or as some people refer to it as Mississippi North. There are still towns in this state I do not feel comfortable driving in, through or towards because of the general feeling of distrust, fear and unease! The fact is, this police officer killed this young man. He killed him because pro-police culture, city government indifference, and the fact Bob McCulloch’s father was supposedly killed on duty–by a Black man no less? Oh, why would Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department with White police chief Tom Jackson, with County Prosecutor McCulloch in office not think he would be protected?

As it was with the first chattel slaves beaten on whims; to slaves raped and murdered; to slave patrols and klansmen whom have day jobs as law enforcement, murder of Black men by nefarious men with social clout is not new! Police officers are not an endangered, as the token Black pundit, Candace Owens, is paid to say. The lies police officers tell to control the narrative are endangered! The worship of law enforcement as an unquestionable entity is endangered!

Police are being questioned, and people are not liking their answers. People are questioning the merit, skillsets and honor of those called to protect and serve:  who do neither!

I am not shocked that Ferguson exploded. It was time. It has been time. I regret the circumstances. I regret the fires. I regret the loss of faith in the police. But I do not regret being angry! I do not regret being vocal, for marching or for being on the ground! I do not telling a White woman in Webster Groves, Missouri this:

“Wait until they kill your son! You have no problems, ma’am. You wake White ma’am! You wake White!”

I make no apologies for being angry.

This young man was old enough to be my brother. Or son! As a mother, I could never have sat in the house as this unfolded around me and my surrounding community. We have every right as a people to be enraged! We are no longer pleading for attention, and sometimes a riot is the best way to let people know you are no longer playing with them!

It is not longer okay to kill men, women and children whom are Black and think no one is going to say something! We are tired of seeing our children become ancestors due to the zeal and impunity of badged Reapers! The police are not the keepers of a city–the people are.

I want Wesley Bell to reopen this case. I want to know exactly what Bob McCulloch told the grand jury that made them think this was okay; why he never challenged Darren Wilson on the lies he told; I want him to slap Tom Jackson with the things he hates:  facts. I want the lawyers that lied for McCulloch to be disbarred!

I want the wrath of the law to be felt by the powerful! What better way to demonstrate that power than to confront a chief tenet of white supremacy:  police officers. You cannot kill with impunity. You cannot serve at convenience. Protection does not make exemptions for race, and Blue lives don’t exist.

If your protection and service are steeped in racism, which dehumanizes me or invalidates my life along with those I love, a riot should be the least of your worries.

Image result for micah 6 8

 

The Gravest Of Matters

 

According to my mother, my maternal great grandfather, Dave George, was murdered by the Klu Klux Klan. Within this dark family lore, I was told he was murdered because he wouldn’t give up his land. I am aware that when one dons a MAGA hat, it is more convenient than wearing the white hood. It’s portable. Less messy. Then, you can tell people when you wear it you are a racist– you ‘just believe in what the POTUS is doing.’ In critiquing  the current state of the country, in calling the POTUS to any accountability, your retort is ‘you hate America.’

However, whenever you see some of these ardent supporters, especially in careers of helping or influence, they always have sunglasses on with their hats. One interview which struck  me was when a nurse, in the full MAGA regalia of cap and glasses, said that she supported the president because ‘he says what I think.’

This had me thinking.

With the addition of the Civil Rights Amendments to the Constitution, Title X, and the continued press for racial/gender equality, these archaic pre-antebellum notions have not gone anywhere. Just like the story of my Grandfather Dave, the story his killers told remained in their families as well! This is why you see these seemingly civil White folk relishing in this ideology!

Perhaps they, too, sat at the knees of their grandparents, or outside of locked doors and heard the stories. They heard the rumors. They heard the stories about the cutting off a left ears. Of lynch mobs. Perhaps they even heard the stories of these same grandparents–whom where once children–going to lynch parties, watching living, strong, Black bodies become strange fruit. With horror, then glee. The power is what they covet, what they believe is missing. What these generations previous and current believe they have to instill is the belief that to be White is to be powerful, and anything that is not White is to be removed, repressed, oppressed or subdued. This is one of the tenants of  White supremacy.

What this election has done is expose the veneer of racial civility–completely. What we are left with now, which much be reconciled with is why do people of this seeming elite ethnicity believe they are superior to anyone else? Ergo, to ensure that power, this superiority, it has be reinforced generation, after generation. The adages have to be repeated, embellished, and ingrained. The rights of others, the equitable treatment of people of variant backgrounds have to be seen as an infringements to the right to do as you want. Infringements on power structure of a society they have to be indoctrinated to believe they are entitled to run!

White supremacy  is a straw man for weak minded individuals with no sense of self outside of skin tone. It has to be reinforced:  it is a legacy that demands ignorance at the cost of progress. At the cost of inclusion. At the cost of life, health and well-being. When that is exposed so that it can be dismantled, the layers of this fallacy are exposed! We see that is built on things that are not based in reality; quantifying everything unlike you as other, evil or foreign. That is not reality.

What must be addressed in this time of what can only be called MAGA fascism is no one wants to say it with their chest! You want to hide behind hats, glasses, fake accounts and bots and retweets! But you won’t go to the job that pays you and spout this lunacy! Why? There are parameters in place which you respect because there are consequences! There are are bigger things at stake than you calling your boss a slur because they got promoted and they don’t look like you!

Racism costs. It will always those whom cannot afford to pay. On and in the chances when the opportunity to confront those whom perpetuate this poison are called out and confronted–with tangible, economic repercussions–they feign ignorance. Suddenly everything was misconstrued, miscommunicated, and through the tears we hear the choruses of “that’s not what I meant!” are always heard.

The thing is, these things are meant. Anything that is taught, is a form of discipline. Memorization, a deposit to use for later. A weapon needed in specific situations. They meant it! They mean it every time they put this hat on–because their decedents meant it every time they gathered rope. Or raped mothers. Or took land. They mean what they say–racists don’t have the acumen to pay the cost because the world doesn’t, isn’t lily white anymore.

And if you hate me, at least do the dignity of your betters and say it to my face–and not behind a tweet. Or a hat. Or the hat-glasses combo. Say it with your chest.

“If you can only be tall, when someone is on their knees, you have a serious problem.”    -Toni Morrison

30 Days of Couplets: Day 10-Justice Couplets (Ferguson Set)

 

 

 

 

Twenty-eight:

When you see the world burn down,

should it not comfort you with exceeding joy?

(c) JBHarris, 2019

 

Twenty-nine:

The march of feet, with the sound of thunder

are made more blessed than the missing church bells.

(c) JBHarris, 2019

 

Thirty:

We believe that life will change, so nevertheless

we continue–and so doing, scare the monsters away.

(c) JBHarris, 2019