FERGUSON: Racism or Class Warfare?

A Short Text Convo w/ My Dad
Dad:  Are you following the news in Ferguson?
Me:  Yeah as much as I can tolerate.  It’s definitely a turning point of sorts… which way we turn is what I’m most concerned with.
 
Dad:  My grandfather worried about my father, my father worried about me, and I worried every time you left the house.  Will you have to worry about your son?  Enough is enough.  No wonder people are mad!  I’m sick of this sh*t myself! 
I’m from New Orleans.  
I’ve absorbed the chaotic bipolar energy that has hung heavy in the air since the days of Congo Square.  I’ve seen black and white people all get along for Mardi Gras only to go right back to a tense symbiotic existence (i.e. you can go where you want so long as you’re either working or entertaining those in power).  I’ve seen a tragedy like Hurricane Katrina turn into what I call “Hyper-Gentrification”.  I’ve seen first hand what it’s like when a city/country/universe pretends that we’re in a “Post Racial” time but once the buzz wears off it’s business as usual.  
For me… Obama’s election was a high I wanted to last forever.  Unfortunately my high is coming down and reality is setting in.  I can’t lie and say that I didn’t want to believe things were changing for the better, but the recesses of my mind were screaming “SAY BRUH!  SH*T IS ABOUT TO GET WORSE!”  Why you ask?  It’s gotten worse because just like Fat Tuesday we hugged and drank and celebrated but woke up to ashes (Ash Wednesday if you’ve been following along).  
While we drank and partied and slept through the night, those evil motherf*ckaz were having a meeting.  Those greasy decedents of ignorant European reject trash that pass themselves off as gentry and Southern Aristocracy had finished circle jerking and came to a decision.  Those former slave owners whose mothers passed them off to “Mammy” to suckle; who still can’t work out their hatred of the black man and their fascination with the black woman’s frame gathered to discuss a subject near and dear to their hearts…  YOU!
That’s right.  You.  You may be saying, “hey I’m white though” or “my family is from Bahrain”.  That sh*t doesn’t matter.  Here’s why:  Power… REAL POWER… is not race based.  Slavery in the American Colonies began with both black AND white slaves (indentured servants).  Google it.  I’ll wait….
See I wouldn’t lie to you family.  The change that happened during slavery was that Europeans made an agreement, a circle jerk of a back door deal if you will,  that there would be no more enslaving other Europeans.  Everybody else was fair game… thus began Colonialism.
Now what does that have to Ferguson?  More specifically… dafuq does that have to do with Michael Brown, Jr.???
Let’s say Ferguson is a plantation.  A predominantly African American population that is struggling to survive (a slave to wages so to speak).  In this uncomfortable analogy what does that make Ofc. Darren Wilson?   In my humble opinion… an Overseer.  An overworked underpaid pawn.  Now for the million dollar question… Who’s the Master? (if you said “Sho Nuff” in your head just now I love you more than you can ever know).
If you look at what’s happening there through the eyes of the foreign press you will see what I see:  THIS IS MORE ABOUT CLASS WARFARE THAN WE ARE ALLOWED TO SEE!  Ofc. Darren Wilson is as much a product of class warfare as Mike Brown.   
Racism exists to confuse the issue.  Look at history and see that the subjugation of a people is ALWAYS about the monopolization of resources.  You are a HUMAN resource and as long as you punch the clock and stay on your block you won’t have any problems.  When you try to empower yourselves economically, you face “the wrath of the nunchucks, yo.”   The people in power will always need an exploitable working class to maintain profit margins and that has nothing to do with race.  
Those ignorant, cousin f*ckin’, turpentine drinkin’, natural Billy Bob Teeth havin’, on welfare but votin’ against it anyway, illiterate Bible thumpin’, believin’ they built America but the Chinese built the railroads, screamin’ it’s a Christian Nation but believe in separation of church and state, poorer than the national average, don’t want the job but hate Mexicans for applyin’ racists are all pawns in an international chess game.  (Can you tell how much I hate racists?  Of any color I might add.)
The powers that be use racism to distract people.  Divide and Conquer.  In other words Ofc. Darren Wilson and Mike Brown, Jr. may have had a lot in common… but society would never allow that.  They could’ve enjoyed Family Guy together or have been on a Call of Duty team… but society would never allow that.  They might’ve joined forces to protest an issue they BOTH were affected by like college loan interest rates… but society would never allow that.
Darren Wilson… the man… could’ve been a cool dude.  Officer Darren Wilson, however, might as well be an American History re-enactment enthusiast.  His badge came with a gun and an attitude.  That attitude was dictated by the 1%, put into law by their puppets, and enforced by the boys in blue.    I don’t know the guy.  I do know his actions though and they spoke volumes.  
I’ll close by saying, today we are protesting the death of a young black boy.  We are protesting a system which would give untrained idiots assault rifles and military grade armaments to disperse a peaceful protest.  We are protesting police tactics that have not changed since my great-grandfathers teenage years and beyond.  We are protesting to have the wool finally removed from the American People’s eyes.  We are protesting…
…but what are we changing?
A true change will come when ALL people of ALL races wake up and see that today it’s Mike Brown, before it was some Sioux or Choctaw or Cherokee teenager, and tomorrow it may be Juan or Roberto or Muhammed or Salim or Brad or Chad or whomever the perceived threat may be.  
None of us are safe if all of us aren’t safe.
–WH
P.S. Was there a DashCam video?  Just curious.

wetravelfast00:

nevver:

Brussels

"Giant Flower Carpet on the Grand Place in Brussels Pays Tribute to Turkish Immigrants"

Too dope.

(via opticallyaroused)

Just me and my boo.

Just me and my boo.

jcoleknowsbest:

thepeoplesrecord:

New Orleans PD shoots unarmed black man in the head, doesn’t report incident for 2 daysAugust 17, 2014
While most of the nation’s attention has been focused on the police shooting deaths of unarmed African Americans around the country — most notably Michael Brown and Ezell Ford — one story managed to slip under the media’s radar. News of a young African-American man shot in the head by a New Orleans police officer on Monday managed to go unreported because the police department never released details about the shooting.
The victim, identified as 26-year-old Armand Bennett, was shot in the head Monday during a traffic stop with a New Orleans police officer. He has been admitted to the intensive care unit of a local hospital. Armand’s attorney Nandi Campbell told UPTOWN via email, “My client was shot in the head and staples were required to close the wound.”
He was with his brother in a parked car, near the Tall Timbers subdivision, when officers confronted them with their guns drawn. Tall Timbers is a fairly affluent neighborhood, where Armand’s brother is a resident. The brother reported that a female officer fired two shots at them.
Campbell also tell us, ”He was not armed. After the first [shot], Armand started running toward his brother’s home. He was fired upon again as he was running. I’m unclear about whether he was in car when first shot was fired, but he was close to the car when the first shot happened.”
The story was first reported on Monday, which had a bare bones report that an “officer needs assistance” call was placed on the 3700 block of Mimosa Ct. in Algiers, a community in New Orleans. The NOPD reported an officer, recently identified as Officer Lisa Lewis, suffered a minor injury to her right hand during a scuffle with a combative suspect around 1:30 a.m. Details were not released that anyone had been shot or what the confrontation was about.
Campbell said there is an ongoing investigation into her client’s ordeal. At this time, Bennett has been charged with five outstanding warrants, including illegal possession of a weapon, resisting an officer (Gretna, LA), resisting an officer (New Orleans), possession of marijuana, and criminal damage to property, according to WWLTV.
A public records request for information fell on deaf ears over at the NOPD until Wednesday evening when the following statement was released:
On Sunday, August 10, 2014, around 1:19 a.m., a Fourth District NOPD officer was conducting a traffic stop in the 3700 block of Mimosa Drive. During the traffic stop, the officer was injured and the suspect, 26-year-old Armand Bennett was shot.
New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas publicly apologized on Wednesday for taking two days to release details about the shooting. “In this particular case it’s a complete snafu on the part of my team. I take responsibility for it, I apologize for it, and I don’t want it to happen again,” said Serpas. He said that a press release was prepared on Monday, but somehow slipped through the cracks.
“I find it simply unacceptable to you and to the public that our office failed to get the information out,” Serpas added.
After the information was made public Wednesday evening,  Campbell had this to say via email, “Normally traffic stops do not include officers approaching the car with guns drawn. [The NOPD] Chief cannot decide if it was a traffic stop or if [the] officer stopped my client because she was aware of [the] outstanding warrant.”
She continues, “According to my client and his brother, there was no tussle, wrestling, or physical altercation with my client and the officer. They totally dispute the statement made by the chief.”
Photo credit: Bennett Family
Source

See y’all it just doesn’t end… it’s constant… 

jcoleknowsbest:

thepeoplesrecord:

New Orleans PD shoots unarmed black man in the head, doesn’t report incident for 2 days
August 17, 2014

While most of the nation’s attention has been focused on the police shooting deaths of unarmed African Americans around the country — most notably Michael Brown and Ezell Ford — one story managed to slip under the media’s radar. News of a young African-American man shot in the head by a New Orleans police officer on Monday managed to go unreported because the police department never released details about the shooting.

The victim, identified as 26-year-old Armand Bennett, was shot in the head Monday during a traffic stop with a New Orleans police officer. He has been admitted to the intensive care unit of a local hospital. Armand’s attorney Nandi Campbell told UPTOWN via email, “My client was shot in the head and staples were required to close the wound.”

He was with his brother in a parked car, near the Tall Timbers subdivision, when officers confronted them with their guns drawn. Tall Timbers is a fairly affluent neighborhood, where Armand’s brother is a resident. The brother reported that a female officer fired two shots at them.

Campbell also tell us, ”He was not armed. After the first [shot], Armand started running toward his brother’s home. He was fired upon again as he was running. I’m unclear about whether he was in car when first shot was fired, but he was close to the car when the first shot happened.”

The story was first reported on Monday, which had a bare bones report that an “officer needs assistance” call was placed on the 3700 block of Mimosa Ct. in Algiers, a community in New Orleans. The NOPD reported an officer, recently identified as Officer Lisa Lewis, suffered a minor injury to her right hand during a scuffle with a combative suspect around 1:30 a.m. Details were not released that anyone had been shot or what the confrontation was about.

Campbell said there is an ongoing investigation into her client’s ordeal. At this time, Bennett has been charged with five outstanding warrants, including illegal possession of a weapon, resisting an officer (Gretna, LA), resisting an officer (New Orleans), possession of marijuana, and criminal damage to property, according to WWLTV.

A public records request for information fell on deaf ears over at the NOPD until Wednesday evening when the following statement was released:

On Sunday, August 10, 2014, around 1:19 a.m., a Fourth District NOPD officer was conducting a traffic stop in the 3700 block of Mimosa Drive. During the traffic stop, the officer was injured and the suspect, 26-year-old Armand Bennett was shot.

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas publicly apologized on Wednesday for taking two days to release details about the shooting. “In this particular case it’s a complete snafu on the part of my team. I take responsibility for it, I apologize for it, and I don’t want it to happen again,” said Serpas. He said that a press release was prepared on Monday, but somehow slipped through the cracks.

“I find it simply unacceptable to you and to the public that our office failed to get the information out,” Serpas added.

After the information was made public Wednesday evening,  Campbell had this to say via email, “Normally traffic stops do not include officers approaching the car with guns drawn. [The NOPD] Chief cannot decide if it was a traffic stop or if [the] officer stopped my client because she was aware of [the] outstanding warrant.”

She continues, “According to my client and his brother, there was no tussle, wrestling, or physical altercation with my client and the officer. They totally dispute the statement made by the chief.”

Photo credit: Bennett Family

Source

See y’all it just doesn’t end… it’s constant… 

(via saybrah)

johnny-j-jones:

This video is probably the most influential reason I shoot video today. There’s a unique backstory that goes into the correlation between this video and where I am today in my career.

I remember like yesterday the Saturday in April 2010 that this video dropped. I was throwing parties at least once a month with my sister CC and Birmingham’s #1 radio personality (at the time) Chris Coleman on top of working with my guy CJ here in NC, the owner of Cafe Beyond in Chapel Hill and the host of parties throughout The Triangle. 

In both instances we would have solid parties (along with some duds…but that’s neither here nor there), but I was scratching my head on how to get what we were doing in front of people who were not in attendance in better way…then I saw this video on Luther McElroy’s Facebook page, shot/edited by the crew The Club Nation.

My mouth dropped.

"How the fuck niggas making movies in the club!?!?"

(Hey…that’s what came out of my mouth)

This shit was so slick! I watched it like ten times in a row and had NO idea how they shot it. I was the marketing guy at the time on both teams, recently laid off from my marketing gig in radio. Cameras were nowhere on my mind. 

Until I saw this video.

That video also made me make a bad investment, convincing Chris and CC to have us bring Lance Gross to host our Memorial Day Weekend Party in Birmingham (no knock on Lance, at all. I think we reached too far before we - CC and I - truly had enough traction in events, nightlife, etc. and that bad move was the beginning of the end of that venture. Solely my fault).

Back to the point.

I go to pick up Lance from the airport and we’re talking about that video. 

"Yeh, and they shot it with a DSLR camera (note: I had no idea what "DSLR meant when he said it), a Nikon…Nikon D90. It’s like $1500 or so," he said.

We small-talked about some other things on the remainder of the ride - we were at Howard at the same time…I ain’t get an alumni discount though…but I ain’t mad. Hell, my mind was on that camera.

I gotta get it.

My notable post on fear details how I got the camera. Five months later, the D90 was mine.

I’m about to KILL these nightlife videos!

My first video was trash.

 My first nightlife video was ass.

…but I got the same camera?

I learned a valuable (but not cheap) lesson. 

When I’m out shooting, I have fellow shooters as well as people without a camera in their hands ask me, “What you shooting with bro?”

Without hesitation, I tell them. Currently, a Canon 5D Mark II. Not the top of the line, but that point compliments the point of this post. Hang with me.

Around the time of getting my first camera, I met my mentor Ivan Watkins who taught me so many principles and techniques about photography that probably helped me more on the video side. All of my projects, photo and video, began to look a lot better (just browse my blog. Eh!). 

There’s so much more that goes into working with a camera besides just the camera.

You can make whatever you shoot with work for you as long as you know what the hell you are doing. 

The key is to learn what the hell you’re are doing.

As much as one may try to, there is no shortcut to working to becoming a true master of your craft. Trust me, I’ve tried…

Remember that, the next time you’re moved to ask a photographer, “What you shooting with, bro?”

The proper answer should be experience, knowledge, and talent.

James Avery a/k/a “Uncle Phil” voiced “Shredder”.  #MindBlown

James Avery a/k/a “Uncle Phil” voiced “Shredder”. #MindBlown