Blacks have a long standing history when it comes to violence between Police Officers who are employed by the state to protect all Americans.
In the 13th Amendment Section 1. states,” Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”.
This criminality clause in the 13th Amendment allowed for slavery to continue, just by another name called “Convict Leasing”.
Convict Leasing, was a system of penal labor practiced in the Southern United States and overwhelmingly targeting Black men. Convict leasing provided prisoner labor to private parties, such as plantation owners and corporations. The lessee was responsible for feeding, clothing, and housing prisoners.
With the criminality clause in the 13th amendment, it allowed the brutal attack of African American men. They were being falsely accused, jailed, and leased. You did not have a fair trial or innocent until proven guilty. Their crime was being black, and that was enough for the system to continue enslaving Black men at a record rate.
The Gary Family
During the desegregation era, black families were trying to make a better life for their families by moving into white neighborhoods. As history shows, that didn’t go over well with white families living in the suburban areas.
In 1952 Welber Gary, a building contractor and a war veteran living in the Richmond housing projects in Richmond, CA. needed new housing. The Richmond housing projects were set to be demolished. The apartments were only temporary housing for War Veterans. Mr. Gary was able to purchase a home in Rolling Wood, CA a nearby suburban area that had “Restrictive Covenants”. Restrictive Covenants was a contract that would not allow the renting or sale of their homes to Black family’s. White owners could not purchase a home or rent a home to a Black family. If a white family broke the covenant, and sold their home to a black family they could be sued.
Mobs of 300 white protestors and rioters threw bricks and burned crosses on their front lawn. The police and County Sheriffs refused to step in. The NAACP had to step in and organize guards to protect the Gary Family. Non-peaceful protest continued for more than a month and not one arrest was ever made.
The Sheriff claimed they didn’t have enough man power to handle the rioters. If they would have simply arrested one person and convicted them, what a difference it would have made for the Gary family. This is only one of many Black stories that happened during Jim Crow. Police refused to help Blacks, who were citizens of the United States. Police Officers also joined in on brutalizing the citizens they were sworn to protect.
Blacks have endured being stopped by police for what we like to call “Driving while Black” (DWB). We have endured being arrested, jailed for crimes we did not commit and even executed simply while being born Black. We’ve also had to see cases like Mike Brown, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Botham Jean, George Floyd, and so many countless tragic deaths that could have simply been avoided at the hands of “Peace Officers”.
Defunding the Police, doesn’t mean to get rid of Police, we need Police to continue to do their jobs the right way without prejudice to keep our Country safe. Unfortunate, it has come to a point that Black America does not trust the current climate of Police Officers. We have watched peaceful protest over the last month, we have also seen Police Officers brutality attack not only African-Americans but all races. This type of “god complex” must end.
Defunding the police allows for a complete overhaul of what we now have sadly become sensitized to. Defunding the Police Department will allow money to be invested back into the communities they are obligated to protect. We are aware Police Officers are over-worked.
Defunding the police allows money to go into mental health prevention and social services. Police Officers should have mental health professionals on scene when any person(s) are going through a health crisis. Police officers are not professionally trained to handle the mentally ill.
We want criminals off the streets just as much as any other person. Blacks just want to make sure they get home without dying at the hands of Police Officers. Blacks have been killed by cops, then they become criminalized for dying at the hands of Police Officers.
We understand not all Police Officers are bad and we thank them for their endless service and dedication in trying to help within our communities. Blacks are calling on Federal, State, and Local reform on how “Peace Officers” handle Blacks on a regular basis that doesn’t result in a loss of life.
Black Americans and Police Officers should all have one common goal to protect and serve within their community. As history has shown, Police Officers (not all) only choose to serve a community that may look more like them and that is a problem.
We are still waiting to be treated equally as citizens in America that we have died and fought to protect.
Imagine being born into a world that you are told you have endless possibilities and you can do and be anything you want in this world. Imagine being five years old going to a predominately white school and being taunted by your school mates for simply being black. Being harassed for 3 years by the same white kids every single day. Imagine being a mother when you move into another city, and being asked by your daughter, “If there will be more kids in the new school that looks like you?” Picture being in the 6th grade and the only black person in the classroom watching Roots for the very first time. After watching the movie your white classmates come up to you and say “I’m so sorry for what my people did to you”.
Can you see yourself waking up in the morning going for a jog and getting killed? Can you see yourself having an encounter with the police and not coming home? Can you imagine making funeral arrangements for a family member because an encounter with the police turned deadly?
If you can’t imagine and see the things African Americans have to deal with every single day, you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself why?
I posed these questions because in this video, if a bystander hadn’t been videoing a routine traffic stop, a young man of color could have been arrested, beaten, or even killed. You have 2 Farmer Branch Officers in Texas making a routine traffic stop. When they see a young black man, they halt their traffic stop to harass a young African-American man for simply “Walking While Black”. Did you wake up this morning, thinking you would get stopped by a cop simply because of the color of your skin?
Congressman, James Henry Hammond made an argument in Congress that “Slavery Can Never Be Abolished”. In some way he was absolutely correct. People of Color may not be chained and whipped, but they are enslaved economically, geographically, and by fear.
A young man walking in an apartment complex not committing a crime stopped, and asked if he lived in the apartment complex for merely walking. Officers stop their traffic stop to put “fear” in a black man. That is what Police Officers have been allowed to do from conception of policing.
If another person wasn’t video taping the incident and walk down, we don’t know where this could have gone. By the video you can see once the woman approaches, the cops let him go and stop questioning him.
As the woman and man are walking away the first police officer on the scene wants to have a “conversation” because he knew they were wrong. If the cops had enough sense to stop harassing an innocent black man when a “Good Samaritan” walks over, they had enough sense not to even approach him.
We must get to a point where we hold officers accountable for their vagrant racism, this has been burned into their souls from the start of their training. We must hold ourselves accountable to continue to video when we see injustices being done to people of color. This is no longer a suggestion, this has become a requirement to save lives.
In the book “Arguing About Slavery The Great Battle In The United States Congress,” William Lee Miller, writes about a speech Abraham Lincoln made in New England. He tells a story. There was, said Lincoln, an argument between two pastors. One pointed to a word in the Bible. “Do you see that word?” “Yes, of course.” Then the first pastor put a gold coin over the word. “Do you see it now?”
“Whether the owners of this species of property (slaves) do really see it as it is,” Lincoln went on, “it is not for me to say, but if they do, they see it as it is through 2,000,000,000 of dollars, and that is a pretty thick coating.” “Certain it is,” Lincoln continued, “that they do not see it as we see it. Certain it is, that this two thousand million of dollars, invested in this species of property, all so concentrated that the mind can grasp it at once- this immense pecuniary interest, has its influence upon their minds.” We the People of The Unites States of America must understand. We the People of The United States of America must do better. We the People of the United States of America must hold ourselves and others accountable for their actions. Can you imagine? This is a reality for African Americans, the fear, the worry, the anxiety, and the enslavement.
Can you imagine?
The Racist Legacy of Woodrow Wilson, who once threw a civil-rights leader out of the White House
As president, Wilson oversaw unprecedented segregation in federal offices. It’s a shameful side to his legacy that came to a head one fall afternoon in 1914 when he threw the civil-rights leader William Monroe Trotter out of the Oval Office.
Trotter led a delegation of blacks to meet with the president on November 12, 1914 to discuss the surge of segregation in the country. Trotter, today largely forgotten, was a nationally prominent civil-rights leader and newspaper editor. In the early 1900s, he was often mentioned in the same breath as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. But unlike Washington, Trotter, an 1895 graduate of Harvard, believed in direct protest actions. In fact, Trotter founded his Boston newspaper, The Guardian, as a vehicle to challenge Washington’s more conciliatory approach to civil rights.
Before Trotter’s confrontation with Wilson in the Oval Office, he was a political supporter of Wilson’s. He had pledged black support for Wilson’s presidential run when the two met face-to-face in July 1912 at the State House in Trenton, New Jersey. Even though then-Governor Wilson offered only vague promises about seeking fairness for all Americans, Trotter apparently came away smitten. “The governor had us draw our chairs right up around him, and shook hands with great cordiality,’’ he wrote a friend later. “When we left he gave me a long handclasp, and used such a pleased tone that I was walking on air.” Trotter viewed Wilson as the lesser of other political evils.
The civil-rights leader was soon having second thoughts. In the fall of 1913, he and other civil-rights leaders, including Ida B. Wells, met with Wilson to express dismay over Jim Crow. Trotter’s wife, Deenie, had even drawn a chart showing which federal offices had begun separating workers by race. Wilson sent them off with vague assurances.
In the next year, segregation did not improve; it worsened. By this time, numerous instances of workplace separation became well publicized. Among them, separate toilets in the U.S. Treasury and the Interior Department, a practice that Wilson’s Treasury secretary, William G. McAdoo, defended: “I am not going to argue the justification of the separate toilets orders, beyond saying that it is difficult to disregard certain feelings and sentiments of white people in a matter of this sort.”
For blacks—who ever since Lincoln’s War had expected some measure of equity from the federal government—the sense of a betrayal ran deep.
Trotter sought a follow-up meeting with the president. “Last year he told the delegation he would seek a solution,’’ he wrote a supporter in the fall of 1914. “Having waited 11 months, we are entitled to an audience to learn what it is. Not only for the sake of his administration but as a matter of common justice.” Of course, the president’s plate was full.
Wilson might have bumbled, and worse, on civil rights, but he was overseeing implementation of a “New Freedom” in the nation’s economy—his campaign promise to restore competition and fair labor practices, and to enable small businesses crushed by industrial titans to thrive once again. In September 1914, for example, he had created the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers against price-fixing and other anticompetitive business practices, and shortly after signed into law the Clayton Antitrust Act. He continued monitoring the so-called European War, resisting pressure to enter but moving to strengthen the nation’s armed forces. In addition to attending to the state’s affairs, Wilson was in mourning: His wife, Ellen, had died on August 6 from liver disease. On November 6, one of his advisers noted in his diary that the president had told him “he was broken in spirit by Mrs. Wilson’s death.”
Eventually, Wilson agreed to meet a second time with Trotter, and on November 12 the persistent editor and a contingent of Trotterites entered the Oval Office for their long-sought, long-awaited follow-up meeting. Trotter came prepared with a statement and launched the meeting by reading it.
Trotter began with a reference to their 1913 meeting and to the petition he had presented, containing 20,000 signatures “from thirty-eight states protesting against the segregation of employees of the national government.” He listed the on-the-job race separation that had gone unchecked since—at eating tables, dressing rooms, restrooms, lockers, and “especially public toilets in government buildings.” He then charged that the color line was drawn in the Treasury Department, in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Navy Department, the Interior Department, the Marine Hospital, the War Department, and in the Sewing and Printing Divisions of the Government Printing Office. Trotter also noted the political support he and other civil-rights activists had provided to Wilson. “Only two years ago you were heralded as perhaps the second Lincoln, and now the Afro-American leaders who supported you are hounded as false leaders and traitors to their race,” he said. And then he reminded the president of his pledge to assist “colored fellow citizens” in “advancing the interest of their race in the United States,” and ended by posing a question that contained a jab at Wilson’s much-ballyhooed economic reform program. “Have you a ‘New Freedom’ for white Americans and a new slavery for your Afro-American fellow citizens? God forbid!”
The meeting quickly turned sour. The president told Trotter what he previously admitted in private—that he viewed segregation in his federal agencies as a benefit to blacks. Wilson said that his cabinet officers “were seeking, not to put the Negro employees at a disadvantage but … to make arrangements which would prevent any kind of friction between the white employees and the Negro employees.” Trotter found the claim astonishing, and immediately disagreed, calling Jim Crow in federal offices humiliating and degrading to black workers. But Wilson dug in. “My question would be this: If you think that you gentlemen, as an organization, and all other Negro citizens of this country, that you are being humiliated, you will believe it. If you take it as a humiliation, which it is not intended as, and sow the seed of that impression all over the country, why the consequence will be very serious,” he said.
Trotter was incredulous that the president didn’t seem to understand that separating workers based on race “must be a humiliation. It creates in the minds of others that there is something the matter with us—that we are not their equals, that we are not their brothers, that we are so different that we cannot work at a desk beside them, that we cannot eat at a table beside them, that we cannot go into the dressing room where they go, that we cannot use a locker beside them.” There was no letup. In his comments, Trotter had accused the president of lying by saying that race prejudice was the sole motivation for Jim Crow and that to assert otherwise, to claim his administration sought to protect blacks from “friction,” was ridiculous. “We are sorely disappointed that you take the position that the separation itself is not wrong, is not injurious, is not rightly offensive to you,” Trotter said.
Wilson interrupted Trotter: “Your tone, sir, offends me.” To the entire delegation, he said, “I want to say that if this association comes again, it must have another spokesman,” declaring no one had ever come into his office and insulted him as Trotter had. “You have spoiled the whole cause for which you came,” he told The Guardian editor dismissively.
But Trotter would not be dismissed; he was not one to find being surrounded by white people, and the trappings of power either alien or intimidating. He had been the only black in his class at Hyde Park High School outside Boston (where, regardless, he had been elected class president) and, at Harvard, outperformed most white classmates, some of whom had since become governors, congressmen, rich, and famous. Instead, he tried to steer the meeting back on track. “I am pleading for simple justice,” he said. “If my tone has seemed so contentious, why my tone has been misunderstood.” He said they needed to work this out, given that he and other African American leaders had supported Wilson’s presidential run at the polls.
But Wilson was angry, stating that bringing up politics and citing black voting power was a form of blackmail. The meeting, which had lasted nearly an hour, was abruptly over. The delegation was shown the door—essentially thrown out. When the incensed Trotter ran into reporters milling around Tumulty’s office, he began letting off steam. “What the President told us was entirely disappointing.”
The story about the dustup between the president and the Guardian editor went viral. The New York Times’s front-page story was headlined, “President Resents Negro’s Criticism” while the front-page headline in the New York Press read: “Wilson Rebukes Negro Who ‘Talks Up’ to Him.” But the larger point was that his tough-talking landed Trotter back on front pages everywhere.
Wilson realized almost instantly his error—unfortunately, not the error of his racism, but the error in public relations. He had “played the fool,’’ he told a cabinet member afterwards, by becoming unnerved in the face of what he considered Trotter’s impertinence. “When the Negro delegate (Trotter) threatened me, I was a damn fool enough to lose my temper and point him to the door. What I ought to have done would have been to listened, restrained my resentment, and, when they had finished, to have said to them that, of course, their petition receive consideration. They would then have withdrawn quietly and no more would have been heard about the matter.’’
But Trotter’s direct action made sure something more would be heard.
Did You Know Black People Invented Memorial Day?
Memorial Day, formally known as Decoration Day, was originally started by a group of African Americans. The History Channel and many credible historians have confirmed that the popular holiday was, in fact, initially an event held by newly liberated Blacks in Charleston, South Carolina. It happened on May 1, 1865 right after the Civil War ended.
Thousands of newly freed slaves and regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops gathered to march around a Confederate Army prison camp in honor of the unnamed fallen Union soldiers who fought for their freedom.
Also in attendance were thousands of Black women and children who reportedly sang hymns and carried flowers, wreaths, and crosses.
And then the holiday was whitewashed
Historian and author, David W. Blight, said in his book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory that years later African Americans were suddenly erased from the story by white Democrats after regaining control of state politics at the end of Reconstruction.
Yes, that’s right. A day that originally celebrated Black liberation was now being utilized for white supremacy, and it apparently all started from an 1865 article that was published in the Charleston Daily Courier that tried to discredit the facts.
After discovering that news article, many historians have agreed that after being freed, one of the first things this group of African Americans did was gather to pay tribute to those who died while fighting for freedom. Sadly, you usually don’t hear that part of the story.
According to LiberationSchool.org, “the spirit of the first Decoration Day – the struggle for Black liberation and the fight against racism – has unfortunately been whitewashed from the modern Memorial Day.”