Black Rage Is Warranted, And We Don’t Need Your White Judgment: The “angry” black man/woman is not without reason.

Photo: Alalam News

Each time the media bends over backwards to push the narrative of law enforcement to justify the shootings of unarmed Black people and to frame them as inherent criminals who deserve to be executed, I find myself becoming more and more incredulous at a nation that proves to me everyday that the lives of my people carry no value in a white supremacist society bent on returning back to the days when Black people had no rights whites were bound to respect.

The late James Baldwin rightfully opined that to be Black “in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” And who can blame Black folks that are angry at the extrajudicial murder of innocent African Americans at the hands of law enforcement, the unjust criminal justice system, and disparities in health, employment compensation and every other status indicator in these yet-to-be United States of America? Top that off with an open racist for a POTUS and an administration full of white supremacists, and it should be completely understandable why Black folks would be in a consistent state of rage. Read more…


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Calling Liberal And Progressive Black Voters ‘Slaves On A Plantation’ Is Patronizing Ahistorical Nonsense

Five years ago America celebrated the sesquicentennial of the emancipation proclamation, which freed slaves in the southern states that were in open rebellion during the Civil War. It was the precursor to the 13th Amendment, which abolished American chattel slavery, the most brutal and inhumane form of servitude in history. Forced labor of enslaved Africans helped build America into an economic powerhouse through the production of lucrative crops such as tobacco and cotton. The forced labor and sexual exploitation of Blacks in America was horrific, dehumanizing, and has had long lasting negative effects for generations of those descended from people unjustly held in bondage.

The seriousness with which the history of slavery in America should be studied, contemplated, and taught is undermined by the casual and disrespectful use of slavery and plantation imagery by conservatives as part of their political agenda to encourage Blacks to defect from the Democratic Party. Using the word “plantation” to characterize the relationship between Black voters and Democrats is an untoward primary strategy of today’s Republican Party. To them, Blacks who don’t vote with the GOP are “slaves on the Democrat plantation.”

This abhorrent plantation rhetoric is racist and sacrilegious. Such hyperbole would never be used against any other demographic in America. Imagine the outrage if Nazi and concentration camp tropes were used to describe Jews who chose not to vote Republican. It would never happen. But alas, the descendants of those whose labor built the wealth of America have never been afforded proper dignity or respect in this nation. Making light of the horrors of slavery to score political points is repulsive. Callously using terms that describe the history of our oppression should be verboten and never again should they be used by conservatives as a cudgel. The repeated use of plantation imagery dilutes the emotional potency of the most execrable chapter in American history. Read more…


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Instead Of Asking Us To Forgive You, Try Not Being Racist

The eighteenth-century English poet, Alexander Pope, said: “to err is human, to forgive is divine.” It seems Black America has been seeking divinity for centuries. From the earliest days I can remember, my grandmother and the ‘saints’ in the Pentecostal church I grew up in taught us the importance of forgiveness. One of the most emphasized verses in the venerated Lord’s prayer was, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12). We were taught that it is our Christian duty to forgive people, regardless of how they have wronged us. After all, Jesus forgave those who murdered Him. Thus, we’re supposed to love and forgive the most vile, racist white person because “they know not what they do.” Life has taught me that they know exactly what they’re doing.

As a minister, I believe in biblical teachings regarding forgiveness, however, I also believe they have been misunderstood and taught in a manner that makes Black folks believe that unless we immediately forgive those who have invested in our terror, murder, and dehumanization, we risk becoming the same heartless, immoral creatures they are. There is a need to comprehend and rationalize trauma before we can jump knee deep into forgiveness, which psychologists say is a five-step process. One important step in that process, according to clinical psychologist Dr. Roya R. Rad, is to “let the feeling be felt.” In other words, feelings attached to the damaging behavior must be brought to the surface and processed. This includes dealing with anger, grief, anxiety, frustration, and trauma. Remember, this is only step two.

Yet, somehow, Black people are expected to immediately forgive violence done to them by the state, government, or individual white people. America disallows the full humanity and emotions of Black people and demands that our suffering be done phlegmatically so the expression of our despair does neither offends the sensibilities of white folks nor sparks their guilt or fragility. Our instantaneous forgiveness of racial violence perpetrated against us is white America’s unearned expectation. To do anything less would be callous and victimizing to our oppressors. Read more…


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In wake of Trayvon Martin Case, We Must Be Better Practitioners of Love and Justice

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Today, many of our hearts are still raw from the tragic verdict that set a killer free. An unarmed child only two years out of puberty: a son, a friend, a nephew and a brother by the name of Trayvon Benjamin Martin was murdered for being young, hooded and black. Our minds are not able to conceive the weight of grief that is upon the shoulders of the Martin family. However, despite the unbearable grief and justifiable anger, which they may feel, Trayvon’s family members have carried themselves with the utmost dignity throughout this entire ordeal. Parents should never outlive their children. They should never have to endure the pain deposited by the doubly cruel specter of perpetuity. Never in their darkest musings did Trayvon’s parents dream that their son would be gunned down for carrying a lethal bag of candy.Today we are shocked, dazed and confused by the implausible verdict of the jury, the poor performance of the prosecutor and the misdirection tactics of the defense. 

The unfortunate reality is that Trayvon was murdered twice. Once on that fateful night in February 2012, and then again across the airwaves as this young man was assassinated by media outlets, pundits, bloggers and right-wing activists seeking to ignite the latent fires of America’s racialized imagination and past. The trial was about murder, gun violence and Stand Your Ground, however, as much as the privileged want to deny it, it was also about race. What we witnessed were the results of a black boy encountering a person whose mind was infected with racial sensibilities, which defined a black child walking in his neighborhood as a threat, a thug, a deviant and a miscreant who was up to no good. Read more…


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