One of the elements of the Ferguson uprisings which has received lots of attention has been the issue of looting. From where I sit, the most vocal critics of the looting and arson have been right-wing conservatives, white mainstream media and middle-class black folks. For many, this display of unbridled and righteous outrage is new and unsettling.
Ferguson is not my first uprising. I’m also connected to community organizers in other cities where rebellions have taken place over the decades – Newark, Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles, etc.; we’ve shared our experiences on looting and arson. I’m going to share the accumulated insights on the topic.
White, conservative media have a field day with the images of looting. It fits into their ongoing narrative that black people are subhuman criminals and are undeserving of full citizenship in this society. Read more
Last month there was lots of righteous reminiscing about the tragedy of four little girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. In 1963, the Klu Klux Klan had no problem in ratcheting up their racist attacks to stop de-segregration by targeting the hallowed ground of black worship. The KKK did so with callous disregard for the obvious human collateral. There are four little boys who are a part of my life’s struggle and my motivation for making this a better place to live, play and grow for our society’s most vulnerable citizens. I share their tragic stories.
George Junious Stinney, Jr. holds a unique but horrific place in U.S. history: At 14 years old he is the youngest to be executed on death row. In 1944 George was accused of killing two white girls in a small South Carolina town. Under the threat of death, the family fled in the dark of night with nothing but the clothes on their backs. George was summarily charged, convicted by all white jury in 10 minutes and and electrocuted, all in less than three months. Read more
Those of you how know me know that I have zero tolerance for violence against women and have actively worked to create safe spaces for women–whether that’s in the workplace, in the home or on the street.
People, especially Black women, have been asking for my thoughts on the rape accusations against Bill Cosby. In between Black, unarmed males being shot all over the country, I managed to catch snatches of the news of women who said they were drugged and/or raped by the famous TV father. I haven’t had time to go deep into their stories.
One thing I noticed was that while there were some notables stepping forward to condemn Cosby, I sensed a wall of reservation by Black folks. I started conducting my own informal surveys of the Black women I know or those who I came in contact with.
The findings: Most felt there was probably some truth that Cosby’s hands were not clean of sexual harassment or assault. Almost all of the women were suspicious of the timing and expressed the public humiliation looked orchestrated.
Why now? What had precipitated this pile-on of mainly white woman on the beloved actor and philantrophist? Who had Cosby crossed to bring this on? These were some of the questions I heard. Valid questions. Additionally, there is the ugly history of white women falsely accusing black men of rape that cannot be ignored.
If you’ve being reading my commentary over the years, you also know that I was critical of Cosby when he came out swinging against black mothers, blaming them for their poverty and for damning their children’s futures by giving them names like Shaniquah. I have no problem with being critical of Cosby but that was an easier task: I heard Cosby’s words straight from his own mouth.
So, what do you think? Is Bill Cosby guilty of all the rape charges or is he a victim of plot to de-throne him? I’d like to hear from you.