Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Justice for Jada

In Commentary, Contemplations on June 26, 2009 at 10:51 pm


(Jada- may she be better cared for above than she was below.)


‘Children are the reward of life.’

It is the Congolese Proverb that we chose as the theme for our shower when Nailah was born. Nailah, my now rambunctious three year old daughter, was born prematurely at six months- weighing only 17 ounces.  I went to the hospital every day during those four months; pumping breast milk, praying, holding, hoping that my belief in her and God would not falter. I gave her every ounce of love I had within me, knowing that nothing but love would bring both of us through. One day after leaving the hospital, I witnessed a woman verbally abusing her small children, and me distinctly wanting to strangle her. In that moment I gathered that those feelings were probably attributed the stress of trying to keep my breast milk flowing, or the exhaustion of trekking through those hospital corridors everyday. In hindsight though, I realize that it was the fact that I, who had done everything I could to have a healthy baby, had one who was clinging to life, and she, who had healthy children, was berating them because they moved too much in their chairs. It wasn’t at all fair.  I recall vividly my mother telling me that life isn’t fair or filled with justice, so I might as well get used to it.  No truer words have been spoken.  I knew then, even in my anger, that we live in an absurd world where fairness is about as absent as clarity. My mother’s words and my work at answering all of the “how comes” in life have yet to erase the faces of those poor babies or that encounter.

Fast forward to June 16, 2009, I sat reading an article about a missing child, Jada Justice, who had allegedly gone missing while left unattended on the side of a gas station in an unlocked car at 9:30 pm.  I immediately became emotionally attached to the story because in one of the photos provided Jada resembled Nailah.  As the days passed, I heard less and less about her. The SC Governor- yes, Neda- yes, but no Jada. I watched Nancy Grace, whom I somewhat despise because of her failure to report on the cases of missing black and brown children, and found nothing past one mention of her.  Finally, in the midst of hearing of the passing of Michael Jackson, I read that Jada’s body was found.  The emptiness that I felt within my spirit, well, I can’t seem to adequately pronounce or articulate it. I think I have been holding my daughter nearly to the point of suffocation since I read the news.

Somehow, I feel that we failed to protect Jada. She was neglected, obviously, both in her life and in her death, but she is not the only one.  Mainstream media neglects to adequately report on our children who are missing, abused, or murdered.  I consider Caylee Anthony and the amazing news reports that meticulously guided us through the search for her, and even her mother’s trial after it was determined that she obviously murdered her daughter.  I dare you to search the two names and witness the difference in available information regarding the two girls. The search results should at least sour your stomach, if you are strong enough to subdue regurgitation.

I want justice for Jada, probably to the point of forming a group of vigilantes to avenge her death.  I would also like to have street fights with whomever chooses the news stories that are produced in these mainstream media outlets.  The rage that is conjured from hopelessness is more than likely the strongest rage that one can possess, I figure, and can turn a kind intellectual into a mad-woman.  In the least, I can pass on Jada’s story and shed light on the not-so alarming, not-so new trend of neglecting to report on our children:      Jada’s story         Missing Black children get less media coverage.     What color is that baby?         Where is Jada? Missing Black girl ignored…

Kiss your(or someones) babies tonight and pray for Jada’s family. Along with doing those two things I also plan to wish upon a star that there is a special place in hell for the people who abuse, abduct, and murder children, and those who make conscious choices not to report such events.

I am sick to have to add an update to this post, however the following article outlines the details of Jada’s murder. I really have no other words.



The Old Bait and Switch

In Commentary on June 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm

The Family of Omar Edwards

(the grieving family of Omar Edwards @ his funeral)

So, Twitter has become my universe …and during our steady and rather hot and heavy courtship I have met some amazingly insightful folks.

[Shout out to pricelessrock, hellobrooklyn, gmanspeaks, theblackreport, diggswayne…the ENTIRE list would consume my bog]

At any rate, gmanspeaks and I were tweeting about the election in Iran and I couldn’t help but be a bit soured by the media frenzy surrounding it.  First and foremost- and let’s just be honest about this- that election, it’s outcomes, and the US response to those outcomes was decided long before CNN started reporting them.  I know this game. I refuse to be a pawn and feel that I have some type of say in such events. We can’t even effectively elect our own presidents in this country (oh…shots fired!). No disrespect to the plight of the Iranian people. I know oppression and disenfranchisement well.  But it is their fight to fight, just as ours has been our own. In actuality, the Iranian government made a wise choice in denying access to outside media covering it’s election and the events that followed simply because inacruate media spin can be extremely detrimental to a nation’s peace and cohesion. Yes, I too got all caught up in whether  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad REALLY won the election and became a bit obsessed with the coverage. I then had a wonderful AHA moment. First of all, I remembered that I have not only distrust for, but moreso an actual contempt for US mainstream media. I also remembered that there are plenty of causes for me to be concerned about that directly affect me and the advancement of my people right here, right now.

Why are we so easily brainwashed, tricked, and bamboozled? How come we care more about things that happen outside of our community than we care about things that happen within it? I conclude that our causes are being beaten by the old bait and switch.

So while you contemplate the outcomes of the Iranian election, also ponder these under-reported news stories. Realize that they are under-reported for a reason.

Ignoring Romona Moore:      

The MURDER of Omar Edwards:

Don’t Shoot, I Want To Grow Up:

Paris, TX Dragging Case:        

Truth be told, WE ARE DYING. A new president in Iran will not stop this fact, just as a new president in America has not.  Let us be clear in our understandings and endeavors AND keep our eyes on the prize.


Black Self Hate and Reparations.

In Commentary on June 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm

African HolocaustA young white man sent me a message on myspace asking my opinion on a few things Black. Apparently he saw some comments that I posted on another page regarding my feelings on the last Common album and admitted that although he is a big Common fan, he does not approve of the reparations movement and wanted insight into “black internalized racism” and “white guilt”. Random right? Well, the older I get the more I realize that there are no coincidences in life.

So you know I kicked about three pages of jewels his way-complete with reading suggestions (cause I’m a nerd like that).  I was not surprised that he disagreed with most of my opinions disguised as fact (really aren’t facts just well researched and stated opinions). I don’t get how whites can have so much love for and identify with artist like Common, Dead Prez, Damian Marley, Nas etc. and stilll contend that black people don’t deserve reparations for our struggles; I should somehow overstand that it’s similar to white men raping and impregnating Black slave women and murdering or selling their flesh and blood children…it’s not supposed to make sense.  So I roll on, with another battle partially won.

What did surprise and frustrate me however was chopping game with my brother in law who admitted two things to me that made me very conscious of an internal sickness that we all suffer with:

1. He said that he doesn’t think that black people should be paid reparations.

2. He said that the Maafa (my word choice of course) and the Jewish Holocaust were close as far as horror and atrocity.

I quickly began my spill about how every other ethnic group in the world who has been oppressed and brutalized have been paid reparations, including indigenous Americans, Jews, Vietnamese,Chinese, Japanese etc. I then asked what made him feel that he and his people deserved less than the others, when we suffered more than a majority of these other groups?

I also explained that his comments about the Jewish Holocaust and the Maafa being similar was due to propaganda and the perpetuation of a Jewish agenda that will forever bombard us with images of their suffering. The Jewish Holocaust lasted around five to ten years (I’ve studies timelines- correct me if I am wrong), while the Maafa lasted over four hundred years if you begin counting from the time when Europeans set foot on African soil until they left their “colonies”. The number of lives lost is incomparable; period.

You must admire the Jews for the love, pride, and solidarity that they demonstrate regarding their race and struggle.  There theme of “We must never forget” rings in the ears of mankind everytime people suffer and go unrescued (well except in cases like New Orleans, Rwanda, Sudan, or Haiti, but I digress).

So how come black people don’t feel the same way? Well the brotha Cornell West sums it up beautifully.

“White supremacists ideology is based first and foremost on the degradation of black bodies in order to control them…..By convincing them that their bodies are ugly, their intellect is inherently underdeveloped, their culture is less civilized, and their future warrants less concern than that of other peoples.

Cornel West 1954-

Please read the linked article “Mental Enslavement” written by Kimani Hehusi


In Contemplations on June 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

All that you touch
You Change.

All that you Change
Changes you.

The only lasting truth
Is Change.

Is Change.

This wonderful mantra was borrowed from EARTHSEED: THE BOOKS OF THE LIVING and is featured in the beginning of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower . I am extremely excited about reading this book as I understand it deals directly with change and, at this very moment, I am burgeoning on change and transition. As a scorpion, my ability to channel the phoenix and rise from the ashes has been a blessing to my struggles through this beautiful life. But this current change feels as if it will be the greatest of my life. I am both comatose and antsy, running in place, hurrying up to wait… But alas the only lasting truth is change, therefore I must acquiesce. We can not allow our fears to stop our progress. And me constantly wondering if my current choices are the right ones, only proves that they probably are not. We should not have to constantly contemplate our states of being.

I must add this amazing James Baldwin quote, because… well…he’s just amazing.

Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock.