Michael Brown

U.S. Congressional Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Discusses Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

Adding Context:

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee started off talking about the non-indictment of Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. She saw it as a grave injustice and promises she will convene with Congress to have the federal government charge Wilson in the shooting death of the teenager. This outrage lead her to discuss a recent incident that happened in this predominately minority community of Houston, TX.

An elderly business-owner was attacked by a group of youths after simply telling them not to park in his car wash parking lot, because it deters customers and takes up his space for would-be customers. Now, that man is in the hospital in critical condition, hence why she starts off saying that man deserved to live.

The overview of her statement was the fact that we, as a community, need to support our own businesses at all times and one way of supporting those businesses is speaking up when something horrible happens like the case of the elderly man. We cannot tell other people to respect us when in our own communities there is not respect for one another. Of course, we can. That was just a false-dilemma fallacy, when can indefinitely do both, but it seems to lack legitimacy when you want respect and support on the national level when you don’t have nor fight for respect and support on the local level.




#FergusonOctober and a disturbing report on police homicide and race

Over the weekend, October 10-13, Ferguson October was in full affect. A weekend of protests, demonstrations and even concerts were scheduled, advocating change in police departments while remembering the life of slain teen Michael Brown. Headlined by many high profile thinkers, clergymen and even rappers, these events focused on racial disparity and discrimination and saw over 1000 people come out in full support. Some of the more awesomely shocking support came from people who traveled all the way from Palestine to show solidarity with their black counterparts in America.

Ferguson October comes perfectly, almsot as if planned, on the heels of a recent ProPublica 32-year analysis of police homicides as reported by the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report. In their analysis of the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports ranging from 1980-2012, ProPublica solidifies the fear, apprehension and cynicism many black Americans feel towards police officials.  One of the more disturbing parts of the in-depth analysis was the finding that black boys were 21 times more likely than their white counterparts to be slain by police officers from 2010-2012, the three most recent years of available data. Yes, that wasn’t a typo. 21 TIMES more likely to be killed by police officers!

Of course, many of these officers I’m sure had justified reasons for killing some of these boys.  However, what was telling when reading the report was that after the 1985 Supreme Court decision which said deadly force can only be justified if the suspect posed a threat to the officer and others, almost immediately police homicides increased. Not only did the number of people killed by police increase, but the “officer under attack” defense increased as well. Before 1985, the “officer under attack” defense was used in  33 percent of the police homicides. Now looking at recent data from 2005-2009, note that all crime has drastically decreased over the decades, “officer under attack” was cited in 62 percent of police killings. I find this to be very telling.

While a said truth has been solidified by the reporters over at ProPublica, there always exist a silver-lining. These demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri sought to rally against the seemingly sanctioned killing of  black people, men and boys most egregiously. The recent happenings in Ferguson has sparked a national debate and hopefully, this time, it bodes well. Hopefully, this time, we get actual reform. No more killing officers, these kids just want to live like everyone else