This is a sad day. The grand jury's decision is yet another sign that all of America's sons' lives are not yet valued equally in the eyes of our courts. All of America's fathers, mothers and children should stay outraged and in motion for progress until we are finally what we say we are: One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All. The path to these goals is focused advocacy and, where necessary, non-violent direct action. Those are the strategies that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Acts 50 years ago and the outlawing of racial profiling in New York City just two years ago. Today we are all Michael Brown. Tomorrow we must ensure each of our lives is valued equally in the eyes of our nation's laws, law enforcement officers, and courts.
We are in a state of emergency, a time of challenge and controversy, but not because of the protestors. That state of emergency will continue until we stand, become uncomfortable, and demand a justice system that addresses the manifestation of pain in protest, the further chipping away of respect, and the real state of emergency our country faces.
This is consistent with the cultural logic that makes it okay in America to use brutal force when confronted by a Black villain. Thus, how can a grand jury indict Officer Darren Wilson when he was battling The Hulk?
We now all have the chance to examine the evidence -- released last night -- in the grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, who fired multiple bullets into Michael Brown. But the verdict on America's criminal justice system is already in for many Americans: guilty, for treating young black men differently than young white men.
I can't speak. My country has scarred me once again. How can I go to work in the morning on a train full of people who care not? At a workplace of people who missed the story because of football or reality television?
Perhaps the call to examine this one case would be understandable if justice came more often, but we've seen these unjust acts in communities of more color for far too long.
On March 22, 1991, a visibly shaken and angered President George H.W. Bush said he was "sickened and outraged" by what he saw on television. That was the beating of black motorist Rodney King by a swarm of LAPD cops.
The convenient spectacle of "violence in the streets" obscures the perpetuation of "structural violence" everywhere.
The gradual ground we have gained regarding our civil rights should not be confused with the literal stalemate we have had with the U.S. justice system regarding our human rights for more than 200 years.
These things happen all the time, right? They will happen forever, right? It's nice to think they won't. It's probably best to think life won't always be like this. Optimism is good. But I know I'm going to have to tell my future children about this country. What should I tell them?
The tragedy of Michael Brown's death, unarmed and shot by a member of the Ferguson police, is now followed by the tragic failure of the local courts to force the policeman to stand trial. This cannot stand without a measure of accountability. And on that score look no further than the prosecutor's office.
Deep down, whether I want to admit or not, I know the truth. The racism that James Baldwin knew and ultimately made him leave the country isn't really gone. It's just changed its form.
To understand this moment, we have to understand that Ferguson is yet another unraveled thread in the closely woven fabric of racism that has cloaked this country for 500 years.
The world of short blogs and 140 characters is symbolic of the all too prevalent overly simplified analyses, and sensational headlines that might generation "likes" and "retweets," but do not bring us to a better understanding of people, communities or our history.
The only thing left to do is to unite and use the power of our voices to make a difference. Instead of using violence, use your voice to stand up for injustice in the world. Form collaborative partnerships within the community that can truly make a difference.
We find that first-time home buyers often misunderstand one of the key components of the home buying process: the appraisal. It is the single most important tool to ensure buyers pay a fair and equitable price for the property they purchase.
As a dad raising two young daughters under the age of 4, I'm concerned about where we're heading. What happened to the powerful conversations I used to take part in during my college years?
If other black boys become used to grand jury decisions like this one, how can they -- or their families and friends -- ever hope to rekindle trust in American justice or democracy? If teenagers know only cynicism of the system that is supposed to protect them, both they and the greater society lose.
A LESSON FOR THE CRYING
A lot of black women are in an uproar over black, famous rich men dating women who are not black. From splashy magazine covers (Essence) to popular reality shows ('Kendra'), biracial dating seems to be more than just a trend. There's a new book called 'Don't Bring Home a White Boy' hitting shelves soon, where attorney and writer Yolanda Young urges black women to take some tips from Kim and Khloe Kardashian and date outside of their race. As many know, the two half-Armenian TV personalities have nailed down two successful and wealthy black athletes: New Orleans Saints Superbowl winner Reggie Bush and Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom, respectively. Young says that instead of hating, people should look at how the Kardashian sisters have "advanced the careers of their boyfriends." She suggests that black women should focus their attention on "those who appreciate it," whether black or otherwise. Interesting... [Huffington Post]
FILLING UP ON MILK
Jennifer Hudson recently shot a Got Milk? ad. The Oscar and Grammy winner's new ad reads: "Center stage, silver screen, joyful new mom. How do I keep this show on the road? Milk. Its wholesome goodness helps make my family strong at every stage. Talk about a powerful performance." The Chicago native is psyched that her new ad hits magazines during Black History Month. "I feel like if I'm going to lead somebody in the right direction it might be in the right direction of health with milk, right?," she said. Maybe she should get her fiance David Otunga to have some milk, too. He's bulked up for his WWF debut. It's sure to help him with a long future in wrestling. [StyleList.com]
One of the sexiest men in the NFL seems to be crying out for more attention. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens already stripped down to his birthday suit to launch his VH1 reality show last year. Now, he seems to be getting all gussied up for the fashion scene.
On Feb. 17, the Alabama born stud hit the runway during New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Looking like a cross between Eddie Murphy as James Brown (on vintage 'Saturday Night Live') and Ben Stiller as 'Zoolander' – the world's first white male supermodel, Owens strutted his stuff at the A*Muse Fashion Show at Amnesia NYC. [GossipOnThis]
ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL
Chris Brown is on the right track, according to his Richmond, Va., judge. The pop star reported back to court to discuss how much community service he's completed so far.
Right now, the 'Crawl' singer has done 32 of the mandated 180 days of work, as well as attended a majority of his domestic violence classes. Judge Schnegg said, "Looks like you're doing really, really, well," before approving Brown's plans to travel abroad. Go Chris. [YBF]
He's been to hell and back. And 'Diff'rent Stokes' star Gary Coleman seems to still be dancing with the devil. In one of the wildest viral videos that ever circulated on the web, the pint-sized former child star took no tea for the fever when he appeared on the TV show, 'The Insider,' last week.
Watch what happens when Coleman talks for the first time about his now infamous mug shot. He discusses his recent time in jail and answers the question of what led him there. The panel asks "WHAT HAPPENED GARY??" And boy oh boy did he have some choice words for them.