Tuesday, April 29, 2008

15 yrs ago...

pls read, pls leave your thoughts

15 yrs ago America was the same but yet it was different....

In light (darkness) of the recent acquittal of 3 New York cops shot a African American male, Sean Bell, father and soon to be husband, 50 times just hours before his wedding (link), you can't help but think of the what if's and the wtf's.

15 yrs ago a similar situation dealing w/ cops happened in L.A. Early in the month of March 92', Rodney King was beaten by a group of police officers...a few weeks later on March 29th the officers were aquitted.

the aftermath (March 29th - May 4th):



I was only 9yrs old at the time of the Rodney King incident, so I didn't fully understand the racial divide and tension that existed in America and to be honest, I still don't understand it 15 yrs later...

I watched the news today to see if NY (or any other city) was burning and it wasn't. It took me a sec but I soon realized that maybe that it is a good thing that we are not seeing a repeat of the violence that took place in LA. Hopefully this shows that we have progressed as a ppl...and have found other means of expressing our outrage and disgust for the things that happen in America...hopefully...

others may disagree and feel that we have lost that sense of purpose & urgency, sense of who we are and/or have we become numb to everything around us.

idk...but these are confusing times...

In closing and from the end credits in "Do The Right Thing" by Spike Lee:

"Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys a community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers."

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't even call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence."

- Malcolm X


r.i.p radio raheem.

8 comments:

radicalAPE said...

i understand your logic completely...i too am glad that a riot didn't immediately ensue, but the fact that one didn't raises the questions: First off, have blacks found a better way to deal with racial injustice, or have we simply lost our passion about certain issues? Honestly, the answer may be a little of both. I certainly hope less of the latter question.

Jordan C. Page

Anonymous said...

MY BROTHER, MY BROTHER...how insightful are thee? I once was lost Brother Armon, but now I see. Un-fortunately...it just can't be me. History is old but don't just let it be! Long ago the only thing about us that was free, was the way our feet swang, swang from the trees. Billie Holiday called it "STRANGE FRUIT," but how could this be? How could something so strongly rooted hang from a tree? MY PEOPLE, MY PEOPLE to what degree, will we finally understand that we have to feed. Feed on knowledge or just plant the seed. Plant the seed of OUR PEOPLE in our history BLACKS ARE SUPREME!

Read: From the Browder Files-22 Essays ON THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

Learn the truth about our people and plant the seed of knowledge.

Niki.Mac said...

i remember rodney king so vividly too... and not really understanding it... until A Different World did an episode on it! haha

we are living in very strange times... the apathy of our generation both saddens and frightens me. where do we go to for guidance though? i'm not sure the methods of the civil rights movement would be effective today....

Stephani said...

Personally, I think that the lack, at this point, of a violent response to the verdict can be attributed to more than one thing.

First, I believe that people are understanding that these riots were taking place in our communities and killing our people. I doubt that this fits into the ideologies of Martin or Malcolm, or any leader of the black community. It has to be stated that there is a psychological progression toward such behavior that is a reflection of outside forces on the community. To that extent, there is a subpopulation of people in the black community who seek an approach that does not lead to the loss of our property, our stores, schools, churches, and our lives; but instead counteracts the damage of those forces and tells those powers that be that we are not down and out.

Second, though it really sickens me to say it, we also have individuals who think that America has done too much for us and has awarded us so much that we cannot have a negative response to anything American. This is most often because of two things: 1)there are individuals who want to be so far dissociated from being black and the black community, that they choose to no longer recognize the truths of being black in America; 2)there are people who have accepted things as they are and have opted to just deal with it as opposed to addressing it, which has lead to a detachment from issues new and old, and a numbness that leads to the belief that nothing is wrong with America.

Third, there are people who do not care and do not think any of this affects them.

Analysis of Martin and Malcolm really requires deep and pure thought and dialogue. For me, what always seems to rise to the top of it all is the common thread that we are not in the position to do nothing. Addressing what stands before us can be approached starting with two questions. Number one, will we challenge ourselves to do something? Number two, what are the somethings that we must do?

Adrianne M said...

Do you ever get scared for your kids?! I do.

That clip was crazy, but I guess it's kinda eye for an eye when you think about it. Rodney King and Sean Bell didn't do anything either, right?

Kinda ironic there is a Florence and Normandy street in South Central LA.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with you post Armonio and I have to relate to Jordan as well. I sometimes wonder as a people are we just settling for whatever instead of standing up and taking action. And if action is taken, it needs to be something that causes people to have a deeper understanding instead of one of disgrace or fury. In my personal opinion we have no Malcolm or MLK of our time....so who's next?

Black Man Unanimous said...

I don't believe progression is relative to how we compare events of the past to current tragedies. Our responses to the Sean Bell incident have probably not been so subtle; however, a slanted media portrays us in a light that converts our image to correlate with whatever intention they have.

Lorin said...

I think what happened to Sean Bell and his family is definitely tragic. I'm glad we are talking about it, though. Good lookin, Armon. Unfortunately, too often in our society we witness awful instances of shootings, for example, and allow them to eventually fizzle out from contemporary discussions or the media. It's as if we willingly or unwillingly double the impact of the death or injury of fellow black Americans by not trying to bring justice to what happened to them by keeping them present in our thoughts and spiritual consciousness. Was Rodney King injured in vain? Did Sean Bell or Amadou Diallo die in vain? How about the four little girls? Or the Atlanta Black Child Murders in the early 80s (read up on it)?

I hope they did not. I hope we will at least try to learn from the unfortunate (to say the least) incidents that happened in both cases. Let's not let these people be lost to future memory, because otherwise it is as if we have killed them again in our avoidance of remembrance and lack of confrontation against the sad state of the United States.

- lj