Monday, February 17, 2014

Legions (inspired by the Jordan Davis trial)

 Jordan Davis, 17, was fatally shot after a spat over loud music being played in the parking lot of a Jacksonville gas station.
Mark 5:2-10(HCSB)2 As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him anymore—even with chainsbecause he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones.When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me,[a] Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg[b] You before God, don’t torment me!” For He had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”“What is your name?” He asked him.“My name is Legion,”[c] he answered Him, “because we are many.” 10 And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

Oscar Grant III hugs Tatiana 2007
There are so many demons of injustice in this world. I’m sure you already know that, I don’t have to tell you that. I am agitated that it is necessary for me to write yet another blog post about racial disparities in the American justice system. In the 15 months that I have been blogging, I’m sure I’ve written about this issue in some shape or form at least 5 times.
It seems like it is open season on all young black men and mothers are afraid for their sons' lives. When I thought about writing this post, I couldn’t decide on a title. So many appropriate ones, which escape me now, came to mind. While contemplating all of the possibilities, the above quoted scripture also came to mind.  It was kind of ironic.
I considered a parody of SaturdayNight Live’s Black History Month’s skit, “28 Reasons to Hug a Black Man Today.” (I still may do that one, so keep an eye out.) The first reason SNL gave was- because he deserves it and reasons 2-28 were all slavery. But we don’t even have to go all the way back to slavery, we can just read yesterday’s headlines: Guilty, but not of murder.
I don’t know how anyone can deny the disparities of how the stand your ground law is applied in the state of Florida. US Airman Michael Giles and mother Marissa Alexander felt their lives were in danger and shot one time to defend themselves. No one died in either case but they are serving a minimum of 20 years for standing their ground. Two grown men, George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn shot unarmed young black boys several times and killed them because they felt threatened but neither of them have been convicted of 1st degree murder.

There is a broader problem here- absolute disregard for human life. These shooters don’t seem to care that these boys are someone’s child, grandchild, friend, and even parent. Someone at home depends on them, loves them, deserves them, and belongs to them. And you sir, do not have the right or the authority to take that away.
Who does? Refer to the above mentioned scripture.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday!!

Over the last few days, I've been thinking a lot about the old "not so good days." So it was a welcome distraction to run across fellow Jane, Angela Scott Moore's blog post about fond memories. I was immediately inspired to write my own!

Author C.S. Lewis gave a warning in his classic book, "The Screwtape Letters" against spending too much time ruminating and/or romanticizing the past or being pessimistic or fanciful about the future. Instead, we should live and appreciate the present.  I agree with him but it's also heartwarming to take a brief look back on the carefree days of my youth when the hardest decision I had to make was whether or not to shave my hair off in the back, Halle Berry-style.

Here is my throwbacks:
  • Eating things I'll never eat now- sandwich spread, Thousand Island, burnt bologna sandwiches, hot links, and hot dogs.
  • Trips to "the country" or Sawyerville after church in the summer.
  • The usher room, ladies lounge, library and Annie Joe's theatre at St. John A.M.E. Church.
  • Saving my lunch money to buy CD's at Turtles.
  • 95.7 Jamz Flava Unit service projects.
  • Catching fireflies and using the glowy parts for earrings.
  • Daniel Cason's 20 minute teen choir rehearsals once a week and we were 'fie' Sunday morning with Brian Hamilton as our hype man. 
  • Spending the night with my Aunt Jean and Cousin Erica.
  • Playing monopoly with my brothers and pick up sticks with colored toothpicks at Mudear's house with my cousins.
  • Parker High and J.O. High School rival football games.
  • Going to Quincy's or Po Folks with my family after church.
  • Watching Nick at Nite's real old school shows like Patty Duke, Sugar and Spice, and That Girl.
  • Going to City Stage with my parents then meeting up with friends at the fountain in Linn Park. The funnel cakes, fried potato chip rings, gyros, and fresh squeezed lemonade.
  • The Magic City Classic parade, half time show, and my birthday party afterwards in my parent's basement.
  • High School fraternity and sorority step shows.
  • Soundtracks with songs that were actually in the movie instead of "inspired by," i.e. Above the Rim and Menace II Society.
  • Taping up a used cassette tape with your old favorite song on it, then waiting for your new favorite song to come on the radio so you can record the new song over it.
  • Spaghetti Wednesdays before bible study.
  • Baggy clothes, body suits, dashikis, tennis skirts, Timberlands, and Bass shoes.
  • The gospel song at the end of R&B girl group albums.
  • Rap City, Teen Summit, Video Soul with Donnie Simpson
  • Vacation Bible School trips to Point Mallard and Six Flags
  • A.H. Parker High School Class Days
  • The debate team
  • Selling Coke at the 1996 Summer Olympics soccer games and then later that night in my sleep.
  • The Christmas frenzy at Just for Feet and The Galleria.
  • Western Hills Mall before it became the "ghetto mall", Century Plaza before it became the "ghetto mall".