1. it’s an age-old strategy that defense attorneys attempt to criminalize the victim of a crime. however, in the murders of unarmed black people this strategy has been a ploy to categorize the victims based upon prevailing stereotypes. clothing, loud music, marijuana, alcohol and “menacing behavior” were all made relevant in the murders of tryavon martin, jordan davis, darius simmons and now renisha mcbride. syreeta mcfadden writes for the guardian that “renisha mcbride’s killer wants the jury to think that she was the real criminal.” in her piece, she highlights research around implicit bias and society’s perceptions of blackness that make me wonder if justice will ever be served for the senseless murders by black people by whites.
2. as an nfl player, you get a longer suspension for smoking pot than uppercutting your spouse. shocking i know, but ray rice received a mere slap on the wrist after news emerged that he knocked out his wife in an atlantic city elevator. when sportscaster stephen a. smith seemed to condone rice’s actions by stating the need for women to be held accountable for provoking men, domestic violence advocates around the world rolled over in their graves. professor earl smith writes for the huffington post that the problem is a sports industry and society that has allowed a harmful definition of masculinity to run amok.
3. it’s refreshing to see sociopolitical commentary wrapped in humor and comedian aamer rahman is one of the best. you might remember his standup routine critiquing imperialism went viral last year, and he continues to be a conscious entertainer ridiculing NATO, israel, western governments and american pop icons during sold-out shows. check him out in an interview with ceasefire.
1. i’m flabergasted that a florida jury allowed yet another man to murder a black teenager without a murder conviction. i’m sickened by the constant reminder that the lives of black children are less important than those of their white counterparts. watch as jessica williams of the daily show does a tongue and cheek run-down of white america’s omnipresent “fear goggles” that can make “four black teenagers taking a calculus test look like a scene from the wire.”
2. don’t you just love yaya alafia (nee dacosta)? i remember her season of america’s next top model and the way she schooled tyra banks on the origins of kente cloth. the ivy league grad is now an actress, wife and mother who was recently interviewed by michel martin on npr’s tell me more. listen to her thoughts on her role in lee daniels’ the butler, colorism and why she calls herself an african in america.
3. have you heard the teaser to beyonce’s drunk in love remix featuring kanye?!?! it made me jump up and run around my apartment full speed — the only appropriate response when one of your favorite songs from beyonce’s new album gets better.
4. it’s not every day that you hear an artist reference brandy, bun b, bounce music and kirk franklin as their inspirations. in a recent interview with npr’s new r&b and hip hop show, microphone check, i fell in love with solange all over again as she rattled off a list of 90’s hip hop and r&b that only a person raised in the south can appreciate.
the day after an injustice you wake up and wonder if it was a dream. you search your memory to recall the events from the day before. you remember the news reports, the twitter feed, the facebook posts. they all remind you of the verdict: not guilty. the day after an injustice you feel restless. rally? prayer vigil? scream? no solution to mend a weary soul comes to mind. the day after an injustice you go to church and wait for the pastor to deliver a message that will make sense of hundreds of years of oppression and violence, but it doesn’t come. you walk around the city aimlessly, looking for something, anything to help numb the pain. the day after an injustice you think about your grandparents and ancestors who experienced injustice with no retribution their entire lives. you think about all the stories they told you about segregated schools, lynchings, white mobs and backbreaking labor and know that nothing has changed. the day after an injustice you turn to your mentors, james and grace lee boggs, dorothy roberts and bell hooks to help explain this world. the day after an injustice you feel the blow to your will to fight, but arrive at a renewed spirit to continue the struggle in the name of those who fought before you. the day after an injustice you re-dedicate your life to ending inequity because that is the only reason you were born.
rest peacefully dearest trayvon. we will always remember.