On January 6, we experienced what happens when freedom becomes too free. How is that even possible though, that such a benevolent value, and one embodying the civil philosophy of an entire nation, could produce actions so reprehensible? To answer that, you have to go back to 2020, a time of fun, in spite of the consequence.
More than the practice of massive populations burning meat and invading coastal regions for a 24hr period, Old Glory stands as the empirical symbol of each American man or woman’s personal manifest destiny. Fun is the byproduct of the flag and what it represents; freedom. And nothing bore a greater witness to that singular liberty than Americans celebrating July 4th of 2020 in the middle of a global pandemic that required disciplined social distancing and protective mask wearing.
It was a shift in the use of freedom and one marked by a laser focus on individual goals and desires. Americans were bold in their assessment of what they wanted, and damn the country and what it needed as a whole.
As such, cooperation became a casualty of this swing from the benign nature of freedom. Other faces of the virtue have also died recently. Truth had been an early loss. Very early.
Any substantive change must come from us, not them. How to get there is the question. And there are lots of conversations and discussions taking place on that regard. This is one view from the commonwealth…
The murder of George Floyd and the onset of the Corona-virus afford a unique opportunity for the Black Lives Matter movement to achieve its goal of police reform. The casual heartlessness of the murder of George Floyd galvanized the attention of the world by its blatant disregard of Floyd as a human being. That act coupled with the onslaught of the Corona-virus presents a unique opportunity to force police reform that may never come again. His death demonstrated how the black community is policed and what black people endure at the hands of the police. The virus forced school and job closings creating the perfect opportunity for people to pay attention to how the policing of minority communities was done and gave them time to protest. This opportunity must not be missed. I believe that the following steps will deliver the reform that everyone demand.
The first step in this process has to be the naming of a civilian as the police commissioner. The goal of this change is the removal of policing from the control of the police the FOP, the PBA, and the politicians.
2. The commissioner, although appointed by the Mayor and approved by the council, must be as apolitical as this process can provide.
3. The commissioner’s office must carry out the administrative functions of the police department. Including developing the policy and procedures used to perform the function of policing
4. The commissioner’s office must negotiate the union contracts and carry out their day to day operations.
5. The commissioner should investigate all violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and all complaints of the police by having civilian investigator to investigate the complaints and the legal department necessary to pursue legal action.
6. All Complaints against police must be investigated with full transparency. Continue reading →
Bass Reeves, first black U.S. deputy marshal in the Indian territories, working under “Hanging Judge” Isaac Parker.
It’s from my mom that I got my love of western movies and film. An avid viewer of “shootemups” in all forms, she’d captivate me with her knowledge of stars from movie serials she’d seen as a young girl; the
same shorts that were making the rerun rounds on television. But it was my dad who filled out the untold story of the black cowboy for me.
Like any child, I wondered about who I was, who we were in reference to what I saw on tv as the depictions of blacks, any type of black people, was very limited at the time. From him, I first heard about Nat Love, a quintessential cowboy figure, and Bill Pickett, the inventor of bulldogging, a version of modern rodeo steer wrestling.
I thought about that and both of them listening to a commercial on MeTv for their Saturday western roundup; an entire day of programming. And since I now know that 1 in 4 American cowboys were black, I couldn’t help but marvel at the slick and subtle manner in which you can not only eradicate the accomplishments of an entire group of people but at the same time reinforce that extinction at the societal level . Continue reading →
Since the murder of George Floyd, the country’s undergone a significant change. Massive, diverse protests have filled the streets in America and globally, calling for an end to police brutality and racism in all its forms.
May 31, a George Floyd protest in Cardiff Wales. Photo by Matthew Horwood, Getty Images
Outwardly, people are finally examining what it means to be a black person or minority in America. And in many cases, that degree of introspection is visibly painful. Nevertheless, it’s occurring, despite Trump attempts to label #BLM a terrorist organization. Still, if meaningful police reform was and still is the goal of all this then the goal is visibly slipping away. Can it be reclaimed? Can we continue to harness, and more importantly nourish, this positive sway of worldwide solidarity we’ve been experiencing? The short answer is yes but we have to start chewing our food better. Continue reading →
The title should be something fundamental; understood, appreciated and upheld by everyone. That’s because the statement stems from America’s much-touted, storied past, when the written rule of law was practically non-existent, yet there nevertheless was a tangible, un-written code of conduct that those rugged early citizens attempted to live by.
Arizona State Senate candidate Bobby Wilson shot and killed his mother in 1963
This code came about not through happenstance but rather because of the nature of the human condition, man versus man. It was his earliest attempts to control his baser instincts, drives and natures that surely would’ve rode us to extinction by now, had it not been for the code. Today, it’s heralded mostly in pulp fiction and lore but truly, it still exists, or should exist, in the psyche of modern-day man. I’m talking about the code of the west. Continue reading →