Help Find Missing Teen Monika Hunter!!!!

Cross-posted at What About Our Daughters

15 year-old Elizabeth Monika Hunter has been staying with relatives in Capitol Heights, MD and is now missing as of midnight August 3rd. Her sister Renee Jennings sent a private email that’s been forwarded requesting help. Hopefully we can get this cross-posted at several blogs and across social media to send the word out.

Due to her age and their categorizing her as a runaway, the police said they cannot issue an Amber Alert and will only take information for a Missing Person’s report which takes 48-hours to kick in. Monika’s sister lives in NYC and isn’t able to monitor the situation locally and has asked for help from the blogosphere. 

Prince George Country police department, Palmer Park Precinct will be handling this case. It’s been assigned to Det. Vessels 301-772-4492. Case#09-215-0405. The main number at the precinct is 301-772-4901. Let’s encourage the police to make haste with looking for Monika as the area is apparently unsafe and she is new to the area, has limited to no funds and no cell phone.

Renee has left contact information as well to reach her directly. I’ll publish her email where you may request further contact info. reneejennings@rmediagroup.com. This could be your neighbor, sister, schoolmate whomever. Since only high-profile cases get immediate attention, let’s make this one!
  

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Black Men Trying to Escape Their Blackness Only Get But So Far

Whatever we run away from goes with us. If we are ashamed of ourselves we can’t hide that by mating or marrying someone of another race and not pass that onto future offspring.

When we speak of black male abandonment of black women and children – typically African-American men – we must also not forget the more recent prevalence for them doing this to non-black women as well. If you look at any number of bi-racial celebrities (who still identify with their black heritage) many of them were raised alone by their white/Asian/etc mother including our current President. 

Now this may cause a lot of discomfort to discuss but is it better to alleviate the jab to the ego or to heal the damaged psyche of people? Besides, what other group of men in the past 40 years have actively devalued the status of the women in their group of origin while pursuing women from other groups almost exclusively? I might also add that pursuit has mostly not been one on equal footing, not involved alliances between families or involved any strategic relationships but a grabbing for candy while blindfolded after a pinata has been breached. 

My first boyfriend was one such product. I remember being happy that I could find a black-identified male who also appreciated my love of new wave music and other “non-black” interests (according to some who wanted a very limited view of blackness) but he had a lot of unresolved anger about a) being left behind by his father b) his mother not really understanding the racial ramifications of the relationship that produced him. Even though she had remarried and his stepfather was “Dad” to him he was subsequently surrounded in a household of white people and he didn’t know who he was. I think his mother thought “love” would be enough but he needed more. Some of it had to do with any child, particularly a male who needed to be socialized around another (black) male. I think a lot of it had to do with his being raised to be “colorblind” when he clearly needed preparation for the real world. It was a disservice to him that left him sullen and confused at times and there was nothing I could do for him. 

The interesting thing that has emerged with the arrest of Skip Gates is analyzing his pride in having only 44% African DNA. He discussed this on the African-Americans Lives geneaology series that airs annually on PBS. The other is his decision to marry a white woman. He quite happily lived an “integrated” life where he surrounded himself in whiteness. This was the goal for many of the black men that pushed the agenda of integration instead of equality during Civil Rights. They wanted to be “free” to do whatever they wanted. They wanted to be able to freely mate with white women without the more blatant repercussions (getting lynched or your entire town burned down in retaliation). 

They were not seeking equality nor did they think to deploy domination tactics that would have lifted the collective. The lack of values – which included the disintegration of the black family – has led us to where we are now. It was African-American women who did much of the behind-the-scenes-work and put themselves in harm’s way to get Civil Rights on the table. Yet when it came time for media accolades who was hogging the spotlight? Black men. Some women stepped aside in the hopes that the men would “do right” by them. Many were simply pushed aside. These women wanted what they thought was a better life for the children so they swallowed that bitter pill. We know it was never reciprocated by everything that followed. They had the opportunity to support Shirley Chisholm when she ran for President and they did not. She was of course also betrayed by Steinem and the other white female leaders of the so-called feminist movement. 

For black women it’s a two-fer: sexism one end and racism on the other, but I digress. I will be discussing the role we played in Civil Rights (carrying it on our backs) this week. I should also mention that due to corrosion of the black family: 30% marriage rate amongst blacks, 80% OOW birth rate, 70% unmarried rate for black women some of the African-American women that also mate out have adopted the same self-loathing qualities I’ve discussed above. Yet the initial collective push in this direction was a decidedly male one and remains so.

I found it very telling that Gates was so dismissive of holding Lucia Whalen (who is white) at all responsible for this mess. For her to say she saw two black men with backpacks breaking into a house to the police could have resulted in Gates’ or his driver’s death. We know how cops shoot first and ask questions later when dealing with black men. Oh wait, there’s the rub. Gates’ thought he’d successfully “transcended” his blackness and was living inn a post-racial world. He could appreciate certain cultural touchstones but he didn’t live the life of a working class or even middle class “black”. He could just be “Skip” and dabble when it was convenient. 
Excerpted from an Interview with Brian Lamb for his book Colored People: h/t from reader Pioneer Valley Woman for the link

GATES: My mother hated white people.

LAMB: All her life?

GATES: Probably. I didn’t know until — in 1959 we were watching Mike Wallace’s documentary called “The Hate that Hate Produced.” It was about the Nation of Islam and I couldn’t believe — I mean, Malcolm X was talking about the white man was the devil and standing up in white people’s faces and telling them off. It was great. I mean, it’s what black people did behind closed doors, but they would never do it in — I mean, they were too vulnerable to do it, say, where they worked, at the paper mill or downtown, as we would call it. And here was a guy who had the nerve to do that, and I think if I had been a character in a cartoon, my eyes would have gone Doing! — like this. I couldn’t believe it. As I sat cowering in a corner of our living room, I glanced over at Mama and her face was radiant. I mean, this smile — beatific smile started to transform her face. And she said quite quietly, “Amen.” And then she said, “All right now,” and she sat up and she said, “Yes.”

And she loved Malcolm X and she loved what the Muslims were doing. And I couldn’t believe it. It was like — as I write, it was like watching the Wicked Witch of the West emerge out of the transforming features of Dorothy. This person I had thought of as this pioneer of the civil rights movement really had a hard time with white people. And the more I got to know her — and, you know, these weren’t easy anecdotes for her to repeat, but the older I got, she became more willing to share painful experiences of white racism — the way that she was treated when she was a girl and a servant in the house of wealthy white people just a block down the hill from where we lived. My brother and I eventually went back and bought that house for her, and that’s how we found out that she had been so horribly treated by these people. She never trusted white people. She didn’t like white people. She didn’t want to live with white people.

But she wanted us to go to integrated schools. She wanted us to live in an integrated economy. She wanted us even to live in integrated neighborhoods. She wanted us to be able to get the best that American society offered. She wanted us to be articulate, to speak white English, as we would call it, as well as black vernacular English. You know, she wanted us to know how to dress, how to talk, how to act, how to behave. She wanted us to go to private schools, to the Ivy League. I mean, she wanted us to be as successful as it was humanly possible to be in American society. But she always wanted us to remember, first and last, that we were black and that you could never trust white people. And so when I brought my fiancee home, who happened to be a white American, I thought World War III was about to break out between me and my mother, not to mention between my mother and my fiancee. 


Further down he continues… “Oh, I live in academic environments, and so it’s removed from the world. I mean, what do we do? We go downtown Boston, downtown New York, downtown San Francisco, European countries. We function at a level where certain forms of racism don’t impact upon you so immediately or so obviously.”
It was why he was so quick to be offended and reacted so negatively. If he’d been acting from a position of racial pride in himself he would’ve never confronted a white police officer the way he did. He could have just sought legal remedy after the fact or filed a complaint. Doesn’t he know the Mayor of Cambridge? If you’re going to confront white male patriarchy you had better have some consequences and punishment ready to mete out for any violations, otherwise you will be crushed by the blowback.

Which brings me to the President. He decided to be what the Field Negro blogger referred to as “Black Barry” but now will return to the non-threatening Negro/cross-over politician that got him elected. If you don’t think either of these men are compromised imagine how Malcolm X would have acted. He was unabashedly proud to be African-American. He believed in preserving the black family. Perhaps he would have had a network of other black men who would have gone to the police station to remind them their mission was to protect and serve. Perhaps they would’ve reminded them of the vast financial contributions they’d made to the Police Athletic League and how no more money would be forthcoming until this injury was addressed. Black women wouldn’t have been used to directly confront any racist cops or expend political currency being outraged about this. Not without reciprocity. 

An uncompromising man who lived in a predominantly white neighborhood would have ruled it or at the very least would have been one of its prominent residents. Not from novelty but from letting people know (non-verbally) that he belonged there. Perhaps that would have precipitated a visit with the Mayor and the Police Chief of that area to have an introduction or whatever was appropriate. He wouldn’t have tried to “blend into obscurity” the way I believe Gates has. It was also why he was making a public spectacle of himself while being arrested. He wanted sympathy from his neighbors. It just makes him look weak to play victim when discrimination impacts his life while ignoring it across the board for others.

Trying to be the “Only One” when you are a black person in an all-white setting requires certain precautions. You have to know who you are and where you are. You can’t approach this as a refugee escaping from blackness. Other people notice the flaw and though you may walk amongst them you are not one of them. They may be looking for the first opportunity to remind you of that unless you have a powerful incentive in place that would discourage that.

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Reflections on Henry Louis Gates’ Arrest: When Criminals Are Exalted The Innocent Will Also Be Guilty

So the arrest of Skip Gates has been dissected from most of its angles. Charges of racism have been levied. The immediate knee-jerk defense of any behavior by the police has been used by others. I have a slightly different take on things. We could ask why the neighbor made an assumption of criminal activity. They are sure to be embarrassed now that their name has been made public. We can investigate whether the arresting officer – who is white – violated Dr. Gates’ rights in some way. We can discuss the history of race relations in the United States and how he got the short end of the stick. We could also ask why he allowed himself to be so outraged – or how he was justified given that poor history. 
It seems many were expecting the officer to notice that Dr. Gates was the “right” kind of Negro and not a “thug” so the class difference should have been his shield. Well….it’s not! Just like the obvious racism displayed against the Creative Steps participants blacks have to stop deluding themselves that the deteriorating behavior of the collective will be ignored. In order words, “certain” blacks are not going to get a pass. People think we’re experiencing a time warp of sorts and on one hand we are. We’re experiencing a backlash of sorts for the choice of a millions of whites to set aside their racism and misgivings to elect a black man for President.
Obama is beholden to their interests and will address them accordingly as they are the majority population. The blacks, specifically black women that represent his largest voting group seem willing to “wait” for him to “do right” by them. The same way those that actually put their lives and limbs on the line to get Civil Rights passed were expecting to be taken care of for their efforts. It didn’t happen. Things are in fact much worse for the entire collective.
African-Americans are for the most part worse off than we were 40 years ago. I don’t think the same racism lens is being viewed today than then. Why not? We weren’t making role models and celebrities out of AA male (and some AA females) criminals. You know the rap music artists, sports figures and such. When you have these men bragging about how many times they’d been shot or “slangin’ rock” or have rap sheets that represent crimes committed not music and it’s not only tolerated BUT celebrated it is over for the “decent” folks left. 
There was a time education was touted and people knew how to behave in public. There was a time when an R&B singer who’d made a sex tape of acts between him and a minor would have resulted in some public retaliation “behavior modification” incident. There was a time when the college attendance/graduation numbers for AA men were much higher. There was a time when a man aspired to be a husband and no job was beneath him in providing for a family. 
The depraved has become the norm and warped the minds of so many. Far too many excuses are being made about racism, mediocrity, bad childhoods, hard times, etc. etc.  Let’s face it, life does suck for a lot of people. Yet other groups of people in this country and around the world are not elevating the gutter to the throne. 
Also people are still viewing this from the “white people as oppressors” meme. We have the power to change this. We can have standards, accountability and consequences for those that violate us but NOT when we allow others to drag the entire collective in the gutter. You can’t turn a blind eye to things and be surprised when there’s blowback.
So when we look at situations like what occurred yesterday had this been a few decades ago Dr. Gates probably would not have gotten too familiar with the officers. Now had he suffered any bodily harm it would be a different story. Some say it’s the indignity of being questioned that got to him. Perhaps it did. How is what he experienced any different than what so many of us have to endure on a daily basis? African-American women have to set aside their ego and outrage in so many ways and it’s not from any confrontation with white law enforcement officers. If we can do it then so can he. 
Keeping our heads on straight is very important right now. Being disciplined racially and focused is a non-negotiable right now. In much the same way blacks they could “overcome” just by showing up to the Integration Party it requires much more than that. People who think they are above having to account for themselves are going to be in for a rude awakening. I think it’s a great thing because the more it happens some people will stop thinking of themselves as better or special. Then maybe they’ll start thinking about how those “other blacks” behave and the message of tolerance and acceptance being bandied about. Perhaps their outrage will be such that they start discussing the need for policing those behaviors amongst other blacks so as to avoid the presence of the real police. Just a thought. Sometimes self-interest is the only thing that motivates.
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When Being Ignored Gets You Killed

With all the focus in the national media and internets being focused on the rogue actions of male cops and perps, yet again another story of a woman of color gets eclipsed. In what seems a clear case of domestic/dating violence run amuck Loyta Sloley was kidnapped by her former boyfriend. It can’t be overstated how important it is for a woman to not allow men who are less than any slack or ignore obvious warning signs for violent behavior. Those men that engage in violence against the women they’re supposed to care about are by far some of the most dangerous men walking. For when the woman tries to get out they turn on them, often killing them. Which is what happened to Ms. Sloley. 

It took police almost four hours to find Loyta Sloley, 34, who called co-workers hours before her Jan. 27 death and told them that she was being held against her will by her ex-boyfriend. By the time police arrived, she was dead on the floor of a downtown Orlando hotel, shot at least four times by ex-boyfriend James Clayton, according to a police report.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. She managed to call 911 and the emergency operator not only ignored her, but implied she was lying about being in danger. This caused a delay in dispatching the police and resulted in her death just as surely as the bastard that pulled the trigger. So you know we may feel desensitized to hearing about cops and killers, but they are typically male. Women are in peril from the criminal elements as well as law enforcement. This operator was just as callous, stubborn and dare I say it – racist – as any cop that would fire a gun. 
If you are a lower income woman of color you apparently have to prove your victim status to the whims of those that are hired to help you in an emergency. Now I have to say Ms. Sloley exasperated her situation by not reporting the previous violence but she certainly didn’t deserve to die the way she did. I hope this case will be reviewed and procedures will be evaluated so this doesn’t happen again. It has to be demanded! Yet, it was totally unnecessary to begin with.
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When Protect & Serve Becomes Obstruct & Harm

I wrote about the demise of the intact and thriving working class Black American community in yesterday’s post and gave some reasons why. When you open a book there’s a left page and a right page, so today I’d like to present some of the situations that may prompt people to want to be protectionists. 
In Oakland the funeral for the four officers killed by Lovelle Mixon was held at a huge auditorium. Their deaths were senseless and the retaliation will be swift and long. I say “will” and not “may” because law enforcement – like our brand of justice in this country – is highly subjective based on class, gender, finances, orientation, appearance and the other prejudices of those involved. Even the determination of what laws to apply can vary depending on the circumstances. So what begat Oscar Grant III begets Mehersle begets Mixon begets ????? 
When prosecutors can charge an 8 year old child of color with murder I think we can safely say we’ve jumped the shark in this country. So the officers in that scenario may not have engaged in anything untoward when they met their demise we can’t say for certain they never harassed, framed or intimidated any innocent people in their pursuit of “justice”.  
Take the officer who drew his weapon on the Moats family in a hospital parking lot for goodness sake! Who goes to the hospital to cause trouble and commit crimes – seriously? That dirtbag officer has now offered some lame and insincere apology. Mr. Moats showed incredible restraint even calling the officer Sir repeatedly but still didn’t get one ounce of common courtesy. We could have been reading about the NFL player shot to death while his mother-in-law died instead, but the Moats are obviously classy even during times of great stress.
Officer Robert Powell (remember the name!) knew he was wrong from the get-go because Mrs. Moats insisted on exiting the car to see her mom before she passed.  He knew he was wrong, but let his prejudice, pride and the power of his shield rule his actions. He threatened to “make trouble” for Moats. That indicates this officer has a pattern of abusive behavior. I’m certain he has a list of offenses that have been ignored and buried. He of course wouldn’t be the only officer that would fit that bill. Duanna Johnson’s murderer may very well be the former cops that battered her. That officer can’t do jack about the time he stole from the family to see a loved one before they died. It’s only because of the public embarrassment that he’s even offered the token apology. Had Moats not been an NFL player would we have even heard about this? So celebrity trumps the average citizen and I hope leads to the end of that officer’s career and a policy revision. Though I suspect his evil will remain unless he has a Road to Damascus epiphany. Somehow I doubt it.
Certain people don’t change – and should’ve been weeded out at recruitment. Law enforcement is very flawed, full of criminally-minded officers who engage in racist/sexist behavior with an ineffective Internal Affairs. Where’s the checks and balances? President Obama isn’t going to change that. Law enforcement, armed forces, private contractors and militia are all the same thing. It seems for quite a few those behind a badge, a suit or a uniform are engaging in creating chaos, killing with impunity, rape and controlling certain populations by using terror tactics. We have to demand change and accountability with established consequences ready to implemented. Part of that will require that we cease harboring the neighborhood miscreants. It undermines legitimate efforts at establishing boundaries and priorities. Demand we must if we want to make inroads otherwise we’ll just keep hearing about it, complaining but not resolving this.
Here’s the Moats’ interview on Good Morning America
We need to continue discussing this but it’s time for action  – and punishments!

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Supremes Say Yes To Illegally Obtained Evidence

The Constitution was always a flawed document inasmuch as the architects were guilty of major double-standards in drafting it. It works in theory however – and it’s supposedly the jewel in the crown of the making of a nation. Now we know this country was built on murder and mayhem but we were supposed to aspire to attain greatness despite that. Like I said – in theory. So now the Supreme Court delivers yet another blow to the idea of ascendancy by revealing the reality of its applicationHow low can we go? Apparently there is an even deeper bottom. Now perhaps some lawyers would like to weigh in on this, but doesn’t this mean false evidence used to prosecute people has been legitimized? Now I know the Law & Order series is a nice scrubbing of the actual corruption of law enforcement (which is only as good as its participants). Dick Wolf really goes out of his way to show a fair and balanced Police Department and District Attorneys Office.  So now what? More death row inmates being tried and found guilty for crimes they haven’t committed? Doctored DNA? Where does this end? If police don’t get search warrants or have just cause for their actions (thereby shooting more innocents) how far will this spiral downward?
Photo: AP

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Johannes Mehserle To Be Charged With Murder – Is the Sky Falling?

Johannes Mehserle, right, appeares in the East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, in Minden, Nev. Mehserle is being held on charges related to the New Year's day shooting of an unarmed man on an Oakland, Calif., train platform. Mehserle, 27, waived extradition to California early Wednesday during a brief court appearance in Minden, Nev., and was being held without bail on a warrant charging homicide. Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Ron Mills is at left.

Johannes Mehserle, right, appeares in the East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, in Minden, Nev. Mehserle is being held on charges related to the New Year’s day shooting of an unarmed man on an Oakland, Calif., train platform. Mehserle, 27, waived extradition to California early Wednesday during a brief court appearance in Minden, Nev., and was being held without bail on a warrant charging homicide.
Source: Star-Telegram, Photo: AP
Lyrics from Snoop Dog:
As I look up at the sky
My mind starts trippin, a tear drops my eye
My body temperature falls
I’m shakin and they breakin tryin to save the Dogg
Pumpin on my chest and I’m screamin
I stop breathin, damn I see deamons
Dear God, I wonder can ya save me
I can’t die Boo-Boo’s bout to have my baby
I think it’s too late for prayin, hold up
A voice spoke to me and it slowly started sayin
“Bring your lifestyle to me I’ll make it better”
How long will I live?
“Eternal life and forever”
And will I be, the G that I was?
“I’ll make your life better than you can imagine or even dreamed of
So relax your soul, let me take control
Close your eyes my son”
My eyes are closed

[Chorus:]

Murder… murder was the case that they gave me
Murder… murder was the case that they gave me

I hadn’t expected to continue writing about the Oscar Grant III shooting much, but this is the #1 news story in the Bay Area right now. That and the lack of a State budget thanks to the idiot actor playing at being Governor. Well color me dumbfounded because I can’t recall the last time a law enforcement official was arrested and charged for shooting someone they’d labeled a perp. There are protests going on in Oakland right now as I write. I”m not sure if the fact that Mehserle quit has something to do this or what it is really. Was it the video? Pressure from the community? If so why for this one incident and not all the others? 
There are numerous cases where police have shot and killed innocent people with no consequences for them. The leading cause of death amongst younger Black men is still at the hands of other Black men. Again I ask, where’s the protest and outrage over that! Why won’t people come forward with information they have about the criminal activity they see?  I really don’t know what to say other than if a trial proceeds, there is likely to be a venue change with not one Black juror and the officer will be acquitted. I’m highly skeptical he will serve any prison time either way, but stranger things have happened. I just feel for the lives of both daughters should they grow up without sufficient male influence and love. Life isn’t fair though. The justice system is only just for some. 

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Playing Chess In the Dark: BART Police and the NYE Killing Fields

BART Police
Don’t make any hasty judgments. So says BART Police Chief Gary Gee. Bay Area Rapid Transit is our (crappy, inconvenient and overpriced) version of the NYC subway that serves San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. If you live in the city of San Francisco you will most likely use MUNI – which is slightly less crappy but just as inefficient.
22 year-old Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a glorified rent-a-cop. The end. 
When a police officer ‘discharges’ their gun directly at a handcuffed person who’s down on the ground on their belly and surrounded by other officers it’s not a clean shoot. This wasn’t the scene of a crime spree or gang activity. This was a group of people going home in the early hours of New Year’s Day. I saw plenty of drunk and unruly people on the streets of San Francisco yet they somehow made it home unharmed.
Attorney John L. Burris (not sure if he’s related to Roland Burris) is grandstanding a bit for sure with a $25M lawsuit against the BART police but….yet again when they shoot “Black” and ask questions later there needs to be a statement made. He is NO SLOUCH and a highly-esteemed Civil Rights attorney: think the Johnnie Cochran of Northern CA.
I wasn’t going to write about this initially because the news reports on this indicated a “group of men arguing who wouldn’t stop despite the arrival of the police”. Uh huh, that’s code word for the ‘Negroes were getting restless – danger alert’. I know how News Directors operate: they slant stories to give a certain perception, cover some stories while ignoring others. 
I was already thinking that Black people KNOW unless you look like Carlton Banks (and perhaps not even then) you had better be quiet and keep your hands visible around police if you are in a group larger than ONE because the po-po are always trigger happy around brown-skinned people even when they are brown-skinned themselves. 
Then one little blurb caught my attention “the police claimed they had no video to review because the cameras weren’t recording” at that specific station on that specific night. Then I KNEW something went down that was fishy. This was on a route that has a higher Black population than other BART stops. Also, shootings on train station platforms are NOT common occurrences in the Bay Area.
Now some video footage has in fact emerged from other train passengers who witnessed the “police” on their rampage. The local news showed edited video but I’m enclosing what was submitted to Youtube – all 10 minutes. The fact that a police officer tried to take the camera from passenger Karina Vargas (who filmed this) and other people in the crowd certainly doesn’t imply innocence from wrong-doing or how shooting an unarmed man was an accident either. We can all guess how this is going to turn out. No prosecution and an undisclosed settlement with a gag order in perpetuity. Too bad it won’t bring back the life of an innocent person and father of a small child. 
In case you’d like to demand some accountability though here’s the contact information for Board Member Carole Ward Allen who covers the Fruitvale area where this “accident” took place.  She is actually a very accomplished woman looking at her bio and I’m certain will do something to address this travesty. 
BART Board of Directors
P.O. Box 12688
Oakland, CA 94604-2688
(510) 464-6095
BoardofDirectors@bart.gov 
Their next meeting is January 8th at 9 a.m. The BART Board Room is located in the Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall, Third Floor, 344 20th St., Oakland, CA. 
Contact Info for Police Chief Gee as well as Internal Affairs.
Chief of Police:
Gary Gee 510.464.7022, ggee@bart.gov
Internal Affairs:
Sergeant David Chlebowski 510.464.7029, dchlebo@bart.gov 
This isn’t solely about the person harmed because if he’s had so much as a parking ticket, the police will be certain to leak it to the media to discredit the family’s case against them. This is about misconduct and potential criminal behavior of officers. I think it would be best to contact the family’s attorney to inquire what assistance if any is needed and proceed from there.
Logo used from BART site

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When Diversity Training Obfuscates Dismantling Racism

See my post below for Example #1. Here’s #2.
Now that the Palo Alto Police Chief who claimed to not understand why combining “African-Americans” and “Consensual Contact with Police” didn’t go over too well with people has chosen an early retirement, the City Council still has to address the entire atmosphere of racial animus that certainly won’t end with one person’s departure.  
So what’s the course of action? Why “Diversity Training” of course, because telling a police officer that racial profiling is wrong will immediately cease all subsequent aggression and apprehend criminals in a single bound! Not! It was a problem in 2000 and remains a problem going into 2009. Switching Police Chiefs and having police sit in a few classes does nothing to implement a series of consequences for any violations and is nothing more than exposing a wound to air in the hopes that will “heal” it. Ugh! 
If the residents of Palo Alto and neighboring East Palo Alto (with its large population of Black and Latinos) want to ensure a change in behavior they need to seek a specific course of action and be prepared for a long fight. As long as there’s a perception of increased crime or whatever excuse for the increased militarism of the police force, the problem will continue and worsen.

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Double Standards for Black Female Athletes

Brace yourself I feel a rant coming on!
Marion Jones was one of nearly 700 who requested a pardon or commutation of their sentence from Shrub. She was denied. One of the more notable pardons was granted to John Forte (Fugees) who was charged with intent to distribute narcotics because he went to the airport to retrieve a suitcase that contained $1.4M worth of cocaine.  We all make mistakes, but come on.
Marion was sent to prison for lying to Federal prosecutors about her use of performance-enhancing drugs. She was retroactively stripped of all her Olympic medals as well as her relay teammates, removed from the entire history of the IOC and had to return her prize money. Martha Stewart was sent to prison on a similar charge over a $50K stock trade. There’s also the fact that taking questionable drugs cause long term damage to the body of an athlete. Now we can argue the merits of guilt and need for punishment for breaking the law but I feel uncomfortable with these results. Especially in comparison to the way crimes are viewed when committed by certain men. I know race, class, privilege and as usual – connections can make all the difference in how ‘justice’ is meted. Paging Scooter Libby….
Genarlow Wilson has been touted as a victim of harsh sentencing. Somehow if you and a group of your friends decide to have sex one after the other with a passed out girl (drunk/physically impaired = no consent = rape) in a hotel room and then move on to getting fellatio from a 15 year old and taping it for kicks, you the oppressed Black male is being railroaded by the ‘system.’ 
Moving on, one other thing that really irritates me is how the mental prowess and strategizing techniques of the elite athlete is completely ignored for physicality when the athlete is Black. Like with Serena and Venus Williams. If I hear one more correspondent talk about “their power” or how they “overpowered” their competition I will scream! Sheer strength is not enough to become the number-one ranked tennis player and remain for multiple years. 
Which is why I think the use of performance-enhancing drugs is far more prevalent than what the powers that be would have the general public believe. Is it with tacit approval but a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy, where if you get caught you’re on your own? After all, the US of A wants world dominance in every area including athletics. Who gets to decide what’s legal and what’s not? Alcohol used to be banned – and it never will be again no matter how many impaired people get behind the wheel of a vehicle and injure or kill others. So why was Marion Jones so publicly humiliated and jailed when she got caught? Was it the severity of the crime or was there more to it? She could’ve been potentially charged with other crimes – which she may have been acquitted of by a jury of her peers. Was it race or gender or both that motivated the prosecution?