Archives

Gus T. Renegade: #RenishaMcBride: #YesAllWomen?

After [her] boys disappeared, Mrs Glenda Moore knocked on a nearby door for help but was told: ‘I don’t know you. I’m not going to help you.’ Mrs Moore then tried another neighbor near her Staten Island home, but when she rang the bell they turned off the lights and refused to answer. Her cousin Nancy Jean, 41, fought back tears as she described the ordeal. ‘I can’t believe the way she was treated by the [Whites] she went to for help.

Mrs. Glenda Moore wasn’t drunk. She wasn’t high. She isn’t a prostitute. She’s a married black mother of two boys who were allowed to drown during the 2012 ravages of Hurricane Sandy. Her White neighbors rejected her maternal pleas, branded her a potential looter, thug.

I’m sure Renisha McBride’s family and friends wish she had received the same deaf ear; it seems likely that if Theodore Wafer had ignored her, she might still be alive. But his White manhood could not tolerate withdrawal from confrontation. 

The summer of 2014 has seen a chorus of chatter on the problem of black masculinity. Ray Rice displaced O.J. Simpson as the embodiment of domestic abuse. White females were the vanguard in the effort to neuter and suspend Stephen A. Smith for suggesting that Rice and other male abusers might be provoked to violence. Former News 12 New Jersey reporter Sean Berginproclaimed that the infinite pathologies plaguing black people are the result of shiftless black fathers. There have even been a sizable number of reports chastising black males’ negligible interest in the murder trial of Renisha McBride in comparison to the historic and ongoing allure of Trayvon Martin.

Black males have much room for improvement. Domestic abuse is indefensible. But most black males’ – non-white males and females globally – current concept of what a man is, what a man does, is based on our understanding and experience with the likes of Theodore Wafer, The Man.

I then examined certain other specific patterns of language used by Black males within the white supremacy culture. To begin with, Black males in particular, but also black females, refer to the white male as “The Man.” Once this term “The Man” is thought or uttered, the brain computes that… the white male is “The Man,” meaning logically “The onlyMan”… (Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, The Isis Paperspg. 120)

White Jesus, John Wayne, Justin Timberlake, Clint Eastwood, Charlton Heston, Superman, Elvis Presley or Theodore Wafer. Biblical or fictitious, gun-toting or hip-shaking, these White prototypes of manhood fortify White Supremacy and have contaminated the thoughts and behaviors of millions of black males.

Wafer also admits he was mad when he grabbed his shotgun that was in a closet, saying he didn’t want to “cower” in his home and wasn’t going to be a victim.

President Barack Obama has been chided for nearly two full terms for shrinking from conflict, not being aggressive, man enough for the White House. He wasn’t sufficiently angry in responding to the 2010 BP oil spill. He demonstrated “incompetence” and “ineptitude” as heslunk away from the hostilities in SyriaSen. John McCainand a host of others have denounced him as a weakling for his handling of the conflict in GazaPresident Vladimir Putin and the non-white children leap-frogging the southern border.

The criticisms suggest that many Whites would prefer if the commander and chief were more like Dearborn Heights’ own, Theodore Wafer. Our leader should look forward to the of sting battle. Wafer didn’t waste time to locate his phone to solicit assistance, and he refused to be intimidated on his own property. He flexed his second amendment right to carry a big stick and invited Renisha McBride to make his day. McBride provoked him, “crossed the line” by descending unidentified upon his residence; his White manhood demanded maximum, lethal retaliation.

During cross examination, assistant prosecutor Athina Siringas said Wafer never told officers he was scared until they asked. “I had a lot of emotions, fear, panicking,” Wafer said. “I guess in front of a cop I didn’t want to come across as less of a man.”

Wafer has just ended the life of an unarmed nineteen-year-old female. Blasted bits of her head across his lawn. Yet his focus is on projecting the appropriate image of unflinching White masculinity.

Wafer’s tear ducts worked overtime during his first day on the witness stand, but minutes after wiping McBride off the earth, he shed no tears. He informed officers that he was full of “piss and vinegar” and wanted to brandish his firearm to whom ever happened to be knocking at his door.

This is ethos of White masculinity. Wafer, Anthony Cumia, and Chicago’s David Nicosia are contemporary manifestations of this barbaric tradition.

Nicosia told Judge Arnette Hubbard he wanted her to stop smoking outside a Chicago courthouse. The attorney says Nicosia called the 79-year-old judge “Rosa Parks” and spat in her face. A county sheriff’s spokeswoman said 55-year-old Nicosia walked away but Hubbard followed and confronted him. She said Nicosia spit on Hubbard again before slapping the judge’s face.

White men are not to retreat or endure the impudence of a black female at any time – especially not at the ungodly hour of four in the morning. Any amount of physical force is justified – perhaps mandatory – to remind an uncouth or sassy negress like McBride or Dr. Ersula Ore that they are to always remember their place and never challenge the patriarch of White Supremacy.

But we could not have a global System of White Terrorism without the White matriarch.

All this got me thinking about privilege-denying, white supremacist-backing white women, and the tyranny they can cause when they don’t get their way. These women like to have it both ways: sit upon their pedestal and look down with resentment upon people of color and, when it suits them, jump off their pedestal and claim that if we dismantle sexism, other forms of oppression will crumble. These same women will decry the persistence of sexism/misogyny, but deny they are complicit in white [supremacy] that oppresses people of color on a totally different level… 

 

White Women have demonstrated immense power over the last year. They rallied around Texas State SenatorWendy Davis and have her poised to challenge for governorship. They were integral in weaving the false narrative about Isla Vista suspected murderer Elliot Rodger; the #YesAllWomen campaign reduced him to a vessel of misogyny and undiluted evil. They used the firing of former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson to insist that their oppression is on par with Harriet Jacobs and other oppressed non-whites.

White women were a critical component in the Trayvon Martin murder trial, and they are equally pivotal in the McBride murder case; the judge, and defense attorney are both White females in McBride’s trial – two of the jurors are as well.

Where were these pale allies when Rachel Jeantel was being lampooned and blamed during the court case of 2013? Where were our melanin deficient sisters when First Lady Michele Obama was being heckled by a White female member of Code Pink? Where have they been for the duration of the Renisha McBride proceedings? Does #YesAllWomen include melanin dominant females?

“The sound in the front was louder than the sound on the side and there was something slapping the window,” he said. “The floor was vibrating from the banging on the doors.”

An overworked White Supremacist trope is that black people are superhuman creatures, capable of extraordinary feats of physical force. Black females are habitually lauded for being reservoirs of strength, incapable of submission. Consequently, they’re most often denied the delicacy and fragility that White females elicit reflexively. According to Mr. Wafer, McBride was fixin’ to huff and puff and blow his house away. Of course he had no recourse; he had to defend his property and life and annihilating a black female it was an indispensable part of that process.

Prosecutors then played a video of Wafer being questioned by an investigator at the police department, where he sips on something they’ve given him to drink and does not appear to be emotional. Police told him the person he shot and killed was young. And, at times, Wafer refers to the person he shot as “IT.”

It. Ain’t I a human? Absolutely not. One would think our White sisters in arms would be equally appalled by this commentary and attacking Wafer with the same conviction and venom they aimed at Stephen A. Smith. White feminists have been mum on McBride. A teenage black female talked about as an inanimate object. A thing. “It.” A hefty number of Whites would not permit a fetus to be described in such terms.

Numerous witnesses have testified over the course of the trial that a mere $56 dollars had been recovered from Renisha’s body. On the audio recording, however, police officers can be heard noting that a $100 bill had been found on her person, leading to one officer responding “No kidding?” This in turn led to a discussion on the officers’ part as to whether McBride had been working as a prostitute and had been seeking to collect money owed.

Michelle Beadle where are you? Sandra Fluke where are you? Calling any and all White feminists. Just because a black female has a Franklin in her pocket, she’s a whore? President Obama proudly penned the Lilly Ledbetter Act in 2009. Why not pay it forward in supporting an unarmed, black, teenage female gunned down and suspected of being a hooker? #YesAllWomen declared that this sexist world cultivates exploitation and violence against woman with token punishments if any. Why hasn’t McBride’s murder and subsequent verbal demeaning produced indignant White feminist comrades?

Where has justice gone when we can’t protect ourselves or our property? What message is our “justice” system sending? The jurors just gave permission to [Breaking and Entering] to every thugout there. So sad.

This is Racist Suspect Michelle Roose Walter’s response to Theodore Wafer being found guilty of second degree murder for McBride’s death. Walter sounds like a kindred spirit of Charlton Heston, former NRA President and star of Planet of The Apes. In the Context of White Supremacy, termination of black life is always supposed to be a rational, just and non-punishable act. White life, White property and White rule are infinitely, eternally superior to a billion Renisha McBride’s or Glenda Moore’s.

Syreeta McFadden remarked, “Only in America can a dead black [teen] go on trial for his [or her] own murder.” Under the System of White Supremacy, the injustice is that Trayvon Martin and McBride can’t be exhumed and convicted for being black and likely thugs.

Gus T. Renegade: #RenishaMcBride: #YesAllWomen?.

Views – 204

Latasha Harlins, Renisha McBride, Social Media and Slain Black Girls – The Root

Latasha Harlins Shooting at Empire Liquors

The Empire Liquors grocery store where Latasha Harlins was killed in 1991

Latasha Harlins would not live long enough to witness the birth of Twitter or the era of the hashtag. Yet it’s difficult not to summon her name—or her story—amid hashtag memorials for another dead black girl, 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was shot in the face earlier this month after knocking on a door in suburban Detroit.

Latasha, age 15, was shot in the back of her head by grocery-store owner Soon Ja Du two weeks after the infamous Rodney King beating in 1991. It happened during a dispute at Du’s South-Central Los Angeles store and ended with Latasha lying dead on the ground with a $1.79 bottle of orange juice sitting on the counter and two crumpled dollar bills in her hand. The memory of Latasha’s shooting eerily haunts the present as we confront the recent death of McBride, whose shooter claims self-defense.

As UCLA historian Brenda Stevenson observes in her new book, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins : Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots, much about Latasha’s life and death is all too familiar. As Du testified during her murder trial, in Latasha she didn’t see a black girl who loved BBD —the around-the-way girl with the “New Edition Bobby Brown button” on her sleeve that LL Cool J once lovingly observed. Rather, per Du’s teenage son, what she saw instead was a “gang member.”

Latasha’s sartorial choices—described by a friend in Stevenson’s book as “blue dickies, a white T-shirt, and a black hoodie, always the black hoodie”—reflected her desire, no doubt, to simply fit in. As another friend of hers recalled, “Tasha was just very quiet and shy … And she was hard, you could tell. You didn’t mess with her. She was like in her own world.” None of which suggests that she deserved to die on a Saturday morning in a grocery store doubling as a liquor store, in her own neighborhood.

It is conventional wisdom that the dramatic deaths of black women and girls simply don’t inspire the spirit of agitation that many might recall in the invocation of the names “Emmett Till” or “Trayvon Martin.” And to be sure, we’d be hard-pressed to think of a black woman or girl who resonates in our collective psyche the way Emmett and Trayvon do.

Emmett and Trayvon were middle-class boys who we believed would become solid citizens, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Latasha might be forgotten in the shadow of the case in which four L.A. police officers were acquitted of beating Rodney King. Yet Latasha became the catalyst for the most sustained example of black rage since the Watts insurrections of 1965.

Stevenson reminds us that when the phrase “No justice, no peace!” became the anthem of the insurrections that set Los Angeles afire in April of 1992, “Rodney King was not the symbol of injustice that catalyzed the protest: Latasha Harlins was. Indeed the uprising’s slogan … was chanted by protesters at the Empire Liquor Market immediately after Latasha was killed, a full year before … ”

How, then, was it that the death of this 15-year-old black girl was able to inspire the level of collective response that she did? The answer perhaps lies in the fact that Latasha’s murder, despite our collective memories about anti-black violence, was a rarity.

Given that the vast majority of homicides occur within a single racial group, and the majority of females are killed by males, Stevenson notes, “Harlins’ death at the hands of Du was quite unusual. Harlins’ shooting challenged the Black-White divide that often accompanies narratives of anti-Black violence. Du was not only Korean born, but also a woman, as was Judge [Joyce] Karlin, who presided over Du’s trial, and eventually sentenced her to ‘no further jail time.’ ”

Equally rare, according to Stevenson, was that at the time, homicides of black girls in Latasha’s age group (14 to 17) represented less than .01 percent of the murder rate in 1991. That we know so well, today, the examples of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Hadiya Pendleton and Renisha McBride—during an era when, overall, black-youth homicides have declined  since the late 1980s—speaks volumes about the surreal nature of their deaths as well as our ability to access and share information about such violence.

The 1991 grocery-store shooting of the 15-year-old, which Brenda Stevenson recounts in her new book, haunts the present-day story of Renisha McBride’s tragic death.

Latasha Harlins, Renisha McBride, Social Media and Slain Black Girls – The Root.

 

Views – 252

Strange Fruit (Class of 2013): dedicated to the memories of Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell and Kendrick Johnson – Jasiri X – YouTube

Dedicated to the memories of Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell and Kendrick Johnson, Strange Fruit (Class of 2013) was produced by Religion and directed by Haute Muslim

Free Download at http://jasirix.bandcamp.com/
Follow Jasiri X at https://twitter.com/jasiri_x

LYRICS
They say Jasiri X you preach too much
I’m like Black people we asleep too much
A Black President but he doesn’t speak for us
Another Black body lynched is not unique to us
Meanwhile Kanye‘s rocking confederate flags
Jay Z and Barneys going half on sweaters and bags
It’s not their fault it’s ours all we measure is swag
They getting money get money what’s better than cash
Forever in last riding in Berratas and Jags but don’t crash
If you do and need help don’t ask
Cause all Renisha got was a shotgun blast
Just for knocking on the door left rotting on the floor
Half her face gone but no one was locked up like Akon
Black life comes with no insurance like State Farm
Race wrong black people better put ya brakes on
End up on a strange porch ended up as stained corpse
Different city same sport
It’s not a accident if you hit the witness you aimed for
Bullets left her face torn
Victim in a race war make a nigga hate more
Show up at that same door let that 38 roar
What will be my fate Lord death by an officer?
Who I ran to thinking help he would offer up
10 shot to the chest stretched now they chalking
Another black man looking fresh in that coffin or
Beaten to my ribs cracked rolled up in a gym mat
Blood on my kicks match police say I did that
No crime the kids black cased closed casket shut
But take his organs fill em with newspaper and patch em up
Now tell me if that bullshit is matching up
I know you just wanna see her twerking then back it up
But that’s what happens when we make our rappers leaders
And our most intelligent just wanna be on TV speaking
And they give reality TV shows to preachers
and we think activism is Facebooking and Tweeting
12 years a slave we still fighting for freedom
Just look at the headlines seeing is believing

via Strange Fruit (Class of 2013) – Jasiri X – YouTube.

 

Views – 174

Renisha McBride and Other Black Women Need to be Defended | New Pittsburgh Courier

All Renisha McBride wanted to do was to go home. She had been in a car accident, her cell phone was dead, and she needed help. She knocked on a couple of doors in the suburban Detroit neighborhood where she was stranded, but it was well after midnight and people weren’t opening their doors. Finally, she found a homeowner in Dearborn Heights who opened his door, but instead of offering the help she so desperately needed, he shot her, saying he thought she was going to break into his home.

He didn’t shoot her at close range; he shot her from a distance. He might have simply shut the door, or he might have shut the door and called 911. Instead he shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride in the face.

download

On Friday, Theodore P. Wafer, 54, was charged with second-degree murder. He also faces a manslaughter charge.

There are chilling parallels to the Trayvon Martin case. The character assassination of Renisha has begun. According to a toxicology report, her blood alcohol level was 0.22, more than twice the legal limit for driving. Her blood also tested positive for an active ingredient in marijuana.

If Renisha were drunk as Cootie Brown and high as a kite, she did not deserve to be killed. Why didn’t Wafer call 911 and tell them (if he could tell) that there was a drunken woman on his porch? Why did he shoot?

Renisha McBride’s murder bears attention for several reasons. First of all, it reinforces the unfortunate reality that young black people are at high risk for violence, often because too many shoot first and ask questions later. Secondly, in the cases that are highly publicized, usually it is the massacre of a young man that is at the center of a case. It is important to note that young black women are too often at risk. And it is important to ask what we plan to do about it.

Marissa Alexander didn’t want to take another beating. Her husband Rico Gray is an admitted abuser whose brutal beatings of his wife were described as “lifethreatening.” She fired a warning shot into the ceiling to warn off her abuser husband. Yet, she was charged with felony use of a firearm and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

The prosecutor in this case, Angela Corey, is the same one who only reluctantly charged George Zimmerman in the massacre of Trayvon Martin, the same prosecutor who assembled a flawed legal team, the same prosecutor who believes in the Stand Your Ground laws. That is, except for Marissa Alexander, who stood her ground against an abusive husband and hurt no one.

Marissa Alexander, the 32-year-old mother of three, has no criminal record. Her conviction has been thrown out because a judge ruled that the prosecution, not the defense, has the burden of proof. (Alexander was asked to prove that she had been beaten). Friends and family have raised her bail, but the judged in her case says he won’t rule on her release until January 15.

She languishes in jail, supposedly, because she remains a threat to her batterer, but even he supports her release. Her continued incarceration is not only mean-spirited, but also an illustration about the unevenness of law. George Zimmerman got away with murder for standing his ground. Marissa Alexander is incarcerated because she stood hers.

With domestic violence an epidemic in our country, it seems unfathomable that a woman who wanted to prevent it is charged with a crime. While the civil rights community has surrounded Marissa, I am not aware of women’s organizations or domestic violence organizations that have been similarly supportive. E. Faye Williams of the National Congress of Black Women says that her organization has been active in assisting Marissa, and that’s a good thing. Still, just as the hoodie came to represent Trayvon Martin, and people from around the world, including on the floor of Congress, donned the hoodie in solidarity with Trayvon, there has been no similar support for Marissa Alexander.

Marissa Alexander’s incarceration and the murder of Renisha McBride have something in common. They illustrate the vulnerability of Black women, both in the legal system, and in the public perception of race and gender. Black women are not afforded the privilege of standing their ground against batterers. Black women can be shot at far range because a 54-year-old homeowner was so frightened that he had to shoot.

More than 20 years ago, when now Associate Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas attempted to character assassinate attorney Anita Hill with his wild accusations, a group of Black women stood up in her defense. Using the moniker of “African American Women in Defense of Ourselves,” the group took out ads both in the New York Times and in the Black press supporting Professor Hill. (Disclosure – my mom, my three sisters and I all signed the ad). We defended ourselves then, and we must defend ourselves now. The legal system seems unwilling and unable to do so.

Renisha McBride and Other Black Women Need to be Defended | New Pittsburgh Courier.

 

Views – 159

This is the “Final Act”: Ending Violence Against Black Women (for Renisha McBride) by Brothers Writing to Live | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

The lifeless body of Laura Nelson (1911)

This is the “Final Act”: 
Ending Violence Against Black Women (for Renisha McBride)
by Brothers Writing to Live

We begin this statement for justice in response to the murder of Renisha McBride by starting at “home.

We are a collective of black men who write in community, who desire a future free of structural violence and physical violation—especially violence that overwhelmingly impact women and children. While we write to add our voices to the collective call for justice in response to the murder of Renisha, we are also aware of our own complicity in systems of male domination that impact women we do and do not know on a regular basis. Given that, we name sister comrades with whom we are in community like Brittney Cooper who recently experienced violation by a man and say to her: we stand with you and don’t condone any act of violence that places you and any women in harm.

And to the brother: we, like you, have work to do on ourselves. Indeed, our first work must be a commitment to critical self-reflection, the kind that allows us to hold ourselves accountable to the politics we maintain. And the second is the process of self-transformation. Our sisters do not need more enemies and too often we, black men, have been the most aggressive! They need our solidarity, love, and care so that we don’t have to mourn the loss of another black woman, like Renisha.

Renisha McBride did not have to die. If she lived in a world that did not criminalize the bodies of black youth, she would not have died by a gunshot to her face. If she lived in a world that saw her as a human worthy of care, she would not have been killed by a man who was allegedly seeking to protect himself and his property. If she lived in a world that did not perfect the brutal skill of violating the black female body, she would certainly not have been killed and days later her murderer remained free.

Unfortunately, Renisha did not have the luxury of living in a society free of the type of rabid structural violence that allows black girls in need of help to be shot and killed. Ours is a society where 12 black women can be killed in one location and within a short span of time, like Boston in 1978-79, and there is no outcry. But the murder of 12 innocent black women was the “final act” for the black feminists who formed the Combahee River Collective in response. The murder of Renisha is the final act for us.

Renisha was killed after getting into a car crash and seeking help at a nearby home. Theodore Wafer opened the door with his shotgun at the ready and shot her in the face. Did he even try to see her?

How could he? In a world that chooses not to see black women and girls every day. We (black men, white men, and white women—some of us anyway) ignore their pain, their triumphs, their hopes, their goals, their wounds, and proceed as if they are not a part of the human family. We use their bodies as an outlet to express our rage and frustration. We discard them after we use them for our pleasure. And we convince ourselves they are okay despite violation.

Theodore Wafer walked free for nearly two weeks before being charged with any crime because Renisha’s life, as a black girl, in a white supremacist patriarchy, was meaningless. But we come together to expose such lies and to unite in solidarity with those who speak Renisha’s name so that we will not forget: Renisha’s life matters. Renisha’s death matters. Black girls matter. We are putting the world on notice. The dehumanization and invisiblilizing of black women will no longer stand.

How many black girls must suffer before we black men say it’s enough?

We condemn the killing of Renisha McBride. We condemn the violence that continues to plague black women in this country. We condemn the society that not only allows but supports that violence because it does not value black women’s lives. We condemn the laws that embolden their killers. We condemn the mentality that causes us all to turn a blind eye while our sisters are beaten and killed. We condemn the parts of ourselves that have been complicit in fostering black women’s pain.

We speak Renisha’s name the same as we speak the names Marissa Alexander, Islan Nettles, Sakia Gunn, Miriam Carey, CeCe McDonald, Aiyana Stanley-Jones and all black women and girls who have been taken from us, whether locked away in cages or buried in the earth, because we love them.

We speak Renisha’s name to remind ourselves that we too are part of the problem if we fail to speak up and stand alongside our sisters in their struggle against sexism, rape, patriarchy, and other forms of violence.

We speak Renisha’s name because we love our black mothers, sisters, grandmothers, little cousins, neighbors, students, daughters, nieces, co-workers, comrades, teachers, and so many others too much to allow them to be hurt by hands, guns, laws, and our silences.

And we speak Renisha’s name among a community of brothers as a call to action, a call for brothers to actively participate in the struggle to end the violence that too often befall our sisters…even if such participation requires our own undoing.

Kiese Laymon, Writer & Professor at Vassar College
Mychal Denzel Smith, Writer, Mental Health Advocate, & Cultural Critic
Kai M. Green, Writer, Filmmaker, & Ph.D Candidate at USC
Marlon Peterson., Writer & Youth & Community Advocate
Mark Anthony Neal, Writer, Cultural Critic, & Professor at Duke University
Hashim Pipkin, Writer, Cultural Critic, Ph.D. Candidate at Vanderbilt University
Wade Davis, II, Writer, LGBTQ Advocate, & Former NFL Player
Darnell L. Moore, Writer & Activist

This is the “Final Act”: Ending Violence Against Black Women (for Renisha McBride) by Brothers Writing to Live | NewBlackMan (in Exile).

Views – 143