Fear In The Absence of Love

The product of fear

When we allow fear to influence our direction in life and what we do, we lose sight of what “humanity” should lead us in doing.

Fear–an unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad that is happening or might happen: (From the Cambridge English Dictionary—cambridge.org)

Fear–a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. (From dictionary.com)

Fear–an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger (From Merriam-Webster.com)

“Perfect love (unconditional love—my paraphrase) casts out fear.”

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (I John 4:18 NIV)

Now, that the definition has been addressed and a biblical concept has been made, let’s look at what fear has done in our nation.

            From the beginning—when the first colonists came to this country—they allowed fear of the Native Inhabitants to influence their decisions and actions. The Native Inhabitants were different—they looked different and had different customs—therefore, they must be “dangerous.” At least that’s the attitude taken when human beings were slaughtered because they didn’t look like or act like the invaders.  Never mind the fact that those same “dangerous human beings” helped the first colonists to survive in this land. When the “killing stopped” of the Native Inhabitants, the white people restricted them the most barren lands and forced them into reservations, without thought as to how they would survive. They did and now the United States Government has acknowledged the Native Inhabitants and attempted in some ways to amend the damage done through various laws and policies. Let’s never forget this one—very important fact—the Native Inhabitants were here in this land—FIRST.

            Moving on to 1619—when the first slaves from Africa arrived on these shores (and possibly before they left the continent of Africa)—they looked different, had a different language and did things differently. But white slave owners didn’t care about the fact that bringing them to a strange land would make them unable to comprehend what was expected of them since they didn’t speak the language. So, what did the white slave owners do? They beat the slaves into submission without ever considering what they were doing to other human beings.

            Thankfully, the Civil War helped to end slavery when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, but it did little to assuage the fear white people had of black folks. Before 1864, there were more black and Native slaves than white people so they made unfair and horrendous laws to maintain control over them (minority rule). Afterwards, during Reconstruction, some white people continued to mistreat and abuse black people, especially the poor, uneducated white people who later made up a large percentage of the “white hate groups.”

            Looking back at history and truly understanding the “fear” white people have of black folks is evident in how they continually tore down and destroyed anything black people as a community attempted to build:

The Atlanta Race Riot

            (blackthen.com)

Hoke Smith was a former publisher of the Atlanta Journal and Clark Howell was the editor of the Atlanta Constitution. Both candidates used their influence to incite white voters and help spread the fear that whites may not be able to maintain the current social order.

The Atlanta Georgian and the Atlanta News began publishing stories about white women being molested and raped by Black men. These allegations were reported multiple times and were largely false.

On Sept. 22, 1906, Atlanta newspapers reported four alleged assaults on local white women. Soon, some 10,000 white men and boys began gathering, beating, and stabbing Blacks. It is estimated that there were between 25 and 40 African-American deaths; it was confirmed that there were only two white deaths.

Greenwood—Tulsa, Oklahoma—(Black Wall Street)

The neighborhood was destroyed during a riot that broke out after a group men from Greenwood attempted to protect a young Black man from a lynch mob. On the night of May 31, 1921, a  mob called for the lynching of Dick Rowland, a Black man who shined shoes, after reports spread that on the previous day he had assaulted Sarah Page, a white woman, in the elevator she operated in a downtown building.

In the early morning hours of June 1, 1921, Black Tulsa was looted, firebombed from the air and burned down by white rioters. The governor declared martial law, and National Guard troops arrived in Tulsa. Guardsmen assisted firemen in putting out fires, removed abducted African-Americans from the hands of white vigilantes, and imprisoned all Black Tulsans, not already confined, into a prison camp at the Convention Hall and the Fairgrounds, some for as long as eight days.

In the wake of the violence, 35 city blocks lay in charred ruins, over 800 people were treated for injuries and estimated 300 deaths occurred.

Chicago Race Riots (1919)

Termed “Red Summer.” On July 27, 1919, an African-American teenager drowned in Lake Michigan after he challenged the unofficial segregation of Chicago’s beaches and was stoned by a group of white youths.

His death, and the police refusal to arrest the men who caused it, sparked a week of race rioting between Black and white Chicagoans, with Black neighborhoods receiving the worst of the damage.

Rosewood Massacre (1923)

Spurred by unsupported accusations that a white woman in Sumner had been beaten and possibly raped by a Black drifter, white men from a number of nearby towns lynched a Rosewood resident. When the Black citizens defended themselves against further attack, several hundred whites combed the countryside hunting Black people and burning almost every structure in Rosewood.

Washington, DC Race Riots (1919)

However, Washington’s Black community was then the largest and most prosperous in the country, with a small but impressive upper class of teachers, ministers, lawyers and businessmen concentrated in the LeDroit Park neighborhood near Howard University.

By the time the “Red Summer” was underway, unemployed whites bitterly envied the relatively few blacks who were fortunate enough to procure low-level government jobs. Many whites also resented the influx of African-Americans into previously segregated neighborhoods around Capitol Hill, Foggy Bottom and the old downtown.

In July 1919, white men, many in military uniforms, responded to the rumored arrest of a Black man for rape with four days of mob violence. They rioted, randomly beat Black people on the street and pulled others off streetcars in attacks. When police refused to intervene, the Black population fought back.

Detroit Race Riot of 1943 (detroithistorical.org)

Like the successive rebellion that would erupt 24 years later, the Detroit Race Riot of 1943 was deeply rooted in racism, poor living conditions and unequal access to goods and services. The apparent industrial prosperity that made Detroit the “Arsenal of Democracy” masked a deeper social unrest that erupted during the summer of 1943. The KKK was active in the region and riots had already broken out in other cities.

Before and during World War II, workers migrated north to seek factory employment in such vast numbers that Detroit was incapable of adequately receiving them. Because black Detroiters were still treated as second class citizens, they suffered disproportionately from wartime rationing and the overall strains on the city. Factories offered employment but not housing, and because whites violently defended the borders of their segregated neighborhoods, black residents had little choice but to suffer in repulsive living conditions.

Detroit’s 200,000 black residents were marginalized into small, subdivided apartments that often housed multiple families. They were crammed into sixty square blocks on the city’s east side, an area ironically known as Paradise Valley.

Knoxville, TN Race Riot (1919)

In August 1919, a race riot in Knoxville, Tenn., broke out after a white mob mobilized in response to a Black man accused of murdering a white woman. The 5,000-strong mob stormed the county jail searching for the prisoner. They freed 16 white prisoners, including suspected murderers.

After looting the jail and sheriff’s house, the mob moved on and attacked the African-American business district. Many of the city’s Black residents, aware of the race riots that had occurred across the country that summer, had armed themselves, and barricaded the intersection of Vine and Central to defend their businesses.

Two platoons of the Tennessee National Guard’s 4th Infantry led by Adjutant General Edward Sweeney arrived, but they were unable to halt the chaos. The mob broke into stores and stole firearms and other weapons on their way to the Black business district. Upon their arrival the streets erupted in gunfire as Black snipers exchanged fire with both the rioters and the soldiers. The Tennessee National Guard at one point fired two machine guns indiscriminately into the neighborhood, eventually dispersing the rioters.

New York City Draft Riot (1863)

The Draft Riot of 1863 was a four-day eruption of violence in New York City during the Civil War stemming from deep worker discontent with the inequities of the first federally mandated conscription laws.

In addition, the white working class feared that emancipation of enslaved Blacks would cause an influx of African-American workers from the South. In many instances, employers used Black workers as strike-breakers during this period. Thus, the white rioters eventually turned their wrath on the homes and businesses of innocent African-Americans and anything else symbolic of their growing political, economic and social power.

The East St. Louis Massacre (1917)

During spring 1917 Blacks were arriving in St. Louis at the rate of 2,000 per week, with many of them finding work at the Aluminum Ore Company and the American Steel Company in East St. Louis.

Some whites feared loss of job and wage security because of the new competition, and further resented newcomers arriving from a rural, very different culture. Tensions between the groups ran high and  escalated when rumors were spread about Black men and white women socializing at labor meetings.

In May, 3,000 white men gathered in downtown East St. Louis. The roving mob began burning buildings and attacking Black people.  The Illinois governor called in the National Guard to prevent further rioting and conditions eased somewhat for a few weeks.

Then on July 1, white men driving a car through a Black neighborhood began shooting into houses, stores, and a church. A group of Black men organized themselves to defend against the attackers. As they gathered, they mistook an approaching car for the same one that had earlier driven through the neighborhood and they shot and killed both men in the car, who were, in fact, police detectives sent to calm the situation.

            Of course, we could go on for decades describing the indignities and inhumane treatment suffered by black people at the hands of white people and all because of their fear of black people. After the Reconstruction Era, fear motivated Jim Crow Laws which further limited the mobility and potential of black folks. All of this is documented in so many places that it would entail writing a book to list it all. But let’s take another look, with a microscopic perspective at events in recent decades—the killing of black males and females by white police officers. Without going into great detail about what is readily known and has been recently portrayed in the review of the practices of police officers who appear to not think twice about shooting a black person (suspect), but will go out of their way to treat known white killers with dignity and humaneness. Why? Fear of black people motivates the unjust use of force and eventual deaths.

            I’m not trying to relitigate the deaths of all those who died at the hands of police officers who appear to have racial bias. That would take too long and not many would read it, but I am trying to show how “fear” in the absence of love, leads to disastrous results. Until we learn how to love, unconditionally, all human beings (that’s not to say we have to agree with them), we will continue to see the ravages of human life at the hands of those who are fearful and promote fear to inflame others. What the world—especially those of us in America—needs more than anything else is “love” and understanding. Where there is no understanding of the experiences of another, we tend to fertilize fear with fearmongering and that has to stop.

Election 2019

Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to run for president and when I found out how much that would cost, I decided to run for an open seat on our city council. Now, I’ve never been overly fond of politics or politicians, but I thought I’d give it try any way. What I learned is–I was right to distrust the political machinery, even in a local election. Corruption has a stench that reaches into the hearts of small towns as well as big cities.

I followed the procedures I was given to get on the ballot–getting the required number of signatures, filing all the paperwork and having it done before deadline. On Memorial Day–2019,  I was told I had a target on my back. I heard what was said, but really didn’t give it much thought. “What can they do to me?” I thought. I knew there was nothing negative anyone would be able to find on me and if anything were publicized, it would have to be because someone made it up. Well, they did, but that didn’t stop me.

So, about a month or two before the election on November 5, 2019, I found out the plot–an 83 year-old white man who had been the former mayor and councilmember was running for the council seat because he didn’t want another African American on the council (we had one who got there by manipulation). Then things got really juicy. I was provided the man’s historical stance in trying to keep Black people out of the city–from blocking the sale of a building to a Black Church, to manipulating the Council into buying the building–only to discover once the city couldn’t afford the upkeep and had to close the building, the building ended up in the hands of a Black Church, anyway.

The name of the city was changed because it included the word, “Detroit” because some people didn’t want the association with the bigger city. About 20 years ago, the Black population was insignificant to most, but since then (around 2008), the numbers have been growing and now, it is believed that 40% of population is Black.

In 2017, the city was sued by the Department of Justice for allegedly violating civil rights voting laws. In November of 2017, a Black person was elected (primarily because of split votes between five Black candidates). In June of 2019, the city and DOJ reached a settlement–the city would use Ranked Choice Voting to establish a pathway for minority candidates to be elected. I ran, but was not successful in my bid for the seat because (viola) the plot to keep me off the council worked (name recognition).

How did it work? The “former mayor” of over 20 years ago, put out campaign signs for himself, another council candidate and a mayoral candidate. Whether others were involved remains to be discovered, but I’m guessing, someone will talk and someone else will hear about it. With the three signs put together in various locations, it gave the impression the three candidates were running as a team or slate (and since the three candidates were white, it made the DOJ lawsuit very relevant). And apparently, that’s how a number of people saw it–manipulation at work.

On election day, November 5, 2019, before the polls closed, the spouse of one of the candidates for council (the incumbent) happened to hold a conversation with a poll worker that he didn’t know, was there for me (correction–he did know). He laid out the entire plan (that was misunderstood by source). “My wife and Henry (pseudonym)  will win, and Mary will get a 1000 votes, then we’ll offer her an opportunity to apply for an appointment” (contextually, this was not reported with full knowledge and understanding of what was being said. The 1000 vote reference was about past experiences for candidates to win).

I got 1061 votes and the next day when we were given the results of the election, I was asked to consider applying for the appointment of a vacated seat. (This blog post ignited conversations–perhaps needed conversations in order to clear the air of any all misunderstandings. However, looking at the “entire” situation, without parsing–the optics were not good and possibly led to the misunderstandings, but I am yet analyzing to understand the motivation that prompted this entire discussion).

While I was considering applying, I got the word not to take it because it had been pre-planned and was possibly in violation of the Open Meetings Act. The way it was explained to me, by someone who had first-hand knowledge of the manipulative way the council worked. Some time ago, a seat was vacated and a number of people applied for the appointment. After the interviews, some were told they were sure to get it, but they didn’t. One of the interviewees found out later that a member of the council was friends with the wife of one of the interviewees and had been promised the positioned. The other person felt this was a waste of his time and since that “policy” was apparently the status quo, he didn’t want me involved with shenanigans. I’m grateful for the info.

Here’s what was offered: I would get the vote for the appointment as long as another person didn’t apply for it. I have documentation of what was said, just in case one or more of parties involved happens to read this. I love paper trails. And for those reading, before jumping to conclusions, try to understand how I perceived what I did. Being a minority, brings a certain mistrust to a number of situations and when a person “watches” what happens (not just hears), I tend to look a little closer look at everything, not just one thing. I’ve been told before that perhaps, I’m too analytical and that may be true, but being analytical means I examine all sides of an issue before drawing definitive conclusions. Note: DOJ has since responded to an inquiry by me and confirmed what I already knew–name recognition used as a means to choose candidates–will not change using Ranked Choice Voting. Basically, nothing much will ever change unless a person changes their name and that still may not work.

So, my proposal to fill the vacant seat is to appoint the person who was already voted for by the residents, rather than have 4-member council (likely divided) to try to make the decision. Based upon the “vacancy” section in the city charter, the council appoints the person to fill the vacancy–“before the DOJ settlement decree” and since the rules for voting changed, there should also be a change  in filling a vacancy since the Election Results record shows, how the next person ranked on the ballots with the residents’ input. The one thing the “plotters” overlooked is who would win the mayor’s seat, but that’s for another article. In that article, I’ll explain how “manipulation” won the day over egos. After all, the same manipulation that worked the first time around–when five Black candidates were in the race, won again–vote splitting–a winning strategy.

Too bad manipulation won’t hold seat. Tick-tock–the 6 month clock is running! Being escorted out a bar for being drunk (and I can imagine disorderly) right before an election–is not a good look and certainly not a “good representation” of self or city.

More next time! Keep watching as the “world turns and manipulation rules” in Eastpointe, MI! At the behest of the residents, I’m going to apply for the appointment and we’ll see how that works, in 2019. If it wasn’t for the residents, I’d call it a day and move on with my life–still helping where I can–but without the weight of corrupt politicism as a burden.

Author’s note: While some folks were trying to block me from winning an election out of pure racial bias, they forgot to keep watch of the mayoral candidate–who just happened to be Black–and won. Talk about Irony!

 

 

Fear and Desperation!

Fear and Desperation!

With the release of the much anticipated “Nunes Memo” the media is in an uproar–trying to understand and explain it. I have read it and conclude along with the experts (of which I am not a legal expert, but have expert reading comprehension skills), that this prose was written out of a state of fear and desperation. Devin Nunes and the others who insist there is either a “deep state” within the Intelligence Community or a “secret society” (based on text messages) have demonstrated they’re afraid of being exposed in something sinister. My guess–we have traitors in the White House and enablers of the traitors in Congress.

I’ve said it before–Congressional GOP knew from the beginning that trump was involved in something shady, but they went along with it because of greed and the opportunity to really screw America.

I must state for clarity’s sake that Fox News and hosts are touting the memo has a means of demonstrating corruption in the FBI and have convinced trump–it vindicates him from further scrutiny in the Mueller Investigation. Not true–and anyone with a brain can see through this ruse. The three and half pages insinuate a great deal, but explain nothing and provide no evidence of anything other than “innuendo” about bias involved in who paid for the “Dossier.” First all, if any need to be reminded, the Opposition Research on trump was initiated by a Republican group, not the DNC–who later continued the investigation and paid for the work they received. However, this memo does not include the fact that Steele (British operative) continued his investigation past the time and payment received by Fusion GPS. What the GOP has succeeded in doing, is drawing greater scrutiny into the affairs of the trump administration and anyone involved with them.

The memo fails to indict the FBI who were simply doing their job in their surveillance of Carter Page which started in 2013. These are the facts, not just opinions. The raised eyebrows over text messages is a deflection–in hopes of keeping people off balance from actually seeing the truth.

The trump administration and GOP’s attempt to “claim FBI bias” has nothing to do with the reality of the situation. They have implied–repeatedly that if a person works for the FBI (DOJ) they are not entitled to expression of their personal opinions–especially if those opinions are contrary to what the GOP want to hear. No one who works in government is vetted/screened based upon their political affiliation. That is unconstitutional at the least and discriminatory at most. Who a person votes for or what their political affiliation is has nothing to do with their ability to do their job and as professionals, to do the job–professionally–without bias. I believe the FBI is more than capable of doing their job, professionally.

At any rate, I’ve ranted on Twitter for the past two days about the stupidity we keep seeing coming out from the White House and the Republican party. It’s time Congress did its job regarding their oversight in Congress and draft Articles of Impeachment against trump or get out the way. They are abdicating their responsibility and disregarding their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution–not the person on the Oval Office.  Someone is confused and it’s not me or the general American Public who see through all the smoke screen.They are enablers of the stupidity and should be charged with treason along with the trump administration–the entire team.

We deserve better in America. I can provide it with a different Congress–one in which all the players care about America as much as I do. We can change this landscape and we will start with the mid term election in 2018–even if Russia continues to interfere. We will prevail!

benefits

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