Category Archives: Boycott

Police Report Deems Firing 55 Shots In 3.5 Seconds At A Sleeping Black Man “Reasonable”

Editorial note by Randall Hill

On February 9, 2019, six white police officers shot and killed, Willie McCoy, a black 20-year-old aspiring rapper who fell asleep in the drive-thru lane of a Taco Bell. Police body cam footage of the shooting is below.

These videos, unfortunately, are becoming so numerous, it's hard keeping up. Just days ago, Phoenix police threatened to kill a pregnant woman because her 4-year-old daughter walked out of a Family Dollar store with a 99 cent doll.  It's way past the point of misunderstandings and cops fearing for their lives. It's almost as a racist faction of police have declared warfare on the black community. I understand policing is a dangerous job, it ranks 18 out of the 25 most dangerous occupations in the U.S., however, having an encounter with police while being black is feeling pretty dangerous too!

Since today is Father's Day, I wasn't planning on posting anything, but then I learned about this situation which instantly reminded me of my youngest son. He is a twenty-year-old college student, aspiring singer/rapper and a former member of the group ProjecX, the first youth group to perform at Twilight Tuesdays. He released his first album earlier this year and will be releasing his first music video soon. 

I'm waiting to hear some sort of response from Taco Bell or Yum Brands which owns them. This young black man was killed while being a customer and if Taco Bell doesn't speak out against this senseless act, I'm done with them and possibly all the Yum brands. As we stated previously, only economic sanctions will change this. See: "Where Protest Fails, Violence Prevails" and "Protest Minus Disruption or Violence Equals Failure".

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Willie McCoy. As President Obama said about Trayvon Martin, "Willie McCoy" could have been my son.

Article by Abby Zimet

The choice by six crazed racist cops to pump 55 shots into Willie McCoy, a 20-year-old Bay Area rapper, for the crime of falling asleep in his car at a Taco Bell was "reasonable," argues a newly released report by a paid "expert" and former cop who called the gruesome killing "in line with contemporary training and police practices” – which is the damn problem, say many Americans weary of dead black bodies in the streets. The Vallejo police officers turned up last February for – bitter irony alert – "a wellness check" after a worried Taco Bell employee called to say there was an unresponsive man in his car in the drive-through lane. Police found McCoy asleep at the steering wheel with a gun in his lap. Inexplicably for officers of the law supposedly trained to serve and protect and think on their feet, it evidently didn't occur to them to do a normal human thing like try and wake McCoy by honking or shining lights at him, perhaps from a safe distance in case he was startled. Instead, they took the gun narrative, and ran with it: They reported "a confrontation with an armed man," said they "gave loud verbal commands" McCoy didn't follow, and were forced to fire out of “fear for their own safety” after McCoy reached for his gun.

In fact, body-camera footage released following pressure from the family and the community showed McCoy sound asleep for several minutes as officers frantically pointed guns at his head; it also revealed police remarking McCoy's gun didn't have a magazine in it, one cop bragging, “I’m going to pull him out and snatch his ass," and McCoy simply, slightly stirring in his sleep to scratch his arm before the explosion of gunfire – 55 shots in 3.5 seconds. He was reportedly hit about 25 times; his family said he was unrecognizable, his face, chest, throat, arms, and body riddled with bullets in an “execution by firing squad.” The family's attorney John Burris used the same term, adding, "This young man was shot to pieces." Another attorney: Police wanted “to ensure that this human being does not survive.” “They killed him in his sleep,” charged his cousin David Harrison after seeing the footage. “He scratched his arm…and they murdered him." As a black man in a town with a long ugly history of police brutality, racism, and misconduct, this was not Harrison's first rodeo: McCoy was the 16th person to die at the hands of Vallejo cops since 2011 – the highest rate of police killings per capita in Northern California, resulting in the second highest rate of civil rights lawsuit settlements. Says Harrison, "We're being slaughtered in the streets."

McCoy's murder for sleeping while black sparked yet more outrage in the community. There have been angry protests, city council meetings, hashtags – #JusticeForWillieMcCoy –  calls for Attorney General Xavier Becerra to step in, lobbying by the ACLU and other advocacy groups for passage of #AB392 to legally limit the use of deadly force, and plans by city officials to have federal mediators meet with residents to create a "community engagement plan" for police accountability – a vague genteel idea that left the community unimpressed and the work undone. Fumed McCoy family attorney Melissa Nold, "We don't have a PR problem – we have a violence problem." Meanwhile, despite the fiery declaration at one rally that, "The usual way of doing business is over," abuses by Vallejo cops are ongoing. One of the officers who killed McCoy was sued  in 2013 by the family of a (black) teenager after he threatened to kill the boy and directed his police dog to repeatedly maul him; another officer is being sued for shooting seven times and killing an unarmed (black) man after stopping him for having no light on his bike. And all six officers who gunned down McCoy – those two and four more – returned to duty three weeks after the shooting.

The 51-page, $8,000 garbage report released this week will do little – actually, nothing – to quell the fury. It was compiled by David Blake, an “expert” and retired BART police officer known to advocates – “He gets paid to defend police when they shoot people" – who also investigated the 2018 killing of Stephon Clark, an unarmed 22-year-old killed in his backyard when cops mistook his cellphone for a gun; Blake found no police culpability. This time, he essentially found the police kinda screwed up but you gotta excuse them because of "acute stress" from having this guy asleep in his car and “chaos caused by the sounds of gunfire, debris, and weapons mounted lights reflecting off the shattered windshield” and naturally these poor cops "experienced a significant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response from proximal gunfire" and really they showed restraint by only firing 55 shots and not emptying their clips despite training to "fire until the threat has been neutralized,” which “indicates a level of self-control.” His conclusion: The killing was “in line with contemporary training and police practices associated with use of deadly force…I opine the 55 rounds fired by 6 officers in 3.5 seconds is reasonable based upon my training and experience as a range instructor as well as through applied human factors psychology.” “Each bullet has to be justified,” said attorney Melissa Nold, in order to buttress the belief that "officers should be able to act on their irrational fear and unlawfully kill people."


Republished with permission under license from Common Dreams.

Don’t Be Scared of White People

I'm tired of American Apartheid videos of black people being brutalized by police simply for participating in ordinary everyday activity. South African politician Julius Malema earlier this year stated: "don't be scared of white people"! He mentioned how everywhere in the world; "black people are treated like dogs and lifeless bodies". 

A few days ago, a 15-year-old boy was pepper sprayed, knocked to the ground, his head slammed against the asphalt pavement and punched in the face at a Florida Mc Donalds.

Earlier this month, Renardo Lewis, a black business owner was slammed against a glass pane, then to the ground and punched in the face knocking out some of his teeth while at a Georgia IHOP.

The actual IHOP video can be viewed near the bottom of the this page. IHOP seems to have systemic issues. Last year in Missouri 10 Black Washington University students were falsely accused of leaving a Clayton IHOP without paying and a Kansas City IHOP printed "NIGGA" on a Black customer's receipt.

Dining while black, barbecuing while black, selling lemonade while black, gardening while black, and just simply living while black are among the mundane activities that have recently garnered headlines as reasons why some white people have called 911 on black people.

These calls to police often result in violence against innocent black people, however, the people making these frivolous false police reports are never charged and the companies involved are not held accountable. Starbucks is the only company that took serious action and closed all its stores for diversity training to ensure no more "while black" incidents occurred at its locations.

Unless Mc Donalds and IHOP take decisive action and condemn the brutal police tactics that occur against their customers on their property, I won't be dining while black at those locations anytime soon.

Many Black organizations seem to be afraid to speak out in any meaningful way to hold Mc Donalds, IHOP or others accountable when their actions cause harm to the black community. I suspect that many black organizations are afraid to speak out because they are afraid of losing white corporate sponsorship and donations. 

Julius Malema the leader of South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) party gave a powerful and moving speech about not being afraid of white people! He briefly appeared before the Newcastle magistrates court in northern KwaZulu-Natal and although he faced charges related to his comments to invade vacant land he still courageously renewed his call to action. 

Malema is charged with the contravention of the Riotous Assemblies Act for his utterances in 2014 and 2017, his case was continued to after the May 2019 elections. In June 2017‚ Malema told supporters in the northern KwaZulu-Natal town of Newcastle that white people could not claim ownership of land because it belongs to the country’s black African majority.

In 2014 he told the EFF’s elective conference in Bloemfontein: “We’re going to occupy the unoccupied land because we need land. For us to eat‚ we must have the land. For us to work‚ we must have the land. I come from Seshego – if there is unoccupied land‚ we will go and occupy the land with my branch. You must go and do the same in the branch where you come from.”

Institutionalized racism under Apartheid stripped South African blacks of their civil and political rights and instituted segregated education, health care, and all other public services, only providing inferior standards for blacks. Internal resistance was met with police brutality, administrative detention, torture, and limitations on freedom of expression.

During Apartheid, millions of blacks were forced off their land and resettled into slums on some of the worst lands. Ownership of land became firmly concentrated in the hands of the white minority.  In 2018 blacks made up 80% of the population but owned just 4% of individually held farmland and 30% of urban land. Whites comprise only 7.8% of the population but own 72% of farmland and 49% of urban land.

In 1994 South Africa transitioned from the system of Apartheid to one of majority rule and Nelson Mandela became president. By 1996 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), where perpetrators of violence, including torture, murder and other human rights atrocities provided testimony and requested amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution. Amnesty also allowed White perpetrators to retain their land. There was more consideration given to a few white oppressors then was given to millions of black victims.

American Apartheid is more subtle but the effect is the same. Pick any major indicator, education, housing, employment, credit, business ownership, skilled trade, technology, science, law, medicine or any other and blacks woefully lag behind whites. These situations did not randomly occur, they were designed and enforced through government legislation and policy. We gave more aid to our former enemies of war Japan and Germany than we provided to Black people here in the United States. 

The old methods of peaceful protest do not work. Oppressors do not care if the oppressed have a parade and march down the street. Their system of oppression must be disrupted and the most peaceful way to do that is to hold companies that cause harm or remain silent responsible and impose economic sanctions. It's not enough to fire an employee that causes a chain reaction of undeserved police brutality, those firms involved must denounce the resulting oppressive police action. Instead of marching, picket outside of the offending establishment and ask customers to take their business elsewhere.

Decades ago, my mother and father's car was damaged by a grocery cart in the parking lot of a St. Louis supermarket. Since there were signs posted stating the store was not responsible for damages, the store refused to pay for damages. My parents printed leaflets, made signs and picketed the store causing them to lose substantial amounts of business. The store eventually offered to pay for repairs, however, my parents declined their offer and continued the information picket to teach the store a lesson so they would treat customers differently in the future. 

About ten years ago, I responded to an online used car advertisement by a new car dealer. I phoned to make sure the car was still available, traveled there on my lunch break and agreed to purchase. I returned later that night with a cashiers check but was then told that the priced advertised online was wrong and that they would not honor that price. I completed a Missouri Attorney General complaint form.

The next morning I faxed a copy of the form along with a letter explaining if they did not respond by noon, I would file the complaint. I provide details of a planned information picket on the public right of way outside their dealership on Saturday morning.

By 10 am I received a phone call apologizing and that the original agreement would be honored. When the car was picked up that evening, the dealership president explained he was unaware of the situation until my fax arrived and that he had the vehicle checked out and that several repairs had been made and he even had a second key made. 

Imagine what might happen if the family and friends of Renardo Lewis picket outside the IHOP. According to a news report, an IHOP brand spokesperson responded to the video of the arrest, saying, “Our top priority is the safety of our guests and team members. After an individual at the Marietta IHOP became belligerent and made multiple threats to those in the restaurant, including the use of a weapon, the franchisee’s team quickly followed protocol and alerted authorities. We’re grateful to the police for their quick response and for keeping the guests and team members in the restaurant safe.” 

The video of the arrest is below.

Even when you face oppression, you are not powerless. If you don't take the time to exercise your power, you automatically concede it to your oppressors and enemies. 

Boycott NFL if Players are Forced to Stand for Anthem

According to a CNBC article, the NFL will vote whether to require players to stand for the "National Anthem" during their next meeting.

If the NFL owners vote for the requirement, they will be on the wrong side of history. The "Star-Spangled Banner" as it was originally written contained four verses, however, only the first verse is sung as our National Anthem. The third verse, celebrated the death of slaves fighting to free themselves, see the video below.

According to VICE, “African-American males are only six percent of the United States population, but comprise nearly 70 percent of the players in the National Football League.” The NFL’s 32 teams earned around $12 billion in 2015 with merchandise sales over $1.55 billion.

If the NFL benefits immensely from the work of black men, why doesn’t it address serious issues of concern to America’s black community? Specifically, why hasn’t the NFL addressed the issue of unarmed black men being killed by law enforcement? "If you're Comfortable with My Oppression, then You are My Oppressor".

If the NFL votes to force players to stand, civil rights organizations including those that receive "bribe" funding from the NFL need to call for a boycott. I will personally boycott the NFL, just like I did when the WNBA took a stance against its players, and hope others will join me.

As Nick Canon's spoken word poem recently stated, "Stand For What!"

Colin Kaepernick and other players refusing to stand during the national anthem has elicited a greater uproar from the NFL than the existence of police brutality and the killing of unarmed black teens and men. To paraphrase MLK's "Letter from Birmingham Jail", "You deplore the demonstrations taking place by NFL Players. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations."

It's bad enough that the league seems to have sanctioned Kaepernick by refusing to hire him, but forcing Black players to stand in direct opposition to their belief or self-interest is unconscionable. If you don't support athletes and entertainers when they stand up for your rights, don't expect them to continue speaking out.

A group of pastors has already called for a Blackout of the NFL, see their video below.

Let's be clear, Colin Kaepernick was standing up for others when he refused to stand; it is very unlikely, he would have personally been a victim of police brutality because of his fame and wealth. He put all that on the line to protect not only his rights but yours and mine as well.

Asians we stand, United they fall: Lessons for African-Americans

The Asian man who on Sunday was dragged off a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville, for refusing to give up his seat, has been a public relations disaster for the airline, especially in China.

There was early speculation in China that the victim was Chinese. He has now been identified as David Dao, a 69-year-old Kentucky physician of Vietnamese origin, but the fact that the man was Asian is a strong theme in much of the Chinese social media response. By the end of Tuesday afternoon in China, there had been over 200 million views on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, for the hashtag #UnitedForcesPassengerOffPlane and a lot of people called for a boycott.

According to Vincent Ni, an editor at BBC Chinese, the reaction on Chinese social media has been one of widespread outrage. It’s been very overwhelming, and most of the comments are very angry towards United Airlines. "A lot of people involved in these discussions mention race — a lot. That is part of the big reason why it has attracted so much attention."

Dr. Dao suffered a concussion, broken nose, damaged sinuses and lost two front teeth when he was pulled from his seat and dragged off the flight according to his lawyer, Thomas Demetrio.

China is the most populous nation on Earth and is one of the largest aviation markets in the world. United Airline is the largest US carrier in China and operates 20 percent of the routes between China and the US.

Lessons for African-Americans

Asians didn't wait for an investigation, the video told them everything they needed to know. They didn't march or protest, they quickly united together by calling for a boycott against United. 

The strong reaction by Asians and others prompted United Airlines to quickly change their narrative. The went from blaming the passenger to apologizing and admitting that they did something wrong. 

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz originally said the passenger was "disruptive and belligerent" and employees "followed established procedures," and told employees he "emphatically" stood behind them. By Tuesday, Munoz stated: 

"The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

"I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

"It's never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what's broken so this never happens again."

United We Stand, Divide we Fall

How many videos of African-Americans being abused or even murdered have we seen with no satisfactory result? Last year we posted, "Where protest fails, violence prevails". As stated then, we need to inflict economic pressure, a sort of consumer violence to get the companies we support to start supporting us back. 

African-American Mizzou football players successfully used economic violence as they supported Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike by threatening not to play. Mizzou could have lost millions of dollars. Public support of WNBA players taking a stand against police shootings was another time economic violence was successful. Unfortunately, African-American commnunities do not more effectively use economic pressure more effectively when members of the community are systemically treated unfairly. 

Until and unless we cause economic pain when African-Americans are abused, we will continue to experience physical and emotional pain caused by police brutality. Additionally, we need to practice Pan-Africanism. The Asian reaction to the abuse of Dr. Dao should serve as an example for African-Americans. When people of African descent in other parts of the world experience crisis, we should react.

Africa was home to the richest man of all time, Masa Musa. Much of Africa's wealth was stolen, including its people, during European colonization. Many of Africa's resources are still under colonial control. Africa currently contains approximately 30 percent of the Earth's remaining mineral resources, including gold, diamonds, and oil. Even though Africa's population has been ravaged by war, political strife, genocide, colonization, drought, hunger, Aids, Ebola and more, it is home to more than 1.2 billion people. 

The United States has a black population of about 43 million. The Black press in the United States needs to build partnerships with the press in Africa and other areas with large concentrations of people of African descent and report about their issues. Syria is not the only nation experiencing a crisis. However, charity starts at home and we need to put our differences behind and work together. Black churches, organizations, activist, celebrities and supporters need to start forming alliances to create a more coordinated response to issues affecting our community. 

As Malcolm X stated in his, "Ballot or the Bullet," speech,

"You and I – as I say, if we bring up religion we’ll have differences; we’ll have arguments; and we’ll never be able to get together. But if we keep our religion at home, keep our religion in the closet, keep our religion between ourselves and our God, but when we come out here, we have a fight that’s common to all of us against an enemy who is common to all of us." 

The United States government routinely dismisses the civil rights and humanitarian issues in African-American communities. The U.S. quickly intercedes in areas such as Syria under the guise of humanitarian relief, but ignores similar or worse situations in Africa. Below are the top countries outside of Africa and the United States with the largest populations of people of African descent.

Unfortunately, people of African descent suffer racism and economic oppression all over the globe. For example in England, although the African population is better educated than the white population, 26 percent of the blacks have had at least some college education compared 13 percent of the whites, however, the black community faces greater unemployment and poverty rates. Data shows that half of Black Africans in the UK live in low-income households compared to 20 percent of white people.

Colonial powers became experts of divide and conquer strategies which to this day prevent people of African descent from joining together to improve their economic and political position. During slavery, African tribes and nations were coerced into the slave trade, Willie Lynch style practices were adopted during slavery, the FBI sabotaged the Marcus Garvey back to Africa movement, white jealousy of Black prosperity resulted in the destruction of Tulsa's Black Wall Street, the government targeted civil rights leaders, black organizations became dependent on donations from white corporations and government funding and are now held hostage by threats of defunding if they work too aggressively on behalf of the oppressed, it is believed that Muammar Gaddafi may have been targeted because he was trying to unite African nations under a single currency backed by the vast resources of Africa.

33 Movies for Black History

We've included 21 full-length movies you can watch now on your computer or device and 12 additional movie trailer recommendations to watch during black history month and beyond. Unfortunately, we cannot possibly list every good move related to black history and there are plenty of excellent movies not included on this list. However, we hope you discover something new and enjoy watching.

Full Movies Which Were Available on the Date of Publication

The Vernon Johns Story (1994 Full Movie)

Vernon Johns (April 22, 1892 – June 11, 1965) was an American minister at several black churches in the South. He is best known as the pastor 1947-52 of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama. He was succeeded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The video has been deleted, trailer now shown below.

King (1978 Full Movie)

King was a television miniseries based on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. It aired for three consecutive nights on NBC from February 12 through 14, 1978. 

The Rosa Parks Story 2002

Something the Lord Made (2004 Full Movie)

Based on the true story of Vivien Thomas, a carpenter that wanted to be a doctor, unable to attend college he works for a real doctor as a janitor. Realizing what this young man is capable of the doctor gives him real tasks and as a team, they go to conquer what other people thought impossible. Based on a true story. Vivien Thomas became a black cardiac pioneer and his complex and volatile partnership with white surgeon Alfred Blalock, the world famous "Blue Baby doctor" who pioneered modern heart surgery.

Keep the Faith, Baby – Adam Clayton Powell Movie 2002

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (November 29, 1908 – April 4, 1972) was a Baptist pastor and an American politician, who represented Harlem, New York City, in the United States House of Representatives (1945–71). He was the first person of African-American descent to be elected from New York to Congress. Oscar Stanton De Priest of Illinois was the first black person to be elected to Congress in the 20th century; Powell was the fourth. Re-elected for nearly three decades, Powell became a powerful national politician of the Democratic Party and served as a national spokesman on civil rights and social issues. 

Deacons for Defense 2003

The Deacons for Defense and Justice was an armed self-defense group of African-Americans that protected civil rights organizations in the U.S. Southern states during the 1960s.

The Tuskegee Airmen 1995

The Tuskegee Airmen was a group of the first African-American military aviators (fighter and bomber) in the United States Armed Forces who fought in World War II. Officially, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. All black World War II military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Moton Field, the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and were educated at Tuskegee University, located near Tuskegee, Alabama.

Ghost of Mississippi 1996

A Mississippi district attorney and the widow of Medgar Evers struggle to finally bring a white racist to justice for the 1963 murder of the civil rights leader. Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was a black civil rights activist from Mississippi who worked to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi and to enact social justice and voting rights. He was killed by a white segregationist.

Panther 1995

In October of 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was created in response to challenge police brutality in Oakland.

The Marva Collins Story 1981

Marva Delores Collins (August 31, 1936 – June 24, 2015) was an American educator who started the highly successful Westside Preparatory School in the impoverished Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago in 1975.

Introducing Dorothy Dandridge 1999

Dorothy Jean Dandridge (November 9, 1922 – September 8, 1965) was an American film and theater actress, singer and dancer. She is perhaps best known for being the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones

The Josephine Baker Story 1991

Josephine Baker, born in St. Louis, MO, was a singer and entertainer who skyrocketed to international fame as a performer in Paris. Baker renounced her U.S. citizenship because of racism and became a French national and war hero during WWII.

The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992)

Based upon the history of the Jackson family, one of the most successful musical families in show business, and the early and successful years of the popular Motown group The Jackson 5.

The Temptations 1998

Biography of the singers who formed the hit Motown musical act, The Temptations.

Miss Evers Boys

The true story of the U.S. Government's 1932 Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, in which members of a group of black test subjects were allowed to die, despite a cure having been developed.

The Jackie Robinson Story 1950

Biography of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player in the 20th century. Traces his career in the Negro Leagues and the major leagues.

The Spook Who Sat By the Door 1973

A black man plays Uncle Tom in order to gain access to CIA training, then uses that knowledge to provide tactical training to street gang members to plot a Black American Revolution.

Sounder 1972

About a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers in Louisiana in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, facing a serious family crisis when the husband and father, is convicted of a petty crime and sent to a prison camp.

A Woman Called Moses 1978

Based on the life of Harriet Tubman, the escaped African American slave who helped to organize the Underground Railroad, and who led dozens of African Americans from enslavement in the Southern United States to freedom in the Northern states and Canada.

Ray 2004

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles.

Hoodlum 1997

A fictionalized account of the gang war between the Italian/Jewish mafia alliance and the Black gangsters of Harlem that took place in the late 1920s and early 1930s based on real events and characters. The film concentrated on Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Laurence Fishburne), Dutch Schultz (Tim Roth), and Lucky Luciano. 

The video has been deleted, trailer now shown below.

12 Black Movie Trailers to Stream or Rent

Rosewood 1997

Based on historic events of the 1923 Rosewood massacre in Florida, when a racist white lynch mob killed blacks and destroyed their black community.

Amistad 1997

Based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors' ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture by a U.S. revenue cutter. The case was ultimately resolved by the United States Supreme Court in 1841.

Roots 1977

Roots was an American television miniseries based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family; the series first aired on ABC-TV in January 1977. (Goodbye Uncle Tom is another 70s Slave Movie which was virtually banned from the U.S.)

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Hidden Figures 2016

Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film about female African-American mathematicians at NASA.

Malcolm X 1992

Malcolm X is a biographical drama about key events in Malcolm X's life: defining childhood incidents, his criminal career, his incarceration, his conversion to Islam, his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam and his later falling out with the organization, his marriage, his pilgrimage to Mecca, and his assassination on February 21, 1965. 

American Violet 2008

A single mother struggles to clear her name after being wrongly accused and arrested for dealing drugs in an impoverished town in Texas.

Belle 2013

Based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England.

A Soldier's Story 1984

Not a true story, but an excellent look at the what was at stake for black people through the lens of the perceived humanity of our black soldiers.

Glory 1989

The film is about one of the first military units of the Union Army during the American Civil War to be made up entirely of African-American men (except for its officers), as told from the point of view of Colonel Shaw, its white commanding officer. 

The Cotton Club 1984

The Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem. The story follows the people that visited the club, those that ran it, and is peppered with the Jazz music that made it so famous. The Cotton Club was whites only but featured all black entertainment during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance.

Mississippi Burning 1988

Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

The Retrieval 2013

A fatherless 13-year-old black boy, who survives by working with a white bounty hunter gang who sends him to earn the trust of runaway slaves and wanted black men.


Part of the Court.rchp.com 2017 Black History Month Series

AT&T’s CEO Forcefully Supported Black Lives Matter

In July, I wrote about boycotting companies that don't actively speak out against injustice and oppression perpetrated against the Black community. The CEO of AT&T has provided one of the best examples of how a company can voice support and concern about major issues that affect us.

Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, was the keynote speaker at an AT&T ERG conference. Stephenson shared a personal story about one of his closest friends, who happens to be a black physician who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stephenson revealed an epiphany he had when confronted by statements his friend made. He used that experience to illustrate how his view on diversity, inclusion, and Black Lives Matter was recently influenced. Because of this speech, Stephenson has become one of the most outspoken corporate leaders concerning the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Stephenson admitted he had always been "confused" by the racial views of his friend, But when he saw a video of him addressing a mostly white church congregation about being refused service at restaurants, being called "boy" and even fearing being stopped by police in his own neighborhood, Stephenson finally understood where those views came from. Stephenson stated, "Our "Tolerance is for cowards" … "Being tolerant requires nothing from you but to be quiet and not make waves." … "communities are being destroyed by racial tension and we're too polite to talk about it."

"If two very close friends of different races don't talk openly about this issue, that's tearing our communities apart, how do we expect to find common ground and solutions for what's a really serious, serious problem?" he asked. Stephenson ended his speech with the statement, "If this is a dialogue that's to begin at AT&T, I feel like it probably ought to start with me," he received a standing ovation. Watch the speech for yourself below.

Employee Resource Groups – or ERGs, are groups within AT&T that provide like-minded employees a way to connect over a shared background and experience. The 12 ERGs include Community NETwork — The African American Telecommunications Professionals of AT&T, HACEMOS — The Hispanic/Latino Employee Association of AT&T, LEAGUE at AT&T — The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Employees of AT&T and other groups.

$5 or $10 High Speed Internet

I switched my home Internet provider from Charter to AT&T two days ago. For those receiving SNAP (food stamp) benefits, AT&T offers high-speed Internet for only $5 or 10 per month, depending on the speed available in your area. For additional information, see Access from AT&T

Don't get me wrong, AT&T still has problems. In fact, I ran into some minor irritation caused by AT&T during the shipping and installation and I'm sure like with many companies, I'll have issues moving forward. However, Stephen's epiphany seems genuine and as CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world, he can have a real effect on institutionalized racism, at least within his own organization. We must support the people and institutions that support us, otherwise, why should we expect them to do it. You can expect Randall Stephenson to be criticized for his public support of Black Lives Matters. Some will comment that he is a CEO and his responsibility is to the stockholders and he shouldn't be talking about BLM. Now as an AT&T customer, my voice will carry more weight if the stockholders of AT&T respond too negatively. Remember how our support of WNBA players and calls to boycott caused the league to reverse fines against players speaking out?

Maybe now, other CEOs will be prompted to reexamine their own support or lack of support of this issue. There may be some who want to speak out but have remained silent, fearing the repercussions and may now find the courage to speak. One person can make a tremendous difference. After Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem, other athletes all over the country followed his example and joined his protest, creating a movement.

 

 

WNBA Boycott Ended

On Friday, July 21, 2016, I announced a personal boycott of the WNBA and asked others to join me in support of the black female basketball players who took a stand against police brutality.

I am happy to report that the WNBA has withdrawn the fines to both the organizations and the players. For any of you that joined us in our short boycott or wrote to the WNBA, thank you. The next time you watch a WNBA game or purchase merchandise, remember the power your choices and dollars have. Use that power to bring about the change you want. 

The beverage boycott, however, is still active.

We can no longer allow others to silence us or tell us how to complain or protest. 

"It's foolish to let your oppressor tell you to forget the oppression they inflicted on you"

Where protest fails, violence prevails

Yesterday, I came across the following news article, "Atlanta police shooting of unarmed black man leads to rare murder charge".

Some people have commented that "after police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were killed, police are now being charged with murder." This is what should have been happening even before the protests or violence occurred.

However, there is another glaring issue that many people have overlooked. White prosecutors almost never bring charges against white police officers who kill African-Americans. In Baltimore where six officers were charged and in Atlanta where this officer was charged, the decision was made by a black prosecutor. This is why we need more black prosecutors. See the Washington Post article, "Thousands dead, few prosecuted" and the Daily Beast article, "95% of Prosecutors Are White and They Treat Blacks Worse".

White supremacist wearing blue

White supremacist groups know police are rarely charged criminally for on-duty shootings. According to the FBI, some of the same guys who used to wear white robes and hoods now wear blue and carry a badge. Police effectively enjoy immunity and we pay their salaries. Murder shouldn't be rewarded with an extended paid vacation.

As a black female police officer, Nakia Jones recently stated, “If you are that officer that knows good and well you’ve got a god complex; you are afraid of people who don’t look like you — you have no business in that uniform. Take it off,” “Because there’s many of us who would give our life for anybody. And we took this oath and we meant it. If you are that officer that’s prejudice, take that uniform off and put a KKK hoodie on because I will not stand for that.”

Additionally, many of this country's police officers are soldiers returning from the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan and some may not have been properly screened for mental illnesses. Soldiers during war are often conditioned to treat people like animals with little respect for human life or basic human rights. Everyone on the ground is a potential enemy.

Police brutality has always been an issue in black communities. "Power tends to corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Factor in white supremacy and mental illness and the tensions build up until it explodes into a national protest movement where some see no other choice but to resort to violent retaliation. 

It doesn't take a grand jury to determine if charges should be brought. Bringing charges against a police officer in questionable deaths should be common sense. Like everyone else, this police officer will be considered innocent until proven guilty and will have an opportunity to discredit evidence against him, present evidence and testify if he so chooses.

Hands Up, Don't Shot, Laying on the Ground

The video that surfaced a few days ago of an unarmed black man, Charles Kinsey, laying in the street with his hands up in the air, demonstrates . Mr. Kinsey explained to police that he was a behavioral therapist at a group home trying to calm down an autistic patient who had wandered away from the facility. As Kinsey explained that neither he nor the mentally ill patient was armed and posed no threat, he was shot.  

“When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up,” he said. “And I am laying there just like this, telling them again there is no need for firearms.”

What more could this man have done? 

It's already unreasonable that any innocent person should feel they must lay on the ground and hold their hands up to ensure the police won't shoot you. I can't think of anything more Mr. Kinsey could have done. 

There is a false narrative or propaganda campaign to convince people that the "Black Lives Matter" Movement and Blacks, in general, are over reacting. What more could Mr. Kinsey have done to convince the cop that shot him that he wasn't a threat? The irony is that the white looking autistic patient who actually had something in his hands and was agitated, because of his mental condition, wasn't the one who was shot. 

Even Charle Kinsey mentioned how he feared more for his patient than himself, because he was on his back with his hands up, a position no one could possibly interpret as threatening, but he was still shot. 

I have begun two personal  boycotts, one against soft drink beverage manufacturers and the other against the WNBA. We need to inflict economic pressure, a sort of consumer violence to get the companies we support to start supporting us back.

The NBA announce a boycott against North Caroline where it is moving it's All-Star game from Charlotte, NC in protest of HB2, a law that requires people to use bathrooms and changing facilities, such as locker rooms which are designated for people based on their "biological sex" stated on their birth certificate. Under that law, transgender people can use the bathrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their gender identity if they get the biological sex on their birth certificate changed.

The NBA said, "While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2." Hopefully, the NBA will not choose a location that moves too slowly or refuses to hold police accountable when they violate the rights of black citizens.

The NBA has a clear majority of black players, certainly, the causes that affect the majority of players and their families should be receiving equal attention and protection. Police brutality is of major concern to most African-Americans. All athletes should remember the example set by the Mizzou football players and recognize your combined power. United we stand, divided we fall. See related, "WNBA, If you want our support, you need to support us!"

I'm not recommending physical violence, however, . Violence, through revolution, created this country, violence ended slavery, violence stopped Hitler, and violence is the technique being used against terrorism. 

The shooters in both the Dallas and Baton Rouge ambushes are dead. Other people who have shot and kill police officers met similar fates or ended up in jail. When cops are kill, there is almost always justice or at least vengeance. 

The police officers who used excessive force and murdered an untold number of people remain free and many are still police officers. Law enforcement officers are the only category of people where criminals are expected to get away with their crimes. This is why people protest and this is why some have and others will resort to violence if things don't change quickly. 

WNBA, If you want our support, you need to support us!

The WNBA fined the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury $5000 each and their players $500 each for wearing black warm-up shirts that violated the league's uniform policy. The players wore the t-shirts in acknowledgment of recent shootings by and against police officers.

We must support those who take a stand for us. When athletes and celebrities speak up against injustice, they often become targets. The WNBA is trying to silence these women by fining them. If we don't stand up for them, why would they take a stand the next time? We can't expect people to put their career in jeopardy for us if we remain silent. Show these women you appreciate their gesture and support them by putting pressure on the WNBA to reverse the fines. 

Today, I left the following message using the WNBA's contact page.

As a black basketball fan, I was offended to hear that your organization fined players for wearing t-shirt honoring black shooting victims. As mentioned by one of the player's representatives, "You have a league that is 90 — if not above 90 percent African American — and you have an issue that is directly affecting them and the people they know and you have a league that isn't willing to side with them." Until you reverse the player fines, I will be boycotting the WNBA and asking others to join me on my blog, court.rchp.com, a sited dedicated to providing free legal information. If you want our support, you need to support us! 

Just as the league allowed players to wear stand with Orlando t-shirts, to honor the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, I expect the same consideration when the victims are black instead of LGBT.

I urge our readers to share this page with others and stand in support of these players that same way they stood in support of those shooting victims and their families. Send a message to the WNBA and any other organization that believes it's okay to disrespect our causes and issues while at the same time expecting us to support them with our attention and dollars.

If you believe as I do that it was wrong for the league to allow players to wear t-shirts showing support for some shooting victims but not others, boycott the WNBA until they reverse those fines. Don't watch the games or purchase any WNBA merchandise. Change truly does start with us!

Protest minus disruption or violence equals failure

After I posted about boycotting the beverage industry, the question was posed; "What does Coca-Cola or Seven-Up have to do with police killings". Nothing and everything.

Pepsi was one of the companies that spoke out in opposition to a North Carolina law that would have restricted a person to using the bathroom designated for the sex they were born, rather than the sex they identified with. I was shocked at the corporate response to such a relatively new issue.

Since the 1600s, there has been a long history of police brutality and police have abused and suppressed the rights of black people. In the 1960s, Malcolm X addressed police brutality conditions that still exist today and the Black Panther Party was created in response to police brutality. Two days ago, Alton Sterling became one of the latest victims of police brutality that was captured on video. How many more incidents  of brutality exists for each one captured by video?

Over my 50-year life span, I have probably spent tens of thousands of dollars on beverages purchased from grocery stores, restaurants, vending machines, amusement parks, and other venues. If Pepsi felt the need to speak up about bathroom rights, shouldn't it also feel the need to speak up when people are being murdered! What's more important, the right to use a particular bathroom or the right to live? 

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I thought about simply boycotting just Pepsi, but then I'd be giving Coca-Cola and all the other beverage companies a pass. Collectively, black people spend billions each year on beverages. I can't ever remember any company speaking out for us the way several corporations spoke out for bathroom rights. I'm not hating on the LGBT community, but I do demand that Pepsi and other companies pay us the same respect and speak up for us as well.

I don't expect a mass movement to happen because of my post, but consider if just one percent (1%) of black people in the country gave up soft drinks. There are about 46 million black people in the U.S., one percent equals 460,000 people. Let us assume on average each of those people spends five dollars per week on soft drinks; that's $2,300,000 dollars per week, $9,959,000 per month or $119,508,000 per year. Now imagine two, five or even ten percent of African American boycotting soft drinks; do you imagine they might take a stand against police brutality?

History favors disruption

"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue." – MLK, Letter from Birmingham Jail 

Historically, the only effective protests have been disruptive or violent. There are not many examples of successful peaceful revolutions. For example, the Occupy Wall Street Movement gain national attention and support, but what did it ultimately accomplish? Nothing. The Occupiers were so peaceful, they didn't even block the entrance to banks or the streets leading to them. Had the Occupy Wall Street leaders simply suggested opening credit union accounts instead of using the major banks, that would have caused disruption on Wall Street and some changes might have occurred.

During the Montgomery bus boycott; the City of Montgomery, AL didn't integrate buses because they suddenly felt guilty about Rosa Parks' arrest, the revenue of downtown merchants and the bus company were negatively impacted (disrupted) and that led to a change in policy.

The peaceful civil rights demonstrations of the 1960's gained attention, but it took violence; four little girls killed in church and scenes of dogs and water hoses used against women and children in Birmingham, AL, the murders of three civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner, beatings on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL,  beatings and killings of countless others before public sentiment rose high enough to pass the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.

In 1963, Jefferson Bank operations were disrupted by protesters for about a month. Jefferson bank had previously been located in an African-American neighborhood but moved south. After the move, the two black tellers that had previously worked there were gone. By the end of the protest, Jefferson Bank had hired at least six black employees.

In 1964, Percy Green and Richard Daly climbed the construction rigging of the Arch and stayed there for five hours halting construction. The Arch protest prodded officials of the National Park Service into pressuring construction companies to hire more African-American workers and contractors for the Arch project.

In 1999, protesters in St. Louis shut down highway 70 in both directions because of a lack of minority contractors and construction workers on the repair of I-70 through North St. Louis. That shutdown and threats of future shutdowns resulted in more training of minority youth for construction trade jobs and more contracts to minority contractors.

The Ferguson protest resulted in rapid change because of the high policing and property damage cost and the threat of protests in other areas such as Clayton, MO. Even though the peaceful marchers gained national and international attention, it took burned buildings and the threat of continued disruptions for meaningful changes to occur in St. Louis area courts and policing. 

The peaceful Mizzou protest might have been ineffective if the football team hadn't threatened to boycott a game which would have inflicted serious economic harm. 

The obvious initial response to disruption from those in power or with influence will be negative. No one likes disruption, but disruption is necessary if anything is to ever change.

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am and admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King who preached and stood for non-violence, but just as nations have diplomats for peaceful resolutions and armies to apply force when neccesary; I believe true freedom will call for both violent and nonviolent methods.

Although, I have no doubt about Dr. King's belief and committment to nonviolence, some speeches he gave as he neared the end of his life indicated that he might have had a change of heart or at least was open minded about different strategies.

MLK – "My Dream Has Turned Into a Nightmare"

Dr. King, "I'm Black and proud"

Also, see Dr. King's statement about Federal Subsidies for White Land Owners on our reparations page.


The root of racism is money!

Slavery didn't occur because of hate, slavery was profitable and fueled the wealth and independence of the United States. Hate was a by-product of the economics of slavery. Even during slavery, it was commonly understood that no one wants to be a slave. But the profits were so great and the institution continued and tried to justify itself by spreading lies that slaves were happy and were better off. 

Jim Crow created a new system, very similar to slavery, that was also profitable. In urban areas, racism continues to ensure that whole groups of people are economically depressed ensuring an available workforce to fill what others may consider undesirable jobs. Those same groups are then targeted by predatory institutions such as payday loans and rent to own outlets because it's profitable!

There are some who may try to argue, slavery and Jim Crow was a long time ago, forget it and move on. The legacy of those institutions, crimes, lack of education, poverty, self-hatred, prison systems, and broken homes are still with us today. 

"It's foolish to let your oppressor tell you that you should forget about the oppression that they inflicted upon you."