ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
A Sustainable 27 Step Action Plan for the Liberation of Black People
Systematic Oppression In This Country Has Run Its Course. For Too Long We Have Been Defenseless, But Now This Is #How We Fight
If you have ever in your life felt helpless, incapacitated or unable to do anything about what you see going on, about what YOU KNOW in your heart is flat out wrong.
THIS is exactly how you can help!
This movement was not created by me. It was created by Byron F Wilson of the Wilson Academy. His plan is one of the very few viable plans out there in regards to the liberation of black people. So I decided to mold it, shape it, and magnify it by adding information from campaign zero, other sources around the internet, as well as my own, displaying it in a way that most people in the world can understand. Art. The first set of actionable items symbolically are “Black Mask” items. They are demands that all of you reading can take to your local leaders, and organize them into petitions, so that you can take it to your local mayor or governors office and create the change we are looking for at a state and local level.
The second set of actionable items symbolically are “Gold Mask” items, specifically for the black community. Accountability & actions that WE need to take in order to pull ourselves out of the residual effects of systemic oppression. Black mask items are important, but it is unrealistic to expect any real change if those are all we focus on. It is not our fault that we are currently in the condition that we are in. However it is 100% our responsibility to do everything that we can possibly do to heal ourselves from this systemic oppression. There is only but so much a network, an organization, or even a government can do for us. At the end of the day, It starts with us. That being said, this does not in anyway absolve any bad actors from the responsibility they must take for what they have done to our people. This is merely a cultural shift that MUST take a place in order for us to Liberate Ourselves and for these bad actors to take the accountability that we are so desperately seeking.
Before we begin it is important that you understand the frame work of how these solutions were configured. Black mask Action items take their root in a more democratic approach. While Gold masks Action items take their root in a more conservative approach. Both approaches are 100% necessary for black people to achieve true liberation, the problem is that our country is so ridiculously divided between left and right, that no one ever thought to bring both set of solutions to the table in an organized fashion that actually makes some damn sense. What we see happening is that when you’re only talking about gold mask solutions, people with left leaning views tend to label you a coon, and when we only talk about black mask solutions, people with right leaning views tend to label these people as lacking any accountability or deluded. Both arguments have some plausibility at surface level, but it’s a worthless fight to try and win because alone it does NOTHING for black people. Therefore we need to stop acting like we cannot walk and chew gum at the same time and deal with our problems holistically. Internally and externally. This is what they need to do, and this is what we need to do. Period.
I don’t expect every one to read this entire page, but surely if they did, the liberation of black people would take place over night, simply by acting on this information. This is an opportunity for every single person in this country to reflect, and ask themselves am I adding to the solution or am I a part of the problem? There is a lot of accountability on both sides of the equation that must be had in order for solutions to take root. It will be uncomfortable. Mirrors will be held up. Realizations will be had.
This is #HowWeFight
Table of Contents
Black Mask Action Items
Black Mask Action Items
Black mask action items are one half to a holistic approach to fixing what is wrong in our country. Solving police brutality alone will not fix the problem. Solving the criminal justice system alone won’t fix the problem. It is the fusion of a multitude of different externally focused and systematic reforms that will begin the healing that black people in this country are looking for in regards to obtaining true equality and eradicating oppression.
Some items on this list may be of higher priority than others depending on your specific local area. So a lot of these issues need to be customized to fit your specific state or counties list of hot item agendas. Once organized they should be brought forth to your LOCAL governments. Mayors, governors, councilman, attorney generals. That is why this must be a concerted effort across the nation because every area has different pressing issues and no one section of the country will be able to pull the weight for the rest of the country. With that said let us begin.
#1) Convictions and Equitable & Appropriate Prison Time
#1) Convictions and Equitable & Appropriate Prison Time
The murder of these individuals are not the first, but the catalyst to this movement. Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes and now a daughter lost her father.
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician, was fatally shot 8 times in her bed by Louisville Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove during a no-knock search. A mother lost her daughter.
Ahmaud Arbery was ruthlessly lynched and gunned down by Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan while jogging near Brunswick in Glynn County Georgia. A mother lost her son.
We demand justice, convictions, as well as equitable & appropriate prison time for all parties involved in the murder and lynching of our brothers and sister.
These crimes need to be addressed to the respective local city councilman and governors of the respective states.
There’s really not much else to say that hasn’t already been said about these blatant injustices.
#2) Retraining Our Police Force
#2) Retraining Our Police Force
Officers across the country need to understand the constitutional rights of citizens across the nation. In addition, to reduce wrongful shootings, there should be legislation passed to reinforce that police practice the proper rules of engagement as well as initiate a cultural change to the ethical code of policing.
Contrary to popular belief, studied activists understand that the job of a police officer is not an easy one. Between the physical exertion, shootings, crime, social pressure; there are big risks that stem not only from the actions of others, but also from the actions that you take as an officer which can have long lasting affects on the public as well as your family. This must always be taken into consideration. However the problem begins with a fundamental misunderstanding of how police departments ought to interpret that risk.
I can explain what I mean starting with a simple analogy. Ask any child the job of a soldier, they’ll tell you “fight bad guys, protect Americans” or some childlike answer like that. Ask any child the job of a police officer, they’ll probably tell you the exact same thing. The job is ultimately the same. One job is designed to fight terror internationally and protect American citizens, the other job is designed to fight terror domestically and protect American citizens. However somewhere along the line the culture has shifted. US soldiers accept without hesitation that deadly risks are inherent to their professional responsibility. That is the nature of the duty, it’s apart of the culture.
For some reason this is not nearly the case with police officers in regards to citizens anymore, especially black citizens. The culture has now shifted to one in which police are conditioned to believe that if someone doesn’t comply with the request of an officer, that person deserves to die. It’s become a culture of utilizing lethal force at the earliest convenience to justify getting home to your loved ones. To engage in this manner requires no real training, it requires no real sacrifice, it requires no real bravery. All of the things that that child believes are requirements of police officers. This line of thinking for an officer is not only irrational but it is unsustainable for an individual who’s job it is to protect citizens, because those very same law abiding citizens become casualties as a result of your irrational fear and misunderstanding of the inherit risks that are married to your occupation. Which results in the death of people like 12 year old Tamir Rice of Cleveland Ohio, murdered by police for possession of a toy gun in a local children’s playground and Jason Harrison of Dallas Texas, a mentally ill man murdered in front of his own home by police officers for possession of a screw driver.
This is exactly what is meant when the public responds to the phrase blue lives matter by saying that blue lives don’t exist. It’s not that we feel your life doesn’t matter. Of course it matters. The point is that you made a choice to serve American citizens and unlike you, we didn’t choose to be black. And your career choice requires you to stand on the principles of honor, bravery, courage, heroism and accepting all risks associated while still going to work anyway. All for the sake of preserving and protecting American life; more specifically black life, whether they be criminal or not. These principles are a prerequisite. It’s in the job description of the career that you willingly decided to pursue while upholding these principles. Isn’t that why you decided to take the job in the first place?
A noble decision might I add, but black people don’t feel that nobility when you come around. However we know for a fact that you feel our blackness, because you react to it with colossal amounts of fear, rage, mistreatment and a shoot first ask questions last attitude that is protected by a blue wall of silence that abdicates yourself of all responsibility, accountability and any chance of being recognized as a hero in the eyes of not only black people but the eyes of everyone across the entire country. The very people you swore to protect.
How can we possibly feel that police in its current state are our brave heroes, when all the evidence points to us being treated as less than? How can we feel any other way when a 21 year old white male that murdered 9 worshippers in a South Carolina church was not only brought into custody unharmed, but was then taken to burger king before being brought into booking. Yet law abiding citizens like Charles Kinsey get shot while on the ground with both hands up while complying to all orders from police. Is that serving and protecting? Is that the standard of a courageous police officer? Shoot an unarmed man while complying?
No that is the standard of a coward. That is the standard of a person who has been fed stereotypical falsehoods about the nature of black people causing them to fear us, irrationally.
And as tax paying, law abiding Americans we find this to be disheartening, infuriating, and unacceptable.
Therefore we demand reform and retraining in a number of different areas.
- Mandatory culture reshaping in departments replacing the warrior police mindset with one of a guardian mindset
- Reinforcement and emphasis on Procedural justice (it is not the job of police to punish, that is the job of the judicial system)
- Implicit bias training. Unconscious bias AND conscious bias
- Implement Non-lethal tactics into engagement procedure such as Bolawrap
- Certifying officers and training courses at the federal level
- Update the hiring process to one that seeks out the optimal personality type for policing backed by data
- Establish systems for vetting personnel for potential supremacist links
- Implement curriculum to prevent behavior expressed in Stanford Prison Experiment
- Relationship-based policing (Study into Camden New Jersey)
- Community interaction
- Crisis intervention, mediation, conflict resolution, and rumor control
- Performance evaluations
- Close discernment over whether an officer should be deployed to a community of color
The ethos of policing in America must be revived so that you have the opportunity to earn public trust and be recognized as the heroes that we once hoped you to be. That we know can exist. There used to be a time when police on the street knew the people within the community and the community knew the police on a first name basis. As black people in America we had experiences with those officers of yesterday. They are our fathers, and grandfathers, our sisters, our grandmothers. We know their experiences and we know that police departments placed African American officers in the most dangerous assignments on the street. Why is it that no matter what part of the job, be it undercover work, buy & busts, serving warrants or even apprehending a felon they never shot someone to death? What happened? What has changed?
#3) End Abusive Broken Window Policing
#3) End Abusive Broken Window Policing
End Policing of Minor “Broken Windows” Offenses – Ex:
- Marijuana Possession
- Disturbing the Peace (including Loud Music)
- Immigration status, age, housing status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, HIV status, race, religion and national origin as protected groups
- The right for people to seek court orders to stop police departments from profiling
- Bans on both intentional profiling and practices that have a disparate impact on protected groups
- Ban stops for “furtive” movements such as a reaching for waistband or acting nervous
- Ban stops for being in a high-crime area
- Ban stops for matching a generalized description of a suspect (i.e. black male ages 15-25)
- Require officers to establish objective justification for making a stop and to report every stop including location, race, gender, whether force was used and whether a firearm was found.
- End the use of predictive policing technology, which uses systematically biased data to enhance police profiling of black people and communities
- Prohibit police departments from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, report, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.
- Prohibit police departments from transferring an individual to federal immigration authorities for purposes of immigration enforcement.
- Prohibit officers from being placed under the supervision of federal agencies or deputized as special federal officers or special federal deputies.
#4) BodyCam Requirements
#4) BodyCam Requirements
- The Right to Record Police – (Ban police officers from taking cell phones or other recording devices without a person’s consent or warrant and give people the right to sue police departments if they take or destroy these devices.)
- Record all interactions with subjects who have not requested to be kept anonymous
- Notify subjects that they have the option to remain anonymous and stop recording/storing footage if they choose this option
- Allow civilians to review footage of themselves or their relatives and request this be released to the public and stored for at least two years
- Require body and dash cam footage to be stored externally and ensure district attorneys and civilian oversight structures have access to the footage
- Require police departments, whenever they want to deny a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for body or dash cam footage, to prove in court that the footage constitutes a legitimate FOIA exemption •Include a disciplinary matrix clearly defining consequences for officers who fail to adhere to the agency’s body camera policy.
- Consider whether cameras or mandated footage are tampered with or unavailable as a negative evidentiary factor in administrative and criminal proceedings
- Prevent officers from reviewing footage of an incident before completing initial reports, statements or interviews about an incident
- Prohibit footage from being used in tandem with facial recognition software, as fillers in photo arrays, or to create a database or pool of mugshots.
- Update privacy laws to protect civilians from having video or audio recordings released publicly that do not contain potential evidence in a use-of-force incident, discharge of a weapon or death.
#5) End Qualified Immunity
#5) End Qualified Immunity
“Qualified immunity” is a special protection for government officials the U.S. Supreme Court created in 1982 as an act of judicial policymaking. By default, all government officials are immune from liability if they violate your rights. Whether your rights were actually violated doesn’t necessarily matter.
It’s a ridiculous doctrine that basically allows police to blatantly and even intentionally violate the law unless the precise actions have been “clearly established” in previous court proceedings to be unconstitutional. This is a loophole in the system, because many times lawsuits brought against police departments are done as civil suits. Civil rights plaintiffs bring suit for various reasons. Some seek monetary restitution, others seek the public vindication of a trial by jury. Some seek punishment for the police officers that assaulted, strip-searched, verbally abused, or falsely arrested them. While others simply hope that their cases will deter other officers from future unconstitutional conduct. But the reason this never works is that qualified immunity is non-applicable only in criminal cases, while it does apply in civil cases. This is exactly why civil lawsuits against police never deter police misconduct.
Proponents of Qualified Immunity believe eliminating the act will bring on a flood of frivolous law suits. However, academic research has found that when qualified immunity has been overcome, “individual officers contributed to settlements in just 0.41% of these cases, and paid approximately 0.02% of the total awards to plaintiffs.” There is no reason to believe that ending qualified immunity would cause a drastic shift in those numbers. Yet proponents still make it difficult to bring up the conversation of ending qualified immunity. Even when a victim overcomes qualified immunity, it merely means that a court will actually decide the merits of the case.
Ending qualified immunity makes it easier for individuals to obtain remedies for violations of constitutional rights. Second, it would change structural incentives for governments at all levels, encouraging them to take more responsibility for the actions of their employees. Since the local government’s almost always pay the bill when an officer is found personally liable for violating someone’s rights, removing qualified immunity would force governments to pay higher premiums, unless they took an active role in reducing civil and constitutional rights violations. For police, this might include providing de-escalation training and instituting robust use-of-force policies.
In other words, a world without qualified immunity would mean a world where governments have a financial incentive to making sure their employees follow the Constitution. In essence the only solution is speaking the language of money, the only language America knows.
Ending police brutality means we must make it financially unsustainable to practice. Civilian payouts for police misconduct unfairly takes funds away from state and local governments while simultaneously absolving police officers of culpability. In order to fix this issue, the financial responsibility and financial incentives need to be flipped on their head.
Right now many police officers do not handle civilian life with care. That is because there is zero accountability or any consequences for their actions. Civilian payouts for police misconduct put a strain on local governments and absolve police officers of culpability. Current law enforcement protocols hold officers internally accountable, but they are not externally held accountable to the communities they serve. But a problem shared is a problem solved. Therefore, by restructuring civilian payouts for police misconduct away from taxpayer funding and into police department liability insurances, we alleviate the strain on local governments and communities. That money normally spent on civilian payouts and lawyer fees can then be used for education and work infrastructure. This would be police defunding or Action item #9 essentially “in Action.” Improving education and creating jobs will indirectly reduce crime. Furthermore, this restructuring will improve police-civilian relations and reduce police brutality and police killings.
New York City spent a staggering $710 million a year on payouts for police-related lawsuits in recent years — which is ridiculous because the entire NYPD’s budget is $6 billion. Chicago spent $153 million per year on payouts. Police brutality is incredibly expensive, not just in human life and public trust, but in monetary costs that drain public money that could go to schools, health care or infrastructure. Total payouts to plaintiffs cost communities over a billion dollars a year, and that doesn’t include litigation costs and insurance premiums, which cost hundreds of millions more.
Although ending qualified immunity wouldn’t solve all problems of police abuse, it would unquestionably be an improvement. And unlike other proposals for police reform, eliminating qualified immunity would immediately apply to all government officials and could be accomplished either by the U.S. Supreme Court or Congress.
We demand an end for police protection under qualified immunity.
Modification to the standards by which police can be prosecuted.
End Local Government Funding of Civilian Payouts from Police Misconduct
- Set up mandatory police department liability insurance policies priced on a scoring model of misconduct
#6) Investigate Cases / Police Force
#6) Investigate Cases / Police Force
The FBI warned white America over a decade ago that law enforcement has been infested with white supremacists and white supremacist sympathizers. I say warned white America, because black America has known this from the inception of policing. Unfortunately not enough has changed since then. There is well-documented support by law enforcement officers of alt-right extremist ideology across the entire country. Even now there are private investigative reports exposing the social media accounts of Rusten Sheskey, the police officer that shot Jacob Blake in the back 7 times, who has shared images supporting authoritarian police state rhetoric and much worse.
But there’s nothing new about this. A 2006 probe by the FBI identified white supremacists in law enforcement and warned of what are called “ghost skins,” hate group members who don’t overtly display their beliefs in order to “blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.”
At least one white supremacist group has reportedly encouraged ghost skins to seek positions in law enforcement for the capability of alerting skinhead crews of pending investigative action against them,” the report read.
Even as early as 2014 a report by the FBI ousted an officer and a Florida deputy police chief as members of the Ku Klux Klan. Only God knows what type of information they shared, withheld, African Americans they brutalized but never took into custody, or any other myriad of nefarious behavior that they could have engaged in. They even could have acted as the FBI characterizes it, “ghost skins”, simply acting as informants, advancing the agenda and deepening the connections of the KKK.
The earliest forms of organized law enforcement in the U.S. can be traced to slave patrols that tracked down escaped slaves, so it shouldn’t be hard to accept that the connections police departments have to the KKK more than likely run deeper than we can imagine. Independent, unbiased investigation is required across all departments with any history of police brutality against black and brown minorities. It is obviously not all police officers that are guilty of having connections with white supremacist groups, but unfortunately it is usually noteworthy officers that actually hold key roles within departments because most of the corruption is concentrated at the top. This is what allows for racist policies, ideologies, and enforcement to permeate throughout departments across America that results in exactly what we see today.
Justifications like “not all cops are bad cops”, belittle attempts to uproot the injustices within the system. For example, when national security adviser Robert O’Brien stated, “I don’t think there is systemic racism. I think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are great Americans … There are a few bad apples that are giving law enforcement a terrible name,” he distorted the bad apples metaphor. The actual saying is, “One bad apple spoils the bunch,” meaning that one rotten apple can spoil all the other apples around it. Another interpretation of it is that a good apple can become bad when placed in a barrel with other rotten apples. And this is what we have seen. How else can you explain the inaction of the three officers standing around Derek Chauvin as he plunged his knee into the neck of George Floyd for nearly 9 minutes, and not once did any one of them at minute 3, at minute 6, or any other minute say to him “hey man, that’s enough we got em”. Who were the “few bad apples” in this unit. From the looks of it, the entire unit is plagued due to the actions of one man and the inaction of the other 3. And as we zoom out on a macro level of police departments nationwide, the same pattern is present.
Police department corruption has run amuck. Of course, not all police officers agree with the sentiment of racism that pervades police departments across the United States but the problem is they conform with it in order to keep their jobs and pay their bills. And when good police speak out against their superiors and their white counterparts about their racist policies and bias policing, they are usually retaliated against in the form of punishment, harassment, workplace mistreatment, or sometimes even physical violence and death. When you lack rank, you lack a voice. This makes it nearly impossible for a good police officer to truly exist. Not because all police are bought in to the idea of corruption, racism and exploiting minorities but because they are following bad policy and silenced for speaking against it! Not to mention the psychological aspects that play a role in heeding to the commands of racist authoritative deputies & commanders to administer force on African Americans even in the absence of crime. A disposition analogous to the Stanley Milgram experiment which proved that seemingly decent people could be encouraged to do bad things.
Therefore due to public sentiment, and due to a light being shined on every police department in America, now would be a GREAT time for GOOD police to collaborate and come out in support of Action item #6, because anyone trying to silence your cries for justice, will clearly be seen in public light as a diversion tactic, therefore strengthening the credibility of your argument. There’s never been a better time for the public to back you.
Like the group of 12 officers of color in the New York City Police Department including Lieutenant Edwin Raymond, who filed a class-action suit against the NYPD in 2015, claiming arrest quotas are still unofficially enforced despite being banned. Allegedly, the deputy inspector pressured them to enforce low-level violations against black and Hispanic people, while discouraging them from doing the same to white or Asian people. The bravery that these men have exemplified to stand up against a corrupt law enforcement agency is beyond exceptional and should be applauded to the greatest extent. It cannot just be the NYPD 12, there needs to be an NYPD 1000 and we know you are out there. Standing up against corruption is a part of the oath that you swore under God to protect and serve.
Real change has to be focused at the head. Pointing fingers at individual employees of an organization reflects a lack of accountability of the organization. It was very great to see police chiefs around the country actually break the “blue wall of silence” and condemn the actions of Chauvin against George Floyd. Usually police officers of all ranks simply steer clear of talking openly about police misconduct, regardless of personal opinion. But this should only be seen as a starting point of a continued practice of ousting racial injustices in all forms. And as the saying goes, it starts at the top. Ensuring that the pilot is fit to occupy the cockpit is just as integral as changing the system itself, so there should be no position in law enforcement that is exempt from examination and disclosure. Let every well intentioned, good police officer stand in defiance of the unethical “Blue wall of silence.”
Therefore we demand legislation that ensures independent review of public safety officers.
Use federal funds to encourage independent investigations of police departments and prosecutions
- Pass legislation such as the ”Police Training and Independent Review Act of 2015” or use of existing federal funds to encourage external, independent investigations and prosecution of police killings (see Action Items 2.2.2 and 2.2.3 of the President’s Task Force Report).
•Investigate the possibility of personnel connections to white supremacist groups.
•Establish systems for vetting new hires for potential supremacist linksLower the standard of proof for Department of Justice civil rights investigations of police officers
- Allow federal prosecutors to successfully prosecute police officers for misconduct by passing legislation to eliminate the requirement that an officer must “willfully” deprive another’s rights in order to violate Section 242.
Establish a permanent Special Prosecutor’s Office at the State level for cases of police violence
The Special Prosecutor’s Office should be:
- Required and authorized to prosecute all cases of where police kill or seriously injure a civilian, in-custody deaths and cases where a civilian alleges criminal misconduct against a police officer
- Equipped with an office and resources to conduct thorough investigations
- Required to have its Chief Prosecutor chosen from a list of candidates offered by community organizations
Require independent investigations of all cases where police kill or seriously injure civilians
The independent investigators should be:
- Required and authorized to prosecute all cases of where police kill or seriously injure a civilian, in-custody deaths and cases where a civilian alleges criminal misconduct against a police officer
- Required to investigate all cases where police kill chosen at random from a list of the largest ten agencies in the state
- Required to report their findings to the public
•Investigate the possibility of connections to hate groups and white supremacist groups.
#7) Community Oversight / Policing
#7) Community Oversight / Policing
Camden New Jersey is a great example of what can happen when local activist get involved in policy making in regards to local policing. Over the last decade, the city has had roughly a 41% reduction among the seven major categories of murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, and larceny. However if we don’t look closely at how these results transpired, then it is possible to make mistakes in understanding how to interpret this data.
Crime spiked across Jersey in 2011 and 2012 under Chris Christie’s governance and forced cuts of aid to the city. With the city under duress, over the objection of Camden community members, local officials partnered with Christie to enact a plan to disband the city’s police force and replace it with a regional county force. The goal was to dissolve the local police union, which would allow for a cheaper force that would enable more policing, not less.
The immediate results of the new force were negative. They wanted to usher in more of the same policies of over-policing, broken window policies and more approaches that we know only lead to more brutality and frankly don’t work.
It was only tireless efforts from local activists and watchdogs that eventually pressured the new police force to adopt a new force policy requiring officers to avoid escalation, training them to do so and requiring them to intercede if another officer was incorrectly using force. It was this local activism done by the people that ushered in these progressive policies that forced police to be held accountable for their actions. This is key in understanding the results of what took place in Camden, because there are some who will say that it was “more police” that allowed for Camden to yield the results of less crime in their city when we know that “more police” on its own is actually not what happened, nor is it the answer for our communities across the nation.
Officers in Camden are now trained to take things slow, de-escalate whenever possible and take steps to avoid deadly force situations, even if it means retreating and waiting for backup, ultimately keeping the public and officers safer.
These are the policies needed to usher in change into police departments, and police must be open and willing to accept this change. The relations between citizen and police officer are completely broken. There is a lack of respect, and a lack of trust amongst each other which is required in order for a force to successfully police its community.
Therefore more initiatives of community policing designed to develop partnerships, encourage organizational transformation and establish shared problem-solving are needed. These are efforts that must be realized on both sides. More reforms at a local level that seek to reduce neighborhood crime through improved relationships and direct partnerships between police and the community are key in engineering neighborhoods that stop crime instead of solely stopping criminals.
The people are ready for change and have already exemplified this through sentiment and activity in the streets. Now it is time for all the good police that decided to take knees with us in public demonstrations, to put in the real work. If police rally behind the initiatives to allocate funds into the neighborhoods that they serve to help reduce crime then that would be the actionable olive branch that would at least give people a reason to even think about putting their trust back into the police. It is a two way street.
They must also rally behind community initiatives to help bridge the gap between officers and their communities. Problem-oriented community policing reduces crime in the short term and improves community relations. Congenial contact between police and citizens allow for police to drop their irrational fear of the people that live in the communities that they serve. How do you mistakenly murder someone that you watched grow up?
This is also why a certain number of Police should be mandated to patrol the communities that live in and live close to. This way they have a stronger stake in the communities that they serve.
Establish the Framework That Camden Activists Ushered into Police Department Policy
CORE PRINCIPLE #1:Officers may use force only to accomplish specific law enforcement objectives
COREPRINCIPLE #2: Whenever feasible, officers should attempt to de-escalate confrontations with the goal of resolving encounters without force. Officers may only use force that is objectively reasonable, necessary, and as a last resort
COREPRINCIPLE #3: Officers must use only the amount of force that is proportionate to the circumstances
COREPRINCIPLE #4: Deadly force is only authorized as a last resort and only in strict accordance with this directive
COREPRINCIPLE #5: Officers must promptly provide or request medical aid
COREPRINCIPLE #6: Employees have a duty to stop and report uses of force that violate any applicable law and/or this directive
Establish effective civilian oversight structures
- Establish an all-civilian oversight structure with discipline power that includes a Police Commission and Civilian Complaints Office with the following powers:
- The Police Commission should:
- Determine policy for the police department based on community input and expertise
- Share policy and policy changes in publicly accessible formats
- Discipline and dismiss police officers
- Hold public disciplinary hearings
- Select the candidates for Police Chief, to be hired by the Mayor
- Evaluate and fire the Police Chief, if needed
- Receive full-time, competitive salaries for all members
- Receive regular training on policing and civil rights
- Not have current, former or family of police officers as members
- Select its members from candidates offered by community organizations
The Civilian Complaints Office should:
- Receive, investigate and resolve all civilian complaints against police in 120 days
- Establish multiple in-person and online way to submit, view and discuss complaints
- Be immediately notified and required to send an investigator to the scene of a police shooting or in-custody death
- Be allowed to interrogate officers less than 48 hours after an incident where deadly force is used
- Access crime scenes, subpoena witnesses and files with penalties for non-compliance
- Make disciplinary and policy recommendations to the Police Chief
- Compel the Police Chief to explain why he/she has not followed a recommendation
- Have the Police Commission decide cases where the Police Chief does not follow recommendations
- Issue public quarterly reports analyzing complaints, demographics of complainants, status and findings of investigations and actions taken as a result
- Be housed in a separate location from the police department
- Be funded at an amount no less than 5% of the total police department budget
- Have at least 1 investigator for every 70 police officers or 4 investigators at all times, whichever is greater
- Have its Director selected from candidates offered by community organizations
- Not have current, former or family of police officers on staff, including the Director
(Ex: San Francisco Charter Policies on Police Commission and Office of Citizen Complaints)
Remove barriers to reporting police misconduct
For all stops by a police officer, require officers to give civilians their name, badge number, reason for the stop and a card with instructions for filing a complaint to the civilian oversight structure
#8) Defund / Demilitarize The Police
#8) Defund / Demilitarize the Police
In terms of effective solutions, “defund the police” is a term that, by itself is extremely misleading. Police are necessary. Crime happens, disputes happen and when they do, properly trained police officers with a value stake in the community should be there to respond in a prompt and solution oriented manner. Period. That is what should happen. PERIOD. The problem is, that is NOT what’s happening. In the hood we definitely don’t see promptness and we don’t see solution oriented actions taking place. What we are seeing is an escalation in the disputes at hand instead of a de-escalation when police arrive. If a specialized domestic violence professional had responded to the situation in Kenosha earlier this week, then its highly probable that Jacob Blake may not be paralyzed today because the situation was not handled effectively. This all ties back to Action item #2
But Action items 2 & 4 Will cost money, which is why the term Defunding the police is misleading. As polarizing a topic this can be, just like almost every issue in America, the answer and the truth usually lies somewhere near the middle. The safest communities in America do not have more police forces, they have living wages, better schooling and an abundance of resources like mental & holistic health services, healthy food choices etc. Excessive investments in police & prisons does not make that list. Therefore understand that yes, police departments will need money. However, tanks, riot gear and crowd control weapons are simply just a bad use of funds, especially when they are only used as a result of the effects of mismanaged funds in the first place. It seems to defeat the purpose of the funding altogether. So defund? Not quite. But, Divest? Reallocate? Absolutely!
With that said, police budgets make up almost half of discretionary funding for cities across America according to the CPD. As our good brother T.I. would say, that is preposterous! Therefore a portion of the budget for police funding needs to go into the communities that they serve to prevent children from falling prey to illicit behavior and choosing a life of crime as a viable path. Idle time is the devils playground and children in underserved communities need outlets. This is how you bypass crime altogether, you nip it in the bud. Unfortunately the system actually profits on said crime, but that is another topic that we will address in Action item #13.
I ask that the blogs don’t spin my words for clicks, what I am saying is that funds need to be reallocated to the proper channels. More weapons is not one of those channels. And If that manifests in the form of a net loss to funding to police departments, then so be it.
End the Federal Government’s 1033 Program Providing Military Weaponry to Local Police Departments
End the supply of federal military weaponry to local police departments under the 1033 program. (Ex: Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act)
Establish Local Restrictions to Prevent Police Departments from Purchasing or Using Military Weaponry
Restrict police departments from:
- Using federal grant money to purchase military equipment (Ex: Montana law)
- Deploying armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft, drones, Stingray surveillance equipment, camouflage uniforms, and grenade launchers
- Using SWAT teams unless there is an emergency situation or imminent threat to life and high-ranking officers have given approval (Ex: Cincinnati PD Policy)
- Conducting no-knock raids (Ex: Oregon law bans all no-knock raids)
- Accessing federal grant money or purchasing military equipment if the department has been recently found to demonstrate a “pattern or practice” of discriminatory policing
- In addition to these restrictions, wherever possible agencies should seek to return to the federal government the military equipment that has already been received (Ex: San Jose)
#9) Term Limits
#9) Term Limits
Congress has a 17 percent approval rating, but a 95% re-election rate. That’s because our elected leaders can abuse their power to keep away electoral challenges, which transfers power away from citizens and into the hands of unaccountable career politicians. The solution to this is to set term limits to congressional seats. This is an initiative that has always been supported by large majorities of most American demographic groups; yet opposed primarily by incumbent politicians and the special interest groups which depend on them.
Term limits are needed at all levels of government. However, because of the large electoral advantages wielded by incumbents, the historically low rate of turnover, the greater threat from special interests, and the unique power that federal legislators hold, it is especially important to apply term limits to Congress. However this isn’t the only initiative needed in order to fix corruptive behavior within the system. Removing money out of politics completely is also a major necessity to prevent novice legislators who would fill vacant positions from being influenced by lobbyists. The system needs fixing from top to bottom.
- Apply term limits to congress
- Remove money out of politics
- Read The Heritage Foundations 1994 Report on Term Limits
#10) Affordable Mental Health Services
#10) Affordable Mental Health Services
Black Americans are half as likely as whites to receive the treatment that they need for mental health disorders. Systemic oppression encapsulates so many different areas of life in such a way, that people who don’t experience it simply take those things for granted. That is why they write it off as something that doesn’t exist because they cant see it, it truly does not exist in their world. The crack epidemic that struck black communities in the 80’s has had so many developments and residual affects throughout America that has impacted the mental health of African Americans to this day. On top of that, it is widely speculated that the drugs found their way into American borders with the help of certain US government agencies. That is yet to be proven true, but what is true is that the infiltration of drugs and crime in these communities has kept a cycle of poverty & homicide in tact that has been going on for generations and is still widely felt today. Yet these crises have never been portrayed to the public as such. During that time, America demonized African Americans as criminals and abusers of drugs that should be punished for their “crimes”. So much that they decided to declare a “War on Drugs” that really only added insult to injury by placing victims of addiction into private prison systems.
I use the term “victims of addiction” carefully, because fast forward 30 years today, The “opioid crisis”, which is now widely seen as an issue affecting white people in suburban America, we see a starkly different characterization. These people are truly seen as victims of circumstance and addiction who need mental health care services to fix their addiction so they can rehabilitate into productive members of society again.
Same fundamental addiction as before, but different response. Why?
Has the harsh realities of drug addiction not affected black people in the same way as whites?
Has the psyche and self image of black people in America not been drastically altered as a result of this travesty?
It’s not my intent to boil down the mental trauma that black Americans experience to a singular point such as the crack epidemic, because this goes much wider and deeper than most people realize.
Using drugs to cope with the realities of impoverishment and a system that treats them like animals is a condition that is not exclusive to black people In America. We see these conditions evident in the poor whites in the encapsulated slums of South Africa, who use drugs to deal with the harsh realities of extreme poverty.
The Reggie Yates Netflix documentary, Extreme: South Africa The White Slums, portrays the grim existence of poor white people living in South Africa. The people living in those conditions deal with a myriad of problems, like not having enough food to eat, fights with other cape residents, some residents survive on handouts, others have terrible alcohol addictions, unemployment is extremely high, they blame the government for their problems etc… Now if you know what to listen for, this sounds eerily similar to the woes of impoverished African Americans in the United States. But its not, we’re talking about the reality of impoverished white people in South Africa. The funny thing is, no one calls these people savages or thinks that they are less than of a human being even though that is exactly how white America has treated & characterized black people in this country living under the SAME conditions. The issue isn’t the color of their skin, it is the living conditions that they are subjected to. The conditions of poverty foster a state of mind that begets more poverty. Not only are these systemic issues, but they are mental health issues as well.
African Americans, who are more likely to be impoverished, incarcerated, homeless, and fighting substance abuse, are all at higher risk for poor mental health. While poverty, homelessness, drug abuse, etc., are often signs of mental illness across all ethnicities, racism is an added part of poor mental health in African Americans. The tension between police and African Americans have not helped how the community is perceived in society. African Americans are more likely to be victims of serious violent crimes, making them more likely to qualify as having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Even current research suggests that exposure to violence, incarceration, and involvement in the foster care system can increase the chances of developing a mental illness. And seeing how the Black community comprises approximately 40% of the homeless population, 50% of the prison population, and 45% of children in the foster care system it is clear to see that mental health is a big issue that plagues the black community and we need reforms at a local and federal level to ensure services are provided.
When black men in America want to vent about something, the choices are usually God or themselves. As important as it is to maintain a strong spiritual connection to the most high, these choices lack sustainability for most. Having accessibility to affordable Mental health services solves so many different issues.
In regards to policing; an encounter with the police while dealing with Mental health issues should not be a death sentence like it was for Jason Harrison. Ideally, police should be able to read a situation, but a much better solution would be to have crisis response teams handle issues involving mental health.
Establish and fund Mental Health Response Teams to respond to crisis situations. These approaches have been proven to reduce police use of force in these situations by nearly 40 percent and should include:
- Establish a team of mental health professionals, social workers and/or crisis counselors to send as first responders to calls involving mental health crises, such as the CAHOOTS model implemented in Eugene, OR.
- Involvement of this multidisciplinary team in planning, implementation and response to crises
Prohibit insurers or health care service plans from discriminating between coverage offered for mental illness and other physical disorders
Require that an option of coverage for mental illness, serious mental illness, substance abuse or a combination thereof, be provided to insured.
- Fulfill the need for trained counselors in schools specifically for children of color
#11) Employees On The Board
#11) Employees On The Board
In the spirit of equitable change, what better way could public corporations (earning $1Bill+ annually) prove to the public that they truly have a desire to institute inclusivity and diversity by electing their own employees to the board of directors.
It is not widely understood how crony capitalism has played a major role in the discrimination and marginalization of black people including things like redlining, subminimum wages and predatory lending. Inclusivity of the working class into the boardroom prevents these type of practices from taking place against impoverished and lower class citizens. We must look into innovative ideas of tomorrow to address the inequities we are facing today.
Placing employees onto board seats is a directive that makes sense for everyone. People take care of homes they own much better than ones they rent. No different than a billion dollar corporation. Employees will care more and do more for the company if they know they have a legitimate opportunity to become a stakeholder in the company and actually have a real heard voice in the company. It will increase responsibility, accountability and raise culture across the entire company, ultimately leading to more profits.
Not to mention the increase in overall employee morale. With greater equity, you lower resentment of employees towards executives. In todays climate where the CEO-to-work pay ratio is somewhere around 339-to-1, resentment levels as well as turnover ratios are at historically high levels. When employees gain representation in the board room, pay ratios decrease, resulting in lower turnover as well as higher morale.
Employees with stake in the company help bring a more focused long term vision that can also help aid in profitability and growth. Longer term visions over the span of 10-20 years have proven to be better models to shape decisions around instead of the widely accepted quarterly guidance. The greatest example of this would be Jeff Bezos and Amazon. For countless years, Bezos would write yearly recaps to his investors about the long term vision of the company after years and years of being unprofitable, to now where Amazon is on track to one day becoming a multi trillion dollar company.
Employees should take a vote on which employees they choose to represent them making the governance easier to manage. Signing non-disclosure and non-compete forms will allow for the board members to trust that the employee will not run off with trade secrets.
As true with most progressive initiatives, these ideas have already been tried and tested in European for quite some time. We have the models we can use. Therefore the effort to pursuit such an endeavor is notable and worthy.
#12) Parole / Probation Reform
#12) Parole / Probation Reform
- Restrict the use of incarceration for technical violations Eliminate incarceration as a sanction for most technical violations. Certain violations should still result in jail time but would be capped at a maximum 30 days.
- Provide earned time credits People under community supervision would be eligible to earn a 30-day “earned time credits” reduction in their community supervision period for every 30-day period in which they do not violate a condition of supervision.
- Bolster due process Persons under community supervision shall be afforded a recognizance hearing in a local criminal court before they are detained, pending adjudication of an alleged violation of their conditions of release, whether a technical violation or a new criminal charge is alleged.
- Provide speedy hearings Persons under community supervision shall be afforded a speedy adjudicatory hearing upon an alleged violation of their conditions of release.
- Strengthen the support system of parolees Fix the burdens of over worked parole officers by distributing cases evenly and hiring more officers where needed. Enhance the quality of meetings by providing/planning a realistic path back into society for parolees.
#13) Amend The 13th Amendment
#13) Amend The 13th Amendment
With America hosting roughly a quarter of the worlds prison population, it is clear to see that there is a concerted effort to ensure American citizens are jailed. However when we look deeper into the numbers, it becomes even more clear that the effort is targeted at African Americans specifically. African Americans are only 13% of Americas population, however we make up 40% of the incarcerated population, which is nearly six times the imprisonment rate of whites.
The disproportionate targeting of African Americans into the prison system at surface level, may seem like yet another case of racism and discrimination for the sake of racism and discrimination, but the motives run deeper. The American prison system is a for-profit system. These systems profit off of the crime that they help incubate, which is another way of saying the American prison system is a legal form of slavery. I would like to give a Big shout out to Netflix for adding the documentary “13th” to YouTube. That explains what is happening perfectly.
If you don’t know what is happening, the 13th amendment has a loophole within that allows for this legal slavery. It states that: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”
This quite literally means as it reads, that slavery is legal punishment for a crime and that is exactly what is taking place in the American prison systems in the form of cheap corporate labor.
The Netflix documentary covers the transformation of slavery through the ages, starting with the ratification of the 13th amendment which initiated the process of convict leasing and mass arrests, to now with mass incarceration & cheap prison labor for American corporations. Some of the aspects associated with these unjust practices are still in use today and they need to be addressed.
Over policing in Black neighborhoods is a major reason as to why crime rates are higher than in white neighborhoods. And white perpetrators are usually undercharged so it is no wonder that whites have lower rates of crime. If you examine this phenomena closely you’ll see how absurd it really is. I was recently informed of a scenario that took place in a white neighborhood between a white man who was pulled over by police. What’s bizarre is that this man had 15 pounds of marijuana in his trunk but he was let off with a warning. A WARNING. Meanwhile we all can name at least one black person we know & love in our hood that has been put away for years for a fraction of the same thing.
And it seems the deeper you go, the more reasons you find for the iniquities to thrive and exist. A new report by “In the Public Interest” finds that private prison contracts that include “occupancy requirements” — effectively inmate quotas — are alarmingly common. This means that private prisons are forced to keep their jails full with people who break the law even if crime is on a decline. Think about the implications of such a requirement. Among the 62 contracts that they were able to obtain, 65 percent contained occupancy provisions that required prisons to remain between 80 and 100 percent full, and can last for as long as 20 years. If beds sit empty, states still have to pay, which the report dubbed a “no-crime tax.” And even when the abuses and violations for which these private firms are notorious cause the state to remove prisoners, contractual deals compel the state to keep paying.
This type of inequity happens all throughout our law enforcement as well as our justice system. And as much as we want this to be handled by the top, it wont change until we start at the local levels. The legislative branch of our local governments haven’t developed adequate laws and regulations for their executive branch to prevent their inequitable enforcement of the law. This is why we have over-policing in black and brown neighborhoods. This is why we have situations where a white man can be sentenced to 7 years for raping a child, but a black man sentenced to 40 years for stealing a car. The entire system must change from top to bottom and when it comes to structural change, we must remember the reasons the system is messed up in the first place which are very simply, misaligned incentives.
As new progressive ideas begin to flourish throughout the world, we uncover new models on how prison systems can run. Australia and New Zealand are leading the way by incentivizing companies to reduce recidivism rates.
Instead of rewarding prison companies according to the number of prisoners they house, these private prison contracts are structured so that they make more money if they treat prisoners humanely, with policies that help prisoners stay out of trouble once released. A performance based prison system.
If the purpose of a prison is to house prisoners to lower crime rates on the streets then why aren’t private prisons rewarded for doing just that?
In New Zealand and Australia, two relatively new private prisons have contracts that give them bonuses for doing better than government prisons at cutting recidivism. They get an even bigger bonus if they beat the government at reducing recidivism among their indigenous populations. This is because these countries share a very similar disproportionate rate of imprisonment of people of color just like in America. The prison companies are also charged for what the government deems as unacceptable events like riots, escapes and unnatural deaths. They avoid many of the dehumanizing elements typical of prisons for example: prisoners are called by their first names instead of by number, and corrections officers are called reintegration officers.
The prison is designed for rehabilitation, a place to be if you really want to change, which is exactly what prison should be. A place to change, not a place to indoctrinate and encourage more of the bad behavior that got you there in the first place. But that is exactly what you will get in a system that incentivizes more prisoners instead of one that incentivizes less. These institutions should be centered around recovery, requiring inmates to either be in a program or in education. Not just staying in the day room doing nothing. If you put people in cages and treat them like animals, that is exactly how they will behave. But if you put them in a restorative environment where they are treated like humans, they can not only change, but produce change in the communities that they come back home to.
- Close the loophole in the 13th amendment that allows for cheap labor
- Investigate and abolish prison contracts that require occupancy rates
- Create new transportable opportunities for inmates that do not include exploiting their labor
- Transform the prison system from one that entrenches & accommodates problematic behavior to one that is restorative and rehabilitative in nature.
- Change the perverse incentives in the prison system to force the change we seek, i.e; Incentivize private prisons to reduce recidivism rates
Gold Mask Action Items
Gold Mask Action Items
Accountability has always been an unfair one sided conversation on public forums in regards to systematic racism oppression, but that doesn’t change the fact that we very well can still be better. It’s always been in our DNA to do twice as much even though we only get half as much. But that makes us better stronger people everyday, and sooner or later the status quo will shift.
So that is exactly what we will do, instead of begging our oppressor for change, crying to our oppressor for change, singing to oppressor for change we will simply force the change by our own doing. The paradigm must shift. Our focus must change from trying to fix the external world around us, to now changing the internal world within us. That may sound counter-intuitive seeing as how we just listed 13 action items that we want to see change in the system and our external world. But understand the greatest lessons in life tend to be paradoxical in their nature. Everything we seek and more will come to fruition with ease when we decide to shift our mentality and in turn, the culture.
Internally we know what our problems are but we are yet to put the fires out in our own community. Let the following 14 Action items be our extinguisher.
The number one task is the liberation of our minds. Many of the tenets proposed stem from this book “Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. by Chancellor Williams” I would ask that you find this book, read this book, and follow the action items listed below because in doing so we help bring the book to life.
Liberating our minds will not be easy and it will not be easily achieved in a single generation. There are many sacrifices that must be made, it is going to be uncomfortable and you are going to be asked to do things that you have never done before. From the highest in society to the very lowest. But that is exactly why we are going to achieve something we have never achieved before. If only some of these rules are followed, then none of this works. However the social momentum is on our side to where enough of us can hold each other accountable to ensure that we attain what’s rightfully ours. Black Liberation.
#14) Group Economics
#14) Group Economics
We live in a capitalist nation. As much as we hate to admit this to ourselves, we do. And being that we live in a capitalist nation, we should be practicing capitalism. According to Dr. Claud Anderson, capitalism is owning and controlling the land, tools, resources and using other peoples labor to enrich one self or group. Social integration and civil rights are of no consequence in regards to capitalist societies yet for some reason we have placed these ideals as first priority as if they will make the change we desperately seek. Ofcourse we cannot be insensitive and ungrateful for the sacrifices that civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King made for us, but their actions were necessary for those times. This is a new day in which we are much aware that living in a capitalist society means that we must practice capitalism (owning and controlling the land, tools, resources and using other peoples labor to enrich one self or group) in order to truly achieve the civil rights we are seeking.
Marching in the streets, and telling people to vote can no longer be the sole response to police murdering us in the street. We’ve tried it many times before and it obviously doesn’t work because if you haven’t noticed, they are still killing us. And they are getting away with it because our socioeconomic condition is baseless which does not allow for any meaningful consequence. Therefore our condition must change, and we do that through group economics.
This is TEN times more important than focusing on ANY election. Political affiliation is not nearly as important and the reason why is because politicians don’t make change, bureaucracies do. And bureaucracies don’t revolve around people they revolve around economics. But you’ll never in your life see a commercial on white American network television telling you to cast your dollar, only to cast your vote. The revolution won’t be televised, that’s why group economics is first on the gold mask list.
Group Economics can be defined as one group of people who have a common economic interest. That group agrees to actively and consciously pursue that economic interest together to create a sustainable and secure economy for themselves.
1.) Businesses: Provide black owned and run businesses for the black consumer to purchase from. There must also be plans to replace those businesses owned by people out side of the Black Community with equal or better quality options.
2.) Hiring from Group: Business owners must hire from the local community. Part of effect Black Group Economics is improving your community. These jobs will reduce the high rate of unemployment as well as the rate of crime.
3.) Accountability & Quality: The businesses must be of the highest quality and be willing to be held accountable by Black patrons for their services and/or products.
4.) Marketing: Black businesses must market themselves actively to the Black community to make sure their services & products are known. Marketing is also important for creating success modelling for aspiring entrepreneurs.
5.) Consumer Loyalty: The community of Black consumers must be committed to patronizing great black businesses, EVERY DAY. Black consumers must also be willing to respectfully hold black businesses accountable to maintain their high standards of products and service.
As black folk, we have bought into the basic premises of the constitution and individualism which says your success is based on what you as an individual can achieve in and of your own merit. This is a lie fed to us by the European that doesn’t even practice what they preach. At the same time the constitution was being written, they were profiting off of the slave labor of our great grandparents, amassing monumental amounts of wealth. Does that sound like success based off of individual efforts and merits to you? And these practices of leaning on the next person is still seen today with countless examples of nepotism in high places, white fraternities that exchange favors for their members and even trust fund babies that leverage that same wealth generated so long ago. Despite the illusion that has been fed to us, true wealth is acquired through some means of group economics. As black people, we’ve gone into slavery as a group, we’ve went into Jim Crow as a group, and we can only come out of this current state of oppression AS A GROUP.
We are playing one big game of monopoly. And thanks to true racism, we are basically playing from behind. True racism is when one group holds a disproportionate share of wealth and power over another group who then use those resources to marginalize, exploit, and exclude the weaker group. To combat this we must build a strong community by focusing on exclusive internal growth and wealth building. This is what Dr. Claud Anderson has been preaching to the black community for decades through his Powernomics series of books and other works. For some reason it just never clicked, but it’s clicking now and we have real life examples.
Most recently on a breakfast club interview, he described black economic empowerment as building a proverbial building with multiple floors:
- First Floor – Build a community and practice ‘group economics’; particularly making the money ‘bounce’ in
the community 8-12 times before it leaves.
- Second Floor – Politics; without economics there’s no ability to influence politicians or elections as a
group; Voting is immaterial and a game of entertainment; You buy or rent the politicians.
- Third Floor – Use the politicians to influence the court systems and law enforcement to decrease things
like police brutality.
- Fourth Floor – Media; If you don’t own media, you can’t organize, communicate or motivate.
- Fifth Floor – Education; Interestingly the final level, but according to his logic it makes sense as
there would theoretically be the existence of black businesses for our young professionals to start working in.
This is the blueprint we must follow to end the oppression that is up against us. As Byron Wilson said The reason you don’t see police brutality against the Jewish community is because they can offer economic consequence. One murder by police, and there’s swift justice. Why? Because if there is no justice, there are consequences to pay, that’s why you see NO MURDERS. Yet we die every day and its simply because there are no economic consequences.
Always, always, always think in terms of economic consequences. Did I mention always? This is why life insurance is so important. Imagine what would happen if every black person that was murdered by police in the last five years had life insurance policies from the same 10 companies. Eventually those life insurance companies would have no choice but to sue the state and accompanying police departments because it would be in their best economic interest to do so. ON OUR BEHALF. There’s no amount of marching in the street that can equate to that. This is chess not checkers.
The end game as a community is to have the law makers in our pockets, the same way those that oppress us have lawmakers in theirs. Only difference is we would use that power for equality and benevolence instead of legalized slavery and oppression the way it currently is. Economic action is what moves legislation. That is what the civil rights movement was all about. Not just voting & marching.
I am SO PROUD to be able to give you not one but TWO, BEAUTIFUL examples of what Action item #14, group economics, actually looks like in the field.
In Toomsboro, Georgia, a group of 19 Black families banded together to create what has the potential to be the next Black Wall Street.
Ashley Scott from Stonecrest Georgia, decided to assemble together a group of professional acquaintances and friends to purchase 96 acres of land to create a new city. After witnessing the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, Scott stated: “It will take for us as a people, as Atlanta rapper and activist Killer Mike so eloquently put, “To plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize.” So that’s what I and my good friend Renee Walters, an entrepreneur and investor, did.”
Scott and her good friend Renee Walters launched The Freedom Georgia Initiative, to establish a self-sustaining Black community. After attending local zoning and city council meetings, Scott said she realized creating a new city would create change and build “real Black power.”
In Scott’s own words, its up to us to “Amass land, develop affordable housing for yourself, build your own food systems, build manufacturing and supply chains, build your own home school communities, build your own banks and credit unions, build your own cities, build your own police departments, tax yourselves and vote in a mayor and a city council you can trust.”
The second example of group economics is the merger of both black owned banks: City First Bank and Broadway Federal Bank. Albeit this is a broad commercial example, it is still a huge step in the direction of allocating funds to our communities for the goal of liberating black people. CEO Brain Agrett stated that “The combination will allow our collective institution to focus its lending capacity in three key areas: multifamily housing, small-business finance and non-profit finance,” which can help low- and moderate-income areas, Argrett said in a phone interview. “If you are providing financing for a small business, you are enabling wealth creation, job creation and economic empowerment through that financing. There’s a multiplier.”
This collaboration will be integral in providing low income communities the resources they need to facilitate entrepreneurship and quote on quote “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. ”Collective masterminds of black excellence really do exist and we need to feed into this trend more than we did Popeyes chicken sandwiches because this is how we build the new world we seek instead of suffering in the current one we occupy.
Group economics is the cornerstone of the foundation of a family structure. That family structure is the cornerstone of a community. And community is the cornerstone of a trade that then moves a people to a higher level. The season could not be more ripe for black people as a whole to start making moves together. We have the capital now through these black banks. We have the examples of what to do. Its really up to us to just spread the message, expand on the execution and just do it!
And there’s so many places we can expand these ideas into. Black churches are a source that we as a people can put a lot of pressure on to expand this idea considering their overall lack of contribution to black liberation. Black churches have collected close to half a trillion dollars in tithes and donations since 1980. Yet they do nothing but place those tithes into white banks, who then use that capital to lend out to white developers that gentrify our communities. Quite frankly this is ass-backwards behavior. The money they receive is tax free and should go directly towards the cause of liberating black people in a uniform, organized fashion. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when the structure to collect from an assembled people is already there, so we must turn up the pressure for this to happen.
A mentality shift across the diaspora is what must take place for this to be successful. Overall wealth building practices and mentality should be standard across all black families. And the attitude shouldn’t be one of competition (unless friendly) but one of cooperation and educating in a free spirited manner. I gain nothing in the short term from sharing this information, sure it would be nice to get a donation, but I’m not banking on it. My ultimate payment comes in the form of the support of my people, the advancement of my people and the graces of the most high. Therefore I am willing to be as giving as I possibly can to my people. I implore you to do the same. Imagine what life would look like if literally every black person thought like that. A true mental exit of the Babylonian system into the virtues of an “Ubuntu” society.
- Grasp an understanding of Group Economics and put it into action.
- Examine it in action and learn from the 19 families in Toomsboro Georgia
- Read the Powernomics series by Claud Anderson
- Bank with Black owned Banking conglomerates like: One United Bank, Broadway Federal Bank, City First Bank, Carver Federal Savings, OPTUS Bank, Hope Credit Union and more.
- Tell every single black person you know of #HowWeFight
As Byron Wilson said Economic consequence is our strong hand and we must play it. Boycotting is the economic action that will force the legislation that we seek. Its more effective than class action suits, letter writing campaigns, and lobbying put together. Why? Because this country moves on money and money is the only language that it understands. Effective immediately, we must only buy food from black owned restaurants. Please see this list of black owned restaurants to buy from.
If a franchised location is owned by a black person, eat at that location exclusively. We will not harm our own people.
Please note that we are exclusively supporting BLACK owned restaurants; not MINORITY owned. The terms “black” and “minority” are not interchangeable. So, to my Chinese, Korean, Arabic, & Indian restaurant owners: We have nothing against you personally. But if we don’t do this now, there will be none of us left to buy your products anyway.
This means that you will need to avoid many of your favorite restaurants. But what is more important, your taste buds or the liberation of your people? The good news is you will discover new black-owned favorites.
We will not support non-equitable services. We will support black restaurants that offer the quality and service we deserve. And if we have a negative experience, we will not generalize and say, “See, this is why I don’t support black businesses”. We will simply express our concerns to the management, and if we so choose, we just won’t go back to that particular restaurant. Just as we would behave with a restaurant that isn’t black-owned.
Remember, boycotting is about economic consequence for unjust actions. When police departments pressure their officers to enforce low-level violations against black and Hispanic people, it means that they believe there will be no consequence for their actions. Because while they encouraged over-policing on black and Hispanics, they discouraged officers from doing the same to white or Asian people. These police departments have pension funds that are invested into fortune 500 companies that we use every single day. Why do we continue to use them if they are providing dividends to the very people who continue to abuse us? How quickly the abuse would stop, if police department pension money began to dry up due to their racist policies. This is how we need to think. How do we hurt the pocket book not any physical person.
It should not stop there, why do we continue to give our money to brands and corporations that prove to us that they really don’t care about us. Why have brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton become our communities chosen symbols of affluence, when they have never open the runway with diversity for years until recently. The blackface turtleneck sweater speaks volumes not only about Gucci but about all of these luxury brands lauded by the black community that have never included us in the past but are only doing so now because it’s the trend. There are tons of other black owned luxury brands that we can usher in to the forefront to lead our culture in fashion.
Let us as a culture truly audit the brands that we have supported ensuring that they have always been participants in inclusivity. If they do not pass the test we shall not pass the bucks. Straight like that.
I want to give a tremendous shout out to the NBA teams that decided to boycott playing in solidarity of the movement. Unfortunately they took advice from President Obama and back tracked on their gut feeling to sit out. I really hope that fire gets ignited again and respectfully, I hope next time when you look for revolutionary advice you look to a more revolutionary intellectual such as Cornel West or even David Banner. Your participation is the type of buy in, the type of leadership, the type of unity that we need from our LEADERS of culture. We don’t need you guys looking weak or unsure. Black Rappers, black actors and black social influencers we need you to follow suit, ESPECIALLY for Action item #26.
There is a surge of black entrepreneurship but we need more. Crime within our communities can decrease when we can provide opportunities to each other because of the shared abundance.
Black owned businesses still lag behind white and other minority owned businesses in terms of market share. Which means there is still a lot of work to do and it starts in the mind. The mentality needs to change. ALWAYS ask yourself with EVERY purchase, “Am I purchasing from a black owned business?” If not, “Could I have bought this from a black owned business?” If yes “What black owned business can I purchase this item from?” Then proceed to do so. And remind your friends to do the same. Always support the local black businesses in your neighborhood. If you need a resource: Webuyblack.com Provides an abundance of black businesses that you can support.
A major issue within the black community in regards to supporting black businesses comes from asking for discounts. Don’t be the one to ask your black counterpart for a discount when you wouldn’t ask a white or other minority business owner for a discount because it isn’t fair. However at the same time, don’t sell your brother an all black t shirt with a screen print that says hash tag BLM for $67 !
There needs to be mutual understanding. Understand as a consumer that black business owners don’t have it as easy to stock their shelves or supply products at the same discounted rates as their white counterparts due to the lack of access to capital to provide cheaper wholesale rates. Eventually as we grow we will become our own suppliers of raw materials, but in the meantime expect to pay a little more and as Nipsey told us be #ProudToPay.
However at the same time, as an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to commit to increasing the value that you provide to your customers despite those setbacks. Don’t abuse a handicap that your brothers and sisters will overlook simply for personal gain. At the end of the day we live in a capitalist society and the market will weed you out with another black business that won’t prey on its customers. Increase your value to the market place, That is a daily commitment that must set as regularly as you shower. That is the Mamba Mentality in business that we must adopt. RIP Kobe
Join Facebook groups that are centered in the direction of business that you wish to serve. Join Facebook groups about black business, about black entrepreneurship so that you can make connections, rub internet shoulders and learn from people who are doing it.
Our mentality should be one of ownership in any and all things. Ownership in our media, ownership in food, ownership in medicine, ownership in resources, ownership in raw materials we use. From top to bottom every industry, ownership is what breaks the chains of oppression.
We also need to think in terms of global distribution. As an entrepreneur, you need to have in the back of your mind, how can my product serve the world? America may not always be the first world empire that we know it to be, therefore you must be prepared to serve other nations with your product and services in order to be able to protect yourself and your loved ones. Remember, buy black, sell to everyone.
#17) Exercise The 2nd Amendment
#17) Exercise The 2nd Amendment
As Byron F Wilson told us, “We must show physical strength. It is irrational and un-American for us to be met with force and not respond in kind. It is imperative that all black Americans arm themselves legally through the proper channels.”
Had Ahmaud Arbery been armed on his jog, he may have been able to neutralize the thugs that murdered him.
Due to recent tragedies this topic has become very touchy. Mass shootings like Sandy Hook and the Parkland shooting have sparked public demand for stricter gun laws and in some cases an all out ban on assault rifles. However punishing many for the crimes of a few makes very little sense here. Not to mention that history and statistics show that it’s ultimately not in the best interest of black people to demand bans on weapons, so its important we understand that we cannot be on the fence with this issue.
Since 1982 white men have been responsible for 63 percent of all mass shootings. And although these shootings have been terrible, they are usually committed by thugs and criminals who already do not follow the current gun laws in the first place. So tightening gun laws on all citizens is not the answer here. It is the culture, the political climate, racism, capitalism (impoverishment), imperialism, sexism/genderism, and anti-immigrant policies in America that contributes to the violence that we see in America. This country has always been a very violent place from its inception. So even though stricter gun laws may seem like the proper response, the fact remains that gun control laws have always been used against people of color in the past.
According to the 2009 report Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the US Criminal Justice System, Black people are arrested for weapons crimes at a rate 4.4 times higher than White people. FBI data for 2016 shows weapons violations at the city, state, and federal level were used to arrest Black people 42 percent of the time, and White people 56 percent while black people make up only 13 percent of the population.
This is why many Black people are against tighter gun laws, as well they should be, because those laws continue to be used disproportionately against us to put us into their criminal system; even more so than drug laws. So you can pretty much guarantee that if stricter gun laws are passed, there will be some kind of loophole that will affect Black and Brown people more than anybody else.
The right to bear arms plays a major role in our liberation because if you believe black lives matter, then you should also believe that black lives should have the means to defend black lives. Good people should have a fighting chance to defend themselves. Safety and protection of family are the biggest things while making sure we’re aware of our rights.
I can understand the fear of complying with the requests of law enforcement, yet still ending up a statistic to police murder like our good brother Philando Castile. A disastrous turn of events that ended deadly for a law abiding citizen who complied with officer requests. As tragic as that was, the worse thing we can do as black people is to make decisions out of fear. We cannot let those previous circumstances make us afraid of our right to defend ourselves. If anything, as black gun owners, it should invigorate a galvanizing spirit in our hearts to go out and make for 100% certain that we are legally armed. Bowing down and discarding our 2nd amendment rights is not the answer. We are not sub-Americans, our ancestors died and earned that 2nd amendment right for us.
With that being said we can still remain vigilant. The advice given by my elders on how to remain as safe as possible during police contact (while in a vehicle) was always to keep hands in sight, do not break eye contact, request confirmation before making a move and move at an exaggerated sluggish pace to prevent cowardly police to act irrationally. I share this with you not to say that Philando didn’t do these things, but to help you if you ever end up in a situation similar to his.
The time for begging for our oppressors to care that our life matters has now come and gone. At this point we know now that it is not going to happen by asking for it, singing songs about it, or even making eloquent speeches about it. We aren’t here to hurt anyone, but protecting our own will come first. So protect yourself, protect your family, grip up and purchase a legal firearm.
- Pick a black gun club and register.
- Register with the National African American Gun Association
- Register with Black Gun Owners Association
- Register with Huey P Newton Gun Club
- Get Licensed in your State
- Purchase a Firearm
#18) Gang Unity
#18) Gang Unity
We ask the gangs of LA, NY and all over America to Please help us. Help us in continuing to unite against the greater common enemy and build on the truce that was set forth shortly after the passing of our beloved brother Nipsey Hussle The Great. The media will never show the positive strides that you all have made in recent years even prior to his passing, as well as the evolution of what it now means to be a part of gang culture as compared to yesterday. They can’t fathom the strength and power that you behold inside of your communities. That’s why they don’t show it.
Therefore do not be bothered by the fact that negativity receives more attention than the positive that you do in your community, because there will be a day when what was done in the dark comes to light. And all of the positive that you have done, will do and continue to do will come to the forefront and you will be rewarded. So continue to spread positivity in your communities. Continue to teach your brothers the senselessness of the fighting and the violence we commit against each other.
Continue to explain that even though we don’t realize it, through gang violence and violence in general, we are killing our own family members. And whether you feel like they’re your family or not they are. Whether you believe black people were brought here by slave ship or if you believe we were already here, the fact remains that if you dig deep enough you will find we are all related through some common ancestor. So there’s no reason for us to be murdering ourselves over petty differences. We’re all tired of hurting. We are all tired of the trauma from violence that has cycled through generations and has molded us into the people we are today. But this is a special time right now, where we actually have the opportunity to reverse this pain, reverse this trauma, reverse these seemingly never ending cycles.
And no, This does not mean we need a utopia. Absolutely not, remember not all collectives get along. Even in our own government we know this to be true but this is bigger than what has divided us in the past. Right now today, we just need to agree on specific key components so that we can exist together, build together, and act on a black agenda together. Put our differences away long enough for something bigger than yourself which is the benefit of every gang member and the reality of black liberation to arise as a result.
It is a sacrifice for sure, and it starts in the mind. But this is what separates the leaders from the followers, its a mindset. There are countless examples of those leaders who have died on principles for the betterment of our people. Nipsey being the biggest, a prime example of going out on standing up for what’s right. That’s what you should want your legacy to be and we need you all alive to make it happen. This is much bigger than just banging.
Like Killer Mike said, it is up to us to plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize. That mobilization includes you all. The black panthers tried to do this along with a myriad of other joint efforts to unite and liberate black people, we ask that you play your part in picking up their torch.
Back in that time, the government tried to make them appear to the public as a terrorist organization. This will not happen this time and even if they try it won’t work, because thanks to social media, today the people control the narrative. Even the American president tells us media is not to be trusted, so we’re the ones who control our narrative.
And that narrative must be one of unity and brotherhood for a greater cause. After the passing of Nipsey Hussle, an awe inspiring sight of unity between Bloods, Crips, and other street gangs emerged. The spirit of that brotherly unity must be built upon. It is time to end retaliation on each other for differences that may seem so large on a day to day, but in the grand scheme of things are just so small. Because we need you to stand up & protect your community when the police WONT, against white supremacist and those that wish to do us harm because they are out here. We commend the Crips that came to the aid of Jennifer McLeggan in Valley Stream New York, who was being harassed and intimated with guns by white supremacist that live in her neighborhood. There is no reason for George Zimmerman types to be able to walk among our neighborhoods without fear that they will be retaliated against if they choose to harm us.
It is this type of protection that we are asking from you. It is this type of restoration of the spirit and genesis of gangs in America that we are asking from you. Community revolution in progress uniting with brotherly love overcoming & overriding destruction. This is the reawakened vibe we must build upon in every way possible as a people. We must accept it, construct it, act on it, and nurture it. Because ultimately, your protection to our neighborhoods is valuable labor and should be viewed as such. I am sure that when the time is right, there are entrepreneurs and local leaders out there that will eventually concoct a way for the compensation of that labor to be a reality. But until that day comes, we ask that you set the example for black unity, define your legacies today and etch your names in history just like Nipsey did. OG’s, be selfless in reclaiming your hoods. Which gang will be next to step up, organize and protect us, amassing national praise in the process. Be our shield in a special moment in time where black people can rise up against the oppression that has haunted us for countless generations.
#19) Buy Crypto, Silver & Gold
#19) Buy Crypto, Silver & Gold
The world’s financial system has degraded to the point where it’s now failing us. Markets are in turmoil, yet this is being masked with currency printing that is being funnelled into the stock market. Eventually this will have a negative affect on our currency that will be felt around the world.
There used to be a 1:1 ratio of dollar bills to gold and silver held by the treasury. All of that ended in 1971 under the Nixon presidency when he ended the gold standard making it so that American dollars no longer needed to be backed by Gold. Now there is no restraint on the creation of currency and the money that has been printed through quantitative easing has only exacerbated the overall issues facing the market. And these problems are plentiful. We have deficit spending out of control, unlimited amounts of money being printed around the world, interest rates at negative yields and an oncoming spur of inflation. And as the world’s governments and central banks aim for ever larger bailouts to avoid recessions, depressions, and to desperately stoke inflation, their frantic moves will lead to exponentially bigger deficits and crises. Withstanding all of this market turbulence will be integral to maintaining your wealth.
Throughout history sophisticated investors have always turned to gold and silver for safe haven during tumultuous times, because unlike fiat currencies (ex: US Dollar, British Pound, Japanese Yen) Silver and Gold have historically been categorized as pure, unadulterated wealth. The value of these precious metals are intrinsic and stem from their rarity, utility, fungibility, and durability. Therefore if something happens to the economy that can affect the value of the dollar, you can call on gold.
This information is not intended to instil fear, but the general consensus among those that truly understand economic cycles know that a crisis is looming and things can get ugly for the smallest players in the game to the biggest. Some of the largest banks in the world went bankrupt in the past as a result of the same activity we see taking place today. Massive currency creation creates bubbles. This is why we have seen the stock market rise dramatically over the past year even during a pandemic. How many people did you see this past week, that don’t really know much of anything about stocks, encouraging others to buy TSLA and Apple? There are plenty of bubbles popping up across the markets and the money being printed has a lot to do with it.
Easing or money printing, much like inflation, is an unseen tax on savings. This is a tax on the wealth of Americans everywhere. Even beyond the money, true wealth is measured in time, which is what money affords us so our time is being stolen from us by institutions that can create new wealth at no expense. And even though this may seem overwhelming or seem like you are defenseless in this scenario, there is a remedy we can take from the ground. There are brief moments in history that go by quickly in which the safest place to be during economic crisis is gold and silver. They have been a safe haven for over 5000 years and during those times have yielded much gains in purchasing power.
However as we move into a more advanced technological age, cryptocurrencies & digital assets like Bitcoin are also being viewed as safe haven assets due to their similar nature in functionality as gold & silver.
The invention of Bitcoin made it possible for digital data to be exchanged without the ability to forge or copy the data. This was a revolutionary, never before seen phenomena that changed the internet forever. The internet prior to 2009 never had a way to send data to multiple recipients without preventing the sender from being able to keep a copy of the data that they sent. In other words, if you send an email to a friend that contains a video file, there was no way for you to email or send that file to your friend without you also keeping an original copy of the video file.
Through utilizing blockchain technology, the invention of bitcoin allowed for users to be able to send code digitally in part or whole in a way that made it so that the sender would no longer have it. This is a kin to utilizing Zelle or Cashapp to send money between friends, however the difference is there is no central institution like Zelle or Cashapp to oversee the transaction, making it trustless. Utilizing this technology allows for anything of value to be exchanged, but bitcoin specifically is the first of its kind. With a finite supply of 21million tokens, it is also seen as a digital safe haven asset because they cannot be printed or created. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin in existence.
However due to the many different applicable usecases of blockchain technology, there are many other cryptocurrencies that exist. The ones that boast utility and exemplify usecase in the market are also being viewed as safe haven assets as well for the same reasons. These cryptocurrency assets are open, borderless, neutral, censorship resistant, and public.
Right now the cryptocurrency space is currently in a state of war over which one will rule the space. The reality is, there’s space for more than a few of the majors to thrive, however because there are over 5,000 digital assets in existence today, 90% of most cryptocurrencies will eventually go to zero. Therefore a sensible individual would be wise to diversify into a basket of the major marketcap coins because no one knows for sure what the future holds. However what is most important is that we support the existing and developing black owned decentralized systems with a fervor. Creation and ownership is what matters most.
It would be sensible to:
- Purchase physical silver
- Purchase physical gold
- Purchase Cryptocurrencies
- Learn more Cryptocurrencies (Youtube videos, Facebook groups)
(This is not financial advice)
#20) Do Not Feed The Trolls
#20) Do Not Feed The Trolls
Some of the most sinister minds in the world are also the most brilliant. And there are few things more sinister than leveraging black plight for personal gain, albeit financial or influential. Avoid giving your attention to these people. They will say inflammatory things for the headlines to try and draw your attention to them. It won’t be easy but this would require you to reject some of your most innate instincts, to react! Emotionally!
Don’t do it, you feed into their system of purposefully misreading situations in order to gain a reaction. These people support wrong doers for their own agenda, they are sympathizers to the opposition. It’s even worse when they share our hue. Remember All skin folk ain’t kin folk. However what they don’t realize is that they will never be rewarded for their betrayal, they will simply continue to be used as an effective tool of tokenism to perpetuate the status quo and make those who wilfully choose to remain ignorant about the realities of systemic oppression feel PROUD about their decision to remain ignorant. Further keeping the system of division intact, and worse they’ll try to flip that accusation onto you as if it is your wish to live under these conditions and pretenses.
Remember that we are dealing with the descendants of people who saw no issue with bringing their children to public lynching’s. The grandchildren of people who saw no issue with placing a 14 year old George Stinney in an electrical to be executed after an unconstitutional trial. So don’t expect them to readily see a problem with the publicly broadcasted murder of black people by law enforcement paid for by our own tax dollars. They will search high and low on google for some type of arrest record from years prior in order to try and justify public murder. It’s disgusting, its dehumanizing. Don’t feed into it.
Now keep in mind, There are some people on social media who genuinely do not understand the deeper racial matters like false equivalencies, Eurocentric curriculums, reverse-racism fallacies and exceptionalism etc. When engaging with these people ensure that their intentions are pure and patiently educate them. This goes deeper in Action item #24.
Remember that attention is currency. Attention is fuel to all ideological systems in existence so be careful where you spend it. Just like colonial Europeans decided to put their energy and attention into an economic system of oppression called slavery. A system that started small, but with energy and attention grew into what we know it as today, and still feel the affects from it. But now, we have an even greater power to collectively put our energy and attention into black excellence and building the future we want. The more we build on it, share these ideas with each other, put our energy and attention into it the more it grows until it becomes so prevalent that it becomes impossible to stop, no matter who our black leader is. Black leaders can be bought, murdered, silenced, which stifles the movement. But a collective group of people on the same accord of their own volition is an unstoppable force that shakes the world.
#21) Be Willing & Ready To Fight
#21) Be Willing & Ready To Fight
As African people, globally, we are already at war and not of our own choosing. Massive amounts of civilians or non combatants have suffered casualties and these conflicts are not all armed and intensified. Some are through means of chemical warfare, biological warfare, food, drugs, belligerence, conventional warfare, nuclear warfare, cyber warfare, financial warfare, propaganda through television, urban music, insurgencies (agents of the oppressor inserting themselves into our movements to undermine our objective.), blindly accepting hindrance policies disguised as aid, and all kinds of devices.
During these unconventional times, anything goes, and because of that we can’t be afraid to fight back. And we cant be afraid to speak out. All of the information that I am sharing with you has come from other sources one way or another. Virtually none of it came from me except for my commentary and curation skills. I have no ego so I have no problem admitting that. At the end of the day, its about the viral spread of information that will liberate us which must continue and we cannot hold our tongues out of fear that someone will try and shut us up. Because if that is the mentality we have, then they are already successful in shutting us up and that cannot and will not happen.
The force of oppression that is upon us is not new, but it is what it is, so we must deal with it accordingly. Us as black people around the world have no desire to be violent for the sake of being violent. So don’t expect to win any isolated battles. Our efforts must be unified. Therefore I am not suggesting, hinting or even insinuating for black people to commit random acts of violence or riot in the street over what is happening to us. Not only will that not fix the problem, but that is not what we stand for or what we as a people are about. This is simply about protecting ourselves from injustices that have been happening against our kind since before any of us were born, that till this day have not stopped. Some people in this world are simply just not as peaceful as we are. And they simply never will be, no matter how much we try to show them that black empowerment does NOT mean white enslavement. It’s just in their DNA. Raping, pillaging, colonizing, enslaving and being on top is engrained in their identity and they haven’t been able to shake it like some of their more benevolent white counterparts. A reptilian brained reactionary mind-set of scarcity & selfishness instead of one of abundance & humanity. So we must pray and intend for peaceful outcomes while simultaneously making arrangements to deal with more of the same. As they say hope for the best but prepare for the worse.
Therefore it is highly recommended that we rally behind the forces that are being setup in organized fashion, to counteract these injustices because despite all the efforts we have put forth, such as marching, voting, diplomacy, posting black squares on our Instagram for a day, things are not getting better, they are getting worse. And at this rate there will not be any of us left to defend if we don’t do it now. Strength in numbers is enough to quell the wickedest of foes. Don’t think that your comfortable Mercedes-Benz in your gated community with a clean 6 or 7 digits in your bank account is enough to shield you from oppression. It Is not.
Robert Smith, the richest African American on the planet, who promised to pay the student loans of the entire 2019 Morehouse graduating class, is now facing what appears to be harassment from federal authorities in the form of a tax investigation as of just last week. Yet he hasn’t even been charged for a crime. So why the probe? No one is exempt. Until we are able to provide just consequence, we will always unjustifiably have targets on our back. A consolidated plan, a strong step of unity, and organization on effective tactics is the way forward to that just consequence.
My beautiful black people, understand that with great achievement comes great sacrifice. We must know that we are bigger than slavery. Our existence didn’t begin when we became useful to America. We have our own continent, our own African culture, our own independent history. We are better than begging to not be murdered. The time has come for us to be strong and fight off oppression in all of its forms. In the next twenty years, what will you tell your children, nieces and nephews to their faces about your involvement in the liberation of our people? Will you have anything to say?
By 2050, the African population will be 2.5 BILLION people. That’s 1 out of every 4 people that will be of African ancestry. Those that wish to oppress us know this and therefore have tried to deconstruct this from happening. It’s ironic that the most revolutionary thing you can do is love another black person and produce a black child. Education in European-centric institutions will not provide to us the necessary information to be insubordinate to the systems designed to hold us down. Therefore being ready to fight includes ensuring that your children have a proper African-centric, self sufficient, education.
Right now across the entire country, new grass roots organizations are forming and existing ones are getting stronger by the minute. Join them. And make sure they are organizations that are run for black people, by black people. Too many times seemingly well intentioned white people have infiltrated our movements only to capitalize off our plight. It is a marvelous feat that there are white people in this country who can clearly see that systemic oppression against minorities and black people does exist. The best way that they can help us is from the side, not in front. Helping us open the door is welcomed but we need to be the ones to walk through it.
The effort to protect and liberate black lives is at a level that has never been seen before in American history. And right now is a special time in which the leaders of all these different organizations should be in communication with leaders of other Like minded black organizations. The Color of Change community needs to be in communication with the Movement for black lives community. The New Black Panther community needs to be in communication with the NFAC, The #blackgunsmatter community needs to be in communication with Huey P Newton Gun club, the GD’s & Pirus need to be in communication with the Hoovers and Grapes, and every black organizations and others like it need to be in communication with each other because we all need to be on one single accord. When an ant colony decides to make a move, they don’t have some ants going South, while others are going East. All ants rally behind the queen and move accordingly. There is Enough outraged black people in this country to start our own nation within the nation if we really wanted to. This is just not the time to be talking down on any one these movements and any such action should be seen as treasonous. Leave that to our white counterparts who already believe we are less than, they will do that all day so we are good in that department. We need to stand together.
Power respects power. In spite of the racist and fear mongering rhetoric that has been spewed, nobody wants trouble on their door step. Its very easy to be a bully to someone that isn’t being protected. This is why police brutality and the recent lynching’s across the country have had a space to thrive. Yet every time a black militia has shown up in an American city to demonstrate their constitutional right to bear arms and peacefully assemble, like the NFAC for example, these occurrences tend to wind down. Police tend to act a lot more diplomatic. That is because a law-abiding constitutional expression of black power is feared by those that wish to oppress us. This is why black militias are important. How ironic is it that a show of force somehow keeps the peace. End of the day that’s all we really want. Black militias are representative of a cast around a broken bone, a layer of protection, for black people to heal in this country. Such protection for black people gives us time to heal our minds and assemble onto one accord.
None of this works if we are not on one accord. We can’t have single handed actors make desperate and heinous uncalculated moves like a Micah Xavier Johnson or Gavin Eugene Long that decided to murder random police officers. I can understand the desperation, and I am sympathetic to both men, their families and the victims families because life is sacred. However those type of violent acts are not the answer because they tarnish the image of our efforts and only make matters worse. This does NOT mean we should be soft, docile and unwilling to defend ourselves.
On the other hand you have some of your black counterparts that are just completely fine with the status quo. Depart from them. They are not willing and ready to fight for you. We are all we got, and if you don’t see it that way, you simply cannot be trusted. History has taught us this too many times for us to not get it. This is why Harriet Tubman killed slaves that weren’t committed to being free. They became liabilities. And if you haven’t noticed, we are in the middle of a spiritual war right now, so be conscious of what side you decide to choose. This is about Good vs Evil. Greed vs Generosity. Apathy Vs Empathy. Cruelty vs Humanity. Inequity Vs Justice. Right Vs Wrong
We cant have disunity and distrust of entire movements that have proven with uncomfortable words & inconvenient actions (not agreeable showcases) that they have every intention of contributing to the restitution, restoration and liberation of black people. It is hypocritical to speak out in suspicion against these movements without legitimate, irrefutable evidence & reasoning simply because of one thing that one person said, when we actively & willingly engage with institutions that lie to us or bring harm to us EVERY day, WITHOUT CONSPIRACY, like banks that abuse us with over draft fees, or fast food restaurants that serve us artery clogging burgers or even designer clothing companies that used to provide clothing for the Nazis. How can you trust these places but not your own brother!? We have been conditioned not to trust each other, albeit for reasons that are understandable, but we still cannot move with fear.
Because the spirit of Judas is still among us. I would be remiss not to admit that we do have black leaders that have recently been exposed as charlatans. We have black entrepreneurs that were once upon a time adored by the people, exposed as scam artists. We have cointelpro operations that still linger. All of that accounted for, we have to remain vigilant, remain on our toes, audit anyone that steps into a position of leadership RESPONSIBLY and be ready to sniff out a traitor. Speak up if you something suspicious, but make sure your examinations are of the highest detail and order, not no “he said she said” nonsense. Then we can be ready to protect those who have the ability to move us forward because there are A LOT of us.
And too many times our movements have been squandered due to infiltration, misdirection or assassination. We cannot forget the intended effect of the FBI’s COINTELPRO which was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize” groups that the FBI officials believed were subversive by instructing FBI field operatives to:
Create a negative public image for target groups (for example through surveilling activists and then releasing negative personal information to the public)
Break down internal organization by creating conflicts (for example, by having agents exacerbate racial tensions, or send anonymous letters to try to create conflicts)
Create dissension between groups (for example, by spreading rumors that other groups were stealing money)
Restrict access to public resources (for example, by pressuring non-profit organizations to cut off funding or material support)
Restrict the ability to organize protest (for example, through agents promoting violence against police during planning and at protests)
Restrict the ability of individuals to participate in group activities (for example, by character assassinations, false arrests, surveillance)
The effectiveness of these tactics must be a thing of the past now. The only way this happens is if we are aware of them and come up with solutions to prevent them. We have to be smarter, listen up when I tell you cause this is important. Some of you reading this may be offered some type of money to do something nefarious to infiltrate a particular group. If an agent offers you money to infiltrate any black movement, or kill anyone of our black leaders.
Do yourself a favor, bring it back to the community by providing documented evidence (paperwork, audio, video) and let the people pay you 50% more. Why would you do the dirty work of your oppressor against your own brother, when your brother will preserve your honor and pay you even more? If its jail time they threaten you with, bring the community the evidence, and the community will provide the best lawyers. If its death they threaten you with, be willing to die with honor like those before you have died for you. Follow Action item 22 and Be your Brothers Keeper.
Black Organizations that you can support/learn from to make a difference (Contact me on twitter to add any to the list)
- National African American Gun Association
- The Freedom Georgia Initiative
- The Color of Change
- Movement for Black Lives
- Black Votes Matter
#22) Be Your Brothers Keeper
#22) Be Your Brothers Keeper
This concept, “I am my brothers Keeper”, is more important now more than ever. Morally we have become bankrupt. Spiritually we have become inept. Economically the country as a whole is in a rough patch. People are out of work. People are in need. And some people will reveal to you their true colors. With that said do not let it deter you. If you can provide labor, provide it. If you can provide work provide it. If you are in need of work and someone lends that helping hand, DON’T ABUSE IT. None of this works if we all don’t work it together. So don’t be the idiot to break trust and mess up the flow. Audit those in your circle because the spirit of Judas is among us. And if you ever feel that urge, that feeling of necessity to snake your own for self preservation. Drop it and drop your ego.
The more we lean into each other, the sooner we come to find out that there was never a need to snake one another in the first place, because there was always enough, we just never knew it. Like suffering from long periods of dehydration, when the whole time you had a well in your own backyard. Drop your ego.
You may know a lot, you may have a lot, but that does not make you better or above the next person. Drop your ego. I can’t over state that enough. DROP YOUR EGO. Stop trying to get over on one another. Your brother doesn’t have to lose for you to win. Action item #14 eliminates the spell of the scarcity mindset we have been living under for so long. And as long as we are following Action item #16, the days of living in fear of not having enough are OVER! We have each other. The reason I wear this mask, the reason I go by no id0lz is that I do not need to get the credit for doing something amazing. As long as it is in the spirit of righteousness, brings our people closer to liberation and is done in the name of the most high nothing else really matters. Anything less is egoic and counterproductive. Let us change our mindset to one where we are winning TOGETHER. This by itself can eliminate much of the violence, crime, and illness that we see in our communities. And it is a foundation that we can build on; with more meditation, cleaning our diets, activating our DNA, sun gazing, aligning our thoughts words & actions with our desires of liberation, all in the spirit of holding each other up to achieve true Black Excellence. Don’t ever let someone tell you its not possible.
Malcolm X talked about the white media, and how it has the ability to turn the “innocent into the guilty” and turn the “guilty into the innocent.” In a country where half the people still do not believe that injustices against black people are even happening, the media can easily influence the people into “hating the oppressed and loving the oppressor.” Therefore it is vital that we cannot let these people force us, tempt us, or trick us into ridiculing our brothers for their own click bait or personal gain. We must vow to never talk bad about any other black person in public or media (unless to reprimand clear & definite wicked and/or treasonous behavior) when it comes to our personal differences. Yes of course we will have disagreements, but they should be settled behind closed doors.
Don’t be so quick to judge.
Don’t be so quick to hold a grudge.
Don’t be so quick to show animosity and anger.
Don’t be so quick to be jealous of your brother, if he has a plan that is better than yours, stand down and let him bring us to the promise land.
We all share the same goals, don’t we? Play your role.
Don’t be quick to hate but slow to show love and appreciation.
Loving your brothers and sisters is #HowWeFight
Being Your Brothers Keeper also means respecting and protecting our women. Black women are the most oppressed group of people on the planet yet still they always find a way to rise to the occasion. They are the healers and nurturers of our community, which is exactly why policies of government were put in place to knock off the balance of our interdependence of each other. The interdependence of black men and women is a sacred exchange that breeds strong households which in turn breeds strong communities. Women, we can hear your cries of “where are the real men”, and that “you are not protected.” No idolz is here to let you know, “We are out here!!”. Guys like @flow349, the good brother from Queens protecting Jennifer from racism in her neighborhood, are out here willing to put their lives on the line for you! But we are counting on you to encourage men who already exhibit the behavior of what it means to be a man, even if they do not appear to be your ideal version of how a partner should “look”.
We are also counting on you to discourage the behavior of men that leave us and our communities in a state of detriment, like actively seeking for a scammer or drug dealer or misogynist, or murderer of other black men. We understand pickens may be slim, but there are a lot of good brothers who will protect and provide for you that simply get no play. If you are in a relationship with a man that you know is doing wrong, don’t enable him. Don’t encourage him to commit wrong doings or acts of violence in his own community for him to prove to you that he’s “real”. Change the behavior that you choose to reward because literally everything changes when that happens. I don’t say that lightly, literally the entire world changes. And No, that doesn’t mean you have to change to dating a square, but that does mean your definition of (or the definition society deemed to be) a square may have to change. Everything starts with you. The strength of the black community begins with the health of the mentality of black women. How can police brutality exist let alone thrive in a community that is strong? Black women You are the most powerful piece on the chess board. That’s why we call you Queens!
#23) Make Politicians Earn Our Vote
#23) Make Politicians Earn Our Vote
“We want X___ politician out of X___ position” is not a policy. It sounds great, but the reality is, its not a policy. And Too many times we give up our power way too easily and grovel over political smear campaigns in weak attempts to try and secure the black vote. That other person very well may be a bad candidate, or even an asshole, but what does it mean to me if they are gone and you are in? How will you benefit my community over the other candidate?
This does not mean you should vote for this person or that you shouldn’t vote for that person. What it means is exactly as it reads, anyone running for any political office at any level needs to introduce policy that will benefit our communities. And then, such policy needs to be examined and backed by data. We cannot make the same mistakes that we made prior, like accepting a crime bill that we all thought would be great for us, but ended up being one of the main reasons why black children grew up with no male figure in the household. If the policies do not stand up against unbias, irrefutable DATA, then it should not be accepted. This is what it means to earn a vote. Not cleverly constructed campaign commercials saying the other guy is bad for you, because you too could be just as bad.
This all ties back to Action item #14 as well. Through group economics, we should be extending our dollars to lobby politicians to implement the agenda that we set forth for ourselves. Its unfortunate but this is how politics actually works, so its time to start playing the game of politics instead of speaking out that it isn’t working for us.
I will give Candice Owens credit in her attempt to create a #blexit movement, but her delivery was completely off and her intent is yet to be proven genuine. Yes, absolutely black people need to withdraw their voting power from the democratic party for the sake of voting democrat. But that does not mean we need to run off into the sunset and bosom of republicans, because we’re not too welcome over there if you haven’t noticed. What we need to do is sell our voting power of over 40 million votes to the highest bidder. Who is willing to do something for the black community? That’s who we need to vote for, period. Not the person who panders the best, that’s not doing anything for us. Now that we HAVE a black agenda, who is willing to support it?
This is how politics really works behind the scenes. Whoever finances the campaign, will control the politician who wins it. Its that simple. Now I would never tell you not to vote, but just remember as you are voting that this is what’s happening. Essentially, the point I am making is, understand your role in the political process as a voter vs a financier. It is those that finance the campaigns who then put politicians in a position to which they can attract voters. Voting is the last part of the process but it doesn’t truly have the last say in decision making, so remember that next time you get on somebody about voting.
Remember action item #13, don’t vote for the same people that are currently sitting in your local government if you are unsatisfied with how things have been or if they have not addressed the concerns of black people. Make them earn the vote, force the hand of our agenda because today we have one!
This should also extend past politics, too many times we in the black community accept false promises. Anyone that hasn’t put anything into the people other than false promises that do not deliver time after time, deserve zero support from the people. It’s that simple.
#24) Open Dialogue / Civil Discourse
#24) Open Dialogue / Civil Discourse
There will be people that see everything we do, and with knee jerk reaction out of fear, they will claim we mean harm, or call us terrorist or do things to deface and devalue our efforts. Do not let this deter you. It should be obvious that the last thing we want is some race war. Of course our movement forward does not require an understanding from our counterparts, however a peaceful advancement is always worth striving for, that is, until it is met with illogical contention. This is where lines must be drawn because enough surely is enough. Fortunately thanks to social media, social awareness does seem to be on the rise, therefore I am optimistic that true understanding among people can eventually be reached to then redirect our attention to the true adversary of the people. The few that control the many.
Most of our attention is diverted to social media in which there are algorithms that literally decide what we see, which only polarizes us more and more with each day due to the content that we see. This never gives people with opposing views the ability to see where the other person is coming from. This hardens views, not only on the side of those that defend oppression, but also on the side of the oppressed. This is no way to live or examine information. Our experiences are important, they make up who we are, but they are not the only experiences. So always be OPEN to the possibility that you may be wrong about something. Learn to ask questions for clarity instead of making assertions on a story you’ve created in your head that may or may not be true. This is called radical empathy, a skill if more people in this world had, we’d have not much, if any conflict at all because it’s a communication skill. And most conflict stems from miscommunication. So practice this, it will make you a better speaker, a more rounded person, a person who can stand on their beliefs because you know them to be fact through trial, scrutiny, experience and civil debate.
With that being said, as a person of color continue to be better, this does not mean let someone blatantly disrespect you during a discourse. But not everything deserves an emotional reaction. Remember Action #20. If in a debate someone regresses to name-calling, don’t engage. Be non reactionary and stick to the topic of discussion at hand. Your ability to remain unbothered by insults to your intelligence will speak volumes about the validity of your argument, as well as you as a black person, as well as us as black people. Be respectful and non-combative. Learn to apologize if someone misinterprets your discourse as antagonistic, not because it’s a weak thing to do, but to bring the attention back to the message instead of petty, egoic conflict.
Understand that it is impractical to expect our opposing counterparts to match us with the same energy. This show of willingness to have open dialogue and civil discourse in the beginning will be one sided. However our biggest examples of black excellence have left us the bread crumbs. As Kobe wanted, Let us Be Better. And As Michelle Obama says, when they go low we go high.
#25) It Takes A Village
#25) It Takes A Village
Being able to have an outside influence around you that encourages you to do something positive or steers your life into a better direction is important. But it is even more important when that influence comes from outside of your household. That influence is your village. And as the saying goes it takes a village to raise a child.
Think back on the people in your life who had influence on you growing up. Think about who disciplined you. How did they do it? Who helped you get ready for your school prom? Who taught you about how to deal with the opposite sex? Who could you call right now for advice? Hopefully asking these questions to yourself flashed images in your mind that reflected healthy relationships, happiness, permanence and normalcy as you developed. Or maybe they didn’t. Maybe they were random images, inconsistent images, unhealthy ones or maybe they simply were not there.
Whatever those images came out to be, they have a lot to do with who you are now. Your values, your attachment to others, your moral compass, your ability to trust the world and most importantly your sense of self.
We like to say that the development of children starts at home, and even though that’s true we put way too much pressure on parents. Of course discipline starts at home but most children are exposed to the outside world more than they are exposed to the influences of the adults in their home. With parents working late hours, most children spend most of their day in school and away from home. And even when they do get home, the time they spend watching television, influencers and listening to music plays a major factor as well.
It’s important for us as a community, as part of that village, to be mindful of these realities. This includes influencers in music. We must understand that us too are apart of that extended village because we play a role in shaping the minds of the youth.
We have a choice to expose children early to the corrupted & debaucherous ways of living, the same way the previous generation did to us (unfairly & irresponsibly might I add). Or we can choose to be better and expose them to a way of living worth striving for that can prompt a better future through inspiring and uplifting artistry.
This includes those who create media as well. We must be responsible and always remember that children are always watching. They are even watching us “every day folk.” Yes, you too have influence as well even if you don’t think so. This is about creating an overall more progressive environment and community that makes a huge difference overall and impacts lives.
Which involves asking ourselves very important questions. How can we safeguard our children from the pitfalls of society that leave our children vulnerable? Such as drugs, teen pregnancy, suicide, gang life, following reprehensible role models, seeking validation, and more of the unthinkable.
This is where the village mentality must come into play. It’s simply not enough to depend on schools to do the work for us. So we will have to roll up our sleeves, learn to be vulnerable, ask each other for help and be willing to help each other.
Back in the day, if a child misbehaved or if a neighbor saw a child going down the wrong route, that neighbor would go to the parents house, sometimes even bringing the kid with them, and it would be dealt with respectfully. Community parenting. Nowadays, the parents are more likely to attack the neighbors for daring to criticise their precious child, as if their child couldn’t possibly misbehave. It’s a terrible mindset and the worse thing is that the child is aware of what is taking place by all parties, though of course a child will take advantage of this because, duh they’re a child. So this results in a lack of respect by the child for anyone or anything.
This pattern exist because somehow over time, we have strayed away from that village mentality. The idea that we have a responsibility and an obligation to all of the children within the village because they are our children within the village. And no child is above being properly disciplined or addressed by any elder within the village. We have to get back to instilling genuine respect for elders within the community. And elders within the community must garner respect and be exemplary role models.
As good as that sounds, I cant imagine you aren’t asking yourself how practical this really is? And if you are asking yourself how, it’s simply due to all of the past events and trauma that we have gone through in our communities as a whole which is more than likely popping up in the back of your mind. You’re not alone in that.
Understand this won’t be done over night, but it starts with us taking initiatives to foster relationships within the community. No matter how much trauma the brain has been through, science shows us that through a mechanism called neuroplasticity, relationships help rewire the brain to overcome trauma. It is the very act of fostering these relationships that will not only help us get over our trauma, but also help shape the village we need that will rally around our own to offer safety, structure and support. To help our children discover their gifts and impact their lives in a memorable, meaningful and effective way.
So let’s really get practical about Action item #25. What really can we do to fix our communities and reinstill the mentality that “it takes a village.”
There’s 3 things. 2 are general practices, and 1 is an actual method.
The very first general practice would be to pay attention. We all know what neglected children look like. Don’t ignore them, engage with them the best way you can. If that means just having a conversation, have a conversation. If you have children of your own involved in extracurricular activities, invite them along. Even down to things like donating prom suits or dresses so kids can have dignified experiences. Pay attention to things like that because you can see the signs. But sometimes we can’t always see the signs which is why building relationships is general practice 2.
Building genuine relationships in the community helps bridge the gap. Helps you keep your ears to the ground and helps you to see the unseen. Do not be afraid to make connections with people in your community. You can connect with agencies in your community that can hook you up with kids and teens that might be in foster care or simply in need of guidance. If your local community doesn’t have something like that you can even find a young child in your neighborhood and simply mentor them. Its amazing how therapeutic being a mentor to a young person can be, for both parties involved.
The final thing we can do is more so an amalgamation of the previous two ideas with added components and done in a more organized fashion. Think of it as a modern day community watch program, or a “village watch program”, that is community founded, centered around optimizing time, building relationships and providing support networks for each other.
It can be organized by either both men and women, or women only which works just as fine, but the key is to build a network of like minded parents within the community that share cooking, share car pooling, and looking after each others kids instead utilizing expensive childcare services. This frees up time in unimaginable ways, allowing people to take more time for work if needed, sharing school runs, after school activities and even organizing even more community programs to incite more community engagement. It becomes an upward spiral of unity that begets even more unity. Some “village watch programs” have monthly dinners to where one organizer can host all participants and their kids. Some are set up to where each participant has a designated day to cook for all participants saving hours of cooking time every week. Where each participant cooks once a week for the other members, then takes food back home all the other nights. Saving just an hour every single day can be enough to get extra time in with your own children or even getting your own business off the ground.
This doesn’t need to start out as a huge group either. A small group of 3 – 4 like minded members of the community is enough to get started. As long as the relationships are being fostered, time is being optimized and each adult participant has a chance to build on their own relationship with every child involved in the program, it becomes a great way to build a bond with people in your community that you may not have had before.
The monthly dinners provide a space for real honesty, bonding, comradery, empathy and support without judgement. As well as perspective that we’re all in this together. It also decreases the intensity of the very realisms of our everyday life. Kids interacting with strong adult role models other than their parents is critical for teenage development and helping shape their minds. In addition a local support network for your kids takes pressure off you as a parent. It brings the kids together in a way that reclaims exploring outside together with friends instead of sitting in front of a television or iPhone all day. It prevents the negative influences we constantly see in our communities from affecting the children. And most importantly the children will know by practice to look out for and love thy neighbor. It will be engrained in their DNA. This is one of the most integral fundamental philosophies required to set a kid on the right path.
You don’t need any permission from any organization to get you going, make phone calls with your people and get organized.
And remember, It all goes back to practicality, of course being respectful of time schedules and being honest about capabilities are required for this to work. This is why it is always good to get started with just 2 or 3 people that you have a prior relationship with, then gradually branch out. And I understand that some of us may be fearful of trusting one another in our community. The dangers may be realer for some than others.
The reality is though, it is your choice whether you decide to remain stagnant because of your fear of what could possibly go wrong, or if you decide to have trust in the most high and trust in one another that over time we can and will in fact get this right.
My suggestion? We cannot let fear, whether real or petty get in the way of moving us forward. Fear degrades, but community initiatives like this build trust and trust lifts up communities. There’s too many examples of people choosing trust over fear that have lead to amazing wins and opportunities for us to simply choose fear.
For example Josh Kern. A corporate attorney who worked in a white collar work community in Washington DC, who knew there were children suffering right across the river in the neighboring town. Ward 8, one of the most violent communities in the country with over 3000 violent crimes a year.
Josh knew he could do something better and he decided to create a public charter high school called Thurgood Marshall academy. He went to countless town meetings trying to galvanize the people to support him in starting the school. Despite if you think Kern had an ulterior motive or not, it still took some bravery for this caucasian attorney to go door to door in a predominantly black neighborhood stricken with violence, and try to convince the community that he could start a school where students could feel hope and trust instead of fear.
And ultimately he was successful in opening Thurgood Marshall and those kids do feel trust even though they come from a place burdened with fear. The other high school in the neighborhood has a dropout rate of 43%. While every single senior has graduated from Thurgood and gone on to college only to come back to Ward 8 and add value to their neighbors and their community.
Without the cushion of neighbors and community, there’s a void of loneliness in society that causes unnaturally tense relationships between parents & children as well as between children and society. This is why we always hear parents say that they feel like they don’t have the resources that their children require for their success, as if this is an insuffiency of the parent as opposed to an insuffiency of their village or network around them. This is what creates feelings of insecurity in parents and that insecurity is what causes them to lash out at other well meaning adults who make attempts to discipline their disorderly children. As if it is some sort of attack on their parenting skills. This is a diseased mindset that is only fixed by reverting back to the original ways of the village mentality.
Getting back to our roots, back to fundamentals, it’s usually the solution to a lot of problems in life. Back to a time where we disciplined children within the community as our own. Not with physical or confrontational interactions. But with simple conversational corrections. And if not for nothing, just to speak to the parents and let them know their child has done wrong so they can be disciplined. A true community effort with a shared goal and purpose.
How many times at the sight of bad news, or when a crime is committed in our community, do we hear the phrase “I always knew such and such would turn out to be that way” or even worse “Oh my God I never would have thought he would have done that, he’s such a good kid!” Two different scenarios but in both examples we see there’s an obvious disconnect in the relationship between that kid and his community. We cannot let these things continue to happen without correcting them. Collectively we need to step up and get involved in the lives of the children in our community because that is where generational curses are broken and this is the path we must follow.
It should be very clear to us by now that our government institutions, corporate institutions, and certain members of society do not fully care about us or our well being.
Shouldn’t that be all the more reason for us to be the ones to care about each other? Shouldn’t that ignite a fire in all of us to want to look out for each other as a community?
We’ve done wrong to each other in the past. We’ve hated each other in the past. But at the end of the day, we all we got, and we cannot let our old hurt govern our new hope. Now is the time for us to forgive each other and just as important, seek forgiveness. It is time for us to heal ourselves and to heal each other. For too long we have been brain washed into practicing individualism. Not only in the sense of market free enterprise, but even in the sense of how we view one another. On a human to human basis. One black man to another black man or woman. We are a collective. Do we even realize that we are comfortable living in a society that finds it odd or strange to love another black person that you may not know? For some reason we can’t love our people simply because they are our people, we have to know them first. How have we become so conditioned to fear each other that we have to get to know one another to love one another? If you have to know a black person to love a black person then you’ll never love them, because you’ll never get to know them. This is the spell that has kept us stagnate for so many years. Our environment is sick. Partly due to intentional poisoning from outside forces, and partly due to our own ignorance and participation. But the time is now for all of us collectively to restore it back to full health. It takes a village.
SUPPORT COMMUNITY FOCUSED INITIATIVES
•Build new community centers
•Start new community programs
•Implement a “Village Watch Program” in your neighborhood
#26) Stop Glorifying Our Detriments
#26) Stop Glorifying Our Detriments
This is a big one and the more you read the more you’ll realize why. Some of you may not be ready, but this needs to happen so try to stay with me on this one, and understand that this is a black CULTURAL issue that we need to address. Why is it that us as black people make songs that go viral around the world that sing about the explicit details on how we will murder one another but songs that address real issues in our communities get damn near crickets? Some say its just part of the culture. Some say, that’s just us speaking about how we live our lives. Deep thinkers tell me it has something to do with The Telecom Act of ’96, however I won’t get into the history about that, you can “do your googles” on that one. Others will say its simply because the conscious music is boring or its wack. The data proves that to be FALSE.
The reality is that we have been slowly conditioned to relish in music that not only perpetuates stereotypes, not only incriminates ourselves, not only tears down our women, but is detrimental to our culture and our communities as a whole. For a long time we have written this off as “artist expressing themselves” and “honestly this is all that they know.” Which is a major problem in and of itself with a lot of blame that can be spread evenly. But the blame game is over, and it is time for change, its time for solutions.
Now it would be morally wrong and factually inaccurate for me to sit here and say that music is the root cause for violence in our communities. That’s just simply not true. Art is a reflection of the current state of conditions. And our current state is one of lack. Lack of knowledge-of-self, lack of self-love, lack of finance. And we submit ourselves to a matrix that continually obstructs, denies and suppresses any efforts of pulling ourselves out of that state. Some of us even fight each other to keep us in this suppressed state, but the point is, glorifying our detriments is a major part of that submission to the matrix.
It would be irresponsible for us to ignore the fact that music has the power to influence. Violent song lyrics increase negative emotions and thoughts that can lead to aggression, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. If violent music, such as drill music, is what we decide to create and listen to all day, then it would be either ignorant or disingenuous to say that it has no affect on our psyche no matter what age. Not to mention that young people look to imitate and emulate celebrities. Especially young people that do not have parental figures in their lives to guide them (Read Action Item #25.) So for a lot of kids out there, especially in the hoods of America, their favorite musician is the only male figure role model they have in their life. WHETHER THAT ARTIST CHOOSES TO BE THAT CHILD’S ROLE MODEL OR NOT. Its not right, its not fair, but it’s the reality and the timing is overdue for us to self reflect and examine our choices, because they will reveal to us a myriad of psychological problems.
Starting with the fact that we praise what harms us the most. And when you just sit down in silence and REALLY think about it, it makes absolutely no sense. I’m not saying the music is wack. Its actually fire.. But are we really going to continue to promote and engage in making and enjoying music that not only keeps us in a state mentally that holds us back, but props up certain aspects of a culture that is LITERALLY KILLING us. At a time like this? Just simply because the music is sonically pleasing to your ears?! Or because it makes you feel good in the moment? Really ask yourself……. how selfish is that? What are the long term effects of that?
Obviously everyone has different taste in music, and there are a bunch of different artists out there. I’m not even saying that all rappers need to rap alike, not only is that boring but its not realistic. Everyone has their own style, but the lyrical content has pretty much remained the same for decades now. Crime, Violence, Drugs, Bravado, Sex, Materialism, Prison or something that fits into those categories.
And Absolutely music is a way to express what you see in the world, I totally understand that. That’s been our justification for decades, but the black experience has somehow been widely reduced to these 7 topics when that isn’t even the reality for most black people at all. How do you think music plays into the continued belief in false stereotypes about black people? The false stereotypes that justify to white police officers to shoot first and ask questions last out of fear. Of course some police officers will shoot us regardless of what music we create but this is bigger than police brutality. These topics are not themes that should be glorified, they are residual affects to the psyche of black and brown descendants of slaves. And we’ve unwittingly celebrated this poetic destruction as a coping mechanism to trauma in a way so beautiful, that today the entire world runs on hip hop music that we built literally from nothing. But we can no longer afford artistic energy being channelled in a direction that glorifies black murder simply for the sake of glorifying black murder. We just cant do it anymore. The consequences have proven to be too expensive, even beyond police murder. This is about self destruction.
We can no longer accept the promotion of self destruction under the guise of art imitating life. A lot of rappers lie about their life for the sake of selling records, I have absolutely NO respect for these imitators. But for some rappers, it is absolutely their truth, and the street life is in fact their reality. So saying that their art represents their life is actually factual. But that still doesn’t mean that they aren’t glorifying self destruction and glorifying violence. People hear the word glorify and automatically think it only means to praise or worship. But glorify means to represent as admirable. Now obviously rappers depicting a life of street violence in their message know that society does not deem these acts as admirable, but they talk about it on wax in hopes of being admired. Do you see the discrepancy?
The real problem is not just “talking about the violence in music.“ The problem is if you stop there! Everyone can respect the artist that wants to tell their story on where they come from and wanting to put the realities of violence in their art to paint a picture. The world needs to hear those stories. But it needs to be done responsibly or not done at all. If your story is one of violence and you choose to share it with the world without some form of message behind it that can touch the listener in a way that will uplift them, then your story has been shared in vain. And far too often that is exactly what we see in our culture. The over promotion and ABUSE of utilizing violence in rap irresponsibly to the point where the content is no longer even based in reality, all for the sake of selling records. And we justify this by saying things like “I just want to see another black man eat”, or defend it by saying “Well he got more money than you, so what now?”. Or worse, instead of challenging themselves, artists grasp onto limiting beliefs stating that they don’t have the ability to get better at the craft of lyricism. Challenge Yourself! We can no longer settle for the lowest form of ourselves. We can longer do harm to ourselves just to get by. Especially when we know there’s a better way!
The biggest commercial successes in music by the likes of Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole are proof that we can have this cake and eat it too. We can speak about our problems and stories in music while still leaving the listener with a means to being inspired and uplifted. There is a universal law of duality that has been shunned by the artist that choose to play in this arena. There is a positive to be found in the negative. Get creative it, pull it out and put it on display in your art, because we need you to, now more than ever.
This destructive paradigm can and will change though, We’re moving into a new age now. This is a very special time in history in which we get to manifest EXACTLY what we want in this life simply by speaking it into existence by breaking this chicken-egg conundrum of speaking on our current existence versus speaking on our intended reality and what can uplift us. There is SOOOO much more we can talk about than those 7 topics.
So as you continue to read this really ask yourself, are your favorite artist down with #HowWeFight? Do they really believe your life matters or are they just tryna sound like they down on social media?
Tag your favorite artist RIGHT NOW and ask them are they really down with #HowWeFight ? Are they willing to grow as an artist and evolve their lyrical content in a way that helps progress black people forward and is still dope to listen to? Or do they still want to talk about how skilled of a murderer they are to people that look like them so that they can make money off of it? Make money off of YOU?! At the detriment of OUR-FUCKN-PEOPLE! How many homies we done lost due to the violent nature of our culture and how we treat each other? Are y’all not sick of the fuckn funerals, and mothers crying, and the RIP’s and all this avoidable bullshit? Is Enough not enough?
And if we’re really going to be honest with ourselves, its not just music. The amount of violence in popular culture media is at levels today that are grotesque, but it has become so engrained in our society that it has become normalized and people really don’t notice it. And they don’t notice how it collectively effects the consciousness of the entire diaspora in a way that makes murder & violence seem like the normal thing to do. We are unconscious to that reality as a fish that doesn’t realize it lives in water.
I’m not saying stop watching Power and throw all your rated M video games and action movies in the trash. What I’m saying is raise your awareness levels of the type of content you are consuming and the frequency at which you consume it. Pay attention to what you watch, because whether you want to believe it or not, it has an affect on you. I Understand that many will give excuses, kicking and screaming as to why they cannot, will not make the transition. I’m telling you now there will be artist and fans alike that say things like “I don’t know what I’m talking about”, I should “shut the fu*k up”, “they don’t see a problem with it”, “It’s always been like this”, “not every song gotta be the same”, or even things like “I’d be fake if I tried to make my music inspirational”. Which is perfectly fine, they have every right to say all of those things and continue da bullshit, but just understand that it is quite literally impossible for you to say you ride with the movement yet you continue to celebrate, praise, engage, or create what destroys us. So do not be fooled by this rhetoric, they are simply excuses to stay stuck. Excuses that will keep us in a state where oppression can exist, keep us seeing YET ANOTHER black man or black woman murdered by the hands of police, or worse us. Like I said in the song man, You can be with or against us I’ve drawn a line in sand. That wasn’t just a cute line and quite frankly I’m sick & tired, of being sick & tired of being sick and tired.
Music is the biggest driver of culture however this isn’t just a music thing. This actually is a culture issue. Our culture glorifies things at our detriment instead of glorifying the very things on this page that will pull us out of a state of stagnation. How many times in the hood do we merit ourselves based on how many bodies we got, how many fights we’ve been in or whether we’ve been to prison. Or even material based comparisons like my shoes are newer than yours, my car is newer than yours, stuntin on each other for validation when we should be helping each other for liberation. We see these as badges of honor when in reality they should be seen as a cry for help. Reject these claims as anything but.
And understand that we must hold your black counterparts accountable for their transgressions. Last month a woman in a black community was gunned down for telling adolescents to stop lighting fireworks. That is completely unacceptable and gross on so many levels. How can we move forward as a community if we are gunning down the very people who are here to protect & guide us? And then we hold onto this code of not snitching and merit ourselves for it? No, that’s ass backwards. It is time for us to hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions form youth to elder. It is time to merit ourselves based on how many black businesses you’ve purchased from today? How many businesses have you started? How many jobs, actual jobs not schemes, but jobs have you provided to your community? That’s gangsta shit. Everything else is for the birds.
The culture is shifting so move accordingly.
To the fans, be more aware of what you CHOOSE to listen to. Be more aware of the music that you consume. They say you are what you eat. I like to say you are what you think about all day. Most of us like to keep the music we enjoy on all day. It stays on our minds. For white kids in Nebraska with two parent households and figures in their life to guide them on how to express anger, topics of street violence in music doesn’t really affect them the same way it affects us, even if they do play it all day. But we are the movers and shakers of the culture. Don’t be a willing participate in the market of black murder anymore because it literally is a propagated market. Michael Smith gave a Ted Talk that you can watch here on how people are literally making money from the propagation of black murder. Let’s follow Action item #15 and Boycott it.
And lastly, Don’t let someone clown you for listening to quote on quote “conscious” rap. Because until the void is filled, initially that will happen to #HowWeFight followers by the psychologically inept. Big shout to Lupe Fiasco, NLE Choppa and all the artist who have taken a stand against perpetuating senseless violence in music. And just remember, There was a time in history when rap with constructive concepts were the only form of rap that was even prevalent. So making fun of someone for listening to “conscious rap” is like making fun of someone for respecting their ancestors. It’s Goofy Shit. A true sign of a diseased mind. Therefore follow Action item #22 by calling it out. Put the 4:44 jokes on twitter to rest because it’s not funny, and it’s literally holding us back by engaging.
#27) Stop Mentally Masturbating
#27) Stop Mentally Masturbating
Excuse the distasteful rhetoric but this is the most important item and the term is 100% necessary and let me explain. Mental Masturbation is known as The act of engaging in useless yet intellectually stimulating conversation, usually as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action in your life. Let me emphasize the “AVOIDING ACTION” part.
You see without putting these steps into action, this is pointless. It is pointless for you to read this entire website and go back to the same behavior. Don’t just read this and say “wow that was dope” and then do nothing. All of this momentum that we have built goes to COMPLETE waste if we go back into our old habits while knowing all of this information now. And there is no way we can live up to the promise “You’ve messed with the last generation”, if we continue to make the mistakes of the previous ones.
The saying goes if you knew better you’d do better. I call b/s because some of us know all of this and still do not follow through. What you must overstand is that this is not an easy path we walk, this is a graduation into the maturity of our liberation. We will, for the first time in centuries, actually be free. However true freedom requires discipline, it requires responsibility. There is no Freedom without Self Discipline
Because without it, you become slave to your own weaknesses. Freedom without discipline is like a ship without a rudder, like a car without a wheel. Therefore we must have the discipline to keep ourselves in check, keep our brothers and sisters in check. If you see any of your brothers and sisters VIOLATING these tenets set forth. Check EM.. And do it in a way that allows them to understand, or in other words check em and explain to them WHY what they’re doing is hurting the collective. And if you see someone getting checked for a clear violation don’t just stand there looking, speak up, back that person up. If you see one man breaking up a fight, step in with him and break it up together and the next man does the same. Don’t record it for world star.
None of this works if we don’t buy into it. The social pressure within the black community to do right by and for each other have recently seen all time LOWS. That ends now. Don’t be the drop of rain that believes it’s not responsible for the flood. Our neutrality is failing us. Take Action Today, and follow these tenets. That means not being a snake to someone just to get over because that violates Action item #22, that means no more buying from non-black owned “Popeyes” franchises, it violates Action item #15. That means no more music that glorifies murder of those that look like us, it violates Action item #24.
I NEVER said this shit was gonna be easy. Its just going to be worth it. Check your brothers and sisters, the culture changes Now.
We’ll stop at 27. 2+7=9 and 9 is the number of completion.
We are in one of the most important times in recent history and if we don’t take advantage of it now, it may not come back ever again. If not for hundreds of years. Therefore we must press on, despite what anybody who is not for us has to say. We cannot let our enemies dictate our revolution.
The saying goes a chain is only as strong as the weakest link. I say we’re only as good as the hood. The hoods of America is where these ideas must flourish and run rampant like a wild fire. This is not easy work, as the hoods of America have been strategically designed to be the way that they are now, which is the polar opposite of the #HowWeFight vision. But what is known is that most of the culture we see not only in America but THE WORLD, comes from the Hoods and urban areas of society. So it’s time for a shift.
Yes there will be kicking, screaming, pushback and desire to stay the same. Pushback on these desires, they are nothing more than relapses.
To the youth, expound on these ideas. Collaborate with each other, connect with the community activist in your local hoods and develop solutions and applications to permeate these ideas into our communities and make them easily acceptable and actionable. Let’s take action!
I also implore you to look at a similar document that our beloved brother Ice Cube has produced. The Contract with black America. Read it, Examine it. And As you sit down with your local leaders, pull every piece of that document that is relevant to your local area and place it in your specific petition for black liberation.
Books to read:
- Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
- The New Jim Crow
- Destruction of Black Civilization
- The Isis Papers