Millennial Logic Episode 7!

Aftermath of The 2016 Presidential Election: Love Vs. Hate

In this episode, we discuss the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, our opinions, and where do we move here from now.

Hey everyone,

Check out Millennial Logic Episode 7: Aftermath of The 2016 Presidential Election: Love Vs. Hate

In this episode, we discuss the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, our opinions, and where do we move here from now.

Can a Fair Jury Be Selected for the Trials in the Death of Freddie Gray ?

First trial in Freddie Gray death underway

The trial for one of the Baltimore Police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray is now underway. Officer William Porter pleaded not guilty to multiple charges including manslaughter and police misconduct. MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent Ari…

In this video from MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall, a discussion is conducted about the upcoming first trial of six for the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland. Since Gray’s death and the ensuing riots, we have all been waiting for these trials to begin. That time has finally come.

I just wanted to make a small post about my opinion on arguably the most crucial component of the trial: the jury. Here is the question that many people are having: can a jury be selected so that a fair trial is conducted? In my personal opinion, I highly doubt it, especially with the trials taking place in Baltimore. With the jury selection, we all know that potential jurors are being questioned on their knowledge and opinions of the events that transpired. Any trace of bias or opinions influenced by outside sources would disqualify any potential juror. This is where I do not think a fair trial can be conducted.

I feel that you will mainly get jurors from either extremes of the spectrum: those who think that the officers (in this case) are not at fault due to Gray’s actions or those who believe that the officers are racist and bigoted against blacks and should be convicted. People from either end would make the trial useless because they would most likely disregard any evidence, especially those that may counter their strong opinion. Seriously, no one can walk into the courtroom and claim that they have no knowledge of the events (unless you have been living under a rock or had no access to social media through TV, Internet, or radio), but……………….I could be wrong though.

Anyways, I am interested as well in how both sides of this trial (and the following trials) will present new information in the trial that has not been plastered all over the news and internet. Obviously, they would not release all the information that they had, but still I wonder. Obviously, we will not really be made aware of that information until it has been presented in the trial.

I hope that they select a fair jury for this trial. I believe that the officers involved were in the wrong in their pursuit of Gray and the arrest that eventually led to his untimely death. There have been events like this in the past that has led to indictments, but not convictions. This needs to change, and it definitely starts with the simple task of selecting a fair jury.

Spring Valley High School

Spring Valley High School officer suspended – CNN.com

The student’s violent arrest was captured in videos that went viral and sparked widespread outrage. “If she had not disrupted the school and disrupted that class, we would not be standing here today. So it started with her and it ended with my officer.

Attorney defends actions of fired school officer Ben Fields – CNN.com

Video of the arrest sparked widespread outrage and questions about what role police should play in schools. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott suspended Deputy Ben Fields after the incident, and fired him Wednesday. “We believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were justified and lawful throughout the circumstances of which he was confronted during this incident.

So if a student gets extremely disrespected and starts to resist (by not moving), an officer can slam them WHILE IN A DESK to the ground, yank them from the desk, and drag them across the floor to arrest them? Then, the student gets released to her parents and faces charges of disturbing schools? DISTURBING SCHOOLS! Honestly, I remember back in my day (8 years ago since I am only 22) if you were disruptive you get sent out of class to the principal’s office, maybe get detention, maybe suspended, at worst asked to leave permanently from the school. But seriously, I am disturbed by yet another occurrence of a police officer supposedly using excessive force in this incident  at Spring Valley High School. You can look at this with multiple lens: the officer is black and the student is white (race), the use of excessive force by officers and their training, the presence of officers at schools, and probably more. I will mention my opinion on this of course.

Was this incident between the officer and student racially motivated? And my answer is…………I am not sure, probably so. Yes, it is easy to look at this incident like others and say that it is obviously racially motivated, but unfortunately in the system that we are in, it would be hard to prove that unless the officer has had previous run-ins like this with black students/citizens in comparison to whites or if he has deliberately said it was because she was black. If that information comes to light, I think that we should look at the use of force chosen as being racially motivated. Please do not take me as dismissing this lens. I just think that we need to make sure we attack this issue from all angels.

Is this an issue with how officers are trained? I believe so. We need balance. Officers should not be restricted to the point that they cannot perform their duties of keeping our communities safe, but we cannot give unregulated power to them to the point that they abuse it and/or harm people by using excessive force or unnecessary means to detain. Obviously, I am not a trained officer and understand that there are stressful situations that may require a significant amount of force, but it is clear to me and others that this situation did not warrant that kind of force.

Is there a problem with officers being assigned to schools every day? That is a huge YES from me. I will get deeper into this at a later date but I do not think officers should be at schools. As stated in this particular article, officers could get called in by teachers to handle literally any situation, including those that do not warrant police attention. Some teachers would abuse this luxury(?) by using officers to deal with troublesome students. This sets an alarming precedent in my opinion.

This situation did not require a police officer to come into a classroom to get unnecessarily rough with a student. If a student is disruptive, call their parents, give them detention or something, but do not call the police. What message are you trying to send? If you disrupt my class, I am going to call the police and have you arrested? Granted, we do not know what the teacher was saying, but they might as well have said I am going to call the police.

I am extremely upset with how the officer handled this situation and the teacher involve. I am glad that the officer has been fired. The teacher needs to learn how to control their classrooms and how to handle troublesome students. We have people trying to blame the student for this incident because it could have been avoided if she just obeyed the first time. Even though that is true, that should not have led to being slammed to the ground.

I hope we can learn from this and take the necessary measures to address these issues because they are happening too often.

Black Lives Matter…..Too!

I randomly came across this article when I was reading articles on CNN, and I had to make a response on it. Okay, Huckabee. You know what, I understand what he is saying, but I believe his comments showed he does not really understand the recent movement of “Black Lives Matter.” I am going to respond in pieces to what he said.

  1. Racism is more of a sin problem than a skin problem.

Okay. I would argue that racism is both a sin and skin problem. I know some people do not like to hear the whole “slavery” talk, but it all began with that. Racial discrimination began solely based on skin. All racial discriminatory systems were created to give less to blacks and other minorities because of their skin and stereotypes. The so called “sin” problem is the actions taken by those officers and other officials of power that abuse their power, resulting in unlawful arrests, bodily and mental injury, and death. However, please understand not all officers are bad, not even close, but some have been trained in a faulty system and do hold racial biases.

  1. “When I hear people scream, ‘black lives matter,’ I think, ‘Of course they do.’ But all lives matter. It’s not that any life matters more than another.”

He is clearly putting words and intentions into the “black lives matter” movement that are wrong. Of course all lives matter. I think most people believe that. However, the fact that he believes that the idea of “black lives matter” is to promote that black lives matter more than anyone else shows a bit of ignorance on his part. Nobody is out there screaming black lives matter more. Maybe we should scream “black lives matter too” to stop people from misinterpreting the movement. Then, they will understand the meaning behind it. The point is to say that black lives matter as much as every other. I know people will argue that white people are being killed at the same rate as black people by the police so this is not a race issue, but a systematic issue. It needs to be understood that the use of excessive force by police is systematic, but in some cases with black people, it is racially motivated. Also, we need to understand that the issue is not just the unlawful killings of black people by some law enforcement, but also the mass incarceration of black people in prisons in our country. Anyways, I am down to having an “all lives matter” movement if it means we are addressing all the discrimination and biases in our country instead of using it as a phrase to counter and discredit the “black lives matter” movement.

  1. Dr. King would be appalled that we are trying to elevate some lives over others.

Yes, yes he would be if that was the case. However, like I already said, nobody is trying to elevate some lives over others; well at least most of those a part of the “black lives matter” movement are not. Instead, the “black lives matter” movement is trying to say that black lives matter as well. Personally, I believe that is what Dr. King was trying to say as well. He did emphasize that all people matter and should be treated equally. However, Dr. King would not have been adamant about this if it was not for the disgusting racism that belittled blacks and other minorities. Let’s be honest, if black people and other minorities were treated equally from the start, there would have never been any animosity between races, and the social construct of race would have probably never been created. So, yes, Dr. King would be appalled if what Huckabee said was true.

 

Okay. I know some people will probably call me ignorant to the situation and disagree with me, but I am stating my opinion based on how most people would probably feel. Anyways, these facts are true: all lives matter, so black lives matter too. So, let’s address the issues everywhere instead of trying to discredit a movement based on ignorant views of people who do not get the point.

Charleston Killings: Will we finally do something now!?!

On Wednesday night, nine black people were in their place of worship when a heartless, hateful young white man took their lives because he wanted to start a “race war.” This is probably the first time in a while in this country that a heinous act like this was done and the perpetrator said they did it because of race. That being said, we have been dealing with 2 main issues a lot more in the last few year. They are racist acts (whether that be violent or systemic) and mass killings.

Rage mode activated. How many more events like these have to happen before we do something? How many innocent people have to lose their lives before we do something? HOW MANY? I am sick and tired of turning on the news every 2-3 weeks or so and seeing some type of killing or hate crime. Media also does not help at all. Everybody is debating about how black killers are portrayed in comparison to white killers in the media. Honestly, portrayals are an issue, but I am not going to get worked up because of that right now. What’s most important is finding a way to keep these mass killings from happening.

Jon Stewart’s response is exactly how I feel. We spend so much time watching these terrible events happen, trying to figure out what we should do to prevent them, but we do nothing. People say that we need to do something to prevent these tragedies and then nothing gets down. It is easy for people to go and blame politicians for not doing something to limit these events. However, all of us need to contribute to changing the tide. Politicians need to get up and make more changes that can help. We also need individuals like us in communities to find ways to keep each other safe, especially since we are not getting much from the officials we elected into office right now.

Is this a problem stemming from a violent culture fostered in this country? Are guns the problem? Is easy access to guns the problem? Is it truly mental? There are so many questions that need to be answered, and that can be difficult, but that is no reason to push it to the side. Obama makes speeches about how these acts are trouble and need to stop; so does every other politician. News reporters, analyst, and journalist want to give their opinion, but in the end we have done nothing.  From the Sandyhook to Navy Yard to Charleston, what major changes have we made to stop these killings? Not many if any at all. Will we be able to stop every one? Probably not. But, we need to do everything we can. We owe it to all the people who lost their lives in all these mass killings.

Will we actually do something different this time and work to find a solution or will we just stop talking in a week and watch another terrible event like this happen again? Reflection, discussion, and action is what we need to do. Hopefully, we can finally take the steps necessary to make change.

Until then, I have the same mindset as Jon Stewart, we won’t do jackshit. Let’s change that.

Reflecting on 9 Killed in Charleston

Today nine people were shot and killed in Charleston, South Carolina by a white man who believed he was performing an act of justice. It was reported that he said, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country,” and yet again black lives are lost. What are we to do next, where do we go from here? It’s hard to have faith in our government because every time there’s a tragedy involving guns and lives lost, whether it be black or white, all we hear is politically correct statements but see no action. Actions speak louder than words and right now we hear crickets. I can pretty much predict what will happen next; nothing. Gun violence and racism is real. When will we seriously address these issues?

For live updates of the tragedy in Charleston check out The Washington Post’s feed.

Oxon Hill High School Art Display Reaction

Interesting news story that came up recently in regards to Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, MD. The Honors Art Studio for Young Black Males in the school constructed an art display showing a white police officer reading a newspaper and a black man with a bloody shirt from bullet holes holding his hands in the air. This display was designed in response to all the recent killings of black men by white police officers. Due to negative reactions, they took it down.

Now, I have a few responses to some of the reactions that I have read online and watched on the news. (I will paraphrase what I read and heard before each of my reactions.

#1. I was watching the FOX 5 DC News last night when this segment came on. A person said that this was hate speech and that the display definitely needed to get taken down.

Ok. I had to google hate speech to make sure I do not sound too ignorant with my response. I can see how someone would view this art display as hate speech, but I think that is taking it to the extreme. Yes, this is a sensitive situation, but I do not see hate in this. Besides showing a problem with the mistreatment of black people by some white police officers, this art display is not hateful. I see a group of young people displaying their opinion and frustration in what has been happening a lot recently throughout our nation. Whether you agree with this or not, you cannot suppress their freedom of expression. I rather them display their frustration this way instead of displaying it through violence.

#2. I read an article (cannot seem to find where it was, but we all know that some people are thinking this) that black people are killed more by black people than white police officers.

Alright, I have heard this multiple times. Is this fact true? Probably yes, but so what? The amount of black people compare to white police officer is clearly higher, so obviously it would be shown that black people die more by the hands of other blacks. However, that has nothing to do with this particular instance. Just because the numbers show that (even though there are more black people compared to white police officers), does not justify the mistreatment that we see. Yes, blacks killing blacks and white police officers killing blacks are both significant problems in our country that need to be addressed, but do not use one to try to down play the other. Just don’t. In this particular display, we are shedding light on one of many problems. Do not muddy that message.

 

Honestly, I just hate when people try to justify or cover up a problem with another (similar) problem. It does not help with anything. Instead of doing this, let’s give both issues our attention and work on solving them.

They have a petition to get the art display back up and they are doing quite well. If you want to sign it, here is the link: Oxon Hill High School Petition

Moise Morancy on Why Millennials and Black Lives Matter: “90’s Babies Freestyle”

I love, love, love this video. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you Moise Morancy and friends for providing us with 3 minutes and 35 seconds of pure enlightenment! Black people are conditioned to believe that they are second class citizens and not as smart or beautiful as white people. I personally believe Morancy has debunked these stereotypes within this video, watch and see.

Race And Poor Police Training, Maybe?

There are multiple websites with articles posted about this incident, but I decided to choose this article from CNN since the title got my attention the most.

In my opinion, did race play a role in the incident? Honestly, it is hard for me to go either way. As an African American/Black man, I do have a subjective outlook on incidents like these involving the police, but I am going to try to respond with the least bias response possible. So my answer is………………….yes. I think race played a role. Now, how much of a role? I am not sure. Let me dive in.

There are multiple accounts stating that there was a disturbance within the neighborhood community. If this is the case, regardless of the race of the people (in this case mostly black), I am not surprised that the police were called. Normal Procedure. Now, according to the accounts of the teens, white residents were hurling various racial slurs at the teens. Regardless of how the teens were acting, that is no way for adults to act. The fact that a white adult woman and a black teenager girl got into a physical altercation is inexcusable from both sides. The teens should have not been acting in the manner that they supposedly were and the adults who were making racial remarks and being physical should not have done so. I think this overall racially charged encounter was a big part of why the police were called.

Now to the police. Besides the obvious fact that they were only addressing the black teenagers, it is hard to officially say they were acting in this manner due to race.  It is easy to say it was because of all the incidents between white police officers and black citizens we have seen in this country lately, but this was not as obvious as some of the previous ones. I put more focus on their handling of the situation trained (and I use that term loosely) officers.

The officer in the video was doing too much while dealing with these teen, in my opinion. The yelling was expected of course, but once you start throwing a teen girl down to the ground with force and then pulling your gun out on two other teens, I think you are acting too aggressively in this case. I see that many may believe it was justifiable due to how the scene was unfolding, but seriously, no. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t pulling a gun out (with the threat of using on) a last resort kind of tactic? In the video, I do not see how he can see himself being in danger, like some are trying to say to justify him pulling out his gun. He was looking right at the teens and they were not doing anything in an aggressive manner. Were they disobeying orders? Probably yes. Were they being violent and dangerous? No. No gun needed.

I understand that the scene was chaotic and they needed control. However, just because you are dealing with a group of rowdy teens, does not mean you need to get violent. That is only justifiable if they are becoming violent with you or anyone else. Based on what we have seen and heard, that did not happen.

So, to be fair, it is both possible that the officer acted in this manner due to the crowd being mainly black teens or that he was not. However, I think his actions were unnecessary for this situation, and he should have handled it in a better way. We can put focus on the race part, but we need to put just as much focus on how police officers are trained to handle specific situations.

Also, what were the other officers doing?? They sure were not acting like him because we all know there would have been videos putting them on blast too. I think they were probably acting more professionally

Long post short, like I said in the beginning, I do think race played a role……….but that’s just my opinion tho!