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The Irony of Johnathan Price

From left to right: Murderer Shaun Lucas, Victim Johnathan Price
Photo by: UpnUpNews

“I never got that kind of energy from the po-po,” Johnathan Price wrote, concerning officers. From his experiences, he claimed, he never got bad treatment from police. He urged Black people to judge by their own experiences, not everyone else’s. Johnathan defend cops. Ironically, it was his belief in police, his trust in police that ultimately got him killed.

Recently, it came to light that cops murdered Price after responding to a call in which Price was assaulted while trying to break up a domestic dispute. When cops came, they attempted to arrested Price, though Price wasn’t the culprit. At some point, Price went to shake an officer’s hand. The officer tased Price, and when Price’s body convulsed from the jolt, the officer shot him four times.

Normally, I would be up in arms about this. How is an innocent, unarmed man gunned down by the police for trying to break up a fight? The weirdest part of this story is that the officer claimed to have shot Price because Price began jerking from being electrocuted. What? Who trained this guy? Who hired him? What’s his record look like as a cop? Normally, the senseless murder of another Black men by cops would have aggravated me. I would protest, scream his life matters, push for change. But that’s not what Price would have wanted.

[Price] denied systemic racism…

Price believed in cops, in the system, in the process. He denied white privilege, Black oppression by cops and the ailments that sickened police departments. He chose to promote a narrative that denied any trace of systemic racism. He never protested. He never believed Black men were targets. Price was just the male version of Candace Owens.

I won’t protest for him…

So, like a tragic but distant car crash, I’ll shake my head. I’ll wish Price the best. But I won’t protest for him or call out racism. I won’t stand up for him. I won’t be his voice, because nothing happened to him that hasn’t happened to people whom he denied.

*Jermaine Reed, MFA is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get my recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here.

Trump Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Photo by Houston Defender

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool COVID-19. After insisting for months in public that coronavirus wasn’t a threat, Donald Trump himself has contracted the virus. According to Dr. Gupta, it doesn’t look good for Trump.

At over 6’3 and 240 pounds, Trump is large and out of shape. As his mental health declines, coronavirus has just complicated things for the embattled president even more. The real question is, what does this diagnosis mean?

Under Trump’s watch, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from the virus. Due to Trump’s intentionally downplaying the virus, we’ve lost precious lives. His contracting the disease is just proof for his followers that it exists. Coronavirus itself isn’t political. No matter how much Trump tried to make it, it isn’t and never has been.

Trump does not deserve to be president. The same disease he let ravage Black communities has come to his yard to roost. Hopefully, he still has his supply of hydroxychloroquine.

*Jermaine Reed, MFA is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get my recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here.

A Black Call to Arms

White Murderous Thug Who Cops Rode Past Without Arresting

Whatever money you have, if you have not already, go to your nearest gun store and purchase as much legal weaponry as possible, Black people. This includes knives and legal explosives. There is a war on us, and it’s being backed by local, state and federal governments.

Last night, during protests over the unlawful, brutal shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by blood-thirsty cops, a white thug armed with a machine gun murdered two protesters and shot numerous others. As police approached in heavily-armed vehicles, the white thug walked towards them, and no one arrested him. He was still armed with the machine gun, and cops had a clear view of him. Black people, this is a call to arms.

Black people, you must arm yourselves and your families and friends

For far too long, from college campuses to project hallways, people have debated police brutality against Black Americans. With the accessibility of cameras and other smart technology, we have proven cops are unfairly brutalizing and murdering Black people. Getting those cops convicted has been tricky. Now, we are contending the criminal justice system handles white criminals differently than Black offenders. This proves it.

Jacob Blake and Son

The white thug slayed two people and shot numerous others and was identified by a witness who recorded the shooting. Yet the police did not stop or question or attempt to make contact with this thug. They let him walk away and later issued an alert for his apprehension. This is a slap in the faces of the victims and their families.

This is not justice.

One of the most aggravating aspects of this case is the media’s referring to this white killer thug as a “vigilante.” When someone thinks of vigilantes, they think of Batman and Superman, who were protecting their cities from bad guys. Painting this white thug as the equivalent of Superman legitimizes his actions and paints his Black victims as the bad guys. This is not justice. In particular, I want to call out TMZ for this bias.

To close, Black people, you must arm yourselves and your families and friends. The revolution will not be televised.

WISCONSIN POLICE SHOOT JACOB BLAKE SEVERAL TIMES IN THE BACK AS HIS CHILDREN WATCH

Photo by Naija Super Fans on Revolt.Tv

In this video, Wisconsin police shoot a Black man named Jacob Blake in the back several times times as his children look on. Those who support unrestricted police actions will argue that Jacob Blake should have stopped. He shouldn’t have gotten in his car. The cops felt in fear of their lives. Before you go there, watch this second video.

In the second video is a man who threatens cops with a knife for twenty minutes before any real action is taken. The police seem afraid to use deadly force on the knife-wielding white man. It isn’t until many minutes later and after repeated attempts to have the man drop his weapon do the police take any significant action.

There is a special type of evil in America, cloaked in bad intentions and police uniforms.

When Jacob Blake began walking to his car, the police could have headed him off, preventing him from opening his car door. They could have pulled their tasers. They could have taken him down. Instead, they shot him in the back several times while his children watched in horror. Who knows if he will live?

Photo by Alou00efs Moubax on Pexels.com

There is a special type of evil in America, cloaked in bad intentions and police uniforms. They tell us Black men are dangerous animals and must be kept in order with deadly force. That’s why 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald was shot to death by a cop and called a “man” in the media. Had McDonald been a white kid from the suburbs, he would have been described as a boy, not a man, and his killer would have been put away forever.

Cops must be held accountable, and laws must change to reflect that.

Cops are supposed to be professionals. It is up to them to fairly de-escalate situations. For some reason, cops tend to shoot or murder Black men for the same offense as their white counterparts. We can no longer make excuses for discrepancies and bias in criminal justice. We need criminal justice reform. Cops must be held accountable, and laws must change to reflect that.

*Jermaine Reed, MFA is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books.

Black Lies Matter: Sheriff Darryl Daniels

As a Black progressive, I consider myself open-minded and accepting of all. I am one who believes no matter your race, religion or cultural background, you have a right to support any political party or politician of your choice. That said, I’m finding it much harder these days to respect Black conservatives, because it seems their only goal is to help oppress Black people. Many Black conservatives come from well-to-do families or have been raised in primarily white spaces, so, even though they have Black skin, they can not and do not support Black freedoms. We must cast these people aside and never allow their poison to infiltrate the minds of our Black youth.

America has created a composite Black person…in the form of conservative, and deaf to Black issues.”

In Florida, Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels threatened to deputize every gun owner in his county to suppress Black protestors. Fast forward a few weeks, and this same grandstanding ex-sheriff is being divorced by his wife for cheating. He has also been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of the investigation into the felony of destroying evidence. While he was busy trashing Black Lives Matter, Sheriff Daniels was also cheating on his wife and tainting the sanctity of marriage. This is normally the case of those who grandstand against Black people. It fits him right that he lost his seat to a conservative named Michelle Cook. The people have spoken: Black voices will not be silenced, even by people who only share skin color with Black people.

America has created a new composite Black person. This composite comes in the form of Black, conservative, and deafness to Black issues. These Black conservatives are as far from culturally Black as possible. Black People like Candace Owens and Eddie Johnson (another Black cop against Black people who lost his job after cheating on his wife) are not Black. They do not care about Black people. If they did, Candace Owens wouldn’t be dismissing the murder of George Floyd, and Eddie Johnson would have fought for Rekiya Boyd, a young Black, unarmed woman murdered by an off-duty cop who walked free.

…never let Black youth grow up to think Black lives do not matter.

When Candace Owens or someone like her makes a statement dismissive of Black lives, we must ignore her. We must never let our Black youth grow up to think Black lives do not matter. If you are Black fighting against Black people, the question becomes, who is fighting for you?

*Jermaine Reed is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books.

J. Cole: The False Prophet

Photo by: https://dreamville.lnk.to/middlechild

by Jermaine Reed

In 2008 or 2009, in the midst of getting my firstbcollege degree and finding out who I was, I heard a lyrical rapper with the same name I had. That lyricist was a biracial college graduate from North Carolina, a state I had only ever discussed in passing. Having grown up in Chicago’s notorious Robert Taylor Projects, Cole’s analytical and humbling lyrics were a breath of fresh air. He spoke about empowering Black youth, deconstructing a racist criminal justice system and holding police accountable for their actions.

Then, COVID-19 happened, and the outsoken lyricist J. Cole from North Carolina went mute. With Chicago activist-rapper Noname questioning his whereabouts during the current struggle, Cole responded with ”Snow on the Bluff.” In it, he chides younger rapper Noname, 28, for scolding him instead of teaching him. He says that just because she is ”woke” and he isn’t, that does not give her the right to address him in such a way. Yes, he has a degree, but he is not as smart as everyone thinks he is, he argues. His IQ is average, he says. This position is foolery.

J. Cole’s career is founded on being woke. It is he who calls out racial injustice and encourages civil unrest. He is not some guy who does not know what is going on in the world. Quite the opposite: he does nothing but comment on the world, America in particular.

Recently, Dave Chappelle addressed not using his celebrity platform during this time of racial civil unrest. Chapelle argues that he does not want to hijack the movement. He is not needed now. When he is, he will come forward. This, I respect. He is not claiming ignorance, unlike J. Cole.

I am not calling J. Cole a coward, but where are you? You are the same age as the millennials and other generations in the streets fueling this movement. Outside of being offended by and making songs about someone who critiqued you, what good are you doing? You have thrown rocks all these years. Now, it is time to show your hands.

*Jermaine Reed is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books.

#SilenceCandace Owens

Candace Owens, historical revisionist. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

by Jermaine Reed

Recently, Black troll and conservative blackface operative Candace Owens released a video attempting to denigrate the legacy of the man whose murder by police sparked the recent historical protests. Owens’s contentions are that because George Floyd was not perfect, Black people should not defend him. Not only is she wrong, she is dangerous. It is time to boycott and silence Candace Owens.

Before I get into the obvious self-hate that has warped Owens’s perception of Black people and herself, let me tell you who George Floyd was. George Floyd was a flawed Black man. Though he had run-ins with the law, he was a man who wanted things to change. He even released videos encouraging young Black men in the streets to turn away from that lifestyle. From media reports, he was also a convicted felon.

Owens’s argument that Floyd was a bed person rests on the faulty idea that, somehow, a conviction makes a person “bad.” One-third of Black men will at some point face some part of the criminal justice system. It isn’t because Black men are bad. It’s because of systematic racism. Owens is arguing that we should measure the characters of Black men by the same racist system meant to hold Black men down. Owens is telling Black America not to fight for the Black man.

Recently, I saw a video of a young white girl allegedly debating with her parents about race relations and how racism holds Black men back. At one point in the video, the girl’s father calls Black people animals or something similar. Though the girl is progressive in her reasoning on racism, her ignorant parents tell her she uninformed. The mother, attempting to defend herself as “not racist,” contends that Black people should raise their children and teach them “this is the world we live in.” Blacks must accept and embrace their second-class citizen status.

And therein lies the problem: racism is being taught in the households of white of America, and Black puppets like Candace Owens give cover to racist white ideas and attempt to paint them Black. Owens attempts to feed Black America the proverbial poisoned Kool-Aid, while defending and benefiting from systematic racism.

When Owens was a kid, her town’s democratic mayor’s son pranked called Owens’s home and made racist remarks to Owens. Long story short, her family settled a lawsuit with the mayor, and Owens has hated herself, Black people and Democrats since. Anything Black or in support of Black, Owens hates. She tries to rationalize that hate into seemingly reasonable contentions, but at the end of the day, it’s hate meant to discourage the plight of Black people to be truly free in this country.

Because of racism, more Black men disproportionately face the criminal justice system than their white counterparts. If you don’t believe me, tell me the difference between the weed that makes white men billionaires today versus the weed that made Black men felons for generations? The difference is that when powerful white men want something, they make it law. When it appears to be a Black issue, it becomes illegal. This is why a Black person convicted of selling crack faced ten times more time in prison than a person convicted of selling raw cocaine.

Black men have been hanged by the system every way you could imagine. Some of racist laws like Jim Crow have been dismantled, but there are thousands more leading to the disinfranchisment of Black men. People like Candace Owens mock the Black plight. She doesn’t love being Black. She doesn’t love Black people. She loves corporate white America and watching systematic racism kneel its foot onto the necks of Black people all around the country.

Because Candace Owens hates Black people, we must #SilenceCandace. This must trend. We must boycott any “news” or station, podcast or internet show or any entity willing to spread the hate Owens spews. This means boycotting Trump at the ballot box this November, since he supports Owens’s view of Floyd.

Please help #SilenceCandace.

*Jermaine Reed is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books.

To the Anti-Looters: Shut Up

by Jermaine Reed

Anti-looters, please shut up.

This is not a defense of looting; Rather, this is a chiding of those condemning what they have denigrated as ”looters.”

A common argument I am hearing is, what happened to George Floyd was wrong, but looting has no place in this. Another argument is that Black people are ”tearing up their own neighborhoods.” Both of these positions fail to consider the current economic state of Black people and the constant racial pressures which have led to the nationwide protests.

To begin with, no revolution is pretty. Americans should know this well; thousands of lives were lost during the Revolutionary War in which America won its freedom. What the media and opponents of the protestors have done is reduce the term ”pillaging” to ”looting.” Both are taking things during a time of choas. The terms are not strictly alike, but they’re similar. America has freely pillaged plenty of villages. The point is, no one in a revolution is perfect. Looting is an ugly but natural outcome of it.

Black people, if we want change, we have to view our race almost as a firm. Everyone has a role. Maybe you won’t loot, but don’t condemn the looters. Contribute how you can, even if your contribution is simply not criticizing the revolution. We each have a role. Maybe you are not the looter. Maybe you are an executive. Still, we need soldiers as much as we need executives.

Moreover, some Black people may burn down a store on the corner of their block, but that store is not ”their community.” True, these stores provide a service and may be in the neighborhood, but they are not a part of the community. Most of the store owners never give back to the community, and they disrespect the patrons and are generally not Black. That said, a group of Black people burning down a store is not them burning down their community. Even if it was, revolutions have collateral damage.

The point is, Black people, please do not criticize protestors. They are doing what many are afraid to do. Sometimes, you must scorch the land to experience fresh new growth.

*Jermaine Reed is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books

”Anti-looters” or people against ”looting, ” shut up. I loosely use the term ”looting” in this article, but I do not believe the people being called looters are looters. Also, I do not condone violence or illegal activities. This article is about supporting the right to protest and gather, not to influence looting, violence or illegal activity.

Do Not Tell My People to Calm Down, Minnesota

pexels-photo-417070

From the serenity of my home office that doubles as my middle daughter’s bedroom, I write this at one of the most trying times this nation has ever faced. With COVID-19 testing the boundaries of our sanity as a whole, the racial tensions that have defined this country since its inception have come to a boiling point. The tragedy of George Floyd is no less common than it is tragic. The distinction now is, we have caught it on camera. To those watching Minneapolis burn to the ground, I say, do not tell my people to calm down.

For centuries, Black people have sworn by the non-violence mantra, even when violence was cast upon them like a toxic skin. While beating and raping us, hanging and murdering us, the system has urged us to be non-violent. The system has assured us justice is blind and that every man is equal. The system has repeatedly told us one thing and done another.

What happened when the Black people of Tulsa embraced white rage with Black love? Racist white men backed by every facet of law enforcement rode into Tulsa and burned it to the ground overnight. Those same men were the same men who contended Blacks were lazy and unfit to be Americans. When those Blacks became self-sufficient, white rage could not let them be.

We live in a society regulated by laws literally meant to keep Black men and Black people in a constant state of struggle. If this statement is hard to believe, explain the difference between white guys selling weed in dispensaries and a Black man selling it on the corner? The difference is the law. The law backs the white “entrepreneur” while crushing what it portrays as the “Black criminal.”

White people, intentionally or unintentionally, have destroyed the image of Black men. This is why a bearded white guy drinking beer on a motorcycle and toting a machine gun is not as unsettling an image as a Black man in a hoodie. White people have been so effective at destroying the Black image that white cops murder an unarmed Black man but the first thing released is the Black man’s past criminal history instead of details of the murder or the name of the officers involved. Yet white people defend the cops, and this is not their fault to a degree. Follow this example:

Charles is your next-door neighbor. You and he sometimes shoot pool. He’s a friendly guy who goes to church every Sunday. You’ve never seen him do anything wrong or heard anyone complain about him.

Alicia is the wife of Charles. He blacks her eye every month and takes her money. He has even threatened to kill her.

If I were to interview you about Charles and Alicia about Charles, you and he would have two totally distinctive stances. This is white people versus Black people concerning police and community relations. Cops are a part of the white community. They interact with them and protect them. They do not harass them. From my own experience and noting many others, in the Black community, cops harass Black men, they abuse Black men and the ones who don’t do those things don’t interact with the Black community in any positive manner. White people and Black people have two unique perspectives of cops. They are both legitimate.

Now, with the videos of victims like George Floyd blasting across the internet, it is harder for cops to deny their brutality. Some white deniers of police brutality have become believers. Others who are not believers are finding it harder to explain a cop pressing his knee so hard into the throat of an unarmed Black man that he kills him. They try to contend that civilians do not know what cops are thinking at a particular high-adrenaline moment. The videos show that many times, there is no threat to the cop. Most times, the cops are committing flat-out murder in these viral videos.

This is where we have come in this country. Minneapolis is facing riots with fire and chaos. Do not tell my people to calm down. Show my people that things will change.

 

*Jermaine Reed is a writer from Chicago with something to say. Sign up here to join his email list for more editorials and writing advice.