#Justice4All No. 7

⟦On American Racism and Choice⟧

The word that keeps coming up with issues of race, justice, crime, and poverty, is CHOICE - and I’ve found it to be the worst possible way to explain away these ongoing problems. Right Wing professional plutocrats like Bill O’Reilly insist that when it comes to intra-racial issues, “no one forces” marginalized People of Color to engage in criminal activity, or join a gang, or sign up for welfare, or go to underserved schools, or live in the projects…you get the idea. O’Reilly assumes that because these actions are, technically, arbitrary decisions made on the part of Black & Brown Americans, that they have fully weighed the consequences of their choices, and have decided this was the best course of action to take. Immediately, this presumes, as so many Supremacist sympathizers presume, a blatant moral, ethical bigotry against Non-White American citizens. It is the public dismissal of a complex set of problems that far too many White Americans in the silent majority have quietly seen and ignored, choosing instead to go along with paid propaganda mongers like Mr. O’Reilly so as to quell their own self-discovery and possible empathy when it comes to difficult topics like this. It’s a cop-out.

The only argument I might find even worse than this one, the idea that individual “choice” is the only major factor when dealing with intra-racial issues, is the idea of fight or flight - specifically, flight. Far too many racist Americans love to utilize the age-old bigoted American adage: “If you don’t like us, go back to [country of origin]!” This is constantly used as the last line of defense against veritable arguments about racism, classism, misogyny, religious phobias, and orientation/gender discrimination in the US. But if we are to look at the history of this country, and as I’ve said before, it would be FAR more fitting - and factually defensible - if White Americans declaring these kinds of ultimatums took themselves back to where they're from.

This is where that pretty little word CHOICE gets problematic for American bigots and racists who don’t identify as Men and Women of Color.

A basic overview of US History shows the majority of European immigrants who traveled from their homelands did so by choice. With little variance, there was no documented ‘forcing’ of citizens from places like France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, or any of the Northern/Eastern European principalities to emigrate across the Atlantic. It was a collective, arbitrary decision by these immigrants to seek better fortunes on another continent, having heard rumors of a “Land of Opportunity” that could cultivate that fortune without harsh societal or Governmental persecution. The exception to this understanding of US immigration, of course, lies with the influx of early 17th and 18th century White indentured servants - many being Celtic in origin, sent “across the pond” via the British Imperial will as a form of Transatlantic imprisonment in the new colonies (NOTE: in my opinion, though writers and historians feel otherwise, the word ‘slave’ here is debatable, though there is no question early Whites in bondage were treated very harshly and worked under pain of violent punishment).

But there is no question that individuals such as my Celtic family - whose grandparents and great-grandparents arrived on Ellis Island in the Late 19th/Early 20th Centuries - made the harrowing journey from places like Ireland and England without any forced provocation or as part of sentencing for criminal behavior. Such is the case for countless families whose predecessors also made that journey. This is not some antiquated, debatable concept being argued at this country’s top Universities. It is a statistical fact, and since bigots and racists in this country love using numbers and so-called “facts” to defend their position of xenophobic prejudice and anti-Blackness, I think it’s high time we utilize those same citable sources to defend against Supremacy and its insidious agenda.

With all of this on the table (or at least on this blog), logic must be used to give some objectivity to what is clearly a subjective assessment of these things. Ultimately, what logic says is what most of us were taught as children and young adults; namely, that life is full of hard choices, and that sometimes we have to make terrible choices - like leaving your homeland and loved ones behind to find a better existence - in order to survive. Logic also demands that there is simply no practical way to relegate individual choice to some untouchable, monolithic failsafe when talking about any marginalized peoples, but rather that these choices are guided, if not perpetuated, by circumstance.

In the instance of the long, bloodied history of People of Color in the United States, there is little doubt that those circumstances were catalysts for the choices they made across the centuries, whether for good or ill, and such is the case today, in the 21st Century. Therefore, to simply throw away all of that history, to deny the atrocious manner in which White Supremacy in America has unquestionably forced the hand of millions of oppressed Black & Brown Americans, to insist that individual choice outside of circumstance is the ONLY factor by which the consequences of their actions should be judged, is the height and breadth of institutionalized American racism, and no free-thinking individual, in this country or abroad, should be complicit in the continued propagandized method through which this glaring logical fallacy is used to defend the violent discrimination and prosecutorial hatred of People of Color.

To close this, if only as a bon mot, I would like to point out that if racist US citizens want so badly to see the expulsion of marginalized People of Color who are seeking justice and liberation for hundreds of years of countless criminal acts against their demographics, they should take it upon themselves to provide the necessary means for said demographics to do so. Sure, at first, it sounds as if I’m talking like a racist - at first. But I’m speaking specifically to the notion of US Reparations as the means to that end. In other words, if you want to kick folks out so badly, put your money where your mouth is.

Don’t worry, I’ve provided some easy numbers for you wonderful bigots out there ;-)

Since you - the proverbial Non-PoC US racist - want marginalized Black Americans to go “back where they came from,” let’s look at the math. A very, very general overview of US expat travel to [and living expenses in] an African country with a stable Middle Class like Nigeria suggests that it’s going to take upwards of $10,000US just to renounce citizenship and move one’s belongings, taking into account legal fees and exit taxes, depending on one’s tax bracket. At LEAST. Once that’s all taken care of, again, an extremely non-specific assessment of the basic cost of renting a two-bedroom Nigerian villa plus food and amenities comes to anything upwards of $80,000US/year. Considering the irreparable damage that has been done to Millions of African slaves and their descendants in the US since the 17th Century, I’d say five years of duty-free, tax-exempt, financial assistance to cover these costs for each & every citizen who chooses to move to Nigeria with their families & loved ones is pretty anemic, but would allow for said Black expats to hopefully find work and stabilize their situation abroad. Again, this would be under the umbrella of US Reparations, thus repayment of this money would be negligible; you - proverbial racist - are just paying back what you owe to people whose very existence your predecessors tried to erase. So, more or less - reiterating for a third time that these are extremely general numbers - we’re talking roughly $500,000 for each Black American with biological ties to Africa who decides to do this.

By the way, if the cost of moving and setting up shop elsewhere is lower than this for some reason, the amount would not change, but if the cost was higher, I would say to provide more so as to ensure said stability. Also, if they decide not to move, this baseline grant would be gifted to Reparation recipients anyway to do with as they chose.

This is me LOW-BALLING, kids. Like, ridiculously low.

But hey, if US racists are willing to insert that into the national budget, by all means, I’d stay and sign up to help with the overextended administration that will come along with putting this plan into action, just to see my PoC friends & colleagues find a better life for themselves in places that don’t see them as second class or potential criminals.

Of course, if you, my dear bigoted friends, were to, for some reason, oh, I don’t know, Choose not to be complicit in this plan, then I guess we have a conflict of interest.

Funny how that little word, Choice, can be such a pain in the ass when the douchebags who like to wield it around like a baseball bat get smacked in the face with it. No, really. It’s a goddamn riot. And if you’re not laughing after all this, well, I would say that’s your choice.


#Justise4All No. 6 [Instagram Redux]

*NOTE: I have decided to take some of my earlier lengthy captions from my socially conscious Instagram postings, edit them, and repost them here. Original I/G captions will be replaced with hyperlinks to this blog, if by chance new followers come across them. Thank you for your continued support

On Dr. Martin Luther King and his Government-sanctioned assassination

Instagram Redux

Knowledge is pain, not power. Power lies in one's ability to overshadow that pain and use it to motivate oneself. Notice I didn't say for good or evil; that's based on the morals of the individual.

The powers that be understand the destructive consequences of the oppressed coming into the knowledge of a structure that is diametrically opposed to their success. That is why, for them, Martin HAD to die. In these United Stated, the FBI, CIA, COINTELPRO, Congress, the Senate, the Executive Branch, and our Federal Reserve all knew/know what could happen if those they had historically subjugated succeeded in a unification of purpose. Their predecessors saw it in the multiple slave rebellions. In the bloody conflicts with the indigenous.

What's worse, they themselves, as a system of oppression, saw it in the words and actions of Emma Goldman, of Eugene Debs, of Malcolm X, and this man. They saw it in the young Kennedys, Jack and Robert. That is why their names had to be smudged with controversy, their legacy covered up with money, their words bastardized, and the individuals themselves persecuted, incarcerated, or put to death.

But baby, we don't die. We multiply.

And yes, we are coming to get our check.

On Breezy Point 

I've been debating on whether or not to post this, but I realized that writing about these topics, for me, is like drawing out harmful toxins from an infected host; if I do not ask these questions or make these observations, they will eat away at me. And so, I pose them now, with an observation, to friends of mine from my hometown, Breezy Point, in a kind-of response to the vitriol I received over the past several years regarding my stance on social justice and race politics. You don’t have to answer me now, but instead of getting mad at me, take a few moments to yourself on your free time and consider the following:

What did you, I, or any of our friends do in our lifetime to deserve a life in a great, safe neighborhood community like Breezy Point? Please note, I’m not talking about your parents and their commitment to finding a good place to live, work, and raise you, I mean YOU. What did YOU do to deserve this? Or me, or anyone who grew up here?

Why does Breezy Point get to enjoy the safety and security of a location in NYC virtually free of violent crime or serious social upheaval? In other words, what is so different or superior about the people who live here than, for example, any other group of Irish/Italian Roman Catholics & Protestants living in this city? What about their financial, ethical, or moral behavior grants them the opportunity to settle in a place like this Co-Op?

Lastly, and this is the most important one: Knowing that our Cooperative began forming in the early 20th century, first as a Summer getaway town, then into a fully fledged private community with a self-sustaining population, officially establishing itself as a Co-Op circa 1960, do you think that people who looked like me, People of Color with similar moral views, financial stability, and a faith-based hardworking social network, would’ve actually been able to establish something identical or even similar to Breezy Point in this time frame? Keeping in mind that racial segregation in its purest form was still legally sanctioned by Municipal, State, and Federal legislation at this time? Do you think that it would’ve flourished in the same way? Or, as history points out, would it have been met with hostility, prejudice, and legal backlash (not that Breezy hasn’t had its generous share of legal issues, but for different reasons)?

As a reference to the last question, I urge you to look up the histories of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Seneca Village, Baltimore’s Housing Crisis, and the Yonkers segregation scandal of the 70’s and 80’s. If you’re serious about reprimanding me for my points of view, or really want to have a discussion, you’ll have to do some self-discovery to see where I’m coming from. Otherwise, with due respect,  if all you’re wanting to do is get angry for something I didn’t start or cultivate, then we agree to disagree and have nothing to discuss. It’s not my problem, but nothing about what I’ve said is based in lies or suggestions. And if this isn’t something you’d want to discuss with some modicum of objectivity, then let’s talk about something else.


#Justise4All No. 5


⟦On the Christian homophobic & transphobic agenda in Communities of Color⟧

Per Facebook commentary

Any Person of Color who takes issue with Black + Brown LGBT or SGL (Same Gender Loving) People in this country or abroad via their myopic interpretation of the Bible is doing nothing less than transferring the hatred, violence, and systemic oppression levied against People of Color and their ancestors by White Supremacy. Period. There is no in between, nor is there a “middle ground” that should be sought. The fact that PoC who identify as something other than cisgender or heterosexual come under the double scrutiny handed to them due to their intersectional existence is a tragic byproduct of this civilization’s rampant anti-Blackness and Christianized Patriarchy. There is a difference in allowing the opinions of others to be heard as is their privilege under Constitutional Law versus using what is clearly hate speech and divisive rhetoric to garner + maintain followers of a religion that, historically speaking, was never ours to begin with.

How easily Communities of Color like to forget just how violently and vehemently Christianity - both Catholic & Protestant - was forced upon them by their European, Colonial oppressors. How easily we choose to adopt a so-called “passive” sense of just how our lives, our bodies, and our progeny were up for constant critique, torture, and elimination through this institution of religion. And how dare ANY of you who stand by your Bibles and your ignorance continue to use these historically oppressive tools to defend a Black/Brown clergy or religious who have literally named People of Color who are LGBT/SGL as complicit in some sort of “rebellion?” Meanwhile, your churches, your social circles, your choirs, your Gospel music industry, and your donation coffers are chock filled with participation and tribute via folks who identify as these things (and are probably far more “saved” than some of you will ever be), but whom you still choose to condemn based on the delusional prattle of a pagan-based set of laws written in antiquity.

It is one thing to respect the the privileges that are supposed to be granted to all US citizens through our long-standing legislation; that is something that should always be defended, particularly at a time when Black voices and Black bodies are being torn down to defend a violent Supremacist system. It is entirely another to take that kind of violence and divisive double-speak and pair it with the institution of Christianity as a reason to stand behind so-called “leaders” of the faith who willingly, WILLINGLY, use their influence to marginalize and oppress members of their own community. There is nothing “Christian” about defending moral bigotry or low-information zealots. There is nothing “sanctified” about using one man’s understanding of Scripture to continue bashing the lives of any person whose identity offends our sense of structure. And there is nothing - NOTHING - about an intellectual, comprehensive, and modern spiritual understanding of Christianity that says we are in the right when we treat other people wrong simply because of who they are.

Shame on all of us, every one of us, for allowing this bastardized, poisonous understanding of faith to undermine the unity and liberation of marginalized people.

Shame on us for letting our subjective understanding of God and the Universe block our need to show love & empathy towards one another.

If this is the best we can do as a community, this simple-minded bickering over someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity/preference, then we have already lost this struggle long before we decided to pick up the tools to fight.

⟦On White Supremacy's dominant role in chattel slavery⟧

[Not-so] Random [at all], but since it was part of a podcast I was listening to recently, let’s be VERY CLEAR that the concept of torturous chattel slavery as a fulcrum for Western European and US led capitalist imperialism was NOT something that Africa helped cultivate. This ridiculous - literally, ridiculous - argument that slavery in the Americas would never have happened if Africans hadn’t sold off “their own kind” is the stuff of Supremacist historical rewrites. If Arabs had not shown up on the Eastern borders of the African continent with the intent to exploit and sell Black bodies, there would’ve been no Eastern African slave trade. And if White European Catholic and Protestant military generals, missionaries, financiers, and prospectors hadn’t happened upon the tribes of Western Africa with weapons and a stated intent to monopolize on the already existing tensions between African tribes and kingdoms [via arms-slave exchange and forced colonization], there would have been NO reason for said tribes and kingdoms to do this kind of business with these White men.

Supremacist culture provided the opportunity for more aggressive African civilizations to maintain and expand their influence over less militarized ones - and in their folly, allowed for that Supremacist culture to overtake their own, with the end results being the full, violent exploitation of every resource and available Black and Brown body they could lay their hands on. Warring African civilizations may have levied heavy damage and mass casualties against their enemies before the years of the Diaspora, as is the nature of intra-societal military conflict, but the very fact that White Europeans & Americans viewed the entire African continent as an expendable resource, and the mass of its people as subhuman property, is a complete departure from anything many of its people had seen before, and the long-term damage wrought by this specifically White Supremacist system has proven itself to be both generational and permanent, as is evidenced by our racist institutions and broken societies in existence today.


#JustiseForAll No. 4

⟦On American Islamophobia⟧

I'm getting really tired of people using the line, "there's just bad people in the world" to justify violent militarized political campaigns in parts of the world we don't belong. People who have never studied the nature of Islam or the Middle East in depth are unconscionably quick to use the allegedly “backward” nature of radical militants as a means to feel better about the fact that they either don’t understand the history of our involvement there, or they don’t [i]want to know just how much we’ve worked to destabilize the region for our own socioeconomic benefit. It doesn’t take a PBS historian to look at the last 75 years of the political development of countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and Iran, to see that the Euro-American agenda has been forcibly levied against the sovereignty of their original statehoods. Hell, it doesn’t take more than a Wikipedia search of Mohammad Mosaddegh to learn about just how far our nation’s insidious leaders are willing to go to overthrow the very source of progressive leadership in these countries in favor of a NATO-approved “autocracy” that allows for our ongoing exploitative, symbiotic relationship with those countries. But if you think for a second that groups like Al-Queda, Boko Haram, or the Islamic State are just a group of out-of-the-blue Arab cavemen who one day decided to run around killing innocent people because their religious book told them so, not only are you woefully misinformed and in desperate need of a brush up on your political science…you might be confusing the Qu’ran for the Bible.

Specifically, the Old Testament.

⟦On the killing of Tamir Rice and the non-indictment of Timothy Loehmann⟧

Here's a simple, effective change: in instances of police violence where the victims are deceased, scrap the Grand Jury. The concept that a Prosecutor's office has to first sit before any sort of panel to determine whether or not the officer in question was acting outside of his duties is preposterous, due simply to the fact that the victim is DEAD. If a living plaintiff is part of the proceedings, then maybe - MAYBE - a Grand Jury would be appropriate in seeing if bringing a case of excessive police force to court was acceptable. But even clear cases of civilian manslaughter as a means of self defense have seen ample time in the courtroom, with the defendant having to make his or her case of taking a life to save their own. Let the people decide if a law enforcement officer was just doing their job, or if they were trigger happy. That's what our taxes SHOULD be paying for. This highly biased and politically binding extra step is little more than Supremacy at work, protecting its own at the expense of the marginalized and oppressed.


New Song Lyrics: Didn't Ask ('84)


I didn't ask for this.
I didn't ask to be judged for who I am.
I didn't sign up for this.
I didn't make any arrangements or plans.

But now I see clearly just how
The world can grow cold, leave you out...

I didn't ask for much;
I only asked to be heard and understood.
They say I've said too much,
And what I've said just doesn't make things look good.

I've put all my dreams on the line
To stand in the truth and this fight...

Cuz I know the way we're living ain't the way we're supposed to live,
And I know the things we take just don't line up with what we give,
And it's clear the way it should be isn't half of what it is,
Can’t you see it?


It's a big, difficult world,
And I'm tryin,
Yeah I'm tryin and-I-know in this big, difficult world
We're all trying, just trying to figure it out,
But why can't you see that people need to be free


I don't know it all;
I never said I had the answers to everything.
I can't explain it all,
But I know that what I feel ain't just a thing.

They say when you start losing friends,
That's when your real journey begins...

Cuz the way we hurt each other isn't anywhere near right,
And it's more than right or wrong, and runs more deep than Black or White,
But if we say "all lives matter," and leave so many to die,
Do we believe it?



Don't be blind to what's in front of you;
We've run out of time to turn away.
I can't tell you what to say or do;
All I know is all we have is today.
Either we fight for our rights and our future,
Or all we'll ever be is yesterday...

Music + Lyrics: JP Murray
2015, All Rights Reserved