levar jones

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Fear of A Black Planet 

Hi Guys.

Another day, another shooting… in light of the recent shooting of Levar Edward Jones by South Carolina St. Trooper Sean Groubert, I felt compelled to make this video about the nature of fear and the fear of Black and Brown bodies in this country. When Groubert pulled Jones over for a seatbelt violation, he had him get out of the car and asked for his license and registration. Things took a turn when Jones reached bak in the car for the license and Groubert, terrified he was possibly reaching for a weapon, shot at him four times.

This fear of Black bodies as somehow inherently criminal and ‘other’ goes back to slavery, and is an important part of the racist psyche of this country. This fear is so consuming that it trumps all forms of logic and becomes irrational, prompting people to make judgements about Black and Brown bodies that can lead to our incarnations, abuse, and even deaths- even people that would swear they 'aren’t racist.' 

This fear is perpetuated and pushed at every level of society, from the school and justice system to the media we consume, and it resides at a subconscious level within many of us. We have to recognize this and work to unlearn this colonized behavior.

Thanks so much for watching. Have a great weekend, guys.

P.S. The word I can’t pronounce is 'incredulity.’ Don’t judge me.

No Country for Black Men

Let’s be clear. This country wasn’t built for black people like me and my family and friends. It was built for white men and continues to serve their interests.

The Second Amendment gives white people the right to carry assault rifles in public but does not allow black people the right to even look at a gun without incurring suspicion from the white gaze. It’s become (and perhaps was designed to be) another racist tool to suppress black people.

I wrote a Huffington Post article two years ago: Does The Second Amendment Only Apply To White People? I wrote it after John Crawford was shot in a Walmart in Ohio for looking, just looking, at a BB gun on the shelves. Then Levar Jones was shot for obeying police orders to get his ID from his car in South Carolina.Then Tamir Rice was killed for playing with a toy gun in a park in Cleveland. And then hundreds of other black people have been killed by the police in the past two years. And this week Alton Sterling was killed in Baton Rouge and police used a gun as an excuse to execute him at point-blank range. And now Philando Castile, a licensed gun owner, was shot and killed by police in Minnesota after he told police he was going to reach for his ID. Police even shot through the car while Philando’s girlfriend and a child were seated inside. This is reckless disregard for the lives of black people.

But already, I hear the police apologists justifying these two murders with all the familiar, predictable arguments.

  • They’re just isolated incidents.
  • What about “black-on-black crime?
  • We don’t know all the facts.
  • It’s just a statistical probability that some people are going to be killed during police encounters.

At what point do white people stop making excuses and start taking our complaints seriously? When four Americans who volunteered to serve in a dangerous war zone were killed in Benghazi, Libya, Congress spent millions of dollars, held 33 hearings and issued 13 reports to find out what happened. But when hundreds of black people are killed in the streets in our own country, we hear nothing. If only our leaders cared as much about black lives in America as they do about 4 people killed in Benghazi.

Just yesterday, a prominent public figure asked why we need to have a BET, an NAACP and HBCUs. Well, it’s because white America doesn’t value our lives. They don’t value our economic well-being. They don’t value our health. They don’t value our education. If they did, they would have done something centuries ago, or even decades ago, or years ago, to eliminate the glaring and persistent disparities in opportunities for blacks and whites in America. But we’re taught to treat the abnormal as normal, as though there’s nothing wrong with a society where the black unemployment rate is always twice as high as the white unemployment rate, and where black people are less likely to have health care coverage, less likely to attend good schools, less likely to have access to affordable housing. We’re supposed to assume that all those things are the result of our own failings as a people instead of acknowledging their connection to a long and sordid history of slavery, segregation and state-sanctioned racial discrimination

The open-ended murder of black people stems from the cultural devaluation of blackness and the dominant belief system of white supremacy. Even when other people of color, including other black people, commit acts of violence against us, it too reflects the influence of the dominant belief system that devalues our existence. Until we attack and destroy every vestige of that belief system, more of us — black men and black women, black gay, straight and transgender people, black poor people and even black rich people — will die at the hands of white supremacy.

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And here’s another police shooting of an unarmed black man. South Carolina State Trooper Sean Groubert has finally been arrested after a shooting incident captured in this disturbing video. In the video, Groubert asks Levar Jones, an African American man, to see his license but when the man goes to retrieve it from his vehicle, the officer shoots him three times.