Trumped Up Charges

At times we cringed.  Sometimes our foreheads wrinkled with anger. Other times we laughed.  Honestly though, this is no longer a laughing matter.  I’m taken aback by the polls leading into the primaries this year. I laughed and admittedly disregarded Donald Trump’s attempt at presidency.  I had written it off as a publicity stunt that would gain prominence only as a human spectacle. I’m scratching my head now.

Playing the Trump Card

Trump, atrocious toupee and all, has somehow turned what I first perceived to be a spectacle into a viable candidacy for the Republican Party.  Most die-hard Republicans more than likely may be looking to another of the Bush boys as their front runner.  Nevertheless, Trump has edged his way into the heads of enough voters to make us take his campaign more seriously.  What does that mean for the Democratic Party?

Trumped Up

I’d like to think that Trump winning a Republican nomination works in the favor of the Democratic Party.  But, truth be told, I’m really uncertain.  Hillary Clinton would be my first choice for the Democratic nominee, but she has lost favor with some initial voters.  With this in mind, a Trump Republican nod might not work in our favor at all.  Yes, I said our favor because I have been a Democratic voter since I was granted my voter’s registration card many moons ago.  I also realize that voting either party doesn’t guarantee any political agenda will ever be set in motion to make this country work in unison. The ideals and words from Trump, though, appear to be even more divisive than most.  After his comment about Mexicans being rapists and drug dealers, I was more than certain that the presidential plans would disintegrate… but they didn’t. What does that say about America?

You’re Fired!

Perhaps America loves drama.  Maybe that is why reality tv rules the airwaves.  Even more theoretically, it can be said that some Americans secretly agree with Trump’s rants.  Then again, it’s not a secret. People are a lot more racist and prejudiced then publicly displayed and Trump privately gives that sector of people a way to say what’s on their minds without actually having to say it themselves. Somehow, Trump has become a metaphorical Apprentice for the percentage of people who actually maintain his same ideology.  Until someone finally says those words that Trump has made so infamous.  “YOU’RE FIRED!” Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.

Q. Lewis FLIPSIDE INK LLC

Bus A Move

Violence and anger are most often the stigma of African Americans.  The sad thing though, is that we are not doing much to avoid that stigma.  In fact, we feed into the stereotype so often that it causes one to think that perhaps this is not a stigma.  Perhaps it is the definition of our community.  Sometimes I just wonder… what are we thinking?

Rosa Parks

Years after Rosa Parks stood her ground by sitting at the front of the bus, I think that our younger generation has forgotten the trials and tribulations that afforded them to ride the bus safely in the rear or the front.  I say that because here, where people boycotted to gain our Civil Rights, black people contribute to America’s stereotyping of our community. Two days ago in Detroit, a 29-year old woman fatally wounded a 50 year-old woman after an altercation that started allegedly because the 50 year-old woman bumped her with her walker.  Yes I said walker. The 29 year old suspect turned herself in after the incident. What are we thinking?

The Struggle Within

Now the details are few between at this point, but I am alarmed regardless.  The fact is that an African American woman is dead from the fatal stab wounds of another African American woman. When white police officers kill people in our black communities we are outraged.  We stand on our soapboxes and preach the gospel to anyone who will listen.  Well who is preaching that gospel to us? What society do we live in when we are fighting for justice for the innocent people who parish at the hands of roguish law enforcement but have the audacity to murder one another in the same breath? I’m dumbfounded.

The Roots of Our Problems

I’d be inclined to say that years of oppression has led to generations of black people who garner intense hatred.  But the hatred is not focused on who you would think most obvious.  Our aggression and hatred has somehow focused on ourselves.  When you are able to stab a 50 year old woman to death because of an altercation, then there is definitely some self-hatred going on there.  There has got to be some inner aggression that allows one to react in such a savage manner to an elder. The most disheartening thing is that our younger generations don’t respect elders or authority.

Respect Is Not Just an Aretha Franklin Song

Respect for ourselves, respect for our elders and respect for authority are key missing elements to the black community. How can we even confront the racial profiling and injustices of the world when we can’t contain our own internal madness?  I’m outdone to an extent that is unmeasurable. How can we take to Facebook and Twitter about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Sandra Bland but allow a woman to be killed while trying to ride the bus on Grand River in her own community? So now I don’t want to be pulled over by the police and I don’t want my mother, grandmother, auntie or sister riding the bus.  I may be shot to death for pulling out my registration and my mother may be killed trying to get a good seat on the bus. It is a hell of a battle when you have to fight the opposing team and fight your own teammates in the locker room. At some point we all have to get on the same page so we can run out of the locker room and take the field together in order to have a fighting chance against our opposition.  I’m just not sure if we will ever make it out of the locker room.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.

Q. Lewis FLIPSIDE INK LLC

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

 

 

Live video footage of  Vester Flanagan murdering two people during a live news report flooded the airwaves yesterday. At first glance, I thought that this was some prank put on Facebook to gain followers. To my horror, this was no hoax. It had really happened. And to make matters worse, it happened on live television.

The Story

Reportedly, Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams when he was an on-air personality at the same station, had been fired two years prior to the event that left two journalists dead. According to a 23-page fax sent to the media and several posts from Facebook and Twitter, Flanagan claimed to have been a victim of discrimination, both because of his race and sexual preference. Also in the fax, Flanagan says he was moved to commit the act due to the church shooting that happened in South Carolina a couple months ago. In essence, the shooter appeared to be filled with anger due to reasons he expressed in the fax as being motivated by racial and sexual discrimination.

The Real

The truth of the matter is that three people are dead. One person in critical condition. With that in mind, we are 1000 steps back from where we need to be in an ongoing struggle to overcome racial adversity. It is a terrible disaster that two individuals had to lose their lives so unnecessarily. At this point, I am not even sure if the allegations of the gunman, who reportedly died from a self-inflicted wound, have any validity. In the even that what he alleged is true, it still does not warrant the senseless act of violence that thousands were forced to watch live on the air. At no point will I ever condone something so reprehensible, even in lieu of our constant struggle with being black in America.

The Aftermath

What now? Definitely, this is the question of everyone who witnessed this madness. The loss of lives and the degradation of a cause that we have been fighting for many years is pretty much what transpired. Are we in a world now where the presence of live television cameras will not deter a gunman from opening fire and killing people? Are we in a world where people are so oppressed by discrimination that violence is the only defense mechanism? I am saddened because this act of violence gives police and everyone else more of a reason to overreact to our black community and claim fear as their motivation to keep killing us with no regard. Mr. Flanagan, you have done nothing for our struggle. You set out with a cause

Q. Lewis - FLIPSIDE INK LLC

so personal and vindictive that it is utterly disgusting. There is no solace in your Facebook and Twitter posts or the 23 page fax outlining how anger built up inside and finally you had been forced to explode. I am not buying it. The strength of our community, the strength of our cause, the strength of our struggle will never be defined by cowardice acts such as this. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE!

FLIPSIDE : Peeking From Beneath The Rubble – A Letter To Furguson

Dear Ferguson,

I, too, know how it feels to be downtrodden by what appears to be blatant racism.  Although in my city we as African Americans make up nearly 83% of the city’s population, there is still a blanket of divisiveness in the depths of our infrastructure that often calculates into subsequent oppression.  Because of this…I understand. I side with my people who search high and low for justice and closure during this time as the laws that had so often shackled our minds, captured our feet and stolen our freedom are debated back and forth in the court room before developing into an answer for the death of Michael Brown. I hear your pain. I feel your voice that resonates in my mind and heart like the cries of our many ancestors who lost their struggle to escape the chains of oppression.  With all of these emotions swirling around in the abyss of my soul I ask only one thing.  If the verdict does not exemplify what the Ferguson community would identify as justice for the deceased…please do not resort to violence and hostility.

Just ask anyone from my city of Detroit what happens when we ruin our own city in an angered rage against the machine.  In 1967, riots spawned in the streets of Detroit in response to  racial tension stemming from an ongoing disconnect with the black community and the mostly white police department. Structures in my city still hang on by a thread.  The same thread they were hanging on some 47 years ago after rioters tore down the city looting and burning down the community in which they lived. We have yet to heal physically, structurally or economically since our disenfranchised people acted on their dismay and took to the streets to purge the boiling blood that had lay dormant in their veins for so many years leading up to the riots. As I peek beneath the the rubble of the ruins of Detroit, I look over toward Ferguson and plead that you learn from our missteps and if the verdict does not satisfy our expectations I am hopeful that our brothers and sisters in Ferguson take action in a manner that does not cripple their city for generations as we did. No matter the verdict or outcome Ferguson a nation of supporters have your back, starting on the front lines of Detroit.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.

Sincerley,

Detroit

FLIPSIDE : Church Declines To Bury Gay Man

A “Man of God” is what Pastor T.W. Jenkins calls himself.  Unfortunately, maybe in my own naivety, I find it rather peculiar that the pastor can refer to himself  as such.  Perhaps it is in my pure ignorance that I would believe that even though the deceased had lived a life of sin, that he too, despite his lifestyle, deserves the dignity of being laid to rest.

The pastor informed the mother of the deceased only a day prior to the sceduled service.  The pastor contends that during the wake, it was brought to his attention that the deceased man had been married to another man and he concluded that holding a service for an individual of such caliber would be “blasphemy.” Blasphemy?  So indeed, my ignorance strikes again, because for some strange reason, I thought as a “Man of God,” that a situation such as this would be inviting.  I say this because it is obvious that he condemns the lifestyle, so why not treat the funeral as an opportunity to spread the gospel to those wayward souls.  I mean he did say he was a “Man of God,” right?

Luckily, the family was able to find a new place to hold the funeral services where a soul could be properly laid to rest. The complaining congregants from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church have earned their rightful place in God’s good graces I suppose, by standing for their principles and denying the soul of one of God’s children to be laid to rest.  I’m not certain exactly how that works though, because if Pastors and churches stopped burying sinners, we better all dig our own plots in the backyard and hope someone is kind enough to roll us over in it when we take our last breath.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE!

 

FLIPSIDE : AGGRSSIVE ON AND OFF THE FIELD

Of course watching the video of Janay Palmer looking almost lifeless as she lay unconscious on a hotel floor brings you to the conclusion that only a savage would do this to his fiance. A savage that plays football on Sunday and sometimes Thursday and Monday.  A savage that has accolades and rushing yards up the wazoo.  All rushing yards and first downs aside, Ray Rice eventually went on to marry the woman who is obviously the victim in the video footage. Palmer even dropped charges on her fiance turned husband.  Although Rice got some charges, the main eye was on what the NFL would do to the Baltimore Ravens leading rusher.

Now Steven A. Smith spent all morning dishing jabs that some would consider offensive, while others were feeling as though the NFL’s two game suspension seemed to be a slap on the wrist. To be honest with you though, I didn’t even come here to talk about Rice. I came to talk about the dynamics between a man and a woman as a whole.

The question is to what extint does a man have to be pushed before instances of domestic violence occur? Is it ever a feasable response to strike or physically abuse a woman.  Of course not!  For some strange reason though, the fact that a violent attack occured seems to be far less important to people than rather the punishment was severe enough. The laws are the laws and sometimes criminal activity goes unchecked and even though we don’t agree with these penalties, I think we still need to look at the orgin of the issue.  The orgin of the issue is that somewhere in society there is a realm of humanity that believes there is justification for domestic abuse.  Now don’t get me wrong, ladies you too can be abusive.  At this point we’re not pointing any fingers or placing blame, but honestly my curiousity far extends the reach of why there wasn’t a stiffer punishment.  My brain can’t wrap itself around the underlying issue.

This underlying issue is that Palmer, like countless other women, withdraw charges and move forward in relationships that have proven to be physically threatening.  Most women who press charges initially, end up dropping charges or withdrawing their statements.  Is it because they feel responsible?  Or maybe society has made domestic violence a petty issue that doesn’t warrant the dignity of a woman, or man for that matter, to step away from a potentially damaging relationship?

Quite frankly, I’m not certain what the answer is, but it’s increasingly evident that so many charges against abusive partners are eventually dropped because either the victims feel as though they brought it on themselves or that it is somehow becoming the standard in relationships. So with that, Rice gets a two game suspension and a small fine.  Perhaps thats the equivalent of laying unconscious on a hotel floor.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.

FLIPSIDE : Abusing Their Authority

 

Violent crimes are up everywhere.  Some crimes are so heinous that it barely seems like reality when you hear what happend.  For that reason, I understand the apprehension of law enforcers.  But should I be so understanding?

There’s a very fine and fickle line separating the actions of police officers that are warranted and those that warrant outrage. Such is the case in Staten Island where Eric Garner died while being taken into custody by officers.  Perhaps the officers felt threatened. Maybe all four of them were threatened by Garner, who was large in stature, but  surely not large enough to handle all four officers at one time.You know what though?  Let’s just say for argument’s sake that he could have taken all four officers.  I think it was apparent that he was taken down by only one officer who broke him down into a choke hold reminiscent of classic WWF wrestlers. What the officers might, at that time refer to as resisting arrest, was undoubtedly a struggle to breathe.  After several pleas from Garner, the officer never let up.  Finally, Garner’s bod lay lifeless on the ground. How do you justify this?

Of course the color of the victim and the color of the officer stirs up already existing distatse on the tongues of many blacks who have been, or even percieved to have been the subject of such overzealous brutality.  Yes, I said brutality.   Now the divide between the black community and law enforcement grows even larger.  Our community doesn’t trust law enforcement and law enforcement doesn’t trust our community.  We have a toxic relationship.  In the end we both leave hurt.  How can we patch things up before things get even worse? Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.

 

FLIPSIDE : The State Of Our Community

Far too often we hear news of murders, car jackings, and crimes that would make most CSI viewers cringe in disbelief.  Such has become the norm in our community.  The black community.  Unfortunately, our community has seemed to lose its sight of what originally was the foundation of our entire movement.  That foundation was and still needs to be unity.

Be it from years of captivity or adverse oppression, our black community has morphed into a unit that was once strong enough to march on Washington into what appears to be Wrestlemania.  What I mean by that is that it looks like a free-for-all with everyone out for themselves.  Could it be due to our years of oppression that we seem to care less about others, but only about ourselves as individuals?  Could it be that society has weilded its nightstick upon our skulls so repetively that our common sense has been spilled into the streets like the blood of Malice Green after being murdered by over zealous cops?  By all means, it can be both of those and countless other reasons, or as I like to call them…excuses.

Unfortunately, there are no excuses for murdering a child in cold blood as retaliation.  Nor is there an excuse to murder and burn the bodies of young women in trunks of cars.  When do we stop making excuses and start making examples.  The truth of the matter is that our family, our community has become so riddled with violence, drugs and often poverty, that not only the structure of family is lost but so is the phylosophy of life and living well that brought us through the Civil Rights Movement.

We look around the world and CNN suggests that there is so much unrest around the world that it almost becomes unbearable.  I have to admit that there are some terrible things going on ranging from young girls being kidnapped and commercial airlines being shot down by missles, but it’s always scarier when it’s close to home.  I sympathize whole-heartedly for the family and friends of victims of that Malaysian Airline crash, but can’t help to feel even more distraught about the vile demon here in Michigan who felt he needed to take the life of an innocent child for the disdain that he had for the young girl’s father.  Absolutely absurd and heart-breaking. The real question though, is where do we go from here? Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE!

FLIPSIDE : New Slogan For E-Block Radio Show Leads To Tee-Shirt Design

www.eblockradio.com

 

Pardon My Eastside™  is the new slogan for the hottest cloud radio show on the planet, Straight From The E-Block Radio! The idea behind the slogan depicts the honesty, straight forwardness and culture conscious dialogue we at www.eblockradio.com broadcast every Tuesday night at 8pm! Created by Jamel Lett, a member of the E-Block Radio creative consultant team, the trademarked slogan is in the process of being translated into a tee-shirt designs and soon be available for purchase by our over 87,000 listeners!  To keep up with the progress of the availability of the new tee-shirts visit www.e-blockradio.com every week to track the progress and listen in on the LIVEST cloud radio show on the planet, STRAIGHT FROM THE E-BLOCK RADIO!

Ni@@as In Paris And Apparently In America Too

I was sitting on the couch last week enjoying my day off from the plantation and watching the mind numbing nonsense that we choose to call daytime television.  And it is then when I first caught wind of the Paula Deen infamous admission to using the N-word.  I was watching TMZ when I saw this and even though I was barely paying attention I heard enough of the segment to engage in its message. So reportedly, Deen had admitted to using the N-word and when asked if she would use it again she could not say for certain that she would not which leaves the wandering mind to believe that of course she would.

Suddenly Facebook and Twitter was overcome by ramblings of disgust.  Black people who have never heard of Paula Deen, or even watched the Food Network for that matter, declared that they could not support any longer a racist like Deen.  The Food Network reacted just as I would imagine, by stripping Dean of her show and her sponsors would follow suit soon after.  While the Deen scandal -I guess we’ll call it that – was unfolding, another story developed.  This time the story was that Deen had suggested that her employees dress like “slaves” during a wedding.  These allegations and Deen’s subsequent admission to such suggestions put her under even deeper scrutiny.  Suddenly media outlets  everywhere were teeming to the brim with headlines about Deen.  Do I think Deen is racist?  Possibly.  Do I think she was, in Wendy Williams’ words “stupid”? Certainly. Her actions have cost her a fortune and it will be hard to bounce back from the loss she’s taking now.  Unfortunately, while Deen was calling us the N-word, apparently so was the Supreme Courts.

Call it coincidence, but while our heads were turned toward the Deen debacle, the Supreme Court was actively de-bundling core aspects of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This change is going to allow states to change election laws individually without approval from Federal government.  So what does that mean to you? This means that theoretically if Texas decides that in order to vote, you must have a valid driver’s license AND a passport then it can become a voting requirement even without the approval of the Federal government.  And let’s face it, that’s going to put a lot of people outside the voting polls because they don’t fulfill the criteria.

The states affected by this change are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.  There are other counties throughout the US affected as well including Brooklyn and  Manhattan according to the New York Times. So yes, we can raise a ruckus over Paula Deen.  We can be outdone by her supposedly comedic suggestion of her employees dressing like “slaves.”  But, don’t let the antics of a Food Network personality take your attention away from who is trying to make u a slave.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.