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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Breaking News: Confederate flag at Ebenezer Baptist Church and King Center

Two white males placed Confederate flags at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the home church of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in downtown Atlanta.

Running from danger is flight, not fight response

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Did Sandra Bland kill herself with a trash bag?
When it comes to survival, what are your chances of staying alive during a police encounter - running from danger or standing your ground?
Unfortunately, we have recent examples that lead us to believe if you get bad cops or pseudo law enforcement with power issues taking control of a situation, you can wind up dead, no matter if you run or stand firm.

I guess it depends on the circumstances, karma, or fate...or maybe on race or perceived danger.

Strong-willed Sandra Bland did not run when stopped by an officer who appeared smaller in stature and charged her with assault. Maybe she wasn't afraid and didn't set off on foot which saved her life, but she was later found hanging from a trash bag in her holding cell.

Sandra Bland was suppose to start a new job two days after her death at her Alma Mater, Prairie View A&M University, an HBCU. President George Wright communicated his thoughts on the increase in brutality against African Americans. "I spoke at the Memorial service, along with her Mother, here on campus, and I also spoke at her funeral last Saturday.  The University is very concerned about this tragedy from a number of different perspectives," was his response.

Is it better to fight or flee if you meet up with police?
Three black men who are now dead ran or tried to drive away from police when an altercation seemed apparent. Michael Brown, Walter Scott, and Sam DuBose. Another two that I knew through their families tried to run  - Nicholas Thomas in Smyrna, Ga. and Calvon Reid, killed in Florida.

Walter Scott ran in North Charleston, S.C. and was shot in the back. The officer who killed him filed a misleading report and would have gotten away with murder if not for a citizen courageously turning in a video of the incident. The trial is still pending.

Freddie Gray in Baltimore ran at first, but was caught and thrown into a police wagon. After a rough ride, he was unconscious and had a significant spinal column break which contributed to his paralysis and death.

What has refocused our attention on our security problems probably started with Trayvon Martin, an unarmed young black man who was killed in Florida by a neighborhood watchman who was training to be a policeman. Trayvon ran at first, then allegedly fought Mark Zimmerman who killed him with a gun.

There are hundreds and perhaps thousands of U.S. citizens that have been killed by police or pseudo police that have not been reported, but now that we have more dash cams, body cams and cell phone videos, we have proof that we have a problem with lethal force being used for non-violent offenses and minor traffic or registration violations.

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Should you invest in good running shoes to make a clean getaway from danger? You can't outrun a bullet!
Sam DuBose tried to get away from a university cop in his vehicle, but his face was blown off as he tried to turn on his car. He was trying to flee from what he perceived a major threat - a white policeman with a gun. Nicholas Thomas tried to drive away from police who were chasing him with German police dogs. He was shot through the back. Calvon Reid tried to get away from four officers who tasered him to death, and was reported by witnesses to have said, "Baby, they're trying to kill me."

Those who run are using defense mechanisms.
"True fight or flight responses are physiological, involuntary, hormonal responses to danger, as in a person taking away his hand from a hot flame," said Dr. Michael Wilson, a practicing podiatrist who said he would not considered flight a proper response when dealing with law enforcement.

But even sheep use defense mechanism when they perceive danger. Citizens ARE afraid of the police who carry guns and are trained to kill. Even sheep move toward those they trust and away from perceived enemies. According to the Illinois Extension Service, "Just like humans, sheep like to maintain a distance, or safe zone, between themselves and others. Flight distance is defined as the space between themselves and others the sheep will tolerate before moving." (http://livestocktrail.illinois.edu/sheepnet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=1)

Trained police should know this and not try to escalate an arrest situation by trying to grab an alleged law breaker closer or pull them from or into vehicles.

Move forward when danger presents itself.
In the case of the shooting death of Tamar Rice in Cleveland, the police were not fearful because they drove right up to the boy and fired a deathblow in two seconds. In some martial arts classes, students are instructed to move forward, not away from danger. Students are trained to defend when being attacked and deal with the consequences later.

What would you do, run or stand your ground when confronted by danger?

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We've seen too many people funeralized after being shot when they couldn't run. (From C. Pinckney funeral)

Monday, July 20, 2015

2015: Civil War, KKK, and Civil Rights in focus

Epoch Producing Co. theatrical poster, public domain
This year marks an anniversary of terror and hope.

In 2015, Confederate sympathizers mark decades of hate, terror, and white supremacy philosophy with new attempts to rally believers.

One hundred and fifty years ago signaled the end of 620,000 soldiers losing their lives on US soil in the American Civil War which was fought over the issue of slavery. Immediately after the fighting ended, the Ku Klux Klan organized violent attacks against blacks, but the organization did not become a multi-million-member organization until 100 years later with the release of the movie "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915.

Another watershed moment occurred this year when nine-members of a Charleston, S.C. bible study group were killed by a Confederate/KKK sympathizer, Dylann Roof.

President Obama delivered eulogy at Pinckney funeral where AME church leaders and mourners gathered.

2015 also marks great strides in Civil Rights with the passage of legislation signed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. A speech that LBJ gave 50 years ago at Howard University speaks to our marching orders to fulfill our mission of justice for every U.S. citizen.  

Watch this monumental speech "To Fulfill These Rights" at: https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=youtube+lbj+speech+at+howard+university+1965&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

End racism, promote justice: http://www.gofundme.com/yp7gn4 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NYPD pays Eric Garner estate $5.9M but not liable for his death

Cropped original Uploaded by Theo's Little Bot. (WP:NFCC#4)
In my opinion...

After reading that Eric Garner's family and the NYPD reached a multi-million dollar settlement, I was at first happy, then I got to really thinking about this thing...

OK. You have your group of powerful men with badges and guns grab another unarmed man and stop his breathing. It's caught on video tape. World citizens protest. Lawyers reach a deal with the man's family to pay for the homicide, but you don't claim responsibility.

Is this justice?

Philosophically, I say no. Although it's better than nothing, giving someone millions for a loved one's life without taking full responsibility is not justice. But in the halls of systemic legal racism, this is what we are thrown to accept. Taxpayers who were not on the sidewalk that day are bearing the burden, not the perpetrators. The only mutually agreed upon decision in this case revolves around lawyers settling out of court for money which could never compensate for a father/grandfather/husband/son being lost.

Although NYC mayor Bill de Blasio apologized and made some policy changes, I didn't hear a heartfelt "I'm sorry" coming from Officer Daniel Pantaleo who used an illegal chokehold on Garner or the other officers and emergency technicians on the scene.

Again, the world is crying out for justice and for an end to senseless murder. A more just punishment is called for. Just like in the confessional, admitting guilt must be required to save souls. That is only proper and right! In this case, reparation has been given but rehabilitation to reform the perpetrator's behavior has not. That's the real reason why Garner's name has been added to a list containing the names of Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, and Ramarley Graham. Those who may try this kind of treatment on someone else have not been deterred.

"Father, I have sinned," must be the next line is this tragedy, and we should ask for nothing less. A penance must be dealt. God is not mocked, and neither should man be thrown a bone when he deserves a five course meal.

End racism, promote justice: http://www.gofundme.com/yp7gn4 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wise words for today...

Women at funeral of Rev. Pinckney, Charleston, S.C. (Screen shot from TV coverage, MSNBC)
"There is a sobbing of the strong,
     And a pall upon the land;
But the people in their weeping
     Bare the iron hand;
Beware the people weeping
     When they bare the iron hand."
.... Herman Melville upon the death of President Abraham Lincoln

Friday, July 10, 2015

FBI complicit in Roof's gun aggression?

Federal Bureau of Investigation

This morning I just posted a web link for readers to view featuring the "FBI's War on Black America."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDbVIDJnPzA
In this video, former Black Panthers suggested that  FBI agents infiltrated the KKK in the 1960's and could have been responsible for a church bombing in Birmingham, Viola Liuzzo's killing, and Malcolm's and MLK's assassinations. Agents either knew what was about to take place or were involved in the actual murders. The FBI director at the time was J. Edgar Hoover.

Know your history, for it can repeat. The present FBI director is James Comey. Now the FBI is saying that Accused Mass Murder Dylann Roof should not have been able to buy a handgun which ended up killing nine people in a church bible study in Charleston, S.C. They say that Roof's gun application approval fell through the cracks because he had been arrested on a drug charge and should not have been allowed to purchase a gun.

BTW, I contacted the FBI about a Confederate flag in a person's yard off Turner (Diaries) Road in Marietta, and they never returned my email.

Stephen.Fischer@ic.fbi.gov and CMichael.Riley@ic.fbi.gov 

I guess they are too business searching for terrorists!

Symbolic racism falls, systemic racism next!

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The ceremony is over. The Confederate flag in S.C. has been lowered. I've gotten over being afraid of this symbol. Now we must go from symbolism to real change.

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Onward and Upward!

Discrediting political movements: how non-transparency by police hurts justice-seeking

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Perhaps many activists would not have gotten involved in the Nicholas Thomas case if the police had released the video the week Thomas was killed. (Photo at vigil in Smyrna, Ga.)
Thinking update: I don't see anything in the surveillance video released to the grand jury that would justify the police use of deadly force on Nicholas Thomas. I probably would have tried to escape, too, if pursued by police dogs the way Thomas was.

Are you aware that political movements can be undermined by leaking and/or withholding information from the public?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDbVIDJnPzA
AND
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_pYc4j18h4
AND
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=68&v=ah_cR_uP40Y

"You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train"
...title of film about Howard Zinn by Denis Mueller and Deb Ellis
 
This morning I woke to see a 7 a.m. news report that left me asking questions on why police took months to release the video of the killing death of Nicholas Thomas:

1. Why didn't police release Nicholas Thomas video the week of his death, and what effect would the release have made on the JusticeForNicholas Movement?

2. Did the video show Thomas driving at police, and if so, was the policeman justified in shooting Thomas in the back after he drove past him?

3. Why didn't Thomas' family help him pay his $175 fine before the arrest was undertaken?

4. Why were so many civil rights leaders and those wanting justice drawn into this debate before video evidence was presented to the public?

5. Why did Nicholas Thomas run from police?

6. Why did I feel compelled to report on the JusticeForNicholas Movement?

7. With the release of the video, will the policeman be vindicated and the Movement look foolish?

8. What will happen the next time a black man is killed by the police?

9. Were movement leaders/spokesmen really seeking answers or just out to make a name for themselves?

10. Does non-transparency lead to chaos and mistrust, and is this tactic used to discredit seekers of truth?

We need to have this discussion so the next justice movement won't be sidetracked by emotion.

'Enuf said! http://www.gofundme.com/yp7gn4

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Good news, bad news...

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License plate on truck in my subdivision
Good news:
South Carolina has voted to remove the Confederate Flag from state property tomorrow. The flag represents slavery and racism to some and Southern heritage and pride to others.

Bad news:
The flag can still be displayed on private property across the United States.
The Confederate flag or its likeness is still a symbol on Mississippi, Georgia, and Texas flags.

End racism, promote justice: http://www.gofundme.com/yp7gn4.

Bill Cosby: a lesson in what not to do...

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It seems that it's raining on Bill Cosby's image, and what he's accused of ain't funny!

Thinking update : Bill Cosby is innocent until proven guilty.

Rule No 1: Don't rape women! Rule No 2: Don't lie about it afterwards. Rule No 3: Don't excuse those who rape women and lie about it.

I had the opportunity to hear Bill Cosby speak at Douglass High School in Atlanta in 2004 and wrote an article which told of his blaming parents for "bad" kids. http://www.wingcomltd.com/Articles/b_cosbyfinal.htm

There was something about Cosby that I did not like then. Maybe he is one of many who have done awful things and gotten away with it. Even made fun of it... But just like Black on Black crime, bad actions should not be condoned. 

Something's wrong with this picture, and it must be discussed. No one should be mistreated, and justice must be served! What do you think should be his punishment for drugging women to have sex which he admitted to doing but claimed later he did not? What is the psychology behind this "funny" man's actions? Let's truly get ourselves together!

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I have this book in my personal library of black memorabilia, but I don't remember reading this story to my children. It features black kids having fun playing in trash.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Breaking news...Community organizing against Clayton County, Ga. police

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There will be an organizing meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Davis Bozeman Law Firm, 4153 Flat Shoals Parkway, Building C, in Decatur, Ga. to discuss police brutality inflicted upon Dhourba Bin Wahad. A Clayton County grand jury will decide whether or not to indict two police officers who slammed Wahad, a veteran activist and former Black Panther party leader, head first into the cement of his own home. Wahad is 70 years old.


To learn more about Wahad and the incident, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bq96VW9QaA&sns=em.

Nicholas Thomas shot in back by police, according to autopsy

On March 24, 2015, Nicholas Thomas was shot and killed by police serving a warrant for a $175 traffic violation.
A Press Conference will be held on Wednesday, July 8th, 10 a.m. in front of the Cobb District Attorney’s Building/Cobb Superior Court,  70 Haynes St, Marietta, Ga. The following was released by a group spokesman, Rich Pellegrino:

July 8, 2015, Marietta, Ga... Police said officers feared for their lives when Nicholas Thomas jumped into a white Maserati, and drove straight at them. The autopsy showed Nicholas Thomas was shot in the back, facing away from police officers.  This is not the first lie.

After being confronted about the Cone of Silence by law enforcement, on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 43 days after the murder, Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said, “I see the posture needed from this office is leadership and transparency.” Today is more than 90 days since the murder yet there is still no transparency, and the leadership is obviously stonewalling.

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Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds
Despite numerous requests for release of the video surveillance footage showing events surrounding the shooting, the District Attorney continues to refuse to release any of the tapes.

Nicholas Thomas’ murder is, in some ways, similar to other nationally reported events:
  • Anthony Hill, Chamblee, GA
  • Ariston Waiters, Union City, GA
  • Zikarious Flint, Columbus, GA
  • Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO
  • Tamar Rice, Cleveland, OH
  • Eric Garner, Staten Island, NY
  • Freddie Gray, Baltimore, MD
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    Sign at Nicholas Thomas vigil in Smyrna, Ga.



    In other ways, the Thomas murder is decidedly different:

  • The other police killings were random and unplanned acts of violence.
    The paramilitary action resulting in the fatal shooting of Nick Thomas
    by Smyrna Police Officer Kenneth Owens, was scheduled and completely within the control of law enforcement.

The investigations in the other incidents were performed either by an independent grand jury, or were immediate and public.  Cobb has created a unique Cone of Silence.

What we know is Nicholas Thomas was a mechanic. He was working on the Maserati. Police observed him prior to descending upon his place of work. Police Sergeant Owens, who has returned to work at Smyrna Police Department, shot Nicholas Thomas in the back as he faced away from police officers. Cobb District Attorney Reynolds has steadfastly refused to release information. 

The deployment of an armed, unauthorized squad with no leader, and composed of officers from two independent law enforcement agencies to the site of a business full of employees and unsuspecting customers to serve a misdemeanor warrant was a reckless endangerment of the public at a minimum. Apparently there was not even a thought of EMS support.


Nick Thomas was gunned downed after law enforcement executed a planned operation to serve a misdemeanor arrest warrant for the following:

  • Failure to report
  • Failure to report an address change
  • Failure to pay a $175.00 fine
  • Failure to complete community service
  • Failure to complete risk reduction


Who authorized this paramilitary operation?  When did a misdemeanor warrant justify such an excessive show of force?  How is the murder of an unarmed citizen the remedy?

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Military-style maneuvers have been seen in U.S., as in Baltimore after Freddie Gray incident.
What other remedies are available under the law to address the abandonment of responsibility for this operation by the Chairman of the Cobb County Commission, the District Attorney, and the Mayor and Police Chief of Smyrna?

There is nothing under our current body of laws that authorizes elected official to so callously ignore the danger into which an unsuspecting group of citizens was placed.  They killed an unarmed citizen.  Law enforcement has done nothing at all, post mortem, to learn from this incident or to prevent future occurrences. This “Cone of Silence” must be broken.


                                                                                  ###

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

S.C. senators who still want the Confederate flag displayed


Senators voting against Confederate flag removal yesterday:

Harvey Peeler, Jr., (R) representing Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union & York Counties (Left)
 
Danny Verdin, (R)  representing District 9 Greenville and Laurens Counties (Right)



Sen. Lee Bright, (R) representing Greenville and Spartanburg Counties


Watch video of Verdin and his views on Southern Heritage at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFeVFiBclas

Monday, July 6, 2015

End racism, promote justice...

Have you learned anything from reading this blog? Have you or someone you know been featured on this blog? If so, now's the time for you to act constructively.

Wingcom Watchdog has set up a Gofundme account so we can expand our reporting.
http://www.gofundme.com/yp7gn4


Here's what we're trying to accomplish - open communications through research and dialogue.

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This symbol scares some but makes others proud. Imagine! We cannot legislate curtains and interior designs because of Freedom of Speech, but we can change hearts and minds through actions.
I'm a blogger/photojournalist/researcher whose goal is to document attempts to end racism, spread knowledge, support universal love and peace, and eradicate inequality and injustice in hearts and minds around the world.

Recent events have made it imperative that things change for the better, and while change is happening, we're telling the story!

Support my efforts to bring you the information on what's really happening in race relations in America...

Speaking truth to the powerful on behalf of the powerless, my blog expands philanthropic attempts to make positive change for the less fortunate.

Wingcom Watchdog has been operating on a shoestring for three years, and now is the time to expand...http://wingcomwatchdog.blogspot.com/

Now read in 37 countries including the United States, Germany, France, Russia, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Canada, and Bulgaria - now's the time to take it to the next level. 

I'm reaching out to people of all racial, economic, educational backgrounds and religious persuasions.

Unity
Liberty
Advancement

Stating the truth about the downtrodden plight in the United States and enlightening consciousness around the world. 

I've been a reporter since 1974, starting with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and producing broadcasts from Appalachia;  university professor in Black Theater, consultant for summer camp counselors in  South Carolina;  loaned executive to the United Way, raising thousands of dollars for the disadvantaged and handicapped; publisher of Reality World Magazine.

Now is the time  to expand my research and continue the struggle towards human dignity for all.

Please contribute to support my efforts to bring you the most up-to-date information and photos.

Become a partner in what's happening. Don't cop out. Power to the people!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Photo of the day...

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I don't understand this. If you understand it, please explain.
PHOTO CREDIT ©2015 Kurk Johnson. All rights reserved.

After reading "The Kloran of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Realm of Mississippi," I learned that the "terrors" are dedicated to battle and the cross symbolizes sacrifice. Klan members hold to Christianity, and the bible in their ceremonies is open to Roman 12:1.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Church burnings: responses from the concerned

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"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Mark 5:16
Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, Mass., June 30...The Rev. Peter Morales issued this statement following the news of several African American churches burned last week:

“Where we choose to worship is sacred space. To violate that space is unconscionable. In less than two weeks, we have witnessed that violation again and again. First, with the horrific massacre during Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, SC, and now, with suspected arson at a number of African American churches in southern states.

As President Obama stated in his powerful eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a pastor of the Emanuel AME Church and a state representative, ‘The church is and always has been the center of African American life: a place to call our own in a too often hostile world, a sanctuary from so many hardships.’

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Church marquee in Marietta, Ga.

These acts of hatred, oppression, intimidation, and violence, are meant to shake that center of African American life. And we must harness the healing power of love to counter these acts in support and solidarity with these communities.

At the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly in Portland, OR, delegates overwhelmingly passed an Action of Immediate Witness entitled ‘Support the Black Lives Matter Movement.’ It calls our Unitarian Universalist community to ‘take initiative in collaboration with local and national organizations fighting for racial justice against the harsh racist practices many black people are exposed to.’

We must not just proclaim black lives matter. We must also engage and act with love and compassion. It is the only way to stop the hatred from spreading. We can make a difference, and we must. It is a matter of life and death. Black lives matter.”

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Church banner in Marietta, Ga.

Please post your comments on this topic.