catherine jones

a letters an Afrikan american who has been public enemy number one, in this republic of amerikkka, without ever given the benefit of the doubt—–it often frustrates me when I hear crimes being committed by white people and yet see no national outcry and lionization from respectable citizens following up on it. Also, it grinds my gears when I see no slander or pontification of criminality with white perpetrators—-via television, newspaper, history books, commentaries, politicking, and much more.

Just like a sophisticated painting, resting nonchalantly on the wall, with on-lookers captivated by it’s awe and wonder, who also assures you—-the illiterate consumer of art—that what they are staring at is simple and obvious, is how I often feel when having to explain to white on-lookers when another black life, such as 18-year-old Michael Brown, was stolen by the upholders of white supremacy—the simple and obvious misrepresentation of blackness and criminality.

For the sake of time and to explain this further, I am going to focus on one event. which is, very recently, the case of a homeless man set ablaze by three white men with shaved heads. On Saturday night, three white men crept up to 58-year-old homeless man, John Frazier—-who typically spends his time sitting on a bench at Ventura, California beach, not bothering anyone—and poured lighter fluid all over his sleeping bag and set him on fire. Then fled the crime scene, leaving the 58-year-old suffering second and third degree burns all over his body, and according to reports, he’s in critical but stable condition at a near by hospital.

Since when is it okay, and almost status qou, to hurt the most vulnerable members of our society without punishment? At first glance, the action that should follow after the latter seems obvious—capture the perpetrators and arrest them, and possibly put them in front of a firing squad and move on—-oh, I’m sorry, are we not doing that anymore? Furthermore, in order to create an awareness, and have a man-haunt for the perpetrators, you need to have national outcry, to deplore such cowardice activities against the most vulnerable. However, the national outcry’s has been more like national shoulder shrugs. But why is that?

The latter is simple and obvious to people of color, which is, this system—-oppressive and marginalizing—is ill-legitimate when it comes to holding it’s dominate and privileged members accountable, for crimes committed against the lesser privileged members of society. Sadly, Afrikan americans and other people of color are not so lucky, especially children and young adults. Exhibit A—–13-year-old Catherine Jones and her 12-year-old brother Curtis Jones were sexually abused by a family member. In 1999 the two plotted to kill their abuser. 12-year-old Curtis Jones shot their abuser with their father’s gun, then the kids panicked, tried to cover up the killing, and ran off.

The latter was a tragic accident that should have been handled by mental health professionals, not a criminal court. Instead of being treated as victims of sexual abuse, Florida prosecutors charged the children with first degree murder. The two became the youngest children in U.S. history to be charged as adults. The children ended up pleading guilty to second degree murder and were sentenced to 18 years in prison and probation for life to avoid a life sentence.

Sadly, Catherine Jones and her brother Curtis Jones are not alone. Currently, there are over 2,500 children serving life without parole for crimes committed while under the age of 18 in the U.S. and 60 percent of those are black. The reality is, when it came to 13-year-old Catherine Jones and her 12-year-old brother Curtis Jones, the national outcry and lionization was simple and obvious—-arrest them, charge them as adults and sentence them to life in prison. But when it came to the three men who set 58-year-old John Frazier, ablaze, the national outcry was not so simple and obvious. Perhaps, was it because  they were white and male’d—the most dominated and privileged members of this american society?


Lamia beard

the letter L amia Beard, a 30-year-old transgender women was found suffering from a gun shot wound in Norfolk, Virginia, Saturday morning.  According to reports, she was later taken to Norfolk General Hospital where she later died of her injuries.

Lamia Beard may be the first transgender women murdered in 2015, according to National Coalition of Anti- Violence Programs(NCAVP). Insofar, Lamia death signifies the continuation of the national trend of transphobic violence, aimed, especially towards transgender women of color. However, public information officer, Daniel Hudson of the Norfolk police department, is quick to dismiss any transphoic transgressions, instead, maintains, that his department  has no lead on Beards murder and is asking anyone with information to call 1-888-lock-u-up.

Now, that Lamia is dead and cannot represent herself, many media outlets, such as Channel 3 news, The Virginia Pilot, and even the police department of Norfolk, are misgendering her as a man. The latter is ingenious and unfair to Lamia, especially when the Norfolk police department were aware that Lamia identified as a transgender women. Media outlets and their mouthpieces does not cover such cases separately—-they gather their information from the police department, whom in this case, were aware that Lamia identified herself as a transgender women—so, doesn’t it laments that both entities has a responsibility to honor the victim?

Lourdes Ashley Hunter, executive Director of the Trans Women of Color Collective, said, ” The media obligation is not to police but to report accurate news.” she continues, “if a person identifies as transgender, you would report that. Its important that media accurately report the lives of trans people because, a lot of times, it’s where the discrediting happens. The police can say whatever they want, if the media does not print accurately, then the narrative has been shifted.”

“The number of trans women who dies as a result of hate crimes is likely much higher than reported,” said Osman Ahmed, NCAVP’s Education and Research Coordinator. Also, he adds, ” One initial challenge of identifying transgender victims comes from law enforcement who do not properly record the person’s true gender.” As a police officer, failing to properly record someones’ gender could mean many things; personal bias, mental health, institutional favoritism, etc, however, the truth is, trans women of color have historically had problematic, and even violent relationships with law enforcement agencies around the country. Thus, when Lamia Beard was in line to be represented by law enforcement, it was no surprise that their reports labeled her as a man as opposed to who she really was.

Let’s not forget, that not only was Lamia Beard transgender, she was also African American, and since she is the first known transgender women killed this year reveals how prevalent transphobic violence is, and how it disproportionately affect  trans women of color. Last Year, at least 12 transgender women of color were murdered in what were all possible acts of transphobic violence. Many of those murders have gone unsolved. According to NCAVP’s most recent reports on LGBTQ violence reveals that 72 percent of anti-LGBTQ violence was directed against transgender women, and 67 percent of whom were women of color.

The fist and what It means to me

black lady with fist,me

letter T sonhe Fist and what it means to me is simple and straightforward. It means the end of self-hatred and the beginning of solidarity. This country has always taught us to hate each other, even our own mothers. This strange land, which some of us call home—-lacking the love and passion that forms the pathology of home—is where our ancestors, and now, the contemporary generation, learned to dislike our beauty, traditions, language, and values.

Why is this important to note? its important to note because a lot of children of color, believe that the enemy is their friend. and the reality is far from it. From, the dumping of slaves over-bored during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, to the yesteryear slaying of 18 year Michael Brown—-this ant-black society has always demonstrated the lax concern of affinity with Afrikan and Afrikan-amerikkka’ns alike. Yet, that belief of the oppressor is your friend, exist—so the question is how do you start to scrap generations of induced hatred and self-delusion off the minds of those with that above mentality? One of the ways, more powerful then any gun of the enemy is, the Fist. For, psychologically, it decolonizes the mind—giving you the key that your ancestors could not find in the sweltering heat of oppression, to unlock the chains that were once invisible, but now are visible.

Liberation starts from the mind. And what better way to free the mind then putting your fist up in the air? the answer is that there is none. The fist symbolizes, especially to my young generation, that the time is now. Also, the fist acts a knob to the door of endless possibilities. By putting your fist in the air, you have opened that door—for unity, love, trust, and kinship to flourish. My brothers and sisters, caught up in the frontlines of the enemy’s tanks and advanced weaponry—do not loose hope, for you are not alone. There are hundreds and even thousands of people behind you marching on with their fist in the air, to join you. The trumpet has been blown, and its time for all in this struggle for liberation, to answer the call of duty.