With me being from St. Louis, and a writer for DELUX Mag, I attended the Board of Aldermen Presidential debate. It definitely got interesting and fiesty. Check out my story with DELUX below
The Board of Alderman President debate was Saturday evening at Harris Stowe University. The candidates delve into topics such as what they think the most important role of the Board of Aldermen President is, stance on city ward reductions, stance our Lambert Airport being private, stance on the current budget allocation in the city, plus questions from the people sponsors. Prior to the debate, the audience was given a booklet of responses to ten questions answered by each candidate.
When introducing themselves, each candidate had something to prove. Jamilah Nasheed is a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives and a current member of the Missouri Senate, says she wants to see results and believes that the city is going backwards. Megan Green, a former educator and current member of the Missouri Democratic Party, says she is tired of St. Louis for known as something bad; she wants to reduce the crime, fix the development system, the neighborhoods, as well as other issues. Current Aldermen President Lewis Green has been in his position for 12 years and says he has touched each sector of the community and transformed the school system back to accreditation.
When answering the first question about what each candidate believed the most important role(s) should be of the Alderman President, candidate Nasheed says the current Aldermen President is unethical and the current board of Aldermen have been broken and says President Lewis Reed did not implement new policies. Reed responded stating that he’s created youth employment, summer jobs and again brought school accreditation. Candidate Green says the President of Aldermen role is to shape the city budget by setting its priorities and approving contracts. She adds that the role is creating a legislative agenda and assigning individual Aldermen and bills to committees to make the agenda move.
Things got heated between Nasheed and Reed when … read more here
So clearly this year’s presidential election has raised some eyebrows. It is obvious that the main candidates (Clinton an Trump) aren’t the best options per se but that doesn’t give us a reason not to vote.
To the people, mainly MY people who are on social media saying they aren’t gonna vote, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS. Let’s have a little history session, shall we.
Remember learning about those times between forever ago until 1965, when African Americans didn’t have the right to vote? Granted, when blacks were suppose to have the right to vote in 1870, they had to take literacy tests and go through other obstacles that wasn’t necessary. Remember reading and hearing about Martin Luther King Jr and many other demonstrators marching for our right to vote but they were arrested, harmed by weapons and tear gas used on them by police officers, while they peacefully protested? It would be a HARD slap in the face to our ancestors and even our living grandparents, if we didn’t exercise our right to vote. We obviously didn’t have that right to vote once before so it is very important to utilize that right.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Our vote doesn’t count, the electoral college has the last vote for us.” You are absolutely right. But I did find out that some states have do go by the popular vote of that specific state and some don’t. Let’s say that the electoral college members of Missouri DOES go by the popular vote in Missouri, YOUR one vote could possibly count towards them gearing their vote to the candidate you want to win. You see people playing the lottery and the chances of winning are 1 in 13 million, yet some people still bother to play it. Just like voting, still do it! Let’s say the person who you definitely don’t want to win (TRUMP), wins and becomes president. You can’t complain about anything going wrong in the U.S because you didn’t take the time out to vote. It doesn’t cost anything to vote!
Even if you don’t want to vote for Hillary or Trump, there are three other candidates on the ballot: Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green Party), and Evan McMullin (Independent Candidate). I can’t tell you their views but I CAN tell you to PLEASE GO VOTE!
Another hate crime has occurred again, against African Americans. If you don’t know, Here’s a brief story on it. Tuesday November 1, in Greenville, Mississippi; a church by the name of Hopewell MB Church was set on fire around 10:00 at night. To add fuel to fire (literally) the words “Vote Trump” was spray painted on the side of the church. I have family in Greenville and some visited there. The 110 year old church is historic. My great great grandmother attended the church, way back when. I’m sure the people in the community are upset about how this historically black church was targeted as a hate crime.
When I first read about this story, I saw it on Facebook and a reporter named Erin Pickens in Jackson, Mississippi posted about it. In the words of one of my old classmates who commented on the article:
“What year is it ?😞” –Shelby Emerson
But really though, what year is it that people are still burning churches like it’s the 1950’s or 60’s? It wasn’t acceptable back then but it was more common, with 10 churches being set on fire between 1950-1970, that was targeted to blacks.
Just last year, a predominately black church in Charlotte, North Carolina was set on fire on June 25, 2015. A day before that fire, a church in Macon, Georgia was set on fire. Even though The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina wasn’t burned down, it was a hate crime as well, with 9 people being shot and killed by a white supremacist.
Now to switch focuses a bit, its clear that who ever did the Greenville church fire, is a Trump supporter. Even though Trump may not have organized this, it’s making his campaign look bad due to the crime being committed in his honor, so to speak. He could have organized this for more publicity. WHO KNOWS, Hillary could have organized it to make Trump look bad. Let’s face it, both candidates who are running for presidency aren’t saints, which brings me to my next blog post: Still Vote. Be on the look out for that soon.
But really…when will the hate crimes stop? Not even just against blacks, but Latinos, Hispanics, Muslims, etc. Especially doing a hate crime to a church!!! That’s a place of worship, no matter what the specific religion is.
Well this is just one of many rants. Let me know your thoughts!!
Last week has been very eventful and not in a good way. Tuesday night July 5, Alton Sterling was shot by the police in Baton Rogue outside of a local market. Less than 24 hours later Philando Castile was shot by a Minnesota police officer in his girlfriend’s car while they were being stopped for a broken tail light. After he was shot, his girlfriend immediately started broadcasting it. That’s TWO killings of black men by police officers in one week.
More recently, FIVE police officers were at a peaceful protest in Dallas, Texas Thursday July 7. The shooter—Micah X Johnson, a black man with no criminal history, who was an army reservist that spent some time in Afghanistan.. Before he was killed by a robot bomb, he said he was outraged with the killings of the black men that occurred last week.
The next day ( July 8) a police officer was killed in Ballwin, Mo; which is a small suburb community outside of St. Louis, my hometown.
Black people are fed up. Fed up with being mistreated, discriminated against, KILLED! Even with body cameras and bystanders recording the last few killings in the past 2 years, the police are still getting off the hook for these killings of black people, NOT just men but women as well.
At this point, the question is: what else can we do? We’ve protested, marched, recorded, read our rights to know what to do in these circumstances, complied with the law, been upfront and honest when asked if we have any weapons on us and STILL, we get killed. So is the answer to the question to keep fighting, protesting and recording OR fight back the police and kill them like Micah Johnson did ? I’m not saying killing the police is right but until there is equality….its going to be a war out here is the real until our voice is heard and we are treated with the same respect and rights as the next race.
WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?? Another black man being killed by a white police officer is nothing new to the WORLD.
Alton Sterling, a 37 year old man, was selling CDs outside of a local Baton Rogue market when he was approached by two white officers. The police got a call saying that Alton was outside of the market, threatening people with a gun. There is footage of the incident circulating around social media. In the video, you can see the officers tackled him to the round and one officer yelling “gun” (but there was no gun in sit from the victim” and then you hear and see the office fire 6 shots into Alton’s chest. Talk about GRAPHIC.
The store owner, who was a witness to the crime said that the police tazed Alton and pushed him on the silver car. Then they tackled him to the ground.He says that Alton didn’t reach for a gun and it was not visible when he was on the ground. The store owner says that the gun was only visible when the police officer reached in Alton’s pocket and got it out, AFTER he had been shot. He adds that, from what he saw, the police didn’t have to shoot Alton and the police could have handled it differently. All Alton was trying to do was find out why he was being arrested.
Celebrities have expressed their concerns about the incident. Cardi B from Love and Hip Hop New York went on a rant saying “If you fucking scared of a black man laying on the floor, you shouldn’t be a cop, you a coward.” Actor Jesse Williams had a series of tweets on how he felt about the incident. Even rapper The Game shared a long post on Instagram saying that we need to do more than create hashtags on social media; we need to take action!
Alton’s family spoke out about the crime of their loved one and you can see his 15 year-old son breaking down on television. It was heartbreaking to see him cry and even sadder to see the mother of his son try to hold back her tears while talking about the crime.
In my opinion, this is getting ridiculous. By “this” I mean the killing of our black people by police officer AND by other black men. It seems that since black people are killing black people, the police see that it’s okay to kill them/us as well. These killings have spiraled out of control and now that there is footage supporting the injustice, justice is still not being served. When will it stop? Will it ever stop?
I know it’s been a while since I’ve wrote on this story but there has been some new information about this case.
On Wednesday January 6, 2016, The Texas Trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, Trooper Encinia, was indicted on a perjury charge. Perjury meaning, telling something that isn’t truth, in a court under oath. So pretty much, he lied and he is suppose to be a with a Class A Misdemeanor. With that charge, he may only be subject to spend one year in jail and have a $4,000 fine. With that small of a penalty, I don’t think he will spend that time in jail. With everything that is going on in the world, justice will never fully be served for black people.
But anyhow, just giving y’all an update. Feel free to leave ya comments below!
UPDATE AS OF JULY 28, 2015
The Waller County Police Department has released video footage of Sandra Bland at police station. They released the video to clear up a few rumors and set some things straight.
The video showed Sandra coming in to get book, then eventually changing into the jail uniform. It also shows her taking her mug shot photo, as well as going into the cell.
Even though some of the rumors are some what cleared, social media still has their doubts. ME, I say the proof is in the pudding. YES it shows she was alive in her photo and YES it shows she wasn’t on the ground. But it does not show her actually in the cell, from the different camera angles. I think a few more things need to be cleared up like:
Why was she arrested for a traffic ticket?
Why was the officer acting aggressive with her? Did he consider her a threat, and if so..why?
Was she targeted for the reason being, she spoke out about police brutality?
I feel that a few rumors are cleared up but there are still some things that need to be discussed
July 26, 2015
So by now everyone knows about the Sandra Bland case but if you don’t, here’s an intro about it.
Sandra Bland was a 28 year old activist who talked about police brutality against black people. She was driving in Waller County, Texas heading to her first day at work when she was pulled over for failing to use her signal. The police officer gave her a ticket, then told her to put out her cigarette, when she didn’t the officer told her to get out the car then he used excessive force to get her out He told her to get on the ground, she did so and he again acted aggressive while she was on the ground, that portion of the incident was recorded by a bystander. She was arrested and taken to jail. Three days later on July 13 she was found dead in her jail from an alleged suicide.
So there are questions circulating: WHY was she arrested? WHY was her mug shot photo taken with her in the jail jump suit instead of her original clothing? WHY would she kill herself if she was starting a new job? WHY was there a plastic bag in her cell, when there isn’t suppose to be any items in the inmates cell? So many questions and not enough answers.
WHAT THE NEWS IS REPORTING:
So allegedly Sandra hung herself from with a trash bag in her jail cell. The news is also reporting that she was suicidal according to the jail intake screening that all inmates have to do. They are saying she admitted to attempting suicide last year but there was an inconsistency on the report so we aren’t sure how true that is.
Also at the Waller County Jail, there was a phone in each cell, and they give you a pin number and someone has to put money on that pin number in order to talk to the inmates. She was having trouble reaching family and friends from her phone in the cell. The officers let her use the front desk phone, and that is when Sandra was able to contact a friend by voicemail leaving a message saying she saw a judge, her bond was set to $5000 and for her friend to call her back.
Officials are also reporting that Sandra had “high levels of marijuana in her system and as many as 30 cut marks on her wrist.” They are also saying her autopsy report didn’t show any signs of a violent struggle” meaning it doesn’t show she was trying to fight back if she was being attacked or assaulted.
WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED:
Bland’s family is saying she wasn’t suicidal at all and she would never kill herself. So there are assumptions that the police killed her while she was in their custody and made it look like a suicide. Here’s what’s sketchy about it all and why this could be possible:
WHY would she get arrested just for a traffic ticket?
She was smoking a cigarette while she got pulled over, the officer told her to put it out and she didn’t and that’s what started the whole situation, but it ISN’T a law that says you have to put your cigarette out, but it does show a sign of disrespect.
Police officers are required to do routine checks on their inmates, why weren’t they watching her?
Why was there a garbage bag found in her cell? How did she get it in her cell without an officer noticing?
How is it that she was an activist on black crime and police brutality and she somehow ends up dead in police custody?
How is it that in her mug shot, she is in the jail jump suit, when photos show that you are typical suppose to be in your regular street clothes?
Also, her mug shot photo looks like she laying down on the ground because of photos showing the color of the ground in her cell, her hair is pushed back and not toward the front like it would normally look if she was standing up.
Also the background of the mug shot looks like the floor of her cell, meaning she would have been laying down on the ground when her photo was taken.
Why would she be on the ground in her photo, with her hair sitting back, and her face slouched back (gravity)?? Because she was probably dead when the photo was taken.
So many question not enough answers. So a theory on what could have happened is it: She goes to jail, tries to call family and friends; she’s getting no answer, she’s getting frustrated and asking to keep using the phone. After she reached one friend, she probably wanted to reach a family member, after a while they probably told her no. Then she probably gets upset, and starts speaking her mind and they plot to kill her. HOW? Going in her cell while she was sleeping, and covering up her mouth, then suffocating her with the trash bag.
Another black life gone too soon.
The police are ruling her death as a suicide but there is an ongoing investigation of the case going on.