Monday, September 24, 2007

After the Journey to Jena

They are unrelentingly digging their heels further and further in the sixties blood soaked soil down there in Jena, Louisiana. The WHITE judicial system is refusing to reason with not only Mychal Bell's legal team, but they are with judicial arrogance proving to the thousands present in peaceful protest on the 20th of September and the millions issuing a black-wearing apparel defiance statement that they are in charge - and that no matter how many of God’s black children rebelliously demonstrate; a change with their racism will not occur on their watch. This watch of theirs has been slowly ticking in their favor for far too long.

It appears no matter how much we mobilize and strategize for some reason our efforts fall short while the racists remain on top and in a position of bigoted influence. This, justifying to the world that the evil of racism does continue to prevail despite our work to do things the way Jesus began his journey: Patiently and Non-Violently. This begs the question, how much longer do we have to behave in a manner that’s unreflective of the way that they taught us to behave and respond? It is violence that they used to make their points. They noosed us. They physically demeaned us. And yet, we have somehow been able to be Christ-like: Righteously Passive.

We have not been like what the Hebrew Bible mandates: “An eye for an eye.” We meekly evolved within the context of the New Testament while our enemies remain entrenched in the literal teachings of the Old Testament. Isn’t that something, black folk became new while too many white folk spiritually and religiously remain old? But, I am not surprised. What do we expect these white racist to do? Can’t we understand that if they do relent, and release Bell that they will display weakness? Weakness is not what they need to present to the Southeast and Midwest. They are on the Bush path of fanatical stubbornness.

I am of the belief that black people need to get violently fed-up just like Jesus Christ did with the Money Changers. His show of rebellion is revealed to us in Mark 11: 15-19. He violently turned over the tables in Herod’s Temple! And, it did make a difference. A change did occur at the expense of Jesus’ execution: The screaming alarm of justice was activated. It was through his death that we (black folk) now recognize a wrong while America’s justice system (the modern day Romans) continue to crucify our people without the slightest indication of remorse. A remorse that cannot be found in the current Grand Old Party. The GOP has not articulated a word regarding the Jena 6. They are no different from the changers of money in Herod’s courtyard. Capitol Hill crooks are what they are, and we continue to allow them to cheat us out of what is rightfully ours: JUSTICE.

This commentary was not supposed to be written in this vein. What I initially planned to do was share with all readers and bloggers my elatedness after experiencing black beauty in downtown Jena. The time we had traveling down was remarkable. The time we had while standing and walking for hours was refreshing. The time we had enjoying the love shared was wonderful. The time we had supporting Mychal, Robert, Carwin, Bryant, Theodore, and Jesse Ray was empowering. Lord, what a time we had! Beauty was at its best. On so many levels my experience was joyfully heart-touching, but tearfully sad considering we still have to march and protest. The tears we shed were well worth it. The lost in wages we will notice in our pay on the 30th was worth it. The lack of sleep and discomfort from riding on a bus for 9 or up to 27 hours was worth it. Los Angeles represented!

I would be lying if I said I was completely pleased on the day after Black America boldly yelled “Enough is Enough”. I was not. Actually, my feelings are hurt. Permanently damaged. I am so distraught by the news I received while drinking whack gourmet coffee at Caribou. Call after call and text after text was: No release for Bell and no new judge assigned to his case. Even when my conscious was aware that it would be difficult for Bell to go home and be with his family, I still had hope.

This hope black people have been holding onto for 400 plus years is so impeccable. When our minds tell us that reality will dictate the outcome, we STILL hold on. We have been so faithful under un-winnable circumstances: The Middle Passage. It does make you wonder: “If God is so Good, Why are Blacks doing so Bad?” Me and my slave ancestors have pleaded with God to show Himself, but what we continue to get: Divine inaction.

In spite of my faith wavering I and others will not quit. We will not stop! We keep pushing and praying for a difference to be made. For some that difference is in the unclean hands of our enemies. We foolishly continue to beg our oppressor to treat us fairly. Fairness is what we want! However, I am no longer thinking along these lines. My hope is diminished on this accord. The racist system within the United States will never treat us fairly, and black folk need to stop expecting this conditional charity. We will not get the fairness we deserve. It ain’t going to happen! I thank my new friend, Brother L.L. for convincing me of this. His persistent and passionate chatter while we were on the bus headed to Jena was useful - and his reaching out phone call to me on Friday as I sipped on the overpriced Mocha Delight sealed the deal for me. Thankfully, he was there to console me while a white supremacy group summoned its followers to lynch all the “Niggers who return to Jena.”

Think about it for a moment: Children expect their parents to be fair. Children grow up hoping life will be fair. Now, I ask, are we (black folk) children? We are non-aggressively petitioning white intolerants to be fair. This is ridiculous to me. We are not the white man’s children. We are destined to be a movement! We are not helpless souls wondering around on this earth. We are men and women who can defeat this kingdom of serpents if we discontinue buying into their retarded approaches to life. But, it will take bold political decisions and economic actions on the part of us who are dissatisfied. For example, Barack may have to sacrificially step out there a little bit more by taking a visible stand with Maxine Waters and blacks must hit the system where it hurts: In the pocket. Both can be and should be done.

All we have to do now is organize internally. National Action Network, the NAACP, SCLC, New Black Panther Party, and countless other groups must coordinate while individuals such as you, me, and these spineless churches provide resourceful assistance by simply supporting in a meaningful way. We can’t be like the followers of Jesus after he ram shacked that Temple in Jerusalem. They pretended not to know of him or his cause. We have to be the warlike zealots of Judea. They advocated the violent overthrow of the Roman Empire (America) and they also vigorously resisted the barbarous efforts of the Romans (white racist) to heathenize the Jews.
I don’t won’t to be a heathen any longer! How about you?

Black folk, we can do this. Lord knows I am believing this today. I am. Believe with me! Without this belief we will have only been successful at integrating with those men and women who hate us for no reason whatsoever!

Powerful slide show: http://www.pichadis.phanfare.com/slideshow.aspx?username=pichadis&album_id=422824

News Report:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2007/09/22/mattingly.jena6.next.day.cnn

Written by Muata. Inspired by the students from Prairie View A & M. A HBCU, and the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. The Historically Black Colleges and Universities represented! Who said that our students don't care?

8 comments:

Muata said...

Reader LS Responds:

The one thing I can say about this situation is that we live in a
democracy where majority rules. That being said we cannot honestly
expect to really change things without more support from the majority. They have the majority seats in congress, in corporations in all areas they are important to the success of change. We need a more structured approach that involves people from all races, creeds and nationality. The civil rights movement was the first step as we had much support from Americans of other races and creeds. This effort requires that as well.

Our country is so caught up in popular culture that most people (young people) care more about Usher and his crazy wife to be or not to be than Jena 6. At the end of the day the majority cannot relate to the issues because whites have the luxury of never having to confront racism. We don't have that luxury. However, we never organize to defend our neighborhoods. We organize when the people are being treated unfairly but still had a certain level of wrong. The Jenna six
gathering was good but now the next step is getting the people of the great state of Louisiana to vote. We need some better candidates black, white or otherwise in that state and in this whole country. Democracy
is not set up to always be fair because at the end of the day MAJROITY rules. We need to lean on the majority. Lean on the same people who adopt kids from Africa but ignore kids from the US. We need to lean on the same people that will protest the war in Iraq to the point they are willing to go the jail. The strength of the civil rights movement was EVERYONE'S commitment to change. That is what we need. I looked
at your pictures and noticed one thing. The crowd seemed young and
majority black. That’s a good start. Now it's time for some of the people in the Majority to get involved. We may not win this battle today but racism in America and minority oppression is not just a
black vs. white problem. It's an American problem. It goes against the fabric of why this nation was supposed to exist. At the end of the day we all must work together. It's up to us to get them involved. I am not saying go with your hand out. I am saying hold those that give this situation no though accountable. Hold them accountable in the polls. Hold your friends accountable as well. They don't have to go to Jena to give it energy.

I am not sure if you are truly advocating a "by any means necessary" situation Brian. Either way the success of the modern civil rights movement was a product of the diversity of approaches to the solution.
There were several groups with different ideas. But at least America was thinking.

-LS

Muata said...

Reader Response:

I'm glad that you went to the march. That's what's up! I just hate that it seemed to do no good. I wish we could have stayed longer to be in court for the trial. When people doing wrong see a lot of faces they tend to try to at lease make an attempt to do right because they are scared of the outcome. I spoke with one of the Black Panthers when the students from the AUC marched down here last week. He was right on point when he said that our race has no organization. We need to be more organized in order to get things done like it needs to be. We should've had an organization plan to take turns staying in Jena to see things through instead of everyone marching for one day and leaving. Those poor people are left all a lone again. What are we going to do about that? There were hardly any stars there. The one's that don't have to work and can stay there longer. Oprah hasn't even mentioned it on her show, unless I missed that one. It's just stuff like this. We can only do so much as working employees that only have so many vacation and PTO days. Whilst others don't even have that! So I hope and pray that we stay on this and fight for others like us that are being mistreated unfairly. The next stop needs to be here in Atlanta, the Genarlow Wilson case!!!

-CR

Muata said...

Reader Response:

I agree with your commentary on so many levels. But, I don't believe we will ever achieve the JUSTICE we are entitled to. Racism runs too deep in the country to ever be extinguished. At the time the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, black people were slaves. When the Founding Fathers of this Country said, "All Men are Created Equal", they were not talking about black people. At that time, if you were black, you were considered 3/5 of a human being, not even a whole person. Justice for us, not in my life time and not if we are waiting for White America to give it to us.

I agree that we should continue to fight for equal justice but don't expect too much. In our quest for equal justice we have to rely on ourselves. We have to do for ourselves. We as black people spend billions upon billions of dollars each year, and where do we spend it, in THEIR establishments. If we pulled our money tougher and spend it in our neighborhoods on things that are important to our communities, things would change considerably and quickly! They understand MONEY, so let's hit them in the POCKET. Until we learn the lesson that so many other minority groups have learned, PULL TOGETHER, we will continue to feel as thought we are asking our parents (Whites) for permission and approval of everything we do. We have to take a stand and do our part.

In order to move forward, we need leadership. Where are the Malcolm's of our time? We need diligent, serious and committed leaders. Leaders that are willing to do what is necessary to achieve our goals. As I think about this country, this Country was founded on violence, not that I'm an advocate of violence, but can we achieve our goal through non-violence, especially dealing with a people that only understands violence? I don't' think so! The Jena 6 movement, I hope will serve as the catalyst for the next chapter in the Movement. The movement has been lay dormant for far too many years, but now with the injustice that is being displayed so blatantly, and with the outrage of our youth, I am hopeful that things will being to change.

I know I'm ready and willing to take a stand!

-EFJ

Muata said...

My time in Jena, LA will be remembered as one of the greatest events of my life. For years now, I have witnessed protest in action via video tapes or I have either read about this act of defiance. Protest is something we must continue to do if a wrong cannot be corrected with the law, decency, common sense, and most importantly fairness.

While in Jena, I kept focusing on a positive outcome. All of us there wanted something to come of our time standing and walking in the hot sun. It's funny that I did not notice how hot and humid it was until the rally was over. It was then that I discovered that what took place on September 20, 2007 was real. I was no longer numb. We were apart of taking a stand and making a difference.

It is my hope and prayer that a change will come one day soon. I want to see it. Witness it in this lifetime that I have been granted. If I don't I will forever wonder if justice is something America will provide or will it become that apple we will continue to reach for. Reaching: They did it in Tiananmen Square, they did on the Olympic medal podium, they did it in Selma, they did it in The Congo, they did it in Grenada - the reaching has been done all over the world.

Let's continue to aim for the stars and keep our eyes on the prize.

Don't be turned around!

-Muata

FREEDOM said...

A response from FREEDOM:

Justice is something that you cannot be scared to DIE for. Knowing that "Being absent from the body is being present with the Lord”. Bottom line we (black folks) are scared to DIE for what we believe in nowadays. The marchers of old were willing to DIE for their RIGHTS knowing that even if they did not SEE change in their lifetime the torch would be carried on by the next generation. Somehow the torch died out between generations somewhere. We (black folks) are trying to re-light that torch by marching and speaking out against injustice in Jena, Georgia and other unknown areas.

One thing we cannot deny about suicide bombers is their willingness to DIE for what they believe in. And most importantly, they are teaching their children to DIE for the CAUSE.

The questions: “If God is So Good, Then Why are Blacks Doing So Bad?” My stab at addressing that question is that God is each and every one of us and the reason Blacks are doing so bad is because we are doing the “badness” to ourselves. We are the ones that will not support fellow black businesses. We are ones who make millions and will not give back. We are the ones who will not pool our money and resources together to build schools and teach Black history to our children. We are doing so badly because subconsciously and consciously we (black folks) think in our minds that we NEED white America when in fact we really only need ourselves. We are made in the reflection of God’s image. We have the POWER! It all starts in our MINDS! We are the ones that have to change the way we think about ourselves. We are the ones who have to give our children a heritage to be proud of with their beautiful black, brown, pecan tan, hazelnut, mocha and French vanilla skin.

God is NOT divinely inactive. He is using any and everyone to bring change. We are the modern day disciplines of Jesus. What are we doing to make a change? Are we feeding the sheep? God has shown himself to us time and time again. Now it is time for us (beautiful black people) to show ourselves to each other …...just look around….God and Jesus is EVERYWHERE! If you want God to show Himself? Start by Looking in the MIRROR!

WE MUST STAY ON THE BATTLE FIELD!

“I’M GONNA TRUST IN THE LORD UNTIL THE DAY I DIE”!

-FREEDOM

Muata said...

I looked at my boy last week and said, "All of us here and this time spent may have been wasted." This was my mindset at the end of a long day standing on my feet taking pictures and videotaping history. I was so pessimistic. So beaten-up by the heat and by the memories of marching and nothing immediately changing. I wanted to be positive, but my spirit was not in that place. Then we returned to Atlanta with our prayers offered up to the one and only: God. My prayer was simple and has been for years:

"Lord, continue to show yourself to be real. This is all I need from you. When we are down and out, show yourself to be real. When we summon you, show yourself to be real. When we need for a young black man to be released from jail, show yourself to be real. When I doubt or question You it is because I am human, not because I am an un-believer in You. I want to trust You at all times, Lord. Show yourself to be real in this case."

That was my prayer. I waited and waited all week for God to show Himself, and He did reveal Himself to the world in His time, and not ours. He came when I was feeling defeated once again, but God has a way of showing up when we least expect Him to appear. Rejuvenated is what I am now. In spirit and in mind. We all should be!

All this talk about God from Muata when I BELIEVE Jesus was a failure and when I question if God is answering our prayers. I will still pull this God of ours onto the carpet. Why would I stop? He has expectations of me and we should have them for Him too!

One thing I will not do unlike one of my boys (I love you) is take away the spiritually connection we have imaginarily conjured-up to comfort us in our insecurity. No, I can't take the believed power of prayer from former slaves. I just can't do it, my friend. All of us are not stronger enough to lean solely on ourselves! It is this method of comfort that has got me through too many hard times.

God is Good. Boy, I just might be a preacher one day! I got that feeling right now: The Happy Feet.

It ain't over! Mychal Bell and the other five brothas have a long battle ahead of them!

Holla. Drinks on God tonight!! Well, I paid for this first one. Jack Daniel's all the way!!! See ya on the other side.

-Muata

Muata said...

EJ responds to Muata's excitement:

LOL....If ya'll want to believe that, then that's fine with me. I choose to believe that God had nothing to do with the injustice in the beginning and he had nothing to do with him being set free. I believe that it had to do with enough people with money and power getting involved. There are thousands of people sitting in jail right now that have been praying for years (along with other "saints") to set them free because they are truly innocent. Not to mention the ones that were innocent and still put to death. They need power and money to be set free. That's REALITY! So ya'll continue to believe in prayer...if it works for you then fine. While you are at it pray for that little 4 year old girl on the tape that was found in the desert who was and is being brutally raped. Since ya'll believe that your prayers move God to action (that's funny to me) please pray for her release of that mans control. And if you could, pray for the children that have not been molested and raped yet...so that God can be "moved" to stop the "devil(the one who was good enough to get into heaven but turned bad enough to be kicked out of that perfect place where there is no envy or malice)" before he strikes again.

In case you are confused...I believe in God. I just choose to believe that he has given us what we have. LIFE! The good with the bad. He has no reason to
intervene...This/us is his creation...and he makes no
mistakes. Live life to the fullest....That's your
gift.

God loves you. oh I'm the friend Brian spoke of in his message....I love you to bro!

-EJ

Muata said...

Muata responds to EJ:

man, you are right on target with my beliefs to some degree. i think all of us reading understand that the reality i.e. more people getting involved and money were key components for his release. however, i am also of the belief that a lot of people need some level of spiritual connection via prayer. this is all that the believers who believe in prayer are doing. they are trying to connect when man cannot do it for them. as i have mentioned time and time again: there is no reason for me or you to 'take away' the hope associated with prayer. (slaves used it while in the gut of those human cargo ships!) particularly from those who uses it as their spiritual vehicle. no reason. to take it away does in an essence indicate that there is no God, and there is nothing wrong with that. hell, that can even be true. there is enough evidence to prove god is not real. or he is playing some sick azz joke on us. i wholeheartedly believe that people believe in prayer because they are somewhat of the understanding that it is really the only vehicle that keeps them on their road to god. and, when you take this transportation away they are truly lost, illequipped, dumbfounded. if they stop riding in this car they need to go ahead and say, 'there is no god'. they won't though. they are too scared to. so, we are a punch of punks walking around here justifying "god's work" as a result of our prayer. but, i guarantee you that the only reason you believe in god is because you are terrified not to believe he is real. you are scared which regulates you to a conditional believer. nothing wrong with that either. take a look at most of the religions of the world. some type of communication with god is a staple for the religion/spirituality. but again, this god must not be listening because he is terribly inactive. so, stop pu**y-footin around. admit it: YOU ARE SCARED NOT TO BELIEVE. i am!! let the people hold on to this one, homeboy. it is obvious that they need to believe in prayer. and, you continue to fuse in reality. we need realism for sure! there are too many believers believing just to be believing. now, that is silly to me.

-Muata