HIV is Living Among Black America

slidethumb_fuelDid you know that 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 32 black women are diagnosed with HIV?

Statistics from the Center of Disease Control [CDC] estimate that in 2010, there were 44 percent of African American adults and adolescents carry the horrific burden of contracting and spreading the virus—13 and older.

Accordingly, African Americans account for 13 percent of the entire population but present with the virus eight times more than whites.

Here are the numbers:

  1. 70% African American men (14,700) of all new cases out of the 20,900 new cases reported
  2. African American men account for 63.6 new cases out of 100,000 populace which is 7 times higher than white men
  3. Men having sex with other men account for 72 percent (10,600) of new cases, and gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13-24 than any other race represented which means that Bisexual and gay men are more than 3 times more affected than other races
  4. African American women represent 29 percent of all new cases, that is 6.100 of adult and adolescent women, but since 2008 there is a decrease to 21 percent
  5. 1 percent out of 100,000 women have the virus which is 20 times higher than white women and 5 times more than Hispanic and Latino women

The need to bring this news to your house is urgent, and urgent for us all as a group; even more than for the individual who suffers such a fate. Consequently, when speaking concerning HIV as an epidemic in America the premise here is that people may not feel that the issue affects them since it’s not in their house. However, generally speaking the premise here is not the houses we live in per se’, but the house of Africans as a nation within America whose members are attracting the virus daily. Let us not forget that end of the woeful event for many is death; therefore, there is a need to deliver this news to your door, to my door and the doors of our neighbors that we are dying ever so slowly from the silence of non-adherence to the call that HIV creeps softly, but AIDS kills loudly.

I want all of us to get this warning, because we see a very small sound coming from health officials concerning this matter, or, we do not take heed concerning taking care ourselves, to educate ourselves because our children are dying, our women, our men. It is the case, that with all the education available we must send this call out right up and to the doorsteps of every person to feed of its contents at the dinner table, and especially when we prepare to lay down unprotected.

I ask —do your love yourself? We are going in-depth about this topic, dedicating much time to discuss every single detail to alleviate and protect our house that means the group, the family and the individual. It is the case that if we do not learn the truth about the behavior that leads to contact then no one can save us.
Look for more information on HIV and African Americans coming soon!

Watch: Out of Control: The AIDS Epidemic in Black America

The Lifestyle of Poverty among Black People

hebrews Urie Bronfenbrenner, an ecological theorist proposed that human development is best known in terms of the interaction between individuals and the environments in which they live. He proposed what he calls the “Ecological Theory,” and in this construct is what he termed,  Microsystem,  Mesosystem, Exosystem, and Macrosystem and  says these entities consist of one’s “daily environment, family, school, religion and group affiliations”, and further adds that these can range from poor to excellent. Conversely, all the connections of  the theory have an effect or impact for the individual whether child or adult (Witt & Mossler, 2010). What do all of these have in common? The commonality is that all have played a magnificent part on the black mind which either keep people in poverty or releases them from it. The Bronfenbrenner theory sheds light on most human beings where environment along with other relationships are crucial to development. In this case, poverty and the underlying issues which are indicators of how a person may view the world around them. According to a report from Black Demographics, there are an estimated 44,456,009 million black people living in America which amounts to 14.1 percent of the population as a whole. Conversely, in proportion to these numbers, statistics show that 28.1 black families in America live at the poverty level. (Black Demographics, 2012, Paraphrased). Sadly, there is a stigma attached to African American people which says that all black people are lazy, some do not want to work, or they are criminals.  It is the case that, though these conditions may be warranted in some cases they do not apply for the group as a whole. Consequently, there is difficulty for some when speaking of this lifestyle of poverty from the inside out. Therefore, let this essay serve as a voice for those who cannot speak that the lifestyle of poverty supports everything people do from how a person might view themselves; including, their spiritual self, interaction  in relationships, and especially how one views problems, and/ or the inability to resolve them.  Poverty is multifaceted in American society and it affects more than just shelter but consumes ones entire existence, and to combat it each individual would need to examine and eliminate certain factors or barriers to their impoverished self; hence, mental health is a factor, unemployment, education, relationships, spirituality and other areas of life.

In order to see the entire picture of how the black population has ended up in an impoverished state one would have to go back to the past venue of slavery, because these venues convey truth of how traumatic an event slavery actually was, and as a result create an impoverished lifestyle today.  No one wants to talk about the mental and physical cruelty which was subjected on a people all those years ago, and even today people shout ‘get over’ it as if the hurt, pain and shame can be so easily put away from ones soul.  Inherited grief, the ridicule the scorn, the brute force of a hatred which is seemingly so deep rooted that one cannot dare believe that someone can be so evil against another, and most harrowing of all is that some used Christianity to make their way seem right. It is prejudice and discrimination which still lives on today in the white race and that which keeps black people down. In the article, “What are slavery’s Lingering effects?, the author wrote,  “The enslaved immediately found themselves dependent on their captors for food clothing and shelter, which has subject their descendants to the inequalities of colonization for decades.” (NCR, 2014, Para. 2).  Consequently,  a dependent mind tends to stay that way unless there is light to shed insight that the way out of poverty is to learn to think for oneself; hence, it is the premise that acceptance of a life given is generally passed down to one’s young whether they are rich or poor. It is the case, if one has been viewed as a social outcast for centuries then this would serve as a premise for lifelong habits formed, and what happens next is the acceptance of a poor lifestyle without necessary tools to change their environment. Bronfenbrenner definitely has a great point. Hence, his theory will be used to back up other sources throughout  this article.

Society tends to shun the impoverished adult rather than the children in most instances. Hence, one has a tendency to feel sorry for the children while being most critical of the adults’ inability to come from this lifestyle of defeat. Of course, one would see the reasoning behind this thinking, because no one wants to see a grown man sitting on the lap of a woman, or even worse the lap of the government. However, one should also note that these men and women were children once raised in poverty themselves.  Byron A. Brown, director of Educational Research Solutions consultancy in Botswana writes, “For many years, poverty has dominated international headlines as a global condition. Poverty is pervasive, and it is a chronic socio-economic problem affecting all population groups; adults, adolescents and children in many societies. The impact of poverty on adults can be far-reaching as adults are household heads. In household structures, adult poverty often has a ripple effect downwards, debilitating even the youngest family members. As part of a strategy to alleviate poverty, many societies are encouraging their adults, particularly young adults living in poverty, to participate in programs geared towards poverty reduction. But poor adults are not like mainstream well-to-do adults; poor adults often have complex learning and psychological problems that must be understood before they can participate in any programs. In most cases, these issues are locked in the identity which they developed by virtue of their sustained poverty conditions.” (Brown, 2005, p. 393, Para. 2). I agree wholeheartedly with Browns’ perception of the lifestyle. In the text he deals promptly with the initial impact of generational poverty across the board then narrows that concept down to the black households. However, even though this is enlightening news that someone else sees the clear picture of poverty among the black race does not to ease public conscience of the plight. He adds further, “The common assumption is that adult identity develops as individuals work through conflicts, stigma and stresses that are related to their poverty conditions. Resolving feelings of rejection, the direct physical consequences of deprivation, the consequences of severe stress on social relationships and the stigma attached to being poor, adults gradually consolidate an affirmative sense of self that enables them to accept their position and class in the community/society.” (Brown, 2005, p. 393, Para. 2). The information, in a sense might seem disparaging; however, the acknowledgment that there is a situation stemming from poverty passed down from one’s ancestry does not present biased information. Conversely, when speaking of Bronfenbrenner’s theory of people’s contact with their environment then the premise becomes that one’s choice is limited to their environment; especially in childhood. Hence, people living in poverty have no sense of seeking help outside of their environment. Furthermore, if social programs are available these might lend to help entertain an image of life without poverty, but do nothing to change the mind to free itself from poverty which is inbred thinking wherever that impoverished lifestyle happens to be in the world.

The Exosystem denotes Bronfenbrenner’s theory on social programs. Therefore,  in consideration of fundamentals that slavery has wrought a mind of dependency is one that society has yet to accept and the reproach of such sentiment is seen further in the venue of governmental welfare programs of the United States.  In the broadcast, “’The War on Poverty’Splitting up Black Families Podcast (2005),” guest speaker , Cherylyn Harley LeBon, co-chairman of Project 21, a leadership network of black conservatives suggests that the breakdown of black families as a moral and social construct;  along with,  or even more than slavery began with the entrance of welfare programs. The war on poverty introduced by President Lyndon B Johnson in 1960 set the premise for the downfall of the American black family in that these programs set in place under the pretense of help, actually, tore down the unity of the black family system even further when a mother has to choose whether to have shelter and food for the children; or keep the father in the home when there is not a legal marriage involved. Further notes presented, in statistical data show that in 1964 poverty was about 19 percent and since has dropped to only a 15 percent decrease total for blacks families which is a 4 percent decrease in 50 years. Therefore, however surprising this information might be for some people , it is the case, that one cannot hang on to untruths that an impoverished mind can be freed without provoking thought so the person can see they need the help first. Essentially, a mind which accepts poverty as a way of life has accepted their enslavement and will stay this way until a life changing thought provokes it to seek outside of the environment to which the mindset was bred. Moreover, one must see the United States Government as the slave owner, and see themselves free to walk away. There is no bias in the broadcast, no deceit, because further information was brought forth from the Reparations site (2014), where a study concluded that all states within the Cotton Belt are living in poverty, and shows that in parts of Texas alone there are 81to 100 percent families who live in poverty. Hence, the lingering effects of slavery are overwhelming. Similarly, the reality that black families were split up because of murder or being sold away as is seen in slavery where without the father to protect the wives and children became dependent solely on the slave owner; instead of the man. Hence, this is the same exact scenario just another time frame of life.

Reference to absent fathers is manifest in the article, “Wired for Success,” which speaks to the public in general concerning fathers not living with their children. However, the plight of the black man has been this way for centuries and is a further add to the premise of the impoverished lifestyle. Here we note that society has tagged these men dead beat dads, and granted this is what some are if they do not support their offspring. Here also is a barrier, because for those who work for low or no pay equals no money for the children who live elsewhere. Moreover, not all are dead beats who fall behind in their payments. There are many reasons why some men cannot pay. Consequently, many black men view child support as a modern day ‘lynching’ and do not want to be caught in the noose so they run. The article also links some common factors concerning poverty and the absent parent in general, saying, “Approximately 30% of all American children are born into single-parent homes, and for the black community, that figure is 68%, and also shares more insight which says “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics. Over half of all children living with a single mother are living in poverty, a rate 5 to 6 times that of kids living with both parents; Child abuse is significantly more likely to occur in single parent homes than in intact families In single-mother families in the U.S. about 66% of young children live in poverty ”. (Williams, 2011, Para 4). Ray Williams, author of the article brings good data to the table  statically as like that provided above but that is where ‘good’ stop here, because he goes on to group black people and American values in a lump. This information is not all inclusive when the majority of citizens where slave minds frequent are black and poor. He adds this saying, “The Scholastic Aptitude Test scores have declined more than 70 points in the past two decades; children in single-parent families tend to score lower on standardized tests and to receive lower grades in school according to a Congressional Research Service Report.” (Williams, 2011, Para 4). I add, to this in defense of the so called ‘fatherless’ children and say that it is biologically impossible for any child on earth to be produced without the aid of a man. Hence, the term ‘fatherless’ needs to be dispelled from the equation. This statement brings me to my next point while we remember that education has not come easy for black people in America.

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory  pointed to how one’s environment would influence poverty through the ‘Microsystem.  The Mesosystem is of value as well. In the book “Adult Development and Life Assessment” the authors write, ‘The Mesosystem refers to the connection of all the microsystems influencing a child. Changes in one microsystem can impact others. For example, fighting parents create distress in the home, which can influence how well children perform in school.” (Witt & Mossler, 2010, Para. 3). Education in black communities can leave a bad taste in one’s mouth, because in black impoverished neighborhoods there are not only poorly funded schools, but as a result of poor funding there are not adequate resources for learning. This is a personal experience I had with my own children being that we live and have lived all our lives in impoverished neighborhoods, and having experienced single parenthood for the most part I can say that the children suffer for lack of funding because not only do they not have textbooks to take home but they do not learn well. In these schools state testing is given and the children are lowest in the state in the areas of history, reading and math. Furthermore, along with being low-income schools some were pressured with the added threat of passing the test or having their schools close. To date, several high school students who did not pass the TAKS test have not graduated.  Consequently, the tendency for low income school districts to hire  less than adequate teachers or low paid teachers who might have made only C scores in college themselves are not equipped to prepare a child for A grade work; not to mention the ones there for a paycheck only and fall into the category with others which says‘under the pretense of help.” Additionally, parents who are uneducated, or who have to work outside the home cannot help their children. In essence, an uneducated parent, a working parent in some cases are in the same category of an absent parent being that they are not there; or rather cannot be supportive of their children by helping with homework. Conversely, if one or both of the parents cannot read then there is no help there as well. Therefore, what academically can they help with?  Hence, Bronfenbrenner’s theory, although correct, means more than just arguing parents or abusive parents. It is the case that a parent in absentia of an education can affect a child’s performance as well. Society will say here there are opportunities available, however, if the choice of a meal on the table means work, rather than learning to read then the choice is made to work. On the contrary, not every black person sits at home to live off the state. It is the case, that generations of people have inherited their parent’s educational values. Perhaps if there had been rights given to read in slavery then all black people would have literacy would they not? As mentioned earlier, the premise now is that it takes a thought provoking light to reveal the need to look outside of ones environment to seek help to stand up

Of course, poverty is not isolated to the United States because across the globe there are people struggling to break free from the lifestyle. In this we note, that many other countries are adopting social programs as like those in the United States with great success. How can this be when the United States is known for its success in business and otherwise, and still their own citizens; black people are still the poorest of the land? Greg Corombos, author of ‘War on Poverty’ writes, “In some communities, public assistance programs have become a subtle destroyer of the spirit because when you’re looking at multi-generations of families who have been on public assistance, where is the incentive for individuals to want to start businesses and become entrepreneurs? It’s just not there,” (Corombos, 2014, Para. 8). Corombos is exactly right, because an impoverished mind has not a mind for business, except to put food on the table and in many instances it might seem better to allow the government to feed, clothe and shelter as generations before were conditioned to. Slave mentally breeds poverty, and the mind which says why work when I can get all this for nothing. In other words, Massa takes good care of the slaves or so they believe.

A study was presented by Byron Brown (2005) with five adults who had lived their entire lives in poverty, the focus being on individual poverty and households. Results concluded that lifestyle of poverty presented the following: “(a) the participants acknowledged being poor and believed ‘poverty’ is a label that others used to identify them (some reject the poverty label); (b) all held a strong belief that there were important purposes and meaning to their lives, even though they were poor; (c) for many poverty meant, ‘unbelief in self, that they hardly travel  out of the village—frustrated, just locked indoors’; (d) they felt rejection and a sense that other people see them as ‘nobodies’ because of their poverty conditions; and (e) many talked of discomfort, emotional pains from poverty stigmas, deprivation, inadequacies and feelings of hopelessness.” (Brown, 2005. p. 398,  Para. 2). History, education, religion, identity and spirituality have a connection with all of the above. The study is an accurate view into the minds of those who live the lifestyle of poverty. In this view, one can gather that until there is a mind changed then people literally see themselves as having no choice, no hope of a better life and sometimes unknowingly pass that same mind down to their children. This thinking is why society sees entire generations living on the welfare system. Hence, grandmother lived on welfare, daughter lives on welfare, granddaughter, father left his wife, son left his wife, and grandson left his wife and so on.

Spirituality is a great motivator, contributing  to how one gains a meaning into what happens in life. However, for blacks the belief in God far outweighs that of the white people. One may ask how is it that a group of people who have been kidnapped, beaten up, murdered, raped, enslaved, and rejected can still believe there is a God who loves them. Christianity has presented a God who is all about prosperity, and also presents a question that if the God of Christianity is all about prosperity then what happened to the black people? Why are all other people prosperous and this prosperity seen everywhere except with people of color? Since Brenfrenbrenner’s analysis speaks of church as an influence, let us talk about church; or rather religion as it pertains to poverty among blacks and the downfall of the blacks race in America and otherwise. According to a Pew Research study, black people are the most spiritual people in the United States. In the article, “African Americans top U.S. religious measures-Pew”, Stoddard (2009) writes, “Nearly eight in 10 blacks (79 percent) say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56 percent among all U.S. adults.  Blacks attend religious services and pray more frequently than the general population. While 39 percent of all Americans report attending religious services at least once a week, 53 percent of blacks report the same. Similarly, while 58 percent of all Americans report praying at least once a day, 76 percent of blacks report praying daily. The vast majority of blacks are Protestant (78 percent), compared with 51 percent of the U.S. adult population as a whole.” (Para. 1-3). There is much to be said concerning this because religion, identity and lack of education has much to do with these findings, because although blacks pray to the so called God of prosperity in the Christian sect they are still poor. The Scriptures can explain, “Hear the word of יהוה, you children of Yisra’ĕl, for יהוה has a case against the inhabitants of the land: “For there is no truth or kindness or knowledge of Elohim in the land.  “Swearing, and lying, and murdering, and stealing, and committing adultery have increased. And bloodshed follows bloodshed. “Therefore the land mourns, and everyone living there languishes, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens. And the fish of the sea are taken away. “However, let no one strive or reprove another, for your people are like those striving with a priest. And you shall stumble in the day, and the prophet shall also stumble with you in the night. And I shall make your mother perish.” (Hosea 4:1-5). History recounts that the slaves were stripped of their names, forbidden from reading, or speaking their native language of Hebrew and worst took away our God. How do we know this? One knows because of some of the lyrics of so called slave songs such as Kum Ba Yah (Come by here Yah) in the Hebrew tongue. The book of Deuteronomy Chapter 28, also conveys truths of this matter, saying that the children of Yisra’el would be taken to another land by ship and that the occurrence would not been seen again, there to be sold as bondsmen and women and no man would redeem us. Redeem in this instance would be as in Kinsman Redeemer, however, if all one’s people are sold and scattered to the four corners of the earth then there is no man (kinsman or otherwise) to save us. Hence, poverty is a part of the curses; verse 31-33 says,  “Your ox is slaughtered before your eyes, but you do not eat of it. Your donkey is violently taken from before you, and it is not given back to you. Your sheep are given to your enemies, with no one to save them.  “Your sons and your daughters are given to another people, and your eyes look and fail for them all day long, and your hand powerless.  “A people whom you have not known eat the fruit of your land and all your labours. And you shall be only oppressed and crushed all the days.” (Deuteronomy 28, The Scriptures). It is the case that black people were stripped of their God and forced to worship the god of Christianity. Hence, poverty is the result of idol worship which is a breach of Covenant to the Most High. Hosea conveys truth: “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.  “As they were increased, so they sinned against Me. My esteem they have changed into shame.” (Hosea 4:6-7). The study is correct, black people do pray but to the wrong god. It is the case that one cannot argue with statistics.

In closing, I leave a quote from William E.B. Du Bouis, PH.D, from the article, “The Individual and Social Conscience, “It is impossible for the individual to reach the larger social conscience by sheer expansion, by a benevolent endeavor to be interested in all men. This leads inevitably to a tenuous filmy consciousness, a loss of grip on the realities of human beings—on the concrete man. It becomes easily a theoretical rather than a practical humanitarianism, and has often been illustrated in the world’s history by the wavering and doubting of the philanthropic mind. We can only be interested in men by knowing them—knowing them directly, thoroughly, intimately; and this knowing leads ever to the greatest of human discoveries,—the recognition of one’s self in the image of one’s neighbor; the sudden, startling revelation, “This is another Me, that thinks as I think, feels as I feel, suffers even as I suffer.” This is the beginning, and the only true beginning, of the social conscience.” (Excerpt from: The Sacred Unity in All the Diversity”: the Text and a Thematic Analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois’ “The Individual and Social Conscience” (1905)). This is a powerful statement. One that surmises the condition of those who live in an impoverished lifestyle because many cannot understand why years after rights of equality were given do people still have hatred in their hearts, and worst why do people still live in poverty. The Messiah said, that poor would always be among us. Our children want to know why they cannot live in a good house, go to the same schools as their white peers, and seemingly the margins and divides are unconquerable when we see disparages even against the children who can go to college but are not prepared for college when they get there. Hence, education for a black mind is a farce. What about religion? Even the preachers are dumbed down, and are educated fools who do not know truth, and in actuality are helping the lynch mobs to kill our people. Therefore, Religion is a farce. The welfare system is system designed to break up homes and families under the pretense of help, therefore government assistance is a farce. It is the case that the only thing real thing in all this to the black person is their poverty. Hence, each day a person gets up to start another day walking through their impoverished mind, unable to solve problems, unable to find answers because like their mothers and fathers before them their ability to think is limited to the life passed down. Therefore, each individual would need to examine and eliminate certain factors or barriers to their impoverished self.  It is therefore the case that mental health is a factor, unemployment, education, relationships, spirituality and other areas of life. A great writer once wrote, “A theorist, said that family, church, school, and state programs help shape a child’s mind and the world around them. It is my opinion these have failed the black child. Family has failed the black child, religion has failed the black mind, school has not provoked thought, except to brainwash our children when there is no identity to gain of who they are other than how society sees them.” (Spears, 2014). It is written.

Watch: Poverty In America

 Bibliography

Black Demographics, (2012). 12 Black Population: 44.5 million, 14.2% of USA. 

Brown, B., (2005). The incorporation of poverty into adult identity over time: implications for adult education.  INT. J. OF LIFELONG EDUCATION, VOL. 24, NO. 5 (SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2005), 393–404. Retrieved (19 March 2014) from: http://library.ashford.edu/databases_a_z.aspx#J

Gillam & Griffith (2010). Prayer and Spiritual Practices for Health Reasons among American Adults: The Role of Race and Ethnicity Author. Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 49, No. 3 (September 2010), pp. 283-295. Published by: Springer. 

Grohol, J., (2014) The Vicious Cycle of Poverty and Mental Health. 

North American Reparations Task Force (2014). What Are Slavery’s Lingering Effects? Sponsored by: National Commission for Reparations. 

Stoddard, E., (2009). Reuters, African Americans top U.S. religious measures-Pew.

The Scriptures (1998). Translated, Published and distributed by: Institute of Scripture Research. North Riding, South Africa. The Scriptures Publication History, First Edition 1993, Second Edition 1998. IBSN—13-978-0-9585045-4-6

Williams, R., (2011). Wired for Success The decline of fatherhood and the male identity crisis. Psychology Today (2014).  

Williams, R. (2012). “The Sacred Unity in All the Diversity”: the Text and a Thematic Analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois’. “The Individual and Social Conscience” (1905). J Afr Am. (2012) 16:456–497  DOI 10.1007/s12111-011-9171-4. Published online: 23 March 2011. Political Science, Bennett College, 900 East Washington St., Greensboro, NC 27401, USA. # Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, 201.

Witt & Mossler (2010). Adult Development and Life Assessment. Ashford Discovery Series. ISBN 10: 0-9841823-3-0, ISBN 13: 978-0-9841823-3-6, Published by Bridgepoint Education, Inc., 13500 Evening Creek Drive North, Suite 600, San Diego, CA 92128. Copyright © 2010.

Gun Control and Lobbyists

right to carrySpecial interest groups, also known as “Advocacy groups” carry much weight in the political area. Take advocates of gun control which is a big issue across the board in America where many seek to do away with gun play even in hunting. There are mixed feelings with regard to who has a right to carry and some feel that their rights might be violated.

In the article, “Special-interest groups–In the cross-hairs,” the The National Rifle Association lobby to protect such rights in the political area siting their 1st Amendment right to carry and bear arms are violated with new or pending policy changes where guns are concerned saying, “Thirty years ago, the NRA was principally an organisation for hunters and sports-shooters. Lobbying against gun-control laws was a rare activity, since there were few such laws about. (The NRA’s then president, General Franklin Orth, testified before Congress in the 1960s in support of a gun-control measure: a bill banning mail-order gun sales after the Kennedy assassination.) Since the mid-1970s, though, the NRA has increasingly focused its supposed 3.6m members and its $137m annual budget on two political objectives: helping to elect pro-gun-rights candidates, and then lobbying to ensure that they keep the faith when gun-control laws are mooted in Congress. According to the Centre for Responsive Politics, which tracks the impact of political donations, the NRA has given nearly $8.8m since 1991 directly to parties and individual candidates. It has shelled out many times that sum on indirect lobbying. Four-fifths of this money goes to Republicans; and it has been Republicans in Congress who have mainly been responsible, in one way or another, for blocking gun-control laws.”

The above information from even one group is huge and conveys truth while answering the question if special interest groups can ‘buy’ an elected official I can say with great confidence that it is most probable and likely that this is taking place. Hence, it is the case that media time can be bought as well. Yes, there is a great influence here.

In recent activities where President Obama went against the senate to establish stiffer penalties for our gun- toting counter parts he was hit with heavy resistance. I agree that it is fair that those who own guns be put on a tight leash, and while this might not seem fair to respectable law abiding citizens; the consequences of carrying should not outweigh or weigh as much as some who are carrying guns elsewhere. Hence, today, whether on the street or in the office mental illness runs deep in America. Hence, One nation, one gun law for all.

Those against guns feel the sting of them in their neighborhoods. Four years later, a family still suffers from a gunman who shot and killed a young girl and her grandmother during her birthday party.

The article, “Man gets death sentence for killing 2 at Fort Worth birthday party”, gives this account:

“Erick Davila was forgiven by the victims’ family after Friday’s sentencing.

Davila, 21, did not react when his death sentence was read Friday in the courtroom of state District Judge Sharen Wilson. The jury that convicted Davila last week of capital murder deliberated about seven hours over two days before deciding his punishment.

He was convicted of fatally shooting Annette Stevenson, 48, and Queshawn Stevenson, 5, in April during a children’s birthday party. Four other people, including three children, were wounded.

Davila was a member of a Fort Worth street gang, and authorities believe Annette Stevenson’s adult son, Jerry Stevenson, may have been his intended target in retaliation for a prior gang-related incident in which Davila was wounded. Jerry Stevenson was unhurt during Davila’s shooting rampage, which occurred at Annette Stevenson’s East Fort Worth home.” (Dennis, 2009).

This event happened just four blocks from my home and I say money cannot buy common sense. This is what advocacy with special interest groups; such as, guns and other issues should fight to win.

Source:

 The Economist

NRA-ILA, Institute for Legislative Action

prisonMan gets death sentence for killing 2 at Fort Worth birthday party

Watch: Trigger Happy: NRA Wing-NUTS Dig in As Obama Takes Gun Control Debate To The People

The Genocide of Black America, Hebrews

Watch: The Black Genocide (Maafa21)

Your Sunday’s Bread: The Winebibber, Today’s Wino

hebrew wino“The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” (Mathew 11:19).

Some of these holier than thou people have turned their backs on those of us who need help, choosing to chase money and profaned doctrine. Literally, some of us who say we are saved have become so arrogant and prideful that we have become “Stuck up” and considered our service to be merely, Sunday morning worship. Wrong thought! It is not the case that Yahshuah separated himself from those who needed him most, and we must know saints that the ones who need him most are not at church but outside. He congregated with those without and was accused of being a winebibber.

What is that? In today’s terms a winebibber is literally a “Wino.”

Yes, Yahshuah liked to drink the drink. However, we also see that he did that without falling into sin. Meaning, he knew when enough is enough. We cannot begin to think this way without rebirth.

The word of Yahweh says this: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…” (Ephesians 5:18).

So we see that we are not to condemn those who have “addiction” issues. Yahshuah sat among them and then left his spirit to comfort those who have these ills about them.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).

Are we guilty of condemning those who suffer? Repent now and be restored to right thinking. Have we turned our back on the one who suffers most? Pray now and judge not lest ye be judged. In all things forgive so that you can be forgiven.

Yah is here to set the captive free. Trust him.

Stay in his presence…

Democracy, The Great Black Out

prison-slavery
Photo Source: Newsome.com

“Daily the Negro is coming more and more to look upon law and justice, not as protecting safeguards, but as sources of humiliation and oppression. The laws are made by men who have little interest in him; they are executed by men who have absolutely no motive for treating the black people with courtesy or consideration; and, finally, the accused law-breaker is tried, not by his peers, but too often by men who would rather punish ten innocent Negroes than let one guilty one escape. (W. E. B. Dubois, 1903, The Souls of Black Folk) (as cited by Black American Quotes).

This is the jest of findings in the black community where people are being held captive and prisoners to a system which does not seem like it is made for them. In my community many people cannot afford attorneys for legal needs, not because the help is not there but because if one is not indigent then the help is not available. In the crimminal court might appoint an attorney for an individual does not have good intentions. Notably,  some of these people might work along with the prosecution to railroad our men. The result, too much time given in some cases. In the YouTube video “Democracy is black” the author had a simple but powerful message which conveys all colors being combined in a test tube which produced one color; that color being black.

The message, denotes the color black as being dominate over all other colors within it. The video ends saying, “Democracy is power, the color of a nation”. If black means power then it is lost when it comes to the legal system in America; surely America has failed a nation of black people, because whether it is a case of criminal or domestic there is a hard path in America; one that is black.

Once I was served divorce papers. I sought help from a government agency who provides free services. I was told I didn’t qualify, but was given a document to file and had to show up for court by myself or Pro Se as it is known, and I found out quickly that without an attorney the judge won’t listen. The judge was talking and speaking with my ex-husband’s attorney and would not even look my way; a continuance was scheduled. During that time my unemployment ran out and I called the service back and was given attorney at that time; hence, I had to literally have no money. However, I can proudly say that I still have my daughter with me who is now 14 years old, but in saying that people without money do not have a fair chance at all in the legal system. I was blessed, but how many have lost their children in this manner? This could happen to anyone, but I was a single and a black woman and there are many like me.

In an article, “In Forma Pauperis” the author, Arthur Ghee (2007),” says, “Are you being denied full access to the courts? What if you cannot afford court filing fees? You are considered an indigent person. The term for filing in the court system is called, in forma Pauperis or (IFP).IFP is a legal term derived from the Latin phrase “in the character or manner of a pauper”. In the United States, the IFP designation is given by both state and federal courts to someone who is without the funds to pursue the normal costs of a lawsuit or a criminal defense.” (Ghee, 2007) (as cited by BlackLegalinfo, 2007). That was me; I was seemingly, without rights because I had no money. This was a civil case, but what about criminal cases?

In the criminal arena there are many cases where a defendant might not be able to afford an attorney. It is here where we find trial courts and appellate courts; and where, one who is black or non-white does not stand a chance of getting a fair trial if he were to walk into court with no counsel or a court appointed one. It is not the case that all court appointed attorneys are shoddy, but a fair amount have done a bad enough job that practically every person you ask who has used one would tell you they are no good. I have spoken with many who believe this way, and they say it is best to have a so called “free world lawyer” if you are to get a fair trial. If a trial does not fare well, then there is the appellate court. Pember & Calvert (2013) says, ”Trial courts are fact finding courts and appellate courts law reviewing courts” (p. 16. Para. 1).

Conversely, in trial court all the evidence against the defendant is laid out for a jury to decide a guilty or not guilty verdict. However, in an appellate court a ruling has to be made upon finding flaws in the way the case was handled. Notably, in an appellate court is where someone has filed action saying that their rights were violated during the trial process, this is also where “Constitutional law” is upheld if it have been overlooked; most common is of a racial nature.

In an article from New America Media, the author states, “The report, Critical Condition: African American Youth in the Justice System, identified a number disparities among Black youth, including disproportionate arrest rates and harsher prison sentencing, as compared to white youth. ‘It is baffling that we are still faced with this serious problem of racial disparities in our justice system,” said Liz Ryan, president and CEO of Campaign for Youth Justice. “It is time for states to reverse punitive laws that result in the transfer and incarceration of African American youth in the adult criminal justice system.’ According to the report, African American youth make up 30 percent of youth arrested while they represent only 17 percent of the overall youth population. Additionally, African American youth are 62 percent of the youth prosecuted in the adult criminal system and are nine times more likely than white youth to receive an adult prison sentence, the report revealed. The NAACP supports the report’s findings and pointed to the now famous Jena 6 case in Louisiana as an example of Black youth being mistreated by the nation’s criminal justice system.”

Ultimately, If things are to change and the so called negro race be seen as a color dominate race or a race from which all colors are derived the judicial system must change to give fair trials; without or without money as a motivation. Notably, we must consider that if Democracy is black the colors which make it black must come to accept it as such. Times are dark for the so call negro in America. Democracy is black because a nation cannot win when it cannot see light. Democracy is black, today, because of the great black out of a nation. Until that time as a change is brought forth the path remains black for some.

Source:

 Black American Quotes, (2013). Black Injustice

Black Legal Info, (2007). “The unequal scales of Justice”  

Democracy  Challenge , (2013). Democracy is Black  

 New America Media, (2013). Report: Criminal Justice System Unfair to Black Youth 

Pember, D. R. & Calvert, C. (2013). Mass media law (18th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Watch: Modern Slavery: More Black Males in Prison Today Than Those Enslaved in The

Forms of Law and their implications

Dark blue: Common law jurisdictions. Light blu...

Dark blue: Common law jurisdictions. Light blue: Jurisdictions with mixed systems using elements of common law (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pember and Calvert (2013) discuss “Common Law” and define it to be as old as America dating back to the Anglo-Saxon era and is adopted or fashioned after British Law, and became common law to distinguish it from ecclesiastical law found in the church. Hence, the law was used to settle matter of the people according to their customs. Common law is inductive which says that court decisions and rules are established by what has happened before. Also, in this particular setting are found a judge and jury.  (p.2, 3. Para. 1, 3).

Similarly, American courts today are supported by this same common law and its standard where “Precedents” from prior cases are used to establish credibility in certain court cases.  For example, the infamous “Roe v Wade” case is used in many cases where women might be denied rights concerning their bodies in abortion issues to establish a precedent. The role of establishing a precedent does not stop there it infiltrates many other venues of law and those who find themselves at the mercy of the court. Murder is a huge issue where bout establishing precedent would be used. (i.e. Mass Murder, Rape, etc.). For the journalist who would write a story concerning either of the crimes mentioned, the notion that there has been a previous case to draw from can help them refresh their public’s  memory of a particular high profile case. For a reporter, storytelling is key and in turn keeps the public morale up; also sells papers if people are being kept abreast of these occurrences.

In “Equity Law” litigants are awarded damages and can apply for restraining orders. At first glance of this law I am reminded of Judge Joe Brown where people sue for damages and have the burden of proof; however, I would rather go with a civil suit like domestic violence where there could be damages accrued, pay for those awarded, and/or a restraining order granted to the victim. Although, many domestic violence cases are handle by a District Attorney; monetary awards can be sought in a civil type setting.

Pember & Calvert (2013) states, “The rules, and procedures under equity are far more flexible than those under common law. Equity begins where common law leaves off. Equity suits are never tried before a jury, and ruling come in the form of judicial decrees, not in judgments of yes or no.” Hence, the judge decides the outcome and makes the ruling on these types of cases.

As stated before, in this particular case there might be some sort of altercation where a boyfriend damages property by hitting a woman’s car with a bat and shatters the windshield. Also, he could have punched her and she needed to be seen by a dentist or see a physician for a bruising which has resulted in medical and dental bills. In most of this type cases the judge sets the standard of protection in the restraining order. All this I see as Equity Law. I think that it is up to the journalist to make these type of stories subject specific because the of the prevalence of these type issue; especially among stars who are seen publicly. Notably, the journalists’ job should also be to seek out ways to inform the public of how the case is handled instead of making the occurrence seem glamorous; if a black eye can be seen glamorous.

 

Finally, “Constitutional Law” where again, “Roe v Wade” case is used in many cases where women might be denied rights concerning their bodies. These rights recognized as “Inalienable Rights” in which the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution says all men are entitled to the right of “Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”. I argued this point in the gay marriage issue a while ago and was met with a barrage of insults and comments because of the biblical aspect; however, I continue to support gay rights or any other civil rights issue because for the government “belief in God” has nothing to do with “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” no matter how morally wrong it might seem to someone else.

The text gives a description of the law saying, “Constitutions tend to be short, and, at the federal level and in most states, infrequently, amended.” (Pembert and Calvert, 2013, p.11. Para.2)

 

I believe journalists sometimes have to become teachers through all these; generally, reporting fact and truth that makes sense.