Betty Pleasant’s Weekly Soulvine Column: December 8, 2014

                                                            By Betty Pleasant

THEM AGAINST US AND US AGAINST US — It’s bad enough that the United States of America has unleashed its law enforcement goons across the country to massacre unarmed black and brown people by any means necessary, as most recently evidenced by the New York City grand jury’s refusal to indict white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, for the July chokehold death of Eric Garner, a black unarmed father of six, whose grisly demise was video taped and shown to the world. This flagrant miscarriage of here-to-fore touted “American justice” led to huge protests by the people of New York and followed a mere week after a Ferguson, Mo. grand jury cleared police officer Darren Wilson of the fatal shooting of 18-year-old unarmed and black Michael Brown, precipitating destructive riots in Ferguson and demonstrations around the country, including here in Los Angeles.
We have a problem in Los Angeles that threatens to undermine our fight against the fascist forces in the country determined to annihilate us: the petty, divisive undermining of those few altruistic souls who are leading us in our fight to survive. Blogger Jasmyne Cannick has referred to dyed-in-the-wool activists Najee Ali, Earl Ofari Hutchinson and the Rev. K.W. Tulloss as “so-called black leaders” for their roles in organizing and leading  Los Angeles’ anti-police violence protest marches. That is a nasty, belittling denigration of men who have done nothing but fight for the rights of black and brown people in our community and we rely on them — and more like them — to lead us out of our present peril.
Instead of thanking them for their leadership during these and other troubling times, Cannick, who leads nothing and does nothing, wrote of an anonymous rumor that Najee, specifically, was a police snitch who ratted out protesters and caused them to be arrested by the LAPD when they violated the law by marching on the freeway, closing traffic. Cannick was among those arrested, which she blamed on Najee.
In response, Najee said the allegation against him is a lie and I would believe him over her any day. For the record, Najee explained that, in anticipation of civil unrest, the LAPD convened a meeting with him, Earl and Tulloss — as well as the leaders of more than 30 different churches and groups — from the Nation of Islam and the US organization to the NAACP to insure that the violence that erupted during last year’s Crenshaw Boulevard Trayvon Martin march does not occur again. “Our only goal was peace in our hood,” Najee said. “To say we worked with the police to have people arrested is a big lie,” he added.
We don’t need this from Cannick or from anybody else with a black or brown face. Know why? Because the white faces are moving right along toward their goal, while we lie on each other and foment divisive dissemination among our ranks. We need all the unity we can get and we need to be led by whomever has the will, the way and the skill to lead us.
Those of us who don’t, need to just shut up and follow.
In case you missed it: A white Phoenix police officer gunned down another unarmed black man Tuesday night. Rumain Bisbon, 34, the father of four, was killed by the cop, who thought he was making a drug bust, after the cop mistook a pill vial for which Bisbon was reaching to be a gun. Lord have mercy! How can anyone mistake a pill vial for a gun?! An obviously hallucinating cop can!
And did you see this video? While the Phoenix cop was busy shooting Bisbon to death, three Denver cops were videotaped pounding the head of David Nelson Flores into the pavement in an attempt to make him spit out drugs they believed were in his mouth. The witnessing videographer said one of the cops pounded Flores six times in the face, closed-fisted, so hard that his head was seen and heard smacking against the pavement. Flores’ very pregnant girlfriend and his young child were in the car. Concerned about the beating her man was taking, the woman got out of the car, so one of the cops flipped her onto her immensely pregnant belly and smacked her in the stomach and face. The woman-beating cop said he attacked her because he thought she was going to kick him! The three Denver cops are said to be “under investigation” (whatever that means) for what they did to Flores and his woman.
See what I’m talking about? It’s like Nazi Germany in this country. We black and brown people are the Jews and the cops are the Gestapo, (or the Geheime Staatspolizei, as my high school German is recalled) whose only function is to eliminate us by any means necessary.
The other day, President Barack Obama requested that federal agencies submit recommendations to ensure the United States is not building a “militarized culture” within police departments. Duh!  The president also said he wants more police to wear cameras that capture their interactions with the people. Eric Holder, head of the Justice Department, said “In the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance that will codify our commitment to the very highest standards of fair and effective policing.” Uh huh.
Yeah, well that sounds good, but I still l think Great Britain should send troops into the United States to train our country’s police forces how to keep the peace without killing every black and brown person they see.
And what is this about Charles Barkley supporting the Ferguson grand jury’s decision and praising police officers? I never liked him anyway.
OTHER STUFF — The deadline for filing for George McKenna’s full term on the LAUSD Board of Education was yesterday and as of today, no one has filed to run against him in the March election. Therefore, he’s running unopposed and I can use the break!
More than 100 guests gathered at Jerry’s Flying Fox the other day and night to celebrate the establishment’s 55th anniversary and Jerry Edwards’ 45th year as its owner. Jerry acquired it 10 years after the late Hildegarde Bostic opened it. Me and my running buddies Najee and Christine Manning partied and ate prime rib and chicken all day and all night. Even my old pal Reve Gipson Parks dropped by. And a good time was had by all. I wonder though, how many Los Angeles black-owned establishments have been in business for 55 years?


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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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