Friday, June 18, 2021


It’s Time For A Change In Tactics In The Black And Brown Communities.

May 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Education, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) It’s time to bring episodes like what took place in the below video be brought to a screeching halt in our community. The reason that this kind of abuse is still taking place after over fifty years of complaining about it, is because what we’ve allowed to pose as Black activists. They’re ineffective, and we’ve giving them props for screaming at the establishment AFTER the fact, but they’re not doing a damn thing about working to prevent the abuse from happening in the first place. 

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After one of our young people is assaulted or killed, these so-called leaders are renowned for getting out and shaking their fists in front of the cameras for the photo ops. But after the media loses interest they just slide back into their cubbyholes until the next murder – unless they can catch a media interview during the trial. But what are they doing within the community after the fact to make the Black community more safe? Not a damn thing. 

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We’ve got to stop ascribing the title of “Black leader” to people simply because they’re photogenic and have loud voices. We need activists who are intelligent, and willing to spend time working to reinforce the community when the cameras are off.
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We need activists who are willing to organize the people to place pressure on our churches to organize their congregations to step forward to improve conditions in our community. It doesn’t make sense for our young people to be slaughtered like cattle while our churches are only open one day a week long enough to collect tithes. It’s time for our preachers to start earning their Cadillacs. 

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The time has long pasted for our churches to come together and form consortiums of political activism. That way we wield the political clout to control the police, our schools, and other government agencies. We’ve got to develop the kind of clout that the establishment with pay attention to; the kind of clout where if a rogue cop gets out of line and the department is unresponsive, we can fire the chief and everybody in his or her chain of command for negligence. I guarantee you, that’ll solve the problem immediately, because even if the chief doesn’t give a damn about Black people, you can be sure we’ll work to protect his own ass.

waronblackpeople-2021

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We’ve also got to address our image in the Black community. One of the reasons that juries allow so many rogue cops to go free after killing unarmed Black people is because they believe the ignorant-ass macho images that far too many young Black men try to portray. But the only reason they try to portray those images is because they’ve been led to believe that, that’s they all they have to offer. We’ve got to correct that perception.

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Black people are brilliant. What we casually refer to as “soul” is actually intellectual creativity straining to be set free, and I know that for a fact. I’m the son of a lifelong drug dealer. All of the drug dealers I knew, and all the drug dealers for miles around worked for my father. That gave me easy access to the profession and I started as a child. As a result, between the ages of twelve and nineteen years old, I spent as much time in jail as I did on the street. 

Like many Black youngsters, it never occurred to me to try to improve my stature in life by using my mind instead of my stupidity. As far as I was concern, hustling was my place in life. When I was arrested for the first time I was in the 7th grade, and I overheard Sgt. Foster – who later, as a Captain and commander of the 77th police Division, was instrumental in turning my life around – telling another cop, “I can’t believe this kid. He’s just out of elementary school, and he’s already at school getting rich selling drugs hand over fist – but that was until he found out who my father was. Thereafter, he went on a mission. He hounded me throughout my teenage years, and went out of his way to embarrass me on the street.
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I showed up on the block one day and the fellas were giggling. Then one said, “Hey, E, Foster was up here and he said, he wanted you to have your ass at the police station at 9 o’clock in the morning, on the dot! And if he had to burn one drop of gas looking for you, he was gon’ kick your ass.” Then they all started falling out laughing. They were laughing, but they took Foster dead seriously, because he was one of those cigar-chompin’ White boys like you see in television, and he wasn’t a street cop, so if he showed up on the street, somebody had a serious problem.
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And Foster knew exactly what he was doing. He knew that if he came out on the street looking for me, that made the fellas feel like I was bringing heat down on them, so it caused me problems. My father even asked me, “Man, what the hell are you doing, bringing Foster down on everybody?” That sort of thing went on throughout my teenage years until I 19, and I was finally arrested with a briefcase filled with heroine as an adult.

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But I began to see the light at about 14 years old, and it paid off when I was 19. During that time I was in a juvenile facility, and the White staff there loved laughing at the ignorance of young Black kids. It was their favorite pastime. But none of us were ignorant – in fact, one of the reasons that most of us were incarcerated was because we were bored with being kids. So the fact was, we weren’t ignorant at all, we were just undereducated. But I didn’t like being laughed at, so I went on a mission to correct the situation, and as a result, I can now laugh at their dumb asses. 

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But that’s when I threw away my “Archie and Friends” comic books and began to spend my time drenching myself in everything I could get my hands on to read, and eventually one of my Black counselors, Mr. Cummings, who was studying to become a lawyer, started loaning me his law books to read, and that changed my life. I eventually got a reputation as a jailhouse lawyer, and that made it possible to spread my hustle all over town without have to worry about gangs, because between that, and my father, I knew everybody on every set. It also helped me with the older fellas, because I also started helping many of my father’s friends with their legal cases. Then later, as an adult with a family, I hired myself out to attorneys doing legal research and brief writing. I had a young mind that soaked up everything, so as a result of all the legal research and writing on the law I was doing, in many case I knew more about the law than the attorneys I was working for. They used to call me all the time to discuss their cases – I used to charge them a third of their fees for my services, and they were happy to pay it.

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I don’t do many things well, but obtaining a knowledge of the law, and learning to write, has helped me coast through my life – my kids never wanted for a thing. But I’ve digressed.
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I was arrested at 19 years old with a briefcase filled with heroine, and I represented myself in “Pro Per”. I tried to defend myself on  technicalities, but it was useless, because the bust was clean, and they had me dead-bang. But the judge was impressed with my knowledge of the law at 19 years old, and Captain Foster showed up at my sentencing. So instead of simply sending me to prison, Foster and the judge took me in the judge’s chambers and offered me a deal. After the judge 
lectured me on wasting me life, he offered me a deal. He said, if I agreed to go into the military, he would hole my conviction in abeyance. Then, if I got out of the military with an Honorable discharge, I could return to court and have my entire record expunged. I couldn’t believe my ears, and of course, I agreed, because that meant I could leave from the court for the street, and I hadn’t seen the street for several months.

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I thought I was going into the army, but what I didn’t know was the Judge was a former Jag officer for the Marine Corps, and somehow he got the marines to throw-out all of their regulations regarding accepting a high school dropout with a criminal record extending into childhood. But as soon as I got into the Marine Corps they gave me the GED to get my high school diploma, and then sent me to the Army-Navy Academy. Thereafter, they gave me a job writing for my battalion commander, and later, the general.
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A good rule of thumb for a writer is to keep yourself out of your writings, but in this case, I decided it was necessary to make my point. I’m not an exceptionally brilliant brother – in fact, when I was coming up, in terms of intelligence, I was somewhere in the middle among my friends. That tells me something very significant about the Black community – the community is filled to the brim with a lot of brilliance that’s going to waste. So our Black “leaders” need to be much more than just screamers. We need people with the knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence to tap into that valuable resource to drag our community out of the hole with find ourselves in. If we don’t begin to utilize our intelligence, fifty years from now we’ll still be fighting the same battle.
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In closing, and as an aside, after I came out of the Marine Corps, had my record expunged, and finished college, Capt. Foster wanted to sponsor me to join the LAPD. He said, “We need officers just like you” – and I was seriously considering it. But my late wife, Val, was an Angela Davis type, and she said, “That sounds like a plan, but where you plan on sleeping at night?” So I passed on that plan, because I loved sleeping with that woman. 
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But ironically, my son, Eric Jr., became a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration. And I really wanted Capt. Foster there, if it wasn’t for him, Eric would never have been born, because I would have been in prison. But unfortunately, Capt. Foster died just before Eric graduated from the academy, but he did get to see him go into the academy. That’s the only sad part about this tale. Foster should have been there. I would have loved to have him sitting next to me when the FBI presented Eric with his credentials, because he was the reason we were there.

Staff Writer; Eric L. Wattree

More thought provoking articles feel free to visit; The Wattree Chronicle.

 


Comments

One Response to “It’s Time For A Change In Tactics In The Black And Brown Communities.”
  1. Vader says:

    I’m so sick and tired of see black people on TV or writing articles pushing these fake Black-Brown coalitions and partnerships for social justice. Most intelligent black people are aware that far too many Hispanics have adopted white supremacist’s views of black people. I’m also sure my post with be removed.

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