The Black History Made This Black History Month

by Lord Serious

Judge Regina Chu sentenced former officer Kim Potter to serve two-thirds of a 2 year sentenced in the custody of the Department of Corrections for the manslaughter of Daunte Wright. Mr. Wright was pulled over for expired tags and having an air freshener hanging from his windshield mirror. Typically a minor traffic violation would result in nothing more than a fine. But after running his name, it was revealed that Mr. Wright had a bench warrant out for his arrest. Upon learning that he was being placed under arrest, Mr. Wright jumped back into his car and tried to drive off. At this point officer Potter, a 26-year vet claims that she mistook her firearm for her taser and Mr. Wright was fatally shot.

A jury of her peers found Mrs. Potter guilty and the guidlines called for her to receive a sentence that ranged from 6 years to 15 years in prison.

Usually, in police involved shootings of unarmed Black men our ability to prosecute the offending officer has been impeded by Grand Juries that have refused to indict. But in this case, not only did the Grand Jury determine that enough evidence existed to prosecute Kim Potter for manslaughter, but at the conclusion of Kim Potter’s trial 12 jurors were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that she was guilty of all charges.

What makes this case stand out from all others in my mind is that, this time it was the judge and not the Grand Jury who undermined our ability to impose a sentence that would deter other officers from displaying this same predatory behavior towards unarmed Blacks. Even after a verdict has been reached, the criminal justice system still fails to dispense justice equally.

While making her ruling Judge Chu became emotional at times and made judicial comments to stave off criticism of her extremely light sentence. Judge Chu’s perspective can be summed up as this: 1) The officer should have never been indicted and charged for carrying out her lawful duties, and 2) Black people need to get over their feelings of distrust and anger toward the criminal justice system because we have the duty to keep peace. Judge Chu also quoted former President Obama out of context, suggesting that Blacks stop identifying with the pain felt by Mr. Wright’s family, and instead identify with Mrs. Potter by placing ourselves in her shoes. Kim Potter would receive a 16 month sentence, which is a substantial deviation from the 6 year to 15 year sentence recommended by the sentencing guidelines.

Minnesota police have a long history of killing unarmed Black people and I have been highlighting their corrupt police practice for years. In Apotheosis, Lord Serious Hakim Allah’s Habeas Corpus Appeal I predicted that if Blacks didn’t find new ways to fight back against this system the problem of mass incarceration and police brutality would persist:

“Before I get into what we must do to change course, I will first tell you what you can expect to happen in the next 12 months in the aftermath of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile “murders”:

1) There will be protest with people of all races;
2) There will be a host of political debates composed of multiracial panels;
3) There will be Black leadership who calls for calm;
4) There will be Black attorneys who swear up and down a Civil Rights violation has occurred, and they will sound so convincing you will have little doubt that these police officers will finally be held accountable;
5) The state or Feds will investigate;
6) A Grand Jury will be held, and most likely, no indictments will be brought against the police officers who both were practically caught on camera;
7) You probably won’t believe me until it actually happens;

When things do go exactly as I predicted this will prove:

1) Protesting and marching alone will never be enough to change the White power structure’s perception on why #BlackLivesMatter;

2) That, the debates and panels are shams. Those panels are not all inclusive and until they begin routinely inviting grassroots leaders and allow these community leaders to express their views, the conversations are purely intellectual. Negotiations cannot occur until they start inviting the real leadership to the table;

3) That, the White power structure has always appointed Black leadership for the sole purpose of maintaining their control over our people;

4) That, just like those leaders (above) these attorneys have an invested interest in maintaining the current system; if these attorneys really wanted to bring these atrocities to a stop they would aid us in bringing the U.S. before the International Courts for their human rights violations;

5) Both state and Federal law enforcement agencies know that a conviction for police misconduct is easier to get in the state, because state legislation gives prosecutors more variety in the amount of charges they can bring against the police. However, many states’ penal codes are ambiguous (unclear) on what extent deadly force is authorized, and unless the police department has a policy to clarify these ambiguities it becomes even more difficult to secure a Grand Jury indictment against an offending officer. But if the Feds do pick up the case the wording of the Civil Rights Act basically makes it unenforceable. It must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer had a “specific intent” to violate the deceased person’s constitutional rights;

6) …When this happens in the case of Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile, it will prove that the political analyst, Black political leaders, and the Black attorneys LIED to you when they told you that placing body cameras on White rogue police officers would deter them from continuing to shoot unarmed or cooperating Black people;
7) By the time we reach this point more innocent Black lives will be lost due to this same problem.” (pp. 20-22)

To purchase this book and learn more about Lord Serious visit his website www.Lordseriousspeaks.com.

Integration

“And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.” – James Baldwin

This quote spoke volumes to my heart because it clarifies the dilemma that we face in our country today and it encourages us not only to make change where it is needed, but to accept each other for who we are. So many mistakes were made in the past that we continue to perpetuate today through hidden (not so hidden) emotional conflict. It’s very difficult, and pretty much impossible to fix any problem while you persist in creating more. If we choose to judge others for their shortcomings, it takes our focus off of ourselves and puts an even heavier burden on them. There is no love in that, just conflict and eventually the line that separates right from wrong becomes non existent. Change is needed and everyone plays a part in that transformation. By dealing with others in love – not only are we acting in our true nature, but we become a light that reveals what’s in the hearts of others; giving them an opportunity to be a part of that much needed change that transforms a divided nation into a whole one. External peace means nothing when we still have animosity under the surface. But when we can see the lives of others as nothing separate from our own lives, integration becomes not only possible but inevitable.

-Shareek Pittman

A Trick

“…it’s a trick… thinking its a right of passage for a black male, ain’t real n!##@ til you enter that jail…”

-Royce Da 5’9″, “Tricked”- The Allegory

That line hits home hard. As a black man who, as a child, knew nothing of racial conflict and black stereotypes, as I look back, I see my preteen childhood as a testament to that truth–we’ve seen prison as a right of passage for us.

It’s an unspoken tradition– a vile trick that has effected, to this day, the lives of many young black men and boys. When confronted with great adversity, children normally look to their heroes for guidance on how to handle life’s issues. But many black boys suffer from America’s increasing culture of fatherlessness. What is a little black boy to do then?

Due to the struggles of black men to provide for their families in the overtly racist America of the very recent past, they found themselves faced with a life threatening dilemma– make their own way with any means available to them, or suffer the sight of a family deprived. In a country that blatantly disapproved of them solely because of their appearance, black men expressed their anger with American society by disregarding the laws – the same laws, that legally ostracized them. Therefore, the black rebel became a symbol of heroism for black Americans across the country– strong black men who stared into the face of overwhelming odds and chose survival. This became the definition of a black man. But this is also where the trick began…

It’s not a secret – for a time, America was all but inhospitable to black people. Sadly but understandably, what it has meant to be black has become an embrace of anti-establishment ideology. Why? Well, we have to understand that every prominent black American hero, at the hands of white people, have been harassed, beaten, imprisoned, and/or killed! We think if we are bold like our heroes, who had to brave the violence and strife brought on by racism and the government leaders who either participated or enabled it, only then are we strong enough to be black men in this country.

If the world of American racism is symbolized as a battleground, then the prison system would be behind enemy lines. The jails became a place where survivors of the struggle were held. The same way we honor prisoners of war, we honor the ex-convict black man who survived the extent of white oppression.

As the world evolves, so too should the mindset and model of the black American male. But I fear that if there is always a going to be a battlefield (societal racism), there are always going to be fighters, and prisoners of war (black men behind bars).

This Black History Month, let’s take some time to reflect on how we can change this for future generations.

-Q. Patterson

Future

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” -Malcolm X

This quote just spoke to me as I read it this morning – because for millions behind the walls, their outlook of a future is bleak. Their daily view of life is bars, concrete and metal. Their days consist of daily counts, consumption of food not fit for humans, wearing the same orange/blue/brown jumpsuits (for the most case). I ask, how does one prepare for a future when they have no idea what the future holds for them? They were given decades long sentences and laws continue to overlook them because of their offense. They are deemed outcasts, a threat to society and threaten public safety. Some are innocent and punished for exercising their right to a fair trial. Others were teenagers, immature or dealing with mental illnesses and made a bad choice. How can they prepare for a future when they are not promised one outside the walls? How can your future belong to those who are prepared for it, when their future lies in the hands of legislators and lawmakers!

Over the last month and even some in 2020, I witnessed lawmakers and legislators sit in a box, debating the future of thousands of men and women behind the walls. Having intense discussions about their very livelihood as if they were discussing a non-existent thing that has no life. When they were discussing the fate of a human—a person that lives, breathes and who has the same red colored blood flowing through their bodies as them.  But they argued and determined that their lives do notmatter. They made decisions to kill bills that would allow those persons to come home to people that love them, children that miss them and spouses that bears the weight of life without them daily. These lawmakers and legislators do not know what it feels like to live this life every day because at the end of each day, when they are done making choices and decisions that keeps men/women behind the walls—they go home to their family, their children, and their spouses. They go home to family dinners and spend time tucking their children into bed each night. They sleep in a bed that is plush and comfortable. They have access to an unlimited supply of necessities. They do not worry whether they will wake up to see another day. 

These men and women still strive to have a positive outlook on life. They still strive to lay the foundation of a better future. They do not allow their current situations stop them from becoming a better person. They have owned their bad choice. They are not making excuses for what happened to them. Daily, they are growing, maturing, and changing the trajectory of their future. They have not allowed the obstacle of their path deter them from working towards their FUTURE!

In the words of our first black President: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” — Barack Obama

– Jerry James, Deerfield Correctional Center

Slavery

We are slaves in the midst of freedom, waiting patiently and unconcernedly, indifferently, and stupidly, for masters to come and lay claim to us, trusting their generosity, whether or not they will own us and carry us into endless bondage.

Martin Delaney (1812-1885 United States)

My name is Antoinne Pitt I am from Portsmouth, Virginia. This profound statement can be related to today’s time because slavery still exists but is done more intelligently. The Constitution of the United States abolished slavery, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party has been duly convicted.

Prison warehousing is modern day slavery and the convicted are the subjects. A system has been put in place that is designed for people of the lower class to fail. Projects and section 8 housing were built to house individuals with a low income. In these environments, the lower class people become susceptible to the things that go on, because the things that we see and hear are planted in our subconscious mind and stored as sensory data. This is where the term ‘product of my environment’ takes rise. We begin to adapt to these environments and begin to engage in some of the activities in what we call a will to survive. Adapting to this survival-of-the-fittest mentality has lead to the mass incarceration of the olive people.

Prison is a billion dollar industry and is truly legalized slavery. A system was put in place and designed for us to fail, but that does not mean we have to fail. Self government relinquishes the power of those that govern. This legalized slavery can be combated by governing yourself – if not, you are consenting to be governed. This is done by living a righteous life, right thought, right action and adhering to the universal law of cause and effect that governs all events. A person who didn’t teach you right has no intentions of treating you right.

You are only as free as your thoughts. Stop waiting for your master to give you direction, but direct the course of your life by mastering yourself. Peace and love.

– Antoinne Pitt, From Portsmouth / LVCC

Progress

A few hundred year old monuments get taken down and we celebrate… yet the systems, the people and mindset that allowed those monuments to remain in place as a constant reminder of what this nation was built on and the oppressed position we were supposed to stay in; continue to teach our children, patrol our communities, sentence our youth, and block or pass legislation that directly effects US.

Remove the robes from a clansman and he’s still a clansman! I say keep the monuments and instead get rid of the systems and people that maintain what those monuments stand for… because we know that latter will not be done as long as we are distracted by the optics of the former.

– Sincere Born Allah, #1131459, Nottoway Correctional Center

Integration

The quote that I selected for this months assignment is from a past-prominent African man. Malcolm X. His quote reads: “We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society.”

In today’s society, I feel African people in this country are still faced with adversity on this exact quote as we speak. Prejudice, discrimination, and repression; African people are still faced with now in 2021 as if we were still in the 1960s. There are numerous examples of Malcolm Xs quote that exist to name to date to live in america as a African man/woman that continues to happen as if nothing has changed much from now as it was back then that we still see on the news and social media now.

-Kamau Lumumba #1025732, Norfolk, Va

Power

“The Black Man is oppressed because he has not developed the power to prevent his oppression.” -Amos Wilson

Usually Black History Month is a time to celebrate Black achievements and Black excellence, while we all spend this month sharing our knowledge about the greatness of the Black race. It is my opinion that the above quote perfectly sums up the experience of Blacks living in America. Despite our race’s numerous contributions to this society as a whole, Black people remain the most oppressed group in the United States. The purpose of Black History Month is not to give us a false sense of security. Black people cannot afford to rest on the laurels of our ancestors. None of their accomplishments have yet to liberate us from White supremacy. Therefore, the true purpose of Black History Month is to inspire new generations to surpass those who came before them. And as noteworthy as our individual achievements may be, our primary goal should be gaining the independence of our race from White domination.

In his book “Blueprint for Black Power”, Amos Wilson provides the blueprint needed to reverse engineer the structural racism within America, which was designed by White elite males, to keep Blacks permanently trapped in a subordinate position. In closing, I encourage you all to learn all that you can about the illustrious history of our race. But under no circumstances must we ever become content, because there is still so much work to be done.

Lord Serious is the author of “Apotheosis Lord Serious Hakim Allah’s Habeas Corpus Appeal” and the childrens book “The Powerless Pinky.” He is featured on the podcast “For The Culture,” which airs every Friday at 7pm EST. You can follow him on Facebook and Instagram @Lord Serious Speaks. To learn more about him visit his website www.LordSeriousSpeaks.com.

Financial Freedom

The words of the multi-platinum selling billionaire rapper and American icon point to a very factual solution to the problems Black Americans face today.

Black American’s ancestors, slaves ripped from their home country, were poor, destitute, and forced into servitude unwillingly, and were unpaid workforce and the backbone of the American economy for centuries. The physical shackles have been long released, but substituted for more subtle forms of bondage. Today, Black Americans as a whole are still experiencing the economical oppression that echoes from times pre/post/antebellum.

In a capitalist society such as America, poverty may be as good (if not worse than) death – at least death to any hope of the American dream. White Americans from back then realized the importance of economical wellness as a means to greater participation in the American dream. Through legislation, intimidation, and physical force (such as the burning down of Black Wall St. in Tulsa, Oklahoma), they were successful in stagnating the development of Black wealth, but not achieving it’s death. Those times have changed for the most part, but not entirely. The presence of systemic racism has recently been widely accepted as fact, barring a majority of Black Americans from obtaining a grip on basic livelihood, let alone equitable wealth.

Surely these are the facts, but another fact remains… to obtain true freedom in our capitalist society, it is not enough to be only physically free… you must also be free financially. That takes cooperation, persistence, and fortitude of an entire people. In addition to those characteristics, a greater perspective must be gained. A perspective encompassing generational wealth- beyond day to day, or even year to year… not only for your children, but your children’s children. Don’t think in decades, garner a perspective that equates to millennia. Rich is for the moment, true wealth is forever – accompanied with the knowledge and wisdom not only to survive, but thrive…

– Q. Patterson, #1392272

Silence

This quote is so relevant today, that it’s almost like it was written with these specific circumstances in mind.

So many people, while being themselves a victim (knowingly or unknowingly) of systemic racism, inequality, inequity, or some other form of social injustice… choose not to stand up, speak up or in any way take part in the movement for true justice and reform which by default (if successful) they too will benefit from.

As a people… unity is the most feared and most underused tool at our disposal. Society has become so singular (I, me, my, mine), that we don’t feel the need to be proactive or get involved in anything that does not directly effect us. We as a whole have become largely unaware of our indirect community. That is until it happens to you or someone you consider a loved one. Then, all of a sudden it becomes important to you, and you seek help and support and demand justice or change at breakneck speed. Before 2020, how many George Floyds were there that we were silent about? Think about what could have been done 10, 20, or even 30 years ago to prevent the tragedy of George Floyd from happening. And even now, less than a year later, the streets are clear and NOTHING has changed … the proof is right there in your social media news feed.

– Sincere Born Allah, #1131459, Nottoway Correctional Center