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 Thank You

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2012-2015. All rights reserved.

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“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.” ~Blaise Pascal, 17th Century Truthseeker

According to the Ancients, the heart is the psychic center of feeling; which, of course, is not the same as our human emotions that are generally born of our fixed opinions about things and events. Thus, learning to discern between our perception and our intuition ultimately becomes the primary task of all truthseekers.

Throughout the ages, seems women are thought to be more intuitive than men. Yet men are quite capable of successfully using their intuition as well.  Could it be that women usually rely on their intuition more than most men? Or is this simply one of life’s mysteries to ponder as we evolve?

Nonetheless, since justice is indeed a quality of the heart, as we generally ‘feel’ deep within us when something is not quite right or totally unfair despite what is reasonably stated, is it no wonder then that Justice is usually symbolize as a woman?

Hence, still among us are statutes of the Ancient Egyptian goddesses Ma’at (Truth) and Isis (whose name means ‘throne’), the Roman goddess Justitia or Lady Justice, and the Greek goddess Themis, all symbols of justice found throughout the world.

Meeting Durga, Hindu Goddess of Justice

My favorite symbol of Justice is the Hindu goddess Durga, whom I discovered while studying Bharata Natyam (classic temple dance of India) years ago. In times of injustice, many Hindus offer prayers to Durga. Once during class, my Hindu dance teacher gives a traditional nod to the Durga in me. Later she would cast me in her dance recital as Mahisha Asura, the fierce buffalo demon (the ego) that Durga must slay in order to redeem society.

Actually, we’re all meant to integrate the Creative forces (heart and mind) within us, thus killing off our ego (false pride). Hence, the perpetual battles between the East and the West, or so it seems: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…but the end is not yet,” Jesus the Christ, St. Matthew 24:6.

Meanwhile, to be clear here, the aforesaid goddesses in classic mythologies actually represent the intrinsic aspects of good (God) such as: Truth, Courage, Compassion and Justice. Thus, this is not at all about idol worship, but rather about honoring those sacred qualities within us.

Justice for Freddie Gray

When the Mayor said the following, I thought, wow! How cool was that: “We will get justice for Freddie Gray. Believe you me, we’ll get justice. We’re going to do it because we’re going to work together; because, if with the nation watching, three black women at three different levels can’t get justice and healing for this community, you tell me where we’re going to get it in our country,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore

Some men seem to have taken offense to the good mayor’s insightful remarks concerning justice and healing in America via three black women. Yet, as a black woman in America who’s learned to have faith in a Higher Power, I truly understand!

The Eye Contact

Seems the fact of Freddie Gray “having made eye contact” with the police on that fateful Sunday morning has become eventful following his tragic death and its universal aftermath.

Though it is unclear concerning the eye contact in Freddie’s police report, still I am reminded of my disturbing encounter with a police officer while on my way to work.

Sometime ago on a bright and sunny day, feeling happy in my own skin, as usual, I find myself walking by three policemen who had exited the nearby fast-food store. While no eye contact as such, I do recall a fleeting glance into his face that was not friendly.

As I continued walking, I sensed his burly presence behind me, just short of breathing down my neck, and wondered why he did not turn into the adjacent parking lot with the other two police officers. Feeling most uncomfortable, I kept walking knowing my office was near.

Soon, I reach my workplace and as I am about to open the door, I sense the negative energy behind me abate and the annoying policeman leave, though I never looked back. It clearly was a campaign office for the next attorney general.

Preferring peace, I was glad the annoyance abated and that I didn’t have to report this officer who clearly was having a bad day, or a bad life, and was spoiling for a fight (the ego’s way of transferring its rage with impunity).

Sadly, young Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown fell prey to their killer’s raging hatefulness, and the rest is history.

Actually, I Admire the Police

Being fond of law and order, I have an abiding respect for police work that typically requires great intelligence, empathy and self-discipline. In general, my minimal police encounters have been very positive, starting with my early childhood on the Southside of Chicago.

Many years ago while working in real estate, I happened upon an unforgettable moment of pure intelligence. He was standing at the front counter. I was in one of the cubicles behind it. As I rounded the corner into his line of vision, it strangely felt like I was walking toward an alien that was computing my race, gender, approximate age, height, and weight. Once there, he became human again, smiled one of those great President Obama type smiles and politely presented his badge. He was an FBI Agent looking for a previous tenant. Glad all went well.

Baltimore Riots of 2015 Begins

On Monday April 27, the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral, a 25-year-old African American male who died on April 19 of injuries sustained while in police custody, the now historic Baltimore Riots of 2015 begins despite his grief-stricken family’s calls for peace.

Sadly, such turn of events would be in sharp contrast to a week of intense yet generally peaceful protests, with many marching nightly against a long history of police brutality in Baltimore, and elsewhere, in the name of “Justice for Freddie”.

After school lets out that Monday, several hundred high school students begin throwing rocks and bottles at mostly police vehicles and the police. Eventually, the Police Department calls a press conference see News Week’s article here: “Public Emergency Declared After Baltimore Rioters Burn Police Cars, Loot Stores.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts steps forward and states, in part: “We have young adults here who are 15, 16, 17 years old…parents take control of your kids,” which is very significant.

The media is now closely on the ground, telecasting worldwide as events continue to unfold. News reporters abound, capturing all sides of the story with expert news analysis.

As the melee intensifies rioters, now including adults, throw bricks and bottles at police officers injuring many. Some of the officers are seriously injured and hospitalized but later recovers. Local businesses are looted and devastating fires set to many of their buildings. Firefighters are beleaguered by rioters cutting their fire hoses, but not deterred.

By nightfall, Baltimore’s mayor and governor standing together announce a one-week curfew starting the next day, and the National Guard is summoned.

On Tuesday, the next day, concerned residents are out helping with the clean-up. Civic and church leaders vow to renew corporate relationships, raise the necessary funds to start rebuilding the nearly built senior housing and community center that was burned down, though the culprit(s) remain unknown, and to help heal their city.

At the press conference Captain John Eric Kowalczyk of the Baltimore PD cites their decision not to use excessive force on Monday: “I don’t think that there’s anyone in the country that would expect us to deploy automatic weapons and armoured vehicles to an event with 13, 14 and 15 year olds. That’s not what people expect from their police department,” which affirms American values.

As Baltimore Riots, Police Show Remarkable Restraint

CNN anchor Don Lemon would later acknowledge. Yet, seemingly lost amid the blaming of authorities for not responding fast enough to stop Monday’s devastation was the incredible restraint the frontline police officers held in the midst of being pelted by bricks and bottles of unknown substances, despite injuries to fellow officers.

Instead, in sharp contrast to Dr. King’s nonviolent tactics in the 60s, the police were now the nonviolent ones while the protesters were the violent ones, truly a complete role reversal. Who would have thought in the turbulent 60s that a police force would ever deploy King’s nonviolent tactics during a riot, but they did in 2015 Baltimore that day. Only in America!

Thus, the wisdom of Mayor Stefanie and the Baltimore PD was not lost on all of us watching CNN that day. Knowing that children were involved and too many years of pent-up rage was poised to explode across America, police nonviolence was, indeed, the best tactic ever.

So hats off and a bow to Mayor Stefanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore Police Department.

And a big thumbs-up to Toya Graham, Baltimore’s mom of the hour. Who, in fear for his life, unabashedly smacks her teenage son upside-the-head several times while snatching him away from those throwing rocks at the police, proving a mother’s love knows no boundaries.

The Right to be Loved

Love is the world’s greatest power; without love we become the poorest of the poor. Of all the rights honored or should be honored in society is the right to be loved (respected).

First, let’s be clear: there is a marked difference between love and pleasure.

Pleasure, while temporary at best, is getting a new car, buying a house, sex with the right person, a nice vacation, a good job, a nice meal, a hot bath at day’s end, and so forth.

Love, though not of this world, is always a gift usually found in a good friend, a faithful spouse, a generous boss, an inspiring teacher, a devoted parent, our children, the Arts, and even a benevolent government (possibly society’s greatest need).

Sadly, when we deny love’s presence we allow hatred into our hearts that ultimately leads to egotism and deceit, a sure path to ruin if we don’t recognize it and change.

Hatred is a very dangerous emotion that not only will cause us to self-destruct, but often seeks to either hurt or destroy others in our path.

Hence, the historic uprisings of Stonewall, Ferguson and Baltimore against unfettered police brutalities that have now spawned a new Civil Rights movement. At its vanguard is the need for protections of the right to be respected by our government at all levels, at all times.

Freddie Gray’s Last Arrest

A very sad story. Some tend to theorize that Freddie ran because he had something to hide owing to his extensive police record. Yet, maybe Freddie Gray ran for a different reason. Fear of someone planting illegal drugs on him perhaps, which Freddie had tended to believe, or so he said according to one who knew him.

In a Daily Beast article, The Last Time Freddie Gray Was Arrested by Justin Glawe: Quentin Reid, Freddie’s last bail bondsman, basically states that just prior to Freddie Gray’s last arrest he had been arrested for heroin possession and was out on bail, and had said that dope had been planted on him. Sadly, the charges against Freddie Gray have now been dropped: Abated by death,” so states the court document.

Sadder still, seems most of society tend to write off people like Freddie Gray. Reid basically observes that given Freddie’s poor education and his oppressive environment, the young man never had a chance. Yet Freddie Gray was only 25 years of age; with proper help he just might have turned his life around, much like many such people before him.

The good news is, the death of Freddie Gray, while tragic, has ignited a spark in the right place, at the right time, and amongst the right people who are willing and able to bring about definitive change in our much-needed police departments nationwide.

Among these changes, here is hoping that a communication line is established, by law, in mayor’s offices, states attorney offices and up to the department of justice where citizens are encouraged to report their perceived issues of unresolved police abuses and be heard!

As a unique method to curb routine abuses of police power, that can turn deadly, and to save hateful cops from themselves, police accountability to its citizens, whose tax-dollar pay their salaries, is long overdue. Thus, a citizen’s easy report to the aforesaid offices must include assigning a document number and such for future reference.

In this way, what Freddie Gray was unable to accomplish in life, a direct line of communication between the people and their government as to police brutality and such is fully implemented in view of his tragic death.

Updated May 20, 2015

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2012-2015. All rights reserved.

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