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Happy-Thanksgiving-Cards

We have been given every good thing. Let us remember and be grateful:

Be grateful for the sun to warm our days, the moon to light our nights, and the stars to guide us

Be grateful for Mother Earth and the natural beauty that surrounds us

Be grateful for the love of family, friends, and the Divine Ones all praying for our good

Be grateful for the good times that gives us joy, the lean times that teach us restraint, and all the in-between times that gives us peace

Be grateful for those before us who paved our way, for those who now walk with us in gratitude, and for those who will follow our lighted path into the future

Be grateful for life, the gift of pure imagination, and be ever inspired

Happy Thanksgiving…Free the Mind!

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

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“All unhealed healers follow the ego’s plan for forgiveness in one form or another. If they are theologians they are likely to condemn themselves, teach condemnation and advocate a fearful solution,” A Course in Miracles, Text 9:5.

At a time when the World seems peacefully united, I just love the Olympics.

In 1988, Calgary Canada, master figure-skater Debi Thomas became “the first Black athlete to win any medal at the Winter Olympics”.

Debi instantly becomes a national treasure. And, much like Muhammad Ali and the other great African American Olympians before and after her, Debi Thomas remains a credit to our race in particular.

Blessed with stellar support, her mother reportedly drove over 100 miles a day taking Debi to school and training on the ice. Today, Debi Thomas is still: “The 1986 World Champion, two-time U.S. National Champion and 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist.” Wikipedia.

Lest We Not Forget!

I remember watching Debi’s Olympic performances on television while cheering her on. I was both proud and ecstatic as she received her medal…a mere token of her advanced talent. Thank you Debi for making us all so very proud, truly a time to remember and cherish!

Debi Thomas 88 Qlympian

Debi Thomas 1988 Olympian

After retiring from amateur skating, Debi graduates from Stanford University in 1991 with a degree in engineering. In 1994, she fulfills her childhood dream of becoming a doctor and graduates from medical school at Northwestern University. Set to specialize in orthopedic surgery, Dr. Debi Thomas completes her Orthopedic Residency Programs and ultimately goes into private practice.

Dr Debi Thomas

Dr. Debi Thomas

Having mastered, not one, but two of the World’s most difficult courses of study, Dr. Debi Thomas is inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000. And her exceptional life continues.

Frankly, if Dr. Debi were to rest on her laurels, make tons of money and ‘chill out’ indefinitely, we really can’t blame her for that. Yet, being the ‘champ’ that she truly is, seems Debi Thomas has chosen to answer the Call, once again, and continue the ancient struggle.

Rebuked & Scorned on National TV

“I been ‘buked and I’ve been scorned…I’ve been talked about ‘sho you born.” ~Traditional Negro Spiritual

Having heard little about Debi Thomas since her 1988 Olympic triumph in Calgary, I looked forward to her television appearance. Though rarely do I watch TV’s reality shows, prefer a good romantic comedy or drama instead. That said, I do enjoy the OWN network and truly appreciate Oprah’s vision for it, which is to edify and uplift us all.

Sadly, the good will that Oprah has created for OWN just did not extend to Dr. Debi Thomas on its “Iyanla: Fix My Life” show recently. In fact, the show’s host, Iyanla Vanzant, treated Debi badly…very, very badly in my opinion.

The obvious question is: What the hell was Iyanla thinking; did she not review the show before it aired?

With all of Iyanla’s alleged expertise, seems in review she would have spotted the ego’s treatment plan all up in her mess. Then called Debi immediately, begged her forgiveness, and scrapped the whole thing; or, offer to film it correctly. But she didn’t.

Those of us rather familiar with Iyanla’s work over the years have seen her do better. So we know that Iyanla can do better, why she didn’t is a big mystery. Besides airing the woman’s eccentric living conditions and romantic problems in the wrong spirit, seems the most egregious thing that Iyanla did was to call Dr. Thomas’ mental health into question.

Not only was this not Iyanla’s call, but her belief in the subjective mental diagnosis she offered up as evidence, which Debi disputed, harkens back to the Dark Ages where eccentric kin were legally deemed insane and given cruel shock treatments that either impaired or finished them, usually for the money. So it’s hard to believe that an alleged New Age “life coach” would actually go there, but this one did.

Since the show’s airing on November 7, I’ve read several articles and reader’s comments about Dr. Thomas’ well being, some supportive, some negative as usual. I then visited Debi’s GoFundMe page that seeks financial help and also gives her side of the story.

There, among other things, Dr. Debi assures us that: “There are no mental health issues, drugs, or alcohol involved, just healing,” which made me feel a whole lot better about her situation.

Thanks Dr. Debi for moving forward in your life, so very, very sorry that Iyanla Vanzant chose condemnation rather than compassion on her show. Sadly, it seems Iyanla could well “fix” her own life before trying to fix someone else’s life.

Having been through hard times myself, including years of chronic depression, I have come to realize the healing power of applied spiritual study of the right text (“applied” being the operative word here). Such studies work for me, and will for anyone with an affinity for study and application in particular.

A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem

According to Dr. Wayne Dyer in his bestseller, also featured on his National Public Television specials (PBS), indeed “There’s A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.”

Here Dr. Dyer “shows us that there is an omnipresent spiritual force right at our fingertips that contains the solution to our problems ̶ ̶̶ from ill health, to financial worries, to relationship difficulties. Drawing from various spiritual traditions, especially from the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, Dyer helps us unplug from the material world and awaken to the divine within (front flap, 1st Ed).”

A truly humble teacher: Many years ago during a Whole Life Expo in Atlanta where he was one of the featured speakers, at intermission Dr. Dyer stood quietly by his display of books waiting for anyone who might have a question or just wanted to talk. Frankly, I was too awestruck to even say anything, but I shall never forget his wonderful presence.

A Course in Miracles

At the beginning of his above mentioned book, Dr. Wayne Dyer quotes from my favorite self-study text to date, simply known as the Course:

“You have no problems, though you think you have…” ~ A Course in Miracles (ACIM)

It’s been over twenty years since a lovely lady handed me the Course. She was the bookstore manager at the New Thought church I was attending. Being short on finances she gave me the book, having already been paid for by donated funds, she said.

Previously, after meditating for years, one day I cried out to God asking to be happy all the time rather than being blissed out in meditation.

Little did I know then that my life would radically change. Not only would I leave my church home of eighteen years, my spiritually evolved teacher-counselor whom I would never see again, and my immediate family, but would move across the country in the process. And so I did.

There, I would find the Course, or more like it found me. Upon perusing this great book, I immediately recognized it was for me and hit the ground running, so to speak.

The Course also teaches you to teach, the irony is it does not tell you when, exactly.

Thus, a lot of its new students, including myself, tend to think formal teaching begins right after you complete the Workbook, which is not usually the case. Though I drafted an extensive outline for organized lectures on the Course that went well and held classes in the local Unity Church, eventually up pops the ego and the classes ended.

Clearly, I was so not yet ready to teach the Course. Hurt? Of course I was. Yet, I move on having much to learn, and what a blessing indeed!

Today, I am still learning. Yet, I can better see my progress now. And the gift of Inner Peace and Unconditional Happiness is ever near, which is what I was really crying out to God for on that fateful day so long ago.

So What Exactly is A Course in Miracles?

Here is what it says in its brief Introduction found at the beginning of the Text:

“This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

This Course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.”

~A Course in Miracles

Wow, pure poetry!  The Course’s Introduction brings back such poignant memories of my early days with it.

Peace and Light to all. Free the Mind!

(Updated 11/14/15, 2nd photo of Debi added)

(Updated 11/17/15, text added “I’ve been ‘buked…)

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

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“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” ~Anne Frank

In many ways, seems it is still the best of times and the worst of times as Charles Dickens observes in “A Tale of Two Cities” ca. 1859. Such is the duality of human life we all must conquer one day. Hence the old adage: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Considered a key world leader, yet Pope Francis brought the most humble gift of all to the U.S. during his six-day visit here (22-28 September 2015). This being the gift of Unconditional Love, as taught by Jesus the Christ, that Pope Francis gladly shared with all he met. Thanks Pope Francis, we love you back!

Though not of the Catholic faith per se, I followed Pope Francis on television, prayed with him during mass and keep his speech transcripts for study. His unscripted speech at the Festival of Families is my favorite: “God is good, God is beautiful, God is true,” said the Pope among other good things.

Pope Francis/ Photo, Telegraph UK

Pope Francis/Photo,Telegraph UK

Once after prayers with the Pope on TV, though I had forgotten about them, I soon recover some precious computer files I thought were lost forever, truly a miracle.

Yet, my heart could not accept canonizing Fr. Serra; so I inadvertently missed that part of Pope Francis’s Mass celebrations.

Upon the Pope’s departure to Rome, I teared up as he boarded his plane and prayed for his safe return home. Despite the Church’s flawed decision to canonize Fr. Serra who allegedly mistreated his Native American converts and himself. As our mom use to say: “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” but more about that later.

The next morning, I awaken missing the Pope’s very kind face and tireless humanity being shown on TV. In recalling visions of all the grateful people he touched, it felt like I had been on an extraordinary vacation for sure. Knowing that lives were miraculously changed during this Pope’s sacred visit made me all the more joyful.

Remembering Anne Frank and Family

Born Anneliese Marie Frank on 12 June 1929, young Anne Frank died in a Nazi concentration camp (Bergen-Belsen) in February 1945, age 15. According to witnesses, within days of each other both Anne and her sister Margot, age 19, succumbed to typhus, which was rampant. This occurred shortly before the Allies broke through enemy lines and liberated the disease-infested camps.

Anne Frank, 1942

Yet, Anne’s natural zest for life, her self-determination and remarkable intellect is her real story here that lives on through her renowned dairy, first published in 1947 as “The Diary of a Young Girl” by way of her father, Otto Frank, the only survivor of her immediate family.

In January 1945 her mother, Edith Frank, died of starvation in Auschwitz-Birkenau, age 44.

In 1980, Otto Frank dies in Basel (Switzerland), age 91. Thanks to her father’s dedicated efforts, Anne Frank’s story continues. Thus, “The Diary of Anne Frank” has inspired many, such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela.

At the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, President Kennedy declares: “No place is more compelling than that of Anne Frank…her humor, her humanity and her hope illuminate the hearts of men heavily clouded by the apparent willingness of those who seek power and domain over the soul of man to again deprive people of the right to live in peace, tolerance and freedom.” Her diary is “a gift that will survive her enemies,” John F. Kennedy, 1961.

On Robben Island, some of us read Anne Frank’s Diary. We derived much encouragement from it. It kept our spirits high and reinforced our confidence in the invincibility of the cause of freedom and justice,” Nelson Mandela, 1994.

In Hollywood’s multi-award winning films “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Judgment at Nuremberg” (recently shown during Yom Kippur, a high Jewish holiday), we are poignantly reminded to first be aware of our sacred duty towards each other and act accordingly.

Being Jewish, Anne Frank and her family were sheltered by very courageous friends during the systemic extermination of those targeted by the madness of Nazism to justify its very dark and twisted ideology of world domination, which nearly destroyed Western civilization.

Sadly, after two years in hiding, someone turned them in. The Frank family and their fellow refugees were arrested and deported to the Nazi concentration camps where most died.

The Nuremberg Trials

Today, Adolph Hitler is considered the most evil person ever, thus quickly dismissed from national debate as if a man such as this was an anomaly forever defeated. Yet, the fact is, no one alone could possibly have brought about such universal atrocities without plenty of mutual help. So we best wake up and recognize!

While Adolph Hitler was the glorified mouthpiece for the Nazi party, he had plenty of willing helpers along the way; including society’s elite experts who were equally prone to evil! Hitler’s cohorts included prominent leaders of science, economics, the military, the judiciary, and, of course, the political realm.

Confronted with the horrific realities in the Nazi concentration camps after World War II ended, the Allied nations set about to prosecute those leaders responsible for the European Holocaust and other war crimes. Military tribunals were established in the city of Nuremberg Germany, ultimately known as the Nuremberg Trials.

In the film “Judgment at Nuremberg,” a fictionalized account of the Judges’ Trial in 1947 led by a U.S. tribunal to try those jurists allegedly responsible for the judicial acts that legalized the Nazis’ systemic destruction of humanity, for me the message is simple yet profound:

Those allegedly involved in such horrific crimes against humanity, either directly or in silent compliance, routinely claimed they never suspected such was happening.

Of course, the frequent stench from the burning ovens that drifted endlessly and the violent export of thousands of their neighbors could not be denied. Yet most did anyway, despite the danger of human denial that typically keeps us from forgiving our past mistakes.

Thankfully, it was Anne Frank’s humanity in the midst of relentless inhumanity that inspires us to move toward a higher state of mind, which is beyond pain and shame.

Remembering Father Junípero Serra

Unlike the overall inspiration inherent in the Anne Frank story, for me it is rather difficult to remember Fr. Serra without experiencing the deep sorrow inherent in his story.

150430124725-01-junipero-serra-img-8598-jpg-exlarge-169

Friar Junipero Serra

Years ago, my introduction to Fr. Serra began with a history of the Spanish-Catholic missions along California’s beautiful coastline. To me, the Junípero Serra story was depressing then and now, despite the celebrated return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano annually.

San Juan Capistrano Mission Basilica

San Juan Capistrano Mission Basilica

Father Serra allegedly found nine of the twenty-one missions in California, including the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, supposedly to bring the Catholic faith to Native Americans. Of course, those of us able to discern between unity and conquest tend to see Friar Serra’s canonization quite differently.

It’s always the same really: the indigenous people are first deemed inferior or “savage” in need of salvation by the intended colonizer, and then comes their priests in priestly vestments. Some are very sincere, some very ambitious. Yet all are blinded by their self-righteous contempt of other people and their cultures, as erroneously taught by their church.

Thus, rather than respect the original people and their culture, as Jesus once demonstrated, the Catholic Church willingly became an agent of destruction in a distant land. Herein lies the inherent sorrow in Fr. Sierra’s story, which seems a veiled guilt that has yet to be recognized and ultimately healed.

Worse Than an Apology

In a fiery CNN Opinion article titled, “Junípero Serra No Saint” by Simon Moya-Smith of the Oglala Lakota Nation and culture editor at Indian Country Today, the author reiterates a seemly heartfelt apology made by the Pope recently:

“I say this to you with regret: Many grave sins were committed against the native people of America in the name of God,” he said. “I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offense of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America,” Pope Francis in Bolivia, July 2015.

Of course, even the humblest of apologies by a beloved person is not always enough, particularly without a sincere effort to make the necessary corrections. Sadly, such emptiness feels more like an unintended slap in the face rather than a well-intentioned apology!

As Mr. Moya-Smith pointedly states in his article: “We are not asking the papacy for an apology. We ask for the repeal of the papal edicts that justified the theft of Native American lands and the persecution of our people. Soothing words just aren’t enough.”

Native American Dancer & Wolf Clan Song/Photo Credit Unknown

Native American Dancer & Wolf Clan Song Lyrics/Photo Credit Unknown

On Democracy Now, a radio show titled: “Native Groups Protest Pope Francis’ Canonization of Junípero Serra…,” Valentin Lopez, chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, is its guest. In his own words, Chmn. Lopez explains the erroneous thinking behind the historic papal edicts (bulls) in dispute; the following is taken from the show’s transcript:

“The documents of discovery were documents that were issued—were papal bulls. That means they’re basically the word of God, given by the popes in the mid to late 1400s and very early 1500s. The popes issued a number of papal bulls that said that it was—that the indigenous people are pagans, savages and heathens, that the indigenous people have no soul, indigenous people are the enemies of Christ, that we should be cast into perpetual slavery, and that all our property and our possessions should be taken. And that right there was the basis for the conquering and conquest of much of the world, including, India, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands and all of the Americas,” Valentin Lopez, Democracy Now, 9/23/ 2015.

Valentin Lopez at the UN/Native News Online

“Valentin Lopez opposes the canonization of Serra. Courtesy of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,” Native News Online.

Being a descendant of African slaves in America, the erroneous religious doctrine espoused in the historic papal edicts in question is no surprise having the same history.

Despite the recent detailed letter to Pope Francis by Valentin Lopez, and other Native Americans protesting the canonizing of Friar Serra, Pope Francis declares Junípero Serra a saint.

Known for his great humanity, did Pope Francis have a deeper reason for canonizing Fr. Serra, a symbolic attempt to cleanse the Catholic Church of its historic “sins” against Native Americans perhaps? Fear of reprisal perhaps? Or, simply not knowing of a better way?

Love Does Not Punish

Since the Dark Ages, humanity has relied on corporal punishment as a means to correct bad behavior, from the light spanking of a young child to judicial corporal punishments of adults.

Even religious aspirants have traditionally practiced self-inflicted flagellation, or other forms of physical abuse, to atone for a perceived “sin” or a stubborn bad habit. Which ultimately causes more harm than good, and confuses everybody at best.

Father Junípero Serra’s renowned story of self-flagellation and the abuses of his converts is one such example of corporal punishment sanctioned by the church as atonement for “sins”. Sadly, this sweeping error not only wronged Fr. Serra and others at the time, but future generations as well.

Thus, according to the living example of Jesus the Christ, as documented in the Holy Bible, love simply does not punish.

So, there must be a better way. And, indeed there is a better way; but, we must first let go of our ancient traditions.

For Many, A Modern Reformation is Underway!

Yet, unlike the Reformation of the 16th Century, a revolution within the Christian Church that ultimately spawned major denominations, many today are more focused on inner reform and the value of applied positive thinking rather than organized religion.

Whether churchless or an avid member of the choir, many now recognize that we do have the power to change our minds and hearts. And all without the guilt and punishment usually associated with traditional beliefs.

As St. Paul aptly wrote: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (St. Paul, Romans 12:2 NIV).

Along with the new technology that advanced global communication by leaps and bounds, great texts on positive thinking to achieve sustainable peace and real happiness are now available at nominal costs or no cost online.

My favorite text is “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM, the Course): Scribed and published here in the USA by the Foundation for Inner Peace, ca. 1976, the Course is now available in 23 different languages with registered study groups worldwide.

At times reminiscent of the great romantic mystics (think Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Kahlil Gibran and his trendy classic “The Prophet”), the Course can also be very poetic. Thus, my all-time favorite Course thought is:

“Love is not learned. Its meaning lies within itself. And learning ends when we recognize all it is not.” ~ACIM, Text 12:1-3.

ACIM is a self-study course with emphasis on Forgiveness that leads to Inner Peace and Universal Love, which works when you work with it. Heretofore taught by most religions in different forms, yet ACIM is compatible with all true religions.

A Westernized version of Jnana Yoga (knowledge through union with God), in my opinion, ACIM teaches how to access the Higher Mind, alias the Christ Mind, which is exactly where we all really want to be.

Hence: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” Jesus the Christ (John 14:6, KJV).

Needed, Good Agent(s) of World Change

Sadly, in canonizing Friar Serra the progressive Pope Francis disappointed a lot of good people recently, despite their sincere efforts to persuade him against it.

Nonetheless, here is hoping and praying that Pope Francis will soon became an Agent of World Change that many see as his true calling. The following two steps would be a great advancement toward world peace and reconciliation:

  • Renouncement of the Racism behind the 15th Century Papal Edicts known as the Doctrine of Discovery.  Created to justify political recovery of Spain from the Moors (“the Blacks”) and conquest of the Americas, this toxic dogma still aid the Politics of Racism that implies “people of color” are inferior to Western traditions. Now with grave results worldwide that only the Truth, which is of God, can heal.
  • Renouncement of the traditional practice of Corporal Punishment as atonement for one’s “sins” that typically engenders more guilt and self-hatred, often transferred to others, rather than true salvation.

Otherwise, without such wise intervention, the same destructive forces continue to plague the world:

  • Racism (politics at its worse),
  • Nazism (a world driven mad with fear), and
  • Terrorism (a chronic lack of hope).

Survival is virtually impossible without the following spiritual needs, and that’s just the way it is:

  • Good words to feed our minds,
  • Good deeds to nurture our humanity, and
  • Good dreams to relax, breathe, and evolve.

Meanwhile, the sacred struggle to survive continues.

As one of our great African-American poets of the Harlem Renaissance once mused:

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore and then run? …Or, does it explode?” ~Langston Hughes, c.1951.

In reality, we are all saints; we just have to improve our knowing.  Free the mind!

Related Links

(Updated 10/29/2015, Link “About the Moors”)

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

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by Ludovic Bertron , New York City, USA

Gay Pride Flag by Ludovic Bertron, New York City

As I understand Universal Law (aka God), only love is real.

When we follow love we get it right more often than not; when we don’t follow love we are on our own.  While society’s laws have been unjust at times, as we well know, today the United States Supreme Court gets it right.

Today, our society has evolved toward that more perfect we all seek.

Today, both the LGBT community and the African American community were edified, and all of us really: The decision by SCOTUS making same-sex marriage the law of the land and President Obama boldly stating that “slavery was wrong”, words myself and other freedom loving people have been longing to hear from our government.

Thus, today, the gay pride flag is now held up by the highest court in our land.

While the divisive Confederate battle flag is fast going down in flames!

In Justice Kennedy’s opinion regarding marriage, he says it best in part:

“The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex cou­ples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States. It follows that the Court also must hold—and it now does hold—that there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embod­ies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people be­come something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.

It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be con­demned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civiliza­tion’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered. ”   Opinion of the Court, Cite as: 576 U. S. Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

A really big thanks to all the lovely activists who stuck it out and continued fighting the good fight for us all!

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

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“Tell a white lie for no reason. They point fingers and bite the hand that feeds them. Help ’em Lord, for they know not what they do, swear to God they know better than you…Tell the truth,” by Jussie Smollett, actor/singer-songwriter.

The term ‘a white lie’ generally refers to the gentle lies we often tell each other or ourselves to avoid facing a harsh truth. Silence may be necessary at times; yet, in the end, the truth is better served though sometimes hurtful.

It is far better to be wounded by a thorn of truth and change our perspective, then shrink behind a bouquet of little white lies…to laugh not all of our laughter and cry not all of our tears.

Each time I hear young Jessie Smollett’s poignant song ‘Tell The Truth’ from the acclaimed television series Empire, it haunts me long after it’s finished. For me, it’s as if young Jessie, through the gift of his voice, is virtually crying out in the wilderness, beseeching those of us who are still asleep, and there are many, to wake up and see the truth before it’s too late.

And then, please tell the truth! Particularly, as it relates to decades of unregulated police abuse or harassment of African-American males, and others, that has now turned deadly.

Don Lemon’s Troubling Article

An award-winning journalist known for his pointed questions and impromptu remarks, his job, that reflects a free American spirit, Lemon anchors CNN Tonight with Don Lemon and breaking news stories on-the-scene. Which has included the recent Baltimore Riots, the Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, and the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford Florida. Before joining CNN in 2006, he had anchored for NBC News and its affiliates.

Although his recent article titled ‘Baltimore Crime is off the Charts, Guess Who Is To Blame?’ is troubling, I generally like Don’s reporting and follow him on CNN. While I feel Mr. Lemon is on our side re the smoldering issue of police abuse nationwide, I am not sure whether the article takes us to the truth-of-the-matter or distracts from it, here is why.

The above cited article reports a significant rise in crime in the Baltimore area, particularly the shootings and homicides over the Memorial Day weekend where “29 people were shot [and 8] were killed”. It also states that homicides are currently “up 40 percent from last year” making these crimes the deadliest since 1999. This, according to the mayor, is “disheartening” indeed, thus no argument there.

Seems “the recent unrest” is, in part, the blame for the crime surge. Yet, Commissioner Anthony Batts assures us that his police clearly are “not holding back” despite being surrounded by up to 50 citizens putting cameras in their faces whenever they respond to a call; a sure sign there is much work needed on community engagement, he states.

Though the article does not directly blame the mayor, the police commissioner, or the residents. Yet, by inferring that: “The real story however may not be anything Batts or the Mayor want to admit,” and that the reason for the crime surge “was the direct result of a coordinated police work slowdown,” alluding to an unnamed police officer’s beliefs, it sure seems so.

Are Massive Protests Against Police Brutality To Blame?

Apart from the recent riots in Baltimore sparked by Freddie Gray’s funeral, yet another African American male allegedly abused to death while in police custody, seems most of the nationwide protests against police brutality have been relatively peaceful.

The above cited article closes by stating: “But officers in Baltimore, according to at least one of their own, are turning their backs on not only the Mayor but also the citizens they’re sworn to protect, ” and ends with a list of shootings and homicides over the weekend.

Unintended perhaps, still it seems this scenario clearly smacks of the ol’ blame-the-victim game to avoid a harsh truth. This is not only troubling but dangerous! As the problem of systemic police brutality is escalating and threatens the very fabric of our great nation.

Are We Ready to Save Our Democracy?

Someone once said that the Chinese character for crisis represents destruction and opportunity. So, today, are we truly ready to save our democracy and take it to the next level? Or do we continue making the same old mistakes? The choice, as always, is ours.

First we have to recognize that our beloved democracy has not only reached a crisis, but the smoldering issue of nationwide police abuse is at its nexus!

Actually, the world often seems in one crisis or another; but, first, we must get our own stuff in order before we can even think about saving the world.

Thankfully, there are attributes within each of us ready to extinguish the smoldering fires of police abuse now! That now threatens to uproot democracy, our most cherished American value. Yet, we must be willing to see the truth and let it leads us…rather than continue with the usual convoluted cover ups.

Justice for Some Only is Likely the Real Culprit

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other,” a reminder from John Adams, c.1798, our 2nd U.S. President and one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.

Believe it or not! Today, justice for some only is likely the real culprit threatening to uproot our democracy, and it usually starts at the top. Thus making a mockery of the intent of our nation’s founders, and a facade of our U.S. Constitution that has now become fodder for the elite!

Though African-American males and other people of color, in particular, have either been harassed and humiliated or detained without cause by abusive police officers for decades, seems the killings of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, with impunity, have sparked a new Civil Rights Movement. Many are protesting police brutality en masse while demanding justice for its victims!

In February 2013 while walking home alone on a misty evening, Trayvon Martin, an African American unarmed teenager was shot to death in Sanford Florida after being stalked by an alleged neighborhood watchman who never identified himself to Trayvon, states the police detective’s initial report. Before being killed by Zimmerman, Trayvon tells a friend on his phone that he is being followed by “a creepy ass white man,” a sure sign of intense fear.

Though Trayvon’s killer seemly had a fair trial, many believe otherwise. According to published reports, seems a bar to justice for Trayvon’s family and society likely started at the top; and ultimately corrupted the police investigation, the trial prosecution, and the jury.

In July 2014, Staten Island New York, Eric Garner an African American man, age 43, virtually died right before our eyes on national TV gasping “I can’t breathe.” Garner was in a chokehold held by a police officer trying to arrest him for selling untaxed single cigarettes. A petty crime that is evocative of Victor Hugo’s immortal hero Jean Valjean in Le Misérables, who is ever hounded by Inspector Javert, a self-righteous policeman, for stealing a loaf of bread, c.1862.

Today, Eric Garner’s tragic death seems to ask us all: Is not a person’s life worth more than a State’s tax on one cigarette? Are not our laws also meant to be merciful?

Though the New York Medical Examiner had ruled Garner’s death a homicide, in December 2014 a Staten Island Grand Jury declined to indict his killer. Thousands marched on Washington protesting police violence, with slogans of “I can’t breathe” and “Black Lives Matter.” And so the clarion call for justice continues.

In August 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, was shot multiple times by a local police officer in Ferguson Missouri while begging for his life. Witnesses stated Michael had stopped running, and had turned around with his hands up in surrender. The police officer basically said Michael was madly charging at him with his fists balled up. Stumbling, grimacing, doubling up in pain from all those nasty ol’ gunshot wounds, dying perhaps? Of course, this atrocity would have easily been exposed in a fair trial.

No indictment was issued by the local Grand Jury. Thus, no trial!

In a March 4 2015 Memo re Michael Brown’s killing, the U.S. Department of Justice mainly states no criminal charges filed, case should be closed. Various witness testimony was deemed “inconsistent” that could also mean incoherent, confused, inarticulate, and so on. Yet, some of these witnesses were quite lucid during previous press interviews, in my opinion.

When We Tell the Truth, Everyone Wins

The most dangerous lie that we will ever tell, is the lie that we keep telling ourselves, whether collectively or individually. Such as the persistent lie that tells us we are wrong when we are right, and the lie that tells us we are right when we are wrong!

Within a democracy, a good police force is society’s first line of defense. It protects and serves its citizens and those in charge of society. When police dogma begins to see itself as a power separate from those it has sworn to protect and serve, despite the cause, society slowly gets the message and loses trust in its police force. Eventually, the police adopt the old us-against-them mentality. Soon, an undeclared war between the police and its people likely begins.

Whether its leadership care to admit it or not, society begins falling apart as fear is now in charge and the blame game begins. As we know, or should know, fear is a treacherous companion.

The police blame the people, usually those that are historically marginalized by society, and the so-called hero’s of the day, the politicians, rise up blaming the very same people by promising an all out war on crime and such.

Sadly, though the numbers may change, this fictitious war on crime is never won. Since rarely is the truth sought. That is, until the people have had enough and takes to the streets demanding justice, which is where we are today. But, of course, we have been here before. So how do we get out of it this time?

First, as the young troubadour says at the beginning herein, “Tell the truth”!

And since this current mess between the police and the people started at the top, our leaders must no longer be allowed to protect the cop who has failed; or, to protect the abusive cop who, much like the abusive parent, must no longer be tolerated by society.

Being human, we are quite capable of transferring our anger and hatefulness, unless stopped by our own sense of justice. So, like the rest of us, cops must also be responsible for their actions. No job is so dangerous that qualified workers cannot be held responsible for their failures.

Many veteran cops have never had to draw their weapons, nor do they become abusers. So they must be doing something right. Thus rules, regulations and self-disciple are highly valued by good cops and good people everywhere. Which is why truth and justice denied will ultimately destroy a well-ordered society despite its good intentions.

Preventing Police Abuse

Immediately after the 9-11 attacks, the police and firefighters who, without hesitation, sacrificed their own lives by going into the collapsing World Trade Center to save the injured while the able were frantically trying to get out, not only captured the world’s adoration but instantly became our national heroes. Sadly, as widespread police abuse intensifies, now caught on video, the adoration so nobly gained on 9-11 is slowly fading away.

Besides giving today’s good cops a very bad name, police abusers and their cover-ups have now turned our criminal justice system upside down.

Please fix this! As justice, or the lack thereof, ultimately affects the moral standard in any given society. Hence, justice for one is justice for all.

Much like stopping the abusive parent, the abusive cleric, and the abusive teacher, society must now admit that some police officers are abusers. And then make a concerted effort to prevent police abuse before the police officer spins out of control, rather than afterwards!

Thus, I still believe that a good way to deter police abuse is to enable the people to complain directly to their government about a troubling encounter with an abusive police officer, at all levels if necessary, and store such in a data system with a file number for reference.

Naturally, those police officers who tend to abuse, or resent others in general, will likely object loud and clear; and present all kinds of reasons why they should not be held directly accountable to the people they have sworn to serve and protect. But that’s to be expected.

Telling The Truth Matters

Recently, Cpl. David Eric Casebolt, a veteran police officer in McKinney Texas was suspended after a shocking video emerged, now gone viral on YouTube titled ‘Cops Crash Pool Party’, showing the raging officer shouting obscenities at some of the teenage party guests while soon manhandling a bikini clad African American female, age 14, and threatening to put her in jail if she doesn’t be quiet.

Besides pulling her hair, throwing her on the ground and pinning her face down with his knee until she is cuffed, seemly for no apparent reason, the officer drew his gun on the children coming to her aid as she frantically cried out: “ Call my mama and please don’t hurt me”.

Read more at: Texas police officer pulling gun on teenagers at pool party. Seems race played a factor as usual, read: Texas Pool Party Chaos, What Role Did Race Play and ‘Go back to your Section 8 home’. Expert news analysts on CNN and MSNBC basically stated the officer was definitely out of control. The kids were released; an investigation is now ongoing.

Thankfully, no one was killed…this time, though mentally and emotionally injured perhaps, which is also abusive. Yet, this was a highly trained police officer, a 15-year veteran. Who not only acted out of character but, by barking obscenities at some rather than speaking respectfully to all at the scene, he failed miserably on a potentially dangerous call.

Thus, when police officers fail, telling the truth matters. This is not only tantamount to ensuring stability in our criminal justice system, but stops police abuse that generally escalates violence rather than restore the peace.

If we can go to the moon, we can stop police abuse! Please tell the truth, it matters.

Update: Cpl. David Casebolt, the abusive police officer in the Texas pool party incident, has now resigned. Yet the situation is likely not over given talk of law suits and such. Related story here: Police Officer at Texas Pool Party Resigns Over Incident Caught on Video.

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

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