Tag Archive: government


A Lesson Before Dying


A Lesson Before Dying

 

Perry Cobb, Darby Williams Tillis, Joseph Burrows, Rolando Cruz, Alejandro Hernandez, Verneal Jimerson, Dennis Williams, Gary Gauger, Carl Lawson, Anthony Porter, Steven Smith, Ronald Jones, Steve Manning, Aaron Patterson, Madison Hobley, Leroy Orange, Stanley Howard, Gordon Steidl, Walter McMillan, Randall Padgett, James Bo Cochran, Gary Drinkard, Wesley Quick, Larry Osborne, Johnny Ross, Curtis Kyles, Shareef Cousin, Michael Graham, Albert Burell, John Thompson, Dan L. Bright, Ryan Matthews, Kirk Bloodsworth, Lawyer Johnson, Peter Limone, Laurence Adams, Sabrina Butler, Clarence Dexter  Jr., Eric Clemmons, Joseph Amrine, Jeremy Sheets, Roberto Miranda, Thomas Gladish, Richard Greer, Ronald Keine, Clarence Smith, Samuel A. Poole, Christopher Spicer, Timothy Hennis, Alfred Rivera, Alan Gell, Gary Beeman, Dale Johnson, Charles Ray Gidden, Clifford Henry Bowen, Richard, Neal Jones, Gregory R. Wilhoit, Adolph Munson, Robert Lee Miller Jr., Ronald Williamson, Neil Faber, Jay C. Smith, William Nieves, Thomas Kimbell Jr., Nicholas Yarris, Harold Wilson, Michal Linder, Warren Douglas Manning, Vernon McManus, Randall Dale Adams, Clarence Bradley, John C. Skelton, Frederico M. Macias, Muneer Deeb, Ricardo Aldape Guerral, Ernest Ray Willis, Earl Washington, Benjamin Harris Jerry Bigelow, Patrick Croy, Troy Lee Jones, Jonathon Treadway, John Henry Knapp, Jimmy Lee Mathers, James Robison, Robert Charles, Ray Krone, David Keaton, Wlbert Lee, Freddie Pitts, Delbert Tibbs, Annibal Jaramillo, Anthony Brown, Joseph Green Brown, Anthony Ray Peek, Juan Ramos, Willie Brown, Larry Troy, Robert Cox, James Richardson, Bradley P. Scott, Andrew Golden, Robert Hayes, Joseph Nahume Green, Frank Lee Smith, Joaquin Jose Martinez, Juan Roberto Melendez, Rudolph Holton, John Ballard, Herman Lindsey, James Creamer, and Earl Charles.

  These are my reasons for being against the Death Penalty…all of these names are real people. And these real people have/had real families…that stood by the them while they were on death row. Collectively these individuals served 964 Years, before being proven to be innocent. And one of these individuals served 33 years before being released; while another died before he could be exonerated…so it was done post mortem. But to take even 1 day away from some one, who was not guilty, is tragic. Life is full of one time experiences…you only take your first step one time, lose your first tooth, say mama or dada, you can only buy your first car…one time. And many of these individuals missed so much more than that, and it can never be given back to them. Even if the state compensates some one monetarily for the lost time…you can not purchase a memory.

  Why am I against the death penalty? I am against anything that includes taking another life. I am against any system that has proven time and time again to be broken and unreliable. I am against anything that takes away years upon years of a person’s life for no reason. Killing is wrong…it says that in many different places, even in religious books. And to kill some one to show society that killing is wrong…just seems to be completely ridiculous to me.

  If the Death Penalty is such an effective means of punishment, why don’t all states use it? If the Death Penalty is such a deterrent for crime…why are we still executing?

  If we were able to catch this many people before their respective states were able to execute them…how many slipped through the cracks? How many innocent people have we killed…for the sake of punishing some one…anyone? How do we sleep at night?

  I can completely understand the grief that losing a loved one can cause. I can understand wanting to punish some one for the crime…but will just ANYONE do? The problem being quite simple…the statistics do not lie…race and money are contributing factors when the death penalty is imposed. I researched in several places…and basically all of them verify what the others says…minorities and the underprivileged make up the majority of inmates on death row.

  We are human, we make mistakes…I simply think that with that knowledge…we risk executing people who are innocent. And no matter what anyone says…one life wasted is too many. Not only for the people who are actually executed…but look at the people who have spent countless years away from their loved ones for a crime that they did not commit.

  It is my expressed opinion that anytime some one finds reason to applaud about a state that has killed 234 more inmates than any other state…there may be a deeper problem there. And any politician that finds applause about this humorous…is a dangerous individual; it is never a victory when some one dies…we all lose.

  Killing some one will not make the victim come back to us…they are in peace. So the execution is for us…and what peace is there when we are taking another life? Why would we desire that another family to go through the same pain and anguish that we have?

  There was an inmate in Texas that was executed this past Summer, Mark Anthony Stroman, who was convicted of killing individuals out of grief for the life of his sister who was killed on 9/11. One of the survivors, a muslim man who Stroman shot in the face Rais Bhuiyan, causing him to be blind in one eye, pleaded for Stroman’s life. Mr. Bhuiyan even started a website to try and spare Mr. Stroman’s life, www.worldwithouthate.org.  This was a remarkable exhibit of forgiveness and compassion…only furthering my belief that we can seek revenge or seek a higher power. And even though Mr. Stroman’s life was not spared, the spirit of what Mr. Bhuiyan did spoke in volumes.

  I realize there will be many people that will disagree with my stand on the death penalty, but I stand firm on this issue…killing is wrong no matter who does it.

 

 

 

 

School Is Out


   I have been searching for inspiration so I could write about our public school systems, as when I am inspired, you can always see the message the writing is trying to bring to you. You can not imagine how blessed I felt when this subject matter came up in the post a day suggestion link…I have been smiling all day. Well…I hope you enjoy…lol. I think the very first time I had really opened my eyes to the public school system was a few years back during November, which was Native American History month. Since I was raised and speak often about my culture to my daughter…she began to wonder why the school would post signs all over the place saying it was Native American History month…yet none of her teachers ever talked about it. She came home one day looking rather, puzzled and frustrated. I asked her what was wrong and we began discussing the problem she had incurred while asking when they were going to learn about the Native American History. Her eyes swelled up with tears as she went on to tell me that her HISTORY teacher expressed to her that Native Americans have not contributed enough to our society to actually warrant having an hour set aside to discuss them. I comforted her the very best that I could, trying to explain that sometimes people are oblivious to how their responses could affect others, and I told her I would go to the school and talk to their principal. I did as I told her I would, and asked the principal why it was that Native Americans could have a month dedicated to them by the federal government yet they had no place in the class room…at least not in my daughters class. I was told that it wasn’t that they had not contributed anything to society; but that November was really more about Thanksgiving and Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World. I expressed my disappointment in the school even suggesting that people from my culture contributed nothing to the way we live now and even then. I had always found it offensive to know that our public schools would only take one month out of the year and dedicate it to Black History (February)…as if so few contributions were made by African Americans that it didn’t warrant more attention. It was true that in her school in particular, there were times when 2 African Americans were spoken of, other than during February…those would be Harriet Tubman and George Washington Carver (we live in a huge peanut state). But it troubled me more to know that even when studying the Black History in February, they would only cover the basics…Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Carl Lewis, Rosa Parks and Rev. Jesse Jackson. There were pictures of Malcolm X, but no discussions because #1 he was too controversial and #2 he was not Christian. It was at this point when my head would begin to swell and the headaches came flooding in. I had to sit my daughter down and ask her…do you know who Medgar Evers is. She shook her head, I explained that he was monumental in the civil rights movement; in trying to put an end to segregation…all I got was a blank stare. Then I asked her, do you know what Martin Luther King Jr did that made him famous? She said plainly, he made the I have a dream speech, and then he was killed. She had no idea what was happening in our country at that time, she had no understanding as to how truly awful black people were treated, for just trying to do what everyone else was doing…living. All of this was oblivious to her; she had never heard anyone say anything about public lynching’s, about separate water fountains and bathrooms. She didn’t realize that black people could not go to the movies with white people, that they were treated as second class citizens. All of this disturbed her greatly; especially given the fact that her father is black…she was offended. We all should be offended, especially if we have schools that ignore the parts of history that are controversial. I had to explain to her that this is why there are so many problems today, a lot of people are still angry…because there never seems to be any balancement. I expressed to her, like many other things involving other groups of people, there is no way to make up for some injustices in our society. There are something’s that throwing a bandage on will not cure…but rather, it leaves a huge scar to remind us that we were wronged. I want to talk about James Reese Europe with you right now…but believe me that is another blog completely…lol…I digress. I realized at that point, if she was going to continue to stay in public schools that I would have to become extremely involved in what she was being taught. And once I learned that the school really didn’t want my two cents worth, I would just teach her, from home. I would teach her all of the things that the school system left gaps in. I know I should have been more involved to begin with, but I was just thankful that by the time she was in the 6th or 7th grade…I was paying close enough attention to what she wasn’t being taught to help cushion what she needed to know. Then on April 16, 2007…the most gruesome thing happened. Cho Seung Hui, a 23 year old Virginia Tech Senior; went on a shooting rampage and he killed 32 students before turning a gun on himself. This was the worst massacre in United States history, and it happened in Virginia…where we live. Myself, personally, I was physically and emotionally spent on that day. We kept getting updates throughout the day as more murders and injuries had been reported. I was worried about the state my daughter would be in, as she came in from school. At that time she was 13, she had never experienced such brutality in any event. So, she comes in, and is laughing and talking away. I was a little confused thinking she took this very well. I decided that perhaps this was her defense mechanism taking over. I gave her very basic information about it and left it at that; thinking that they would speak to the students about it the next day and offer counseling, as there had to be students disturbed by this act. After all, this event happened at a school, where children were supposed to feel safe and secure. After school the next day, she came home the same as the day previous. I asked her if they talked to the students today about the shootings at Virginia Tech. She said, very simply…..no. I became very frustrated by this, and went to the school and asked why they would not discuss something that happened so close to where we were, geographically…not to mention that it happened at a school. I was bluntly told, it wasn’t in their curriculum, and to take time out for this discussion…would set them back a day. I was livid. Not only did they not mention it, they didn’t think about the 3 children going to that school, whose sisters and brother went to Virginia Tech. So in short, the school system did not feel that the worst massacre to happen in a school in our country, EVER, was worth a discussion. So back to our original topic, what do I think about our public school system? I think it lacks adaptability, it lacks information, and it fails to give our teachers stretching room where they can determine where the students need to1 be, as opposed to where they are. I feel that the school board is so concerned with funding and accreditation that they have lost the reason the schools are even open. We only need to look at what happened to the schools in Atlanta, Georgia to know that…the only difference in those schools (where teachers falsified tests, because there jobs were threatened)…and other schools across the country is that Atlanta got caught. Atlanta school district got caught being greedy, and as an end result the public school students became expendable. School stopped being about what the child was getting out of the school and became; what can the school get out of the child. This is such a sad state of affairs, but it is reality. What do I think the answer should be? Pay teachers more; the really great ones can be priceless to our children. School boards need to look for teachers that look outside of the box, a teacher who encourages free thinking with intelligent reasoning. We need smaller classrooms, children learn better in a more intimate setting. Right now we are stacking the odds against our children…they are innocent and deserve better. Lastly, if you can spare the time, I suggest homeschooling. Children need to know what is going on in our world and often this is found in the experience of life and not in a text book. How can I learn about current events in a text book written 5 years ago? As the public at large we need to step in and participate in our educational system, we can not trust that our kids are getting the best education possible…unless we participate. Education today isn’t what my education was, but we can’t just throw our hands up in defeat…we must make strides towards a solution. Our children will be the soundest investment that we ever make. They don’t raise themselves and we can’t let them educate themselves. We must become steadfast and consistent in their lives, showing them that what they are doing is important to us. It may be as simple as going to your child’s classroom randomly…showing our children that we care and showing our schools that we are holding them accountable. Just my take…

The Race is On


The Race is On

 

    What do you call it when a police officer can stop a driver of a car, for what ever traffic violation, and ask for verification of legal status in this country? What would you call it if I told you that if that individual didn’t have the documentation on his person, that he could be detained up to 48 hours, until further verification can be made?

 What would you say if I told you that it is not only a violation of the Fourth Amendment to detain anyone for the sole purpose of verifying immigration status, but also has never been required for Americans to even carry Government issued identification at all times.

What if I told you that if you gave a neighbor a ride to Wal-Mart, and got pulled over for a broken tail light, and your neighbor turned out to be an illegal immigrant…that you could charged with a criminal offense of harboring an illegal immigrant and charged up to $20,000 and sentenced up to 5 years in jail? I wonder what would happen if you were a taxi driver, or a greyhound bus driver, given those circumstances.

 What if you were told that as an employer that you had to E-Verify all employees if you have 10 or more, even if in the case of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the Federal Government explicitly told the Supreme Court that the E-Verify program was strictly voluntary, and any state requiring employers to participate is to be preempted by federal law?

  Welcome to Georgia’s Illegal Immigration Enforcement and Reform Act!!!!

   Let’s just call this what it is….RACIAL PROFILING. And now the state of Georgia, just like the state of Arizona has made Racial Profiling a part of their daily life.

 I mean, lets be real, how do I determine who to ask for legal status? What guidelines do I have to tell me who to ask and who not to ask; keeping in mind that it is all going in to a database?

 Racial Profiling is very real, and it is being used to cause further separation of our country from within its own borders. I am sure I don’t need to remind anyone that the United States was never anything but a giant sanctuary for immigrants…and now we are punishing people for doing just that.

 I can not determine if this is more frightening than it is sad, or vice versa. We can not continually stand firmly silent on issues that seriously undermine what this country was built on.

 I have often been told that my ideas of peace and love of my fellow being…is made up of  unrealistic hopes and dreams; but the truth is that is exactly what people come to this country for. Can you remember when this country stood on the premise that anything was possible here, because we live by the standard that we are an extremely diverse and accepting culture? What has happened to us? Why are we allowing the very government we created to dictate to us…and instill in us….fear? We fear what we do not know and instead of reassuring us; our government is infringing up on us…what an American REALLY is or is not.

  We are all diverse…we come from different cultures, societies, religions and beliefs. But when we lose track of the knowledge that WE ARE ONE…we all lose.

 

Please join me in asking President Obama to help put an end to Racial Profiling.

http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org/content/sign-petition-tell-obama-take-action-stop-racial-profiling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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