New Website…

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Hey y’all… I’ll be publishing soon over at my new site. Was trying to wait on my new logo but I think I’ll add it once I get it done. If you can take a moment to head over there to subscribe and/or add it to your news readers. Thanks for caring about anything that I have to write.

The new website is biggerthomas.org

***Moving soon***

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Hey guys. Just a heads up. I’ll be shutting down this blog soon and moving over to a self-hosted website. Hopefully you’ll continue to read what I have to say over there. Once I’m ready to unveil the site I’ll share the url here so please subscribe and share with friends and fam. Thanks a million.

The media doesn’t care about black people

The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.

el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcom X)

January 7, 2015.  Two gunmen forced their way into the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France, and killed 12 people. Charlie Hebdo has attracted worldwide attention for its regular depictions of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

January 9, 2015. In anticipation of presidential elections Boko Haram massacred up to 2,000 (reports now are estimated at ~200) innocent women, children and men in the northeastern Nigerian city of Boga.

Two tragedies in the span of two days and yet only one was reported around the clock by the media. Only one was actually called a terrorist attack. I wondered the same thing last week when an explosive device was detonated outside the NAACP headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. Why did it take CNN more than 16 hours to even mention anything about it on its website? And even longer to mention it on air? That bombing wasn’t labeled a terrorist attack. Is it because no one was harmed in the bombing?

The bombing of churches, meeting places and homes of prominent Black people and/or organizations as a means of intimidation and retaliation is a decades old practice in this country. It’s rooted in hate, bigotry and terrorism. Yet what happened in Colorado Springs wasn’t labeled a terrorist attack. It wasn’t even reported.

I’m tired of the media having carte blanche to label what they want terrorism. Twelve people were killed at a newspaper and it’s a terrorist attack because the perpetrators of this crime were Brown, Muslim people. I don’t remember James Holmes being labeled a terrorist in 2012; he also murdered twelve people and injured 58 people. Also, in 2012 when 26 people (including 20 children) were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School questions were asked about the mental well-being of the killer instead of calling it a terrorist attack of great cowardice.

I can’t help but notice that the criminals in those two mass murders were White males. When mass murderers are Anglo-Saxon they are always described as lone wolves who are disturbed and needed the help that we failed to provide them. Even when the authorities do label a crime as “domestic terrorism” it’s often under reported and placed on the “back page”. When a Black man loses his job and cuts the head off of someone at his job no one questioned his mental-well being but instead it was reported that he recently converted to Islam.

What does this have to do with genocide that happened last week in Boga, Nigeria? The media narrates a story to a demographic to get ratings in order to generate advertising revenue. The general public is enamored with what happened at Charlie Hebdo because it looked like something out of a movie and people tuned in. Not too many people in this country care about what happens in “third world” countries until it actually effects what happens here (read: ebola). Its willful ignorance that allows media to tell us what is important and what is not.

This is why I’m more prone to seek out independent or international media to find out what’s going on in the world. More than likely mainstream media is slow on reporting stories that the Black community actually cares about. I found about Michael Brown’s murder through twitter and Eric Garner’s murder through tumblr. Once these mainstream media outlets check their social media accounts they’ll be late to the party in reporting what they should have been on top of in the first place. This same thing happened when Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls in Chibok. The media was slow to report and once the celebrities stopped speaking about it, the media followed suit.

I’m weary of main stream media and its bias. I usually expect such shenanigans from Fox News but CNN is just as biased as well as incompetent. Even MSNBC is problematic in its own right. I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon so I will continue to get my news from independent media.

I Am Number 4

While I was home I attended an ugly Christmas sweater party at the home of a college friend. While I chatted it up with other college friends, one of them pulled out a sheet of paper that quickly became the topic of conversation for about 30 minutes. My friend is a high school teacher and she confiscated the paper from one of her students and made a copy for her enjoyment.

The paper was a list of the top 87 things that the student hated. My friend was listed at number 4. We wondered how she could possibly be listed so high. What did she do to this boy? As a point of reference George Zimmerman was listed at number 87. Other notable listings included Ebola, ISIS and Justin Beiber, which she also outranked.

This got me thinking that instead of doing a typical year-end post of things I want to change going into the new year or reflections of things about the past year I’d follow suit and talk about things that I hate. So without further adieu here is my list of things that I hate (in order)

  1. Corrupt, abusive police officers
  2. Racist people
  3. Pretentious people
  4. Seafood
  5. J. Edgar Hoover
  6. Don Lemon
  7. George Zimmerman
  8. Los Angeles Lakers
  9. Fox News
  10. Rush Limbaugh
  11. Kobe Bryant
  12. Classism
  13. Mayonnaise
  14. Nascar
  15. John Boehner
  16. Apple chargers
  17. The number 3
  18. Dallas Cowboys
  19. Ingrown Hairs
  20. Bill O’Reily
  21. Sitting next to obese people on airplanes
  22. High waist jeans
  23. Turbulence
  24. Carlos Rodgers (of Fairmont Heights HS)
  25. PETA
  26. Michael Jordan
  27. Wet socks
  28. Ratchet TV
  29. D’Angelo
  30. Yogurt
  31. New York Yankees
  32. Skinny jeans on men
  33. Spirit airlines
  34. Gambling
  35. Contrarians
  36. Rum
  37. Gin
  38. Mohawks
  39. Reebok
  40. Woodchuck
  41. Go-Go (Judge your mother)
  42. Snapbacks
  43. Darren Wilson
  44. Bill Cosby
  45. Planes flying near Malaysia
  46. New England Patriots
  47. Fritos
  48. Duke
  49. Neck and hand tattoos
  50. When I say I hate something and someone says, “Hate is a strong word”. I now how words work and what they mean. I know I hate you.

Welcome to the Haters Ball. Let me know what you hate.

Is peaceful protest the only form of acceptable protest left?

“But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully.” –Barack Obama

“We trust that those unhappy with today’s grand jury decision will make their views known in the same peaceful, constructive way.” – Bill de Blasio

“As we continue to await word on the U.S. Justice Department’s ongoing investigation, I urge all those voicing their opinions regarding the grand jury’s decision to do so peacefully…” – Jay Nixon

Since this summer when protesters responded to the militarized response in Ferguson I’ve heard a recurring theme from elected officials as well as those interviewed on television; even from people on social media. If you’re going to protest and voice your opinion, do so peacefully. There is nothing wrong with seeking peace in an otherwise potential volatile situation but I can’t help but wonder why the pleas of peaceful responses seem to be placed upon the backs of people who are already tired from bearing the burden of morality.

 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34:14 (KJV)

Not that anyone would need my blessing but I don’t condone violence and destruction but I do understand the motivation behind it. Compassion and being peaceful has gotten people of color nowhere besides more of our dead bodies, faux apologies and/or explanations and police officers who get to live their lives.  Are police officers that murder black people being peaceful? Where is the peace when a man can lay on the ground screaming “I can’t breathe” while the life is being choked out of him? Is it peaceful to pump bullet after bullet into a young man while there is no clear and imminent danger to you?

The onus of keeping the peace should be with those who are paid to and have been sworn to do so. Instead the community is asked to rise above the prejudice and look past the bias that they face daily. It’s frustrating to see that the value of our lives means so little so yes I understand the frustration and the anger that leads to burning down a building or flipping over a car whether its in your own neighborhood or not.

When no one hears our peaceful protests, when no one pays attention to our cries maybe they’ll recognize what they respect. They’ve already shown us what they respect. This is a country that was built on violence and protest. America wasn’t founded on nonviolence; that’s something some of us (black and white) progressed towards while trying to achieve basic civil rights.

 “Don’t give them a reason to think we’re animals.”

“They’ll have reason to think that what happened was justified.”

If a person thinks that the residuum to these grand jury decisions is a reflection on our people then at best they didn’t think highly of us to begin with. Those types of people will never understand who we are, what we go through and any reaction that we might have to us being legally murdered on our streets day in and day out. There is no point in trying to convince those people of our humanity or for our place at the table.

The night that the news broke that there would be no indictment of Darren Wilson in the murder of Mike Brown, The Raphael House of Portland, a domestic violence prevention and intervention agency, posted an excerpt of MLK’s Letter From A Birmingham Jail that I thought was pertinent to what I was seeing on my television and the criticism of it.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

As I read that excerpt I pondered why people were wondering why buildings were burning in Ferguson instead of wondering why people feel they have no choice but to burn shit down?