It is with the utmost and deepest sorrow that LawdyMissClawdy – Life Speaks announces the sudden and unexpected passing from this life of our Senior Contributing Writer, beloved and trusted friend of over 40 years and a true Human Being, Sherman “Q” Montgomery.

Q was a gifted artist, seeing beauty in an unusual way and able to transfer that vision to paint and canvas with great sensitivity.

Q was also a realist who keenly observed Truth in Life and reported on his observations honestly and expertly both on this website and through social media as well as through cherished mentoring relationships with young people.

Although Q frequently travelled throughout the Divided States of America, Memphis, TN remained his life long home base.  There in his home town, as a very young man he marched with Dr. King in support of the striking garbage workers – his first battle in his continual fight in speaking Truth to Power.  He remained a lifelong soldier in the struggle for Civil Rights and a tireless champion of uplifting the image and self confidence of the Strong and Intelligent Black Male.

On a professional level, the loss to LawdyMissClawdy – Life Speaks is unmeasurable.  Q’s keen eyes, ears and voice can never be duplicated.

On a personal level, I am devastated by this loss.  Friend from my youth; friend, confidant and fellow student of Life in our older age, it will be a very long time before I am able to come to terms with the unexpected disappearance of this great and beloved friend from my life.

December, 2014

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NEW YORK, 2014

Recently I was watching a documentary about the Roosevelt family.  In amongst tales of the exploits of Bully Teddy Roosevelt, the “Dragon Lady” mother of Franklin Roosevelt and the general regaling of the Holy Roosevelt Dynasty, a small newsreel piece was tucked into a corner of one of the segments about Eleanor Roosevelt.

Conquering her fears, Eleanor Roosevelt went to a mental asylum to visit soldiers traumatized by World War I.  What she saw there not only horrified her but also helped cement the foundation of her life-long quest to ensure human equality in every segment of society, starting with those injured and broken young men she saw that day.

First, these young men were being housed in the most squalid of living conditions.  Eleanor immediately committed herself to improving the living conditions for the patients in that hospital.  But there was more.  It’s the “more” that prompted me to write this piece today.

Documentary newsreel footage showed a number of young soldiers.  None of them looked to be any older than their late teens or very early twenties.  All of them had obviously suffered mental breakdowns – what today we would call “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”.  Back then it was called “Shell Shock”.  They were shaking uncontrollably or else their entire body was just a series of uncontrollable continual tics and twitches – their payment for giving their all – body, soul and mind – in service to their country.  They were still wearing their dog tags.  They and all the young people like them I will call the Fruits of War.  

They are a very bitter Fruit.

Watching this newsreel not once, but twice because the documentary was re-aired last night, I was thrown back into the late sixties and early seventies when I was young and the Viet Nam War was destroying our young men (women could enlist but were only allowed to hold support positions – secretaries, nurses etc.)

Back in those days the United States had a mandatory system in effect known as The Draft.  Its purpose was to ensure that America would have plenty of bodies to fill the uniforms of its armed services whether War Time or Peace Time.  Every young man had to register with his local Draft Board as soon as he turned 18.  Unless you were a Conscientious Objector, a Defector or had some physical or mental limitation, everyone had to go into “The Service”.

Registering for The Draft back in the days of the Viet Nam War, pretty much meant a death sentence, because you stood a pretty good chance of being sent to Viet Nam where if you didn’t die physically – you were most likely going to be destroyed psychologically.

Everyone of my age group (baby boomers) had friends who got sent to Viet Nam.  I can only guess about other peoples’ experiences but I can speak fact about my own experiences.  My own experience was that, of the boys I knew that went to Viet Nam, only some of them returned.  Then, virtually 100% of those that returned brought something dark back with them:  either a drug habit or a trauma-induced psychological disability or both.  Many of them refused to even talk about their experiences, but not all.  The stories I did hear from those who would share them, were so horrendous that had I not heard similar stories from one or two other returning soldiers, I wouldn’t have even believed them.  One boyfriend I had at that time, would wake up screaming sometimes at night, shaking and sweating.  But he would never reveal the dream that caused that effect.  He also had a terrific drug habit and some head issues (psychological issues.)  Years later I heard that his family eventually had had him committed to the County Mental Hospital.  As far as I know he is still there.

My reason for writing this today is that, being reminded of all those horrors, one has to look at those memories in the light of what is happening in the world today.  America as I write this, is embroiled in yet another quandary of how deeply to get involved with the most recent terrorist threat, ISIS.  When I first saw on the news that we had begun air strikes against them, my heart just sank and I could only sit in my chair and shake my head.   Not because I agreed or disagreed…but because I could only think…”Oh no…not again….”

Because I am old now, I have seen this over and over and over again in my lifetime.  I remember when George Bush started his “Shock and Awe” campaign.  I will reprint now what I have previously published about that on this site: 

“Late one evening I watch a breaking news bulletin on TV.  Cameras pan a scene of lush palm trees swaying silently in the dark night, with a twinkling city in the background.  Suddenly the cracking thunder of fireworks burst through the silence.  A reporter announces not fireworks, but the beginning of President George Bush’s “Shock and Awe” campaign. 

In disbelief and resignation I call my sister.  Though many miles apart we cry together softly, knowing what this means; the annihilation of thousands more innocent “expendable” people in order to steal Iraqi oil.”

Is there never an end to all this?  Can’t we EVER learn from our past history?  All those countries we have fought against in the past – we are all great buddies now!  We party and dance together now.  Our respective countries’ leaders all go out and play golf together now and slap each other on the backs now and sneak off to drink and play with expensive call girls together now like every day is just a big holiday.

Would any of them allow their loved ones to enlist in our Armed Services?  I think they would go to great lengths to prevent that from ever happening.

What about the young people – including young women now – who DO enter into the Armed Services today?  They go in with their young hopes of success and dreams of getting an education – but so many of them will come home on a stretcher or worse – in a pine box.  Are they only modern day versions of the twitching, shuddering young men that horrified Eleanor Roosevelt but yet were the spark that fired her resolve to spend her life working for Change?

If that is the case, does that only prove that nothing at all has changed throughout all these years but the names and faces of the Fruits of War?


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This is one of the cornerstones outlined by David Rockefeller (as revealed to Aaron Russo in his film “America Freedom to Fascism”) in the plan of the “Unseen” (modern illuminati) to establish a new world order by controlling the people through their sources of finance.  Of course the plan utilizes Africa as an experimental proving ground.  This goes hand in hand with what our Editor in Chief has been discussing in his previous post.


Branding Nigeria: MasterCard-backed I.D.

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© Bernard W. Saunders
Iture-Elmina Ghana
September 16, 2014

(Titta, now an honored Ancestor,  once a revered elder, and  though  illiterate,  a wise mentor of my Caribbean bred wife; use to say that “politics bite harder than cattle ticks”.  Abused and victimized under British colonial rule she refused to attend anglicized church or sing the British National anthem).

                                    Politricks (c) 

                                    Here we go again

the politricksters

Are befuddling us.

9 billion USA dollars

loaded on pallets and flown to Iraq.

No accountability.

Ghana flies 3 million


Brazil for a soccer team.

No accountability.

We elect the tricksters

and they do just that.



I Am befuddled.

Where am I?

I sit on my rented porch in Nature’s classroom continuing to marvel at the lessons learned by observation. I’ve noticed over a couple of weeks that a funnel-like hole had opened in the ground. There was a mound of dirt around the rim. From time to time I thought I detected movement, but it was so slow and stealth like that I could not be sure. If I lost my focus or concentration, became distracted by one thing or another I would lose sight of it.

As the hole is almost directly in my line of sight as I sit in nature’s classroom, I began to notice pinkish/red movement within the cone, in contrast to the khaki colored sand. Aha! Then I noticed that the pink and red was in multiples. Another aha moment. This slow motion frame by frame revelation had taken days. When the legs revealed themselves at the rim top under a gray colored shell, I knew I was on to something, but not sure what.

A friend of mine, a long term resident of Ghana, like me a refugee out of Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn New York USA,  cleared it up for me when I pointed out the hole in the ground.

“That’s a sand crab” he said in response to my question about what he thought it was.

With that information I continued my daily observation of the stealth crab. It would draw my attention as I was doing my exercise soon after sunrise to the accompaniment of the birds singing, the crowing of roosters and the ocean pounding the continental shelf.

I stretch and sway with the almond, coconut and morenga trees;  the grass, some of which is tall enough to obscure a person of average height, that surrounds my property and that of a neighbor under cultivation  moves with the morning breeze coming off the ocean. I pray and chant.

It is in moments like these, and like the one happening as I write this with the sun high in the bright blue sky, laced with cotton ball clouds that I realize how blessed I am. Blessed to be alive. Blessed to be living without the racial dispersions of the USA.

Even as I sit outside with no running water in my rental; with the “lights out” (electricity cut by power company allegedly a conservation measure), depriving me of access to the internet; the hum of the traffic on the major roadway doesn’t drown out the calming sound of the ocean; nor the soothing breeze.

I came to Ghana in search of healing at 77 years of age from the trauma of living in the United States with my ancestry, traditions, heritage and humanity being constantly denigrated for my lifetime. Having written in the past of my being disillusioned with the difference between the mythical (all men created equal) USA and the reality of living in the (racialist) USA I feel no need to elaborate further.

Paradoxically, I have found in my second year of living here in Ghana that I have lost truth. For here too, Ghana’s mythical past, with its own traditions and heritage, has succumbed to the reality of living in 21st century Ghana, dominated by western culture and systems.

In my youth in the USA I was introduced to Africa through movies about Tarzan and Jungle Jim, that largely showed ignorant Africans living in poverty and a state of pagan barbarism being led to civilization by European males, many of whom were missionaries.

Those same theaters showed my indigenous maternal forebears as savage Native Americans being subdued and rescued from their lives of barbarism by yes once again, European males, many of whom again were missionaries.

The mental engineering I underwent was so successful that I wanted to be the cowboy at play and never the Indian or despised “redskins”.

I was again introduced to Africa, the historic, mythical Africa under the guidance of some of the great African scholars of the 20th century, through such organizations as the African Heritage Studies Association. That accelerated the re-engineering to self identification.

Much like the reality of living in the USA; the reality of living in Ghana, with its class, almost caste-like traditions; and what some have described as a theocracy, due to the government’s support of religious based education; displaced the myth. Ghana and the USA share a common colonizer with England’s legacy of judicial, education, political and religious systems; systemically attempting to at the least weaken and if possible destroy the indigenous culture.

The  loss of Africa’s culture in the long term as it is European/Americanized outweighs the short term devastation of the extraction of Ghana’s natural resources in importance in the long term. African culture serves, served as a bulwark against the ongoing colonization of the African mind to paraphrase John Henrik Clarke.

To come to Ghana then, to find the descendants of the European/Arab power structure which  enslaved Africans,  being genuflected to by today’s African elite and populace; who continue to go hat in hand, on bended knee to the system which created the conditions succor is being sought from is, to an ascendant such as myself of the diaspora created as a result of the Atlantic slave trade to be disconcerting is to say the least and ludicrous at its best.

None of which negates my feelings of being blessed by the opportunity to live here, despite the challenges, and all of the propaganda to the contrary. Sometimes the realization of my blessings comes through what I call “the portal” at 3 A.M.  When I lie abed fully awake, listening and feelings. That is when understanding comes that humanity’s truth is relative; universal truth is constant.

It was while in the “portal” that I realized that it is the children who are at fault for dying today as they have for eons. Yes the children, for having chosen to be born to parents on the wrong side of whatever line: racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, geographic, political.

This came in response to an e-mail another refugee had forwarded me from the USA about the death of children in one of the myriad wars soaking the earth with the blood of innocents.

The end result is that the children are at fault according to the politricksters for having the temerity to be born to parents who very often either have something the tricksters want or even worse are unwanted, thus being classified as expendable.

Having been classified as expendable at different phases of my life by politicians and their minions, I have concluded that is not the case, that such classifications are not acceptable. All life is sacred.

The sand crab helped me to realize how “Politricksters” was applicable to all political systems that I have knowledge of.  I don’t have to speak or understand the language to understand the results.

From the shenanigans at my local intro-community level through the national to the international: language, culture, religion, ethnicity, race are markers; when the results are overlaid the sand crab makes it clear: It is the end result that are telling.

Politricksters are politricksters no matter where they are located. It is the mind-set that is the imperative.  The chattel enslavement of Africans; Titta’s experience under colonialism; the creation of the United States, out of the destruction of the indigenous population, with its wealth constructed on the back and blood of enslaved Africans; the current governance of Ghana and much of Africa, are the spawns of the same mind-set.

I was recently privileged to listen to a regional chief visiting his local constituents bemoan the fact that the village had been without a chief for decades; impeding progress due to differences among the leadership. Within a week he summoned the opposing sides to his palace and gave them a deadline to resolve their issues or he would impose sanctions.

I do not speak the language, but I understood him to say at the village meeting that if leadership failed they should be replaced. It was not clear to me if that was confined to the local level.

What was clear to me, was that a similar failure of leadership has occurred within my own community; with opposing factions failing to resolve their differences for the good of the community.

In both the case of the village and my own community there were not only two factions that failed; there was also a failure on the part of a third segment: The communities-for failure to demand leadership-lead-and to hold leadership accountable-that is the responsibility of the community.

That is certainly applicable on the national and international level as well.

I have come to visualize the two opposing factions as two sides of a triangle resting on the base, the foundation, that is the larger community or populace. It is from this base that power flows upwards.

The politricksters have inverted the power flow by convincing the populace that power flows down. That is not the case.

The populace, the leadership and the sand crab have much common. We dig a hole, periodically stick our heads up, look around, then drag whatever we find back into the hole with us. Sadly with humanity it is often the children.

One recent indication of why I know I am blessed is that I was having lunch outside at a friend’s restaurant, that some  have deemed a “peace garden”, when a black and yellow butterfly landed on my plate. One came very close to resting on me.

I know that despite the lessons of the sand crab and the politricksters, if I remain still enough internally, that the blessing of the butterfly landing will manifest.

The sand crab hole was covered with a mound of dirt/sand. I am not sure if the sand crab did it, or one of its natural predators, or by humans (Humans are the primary predators of all forms life on this planet).  As I did not see it dug, I did not see it covered. It went as it came.  It is open again.

The newly selected chief was placed on his stool, with all the cultural pomp and ceremony befitting the occasion; seating him on the seat of power the people expect him to lead from.

Titta you were  so right. 

(For a fortnight African centered analysis of Ghana, from a current Ghanian viewpoint, I recommend  Nana Kobina Nketsia V book: “African Culture in Governance and Development…….”; University of Cape Coast, Nov. 2013).


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© Q. Montgomery
Memphis, TN 2014

Black men, know who you are…

Be proud of who you are…

Celebrate who you are…

Love who you are…

Let no one besides You define who you are

It starts and ends with how you feel about yourself.  When you know yourself and what you have to offer, that’s when you can have a positive effect on those around you. 

Black men are the most imitated male species on the planet for a reason;    when you look outside of yourself for validation, you are asking for someone else to give you what you already have inside:

PRIDE –  it’s more than just a word……….


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LawdyMissClawdy – Life Speaks is proud to introduce a new contributor to our “Young Authors” category:  Ms. Teresa Deely.

At just 16 years old, Ms.Deely possesses an insight well beyond her years.  With an ability to look deep inside our hearts and uncover those secret places we all keep tucked away in hidden corners, Ms. Deely makes us reveal them to ourselves in this sensitive tale of love.

© Teresa Deely
New York, 2014

I have always believed that genuinity is a virtue.

All I wanted was someone who would share a relationship with me that was like an intimate secret: only we had the ability to pull back each other’s layers and facades to reveal the raw truth of each others’ being. I planned to love my partner right down to the last layer that covered the entry to their heart and peel it back with light tugs until I held their heart in my hands and they held mine. When I got married, I thought I had finally made it happen.

We met at a coffee shop that I had been going to habitually since I was ten years old. I came in at 11:30 every morning, ordered a large black coffee with milk, and sat at a table wedged in the smallest crook of the shop while I buried my face in a newspaper until I started to get light-headed from the ink fumes. He came in every Tuesday at 11:47, give or take a few minutes, and ordered a large black coffee, no milk. His name was Greg- not that he told me himself but I heard the barista call him that on numerous occasions.

Every time I saw him, I scribbled aspects about him on a coffee stained napkin I kept crammed in my purse. Tall and fit. Voluminous short black hair. Endearing green eyes. Freckles all the way down the bridge of his nose. Wrinkles forehead when confused. Smiles brightly. Burberry suit but red Converse. All these things made it extremely difficult for me to refrain from spontaneously proposing to him without speaking any words to him prior. I’m a laconic person, really.

One day I was so lost in writing about him that I lost track of time and was on the verge of being late for work, so I quickly rushed out. I was extremely confused when Greg came running after me with something in his hand, especially because it looked like one of the twenty proposal scenarios I had imagined in my head. He stopped me before I crossed the street and said, “I wouldn’t normally run after someone like this but I saw you drop this napkin and it says, ‘Like a Greek god in a charcoal leather jacket’ and quite frankly, I couldn’t help but notice that I’m wearing a charcoal leather jacket. I mean, I’m Italian and Irish so the Greek part kind of threw me off, but I took a chance anyway.” I knew then that I wanted to peel back his layers, and could only hope he wanted the same for me.

Things moved pretty fast. We talked about our mutual love for Nutella and our dreams to travel the world, but soon we progressed into more serious, intimate conversations. I told him about my father’s drug addiction and my family’s financial instabilities that left us in the street several times throughout my childhood. He told me about growing up with an abusive father and witnessing his own sister go through the same thing with her husband. Our conversations consumed hours at a time no matter where we were or where we had to go or what time it was. I vividly remember speaking to him about our childhood dreams of happiness at 2 AM in a 24 hour laundromat on what would have been a normal Thursday in April. That day was when I first thought I saw Greg’s heart.

After we got married, I started feeling different. It wasn’t post-wedding jitters or excited anxiety for what was to come in our marriage. Instantaneously as we said our vows, Greg became more distant and covered back layers of himself while my heart still hung in the open. Greg was never a capricious man; I would know because that was never something I wrote on my napkin. Normally we would just talk about our feelings and get rid of a negative energy like this but our conversations had been curtailed from two hours to barely two minutes long. He would disappear for hours at time and I would call him occasionally so as not to be an annoyance but to still show my concern. It always went straight to voicemail.

We both had stopped going to that coffee shop where we met because the house we moved into was much farther away than where we had lived previously. I told Greg that I was going to be in the city all day with some girls from work to take photographs for a new project we were working on. I went to the coffee shop instead to get Greg a large black coffee without milk in the hope that bringing back an old memory would bring back the old Greg. Before I left, I looked to the corner where I used to sit all those mornings at 11:30. They got rid of the table that used to be wedged in the corner.

When I got home, I quietly looked for Greg because I wanted to witness his reaction to the coffee naturally, in his most genuine state. I tiptoed upstairs, hopping over creaks on the way, and eased the door of our bedroom open. I found it likely that he was sleeping, but didn’t expect someone to be next to him with their fingers intertwined in his like a chokehold to my heart. I threw the coffee in his face maliciously, knowing that it would probably be corrosive to his skin, and they both abruptly woke up in a panic.

She grabbed the napkin with all my notes about Greg from my bedside and tried to wipe the coffee off him, smudging the ink in the process. I could have mauled her, ripped her hair out, scratched her with the fingers that were so close to holding Greg’s heart, but I didn’t. I looked into Greg’s green eyes as they swelled up with tears of remorse and said, “Out of all those things that I wrote on that napkin, all I wanted was for you to be genuine.” I took a fresh napkin that I got from the coffee shop that day and wrote “Disingenuous” and placed it on his bedside before I left.


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Do You See This Man Resisting Arrest?

© PJ HAYWARD, 2014 New York

On Friday July 18, 2014 an UNARMED Eric Garner, a married father of six children, was murdered by Staten Island Police, who put the NON-RESISTING, asthmatic Mr. Garner in an illegal chokehold and suffocated him.

Mr. Garner’s crime? He broke up a fight between two friends who fled the scene before the officers arrived.

Eric Garner was unarmed, possessed no drugs, no alcohol and no stolen property. Because of previous arrests for the unlawful sale of CIGARETTES (not drugs, not stolen property – cigarettes) Staten Island police had been harassing him continually – the final time being caught on a friend’s cell phone video which I am posting below. You can clearly see that Mr. Garner has his hands in the air, he is not resisting the officers and in fact is begging them to please stop harassing him and leave him alone – until he is forced to start begging them for his life – he cannot breathe.  They continue to choke and brutalize him even as he lay dying before their sadistic eyes.

This is just one more case of innocent citizens being murdered by those very people who are sworn to “Protect and Serve”.

Previously posted on LawdyMissClawdy – Life Speaks is EXPLORING THE MINDSET BEHIND NEW YORK CITY’S STOP AND FRISK LAWS. Bill De Blasio, our recently elected Mayor has, unfortunately, done a total about face on his promise to suspend the prevailing racially motivated Stop and Frisk Laws. He has gone even further backward by re-appointing one of New York’s most reviled former Police Commissioners, Bill Bratton. We will see what stance they take now that another horrific, unnecessary tragedy has befallen an innocent black man, profiled because of the color of his skin.

You Be The Judge, what did Eric Garner do wrong? Was it a crime for him to beg for his life?

Following this video I am re-posting our article on the outrageous, unfair and often murderous New York City Stop and Frisk policies. Please read it and think it over carefully. Clearly the statistics do not bear out the need for the ruthless tactics employed by our Police Force.  WE MUST LOBBY OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TO PUT A STOP TO THIS MINDLESS, SENSELESS AND ILLEGAL USE OF BRUTAL FORCE BY OUR POLICE OFFICERS!!


And now, previously posted last year, our post EXLORING THE MIND SET BEHIND NEW YORK CITY’S STOP AND FRISK LAW
© PJ Hayward, New York 2013

In 1973 Huey Newton coined the phrase “Revolutionary Suicide” in his book of the same name.

Here I will not discuss the book, but I do want to talk about the term Revolutionary Suicide and what it stands for, because it’s still so valid today

What brother Huey referred to with the term Revolutionary Suicide is basically an attitude, a concept.  He was speaking about the consequences of conditions in this country – not just on people of color generally – but specifically the Black Man.

Suicide in the broader term, or what Huey called “Reactionary Suicide”, is caused when conditions have become so excruciatingly unbearable for a person that they just give up all hope and feel death is the only way out.

Conversely, Revolutionary Suicide is actually an attitude of survival – because you have such a strong Will to live as a Human Being that to live any other way is impossible.  In his case, as was the case with many other young people in those days,  Huey Newton felt that he would rather risk death by fighting those forces at play that kept him chained and shackled by means of Control, than to live a life under the thumb and the restrictions being put upon non white people at that time and of course, he did ultimately give his life in his pursuit of equal rights.

That was his viewpoint when he, along with Bobby Seale, founded the Black Panther Party: that life without dignity was not life.  If dignity and equal treatment could not be the Right of people as fellow Human Beings, then fighting for that Dignity was worth dying for.  Revolutionary Suicide.

Today, those old time revolutionaries are looked upon as icons from the past.

I myself used to feel that the Revolution actually came – but not in the way we as young people envisioned it would be.  When I grew old I came to believe that the Revolution had snuck in the back door of the establishment and eased it self up into the ranks of the Corporate World, Society and other places where “certain people” were never before welcome.

By that I mean that people of color have proven over and over and over again their ability to take the tiniest grain of hope and turn it into multitudes of bushels of progress.  There is virtually no field of study, no occupation, no school of thinking where people of color have not excelled in every way.  Yet, they are still targets and suspects for any and every negativity imaginable.

But now that I have grown even more old, I believe that I was wrong.  I believe now that the Silent Revolution I once believed had snuck in through a crack in the door or a hole in the wall, is still only trying to find that place to sneak in.

One of the things that blatantly illustrates this is the subject of this post – the Stop and Frisk Law that is being tested and thrown around in New York right now, and the preponderance of people who actually seem to believe it has a place in society today as it is being used – or rather – abused.

The Stop and Frisk Law which goes hand in hand with rampant racial profiling, has been a staple in the New York City police arsenal of tools for decades.  Basically any police officer can stop any citizen – seemingly for no apparent reason other than the color of their skin – and frisk them for weapons.

Astonishingly, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended this practice by actually saying “black and Latino New Yorkers are not stopped and frisked enough, while whites are stopped too much, when compared to the racial breakdown of crime suspects.”

It seems to me that the key word there is “suspects”.  There is a big difference between being a suspect and being a convicted offender.

What no one talks about but I am convinced is one of the real underlying keys to this practice, is police Arrest Quotas.  I doubt that anyone will admit there is such a thing but that will have to be a subject for a future post.

Sticking to the subject of Stop and Frisk – what made this issue even more visible lately were the incidents that happened recently here in New York at the Barney’s store and Macy’s, where several young people of color went into those establishments and purchased very expensive items.  Either before they left the store or shortly thereafter they were stopped and questioned and in at least one case, one of these young people was told “you cant afford that”, although obviously he could because he paid for it.

This is not a one or even two person incident – but a number of people have recently come forward with tales of being profiled by these two particular stores.

For any of you who may not be aware of this, Jay-Z is planning to launch an upscale clothing line in Barney’s at Christmas.  He has taken the position that he wants to reserve judgment on this situation till all the information is available.  So I won’t comment on Jay-Z here.

But Rev. Al (Sharpton) has threatened to boycott Barney’s over these incidents.

The broader obvious question is, if we have only just heard about these particular stores because the purchases were high ticket items, how many thousands of cases are we never going to hear about when the average guy is just shopping at the corner store or walking down the street and is stopped and questioned?

How many of our young sons have come home and told us the harrowing tales of their frightening experiences out on the street, just because they happened to be there on the street?

In my own life I and all the other mothers I know have always cautioned our young people to be respectful to the Law, because no matter what – they have the Power and they have the Weapon.  And how many of those young people are no longer here?  Many.

Here in New York Judge Shira Shiendlin ruled that the Stop and Frisk law was unconstitutional.  Judge Schieindlin quoted the following known statistics:

Between January 2004 and June 2012, the NYPD conducted over 4.4 million stops.


Of those 4.4 MILLION stops the following percentages applied:

52% were black
31% were Hispanic
10% were white

In 2010, New York City’s resident population was roughly;

23% Black
29% Hispanic
33% White.

Weapons were seized in:

1.0% of the stops of Blacks
1.1% of the stops of Hispanics
1.4% of the stops of Whites.

Between 2004 and 2009, the percentage of stops where the officer failed to state a specific suspected crime ROSE FROM 1% to 36%.

Now On Appeal,  another judge has overturned Judge Shiendlin’s ruling, putting a freeze on it and ordering Judge Shiendlin removed from the case.

So Stop and Frisk will continue to be the norm in New York City where the above statistics prove its futility.

When is enough enough?

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