Sunday, July 21, 2013


Her smile would light up any room she walked into. She was a promising, eight-teen year old honors student at Wiley, College; an historically Black University in Marshall, Texas. She'd never been to detention in grade school. She graduated high school early and came from a loving, stable, but strict household. 

Gabriella Calhoun, was at the wrong place at the wrong time. She was also the wrong race, at the wrong time. While eating at Denny's in Bloomington, Illinois, with her friends one night, a fight broke out in the parking lot between two teenage girls. Denny's employees asked her party if they were involved in the fight outside, even though it was obvious that they were INSIDE and not involved. Denny's asked her table to leave, even after the group denied they were apart of the fight or knew anyone involved. They didn't ask the White patrons to leave. 

Police arrived at Denny's to serve and protect
As the cops tried to clear Denny’s, they again approached Gabriella’s table. A close male friend of hers AGAIN told the cops they were not involved in the ratchet behavior. The cops grabbed the young man and escorted him out of Denny’s. Gabriella followed them and grabbed his side, (like any concerned friend would do after seeing police take their innocent friend away.) As she exited the restaurant, she felt a grip on her neck and arm. She claims that out of reaction, she tried to pull away. (As would be anyone's reaction to an unknown, uncalled for physical intrusion on ones body)

According to her friends, Gabriella was hit in the face with a night stick by a female officer and was knocked unconscious. When Gabriella finally gained consciousness, the Wiley College Student said, “I awoke spitting my teeth out on the ground.”
Gabriella then stated, “When I came to, the officer begin to choke me again. When I was finally able to talk, I asked the officer to please let me go because I have asthma, but she [the officer], said, ‘I don’t care if you have asthma. You were hitting my officer.’”
And it wasn't over yet. Gabriella's continued,
“Afterward, the officer kept saying over and over again, ‘how was your party’ as she held my face to the ground.”
Keep in mind that the police still assumed these innocent young people were involved in the ratchet behavior, no matter what they told them. They assumed that because two Black women were in the parking lot throwing bows, that THESE Blacks must have came from that same ghetto party. All Black people know each other huh? I digress. Back to the story. 
What has changed?

Then the female cop lifted the petite honor student off of the ground, at which point her breasts were exposed. It turned out that the tube top shirt she was wearing had rolled down. She asked the officer if she could please pull up her shirt, but the officer told her to do it herself. She then walked Gabriella all the way from the front of the Denny’s to the back where the cop cars were. The entire restaurant was keenly aware of a young topless woman who was in physical pain and overcome with humiliation. 
Bloomington, Illinois police are sticking to their story of an unruly woman who posed so much of a threat to the officers, they she deserved to get beat unconscious. They claim to have video footage of the event but have yet to release it. I wonder if Denny's had surveillance video that they can offer? I assume that Denny's would only corroborate anything that the police claim, since they also assumed these academics were hoodrats and thugs.

A young woman with a bright future arrived at a restaurant for a meal, but she left in handcuffs with an uncertain future. She now faces felony aggravated battery and two misdemeanors. The life she had been working for, now potentially GONE. We can stand behind the Martin family, but let's not forget the other stories. This is police brutality at its worst. 

We need to demand that the media cover stories like this. This is just one of the many situations going on in America, the home of the FREE, where the innocent are brutalized by the system. Marissa Alexander, a Black woman who fired a warning shot in the air as her abusive boyfriend attacked her, well, she is now serving twenty years. George Zimmerman continues to binge on doughnuts and laugh with his brother. Enough is enough. It has hit the fan. Let's not simply march for Trayvon, let's march for the millions of us who are wrongfully accused, brutalized, profiled and disenfranchised by bias laws and a prejudice judicial system. 

The case of Gabriella Calhoun is clearly a result of racial profiling by the police as well as by the restaurant. Why were White patrons not asked to leave? Why is it that our system is set up in a way where police are presumed right and who ever gets beat upside the head is wrong? 

Why is it that so many stories like this never make the news? Why are we allowing for upstanding citizens to infiltrate our already overcrowded prison system?

Does this young woman, who simply wanted a bite to eat and quality time with her friends, really need to go to prison? Would she have gotten questioned by police had she been a White female?

If you believe race does not play a role here, or in other instances like STOP AND FRISK in New York, then it's time to wake up and smell the injustice.

Enough is enough America! 

I remember riding to Atlantic City with a group of male friends. We were minding our own business when a cop decided to pull us over. It was no shock or surprise to me because I was used to being guilty of driving while Black. But this time, I was a bit confused since my friend was driving, and he was White. 

For some odd reason, after asking for his license and registration, he then proceeds to order me and the other people of color out of the car. Instead of dealing with the DRIVER who he claimed was "speeding," he thought it more pertinent to pull us one-by-one into the highway and ask us questions. 
One question was shocking to me, "How do you all know the driver?" "Why are you with him?" 

He questioned us with judgment as if a group of minorities could not possibly hangout with a White man. Were we holding him at gunpoint and making him drive us to Atlantic City so we could rob the casinos and spill a 40 to our homies memories? 

The cop gave us looks of disgust while his crying baby was in the back of his police car. Is it normal practice to have your infant ride in the back of your patrol car while you are on the clock? Surely we were the bad people while he sped one hundred miles per hour to catch criminals with a baby in the back. I digress. 

Obviously, we were the more guilty than a speeding White man. It seemed as if my friend could have been drenched in vodka with cocaine powder on his nose and officer Friendly still would have asked me, "Why are you with him?" Just like Zimmerman asked Trayvon, "What are you doing around here?!" 

This is just one story of mine, there are many more. Many stories of belligerent security officers who followed me around department stores when I had a wallet full of MY OWN MONEY. There have been plenty of police cars which have followed behind me. They've read my license plate, no doubt hoping something would come up. 

Being Black in America is not as bad as it used to be, but it surely is not a walk in the park. The only difference between now and the Jim Crow era, is that we have laws to protect our equality. However racism hasn't gone anywhere. Prejudice is still there. A Black President does not negate racial profiling and laws like STAND YOUR GROUND which imply that only Whites can use it as a defense. We are still not equal, we have not overcome when STOP AND FISK programs are used as subliminal methods to incarcerate people of color, and ONLY people of color in New York. 

Stop and Frisk in New York

The police have too much power. The media is far too deep in the pockets of other interests to report what needs to be reported. The judicial system assumes guilt before innocence in most minority cases; while the prison system leeches off American taxpayers. If the system had its way, every strong Black man at Morehouse College would be stripped of his bow tie and given an orange jump suit. If the system had its way, all young Black boys in elementary school would be handed drugs by the government and told to sell it to other minorities. Trust and believe me, they are doing this in a less overt way and have been doing it for decades. They've been systematically fucking with people of color through media, through twisted bias laws, through corrupt police departments and through the manipulation of goods and services to CERTAIN demographics. 
From the CIA, to the Banks to the Prisons...Drugs and Minorities are pawns

Look, I am not the type of person who sees the White man as the monster under the bed, I understand the harm that the Black race has done to itself. Be it Black on Black crime, us selling our own network to Viacom (BET) or our African ancestors who sold other Africans to the Europeans. What I am aware of, is a government that has turned the Black race against itself. What I have observed, is institutional racism in many facets that has more power to fuck people over than it did during segregation. What I can tell you, is that a Black President is merely a facade and many of us unfortunately have become complacent after Oprah gave out free cars. 

Marissa Alexander goes BEHIND bars
Racism is not in the minds of the majority, but it is in the minds of a significant number of people in power. Prejudice, is in a court system that is suppose to be blind. We are in a delicate place right now in America, tensions are high and so far, there haven't been any major riots. Unfortunately, the strong hand continues to bitch slap people of color while it merely fingers the asshole of Whites. Same crime, different punishments. Wrong place at the wrong time verses wrong place but serve no time. CATCH IT. 

We need to do more than pray and march. We need to do more than put Trayvon Martins twelve year old photo on poster board and yell into federal buildings that had nothing to do with the juries decision. We need to look at our laws, we need to look at how they are enforced and WHO is enforcing them and against WHO. 

Casey Anthony went TO the bar
 We need to continue video taping the actions of police because it surely is not illegal to do so. When the police approach you with some mess, get out that cell phone and hit record. The world saw what the boys did to Rodney King, and there is no excuse as to why in 2013, there isn't any footage of the Gabriella Calhoun incident. SERVE AND PROTECT! Please do JUST that! 
I can't imagine bringing another life into this insufferable world. I can't bare to expose my offspring to the injustice. I would be sick to my soul every time my brown-faced son or daughter were to walk out of my house. I appreciate so much more of what my parents did in raising me; How they were able to handle me going out all hours of the night, knowing that my skin could lead to my mistaken identity.

Melissa Alexander and Gabriella Calhoun, two educated Black women who do not deserve to go to prison. They aren't murders, they aren't liars, they aren't thieves. They are just two of the many people of color who the double standard is against. Two of the many Black faces who could read Shakespeare or McMillan, and still not be able to shake the statistic which the system so desperately needs them to be. 

Gabriella Calhoun
Marissa Alexander

1 comment:

  1. I was born in 1958 and I can assure you people of color have always fallin victims to racist, inequality, and brutality. The more things change the more they stay the same. And caucasians have 'always' known being white is better.