Dismiss The Concerns Of Black Lives Matter At Your Own Peril

Unchecked power and authority impact all of us; on both a visceral and physical level. Admittedly, I myself am engulfed with frustration and rage against those who spread the attitudes and lies that allow injustice to proliferate. Those whose inaction is validated by their misplaced sense of security. Security derived only from themselves not being the current target.
It is indeed true, that an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. I am disappointed in the majority of our population in their failure to see such a truth. Disappointed in their failure to remember history. Disappointed in their failure to hold vigilant watch against any form of unruly government powers. And disappointed by how fervently they latch on to talking points, yet forget sound principles. They name the oppressed their enemy and have forgotten the true enemy.
 
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
I am not called a selfless person by many people, hardly anyone now that I think about it. So it is not out of “white saviorism”, “white guilt”, or selflessness  that I support the Black Lives Matter movement and others who share my desire for a more accountable, safe, prosperous, and just society. It is because of my own hatred for injustice and my own instinctive self preservation that I stand for any cause that seeks to eradicate the entities and practices that exist to the detriment of its people. It is because every time  I see  a person killed or brutalized by the state a piece of my soul dies. And  while the black man today… may be the  most likely and vulnerable victim of the state’s brutalities, he certainly is not the only victim..
White children, boys and girls, have been murdered in their sleep due to careless no knock raids. Unarmed, non threatening, and non violent Hispanic and white women have been killed, rendered to a vegetative state, had their teeth knocked out, and their skulls cracked by those who claim to serve and protect us. Young white men with bright futures have been killed, others put into a comas for infractions as innocuous as a broken taillight.  Acts as innocent as picking up ice-cream on a first date have ended in the execution of white men. It wasn’t long ago, the state awarded a 3 million dollar settlement to a white woman’s family after she was fatally shot 6 times in the head and neck by a plain clothed officer for improperly parking in a church parking lot.
While I do not say this to dismiss the undeniable and factually sustained claim that blacks are the ones who currently suffer most from an overbearing, inherently immoral,  and corrupt police state. The truth is, every year the police kill far more whites than any other race. Blacks are killed at a much higher rate, but because they are a much smaller percent of the population, they do not account for the majority of police killings.
So yes, police abuse and brutality should concern all of us. And yes, as it stands today, police abuse does have the most oppressive impact by far on the black community. This is why we should listen to the warnings of Niemöller, learn from mankind’s past mistakes,  and understand history teaches over and over, we will all ultimately be subject to whatever we tolerate. Such a poignant message is more critical now than ever before.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Niemöller

Many refuse to acknowledge the horror inflicted upon our society’s most vulnerable, out of a fear of igniting a war on police. but even with the increase in tensions, officer fatalities have been at an all time low the past several years. And, as shown in statistics ranking professions by their risk of fatality,  as of 2016, it is significantly more dangerous to be a landscaper than a police officer.
The rhetoric is hype.
Used to scare us into placing justice in the backseat, and into accepting the oppression inflicted upon entire communities as a necessity for peace. To tell us silence is needed because the pursuit of justice would not be worth the cost. That justice should be sacrificed at the alter of peace. Yet, Christ taught wisdom must be pure before it can be peaceable.
When a man stands on the sound principles of human dignity, liberty, the right to privacy, the right to be secure in his own persons, government accountability, and the truth that we are all created in the image of God. Then the onus of changing for the sake of peace is on whoever stands against him. What value is a peace that survives only on  acquiescence to evil?
It was the same charge given by white plantation owners against those who sought to eradicate slavery.  To be labeled disruptive to the peace is a charge that will always be hurled toward anyone who stands for justice in an unjust world. Because where there is injustice there is the society in which it was established and tolerated. Where there is injustice there is the status quo and the system that sustains it
So yes. There will be division. There will be disruption. The blame for which is not on those who seek a just and accountable society. That blame is on the man whose peace is placed in a world sustained by corruption, greed, violence, and hatred. It is up to him to search his heart, acknowledge the error of his ways, and do everything within his power to be a man of justice every day forward.
 If you are of the belief that all men are created in the image of God. Then trust in that principle more than the false narratives of corporate whores in the media. And instead start asking questions.  Why would you believe law enforcement can do no wrong when Jesus Christ himself was crucified by men dutifully enforcing the law?
If you believe all men were created in the image of God why do you tout off statistics like, “90 percent of black people killed every year are killed by other blacks,” without putting it in context by also mentioning that, “84 percent of white people killed every year are killed by other whites.”
Why bring up a statistic in response to someone’s murder? Does any statistic invalidate their right to justice? Does any statistic have the power to make something wrong, no longer wrong simply because it is one of many? The next time a white person is murdered by an authority figure, do you believe it is wrong to get upset or seek justice because a single murder is “frivolous” in comparison to the  “white on white crime rate” ?  
When you see a mother devastated by the murder of her innocent son at the hands of police, or a black man going about his business shot for no reason before your very eyes, yet feel nothing more than the urge to repeat an ingrained talking point; it is time to question who you have allowed yourself to become, and what you have allowed yourself to believe. These pundits who claim Christ, yet do nothing but support evil, spread misinformation, and perpetuate intentional lies,  will not be there for you on the day you become the state’s unfortunate target.
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“The wicked flee when no man pursueth but the righteous are bold as a lions”

 

 

 

How to Create a Nation of Criminals

The Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed an alarming increase in the number of Americans imprisoned in our country. Frontline demonstrated this in the graph below. These statistics should not strike fear into the hearts of violent criminals. This trend is a threat to all of us.

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Our prisons have become a for-profit industry. This is something that has devastated millions of lives and must be stopped. Laws have become so overbearing that many statistics have concluded the average working american unknowingly commits 3 felonies a day on average. This is discussed in L. Gordon Crovitz’s article in the Wall Street Journal and in Harvey Silverglate’s book Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.

I would like to leave you with this eerie warning from Ayn Rand, in 2015, this hits us right at home:

“We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Die Behind Bars: A Brilliant Mind Stolen by the War on Drugs.

Ross Ulbricht, the brilliant mastermind behind  internet black market SilkRoad, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

Shortly after his arrest I heard about the case from an old schoolmate of his who knew him from high school in Austin. He said Ross was known by everyone as a very intelligent and kind young man, and I imagine he still is. When I heard last week he was facing a possible life sentence with a minimum of 20 years. I was devastated.

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“20 years!” I remember thinking. “This brilliant, productive, innovative mind will be locked away from society depriving us all of his contributions to the world.”

I thought of how disgusting it was there were mandatory minimums for certain crimes. And prayed even though 20 years was much much too long, the judge would be reasonable, and give him the minimum sentence, given it is already disproportionate to his non violent crimes.

Instead, Judge Katherine Forrest, gave Ulbricht the harshest sentence within her power. A life sentence without the possibility for parole. Her reasoning?

“The stated purpose [of the Silk Road] was to be beyond the law. In the world you created over time, democracy didn’t exist. You were captain of the ship, the Dread Pirate Roberts,” she told Ulbricht as she read the sentence. “Silk Road’s birth and presence asserted that its…creator was better than the laws of this country. This is deeply troubling, terribly misguided, and very dangerous.”

Ulbricht dared to be better than the country he lived in. Ulbricht dared to be ahead of his time, Ulbricht saw the devastation caused, the lives lost, the gangs created, the drug lords made, and the rights violated all because of a war on drugs and used his brilliant mind to create a solution.

Make no mistake, in a society that slaps pedophiles and rapists on the wrist, Ross Ulbricht is sentenced to die behind bars because he dared to question the authority of the state.

Ghandi questioned the authority of the state and strove for a solution. Rosa Parks and MLK questioned the authority of the state and strove for a solution. Thomas Jefferson questioned the authority of the state and strove for a solution, George Washington questioned the authority of the state and strove for a solution.

And the state strove to destroy them in return.

When people set out to change the world, when people set out to make it a more free place, a more peaceful place, they are often met in return with violence. The caging of Ross Ulbricht is itself an act of violence against humanity.

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Ulbricht sought to remove the danger, devastation, drug lords, gangs, and crime created by the criminalization of drugs.

Ross Ulbricht succeeded.

Ross showed how substances could be purchased safely, he showed the market had a demand for such products. He showed us by allowing people to peacefully purchase substances and products of their choice, there is far less damage to society than the millions caged, arrested, fined, shot, and killed each year as a result of the war on drugs.

We are all worse off by the caging of this innovative mind. This judge cares nothing of the billions spent by tax payers to cage nonviolent people. This judge cares nothing of the thousands murdered or beaten by gang violence and drug lords. This judge cares nothing about the freedoms we lose every day by creating a militarized police force entrenched enough in our lives to enforce and investigate these petty non-crimes.

Judge Katherine Forrest’s only concern was to embolden the power and scope of the state. Her only concern was to destroy all who questioned its authority. For her heinous crimes, no court will cage her. Our only solace is in knowing one day she will have to answer to God for the devastation she caused  her country and the world.

Turning the Wronged into the Wrong: Media Continues to Ignore Years of Police Brutality Prior to Baltimore Riots

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Since 2011 over 100 people have won lawsuits against the Baltimore Police Department for use of excessive force. Many of the officers involved were given a slap on the wrist, did not even lose their job, and continued to walk free after terrorizing the very people they were entrusted to protect.

In the rare instance an officer actually stood up against one of his own, the results were typical and disappointing to say the least.

After blowing the whistle on two fellow officers after they assaulted a suspect in 2011, former officer Joseph Crystal was forced to resign after continued harassment from officers in his department for being a snitch.

The message is clear. Cops protect their own, this allegiance is placed above, right, wrong, injustice, and justice. Any officer who fails to comply with this code of “honor” pays the price.

The 10,000 protesters who marched the streets of Baltimore for justice in the death of Freddie Gray  should not be expected to answer for, or be responsible for the actions of looters and vandals. The protesters do not represent them, and are in no way responsible for those taking advantage of a moment of civil unrest.

No amount of looting or vandalism discredits the true issue at hand. And to those who actually care, no amount of misdirection is going to numb the pain and hurt levied against communities by lawless, power hungry police officers who walk free time and time again after they destroy and end lives.

When men are left beaten or dead, and those responsible are more likely to receive paid vacations during  “investigations”  than prison sentences, you would be naive to not expect outrage.

The riots in Baltimore are tame and what is to be expected given the devastating circumstance those protesting find themselves in. The fact media outlets claim to be appalled and shocked by a few days of mayhem in response to decades of oppression and systematic police brutality only goes to showcase the flippancy with which they view the devastation caused by systematic unpunished police brutality against entire communities.

While I do not condone violence, and while I do not support looting or robbing random businesses who are innocent in this situation, I also must be honest in saying, I really don’t give a damn about a looted CVS store, and I really don’t give a damn about a few people getting roughed up amongst some rioters, and I really don’t give a damn about people setting fire to police vehicles.

I just don’t.

The thought of a broken window or a pair of stolen Reeboks isn’t going to keep me up at night, it just isn’t. It shouldn’t keep you up at night either. A looted CVS store has never been cause for national outrage or national attention before, so why would it suddenly be so important now?

The media is intentionally changing the narrative of this story.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Something has to change. If you expect the community to do nothing or depend on and have faith in a justice system that has failed them over and over and over again then you are completely illogical.

The justice system and the police force that victims are told to put their trust in, are the very entities that have oppressed them for decades. We have reached a point where there is no reasonable or logical hope for legal means of retaliation or justice.

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Do you honestly expect these people to just sit down, shut up and trust the moral sensibilities of their oppressors, hoping their oppressors decide to yield justice against themselves?

That is insanity.

We as a nation need help, this is about more than Freddie Gray, the riots in Ferguson, or the Baltimore Police Department, this is about an epidemic of unbridled police power throughout our entire nation and it has gone on for far too long.

Right now communities such as the impoverished areas of Baltimore are feeling the brunt of police violence because police know they can get away with attacking those of little power, with little influence, and little means of retaliation. Police consistently attack those who are impoverished and consistently attack minorities because they know that they can.

It is up to us to tell them they can not. It is up to us to let them know we do care, we will speak up, and we will make sure officers are held accountable for their actions.

We are not looking at an instance of “two wrongs” but an example of an oppressed and victimized community taking a stand, taking action -any action, against their violent oppressors.

And it is only at this point the media has the gall to act offended by violence? It is at this point the media has chosen to make a call for peace?

Where was the media’s concern with violence when Freddie Gray was being murdered? Where was the media’s concern with violence while the Baltimore police murdered 6 black men from January 2014 to March 2015 alone?

This isn’t a game, it isn’t a soundbite. We are talking about human lives, and it is only when those victimized take a stand against their oppressors that our media has the audacity to position itself as the moral authority on the issue of violence.

The media coverage over this has been disgusting, and we should all be disgusted. The outrage felt by these protesters is more than justified. Condemning peaceful protesters, or even those who are opportunistic looters, over state funded murderers is morally indefensible.

Crime and injustice are not the same thing. If a robber robs a store, and is then apprehended tried and convicted; justice was served. Robbery is not something our society repeatedly turns a blind eye to. Authoritative abuse is. When a cop can murder a man on camera, and walk away a free man. No justice was served.

This is not just one cop. It is not a few “bad apples”, but every member of the police force who turned a blind eye to misconduct and did nothing is also responsible for the situation at hand. They are the ones responsible for the situation in Baltimore. Their families, their friends, their loved ones who did not speak out against their deplorable actions are also responsible. The time has come for us to hold officers accountable for their actions, for even in their inaction they have chosen action.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Allen West Ignorantly Blames “Democrats” for Baltimore Riots

Well known Republican apologist Allen West gives one of the most superficial and divisive list of reasons for the Baltimore riots I have heard to date.

On April 29th Allen West posted an article The Dirty Little Secret No One Wants to Admit about Baltimore

How ignorant does Allen West have to be in order to write this? How much more ignorant does someone have to be in order to buy this?

Allen West like so many others in the media is missing the point. Instead of taking an honest look at the situation, he takes complex events and contrives everything into a series of Republican talking points aimed at demonizing the valid concerns of a long oppressed community against their oppressors.

With a complete lack of comprehension West blames the rioting and protesting on the fact Baltimore is “socialist” and that they “elect democrats”.

Sure West, rioters are burning down a city, and protesters are hitting the streets because: Democrats.

This has nothing at all to do with the fact the police in Baltimore and around the nation habitually murder and brutalize the people they are supposed to protect and then walk free. Nothing at all to do with the fact a hurt and devastated community has continually been given no avenue or hope for retaliation or justice through legal means. Nothing at all to do with the fact the legal system and police force they are told to trust is the very thing that has oppressed them for decades. It is time for us to wake up and stop buying into these lies, Democrat, Republican, white, black, it doesn’t matter. This issue affects all of us. Right now the black communities and those in impoverished regions are feeling the brunt of police violence because police know they can get away with attacking those of little power, with little influence, and little means of retaliation. You think you are safe just because you don’t fit the demographic? Think again.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. 

– Martin Niemoller

Liberation: Anyone Can Be Freed (Watch the film linked below!)

Both film and fiction undoubtedly have an effect on our world perspective and our culture as a whole. Our enemies know this and are diligently working to push their ideology into the mainstream of society.  “American Sniper” is just another recent example of film being utilized to create nationalistic pro-war propaganda.

It is refreshing to come across directors, actors, film producers, and authors willing to go against the grain – and often times their own governments, to reveal a truth that hadn’t been told before. We need more individuals within the media to counter the lies and false narratives bombarding movie theaters and television screens around the world.  One such director is David Kirk West. His film Liberation, goes against the false narrative that unjust war is of God. His movie was one of unconditional love, faith, and liberty.

The film is competing for a prize in “The Audience Awards” and you can not only watch the film for free, but help him win a cash prize by voting. As more films such as these gain popularity, we can work together to spread a new perspective around the world. Monetary contest winnings allow directors like David to continue making films of this nature.

You have to register for the site, but it’s really easy. You can do it and be voting for David in just a few seconds. By voting, you can actually even win cool prizes like $25 gift cards to Fandango, iTunes, or Amazon.com!

Here is the link to vote:

http://theaudienceawards.com/film/liberation28431#

You can vote once a day from now until April 14th, so please check back and vote often! Your vote is NOT just worth a single vote, either. The more involved you are on the website, the more votes your vote is worth, so be sure to check out a few of the other films and competitions that they’re running.