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Letter to the Editor: “How Long, Not Long”

Dr. Mildred Henry

Dr. Mildred Henry

From: Dr. Mildred D. Henry, Retiree

This 81-year-old writer asks, “How long will the slaughter of African American males continue?”  In my lifetime, Black males have been tortured, executed, and hung from trees. This writer witnessed our family cotton gin and general store burned to the ground, twice, by racists.  Today, horses have been replaced with cars; and sticks and ropes traded for guns.  In Fruitland Park, Florida, sheets of a notorious hate group were traded for law enforcement uniforms.  On behalf of Dan’te Parker, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Donte Jordan; and others, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I ask How long?” Through the years the south was infamous for racial hatred and abominable acts, however, now barbaric activities against Blacks take place nationwide.

Weekly, in California, Missouri, Alabama, Illinois, Ohio, all across the nation, a Black mother’s son dies at the hands of professed law enforcement personnel who are sworn to protect, not to kill our citizens.  Black men have been shot in the back; shot in the top of the head; choked, and electrocuted to death by law enforcement officers.  How long before these atrocities are stopped?

Dan’te, a hard-working, good natured, father of five children, who loved to sing, left home in Victorville, California riding his son’s mongoose bike because Dante’s bike had a flat tire.  He was exercising to lose weight.  Dante was stopped at approximately 5 PM by a Deputy Sheriff because of a reported attempted break-in at a residence. The resident, reporting the incident, said the suspect left riding a bicycle.  ‘A Black man on a bike’ was stopped by a law enforcement officer, stunned by a Taser “multiple times”, “more than five times”, was dead by 6 PM, and his family never notified.  Why?  How Long?

By 11 PM, when her husband had not returned home, a concerned, alarmed, wife began phone calls only to be informed that her husband was at a medical facility. Accompanied by her father-in-law, the wife went to the facility, was questioned by detectives, and after several hours of waiting, when she asked to see her husband, was informed that her husband’s body had been transported from Victorville, in San Bernardino County, to Riverside County.  The family was never notified.  Reportedly Dante’s six year old son asks every morning, “Why all black men have to die?”  This writer asks, “How Long?”

The eleventh edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines genocide as: “The deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.”

How long will this seemingly open season on Black males continue? From the cradle, through the prison, to the grave, seems to be the designated channel for too many Black males in our society. Blacks do not own the airplanes and ships that bring drugs to the neighborhood, nor do we manipulate the systems that eliminate jobs.  However, there is always an ample supply of drugs and gangs on the street corners. Seemingly, there are those who destine Black youth to go from the schoolhouse to the courthouse to the jailhouse, so that they have no opportunities to be in their own house.  How long will we tolerate this systematic demise of a people?

The outrage crosses racial, generational, gender, and all barriers. A 90 year old Caucasian female survivor of the Holocaust was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri as she marched for transparency and justice. We send Black males around the world to protect the very hands which needlessly kill them in their own country.  How Long will this continue?

How long will culturally uneducated politicians refuse to listen to those who have “boots on the ground” in the Black communities and culture?

This “open season” and massacre of Black males must end.  How long?  I hope not long because we can wait no longer for accountability and an end to the genocide.

 

Sympathy to the Family of San Bernardino Officer Gabriel Garcia

Officer Gabriel Garcia

Officer Gabriel Garcia

The WSSNEWS organization offers sympathy and encouragement to the family and friends of Gabriel Garcia, the San Bernardino Police officer who was wounded in a shooting early Friday morning.  According to the SBPD, the incident resulted in the death of a known member of a criminal gang based in Redlands.  At the time of this writing, Officer Garcia was recovering from surgery at Arrowhead Medical center.

Officer Garcia started with the San Bernardino Police Department in March 2008. He served as a Patrol Officer for six years, and was highly commended and recognized for his work with San Bernardino Graffiti Task Force. He also participated in SBPD’s Baker to Vegas relay. Garcia was 31-years old and a father to one. His the son of SBPD Captain Ron Garcia.

“Gabe is an outstanding officer, a great team member and a great man.  He has always displayed extreme professionalism and a great attitude toward his job, earning the utmost respect from fellow officers and the department as a whole.  His calming and compassionate nature has earned multiple letters from citizens thanking him for his assistance with crimes such as armed robberies and carjackings.  He is exemplary in every sense of the word”, S BPD Chief Jarrod Burguan stated.

 

Tips for home improvement on a limited budget

Luis Dominguez, Vice President and Branch Manager, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.  

Luis Dominguez, Vice President and Branch Manager, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

Your home may be the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime.  Regular home improvement projects can help add value and make your home a more comfortable place to live. Your home is likely one of the largest investments you’ll make in your lifetime, and home improvement projects can add value to your investment.

If major home improvement isn’t in your budget this year, here are a few inexpensive tips that may help:

Paint

On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, making painting one of the simplest and most cost-effective improvements to add appeal to your home.  Review design magazines and Web sites or visit model homes in your area for ideas about how you might add a splash of color or freshen up a room with paint.  Identify areas inside and outside of your home that need attention. Then use sand paper to smooth out rough or peeling areas and use spackle to fill holes.  You might also reference DIY Web sites for tips to help you prep, paint and clean up.

Curb appeal

Simple and inexpensive landscaping projects can create a great first impression.  Planting flowers in pots by the front door, along a walkway, or in window boxes is a simple and inexpensive way to add charm to your home.  Shade trees planted strategically not only add appeal, but could help lower cooling costs.  Contact your utility company for tips on varieties that grow well in your area, as well as where they should be planted to maximize shade and avoid coming into contact with power lines.

Welcoming entrance

Invest in a new front door, or repaint,stain or refinish your existing door.  Install a brass kick plate and polish the hardware, or purchase a new door knob and deadbolt.  Make sure your visitors can find you by installing inexpensive, yet stylish address numbers available at home improvement stores.  Complete the look with a tasteful welcome mat.

Kitchen or bathroom facelift

Even if you can’t afford a full remodel, small changes that freshen up an outdated kitchen or bathroom can have a big impact.  For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the faucet, hang new racks or shelves, and add new cabinet pulls and handles.  Consider new paint, stain the cabinets, or visit manufactures’ Web sites to purchase new doors at a fraction of the cost of replacing the cabinets. If the countertop looks dingy, consider re-grouting and replacing chipped tiles, or shop for a remnant piece of granite or marble for a new countertop or backsplash.

Lighting

Interior and exterior lighting not only provide your home with functionality and security, but  updating old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones can create an appealing ambiance while lowering energy costs.  A simple track lighting kit can be purchased at home improvement stores and allows you to brighten just about any area.  Bring architectural details, plants and other objects to life with inexpensive freestanding or clip-on lights.  Or simply purchase a new lamp shade or use a little spray paint to give new life to an old chandelier.

Architectural interest

If you’re handy with a saw and other tools, adding a chair rail, picture molding, crown molding, or baseboards are inexpensive ways to bring value and beauty to your home.  Consider purchasing a few extra yards of molding or trim to make some practice cuts, and be sure to always wear appropriate hearing, eye and respiratory protection when operating power tools.

On a final note, look for construction surplus businesses like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores— nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. To find one in your community, visit www.habitat.org/restores.

The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about home improvement on a limited budget and is not considered financial or tax advice. Please consult your financial or tax advisor.

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

Luis Dominguez is a vice president and branch manager of the MUFG Union Bank, N.A., Miracle Mile branch.  MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with offices across the United States.  We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial, retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of customers.  The bank also offers an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for customers, including investment banking, personal trust, capital markets, global treasury management, transaction banking and other services.  With assets of $108.8 billion (USD), as of June 30, 2014, the bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings and capital ratios relative to peer banks.  MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations with total assets of approximately ¥259 trillion (JPY) or $2.5 trillion (USD)1, as of June 30, 2014.  MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, the financial holding company and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. have corporate headquarters in New York City.

1 Exchange rate of USD=¥101.36 (J-GAAP) as of June 30, 2014