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BOTTOM LINE: When The Police Let Them Live, Where Will They Work?

BOB Could Help, But BOB Can’t Breathe!

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

The issue of police conduct regarding interaction with Black men is being negotiated across the nation with a variety of scenarios that are offering some degree of change.  If something would occur that actually stopped police violence against Black men, there would still be problems left to deal with. One of the problems is Black-on-Black violence, the other is jobs; however, if we solve the jobs problem, we may also slow the Black-on-Black violence problem.

Supporting Black Owned Businesses (BOB) can be a big help in the jobs department.  Increasing business directed to BOB will allow, and in many cases, require BOB to hire additional help.  There are business owners in your community, even your church that should be getting your support! Find out who they are and give them your business. Your money is important and could be used to express your community concerns as well as consumer desires.Black-Woman-Business-Owner-378x401

Where you spend your money is possibly a more important vote than the one for president! It can have much more effect on the quality of life that your community experiences.  There are over 10,000 Black elected officials, which include City council members, school boards, County Supervisors, State legislators, Congress Members, Senators, and the President of the United States. Despite our political successes, Black men are unemployed at the highest rates in America.  You could force BOB to put many of our unemployed to work by simply giving BOB your business.

Many of you say that BOB has problems. That may be true, but so does the bank that you so faithfully put your money in.  It probably needed to be bailed out during the past five or six years.  Many of BOB’s problems will be solved when you extend your financial support and commit to providing a business stimulus that supports your community. Your support of BOB may provide the job that actually prevents you from having to bail out one of your friends or family members from jail or financial need.

As we continue the struggle for fair treatment from the world remember that the world is paying attention to how we treat each other. Your enthusiastic

BOTTOM LINE: “You Can ‘Cool Out’ with Jazz

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

I woke up Tuesday morning listening to accounts of the protest against police shootings/attitudes/actions regarding Blacks in specific, and minorities in general. I have had my share of bad experiences with police, as well as participating in marches and protest. So, I must confess, my morning being shaped by “news” that was in fact an “old story” and was starting to give me the blues.

I fed and was sharing my blue feelings with my dog Sherman, when ignoring my pity party and grateful for his food, he gave me that “you the man” look.  “Thanks Sherm” was my thought as I instantly felt better.  Returning inside the house and into the atmosphere of my radio I was caressed by the sound of Jazz…Herbie Hancock! “Wow, KJAZZ is kicking this morning,” was my thought, but my baseline thought was,”you know you can’t get KJAZZ on this radio.” I was right, it was KUCR 88.3 FM effecting “Jazz Tuesday.”  I listened to 30 seconds of Jazz and my whole attitude changed!  I felt cool, empowered, like a person who has loved to lean on. I felt in touch with myself and the power of being one of God’s children. The free flowing music was like taking a “Wind Bath!”

The sounds and feeling reminded me of the medicinal value of Jazz Music. I decided that it was time to publicly thank Jim Palmer, founder of the Jazz and Art Exchange, for his commitment to keeping jazz alive in the Inland Empire. Jazz is a soother for most male anxieties. Jazz can make men forget what they were arguing about. Jim Palmer has been providing “a place to play” for Jazz and Blues musicians for over ten years. Jim‘s home base is the “Jazz and Art Exchange” located in the Adreson Building in Downtown San Bernardino.  Thanks Jim!

Every Monday evening at 1073 N. Mt Vernon Avenue at the Elks lodge, musicians gather for the “Blue Monday” Jazz Jam. A small donation provides access to hours of good music, food and drinks under the direction and hospitality of Jim Palmer and his partner Amos ”The Chef” Wallace.

Jim and Amos are now providing management services for the Elks Lodge, and on Sunday, December 28 they will bring a Grammy Nominee to the Inland Empire. The legendary Blues and Jazz singer, Barbara Morrison, will perform at the same Elks Lodge, at 1073 N. Mt Vernon for a 4 p.m. show.  This is the first of the Route 66 Jazz Series Produced by Westside Story Newspaper and Empire Talks Back radio.  Attending this show will not solve all of your problems, but you will definitely feel better about your chances. Jazz will allow and encourage you to “be cool!”

For ticket information and reservations to witness the great Barbara Morrison perform and entertain at a world class level, see the ad on page 8 or call (310) 462-1439.

 

BOTTOMLINE: FERGUSON “How to Get Away With Murder”

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Ferguson, Missouri… the past (the thought), the present (the word), and the future (the echo) cannot be nor do they belong in the same room, space, or thought! There must be distance between them or chaos and confusion will reign.

Even if the Ferguson Grand Jury had indicted Officer Wilson, that would not solve the problem. If Officer Wilson were tried and found guilty, that would not solve the problem! Ferguson is only a symptom.   The fact that the Grand Jury found no reason to even have a trial is in fact an example of the real problem. It is truly the merging of the thought, the word and of the echo. It says that “We, society, the instituters and shepherds of institutional racism, so fear retaliation from All Blacks (The Thought) that we, society prepare for All Blacks to act anti-socially by treating them or their children, or children who look like their children, as if they have all ready acted so (The Word) to the point where indeed some Blacks will follow the script and retaliate… (The Echo)!

As a result of Some Blacks retaliating against racism by burning down and looting businesses that serve their community, public safety officers’ respond by letting them do so. As if to say, “If you get mad because we shoot your bad-assed kids, we will get mad and let them burn your community down.”

Ferguson is a symptom of a much deeper problem in America. The problem stems from the lingering echoes of the good ole days of official and lawful racism; institutional racism that despite not being lawful, is still official and alive and well!

The statistics describing Black males not only prove that racism is alive but also represent an undeclared State of Emergency. Black males are disproportionately represented in school suspensions and expulsions, in arrests and sentence as well as being unemployed.  Black males are identified and branded early as potential trouble makers and taken through the process to guarantee that the prediction comes true.  History shows that Institutional Racism is indeed, “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Ferguson is a symptom!  The solution will come only after a real examination of the problem. Our institutions harbor racism and encourage racists! The only way to have change is to make change!