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Letter to the Editor: Mr. Colin Kaepernick, A Real Man.

By Sylvester McGil a.k.a. Sylvester Muhammad  

Real men stand tall even when sitting. We live by certain principles and we are prepared to perform certain task. We each must perform as assigned by The Taskmaster. We are not the designer nor did we draw the blueprint. We do not know that we are planks being brought together to build an Ark.

We Black people do not know that we are being raised from the dead. (This is the third day). We did not see who rolled the stone away from the ‘tomb of ignorance, which has been our home for more than four hundred and fifty years. Some of us do not know any of the original organizers of The Nation Association for the Advancement of Colored People, The Congress on Racial Equality, The Urban League and others. These people along with Mr. Colin Kaepernick and those I am unable to name are all representatives of the mind of people like Mr. John Brown. These people gave their lives in the service of others, and may their rewards be greater than their needs.

We Black people in The Americus are not responsible for what was done to us that resulted in our mental and spiritual death. However, we are responsible for our actions after being raised from the dead. What have we done, what are we doing and what will we do to improve our condition so that we will all be accepted in the ‘civilized societies’ of planet earth. We must read and study the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution in its entirety. Read between the lines and the obscured ‘fine print’. And please do not forget we were taught “ignorance of the law is no excuse. Study the status of Blacks in the Americus during the year 1850 that was to be our Manifested Destiny. We must help those who are trying to help us. We will understand it better by and by.

Coalition Calls for Kamala Harris to Take Over Investigation of Sexual Misconduct by Bay Area Police Officers

By Anna Challet, California Black Media Correspondent

A coalition of attorneys, civil rights advocates, and advocates for sexually exploited children are calling for California Attorney General Kamala Harris to manage the investigation into the alleged exploitation of a teenage girl by officers at several Bay Area police departments. 

The alleged misconduct came to light nearly a year ago, and no officers at any of the law enforcement agencies – the police departments of Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, and Livermore, and the sheriff’s departments of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties – have been prosecuted.

Advocates think the case is being swept under the rug, and have little faith that district attorneys’ offices can be trusted with the investigation given their close relationship with law enforcement. The advocates, led by Oakland-based attorney Pamela Price and including Kimberly Thomas Rapp, the executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, want Governor Jerry Brown to issue an executive order putting Harris in charge.

“We need to have an independent, impartial investigation,” said Price, speaking at a demonstration in front of the Richmond Police Station on Thursday.

President of the Richmond/Contra Costa chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action Kathleen Sullivan added, “This is a time in our country when we need to restore the trust in our law enforcement like never before.”

The investigation into the officers’ alleged crimes began with the September 2015 suicide of Brendan O’Brien, an officer with the Oakland Police Department. He left a suicide note that referenced his relationship with the young woman whose exploitation is being investigated, who goes by the name Celeste Guap.

Guap, now 19, was questioned in the aftermath of O’Brien’s death. Allegedly, O’Brien’s exploitation of her began before she turned 18, when he’d come to her aid on the street; Guap was at the time being commercially sexually exploited in Oakland.

Since then, the investigation has come to involve approximately 30 officers in different Bay Area departments. Some of the officers’ alleged sexual misconduct took place when Guap was a minor; Guap also says that some officers compensated her. 

Speaking at the demonstration, President of the California National Organization for Women Jerilyn Stapleton said, “We want other law enforcement agencies throughout the state to know that there are going to be repercussions, that it’s not going to be this code of silence, that they are going to be prosecuted” for misconduct of this nature.

Cat Brooks, the co-founder of the Oakland Anti-Police Terror Project, says that because of the relationship that district attorneys have with law enforcement,

“It’s the fox in the hen house” to leave the investigation up to local D.A. offices. “In the same way we can’t expect when there’s an officer-involved shooting for district attorneys to hold law enforcement accountable, it’s not going to happen,” she says.

In calling for an executive order, the coalition is referencing the part of the state constitution (Article V, Section 13) that holds that the attorney general can prosecute violations of law in any county where she feels that the law isn’t being enforced, and that the governor can direct her to do this. In June, Harris said she would intervene if the local investigations were insufficient.

At the same time, Brooks says, “I would be remiss if I didn’t say that we don’t have a lot of faith in Kamala Harris either. The community has asked her repeatedly to intervene in [other] instances of officer misconduct.” In this case, the fact remains that no officers have been arrested.

The East Bay Express reported on Thursday that Celeste Guap has been arrested in Florida for aggravated battery. She traveled to the Port St. Lucie area in late August to start a drug treatment program; the circumstances regarding the choice to go to Florida are at this point unclear. Guap and her mother have told the East Bay Express that the Richmond Police Department is paying for Guap to go to rehab.

The coalition calling for Harris to take on the investigation believes that Guap is not the only young woman who has been allegedly exploited in this manner. They add in their public statement,

“We understand and appreciate that minors and women engaged in sex work in our communities are extremely vulnerable to the abuse of power by our law enforcement agencies and that ‘blaming the victim’ is not an appropriate response to our crisis.”

“I Found Love on A Two Way Street and Lost It On A Lonely Highway…!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Well boo, boo, that’s what happens when you abandon your first love [Jesus].  Scripture says this: “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, but ye have set at naught all my counsel…I will show you [my] back, and not [my] face…” I will even laugh at your calamity. I will mock you when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come on you, then you will call on Me but I will not answer. You will seek Me diligently but you shall not find Me. Because you hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord. You would not accept My counsel, you spurned all My reproof. So you shall eat of the fruit of your own way and be satiated with your own devices, seeing that you no longer desired My company” [Proverbs 1:24-31].

I tell you there is nothing worse can be said of a child of God but that “the presence of the Lord departed.” In His place comes a spirit of hopelessness and emptiness, [1 Samuel 22:8]. To the sons of Israel, God said in [Judges 10], “You have forsaken me and served other gods, therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen, let them deliver you in the time of your distress.” I’m done with you! For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? I tell you drifting away from God is infinitely dangerous.

Listen; there is what you could call consequential wrath. Consequential wrath is the sowing and reaping wrath; you live a certain kind of life and you set in motion certain forces that will produce judgment. But then there is another kind of wrath and that is the wrath of abandonment. It is that wrath exhibited by God when He turns His back on a society [Romans 1:24 to 32]. In [Hosea 4:17] we are reminded that there comes a time when God abandons men. God comes to a point where God will say enough is enough and He will allow us to go our own way, to the consequences of our own sinful choices. Of the Pharisees Jesus said, “Let them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind,” [Matthew 15:14]. The most terrifying words “Let them alone.” It’s a frightening thing to think about that. Frightening thing to think that you might be abandoned by God, that the opportunity for salvation is past, that the day of grace is over.

You may be wondering …is there any hope? Well Jesus said in [Psalms, 81:16], “O that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways. I would turn from abandoning them, from giving them over to their own sinful choices to defending them and protecting them and punishing their enemies and I would feed them with the finest of the wheat and with honey from the rock I would satisfy them.” What are you waiting for…? Take the next exit and go back to your first love [Jesus]!