“Now, That’s Just Wrong!”

change the worldHappy Friday, All!

Yes, I don’t see anything wrong with saying, “T.G.I.F”! Do you?! It’s the weekend, Baby!

There has been a lot said about the state of affairs here in the State of Florida. Have you heard of the case involving a woman … an African American woman … Marissa Alexander? Yes, she’s the Jacksonville woman whose husband had been inflicting pain and abuse in the form of domestic violence, and, she decided to shoot a warning shot “near” her husband because he continued to block her exit from their home! You may remember the story. She was sentenced to 20 years in jail and not … NOT … given the opportunity to say that she was “standing her ground” and fired the warning shot in order to be able to leave their home! Is this a double standard? As of yesterday, it had been revealed that her estranged husband, whom she was ordered to stay away from, sent her texts asking if he could still have sex with her! When her attorney revealed this information to the ruling judge in this case, he still refused to grant her bond until the second trial is to take place! Can you say, “Now, that’s just wrong!”

Last night, I was given an assignment to cover a story for the Miami Times OnLine. There was a “Political Forum” held by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s “Chi Psi Omega” Chapter and the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Alpha Lambda Omega Chapter at the St. Christopher Episcopal Church on 6th Avenue in the African American community in Ft. Lauderdale. After several law enforcement agencies, including the “infamous” Ft. Lauderdale Police Department and Broward Sheriff’s Office with their African American leaders, assistant Chief of Police, Anthony Williams and Colonel Al Pollack of BSO noted that records and statistics at the Juvenile Justice Department indicated a “disproportionate minority contact”(DMC), they joined forces with the local NAACP Chapter’s president, Marsha Ellison to challenge the “schoolhouse to jailhouse” pipeline experienced by a plethora of “black” teens in this state. It indeed was a meeting of the minds! Several programs, including the Broward School Board’s “Promise Program” as well as the renewed “Florida’s Statewide Civil Citation” program, which requires officers to issue a citation to teens with “first time offenses” have been implemented to curtail, and it has, the high level of African American male youth arrests in Broward County! That’s one good way to “right a wrong”!

When you see something wrong, do you say anything? Or are you like many of “us” who fear consequences for our SELVES if we speak out against a powerful entity? Some of “us” may be more interested in changing things rather than just passing the “blame”, so to speak. Stand up and make a difference whenever you can … just one person or situation at a time!

Have a great weekend and stay “alert”!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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