Home' South Florida Times : SFT 042315 Contents 4A | APRIL 23 --- 29, 2015 | SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES | SFLTIMES.COM Opinion
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In February I wrote about
how American black Chris-
tians seem to be blind to the
global atrocities committed
by the radical Islamic ter-
rorists known as ISIS, Boko
Haram and Al Qaeda. Since
then, the bodies of Chris-
tians in Libya and North Africa have been piling up.
Just this weekend, ISIS beheaded and shot more than
30 Ethiopian Christians and made a video showing the
world how vicious they were. Many across the globe have
registered their distaste at the horror, but I've yet to hear
even one liberal American black Christian voice concern.
So I ask myself why? Don't they watch the same news?
Maybe not. CNN or MSNBC may not give as much cre-
dence to the massacre of North African Christians as they
give to the murder of blacks by so-called "racist" cops.
What happens when they hear that there are home-
made terrorists right next door? There are American
Muslims enamored with ISIS and are ready to eliminate
Christians wherever they are.
What happens when black Christians wake up and
there are radical Muslims ready to have them submit to
Islam or pay a fine or die? Listen to the leader of the ISIS
death squad as he prepares to commit their latest epi-
sode of genocide. (CNN)
"All praise be to Allah, the Lord and cherisher of the
world and may peace and blessings be upon the Prophet
Mohammed. To the nation of the cross, we are back again
on the sands, where the companions of the Prophet, peace
be upon him, have stepped on before, telling you: Muslim
blood that was shed under the hands of your religion is
"In fact, their blood is the purest blood because there
is a nation behind them (which) inherits revenge. And we
swear to Allah: the one who disgraced you by our hands,
you will not have safety, even in your dreams, until you
"You pay (tax) with willing submission, feeling your-
selves subdued. Our battle is a battle between faith and
blasphemy, between truth and falsehood, until there is no
more polytheism -- and obedience becomes Allah's on
"The Islamic state has offered the Christian commu-
nity this many times and set a deadline for this, but the
Christians never cooperated."
What happens when the preachers find out they live in
the same neighborhood as radical terrorists? What hap-
pens when the same Muslim leaders that their beloved
POTUS met with just before he chastised Christian lead-
ers at the 2015 Prayer Breakfast, succeed in transforming
America into an Islamic State?
You see, the above statement uttered by the murder-
ous Islamic terrorist leader before ordering the deaths of
over 30 Ethiopian Christians is the same sentiment that
American Muslims feel. Just ask them.
When I ask what they think about the radical Islamic
terrorists murdering Christians across the globe, they
respond that it is no difference than what Christians did
during the Crusades. Funny thing, though, Christians
never did what ISIS is doing now. And if the Muslims who
think ISIS is so slick would do their homework, they would
At any rate, as long as black American Christians
would understand what is going on now across our globe
and how it negatively affects Americans, they would be
very vigilant about the elimination of global Christianity.
And maybe the black media might even begin to cov-
er something other than what Obama did today.
The Daily Beast, a radical leftist media outlet, fea-
tures former lawyer turned writer and comedian Dean
Obeidallah, whose latest piece makes fun of Indiana Re-
publican Governor Mike Pence and "his merry band of
liberty-loving Republicans in the state legislature" for
passing the "religious liberty" law.
American-born of Palestinian-Italian descent,
Obeidallah writes that the law, which was originally
meant to protect Christians from having to go against
their beliefs when dealing with the LGBT community, ac-
tually gives Muslims the right to bring Sharia to Indiana.
Sharia is Islamic law by which all Muslims are gov-
erned. It is their moral code. It allows for what our democ-
racy considers the violation of human rights, including
stoning women to death for adultery or murdering homo-
sexuals or beheading Christians who refuse to submit to
But Obeidallah thinks if our American religious laws
protect Christians, they will also protect Muslims who ad-
here to their own moral code.
Black American Christians need to wake up and hear
the Islamic call to prayer at 5:00 in the morning. It's com-
ing - if we aren't careful. Just read "America 2064" by
When that happens, it'll be too late to wish you should
have listened to us Black Republicans.
Barbara Howard is a political consultant, radio host and
commentator and motivational speaker. She is Florida State
chairwoman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
and Trade & Travel goodwill ambassador to Kenya. She may
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a few new spins on the story
of police killings- of black men- and/or
unarmed men in general.
Spin number one:
If you expect to encounter a criminal,
then you are more likely to see a crime, or
an illegal weapon, or discern a criminal
intention, where there might not be one.
In the American Sniper, a movie based
on real events, there is one particularly
tense scene in which the sniper spots a
woman, presumably the mother of a young
boy, reach under her cover and hand the
boy an object. A bomb? The sniper wait-
ed; he didn't want to take the life of an in-
nocent boy, even though it was his job to
accurately shoot the enemy-dead.
You know the ending. It was a clean kill.
Let's peel this back a bit.
• The sniper was in a declared combat
• The enemy was clearly defined.
• Weapons were carried undercov-
er, literally, sometimes under the
chadors of women.
• The US has a policy to limit collateral
damage to innocent civilians.
Wait! That was in Iraq.
Do we have domestic war zones? Yes,
they are called high crime areas. Are there
domestic policies to limit the damage to
This Sunday's New York Times pub-
lished an opinion by Lisa Feldman Bar-
rett, a professor of psychology, and Jo-
lie Wormwood, a postdoctoral research
associate, in which they comment on
police involved shootings. Their study
looked at a Justice Department analy-
sis of shootings by the Philadelphia
police which reported that fifteen per-
cent of those shot were unarmed; and
in half these cases, an officer report-
edly misidentified a "nonthreatening
object (e.g. a cellphone) or movement
(e.g., tugging at the waistband)" as a
The authors' research suggests that
the brain often perceives things that
aren't there, i.e., guns, crime, criminals.
They go on to explain that brain percep-
tion consists of predictions about the
world-thousands of them at a time- based
on past experiences.
They refer to the perceptions as "neu-
ral guesses" which largely shape what
you see, hear and otherwise perceive.
So, logic holds that police who are as-
signed to so- call high crime areas expect
to see crime, criminals, weapons, etc.,
when there may not be any such thing.
So much for the science.
But what is it about policing itself that
gets it wrong?
Let's go back to Baltimore, where just
this past week, the police, practicing a
routine tactic, rousted a suspect in a high
crime area. The suspect died from severe
trauma to his neck and vertebrae while in
custody. Oh yes, he was a black male, and
he had something in his pocket (as it turns
out, it was a legal knife).
Rousting? That's when there is no sus-
picion of crime, but used in high crime ar-
eas to find criminals.
There is an investigation.
Spin number two:
Recent headline story: There has not
necessarily been an increase in police
brutality, including shootings, just more
reports of same; and an increased use of
social media- especially videos, to depict
police brutality against unarmed black
males, makes it appears to be more.
Don't put down those cell phones!
But what we need to begin to docu-
ment are the number of police encounters
with non-black males, and record the dif-
ferences in treatment.
Just this week, an officer is being
congratulated for not shooting a white
murder suspect because he already
heard: 1) he had a mental issue; and,
2) he had a gun. The car dash camera
clearly shows how the officer kept his
gun pointed directly at the front of the
suspect who, despite demands from the
police to get on the ground, he contin-
ued to advance and demand that the of-
ficer shoot him.
He was arrested.
Not more incidents; just more report-
ing?Thankfully, black media has been re-
porting on these issues, forever.
Beginning in the 1880s, Ida Wells Bar-
nett, pioneer, built a media campaign on
her brave crusade against the brutaliza-
tion of blacks, men in particular, and often
at the hands of sanctioned, nee, sworn of-
ficers, taking place across the South, What
How about this concept: good people
(non-criminals) also live in high crime areas.
And they deserve better community
They are victims too.
So, what can we expect from police of-
ficers who are likely not from the commu-
nity they are assigned to, who dispropor-
tionately perceive danger based on their
brain conditioning, experience, back-
ground, precinct culture, myths, fears, and
Especially if that community is vilified
as a dangerous place.
Especially if, the clearly defined en-
emy is any/all black males.
Especially if the community itself clos-
es rank; "No snitch" practices harm more
Especially if police have unrealistic
fear for their lives in certain communities.
Police-issued weapons, vests, radios, and,
a back- up force notwithstanding, fear
overrides the reality of danger.
Last checked, police have the statisti-
cal advantage of being alive at the end of
And, especially if black lives matter
less than others.
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant
with Miami-based Savings and Grace En-
terprise. She may be reached at toniwg1@
We deserve better policing
of our community now
Wake up black Christians
By PERRY THURSTON
It was barely
two years ago and
when a memora-
took place. That
year, my caucus
members and I
had used every
tactic available to
us, including forc-
ing bills to be read
in their entirety, to draw attention to the
issue of health coverage for all Floridians.
After the session winded down, I had
an earnest exchange with a few enlight-
ened friends. I told them I thought it was
regrettable that they had not engaged and
joined those of us who fought to secure
desperately needed health care for hard-
working Floridians. They responded, to
my surprise, that I had not engaged them!
I won't make that mistake again. We
cannot afford to allow another opportu-
nity to gain health coverage for so many
people to pass us by.
If you agree with me and so many oth-
ers that there's a crisis in people lacking
health coverage in Florida, then now is the
time to get engaged and to demand that
state officials act on a solution available
to them. More than 850,000 Floridians are
being unnecessarily denied basic health
care so that a few officeholders -- the Re-
publican leaders in the Florida House of
Representatives and the state's governor
-- can score political points with some of
their supporters. But their reasoning is
illogical and their excuses are lame. It's
time that the governor and the House do
what's long been asked of them and to ac-
cept for Florida the billions of dollars that
are available to expand health care.
Now is the time for us to stand together.
It's a time for our Baptist, Methodist, Prot-
estant and Jewish congregations and other
statewide leaders to stand together to call
on the Florida House and Governor Scott
to act in the best interest of all Floridians.
We, along with the business community, are
subsidizing our fellow citizens forced to use
emergency rooms for basic medical care.
It's time for the NAACP, the Urban
League, ACLU, Unions and trade groups
to join hands and demand that stubborn
state officials do the right thing for the
people who each day find themselves
having to make the decision of whether
to eat or to medicate.
Now is the time for all organizations,the
Greek organizations from Alphas to Zetas,
the Masonic Family, Charmettes, and the
100 Black Men to take to the streets and, if
necessary, to storm the Capitol in peace-
ful protest as another legislative session
comes to a close without adequate help
for the working poor.
Finally, to our young people and their
organizations, we need you to turnout and
Turn-Up for your neighbors and
friends. Come and get involved with the
enthusiasm that's only afforded the young.
It's time that we all recognize that this
is the time to turnout and Turn-Up for a
Perry Thurston is the Past Democrat-
ic House Leader for Florida. He may be
reached at email@example.com.
Time to Get Engaged-Turn Up!
April 22, 1922: Bassist,
composer, and bandleader
Charles Mingus is born.
April 23, 1856: Granville T.
Woods, Inventor of the steam
boiler and automobile air
brakes, is born.
April 24, 1993: Oliver
Tambo, leader of the African National Congress,
dies in Johannesburg, South Africa.
April 25, 1918: Ella Fitzgerald, "Frist Lady of
Song," is born in Newport News, Va.
April 26, 1991: Maryann Bishop Coffey
becomes the first female African American co-chair
of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
April 27, 1994: South Africa's first all-race
democratic elections are held.
April 28, 1913: Political activist Margaret Just
Butcher is born in Washington, D.C.
April 29, 1992: Four Los Angeles police
officers are acquitted of charges stemming from
the beating of Rodney King: rioting ensues.
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