Thursday, September 20, 2007

AverageBro Blogs Live! From Jena, LA


Well, okay, not quite live. And not quite Jena either. I've actually been following today's proceedings, not on CNN or any other corporate owned juggernaut, but at a more bootleg level, listening to Radio One's live coverage of the event on wolam.com most of the morning here from my Day Job. You gotta love technology.

I've been pretty critical of this whole Jena Six phenomenon, not because I don't agree with the cause (I totally do), but because I think it reveals the inherent issue with modern day activism in black America. It seems like we can only organize on a large scale when there's racism involved.

Translation: Unless there's a white person doing harm to blacks, we just don't really care.

My biggest problem with this whole "movement" is that it's reactive, rather than proactive. If you're always laying in the cut, and only responding when something wrong is done to you, your situation will never improve as a whole. It's like the parent who goes storming down to the school when their child gets a failing report card, but doesn't bother checking homework every night, which might have prevented the bad result in the first place.

Everyone jumped on the first bus to Jena, and left behind the all too familiar, all too real problem plaguing our communities. And surprise, it ain't DA Reed Walters, disgusting a human being as he is. Nope, it's Tyrone. I'm still waiting for that march though. Sign me up now.

So, while I definitely support the push for justice for Mychal Bell, and the other 5 young men, I just wonder what the long term result of mobilizing 30,000 people for one day will be. Color me skeptical.

Naturally, since I couldn't make it to Louisiana today (ha!), I decided to monitor the minute by minute report via Syndication One. For those of you unaware, S.O. is Radio One's syndicated black talk radio network. It probably airs in a city near you, but you probably wouldn't know since the stations aren't well promoted and are usually stuck in AM purgatory. Anyways, I listen frequently, since I'm not a big Hot/Jammin/Power/Kiss/Jamz/Big FM "where Hip-Hop and R&B lives" station listener. No offense, but by age 30-something, if you're still taking in hours of "Ay Bay Bay", "Suicidal", "Sexy Lady" and "Crank Dat Soulja Boy" on the daily, just go ahead and kill yourself right now. Life isn't going to get any easier.

I'm currently listening to Keepin' It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton, but The Warren Valentine Show, which comes on from like 10am-1pm EST was more enlightening in terms of on-the-ground happenings in Jena.

Among the many nuggets I gleaned from listening [forgive the choppiness, I keep updating this as the show goes on]:

* Jena looks like Freaknik. It's unorganized, there are people, music, and stages all over the place, with little uniformity or apparent purpose.

* Lots of stars are there in the name of "support". They also happen to be promoting their new music/movie releases. Frankie Beverly and Maze, UGK (see above pic of Bun B), and others are out and about.

* There are lots of "party fliers" for Jena 6 after parties in nearby Alexandria, being passed around. MySpace rappers, with their demo tapes and those cheap CD's they pressed on their mother's computers are all over the place. Bootleg t-shirts, rib tips, and probably nice dime bag can all be procured with ease. It's like we never left home.

* Reverend Al led a colossal sang-a-long to Bill Wither's "Keep On Usin' Me (Till You Use Me Up)". It's a great song, but I think I missed it's significance in the grand scheme of things. The net result made me wonder if I was listening to a rally for justice, or the Tom Joyner Sky Show. I know music has always played a role in the civil right's movement (James Brown's "I'm Black and I'm Proud" is an athem), but this shit just seemed so out of place.

* Michael Baisden then lead the crowd on a sing-a-long of Robin Thicke's "Lost Without You". Yes. Really. I damn near threw my laptop out my 10th floor office window.

* Later in the day, on The Michael Baisden Show, with the rally long over, and congregants back in Alexandria, Baisden opened the 6pm segment of his show by announcing "It's a Par-taay!!!". In between angry phone calls to AverageMom, AverageSisterInLaw (missed you), and my AverageSiblings, I faintly heard "The Double Dutch Bus" and that new Alicia Keys playing in the background. I was pretty pissed about this. I mean, 6 black men have been inordinately (but not wrongly, there was after all an assault here) charged with a crime. What the fuck is there to party about? I called AverageMom for the skinny. She said Civil Rights Marches of her time were an all day affair, a serious deal, because despite the cause of solidarity, danger was always just around the corner. I seriously doubt folks left for the March on Washington and packed "club gear" with them.

* I heard Baisden also threw a pre-party the night before with $10 admission, as well as a book signing.

* There was lots of bellyaching about why athletes and actors didn't donate more money for buses to get people there. Classic "pass the blame" excuse.

* The "main stage", where Sharpton, and Michael Baisden are hosting their radio shows, has turned into nothing more than The Soundbyte Olympics 2007. Every bootleg preacher, politician (including disgraced Congressman William Jefferson), and straight to DVD Hollywood star (like "Next Friday"'s Kym Whitley) had taken their 15 seconds on stage to spout lots of irrelevant rhetoric. I get the distinct impression that many of these people don't really have a good grasp of the particulars of this case.

[I'm sure many of you will read this and say "well, you weren't there, how do you know what happened?" And yes, that's partly true. But if you can dispute any of what I wrote here, or tell me anything, and I mean, anything that this march accomplished, do tell. Kill me in the comments section. Educate me.]

As I kept listening, I couldn't help but feel that my prediction of more Drive-By Activism today in Jena was going to prove true. Because as far as I can tell, there was no organized push for mobilization on a local level. None. Maybe some of this will just rub off by osmosis, but I doubt it. After all, what exactly, other than Spike Lee's horrendous "Get On The Bus" is the lasting legacy of the Million Man March? Yes, it was a powerful statement for one day, but our communities, a decade later, aren't any better off as a whole.

Real change requires a call to action, which I didn't hear yesterday between all the yellin' and sangin'. Perhaps the organizers of this thing could have signed people up for coaching, tutoring, or mentoring programs, financial awareness seminars, classes on parenting, hell something, anything that would make a lasting difference. And since there were SO many young people there (a point overly emphasized throughout the day), did anyone consider signing these kids up for service organizations in the communities around their schools? Did anyone consider signing these kids up for a class on financial literacy so they don't ruin their credit (and thus employment opportunities) before they even graduate? Did anyone do anything to empower these people once they go home? Maybe so, but unless I completely missed it, all anybody was focused on was the After Party.

Tomorrow, all 30,000 of these people will be gone. White-owned businesses throughout the county will be laughin' straight to the bank, despite calls from event organizers to not support these very businesses, thus giving these very oppressors an economic boom. The streets will be littered with Popeyes' boxes, party flyers, and probably more than a few blunt roaches. Reverend Al will be on to his next media-whoring cause. Baisden and his tired show will go back to talking about down-low brothers, shady preachers, and triflin' baby mamas.

And everyone who trekked to Jena will return back to communities still filled with crime, still filled with underachieving students in underfunded schools, still living in homes financed by predatory lenders, still listening to radio tainted with the vocoder stylings of T-Pain and Akon. Until, of course, the next rally/march/par-taaay.

This ain't a movement, it's just an event. And there is a big difference.

In short, September 20th, 2007 won't change shit.

---

Epilogue: If you really want to help these kids longterm, keep praying for the Jena Six after today, and while you're are it, pour out a lil' liquor for their Legal Defense Fund. I'm sick of David Bowie getting all the credit, like this is Dangerous Minds, or Finding Forrester or some other White Guy Saves The Darkies idd-ish.

40 AverageComments™:

Anonymous said...

mullah cimoc say jena show ameriki society so mix up and be destroy.

in waziristan these boy get the flog and beating and the father of each boy also. this to teach the respect of law flogging for six on one cowards attacking white boy.

but fake divil right leaders (appointed by him whitie control media and filthy black man like sharpton) tell ameriki it okay for the back boys attacking whitie. worser still him ameriki so mental destroy think it okay for black to coward attack white boy.

white ameriki male not having the gonad now. him accept loiethat all white man the evil and must destroy the patriarchy allow woman take over. for this ameriki destroy at this moment, man the feminize and woman the slut with LBT (low back tattoo). this sign of destroying of ameriki.

google: mighty wurlitzer +cia

then ameriki discover how brain control work technical in usa.

Anonymous said...

This is a hot @ss mess to the nth degree. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the lead cast of characters. Baisden focuses so much energy bashing what he calls "pimps in the pulpit". Well this side show he's currently conducting is proof positive that the old saying must be true- "It takes one to know one". And we wonder why no one takes us seriously...C'mon, Black People- we gotta get it together!!

I wish I could listen here at work but my office is a pretty quite place. But I did log on to www.wolam.com and saw that they have a link re: Stepha Henry on the front page- at least that's some progres!!

BookishBlackGirl said...

Thank God for sensible minds.

I don't understand why black folks can't galvanize around the many issues within our communities but can muster 30,000 strong as soon as we get a chance to blame the white man.

While those boys in Jena deserve justice, I must say I've been a bit irked by the "Free the Jena 6" paraphernalia. Don't send them to jail for the rest of their lives but let them take a punishment commiserate with the crime committed. Free them only if other perpetrators of assault are freed.

BookishBlackGirl: Jena...the new Selma?

Anonymous said...

I am very impressed with your comments! The most insightful bit of commontary I have heard all day.

(NAACP) "C" stands for "COLORED"?? WHY are they still refering to the term colored? I believe many minds are still stuck in the past, even those who are at the forefront of the cause.

If our minds don't change we will only destroy each other and ourselves-will we ever learn or will will it take more violence until we V-8 a smack to the forehead to "finally get it"?

RoxieAmerica said...

I enjoyed your post on this event.

Anonymous said...

As I sit & read the comments, I myself see racist prentending to be BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE with silly comments,always trying to seperate & destroy because of FEAR.

This To The EVIL PEOPLE
->Remember GOD knows your heart and one day when you least expect, he's going to remove that rock you've been hiding behind all these years and then what.


Thanks to all that did something positive.

Hey Michael, you can tell when you're doing something good,that's when the hatters start their BS.

I was VERY PLEASED!!!
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
I Love Your Show!

What are you going to do! said...

Funny, I'd like to hear some of your ideas on cleaning up black neighborhoods and improving education. How would you have organized the protest and how would you have stopped people from selling CD's T-shirts and food at YOUR PROTEST. I must have missed your stance on all of our issues and the rally that you started to correct them. Apparently your really active in your community, let me know I'd like to join the struggle with such a strong black man! Baisden Sharpton and Jackson won't win Nobel peace prizes but at least they used their celebrity for something. Use your award winning blog for something other than satisfying your need for attention. When you do something to change society than you talk $hit!

ShakazP said...

Keep up the good work, my brotha!

Anonymous said...

Wow! PLLLEEASSSE, dont quit your day job because your writing days are over. So you must have no uncles, cousins, a son, a father or yourself. What if the tables were turned? What if that was someone you hold dear to your heart? It would hit you hard. What if it was you locked up for a year for a high school fight? How would you feel? Praise and blessings to you cuz you definitely need it.

Batgirl said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. We should always stand up against injustice for anyone and everyone. There are injustices happening all over the US, everyday that go unrecognized and unpunished. Most that suffer injustice get swept under the carpet and forgotten about. It happens to a wide array of Americans, and people in positions that can keep people in prison will protect others that have mistakenly put others in prison. Our justice system is a mess, but no one is fighting to change the system. Just rising to one or two occasions isn't going to be enough. Every injustice in this country should call for an outcry by every American that can muster the strength. Yes, awareness of the situation in Jena is important, but let's not stop there. My family and I are struggling with our own injustice, and are fighting fiercely to keep from being pushed to the side. People in power will always protect other people in power, so it is our responsibility to stick together and help those who have no power.

Ross said...

Don't be so negative. After all, you were just listening on the radio. It is easy to criticize others from the seat of your pants. As a result of this mass demonstration, Mr. Bell and the other kids may get out of the slammer, so I don't give a damn if Foxy Brown was in Jena, this was a useful event. You are to young to understand the overall significance of these kind of events. This kind of mass mobilization will change Jena and other small racist towns forever. I should know. I was born in Birmingham Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Yo thanks for the love on Highbrid Nation. Please understand Jena Six isn't an issue of Black/White its an issue of injustice. So often we equate injustice to being a "black thing" because our community is usually a victim. But more accurately its POOR people who are the easiest target and unfortunately we often fit the bill. So perhaps the color black isn't appropriate but its not the color that's important it's the stand.

Paz,

Juan AKA Skee Stylus (Oh yeah and I'm Dominican)

KevJax said...

Wow, I can't believe some of the comments here. Clearly, the people who disagree with the man is saying DID NOT READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE!!!

The man clearly says he supports yesterday's cause.

BUT

He is also just saying he wishes more people would get equally upset at our kids underperforming in school. The man is a member of a big tutor/mentoring organization, and practically begs everyone who visits this site regularly to join one of their own. So it isn't like he has not offered solutions, repeatedly.

AvBro, I applaud you for taking a stand against this nonsense and Slave/victim mentality. I only saw the "majority" news reports of yesterday's event. Your behind the scenes account put a different spin on this. I have yet to hear anybody who was there contradict what you're saying.

Keep bloggin, and shake these haters from MingleCity.com off. That's where a lot of this negative traffic is coming from.

Deidra said...

*Standing ovation*

Thank you for being so real about this. I do love the fact that our black people came together like this but like you said - some people came for the "event" and not the "movement". I even heard some people talked about the celebrities more than being excited about supporting a cause. I was so mad!

It's about time someone pointed this out. Thanks for that :)

AAPP said...

I enjoyed reading your post. We all will not have the same views on the Jena experience. I understand your concern that we are re-active. Yet, it's part of being human. One re-acts one one is in pain. Part of the re-action is due to our collective pain over many years to many issues. We have reacted not only because of the Jena 6, we have reacted because our country can find 500 Billion dollars, yes, I said 500 billion dollars on war, but cannot find money to provide additional health insurance, childcare, education opportunities, AIDS and Cancer Research, and so many other pograms and services needed by Americans. Yet, we go to destroy and build countries, and give out truck loads of money to Iraqi's.

Reactive. Don't you think it was about time for black folks to re-act?

The marvelous thing about this demonstration was their was no violence. ML and Coretta Scott King would be so proud. I am too. The question should be, OK now what?

The Goddess said...

I think you brought up a good point about this being reactive. I think a lot of people just jump on the band wagon when something like this happens. I am hoping that a majority of the people that rallied together didn't do so just because this was a top news story, but because they believe in the cause and also provide support on a smaller scale in their communities.

I'm tired of David Bowie also. They are acting like he donated millions or something. I'm hoping that there is an awesome attorney somewhere that is willing provide them with FREE representation.

Villager said...

AverageBro - You make some good points, particularly the idea of being more proactive and less reactive in our strategy for combating the ills that impact our community (including racism).

However, you are much too hard on the impact of yesterday. One immediate result was a commitment made by Rep. Maxine Waters to have congressional hearings on the Jena 6 matter. Her commitment was implemented today by Judiciary Cmte chair John Conyers.

Anyhow, I appreciate your comments on the issue. I invite you to consider joining The AfroSpear if you have time/inclination.

peace, Villager

Homeland Colors said...

Great Post. Truth hurts sometimes.

Bronze Trinity said...

You're looking at this as though its going to be an isolated event and that nothing good will come out of this. I think that this can lead to improvements in the legal system in Jena and in many other places. I think that this will be another victory for internet activism (this is not the only thing planned and executed to help Black people over the internet). Internet activists are working on other projects that don't involve racism at all. They are about education, improving our media image, teaching our history, promoting the use of free technology to help ourselves, and other projects. I am less of a reactionary and I am interested in more proactive activities. The thing is, sometimes proactive projects don't get as much attention. Just because you don't see something going on doesn't mean its not happening. This was a protest. Some things activists do don't require protests at all. Thats why you don't hear about them.

So what if some people wanted to party and radio hosts were doing silly things. If this activism gets the results we want then thats good enough. Did you really expect the organizers to control the 10s of thousands of people there?

Just wait until this is all over before you decide that this was a waste of time. I highly doubt that this is the last you will hear about internet-based activism campaigns. Pessimism just makes you depressed. If we all lose optimism then there is literally no hope and no point in activism at all.

Anonymous said...

Your post was right-on as evidenced by some of the angry responses you got here. Regardless of whether any injustice was done to the Jena 6 or not, the fact that that this "in and out" activism does little good is unarguable. It's a money-maker for the likes of Sharpton and Jackson and a party/sales opportunity for many others.

A lasting, constant committment is what is needed. And that is not what they had in Jena.

AJ said...

While I support the protest in Jena Six as we need to fight for equal justice, I must agree with some of your post.

We need to look inward and start cleaning up our communities, but how many folk are willing to go to the hood and face down some young punk thats packing and has no respect for human life? Who is willing to reach out to the underbellies of our race and risk their lives by doing it? Back in the day, folk were willing to risk their lives and safety, right now we're just willing to sacrifice a day or two of vacation & gas money.

Crystal said...

interesting. i'd like to read more info on the author - where can i find it?

Anonymous said...

I hope all your readers will also read this post written by Jason Whitlock.
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/columnists/jason_whitlock/story/284511.html

Anonymous said...

Crystal said...
interesting. i'd like to read more info on the author - where can i find it?

Here's more than you'd want to know about the author...

http://averagebro.blogspot.com/search/label/About%20the%20Blogger

Timothy said...

>" unfairly (but not wrongly) accused of a crime"

If someone is not wongly accused of a crime, what's unfair?

Your's is one of the better articles I've read on Jena. Surprised you didn't take all these sunshine activists to task for not ponying up the bail months ago when needed. I'll bet few have helped pay off the mortgages the families took to post bail for the 5 boys free on bail.

God bless...

plez... said...

DANG! you knocked that one outta the park, my Brother! unpopular sentiments... but the DAMN truth!

thanks for your perspective... and thanks for directing me to your little corner of the Blogosphere.

as i watched the news last night, i had an uneasy feeling about the rally, but i couldn't put my finger on it. thanks to you, now i know... instead of trying those teens out of jail (because they did JACK ole boy up), they should have been rallying to get those white perps thrown in jail with them! NOW that would be justice!

i like this ONE POST so much, i have no alternative but to add AverageBro to the BlogRoll at plezWorld so that i can remember to come back here on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Read this important article also.

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/columnists/jason_whitlock/story/284511.html

Bronze Trinity said...

Isn't it great when people decide to do something and they are passoinate about it and other people tell them "don't bother unless you plan on doing this forever" or "don't bother unless you can do it perfectly". The easiest way to avoid doing something poorly is to not do it at all. It sounds to me like thats what you are advocating. If you don't get involved in more than talk then the world will change around you and maybe in a way you wouldn't like.

I also find it amusing that someone is complaining that people didn't raise money to pay off people's mortgages. If people had done that I'm sure you would have other complaints. 130,000 was raised for legal funds. Did you expect people to raise a million or something? How do you expect fundraisers to raise money where there are people like you telling them that they should be doing something else. Whatever, apathetic people are a waste of time in my opinion. Enjoy your uselessness.

AverageBro said...

I don't normally comment on my own blog, but I think some people have it twisted here.

I HAVE presented a boatload of solutions here on this blog, time after time. I wouldn't expect those of you visiting for the first time to know this, but damn, give me some benefit of the doubt.

I am actively a part of the very solutions (coaching, tutoring, mentoring, church outreach, working with the homeless, and last but not least, marriage, fidelity, and raising one's own kids) that I advocate. It would be ludicrous, not to mention wildly hypocritical of me to spout off rhetoric without backing it up in my personal life. Trust me, my credentials are legit.

If you REALLY want to help, be proactive, that's ALL I'm saying.

If you're in the DC area, come out and support me, and dozens of other brothers who are taking a proactive approach on changing our communities, rather than waiting for the next atrocity, and the next march. It's an endless cycle.

Help me break it by becoming a tutor/mentor in the University of Maryland's MIMAUE Mentoring Program. Help is still needed.

Learn more at http://www.education.umd.edu/mimaue

For all those who support my PoV, thanks for being open minded. For those who didn't, please, tell me, exactly what are YOU doing about the problem, outside of dropping comments?

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Thank God that someone who can call a spade a spade. While I support protesting and all other forms of civil action, I don't support this effort. I think it was not as organized as it could have been. Was there a mailing list sign-up being distributed? Do they even know who attended and where protesters traveled from? No... Just a bunch of "feel good speeches" and hype. I think you covered this topic very well. Let's organized first, and then take mega blows at all injustice on active scale and not just for some media ops and "we shall over come" crap. I pray that those kids get great legal help and fight their cases aggressively in the courts. Let's protest and tackle the black and black violence in America. Keep up the good work avg bro. Brush these haters off..

enigmatik said...

Whut it dew.

Now that I've got that out of the way...I couldn't agree with you more. I was unable to attend, but upon following the events of yesterday I didn't feel like I missed out on too much. I watched the satelite feed from CNN.com and it did have a "freaknik" like appearance. Everyone just seemed to be milling around doing a whole lot of nothing. Whoever was on the microphone was giving shout outs, seeing who lost a phone in the bathroom, and other assorted nonsense. Again, I tried to follow along as best as I could but was unable to hear any type of speech given throughout the day. These events are fine and dandy, but if there's not call to action like you noted, then what truly is the point? Just an excuse to take a day off from the J...

And when it was all said and done, Mr. Bell is STILL sitting in a cell because not enough people put up the money for bail...

We have got to do better.

Anonymous said...

It's the sad truth that justice isn't fair. A poor white person doesn't get much better treatment than a poor black person from the "justice" system.

Seems to me, if the people who attended this protest, and all the money that went into it, put that money into hiring a good lawyer for these men, then fair justice might be at hand.

Anonymous said...

This shit is extremely funny and extremely true at the same time!! Kudos!

Vulgar Wizard said...

I have to agree with you on this comment: "My biggest problem with this whole "movement" is that it's reactive, rather than proactive." And I also have to agree with you regarding the coaching, tutoring, or mentoring programs. Why didn't they do anything like that? I'm on board with this idea, and I agree that it was an event rather than a movement. It didn't help the situation one bit. I wasn't able to follow the events like you were from the office, but from what you've described, I see how this doesn't appear to have helped any one in any way whatsoever . . . so it leaves me to wonder what is the point if it's not actually going to make a difference? It should make a difference . . . there should have been something done to make a difference . . . would it have made a difference if things had been done differently . . . is race ever going to NOT be an issue . . . etc.

Black Woman in Europe said...

Hej Average, I guess you are out of the loop about what some black bloggers and other black folk are doing to tackle major ills that are inflicted on us, by us.

For example, Gina and her What About Our Daughters blog versus the creator of Hot Ghetto Mess, the atrocities that occured at Dunbar Village, among other issues. Read about that here: http://whataboutourdaughters.blogspot.com/

And you must not have read the AfroSpear Bloggers Association's press release about Gangsta Crap. You can find that here: http://blackwomenineurope.blogspot.com/search?q=Gangsta+Crap Have you heard about the protests scheduled at the sister's house who is a top executive at BET?

Thanks for telling it like you see it, what else can you do? But hopefully the two links above will help you see a little further.

The Angry Independent said...

Bruh!

LOL How did you get inside my head?

Were you looking at my notes?

You hit the nail right on the head... several times over.

You pointed out many of the things that I really hate about Modern Black Popular Culture.

I just wish I could have gotten to it sooner, lol.

I have had a spell of writers block over the past week or so...

When I start posting again...this topic will be on my agenda.

gator76903 said...

I agree with what you have written. It has been my experience with organizations like the NAACP and others groups are not really for the people as in the days of Rev. Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman and Medgar Evars. What I see is that the people who are involved are more interested in receiving an award for being the best speaker. You are 100% correct in saying that the black citizens do not get involved unless it has something to do with race. I have heard that some of the African nations do not want American blacks to claim Africa as their nation and I can understand why. I have watched movies like Rawanda and it's simply amazing and a beautiful thing to see how the Africans come together and die for a cause. In the United States so many black Americans are more interested in not jeopardizing their jobs or class standing in the community to protest against not only for racial injustices but other issues that affect our communities.

I am involved in false allegations by FEMA and the FBI in San Angelo, TX and have contacted representatives from Al Sharpton's group, NAACP, etc. and have received either extremely asinine responses or none at all. I have called for help from these organizations in at least 5 states and have been ignored. It is written on the web site of the NAACP in Phoenix, AZ that one should join, pay dues and support the organization before you need them. I have a difficult time supporting an organization who can't return a phone call. It makes me think that I have to buy their attention. The allegations against me are a cover up for a much larger problem in San Angelo, TX and it's "racism". San Angelo is a very quiet and polite city like Jasper, TX and Jena, LA. I was evacuated to San Angelo as a "disabled" evacuee and just before the Rita struck, I called the American Red Cross in that city to get reporting instructions and to make them aware of my medical condition of a recently replaced hip along with a request for "reasonable accommodations". I was totally ignored by "all" officials who refused to provide a bed and forced me to drive every month back Baton Rouge, LA for medical care. I did not get any assistance from anyone in that city for 10 days. I believe that the city of San Angelo has received federal funds from FEMA by counting me as an evacuee, but failed to provide any assistance to me. I believe that this avalanche of allegations are being dumped on me to take the focus and attention from San Angelo and it's officials, therefore leaving me with no credibility. I have many letters from FEMA advising me that I was eligible for assistance "after" I filed an appeal when I was first told that I was denied. I have filed a discrimination complaint against Red Cross chapter and the city of San Angelo. At this time everyone is taking a wait and see attitude as I go through the investigation and trial which is scheduled for January 7, 2008. I also filed a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission who has said there was not discrimination and in January 2006, I was informed that San Angelo, TX was still looking for a mattress...the one I needed in September 2005. All protocol has been thrown out of the window since I was never given the opportunity to answer to the allegations before being arrested at my home on June 26, 2007 by six armed FBI agents. It was an early morning raid and I was immediately handcuffed with no explaination of what was going on. I asked if I could use the bathroom and there was reluctance to let me go. I was finally allowed and the female agent, still with my handscuffed behind my back, excorted me to the toilet, pulled my pants down for me, used the tissue to clean mp and then pulled my pants up and I still was not told that I was under arrest. I was not notified that I was under arrest or of the reason why I was being arrested until my Miranda Rights were read to me in the back seat of an FBI vehicle on the way to the downtown Tucson, AZ federal building. I do have an attorney at this time who is as confused as I am regarding FEMA sending me letters of eligibility and has mid-stride claim that I was not in the area or was not advised to evacuate as a "disabled evacuee"

Information about San Angelo, TX can be found on line by googling "Racism in San Angelo, TX. San Angelo is the home/headquarters for a KKK group, which is publicly known by the majority if it's citizens. There has been a mysterious death of a young African American man which has been deemed a suicide. The young man was married to a white woman who had ties through other family members on the San Angelo police force and a member of the KKK. Michael Clay was found dead in his car at a local Target parking lot with a bullet hole in the back of his head and burned to death sitting in the driver's seat. Many of the citizens are not convinced that this young man took his life and logically speaking to commit suicide in this manner is extreme and one would think, difficult to do.

Please continue to write as you do because as you well know not everyone believes as some of the protesters do who were in Jena, LA.

Respectfully


Sandy Howell

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dougq said...

gator76903 wrote about an incident that happened in san angelo texas.
Just goes to show how rumors get started and are out right lies.
Michael Clay had a drug problem and went out and met some other men near his home.
This was verified by a women based @ goodfellow, who saw them run away after the car was set on fire.
No bullit holes, no KKK involvment, the men seen running away were black males.
Inquest was held and even though men were seen leaving the area the death is ruled unknown.
The "hole" in his head was found to be not a bullet but inpact from him rolling on the ground trying to put out the fire.
He had a bad concusion and sat back down in his wife's car still on fire and died from smoke inhalation.
His wife is in dallas now living with an arab.
His son is being raised by his grandparents.
Lets get our facts straight before feeding the rumor mills!

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