by Mack Williams
28 August 2014
I. Sighting #1 on the 1
Only in New York…A shopping cart riding the uptown number one train takes Stop and Shop to a whole new level. Hope the new owner of the cart got off at a stop where he or she could elevator from the platform to the street…
II. Sighting #2 on the 2
When I heard a mom speaking out of concern for her daughter, who looked to be about three or four – “Stop touching the bottom of your shoe. It’s dirty!” – I immediately thought of how Larry Bird would wipe his hands on the bottom of his Converse sneakers as he was about to walk back onto the court…and how I then began seeing kids on playgrounds doing the same thing. That said, young lady, mom was right.
III. Artistically Speaking
Here’s Aziza Miller’s take on what you might see, in her track “The Subway,” off of her just released CD. Check it and her out –
IV. Standing On The Top
With all of the discussion of the diminishing numbers of African-Americans playing baseball from the major league level on down to the little leagues, how fitting it was that the team from Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West Little League won the US Little League championship at the Little League World Series.
Robinson, a fierce competitor and crusader, held his tongue and did not fight back or lash out at the individuals that did or said racist things to him during his initial years in the Dodger organization…and ironically enough, it seems (from an outsider’s perspective) that the city of Chicago, wrapped up in the euphoria around the team honoring his name and accomplishments, took a break from the violence that has too often been the norm in recent days. If only that can hold.
V. Stony The Road We Trod
On this, the 51st anniversary of the historic March On Washington, I truly believe that things have improved since Jackie Robinson’s first game in 1947, since 1963, since the time of our grandparents and great-grandparents, as evidenced in part by two words: President Obama. I would venture to say that most of the hundreds of thousands of people standing before Dr. King in D.C. on August 28th, 1963 could not have envisioned an African-American in the White House forty-five years later.
One of the things Dr. King said that day was that “In a sense, we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check,” but went on to lament the fact that “America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.'” For anyone that believes the journey is complete and the check is totally good, two more words: Mike Brown.
VI. Bitter The Chastening Rod
Clearly one area in which the work is not done is that of the media, and not only in the case of the sorry fixed FOX “News.” Even the paper of record, The New York Times, is not immune to journalism that negatively takes into account a subject’s race, as shown in the article (for which the writer has since apologized) that described Mike Brown as being ” no angel.” Unfortunately they may have fallen into the trap set by the Ferguson, MO police department upon their release of the video purportedly showing Brown robbing a store shortly before his death. A glance of posts on the internet shows many others have fallen for that as well.
Were Brown not only no angel but the devil himself, the theft of cigars should not be punishable by death. Any mention of this is just an attempt to deflect attention from the fact that this young man was unjustifiably murdered.
VII. Let Us March On
Meanwhile, a thousand miles away (or so), selling loose cigarettes should not be punishable by death either, so the death of Eric Garner led people (in the words of James Weldon Johnson in “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing”) to “let us march on ’til victory is won.” Unfortunately, the New York Post was wrong again, devoting their front page to blasting marchers for their march against the NYPD.
No one marched against the NYPD. Many of them have friends and family within the department. People were protesting actions by members of the NYPD, as well as a culture that would permit incidents like that to happen. In our system of justice, the police are charged with apprehending those that they believe have committed crimes, after which the legal system is to sort everything out. They are not supposed to act as judge, jury, and executioner.
And that, Post, is why there was a march.