Archive for the ‘Trayvon’ Category

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin: Tragic Deaths, Ending Trail of Tears and Fears

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

141204 blog image

When a society is revenue driven, minorities can be seen as “low hanging fruit” in a quota system from writing traffic tickets to arrest warrants. It’s not so much about skin color as it is about economics.” – Niger Innis, www.restorethedream2015.com

Regardless of which side of the scenarios you are on, many would admit that the deaths of these and so many more young men, are very tragic.

So much is being said by so many already that I pray only to participate by adding even more clarity and peaceful solutions to the puzzle. With all the interviews and articles/blogs surrounding the whole Michael Brown/Darren Wilson and now Eric Garner situations, let’s include more prayer in all the discussions.

The media is portraying two-sided issues; those who agree with the grand jury’s decisions and support the law enforcement systems; and those who disagree with the decisions in support of the dead youths; hoping to make “tragic heroes” of our dead brothers.

Because, like it or not, these young people are someone’s “dearly departed,” and in God’s eyes, they are our brothers. As the old song goes; “he ain’t heavy; he’s my brothers.”

The media schedules guests from one side or the other and allow the contenders to go at each other. Conflict sells stories and hooks audiences. Many media outlets have agendas and they skew the questions in hopes of spinning the discussion in one direction or the other.

We are often asked to comment on this person or that person and what their motives might be. Yet rather than judge or accuse which leads to strife, we all need to work towards the same goal of PEACE. This concept leads us to Mathew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”

Now, as to erstwhile tragic heroes:

Aristotle’s definition is playing out across our nation.

He defines a tragic hero as having certain characteristics, among them being:

1) Flaw or error of judgment (hamartia).

2) A reversal of fortune (peripeteia) brought about because of the hero’s error in judgment.

3) The discovery or recognition that the reversal was brought about by the hero’s own actions (anagnorisis). Surely Michael had to have known that his encounter with former Officer Wilson was a direct result of his action to rob the convenient store and confront the officer.

4) Excessive Pride (hubris). Only God knows the state of the hearts of the dead or the living.

5) The character’s fate must be greater than deserved. Certainly Michael’s, Eric’s, and Trayvon’s are tragic.

Depending on what side you’re on will determine if you think these young people fit the definition of tragic heroes or not.

In our society some put certain people on pedestals and look up to them. We view them as heroes or idols because they’re famous, rich, good as a particular sport, good at playing the piano or just plain powerful.

For me, there is only One who deserves to be a hero who is flawless and without blemish; God. As in three in One; God the Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus Christ. So Jesus is my Hero.

Are there people in society who live lives as virtuously as humanly possible that we can all look to and strive to be like them? Of course there are.

But we need to look at what makes them virtuous. Certainly it’s not the amount of money they make, it’s not because they hold a high office in business or government, or because they possess a God-given talent at sports or in playing a musical instrument.

Nor is it because misfortunes propel them to the media forefront. No, what makes a person virtuous is what they do with what God has given them. You don’t have to be rich or powerful to be virtuous. You can affect those around you no matter how small your circle of influence is.

There is still a third aspect of this situation that needs discussing. I’m talking about prayer.

I know people in Ferguson, NY and Florida are praying because I have contact through the prayer networks. I, and many others, have prayed with many in these communities. We encouraged people to pray for peace first and justice will follow. But I’m not hearing or reading much about prayer in the media.

Maybe because covering meetings like the 21 day tent meeting in Ferguson at www.thefergusonresponse.com; or the “2014 Evening of Prayer for Our City & The Urban World” hosted by Bishop Raphael Green and other ministers and leaders in Ferguson; or the many prayer encounters with www.restirethedream2015.com isn’t “sexy” news?

What we all need to do is step back a little from our emotions and biases and reflect on “What Would Jesus Do” As my Uncle Martin said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Brothers and sister, I fear we will perish as fools unless we pray and ask for guidance from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

While writing this blog, the grand jury voted not to file criminal charges against the police officer in the case of Eric Garner who died in New York in July when a white police officer put Garner, a black man, in a chokehold during an arrest,. Again people will protest and hopefully it won’t become violent.

So what will the race baiters and emotion stirrers come up with next. Will “hands up; don’t shoot” become “hands up; don’t choke?” I guess asking for “pants up; don’t loot” won’t go over so well with some of the protestors.

In Eric’s case as in the Michael Brown case, and Trayvon Martin case, now more people are dead, adding to the numbers of youth dead by racism, same race murders and other causes. Whatever the cause, it is all a tragedy. But the greater tragedy is the overall lack of respect for all human life.

Recently Pope Frances said: “As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights. Human life, a gift of God the Creator, possesses a sacred character. As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace. The world expects those who claim to adore God to be men and women of peace who are capable of living as brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological differences.” [Emphasis added]

I would add that not only religious leaders but all Christians are obligated to denounce all violence against human dignity and human rights. All life is precious and does matter.

The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has been cleverly used by many in this debate. Even Planned Parenthood jumped in with their tweets that they supported Ferguson and used the hashtag. I responded that all Black lives matter, even the ones in the wombs of their mothers. With over 1,000 Black babies being aborted every single day, where are the protests over their lives. And what about the Black lives being lost in cities like Chicago. Do their lives matter? Of course they do but I don’t see protests over their lives. Are they any less deserving than Michael Brown. I think not.

If we work on ourselves, our own biases, our own prejudices, our own shortcomings, and drop to our knees and repent for our own wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness, then we, the human, one blood, race, not separate races, will begin to see real change that can stop the killing, stop the looting, stop the racism.

Finally, please check out this message from Minister Jonathan Gentry at:

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/12/01/the-most-powerful-six-minutes-of-truth-glenn-has-ever-seen

Then revisit the lyrics of “We Don’t Need Another Hero” with Tina Turner.

Out of the ruins
Out from the wreckage
Can’t make the same mistake this time
We are the children
The last generation
We are the ones they left behind…

I agree, we don’t need another hero. We have Jesus. Now let’s get busy about the business of reaching the hopeless, jobless and dreamless; addressing their fears, meeting their needs, drying their tears. Herein lie our solutions.

Praying for Peace and Love.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER – #blacklivesmatter

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Please enjoy this guest blog:

Niger InnisBLACK LIVES MATTER
By Niger Innis, Founder restorethedream2015.com

Garner should not have died for selling loose cigarettes. Trayvon shouldn’t have died for munching skittles in the wrong neighborhood. Even Michael’s death is a tragedy.

There is a crisis of Black men losing their lives; in fact there is a genocide occurring among young black men across the country.

On these matters above I agree with Sharpton and the others in the Racialist Lobby.

But that’s where my harmony with that element ends.

Because they indeed add to the devaluation of black life through their very agenda and actions. These folk, including the President of the United States and his AG, tend to only value the death of black lives when they’re taken by whites. The plague on young black men in urban centers is not white racists, nor murderous cops. It is largely other black men. 93 percent of black men are killed by other black men. There are far too many black men raised in households that have few positive black male role models; where many single mothers heroically desperately try to raise boys to manhood. Communities that are culturally dominated, thanks to the Entertainment Industrial Complex, by gangsta criminal chic. This is the central crisis within Black America, and America at large. Until So-called Civil Rights leaders have the courage to openly and honestly address this phenomenon, the plague of which I speak will continue unabated. The “Hands up don’t shoot” protest chant should be replaced with, “Pants up, Don’t Loot”.

Let’s stop and target the real genocide of young black men.

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Martin/Zimmerman Dilemma: Would MLK Boycott?

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

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In light of all of the discussions occurring now about boycotting the state of Florida because of the unrest over the Martin/Zimmerman verdict, I believe that certainly it is appropriate to express, in a peaceful and non-violent manner, the concerns that are being raised.

In regards to the 1960s, people are asking me would this Florida boycott have been an appropriate target back then? Certainly in the 20th Century, boycotts were the order of that day, so possibly yes, that could have happened back then. Of course cannot say whether Martin Luther King, Jr. would have led such a march since he’s not here, but according to his own words, we can believe that he would have opposed stereotyping and profiling. Yet we can also believe he would be calling for peaceful nonviolent resolution as well as reconciliation of the one human race.

We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
– “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
– Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech,

Along these lines there is a movement that is occurring at the same time as the Florida boycott and that is the reconciliation rallies led by people of good will of every ethnic group rising up in Florida at this time.

Charisma Magazine’s Steve Strang one of the organizers of the Restoration Meetings had this to say in a recent column:

“The George Zimmerman acquittal a week ago has brought to the surface racial divides in our country, and it’s time for believers in Jesus to get involved because the best answers are spiritual, available to us through fervent prayer. There must be forgiveness, and mercy always triumphs over justice.”

The organizers are planning on taking those reconciliation rallies across the country saying, pretty much, that mercy overrides human judgment.

We know that the judgment that acquitted George Zimmerman was man’s judgment based on man’s law, the stand your ground law. Admittedly, there are some problems with that law. However, God’s justice does contain mercy. We are required to do justice, love mercy, and to walk upright and humbly before God.

So I’m asking that there be a reconciliation message for Florida and for the country that we must reconcile as one blood, one human race. Truly we are one human race, and indeed we can be brothers and sisters and not combat and fight each other and kill each other.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
– MLK Speech in St. Louis, Missouri, March 22, 1964

This nation needs healing. It needs a message of reconciliation. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am appealing to all concerned to please consider reconciliation as a major part of the message that must be delivered.

Now, does there need to be justice for Trayvon? I happen to believe there should be. What form will that justice take? The answer has yet to be revealed.

I was truly saddened to hear that some have besmirched the memory of Trayvon by relegating him to the category of being labeled a thug with the implication that he deserved to be dead. Our children have a right to be born, to dream and to see their dreams come true. When they get off track, they should be firmly yet lovingly corrected. If we teach them and love them, they can live and not die!

This is a very tragic situation. Trayvon’s dreams went to his grave with him. I’m praying that God will have the final word on all of this.

I’m praying for the Martins. I’m praying for the Zimmermans. I’m praying for all concerned.

Reconciliation is in order!

Many celebrity protestors are quietly pro-life. It would be good if they would speak to sanctity of life from conception till natural death in their efforts. Finally, in every conflict let us strongly urge repentance, forgiveness and Reconciliation over Boycotts.

Just in case you haven’t heard any celebrity prolife messages, check out Nick Cannon, Fred Hammond and Flipsyde.

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Looking for Justice for America

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Acts 17:26 “And He has made from one blood, every nation of men . . .”

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech in St. Louis, Missouri, March 22, 1964

It’s been quite a busy week.

It’s bigger than Trayvon and George.

We MUST have the race discussion.

Here are a few examples of interviews I did.

HLN RAISING AMERICA.

To go to HLN click HERE.

MIKE HUCKABEE

Watch the interview HERE

THE MANNING REPORT

To go to The Manning Report click HERE.

Upcoming Interview:

Saturday, July 20 at 6:40 pm ET – CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon

Saturday, July 20 at 10:00 pm ET – Fox News’ Geraldo at Large

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Dr. Alveda C. King: Judge by Content of Character, not Skin Color or Hoodies

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

MLK in Hoodie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
Leslie@priestsforlife.org
(347) 286-7277

While I salute the passion and creativity of artist Nikkolas Smith in reference to the image of MLK wearing a hoodie, I feel compelled to cry “foul, shame on you” to the media moguls and civil rights legends who want to stir up a controversy where there is none. I am not angered by the artistic expression. I am just plain hurt and saddened to see the message of my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reduced to a debate over an article of clothing. I would love to talk with artist Nikkolas about my uncle.

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963

My grandfather was always a meticulously dressed and well groomed man. He encouraged and actually insisted that his family follow his lead, because he was grooming us all to represent Jesus, our family and our community. Uncle M. L. and Daddy grew up to become leaders and did their best to honor and respect their father’s teachings. Like all humans, they sometimes fell short, but not for lack of trying.

I am no way suggesting that hoodies are a bad thing. The young folks in my family wear them. They are actually handy o\in the rain. Yet there are other ways to remember Dr. King. Perhaps most importantly that way would be found in his sermons and letters.

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech in St. Louis, Missouri, March 22, 1964

As to the controversy, George Zimmerman seemingly never explored the content of Trayvon Martin’s character. Rather he identified and profiled Travon Martin according to Trayvon’s choice of attire which was a hoodie. We as African-Americans should never be racially profiled. We must advocate as Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated; for defining ourselves by the content of our character rather than according to the color of our skin or choice of attire. This should be the standard for every ethnic group, every family and every individual.

Unfortunately, the trial was about finding reasonable doubt in a murder case; as to what happened the night Zimmerman shot Trayvon. Reasonable doubt was established, and thus human justice was served in a human court of law. Yet, was everyone so concerned about serving man’s legal system that we forgot to serve God?

Sadly, the legal aspects of the trial were not about whether or not George Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin. That issue now becomes a matter of civil rather than criminal law. The criminal legal process was not about hoodies and candy. It wasn’t even about smoking marijuana. By the way, two United States Presidents admit to having smoked marijuana as young men, one says he inhaled and one says he didn’t.

This leads me to wonder what kind of man Trayvon Martin would have become if he had been allowed to live.

By observing his parents during the time of his tragic and fatal shooting and this trial, I am sure that Trayvon would have turned out just fine. His parents have called for justice and peace during their suffering and loss throughout this entire ordeal. My prayers continue to go out to them.

In the final analysis, Trayvon Martin represented humanity, life and purpose as ordained by God for all persons, in and out of the womb; and he deserved not to be profiled; but rather regarded as a precious soul.

Trayvon wore a hoodie not because he was black, but because it was his choice of style for teens in this time in our society. His clothing should never have been a factor in defining him.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. was called to greatness, you, I and yes Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were called to greatness, purpose and the right to live in America. The difference is that MLK lived long enough to answer his call.

Trayvon was killed before he could live out his call and dream, which is buried with him. George Zimmerman made a decision that has changed his life as well.

Every human being is part of the one single human race. We are one blood; One race. We are Created with a dream inside, and when we are allowed to be born and to live out our God ordained lives, we have a chance to be great.

Would Martin Luther King, Jr. as a teenager wear a hoodie in the 21st Century? I may not think so, but who knows. Would Martin Luther King, Jr. weep at the tragic loss of the life and dream of Trayvon Martin, and the now deferred dream of George Zimmerman? Most likely.

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Give God His Due In Trayvon/Zimmerman Saga

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Trayvon_Zimmerman

Listen on audio HERE.

Hello, I’m Dr. Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life and Founder of Alveda King Ministries.

This is 2013, summer, we’re about to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My father, Rev. A.D. King and my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom I call Uncle ML, worked together in the Civil Rights Movement.

Today, in the 21st Century, during this long, hot summer, we’ve had a verdict for George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin. We grieve the passing of young Mr. Trayvon Martin. His dreams have been deferred and buried with him. He no longer has a dream here on this earth. However, America again is in turmoil as we look at that verdict. I’d like to put it this way. We have given justice its due, now let’s give God His due.

We should join together in prayer during this tumultuous season and bring America together so that historically we can remember when a young man was slain in America, Trayvon Martin, America was saddened and grieved and came together and prayed.

Politically, I have been called and termed a Conservative. My cousin, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice King, can be called a Moderate. And our cousin, Dr. Angela Farris Watkins, the daughter of Dr. King’s sister, can also perhaps been termed a Liberal.

However, we may have differing political viewpoints but one thing is not debatable: violence will never be the answer in solving the problems of a society. We must now turn to our knees, fall on our knees, and ask God to bring us together as one human race. No longer will we accept the lie that we are separate races. Acts 17:26 says, “Of one blood we were all created together. “

As brothers and sisters, let us move forward together ,racially, reconciling to the fact that we are one human race, not divided but together, in need of help, in need of guidance, in need of love.

God bless you all,
Dr. Alveda King

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Dr. Alveda King: “Grieved Over Strife Surrounding Zimmerman Verdict”

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Trayvon_Zimmerman

For Immediate Release
July 15, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
Leslie@priestsforlife.org
(347) 286-7277

“I believe that the verdict in the Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin Case further exposes a grievous and deep vein of disharmony and racial tension in our nation that can only be healed when people realize that every human being should be treated with dignity and respect,” says Dr. Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life.

“A trial like this causes public debate, and people have forgotten what is right anymore. Now Trayvon’s tragic death is obscured and Mr. Zimmerman is a public spectacle. The lines of what is right and what is legal/lawful have also been blurred and this trial exposes that.

“We saw the same scenarios in the O. J. trial and the Casey Anthony case. There was reasonable doubt, no matter how minute the reasonable doubt proves to be. Even more recently, abortionists are butchering women in so called legal yet under-regulated facilities where in many cases no arrests are being made; with Kermit Gosnell’s case being a recent exception.

“In Chicago, where random killings are at an all time high, a Black Woman, Tonya Reaves, was recently slaughtered and bled to death for five hours in a Planned Parenthood abortion mill and no arrests have been made.

“Now in the wake of Trayvon’s senseless death and Mr. Zimmerman’s acquittal many people are angry at the tragic loss of life and what some perceive to be a shun on the Black race. For the record, Acts 17:26 teaches that there is one blood and one human race, not multiple races, so racism is based on a lie!

“Others seem to feel a victory because certain constitutional rights were favorably argued and the question of reasonable doubt prevailed in this case. Yet it is important to also note that Zimmerman’s life is ruined too, and that the court of public opinion is not completely on his side.

“So in a way the blind scales of justice seem to have favored Mr. Zimmerman while Trayvon’s voice is silenced and his dream died with him.

“The Bible says mercy triumphs over justice:

“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13 NKJV)

“And Micah 6:8 says that we should add love and humility to justice.

“Micah 6:8 (NIV)
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

“Love and humility are missing on both sides of this struggle!

“My uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that we must all learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) or perish as fools. Too many people are dying today for too many reasons, and the race baiting and strife add fuel to the fire which grieves my soul.

“Again a young American man has perished, another is a public spectacle. Who wins?

“We must now use this controversy as an opportunity to help educate our future generations as to how to act and how to react in similar situations; then maybe young Trayvon’s death will not be in vain.

“A profound injustice has occurred in glossing over the death of this young man and the suffering of his family. The not guilty verdict violates the tender nuances of human suffering and the integrity of the criminal justice system in his community.

“It remains critically-important, however, that all protests against the verdict demonstrate an irrevocable commitment to nonviolence, to honor the dignity of Trayvon Martin’s precious life and not add further tragedy to what his family and the people of Sanford have already experienced.

“Let’s face it. If both people in this tragedy were of common ethnicity, there would be no media feeding frenzy. The gun control debate is a smokescreen in that people do use guns to kill other people as Zimmerman did in this case. But guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Yes, sometimes they use guns, but they sometimes use bombs or knives too. We definitely need love control and heart control and nonviolence control.

“There are murders going on every day that the media overlooks. Remember Tonya Reaves. Millions of Black babies and many of their mothers are being slaughtered in abortion mills. Where is the justice for that?

“Obviously strife and struggle and conflict were at the base of this case. Two men alone on the street in the dark. A punch is thrown. A gun escalates the trauma and drama. We need a Beloved Community. We need nonviolence conflict resolution.

“Let us please give a nonviolent response to Trayvon’s family, to Mr. Zimmerman and to America to help to promote healing and to lay the foundation needed to repeal faulty laws that fail to protect our youth, and to further enact other reforms to prevent such tragedies in the future.”

Click HERE for another perspective.

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