Linda Seccaspina

The Tayles of Emileeeeee McPheeeeee

Linda Seccaspina

Linda Seccaspina
July 24
Formerly called The Maiden of Death by Derek Raymaker Xpress Magazine
When you wish upon a star
Linda's column can now be read in The Humm newspaper and online. Also pick up an issue of Screamin Mamas magazine from Florida for a peak at some of my writing.>> My idol is former mentor and OPRAH senior associate producer Elizabeth Coady. Taskmaster extraordinaire but learned so much from her, and if I could be 1/8 as talented as her I 'd be laughing.>>>>> My books "Menopausal Woman From the Corn" "Cowansville High Misremembered" "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities" and "Cancer Calls Collect" now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle >>>>>>>All covers also done by Diana Ani Stokely GRAFIX to go.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> "Cowansville High School Misremembered" book is now out as a fundraiser for the school._______________________ ___________________ Follow her on Twitter @@Mcpheeeeee. Linda Seccaspina was born in Cowansville Quebec about the same time the wheel was invented. _____________________________________ She used to own clothing stores in Ottawa and Toronto Ontario Canada from 1974-1996 called Flash Cadilac, Savannah Devilles, Nightmares and Flaming Groovies. _____________________________________ Her brain tries to writes stories about her menopausal life and a host of other things she gets annoyed at. _____________________________________ She has two sons, Schuyleur and one that does not want his name mentioned. She has a grandson called Romeo who is a Boston Terrier and a grandaughter Bella who is a french bulldog. _____________________________________ Linda loves people quite plain and simple and loves to hug.. Yes, she is one of "those".


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Editor’s Pick
JULY 7, 2010 11:33AM

Open Call: Mehserle Verdict Vs The Ghetto Gospel

Rate: 39 Flag




oakland sign_1


I read Emily's Open Call today, and felt that whatever I write now is going to be how I feel, no matter which way the Mehserle verdict goes.

You see,

No one here needs a reason to riot.

No one here needs a reason to rise up and complain.

No one here needs a reason to kill.

It is "as it is" as Tupac sang in The Ghetto Gospel.

When they do eventually  riot, and they will , it will not only be for the outcome of the trial. They will rise up , because they need to be heard. They want the world to feel their pain.

The world is not right here. Grandmothers and mothers raise the children in  poverty and violence.  There is so much anger as they grow up, that history keeps repeating itself over and over. In very few instances does life change on the street.

Fathers disappear, and the young males grow up to be young warriors. Young warriors  go to church every Sunday, yet the rest of their week is full of violence. They feel that  God's hand is on them to continue a life that really has no meaning.

I have watched drug bust after drug bust only to see the same people go back to that same life the next day.

I have seen a 19 year old boy shot in the stomach so many times by the police that you would have thought his number was up. When they finally caught him hiding in his grandmother's house he was hauled out on a stretcher with his hands up in the air for victory. The neighbourhood roared in unison, and cheered him on.

I have seen a drug dealer on a bicycle get caught by the police, and in one split instant, once again, the neighbourhood filed out of their homes - rallied around him and become an angry mob. A mob so huge, that Oakland and Berkeley police had to be present.

I have been mugged. I  have had a gun pulled on me . I have rolled across my living room floor while gunshots were fired outside my window, yet I am not afraid.

No, I am not afraid because, like them I fight to survive. I too , have the Ghetto Gospel.

There is no right or wrong here. People jump from frying pan to frying pan just trying to survive. There is no peace for people that are hell bent on being heard. They honestly feel in their hearts they cannot be recognized  without violence or guns.

So when the verdict comes in they will fill the streets . All I can do is pray for peace for the hearts of these young warriors.

For you see, as Tupac said, that is the Gospel Ghetto.




Images and words- Linda Seccaspina 2010



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Strong piece, Linda. " Young warriors that go to church every Sunday, yet the rest of their week is full of violence. They feel that God's hand is on them to continue a life that really has no meaning."(r)
Nothing but the truth my eyes have seen. Dirndl.
It makes me so sad.
What a vivid perspective. Now you've made me think and feel, and I haven't even had my coffee yet. :)
It hits you in the face here and you learn what life really means.
They should send some of these kids that need name brands in their life for a month.That would smarten them up.
We have indeed taught children well and they've learned to survive anything. They will have less trouble surviving everything coming, I hope my daughters and I are equally strong. It breaks my heart we make them live this cruel life.
It just hits you in the face and it never goes away
People say the wild west is alive and well, I wonder if that isn't true. How do you stop all this degradation and violence? What kind of intervention is the answer? This saddens me very much. Very much. R
So much sadness here. Its sad that people feel so marginalised they think violence is the only way to be heard. And its even sadder that each new generation seems to repeat the negative destructive pattern of the previous one.

Excellent piece. Rated.
It would really help if people were entitled to earn based on how hard they worked. But the law doesn't require any of that crap. Unfortunately we're only entitled to earn what those with money are willing to let trickle down.

One thing is for sure, there may not be room at the top but there's plenty of room at the bottom. This lifestyle will spread with the coming sinkhole. Lots of people will survive, they always do but I think this will be a lot bloodier than back in the thirties. We've been oppressing people for a little too long this time, they have little left to lose.
Great post, no one could understand it here.
I just do not know where our country is going to.
A brash, emboldened, potent read. Who needs caffeine to get the day going when you got LINDA!!!!
I love your commentaries about your home town of Oakland. There is something about the human spirit and how it manifests itself to survive and thrive. Thanks for this post.
Linda does not drink Coffee.. it was a lowly Dr Pepper that started this..:)
Sheila you are so right.
It's Annie get your gun..:)
As long as we keep doing what we do, we will keep getting what we get. It is a sad story replayed many, many times. R-
I just keep saying it is nothing but reality of life
While the spark of a riot may be a trail decision or a person taped being beaten and brutalized, this is just the spark. The reason for the riot is for people to rise up and demand better lives and better living conditions. The poor and depressed can only take so much before they take it to the street! Great Post~
As I get up everyday all I see is a scenario like Ground Hog day
Scanner, remember the French revolution?
I have little experience of this.. thank you for giving me some.
once upon a time I had little experience, then i was face to face with it.
No easy answer to this tragic state of affairs, Linda. Wherever you try to start with blame you find a "but." The cops are hard and lethal, but...the youths think of themselves as warriors, are armed and dress and act like gangstas, but...if they're trapped in the 'hood they've got to be tuff to survive, but... How to break the cycle? I don't know, dear, but I sure as hell hope somebody cares enuf to try. The thought of you rolling around on the floor ducking bullets makes me weep, Linda. It makes me sick to my stomach.
What a vivid view of something horrific. You have seen some real heartache, my friend.

I just think about those people at war that are dodging bullets.
My life is nothing compared to theirs
I think heartache is good for the soul Joy. It only makes you stronger
Such a crazy sad thing.
There is no more potent idea for good or evil than this: "The group is more important than the individual"
Sadly, it takes an individual to scrape up bus money and leave.
Noah Tawl,
If he is allowed to leave.
oscar grant deserves justice.
This is a remarkably tough, purposeful piece. Excellent. Rated.
I made not have the vocabulary of college graduates,but every word is written with my heart.
I get worried about you in those areas... *pout
You've seen a guy shot in the stomach?
*hugs you tight
Thank you for sharing this, Linda. Be safe.
in some cases the only way to leave is in the middle of the night with no one's permission when everyone's asleep and with no intention of going back.
There is no mercy without a fair trial, and there can be no fair trial as long as kids are made to be subservient to the will of the state which harbors them without hope.
God, I hate that this has to be real.
You be careful there, now. Keep your head down, maybe go out of town. Okay? And keep us posted, if you will. We all want you safe throughout, no matter what.
R for remembering the riots
Like I said Amanda. Let's bring some of these kids who complain to their parents about lack of things to the urban areas.

It is the biggest eye opener of your life. You are so right Noah.
you can never come back.
This was a painful read. It speaks to a way of living I have also been intimate with....but I think of it as a false intimacy because I was aware there was a difference between my poverty as a college student and my neighbors' poverty as an unalterable "it is what it is" way of life.

Did you ever see TuPac's "we're hungry" interview? Paraphrasing it, he said: “If I know that in this hotel room they have food everyday, and I knock on the door every day, and they open the door and let us see the party, let me see them throwing food all around, and they’re telling me there’s no food, everyday…and I’m standing outside trying to sing my way in ‘we are hungry please let us in‘…after about a week that song is going to ‘we are hungry, give us some food‘…after a year I’m pickin the lock and coming through the door blasting…we asked ten years ago, so no what do you think we’re going to do now….ask?
this is such strong writing. the situation is tragic and i wish there was a way to break the vicious cycle you talk about. it reminds me of the Elvis song "In The Ghetto". well done linda.
I have been exposed cherlm to a host of lives. I applaud anyone that makes a mark for himself no matter where they live.
It's the doom and gloom I feel that scares me.
I am going to look up that interview now.
Thanks for sharing
I wish it was Alf singing In the Ghetto.
a much softer scenrio..:)
Great piece!! Congrats on a well deserved EP!! Rated.
I just wish there was a way to stop all the hate. You have made me see a part of life I never see and it makes me sad that these children know nothing else. Powerful writing..
thanks so much. I appreciate anyone taking the time to read my stuff.
You don't need to live in the hood to see hate.
It can be in the next room or the house across the street.
Until we stop hating, nothing will ever be done
It is sad. Powerful post and a relevant video. R
Yes, by all means, do the wrong thing. By all means, feed the flame. Make excuses for the violence and the thuggery and 24x7 druggery. Real warriors would abstain and volunteer, educate themselves, plant a victory garden, mentor the young, provide an alternative then let the chips fall where they may but how to do it when there are so many eager enablers? Like you, my dear.
You knocked this one out of the park. People forget that these young warriors are human beings . . . even they forget it sometimes, until you see that spark, and you know that they are "home" again. You know what I mean?

And . . . what Matt P. said, too.
Matt P is always right..:)
People are human beings that is the bottom line under all those gang colours.
Whirlwind, I do try my best. But a lot of people are just beat down.
Thanks Heliana,

I had nothing but anger and emotion when I wrote this.
This is difficult. You know of it intimately. It makes it hard to offer ant meaningful commentary. Nonetheless, the article beckons a question, "What's the answer?"

"If there is no blame, "Who's is to blame?" Society? Mistreatment of the past 300 years? It's difficult. No answers. No solutions.

No hope?

How do we find an answer? I don't know, because the Verdict is only another manifestation of the sickness. Just one more day of a century long illness. It's all so fucked up.
I could not have said it better myself.
This is a stunning piece, made even more so by your passionate voice.
"Ghetto Gospel." Damn, Linda._r
wow Linda, the language cadence as well as the thoughts- this is great
Joan H
Oh yeah.. I am the passionate one.
I never shut up..:)

Your post was great too. I could not believe how they made you suffer.
Mistakes are mistakes
Powerful perspective and observations. My youngest daughter lives in Oakland. More gray hairs sprouting daily.
Cathy, if you run out of gray hair I can send you some.:)
it's interesting that in all the commiseration and sadness, one name is missing and that is the murdered person himself, oscar grant. in fact, my first mention of his name gets overlooked like i made no comment. yet the pig or former pig who is a murder gets named. are you serious?

give the dead their due...and their name
Congrats on your EP, Linda. VERY deserving piece here!
I have lost a few comments here today but I did make a mention to you about Oscar Grant. This is not the first one lost in cyber space.
His picture is above from today's Express .

I do not give any reference to Mehserle except the title of the Open Salon call which you can see on the front.

I am not on Mehserle's side that is for darn sure.
Thanks for your comment
Thanks Kit,
It was very unexpected.
Perhaps you could memorialize Oscar Grant for us, Mr. Chinyelu. Was he an innocent victim, or did he consider himself a warrior and dress and act the gangsta? These are legitimate questions. If he thought of himself as a warrior then he should be memorialized as a fallen warrior rather than as an innocent victim, don't you think? If he was just pretending to be a gangsta, with the look and the 'tude, it gets a little harder to determine how to mourn him, wouldn't you think? After all, when real warriors look and act the same as the wannabes and are armed, is it not reasonable to expect the cops to respond as if to a uniformed enemy?
When the definition of warrior includes laying face down and unarmed on the floor so you can be shot to death, then Oscar Grant will be able to fit that label.
And it's Ms. Chinyelu, thank you very much.
You're welcome, Ms. Chinyelu. Unfortunately warriors are executed this way in combat situations all too often, I'm afraid. Would that warfare be conducted by gentlemen. Alas, it seems to bring out the worst in us, doesn't it.
Let me get this straight, Matt. Apparently there's a 'warrior's uniform" that "wannabe's" wear. These "wannabe's" also copy the attitude of these "warriors". Pigs (former pigs) such as whatever his piggish name is can't tell the difference or is incompetent or whatever and so is entitled to shoot to kill an unarmed "warrior" laying face down on the floor?

Get real.
Reality is never so simple, Tichaona.
Linda, This is strongly written as the story is somewhat lost on me as I don't know the context. Congrats on the EP.
Thanks Scarlett.
There has been some Canadian press, but not much.

Yup Seer,
They sure they are. It is almost like everyone is labeled.:(
Matt summed it all up.
You are so right
it's funny how when it's the murder of black people, it becomes "not so simple". it's even more funny when people start wanting to claim a piece of the "murdered by pigs" pie.

when all is said and done, there's gonna be another Oscar Grant and more than likely, he's gonna be black or mexican or more rarely, a mentally retarded white boy in springfield, illinois [no, i am not being sarcastic - there was such a situation when i lived there].

there is gonna be another because pigs tend to shoot first and submit to the indignity of a trial where they're acquitted because the justice system is unjust later.

it has to be when it has its roots in the overseer system. but maybe that's just how to be because those enslaved were "warriors". talk about being on the outside looking in.
Sorry, but I find this piece fatuous and foolish. I don't have to excuse police misconduct and murder -- and will not -- in order to recognize the dangerous self-delusion of calling these characters 'warriors'.

Such a description is silly and misleading. 'Warriors' in any legitimate sense fight for noble ideal, just cause, with urgent provocation, and with victory in sight. Warriors fight on behalf of others.

These thugs in Oakland are not warriors. They are cowards, using bullets because they cannot use brains to resolve conflict. They use brutality, chiefly on one another, to mark their territory. Too many of these childish thugs view education as 'white', respect as weakness, and antique grievance as contemporary excuse.

Sorry, Linda. You are far too tolerant of the people who would kill you for your shoes.

And the riots you predict? These are not remotely justifiable. These thugs will riot in 'victory' OR in 'defeat'. Such riots are excuses to rob and vandalize -- and steal large screen TVs. They have nothing to do with justice.

Real warriors do not riot. They lead, they know the meaning of valor and honor. They love country, and they love neighborhood.

The people you naively describe as 'warriors' have hoodwinked you. They are, in fact, profoundly lazy and cowardly thugs looking for an excuse -- any excuse -- to rationalize the way they have chosen to live. Why you would give them any respect whatsoever is beyond the ken of most Americans.

Most of us have a much less cynical view of our great nation, and of the responsibility we ALL share in a social contract that binds us to one another as a people. That's why the rest of us 'warriors' fight for national health care, gun control, mass transit, rational water policy, and the economies and necessities of Green.

These thugs just like to fight, without meaning or mercy.
They are not warriors Linda. And you, get a real life. You are not what the black community need or want.
Looks like we have a yin and yang setup here. Tichaona Chinyelu sees all cops as pigs and Stephen Fawkes sees all young black males who live in poverty as thugs. For the sake of typing ease, I'll call Tichaona "Yin" and Stephen "Yang."

Yin sees Linda as a white (meaning, I presume, on the side of the pigs) while Yang sees her as naive and delusional. My my. Good place to start a discussion? Probly not the best, unless it would be an opportunity to repeat what I said earlier, that situations such as this are rarely as simple as people who seek simple solutions would like. And maybe that's part of the bigger problem - people seeking simple solutions, which don't require as much mental effort or integrity or simple effort as would a commitment to honestly and bravely addressing the problem.

One last point, to both Yin and Yang: Linda lives in the community she's writing about. She's not viewing the crisis from afar, through ideological lenses. She's at ground zero. Come join her and see for yourselves.
@Ealy a Bennett - Tell us, please, then, what does "the black community" need or want? Do you live there, too?
Matthew, I have lived in Oakland [pretty much all over Oakland] but where I live is actually irrelevant because wherever I live I am still black in america. in terms of interaction with the pigs, that means i'm in danger. a danger linda, who you let me know is white, is not in. although she may be in another type of danger - that of living among a people who know they've been warred on by people who share her skin-based privilege.

As far as Yang goes, even though I disagree with him, he is honest about his opinion. And when all is said and done, his opinion doesn't kill me. his opinion didn't kill oscar grant. that train pig (former pig) did.

and just for those of you who chose to ignore what i said about the institution that the police are in order to make a skin-color based thing, let me state it another way. whoever of whatever skin color puts on a blue uniform, that person is now a pig to me, black or brown or white. male or female. a pig is a pig and i'm colorblind when it comes to that because it's the institution....
To Stephen, Tichaona, and Ealy.

I had no choice as to the colour I was given when I was born and neither was anyone else.

I can tell you from experience on both sides that the black community in Canada is completely different than it is in Oakland.

You see in Canada there is some strife, some poverty and a few other odds and ends. BUT, there is very little hate like there is in America.

Canada had no slave plantations , in fact they had the Underground railroad to help save people. I have seen one of these tunnels and I sat there and cried.

The only problem Canada has had is with the French Canadians while they have tried to sort out their issues.

So Canada has a hue Carribean and Somalian black Community and everyone pretty well gets along. Of course, as the years have progressed there have been some problems as I have said, but nothing like here.

Do you know how many years it took for my neighbours to say hello to me because I was not black? But you know what?
I never stopped,ever. I said good morning and smiled every darn day. I never gave up.
Because I care about my fellow man.

Tichaona , of course this is going to happen again. No one even has to mention it as there is horrible racial profiling.

Stephen, I am not on the side of the pigs. I just want people to have a decent life. I am not in control of that however. I have never been in control of that. But I have respect. That's a big thing most people do not have for each other. Black or white.

Ealy, not what the black community wants?

You tell me how I am so ashamed of the people of my race how they treat African Americans. You tell me how I would do anything I possibly could because I have a good heart and I care.

If people would try and care and use their hearts, maybe there wold not be such a mess.

Good morning Matt Paust!

I swear God looks down on all of this and shakes his head just like me.
Love , respect and compassion is where it all begins.
And dear commenters that is what I have. THAT is where is starts.

If you have hate in your heart it only hurts yourself . No one else.

It is not usually those of us of older generations or parents who teach what the young of the U.S. or Cananda learn.
It is almost ALWAYS taught by those who suffer experiences by the butchers of the world as did this human being
Click on

I hate all our wars, but the war on drugs, which is a war on people living in poverty, is the worst. We criminalize an entire population, ghettoize an entire population, and then we have people armed who pull that trigger and ruin another family.
(P.S. have you ever watched The Wire?)
Whoa. I didn't read all the comments before posting my own. I'm going back to read through - seems like valid points are being made on both sides. About Oscar Grant not being named - that's likely because of the wording of the Open Call, which emphasized the trial, and thus the defendants name.
Institutionlized racism seems to be the subject that divides on this thread. Linda, as a white person who lived in predominately black neighborhoods in Seattle, I understand where you are coming from. I think you bear witness well, here. You're offering a perspective that is beautifully NOT about your assimilation. It's about your compassion and your experience.

Tichaona Chinyelyu - I HOPE I spelled that right! Your name itself is powerful. You bring an amazing discussion to the table - one that is DYING to happen. When does institutionalized racism end? Keeping people of color in poverty has been a very successful tactic towards destroying the middle class. As long as we wage war on people who live in poverty, aka "The War On Drugs", we disenfranchise entire communities and allow the elite to ruin our so called democracy.
I work in rape/crisis intervention and advocacy. Women of color never use our services. We do outreach, but the trip is too long, the phone call too risky, and mostly the danger is too much. We now have a bilingual counselor and have two women who can get our services because someone speaks their language.
I live in a white town - I grew up in multi ethnic towns and cities, but I fully admit to white privilege. It doesn't make me feel guilty. It makes me curious about history, law, and the attack that is happening every day on those who seem to be dispensable.(and plenty of white people living in poverty are also victimized).

We celebrate the elevation of a person of color as if that's unique. Why? because "THEY" got OUT? It takes a deeper look into a community that is under siege to understand the whole enchilada.

I'm so glad to see diverse voices here, and Linda? You are a wonderful and thoughtful person.
What a post.. If people really sat down and talked A LOT about their opinions we would not be in this mess.
Will ever end? When will people learn that no one is any higher than anyone else. No one is any better than anyone else?
We are all one and the same.
One writer recommends that we make "a commitment to honestly and bravely addressing the problem." Excellent advice.

Let's start by getting straight the fundamental terms of reference.

Thugs who break into the homes of black people, who steal the purses of black grandmothers, who hijack the cars of black teachers, who rob the tills of black businesses, who cheer the gang rape of young black women, and who poison the bodies of black drug addicts are not 'warriors'.

Repeat: they are not 'warriors'. They are criminals and cowards. They are not to be lionized, empowered, enabled or excused. They are bullies with a gun and a stash.

It is foolish and patronizing to elevate their sociopathy to the rank of 'warrior'. The men who liberated Dachau were 'warriors'. The man who stood alone in front of the tanks of Tienanmen Square was a 'warrior'. The long suffering of Nelson Mandela was that of a 'warrior'.

The rioters of Oakland -- or any other community -- are not 'warriors'. Why do you raise their ceaseless black-on-black violence to a perverse heroism?

I'm sorry, but you are simply gullible.

A man who steals bread for his family behaves in a way that is humanly understandable. A thug who steals the Nikes from a 14 year old? According to you, a 'warrior'.

This is absurd.

Or perhaps I missed the part where Gandhi liberated India by stealing iPods.
Great comments, aim and calaverasgrande. This is the kind of intelligent, informed discussion that can help others understand what's going on here. Much better than hurling insults at one another.

Alison, have you considered a career in diplomacy? ;-|
You're on one-track mind bender here, Fawcett. But go ahead and rant, if Linda allows it. Others, such as aim and calaverasgrande, have introduced an unbigoted, experienced intelligence into the discussion, so you are simply repeating your vitriol to a diminishing, if existent, audience.
@calverasgrande: I think I get what you're saying, but it's like you're shifting the blame onto the community (ieas) that are under siege.
And who listens to it? White suburban youth aching for a ghetto experience. And who promotes it? An industry that now controls most of the media.
And where do you see it? Through television.
The problem is not young people being artists - its the co-opting of young artists on every level.
The day we see a young black man and DON'T think "basketball or rap" and instead think "scientist, author, librarian, landlord, penguin researcher, person who can go anywhere and do anything" is a day I look forward to.
I can't blame anyone for receiving negative messages about themselves, constantly.
Hey, I'm a woman. I'm fat and I smell bad and only exist to reproduce or steal husbands!
@ S. Fawcett: You're talking about a subject that has, I think, been concluded. The "warrior" thing was likely a misstep by a writer who didn't see how her words would be received.
You seem to adhere to the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" theory. I disagree. Let's talk - Linda has given me permission to hijack her blog. I think she has! I'm pretty sure. Well, I'm unstoppable now.
"Ghetto Gospel" may have started as art capturing life, but when it feeds the life it depicts it's counterproductive, in my opinion. I agree with calaverasgrande that romanticizing the hoodlum lifestyle seduces new recruits rather than discouraging boys from following. Where are the community athletic programs that can help wean youngsters away from the criminal mystique?

The Wire. Thanks, aim. Some accurate portrayals, including much discouraging reality, but also some positive examples.
Leaving for a while. Not ferklempt, but the lawn needs mowing. Talk amongst yourselves.
Hey Matt: I thought my names was 'Fawkes'. Oh well. Many people have trouble getting their terms straight.

Sir Isaac taught that "science begins with the naming of things". So too, I think, does logic. The disinterested debate you claim to wish cannot succeed if it begins with a false premise.

There is no evidence to suggest that the problems in Oakland begin with the hard working black merchants of San Pablo Avenue, the black teachers at McClymonds, or the black couples out for a peaceful walk of a warm Oakland evening.

There is a hood or gangstah mentality out there, as another writer put it, that pervades certain districts. This mentality will justify its violence as best it can. Mostly, it cannot.

It is, in fact, a sociopathy akin to anti-semitism, homophobia, and the 'rationale' of men who would keep women imprisoned in the burkka.

I am certain you wish well the good people of Oakland. I don't doubt it. It doesn't hurt to name their oppressors. One of them wore a uniform, and is currently on trial. He certainly looks guilty to me, but we presume innocence.

The other wears a different kind of uniform, and he is currently riding around Oakland robbing kids of their dignity and their hope.

No debate is ever damaged by the presentation of a few facts. Ego? Perhaps. Fair-minded debate? Never.

'Warriors' indeed.
I will add this before I go: Neither I nor Fawcett have dibs on defining "warrior." If someone considers himself a warrior - no matter what ideology he may or may not embrace - and he dresses and carries himself in a manner that suggests he considers himself a combatant, and is armed or likely to be armed because of the other signals he emits, he is, for all practical purposes, a warrior.

Merely calling an enemy soldier a terrorist, criminal or thug does not negate his warrior status - to himself and his compatriots. He may well also be a criminal, terrorist or thug, but it's his combative identity that ultimately defines him.

Again, check out The Wire.
My apologies, Stephen. I have trouble keeping new names straight with all the scrolling up and down.
@matt: I think the self perpetuating part is the flaw in these disussions.
White people sell the hood wholesale. And white people, like me, work in ghettoized areas, and come home to fake ganstas with acne and not a single "cred" to their name.
We promote it through the ridiculous war on drugs, and we support it through allowing violence to become credibility.
I want grocery stores in underserved neighborhoods. I want good mass transit. I want the "hood" to be something beyond a glamorous violence - because the children who grow up only see that image mirrored.
I'm naive - I want a multi-cultural middle class.
Rant over.
I have no idea where your couples are strolling on a summer night in Oakland but they are not in this neighbourhood.

My friend went out to smoke a cigarette at 7 pm right outside the door and was hijacked by warrior hoodlums.

A week later his neighbour came home at 6 pm and had the same thing happen to him.

Do you know how many stolen license plates have to be replaced?

I know a hard working dry cleaner near San Pablo. They came in and took all her money.

Yes some are criminals, some steal to feed their families, some to prove a point.

Sometimes I think it is all like a scenario out of Mad Max..
Were they not all labeled warriors?
I want the very same things you do
Ok, I disagree with the term warriors -because I think the women fighting to save families are the real warriors, and the men who reject thug life are warriors. But the term "combatant" comes to mind, since our country is at war on the disenfranchised.
I call them Proud Black Women. I wish I could be so talented as they are to hold it all together.
this whole notion of "warriors" is funny as hell.

why come the definition keeps referring to their attire as if the way a person dresses represents a declaration of war, not a fashion statement?

i mean hell, because charlie daniels fits the stereotype of someone who sells and drinks moonshine, doesn't mean i'm going to be very, very bold about saying he's a warrior for the klan. and so deserves to be shot [face down, unarmed and prostrate on the floor] by someone who's job it is to fight the klan.

that's so illogical, it's funny!

i also think it needs to be said that someone in a button down three piece business suit does more damage to the black community and the white community and the latino community and the asian community than one or a group of black kids in whatever is the current fashion nowadays who, for all their externally-attributed "warrior" status, are politically voiceless.
Linda: Don't you see the flaw? "I call them..." I know you get it, but theses statements create an "us vs. them". I struggle with it every day - slipping into my inherent racism.
White people need to change in order for racism to slowly go away.

The whole world has hootchie mamas, drug addicts, absentee fathers, and sociopaths. Lets translate our stereotypes into Swedish or Japanese.
Oh look, it's the same thing in a different language!
The U.S. is unique in continuing to wage war on its own population.
aim, the problem is a lot of white people will not change. They reist change. That is a huge problem.
Tichaona, I have been following your comments and nodding in agreement with you on this post as well as others. Until this last round. Pigs of every color? Really?
" whoever of whatever skin color puts on a blue uniform, that person is now a pig to me, black or brown or white. male or female. a pig is a pig and i'm colorblind when it comes to that because it's the institution...."
I wish you could make me understand that statement.
Involuntary Manslaughter.

Joan, what is it that you don't understand? I'd be happy to explain.
@Seer: I wish a five-year-old boy's skin color didn't affect how he was treated, but you have to go back a lot further than that.
Lawless Lawyer,
You are so right. Just so right.
Tichaona, I have watched time after time white cops beating/shooting black men. I have watched them be acquitted time after time. I despise them and the juries that let them go free.
I have not seen this happen in reverse. I have not heard of cases of black cops beating/shooting white men with absolutely no provocation. Nor am I familiar with cases of female cops being abusive to either race.
Correct me if I am wrong. This is precisely why I don't understand the uniform, the job itself making people "pigs."
Joan, I understand your contempt completely. It is true. Police brutality is mainly a white on black thing rather than the other way around. I'm not disputing that.

However, the problem with the police is deeper than "just" brutality. It's part of the war on the black community. The way the police function is similar to the way the military functions in Afghanistan: an occupying army. Anybody of any color or gender who puts on that uniform is part and parcel of that army even if all they do is push papers.
Tichaona, I respectfully disagree.
Now, I'm sure where we agree again is the bs sentence the jury gave him. I'm not an attorney, but involuntary manslaughter is about 2-4 years, no?
He was also convicted on a weapons charge which adds more years to the 2-4.
They say possibly 7.
But today I talked with a woman that her son just got out of prison on drug charges and he was in jail for 21 years. 21 years
Joan, that's perfectly within your right. Yes, that's what I've heard but don't know for sure.
Linda, I don't even think most drug convictions deserve jail. At least not the people using it. But that's another rant for another day. I'm really sickened by this whole thing.
I'm still pissed that transit police are armed. Really - a huge difference from regular police. It's like Halliburton has taken over - the new Pinkertons - and nobody knows how to fucking behave.
I'm safe. Nobody shoots fat white women afaik.
I don't care about the sentence - I care about the fact that he was armed in the first place.
What are the guidelines to have armed transit workers? I'll look it up.
Aim, I know that Linda just got on a plane, so I'm answering your last comment.:)
Metro police in D.C. are armed as well.
Thanks Joan. I had no idea that transit police were under the same guidelines as regular police. I somehow thought it was different.
I guess I live in the burbs...I truly apologize for my ignorance.
Seer, speaking plainly, I don't see how it can be solved - at this point in time - because of dishonesty, anger, whining, depression, disassociation, "guilt" and also, because of a lack of creative thinking. For example:

I was watching the scene in downtown Oakland yesterday and I wondered why the police were there. {law n order types don't bother to respond because all your gonna do is use code speak to call black people niggers and i don't have the energy for your tomfoolery} I mean I know minimal "damage" happened [what could be more damaging than having your child murdered...and seeing it over and over on the tv?] but having a heavy police presence during a reaction to a verdict about police brutality seems like throwing fuel on the fire.

there seems to be a serious need for some type of buffer organization between the black community and the police.

aren't y'all relieved i'm not referring them as what they are, pigs?