|Posted by onetarogers on March 3, 2017 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
You are Batman
You are dark, love gadgets and have vowed to help the innocent not suffer the pain you have endured.
|Posted by onetarogers on July 14, 2013 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
TAMPA, Fla. -- Marissa Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison.
Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of a toddler and 11-year-old twins, knew it was coming. She had claimed self-defense, tried to invoke Florida's "stand your ground" law and rejected plea deals that could have gotten her a much shorter sentence. A jury found her guilty as charged: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Because she fired a gun while committing a felony, Florida's mandatory-minimum gun law dictated the 20-year sentence.
Her case in Jacksonville has drawn a fresh round of criticism aimed at mandatory-minimum sentencing laws. The local NAACP chapter and the district's African-American congresswoman say blacks more often are incarcerated for long periods because of overzealous prosecutors and judges bound by the wrong-headed statute. Alexander is black.
It also has added fuel to the controversy over Florida's "stand your ground" law, which the judge would not allow Alexander to invoke. State Attorney Angela Corey, who also is overseeing the prosecution of shooter George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, stands by the handling of Alexander's case. Corey says she believes Alexander aimed the gun at the man and his two sons, and the bullet she fired could have ricocheted and hit any of them.
At the May 11 sentencing, Alexander's relatives begged Circuit Judge James Daniel for leniency but he said the decision was "out of my hands."
"The Legislature has not given me the discretion to do what the family and many others have asked me to do," he said.
The state's "10-20-life" law was implemented in 1999 and credited with helping to lower the violent crime rate. Anyone who shows a gun in the commission of certain felonies gets an automatic 10 years in prison. Fire the gun, and it's an automatic 20 years. Shoot and wound someone, and it's 25 years to life.
Critics say Alexander's case underscores the unfair sentences that can result when laws strip judges of discretion. About two-thirds of the states have mandatory-minimum sentencing laws, mostly for drug crimes, according to a website for the Families Against Mandatory Minimums advocacy group.
"We're not saying she's not guilty of a crime, we're not saying that she doesn't deserve some sort of sanction by the court," said Greg Newburn, Florida director for the group. Rather, he said, the judge should have the authority to decide an appropriate sanction after hearing all the unique circumstances of the case.
U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown, D-Jacksonville, has been an advocate for Alexander. Brown was present at the sentencing, where she and Corey had a brief, terse exchange afterward as sign-toting supporters rallied outside the courthouse.
"The Florida criminal justice system has sent two clear messages today," Brown said afterward. "One is that if women who are victims of domestic violence try to protect themselves, the `Stand Your Ground Law' will not apply to them. ... The second message is that if you are black, the system will treat you differently."
Victor Crist was a Republican state legislator who crafted the "10-20-life" bill enacted in 1999 in Gov. Jeb Bush's first term. He said Alexander's sentence – if she truly did fire a warning shot and wasn't trying to kill her husband – is not what lawmakers wanted.
"We were trying to get at the thug who was robbing a liquor store who had a gun in his possession or pulled out the gun and threatened someone or shot someone during the commission of the crime," said Crist, who served in the state House and Senate for 18 years before being elected Hillsborough County commissioner.
On Aug. 1, 2010, Alexander was working for a payroll software company. She was estranged from her husband, Rico Gray, and had a restraining order against him, even though they'd had a baby together just nine days before. Thinking he was gone, she went to their former home to retrieve the rest of her clothes, family members said.
An argument ensued, and Alexander said she feared for her life when she went out to her vehicle and retrieved the gun she legally owned. She came back inside and ended up firing a shot into the wall, which ricocheted into the ceiling.
Gray testified that he saw Alexander point the gun at him and looked away before she fired the shot. He claims she was the aggressor, and he had begged her to put away the weapon.
A judge threw out Alexander's "stand your ground" self-defense claim, noting that she could have run out of the house to escape her husband but instead got the gun and went back inside. Alexander rejected a plea deal that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence and chose to go to trial. A jury deliberated 12 minutes before convicting her.
"The irony of the 10-20-life law is the people who actually think they're innocent of the crime, they roll the dice and take their chances, and they get the really harsh prison sentences," Newburn said. "Whereas the people who think they are actually guilty of the crime take the plea deal and get out (of prison) well before. So it certainly isn't working the way it is intended."
Alexander was also charged with domestic battery four months after the shooting in another assault on Gray. She pleaded no contest and was sentenced to time served.
Her family says that doesn't erase the fact that a relatively law-abiding person – a woman with a master's degree – who was making positive contributions to society will endure prison for two decades over a single violation in which no one was hurt.
"She had a restraining order against him. Now Marissa is incarcerated and he's not," said her father, Raoul Jenkins. "I'm wrestling with that in my mind and trying to determine how the system worked that detail out. It's really frustrating."
Newburn says Alexander's case is not an isolated incident, and that people ensnared by mandatory-minimum laws cross racial barriers.
In central Florida, a white man named Orville Lee Wollard is nearly two years into a 20-year sentence for firing his gun inside his house to scare his daughter's boyfriend. Prosecutors contended that Wollard was shooting at the young man and missed.
He rejected a plea deal that offered probation but no prison time. Like Alexander, he took his chances at trial and was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm. Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen said he was "duty bound" by the 10-20-life law to impose the harsh sentence.
"I would say that, if it wasn't for the minimum mandatory aspect of this, I would use my discretion and impose some separate sentence, having taken into consideration the circumstances of this event," Jacobsen said.
|Posted by onetarogers on June 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM||comments (0)|
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
|Posted by onetarogers on December 17, 2012 at 3:30 AM||comments (0)|
Son Jumped By Whites, Sentenced To 12 Years: Mom Demands Justice!
In October of 2006, the Jackson family of Solomons, Md., would be rocked, when their 21-year-old son, Brandon (pictured), was reportedly jumped by 7 to 8 White males. Six years later, Brandon would be sentenced by a nearly all-White jury to 12 years in prison for attempted murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a wea
r defending himself against one of the “victims.” Struck down but buoyed by faith, Brandon’s mother, Gloria Fisher, spoke with NewsOne about how she won’t stop until she gets justice for Brandon.
The Day That Changed Everything
While Brandon helped his employer move furniture at her house in Jackson, N.J., he allegedly noticed that a fight had broken out at a party across the street. After walking toward the altercation to investigate the melee, one of the individuals involved, who is said to have been visibly intoxicated along with the raucous group, began fighting with him.
According to Gloria, Brandon quickly shut the aggressor down and attempted to return to the house he came from.
But that would be just the beginning.
The aggressor — now allegedly armed with 7 to 8 other White males in tow — followed Brandon and then reportedly began stomping and kicking him while yelling, “Kill the n*gger!”
According to Gloria, Brandon pulled out his 3-inch work pocket knife in self-defense, forcing the group back, but it was the homeowner’s call to police that would finally force the motley group to stand down.
On the police report, even though the officer would list the incident as a “racial offense” and Brandon would sustain injuries to the back of his head and knees and even had a fingernail bitten off, he would later be the only one charged with aggravated assault and illegal weapons possession.
The Beginning of a Nightmare
It wasn’t until April of 2009 that Brandon’s case would go to a grand jury. By then, the charges would somehow be trumped up to include attempted murder.
Even though Brandon’s lawyer would manage to get a statement from the homeowner, proving that he had indeed been attacked by the group of White teens, the prosecutor’s office reportedly refused to give this vital information to the defense attorney. Brandon’s trial would then be postponed yet again before finally taking place in September 2011 — almost 5 years after the trial first began.
|Posted by onetarogers on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM||comments (0)|
Despite having a film based on "The Deacons Of Defense," with actor Forrest Whitaker portraying Robert Hicks (above)-the story about Robert Hicks and his group-the Deacons for Defense have all but been erased from public consciousness.
You check on familiar touch points like YouTube and there's nothing there. Pictures are hard to find and articles are scant. The thought of armed Black men standing up to the KKK and successfully protecting lives during the harsh days of the Jim Crow South is a scary thought for many. The truth of the matter is many African Americans did not sit back and just allow themselves to be beaten and terrorized by the KKK. Hicks represented an underplayed part of our history.
The passing of Robert Hicks (on April 13, 2010) hasn't really been acknowledged via media outlets.
Mr. Hicks was repeatedly jailed for protesting. He watched as his 15-year-old son was bitten by a police dog. The Klan displayed a coffin with his name on it beside a burning cross. He persisted, his wife said, for one reason: “It was something that needed to be done.”
Someone had called to say the Ku Klux Klan was coming to bomb Robert Hicks’s house. The police said there was nothing they could do. It was the night of Feb. 1, 1965, in Bogalusa, La.
The Klan was furious that Mr. Hicks, a black paper mill worker, was putting up two white civil rights workers in his home. It was just six months after three young civil rights workers had been murdered in Philadelphia, Miss.
Mr. Hicks and his wife, Valeria, made some phone calls. They found neighbors to take in their children, and they reached out to friends for protection. Soon, armed black men materialized. Nothing happened.
Less than three weeks later, the leaders of a secretive, paramilitary organization of blacks called the Deacons for Defense and Justice visited Bogalusa. It had been formed in Jonesboro, La., in 1964 mainly to protect unarmed civil rights demonstrators from the Klan. After listening to the Deacons, Mr. Hicks took the lead in forming a Bogalusa chapter, recruiting many of the men who had gone to his house to protect his family and guests.
By 1968, the Deacons had pretty much vanished. In time they were “hardly a footnote in most books on the civil rights movement.”
Mr. Hicks died of cancer at his home in Bogalusa on April 13 at the age of 81, his wife said. He was one of the last surviving Deacon leaders.
Sources: Mike Jones & The NY Times
|Posted by onetarogers on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM||comments (0)|
Feb. 11, 2012:
I write this with a heavy heart. We lost the greatest female singer of any generation last night!
When Cissy Houston first heard the news that her daughter had passed, reportedly, she started trembling and screaming "No! No! My baby! My baby!" as she sunk to the ground.
A film is already being planned, based on the life of Whitney Houston, written in the same vain as "Lady Sings The Blues." This will be an A-list project with unlimited financing but who could play Whitney Houston? A great actress lip synching or a Broadway star with a powerful voice?
Also, "Unsung," is interested in rushing an episode on the air before their season ends.
The tabloids are offering upwards to $1.2 million to members of Whitney's entourage. They want to know if anyone was able to take a cell phone pic of Whitney in the bath tub.
When Whitney Houston first arrived on the scene, she was groomed to become the next Diana Ross; she shunned expensive gowns in favor of blue jeans and sneakers. Whitney was a Jersey girl at heart and and she loved the New York Giants. She also loved Sylvia's soul food restaurant in New York.
Whitney's career closely mirrored Diana Ross's, first the hits and then the big grossing film (The Bodyguard).
After "The Bodyguard," Whitney was besieged with offers, including a remake of "Cleopatra Jones," she was also offered $1 million dollars to perform for a royal family, and she was approached to perform in Las Vegas for $1.5 million per month but due to unfortunate circumstances she was unable to undertake any of these projects.
What was her attraction to Ray J? Whitney started out as a family friend and considered Brandy a little sister but like everyone else, she saw Ray J's sex tape with Kim and became interested.
At the time of Whitney's and Bobby's courtship, people were surprised because Bobby was in hot pursuit of Rosie Perez at the time.
Whitney used to date Eddie Murphy and really loved him, but it can only be one star in Murphy's household; she even tried to get Eddie jealous by dating Randall Cunningham but it didn't work.
Whitney was a celebrity among celebrities. When Faith Evans had a minor scrape with the law in L.A., Whitney called, is there anything you need? Does anyone need to take your kids to school? Whitney was a good friend to have and Mary J. Blige was her favorite singer.
WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU WHITNEY! RIP!
|Posted by onetarogers on July 7, 2011 at 4:04 PM||comments (0)|
The Mortal Immortal by Mary Shelley:
July 16, 1833.--today is my 323rd birthday!
The Wandering Jew?--certainly not. More than 18 centuries have passed over his head. Compared to him, I am a very young Immortal.
Am I, then, immortal? This I have asked myself day and night for 303 years; yet I cannot answer. I found a gray hair amid my brown locks this very day. Yet it may have remained concealed there for 300 years. Some 20-year-olds are whiteheaded.
You may judge for me. I will tell my story, and pass some few hours of a long and wearisome eternity. To live forever! Can it be? I have heard of enchantments that plunged the victims into deep sleep, to wake, after 100 years, fresh as ever; I have heard of the Seven Sleepers--thus to be immortal would not be so burdensome: but, oh! the weight of neverending time--the tedious passage of the still-succeeding hours! But to my task.
Everyone has heard of Cornelius Agrippa. His memory is as immortal as his arts have made me. Everyone has also heard of his scholar, who, unawares, raised the foul fiend during his master's absence, and was destroyed. The report, true or false, of this accident, caused the renowned philosopher many inconveniences. All his scholars and servants deserted him. He had no one to put coals on his ever-burning fires while he slept, or to attend to the changeful colors of his medicines while he studied. Experiment after experiment failed.
I was then very young, very poor, and very much in love. I had been for about a year the pupil of Cornelius, though I was absent when this accident occured. On my return, my friends told me the dire tale, imploring me not to return to the alchemist's abode. I required no second warning; when Cornelius came and offered me a purse of gold if I would remain under his roof, I felt as if Satan himself tempted me. My teeth chattered; my hair stood on end. I fled as fast as my trembling knees would permit.
My failing steps were directed whither for two years they had every evening been attracted: a bubbling spring of pure living waters, beside which lingered a dark-haired girl, whose beaming eyes were fixed on the path I was accustomed each night to tread. I cannot remember a time when I did not love Bertha; we had been neighbors and playmates from infancy. Her parents, like mine, were of humble life, yet respectable; our attachment had been a source of pleasure to them. But a malignant fever had carried off both her father and mother, making Bertha an orphan. She would have found a home with us, but, unfortunately, the old lady of the near castle, rich, childless, and solitary, adopted her. Henceforth Bertha was highly favored by fortune. But in her new situation among new associates, Bertha remained true to the friend of her humbler days; she often visited my father's cottage, and when forbidden to go thither, she would meet me beside that shady fountain in the neightboring wood.
She often declared that she owed no duty to her new protectress equal in sanctity to that which bound us. Yet I remained too poor to marry, and she grew weary of being tormented on my account. She had a haughty, impatient spirit, and grew angry at the obstacles preventing our union. We met now after an absence, and she had been sorely beset while I was away; she complained bitterly, and almost reproached me for being poor.
I replied hastily, "I am honest, if I am poor! Were I not, I might soon become rich!"
This exclamation produced a thousand questions. I feared to shock her, but she drew the story from me. Then, with disdain, she said, "You pretend to love, yet you fear to face the Devil for my sake!"
Thus goaded, and led on by love and hope, I returned to accept the alchemist's offer, and was instantly installed in my office.
A year passed. My savings grew even as my fears dwindled. Despite my vigilance, I never detected a trace of a cloven foot, nor was the studious silence of our abode ever disturbed by demonic howls. I continued my stolen interviews with Bertha, and Hope dawned on me--but not perfect joy, for Bertha, though true of heart, was somewhat a coquette, and I was jealous as a Turk. She slighted me in a thousand ways, yet would never admit she was in the wrong. She would drive me mad with anger, then force me to beg her pardon. Sometimes, fancying I was not sufficiently submissive, she told some story of a rival, favored by her protectress. She was surrounded by rich, cheerful, silk-clad youths; what chance had the sad-robed scholar of Cornelius?
Once, the philosopher became engaged in some mighty work, and I was forced to remain, day and night, feeding his furnaces and watching his chemical preparations. Bertha waited for me in vain at the fountain. Her haughty spirit fired at this neglect; and when at last I stole out during the few short minutes alloted me for slumber, hoping to be consoled by her, she received me with disdain, dismissed me in scorn, and vowed that any man should possess her hand rather than he who could not be in two places at once for her sake. She would be revenged!--And truly she was. In my dingy retreat I heard she had been hunting, attended by Albert Hoffer. Hoffer was favored by her protectress, and the three passed in cavalcade before my smoky window. Methought I heard my name--followed by a derisive laugh, as her dark eyes glanced contemptuously toward my abode.
All the venom and misery of jealousy entered my breast. Now, I shed a torrent of tears, to think that I should never call her mine; anon, I cursed her inconstancy. Yet, still I must stir the fires of the alchemist, still attend the changes of his unintelligible medicines.
Cornelius had watched for three days and nights, nor closed his eyes. The progress of his alembics was slow. Despite his anxiety, sleep weighed on his eyelids. Again and again he threw off drowsiness with superhuman energy; again and again it stole away his senses. He eyed his crucibles wistfully. "Not ready yet," he murmured; "will another night pass before the work is accomplished? Winzy, my boy, you are vigilant and faithful--you slept last night. Look at that glass vessel. The liquid it contains has a soft rose-color; the moment it begins to change, awaken me--till then I may close my eyes. First, it will turn white, then emit golden flashes; but wait not till then; when the rose-color fades, rouse me." I scarcely heard the last words, muttered, as they were, in sleep. Even then he did not quite yield to nature. "Winzy, my boy," he again said, "touch not the vessel--do not put it to your lips; it is a philter to--to cure love; lest you cease loving your Bertha--beware to drink!"
And he slept. His venerable head sunk on his breast, and I scarce heard his regular breathing--for he had reminded me of Bertha. Serpents and adders filled my heart. False, cruel girl! Nevermore would she smile on me as that evening she smiled on Albert. Oh, how I wished them both dead! I despised her--and loved her. Yes, it was love that held me in hopeless, abject thrall to Bertha. Could I but regard her with indifference--forget her and love instead someone fairer and truer--that would be victory!
A bright flash darted before my eyes.
I had forgotten the adept's medicine! I gazed on it with wonder: flashes of admirable beauty, brighter than the gleams of a sunlit diamond, glanced from the surface of the liquid; the most fragrant and graceful odor stole over my sense; the vessel seemed one globe of living radiance, lovely to the eye, and irresistible to the taste. My first instinctive thought: I must drink! I raised the vessel to my lips. "It will cure me of love--of torture!" I had quaffed half of the most delicious liquor ever tasted by the palate of man, when the philosopher stirred. I started--dropped the glass--and the fluid flamed and spread along the floor, while Cornelius gripped my throat, shrieking, "Wretch! You have destroyed my lifework!"
The philosopher was unaware I had drunk any portion of his drug. He assumed I had raised the vessel from curiosity, and, frighted at its intense flashes, let it fall. I never undeceived him. The medicine's fire was quenched; its fragrance dissipated; he grew calm, as a philosopher should under the heaviest trials, and dismissed me to rest.
I cannot describe the sleep of glory and bliss which bathed my soul in paradise that memorable night. Words would be faint echoes of the gladness that possessed my bosom when I woke. I trod air; Earth appeared heaven, and my inheritance on it was to be one trance of delight. "This it is to be cured of love," I thought; "I will see Bertha today, and she will find her lover cold and regardless; too happy to be disdainful, yet utterly indifferent to her!"
The hours danced away. The philosopher, encouraged by his near-success, began concocting the same medicine once more. He was shut up with his books and drugs, and I had a holiday. I dressed carefully; looking in a mirror, I thought my good looks had wonderfully improved. I hurried beyond the precincts of the town, my soul joyous, the beauty of heaven and earth around me. I turned toward the castle; I could look on its lofty turrets with lightness of heart, for I was cured of love. My Bertha saw me afar off, as I strode up the avenue. I know not what sudden impulse animated her bosom, but at the sight, she sprang with a light fawnlike bound down the marble steps, and hastened toward me. But the old highborn hag, her protectress--nay, her tyrant!--had seen me also; she hobbled, panting, up the terrace; a page, as ugly as herself, held up her train, and fanned her as she hurried along, and stopped my fair girl with a "How, now, my bold mistress? Whither so fast? Back to your cage--hawks are abroad!"
Bertha clasped her hands, eyes still bent on my approaching figure. I saw the contest, and abhorred the old crone who checked the kind impulses of my Bertha's softening heart. Hitherto, respect for her rank had caused me to avoid the lady of the castle; now I disdained such trivial considerations. Cured of love, lifted above human fears, I hastened forward, and reached the terrace. How lovely Bertha looked--eyes flashing fire, cheeks glowing with impatience and anger. She was a thousand times more graceful and charming than ever. I no longer loved--Oh! no, I adored--worshipped--idolized her!
She had that morning been given an ultimatum: should she refuse immediate marriage with my rival, she would be cast out in disgrace and shame. Her proud spirit rose in arms at the threat; but when she remembered the scorn she had heaped upon me, and how, perhaps, she had thus lost her only true friend, she wept with remorse and rage. At that moment I appeared. "O, Winzy!" she exclaimed, "take me to your mother's cottage, away from the detested luxuries and wretchedness of this noble dwelling--take me to poverty and happiness."
I clasped her in my arms with transport. The old lady was speechless, and broke forth into furious invective only when we were far on the road. My mother received the fair fugitive, escaped from a gilt cage to nature and liberty; it was a day of rejoicing, which did not need the alchemist's celestial potion to steep me in delight.
I soon became Bertha's husband. I ceased to be the scholar of Cornelius, but continued his friend. I always felt grateful to him for that delicious draught of divine elixir, which, instead of curing me of love (sad cure! solitary and joyless remedy for evils which seem blessings now), had inspired me with the courage and resolution to win an inestimable treasure: my Bertha.
The invigorating, blissful effects of Cornelius' drink faded by degrees, yet lingered long--and painted life in hues of splendor. Bertha often wondered at my lightness of heart and unaccustomed gaiety; for, before, my disposition had been serious--even sad. She loved me the better for my cheerfulness, and our days were winged with joy.
Five years afterward I was unexpectedly summoned to the bedside of the dying Cornelius. I found him stretched enfeebled on his pallet; all of life that yet remained animated his piercing eyes, and they were fixed on a glass vessel full of roseate liquid.
"Behold," he said, in a broken, inward voice, "the vanity of human wishes! a second time my hopes are about to be crowned--and destroyed. Look at that liquor--five years ago I prepared the same, with the same success. Then, as now, my thirsting lips expected to taste the immortal elixir. You dashed it from me! and at present it is too late."
He spoke with difficulty, and fell back on his pillow. I could not help saying,--
"How, revered master, can a cure for love restore you to life?"
A faint smile gleamed across his face as I listened earnestly to his scarcely audible answer.
"A cure for love and for all things--the Elixir of Immortality. Ah! if now I might drink, I should live forever!"
As he spoke, a golden flash gleamed from the fluid; a well-remembered fragrance stole over the air; he raised himself, weak as he was--strength seemed miraculously to reenter his frame--he stretched forth his hand--a loud explosion startled me--a ray of fire shot up from the elixir, and the glass vessel containing it shivered to atoms! The philosopher fell back, eyes glassy, features rigid. He was dead!
But I lived and would live forever! So said the unfortunate alchemist, and for a few days I believed. I remembered the glorious drunkenness following my stolen draught, that bounding elasticity of frame and bouyant lightness of soul. I surveyed myself in a mirror, and could perceive no change in my features during the five years which had elapsed. I remembered the radiant hues and grateful scent of that delicious beverage--worthy of the gift it could bestow----I was, then, IMMORTAL!
I soon laughed at my credulity, however. The adage, "A prophet is least regarded in his own country," was true of me and my defunct master. I loved him as a man and respected him as a sage, but derided the notion that he could command the powers of darkness, and laughed at the superstitious fears with which vulgar folk regarded him. His science was simply human; and human science, I persuaded myself, could never conquer nature's laws so far as to imprison the soul forever within its carnal habitation. Cornelius had brewed a soul-refreshing drink--more inebriating than wine--sweeter and more fragrant than any fruit; it probably possessed strong medicinal powers, imparting gladness to the heart and vigor to the limbs; but its effects would wear off; already were they diminished. I was lucky to have quaffed health and joyous spirits, and perhaps long life, at my master's hands, but my good fortune ended there: longevity was far different from immortality.
Thus, for many years, I believed I would meet the fate of all the children of Adam at my appointed time--a little late, but still at a natural age. Yet I certainly retained a wonderfully youthful look. I was laughed at for my vanity in consulting the mirror so often, but I consulted it in vain--my brow was untrenched--my cheeks--my eyes--my whole person continued as untarnished as in my 20th year.
I grew troubled. I looked at Bertha's faded beauty--I seemed more like her son. And Bertha herself grew uneasy. She became jealous and peevish, and at length began to question me. We had no children; we were in all to each other; and though, as she grew older, her vivacious spirit became a little ill-tempered, and her beauty sadly diminished, I cherished her in my heart as the mistress I had idolized, the wife I had sought and won with perfect love.
But some obstacles love cannot overcome. Our neighbors became suspicious, calling me the "Scholar Bewitched" and spreading rumors that I had kept up an iniquitous acquaintance with some of my former master's supposed friends. I was regarded with horror and detestation, while poor Bertha was pitied, but deserted. I was forced to journey 20 miles, to some place where I was unknown, just to sell my farm's produce.
Finally we sat by our lonely fireside--the old-hearted youth and his antiquated wife. Again Bertha insisted on knowing the truth; she recapitulated all she had ever heard about me, and added her own observations. She entreated me to cast off the spell; she described how much more comely gray hairs were than my chestnut locks; she descanted on the reverence and respect due age. And could the despicable gifts of youth and good looks outweigh disgrace, hatred, and scorn? Nay, in the end I should be burnt as a dealer in the black art, while she might be stoned as my accomplice. At length she insinuated that I must share my secret with her, and bestow on her like benefits to those I myself enjoyed, or she would denounce me--then she burst into tears.
Thus beset, methought it best to tell the truth. I revealed it as tenderly as I could, and spoke only of very long life, not immortality. When I ended, I rose and said,
"And now, my Bertha, will you denounce the lover of your youth? You will not, I know. But you should suffer no more from my ill-luck and the accursed arts of Cornelius. I will leave you--you have wealth enough saved away, and friends will return in my absence. Young as I seem, and strong as I am, I can work and gain my bread among strangers, unsuspected and unknown. I loved you in youth; God is my witness that I would not desert you in age, but that your safety and happiness require it."
I took my cap and moved toward the door; in a moment Bertha's arms were around my neck and her lips pressed to mine. "No, my husband, my Winzy," she said, "you shall not go alone--take me with you. As you say, among strangers we shall be unsuspected and safe. I am not so very old as quite to shame you, my Winzy; and I dare say the charm will soon wear off, and, with the blessing of God, you will age as is fitting; you shall not leave me."
Thus we prepared secretly for our emigration. We made great pecuniary sacrifices--it could not be helped. We realized a sum sufficient, at least, to maintain us while Bertha lived; and, without saying adieu to anyone, quitted our native country to take refuge in a remote part of western France.
It was cruel to transport poor Bertha from her native village, and the friends of her youth, to a new country, new language, new customs. The strange secret of my destiny rendered this removal immaterial to me; but I compassioned her deeply, and was glad to perceive that she found compensation for her misfortunes in a variety of little ridiculous circumstances. She sought to decrease the apparent disparity of our ages by a thousand feminine arts--rouge, youthful dress, and assumed juvenility of manner. I grieved deeply when I remembered that this was my Bertha, whom I had loved so fondly--the dark-eyed, dark-haired girl, of enchanting smile and fawnlike step--this mincing, simpering, jealous old woman. I should have revered her gray locks and withered cheeks; but thus!--It was my fault, I knew; but I nonetheless deplored this type of human weakness.
Her jealousy never slept. Her chief occupation was to discover that, in spite of outward appearances, I was growing old. The poor soul loved me truly in her heart, but she had a tormenting way of showing it. She would discern wrinkles in my face and decrepitude in my walk, while I bounded along in youthful vigor, the youngest looking of 20 youths. I never dared address another woman; one time, fancying that the village belle regarded me with favoring eyes, she brought me a gray wig. Her constant discourse among her acquaintances was that though I looked so young, there was ruin at work within my frame; and she affirmed that the worst symptom about me was my apparent health. My youth was a disease, she said, and I ought always to prepare, if not for sudden and awful death, at least to awake some morning white-headed, and bowed down with the marks of advanced years. I let her talk--I ofted joined in her conjectures. Her warnings chimed in with my never-ceasing speculations concerning my state, and I took an earnest, though painful, interest in listening to all that her quick wit and excited imagination could say on the subject.
Why dwell on these minute circumstances? We lived on for many long years. Bertha became bedrid and paralytic: I nursed her as a mother might a child. She grew peevish, and still harped on one string--of how long I should survive her. It has ever been a source of consolation to me that I performed my duty scrupulously toward her. She had been mine in youth, she was mine in age, and at last, when I heaped the sod over her corpse, I wept because I had lost all that really bound me to humanity.
Since then how many have been my cares and woes, how few and empty my enjoyments! I pause here in my history--I will pursue it no further. A sailor without rudder or compass, tossed on a stormy sea--a traveler lost on a widespread heath, without landmark or stone to guide him--such have I been: more lost, more hopeless than either. A nearing ship, a gleam from some far cot, may save them; but I have no beacon except the hope of death.
Death! mysterious, ill-visaged friend of weak humanity! Why alone of all mortals have you cast me from your sheltering fold? O, for the peace of the grave! the deep silence of the iron-bound tomb! that thought would cease to work in my brain, and my heart beat no more with emotions varied only by new forms of sadness!
Am I immortal? I return to my first question. Is it not more probable that the alchemist's beverage was fraught rather with longevity than eternal life? Such is my hope. And remember that I only drank half the potion. Was not the whole necessary to complete the charm? To have drained half the Elixir of Immortality is but to be half immortal.
But again, infinity halved is still infinity.
Sometimes I fancy age advancing on me. One gray hair I have found. Fool! do I lament? Yes, the fear of age and death often creeps coldly into my heart, and the more I live, the more I dread death, even while I abhor life. Such a paradox is man--born to perish--when he wars, as I do, against the established laws of nature.
But for this fear surely I might die: the medicine of the alchemist would not be proof against fire, sword, and the strangling waters. I have gazed into the blue depths of placid lakes, and the tumultuous rushing of mighty rivers, and have said, peace inhabits those waters; yet I turned away, to live yet another day. I have pondered whether suicide would be a crime in one to whom thus only the portals of the other world could be opened. I have done all, except becoming a soldier or duelist, an object of destruction to my--no, not my fellow-mortals, and therefore I have shrunk away. They are not my fellows. The inextinguishable power of life in my frame, and their ephemeral existence, places us wide as the poles asunder. I could not raise a hand against the humblest or most powerful among them.
Thus I have lived on for many years--alone, and weary of myself--desiring death, yet never dying--a mortal immortal. Neither ambition nor avarice can enter my mind, and the ardent love that gnaws at my heart, never to be returned--never to find an equal on which to expend itself--lives there only to torment me.
Today I conceived a design by which I may end all--without self-slaughter, without making another man a Cain--an expedition no mortal frame could ever survive, even endued with the youth and strength that inhabits mine. Thus I shall put my immortality to the test, and rest forever--or return, the wonder and benefactor of the human species.
Before I go, a miserable vanity has caused me to pen these pages. I would not die, and leave no name behind. Three centuries have passed since I quaffed the fatal beverage; another year shall not elapse before, encountering gigantic dangers--warring with the powers of frost in their home--beset by famine, toil, and tempest--I yield this body, too tenacious a cage for the soul which thirsts for freedom, to the destructive elements of air and water--or, if I survive, my name shall be recorded among the most famous of the sons of men; and, my task achieved, I shall adopt more resolute means, and, by scattering and annihilating the atoms that compose my frame, set at liberty the life imprisoned within, and so cruelly prevented from soaring from this dim Earth to a sphere more congenial to its immortal essence.
|Posted by onetarogers on June 28, 2011 at 9:48 AM||comments (0)|
Dr. Boyce: BET Has Become The New KKK:
I just spent the week in New Orleans, the powerbase for one of the most talented, powerful and destructive forces in the history of music: Lil Wayne. I’ve admittedly bopped my head to the tunes of Lil Wayne in the past, feeling the same guilt that any man might feel if he were to enjoy a crack pipe or shot of heroine, knowing how these drugs destroy families, individuals and communities. In other words, I consider myself to be a Hip-Hop insider, and I simply hate the idea of being labeled as a hater. But as a father and Black man who has seen too much death and devastation in my family and so many others, I had to say that “enough is enough,” leading me to candidly discuss my decision to walk away from certain styles of Hip-Hop music.
BET, the media company that targets Black consumers, but is ultimately controlled by a predominantly white organization called Viacom, is not exactly on the same page when it comes to their assessment of Lil Wayne or any other artist (i.e. R. Kelly) who can be directly linked to the holocaust occurring within Black America today. Given that models of profit maximization rarely call for any assessment of the negative externalities that result from unethical corporate behavior, the executive committee for the BET Awards made the interesting decision to give the greatest number of award nominations to Lil Wayne, the man who said that he would (among other things) love to turn a woman out, murder her and send her dead body back to her boyfriend. Oh yea, he also said that he would kill little babies, have sex with every girl in the world, carry a gun on his hip and “leave a ni**a’s brains on the street.”
It might be almost feasible to overlook the “kill little babies comment” were it not for the innocent three-year old boy who was shot in the head by a 21-year old Black male in my hometown just a couple of weeks ago – these atrocities are all too common in quite a few neighborhoods across America. Also, the music might be considered simple entertainment were it not for the fact that millions of Black youth who had their history stolen during slavery actually look to Hip-Hop music to tell them how to dress, talk, think, act and live. There is no high school speaker more popular than a Hip-Hop star.
The Ku Klux Klan has been regularly criticized for encouraging violence against African Americans and terrorizing our community. But the truth is that the Klan doesn’t have much power anymore, and their thirst for African American blood seems to have waned a bit. At the same time, Lil Wayne and artists like him have made a habit of encouraging Black men to shoot one another, to abuse or murder women, to consume suicidal amounts of drugs and alcohol and to engage in irresponsible, deadly sexual behavior.
As a result, Black men are the most likely to die of gun violence, mass incarceration continues to decimate Black families, drug addiction and possession ruins Black lives in droves, and HIV is the leading killer of Black women. So, the truth is that Lil Wayne-like artists and the corporate armies producing this weaponized genocide have killed more Black people than the KKK ever could. So, by accelerating, financing and supporting the “Lil Wayne gospel” to a community that is already dying, BET has effectively positioned itself as a new and improved version of the KKK.
It’s one thing if BET reports on the activities of Lil Wayne or even has him as a guest on their network; we all know that celebrities increase ratings, and as a Business School Professor, I understand the need to pay the bills. But by publicly rewarding his behavior, they are encouraging every record company executive and Lil Wayne wannabe to go to the lab and manufacture more musical poison. As a result, there is some 10-year old boy putting down his textbook to watch the BET Awards, and effectively attending the Lil Wayne School of Black Male behavior. Years later, when this boy shoots another Black man in the face, infects one of his many “hoes” with HIV, ends up in a prison cell, dies from a drug overdose or beats his girlfriend to death, we will be able to link his behavior directly to his formative years, when we cashed in this child’s future for higher shareholder returns at Viacom.
Perhaps a day will come when those of us who know destructive music when we hear it – will actually have the discipline to draw lines and seek accountability – rather than look the other way. It’s not as if you can argue that Lil Wayne is actually GOOD for Black America, and it’s small-minded to justify a man’s reckless behavior just because he’s wealthy.
Charles Manson is considered one of the most vicious killers in history, yet he never actually murdered a soul. He has been in prison for 40 years because he convinced others to commit murder, controlling their minds through comfortable words and charisma. If Manson had been given the platform supplied by BET and the rest of corporate America and a license to share his rhetoric without restraint, he could have caused the deaths of millions more. So, by publicly rewarding and applauding the words of Lil Wayne, BET is giving his beloved message a level of power and penetration that is fit for a king – most interesting is that Wayne’s endorsement of killing women and children is far more vicious than anything Manson ever said.
So, the next time we turn to the KKK, Tea Partiers or the Republicans as the greatest enemies of Black people, we might want to take a look in the mirror. By cheering for those who recite lyrics that encourage us to kill our babies, we are effectively sleeping with and protecting the enemy.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email,please click here.
Jesse Was Right – It’s Time To End The War On Drugs
|Posted by onetarogers on June 7, 2011 at 10:32 PM||comments (0)|
Mobs in India attack Jehovah’s Witnesses with impunity BANGALORE, India—Incidents of mob attacks against Jehovah’s Witnesses have been reported with increasing frequency in some states in India. The attackers gather in gangs of 20 to 50 individuals to intimidate small groups of Witnesses engaging in the peaceful Christian ministry that they are well-known for. Some of the mobs threaten to murder and rape the Witnesses.
On March 26, 2011, in the southern state of Karnataka, a group of four Witnesses (three adult females and one adult male) had just finished enjoying several friendly conversations with people in a village near the town of Madikeri, when they were approached by a man who inquired about the purpose of their visit. The man began placing cell phone calls to individuals belonging to the groups Bajrang Dal (a militant Hindu organization) and Jagran Vedike. This led to a mob of 50 people surrounding the Witnesses, threatening the three women with rape, and attempting to tie the man to a tree, douse him with kerosene, and burn him alive. After several minutes of abuse, the police arrived and brought the Witnesses to the station for questioning. All four Witnesses were arrested and ordered to spend four days in jail before being released on bail. On April 1, 2011, a member of the Witnesses’ human rights legal staff, along with three of his associates (one of the associates being a non-Witness), traveled to the village where the mob activity occurred to obtain firsthand information. However, the four were ambushed by a mob on their way back. The Witnesses in the group were verbally abused, beaten with belts and sticks, stripped of their clothing, and then forced to walk in a half-naked state along a public road. The non-Witness was not assaulted. Thereafter, the mob called a few local television stations to come and film the incident. The Witnesses were then taken to the police station where they were criminally charged, based on the fabricated statements of the mob. They were released from jail six days later. A similar incident occurred on the same day in the state capital of Bangalore. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses were speaking to a man on the topic of raising children in today’s challenging society. Although the man was initially friendly toward the Witnesses, they noticed the man making a phone call urging a friend to come to his apartment while the Witnesses were still there. The Witnesses also observed that the friend, upon arrival at the apartment, began calling several others. Sensing what was happening, the two Witnesses tried to leave peacefully, but were prevented from doing so by a growing mob. The mob began beating the two Witnesses along with two other Witnesses who were also present in the area. Finally, the attackers dragged the four Witnesses to the police station and contacted a local news station. One of the attackers inside the police station tore his own shirt, and then went outside claiming that the Witnesses had assaulted him and tore his shirt when he refused to convert. The man was interviewed by a reporter and his fabricated statement was later publicized in the local news coverage of the incident. All four Witnesses spent one night in jail and were released the following day on a cash bail of 10,000 INR ($226 US) each.
Criminal complaints have been filed in all three incidents, requesting the police to investigate and prosecute the violent actions of those responsible for the mob attacks. These attacks are a clear violation of constitutional rights protecting freedom of religion in India.
Belgium: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses, tel. +32 2 782 0015; mobile +32 475 58 10 36
Britain: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses, tel. +44 208 906 2211
United States: J. R. Brown, tel. +1 718 560 5600
Last updated 07 June 2011 17:37:58 GMT
|Posted by onetarogers on March 14, 2011 at 3:19 AM||comments (0)|
monday march 14,2011
yesterday was my birthday and it was one of the worse days of my life.
I did nothing all day, exsecpt for going to my aunts house, that was cool but I did nothing else.
to top it off I no longer have stars,showtime,or HBO. that made my day so much worse.