Cruel World : An Analysis of “From Cruelty to Goodness” by Philip Hallie

“From Cruelty to Goodness” is an article by Philip Hallie and defines what cruelty means and also identifies institutional cruelty. He begins by analyzing the different possible definitions of cruelty and comes across some that would make sense but still are not concrete. Once cruelty is shown, the victim will have emotional pain, physical, and their dignity and self-respect are crushed. Additionally, they will feel embarrassed and helpless to defend themselves from the cruelty. He goes into describing all these characteristics as being part of what is known as institutional cruelty. Cruelty can be seen throughout many institutions such as the political system, religion, and economics. In this case, some people become oblivious to the cruelty that goes on in their society, ignore it, and wait until there’s some kind of solution. One criterion of cruelty is the power imbalance and how the powerful do anything and by any means necessary to get what they want from the powerless. This is evident with institutional cruelty where a dominant group controls and inflicts fear, and violence towards their victims. The power imbalance between the two cannot be removed but could help put cruelty to a halt, but there are still repercussions that still exist. The victims still maintain their dignity, but cruelty would still be inflicted and remain. On the other hand, many would agree that kindness is the opposite of cruelty or the solution, but can be a problem on its own. First off, it can come across as the “ultimate cruelty” and if the kindness is being shown that doesn’t compensate for the fact that cruelty is still going to happen. This is called “Gilded the chain” and Fredrick Douglas compared it to the experience between slaves and their master. Hallie believes the opposite of cruelty is hospitality, and he describes that as showing unconditional love and affection. Hospitality can be effective because it can temporarily eliminate the power imbalance and help restore the victim’s dignity and self-respect. He gave an example about how the villagers’ o Le Chambon accepted and welcomed the Jews who escaped Germany after World War 2? In contrast, other nations didn’t accept them and turned them away. Once the Jewish families came to Le Chambon the villagers provided them with everything they needed and treated them as their equals. The Jews went from being dehumanized to feeling wanted and cared for, and that helped their terrified hearts. Hallie would tell this story while in the U.S. and felt glad that a French woman thanked him for telling the story and the village that saved three children. Le Chambon was the rainbow in the perspective of the refugee Jews and the institutional cruelty they faced was the storm. This article followed a pluralistic principle and those would be “be your brother’s keeper”. In this story, the villagers were helping the weak and afraid. Also staying true to not killing or betraying, but showing love and gratification should be learned by the villagers of Le Chambon. 

If you enjoyed learning something new from this post, give it a like and follow so you can stay up to date with my future posts. As always peace and keep it real.

The Warsaw Ghetto Beat Back Typhus. There Are Lessons For Today's Pandemic  : Goats and Soda : NPR

What is honor, really?

  • “Desperation brings out the demon in the best of men” – Jin Sakai 

      Even though a fictional character this is a profound quote from Jin Sakai from the critically acclaimed PS4 game “Ghost of Tsushima”. He saw bloodshed and terror firsthand on his homeland the island of Tsushima Japan. Adversity created an unrelenting warrior spirit that caused him to stop at nothing to defend his people against Mongol invasion by any means necessary and one of them being “Ghost tactics” which allowed him to become a frightening force and mythical as the story progresses. The way of the Ghost is seen as dishonorable when compared to the conventional Samurai way his uncle taught him, and to be honest, I understand his uncles perspective of defeating enemies in battle with honor, but when push comes to shove I don’t think it has to apply when the annihilation and brutality from foes (Mongols) are on a massive scale, and any victim is open to death. In regards to that, the Samurai way had a propensity to follow a strict code but when desperation to see your people survive, the anger to defend them becomes the mission and the tactics to get it done becomes deadlier, and less merciful. So, to what extent will you consider disregarding honor to protect yourself and the people you love from any enemy that will stop at nothing to harm and eliminate you and your people? Or do you think showing honor and mercy towards an enemy is the sensible way to deliver defeat?

Mary Turner and The May 1918 Lynchings

  • This entry of Black History 365 has situations of graphic violence. Reader discretion is advised.

This true crime story I’ll be presenting in this entry Black History 365  is an event in history that I for one didn’t know about and you might not have known. The horrors of slavery and Jim Crow segregation complied an array of racial terror attacks that were brutal and some of them did make it front-page news i.e. Till murder.  This true-crime story in Black History I’m going to present was one of the many deaths that served as in the inspiration for Billie Holiday’s song “Strange Fruit”. With that said, onto the events that occurred on the date of May 19th 1918 in Southern Georgia, United States. 

May 19th 1918 in Southern Georgia, United States was a terrifying day that ended in the gruesome murders of a group of black individuals in the form of lynchings. The most notable death was a woman by the name of Mary Turner. Not much is know about Mary Turner’s background, but what is known is that she was a soon to be a mother before her murder. 

Mary Turner, a black woman who was eight months pregnant, was lynched by a white mob from Brooks County, Georgia at  Folsom’s Bridge 16 miles north of Valdosta for speaking publicly against the lynching of her husband the day before. What I’m about to say is going to be graphic, so you’ve been warned. When the white mob captured Turner, they bound her feet, hung her upside from a tree, threw gasoline on her, and burned her clothes. The mob took their heinous actions and brutality to the extreme that led to the still alive Turner’s abdomen being torn by a mob member’s butcher knife, resulting in them cutting the unborn baby from her. Brace yourself for what you’re about to hear. Once the baby fell from Mary Turner, a member of the mob crushed the crying baby’s head with his foot. Afterward, Mrs. Turner’s body became target practice for the mob. They went to riddle her body with hundreds of bullets, killing her. 

I’m going to backtrack to what caused and led to Mary Turner’s capture and death. Mary Turner’s husband Hayes Turner had been lynched the day before. Hayes Turner was accused of being an accomplice in the killing of a notorious white farmer, Hampton Smith, who was well known for his abuse of black farmworkers. Mr. Smith would bail black people accused of petty crimes out of jail and then require them to work off the fine at his farm. Avoiding jail time to work off his fight might seem like the better deal, but Sidney Johnson, a black man working to pay off a legal fee for “rolling dice” or simply gambling confessed to killing Mr. Smith during a quarrel about being overworked. Police officers killed Johnson in a shootout. When news reached the white community, Mr. Turner and other black farm workers who had been previously accused by Mr. Smith were targeted and accused of conspiracy. 

Many black people during this time were lynched based on mere accusations of murder against white people. The same was true here, at least seven confirmed black individuals were lynched by the white mob in response to Hampton Smith’s death, inflicting community – wide racial terror and violence.

Mrs. Turner was grieving and spoke out against her husband’s death, promising to take legal action. Enraged by this, the white mob made an example of Mrs. Turner, despite having not to fear actual legal repercussions from her promise, as black people at that time were afforded judicial processing. The lynching of Turner and her unborn child from the white mob’s perspective was to maintain white supremacy, silence her, and communicate to the black community that no dissent from the racial order would be tolerated. To no surprise, no member was ever held accountable for the lynching of Mary Turner and her unborn baby. 

The grotesque execution of a black woman eight months pregnant reveals a great deal about how  black women were dehumanized with impunity. There has been a documented number of 594 racial terror lynchings between 1877 and 1950 in the state of Georgia. Brooks County had the third – highest number of documented racial terror lynchings.

Leave a like if you learned something new from this piece of history. Also, give my page a follow so you stay up to date with my future posts. As always peace and keep it real.

The Ole Miss riot (Black History 365)

Welcome to Black History 365 a series where I explain, educate and explore historical events, unsung black figures in world history and recount the struggles and triumphs of black people worldwide. In this entry I’ll be presenting the story of the riot at Ole Miss in 1962.

The year is 1962 in Oxford Mississippi and James H. Meredith, an African American student, is escorted onto the University of Mississippi campus by U.S. Marshals, which then provoked a deadly riot. Two men were killed before the racial violence was quelled by more than 3,000 federal soldiers. The next day, Meredith successfully enrolled and began to attend classes amid continuing disruption.

Meredith, a native of Mississippi and former Air Force veteran was accepted to the University of Mississippi in 1962, but his admission was revoked when the admissions office found his out about his race. Subsequently, a federal court ordered “ole miss” to admit him, but when tried to register on September 20th 1962, he found the entrance to the office blocked by Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. Eight days later Barnett was found guilty of civil contempt and was ordered to cease his interference with desegregation at the university or face arrest and a fine of $10,000 a day. 

In 1966 Meredith returned to the public eye when he began a lone civil rights march in an attempt to encourage voter registration by African Americans in the south. During this March Against Fear, Meredith intended to walk from Memphis Tennessee to Jackson Mississippi. However, on June 6th two days into the march, he was sent to a hospital due to a sniper’s bullet.  
Meredith had assistance with continuing the March from Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokley Carmichael. It was during the March Against Fear that Carmicheal the leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, first spoke publicly of “Black Power” his concept of militant African American nationalism. When James Meredith recovered he rejoined the movement the march he started successfully reached Jackson Mississippi.

Leave a like if you learned something new from this post, and give my page follow so you stay up to date with my future posts. As always peace and keep it real.

Rwanda Genocide : 100 Days of Slaughter (Black History 365)

Welcome readers to another entry in Black History 365, a series where I explain, educate and explore historical events, unsung black figures in world history, and recount the struggles and triumphs of black people worldwide. In this entry, I will present the horrific events that happened during the Rwanda Genocide in the early 1990’s and the struggles and adversity the country had to endure to recover from the onslaught of deaths between two rival ethnic groups.

How did the genocide start?

Around 85% of Rwandans are Hutu’s but the Tutsi minority dominated the country. In 1959, the Hutus overthrew the Tutsi monarchy and tens of thousands of Tutsis fled to neighboring countries including Uganda. 

Afterward, a group of Tutsis exiles formed a rebel group called the “Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which invaded Rwanda in 1990 and fighting continued until a 1993 peace deal was agreed upon. However, that peace deal was short-lived because on the night of April 6th, 1994 a plane carrying then-president Juvenal Habyarimana and his counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi – both Hutu’s extremists blamed the RPF and immediately started a well – organized campaign of slaughter. The RPF said the plane had been shot down by Hutu’s to provide an excuse for the genocide. 

How was the genocide carried out?

With a meticulous and strategic organization, lists of government opponents were handed out to militias who went and killed them along with all of their families. Neighbors killed neighbors and some husbands killed their Tutsi wives, saying they would be killed if they refused to submit to their orders. 

At the time, ID cards had people’s ethnic groups on them so militias set up roadblocks where Tutsis were slaughtered on sight with machetes, which most Rwandans kept around the house. Thousands of Tutsis women were taken away and kept as sex slaves. 

Why was it so vicious?

For one Rwanda has always been a tightly controlled society with strongly organized districts up to the top of government. MRND the then-governing party had a youth wing called the Interahamwe, which was turned into a militia to carry out an onslaught of slaughtering. 

Weapons and hit – lists were handed out to local groups, who knew exactly where to find their targets. The Hutu extremists set up a radio (RTLM) and newspaper which circulated with propaganda filled with hostility, urging people to “weed out the cockroaches” meaning to kill the Tutsis. To make the targets easier to capture and eliminate, names of prominent people to be killed were read on the radio. Furthermore, even though surprising, priests and nuns were convicted of killing people, people including some who sought shelter in churches. 

Did anyone try to stop it?

The U.N. and Belgium had forces in Rwanda but the U.N. mission was not given the mandate to stop the killing. Moreover, a year after U.S. troops were killed in Somalia, the U.S. was determined not to get involved in another African conflict. The Belgians and most UN peacekeepers pulled out after 10 Belgian soldiers were killed. France who were allies of the Hutu government and would supply them weapons, sent a special force to evacuate their citizens and later set up a supposedly safe zone but were accused of not doing enough to stop the slayings in that area. Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s current president has accused France of backing those who carried out the massacres, a charge denied by Paris. 

How did it end?

The well-organized RPF, backed by Uganda’s army gradually seized more territory, until July 4th, 1994, when forces marched into the capital of Rwanda, Kigali. Some two million Hutu’s – both civilians and some of those involved in the genocide fled across the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo at the time called Zaire, fearing revenge attacks. Others went to neighbouring Tanzania and Burundi. 

Human rights groups say RPF fighters killed thousands of Hutu civilians as they took power and more after they went into DR Congo to pursue the Interahamwe. The RPF denies this. Meanwhile, in the DR Congo, thousands died from Cholera, while aid groups were accused of letting much of their assistance fall into the hands of the Hutu militias. 

What happened in DR Congo?

The RPF, now in power in Rwanda embraced militia fighting both the Hutu militias and the Congolese army, which was aligned with the Hutu’s. On the other hand, the Rwandan – backed rebel groups eventually marched on DR Congo’s capital, Kinshasa and overthrew the government of Mobutu Sese Seko, installing Laurent Kabila as president. However, the new president’s reluctance to tackle Hutu militias led to a new war that dragged in six countries and led to the creation of numerous armed groups fighting for control of this mineral-rich country. 

An estimated five million people died as a result of the conflict which lasted until 2003, with some armed groups remaining active until now in the new Rwanda’s border. 

Has anyone faced justice?

The International Criminal Court was set up in 2002, long after the Rwandan genocide so those responsbile could not be put to trial. Instead, the UN Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the Tanzanian town of Arusha to prosecute the ringleaders. A total of 93 people were indicted and after lengthy and expensive trials, dozen of senior officials in the former regime were convicted of genocide – all of them were Hutu’s. 

Within Rwanda, community courts, know as Gacca were created to speed up the prosecution of hundreds of thousands of genocide suspects awaiting trial.

What is Rwanda like now?

President Kagame has been hailed for transforming the tiny, devastated country he took over through policies that encouraged rapid economic growth. He has also tried to turn Rwanda into a technological hub and is very active on Twitter.

But his critics say he does not tolerate dissent and several opponents have met unexplained deaths, both in the country and abroad.

The genocide is still a hugely sensitive issue in Rwanda, and it is illegal to talk about ethnicity.

The government says this is to prevent hate speech and more bloodshed but some say it prevents true reconciliation.

Charges of stirring up ethnic hatred have been leveled against some of Mr. Kagame’s critics, which they say is a way of sidelining them.

He won a third term in office in the most recent election in 2017 with 98.63% of the vote.

  • Leave a like and comment if you’d like to chime in. Also give my page a follow so you stay up to date with my future posts. As always peace and keep it real.

Extraction (Film review)

Extraction stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) in an action thriller that packs a ton of action but suffers from a weak plot that drags behind all the constant mayhem. With that said, I want to talk about the film’s story and believe me I’m not spoiling anything because if you watch this film on Netflix the entire plot of the film is written in one sentence and the plot is extremely linear to the point where there isn’t any growth in narrative or character development. So, Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake, a ruthlessly proficient and emotionally congested hired gunman whose mission is to recover the teenage son of an Indian drug lord Ovi Mahajan Sr (Pankaj Tripathi). Ovi Jr. (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) is being held in Dhaka Bangladesh by a rival gang and Tyler has to race against them to locate and extract Ovi Jr before any more harm is done to him. Once he retrieves the kid, destruction and death is the only path they’ll know until the films ending. Extraction was directed by rookie director Sam Hargrave who used his experience as a stunt coordinator for several Marvel films to create visually appealing choreography that always ended with tons of blood being spilled. He used his strengths to shoot athletic combat sequences in close views which makes the actions and gun play immersive and captivating. In regards to that, this film felt like a long motion picture of a Call of Duty campaign and gamers that play COD would enjoy this film for its gun play and violence but its flop of a script negates making this film from being worthwhile. I will say that Hemsworth gave a solid performance but the rest of the actors didn’t deliver much in performance and characterization. Extraction delivers enticing visuals and is packed full of action that is relentless with its pacing, but at the end of the day, the main ingredient that holds everything together (plot) is lackluster and damages the film’s potential to be great. If you have Netflix and think this film is something that might interest you then check it out because even though I might have a dismissive perspective on certain aspects of the film I still feel that it had entertaining moments. Anyways like and comment if you would like to chime in and give my page a follow so you can stay up to date for my future posts. As always peace and keep it real.

My rating for the film : 2/5 Grade : C –

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/movieposters/18111715/...

Call them what they are, Every time

  • *RACIAL POST ALERT*
  • If you’re sensitive to what I’m saying in this blog post, then you can always return to my regular uploaded poetry posts. My blog site is about not shying away from any subject matter. So…

I’m sure everyone has heard or read about the murder of Nia Wilson, an 18 year old girl who was killed by a deranged white man in Oakland California on July 22nd. Time and time again young black souls have been slain by white terrorists, and yes I said terrorists because that’s what they are. There is a misconception whenever the word terrorist is mentioned, the first thought is a Muslim person. Yes there have been an plethora of them over the years, but terrorism can come from all walks of life. From the slaves masters, to Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, etc… I point this all out because whenever a white terrorist commits a heinous act they are usual deemed as unhinged and have severe mental issues instead of calling them what them what they are, terrorists. Some of them may have conditions but that shouldn’t be excuses for their actions. Having said that, the images of slain young black souls are usually tarnished with demeaning images that fits to the “norm” of media outlets who perpetuate that these lives were anything but flourishing lives that were prematurely taken due to hatred. Sure they’ve made mistakes and had flaws, but to present that as what only represents them is disingenuous and disrespectful. The black community all over the nation has taken too many loses, but it seems that all sides are not learning anything from those losses. Black people unite but let’s do it right. With understanding comes progress to move forward to find the solution to complex issues. So from now on call them what they are every time…

Explicit

Viral

Excuses

Repeat

Yearly

Terror

Inside

Minds

Erupt

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26 miles and running (Boston Strong)

 

  • This is a poem I wrote to commemorate and mark the 5 year anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing which occurred on 4/15/13. The marathon was held today on 4/16/18, and I was fortunate enough to catch the tail end of it after leaving work. First and foremost as a person who lives in the Greater Boston region specifically Cambridge I wanted to express how the city and Greater Boston found a way to bounce back from a tragedy that not only temporarily damaged the city but the country also. When it comes to terrorism, their is no race, gender, religion, etc… that determines the extent or motives a person has in their heart. It just happened in this case that the perpetrators were Muslims. In this country there have been many attacks on schools, places of businesses, government buildings etc… and on certain occasions those terrorists were white. All in all, this is a tradition that is part of Boston and having experienced the aftermath the days following it were intense to say the least. Imagine having your city streets being a ghost town! YES, no one on the streets! Anyways that’s all I have to say and leave a like and a comment if you feel the need too. PEACE

 

26 miles and running,

Every journey began with a single step

and with every exhausted breath these runners took,

Perseverance pumped throughout their ventricles

Until they crossed the appraised finish line,

The line radiated with anticipation awaiting thousands of feet to be pressed down

on a fulfillment of treasured and cherished dreams,

And so it seemed that on a day filled with much tradition and glory

Nothing could go wrong except the sounds of bombs going off

Cries of hysteria as 3 souls prematurely expired

Horrors unfolded, faces covered in smoldering ashes

Storied lives ended by the hands of an evil duo,

Whose names now live and die in infamy,

26 miles and running

These runners and the city withstood adversity,

And I write this on the 5 year anniversary of the attacks,

We momentary were knocked down but got up off the concrete canvas

Throughout all the panic, madness, and sadness

We came out to be Boston Strong

 

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Photo credit – Google

 

 

I saw Emmett Till this week at the grocery store (A poem by Eve L. Ewing)

 

  • This morning I came across this poem on Twitter and after reading it, I had to read it twice because of the way she depicted his essence was so impactful, but she still kept it lighthearted for a soul that was gruesomely slain. His life was vital energy that would galvanize the civil rights movement. In addition, I came to realization that this poem could be written about any other deceased brother (Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Eric Garner and many more who lost their lives to brutality. Unarmed names and faces dry up the soil of  premature graves, which helps pave the way to fight for a change that can permanently stay, but until the end of time the pain of premature deaths will always feel the same. Poetry is and always will be an artistic, abstract, and humility filled form of expression that provides some respite in the malcontent that manifests inside of us, such as the above examples I gave. FYI, the woman who accused Emmett Till of whistling at her, LIED. An empty revelation that will remain as one of this country’s biggest devastation. Leave a comment about the poem if you feel the need too. Peace

 

  • A poem by Eve L. Ewing

looking over the plums, one by one
lifting each to his eyes and
turning it slowly, a little earth,
checking the smooth skin for pockmarks
and rot, or signs of unkind days or people,
then sliding them gently into the plastic.
whistling softly, reaching with a slim, woolen arm
into the cart, he first balanced them over the wire
before realizing the danger of bruising
and lifting them back out, cradling them
in the crook of his elbow until
something harder could take that bottom space.
I knew him from his hat, one of those
fine porkpie numbers they used to sell
on Roosevelt Road. it had lost its feather but
he had carefully folded a dollar bill
and slid it between the ribbon and the felt
and it stood at attention. he wore his money.
upright and strong, he was already to the checkout
by the time I caught up with him. I called out his name
and he spun like a dancer, candy bar in hand,
looked at me quizzically for a moment before
remembering my face. he smiled. well
hello young lady
hello, so chilly today
should have worn my warm coat like you
yes so cool for August in Chicago
how are things going for you
oh
he sighed and put the candy on the belt
it goes, it goes.

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