Ep 4: Black men and the police



The Ghettosun podcast is official people. We’re actually four episodes in so you can “binge listen” if you will. On this episode guest Kevin Grateful Berthia and I talk about our experiences with the police and it gets DEEP! Please click the link below and tell a friend about it. Much love.


Lost in the Details: Notes on the Murder of Trayvon Martin

March 15, 12

It’s amazing how technical some folks get about the law when a young black man is murdered by a white police officer. What is even more amazing is the asinine things that people say when a fake cop, whom for whatever reason is allowed to carry a real gun, kills a young black man.

Let’s use the most recent case of George “The Jackass” Zimmerman as an example. The Jackass was a rogue volunteer captain of a Florida neighborhood watch group before he decided to use deadly force on 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Apparently this wasn’t your average neighborhood watch group that The Jackass was heading. It was not by any means an organization that encouraged community members to sit on their porches and document suspicious behavior, and it for damn sure wasn’t about planning neighborhood movie nights.

George The Jackass decided to follow Trayvon because he looked “suspicious” while he walked down the street with a bag of Skittles to take back to his little brother. Now I’m not sure why this is, but for law enforcement officers (and wannabes) the word suspicious is synonymous with black. I suppose it’s the American way.

At any rate The Jackass decided to confront Trayvon who was visiting his dad for NBA All-Star Weekend even though when he radioed it in to the real cops they told him to stand down. I guess he just couldn’t resist the opportunity to put a young black man in his place—which from a historical perspective, most white men can’t.

From that point on the details are sketchy as of right now. But we do know that The Jackass was bleeding from his nose and the back of his head. And we do know that Trayvon was killed by a single bullet wound to the chest. Mr. Jackass has not been charged with any crime because…well he’s white.

People really trip me out in these kinds of situations. I’ve seen the extremely ambiguous self-defense laws in Florida cited several times in this non-case. I’ve also watched the news media casually bring up the fact that a few homes in that Florida neighborhood had apparently been burglarized in the months leading up to the shooting. I even saw one journalist report that Zimm—uhhh I mean The Jackass was very well liked in the community.

Oh my god. So what!

An unarmed high school students was shot to death by a man who is supposed to be making sure elderly women aren’t mugged on their way back home from the grocery store. He’s supposed to be armed with binoculars, and a walky-talky, OK pepper spray at best. So why the hell is he toting a damn 9mm pistol like he’s in 50 Cents entourage? It’s the most ridiculous thing imaginable.

It’s just as bad as when Oscar Grant was shot in the back and killed by a BART cop.  BART is routinely one of, if not thee, safest rapid transit system in the country. So why does a BART cop like Johannes Mehserle need a gun in the first place? The main difference between that incident and this one was the Oscar Grant murder was caught on videotape, but unfortunately it didn’t matter. People watched the video of a handcuffed man on the ground being shot and scratched their heads and said; “Well he does seem to be resisting a little bit. I mean look at him squirm. He’s being belligerent. And on top of that it was New Year’s Eve. I’m sure those cops were having a long day.”

It was this kind of not so subtly racist rhetoric that landed Mehserle a sentence of less than one year for killing an unarmed man in front of dozens of people. And it is this kind of thought that justifies The Jackass not being brought to justice after murdering an unarmed teenager carrying a bag of Skittles.

The general reaction to the tragedies of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin prove that American racism has come a very long way since Jim Crow and the K.K.K.  Just like medicine and technology racism has advanced. It is no longer out in the open like the word “nigger” but rather it is hidden in details like the word “suspicious.” Evil folks don’t hide behind sheets and burn crosses anymore. In 2012 they make up titles and get permits to carry guns so they can continue to kill with impunity and be supported by a society that will never admit that they are enabling these racist psychopaths.

Racism is in the details these days. It’s in the questions that people have and the doubt that is cast over whether or not it’s actually wrong for an unarmed black man to be murdered by a white authority figure.

Because we all know Trayvon instigated the situation and why was he wearing that “suspicious” looking hoody. And as for Oscar Grant, he had drugs in his system and he had gotten into a fight earlier that night. I mean I’m not racist but I just don’t know. It seems a little suspicious to me.

Meanwhile Oscar Grants daughter Tatiana will never really know her father and Trayvon Martin’s parents will never hear their son’s voice again.

Black men continue to be gunned down like animals while we scratch our heads and ponder about silly little details.


Oakland’s Finest

October 30, 2011

Police in my city have made world-wide news for brutalizing peaceful protestors and I truly hope that no one is surprised. After all we are speaking of the same police department that served as the foot soldiers for the unlawful dismantling of the Black Panther Party. Therefore should it really shock anyone to discover that a young man can survive two tours of duty in Iraq completely unscathed only to live in Oakland, CA for less than a year and have his skull fractured by the police?


Before Occupy Oakland became an official part of the movement Oakland was already occupied by the boys in blue. I grew up in an impoverished underserved community on the East side of town in which a police station was built before we even had a grocery store to buy fresh food. As a matter of fact the very room in which I attended preschool in Eastmont Mall has since been converted into jail cells to temporarily house inmates on the way to county lock up. I’ve seen police brutality, I’ve experienced police brutality, and I’ve known police brutality for as long as my skin has been black.


So I see this young man named Scott Olson lying helpless in the street with blood streaming down his face. I see the cops continue to pump rounds of “Nonlethal” projectiles into anyone who is brave enough to cross the line in an attempt to retrieve him or offer him medical-aid and I think to myself; how vile, how disgusting, how typical of police in Oakland.

I must be honest with you all when I say that I am not a very well traveled man. I’ve never spent a semester in South Africa, or been to a convention in Spain. I’ve never studied in Iran either. However I always had a hunch that the police officers that I deal with on a near daily basis have got to be one of the most repressive forces in the entire world. Of all the places around the globe being “Occupied” I have yet to see a crack-down remotely similar to what took place in my town a few nights ago.


As enraged as I am about the whole situation, I can’t help but to feel just a slight bit validated and if you were from Oakland then I’m sure you would feel the same way.




A Dreary Summer Day

August 9, 2011

                Today is one of those days when all the problems of the world appear to be catching up with me. Lately everything seems to be in complete ruin. Locally, a 3-year-old boy Carlos Fernandez Nava was shot dead while walking to the store with his family. The two men who were the intended targets of this brazen broad daylight attack suffered non life threatening wounds. The suspect has yet to be found.

                On the national level the economy is getting worse and everyone is pointing fingers at one another instead of working toward a proper solution. And globally the riots in London serve as a reminder that the murder of innocent black men by the police is not something merely relegated to the United States.

                I’ve been really irritable the past few days. I haven’t felt nearly as motivated as I usually am. I’ve been in somewhat of a stupor I suppose. I realized this when I was driving down the street today and one of my favorite songs The Sweetest Taboo by Sade came on the radio. She sang; “Every day is Christmas/ and every night is a New Year’s Eve.” Those lines have never ceased to put my soul at ease but today they sounded like mockery. As if she was completely oblivious to the current human condition. And that’s when I knew things were worse than I thought; when I could actually bring it upon myself to express animosity toward Sade.

                I don’t know what’s happening in the world today I only hope that I can find a little bit of joy tomorrow.

-The Asiatic Prince