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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Stanley Crouch: Parks' self-respect - The Sacramento Bee

Stanley Crouch: Parks' self-respect - The Sacramento BeeStanley Crouch: Parks' self-respect
By Stanley Crouch
Published 2:15 am PST Saturday, March 11, 2006
Within three days after a minstrel show interrupted the Oscars ceremony but wasn't noticed, Gordon Parks died. Three 6 Mafia's elegy to the difficulty of living off women, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," was awarded the Oscar for best song before a predominately white audience of wealthy media types who work before and behind the camera. The grand irony is one of those that resonate with particular clarity in our time.

Gordon Parks was 93 when he died and had made a career for himself that was, at almost every step, a repudiation of the minstrel imagery that had burdened black Americans since the middle of the 19th century, composed equally of contempt and low expectations. The last of 15 children born into poverty in Kansas, Parks, a high school dropout, had made himself into a highly sophisticated man - a professional photographer, a writer, a composer and a film director.

Parks attributed his drive and the variety of ways in which he developed his talent to the curiosity, discipline and religious faith instilled by his family, especially his mother, who taught him piano and glued wings to his dreams.

It was always the goal of Parks to disprove stereotypes by countering them with excellence. Since he was always ready to laugh if the conversation provided the room for it, Parks might have just as well been contemplating a meal his mother used to cook as pondering the difficulties of aesthetic technique or the tragic weight of social issues.

Born in 1912, Parks had lived through the Great Depression and World War II and was the first Negro photographer for Life magazine, and shot for Vogue during the black revolt against segregation, unconstitutional laws and bigoted treatment. The "Negro Revolution," as it was called, brought light and darkness, dividing the social and cultural sky.

The light came with the rejection of stereotypes and a bigger, more open area of social possibility. The darkness was the minstrel reiteration that appeared with a vengeance, as blaxploitation films following Parks' own "Shaft" set aside the photographer's black detective in favor of the black hustler, like "Superfly," the celebration of a cocaine dealer. For years, because Hollywood was in trouble, cheap, empty-headed black films about pimps, hustlers and cartoon revolutionaries were made.

They turned a profit, got Hollywood back on its feet and were summarily rejected as American popular film returned to the snow village.

That Parks had become an answer to all stereotypes and low expectations by mastering the English language, the camera, film technique and by deporting himself with absolute elegance and taste must have made him an anachronism to those who believe that buffoons like Three 6 Mafia represent anything other than the descent of black popular music into blaxploitation with a backbeat.

Parks was not made in a factory that manufactures stupidity and the hatred of women, projected by puppets of exaggeration wearing diamonds in their teeth. He made himself, with all of the discipline necessary, which is why even Malcolm X recognized his integrity.

Parks was also one of the founders of Essence. Were he alive, the magazine's well-received war against the kind of minstrelsy seen at the Academy Awards would not have fizzled. Parks never forgot the honor of women like his mother and his sisters. That is why he would have kept the heat on, which is but one of the many reasons why we miss him.

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