12 years minimum is not enough!

I found it hard to believe that Thomas Griffiths was jailed with a minimum term of 12.5 years for the murder of Ellie Gould. It was a pre-meditated act, Ellie was stabbed repeatedly 13 times and Griffiths had put Ellie’s hand on the weapon to make it look like she had done it to herself. Griffiths then tried to cover up his horrible act by calling Ellie and her friends afterwards as if nothing had happened.

This boy has taken the away the life of someone who had a promising future ahead of them, and I think he should serve at least 20 years so that he doesn’t see any of his youth when he gets out of prison.

DC:UL Demo Tracks

Just a quick post of some demo tracks I made a while ago.

Really could do with finding a better singer, as I am not that good!

The BBC’s lack of transparency on complaints regarding Naga’s “Trump comments”

So it seems the BBC lied, and it did not just receive complaints about Naga Munchetty’s comments on Donald Trump, this is despite what one high level representative of the organisation said. Not only that, but the organisation appeared to have a lack of transparency in the complaints process and they tried to block Offcom, the regulator, from investigating further. I’m glad Offcom supported Naga in this and revealed some level of balance and impartiality, which goes to prove some organisations can show even-handedness when it comes to issues of race. In this case it seems that the BBC still has work to do.

Articles:

Ethiopia Grand Renaissance Dam

What a magnificent achievement. Ethiopia who has most of its people living on less than $2 a day has managed to raise $4bn dollars to build the Africa’s largest hydro-electric dam, with no help from foreign donors.

It seems like this could cause some regional instability though as water resources in the region are in a delicate balance.

The creeping tyranny of white supremacy

In prayer I said to God, “In times past, white people took us from our homelands and enslaved black people in countries half way across the world. When the time came that form of slavery was abolished and we then went into Jim Crow, and when that ended segregation, and when that ended discrimination. It seems like each “victory” for black people in terms of overcoming white prejudice isn’t a total victory, it just reveals another hurdle to overcome, like completing a level of an arcade game and then being presented with a new challenge on the next level.”

Recently at work I challenged why my manager, at that time, a white Italian woman should issue a report to the business mentioning that myself and my fellow black co-worker had delayed a project deadline by taking holidays, even though we had a dependency of assets to be delivered from another department who (even though they had months to work on these things rather than weeks like us) had not finished their work before we went on holiday (at different times). Neither had they finished their work while we or on holiday; and on top of all that, this work was delivered late to us from the other department even after we returned from our holidays, and this lateness, by her own deadlines set, was not recorded in our manager’s report to the business. Yet myself and my colleague have been branded as uncooperative and having a tendency to push back.

Furthermore my manager has accused me of aggression, yet strangely before this problematic manager started, it was remarked by a more senior colleague, that its going to be great having an Italian work for us, she will be feisty and get things done. Does picking up other people’s laptops and slamming them down during meetings with external suppliers on web conferences, wildly gesticulating with your hands, frequently cutting people off while they are talking, count as office acceptable feistyness? Did these actions help get things done?

I’ve been accused of aggression because as a manager with some degree of responsibility for a website, I dared to send an email to my manager strongly advising her not to release a new feature to the website with bugs. This was after considerable frustration was caused to the business by halting all new feature releases to our website for several months in order to fix a backlog of bugs. My manager however, seemed to be considering releasing with bugs, which is why I stepped in.

On another occasion, my manager requested a code change to some development work I had already done at her verbal request, in this case I bypassed my usual process of requiring a development brief to be filled in because my manager said we needed to be more responsive – “who has time to fill in these forms”. This mis-step ultimately led to why the additional code change became necessary. I was on holiday when the code change happened, but rather than copy me in on an email chain detailing the change, so I could read what happened on my return to work, I only found out some time after I returned to work after a conversation and confused email exchange triggered because the code change that had been made was not working properly. I asked her to copy me in for future reference, and suggested that if the change had been tracked, then the ensuing fuss could have been avoided. This again was seen as aggressive.

On a third occasion, my manager, who didn’t have a good relationship with my direct report, wanted to sit in on my direct reports mid-year review. This is supposed to be a meeting where you review the performance and goals of your direct reports and help shape their path to growth within the company. I checked in with my direct report about whether she would be comfortable having my manager attend, and she said she would not be comfortable, so I told my manager I would handle it, but if she could improve her rapport with my direct report then she would be welcome to join future sessions. This too was seen as aggressive.

The straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of being accused of being aggressive, was a web conference call I had set up with an external supplier to discuss a technical problem, the call was clearly detailed as such, I had discussed it with my manager before hand. My manager was in two minds about joining, first she said she wouldn’t, then just before the call she said she would. When the call started, I was at my desk ready to begin as too was the external supplier. My manager was having technical problems with her computer preventing her from joining the call, and seemed to be in a panic. All of a sudden she said I should take my computer and go with her to the break out area – the indication was that we would use my computer to join the webex together. I complied, and we proceeded with the call, but as this was a technical call, and my manager is not technical, I was going to lead the call, even moreso as I had been in conversation by email with our supplier for several days leading up to the call directly related to the technical issue to be discussed. However, my manger decided she wanted to lead the call, and she introduced the call with a technically incorrect description of the problem at hand. At that point I interjected and said “hold on, that’s not quite right, it’s technical, let me explain”. I then proceeded to explain the problem accurately and the call seemed to go very well.

However, at the end of the call my manager approached me and said “If you want an example of where you have been aggressive to me, then take for example the start of that call. You told me to shut up in front of all those people, you should have seen their faces!” I was shocked that she would say something like that, because her version of events was clearly inaccurate. I told a colleague who had joined the call what had happened and asked if she had seen me do anything like that, to which she replied “no”, and that the call “had been very informative” and that I had not been aggressive at all, in fact she said the actions I had used had been just like the actions my manager had used in some meetings to be firm and make a point.

I raised a grievance against my manager as there was now a history of accusations of poor performance, rudeness and aggression made by my manager against me building up, and I felt this was something that needed to be addressed. In my managers grievance statement she alleged yet more acts of aggression, alleging other people in the department have been subject to my aggression. However, when I got statements from those people they said that I was not aggressive, one said they couldn’t remember such an incident, and one went even further saying I “showed grace”. So it seems to me that my manager just wanted to raise statements against me that are wildly inaccurate or even complete fabrications, it’s a form of harassment which I believe is rooted in racism.

Why is it that those particular white people who are noted for their feisty or aggressive nature are allowed to be this way, and chosen for having this trait for specific jobs, it is seen as an aspect of character that is positive; but when a black person acts in the same way, this aggression is seen in a negative light? What about when a black person is not even being aggressive, but trying to clearly state the facts to progress their work, why should that be seen as aggressive? As I said to my employer:

If anyone believes it is agreeable to allow one person based on their nationality or colour to behave in a certain way, and treat another person of a different nationality or colour differently when they act in exactly the same way; I strongly believe that is an example of discriminatory behaviour.

You see this kind of situation highlights a huge problem for black people. We’ve been on a journey toward equality lasting hundreds of years, and I feel like we’ve fallen asleep, we aren’t pressing for progress as hard as we should do. The years of physical struggle and obvious overt racism are largely over, at least for those in the Western World, but what we have now is a creeping tyranny, where society, in most cases, furnishes us with enough to keep us from revolt, from thinking too deeply about why we are still earning less than white people, why there is more crime in the black community, why our educational standards are lower, why we are in this mess, this decline. We don’t stop to think about the way systems are set up to discriminate, and why? We don’t stop to consider why language reinforces racism, and the big one – what spirit or mindset is behind these and what is the end purpose of discrimination and racism?

You see, when slavery started, it wasn’t just about physically enslaving people, you can’t physically enslave someone unless mentally they submit to it, it’s impossible. Some people jumped overboard, chose to be shot, killed themselves, ran away, caused revolt, tried to kill their masters rather than be a slave. Today, while such drastic acts are all but for the most tiny minority of people unnecessary, and needn’t even be thought about, the question of mental enslavement remains. In context with my situation, if I allow myself to accept being falsely accused of all kinds of things, and if I allow myself to be subject to the prevailing attitude in a workplace that lets white people act in one way, while baring me from acting in the same way, even while laws on paper say this is discrimination; then I am doing myself a disservice, and I am doing other ethnic minority people in that workplace a disservice, and I am doing people worldwide a disservice, and I would be showing the people who passed before us in this struggle a huge sign of disrespect.

Even this week, we can see how the BBC’s Naga Munchetty was reprimanded by her employer for apparently commenting on the motives of Donald Trump regarding his words aimed at the four US congresswomen; Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, where he said they should “go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”. For me Naga Munchetty came across as eloquent and balanced, but on the account of one viewer who complained, she has been reprimanded for saying things that she apparently should not have according to BBC guidelines, even though her co-presenter Dan Walker was asking her some very specific questions about her experience of racism.

The BBC has to respond to its complaint, but one wonders why the complaint was made only about one person, and why the other white male journalists who frequently express their own opinions on air (some are even paid to) are not reprimanded in the same way as Naga Munchetty? The answer is two fold. Firstly, it is this notion that white people can afford “privileges” that minorities can not. Secondly, it is about the fact that white people are more zealous about the fact that their “privileges” might be being worn away at, and even from white extremists that their whole way of life is under threat; and conversely black people have fallen asleep here, there is no direction for black people and we don’t seem to know what we want – our rights are being eroded and not enough of us even realise it or are willing to stand up for our rights, and when we don’t do that, the creeping tide of white supremacy gets a little higher. Do we want to be accepted as true equals in all aspects of life, do we want more wealth and self sufficiency in society, or are we happy enough as we are?

We need to wake up out of our sleep, because the situation I am in at work and the situation Naga Munchetty finds herself in is just the tip of the iceberg. When white people are being more aggressive in their assertions of white supremacy, when the law and authorities still in the 21st century are killing, imprisoning and deporting black and minority people unjustly and getting away with it, and when minority voices are being reprimanded for speaking up even when there are laws that should allow them to do so; we’ve reached a tipping point in society where the tide of white supremacy is in danger of rising further, unchecked, and carrying us away.

MY PRAYER.

Lord, help us all to realise that you created us all, no matter what race or colour we are.
Help mankind to realise we are all equal.
Help us to realise that we must respect all people.

Those who hate other people unlike themselves have a problem with their own lack of self worth,
That is why they need to devalue others to make themselves feel better,
But their pride is worthless and in their blindness they cannot see it, pity them,

Lord look at our histories and see the iniquity that breeds inequality in the present day,
Give power to the powerless and help us to make a stand,
In this way we might open they eyes of the blind,
And enable them to live in truth, peace, and with respect and love for their fellow man.

Eric Garner: Part way to justice

The New York Police Department has finally fired Daniel Pantaleo over Eric Garner’s chokehold death in 2014. For me this is years too late, and Pantaleo has only lost his job, he should be imprisoned for what he did. The video of what happened as part a newsclip is available below. It doesn’t even look like he has resisting arrest, and there is literally never a reason to choke someone to death!

America, wake up please! We are drifting back to the days where black people will be lynched in the streets by hateful white bigots. When society has lost the sensibility to realise quickly that an incident like what happened to Eric Garner should be dealt with severely and swiftly, we can see that a malaise of injustice has already set in.

Full story courtesy of Al Jazeera

The Family (Netflix)

This is quite an insightful documentary that reveals the latter day manifestations of that same branch of religious mis-belief that spurred European Christian’s on to commit atrocities like The Crusades and The Atlantic Slave Trade. Douglas Coe was the most recent leader of a sect called “The Family”, originally started by Abraham Vereide (a migrant from Norway). This sect loosely follows the teachings of Messiah (Christ), but leaves room for adultery and immoral dealings under a veneer of “Christian” teaching and brotherly love and prayer.

https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80063867

These men have been fooled by a wayward spirit to believe that their desires are of God, they make excuses for their “chosen ones”, who are often people of some disrepute, who are put into positions of power and push forward the ideals of Anglo Saxon focused Euro-centric Christianity.

One can only hope and pray that they wake up and realise they have been deceived. Yet God’s Word says that the “thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy” (John 20:10), “by their fruit you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16), and “outwardly they appear righteous, but on the inside are full of hypocracy and wickedness”.

The US is so caught up in evangelising it’s own brand of “Christianity” that it seems there is no one in the USA who is able to critique and expose these wayward sects and the doctrines they preach for the poison that they are. If we don’t take a stand against this sort of thing now, Donald Trump will be the least of our worries, because the KKK will own The Whitehouse, not through back channels, but explicitly with the Confederate flag hanging at the door.

What mindset makes behaviour like this happen?

A black man being handcuffed and attached to a rope by two policemen on horseback… Yes America does have a problem with white supremacy, racism, and inequality.

I’m sure there are all sorts of laws those officers broke in terms of duty of care of a detainee, and I don’t know if the apology for this incident was sincere, but at least the minds of those in power actually still sometimes recognise when an apology is needed. Let’s press on against such behaviour to make sure we don’t let the conscience of people become so seared and callous that no one even thinks about apologising – that’s the danger of the drip, drip effect of incidents like this.

However, it really is more than an apology that is needed, not only for Mr Neely in this case, but to the blight on black people’s lives that is the taint that white supremacist, racist and discriminatory behaviour etches and leaves perpetually. This disease in white society gives life to a lasting infectious scourge on the lives of human beings who deserve so much more than to be defined by people who haven’t yet learned the ability to respect themselves, for if they did respect themselves they would see the humanity in the people they hate and abuse and would refrain from such actions, therefore they can not respect others because they do not have the capacity to do so.

Such people damage themselves and the society they live in, they lower the tone of humanity and civility. Ironically, such people take on the sub-human traits of people who they falsely believe are sub-human, its a form of psychological “projection”, sad, pitiful and only destined to end in insanity and empty delusion for those who do not find their way out of it.

Are you really surprised Mr Gove?

The EU are refusing to negotiate on Brexit. That isn’t news to me, they’ve been effectively saying as much for months, “This is your final offer”.

I wish it were possible for the EU to hire a giant megaphone which could enclose The Houses of Parliament, something with say a 1 million Watt rating (pretty damn loud), and then have a person clearly shout into that megaphone, in words those toffee nosed English snobs will not be able to ignore; “There will be no further negotiation on The United Kingdom’s exit from The European Union” – perhaps finally those overpaid idiots will understand!

Respect for Prince Harry

I find it interesting that Prince Harry wrote an insightful piece in Vogue highlighting a phenomenon know as “unconscious bias” pertaining to subtle forms of racism (unfortunately I only have the link to a BBC article about that piece). I think he has taken some stick from ignorant people who do not like the fact that he is not married to a white woman and this has aroused his sensitivity toward the kinds of bias that people far removed from his normal social sphere would be able to relate adequately.

However, I don’t think it is a “sign of the times” that we now effectively have mixed race, dual parentage, essentially black royalty; sadly it reflects how far behind the times The Royal Family is, that it has taken until the 21st Century for this situation to come about (my mind thinks at a tangent that Barack Obama only became the first black president in 2009); and subsequently for us to hear, rather than platitudes as clear as the nose on your face, someone who can do more than moralise, but actually feel that subconscious pressure, that feeling of exclusion, being a less than, even by association; by proxy for the person he loves.

Prince Harry gets my respect!

Go back to where you came from & choke holds

Well, we know Donald Trump is brash, uncouth and crass. We have suspected for some time that he doesn’t really like immigrants, especially those from Mexico. We know he dislikes Barrack Obama, and has set himself on a course of systematically dismantling the former Presidents policies. However with his recent attack on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan really let the vomit of his racist rhetoric come right up into the open. He basically said, “go back to where you come from”, to 3 congresswomen, who were all born in America, who represent their country and communities; all because these women are not completely white or Caucasian and have mixed or ethnic parentage.

That is racist. However you want to look it. I wonder how America let’s him get away with it. But then when you look at what is happening in America, policemen can apparently get away choking black people to death, shooting us to death, because of their own negative perceptions which they largely created and perpetuate. America is a hateful place for people of colour, and it has been ever since Europeans set foot there.

I’m beginning to think that America is lost, you can’t build a just society on iniquity, hate and injustice, but that seems to be the real fuel for American society at its core, no matter how much they try to dress it us as The American Dream.