2012 has dawned and COP 24/7 went into a whirling dervish mindset as we shredded the shroud of 2011 while embracing the power, pride and the possibilities that this new year will unleash. Over the three day process, my soul was filled with so much emotion that I knew that when I came out on the other side, I would be prepared as Bishop T.D. Jake's proclaimed, "ready not to waste moment because I don't have to the time to waste." Adding more rocket fuel to my vision was this stirring version of the Eminem classic, "Loose Yourself," as interrupted by Detroit's Selected of God Choir. Most notably this music has been widely seen as the "Chrysler" theme song that surrounds its advertising campaign for the Chrysler 500 car. You know that menacing looking gangsta ride with its unique grill work and muscular vibe that you have to notice when it rolls up next to you. Although Eminem has had his public controversies, you can't take away the fact that his artistry is captivating and lyrical abilities "take you their" when you least expect it. I couldn't help but notice this version when I saw it on the commercial. At first I didn't quite make the connection, but after a closer listen and then a keen NABWMT comrade shared a link, I knew that it was ripe for COP 24/7 as one of one our theme songs for 2012. I find inspiration from many fountainheads and Jake's New year message resonated with me as he demanded that his listeners take a stance to not be bothered with other folks foolishness. Meanwhile believing that your destiny is now, your power is not in the hands of haters and being laser focused on your reality will allow you to walk tall and boldly. Ultimately one has to keep on moving no matter what people think or perceive what your motives are or perhaps your actions communicate. I'm taking the position that even though my "living proof" is steeped in my past experiences, its my wild eyed vision of where I need to be going and being about the business of my legacy is what's most important to personally and professionally. I plan to "Loose Myself" in discovering only those who share my vitality for life and all it has to offer. Give me those who are not afraid of the quest of being dangerous to know because we will not continue to accept the status quo as a reason not to think that big ass ideas are possible. I want to embrace those who want each day to be the best day of their lives while knowing that "if you can't love yourself, you can't be open to love anybody else." Don't share with me that there's no one for you, when you are not being your authentic self enough for anyone to find you. Bishop Jake's charged me to not have time for small mindedness, shortsighted decisions or those who want to short circuit my high voltage momentum. This song will be my threshing floor anthem, where I will unearth my raw passions, revisit the naked truths about myself as I affirm who, what and where I see myself in 2012. I charge you my dear readers to become unshackled from complacency and join me, if you dare on full filling you own personal ambitions. Ladies and Gents, the word is out, its been spoken, now we lean forward to make it fact. The embedded video is courtesy of our online partner, YouTube. As another case of "money meeting mission" this song can be purchased on I-Tunes with proceeds going to support their musical ministry efforts to assist Detroit based charities. Please visit: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lose-yourself-single/id453175291.
The video was directed by Anthony Garth, has had over 350,000 views on YouTube and served as apart of the Import Detroit Project.
What's the 411: Black on Black Crime in the City
With all that transpired in 2011, what's more apparent and should have been more eyebrow raising was the fact that "Black and Black" crime is still an issue that hasn't been sufficiently dealt with among local Black leaders. As reported by the Arkansas Democrat ( 1.1.12) their was a total of 30 individuals including members of the Stop the Violence group, Ward Director Richardson, Rep. Fred Allen, (D-Little Rock), motorcycle club Heavenly Riders, Men of Equity plus an array of local clergy who supported a call to action. According to the item, Rev. Benny Johnson founder of STV cited that he wanted to denounce the recent rash of homicides in the city and called on city officials to do more to curb the violence. He uttered that tired old rationale of "if this was happening in Hillcrest area or out in Pleasant Valley or Chenal Valley, they would shut the city down." Really? It seems that the good Reverend also stated that he had written to the mayor about all this but when Mayor Stodola was contacted about the matter, he couldn't recall being reached out too. What was even more interesting to this forum were these little facts:
1. If Rev. Johnson had contacted the Mayor, why didn't he produce a dated "letter" that he sent? Also if he got no response, where was his follow up? Also, Why wasn't the Mayor invited to the press conference to answer his charges that the city was lacking in its response.
2. When did Rev. Johnson and allies announce their press conference and where was the "public" notice to rally the community?
3.Where is the consistency of the Stop the Violence effort? From our vantage point, it appears that STV is a "jack in the box" group that "pops" out after so many turns of the social dial, to make their pronouncements then goes back into the box until then next outing.
So what's up with this? Yes the reality of black on black crime is stark and has been for some time both locally and nationally. As stated during the conference, at least 700 blacks have been killed over the last two decades. Not to mention the staggering data that more black men in the United States are in prison than in college. All of this is nothing new and Rev. Johnson and those present certainly should be aware of this fact. Most likely what should be asked is what has STV or any of those other groups done to offset this situation. From what I read of the story, I understood that STV was organized as a non-profit in 1991. Yet, what seemed to be missing was any track record of substantial outcomes to address the problem. I couldn't determine if there are regularly scheduled meetings, no posted agendas, or no ordinances crafted or proposed that originated from the group. What exactly is the infrastructure? Who serves on their board of directors? Despite the recent press conference, there was another media play featuring the group's September 2011 two day meeting in Hot Springs supposedly "laying groundwork" for another chapter. There's other assorted this and that TV footage but what COP 24/7 wants to know is where's the plan Stan? Exactly what does Stop The Violence or Men of Equity want to be done? Stodola emphasized that Little Rock has spent on average since 1994 between $2.5 million and $3.5 million on prevention,intervention and treatment programs. With the recent passage of the new sales tax referendum another possible $3 million will be allotted for such programs. Now again, STV with twenty years under its faith based belt, needs to provide what has this organization provided in programming and empowerment opportunities to address the situation. Anybody got any clues or seen any outcomes? In fact its not all about this group but all black leadership should be called out not to another sparkling gala, but rather a bold come to Jesus meeting about an array of issues such as employment, homelessness, HIV and AIDS, access to capital, wealth creation and basic personal responsibility within the black community. Hey you guys, no more press conferences, let's get with some "SMART" ( specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound) actions instead of more lip service. Let us not forget that many of our black mover and shakers are living in Pleasant Valley, Chenal Valley and other upperwardly mobile parts of the this city.