Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Periscope's Alive at COP 24/7: Part 2

As Spring 2012 rushes forth, it looks like this week will be jammed packed with all things hot, live and otherwise. My e-box is teeming with items from all angles and I'm going to do best to get it all in and more. Therefore just as the immortal Bette Davis quipped, " fasten you seat belts, its gonna be a bumpy night!" Now let's bring it!

No Justice, No Peace: Black youth in the Cross hairs

It hit the news cycle juxtaposed to those twisting tornadoes tearing up the country side. The Trayvorn Martin murder case has riveted the nation as again we watch, wait and wonder if justice will be done. If you haven't heard about the case, I can't imagine. It lives on every media platform and folks are talking about it with opinions galore. Currently the US. Justice Department at the behest of community outrage and vibrant calls from national organizations such as Rev. Al Sharpton's Action Network has opened an investigation. Meanwhile, I was doing some banking today when the female customer standing in line before me turned and boldly stated, "they should give him a choice to either be beat within a inch of his life or either a hanging." The "him" she was talking about was self appointed neighborhood watch person George Zimmerman who pursued Martin as a someone of interest on his so call patrol route. According to Zimmerman his "hoodie wearing suspect" seem like he was "on drugs," "up to no good or something." Even after being instructed by qualified law officials to "not follow" Martin, this joker does so anyway, ultimately resulting in a chase and subsequently a fatal murderous shot leaving 17 year old Trayvon Martin dead. Falling to his death clutching a ice tea beverage and a bag of skittles but no weapon. What a shameless lost of young life.

The circumstances surrounding this nafrious deed leaves one almost breathless. First up, improper procedures from attending officers who didn't breathalyzer nor swab this guy for gun residue. Also, it seems that the crime scene itself may have been corrupted, lackluster witness interviews, poor follow up on at least checking Martin's cell phone records while this youngster laid in the morgue for three days and the final insult of not at most detaining or directly arresting Mr. Zimmerman  for suspicion of murder. Remarkably, Zimmerman to this day still has his gun permit and is armed. If this is not a "WTF" situation I don't what could be. There are so many issues surrounding this murder that can't be overlooked including racial profiling, vigilantes huberance, gun laws and the prevalence of demonizing black males without evidence. Believe it or not, I've personally been characterize as in my "thug wear" or sporting a gangsta look while wearing my own hoodie with my favorite dark eyeglasses. Could a zealous security guard or other law person mistake me as a "Trayvon" suspect?  Also looming large in this case is Florida's "stand you ground law" which has been evoked as a probable defense that may allow Zimmerman  to walk free. Yes my readers, this guy could possibly get away with cold blooded murder due to murky legal interpretations. Even though he has stated that he was allegedly "attacked from behind by Martin," the 911 tapes reveal another scenario within the timeline and this is the reason this matter demands close scrutiny. This case is just getting started and most likely will get even more ugly.  Therefore just as the world waits and watches, so does COP 24/7. This forum supports the chorus of supporters and allies calling forth: "No Justice, NO Peace!"  There will be petitions and all manner of outcry as this case develops, stay locked and loaded to COP 24/7.

BGM Employment Opportunity: What's Up With That?

While we keep hearing about the lack of employment opportunities and or access to jobs for those seeking them, I've been amazed at the response to last weeks employment listing  by The Living Affected Corporation. The blurb sought Black Gay Males (18-34) for part- time outreach workers positions in reference to a HIV/AIDS prevention program being produced by the organization. Although their were a few responses, it appears that none of those applicants have followed through with further inquiry to the positions. What's more striking is the fact that there was such enthusiasm and promise shown to the project and the possibility of making a buck. However, it appears that these candidates have gone "MIA!." Consequently, the group has extended its search for more interested individuals who actually want to be responsible and make a comittment to the project. I know that its not as glam as being "Lil Whatever" or those other highly paid desirable positions such as Mc Donald's, but it could be a nice stash if you've got nothing else truly going on. And from what I can tell, many folks are idle and not stepping to plate of personal responsibility. If you are interested, hit the digits to 877.902.7HIV or you can click it to: infor@lacorponline.org    

LGBTQ Domicile Updates

Earlier this week COP 24/7 posted concerning the impending Lucies Place facility designed to house youth in need of assistance. This forum loves engaging our readership or those whom we spotlight on this platform concerning their current or upcoming projects. We got a response from Board President, P. Poppers who pointed out that the group actually had some other documents citing their current status and future fund raising strategy. COP 24/7 had not adequately searched the website to discover a drop down box which led to these documents. We were informed that the site is slated for some "re-do" for those surfing for more info. Otherwise, what we uncoverd was a nicely tailored excel spreadsheet and companion word document detailing the groups financials and ambitious projections thru 2014. It was also noted that the group was still persuing its official "501c3" designation as it has high hopes of acquiring those important foundation or corporate funding streams to support the effort. This forum mused on about the workings and operations of such a facility and the "known and unknown" elements that come out of nowhere while trying to get up and running. However it appears that there's much optismism about the road ahead including finding an Executive Director ready to implement programming and grappling with maintaining a 7/24 facility at the price point of about $28,000. It all sounds good and looks good on paper, but I've learned that all that glitters is simply not gold. Thusly I'm hopeful for the best, however, I've seen so much wreckage, dysfunction and wonderful concepts gone belly up from what they thought was a ground swell of support whether it was LGBTQ or allies with good intentions. I say "go for it!" Give it your all, but don't forget you've been warned!! Good Luck.


Penelope Poppers said...

"but I've learned that all that glitters is simply not gold"

Where is the glitter, Cornelius? Homeless kids, sexual and physical assault from parents, discrimination and flat out refusal of service from shelters, attempts and successful suicides. I see no glitter anywhere. Please let me know where the glitter is, I would do anything for some sort of glitter, anywhere. Even glitter in the eye would be better than the situation that currently exists for these youth. Have you ever gotten glitter in your eye? I can tell you it is a less than ideal situation.

The board of Lucie's Place knows that this won't be easy, we aren't stupid or dense. If it was easy, we would not be having this (one sided) conversation, a shelter for Queer and/or Trans young adults would exist already. The board has already poured much of our (valuable) time into this project and we all know that we have much, much more to pour.

"However it appears that there's much optimism about the road ahead..."

Yes, we have optimism out of necessity. The situation is grim, people are dying, many people have no hope. If the board of Lucie's Place wasn't optimistic about the future of the project, why would we even begin? If we simply listened to all the criticism being thrown at us, we would have never begun this project in the first place. We would not have begun because we have heard people tell us that we shouldn't try, it's impossible. I would like to think that all of this criticism is coming from a place of hope, or tough love, and maybe it is. But the it’s a little too tough and inching from love to abuse. This project isn't, in fact, impossible. Incredibly difficult, yet. If things didn't begin simply because they were incredibly difficult, where would you, or Diedra, Randi, or Suzanne Pharr be? Would have Women’s Project, AR AIDS Brigade, AR Gay & Lesbian Task Force, AR Equality Network, AR Act UP!, LACorp, CAR, or all the others I am not listing ever started? If projects were not started simply because they were difficult, the world would be a terrible place, more terrible than it already is. They all began with people telling them that it would be difficult.

We have hope. If we didn't have hope, who would? From the tone of this post and the previous post about Lucie's Place, it is pretty clear to me that you don't have much hope for Lucie's Place. I am pretty certain that was not your intent, but that is how it was read. What if Lucie's Place goes under, are you going to be the first to publicly say "I told them so"? Instead, why not send us an e-mail, or meet with us and discuss your concerns? Why not share your insight now, instead of later? And let's say Lucie's Place goes under, would you view it all as a waste of time? What about the young adults who have told me that I was the first nice, understanding person they had ever met. What about the young adults who were days, or hours away from a suicide attempt, but gained hope from a conversation or meeting with someone at Lucie's Place? What if Lucie's Place just saved one life? Would it be worth it to you? Would it be simply a waste of time?


Penelope Poppers said...

“This forum loves engaging our readership or those whom we spotlight on this platform concerning their current or upcoming projects.”

Unfortunately, I was not able to find much encouragement at all in this post. Re-reading the post, I get more of a message of “Stay back, this org is doomed/does not know what they are doing” more than “Here is this org and they are doing good work. I encourage readers to get involved/find out more information”.

Hopefully by now you can tell that I have found your comments about Lucie's Place very disheartening. I’m not asking that you sugar coat anything and I love critique, so don’t stop! But, how about you offer some positive words (aside from a quick “good luck”), or some advice. I, or the board of Lucie’s Place do not claim to have all the answers. We don’t claim to be able to predict the future; we don’t have road map that is sending us in the most direct route to our destination. On our journey, we are going to take some wrong turns, we are going to have to back track, who knows, we might even have to throw everything out the window and start from the very beginning. As the president of the board, I am willing to accept all of that. If you have some advice that would lead to us taking the correct path, please let me know. But until that time, we are doing the best we can, with what we have. We are taking advice and ideas from individuals and other organizations (local and national) and we are trying to piece together the puzzle.

I don’t know what your comment policy is, but my last one was not published, hopefully this one will.

I appreciate your tough love, but it’s starting to hurt.