So I need to leave our country if I expect a logical complete street arrangement and equitable means of getting around? Healthy active transportation means healthier populace. If people drove everywhere that would certainly offset the occasional accident since an in active lifestyle is far more dangerous that cycling to get from A to B. You would prefer a polluted, congested, expensive, closed off, miserable, and poorly planned city? Luckily, more people want better than that. I am sorry your city did a poor job of adding bike lanes, perhaps it was a design flaw... but to be so obtuse about any-and-all bike inclusion in the scope of transportation? It really serves no one. It is sad.
It is very sad that in 2013 we are still dealing with this. I suspect that it will not ever totally go away. It is annoying and taxing. After the GZ case and recently serving on a superior court case in our county, I have absolutely no respect for nor any faith in our justice system. I will not be surprised to see the police officer walk on these charges. We have to continue to educate our children on how to respond when they are confronted/accosted by the police and those in authority. I have no doubt that Jonathan knew and had been schooled on the protocol. This substantiates the notion that due to that terrible wreck, he was indeed out of his "right" mind that night. What "robber" announces his presence and intent by violently and viciously banging on a door before they rob someone?
Thanks for your comments, Juli. As you know, the full scope of Area 15 is far too rich to be boiled down into a single story. And while there are many stories to be told here, my focus was primarily on the individuals of the Free Store--including their apprehensions. I look forward to seeing this unique area evolve and I know many are appreciative of your input and sensitivity throughout the transition, as noted in the article.
Another great post Charles. Thank you. It saddens me to think of what our men have to go through in this day and age. And no I can't imagine a police officer tailing, following, a soccer mom like that. That's just ridiculous.
As the owner of Pure Pizza, I really appreciate your article about the Free Store to bring citywide awareness to the great things that are happening at Area 15.
I also really enjoyed our conversation on the phone when you called to ask about us opening our second location in Optimist Park. However, I'm a little disappointed the article left out so much of the information we talked about. It's a little disheartening reading the article bc the slant could appear that our team is coming in to gentrify and displace the neighbors in the neighborhood. And that is absolutely not the case.
What was not mentioned in this article are a few things:
The community garden the Pure Pizza team started - It's not a garden for our purposes, but rather for the neighbors of Area 15. We have been weekly participants of the Sunday food distribution - which operates out of the Free Store kitchen currently - and the fall planting of lettuce, cabbage, kale & herbs will be used in the weekly meals served to the Sunday guest. We are also there on site on Sundays to serve the guests who come to eat at the gathering. And we are working with the group to ensure there is access to our kitchen on Sunday's once we occupy - as not to disrupt the weekly service event.
We have been bringing food donations weekly to the Free Store for the Men's Bible Study. And I'm there several days a week to help volunteer at both the Free Store and the Urban Prayer Room.
We've started conversations with the pastor if the Urban Prayer Rooms homeless ministry about providing work opportunities as we are moving towards opening.
Additionally, our goal in the spring is to work with our urban & local farming community to have a unique farmers market bc it is important to us is to bring access to fresh, local food to the Optimist Park food desert.
Lastly, the Free Store is literally moving 10 feet (2 doors down) on the same block - so while there may be a sentimental value to the "house" - the amazing concept & community and essence of the Free Store is not moving or changing.
Thank you again for the awareness of the Free Store - just wish the full store of the relationship between Pure Pizza, the Free Store & Area 15 was articulated.
My sense of not belonging into Charlotte's society comes from people who are so intolerant of others that they if you are in the same economic bracket, social strata, congregation you are immediately an outcast.
The history of our country is very telling. After all the White House was built in large part with slave labor. Big business has had a history supplying economic incentives to target and discriminate people who are at risk. Our judicial system still unfairly punishes blacks. Why because some fat cats who bank rolled the prison system give incentives to police departments when they fill up the jails.
If people could only open their eyes they would see that without the contributions of our colored brothers, American culture would be really fuckin' bland. Without Gospel , Jazz there would be no blues and no rock.
WE NEED TO WAKE THE FUCK UP.
Charles, I have thought long and hard about this tragic event. It occured just down my street. Helicopters, news crews,
and looky loos for days. It quickly became spectacularized. My gut responded it was
" because he was black". My neighborhood FB group had opinions, questions, condemnations and condolences. It was a study on ism upon ism.
An innocent young man lost his life! His potential completely denied. That's the issue for me. As we prejudge we deny worthy potential in each other. When we live under the spell of a prejudiced culture we deny our own.
Charles you always bring more clarity to difficult issues. You are our Flannery O'Connor. Just when we think we have "it" figured out, you teach us to see our world with brighter eyes and better thinking.
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There should be ZERO government involvement in marriage. No license needed, no special privileges granted.
@Sue Johnson You are correct that unfortunately whenever, race, class, gender, age or any other isms are present there is always the potential for bias treatment. You are right the officer was wrong but my point is the farther you are away from the mainstream then the more you are made aware that you have to sometimes overcompensate in order to get treated equally or fairly. Like I am sure you have to all but trip one of those store clerks to get some service...smile Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.
@Daisean Mills I am very glad you reading some of our great thinkers young artist. It does not mean that we have to necessarily look or act white but the ugly truth is that black and brown men have to monitor their actions as they can be misinterpreted given the prevalent stereotypes of that demographic. Like I said it is more than coping mechanism for us it becomes a necessary survival skill. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this this subject young artist. And keep reading the classic thinkers...smile
I can only relate my own experience to this discussion, but not as a black woman, but has an older white female. There are certain retail establishments that when seeing an older woman walk into the store totally and completely ignore her...rather me. I could and have stood around for more than 10 minutes waiting for someone (anyone) to help in my selection. Couples and men were immediately approached, but it was if I was invisible. I walked out. So in my own way, I can understand the stereotyping, but to a much lesser degree. As to the shooting of the young man being discussed, I was horrified. Maybe he was disoriented from the accident and yes, maybe the homeowner was frightened, but the police officer was totally wrong. Ten shots! Unheard of! One shot in the leg to stop him would have been sufficient regardless of the color of his skin. But ten shots! The officer was in the wrong not the young man or the homeowner and that is where the blame belongs.
As i've been enlightening and self educating myself I have came across a study of the late great W.E.B. Du Bois, "double consciousness." As I was reading this yesterday morning I thought to myself what if he did act different and was composed and in the right state of mind would the outcome of this tragic accident be? Well I came up with this and not to sound bias towards any race(because I believe and practice in the equality of all people)but regardless of how brother Ferrell acted he was profiled because of his skin color and he didn't act "White". It is sad that we have been institutionalized and oppressed into thinking that whatever we do we have to act and look like "The White Man" to be accepted and not to be seen as a danger when we mean no harm. I'm glad that you wrote this column to bring awareness to "Racial Profiling" in our own back yard(even though we live in the southern baptist bible belt). Great Column Mr. Easley!
@ Mark Kemp I am just trying to keep things in perspective for myself and others if it helps...smile Thank you for reading man!
On a side note, I thought Ta-Nehisi Coates was uncharacteristically reticent in his commentary on the Ferrell case. I think he's right about not blaming the woman who called the police, but I would have liked to have read more than just that first and last graf from him on the police response. Maybe I just wanted to see a longer piece on this from him in general.
Charles, excellent insight — as always.
@D Barbara McWhite It is sad that the persona of black man has become synonymous with thug and criminal. You are right that the actions of some have a direct impact on the entire demographic. I pray that things will change but looking at historical patterns I do not think that will be possible anytime soon. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject!
It is so sad that African American men are presumed guilty of unspecified crimes by police and other citizens. I do believe that some of our men have given the rest of us a bad reputation and we should do more to call them out and demand they be accountable for following the laws we all have to follow.
Having said that, this case is another example of an innocent black man being senselessly killed. And the sad part is that so many of us are becoming desensitized to these killings.
Great column, Sir.
The "10 reasons" are laughable. Especially No. 10. You don't have the first bloody clue whether it offends God. Have you spoken to God and received his/her perspective on the matter?
This is a great article, Ana. It's stories like this that make journalism, good journalism, so powerful.
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