GEORGE FLOYD’S KILLER WILL GO FREE!

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Why Officer Chauvin would not be convicted for the killing of George Floyd?

Today, exactly 26 years ago on June 12, 1994, a certain Black America Orenthal James Simpson aka OJ Simpson knifed to death his ex-wife, the All American blonde Nicole Brown and her boyfriend, a White restaurant waiter 10 years her junior, Ron Goldman. In the criminal trial that followed OJ was not only discharged but acquitted. That is not however not the end of the story because on February 4, 1997 the accused was in a separate trial found to be responsible for the murders in a civil case that awarded against him “compensatory and punitive damages” of $33.5 million that OJ is still paying in instalments to date. I shall endeavor to return to OJ in my conclusion lest I forget Larry Fisher’s award winning photograph taken on October 3, 1995 – the exact moment on the day Mr Simpson was acquitted live on TV taken at the Augustana College, a high brow liberal arts university campus on 115 acres of hilly, wooded banks of the mighty Mississippi River at Rock Island, Illinois.

This iconic photograph still captures the embarrassing extent of the systematic racial divide still prevalent in that great nation even as the fallout of George Floyd’s murder is still unfolding. Officer Derek Chauvin acted within operational guidelines when he knelt on George Floyd’s neck as the Minneapolis Police Department’s manual on Use of Force specifically under numbers 5-300 and 5-311 allows the use of knee neck restraint among others when a suspect “appears drug affected” It was therefore not premeditated murder. Those that approved that standard procedure manual should be the suspects. Let me at this stage reiterate my position; I am not holding brief for Officer Chauvin nor condoning his actions. I am merely engaging in an analysis of the “What ifs” of the case called Red Team which is simply preparing for the worst ahead of time. This practice originated in computer access control whereby for instance, a bank’s top management will engage “ethical” hackers to attempt scaling the bank’s cyber security firewalls without the knowledge of that same bank’s IT department.

Chess players do it all the time to anticipate the moves of any opponent. Anyway, according to the autopsy report on Mr Floyd released by his family showed he died of “asphyxiation” Beyond that however they did admit he was Covid-19 positive.

Meanwhile, another report done by the Minneapolis Medical Examiner stated George’s death was due to “…arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication, and recent use of methamphetamine and cannabis” – please remember “appears drug affected” police department policy! Another issue is George Floyd’s violent past is his rap sheet. Some highlights include but not restricted to;

• George Floyd was the ringleader of a violent home invasion

• He plead guilty to entering a woman’s home, pointing a gun at her stomach and searching the home for drugs and money, according to court records

• Floyd was sentenced to 10 months in state jail for possession of cocaine in a December 2005 arrest

• He had previously been sentenced to eight months for the same offense, stemming from an October 2002 arrest

• Floyd was arrested in 2002 for criminal trespassing and served 30 days in jail

• He had another stint for a theft in August 1998

All these would be factored in by the defense lawyers of Officer Chauvin to demonize Mr Floyd. Interestingly, Officer Derek Chauvin and the late George Floyd both previously worked as bouncers at a Minneapolis night club.

In 1991, Rodney King endured brutal beating by 4 policemen with batons that left him with permanent brain damage and other serious heath challenges. The entire episode was captured on camera but not enough to convict any of the White policemen because he was “under the influence of drugs” and had to be subdued. By 1999, another set of 4 White cops in New York pumped 41 bullets into Amadou Diallo. He was also suspected to be under the influence of and carrying a gun. The autopsy report showed no drugs nor alcohol but the Street Crime Unit insisted he looked like a “serial rapist” Diallo had nothing more than his wallet on him and the 4 policemen were discharged and acquitted. You guessed right Messrs King and Diallo were African Americans. Following the acquittal of the cops that beat up King protests followed. 63 people died, 2383 injured and over 12,000 arrested. Over $1 billion in damage was incurred. So when 2 years later in the same city of Los Angeles the OJ Simpson came up the White establishment had to think outside the box despite his glaring guilt which started by ensuring the prosecutors were incompetent. The rest as they say is now history.

In conclusion, the American system has certain peculiarities that sustain institutional racism but bends over when it is expedient. In OJ’s criminal trial that lasted 9 months, 488 pieces of evidence were submitted by the prosecution which included hair, blood, fiber and shoe print analysis. On each OJ’s Dream Team lawyers raised objections on technical grounds thereby creating reasonable doubt on his involvement. He was therefore discharged and acquitted but in the civil trial that followed OJ was found complicit with exactly the same evidence! Another Rodney King round of protests was averted. It is only in America a presidential candidate will win by popular votes in millions yet lose by electoral votes numbering hundreds. For me the fundamental issue is not Officer’s guilt.

It is the all pervasive Apartheid like system that keeps Native (Red Indian), Hispanic and Asian Americans down which Black dignity has refused to be subservient to. Trust me Officer Chauvin would walk free but before then the White establishment would have made some major concessions that would not warrant any further protests. The City of New York offered $3 million to the family of Diallo while Rodney King raked in $3.8 million from the City of Los Angeles. The million dollar question is how much the family of George Floyd would settle for? Racism will never end in America. It would however remain increasingly monetized. Everything there has a price tag!

Prudence in the Jungle

One of the most prudent things you should do for yourself in Nigeria today is keeping out of trouble. One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to be sent to jail in Nigeria.

Jail in Nigeria is halfway house to hell. Maryam Sanda will probably never be executed, most Governor’s do not sign the death warrant anymore. Orji Kalu Uzor will probably never serve full-time.

But still Nigerian prisons are like Nazi concentration camps. The food is calamitous, healthcare is none existent.

I have seen a prisoner holding his eye ball in his hand, it was still attached to his eye socket by a tendril. Someone used a spoon to scoop out his eye ball in a fight. The nurse was off duty. Nobody cared, he died.

I had a client once who was remanded in prison. He was HIV positive and did not tell me. Maybe that would have been further grounds for bail. He could not take his drugs and he relapsed. Before I could try to get him out it was too late, he died.

The food given to prisoners is not fit for human consumption, even animals should not be made to eat such rubbish. Meanwhile, huge sums of money has been budgeted for feeding prisoners.

Avoid trouble, infact, flee from trouble. Anything that will involve police charging you to court is trouble. If you can kill a matter in the police station, by all means do it. Stop shouting,

“I know my right!”

This is Nigeria. Your right and left can change anytime.

Police will definitely ask for big money, if you have it and you suspect your case is not very solid kill the matter there. Even if you think you have a good case, this is Nigeria.

If your lawyer is shouting,

“we will meet in court!” in Police station tell him to calm down.

It is your case, not his. The use of “we,” is merely figurative. He will not stand in the accused box with you.

Remember, it is not what you know that matters in court, it is what you can prove. Besides, this is Nigeria. Ihedioha can testify.

I was attacked once by a pedestrian in Lagos. The car I was inside brushed him slightly. I was not the one driving. I just told him to be more careful.

That is how the guy attacked me. He threw 4 punches, I blocked two and dodged two.

I had the opportunity to counter punch but I did not. I am not Anthony Joshua. A police man eventually stopped him. I quickly removed myself from the scene.

I was happy enough I was not going home with a broken jaw, neither was I being charged for assault. Sometimes it is better to let some things go.

I do not mean that you should turn to everyone’s foot mat, but if you are going to take up an issue, ensure you are blameless, or almost blameless.

Avoid wahala. If people are beating up a thief do not join, or even stand and watch, even if it is your property that was stolen.

If someone hits your car don’t start fighting because of that.

Do not lend people money. It hardly ends well.

Do not surety people you don’t absolutely trust.

Avoid too much night movement, and partying and clubbing.

Avoid people who cannot control their alcohol, they always start brawls.

Realize that a bad situation can always get worse, or better, depending on how you handle it.

Avoid people who talk too much.

Be wary with your speech. Do not talk about people behind their backs.

Always assume that someone is recording your speech and videoing your actions.

Even if someone comes with negative gossip about another person, do not say anything. If you talk, it is what you said that will somehow find its way to the person’s ear.

Stop saying things like,

” Do you know who I am?”

“I no dey fear anybody!”

“My yes is my yes and my no is my no!”

Finally, remember to keep your anger and ego in check, the world does not revolve around you, it revolves around the sun 🌞. Copied.

The Failure of Fathering

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The circumstances behind this photograph are too painful and mind boggling to recount here. As the details have already gone viral but irrespective of the heinous actions these teenagers committed the truth is simply that no matter how hard we try to color or panel beat the situation the spike in kidnapping, rape, substance abuse, suicide, vandalism, crime and other forms of vice pervading our nation are all symptoms of the breakdown of traditional family values.

We are all responsible either by acts of commission or omission of making monsters out of these kids because the virus causing their ailment is what is known as “father absence”
Being a father is the world’s most difficult job. It is beyond the culmination of our lust and not a job description of just physical presence but of psychological relevance. It is being there taking responsibility, communicating and mentoring. Paying the bills and providing for them is mandatory but not enough. That is why the Biblical definition of being an orphan is fatherlessness.

Th

e main challenge is that no matter how well you package your children as long as those they hang-out with are badly packaged yours are in constant danger. It is called Peer Pressure. There is no perfect formula against it but being there for them is a good beginning. Then there is wisdom, tact and good luck. Being strict and vigilant monumentally helps. It is however a double edged sword because the teenage years are the most radioactive. At that age all systems are at peak performance and willing to experiment and be inventive. It is a precarious stage of experimentation.

What therefore is the best way forward? Fathers must take back their children by spending more time with them. What teenagers hate most is being judgmental on them. So create ways and means to channel their enormous energies and imagination. Back in the day there were outlets of positive character formation and confidence building Boys Scouts, Man o’ War and so on. Now its social media all the way!

It is within that double edged sword context that we must find the solutions. Fathers must become more media savvy and checkmate our young in the battleground that takes so much of their attention.
There is however nothing that beats spending more time with them that is why it is called “quality time” Give them freedom…….wahala don’t give them freedom…..wahala. I do not subscribe to the Hausa adage of “Ka haifi yaro, baka haifi halin sa ba” – Fathering a child does not make you responsible for his faults. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a very lame excuse. Their faults are ours. Without teaching them about taking responsibility how can they transit from being boys to men? The teenagers in the above picture certainly have or had fathers. There must be a missing link somewhere. Exploring these missing links by all fathers is the most veritable solution for us despite our social class, religious and ethnic differences.

We are not perfect but as fathers we must constantly improve our brand equity. After all it was another father like us who ought to have known better that raped an underage Busola Dakola. This kind of double standard confuses young minds. Lord Have Mercy!

Ruby Bridges: Racism is a grown up disease.

By Alex Kovow on facebook

I cant believe this and am so embarrassed that this history is absent from 20 years of education I received in Ghana right up to tertiary level. I have learnt about Winston Churchill, Mungo Park, Marco Polo, Sir Francis Drake and Christopher Columbus and how great they were. No one ever taught me about the guts of this little black kid and what she had to endure…
And apparently she is still alive today.
Read on please
In 1960, a 6 year old girl, Ruby Bridges became the world symbol of the courage to learn amidst untold intimidation and hate. The US Supreme court had just ordered that all schools be desegregated in the US to allow black children and white ones study together. The American South, the heart of racial segregation could hear none of it. New Orleans, where Ruby’s parents had settled from Mississipi decided on a plan to keep off the black youngsters and scuttle the court order. They decided to have very difficult entry examinations that black students couldn’t pass to frustrate their efforts to study with white students and the exam was only given to black students. Despite the painfully difficult exams, six black children passed, including Ruby.

The examinations body decided Ruby Bridges be admitted to the William Frantz Elementary school to begin her nursery studies. The community, teachers of the school and pupils would hear none of it. When Ruby reported for her first day in nursery school, there were violent riots and people threw objects at her. The following day all parents withdrew their children from the school. All the teachers also withdrew from the school saying they couldn’t teach a black kid. Except one brave teacher Barbara Henry.

Realizing that the US State of New Orleans wanted to disobey a court order requiring them to admit black children, President Dwight Eisenhower ordered that Ruby must attend school and sent Federal Marshalls to escort Ruby daily to school. Little did he know, the US soldiers would escort the young six year old girl for a record one year.

As she went to school daily, escorted by US Soldiers, Large crowds of adults and their children gathered by the road side who abused her, threw objects at her. One woman who cooked at the school threatened to poison her. The Marshalls decided she must now eat at her own home. A woman in the crowd daily showed her the image of a black doll in a wooden coffin as they spat on her. Locals shops refused to sell anything to her parents. They were turned away from every shop they went. Then the girl started having stress and would wake her mother in the middle of the night seeking comfort. The hate was too much to bear.

For one year, US soldiers escorted the brave Ruby to William Frantz school where there were only two people, Teacher Barbara and one student Ruby. They sat side by side or facing each other. There was nobody else. President Eisenhower handed over power and the predicament of Ruby Bridges to President John Kennedy. After one year, with the parents and protesting teachers realizing Ruby and Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy not flinching an inch, decided to return their children to school. Then the racist teachers returned. After a full one year. Ruby Bridges had stoically fought racism as a six year old.

As one of the soldiers who daily escorted her for one year Charles Burks would later say, “She never cried or whimpered, she just marched along like a little soldier.” Churks said guarding Ruby was the highlight of his career, the most important thing he ever did.

Ruby is now the chair of Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences.”

She was recently reunited with Barbara, the teacher who refused to go with the crowd and teach one pupil for one year and give her a future. Barbara still lives in New Orleans with her husband and children. In her memorable words ‘Racism is a grown up disease and we should stop using our kids to spread it”

She lived to see a black man become president of the United States and was imvited to the White House where President Obama showed her a drawing of herself being escorted to school in 1960 engraved in the most powerful office on earth, immortalized for posterity.