Kindle Scout campaign for #MattersOfConvenience is over, but excerpt will be up at Amazon for at least 15 more days https://t.co/7CdTi9I1Qs pic.twitter.com/RCQaY5ZEY4— Seeks K-Scout Votes (@AuthorofPatches) October 14, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Curtis took a discretely proud peek at his reflection in the tinted window of a lime green Mercedes. His muscled torso was accentuated by the snug fit of his brand new policeman's uniform. He struck an imposing figure as he patrolled streets that he had grown to manhood roaming. Surely no one would be foolish enough to break the law on his vigilant watch. But if criminal activity were to take place, he was well prepared for the task of maintaining order and safety for the citizens under his protection.
Despite enduring criticism upon announcement of his decision to become one of the city's finest, Curtis was positive that he had been born to do this. The way to combat the many legitimate accusations of brutality and racial profiling by the police force was not to cry out in impotent anger, but to become an active part of the solution.
He took off his hat for a moment and rubbed a hand over his cleanly shaved, chocolate brown skull. His friends asserted that brown and blue did not, and could not mix. Curtis looked forward to proving them wrong. More so, he was anxious to prove his worth and advance rapidly through the ranks. Once he made detective he would marry Denise, buy a house out in the suburbs, and get started on the family he had planned on being the head of for as far back as he could remember.
"Looks like I'm going to have a quiet first day on the job," said Curtis to his partner Steve.
"Don't get ahead of yourself rookie," advised Officer Steven Coley. "The sun is just beginning to set. Darkness gives people foolish ideas."
"Well, we'll be there to give those fools second thoughts, won't we?"
Instead of answering the question, Steve chuckled, his belly shaking under a uniform that seemed about to burst at the seams.
"Quite the eager beaver, aren't you? Believe it or not, I was once as primed to charge forth and do good as you are now."
"So what happened?" Curtis asked, examining the gray that had begun to invade his partner's curly blonde sideburns. "Have you seen too much to care anymore? Have you grown jaded?"
"Nope," replied Steve. "I've just grown up."
Mr. Kim seemed like a good man and had sold him the store at a fair price, now that he was ready to retire and move back to Korea. Leonard wished him well. Still, he felt that justice had been served by the passing of this store from the Korean man's hands into his own. In order for money to replenish and revitalize this neighborhood it needed to circulate throughout the black community, not flow out into the hands of outsiders. Leonard had been born and raised less than twenty blocks from the establishment he came to acquire. But although the distance traveled was physically short, several decades of strenuously worked muscles and judicious application of his studies were needed to complete the journey.
Leonard had big plans. He would not be content merely to make a good living supplying his neighbors with bare necessities. Little by little he would expand the inventory until his store stood out from nearby competitors. People would walk a few extra blocks to obtain what he alone could offer them. He intended to give the store an Afrocentric flavor, to make it a source not only of personal, but also of neighborhood pride.
He may have been starting small, but felt confident customer loyalty would eventually enable him to branch out into other areas of interest. Leonard was determined to become not only a successful businessman, but also a leader, a pillar of his community. He had always believed that most limitations were self-imposed, that all goals were attainable through hard work and commitment to a vision. No less than the world had been imagined for himself, and this store was to be just the first chunk of it.
A young man in his early twenties or late teens walked through the door. He was greeted with a nod and slight grin that Leonard could not suppress. Although numerous people had been in and out to make purchases throughout the day, the feeling of euphoric unreality had not quite evaporated yet. Leonard had only been more proud on one other occasion, the birth of his son. Julian was now assured of a mighty inheritance, an empire that would be built one happy customer at a time.
He noticed a poster of Malcolm X in contemplation on the wall and took this to be a sign of support for his cause. After all, Malcolm had made the words "by any means necessary" a legendary battle cry. Marshall had no shortage of necessity. As for means, this was it, his lone option. His mother required her medication, and those who supplied it required to be paid. This meant that Marshall needed money, plenty of it, quick. There was not enough time to earn it honestly, so he had set out in search of someplace and someone to take it from. His feet led him to this grocery store, and instinct made him stop and decide this was as good a place and time as any.
Marshall felt his nervousness slowly giving way to resolution that was spiced with anger. It was unfair that he was forced to stoop so low. He had never stolen from anyone before, never hurt anybody. This wasn't the type of person he had ever intended to be. He was an honor roll student, known and even teased for his clean cut lifestyle. Living otherwise had not really been an alternative. His mother raised him from day one to always do right. She had done this on her own, having long ago been abandoned by Marshall's father, and no one could have done a better job. Marshall did not want to let his mother down. But this wish was crushed under the weight of his desire to ease her suffering.
He grabbed a bag of something that he didn't bother to take notice of and headed towards the grocer. The longer he hesitated, the greater the chance that his nerve would be lost. Marshall experienced one last quiver of doubt when he realized that his crime would be against one of his own. He could have sworn a Korean man ran this store. But it was too late for such a thing to be consequential. An unstoppable surge of momentum was pushing Marshall towards his destiny.
Officer Coley suspected that the remark was a dig at his increasingly prominent beer gut. Then again, he may have become oversensitive to the issue since Erma had gone on an exercise kick and started harassing him about his physical condition.
"You going on the patch, rookie?"
"Nah," answered Curtis. "Cold turkey. Once I make a decision, I stick to it. I don't need any outside help."
"Whatever you say. I'll wait out here."
"You want me to get you anything?"
"No, I'm fine."
Curtis headed towards the grocery store, crossing at the crosswalk after looking both ways for traffic like any law abiding citizen should. He recalled with amusement Denise's remark that he had developed a new stride, a cop walk, as he walked around their apartment in his new uniform, his polished badge gleaming, the weapon in his holster and nightstick by his side granting him officially licensed power. As a six foot three African American male with a chiseled frame that may as well have been armor, Curtis was used to being considered intimidating. But in his new wardrobe, in his new professional capacity, with his new "cop walk", a layer of respect had been applied to the apprehension he naturally evoked. And Curtis was reveling in it.
The approaching customer had tightly braided hair, like Latrell Spreewell of the New York Knicks. Now that he was on the short track to affluence, Leonard was considering whether to loosen his purse strings for the opportunity to become a season ticket holder. It would be a well-deserved reward for a life-time of industriousness.
"Will that be all, young man?"
"What?" Not wishing to confuse, Marshall removed the gun in his waistband and pointed its barrel towards the grocer. From this point on he was certain that his intentions would be perfectly clear, questions unnecessary.
"I see," said the man behind the counter in a voice that taunted with its calmness. Although Marshall was the one calling the shots, the one in possession of the deadly weapon, he had never been more frightened in his life.
"Take it easy, son. I'll give you whatever you want. Just take a deep breath and gather yourself. There's no reason for anybody to get hurt."
Marshal looked down and saw what the grocer had seen, that his hand was shaking uncontrollably, not a good sign when one of its fingers was on a trigger. He felt a trickle of sweat sliding down his temple, even though it was comfortably cool in the grocery store. This show of fear shamed him. He half expected the grocer to laugh at his amateurish behavior. If he did, it would be his final act, for Marshall would not tolerate being ridiculed. He had entered this store with the intention of committing a neat and efficient armed robbery that would solve all of his problems. Now he just wanted this terrifying ordeal to be over with, one way or another.
"May I ask you something?" asked Leonard as he gathered together the bills in his cash register. "I don't wish to offend, but don't you want to do something meaningful with your life? Don't you want to contribute to society instead of leeching off of it? Because the truth is, all you're doing is digging a hole with bad choices to bury yourself in. Is that what you want?"
"I just want some medicine for my mom," Marshall said, desperate to resume command of a situation that seemed to have a mind of its own, to accomplish the goal he had set for himself, to stem the blinding tears that the grocer's questions had unleashed, and to convey to this man that he was not a bad person, appearances to the contrary, that his trembling hand had been forced by events beyond his control. "I can't afford to worry about that other stuff right now. I can't afford nothing but that medicine, and with the money in your register, I can get it. I didn't dig this hole. I was born in it. Now I'm trying to climb out, cause my mom can't survive in a hole much longer. Do you understand?"
"Yes, I think I do."
A boy was hunched over the counter, his braided head cradled in his arms, shaking and sniffling in a manner that suggested he was crying. One of his hands was clenching a large wad of cash, which in of itself was suspicious. On the opposite side of the counter, the store's proprietor was reaching behind his back, putting an object into his pants pocket, out of sight. Perhaps a wallet. Perhaps not.
"Everything okay in here?" Curtis asked.
"Put your money away, son," the merchant said. "Our transaction is concluded. We've both gotten through the day. We can both start over tomorrow."
Curtis lowered his empty gun hand back to a relaxed position, placated by the voice of the grocer who simultaneously answered the police officer's question and reassured the young man who was leaving the store with a look of wonderment in his eyes.
"Everything is just fine."
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
A few minutes of your time is all I request to read an excerpt from my soon to be published second novel - Matters of Convenience. It has been submitted to Amazon's Kindle Scout contest and will be eligible to vote on for 30 days starting on September 14th. A split second is all that's needed to push the button nominating it for publication by Kindle Press. Peruse book excerpts available in multiple genres for others to your liking as well, with 3 nominations allowed at a time. If Matters of Convenience is offered a publication deal from Kindle Press, a free copy of the Kindle edition will be sent to you as reward from Amazon and THANK YOU from me.
Cover design by Erin Rogers Pickering
The Kindle Scout program has been described as American Idol for books. Rather than singing and dancing for your entertainment I've presented an excerpt (first 5000 words, give or take a few) from Matters of Convenience. Enough nominations from readers for publication puts the decision in the hands of judges at Kindle Press. You get to have a say in what's published, and if a book you nominated is chosen, you land a free copy of it.
It's as easy as ABC, and as bonus there is D.
Step A: Read the excerpt at Kindle Scout (or if you would rather read the entire book in one shot, simply start with Step B)
Step B: Nominate to move my book on to the decision makers at Kindle Press
Step C: If Matters of Convenience receives an offer of publication from Kindle Press, you receive a free copy of the Kindle ed.
Step D: Regardless of the outcome of the Kindle Scout contest, Matters of Convenience will be published and available for purchase in print and Kindle formats come November 15, 2016.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Colin Kaepernick didn't stand for the national anthem and this is the outfit he wore at post game. #Wokepernick pic.twitter.com/H830rOI6eQ— Kazeem Famuyide (@RealLifeKaz) August 27, 2016
Also, please don't search the words "kaepernick terrorist" today. I suffered so that you don't have to. Thx.— Chris Beige (@3rdAndMiles) August 27, 2016
Stupidly I chose to go against this advice. Stupid stupid stupid. https://t.co/edirq4nfOi— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Before crushing Kaepernick, consider the possibility that not everyone experiences things in the same way.— Jane McManus (@janesports) August 27, 2016
That won't help Kap's overall popularity but you gotta do what your heart insists upon. I'm more interested in how well (or not) he plays.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Kaepernick told me that he is fully aware that there will be backlash. He is willing to deal with it: https://t.co/R3pSnMeWdD— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) August 27, 2016
Am I imagining things or do Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick alternate social consciousness stances every few months?— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Cam newton a few months ago: I am an African american QB that scares ppl.— Ruthless (@RuthOhanu) September 1, 2016
Cam today: we're all the same color pic.twitter.com/xP2zhoSGIg
@theNFLchick Yeah, I don't recall knowing where Kaep stood on much beyond having a 6-pack until today. Whatever. I'm a fan of both of them.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
@theNFLchick Make me wonder (being the cynic that I am) to what degree his evolution is a result of no longer being the superstar starter.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
@theNFLchick But respect either way. I'm rooting for him.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Colin Kaepernick sits out the anthem because of how America treats Black people so his mentions are filled with racial slurs & threats.— Amadi (@amaditalks) August 27, 2016
A Line A Day: When Sports and Social Issues Collide https://t.co/oasE0oLm8U— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
You can't criticize Kaep for thinking America < great but applaud Trump for saying USA needs to be made great. Unless you're an a-hole.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
I'm not upset at Colin Kaepernick but I'm not going to give him a cookie either. He didn't stand up, big whoop. Impress me by curing cancer.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Ali had his title taken away, lost his job, had to fight to stay out of jail. Kaepernick caught flack on Twitter. In 2016 we see these as =— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Takes more than pure talent to be: THE GREATEST - A LIFE FULLY LIVED https://t.co/NM1tgCeDXX— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Kaepernick could have stood up and spared me some of the resulting ignorance I've seen on my TL today.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
Who hurt you? Oh never mind, I see his name right there on the shirt. https://t.co/UQyH1ChyzS— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
Yeah the ashies are gonna definitely go at Kaep for being adopted by a white family and being light skinned. Sad to be able to predict it.— Rod TBGWT (@rodimusprime) August 27, 2016
@rodimusprime No crystal ball or tarot cards required to make that call.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
#Kaepernick. BLM tool . Black father abandoned family .white mom puts him up for adoption .white family steps up pic.twitter.com/mAzAX5pb0W— Jeff Thomas (@jeffex11) August 28, 2016
I keep telling the faux woke. Don't matter what race mom, dad, wife, kids or whoever may be. What matters is who YOU r. Start judging there.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
If you insist on judging, that is. Because it technically isn't mandatory to do any more than live and let live.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Niners QB Kaepernick refuses to stand for anthem in protest. https://t.co/IB6r7c9aEf pic.twitter.com/hyM2nbxEDV— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) August 28, 2016
Even with Colin Kaepernick's comments & his decision to not stand for the anthem, the #49ers, Chip Kelly will make football decisions on Kap— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2016
Unless team owner says otherwise cuz tix to sell and it's his team.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 27, 2016
Why expend energy tearing into someone for doing something that did no harm to you or anybody else? Not impressed by patriotic posing.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
I didn't do back flips every time Kaep stood for the anthem & I shed no tears over him sitting it out. His job, his life, his call.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
Won't cause me to miss 1 second of sleep tonight. Same amount I didn't miss over Locthe or other flare up & fade fast sports news stories.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
@AuthorofPatches him disrespecting his own country, this country is an issue.— Jiwano Starshine (@JoshDamage) August 28, 2016
@JoshDamage Beautiful thing abt America is 1 has the right to express dissatisfaction with America. Criticizing Kaep is criticizing America.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
Since the NFL doesn't require their employyes to stand during the national Anthem, I guess what Kaepernick did wasn't as bad as I thought-— Jiwano Starshine (@JoshDamage) August 28, 2016
Football has surpassed boxing and baseball as America's favorite pastime. So it's the best/biggest stage upon which to take a stand.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
A Line A Day: Are You Ready For Some Football?!! https://t.co/jKj5hGnr26— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
man it would be really nice if for the whole NFL season every black person in the stands refused to stand during the anthem— Darth Kriss (@insanityreport) August 28, 2016
The day I see that level of racial coordination is the day I wake up from that dream. https://t.co/2faBFtWDYP— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
It takes A LOT to get every single black person in America to be on the same page about something. Obama. OJ. Coming to America.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
Look at this poor oppressed person of color living in evil racist America! How will he ever make it?#Kaepernick pic.twitter.com/jStjRKYQM8— Hector Morenco (@hectormorenco) August 27, 2016
No idea how Colin Kaepernick survived a childhood this rough. pic.twitter.com/MYqAJitkqc— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 28, 2016
Having a problem w/ over-policing & justice system set up 2 protect rogue cops isn't anti-white by def. Many whites & blacks get this wrong.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
Perfectly possible 4 Kaepernick or Jesse Williams or whoever 2 love parents & various other white ppl yet also recognize US race disparities— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
But if you're a white person OR a black person who only hears anti-white rhetoric in "black lives matter" battle cry, you'll never get that.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
.@Kaepernick7 statement rings right now.There's no fkn way there should be near 3 million people in USA prisons. Today's jocks must speak up— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) August 28, 2016
speaking out is good but there is a way to do it.— Jiwano Starshine (@JoshDamage) August 28, 2016
Victor Cruz doesn't agree with Colin Kaepernick's method of demonstration. https://t.co/8NTeoOcXgv pic.twitter.com/0PIW1DYM5I— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 28, 2016
Message on t-shirt or sneakers, not standing or saluting, power fist, hashtag. These are all just protest gestures & gestures only go so far— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
But I suppose they do go further than going along silently.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
If Kaepernick really wants to bring about change, he needs to follow up his step 1 (which simply drew attn to matter) with concrete actions.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 31, 2016
Not standing for anthem once was ship that launched 1000 think pieces & 100,000 faux outrage comments. Doing so repeatedly won't move needle— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 31, 2016
There needs to be a phase 2 to Kaep's plan (if a plan is what it is), otherwise just a bunch of post Olympics pre football season noise.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 31, 2016
Symbolic acts are cool but when lives are at stake we need to move beyond that and get our hands dirty. If nada else, keep Trump out of WH.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 31, 2016
Q: "why doesn't Kaepernick put his money where his mouth is?!?"— @no_cut_card (@No_Cut_Card) September 2, 2016
Can't want million dollar stars to take a social stand & then call them unpatriotic when they do. pic.twitter.com/xIR23TDXTz— Ed Gordon (@EdLGordon) August 29, 2016
Different groups of people are doing the "wanting" and the "calling" so the requests can co-exist. https://t.co/plvB8ZW5yZ— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 29, 2016
All black people at work while overhearing their white coworkers discuss Kaepernick. pic.twitter.com/BvtYaILGLr— Rod TBGWT (@rodimusprime) August 28, 2016
Former NFL player calls out 'ignorant,' 'unappreciative' Kaepernick https://t.co/XpGEM6LTHN— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 29, 2016
Not quite so simple as all blacks support Kaep's actions and all whites are pissed at him. Plenty of folks of both races are on both sides.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 29, 2016
No words needed pic.twitter.com/WtW7pAJ9DL— JASTRADAMUS (@2SMART4) August 31, 2016
Is Colin Kaepernick your latest one? A Line A Day: CHOOSE YOUR HEROES CAREFULLY https://t.co/mVTCYbyHAj— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 28, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Not sure if #KorrynGaines is situation to get outraged over. Pointing a gun at cops gets people killed. Not everybody every time. But plenty— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
#KorrynGaines could hurt #BLM movement. If you stan equally for her, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, John Crawford, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
...rather than judging merits of very different cases on individual basis, less likely to be taken seriously.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
Sometimes benefit of doubt exists, other times it pretty clearly does not. Distinguish from each other rather than blanket black/white cover— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
There certainly are people who commit suicide by cop. And suicide by own hands. And are wrongfully killed. And are killed with fair cause.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
These situations are not identical to each other. Stamping #BLM hashtag on all of them equally is detrimental to cause IMHO.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
This video of #KorrynGaines and her 5 yo son during the police standoff makes me so sad for so many reasons.https://t.co/fD4pgMSwEh— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) August 2, 2016
Whether I judge instantly or wait for full picture to reveal itself, nobody is being brought back to life. No gun will unfire itself.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
Overgeneralizing and oversimplification are the enemies of progress.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
Progress has other enemies too, of course.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 2, 2016
Woman killed by Baltimore County police ignored pleas from boyfriend to surrender, mother says - https://t.co/14jPeZRMtt— jamalbryant (@jamalhbryant) August 3, 2016
I've seen many #sayhername tweets of solidarity over #KorrynGaines but I'm just not seeing the situation that way. A very avoidable tragedy.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
Was their overkill on part of cops? I wouldn't put it past them. But unlike other victims of overzealous law enforcement, it sounds to me...— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
...that Korryn Gaines could have survived that encounter if she wanted to. Welfare of child should have been primary objective to all.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
It's certainly upsetting that a beautiful young woman/mother was shot to death with child in her arms. But I don't see victim as blameless.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
I reserve the right to change my mind if evidence comes to point in another direction.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
Please don't get so caught up in hashtags and online outrage that you don't exercise caution & common sense IRL. Guns do just one thing.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
A cop may kill you for no good reason so definitely don't go out of your way to give them slightest cause. They just may take the bait.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
There's stuff that's worth dying for and stuff that just ain't. Pride usually falls in latter category.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
Bottom line - cops need to be better trained. Even it we can't weed out 100% of racist ones doesn't mean we can't have better trained bigots— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
Choose your martyrs wisely. Unfortunately there are quite a few to choose between. On sadly bright side, this means you can be selective.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 3, 2016
People want to be considered so "woke". God forbid somebody else has different opinion based on evidence. Must be a traitorous sell-out.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 4, 2016
People really need to stop doing that to each other and just agree to respectably disagree some of the time, while agreeing other times.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 4, 2016
No lone casualty represents all of em. No set of circumstances is universal. Shout tweeting/think pieceing doesn't make your opinion > valid— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 4, 2016
Thinking #KorrynGaines could have acted in a manner > protective of her child & not making him motherless is not denouncing all black women— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 4, 2016
Opinions are just that. Opinions. Not declarations of solidarity or any such nonsense.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 4, 2016
@JoshDamage I believe there was some mental instability there & cops could've handled it better but #KorryGaines was looking for a show down— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 8, 2016
@JoshDamage I'm less interested in specifics of situation than in online reaction. How quick ppl are to stamp #BLM on it & declare martyrdom— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 8, 2016
Atlanta's Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist―@mluckovichajc―isn't holding back. #BlackLivesMatter— David Harris-Gershon (@David_EHG) August 12, 2016
The questions raised by Korryn Gaines' death https://t.co/ArEZBFDBmD— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 18, 2016
Here's everything we know about the Nate Parker rape case: https://t.co/Eqe8BFhbpc pic.twitter.com/BX6B0k8X1Y— Complex (@ComplexMag) August 17, 2016
The answer is simple because they don't really want the story of Nat Turner too be released....— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) August 16, 2016
Interesting stuff. I'm baffled by the support Parker is receiving from those who also seem to concede that he's less than totally innocent.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 15, 2016
Parker was acquitted so that is what it is. But plenty have been acquitted of crimes but not forgiven by many who feel they got away w/ it.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 15, 2016
I'd like to see some consistency. Nate Parker you're cool with but Woody Allen is the devil and R Kelly gets a mixed bag of reactions.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 15, 2016
Not saying those situations are identical, but they're close enough. You either separate art from artist or else you don't...in all cases.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 15, 2016
We are selective with our condemnation and forgiveness, that's for sure. Once opinion on someone is formed we'd rather not change it.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 15, 2016
Not until we're good and ready to do so anyway.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 15, 2016
Allowing their ideology around Blackness to trump their feminism.— IG: Sil_Lai (Abrams) (@Sil_Lai) August 15, 2016
I read the court transcripts...Fuck Nate Parker— No Relation (@TheCosby) August 15, 2016
So if y'all had saw the transcripts of Pac, Mike Tyson, and Kobe's cases would y'all have supported them? Just asking questions.— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) August 17, 2016
I didn't read transcripts. I have no idea what he did/didn't do. I know his movie doesn't excuse his actions. I can respect 1 but not other.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 15, 2016
Clearly Nate Parker has just put in paperwork to try to buy NBC. https://t.co/mNfIiFlWsE— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 16, 2016
It's NBC's fault for increasing profile with Olympics. Or blame it on woman. Or blame it on the alcohol. Or racism. Anything but the accused— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 16, 2016
@abowllan @cthagod The higher the profile gets the more invasive the questions become. Whether it's Nate Parker or Donald Trump or whoever.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 16, 2016
The best way to keep skeletons in your closet is to remain largely unknown.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 17, 2016
Here's a friendly reminder that if you feel you must boycott Nate Parker's Nat Turner movie, I'm pretty sure somebody wrote a book on topic.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 16, 2016
William Styron wrote a book about Nat Turner. But he did so while being white so if that's a deal breaker, move on.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 16, 2016
@abowllan @cthagod I plan to see the movie b/c interested in topic & I don't tie art to artist. As for Nate, I neither deify nor decry him.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 16, 2016
Nate Parker’s Accuser Committed Suicide in 2012, Her Brother Speaks Out (EXCLUSIVE) https://t.co/ivc8LCzT6X— Variety (@Variety) August 16, 2016
Im not feminist, nor womanist, nor woke per 2016 standards, nor hotep. Only reason I have 4 not supporting Nate Parker film is human empathy— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 17, 2016
Might have to roll with that one because the more I learn the less I like what I hear.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 17, 2016
‘Birth Of A Nation’ Director Nate Parker Responds To Rape Accuser’s Suicide https://t.co/HsdjmYSP2B pic.twitter.com/n25nU1LlAG— Deadline Hollywood (@Deadline) August 17, 2016
He centered himself and the "very painful moment "in HIS life. Instead of acknowledging the pain the young woman went thru...#NateParker— Jalisa Whitley (@JalisaNichole) August 15, 2016
It would have been rough for Nate Parker if the woman was alive & speaking up about what happened. Only thing worse is what came to be.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 17, 2016
It means he's on a movie tour rather than in jail. If his conscience is clean, good for him. If it isn't, it isn't. https://t.co/OE2zrmxpZp— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) August 17, 2016
I REPEAT. CHOOSE YOUR HEROES CAREFULLY. AND NOW FOR SOME BOOK REVIEWS.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a beautifully written novel, full of bold sorrow and muted hope. Where there is hope, no matter how cautiously one treads from the past, there is a chance of happiness. But some people cannot or will not move forward, and for them life is a continuous echo of sorrow, an eternity of regret. Those incapable of happiness because old wounds failed to heal will be cruel to those who try to love them. Whether it desires company or solitude, misery consumes whoever is nearest. Regardless of how far one travels, anguish that has been absorbed into the bones cannot be escaped. The Lowland is a story of family, a construct we are told is bonded by blood but actually is held together by love and willingly made sacrifice. It is the story of a woman who marries the love of her life, loses him, and then marries his brother whom she never comes to love while carrying the child of the man she violently lost. Leaving a country behind does little to erase memories and allow a new chance at happiness to take root. Someone who cannot love you, regardless of the ties of blood, will always be a stranger rather than family.
View all my reviews The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What an incredibly eventful time period to read about. Somehow in one city in one year there is The Great Molasses Flood, the early growth stage of the NAACP in a racist climate, a Spanish Influenza pandemic, unions gaining a foothold to combat unfair labor practices and absurdly low wages, the Boston Police Strike of 1919 and resulting riots, the start of Prohibition, a relentless hunt for violent radicals who sow seeds of fear, and Babe Ruth being traded from the Red Sox to the NY Yankees where a dynasty will result. This action packed period of time in history was fascinating to learn about, with a multi-plotted page turner Dennis Lehane story line thrown into the middle of it as bonus. The more things change the more they stay the same was the thought that repeatedly came to mind as I read The Given Day. In 2016 we call the violent radicals Islamic terrorists; the medical crisis du jour is the Zika virus; protests follow questionable shootings with riots sometimes resulting when activists from the newbie #BlackLivesMatter movement face off against police officers with #BlueLivesMatter mindsets; and Kevin Durant has left Oklahoma City to form a super team in the Golden State. What's the modern day equivalent to the molasses flood? Donald Trump's presidential candidacy perhaps. Both certainly created enormous messes to deal with.
View all my reviews The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sometimes it's necessary to carefully arrange a system of beliefs to explain the unexplainable. People love a good mystery provided it gets solved in the end. Unresolved we are left with questions that can haunt us. Religion serves the purpose of providing answers without needing to bear the burden of proof. By accepting the influence and omnipotence of a higher power, rather than wrestling with questions, people accept explanations that cannot be disproved. But even the most strongly constructed belief system can be vulnerable to harsh doses of reality and cruel twists of fate. The Loney is a place where people come to seek miracles, a private Lourdes. Maybe the miracles are gifts from God. Maybe they come from elsewhere. If you find what you seek, does the source matter? If you learn the truth, was the miracle worth the lesson? I recommend giving Andrew Michael Hurley's atmospheric debut novel a read. I've done my best to review it spoiler free. Like high tide on a desolate beach, this novel will pull you in and hold on fast.
View all my reviews
Thursday, July 7, 2016
That video was sickening. Cold blooded murder. I don't know the back story. It doesn't matter. What I watched was a murder. #AltonSterling— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
#AltonSterling is the 558th person murdered extrajudicially by cops in 2016 alone. That's staggering. https://t.co/9HTUZ2zvYP— one hundred emoji (@maharajaz) July 6, 2016
Protests erupt in Baton Rouge after graphic video of police shooting surfaces #AltonSterling https://t.co/2pfmH52Wwj— Mashable (@mashable) July 6, 2016
The frightening thing about #AltonSterling is once he is attached to #BlackLivesMatter, people now tune out.— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) July 6, 2016
Negroes— hey Big Head (@moeshamitchel) July 6, 2016
Sweet and docile,
Meek, humble, and kind:
Beware the day
They change their mind
Whatever it takes to become a cop is clearly not nearly enough. Too many bad apples given a license to kill on a whim.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
Congressman @CedricRichmond (D), who represents Baton Rouge, calls for DOJ to investigate #AltonSterling shooting pic.twitter.com/jArCleDysw— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) July 6, 2016
If LA is an open carry state why were the police called on #AltonSterling— AllMyLifeIGotToFight (@DntBeGoodBeDave) July 6, 2016
Open Carry laws simply allow cops to be blatantly selective in who they'll ignore & who will inspire them to go Rambo. Bigotry tool like SYG— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
I don't whine about racists. They're whine proof. But bigots packing guns with legal protection to murder, that I have a problem with.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
Until we get serious about police dept. reform & enhancing gun regulations, one tragic hashtagged name will just blend into the next/rest— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
When will violence stop leading to fear of violence which leads right back to violence? New day, new sad hashtag. https://t.co/StPTsuM29E— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
The DOJ will investigate #AltonSterling shooting ➡️ by @juliacraven https://t.co/A5HuMxZsuK pic.twitter.com/cP4xoF0Tlr— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) July 6, 2016
DOJ investigation is best to hope for. Doesn't guarantee charges or lack thereof. But if shooting was caught on tape & looks unjustified...— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
...then I'm not so conspiracy minded 2 assume cold blooded murder will be ignored. If it looks remotely like self defense or is inconclusive— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
...then cops are likely to be uncharged, or if charged, will be acquitted. Badge/uniform gives cops benefit of doubt even if unwarranted.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
I have far less than 100% confidence that cops reviewing cops will result in impartial review. But I'll accept whatever the DOJ findings are— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
That includes Mike Brown, who it seemed to me was shot down in cold blood by a cop. But we later learned eyewitness testimony was flaky.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
So I won't throw Mike Brown into miscarriage of justice bucket. Maybe it was, but I can't say that's the case for certain.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
New Video Emerges of Alton Sterling Being Killed by Baton Rouge Police https://t.co/5NufUFvidU via @thedailybeast— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
Cold blooded murder. Not a damn thing happened that justified killing #AltonSterling— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
Do ISIS attacks help Trump? Do blacks killed by cops help Hillary? Do think piecers leach on2 both? So much death & profit & nothing changes— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
"The death of Alton Sterling is a tragedy, and my prayers are with his family." —Hillary pic.twitter.com/Yky4ZxfbLN— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 7, 2016
Issa Rae starts scholarship fund for #AltonSterling's children ➡️ by @juliacraven https://t.co/QihnZ6A3bw via @HuffPostPol— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
Recap of a senseless tragedy for those not yet in the know: Alton Sterling shooting via @CNN https://t.co/jwymU7ii2k— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
https://t.co/HWLArSCo3r R.I.P. Alton Sterling. May justice be served in your name.... https://t.co/hHJW3VXdVz— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
WTF??!!!!! Another one?! Police shoot, kill man during traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. https://t.co/QFVcE4K1TJ via @USATODAY— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
#PhilandoCastile mother of her son: "He did everything by the law, and he died by the law."— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) July 7, 2016
There should either be no Open Carry states or else no police response 2 report of someone with a gun that isn't being fired. I like 1st one— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
But my thinking makes sense whereas nothing about gun loving 2nd Amendment crusading makes much sense at all. https://t.co/przwGrIUXs— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
The fact that it was 2nd nature for #PhilandoCastile's gf to keep recording as he die beside her & w/ her daughter in the car is crushing— Ol' QWERTY Bastard (@TheDiLLon1) July 7, 2016
Soul crushing week. What sort of independence is this? #AltonSterling #PhilandroCastile #NeverReachForAnything #BeTheStatue— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
Enough is enough. Cops who see blackness as a weapon must be weeded out, and fully prosecuted when we find out too late. Train them right!!!— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
How us black folks gotta start dressing.... pic.twitter.com/Jhayzjk9DO— C.M ❕ (@CdaMACKnificent) July 7, 2016
Do ISIS attacks help Trump? Do blacks killed by cops help Hillary? Do think piecers leach on2 both? So much death & profit & nothing changes— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
America woke up to yet another tragedy of a life cut down too soon. Black Lives Matter. #PhilandoCastile -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 7, 2016
White people live in bubbles, and if it doesnt affect the bubble it doesnt cross their mind. That is how systematic racism destroys the US— keats (@_keator) July 7, 2016
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu pic.twitter.com/xvbT07oxJ9— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) July 6, 2016
Amazes me when cops don't pause to consider bodycam, dashcam & witnesses possibly filming them with cell phones https://t.co/53Q41gdh8b— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 7, 2016
I thank the brave one who filmed the police during Mr. Sterling's murder. Film is one of our weapons. #FilmThePolice https://t.co/QUsaC2rqcq— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) July 6, 2016
In light of what happened with #AltonSterling check out @NateParker's short film #AmeriCAN about police brutality.https://t.co/7ta01vOQ2N— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) July 6, 2016
Diamond Reynolds, girlfriend of #PhilandoCastile, recounts how cops reacted after shooting https://t.co/Jh7KpBoRzq— Salon.com (@Salon) July 8, 2016
#PhilandoCastile "memorized the names of the 500 children he served every day — along with their food allergies." https://t.co/woXxok6KWH— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) July 7, 2016
BREAKING: Police: 1 officer killed, 3 injured when gunfire erupts during protest in downtown Dallas.— The Associated Press (@AP) July 8, 2016
Stop blaming BLMA on what happened in #Dallas we don't want more murders, we want it to stop. Whoever was shooting is not for the cause.— black cindy (@sykojuicee) July 8, 2016
The shooter was shooting at the crowd too. Someone wanted a massacre in Dallas.— Jeff Gauvin (@JeffersonObama) July 8, 2016
Dallas shooting happened just a few blocks from most famous active shooter situation pretty much in history— Rick Klein (@rickklein) July 8, 2016
Video from a protestor as the shooting began. Jesus. Disturbing content. #Dallas #DallasPoliceShooting pic.twitter.com/yhPTI9KC2g— Andy Cole (@AndyCole84) July 8, 2016
Dallas protest shooting: mayor says fourth suspect confirmed dead – live updates https://t.co/JbAJpjIRfY— The Guardian (@guardian) July 8, 2016
Dallas police are still not certain that they have identified everyone involved in the shooting attack. https://t.co/2G6qPSZ7ZM— The Associated Press (@AP) July 8, 2016
Dallas shooting: suspect stated he wanted to 'kill white officers' https://t.co/JOZM2G3I5F— The Guardian (@guardian) July 8, 2016
#Dallas: https://t.co/mmsnLXCN51— ABC News (@ABC) July 8, 2016
-1 suspect dead; 3 in custody
-11 officers shot; 5 killed
-Deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11
It is disgusting how the media is asking the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to comment on this. https://t.co/8eI2HYmU7i— Rebecca Theodore (@FilmFatale_NYC) July 8, 2016
Some feel sympathy just for victims of cop brutality, some just 4 cops, decent souls are capable of feeling for both https://t.co/0q3acfaTgm— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 8, 2016
"This is an American issue that we should ALL care about." - Barack Obama... https://t.co/zu5qdlmVpR— The Chocolate Voice (@gwenpierce) July 8, 2016
Cursing every person who is white for being privileged won't bring anyone back from the dead or anyone to justice.— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 6, 2016
Racism is often root cause or underlying factor but overall racism can't be cured. Police reform can happen tho. Gun control can be stricter— Roy Pickering (@AuthorofPatches) July 8, 2016
“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
― Mahatma Gandhi