By Steven Matthews
The murder of Michael Brown wasn’t the beginning, and it certainly won’t be the end. Perhaps it could be better termed as a turning point, proof of legitimacy, and validation of the claims made by the African American community. The tragic death of Michael Brown reminded the country that the playing field isn’t fair, and perhaps we are due for another civil rights movement. The movement has certainly begun, with “Hands up, don’t shoot” and of course, “Black lives matter”, both succeeding in bringing understanding and acknowledgement to many people. While there may be many who are willing to debate their effectiveness, there are a few concepts that aren’t up for debate. The one here is the concept of “black lives matter” and why there does not need to be any concessions in that sentiment. The reason why it has to be “black lives matter” and not reference any other types of “lives” is pretty simple. This movement is about black lives because it has to be in order to ensure the survival of those black lives. In this country right now, no other ethnicity is in that type of danger.
The recent murder of Walter Scott has shown us once again that this debate usually plays out in a familiar way. This time is different because video proof shows that the officer in question lied in his reports of the incident and that the killing of Scott wasn’t nearly justified or necessary. Predictably, the African American community has united in solidarity over this tragedy, and are happy that the officer is facing justice. The rally cry for their unification is and always has been “black lives matter”, in reference to the un-proportionate brutality the police in America waged against the African American community. This rally cry grows into an ideal and gains hash-tag status, and before long, the counter question gets asked by a Caucasian person, “What about all lives? Don’t ‘all lives matter’? Why is it just black lives?” On the surface, it seems like a legitimate question, and it deserves an answer. Even if it doesn’t deserve to be asked here, I’ll answer it anyway.
By Steven Matthews
It would appear that once again the foreign policy of the United States is less focused on global peace and instead focused on money and control. Last week I wrote about the recent regime change in Yemen and with every passing day, the U.S. continues to prove that my initial fears were correct. Not only has the U.S. elected to support the Saudi Arabians and its allies’ bombing campaign in Yemen, but they almost damaged the P5 + 1 peace talks with Iran, which were luckily salvaged on the second day of overtime from the proposed deadline. One would think that with these consequences occurring that the United States would alter its position on the fighting of the region, but instead, the leaders in Washington appear to be doubling down. Worse still, these moves compared to other moves in similar situations prove to the world that the U.S. is inconsistent in its foreign policy, but then the question changes. What line does the U.S. draw to define its foreign position in these situations? The answer should not be surprising.
Perhaps the American person most responsible for meddling in Yemeni affairs is John O. Brennen, the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Before he took the lofty C.I.A. position, he oversaw many missions in Saudi Arabia and Yemen that included intelligence gathering, as well as overseeing drone operations that were meant to fight Al Qaeda in Eastern Yemen, and the Arabian Peninsula. These strikes also inadvertently took the lives of many civilians, which are often not reported in the U.S. media cycle. Always in the position to counsel the U.S. President, Agent Brennen has openly spoken about the instability in Yemen, as well as providing solutions from U.S. involvement, which of course was often opposed by the standing Yemeni government. When the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh took ill a few years ago, Agent Brennen advised President Obama to propose a power change from the acting Yemeni president to his second in command who was more supportive of U.S. policy. When that election took place, it was done with the highest praise and support the United States could provide, but what wasn’t widely reported about the event was that the election only had one person in it. Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the second in command, ran unopposed. Essentially the United States helped plant a leader in Yemen that would allow the U.S. to carry out any business or military operation it pleased.
For now, I'm just trying to do anything I can to help spread information, and share different perspectives. Don't ever stop asking questions.