A Prison Nurse’s look at Sandra Bland’s Death

Sandra Bland
by Paul Spector RN, EMT-P, CPT. U.S. ARMY Ret.

I worked as an RN in a California State Prison where staged “suicides” occurred regularly. I fought for my patients, know how the cover-up works and have some insights. In 2012, I was hit by a truck, so this paper is done with a lot of help, individuals risking jobs and lives.

Behind badges and Rank, Sociopaths lurk in American prisons. Cameras are their enemy.
With scant information, some of our conclusions will be proven wrong. As more is known, we feel there will be more lies, inconsistencies and abuse uncovered. With more data will come more clarity, but the Code of Silence must be penetrated.

Prison deaths from mistreatment are mislabeled “suicide”, allowing continued abuse and avoiding lawsuits. I’ve spent 8 years trying to stop the practice that killed Sandra Bland.

Sandra’s capture, abuse and lynching is a hate crime. Usually the facts are buried with the bodies, thousands of bodies, but this is Sandra Bland, Star of Sandy Speaks.

In prison, infliction of mental and physical agony on helpless captives provides sexual pleasure to sick individuals. No penetration is needed, violent predators value power and control more. Sandra’s treatment, particularly isolation, are techniques found in CIA prisons and Guantanamo Bay. They are unbearable and leave no marks. The UN calls it torture.

A big sociopathic thrill is causing the victim so much pain they kill themselves. At my prison, CMC, a sociopath’s playground, practiced professionals using drug overdoses combined with agony in a setting of strict isolation and neglect were used to induced “suicide”. Often the target is provided with a sharp object or a plastic bag. It’s still not suicide. Sometimes though, it’s a murder made to look like suicide.

From the beginning, your driving is fine. Officer Encinia, spots you and does a U turn. Driving his cruiser aggressively, you pull over, unaware he is a predator. His act is for the camera, smoothly creating and escalating a confrontation to disguise your kidnapping as an arrest. He plans to assault you, this is about power and control, not your driving or your cigarette.

Using threats and a weapon Sandra is forced from her car. Everything that follows is for the entertainment of her abductors and has nothing to do with lawful detention whatsoever. After stealing your phone and removing you from camera range the coward attacks. Wearing a sheet, he might be OK with video but he needed the uniform to trick Sandra into surrendering.

The attack is vicious. Serious pain from metal cuffs and a wrist twist forces her to pull away, a practiced technique, part of a take-down. Following you to the ground, straddling you with knee on your spine and neck is the stuff of bondage and humiliation pornography, as is his screaming at you to stop fighting as he inflicts the worst pain of your life.

This sick scenario is experienced primarily by sexual assault victims. I’ve treated these injuries in ER’s, they are consistent with gang rape. Like Sandra, not all such victims survive. Totally inappropriate here of course. Even without penetration, this is a savage, ultimately fatal, sexual assault.

He enslaves your body but not your spirit. That’s why he pounded your head into the ground. When terror and agony couldn’t break you, he went after your mind. A smart, strong Black Woman had no place in his world so he tried to kill you. He was afraid you would Speak.

Others joined in assaulting you off-camera, trusting the “code of silence” to protect them. You now need an ambulance. As an ER nurse and a paramedic, I’m angry your request is denied. Confused and injured, your booking photo reflects trauma, both physical and psychological.

Isolation is used in N. Korea to break POW’s. Victims like Michelle Knight say it’s worse than the beatings, rapes, and starvation. It causes brain damage. Forcing Sandra to endure this additional torture was as cruel and unusual a punishment as can be imagined. It was, in fact, a death sentence, no trial needed.

My patients were regularly poisoned with Gabapentin and other drugs. Your THC ingestion in jail is poisoning too, even if you took it willingly. Cavity searched, you take nothing in and eat what they give you or be force fed. Pot didn’t contribute to your death but may have made you easier to kill and pin your death on drugs. Blaming pot for your death indicates desperation.

The plastic bag, one of the few items in your cell, is too convenient and is not supposed to be there. Deadly as a gun or knife, don’t be fooled or misled, it’s not incompetence, not a mistake, it’s a weapon. It’s there for a reason. Everyone working in prison knows this. Suicided for a traffic ticket! This SCREAMS setup.

3 days and your wounds are still filled with dirt, infected. No TD shot? Pain or fever meds? Antibiotics? Neosporin? Ice? X-rays for your wrist’s, arm, shoulder, ribs and neck? A band-aid? Lab work? A CT after the bad man, happy you had epilepsy, pounded your head into the ground? Ariel Castro took better care of his victims, as, sadly, did most slave owners.

The intake forms with questions on depression, suicide. Who filled them out? It should have been done with medical staff, but they would have treated your wounds, seen you were too traumatized to sign, corrected discrepancies, set up 15 minute checks, a suicide watch and seizure precautions at the very least. Ignoring dozens of cuts? There is no possible excuse, this paperwork reflects not just incompetence but intentional deceit.

In death, your body appears to be dehydrated, probably from neglect, fever, and internal injuries. Video shows guards drinking bottled spring water in front of you! At CMC disabling the sink to force victims to use the toilet for drinking induced dehydration. Using physical and psychological abuse, they sickened and tortured you beyond human understanding.

Fellow prisoners were prevented from cleaning your wounds or God forbid, comforting you. Exchanging your pretty dress for ugly “pepto pink”, Officer Encinia gave your broken body to his co-workers, lying in his report. He doesn’t want you to Speak. Not ever.

An unbroken chain of cruelty striped you, a Champion of Freedom, of all Freedom. From smoking a cigarette to breathing air, no life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness for you. To these uncaring monsters it’s a fun sport, a prison lynching they fully expect to get away with.

Nothing to do with a traffic ticket or cowardly Officer Encinas’s “injuries”, these are the actions of sociopaths and racists. Armed, violent predators using badges as a weapon. Events during and after your killing are the result of planning. It is even possible you were targeted before the phony traffic stop as Officers can track plates.

Locking you in a room with a dead phone and a garbage bag was intentional. Effective in separating you from your loved ones and rescue. The nonworking phone also justifies taking you to other locations, supposedly out of “kindness” but it’s a ruse. If you were removed from camera view, I suspect the worst.

At CMC this would mean humiliation and “phone book” therapy – beatings with objects that leave no mark. Waterboarding and other airway obstruction techniques, like suffocation with a plastic bag are popular and also leave no marks. The rule is keep silent or it will happen again.

In California, Doctors incorrectly certifying “suicides” are paid by the State, Texas seems no different. The organization responsible for the racist Sheriff, Officer Encinia and the incredibly negligent prison staff is given every opportunity to do a through, professional job of tampering with the evidence.

The fact your body did not show signs of a violent struggle is meaningless. Drugged or unconscious, restrained or not, the captive is 100% helpless. Use of a plastic bag to make murder look like suicide is a known prison technique. As a suicide method it’s hard to do with 2 good arms, beyond her now limited physical abilities, not part of Sandra’s knowledge base.

No defensive wounds will be found if the killers are prison workers. A big part of the game is “proving” they are smarter than the law by getting away with it. The FBI teaches them evidence procedure. Gloves on, killing with a plastic bag is easy, no prints, no struggling, no evidence.

Filled with purpose Sandra, release at hand, about to start your dream job, be reunited with your loved ones, your mission and your camera phone, you had zero motive for suicide. For you, it’s party time. Your abusers have the problem. They can’t let you Speak, a potent motive for murder.

Your faith in God, your life’s mission to make Black Lives Matter, made you, like Joan of Arc, unbreakable, a Warrior of epic proportions. With over 30 years experience, including in a Forensic State Mental Hospital, I assure you this is not and, for numerous reasons, could not, be suicide. Her death is a setup, staged. Sandra was kidnapped, violently assaulted and killed. She did not take her own life with a planted garbage bag!

Prisons excel in cover-ups. False reports and coordinated lies now discredit Law Enforcement Nationwide. Black Lives continue to slip away as Grand Jury’s look away. Supported by tax dollars, teams of lawyers and military hardware, the carnage will not be stopped by bad publicity or wishful thinking – not in Waller County, Texas, State Prisons or anywhere else

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Black Scifi 2012 – Conventions We Know and Love

The State of Black Science Fiction 2012

This is the fourth week of the State of Black Science Fiction Blog hop being done in conjunction with the Black Science Fiction Society and Alicia McCalla. Today we were supposed to talk about the science fiction conventions we like to go to and meet other people who share our interest.

I have been a convention attendee for over twenty years. I have been to CreationCon, ComicCon in San Diego, WonderCon in San Francisco, Star Trek Conventions across the country, and numerous local conventions here in the San Francisco Bay Area such as Pantheacon, Kublacon and my personal favorite, Dundracon.

I have been an active Dundracon participant for more than twenty years. Dundracon started humbly about thirty years ago as a convention for fans of fantasy-roleplaying games such as Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. It blossomed and soon began to include many other forms of fantasy, war-gaming, board games, Live Action Roleplaying, seminars and meetings with the Society for Creative Anachronism or SCA. It has become one of the oldest conventions of its kind in Northern California and has been hosted at the Hyatt in Burlingame for at least a decade every President’s Day weekend.

I have enjoyed Dundracon as a participant, playing a variety of games including my favorites of the Hero Systems Games, Chaosium’s Games (Call of Cthulu, Elric, Stormbringer, and Basic Role-Playing), Cyberpunk 2020 and its cousins, Shadowrun. There are hundreds of these games for four days all Dead President’s Day Weekend from Friday at 6:00 PM till Monday at 6:00 PM. Games are played 24 hours a day until the close of the convention; many people play right up until closing.

For most of those years I was a game master or GM and would run games for other attendees. Being a GM is an honored position of both power and trust. People you don’t know will sign up for your game and for 6-12 hours share in a mutual experience that you will create for them and they will participate in with you. This is the element of conventions that I feel makes them most like writing with a bit of directing and even some acting.

A GM must create a series of scenarios, a story, as it were, and create all of the setttings and potential possibilities for how the story MIGHT flow. He then creates a group of adventurers (the players) who come to the game knowing the rules of HOW to play but not having any idea of what they will be doing beyond a simple one paragraph like this one:

203 Stormy Weather
Type: RPG
System: Cyberpunk 2020
Saturday, 8:00 AM in 149 for 8 hours
GM: Becky Thomas
Characters may be provided by GM
Power Level:
Variations: minor house rules
A Category 5 hurricane will hit Cabo San Lucas in 24 hours. The whole
area is being evacuated, residents and touristas. Your job is a little
counter-corporate espionage. The challenge: stay alive in the
hurricane, avoid the Federales and looters, AND bring back the stolen
data.

The challenge is to have a session where the GM describes the scene, outlines each scenario, and acts out the parts of all the bad guys while the players take on the role of their individual character, working with or sometimes against the goals of the group. The magic happens when a skilled GM finds a group of players who can spontaneously get into their roles well enough that the entire event ends up feeling like a movie. Each person takes on their role, creates their dialog, on the fly, and takes actions that resemble that of heroic adventurers we know and love from cinema and books. Yes, most of the time its goofy, badly done, and easily forgotten, but done right it is as good as anything you have ever read or experienced and because it is not public beyond whoever shows up, can be an shared experience that bonds the group of you together for years.

Make no mistake, playing in a game is tough work. Running a game is tougher. Its akin to writing a novel where characters are completely autonomous and you still have to challenge their decisions and actions, even if they were not what you intended when you wrote the story outline. Often, that is where the fun comes in for the GM. He must be able to change his storyline to deal with creative thinking on the part of his players who might come up with a solution to the problem he didn’t even know could exist. This builds the creative muscle in a way almost nothing else I can think of.

I have been a GM since 1981 when the first versions of Champions and Dungeons and Dragons were published. I have run a series of gaming campaigns that span over a decade with the same and often evolving groups of gamers and we have many shared experiences and late nights running adventures that span a continuum of genres, themes, ideas, stories and game systems. Gaming unfortunately is not an experience done by many People of Color. When I started there might have been one other out of a room of one hundred people. That ratio is much better now and I am often pleased by the increasing number of People of Color and women who are now participating. I remember the arguments about women playing games and how it was thought they would erode the quality of play. That idea is so dead. They are better players and often better GMs as well. Something about how women communicate allows them to see players and story themes that were previously not considered by male GMs, such as storylines involving complex intrigue and dare I say it, romance.

You might think that the lack of People of Color is reflective of a particular discriminatory nature of gaming but and I emphasis this: Nothing could be further from the truth. I have gamed for thirty years across the entire USA and even in the deepest parts of the South, I have almost never experienced anything resembling racist behavior from gamers. I would even be so bold to say, they are often the nicest, most polite people I have ever had the pleasure to talk with. Two random gamers can meet anywhere, find a game they have in common and talk as if they were friends forever. And even if they don’t share any games, the nature of the hobby seems to bring an inquisitive mind, a mind open to new ideas and new possibilities. It is why I believe I have remained involved in the playing side of the industry for so long. I once wrote for the industry, but that is another story.

How does this relate to Blacks in Science Fiction? If you have never played a roleplaying game (RPG) or a tactical board game such as Warhammer 40K, you are missing a hobby that expands the mind, challenges assumptions, considers possibilities, and teaches social skills, negotiation, communication at a number of levels, language, art, design, and done properly can offer a lifetime of benefits able to be translated so they improve your workplace life, your home life and anyplace in between. I have used RPGs as a mentoring tool to give students a chance to roleplay circumstances they may experience in real life, or as an opportunity to think about an event from a more direct point of view. Gaming has been a passion in my life and conventions were the first time I got to meet other people who shared it. If you haven’t done it, you might be missing out.

Since I started all those years ago, I have run games, small personal affairs and large multi-group gaming events. I have spoken at seminars on the best ways to run games, research eras, create maps, talk about the science of science fiction, and help new GMs improve their game play. I can safely say, conventions and I are inextricably linked. Attend a few and you may be too. ComicCon has become a cult phenomenon offering sneak peaks of comics, movies, stars and the dreaded/beloved cosplay. One day when I have had a beer or two I will tell you about my first ComicCon. The horror, the horror…

Thaddeus Howze, Author – is a veteran of the IT and Communications industry with over 26 years of experience retooling computers to best serve human needs. Unknown to humanity, our computers have another agenda. Thaddeus recently released his first collection of short stories, Hayward Reach. In a coded format, he has secretly informed Humanity of the impending computerized apocalypse. You can read parts of the code here: https://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com. You can read excerpts and other short stories at Hub City Blues

Part of a series of essays on: The State of Black Science Fiction
Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer – is a Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/ or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/

L. M. Davis, Author – began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade.  Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog: http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website www.shiftersnovelseries.com.

Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay, Author – DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. http://authordjadja.wordpress.com/ Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at: www.renpetscifi.com  or on Facebook – www.facebook.com/RenpetSciFiNovel or on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Khonsugo.

Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: www.mvmediaatl.com and www.wagadu.ning.com.

Margaret Fieland, Author – lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines: http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/is available from Amazon.com  Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, http://www.margaretfieland.com.

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author – is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/

Alicia McCalla, Author – writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: www.aliciamccalla.com

Carole McDonnell, Author – She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/

Balogun Ojetade, Author – of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: TheChronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.wordpress.com/

Rasheedah Phillips, Author – is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.

Nicole Sconiers, Author – is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. – is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd

Black History Month sends the wrong message

Normally I pay as little attention to Black History Month as possible. Why? It sends the wrong message. The message it sends is that for only 28 days of the year, in the shortest month of the year, we will take notice of an unsung group of Americans we do everything in our power to pretend the rest of the year, they do not exist, do not contribute anything viable to the American experience and if they vanished tomorrow, the only thing that would happen is the nation would breathe a collective sigh of relief, before they returned to finding the next cultural boogeyman to vilify.

And that, my friends, is the wrong message.

You see, Black History IS American History. We have been in this nation as long as any group of people to have ever lived here save the Native Americans. We have had as much to do with the establishment of this nation, its agriculture (unfortunately, as slaves of that industry) its transportation (the railroads and exploration of the West) its science, politics, religion, music, sports, entertainment, well, pretty much anything that has been done in this nation has been led by, created with the help of, designed with the support of or simply created from whole cloth by People of Color.

And that does not jibe with the monomyth of White Supremacy and its playmate, Cultural Superiority. America likes to believe it has exported its culture to the world; democracy, fair play, capitalism are all Great American Exports. And in some ways, those things may not have been invented here, but we (Americans) redefined them, repackaged them and now they are desired by the world at large.
But America does not drink the Kool-aid it sells to the world. This is a nation still divided primarily by money. Old money. Money that can trace its ancestry (such as it is) back to the days of Chattel-Agricultural Slavery and the Robber Barons of the American Railroad. For a part of American culture that had such long lived and powerful roots, slavery does not seem to have had any advocates nor beneficiaries, if modern culture is to be believed. No one’s family seems to have benefited from slavery. Nor does anyone know of any families that ever held slaves. “No sir, not me, my family never owned any slaves,” or so the expression goes.

Let’s keep it real folks, many of the Founding Fathers owned slaves. They did it and like many who did, they grew wealthy. So if you want to figure out who held slaves, go back in history and follow the money. Likely, where money has accumulated, slavery or crimes like it held sway to develop that wealth. The old expression goes “You can find out how a man grew wealthy only if you can find the bodies he had to bury to get there.”  Now I don’t hold a grudge. Not a serious one, anyway. Slavery has been a human experience probably since we started walking upright.

The crux of the issue is this: How long can a nation stay divided, by the people in power, who use their wealth and influence to dominate society, to create false divisions (artificial boundaries where people fight over things that objectively have no real value whatsoever) and sow moral dissent in an effort to say in power? I ask this question because I realized that being Black was never going to change for me. I would never wake up one day and be White. So any stigma generated by my blackness, did not come from me. It comes from the person who holds the stigma. So if I find myself unable to find work because of the social conditioning that says: “Black men are lazy, shiftless and do as little as possible for themselves or their families, so you shouldn’t give them jobs…” even if I worked harder than a three-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, the stigma and joblessness stays with me, being reinforced because no one will give me a job, thus perpetuating the myth now becoming reality.

Let me say it again: The stigma is not mine. I did not create it. I did not perpetuate it. I don’t lay it upon me. I am simply forced to bear it. The society that promoted it is at fault for its continued perpetuation.

But let me ask you a question: If this nation were truly as egalitarian, as supportive, as merit driven, as opportunity-oriented as the spin doctors would have you believe, would there be this major political trend toward crushing unions, a thirty year history of purposeful stagnated wages, allowing the rich to grow fabulously wealthy by increasing the price of everything while diminishing your ability to buy it; an education system that has been allowed to grow enfeebled and unable to cope with the rapid pace of technical change in the world today? Would there be an ecological bankruptcy that simply denies that creating billions of automobiles, computers, cell phones, supermarket items, thousands of fast food restaurants where we harvest millions of organisms every year just to feed the developed world and pretend it has no effect on the world or the people living on it? What about drilling holes in the Earth to harvest hydrocarbons whose main purpose is to be sold by the highest bidder to the poorest people just to keep them in a form of economically-driven indentured servitude? What about the fact the American population is slowly growing less mentally capable, whose physical health is continuing to diminish despite having the most sophisticated medical technology in the world, all the while people are less happy, less motivated, more stressed, more suicidal and now have a quality of life that for the first time in fifty years, will not be higher than the previous generation? This is a culture which appears to be slowly self destructing.

How could such a nation exist and call itself enlightened? More over how could such a nation consider itself a paragon in the darkness that is life on Earth?

The answer: It can’t.

So, I have many years ago decided that the system of things being done in the world today are not being done in my name. I refuse to buy anything made in a sweatshop (if I know about it. I endeavor to know.) I wear nothing with a logo or a brand name, because no one is paying me to further their cause before I further my own. (No, I don’t own any iTechnology and I once loved Apple as a company, but their recent behavior has made me question all things computer-related.) I watch as little modern media as possible. It paints a negative image of People of Color, if they even exist at all. I do not watch nor support major sporting teams. If you knew how much money is spent and how little of it goes to the people who make it actually possible, you wouldn’t either. I devote my time to my family, educating myself and my community about what we can do to survive effectively, humanely, and to be a benefit to my world, rather than a drain on it.

You see it is about choice. You can decide you want to spend your life asleep at the wheel, Facebooking (or your social media of choice) your life away, taking pictures of yourself from arm’s length, talking about where you are, and what you are doing, learning about the sleeping habits of the inhabitants of Jersey Shore or the Real Housewives of (insert pitiful city here), or you can go out and learn a new language, meet new people, write a book, teach a person to read, inspire a child to greatness, help an old person who may not get around as well as they used to, volunteer yourself to a cause greater than yourself, read a book and enhance your brain, share that book and maybe you can shape the world.

The Public Good is Dead. It has been replaced by the Corporate Quarterly Report. Everything that matters from the gasoline in your car, to the politicians in your local office is now determined by the power of corporations all over the nation. If it does not expand the next quarter’s profits, it has no value and the human elements of our culture are being replaced by jurisprudence that boggles the mind. See the Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Committee rulings basically giving corporations the power to spend unlimited money on elections. Don’t take my word for it. Read it yourself.

When you get tired of watching corporations turn your world into a steaming pile of shyte, you can decide how to make them go away. Stop buying things you don’t need, to fund a never-ending cycle of boom and bust that only benefits big business, because only they have enough money to bet on both sides of the equation. If there is money to be made, they will make money selling the product, or they will make money cleaning up after the mess. No jail time will be had for any involved. As any of our major banking establishments after the 2008 financial collapse. Over 5000 protesters of the collapse in the Occupy Movement have been to jail. Not a single banker graces a cell yet. Seems equitable and fair, doesn’t it. Stop taking their crap. Stop participating in your own destruction.

So what does this rant have to do with Black History Month? Nothing. Not a damn thing. That is the point. Republicans keep harping on how President Obama is the Welfare President, and we have angry Black Politicians like Representive West in Florida saying that Obama is inflating the numbers for the unemployment of Black Men. And yet we are vilifying people who are on foodstamps which are at an all time high of 41 million people. This nation has political leaders who have done little to help President Obama since he has been in office and this is because he is a Black President. How does this ranting against the president help the nation? How did the promise of the Republican Party to make him a one term president really help anyone? Why would they even say this? It’s a Black thing. Not playing the race card, I am watching the Race Poker Championship and Obama isn’t dealing. He isn’t even wanted at the game.

Yes, I said what no one would dare to say in polite company. The Republicans (and a few Democrats) are obstructing his work, not because it does not meet with politics as we know it, because let’s face it, it does. His ideas, strange as it sounds have been the ideas of his political enemies (sometimes he has been so bold as to offer them things they had asked for a few weeks earlier) but they are too blind with their rage to see it. They will find their rage is directing Obama to a second term because they can’t get over themselves. So I have to laugh because Obama is using their rage to his advantage.

So when I look at Black History Month I have to realize, that the reason its only 28 days long is because the Whites that brought People of Color here all those years ago, did what they did because without People of Color, they would not have been able to be and do the amazing things that have been done in America. The wealth from centuries of paying no wages, has allowed this nation to grow and prosper in ways the founding fathers never realized. And I think strangely enough, only thirty or forty years ago, big business has relearned and reinvented this idea. Corporate America has been heading toward having people work for less and having fewer choices until there is virtually an entire slave caste again. I expect to see a piece of legislation called the Slavery Restoration Act, any day now and I am certain our politicians, back by big corporations, can make a case for it.

But imagine their secret shame when they have to acknowledge every day, that they owe their entire nation to People of Color whose sacrifices they are sanitizing from history every day, has allowed them to come to fabulous wealth and power and influence, but they must spend every day of that existence, every penny of that wealth, lobbying, brainwashing, blinding, controlling and manipulating everyone around them, because if anyone really knew what was being done, they might just tear it all down and replace it with what America said it wanted to be.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of our teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Every month is Black History Month. Without our ancestors work, yes, the work you could not do, you would have nothing.  Yes, I am talking to you. You know who you are. Without the brilliance of those people, who struggled, who fought, who ran, who lived and died under the lash, your America would not exist. You fear the day we should ever learn of our true power. The power that create George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Emmett Till, Madame Walker, Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X, Mae Jemison, Micheal Eric Dyson, Octavia Butler, and Neil Degrasse Tyson who managed to overcome despite all of the obstructions placed before them.

What if all People of Color realized of what great stock they are derived from and what they are truly capable of? Our superstars transformed all music, science, mathematics, business, engineering and sports. And they did these things unsupported by the bulk of our community. Each only had a tiny handful of people who nurtured their talent to its ultimate form. Imagine what we could do if we worked collectively together, despite the machinations of the Econo-Socio-political Machine, toward that goal if we just put forth into practice the idea: “that the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few or the one.”

Then there would be no need for Black History Month. It would just be History. What a great nation we would truly be.

Goodnight everybody, don’t forget to tip your waitress on the way out.

Is it important to show People of Color in science fiction?

Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Sisko, Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

The simple answer to this question is yes. Despite the homo-social tendencies of the science fiction media (books, movies, comics, and television) which are then marketed to sub-cultures, People of Color not only exist but make up the bulk of the human experience, despite what you may see in modern media.

Let’s put this another way. Projected into the future, our modern society would likely be much more colorful than predicted by Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek with a far greater distribution of People of Color onboard the less politically-correct Enterprise of the Future. And before I get rants from Trekkers (Trekkies), I have much respect for Star Trek. The show at least tried to present people of color somehow making it to the future as something other than a snack for the monster of the week or as space janitors.

If Trek truly represented our modern world thrown forward, we would likely have seen more people of color in command positions, more Indians, more Chinese, simply because, allowing for three hundred years, we would expect much of our current world’s cultural disparity to have been ironed out, replaced with people doing the job because they were capable, not because it was expected we would see only Caucasians in positions of power because they were funding the show, viewing the show, or producing the show. When seen in the light of marketing, Star Trek still promoted the idea of the supremacy of the Caucasian heroic model endemic of modern science fiction. (To be fair, it did improve with age, allowing women to command ships and even to put a Black Man in command. Took nearly three decades, first Star Trek debuts in 1966, Commander Sisko appears on DS9 as a regular in a command role in 1993.)

Cover for Son of Heaven, a book from the Chung Kuo series.

Perhaps if we were to be more honest, the future might look a lot more like a book series called Chung Kuo, that posits an eventual domination of China and other Asian cultures completely taking control of the human experience through both a rigorous development of their human potential and the downfall of a decadent Western Civilization. Truth be told, that, at the moment, seems to be a much more likely model. It is a brilliant series of books to read. (Yes, it was very long, with quite a few characters, but if you like political science fiction, you will love Chung Kuo.)

It is important to show People of Color in our science fiction because we are here. On Earth. Right now.

We did not vanish into obscurity in the past, nor will we disappear from it in the future. Like it or not, the future of the world, much like the past of the world, will be defined by People of Color. The question might really be: Why can’t everyone have an equal opportunity to make it into the future, have an equal opportunity to be heroic or cowardly, genius or idiot, socially well adapted or psychopathic and maladjusted with equal frequency in our media?

We know the real reason already. The Heroic Myth has been co-opted to not allow Heroes of Color. Yes, I said it. What are you going to do about it?

That’s what I thought. Nothing. Ask modern publishers or movie-makers. They reply with:

“It’s too dangerous. They’re not marketable. We won’t be able to sell that. Who ever heard of a powerful Black male superhero. No one would believe it. If you made the lead character, White, I could move that for you. No one wants to read about Heroes of Color. Can you be more black? You can’t sell that here. Mexicans can’t be heroes. Only Asians do kung-fu. Who wants to see a movie about Native Americans? Stereotypes are easier to write about. You have to have a Caucasian on the cover. Movies with all Black casts can’t make back their money. We can only sell movies about native people with a Caucasian lead.”

All sound familiar? Oh, they might not if you haven’t ever tried to do anything with a Person of Color in it. But if you have, you will know the sound of one or all of these refrains.

Listen. Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound you heard when that statue of Lenin was being torn down. It’s the same sound you heard when they tore down the Berlin Wall. The same one you heard in Egypt, and in Greece and in Spain, in 2011. It’s the same one you heard when people Occupied the United States in protest.

You might not be familiar with it. It is the sound of revolution.

It is the sound of people having enough. Their rage with being put on the side of history. People are not condiments. You do not use them to flavor YOUR life. They are not meant to add color to your media, the same way you might add a purple cabbage to your green salad. People of Color are life itself.

Sanaa Latham as Alexa Woods in AVP

Your media may deny it. But Nollywood knows better. So does Bollywood. How are those newspapers selling these days? How about those publishing houses? Comics? The comic and print industries are scrambling like insects during a fumigation. Your model of exclusion is ending. People want to be heard. People want to be acknowledged. People want to be Heroes. People of Color want to live to the end of the movie. The People want to be Seen. Admired. Loved. Respected. Acknowledged. For their contributions, for their histories, for their suffering, for their triumphs, but more than anything for their Humanity.

We are as People of Color, writers of Color, science fiction authors, are fighting to acknowledge we Exist. We will be here in the future, in whatever form that future takes. That the future will depend on us as much as it will depend on (insert Caucasian hero here) to save the day. Hannibal turned the tide of battle, China had a history and culture that has lasted 3000 years unconquered by outside forces, the Mayans created one of the most accurate calendars on Earth, Egypt was one of the greatest hubs of science, trade and commerce on the African continent and the world. Like it the world now depends on the people of Chile to grow food, or the South American nations to protect the Amazon as one of the last storehouses of the world’s bio-diversity. Our future will also depend on People of Color.

People of Color are not an afterthought in the novels of Caucasian writers. We are shaping the world.

There are 800 million people living in the nation of India. There are at least 1000 million (1+billion) people living in China. 500 million living in Africa, 500 million or more in South and Central America. People of Color are not going to go away. As knowledge is democratized, so will opportunity spread. So will innovations, creativity, productivity. One day, the West’s ability to create and dominate the world, may be surpassed in one of these nations. People forget the United States rose to power in a near socio-political vacuum. The world was in a terrible state of repair after World War II, there was no real competition then.

Pay attention. That has ended.

Those nations have recovered. Each of them filled with people who want to see themselves portrayed as heroes. Filled with the same drive and ambition we possessed in the West. See Singapore, Beijing, Taipei, Japan as examples of the masterful harnessing of human potential. The West should be quaking in its cowboy boots. But it won’t. Its belief in Western Superiority is complete and less and less valid in a world filled with motivated People of Color.

Let’s close with a chilling quote from the masters of assimilation: “We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” This is the future of the West. Cold. Mechanical. Clockwork. We are all cogs in the machine. Know your place. Surrender your individuality. Serve the machine and its hidden masters.

I do not accept this.

People of Color exist despite the pretense in Western media that we do not. And if the West is not careful, it may find history will mark the passing of White Supremacy and its Western pathology of deleting People of color from history with tales of fiction about the Caucasians who could not adapt to the reality of their eventual blending and dissolution back into the melting pot that are People of Color.

We better hope those motivated People of Color where ever they may be find a way to change our future. The world as we know it, is looking pretty grim. We need new thinking to have a future at all.

People of Color, write your revolution. Save our Future. Resistance is never futile. Fight for every word.

Thaddeus Howze Atreides
@ebonstorm (twitter)
@ebonstorm@gmail.com

Thaddeus Howze, Authoris a veteran of the IT and Communications industry with over 26 years of experience retooling computers to best serve human needs. Unknown to humanity, our computers have another agenda. Thaddeus recently released his first collection of short stories, Hayward Reach. In a coded format, he has secretly informed Humanity of the impending computerized apocalypse. You can read parts of the code here: https://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com

Part of a series of essays on: The State of Black Science Fiction.
Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer – is a Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/ or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/

L. M. Davis, Author – began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade.  Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog: http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website www.shiftersnovelseries.com.

Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: www.mvmediaatl.com and www.wagadu.ning.com.

Margaret Fieland, Author – lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines: http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/is available from Amazon.com  Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, http://www.margaretfieland.com.

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author – is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/

Alicia McCalla, Author – writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: www.aliciamccalla.com

Carole McDonnell, Author – She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/

Balogun Ojetade, Author – of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: TheChronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.wordpress.com/

Rasheedah Phillips, Author – is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.

Nicole Sconiers, Author – is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. – is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd


Gasoline in E-Minor

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Have you ever experienced a moment of quiet rage? One of those things that sneaks up on you and suddenly you find yourself shaking and wondering how something like this could happen?

I was heading to a petrol station to fill up my wife’s car. She works, and I don’t and that is another story for another time. Tonight’s tale deals with what happened when I got there. I was pulling into the station, at night, late at night and against my better judgment. I don’t live in a particularly dangerous neighborhood, but as any city dweller can tell you, crime is mobile.

I take the proper precautions as I get out of my vehicle. Check around me, two people in station, filling their vehicles, trying to look bored and nonchalant; so not working. They want to leap into their cars and drive away as fast as they are able but they don’t want to LOOK like that.

No obvious foot traffic. Check. Sign on the window says “open 24 hours.” Check. Car in park. Lights off. Check. Clearance on driver’s side. Check. Pump active. Check. Get out of car. Look confident. Glance around. Take in the lay of the land, and project power. Check.

As I am going through this checklist, I notice a man sitting on a the hood of a small SUV or covered flatbed truck. He is a tall man, kind of lean, unshaven, looks to be about fifty or so. He is holding a bright red gas can. His head is dipped forward as if he is engaged in some inner dialog.

As I am moving toward the front door of the gas station storefront, he sees me and jumps up. “Hey brother, could you spare some gas, a couple, maybe three gallons?” His voice is clear, he does not mumble, he does not sound intoxicated. He sounds like a man who is not used to asking for anything.

Not seeking confrontation, I scurry inside. I try not to look at the man but my inner Observer, something from my days as military personnel, objectively, dispassionately, gathers all of this information. I notice there is a woman sitting in the car behind him. She too appears to be about fifty years old. But it was not just the woman that I noticed. Behind her, I see materials that might be house furnishings; things that looked as if they were moving. I continue inside.

Now, my inner Observer challenges me. You can’t unsee that. “Can I get twenty dollars on six, please.”

“Will that be credit or ATM?” says the Persian gentleman behind the counter, wearing a crisp and new shirt and a mild musky cologne. His smile seems genuine and his tone friendly.

Don’t ignore me. You saw the man, you saw the woman, you saw their car. They have food wrappers on their dash and furniture in the back of their car. Observe, report, analyse. “Yes, that will be ATM.”

Did I mention I was an autistic? I have conversations with myself all the time. So don’t think I am crazy or become upset. This is normal for me. Anyway…

“What is the price of your gas here?” I asked the nice attendant. Yes, I drove past the sign coming in but unfortunately, that is something I have a mental block against, living in California. You just buy the gas, you don’t really want to know what it costs. It always costs a dollar more than anywhere else in the nation.

You have acknowledged his existence and have made a decision. Why prevaricate? You are going to spend enough to get three gallons of gasoline, enough to fill up that red container. Do it! How could you stand there, they are living out of their damn car…

Enough!

The Observer falls silent, his work done.

The attendant does not know what the price of the gas here is, which is not really surprising since he probably does not get paid enough for it to matter to him, either. At that point, I did not care what it cost. I walk to the door and wave to the man. Seeing me, he waves back and moves toward the pump next to my car.

I am self-conscious. I do not know why.

“Ten dollars on pump six, please.” The station agent looks at me quizzically since I just bought gasoline for pump five. He assumes I have made a mistake and looks out the window.

“Are you sure, sir?”

“Yes, I am buying it for that man right there.” I use the tone of command, to let him know I am aware of what I am doing and will only require his cooperation at this point. He complies.

When I walk out the store. The man is pumping his gas and as I approach him, he says to me “God Bless you, brother.” His voice is rich with emotional undertones and I am again unnerved. I am not a religious man, so his benedictions made me uncomfortable. I did not do it for God. I did it for… Who did I do it for? The Observer wisely stays silent.

“No problem. Will that get you where you need to be?” trying to sound casual.

He out-casuals me with “Hope so.”

As I get ready to pump my gas, he stops me. “My can is full. Let’s put the rest in yours. Don’t hang your pump up, I’m just going to finish what’s on this one. He smiles as he pumps the rest of the gas into my tank and then picks up his gas can and says “Thanks, again.”

I fill my tank. My thoughts are racing and the first thing that comes to me is, that could be me in a few months. I have no job and no income. For me unemployment ended this month. But this fellow looks like he has been living in his car for some time. I began to feel that burning, that anger, that frustration stirring in my chest, the feeling I spend my days suppressing and my nights sweating.

As I finish, I look over at their white flatbed, and the woman, possibly his wife, looks at me and waves. I wave back. I thought I would feel good doing this deed. No I didn’t. I thought I would absolve myself of any guilt I felt watching this man sit here at this station, waiting for some salvation, some humanity in an age where human kindness is in short supply, where no one but the rich or the lucky have money or a job. A man in a number of months who may be me. I wanted to do more for them.

But then I thought about it. I did not actually have any money with me, and I was doing something spending what I did not actually have. (My money was actually the stipend my wife gives me for doing housework during the week while I look for work.) I mostly don’t spend it. I found that as long as I don’t leave home, I don’t actually need money. And if I don’t carry cash, I absolutely won’t buy anything I don’t need. I had to settle myself with having done what I could do. I had been as much of a friend as I could afford to be.

As I was contemplating the feelings I was having, I realized what it was. I was in pain. I was uncomfortable. I was saddened and distressed by seeing these two people, forced by circumstances unknown to me, to be living in their vehicle. And for a moment, I was overwhelmed by that feeling. I normally pride myself on my dispassion. My ability to observe, with detachment.

The Observer, the part of my rational mind that sits outside of what I call me, remembers something I heard Jim Morrison say at an interview: “People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”

Sometimes I hate the Observer. It is the part of me that makes me participate in all things human, even when I do not want to. Mostly, I don’t want to. My pain is uncomfortable, but for the first time in weeks, I am outside of myself; outside of my selfish desire to wallow in my misery, feeling sorry for myself. I had a chance to find myself again. To renew my opportunities, to find work worthy of my ability. It was not too late. I still had my home, my family, I still had some time.

As I pull away from the station, I pass the man putting his gas into his car, his actions precise and careful. He sees me as I drive by. He and his wife wave at me again, and I wave back. There was something in my eye and I needed to wipe it away.

At 11:35, August 25, 2010, two strangers passed in the night. One in need of a friend; the other, a friend, in need. We worked it out.

God Bless.

Gasoline in E-Minor © 2010, All Rights Reserved

Superhero Diversity: Coming whether you like it or not

Newsrama.com posed the following blog that related to my topic of superheroic identity, diversity and equal treatment in the mainstream comic universes. After having it pointed out to me, I felt the need to address it just a bit more. Here is a taste of the article.

SUPERHERO DIVERSITY

Aqualad_Jackson_Hyde_0004

By Vaneta Rogers
posted: 13 January 2011 04:23 pm ET

There’s no question the world of superhero comics is more diverse than it was 20 years ago, but the effort hasn’t been without struggle.

And despite the best effort of creators and publishers, the most popular characters continue to be a slate of white men.

The best example of the phenomenon is the upcoming Avengers film, where Black Widow will be the one white female Avenger in a team dominated by white male heroes like Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Hulk and Captain America.

But it’s not just an Avengers problem. “If you look at all DC’s major characters, the big seven of the Justice League, they’re all white men with the exception of Wonder Woman, who’s a white gal,” said Judd Winick, who writes for DC Comics. “We don’t really have many people of color who are considered a major character.”

You can read the rest of the article here. I will wait till you get back.

How did we get here?

A young friend of mine asked me “Why are we still having this conversation?” To be honest I had not planned on answering, I felt I made my feeling clear in my earlier post. But I decided that I would try and strip out the vitriol and answer it differently today. So here goes: Why ARE we still having this conversation about diversity in Comics in the year 2011? 135 years after the end of Slavery in the South and 400 years after the arrival of the first African in chains we are still questioning the poor representation of people of color in the mythic realms of superheroes in spandex. We are still talking about it because:

It is more relevant now than ever.

That is why we are still talking about this because the mainstream comic industry is still wrestling with it. They realize their industry is still poorly reflecting an increasing colorful and diverse world. But their readership mostly comprised of white males who buy the bulk of the comics in the US today, would prefer that nothing ever changes. And the industry does not want to do anything that might jeopardize their current income stream.

The reality is this:

The industry will have to take a hit to get ahead. One step back on income while they retool their lineups and as newer readers embrace the lineup, the old guard will have to get in step or find another form of entertainment where the myth of white superiority is still happily being promoted, for the time being. Eventually even that will change, and they will have to let someone else live to the end of the movie. Will Smith has championed that cause in his own movies. We can have and do have potential motivations that are different than expected and that we can bring our own vibrant and energetic nature to the comic industry and the big screen.

BRAVE NEW <economic> WORLD

The Comic Industry is like any other business, they are looking ahead to the future and seeing India and China with their rich cultural heritages and realizing they have no boats in the water in which to move into those markets. Their parent companies are already realizing they will have to do better about embracing diversity if they want to be able to maintain their roles as trend-setters and leaders in this Brave New Economic World (BNEW).

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What this really means for smaller agencies like independent writers and artists is those mainstream providers are seeking creative talent that can move interesting and powerful characters of color. But this is a moving target, so creating one’s one characters and even companies may be a great move right now, and nurturing that talent is also paramount but I suspect for a percentage of the best and brightest, an opportunity to migrate, translate or inculcate your work into the mainstream universe is nearer than you think.

Brother, you should do for self…

And before anyone attacks me with the standard litany of ‘we don’t need anything from them‘ and ‘we can do it without their help‘, I will agree with you, wholeheartedly. And I recommend we get started immediately to provide positive images of heroes for our children and people who want to see a more diverse view of heroes of color. I posit you this: The comic industry’s success has been fueled by their translation of their heroes from their books to the movie industry. And while the technology is still evolving, it has begun to be good enough to allow characters from the 1940s onward to begin their potential migration to the big screen.

In Summary:

It is in Big Comics best interest to find new talent and nurture it. They may not like it. They may not want it. They may not quite even realize it yet, but as the demographics of the nation continue to evolve, they will have to get into the myth-making business for a more diverse population, or eventually as their markets age out, or lose interest, they may find themselves becoming extinct due to a lack of a new emergent market to move into.

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