A Prayer to My Countrymen in Ugly Times

My friends in the USA, there is so much ugliness being shoved in our faces on a national level at the moment… the ugliness of injustice, murders, racism, etc. (not to mention the social polarity brought on by the current election cycle). Unfortunately, that ugliness is real. It seems overwhelming. Still, it MUST, in its varied forms, be addressed and hopefully corrected, systemically from the top down and from the ground up.
 
BUT, there is still so much beautiful going on around us. You won’t much see it on the news, you won’t much hear about it on the radio. In this present America, you have to tune your attention to it as an act of will. Just walking around in Indianapolis with my kids yesterday, I saw the beautiful at work in my fellow humans, ordinary humans, on the streets, and we were able to be a part of it. It wasn’t in everyone, but it was in most people. My kids and I also got to be part of an amazing moment between several of us. It wasn’t a planned “event.” Just humans being humans to one another. Friends were made of strangers, and those strangers were not even the same color. Personal stories, help, and hopes were exchanged. No hashtags or clickbait articles were necessary to make it happen. Only beating human hearts and willing minds. It gave me some real hope for humanity in the day to day, at ground level.
 
That said, this is my admonition, first to myself and then to my friends. Hell, even as I secular person I don’t mind calling it a “prayer”… a prayer that WE will have to answer ourselves: Please don’t let the ugliness that dwells in some places and in some people around you turn YOU ugly in spirit. Yes, stand for the right and against the wrong. Speak and act (peacefully) against it. Yet, never forget that there is more light shining through we who are good than darkness manifesting through those who are bad. Don’t let the darkness of “them” dim the light of “us.” The “us” who are found among all colors, creeds, and countries. If ever we needed to be, we need to be countrymen, fellow citizens, friends, and most of all, lovers of one another in this present day. In the words of my mom to me as a young boy, “Be careful that you do not become what you hate in this world.” One of the hardest things in this life is to have your heart broken, but not let it then turn into fractured stone.
 
There are some in this country who have the desire to fracture us all like broken glass along the contrived lines of their own selfish agendas. They hope to set us against one another via racial, political, gender, and ideological lines. That makes us weak and them strong. But, we must be countrymen and we must care for one another. We must care about our real flesh and blood fellow citizens above our own subjective ideologies. Please, tune your ears to the frequency of the common humans around you. Their hearts are beating a beautiful song. Let your own heart sing along.   -Luke
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Thank you for reading and sharing! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar!:) Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke
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“The Little Black Girl in the Booth Behind Me” – A Poem

“The Little Black Girl in the Booth Behind Me” page 1, by Luke Austin Daugherty. Words and photograph copyright 2015: Luke Austin Daugherty

“The Little Black Girl in the Booth Behind Me” page 2, by Luke Austin Daugherty. Words and photograph copyright 2015: Luke Austin Daugherty

Another Black Man Given Impromptu Death Penalty By Police-COPS NEED BODY CAMS NOW!

I don’t even want to write a blog about this… I am sick of this “same story” playing out again and again in the USA: A random, innocent black man shot to death by police.

Thankfully, in this case, a civilian’s camera was running.

The footage speaks for itself:

Here is the Anderson Cooper discussion on the shooting:

The citizens of the USA are weary of unjustified shootings, beating, arrests, and murders of individuals by police. It happens to individuals of all ethnicities. Yet, it happens disproportionately to African Americans. Much of that situation is carried on the back of a failed “Drug War.” Though, as in the shooting at hand, you never know when being pulled over even for a taillight infraction that you will survive the interaction with cops. To the good cops out there, my hats off to you. This isn’t about you.  It is about the vicious, malevolent, and inhumane officers among you who take advantage of and hurt those who they have sworn to protect.

What is the answer? I’ll give you my opinion on what is the fastest way to make progress. I assert the the first major step is an immediate Executive Order by President Obama that all officers, unless undercover, must wear a functional body cam while on duty. Also, that a no tolerance clause for “my cam wasn’t working” be added. If an officer’s body cam “isn’t working” during a questionable situation or any situation where a citizen is injured, he/she will be put on appropriate leave and the situation investigated. If a 2nd situation happens, unpaid leave. If a 3rd, termination. Though, if any investigations lead to charges, then the law should run its course in those cases. Of course, in my perfect world scenario, it would still take time for police departments to order body cams and train officers to use them. Due to that, a reasonable time limit would need to be included in the Order.

I am not a huge fan of Executive Orders. But, we are in a position where the red-tape must be sliced through post haste for the protection of the populace at large from its “protectors.” Executive Orders have been used for all kinds of things. Obama might as well use one in the best interest of the American people during their immediate time of need. Are body cams a total, 100% solution? No. Still, mandatory body cams are a hell of a step in the right direction.

I also call for town, county, and state governments to create citizen boards, voted in by the public and who are NOT, nor have EVER BEEN members or law enforcement, for the oversight of law enforcement in said jurisdiction. They must have enough power to handle situations and recommend the dismissal and/or charges brought upon corrupt or abusive officers of the law.

The only positive, and I use that term in the loosest possible way, is that the shooter, North Charleston Officer Michael Slager of South Carolina, has been charged with murder. Unfortunately, a 50-year-old black man, Walter L. Scott, is now dead over a broken tail light.

I have only two more things to say: 1. To the family of Walter L. Scott, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. It is my sincere hope that you are able to get as much justice as is possible for your murdered family member. 2. To the citizen who recorded the video of the shooting, the USA is forever in your debt for bringing the truth of this shooting to light. Thank you for your courage.

-Luke

I Saw the Incensed Horde- A Poem Dedicated to Farkhunda of Kabul

"I Saw the Incensed Horde" by Luke Austin Daugherty- A poem dedicated to the memory of Farkhunda of Kabul, Afghanistan and the eradication of the violent, fundamental religious ideology which caused her murder. Copyright 2015- All Rights Reserved, Luke Austin Daugherty

“I Saw the Incensed Horde” by Luke Austin Daugherty- A poem dedicated to the memory of Farkhunda of Kabul, Afghanistan and the eradication of the violent, fundamental religious ideology which caused her murder. Copyright 2015- All Rights Reserved, Luke Austin Daugherty

I saw the initial, uncensored videos of Farkhunda’s murder when they hit the internet last month. I wrote this poem laying in bed, unable to sleep, as I thought about her that same night.It is my hope that her story may break up the stony hearts of those who would support or engage in such inhuman atrocities.

To all who read- Your fellow humans must rank higher than your personal ideology. An ideology has no breath, no feelings, and senses no pain. It is an abstract. Your fellow humans do. They need you and you need them.

If you have the time, please visit some of the following links to learn more about this heart-wrenching story and Farkhunda, a woman murdered in public by insane zealots.

Original Video (graphic)

Video Story:

News article:

News Article

“The Patron Saint of Jamaica Queens” – A Tribute to Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax (Music Video)

This is a song dedicated to a true hero. Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was stabbed and left for dead on a sidewalk in Jamaica Queens New York after defending a woman from an attacker. Over 20 people walked by without helping him while he lay dying. He died April 18, 2010.

I wrote the song, “The Patron Saint of Jamaica Queens,” as a tribute to Hugo’s memory. He was a homeless man who gave everything he had to give defending someone; his very life.

News clips and audio in the video used under the Fair Use Act.

Please share this video. I would love for his family to end up seeing it. Hugo was an immigrant to the USA from Guatemala. The song itself is available for digital download at:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/half-life/id615843809
or http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lukeaustindaugherty

For more info on Luke, go to:
http://www.lukeaustindaugherty.com
Words and music by: Luke Austin Daugherty -Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved Luke Austin Daugherty

Lyrics:

“The Patron Saint of Jamaica Queens”

V1. I didn’t wake up this morning and think that I would die tonight-I just thought I might find a soft place to fall- ’cause after all, we all need a place, but I have…

Ch. I have nowhere to lay my head- I have no place to go- I have nowhere to lay my head- I have no place to go…

V2. It’s cold and dark in Jamaica Queens, so I huddle ‘neath the lights of the street- I saw her in danger and frozen in fright- thought I’d be her angel tonight, ’cause I…

Chorus

V3. Sometimes a knife to the heart is not just a metaphor- some things are fair in New York that are not in love and war- and standing there they just watched me here- like I’m Jesus with no cross and no beard…

Chorus

Bridge: Am I a 3-D doormat underneath this city’s feet- a super hero with only the power to bleed- the man in white with no white coat or hat- losing the battle to the man in black

V4. So this will be my widow’s mite- I don’t have two coins, so I’ll just give my life and- Saint Peter meet me at the gates- I called for Michael to defend, but he was running late and I…

Chorus