The Tragedy of Kalief Browder

The Tragedy of Kalief Browder

He spent 800 days of his 1000 in solitary.
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Jay-Z and Harvey Weinstein recently produced a six-part documentary on Spike TV about a 16-year-old boy named Kalief Browder who was imprisoned at Riker's Island for three years.

The tragedy is that he was innocent!

Kalief Browder was hanging out one night on the street when he was accused by a passerby of stealing a backpack. The accuser changed his story several times. Kalief was already on law enforcements radar because when he was 14 he did what many kids have done...He took a joyride in a bread truck!

Kalief was questioned for 17 hours and continuously professed his innocence. He was remanded to Rikers Island and bail was set at $3,000.00. It might of well have been $300,000 because his family did NOT have the money. After borrowing money from a neighbor, his mother went to a bail bondsman with $900. Bailbondsman will take all kinds of collateral as payment such as jewelry, deeds to houses, and even retirement funds. As it turns out, Kalief' s father who abandoned the family when Kalif was 11 years old, could have put up the bail money. When the bail bondsman tried to submit the bail payment on the computer it said "bail denied." Because Kalief was already in the system, bail was denied. Kalief's mother was devastated.

From the minute Kalief stepped off the bus and entered the youth offenders unit, he was a target. He was small in stature but tough. When asked by fellow inmates if he would " join the program" which is a hierarchy of battle tested brawlers who prove themselves by beating up any inmate who refuses to obey. They control everything from where the inmates can sit to their commissary accounts.

Even the Corrections Officers are said to be a part of it, but no one wants to speak about the details out of fear. 800 of the 1000 days that he spent at Riker's he spent in solitary confinement. Most of it was punishment for defending himself during regular gang beatings, where four or more inmates gang up and beat on a fellow inmate. Inmates call it getting jumped. Kalief lost count of how many times he was beaten.

Kalief was finally released in May of 2013. Two years later he committed suicide by hanging himself.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
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Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.

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As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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