..Jon Simonds..

It's Ironic, Don't Ya Think?
The Basically Brooklyn Series

It's nearly twenty years since legendary rapper Tupac Shakur left a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas. Immediately following his departure, Shakur and company were stuck at a red light on the Vegas Strip.

While waiting for the light to change a white caddy pulled alongside the famed singer's car. The caddy's back window dropped revealing the nose of .40 caliber Glock, spitting bullets meant to end the singer's life.

The first responding officer later told CNN's Ryan Reed he repeatedly asked Shakur if he knew whom the shooter was and Tupac bleeding profusely grew calm shaking his head positively. Police officer Chris Carroll held his own breath as Tupac drew in his and responded to the officer with two words unfit for newspaper print.

On May 2nd of 1973, Brooklyn born Joanne Chesimard, an active member of the Black Liberation Army, was one of three individuals pulled over by New Jersey State Troopers, James Harper and Werner Foerster. The trio had no intentions of cooperating with the police and opened fire on the unsuspecting officers. One of Chesimard's companions was shot and killed by Harper who reported Chesimard walked up to a wounded Foerster, lowered her semi-automatic and executed the Trooper with a single bullet to the head. Chesimard would become the first woman ever placed on the F.B.I.'s most wanted list where she remains to this day.

President Obama recently ventured to Havana, Cuba. Current newsreels portray a colorful city, seemingly forgotten by time. As a matter of fact, the streets looked more like the set of an American Graffiti sequel, or maybe even the streets of The Fonz's Happy Days, than a turn-of-the-century city seen in any other country today.

The purpose of the President's trip was to call an end to the Cold War era sanctions placed on Cuba by the United States back in the early 60s when black radicals were fighting to end the oppression of African Americans in the United States. At the same time Fidel Castro overthrew a democratic society and named himself the de-facto ruler of a new Communist nation, immediately allying themselves with the former Soviet Union, now Putin's Russia.

The President of this nation joined the President of Cuba, Raul Castro, Fidel's younger brother, as America's Tampa Bay Rays followed the President's entourage to Havana where they defeated the Cuban National Team, 4-1. It was an interesting moment in diplomacy, as several Cuban baseball defectors shared in tearful family reunions with members still stuck in a dictator's backward regime. A few day's later, The Rolling Stones hosted a free concert for nearly half a million Cubans in Havana.

It's odd to think that Joanne Chesimard may have been one of many in the crowd of Cubans watching the Rays uphold America's pride in it's national pastime.

One can't imagine she steered clear of the 60s radical band performing live in the middle of her adopted city. I'm certain she paid close heed to every word spoken by our President, an African American President at that. After all, the normalized relations Obama is calling for between these two nations usually leads to treaties of extradition, and while one New Jersey family waits anxiously for the murderer of their loved one to be brought to justice, Joanne Chesimard, the aunt and godmother of Tupac Shakur waits with freedom for a Vegas Police Homicide unit seeking justice in the execution of her nephew, Tupac Shakur.

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