Yeah, so this racism and police brutality has gotten completely out of control. Well, actually it has always been present, the video documentation of these heinous acts has simply proven what Blacks and other minority groups have been accusing for decades. So now we have dash cam and police body cam videos, along with tons of civilian video proof, but still no real action.
There are so many incidents of unarmed Blacks dying at the hands of the police that the names become a blur. Let’s start with Amadou Diallo back in 1999, who was shot 41 times while reaching for his wallet. Then there was Sean Bell, leaving a strip club after his Bachelor party in Queens in 2006, shot 50 times while in his car. The movie Fruitvale Station was the true story of Oscar Grant’s cold-blooded murder while lying face down and restrained at a BART station in 2009. How about Trayvon Martin, whose killer, George Zimmerman, was tried and acquitted, despite overwhelming evidence that he cowardly attacked Trayvon without provocation. After Zimmerman’s acquittal, came the #BlackLivesMatter movement. A noble effort but the murders continued unfettered. Then there’s the 12 year old with a toy gun,Tamir Rice, where cameras show that the police car barely came to a stop before the cop unloaded. We all saw Eric Garner choked to death on camera, with a large crowd of witnesses present. Even “suicide” victim Sandra Bland was seen being brutalized on camera, which I believe lead to her death from a brain injury. Although her death was ruled a suicide, I call bullshit because she screamed out that the cop slammed her head into the ground. I don’t believe for one minute that she committed suicide and the racist police department covered up their negligence.
I will be going to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving and seeing the recent murder involving yet another restrained Black man, Jamar Clark, reminded me of my own horrific encounter with the Minneapolis police back in 2009. My partner, her daughter and I were walking across the parking lot adjacent to the Gay Nineties nightclub when a barrage of gunshots rang out from the street. We all were stunned and I immediately dropped to the ground. I’m from NYC so I know the drill. At the same time, my partner’s daughter’s cell phone rang and she, clearly not thinking straight, answered the call. Next thing I know, the police swooped in on all of us with rifles drawn and I see a red dot on her head. Shit got chaotic at that point! My partner was screaming and begging the police not to shoot. The obviously frightened policewoman was screaming, “Shut the Fuck Up!”, “Get on the ground!”, all the while nervously pointing the gun. In the back of my mind I could just see how this could all go terribly wrong in an instant. If we were shot, because of all the yelling, and the fact that my partner’s daughter is 6′ feet tall, the police would say we were resisting arrest and she feared for her life. You know how the shit always goes, and there were no body cameras, dash cam or cell phone video to even cast a reasonable doubt on to the officer’s story. Not to mention, all of us were Black and the officers were white.
I remember being indignant and humiliated after being forced to lie down on the icy ground, like we were the shooters and not the victims. Of all the illegal shit I have done in my life, and I get accosted by the police for this bullshit?! I was so livid I don’t think I even could speak for at least an hour afterwards. There was no attempt to find out where the shots came from, clearly they did not come from our group, but the police kept us on the ground with guns drawn for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, this silly ass white girl on the ground next to me, called her partner inside the club to save her a seat! I wanted to smack the shit out of her because she could have gotten us shot. Perfect example of ignorance or entitlement, not sure which.
The bitter root of all of this homicidal behavior towards Blacks is racism, pure and simple. Since President Obama was elected, hell since he was even in the running, White folks started losing their mind! What the hell is the Tea Party other than an elitist group of racists longing for the good old days of niggers staying in their place? All those good old boys trying to preserve relics of slavery like the Confederate flag and statues of Robert E. Lee, for what? The Confederates lost the war, move on. Every time I see a grizzled, toothless MF on the news trying to explain why honoring their racist ass ancestors is important, I see how deeply entrenched the hatred is towards Blacks in the US. Why else would you glorify one of the most violent times in the history of this country, just to celebrate the Losers of the Civil War? Even all of the bullshit about our Constitutional right to bear arms, is really about rednecks being armed for the perceived coming race war, that they have been trying to start for many years now. If there was a sudden surge of Blacks and Latinos purchasing guns, I bet the laws would change then.
Racism is so deeply entrenched in every area of American society that I don’t see how the systematic problem will be solved in my lifetime, if ever. The film “Dear White People” is playing out in real life at Yale, Mizzou, Harvard, Georgetown, Duke and no doubt countless other prominent Universities across the country. So clearly, being educated is not a deterrent from racism. The dearth of a wide selection of positive minority images in the media, on both scripted and “reality” TV shows is proof that even the creative arena, White culture is the standard. I mean, even Star Wars is getting backlash for casting a main Black character. Remember when The Last Airbender movie came out, completely devoid of any Asian actors, although it was an Asian cartoon? Even Rachel Dolezal was so sick of the racism perpetrated by her own race, she decided she would be better off as a Black woman, I guess to assuage some of that guilt she felt. SMH.
So, we have been marching collectively since the 1960’s and I believe it’s time to take the next step. There is all this rhetoric about “building bridges”, and “having a dialogue” about changing this racist culture but I see no unified, purposeful action. With every incident, we show the proper amount of indignation and then we get back to our lives until the next outrage. I’m all for peaceful protests but I think that the racists have called our bluff. I mean Dylan Roof came into our house of worship to execute us in the name of White Supremacy and he is still alive. Up until last night, in Minneapolis, White Supremacist shooters lit up the crowd of peaceful protesters. I feel like we’re in the schoolyard being picked on by the bully while the teachers are watching. Isn’t it time to put some economic power behind these protests? That is what America understands, capitalism and the power of green. I am not sure of exactly what to boycott but I know that there has got to be some actionable solution in addition to all this marching. I was hopeful when the last Million Man March occurred, I thought at least Farrakhan will have some direction for the people. However, since the media blacked out coverage on that event, I don’t know what the agenda even was!
This Thanksgiving, after eating all that good food, let’s give thanks to our ancestors for starting us off on the road to achieving civil rights. Then let us pray for direction and a sustainable course of action to actually change the system. Let us pray for the unification of the next generation of civil rights leaders to take us to the next level of true equality in America. All this marching is simply not effective.