by Kenneth Cooper
Yeah, that’s it. Go home. Vote. Elect a black president, a liberal congress, a liberal mayor, a liberal city council, even have a black AG appointed as the nation’s top prosecutor. After that, everything will be alright. You’ll be able to ride, run, walk up the street assured that you’ll be treated as a citizen equal to all others, and if not, those who violate your right will be met with the swiftest of justice.
Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Trayvon Martin – 6 murders, 0 justice.
Maybe try other methods. Try getting a job, fashioning yourself as a presentable negro. But one day you’re out for a ride with your girl and her kid, you get pulled over, you simply try to tell the officer that you’re exercising your right to carry a gun, and next thing you know — bam. Seven bullets are unloaded in your chest. Two of them hit you right in the heart. You’re left there, bleeding to death in the passenger seat, while the child screams behind you. All your girl can think to do is frantically record your last breath on her cell phone, hoping it’ll make a difference.
“Your, Honor, he was a black man with a gun. I feared for my life. What else was I supposed to do? 🤷♂️”
No justice. You try breaking the peace. You riot. You loot. You burn buildings to the ground. Probably because there’s no other outlet for your frustration. People call you an animal, a thug. Hardly anybody in power addresses the root of the problem, how systematically throwing black people in jail and under-investing in our communities has produced generations of disillusioned, poor people trying to live the American dream by any means necessary
Nope, they’ll be no tears or any form of reparations for you, just escalating forms of resistance and violence when you protest in outrage (blockades, negative media coverage, curfews, police armed with militarized weapons).
What’s the solution? A race war is out of the question. Black people are outnumbered, out-gunned, and out-organized. 10 cops swinging batons and firing rubber bullets can scatter a hundred unorganized protesters.
Last Monday, 3 police officers pinned a 46 year-old black man to the ground then proceeded to suffocate him until he cried for his mama. They only decided to take their knees off his neck and back after he stopped breathing for 2 minutes and 53 seconds. 1 officer stood by. A crowd just watched and recorded as he slowly died.
“Before we go any further, we’re asking you to be patient, while we proceed in due diligence to ascertain all the facts of the case and not make a rush to judgment – you know, basically give these guys the fairness and consideration they didn’t give to the man they just killed.”
We watch them die. We watched George Floyd die. We watched Eric Garner die. We watched Alton Sterling die. We heard Trayvon Martin fight for his life until a gun went off. “Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.” – Wil Smith
Many feel the problem is that too many police look like this (👮♂)while the citizens they often harass and murder look like this (🧑🏽🦱). Often those complaints are met with a simple🖕🏻in reply. Black people’s pleas to be treated equally have been met with that type of dismissiveness since the day we were dragged here in chains.
“I don’t wanna be a slave on this plantation.”
“I just wanna be treated like any other free man.”
“I just want the right to vote and the same civil rights as any other citizen.”
“Black lives matter.”
“I’m going to call the police and tell them that an African American man is threatening me.”
No, those aren’t the words that got Emmett Till killed. Those are the words of a white woman, who earlier this month threatened to weaponize the police against a black man for having the audacity to tell her to put a leash on her dog as the park rules required. Clearly she recognized historical precedent.
A word from the president on how the police should apprehend suspects:
“Please don’t be nice.”
What are we to do?
“We’ve tried black faces in high places. Too often our black politicians, professional class, middle class become too accommodated to the capitalist economy, too accommodated to a militarized nation-state…You’ve got a neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party that is now in the driver’s seat…and they really don’t know what to do.” – Cornel West
Nobody knows what to do. Slavery ended 155 years ago. Yet the mentality hasn’t.