Whenever things like this happen (way too often) I think of O'shea Jackson. I think of walking with my boys on new years eve and seeing my friends get patted down, while I pretend my elementary knowledge of freemasonry will prevent me from harm. I think of the generations of men and women who have to teach their sons how to deal with the police. At the same time I think of those who don't have to think of this 'rite of passage' and for them dealing with the police is not a life or death situation.
There has never been a time in this country where Black men were NOT the target of police brutality. It's not a daily occurance where the police kill an unarmed man. However when it does happen you can pretty much guarantee that the victim is Black. In writing this entry I did a google search for the numbers of unarmed men kiilled by police in the US and every answer on the first page was a Blackman. I didn't ask for Blackmen but that's what I got because that's who they kill. A Blackman's life has never been worth much on US soil since the first slave ship arrived. Yet here we stand less than two weeks before the first Black President is sworn in (I'll be there) and a 22 year old Black father is shot dead on the ground like a dog...again.
The folks in Oakland are taking this both "lying down" and standing upright. I've been told a number of protesters layed out in the street in the same position as the victim Oscar Grant. While a gang of folks took to the streets on foot starting out peaceful ending with smashed windows and police chases. The latter is what you see in the following pictures.
I'm not going to ask the usual why questions because I feel like between Diallo and Sean Bell I've exhausted those in my own mind. Honestly after Sean Bell I just felt tired. Tired of all the weight, of people not understanding or not caring. Tired of feeling powerless to stop something that's been going on for generations before me. I wonder if having more people of color in higher positions in politics will change the face of this American tradition. In NY the city council just signed a resolution requiring police officers to fill out detailed reports when a weapon is discharged. (http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/91831/council-votes-for-longer-reports-on-police-shootings/Default.aspx) In 2009 this is just NOW being addressed? I guess progress is progress. I would love to hear your view points on this whole ordeal. Please leave a comment to express...whatever you want to express.
For more info (and video) see this link.
Photo's courtesy of Thomas Hawk and mashget.