The Flip Side of a Chase Is a Man Leading the Crowd
Many pictures dispense interpretation. Most tragedies could do without another opinion. The nation is transfixed with the unforgivable string of killings of unarmed black youth by those assigned to protect them. Grief has boiled over, calls for justice are once again being heard. Will the death of Freddie Gray Jr. suffice for us to go from indignation to effective legislative action? Or is Baltimore only the last stop in this tragic journey of blood through the streets of America? Are we really ready to forget this one too? Are we really ready to go on?
It’s too much sorrow, too many mothers and relatives mourning the violence that seems directed at one particularly underprivileged, and often ignored, segment of the population. Thus, this picture and how we may choose to interpret it, so we can get some sleep tonight.
Not another young black man being chased by a platoon of armed, and armored, policemen, but an unsuspected leader of a new charge for change, and a new day for racial equality in the U.S. (more) _______ Read Also: * Curtain Raiser Continue reading →
Once again, Americans of all colors and ethnic backgrounds stepped out and made a statement against police brutality, in favor of justice and the rule of law for everybody, and above all, in defense of black and minority people, disproportionally singled out by law enforcement. They’ve carried posters and banners with the names of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and so many others, including Amadou Diallo, killed by New York cops over 15 years ago, and marched along the victims’ families, in yet another giant, peaceful demonstration. Many lessons of civility and compassion were on display, many examples of courage and solidarity. This time, change must be expedited, and justice ushered by those entrusted with the people’s will. Their voices won’t be ignored, and their sacrifice won’t be in vain. In the past few weeks, Americans have shown more determination to redirect this country towards social and racial justice than they’ve been in years. It’s now up to President Obama to validate these legitimate claims in the letter of the law, so we all can finally move the U.S. forward into a new era of civil rights for everyone.
The Conversation About Race & Police Brutality Has Started
Thousands of protesters took New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, and other major U.S. cities to demand a stop in the all too apparent racist tinge by which law enforcement agents have been consistently targeting black youth in this country. Americans seem to have finally reached a break point this week, after two white cops, who killed two unarmed black young men, Michael Brown, of Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, of New York’s Staten Island, will not be indicted for their acts.
Acknowledging the growing, widespread mistrust on police departments everywhere, the Justice Department has ordered a review of both cases, but haven’t been able, so far, to dispel the public perception that it’s already behind the curve.
While both cases share similarities aside their obvious racial overtones, there are also glaring differences between them. While witnesses may have offered diverse accounts of how Brown was shot, the fatal chokehold that asphyxiated Garner was captured on video.
Their deaths come at the tail of a long, disturbing string of police killings of unarmed black teenagers, that predates Garner‘s death on July 17, and includes the seven who were killed since August 9, when Brown was shot. To dare saying that this is not about race is just downright absurd.
Obviously, other factors should be also taken into account, from an unprepared and ill trained police force, to an increasing contingent of dispossessed and impoverish minorities in the U.S. Yes, income inequality is a big element underlining these tragedies.
But there’s also a need for a real hard, honest, and open-minded look at race relations in America, circa 2014, which is resembling every day more like the 1960s. We could as well take a page from that book on Civil Rights and check how much that we take for granted, we’ve actually forgotten.
Americans may have finally awaken to the shame of living in the richest country in the world while it’s being turned into a playground for the very wealthy, and a holocaust for those at the bottom, with the shrinking middle class Continue reading →