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Repeating the Verdicts of Injustice

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

July 13, 2010

By Perry Redd

Injustice is nothing new to the black people of America.  From Slavery to Jim Crow; from legislative disenfranchisement to judicial whitewashing, the repetition of injustice rears it’s ugly head again and again…contemporary events only remind us that there is no such thing as “post-racial America” and my position is that we not allow the mainstream media—or conservative idealists—to make this an acceptable term.  There is no such thing as “post-racial America.”

Last week, scores of people were arrested in Oakland, California in protests over the verdict in the Oscar Grant shooting. Grant was the unarmed 22-year-old black man who was shot dead by Johannes Mehserle, a white transit officer, on an Oakland train platform on New Year’s Day, 2009. A jury in Los Angeles convicted Merserle of involuntary manslaughter but he was acquitted on the more serious charges of second-degree murder and/or voluntary manslaughter.

I have problems with this…We should have problems with this.  Another law enforcement officer gets away with killing another young, black male.  The long, long history of this conduct should not be acceptable conduct in this country.  Young, black males should be up in arms!  For they are sure prey of these—in particular, white—law enforcement officers.

Conservative-leaning publications like the Cincinnati Inquirer will point to mentally-ill black men being killed by police as justification for these illicit murders.  We will not allow that to be the narrative of the truth of murdering innocent, unarmed black, American males.

Andre Stinson, (Knoxville, TN)

Adolph Grimes, III, 22 (New Orleans, LA)

Robbie Tolan, 23 (Houston, TX)

Amadou Diallo, 23 (Bronx, NY)

Shawn Bell, 23 (Queens, NY)

Juan Daniels, 24 (Knoxville, TN)

Timothy Stansbury, Jr. (Brooklyn, NY)

Micheal Newby, (Louisville, KY)

Sean Gillispie, 21 (Knoxville, TN)

James Alexander, 62 (Roanoke, VA)

Bernard Monroe, 73 (Homer, LA)

It’s not ironic that the fear of white officers come into official testimony when “investigations” occur.  If they’re so scared, then why are we the ones dead?  It appears that they’re hiring less and less “fearless” individuals.  Just for historical context, throughout the colonial era, whites lived in perpetual terror of the Africans they’d imported. Even the bonds of chattel slavery weren’t enough to qualm their fears, so waves of vigilante justice were needed as well. Any unrest spawned massively outsized responses of state-approved violence.

When law enforcement in colonial South Carolina uncovered a 1740 plot by a few dozen slaves to steal weapons and flee, they hung people at the rate of 50 a day. A year later, a burglary investigation in New York City so spooked law enforcement, that they ended up burning alive or hanging 32 slaves, and deporting another 72.  This trial is nothing new…

I have four chief problems with the Oscar Grant incident:

            1)  why are subway cops carrying guns?

2)  why do you need to tazer someone who is already handcuffed and on his stomach?

3)  why were there NO blacks on the jury?  White people get all white juries?  Then why don’t black people get all black juries? (8 women and 4men)

4)  why did Mehserle get a “change of venue”?  People attempt to get venue changes all the time (like me) and can’t get it—unless it’s in the government’s interest; why didn’t O.J. get a change of venue?

It’s apparent that not a damned thing has changed in this country.  The election of Barack Obama has only made blacks more complacent and whites more angry.  The disenfranchised only suffer to a greater degree with this formula.  White males create all kinds of websites to bring attention to blacks that have killed white people.  I searched and found a bunch today…but they won’t admit the wrongs of whites who not only kill blacks, but get away with it. 

One thing for sure, I’m tried of whites telling me that racism “is all in my mind.”  They are the biggest bunch of con artists, liars and illusionist this side of David Copperfield.  If one fails to recognize and acknowledge that race is the biggest and most prevalent problem in America, then (in the words of John McCain) that one is a liar.  We continue to repeat the never-ending cycle of injustice…so settle in for a long ride.

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