Being born in the 70’s gave you the distinction of being born just after some of the worst times in American history… The Civil Rights Movement. Now there was still a fair amount of racial tension but the blood shed and riots of previous years took their toll on everyone. The die hard racists agreed to disagree and a desire for peace was nourished by all races. It is now 48yrs later and the growing number murdered African Americans at the hands of whites has relit the fuse. Blood in the streets and justice denied based upon the color of your skin.
Lately, My Facebook feed has been flooded with video and stories of unarmed young black men shot or choked to death. Many of these stories never made it to national news. There have been 5 this past month. Michael Brown- Ferguson, MO, Eric Garner-Staten Island, NY , Ezell Ford – LA, Dante Parker -Victoville,CA , and John Crawford in Ohio. It appears that our justice system has become bored with the whole innocent till proven guilty process when it comes to African American males. The process is now straight to judgment. Or “Legal Lynching” as I call it. It doesn’t happen to any other race. The police have already made their minds up when it comes to African Americans. One video went viral recently of white cop straddling and punching a black woman on the side of the freeway. The message appears quite clear. Racism 2.0 is full effect and threatens to reopen old wounds of the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s.
I was hoping and praying that when LeBron James left the Miami Heat to re-sign with Cleveland Cavaliers, he would cite Florida’s Stand Your Ground Laws as a reason he left. I would have been so proud to see him giving a press conference and explaining how the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis affected his decision. I could just see him sitting at the podium and telling the whole room how uncomfortable he was raising his sons in a state where any white man could shoot and kill his boys and get away with it. Jordan Davis’s killer, Michael Dunn only got convicted of attempted murder for each of the 3 boys that were with Davis in the truck Dunn shot up. Dunn won’t serve a day for Davis’s murder. George Zimmerman as we all know was acquitted of Trayvon Martin’s murder even with overwhelming evidence against him. Who could blame LeBron? Could you live in a state under those conditions and you had the power to leave? The Miami Heat as well as the City of Miami are expected to suffer significant financial loses not to mention potential championships. LeBron had a golden opportunity to strike a huge blow for the African American community. Hitting a city or state in the wallet is the only way to make them listen. The best basketball player in the world could have led the way.
I am hoping our more affluent and successful African Americans take the lead. Their money and influence could go a long way to help bring us together as a people to combat these tragic events. We need our Lawyers and politicians to lead us politically and legally. They can voice our displeasure throughout our government. Yet I feel as if I am asking too much. Many of our more successful African Americans have chosen to remain silent and not take a stand. It seems like that they don’t want to risk endorsements or contracts by being too political and taking a stand. Many of our African American lawyers and politicians are too absorbed in themselves or their political party to set anything in motion. So it’s left up to the rest of us. The working poor, The hopeless, disenfranchised, victimized, and angry rest of us. We are therefore left with our only option … Riot. That’s the only time the media seems or wants to listen. Our parents felt the same way in Detroit in 1968. They faced the dogs and water hoses to make things better for our community. It appears that 48ys later, Ferguson, MO has become ground zero for another phase of the Civil Rights Movement. If it has truly come to that, then I must prepare myself. The strange fruit that once hung from trees in the south now grow on the streets and sidewalks of our cities. Planted by seeds of injustice and fertilized by racism. If I must face the dogs and water hoses to end this vicious harvest, then so be it. The next generations of African Americans are at stake. Holla if you hear me!
UPDATE: Michael Dunn was convicted of First Degree Murder in the Death of Jordan Davis September 30, 2014. The fight against injustice rages on.