A THOUSAND WAYS TO KILL A BLACK KID…

This is so painful because Tamir looks like so many wonderful young men I have worked with in the past, who are now doing great things in the world; he looks like members of my family; he looks like so many of my childhood friends; he reminds me of me, and the hopes and dreams I had at that age for the future; but where are his hopes and dreams now…

When you think of America’s tremendous response (“severely punish and hurt Mike Vick!”) to the harm and murder inflicted on a lion, and or a group of dogs; it’s very clear that those animals are able to generate more sympathy and protection than Black children in America.

Now, Tamir Rice, another exonerated (even as it is poorly explained in a press conference) murder, the list just goes on… and on… and on… and on… and on… It would seem that all we need now is a blank space on the national murder certificate list, waiting to be just filled in with the next officially state sanctioned murder victim…. Again, Mr. Obama will express sympathy and concern over the incident; and the standard and steadfast true race haters will protest his sympathy and concern as hate… (places everyone, roll camera…)

One thought every Black person must have this morning; even if they don’t share it with a White friend or co-worker: “I could call the police out of civic duty, for a very simple matter, and someone could end up dead, perhaps a neighbor, maybe a family member, or maybe even me!” This could be one of the reasons that national crime statistics are dropping; perhaps large segments of the Black citizenry are afraid to call the police; so as not to create an additional official crime by the police that will surely go unpunished. And I don’t want to hear about the “most good cops” narrative; clearly there are not enough good cops to change the behavior of the “bad cops”; and surely not enough “good cops” in positions of leadership to change a deeply embedded culture of: “Its them (the entire Black community, not the criminals operating in the Black community), versus us!”

What the next whatever number Justice Department investigation won’t find (or disclose); is that there is a difference between a police force, whose ultimate objective is to serve and protect the citizens; and a military occupation force managing what is perceived as the “enemy”, in enemy territory. The thought never entered the minds of those police officers who confronted Tamir that he was part of their human family; let alone a citizen deserving of every right to surrender peacefully; that neighborhood was a foreign land to them, not their land, not America; the people who live there, are not their people, not Americans deserving of rights protection.

A thousand ways to kill a Black kid…..There are just so many ways that this society kills Black children; through poverty, poor healthcare, terrible housing and living conditions; an early and long engagement with the lucrative (for others, not them) criminal justice system, no job opportunity, the tolerated and encouraged illegal drug system that enables mass and horrific fratricide, an educational system that breaks their spirits, destroys their imagination; ignores their genius and creativity, and eliminates any hope of a life-dream coming true…
And if by some strange chance they survive all of that… the people who are sworn to protect them shoot, choke, “rough ride” them to death; and then get together with elected officials and agencies that call themselves: “mayors” and “public defenders”. But these people don’t consider Black people as part of the public to defend; they always seem to come up with a creative way that will allow their co-murderers to go free (and in places like NYC even give them a promotion to sargent!) Black people are not these public officials constituents; rather young Black America is the raw material of our economic system; their suffering sends other kids to college and promising careers, even as they head off to jail, or death, in schools, or on the streets.

I still say history is the great teacher here. For as we learned from the Civil Rights movement; when business can’t go on as usual, the usually accepted evil stops. (That moment when evil is bad for business!) Perhaps when the parents and communities that are supposed to protect these children have had enough, it will stop. When the thousand ways to kill Black children gets in the way of the financial bottom line; it will stop… Or it will stop when Black people decide it is time for it to stop. I don’t want to go James Baldwin here (“The Fire Next Time”); but the later solution could get very ugly…