Saturday, January 10, 2009

IT'S JUST ANOTHER NIGGER DEAD


Are you having a happy new year thus far? I hope you are. I say that because there are at least three families who aren't. To date (yes and the month isn't even over yet), there have been three high profile police shootings involving Black men here in America. Though they've not all equally received media attention, they are, and that fact alone, is indicative of a problem we have in this country.

Three Black men: Oscar Grant, Robbie Tolan, and now Adolph Grimes III, have been the victims of police shootings. Of the three, two of them are dead, and one still sits in a Texas hospital with a bullet lodged in his liver. Now I could go into detail surrounding each shooting, but I'll just sum it up and say that in everyone of them, all accounts are pointing to officer error.

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Oscar Grant: While pleading not to be tasered as he lay unarmed on the ground was shot in the back and killed. So far, the talk has been that it was accidental since the cop (who has since resigned) was reaching for his taser but got his gun by mistake, and pulled the trigger.

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Robbie Tolan: While in his own driveway at the home of his parents he was shot after being suspected of driving a stolen vehicle. It has since been discovered that the SUV in question was not stolen.

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Adolph Grimes III: Just three hours after ringing in the new year in New Orleans, he was shot 14 times, 12 times in the back, by New Orleans police. This was done just after he stepped out of his grandmothers house and sat in his car as he waited for his cousin. His mother had to hear the news about his death on the 5 o' clock news. The police said he shot at them first, and was armed. He was carrying a registered firearm; registered in his name. The police are also saying they recovered a shotgun from the trunk, but they somehow won't produce it. But how does a man running away from the cops who gets shot in the back 12 times while fleeing pose a threat?

"Police shootings receive intense media coverage but are still relatively rare. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that less than one percent of encounters with police involve threats or use of force. Blacks and Hispanics, however, report violent or potentially violent encounters with police at twice the rate of whites. Fifty-seven percent of those involved in a police force situation reported that they had argued, disobeyed or resisted or had been drinking or using drugs at the time."

SOURCE

With the exception of Grimes who had a weapon in his possession. What all these three men have in common is the fact that they were all Black, unarmed, and "allegedly" posed a threat to the police. Maybe I'm wrong here, but when is anyone laying face down or handcuffed a threat in the presence of trained police officers. I don't want to say that this is all racist because of the history of the police, racism, and racial profiling. Instead, I'll say just like some of my non-empathetic white brothers and sisters, that the police were just doing their jobs, and they felt their lives were in danger. All of these shootings are a concern for me. I am a Black man ya know. I'm especially watching the case of Mr. Grimes in New Orleans. If you've been reading this page you may understand why. But if you don't, you can click here to read all about it and catch up.

Seriously, I don't even have a solution for this problem short of all Black people (males in particular) having to walk around naked in public. When you're naked in public, though you may fit the profile of a criminal by being black. At least we may have a chance for survival or not encountering police shootings. By being naked there's no way they can say you had a weapon or a gun unless it was in your hand. Or worse...stashed in your asshole.

My concern as a Black man, is how can we stop this? Or will this ever stop? This is something that has been going on since Jeremiah was a bullfrog, and its senseless, and inhumane. Yes its inhuman, and obviously prejudicial to assume that a person has a propensity for crime because of the color of their skin, and hence the use of unnecessary force. Would this all end if there were Black cops shooting White suspects? Would society at large recognize this as a problem then?

RECOMMENDED READING: CONFRONTING LEGALIZED MURDER BY THE BOYS IN BLUE By Black Women Blow The Trumpet

11 comments:

President Anthony Taurus said...

that's so true. just another nigga dead.. another day in our lives. i knew about the robbie tolan hit. said he was shot in the chest and it lodged in his liver. that's a very funny angle, otherwise we're talking Kennedy's magic bullet. i didnt know about the grimes hit tho.

the first thing we have to recognize is the racism of these "random" hit jobs.

the second thing is an issue of justice. the federal govt has to get involved and these cops have to be charged, indicted, and brought to trial. the problem is we rely on the same people that protect the police. we can't expect the cops, lawyers, and judges to do this. there needs to be a separate office as al sharpton has already mentioned in the past with NY's killer cops.

the third thing we need to do is have some accountability in the sense that we ought to know what cops are doing to people on a regular basis. while blacks are suffering the worst fate of death, other people are also suffering as well.

the only other option is to become cop killers ourselves. unfortunately, my feeling is that it's the only way we can come to the previous solution i laid out.

the cops walk around with impunity, no caring because NOTHING happens to them. when something starts happening, they'll stop killing black men, like me.

autoegocrat said...

Oscar Grant was executed and there's no two ways about it. Most of the BART cops aren't issued tasers, and the very few BART officers that carry them wear them on the opposite side of their belt to prevent the officer from grabbing the wrong thing in the heat of the moment. Plus, you've got to be drunk to mistake a plastic taser for a steel pistol. Those guys don't carry Glocks.

They already had him tied up with plastic zip ties, and then after dude shoots him in the back, they put handcuffs on him for good measure. Not only was he going to die that night, they weren't even going to let him die a free man. Accident, my ass.

Being naked wouldn't have helped these guys one bit, in fact it might have made it worse. I can already hear the defense now: "It looked just like a gun, your honor. He even pointed it at me."

Skoolboi Krush said...

wow! i had only heard about the Oscar Grant case in Oakland. Its a damn shame. I am going to read up on these and make sure to post something on my blog. thanks for the info.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there!

Thanks for adding your comments in the discussion at my blog! As you may have expected, there are responses from the sistas!!

You see this issue as solely race based and I see this issue as a class and race issue.

Constructive Feedback said...

Rippa -

I will post a link to my own expanded views so that you can see my full thoughts on these situations that you speak of.

I have two parts to my commentary back to you.

The first part is agreement with you regarding the various deadly confrontations between the Black and otherwise unarmed Black men. Such incidents undermine the confidence that the community has in law enforcement authorities.

The second part of my statement is NOT an attempt to tweak your nose by throwing up any sort of counter argument to the tragic situations that you have itemized.

I do have to ask the question about the VALUATION OF BLACK LIFE though. It is my opinion that equality is a two way street. So much of our demands for such are expected from society down to us.

In an inspection of that which is expected from our own people in regards to "valuation" and "equality" the situation is very problematic. In the city of Oakland 124 people were murdered in 2008. Since their killer was not a high value operative such as a police man they were buried without a protest, riot and with nothing more than a passing mention in the newspaper.

If Oakland's statistics on the matter follow other places that I have done research upon - their "Homicide Closure Rates" are at or below 50%.

Let me be 100% clear on what I am saying. These police shootings are happening in the CONTEXT of a heightened sense of alert regarding Black men. We can debate the balance between that which is triggered by "straight up RACISM" versus the alert that is generated by the backdrop of crime and violence. The bottom line remains - it is the BACKDROP and the associated negative and/or threatening stereotypes - real or imagined - that IS the problem.

These are not going to go away. They need to be managed out of existence with more directed actions from all sides.

Ultimately the increased valuation of the lives of Black males is going to need to flow from both directions.

http://withintheblackcommunity.blogspot.com/2009/01/oakland-death-in-context-of-series-of.html

jjbrock said...

Rippa great article! I am speaking as mother of a 25 year old male and it's scary. For me to sit here and type this it's painful.

I move down to Jacksonville Fl almost a year ago. In that time frame over 40 young men have been killed by police. I don't understand what's going on. And the community seems to be asleep.

Jibreel Riley said...

yarn, this is sooooooo 1990's. Yes this is sad and messed up but this is getting out of hand, for even a liberal city as Oakland. Who are you looking to blame for this?

nicki nicki tembo said...

no-j no-p! Something black men in America have always had to contend with. My 85 yr old grandfather is a racist, plain and simple but I know and understand why. It hurts me to hear him talk about the things he's witnessed, had to endure and shoulder. I have two sons (12 and 8) and my ex and I have been giving them the talk for years. The pretext changes over time, that's all.

A black life has never had real valuation or equality in America (i.e. the 3/5th compromise). We as a race have only internalized that concept as many have stayed lock step with that tune.

The difference between then and now is that we had self respect. It was taught in our homes, in our segregated schools, etc. Now, well...not so much.

The Socialite said...

This brings alot of pain to my heart to know that my Black men still cant walk outside without the possibility of a police offficer thinking that he must be commiting some type of crime...he is Black isnt he?

This has to stop...but what can we do?

justaguy said...

Just curious; given the number of killings occurring daily, weekly monthly and yearly of black men, whom should law abiding black men fear more, other black men, or the cops.

I don't have numbers (not gonna get em either as exact numbers aren't necessary to the point...the fact is, and all rational knowledgeable people know...more black man die at the hand of other blacks than do at the hand of cops) but it seems to me that the outrage is not proportional to the incidents.

Not excusing the cops actions; indeed these busters need to be held to account if allegations against them are proven. However, until such time that black folk take action to rid the o-called black community of the real threat within (black, lawless thugs) the outrage over comparably rare cop killings will continue to be seen as disproportionate and contrived.

I ask, are not the brothers killed by other black equally as dead? Then why not the same outrage. I guess equality in this instance is not that biggadeal?

Anonymous said...

Nice try. It is very sad when any individual is killed for being involved in criminal behavior. More importantly, why is there never even a peep from the media or the race-haters about the ongoing massacre of "White" people by "Blacks?"

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