I just want to remind America of the brutality we have suffered. I too often hear “All lives matter” – yes they do but when the fire department is called to the scene only the Black house is burning.
“The barbaric torture and murder of James Byrd Jr. by three white men – Shawn A. Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer, and John W. King – in the tiny Texas town of Jasper has become a summertime feast for an insatiable American media, but it is a meal that consists largely of spectacle. On June 7, 1998, Berry, King, and Brewer offered Mr. Byrd a ride home. Instead, they shackled Mr. Byrd’s feet to a chain and dragged him behind their truck for miles.”
“In late April 1998, New Jersey state troopers pumped over 11 shots into a van occupied by four Black and Hispanic Students who were on their way to basketball tryouts at Central University in North Carolina, seriously wounding three of the four young men. Thanks to the infamous “racial profiling” program of the New Jersey State Police, the four never made it to tryouts that day because they were found guilty of unwritten crime of DWB – Driving While Black. Despite a rain of lies alleging that the basketball players were speeding, attempted to run the cops down, and so on, it soon became clear that the boys had done nothing – nothing except exists. Ain’t each of the 11 bullet holes evidence of a hate crime.?
In Chicago a man named Carl Hardiman was shot and wounded by a city cop for refusing to drop his “weapon” – a cell phone. Ain’t that a hate crime?
New York Black Panther Shep McDaniel was brutally beaten by six cops in the Bronx as he attempted to peacefully monitor and note an altercation between police and two women. New York’s finest shouted, “He’s a crazy, fucking, nigger!” as they punched, kicked, stomped, and cuffed McDaniel. A jury later acquitted McDaniel of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Was not his beating, brutalization, trumped-up arrest prosecution a hate crime?
On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on a home in a residential Black neighborhood where 11 men, women and children – members of the naturalist MOVE group – were incinerated and dismembered by cops. The sole adult survivor Ramona Africa, was prosecuted, convicted, and sent to prison for seven years.
A young woman, engulfed in a diabetic coma while sitting in her car, is repeatedly shot by a corps of cops, who shay they are threatened by her. Tyesha Miller of Riverside California becomes a statistic.
A young man sitting in his car in North Philly is surrounded by a phalanx of armed cops whose guns are pointed at him from all points. He is ordered to raise his hands. When he does so, he is shot to death by one of the cops, who insists he thought he saw a gun. The 18-year-old is unarmed. Dontae Dawson becomes a statistic.
An emigrant from the West African nation of Guinea comes to America, taking an apartment in New York’s Bronx Borough. When four NYPD cops approach his door, reportedly because of a suspected rape (he was not a suspect), he is shot 41 times. Nineteen shots hit him. Amadou Diallo was unarmed, and will never return to West Africa.
James Forman, the former head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, after being beaten by white supremacists and Klansmen while demonstrating for civil rights throughout the South, constantly requested FBI protection from the violence. Instead, they would turn up every time he was beaten, stand by, and take notes, never stopping any of the violence, but instead helping to gather dirty and derogatory personal information on civil rights workers.
Former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover found it intolerable that “Negro” men would “want to be addressed as “Mr.'”
When a group of young college students were en route to Central State University and where was the outrage?
Fourth of July, the parks, shores, and play-places of the people will be filled to the brim with tens of millions of Americans who are enjoying their vacation weekend in the hot summer sun. It is truly a holiday, and nothing else. But what does it celebrate? We are told from our infancy that this date celebrates the blessings of freedom and liberty from oppression. While this claims is repeated year after year, the truths taught us by bitter history reveal a long legacy of oppression, repression, and death for the Black community.
When Michael Brown was shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, it awakened a movement that began with the previous killing of another black teenager, Trayvon Martin, who was shot in 2012 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Dontre Hamilton, 31, was fatally shot 14 times by a police officer in a Milwaukee park. The officer was responding to a call from employees at a nearby Starbucks alleging that Hamilton, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was disturbing the peace.
Eric Garner, 43, was killed after he was put in an illegal chokehold for 15 seconds by a white police officer — allegedly for selling loose cigarettes. Garner said “I can’t breathe” 11 times as he was held down by several officers on a sidewalk.
John Crawford, 22, was shot and killed by a police officer at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. There did not appear to be a confrontation with the police, and Crawford was unarmed — he had been holding a toy BB gun.
Unarmed Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old mentally ill man, was shot three times, including once in the back, by a white police officer. He was unarmed.
Dante Parker, a 36-year-old father of five, died in police custody after being repeatedly stunned by a Taser in San Bernardino County.
Tanisha Anderson, 37, died after officers in Cleveland allegedly slammed her head on the pavement while taking her into custody.
Akai Gurley, 28, was shot and killed by a police officer while walking in a dimly lit New York City public housing stairwell with his girlfriend. Gurley, who was unarmed, was pronounced dead at a hospital. New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton called the shooting an “accidental discharge.”
Tamir Rice, 12, was shot and killed by Cleveland police after officers mistook his toy gun for a real weapon.
Rumain Brisbon, 34, was shot and killed by a Phoenix police officer who mistook a pill bottle for a weapon.
Jerame Reid, 36, was shot and killed by police officers in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He was a passenger in a car driven by his friend, who was pulled over by police.
In dash cam video footage of the stop, an officer is heard claiming that there is a gun in the glove compartment. Police shouted at Reid not to exit the car, but he did, with his hands apparently in front of his chest. That’s when officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley opened fire, striking Reid.
Tony Robinson, 19, was shot and killed by a Madison police officer who was responding to reports of someone disrupting traffic.
Phillip White, 32, died while in police custody in Vineland, New Jersey.
Police had responded to a call about White acting erratically and called an ambulance because he appeared to be in medical distress. A violent encounter ensued, and video footage appears to show a police dog biting White while he is on the ground.
Eric Harris, 44, was shot and killed by a 73-year-old reserve deputy officer who allegedly mistook his own gun for a Taser. The entire incident was captured on a dash-cam video.
Walter Scott, 50, was shot by a police officer while running away from a traffic stop for a broken taillight. Officer Michael Slager claimed Scott had taken his stun gun.
Freddie Gray, 25, died of a spinal cord injury a week after he was arrested by Baltimore police.
It’s still unclear how Gray sustained the injury. Officials say he was stopped after fleeing “unprovoked upon noticing police presence” and arrested for allegedly possessing a switchblade.
He was put in a police van, which is where police say he suffered a medical emergency. The officers involved in his arrest were placed on leave, and on Friday, the state’s attorney announced that they had been criminally charged in connection with Gray’s homicide.
George Floyd – arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 dollar bill was held down for over 8 minutes by a knee on his neck and died.
Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned and demonstrated, among other things, to get the racist power structure of America to right the wrongs which have been historically perpetrated against Black people. All of these efforts have been answered by more repression, deceit, and hypocrisy… City Hall turns a deaf ear to the pleas of Black people for relief from this increasing terror.
Abu-Jamal, Mumia. Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? City Lights Open Media, 2017.