Saturday, December 02, 2006

Aren't You Tired of Black People Being Murdered by People Classified as White?

It's happened again.

Sean Bell, a 23-year old Black man was shot 50 times with 9mm guns by four police officers as he was exiting a club the night before what should have been the happiest day of his life, his wedding day. Two of his friends, attending the bachelor party are in serious and critical condition after barely surviving the barrage.

He was unarmed...

He had no arrest record...

He was getting married the next day...

The officers who committed the murder were put on administrative leave with pay (killing a Black person earns you a paid vacation).

The Mayor of New York has called for a "thorough investigation".

Sound familiar? Of course it does, because even though Sean's case is getting national attention, many police murders never reach CNN.

Look at what happened to Deandre Brunston in Compton California if you can. He was shot 81 times and was also unarmed.

I could name others and so can you.

Aren't you tired of Black people being murdered by people classified as white?

I am, and so was Ida B. Wells in 1892. The mother of Black journalism and anti-lynching crusader wrote this when the killing of Black men and women was occurring nearly every day throughout the United States:

"The lesson this teaches and which every Afro American should ponder well, is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give. When the white man who is always the aggressor knows he runs as great a risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he
will have greater respect for Afro-American life. The more the Afro-American yields and cringes and begs, the more he has to do so, the more he is insulted, outraged and lynched."

--- Ida B. Wells, Southern Horrors: Lynch Law In all its Phases,
1892

And so was Toni Morrison in 1987 when she wrote in her powerful book, Song of Solomon about The Seven Days:

"There is a society. It's made up of a few men who are willing to take some risks. They don't initiate anything; they don't even choose. They are as indifferent as rain. But when a Negro child, Negro woman, or Negro man is killed by whites and nothing is done about it by their law and their courts, this society selects a similar victim at random, and they execute him or her in a similar manner if they can. If the Negro was hanged, they hang; if a Negro was burnt, they burn; raped and murdered, they rape and murder. If they can. If they can't do it precisely in the same manner, they do it any way they can, but they do it. They call themselves the Seven Days. They are made up of seven men. Always seven and only seven. If one of them dies or leaves or is no longer effective, another is chosen. Not right away, because that kind of choosing takes time. But they don't seem to be in a hurry. Their secret is time. To take the time, to last. Not to grow; that's dangerous because you might become known. They don't write their names in toilet stalls or brag to women. Time and silence. Those are their weapons, and they go on forever."
"You? You're going to kill people?"
"Not people. White people."
"But why?"
"I just told you. It's necessary; it's got to be done. To keep the ratio the same."
"And if it isn't done? If it just goes on the way it has?"
"Then the world is a zoo, and I can't live in it."
"Why don't you just hunt down the ones who did the killing? Why kill innocent people? Why not just those who did it?"
"It doesn't matter who did it. Each and every one of them could do it. So you just get any one of them. There are no innocent white people, because every one of them is a potential nigger-killer, if not an actual one. You think Hitler surprised them? You think just because they went to war they thought he was a freak? Hitler's the most natural white man in the world. He killed Jews and Gypsies because he didn't have us. Can you see those Klansmen shocked by him? No, you can't."

Both Wells and Morrison talk openly about what many Afrikans debate privately: In the face of constant and sustained violence against Black people, when is it proper to use violence to obtain justice?

Opponents of apartheid asked this question on November 28, 1992 when four members of a white country club were killed as retaliation for 24 members of the African National Congress being killed four days previously in a peaceful demonstration in South Africa.

Whenever I hear Afrikans like Sean being killed, I don't just think of him.

I think about his fiance, Nicole Paultre who is also the victim of this latest police murder.

I think about his two fatherless children.

I think about the children that Sean and Nicole will never have.

I think about Sean's mother.

I think about Sean's father.

I think about how such grief and anger continues to be the price Afrikans pay for living in a world where their lives are cheap.

I think about what Ida B. Wells said.

I think about what Toni Morrison wrote.

I think about what the Azanian People's Liberation Army did on November 28, 1992.

I think about the world's largest graveyard, the Atlantic Ocean, where millions of my Ancestors lie buried beneath its waters because of the TransAtlantic Slave "Trade"...

And again I ask, "Aren't you tired of Afrikans being murdered by people classified as white?"