THE REALITY OF BEING BLACK IN AMERICA: TIME FOR ACTION

We can no longer take a walk in our community, drive to work, shop, enjoy leisure time activities, sell CDs, reach for our identification, wait for our children to get off the school bus, or ask for help when our car breaks down without being permanently assaulted, targeted, and or murdered. It appears that it’s open season on Africans living in America. Any attempt to exercise our fundamental rights such as Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem is viewed as a crime, and despite the unjustified killings of black people in America, we are expected to be patriotic while our brothers and sisters are targeted, assulted, and murdered for being black.

Deborah Pearl was murdered after her car was hit by Matthew Desha who ran a red light causing his vehicle to flip. He blamed her for the accident, therefore, murdered her in his rage. Malcolm Evans a college student at the University of Delaware was shot while driving to work died after he lost control of his car hitting a pole. What did either of them do wrong besides driving while black? Is this a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time or were they innocent victims of racism white supremacy permanently is engraved in this culture? Whatever the cause or effect both people were innocent and like our ancestors before them died at the hands of a racist white supremacist. What happened to Larnell Bruce? He was confronted by Russell Courtier a white supremacist and his girlfriend Colleen Hunt at a gas station where a fight immediately breaks out then chased down and run over by them in their jeep. He would later die in the hospital due to excessive brain damage, however Hunt was seen at the scene cheering on her boyfriend as he attacked the teen as well as chased him down.

Presently police have had their hands in multiple scenarios with the killing of so called armed and unarmed Africans in America. Using brute force and restraint to secure any scene rather it be peaceful or somewhat confrontational. It’s almost common to wake up today with another young black man being murdered by police. The stories are all the same and if it hadn’t been for dash cams, cell phones, or the forgotten body cam some of the most recent deaths by cops wouldn’t have been publicized at all.

Recently police have murdered a 13 yr old teenager by the name of Tyrie King it was said that he earlier had robbed someone of ten dollars. The 911 caller who was robbed stated that they didn’t want to pursue the matter and to not worry about it over a few dollars. Police was called to the scene where they spot a suspect that resembled the description of the robber and accompliances. This is where things get interesting because it’s conflicting evidence between the officers at the scene and the eye witness’s. The officers reported that the suspects fled while Tyrie brandished a weapon and was immediately shot. Witness state that Tyrie was faced down on the ground then he got up and took off running before being fired on and hit in the back. The Autopsy revealed Tyri was struck in the back several times, but before the autopsy the police chief as expected comes out and shows pictures of the alleged bb gun which was later determined to not be a firearm even though it resemble one.

Earlier this week an unarmed 40 yr old Terence Crutcher was gun down while being stunned by one police officer then gunned down by another. Reports indicate that a suv was stopped in the middle of the road with the doors opened and windows down blocking the road. Officer Mackenzie who was headed to a domestic dispute was nearby and decided to handle the situation where she was approached by Crutcher she says with his hands in his pockets. She ordered him to remove his hands and he did but she stated he had some look in his eyes as if he was under the influence. Weapon drawn she asked Mr. Crutcher several times to not move as police backup arrived he began to walk away not listening to the officers with his hands up. As Mr. Crutcher go to the rear driver door of his vehicle police approach him weapons drawn. Officer Mackenzie stated she feared for the safety of her and the other officers assuming Crutcher was going in the vehicle to get a weapon so as he reached she fired while the second officer tased him. No weapon had been found anywhere near the vehicle yet reports uncover a small bag of what seem to be pcp supposedly and the blood on the window indicates that he couldn’t have been reaching for anything. The officer has since been brought up on charges but really we have seen this scenario played out to many times over the previous year and we all know how this will end.

While Oklahoma is dealing with the Mr. Crutcher issue Charlotte, NC has it’s own problems dealing with what was seem to be an unarmed Keith Scott 43 who supposedly had a book in his possession has now been changed by authorities to be a gun. The gun has yet to be identified on tv or in reports, but this story has doubts because Keith was waiting on his son to get off the school bus and was mistakenly identified as a felony suspect the police were hunting down. This exchanged was not caught on tape but later streamed lived on Facebook as the daughter of the victim immediately took offense to what happened but unaware of her father being pronounced dead she filmed and shouted at police as they held people back. What is sad about this death is that the man is a handicap supposedly carrying a gun in a open carry state and police claim he was a threat to them. We have yet to identify what type of gun he had on him, or been able to view the body cam footage of the officer involved in the shooting. One minute the officer is white the next he’s identified as a black man who immediately was escorted away from the scene. A few days later the wifes video reveals the police planting a gun at the scene of the crime which clearly shows negligence.

In Baltimore police responded to an altercation between a 21yr old Tawon Boyd and his girlfriend who seem to be under the influence of some drug that made him paranoid and defensive. When officers arrived at the scene Tawon was seen running to cars trying to get in them, and knocking on neighbors doors. The police approached him with violence taken him to the ground and began to continuously beat him until he was under arrest. He fought back while his grandmother cried for help and for them to stop beating on him only to be told get back across the street. 3 days later he died in the hospital from injuries he sustained. Initially the Baltimore sun reported that Tawon was allegedly beating up by cops but it wasn’t officially confirmed until days later. The police are presently investigating itself and based on the history of that we can determine no charges will be filed.

Police have way of handling different scenarios based on location, suspects race, and possible threat at the time of arrival. Months ago a white man opened fired on police in broad daylight, and one would think he would have died. No he was apprehended without a scratch, bruise, or harm brought upon him. Weeks later another man threatened to bomb a building or was caught attempting to and the police apprehended him without a problem. We can go back to the mass killings in the movie theatre in Arizona or in South Carolina where both incidents lead to arrest without any issues. No matter what state, what time of day, or how silly the interaction with our local police officers are black people have to deal with the possibility of that interaction being their last. Fact of the matter is we are being seen as the immediate threat across the country rather we are complying or simply fake resisting arrest by asking are we under arrest.

However this is not a coincidence, things like this do not just randomly happen. In a society where white supremacy trends like hot topics on Twitter Africans in America are purposely targeted by the police and everyday citizens. The bandage that covered a brutal womb for over 500 plus years has been exposed causing infections to develop at a pace only our eldest elders can remember. Meanwhile, Colin dominates the headlines because he takes the stand against injustice. The same injustice that has been a permanent fixture in American Society for the past 500 years.

I heard an elder once say “It feels like the early 1950’s again” during a time the Klan lynchings were common practice, memorialized through postcards, and the preservation of the victim’s body parts where kept like trophies to be admired and remembered. Fast forward til the present day when every other day we need new hash tags to remember our brothers and sisters killed by the police. Every black mother or father worst fear is their children may not return home from school, work, or the local grocery store. It’s not like life hasn’t already been hard enough for African families due to the systemic supremacist conditions we’ve had to endure over time.

Historically Africans in America and abroad have failed to act. Study the invasions of Africa and pay close attention to each invasion all of which currently rule over the countries. Military we lacked the scientific know-how and technical awareness to fend off attacks by invaders. They had guns we had spears. They had technology while we had rituals. Unlike the Arabs who integrated its way into invading the motherland Europeans brought with them high-tech weapons as well as disease. Both brought beliefs, culture, and religion that was used to subdue us and take our land and resources. Are we prepared to protect our women, children, and families? Can we physically and spiritually endure the continued attacks on our people? Are we economically prepared to align ourselves with potential allies abroad? We have been at war economically, socially, scientifically, technologically, spiritually, and environmentally for the past 500 years.

We can no longer sit on the sideline watching, praying, or hoping things will change for the better. History has taught us that no matter what that only by force you earn your freedom. We must position ourselves strategically preparing for whatever comes our way. We can’t continue to march, cheek turn, and get on our knees looking for a solution. We have to understand the importance of now, and the importantly of solutions.

Written by: Ini-Herit Khalfani

Edited by: Nyah Amara

Refereces:
Ferrise, Cleveland.com Adam. “Woman Fatally Shot after Solon Car Crash Had Hands up While Man Opened Fire, Witness Says.”Cleveland.com. Adam Ferrise, 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 04 Sept. 2016. <http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/08/woman_fatally_shot_after_solon.html&gt;.
@nbcphiladelphia. “Woman Shoots, Kills Delaware College Student: Police.” NBC 10 Philadelphia. Nbc10staff, 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 04 Sept. 2016. <http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Delaware-State-Student-Shot-Killed-Arrest-391418452.html&gt;.
Wyche, By Steve. “Colin Kaepernick Explains Why He Sat during National Anthem.” NFL.com. Steve Wyche, 27 Aug. 2016. Web. 04 Sept. 2016. <http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem&gt;.

Dailymail.com, Khaleda Rahman For. “White Supremacist Mowed down and Killed Black Teen with His Jeep after Fight at 7-Eleven While His Girlfriend Yelled ‘get Him Baby, Get Him'” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 01 Sept. 2016. Web. 04 Sept. 2016. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3769012/White-supremacist-mowed-black-teenager-Jeep-fight-7-Eleven-girlfriend-yelled-baby-him.html&gt;.

Wells, Carrie. “Man Dies 3 Days after Allegedly Fighting with Baltimore County Police in Middle River.” Baltimoresun.com. Baltimore Sun, 22 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016. <http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-co-police-fight-20160920-story.html&gt;.

Blau, Max, Jason Morris, and Catherine Shoichet. “Tulsa Police Shooting Investigated by Justice Department.” Tulsa Police Shooting Investigated by Justice Department. Cnn, 20 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/20/us/oklahoma-tulsa-police-shooting/&gt;.

Rahman, Khaleda. Police Say Black ‘disabled’ Man Shot Dead by Charlotte Cop ‘ignored Repeated Orders to Drop His Gun’ after Brother’s Claims He Was Holding a Book Prompted Night of Riots Which Left 16 Cops Injured. Dailymail.com, 20 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3799501/Cops-shoot-dead-disabled-man-North-Carolina-Police-claim-man-armed-gun-family-insist-unarmed-reading-book.html?0p19G=c&gt;.

Berman, Mark. “Columbus Police Officer Fatally Shoots Tyre King, 13-year-old with a BB Gun.”Washington Post. The Washington Post, 15 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/09/15/columbus-police-fatally-shoot-tyree-king-13-year-old-with-a-bb-gun/?utm_term=.5a37aa8609fe&gt;.

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