The Forgotten Issue – Police Violence Against Black Men (and Women)

The Forgotten Issue – Police Violence Against Black Men (and Women)

kaepernick sitting

By Jesuorobo Enobakhare, Jr

A photo of  Colin Kaepernick tweeted out by Jennifer Lee Chan on August 26, 2016 launched a public debate.  Kaepernick stated his action (sitting, which led to kneeling, during the anthem) was due to the oppression of people of color and ongoing issues with police brutality.  However what was intended to draw attention to the demand for justice for people of color, quickly turned into a debate centered on patriotism, supporting the US Armed Forces, and First Amendment Rights; meanwhile the subject of his action was quickly and quietly ushered off of the main stage.

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge a few of the unarmed men and women of color killed by police courtesy of Daniell Funke and Tina Susman of the LA Times http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-police-deaths-20160707-snap-htmlstory.html:

  • Alton Sterling, 37 Baton Rouge, LA – 2016
  • Gregory Gunn, 58 Montgomery, AL – 2016
  • Samuel DuBose, 43 Cincinnati, OH – 2015
  • Brendon Glenn, 29 Los Angeles, CA – 2015
  • Freddie Gray, 25 Baltimore, MD – 2015
  • Natasha McKenna, 37 Fairfax County, VA – 2015
  • Walter Scott, 50 Charleston, SC – 2015
  • Christian Taylor, 19 Arlington, TX – 2015
  • Michael Brown Jr., 18 Ferguson, MO – 2014
  • Ezell Ford, 25, Los Angeles, CA – 2014
  • Eric Garner, 43, Staten Island, NY – 2014
  • Akai Gurley, 28, New York, NY – 2014
  • Laquan McDonald, 17, Chicago, Il – 2014
  • Tamir Rice, 12, Cleveland, OH – 2014

A few of the names you may be familiar with, all of the names many are not.  But most are familiar with Colin Kaepernick and by his actions he spoke for all of them.

In 2017 Colin Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers. As of yet he has not been signed by another NFL team while at the same time police violence against black men and women has continued. Once again the conversation is not about the victims but has now shifted to the reasons for Colin Kaepernick not being signed by an NFL team, First Amendment Rights and NFL boycotts.

This reminds me of a scene from The Dark Knight – “You spat in the faces of Gotham’s worse criminals.  Didn’t you think there would be some casualties?  Things were always going to get worse before they got better.” – Alfred Pennyworth to Bruce Wayne (Batman).

Football is the most popular sport in America.  Racism and oppression of people of color has been a part of the American way since the founding of this country.  Colin Kaepernick unintentionally (or intentionally) drew a battle line against racism and oppression in front of millions of NFL fans.  The battle for the soul of our country was laid bare for all to see. But instead of the issue being confronted and finally resolved, the NFL owners have decided to fight to restore the status quo by the supposedly “quieting” of one voice.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee, not for you nor me, he took a knee for those voiceless known and unknown black men and women who were the victims of police violence and it is now up to us to not only be their voices in protest, but to also to work to change the system and end the bloodshed so that those lives lost will not be lives lost in vain.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jesuorobo A. Enobakhare, Jr.

Contact him by email at jesuorobo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter @Jesuorobo.

 

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Throwback Thursday Article – WHY???

Throwback Thursday Article – WHY???

Why all of the interest in holding cops to a higher standard than gangs?  Because they are not the navy blue negro killers.  They should be the example of the best in the community;  those willing to lay their lives on the line to serve and protect.  If they  choose to be thugs with a badge, why not just turn the badge in and either join or form a street gang because that is what you are.

Why focus on a white cop killing an unarmed black teen when you should be focused on so-called black on black crime?  So are you saying that before we begin talking about  a long overdue problem of racial injustice we should focus on its legacy?  That is like focusing on disease symptoms but not the disease itself.  Why not focus on both?  We as black people have the capacity to multi-task.  It is an insult to our individual and collective intelligence when you as a black person say that we can’t focus on both.

So you see a rally in Ferguson, New York and California, but you don’t see a rally about so-called black on black crime?  Really?  When was the last time you went to a black church?  When was the last time you paid attention to your community?  No one mentioned it at your church?  No one rallied in your community?  Why don’t YOU mention it in church?  Why don’t YOU organize a rally?  What?  You do not attend a black church?  What?  You do not live in a black neighborhood?  AND…

Stop criticizing those who ARE DOING something just because they are not doing what YOU feel they should do.  Be the change that you want others to be.

Jesuorobo A. Enobakhare, Jr. is a Moderate Democratic Blogger who cuts through the rhetoric so that individuals can see the reality of political statements and how those statements turned into action can affect them.  Contact him by email at jesuorobo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter @Jesuorobo.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jesuorobo A. Enobakhare, Jr.

This article was originally published August 27, 2014.