Volatile situations that have yielded nothing but the dead bodies of young Blacks and Latinos at the hands of law enforcement is a familiar story and open sore in American society, however, the deaths of African Americans at the hands of white civilians have once again become an issue of greater concern. Since the death of Trayvon Martin, there has been an underlying tone of a “killing Blacks is legal” mentality as it has always lingered as an unpublicized American pastime. The recent killing of nine people in a South Carolina church by a white male American citizen who was apprehended without incident while Black citizens are killed for misdemeanors and less has brought the United States and its citizens to a crossroads in 2015.
The pretext to these “genocidal tendencies” of America were the thousands of lynchings of Black people from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to the present, in which there was an unwritten law that those Black people had “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” Even though Dylann Roof, the 21 year old who was charged with the murder of the nine victims in the Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, the mainstream media didn’t report the racist mass murder until three hours after the initial shooting nor the race of the shooter. Many people scoffed at the wag the dog style journalism in not classifying Roof as a domestic terrorist. His last words to his victims were, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” The fact that other young white Americans will support and mirror those ideals is more than enough for alarm for the Black and Brown people of this country.
The historic protests and violent riots that rose out of the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody produced an unprecedented effect that was unpredictable, yet effective. All of the officers who were involved with Freddie Gray before his death were appropriately charged in the death of Gray, but not after weeks of violent protests, which left officers seriously injured, dozens of protestors behind bars, with the citizens of the City of Baltimore’s security in question. Did it take the people of “B-More” to scare some arrests out of the Baltimore Police Department or is the justice system finally coming around on its own and really standing up for “liberty and justice for all”? Out of the six officers, one of which was a 17 year vet of the force, two were released on $350K bonds after being charged with murder and manslaughter. The remaining four were released on $250K bonds. Meanwhile, one of the protestors who threw a trash can through the back window of a police cruiser is still being held by in custody on $500K bond.
The scales of justice have remained blatantly unbalanced in this country and everything from the riots to the social media responses have shown that these age old issues have come to a pivotal breaking point. Being that the all of the officers involved in the Freddie Gray case are out on bond, it’s predicted that their punishment will be less than deserving. The questionable media coverage of the Emanuel AME Church Massacre, which eerily resembles the Birmingham 16th Street Church bombing of 1963 that killed four young Black girls, already has the victims’ community questioning the integrity of America. Will the U.S. find a solution for the sake saving face as global moral leaders or will the tragic traditions remain as American as apple pie?
-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)