There is a reason why Bryan Stevenson’s lynching museum and memorial in Alabama are chock full of soil from the blood drenched ground beneath hundreds of southern strange fruit-bearing trees. The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice tell the stories of the ugliness of American bigotry, and serves as evidence that public outcry and witness is important.
Nowhere is it more evident than in Texas, where the massacre of Black bodies for years have gone without justice and regard.
Consider the 1910 Slocum Massacre in East Texas, where as any number between eight and 22 Blacks were killed because they were prospering. A subject topic that probably would never hit their social studies books (remember they said slaves were happy), angry mob of about 200 white folk murdered their Black neighbors in what authorities called a “potshot” occasion (where you shoot Black folk at will).
One only has to look at 16 year-old John Earl Reese, who was murdered almost 64 years ago this month while dancing in a Texan Café by white men who desired to terrorize Blacks into yielding their plans to build a school for their children.
Too far back? What about what the public lynching of James Byrd in 1998 in Texas? Oh that was two decades? What about Botham Jean who was killed in 2018 by a white police officer, who came into his house and blasted him with absolute no cause? She was mistaken. That was last year?
What about Joshua Brown?
Joshua Brown, one key witness in the Botham Jean trail that has convicted Amber Guyger of murder and sentenced her to 10 years of prison, was murdered in cold blood days after giving his heart wrenching testimony about the day his new friend was shot. A noble and brave soul, Brown lived across the hall from Jean. CNN confirmed through a spokesperson for the Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, Kimberlee Leach, that Brown was killed in a shooting.
Police tell the press that they received a 911 call about the shooting on Friday night, around 10:30 pm. Witnesses told them that Brown was shot multiple times by someone(s) in a silver four-door sedan that raced out of the Atera Apartment complex after shooting Brown. The medical examiner said that he died from gunshot wounds in his mouth and chest.
There are no suspects.
But do we need suspects? Do we need to pinpoint the cowards that acted so heinously towards the gentle Brown, who wept at the trial for a man that he met only the day he was killed? Particularly, when we don’t really believe in the American justice system… do we? The justice fatigue is real in Black communities, and it is a fruitless and frustrating exercise to dance through. It keeps happening… Nah, we don’t need the suspects right now.
What would that do for them to be locked up, when there are hundreds of similar thinking white folk out there waiting to take out another Black boy or girl, man or woman. When if someone is caught, they will get a smack on the wrist sentencing like Guyger.
We don’t. We need no more rallies. We need no more Facebook post tributes. We need an end to the senseless lack of regard for Black bodies and souls. We need a shift in how we protect and nurture Black men with the courage to speak out against the police when they are wronged and a justice system that will make sure there are no more repercussions for voicing the truth, even if it impacts the racist elements of the nation’s great Blue wall.
It is tiresome, Texas. You cannot celebrate being the home of Beyoncé , Lizzo and Screw Music, and continue not to be a safe place for decent folk to live. We see through it all. We need no more apologies. We need no more politicians pandering with their carnation wreaths at funeral and long speeches about unity.
We need no more Strange Fruit to swing from poplar trees.
The Source is heartbroken by the killing of Mr. Brown and send our prayers to his family.