Jacob Blake: A World Says No More
Kenosha Wisconsin joins the painful fraternity of cities where the police shoot an unarmed Black man in the back. His crime, being Black. The utter insanity of a society that continues to see law enforcement again look at Black men as something so inconsequential that they feel free to shoot them for no other reasons other than they are Black. It is cruelly that simple if one is looking for an explanation.
There are contributing reasons going back to America’s original sin of slavery. The baked in feeling that Black people are less than human. That has evolved with the help of ugly literature, bitter resentment after the civil war, and modern media which finds it convenient to label Black men so dangerous they must be dealt with in the harshest of terms. Society has created a climate of fear and hatred that all but okays the killing of Black men for being Black. For reasons passing understanding the nation has woken up and have collectively said “no more.” More strongly, it has turned into “damnit, no more.”
There is video evidence on social media of daily acts of violence by heavily armed police. Perhaps seeing the end of their violent reign on the horizon, police have taken to the streets and left no doubt they are muscle for racially intolerant governments and corporations. However, all of us may play a part in the creation of a police force ready to attack Black men with racist rage. Because of the institutional fear promoted for the last two centuries, many Americans are fearful of Black men. We all have a role to play and as the nation juggles with solutions from defunding police to serious police reform the problem is painfully still evident.
Jacob Blake was shot 7 times in the back, one of the bullets hit his spine and has left him paralyzed from the waist down. The investigation continues and the video taken of Blake walking to his car with three of his children inside before he was shot has been painful. None of the police officers had body cameras on them. The incident is being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigations to ensure a fair and thorough probe.
The local community took to the streets to protest the shooting. Police later identified the officer involved in the shooting was Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha police force. There are conflicting stories about the existence of a knife. Police said Blake claimed he had a knife and that a knife was found in Blake’s vehicle. Blake’s family attorney said that isn’t true.
Tragedy was heaped on this incident when a 17-year old named Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested when he shot two protesters to death and wounded another. He was seen walking around with an assault weapon and after shooting walked past policemen who made no initial attempt to question him. Rittenhouse has since been charged with murder and under Wisconsin law will be charged as an adult. Pictures have showed up of Rittenhouse standing on the front row of a Trump Rally held earlier this year. The republican convention has not denounced the shooting but have made claims a Joe Biden presidency would make the streets unsafe. They also made additional false claims Biden favors defunding the police.
All NBA and most Major league baseball teams cancelled games in protest of the shooting of Blake. It started when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor in the play-off game. They were joined by the WNBA and pro soccer. It remains to be seen if there will be any more cancelations or if the league may consider cancelling the play-offs entirely.
America stands at the crossroads of true police reform and changing societal views on race. However, contemplating change is not the same thing as change. Tragically, it is obvious some are willing to bear more violence toward Black men until this country makes the necessary changes.
Muskogee Black Leaders Terrorized
Oklahoma like other places in America suffers with the pain of overt racism and it cruelly is usually lobbed at the poorest of society’s children. To be black and poor is to live in fear and danger. In the aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting, basketball superstar Lebron James says all African Americans live in fear. Muskogee Oklahoma Black leaders were targeted this week by an unknown terrorist.
Muskogee Deputy Mayor Derrick Reed was sent a package from an unknown address. The package contained a t-shirt with a printed message that said “I hate you, I hate you. I don’t even know you & I hate your guts. I hope all the bad things in life happen to you & nobody else but you.”
According to Merriam Webster dictionary “What is an accurate definition of terrorism;
‘Definition of terrorism : the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion : the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal : the use of violence as a means of achieving a goal.” That would seem to accurately describe what is happening to Muskogee Black leaders.
Reed said the package was sent online from a distribution center. He turned the package over to Muskogee law enforcement who are not trying to determine the identity of the terrorist. Reed has previously served nine years on the Muskogee city council. The incident has left him and his family rightfully nervous. In all, three African Americans in Muskogee were sent items meant to intimidate them. City councilor Ivory Vann received empty letters from a city staffer Dan Hurd who claims was trying to determine her legal residency. The latest letter to Vann went on a disgusting rant about Black people and their inability to communicate properly.
All the items have been turned over to police for further investigation. We hope the cowardly instigator is discovered quickly and he or she is brought to justice.