Recently there was yet another negative incident involving the Police and a member of the Black community. On June 10, police officers were called to the scene of a fight near a high school in Montreal’s Villeray neighbourhood.
Reports are somewhat unclear as to the antecedent leading-up to the encounter between the officer and the teenager. However, what is blatantly clear is that two of the teenagers were subdued by officers, both had had knees placed on their necks.
The officers’ rationale for such a dastardly act was the usual speech-worn and alibi-torn rhetoric that one of the subdued youths had what appeared to be a stun gun.
The time has come that episodes such as the one described above be brought to a screeching halt in the Black community. The main reason that such abuse is still present even after so many years of complaining is directly due to the less than thoughtful response of our so-called leaders.
We have been giving these leaders “props” for shouting and screaming at the establishment after the fact, when in truth and actuality a leader’s primary responsibility is working within the community to prevent the abuse from happening in the first place. No army has ever won a battle by shaking its fists at the enemy, but all we seem to have defending the community’s interest are fist-shakers.
Following the death or assault of one of our young people at the hands of the police, leaders in the Black community are notorious for getting dressed up and spouting out threats in front of the cameras.
However, after the media loses interest, they just slide back into their holes until the next incident. What are they doing to make the community safe when the cameras are not rolling?
It is time to cease conferring the title of “Leader” on anybody who has a loud voice or is photogenic. If we want to stop having negative and fatal encounters with the SPVM personnel then we have to do what needs to be done to drive that point home effectively once and for all. So we need activists who are intelligent enough to understand the importance of working to reinforce the power of the Black community when the cameras are looking the other way.
We are desperately in need of activists who are willing to work to organize and galvanize the people, and place pressure on our churches to organize their congregations to step forward to improve the conditions within certain communities.
It is not feasible or acceptable that our young people are assaulted and slaughtered in the metro stations, on the streets, in the parks while our churches are only open one day a week long enough to collect tithes. The time is now for action beyond the pulpit.
The time is long overdue for Black churches to come together and form consortiums of activism and organize their congregations for l action. That way we can wield the clout to control the police, our schools, and the other government agencies that have a direct impact on our lives and those of our youth.
Currently, they pay little attention to us, so the Black community has to develop the kind of clout that evokes attention.
These are the issues that our Black activists should be addressing. Black activism cannot be a part-time, as necessary job. An activist must work full-time to prevent our people from being falsely detained, assaulted and murdered.
We do not need one voice speaking for the entire community. We need the entire community speaking with one voice.
With urgency we must also address the very important issue of the Black image. Far too many of our Black men tend to project the wrong image, strutting around bragging about being “gangstas”. If that is the case, how do they expect the boys in blue to respond to them. We have to correct that perception.
We also have to address the very important issue of the Black image. One of the reasons that juries allow so many rogue cops to go free after killing unarmed Black people is because they believe the ignorant-ass macho image that far too many young Black men tend to project.
Far too many young Black men strut around bragging about being “gangstas”. If that’s the case, how do they expect the police to respond to them?
The only reason they try to portray themselves in that way is because they have been led to believe that that is the only thing they have to bring to the table. That perception has to be corrected a.s.a.p.
Black folks are brilliant. All we have to do is recognize this fact, and attend to redirecting our young people’s intellect. Our Black “leaders” need to be much more than just screamers. We need people with the knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence to tap into that valuable resource to drag our community out of the hole we are currently in. We must restructure if not, 50 years from now we’ll still be fighting the same battle.
Aleuta continua—- The struggle continues.