The evening of JNovel Newune 17, 2015, around 9 p.m., 21-year-old Dylann “Storm” Roof, a white male with a Hitler-style haircut and dubious, sinister agenda, walked into the historic [AME] Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, interrupting a prayer service by members of the congregation.
Apparently Dylan Roof was welcomed into the church. And, according to a survivor, “The gunman initially sat down in the church for a while before opening fire…” When the smoke cleared nine people, including the very popular and beloved pastor of the church and state senator Democrat Clementa Pinckney were dead.
Roof’s shooting rampage was apparently triggered by an earlier rant about the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by wanna-be-cop George Zimmerman the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida. (According to police going through his stuff and talking to his associates Roof talked about his plans to kill people…but they were not taken seriously.) He was also troubled by the death of another Black male, 25-year-old Freddie Gray, on April 12, 2015, while in police custody, resulting in several days and nights of social disorder in Baltimore.
Roof also claimed “Blacks were taking over the world.”
His wishful thinking…
Consistent with Black peoples’ inherent, benevolent, forgiving nature, Dylann Roof got his pass from the relatives of the victims. More galling were revelations that the police who arrested the killer treated the 21-year-old to a meal at Burger King before taking him to the station for his arraignment.
That’s part and parcel of white privilege. Don’t think of such a scenario if you’re a Black male with a gun.
Dylann Roof’s killing mayhem came on the heels of continuing shootings of Black men by white (and wanna-be) policemen. Most notable and vivid was the shooting of Walter Scott (akin to an animal hunting scene) as he was running for his life the morning of April 4, 2015 down in North Charleston, S.C. after being pulled over by police officer Michael Thomas Slager, allegedly for a broken taillight. During the chase he managed to hit Scott 8 times in the back. Something about [Scott’s] unpaid child support.
Then there was that other shooting of Eric Harris, an unarmed Black male in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, the beginning of April. He was apparently negotiating the sale of a gun to undercover police, and got caught in their dragnet. Realizing he had no other option he took off running. The officers soon caught up to him, took him down on the sidewalk, at which point he was shot and killed by a 73-year-old reserve wanna-be deputy, Robert Bates. He told the dying Harris he was “sorry.”
When Harris told one of the officers on the scene, as he lay dying, “I’m losing my breath” he responded, “Fuck your breath.” This, as a 24-year-old Deputy is seen kneeling on Harris’ head and telling Harris, “You shouldn’t have ran… Shut the fuck up.”
Harris’ killing is also reminiscent of Eric Garner’s, who was killed on a Staten Island, N.Y sidewalk on July 17, 2014, when NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, #99, applied a chokehold, eventually killing him.
In the interim, as police killings of Black people, especially Black males, continued, seemingly with impunity, with “protect and serve” perpetrators usually exonerated after sham inquiries—notwithstanding irrefutable video and cell phone cam evidence—Black rage was building… Black, white and other people demonstrating… More Black men dying…
Giving way to the usual trite town hall meetings, Sunday Morning corporate TV conversations, and the band played on, the killings continue.
For people like former NYC tough-on-crime mayor (wanna-be sociologist, criminologist, and expert on all matters of [Black] crime), Rudolph Giuliani, the solution is always the same: clichéd. Google him and find out. Let’s just say that the man has outlived his usefulness, has become a Conservative go-to talking head with no viable solutions to all that’s ailing American society as far as crimes go. But the political ostrich always has a solution for “Black on Black crime”, it seems, one of his favourite subjects. No one knows how he feels about white people killing white people.
Like many of his ilk with a penchant for misunderstanding, misconstruing, distorting and discrediting the value of, and raison d’étre, of Black movements/organizations, he had a choice phrase for the Black Lives Matter movement, “[…] It’s inherently racist!” But not quite as racist as… Since you’re not one of them, why don’t you have a meeting with any chapter of the movement, any Black movement, and stop spewing venom. Be enlightened—if there’s any room in his dark, skewed mind.
People like the former mayor must be one of those old white men/women still thinking in public, but asking in private:
“What the hell do niggers want anyway? Every other ethnic group has made it up the ladder on its own. Why don’t the blacks do likewise? They keep raving about their rights. Well, white people have rights too.” Black Rage, William H. Grier, M.D. & Price M. Cobbs, M.D., 1968, P. 1.
Here’s one thing Black people have been wanting for a long time: White policemen must stop killing Black men with impunity. That police practice/culture of shooting innocent Black men once or multiple times to ensure they are dead is dead! It’s only enraging otherwise innocent, sane, normal Black people who cannot standby and watch… Alton Sterlings, Philando Castiles been wantonly killed–live.
Black men have valiantly served their country, America, “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” for generations, dying in the process. But then they’ve come home to fight that historic, perpetual war for Equality, “Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.” They’re still awaiting delivery.
Which is why two former military men went off on the police, killing so many. They knew what they up against going in, but after doing right for America, those who pledged to “Protect and Serve them” have in fact been killing them—without reason, aside from their being Black.
Which is why Marvin Gaye is still asking and singing that social commentary from his grave “What’s Going On?” What’s going on America, why are you killing your Black male children under [historical] social duress in “The Jungle.”
Will the response be more police shootings of more Black men?
Because others are singing: “Don’t push me cos’ I’m close to the edge, I’m tryin’ not to lose my head…”
Until I stop hearing the discordant sound “All lives matter…” by people with their self-serving interests trying to hijack and bastardized the message… “Black Lives Matter” as a counter-message. The message has been by individuals and groups trying to dilute the raison d’étre of BLM.
“[…] To be sure, there are many evils which derive from racism that are more easily identified, including the existence of ghetto neighbourhoods, joblessness, stultifying classrooms, and poor health… The root cause of the Black wrath that threatens to destroy this nation is the unwillingness of white Americans to accept Negroes as fellow human beings… for the average Negro ‘so much time has passed and so little has changed…’” Black Rage, U.S. Senator Fred R. Harris, Foreword,1968.
Juxtapose the 1968 sentiment with 2016.