Thursday, July 8, 2010

They Shoot Black Men, Don't They?

Hello Darling,

So today mummy is an angry little pygmy. Like her ancestress Fannie Lou Hamer, I am "sick and tired of being sick and tired".  This blog posting was intended to be a raw response to the verdict in the Oscar Grant shooting...but at this point friends, I am 3 drinks in and I dare say I done drunk myself under the table. I wasn't completely surprised that the verdict would be some bullshit, but Involuntary Manslaughter was a blow.  Although I have to admit, I'm impressed that I'm typing so quickly--I'm watching the Golden Girls to keep my cool...well, at least my thoughts are lucid. At least in my head they are.  This is why I am a writer.  We get drunk and then molest the closest typewriter. 

Late this afternoon, most of the world (let me rephrase that, most AMERICANS) were glued to telly, radio, blogs and internet to follow the LeBron James "Decision".  Absent minded citizens were completely invested in a multi-millionaire basket ball dribbling dude and his "decision" like it was Sophies Choice or some shit.  I mean I'm glad he giving money to the Boys & Girls Club and the Starving Children of the Desert or whatever the fuck.  (Wait--Nic, be fair. Sports are important.  Emmy nominations are important right? Ugh. okay. I'm going to try to play both sides... I'm going to do my best and give this all an objective point of view. But if I fail, it's most likely because I've had a few---so don't come emailing me talking about how much of a political social justice poser I am for hurling a Molotov cocktail at "the man.")  I am now 3 3/4 drinks in.


Whoops sorry. Wrong LBJ. Sorry LeBron James.
Focus Nic you drunken whore! People are reading. Fucking focus! Where was I? Oh yes--

The story:
The BART Police shooting of Oscar Grant was a fatal shooting in Oakland CA in the early morning hours of New Years Day 2009.Responding to reports of a fight on a crowded Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train returning from San Franciso BART officers detained Oscar Grant and several other passengers on the platform at the Fruitvile Station. Officer Johannes Mehserle and another officer were restraining Grant, who was prostrate and allegedly resisting arrest. Officer Mehserle stood, drew his gun and shot Grant once in the back. During his court testimony, Mehserle claimed that Grant then exclaimed, "You shot me!" Grant was unarmed. Grant was pronounced dead the next morning.

In the days and months following this fucked up act there were peace and violent demonstrations in the Bay Area.  So the powers that be decided to move the trial to Los Angeles.  LA where we prosecute people like Lindsay Lohan.  The fuck where they thinking?  So this afternoon, the verdict was announced.  The jury gave Officer Mehserle Involuntary Manslaughter in the case. Ain't that bitch? Looks like Michael Vick is gonna serve more time than this jamoke. #dumbass

The story seemed to break on Twitter faster than than the news. I know most of you hate or don't understand twitter--and the fact that this dumb shit has become a verb "to tweet" is crazy.  But I loves Twitter.  So lemme clue you in. @joesmoe is the name of the member that writes a comment.  # means that a topic is trending.  Meaning you are starting a topic for conversation or participating in a convo. RT means retweet. You've re-tweeted what someone else said. I know, it's so 7th grade queer. But I love this viral salon.  Naturally those in twitterland had all kinds of responses:
@baratunde: BREAKING: Oscar Grant will NOT be playing for Miami. Cause he was murdered by a cop. #BiggerThanLebron #MurderSideEffects 

RT@fecundmellow justice system values black lives, that valued is simply tied to the states ability to incarcerate that body.  

@hellojerrika i appreciate the outrage over lebron receiving more coverage than oscar yet, honestly, outrage without action is worthless. #myhumbleopinion 
RT@mrdaveyd: Callers are confirming police from all over the Bay Area are descending on Oakland.. seems like a rehearsal for marshall law 

@africahot Watermelon is saving me from a broken heart 
Ahhhh, I love the last tweet. 
 Seemed like media media, especially in Los Angeles,licked their chops all day.  Black men where getting killed, and killing.  This morning came the LAPD announced the capture of a black serial killer donned The Grim Reeper.  At this press conference it was reported that after years of alleged rape and murder, the cops finally caught their man Lonnie David Franklin.  And to make matters worse, this wank nut worked for the LAPD as a mechanic, in the garage.  They were looking for him, and at one point, he was right under their nose.  Jesus, where is Dexter when you need him? #whiteserialkillerswelove

The Grim Reaper had 10 victims, mostly women. All black women.  And this fuckface is also suspected in 30 other murders, which until this morning, were cold cases.  Wow. Black serial killers. Fuck man, now I know how white people feel when they have yet another serial killer to look at on the news.  #shame

At one point I had to step away from the computer because I was growing furious.  I knocked back a healthy scotch to cleanse the palate, but the fear and anger didn't go away.  Before I knew it, the tears were stinging my cheeks.  All I could think about was the black men in my life, and how the act of driving--no, being could have them prostate on bare earth, fearing their lives at any moments notice.

What if Oscar was my brother? My big brother has worked in academia for nearly 15 years.  In the field of sociology he has worked for Harvard, Princeton and now University of Chicago.  He's handsome, has a wicked sense of humor, and he lives on Chicago's southside.  He's one of the good guys.  He has attened the best private schools and can answer any fucking question on Cash Cab.  He's a smart tall fucker. Ion't know where the hell my low achieving ass came from. #milkmansbaby

I can't tell you how many times he's been pulled over or detained for simply being. The fear that I have at times  My big brother one of the most brilliant minds, and talented athletes ain't nothing but a nother nword target for trigger happy flat foots.

I gotta tell you, there are times that I'm driving thru a certain area of town where I blare NPR on the radio, so that I'm not pulled over.  I even have a conservative Republican station programmed on my radio in case I really need to get out the jam.  "What's that officer? I was speeding? Oh sorry, I was just drinking my Kombucha, and listening to AM 790 about this cool Tea Bagger Party. I blew through a stop sign? Oh well it's because I was distracted. Yes, I was writing a check for the annual Policeman's Pancake Breakfast...yes, you understand of course? Step out of the car? okay.  What's that officer? Well sure--but if you drag your nut sack across my face, you can't shoot me okay?" #WhatWouldCleopatraDo

What if that happened to my family, I thought.  I stood in the foyer of my home and wept.  I wept for Oscar Grant. Amadou Dialo. Sean Bell and the other countless nameless faceless black men, women and children that died at the hands of law enforcement (under the perimeters of Involuntary Manslaughter of course).  I reached out to my brother via text to get his thoughts.  My brother often keeps a cool head and offers great insight to situations like this v/s my crying drunken rants.  So before I pumped the Public Enenemy and incited a riot ala Do The Right Thing or Cornbread, Earl & Me my brothers response broke my drunken mania via text message: 

SLIC: These mfs. The only niggas they care about is lebron. that honky shot that boy in cold blood and got involuntary manslaughter

LA: Like my taser feels just like my gun. That is some bullshit

I don't know if he intended to make me laugh, but he did.  My laughter gave way to a few more tears, and somehow my big brother made me feel better. His quip stopped me from hurling a Molotov cocktail across the street to the Russian elderly home. Oh fuck off, it's the only thing across the street. Like I was gonna hurt them.  That's like setting a school of bunny rabbits on fire. I ain't that mad, damn.

I am grateful to have him in my life.  Far too many little sisters watch their brothers die senselessly.
I don't know if Mr. Grant had a little sister, but my heart goes out to his loved ones.

Pretty soon, this story will blow over and the next sexy black news story will have us all over the twitter feed adding our two cents.  Like @hellojerricka says, I hope this situation will make us all remember that "outrage without action is useless" So once this alcholic pot haze injustice passes through my system, I will hopefully get up off my ass, and do something 'bout it.

ciao for now kiddies,

NEXT BLOG: Happy Day's Donny Most admits to dying his hair red, and painting on his freckles.  Ralph the Mouth's full confession.

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