By Ernie McCray
Recently, a man said I should wait for the “facts” because of feelings I shared when I was (and I still am) grieving the “fact” that Michael Brown had been shot unarmed in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.
Oh, it seems like the only time Americans talk about justice and fairness and deal with terms like “facts” is when black folks are involved. I mean like students of color at one time were denied college admissions as a way of American life. Affirmative Action Programs were created to address this problem and immediately they were attacked because they were deemed as “unfair” to white students.
Now “facts” have become a code word for keeping black people in our place when it comes to issues of justice. A black boy lies dead in his own blood and the “let’s wait for the facts” crowd, the KKK among them, have raised over $400,000 through GoFundMe for Darren Wilson, a cop, for whom there are very few “facts” other than the “fact” that he was the one who took a young brother’s life.
And speaking of “facts,” comments on the GoFundMe website are in “fact,” chilling to the bone, downright scary.
One donor said to Wilson, “Waste of good ammo. It’s my privilege to buy you a replacement box.” That a black life can be so effortlessly dismissed is a shameful “fact.”
Another declared “I thank all Police… protecting normal Americans from aggressive and entitled primitive savages.” And somebody weighed in with “Black people can be their own enemy and I am not white… He was shot 6 times cause the giant wouldn’t stop or die. Evil people don’t die quick.”
Well, we aren’t now and we weren’t savages and giants and evil human beings when Massa loaded us into the slave boats. That’s a documented “fact.”
There is a coalition of local organizations, individuals and community leaders, who embrace the historic, rich and diverse culture of Southeast San Diego and have organized gatherings and marches designed to get citizens involved in a campaign called “Reclaiming the Community.”
How about this: “Let this ‘GoFundMe’ serve as an example to all cops in America: The general public will support you, especially if you pull the trigger on violent criminal thugs.” What makes that particularly alarming is the “fact” that “criminal thugs” is becoming an accepted social and political definition of black boys in America today.
And there is no “fact” truer than the “fact” that all of this is so devastatingly disappointing to someone who came of age in the 60’s, all swelled with hope and pride, seeing my young peers of this age being so devalued and hated as human beings.
But being of that time I tend not to mourn sitting down. I like to join with those who ease their emotional pain by trying to change things. There is a coalition of local organizations, individuals and community leaders, who embrace the historic, rich and diverse culture of Southeast San Diego and have organized gatherings and marches designed to get citizens involved in a campaign called “Reclaiming the Community.”
The idea, generally, is to build a healthy community where every person has an opportunity to thrive and learn to both seek and expect a promising future, one wherein there would be no climate of sympathy for perpetrators of violence against black teens, be they other blacks or those who are paid by our tax dollars to “protect and serve” us.
Those involved in “Reclaiming the Community” see what’s needed to be done, understanding that so many of our youth are struggling to survive in an environment where they see no hope whatsoever. We know that, too often, some get in trouble simply because they don’t know how to act and we know that if we ignore their predicament they will end up as victims of the New Jim Crow – the mass incarceration of black youth.
We are working to establish a mindset in the community that won’t tolerate hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime like what the supporters of Darren Wilson are doing via GoFundMe.
The action is already in motion with three rallies already held, one at the World Famous Imperial Barber Shop on Imperial Avenue, one at Skyline Park and Recreation Center, and the last at Marie Widman Park in Encanto The next events are scheduled for:
Saturday, September 6th @1PM – Dennis Allen Park (Mt. Hope) at 600 Gateway Center Way
Saturday, September 20th @1PM – Four Five Park (Lincoln Park)
Saturday, October 4th @1PM – Memorial Park at Ocean View Blvd, between South 29th and 30th
Malcolm X once said: “The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare for it Today.”
Well intentioned people of all colors and creeds and walks of life are invited to support a community in its good works because the “fact” is this is a problem for as many citizens to solve as is possible.