2A Coard

While we’re all extending our deepest condolences to the families of the five armed police officers killed in Dallas on July 7, let’s not stop there. Let’s also extend our deepest condolences to the families of the 102 unarmed Black men, women, and children killed by police in 2015.

The major media, i.e., wealthy white, outlets are labeling the person who killed the officers, namely Micah Xavier Johnson, as an evil monster. But that’s superficial and lazy reporting.

Much more professionalism should be expected from those TV stations, radio stations, and newspaper publishers. They should be doing in-depth investigation that thoroughly analyzes not only the “what,” the “when,” the “where,” and the “how,” but, more important, the “why.”

In other words, these outlets engage in what I refer to as the “Frankenstein School of Journalism.” That’s the type of amateurish coverage done by reporters who see something different from themselves, are suspicious and fearful of it, describe it as criminally destructive, call it Frankenstein, and then kill it. But if they had researched further- in this particular example by reading Mary Shelly’s 1818 book entitled “Frankenstein”- they would have realized that the so-called monster did not have a name. However, the person who created it did have a name, which was Dr. Heinrich von Frankenstein, who was a mad scientist. Well, Mr. Johnson, by killing those five cops, was actually created by the mad scientist known as American racism.

Consider this: Before the July 7 shooting spree, Mr. Johnson had no criminal record or psychotic history. In fact, he was a patriot who enlisted in the U.S. military and fought in Afghanistan.

What led this 25-year-old carpenter and construction engineer to take the drastic measures he took at 8:59 p.m. on that fateful date? Maybe it had something to do with what he personally experienced as a Black man in America, what he personally saw America’s invading war machine do to innocent brown Afghans, and what he personally saw on American social media when two white Baton Rouge cops beat, tazed, fired five shots into, and murdered innocent Alton Sterling on July 5 for selling CDs and when a white St. Paul-area cop fired four shots into and killed innocent Philando Castile on July 6 for riding in a car that had a broken taillight, a car, by the way, occupied by a four-year-old girl and her mother.

Maybe it had something to do with what he personally felt about the police murders of the unarmed Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Natasha McKenna, and hundreds of others.

Maybe it had something to do with his personal frustration in expecting indictments that never came, arrests that never came, charges that never came, guilty verdicts that never came, and jailings that never came.

Maybe he personally thought just like the Founding Fathers thought when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “... (W)hen a long train of abuses... pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce... (citizens) under absolute... (oppression), it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such... (oppression)...”

The Founding Fathers tried to reason with Great Britain but were rebuffed. They tried to negotiate with Great Britain but were rebuffed. They tried non-violent petitioning to Great Britain but were rebuffed. In other words, they tried to use the system to change the system but were rebuffed As a result, they felt the need to take drastic measures that included violence.

I must make it crystal clear that I do not encourage or even condone violence.

I simply ask this question: After you have used reason, negotiation, and non-violence in a just cause to end the relentless oppression and murder of your people, and that reason, that negotiation, and that non-violence are rebuffed by district attorneys, federal prosecutors, judges, and elected officials day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, and year in and year out, what do you do? Please tell me. What do you do?

Well, what you don’t do is what clearly has never worked before. That’s precisely why I recently placed the following (sarcastic) poster on my Facebook page: “GET KILLED. MARCH. PRAY. FORGIVE. REPEAT CYCLE.” And underneath it, I wrote: “Albert Einstein said ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ He must have been talking about many Black folks. Let’s stop being insane and start making cops who murder us and the court/political system that co-signs those cops’ murders of us feel the pain of bankruptcy-inducing economic boycotts as well as firings and removal from office and imprisonment and other justice, as Malcolm X said, ‘by any means necessary.’”

In addition to that as a proposed solution, here’s another and even better one. Join and support the Black Lives Matter movement. The young people who organized and lead this movement are not insane. They have abandoned outdated, useless, and counterproductive ideas. Their website points out that “#BlackLivesMatter is an online forum intended to build connections between Black people and our allies to fight anti-Black racism, to spark dialogue among Black people, and to facilitate the types of connections necessary to encourage social action and engagement.” And on July 8, they announced on that website that “Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it. Yesterday’s (July 7) attack (in Dallas) was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.” For more information, log onto blacklivesmatter.com.

But you better hurry because more than 4,000 racist white folks (along with several Uncle Tom Black folks) have signed and submitted a petition to the White House and the Pentagon requesting that the Black Lives Matter movement be labeled a terrorist organization. And just so you know, the White House is obligated by law to respond if that number increases to 100,000 by August 5. Therefore, make sure you give the Black Lives Matter movement the support it so desperately needs. After all, it is the only thing saving this country from another violent civil war. Give peace a chance by giving Black Lives Matter a chance.

The words from David Walker’s Appeal, written in 1829, and the words of Christopher James Perry Sr., founder of The Tribune in 1884, are the inspiration for my “Freedom’s Journal” columns. In order to honor that pivotal nationalist abolitionist and that pioneering newspaper giant, as well as to inspire today’s Tribune readers, each column ends with Walker and Perry’s combined quote- along with my inserted voice- as follows: I ask all Blacks “to procure a copy of this… (weekly column) for it is designed… particularly for them” so they can “make progress… against (racist) injustice.”

Michael Coard, Esquire can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. His “Radio Courtroom” show can be heard on WURD900AM. And his “TV Courtroom” show can be seen on PhillyCam/Verizon/Comcast.

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