Looting is good for revolutions. Not just to snap the nation and the community to attention, but to engage in some response, albeit a jarring one, to the police’s so-called ‘efforts to subdue,’ peaceful communities; Peace, that the police themselves are responsible for disturbing by perhaps… shooting an unarmed teenager to death for allegedly shoplifting at the bodega? Was it your local police, who are responsible for choke-holding a person to death, a tactic outlawed by police because it was deemed to dangerous? Maybe you live in the city where the police shot a 12 year old, on a playground, for having a toy in his waistband? Have you been to the town where a 22 year old was shot through the back, while handcuffed, for an alleged and non-life-threatening tussle, on public transit, on New Years Eve (aka National Fueled –by-Liquor Fight Night)?
Ronald Singleton, 45 of Manhattan, New York, a father and a husband whose wife and children survive him.
Oscar Grant of Oakland, California, 22, a new father, worked at a co-op organic grocery store in the community.
Trayvon Martin of Miami Gardens, Florida, 17, a high school student, wanted to be a pilot, even started taking classes in a summer aviation program.
Eric Garner of New York City, 43, a horticulturist at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, father of 6 and community leader.
Tamir Rice, of Cleveland, Ohio, whose age of 12 years was almost too young to haven any idea of the bright future ahead of him.
Kendrick Johnson, of Valdosta, Georgia. 17, his body was found on-campus, rolled up in a gym mat; no indictments have been made. Click to read more.
Alton Sterling, who was shot while incapacitated, on video.
Philando Castille, who died in front of his 4 year old daughter and girlfriend after being shot after being asked to produce identification, and reaching for his wallet. Also on video.
Sandra Bland, who was alleged to have hanged herself in her Texas holding cell, with a plastic bag over her head, after being pulled over for 'not signaling to turn.' The dashcam footage reveals the arresting officer using excessive force to detain Bland.
These are all American civilians, some children, some caught entirely on camera. All of them were UNARMED or licensed and thoughtful. Some of them were in cuffs. All of them were Black. Most of their deaths are on film. One of them was 12 years old. All of them were near their homes. Most of them were UNARMED. All of them were Black. Repetition is the key to remembering. All of them were black.
All of their murders have been condescended by the legal system of this country as ‘accidents,’ neither warranting legal recourse, nor reprimand, nor public outrage. Our legal system has effectively disappeared these people; dehumanizing them, their families, and our communities for asking for justice and a system of accountability. Untouchable cops, them against the world, ‘simply responding to the hysteria of every day barbarians.’
Can’t you hear the creepy monotone in your head? ‘Trust us… this has nothing to do with racism. Mathematical proportions and analysis aside, this is not racism. No, not that! This is not a failure of the system. The system is fine. Black and brown folks are aggressive, you know. Spicy! Warrior spirits! Cartel and tribes and thug life and all that, its us against them. Cops are just peacekeepers. The system adequately accounts for yin of black aggression and the yang of white trust in the law. The system is fine. This is justice. Cops need protection from civilians. They were asking for it. Don’t put yourself in their shoes, they aren’t anything like you! You are good… They were not. Justice is a real thing. The system is strong. Trust it. Go back to your everyday lives. The mistakes of the few, this is not a systemic issue. The system is fine.’ …Twilight Zone music echoing ominously the background.
It is our obligation to shine a glaring light on the lack of governmental accountability in this country. We are allowing American justice to implode and corruption to become commonplace. And now, dear homies, we are accountable. This far down the road, we are accountable for our police killing UNARMED people. We pay these people to kill our own, and let them call it an ‘accident.’
I’m pouring over the history of The Castle Doctrines, Stand Your Ground and Constitutional Law texts… Will they explain the ‘justice,’ of it all to me? Would the Framers approve of this pronounced lack of checks and balances? How is it okay that a 30–year-old civilian, with no law enforcement credentials, stalked an unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, in his own neighborhood, from the corner store, to outside his stepmother’s residential area, and that behavior was seen as less suspect than Trayvon heading home? Armed with a loaded gun and absolutely no probable cause other than his unfounded and absurd accusation that the young man ‘seemed suspicious,’ as if he could be tied to what Zimmerman referred to in his 911 call as, ‘break-ins around the neighborhood.’ Zimmerman was explicitly instructed not to pursue the teenager by the 911-emergency dispatcher. 2 minutes later, police arrived to find the teenager dead, 70-yards from his home. How is it that a teenaged boy was fatally shot by a 30-year-old, through the chest, at point blank range, and his killer walks free? Call it rhetoric, Homie, I’m simply framing the questions we should all have.
Robert S. Warshaw of the Independent Monitor cited a number of systemic issues in his formal investigation, Special Report: Oakland PD Officer-Involved Shootings of 2012. The report was highly critical of the quality of the investigations, highlighting a high number of incidents which lacked probable cause or evidence of immanent threat, failure to appropriately establish evidence ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ failure to notify Internal Affairs when required, pronounced lack of impartiality on the part of investigators, inconsistencies between reports and statements, major issues with crime scene contamination especially on those involving officers who discharged their firearms. Warshaw even points out thath the culture of the department is characterized by an express,
Rallying around the rationality that the victim is not the dead person. The victims are not the families left behind. The victims are not the communities. Rather, the victim is the perpetrator of a serious crime; We need to really ask ourselves what the implications of that are. The victims are not the victims and the perps deserve sympathy. In any other case, would this be tolerable? Training seems to work for the majority of servicemen and servicewomen; when it doesn't those people need to be held accountable. If for nothing else than to maintain the sanctity of American justice and stand true to the ideal that we are all equals. Not everyone is meant to be a police officer.
Police around the nation should be outraged, and stand together against the degradation of their public image. Support yours through prison, just like we do; accept they did wrong, and put agency above all, like you are supposed to. Is use of a weapon really that much of a gray area? Is the difference between a kill shot and an incapacitating shot very nuanced in police gun training? Do the police save Black lives? Do the police save Brown lives? What does it do to the human psychology when a victim is denied their victimhood and made out to ‘have had it coming?’ Can we call a spade a spade? There is a disproportionate level of contempt for the person of color in this nation. From our president to our neighbors, we hold people of color at an arms length, tend to celebrate them only for their entertainment capital and hold them in contempt for what we perceive as their inferior character traits. To have been murdered by the law, and the law to lack the integrity, the probity it so proudly touts, the incorruptibility to hold one of its own accountable is evidence of a need for serious change.
And to my beleaguered compatriots just tryna' live; To those who have families, want peaceful and unburdened futures, who might even be bothered by this level of civic awareness... Let us not be jaded! I know this stuff ‘happens all the time.’ It happens all the time, but it doesn’t make it any less disgusting to me. The wake up call only resounds louder that we need to change things. That people of color need to be protected from the hatred we try to deny, because denying it hasn’t kept it from killing our kids, killing the hope and peace of mind in neighborhoods around the country, funding the construction of new prisons and the closings of public schools. Let us not forget Rodney King survived, we all knew, and he still killed himself slowly over this, because often, once touched by the system, we are traumatized beyond rehabilitation. The trauma our police forces have inflicted on our communities, our children, our neighbors and on us... because we all have stories... Is unacceptable.
The lackadaisical and politically pandering lollygaggers of the Judiciary system and the district attorneys, judges and office-holding wastes of space, who put their lucrative and megalomaniacal careers before justice should feel our refusal to comply. The pithy pundits and waspy fundraisers, their twitter account hell-raising, pervy husbands, the self-righteous parents who have paid to hide the indiscretions of their own children, should all feel us shaming them for not using their senate and congressional seats to represent the entirety of their constituency. Shame, on the representatives of this nation for watching the legislative branch stagnate and become a joke. Shame, on the law enforcers in the judiciary branch for their cronyism, partial representation, and lazy ignorance. Shame, on us for watching democracy so thusly maligned.
LET US REFLECT. Use the Googlé. Watch the footage, listen to the testimonies and 911 calls, read the rainbow of articles and ask yourself when serial party girl/drug abuser KC Anthony, became Casey Marie Anthony, victim of multiple abuses, wayward young mother, 'just trying to figure it all out?' By even her defense teams accounts, she bound and gagged her dead 2 year old, who she didn’t realize had been dead for hours in a pool, and hid her body in some shrubs, lied about it for a year and still managed to get off without being held accountable. That is, if she didn’t simply murder her own kid in cold blood and just lie about it. But she was a victim somehow. George Zimmerman’s paranoid schizophrenic tendencies became public information when following the trial, he threatened multiple others specifically, not with just bodily harm, but that he would ‘get a gun and shoot’ them, including his own wife (who later divorced him claiming he was physically and psychologically abusive). He posted on social media about his visit to the Kel-Tech gun factory and his new rifle only a month after his release from prison. But you’re right, I should pray about this. You can listen to his wife's 911 call on the interweb, and prayer is the answer… LOL.
Oh, and another thing... there is always some pandering journalist who puts a sentence in about the young man who was good at ‘minding his elders,’ or was a ‘gentle giant,’ to prove his life deserves your acknowledgement. Because when young white folks die, who got kicked out of school, tied up in drugs, wrapped up in sex with all the wrong types, STDs, suspensions and academic probations… no one seems to apologize for their life choices, their body types, or their foolhardy decisions. That’s what the outrage is about. We dishonor these suffering families and our own American nationalism when we tell them no one is at fault for their ‘pot-smoking, school-skipping, degenerates’ death. These people are heroes. These were everyday Americans, full of life and love, with families just like yours who had their lives taken from them by murderers. They have not died in vain, and we need to hold the system accountable.
So… Yeah, Looting happens; It serves many purposes. I would argue that Looting is peaceful protest, furthermore that civil rights are not won on the backs of non-violent tactics they are simply narrated on them. For our Civil Rights, a lot of people got hurt, some died, and most lived in fear. Certainly, the police were the most violent of all. Non-violence is an ideal, and way below it, beneath the media coverage and the light of day, being nuanced and whittled down to nothingness is the truth, that pacifism cannot help the issue of racism. Racism does not rely on conflict, in our system, it can simply be subversive, cultish, dogmatic, jokey, and thereby systemic. And systemic issues mean someone is benefitting from an illegitimate set-up. Non-violence is, truly, for the birds. Change is seldom obedient.
Looting is an appropriate and frankly, mild response to a staggering and clearly racially driven miscarriage of justice at the highest state levels in Missouri. The point is this is a national issue. Looting can be a means to get people's attention and take the issue to a national audience. To exhaust the resources of the police and reinforce the outrage of a community without justice. The less obvious reasons are manifold; to put pressure on local business, investors and insurance companies to take a political stand and support the needs of the communities that keep their businesses successful. Furthermore looting exhausts the resources of local, national and private police. The chaos refocuses the scope of power in a realistic way, so the police understand that citizens will disregard authority because the police are abusing it. In turn shop owners will gripe to the city about safety issues and problems with the police. National conglomerates will reconsider leases and locations. City Hall will feel the pain of making an unjust decision. Come election year, folks don't take too kindly to complacency and taxation without representation.
Looting is part of the force that pushes 'the system' to the point of break, and on some romantic nationalistic level, looting is the only human expression of the grieving American soul. The only thing that our government seems to value is money. We have been reduced to nothing, and so, we are rising to the occasion! No peace without justice. The legislative branch of this government has far too long gotten away with pedantic verbiage, media character assaults, and under the table plea deals, while throwing people of color to the wind and publishing about ‘the urban trends responsible for sociopathy,’ in multiple volumes. In so many impartially historically recorded ways: Setting us up, dehumanizing us, studying us, using us, paying us less and playing us at every chance. This is what folks mean when they say 'racism and bigotry are alive and well.’ They mean that you can
Put a camera on it
Have witnesses around it
Watch the evidence mount
and still... not see any justice when the incident involves questioning a white person's rights to freedom versus those of a person of color's. In a juxtaposed light, the truth is hard to ignore.
This is not cynicism or hyperbole, this is the original catalyst, the Truth. 1 in 3; One out of every three Hispanic males and one out of every three Black males will see prison in their lifetime. (The Sentencing Project)
How can the safety of the police be separate from the safety of the public at-large? We cannot trust the police if the police will not police themselves. Here's the church, here's the steeple, open it up, because its judgement time for the media, the courts, the police, and the people.
All power to the people.
<3 The Homie Sasa <3
[Please know there are many more cases like these, my use of the most well-known does not highlight the multitudes of men and women Of Color, who have died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody whose cases are still being investigated or have been buried in obscurity. In many of these cases, 3rd-Party filming is to thank for providing the only hard evidence defending the innocence of these victims.]