Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: MLK Jr. Day 2017
For most people lets face it MLK Jr. Day has become a day in which not a lot of emphasis is really put on celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.
It’s a day where the kids get to be home from school relishing a 3 day weekend of binging on junk food, watching TV, playing video games, and/or going to the movies while the mainstream media plays either an excerpt or the entire “I have a Dream” speech (depending on the network) in remembrance of Dr. King.
Most people say a few words about how great the “I have a Dream” speech is and was and what the dream speech means today. As a black man living in NYC modern day I see that the dream still hasn’t been realized and I’m not sure that it ever will be just based on the past few years happenings.
As a black man living in a “post MLK Jr. America” I keep thinking about the lack of leadership we have in the black community today. At the same time I wonder why is it that America so readily celebrates MLK Jr. but acts as if Malcolm X never existed or shouldn’t be in the same breath as MLK Jr. Personally I believe we should be celebrating both of these iconic black leaders not just one.
We can agree that both of these great men were critical to the mindset of waking up the world to the plight of black people living the daily grind and constant uphill battle facing us as a nation and people living in a country that practices the opposite of what it preaches. From slavery, to segregation, to Jim Crow, to Civil Rights Era, to modern day slavery reincarnated as the American Prison Industrial Complex the reality is America still is what it always was.
The reason why MLK Jr. is celebrated is because he was the less threatening of the two leaders within the black community. The belief that passive nonviolence would eventually overcome the atrocities we face continually, while being told to wait for justice that almost never comes, was more appealing than a man waking up to the reality of his plight in a system that is designed around his oppression, suppression, theft of his property, ignorance of his/her rights & labor being supplied without the commensurate compensation if at all.
Malcolm X’s “By any means necessary” meant there would be active resistance when necessary in the defense and protection of one’s life, family and/or property. History has shown that nothing has ever been achieved through just passivity alone. It takes action, it takes being willing to die for the rights and freedoms this country is supposed to afford all it’s citizens even if that fight is against fellow citizens who refuse to acknowledge that not just they, but all of human beings deserve the same respect and rights afforded to some.
Tell us what’s really changed since the days of MLK Jr. and Malcolm X with regards to the plight of black people living in America today.
We watched in horror as a cowardly low life cop wannabe reject got away with the murder of a 17 year old Trayvon Martin using a law that only afforded the killer (Zimmerman) the application of the law of stand your ground. The victim’s last screams for help were stolen as was his young life and claimed by his killer George Zimmerman to bolster claims of self defense. No weight was given to the fact that Zimmerman was in fact the aggressor or that Trayvon Martin also had a right to stand his ground. The only problem was there no video evidence to show us what exactly happened and the knowledge of the law and the media vilification of a 17 year old allowed a murderer to go free recast as the actual victim. This is some America.
We watched in horror as the news media showed the bullet riddled body of a young 18 year old Michael Brown Jr. laying dead in the street of Ferguson, MO for at least several hours. The officer responsible for his killing able to lie and give an account of what he said led to him shooting an unarmed teenager as many times as he did when he was in no threat of danger to himself. Eyewitnesses were dismissed as confused or mistaken as to what actually happened and with no video to show the public of his tragic last moments, both the judicial systems refusal to indict an officer and the power of the blue wall protecting their own once again meant there would be no justice.
We watched as another officer shot a 12 year old Tamir Rice to death literally in 2 seconds based off some asshole calling the police acting as if a child playing with a toy gun was a grown man walking around brandishing a real gun. We watched as Freddie Gray’s spine was severed at the hands of the police in Baltimore before he was loaded into the back of a police van. They claimed he had a weapon when he was arrested and was arrested for simply running when he saw those who would ultimately take his life.
The fact that he ran was used as justification for his arrest and subsequent death. They can claim he broke his neck inside that van all they want but the video showing his arrest clearly shows he was unable to stand up on his own two feet let alone walk as he was dragged in obvious agony to the back of a police van before he was loaded inside.
The accounts of the officers as far as what transpired after he was inside the van we can take with a grain of salt. Cops lie and routinely lie especially when it comes to their accounts of what happens when they interact with the public at large. The prosecutor Mosby never had a chance to get justice for Freddie Gray because there is no independent prosecutor to prosecute police officers when they run afoul of the law themselves.
They are above the law and every time they kill a citizen of the U.S in unjustifiable cold blood and they aren’t prosecuted and found guilty, reinforces the idea that the police are above the law. They not only get paid leave after they kill, they get to go home spend time with their families, and whine about how unfair their treatment is by the media and anyone questioning them. Meanwhile they continue to have jobs afterward and probably get promoted.
We watched as police officers murdered Eric Garner on video and no one was punished for his death even though there was clear video evidence of wrong doing. No indictments. How does that work?
We watched as a police officer Michael Slager murdered Walter Scott on video unbeknownst to the officer who then planted a taser on or next to Scott’s body after he shot him to death to claim Scott went for his taser so he had to shoot him. Without that video from a bystander we would only have heard the officers account and the public as well as the judicial system would have believed the officer. As for the victim Walter Scott, his account wouldn’t be believed even if he had lived to tell it without video corroborating it.
We watched as the killer of Jordan Davis (Michael Dunn) got convicted not for his murder but for the attempted murder of his three surviving friends. How crazy is that? Even the ballistics showed Michael Dunn a liar and was not in any imminent threat of grave bodily harm from the teenagers he met and exchanged words with over loud music. They were all unarmed young black teenagers and tragically one of them lost his life and received no justice. Save for his friends surviving, Michael Dunn would be free today just like George Zimmerman.
We watched in horror as the news reports came out about the historical Black Church Massacre in South Carolina where Dylan Roof murdered nine congregation members including the pastor of the church after sitting among them for over an hour. His motivations were clear and that he was able to not only walk away alive after committing the heinous acts he did but was rewarded with Burger King tells us everything we need to know about America. I’ve yet to hear of a case in which a black suspect is wanted for killing that many people and is taken first of all ALIVE, and secondly to Burger King to eat afterwards courtesy of law enforcement. Roof’s conviction and death penalty sentence is one glimmer of hope for an ocean of black victims still waiting for justice.
We witnessed all these things while America watched it’s first Black President at the end of his second and final term in office. I can’t even recall a memorable speech the outgoing president made with all these killings of unarmed black people by fellow citizens and/or police alike. The only one that comes immediately to mind is the president saying if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin. It’s that kind of Duh moment that just leaves one shaking his/her head like What? As January 20th rapidly approaches and America ushers in the Trump Era I think it sufficient to say we have very far to go if we’ll ever see dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. realized. I don’t think I’ll live to see it come to fruition in my life time.