There is something wrong in America when Black youth are throwing rocks, bricks, and bottles at a police force that have weapons of mass destruction at their disposal. Some are calling it a protest, some are calling it a riot, others are calling it insanity, but Black youth are at war with the police and the establishment.
Last week in Charlotte, North Carolina, a Black man, Keith Scott, was executed while sitting in his car waiting to pick up his child after school. There are two conflicting stories where the police say Mr. Scott was carrying a gun, and the family says he had a book. There are two videos that the mayor and police chief have finally released, but the information is inconclusive. The wife has a phone video that she released, which is also vague and inconclusive.
Another incident took place last week as well, where there was a police execution in Tulsa, Oklahoma of a Black man, Terence Crutcher 40. The city leadership acted quickly to provide the family and the Black community with videos. The officer, Betty Shelby, has been charged with first degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man. What a major contrast in the treatment of evidence, and working with the Black community in Tulsa.
In Charlotte, there have been six days of demonstrations with two days of violent protest and rioting. It is obvious when the political and police leadership in the city is not transparent and forthright, the community is defiant, violent and angry.
Poor Black men are disappearing at alarming rates in the inner cities by murder and execution from the police, and the killing of each other, involving drugs and firearms. In America, Black men are considered a threat and an endangered species with no real value to society.
David Love of the Grio says “When society reinforces the notion that Black men are a threat, then sets in motion laws and policies to address and ultimately eliminate that threat, is it any wonder that the brothers are missing? If the disappearing of Black men is not genocide, then what should we call it?”
As a young Black man in America in 2016, there are images of death everywhere in their communities. Being born poor, with very little education, and no opportunity for gainful employment, most young Black men are frustrated and depressed. The system is not working in their best interest, so they turn to drugs, crime, and violence. According to a report entitled,”Addressing Racial Disparities in Incarceration,” 1 out of 3 Black men in inner cities will end up in prison in their lifetime.
Once a Black man has gone to prison, their quality of life has diminished, and it is very difficult to find a well paying job. Many Black men are stuck in the criminal system, and they will return to prison. The majority of Black men are convicted of selling drugs, and on the streets, there is a war where drug dealers are killing each other.
In these poor communities, a large percentage of men either sell or use drugs, and the police spend the majority of their time putting these low level drug dealers in jail. Police don’t really care how many men in the community kill each other over drugs.
Since there is so much violence in the poor Black community, the police are always under heightening alert, and they shoot first and ask questions later. Genocide is a reality in the poor Black community because Black men are considered thugs, criminals, and drug dealers. This is the reality of living in poor communities, and young Black men expect to die early.
For the police, it is either them or us. Many Black men in the inner city have a gun, so you shoot first, and clean up the mess later. Young poor Black men are dying and disappearing, and where do we place the blame?