This has been a considerably difficult blog to write. I have been mulling over the issues and ideas I will share here for at least a couple of weeks. I've been meditating on them for even longer. The quintessential gaining and maintaining of spiritual, physical and mental wellness weigh heavily on me personally and seems to weigh on Black Folxs collectively. It has occurred to me in my reflections that Black Folxs are subsisting off resilience. The reasons for this are numerous and complex. I will not examine all of them but rather just focus on the particularly devastating aspect of trauma caused by abuse and how it poisons our perceptions and by extension our relationship to one another. More importantly I seek to offer a pathway towards effectively confronting and overcoming this impediment to our progress.
It’s time to be schooled on the connection of dots, that have led to the predicament we all find ourselves in today, with respects to race in Amerikkka. It’s time to be school on the facts that were intentionally set into motion when barbaric European tribes began to roam the earth in search of the genius they lacked. It’s time we are schooled on what race even means in the grand scheme of things. Yeah, it’s most definitely time to be schooled on all the shits that have built up and morphed into this dysfunctional disease with sole intentions of sacrificing those who give and give and give some more of self. It’s time to be schooled on the reality that the English language, patriarchy, Christianity, capitalism, and democracy combined are responsible for the demise of humanity and the protection of the great white race. And let’s be very clear, there are no clear winners as every European country is still vying for position in said race. It’s time to be schooled on the fact that during this “race” all of those who partook in committing atrocities against the world via a slave economy, have committed the most harm against the indigenous people of the world, those from mother Africa.
Over the past 400 years and since 1619, when the first slaves stepped foot onto the soil of America the “race” for white domination has destroyed the fabric of hope, life, and liberty for everyone, except white men. In those 400 years, “what has happened yesterday is happening today to Black bodies. We have to teach the ongoing murderers of Black men,” (Renee Watson, Teaching for Black Lives)…..because the names are endless:
(and specific to Sacramento….)
Rest in power Dazion. Today we honor you.
The violence and injustice bestowed upon you moved this chapter to action and organize against a state that allowed not only your murder, but the defamation of your humanity. Now you ride with us every march, every action, every press conference—every everything—fueling our steps toward justice in a city that afforded you none.
Three years ago today Sacramento Police Department murdered Dazion in Meadowview, not far from where they killed Stephon Clark two years later. In both acts of egregious police terror, our city officials not only defended the murderers—they further attacked the victim to cover up the misconduct of their officers and uphold the anti-Blackness that blankets our local government.
In both circumstances—BLM Sacramento wasn’t here for it.
DA Schubert, Darrel Steinberg, Howard Chan, Chief Hahn, Brian Louie you are trash. Straight vile, complicit, cowardly trash. We are not moved by your calls for decorum and promises of a change that never comes. #JosephMann #StephonClark #BrandonSmith #DarellRichards are proof enough of that. We are singularly focused on preventing the horror Dazion felt illegally trapped in the back of your police car and the unnecessary bullets that tore through his body. Be advised that we will continue to TURN UP and make your lives as uncomfortable as need be.
Does a year make a difference?
How much time does it take to heal? How are you supposed to feel? I've been asking myself these questions over and over these last two weeks. Is the pain dulled? Is the trauma lessened? These questions are not just for self-reflection but ones that I ask on behalf of my people.
Black Folx have never gotten an opportunity to heal. Healing requires so much; so much that we have been deliberately denied. We keep fighting for justice. But when will we get it? The waiting was unbearable. We waited from the moment Stephon Clark was murdered by Officer Robinet and Officer Mercadal of the Sacramento Police Department, on March 18, 2018, until his character was assassinated by District Attorney Anne Marie Shubert, on March 2, 2019. What were we waiting for? A mere lingering possibility, only to be denied justice and to be further traumatized.
If you live in the Sacramento area or California for that matter, unless you are living under a rock or in a cave, there is no way I can understand you not knowing about the murder of unarmed #StephonClark on March 18, 2018, by two Sacramento Police officers who emptied both of their clips while shooting in his direction. On the night in question in the 9pm hour, officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal with the assistance of a Sacramento Sheriff helicopter above were led into the backyard where Stephon was attempting to gain entry into his grandparent’s home. Without going into all of the horrid details of that night, one thing is for sure…..by design JUSTICE continues to evade Black people in America. There are too many glaringly similarities in Stephon’s death to the more recent murder of Mike Brown by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri and even the distant murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi…..all of whose deaths are classic LYNCHING by definition.
According to Wikipedia….. “LYNCHING is a premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor or to intimidate a group (typically Black people). LYNCHING is the practice of murder by a group of people by extrajudicial actions. LYNCHINGS in the United States rose in number after the American Civil War in the late 1800s, following the emancipation of slaves, they declined in the 1920s but have continued to take place into the 20th century. LYNCHING served the broad social purpose of maintaining white supremacy in the economic, social and political spheres.”
“Everyday when I wake up, my son was murdered yesterday.”
Stephon Clark was executed by the Sacramento Police Department, only to have his character assassinated by the very District Attorney who should have brought his family justice. There can be no peace where such callousness lives. There can be no peace when the city’s anti-blackness suffocates even the hope for accountability. BLM Sacramento stands with the Clark family and will continue to mobilize against the Sacramento law enforcement agencies that killed him and the city officials that allowed them to do it.
The city of Sacramento’s governing officials had a chance to turn the pain that was inflicted upon our people by police terror into power and healing, however the city chose to fold. Instead of seeking accountability for this atrocity by the aggressors there was constant blame being placed on the people. I’ve seen it all in the comment sections of our local news stations: Stephon shouldn’t have ran, he should have complied, he should have been home with his kids, maybe if he would have done this, that or the other or he should have been raised better because I raised my kids to listen & never question authority, he deserved what he got, etc.
Rage is valid and necessary. The expression of rage is often a release. It is a release of toxins and trauma from our bodies. The bodies of Black Folxs have been brutalized for so long, so many times and in so many vicious ways that the resulting trauma has been proven to be codified in our DNA. Despite all this, just in case y'all forgot or was confused, the bodies and souls of Black Folxs are exquisite. But the rage remains. The rage that we have is sacred. In fact, if as a Black person you've never fully expressed rage you are not really alive and you are definitely not free. Y'all know we is free, right?! The ancestors I'ma be talking bout knew they were free when they rose up and ran through the flesh of their oppressors with machetes. They knew they were free in their bodies and souls. They knew that their spirits could not be contained or controlled. They refused to grovel for their freedom. As proud, wise, powerful, people they fought off oppression.
You do understand that there is a great hypocrisy in waiting on injustice while seeking justice? It is very oxymoron-ish, to say the least....to say that we are waiting on the very thing the system is designed to withhold from us. Too long we have been fighting for justice but the only outcome has been "JUST NOT US." I guess they forgot, Black folks come from a spirit of endurance and strength…..and we ain't going nowhere until JUSTICE includes us.
What do we want…..JUSTICE; when do we want it…..NOW.
We’ve been waiting far too long and it's ridiculous that we have been forced to wait for JUSTICE and peace, liberation, reparations, and freedom too; and no that’s not too much to ask for considering the over 400 years we’ve been waiting for all of the same things for all of this time. But we will not idly sit and wait through the process of injustice, even though our expectations are rooted in the outcomes of injustice past. So, forced to wait we will, while seeking change through intentional ACTIVISM and ABOLITION of broken systems and norms.
In this case, specifically.....the wait started March 18, 2018, around 9:30 pm when Sacramento police officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal entered the backyard of Stephon Clark’s grandparents home with the help of a Sacramento Sheriff helicopter and ultimately shot Stephon emptying their clips and leaving him for dead. I don't know any other word to describe this action other than murder; and that makes these cops, like so many other cops who shoot unarmed people, MURDERERS. The justification is always based on a false narrative and fear. When the reality is there is no other reason than black skin that causes this unrealistic, hypersensitive fear based on the ways in which cops are trained to see BLACK assailants. And yes, even Black cops are trained to see Black skin as threatening because, in reality, the historical roots of policing in America was about capturing slaves.....who just so happened to have BLACK skin. So it matters not that the gun (or weapon) they claimed he had was a cell phone; the fact of the matter is being an unarmed Black person in America when dealing with the police can be a DEATH SENTENCE.....and there are too many names we could lift to prove this point.
“Where is that balance between safety and intent?”
Sacramento Councilmember Jeff Harris
2/5/2019 Law & Legislative Committee
Review of Proposed Protest Ordinance
The Sacramento PD murdered Stephon Clark. Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal saw a Black man in a Meadowview backyard and that is all they needed to discern. In those split seconds between his beating heart and their metal clips, they knew they were safe in taking his life with zero cause. There would be no charges. No loss of job. Nothing. Without Black Lives Matter Sacramento there wouldn’t even be public scrutiny. It would simply be business as usual—because safety to them is a Black man rendered powerless.