Sacramento's Anti-Black Media and the Erasing of Black Pain & Resistance

“If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

― Malcolm X

Sacramento News and Review just gave their cover story to a murderer, so he can “unburden” himself. Raheem Hosseini used Joseph Mann and his family as background scenery for a bullshit cautionary tale about bad apple policing and omitted the very real struggle of local Black freedom fighters to end the constant river of Black death onto our Sacramento streets.

The very question of “Am I a murderer?” is sickening when video/audio evidence unquestionably shows LEOs Tennis and Loyoza premeditating Joseph’s murder. Tennis’s platform is Sacramento Police Department’s unchecked power, and his story is that of repeated murder and anti-Black terror. Hosseini chose to write a sensationalist piece that humanized an assassin and paralleled the experiences of victim and victimizer. White supremacy dominates liberal media. 

The fundamental point of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and the first step in the movement toward Black Liberation is to acknowledge that Black lives, in fact, don’t matter to the institutions that were created to enslave, punish, and exploit Black people. The intention is to end systemic violence on Black people through the abolition of agencies that PROFIT from Black death. The goal is to create transformative methods of justice that value all parties and provide real community safety and connection. There are no bad apples, there are only anti-Black barrels, that allow sociopaths free reign to terrorize communities and steal Black family members for their own gain or entertainment. Joseph, his loved ones, and community organizers who risk their lives to tourniquet the endless local death deserved so much better. 

It is painful to see his face. It is harmful to hear his words. It is dangerous to allow space for his narrative, because it will not stop with Tennis. Before Joseph, there was Dazion and Adriene. After Joseph, there was Lorenzo, Desmond, Mikel, and Ryan. All killed by people like Tennis. All within the short time BLM Sacramento has dedicated their personal lives to drawing attention to local law enforcement’s and city government’s assault on Black bodies. How can SN&R give such a stage to a killer when they know there are hundreds more still on the prowl right now? That stage is valuable and when Black resistance is ignored or erased from media, it lessens the pressure on local institutions that need to change and provides more space for the next hashtag to be created. SN&R writers have consistently reached out to Black women in the movement to gather facts or ideas, but routinely ignore their requests for media spotlights on injustice. SN&R is part of the problem. 

If Hosseini wants police brutality to end, where the fuck was that cover page when BLM Sacramento in coalition with many other Sacramento organizations tried to provide real oversight power to the Sacramento Community Police Commission at City Council and got shot down? Where was that cover page when BLM Sacramento and hundreds of community members risked their freedom alongside the Manns to shut down downtown Sacramento after DA Schubert let Tennis and Loyoza off the hook for their crimes? Where was that cover page when ANY instance of state violence occurred, and why hasn’t a victim EVER been centered?

Answer: SN&R is white as fuck and relates more to the victimizers than those that suffer at their hands. White tears of a murderer and the “good scoop” of a writer matter more than the pain and suffering of Black Sacramentans. There is no parallel between Mann and Tennis. The only parallel that we need is the opposition to an anti-Black media source in Sacramento.

Here are your cover stories:

Adriene Ludd

Dazion Flenaugh 

Joseph Mann

Lorenzo Cruz

Desmond Philips 

Mikel McIntyre

Ryan Ellis

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