On April 11, 2017, a young man in Del Paso Heights was targeted needlessly for WWB (walking while Black), profiled as anything other than who he was: A man walking and crossing the street. Unfortunately he was targeted by Sac PD for jaywalking and beaten down in the street.
Immediately Sacramento it went into action...
It was decided long ago that this particular type of mistreatment of the Black body was inhumane and must be called out immediately. Protests were arranged because speaking gently to the city powers and law enforcement is only worth a breeze and a Pine Forest.
Sac PD was wrong in how they treated Nandi Cain Jr. and they knew it. They knew we were coming. They knew we were vocal, and were going to call them out on this. Were they worried? I would have been. Waiting for Sac PD to recognize the violation of Mr. Cain’s civil rights was not a choice we had.
For centuries we have attempted to allow the powers that be (the white patriarchy) to right their wrongs and make corrections based on what theysee as proper.
Again, some Black leaders in Sacramento decided that protest was not a part of their formula and went in on Black Lives Matter Sacramento for not having a “plan.” Somehow, protest is not considered best practice. For Black leaders to feel that they can appeal to the City Council and everything will be all “white” totally ignores the direct action taken by Black folks and allies taking to the streets in outrage of this event. People who care about Black lives as much as any other caring soul. We're tired and we're fed up. Protest is necessary.
This last week, Sacramento highlighted a divide that existed since the early days of slavery:
That in the Black community we all recognize we are fighting to be free, but we fail to have discussions to bring about healthy decisions for active change, and we begin to attack one another. We may not agree to the tactics of the other, but we all must recognize the goal and support one another.
We as a people should be fearless together and not draw lines between those who protest in the streets and those who come to the podium, because we're in there too.
Mobilization gave cause for the reconsideration of Sac PD’s actions and the city council completed the old song and dance of appeasement of the Black public. The combination of the purposeful and tactical threat of protest may have leveraged the voices at the podium, but we all know it didn’t’ Sacramento citizens were handed the same and it must be understood that no matter how we initiate change we are stronger together lest we find ourselves sitting at separate tables looking at the other on our menus.
Interestingly, a few things did happen:
1. All charges against Nandi King Jr. were dropped.
2. The assaulting officer involved was placed on administrative leave. (procedural)
3. Internal and criminal investigations began. (procedural)
4. The results of the internal investigation would be turned over to the Sacramento County DA’s office, which has the power to press charges against the officer.
Look familiar? Sound familiar? Smell familiar?
I think it goes without saying that law enforcement has been allowed to operate without impunity and we call bullshit.
What do other Black leaders suggest we do when they do what they've ALWAYS done? You know, when they let the officer come back on duty and consider his actions as justified? What do we do then?
You know, because past is prologue.
“If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."
Do we come back to the podium and ask AGAIN or do we ORGANIZE? More Black citizens are choosing the latter and with good reason.
Police brutality then, and now
Quote: “Can't we all just get along?” - Rodney King
Mr. King asked the fair citizens, both Black and white, of his beautiful city of Los Angeles to get along because he saw that LAPD was getting away with murder. While he may have been glad to have his life spared, I’m not sure if he was living in any more comfort than before with the media, paparazzi, and judicial system making a mockery of his life.
It’s still life and death.
Our Black leaders represent sections of a pie consisting of our well deserved freedom. They went about the drive for equitable and positive change for Black men, women, and children. We must remember that a person's experiences need not mirror the foundation of a movement to be considered valid. It is the melding of ideas and a willingness to be accepting of varying thoughts which allows for growth. Tolerance of such ideas is dangerous to progress, but we must be careful with our brothers and sisters not to split behind enemy lines.
Medger Evers was preparing to leave this god forsaken country.
Dr. King supported peaceful and non-violent resistance.
Malcolm X said to hell with passivity and the phrase, “by any means necessary.”
The Black Panther Party put some modern-day Soul into the Civil Rights Movement and fed us history and breakfast.
Which approach was better?
The answer is none.
The threat to loss of power and privilege stops any logical thought from the white supremacist patriarchy. Fear causes them to lash out like cornered animals, teeth bared; claws exposed, and murdered our leaders…
Evers, Seale, King, X, Kennedy.
Somehow the quest for the Holy Grail of the white supremacist patriarchy has brought the Black public to a fork in the road. Do we balance sacrifice ourselves to have a seat at the table of privilege, or do we sacrifice ourselves and continue to struggle under systemic oppression just to appear right?
Fortunately, there's no right or wrong. What we want isn't always what we get. What they got isn't always what we want.
During the times of American slavery, the only defense available was to sacrifice another soul whose approach was different to save your own. It was life or death and everyone knew what was at stake.
The Proverbial “Table”
There is an understanding that if you're not at the table then you're most likely on the menu. In the Black community, the table that we need to recognize is the table with “beans, greens, tomatoes, potatoes, turkey, ham, ram, lamb….”
OUR table is serving up SOUL FOOD. We need to prepare OUR own meals and stop expecting our dining experience to be catered by the white supremacy patriarchy.
We as a people need to come together at OUR table, build efforts to create our own legacy, and be sure to deliver take out.
Join us for these upcoming events:
Saturday 4/29, 12-3pm, BLM Sacramento Bake Sale! Help us raise money for Freedom School. Find event information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1353777128035482/
Tuesday 5/2, 12-3pm, 50 Year Anniversary - Black Panther Party Shuts Down Sacramento! Find event details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1804781783107183/