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.
We have been waiting for JUSTICE for too long…..since Chief Daniel Hahn, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and City Manager Howard Chan have ignored the recklessness in the shooting of Stephon Clark; and further allowing officers Robinet and Mercadal to stay on the job. Furthermore, we have been FORCED to wait on investigations from the police department, Attorney General and District Attorney Offices. "And if we don't get no JUSTICE, they won't get no PEACE." See far too often the murder happens, the cops are cleared and the state intimidates the family and community into submission without JUSTICE. They think they can wait us out and that we will tire over pressing the issue for JUSTICE. I am here to say, loud and clear.....WE ARE NOT OUR GRANDPARENTS. And that's not to say our grandparents weren't fighters, it is to say we have more resources at our fingertips to fight you in public and DARE you to your face to do something about our lack of civility or decorum. #TickTock
See, humanity doesn’t have to wait on investigations. Humanity is an ethical stand for what is right and just…..hence why JUSTICE is so important, especially to those who it is always a fleeting thought and concept for…..we wait for it to evade us no more. Not by choice, but by force we have been waiting for those in positions of power in Sacramento county to show us what BLACK LIVES are worth with respects to consequences when shooting down unarmed Black people…..or are dead Black bodies the non-essential figments of white supremacy imaginations, who hear the screams in agony that, “WE ARENT GOING TO TAKE THIS SHIT NO MORE.”
Justice is nothing less than officials at the Sacramento police department making the necessary recommendations to the city manager to FIRE the officers responsible for murdering Stephon last March, and City Manager Howard Chan actually following through with FIRING them (like yesterday). Justice is nothing less than the officers being arrested, booked into the Sacramento County jail, where they will await charges at an arraignment hearing in front of a judge, where they would be denied bail, because we know police associations and blue lines matter supporters will raise funds for murders just like they did for the likes of a George Zimmerman and officer Darren Wilson who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Justice is nothing less than convictions of said murderers who have managed to hide behind the blue uniform and a badge that is nothing more than reminiscent of slave patrols looking for Black bodies to fear, ultimately murder and get away with it. Finally, JUSTICE is about humanity and it shouldn’t have to wait on no one or any system or status quo deeply rooted in the white supremacy to dictate the outcome…..we are sick and tired of being sick and tired, while we wait.
In the almost year since his death, BLM Sacramento and others have been waiting at the DAs office every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in front of a fence paid for by the people of this county to protect the DA and her delay for JUSTICE. We have been waiting at City Council meetings for just one of our elected officials to express how outraged they are about Stephon’s murder. We have been waiting at the state Capitol to move legislation that would add real accountability and transparency to law enforcement with respects to use of force and making police misconduct records public. BTW.....Sacramento Police department and the Sacramento Sheriff department are in violation of court orders to comply with making their records public. We have been waiting as we protest in these streets, hoping people will stop and think about yet another unarmed Black person's life being stolen from their family unnecessarily. We have been waiting as the powers that be attempt to justify the excessive force and shootings of unarmed Black men, while peacefully arresting white assailants with massive arsenals and the intentions of killing everyone in sight.
We have been forced to wait while being strategic and intentional in our plans to make this county an uncomfortable place to live in by lifting the names of Stephon Clark, Brandon Smith, Darell Richards, and Marshall Miles……all of whom were murdered at the hands of Sacramento county law enforcement agencies in 2018.....that is an average of 1 death every 3 months. We will wait because their silenced voices deserve to be heard. We will wait because our ancestors are peeking their heads through the dirt of grave sites as a living and moving reminder for us to speak for them too. We will wait for those imprisoned and enslaved for profit, because we know they’ve been pumping iron, seeking knowledge and ready to fight upon release. We will wait…..because the time is now and the echo of the past, “the REVOLUTION will NOT be televised” is actually playing out right in front of all of our faces. We are the REVOLUTION, so #TickTock.
Our forced hand behind our backs, while the system unfairly roughs us up for knowing our rights is worth waiting for, if JUSTICE is the outcome. So we wait for change and progress and equity. This wait is also indicative of knowing some of those who walk around in black skin have to be awakened to the possibility of change. It is our honor to wait and teach whoever is willing to listen to what JUSTICE really looks like despite the ugly truth that justice has evaded Black folks since stepping onto American soils. See, waiting isn’t anything new to us, especially to those of us who have halfway paid attention during Black History month to the facts that our ancestors made it easier to wait out a system flawed from the start.
So we wait…..
We wait while tackling problems within our very own community; when Black community members emulate the very systems that have conditioned us to accept less than JUSTICE. When Black folks so badly want to be seen as bridge builders and will accept the hand of the enemy in the process. Even though we have been mind-fucked to believe everybody in the church is good, everybody in jail is bad and everybody in your face is your friend…..the truth of the matter is, church folks are sinners too, there are innocent folks who end up behind bars and people will skin and grin in your face to take you out. While we wait, we are not here to attack folks; we are here to facilitate the LIBERATION for all Black folks…..even those too blind to see that it’s for their own good.
Recently it was brought to our attention that a Black community member was willing to encourage other Black leaders to march with the likes of Mayor Darrell Steinberg, other elected city officials and even law enforcement as a show of solidarity when the announcement in the Stephon Clark case comes down from DA Schubert. This revelation caused many to question the motives of those willing to swallow fake allegiances when in this near years’ time, not one elected official has uttered a semblance of what JUSTICE truly means to this city’s most vulnerable, marginalized and targeted…..where has their solidarity been? How can one trust those willing to make that kind of sacrifice, when the blood stains on backyard concrete is still a vivid part of this communities memory? Did we forget the image of Stephon’s grandmother when she looked out of her back window in horror to see his lifeless body dead on the ground in the backyard.....in the pooling of his own blood? How can we convince his mother, Sequette Clark, that marching with the very entities who are responsible for her son's murder her is the right thing to do and will foster her healing?
It is not OK for anyone to take opportunities to manipulate the pain this family and community feels in this moment. So while we wait, we stand by our commitment to not welcoming this city and its elected officials into sacred spaces that they have turned their noses up to for almost a year. We stand by, keeping them from the firsthand experience of our organic rage because their silence has spoken volumes to their politics and positions being more important than dead Black bodies on Sacramento streets. The truth of the matter is building this kind of bridge is equivalent to Nazi stabbing people of color at the capitol and slapping the efforts of this movement in the face. So instead of having side conversations about what BLM Sacramento and its leadership aren’t doing right…..WE WAIT and you wait too.
And while we all wait, ask yourself if you have or will benefit from the movement and actions of BLM Sacramento? Has our work opened your eyes to the oppressive, inherently racist systems and how they manifest in all Black people’s lives collectively? If the latter is the case, all I ask is that you trust the process of being uncomfortable in this moment…..because the wait is for us to heal and to come together in the end. See the Mayor, city council and police chief, gone be alright with their fat paychecks, benefits, pensions, and 401k…..the question becomes are we going to be alright, and according to Kendrick Lamar, "WE GON BE ALRIGHT." We should be asking ourselves, do we have enough time to wait on another life to be stolen or is time up? Not to toot any horn, but BLM Sacramento and its leaders have done what no one has been willing to do and that's sacrifice their lives and livelihoods for hurting families and this community....."WE HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO BE ALRIGHT." And since they are FORCING us to wait, we will continue to stare into the faces of their TERRORISTIC law enforcement with hope and pride and strength for tomorrow because Harriet Tubman would have done just that…..WAITED.
There will be no stalemates…..this movement for LIBERATION is for ALL Black folks, whether some like it or not. We will rise UNAPOLOGETICALLY standing with families victimized by state sanctioned and sponsored terrorism, not just because it’s the right thing to do but because it could be any of us or you too, and the sad reality is there is going to be a next time if we don’t call out ways in which our pain is violated by people who even look like us. Remember in Stephon's short 22 years of life, he had experienced some pain that he hadn't matured into understanding and even in his death he was criticized for being anti-black and anti-black-woman specifically. Holding ourselves accountable is crucial to healing and understanding…..on top of the FACT that we must stay ever so present in this moment of challenging state-sanctioned TERRORISM and racist white supremacy. Let it end on our watch.
Honestly, who can blame us for feeling a certain kind of way about mourning families getting taken advantage of when they are most vulnerable? We hold these feelings as sacred testaments to WHAT WE ARE WAITING FOR, WHILE THE WAIT FORCES US TO QUESTION WHEN SYSTEMS WILL DEEM US WORTHY ENOUGH FOR JUSTICE every time we are left for dead up in these streets.
TICK TOCK MUTHERPHUCKERS, SORRY BUT YOUR TIME IS UP!!!
March 16th @ 6pm - Open Meeting & Reception: Black Lives Matter Sacramento - Valley Hi-North Laguna Library
March 21st @ 8:30am - Justice for the Macon Family - Court Support - Superior Court of California Sacramento County
July 17th - 31st - Recall Scott Jones - various locations to collect petition signatures