“When BLACK lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up and FIGHT back.”
That call and response chant is epic and empowering, but it also helps us focus on defining our resolve to not waver in this fight for social justice. Today, Black Lives are under attack and one way we know to fight back is by VOTING. So watch for it, in record numbers we will be at the polls….especially in light of the Stephon Clark’s murder and the non-responsiveness of DA Ann Schubert with respects to the needs of this community. This community is beyond exhausted with politicians who ignore the people who are hurting the most.
We are living in a crucial time, constantly bombarded by ANTI-BLACKNESS in the city and county of Sacramento, the state of California and what we know as Amerikkka. This anti-blackness is a by-product of the deep rooted historic racism and white supremacy due to colonization and capitalism; where white men’s property is more valuable than the lives of those who are not white or male. This daunting reality sometimes requires motivation and reminders of how the contributions of Black folks have given this country and the world literal domination. Black people have always been in the thick of everything significant, by way of life and death associated with changing the dynamics of how we live in Amerikkka.
In a poem I recently penned, titled, “Whole Lot of Black Shit,” I am reminded that we need peace of mind and strength to go on…..and I quote -
“Black shit is rally cries, protest and fist raised high
Black shit is power to the people and showing up at the poles
Black shit is when thirsty ass cops pull over your friends and ask about you by name
Black shit is our collective voices shouting in unison, NOT TODAY COLONIZERS
Black shit is here we come again to save the day.”
So take heed to this warning and let us be reminded of how many times (we cannot count), when Black folks have shown up at voting poles and told this racist, colonized system that “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.” June 5th will be here in about a week, and if you don’t know its ELECTION DAY. While Black folks have had a tumultuous relationship with politics in America, the evidence and historic disenfranchisement is loud and clear…..
*Every time stolen African bodies jumped to their death off of slave ships, they were saying “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
*Every time Harriet helped a slave escape, she and freedom seekers were saying “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
*Every time Malcolm acted in truth and deed BY ANY MEANS NECESSASY, he was saying, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
*Every time Fannie Lou Hammer was sick and tired of being sick and tired, it was because “ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH.”
*And every time Obama stood in the chaos of an opposing House and Senate, and was heckled by the likes of white men who were not afraid to assert their WHITE PRIVELEDGE and he stood anyway, it was because “ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH.”
The relationship between Black folks and politics has historically been equivalent to panhandlers asking passer-byers for spare change. It wasn’t until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law, which eliminated barriers at federal, state and local levels preventing Blacks from exercising their right to vote, as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution. So from 1492 (according to HIS-tory’s calculations), although Black folks built this country, our ancestors have had no say so in the political schematics of who speaks for the people through the election process. Colonization has done more than just enslave Africans and their descendants, it has marginalized them within a system designed to protect and serve everyone, except our Black asses.
Let’s flip ahead…..today, in the jurisdiction of Sacramento County primary elections are upon us. But let’s first look at and understand a few political terms so we are all clear on the importance of Primary elections. According to Dictionary.com, a primary election is “a preliminary election to appoint delegates to a party conference or to select the candidates for a principal, especially presidential, election.” There is also the “special election,” which are limited to one specific purpose like filling a vacancy. Whereas a general election is one that is held in the entire state and is not limited to a particular party or locality. However, truth be told, primary elections are not highly participated in, especially by Black constituents.
I recently posted some data on my FB page and we as a community have to take this process more seriously on a consistent basis, because we have the numbers and we CAN SAVE THE DAY (as we have in time and time again). There are approximately 45 million Blacks in America and approximately 30 million are of voting age. However, approximately only 20 million are registered and only approximately 17 million actually vote. So we urge everyone reading this blog to not only be registered to vote but to also follow through…..and no, it’s not too late.
A couple of years ago, Black Lives Matter Sacramento worked feverishly to make sure that Schott Jones’ candidacy for Congress was a failure. In last week’s BLOG you can find more details on our efforts to silence Jones and stop the terroristic culture under his leadership. It was an extremely close race and he lost by only 2%. At the time, the Sacramento Sheriff department under the leadership of Scott Jones was and still is the most notorious law enforcement agency in the county of Sacramento. It made so much sense to target his efforts of taking his career to the next level and into a higher position of power. We vowed not on our watch would we allow his lack of accountability and transparency to catapult onto the Congressional stage; all the while killing unarmed black men in the streets of Sacramento and surrounding areas, as well profiting off of the imprisonment of Black folks in the local county jails.
While BLM does not endorse candidates, we can tell you what we don’t want. Jones is notoriously guilty of terrorizing Black communities, but he is not the only local official who has caused us to echo the words expressed by Michael Jackson, in his song “They Don’t Care About Us…..”
“All I want to say is that, they don’t really care about us.
Beat me, hate me; You can never break me….
I am the victim of police brutality, now I’m tired of bein’ the victim of hate.
You’re rapin’ me of my pride oh, for God’s sake.”
Like Jones, DA Anne Marie Schubert holds an important local position and she too cares very little about the most marginalized in this community. They are reasons enough to want to dismantle the system and end the corruption that plagues our county’s government because one hand washes the other. So much money has been given; it is extremely evident that Schubert is aligned with Jones and other law enforcement departments. This ginormous CONFLICT OF INTEREST speaks volumes to why the “good old boy system” has to be completely ABOLISHED. And that’s on top of the fact that the two of them are Trump supporters, trying to make “America Great Again” with policies and a culture that profits off of the backs of POC and that’s not OK. They are perpetuating the foundations of Amerikkka’s history of benefiting off of free labor, specifically on the back of Black folks.
Throughout Schubert’s 5 year tenure as DA, her reputation lacks accountability and transparency, so much so that since the murder of Stephon Clark and during this election season she has been missing in action. She has failed this community on so many levels, starting with at least a half a million dollars in monetary donations given from Law Enforcement Agencies and Association to her campaign. On top of that, Schubert has declined to participate in debates where the constituents of this county can ask her the tough questions she has been dodging for years. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the erection of a fence to keep the public out of the DA’s office, as BLM Sacramento challenges her elected position. The fence is a proverbial middle finger and symbolic of the culture and lack of humanity cultivated under her leadership.
Do yourself a favor and visit Vote4DA. This website features candidate responses to the California District Attorney Candidate Questionnaire, a collaborative effort of the ACLU of California, Color of Change, Faith in Action Fund and Rock the Vote Action Fund. All DA candidates in the state were invited to respond ahead of the June 5, 2018 primary elections.
I was looking for the perfect word to describe Schubert and shysty came to mind. Urbandictionary.com defines shysty as –
dubious honesty; extremely greedy; does not consider anyone or anybody; unfair/unjust; grimy
Let’s use shysty in a sentence…… “Every word that comes out of Ann Schubert’s mouth is a lie and she’s a shysty ass bitch.” Our shysty DA Schubert has declined to respond because she doesn’t think she owes this community an explanation and that is unjust. We can add Jones to what it mean to be shysty as well, he lies, is dubious and driven by greed. With all of that being said, #TheyHaveToGo
So here we are today, 10 weeks since the murder of Stephon Clark and we are still SCREAMING his name and showing up at the DA and Sheriff offices to make sure they don’t forget. Because we know their hope is that we will forget. We won’t let this fire die. We owe it to the countless numbers of other families who have had a loved one die at the hands of negligent police practices and fear. We owe it to the children of Stephon, to his mother and siblings, and to his grandparents who have lived in the Meadowview community for nearly 50 years. We owe it to this community to fight for real oversight and security, since local police departments have proven to pick and choose which communities they will protect and serve.
Hence the importance of elections…..we can no longer live in a state of “TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.”
In California, our Primary election is slated for June 5th and two of the most important elected officials to consider during this election are District Attorney (DA) and Sheriff. They both have a profound impact on our safety and security, as well as the criminal justice system. There are so many tools to assist us in coming to an educated conclusion on whose politics align with the things that are important to us. Let’s be clear, BLM Sacramento does not endorse candidates but based on community observation and track records of ANTI-BLACKNESS, we can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that current elect DA Ann Marie Schubert and Sheriff Scott Jones are not the right fit for this community.
May 29th - Taking It To The Sheriff @ 3pm
June 5th - VOTE!!! No on Jones & Schubert - @ a Voter Center of your choice
June 16th - JuneTeenth Edition - Still Losing Our Chains - @ 8pm
June 22nd - Black Summer Kick Off - Open Mic - @ 7pm
July 7th - Support Systems for Black and Brown Women - @ 6pm
"It is our duty for fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win.
We must love and support one another, we have nothing to lose but our chains."
- Assata Shakur