Responding to the community Raheem Hosseini wrote:
“These are valid questions that are bigger than me or this one story. To me, they’re also a sign that people know this newspaper belongs to them, not us. I’m grateful to those who are sharing their truths and demanding that we remain a platform for those who need us most. I hope they continue to do so.”
In his 12/21/2017 editor’s note, “Hearing Your Truth” (here), a follow up to his earlier
“Confessions Of A Killer Cop” piece.
He closed his note with this sentence:
“It may be my job to listen, but it’s my honor to hear you.”
Hear this: SN&R is doing a terrible job. Y’all aren’t listening. You don’t hear us. You don’t feel us.
It’s my job to call you on that and I am more than honored to do so, so here we are, and I sincerely hope the right someone reads this and maybe we can build later. If this is our paper where are our stories? Our voices? By our, I mean where are the black stories and the black voices? We’re really out here living this life, fighting this fight that y’all love to write about. Understand we do this work for free, simply on the strength because our city needs us but most importantly because black people need us. We are the revolutionaries of right now. We’re fighting for our lives so we ain’t playing by no rules & we are coming for everything that’s ours.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento does not play so we planned an action for 12/28/2017.
Ironically, Raheem published an article the same day as said action, “Justice for Joe': Can the former cops who killed Joseph Mann still be prosecuted?” (here).
That’s a great question, at this point we can only hope all of this results in charges and a conviction in 2018. Only time will tell.
We read the verbal shots Tennis took at his old department, leadership and Internal Affairs during the interview and then the praise he got on the SPD Underground Facebook page (here).
Someone with SN&R should seriously consider pursuing that lead, utilize that platform for something real one time. Where do you all stand on this issue?
The editor of Sacramento News & Review, Eric Johnson, chose to center himself & further misuse not only his platform but his position, in an editor’s note titled “Shared Outrage” (here) also published on 12/28/2017.
Is this real life? They still don’t seem to get it.
It’s hard for me to fathom words at this point because I am utterly amazed at how unprofessional and blinded by privilege the majority of the employees at Sacramento News & Review seem to be. Is it really that difficult to lift victims without useless opinions?
Our indignation is fueled by different things Eric Johnson. I’ll try to break it down for you just this once:
We POC (people of color), overstand (overly understand) that as a white man who didn’t come up facing “constant hostility” from those in a position of power, those paid to protect and serve, how he, Eric Johnson, editor of SN&R couldn’t begin to understand how or why we POC feel how we feel & from where he sits, perched up high in the land of white male privilege, why would he be interested? This is essentially what I got from the closing of his editor’s note, which ended with:
“As outraged as I might feel witnessing police officers nationwide getting away with murder, the people they are killing do not look like me. I can’t expect everyone who is living a life very different from my own to see things the way I do.”
As a human, I feel a certain type of way every single time I hear about police killing another unarmed human, I refuse to train myself to embrace that shit as the new normal, as should you. I especially feel a way when it is a fellow melanated human because it’s all too frequent and far too reminiscent of the lynchings of our ancestors. I know 9/10, police didn’t explore less lethal options even though they wear a whole belt full of them and although they have access to military grade weaponry and are supposedly “well trained”, why is it they stay fearing for their lives? In some cases, such as Joseph Mann’s they pull up, off you then assess the situation and ask questions. Eric Johnson said it himself, when he supposedly confronted John Tennis for doing just that, “You didn’t even give him a chance.”
As a black woman I don’t expect Eric Johnson to see things from my perspective because he’s an old white guy and as an old white guy he needs to recognize his privilege and realize that his point of view on this topic is entirely extraneous. Let black people address black issues. As Black people we are constantly fighting, and I put an emphasis on this because you need to get it, once upon a time we fought for equal rights, now we are fighting for our lives. This is not a game, we cannot lose. Lacking empathy when someone’s life is stolen from them by an officer, whether their skin is purple, green or teal, isn’t a black or white issue. Right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter how you navigate this earth or how you see things. As a resident of the city of Sacramento and a consumer I expect a certain level of professionalism and SN&R is not meeting that. Be very clear..
Ain’t no shared outrage.
If that were the case Eric Johnson would have came out of the building himself or sent one of his reporters out to engage in a dialogue while we were outside. Instead we watched while the SN&R employees congregated in the lobby, shook, looking as if they were plotting an escape route. There was definitely a story out there, in the midst of all of our protesting and I’m genuinely interested to see how this all plays out because for whatever reason SN&R keeps playing themselves.
SN&R repeatedly chooses to direct energy and resources for follow up pieces further missing the people’s points and editor’s notes giving us the authors irrelevant ass thoughts, opinions and feelings on the matter. This energy should have been redirected, like it was suggested numerous times, to lifting the victim, his family or any of the other victims we have lost to police brutality in our city. Do better in 2018 than you have been the last few years Sacramento News & Review. A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there, it’s time for this publication to grow or go.
We might make you uncomfortable or maybe we’ll move something inside of you and inspire you. Either way, Black Lives Matter Sacramento is here & playing is over. We have nothing to lose but these chains and everything to gain. You may disagree with our approach or certain tactics, trust there is a method to the madness. Furthermore, we aren’t in the business of proving ourselves to anyone. Trust Black Leaders. We know what we’re doing and in the event that we don’t we have the brainpower to figure it out. Or perhaps you were under the impression that the movement for Black lives would be temporary, that things would “die down”.
Nah, this is simply the beginning.
The revolution is right now.
Moving forward in 2018, no need for resolutions because we stay ready:
- We will continue to demand accountability and transparency, despite however their fraudulent ass internal investigations result because we all know that that whole process is a joke. #COMMUNITYOVERSIGHT
- We’re going to proceed with calling killer cops, the organizations that employ them and the media outlets that choose to support them out on their shit. If we don’t say it, it won’t get said. Period.
We will do everything within our power to make people aware of the injustices and atrocities committed by law enforcement in their communities and surrounding areas. These things happen in Sacramento; the city we call home, the city where we’re raising our children, the city where it’s damn near a crime to be unhoused or to ask for help, the city where black folks get killed by cops & those same murderers get rewarded for doing so, the city going through hella gentrification. It goes down closer to you and more frequently than you think, but because the police control the narrative that is depicted by the mainstream media you may not think so. I assure you that it is.
Independent research is a major key.
We will heal and aide our communities in healing as we develop, explore and discover new methods in doing so.
This may prove to be most difficult because our race is still “laboring under the influence of a trauma that remains untreated because the diagnosis is not yet public.” (Burrell. 2010 p 249) Healing is essential in order for our race to move forward. Cultivating a fruitful future from a fucked up past will be the furthest thing from easy, but be not confused, we’ve been doing this work.
Our pain is already transforming into power.
And you should already know; we will continue to lift the names of victims that were abused, assaulted or murdered by our local law enforcement agencies:
STILL FIGHTING FOR:
01.06.2017 - Who’s Streets? Our streets! Community Alternatives to Police
01.13.2018 - Know Your Rights While Being Black Pt 1
01.15.18 - #ReclaimMLKDay March
Rest In Power Erica Garner