A man was lynched today. These words resonated deep with me after Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012, and since then those words are still relevant even here in Sacramento. Did those words surprise you when you just read them? Did the word “lynch” seem like an ancient term, no longer relevant to our era? I’m sure your answer is no. Black death has become such a regular concept that no one even blinks an eye when a life is taken. Even here, in Sacramento, when cops pull a trigger and call a Black man a thug, it’s accepted as truth without question. That’s not how it is for Black folks though. Each time a family is robbed of a life, we take it personal. When a beautiful Black life is taken by law enforcement or so called “justice system,” it resonates deeply because it could have been us, our siblings, our nephews, our children, or our parents. This shit is always personal, and in our city it has been going on for far too long without being checked.
At one point our former mayor, in reference to the situation that took place in Ferguson, said that “it doesn’t happen in Sacramento.” He, like many others, didn’t believe, didn’t think that Black people get murdered and their deaths are ignored here. Then Sacramento Sheriff killed Adriene Ludd, then Sacramento Police killed Dazion Flenaugh, then Sacramento Police abused Patricia Hill, then Sacramento Police killed Joseph Mann and shot Armani Lee, then CA highway patrol killed Jason King, then Rocklin Police killed Lorenzo Cruz, then Chico Police killed Desmond Phillips, then Sacramento Police beat Nandi Cain for jaywalking, then Sacramento Sheriff killed Ryan Ellis and Mikel McIntyre, then Citrus Heights Police held James Nelson’s bare body to the searing summer asphalt causing third degree burns, then Sacramento Police charged Zityrua Abraham’s home and slammed her on her pregnant belly and arrested a member of her household then realized they had the wrong home, and now here we are where Sacramento Police killed Stephon Clark. You can read about the general details of these victims here.
Not only does it happen in Sacramento, there is a history of abuse and corruption in our city, and for years no one even paid attention to the abuse that was taking place and the lives that were taken. You know what I mean about corruption? Like District Anne Schubert accepting thousands of dollars from Law Enforcement agencies, police training being outsourced and completion being lied about, or city officials accepting thousands of donations from Law Enforcement. These stories are merely from the last 2 years! Who knows how many stories are now buried so deep in lies that uncovering them seems unattainable. Multiple families have been robbed of their loved ones before the national news gave any attention to Sacramento, before Law Enforcement were showing up in riot gear, and running over protesters.
Image found via google
To say we are tired of seeing cold blooded murderers get the presumption of innocence with paid vacation while Black victims are demonized is an understatement. The drive to fight will never be extinguished, and this shit--every single incident--is further trauma. We should not have to pick up the pieces these broken systems leave behind and create healing, art and a legacy because of them. Seeing Black death go viral is trauma, and that pain and anger is valid. The emotions that arise when another Black life it taken cause PTSD symptoms. In a PBS article titled, “When black death goes viral, it can trigger PTSD-like trauma,” Monnica Williams states, “There’s a heightened sense of fear and anxiety when you feel like you can’t trust the people who’ve been put in charge to keep you safe…combined with the everyday instances of racism, like micro aggressions and discrimination, that contribute to a sense of alienation and isolation. It’s race-based trauma.” Seeing the police and experiencing discomfort or getting tense is a direct result of the trauma that this system has caused within each of us. You can read this article here. When we say FUCK THE POLICE, believe that anger and pain. It is not violence it is rage and it’s the coal that fuels our fire, our fight. As Tanya Faison said, “Anger isn’t violence, it’s anger. Sadness isn’t violence, it’s sadness.”
Our upcoming events this week:
We have partnered with Color of Change to attain signatures for DA Anne Schubert to charge Stephon Clark's murderers and we will be delivering them 4/19 and need the support of the community. More information here.