March 9, 2009
Hmmm, if our new black president was driving through Bellaire, Texas, or any other affluent, white suburb, is it safe to say that his license plate would be run and he would be stopped, frisked, interrogated and probably shot???
Now, the old me would have immediately replied "YES". But the new me hesitates.
I am almost certain, that prior to President Obama's presidency, he was stopped in places like Waukegan, Oak Lawn or Elmhurst...after all, the one thing that we have been trying to ignore throughout this beautiful process we have witnessed, is that it is dangerous to be a young, black man in America. But today, shouldn't it be safe to assume, especially if you are still a small percentage of the population, that you would be considered non-threatening.
I typically try to stay abreast of the various injustices committed against young, black men, but this one I somehow missed.
I preach to the young brothers I come in contact with everyday in my office on the tips and nuances I know of that should help them stay alive long enough to reach their 21st birthdays. I also teach it to my son. But these occurrences are beginning to increase again so maybe all that we are doing just isn't enough.
Many of these young men, middle to lower class, have the run of the "hood" and are at the risk of many, many obstacles. These men have the lowest survival rate.
Then there are the cases such as that of Robbie Tolan. The 23 year old Minor League baseball player and son of Major League baseball, retired player Bobby Tolan, of the 1967 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Young Robbie was gunned down New Years Eve in his own driveway, in front of his parents, by Bellaire Texas Police.
We have heard story after story after story of heinous crimes committed against black men. It is getting tired. White men just have to stop. It is time to stop.
Officers shooting young, unarmed men of color is an epidemic. I really want to be writing about how I feel gangs should be charged as terrorists, but every time I go to type my thoughts, I hear of another situation where someone has been accosted simply because they were DWB (Driving While Black).
This young, promising, 23 year old baseball player has a bullet lodged in his liver forever.
This story, which is three months old, is a viscious reminder of the way things really are in America. Robbie's recovery is uncertain. His case, from what I understand, has not been heard yet. And I am wondering where are the petitions? Where is Al Sharpton? Where are the Jesses?
I supposed they are BOGGED DOWN!!! Or maybe they have problems of their own.
With so many cases surfacing, Katrina's mass drownings, and the State of Our Union, we can no longer keep up. Jena 6 and Sean Bell, and all of the nameless too, who are unarmed and not in situations that warrant being gunned down makes me also wonder if there is anything that we can do?? Maybe there just is not.
I really just don't know...DO YOU???