MESSAGE FROM A BLACK MAN
by Rob Macon
I remember when I was in the 3rd grade at Arlington Elementary Grade School in St. Louis. The year was 1965. I was walking through the schoolyard in the fall one day and I noticed white spray paint on the front wall of the school building with a message that read: “STOP WHITE POLICE FROM KILLING US!” I was afraid. It felt like that darkness when John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Later, I lived through the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember me and my older sister were playing with a puzzle when the news came on TV about King. There was an unrest in the streets. A curfew was issued and we couldn’t go outside. My oldest brother (who has since passed away) then had joined the Black Panthers.
It was common then for white cops to stroll through black communities. We would be standing on the corners just a few steps away from our own front doors of our houses. White cops would roll up in their squad cars and tell us, “We’re going to take a ride around the block. When we come back, this corner better be cleared.” The same bullying and threats back then, are the same terrorizing people experience today.
I think of the Rodney King beating by white cops causing an unrest. Marching, protesting and demonstrating. More recently, the shooting and killing of Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri by a white cop, causing another unrest. Police killed more than 100 unarmed Black people in 2015. Still few crimes charged, none convicted.
The strangling and killing of Eric Garner, by a white cop, the shooting and killing of Redel Jones, by a white cop, the shooting and killing of Alonzo Smith, by a white cop. And we’re still marching, protesting, demonstrating and having sit-ins. One might ask the question, “This non-violent method or path Blacks are taking to seek justice, does it need examining?”
Martin Luther King, Jr. preached non-violence. Malcolm X, at the same time, had said, “How can you be non-violent, as violent as America was in the Korean and Vietnam Wars?” The Holy Bible says, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Reports has it that President Obama recently ordered over 500 troops back to Iraq. Where’s the mention of non-violence in regards to that?
White cops are killing Blacks like it’s hunting season and terrorist groups are killing people by the dozens. Is there a comparison? There was a story again in the Bible when Jesus was slapped in the face. He advised turning the other cheek, the Bible said. I can imagine when those who came back to slap Jesus again, He probably would have said to them, “Wait a minute….you slapped Me the other day. You’re not going to slap Me again today, are you?”
A white supremacist in Texas once tied a black man to the back of his truck and dragged him to his death, dismembering his body. I am absolutely not advocating violence, but perhaps suggesting that the practice of non-violence Blacks use to seek justice needs to be examined. Especially when white cops can kill Blacks and be vindicated, receive a leave of absence with pay, and no crime has been charged. Something is wrong!
It all goes back to when I was in elementary school during the time Martin Luther King was killed, past the Rodney King beating to the Michael Brown killing, continuing on with the most recent, white cops killing Blacks like Philando Castile in Minnesota and white cops killing Alton Sterling in Louisiana, just to name a few. I wouldn’t be surprised if, by the time this article goes to press, another Black will have been killed. The non-violent practice Blacks are using in seeking to get justice…..is killing us!