COCK-EYED SOCIAL JUSTICE MUST MEET BLACK UNITY

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Do Black lives matter? Not if you gauge it by a recent verdict wherein Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was given a six-year and nine-month prison sentence for pumping 16 shots into the body of Chicago teen Laquan McDonald in 2014.

During the original trial many Blacks were elated when a guilty verdict was handed down on Van Dyke. His recent sentencing, however, deflated that elation. People feel betrayed at the incredibly light sentence that he received. There has been such an outcry that newly elected Illinois States Attorney Kwame Raoul has called for an investigation into the matter.

The judge, before announcing the verdict, gave a little speech that revealed he knew the verdict was going to be extremely unpopular.

It is obvious to many that the verdict was delivered based on a type of political expediency. The judge had to weigh the backlash he would get from the police against that which would come from Black activists. He chose what was most important to him, and apparently what he thought to be less threatening.

Actually, Black people have been getting the message from a lot of sectors, political and otherwise, that they are thought to be inconsequential, that they are powerless. Unfortunately, this is also the message that comes from within the Black community.

If we look at how we react to Black on Black violence, it is apparently viewed as less important than white on Black violence.

Case in point, there was the instance of the seven-year-old girl, Jazmine Barnes, killed in a drive by shooting in Texas while riding in a car with her mother. The Black community became outraged, especially because the mother of the victim said that she saw a white man in a red or maroon pickup truck speed by, which lent to her conclusion that he was the culprit.

Several days passed before it was revealed that the white person was just speeding up to get out of the way when he heard gunshots. Two Black men turned out to be the perpetrators, and one actually confessed to the crime. It was gang related and Jazmine Barnes became an unintended victim.

Two things happened when this was announced.

There was a group of Black respondents who refused to believe that the Black man did the shooting. They called it suspicious and preferred to think that the confession had been coerced.

Secondly, other people basically lost interest in the issue. It was almost as though you could hear a collective sigh of disappointment because suddenly the white man was not the shooter. It turned out to be less important when it became known that a Black man killed the innocent child.

This tendency of Black people to place greater emphasis on what white people do belies a kind of internal racism directed at self. The sad truth is, and this will probably be vigorously denied by a lot of people, that Blacks give more time, strength and attention directed outwardly toward white people than they give to the very same issues that have a Black origin.

The Laquan McDonald case deservedly garnered a lot of attention. The cover-up around it was egregious and people are right in condemning the result. But there is another side to this story. Black men are killing each other regularly, so much so that each new death garners barely a yawn from the Black populace.

How does the Laquan McDonald fiasco tie in with Black self-hate and apathy? In truth, there are many community ills that would disappear if Black people made a serious attempt to work together to get rid of its internal challenges. Once internal unity develops, once we stop making excuses for those in our community who take advantage of the sympathy and support that they receive while continuing to destroy the community from within, we will emerge strong. Only then will we be able to effectively fight those enemies from without.

This idea may sound unrealistic to many people, but the fact is that we will not emerge triumphant until this happens. There is a popular saying that “a house divided cannot stand.” This is very true. If our enemies, such as those who feel that they can pump 16 bullets into the body of a Black teenager who was walking away, faced a wall of unity, they would not prevail. Period. Until we face the self-hate and face our enemies from a unified stance, the Laquan McDonald situations will continue to happen. A Luta Continua.

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