I need to take a break from the Book of Face. The cause of my abstention is the whole NFL/Taking a knee for Colin controversy. Lost in all the back-and-forth I’m reading about the appropriateness (or lack thereof) in the protests taking place around the league was that Kaepernick started taking a knee because of the miscarriage of justice in the Trayvon Martin case, and the tact that so many people of color are killed in similar circumstances and nobody goes to jail. And instead, we’re arguing about disrespect for the flag, these African American athletes are millionaires and they have a lot of nerve, etc. Nobody’s addressing the inciting incident, i.e., the murder of a young man by a vigilante who walked free.
After I got finished arguing with people about this, my friend Yvonne forwarded this to me. It reminds me that there are hundreds of names of victims that we’ve never heard.
There is more detail on each of these individuals at Robin’s @caulkthewagon Twitter feed. My point in sharing it is to note that this isn’t a one-off event. People of color are being attacked in large numbers, and rarely does anybody go to jail.
If you want to do something about this, I could do worse than point you to Danette Chavis’ petition to demand a federal prosecutor to intervene in cases where local prosecutors have not been suitably aggressive in pursuing justice for victims. It ain’t gonna happen with Jeff Session in office, but it’s something we should have had a long time ago (arguably during the trial of the killers of Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner). Ms. Chavis was nice enough to explain how it works below:
The demand is in fact focused on the government itself, in regards to the claims of “liberty and justice for all”. I seek to challenge those claims with a demand the U.S. attorney general prosecute and hold police accountable for the murders committed across the United States! I understand the position taken on policing by the current administration in Washington and its unwillingness to prosecute police for the atrocities committed. But the position taken cannot go unchallenged but lives are at stake, along with every right the people presume to be in possession of! The fact of the matter is “we have no rights” to protect against any atrocity committed by police. What we have are grounds on which to stand within a court of law AFTER the atrocity has been committed. And if you are “dead” as a result of such atrocity, the law or “the rights” you presumed to possess will garner you nothing. We cannot be satisfied with a form of justice that only kicks in AFTER we’ve been injured. We need protections that will forego “loss of life” and maintain the dignity and integrity of those approached by police. And that is not what we currently have.
I cannot promise that signing Danette’s petition (which I have already signed) will fix anything. But this is not now and never was about football. This is about people’s rights to live unmolested in this country.