Friday, January 09, 2009

From Lailan for Oscar Grant: No Accidents

loved ones afar,

if you haven't already heard, this is what's poppin' off in oakland right now -- i couldn't make it to the protest this afternoon at the BART station where this young man was shot on new year's day, but the protest came to me instead as i was in my office working late in downtown oakland, as helicopters hovered above and police sirens sounded and screams filled the air, and the anger erupted right outside my window. below is some of the news coverage, the raw video of the murder, and some of my thoughts.


* * * * *
if you haven't watched the footage caught at BART of the whole incident already, it's f*ckin' intense:

there are no accidents here.

the collection of black and brown bodies to 'maintain order' is not an accident.
the dehumanizing detention and abuse of our people in public, everyday, is not an accident.
a young white police man's lack of training and fear of black people is not an accident.
the hiring of white men not from our community to police us is not an accident.

there is only anger here.

here in my belly as i watch the video caught on someone's camera phone,
as crowds of people watched this murder in shock and disbelief and dissent.
here in this country where young black men are shot in the back on a regular basis,
where trigger-trained cops and their departments are never, ever held accountable.
here in this city where oscar grant worked as a butcher to take care of his daughter,
in this town where young people are buried at a faster rate than elders pass on,
here, all that lingers is a desire to smash something, to yell loudly into the still cold air.

there is power here.

there is the people taking back the power to tell the world the truth here.
there is myspace and youtube and camera phones to tell our own stories now.
there is the impact of seeing, like rodney king, that forces us to re-connect, again.
there is power in our re-connecting to injustice in intimate and visceral ways again,
in knowing again the pain in our bodies of news stories we had become numb to.

oakland, CA

fyi, some action steps & news coverage below...

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