Thursday, July 8, 2010
Parable of I Am Oscar Grant
Parable of I Am Oscar Grant
The verdict was announced at 4pm. Guilty of involuntary manslaughter. With a gun enhancement, it carries five to fourteen years. City officials blocked the organizer's of the people's rally from using Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of city hall. They "staged" a rally of their own that was scarcely attended. The people's rally set up in the middle of the street at 14th and Broadway, the crossroads of Oakland, also site of Plato Negro's Academy of Da Corner. After blocking buses and cars for a short time, the organizers were convinced to move to the northwest corner of 14th and Broadway.
But soon 14th and Broadway was overflowing with people, including an abundance of media vans, videographers and photographers.
The MC stressed the rally would focus on youth expressions, later adults were allowed. Anyone could speak. It was a very democratic rally. It is amazing to see people's democracy in action, especially when black bourgeoisie democracy is so pitiful. Again, it was very shameful of Mayor Dellums to not allow the citizens of Oakland to rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza. We remember Frank Ogawa and he was one of the very best Oakland City Councilmen. We know he is turning over in his grave at the disrespect shown Oakland citizens by the Dellums administration. We heard the Mayors remarks at his press conference, speaking of abstract notions of globalism, yet he cannot connect what is being offered youth in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, as a solution to problems in America in general and Oakland in particular. When media persons interviewed me, I basically said the following: the youth of Oakland want justice, nothing more, nothing less. And don't tell me they cannot receive it when America can find the way to offer education, housing and jobs to insurgents and "terrorists" in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. They talk of setting up judicial systems in these lands but cannot convict a cold blooded murderer in America.
The young people expressed their grief and trauma at the light sentence given to former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. They expressed no fear of the "bitch" police. Indeed, several youth who took the mike are students from Academy of Da Corner. Former City Councilman Wilson Riles, Jr. begged me to take the mike but I declined. I feel better passing out literature with my point of view, which I did. When media persons interviewed me, I basically said the following: The youth of Oakland want justice, nothing more, nothing less. The called the police outside agitators since most of them do not live in Oakland, their children do not attend schools in Oakland.
Imagine, the major growth industry in California is the Department of Corrections that mainly incarcerates young black and Latino men. As one youth said at the rally, the prison system is murder, for it castrates youth and families, yet most of the incarcerated are there for petty crimes or crimes for which no proper white man would be jailed with legal representation, additionally they suffer lack of education, drug abuse and mental illness. Oscar Grant senior is incarcerated, his son escaped only to fall victim to the police.
After talking with his aunt Fatty, we learned Oscar Grant, Jr. was no angel, but was working as a butcher and raising his daughter, thus he was trying to do the right thing but was murdered in cold blood by a beast in blue uniform.
It is no comfort he was not killed by another black man. Several youth spoke at the rally on the theme of black love and unity. I told media persons interviewing me that in the crowd and in our community are persons and families whose slain sons and daughters get no mention in the media, their killings never solved, so families suffer in silence and bitterness, because their is no rally for them, no trial, no homicide solved, nothing. There is nowhere for them to assuage their trauma and unresolved grief.
As I walked the crowd with a brother, he wondered whether anything was going to happen. I told him just wait til dark. And so it was, although I departed the area before dark, passing police amassed on the back streets.
There was looting and arrests. Massive police presence in the downtown areas, police from all the outlying areas, including CHP, Fremont, Berkeley, Richmond. The Footlocker was looted, obviously people needed shoes!
The anarchists were there dressed in black. Now we heard the anarchists at the G-20 meeting in Toronto, Canada were agent provocateurs. Unless the police justify need, 80 OPD will be laid off Monday, so we suspect they are part of the problem. Again, the youth said at the rally that the police are the outside agitators.
I also told those who interviewed me that Oscar Grant received justice when Lovelle Mixson killed four police shortly after they murdered Oscar, thus he executed people's justice. And Dr. Fritz Pointer said it best, "When Lovelle Mixson took out those four pigs, the masses enjoyed an 'obscene pride' after years of abuse under the color of law."
Personally, I abhor violence. I do not kill a fly in my house, nor a spider, a gnat. But there comes a time when human beings must stand and represent their humanity. We cannot be consumed by wild beasts. You want to hear Oscar's mother after the verdict, "My son was murdered, murdered, murdered!"
Yes, I am Oscar Grant. He is my son lost to self inflicted violence. He is my son caught between the police and his own black brothers. He is my son killed but never reported in the papers, never in the media, never in the court, a son silent in the night. I am Oscar Grant.
I want justice. I want education, not incarceration. I want employment with a living wage. I want housing fit for human beings. I am Oscar Grant.