On Oscar Grant (and that other Black dude on TV last night)

9 Jul

Three (pink) Protestors at Oscar Grant Rally have signs taped to their backs that say "Don't Shoot"

I watched the verdict last night. Not on any TV news station because NONE of the major networks had any coverage of the rage and pain of the people in Oakland and LA last night. Tweeting with folks across time zones and continents, we tried to hold Oscar Grant’s memory.

As my Twitter Timeline filled with anguish, police positions, disbelief, it also became populated by folks who seemed to have a similar level of rage (or excitement) for LeBron’s decision to Join the Miami Heat.

I have to say that sports are not my thing and I already don’t hold professional athletes in much esteem but the reality that folks were more or even equally incenced by LeBron’s decision was beyond what I could process in an evening. An ESPN hour long interview, The Decision, sponsored by Bing “the decision engine” (gag), was all that major networks wanted to talk about. The contradictions of this country are astounding. LeBron’s lust for victory is more compelling than the realities of our criminal (in)justice system. Did I mention that NO major TV news network covered the trial  last night (I have a deep and abiding hatred for CNN; we have history)?

Riot Police in full gear; helmets, shields, bullet proof vests, etc.

I suppose I was also surprised by folks tweeting as though it was just another day in America, like this grave injustice didn’t occur, like this kind of thing happens all the time… oh wait. It does. And the fact that it does makes people more likely to check out than check in. More likely to say ‘F*ck it I want the new Nike’s’ than to question the system that sells you rubber and cloth with an 1000% mark up. As Summer M. asked “can we blame a cat for being nihilistic? if he screams “f[*]ck bitches, get money”? what decent alternative do we have to offer? our tweets?”

I don’t know that I have an answer…

Side Note: Johannes Meshserle does not sound like the name of a good ol’ American boy born and raised by parents born and raised in the US of A. Though I have no evidence of this my hunch is that the Meshserle clan don’t have an extended history in this country. Seems like an immigrant white boy, or a white boy that’s the son of immigrants, makes for a better first time “involuntary manslaughter” police perp than someone whose colonial and prison industrial complex roots are deeper. That and multiple “caught on tape” videos of Meshserle’s deed that can’t be erased from public memory…

2 Responses to “On Oscar Grant (and that other Black dude on TV last night)”

  1. susiemaye July 9, 2010 at 11:29 AM #

    Moya, you’ve really given voice to a lot that I was feeling last night. I mean, I’m from South Florida. Woo hoo to LeBron and all that, but really, really? An unarmed person, handcuffed, on the ground gets shot point blank and that’s involuntary manslaughter? In what world? In our world. Not 1960, but in the “progressive,” “post-racial” world of 2010, black president and all. Thank you for this post.

  2. ashoncrawley July 11, 2010 at 8:47 AM #

    thanks Moya for this piece, seriously. i suppose i’m still at a loss about this entire thing and how it reflects the very stale, stagnant ways in which our society thinks about power, about race, about relations.

    between this and BP and Arizona and Texas Textbooks…a brutha is fatigued. i know we gotta move on, gotta build anyway…but yeah…this is all so fatiguing.

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