OSCAR GRANT (01/17/09)
In the wee hours of January 1, 2009 a young man named Oscar Grant who was twenty two years from Hayward and a father of a four year old daughter - was shot in a cold blooded manner by a Bart police officer named Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale station in Oakland.
Since that day there have been large peaceful gatherings, protests, hearings before the Bart Board and a host of other events to rally support for Oscar Grant but more to address the senseless killing of this young Black man and father.
In prior years hundreds of young people - many of color - have suffered, many shot and killed when other methods could have been used to save the lives of the victims. In became routine to hear a young black man who shot and killed. No one in the many other instances had the guts to go further. Some did in other ways - comforting the family - making funeral arrangements - getting angry but letting the matter go no further.
For some months now some of us have been having meetings all over the Bay Area in Oakland, in Sacramento, in Modesto, in East Palo Alto, in Stockton, here in San Francisco. The meetings are to bring people of good faith together and address issues that some of us take for granted and look at in a zombie like manner. For many of us it is a matter of survival and for many others a slow death. Think about it. Now, think what you can do about it?
A saturation point had been reached and this time many had actual videos of what happened of that fateful day with Oscar Grant lying dead on the floor. There was a ground swelling of sorts, the perfect storm had all the elements in place and there came the Oscar Grant incident and paradoxically on the first day of the New Year - 2009. If that is not a sign - I do not know what is?
This death must not be forgotten - ever. As I said some of us laid the foundation to address issues. Especially issues that affected our young Black sisters and brothers - so when the Oscar Grant incident took place - we had laid the foundation and could take this issue to a better place. This could not have happen with good women and men listening to the word of God.
I attended the key meetings and the key protests linked to the Oscar Grant incident. My humble advice to everyone is to pray and have a holistic attitude about this incident. If we really love Oscar Grant and want to do something positive - let us make sacrifices. Without sacrifice - sacrifices, without any conditions - there can be no love. And let me be very clear there can be no genuine LOVE without SACRIFICES.
Some leaders have stepped up to the podium but for all the wrong reasons. Others in this incident have stepped up and are NOT educated on issues. Since so many have come together - the organizations that care should write a one page manifesto that lays down their objectives to better the situation with the sacrifice of Oscar Grant as the focal point. This must be our rallying foundation.
After the protests - the shouting and the yelling - the letting off of steam - there must come a time when after the storm there is a calming period. At this juncture wisdom, experience, and a vision unseen before must prevail to take us all to a better place. The deliberation must spring from a moral compass, fine tuned, and able to stand the forces of evil. This cannot happen in a vacuum and this cannot happen without deep felt Spirituality.
The seeds must be planted and the seeds must be good. The soil must be fertile and the caring and nurturing is a long process and one must be vigilant. These are trying times and many unforeseen hurdles will come our way. First and foremost pride and our petty egos that fail to achieve anything much. Throughout this time - some are trying to steal the limelight - wanting their fifteen minutes of fame. Such drab moments sparkle for a moment and then fade away. Remind us that no better of the Plantation day - of divide and rule.
Now is the time to write a manifesto with a holistic approach. Now, is the time to formulate Community Policing with simple directives that bring about healing and establish trust? Now, in the time to establish Safe Havens so that our youth can establish protocols for themselves with a little guidance from the Elders and so in authority. There will be NO solution without youth participation.
Missing in the equation is the role of the youth. If so many youth are dying - have we, the Elders - once asked from the youth - to sit down and come out with a plan - where the youth can resolve their issues and point out to the Elders and authorities - what is it that is causing this mayhem, killings and shooting, the loss of life that should be precious to those that value decency and the humanity?
We have Christian pastors, priests, and ministers who talk the talk but do not walk the walk. If God is with you and if you have taken upon yourselves to be the good shepherd - why is it you all are missing in action? Why is it the various denominations are not gathering together in UNITY to address this situation of killing, shooting and mayhem in our communities?
Why are we not addressing the issues of single mothers raising children without any support from men and their supposed to be fathers? Why do the children have to suffer and be brought into this world to learn to survive under perilous conditions - each and every day?
Incarceration is a trillion dollar business. Half of those incarcerated in all the jails all over the Nation are Black? Something in wrong with this equation and many Law Enforcement - if they see someone Black - assume they are criminals? This attitude must change as drastic as the White House being called the Black House and rightly so because it was built by mostly Black Slaves.
There are many hidden forces that led to the killing of Oscar Grant and the many before him that no one chose to stand up for and protest. This is a crying shame. There is much we must do - for all that we did not do in the past. So many of us do not feel the pain of others because we are selfish and we think no end to ourselves and our petty motives steeped in selfishness. If few step up to the plate there are too many to hurdle stones and bring all sorts of obstacles and fail to support the sister or brother that means - well.
I talk deep with our children and many of them see no hope with the adults behaving as the do in one manner while telling the children and youth to behave in another. There are underlying forces that many of us do not have the ability to discern and more comprehend - because we are not compassionate and less spiritual. Again and again you see the leaders in this movement that are tying to make a name for themselves and less look at the situation at hand from a holistic point of view. Now in the time to seize the movement and take the thousands that need help to a better place with that BIG ego playing a role.
To the many leaders that are my friends and who I have personally expressed by thanks - you know who you are - God Bless You All. The death of Oscar Grant is a clarion call to all children, youth, women, and men of good faith to look deep within our souls and bring about a fruition of actions - to bring peace on this Earth.
Enjoy the photographs and the link below to an interview below:
A gathering for Oscar Grant (photographs)
An insight to the riots linked to Oscar Grant (interview)
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