Right now I can say that I can't recall a post subject that has drawn more attention on my blog than right now on the subject of Oscar Grant
. Not that the major news media has been focused on this issue until there were riots in the streets of California. Yes Oakland is enraged, as well they should be.
I have watched more people comment on my own expression of rage on my youtube commentary
than anything but the election of President Obama, based on the same amount of time. I have recorded more visits and views, at each and every blog that I own or write for that covered this issue.
But I am noticing a few things.
One of the first things I noticed is how quiet a large section of the internet has become. I do not believe that a single White visitor to any blog I write to or own has said a word. Normally I have commentary from around the world, people of every race, creed, ethnicity all comment on various things I say. When it comes to race relations in America I normally get feedback from various Americans across the nation. Some agree with my views, others do not. And inevitably I have some that just want to be racist.
But I'm hearing nothing right now from anyone but African Americans - apparently. The people that defend cops when I correctly point out their policies on brutality on African Americans and other minorities are quiet. People that think my comments about race in America are biased or too extreme are silent. In fact, even the racists that find fault with any comment that reveals America is racially divided have nothing to say.
Considering the number of visitors I have every month, and the huge numbers viewing my posts on Oscar Grant, I find this odd. On 5 different blogs (including Black and White Blog
which is focused on race relations issues), one of which (1800blogger.com
) dwarfs my own blogs in terms of visitors each month, there is nothing being said. WHY?
Is it because the only concern of the major news media is the riots that have disrupted businesses and thus they are covering the news? Is it that the videos of the event cannot be edited in any manner that brings question of the murderous guilt of officer Johannes Mehserle? Rather ex-officer as he has resigned in an attempt to pre-empt further investigation and avoid punishment as well as embarrassment on the Oakland police.
Why are people rioting in Oakland, why is the national African American community outraged? Because this murder has been brushed aside by the media and excused by the police - like the beating of Rodney King, and the murder of Sean Bell and so on. African Americans are tired of being targets, of being ignored in the news (except when a negative statement can be made), of receiving a second-class justice while being depicted as objects of fear, violence and hate.
A White man lost in the woods gets national attention. White children that are missing gets national attention. A White man stealing millions in dollars gets national attention. White stars die and they get year-long attention. Each of these have been news items in recent weeks, and each received days of news coverage and posts on these stories have gotten dozens of responses across the blogosphere. But when the victim of a crime is Black and the criminal is a White police officer it all goes quiet.
Well I am glad I have helped raise attention on this issue. And more importantly on the fact that this is not an isolated event. That this is a policy found across the nation. That the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of this ex-cop walking away from this cold-blooded murder without spending a day in jail.
The news media have acted like cowards. They hid this story from the nation, for reasons I cannot name. They have failed to draw attention to the very thing they exist to do - make the public aware, keep all levels of law and enforcement accountable to all the people, and bring justice to those who have been wronged.
If this was kept out of the major media because of ratings, then they are worse than cowards. Fear of losing viewers because it makes cruel, vile, White police officers look bad is their job. Yet they do this job poorly.
How much attention did the assault of 15 cops on 3 Philadelphia Black men
receive? Do you know what has happened to the case since that video was released? Do you know what happened to the 5 officers that brutally shot some 51 times Sean Bell and his companions in their car in New York City
? How about the 6 Whites arrested and on trial for the rape, torture, and kidnapping of Megan Williams
? And I can go on and on.
But I bet you know what happened to OJ Simpson
, every day. Or the arrest of Wesley Snipes
(and far less so his victories and overly-harsh punishment on minor non-federal charges). Or the arrest and trial of Bobby Cutts
So I am not surprised that so many people that want to argue with me about the racial bias in movies and television
(in front of and behind the camera), commercials
, at airports
, and so many other places and events in America are absolutely wordless in this case. Because there is no question of guilt. There is no twist or doubt or anything but guilt. And it was racial if not racist in its motivation. And again there is no question there.
All White people are not like ex-officer Johannes Mehserle. The shocked reaction of some of the officers on the scene tells me that not all officers in Oakland are like him. But when the news media wants to avoid the entire subject because it makes them uncomfortable, or whatever is their reason, it makes it hard not to feel that they all are like Mehserle.
Obviously I am still angry. And I have every right to be. The White part of this nation was insanely upset about OJ wining in L.A. Now imagine if African Americans were to be equally as insanely upset over the multiple, repeated, unjustified, unpunished violence and murders enacted by police officers against us. If you can imagine what that would bring, the only question I can ask is why does the news media seem to want to provoke such a reaction by failing to do its job?
Oscar Grant's family deserves tens of millions for his wrongful death. Ex-officer Johannes Mehserle needs to be in jail, convicted and put to death. And the news media is obligated to cover both of these things, for days, at every step, to ensure such an outcome and preserve some semblance of justice in America. The silence as seen so far is not enough. Action and active participation needs to occur.
Just like it would if Grant had been White.
Labels: american justice, Bobby Cutts, Johannes Mehserle, Megan Williams, news media, OJ Simpson, Oscar Grant, race conflict, race in America, Sean Bell