For the second time in two weeks Black America received a collective blow that has left emotional scarring. Black people are now faced with the reality that terroristic justice seems to be normal when it comes to policing the Black community.
First, there was the St. Louis grand jury decision regarding Darren Wilson, the white police officer who gunned down unarmed Black teen Michael Brown. All the community wanted was an arrest and for Wilson to be charged, for what many consider to be a cold-blooded killing. However, the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson. Now, we have the decision by a Staten Island, New York, grand jury did not indict Daniel Pantaleo, a White police officer, for the chokehold death of unarmed Black male Eric Garner. There were high hopes for this particular case since footage of the violent incident was captured on videotape. Garner’s gasping last words of “I can’t breathe” as Pantaleo choked the life from his body created a visceral response for the viewer. But still justice is denied.
As protesters of all races and colors take to the streets of America and stage “die- ins” at shopping malls and on the streets, the cry for justice is loud and clear. The moral outrage and anger expressed is similar to the emotional impact of the 9/11 terror attacks. The grand jury decisions were like two attacks on the collective humanity of the Black male in this country, highlighting the death and suffering resulting from modern-day policing in the Black community.
America’s cry for justice goes to the only man who can do something, President Obama. Obama has been careful to avoid issues of race throughout his presidency, to his detriment. Now, he must deal with the issue of crime and race in America in such a way that will satisfy the disaffected portions of American society. A tall order for sure, but one that must be filled in order for the nation to survive this crisis.