- Politics and Social Issues»
Black Lives Matter Gunned Down by White Supremacists
Justice for Jamar
Jamar Clark was killed last week in Minneapolis, MN by police during an arrest for suspected assault. The police claimed that he was violently resisting arrest and trying to prevent aid to the victim of the assault by medical professionals. They then claim he went for one of their guns and they shot him. Witnesses on the scene say something very different: that Jamar was handcuffed and lying on the ground. That he was shot in the head, execution style.
Black Lives Matter rallied together to start a peaceful protest near the 4th precinct and for nearly a week, it was a calm gathering of supporters for Jamar Clark and his family, and those who wanted to protest the racist practice of killing unarmed black men by police.
But on November 23, a group of self-proclaimed White Supremacists approached the group and after threatening action, opened fire on the peaceful group of protesters. Five were non-fatally injured and taken to hospitals. It took the police, only a few blocks away, 20 minutes to show up and according to a large number of protesters - the police proceeded to mace the group instead of going after the gunmen. They were also told by police "This is what you wanted, right?"
Miski Noor, a spokesperson of the Black Lives Matter group, told the Star Tribune that the group of white supremacists had shown up a few times prior to the shooting and that police knew about them. Yet they did nothing about it.
According to a Facebook page for the group, the protesters want five things: "They want to see footage from the incident, they want an independent investigation (not by another police agency), they want the media to cover eye-witness testimony (not just the police’s point of view), they want full community oversight with full disciplinary power and they want officers to live in the communities they serve."
Even after this shooting incident, many protesters have decided to remain on site and continue in their efforts.
Black Lives DO Matter
Since the era of slavery in America and up until today, black people in this country have faced institutional oppression and open hostility from communities - they have been painted as criminals, second class citizens, less than human, and not worthy of equal rights and opportunities. Some people believe that racism ended with Martin Luther King, Jr. but it couldn't be further from the truth.
When unarmed black men and woman are being gunned down in the street by police while white terrorists shooting up churches are escorted to the precinct in a bullet proof vest, something is dangerously wrong with the system. When children of color in our school systems are abandoned by teachers and administrators, written off as lost causes, something is very wrong with the system. When people of color and the poor are being pushed out of their homes and neighborhoods because of "gentrification" something is WRONG with the system.
And that's why Black Lives Matter exists. Because it should be inherent that all lives matter and yet our institutions do not stand by the concept. So someone has to stand up and make that injustice known. Someone has to stand up and challenge those in power to make the changes that need to be made. Not just for Jamar Clark and the legions of other black people that have been murdered by the system, but for all their kids who shouldn't have to come up in a world they fear.