Editorial

Hands Up! Blacks In America Can’t Breathe

Another day another white cop escapes justice after a Grand Jury found Officer Daniel Pantaleo not guilty of killing 43 year old Eric Garner who is a father of six children. This has outraged the black community and New York is facing protest by African Americans and any other citizen who felt outrage with this outcome of the grand jury. When charges were filed against Officer Daniel Pantaleo many people thought justice would finally be served since the entire incident was videotaped by a bystander. One can clearly see Mr. Garner was not armed and yes he was upset and angry, but at no point did he or his actions posed any threat to any of the police officers present there.

This is all a microcosm of events which started a few months back when Michael Brown an unarmed African American teenager in Ferguson Missouri was shot by a white police officer. Since then a twelve year old boy named Tamir Rice was also shot by Timothy Loehmann a cop judged unfit for duty back in 2012 in Cleveland Ohio. The boy was holding a gun which looked real and did not have the orange seal which would mean it is a fake gun but was shot immediately by the Officer Loehmann when he arrived at the scene. Now after reading the reports with regard to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and the conflicting eye witness account, one could maybe side with grand jury decision, acquitting Officer Darren Wilson. But in the case of Eric Garner it is very difficult to understand how the police officer involved in chocking this man to death was allowed to walk when enough video footage was made available for the jury to see.

In the video one can see clearly Eric Garner was a large man but in absolutely no physical shape to resist the police officers. But then one can site hindsight and time to analyze the incident. But still was it necessary to put so much pressure on a man who looked like he will be out of breath in a few moments if he had continued shouting. He did not charge the police officers nor did he try to strike them when they grappled him. All he said was “I Can’t Breathe” which has now become another lexicon right after “hands Up.”  It seems every time a black person is stopped by the police he or she must desist from moving and immediately get on their knee with their hands behind their back and start praying, maybe then the chances of getting shot or chocked to death should get minimized. But the way things are going in America, maybe that is aiming a little too high. We all want respect but what happens when a particular race of people are constantly under scrutiny and their self respect is regularly violated. How would that effect them at a psychological level should be beyond the comprehension for many people unless they are a minority and suffer from all kinds of bigotry.

A Police Officer asks a man to get his license and registration, the man cordially complies and then when he turns his back to get the papers he gets tasered. Another footnote of police excess which will get swiped under the carpet. The protest which is going on in America right now is the festering but unspoken problem called Race Relations and even after so many years it exist in the streets, alleys and towns all across the United States of America. To the politicians, this subject is as dangerous as handling plutonium and not enough discussions and a desire for consciences outreach has been made.

It seems the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, the March to Washington by Martin Luther King in 1963 and the Selma to Montgomery marches have no meaning and as if progress was never made. America elected its first mixed race African American as its President which is a big achievement but the dream Dr. King had for all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics and in hindsight Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.

Visitors time, folks! Look who is coming to town. Barack Obama, ardent believer of the aerial bombarding doctrine in preference to the boots-on-the- ground one of his august predecessors, closely on the heels of Vladimir Putin, great proponent of the take-it-if-you-like-it theory, successfully put to experiment in Georgia and Ukraine. Watch it all on the telly, for you are going to get nowhere near the places of visit by the VVIPs for reasons of security, theirs and, to some extent, yours.