Tulsa, Trayvon and Me -- I AM elated local authorities along with the FBI and the US Marshall’s office caught two suspects in the random shooting, killing and wounding of five African Americans as they walked on a street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On the heels of the Trayvon Martin murder, handled SO incompetently by Florida officials, this latest act of mayhem if not handled promptly could result in more violence and rioting of people who are fed up being the main component of this nation’s indelible stain. I NEVER advocate for violence but who in their right mind could not understand a historically besieged people’s fury when they are the recipients of racist violence which knows no end?
Unlike the people they killed who will never see justice, the perpetrators of these heinous acts will get their day in court. Trayvon Martin’s murderer SHOULD get the same day in court and while they are at it in Florida repeal or amend significantly the damn “stand your ground law.”
One Tulsa news blogger said "there are always mitigating circumstances." Oh really? In this case it surely does not seem so. But I will not, like the victims’ killers would, rush to judgment. The blogger sounded like a neo-Nazi. Perhaps he is and perhaps he is not but what kind of a sadistic statement is that when two white men go around shooting numbers of black people at random, victims they did not know and who, as reported, were out for a walk. It is clear on which part of the political spectrum this right wingnut extremist lies when he makes a statement like that. Unfortunately too many in this nation feel the same as he or simply do not care. I care.
I only wish Trayvon Martin received the same care. Alas the infection and putrification of our nation which has not overthrown its Civil War past still poisons its sinew. How is it that our Founders, men of the Enlightenment and its birth of liberalism could live with the hypocrisy they created? A nation built on that liberalism seemed to forget or did not think that human beings dragged here against their will might one day rise up against the injustice viciously perpetrated against them. Our Founders sadly did not understand that the chains they placed around African American necks, the whip lashes they inflicted upon African American’s backs, the rapes they viciously perpetrated upon African American women would be revenged and that those chains would one day be thrown off, the whips stopped, the scars healed and a people would seek the full measure of the justice they so belatedly deserved.
And yet, there are still white apologists for a system so rancid it inflicts, even until this hour, mind numbing illness. Our nation is torn apart by the disease at its cancerous core eating away at the body politic which cannot live because of it. Tulsa and Trayvon have many things in common but if nothing else what they do not have in common is the Tulsa killings will NOT go unavenged like so many other black killing by whites historically have.
I believe Iowa has the death penalty for crimes such as this. I am usually against the death penalty BUT in this case IF found guilty I want that Shakespearean pound of flesh. Yes, I am angry. Any person of conscience SHOULD be angry when innocents’ lives are taken from them merely because of an accident of birth. A hate crime murder is worse than other murders because it threatens not merely the victims but ALL the members of the group to which the victim belonged. This country's war against people of color MUST and WILL stop as Malcolm X so rightly said “by any means necessary.”
The Tulsa victims, Trayvon's ghost and I want the long arc of the moral universe to bend toward the justice the Founders promised this nation. That promissory note about which, Dr. King so eloquently spoke, is STILL not satisfied and the moral arc of justice is not yet bending far enough for me.