My video of MC Hammer!!!!!!
(Shameless plug to get your attention, I mean, this really is a video of Hammer, but he’s not singing or doing anything you may expect.)
I took this video yesterday in front of the Oakland Police Dept. The video is of Hammer, a personal friend of Alan Blueford’s family. Alan Blueford is the latest Trayvon Martin, or Oscar Grant. I do not say this to trivialize his murder or his families palpable pain, but to point out that there is an epidemic in Oakland, and elsewhere in America of young black men being murdered by cops, and of the rest of us ignoring it as “their problem”.
I will march today with Hammer, the Grant Family, the Blueford Family, and many many other families affected by the rampant police violence directed at young black men in Oakland, we can no longer sit idly by watching the news and tuning out our brain[pain] to the report of yet another black kid or young black man being shot[in the back] and killed by the police here in Oakland.
Why do you think all these people are shot in the back?
OPD is a paramilitary force that is out of control and completely corrupt, the fear they instill is very very real, hence why innocent people run. If you have had any dealings with OPD in the streets while protesting or just being black/brown in the wrong place at the wrong time, legal or not, you will know why people run from them when they see them coming, especially if you are guilty of the *crime* of being black/brown. This is nothing new. The Riders “incident” happened something like 10 years ago, OPD is on the verge of going into federal receivership because of the fallout from the Riders as well as recent riots related to Oscar Grant’s murder as well as even more recent acts related to Occupy; going into federal receivership is NOT a reward for a job well done. According to Jim Chanin, the civil rights attorney on the Rider’s case and OPD crowd control policy case, no police force in the US has ever been put under Federal receivership, or even come as close as OPD has.
I think that OPD is doing whatever the fuck they want because what does it matter anyway? There are no consequences for their actions except for paid administrative leave, dismissal of out right crimes and violations, or at worst a slap on the wrist[Johannes Mehserle---I know, he's a BART cop, but it still points to cop culture]. The link to the Riders case illustrates that OPD violated many civil rights and broke several laws leading them into possible federal receivership if they did not meet certain requirements and implement significant reforms. Not only has OPD not met those requirements nor implemented all the necessary reforms to keep them out of Federal receivership but they are now in further ‘trouble’ after their actions ‘handling’ Occupiers.
In addition to having a completely corrupt police force that act as if there are no consequences for their actions, we also have a culture in America that devalues black people. I know what I am talking about when I say we have a culture that devalues black people because I have been told by people of every color, ethnicity, and age that I am “lucky because I look white”. My cousins told me repeatedly growing up that I had “good hair” because it came out curly and not “nappy” like theirs. I live in two worlds, or really in between two worlds, I am too black to be white and too white to be black. I hear things that people don’t realize they are telling me, for example, how many people tell me they are racist against black people when they say to me “it’s ok, you look white” as their 1st reaction to me telling them my father is black. I hear my cousins telling me that they think their hair is not as good as mine because their hair is kinky African hair that won’t *behave* like white people’s hair.
I can go on an on with the unique things I have experienced being a colored girl “passing”, but I will leave it with this last story: in high school there was this Mormon boy who wanted to have sex with me. We were at my house fooling around in my bed, about to “do the deed”, and for whatever reason it came up that I am half black. That Mormon boy acted like my flesh was suddenly burning him. He said some stupid shit, that I don’t exactly remember, and then he literally grabbed his clothes and ran out of my room and out of my house, never to be seen again (I am thanking his Mormon god for that!). This hateful boy ran out so fast that I was still turned on by the time I realized he was gone, I mean, he left me in bed on the verge of having sex and I was something like 17 years old and I had a seriously hot and willing body, the last thing I expected was for him to run. He even left the battery charger to his car that he needed to start his car every time it sat overnight anywhere. Oh well.
The point of these very personal stories is to illustrate that disdain, racism and outright oppression against black people is very much alive and well in America. Young black men are preferentially targeted by police in Oakland and other communities in America further proving my point about racism and oppression of black people.
What I am asking is that we stop turning a blind eye, that we stop thinking of this as something that happens to “them”. I am also asking for people to stop thinking that Trayvon or Oscar or Alan somehow deserved what happened to them. The answer to violence is not silence. I am asking for a dialog to begin, for empathy to begin, and then if possible I am asking for action and solidarity in whatever way possible, even if it is just posting this blog or another link with info about Alan Blueford on your Facebook page or tweeting a link or emailing it to all of your friends; if you can’t join me in the streets, then use your voice in whatever way you can to say ENOUGH and to let Alan Blueford’s mom and dad know that you support them, they asked all of us there yesterday in front of the Oakland Police Dept to spread the word about their son’s unjust and cruel murder, they asked us all to use the power of social media and of our voices to let the world know what happen to Alan Blueford, an 18 year old boy with a mom and dad who love him and who was about to graduate from high school next month was shot and killed. Alan was unarmed, he was a kid still, he committed no crime before OPD shot him 3 times in the back*.
*The info in this blog is my opinion only, except where links are provided, and the content of this blog is intended for social activism and solidarity purposes rather than as evidentiary proof of what actually happened to Alan Blueford. The information in this blog regarding the details of the murder of Alan Blueford came from his mother, father, and cousin who spoke yesterday in front of the Oakland Police Dept.