Posts tagged ‘eric garner’

Missing the Mark – Racism and Reporting

This was an article I wrote on Dec. 24, 2014, and submitted to a local paper. Not hearing back from them since the holidays, I figured I might as well get it out here. This is a response to an article written by Mark Holmberg which you can look up if you want to read it, I don’t want to give it the clicks.

Mark Holmberg is a staple of the Richmond journalism scene. I remember being a kid and reading his columns in the Richmond Times Dispatch. As an adult I have been interviewed by Mark for his new gig at WTVR CBS 6, and seen him at numerous protests and events around town. He’s been in my home on several occasions. Mark is a human, you know, like the rest of us, and a perfectly nice guy in person. Sometimes, Mark’s perspective which he infuses his reports with is sympathetic or similar to my position on an issue. But there are other times where Mark’s reporting makes a strong case for the old concept that if you don’t have nuthin nice to say don’t say nuthin at all.

Unfortunately, the views Mark has chosen to broadcast regarding the Eric Garner and Mike Brown protests fall into this category. His December 21st article, starts off badly and doesn’t get any better. He seems to draw ties from the world wide protests against police brutality, murder of people of color, institutional racism and impunity from accountability for the police to the mentally ill man who killed his partner, a woman of color, and then two NYPD officers. There is no connection between #blacklivesmatter protests and Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the man who shot the two cops, and there is no reason to try to delegitimize organizing and protest efforts by people of color and their allies around these issues based on faulty logic.

Mark draws rapid, trite conclusions, about both the Eric Garner and Mike Brown decisions. I have been patient with white people who do not understand or sympathize with the Mike Brown murder and Ferguson situation. I know it is hard for folks to see past their white privilege, especially without video evidence (sigh). But white people need to learn to listen to people of color and believe what is being said. White privilege protects white folks from certain experiences and blinds us to certain realities. (more…)

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Word Vomit for a Vomitty World

I feel like throwing up. I just finished a day of work, and get the news that a friend of mine died on Monday, and that the NYPD cop who strangled Eric Garner, a black man, to death on the streets of New York got off scot free.
What kind of a world do we live in.
Seriously, what kind of world is this?
Who lets this happen???
We do.
Every single damn day.

So times like these are incredibly overwhelming. I feel all the emotions inside of me welling up like a scream or sob is about to burst forth, but I can’t even process the feelings enough to go there. It feels like I’m vibrating with the things I am feeling. If this is coming out strangely, its because I am not so practiced at talking about my feelings, and I don’t even know if we have the words to describe the feelings of loss, sorrow, anger, hopelessness, etc. that strike me in times like these.

When the verdict came back on Darren Wilson, the cop who murdered Michael Brown, I didn’t have the energy for the emotions. I didn’t feel exactly numb, but I felt a little jaded, a bit like I expected that outcome and couldn’t see how things would change. I think I would have felt stronger if I’d been able to make any of the events in Richmond protesting the verdict. Surely the energy from the crowd would have leaked into me, inspiring me.
I kind of thought I was feeling burnt out. And maybe I am. I’ve got a lot of responsibilities on my own plate, and have been having to focus more on them than on activism than I have at different times in my life. It feels weird, and I don’t like feeling empty and jaded and out of touch.

For whatever reason, today the news of the cop who murdered Eric Garner hit me hard, and lit a fire inside of me. I’m glad to feel that feeling again, obviously sad that more fucked up shit happened to cause it, but relieved to have found my emotional response and my motivation. Somethings got to give, somethings got to give. (more…)

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