Yoda was right: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Last night, my cousin spoke at a solidarity rally and march in Minneapolis, MN. I'm in Illinois and wasn't able to attend because of school; however, I was there.
My anger, my confusion, my dreams, my compassion, my sadness, and my hope were with her as she raised her voice and pleaded for heightened police accountability. She joined hundreds of others in remembering Tony Robinson, the young man who was shot and killed by police, aand the fact that no charges were brought against the officers. And they marched for all the other young Black men who have been killed unjustifiably by police, including my cousin, Marcus.
Amidst the calls for heightened police accountability and chants of "no justice, no peace", Taye, a 10-year old Black boy was sprayed with pepper spray by Minneapolis police, without warning according to witnesses. I haven't been able to stop staring at a photograph of the little boy that was taken right after he was maced. Maced! He is 10!
That could have been my 10-year old brother when we were front and center with family at the Reclaim MLK March in January in St. Paul, MN. That could have been your little brother or cousin or friend ...or you. Simply for raising your voice.
"Who Was at the March" A video by Idris Nero Mahdi, who at the march captured the incident. At 1:55, you can hear the screams of Taye as he is being hit with pepper spray. Look. Listen. http://youtu.be/dXjhrfFhXYM
Tell me, what situation warrants the police pepper spraying a 10 year old boy who was not physically harming anybody or anything? According to reports, some protestors were trying to block cars from driving into the crowd in order to prevent marchers from being hurt, but tell me .... what threat did this little unarmed boy pose to the officer? Was the color of his skin the threat?
Justification: an acceptable reason for doing something.
There are those who say he shouldn't have been there.
The reality is that there should not have been a reason for him to be there.
Yes, Yoda was right: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
The police officer who maced a 10 year old boy joins a chorus of police officers around the country -- not all, certainly -- but a resounding chorus of police showcasing racially motivated fear that leads to unnecessary suffering of far too many people of color.
According to posts from witnesses on Twitter, the little boy asked repeatedly "why did the do this to me?"
Why indeed. Let us all work together so that no child ever has to ask that question again.
Photo credit: Black Lives Matter Minneapolis via Facebook