Monday, June 13, 2011

Oscar Grant's Killer Released Today So Much for Equality and Justice

OscarGrantphoto © 2010 smi23le | more info (via: Wylio)

Justice is not blind and it certainly is not about equality.  Some lives are understood to be more valuable than others because we live in a society that is about divisions and not community.  Oscar Grant was in handcuffs lying on the ground on his stomach, when former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle claimed he confused his taser with his service weapon and shot and killed him.  Because we live in a digital age, the entire incident was recorded, thus making it difficult for the blue wall of silence to descend but Mehserle still had Whiteness on his side.  It is important that people watch the video and remember exactly how Oscar Grant's life was snuffed out. 

 If that were not enough, there were reports of police brutality and suppression when the public attempted to protest. From start to finish, the justice system has let down Oscar Grant, and the Black community.  Today in a final act of callous injustice, Johannes Mehserle is due to be release from prison after serving less than a year for manslaughter.
The former officer is scheduled to be released sometime Monday, said Cephus Johnson, Grant's uncle. He said the family has been notified by state and local law-enforcement officials.

"Of course it's painful," said Johnson, 53, who lives in San Jose. "We knew it was coming one day. But as it approached, there were more sleepless nights."

He called Mehserle's release a reflection of "the total injustice that we received."

Johnson said he and other family members plan to be in Los Angeles over the weekend and on Monday to protest.

Mehserle's attorney, Michael Rains, who is appealing his client's conviction, declined to comment.
Mehserle testified he thought he was firing his stun gun instead of his pistol as he was trying to arrest Grant for allegedly resisting an officer. The case drew widespread outrage, prompting the trial to be moved from Alameda County to Los Angeles. The jury there acquitted Mehserle of murder.

Oakland police say they are prepared in the event of protests when Mehserle is freed. They said they did not expect violence, but that officers would respond based on the behavior of demonstrators. (source)
Instead of worrying about the behaviour of the demonstrators, it seems to me that Oakland should be worried about the behaviour of their police force. Oscar Grant is dead, his family has lost a loved one, and Mehserle has his freedom.  Justice is a White mans word, because hundreds of years since the first African slave left the slave ship, there is no equality, and there certainly is no justice. There is only the continual assault of White supremacy, attempting to drain our life blood, while it lectures us on this supposedly race neutral world that we all live in.
Just last week on this blog, I has some asshat lecturing me saying:  
This blog does make book on victimization of black people, inherent racism of everybody who is non-black (ignoring the racism exhibited by black people viewing it as somehow justified), etc. The victim card is your stock in trade, and I would never expect you to be open to anything but the ideas that nobody's pain is worse than yours as a black gay woman -omg a triple whammy, that nobody's oppression is worse than black people's, that all white people are inherently racist and that no black person could possibly be - you just go on and on ranting. You're the black gay female Beck.  
Yes, the "victim card," and yet a White man serves less than a year in jail for the murder of a Black man.  You can bet your last dime, had Mehserle been a Black officer, and Grant a White man, they would have thrown the book at his ass and thrown away the key. Today, talking about racism, though it is absolutely a life and death phenomenon, is still seen as playing the "victim card." No matter what prejudice a Black person may hold, they do not exist with the institutional power that a White person has. If you have any doubt whatsoever, the freedom of Mehserle should answer all the questions you should ever have regarding the state of White supremacy and the equality that Blacks are denied.