While I still haven’t quite understood why Black History Month isn’t every month (or at least a month with 30 or 31 days), it is our social & moral responsibility to seize every opportunity to pay homage to our beloved predecessors rather than complain about something so trivial—but before I delve any deeper, I want you to pay close attention to the numbers, because like we all know… They “don’t lie.”
With that being said… I was scrolling on my twitter timeline & learned (yes, Twitter can actually teach you) that yesterday marked the death of Amadou Diallo. For those of you who are unaware, Amadou Diallo emigrated to the States in hopes of living the American dream in 1996… Not knowing his dream would abruptly become a nightmare on February 4, 1999.
Setting: In front of Diallo’s apartment.
Plot Twist: Before he could even reach for his wallet with identification, ya know, to disprove his “guilt” of 51 rape cases that NYPD was so convinced was written all over his face…
The End: 41 bullets were fired, 19 piercing his body… Yet, the only four people guilty here… Were still living and ironically, found innocent of all charges.
Between residential communities and the Hip Hop community… The nation was enraged. Listen below for Mos Def & more for their stance on the travesty.
The story reminded me of the Abner Louima “incident.” I was made aware of this case by a former NYPD Captain and I will be the first to say, “Not all cops are bad.” However, there are countless cops who are in no way any better than the “thugs” they love to target. I recall many of them taking action on the “Stop Snitching” movement which I find to be incredibly amusing considering they birthed the damn thing.
Four words: BLUE CODE OF SILENCE.
It is an unwritten rule among police officers not to report on a colleague’s errors, misconducts, or crimes. So when asked… The officer will consequently live by the code and play the “I don’t know what you’re talking about” card.
Now I know what you’re all thinking… Isn’t that synonymous for “not snitching?”
Well, obviously! But it gets “better…” This same “code” was upheld the night when Louima was wrongly accused of sucker-punching an officer and brought to the 70th Precinct station house in Brooklyn.
Here, Louima would suffer a series of blows to the balls, hands tightly cuffed behind his back, and sodomy with a wooden plunger… SODOMY WITH A WOODEN PLUNGER. As if this mental image I just painted isn’t morbid enough, that same officer walked through the precinct with the blood-stained plunger, boasting about taking a man down. While some officers were indicted, no sentence could undo such damage that will not only be etched in our minds, but will forever leave the victim bruised. Justice has yet to be truly served.
“I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition.”
— Dr. Maya Angelou —
So today, and everyday after, I urge you to remember the power of your word, the courage in your heart, and your duty to your fellow man. We’re all we got & I cannot stress this enough. Take custody of your mind & don’t let anyone dispute your rights to protecting and enlightening it—and that includes those instances where you see someone inflicting harm onto somebody else. Speak up for them even if they choose to remain silent. Don’t let “the bad guy” win that fight because far too many innocent beings have lost just so WE could win. I promise, if you never forget to remember that you are never walking alone in your battles, you will find yourself in the direction of love & truth.
Photo Credit: Dwayne Rodgers. Follow him @DiggsWayne.