Photo Credit: www.bet.com
This is going to be a short article. Straight to the point.
The road-rage murder of former NFL running back Joe
McKnight two days ago by Ronald Gasser in a suburb of
the player’s New Orleans hometown was shocking. The
fact that local police took Gasser into custody, then LET
HIM GO on his own recognizance is extremely disturbing.
All under state law that allows someone to commit homicide
if they feel their life is threatened. You guessed it - “stand
your ground” all over again. Never mind the witness that
initially reported Gasser as the aggressor. Never mind the
fact that Gasser had already been cited for assault at that
same intersection 10 years earlier. It is disturbing, and
disgusting all the way around no matter how you see it.
But it is, sadly, reaffirming one honest fact that cannot
be debated. This nation is inherently fractured at its core,
and systemic racism that allows someone to be degraded
and extinguished on a whim is a major reason why. Now,
on the precipice of an incoming presidential administration
that has risen by racism and sexism and pure meanness,
this is clear more than ever.
We are now facing a grim horizon that will see more of these
incidents spring up now. Men, women and children of color.
All marginalized communities. There’s been a little over
1,000 incidents involving hateful acts across this nation.
Many perpetrated by emboldened cowards with aliases and
cutesy avatars, because the more upfront or plain dumb
are going to end up as news items for different outlets. The
more twisted individuals will seek to inflict this damage on
innocent people because they feel they can. Because they
now assume their elected leader will cheer them on with a
beer as cheap as his soul is. A huge cross-section of people -
mostly white - voted for this to be flung into the open. From
all walks of life. McKnight’s blood, and the blood of many others
who have lost their lives in this manner, soils their hands.
Period. They now must deal with the consequences of the hate they
have polished and trotted out like a discount store lawn ornament.
Their masks are off - don’t let them off the hook.
We are entering another dark storm. For those who may be
the most targeted, let this situation be motivation to run to
daylight however you have to. Confront bigotry when you see
it. Don’t waste your time aruging with trolls and others who
see a lark in amateur online lawyers. Especially if they’re folks
you thought were cool, friends, whatever. If you’re angry, there’s
a number of organizations to donate time, money and other
resources to. Don’t just rant on social media, build. For you,
your family and all others who don’t want things to be this way.
Study the past and present struggles clearly. Seek shelter in
those who care for you. Radical change doesn’t happen without
radical hope and outrage to fuel the action. The lessons from
those spirituals sung in the time of the Underground Railroad
As always, walk good.