Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Feel Me" A Piece By Damien McDuffie

"You'd of thought they killed cornbread"
-Lil Wayne

"A riot is the language of the unheard."

Damn! They shot him with his face down on the ground. I know Oscar Grant was shot by one BART police officer at a station in Oakland, CA while he was lying face down. I say "they" because its important to recognize that it's a systemic problem that has always existed in Oakland. The first defense the BART council and the police were saying is that the officer thought he was reaching for a tazer and did not mean to shoot the 22 year father. Let's assume that he did mean to murder this young man and was indeed looking for his tazer. But the real question is did he need to taze Grant in the first place?

This is a problem of excessive force that many police in Oakland utilize on a regular basis. This time two critically important things occurred to finally make people in Oakland pay attention and want to do something about it: it caused the death of a young man and it was captured on tape. That was a great motivating factor in why community members demanded justice in a city that often sees very little of it in action. The people see that organizing is the way to get things done and sometimes it takes a riot or two. But it takes sustained commitment to fighting for social justice and that is the only way that Oakland will become a better place to live for people.

-Mac D


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