From my most recent article for the Guardian:
For me, another name came to mind when I heard the news of Davis’ death: Oscar Grant. It’s not an exact comparison by any means, but I think of Grant, the 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed by Oakland police officer Johannes Mersehle, because of when he was murdered. It was New Year’s day 2009, a little less than two months after the election of President Barack Obama. Jordan Davis was killed the day after Thanksgiving 2012, not even three full weeks after the re-election of the nation’s first black president. While a country celebrated its achievement, the deaths of these young men offered bloody reminders of just how far we haven’t come in the battle against racism.
Every few months, another young black person makes their way into our lives as a news headline as a result of racist violence, and still, we manage to look the other way. We yet lack the collective will to call it what it is. Whether it’s Davis, Martin, Grant, Rekia Boyd, Ramarley Graham,Wendell Allen, or any of the other black people who lost their lives as the result of extrajudicial killing – one for every 36 hours in the first half of 2012.
We keep looking at their deaths in a vacuum – as the result of one unhinged killer, a lone actor who, once locked away, will eliminate the problem. When do we stop lying to ourselves?
Read the entire piece here.
I also appeared on Uprising Radio (KPFK Los Angeles) to discuss this case. Listen here.