After Baton Rouge, St. Paul, et al, Police Action Has Replaced Lynchings as Most Heinous Fate of Black Males

Police killings have replaced lynchings as the most heinous fate of unarmed black men.

For the second consecutive day, and for too many times in the last several years, the nation has been transfixed by reports and video of policemen using the shield of their position to administer lethal punishment against Afro-American males.

Lynchings used to be confined to the Deep South. Police-related deaths have spread across the country, from Ferguson, MO, to Staten Island, NY, to Chicago, to Baton Rouge, LA, to Cleveland, to St. Paul, MN, to Baltimore, to North Charleston, SC, to Cincinnati, to Arlington, TX, to St. Louis. The list could probably go on; it does not include civilian-inflicted lethal shootings like those of Trayvon Martin in Orlando and Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, FL.

Instead, I commend to your education a commentary she wrote back on October 29, 2015, that describes the pervasive, suffocating, humiliating conditions under which black children grow up in relation to authority, be it police or school administrations. Read it and feel the despair infecting and infesting the black community.

Back on April 4, 1968, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy stood on the deck of a flatbed truck in Indianapolis. He had expected to deliver a stump speech to a mostly black audience as part of his insurgent campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. Instead, he told them the dreadful news that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated earlier that evening in Memphis, TN. Through his passionate rhetoric, Kennedy helped prevent rioting in Indianapolis even as other cities erupted in violence. Here's a link to NPR's 40th year commemoration of that extraordinary evening in Indianapolis. It provides an example of leadership and humanity so often missing within today's political cohort.

With Baton Rouge and St. Paul fresh in our minds, I wait to hear, or read, words of comfort and healing, and hope, from the two who would be our next president.