The nightmare that has been the Oscar Grant Murder, while it occurred on New Year’s Day Morning two years ago at Fruitvale BART Station, is not over. Former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle is due to be released from jail on Monday, getting a release for “good behavior” after what seems to have been a whiplash-quick time in the slammer.
A good, wise mother has a way of quickly moving past the B.S of life and getting to the point, and that was no less true for my Mom regarding this issue. As she observed from a distance in Georgia (where this blog’s written from today), Oscar Grant’s life “wasn’t valuable to them.” And the “them” were the BART police officer who shot him, and the one’s who acted with such ridiculous behavior on the night of that day in 2009.
The bottom line is that’s what happened, and it’s a sad, sad, sad statement on how we have allowed society to evolve.
The Mayor of Oakland, in the form of Jean Quan, called for peace and calm on this day, and for days to come. But what Quan also should have called for was continued reform in police / minority community relations. Now, as Mayor, it’s fair as ask will Quan get out and walk in silent protest?
Will Mayor Quan act as a shield between protestors and police as she did when she was running for Mayorin 2010? Will Jean Quan be out there? Oscar Grant, a symbol of the police war on black men, at least deserves some statement of support from the same person who walked out to the streets when she was running to be Oakland’s Mayor, who’s now Oakland’s Mayor.
On this, I can say about Quan that she does get it. The Mayor knows we have a problem. And that war on black men is not seen just by blacks, but whites, Asians, Latinos, and anyone who has a sense of what’s right and just, and isn’t afraid to point to what’s wrong and injust. Gang violence is as unjust as police brutality – don’t think they don’t spring from the same sick mental state. Both must be stopped.
Protestors should keep in mind that many of the businesses in downtown Oakland support their cause, and in some cases march with them. Don’t take anger out on someone just because they’re capable of employing others. That doesn’t make sense at all and it never really did anyway.
Why, you ask, would I just blast off such a statement, when it seems I support the police. Well, first, I do support the police, but what I advocate for, and have backed, are police officers who don’t behave in the way I’m attacking, and they are many. I live in shades of gray, not of black and white, except when a senseless death like Oscar Grant’s occurs.
The best way to mark Oscar Grant’s time on earth is to use the Internet to point out every bad cop there is. If you’re going to march, call for their immediate removal from the police forces, where ever they may be. Make a website. Blog about them. Make them celebrities.
It’s hard to get the Oscar Grant Murder out of my mind, and it’s hard to get that out of Oakland’s collective mind – the videos of it are still fresh and will be so, forever. What I particularly will never forget is this night, the first evening of protests, and what the people said to me on that occasion. Here is that video:
When Former Officer Mehserle gets out of jail, one of his first acts should be to go to the grave of Oscar Grant, place a flower, and pray. Pray for Oscar Grant, for himself, and for the Oakland society both have impacted. Oscar Grant’s image is everywhere in our city.
God bless Oakland.