On Saturday’s roundtable (11am-1pm, on Que4 Radio AM1680, www.que4.org) we presented the following question about Freddy Grey, the Baltimore man killed two weeks ago in police custody:
“The University of Florida suspended a fraternity after member of Zeta Beta Tau, which incidentally was a character from the first start trek, shouted insults and spit on disabled veterans and urinated on the American flag. In another story, Rand Paul’s son was stopped for DUI and released, despite being described as visibly intoxicated. Meanwhile Linda Cope, founder of the warrior group “They were urinating off of balconies, vomiting off of balconies. They could see the men and women below were there with the retreat.” she described students spitting on veterans, throwing beer bottles over a balcony and ripping flags off their cars. Local police did respond, but no criminal charges were filed. the fraternity has hired its own independent investigator to find out what happened. Cope said the fraternity has so far been helpful in its response, and that she believes fraternity leaders are doing all they can to help make things right, including making a cash donation to her small, grassroots charity. Meanwhile, two more black men died this week at the hands of police, including Freddie gray, whose spinal cord was nearly severed. Can we believe that the proliferation of video is suddenly cause police to be more aggressive with blacks and minorities, or is this finally proof of what blacks and minorities have been experiencing for many decades?”
An autopsy and the family indicate his spinal cord was 80% severed. When that happened has yet to be precisely determined. Video shows Mr. Grey struggling for control of his lags as police pulled him off the sidewalk after several officers tackled him to the ground. If at this point you are asking WHY he was arrested, then you might also find yourself asking what rape victims did to get raped. Stop it. Focus. It is what is needed here.
The interesting and alarming thing with all the black folks at the station that day was their reaction, or lack of one. From our good friend Michael Donnelly, who was in for the roundtable, to Toni Scott, RN and Yoga therapist, and host of “Creating a Healthier Self” (Saturday’s 6-7pm on Que4 Radio, AM1680 in Chicago), or her two guests, a trauma nurse on Chicago’s south side and a 3rd year resident, they were largely uniform in that reaction. This has been going on for decades.
What it exposes is a level of ambivalence and indifference to human rights abuses long prevalent in the black community. The systemic neglect, and the tiered standards applied to black communities is well established here. But something else is interesting here. I believe that it has even come as a bit of a shock to the black community as well. At the fulcrum of that shock is the revolution in digital technology, and especially the revolutionary availability of cameras now so ubiquitous in society.
From all of those I have spoken to in recent days, the sudden wave of video and images showing police heavy-handed and aggressive, and often fatal, behavior towards minorities, often for minor, manufactured and sometimes invented offenses has validated and confirmed for Blacks what they knew but could never prove. The idea that cameras and police violence erupted simultaneously is absurd. That’s sort of like saying that sex was invented with stag films. This has been a hidden form of terrorism and oppression long decried by the Black community and long ignored by the rest of America.
In 1993, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall I was in Prague, just as they were shaking off their Communist past. On a wall in a working class neighborhood, hastily written in English were deeply prophetic words:
“LIGHTS, CAMERA, REVOLUTION!”
Those words are as true here and now as they were on that wall in 1993. The meaning behind them resonating through to this moment and to the embattled Baltimore streets; The past always finds us.
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.