Lynched by the law: the fearful fate of America’s blacks

1871

A decorated ex-US Marine shot dead three police officers in Louisiana; in Dallas, five policeman were massacred in a black-on-white shooting. Both attacks followed nationwide protests over the latest incident in which a black man was killed by police. MURRAY FORSETER tries to explain. . .

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

Two more examples of a far-too-common pattern of killings over the last several years, the USA transfixed by reports and video of policemen using the shield of their position to administer lethal punishment against Afro-American males and of the terrible revenge wreaked by outraged citizens.

Lynchings used to be confined to the Deep South. Police-related deaths have spread across the country: New York, Chicago, Louisiana, Baltimore. . . the list could probably go on and does not include civilian-inflicted lethal shootings like those of Trayvon Martin in Orlando and Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Florida?

I was going to reference an Op-Ed article by Roxane Gay, an associate professor at Purdue University, in a recent New York Times. 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.

One more thing: back in April, 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, Tennessee.

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Indianapolis, 1968: Sen. RObert Kennedy calms the crowd after Martin Luther King’s assassination

Through his passionate rhetoric, Kennedy helped prevent rioting in Indianapolis even as other cities erupted in violence. Here’s a link to a 40-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 Louisiana and Dallas  fresh in our minds I wait to hear, or read, similar words of comfort, healing, and hope, from the two candidates who would be our next president.

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