Commentary by BlackKos editor JoanMar
Ma’Khia Bryant is already yesterday’s news. Her name has all but disappeared from storylines, except when media types need to heap more praise on killer cops. Such was the case when Rep. Val Demings’ appeared on “Face the Nation.”
I also was a patrol officer who was out there on the street having to make those split-second decisions. You know, now everybody has the benefit of slowing the video down and- and seizing the perfect moment. The officer on the street does not have that ability. He or she has to make those split-second decisions and they're tough. But the limited information that I know in viewing the video, it appears that the officer responded as he was trained to do with the main thought of preventing a tragedy and- and a loss of life of the person who was about to be assaulted.
How disappointing, especially coming from the gentlewoman from Florida. But those words are mild, especially when compared to the bile being heaped on the teenager online. You don’t want to visit certain right-wing sites and lookup Ma’Khia’s name. The narrative has solidified. The teenager was a 'knife-wielding maniac" who deserved to die. Who knew that racists, fascists, and MAGAts had so much love for Black girls who wear pink suits?
Go to these Friends of Righteousness.
Tell them to obey their Humanities, and not pretend Holiness, When they are murderers...
If you thought that the public lynching of George Floyd and the global outcry that followed would mean reasonable people are now prepared to deal with systemic racism in the police force, then you are going to be disappointed. Derek Chauvin gave full rein to his depravity and he also miscalculated. See, the murderer wasn’t condemned by white America because he killed George Floyd; he was condemned because it was so obviously an overkill. The mistake Chauvin made was that he was just a little too blatant...he had the misfortune of being caught on the video camera of Darnella being just a little too cocky. He left most of “reasonable” white America with no wriggle room. CNN is a microcosm of “reasonable” white America. I know I criticize them a lot (I listen to them a lot), but the on-air personalities are really all decent people. They are all kind and principled and professional, and they hate racism and bigotry. They fail at times, but they do try to say all the right things. They are reasonable people...and they leave me in despair.
Of the four police killings that have set America abuzz of late, CNN anchors have major problems with only one: the murder of George Floyd. For all the others, they all seem to agree that the cops involved either made a forgivable human error or had no options. With Adam Toledo, it was, “the cop only had a split second to decide.” With Daunte Wright, it was the “the cop was obviously distressed when she realized the mistake.” With Ma’Khia Bryant, it was “the cop had no choice.” Three young people killed by police and reasonable white people, if it were left up to them, would not hold the cops accountable for their murderous actions. To reasonable white America, Derek Chauvin is one bad apple who represents a bug in an almost perfect system.
“We have grown girls over here trying to fight us! We need a police officer here now!”
That was 16-year-old Ma’khia begging for help. She and her foster sisters had been fighting for some time before the cops got there. Ma’Khia, it was, who called the cops. Ma’Khia was at her home, the foster sisters were visiting. Ma’Khia was fighting against two even as she tried to protect her younger biological sister. She grabbed a knife. Nobody was stabbed for the entirety of the time she and the visiting pair fought. She wasn’t a knife-wielding maniac, she was a child involved in a fight and who sought to even the odds by getting a knife. The irony is that most if not all of those self-righteous Reddit trolls condemning her for grabbing a knife are themselves gun owners, some of them with multiple weapons of war. At the very first sign of provocation — and at times even without provocation — they will grab their guns to intimidate and do actual harm. Ma’Khia didn’t have a gun, she had access to knives. In a society where white boys and girls are gifted with guns just because, a black teenager will be forever known as a violent thug for grabbing a knife to defend herself.
But the hidden truth is that whether or not she was in the act of stabbing her foster sister, Ma’Khia’s chances of surviving the arrival of the cops to her home were slim to none. Cops do not like to see Black people with weapons...even those who are in the act of retreating. Just ask Laquan McDonald, Freddie Gray, Walter Wallace Jr; sometimes they don't even bother to get their names.
According to The Washington Post police shootings database (the most conservative of all the databases), from 2015 through to today, April 30, 2021, American cops killed 1076 people “armed” with knives. Of those killed, 220 were said to be fleeing, 584 were people of color (Black 206, Hispanic or Brown 226, other 69, unknown 83). Four months into 2021 and cops have already killed 47 people said to be armed with knives. Ten of the 47 people were fleeing on foot...”armed” with knives and still shot and killed.
Media types are experts in producing reports of the public’s interactions with cops worded in such a way that we sympathize and identify with violent cops and condemn/criticize and revictimize the victims. That just what they do...when they are not accepting police reports and sharing them verbatim, that is.
CNN anchors who spoke about Ma’Khia’s death all presented it as if the cop had no other option but to kill her. Chris Cuomo, a proud gun owner himself, said his only concern was that the cop may have hit the girl in pink. When he learned that the cop was a trained sniper, he said, “That explains his confidence in taking that shot. Some people are asking if he couldn’t have done something else in that situation? What if his gun had jammed?” Chris wasn’t asking these questions in good faith; the trained lawyer that he is knew the answers he wanted. And he got them. “Well,” said the enabling retired black cop, “With all that sniper training, he’s an expert.” He then went on to demonstrate how with a tap and a shake ( or something), the gun could be unjammed and made ready for action in less than a second. “Couldn’t he have shot her in the leg or arm?” the disingenuous enabling Chris persisted. “Cops are taught to shoot center mass,” the complicit expert explained. “He did what he was trained to do.” Got that? Ma’Khia’s killer, a trained sniper, relied on his superior sniper training to execute the difficult shots that with any other cop would have resulted in the deaths of both girls, (which has happened before), but he chose to rely on his police training to shoot to kill. As a sniper, he could have taken one shot. Indeed, the teenager started falling after the first shot. Nicholas Reardon, a trained marksman, pumped three more shots into the body of Paula Bryant’s daughter. Reasonable white people as represented by CNN anchors think that Reardon deserves a medal for bravery. To be fair, to my great disgust, more than a few black people also share that view.
One disgusted former cop speaking to Don Lemon said that he’d have tackled the teenager as he has done multiple times in similar situations. Cops in other countries disarm people with knives (machetes) every minute of every day. Teachers, bus drivers, and ordinary citizens regularly disarm people with knives. In no other country would what took place at Ma’Khia home result in the killing of a child by a cop. It just doesn’t happen. That’s the feature that reasonable white people are conveniently overlooking: this system of policing is archaic, lazy, inhumane, and unimaginative. Nicholas Reardon shooting Ma’Khia was the easiest thing to do. Shooting her four times, in my book, showed murderous intent. He’ll never be convicted of anything in a court of law.
Was the girl in pink in danger? Absolutely. As @theTortmaster shared, the mortality rate for stab wounds is 4%. That means that the “girl in the pink” stood a 4% chance of dying from any stab wound she’d have sustained at the hands of Ma’Khia.
Paula Bryant said her daughter was a loving and lovable child. In one of her last interactions with her, she’d happily shared that she had made the honor roll. Mom described her baby daughter as the maternal sort who just loved to take care of others. Mom will have some hard days ahead. Her baby should be alive today. My heart goes out to her. Rest in peace, Ma’Khia. Condolences to the grieving family.
NEWS ROUND UP BY DOPPER0189, BLACK KOS MANAGING EDITOR
For decades, researchers have pointed out that the child welfare system is riddled with inequities. Black children are far more likely than their white counterparts to be investigated as victims of abuse and neglect, to be placed in foster care, and to be permanently separated from their biological parents.
“Spend a day at dependency court in any major city and you will see the unmistakable color of the child welfare system,” wrote Dorothy Roberts, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, in her 2001 book, Shattered Bonds. “The disproportionate number of Black children in America’s child welfare system is staggering.”
A new study in the American Journal of Public Health quantifies the scope of this disproportionality today, tracking the rates of child protective service involvement in the lives of the half a million children born in 1999 in California. The number of Black children in the system continues to be staggering: Half of Black children, as well as half of Native American children, experienced a CPS investigation at some point during the first 18 years of their lives, compared to nearly a quarter of white children. One in eight Black children spent time in foster care—a rate three times as high as white children. Three percent of Black children experienced termination of parental rights, compared with 1 percent of white children.
The AJPH numbers paint a portrait of a child welfare system that casts a broad net, surveilling far more families than will ultimately require services or placement in foster care, says Emily Putnam-Hornstein, lead author of the study and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work.
Acknowledging that racism exists is not the same as hate. Black people don’t hate the police any more than they hate teachers, lawyers, bank tellers, poll workers, doctors, or cashiers. The Root: Tyler Perry Is Right. We Shouldn't Hate the Police
Wait...One of those things are not like the other.
Racial hate, homophobia, transphobia and disliking the police are not the same. While well-intentioned, equating racial discrimination to a “hate” for police—or even including both subjects in the same paragraph—puts the onus on Black people to fix racism. It obliviates the fact that police have historically harmed Black communities. It’s “All-Lives Matter” in a tuxedo.
I wholeheartedly agree with Perry that no one should hate another person because of their race, ethnicity or their sexual identity. But how did police officers get thrown in there? According to Officer Down, the number of police who have been killed in the line of duty is down for the third year in a row. Meanwhile, the number of people who have been shot and killed by cops has increased every year since 2016.
No one hates police officers. More kids want to grow up to become police officers than much-needed professions like teachers, scientists or wig technicians on Black television productions. Police shows are one of the most popular genres of entertainment. Most people (including the Black variety of human beings) know at least one or two police officers. I don’t know if Tyler Perry or others are aware of this, but Black people aren’t born police officers nor do they come from laboratories. I can’t find the specific study, but I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that the vast majority of law enforcement officers came from families and even have friends. Even among the people who they disproportionately stop, frisk, arrest, brutalize and kill, hating police officers is not a thing.
The notion that Black people hate police officers is an insidious generalization borne of fragility, privilege and white supremacy. Throughout history, every Black movement for freedom and equality has been weaponized as a tool to demonize anyone who isn’t white by conjuring up these kinds of false equivalencies.
Diao’s experience captures both sides of Senegal’s Covid-19 response. The West African country used aggressive interventions like this isolation policy to slow transmission. At the same time, community and local health actors bolstered the public health response from the bottom up, relying on longstanding relationships and trust to convince people to wear masks, seek out testing, and get treatment.
“We have what we call a ‘chain of solidarity’: The nation joined hands together,” Moussa Seydi, chief of infectious disease service at Dakar’s University of Fann Hospital Center, said. “Religious leaders came to join the political decision-makers, and also, the community involved themselves in giving this response to Covid-19.”
Vox reported in Senegal at the end of March, just a little more than a year after the country detected its first Covid-19 infection. In Dakar and in the surrounding districts, we spoke to government and local officials, public health experts, doctors, nurses, community leaders, and volunteers to understand how Senegal’s early action from the government and the community buttressed a fragile health care system.
I know something about corruption. After all, I grew up in Nigeria. By some estimates, over $400bn has been lost to corruption since our independence in 1960. Year after year, we’ve watched billions of dollars flow into the country via revenue from crude oil sales and we’ve watched those same billions flow out of the country via crooked politicians and government ministers.
We also know that the corruption in Nigeria is inextricably linked to the corruption in cities such as London, New York and Paris. In 2020, Transparency International ranked Nigeria 149 for corruption and the United Kingdom only 11 (you want to be closer to 1) but how can this be when a large portion of Nigeria’s looted wealth is spent abroad?
The bulk of Nigeria’s political elite have few original ideas. They can only mimic their former colonial masters whose pattern was to pillage in Africa and then spend their ill-gotten gains back home in Europe. Go to Knightsbridge or Mayfair or South Kensington and I will show you property bought with money stolen from Nigeria. Go to the shop floor of Selfridges or the endless warren of Harrods and I will show you Rolexes, diamonds and designer bags paid for by the Nigerian treasury. Money meant for education and healthcare and infrastructure; money meant for Nigerians that is now being used to grow the British economy.
For every corrupt Nigerian politician leaving the country with stolen money, there is a corrupt British professional on this end, the estate agent willing to turn a blind eye, the lawyer drafting the necessary paperwork, no questions asked, all facilitating the spending of this loot. The 2017 passage of a Magnitsky-style law to target human rights violators and the further amendments which allow the UK to impose sanctions on individuals accused of corruption, suggests some acknowledgment that the UK has become a haven for dirty money from all around the world.
Former President Barack Obama’s financial adviser has been quietly investing in startups led by founders of color through a new investment firm, Recode has learned.
A new venture capital firm called Pendulum Holdings has in recent months been approaching and funding companies led by founders of color, according to people familiar with the matter. The firm is led by Robbie Robinson, who helped set up the financial affairs of the Obama family after they left the White House. He remains an adviser to the family.
The fund, whose efforts haven’t previously been reported, is the latest attempt to better support Black founders, who receive only about 1 percent of venture capital funding, according to estimates. Corporate America has vowed to do better in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, and one way to do that is to launch firms with an explicit focus on backing these entrepreneurs. Racial diversity in the world of startups matters because these companies create businesses, products, and wealth that can either perpetuate or help close inequality in the first place.
Pendulum also represents another tie, even if loose, between the Silicon Valley startup scene and the Obamas, who have long had a soft spot for tech. Since leaving the White House, the Obama family has struck content deals with companies like Netflix and Spotify and continued to cultivate relationships with venture capitalists.
“The conversations I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pull together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying,” Obama said back in 2016 on the cusp of leaving the White House, stirring speculation that he might be interested in a more hands-on role in the startup world.
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