1001 Black Men #796: Black Lives Are Human Lives

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1001 Black Men #795: Black Lives Are Human Lives

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Mi Pueblo Grocery Store, High Street, Oakland, California.

Decades of research have demonstrated that a mere subliminal flash of a black man’s face can make us fear the worst — to evaluate ambiguous behavior as aggressive, to miscategorize harmless objects as weapons, to shoot quickly and to inappropriately dispatch a perceived threat.

In video game experiments requiring split-second judgments, subjects — no matter their race, age or attitudes — are quicker to fire at an armed black man than at a white man carrying a gun, and more likely to shoot unarmed blacks than unarmed whites.

That raises criminal justice issues that won’t be resolved by body cameras. It’s a problem centuries in the making, and belongs to all of us.

–Sandy Banks, “Police Expectations Damage Black Men’s Realities

1001 Black Men #794

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Alternative Press Expo Attendee, Fort Mason, San Francisco, California.

 

Everybody would say “of course all lives matter”. Our philosophical, religious and moral sensibilities would all say that, but in fact, many people don’t matter. When we say “black lives matter”, it’s a hashtag. It’s a movement. Die-ins are happening all over the country, protest movements around that phrase “black lives matter” because young black men haven’t mattered in the country and the criminal justice system has treated them very differently than my young white sons.

–“Jim Wallis: ‘Ferguson is a parable about how black men are treated’“, an interview by Alec Hogg

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Posted by Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #793

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Alternative Press Expo attendee, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.

 

Unfortunately, the patterns that we’ve been seeing recently are consistent: The police don’t show as much care when they are handling incidents that involve young black men and women, and so they do shoot and kill … And then for whatever reason, juries and prosecutor’s offices are much less likely to indict or convict.

–Professor Delores Jones-Brown, Director of the Center on Race, Crime, and Statistics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and a former assistant prosecutor in Monmouth County, New Jersey, from “Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?” by Jaeah Lee

Posted by Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #792

 

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Alternative Press Expo attendee, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.

[Y]ou know what they had in their minds that made them act out and beat a black suspect unwarrentedly? They had fear. They were afraid of black men. I know a lot of white cops who have told me. And I interviewed over 900 police officers in 18 months and they started talking to me. It was almost like a therapy session for them.

They would say things like, “Ms. Rice I’m scared of black men. Black men terrify me. I’m really scared of them. Ms. Rice, you know black men who come out of prison, they’ve got great hulk strength and I’m afraid they’re going to kill me. Ms. Rice, can you teach me how not to be afraid of black men.” I mean these [are] cops who are 6’4″. You know, the cop in Ferguson was 6’4″ talking about he was terrified. But when cops are scared, they kill and they do things that don’t make sense to you and me.

–Interview with Constance Rice, NPR

Posted by Ajuan Mance

 

1001 Black Men #791

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Alternative Press Expo attendee, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.

 

[I]f we keep killing Black men, if we keep placing targets on their backs, how will young Black boys begin to see themselves other than disposable?

–Eternity E. Martis, “What the Michael Brown Case Tells Us About Women, Fear, and Black Males

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Posted by Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #790

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Alternative Press Expo attendee, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.

 

As a nation we seem to have very short memories. Fear of the black man just didn’t start overnight, and it didn’t just happen during the course of our lifetime; like any singularity it has to have a beginning. Its origin has been embedded in this nation’s consciousness since the Nat Turner revolt; a pathological fear that the oppressed will one day rise up and inflict vengeance upon the oppressor.

–M. Gibson, “Fear Black Men (Oscar Grant Open Thread)

1001 Black Men #789

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Waiting for the bus at the corner of High Street and International Blvd, Oakland.

 

The most important question Ferguson asks isn’t whether cops are good or bad. It isn’t even whether Wilson was afraid “enough” to justify killing. It’s why black boys and men make so many people so profoundly scared. Either there is something irredeemably dangerous in the very DNA of black males justifying the fear — or we’re living a lethal lie.

–Savala Nolan Trepczynski, “Time to Unlearn Fear of Young Black Men

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Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #788

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Filling the tank at the 76 service station, High St. and MacArthur Blvd., Oakland.

 

This is a plea to those officers who are unflinching in the gravest of dangers, whose courage is forged in the crucible of our nation’s worst emergencies, yet who lose all composure when facing the grimace of a Black man. The concept of diversity, like Eric Garner, is large, beautiful, and sometimes intimidating. America will only be America once we learn how to fully appreciate it, not fear it.

–Brandon Hill, “Negrophobia: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and America’s Fear of Black People

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Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #787

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Waiting for the bus at the corner of High St. and MacArthur Blvd., Oakland.

 

No one will admit to being afraid of black men. There is still a degree of pride in the larger society. Abject fear is an emotional and irrational condition. Those people wanting their own definition of “justice” for Michael Brown are being emotional and irrational.

They should wait for all the facts to come out.

It’s hard for the facts to come out when the other guy always seems to end up dead.

–Solomon Alexander, “Fear of a Black Man: A Fact Not in Evidence

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Ajuan Mance