Overshadowed by the hype of Lebron’s decision to sign with the Miami Heat, was the verdict of a controversial case that took place 18 months ago in Oakland, CA. See here for more info on the case.
At the end of the day, all this reminds me that we have not come too far from slavery. What are black bodies actually worth in our society? If black men can entertain America while speaking good english, dressed main stream, and not flashing their wealth in our face, then they seem to be valued. However, for most of us (black men) our lives seem to still not matter that much in the eyes of our country.
This case is nothing new, it is not the first time an unarmed black man has been shot and killed by police and it will not be the last. The argument is always the same… the police officer always “accidently” shoots and kills us. The thing I am confused about is how we are the only ones being shot and killed by police accidently, when we are only 6% of the nations population. I didn’t get an A in Statistics Class, but I am sure my math is good enough to know that the numbers and probability don’t add up right.
Black people are not the only people on earth or in human history to not have their bodies and lives valued. In fact, in the 1st Century thousands and thousands of Jewish men were crucified under the authority and control of the Roman Empire. In Rome, Jewish lives were desposable. In the second half of the century alone, about 6000 Jews were crucified.
Interestingly enough, we look at the crucifixion of Jesus as a unique death that no one else could bare. The truth is that the Roman Empire saw Jesus just like they saw all the other thousands of Jews killed during that era… he was just another Jew, and taking his life was no big deal. I mean, it wasn’t like he was Roman or something right?
America must move beyond the apathy it has towards the lives of black people. Not care about them because they can rap, ball, dance, act, tell a good joke, or speak “good english”, but because we too are created by God and in His image. And when any of God’s beloved are undervalued, marginalized, or mistreated, we should all be troubled. We ought to rediscover our righteous indignation that disallows our comfort in the midst of others struggles. Whether someone is Black, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Homeless, Homosexual, a drug addict or prostitute we need to care about their lives, bodies, and overall welfare. Apart of our calling (if you are Christian) is to take care of “the least of these” in our society. That is those who are most vulnerable in our society. And that includes Oscar Grant and all the others who have been MURDERED while vulnerable and unprotected by the people who have been charged to provide safety and protection to them.