By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
A BASN BLACK PAPER – FIVE HOUR APATHY BY MICHAEL-LOUIS INGRAM
A BASN BLACK PAPER: “FIVE HOUR APATHY – A HELLUVA DRUG” (first in a series)
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor
PHILADELPHIA (BASN): As the seasons prepare to change, unfortunately, human beings are running in place rather than keeping up with what nature stays plugged into.
A summer marred by violence culminated with two acts which ratcheted the noise level from a whisper to a scream…
In New York City, Eric Garner, a family man who sold “loosies” – loose cigarettes – was murdered when accosted by a half dozen cops, one who leaped on the 300 – plus pound Garner from behind and administered a choke hold; a method considered illegal and outlawed for the potential damage it can do.
As Garner’s last moments of life were on display on a Staten Island sidewalk, all he could utter was “I can’t breathe…I can’t breathe…I can’t breathe” before expiring.
What followed would prove to be even more heinous.
For approximately half an hour no effort to attend to Mr. Garner (and now that he’s dead they’ll refer to him as “Mr.” because he’s no longer a threat) was made. No paramedics, ambulances, EMTs – nothing, and, most importantly, none of the cops backing off or slowing their roll after Garner’s pleas for air.
So we don’t get this shit twisted, this incident began (according to several eyewitness accounts at the scene) with Garner having broken up a fight. Before he died, there was no selling of loose cigs – and he complained to the world (as the video of his murder was displayed all over social media) that he was (paraphrasing) “tired of getting hassled” and stated, “This ends now!”
Now, if Garner supposedly has this long rap sheet, one would surmise that the NYPD also knew Garner was an asthmatic – who would have trouble breathing in close quarters – so what was he eventually charged with? “IWB – Intervening While Black?” “Resisting arrest?” The point seemingly became moot when NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio, who initially agreed after seeing the Garner’s death video that what killed him was the illegal choke hold, changed his stance after consuming liberal amounts of Five Hour Apathy…
So what happened? Did the NYPD threaten to not protect his multi – ethnic family? Or did the drug “expand his consciousness” and enable him to see what millions of others didn’t?
It needs to be mentioned that de Blasio recently won the mayoral election on what would be considered a progressive platform; which included accents on community policing and supposed “better relations” with the police…so much for help at the top.
The scariest part of this isn’t the death; you need to remember this is a city where a cop got away with murdering a young unarmed Black man not engaged in criminal activity because he experienced “temporary insanity initiated by a sugar rush which stemmed from ingesting snack cakes (Twinkies)” – so his blowing the kid’s brains out was deemed ‘justified.’
It was the whispers and numbness which came from millions watching a man murdered in public…and leaving his body for dead in a supposed “civilized society.”
Which brings us to Ferguson, Missouri – and the “Show Me State” showed more folks stuff they really didn’t want to see…
Michael Brown, an 18 year old youth, was gunned down by a Ferguson cop who had admonished Brown and a friend for walking in the street; but the incident escalated to include a scuffle, fleeing on foot, and Brown being shot a half dozen times while his hands were reportedly up in the air in a surrendering posture.
While it was confirmed in an autopsy conducted privately by the Brown family that the incident was indeed a homicide, we can only speculate on what happened because – the police report…doesn’t say a fucking thing.
Brown, who was murdered on August 9 of this year, was left to die on the street for five hours before any official assistance decided to tend to him.
Again, this isn’t anything new – mostly Black men and boys have been swinging from trees from New York to Texas and back for decades; what is new…is that the world saw it live and in living Colored in the Land of the Free – and the Home of Dred Scott, Emmett Till…you get the idea.
But the mainstream media scarfed up copious amounts of Five Hour Apathy as cameras were rolling, websites got hits and the police would become a militarized, occupying force in this Saint Louis suburb over the next 10 days until the police report was made public…while Michael Brown’s bones rotted in the sun.
Were Brown an animal in the desert, his remains would’ve been treated with far more respect than those who, by their actions, never recognized his humanity.
Buzzards would have picked Brown’s carcass clean; but he would’ve been part of a life cycle rather than an example of police brutality.
Now, for those who might ask, “Why are you bringing this up on a sports site?” here’s why:
The National Football League will start its new season in less than the 10 days it took to file Michael Brown’s police report.
I – and many of my BASN colleagues and on – air contributors to our radio show would be able to fly from where we are to St. Louis; and upon our arrival, Michael Brown’s remains would still be on that Ferguson street.
I could watch my Philadelphia Eagles play through a regular season overtime game, and that young man would still be dead – and baking in the hot sun…
Every Phillies fan who wants to persecute Ryan Howard because “they gave that nigger all that money while he ain’t doing shit” as they race to the nearest mall because Riley “I’ll fight all you NIGGERS!” Cooper is signing autographs at a local Shop – Rite will likely roll out in time to see that some caring person at least threw a sheet over Michael Brown’s body…
Any basketball fan could watch a four – overtime NBA game; but all the hoagies, grinders, subs, heros, po-boys and beer won’t change the fact Michael Brown will still be dead and going into rigor mortis – as you change the channel.
If it was a five overtime match on ice, you might come out the hockey arena and Michael Brown may have been scraped up off the sidewalk by then, but consider this: Claude Giroux, a player I happen to like (as he skates for my Philadelphia Flyers) was recently arrested for an incident in Canada where he reportedly grabbed the ass of an Ottawa police officer.
It was written off as Dumb White Boy behaving badly – but can you imagine a Black Claude Giroux grabbing a cop’s behind in the States? How quickly would his Black ass be riddled with bullets as the cop would get off (and rightfully so) by exclaiming, “I feared he was going for my gun!”
My colleague Gary Norris Gray would call Giroux’s antics “a clear case of white privilege.” I would call it fucking arrogant…and extremely stupid.
So as we flip back to Ferguson and a burial which showed more respect for Michael Brown in death than the actions of those who protect and serve (the corporations, the status quo – but definitely not people of color or poor economic status and societal voice) you need to remember; regardless of whatever speculations, agendas and bullshit may come down the pike, don’t lose sight of the reality that Michael Brown was murdered and left to rot for five hours as people were discouraged from attending to him!
Was this an edict that came from the police to let him lay there? Was it sending a message – that as one asshole who contributed to the cop’s online defense fund would scream, “THANK YOU FOR DOING YOUR PART FOR ANIMAL CONTROL!”
If we go whowhatwhenwherewhy (and sometimes how) on this, it would flow thusly:
WHO the fuck is responsible for ordering to leave Michael Brown’s dead body lying in the muthafuckin’ street for five hours? (And before anyone starts some stupid shit about ‘profanity’ – understand Brown’s body being left out without being attended to IS the fuckin’ profanity as I see it!)
WHAT the fuck prompted 10 days of inaction on the part of the Ferguson Police and their Chief Jackson with revealing a police report yet expediting the video supposedly showing Brown (which has yet to be confirmed) stealing cigars from a convenience store – as more unwanted attention from the outside was focusing on the murder – and Ferguson?
WHEN the fuck did all this military hardware become standard equipment – for suburban police departments – or any police department for that matter? What’s next – Cos Cob S.W.A.T? Who authorized the purchases?
WHERE the fuck was the American Civil Liberties Union to put the Ferguson Police Department’s actions in check after the incident? And where, after Attorney General Eric Holder announced during President Barack Obama’s first term in a press conference that we Americans are “cowards when it comes to race” will this discourse continue now that AG Holder promised the Brown family that the federal government would pursue Michael’s death further?
WHY the fuck would enough firepower to liberate a Caribbean island have to be utilized to stifle the protest the murder and maltreatment of a human being – unless they were Black and poor?
And, most important –
HOW many lives were saved because of the intervention of Anonymous to help balance the scales of fairness (because there sure as shit was no justice goin’ on in that muthafuckin’ town!) The fear that the hackers’ collective would put the personal business of every police official and politician on Front Street (because they could) put the brakes on a lot of Dick Dastardly shit which no doubt hung like a Sword of Damocles over any overt or covert actions which may have been in the game plan of a cover-up.
However – as all this has come out in the manner it has, the other ugly truth is the dismal voting record area Black residents have had – six…say that shit again – six percent participation means you’re begging for justice instead of proactively ensuring that elected officials will at least be amenable to your concerns – because you were there to voice them!
Totally strung out – on Five Hour Apathy…and worrying more about who sings better or who’s throwing better shade on “Baby Mama Divas of Florissant” than getting off your ass and voting!
As we go back to where we started here, it took ten days – 240 hours (which would be 48 5 hour blocks of time) before his dead body was moved.
If it hadn’t already been done, I can hear some troubadour singing, “48 blocks…48 blocks…48 blocks…”
To be continued…
Always outnumbered – never outgunned.
Copyright © 2014 Michael – Louis Ingram all rights reserved.