Loving Basketball: Stop Press – Game 5 boycotted to protest another senseless Police Shooting

After all the national unrest on Police brutality and systemic racism, it is disturbing that there was yet another shooting of a 29-year old African-American man.

As a result the planned Game 5 between Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET today, was boycotted by the Bucks. They simply gathered in their locker room and wouldn’t come out to the courts.

The shooting is extremely disturbing. Proves that some law enforcement authorities are deadly adamant about continuing this heinous and hateful senseless shootings, and God forbid, killings of Blacks and minorities.

Jacob Blake, unarmed, was shot seven times in the back at close range. Sources say that he is in critical condition and might remain paralyzed as a result. Details are yet unknown about what led to the shooting.

Other NBA Teams followed Bucks’ boycott. As such no NBA games will be played today, Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, who both had qualified for the 2nd Round Playoffs, had initially planned to boycott their first 2nd Round games too.

Media is wild at the moment with the news. Please check it out and add your voice to the senseless shootings – this needs to stop!

One bad egg should not pollute the whole crate

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The Police, have gone apathetic and are killing the people they are paid to protect. No-one is safe people. It doesn’t have to be your family member to matter to you. We all need to speak up!

We do acknowledge that not all Police Officers are malevolent and that there are still good and great Police Officers, but the bad ones are polluting the good/great and causes the Police Departments across board to stink.

We should not allow the bad ones to remain in uniform.

More of the news here

Hypocritical stance of people

Stop Press

In the aftermath of recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, issued a Press Release announcing policy changes. Read about it here

We hope other cities, the nation, and the global community will follow suit.

. . .

Why now and not then?

That something needed to be done is an understatement. Something needed to have been done before the killing/brutality of George Floyd in the hands of the Police. Actions needed to have been taken, several years back, to prevent further killings and brutalities.

Why was it not done?  Why now and not then?  Where then were all the people who are speaking up now?  Seems hypocritical in my opinion. 

Police and Legislative Reforms, that included administrative, operational, and tactical procedures needed to have been initiated, implemented, and instituted nationwide sooner. But, no, we wait till there is unrest and what appears to be grassroots retaliatory actions. The government has affirmed that it is slow to (or will not) act except there is unrest.  By so doing, the government has turned adults to babies-throwing-tantrums rather than the adults and mature individuals that they are.  This is not good governance.

So now everyone is chanting “Black Lives Matter!”  Black lives should matter; not only now, but always. All lives matter.  But the problem is that, rather than dealing with people, we witness black men/women killings and brutalities that reflects animalistic dealings in the hands of those who are supposed to be protecting them. It makes me gasp in wonder and ask why.  Where is the fear of God?  The killing of an animal such as a dog or cat in America often leads to the person being prosecuted.  But killing a black man in America leads to no one been prosecuted but a pat on the hand/back! And unless there is a demonstration or riot!  This is, among other things, what BLM is standing/fighting for.  It took me a while to understand it myself. 

The irony is that everyone – blacks, whites, media, sports, businesses, religious organizations, etc., are NOW all talking against racism and police brutality. Where was everyone before now?! Where were they when Colin Kaepernick took the knee and got booted?! Not even his NFL, or the sports world, protested on his behalf! The only organization that he seemed to have gotten his support from was Nike. (p.s. I’m not advocating for Nike). Now we hear and see sports icons speaking up and joining in the peaceful protests. Uhm. Could this be a political or intentional social stance of some sort knowing that being mute or neutral could jeopardize their fan base and/or businesses? I’m merely thinking out loud. Anyone out there who hears my thoughts can comment – agreeing or disagreeing.

Aside from blacks who are directly affected and impacted, and who have singly been handling the problem, where was everyone? They all contributed to the systemic problem.

According to a CNBC article, referencing Mapping Police Violence, Police killed 3 people per day in 2019, and over 1,000 in 2018. The source also revealed that for the previous five-year period, the numbers slightly changed. We’re half-way through 2020, and the numbers if not curbed, will parallel or surpass the previous years.

According to Statista, “as of June 4, the U.S. police shot 429 people to death in 2020.”

African-Americans are saying enough is enough.  

Police killed 3 people per day last year

You are part of the problem when you keep quiet when you ought to have said something. I repeat, you’re part of the problem when you keep quiet when you should have said something. Not in my backyard, aka if it doesn’t affect or impact me directly, why should I bother, right? Wrong.

Racism didn’t just start

Racism has been ongoing in America way before the first Freedom March. It was peaceful then, but still no action.  We merely band-aided the issue and behold sixty years after, we are still dealing with the same issue and it’s gotten drastically and blatantly more dangerous.  It’s gotten to a heightened hatred scenario.  

The narratives must change all-round; not only with the Police but also with the prison, jobs, businesses, schools/colleges, sports, religious organizations, etc. 

Racism does not only happen within the Police Departments, nor the Courts/prisons, nor in education. Racism happens daily, at work, in schools, youth and college sports, professional sports, in religious organizations, and our backyards (aka neighborhoods). I’m sure that we all know someone, black or minority, who has been unjustly dealt with.  What did we do then?  How did we react to it? Permit me to say also that I bet you that some of the other races who have now joined in the demonstrations have equally perpetuated racism at some point either on the job or school or college or sports.  This is hypocritical.  If everyone is now speaking up and are joining in the demonstration, who then is responsible for the systemic problem and perpetuating the systemic crime?  Let’s ponder on that for a second … The Police whom we are trying to hold accountable have families, young and probably adult children, and friends who are probably biased too or who also share their views and reasons for their actions.   

But, let us be truthful to ourselves. Racism did not start with Donald Trump’s presidency; granted that Mr. Donald Trump grossly encouraged it with his open “uncensored” statements. Racism was prevalent during Obama’s tenure, as well as the Bushes, albeit subtly during the Bushes era.

It appears that folks however prefer the subtle and covert racism than the overt type.  But racism is racism, covert or overt, and it needs to be condemned. 

As much as we all loved Mr. Obama, and I am glad that he represented every black face – men and women, I kept asking myself, “why didn’t he institute the policy reforms against racism and police brutality?”  Here’s a couple of links that I found of the policy changes that Mr. Obama made during his presidential tenure; all but police reforms: 

Thanks for the organizing … Racism must stop

Nevertheless, I am grateful for the ongoing community grassroots organizing regarding this systemic problem. The organizing has shed more light on the problem and garnered global attention and followership. Community organizing, especially at the grassroots, had been known to be effective in bringing about change. Other groups such as the Hispanics, Jews, LGBTQ, women were known to have successfully used community organizing.

Though some may still try to justify it, I reiterate that I do not support the looting and vandalism that we witnessed earlier.  I still believe that the looters took advantage of a serious issue to commit a crime.  I am however glad that their actions have not distracted from the systemic issue nor deterred recent demonstrations, which have been very peaceful and even festive, from taking place.  We hope that this pattern of the demonstration will continue if necessary.

Finally, we grieve with families of those whose lives have been insensibly cut shot by Police brutality.  May God strengthen and console them.  

Peace!

From Rodney King to George Floyd

People what is going on? This is an extremely sensitive topic/issue. But we need to talk about it and seek to find a lasting solution. Change begins with dialogue (or conversation).

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

Albert Einstein

. . .

Various demonstrations because of the umpteenth killing of a young unarmed black man, George Floyd, by an ex-police officer, have been ongoing from Minneapolis to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, San Jose, Los Angeles. Which city is next? Some of these demonstrations were peaceful, but most were rowdy. Even the ones that began peacefully, eventually took another turn. These demonstrations are so disturbing yet, though apropos. What we are witnessing is a combination of an avalanche of frustrations and opportunists seizing the moment.  

Things fall apart and the center cannot hold ... sheer anarchy is loosed upon the land!
- Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian novelist
Courtesy of kidzone.ws

People, there is a root cause. We have a systemic problem that needs an urgent systemic solution. Pruning a tree when done right, encourages new growth, greener leaves, stronger branches, and healthier twigs and trunks. Simultaneously, to kill a tree, like any systemic issue, we need to deal with it at its roots. Government (departments such as the legal system and law enforcement agencies) keep treating the symptoms rather than the cause. We need to deal with the root cause.

Systemic: Bias, Problem, Solution?

Systemic is anything relating to the entire system rather than a part of it. Undoubtedly, we have systemic problems in America that have shown bias in its solutions or lack of solutions. As such, as Simplicable, states, there is both a systemic bias and systemic problem and offers the following definitions:

“Systemic Bias: a society, culture, or large system that exhibits bias. This essentially means that a large system produces sub-optimal decisions that are analogous to a person …

Systemic Problem: a problem that infects an entire society, culture, or system.” 

Therefore, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. As I researched, I found another site, that agreed with me. This site has noteworthy information relevant to our current topic and issue. What we need is a systemic solution to the systemic problems and biases in America. A systemic solution, therefore, is a solution that resolves root causes.

This blog is not about how we go about resolving all the issues.  

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of South Africa

Let us talk about the way the demonstrations were conducted in certain cities. I speak against injustice of any kind. Looting and vandalism is also an injustice. Looting and vandalism is not the answer and it also has to be condemned else we would be speaking from both sides of our mouth. Neither the killings of anyone, be they black, white, brown, purple, or red nor the vagrant looting of stores and burning of cars or stores nor anyone claiming supremacy over another nor the police driving into the mob is acceptable! People, two wrongs not a right make!! All sides claim to be fighting for their lives and right. If we continue this way, whose life is going to remain? All the acts must be condemned in no unjustifiable manner.

Demonstrations can be peacefully done. It has been done several times in the past. We all are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19. The recent violent demonstrations surely take us much further back in years.

Is there another way?

Let us look to a brighter future. Ask any sprinter, anyone running a race does not look back – they lose time and never win the race by so doing. We all need to stop looking back in time except to analyze what happened and use it as a catalyst for the future. Yes, it is easier said than done. I know. Though China is not our best political ally at the moment, let’s take a cue from the Chinese reforms and policies for an economic turnaround. China underwent systemic changes that transformed “complex number of reforms in its fiscal, financial, enterprise, governance and legal systems and the ability for the government to be able to flexibly respond to the unintended consequences of these changes. This transformation has been accompanied by high levels of industrialization and urbanization, a process that has influenced every aspect of China’s society, culture, and economy.”

That said, China, like any other economy, can still be said to be unfulfilled in other areas.  

Two wrongs not a right make

True, many of us have been subjected to several wrongs. So, have I. Many of us have had our loved ones untimely snatched from us; so have I. I have been let go of my job due to what was apparent racism – it hurts that it was done and that I felt helpless to fight back. But I did not burn down the building, neither did I drove back to the place to run down anyone. So please do not yell at me or ask for my head on a platter. I honestly can relate to both sides of the equation.

Frustration stems in when one witnesses the incessant injustices, racism, inhumane brutalities and killings of anyone. African Americans generally have been dealt a harder blow. And it is perceived that the men have been particularly targeted. From Rodney King to George Floyd, it appears that the brutalities and killings of African American men have been unnecessarily on the rise. However, except I conduct the research, I cannot use the data being presented as conclusive because data, research, and conclusions can be subjective. Each data (or survey results) can be manipulated to present whatever message the researcher wants to communicate to its readers/users.  Having said that, here’s couple of charts that I found.

U.S. Police Shootings: Blacks Disproportinately Affected

The truth is that law enforcement officers are killed almost daily as well in their line of duty. Sadly, because of the animosity and recent tensions, these deaths go unnoticed and no one seems to care; except the affected’s family. Check the reference link for FBI and The Peace Officer Safety Institute for current data regarding law enforcement officers killed in action (leoka).

Is Revolution the Answer?

Some say that we probably need a revolution. Maybe we do. I do not know neither am I advocating for it. But do we all understand what revolution is? According to Merriam Webster online dictionary, Revolution is:

  • 2a: a sudden, radical, or complete change
  • b: a fundamental change in a political organization especiallythe overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
  • c: activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
  • d: a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing somethinga change of paradigm 
  • e: a changeover in use or preference …

Revolution is a change, but it does not necessarily have to be bloody or rambunctious. The revolution that we need is a drastic change from the manner that things are done. This can be done by a 360-degree change in our policies; legal, law enforcement, medical, education, etc. I am not talking about the type of change that was done with diversity reforms (another topic for another day), but one sincere change that must have consequences for non-conformance.   

Where are the good men and women?

Finally, Abraham Lincoln once said, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” This quote has been echoed by others such that no one really knows its original owner.

Those who do nothing while witnessing injustice and wrong-doing do worse than those who commit acts of injustice. The privileged have a responsibility to do what they know is right. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King

Good men (and, of course, women) everywhere need to rise to speak the truth. But good men (and women) should not merely jump on the bandwagon, but strive to seek to truly find a solution to the problem. And good people should not be paying others to confuse the land. It is akin to activists being paid to carry placards. During the years of my active job search, I had called some “paid-same-day” ads that happened to be that our job would be to carry placards about issues. So, I know that this does happen.

For every demonstration, there is always someone championing it either overtly or covertly.

The truth is that those who are instigating the chaos are not affected by it. Like we always say, “people in high places” are powerful, wealthy, and influential. They have friends everywhere who they can call upon to either support or carry out their bidding. In addition, these people have high security that prevents the rioting masses from getting to them.

To the people in high places, secretly instigating all these, please stop. If you think no one knows who you are or know that you are doing it, do not be deceived because God, the Creator of the universe, is not mocked and sees what is done in secret.  

Let’s not continue to hurt ourselves

This is an extremely sensitive issue to write or talk about. But talk, we should, and talk we shall.

No one wants to be at the receiving end of injustice. Anyone who has been on that side knows what it feels like and it’s surely not good. By the same token, anyone who has never experienced injustice certainly does not know what it feels like.

The brutalities, violent demonstrations, and looting is not the way to honor the dead neither will it bring the dead back. I say this as apologetically and softly as I can. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a son on this journey to freedom. May their spirit live forever and pave the way for true freedom for all.

Every good man (and woman) please stand against the injustice, racism, brutality, and senseless killings of black men, minorities, and people generally. It is sad that after over sixty years of Martin Luther King’s “Walk for Freedom” speech, we are here still trying to walk the freedom! 

Coincidentally or ironically, depending on the way you view it, MLK’s speech occurred in May in 1956! Any surprise that these demonstrations are happening in May 2020?! Go figure!

We can still make MLK (and Rosa Parks) proud, not by giving in to political maneuverings that disrupts our economy, which in turn affects all of us, but by choosing to do demonstrations peacefully. 

Peace people!

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