Yesterday, a young man, Brandon Webber was gunned down by US MARSHALLS. Facebook erupted in arguments over his innocence, lack of, gang themed videos, graduation photos and whether or not his life honestly- mattered. The lack of compassion that we can publicly stoop to just throw a human away so casually is sickening. At the end of the day a family is mourning, this if that, but that, should not culture does not take away that a young man was shot more than 16 times in his community. His community witnessed this and we have no right to tell them how to be appropriate in their sorrow. I wonder how are we missing the deeper issues here? As much as this is about Brandon and a community, it is about the urban parts of Memphis being underserved. This is even more about communities being underserved and the distrust of a judicial system in Memphis, TN that has proven over the last few years that black bodies can be buried without consequence.
The disproportionate rate that blacks are being killed in engagements with the police or government lead agencies is statistically been proven by various studies. There are a lot of resources to look at the numbers but it is clear that a heavy bias is towards blacks being arrested and in custody. This is about a pattern of police presence and standards to make sure that everyone has the same chance to be arrested to go to trial for their alleged offenses. This is about a lack of quality jobs in that area of Memphis that offer livable wages and an even less ability for transportation out of that area to go to jobs. This is about a community that has to fend off a landfill every 6 months because it has space and not enough advocates for quality of life. Frayser community had to fight just to have a new library built. The people of that area did that. Despite being neglected, they push forward and do the best they can but how fair is that? How fair is it to continue to ask a group of people to forgive, to pray, and to wish it better?
This is about justice. Justice that was not given to:
Darius Stewart who was driven behind a church in handcuffs and killed by police.
Davonte Weatherford who was shot in his back.
Abdoulaye Thiam who was a mentally ill 19 year old killed by police for supposedly rushing with a knife.
Martavious Banks who was shot multiple times in his back after police cut body cameras, car cameras, used unauthorized frequencies, followed, fired into an occupied space, and then refused to provide the community with an answer.
Terrance Carlton who was murdered by police while laying in a fetal position on the ground.
All of those cases resulted in the D.A., Memphis, and the broken system not pressing any charges against the officers. No jail time for the officers and now we have Brandon Webber. It is easy to play Facebook God and associate a value for a life but I question you this. What is the value for yours? What is the value of your children?
This is about racial, social, environmental, and economic justice that all combine to form a clear disparity in how blacks are treated when such situations arise. This is the sad truth. The sadder truth is that we may never know what truly happened to Brandon Webber because it is in the best interest of those that do know-to never truly say. The voice of the community and people that were on-site have already been silenced and pushed away deep into the shadows of Frayser and that is wrong. This is wrong and any that say otherwise- I question because Memphis: We Are Tired, Mane.