We’ve been here before and we’re extremely tired.
Over the course of the last week, NewsOne was forced to revisit our gallery that lists the shooting deaths of Black men killed during police encounters, to add the names of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, while also documenting the two-year anniversary of Eric Garner’s death.
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And in less than one month we will remember Michael Brown, who was shot by an officer while walking down the street.
The men in this gallery died in predominantly Black cities across the nation like Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Staten Island, and Ferguson, hundreds of miles apart. But the aftermath surrounding their legacies fulfills a similar narrative.
We rally and march in their honor. Fight and advocate on TV and social media for the need to validate Black lives. Legislators and pundits debate taking action or waiting for more information. Administrative leaves are placed on the officers involved and in some cases, indictments reign down.
It’s too early to tell if the officers involved in Sterling and Castile’s shootings will be brought to justice, but in most cases of the men listed here, the officers were allowed to walk.
Sterling and Garner’s families wait for the conclusion of DOJ Civil Rights Division investigations, while Castile’s family and friends recently called for the DOJ to step in. In Brown’s case, a grand jury declined to bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson, but an investigation by the DOJ uncovered years of racially biased enforcement against Ferguson’s Black citizens.
Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for Black Americans. A suffocation from repeatedly watching death unfold in living color.
A stark reality remains that no one has a clear set of solutions: Do we blame Black America and tirelessly dismantle the theory behind Black on Black violence? Should we start with our broken education system? Do we re-examine our legislatures and the laws? What about blaming the media and a lack of diverse, positive representation? Do we call on celebrities to speak out? Do we dismantle the police and advocate for community policing?
Nicholas Kristoff offers an important caveat in his most recent New York Times article titled, “A History of White Delusion”:
“A starting point is for us whites to wake from our ongoing mass delusions, to recognize that in practice black lives have not mattered as much as white lives, and that this is an affront to values that we all profess to believe in.”
A 2016 report by the Pew Research Center on the state of race relations shows a lengthy gap between Whites and Blacks; 88 percent of Blacks said the country has far to go before Whites and Blacks will be viewed as equal, while 53 percent of Whites agree. Forty three percent of Blacks doubt needed changes will occur, while only 11 percent of Whites feel skeptical.
In a separate study, the Center examined the imperative divide that exists when it comes to attitudes towards the police within America. According to a 2015 report, 71 percent of Whites said Blacks and Whites are treated equally, while 36 percent of Blacks agree. As police shootings become a difficult standard to accept, this number reflects that the majority of the country is off tone with what is really happening in Black America.
One of the most important things that will turn the tide are non-Black allies who aren’t afraid to discuss and reject and dismantle White privilege. They must also not fear saying “Black Lives Matter,” with an understanding that an invisible “only” doesn’t exist.
The denial and silence, along with institutional policies along state and federal levels, keep us mired down, unable to accomplish the change we desperately need.
“Fatigued” is not a strong enough verb to describe our sentiment. The word “enough,” hasn’t ended the senseless murders.
The men in the below gallery were fathers, like Sterling, Brown, and Castile. They were brothers and sons. Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin were children. Others, like Akai Gurley, were killed for walking down a stairwell, or like Jonathan Ferrell, shot because they asked for help.
The nation cannot withstand one more Black life taken this way. Not one more.
71 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Samuel David Mallard, 191 of 71
2. Kwame "KK" Jones, 17Source:facebook 2 of 71
3. De’von Bailey, 193 of 71
4. Christopher Whitfield, 314 of 71
5. Anthony Hill, 265 of 71
6. De'Von Bailey, 196 of 71
7. Eric Logan, 547 of 71
8. Jamarion Robinson, 268 of 71
9. Gregory Hill Jr., 309 of 71
10. JaQuavion Slaton, 2010 of 71
11. Ryan Twyman, 2411 of 71
12. Brandon Webber, 2012 of 71
13. Jimmy Atchison, 2113 of 71
14. Willie McCoy, 2014 of 71
15. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2115 of 71
16. D’ettrick Griffin, 1816 of 71
17. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 17 of 71
18. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 18 of 71
19. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 19 of 71
20. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 20 of 71
21. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 21 of 71
22. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 22 of 71
23. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 23 of 71
24. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 24 of 71
25. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 25 of 71
26. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 26 of 71
27. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 27 of 71
28. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 28 of 71
29. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 29 of 71
30. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 30 of 71
31. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 31 of 71
32. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 32 of 71
33. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 33 of 71
34. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 34 of 71
35. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 35 of 71
36. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 36 of 71
37. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 37 of 71
38. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 38 of 71
39. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 39 of 71
40. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 40 of 71
41. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 41 of 71
42. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 42 of 71
43. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 43 of 71
44. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 44 of 71
45. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 45 of 71
46. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 46 of 71
47. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 47 of 71
48. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 48 of 71
49. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 49 of 71
50. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 50 of 71
51. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 51 of 71
52. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 52 of 71
53. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 53 of 71
54. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 54 of 71
55. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 55 of 71
56. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 56 of 71
57. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 57 of 71
58. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 58 of 71
59. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 59 of 71
60. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 60 of 71
61. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 61 of 71
62. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 62 of 71
63. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 63 of 71
64. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 64 of 71
65. Patrick Harmon, 5065 of 71
66. Jonathan Hart, 2166 of 71
67. Maurice Granton, 2467 of 71
68. Julius Johnson, 2368 of 71
69. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt 69 of 71
70. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt 70 of 71
SOURCE: The New York Times, Pew Research Center